Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Tim Coates makes unsurprising 'gissa job' demand:

Coates: 'Put me in charge'

Former Waterstone's chief Tim Coates has nominated himself to lead a radical overhaul of the public library service.

In a proposal to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), Coates outlined plans to scrap the Advisory Council on Libraries and the libraries role of the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and replace them with a National Public Libraries Board, which he would set up and run.

The proposal coincides with the release of CIPFA library figures (see box right), and pre-empts the government's delayed response to the Select Committee report on libraries, expected in six weeks.

Under Coates' plans, the National Public Libraries Board would include members of the public alongside an executive management team, and comprise two subdivisions to represent England and Wales.

Its function would be to communicate government policy and provide "assistance, guidance and coaching" to local councils, as well as to monitor library performance and provide "meaningful and timely data". It would have the power to intervene in failing library authorities.

In three to five years, with "pump priming" funding, Coates plans to have "completely renewed and improved" library book stocks, increased opening hours, and restored all library facilities. "The experience that I have in succesfully bringing reading to people [at Waterstone's] is the kind of experience that the library needs," he said.

Toby Sargent, DCMS head of culture and campaign, said: "We are grateful for the suggestion and will look at it closely, although my kneejerk reaction is that [the overhaul] would be a little more complicated than Tim Coates suggests." A formal response will be issued "as soon as is practical", i.e. by the autumn, following ministerial changes.

MLA chief executive Chris Batt denied the library service was in decline, while CILIP chief Bob McKee rejected the plans. "Coates should think before he speaks."

Bertram Group chief executive Terry Reilly said he was "supportive of Tim Coates' aims", but that he stepped back from the politics of the debate. "There is no point arguing about who steered the 'Titanic' into the iceberg because it's not going to save any passengers."

He STILL hasn't noticed the differences between bookshops and libraries has he? People are visiting libraries more but taking out books less which suggests that Coates big plan for change might not achieve what he says it would, depressing visitor numbers as well.

Still, harsh words from a representative of CILIP there. After indulging him last year and inviting him along to meetings to air his half-baked views it would seem they've had enough. If Coates is still giving it all that next year, expect a statement from CILIP along the lines of "Oy! Did yew call my library a poof? Eh pal, does yer bookshop sew?"

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Why is it the episodes of The Simpsons that get trailed are the ones that are crap? The British episode last year, makes the newspapers because Tony Blair would have recorded his lines in between the order to falsify evidence and the order to invade Iraq, pretty weak. The three hundredth episode, nothing special. And tonight we got the gay wedding episode, where Patty comes out and nearly marries a lady golfer, who turns out to be a man. It's not just that these shows deal in stereotypes which I find less funny, the episode where Homer lives with two gay guys is stereotypia, but still manages to be more amusing than this. The only amusing bit is when Marge is arguing about homosexuality with Reverend Lovejoy and he tries to drown out her reasoned arguments with the church bells, but even so, that's fairly obvious isn't it?

And on a similar subject, after last night's episode of Doctor Who, can I just say: The Doctor loves Jack! The Doctor loves Jack! Ner ner ner ner! It's not just any guy he lets into his deceptively sized box.

Saturday, May 28, 2005

It would seem that Channel Five have bought the rights to House, it starts 9th June. You must see this, if I have to come round all your houses and tie you down and make you. And I could do it too. I have magical powers.

Actors and the Parts They Were Born to Play: No #1 in an occasional series.


Yes, Joey Pantoliano is Joseph Beuys!

Or have I already said that?

Damn, am I repeating myself? Or have I already said that?

Didn't sleep well last night, what with the heat and all. Today, into town to buy stuff, some comics at Gosh, Plums wanted trainers and we had the hell of hot Oxford Street shoe shops on Saturday, then to the Apple Shop to get me a shiny iPod. It's charging right now. Over £200! The Apple Shop looks nice but the total lack of signage is rather irritating, having to find an assistant who is free to find out where I actually go to get an iPod. Still, the customer service was nice. Said I wasn't going to hook my iPod to external speakers, so a docking station wasn't necessary. Telling me my rights with regards to exchanges, listening patiently as I stuttered like a fool. Very excited. Also possibly the first time I've been out and about publically in a skirt since I was attacked in December. A real case of 'feeling the fear but doing it anyway'. And I feel great right now, despite the tiredness.

