Filed under Meeja

Democrats for Romney

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Idle speculation, or a play in three parts

PSNI top brass: “Fuck, some daft left-footer copper’s been caught driving on the piss. Ah well, we’ve got few enough Catholics as it is, we’re already having to bus them in from Poland to try and meet targets; plus we were all drink-driving a few years back anyway and it never did anyone any harm; so let’s keep her in. Pint at the lodge?

People who’re outraged for a living: “ooh, we’re outraged! Blah blah disgrace blah blah road safety blah blah binge drinking teens blah blah swearing on TV… oh sorry, wrong rant…

The media: “Are we going to mention she’s a Catholic? Are we fuck…

I’m not saying that’s definitely what happened…

In which poor headline choice provokes Onion-esque hilarity

Ask A Displaced Person In A Darfur Refugee Camp unfortunately brings to mind the long-running Onion series of the same name. Thus:

Dear Displaced Person In A Darfur Refugee Camp,

My partner and I have been seing each other for two years now, but the magic has gone out of our relationship. Is it destined to end or should I accept that things will never be as good as they were at the start?

Confused

Dear Confused,

There is a shortage of water. We have to buy one can a day for 25c, so unless you work you don’t get any money or water. Sometimes there is food, but not all the time. We get food rations once a month from the United Nations World Food Programme but it is not enough unless you add something. Please, will you people in the West help us?

Displaced Person In A Darfur Refugee Camp

Sorry, Darfurians. The real responses are here.

Possibly fast, definitely shit

I had chalked UK ISP Fasthosts down as a company that cravenly but understandably backed down to Alisher Usmanov, and that might have learned lessons from that debacle.

But in fact, it turns out that they’re just a bunch of cunts who’ll pull your website for no good reason, without checking whether any claims made against it are actually true. Not even true in the “is that thing he said libellous?” sense, but in the “does he actually have a link going there?” sense.

If you use them, don’t. If you’re thinking of setting up a website with them, don’t. If you’re thinking of setting up any kind of content-based website in the UK, unless you absolutely need it to be UK-based for legal reasons, don’t. Not all UK ISPs are cunts like Fasthosts, but they’re all subject to [*] UK libel law – and at current dollar rates, US ones are cheaper anyway.

Update: and they lose your email
[*] yes, I know everyone on the Internet is subject to UK libel law, but US ISPs tend to either have no assets in the UK and therefore not give a fuck, or be very big and therefore slightly less scared of Fancy Lawyers.

Libellists

Yes, I know I’m late on this one.

Uzbek tycoon Alisher Usmanov, who may or may not be a wobber, a wapist and a pickpocket, is looking to buy Arsenal Football Club. Craig Murray, the former British ambassador to Uzbekistan, doesn’t think Mr Usmanov is a fit and proper man to do such a thing, and published an article to that effect (Indymedia mirror) on his website.

Mr Usmanov, following in the proud tradition of fine characters such as James Goldsmith, Jeffrey Archer, Robert Maxwell and Sonia Sutcliffe, immediately hired expensive libel lawyers to threaten Mr Murray with Dire Consequences unless he expunged the article forthwith. Mr Murray’s response was that the article was true, and that he’d happily see Mr Usmanov in court (this is also known as an ‘Arkell versus Pressdram‘ moment).

If the British libel laws weren’t appallingly stupid, that would have been the end of the matter. Unfortunately, they are, and anyone who distributes a libel, knowingly or unknowingly and on a ridiculously wide definition of ‘distributes’ (legally, a paperboy delivering a newspaper with a libel on p24 would count…) is also liable to be sued. So Mr Usmanov’s lawyers also threatened the hosting company for Mr Murray’s site with a libel writ, and cravenly-but-understandably they backed down and pulled the plug.

[understandably because it's not their fight; it's not reasonable to expect the directors of a small web hosting firm to potentially lose their livelihood because the law is an ass, even if fighting for truth would be the morally courageous thing for them to do]

The good news is that, via a massive blog campaign, Mr Murray’s article has now achieved a far larger readership than it would ever otherwise have done, that Mr Usmanov’s past is now on the agenda for mainstream news organisations – and more generally, that the existence of the Internet has reduced the extent to which corrupt and powerful men can cheat and bully critics into silence. And who knows – maybe their demonstrable futility will actually lead to the reform of the UK’s libel laws to become more sane.

Personally, I don’t believe there should be libel laws at all: if people want to tell lies about me, that should be their prerogative, just as it should be mine to tell the world that the people lying about me are a shower of despicable cunts.

When I’ve raised this to people, they’ve tended to suggest that their abolition would harm innocent people wronged by the evil press. I’m sceptical that’s the case, though: I can’t think of a single libel case ever that wasn’t either over something so trivial that it’s frankly an insult to drag it into the courts (“Ugly single middle-aged rich man pays for sex! Bottle-blond pop star is gay!”), or brought by someone so despicable that – even if the story were false – the most appropriate resolution to the case would still have been to sandpaper the litigant to death.

