I do hope that you all remembered that the clocks went back last night (this is only relevant for UK readers).
A quick award,
The Award for Having To Work On The Night That The Clocks Go Back,
This goes to my Brother who had to work last night. Oh and everyone else who had to work to but you didn't fill my phone's inbox with rant filled texts for most of yesterday.
A couple of years ago I worked the night the clocks went back and I can assure you that it is the single most depressing incident in my life.
Working at night is bad enough but just when you think you are making progress at getting through it, at 2am it suddenly becomes 1am again and you have to go struggle on for another hour. That and the fact that we didn't get paid for that extra hour. My Brother did get paid for it though so don't feel too sorry for him.
There is a story from last week that I forgot to put in. It seems the the Brass Eye special on the media's coverage of Paedophilia was, in fact, a documentary and not a biting satire.
I think that it was this program that lead to my most favourite Daily Mail headline ever “Ban This Sick Filth”. Anyway, on with the story.
Parents in the US are downloading maps that show them were registered sex offenders live so that their children can avoid these houses when they go Trick or Treating at Halloween (for a scared of anything non-Christian, atheists are evil and will eat your babies country, they really do go in for this Pagan festival in a big way), or at least were they used to live.
Umm, there are a number of things here. The first and perhaps must important one is that the maps only show registered sex offenders. So all over those who are not registered or have yet to be caught are not on these maps. There is also the point that the data is spectacularly out of date. People do move house you know. Can you imagine how you would feel if your house wrongly came up on one of these maps?
The other thing that fails to get mentioned in the hysteria (I don't think that that is to strong a word) is that for those unfortunate enough to be attacked, which is a very small percentage, most of the perpetrators will be people that the children know.
You wouldn’t know from the Media coverage of the subject but “Stranger Danger” isn't a very big danger at all, “Parent Danger” is a much bigger problem but you can't really do CRB checks on all people who want to or have children so it is not discussed.
If, however, you do and try and protect children with, say, a scheme that gets people who regularly have unsupervised contact with children, say by driving them to football practise or any other organised club, then it is nanny state-ism. There is no logical debate in this country.
If we did have sensible debate and used best practise and empirical studies to decide the best course of action rather than debating from our own entrenched ideological positions then we would have children's formal education starting at 6. But why would a Government listen to the most comprehensive review of Primary Education for 40 years when it ignores all the other reviews that it doesn't like the results of, even if it was a review that they started.
Oooh, and then there was “naked” body scanners at airports. They have been trialled for a while all over the world with no real problems but the idea has now been dropped because of fears about child porn. I'm not really sure what the problems are but the Daily Mail is and that's what is important. Again we have the mentality that if you see a naked child you are a paedophile no matter what the circumstances and context are.
I forgot to mention that there was 1 Princess Diana front page this week and yes, it was on the front of the Daily Express, how did you guess?
The Catholic Church seems to be offering place to C of E clergy who sort of want to convert because they don't want to serve under woman Bishops and because they don't like the Anglican Church's “liberal” views on homosexuality.
I have talked before about the church's sexist employment policy before but I will make the point again.
Can you imagine if a company said “we will only employ woman up to this lowly level”? Can you imagine the fuss that would be made if they decided their employment policy was based on societal attitudes from 2000 years ago? “Well Jesus only choose man for his disciples” is their argument, well true, but they also stoned people to death and nailed your “Saviour” to some 2x4 and left him their to die. Just interested to see which bits of the culture you are keen on. And the “liberal” on gays thing. Is the Anglican Communion liberal on Gay issues? That really depends upon where you’re starting from doesn't it. If you are of the view that they should all be killed (or Jan Moir) then not wanting them all to be killed is quite Liberal. However, if you are a nice person then the Anglicans can hardly be described as even close to liberal.
Remember, they are allowed to say and do what they want. To offend as many people as they like but woe betide you if you think you have the right to do the same. To argue against them. Point out flaws in their logic. They claim that you are being intolerant or just plain mean.
Your favourite institutions are under threat. The BBC and the Royal Mail.
