NO IFS NO BUTS

Had to be done, seen a few others do this via the medium of drawing, but felt some photoshopping was in order.

Benefit fraud
Benefit fraud
Benefit fraud

Generally I have been pretty disgusted at not just the greed of certain MPs but their attitude, first as they tried to stop the same kind of transparency (via laws created by themselves) most members of the public have to abide by (be it tax returns, benefits, crime, work, foi). This alone seemed to smack of one rule for them another for us, acting as if we are their servants, not the other way round. Then actually trying to justify claiming huge amounts of our cash in a time when most people are extremely worried about money made people rightly mad as hell just seemed quite amazing. Just becuase it’s the rules doesn’t mean it’s right (e.g. Iraq abided by their own rules – didn’t really help them did it?)

However in many ways all this was coming, greed, selfishness, protectionism of old ways regardless of their moral and ethical realities had reached fever pitch, be it the bankers greed, media, entertainment & publishing’s contempt for customers needs, police tactics towards peacful process, and now politics. All share a similar theme, the incumbants got greedy and took and took and felt an entitlement to the status-quo regardless of wether this was the right thing to do, or was fair. They deflected change or regulation as it was insinuated we don’t understand, we’re jealous. That’s not to say many ‘normal’ people were not also greedy and reckless in the past but in comparison it seems small change, also we weren’t in control.

It’s a time of change and we now have to tools available to us to (help) inflict that change (teh interwebs). It is no longer about a select group of people controlling from the top (and setting the rules accordingly) and benefiting from that control in pretty disgusting, unfair and arrogant ways. It’s about all of us joining in the conversation, all contributing our thoughts – it’s difficult to be unfair when everyone get’s the opportunity to voice their concerns.

Viva la revolution.

Whisper it, the ‘T’ word

Reading the news about the letter bombs sent to various motoring agencies this morning, I noticed a lack of the T word, terrorism in many of the reports. Sounds like a cast iron case (in my opinion) for the use of such a word.

Now I don’t want to make unfounded suggestions but if letter-bombs were sent, say from an Islamic source, to say a governmental department (of which capita and the dvla are not far from being) the newspapers would be swimming with headlines such as terror threat, campaign of terror etc etc. Now I am not trying to make any sort of judgement, simply pointing out the perceptual difference that would occur if the targets were slightly different. People are still being injured, maybe the bombs are not intended to harm, but then again even the act of attempting to send such devises constitutes terrorism so that doesn’t really count.

tword.gif

But I guess seeing as it’s seemingly a (white urban male) nutter with a grudge against driving laws then I guess it doesn’t qualify. Which begs the question, what exactly is terrorism? But even weirder is the complete lack of any suggestion this is terrorism, so what is it about the story that made this simply a crime and not an act of terrorism? The perpetrator (whom we know nothing about), the targets (as mentioned effectively governmental departments) or the size of the explosives?

Big Brother is watching you – but it’s okay, they are really really stupid, so don’t worry

My god, could channel 4 handle this any worse? Maybe if they invited the BNP onto BBLB to discuss their policies? I am pretty sure when Orwell wrote 1984 he assumed that those in charge in his dystopian future would actually know what they were doing, indeed most dystopian futures seem to assume that the government/dictators/ruling classes are always one step ahead of the proles. Well if there is one thing Channel 4 prove, it’s that there is little chance of this coming true as most people in extreme power appear to be blinded it and tend to make rather silly judgments. I mean how else can you explain the the massive cock-up by channel 4 last night when they declared ‘to save Shilpa text xxxxx’ rather than the correct version ‘to evict Shilpa text xxxxx’. Worse PR evar.

Not to be outdone, Kevin Lygo, director of programmes at Channel 4 declared today that:

“This was in danger of being the most boring BB that we’d had in many years, maybe ever…..

……Lygo admitted wondering “what can we do?” before the race row “erupted into this extraordinary story”.

Wow, nothing like a bit of racism to spice things up eh? I dred top think how they are going to top that.

calm down dear, it’s only lazy journalism

Really should have posted about this when I thought about it yesterday. But I was being lazy, and now the point seems a little mute after today’s happenings. But I do feel I need to speak my mind about Charles Clarke getting all puffy and red-faced about media-representation of the government.

“I believe that a pernicious and even dangerous poison is now slipping into at least some parts of this media view of the world.”

Woh there dude….poison, dangerous, are these words that should be used when speaking about what is in essence free speach. I don’t agree with a lot of what the right-wing press prints daily in this country, but I do accept that it is the right of a free country to allow people to speak their minds. It is also the right of any citizen of this country to disagree with those statements. But to declare it poison, especially from a government official, is somewhat dishartening. Especially when the matter in hand is about how the government is apparently getting more totalitarian.

