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March 27, 2005

BritBlog Roundup # 6

Yes, it’s that time of the week again, that late Sunday afternoon that Douglas Adams called the long dark teatime of the soul and it’s time for the BritBlog Roundup again. As you know, any post by a citizen or resident of the four nations that make up these Isles is eligible and while you’re too late to add to this week’s, please do send your nominations for inclusion next time to britblog AT gmail DOT com. We’re hoping to use your powers of discrimination to show us all the good stuff hiding out there in other blogs. Do not think that because I am a foam flecked, froth at the mouth libertarian, that such posts need to agree with my prejudices Bayesian priors. What do you think is good that should be shown to a wider audience.

First up is the Professor, Norman Geras, otherwise known as the Norm of that Blog, looking at and questioning why when analogies are made to Nazi barbarisms, people tend to use war on terror ones, rather than more obviously similar atrocities.

Second is the Blithering Bunny (see, two academics in a row...high tone place this) has some advice for the Tories. Good stuff too.

Keith at Sortapundit is blegging. He can’t afford to repair the car he depends upon to keep his job. Pay him a visit and he’s got an ad there which will move money from US real estate agents to British car mechanics. Takes 30 seconds ...I was a little surprised to see that my lead went to someone I actually used to know vaguely. Still 3 quid is better of with Keith than her I feel. He’s applied for an internship at CND. Given the application I can’t wait to see the response.

Nick Barlow fails to be cynical enough. Nick is also organising a blog roundup to provide daily reports on the election. Might be an idea for politically minded bloggers to give him a hand. I can think of a few big US bloggers who would link regularly.

Nosemonkey points to the Zimbabwean, a Guardian supported web version of a paper opposing Mugabe’s thuggery. He’s right, we all should support such a venture, even if it does show the Grauniad in a good light. He also asks for your votes in the Guardian weblog awards, and as EUrophobe seems to not be being updated he may well deserve it. Check out the other awards you can vote on at that site as well. (And why wasn’t this blog nominated? Huh, lefties, sheesh)

Francis earns two entries as he has been following the travails of l’escroc Chirac as he wanders around the world. He is also the proud father of that little google bomb in the previous sentence, EU Serf preferring Kickback Jacques.

Blood and Treasure ponders the reluctance of the insane to embrace new technology.

Harry Hutton manages to be concise, extraordinarily funny and in the grossest of taste all at the same time. To be fair I will admit to desiring the talent to be able to do that. Both I and Backword Dave thought this should go in.

Fans of the round ball game should check out Arseblog for all things Arsenal related and Liam, who recommended it also wants Twenty Major to make another appearance. Quite right too as he is screamingly funny (although a little freer with the obscenties than one might use in front of one’s mother) and since I was directed to him in the first of these roundups my only question is why isn’t he on everyone’s blogrolls already?

Now, we all know there's a little bit of tension between the Israelis and the Palestinians - something akin to the problems that exist between the northside and southside of Dublin but obviously not quite so intense. So anyway, these witless twerps launch a campaign with a picture of an Israeli number 10 shirt with the words 'Say no to apartheid' on it as a stinging rebuke of Israel's policies.

What Jim Bowen (not the presenter of TV's favourite darts show Bullseye but of University College Cork), spokesman of the Ireland-Palestine Solidarity Campaign didn't realise is that the number 10 shirt is worn by a bloke called Walid Badir who is a Palestine Arab and one of the most popular players in Israel.

He also didn't realise that 30% of the players in the Israeli league are Palestinian Arabs, that an Arab team are the current champions and that football is one of the only things that Israelis and Palestinians do together which doesn't include plastic explosives, buses and cafés.

(That’s the only bit I can extract without bowdlerising. Such an intense level of detailed knowledge must be frustrating for another teacher at the same institutiton, the writer of the excellent Atlantic Blog.)

