Fun later. For now, here are some links.
Liberal Conspiracy - Daily Mail cartoon equates immigrants with animals. I can't really work out what the point of the cartoon is. Is it that immigrants are animals, so marrying one is somehow multicultural? Is it that bestiality would be permitted under the same kind of Government that would allow multiculturalism, because they're equivalently bad things? Is it that if you say you vote Labour, you can do whatever the hell you like, including fucking a sheep? I'm not entirely sure. All I do know is that it's rather unpleasant. I can almost hear the clattering of keyboards being melted by people roaring "Of course it's not racist! Only a PCgonemad nutcase would think that! You can't say anything nowadays! Wurrrgh free speech, the left wants to stop us from having fun!" and so on. But I still find it rather unpleasant, and it's not attacking freedom of speech by using your freedom of speech to say you think that something is shit when you think it's shit.
Hidden Eloise - Cannot chase Paperchase. This designer is quite understandably pissed off that Paperchase have brought out a design that looks suspiciously similar to one of hers. But contacting the company hasn't got her anywhere. Maybe they're hoping it will just go away. In which case, let's make sure it doesn't.
Septicisle - Seven paragraphs. Re Binyam Mohamed: "Despite then already being fully aware that the information in the seven paragraphs was already well known, the real reason for wanting them to remain secret was because they show just how out of control our supposedly fully accountable and enlightened defenders of British security actually were and indeed remain."
Speak You're Branes - Ultra Hyper Jingoism. "I’ve always had a sneaking suspicion that the world of right-wing opinion is actually one big competition. Rod Liddle, Melanie Phillips and the angry gaggle of delingpoles that make up the Fucking Blogosphere, it’s all a race to lay down the hardest line on the most sacred PC cow." Oh yes. Today's Spectator has a piece slagging off Oxfam for the way in which they run their bookshops, for example.
Upon Nothing - The standard of Daily Mail journalism. If you're thinking to yourself, "I imagine that standard is very high", then you might be surprised. The rest of us will find this tale rather familiar. See how a 'row' comes from nowhere!
Stumbling and Mumbling - TV drama v macroeconomics. What's more believable - economic theories or TV shows?
Newsbag - Vernon Kay 'embarased' over bad spelling. Poor the Vernon. It's another one of those tawdry tabloid tales that informs us of nothing at all of any benefit to our lives, but this spoof made me laugh.
Andy Worthington - Defending Moazzam Begg and Amnesty International.
Ponderboxes - Justice seen, justice done? A look at 'community payback.
Here are a couple of uplifting things first.
La Traviata in the market. Marvellous.
A proposal in Brixton. Awww, isn't it? Stop vomiting, misanthropes!*
There, that's the end of the fun.
Lenin's Tomb: 'There are no security issues'
This message, now coming from aid workers in the Red Cross and Partners in Health, starkly contradicts the racist coverage of the wire services, the mainstream newspapers, and the television channels and the websites belonging to all of the above...
Between The Hammer And The Anvil: Learning about war, with Hitchens - Chris, not Peter, btw
Feminazery: Your handy round-up of Daily Fail sexism
Obsolete: The illusion of safety
Amid all the predictable over-reaction to Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab's successful attempt to set fire to himself, the first thing to go out the window was any sort of perspective. We are now after all fast approaching the fifth anniversary of the 7/7 attacks, which also marks the last successful attack by takfirist jihadists on a Western city. Not that al-Qaida and its franchises haven't tried to attack or haven't been plotting; it's just that all their attempts have either been spectacular failures or have been successfully prevented.
Pickled Politics: Meet the English Defence League's Asian poster boy
A Very Public Sociologist: Does political leadership matter?
Dave Semple: What to do about alcohol prices?
* If I subsequently find out this isn't true at all, and is some kind of stunt, I will be very annoyed and wreak vengeance on all concerned.
