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The UK is hit by a tsunami of violence as copy-cat riots hit major towns across London, Liverpool & Birmingham

August 9, 2011 5 comments

Many will dismiss the rioters as “scum”, many others will give them a political credibility that they neither aspire to or desire. Others will say it is because they have “nothing better to do”.

One thing is for sure, these riots are no longer (if ever) about Mark Duggan.

For many on the streets it is a protest. Youth unemployment is hitting 1 million. The “cure” proposed by the government is not job creation but punishment for unemployment.

I got a lucky break 4 months ago. I found a new job. Yes temporary but still good. Before that job, I was depressed, on the verge of suicide and angry. Government cuts mean that there is very little carrot left to find a job and a lot of stick to find that non-existent job.

My next door neighbours, scientists, were raided by the police because they were Muslim. I see no other reason for the anti terrorist police storiming up the stairs like a scene of out oflife of Brian.

For those demanding racial profiling in the US – this is the inevitable consequence. It is not an excuse it is a response. If people are poor, trodden on and see no way out people will react back. Young black people, young Muslims are targeted for no other reason than they look black or Muslim.

As I said, a fair chunk of the rioters outside of Tottenham are just copy-cats. Their interest in Mark Duggan is minimal to say the least. However the rich had their riots over student loans, they never once spoke up for the very poorest who were having their very minimal benefits cut.

Do not be angry at the rioters, even the opportunist thieves. They may have “damaged the economy”, they do not and will not ever have the power to hold it to ransom or to crash it entirely.

Most looters are opportunists. Somebody else broke the glass first. The first are violent but the rest are just quite literally taking advantage, something we are all told to do.

Robbing a tv is far less worse than being able to decide who runs a government as a result of illegally hacked telephone messages. It is far less worse than a politician dancing to the tune of their big money interests instead of the public who voted for them. It is far less worse than being able to fiddle your expenses as a Member of Parliament or win a no bid contract for a war against a Country that did nothing to anyone.

Not one of these kids could have caused the damage to the economy of the World that Goldman Sachs did. GS gets the ear of Washington. The poor of the World only get the ear of the top when they do riot.

The rioters are wrong to do this but at the moment, those in power are making the rioters look like chewing gum thieves at school. Something needs to give.

Election 2011. Britain doesn’t go to the polls.

There are elections and a referendum taking place across the UK today, as I type 3/4 of an hour remain before polls shut. The referendum is on whether the UK should switch from first past the post to Alternative vote, voters really do not care and as a result polling has been difficult at best.

I’m not for AV, but want it to win because I believe in electoral reform and proportional representation. I won’t lose sleep if the No campaign wins today.

Elections for the Scottish Parliament, the Welsh Assembly and the Northern Ireland Assembly are being held, as are polls in 279 English councils, there are however no elections in London, so it will be very interesting to see if turnout rises above 30%.

In the constituency of Leicester South, there is a by-election to replace the former MP, Peter Soulsby, who resigned to contest the newly created position of a directly elected Mayor for the City of Leicester. Mayoral contests are also taking place in Mansfield, Middlesbrough, Torbay and Bedford.

Peter Soulsby won the seat from Liberal Democrats. Leicester South and the City election will be worth watching. Soulsby has in the past competed with Lib Dems about who was more anti-Iraq War.

Some lunacy has already gone on.

In Stockport nearly 100 people cast votes now recorded as invalid because wrong ballot papers were delivered to the polling station and in Carmarthenshire (Wales), a polling station was closed for hours after two escaped dogs bit four voters. Stick to the roads, keep clear of the Moors.

Council and Mayoral elections do nothing to change national government, although nearer the end of a Parliament Prime Ministers often used them to judge whether to run a General Election, however a wipeout for the Liberal Democrats may make their “partnership” with Cameron’s Conservatives somewhat more bitter.

My updated predictions – the Conservatives won’t do too badly despite massive cuts to public services because 1) they have their own fall guy, the Liberal Democrats who take the blame and 2) Ed Milliband is not really a shining star. So therefore Milliband and Cameron will have something to crow about and Clegg will be licking some painful sores (especially if the Yes vote loses).

UPDATE Polls have now closed, expect no politician to say how bad it was for democracy as a whole that turnout was abysmal.

Last update before bed: Nick Clegg is going to have a nightmare in his own Constituency, his City, Sheffield, is Lib Dem Controlled with no overall majority, I expect to wake in the morning with at least 12 Lib Dem Councillors defeated. 