So lets some up, state officials declare that free media are becoming poisonous as well as lazy and deceitful, in what one assumes to be a bid to stop said free media on continuing with this angle. Isn’t this in effect attempting to control the media? Now I don’t think the government are really that totalitarian (but as Simon Jenkins states today – there does appear to be a creeping authoritarianism) but when they attack the press about printing points of view (however inaccurate), a dangerous line is being walked.

Overall, however, I do feel Clarkey boy had a point. Sometimes the press do go too far and print widely exagerated claims based on flimsy evidence and can tend towards absolutism.

“So some commentators routinely use language like ‘police state’, ‘fascist’, ‘hijacking our democracy’, ‘creeping authoritarianism’, ‘destruction of the rule of law’, whilst words like ‘holocaust’, ‘gulag’ and ‘apartheid’ are regularly used descriptively of our society in ways which must be truly offensive to those who experienced those realities.”

But then that’s always been the way the press deals with stuff. Why say something is kinda bad when you can scream “THIS THING THAT HAPPENED HERE IS ABSOLUTELY HORRIBLY TERRIBLE AND THE WORST THING TO HAPPEN, EVER….EVAARRRRR…ARGHHHHH…WE’RE ALL DOOMED….ARGHHHHH!!!!!” in 20pt red lettering.

For me the entire argument gets a bit paradoxical. Consider the situation, goverment is accused by press that they are being totalitarian, goverment gets angry and declares that press are essentially being totalitarian by suggesting that government is being totalitarian.
Now look, I have confused myself and am all ism’d out.

Dave the Chameleon

Dave the Chameleon, absolutely brilliant stuff from the people that brought us such classics as the war in Iraq and Third World debt cancellation. A very cute mini-film ala Pixar about David Cameron and the very much hyped belief that he changes his opinion depending on whom he is addressing (isn’t that the very definition of a politician?). I really like this, among the style of recent ads where political parties realised that no one likes nasty, this ad manages to be appealing and negative (and seems to be and idea the Tories had themselves).

DaveDaveDave Dave Dave

I see the point made by Mark Lawson that people may think this a little too cute and think higher of Dave than is intended:

In short, Dave is the kind of character that viewers may well love. An office straw poll suggests that the message – you can’t trust the Tories – is undermined by the essential charm of mini-Dave, and the reliance on an overly complex idea. Yes, his namesake is transforming the party, but it’s only superficial. The danger is that the first part of that proposition is more striking than the second. The advert even highlights one of Cameron’s assets – his green credentials, reinforced by his willingness to cycle to work.

Source

However, a point made later in the article, and a viewpoint I share, is that political advertising rarely makes much of a difference anyway.

“There is a myth about political advertising,” warned Philip Gould, New Labour’s polling and marketing guru, in his book The Unfinished Revolution. “Advertising has an effect but it is small and rarely decisive. It is certain that in four of the last five elections, advertising did not materially influence the result.

So if advertising doesn’t really matter then one might as well make it fun eh? In much the same way that large corporates don’t really advertise to increase sales, more remind people of their status and power. I for one think this trend should continue. Gordon Brown and John Prescott anyone?

Cartoons

You know what really bugs me about all this cartoon row, its the fact that many people have been saying that the Danish paper in question should be able to publish whatever they want and everyone else should simply accept it as free speech and be happy we live in such an open and democratic world.

I agree with the first portion, one can say and do whatever one wants. Yet its the second part I don’t agree with. I remember that my ol R.E. teacher once said to the class:

You can do whatever you want in this world…..but you must be aware there may be consequences to those actions

I agree completely with that statement. Yes the Danish newspaper has the right to say and do what they want. But they should have realised that there would likely be consequences and opposition to those actions. You can’t have free speech without a reaction because then you would be denying any affected peoples free speech. Again I don’t agree with some of the reactions of certain individuals, but then that’s my right to comment on them.

Its a similar situation that I used to see when I was studying for a Fine Art degree. Endless discussions about what is art and what is not art. Our answer to those sort of ponderences was often, everything that is called art is art, the only way of judging it is by saying if you like it or not. Which of course then differs from the next person, so you are in another argument.

He (Kant) denied that we can reach a valid universal aesthetic judgment of the form “All objects possessing such and such qualities are beautiful.”

Kind of lost my thread now, but I really just want to make the point that all of these reactions aren’t really that surprising, people are aways going to disagree with a point of view and its important to challenge various points of view, but don’t be surprised if people take angrily to someone telling them they are wrong. The Danish newspaper was either being naive about what would happen, wanted it to happen or just blind.

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