Wednesday, November 29, 2006

The Joys of Academia!

Am I the only one who gets excited when a googlewhack turns up an article like "Stanley Baldwin, Heresthetics, and the Realignment of British Politics"? I can't help but start bouncing around on my chair at the prospect.

In other news, I was at a Young Fabian event last night on how Labour can reconnect with the working class. I'll post more on this later, but suffice it to say, for now, that Cruddas was formiddable and Liam Byrne his usual inimitable self. Very very good event, one of the best I've ever attended, in fact. I'm including university seminars in that, and I have a wide range of events from which to give this event the estimable accolade of being The Best.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Labour Facebook : We Have Been Noticed.

I got my weekle Cruddas newsletter today. Here is what it said:

Hook up on facebook

Facebook is a networking website which people can use to chat and discuss issues. Some people have set up an independent Cruddas for Deputy group on the site where supporters can chat online. Although it hasn’t been set up by us and doesn’t have a formal link with Jon’s campaign, it certainly looks like a great project. If you have a Facebook profile already, click here to join the Cruddas for Deputy group – or you can sign up as a new Facebook member here.

It said some other things too, of course. But I thought this bit was pretty kewl.

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Absolute Idiots (1): Nigel Griffith.

The White Paper said I would discuss influential and important thinkers/politicians on a weekly basis. I shall. But this fucker needs discussing. In my opinion, he is an on-message, unthinking, lacking-in-leadership, idiotic, career-and-more-importantly-salary-motivated, uninterested, pathetic gimp-cumslave-to-his-post-and-nothing-else, spin-supporting, spin-starting, politician of dizzying height. I apologise profusely to my many Labour friends; I do not like to opney break rank and criticise, but tongiht warrantd such comments. Especally gien my forthcoming (later this wekk, hopefully tomorrow or wednesday) post on political principles. What I will say then requires me to say what I say now.

He spoke to the Young Labour London network tonigh. The topic was "he Queen's Speech - delivering for young London" He spent the overwhelming majority of his speech talking about the pensions. The remainder of his speech was spent denoucning Tories and LibDems, and uurging "US!" "THE LABOUR ACTIVISTS!!!!" to unite and fight against them.

Now, I have noqualms discssingeither or being opposed to the latterly mentoined parties. But, let us return to the debate title. Was he on-message? For the Labour-Party-in0Government? Yes. For the debate topic? NO. Did he say anything of relevance to the debate topic? Yes, if you wish to defend him that much. I'm 22. I think pension reform IS important. I'm willing to discuss it. Just not tonight. That wasn't the point of tonight. Nor was trashing the opposition parties. Especially to a bunch of people who, largely like myself, have extensive Labour Party campaigning experience. It was pointless and contributed nothing to the debate. He was GREEN INKING this evening.

I could citicise him for wonder ful quotes such as, "we've abolished a situation where the minimum employers' pay is ninety nien POUNDS an hour" or "and I [with requisite emphasis added] know that because I [again, emphasis] was a DTI minisiter....once."
But the fact is, he totally missed the point of tonight. Then he left before the audience had the opportunity to verify they had attended the correct event for that evening and grill him on his idiocy.

Like I said, I am reticent in criticising (at least, naming and shaming criticism..I hope those reading this who know me can trust me on this), but he was totally egregious in his comments.

Now, either he intended what he said. In which case I stand by my assertion that said comments were spin-filled egregious statements designed to please no one but himself and. possibly, the upper eschelons of the PLP. Or, he is utterly pathetic when it comes to management and delegation of responsibility, and managed to hire some ape of a bag carrier who failed toread beyond the [hrase "Queen's speech" when it came to the title of tonight's event. Given that the other contributors were all experienced in youth affairs (the NUS president, an MP with plentiful youth work experience and a local authority representative with similar qualities) and the debate title stated the emphasis was on YOUTH affairs, I thought his emphasis on pensions a little strange. As a youth, I have more important things vis a vis my present situation (and that of those following on my heels) than pensions. Its not that they aren't important -it just that they aren't a priority for the youth.

And telling people who have campaigned in various cities (I'm citing here Oxofrd, Liverpool, London, Southampton, Hasting, Tonbridge Wells, though I could probably name more), encouraging activism on that level was hardly an influential thing to say to the upcoming "movers and shakers of British politics" as one Labour MP once said.

Gad, how I hope I'm an acamdeic charged with writing his biography in ten years' time.

Official disclaimer: Please, resheath the daggers until you've read the forthcoming Princiles Post. Also, please, understand that I will post like this irregularly and only when I feel it is of benefit tothe Party to weed out such idiocy. As someone once said, "never allow the idiot to live in your midst, for one day he may rise up against you." okay, I paraphrase, and "idiot" may be a euphemism, but you get the point. As someone else once said "If adults are going to be as stupid as [him], they deserve to be encouraged." I would disagree. Where can we take up the government's local gov. white paper suggestion for partial management of services to get the power to terminate the role of Nigel Griffith and replace him with someone possessing at least one brain cell?

I'm sad to say this, but he is the kind of Labour MP who makes me consder switching sides. In fact, Militant Tendency aside (and the dumb a$$ David Blunkett huggy kissy bull$h!t that accompanied it), he is someone who genuinely manages to make me question my support for the Labour Party.

And yes, I'm prepared to stand behind this. Anyone who wants proof need only ask.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

On the Effectiveness of Aluminium Hats

Brilliant piece of research, which can be accessed here. Who says MIT nerds don't have a sense of humour?

Disclaimer: Since Lupe Fiasco's Revenge of the Nerds, the term "nerd(s)" is no longer deemed to be offensive. I myself am, quite proudly, a politics nerd.

Info For Local Councillors and "Community Leader" Type Folk.

mkay, as part of my "seriousness" drive, I have recently become aware of the fact that Barry Quirk, the Chief Executive of the London Borough of Lewisham, has been asked by the Government to conduct a review into the effectiveness of powers and policies pertaining to community management or ownership of public assets. The reports is due in spring 2007. Any local councillors or group leaders who have attempted to introduce community management or ownership may want to look into this and, perhaps, even contribute information to the report.

And with that, Scrybe's good deed of the day is done. :)

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Scrybe's London Diaries White Paper

I've been doing this blog and updating regularly (several times a day on most days, in fact), and I've been thinking (mainly looking for distraction from the boring White Paper I am currently reading) about what I like on this blog and what I need to do to develop it. So, without further ado, I bring you....Scrybe's London Diaries White Paper.

(1) Continuation of stuff already done.

1.1 I'll keep updating the Facebook support for the deputy and leadership candidates, with occasional reference to other political trivia (how many people think Cameron's lies make baby Jesus cry, for example). I'm also going to try to tie this in with other commentary on the topic, like the recent post on a poll condcted by a fellow blogger. If you have any info of relevance, email and I'll try to post about it. If Bloggers4Labour can do that graph widget thing, that would be super-kewl, so get at me about it.

