Monthly archives: May 2015

The arguments against the Human Rights Act are coming. They will be false | Keir Starmer | Comment is free | The Guardian

the HRA has heralded a new approach to the protection of the most vulnerable in our society, including child victims of trafficking, women subject to domestic and sexual violence, those with disabilities and victims of crime. After many years of struggling to be heard, these individuals now have not only a voice, but a right to be protected. The Tory plans to repeal the HRA, together with the restricted access to our courts already brought about by the restriction on judicial review introduced by Gove’s predecessor, Chris Grayling, will silence the vulnerable and leave great swaths of executive action unchecked and unaccountable.

Maybe someone should print up Human Rights Act lies bingo cards to check all anti-HRA statements against.

Source: The arguments against the Human Rights Act are coming. They will be false | Keir Starmer | Comment is free | The Guardian

Are UKIP fighting for irrelevance?

Nigel Farage is believed to have forced UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) to refuse his resignation despite opposition to the plan. Breitbart London understands he considered reneging on his commitment to resign before he even made the announcement on Friday.

The source for this story- Breitbart- is not the most reliable, so take it with the requisite amount of salt. But, at the same time, it does sound like the sort of shambolically bad behaviour you’d expect from the Kipper in chief.

Source: Farage Forced Through Leadership Confirmation – Breitbart

11 reasons the poor are worried that Iain Duncan Smith is back in charge of benefits cuts

I reckon “Reasons this government are shit and dangerous” could become a daily feature. Some repeats in this article, but it also gives a bunch of pointers for bad decisions that are likely to come our way in the next few years.

Source: 11 reasons the poor are worried that Iain Duncan Smith is back in charge of benefits cuts – General Election 2015 – UK Politics – The Independent

And so it begins

A couple of years ago, I noted how the coalition government seemed to be rolling appalling ideas out the door on a regular basis, as if to overwhelm and confound attempts to hold them to account. Well, the new Conservative government has got straight down to continuing the policy.

Within hours of the result, it was announced that payments to help disabled people in work are likely going to be cut.

There are plans to bring in the “Snoopers’ Charter”, so that we can all be spied on by the security services.

And, yesterday, Michael Gove, one of the most hated people in UK politics, was made Justice Secretary, where he will be working to scrap the Human Rights Act and bring in a “British Bill of Rights”. Previous blather about a British Bill of Rights have suggested that you forfeit rights if you don’t uphold certain responsibilities. Given the last government’s form, one of those responsibilities could be not being poor or disabled.

As other people have done, I’m going to list the rights and freedoms set out in the Human Rights Act below, and ask- which ones to the Tories want to do away with?

Right to life

Freedom from torture and inhuman or degrading treatment

Right to liberty and security

Freedom from slavery and forced labour

Right to a fair trial

No punishment without law

Respect for your private and family life, home and correspondence

Freedom of thought, belief and religion

Freedom of expression

Freedom of assembly and association

Right to marry and start a family

Protection from discrimination in respect of these rights and freedoms

Right to peaceful enjoyment of your property

Right to education

Right to participate in free elections

The Snoopers’ Charter and removal of benefits from vulnerable people act against two of those rights, for a start. There are bound to be others.

Unlike 2013, I’m better prepared to argue and campaign against the coming disasters of another five years of the Tories. One of the ways I’m going to do this is by not dwelling too much on all the idiotic ideas they come out with. I’ll report on them here, so that more people know about them, but mostly I’ll concentrate on positive alternatives and actions. I’m a member of the local Green Party, and I’ll be campaigning with them on issues, as well as trying to find ways for folks to help themselves.

And I’m going to keep on writing. I’m going to entertain and inform in ways that are going to make them want to remove the freedom of expression from whatever mess Gove comes up with.

The Kippers have joined the tinfoil hat brigade

No, we’re not out of the #GE2015 woods yet… Ukip voters have been venting their frustration at Nigel Farage’s loss in South Thanet by claiming to vote was rigged to keep him out of parliament.

It’s not going to rank up there with the conspiracy theory greats like 9/11 and Diana, but there will always be someone who just won’t let this delusion go.

Even UKIP supporters shouldn’t feel sorry for Nige, he’s still and MEP and can carry on over claiming his expenses whilst failing to work for the British people there for a few years.

Source: #ThanetRigged: Ukip Voters Think There Was A Conspiracy To Keep Nigel Farage Out Of Parliament

The wonderful world of Mad Max rip-offs

As I’m writing a story inspired by Mad Max and the whole post apocalypse road warrior genre, I’ve been watching quite a few eighties era rip offs of the original.

A fair few of them are mentioned on this list, and I’ve gone searching for the ones I haven’t seen yet. Be warned, you are not going to encounter high production values, subtle acting or coherent storytelling if you follow me down this path. But most of these films are enjoyable in their own clunky ways.

(Don’t tell anyone I told you, but many of these films can be found, complete, on YouTube. Often ripped from VHS copies, the reproduction can leave a lot to be desired. But, as so many of them are currently unavailable any other way, this could be your best chance of seeing them.)

Source: The 10 stupidest (and most shameless) Mad Max rip-offs

The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian

A long read, with economics related stuff in it, but worth working through.

Short, angry version- austerity is bullshit and held back economic recovery. The Conservatives are either economically illiterate or only imposed it because of pressure from big business and their rich friends. And Labour are a bunch of pathetic cowards because they’ve been bullied into promising to stick with a failed policy.

Source: The austerity delusion | Paul Krugman | Business | The Guardian

A portable solar cooker, just what every Road Warrior needs

I keep finding cool kit that I could incorporate into Pickers. This solar grill is just the sort of thing you might need if you were trekking around a harsh wilderness. No fuel, no smoke (unless you overcook your meal), light, and portable, my characters would probably have one stored away somewhere.

Source: The GoSun Grill Is a Portable Solar Cooker | Digital Trends

London Road Fire Station to be sold – finally – Manchester Evening News

This time Manchester council bosses will be determined to ensure that whoever buys the listed property – which is on English Heritage’s at-risk register – will actually develop it

The plan seems to be to turn it into a hotel, but I’d love to see something more creative done with it, or some form of mixed use.

Source: London Road Fire Station to be sold – finally – Manchester Evening News