Or have I already said that?

Friday, May 27, 2005

An inquiry into accusations of Koran mishandling at Guantanamo has found evidence of five seperate occasions where this happened. It would seem that, as with the Mirror photos story in this country, the only thing the media got wrong was in the incident they chose to highlight, not in saying that the incidents happened at all.

Brad Pitt part of consortium 'redesigning' Hove. He may live in Brighton while he's doing it. There goes the neighbourhood...

Suicide Hotline switches from twenty-four hour to nine-to-five service. Which is all wrong, I'm homicidal at work, homicidal...

The Simpsons for the visually impaired. It's like The Simpsons FM!


Thursday, May 26, 2005

Some news which the government has been strangely backward about coming forward with... The official assessment of the level of threat from terrorism in the UK is about to be downgraded from "severe general" to "substantial", it was claimed today. Though, if you listened very carefully you might have heard from the direction of Westminster the sound of toys being thrown from the pram and a voice shriek "B-but I want ID Cards for everyone! Waaaaaah!"

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

The Government's own study into ID Cards show that even the best biometric system would fail over two million people in the UK (if I worked it out right, maths isn't my strong point I admit) and that rather than a charge to the public of under £50, it's now going to be at least £93. So of course the Government is going to go ahead with this colossal waste of public money and time, because Tony Blair has been listening and learning, just not to the public. It's deja vu, all over again. And again. And again...

Monday, May 23, 2005

The Darkness fulfil another rock cliche. Bassist Frankie Poullain quits, claiming 'musical differences'. Expecting him to rejoin for a triumphant greatest hits tour in the Winter.

I hate it when newspapers only give you half the story. Much of the British public goes to the source it trusts least - tabloid newspapers - for its most crucial everyday information on politics and society, according to a study.
This is because the sources the public trusts most, notably public libraries, are closed when it most needs them. The study follows official figures showing that only a tiny number of libraries and other archives are open as long as shops.

I want to see these official figures and the questions they asked. Maybe it's because I work in a borough where the library service has only been slightly compromised by budget constraints, but I suspect that if you ask questions about 'when would you like the library to be open' even those who sleep through the night would say that it's vital that it's open at 4 a.m.

Yesterday the former Waterstone's bookshop chief Tim Coates,

Oh, who let him in?

a leading independent analyst and critic of the library service

Don't get me started, 'a leading independent analyst and someone who seems to think he knows everything about libraries despite never doing a days work in a library in his life' is perhaps more accurate.

said that despite improvements, yearly figures released on Friday showed "there are still only 62 libraries out of 4,800 open more than 60 hours a week - which is the normal opening period of most shops". In March, a severely critical Commons select committee report urged libraries to "seriously address opening hours by, for example, opening in the evenings and on Sundays".

Stop spending the nation's money on fighting illegal wars in other parts of the world and put it into public resources like education, health and the library service again and they can open more. And ignore Coates suggestions about running libraries with no management , less variety of stock and fewer staff over longer hours.

Mr Coates said the figures, from the independent accountancy body Cipfa, the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy, also demonstrated that - in the five years since the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council (MLA) was set up to oversee the service - public borrowing of library books had fallen from 420m to 320m.

Mr Coates main contact with the issues being a self-appointed body who have no clear objectives but seem to want a return to libraries being full of books and nothing else. I'm just saying...

There are twenty-four hour libraries out there, mostly on campuses for insomniac university students, but if I want to talk to BT about my phone bill, I don't really see it as a great imposition that I can't do that in the middle of the night. But then, I'm in a borough where the library is open about ten hours a day during the week, so maybe I'm in one of those minority places that's not badly off.

I'll be looking out for more information from CILIP, eventually.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Mark Thomas DVD, out in June.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Cheddar Gorge, now on the Interweb.

But when will you be able to play Mornington Crescent?

Meanwhile, in a galaxy far, far away...

The Sun under fire for publishing photos of Saddam Hussein in jail.

