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  • It’s raining irony

    This tweet-

    Was followed very quickly by this tweet-

    Which is hilarious.

    I sometimes wonder if the spambot that calls itself Richard Carvath is a satirical AI* which has been abandoned by its creator and is now just spewing out bizarre comments because it wasn’t turned off.

    Because the possibility that there are people this clueless doesn’t bear thinking about. (unless he’s a member of UKIP. This level of cluelessness seems to be a membership requirement.)

    *Artificial Idiot


  • Morons will be morons

    Apparently Evangelo-freak* Richard Carvath is a satirical creation. That is what he means when he says his website contains satirical content, isn’t it?

    Today, Ricky is playing the role of clueless homophobe who thinks he’s clever because he’s using cheap cultural references rather than coming out and saying what he means. It’s a tired cliche, and several years out of date, so not one of his better characters.

    Sephton for Manchester Central: Matt’ll Fix It for you
    Now then, now then… Matthew Sephton, my erstwhile rival for Salford and Eccles (GE2010) is the Conservative Party candidate for the Manchester Central by-election to be held on 15th November.

    If you’re a Manchester Central voter, Matt probably thinks he can fix it for you… you name it, from crime to unemployment to redefining marriage, Matthew Sephton is out to win your vote.

    What’s the single most important thing every voter needs to know about Matthew Sephton?

    IMO I’d say it’s the fact that he’s the leader of LGBTory – the Conservative Party’s affiliated group for homosexual-perverts.

    Matthew’s a gayboy, and it seems to me that his main political passion is for pursuing ‘gay rights’ causes.

    Do you wanna be in Matt’s Gang, Matt’s Gang, Matt’s Gang, do you wanna be in Matt’s Gang?

    Oh, yeah?

    Well, if you do wanna be in Matt’s Gang, be very clear that Matt’s gang is LGBTory. A vote for Matthew Sephton is a vote for the pervert-politics agenda exemplified by Stonewall.

    Parents in Manchester Central should ask Matthew – a teacher – about his views on ‘sex education’ for little boys and girls. What kind of ‘educational’ pictures and videos does he approve of?

    Voters should also ask Matthew why until recently he was banned from donating blood. What behaviour was it that Matthew engaged in with a man/men that caused him to be banned?

    And voters should also ask Matthew about his views on redefining marriage.

    Labour will win this by-election by a very comfortable margin, but for the record the candidates (source: Wikipedia) are: Lucy Powell (Labour); Matthew Sephton (Conservative); Marc Ramsbottom (Liberal Democrat); Chris Cassidy (UKIP); Peter Clifford (Communist League); Alex Davidson (Trade Unionist & Socialist); Lee Holmes (Peoples Democratic Party); Loz Kaye (Pirate); Eddy O’Sullivan (BNP); Clive Searle (Respect). Tom Dylan (Green Party) is also reported to be a candidate (source: MEN).

    I haven’t bothered giving you a link to the original post, because Carvath has a habit of taking them down so his stupidity is only visible for brief periods at a time. It’s here as a record, in case anyone in the future is foolish enough to think he’s credible but sensible enough to do a search on his background.

    Update I was right to not bother with a link- he took the post down whilst I was writing about it.

    *Just trying out Dickie’s favourite tactic of sticking two words together to make some dumb attempt at a statement that’s really meaningless.


  • If only we didn’t let women do ‘men’s jobs’

    We were talking about the shooting of two Police officers in Mottram and I pondered, “I wonder who’ll be the first to say it’s all because we’re letting women do men’s jobs?” Then I thought a second or so longer and said, “I bet it’s Carvath.”

    It was Carvath- In a civilised society PC Fiona Bone and PC Nicola Hughes would still be alive | Richard Carvath.

    Richard Carvath has a habit of taking down his posts, particularly the more stupid ones, so, just in case it disappears, here’s a taster of what he wrote-

    It disgusts me that Bone and Hughes were sent out to respond to a burglary.  Look at the photo of Nicola Hughes above; she was a little girl who should never have been a police officer at all.  What kind of a society are we that we send out such young, small women to investigate burglaries, patrol our streets and respond to violent criminals (most of whom are men much stronger and harder than they)?  A sick society is what we are, sending the weak and vulnerable to do men’s work.  Women doing our frontline policing is wrong not only for the sake of the women involved but also for society’s sake, because we are all less safe when we have women rather than men trying to protect us from violent criminals.  The sad truth is that in a civilised society the female Fiona Bone and the female Nicola Hughes would still be with us, because if we were a civilised society we wouldn’t permit our women to engage in frontline policing at all.

