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Monday, November 26, 2007


freedom of speech is only defensible if you agree with what is going to be said.
or not if you are at the oxford union.

Sunday, November 25, 2007


Rupert Murdoch admits to controlling the editorial direction of the sun and news of the world newpapers.
No way.
Next you will be telling me that bears shit in the woods and the pope is catholic.

Saturday, November 24, 2007


it has been a bad week for labour. the loss of discs from her majesty’s customs and excise, which contain the personal details of 25 million people, appears to be a disaster too far.
with luck it will halt the onward march of the id card campaign.

but is it really a crisis for the government as such?
according to cameron and the conservative party it is.
odd that.
on the one hand cameron and his team are constantly telling people that the government is too powerful and that it needs to withdraw more from the public landscape: “let businesses and people get on with their own lives”, seems to be the rallying cry. yet the moment something goes wrong the tories shout out that the government is not showing a firm hand and is not leading.

for all of the politicking that has gone on over this issue the key point that gets forgotten is that there is nothing that you can do to ever eliminate human error.

there is no doubt that something drastically wrong has occurred, but it is a failure of a few individuals in the civil service rather than the failure of a government minister. to pretend otherwise is to wilfully ignore the facts and to engage in cheap crass point scoring (but then that is something that cameron and co love to do).

i agree with david cameron that this situation does highlight one of the many dangers of the proposed id card scheme. after the loss of the discs no one will feel safe about their personal details being on a government database. it is not just a question of the safety of the data but also who has access to the data and who administers the data.
if the id scheme gets dropped then this disaster will have one happy conclusion.

but david cameron is on about government over-reach, in a speech in the czech capital (pop quiz – what is the name of the czech capital?) he described this over-reach as being an “enemy of freedom”.
"this week we saw a shocking consequence of this bureaucratic over-reach: a scandal where the government has lost the names, addresses and bank details of almost every family in the country." said cameron.
now consider that carefully.
what is cameron actually saying is the over-reach here, bear in mind that government had these details for a purpose, that of the paying of child benefit.
so is the over-reach the having details of the recipients of the benefit (and we all know that if they didn’t have the right information to ensure the right people were being paid the right amount then that would be a different type of failure altogether.
or is the over-reach that the state is paying child benefit?

just how are the conservatives going to cut over-reach? simple they are just going to collect less data. less to lose then, and with less data to manage the savings made can go back into paying the benefits.
sorry i was just pulling your legs there…
of course the way they are going to cut down on government over-reach is to cut down on government programmes. with fewer programmes to worry about there is less need for data. even better the money saved means bigger tax cuts to the rich – because when they have more money they spend it so that is a big yay to economy. no point cutting the tax to the poor, as they will just try to save it. that is a hearty boo to the poor for just thinking of themselves.

cameron does point out that new labour isn’t doing this out of spite, but because they believe it is the right thing to do. it is just, as cameron declares, that this belief that “officialdom knows best” is now an outmoded ideology.
except of course when your view is the one that says we need to get rid of the state – then officialdom does know best.
but child benefit (and other benefits) will still need to be paid (though much harder to get from a conservative, albeit compassionate, government), but never fear when the state can’t provide the market will step in (as if has done in places like utilities and transport – all the profit little of the risk) to provide the needy with the provision of benefits. but now the government won’t keep your data it will be with a conglomerate. see feeling safer already (fingers crossed that is not group 4).

just remember cameron isn’t talking about the data when he says over-reach is bad, he really means the services we are getting. he doesn’t like them and he doesn’t want ordinary people being able to get them.

(answer: prague)

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


i am not just starting the march to blog 1000 with a few more pictures because it is easy. oh no. i am doing it because i can hear the roar, the cheers and the cries for "more pics pat!" "more pics pat!" "more more more". with those chants ringing in my ears how can i say no?


i didn't get the one that would have made the full wall version even better: just as i rolled up to this location there was a bloke reading the posters and from the back he just fitted perfectly with the large poster.
it didn't happen as life throws us curve balls and as i got the camera out he got bored and moved on.
another missed kodak moment.


crikey reaching 900 took a long time.
but here i am at 900. can i get to a 1000 before 2007 ends? does it matter? who knows? it will serve as a small challenge.


look i know images is a fancy way of saying pictures - but so what!

(it is amazing what you can see when walking around brick lane - not sure if this is an art installation or not. it may have been for sale for all i know.)

it does seem big brother is watching us.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


parping, bottom burps, trouser trumpets, guffs, sbds, cutting the cheese. call it what you will but recently i have been farting like a demon. it is as if john zorn was in charge of a gaggle of highland pipers.
still the sound of flatulence is better than the previous week’s constipation.

now if i can find a balance between these two states i will be happy.

you’ll have to excuse me for a moment i am just going to let rip like a foghorn.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Sunday, November 11, 2007


dr muhammad abdul bari of the muslim council of britain has warned britain that it must not become like nazi germany where people’s minds can be poisoned as they were in the 1930s. i think he is saying that we should be wary of the state trying to cast the muslim population in the same role as the nazis placed the jews as the enemy within and handy scapegoats.
he could have a point.

such a shame then that dr bari goes on to say that sir salman rushdie should never have been knighted and his book should have been pulped.
oh not book burning, but book pulping. that makes it ok then.
we don’t want freedom of speech or freedom of expression when it might upset us. when someone says something that we disagree with then it seems we should be able to ban or pulp their work before others get to see it.
when it comes to that particular course of action it appears that dr. bari and nazi germany are in agreement.
funny that.

