Due to the move of the blog to Wordpress posts from Jan 2012 onward will have commenting disabled (when I remember to do it)
Cheers - AE

Wednesday, 30 September 2009

The madness of Auntie Beeb.

She's cracking down on homophobia again, and a well known TV presenter has been formally bollocked. Want to guess who?

Graham Norton. Yes, seriously.

They've fucking lost it, haven't they?

Satire and truth, truth and satire.

So easy to get them mixed up these days. Perhaps I'm just a bit worn out from some crappy hours lately but I just couldn't laugh at the Mash's article on the National Lawnmower Sharing Agency because it's just so easy to imagine some twat filled committee meeting going 'fucking Daily Mash, we actually had that planned for next year'. And then there's NewsArse, which came out with this:
The UK’s Government and Opposition have both been threatened with prosecution for allegedly engaging in a “mutually beneficial” electorate-sitting arrangement for the last hundred years.


The arrangement between Labour and the Tories is said to be illegal, as neither party has registered as a totalitarian dictatorship.

A representative from Ofvote, the election watchdog, turned up at the House of Commons this morning to make it’s accusations.

Both Labour and the Conservatives were accused of taking turns to nanny the British people with a plethora of idiotic, ineffective and restrictive laws “for each other’s mutual gain and reward”.

“At first I thought Ofvote had got the wrong address,” said Prime Minister Gordon Brown. “Or that they didn’t realise the innocent nature of our arrangement with the Tories.”

The two main British parties are believed to have been reported by an anonymous whistle-blower, who wished only to be known as ‘Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats’.

“We received a tip-off from our source, codenamed Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrats - you can print that, no-one will know who he is.”

“He told us that the British people were at risk from a two-headed totalitarian beast with a string of convictions for crap legislation,”
That's too close to the fucking reality to be funny.

Light blogging.


Friday, 25 September 2009

Advertising bullshit.

Just seen a food ad that mentioned, and I quote, a "fresh range" of frozen food. What the fuck is fresh frozen food? Sounds like a line from Fawlty Towers: well, it was fresh when it was frozen.

Monday, 21 September 2009

Kevin Rudd opens his potty mouth again.

He knows the word 'fuck' apparently. Not so long ago he swore on TV and was accused of trying to be more blokey and appealing to yer average Ocker, which I thought was possibly bollocks and certainly uninteresting. Now he's used the F-bomb, though in private. So who cares?

Green jobs.

We're all saved. The twin apocalypses of financial warming and climate downturn, or fucking whatever, have been averted. There's going to be ten million green jobs. Can you believe it? Well, since it comes from the grinning mutation himself, Tony Blair, I'd take that with enough salt to fucking de-ice Antarctica.*

* Just in case it fails to melt on its own.

Tax dollars at work.

Terrific. Courtesy of the Commonwealth Government We've gone and bought a piece of Birmingham. I'd go and look at what we've got for our taxes but for two reasons. Firstly I've seen it before and secondly, and more significantly, it's TEN THOUSAND FUCKING MILES AWAY.
The Australian taxpayer is to become the joint-owner of Birmingham’s Bullring after Land Securities sold its stake in the shopping centre for £210 million.

The Future Fund, which invests on behalf of the Australian Government, will own a third of the Bullring alongside Hammerson and Henderson Global Investors. The price tag reflects a 6.85 per cent net yield.
I'm sure many people would wonder why they can't spend the money on something here (fair shake of the fucking sauce bottle, eh, Kevin*) but I hope I'm not the only one wondering why it's being spent at all. Give it back, you bastards. If you can afford to buy into a fucking shopping centre in the West Midlands you could have afforded to reduce the fucking taxes and let each of us - the fuckers who earned the fucking money in the first place, remember? - decide for ourselves what to do with it. Maybe it's a good investment and maybe not, but that isn't the point. Even if it pays for itself by an order of magnitude the point is whether or not managing a commercial property portfolio should be a fucking government function. If that money, and it's very nearly $400 million by the way, could produce a huge return on investment in the hands of a really good card player would the government do it? Would voters let them? Of course not, so why the fuck does everyone think it's okay for the bastards can just fling cash around on shit like this?

And who are the Future Fund and what exactly are they doing with taxpayers' money in the first place? Well, this explains a lot (my emphasis):
The Australian Government Future Fund is an independently managed investment fund into which the Australian Government deposits its budget surplus. The purpose of the fund is to meet the government's future liabilities for the payment of superannuation** to retired civil servants of the Australian Public Service.
Ah, right. So the way this works is that when they've taken even more money than they actually needs to cover the cost of essential government functions, plus all the other shit just about every fucking government in the industrialised world seems to think they should be doing as well, they get to spend what's left over on investments to pay the superannuation funds of retirees. Retirees whose working lives were spent working for the government on either essential functions or all the other shit that just about every fucking government in the industrialised world seems to think they should be be doing as well. Or to put it more succinctly, we get taxed more now to pay for the retirements of some of the people who are the reason we got taxed more in the past. Have I got that right?
The stated aim of the fund is to hold AUD $140 billion by 2020; this figure would free up AUD $7 billion in superannuation payments each year from the federal budget.
If those are our options I suppose I'd say buy the fucking Bullring if you must. But if the alternative is having to fork out $7 billion a year I'd say that some shit decisions were made in the past. Could it possibly be that, like Britain, public sector workers have had bloody sweet pension deals compared to the private sector? I've never troubled myself to find out but according to the back of the nearest envelope $7 billion is about 500 bucks from each taxpayer. Per year.

Some choice, eh.

UPDATE: Might be early but there's next to nothing in the media here about it. Funny that.

* The prick.
** Pensions in other words, but they call 'em superannuation funds here.

Sunday, 20 September 2009

One for the ladies.

Another Australian advert, and one that made Mrs Exile fall about laughing when we saw it.


Nothing I can add to this.

Pretty much sums up how I find computers.

The elephant in the room.

H/T Guido.

Saturday, 19 September 2009

Things I still don't get about Australia - No. 10

The complete inability of any TV network to start programs on time. Yes, this used to piss me off in Britain too but unless they've got a lot worse in the past couple of years or so the UK channels have got nothing, nothing on the commercial channels here. This isn't the two or three minutes I used to tut about - I shit you not, I've known things to start ten or twelve minutes late here. The other day Mrs Exile told me about something she was watching that started on time, and the fact that this was noteworthy enough for her to tell me* tells you how fucking rare that is, but still ended more than five minutes late. This isn't live event type TV that can overrun by the way. Obviously that can go tits up and play havoc with the scheduling, though how anyone here is expected to actually notice when that happens is anyone's guess. No, we're talking about regular pre-recorded programs, many of them US imports and therefore running at a convenient 40 minutes or so long to allow for plenty of ad breaks and guff such as 'this program is brought to you in association with a product you don't want and might not even have the right genitals to use properly'.

So how the fuck do they manage to stuff up the times all the fucking time?

Execs of channels 7, Nine and Ten, I suggest you get a fucking clock each and learn how to use it before someone comes round and inserts one in you with the instruction to start the next program every time your arse rings.

* I'm not sure I believe her though. I've been here long enough to doubt it's possible.

Parking nazis.

I just found this list of ridiculous parking tickets on
  1. Truck trapped by a partial collapse of the road due to a burst water main.
  2. Car not so much parked as trapped and wrecked by a falling tree.
  3. Moped rider knocked off and his leg broken.
  4. A horse.
  5. Went over time on parking due to giving a witness statement to police about a bank robbery.
  6. Blood Service lorry getting mobile blood donations.
  7. Bus stopping for passengers.
  8. Someone who'd stopped to have a heart attack.
  9. A snowmobile that apparently never left Sweden owned by a guy who hadn't been to the UK for years.
  10. A driving instructor whose student driver had stalled while doing a 3 pointer.
Possibly in an attempt to make up for the Ashes up in Darwin a keen parking warden has gone one further for Australian pride. Ready for this?

