Burton Roll Out ‘Arthur Scargill Clothing Line’ Inspired By Trade Unionist Leader.
Seen via what I intially thought was a first-class joke article in the Guardian. But the only joke in the piece is Aditya Chakrabortty’s gullibility regarding TUC “research”, for, verily, Burton menswear really is offering the discerning customer a ‘vintage-inspired fashion-aware range’, designed by Liam Hodges
…to include casual and formal design, woven and jersey, and knit, ‘accessible to the everyday guy’.
Hodges’ winning designs take inspiration from the miners’ strikes of the 1980s and took into account production practicalities – from factory capacities to UK-sourced yarns.
“I was reading lots about the miners and watching documentaries. What I’ve created draws on classic garments from that era, updating them with modern jackets,’ Hodges said.
The next step for the brand simply must be haircare.
Look, I want you to know that if I thought there was the slightest chance that it was really going to happen my first reaction to this story would probably not have been to say “Cool”.
Lord Gilbert Suggests Dropping A Neutron Bomb On Pakistan-Afghanistan Border
Even cooler: he is a former Labour defence minister.
Responding for the government Lord Wallace said the coalition did not share the “rumbustious views” of Gilbert.
In China, the government wanted to build a road where there were some flats. Instead of evicting the residents, they lured them away with money. But for one couple the money was not enough, so the rest of the building was knocked down and the road was built anyway. The couple who refused to move now live in the middle of the road.
The article does not mention whether they still have water and electricity, but it does give some other examples of similar situations where utilities were disconnected.
This is China, so it is likely that there is more going on than meets the eye. But on the face of it no property rights have been violated. The land the road sits on was bought fair and square. This situation demonstrates that compulsory purchase and eminent domain are not necessary to solve the problem of recalcitrant landowners: if all your neighbours sell it is likely that your property is about to lose value and you would be wise to sell also.
In recognition of the increasing impact television has on decision-making by bringing world attention to conflicts and threats to peace and security and its potential role in sharpening the focus on other major issues, including economic and social issues, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 21 November as World Television Day (through resolution 51/205 of 17 December 1996).
Clearly someone does not have enough real work to do.
The Guardian wished to host a debate on the question ‘Is there a gay gene?’
In the spirit of modern scientific enquiry, the experts to whom the newspaper turned in order to examine this question were Julie Bindel, a freelance journalist and political activist, and Paul Burston a journalist and author of the novel The Gay Divorcee.
I have little knowledge and no very strong opinion on the question. We will find out one day and I suspect the answer will be complex. No strong opinion, but I was gripped by their debate. Not because of their insights into genetics, obviously. Their examination of their own memories and feelings as gay people, though unable to provide an answer to the question of whether there is a gene for homsexuality, did at least provide two “survey responses”, so to speak, to the broad question of whether homosexuality is inborn or acquired, a question which might well be partly answerable by self examination by homosexuals. Correction, one survey response. Julie Bindel just said that people cannot remember being babies. I did not see the relevance of this.
She also seemed to resent any attempt to have the question she was there to debate researched by anyone who might actually be able to answer it, judging by the scare quotes she put around “cause” and “condition” in the second paragraph of her article. (‘And despite the obsession of some scientists to find a “cause” for our “condition”…‘) She felt all that was her gig, I suppose.
No, what really fascinated me about this debate was the the assumption shared by both that the way to determine what is true is to decide which hypothesis best advances their political goals. Even that was interpreted in a narrow, tactical sense, and in a shape determined by their opponents. Bindel writes,
So when people say “If being gay was a choice then why would we choose to live a life where oppression, violence and discrimination are inevitabilities?”, I say to them so is being a feminist in countries where sexism exists, but they still exist and persevere. It is about wanting to be part of creating a better world.
Some gay people might feel that finding a gay gene might diminish prevalent homophobia, but this is naive. Racism has not diminished because we know that blackness or whiteness is genetic.
What concerns me is that, all too often, people who claim that homosexuality is a choice are the same people who stand in the way of lesbian and gay equality. If it’s a choice, they argue, then we only have ourselves to blame.
Proof by Aspiration. Disproof by Bad Company. Ms Bindel and Mr Burston may oppose each other, but both have understood the spirit of the age.
A Guardian blog commentator attacks the free-market right thus:
[A] criminally insane coterie of maladjusted right wingers – whose regular Pooteresque diatribes against the poor and craven support of neo-liberalism are beyond parody – that infests every political thread on the Guardian blog. Just listen as they condemn themselves out of their own incoherent foaming mouths. Their comments on the poor/disabled/unemployed, exposes the pathology of their neo liberal right wing extremism. Their attack on the NHS is no surprise – how could they not? The NHS stands as a symbol in opposition to everything these disturbed, juvenile, Ayn Rand fantasists and free market barbarians hold dear in their perverse belief system. These people are incapable or unwilling to understand a beloved institution that represents altruism, egalitarianism, self sacrifice and the humanistic collective will of an unselfish inclusive society.
