In which I agree with a Tory

October 25th, 2012 § 3 comments § permalink

Well, suck my stump and call me Susan, I agree with a Tory*!

(*update: may not actually be a Tory)

A senior government official has sparked anger by advising internet users to give fake details to websites to protect their security.

Andy Smith, an internet security chief at the Cabinet Office, said people should only give accurate details to trusted sites such as government ones.

He said names and addresses posted on social networking sites “can be used against you” by criminals.

Quite fucking right too. Who the fuck needs to know anything about you, unless you decide they should know?

There’s commercial sites that need genuine information, but it isn’t going to be plastered all over the place for everyone to see, there’s government sites, like ones for tax returns as Smith suggests later in the article, and er, that’s about it.

Every other one can fuck the fuck off if they’re going to make all your details public without your consent.

Shadow MP Helen Goodman is shocked. Shocked, I tell you…

His advice was described by Labour MP Helen Goodman as “totally outrageous”.

Ms Goodman, shadow culture minister, told BBC News: “This is the kind of behaviour that, in the end, promotes crime.

“It is exactly what we don’t want. We want more security online. It’s anonymity which facilitates cyber-bullying, the abuse of children.

“I was genuinely shocked that a public official could say such a thing.”

The problem isn’t the use of pseudonyms or anonymity that lead to bullying abuse of children. It’s being a cunt that leads to that. What does she expect? Does she want every website that you have to log in to see you’re passport or two recent utility bills?

To turn things the otherway round, it’s the use of anonymity and pseudonyms that prevents even more crime. A cyber bully might have a go at User123, but it’s the very fact that User123 is using a pseudonym that makes it harder for his cyber-bully to ‘take it offline’.

Mrs Goodman, MP for Bishop Auckland, in the North-East of England, said she had been contacted by constituents who have been the victims of cyber-bullying on major social networking sites by people hiding behind fake names.

By ‘major social networking sites’ I’m guessing Goodman means Facebook and Twitter. Well, Facebook can do a fuck of a lot to help there by making its’ privacy setting a fuck of a lot simpler. Even just easier to find would be fucking start.

There is more to cyber-bullying than just privacy settings and pseudonyms, but the squeal of “totally outrageous” is over the top and needs to be kicked into touch straight away. The balance between the need for people to know who you are, your traceability, and your ability to be anonymous is a much more nuanced issue than Goodman would have you believe.

Patterns’ need to re-affirm the BBC’s independence

October 24th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I know i’m not the sharpest tool in the shed, so forgive me if I’ve missed something here

BBC Trust chairman Lord Patten has sought to reaffirm the corporation’s independence from government, in a letter to the Culture Secretary.

Why is the BBC’s independence even in question and who has questioned it?

This all relates to the BBC’s condust over the dropped Newsnight report on Jimmy Savile, and the culture that allowed his appalling conduct and others to go unchallenged for so long, and various enquiries and investigations and statements (false or inaccurate or otherwise) that have or will be set up or published.

But who has said or implied, the BBC is not, or at risk of, not being independent from government?

Quotas. Got fill the quota.

October 23rd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Quotas are all well and good but they should be aspirational, something to aim for and not legally binding.


EU commissioners are due to debate proposals that would force quotas for women on corporate boards.

EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding is in favour of the proposals to make it mandatory for companies to reserve 40% of seats for women.

The problem with legally binding quotas for employees of any sort, from the lowliest employees to the highest level of government, is that they are exclusionary. The quota criteria, whether that is gender, race, ability or anything thing else, becomes paramount. If someone doesn’t fit into the criteria that is irrlelavent to doing the job, then they cannot have the job no matter how good at it they would be.

Quotas should be something to aim for. Instead of forcing companies to have 40% disabled people or 25% from ethnic minotities or 50% women, the reason behind the low turnout should be looked at. If a sector decides it needs more women, it should discover why are there so few women currently in their industry and then steps taken to encourage more woment to join. Whether that’s the image, education or whatever that puts off a dempgraphic from entering an indusrty.

By forcing quotas on institutions you get good people refuse positions because they otherwise they will upset the legally required rartio. You get resentment, where someone gets a job just because they are disabled or whatever.

Require companies and instiutions to try to attract more diverse applicants to positions, but don’t restrict filling a position to the second best just because they’ll be another tick in a box.

Burden of Proof

October 22nd, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

If you have proof of something and you want me to see it, you have to get it to me.

I had an exchange on Twitter with a christian that said he had indirect proof that god exists.


Vincent says he has proof the devil exists, which would prove the bible is true, which in turn would mean that god really does exist.

This, naturally, piqued my curiosity. If there is proof that god exists, then it’d be interesting to see. Vincent may turn out to be a crackpot, in which case it’d be amusing to shatter his delusional bubble, or he could be right and this could be massive. I’m not going to make any judgements until I see this proof. I’m still waiting though.

This is because Vincent has the proof in on his (locked down) facebook page and I don’t do facebook. Vincent has offered to create and send me a facebook login, but I don’t really want to use a login from someone off the internet I’v never met, for anything, not just facebook. I’ve offered to send him my email address so he can email this prrof for me to see, but it has illustrations and other spurious reason why it’d be too hard to do.