1.2 I'll continue with the occasional inanity, of course.

1.3 I'll try to actually have (2)'s for the posts with (1) after them. Lol. I usually do this, but I've noticed that my Reasons for Keeping the Lords has not been updated since the Queen's Speech despite me having much to say about this.

1.4 I have been encouraging suggestions/contributions to the blog, and this will, of course, continue.

1.5 The "best comments on a blog" weekly prize will continue, so get at me with nominations, either in the comments section of any of my posts or by the email above. Its a shame I didn't start this earlier or get much in the way of nominations, since it might have been a nice addition to the Bloggers4Labour blog awards (I know a lot of bloggers are highly active and, often, very witty contributors to other blogs than their own).

(2) New Stuff

2.1 I'm going to introduce a new dimension to the site. Serious stuff. Don't worry, it wont happen too often, but I'm going to try to be sensible and vaguely on-point about something of political import on a weekly basis or so. Again, I really ought to have done this more already, seeing as I have a wealth of stuff to say.

2.2 I'm also going to do a brief profile of an MP/major current thinker every week or so. Again, contributions/suggestions very welcome. This is more for my own amusement/knowledge (its surprising how many MPs I don't recognise around Portcullis Greenhouse), but may be of interest to the general public. Or the weird variant thereof, formally known as bloggers.

2.3 I'd love a decent banner for the blog, but am without photoshop until I go oop nawf. So, if anyone wants to contribute one I should be very grateful. If not, you may see an aesthetic improvement to the site in the New Year.

2.4 In keeping with my emphasis on empowering local readers I aim to be responsive to the needs and views of said readers, so I shall endeavour to keep systematic intelligence on the aforementioned needs and views and will work with the central blogger authorities to develop methods by which this blog can respond effectively to give local readers choice in how the blog is run. Yes, this is a paraphrase of the garbage I'm reading.

2.5 There will be a small prize for anyone who can suss which White Paper I am currently trying not to read by the clues given in 2.4

Okay, that's it. For now.

Christmas scam - Watch Out.

oka, in another bout of laziness I've c and p'd this from another site, schmoo on the run, but I thought it worth bringing to the attention of those who missed it. so here goes:

Tuesday, November 21, 2006
crime for christmas: postal scam alert


The Trading Standards Office are making people aware of the following scam:

A card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on 0906 6611911. This is a premium rate number.

DO NOT call this number, as this is a mail scam originating from Belize. If you call the number, and you start to hear a recorded message, you will already have been billed £15 for the phone call.

If you do receive a card with these details, then please contact Royal Mail Fraud on 0207 2396655 or ICSTIS (the premium rate service regulator) at

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Labour Deputy Election Facebook Update (2)

Compare the support (listed in the post further down this page, or with the same title of this post but missing the (2)) for the various deputy candidates as registered on facebook with that registered on the political penguin site (shown in this post - will provide link to political pnguin site shortly, I'm experiencing technical difficulties right now).

Who's your money on for Deputy Leader?
Hilary Benn
7 41.2%

Jon Cruddas
6 35.3%

Alan Johnson
2 11.8%

Hazel Blears
1 5.9%

Peter Hain
1 5.9%

Harriet Harman
0 0%

Jack Straw
0 0%

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Saturday, November 25, 2006

Creative Learning.

£10 to anyone willing to recreate this in their lecture hall (or in Parliament/Portcullis House (the main cafe/greenhouse area)/Council hall/etc, in which case a slight variation on the language may be accepted). You must capture it on some video format and post a link here to qualify for the prize, though).

Friday, November 24, 2006

Labour Deputy Elections Facebook Update

This is from about 30 minutes ago. Group membership is as follows:

Johnson: 199 members
Cruddas: 24 members
Blears: 15 members
Harman: 5 members
Benn: 4 members
Hain: 2 members

DO bear in mind that:

(a) many of the Johnson members seem not to be fully in support of him, so his lead may be a little misleading, and
(b) one need not be a member of the Labour Party in order to join these groups, so they may not be indicative of grassroots support which could be translated into votes when the coup (er, I mean election) comes, but
(c) facebook did a pretty good job of calling the recent American elections, so you never know!

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Select Committees Linked With Depressive Disorders!!

Okay, for reasons of personal interest, I visited the parliament website and typed into the search box on the main page "select committees" since I was, surprisingly, looking for a list of the select committees and who is on each one. Its useful for some work I am currently doing regarding the contributions made in debates by various MPs. Now, I know that people often bemoan the lack of power of select committees vis a vis the government, but I never thought the parliament website would openly acknowledge this. Below is the response my simple search generated; may I bring your attention to the last category:

"Current search: select committees

Are you looking for information on one of the following categories?
Click on it to produce better results.
Business development
Choosing a school
Community grants
Depressive disorders"

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Scrybe's Night Out

(1) Left work

(2) Considered possibility of pushing certain individuals (herein CI) under SUV's/lorries/passing buses without facing subsequent prosecution.

(3) Phoned certain other indivdual (herein COI) to find out why they were not in the St Stephen's Tavern.

(4) COI turned up and made mistake of asking how Scrybe's day was.

(5) Scrybe regales COI with point (2)

(4) St Stephens is full of political people. Scrybe and COI wander around Westminster. Scrybe repeatedly makes pronouncements which are surely punishable as evidence of attempted terrorism. Or attempted GBH, at least. Or at least ought to surprise passers by. In an attempt to be reasonable, Scrybe resorts to incarticulate "aaarrrrrrggggghhhhh" sounds instead of getting arrested by nearby police for articulate comments.

(5) Scrybe and COI enter pub. COI buys Scrybe plenty gin.

(6) Drinking of gin quells Scrybe's rage. Or at least takes priority over the expression of it.

(7) Scrybe explains legitimate some of the reasons for Scrybe's rage.

(8) Scrybe apologises profusely to COI for erratic behaviour, then explains some of the reasons for it.

(9) COI points out that Scrybe's behaviour is not erratic, but a rational response to an irrational CI.

(10) Return to point (2)

(11) COI plies Scrybe with more gin.

(12) COI and Scrybe wander around Westminster some more, winding up back at St Stephen's Tavern.

(13) Scrybe is further plied with alcohol.

(14) Scrybe is drunk enough to consider switching sides and/or kidnapping CI for purposes of torture comparable to Scrybe's experience today.

(15) Scrybe is drunk enough not to bother, but adds CI to list for "when the coup happens."

(16) Scrybe overhears conversation about football and forgets points (2)-(15).

Anyone care to better this?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Englishness, Britishness, and A Time-wasting Device For People Like Me.

Okay, I'm setting my faithful readership a task. I want to know what your identities are. Do you identify with being English, with being Scottish, with being British, or European, or with a local identity? You may, of course, choose as many as you want.

But I also want to know what you think each identity consists of. What function does the identity have for you? e.g. is Britishness a political/state identity, while English is more of a cultural one? Don't take what I've given as an example to be a rigid template - I want to know what your views are. How important are your different (country, state, etc) identities, and how are they important?