    In Carvath’s “civilised” society two Police officers would still be dead, because an unarmed man is just as vulnerable as an unarmed woman when faced with 10-16 shots and a grenade explosion. Unless, of course, Dick-world is controlled by patrols of Robocopish, heavily armed, God-fearing, hetero Cop heroes.


  • With enemies like these……

    ….Tim Montgomerie doesn’t have much to worry about.  Montgomerie runs the  ConservativeHome blog/website and is a key member of the Christian Conservative Fellowship.  Despite such a dodgy pedigree he has come out to say that there is absolutely nothing wrong with gay marriage.  In fact, it would be a good thing for society

    It is because I value marriage so much that I have come to believe it should be extended to gay people and not kept exclusive. Because it is so beneficial an institution it should be enlarged rather than fossilised.

    The fossils are predictably upset by what is a fairly reasonable reading of the benefits of gay marriage. Richard Carvath- God’s self-appointed bigot in Salford- weighed in with his usual illogic (I’ve removed the link because the original post has been deleted and there’s no point sending you to an empty page. Luckily my RSS reader had it cached, so there’s a copy of it below).

    Tim, understand that you are a traitor to Conservatism and, moreover, you are betraying Christ and mocking God in your support for the destruction of marriage and in your advocacy of evil perversion. You are in active rebellion against God; be very clear that in supporting the destruction of marriage you have chosen to place yourself at the right hand of Satan.

    There’s never a coherent explanation of exactly how gay marriage is going to so completely and easily destroy “traditional” marriage when someone has one of these rants. Straight folk are still going to be allowed to wed. Those of us who aren’t pathetic bigots run the risk of going to more weddings- which’ll be a bit more expensive and tiring- but that’s the only way most of us are going to be affected.

    [I have missed Carvath’s uninformed bigotry since he took some sort of sabbatical.  Hopefully now he’s back to being a regular source of amusement.]

    Update: Carvath has taken his post down.  He does that a lot.  Fortunately, my RSS reader has it cached-

    Living a Lie: the Madness of Montgomerie

    Over the last couple of years this blog has become a cult blog for mainstream British Conservatives.  This blog’s popularity is partly down to the fact that I say what I say openly rather than anonymously, and partly because it is a platform which has given an online public voice to grassroots Conservatives’ offline views and discussions.  Probably because I am an evangelical Christian – as well as a fellow conservative – I have to say I’ve been deluged by approaches from so many Conservatives in recent weeks in response to The Madness of Tim Montgomerie.  Conservatives are appalled and horrified by Tim Montgomerie’s loss of the plot.  I’ve been asked to write this blog on behalf of all genuine Conservatives – and evangelical Christians in particular – to urge Tim to come to his senses:

    Dear Tim,

    You identify yourself as a ‘Conservative’ and a ‘Christian’ and yet you support the destruction of marriage and endorse evil behaviour.  On behalf of Christians and Conservatives throughout the UK, I must point out to you that you are not one of us.

    We were horrified to read of Stonewall boss Ben Summerskill gloating over you when he said: “We’re delighted that, having heard the arguments, one of Britain’s most influential evangelical Christians is now able fully to support marriage for gay people without compromising his faith in any way.”

    Tim, understand that you are a traitor to Conservatism and, moreover, you are betraying Christ and mocking God in your support for the destruction of marriage and in your advocacy of evil perversion.  You are in active rebellion against God; be very clear that in supporting the destruction of marriage you have chosen to place yourself at the right hand of Satan.

    Your support for the destruction of marriage is emphatically not God’s will; in seeking to destroy marriage you are doing the bidding of your real master Satan.  Tim, you claim to be a Christian… but you are living a lie.