I haven't done links in ages, which is bad of me. So here are some blogs and websites and stuff I've enjoyed reading and looking at lately:
Bloggerheads: All hail the big giant head
Beau Bo D'or: And what the David Cameron poster should have said
Chicken Yoghurt (back at last!): Hobson's Choice 2010
Newsbag: Man smuggles dangerous pen on board aircraft
Speak You're Branes: Curse of the curmudgeon
Five Chinese Crackers: Winterval - The beast that wouldn't die
Septicisle: Scum-watch - Nutted
Though Cowards Flinch: Who is the imbecile, Rod Liddle or the nutcase suicide bombers?
The proletarian tide: Guardian extracts the urine from its readership
Bad Fairground Art: Tinkerbelly
It's July already! Mm, isn't it? Nearly halfway through the year, a half-year full of treats and delights. I'll be back later, but in the meantime here are some other things I've read and enjoyed of late, and which you might like to read and enjoy as well.
Sarah Ditum - Mail in 'against libel' shock:
What’s really interesting is how the Mail bend Singh into their own ongoing narratives. Before you even get into the body copy, just in the headline, Singh has been labelled as the “brave scientist” going up against an implaccable system – just as Andrew Wakefield was a “brave scientist” when the Mail was generating vaccine terror. The medical evidence is presented in standard ‘debate’ style: the chiropractors claims are balanced with a neutral “However, many in the traditional medical profession view the therapy with deep suspicion.”
Ben Goldacre - Steve Connor is an angry man. Independent journalist Steve Connor gets all snotty about Ben & chums criticising science journos for making factual errors, but unfortunately for him slightly undermines his case by, er, making a few factual errors. Oopsy!
Angry Mob - Comments, arguments and political allegiances:
The good thing about the majority of blogs is that comments are freely published even if they contradict, correct or outright mock what is actually written by the blogger. Furthermore, unlike the Daily Mail - which not only censors entire posts, but also edits criticism to turn it into praise - bloggers sometimes take the time to respond to criticism or counter-arguments, creating an interaction whereby the reader's contribution becomes valued. Whereas Richard Littlejohn might steal a phrase from his commenters, he will never engage with any of the arguments put forward (largely because he is not capable of arguing a point).
I'm also saddened to hear, via that post, of the disappearance of Alone in the Dark, whom I will miss greatly.
Five Chinese Crackers - But the Express likes sharia law:
Obviously, the Express is outraged. The Express is usually outraged at what Muslims are doing, often to the point of exaggerating it and making extra stuff up so it sounds more scary.
But not always - at least in relation to sharia law. Just under a year ago, the paper was busy bigging up the sharia legal system and publishing, in full, a letter from a prominent sharia supporter to the Home Secretary, which outlined in stark terms how much the sharia system in the country he lives in is better than the system we have in Britain.
If you don't know who wrote that letter, you'll be mighty surprised to find out the answer!
Lady McScamp - Mail gives up on journalism, articles now sourced from comments. Does what it says on the tin.
Daily Quail - Crusading Muslims forcibly convert white cherub:
Whispering silver-tongued incantations of terror into the bewildered child's ear, Sean appears enraptured by the militant preacher as a frighteningly hatted extremist looks on wide-eyed, ready to prevent an attempted escape with his barbed claws [not shown].
Obsolete - Girls Scream Alone. A thorough analysis of the botched prosecution of a slash blogger.
Skepchick - Don't abuse your kids, unless...
It is never okay to neglect a child’s health. Crank’s daughter died with a “tumor the size of a basketball” on her shoulder. It does not matter what religion Crank is and how many other people in the world buy into the same delusion, and it doesn’t matter how long ago her holy books were written. If Jesus Himself descended from the heavens and knocked on Crank’s door accompanied by a choir of angels and the Pope and Moses and Bill Donohue and a crowd of paparazzi, and commanded her to withhold medical treatment from her daughter, it is Crank’s duty as a parent to kick Jesus in the sack and go to the hospital. If she doesn’t, she is not fit to be a parent or a free human being.
And that's about it for now.
First, you must go here. Here's what you get when you don't vote. Here's what you get when people who ordinarily rant on BBC Have Your Say actually get elected to office. Here's what you get when people who normally ejaculate anger in every conceivable direction, like a spinning Dalek, are confronted with the natural consequences of what they say. Here's what you get when someone who promises to break the law to voters is told that he can't do what he wants.
