April, 2011

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Media double standards? Howabout a small test?

Saturday, April 30th, 2011

Andrew Coyne thinks that Jack Layton being caught, naked, in a house of ill-repute isn’t something that voters need to know about.

Most of the rest of the mainstream media likewise seems uninterested in investigating this story despite the fact that it calls either his judgement or his personal morals into question and thus is worthy

If I were to announce that I know of a current Tory Cabinet Minister who was caught cruising for hookers on the streets of Ottawa and let off with a warning, do you think that so-called journalists such as Andrew Coyne might actually take an interest in the details?

You can find my email details a couple of posts down guys. But remember if you email me it just confirms your bias.

How not to fight crime

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Whether it’s harassing bloggers, harassing and disarming victims of crime, arresting musicians for the crime of singing, the wankers that pass for police in this country are rapidly making themselves unwelcome and hated by the public.

Last week, a whole neighbourhood in Bristol erupted into running street battles between residents and police after the latter botched the arrest of a somewhat deranged sqatter by using far more force than was necessary. Over at EU Referendum, Richard North who has been chronicling what happened, estimates that at one point during the riot, up to 1000 people may have been involved. This excert from his blog (go read his whole post) gives a flavour of how it got started:

his account has ten police vans – including a contingent from the Welsh police – forming a “police line” (singular), outside “Telepathic Heights” and a riot squad entering the building. We get separate reports on this, with an estimate of 30-40 police in riot gear entering.

This narrative has the police sealing off the whole of Stokes Croft to create a “sterile area” (pictured below). At this point the police are not wearing riot gear on the street but, as a crowd gathers, the situation gets more tense. The police call in back-up, reportedly declaring that a “terrorist situation” had developed. The TSG (Tactical Support Group) “troops” take to the streets.

Access and exit were barred to residents and visitors alike. Residents who came out to find out what was going on often found themselves on the wrong side of a police cordon and were prevented from returning to their homes, leaving them to join the swelling crowd.

According to this source, the police pushed everyone fifty yards down the road (south) where a stand-off developed. To chants of “Whose street? Our street!”, bins were thrown across the road to stop further police advance. Missiles thrown at their lines. At about 9.30pm (probably slightly later), the police baton charged and injured several demonstrators with strikes to the head.

Since then, the police have exacerbated the situation, first by trying to shut down an outdoor cinema presentation of footage of the riot a few days ago, and then actually provoking another riot last night when they showed up at a protest directed at the previous police actions that led to the first riot, tooled up and clearly looking for a fight.

It’s almost as if they trying to get themselves injured or killed.

Media Fatigue

Friday, April 29th, 2011

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard plenty of people moaning about the Royal Wedding, customers, staff, the teller at the local bank, family – pretty much everyone said they were heartily sick of it and couldn’t wait for it to be over. It dominated every Newspaper, and every TV newscast.

And then today no-one could think of anything else. Our town (and probably every other town across the United Kingdom) was completely dead as everyone gathered around the TV or headed into London, where more than a million people congregated. And later, as people began trickling into the shop, the only topic of the conversation was the Wedding, Will and Kate, and variations thereof.

The fatigue wasn’t with the royals or the wedding itself, but with the media coverage leading up to it.

I think Toby Young sums up why the wedding proved so popular:

The most striking thing about the crowds on occasions like this is the extraordinary bonhomie, the good will – the kind of mood you’d expect to encounter at a family gathering. It’s as if people are celebrating the wedding of one of their own, rather than some distant, aloof figure. My late father, Michael Young, co-authored an essay about the Coronation for Sociology Review with Edward Shils and they were both struck by the intimacy and affection that seemed to begin with the Royal family and then spread from them to encompass the whole nation. “On this occasion one family was knit together with another in one great national family through identification with the monarchy,” they wrote. “A general warmth and congeniality permeated relations even with strangers.”

One must maintain ones standards…

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

I wouldn’t invite Blair or Brown to my wedding either. You couldn’t trust Tony and Cherie not to make off with the dinner service, and Gordon would only do something ghastly like picking his nose.

I’m back…

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

… well sort of. I thought that I’d bring this blog out of retirement in order to offer the public service I’ve offered in the past – live, uncensored election results from across Canada as they happen. I’ll try my best to aggregate results as they roll in, starting on the Rock and finishing in Lotusland. You can help by sending me emails with local results from wherever you are located to rdb787 -at- yahoo – dot – co – dot – uk and I’ll happily post them up. You’re also welcome to post in the comments, both your thoughts and any local results you may have.

Frankly, I haven’t paid any attention to this election, and I’m betting many of you haven’t either. However events of the last week or so suggest that we could be on the verge of a historic realignment of the Canadian party system so this might be the best show in town – after the Canucks that is.

And who knows, if I can find the time away from my business in the coming months I may even start blogging regularly again. There’s all types of interesting shit going on here in the UK, and I’d like to keep you all informed of it.