Tag Archives: etc

Still, that railway, from the south

Southern’s parent company know that they’re in the G4S bracket of mean thugs. The government know it, and that’s what they’re for.  The RMT know it, and fighting them is their job.  The non-union marketing people at Southern, who are probably your nice mates, don’t. This is unfortunate.

Me at the New Statesman

Collation of thoughts

I’ve got a new post up on LC. I don’t post enough on LC; I should post more on LC. See also: posts here.

I’ve had some positive comments on the LC post from people I respect, both over there and on Twitter. Given that unlike my usual LC work, this wasn’t a ‘using hard data to bust myths’ article but just a ‘thought-dump in something vaguely resembling readable English because we needed someone to write something quick-sharp’ article, this was quite pleasing. At least, until I remembered that “reasonable opinions in readable English” don’t win columnist gigs…

Anyway. In response to the comments on the LC piece, I came up with a couple of digressions that I thought were worth repeating here:

Not that the US is liberal, but there is a generally understood rights+votes model of governance called ‘liberal democracy’, which pretty much consists of (US + EU + might-as-well-be-EU-but-don’t-want-to-lose-their-fish/oil/gold + trying to be EU + Commonwealth), but which doesn’t encompass everywhere that has the occasional vote to choose which dictator will torture you on a whim.

(yes, South America is a mild exception, but ‘if you stop voting in right-wing dictators then secret agents from a Liberal Democracy will turn up and assassinate people until you start again’ deals with that one).

Also, why (ideological aims aside), even though the current crop of Labour MPs appear to be worse at Parliament’s legislative duties than their Tory and Lib Dem counterparts, this is structural more than anything else:

If you’re a Tory MP in the current parliament, you’ve either been there forever, or you’ve managed to land a safe seat by serious politicing in the wilderness years when others were busy management-consulting, PR-ing, etc. If you’re a Lib Dem MP in any parliament, you’ve either been a Liberal since Gladstone, you’ve managed to land an incumbent-if-hardly-safe LD seat through serious politicing throughout, or you’ve been selected for a by-election to show the nation that the Lib Dems are Serious People.

On the other hand, while a lot of long-serving Labour MPs live up to the duties expected of them (my MP, Jeremy Corbyn, is so good at this that I’m going to vote for him next time despite my utter distaste for the national party – because there is absolutely no way that anyone else standing in Islington North will be a greater asset to Parliament than him. This is how you, dear reader, should choose your MP. Similarly, when my MP was Beverly Hughes, I didn’t vote for her even though at the time I supported the national government), most of the 1997 intake were daft hacks who didn’t even expect they’d get in, and most of the subsequent intakes have been subservient hangers-on.

Hence, it’s pretty much certain that after the next election, in terms of general competence and respect for parliamentary procedure rather than sheer political allegiance, that there’ll be an awful lot more dreadful Tory MPs than now, and that there’ll be far fewer dreadful Labour MPs.

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-26

  • RT @paulcarr: The anatomy of a Twitter attack. Must-read post from Nik Cubrilovic @Techcrunch http://bit.ly/2DTClm (via @TACJ) #
  • “3 secondary moderns in every town”, demand UKIP: http://bit.ly/17VUD4 #
  • Feel exceptionally ropey. Better not be #swineflu #
  • #bexleypowerfail killed work IT all day, even tho I’m in EC1. Otherwise wld never have heard of it. If it’d been #islingtonpowerfail OTOH… #
  • Hungover. Pub -> lunch -> free wine we won in the quiz -> afternoon of nothing -> poker -> WIN #
  • It’s primarily the pineapple that makes this WRONG: http://www.eatliver.com/i.php?n=4520 #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-19

