Sorry for Absence. It might continue for a few days as I'm travelling until monday. I'd love to be able to post as I go but it seems unlikely.
Friday, May 05, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
A recent period of quite relaxed sifting of online information has led me to think about blogging (and I'm not alone; Auntie is looking over her shoulder). One of the reasons for haitus's on this blog is that things are really changing very quickly, and it's hard sometimes to decide what's relevant at any given time.
What prompted me in the first place was my experience of feeling abandoned by media like the BBC, and to a lesser extent by the Telegraph (which can do what it likes as far as I am concerned, and still produces the occasional interesting thing).
I blog to set myself the independent line which many media, especially State sponsored ones, would deny me, or rather, tried to deny me, and about which I am lastingly angry.
I also blog to give myself an incentive to examine the many fascinating and necessary things being said by people out in the new media.
What follows is a summary of current change, with personal notes.
Politicians taking hits, in a spin
That could be the summary point: on both sides of the Atlantic politicians are taking hits from the new media; at the same time, the old media is having holes punched through it by anyone with the widely available technology (and a clear sense of what they want to do with it. So not you then, ed- ed).
Look at what Michelle Malkin is doing with 'Hot Air'. It's very, very smart. She's such a clever little cookie in her little slippers, sitting pretty on the couch (sorry for the tone there, but isn't it fair to question how much her success involves sex appeal? Not that it matters in some ways). I've heard that she and her family have experienced death threats from some extremists, and I'm very angry about that.
I also found this item on USS Neverdock: a video on John Kerry's changing opinions which very much sums up the nonsensicality of Kerry's whole career. I think Marc has every right to get a bit hung up on Kerry's flailings. He's the very model of the modern major politician. At a time when leadership is needed, all we find is 'a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma', as Churchill said of Russia. Perhaps the key is John Kerry's desire for power and influence. But it's fascinating for me how our observations can be partisanly supported through the magic of video on a blogspot site. Carefully cut the video may be, but the cutting just removes the Kerry ums and ahs, the vanity, the window dressing- to leave the void, the nullity, wide open.
Kerry's career really is fascinating, in a sick kind of way.
Also fascinating, in a sick kind of way, the Blair Government's unravelling, almost I think heightened by their attempts to deflect attention away from incompetence and towards sleaze in the bulked up shape of John Prescott. All I can say is that I'm sorry it's come to that, and that the predictions I am sure many conservatives have made more frequently privately than publicly are coming to be fulfilled. I know in my family there was talk about this, and we knew it would be ugly. Can't get much uglier than Prescott in his current position.
But here again there is the role of the blogosphere in pushing the real stories into the light of day. I am sure, for instance, that the Devil in his kitchen is regretting not using a few more impolite words about Charles Clarke.
Guido Fawkes has been like a kindly wasp over John Prescott's affair, and here forces a senior BBC journalist to be honest and Ian Dale has been pushing the debate on sleaze in a number of directions.
What this means is that the Britblogosphere is on the move, and it will change rapidly from here on.
Will it become professionalised or retain an amateur integrity? Those with greater experience, in the US, are likely to be of assistance here.
In the disappointed corner I'd say, we have Donald Sensing
In the optimist's corner we have Anne Althouse. I'm with Anne on this.
Posted by ed thomas at 9:36 PM
Monday, May 01, 2006
The Last Days of the Tonan Empire.
'What I find fascinating is the complete lack of perspective the BBC has on this. In the dying days of Major's government (which were really just a warm-up for ZanuLabour anyway, policy-wise) the BBC were going ape-shit over every possible hint of "sleaze". Yet, within months of Labour entering office I recall tiny hints of possible bad behaviour being reported in the newspapers, but quickly brushed over - and simply ignored - by the BBC. Labour started out bad and went downhill. Over the years we've seen Labour ministers involved in affairs (practically orgies if you believe some accounts), bribery, corruption and general nastiness, yet barely a peep of criticism from the national press. And, behind all that, we've had Prescott re-organising the country, bypassing the county councils with his regional development agencies and his new Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (which gave itself planning permission to knock down thousands of houses in the north and build thousands more in the south, without consultation), the Home Secretary's office pushing ID cards, the ministry of transport pushing for a universal road camera monitoring system, the MAFF destroying our ability to produce our own food, the MoD removing any ability to cooperate with the Americans in military matters by fording the procurement of European equipment that works on different standards, the ministry of "Culcher" destroying just about any culture we have, and all of it with the expressed aim of harmonising us with the EU. Thhis government has had one aim from the beginning: destroy the country. And they're succeeding. A truly impartial BBC would have picked up on this and pointed it out a long time ago... but the BBC isn't impartial about this. They want european harmonisation as well, because it guarantees their existence.
And for the record, the boy king Cameron is nothing more than Blair MK2. If the tories win, it'll be in spite of him, not because of him. It should worry people that he's toeing the BBC line so closely these days. They won't get my vote until he's gone.'- the views of Archronix in Biased BBC comments, who blogs infrequently here.
I thoroughly agree, except that in my analysis of New Labour I'd replace their aim of destroying the country with their contempt for its basic character, such that they wished essentially to re-shape it in an an alien mould.
Ian Dale meanwhile has a list of New Labour scandals, rounded down to 50.
And Richard North has an account of the career of John Prescott, the most blatant dark horse one could imagine, with the bully's knack of getting away with it.
Me? I think there's a sense of sick fulfilment about this Labour Government. What Archronix says about the cover up of Labour sleaze from the earliest times is absolutely right, and Ian Dale demonstrates it well. I noticed an immediate shift, while the dew still rested on Tony Blair's forelocks, to appease and perpetuate the public mood of political indulgence post 1997.
One thing I think is interesting is the adulation of Tony Blair which occurred in America. There's no doubt that Blair was capable of papering over cracks better than any painter-decorator. I think I observed back in the early days that Blair and co. were masters at social appearances and networking, at using momentum to overcome a lack of substance. Like Clinton in that respect; and it's curious how someone like Prescott turns out to strongly resemble Clinton in one respect at least.
What Americans like, or liked, about Blair, was that he had Clintonian vibes while definitely not being like Bill. Must be safe, they thought, and on top of that he had the presentational skill lacked by a certain W. Yet that fact that Tony's not Bill- and I doubt that British politics could produce a Bill Clinton- doesn't mean that the tactics and standards by which Tony Blair operates are any higher than the gutter which was Clinton's natural habitat. Perhaps there's more to Tony than meets the eye, too.
Posted by ed thomas at 5:23 PM
Sunday, April 30, 2006
Don't miss this fascinating take on the BBC's attempt to come to grips with the modern world, from Brian Appleyard. It's not only interesting from a BBC point of view, the trepidation of the media generally is another issue, concerning
'the multimedia firestorm that is about to engulf us all'
Really, really must read. (hint- that's why I'm leaving my accidental second link up. If you want to check links you can just make the cursor hover over the link and the URL appears to you in the bar at the bottom of the screen)
Posted by ed thomas at 3:18 PM