Why can’t we ban Keith Vaz?

November 12, 2010 1 comment

Vaz - a liar or an idiot?

Keith Vaz is fast becoming the UK equivalent of Jack Thompson, the scourge  of the video games industry in the United States.

Swedish police recently arrested a man suspected to be the Malmö killer, a racist responsible for one murder, seven attempted murders and twelve possibly related shootings.

As Liberal Conspiracy reports, Keith Vaz has put his own spin on things, blaming the now ageing but highly popular game Counter-Strike for the racist killings.

In a Parliamentary Early Day Motion, Vaz declares

That this House notes with concern that the recent race shootings in Malmo, Sweden have been associated with the violent video game Counter-Strike; further notes that the internet-based, first-person shooting game that pits a counter-terrorist team against terrorists was previously banned in Brazil and in 2007 was associated with US College Campus massacres; recognises the potential impact of violent video games on those under 18 years; and calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.

Some small facts for Mr Vaz to chew on before he issues another fact-free attack on video games. The only person associating Counter-Strike with the killings is him. No-one else is, except perhaps for the disbarred lawyer Jack Thompson. The identity of the accused is not even known yet. So, if Vaz was being honest he could not imply, never mind directly associate the killings to the video games industry, never mind Counter strike specifically. Indeed, even if the Malmö killer was addicted to gaming, he may have been addicted to Pokemon or Mario-Cart or even wii-fit. Wii-fit is being promoted by the NHS so does that mean the NHS is encouraging violent killers? Lesson one Keith, not everyone who plays video games plays first person shooters.

A Brazilian Court did ban Counter Strike but a higher Court overturned that ban. The game is legally on sale in Brazil and sold without hindrance. The same court that banned Everquest. I guess the Judge thought Brazil suffered from too much witch-craft. Perhaps the Judge and Mr Vaz could speak to Christine O’Donnell about the dangers of the dark arts.

The only person who tried to link Counter-Strike with the University killings was the US soul-mate of Vaz, Jack Thompson. Thompson is now disbarred.  Keith Vaz still holds a seat in the Parliament of United Kingdom and can use that Parliamentary seat to attack an industry enjoyed by 73% of the population.  Vaz is not just some random back bench nut that can be happily ignored either. He is Chairman of the Home Affairs Select Committee.

It is in fact a disgrace that the Chairmanship of the Home Affairs Select Committee is held by someone so happy to spread lies about the gaming industry. Politicians can be ejected from Parliament if they spread lies in election literature but obviously not if they use the great institution of Parliament to spread lies about an Industry.

As with the Malmö killer claim by Vaz, Thompson’s claim of a link to Counter Strike to the Virginia Tech shooting was made even before the killer was identified. When the Governor published a review of the incident, it was found Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, had no record of playing video games at all. He did however have a history of mental health problems. The claim (just like the cake) was a lie. Books interested Cho, not games. The only game Cho played was according to the report Sonic the Hedgehog.

The other University killing linked to Counter Strike by the notorious liar Jack Thompson was the horrific shooting at the Northern Illinois University. Initial reports suggested that Steven Kazmierczak, the shooter did not fit any standard profile of someone likely to go off on a rampage. It was later found that he had been dismissed by the US Army for not declaring mental health problems and that he had stopped taking medication. He was however also interested in books and shortly before the killings, he sent his former girl friend a book by Friedrich Nietzsche, The Antichrist. So do we ban books now? Hey let’s burn them. That usually works out well.

Why is it when politicians seek to ban games they always find some three year old game to attack? In the gaming industry they may as well be talking about Pong. Dizzy Thinks details the cost of affording MP’s the opportunity to issue Industry bashing, self congratulatory, ego massaging EDMs that most people generally ignore.

Vaz in his latest attack on the gaming industry  “calls on the Government to ensure the purchase of video games by those under 18 years is controlled and that parents are provided with clear information on the violent content of certain games.”.

Adult games are already rated by the BBFC and that role is being transferred to the Video Standards Council. All games, even the cutest of Nintendo games are rated by PEGI. Shops strongly enforce those age ratings.

Current generation consoles already have parental controls on them.

Nothing can however prevent a parent buying an adult game for their games loving child. Just as nothing can prevent a parent buying a horror film for their child. So what more legislation is needed or even wanted? Arrest parents who allow children to play adult computer games?