  • Any puritan/moralist types want to explain how this warrants criminal prosecution, rather than ‘best get a new career’? http://is.gd/1wdhl #
  • RT @AdamBienkov: #Tories will prolong your misery shock http://bit.ly/3uVQjg #
  • I’d forgotten that neocons described themselves as ‘liberals mugged by reality’. Struggling to think of a group less acquainted with reality #
  • Clue is a very silly film. #obvious #
  • Harry Hutton is on excellent form re: the poor sod who got blackmailed in Russia: http://bit.ly/Xxvl9 #
  • What could possibly be worse than NHS NPfIT? The Tory plans to replace it with MS and Google, of course: http://is.gd/1x9yF #aaaaaaaaaaargh #
  • For ‘if my aunt had a cock she could be my uncle’ values of ‘could’, perhaps: http://bit.ly/1azV9D #
  • RT @benparkatbjs Why Britain is better than America: http://tinyurl.com/4lhqkh (via @TACJ) #
  • A prize for the first spotting of an idiot Tory using this headline as an argument against gay parenting: http://bit.ly/wvwxn #
  • Thanks to Alan Coren’s genes for making possible the most entertaining 90 minutes of my evening #
  • Yes, i’m willing to prostitute myself for Florence & The Machine tickets #LDNcomp #
  • How’d it get to 2pm? Those were some of the fastest five work hours ever… #
  • Union forces to declare war on secessionist California: http://bit.ly/a2Gcf #
  • RT @davidsteven: At least if #swineflu evolves into something more deadly, creationists are going to be safe (via @bloggerheads) #
  • US justice in no sense gibberingly, insanely harsh: 4 years for minor theft from commercial premises http://is.gd/1yGR1 (via @mrpower) #
  • That’s theft worth £1000, or 2 weeks’ work at average wage -so 4 weeks jail might just about be fair. Any more obviously loony. #
  • 2 of my best friends ever have just successfully created another one of them. Yay! Fair to point out one did more work than t’other I guess #
  • I’d vote for the Legislative and Executive Movement of Our Nation Party. (from http://bit.ly/QXrFb via @dnotice) #
  • Why does ‘bring forth men-children only’ quote come to mind? http://bit.ly/sRuGl #
  • Fnarr. Also, sounds really quite fun: http://bit.ly/KXpOV #
  • Bored of timber #
  • RT @themanwhofell My first act as Lord Mayor of Twitter will be to ban hashtags. #banhashtags #
  • Powdered baby milk *saves* lives by preventing mother-to-baby AIDS transmission #competitivegeekbaiting (inspired by @griefoftwats) #
  • Bob Crow teaming up with black cab drivers: http://bit.ly/JvEpW #nazisovietpact #
  • The Romans are a bunch of pansies and the Huns will kill you all within a few generations #competitivegothbaiting #
  • RT @hungbunny In case the Ashes and Tour de France aren’t thrilling enough for you, there’s 11 hours of golf on BBC2 today http://tr.im/sAAz #
  • Catholic schools in ‘favouring Catholics’ shock: http://u.mavrev.com/o2sa – what religion is the Pope again…? (via @mattwardman) #
  • The end times are upon us – RT @bigdaddymerk From bad to worse: Jo Whiley to lose radio 1 slot to Fearne Cotton. Jesus. #
  • I’d forgotten how much of a cock Dan Hardie can be: http://is.gd/1BrD0 #
  • Murder FACT: the 18 million people of New York City and New Jersey last year committed 50% more murders than the 60 million people of the UK #
  • This is weirdly hypnotic: http://pingwire.com/ #
  • So I got drunk last night, woke up at 6AM feeling fine, and have been awake and alert for hours. Why does that never happen on work days? #
  • Amazon deletes 1984 from customers’ Kindles: http://is.gd/1D43h #
  • Comment #5 here is WIN: http://bit.ly/74o7t #
  • The slightly confused-seeming doctor who does the History of Surgery programme on BBC is the absolute Don. #
  • Juno is the sweetest film ever, and Mitchell & Webb are comedy genii. Also, alcohol impairs my critical faculties. #
  • Very much enjoying live-wrestling tweets from @ladymcscamp #
  • Damn right: RT @tygerland “Can marriage mend broken Britain?” Sorry, BBC, I don’t accept the premise of the question. Britain isn’t broken. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-12

