katsmeat: (Nauseated)
On account of Crewe_and_Nantwich last year, I had the notion that by-elections were noisly ructious affairs, fun to watch in a gladitorial sense. Even if party workers no longer get drunk and throw bricks at each other, it'd still be interesting to be involved in one, at least to the extent of being co-located.

But no.

There's been barely a mention of Norwich North on the news - all that's happened is the accumulation of a small pile of manky, half-witted leaflets in the doormat. I imagine this is because I'm located in one of the leafy suburbs that the Torys take for granted and the others view as a lost cause, so unikely to recieve more than a token effort from anybody. Another reason seems to be that Labour gave up on the fight weeks ago and have juct being going through the motions. The big contest seems to be for silver and bronze, between the Lib Dems and Greens.

I voted for the Greens just now, my profound reservations on some of their policies (their science policy sounds bonkers) is tempered by the fact they'll never be put into practice. But somebody I know and trust is on first-name terms with the candidate, and she assures me he's a smart, decent sort who'd make an excellent constituency MP. Both main party candidates look like ghastly, wannabe, careerist political hacks. Well-groomed types who come across like they've been grown in tanks somewhere and who, despite differing parties, have vastly more in common with each other than either has with me.
katsmeat: (Thankful)
A small but illustrative incident....

A journalist (possibly more than one) was CS gassed and arrested after a scuffle in the House of Commons, he was a guest at an event attended by crowd of other journalists.

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/police-use-cs-spray-to-halt-commons-fight-1658161.html
http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2009/mar/31/house-of-commons-fight
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/politics/article6007526.ece

Yet oddly, every single hack present seems to have quite forgotten to pass the name on to their respective publications. Not that it matters, of course, as he(they) must be about 5 minutes away from being named in the political blogs.
katsmeat: (Default)
George Monbiot says British politics is broken, because politicians are mostly scumbags.

Hazel Blears knees him in the unmentionables for saying it...
We need people standing for office, not carping on the sidelines

Monbiot reaches for an ice axe...
Just what exactly do you stand for, Hazel Blears - except election?

It's been a while since there was such a vicious character assassantion of a serving politician in a broadsheet newspaper. Rollicking good fun.
katsmeat: (Thankful)
I'm happy to join in the general rejoicing.

But may I venture to suggest that America will only have truely consigned racial issues to the history books when there is a Republican African-American president.

Though if that ever happens, the Republicans would have mutated out of all recognition, ditched the Rapture-awaiting nutjobs and he or she would at least be a Republican I could live with.

PS Palin for 2012? Don't make me laugh. The party that espouses her views is the party looking for annihilation. America has changed. Their survival is conditional on them changing also. Though I wouldn't be shed too many tears of they weren't up to it.
katsmeat: (Food)
The Guardian 22 April...
Cameron's lead cut in latest ICM poll

- Con - 39, Lab - 34, LD - 19, Oth - 9

Daily Telegraph 25 April...
Tory lead over Labour hits 21-year high

Con - 44, Lab - 26, LD - 17, Oth - 13

I think there're three possible explanations...

(a) Those polls have about 3% error. So it's just credable that statistical error has made the Conservatives low in the Guardian one and high in the Telegraph one.

(b) The British public is politically bi-polar.

(c) Newspapers make money by telling their respective readerships comforting things they want to hear. Therefore any polls they commission that they can't spin their way are filed away in the cylindrical filing cabinet.
katsmeat: (Thoughtful)
The who I would vote for if I was American meme.

PS Who exactly is Bill Richardson?


79% Bill Richardson
77% Mike Gravel
75% Barack Obama
73% John Edwards
71% Chris Dodd
71% Dennis Kucinich
70% Hillary Clinton
68% Joe Biden
33% Ron Paul
33% Mitt Romney
32% Rudy Giuliani
32% Tom Tancredo
31% John McCain
27% Mike Huckabee
26% Fred Thompson
















2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

Crap...

Oct. 29th, 2006 03:25 pm
katsmeat: (Default)
You know it's getting bad when even the right-wing press is saying the war is lost. link
Of course, a good bit of that is the Telegraph going after Blair by proxy, by attacking Bush and the neo-cons. But even so...

You just have to read the history of a Western power winning a war against a guerrilla insurgency to realise how far we are away from that in Iraq.

Hmmmm....

Oct. 13th, 2006 05:02 pm
katsmeat: (Default)
Cameron spoof removed from YouTube (Guardian)

Link to YouTube.

Booooingggg!

< shrugs > You can tell I'm bored... and no, it's honestly not worth watching.
katsmeat: (Default)
There's a large local bike shop I've been going to for a while. They are a bit of a candy store - they do things like a titanium and carbon fibre bike frame for £1700 (budget at least another £1500 for the bits to put it on the road.)

Before, I was wandering through the door with a junkheap, fifteen year old Marin (unlike other shops, it's accepted bikeshop etiquette to bring your bike inside so it's safe from theft while you shop.) But now I have an expansive bike, they've suddenly become noticably friendlier and more inclined to chat and pass the time of day. "How's your P7?" the guy asked, when I was in yesderday on another bike (they remembered, you see.)

I'll be nice and assume it's not down to snobbery. Possibly it's because nice bikes are worth talking about and junky one's aren't.

Re the smoking ban. I'm definately torn on this one. On one hand, I resent (as somebody else said) having to boil-wash my clothes to get the nicotine smell out after an evening in the pub. On the other hand, there is something about the radiated smug self-satisfaction of a Labour politician, when they've managed to indulge their taste for petty finger-wagging puratanism and ban another vice, that makes me want to line them all up and punch them repeatedly in the face.

