Saturday, 31 October 2009

Trafalgar Square Vigil For Ian Baynham

Whilst I was on holiday in Berlin, the GLBT Network at work was formed. Having put my name down for it, I was invited to our first "event" which was to go as a group to the vigil in Trafalgar Square in honour of the life of the recently murdered Ian Baynham and all other recent victims of hate crime. There was only 4 of us (Stephanie, Paul, Cosimo and I) plus Stephanie's partner, so after gathering ourselves at First Out Cafe, we headed down to Trafalgar Square where a very large crowded had gathered.

Sandi Toksvig lead the events with various friends of Ian Baynham, Sue Perkins and many different representatives of organisations including the only politicians, Labour ministers, Chris Bryant and Maria Eagle.

It was deeply moving and the musical tributes by both the Gay Men's Chorus' of various cities and the London Gay Symphony Orchestra were touching. We did our part by distributing candle's (and card to protect one's hands!) around the little part of the crowd we'd found ourselves in.

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Sunday, 18 October 2009

Jan Moir: 48 Hours Later

When you spend time reading GLBT related news stories, you become somewhat immune to the bile and filth that spews from the bigoted and homophobic from around the world. So the real surprise I got from the Jan Moir/Twitter controversy of the last few days is this: How do people not realise this is just your run of the mill tabloid stuff?

That might sound very blasé about a something so nasty as her piece on Stephen Gately. But it's true. The Daily Mail, the Express, The Sun/NotW and the others all print this sort of stuff daily. Has no one heard of the ever quotable Richard Littlejohn?

I've spent much of my life moaning at people who read tabloids, and being accused of snobbery. But it's not snobbery... it's just I can't stand people propping up the careers of these regressive people. Just take a look at a few examples of the sort of things these folks put out there here, here and here.

So really, whilst I appreciate the strength of feeling over Jan Moir, I think it's a little over the top to be directing so much hate just at her. She is just part of a backward system, a symptom of the underlying problem in our media. The entire culture needs to change, but I see no way of doing that which at the same time maintains my liberal "say what you like and be damned" feelings. And I sort of agree with this article which points out the illiberal nature of much of vile comments being flung Jan Moir's way.

There has got to be a better way of doing things? There's got to be something we can do to rechannel all the Jan Moir hating into something more positive. Personally I think simply boycotting the tabloids and those who advertise in them is probably the best we can do. But then again... I already do the first part, and much of the second, anyway. It's a dilemma.

P.S. I wish people would remember Civil Partnerships are not Gay Marriage. We still have a way to go before we get marriage equality I'm afraid but I will be attending a Top Secret protest somewhere at some point soon in support of the principle of marriage equality... for straight people! Watch this space.

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Saturday, 17 October 2009

The Surviving Supporters Of Clause 28 Of The Local Government Bill

An idea from Bill Cameron

On December 15th 1987, the last debate at which amendments could have been made to the infamous Clause/Section 28/2a occurred. At this election 309 MPs voted to keep it as it was:

Prohibition on promoting homosexuality by teaching or by publishing material
(1)The following section shall be inserted after section 2 of the [1986 c. 10.] Local Government Act 1986 (prohibition of political publicity)—
“2AProhibition on promoting homosexuality by teaching or by publishing material
(1)A local authority shall not—
(a)intentionally promote homosexuality or publish material with the intention of promoting homosexuality;
(b)promote the teaching in any maintained school of the acceptability of homosexuality as a pretended family relationship.
(2)Nothing in subsection (1) above shall be taken to prohibit the doing of anything for the purpose of treating or preventing the spread of disease.
(3)In any proceedings in connection with the application of this section a court shall draw such inferences as to the intention of the local authority as may reasonably be drawn from the evidence before it.
(4)In subsection (1)(b) above “maintained school” means,—
(a)in England and Wales, a county school, voluntary school, nursery school or special school, within the meaning of the Education Act 1944; and
(b)in Scotland, a public school, nursery school or special school, within the meaning of the Education (Scotland) Act 1980.”
(2)This section shall come into force at the end of the period of two months beginning with the day on which this Act is passed.
There are still 51 of those people in elected public office. 48 MPs and 3 MEPs, all Tory MPs at the time (one is now a Labour MP and the other, to my great disappointment, is now a Lib Dem MEP). Most got the chop in the 1992 and 1997 election.