It seems to me that most of the commentators in this field spend most of their time disagreeing with each other. So I'm interested in your responses. And background details of relelvance are, of course, welcomed. (If you don't feel comfortable posting all that on here, you can email it to me at )

Then, tomorrow (or maybe later today if I get your responses quickly enough) I shall post something intelligent for once. Don't consider this a punishment though - you needn't read it if you don't want to.

I know a lot of you are at work right now, so I'm expecting something.

Thanks. :)

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Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Adam's Ricketts.

It has been a long, long time since I last heard something about this young chap. Back when he was in Coronation Street, in fact. So, having realised that he is a prospective Conservative candidate, I was a little interested as to why he had chosen to forsake his illustrious musical and theatrical careers for the vaudeville of politics.

I wanted the true explanation, his honest motivation for this decision. So I visited his blog.

On the politics section he said “All I have ever wanted was to be a local MP for a local community and do my utmost to ensure that their concerns and needs are met."

Shame that one of the other pages on his website had this little gem, "Adam's first love has always been drama."

So, will the real Adam Rickett please stabd up? And then go home, and forget about politics? Please.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Bloggger's Comments Award (1).

Okay, I enjoy reading various blogs as do most bloggers, but I think we would all agree that sometimes the best blog posts are made by the comments as much, if not more, than the original post itself. In fact, some comments vastly outweigh the amusement/informational content/select appropriate title here than the original post. yet, while blogs and their authors are often commented upon, the worthy contribution of comment-makers often goes unnoticed. With that in mind, I bring the first of a weekly Blogger's Comment Award!

And this week, I think the obvious winner, by several furlongs, is the horseying aroud one HAMER SHAWCROSS on this post's comment section. Were I truly as sycophantic as I sometimes give the impression of being, I would have awarded this week's prize to Tom Watson, with the gift certificate enclosed along with my cv application for a recent vacancy in his office*; Hamer, however, was clearly more amusing.

Well done Hamer.

Please nominate bloggers/proffessional commentors by email to

* said vacancy may or may not exist.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Facebook Labour Leader and Deputy Elections Update

Okay, my mate Jack and I decided that it wasn't fair that some deputy candidates did not have facebook groups. Given that many members of the Alan Johnson group do not actually support him and just want a place to discuss the forthcomng elections, it was skewing our stats. So Jack has kindly set up groups for Harriet Harman and Peter Hain. Hilary Benn and various others have yet to find representation on facebook. But, with that I am now able to give an update of group support. (Please note that Jack is officially suppoorting the great Jon Cruddas, so his membership of the groups he started is purely tokenistic and temporary).

Harman for Deputy: 2 members
Hain for Deputy: 1 member
Blears for Deputy: 15 members
Cruddas for Deputy: 22 members
Johnson for Deputy: 168 members

Labour needs a REAL contest for leader (and McDonnell is not providing it): 48 members
Gordon Brown for Prime Minister: 79 members
Stop David Cameron...his lies make Baby Jesus Cry: 306 members

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BNP stuff and Civil Liberties Stuff.

I'll start with the latter. Tom Watson has started a petition asking for the DFES to issue guidelines on the use of biometrics in schools, since none currently exist. I'll refrain from commenting on MPs who refuse to sign EDMs yet will happily start and/or sign other petitions, partly because I don't know if Tom falls into this category (he does according to TheyWrkForYou) and partly because I think the cause is more important. I also find the petitions development an interesting one - I'm going to write on this later. I wanted to start one myself, but then realised how difficult it would be to state what the petitoin was about. I don't like the idea of people starting petitions calling for PR but not mentioning which form of PR they favour, and want a petition asking for a clear investigation and, in the case of a referendum, something more substantive than a simple yes/no choice for PR.

Secondly, I want to remind you all about this:

Anti-BNP Day of Action
Barking & Dagenham
Saturday 18 November

Labour Hall, Tenterden Road (corner of Green Lane), Dagenham

The BNP is making Barking & Dagenham its national priority. As a result, the local Labour Party and Barking & Dagenham Together are holding the first of a series of Days of Action to take the fight against the extremists into the community.

We urge everyone to spare a couple of hours to come and help defeat the BNP in East London

And, owing to tiredness and the time I am posting, my apologies to The Pamphleteer for shamelessly copying and pasting of tht information from his/her site. But I reiterate everything that it says. We really need your help.

The Day of Action is going on all day, so if you can't make 10.30am, please do come along later in the day.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Disgraced MP and EU Fiasco.

I do love checking BBC News of a morning. Especially on day's like today. Tom Watson managed to beat me to commenting on the sad passing of a legendary footballer, although I may leave comment on his site later. Tom must have been in a rush when news-checking though, since he missed two interesting bits of gossip/information.

First,John Gray MP seems to be in a bit of a mess. He's blaming his imminent deselection as Conservative candidate on the fact that he is currently going through a divorce, something which he feels should not reflect upon his abilities as an MP. However, he conveniently neglects to mention that the instigation of the divorce was the affair he had while his wife was receiving treatment for cancer. It seems that poor Mr. Gray is not the exemplar of Opus Dave's compassionate Conservatism. Or maybe its just that even Tories find that some things are just plain bad taste, and that a guy who could cheat on his cancer-stricken wife is not the kind of guy you can trust to represent you in parliament. Either way, he's "hopeful" of winning the postal ballot of local Tories.

Just as hopeful as MPs are about the idea that we constitutionally have parliamentary sovereignty. MPs seem to think that if our veto powers on EU crime laws are removed, this would be lost. But, legally and constitutionally speaking, it has already been sequestered. One need only look so far as the Human Rights Act (2000) for evidence of this. I'm fully expecting some posts disagreeing with this point, so let me clarify. What I'm trying to say is that we don't have de jure parliamentary sovereignty anymore; it is this that our involvement in the EU has removed. I am not going to offer a value judgement upon this state of affairs (at least not for the time being, anyway). That said, I think that a case could be made for saying that we have had de facto sovereignty (although I know an Oxford Professor of Government who would utterly disagree with even this, more restricted opinion). I'm going to post more on this later, but I think we do need to consider whether removing the veto on crime legislation would alter de facto sovereignty (if, that is, we accept that we still possess it) and not get into debates about de jure sovereignty which has already been affected.

Say NO to HMO Quotas!

That is the name of this( ) facebook group. And below, you will find some information regarding this idea (copied and pasted from the link page).

Students tend to live with their friends in order to save money. Now 2 MSPs want to restrict how many people can do this in 1 area - raising the cost of living as a student. This abhorrent amendment to the planning bill will be debated this week. Don't let them socially engineer students out of affordable housing. Join the campaign. Say NO to HMO quotas.


A large proportion of Edinburgh University students live in privately rented flats with a Houses in Multiple Occupation (HMO) license. The HMO license is a statutory requirement for all rented properties housing three or more tenants and was originally developed to ensure minimum safety standards.