Are you sure you're ready?

He ticketed a dog.
The blue heeler was tied to a fence outside Rapid Creek market when it was approached by two Darwin City Council traffic wardens. One of the inspectors wrote out a ticket - and taped it to the dog's lead.
The world's a fucking madhouse, isn't it?

Aussie beer advert

I don't usually laugh at animals getting hurt but this nearly made me spit tea.

Anyway, it's a stunt pigeon.

Over reacting?

Oh, sure. Twats.

Who the fuck is Green Lantern?

Another internet quiz, and....

Your results:
You are Green Lantern

Green Lantern
The Flash
Wonder Woman
Iron Man

Hot-headed. You have strong
will power and a good imagination.

Click here to take the Superhero Personality Quiz

Clearly I didn't read enough comics when I was a kid because I've never heard of the fucker.

UPDATE: He's got a power ring? Seriously? Ooooooooh, matron!


Since the not guilty verdict I've been meaning to return to this. Last time I just mentioned it was to say that (a) if the prosecution were to be believed Britain's much vaunted gun laws were as much use as usual, i.e. √fuck all, and (b) the two boys apparently hadn't got any guns anyway, which obviously affects whether we think the prosecution are to be believed in the first place. The jury took 45 minutes to decide on that, and let's be honest that's barely time for a second cuppa and to finish the last of the biscuit assortment. So I was going to blog on it but I can't top Newsarse:
Film-makers devastated as ‘Bowling for Audenshaw’ shelved indefinitely.


Matthew Swift, 18, and Ross McKnight, 16, were found not guilty of conspiring to blow up Audenshaw High School after evidence showed they had no actual guns or explosives, or the means to acquire them.

The prosecution claimed they planned to shoot dead fellow pupils and teachers before turning the guns on themselves after reading of their ‘plans’ in notebooks.

“If you ignore all the ‘Man Utd is gay’ and ‘I really love Katy Watkins’ stuff - and all the GCSE revision in there - then those notebooks contained was some pretty damning cartoons and diagrams. Honest.”

However, the acquittal has caused aspiring political journalists with video cameras to howl in grief and reassess their career options.


” ‘Bowling For Audenshaw’ was going to be my entree into the cut-throat world of documentary film-making,” said the overzealous celluloid predator, who cites Michael Moore’s ‘Bowling For Columbine’ documentary as a major creative influence.

Thursday, 17 September 2009

How the blogosphere is changing the world.

Recently I've been short of time to read other blogs as well as churn out something to put on my own, and this evening I've been playing a bit of catchup. No doubt I'm going to have to miss some stuff on the more prolific blogs, and that's not helped when I find a couple of fairly long posts that are worth reading more than once. Both are over at Thoughts On Freedom, the Australian Libertarian Society's blog. First is The Emperor's New Modem which talks about the internet, free speech and censorship, and second is RIP Big Media and goes into how three very newsworthy events were largely missed by the mainstream media in as many weeks, leaving coverage of them pretty much on teh interwebs.
Students of history, of journalism, of sociology: mark this month in your diaries. Mark this month well, because this is the month that what was formally called “mainstream” media was officially pronounced dead.


Three stories. Three weeks. First a key player in the Obama Administration fell. Then hundreds of thousands of ordinary Americans staged an unprecedented march on the White House. Finally, a national, multi-million political advocacy group was destroyed.

And Big Media was blissfully unaware.

It doing so, they have signed their own death warrant and passed the baton of scrutiny over to citizen journalists around the country.

The fourth estate is dead. Long live the fourth estate.
And here I sit doing little more than ranting, swearing and editorialising. I'm not worthy, I'm not worthy.

Seriously, go read 'em.

I'm not a Guardian reader but....

... I still think Dan Brown's books are shit.

Formula One and the latest cheats.

This is so going to be called 'crashgate', isn't it? When this first came out I found it very difficult to believe. First, if I was told to crash a car on purpose to benefit my team mate I'd tell them to fuck off - the cars are fairly safe but the risk of injury can't be ruled out. Second, to give that order to a driver gives him a huge hold over you if you both fall out later on, which given that Renault F1 later dumped Piquet Jr mid season seems to be pretty much what happened. Third, and following on from that, like all conspiracies you'd have to rely on everyone to keep shtum indefinitely. Fourth, given that the FIA wanted to ban Renault from a race just for not screwing a fucking wheel on properly, not to mention what happened with McLaren not so very long before, the likely punishment in the event of getting caught would probably be severe for all involved. In short everyone involved would have to be stupid, mad or both. So like David Coulthard I thought it seemed just a little bit too far fetched to be credible. Yet this week Renault have kicked the boss and chief engineer of its F1 team out on their arses and said that it will not be contesting the charges. What can be made of that? Either Renault expect to lose guilt or innocence notwithstanding, or there was some substance to the allegations after all. Which means that the team boss, Flavio Briatore, a man I've always felt was a prick, along with Pat Symonds and Nelson Piquet Jr, are also stupid and mad.

Looking forward to reading what fellow blogger and F1 fan Mummy Long Legs thinks of it all.

Fergie, Turkey, docos and extradition.

No doubt the conspiracy theorists will be wondering if Prince Phillip is responsible for this too.

All your genitalia are belong to us - Part 2.

One of the very first things I wrote on this blog* was on the thorny topic of abortion, its then illegality in this state, and the proposal in front of the Victorian Parliament at the time to legalise it. In particular I thought it odd that a state sufficiently liberal to no longer object to women using their vaginas to make money still wanted to exercise ownership of their uteruses.
Abortion is a crime in the State of Victoria. So what, you may say. There are plenty of other places in the world where it's illegal, and whatever your views on the issue (and for the record mine are that it's distasteful but as I'm lacking a uterus I'm not going to tell women what to do with theirs) it's not an unusual situation. I think the same applies in the Republic of Ireland, and no doubt girls who inadvertently get themselves up the duff nip over to the UK for a quickie termination. Australia's physical isolation makes that a bit tricky but a quick bit of googling shows that the law is a little less strict in New South Wales and, since 2002, abortion on demand has been legal in the Australian Capital Territory (Canberra and surrounding areas for those unfamiliar with Australian administrative divisions - think Washington DC with even weirder animals).