That's 25% of the current sitting Conservative grouping in the House of Parliament. The Conservative party may have changed (and I would debate that) but I'm quite sure these people have not. We should not allow them to forget their previous records.

This list does not include Lords who voted for the Clause or against amendments to it nor those MPs who have since become Life Peers.


David Amess: Tory MP for Southend West. Like Wilshire, he's been having a spot of bother with his expenses claims. His majority, though, is very large and even if the Lib Dem and Labour vote were combined he'd still win.

James Arbuthnot: Tory MP for North East Hampshire. Again this majority seems insurmountable.

Julian Brazier: Tory MP for Canterbury. This is another big majority.

Simon Burns: Tory MP for West Chelmsford. Yet another large majority, and the only controversy seems to be a recent conviction for careless driving.

Tony Baldry: Tory MP for Banbury. Yet another huge majority.

Alistair Burt: Tory MP for North East Bedfordshire. Another big majority.

John Butterfill: Tory MP for Bournemouth West. He will not be seeking re-election possibly because of some rather messy expenses claims reported in the Daily Telegraph.

Henry Bellingham: Tory MP for North West Norfolk. Quelle surprise... it's another large majority.

Bill Cash: Tory MP for Stone. Bill Cash has made a lot of noise about being exonerated from his expenses problems, but no news on him being exonerated for his support of illiberal and regressive pieces of legislation in the 1980s.

Christopher Chope: Tory MP for Christchurch. Whilst his majority is huge, he did get a little trouble following some ill advised comments on the minimum wage shortly before the expenses scandal hit.

Kenneth Clarke: Tory MP for Rushcliffe. As you can imagine, I doubt he'll be going anywhere any time soon!

Tim Boswell: Tory MP for Daventry. He will be standing down at the next election.

Peter Bottomley: Tory MP for Worthing West. Another big majority.

Patrick Cormack: Tory MP for South Staffordshire. An overwealming majority, but he has received a request to pay back some of his expenses.

Quentin Davies: Labour (but at the time Tory) MP for Grantham and Stamford. He has had his own issues with expenses.

Robert Key: Tory MP for Salisbury. Relatively safe majority.

David Davis: Tory MP for Haltemprice and Howden. Famously in favour of civil liberties, yet his voting record suggests he isn't too concerned about progressive issues.

Stephen Dorrell: Tory MP for Charnwood. Secure majority.

Greg Knight: Tory MP for East Yorkshire, his majority seems secure too. Alas.

Michael Fallon: Tory MP for Sevenoaks. This is Sevenoaks, the day they don't elect a Tory MP is the day I'll finally have my faith restored in humanity. It's a long shot.

Peter Lilley: Tory MP for Hitchin and Harpenden. Secure, as per usual.

Michael Lord: Tory MP for Central Suffolk and North Ipswich. Standing down at the next election.

Andrew MacKay: Tory MP for Bracknell. Due to the expenses scandal he will be standing down at the next election.

David Maclean: Tory MP for Penrith and the Border. Standing down at the next election due to failing health.

Patrick McLoughlin: Tory MP for West Derbyshire. Secure. Worryingly he is the Shadow Chief Whip!

Roger Gale: Tory MP for North Thanet. Like's capital punishment, but is keen on animal welfare. Conflicting messages there.

Humfrey Malins: Tory MP for Woking. He is standing down at the next election.

John Maples: Tory MP for Stratford-Upon-Avon. He probably won't be going anywhere.

Francis Maude: Tory MP for Horsham. Another big hitter, likely to be in any future cabinet of a Conservative Government.

John Greenway: Tory MP for Ryedale. Another safe seat.

Andrew Mitchell: Tory MP for Sutton Coldfield. Is a Shadow Minister.

Malcolm Moss: Tory MP for North East Cambridgeshire. Another strong majority.

David Heathcoat-Amory: Tory MP for Wells. Majority is very slim.

Douglas Hogg: Tory MP for Sleaford and North Hykeham. Large majority. But standing down at the next election!

James Paice: Tory MP for South East Cambridgeshire. Double digit majority.

Michael Howard: Tory MP for Folkestone and Hythe (my home town!). He is standing down at the next election.

Gerald Howarth: Tory MP for Aldershot. Another Shadow Minister and has a double digit majority.

Michael Jack: Tory MP for Flyde. Standing down at the next election.

John Redwood: Tory MP for Wokingham. Large majority.

David Tredinnick: Tory MP for Bosworth. Has a huge majority but also seems to favour alternative therapies. Which is worrying.