  • Noting the correlation between ‘people who make noise complaints’ and ‘miserable bastards who’re jealous that other people get to have fun’. #
  • It’s one-to-one in my book. #
  • I’ve never made a noise complaint. It’s only noise, FFS: sleep through it, or kill yourself if you’re too pathetic to manage that #
  • Actually, that’s a lie: my ex once made me complain to a neighbour about noise. I respected her less for it. We broke up shortly after. #
  • Clearly if I were an honourable man who valued principles over domestic harmony, I’d have given the ‘sleep or kill self’ response #
  • RT @qwghlm Religion enshrined in law telling people what they can’t do one day of the week when most people don’t practice it – backwards #
  • Gibbering incoherent nonsense FTW: http://bit.ly/LXi3P #
  • “If you imagined the most boring person ever there’s a good chance he’d be called Roger & come from Switzerland” http://is.gd/1oJ7u #
  • Hard to not: RT @catdonnelly Is it not odd to hoover the tiles out front of your house in only pants, whilst simultaneously looking shifty? #
  • “a crisis they did not create” – perhaps, but did massively profit from the upside http://bit.ly/33TUm7 #
  • RT @uaf Cops swoop on BNP terrorists http://bit.ly/WkdAW. RT and get this trending! #theBNParetwats #
  • Fair point – RT @qwghlm @johnb78 @uaf Even alleged murderous fascists have the right to presumed innocence, surely? #
  • Can someone explain why locking this chap up is a Good Idea? – http://bit.ly/GxiQe #
  • Loony win: http://bit.ly/bURrG #
  • Head still not quite right. Hoping early, sober night will sort it out. Apparently lost weekend isn’t the best followup to jetlag after all #
  • RT @themanwhofell Poor Michael Jackson. He is not The King of Pop. He is The Jonathan King of Pop. #
  • Off to Leeds at the weekend. First-class-return-for-£60-woo #
  • R Herring’s nicked iPhone experience reminds me of all my cop interactions – very helpful, despite trivial offence http://tinyurl.com/mj9u2f #
  • Makes me wonder about the right-whingers who think police never turn up, help etc – is it because they’re rude arrogant twunts maybe? #
  • RT @JonnyB Basically, all you have to do to get new followers is to talk in nouns. Wine, horse racing, flowers, garden furniture, porn. #
  • http://bit.ly/XtBNs http://bit.ly/UThZc – yay, my allies aren’t as bigoted as the Tories; shame they’ve fuck all clue #
  • Good piece in @londonist on the ‘immigrants are taking our houses’ lie from @jonnelledge http://bit.ly/18JxQp #
  • RT @CathElliott Letter to my 17yo daughter, in which D Cameron refers to adult female Tory candidate as a”girl” – http://twitpic.com/9rxmn #
  • Utter bollocks from C4 news: http://bit.ly/3r7uLj – cloning and intercepting GSM/CDMA mobiles = impossible outside the lab #
