Archive | April, 2007

Orwell: 1984 ‘could’ happen, not ‘will’ happen

30 Apr

Richard has dug out George Orwell’s “STATEMENT ON ‘NINETEEN EIGHTY-FOUR” and has reproduced it for your consumption, here.

Good work Richard. A true gem.

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Roy & Me

30 Apr

I haven’t congratulated my beloved Sunderland AFC for their recent promotion on the blog yet, maybe I have been a little too obsessed with the Cricket, but here goes…

C’mon you Mackems!

Roy Keane has of course been brilliant. Promotion began to seem inevitable as we kept coming from behind and pushing for the win.

And, it seems, that Roy and I share a love of green tea: –

“I just drank plenty of green tea – that was my way of celebrating. I’m delighted, but everyone celebrates in different ways, my way is just chilling out at home.”

Anytime you want to pop around for a brew Roy, just ask… oh, and thanks. Brilliant.

Blogging anniversaries

30 Apr

The excellent Bread & Circuses is celebrating its first year in the blogosphere.

Happy Blog Birthday Juve!!!

A bad week for democracy

30 Apr

Having read the investigation in The Sunday Times about alleged voter fraud in Leeds, I’m torn between disenchantment and mild scepticism.

I think one should be sceptical of newspaper articles. But this is not the first time Labour’s tactics have been called into question. We all know the sort of tricks the Lib Dems get up to, so it’s only right that Labour supporters take allegations against their own party seriously.

The question I ask those who look to cheat the system is: why are you in politics?

If Graham Hyde and Keith Wakefield are guilty of perverting the course of democracy, to ensure Labour success next month, what is their wider political motivation?

Are these people so tribal that they’d happily win through fraudulent means? Clearly, as we have seen in the States, many people are indeed happy to win through deception. This is very dangerous.

The Loans for Peerages scandal, which is yet to be taken to the prosecution stage, is a perfect example of how the political establishment are undermining the very system that gives them power. Can Labour actually, physically contemplate defeat?

Last year Labour was delivered a bloody nose in the local elections, but it was not a knockout punch. This year, another big right-hander – possibly including losing control of Holyrood, would mean Labour is in serious electoral meltdown. Mind you, even by considering such a defeat, Labour is indicating the extent of its woes.

Personally, I’d rather Labour lose than know we won by perverting the democratic system. Maybe I’m a naïve idealist, but for me, politics is about representation, not power for power’s sake.

Another article that has been brought to my attention (hat-tip anticant) is this post on Craig Murray’s blog. Murray accuses party apparatchiks, placed within Dundee University, of not only politicising the mechanics of the university governance, but of also allowing Scottish First Minister, Jack McConell, to make political capital from a proposed tie-up between the Uni and The V&A Museum. Murray explains: –

That really is too much. This has nothing to do with New Labour – the discussions have been between the University and the V&A. To try to use this University initiative to New Labour advantage is completely illegitimate. The University of course sits in Dundee West, a key Labour/SNP marginal. I therefore said at Court that the University needed to be careful to avoid identification with any political party.

For all the talk of Gordon Brown’s Stalinist approach at the Treasury, it appears that wider New Labour machine needs no advice on how to politicise every facet of public life. Are all our universities infiltrated by scores of happy apparatchiks? It makes you wonder.

Stories such as Murray’s make me very concerned about democracy. Britain’s dire electoral turnout already tells you everything you need to know about the public perception of politics and politicians.

Ask half-a-dozen people in the street and I’ll guarantee you’ll get a couple that say “they’re all the same – only in it for themselves” (or some variation on this sentiment). It’s been said a thousand times – and is becoming yet another tired media cliché, but many people genuinely care more about reality TV than reality in Westminster.

And how do politicians respond to massive disillusionment among the electorate? Do they rediscover their ideology, apply it to today’s specific challenges, and look to sell it to a new generation, or do they pervert both the message and the system in a desperate attempt to cling to power?

We now have our answer.

Image

The irregular photo of the day

29 Apr

hawking

SALE! ‘World Class’ goalkeeper just â‚¬71.00

29 Apr

From The Register: –

A disgruntled AC Milan fan attempted to eBay the team’s Brazilian goalkeeper following the poor bloke’s series of blunders which saw Manchester United celebrate a 3-2 win in the first leg of the Champions League semis, Reuters reports.

[…]

Users of the world’s favourite tat bazaar seem to agree with the prevailing opinion of Dida’s form. The bidding had reached just €71 before eBay blew the final whistle on the auction earlier today.

Quite how Milan has put up with one of the most overrated keepers of his generation (and there are a few) for so long is beyond me.

Those Tories…

28 Apr

…have been running a little online phishing scam.

Unity, who is in spectacular form over at Ministry of Truth, exposes the subterfuge of Councillor Jeremy A Kite, a Tory leader in Dartford. The Tories have been deliberately misleading voters to harvest their details – no doubt for use in campaigning over the next few weeks. A scam Unity argues should lead to an investigation by Standards Board for England, and is a “flagrant breach of the Data Protection Act.”

*Toryesque indignation ON*

How thoroughly disgusting and shameful, hfffrrrruumphhh!!!

*Toryesque indignation OFF*