Richard Shepherd: Tory MP for Aldridge-Brownhills. Double digit majority.

Nicholas Soames: Tory MP for Mid Sussex. Controversial MP. Double digit majority.

Ann Widdecombe: Tory MP for Maidstone and The Weald. Standing down at the next election.

Michael Spicer: Tory MP for West Worcestershire. Slim majority and standing down at the next election.

Ann Winterton: Tory MP for Congleton. Standing down at the next election following some infamous expenses claims.

Anthony Steen: Tory MP for Totnes. Standing down at the next election, yet enough "victim" of the expenses scandal.

Tim Yeo: Tory MP for South Suffolk. Double digit majority.

Peter Tapsell: Tory MP for Louth and Horncastle. Large majority.

Ian Taylor: Tory MP for Esher and Walton. Standing down at the next election.


Robert Atkins - Former Tory MP who now sits as an MEP for the North West England constituency.

Timothy Kirkhope: Former Tory MP who now sits as an MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber

Emma Nicholson: Former Tory MP but now Lib Dem MEP for South East England.

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Friday, 16 October 2009

Tory MPs: You Couldn't Make Them Up

David Wilshire MP has decided not to fight the next General Election. What good news! But it's actually better news than I thought as the Rt. Hon. Wilshire was the man behind Section 28! I know, I'm so behind the times, but finally one of the architects of one of the most illiberal pieces of legislation of the 1980s has got his comeuppance.

In other Tory news....

Aren't the Tories supposed to be the sensible one's? The one's with their feet firmly on the ground? Well seems like there's a woomeister among the ranks of the Tory MPs... David Tredinnick. Read this then weep...

Thankfully the Tories have a new friend. Boyz Magazine. Weird but true.... read all about here

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Jan Moir: Another Bow In The Daily Mail's Armour Of Hate

Yesterday I was in the pub, and after finishing the Guardian I headed over to where the newspapers are kept in a futile search for the Tech section. On the way back one of the regulars helpfully said "There's a Daily Mail over there if you want it Jae" at which I gave him a withering look and informed him that I don't "touch that sort of thing". He returned with "Don't blame ya, it's a piece of trash", which somewhat warmed my feelings towards him.

As if proof was needed of this obvious truth, Jan Moir decided to provide us all with a reason to hate that "news"paper. The evidence is here. I'm not going to go into detail on why it's wrong (check this out for that) instead I'm just writing this post to make sure everybody has the link as to where to make a formal complaint about it. Go here to help fight the conservative Daily Mail regressive agenda and stand up for honest reporting and human freedom.

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Thursday, 15 October 2009

Things That Interest Me - 15/10/2009

Most MPs have had their snouts in the trough. But some seem to have gone the whole hog (geddit? ;) ) and thrown their entire body in! Tory David Wilshire MP seems to have really enjoyed his time as a Member of Parliament, which is just as well I doubt he'll be getting back in at the next election (if his constituents have any sense anyway, but given that they voted Tory last time perhaps that is too much to ask)

It's very simple, but very funny! Spoiling TV advertising posters.

It's North Korea and The Hotel Of Doom

The failures, and history, of world hunger relief.

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Boy In Balloon Over Denver

BBC News here,

Live Footage here

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Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change Guest Post


Climate change is not only about melting ice caps and polar bears. Climate change is about people.

Swinging weather patterns are creating disasters on a scale that human civilization has never before witnessed. For the world’s poorest people – the ones least equipped to deal with its effects – climate change is devastating their crops, livelihoods and communities.

"Climate change is worsening the plight of those hundreds of millions of men, women and children who already live in extreme poverty – and it threatens to push hundreds of millions more people into similar destitution," says CARE International’s Secretary General Robert Glasser. "A concerted international response to this unprecedented challenge is required if we are to avoid catastrophic human suffering."

CARE is working toward a world where poor people can create opportunity out of crises like climate change. But the current reality is that climate change makes poor people even more vulnerable.

For instance, agricultural production will likely decline in the poorest countries, especially in sub-Saharan Africa. Less reliable rainfall will likely affect planting seasons, crop growth and livestock health – and lead to increased malnutrition. In other parts of the developing world, flooding will likely further diminish the quality of already-marginal soil and could cause outbreaks of water-borne diseases such as cholera and dysentery.
Climate change also is hurling many poor families into “Catch-22” situations. For example, they may select crops that are less sensitive to rainfall variation, but also less profitable. As incomes decline and people are not able to eke out a living, children are forced to leave school, assets are sold off to afford essentials, malnutrition rates increase and large-scale migration ensues. The end result? Deepening poverty for tens of millions of people around the world.