The US military has condemned the Sun for publishing photographs of a captive Saddam Hussein and said it was "aggressively" investigating who took them. Today's paper carries a series of photographs showing the former Iraqi dictator in his cell, including one on the front page showing him in his underwear. Another shows him washing clothes under the headline "Tyrant? He's washed up". The Sun says it obtained the photos from "US military sources" who handed them over "in the hope of dealing a body blow to the resistance in Iraq".

I'm not sure we have any figures for The Sun's distribution amongst the anti-US forces in Iraq.

The US military said it was "aggressively" investigating to determine who took the pictures.

I'd like to point out at this juncture that an inquiry into who in the Government leaked the Hutton Report to The Sun several hours early never found out who was responsible...

Friday, May 20, 2005

I will refuse to sign up for an ID Card if 3 million other people agree not to too.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

"A hamburger is not a criminal issue. I'm not sending deputies there over a cheeseburger." Yes, the latest thing screeching round the internet is this woman who calls 911 because she isn't happy with her service at Burger King. (There's a transcript at the Snopes page) [via The Stay Free Blog]

Everyone knows their rights, no-one knows their responsibilities.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

I must say I'm not too impressed with Blogger's own comments system. I've been experimenting with it and I expected at the very least another tab on my screen giving me some overview of posted comments. But nothing. So, if I had a troll or spammer get busy on the blog whilst I was away from it, I'd have to go through every single entry deleting what was written. And when I've selected and deleted an entry, it doesn't allow me to go back to the comments window, it instead directs me back to the blog, so I'd have to close that window and open a fresh comments window, each time. Not exactly user friendly is it?

Mind you, it's not like anyone is going to find it. How long does it take a new blog to show up on Google, or any search engines for that matter? I started this new blog last Thursday and it hasn't appeared as yet. My little blogger dashboard isn't showing me how many posts I've made either, which is making me start to wonder whether it wasn't created properly.

There are two types of responses to the story that Newsweek's story about desecration of the Koran was false: Go mental, rant about supposed left-wing control of the media and demand a jihad against those media outlets or step back, be thankful it wasn't true, but reflect over how the US Government's behaviour since declaring a War on Terror made it so easy to believe such a thing was true. And it's not over yet.

It seems that some sections of the community want to hold media editors to a higher standard than elected officials. Heaven knows I don't like Piers Morgan, but to be forced out of his job as an editor for printing false photos of prisoners being tortured rather than actual ones still seems the height of absurdity.

Meanwhile, because he seems rather hurt no-one is paying attention to it, Blithering Bunny has cut'n'pasted an article from the Torygraph about former BBC reporter Robin Aitken's new book on the BBC's left-wing bias. Robin Aitken, who describes himself as a Conservative we should say.

It seems amazing that the BBC survived as some hive of lefties through the Thatcher years as Aitken claims. Politicians used patronage everywhere else yet somehow both Thatcher and Major failed to get anything done about the BBC. And to say john Birt left the BBC to work for the Labour government does not mean he ran the BBC like a left-wing organisation, more that he shows a true politicians ability to follow where the money and power is.But when you identify as any point on a political spectrum it is easy to see those on either side of you as at the extremes, Aitken seems to believe the BBC is being run by the editors of Marxism Today, I see it as a slightly right-of-centre media producer that tries to disguise this by asking awkward questions of ministers about the Iraq War.

I do agree it's cuddled up to New Labour. Before the 1997 Election it would show Prime Minister Questions each week to show John Major getting trounced by Tony Blair. Since then PMQ gets shown only when the Government is really in trouble, and then shredded to soundbite quotes to minimise the damage to Blair. Since 1997 the Lib Dems almost disappear from the news except for Charlie Kennedy asking a question in Parliament or Sir Ming Campbell turning up late of night on Newsnight. And there are shows that don't get made on the BBC, anything pro-Israel (although I'd argue they don't make anti-Israel shows either, despite what Zionists like to contend), the only time we've had a 'capitalism is great!' show was on Channel 4 a year or so back, when some berk took us round a cleaned-up Nike factory and said "therefore, sweatshops don't exist!" But the news keeps showing us how genetically modified crops are helping Indian farmers, not showing anything about how economics ties these farmers to American companies for ever, and the dangers that occur of these crops poisoning wildlife and spreading outside of the farms. When it comes to animal experimentation, the BBC has consistently toed the Government line that all protesters are violent thugs. When the current law change happened they had someone on from an organisation that has no links to violent animal rights extremists and on several occasions in quite a short interview Jeremy Paxman was asking him about whether they would disavow violence and each time he said yes but Paxman persisted as though he'd said no.

