Archive: 2005 January

…er, see you next month then.

Will Howells has a good post on Tim Collins’ bizarre idea to make school pupils look in the rear-view mirror until they’re 16 because apparently some kids don’t know a few dates.

There’s no need for all that. The whole of history can be simply condensed:

In the past, technology wasn’t so good; people had lots of babies; people died younger. And in the end we got to where we are today.

History wasn’t a very good school subject for me. All I can remember (from secondary school anyway) is learning about the 1960s. I couldn’t even tell you if we learned about anything but the 1960s. I’d have thought so, but obviously I don’t care.

So because it was unfair to bang up foreigners without putting them on trial, the government has decided to balance it out by allowing Brits to be locked away without this basic right aswell. Because that’s so much fairer!!! Oh, it was so predictable though.

While our soldiers are still in Iraq supposedly bringing freedom to the middle east, our own freedoms are gradually disappearing. If there is such overwhelming evidence that suspected terrorists are so dangerous, what is there to lose by putting them on trial? The right to a fair trial is surely one of the most basic aspects of a free country; one of the shining beacons that separate democracies and totalitarian regimes.

This is not merely a drastic course of action for dangerous times. As Nosemonkey points out, terrorism was not invented on the 11th September 2001.

Since September 11th 2001 there has been precisely ONE terrorist attack in Britain – a failed car bomb in Birmingham on 3rd November that year, by the Real IRA. We’ve had fewer terrorist attacks in the last 40 months than any time in the last thirty years.

And even if the threat is real – and there is no real reason to believe that it isn’t, because there is no such thing as 100% security – it still doesn’t excuse such a desperate course of action. As Boris Johnson said in his blog:

By all means bang them away. But it is a disgrace not to put them on trial.

Live and direct from the University library. I’ve been given an extra hour off “due to illness”. I was kind of struggling to fill up the time anyway. What better way to fill the time than to write an utterly banal post about the weather?

It’s like spring! Not too hot, not too cold. Lovely and sunny. No wasps. Since when was the weather ever perfect?

Look around you. Just look around you.

It’s back at last! Thants. This time, instead of being a spoof ITV Schools-style progamme, it’s going to be more like Tomorrow’s World. And instead of being just ten minutes long, it’s going to be half an hour long.

The first episode sounds great already. “The team find out what music will sound like in the year 2000.” Weird that Josie D’Arby’s in it. Assuming it’s the same Josie D’Arby, of course.

The website is still in ITV Schools mode, but why not visit it anyway.

Make sure you look out for the release of the new albumen… it’s OUT NOW.

February is shaping up to be a good month for television, with ‘teaser’ trailers for Chris Morris’ new programme, Nathan Barley, currently going out in anticipation for transmission next month.

I’ve been making more changes this time. Permalinks have changed. Old ones will still work but new ones are groovier. The last time I tried this, the whole thing collapsed, but I think I’ve done it correctly this time. But this is just a warning just in case – if anything has gone wrong please tell me.

The linklog is back! It’s in the very top right, although now I’m thinking of swapping the black and orange columns around… I decided to use del.icio.us, since that seems to be the standard now. Hover over the link to see the tooltip, where I’m putting “via blog x.”

I’m thinking about what to do about spam. People are still having problems with Trencaspammers, so I’m going to have to ditch it and try to tackle it another way. But before I decide what to do, Trencaspammers is staying in the meantime.

I was going to write about Michael Howard’s new policy on immigration. But it’s a few days old now. And then I read this.

The real argument is not about numbers, legality or administrative efficiency. The Tory stance and the popular prejudice on which it feeds are essentially emotional rather than rational. You cannot fight emotions with logic.

Churning out a series of dry statistics… will make little impact…

The answer to their emotional charge is an emotional response.

Maybe a thoughtful post on immigration from me can come another time.

In the meantime, [expletive deleted] the Tories!

Interesting doctorvee-fact. I’ve never had haggis. But vegetarian haggis is very yummy! I’m not a vegetarian though. It’s a consequence of my parents’ beef ban. Even though BSE seems to have disappeared of the face of… well, this island at least, my parents have banned me from eating any cows since 1989. No recipes for haggis I’ve ever seen ever mention cows though. It’s all to do with sheep. Hmmm…

Blogging awards, eh? Personally, I hate them all. Except for the ones which this blog is nominated for. So I hate them all.

Actually, I simply think there are too many. The Guardian had a good one last year, but I think it’s over a year since the last one so it was perhaps just a one-off.

I’d pay more attention to The Bloggies, if I had actually heard of most of the blogs nominated. As it happens, I’ve maybe heard of about eight of them.

A Fistful of Euros’ own awards, The Satin Pajama Awards, are probably significantly smaller, but at least I’ve heard of plenty of the blogs listed there. The problem is, once you’ve voted for Chase me ladies, I’m in the cavalry for Best Weblog, it’s a bit difficult to justify voting for anything else in any of the other categories which it’s nominated for. The only other blog I voted for was Europhobia, in Best Political Weblog. I don’t read any French blogs. Or German blogs. I will probably have a good look at the winners of Afoe’s awards.

I’m surprised bloggers haven’t actually invented a new word for blog awards. I guess ‘blawards’ sounds a bit too much like a 16th century swearword…

For the first hour of today I thought that it was coming true – that January the 24th really is the most depressing January the 24th ever.

If platform 1 had eyes it would have rolled them. I heard the groan before I saw the train, so I knew it was bad news. Not only was it the trains that I don’t like, but it was also only two carriages. There are two fast trains that come within ten minutes of each other, so the second one would be pretty empty. A particularly poor decision somewhere within First ScotRail with that one. It was standing for me – standing in the bit between the two carriages where you can barely even walk at the best of times.

What was really weird was that the train actually arrived on time. I don’t think that’s ever happened to me in the morning! So I arrived at the lecture theatre with twenty-five minutes to spare.

I have to say, though, First ScotRail have improved quite a bit I think. The only problem I’ve had this year so far was when the later fast train became the following slow train, which made me quite late – but that was the day after they had to cancel all trains due to bad weather, so they were probably still trying to get things back to normal.

The rest of the day was okay though.