Posts Tagged ‘ signs of totalitarianism ’

You Can Have Freedom, But Only The Freedom To Be More Like Us…

August 19, 2014 2 Comments
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Many African countries are politically freer, more prosperous and with better educated populations than at the height of the notorious “big man” regimes: one-party states and military rulers that followed not long after independence. Great news! Right? Well, not entirely: But some leaders who were once seen as enlightened and enthusiastically embraced by the west as the “new breed”, and countries that claim to have embraced more democratic systems, are…

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First They Came For The Mildly Scornful, And I Didn’t Speak Up…

June 11, 2014 5 Comments
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“Americans don’t do cynicism, sarcasm or negativity generally,” the journalist Max Davidson wrote, advising Brits how to make it big in the US. “There is an innocence in their outlook that you either love or hate, and if you hate it, you won’t get past first base.” So news that the US government is looking for a sarcasm detector has already generated cries of: “Yeah right! Good luck with that.”…

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Translation: “Why Won’t You Peasants Just Convict These Men, Like We Want..?”

June 9, 2014 4 Comments
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The usual suspects are up on their hind legs squawking about the ‘lack’ of rape convictions again. Professor Liz Kelly, London Metropolitan University and co-chair of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, said she welcomed the initiative. “I am pleased to see that already 700 more defendants have been charged in 2013-14 compared to the previous year but we need to see a corresponding rise in convictions,” she said. Whoa,…

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If You Want To Know The Time Accepted Political Opinion Ask A Policeman…

May 2, 2014 11 Comments
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Police have made members of the public aware that a stall in Southend High Street is being run by a far-right political group. That’s nice of them. Do they feel the need to warn members of the public that they might be contributing to a political organisation whose aims they may not support when the chuggers are rattling tins for the RSPCA in the high street? Or is this somehow…

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Yes, Yes, That’s What They All Say At First…

February 2, 2014 12 Comments
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…because they think we won’t remember all the other times the slippery slope yawned below us: …Ms Berger said Labour had no plans to widen the ban from cars to private homes. She said: “That’s not what we are saying, we are talking about the very specific issue of children in a car that don’t have a choice which vehicle they are in that are subjected to levels of toxic…

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In Which I Wonder Yet Again…

January 3, 2014 6 Comments
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In Which I Wonder Yet Again…

…if ‘Inspector Gadget’ is a real policeman: Yes, this is the controversy over Staffordshire Police tweeting the personal details of those arrested on suspicion of drink driving. But under a hashtag that leaves little doubt of their presumed guilt. It takes some degree of ignorance of the law not to realise the dangers of this (not least, the breaking of Twitter’s terms & conditions) and then – when challenged –…

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In Modern Science, We Do Not Tolerate Dissent!

November 4, 2013 6 Comments
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Rachael Dunlop, consensus scientist! A recent study reports that stories about vaccines that include false balance are actually more dangerous than those that are purely anti-vaccine. Yes, you read that correctly. Stories that offer both sides of the coin can have a greater negative influence on people’s decision to not vaccinate than those that are purely anti-vaccine. Well, yes. A well-argued back-and-forth does, it seems, persuade people that the two…

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Note The Passive Voice…

October 21, 2013 7 Comments
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A large area of Knaresborough was sealed off from 5pm until about 8.30pm last night. Children were kept in school and people were told to stay in their homes or businesses. North Yorkshire Police had been told there was an “immediate threat to members of the public” at the Paragon Pizza takeaway in High Street. Armed police were posted at various points in the town and officers ordered four men…

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Expect The Ratchet To Tighten A Little More

September 29, 2013 24 Comments
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The high court rejected the application by the man, known only as R, that he should not have to give a sample to officers working for Operation Nutmeg, which targets those convicted of serious offences before the collection of DNA records became routine. That operation is aimed, primarily, at clearing up unsolved historic crimes. This is a blow to true freedom, and a warning to us all. Yes, forget for…

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Well, You Have A Pretty Funny Way Of Showing It!

September 7, 2013 7 Comments
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Mr Szemalikowski said the school believes in freedom of speech … Right, of course. Sure you do. He’s free to speak, and you’re free to contact his prospective university and ‘alert the school’s on-site policeman’ (and just consider the implications of that!). Chilling effect? What chilling effect? … but he was prompted to act by other students who alerted him to the blog. Ah! An excellent body-swerve there! Someone else…

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Yearning For The Smack Of Firm Government..?

September 1, 2013 8 Comments
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Christina Patterson is, oh, yes, she is… We know what makes people fat. It’s bad diet and not enough exercise, not cooking properly and not eating enough vegetables, and eating too much sugar, and drinking too many fizzy drinks. And it’s growing up with parents who don’t care enough about what you eat. Philip Larkin was right, I suppose, Christina? Certainly the state should do more. Oh, I’ve no doubt!…

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Maybe You Should Have Listened To The Public, Then?

August 24, 2013 13 Comments
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Bolton NHS Foundation Trust — which runs the Royal Bolton Hospital — made a dramatic U-turn when it decided not to build smoking shelters last month. Bosses had held a public vote on whether to build three shelters in a bid to stop people smoking at entrances. It saw 1,629 people vote in favour of the shelters … Which (even by NHS maths) is greater than the 1,580 people who…

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Protecting Society From The Scourge Of….Flakes In Ice Cream?

August 20, 2013 6 Comments
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This is why you must pay your council tax, folks: Despite good weather, it has been a bad week for Sussex’s ice cream sellers. One trader has been warned he could face eviction unless he stops serving cones with a flake while another has been banned from playing his jingle. OK, yes, the jingles can be annoying, but…what is the issue with flakes? Alex Mills, 23, has operated milkshake bar…

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Well, It’s Rather The Same Problem As The ‘Just Say No To Drugs!’ Campaign…

August 16, 2013 5 Comments
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The British Heart Foundation is very concerned that the lifestyles of modern children are setting them up for serious health problems in later life. Large numbers are in danger of developing coronary heart disease (CHD) as adults if they continue to skip meals and sport in favour of watching TV and drinking fizzy drinks, it says. … The data, published on Monday, suggests there has been little improvement in eating,…

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When ‘Inclusion’ Means ‘Takeover’…

August 12, 2013 10 Comments
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Parents of pupils at Rose Hill Primary School, in The Oval, were angered by a letter they received from headmistress Sue Mortimer. It informed them the halal meat, which involves slaughtering animals in a special way for consumption by Muslims, had been used in all school meals as part of the school’s inclusion policy. That’s…a rather strange idea of ‘inclusion’ isn’t it? More like… homogeneity. The letter said the reason…

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