What Must Be Done?

At the international level, negotiations to develop a new treaty to guide global efforts to address climate change will take place in Copenhagen, Denmark in just a couple weeks. The United States must help lead those efforts, and forge a strong agreement that caps emissions, stops global warming and responds to the effects already in motion. We must do this for the sake of all of humanity.

What can I do to help?

First, you can make a tax-deductible donation to CARE to help poor families access the tools and education they need to adapt to the effects of climate change, make efficient use of their existing resources and overcome poverty for good.

Second, if you live in the Unites States, you can write your senators and urge them to pass the American Clean Energy and Security Act of 2009, a critical step toward U.S. leadership in tackling climate change. U.S. leadership is critical to making the Copenhagen negotiations a success.

Third, you can join the CARE mailing list to be kept up to date on CARE’s activities and other ways you can take action in the days counting down to Copenhagen.

To donate, take action and join our e-mail list, please visit

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Blog Action Day 2009: Climate Change

20 odd years ago I can remember my Mum worrying about the hole in the Ozone Layer. It was a big thing, and after much huffing and puffing the world did something about it. Slowing, but surely, the "hole" is shrinking (although let's not call it problem solved but prospects look a lot better now thanks to global action).

Now we face another environmental problem: Climate Change. And the world just doesn't seem to care. The worst part of it is the controversy over whether it is man made or not. Does it really matter? I personally believe the extent of climate change is going to be directly affected by our actions at the least, but even if you think it's a natural phenomenon then it's still a problem we must solve. We build sea walls to defend our homes from the violent sea. We build roofs to cover ourselves from the affects of the weather. And if the weather or the sea destroys that which we have built we don't just shrug our shoulders and say "Oh jeez, guess there's nothing we can do, it's nature after all." No. We build things bigger, stronger and more intelligently than before and hope that works out better. It might not be the most sensible thing, but it's what us humans do and it's what makes us the species we are.

Climate change is real. It's happening. And if we don't do something to suppress it as much as possible our world, our homes and even our civilisation may not survive. We must change how we live voluntarily before the Earth makes changes for us.

We are not looking here at an end of the world scenario. We may not be looking at the end of the human race scenario. What we are looking at though is the destruction of our children's quality of life, of vast ecosystems filled with untold numbers of creatures and of centuries of progress towards a better world. Do you think a world with less land area to go around, water shortages, and "weird" weather is one which will be conducive to peace and prosperity? I don't.

We must make every effort to change our ways to beat climate change and many other environmental problems (climate change, to me, is but one part of the overall issue of the state we are leaving this planet in for future generations). We must also double our efforts in innovation, science and discovery, for we may be able to have our cake and eat it too if we can find a way to solve climate change through invention. It's what we humans are good at.

Need evidence? Check out this story from the BBC.

And for a more general idea of what we are doing to the world, read The World Without Us (Amazon US), which really brings home to you the need for us to change our ways.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Things That Interest Me - 14/10/2009

Themepark 1984 - An interesting "documentary"/home video on a tourist trip to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. If you're thinking of giving it a go yourself check out Regent Holidays

Millionaire Host Meets Gorgeous Navy Pilot then there's a question about a wet willy. :D

Black humour from Communist East Germany

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Scientologist Begins To Wake Up

Scientologists are not, in and of themselves, bad people. Like any religion Scientology attracts people who truly just want to better themselves and, perhaps, better the world. Sadly Scientology was set up, from the start, not as a guide to life but as a vehicle of self promotion (originally for L. Ron Hubbard). The early history of the movement (up and to just after L. Ron's death) is given in the excellent
Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L.Ron Hubbard Exposed (US Amazon).

Which makes it all the more depressing to find leak documents, such as this, in which an honourable Scientologist bemoans the fact that Scientology seems to be less about the Tech and more about making money. Sadly they think that keeping to L. Ron's original texts is the way forward, which means that this poor unfortunate has only opened their eyes half way.

At least, in this case, she is now out of the church and practising in what is known as the Scientology Freezone. Sadly that does not mean she is Scientology free.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Things That Interest Me - 13/10/2009

The pitfalls of tolerance - Lenin's Tomb. I have been avoiding the word tolerance for a very long time and this post sums up exactly why I do.

