Oh yes,following the revelation that the police are holding DNA records on TWENTY-FOUR THOUSAND innocent 10-18 year olds, read this:
"taking the police work out of police work. If some DNA evidence turns up at a crime scene they can run it against the database of all those people just to make sure they're still innocent. Don't worry sir, we can re-establish your innocence in a matter of moments. Everyone's a suspect until the computer says they're not."
The Liberal Democrats just got a lot more press coverage, but again for all the wrong reasons: BBC - Oaten resigns over rent boy claim.
Yep - that's rent boy. (So much worse than simply "prostitute" don't you think? Got those added layers of objectification and hints of paedophilia - after all, when was the last time you saw a 23-year-old man referred to as a "boy" in any other context?)
News of the World managing editor Stuart Kuttner said Mr Oaten had been confronted with details of a relationship with a 23-year-old rent boy by reporters from the Sunday paper.Aaaah! The good old News of the World, the least principled paper in the country, once again standing up for our nation's morals by forcibly outing a politician most people have never heard of. Lovely...
Fuck off Falconer, you unelected twat:
"The question is should you require - and I think ultimately, unless there is compulsion, you won't get the benefits of an ID card system - is it right to compel those that don't have a passport also to get an ID card?I don't especially WANT to have todeal with the state, ta very much - every time I have to it takes money off me. Why would I want to make that process easier?
"I think it is, I think it will become inevitable that you need reliable means of identification, both to stop people stealing your identity, and also making it much, much easier for you to deal with the state."
Right - these should do it. Top work: 1, 2, 3. All I need now is some entertaining monkey news, and I should be able to handle the two hour wait until the lunchtime pint...
Man in "boasting about sexual prowess" shocker! Next week we bring you yet more amazing revelations: "Sky is blue", "Monkeys are funny" and the long-awaited proof that yes, water is indeed wet. Fucking pointless load of crap bastard wankpiss.
Despite the hamster news earlier, my rage is simmering near the brink this morning - and it's not helped by having run out of coffee. All it'll take is one stupid government announcement...
Update (2 minutes later): GAH! Housing in "expensive" shocker! REALLY? People on low incomes can't afford to pay four hundred grand for a home? FUCKING AMAZING. Arsedicks.
Something to cheer you up - aaaaaw!
An EU tax? Yeah, right...
You'd never guess that Austria's more eurosceptic than the UK the way this EU presidency's going. First we had the revival of the constitution, now we've got proposals for an EU tax, a barkingly superstatist idea that crops up every now and again before traditionally being shot down in flames.
Chancellor Schuessel - correctly - told the European Parliament that "Europe needs a strong way of financing itself"; he knows full well, however, that it is never going to happen through taxation as long as the UK is a member.
Never mind the arguments in favour of such an approach (after all, it could well help to increase transparancy and leave less budget flexibility for the notoriously weak EU accountants to "misplace" dosh with, plus would make it clear to each EU citizen precisely how little the EU actually costs them while getting rid of the constant disputes over who should pay what, rebates and the like) - it simply is not an option at this time, as such a move would require unanimity from all member states, and no British government (or, probably, Danish for that matter) would risk it. Even if dear old Tony "This lady IS for turning" Blair tried to give in and accept an EU tax, there's no way in hell Gordon Brown would let him.
So why all the shit-stirring? What is Schuessel up to?
The European Parliament is set to vote on what to do with the constitution tomorrow - but is this just putting the cart before the horse? As national parliaments begin to work together and MEPs try to work out the way forward, cross-border political discussion and co-operation is taking place up top. But what about the rest of the European public sphere?
"in the absence of a common identity, there is no true and sustainable European community. And any such common identity is vitally dependent on the existence of a pan-European public space. A European public space would be a realm in which transnational values and principles - or transnational practices if you will - can be defined, shaped and reshaped, and in which supranational political institutions can gain legitimacy."An interesting series of articles from Eurozine are linked down the side of that article, providing a handy overview of this ongoing debate over the possibility of a truly EU-wide demos and identity, as the Austrian EU presidency kcks off its campaign to get the continent discussing precisely what it is that we all want.
Dear fucking Christ in Heaven - will somebody please kill the internet? It can't take much more of this abuse...
That webchat thing has been going on for an hour and forty minutes. The single most tedious, slow-moving and pointless hour and forty minutes since I havd the misfortune of having to review The Tango Lesson (still the worst film I've ever seen).
Note to the government: it's possible to download two episodes of The West Wing in the time it has taken your lackey to answer a paltry twenty-odd pre-submitted, pre-vetted questions. This is meant to be a web CHAT, for fuck's sake. If you're going to experiment with funky "new" web technologies, do it properly - or at least have the decency to pull your sodding fingers out of your overpaid arses so you can type with both hands.
E-Democracy at work folks - bore everyone so fucking rigid they all piss off and take their own lives rather than pay any more attention to your mindless, repetitive drivel.
Via Jarndyce, there's a "live" webchat with Louise Casey, Head of the Government's "Respect task force", over at Number 10's website this afternoon at 3pm. All questions, naturally, to be submitted for vetting in advance... Jarndyce's submission is rather fun - I went for short and (surprisingly) non-sweary:
"Respect has to be earned - why, exactly, should we respect a Prime Minister who keeps launching legislation designed to cut back on our civil liberties and rewarding his friends and party donors with peerages?"Something tells me that neither of us will be responded to...
Update: Apparently it's starting shortly - only 10 minutes late... But why is it being hosted by The TwoFour Group rather than on Downing Street's own site?
Update 2: First question in "obvious plant" shocker! Short version: "Aren't ASBOs great?" The answer admits the problem of drunks causing trouble, but no mention of 24 hour drinking...