  • Voicemail hacking, downloading spyware, and bribing network engineers possible, obviously #
  • Sensible gov’t move to save money; Taxpayers Alliance objects: http://bit.ly/u0QoT #
  • People who whistle, play YouTube videos out loud, or talk, in offices should all be hanged. Bring back the Victorian workplace. #
  • RT @johnbrissenden @STWuk Will Jack Straw prosecute himself under his new war criminals law? http://bit.ly/sV4n6 #
  • Making scallops and bacon. Oh yeah. #
  • Chinese government in ‘are corrupt evil bastards who fit people up for political reasons’ shock: http://bit.ly/JClxW #
  • Walked past a homeless guy who was singing “when I was young I thought life was so logical”. I said that’s Supertramp. He said ta very much #
  • In a better world, this kind of detailed investigation would be in the papers: http://bit.ly/H3cSv #
  • Why is the only decent polemical investigative journalism now on blogs and in ageing rock mags ( http://bit.ly/IzE6E )? #
  • RT @djbarker http://twitpic.com/9vd4i – The guy in this car just told me I’m not allowed to take his photo (via @qwghlm) #
  • Nicholas Penny in ‘is a dismal twat’ shock: http://bit.ly/Sxrdh (via @AdamBienkov) #
  • Haha RT @franksting: “11 Photos Where Black People Were Awkwardly Photoshopped In or Out” http://bit.ly/JWdB0 (via @mrpower) #
  • Across The Univers #filmfonts #
  • Zapf to the Future #filmfonts #
  • Madame Sans-Serif #filmfonts http://bit.ly/HRAoy #
  • I Love Lucida #filmfonts #
  • Last Chancery Harvey #filmfonts #
  • Apparently these are the chaps on fire: http://www.futurecapitalpartners.com/ #
  • #followfriday @mrpower @hungbunny @kara_simsek @preachypreach @blueprintmag @flashboy #
  • Epic (non-vandalistic) graffiti fun: http://bit.ly/DldSX – via b3ta #
  • Quite funny – http://dailyweek.com – but no RSS feed so I’ll never see it again :-( #
  • Being part of a pub co-operative could be rather fun, anyone else upferit? http://bit.ly/tWnTr (via @theblogpaper) #
  • In Bedfordshire. Wish this was a twee euphemism #
  • Looking forward to LFAT’s impassioned defence of Simon Bikindi http://bit.ly/gRNQS http://is.gd/1uyVF #
  • mildly surprised to discover the festival i’ve been dragged to LEe #
  • mildly surprised to discover the festival i’ve been dragged to Leeds for is actually a school fete #
  • On the plus side, only 5 hours til Chumbawamba come on #
  • on plus side, a steel drum band of schoolkids is playing Teenage Kicks #
  • …and now One Step Beyond. Epic. #
  • too much wholesome enthusiasm. have gone to old man pub to drink guinness and eat scampi fries #
  • Back. more festivally & less schooly. ukeleles go! #
  • ukelele people covering Teenage Dirtbag in the style of the Sundays. Or I’ve taken too many drugs. VIEWER DECIDES #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-07-05

