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Showing posts from December, 2012

Campaigning Support for Gay marriage

In the past few weeks an Internet meme has emerged concerning gay marriage. It started with a college humor video suggesting that gay guys would marry straight guys girlfriends'. It was a winsome piece of humour, playing to the idea that certain gay stereotypes would be very attractive to women, and that therefore straight guys should support gay marriage in order to eliminate the competition. Then a bunch of gay women thought that lesbians could follow up on this and came up with a whole load of reasons why straight women should support gay marriage. There was a pretty dramatic response, which the girls also responded to themselves with great good humour.

Meanwhile straight men also decided that they could support gay marriage, although disparaging the idea that gay men would want to marry their girlfriends... since they did not even want to do that themselves. Gently they too took the rip out of some of the stereotypes, this time straight stereotypes. On the other hand the straig…

Can the Tories survive another decade?

The British Conservative Party is an extremely successful electoral machine. Over the nearly 170 years since it was founded in 1834, it has been in government more than half the time. It is currently the most powerful political party in the UK, holding the largest single bloc of seats in the House of Commons, the largest number of Peers as well as being the largest single British Party in the European Parliament (holding 25 of the 72 British seats) and being a dominant force in local government too, with over 9,000 councillors. In the face of such a record it may seem absurd to even question the future of such a political success story.

Yet the fact is that the Tories are facing a mounting series of challenges which could certainly lead to electoral defeat and potentially political irrelevance within a pretty short period. 

To me, the fundamental problem remains the unresolved merger of economically liberal ideas, which in the Conservative Party, are usually deemed "right-wing"…

Goodbye Europe? No, Goodbye Britain

In 26 European Union countries, (and one acceding country, Croatia) today is something of a celebration, albeit a muted one, given the circumstances of continued economic hardship- the European Union will formally receive recognition as the winner of the 2012 Nobel Peace Prize. In one other European Union member state it is the occasion of ridicule and disbelief. Admittedly the contemptible British press prefers to hypocritically attack an Australian radio programme for an unfortunate prank that went badly wrong, so probably remarkably few people in the UK may be aware of the special recognition that the EU is getting, unless they encounter some sneering comment on page 17.

Across the British political spectrum, the European Union has become a bogeyman for all of the ills that afflict the dis-United Kingdom. "Brussels bureaucrats"- although there are actually fairly few of them- are the first in line in the British political blame game. Britain is allowed to opt out of more t…

Deeply saddened

A dedicated nurse. An Australian spoof. A British tabloid security scare. A world-wide "scandal". 

A suicide.

Two kids are motherless, but don't worry the press had nothing to do with it. They did not doorstop her, or harass her in any way, so that is all right.

But hey, its OK the British press can regulate itself.

In other news. The Leveson inquiry finds that there is a systematic anti European Union (read = paid for) bias in several British newspapers.

In other news, there is now an opinion poll that suggests that the majority in the UK would vote to leave the EU.

In other news, the Conservatives now tend to support withdrawal from the EU.

In other news, the cost of withdrawal is never discussed, because doing so is deemed by the tabloid press as being "pro-EU propaganda"

Don't worry. Its OK. the UK press hardly ever kills anyone. They hardly ever make mistakes.

Making the same mistake twice

As I read through the Sunday news, I am struck with a sense of fatigue. The responses to the Leveson Report might have come straight from an episode of Yes, Minister. The self-serving posturing of the corporate press merely confirms all we feared most: they have a profit-driven agenda which is little or nothing to do with the national interest and which they will ruthlessly defend. The switch from open contempt of David Cameron to mild adulation, merely because the Prime Minister has essentially rejected the core recommendation of the report- that new arrangements should be underpinned by statute- reveals the Press at its cowardly, bullying, lick-spittle worst.

As it happens I am disappointed in Leveson. I think the report failed to address the rapidly changing nature of the media- the increasing diversity of media channels and the rise of citizen-journalism- and this is a critical failing. However the hysterical vituperation that has been delivered by the press, defending indefensible…