I have a suggestion for Keith Vaz. Next time before you parrot your lunatic friend in the US, go and buy an Xbox 360 or PS3. Pick up a copy of the latest AAA rated game and see why gaming is enjoyed by millions of people World-wide.

Meet Nick Clegg – the man who makes bad things “progressive”.

November 11, 2010 2 comments

 

 

Cameron and Clegg – an abusive partnership?

I was a semi-supporter of the coalition, although I voted for no-one in the General Election. I looked forward to the end of the database state and the bureaucracy. I was very happy to see New Labour go but I was not happy with the other choices available to me. Nothing has convinced me about the wisdom of my non-choice at the election and not one Party has since convinced me that they are worthy of my vote.

I kind of wanted to believe that the Liberal Democrats were a bit more of a Party than their image of being Labour without the War. I also kind of wanted to believe that the Conservative Party was no longer the nasty party.

The problem with this coalition is that we will never know what the true identities of the two Parties are. What we have now is a Conservative Government able to operate further to the right than it would have on its own due to their Liberal Democrat enablers.

As a direct result of this coalition, Osborne can be as far-right as he wants, without any consideration of consequence. It is after all not the Conservative Party losing popularity. Everything proposed by Osborne is given an orange glow of approval by the ever so compliant and complicit Clegg.

This morning Nick Clegg was explaining why it is fair to stop the benefits of those who refuse to take up jobs for the fair and progressive period of 3 years.

A few days ago we had Nick Clegg explaining why a tripling of student tuition fees was extremely progressive and fairer than say a graduate tax.

Last week Nick Clegg explained why massive cuts to Housing Benefit that effect over 95% of those claiming were fair and progressive.

If George Osborne appeared on television tomorrow eating and killing the second child of all families, Nick Clegg would be on breakfast tv explaining why such a move is progressive and “fair”. After all such an action would help poor families save on childcare.

As the coalition haemorrhages  popularity, it is not the Conservatives losing ground it is the Liberal Democrats.

According to the latest polls, the Liberal Democrats now command only 9% support. Well they hold around 9% of the seats in Parliament and they have always been supporters of proportional representation, so now they have it, by default.

Everyone knows that the Liberal Democrats are the junior partner. They are  still however supposed to be a partner. Partners in a relationship can say no. If  junior can not say no, he is not a partner, he is being abused.

NUS – say goodbye to public support.

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

As the day started, the most amazing thing about the demonstration was that the NUS managed to get upwards of 24,000 students up in the morning to demonstrate against the increase in University fees. Something they didn’t really do between 1997 and 2010.

Then the Trots take over the demonstration and any message that the NUS wanted to deliver to Parliament gets lost amidst all the news of violence and idiocy taking place at Millbank.  Along with any public support for them.

So why did the UK vote Labour out again?

November 10, 2010 Leave a comment

While we are waiting for the big axe man to cometh as a result of Osborne’s baby eating agenda to slash his way through public services and burn public sector workers at the stake, some may question just why did they vote for the Con-Dem coalition?

Sam Coates of The Times (£££) has a gentle reminder.

The administrative burdens being placed on Shadow Cabinet members could provoke some mirth among opponents. First, all new policy must be signed off by the relevant shadow secretary of state, and a questionnaire obtained from the Treasury team.

Completed forms must then be handed into the the office of Angela Eagle, Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury, two weeks in advance of any announcement, and written confirmation of her approval will be given within a week.

The first draft of any full announcement or speech must be handed in to Ms Eagle’s office “no later than” three days before it is made. The final draft must then be sent in 24 hours before delivery.Significant speeches not containing new policy announcements are only subject to a seven-step clearing process and only have to be handed to Ms Eagle two days before the speech is to be delivered. Only then can the Shadow Cabinet member go ahead with the announcement.

Oh yes, that form filling again.

UK Democracy Sucks

November 9, 2010 Leave a comment

I watched the debate on Housing Benefit cuts and I do have to say I was saddened and embarrassed by the lack of knowledge displayed in the debate.

I’ll develop a further on this but in the meantime, look at this previous post.

One example of idiocy – Bob Blackman claiming people lose housing benefit pound for pound if they start work. The taper is 65%. Effectively a 65% tax.

Largely ignored in this whole debate, with few exceptions, is the size of the Broad Market Rental Areas.

Moving to the 30th percentile would be a lot more reasonable if you moved back to areas of the size of the local reference rent.