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372 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Armchair generals unde... · 0 replies · +3 points

Good piece. My instinct was to be pleased that the issue had been brought to the Commons, as the call for action had been a rushed job. I didn't even think Cameron was as "humiliated" as people said. He'd backed action but wasn't lying us into a war like Blair and accepted the decision. I wish the outrage at Assad's bastardry would be channelled towards something we can act on reasonably i.e. humanitarian aid to refugees.

Re the special relationship - I thought that one good thing that had come out of Wikileaks was the revelation that American diplomats were embarrassed by the constant reassurance that we're still the USA's besty friend. It makes the UK sound like a needy girlfriend.

382 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Young people reject re... · 3 replies · +2 points

Except for everyone being connected on smart phones. The same as the inside of a house with its digital devices. I'm doing something at this very second - ie discussing a subject with strangers on an electronic device - which was unheard of 2 decades ago. The digital revolution is huge. It touches all our lives. It has wide ramifications in politics, banking, business,work- everything. It's as fundamental as the invention of mechanical transport.

392 weeks ago @ Pakistan Today | Lates... - Thank you, dear Muslimaat · 0 replies · +2 points

Thanks - I've just found an article in The Guardian which covers this.

392 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Why Thatcher deserves ... · 0 replies · +2 points

Diana's death "united the nation"? Left a substantial chunk of the population frozen in embarrassment at the furore that followed it is my memory of it.

Major royals - okay, they should get the full turnout, but not politicians. I dislike the celebration parties and Ding Donging of the anti-Thatchers but they have a point because this has been made into a big state occasion. It has been politicised. So they thumb their noses. It might be vulgar and tasteless but it's been given some rightness because of this unnecessary politicisation.

As for what foreigners think of it - so what? Foreigners thought she was Caligula for letting Bobby Sands starve to death and for taking back the Falklands. I thought she was right in both those instances and don't give a toss what they think. What foreigners think about a country is always wrong anyway - they don't know enough about it.

On honouring distinguished citizens - I'd be all for David Attenborourgh getting a big do, on a gun-carriage drawn by tigers and polar bears.

392 weeks ago @ Pakistan Today | Lates... - Thank you, dear Muslimaat · 1 reply · -1 points

This seems to have gone global. What's this bit about being able to ride a bicycle under a mehram's supervision? I did a search for it on google and kept on coming back to this article - which seems to have been published and republished.

Bicycles were a big liberation force in the Western world in the early twentieth century. Bicycles gave women independence of movement, and also got them wearing less cumbersome clothing. Women who rode on them at first were often met with hostility.

411 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Leveson at last · 1 reply · +4 points

Re "journalism as a profession" needing the same kind of training as a surgeon or lawyer - well, no. Orwell, Mencken, Christopher Hitchens, Cobbett, Marx - great journalists and with no professional training and no paper qualifications.

Remember how we all scoffed when the editor of the Independent excused Johann Hari's cheating ways by saying he hadn't done the ethics module at journalism school when the rest of us had learned that you don't make up stories and pass them off as fact in primary school.

419 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - The Timeless Innocence... · 0 replies · +1 points

It's not an argument for the superiority of the working-class - it's an observation.

420 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - The Timeless Innocence... · 3 replies · +1 points

I agree that Page 3 girls are more saucy than salacious. There is far nastier looking porn around in newsagents. But I think part of the appeal might be that the Clare Shorts of this world - the righteous Guardianastas - dislike it. The Sun appeals to white van man, the banning to what they think are bossy feminists - and these two are natural enemies. Similarly, some of the appeal of the EDL is that it pisses off the strenuously multi-cultural loving middle classes. Openly looking at paper breasts is a working-class thing - a middle class guy will look embarrassed if he's caught doing that.

I always used to hate going to the sorting office at the post office because there were pages of naked pin-ups all around - similarly walking into a highly male space like a garage. I imagine that places like sorting offices now have more female employees so fewer pin-ups.

As a matter of interest, was the research you did for this piece more enjoyable than usual?

427 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - How Assange might escape · 2 replies · 0 points

Ha! Ha! There are a lot of solemn aspects to Wikileaks - the original leaks, the rape allegations, the USA's heavy-handedness, Assange's own dodgy behaviour in handing leaks to the vile Israel Shamir - but there is so much farce in this caper. The story will run and run until he's still in the flat 15 years on and the Ecuadorian staff have sought asylum away from his presence.

"Washerwoman" is a bit antiquated, isn't it? Wouldn't "IT technician" be a more likely disguise?

431 weeks ago @ Heresy Corner - Fifty Shades of Grr · 1 reply · +7 points

Good article. There's no way I'd read Fifty Shades of Grey but if the subject comes up I can say "genuine BDSM people think it gives a false idea of their practices" in an annoying, superior tone, just as when Irvine Welsh's name comes up, I say "I know some Edinburgh junkies who say he was never a real smackhead, but just dabbling."