But here's the strange thing - Victoria is one of several States to have very liberal prostitution laws. Brothels and escort agencies have been legitimate businesses here since 1994 (though street prostitution is still illegal) and no-one gets a record for using or working in one, the girls get regular medicals and blood tests and so on. So... how come a woman has less freedom when it comes to her uterus than she has in respect to the rest of her reproductive system?
Shortly after I wrote that the Victorian Parliament voted to change the law despite predictable opposition and the state joined the ACT by legalising abortion pretty much on demand (on demand up to 24 weeks, potentially later with the agreement of two doctors). This is the only state (the ACT being a territory) to have gone this far. The rest vary, but the Sunshine State of Queensland in particular is stuck in another age.
In Cairns, a young couple await a magistrate's decision on whether they will stand trial for allegedly procuring an abortion using drugs imported from overseas. Section 225 of Queensland's Criminal Code, its wording unchanged from 1861 English law, states that ``any woman, whether she is or is not with child, who administers to herself any `noxious thing' is guilty of a crime and is liable to imprisonment for seven years''.
Wait, what? 1861? Eighteen fucking hundred and fucking sixty-one? That's nearly a century and a half ago. Can that be right? Well, this is coming from a lady by the name of Caroline de Costa, and while she isn't a lawyer she is a professor of obstetrics and gynaecology at James Cook University school of medicine in Cairns. I think it's not unreasonable to assume that she'd have a fair grasp of the law on abortion in her state.
In 2009, a 19-year-old woman faces this charge, her partner accused of assisting her. The law, written four years before Joseph Lister discovered the benefits of doctors washing their hands before operating, was intended to protect 19th-century women from unsafe abortion. It failed to do so then and is completely inappropriate for 21st-century abortion practice. Section 225 has been used once in Queensland in the past 110 years and the woman then involved was acquitted. However, it seems likely the present case will proceed.
Well, it has gone ahead and made news ten thousand miles away.
The case has caused controversy in Queensland, and polarised the debate on abortion in Australia, under whose Victorian-era laws it remains a crime in most states including Queensland.

So heated has the debate become that Ms Leach and her boyfriend have been forced into hiding after their home was fire-bombed and Mr Brennan's car was attacked.
Oh, how fucking lovely. Funny how violent pro-life people can be, isn't it?
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists is pushing for state governments to take abortion out of the criminal codes so that doctors can work under clear rules, but pro-life groups have seized on the Leach case to push their own agenda with some describing the suggestion that abortion should be decriminalised as it is in the UK as "depraved".
As depraved as the state having de facto ownership of a woman's reproductive organs? As depraved as a bunch of people who think their religious beliefs give them the right to commit violence against property and people? Look, I don't like abortion. As I said back in August 08 I find it distasteful and I think there are better options for birth control, but not having a uterus myself I'm not about to tell people who do have them what to do with them. And as a practical matter, as the professor points out, archaic and authoritarian laws just create abortion tourism.
One result has been the transfer of Queensland women urgently needing abortions interstate or to India and New Zealand. Some of these women have had diagnoses of serious foetal abnormality, some have serious conditions themselves, and some -- such as a 13-year-old transferred from a country town -- have social reasons for abortion.

As I write, the number of women transferred is estimated to exceed 30, all paid for by Queensland Health. Undoubtedly a larger number of women have gone interstate for abortions. Such abortion tourism is the result when women are denied access to the procedure at home. Until the situation is resolved and doctors feel safe in their practice, abortion tourism from Queensland will continue.
That's just the ones being paid for by the state. And if anyone thinks that won't increase they're dreaming. It's not nice but the reality is that some women will want to terminate a pregnancy. All that's being achieved in Queensland law is discrimination against those who can't afford to travel to do it, which is presumably why Queensland Health is tapping the taxpayer for the money.
Meanwhile, doctors are muzzled. Queensland Health has forbidden any contact between its doctors and the media. It also refuses to speak on their behalf, although the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists has valiantly supported Queensland Health obstetricians concerned about the law.
Fucking hell, that really helps, doesn't it? What if they speak out anyway? Will they be transported to Austral... oh.
RANZCOG specialist obstetricians head all the maternity units providing care to Queensland women in pregnancy and during birth. They are doctors who have spent at least 15 years acquiring the skills and experience to do so. Those RBWH doctors who practice in maternal foetal medicine spend further years to gain that expertise. Yet these highly qualified and compassionate doctors are unable to be heard publicly in an important debate about women's health. The only possible solution to this impasse is reform of the law so that abortion is no longer a crime in Queensland for doctors and for women. The sooner the better.
Meanwhile women will still be jumping on planes to escape Victorian attitudes, and the irony is that some will no doubt be coming to Victoria.

* In actual fact it was the second ever, and so probably no fucker ever looked at it except me, Mrs Exile, and perhaps the insane cat who likes to watch computer monitors in case the screensaver is worth playing with.

Making a killing.

Another week, another example of an appalling waste of skin brutally murdering an innocent person, and another post by the Ambush Predator* asking why the hell the bastard is kept alive.
An 85-year-old widow was brutally murdered by a drunken thug who broke every bone in her face and robbed her of £350, a court heard yesterday.
Did he have a record as long as your arm? Don’t they always…
Jobless Robert Tozer, 20, had recently been released from prison when he burgled retired teacher Joan Charlton, whom he had known as a neighbour since childhood. He repeatedly assaulted her with a bottle in the living room before searching upstairs for cash.
And that wasn’t enough:
Tozer came back downstairs to discover the injured pensioner trying to reach the phone in the hall to call for help and launched a merciless attack. He stamped on her head, cut the phone line, deactivated the fire alarm and tried to set fire to her body despite knowing she was still alive.
Tell me, why should a creature this depraved still be left sucking oxygen? Why should he spend the next 22 years eating, drinking and being attended to by pretty prison officers dedicated to 'looking after prisoners with humanity', maybe even arranging to have his every thought published on the Internet, and maybe even, if this campaign succeeds, voting in the next election?**
Well, for two reasons. One is that if there is a chance of genuine reform, no matter how slim, is it right for society to shrug its collective shoulders and say 'fuck it, let's just waste the bastard'? I'd say no. Sure, Tozer will probably be the feral two legged animal he is now for his whole life, but while I don't like sharing oxygen with the cunt and cunts just like him to actively want him killed by the state on my behalf because of the presumption that he will never reform is a step too far. Is that presumption so different from establishing a database of 11 million people on the presumption that they may be kiddy fiddlers? That brings me on to the second and much stronger reason to keep Tozer alive. The Thylacosmilus and I probably disagree on whether it's right for society to write off its scumbags as unredeemable and kill them, and fair enough because it really comes down to each of us to decide what values to hold. But as I've argued before with the Sabre Toothed One, there is a good reason for keeping the creature alive despite not feeling the remotest sympathy for him. Government power is rarely reduced and all too frequently extended. That's probably always been the case, but as we all know in Britain in the last few years the government has a terrible record at bringing in legislation which it promises will "only" be used against terrorism or organised crime or whatever the devious bastards think is needed to sell the new law to the public. However, the reality is that these new powers that the state has granted itself have been used largely against ordinary people instead. Would you really trust the power of life and death to the sort of people responsible for things like RIPA, the Civil Contingencies Act, detention without charge for weeks, the database state, the surveillance society, and so on? Would you trust the bastards whose cameras solve maybe - maybe - one crime in a thousand and watch you the rest of the time in case you do something? The bastards who use supposed anti terrorist laws to spy on people's bedrooms - their fucking bedrooms for Christ's sake - to see if they don't really live alone and should be paying more council tax? The bastards who are happy to try defendants without a fucking jury if they can't be fucking bothered to keep the jurors safe and/or free from influence? The idea of bringing the death penalty back with the sort of government Britain has these days (and seems likely to have for the foreseeable future) is frankly fucking horrifying, and one of the few positive things that I can say for the mob of self interested wankers of Westminster is that as a group they've decided not to put the issue back in the hands of the people. Anti-democratic? Yeah, probably, but I'm not the first to note that democracy is no guarantee of good things and nor is a decision democratically arrived at necessarily right, moral or just. To use a cliché 51% of a population voting to enslave the other 49% would be democratic, two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner is democratic. For that matter presuming that 11 million people might be nonces and putting them on a database is democratic, though with the British electoral system I admit that's for a fairly loose definition of the word. The point is that even if it has majority support, and I concede that it probably does, that doesn't make it right for the state, supposedly on our behalf but potentially for its own reasons, to kill someone who is wholly in its power and utterly helpless to prevent it. More importantly it's extremely unwise to trust that power to people who regularly demonstrate how untrustworthy they are.

