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Category: bad government ideas

Newspapers Moaning About Leveson

Today’s piece by Tony Parsons in the Mirror may come across as a reasonable plea.  I’m sure that every newspaper has had its good campaigns over the years.  Newspapers may well have embarrassed MPs, public servants and high flying businessmen.  (Though let’s be honest, the only time I’m interested in who a politician or public servant is having sex with is when they are a hypocrite.  A typical example is the committed voice against equal marriage who is discovered to be having carnal pleasures which demonstrate their hypocrisy.  I don’t care if people are polyamorous, kinky, asexual or any other label provided that they are not hypocrites.)

But newspapers have also harrassed, demeaned and offended innocent people who have committed no crime.  Newspapers have hacked into the voicemails of politicians, sportspeople and anyone who found themselves in the spotlight, propragating the vile myth of “celebrity gossip”.

Newspapers should have spent their time and resources investigating the corruption in and obscene wasting of money by local councils.  That’s where the real stories are.  Newspapers could have been forces for good in the community.  But they haven’t been.

The total lack of ethics of the tabloid press and the repeated gutlessness of the Press Complaints Commission in refusing to properly police newspapers’ conduct was going to have consequences sooner or later.  That has now come to pass.  Jane Fae writes how this is the fault of the press themselves.  It isn’t rocket science to see why.

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Coalition FAIL On Privacy: Snooping Is Go (Updated)

I’ve done a lot of clearing up other peoples’ mess in my life and career.  Most of these messes were the result of people ignoring my advice, things going pear shaped (as I had said they would) and then being asked if I would remedy the now fouled up situation.  I’m sure those of you who are or have worked as techies for any length of time know the sort of people I mean.

When things really went titsup I was often asked to not only help clean up the mess but do so in a way that ensured the titsup situation would never happen again.  Those responsible for things going titsup in the first place would wail their innocence and protest that things should be done differently but never actually front up with a positive suggestion in the face of my action plan.

So it is that I have some empathy for the Coalition government as it looks to clear up the mess that Labour left behind it.  Under the Labour government, the UK state had ballooned into a seedy, control freak sumo wrestler who got his kicks from sticking his nose into every part of peoples’ lives, failing to protect the people they are supposed to serve from deliberate illegal acts and attempting to spread fear and misinformation about groups like photographers.

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What Do You Stand For? The #DEBill List Of Shame

The Digital Economy Bill has been passed.  Again the House Of Commons has shown its ignorance of technical issues and that it is far too easy for vested interests to buy influence.  Quite frankly right now I feel sick and ashamed of the political system in the UK.  What Hansie Cronje like deals were struck in Commons back rooms to get this Bill passed?

See some of the reactions via the Twitter hashtag #DEBill and a search on Digital Economy Bill.  There are a lot of very annoyed, cynical and probably very disillusioned internet users & techies out there now, and all of them know more about internet and technical issues than their MPs.  Remember what I wrote last year?

Of course the 20,000 people who wrote to their MPs don’t matter.  The need for the media industry to protect its dying business model comes way ahead of the wishes of MPs’ constituents.  Doesn’t it Peter Mandelson?  Doesn’t it Lord Vested Interest Clement-Jones?  Doesn’t it Lord Howard of Rising?  Doesn’t it Sion Simon?  Doesn’t it John  Horam?

This question should be asked of every MP who voted for the Bill and every MP who didn’t bother to turn up at the House of Commons for the vote.  Only 47 MPs voted against the Bill.  Those 47 people respect democracy, the need to make laws based on impartial evidence rather than lobbying and obeying the wishes of their constituents.  The rest of the House of Commons lacks any kind of honour at all.

To these people I ask one simple question: What do you stand for?

Surely an MP’s role is to serve their constituents, not act as stooges for an industry unwilling to evolve with the times?

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Parliament Shows Its Ignorance

The Digital Economy Bill serves only the vested interests of organisations like the BPI (and that’s a real dinosaur name. Phonograph? We moved on from that years ago!), UK Music and the “entertainment” companies. And not only did this pathetic excuse for a “government” buy into the questionable statistics but the opposition parties fell for it too.

Today Parliament demonstrated its ignorance. Across all parties.

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Unison Spreading Fear Through Propaganda

It should come as no surprise as we head towards a General Election that Unison comes along with a piece of pathetic fear spreading propaganda as a pro-Labour campaign.  Before I respond to this piece of garbage with some clear and simple home truths, let me make my stance clear.

Your average leftie may well start to rant about me being anti-union.  That is complete and utter garbage.  I speak as a former workplace union rep.  I am not anti-union nor am I anti management.  I am anti poor peformance, anti-stupidity and anti-impracticality.  Wherever it may come from, whether it is workers or management.  My response to an article by Harry Phibbs is one such example.  Some good ideas, some others not practical (in my view).

In my experience neither side holds the monopoly on best practice.  Neither holds the monopoly on half-wittedness.  And the local authorities I’ve seen have plenty of areas where things can be massively improved.  Note how I say improved and not cut.  Service provision can be improved by thorough assessment, review and retargeting.  Waste should be cut.  It’s not rocket science, it’s best value.  I speak from personal experience here.  Real world experience from both sides of the equation.

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