…and people criticise me for *my* rhetorical style

Fine 18th century invective from Captain Christopher Middleton, directed against a random idiot who was talking rubbish on the Pamphletnet – a snip at £2,000.

A REJOINDER TO MR. DOBB’S REPLY TO CAPTAIN MIDDLETON; IN WHICH IS EXPOS’D, BOTH HIS WILFUL AND REAL IGNORANCE OF TIDES; &C. HIS JESUITICAL PREVARICATIONS, EVASIONS, FALSITIES, AND FALSE REASONING; HIS AVOIDING TAKING NOTICE OF FACTS, FORMERLY DETECTED AND CHARGED UPON HIM AS INVENTIONS OF HIS OR HIS WITNESSES; THE CHARACTER OF THE LATTER, AND THE PRESENT VIEWS OF THE FORMER, WHICH GAVE RISE TO THE PRESENT DISPUTE. IN A WORD, AN UNPARALELLED DISINGENUITY, AND (TO MAKE USE OF A VERODOBBSICAL FLOWER OF RHETORIC) A GLARING IMPUDENCE, ARE SET IN A FAIR LIGHT. LONDON

Regular readers will doubtless be unsurprised to hear that Captain Middleton turned out to be right in the end.

I tell my mum I play piano in a brothel

If someone had told my 15-year-old self that in the year 2008, I’d be a high-powered professional, up at twenty to one on a Tuesday night in the heart of the big city, eating fried chicken and exploring the innermost parts of models, then I’d’ve been quite pleased about the way my life was going to turn out.

I don’t think I’d heard of financial models when I was 15. And I liked fried chicken quite a bit more than I currently do…

How journalism works, part N

From Flat Earth News by Nick Davies:

I spoke to a man who had worked for the Daily Mail for some years as a senior news reporter. He said: ‘They phoned me early one morning and told me to drive about three hundred miles to cover a murder. It was a woman and two children who’d been killed. I got an hour and a half into the journey, and the news desk called me on my mobile and said, “Come back.” I said, “Why’s that?” They said, “They’re black.”

(via)

Question to people who are cross with Rowan Williams

Would you abolish the current right under English law of Orthodox Jews to have civil cases heard in the Beth Din with the agreement of both parties?

If so, why haven’t you protested about the Beth Din previously? If not, then why on earth don’t you think that Muslims should be granted the same rights you are happy to extend to Orthodox Jews?

Update – from dsquared in the comments, a summary of the ways in which the rights available to Orthodox Jews are currently not available to Muslims, and would not be available to Muslims without additional legislation:

[Sharia] arbitration services aren’t in general binding unless they’re recognised by the normal courts, meaning that they are absolutely rife with jurisdiction-shoppers who go to the sharia court in bad faith, with the intention of then going to a normal court if the judgement goes against them. You can’t do this with a Beth Din (or various other courts of arbitration) because they’re binding arbitration. At present there are Sharia Councils which do carry out arbitration, but in the absence of a specific pre-existing contract, it’s not binding.
[…]
When John Doe shows up to the court complaining about the deal he received at the Beth Din under arbitration, claiming he’s been made the victim of a capricious and arbitrary ruling, the courts will chuck it out because there’s a lot of history of the Beth Din working as a proper arbitration service. If Richard Roe shows up claiming that Sheikh Joe Bloggs has acted unfairly and arbitrarily in the Sharia Court of Bumsville, then the court will have to take this seriously because they’ve never heard of Sheikh Bloggs or his alleged “court” before.

It might seem reasonable to conclude that things would work a lot better if the British Islamic community could agree on a core of sharia principles that they could all live with, unify the Sharia Councils structure and work toward getting improved legal recognition of its work in arbitration.

Juvenile senile delinquents

There’s a criminal trial going on at the moment that’s interesting on three levels:

1) ‘pensioner dies in attack on home’ – the usual tabloid-friendly, ‘you’re not safe from hoodlums even in your own house’ story of an old man who was tracked down and harrassed after a road rage incident by the other party’s husband and his brother, to the point where the old man’s dicky heart gave out. This is pretty much the angle the press has taken.

2) ‘your data is not safe’ – the thugs tracked the old man down by getting a bent copper to procure his details from the Police National Computer, and there doesn’t seem to be any indication that the policeman in question is being prosecuted or has been sacked. Hopefully once the trial is over, we’ll find out the score (note to self: check this one later). This is the angle bloggertarians tend to have taken.

3) ‘boorish thuggery isn’t just for feral yoof': the 79-year-old old man started the whole affair off by unleashing a torrent of rage on a young woman in a car-park over nothing, leaving her almost in tears (and onlookers worried that he was going to die of sheer anger on the spot, which might have been better for all concerned). The husband was 40 and the brother in his early 20s – truly, we’re living in an equal-opportunities, age-indifferent society when it comes to childish bullying and lack of self-control. This is an angle that nobody else appears to have taken, so I’ll claim it as mine…

On Tescopoly…

My comment, reproduced from over at Jamie’s:

I always find it a bit weird that people with leftie leanings tend to favour small businesses over big companies, even though small businessmen tend to be worse-paying, more anti-union, more likely to break employment law, and more socially right-wing than big firms.

See also: Pierre Poujade, Jose Rivera