Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Newspapers and Business Coverage

Just thought I'd post a link to this review of the Business sections of the various daily papers (including the FT).

The author of the review works in the City, so it's an interesting take. He's offering to do the Sundays as well - I do hope so!

Monday, January 22, 2007

Eric Pickles on Local Government Reorganisation

Eric Pickles, who as well as being as MP for the area is also the Shadow Minister for Local Government has given an interview to the Waendal Journal about the government's proposal for Local Authority Reform.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Band wagon

Dizzy has a link to this press release by Ken Livingstone on the Big Brother controversy. Clearly Ken hasn't watched Big Brother, as Dizzy points. Also, Dizzy - who is a self confessed Big Brother fan - wasn't paying attention as the word used was etiquette.

However, it does prove the point that the most dangerous place on earth is between a leftie politician and a bandwagon on the race issue. Surely the more serious issue on Channel 4 was the Dispatches programme quoting radical Imans with their vicious anti Semitic and anti Western views. Jade Goody may be a bit of a thicky - but it is actually reasonable clear that despite her butchering of the English language, she is far less of a threat to good community relations than Imans who blame AIDS on the West and suggest that the West put AIDS into medicines.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Ruth Kelly and Ofsted

Ruth Kelly has come under a lot of criticism over her decision to send her child to a private school - Croydonian amongst others pointing out that "one might note that Ofsted's last report on Bolton judged its special needs provision 'good' or 'highly satisfactory' (page 29) on all measures."

That's all very well, but while Ruth Kelly's constituency may be in Bolton, she clearly doesn't live there. Her wikipedia entry reports that her children attend a Catholic primary school in East London (in fact, the same Catholic primary school I can see out of my office window) which confirms the suggestions I've heard that she lives in a rather exclusive development on the river.

The school itself is reckoned to be one of the best schools in Tower Hamlets (note: a long way from Bolton) and Tower Hamlets have argued that ""We are proud of the quality of education we offer to all children. We have a strong record in helping children with a wide range of learning needs to succeed."

All well and good, but here's another thought. Tower Hamlets is also one of the most deprived boroughs in the country. If a well off parent decides to withdraw a child who has particular needs out of their schools and send them to a private school, then they are freeing up funds within a deprived area for dealing with kids who need it more.

One final point. Some years ago a family friend who lives in Tower Hamlets borough withdrew her children from a different Catholic school in the borough to homeschool them because she felt that the standard of education they were receiving was unacceptable. Although the family friend has an Oxford PhD, she suffered a huge amount of harassment from the Local Education Authority as a result of this decision - including the insinuation she was not fit to teach them. Some of their schools may be good, but they are not perfect.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Gordon Brown is arrogant.

At least, that's the only conclusion I can come to after the weekend. Brown is suggesting that the proposal for only English MPs voting on English only issues would be bad for Union, and could kill it.

Unfortunately, thats simply not true. John Hutton managed to spectacularly miss the point on the Politics show this morning when he commented that as England has over 500 MPs out of a total of 659 it wasn't as big an issue.

But it is - if the government was formed based on English votes, we'd have a hung parliament (and please note New Labour - you had less votes in England than the Conservatives).

This is total arrogance on behalf of Gordon Brown and his supporters. They endangered the Union in the first place when they rushed into devolution for Scotland and Wales in the first place without properly thinking through the West Lothian Question. The upsurge in demand for a equitable solution is coming from an England that realises it is about to have it's education and health policies decided by a government led by a man whose own constitutents won't be affected by the policies. It's coming from an England that believes it is subsidising things like tuition fees for Scottish students, while our own children have to graduate from university with large student loan debts. It's coming from an England that is fed up of the total contempt shown for its views by an arrogant and out of touch Labour government.

In short, it's coming from an England that's getting fed up.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The iPhone and trademarks.

You'd think they'd know better. Apple, who have recently been taking action against companies who dared use the word "pod" in their name, announced earlier this week they have launched a new mobile phone, called the iPhone. (One wonders exactly how long the marketing guys took to come up with that name).

Unfortunately, it appears some one else already had a trademark on the name as applied to phones. The suggestion is that their trademark goes back as far as 1996, when the iMac, the first of the "i" products, was merely a gleam in the eye of Steve Job's goldfish.[1]

This isn't some tiny little company either that's suing Apple. It's Cisco. A company bigger than Apple, and so far has rarely been in direct competition with them. The Register has more here.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


The Witanagemot Club has recently had a debate about whether or not to admit a BNP blog to the Blog Roll and membership. In the end, the decision was taken to reject the blog in question, a decision I support.

This is not a free speech issue - no one is denying the BNP their right to express an opinion - its about whether not a private club choses to let them join.

Naturally some of the BNP blogs have gotten a little upset about it - and one member resigned from the Witanagemot Club over the decision arguing that "the only thing that mattered in deciding whether or not to admit him to Witangemot was whether or not he believed in an English parliament."

Actually it doesn't - Hitler was a anti hunting vegetarian but one suspects that the animal rights veggies wouldn't particularly want to be associated with him. And it ill becomes the BNP to complain about excluding people because of their other views when their own website states "Membership of the British National Party is open to those of British or kindred European ethnic descent. While we welcome contact and co-operation with nationalists and patriots of other races, and with the many non-whites who also oppose enforced multi-racialism, we ask them to respect our right to an organisation of our own, for our own, as we respect and applaud their measures to organise themselves in like fashion."

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Average IQ in Ongar has gone up

Yes folks, it's official. The average IQ in Ongar has gone up by two points.

Jade Goody and her family are currently living in the Big Brother House.

Quite amusing.

An acquaintance I've shared an email list with for some years recently had a problem with an Iranian tech site deliberately embedding a picture hosted on her site in (presumably) his technical blog.

A couple of attempts have been made to resolve this - and have failed. As a result, she's changed the URL of her own image, and updated the image to one commerating the Holocaust.

You can see the updated version of the blog here. I do have a screen capture if this guy ever notices.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year

It's been a very busy Christmas, what with the Darling Wife returning from Singapore with The Boy and just spending time together, installing furniture and generally trying to get the house in order.

The Christmas Concert went well, and now it's time to prepare for the next concert, namely the Messiah in Chelmsford Cathedral. I haven't sung it in a while, so it will be nice to do again (one of the complaints we had when I was at university was that we did the Messiah too much, but the last time I sang it was probably the year after I left when I kept attending rehearsals.

One rather useful thing I've discovered over the Christmas break is Google's Blog Reader, which makes keeping up with my favourite blogs very simple. Now, if only I could find a way to get Firefox not to hang everytime I open Tim Worstall's blog at work.