There is an article on the Grauniad site called ‘Men – if you’re not a feminist, it’s fine, just move on’ which was rather amusing.
My position is no one, male or female, should have any statutory right to maternity or paternity leave, and indeed an employee should not expect it unless they negotiated for that with their employer.
So it seems that as I favour equality in maternity and paternity leave, I am a feminist according to some commenters! Who knew?
People in Shaoshan in China, the birthplace of Chairman Mao, are making good money selling keepsakes of history’s most prolific mass murderer. I find it odd that the BBC reporter doing a little video on that somehow neglected to ask “why are you selling souvenirs of a man responsible for murdering tens of millions of your fellow Chinese people?”
Actually I think we all know why that question never got asked.
Clearly Braunau am Inn in Austria is missing a trick.
From the world of Star Wars.
Maybe Samizdata’s own Paul Marks could get one and send a death ray in the general direction of the Economist.
Michael Eisen is a biologist, who studies the fruit fly drosophila with especial interest as nearly all biologists appear to do for some reason some of our learned readers will, I hope, explain to me. In his own words,
A few weeks ago a postdoc in my lab logged on to Amazon to buy the lab an extra copy of Peter Lawrence’s The Making of a Fly – a classic work in developmental biology that we – and most other Drosophila developmental biologists – consult regularly. The book, published in 1992, is out of print. But Amazon listed 17 copies for sale: 15 used from $35.54, and 2 new from $1,730,045.91 (+$3.99 shipping).
And the price was rising steeply almost as he watched. Why? I had often wondered this myself. Not that the development of the fruit fly has generally been my first choice for a riveting read, but I did once come gulpingly close to pressing the “Buy now with 1-Click” button for Connie Long’s Easy Guide to Sewing Linings before noticing just in time that it was going for more than two hundred pounds. It is now down to a mere £86 new / £44 used. I was kind of hoping for under £10. I am an idle waster who noted the strangeness and passed on; Doctor Eisen is a research scientist. He duly researched and explained all.
The bloke who posted this describes it as,’The same scene everyone knows, except it is from a film called “Hitler: The Last Ten Days” starring Alec Guinness.’ Presumably both this film and Der Untergang followed Traudl Junge’s diaries quite closely for this scene.
We are the ones, we militants without a strategy of emancipation, who are (and who have been for some time now) the real aphasics! And it is not the sympathetic and unavoidable language of movementist democracy that will save us.
- Professor Alain Badiou, in an article arguing that “We need to rediscover the language of Communism.”
The odds of people dying in a terrorist attack obviously are still a lot lower than in a car accident, unfortunately.
- President of the USA Barack Obama, Nobel Peace Prize Winner, speaking on the Jay Leno show
Guy Lodge and Jessica Asato looked ahead ten years, ten years ago.
Imagine it’s 2013 and the pendulum of the electoral cycle has finally swept the Labour Party out of office. What might be the legacies of three terms of a New Labour government and what would be the direction of the Labour Party in opposition?
Contrary to expectations, Labour’s record on public services will be quite good. In health, waiting lists will be practically non-existent, patients will be able to choose when to see their GP and where to go to hospital, and towards the end of the third term the recruitment drives of the early 2000s will pay off as shortages of key medical staff begin to ease.
It will be widely thought that the Labour Government missed a key opportunity to totally reshape the life opportunities of children by failing to introduce universal childcare and early years education, despite the obvious success of SureStart.
The main achievement in foreign policy for Labour will be membership of the Euro; narrowly won after holding a referendum on the back of a third term win. The EU will also agree to reform the Common Agricultural Policy after successful campaigning by an ever-growing trade justice movement supported by the UK government. Disparities between economic growth in developing and rich countries will continue to widen, however, and peacekeeping and conflict resolution will become more important as global insecurity escalates. Global warming and sustainability will also begin to make more of an impact on the public’s consciousness forcing Labour to rediscover its environmental soul.
The Labour Party will still be going strong in 2013, though radically altered in outlook and shape. With EU enlargement transnational political parties might be established, sharing ideals in common at the European level, but acting independently at home. If Labour were to eventually split with the unions over public service modernisation, state funding of political parties would become necessary and the character of the party would change.
That last line might yet prove to be a quite good prediction.
In 2003 Guy Lodge was Chair of the Young Fabians and Jessica Asato was a researcher at the Social Market Foundation. Nowadays Guy Lodge is Associate Director for Politics and Power at the IPPR thinktank and Jessica Asato is prospective Parliamentary candidate for Norwich North and political adviser to Tessa Jowell MP.
Finally! A politician I have no hesitation endorsing and who, if I lived there, I would actually vote for!
- Perry de Havilland at a
ruinous piss up get together of thoughtful political analysts.
Prize-winning author Alice Walker gives support to David Icke on Desert Island Discs.
Not a headline you see very often.
For those that don’t know, Alice Walker is a “an American author, poet, womanist, and activist”, Desert Island Discs is a long-running BBC radio programme in which celebrities say which eight records (look it up) they would take with them to a desert island (I suppose the gramophone must be one of those wind-up ones), and David Icke is a former Green Party spokesman who believes that, among others, the Queen, President George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush, Al Gore and Boxcar Willie are really twelve-foot alien lizards.
An unexpected pleasure, leftists chocking at the sight of people celebrating Margaret Thatcher, has just got even better.
The Daily Mail informs us that the “Thatcher haircut” is the rage in central London, with one salon claiming to be overwhelmed by demand.
Italian-born Christina Bellucci, 37, a digital consultant, said she felt the look reflected a modern attitude.
‘This is a strong style and gives me authority,’ she said.
‘When I walk out the door I feel a few inches taller, it gives me power without sacrificing any of my femininity.’
When I read this…
A supermarket chain has withdrawn bags of nuts – after failing to declare they may contain peanuts. The Food Standards Agency issued an allergy alert saying the presence of peanuts was not declared on Booths’ own brand packets of monkey nuts. [...] Booths technical manager Waheed Hassan said: “It is our responsibility as retailers to accurately record allergy advice. [...] In a statement, the supermarket said it had identified the labelling error and issued a warning to customers.
“If you have an allergy to peanuts, please do not consume this product and return it to your local store for a full refund. No other products are affected by this issue and we sincerely apologise for the inconvenience caused.”
So the packets of nuts labelled as… nuts… are being recalled for not telling people allergic to nuts not to eat the nuts.
I would have much preferred if Mr. Waheed Hassan had instead issued the following statement:
“If you are allergic to nuts, do not buy anything labelled as… nuts. And if you do, then either you are illiterate or cannot read English, in which case an additional label telling you not to eat the nuts that you are allergic to from this packet labelled as… nuts… would not help.
But then again, anyone suffering from a nut allergy eating from a packet labelled… nuts… and which, when you open them and see them prior to stuffing them into your gaping maw, look exactly like the… nuts… that you are allergic to, well, such a person is so stupid that we feel that we are providing a public service assisting with their choice to remove themselves from the gene pool. No need to thank us and remember to always shop at Booths! Kthxby.”
But sadly, he did not say that.