    You were seduced away from the truth when you began to idolise your own status within the Conservative Party and put yourself and your career before God, before sound principle and before the best interests of the British people.

    Have you any idea just how devastating the destruction of marriage will be if you get your evil way?  Tim… Wake up!  Repent!

    Yours sincerely,

    Richard.


  • The other extremists

    I subscribe to the RSS feeds of a few reactionary bigots. They’re good to quote when I want to show how stupid some people’s arguments are and their reality-free beliefs can be amusing.

    Admittedly, calls for Gordon Brown to be tried as a traitor because he made a bad financial decision (particularly after fantasising about stringing up “traitors”) don’t seem so funny after Friday’s events in Norway. I don’t think that Stewart Cowan- the quoted blogger, who wants treason redefined around his evidence free conspiracy theories- is going to take up arms against a sea of secular humanists any time soon, but there exist in this country those who might.

    Let’s not forget that the UK’s biggest cache of weapons and chemicals hoarded for terror purposes was held by a bunch of white racists, that before 7/7 probably the worst bombing campaign on the mainland was carried out by a racist homophobic idiot (and before that it was the Irish) and that just last year a white racist was jailed for trying to mix up Ricin for his own terror campaign (his son was jailed for having copies of books you can get from Amazon, but that’s a different matter).

    It would be nice to think that these events, and before that the decades long IRA campaign, would give we Brits a longer view on terrorism. It would be nice if everybody didn’t cry “Al Quaeda” before the evidence was in. But that’s not how it works. And that’s dangerous, as all the history we so quickly forget shows.

    So my mockery of dumb, faith based* prejudices doesn’t seem as much fun now. Which means it’s even more important to continue. Luckily for me, God’s self appointed representative in Salford is back blogging after a hiatus. On Friday he decided to tell us what is wrong with modern Policing. Can you guess what the problem is? (Yes, you’re right, it’s homosexuals- or “homopervuals” as Carvath likes to say- with a side order women. It’s always homosexuals with Richard Carvath, he’s obsessed, and no amount of fantasising about having to save WPCs when “serious and organised” criminals come and kick in his door is going to make any of us think he’s not in denial.) At least some of the reactionaries are still good for a laugh.

    A couple of more serious posts on this subject, by people who have stronger stomachs and have looked deeper into the abyss that is the reactionary belief system-

    Where Worlds Collide: The Al-Queda of the West?

    Little Green Footballs: The Oslo Terrorist’s ‘Counter-Jihad’ Ideology

    *I don’t mean religion here, these guys cling to their beliefs in overarching conspiracies and impossibly complex plans with ill defined aims ever tighter when presented with evidence of how ludicrous they are. That sounds like blind faith to me.


  • Full of sound and fury, signifying nothing

    I haven’t written about the reactionary bigotsphere in a while. I only follow two, hand picked, reactionary bigots- following any more would be redundant as they all draw from the same uninformed prejudices and all express themselves in variations of the same self pitying whine. Neither of them has been all that busy lately and when they have they’ve just repeated the same boring nonsense as usual.

    However, local reactionary bigot Richard Carvath- Salford’s one man lunatic fringe- did pop up last night to tell us what he has planned for the next few months. More of the same nonsense mostly, but also-

    (4) An article to examine the underlying ethics and philosophy of my strategic and stylistic approach to political activism on the internet. Just why do I write [and generate other web content, e.g. lo-fi videos] in the way that I do? What are the motives behind the method? And what are the objectives? If I refer to ‘what I do that is distinctively me’ as ‘Carvathianism’ – what exactly is Carvathianism? Whilst most people quickly grasp what I stand for – for example, my pro-life stance – why do I manifest my agenda as I do? Carvathianism is essentially a socially conservative approach to engaging with a dumbed-down, pornographised, post-modern British society (and media, and so-called ‘intelligentsia’) by means of counter-intuitive techniques, humour and satire etc. There’s a sense in which what I do is a response to the challenge of communicating Christian socio-political themes to a largely ‘morally and spiritually illiterate’ mainstream audience through the maze of madness and irony that is our post-modern relativistic society. Why do I merge ‘traditional’ journalistic writing conventions with mind-bending (and moral-straightening) wit – with the occasional blunt instrument thrown in for good measure? What is the true depth of my academic engagement with the issues I address – and why present principles in an unorthodox, ‘middle-of-the-road-common-denominator’ manner? Why do I risk being dismissed as a dilettante or a fool because I often deliberately eschew arguing evidence of consequences with secular-humanists on their own terms; why do I sometimes refuse to play ball? Do I really believe that the fallacy of humanist first principles is so self-evident that the ‘evidence’ humanists hold dear on various issues is obviously non sequiter from the shine-through undeniable reality of absolute moral principles, and therefore logically it is unnecesary to engage in ‘reasoning the ridiculous’ with the Richard Dimkins crowd?………..i.e. do I really believe that the truths which underpin my stances are so self-evident and so unassailable that I can credibly stand my modus operandi largely upon the assertion of pure principle alone? When to use statistical and anecdotal evidence – and how? Why use sources sparingly (most of the time)?