This verminous, parasitic , parvenu, lickspittle, non empathetic sociopathic trash. These reductive whores of unfettered market driven, voodoo Social Darwinism, that wishes to reduce every aspect of humanity to mere units of production, who despise ordinary people, who see their only value, as an entry in a of profit and loss account – to be exploited by the human garbage that this sub-strata of humanity are, and the corporate fascism they serve. To read their comments is to see the true face of their malignant, cancerous moral degeneracy, and in that, they at least serve a purpose. Much like the gargoyles on a church spire, they represent a grotesque warning of how deformed ones humanity can become. These end of pier, amateur hour economists, these workhouse barbarians, these neo liberal whores are, “nothing more than errand boys sent by grocery clerks, to collect a bill,” that we’ve already paid for in full. Long may they continue as a reminder of supreme idiocy and malevolence .
It won’t fit on a T-shirt, but maybe “verminous, parasitic , parvenu, lickspittle, non empathetic sociopathic trash” would.
In the alternate universe in which we lost World War 2, there is at least still beer. That is something, I suppose.
From an auctioneers’ website:
lot no 305
A silver rectangular medallion, London 1977, applied with ‘WE FIX’D IT FOR JIM’ and ‘NATIONAL VALA 1977′, 4.2cm high, with a suspension loop, on a belcher link chain, the ring catch stamped ‘STER’
The National Viewers’ And Listeners’ Association (National VALA) was founded by Mary Whitehouse, CBE (1910-2001) in 1965.
Provenance: From the estate of Sir Jimmy Savile. OBE, KCSG, LLD (1926-2011)
It would be ridiculous to attempt to extract some moral from the existence of a medallion apparently issued by the National Viewers’ and Listeners’ Association, 1970s campaigners against obscenity, particularly obscenity on the BBC, and the late Jimmy Savile, 1970s BBC DJ and TV host, now alleged (credibly alleged, despite the inevitable swarm of bandwagoneers) to have been a sexual predator with no regard for gender, age, vulnerability or consent. Any competent hack could whip up two think-pieces with mutually exclusive morals in one hour flat and bank his cheques from the Mail and the Guardian in the morning.
It was just an odd thing I found on the internet.
Just to add to the oddity, the auction was held in Saviles Hall. It is no longer possible to Google for the origin of that name.
The medallion went for £220, somewhat below the estimate. Wonder what it’s worth now?
Yes, I think I am avoiding talking about the Savile case. You can remedy that below. The case, as opposed to the medallion, throws up so many questions and points for discussion that I was hard put to keep the number of categories for this post under half a dozen. Please bear the laws of libel in mind if referring to living persons.
You thought that no one could top awarding a Nobel peace prize to Barack Obama, a decision taken, if I recall correctly, eleven days into his presidency?
They topped it.
This is sublime. This is art.
European Union wins Nobel peace prize
This happy combination of headline and subheading on the Green Party home page will probably be gone by tomorrow, but if you click here and look under the heading “National news”, it says,
Global GM experiment must stop
More research into genetically-modified food and herbicides must be done, in the light of more evidence…
Participants completed a survey asking them to agree or disagree with statements such as “large scale governmental surveillance of e-mail and Internet traffic ought to be forbidden as a means to combat international crime and terrorism”. When they reviewed their copy of the survey their responses had been covertly changed, but 69% failed to notice at least one of two changes, and when asked to explain their answers 53% argued in favor of what they falsely believed was their original choice
Whoah. This is from a post on Less Wrong, wherein some more details and links to the study and video, along with discussion.
According to the New York Times:
In an attempt to erase a $210,000 penalty the utility said the company owed for [over]estimating its power use, Microsoft proceeded to simply waste millions of watts of electricity, records show. Then it threatened to continue burning power in what it acknowledged was an “unnecessarily wasteful” way until the fine was substantially cut, according to documents obtained by The New York Times.
To which my initial reaction was, “hell, yes. Go Microsoft! You kick ass!”, and my more considered reaction is, yes, that is perfectly rational. Microsoft used “giant heaters” to burn $70,000 worth of electricity in three days and avoid the penalty; an impressive feat.
[Edit for clarity]: The utility “requires large industrial customers to file load forecasts each fall for the next calendar year and face a penalty if they are off by a significant margin in either direction”. Microsoft used less electricity than it forecast and realised it could just burn some up to avoid paying the penalty.
The obvious question is, why would the penalty for overestimating use be more than the cost of the estimated use? It is a question that commenters at the Verge, where I first read this story, are speculating about. My favourite comment here is a response to complaints that all the comments are excusing Microsoft: “I don’t think it’s MS apologists in this instance. They seem more like libertarians and climatology deniers.”
It could simply be that the fees really are in line with the utility’s costs, but in that case Microsoft’s actions would be nothing for anyone to complain about. It seems more likely that some sort of market distortion is going on. The “utility” in question is Grant County Public Utility District, tagline “Community Owned and Operated”. Perhaps there are some clues there.
The Verge also reports on a New York Times crusade against the energy cost of the Internet. Sigh.