UPDATE: and then of course there's this, but like the morality aspect I feel it's a side issue when compared to the need for us all to trust an untrustworthy state not to start executing those who don't deserve it too.

* Also here - congrats on getting an H/T from The Tele, Julia.
** Don't care too much about the possibility of him writing on the web about it. The example JuliaM links to is indeed a blog of a prisoner who claims to be a reformed murderer still inside, but he also says that prisoners do not have internet access and that he posts via mail to other people who put it on the blog for him. Firstly we don't have to read it if we object, and secondly, how the hell can anyone stop it? His mail is screened and his visits are overseen by the prison service as it is, so short of banning all communication with people outside, people who may well never have committed a crime themselves and wish to communicate with him, it simply can't be done. As I've commented before I don't want prisoners voting because despite the best efforts of the authoritarian bastards who run the place getting jailed is still largely optional in the UK at the moment, but I really can't get too worked up about cons being able to blog by proxy.

Hospital food bingo.

Fucking gold.

File sharing - not the end of the world.

Most of what I read in the media, particularly the British media, tends to upset me and further erode my faith in the human race. Now and again I see something that goes against the trend.
Internet service providers have the duty to stop illegal file-sharing costing jobs
Yells The Telegraph, or rather someone called Christine Payne. Who she? The Chairman of the Creative Coalition Campaign and General Secretary of Equity according to The Tele, who have been kind enough to print her ramblings.
As trade union delegates gather in Liverpool this week, among the issues being debated is the trade union response to illegal P2P filesharing of film, music and other creative content. Too often, this activity is seen as a “victimless crime”, with major media companies able to afford to pick up the tab. The reality is very different: without the revenue from the distribution of creative content, there will be fewer films, songs and television programmes able to be commissioned. Job losses will be felt right across the chain, from production to distribution, from technicians to manufacturers and from logistics companies to staff in high street shops.
Our members are genuinely concerned about the impact illegal filesharing is having on the future of the entertainment industry. They worry that, in a rapidly changing world, there are diminishing incentives to produce quality works, and that the incentives will disappear altogether if those who do put their time, energy, talents and capital into creating quality works find that they are unable to gain any financial benefit because the works are pirated and distributed without any return for the creator.
Unlike some libertarians I don't go so far as to want to see the end of copyright and patents and Intellectual Property in general, though I do feel that there's probably scope for reform of pretty much all areas of IP, but Christine Payne does seem to be taking the piss. I tend to agree with those older and wiser artists who see the internet and file sharing not so much as a threat but as a means to make their work more accessible than the younger ones who are demanding protectionist policies. Lily Allen of all people should understand this rather than talk about it making it harder for new acts to get known - I was under the impression that despite having a famous dad it was getting known via the fucking internet that helped launch Lily Allen's career. Free music helped her talent to become known and no doubt has also helped her bank balance to become very healthy indeed, so why does she now think it's a bad thing? Could she just possibly be talking out of her arse?

Anyway, back to Christine Payne. What it is about this that goes against the trend of my beating my fists against the wall in rage at the stupidity of the world is not Ms Payne or her thoughts but the comments that the article drew on the web, not one of which supported her. More than one pointed out that we've heard all this before when cassette taping at home was going to destroy the industry. The reality of course was rather different: Person A buys an album on tape or LP (remember those?) and Person B tapes a copy illegally. If Person B doesn't like it the tape will be over recorded with something else anyway, but if it's something they really enjoy they may well go and buy an original and/or other records by that artist. It's like giving away samples except that people who've already paid for the product are doing some of the legwork. Did everyone go on to pay for other recordings? No, of course not. There were bound to be a certain proportion of tightarses who always ponced music of others and had virtually no paid for, original, 'legit' music in their collections. But the fact that the industry didn't collapse suggests they were a minority. Home taping certainly failed to kill it and may have done more good than harm on balance. Can Ms Payne see that?
Internet service providers hold the key to creating the step change necessary to tackle illegal filesharing. It is the ISPs who have the direct relationship with customers, and all the evidence suggests that where a system is put in place for dealing with offenders, rates of piracy will fall dramatically.

...the rate at which jobs are being undermined by this issue is too urgent for ISPs not to play their role. Just as they need new television, film and music to fuel engagement with the internet, so they should live up to their responsibility to those who work in the production of the content.
It is for that very reason that my trade union and others have joined forces with the creative industries, under the banner of the Creative Coalition Campaign, to speak with one voice in support of obliging ISPs to take technical measures against persistent illegal peer-to-peer filesharers. This could include a reduction in bandwidth or even temporary suspension – albeit a very last resort.
Sorry? Why should ISPs take the responsibility? As one of the commenters said, it's like asking BT as the owner of the wires and operator of the phone service to take responsibility for crimes being plotted over the phone, though I'd say more like asking the owners of the M6 toll road to do all the enforcement and prosecuting for motoring offences. Except it's worse, because what's really being asked for is equivalent to the government making the M6 toll owners take responsibility, presumably under threat of punishment themselves if they fail to meet expectations.

Nor does Ms Payne mention how she expects it all to be done anyway. Technology moves on and file sharing will be no exception. I'm no expert but I understand that in the few years that file sharing has been around there have already been a few moves made in that particular game. There is encryption available to prevent an ISP recognising that file sharing is going on. There's something called TOR which, I'm told, makes the little bits of files being shared about hard or completely impractical to trace (don't ask me, I'm just repeating what I've been told by someone who understands it much better than I do). Much about it I don't really get but what I do know is that it won't end there. Move and counter move, move and counter move. Surely it's better to simply bite the bullet and embrace the technology, and find a way to make it work for artists rather than trying to fight it by bullying the ISPs and making it their problem. Ms Payne, its not their problem, and really it's not yours either. It's the problem of each individual artist, and it's simply up to them to make it worth the while to pay for more than is downloaded instead of expecting ISPs to be their web police. And that's before we even get on to the subject of legitimate applications for file sharing technology and how the fuck the ISPs are supposed to tell the difference between that and Lily Allen's latest album being shared.

Normally I'd probably finish a blog post with some swearing but perhaps because I've had my optimism button pushed for a change I don't feel like it. Instead I'll just refer anyone who's interested in copyright to a short story called Melancholy Elephants. I found it mentioned some time ago on another blog somewhere, and if I had the first clue whose I'd credit them for it, but as it is I just followed the link, enjoyed the read and remembered the title. It's particularly apposite since it's free to read for anyone with internet access. Lily Allen and Christine Payne could probably do with a look at it.

Oh-h-h-h-h, Mister Ma-a-a-a-a-a-ayor...