    Carvathianism? Can anyone pretend to have a grand philosophy just by sticking some suffixes onto their surname? I claim Pattinsonism. I’ll define it later. I’d go the whole, Carvathian, hog, but Pattinsonian used to be my user name on Hotmail.

    It goes beyond being a word soup to become a word sludge which says nothing of any substance. There’s mention of humour and satire, but Carvath is only funny in the “we’re laughing at you, not with you” way and, unless he’s Chris Morris’ latest and most bizarre creation, I detect no satire.

    I think Carvathianism, based upon the second half of the sludge, comes down to admitting that he can’t provide evidence to support any of his claims (because reality is on the side of “secular-humanists”) but he’s convinced that doesn’t matter because the version of God that exists only inside his head has told him what the “Truth” really is.

    It’s all quite dumb, and reading it makes your head hurt. Under the right circumstances trying to follow the looping, folding and tearing illogic of it all might bring on some sort of transcendental experience. However, the bit which made me laugh most was later on, and much shorter.

    Marriage is on my agenda.

    I feel a little bad every time I mock Carvath. Not because he makes it all too easy, but because there’s obviously something wrong with him. He’s delusional, and the delusions are getting greater. If any of his family are reading this I’d ask them to intervene and get him some help before he becomes more of a risk to himself and others.


  • Satan Meat!

    There are a number of good reasons why this country should no longer allow halal and kosher butchery of animals. Johann Hari wrote a detailed piece on them recently.

    However, this is not a valid reason

    Halal meat is meat from animals which have been slaughtered and ritually sacrificed to Satan* in accordance with islamic practice.

    I don’t do Satan meat!

    [* The god of the followers of Mohammed as presented in the Koran and known as ‘Allah’ is not the one true God YHWH but is actually Satan.]

    Yes, it’s Richard Carvath, Salford funny mentalist, being an uninformed bigot again.

    I’d sign a petition calling for the stunning of all animals before they’re slaughtered- effectively banning the objectionable part of halal and kosher butchery, but not their right to pray to their chosen version of God over the dead animal- but it seems that everyone who puts one up forgets about the Jewish practice and is concentrating on being anti-Islam not pro-animal rights.


  • Still saying nothing with numbers

    Not satisfied with simply being homophobic and mysoginist, would be holy warrior Richard Carvath is branching out into racism*. He’s terrified that Mohammed was the 16th most popular name for baby boys in 2009. 16th! All the good white Christian folk are going to be ground under the heels of the Allah chanting brown hordes!

    Except that there were 15 more popular names (here’s the top 100). Oliver was most popular- we’re in danger of being overrun by urchins! Harry was third- prepare for the speccy wizard apocalypse! Alfie was fourth- fear the coming wave of cockney lotharios! Etc.**

    I know what Carvath thinks he’s saying- the muslim community is growing fast enough for one of their most popular boy’s names to slot into the list amongst all the properly Christian christian names. Something should be done! Because we all know that every single muslim is only one halal burger away from exploding and killing himself and everyone around him.

    This fear of a brown neighbour is really weak and quite cowardly. People like Carvath who talk tough about fighting the “evil Mohammedan cult” reveal a lack of faith in the strength of their own beliefs. If they were so sure they were right they’d just go out there and sell their own religion. The only long term solution to religious extremism is secularism and humanism. Politicians need to stop pandering to those who whine loudest about the rights they demand because of their imaginary friend.

