Daily archives: January 24, 2014

Oh dear, I agree with David Blunkett

There are worse people than David Blunkett to agree with, and the scope of the agreement is very narrow.

Blunkett has taken issue with Russell Brand’s anti-voting stance, pointing out that the demographics who avoid ballots are the ones who most need to be heard. He’s right and Brand’s wrong- the young and the disaffected need to vote. However, I’d go a few steps further. It’s the three main parties who are the cynics. It’s the narrowness of the difference between them, their hypocrisy and their pandering to headlines and bigots that has put so many people off. It’s absolutely the right thing to do to protest the state of British politics by not voting for them. But don’t waste your vote by binning it, use it in one of the few ways they’ll pay attention to.

Don’t vote for one of the three main parties (or UKIP or the BNP). Vote Green*, vote Pirate, vote for the person standing on a platform that only has relevance to your constituency, whatever you do, vote. No, it won’t immediately sweep the scum out of Parliament and into the sludge of the Thames where they belong- not at the next General Election, anyway- but a surge in votes for ‘Other’ will get their attention. And then we can keep their attention with single issue campaigns and efforts to build a better society without them.

Apathy and cynicism won’t change the attitude of the political class. They almost rely on them to keep their cosy jobs. Well aimed and constructive anger, and the threat of making them irrelevant, will get their attention. Then, when they’re listening to us, we can force them to change or get out of our way.

BBC News – David Blunkett attacks 'cynicism' of Russell Brand and Will Self.

*I’ve joined the Green Party, I’m duty bound to put that suggestion first. Plus, they have better policies than the big three.

Conspiracy Theorists want to kill your children!!!!

Just framing this as a conspiracy theory nut might.

Exposure to conspiracy theories about vaccinations causing autism can sway parents’ decisions about vaccinating their children- putting their kids, and all their friends/schoolmates, at risk from diseases which had been all but eradicated.

The development of vaccines is one of the most important advances in the history of medicine. Indeed, a recent Parliament Postnote discussed how governments should further stimulate vaccine research (Post, 2008). However, even with increased efforts of policy makers, in recent year’s vaccination rates have declined. In many regions of the UK rates lie well below the recommended 95% uptake (Health Protection Service, 2013). One obstacle may be the influence of anti-vaccine conspiracy theories. Rather, current psychological research has shown exposure to anti-vaccine conspiracy information reduces pro-vaccination intentions (Jolley & Douglas, accepted*). Thus, whilst the decrease uptake of vaccines could be for several reasons, it highlights the contributing potential detrimental effect of conspiracy theories.

Maybe the conspiracy theorists are in the pay of Big Measles. Or perhaps they’re so wrapped up in their fantasy worlds that they’re blind not just to reality but to the potential harm of the lies they’re propagating.

Should conspiracy theory research inform public policy? | The Psychology of Conspiracy Theories.

Object of Desire- a brand new 1932 Ford

I love hot rods. It’s unlikely I’m ever going to own, let alone build, one, but here’s something that would make it easier. Ford’s own component sales division offers brand new reproduction parts for some of their most iconic vehicles, including a full 1932 Model B five window body. This is the little deuce coupe the beach Boys sang about, only straight from the factory.

It’s not clear from the article whether this is just a body or if the chassis is included, but it is fresh sheet metal to begin working on. And, as the article suggests, it could be the basis for builds that would be considered sacrilegious if done to an original. Hybrid hot rod anyone?

via One Of Ford's Most Exciting New Products Is An 82-Year-Old Design.

Nigel Farage has no clothes on

Apparently, UKIP are scrapping their last manifesto completely and aren’t going to announce any of their new policies until after the European elections. You’ll just have to vote for them* and hope you get what you expected if they get in.

Why does this shower of idiots keep getting air time to spout nonsense?

Nigel Farage disowns Ukip's entire 2010 election manifesto | Politics | The Guardian.

*don’t vote for them