Monthly Archives: October 2011

Some thoughts on censorship and the internet

Earlier this week, the MPAA and BT returned to court to agree subsiduary terms around the court injunction that BT is to use its Cleanfeed technology to block the newsbin2 web site. In considering the events in court and the judgement, I found an article I had written but not posted about the case and the politics, including the governments announcement to back the Hargreaves Review and Ofcom’s reticence in pursuing the use of the Digitial Economy Act’s web site blocking powers.

I have now published the article, called Censoring the Internet as at the 7th August, which is roughly when I finished it.

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The Tories have no (economic) clothes

Earlier in October, the week of the Tory Party Conference, was an awful week for George Osbourne and the Tory run Treasury. I wonder if it’s his “Black Wednesday”. Moodys, the credit rating agency downgraded most of Britain’s banks, which was also covered in the Guardian, and he gave permission to the Bank of England to launch a £75bn Quantitative Easing programme, covered with varying degrees of approval in the Guardian, the FT, and Reuters.

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Just one more cadre

I recently wrote to Loz Kaye, the leader of the UK Pirate Party, to congratulate him and his party on their brother’s and sister’s victory in Berlin. I pointed out that in Europe they were at a cross roads. As they grow in maturity and power as a political party, something yet to occur in the UK, it will become harder to talk to and work with supporters in other political parties. There is a mature balancing act to be taken in advancing their ideas, most of which I agree with, and winning political power. In my mind, they have to find a route between supporting the growth of broad campaigning groups such as the ORG or building their own organisation. There is a tendency in both the Liberal Democrats and the British Trotskyist movement to consider each new party member a victory for the cause. Both parties often win these cadres at the cost of those they create, dispirited by defeat who give up on politics. Each person who gives up on politics and hope is a loss to democracy, and we are not winning.

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Does QE work?

In an article in the Guardian, Will Hutton examines the use of QE and the failure of the Bank and Treasury to use it to stimulate investment. Increasing investment is both an expansion of demand, it creates income for its suppliers, and capacity for the economy. The Government and the Bank’s ideology will not permit them to use QE to buy corporate debt and so is doomed to fail to meet the needs of business investment and productivity improvement.

QE creates asset inflation, including house prices; it does not increase demand.

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The new ‘delicious’, startup pains

Delicious, the social bookmark site was taken over by avos.com during the week. They have rapidly refreshed the javascripts used for storing one’s bookmarks directly from the browser and are communicating with their new users via their beta blog. There remain some problems with the Firefox Addin but the Chrome extension seems pretty solid now. 4th Oct 2011

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