For a number of years, private housing associations and local residents in areas where large numbers of students live, such as the Marchmont area, have fought for the introduction of quotas on the number of HMO licensed properties in a particular neighbourhood, in an attempt to curb the number of students living in certain parts of the city. Residents complain about noise, litter and the affect on local amenities with students often getting blame they don't deserve.

The Problem:

Last week Glasgow MSP Pauline McNeil lodged an amendment to the Planning (Scotland) Bill which could see the number of HMO properties reduced in Edinburgh and other university cities such as Glasgow and Aberdeen. If this amendment passes it could cause huge problems for affordable student housing.

We are concerned that these amendments will have a markedly negative effect on the provision of affordable housing in the local area. This will especially affect students who are the most common occupants of HMO licensed properties and cannot afford to pay more in rent. Furthermore, allowing local authorities to set quotas by street, and therefore reject HMOs up for renewal, will displace student communities. Consequently there would be increased marketisation of properties close to campuses, potentially resulting in the reality that only rich students could afford to rent property close to campus. Poorer students would be dispersed outwards, resulting in increased transport costs and perhaps even exclusion from critical aspects of the student experience.

In addition there is the principled point that it's fundamentally wrong to use HMO legislation, designed to improve the quality and safety of rented property, for the purpose of socially engineering communities.

How to do your bit:

Join our campaign and make sure that MSPs know the disastrous effect that HMO quotas will have on Scotland's students. (

Visit the following website to send your MSP a letter or email:




Post #1
1 reply
J***** B*** (St Andrews) wrote on Nov 12, 2006 at 11:16 AM
What is the logic behind such an amendment?
Reply to Jhonti
Send Message
Report Jhonti

Post #2
B*** A**** (Edinburgh) replied to Jhonti's post on Nov 12, 2006 at 11:19 AM
it because there has been complaints from non-student residents in areas largely populated by students - mainly its the grey vote this politicians are going for.
So areas such as Marchmont will be hit hard by it. OF course, what these people fail to realise that its students that drive the economy of these areas. Using the example of Marchmont, if it wasnt for the students in that area then the local grocers wouldnt have exist and the number of convenience stores would halve, and the local hairdressers would go out of buisness and the local pubs would close and, and, and .......
Reply to Beth
Send Message
Report Beth

Post #3
L*** B***** (Edinburgh) wrote on Nov 13, 2006 at 9:24 AM
This make no sense - if people are comlaining about students in their area, surely it makes to to put all the students in the same area so that theres no one else living there to get annoyed by them.

13th November 2006

Dear Mike Pringle MSP/Mark Ballard MSP/Colin Fox MSP/Fiona Hyslop MSP/Robin Harper MSP/Margo Macdonald MSP/ Lord James Douglas-Hamilton MSP

Re: Amendments to the Planning Bill

I am a student at Edinburgh University and I’m writing to make you aware of my concerns regarding Stage Three amendments to the Planning Bill, being debated and voted on this Thursday. One tabled amendment requires all landlords to have planning consent as well as an HMO license in order to operate an HMO licensed property. Another amendment creates a provision for local authorities to limit the number of HMO properties operating within any given stairwell or street.

I am concerned that these amendments will have a markedly negative effect on the provision of affordable housing in my local area. This will especially affect students such as myself who are the most common occupants of HMO licensed properties and cannot afford to pay more in rent. Furthermore, allowing local authorities to set quotas by street and therefore reject HMOs up for renewal could displace student communities in Edinburgh and other university cities like Aberdeen, Dundee and Glasgow. Consequently, there would be increased marketisation of properties close to campuses, potentially resulting in the reality that only rich students could afford to rent property close to campus. Poorer students would be dispersed outwards, resulting in increased transport costs and perhaps even exclusion from critical aspects of the student experience.

In addition there is the principled point that it’s fundamentally wrong to use HMO legislation, designed to improve the quality and safety of rented property, for the purposes of socially engineering communities.

I hope you agree with the sentiments in this letter and vote against these amendments when they come before Parliament on Thursday.

Yours Sincerely,



Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sion Simon MP Goes Hip Hop

Well, with the publicity that his infamous satire got, it was only a matter of time before this appeared, wasn't it?

Healthy Eating Is Bad For You

At least it can be, according to this article. Jamie Oliver should be arrested for child abuse. Maybe.

I honestly don't really think about what I eat in terms of how healthy it is. I like good food - which is why being broke sucks, since I have to get the cheap varieties of food or cut out some of my favourites. I think my diet is generally healthyish, its hard not to be when you grew up with organic vegetables gowing in the back garden and two allotments. But I dont actively cook meals with their healthyness in mind. And I tend to counteract the positives with tons of salt and cheese anyway.

With all the discussion of obesity, anorexia, orthorexia and so on, I'm starting to feel a bit left out not having an eating/food-based health problem.

Mode II

Genius Spray Paint Artist.

Credit Where Its Due - Yes Tony, That Means You.

Seems he did good today. I seldom say such things. I'll praise aspects of the Blair governments, but my praise for the man himself is as scarce as Liverpool away wins this season. On Tony, I am usually found to be more in agreement with the words of several who at University with him; I can't believe somebody so incompetent is running the country.

Nevertheless, he did do this.

Thanks for that Tony.


A brief break from politics (and a brief break from my bloody ongoing and neverending pile of work), to bring you.....




For ties, cufflinks and hankerchiefs. Let's face it they do it best. And with customers like they have, they should do.
My particular favourite is their selection of silk paisley ties. Divine.

For watches:

For suits:

I'll accept some sharper dressed men around portcullis greenhouse as my thanks.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Comparative Analysis (Labour/Conservatives)

Here's something of interest

Everybody hates Labour (especially Tony Blair!)

5 members

Organizations - Political Organizations

Everybody Hates Labour

43 members

Common Interest - Religion & Spirituality

Everybody Hates Tories

423 members

Common Interest - Religion & Spirituality

After many hours of painstaking research (thanks are here owed to the ESRC who funded a sabbatical in which I undertook this research), I can present some conclusions.......

Everybody hates the Tories.

Okay, so that may not be entirely true. 'Tis the problem of using facebook groups as your research sample, I'm afraid (though I do think the other stuff I've posted is a little more interesting/useful in that respect). However, if this is anything to go by, I'm going to place a bet now on the next general election results..........

Oh, and I have figured out why the Alan Johnson group is disproportionately bigger than the others. It has something to do with a link to it featuring on a disproportionate amount of other groups (i.e. all of them, and not just the labour or politics ones either). Having attempted to restore some balance, we shall see if the situation changes.

Labour Elections Facebook Update.

Due to sloth (and the fact that I am still working at this late hour), I'm just updating the three main groups today.

