Monthly Archives: September 2011

Mendacity, Malevolence and a future fair for all

Polly Toynbee in the Guardian comments, more eloquently than I on Vince Cable’s Conference speech. She ends her article with the following quote,

It’s time for grown-up politics from the Lib Dems. A measure of rapprochement with Labour and an end to mendacious attacks is the best way to distance themselves from their Tory captors.

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Rainbows in Berlin

Berlin, that other potential capital of Europe has voted today, and Chancellor Merkel’s ConDem alliance has not done well. This follows the election of a Social Democrat led government in Denmark earlier this week. Is Northern Europe turning left? German Wave, aka Deutsche Welle reports the Berlin results here.

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Banish the poor from the electoral register!

The development of the politics of the Boundary Commission review is moving with immense rapidity. In the area I live, we have a rather awesome local web site called Brockly Central which has reported on the Boundry Commission’s review in an article called “Deptford & Greenwich”. The Tory/LibDem coalition have decided to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons. While this may on the face of it be poplar, it’s a ruse to disguise the rewriting of the rules in their favour.

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Liberal Grandstanding

Vince Cable, the ultimate tight rope walker is up to his tricks again. He spoke to the Liberal Democrat Conference today, having leaked his speech to any one that’ll print it. Much respect to the Delegates! His two pre-event headlines

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Knacker of the Yard finally goes after Press wrong doers

The Guardian led yesterday, with a story about itself, How the Metropolitan Police are planning to use the Official Secrets Act to force the Guardian journalists that broke the story about the hacking of ‘Milly Dowler’ phone to reveal their sources. 

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A pointless audience

I just love Pointless, the BBC Quiz show, where contestants have to show they know more than an audience by answering questions, obscurely, to obtain low scores. The final question requires that the contestants find an answer which none of the audience has mentioned. The hosts, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman do their best to make the contestants welcome,  it’s a really gentle atmosphere, teams get two chances to play so if they’re very unlucky with the questions they don’t feel badly treated, the prizes are typically British quiz show,

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Of compromise agreements, and the spreading of manure

Coulson, the former Director of Information for the Conservative Party and Govt. Press Supremo, and currently under arrest, has been spreading it like manure again. It seems he left News International under a ‘Compromise Agreement‘ and continued to receive payments from his previous employer while serving as a senior employee of the Conservative Party. It has been suggested that these payments are a de-facto and thus undeclared donation to the Conservative Party. If true, this would be against the law.

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About Labour’s Conference Members Open Day

The Labour Party are boasting about their, or is our  ‘Open Day’. They have invited 2000 ‘ordinary members’ to have their say at an ‘open’ session during the Labour Party Conference. This should be good, but they’ve done it before, and it wasn’t.

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Good British Universities, again

I don’t want to get into a row with David Blanchflower,who takes issue with the QS University Ranking results 2011 and have no argument with his assertion that Cambridge is not the best University in the World, but unless the U. of Shanghai  (UoS) have revised their methodology since I last looked at it while on the EU’s NESSI steering committee, in early 2009 , they

  • overemphasise Science (& specifically Medicine)
  • overemphasise US publication (& hence English language research)
  • have no teaching quality metric ( apart from alumni citations)
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Music Copyright, Qui Bono?

The Register today comments on whether Vivendi might buy EMI. They don’t seem that interested but they point at a story that EMI had passed into the hands of Citigroup, which I had missed. They are no longer a public company and certainly not in the FTSE any more.

This is important, since according to Wikipedia’s Music Industry page, albeit in 2005, EMI sold ~13% of the world’s traded music.

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