The issue is not so much that the BBC is 'too' left-wing or 'too' right-wing but that it is too reliant on the good graces and prejudices of the current (and in 1995-1996, the party that was obviously going to be the future) Government.

Finally, Mr Galloway Goes to Washington. The insane response, showing if you can't say anything intelligent just call a guy names. I don't like Galloway, certainly nowhere near as much as Diamond Geezer, who is one of his constituents but I can't deny he puts on a good show. He didn't do much in the 2001-2005 Parliament and this will probably be the website to keep an eye on to see whether he does more for his new constituency.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

This is tragically amusing. A Massachusetts anti-gay group is claiming that equal rights for queer people is undemocratic, anti-free speech and results in alternative points of view [being] routinely drowned out. Sounds like they're taking a leaf out of Shrubya's book, 'Freedom is Slavery', 'War is Peace', 'denying safe-sex material to teens is freedom of choice' and so on...

And also on the same website, how to beat the arguments of those wicked pro-choicers.

Monday, May 16, 2005

More Music! Claps takes on MIA and Boom Selection has two toppermost tracks from Lady Sovereign. I'm also enjoying the FreeAgent remix of the KLF's '3am Eternal' but unfortunately I found it via GYBO which right now seems to be having one of it's periodic wobbles. Time is eternal except in London, so you'll have to go find that one for yourself pop kids...

So much for all that rubbish that was being written in the papers two weekends ago about how Tony Blair was essentially a lame duck Prime Minister who would be uncontentious before shuffling aside for Brown to take over: New Labour will try and force ID Cards and Incitement to Religious Hatred bills through on fast track.

Glenda Jackson, the MP for Hampstead and Highgate, said: "Where we have principled objections to pieces of legislation we will obviously make our views known, but we will not be trapped into engaging in some virility test with Tony Blair."

Great. You heard it here first, Glenda Jackson will not be objecting to ID Card legislation because she doesn't want anyone to think she's got a bigger dick than Tony Blair. It's a victory for democracy.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Working my way through the links at the back of We, The Media, you'd think I'd be smart enough to go to the author's own page and see if there's a page of these links but no, I'm being a bit Luddite about it all. Anyway, found this blog listed there, which in turn lead to this blog, on the Iranian elections due to happen later this year. What with Iran being in the Axis of Evil- Middle-East Cup-Final with Syria (winner goes forward to play North Korea for title of 'most evil country ever!', prizes awarded by George W. Bush) Iran Scan is the one to watch for clues as to who will be in charge when America kicks the UN into declaring Iran non-compliant with the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

In much lighter news, UK Nova has My MS and Me, an autobiographical performance by Jim Sweeney about life with the disease. Very funny.

Guh?! Cup o' Pussy. So very NSFW or children.

Bootlegs? Remixing music? That's so Betamax... Video remixes of TV commercials are the new Pete Doherty's Crack Sack... Twinkleboi's KFC Zinger Chicken Salad Remix Vid. Tasty.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

So, the new Doctor Who DVDs are being released, with apparently no special features at all? Nice one BBC, that's sure to make them rush off the shelves...

Friday, May 13, 2005

And this is why, reluctantly, grudgingly, I can't help but like Warren Ellis: All is story. [via LinkMachineGo]

Cave paintings are comics. Standing stones are art installations. It’s all stories. And I don’t mean that in an ethereal Gaimany “the world is made out of stories, mine’s a nice cup of tea” kind of way. I mean that we make the world into stories. From scratching our perceptions of the day into cave walls to dramatising the landscapes we’re born into, we make the world into stories to make living in it all the sweeter.

Of course, it also helps that he writes Planetary, which is brilliant.

We went to Ask Pizza. I won't be Asking again...
What are you lot on about? Get some taste and listen to something proper like Eminem or 50 cent...
How can you confuse an acronym with an ecosystem?...
It's true. Basil Brush is a global figure. I fucking hate him.