Ooops, I wonder if that will get me into trouble for gloryfing terrorism?

Anyway, there's always a silver lining... I shall look to see if there are shares available in companies that make chewing tobacco... perhaps the spitoon is set for a comeback.
katsmeat: (Default)
He has really have brightened my day... This is what The Guardian reports he has recently said:


Yesterday the religious broadcaster apologised for his remarks.

"Is it right to call for assassination? No, and I apologise for that statement. I spoke in frustration that we should accommodate the man who thinks the US is out to kill him," he said.

In a TV broadcast on Monday, he said: "If he thinks we're trying to assassinate him, I think that we really ought to go ahead and do it."

Yesterday Mr Robertson initially said his comments had been misinterpreted, but went on to add that kidnapping Mr Chávez might be a better idea.


Excuse me, I must get something to clean the coffee off the monitor. :-)
katsmeat: (Default)
News of the London bombings went round the world in minutes. Then this

http://observer.guardian.co.uk/international/story/0,6903,1530367,00.html

happens in Iraq and its second page news; there is a noticeable absence of world leaders sending messages of condolence to the people of Iraq. Apparently people are bring killed at the rate of 800 a month, but you wouldn't know it because nobody really seems to care very much.

ID Cards

Jul. 9th, 2005 01:51 pm
katsmeat: (Default)
Cautious grounds for optimism - many of the interviews and phone-in's I've heard indicate people are still
opposed to ID Cards. Thursday hasn't scared people into buying the governments line that they'll help stop terrorism.
katsmeat: (Default)
The government's thinking in a nutshell... 'we're having problems with falling election turnouts and voter apathy. Why bother re-engaging the public's interest in politics? It's easier to just fine or imprison the bastards...'

http://politics.guardian.co.uk/apathy/story/0,12822,1520779,00.html?gusrc=rss

And I'm sure this has nothing to do with the fact that the social groups most likely to vote Labour are the ones least likely to vote.



I have mixed feelings about the G8 protests in Edinburgh. I mean, why bother? Bush couldn't care less about some rabble with placards who, thanks to fences and 10,000 police, never get within 5 miles of where he is. Solving Africa's problems begins with cutting back on western farm subsidies, but is Bush ever going to risk the solid Republican vote in rural parts of America? Perhaps after Satan goes on eBay to check out how much a decent pair of skis costs. Ten million dead Africans are probably less important to Bush than a Republican win in 2008.

The thing is, I wonder if I'm using cynicism as a fig-leaf for laziness. You can't change anything, so why bother trying? Just sit back and sneer.

Similarly, I Paypalled a ten quid donation to http://www.no2id.net/ but I can't imagine doing much to actively campaign against ID cards. To my embarrassement, I realize I'm effectively paying them to do it for me.
katsmeat: (Default)
Feeling thoroughly miserable thanks to a combination of a summer cold and hayfever. Thanks to a pollen influx - or plant bukkake, as fluffymormegil charmingly puts it. I must have lead a sheltered life as I only recently discovered what that meant.

Oh God! Not a thing I should be thinking about when I'm feeling slightly ill!



Just read Y The Last Man, The Road to Perdition.

Currently reading Barry Trotter and the Dead Horse - though I think I'll give up on it. I'm not in the mood.

Currently incensed over: The Governments plans for road pricing. Oh wonderful! ID Cards for cars. They plan a 24/7 mass surveillance system of the movements of every motor vehicle in the UK in order to replace the, current, annual road tax and fuel tax system with road usage charges.

So what will happen...

Drivers of gas-guzzlers will have a field day! Taxes will be based on the mileage driven, not on the fuel consumed.

Everybody will be looking for minor routes away from the heavily congested main roads that'll have a high charge. The motorways will empty as everybody tries to get from A to B down minor rural and suburban roads that really can't cope with the traffic. The government will try to juggle the charges to discourage this but expect software and web sites to appear almost instantly that can tell you the cheapest route between any two locations. The government will always be one step behind.

And speeding will be impossible. OK, speeding is bad, it's dangerous. But for the first time ever, we will have a system of surveillance so perfect that it is impossible to commit a certain type of crime without being caught. I would rather have the speeders.

More Outrage Apparently the government want's to extend record company's copyright from 50 to 100 years. I assume this has nothing to do with the expiry of Elvis' and the Beatles' early copyrights in the next few years.
katsmeat: (Default)
I went to see the German movie Downfall last night. I highly recommend it. It seems to have got some flack for failing to portray Hitler and his cronies as one-dimensional monsters - ie bad stereotypical movie making as mandated by political correctness. Instead, they're shown as human beings, who had monstrous ideas and did monstrous things.

I did my civic duty this morning - I was one of the first into the polling station. There's nothing else to say about that until about 1am tomorrow morning.

Hmmmm, crazed delusional leader raving about ultimate victory while unstopable defeat closes on him. < sigh > If only!
katsmeat: (Default)
Cycling home yesterday, I saw outside people's houses...

1 Conservative Party Sign
3 Labour Party Signs
0 Liberal Democrat Signs
18 Green Party Signs

If this level of popularity translates into an electoral result, we get...

528 Green MP's
30 Conservative MP's
88 Labour MP's

A Green majority of 410, which I think would be quite splended. Remember, you heard it here first.
katsmeat: (Default)
Oh dear...

Read more... )

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