Saturday, November 10, 2007



was watching a piece on television the other night. it was about bullying in the work place. there was a woman who had suffered at the hands of the work place bullies and who had her dream job turned into a nightmare by what they had done to her.

i am a little ashamed to admit that at school i was both bullied and sometimes i was a bully (though never very good at it), and it was something i soon grew out of. bullying still goes on in schools, and it is probably a fair assumption (based on the kids i see around the place) that it is probably a worse problem than it was when i was in school, and it seems that through mobiles, email and the internet bullying has gotten to be more persistent and taking on a 24/7 aspect, at least back in my day once you got home that was it, now they can text you!

being bullied at school is harsh because you can’t easily escape it. you are more than likely going to be going to that school for years to come, which makes the suffering worse as you know it is going to go on for sometime.

i have witnessed bullying at work; i don’t think i did much to stop it so in the end i was as bad as the people who did it. i remember one kid who came to us as work experience bod, he was nervous and shy and probably not the sharpest knife in the box, but all he wanted to do was work and enjoy it. not sure he had as much fun as he should have done as he suffered as the butt of the joke on a few occasions too many. i am sure we all look back on that with a certain amount of pride…not. (a quick digression – bloke in question has done ok for himself and he still asks about the people who worked with back then. so a happy ending.)

the person on the tv (see i did remember where this started…) was bullied at work, but she had turned her life around and overcome being bullied and had moved on to bigger and better things.
so just how was she bullied?
her work was returned to her because she had made minor mistakes. apparently this kept happening. she saw that as her being bullied.
as with everything that appears on the tv you do have to take it with a pinch of salt and you do hope that there was more to it than: “my work wasn’t good enough so i felt i was being bullied”.
perhaps one of the (many) reasons why i am not working as a daytime tv or radio chat show host is that i would have asked “why didn’t you improve your work?” or “why didn’t you look for a new job?” instead what you have to do is be all sympathetic and congratulate the person on seeking professional help in order to help them deal with being bullied.
while the studio audience got a story of achievement i just thought here was another person who doesn’t want to take responsibility for their own life and was happier to be able to blame other people for the things that they felt were wrong. too many people are quick to grab any excuse they can rather than accept some responsibility in their life. this might be symptomatic of the growing feeling of powerlessness we feel about the world around us. as change comes at ever increasing pace and is not always for the good, leaving us in its wake.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


i stood on a little grass hill last night and watched fireworks whooooshing into the sky. i think it is impossible to do a poor firework display, and quite how you get to be a fireworks display designer is beyond me. slow build up, punctuated with a few exclamation marks of whiz bangs, all ending up with an armageddon like explosion of noise and light.
easy really.
last night i could see fireworks going off all over the place.
it was like being a kid again.

what was interesting was that all the parents who had taken kids along to see the fireworks seemed to be shocked that the kids were not that interested.
last night it appeared that the fireworks were not for the kids in attendance, but for the parents who were trying to remember the innocence of their childhood. i know exactly how they felt.

watching the greens, reds, yellows, pinks and blue explode in the sky all i could do was smile and think happy thoughts.

perhaps every night should be fireworks night…


i start the day with a purchase that came to £6.66.
i start the day bound over with constipation.

i am so rock and roll.

Friday, November 02, 2007


i realised long ago that i am an ugly crier. not for me the lonely tear that drifts down the cheeks. not for me the gentle, dignified sobs. no for me it is a crunched up snarly face with tears that stream, a nose that runs, a mouth that curls and opens, shuts and generally looks like some norwegian painter has had a hand in drawing it.

there are a few things that are guaranteed to make me cry, such as:
my salary. ‘nuff said.
field of dreams. a film that is so good that it should be compulsory viewing. it is a film that is so good that kevin costner is forgiven for any celluloid mistake he might make.

a recent addition to the list is the regina spektor song, samson. makes me cry every time i hear it. i have no idea why. it just does.
if you have never heard the wonderful talent that is ms spektor i do so thoroughly recommend that you rush to check out her songs (and this is not because she is one of my myspace friends – it is because the music she makes is beautiful.)

here are the lyrics to samson.

you are my sweetest downfall
i loved you first, i loved you first (@@@ starting to well up here! @@@)
beneath the sheets of paper lies my truth
i have to go, i have to go
your hair was long when we first met

samson went back to bed
not much hair left on his head
he ate a slice of wonder bread and went right back to bed
and history books forgot about us and the bible didn't mention us (@@@ blubbing here @@@)
the bible didn't mention us, not even once (@@@ full on blub at this point @@@)

you are my sweetest downfall
i loved you first, i loved you first
beneath the stars came falling on our heads
but there just soft light, there just soft light
your hair was long when we first met

samson came to my bed
told me that my hair was red
he told me i was beautiful and came into my bed
oh i cut his hair myself one night
a pair of dull scissors and the yellow light
and he told me that i'd done alright
and kissed me till the morning light, the morning light
and he kissed me till the morning light

samson came back to bed
not much hair left on his head
ate a slice of wonderbread and went right back to bed
oh, we couldn't bring the columns down
yeah we couldn't destroy a single one
and history books forgot about us
and the bible didn't mention us, not even once

you are my sweetest downfall
i loved you first

(copyright regina spektor)

and now that I have spoken go listen to her. You will thank me afterwards.