The Tories are threatening to rip the heart out of the lovely BBC. I don't understand what their problem is. I understand why the Daily Mail hates it. It is a commercial rival and more people like it then them. They don't like the fact the BBC is pretty impartial and has a tendency to be reasonable even handed. It isn't judgemental. It isn't mean and unpleasant to people it doesn't like. In fact it is all the things that the Daily Mail isn't. But what do the Tories have against it? It's good to them.
Just a quick mention of Nick Griffin on Question Time. Yes he should have been on there and Bonnie Greer was fantastic. Jack Straw was rubbish though. I would have liked them to have given the ghastly man (Nick Griffin not Jack Straw) a little more rope with which to hung himself. Metaphorically obviously.
The BBC, however, was less than fantastic. They should have just got him on, done the programme and got him off. No more, no less. They have decided though to go on and on about it which does have him publicity rather than just being on the programme that just made him look like a fool. The KKK are “almost totally non-violent”, for instance.
What has been amusing has been the response of the printed media which has gone into over drive in pointing out how horrid Nick Griffin is whilst, at the same time, printing stories that seem to completely agree with everything that he says. I was going to put some links here too show you what I mean but a nice man has already done a blog about it, so click here to see it.
Me thinks they protest to much.
Oh and those who do protest against him, will you please behave yourself. I’m looking at you UAF. Stand there with your placards and shut up. Don't break into the BBC building. Don't hassle his car. He just gets the chance to play the victim again, which he does very well. The same goes to those who sent rude and offensive Emails to Jan Moir; don't do it. You undermine our argument. We need our behaviour to be beyond reproach so not to give them any ammunition.
We also need to fight their ill-informed argument with facts and logic.
Immigration, for instance, is vital for our economy. A survey released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) this week said that the population of this country will rise to 70 million in about 24 years time. This was wonderful news for the right wing press who were all over that bit of the study.
They do seem to have missed out some other demographic changes that were pointed out by this study.
The number of people over 90, for instance is set to quadruple. Who’s going to pay for all those years of pension and increased NHS costs? That will have to be yours, mine and migrant workers taxes then.
They then argue that we are all turning Muslim. Well there are 2.4 million of them. And how many of us are there? Well about 58.6 million of who aren't Muslim. I think we can take them if it comes to it. There also seems to be 46.2 million who describe themselves as Christians. Again, I think you have them out numbered.
“But they get all the council houses.” No they don't. We have covered this before so here is a paragraph from a Blog that I wrote in June,
“When the BNP were elected to a local council in on a ticket that was very similar to to Gordon Brown's rhetoric, a study was carried out to find out what percentage of council homes had gone to local people. Of the 12069 homes that have been allocated by the council, 12068 went to long term local residents. 99.9% of council housing went to local people and not immigrants. Proper engagement with people on issues raised by the BNP proved that the BNP are liars. This is how Gordon Brown should deal with them, not shift towards their position because it is easier. If you spend time with people, dealing with their problems in a sensible and grown up way, arguing your point, showing were they are wrong and they will come round to your way of thinking. Oh and build some more council houses as we haven't really built any for 30 years.”
Ok so that is that covered then. Racist are idiots.
Let’s move on to that other cherished institution the Royal Mail. You should love your Postman and support him or her in her strike.
I'll run through the reason quickly as I have gone on a bit this week. The things that you don't like about Royal Mail are not the workers fault.
Branches closing, that will be management. The loss of the second post, management's fault. Your post turning up really late, again, that will be a management decision that leads to that. The post office made £300million last year. Invest that in modernisation and not reducing jobs and pay.
And the Tory plan to privatise the poor thing. That is a very bad idea indeed. Yes, for ideological reasons but also because you won't get a better service.
Can you think of an 80's Privatisation that has resulted in a better service? Electricity? Gas? Trains? Have you got a better service? Of course you haven't. They strip it bare and run it as cheaply as possible in order to make the most amount money for themselves and the shareholders, not for you and me.
OK, that will do for this week. No awards this week because I have mostly been angry for the last 6 days. I was suppose to be seeing Morrissey tomorrow evening but now it doesn't look like that will be happening does it?
I'll leave you with a clip from “The Thick Of It”. The new series started last night but here is a clip from an earlier series.
Have a good week,