My first thought when I read that a primary school had started a school farm to educate the children was what the fuck was she thinking of? Give the poor little mites fucking complexes, why don't you? But I'd barely got to the end of the first paragraph of The Telegraph's Rowan Pelling's article on the real fallout, that animals such as a lovely little lamb are being sent for the, aha, chop before I changed my mind. Pelling makes a very good point that children can be far less sentimental than adults, and the fact that it was put to a vote and the children decided to send the lamb, who was named Marcus for some reason*, off to market for the fairly practical reason that they wanted the money to buy pigs.
Cue widespread outrage, with one parent branding Charman "a murderer", and chat-show host Paul O'Grady offering Marcus refuge on his smallholding. The doughty Charman refused to be intimidated: she scrupulously observed the democratic process and last weekend Marcus went to the great pasture in the sky.... one cuddly animal obsessive wrote on Facebook that the school should be torched.
Yep, got to wonder who the fragile minds really are, haven't you. And as Pelling points out they're hard of thinking too.
The big question is why are the protesters so terminally dim? Do they truly not see that the project bolsters their cause? Any child who understands that animals have to be killed before they end up on our plates is more likely to respect the meat on their table. They are also more likely to weight up the pros and cons of vegetarianism – as has happened with at least one pupil. And any child who helps hand rear a lamb will be more likely to oppose the cruelties of factory farming.
Well, most, probably, but there's always one... such as Tom Gleeson, the guy on the right of the panel in this clip (about two minutes in):

Mean while the fuss over the school farm that began with the parents has spread, even as far as early evening Australian TV shows, and as a result the whole project now hangs in lambo shit, sorry, I mean limbo. Yes, probably the piglets were going to end up in apple sauce too when the children looked at their economic value and decided that it would cover the cost of a cow or something, but it seems a great shame that self righteous pricks are fucking up something that really does teach something useful. It's got too damn easy to disassociate ourselves from what runs around in fields and what is under the gravy on our plates. My parents' generation knew: many, even some townies, would have kept chickens in the wartime and post war rationing years, and no doubt a few of them ended up on the menu when they stopped laying. Yes, intellectually we know, but it's not knowing knowing when it's so easy to pretend that food just comes from the shops. That's bollocks, and that appears to be the lesson Lydd Primary School and Andrea Charman are trying to get across. I didn't learn it in school but by fishing and eating what I caught - after hiring the boat for the fishing trip it must have been many times the price of buying the same sort of fish in the supermarket, but having personally dragged a couple of the buggers out of the water before belting them over the head with a stick I can honestly say that I harbour no illusions about fish being like a miniature orange railway sleeper. The same goes for meat since I shop at markets where it's often still recognisable, rabbits being only the most obvious example, and while I've never shot at another living creature I could cheerfully do so to fill my stomach**. And as Pelling points out, learning that lesson and breaking down that disassociation between animals and food is surely a good thing for animal welfare in the long run. If more schools did something like it at the least there'll be a few kids turn veggie because of it, and since that would be a better educated choice I'd still call it a good thing even while tucking into a nice bloody steak. And even the ones who don't go veggie would hopefully take more of an interest in the welfare of animals that are destined for the chiller section of the supermarket. Unfortunately the sort of mentality we're dealing with is also the kind that calls for Lydd Primary to be burned to the ground and would ideally like the world to stop eating meat overnight. No doubt PETA*** will soon have some unbearably self righteous fuckwits waving signs and sitting naked in cages on the way to kent if they're not outside the school already, but while I have little but contempt for PETA I'll credit them with this: they're at least consistent with their message, which is more than can be said for some of the protesting parents who I don't doubt have been putting meat in front of their kids for years before this school farm thing came along. Maybe the lesson was most needed by some of them rather than their children.

* 'Marcus'? For fuck's sake, Come on. Surely it should have been Larry. And why give it a names all? I suppose the kiddies named it but I wonder why we do that? Pets, yes, but farm animals? Would anyone name individual fruit or chocolate bars? So why an animal that will, or even just might, become food? And why not name it Adolf or Mugabe instead as suggested on that video clip? Would people get upset about it if it'd been called Osama bin Lamb Dins or something?
** I don't actually hunt and the idea of hunting purely for sport doesn't interest me. Quite the opposite in fact, though here in Australia there are enough pest species to hunt that it's hard to oppose someone shooting an animal that they actually have no intention of eating if it's one that has no business being here in the first place. Here I could probably bring myself to shoot a wild pig and not eat it, but not in Europe unless it was going to be on the menu later.
*** Please Eat the Tasty Animals?

A win for greenies is a win for sceptics.

As I said about this back in March,
There have been plenty of people who have said that believing in man made global warming is no different from a religion. Usually they point to the fact that people are expected to believe in it unconditionally and without question, and do quasi-religious little rituals that achieve somewhere between "hard to work out" and "fuck all".
The Cat Counters have just said much the same, adding a sweet little dig that Big Eco and its mouthpieces have been telling the world that it's not a belief, it's settled science dammit.

The other thing I said back in March was
I'm no lawyer but the Employment Equality (Religion and Belief) Regulations, 2003 sound an awful lot like something designed to protect freedom of religious expression and to stop people being discriminated against for religious beliefs. And it also sounds pretty much like that's the argument.
At a pre-hearing review at an employment tribunal in London, tribunal head David Sneath ruled on a point of law that: "In my judgment, his belief goes beyond a mere opinion."
Followed by a lot of laughter and a sincere hope that the low food miles nut job won his case. Since he has now won that means we can treat the belief in man made global warming for what it is: a fucking belief. As a bonus I wonder if other philosophical beliefs will be given similar treatment in courts now the precedent has been set. Would someone with strong libertarian philosophical beliefs get the support of a British court if they objected to CCTV cameras, ID cards, databases and all the mechanisms of the modern British surveillance state? Perhaps it's time to start using this shit they come up with against them, though lets remember that the UK has disposed of jury trials when it's not convenient for the government, so let's not get too optimistic.

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The government is Mother, the government is Father.

Four months ago there was the woman judged (by some officious local authority pricks, natch) too stupid to be a parent. Now we have, courtesy of an entirely different yet probably quite similar bunch of officious local authority pricks, a wedding called off because the bride has been judged too stupid to get married. I've read it several times now and it still feels like I've dropped through a space-time wormhole linking Earth to the planet Cunt.
Social workers...
It would be, wouldn't it. The annoying thing, well, one of the annoying things, about it is that I've known a couple of social workers and I have a lot of respect for them. They do their best and they work hard and are passionate about what they do, and I feel terribly sorry for them when some shit munching authoritarian cuntspasm who shares a job title with them makes their whole profession look bad.
Social workers banned a young woman from her own wedding in an extraordinary row over whether she is bright enough to get married.
Kerry Robertson, who has mild learning difficulties, was told her wedding was being halted just 48 hours before she was to walk up the aisle with fiance Mark McDougall.
Two days? Nice touch, very nice. You're all heart, aren't you? Cunts.
Miss Robertson, 17, had bought her wedding dress and the couple had booked the church ceremony, bought the rings and organised a reception to be held last Saturday.
But two days before they were due to say their vows in front of 20 guests, social services told the bride-to-be that she would have to cancel the big day because she 'did not understand the implications of getting married'.
Given the UK's divorce rate in recent years that's an accusation that could be levelled at millions of people, quite possibly including some paid up members of Mensa. But aside from that does this sound to anyone else like a load of hysterical bollocks on the part of the social services mob? I mean how fucking bright to they think someone needs to be to get what marriage is about? For fuck's sake, children get a reasonable idea from fairy stories - when the last page of the book says that the princess and the prince "lived happily ever after" we don't sit down afterwards and explain things further. It's fucking crystal already. How daft do they think this young woman is? And how the fuck would they know in the first place?
Miss Robertson, of Dunfermline, Fife, has been in the care of her grandmother since she was nine months old after her parents were unable to look after her, with her welfare overseen by social workers at Fife council.
Sounds like the bastards think they know she's not bright enough as a direct result of the cradle-to-grave oversight of her entire fucking life. Is it just me or is that phrase 'from the cradle to the grave' sounding increasingly fucking sinister these days? She may have been looked after by her granny but it's pretty clear that the state considers itself a parent - The Parent in fact. It took her from her parents, rightly or wrongly, though I expect it never nurtured her, or praised her, or read stories, or kissed her goodnight, or put a plaster on a scraped knee and held her till the tears stopped, in other words never did a single fucking thing that normal parents do. lt gave itself in loco parentis power over her before she could even crawl and it's still fucking exercising it now. The state is Miss Robertson's mother and father (along with her Nanny and Big Brother too, though that applies to everyone) and has decided that she simply isn't up to it. Predictably enough there's little evidence beyond the usual spokesdrone and the whore phrase of "can't comment on individual cases", so it's not too clear exactly why it's thought she can't grasp the significance of getting married.
Yesterday, Miss Robertson, who is five months pregnant, said the decision was cruel.
Are they judging her on the pregnancy perhaps? Or the fact that she's pregnant by a man 8 years older than her? If so, so fucking what? She's hardly the first girl that age to get up the duff and her fiancé's age isn't exactly unprecedented either. Look, maybe she's not the sharpest knife in the drawer, I don't know and not working for Fife council I'm not about to judge one way or the other. But she understands the heartlessness of what's been done to her, her fiancé, their families and the big day they had all planned, because you'd really have to have reached stratospheric, if not government, levels of stupidity not to.