Yes, it's Doncaster mayor Peter Davies, being cheerfully eviscerated by BBC Sheffield reporter Toby Foster. Too many brilliant exchanges to list here, but here are just a couple of my favourites:
TF: Well, I mean… these are the reasons people voted for you. Very bold points, as you said. Er, you’re going to cut translation services for non-English speakers - that’s a very bold point. It’s more than likely illegal, isn’t it?
PD: I dunno… again, I’ve got to find this out. It’s-
TF: Well it is - let me tell you it is, under the European Court of Human Rights it’s illegal.
PD: -Well, well, well let… we’ll look into this - we’re getting council’s opinion on what I can do and what I can’t do, and that’s…
TF: No, no, you said in your manifesto you would definitely do it.
PD: Yeah, well, I… well, I, er, if, if somebody comes in the way and stops me doing these things, then that is an insult to democracy.
TF: So what was the point of your manifesto? You might as well have said you were going to fly to the moon if you’re just going to say now that you can’t do it.
TF: You’re going to cut the Gay Pride funding.
TF: Erm, how much did Doncaster Council fund Gay Pride?
PD: Haven’t got a clue, I haven’t looked into… I haven’t got the details, I… I haven’t even started-
TF: About right, isn’t it? So how much did… how much was it worth to Doncaster?
PD: How…er, what?
TF: The Gay Pride march. 8,000 people in town for a day.
PD: I don’t know. They can still come. There’s nobody stopping them coming.
TF: So you don’t know what it costs, you don’t know what it earns, but you’re banning it?
PD: I’m saying that… hard-pressed taxpayers money should not be spent on promoting any type of sexuality whether it’s straight or gay.
TF: But for all you-, but for all you know it could be making a fortune for the town - you don’t know, you’ve not even looked at it.
PD: Well, it, er… it may, it may or it may not, I’m telling you what I’m not doing, and again it was on the manifesto, it was quite clear people appeared to like what I was saying.
Cor, there are some seriously bad times ahead for the people of Doncaster. Kudos not only to the BBC man for the demolition job, but also to blogger Andy Smith for the transcribing.
Amid all the soul-searching from the left about the BNP's election success, here's an excellent story from Five Chinese Crackers:
This morning though, there was only a lone silver disc lying in the middle of the grass, spotted with drizzle and a single blade of grass stuck there looking like a green crack. Somebody had written over it in thick black marker. Instead of an album title and artist or a cramped track listing were these words around the outside:
Fuck all you blacks
And squashed in a block at what was obviously the bottom of the circle:
Im gonna have to start killing you scum
I stood, blinking at it for a while, listening to the rain lightly spotting my coat. I looked up to see if there was any sign of who put it there, which was stupid when I started thinking about it so I looked back at the disc to make sure I hadn't imagined it.
Pigdogfucker also has the definitive answer on whether the BNP are right or left wing, in the face of all the 'Ah, they're actually on the left' sophistry that's oozed out over the past few days. And it's hard to disagree.
Lenin has a delightful picture of Nick Griffin after yesterday's egging, not looking defiant or smug, but scared and stupid. Now I know that there are some who'd prefer things like egg-chucking at Griffin not to happen, and I can see that point of view. I just happen to think that seeing his fat smelly face looking frightened and upset is a wondrous thing. For sure, the way to defeat the fascists is to engage the working class into politics they can believe in, to work hard on real solutions to poverty and unemployment, and to fight at every turn to denounce the lies spouted by prejudiced idiots about immigration and multiculturalism. Yes yes, I know that. But making that vile fascist tit look stupid is a good thing. Satire is egg-chucking without the actual egg, and we need that too. We need all kinds of attacks on Griffin, making him look ridiculous in every sense, exposing his nastiness and making him into the national joke he is.
Rhetorically Speaking, for example, points out just how confused and bewildered Nick Griffin actually is, blaming everyone he can think of for people chucking eggs at him, as opposed to the fact that people hate him because he's a racist cunt. Here's a man who has described the Holocaust as a hoax, doesn't believe in global warming and now thinks the Labour party is funding egg-chuckers. I want every single word of his transcribed, just like Peter Davies - there's going to be comedy gold in there!
