Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Julian Assange worry

I've got in trouble for broadly supporting the Wikileaks chap Julian Assange. I have to admit that some of his actions, especially since he sought sanctuary in his embassy, has to my mind been less than helpful, but I broadly support him.

Knowing what I know about the criminal charges against him I doubt that he is guilty of sexual assault. I need to make clear that this is purely based upon information in the public domain and is using the UK's definition of what constitutes sexual assault. This may be different in Sweden.

It appears that the charges are going to be dropped against him.

This is very good if he is innocent.


I do find it deeply worrying that the charges look like being dropped simply because of the statute of limitations mean that they will be dropped. In many respects this is bad for Assange as it leaves a stain on his reputation that a innocent person should not have. Fair enough the radical left will forgive him as they seem to forgive their heroes rapes and murders with ease.

But it is more than that. I find it worrying and frankly distasteful that a person who is in fact guilty of rape, or any violent or sexual crime, and I'm not talking about Assiange here, can escape justice simply because they hid in a Embassy for a bit.

If that person was guilty of the most heinous crime but would walk free to gloat in front of their victims after a extended stay in a friendly embassy it would be a obscene affront to justice.

And so I find it disconcerting that Assange will be free without the evidence being tested simply because of his political chums. I have always believed him innocent of sexual assault. But what if another person was guilty?

What about their victims?

Friday, 8 May 2015

On 'idiot' voters

I'm sad, though not in the least surprised, that the media and political elite blame the electorate for their loss in the election. To those who expected to win the fact that they didn't must mean that the voters, especially the working class ones, are idiots. That they are too stupid to know what's best. Too blinded by the media.....


That the voters are thick.


It's as if the political elite find fault with the voters and want us replaced with a better class of voter rather thank reflect in their own flaws and blame their policies. A new, better class of voter which follows the Guardian's lead and does what tbe elite want is their want.


This isn't good. The voters are not all lumpen thickos. They don't blindly follow the tabloids. For the political and media elite not to realise that is dangerous. It means that the real concerns of the working person is not seen as valid and they don't have to try to represent the voters legitimate views or worries.


That's bad.


The electorate aren't idiots. We are our country and the fact that the elite don't understand this and think the working class are thick is deeply unhealthy for our country.


We need to change this terrible state of affairs.


But nothing will change alas.

Monday, 6 April 2015

The political use of pain

I cannot imagine what it must be like to lose a child. The pain must be horrific. My deepest sympathies is to all those effected. Talking about such loss can help others. The bravery to talk to parents in the same situation, or worse those with a child they know is dying, can help them find it in themselves to go through their own tragic ordeal.


It won't make the pain of bereavement easier but it will show people that they are not alone. For far too long situations like this are brushed under the carpet and never talked about like unpleasant embarrassment. The child was never talked about and the pain of the relatives not recognised.


Support and remembering is good, especially when it is used to raise awareness of illness or how to survive losing one's child.


However I find it troubling that a death of a innocent child is used for political ends. It doesn't matter if it was Gardon Brown, or David Cameron, I don't like spin doctors using the tragedy of their loss to garner votes.


In this case Samantha Cameron being splashed over the press telling the public that they will never recover from the loss of their beloved son, Ivan. I do not doubt her pain and the fact that Ivan was deeply loved. Her supporting bereaved parents is a good thing, but to talk about just before the election where every vote matters to letting her husband retain power leaves a bad taste in my mouth.


It may just be me but giving even the suspicion that real loss and real pain is being used politically is distasteful.


That is a shame.

Friday, 6 March 2015

The PM's debate no-show

I am uncomfortable with elected politicans being bullied by the media. Time after time we've witnessed attrocious laws rushed through by politicans in response to a media fuelled uproar. It's more than that though: it is deeply troubling that a person we as a country elect to be our leader to be bullied by un-democratic media bullies.


It demeans our democracy.


That being said I am shocked by David Cameron pulling out of televised debates and trying to rig the debates to his advantage.


I'm shocked by his utter stupidity. It makes him look scared of debate. Worse he looks terrified of Nigel Farage. No one is scared to debate with Miliband.


This is not a good look.


Worse than that, he's screwed himself. The media have called his bluff by saying the debates go ahead, and have given their reasons publicly. Now they have made their reasons public because Cameron made his letter public, which was stupid of them.


Now he's inflicted immense damage on himself needlessly. He either backs down which makes him look weak and vacuous or he sticks to his guns and give his opponents hours of free prime time tv to rubbish him without any chance to reply.


He has made himself a joke. And that is the worst thing for any politican fo be. It's the wound that kills a career over time.


He's a powerful man surrounded by very expensive media savvy advisors. If even an idiot such as I could foresee what was going to happen why didn't he?


I honestly think that Cameron, and Miliband, Clegg, and and the leaders of the old parties such as the SNP, believe their own hype and have a divine right to rule.


This arrogance leads politicans such as Cameron to make a fool of himself as he has here. He hasn't realised that the world is changed. That new parties are on the rise and new media isn't so cowed and obsequious.


This is a self inflicted wound that is going to be very hard to avoid now.


If this is the best we've got our politics is screwed.

Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A simple plan for education

The UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, was interviewed and stated that one of his big ideas is to allow students to study science, engineering, and medicine for free. That is without racking up huge debts as the do currently.