Cruddas 21
Johnson 149
Blears 15

Some of the "support" for Johnson is misleading, however - this is actually more a group to discuss the deputy electins generally than a specific johnson supporter group (although there are plenty within the group), as this excerpt (copy and pasted) from the Johnson for Deputy wall indicates (names inventively altered to protect privacy):

C**** G***** (Nottingham) wrote
at 5:24pm on November 12th, 2006
Go Johnson! Anyone but Harriet Harmon...
Message - Report

S** C****** (LSE) wrote
at 3:01pm on November 12th, 2006
we need a deputy who didn't vote for Iraq or ignore lebanon, almost the whole cabinet is tarnished. Some one like John Denham would restore some balance, or Kim Howells maybe
Message - Report

F***** G**** D* F****** (UCL) wrote
at 12:16pm on November 12th, 2006
I think that it is far too early to decide who the best candidate is to be the deputy leader. Why have we discounted Hilary Benn? Harriet Harman too.. I was not convinced by AJ at Stoke Rochford.Why not keep an open mind and evaluate each candidate objectively without being sucked into partisan debate concerning one`s past employment..Johnson may have been a postman and trade unionist but surely in this day and age other things matter..I like to think that the electorate and Labour party members are a little more complex and not so easily pleased.I want a deputy leader/PM who can effectively convey our numerous success stories to the electorate but also be honest with us over our failings as a government and provide us with ideas as to how to correct the mistakes that have been made,(we have not had 9years of unbridled success,esp in the realm of foreign policy.)
Lets keep and open mind and see who comes up with the best ideas to lead us into a 4th term.
Message - Report

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Anti-BNP Day of Action in Barking and Dagenham.

Okay, I know a bunch of people have heard about this and may be attending/need further details. Here is the information I have:

Jon Cruddas MP is organising a Day of Action aginst the BNP in Barking and Dagenham for Saturday 18 November 2006.

The day will begin at 10.30am at the Labour Hall, Tenterden Road, Dagenham. More details are available at

I know a few people have said they can make it - but we need as many people as possible to turn out. You needn't support Jon's campaign for Labour Deputy - this day isn't part of that campaign; it is about preventing the BNP from making further headway in an area where they already have 12 councillors. And you do get the afternoon/evening to hang out in London as well as the opportunity to meet feloow Labour supporters and anti-BNP people.

If you need any more information, email me at and I shall endeavour to provide the requisite info. Post on here if you're going to be there/ might be there - it would be great to know which bloggers are going to be present and have some idea of turnout. For the record, I am not working for Jon Cruddas - I am just promoting this one because I feel its worth it. I'd be doing it even if I wasn't supporting his deputy campaign (its just that my support for his campaign led to me finding out about this day).

Hope to see as many of you as possible down there.

Conniving Cameron.

Anyone else notice how, on the way to and from the Lords, he kept trying to be pally with Tony Blair? Also notice how Tony was trying not to respond? I was watching sans sound, and Cameron just looked like a conniving jerk who was more interested manipulating the ceremony than actually taking part in it.

Perhaps I'm biased - matriculation was an important part of my university life. And as much as we all thought it naff at the time, we quickly (i.e. during the ceremony) felt it to be something much more, something which united each and every member of our university. I feel the same way about the Queen's Speech (at least the ritualistic aspect of it). To try to use a long honoured civic ritual for personal gain goes against being British. Clearly, he isn't a one nation Tory, and nore is this one Tory's nation.

Facebook Labour leadership and deputy leadership updates to follow this evening. Along with other assorted stuff.

Reasons to Keep the Lords (1)

They are kewl. I could give many intelligent reasons - and I have, elsewhere - but the fact is, the ceremony is brilliant. And it wouldn't be the same if the Lords were/was not the Lords. You couldn't have the robes, and the pomp, and the ritual with a Senate or a Chamber of Deputies. It would, quite frankly, be rubbish. Played out. Analogous to a boy band reuniting after a 20 year split.

I'm not saying they shouldn't be elected. In fact, I've argued elsewhere that they should be. But they must remain the Lords.

I also fail to see any reason to erase such a symbollic aspect of our culture only to rename and rebrand it as Lords-lite. Whish is what a Senate (or any other name) would be.

On this, the dear Bard was wrong (okay, I know he was writing about roses and love, but there is patriotic love in this) - The Lords by any other name would not be as sweet.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Facebook/Labour thing.

How many people are interested in my updates of this? I'm thinking of either

(a) moving it to another blog, for easy reference if it has sufficient popularity

(b) posting fortnightly/monthly downloadable digests of what has happened in the labour leadership/deputy race as far as facebook is concerned (hopefully with reference to outside media, if someone's willing to help me)

(c) reducing the updates to twice weekly and/or when something major happens. again, help re notification of any major press releases would be useful in this. (I'm interested to see how the groups' popularities respond to positive/negative media coverage of the candidates).

Your thoughts would be welcome. Thanks.


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Further Facebook/Labour Update.

Having painstaking cross-referenced names in the two Jon Cruddas groups, I can now give you the official update for today.

Jon Cruddas: 23 members
Hazel Blears: 15
Alan Johnson: 119 (HOW? HTF DID THAT HAPPEN??)

I'm Voting Labour in 2007: 86
Gordon Brown for Prime Minister: 79
Prime Minister's Questions: 317
The Bevanites: 15
Tony Blair is a National Hero: 10

I've got to work now, but hopefully I will update again later, with the membership numbers for such illustrious groups as "Margaret Thatcher Appreciation Society" "Death to Margaret Thatcher Society" and the respective Labour and Conservative groups. This may take a little time, since some groups may differ in their "joining requirements" (i.e. they may limited to certain universities, or require the creator to okay people's applications).

I can, at this stage report that there is a sizable David Cameron support group, and the members cite reasons for their support, such as "I think he's HOT." Now, that's what happens when you ignore Bevan's call for a totally free NHS and start introducing fees for glasses, amongst other things.

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Detention tactics.

It was brought to my attention yesterday that one of the science teachers in my old school would force students who had been put on detention to watch "The Birth" video in reverse as punishment because it was the most disgusting and cruel thing they could think of to punish misbehaviour. Gross. Perhaps said teacher could find employment in the U.S. military interrogation departments.

Update of Labour elections.

Here's how facebook are calling it so far:

Cruddas 4 Deputy (group 1) : 15 members
Cruddas for deputy (group 2) : 11 members
Johnson for deputy : 114 members
Blears for deputy : 16 members

I'm voting Labour in 2007 : 86 members
Brown for Prime Minister : 78 members
Tony Blair is a National Hero : 10 members

So, alan johnson seems pretty popular then. But looking at the members list, I can see quite a few paid up tories supporting him, so I wonder how this will translate in the real world.

If I'm not mistaken, support for Hazel Blears has haemorrhaged, while the two Cruddas groups, taken together would give a misleading score of 26 since some people are members of both goups. Therefore, we shall settle with the conservative figure of 22 for Cruddas.

The other potential candidates are still unpopular to have their own goup. Although Jack Straw does have the support of 48 people over his veil comments. You really don't want to read some of the posts about that.

(If anybody can do screen grabs of the facebook site - I wouldn't say no to the group pages for any of the above).