'Germany Has Become a Laboratory for Political Experiments' - Der Spiegel. It might have been a "boring" German election season but it had some interesting results.

An alternative version of Geert Wilders... who today had his ban from the United Kingdom overturned. I didn't agree with the ban. But I don't agree with Geert either.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Dan Carlin Makes Me Giddy!

I'm a podcast addict. Thanks to regularly long commutes to and from work I have a great deal of time to devote to podcasts (commuting and reading just don't go together in my opinion for so many reasons), and thus am constantly looking for new ones. For a long time it had become a dreary affair, as podcasts went from badly produced but infinitely lovable to sleek but soulless. With all my old favourites gone, I was almost ready to give up when in 2007 I came across Dan Carlin's Hardcore History. It was scholarly enough to mean I was learning something new, and Dan Carlin was enthusiastic enough to keep me interest. I was instantly hooked and even to this day it is the one podcast that makes me smile broadly when I see a new show pop up in iTunes.

Well I've been very lax in my research and it has taken me until yesterday to discover Dan Carlin has more than one podcast! Common Sense With Dan Carlin is his political podcast, and I just love it. Of course it's focussed upon American politics but you should all know I'm a not-so-secret lover of America so this is bonus rather than a detriment. Given it is updated much more regularly than Hardcore History, I think my trips to work (for I wouldn't be able to wait all the way until the end of the day to listen!) will be a lot more bearable. Check it out.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 11 October 2009

National Equality March - Not So Live Blog

From my social networks I bring you... the National Equality March! Sort of...

From @Skylarjordan preparing for the march. 

Queerty will be properly live blogging the events here

From the Bilerico Project: President Obama's HRC speech in full

The NEM crowd! via @davidhauslaib 

Fred Phelps and the Westboro Baptish Church are in attendance, as bloody always. 

Hetero for Homos! 

The view of #NEM lining up @ 15th & K. That crowd goes for blocks before and behind via @Bilerico 

What the marchers are marching for...

Bilerico Project is liveblogging NEM too.

An interesting take on the gay agenda @rickydee1955

And they are off....

People seem to at least be agreeing on a Gay Agenda!

@RickyDee1955 is doing a pretty amazing job of RT'ing all the relevant tweets (so I don't have to! :P) 

Gotta love the Equality Wedding Cake.

Looks like a good turnout

A little bit of (gay rights) history repeating

At the White House

Lady GaGa has been spotted!

Follow the events using a Twub!

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Saturday, 10 October 2009

The Pitfalls Of Libertarianism

I consider myself a libertarian on a lot of issues. But this Liberal Conspiracy article certainly points out the pitfalls of certain strands of libertarianism. I find it amusing when I see socially conservative people espousing libertarian values, but sadly that tends to be the main sort of folks who label themselves "libertarians". A shame.

I suppose my philosophy has always been (thanks to my teenage paganism) "An it harm none do what ye will". This is actually extremely limiting, but is (in my opinion) the only workable freedom there is. 

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Go Left

These last couple of weeks during the party conferences, I've found my political leanings moving ever leftwards. And considering I was already left of centre that's a pretty drastic move.

It's just, watching New Labour and the Tories, I get the feeling that those I would have previously characterised as a bit "wacky" (in a good way of course) on the left, are now looking pretty damn sane. The Tories BLATANTLY simply took their policies from those of New Labour (which had been BLATANTLY stolen from the Tories previously). They are not offering change, no radical "libertarian" shake up of the current order (which is what I'd truly want but based on the current politlcal parties... never going to happen!). They are offering more of the same, in the hopes somehow this will magically fix all the problems in this country

I don't see those on the right offering any radicalism. Nothing that might move our country forward. Their vision is truly Conservative in that they are not seeking change in anyway. Whereas those on the left of the Labour party and the Liberal Democrats are saying radical things. Things that might not work. Things I still have problems with. But at least I feel like they are wanting to shake things up, wanting to try something new, in order to change the way our country is going.

I'm tired of the consumerism, the ignorance and the apolitical nature of the population of our country. Someone at work yesterday said "I thought David Cameron is a Conservative?" I said "He is." And their reply? "Well it says here in the Metro he's a Tory." Is this our countries future? How have we let our society, and our educational institutions, descend to this level? It's deeply disturbing and for all the cries from the Tories about them wanting to fix "broken Britain", I just don't see how their proposals are going to cut the mustard.