Now I am not going to deal with politics here...for once. But I've been saying and writing about this for years. Students who study science, medicine, education, and perhaps even software development should be able to do so for free.


It shouldn't matter what their background is, their class, Gender, race, creed, politics, socioeconomic standing, what school they went to, or what connections they have. If they have talent we as a state should allow them to pursue it for free.


In the modern world science, engineering, software, and the medical arts matter. As a nation we need to be at the cutting edge of technology and science in order to boost our economy and help our society function.


We should do all we can to ensure that more people, and the best, study these topics.


Now you could argue that protection is put in place to ensure that if graduates move abroad after we pay for their education they have to repay the cost of their education, but I feel the point still stands. We should encourage and support students studying science, engineering, and the like.


I should mention I am not against the social sciences and the humanities and I wouldn't be against free education for students studying them, but the fact remains science and technology education effects us all and should be priorities.


It is all about talent and helping people. Talent and vision should trump all. Unlike the arts or media it shouldn't matter who your 'daddy knows' or what school you went to, who you date, or if you are pretty, or tick some quota box.


We should help the talented.


I simply cannot see why such a simple plan for education isn't being followed.


And then I look at our politicans who have no idea of science or engineering, and a civil service full of incompetents and I sigh.

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

On Revenge Porn

I've no problem with people posing nude. If you pose for money or if you pose for fun I'm fine with your choice. There is a proviso that such posing is consensual and not taken under duress or pressure or anything similar, but apart from that I'm fine with people's so choices.


I don't think badly of people who so pose. It is their free and willing choice and I'm fine with that. I suppose a lot of it is the fact that if they pose for fun it's none of my business, and if they pose for money it's their job. In my limited world I've met ex models who have posed in the nip and all have been intelligent and down to earth. Don't get me wrong there will be some 'wrong 'uns' and nightmares out there but it's just I've never met them.


However I find the posting of nude or sexual images of people without their consent on the Internet utterly despicable. It must be humiliating in the extreme. Once things are on the Internet it's there for ever. Such infamy can destroy lives and the shame could lead some to suicide.


For a ex-partner to post such images or video of the ex is a truly awful and hateful thing for anyone to do to another.




I'm not sure if creating a new law making 'Revenge Porn' illegal with serious prison time for the poster is a good idea.


How do you know if it is revenge porn?


Such posts are of images or videos of a person taken when they and the poster were in a relationship. That is it was consensual. If it wasn't consensual or if such recordings or images where taken without the knowledge of the person concerned that is different and is rightly a crime already.


If such images or videos where willingly given to the ex partner or taken by the person then they own copyright and can do what they like with the images. As long as they don't sell the material as they would require a model release form by the model to be signed.


If they cannot post such images or videos of another without such a consent form being signed this would make posting any video or image of anyone online illegal. This would be a bad thing. It would ban most of Facebook, more importantly it could be used to stop people taking images of police, poltiicans, or officials behaving badly unless they have a signed form in which that person gives legal consent to post their image.


It would massively impact freedom of expression to all of us.


There is also a danger that a vengeful individual can accuse an ex partner of posting what they say is revenge porn and get them thrown in jail as revenge rather than any wrongdoing by that individual by posting images or video of themselves using the identity of their hated partner.


I can foresee the battle between freedom of speech and expression, copyright, international and American law, the hunger of the tabloids for another crusade to sell to their dwindling audience, and feminism based on ill defined and idiotic law to be a nightmare.


I support all those innocent victims shamed by their ex and would have thought a restraining order through the courts stopping the posting of such material before the event is the best way to stop their pain.


However ill drafted laws by politicans who don't know how the Internet works and a fondness of banning things and trying to gain electoral advantage isn't the way to help the victims of this vile practice.

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

The Sadness that is Eric Joyce

Things should have been so different for Eric Joyce the Labour MP and ex-minister. In him was a ex-Major who earned his scars and was a much welcomed breath of fresh air when faced with the numerous rich, talentless, drones of the Labour Party.


And it's not just the Labour Party all parties seem to be mostly made up of identikit blandness.


However for the Labour Party it seems that the hereditary rich elite have captured the supposed party of the working classes. And that made Joyce so welcome.


At least it should have done.


The reality is that his promotions in the army was due to him supporting labour and criticising the Tories rather than worth, and that his ministerial carrier wasn't brilliant. Fair enough better than many others but that is because we've seen some idiots as minsters.


Leaving aside all political considerations I just feel sadness when faced with Joyce. He is a tragic figure. Yet again he has been arrested for drunked assault, though he denies everything This is his fourth arrest in three years. Now he has been treated leniently for his previous drunken assaults, and my greatest sympathies lie with those he has attacked. But it is sad that anyone should fall to their demons.


Joyce had everything going for him. He was set for a comfortable life. He still has a very good army pension, and an unbelievably good parliamentary one. He could look forward to life in a safe seat until he wanted to become a peer. Directorships and media punditry awaited as he progressed to the lofty heights of elder statesman.


But now he is a tragic fool whose reputation is gone. He has become a loathsome stereotype of a drunken yob.


I don't care who he is, how powerful or great he was: this is a tragic waste for anyone.


I hope it improves for him I really do because if it doesn't.......