A reply to Ian Dent

Ian Dent, whom I heavily criticised in my last post (or the automated cut’n’paste bot that claims to be him, it’s hard to tell) took the trouble to leave a reply. It’s long, and it’s largely irrelevant, like his report, you can read the full reply here

I’m mostly concerned with this bit, since the rest was utter cockwaffle, so much so that it would barely pass a Turing Test :

This document, produced by Ian Dent, has been orchestrated so as to stimulate the beginnings of a much needed public debate – to raise questions about decisions currently being made over our future, solely by ICT experts and the European Commission with NO active public debate in a common language.

Bollocks. The way it is framed, and the absolutely appalling way in which it is referenced, your busy swapping between UK and US styles of quotation that makes most of it look like ‘scare quotes’, and your complete misunderstanding of computer science terms of art contribute nothing to any such debate other than confusion.

Take IanPJ for instance, who claims to be trying to track down the EU document that he erroneously believes your quoted text “An ‘object’ in this [computing] context … ” to be drawn from.

The poor sod is convinced that because it’s a quote in a report about the EU that the relevant, sinister documentation must be buried deep within the EU. Had you referenced it, you could have saved him the ghastly heartache of this fruitless search, because it is taken directly from the Wikipedia article on Object Oriented Computing.

That part is double quoted, though unreferenced, and the rest of the time you seem to be using single quotes almost at random.

The phrase ‘Biological Economic Device’ appears to be your coinage, but you’ve put it in single quotes and bold for emphasis. Writing like this encourages the unwary to believe that everything you say is attributable to the EU, when in fact most of it is not.

As an academic is simply impossible that you are not aware of the proper conventions for quoting, referencing and footnoting, so one can only assume that your failure to use them properly here is a purposeful distortion.

We can see the results of that distortion, fielded with the weight of your academic credentials in IanPJ’s behaviour. He has run off completely confused in some paranoid never was fantasy panic.

So no Ian, your report contributes only confusion to any such debate, and I would also point out that the privacy and social implications of technology are being widely debated every single day. You managed to use Google to do most of your research, so how did you miss that ?

And last but not least, Ian

These are technical, complex and largely ‘un-soundbite-able’ issues. So a few references may help readers to investigate for themselves in a more measured and balanced way:

Well yes, Indeed they would, so why have you provided so few in your report ?


Keep Your Filthy Hands Off My Pussy

I’ve noticed this extraordinarily disturbing banner ad appearing recently, most notably on the Graun’s website. It seems to be comparing a cute kitty with an ersatz female of the photoshop variety.

Just what, exactly, are “advocates for animals” actually advocating here ? Sleazy bastards.

Whining Widdecombe’s nasty spin bitchslapped

Vodpod videos no longer available.

On the face of it, a reasonable argument.

“These were the rules, you stuck fastidiously by them, every line of your expenses shows you stuck by them”

If that had been the case, and if we were of a mind to be reasonable about this, which I think we can all agree we’re not, Anne might even have point.

Let’s briefly remind ourselves of what some of those rules were :

“The fundamental principles required MPs personally to ensure that their use of the ACA was: (a) necessary for the performance of their Parliamentary duties; (b) not extravagant or luxurious; (c) in accordance with the Nolan principles of selflessness, accountability, honesty and leadership; (d) strictly in accordance with the rules governing the allowance; (e) above reproach; (f) took account of the need to obtain value for money; and (g) avoided any appearance of benefit, or a subsidy from public funds, or diversion of public money for the benefit of a political organisation. These principles together amount to a general requirement of propriety.”

Not looking so good now, is it ? just off the top of my head I can see at the very least that a,b,c,e and f have in fact been violated with arrogant impunity by any number of MPs.

Any other group of employees who had been found to be committing such widespread breaches of the rules(MPs), along with whoever was supposed to be operating the internal controls, but wasn’t (the fees office), thereby being complicit in enabling the breaches, would indeed find themselves in a court. But not for an employment tribunal, Anne, for a fraud hearing.