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Just returned from evening engagement with friend I haven't seen in 3 years and a huge cru of hers. I'm going to report the conclusions and quotables of the night ( may post more later).

(1) Apparently I've turned posh. According to aforementioned friend. Since attedngint he uni she is currently applying to. Apparently it is because of attending the uni she is currently applying to.
(2) I'm not the only one having an "interesting" time in westminster. If you know what I mean, you know what I mean.
(3) My mate has not gronw at all in the three years I've not seen her. I called her "diminutive" - she took this use of "big words" as further evidence of conclusion (1).
(4) The Red Lion allows you to pull your own pints of snakebite.
(5) You can go to major fesitvals and lounge in the VIP seciton if you masquerade as the MP you work for. I am booking my sex-change operation as we speak.
(6) I can get absolutely legless and not give away any secrets (or things that have not been officially decreed as "secrets" but, nonetheless, by my judgement, should not be discussed with others).
(7) I can get absolutely legless and not have altercations with random metal sidewalk things (y'know those railings they put in the only crossable bits of most LDN streets). Unlike one of my friends (yes, H O-A, that does mean you, lol).
(8) I can get absolutely legless and still spell correctly and write a readable (although possibly uninteresting) blog. At least, I think I can. Gawd, do I feeel like that train engine. Do correct me if this conclusion is wrong.

And now........

THE QUOTABLES!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My friend, explaining her breakup with the guy she was seeing when I last saw her : "Yeah, well.......I tried telling him six years ago that I was a dyke, but he just wouldn't listen."

From pretty much everyone tonight : "I f***ing hate my internship!!!" and "I never see my MP!!!!!!!!!"

From me : "I never see my MP AND everybody I speak to thinks my research project is impossible to do in the time I've been given. I even have ex-tutors saying they couldn't do what I've been asked to do - and THEY TAUGHT ME FOR THREE YEARS!!!!!!!!!'

Someone who should have been working with someone else I know : "NO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Dont send that text!!!!!! AAAAAAARRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!! Now he's going to think I'm really bitter and hate him and I don't...."

My response : "It's okay - he'll be kewl. Besides, judging from the swift response to the last text, a wind up reply would be the requisite response from me."

(If you get the reference for that one, you should have done. If you didn't you weren't supposed to.)

From a text message just received frm my mate : "aah....I knew you liked him."

My response : "Meh. I is ghetto, I dont do liking." note: this is in reference to someone we met tonight, if you weren't there then it wasn't you. And yeah, I is ghetto. And no, I don't do liking. But he was kinda, um, yeah.).

From a random person who accosted me upon leaving the tube station : "Eh, drugs, would you like somee? Buy? Buy them - only £20" They were offering me a bag of sealed Maom (or w/e its called) sweets.

Updates of facebook/labour thing tomorrow am - promise! But I will now affirm that I found out today that there are two (YES 2!!!!!!!!!!) groups for JON CRUDDASS!!!!!!!!!!!!! Each has ten members, so the toalt below should be 20 for Jon Cruddass, not 9 as originally reported. Full update by noon tuesday.

Monday, November 13, 2006


Okay, today was quite interesting - well, this afternoon was, anyway. However, I'm suffering a terrible clod/flu type diseas of the highest order and have to get to an engagement tonight, so can't post until later/and/or tomorow.

Update of today's wonderflness and of the facebook/labour elections stuff will follow shortly. (Poss. as an edit of this post, so keep ya eyes on it).

I apologise for any inconvenience.

And thanks to the people who posted below. Major props to the person who mentoned a hit counter for me.

Does Anybody Read This Blog?

Just checking - I've only had one comment :( and I really have to get a hit counter installed. I don't want to keep posting if no one's reading.

On a different note, I shall be getting thoroughly drunk tomorrow evening (or later this evening, depending on how you see it) in the company of an old friend and one of her friends who I've been in touch with but haven't met. Friend of friend [jokingly] suggested we attempt to lick/pull members of the cabinet, shotgunning not John Prescott. Transcribed below (in quotation marks) is my ultra-diplomatic response.

"text me when you have a date for these drinks - I'm definitely good for it. re post below [by aforementioned friend of friend]: shotgun any cute ones......

hahaha, as if there are any!

(my MP, should [they] read this, is, of course, preternaturally beautiful (in a totally non-sexual manner you understand) like a da vinci sketch or greek sculpture; but my penchant for dionysian imperfections precludes any interest in [their] apollonian aesthete)."

I kid you not. I have skills. Super-diplomatic skills. I'm a political ninja. And, as you may guess from the state of this post, I am a copious-amounts-of-bombay-sapphire-drinking political ninja. There really should be a breathelizer security feature for computers/the internet.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Find The Lord.....

who shares your birthday! I have three:

Lord Lyell - Conservative
Lord Plumb - Conservative
Lord Lyell of Markyate - Conservative

but I think the two Lord Lyells are, in fact, one and the same person. This is the new addition to the WriteToThem website, and it allows you to select a Lord by place (e.g. they are from that place, or went to uni there), by topic interest, or by birthday. You can also choose a Random Lord - I got Lord Mance (a crossbencher). A brief moment of amusement.

But a little worrying that I share birthdays with a bunch of Tories. Oh well, I'm a day away from sharing a birthday with Neil Kinnock, and my heritage is partly from a constituency which neighboured his and for which he almost stood.

Facebook Calls Labour Contest!

Okay, a few days ago I posted on "Facebook calling the recent U.S. elections." And following a conversation with a friend who was considering backing Cruddas for the Labour Deputy post, I changed my "status" on facebook to "I am supporting JON CRUDDAS FOR LABOUR DEPUTY." Within a couple of hours, another friend, Jack, invited me to join his group "Jon Cruddas for Deputy!" This got me thinking, and having now researched the facebook groups, my findings on the Labour Leadership and Deupty Leadership contests can be found below. Unfortunately, the groups do not have informatioin on when they were founded, which makes the membership numbers difficult to assess (I know the Cruddas one was only started yesterday, while others have been around longer). I'll try to keep this updated as the contest progresses.

The Labour Leadership/Deputy Leadership race as of 5.25pm, Sunday 12th November, 2006:
(Format= Group: Membership numbers)

Hazel Blears for Deputy: 14 members
Alan Johnson for Deputy: 32 members
Jon Cruddas for Deputy: 9 members

Brown for Prime Minister: 78 members
Labour needs a REAL contest for leader: 48 members
I'm voting Labour in 2007: 85 members

McDonnell, Hain, Harman, Reid, and everyone else has evdiently failed to galvanise the youth vote, since they have no support groups. Though perhaps with this lack of support, they are the potential candidates who would most benefit from a support group. In every sense of the term.

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Is A Brown Coalition An Orange One?

According to Jasper Gerard in CiF, Gordon Brown is courting the LibDems in the case of a hung parliament. And he is not averse to the idea of electoral reform, either. Gerard thinks Gordon wants to being his Prime Ministership in similar style to his start as Chancellor, with "fireworks" (so, we can take it a November election is on, then, lol), distancing himself from Blair as he does so. And what better way to achieve this than by changing the electoral system?