Tube Gossip.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Charmless bigots update: OFCOM have decided to side with the godless sinners on the Jerry Springer The Opera issue.

"Ofcom recognises that a large number of people were deeply offended by the transmission," the watchdog said. But it said the show was "an important work and commentary" on modern TV... "The production made clear that all the characters in the second act were the product of the fictional Springer's imagination."

Christian Voice were too busy hassling sick people to comment.

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

And while I'm on the subject (or rather the website), the Make My Votes Count Blog.

Sir: I write in disappointment at your lead story of 10 May. Again PR is falsely portrayed as the saviour of the electoral system. The articles do not address the obvious flaws in any PR system, such as unstable and fragmented government, disproportionate power given to minority parties in government, and a rise in the prominence of single-issue parties... It also fails to address the biggest failure of PR, and that is the lack of local involvement in political decisions. Where would the next Martin Bell come from? How can voters choose a hardworking local candidate, when the choices they are faced with are simple bland party affiliates? It would mean the end of the awkward squad, and a beginning of totalitarian party lists - is that more democracy or less democracy?

Whereas the current political system of cronyism and people who Tony bLiar likes being given numerous extra chances in power despite being shown to display poor moral judgement is obviously so much better. And I'm not convinced that 'unstable and fragmented government' is necessarily a bad thing, to me it would make all parties work a darn site harder for our votes to ensure that such a thing wouldn't happen. To have a situation where the BNP could sit on the House of Commons might encourage the Tories and New Labour to stop using immigrants as their whipping boy and debate about the issue sensibly (which doesn't happen at the moment, someone in New Labour will pop up and say they want a sensible debate and then a few hours later Shiteyes or nowadays Clarke will announce a measure to horsewhip immigrants as a measure to further deter 'bogus claimants').

The Independent is talking about electoral reform. I'm looking with real interest at Make My Vote Count, though sadly I'm not free to go to the meeting tonight at The Commons. I've been eligible to vote since about '94 and have voted in every election I was entitled to vote in, so roughly one a year since then. I've only voted for a winning candidate twice as far as I know, Ken for London mayor last year and for the Labour candidate in a council election a few months ago. So that's about eight times when, if I'd stayed at home, it wouldn't have affected the result at all.

We invaded Iraq to bring democracy. When do we have democracy here?

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Well, Those Who Dwell Above in Darkness (and manage the library service round here) met yesterday and approve wholeheartedly of my Library Blog idea. And so far they haven't insisted on any of those 'tiny' changes to the plan which effectively massively increase my workload or negate what I'm actually trying to achieve. So, yay! So, I've just sent my first email to all the libraries, asking for events info and contacts. It's going well, too well!

Monday, May 09, 2005

The Tories don't need to have a return to family values as one of their policies, it would seem that homophobia is alive, well and unchallenged in schools today.

Meanwhile, as I said the other day, the Tories, or at least Michael Howard at the moment, have decided that their failure to win on Thursday was because they weren't negative and racist enough.

Mr Howard abandoned plans to return to the charged immigration issue because he wanted to present a positive message of what he would do as prime minister.

Ladies and gentlemen, you've possibly just heard the Tory election strategy for the General Election 2009/2010.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Are You Thinking What Were Thinking?. I remember seeing quite a few of these, though I suspect that sadly I only remember doing so because I saw them on blogs...

I Voted For You Because... Tell them why you trusted them with your vote. How long before someone sets up 'I Didn't Vote For You Because'?

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Watch George Galloway's political career end in Bethnal Green & Bow.
The Liberal Democrats on the other hand, well they didn't do crap.
Yet another example of the MSM bias Blair wins election but may be ousted as Prime Minister by anti-Iraq war members of his own party... They just can't take losing and, what's worse, is that they won't even try to understand why they keep losing.
And a few hours later than that top post, they found out that Galloway has actually won:
[B]ear in mind that Oona King is only slightly less of a moonbat than Galloway. A Jew who shills for "palestinians" defeated by a Jew-hater married to a "palestinian". Forgive me if I don't break out the champagne.
Blair is an excellent leader. The world is lucky to have him.
Blair is a jew-hating Eurotrash pali-fellating left wing scumbag.
A simple search reveals [Michael] Howard to have been a staunch supporter of the invasion. Sounds like a good bloke.