  • Yes, Mumbai is indeed hotter and damper than London. Including all of London’s Turkish baths. #
  • Good @realdmitchell article, most of the commenters are ignorant fucktards: http://bit.ly/IY5YC #gasthenonswearingcuntwits #
  • I agreee about 75% with this piece – http://bit.ly/10sbZI – but 100% with running it now rather than deferring to sentimental ‘respect’-ery #
  • Idly contemplating whether to order idli. Or a kebab. And whether a bottle of wine would be excessive. #
  • This is rather sweet, but will make you feel *very* old: http://bit.ly/UZ497 #
  • What’s the best way to defend democracy? A military coup, of course! Mary O’Grady = massive eejit http://bit.ly/kX3f0 #
  • This is an easy one – “no, of course not” – RT @libcon Article: Do we need an ‘Armed Forces Day’? http://bit.ly/DwoBg #
  • This is what globalisation is for: so I can sit in a Hyderabad hotel room, drunkish on decentish local red, slagging off Brits on Twitter #
  • Odd news: RBS beats HSBC to come 4th in “World’s Strongest Bank” league http://bit.ly/5oTJW #
  • In 1997-00, Tories so unpopular that OUCA = uglygeekboys. Mebbe why I’ve always written ’em off. 1989 a different story http://bit.ly/7l6bT #
  • Ooops. Nearly sent a msg to @herring1967 referencing a gag that was actually by @realdmitchell. Not sure how I could’ve’ lived that down #
  • How come @bigdaddymerk gets the Queen for 69p a year, whereas when I try I’m arrested for high treason, stalking and gerontophilia? #
  • As far as I can see, nobody in the UK’s been mad enough to draw this comparison: http://tinyurl.com/nfedlw – but give them time #
  • I don’t get the Madoff sentencing. Some rich people lost some money. Why’s that 150 years’ jail, rather than 150 hours’ community service? #
  • Thanks to @beatniksalad, I discover that Bernie Madoff cleaned out the Kissingers. Surely reason for forgiveness in & per se? #
  • Need to go to bed, as need to get up at 0430, catch an intercontinental flight, arrive, do a day’s work and go to a gig. #preemptivelytired #
  • (nb: it’s 8pm here) #
  • Grr. Obviously the day I get from plane to luggage in 15 mins wil be the day luggage takes 45 mins to arrive #
  • fuck me, London hotter than India and less air conditioned. #
  • Can’t think of a witty comment but digging the VHS #virgilioanderson #
  • Flash picnic in Bermondsey Square at 1730 today – please RT: http://tinyurl.com/lz58mk #
  • The Economist meets the King of Sweden, is impressed: http://bit.ly/Rnyf5 #
  • If I met the King of Sweden I’d find it very difficult to avoid asking him to buy me things that I was needin’… #
  • Nobody tell Michael O’Leary about this, OK? – http://bit.ly/iSj9T #
  • I’m meeting a man in a pub later today who’s going to sell me two live crustaceans. I feel disturbingly like Withnail as a result #
  • i’ve got a carrier bag with two live animals in it. this seems weird #
  • Today is a day for drinking wine and cooking lobsters. Yes it is. #
  • What is it with F1 and Nazis? http://bit.ly/3wPXCH (via @cynicaldragon) #
  • Preparing for housewarming. Champagne and lobsters FTW. If you’re following me you’re invited. #
  • nef really are an appalling bunch of charlatans: http://bit.ly/PI7Lj is some of the worst analysis of anything I’ve ever seen. #
  • aaagh. hangover-tastic. vague memories of sleazy and bad things. sunday morning, in other words. #

