Wednesday, 28 December 2011

No Different? I think not

Bill Wasik in Wired on Internet Communications
Acts of communication, by themselves, aren’t especially interesting. We’ve always had protests, riots, and revolutions, and the people who carried them out have always found ways to spread the word. If the medium for those communications shifts from word of mouth, to printed flier, to telephone, then to texts and Twitter, what does it really matter? Technology becomes an important part of the story only if it’s changing the nature of the events — and the nature of the social groups that are carrying them out.
The difference is that someone who owns a printing press can't reach such large numbers, can't so easily have their information redistributed, or redistributed across such a multipurpose transport mechanism.

One problem for the internet for governments is that unlike TV or newspapers, you can't so easily control it as state media. Because the internet isn't just about media, but also commerce and something as trivial as someone sending family photos to a friend, and the huge volume of traffic being sent around from so many different locations, it's almost impossible for the state to police. Someone in company A selling canned fruit in the UK can send someone in company B producing fruit in Egypt a photograph or tweet from an anonymous account, and you'll probably never find it amongst the mass of traffic floating around. You'd never find it amongst the millions of emails floating around.

The only solution of a fascist state is to completely shut down the internet, at which point you start to also damage trade because the rest of the world communicates commerce via the net. 

Sunday, 11 December 2011

John Redwood Needs to Get His Facts Straight

From John Redwood's Diary (10th Dec 2011)
The government can often ignore rebellions as it has a large inbuilt majority. So far it has not mattered if  30,40 or even 81 Conservative MPs defy the whips on the EU, because Labour has always been there to swell the government’s vote, or has abstained, leaving the government with enough votes to do the business.
Back in May 2010, John Redwood wrote the following:-
Could UKIP supporters explain why it helped to prevent Eurosceptic Conservatives winning in 21 seats, so giving us a a more pro EU Parliament?
So, back in 2010 he suggested that these 21 would have been Eurosceptics, but is now saying that had they achieved a majority that Cameron would have had enough people to get this legislation through parliament? Doesn't that mean that those 21 wouldn't have actually been eurosceptics, then?

Redwood has exposed the great lie about the Conservatives which is that they not fundamentally a Eurosceptic party. He is saying that Cameron wanted the treaty and would have got it through parliament, except for a few backbenchers. 

So, let us be clear: on Europe there is little difference between Labour and the Conservatives, when it comes to action. If you want a referendum, best to vote UKIP (who it seems you can now thank for serendipitously blocking our entry into this treaty).

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Let's Get Something Straight Here...

Nick Clegg has committed the government to a crackdown on excessive executive pay, saying that austerity in the public sector had to be balanced by curbs on "irresponsible and unjustifiable" pay rises in the private sector.
Let's get something quite straight here, matey: the word "private" has a pretty clear meaning. It means that it's none of the government's business. If I think an employee is worth £10m/year, then what's it to anyone but me and him?
I think we need to make sure that people in the public sector do not feel that they are doing all the heavy lifting, that people who are in a sense living by completely different rules in the private sector are also held to account
They are held to account. By their employers.

Look, should we legislate against which women that billionaire's shag or marry, which charities they decide to give money to, which football clubs they bankroll? Same thing.

This is nothing but infantile politics of envy by the Lib Dems, that someone out there was in the right place at the right time and played some suckers for more than they were worth. Yeah, they're not suffering like the teachersandnurses, but so what? Some people happen to be born to billionaires. Do we take them into care for that? No.