I've been reading LGF for about a fortnight now, feeling it might do me good to expose myself to insane pro-Zionist, Islamophobic, Conservatism. It's not that difficult to read the entries, it's going down and reading the comments where you feel the world shifting, up becoming down, left becomming right, right becoming 'not right enough' and Shrubya morphing into an intelligent and charismatic world leader. But reading their laser-sharp observation of the UK Election is great.

Excuse me? [T]he Muslim factor played a bigger part than ever before -- and a damaging one for British democracy. Cities with large concentrations of Muslim voters all registered strong votes against Tony Blair and for anti-war candidates of any other party, however extreme. It looks as though many Muslims still obey their community leaders and imams and vote en bloc.

As the proportion of Muslims grows, due to a higher birthrate and immigration, we are seeing this behaviour affecting more and more seats, as politicians make greater efforts to appease Muslim demands. Labour has already promised a new law to restrict “incitement to religious hatred” which nobody except the Muslims wanted. Now that the imams have flexed their electoral muscle, we can expect the Islamic shopping list to grow over the next few years.

I don't know, they come over here, steal our votes... How can it be bad for democracy to have people registering to vote? Isn't this just the same old story "Yegods, commoners voting? And darkies too?! It's the end of civilisation as we know it!"

And if Andrew Sullivan thinks Tories '05 are now a 'normal opposition party', with their collection of insame racist policies, I'd hate to see what he'd consider abnormal.

Dracula blogged.

Is the Guardian giving me false hope by suggesting that a Blairite majority of sixty isn't enough to push through Blairite policies like the ID cards and house imprisonment anti-terrorist legislation? I'm not student of political science but I do know that often enough it's less like a science and more like Creationism, blind faith and ability to look facts in the face and ignore them.

And surely Shiteyes being made pensions minister is not the triumphant return to the High Table that he was expecting? He'll be on telly less, he'll have to go cap in hand to the Treasury or the Home Office to do anything. Things may not be quite so bad after all...

UPDATE: Aah, the numbers game is explained here.

Friday, May 06, 2005

So the election is over and there's good and bad for everyone. The good for Labour is a third term and, though the majority is down, sixty is still more than enough for bLiar to finish stripping us of our rights and he's got Shiteyes back in the Cabinet. The bad news is that though turnout was slightly up on last time Labour won with the lowest share of the vote ever. The really bad news is that Labour won, so what does it matter if no-one likes bLiar? The Tories get to feel warm and tingly because their number of seats were up, so the bad news for us is that they get to think 'aaah, our plans to send anyone who's not white to another country, far, far away and to shut down the public services and give the money to the rich is obviously the right way to go. Next time we say we'll extradite black people to Mars and pass a law making bank accounts for everyone who has less than a billion pounds illegal'. And Michael Howard has already said he'll be returning to Transylvania soon. Sadly for the Lib Dems they didn't get the Tory seats they were after, they got a bigger share of the vote but not to the point of sweeping to second place.

However, there were some good news stories that lack a dark side. The BNP failed to get a seat, UKIP were similarly ineffective, as was Kilroy who vowed that if he didn't win the election he'd leave the country. And as Fridgemagnet's been keeping an eye out, ex-Sun columnist shitbag Garry Bushell not only failed to win the seat of Greenwich and Woolwich but also lost his deposit. Titter.

Irritating but mostly right about the war despot-licker George Galloway wins Bethnal Green and Bow and then turns the old charm on towards Jeremy Paxman.

Finally, on a personal level, it was gratifying to see that two out of the three homophobic Tories didn't win the seats they were standing for. Sayeeda Warsi and Ken Andrew's dreams of a bluer future with absolutely no pink in it were dashed. Michael Gove did make it, so if you're in the constituency of Surrey Heath maybe you'd like to Fax Your new MP and ask him to explain and reconcile

You can no more “promote” the idea of becoming gay to a testosterone-fuelled, Key Stage 4-taking, FHM-reading, Jordan-ogling male teenager than you could have persuaded the young Graham Norton to make an honest woman of Ann Widdecombe... [Y]our sexuality is not a simple matter of free will. It is something beyond your power to effect. Like the operation of divine grace.