If anyone knows of a libel case where a genuinely malicious press organ was held to account for publishing a seriously damaging and false story about someone who wasn’t a vile cunt, please post details in the comments – you might even change my mind…

No, they just flipped an ‘evil’ coin

At daft cunt Ian Dale‘s site, and at various other fucktard-infested parts of the right-wing blogosphere, the BBC is being slated for its “Why did September 11 happen?” page on its news-for-kids Newsround portal.

The offending text [now amended to something more anodyne, but which is probably still sane enough to piss off the nutters] read:

The way America has got involved in conflicts in regions like the Middle East has made some people very angry, including a group called al-Qaeda – who are widely thought to have been behind the attacks.

In the past, al-Qaeda leaders have declared a holy war – called a jihad – against the US. As part of this jihad, al-Qaeda members believe attacking US targets is something they should do.

When the attacks happened in 2001, there were a number of US troops in a country called Saudi Arabia, and the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden, said he wanted them to leave.

As those of you who aren’t gibbering right-wing nutjobs might notice, while a bit simplistic, it’s all entirely true, entirely unbiased, and exactly in line with the findings of the 9/11 Commission’s own report [pdf, large].

Unfortunately, crazy bigoted hatred of one’s opponents in defiance of rational fact and sanity are almost as prevalent among Anglo-American right-wing fundamentalists as they are among Islamist fundamentalists…

A final point: the utter, utter cunts at the Biased BBC blog have been instrumental in making this non-story into a story. But in the process of doing so, they reveal something quite nasty and disturbing about their own motivations…

In a very long and boring piece about how the BBC is incredibly evil for changing the picture on one of the pages and saying it didn’t, or not changing a picture and saying it did, or something, they say “[the BBC's 'who is Al Qaeda' page is] fairly uncontroversial, though could be better written, for instance, AQ doesn’t just believe it is fighting a holy war – it is fighting a holy war, unless all those attacks are just ‘beliefs’ too“.

Traditionally, in order to ‘fight a holy war’, you need to have two sides, both of whom are trying to fight a holy war. Now, as I understand it, we’re not currently trying to fight a holy war to eradicate Islam and Christianise its people. But clearly, the Biased BBC-ites think differently…

[9/11 Commission comparison via Gavin Whendale]

Poles: awesome; the Daily Express: liars

The Daily Express are an evil bunch of cunts. They say:

Around 112,000 [Eastern European] migrants who came to Britain to work are now claiming state handouts – the equivalent of one in six of those who have headed here since the EU expanded

However, this is grossly misleading.

That includes some 68,927 receiving child benefit of up to £17.45 a week and 38,578 in receipt of tax credits that range between £1,365 and £5,300-a-year. There are also 3,600 claiming job-seeker’s allowance, income support or pension credit and another 803 approved for local authority housing assistance.

In other words, 3,600, or one in 180, of the Eastern European migrants who’ve come to Britain – including pensioners – are claiming benefits rather than financially contributing to society. The others are working full-time; some of these are being let off some of their tax payments and others of these are receiving small sums to help them raise the children who they are working to support.

Somewhat better than the natives, no?

We heart class war

As confirmed fans of class war, we approve of some Scottish public schoolboys’ video of Chav Hunting (ned hunting, shirley?).

However, we also note that every posh Scottish public schoolboy (or recently emerged from that ilk) we’ve met has been an utter fucking wanker, even more so than comparable English youths.

We therefore urge the more artistic elements of the ned community to produce something similar, preferably involving live (at least initially), non-consenting public schoolboys.

Two pints of cunts and a packet of cunts

Should you have the misfortune to watch the BBC’s woeful digital channel BBC3, which ignores the fine, edgy comedy the Beeb has commissioned in recent years (Monkey Dust, Snuff Box…) in favour of an endless diet of utter crap, one of the most recurrent programmes on the schedule is Two Pints of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps.

Watch With Mothers eloquently says all there is to say about this woeful bag of arse, featuring that cunt from the Royle Family, that cunt from Hollyoaks, and some dumb bints.

According to certain fucktards on the Guardian forums, we shouldn’t criticise Two Pints because:

Stuff like ‘Two Pints’ is incredibly popular among working class twentysomethings

If that’s true (which I doubt), the already strong case for selective culling of the underclass is further enhanced. It certainly isn’t an argument for making the fucking thing – thick chavs would watch 24-hour dogfighting if it were allowed on t’telly, but that doesn’t mean the Beeb ought to provide it. And Two Fucking Pints is infinitely more painful than watching the horrible suffering of an innocent dumb animal.

If you like Two Pints, then I’m sorry. More specifically, I’m sorry but I’m going to have to kill you, you worthless pathetic piece of vermin.

Political correctness gone, err, sensible

Consider a business which – despite repeated complaints from its landlord renders the area around it unsafe. Through its lack of proper procedures, it causes someone to suffer serious injury, in precisely the same way envisaged by its landlord.

I’m not a huge fan of lawsuits in contexts such as libel, but this seems like a situation where the victim is entirely reasonable to sue – and where the dodgy business that kept up dangerous practices despite fair warning frankly deserves to be put out of business.

Unsurprisingly, the Daily Mail disagrees with me.