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Twitter Weekly Updates for 2009-06-28

  • Lewes = pretty town. A23 between Croydon & Elephant & Castle = road to, from & via hell. Glad to be back in N19 #
  • RT @PreachyPreach Germany does its best to ensure a long prolonged recession. http://bit.ly/h9XE6 #
  • “Miners and police unite in beating the crap out of Greenpeace anti-coal protestors” #worldwithoutThatcher #
  • If Stephen Hester makes his full pay packet, govt profits on its RBS stake will be £100 for every person in the UK. I’m happy with that deal #
  • RT @antonvowl Only the Conservatives could be angry that a Conservative got elected as Speaker #
  • Does this guy get time off his sentence for the kneecapping: http://bit.ly/19tGVc ? Suspect not, but would probably be fairer if so #
  • (and would deter other vigilantes) #
  • Seems 2b working: RT @themanwhofell if the Incredible Hulk is your favourite Marvel superhero, apply a green tint to your avatar. Please RT #
  • Evening defined ‘bittersweet’, dinner with 2 women I used to be in love with & vv, now all friends, great time, depressing bed-home-solo #
  • Conversation of the night: parallels between Ezra Pound’s antisemitic anti-bank Depression poetry and modern anti-bank narratives. ENJOYED #
  • Someone just followed me offering ‘total happiness’. I blocked him. #
  • RT @bengoldacre David Tredinnick MP claims £510 for astrology software: guess this makes him both stupid AND stupid #
  • RT@themanwhofell I’m not going to Glastonbury but I may walk to East Finchley or Wood Green or Crouch End, possibly wearing a hair shirt. #
  • RT @mrpower Prince Charles makes effort to reduce personal spending. Now brushes own teeth and wipes own arse. Next stage: Feeding himself. #
  • MP expenses PR man is paranoid loony: ‘this is dynamite, it’s big trouble, I could be arrested, deported or disappeared’ http://is.gd/1bFQw #
  • interesting one – RT @pressgazette Journalism job vacancy: Online news editor for Press Gazette http://tinyurl.com/mqd28v #
  • I hate the BBFC, they’re a bunch of spacky mongoloid joeys: http://bit.ly/TD3xY #
  • Things I don’t understand about Twitter: how an obvious spambot like @createincome has almost as many ‘followers’ as ‘following’ #
  • Vile views, positive outcome – Nixon’s racism moderated his opposition to abortion: http://tinyurl.com/lzn79o (via @jonnelledge) #
  • Anyone who plays music in an office should be instantly shot. Ditto anyone who blows an airhorn. I hate salespeople. #
  • Whistling, also. Indeed, whistling in any context outside of a musical performance should be punished by boiling alive. #
  • For all Patrick Foster’s awfulness, at least he screwed over the twunts at the ABD: http://8mpe5.tk (via @TACJ who seems less impressed) #
  • RT @PreachyPreach RIP Swells. http://bit.ly/16aUc6 #
  • This makes perfect sense, although doubtless will outrage silly people: http://bit.ly/nF1Rz #
  • This is absolutely WIN – brilliant demolition of Tory strategy post-2007 and vindication of what the gov’t have done: http://bit.ly/bJvBg #
  • Anyone want a ticket for Bruce Springsteen in Hyde Park on Sunday? Offers accepted #
  • Blimey, Michael Jackson’s dead and the first I knew of it was my friends’ sarky Facebook comments. #
  • RT @bigdaddymerkfor all the joking, I’m kinda sad. Jacko made ace music and was a part of my childhood. rest in peace you freaky weirdo. #
  • Actually, that’s the anthem, innit – “Shine On You Freaky Weirdo”. If only Quincy Jones and Eddie Van Halen were as talented as… oh, wait #
  • It’s actually pretty rude, from a UK pundit POV, for Jacko to die during Glasto – they’ll be far too wankered (inspired by @richardherring) #
  • RT @bigdaddymerk for all the joking, I’m kinda sad. Jacko made some ace music + was a part of my childhood. rest in peace you freaky weirdo #
  • (the @bigdaddymerk tweet was originally before the ‘Shine On” tweet, but I messed up the quoting. You wanna make something of it?) #
  • Nasty, but funny – RT @JamieRoss7 Michael Jackson must have finally destroyed that painting of an ageing black man he kept in his attic. #
  • I like the fact that #Rip Micheal Jackson is a trending topic. Whenever I’m dead, I hope #Rip Jhon Band is similarly popular #
  • “He’s a tinfoil-hatted, privacy obsessed gimp who runs a very dull blog” http://tinyurl.com/lrfm2f – oh, wait… #
  • Whilst I hate Perez Hilton, this is EXCELLENT: http://twitpic.com/8et2f – as is anything that upsets the morons who’re upset by #jacksonfail #
  • Everyone connected with the Evening Standard should be sent to Wimbledon Common and enslaved by wombles #
  • Nigel Williams, author of The Wimbledon Poisoner, would never stoop so low as to write for the Evening Standard #
  • RT @Habitat_UK – I can’t believe Michael Jackson died during Wimbledon – now buy some furniture #toomanymemes #
  • Mass moonwalk 6pm today @ Liverpool St. Please RT #
  • Grumpy pretentious middle-aged wankers wankify: http://brsxh.tk #
  • Tenuous: http://tinyurl.com/lcvklt #
  • Irresponsible FTW: http://tinyurl.com/mdchcq (from B3ta) #
  • waiting for train to office to train to train to airport to plane to lunch tomorow #
  • to plane to other office to hotel to plane to train to train to HOME! #
  • people keep saying today is muggy. rubbish, i haven’t been mugged once #
  • suspect india in monsoon will be hotter, humider, anyway… #
  • Private Eye definitely becoming Torier and more twattish. If such a thing possible. #
  • UPGRADE woo! #

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