Michael Gove... [told] the Conservative Way Forward group that he supported a county-by-county introduction of the policy. "Those of us who want a more traditional sex education for our children should be able to choose schools that reflect our values," he said earlier this week.

Thursday, May 05, 2005

I don't think I can take the excitement any more, I'm off to bed.

Seeing big swings to the Lib Dems, they aren't getting seats so far but it seems the protest vote is going to the Lib Dems and not the Tories.

David Dimbleby has accused Jeremy Paxman of temtping guests into his salon. More like a boudoir with Paxman spiking their drinks.

Geoff Hoon on telly now. Labour have managed to hide him quite well during the campaign.

There's been a fight in Romford apparently between the candidates. Let's not say anything about Essex. Boris Johnson is wiffling on about the 'extinction of Tony Blair' and Jeremy Paxman has called his argument pathetic.

ITV are reshowing Michael Portillo loosing his seat in the 1997 election, I could watch that all night.

On ITV Jonathan Dimbleby is now interviewing his hands making a shadow rabbit on the wall behind him. Meanwhile David Dimbleby is challenging all comers to an arm-wrestling contest for 'willy kisses'.

Getting word of an increase in turnout...

First result in, Labour hold Sunderland South with a smaller-than-expected majority, David Dimbleby is giving this more attention than it deserves as it's the only result. He has Andrew Marr tied to a chair in his news dungeon and is preparing to torture his nipples with electoral clothes pegs.

The ITV coverage looks very cheap and nasty compared to the BBC...

Blimes! Peter Snow nearly did say "It's just a bit of fun!" He's the Fluff Freeman of politics.

The Dead Ringers Election Special is crap. They haven't even noticed the odd way Michael Howard says 'peepul' and licks his lips a lot. Call themselves impressionists?

Meanwhile on BBC1 David Dimbleby is slipping on the electoral leather codpiece of news...

The polls have closed, the exit poll suggests a slashed majority only in double figures for Labour, but Blair must be confident, he's letting John Prescott speak to the BBC:

"I've been travelling round the constituencies talking to over a hundred of our candidates in the battlefield area, and the impression I got from them going around was they were quite chipper about it, they knew there were difficulties, but I thought the diffi- they thought the difficulties were going to be difficult- mo- more difficult than they were frankly. But I don't know, there was uncertainty, nobody spoke with any certainty whatsoever, we have to wait and see what the people have said."

Been extremely busy today, too busy to do any slacking. Arguing with the Tory on the staff who thinks that Michael Howard getting in would be a great thing. Last week he was quoting 'if one in ten Labour voters spontaneously turned into flamingos in sombraroes then the Tories would get in' approvingly. Tuesday it was down to 'one in five', and today he was going 'one in four'. Still, he's going to see Kylie Minogue in Concert tomorrow for the second time in one week, the lecherous old perv.

I've had a meeting with the head of the library's IT department this afternoon and we're going to do a blog for our library service. Now I have to write up what we've agreed for a management meeting on Monday where it could get roasted alive by the library managers. I have to keep reminding myself that I shouldn't put jokes in a semi-official document, which is a pity because that's a paragraph about Dan Brown's tinfoil beenie antics that will never see the light of day.

And we seem to have been visited by Jehovah's Witnesses, found a couple of copies of 'Awake!' stuffed in with the travel books. I mean, JC stuff clearly goes at 289.92! (Aah, librarian humour) Still, it's benign compared to the person a couple of years ago who was going round all the libraries in North London, finding their books on Europe and the Balkan wars and sticking in notices about how Blair was guilty of war crimes and should be impeached and sent to the I.C.C. We didn't get a repeat performance before or after Afghanistan or Iraq, either the medication finally kicked in or ze approved of that invasion.

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

House. In the UK it's being shown on the Hallmark Channel on a Sunday evening, which in many important ways is worse than if it wasn't being shown at all. At least if it wasn't being shown it might hope to one day be picked up by a station with some credibility, like the Bin Ladin Channel to go between You've Been Fatwa'd and Prophets in Their Eyes.