However, the problem with this (or one problem, of many) that I have pointed out repeatedly elsewhere, is that a change in the electoral system for the House of Commons could have a significant impact on what can be done to reform the upper house, the Lords. I've always found it amusing (in a slightly despairing way) that proponents of Commons electoral reform are often those who also favour an elected Lords. The problem with this is that if PR is introduced to the Commons, what system is used to elect the Lords?

(1) We can use the same system in both houses. This was Italy's style. It didn't work there. We'd end up with a duplication of houses, in terms of their composition, and the purpose of the Lords would be called into question since it would just delay the introduction of legislation, rather than amending it.

(2) We can abolish the Lords. Great way to increase the power of the Government vis a vis other political actors.

(3) We can have a system like STV (single transferable vote) in the Commons and full PR in the Lords (party list). Great. That way we can have a Lords with no independents and strong party control. Just what we wanted to achieve. Again, hardly likely to result in power being decentralised.

(4) We can use a system like AV+ or MMP in the Commons, with STV in the Lords. The flaws in this plan could be written about at great length (and they have - but Alan Johnsons seems not to have read any of it). Suffice it to say that there are strong reasons why this is a very very very stupid idea. AV+ is even dumber than MMP (I honestly think that anyone involved in designing AV+ should have their intelligence tested and their degrees and other qualifications revoked, since this idea demonstrates that they probably only obtained such qualifications through deception).

Oh. Dear.

Gordon, ask me for a copy of "Constituting the Constitution." You might find it useful.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Facebook Called U.S. Elections...

The recent U.S. elections were interesting. Aside from the actual race itself, I found what happened over at facebook very interesting. Facebook is like myspace, only it was, until recently, only open to university students and some schools. In the run up to the election, candidates had pages on the site to which users could link as "supporters" (rather thhan as "friends" as normally happens on the site), and there were Issues to which users copuld declare an interest in.

Given that each time you log in, the first page you see is a news feed of what your friends have recently done, one person with 300 friends (not that unusual on there) signing up to a candidate automatically generates a nice amount of free publicity for that candidate in a form that the candidate themselves could not possibly hope to do. It also allows candidates to post notes, and for supporters to post on their "wall" (again, like myspace). I wonder what effect this had on the race overall. I think the very fact that it being documented on the site increased the interest in the race among young people, even those who are not from the U.S. and had little interest in American electoral politics before (I'm calling this last bit on the basis of many of my friends).

But, even more interesting was the election pulse, which registered the support of the various candidates in each race, a kind of continuous online poll, if you will. When the votes were being counted, the vote share actually received was shown alongside the support-share on facebook. How I wish I'd had the forethought to look at this before the actual race, and how I wish the data was also available in its raw form (i.e. not simply as percentages), since it would have been a fascinating source for some electoral analysis.

Gardening Gansta-style.

I came across this in the london paper on my tube ride home today. Guerrilla gardening is an excellent idea, in my opinion, I'm glad that they're doing it. I must confess to my amusement over the fact that they have been stopped by the police on occasion (although the cops do tend to take a positive view of what is being done), and the fact that, technically, doing free gardening to run-down public spaces is illegal.

Perhaps, if the argument that other illegal activities sometimes find popularity among the youth due to their very illegality (e.g. graffiti) holds, young people could be encouraged to garden by stealth?


What A Compliment....

I had a wonderful compliment paid to me today. I'm currently hunting for gainful employment and, while chilling over a coffee, was informed by someone that if they'd had the budget to do it, they would have given me a job straight up. Ahh, brought a tear to my eye, that did. Well, it would have done, were I that emotional generally.

"Just Call Me Dave"

Is it just me, or do other people find that David Cameron's (pictured left) insisitence that we should 'just call him Dave' make other people immediately think of Papa Lazarou from The League of Gentlemen? If I was a constituent of his, I know what would be on my Christmas list this year......

Monday, November 06, 2006


Timebank is a volunteering website which runs/promotes various volunteering and mentoring initiatives. I only did occasional volunteering work while at university, mainly because I couldn't always commit to a specific time on a weekly basis, but I spent my gap year doing youth work in a centre in Liverpool o a voluntary basis. That happened by accident - I was at a community meeting about ASBOs of all things, and addressed the officials who were speaking, getting a good reaction from the audience and many of the officials. It turned out that the guy sitting next to me was the head of Liverpool's youth projects and he offered me a job, but I had no previous experience so I asked if I could do voluntary work instead.

My time at the youth centre was excellent and the kids I worked with really seemed to appreciate the work I did there. Now that I have a slightly more regular work pattern again, I figured it was time to do some volunteering again, so I've signed up to their reading scheme for primary school children - apparently 77% of the kids they work with end up with improved literacy from the scheme and its only requires an hour of my time each week, a miniscule amount to give to have a positive effect upon someone's life chances.

I was slightly reminded to do this by a post I made on Tom Watson's website about how great my music teachers were in keeping me focussed academically, and by the fact that my high literacy skills at a young age had a clear impact upon how my life developed compared with those who grew up in the same 'hood as I did.

But I think its a worthwhile "sacrifice" to make - and I encourage anyone reading this to check out their website and consider doing the same.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Political Ettiquete No. 1

Okay, a couple of weeks ago, I was wandering down the corridor at work to the photocopier room, when a politician happened to be walking in my direction to their office. We caught eye contact around the point at which we were about to pass each other. Then said politician says (still looking at me) "Tally Ho!"

I was a little flummoxed, I mean, who ever syays "Tally Ho" anymore? And this was a Labour politician, too! Given the etymology of the phrase, namely probably deriving from the French taïaut, a cry used to excite hounds in deer hunting, I was a little thrown.

Anyway, before I had regained enough composure to respond, said politician dsappeared into their office. What should have been the appropriate response? Just in case it should happen again, I wouldn't want to offend my superiors with persistent non-Tally Hoing, y'know.


Immortal technique - Scary Guy

I like Immortal technique (as the links bar indicates), but sometimes he scares me. I like his honesty and his attempts to say something or substance whenever he speaks. And he does have some really inventive phrases. But he still sometimes scares me. Like just now, I was listening to his song Dance With The Devil for the first time. About thrity seconds in, I was feeling a little ill, but compelled to keep listening. After the song finished, I had to take a few moments to gather myself, it really hits you hard. But that's why what he says has an impact upon those who listen to him; he doest shy away from discussing issues and the way he says it really forces you to take notice and not take things lightly. Does anyone on here also listen to IT? Or are there any other musicians, writers, etc., who you think are keeping it raw?

Still don't know what to make of Dance With The Devil, though. Its not the kind of thing you can like, or enjoy. But its not the kind of thing you can dismiss or ignore, either. The ending is so potent, especially because of the way the start sets it up. I think I'm gonna find a duvet to cower under.