This refusal to use facebook makes me biased and closed minded. Err, Ok then. (btw, I do feel a little superior as I never insulted the guy and was perfectly civil)

Anyway, the point is, if you have proof of something it is upto you to show it. i am not going to go chasing around the place to go and fetch it. I am happy to click a link or send my email address, but I shoudln’t have to login to anywhere I don’t already have an account, or give any details to anybody to see your proof.

You have to give it to me. If you don’t then, I shall presume you’re not what you say you are or your proof isn’t as watertight as you say it is. Either way, you lose.

music to work to

October 16th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

Drop bar trial riding

October 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

This is fucking awesome. Arguably more awesome than Danny MaCaskill…

Martyn Ashton takes the £10k carbon road bike used by Team Sky’s Bradley Wiggins & Mark Cavendish for a ride with a difference. With a plan to push the limits of road biking as far as his lycra legs would dare, Martyn looked to get his ultimate ride out of the awesome Pinarello Dogma 2. This bike won the 2012 Tour de France – surely it deserves a Road Bike Party!

via Kottke

A post on the Tories. It’s starts quite well, but quickly degenerates

October 9th, 2012 § 0 comments § permalink

I read this and got that sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach…

A new breed of company in which workers will be forced to lose some maternity rights and all access to unfair dismissal tribunals has been unveiled by George Osborne as he tried to introduce a big deregulation of the labour market through the back door.

People are steadily being turned into machines, to be turned on and off at the whim of businesses. All the time we’re being told the country’s workforce need to be flexible. Employers are scared to actually employ people.

Employers are scared, though, because they can’t treat workers how they want to – badly.

The flexibility we’re told we need is not the flexibility a workers will presume, the flexibility to start early or finish late sometimes or to be able to perform roles, on occasion, outside of that which they would normally perform. What businesses want, or at least the fucking massive businesses that have profit sheets as big as countries, is the flexibility to hire and fire at will. To turn people on and off, with no thought to workers need for stability and security, the need to feel that they can commit to long term financial contract, such as mortgages.

Osborne revealed that workers could be given shares by their employer worth between £2,000 and £50,000, and any gains in those shares would be exempt from capital gains tax.

In return they would be asked to give up their rights over unfair dismissal, redundancy and requests for flexible working and time off for training. They would also be required to provide twice as much notice of a firm date of return from maternity leave – 16 weeks instead of eight.

I tell you what, I would rather have the security of a job and my current set of meagre employment rights than a bunch of shares that could be worth jack shit, no possibility of requesting a slightly different working day (and it is only requesting, not demanding) or not being able to take a company to court for being sacked for some spurious reason. And why revoke time off for training? Surely that is crucial for a flexible workforce, a workforce that can improve itself make itself better? And 16 weeks for a firm return date after maternity is already too long. Most people, when they resign from their job need to give a months notice. That should be plenty for a return from maternity date too.

Osborne told the Conservative party conference in Birmingham that the new “employee-owner” status would be optional for existing employees but existing companies and new startups could choose to offer only this type of contract for new hires, making it a compulsory condition of employment. Fast-track legislation will be introduced so firms can use the new type of contract from April 2013.

This is just a smokescreen to strip the worker of their rights. The new “employee-owner” will get a few shares, but who decides how many? It’ll be the company, and it’ll be nearer the two thousand pound end of the scale, not the £50k end. The new “employee-owner” will still be sacked if he inadvertently fucks up in the slightest, rather than asked to resign with a shiny golden handshake, that includes shares, when the whole den comes tumbling down, like those at the top of business. Some employees are more owners than others.

Stuart Rose, former chief executive of Marks and Spencer, said: “This is a win-win for entrepreneurs and employers in small and medium-sized companies that need a flexible dedicated workforce focused on growth.”

How the fuckety fucking fuck can yo have a dedicated workforce that can be told to get to fuck at a moments notice? These cunts at the top of these fucking businesses what the fucking impossible: They want to be able to hire and fire at a moments fucking notice, but they want their employees to be dedicated and hardworking. If you don’t provide security, people will not give a fuck. You make dedicated employees by providing security and perks, and looking after your workers when times are tough. You cannot have a loyal workforce that can be fired on a whim.

And on benefits…

Osborne signalled that some of the cuts would come from holding down the level of benefits: “How can we justify the incomes of those out of work rising faster than the incomes of those in work? Where is the fairness, we ask, for the shift worker leaving home in the dark hours of early morning who looks up at the closed blinds of their next door neighbour sleeping off a life on benefits?”

Osborne is right to ask where is the fairness. Living on benefits, though, is not the luxury lifestyle politicians and the tabloids make it out to be. The question has to be, why doesn’t working provide a decent standard of living?

Instead of a race to the bottom by cutting fucking benefits, why not do something about getting paid work paid better, so first time buyers aren’t forty-somethings, some the people on benefits can get a job and not have to have some other fucking benefit fill in the gap?

How the fuck did we get into the situation where two people that work forty hours a week cannot afford even a modest home for themselves?

He also proposed cuts to child tax credits for families with more than three children and holding down the housing benefit budget by withdrawing benefits to those aged 25 or under.

Ah, nice social engineering project, you have there Mr Osborne. When do you plan to make ‘encourage’ people to only have two kids? And what the fuck is it with the age discrimination? It’s the fucking same with the minimum wage. People can get themselves sorted and stable and then it all go to shit before the age of 25. Is twenty five the age when a Tory becomes A Man, is it?

Fuck ’em.

Bring on the revolution.

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