I've just watched the pilot from the weekend before last and it's threateningly good. Hugh Laurie is Doctor Gregory House. He's permanently stubbly, which denotes that he's a genius and eccentric. He goes around being offhand, bitchy and sarcastic, obviously the very traits I aspire to in my career. Over the weeks to come we'll probably see some obligatory softening of this persona to show that he's hiding some trauma, but at the moment it does seem as if he genuinely hates about ninety percent of the humanity he comes in to contact with which is much more fun. The pilot gives us no real backstory for any of the characters beyond their names, which is something I'll return to momentarily. But a young boy comes in suffering blurred vision and 'night terrors', House is about to give him the brush-off as just suffering from the concussion he received during a lacrosse game he was in just before he collapsed, before noticing muscle twitches which means it's more serious. The rest of the show has him and his staff doing the medical equivalent of a detective story, trying to work out what is trying to kill the boy before it succeeds or their incorrect treatments do the damage.

And I borrowed the DVDs of series one of CSI from my mother. Two episodes in and we've got very little personal information about the characters. Even using the old 'rookie joining the team' ploy, we learnt nothing, just about the newbie so that we give a damn when they kill her off. And to be honest, I like this. In the past, when they take most of the first episode setting up the premise of the series the first episode plot suffers (the new Doctor Who wavers on the edge of this in episode one) but how much do we really need to know right away? That implies we care. They're forensic investigators, they should be forensically investigating, he's a doctor, he should be doctoring, they're cops, they should be... umm. The Sopranos is another example of a show that just goes straight in and fills in the details when opportunity arises.

I don't watch enough ongoing TV shows to know how widespread this method of storytelling is. Babylon 5's pilot had a very small story so that almost each character could give their soliloquy about their story and their races' history back to the Big Bang. Rescue Me did much the same, and I stopped watching after the second week because I didn't care about Dennis Leary living out his fireman fantasies, no matter how much he furrowed his brow.

House is worth watching, if you're fortunate enough not to get the Hallmark Channel it's probably out there in Torrent-land. Catch it now before the American need for 'story arcs' turn House into a defanged teddybear.

Well, yesterday I submitted my postal vote for the Lib Dems. Complete waste of time because I live in an area which will probably stay New Labour, if somehow it changes it will be to the Conservatives. The Labour hectoring on this point has been one of the most unpleasant aspects of a campaign that wasn't exactly brimming with high ideals to start with. Explain why their plans may be bad for Britain but by saying that to vote for them actually ends up in a different party getting into power actually means that you are saying that anyone who wants to vote for them is a fucking moron. You are saying that you can accept someone voting for the Tories, but that a Lib Dem voter is worse than that, that they have no morality and want a Conservative government but don't have the courage to vote Tory. That is not true, my vote won't matter tomorrow when it's counted but I voted Lib Dem because I think they. not the Tories, have the best ideas for running the country. And now I've voted I can spend two blissful days without having to pay any more attention to Blair and Howard's lies.

MeanwhileThe BBC report that business is booming for lookalikes of the party leaders with photos of people who look nothing like the party leaders. I mean, Pope John Paul looks more like Tony Blair than the guy in the photo and he's been dead for a month.

Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy exhibition at the Science Museum.
BBC website for listeningage to the Radio series.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

[via Fridgemagnet.]

Time Traveller Convention.
Convention events now start at 8pm for present-time attendees. It will start with lectures and/or music, and at 10pm the moment of truth will arrive... [T]ime travelers can come at 8pm or 10pm... We need you to help PUBLICIZE the event so that future time travelers will know about the convention and attend... Write the details down on a piece of acid-free paper, and slip them into obscure books in academic libraries! Carve them into a clay tablet!

...And should you find that your planet has been demolished to make way for a hyperspace bypass, you're being exposed to very bad poetry and that, as you're thrown out of an alien spaceship you wish you'd listened to what your mother said when you were young, there's only one book you need, it's called The Bible. Just ask yourself the question: How many Pan-Galactic Gargle Blasters would Jesus drink?

Monday, May 02, 2005

OK, I need go sleep NOW, before brane tells me to kill. Must kill allnotLoz. AllnotLoz bad. AllnotLoz evil. Loz vote Conservative. Gak!

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