The Odd Blog

And when our cubs grow / We'll show you what war is good for

Posts Tagged ‘labour party’

Fuck that!

Posted by That Other Mike on 27/12/2008

Age-ratings plan for websites

Websites could be given cinema-style age-ratings under plans by the Government to limit access to “unacceptable” material, Culture Secretary Andy Burnham warned.

In an interview with The Daily Telegraph, Mr Burnham said “clearer standards” were needed as to what could be displayed online.

He said it was his “absolutely categorical” view that there was material on the web – including beheadings – which should not be available to anyone.

He confirmed one of the proposals being considered by ministers to protect children from harmful material was the introduction of age-ratings for websites.

“That would be an option. This is an area that is really now coming into full focus,” he said.

Another option said to be under consideration was a requirement on internet service providers to offer a service which would give access only to websites which are suitable for children.

Mr Burnham insisted his proposals were not intended as an attack on freedom of speech, but that some material on the web had gone too far.

“If you look back at the people who created the internet they talked very deliberately about creating a space that governments couldn’t reach. I think we are having to revisit that stuff seriously now,” he said.

“I think there is definitely a case for clearer standards online. You can still view content on the internet which I would say is unacceptable. You can view a beheading.

“There is content that should just not be available to be viewed. That is my view. Absolutely categorical. This is not a campaign against free speech, far from it; it is simply there is a wider public interest at stake when it involves harm to other people.” Via Yahoo! News

More news available here.

Oh, fuck that shit!

I’ve become more and more disgusted by the Labour Party in recent years; the real deep-seated revulsion towards it began, for me, with the refusal to allow a general election following the leadership contest which resulted in Brown becoming Prime Minister – while not constitutionally required, this would, at least, have provided the party with a symbolic new beginning and at least a patina of the legitimacy which Blair so deftly destroyed.

Further events which have caused me to doubt not only the ability of the Labour Party to govern but also its commitment to civil liberties include the ID cards fiasco, as well as the recent proposals by Jacqui Smith to enshrine radical feminist doctrine into law by adopting a partial version of the Swedish model of regulation of prostitution (a la the boiling frog scenario) something I’ve previously blogged about and which is opposed by more or less every group with a legitimate interest in the matter.

Enough is enough! Under the guise of attempting to protect children, the Labour Party is attempting to usher in a new era of Internet censorship and yet further attack our civil liberties.

Mr Burnham said:

“It’s not about banning or stopping people having that freedom of expression,” he said. “It’s simply about clearer signposting, more information, so people know where they’re working.”

It fucking is about banning! You mentioned beheadings online – if I want to watch a fucking beheading, I’ll watch a fucking beheading. I’m an adult. Don’t try to protect me from my own choices; stop trying to be my parent, because I don’t need one.

As for the child protection angle, don’t make me laugh! You know who should be protecting children from accessing unsuitable material on the internet? Their parents. Until you can demonstrate the influx into the lives of children of beheadings or bestial porn or whatever else you feel like gathering some phony moral outrage over this week in your quest to regulate every aspect of our lives, you can fuck off, Andy Burnham, and take your illegitimate Prime Minster with you. This is just the first step towards actual censorship of the internet, and we will not stand by and let it happen.

If you want to protect children, help their parents; don’t try to be mine.

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Rising levels of antisocial behaviour…

Posted by That Other Mike on 11/05/2008

… committed by the government in the face of the failure of its social polices.
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Labour suffers big council losses

Posted by That Other Mike on 02/05/2008

Labour is on course to suffer its worst performance in at least 40 years in the local elections in England and Wales.

BBC research suggests the party has fallen into third place nationally with 24% of votes, with the Conservatives on 44% and Lib Dems on 25%.

So far Labour has lost more than 160 seats with the Tories gaining 147.

Conservative leader David Cameron called it a “big moment”. Labour deputy leader Harriet Harman said the results were “very disappointing indeed”.

But Labour’s chief whip Geoff Hoon insisted there was “no crisis” for Gordon Brown.

‘Exceptional results’
The margin is similar to the drubbing received by Tory Prime Minister John Major in council elections in 1995, two years before he was ejected from Downing Street by Tony Blair.

Emphasis mine.

Just goes to show.

Local elections are a somewhat useful thermometer for the general health of government; by this measure, it appears the Brown regime has colon cancer.

Nothing much will change, inasmuch as actual policy is concerned; local government powers are actually mostly limited to administration and the like. Setting their own budgets is about as powerful as most of them get, so the effects may consist at most of some kind of slow down, and even that’s not a given.

The larger effect will be in a kind of feedback loop – the people don’t like the Government and inflict a massive blow on its credibility, which causes more people to consider voting outside the Labour field, and so on.

I’m trying to think of an apt simile here, but it escapes me; that aside, the Brown government is on its way out.

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Cue embarrassing climb-down in 3, 2, 1…

Posted by That Other Mike on 30/04/2008

After a backbench rebellion not seen since the last time someone said something about Europe, Gordon Brown’s Premiership has taken another hit:

Prime Minister Gordon Brown has admitted making “mistakes” in abolishing the 10p rate of income tax.

He told the BBC the government “didn’t cover as well as we should have” losses to low earners without children and pensioners aged 60 to 64.

But Mr Brown said he was “listening” and “learning” as prime minister and that problems were “being dealt with”.

The government announced last week it would compensate those affected by the change, amid pressure from Labour MPs.

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Ironic News Story of The Week

Posted by That Other Mike on 16/12/2007

Major Accuses Labour of “sleaze”:

Former Prime Minister Sir John Major has accused Labour of presiding over “systemic sleaze” during its 10 years in government.

Sir John said the government had become “institutionally careless”.

He cited as examples the Bernie Ecclestone affair and the latest funding row over David Abrahams.

Speaking on BBC One’s Andrew Marr Show, Sir John also accused Labour of carrying out a “McCarthyite” campaign against his Conservative government.

Oh, the irony! For those of you who don’t know, Major’s government was dogged by allegations of sexual and financial immorality for many years. Not to mention the fact that his leadership was confused and lacking in any kind of clear policy focus a lot of the time; much as the current UK government appears to be at the moment.

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Beginning of the end?

Posted by That Other Mike on 27/11/2007

This story hit the news today. The short version is that British electoral law requires names of those donating more than £5000 to political parties to be publicly available; this is an attempt to prevent individuals from exercising undue influence in government. Donations may not be given on behalf of others. The measure arose after various scandals where individuals were given peerages for large donations, or were awarded government contracts for them; although, notably, the measure seems not to have been too effective.
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