30 Nov 2010

Way To Go

One of the few potentially OK things to come out of the coalition government was the Lib Dem promise of electoral reform.  I'm now pretty much against supporting it for a number of reasons.


1. The proposed system is not very good

AV is not a proportional system of electing representatives, but rather a preferential system.  I, along with the Electoral Reform Society, back the Single Transferable Vote which has a precedent in the UK (its used in Northern Ireland and twice in elections in the 19th century).

2. If AV is adopted, it will stifle further reform

The political establishment will see this as 'finishing' constitutional reform.  "You've got AV - what are you moaning about now".  The Lib Dems probably hope that AV will be a stepping stone to a system of Proportional Representation.  I disagree.

3. The Tories have spiked the referendum in order for fewer people to back it

In the bill for the referendum, they have also included legislation for reducing the number of MPs that conveniently favours the Tories.  Consequently, lots of opposition MPs are not going to get behind it and support will be minimal.  It can then be written off as 'Clegg's Idea'.  Which neatly leads onto...

4. Its Nick Clegg's Coalition Dealbreaker

People hate him these days.  Why would they want to help him get something he wants after letting so many people down?

22 Nov 2010

Movember

I fucking hate 'Movember'.

Its a troll-ish thing to say, and on face value [boom!] it sounds quite harsh, because if you're ever critical of a person's method of raising money or awareness of an issue, you sir, are the cunt de rigeur.

My problem is with Movember is my lack of ability to articulate what it is about Movember that irritates me so.  I suppose on one level, its the cloying whimsy.  It feels like a ker-razy student prank.  But on a more gentlemanly level, I take beards and moustaches seriously.  I don't think growing one should be a 'thing' - least of all a humorous one.  When I see a good moustache or beard, I think "There's a chap who's spent a bit of time on that.  He may or may not care or know that his individual style is du jour.  God speed that Gent".

What spurred me to write this, somewhat later than initially planned, was that I made a decision to go for some mutton chops for no other reason than sometimes its good to see what something looks like.  Now, circumstances involving illness have transpired which has delayed this project somewhat, however early in the mutton days, I was confronted on no fewer than 6 occasions where people have pointed (fine), smiled (fine) and then said "Cool - is that for Movember?"  (cue blinding fucking rage).  "No"  the more-witty narrative-in-my-head version-of-conversations-past version of me thinks/says, "ITS A FUCKING BEARD GROWN BECAUSE I CAN GROW A FUCKING BEARD.  NOT EVERYTHING NEEDS TO BE A WHIMSICAL CHARITY EVENT".

Also, why should blokes care about testicular cancer exclusively?  Its like the fun runs for breast cancer only involving women.  Sure, you can get involved, but it seems to be part of a greater process of compartmentalising illnesses into "Will it affect me?  Yeah?  I'd better do a fucking run then" or "Fuck cervical cancer, I'm all man, me".  We all know people, and consequently, we could ALL be affected by any illness.  Having a relative die of one will not spure me into favouring that terminal disease over another when it comes to fundraising.

I'm off to shave anyway.

A Cheery Wave From Stranded Youth

Alright The Captain are a nice band from Nottingham via Northern Ireland.  They're on a compilation that is available free at the mo.  Yes I know its post-rock (yawn) but I've been pleasantly surprised.  Good drug music at the very least.

It looks like this:


And the link?  Well its here of course.

16 Nov 2010

Johnny Actually Flies!

Two years ago, I received this email at work:

"Hi,

My name is Johnny, am an Orphan and I love aviation so deeply.

I am applying for 2009 but honestly do not have any means of paying for my study.

Please how best would help and advice me [sic].

Warm regards

Johnny"


Which lead me to write this post and draw this cartoon.  In a strange twist of fact becoming fiction and then back to fact again, the Guardian newspaper recently published this article.

Johnny lives!

4 Nov 2010

Work In The Public Sector?

Lots of public sector websites have forms and documents to download.  Lots of said organisations also offer a link to Adobe Acrobat for the purpose of reading them.

So, as these bodies are publicly-funded, Adobe is getting both free advertising, and help in cementing their monopoly.  The Free Software Foundation Europe is presently lobbying organisations across the continent to remove links to Adobe, and offer a useful page in its place.  Link below.  I've taken as many references to Adobe down as possible in my workplace - how about you?