Incidentally, it appears that a terrorist plot was smashed last week and lethal chemicals were removed from the suspect's house. You may not have noticed because no-one gave a shit about it. Why? Well he was white, of course.
Mark Steel has a look at New Labour's legacy:
They might as well have a frog as their leader, and Ed Balls would be on Newsnight telling us the frog isn't the problem, and the way he responded to some sharp criticism by hopping off the table shows his determination, because they haven't got a clue. This is why they're in a much worse mess than the one in 1983. Back then, although the election was a disaster, the Labour Party had active branches in every area, with thousands of young members bursting with ideas of why they wanted to run local councils or the country. Now the branches barely exist, debate has been eliminated, and all that's left are careerists frightened of losing their careers.
And finally, it's loveable old buffoon Boris Johnson deciding that he doesn't like people saying nasty things about him, so uses taxpayers' money to fund a political attack. Peter Davies, please take note. If you want to be a really shit mayor, you've got some way to go.
A few bits and bobs to enjoy while we wait for the Government to melt down into oblivion, Gordon Brown to give up, the BNP to be destroyed at the polls (come on!) and the warm weather to give way to horizontal hailstorms just ahead of the weekend.
Don't Get Mad, Get Accurate - update on how those PCC complaints against the Daily Mail's lies regarding gay adoption are going. Amazingly one of the planks in the Mail's defence is using Iain Duncan Smith to represent 'an increasing number of [scientific] studies'. Er, no, he's just a person.
The Daily Quail - The Mail plumbs the depths of poor taste. A nice roundup of Mail hypocrisy topped off with their latest atrocity - smashing apart the anonymity of an incest victim.
Five Chinese Crackers - Why you shouldn't vote for the BNP. A comprehensive guide to why the BNP are a shameless bunch of bastards, focussing on what happens when have had electoral success. It's not pretty.
Upon Nothing - Twitter causes brain overload, according to study. Yes, it's our friends at the Mail again with a bit of panic-porn over Twitter. Presumably there's also a study out there that says reading the Mail turns your brain into raspberry jam and gives you all the political nous of a shit-stained shower curtain.
No Sleep Til Brooklands - International fugitives come from other countries, Mail finds. Well, who would have thought it? Top-class investigative journalism from Britain's No 1 screamsheet.
Rhetorically Speaking - Near Miss. The Mail came so close to being able to write about Jacqui Smith without being horribly sexist, but...
Bloggerheads - Billy Brit The Racist Shit Vol 3. These get better and better.
Dave Turner's Procrastination Station - One for the drunks among you. I really must remember this tip for the next time I'm hungry and in need of a lift home - it's a beauty.
Finally, here's an excellent article written by an airline pilot on why the Air France flight crashed into the Atlantic this week. Reasoned, well thought out and all based on evidence. Which marks a distinct contrast with Britain's leading aviation experts:
Yes, the Star have decided that it's a new Bermuda (but not over Bermuda) Triangle (except it's not a triangle), and that the plane was 'swallowed by a black hole' (except it wasn't). Tomorrow, I assume the same newspaper will be telling its readers which way to vote in the European Elections.
Here's some great stuff I've found, read and digested over the past few hours.
David Turner's Procrastination Station - a nice bit of thoughtful origami sent off to BNP headquarters to try and encourage them to be less hateful. I particularly enjoyed: "Have some cake. I find I always hate less after some cake". Well, who doesn't?
Staying with the BNP, Sarah Ditum has wrapped up her recent blog posts over at Liberal Conspiracy regarding the kid-glove treatment of the BNP by lazy or misguidedly 'objective' journalists. Compare and contrast the powder-puff treatment of racists in some local papers, if you will, with the Manchester Evening News, which is actually telling its readers the truth. It just goes to show that the 'Oooh no, we've got to be objective and nice to everyone' attitude is a smokescreen - I'm not saying it's a smokescreen for BNP sympathies because I'm sure that's not the case, but it's a smokescreen for a lack of courage, knowledge, conviction and a fear of getting a few angry letters from racists, who for some reason editors don't like upsetting.
