Friday, January 30, 2009

Stupid, jumped up, cretinous Quango-crat

Trevor Phillips, in case you needed to know.

Now, I have nothing against councils (or anyone else) providing services to help rape victims.  It is a horrible crime that leaves mental scars far more damaging (in most cases) than the physical injuries.  I have no objection to the government censuring (or even removing funding) from councils who fail to meet their legal obligations.

What I object to is one branch of the government, the Equality and Human Rights Commission, wasting public money taking another branch of the government, local authorities to court.  I have no idea whether, or not, the Local Government Authority are right when they say that other public and voluntary services provide adequate cover in those areas specifically criticised.  And I have no problem with the EHRC writing letters to the councils asking them how they have assessed that the need is adequately met.  I welcome the publication of the online "Map of Gaps*".

Local people actively lobbying their local councillors for provision of what they want as council services, rather than merely voting for their historic colour of shepherd, can only be a good thing.

Throwing money at lawyers is just stupid.  

And I note that they have mapped 10 different services - differentiating between, for example "Domestic Violence Services" and "Sexual Violence Services" - "One Stop Shop", anybody? And this list includes one specifically for Black women. Why? Does your race or colour affect your reaction to rape? (I understand that there may be specialist post-recovery services necessary where honour killings and other misogyny are common but there is no specific map for those cultures.) `because that would be racist, of course.

* Although I notice that when you enter your postcode, rather than describing the services available in your area (useful information you would think) the website throws up an automated email to the Local Authority boss, the MPs and (up here) the MSPs.  I hope that these letters are as automatically rejected as ones asking them to stop abusing their powers are.  

Yet Another Political Spectrum Test but with added :)

Thanks to Obnoxio:

My Political Views
I am a center-right social libertarian
Right: 1.45, Libertarian: 5.7

Political Spectrum Quiz

Seems reasonable to me - moderately right - because it fudges my more strongly right economic views with my less polarised social views - more strongly libertarian. Obviously, the American version of libertarianism wouldn't accept anything as socialist as a "Citizens' Basic Income" , so we can just leave them in the bunkers underneath their timber shacks in the boonies, - and there was no "flat tax" option.

My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -3.04

Political Spectrum Quiz

Yes, having served in the military, I am generally opposed to the military being sent to far flung paces in the world to kill and be killed unless there is an over-riding justification in terms of the preservation of British state interests (including the protection and evacuation of UK citizens) or, in some cases (Cyprus, Lebanon, Darfur?, Israel & Palestine?) an over-riding international community interest in separating warring factions or states.

My Culture War Stance
Score: -5.59

Political Spectrum Quiz

Why is there this weird American belief that "free speech", which they are generally so strongly in favour of, doesn't apply to art? Most arty types read, watch and enjoy stuff I find incomprehensible. Some of it (very little) I find offensive. As long as they don't force me to pay for it or waste my time having it rammed into my face, do I care?

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


One of the few remaining pleasures of being a liberal in these benighted and oppressive times is Trot-watching. Just when you are so depressed that you are actively looking at the Canadian and Kiwi immigration websites, along comes a smidgen of Trot infighting to brighten your day. Not quite as beautiful as the Monty Python parody but ...

I give you, George Monbiot:

Who, in the age of the one-penny ticket, is being prevented from flying? It's not because they can't afford the flights that the poor fly less than the rich; it's because they can't afford the second homes in Tuscany, the skiing holidays at Klosters or the scuba diving in the Bahamas. British people already fly twice as much as citizens of the United States, and one fifth of the world's flights use the UK's airports.

I wonder who he can be talking about?
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