We Interrupt the Hip Hop to Bring You Something Serious....

John Denham (MP for one of the Southampton contituencies, and chair of the Home Affairs Select Committee) has a new blog.

There's only one post so far (but peep it anyway and give support), and it about the contentious proposal of his that was reported on BBC News recently, about having offenders doing community service wearing uniforms, among other things. I sress the "among other things" since his other proposals are actually quite interesting, but I'll leave my comment on that to a later post.

Regarding the uniform issue, there are good and bad points to it. It wold send out a clear message that such people were giving back to their community and that they were not necessarily having an "Easy ride" (e.g. if they are seen collecting refuse in the middle of winter). But there is the problem of the uniform being subverted an becoming a "badge of honour" that wonderful title so ostentatiously applied to thr ASBO phenomenon. This is already prevalent, with rap stars (see photograph of Akon) wearing prison fatigues in their videos, and such clothing (usually American institutions) being sold at rock concerts, rock clothing shops (check Quiggans in Liverpool), and other subculture shopping arenas. And there is some truth to the argument that ASBO's have not been effective, they have rather had the opposite effect. Whether commnity service unfiorms would be effective is also debatable.

I'm a pretty decent, law-abiding, non-trouble causing individual. I always was (pretty much). But when I was at school, the main after-school game to play was "getting a legger" which basically meant doing something (usually petty vandalism, or causing too much noise) which attracted the attention of the police, then running away. Growing up in a deprived area at the end of the Conservative regime with the further complication that those wonderful Militant Tendencies neanderthals had bankrupted our council, there was barely anything else to do. And at least we weren't stealing cars, joyriding them then setting them alight, or igniting random skips, as was commonplace in the are in which I grew up. There was also that perennial illicit adolescent pleasure; doing anything or being anywhere that you weren't supposed to do/be. Which is one the problems of ASBOs involving exclusion zones. It just takes those childhood games up to a higher level. Oh, and don't think I was that wayward when I was young - I still offered my seat to old people and pregnant women on the bus, held doors open for people, and was generally a positive member of my community. Its just that there was nothing to do, and sometimes we needed to wile out.

It seems pretty obvious that the design of the uniform John Denham is suggesting will make it one of the must-have items of the season in which it is introduced. The are only two ways in which this could be prevented; either have the uniform so disgusting that it could not be adopted by various subcultures (I'm thinking a nice pink floral pattern would work wonders), or change the cultures. The latter is not so difficult, but it would take some honest politicians for it to be done with the involvement of elected officials*. As one of my friends pointed out about the hip hop thing of talkiing about dropping out of schools, getting into trouble with thelaw and going to jail, "That means you're really dumb; not only couldn't you hold down any proper job, you were so bad at being a criminal you got caught!"**

* I'm leaving that sentence deliberately hanging
** Paraphrase

Friday, November 03, 2006

You Know Things Are Bad When....

your only form of entertainment on a friday night is a bottle of Hennese, some instrumentals and some friends egging you on to freestyle a critique of Cameron's leadership of the Tories. This is off the top of my head, just taped it and would have put it up as audio, but I'm too lazy right now (lol). And may I apologise for the single profanity (the use of the term "Cameron", obv), if anyone has a better suggestion, please post it in comments. Oh, and you prolly have to know something about daily politics if you're going to understand most of it....

Let me loosen my jacket, get comfortable, ‘fore I get nasty
Cos the fact G is that I can do anything that you ask me

Unlike Cameron whose had plenty of time to settle in
So why is biking to work the only policy that he’s been peddling?

He wanted to hug a hoodie but he looks scared, Dave’s not really prepared
The only projects he’s ever seen were back at Eton science fair

The only way he’ll win this battle is if we let him
David looks like the offspring of the foetus and Oliver Letwin

So why aint he steppin’ with some policy ideas?
I never knew they sold political parties in IKEA

Tories are flat packed on crates but they’ll never be assembled
C’mon, we all know what the flat tax rate resembles

Tellin’ newspapers you invited a black rapper to share tea
As if you didn’t know that was a slang term for herb weed

Guess that’s what you mean about supporting green suggestions
I aint gonna eat your lies cos I aint after indigestion

But when it comes to drugs we know that U familiar wit a hard line
But you’ll be finished off before you even reach tha start line

Understand that if you’re gonna play the game you need to stick to the rules
And if you don’t know them then go back to school

But you’re not comprehensively culpable you’re just grammar responsible
A new Tory leader only grandma’s are responding to

G’s asked me to verbally hurt DC, I got him
He says “show love to problem childs” cos he a child wit a problem

Talk about being socially responsible but we know U bluffing blood
Aint nothin’ compassionate about the Bullingdon Club

And as for your performances in Prime Minister’s Questions
U frontin’ and what I’m doing is beyond your comprehension

Splittin’ atoms when I’m spittin’ impromtu verbal symbolism
I saw Rifkind prompt you on ya prewritten bitten composition

Are you a politician? Or just the fat guy from Take That?
Cos ya conference speech looked like a bad attempt to break dance

Aint asking who scripts ya speeches I’ll ask who scripts ya movements
As for who’ll be in No. 10 in 2010 that’s a foregone conclusion

Cos what u want to give the public can be summed up in three letters
NHS – Not Having $h!t, cos that’s where voting Tory gets us

Osborne Hague and Cameron are three Mps with empty speech
On the down low I aint downloading your mp3s

Or ya videos on YouTube cos U dudes be too mad that’s too bad cos u fad
I prolly been in ya own ‘hoods more than u have

“The NHS is safe in my hands” is what he says
But he’s already got the bidding for it started on Ebay

Then he grabs a sharp implement throws out a quick insult
Calls the Adam Smith Institute up on the phone to consult

Yo even his old tutor offered him some more tutorials
Cos its obvious that Cameron aint got no future at all

D-Cam on dotcom wants us to log on and be fam but u wrong D
Ya weak man a con gwarn and bomb hom aint no bonhomie

Think u down wit da yute? but u just be u just be u just be not not not
I tried to speak props about ya site but it was like www...

First Post

aight, I have meant to do this for some time. I moved to LDN about a month ago, but have only just got the time to sit down and sort this ish out.

A bit about me.........

Like I said, I moved here about a month ago, now inhabiting the east end. Prior to that, I spent time in various cities, including some oop norf. I hold a decent degree in philosophy and politics from a decent university and currently work in politics. aside from that, I spend my time listening to hip hop and rapping. I'm into music generally, though, so don't think I'm jst some uneducated hiphop head who knows nothing about jazz, blues, rock, classical, etc., or I'll have to put you in ya place and make ya career fall off ike it was michael jackson's face......

A bit about this blog.........

It was originally conceived as being a much grander project than the humble post you are currently reading. However, the pressures of trying to do an internship in parliament while looking for a job, applying to do an mphil and trying to sort out the requisite medical care down here unfortunately precluded such grand designs. Instead, you shall be treated to the late, post-nero, roman ruins that are my life, in regular installments.

Peace out,