    *I know that prejudice against Islam isn’t strictly racist, but it’s a fair bet that when Carvath says “Muslim” he’s thinking of brown men with beards, often wearing non Western styles of clothing.

    **Jack was second. I can’t think of a cliche associated with Jack. Sorry.


  • The debate is now officially closed

    Salford based political genius Richard Carvath is a gift that just keeps on giving. He’s supposedly on a self imposed blogging embargo until the end of October, but he keeps breaking it. Most recently he popped up to give us “a rare glimpse of the sort of efforts I do make with the media in my work, and also to show the sort of well-written, heavyweight letter which rarely sees the light of day in newsprint“.

    The well written letter goes Godwin in the first sentence by comparing someone with a view different to Carvath’s to the Nazis (and slave traders). It ends with the heavyweight suggestion that human rights abuses in China somehow are the same thing as women in Salford choosing whether or not to have an abortion.

    It’s almost too easy to pick on Carvath, but whilst he maintains his ill informed and often offensive opinions he’s going to keep providing material for my amusement.


  • You have the right to be what we tell you to be

    I discovered Richard Carvath in the run up to the election. I’ve been following him, and fellow self righteous bigot Stewart Cowan, on and off ever since because they can be amusing, In a face-palming I-can’t-believe-anyone-can-be-that-stupid kind of a way. I started writing about them here because arguing with them on their own blogs was a waste of good material I should be sharing with my readers. I hope it has kept you amused. However, it may be time for some of Carvath’s family members to perform an intervention. It’s possible he’s finally slipped over the edge.

    Carvath is so proud that the Conservative Party taking his money and sending him a card that he has invented a group called STRAYTory (formerly straightory, which had, for about ten minutes, a blogspot blog here. Apparently-

    STRAYTory is the group of social conservatives which campaigns for LGBT rights – specifically the right of LGBT people to go STRAYT.

    Which might sound menacing if it wasn’t coming from someone who looks like Mr. Bean’s embarrassing nephew.

    STRAYTory’s equally made up leader Jemima Babesworth (given Carvath’s fascination with all things homosexual, surely Jemima Beard would have been more appropriate) has invited him to be a bit of rough for a party full of posh totty and he just can’t wait. I’ve done a basic check on all this- Googling the organisation, Ms. Babesworth and the location of the supposed party- and got no results.

    It wouldn’t be too much to conclude that Carvath now lives in his own fantasy world, where he’s being revered as a God-loving heterosexual hero. Perhaps he’ll stage the special party all by himself and post pictures of himself in a room full of primly dressed Real Dolls gurning joyfully. Or maybe he won’t last that long and will be found wandering through Salford with a bedsheet as a toga declaiming on the sins of fornication and homosexual-perversion before October’s out. I did tell him months ago that he needed help. He should have listened to me.

    More likely, just, is that this is all a jape, an attempt to satirise the Conservative’s gay group LGBTory. I’m not sure how the satire’s meant to be working. Maybe I need to be a Tory, or Richard Carvath, to understand the subtle points he’s making.

    There is a third possibility. Perhaps it’s all an elaborate I’m Still Here style confection, and Richard Carvath doesn’t exist at all. He’s just a character being played by an actor and it’s all about recording the reactions to this bizarre and unlikeable character and his descent into delusion. If that’s the case then I have to congratulate the actor on his convincing portrayal of a gullible and bewildered homophobe/closet case.

    Or maybe this shadowy organisation really exists and is operating behind pseudonyms and with great secrecy. Perhaps it won’t be long until gangs of Tory men, determined to prove their heterosexuality, roam through towns shouting “You have the right to be STRAYT!” at any well dressed men or women with short hair.

    I’m going to have nightmares now.


  • Not Ashamed? You should be

    Not Ashamed is a campaign which would like to sideline anyone who doesn’t adhere to a narrowly defined version of Christianity. I found out about it because Salford’s wannabe holy politico Richard Carvath signed up to the campaign, which was an automatic black mark against it. On December 1st the Not Ashamed crew are going to present a petition to ‘leading figures in public life’ which will say-

    WE BELIEVE that Jesus Christ is good news for our nation. He is the only true hope and solid foundation for our society.

