Saturday, July 02, 2005

Clive Davis (new link in my sidebar) has an interesting reflection on the inbred world of London journalism (and I don't think the phenomenon confines itself to London- but London revels in it). That aspect of the (London dominated) UK media is one reason I don't buy the idea that it is the world's most competitive. Of course it is, if the adrenalin of competition is anything to go by, but its domination by certain family names- I could add Preston and Reynolds to the few offered as samples by Davis- suggests that the competitiveness exists within a fairly fragile bubble, a carefully tended ecosystem of the logos. Great fun for those who enjoy name-watching, but for those interested in a broad and balanced perpective, as opposed to a bunch of back-scratchers enlivened by the odd token outsider (representative of some undeniable fringe), not.

No, the EU is not the ugly duckling.

Thursday, June 30, 2005

Ok I've let go this post... could be little half-baked but between friends you know...

Compassionate Conservative Melanie Phillips on the British Government's appalling combination of ineptitude and amorality about Zimbabwean refugees in this country- and indeed the whole asylum system.

The problem to me is that the British Government and its agencies apply the same approach to immigration that they apply to areas like law and order. They attack the less sophisticated users of the system because it's easier to demonstrate routine competence that way than by seeking developed policies that actually tackle abusers of the system (who are naturally more sophisticated in their approach). Basically they have no concept of hard work in the service of the real public good, but they certainly know a lot about soft work in pursuit of looking good.

Quote of the day on the immigration subject may have come via the BBC reporting the Home Office on immigration-

'Home Office officials say they have sought to take into account the fact that some illegal immigrants may not have filled in their census forms.'

Not filling them in? You don't say? I don't know where we can fit in the fact that illegals in 2001 would include Poles, Czechs etc. who would now be in the UK legally, but based on several of my direct contacts with these matters, I'd say the UK is really still a destination of choice for the mobile masses of the world. Meanwhile the suffering Zimbabweans fail to get much of a shoulder to cry on to put it mildly.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Apologies for my little absence from posting here. I posted at B-BBC and then collapsed with exhaustion and other commitments.

What could revive me except the fountain of scorn emanating from the EU Referendum blog as it notes another great result for the French from the French-shaped EU?

As Jaques Chirac puts it '"It is a big success for France, for Europe and for all the partners of Iter,"'- with the emphasis firmly on France. The EU Ref. remarks on both the immense blandishments the EU offered to get the the project for France, and the improved conditions France managed to secure for herself in the inducement and subsidy arrangements for a project that will do wonders for France's high-tech industrial base.

Just one more spin-off from Chirac's rebate histrionics- the gallic grandma of Old Europe really knows how to make the rest of the family dance to her tune. Of course as long as our press enjoyed the show, that's what really counts...

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Re: Media bias- here's Iraq the model ripping into the Guardian's coverage of one battle in Iraq (maybe you'll have to scroll down as I did). Normally I leave the Guardian alone as it spins off into the outer space of idiocy. There are people who champion lost causes like reforming the Guardian, but not me. The Guardian's a newspaper that gives centre stage to one Eric Hobsbawm, Stalinist apologist of former Soviet power- critique here. (hat-tip RCP)

Meanwhile, for those seeking an antidote to the media doom and gloom, ItM pointed me to this marvelous and elegant piece of writing from Grim at the Fourth Rail, in response to a question. Interestingly, Grim seems to have some some identification with the original hoodies, whose latter-day imitators found Bluewater fame.

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