And that's not all.
She said: 'I am still so upset about everything. I know what marriage is. It is when two folks want to spend the rest of their lives together. I love Mark and I want to get married to him.'
"When two folks want to spend the rest of their lives together" - not quite how I'd put it but not far off either, and I'd be highly offended if someone whose fucking wages I help pay suggested to my face that it meant I had a room temperature IQ. How much can you add to two people wanting to spend the remainder of their lives with each other anyway? Possibly something about love and sharing and compromise, but I'd argue that when two individuals want to spend the rest of their lives together a certain amount of sharing and compromise is implied anyway, and there are enough gold diggers who weren't prevented from marrying a bank account by the timely intervention of the wise and angelic local authority angels that love looks less of a prerequisite for marriage and more of a bonus if it's there. And of course some would say that marriage is a good environment for raising children, which I personally feel is complete bollocks* but seems to be something else that Miss Robertson is able to grasp (my emphasis).
'But despite arguing with the social workers that we loved one another and didn't want our baby to be born to unmarried parents, they wouldn't budge.'
Well, I don't agree but that's just me personal opinion. If hers is that she wants her child's parents to be married, fair enough. But doesn't the fact that she's thinking of the child and its future suggest that she's given more thought to the whole marriage and family thing than the council poxcocks think she's capable of? Much more thought, I reckon.
The couple are concerned that their unborn baby, a boy they have already named Ben, could be taken away if Fife council judges Miss Robertson unable to care for him.
Oh, I wonder how the fuck they could possibly be worried about that. Remind me again... ah yes, of course. So she's fucking bright enough to fear that the same bastards who have pronounced her too thick to be a wife will, like their cuntish colleagues in Nottingham before them, say she's too stupid to be a mother as well. That doesn't sound like the thought processes of someone who needs to be watered twice a week by social services.

Looks to me like she's got just as good a grasp of what marriage means as anyone really, perhaps even a better grasp than some shallow bitch who ditches her poor starter husband when she gets bored with him***. Only time will tell, though not unless the council shitpots change their minds and allow the couple - and I'm still amazed and infuriated in equal measure at having to write 'allow' - to get married at all. And that raises another question - what's actually stopping them?
Under Scottish law, a registrar may refuse to marry a couple if he believes one or both the parties lack the mental capacity to understand what the institution of marriage is about.
In a highly unusual step, the registrar at Dunfermline Register Office refused to sanction the marriage after Fife council wrote a letter of objection.
So what happens if Miss Robertson's fiancé wrote a letter to the registrar at Dunfermline Register Office and CC'd to Fife council telling them to suck his balls because they're going to go and get married somewhere else? And if other Scottish registrars also refuse what happens if they're also told to join the ball sucking queue on the happy couple's return from England or anywhere that they're able to get married? If I was told that the fucking state refused to sanction my marriage I'd not only tell them to suck my balls but I'd inform them that they could chew on their own if they thought I was going to spend the rest of my life having my hard earned stolen before it even reached my fucking wallet just to fund the salaries of them and cunts like them, because I'd be leaving the country at the first fucking opportunity. Yeah, I did leave anyway, but you get the picture.

One final thought courtesy of Mrs Exile, who noted that the likely-to-remain-Miss Robertson will turn 18 at some point in the next year and speculated that perhaps she will then be told that she's not intelligent enough to vote either. I have to say that I think Mrs Exile is 100% wrong on that point - thick voters are highly prized by political parties of all colours and at all levels of government, and ideally they should be so stupid that they don't object to the kindly local party worker filling in the tricky forms for them and registering not only them but their underage children, dead relatives, pets and, where they have one, the fucking front lawn for postal ballots. This might be an area where Miss Robertson turns out to be not quite daft enough.

* As in sometimes it is and sometimes it isn't, but I'm sure it's no better or worse than where a couple have simply decided to stay together without bothering to seek religious or state approval** and spunking away the best part of the cost of a new car.
** And who the cunting fuck are those tools to decide who can call themselves married and who can't? Why can't anyone who wants to describe themselves as married simply do so? It doesn't have to be a marriage that this or that religion would agree to recognise any more than I give extra weight to those who think their wedding was attended by a 13 billion year old invisible friend, much less the sanction of state busybodies. If you're religious and want to think that you personally must have the right ceremony in the right flavour house of worship before you can call yourself married that's just fine, but don't impose that on the rest of us who don't believe. Equally those who want state approval for whatever reasons should be able to pop along to a registry office or other venues, which is what millions, possibly billions, of us have done - some because it's more or less the only other option. But why can't a couple who, say for the sake of argument, are both secular and libertarian, simply throw a big party with all their friends during which they announce that from then on they'd like everyone there to consider them as spouse-ified as anyone just leaving church covered in confetti and running make up? Oh, and if any friends don't think that they're really married, not really really, please would they be kind of enough not to spoil it and fucking keep it to themselves if they want an invite to the next piss up. Would that be so hard? Would that cause the end of civilization? In a nutshell, why can't the only real prerequisite to a couple calling themselves married simply be a desire to be husband and wife? Or even wife and wife or husband and husband. Once government and religion are cut out and two adults can marry simply by deciding to be married there's no bar to gays anymore, though they'd have to accept that there'd be plenty of people who wouldn't recognise the validity of their marriage and of course two gay (insert almost any religion here) are still likely to have the problem of their sexuality conflicting with holy writ. To them I'd say take it up with the man upstairs, but don't let your lives pass you by while you're waiting for an answer.
*** Yes, it could as easily be a shallow bastard ditching his starter wife, but I'm comparing Miss Robertson so the hypothetical shallow person is a bitch.

Funny how time flies.

Not only have I been busy enough that posting has dropped off a bit of late but this blog's first birthday passed unnoticed and without comment. Where the hell did that year go?

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Fucking computers.

Actually I should say 'fucking web browsers' - why can't they all do something as simple as display the fucking page the same way? For a while now I've had this blog set up with a look I like and that I'd adapted with my very limited knowledge of HTML from a Blogger template, only to suddenly find out that that's when you look at it in Safari on a Mac. Opera seems to be okay but the title and picture is slightly off in Firefox which makes the bad language warning hard to read. As for Windows, every browser seems to be wrong including the two that were right in OS X. Making it bold seems to make it stand out more but fuckety fuckety shit, I liked it the way it was. Yeah, sure, it's only my blog and hardly the end of the world but it's annoying all the same.

