The Riot Dog dies

The Guardian reports that Loukanikos, a stray dog in Athens that had spent its time supporting the demonstrators against austerity has died. Here’s a picture of him, probably thinking of bones,

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English Revolution

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I have just seen the first of Melvyn Bragg’s documentaries in a two part series called “Radical Lives”. This was about John Ball, a radical priest in England who in 1381 supported the Peasants Revolt. The documentary does a fine job in describing the feudal economic and racist oppression by the scions of the Norman invasion. The original poll tax was levied at this time and the reaction from the peasantry was swift and violent. They rose up and marched on London, sacked the Tower of London and executed several leading government officials.   … » Read more …

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Value, Solidarity and Exchange

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A couple of thoughts provoked by my trip to Labour Party Conference, one on the value of copyright, one on solidarity and one on the unfinished Hargreaves Review reform, the establishment of a digital exchange.  … » Read more …

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Left & Right Wing Rights

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One of the big stories from the Tory Party conference is the resurrection of the proposal to leave the European Council’s Human Rights court. Several correspondents elsewhere question both the moral sense and the political tactics of pursuing this policy. David Allen Green has created a page on his blog to act as an index on the pro and anti views and includes links to the Conservative Party proposals and press release; the views of most lawyers are against the proposed reforms.   … » Read more …

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Commoditisation killed Sun Microsystems

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Eric Raymond,  wrote a short article on his blog, “Commoditization, not open source, killed Sun Microsystems”, which I commented on. This blog article says a little bit more than I felt I had room for on someone else’s blog, and I probably abused his hospitality there. I have thought long and hard about this, because I worked there and thought it i.e. the company was worth saving. Here’s what I said on Eric’s blog, and a bit more.  I start by saying that the first thing about Sun’s failure is that it all depends on where you want to start; Sun’s failure was baked in long before the 2000 fall from profit.   … » Read more …

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@LabourDigital

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I left Manchester and travelled home on Tuesday Morning, i.e. 23rd I reckoned I could catch up on Ed’s speech and the only fringe of any interest was the @LabourDigital policy launch planned for 4:00 p.m. I checked it out on the web, but it didn’t really come to my notice as anything other than a minority interest until it was reported in the Register on Sept 28th by Andrew Orlowski, not to be confused with Aleksandr Orlov , who seems to have picked up the territory. The @LabourDigital’s policy statement is here. It contains 82 recommendations, which they summarise with four headlines and seven additional teaser policies.  … » Read more …

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Help for Heroes & the Sun

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Ed Miliband, somewhere between being too busy and not wanting to help the Sun sell more copies of itself, was unavailable or refused to appear on the front page of the Sun with the leaders of the Government parties and Farage wearing Help for Heroes wrist bands. The invite was clearly made in order to boost the Sun’s attempt to cloak itself in the Union Jack and veteran’s blood and suffering. Ed Miliband has no need or desire to help the Sun   … » Read more …

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It’s not just the West Lothian question

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This made me laugh, Vernon Bogdanor, one of Britiain’s foremost constitutional scholars writes about Cameron’s proposals for English Votes for English Laws. He points out that Ulster Unionist votes deprived Labour of Commons majorities in 1946 and 1964, he neglects to point out that they also voted with the Tories in the confidence vote that brought down the Callaghan Government. Interestingly short memories the Tories and their press supporters have. It adds to the evidence that the Tories aren’t interested in democracy; this is about entrenching Tory power.  … » Read more …

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Redbrick on borrowing to build houses

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It seems that Balls’ promise not to borrow includes not excluding local authority housing borrowing from the national debt. This is the common OECD practice; the UK is the only country in the OECD that includes public sector housing borrowing as national debt. (Housing debt is paid for by housing rent, not taxation and thus can/should be excluded.) The Redbrick blog comments here.

Alice Perry, one of the London National Policy Forum representatives, reported that Labour’s National Policy Forum has agreed to write the debt out of the National Debt, which would allow local authorities to borrow to build. (I reported on the NPF here.)   … » Read more …

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Two sides to the coin

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I decided to go for a drink at the creative unions reception. On my way over, I saw the ‘free cash’ sign. I think it was an advert for an ATM without charges rather than a campaign statement. When choosing a search engine, or curating a social network list it’s important to ensure you don’t only mix with those with whom one agrees. The reception consisted of a mix of speeches and sets. The speeches were by John Smith, Harriet Harman and Tony Burke. Smith, or was it Harman,   … » Read more …

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