Update 3: God, this is tedious. A question that isn't even a question from one "Jimmy Devlin" (the same Jimmy Devlin who claimed to have lost trust in Labour back in September 2003? HIf so, he seems to have regained it...) - short version? "Everything the government has proposed is great"
Oooh! And a great piece of doublethink from our Louise: "People need to know that there are rules in decent societies and if you break those rules you face consequences. We can only have liberty and live without fear if we are secure in the knowldge that rules are there to make us safe." Summary justice ends fear! Rules are freedom! Hurrah!
Update 4: Good God, it's turning into The Field of Dreams: "The more people know the more people will come forward" - "If you build it, they will come..." Or should that be Wayne's World?
And now "Tony Cranwell" gets his second question answered, while those from Jarndyce, Mr McKeating and others go ignored...
Update 5: And now a second question from "Brian Baitup" is responded to...
Update 6: "Absolutely nothing will ever excuse throwing a stone at an old aged pensioner walking down the street" - not even it it's Thatcher?
And where the hell did this crap come from? "not allowing a single mum to get in a shop without hassling her to buy them alcohol or taking over a toddler's playground to start fires" - eh?
This isn't exactly topical - a rather nice little rundown of the pisspoor mess that is the French electoral system from MatGB - it is, however, very good stuff.
Labour ministers: "We couldn't give a pissing fuck about you, your pathetic concerns about 'liberty', the checks and balances of the constitution, the traditional role of parliament of scrutinising public accounts, OR the potential cost to the taxpayer, so cunt the fuck right off, you twats."
There's a surprise...
Kilroy's nutty ex-buddy after Barrymore
The name raised my suspicions, but having just seen the guy on the news it's been confirmed:
The lawyer responsible for the headline-grabbing new private prosecution against Michael Barrymore is indeed Robert Kilroy-Silk's former litigious assistant (though they are no longer on speaking terms), failed UKIP candidate, co-founder and one-time technical leader of Veritas (remember them?), road sign thief, public proponent of the "Mohammed was a Paedophile" theory (for which he was expelled from UKIP), member of bonkers self-appointed moral guardians Christian Voice, and associate of ex-chairmen of the National Front, Anthony Bennett (pictured below, in typical maniacal pose).
Judging by Bennett's less than successful track record with pretty much every campaign with which he's ever been involved, Barrymore should have little to worry about...
EU states "collaborated" with the CIA - offical
Hardly a surprise - after all, the US remains a close ally even with all the various policy disagreements. Rather shows up official denials of any knowledge of "extraordianry rendition" though, eh?
"EU governments have “collaborated, tolerated or looked away” from secret CIA operations on European soil, a high-profile investigation is set to conclude next week.Update: The BBC
"Dick Marty, the Swiss senator who is leading a Council of Europe inquiry into clandestine CIA detention centres and flights, is set to conclude his probe on January 23...
"'For two or three years countries knew exactly what was going on,... Some countries actively collaborated, some tolerated while others simply looked away.'”
“...'It's not possible to transport people from one place to another in such a manner without the secret services knowing about it,' the senator insisted.
“'The question is: was the CIA really working in Europe? I believe we can say today, without a doubt, yes.'”
had something on this on Saturday, but I missed it. Weekend, and all that. There's been little interest shown elsewhere that I've noticed in any case, which is a tad odd. But the British government, at least, was very careful (once again) not to make any outright denials
... After all, if there's no paperwork, it never happened, right?
I pissing love the House of Lords sometimes:
"The amendment to be debated today will tap into cross-chamber insistence that resisting calls for estimates of the full costs of such a massive initiative not only prevents proper scrutiny but aborts discussion of alternatives. It also seems to be unprecedented. The Home Office minister Baroness Scotland tried to justify the intransigence on the grounds of commercial secrecy during the tendering process. Besides wondering at the presumption of embarking on tenders long before the bill is through, to think that commercial convenience trumps parliament's right to know is a baleful reflection on our democratic ill-health.Keep your eye on the Lords.
"Although the government seeks to pretend otherwise, our ID card project is uniquely vast, complex and intrusive. It risks outscandalising the Eurofighter, the Millennium Dome, the Scottish parliament, the driving licence and NHS computer projects and a host of other less daunting cock-ups."
Finland, Finland, Finland
The country where I want to be,
Pony trekking or camping,
Or just watching TV.
Finland, Finland, Finland,
It's the country for me.
A run-off election because the incumbent president failed to take 50% of the vote? Meanwhile in the UK, it's rare for any government to have over 40% - sometimes put down to the similarity between the parties these days, yet in Finland, where the President's prime concern is foreign policy, "Both Ms Halonen and her main rival, Mr Niinisto, support Finland's EU membership, its co-operation with Nato and its close ties to former foe, Russia."
Best place for more info is probably Helsingen Sanomat - worth a gander, what with Finland taking over the EU presidency later in the year and all...
You're so near to Russia,
So far from Japan.
Quite a long way from Cairo,
Lots of miles from Vietnam.
Finland, Finland, Finland.
The country where I want to be,
Eating breakfast or dinner,
Or snack lunch in the hall.
Finland, Finland, Finland,
Finland has it all.
You're so sadly neglected,
And often ignored,
A poor second to Belgium,
When going abroad.
Finland, Finland, Finland.
The country where I quite want to be,
Your mountains so lofty,
Your treetops so tall.
Finland, Finland, Finland,
Finland has it all.
This. (Oh, and a vaguely-related note to all those "patriots" blathering on about the national flag: it's only the Union Jack at sea, idiots - the reason no one flies the Union Jack outside their homes in this country is because it's impossible. Unless you've got a houseboat, at any rate...)
The government planning to spy on Members of Parliament? Why doesn't that surprise me? Anger... Rising... Again...