So, if you've never noticed the comment in the title that there will be bad language I suggest you go and buy a Mac and use Safari or Opera, and then my tendency towards Anglo Saxon won't risk offence since you'll be able to see the warning. True, I use the F bomb before you even get that far, but at least it'll look like I intended it to. On the other hand if you don't care I can learn to live with it.

These two work, but it all goes wrong from here.


UPDATE: Joe Public comments that I should stick to using Opera, which he feels is the most underrated browser out there. I tend to agree that Opera is underrated and I expect plenty of people - the type who think Internet Explorer is the only browser for example - have never even heard of it. In fact I've been using it off and on for the thick end of ten years. But in Windows it doesn't display the blog title text properly either, and I think it still doesn't play nice with the bookmark syncher I use. Synching multiple machines is the reason for using mainly Safari at the moment but I miss the mouse gestures and Apple still haven't put a duplicate tab function on the latest version, the twats. Most of my computer time is spent in OS X anyway where there's still thing that annoy me hugely, not least Apple's fucking corporate Messiah complex and their attitude to an ongoing complaint I have with them, but at least I spend more time doing what I want and vastly less swearing at it.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Things I still don't get about Australia - No. 9

When you get a till receipt at the supermarkets they fold the fucking thing up and pass it over to you with the change on top, coins on notes. Why? Do they get points for artistic impression or something? It drives Mrs Exile nuts because she then needs both hands to sort it out. Change, allow time to tip coins into purse and sort notes out, then receipt, and she'd be so much less inclined to drive celery into the eyes of the person at the till. I don't feel quite so strongly about it and tend to just ram receipt, notes and coins into a pocket where it can all scratch the screen of my phone to fuckery, but I can see where she's coming from.

UPDATE: After comments from the Thylacosmilus and Dick Puddlecote I see it's not a particularly Australian thing after all. Doesn't help me get any closer to working out why the do it though.

The reason for security chains.

Securing valuable stock..... fail!

And Apple make the fucking things with slots for Kensington security cables. Dickheads. [head/slap]

How to drive a cat insane.

You will need the following:
  • Computer
  • Web cam
  • Cat
  • Incontinence pants

Connect web cam to computer and set its output to appear on the monitor. Place web cam so as to point directly at whatever is in front of the monitor. Built in web cams on iMacs etc are ideal for this. Place cat in front of monitor and introduce it to cat inside monitor. Put on incontinence pants before you piss yourself.

Works best on cats that are already addicted to watching the monitor for lolcats and Youtube clips of cats being stupid, or have ever attempted to catch and eat the mouse cursor.

Friday, 4 September 2009

Revisionistas and bansturbation.

One of the things I can't stand is anyone who wants to burn a book because they hate or fear its contents, and those who'd ban rather than burn for the same reasons aren't much better. And so I want to talk about Tintin, being as he's such a vile little Belgian bastard that someone wants to ban one of his books.
A Congolese accountant is to launch a lawsuit in France against Tintin for racism, accusing judges in the cartoon hero's native Belgium of trying to bury his case to protect a "national symbol".
Personally I'd be too busy pissing myself laughing at the idea that Belgium is so short of national heroes that they've had to resort to a fucking cartoon character to carry on with the lawsuit, and in any case it's a little presumptuous given that the Belgians might well go for Jean-Claude Van Damme or Hercule Poirot instead. Or any one of heaps of people (less the notorius criminals on that list of course), most of them completely unknown to me but I imagine more worthy of respect among Belgians than some fucking dot-eyed quiff haired prick in plus fours that only exists in the print anyway.
Bienvenu Mbutu Mondondo, 41, is taking legal action claiming Hergé's controversial Tintin In The Congo is propaganda for colonialism and amounts to "racism and xenophobia".
Possibly it was colonialist propaganda, but unless we're to believe that Belgium is actually considering an invasion and re-colonization of the Democratic Republic of the Congo any colonialist propaganda past or present is pretty irrelevant, isn't it? As for the racism and xenophobia part, again it's possibly true though more in a casual and patronizing "white man's burden" way. And again, so what? I know it's offensive but the world is fucking jam packed with things that offend me and nobody seems to give a fuck. Almost certainly no one court would seriously give consideration to banning something just because it gets on my tits. When will people wake up and realize that there's no fucking right to not ever be offended by something. Hurt feelings are not a reason to press the ban button.
"Tintin's little (black) helper is seen as stupid and without qualities. It makes people think that blacks have not evolved," he said.
Personally it just makes me think that Hergé was a twat, albeit in a way that was a product of the time he lived in. Were he born in the 1970s and started his cartoons in the 90s I expect they'd be less liable to upset Mr Mbutu Mondondo.
Mr Mbutu Mondondo launched a case in Belgium two years ago for symbolic damages of one euro from Tintin's Belgian publishers Moulinsart, and demanded the book be withdrawn from the market.
But since then his lawyer, Claude Ndjakanyi, said there had been no response from Belgian justice. "Our request to access the dossier was judged premature even though the investigation has been running for two years," he said.
Ah, now it's quite fair to get annoyed about that. Clearly the Belgian court are taking the piss out of him by taking such a long time to say: "The book stays. Fuck off."
Mr Ndjakanyi claimed the silence was politically motivated: "It's the symbol of Belgium that is under attack." The lawyer said he would launch parallel proceedings in France and go "all the way to the European Court of Human Rights if necessary".
Perhaps it is politically motivated, though again I'm chuckling away at the notion of Tintin being the best symbol the Belgians have got. If he really thinks that's true then Mr Mbutu Mondondo could be ripping the piss out of them for it instead of nursing the chip on his shoulder and suing in another country because he thinks it's more likely he'll get his way.
In 2007, British race watchdogs pulled the book from children's shelves and attacked the Tintin cartoons for making black Africans "look like monkeys and talk like imbeciles".

Well, some people certainly look like monkeys and sound like fucking imbeciles, but they're not black Africans.
Moulinsart, Tintin's publishers, argued that the whole row was "silly" and that book must be seen in its historical context: "To read in the 21st century a Tintin album dating back to 1931 requires a minimum of intellectual honesty," it said. "If one applied the 'politically correct' filter to great artists or writers, we could no longer publish certain novels of Balzac, Jules Verne, or even some Shakespeare plays."
Mr Ndjakanyi said this argument did not wash. "When the album was written there was no legal disposition incriminating racism. In 2009 there is. This isn't about history but the law."
No, it is about history and how we can learn from it. Mbutu Mondondo and his lawyer should consider that if those who forget the lessons of history are frequently doomed to repeat them then those who would deliberately bury a chunk because it offends them are likely to be partly responsible for future repeats. But I agree with the lawyer that it is also about the law - specifically whether we can ever apply it retrospectively and remain fair. I'd suggest Me Mbutu Mondondo gets over it and himself and gets on with his life.

Freedom of association under attack.