    WE CALL on government, employers and other leaders in our country to protect the freedom of Christians to participate in public life without compromising biblical teaching and to promote in our society the values that are revealed through Jesus Christ and that have so shaped our nation, for the good of all.

    In other words they don’t think the opinion of anyone who doesn’t namecheck Jesus is valid and they want the right to be law breaking hypocrites. The freedom they seek will be to do whatever they can to restrict the freedoms of others, even when those freedoms are legally protected. One or two bigoted registrars refusing to perform civil partnership ceremonies isn’t going to stop them happening, but when they feel empowered to spit the dummy every time the subject comes up they will add unnecessary stress to the proceedings. And the suffering inflicted upon children awaiting adoption but denied perfectly capable parents because they didn’t conform to an agency’s ideal would be even worse.

    No metaphysical entity should be used as the foundation for our society. The people behind this campaign should be ashamed for pretending that their beliefs automatically make them better than followers of other, or no, religions.


  • What are perversion activities, and where can I get some

    My post a fortnight ago “How To Say Nothing With Numbers” generated a bit of a comment thread as the subject of the post- wannabe politician Richard Carvath- dropped in to prove that he couldn’t understand my point. He’s quite good at repeating his claims over and over after they’ve been shown up and then declaring it a victory. When he stopped doing that he did say a couple of things which deserve some closer inspection.

    Carvath is adamant that only 1% of the population is gay. I used this figure in my calculations as well as the old “1-in-10” to get a spread of figures for take up of civil partnerships. The true pink percentage is somewhere between those two figures- different polling techniques in different countries return widely varying results. Carvath sticks to his 1% and implies that as they’re only a hundredth of the population homosexuals are too insignificant a minority to be listened to or to have equal rights extended to. Never mind that it’s how we behave toward the minorities, rather than constantly favouring the majority, which shows how good or bad we are as a society, Carvath is on very shaky ground when he starts dismissing small segments of the population. He describes himself as a “Hebraic evangelical Christian”. I’m not at all sure what that is, and Googling it doesn’t help. A strict search for that exact phrase returns one result (maybe two now). I’m not sure that being a Googlewhack counts as a religion. Maybe he can be put into the “Other Christian” denomination in the breakdown of British denominations, which would make the group he’s affiliated to 0.4% of the population. An insignificant minority, by Carvath’s standards, not worth paying attention to. However, as I’m not him, I don’t think we should limit their ability to marry.

    More interesting, though, is a phrase that Carvath started using toward the end of the thread. Apparently, gay couples can’t marry because they’re not sexually compatible. All they can manage are “perversion activities”. Colour me intrigued. These perversion activity things sound quite interesting. What are they, exactly? I asked, but he wasn’t forthcoming with definitions. I really want to know, can anyone tell me what on earth Richard Carvath means when he goes on about “perversion activities”? Suggestions in the comments please.


  • How to say nothing with numbers

    I used to analyse data for a living. It’s fascinating to take a whole load of numbers, postcodes and geodemographic data (in my case) and come up with something meaningful, particularly if it makes a pretty map or graphic. I haven’t done any hardcore number crunching for years, and sometimes I miss it. What I did this morning hardly counts, but it was a little bit of fun.

    Religious-idiot Richard Carvath did some primary school maths and was awfully pleased with the result. In the last 5 years 80,000 people have entered into civil partnerships. If the population of the UK is 60 million then you just divide one by the other and multiply by 100 to find that a mere 0.13% of the British population is interested in civil partnership! This is so small that it really means that nobody is interested! Civil partnership is irrelevant so we should stop doing them! (We’ll pass over Carvath’s usual bleating about how civil partnerships are destroying the institution of marriage. I don’t think he can comprehend that it can’t be both insignificant and a clear and present danger at the same time.)

    Of course, that number is meaningless. For a start,around 19% of the country’s population is aged under 16. Take them out of the numbers and you have an adult population of around 48.6 million. Do the maths again and now 0.16% of the adult population is in a civil partnership. Still a tiny proportion, you might say, but this is still a flawed number. Most of the population aren’t gay- the majority of people would qualify for a “normal” marriage.