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Thursday, 8 October 2009

The Tory Party: Not My Choice

Disclosure: I'm a Liberal Democrat (American readers will read that somewhat wrongly I suspect!). As someone who considers himself a libertarian I believe the Lib Dems are the closest fit for my political beliefs, and whilst I don't subscribe to all their policies I would be very happy to see a Lib Dem Government.

I've hated the Tories pretty much all my adult life, a consequence I suspect of being a child of Thatcher's Britain and being gay. Also I think that the fact that the most important "issue" to me is not healthcare or the economy but basic human liberty means a vote for the Tories is not something I would ever consider. But New Labour's erosion of those very human liberties, among many other failings, has made me a little more sympathetic to the Conservative Party. But still... this conference has reinforced why I, personally, could never bring myself to vote Tory.

Some articles that really sum up why I will stick with the Lib Dems, thank you very much, include:

We have been warned: the nasty party is still with us - Guardian

Cameron praises civil partnerships but prepares to put Iain Duncan Smith in charge of families - Pink News. Don't get me started on the lack of support for marriage equality.

Cameron’s speech: hollow and hypocritical - Liberal Conspiracy.

Biased sources? NEVER! ;)

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Tuesday, 6 October 2009

Ben Summerskill Boycotts The Tories!

As you know, this blog is no supporter of Ben Summerskill or Stonewall (see here for why). And I was today about to launch into an attack on Mr Summerskill for attending the Conservative Pride event in Manchester as part of the Tory conference after reading an article on Tory reaction to a "Tory Shame" event at Poptastic. But within moments of getting my back up by attending he has decided not to attend. So let us give him three cheers for being sensible. Alas his reason was not that the Tory party fail to meet critical criteria on gay rights (no different to the Labour party and Stonewall at that!) but instead because the Tories are sitting with homophobes in the European Parliament. If this is the reason, why did he agree to go in the first place? We've known this since the EU election!

Silly man. But still, good decision!

Ooooo... Stephen Fry calls out the Tories on their connections to those homophobic parties in the EU. Watch the Tories squirm (video helpfully provided!)...

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Monday, 5 October 2009

Stargate: Universe

I'll be totally honest with you; I've only been a casual Stargate watcher. Well I've never seen any Stargate:Atlantis and stopped even bothering to keep up with SG1 after about season 5. So I sat down to watch Stargate Universe without too much SG baggage.

I was more than pleasantly surprised with what I saw.

Obviously the producers have been watching Lost and Battlestar Galactica. This is filmed very much in the noughties sci-fi style and is greatly enhanced by it. Some of the infighting scenes just don't ring true but otherwise the writing, the characters and the acting all gell well together.

All this on top of the fact I have an active dislike for Robert Carlyle, means it must be a pretty good show! Looking forward to next week.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Sunday, 4 October 2009

The Tory Agenda IS The Same As The New Labour One

I have a distinct dislike of public/private partnerships. I believe that if a Government believes something is in their "realm" of responsibility then they should ensure they have all the skills and facilities to carry out that duty. Otherwise they should stand well clear and leave the market to deal with it. I have faith that in the right hands both public and private options can be successful.

But I have little faith in using private resources to advance Government policies. This is why I'm not so keen on the welfare reform offered by the Tories. David Cameron promises more of the same by advancing the idea of private training companies training the unemployed. This is happening now! It's hardly reform. It's not going to change the situation we have whereby people are living on benefits for many years. Forcing people to take training they don't want to do, to get jobs they probably won't care about is hardly going to keep the long term unemployed off the benefit books. I don't have answers, but I do know doing the same things New Labour has been doing is not going to help!

And the Conservatives are failing to present a clear policy on Europe. They won't even say what they're policy will be if the Lisbon Treaty is successfully ratified in the Czech Republic (and almost shoo-in Poland). Labour too have been unclear and indecisive on this important issue.

Grr... same old, same old.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

Saturday, 3 October 2009

Scientology: Another Reason To Be An Atheist

Glosslip has a great article on the front organisations of Scientology. I think it's a timely reminder of the danger of religious organisations using "front" organisations to increase membership through subtle means. I see Christian schools as little different. But Scientology will always have a special place in my anti-religious thoughts.

I really recommend Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L.Ron Hubbard Exposed (US Amazon) which really goes into detail about the early history of the church and it's not all that glorious. But it's very, very interesting.

Scientology is not singularly evil, but it does serve as a singularly obvious example of the evils/excesses of religion.

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