Harry's Place also has a rather excellent piece showing why Nick Griffin's attempts to portray himself as a nice, mainstream figure are a pack of lies, as well as exposing why the World War 2 sentiments of the BNP leaflets are contradicted by BNP members' support for the Nazis. We kind of knew that, didn't we? But it's good to see the evidence - which, fair's fair, was collected by the Daily Mail. A shame, then, that the paper's readers appear to be backing the BNP, but never mind.
Adam Bienkov on another dodgy election leaflet, which this time comes from Labour.
Uponnothing on how political correctness is actually a good thing.
Johann Hari wonders why David Cameron's utter nonsense is getting such an easy ride.
News Arse - Please Just Ignore Global Nuclear Armageddon, Pleads Telegraph
And finally, here are some knitted meercats in Star Trek uniforms. Great!
Hello. Here are some things I've read and enjoyed lately. Go and have a look, and maybe you'll enjoy them too.
Rhetorically Speaking - Flying the Flag of Stupidity:
More importantly, the Mail appears to be arguing that showing support for a group of people who are still routinely the subject of abuse - both verbal and physical - is "taking sides," as if to presume there's some kind of debate over whether such treatment is justified or not. This is turn, depends on the right-wing rhetoric that argues recognising and addressing the discriminatory treatment of gay and trans people is the equivalent of "special treatment."
Septicisle - The Truth About Alfie Patten Emerges:
It was arguable that even if Patten was the father, the effect on him from being thrust onto the front page of the nation's biggest selling newspaper was hardly likely to prove conducive to him being fully involved in the child's upbringing. Now that it turns out that Patten was not the father, there simply isn't an argument: if his parents hadn't gone looking for money, and if the Sun hadn't been looking for the latest terrible example of Broken Britain, then he would still probably have had to deal with learning that he was not the father after all, but not in the full public glare. This is the sort of thing which scars people for life: newspapers know this all too well, but Patten is the sort of individual who may as well not exist except as a commodity, someone to be used and abused and then forgotten about.
The Daily Quail - Miley Cyrus: Mm, Isn't it?:
Cyrus's sensual sandy frolicks follow a 'frenzy' earlier this month when she arrived in Leicester Square wearing a really short skirt that 'showed off her long legs', according to Daily Mail Reporter, who had been watching from a tree-top perch with a pair of binoculars and a fake moustache.
Chicken Yoghurt - Gordon Brown & The World Cup: Desperate, Much?
So, what other personal missions has he declared he’s embarking on since becoming Prime Minister almost two years ago? A personal mission to secure peace in Iraq and Afghanistan? A personal mission to force through the vital measures needed against climate change? A personal mission to make sure we have a more equitable society? A personal mission to secure the release of his heroine, Aung San Suu Kyi?
Er, not so much, no...
Ben Six - Give Me One of Those Old-Type Natural Fouled-Up Stories:
Since mid-afternoon, significant edits have sneaked into the piece unannounced. They came – judging by the “last updated” bar – at 12:24 AM, and the piece is no longer credited to David Rose, but to Vanessa Allen, a regular Mail churnalist whose output can be summated in this handy screen grab from Journalisted...
amelie baby britain british christmas dna gerry gerry mccann haringey kate madeleine madeleine mccann mccann mccanns murat portugal portuguese praia rothley sean
Work at 12.24? It’s a tough life. Especially when there are interminable Madeleine McCann suspects to be hunted down and raved about.
Sarah Ditum - British johns for British working girls:
So what’s a brave company like that doing running banner ads for the BNP on their websites? Maybe it wasn’t the exploitation of the sex trade that got to them. Maybe they were actually taking a stand against the illegal immigrants offering five-quid oral and taking British johns from British workers.
George Monbiot - As the political consensus collapses, now all dissenters face suppression:
Our grossly unfair electoral system, which responds to the concerns of just a few thousand floating voters and shuts out the minor parties; the vicious crackdown on dissent within parliament by whips and spin doctors; the neoliberalism forced upon governments by corporate power and the Washington consensus; the terror of the tabloid press – all combine to create a political culture which cannot respond to altered realities without collapsing. What cannot be accommodated must be suppressed.