    Carvath has insisted that only 1% of people are homosexual, a more commonly held figure is 10%. So between 1.65% and 16.5% of those eligible have taken up civil partnerships since they were introduced. How many heterosexual marriages have there been in that same period?

    Well the Office of National Statistics says there were 232,990 marriages in England and Wales in 2008. Perhaps the Scots don’t get married. Rounding that up to 250,000 to give the straights a chance, that’s half a million people getting married every year, 2.5 million married people within five years. Between 5.2% and 5.72% of the straight adult population has got married within the last 5 years. If homosexuals are really as tiny a minority as Carvath likes to think then the numbers actually show that they’re over three times more likely to get civil partnered than straights are to get married. More realistic figures give marriage the threefold advantage over civil partnership.

    The article Carvath cribbed his figures from crows about an increase in the number of civil partnerships being dissolved- 351 in 2009. Per thousand people married, this means that around 8.75 will get divorced. For the record the equivalent number for straight marriages in 2008 was 11.2. So it’s not clear what they were trying to prove.

    What has my data mining proved? Mostly that if you want meaningful statistics you have to do a little bit of work establishing context etc.. It’s not clear whether Carvath was behaving like a tabloid- working out the worst looking number and assuming his audience are too dumb and gullible to question it or spot the logical flaws- or he really thought he was doing some clever analysis. I’m normally a charitable chap, but experience tells me that the latter is more likely than the former, not that either speak well for the man.


  • The shallow end of the meme pool

    During the election I subscribed to a load of political blogs’ RSS feeds. After it I unsubscribed from most of them. Foolishly, I revisited the two most obnoxious of them again recently.

    Richard Carvath stood as an independent candidate in Salford and Eccles, the seat retained by Hazel Blears and polled 384 votes. He claims, loudly and repeatedly, that he would have done better if the media, the big parties and homosexual-perverts hadn’t conspired against him. Homosexual-perverts is a favourite phrase of Carvath’s. He can’t just say homosexual, it has to be homosexual-pervert. He may have read somewhere that you can reinforce your message by using your preferred phrases regularly until the reader starts thinking in them as well. But he’s gone overboard- the Carvath blog is overloaded with them, every sentence employs a piece of similar wordplay, all of it of a level which should embarrass anyone over the age of ten. Homosexual-perverts abound, homophobic registrars who refuse to perform Civil Pervertships are conscientious objectors honoured with the title of Decents. I’ve seen him use the phrase Guardian-perverts as well, and it should be obvious who Barack Obortion is. I’m sure he thinks it’s all very clever, witty even, but it just looks like the ever less coherent ramblings of someone with serious mental problems.

    Carvath is on a mission from God, the voice in his head. He recently had a nasty accident whilst climbing, breaking several bones and damaging his back. If it had happened to any of his growing list of homosexual-pervert enemies (which is anyone who points out how nasty his beliefs are) he would no doubt be crowing about how God had punished them for their sins. Because it happened to him it’s somehow a form of blessing and all part of his invisible friend’s holy plan. I can only hope he gets better mentally at some point as well as physically.

    Real Street is the blog of Stewart Cowan, a Scottish evangelical christian who has yet to meet a conspiracy theory he doesn’t like. Recent favourites include a bus advert which is going to turn us all into Muslims and how trying to cut down homophobic bullying in schools is secretly a plan to legalise gay paedophilia. Cowan doesn’t mangle language as much as Carvath, but he does like to grasp at anything which he feels supports his prejudices whilst dismissing all evidence against them. The Daily Mail and conspiracy loving tabloids are right and anyone answering him with facts and basing their replies upon reality is obviously deluded.

    Cowan has a couple of tame commenters who’ll up the frothing at the mouth quotient when necessary. English Viking hates foreigners who come over here to work and improve their, and our, lot. Ancient Danes and Norwegians who popped over for a little recreational raping and stealing are obviously okay, though. Len wants you to know the Truth and accept God, because science, reality and not hating people just because they’re different is obviously the work of Satan.

