Find Owls Near You. Does what it says on the tin.
Hugo Rifkind in the Times spots a handy new German word:
technishererfolgangabemangelsfrust. That is to say, â€œthe frustration caused by having a sense of achievement for completing a technical task but being unable to boast about it because it is too boringâ€.
Quick, while they’re still shouting at about the expenses!
… quietly, via Labourhome:
Brown and Watson cleared from McBride/Draper fallout
alexhilton Tue May 12, 2009 at 11:23:00 AM GMT
The Cabinet Secretary Gus O’Donnell has investigated emails at No10 and written to Conservative MP Francis Maude reassuring him that no ministers or employees other than McBride were involved in the “dirty” email exchanged that led to his downfall.
Well he would, wouldn’t he?
North Korea’s video instructions to the populace on how to vote:
See, apathetic UK voters, it’s easy. Step up, bow to the nice party officials, and don’t forget to vote overwhelmingly for the Dear Leader. It certainly works for Kim Jong Il, who got 99% of the vote in the last North Korean election: it could work for Gordo too. He could put a copy through every letter box along with the swine flu leaflets.
It’s the only way Labour under Brown will ever get elected again anytime soon, despite their members’ best efforts to subvert the vote.
Labour MPs know this. They see the gravy train rapidly steaming out of the station. That’s why there are so many carefully placed rumours Charles”I’m ashamed to be a Labour MP” Clarke is plotting for the leadership as a Blairite ‘safety’ candidate, just to get rid of Brown.
Prepare for mean, stalking safety elephant on a media rampage and worse; like the once-laughable
Squirrel Nutkin Hazel Blears and the lightweight James Purnell being touted as actual contenders for PM.
But the Blairites’ve tried it numerous times before, and like the Dear Leader Brown’s still there, despite being universally loathed by the public and his own party alike.
They’ve all failed to dislodge Brown; despite every failure, every disaster, every mismanagement and however many Nokias and printers he’s attacked in temper, the bugger’s still bloody there. It’s at least a year until the general election. We may yet get the instructional voting videos in the post.
Interesting if real: Karl Rove’s Twitter feed.
The wingnuts think it’s real, to judge by the tweets, and
Precautions taken 2 guarantee compliance w/ federal prohibition on torture. U might characterize diligence as overcautious.
certainly sounds suitably Rovian.
Likely-to soon-be-made-redundant chief reporter at Daily Telegraph writes hatchet job on blogger. Shock, probe, horror!
If it’s open season on bloggers’ private lives, then it must be open season on journalists’ too. Fair’s fair.
Hmm, who shall we start with?
Darkness at the Heart of the Labour Party
Harold Wilson asserted that the Labour party was a moral crusade or it was nothing. The McBride affair has left Labour members looking at nothing. That is the reality check that McBride has wrought on the party.Labour supporters are left bewildered and wondering what happened to the moral crusading side of our mission.
Poor old Labour party.
So very very ‘umble.
Nothing’s illustrated New Labour’s complete lack of clue about the wired world – and their own legislation – more than the way they still think they can hide things they’ve done online.
But Gordon Brown and his new media minister/guru Tom Watson are learning fast that things a politician or his aide might have done online (or ordered to have done), no matter how anonymous or pseudonymous it was at the time, can come back to bite said politician in the ass:
A bogus applicant using the name â€œOllie Cromwellâ€ paid Â£8.99 to set up The Red Rag as a campaign blog. The buyer had to provide only a name, address, telephone number and e-mail to create the site on November 4 last year. The address given was the House of Commons, The Times has been told. The site was registered for two years, ensuring that it would be in place throughout the general election campaign, which must be called by June next year.?
I’d laugh if it wasn’t so fucking tragic: a discredited PM and a corrupt cabinet are teetering on the edge of implosion, not because of one of the any number of other, more substantive offences they might’ve been convicted for, but for internet cluelessness.
Meanwhile the traditional political media are off with the fairies, self-obsessing (as is their wont) about the way Smeargate illustrates their own imminent demise -”Why wasn’t I in the loop? Why was I scooped by a blog? Oh shit, will I have a job tomorrow? I’d better get a blog…” – rather than using their leverage as the fourth estate to help oust a dangerously incompetent and deceitful government that those of all political persuasions loathe.
No help there then.