Jarndyce takes issue with those who think that sorting out the world is a doddle and also recommends Mr S&M on post capitalism. Anyone interested in economics should be reading  that blog.

Anglo Saxon Chronicle actually nominates Hansard, not quite a qualifier but as he says Well come on it is the oldest, boring and sometime funny blog on the net.

Phillip at Cabalamat looks at what Britain could but won’t do in Zimbabwe and also reveals the shocking truth about the principles of the modern Labour Party.

Captain Oates has been Friday animal blogging....very funny indeed. Could start a new trend there.

Liberal England is both interesting and correct on the divorce of Nu Labour from classical liberalsim. It’s odd to think that those regarded as weird libertarians, people like me, are closer to such classical liberalism than most self-proclaimed liberals (not Liberals, you understand).

Scott at the Daily Ablution continues his merciless fact checking of the press, in the process doing something that they are most reluctant to do, correct errors. Well done that man.

Not Proud of Britain rewrites the Liberal Democrats ten commandments.

ChikYog sends us to Jim Bliss and his take on drilling in the ANWR. It’s an interesting perspective, even though I disagree a little with the economic background he uses(Tim, stop imposing your views. This is about the other bloggers! Ed.)

Neil Craig, at A Place To Stand, is excellent (more opinion showing through Tim. Ed) on the specific problem associated with socialism, that it appears to have no negative feedback.

Stuff and Nonsense writes about what it is to be and feel British. I think he captures it perfectly in his last lines. Absolutely spot on.

Sean Thomas needs to be checked out. Not only a real journalist, ladies man and survivor of more drugs than I care to think about but also a man who named his blog The Toffee Womble. How can that not appeal?

The Future is a Foreign Country wants your help in deciding what animal the EU would be if it were one. As you know my preference is a dead one but there are more interesting ideas there.

Late but not forgotten, Andrew Ian Dodge has a guest entry from Guido Fawkes.

So that’s it, this week’s BritBlog Roundup. Sorry it’s a little short but then you see, you have to send to me the things that you think should be in it. Otherwise, how am I ever going to be able to take advantage of you by leading me to all the good stuff?

One final point. You’ll notice all those blue ads floating around the place. If you click through and sign up (it’s free, no credit card, validation, software downloads or anything) for the demo or request the brochure I get a little drink out of it, and as this is indeed my birthday that might be a nice thing for you to do. Takes 90 seconds to do both but the site really only works in IE.

March 27, 2005 in BritBlog Roundup | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

New Blog on the Block.

Many of you will know Bussorah, who runs the Wicked Thoughts blog. Check out the new one, Strange Justice, devoted to odd legal judgements. Both funny and disturbing.

March 27, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack



Bird ie



Repeat, ending line dear Tim eee

Yes, thank you, it’s a lovely day so far. Nice presents, chat with the ’rents, many of you have sent kind emails over the past couple of days, and most of all, quite against all logic, it appears that my family and friends still love me. Best present ever.

March 27, 2005 in The Blogger Himself | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Did You Remember?

Spring Forward, Fall Back.

March 27, 2005 in Trivia | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Mary Riddell Has a Good Idea.

But first, our leaders need to fight any idea that public policy should be shaped by the personal credo of a minority. Forget dog-whistle politics. The siren call of the dogmatists is the sound that we should fear most.

Right, so that’s Polly out of politics and social justice, Georgie Boy is no longer allowed to influence policy on the environment, Jonathan Porritt (he’s a CBE you know, terribly important man) is to shut up about sustainable development, Greenpeace is to stop running political campaigns, PETA is to be banned from talking to politicians, FOE can take a running jump, in short, anyone who has strong views on any subject is not to be listened to on that subject.

It also apears to mean that the 200,000 odd members of the Labour Party, including all their MPs and Ministers, should not influence public policy. I’m OK with that, good idea Mary.

March 27, 2005 in Politics | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Hutton Really Doesn’t Get It.