    The natural response to the likes of Carvath and Cowan is this-

    XKCD- someone on the internet is wrong

    But in the long run that’s just a waste of time. They enjoy being wrong, and feel that having all the flaws of their arguments pointed out somehow proves their case. It’s far better to ignore them or point out elsewhere just how stupid they’re being today.

    Which is what I know I should do, and what I shall try to do, but I’m not making any promises that I won’t pop over there occasionally and slap them on their own blogs.


  • Political blogs- let’s get local

    John Ottewell writes for the Manchester Evening News and also posts on their political blog. His is an informed and relatively neutral (the paper ran a campaign against the BNP during the European elections, which he has defended) voice on the politics of Greater Manchester.

    But what of the many candidates for Manchester seats?

    There are 28 constituencies in Greater Manchester, to become 27 in this year’s election.

    Let’s start where I live-

    Manchester Withington’s MP is John Leech, the first Liberal or Liberal Democrat to win a Manchester seat since 1929. His blog is johnleechmp.wordpress.com.

    The Conservative candidate is Chris Green. I can’t find a blog from him.

    Lucy Powell, the Labour candidate, has a website with a news feed. Which is almost a blog.

    James Alden is the Green candidate. No blog though.

    Bob Gutfreund-Walmsley is standing for UKIP.

    Yasmin Zalzala is a former Lib-Dem now standing as an independent who has claimed that she was run out of the party by racists.

    There may be other candidates, from parties even more minor than UKIP, but these are the ones I found listed.

    Manchester Gorton, where I used to live.

    The incumbent is Gerald Kaufman. No blog, or even website as far as I can tell.

    Caroline Healy is the Conservative candidate.

    Qassim Afzal is the Lib Dem candidate. He has an official site, but it’s a bit sparse.

    Justine Hall is standing for the Greens.

    Oddly enough, the BNP don’t seem to have a candidate in the constituency that includes Longsight. I guess even people who are that stupid aren’t that stupid.

    This is, unsurprisingly, taking a while to compile. Let’s round out this post with the constituency of another high profile MP. I work in Hazel Blears’ constituency, and end up reading the Salford Advertiser more often then my own local paper, so it’s probable I know more about what’s going on there than here. As part of the boundary changes, Salford becomes Salford and Eccles this year.

    Hazel Blears is an odd looking little woman best known for causing trouble for Gordon Brown. Nothing that looks like a blog on her official site, but there’s an RSS feed so maybe the news items will get pulled in by my reader as they update.

    Matthew Sephton is the Conservative candidate.

    Norman Owen is a Lib Dem councillor standing for MP.

    Robert Wakefield is the UKIP candidate. The Salford UKIP blog‘s one and only post dates from 2007 AND IS ALL CAPS AND TOO PAINFUL TO READ. It’s possible that Mr. Wakefield is the author of a novel about the crusades. He should talk to my UKIP candidate, who’s a bookseler.

    Tina Wingfield is the BNP candidate. No site or blog that I could find, but I did subscribe to the BNP blog, because the ulcer doesn’t make me feel queasy enough.

    Steve Morris is standing for the English Democrats. I don’t think the Steve Morris I’ve found results for is the same person.

    David Henry has been chosen to stand on the Hazel Must Go platform. His site’s minimalist at the moment.

    Joe O’Neill is standing as an Independent, though he’s a Lib Dem councilor. He hasn’t even bothered to write over the placeholders on his official Salford Council page, so I’m not expecting any web presence.

    Last, and certainly least, is Richard Carvath. He’s standing as an Independent, on the More Self Righteous and Homophobic Than Anyone Else platform judging by his blog. Everything’s a conspiracy, it would seem, intended to turn our children into French speaking Muslim homosexual perverts or something.

    I’ve subscribed to the feeds I’ve found, but I’m using Bloglines, which can be temperamental, so I don’t know how many of them I’ll be able to follow reliably. I’m not a wonky political blogger, I won’t be loading Spinneyhead down with policy discussion. It’s more likely to be anything outrageous that candidates say that’ll make it here.

    Further constituencies may be added, these are the three that mean the most to me. If you’d like me to look at yours please tell me. Likewise if you know of any candidates I’ve missed out.