And public trust in government, the police and in civic life in general continues to erode almost to invisibility. The authorities are scared shitless of public anger.
Declaring a Civil Contingency event looms. But hey, that’s just civic society falling apart as a result of Chicago School economic policies, as filtered through Brownian endogenous bloody growth theory. Brutality’s a feature not a bug.
Pity the decent left. They’re in a terrible fix – wanting nothing more than to get rid of this shower of incompetents, not least for their own political ambition, but reluctant to let go of a jot or a tittle of power despite recognising their party’s government is a shambles. They surely must recognise that they’re first up against the wall when it all goes to shit. After all, they’re party members too, they enabled these people. But no, they still think they can recover a shred of credibility, hence the mass outbreak of humility this morning.
We see and hear a trio of Blairites making ‘I are serious elder statesman’ expressions at the media and condemning this dreadful, shocking behaviour in outraged and unimpeachably moral chapel elder tones. Frank Field’s spreading oleaginous humility – it’s the best butter- on his blog just to pound home the point that it wasn’t us, guv, it was those nasty Brownites, and Alex Hilton written a condemnation cum mea culpa for The Scotsman:
Politics is the means by which a country is run and good politics means a country is run well.
But politics is also the name of a silly game played by silly boys in the Westminster bubble.
It’s a fun game, I fully admit, and sometimes it just has to be played. But when playing a game is your ambition and your daily motivation, it’s time to grow up.
Mr McBride and Mr Draper suffered from being in the Westminster bubble where all they saw was the game; where a lie here or a smear there are just bishops and rooks on a chessboard.
Somehow they had lost sight of that other politics â€“ that which is concerned only with delivering a secure, fulfilling and sustainable society for its citizens.
Pass me the sick bag, mother.
I know many Labour figures who shun these silly games. There are many more who, like me, enjoy playing a game from time to time but who don’t let it get in the way of more noble, long-term objectives. But this week, until this embarrassment dies down, every single one of us will look like a duplicitous, power-mad fool.
If Labour party members are still able to believe that despite everything they’ve done, every illegal war, every torture, every police murder, every fake enquiry, that Labour has any right or mandate to govern Britain, the ‘decent left’ are duplicitous power mad fools.
No matter how bloody ‘umble.
Both are up shit creek for a start.
Both are omni-bloody-present, both collect huge amounts of info about us and our habits; both believe that a] they alone control the internets and b]computers are only a powerful when they use them. Both suffer from megalomania, control freakery and a refusal to accept they could ever have done anything wrong, or even just immoral – even when it’s quite clear that they have.
According to one author, Amazon stated a few days ago that it was now its “policy” to exclude “adult” material from appearing in some searches and bestseller lists, but his book had no “adult” material in it. It seems that books written by lesbian or gay authors, or with lesbian or gay themes, were being classed as “adult”, actively removed from searches, and de-ranked, alongside the books featuring erotic content.
Now both Amazon and Gordon Brown are deep in the proverbial, one for censoring a website, the other for planning one and then continuing to pretend he knew nothing, despite persuasive evidence that he must have:
“This is a den within Westminster. We’re talking about a house in Downing Street, with an office and in that office sits Gordon Brown, Damian McBride and Tom Watson.
“We are talking about three people in this marriage at the heart of this scandal.”
Corporations like Amazon tend to think a computer’s a powerful political tool, but only when they use it. Amazon’s wrong:
Barely an hour after the amazonfail tag first appeared, it was being mentioned four times a second on Twitter search â€“ thousands of people were talking about it; but none of the tweets were positive. Calls for Amazon to be “googlebombed” were acted upon and people were commenting on the politics of “cyberactivism” â€“ contributing to lists of the books that had been affected â€“ and calling for a boycott of the site. Amazon, it appeared, had started to dig its own grave.
New Labour’s wrong too. Daniel Hannan:
A blog has just done something that I thought no one could do: elicited an apology (or as close as we’ll ever get to an apology) from Gordon Brown. Indeed, according to The Guardian, the McBride-Draper scandal might cost Labour the next election. If so, Guido Fawkes would have succeeded where his baleful namesake failed 404 years ago: he would have brought down a government. Even if you think the Guardian story is a bit de trop, the idea that one man with a laptop could do so much damage would, until very recently, have seemed risible.
Good luck with that, Amazon and Brown: there’s millions of us, but only one each of you.