Shortly after which they would most likely find themselves in prison.

Summer of ‘Meh’ ?

In the end I didn’t make it to parliament square to protest along with Old Holborn, Tom Paine, Dick Puddlecote and few hundred or so other folk on Saturday.

On Friday I had cause to briefly visit Royal Holloway, arriving relatively late in the day I had arranged to stay over on the campus, in the heart of the glorious Surrey countryside, rather than head back into London.

And so when Saturday came around, and I was due to travel back across, passing through Waterloo a mere five minutes walk away, I found myself propped up under a large oak tree with an excellent book and a bottle of very acceptable Italian white.

I was warm, safe, happy, and my hangover was abating. The world of MPs and protests and London seemed very distant. And at that moment, the thought of swapping that world for the one I was inhabiting seemed utterly and completely ludicrous.

I can’t say I’m surprised at this, even if I’m a little bit disappointed in myself, nut cosseted as I was in the leafy arms of Surrey’s rural idyll I wasn’t moving for not no one, not time, no chance.

Partly, I suspect, this is because it felt like something of a homecoming. I grew up in Cheshire which bears a passing resemblance to Surrey in terms of leafiness. In fact from my brief experience of Surrey I would say Cheshire is just like Surrey only with more money and even less taste. The place I live now is mostly not leafy, and even where it is, should one take the opportunity to sprawl in the leafiness with anything remotely alcoholic one’s day would very shortly be spoiled by the local chavs or by PCSO Fuckbubble confiscating said boozy beverage because of local by laws which have declared that drinking outside of licensed premises is “anti social”. It is not. Shouting, screaming , littering and fucking and/or fighting your friends/siblings/partner(s)/children in the park is anti social, but I digress.

The point is I couldn’t be arsed to protest because it was sunny. Had it been raining, I would have been there instead of lounging under a tree half pissed. This is certainly disgusting, but is it typical ?

I suspect it is typical of the leafier parts of England at least. They won’t rise up in the summer. They’ll be busy sunbathing and going to beer festivals, vintage car rallies and and fêtes in places like Surrey and Cheshire where the fortunes are safe, the mansions will appreciate again, and the chattering- and under- classes are held in thrall by rigid caste systems that we keep being told no longer exist, but which make places like Cheshire and Surrey such teeming nests of vipers under the pleasant exterior, and so difficult to live in if you don’t fancy at least pretending to know your place.

Cities and other urbanised places, on the other hand, are rather more fractious in the heat.


Flagged up by OH , the LPUK blog and by Simon Clark on Taking Liberties, it seems that there will be some form of protest in London on Saturday to show MPs what we think of their disgusting avarice. It’s scheduled for 12pm to 3pm in Parliament Square (Google Maps, Wikipedia)

The post on the LPUK blog says :

“… pass this message on — via your blog, Facebook, Twitter or any other means.”

And I am happy to oblige. So far two whole people have viewed this blog, and I suppose it’s just barely possible that maybe one of them will even come back. Every little helps.

For once I will actually be in London when something interesting happens, and since I’m passing through Waterloo in the afternoon and it’s only a five minute stroll away it would seem rude not to attend. So count me in for this one.

I have one reservation, namely that no MPs will be there to hear. Firstly because they don’t work weekends, those being reserved for “constituency work” which presumably involves a whole lot of couch time in front of all those massive TVs we bought for them. Secondly because the workshy thieves will be on a parliamentary recess. For whitsun.

The full schedule of parliamentary hols is here, something to remember next time you hear some smug bastard MP on the TV whining about how hard they work.

UPDATE : It appears that some hippies are laying on an anti police demo in Trafalgar Square as a kind of after party, so it looks like a busy day in London this Saturday. I don’t know, you don’t go on a march for decades and then two come along at once.

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