I have very little time for or common ground with Nick Griffin or the BNP - I think they're wrong on immigration and free trade, which I support and they don't, and also on corporal and capital punishment, protectionism, re-nationalization of certain industries, which they want and I'm dead set against. I disagree with many of their policies on education, health, housing, the environment and several other issues* as well. So sitting here feeling a little bit of sympathy for them is not entirely comfortable, but once again the reasons for that sympathy is being manufactured by the witless fucktards of the equality establishment.
The Equality and Human Rights Commission is taking the BNP to court over its constitution, which it says breaks the Race Relations Act.
The EHRC said it had not been informed of any move to change the party's constitution, which it argues is discriminatory.
Presumably the part of the BNP's constitution that the EHRC has got it's collective cock in a knot over is this bit from the membership section:
2) The indigenous British ethnic groups deriving from the class of ‘Indigenous Caucasian’ consists of members of: i) the Anglo-Saxon folk community; ii) the Celtic Scottish folk community; iii) the Scots-Northern Irish folk community; iv) the Celtic Welsh folk community; v) the Celtic Irish folk community; vi) the Celtic Cornish folk community; vii) the Anglo-Saxon-Celtic folk community; viii) the Celtic-Norse folk community; ix) the Anglo-Saxon-Norse folk community; x) the Anglo-Saxon Indigenous European folk community; xi) members of these ethnic groups which reside either within or outside Europe but ethnically derive from them.
3) Membership of the party shall be open only to those who are 16 years of age or over and whose ethnic origin is listed within sub-section 2.
Okay, I assume that all this talk of folk communities doesn't mean that the BNP is restricting membership to hemp wearing people with fiddles, banjos and guitars singing songs about basket weaving, and does in fact mean that the BNP are indeed the kind of racially exclusive shit munching bastards they're usually painted as. But while I may despise them for being unreasonably choosy over membership why shouldn't they be when it's their party? There are any number of organizations which exclude various groups for whatever reason and generally nobody gives a fuck about it because it doesn't really matter. I imagine I wouldn't be allowed to join an electricians' union because I'm not an electrician, and not too incredibly my life feels no more or less complete for it. Ah, you might say, but I could retrain and become an electrician, couldn't I? Well, yes, but I am also excluded from membership of the Lyceum Club and not a few other organizations because I'm short of a vagina and once again it's a matter of supreme indifference to me, as it should be for any other man. Christ, if excluding half the population from the Lyceum for having a Y chromosome is good enough for Madam Governor General of Australia, a former discrimination commissioner incidentally, then why should we men worry about it? And fair enough, the GG is excluded from the men only membership Melbourne Club next door to the Lyceum for similar reasons, despite the membership of the Melbourne Club traditionally going along with the post of Governor General. Somehow I can't imagine the GG sobbing into her pillow over it. I'd be astonished if there aren't similar clubs, both male only and female only, in the UK as well, and that's before we consider the Girl Guides, the Boys' Brigade, the WI and any number of sports that are split along gender lines (albeit in the interests of fair competition rather than exclusivity or discrimination). So why get all bent out of shape and take legal action because a bunch of xenophobic twats want to make their little organization white only, I mean open only to the Anglo-Saxon folk community, the Celtic Scottish folk community, the Scots-Northern Irish folk community, etc etc?

I think the big difference is that the various organizations that exclude along gender lines, and perhaps also a few who may also do so ethnically, there is no ill will harboured towards those who aren't able to apply to be members. Sure, the Melbourne Club and other men only clubs may well have a number of misogynistic old farts who want to keep the men only environment to preserve their personal haven away from the fairer sex, and equally there are probably a few misandrists who hold men beneath contempt lurking among the ladies' clubs, but I very much doubt the clubs themselves hold either view as official these days. That's quite a bit different from an organization which is not only political but excludes along lines of ethnicity because it is...
... pledged to the restoration of the unity and integrity of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland [and] believes that the indigenous peoples of the entire British Isles, and their descendants overseas, form a single brotherhood of peoples, and is pledged therefore to adapt or create political, cultural, economic and military institutions with the aim of fostering the closest possible partnership between these peoples [and] stands for the preservation of the national and ethnic character of the British people and is wholly opposed to any form of racial integration between British and non-European peoples [and] is therefore committed to stemming and reversing the tide of non-white immigration and to restoring, by legal changes, negotiation and consent, the overwhelmingly white make up of the British population that existed in Britain prior to 1948.
Again, straight from their own constitution, and I don't like even reading it. I think it's stupid and offensive, but there's no law against stupidity and no enshrined right that nothing will ever cause offence. To paraphrase what's usually attributed to Voltaire, I may disagree with what they say there and even despise the cunts for believing it but I defend their right to hold and articulate their views, even if they do offend me. And if I believe they have the right to speak their views freely then it's no great leap to say that they also have the right to grant membership in accordance with their views. Is this supporting the BNP? No, because I'm not supporting them specifically but the principle of people being free to associate as they choose, and if we deny it to one group for a good reason, such as being a bunch of xenophobic twats, then it's only a matter of time before some government cunt tries to deny it to others for a bad reason, such as being a unionist or a member of an opposition party or part of a protest against the kind of government that denies natural liberties to its citizens. The BNP may be arseholes that I'd cross the street to avoid but on this, bitterly and with loathing, I stand with them. The EHRC should be told to go fuck themselves, partly for their illiberal attitudes and partly because I'd quite like to be able to go back to disliking the BNP as soon as possible, please.

And there's a final thought I want to share. If you're a business owner then wouldn't you see a racist competitor as a good thing? When hiring you get to choose from all the potential talent while the cockwad across town asks for photos to be attached to CVs and chucks any that came from people who are the wrong colour, and while he restricts his profits by his shitty treatment of certain people, maybe even shutting the door on them, you benefit from seeing only the colour of money when those same people come to your door instead. Fuck, I wish we were competing with a racist tool who'd drive customers to us for free, but then there'd probably be someone like the EHRC forcing him grudgingly to fake a smile and accept the money of those he hates. Nice job, you total fuckwits.

* Do I disagree with them on everything? Well, no. There are some things they propose that I'd agree with, but since there are also a few details on which I agree with the LibDems and the Tories, fuck, even the fucking Labour Party, thinking the BNP are right on a few points does not make me a BNP supporter. I just want to make that crystal clear. The fact is their policies contain enough deal breakers for me that if you put a gun to my head and told me to choose between Gordon Clown and NuLabour running the country or Nick Griffin and the BNP then I'd go for the monocular mentalist every time - the Scottish one that is. Of course, in time I might come to regret not taking the bullet instead.

Gun laws keeping everyone safe again..... not!

Two points occur to me about the two teens accused of planning a Columbine copycat attack on their school in Manchester. First is that there's a lot of referring to journals where there was talk of walking from room to room shooting people and eventually turning the guns on themselves just as the two Columbine headcases did, yet I haven't seen anything anywhere about the police recovering firearms. Okay, maybe they just hadn't got around to getting them before they were arrested. Skip that and move on to point two: if the prosecution's case is to be believed then all this death and destruction was planned despite Britain's draconian gun laws, and indeed despite the various laws against the actual death and destruction. Even assuming that they'd have been unable to get firearms in the end, and as I've blogged before that's by no means guaranteed (see this and this for stories of items banned by the Firearms Acts that have turned up in Britain anyway, to say nothing of guns in the hands of real criminals and gangs), how would they have been prevented from assembling explosives from legally available products? Just like, oooh, David Copeland and Timothy McVeigh (who the accused teens supposedly looked up to) and other assorted fucknuckles.

You can't wish away the danger posed by the tiny minority of loons, headcases, religious nutjobs, deluded psychos and other fucking defectives that these various cunts came from by waving the legislative wand and banning guns, okay? You. Just. Fucking. Can't. But if the aim is for governments to be seen "taking action" and for the general population to develop a cosy but false sense of security, well then gun laws are just the fucking job.

Uncomfortable viewing

Down here in the bottom right hand corner of Australia the Royal Commission into what went right and what went wrong in dealing with the Black Saturday bushfires back in February is still newsworthy, so it's impossible to look at what's been going on in Greece and California without feeling a great deal of empathy. Not least with the Americans who I believe regularly send help to Australia for our bushfire season, and who in return probably have a number of visiting firefighters who speak fluent Strine.

Good luck, stay safe.
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