Will Hutton’s piece today isn’t bad (despite his mention of Layard’s "Happiness", where he manages to avoid the grand errors of that book), on the face of it, yet he manages to miss the basic point. What he calls social activism and Maggie Thatcher the small battalions have a long and valued tradition in British life, quite rightly so. And then he goes and spoils it:

This week is Social Enterprise Week, and also when the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship - the Davos of social entrepreneurship - convenes for three days at Oxford's Said Business School.

The declared aim is to bind the gamut of individuals and organisations who engage in social activism into a coherent philosophic whole; whether they are individuals improving water supply in African villages or British-based not-for-profit organisations promoting energy efficiency, what they are all about is finding ways of creating new social networks that create civic, social and public value which would otherwise not take place or elude the state.

The entire damn point of these volunteers, these people who do things for their fellow Britons from the goodness of their hearts, is that they are not part of a philosophic whole, not part of an organised movement. The old style Tory position, that there are swathes of life that should not be run by politics, should be independent, organised by individuals, is to my mind the correct one. The very fact that over the past century so many of these things have been subsumed by the State, made a part of politics, is exactly the problem with much of our society.

Please, no conferences, no philosophies, no over-arching structures. Leave civil society alone and let people get on with it as they wish....that is, after all, why they are called volunteers. 

March 27, 2005 in Economics | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Racist Britain

Apparently Britain is a vicious and racist society:

Ethnic minorities living in parts of Britain are now four times more likely to have suffered from racism than they were before the last general election, according to one of the most exhaustive studies of race and crime, undertaken by The Observer .

Sounds like a good reason to bring back the Tories, eh? However, from this stunning lede, the story then deteriorates:

Between 2000 and 2004 racist incidents reported to the police in England and Wales - anything from verbal abuse to the most vicious of assaults - rose from 48,000 to 52,700.

Ah, more like a 10% rise. Now this is just supposition on my part, but that could be accounted for by a rise in the seriousness with which people take such attacks, perhaps even by an expansion of the definition of what is and is not a racist attack.

North Wales Constabulary recorded 80 racist incidents in 2000. Last year that jumped to 337, meaning that more than 4 per cent of the region's 6,000 ethnic minorities experienced some form of racial intolerance.

Again, merely supposition on my part, but might it not be possible that this is a result of a change in policing habits?

In Cumbria, now statistically the most racist region in England and Wales, reports of racist incidents more than doubled, and have affected more than 6 per cent of the population.

Really? I’d be surprised if 6% of the population of Cumbria were in fact "ethnic" and thus able to be so affected. As the population is some 490,000 that would imply 29,000 odd racist incidents....which when set against the above national figure looks a little odd. Of course, they mean 6% of the minority population, butsuch statements all too often take on a life of their own. How long before someone quotes this back to us, that 6% of the population has suffered from a racist attack?

Racism and racist attacks are a problem, one that should be addressed (to my mind by the simple application of the criminal law. An attack is an attack, whatever the colour of the participants or the motives for it.), but shoddy reporting of surveys like this doesn’t help very much.

March 27, 2005 in The English | Permalink | Comments (6) | TrackBack

Quote of the Day.

But there is one thing that those of us who are well clear of our teens can certainly do: it is to gaze at today's adolescents - miserably corpulent, windily constipated and sourly copulating with partners they despise - and pray that there is no such thing as reincarnation.

Kevin Myers.

March 27, 2005 in Trivia | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Employment Statistics.

"We were also rather amazed to see that government has hired 5,000 more town planners. What do these people actually do?"

Apparently, fail to advise fuckwit. ( I note that the Google Bomb no longer works. That’s fine, I know that such things fail after a time. The current site for that word is a great deal of fun.)

March 27, 2005 in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

You Read it Here First Folks.

Feel the power of blogs. A full ten days ahead of the press. You read it here first folks.

(I should point out that most think the site a hoax.)

March 27, 2005 in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack