Iain Dale observes quite rightly I think that some journalists get themselves in a twist when it comes to reporting of crimes where people of different backgrounds - ethnic, racial, national, religious - are involved:
"It Don't Matter if You're Black or You're White...
Well, that's the lyric from the Michael Jackson song anyway. But it DOES matter if you're writing a BBC online news story. THIS story from BBC Wiltshire tells the terrible story of a white youth who was beaten up by eight youths. It doesn't mention their ethnicity.
THIS story from BBC West Yorkshire tells the story of an Asian youth who was beaten up by four youths. It tells us the four were all white.
If it was necessary to mention the offenders' ethnicity in the second story, why did the first story not mention that the eight attackers were of Asian descent. I don't think it is too much to ask for a bit of consistency here. The BBC has a multi volume editorial policy document. I would have thought it would cover such an instance."
Iain has only recently commented on Boris Johnson's campaign on behalf of a Zimbabwean national - who they both identify as white - who is not having an easy ride with the Immigration System. Why should he?
In this case I think Iain is half right or at least a third right, but the two cases are quite different. The second case is almost certainly much more serious. The youths from Huddersfield are in court and convicted, now pending sentencing, their pictures are published, and Iain the victim was NOT a "youth" - he was 41 and a father of three - but now he is DEAD.
It may be the case that in the case from Bristol/Wiltshire the journalist concerns believes rightly or wrongly that it is too early to provide fuller details. And the wider media coverage suggested this was a dispute within and between school students and that the victim is battered and bruised but will recover to lead a full life.
It's a good theme I think. But there may be better comparators.
Along the same lines but far more baffling has been the suppression of a case involving 22 different bomb making components, a former BNP candidate, and his pal a retired and race-war sympathetic Doctor (both these men white, european and nominally Christian) and the hundreds of other men (brown, asian, and at least nominally Muslim) with no real case whatsoever against them whose arrests have been reported more widely i.e. everywhere, more manically and in much greater detail. In fact the red-handed BNP bombers have hardly surfaced in the national media. Wouldn't want to prejudice the trials of white folk now would we?
Meanwhile the press was fascinated by a silly ballerina who had no plans to bomb anyone.
A Musicologist Writes: Might be a John Kongos song called Togoloshe Man Iain? ... "Tonight is the night to for-get-et" and/or "Tonight is the night, is the night" (doo doo du doo, doo doo du doo). Yellow and Red also dealt with, but not Blue .... the second song which plays on the excellent Kongos website. Craftfully hand-rolled throughout. Dave/id and Guido would approve.
Saturday, January 27, 2007
Two members of the LoL household were chosen to take part in a recent and ongoing Ipsos MORI poll "The GP Patient Survey" subtitled "Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say".
We have a truly excellent family GP with routine appointments available on around 4 weeks notice, with our own GP adding extra slots to fit in patients who have a more urgent requirement, and a daily drop in where patients are signed in for a slot between 8am and 9am and are seen the same morning in booked appointments. There are several walk in centres available within a few miles.
When Ipsos MORI ask us about dawn opening, lunch opening, evening opening, Saturday opening, and Sunday opening (Question 9b) - which we believe is the crux of the survey - we think they have made a serious Category Error.
Our family visit our GP between us quite regularly and we sometimes have to visit in work or school time. Employers and teachers are understanding and helpful. But pushing GPs towards supermarket hours would be very foolhardy. This is a public service, used only occasionally by most, and if a majority claim they need dawn, evening or weekend service then I believe it would be quite wrong to require doctors to change or extend their hours. I hope we patients vote it down.
If this was to be done it should have been resolved at the same time as the last pay round.
By Chris Paul at 8:33 pm
Iain Dale has made another excellent point here making up for some that are less good.
"People think that politicians as a group are liars & untrustworthy, yet I've lost count of the times I have heard people say that their own MP is fantastic." Says Iain.
"That's the ones not lumbered with a Tory or a Lib Dem or a dratted Nationalist?!" I reply cheekily.
The exact same thing happens with the general versus specific perception of our public services. And for that reason Iain should be sure to share his brilliant insight with Dave/id Cameron.
Most people think their bit of the NHS is getting better and is quite good. More so if they have engaged with it themselves recently. But on general questions they tend to follow the Mail and say it's all gone down the toilet. Clearly the NHS is improving. In some cases to a staggering extent.
Though I think an ongoing ipsos Mori quiz is inflicted with a case of serious Category Error.
Friday, January 26, 2007
"If you dummies would sign these dummy petitions now" said John Leech "we can fill in here what we've decided is closing nearer the time.
"I sent this trick into Dirty Campaigning: The Handbook Labour Don't Know About and they've printed it with a picture of that Hospital Hoax picture we did."
[Cllr John "Two Jobs" Leech is councillor for Chorlton Park ward.]
Well, not working for any of it really. Just working for one Whalley Range resident, one long-term girlfriend, and hopefully to pay back those who lent him money for his expensive 2005 election campaign.
Luke has blogged about Burma and I agreed with his doing so and have congratulated him:
This may be an excellent campaign Luke. Well done for drawing attention to it. I say "may be" because all boycotts need to be weighed up by potential participants in terms of whether they harm workers or tyrants more in the short, medium and long terms. Have not had to decide on this one as Burma is not on my destination list, but did boycott South Africa, and don't boycott Israel - though I do very have strong antipathy to state actions there.
Tory conference 06 had an excellent platform guest on this very subject. You may have seen it yourself? She appeared to be urging military action however. And she received a standing invasion. Sorry, standing ovation.
At the time this reminded me rather of Iraqi refugees asking for invasions and getting ovations in other places. Burma would have the advantage of being a more realistic replica of Vietnam.
By Chris Paul at 11:41 am
Dizzy has obtained some more data about the number of registered keeper enquiries to the DVLA.
Let's have an example of a beneficial use of this service. Personal Injury Solicitor has case of man and motorbike being cut up and seriously mashed by road hog. Witnesses all hand details to the dazed biker and give only old fashioned looks to the lunatic automobilist. The motor is undamaged. There is no trail of an insurance claim. The solicitor uses the DVLA service paying a cost recovery fee and is able to pursue the maniac.
There is a small chance that - since Dizzy has revealled that few if any records kept of disclosures and no registration - this service might be used by identity thieves to get pieces in the jigsaw needed to get credit.
However, balancing the benefits with the disbenefits surely the benefits win hands down? Introducing a tracking system and registration of all enquirers might stem the floodgates Dizzy and his parliamentary accomplices have opened. But that could get up their noses even more and inevitably lead to an increase in the costs that must be recovered.
Story for images: biker was in this case responsible.
CLARIFICATION: The Data is Dizzy "three comments in three minutes" Thinks' not the governments; though I'm not sure LoL said it was theirs?
By Chris Paul at 10:28 am
The Scientologists, inspired by the oft-resurrected but now admittedly completely dead man L Ron Hubbard, have now found their new personal Jesus in Tom Cruise.
The Libdemologists must be feeling under pressure to secure their own new and improved Jesus. To replace the god-like but past it genius of their saviour W Ming Campbell.
Keeping things simple, and the -ologies correctly competing for the same crackpot fringe, the party managers are it seems agreed. Even Sarah Teather is agreed for now though, as 25th in the succession, she needs to see the first female Jesus for the party some time soon and will urge the assassination rate to markedly increase.
The Libdemologists must prioritise having a new looky likey, similar in visage to the new master of the Church of the Poisoned Mind. Hallelujah!
Above The Sun's scoop
Libdemologists may follow Scientologists in replacing their 60s model
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Poor old Rabbie Burns looky-likey Willie Rennie has been in very hot water ever since he was elected in astonishing fashion to parliament as Gordon Brown's own MP.
It is hard to see how he will survive any further election after his shameless hypocrisy has been exposed including in The Daily Record, in The Times, who were picking up Guido, who was picking up Fib Dems, and of course the story has since been here, there and everywhere.
Essentially Willie (here seen on his election, possibly after premature and excessive celebration or sorrow drowning) has been campaigning hard in Parliament for cluster bombs to be banned. Few would disagree.
But since his election and appointment to the Defence Select Committee our hero has actually visited a weapons factory owned by cluster bomb makers Raytheon Scotland Limited (RSL). And it turns out that the PR and lobbying firm which organised that trip and which represents bomb makers Raytheon was until recently Willie Rennie's main employer, and indeed part owned (10%) by him.
Today (24th) Fib Dems have tenuously spotted Willie missing an arms export debate yesterday (23rd) and have neatly summarised the back story with links including the McEwan Purvis release on the arms factory visit.
There was one small slip, pointed out in the comments, as the factory Rennie visited is not in his own constituency or even in an adjacent one.
A strange decision to dabble in another MPs territory, particularly given the contentious goods being produced there.
Was Rennie at the back of the queue when the nous was being handed out? Let's hope he pushes to the front for his Haggis, neaps, tatties and whisky. The condemned man is supposed to enjoy a hearty meal after all.
Here at Labour of Love we have been especially interested in this gruesome story since Manchester Withington MP the Lib Dem John Leech stood up beside Willie to metaphorically hold his hand as both asked the exact same question in the House in November.
How could Leech be so stupid when this disgraceful story had already been out for around six months?
Perhaps he thought it was complete bull - just as many of the stories he himself places in the papers are shameless fibs? But it is not. Willie is Bang Bang to rights.
Perhaps Leech thinks it is OK to profit from promoting cluster bombs as part owner and senior employee of a PR and lobbying concern, to knowingly visit their arms factory in a trip organised by that very PR and lobbying firm, yet to still campaign vociferously against their lethal wares? No problem there then.
There is still some uncertainty about Willie Rennie's current involvement with McEwan Purvis and hence with Raytheon. Source Watch lists him as one of four Principals, and Willie's own political CV also says he still works for them.
Labour of Love checked the House of Commons register of members interests and updates dated
9 January 2007, 11 December 2006, 27 November 2006, 6 November 2006, 19 September 2006,
25 July 2006, 21 June 2006, 12 May 2006, and
24 March 2006.
Every single one of these says:
RENNIE, Willie (Dunfermline and West Fife) Nil. ("Queen of the South, Nil" adds anonymous in comments).
As we all sit down for our traditional Burns' Night supper we must accept that Willie Rennie is declaring absolutely no Members Interests, because he has no campaign supporters to acknowledge, has had no trips or entertainment, has no Directorships, has no paid employment apart from his MP's whack and expenses, has no fees, and so on. Willie has "nothing to declare" and is pure as the driven snow even now settling in his constituency.
His own Willie's Fibs website must be incorrect and he must have done no paid PR or lobbying work on behalf of McEwan Purvis since his election. Though obviously he has been to the factory. Which they turned into a PR coup for arms manufacturers everywhere. McEwan Purvis' own website has unfortunately been on hold while this not-isolated Scottish Lib Dem crisis has escalated. Isn't Ming going to be merciless on this one? He missed a chance in a recent reshuffle. Though like most of these Lib Dem Shadow Ministers and Front Bench spokesmen there is a tad of shameless exaggeration and flirting with the truth going on. Could Ming reshuffle a back bencher with some third degree jobbie?
Willie Rennie has certainly transferred his shares (nominally on 10 February 2006), divided equally between the two remaining Principals placing them at 85:15. Until 2003 when a Mr Purvis was elected a Lib Dem MSP there were according to Source Watch five Principals. Mr McEwan now holds 85% of the equity.
This has been Burns Night (a fantastic BBC site this, including recipes) which comes but once a year. Sadly, thanks to Mr Rennie's friends at Raytheon, promoted by his old friends at McEwan Purvis, any night can and will be burns night in danger zones throughout the world. As the BBC might put in their side bar it is Burns, Daily Burns, ..., Burns Supper, Burns on the Web, Your Burns, Burns Country.
Thank goodness for the arms industry and those who promote them! For Auld Lang Syne indeed.
Iain Dale is upset. In a huge surprise Government Minister Douglas Alexander has spoken out for government policy on banning all car mobile use by active drivers, hand held or hands free.
There are Tory muppets placing comments mocking the lack of enforcement on the existing "no mobiles" rules and jeering. But anyone driving alone and using a mobile will surely be bang to rights as cellphone technology will allow Big Alex to know who's on the roads and the airwaves at one and the same time?
Meanwhile Iain's jeering at Douglas for having several responsibilities (Scotland and Transport and spare time campaigning) must be compared to his own job list:
1. Right of centre commentator;
4. Radio pundit;
5. TV presenter;
7. Wannabe MP;
8. Mobile phoning willy nilly;
9. Campaigning and hobbies.
Pot-Kettle-Black - enforceable restrictions on mobiles plus driving at a street near you, soon.
Wednesday, January 24, 2007
Iain Dale gives David Blunkett's £3,000 a week column in The Sun a once over today and finds he rather likes what he reads.
Support for Hilary Benn is fine, though whether HB needs or seeks DB's endorsement (or ID's for that matter) is another thing.
Iain also approves of Mr Blunkett's points about keeping politicians rather than bureaucrats in control of policy. Hear! Hear! Who wouldn't? Well in another life, all those months ago, I'm not sure Mr Blunkett would have.
Blunkett's pay off on this part of his diary is a sarcastic call for: "a self perpetuating bureacratic officialdom, where friends appoint friends" (My italics). Quite right. Doing favours for friends and family is simply not on. He concludes in his own italics: "Sadly we have already started down the road that leads to a dead end for democracy."
SADIE'S WEEK: Bemused by humans flying in windstorms but kept her biscuits down.
Jon Henley's Diary in the Guardian begins with POSSIBLE SAD NEWS that on hearing of the "Eh?" Lists demise Mr Adam Rickitt is packing his bags and heading for New Zealand. Which would be a great loss to the Cuddly Nu Tories.
As if that wasn't enough the Diary hits rock bottom and:
... is pleased to unveil a UK first: "dye for the hair down there". Available in five attractive shades, Betty Dye has, it says here, been "specially formulated for use on betty hair" because the harsh colouring chemicals in normal dye can, as we all know, cause irritation and inflammation in the sensitive betty area. We are, naturally, overjoyed, if still not altogether clear what a betty might be.
Adam might need some if he persists in getting his kit off. And the news certainly raises some questions of where the writers' colourful heads are at in the excellent new TV comedy Ugly Betty.
By Chris Paul at 12:04 pm
The Diary who are Jon Cruddas fans have a rather Trotty and cruel story about poor Harriet Harman, missus of Jack Dromey who famously knew nothing about any loans to the party he treasures.
I wrongly commented there that Jon Henley had diaried another Harman knocking biece yesterday in the Guardian, whereas it was in fact Katherine Bergen in The Sun ... easy mistake to make. Not that I'm a Sun reader like that Parbury mind. It suggested HH had offered herself out on the stomp or stump through the marginals and super marginals of our fair isle. No takers so far. And "Who She?" has been heard on the far reaches of the back benches.
Ever since The Guardian has down-sized, launched tabloidy and sometimes inaccurate attacks on the people's party and her finest (glaringly inaccurate, though no spolling errers), and added a splash of colour in the masthead - a worrying blue, aw shucks not unlike my own - it has sometimes been hard to tell the difference.
NOTE: In America the parties switched colours dramatically and the above map is not a sign of either restored British Empire hegemony or socialist (or even Harmanite) domination.
By Chris Paul at 11:43 am
Tuesday, January 23, 2007
Iain Dale today predicts announcements ending the "Eh?" List and regionalising the options of non "Eh?" candidates. This is prediction that both Iain and myself agreed on, and I think the first on either list to come through 100%.
Last Friday 19th which was something of a busy news day in the Tory blogosphere Dizzy rather buried bad news when covering the scandal of DVLA actually having the temerity to charge people for information.
Not a sensationally busy few days for this on the comments board, but tired of the soon-to-be-disappointed triumphalism of the Tory/SNP/Freemason bully boys cheering on Yates' brave dawn raid to apprehend the armed and dangerous, crime Baroness and flight risk Ruth Turner I eventually did make a comment:
"It's cost recovery. It's like MP's expenses or a professional's disbursements. Can be excessive but are not a profit centre. Except for fiddlers who use them to assist in political activity or under-employ but over-pay their rellies.
Is Dizzy arguing for not providing information - which I guess is to privatised parking control and the like - which might make them even less civilized in their operations.
Or possibly for renationalising them so it becomes a recharge and not a cash income from outside?
Or is Dizzy arguing for taxes to be applied pay for parking pirates to get our details so they can extort money from us?"
1/21/2007 12:10:00 AM
However, I have subsequently found out (a) the cost of obtaining a driver identification and full address from the DVLA. And (b) who is entitled to seek and receive this information.
Dizzy has missed the story: The answers are (a) a meagre £2.50 and (b) anyone who has £2.50. This is an ideal situation for any car rager who wants to stick crappy EDMs or indeed dog poo through a rival's letterbox.
By Chris Paul at 9:23 am
Monday, January 22, 2007
Jon Cruddas is careful of the company he keeps it seems.
He doesn't really know Ruth Turner but has heard good things.
But he knows nothing at all about Lord Levy.
We could not find a picture of Jon with Tone.
But here's one standing with a Chris Blair, "Apprentice of the Year".
By Chris Paul at 7:34 pm
While the Lib Dems are poring the streets for (un)likely hoaxes, scares and scams, not to mention MP's A Fraud Warnings some excellent Labour Women are rallying to the Red Flag. Jenny, Lucy, Naheed, Nargis and Yogesh have identified themselves as selection hopefuls so far. Any one of them would of course knock the ineffectual Mr Leech into a cocked hat.
The hoaxes that the Lib Dems have on the go at the moment are pretty feeble. "Tower Blocks" at the University in Didsbury - actual height three or four storeys. Job Centre closure at Chorlton - staff there were really chuffed to read about that in the papers. Thanks John mate. Cemetary-Gate - with ridiculous rumours about sensible plans. Plus the generic soft on crime stuff. Though they are still looking to the "On Hard Drugs" line to win friends in the 'burbs.
More on Brendan's Beauties anon.
Not so long ago I started a strand on Thomas Graham's excellent site. The strand was supposed to be about the sour-faced, crumpled and gum chewing John Leech's idiocy in being inseparable mates with Willie Rennie MP on the question of cluster bombs.
This alliance is not going to detract from his reputation as the most lightweight MP from any party of the last two elections. Possibly jointly with Rennie. E-politix should have an award for that.
Why is this association idiocy? They may be flat mates. Or not. I don't know. But Willie Rennie MP is apparently still a co-owner and director and consultant for a company called McEwan Purvis. PR and lobbying for baby killers.
Willie Rennie's firm lobby and merchandise - including with Willie's support for their company's great reputation - for Raytheon Scotland Limited (RSL). These are big FO bastard arms manufacturers (fourth or fifth biggest in the world) making baby killing cluster bombs and all sorts of other evil weapons.
And Willie Rennie MP (factory visitor and complimentor) - backed by Cllr John Leech MP - is trying to wash his conscience by continually speaking up against Raytheon's products. How do Willie and John sleep at night?
The Lib Dem defence force trying to protect Johno's reputation on Thomas's site have been making foolish mistakes recently. Like looking up one poster's 'handle' - which is "John Hollicker" on their FULL electoral register (for electoral use only - under pain of £5000 maximum fine) when all their people are actually posting ANONYMOUSLY. Only Thomas and myself and possibly Adele are using our own full names among almost a hundred comments.
Peter H - "I'm not a Lib Dem" - was criticizing the illiberal and hypocritical intrusion of using a private register in this way. But was defending it the next minute. Pretending to be ex-Labour. But quite obviously a Lib Dem and capable of any sort of deceit.
Someone should start and service some other strands here.
Sunday, January 21, 2007
Danny Finkelstein is hosting a competition to find a middle name for a colleague, Timothy Hames, right.
My nomination runs thusly:
Timothy should adopt a middle name in the tradition of family names as middle names - Hames. He should then adopt a different third name linking him with his American interests: Eisenhower.
Timothy Hames Eisenhower or THE for short. There's definitely an article in that Danny, yes siree!
By Chris Paul at 9:45 pm
There are some MPs generating some weird and wonderful EDMs out there. Their plaything at only a couple of hundred pounds a pop. Here's one which Croydon Tory Andrew Pelling MP has sponsored which ticks all the boxes of out of constituency, inappropriate if not actually insane, and a waste of public money.Useless EDMs rarely come quite as useless as this one. But I suppose their might have been a mix up at birth and if so this MP who has already shown an interest in the South West in several written questions and EDMs might be the perpetrator.
Then again, from an early age the Tory Andrew Pelling (here seen left with colleagues as a GLA councillor) has had a fascination with dogs dropping, or dog's droppings. Or something like that.
FOOTNOTE: As an owner of three beautiful if sometimes idiotic dogs I have the greatest sympathies with the bereaved owner. I have visited his fine chippery and shop in Cornwall. He certainly knows (a) how to cook fish; and (b) how to charge. But while this EDM shows this particular Tory's caring side - without trumping his leader's Husky airmiles - it is clearly a pile of doggy doo and an inappropriate use of public funds.
UPDATE: the Daily has blogged this story here with numbers for the MINIMUM cost of each EDM as £672.23. This amount should be taken from any MP who plays this game every time they abuse this privilege. Pelling should get a blog if he wants to suck up to pet-bereaved friends.
By Chris Paul at 6:14 pm