The Pirate Bay released a fabulously entertaining press release yesterday, containing the memorable claim that “we’ve done what they [Hollywood] did”, meaning circumventing legislation to open up a restricted field to business and the public. Techdirt examined this claim, and found historical evidence for it. About one hundred years ago, Thomas Edison’s “Motion Picture Patents Company” tried to monopolise film equipment production, but Carl Laemmle’s Universal Pictures refused to bow down, and cinema-goers flocked to the “illegal” movies of Laemmle, and fellow independents.
Archive for the ‘politics’ Category
Do me a favour: read this story about Tesco in The Scotsman, and then promise me you’ll never, ever shop there again, no matter how cheap the food is. You can spare a few quid a week to make sure your money does not end up in the hands of assholes.
I have just sent the newly elected 258 Labour MPs the following email at 38degrees.org.uk. I would urge as get over there yourself and a send a similar message. And do it today, whilst the Lib Dems are still negotiating:
First Past The Post is so transparently undemocratic that anyone supporting it nakedly displays their real intent: in monopolising power, and not the interests of the electorate.
You are Labour MPs, you are supposed to be on the people’s side! Being on the our side means counting the vote of every single one of us, not just 47% or even 51%, but all 100% of us.
As you are seasoned, intelligent politicians you will already know why PR wouldn’t mean letting the Far Right in, so I won’t insult your intelligence. We ALL know that’s a media baiting red herring. It would mean letting smaller parties in though, yes. Don’t worry about that though, how many decent politicians do you think there are in Plaid Cymru, or the Greens? Not many. If you’re worried about your own career paths, you shouldn’t be, you can just take your talents to parties like them. They’d appreciate it, you’d still be helping the working class, and you wouldn’t have to spend the next ten years kissing up to the likes of Peter Mandelson.
Don’t let the people down: don’t stand in the way of electoral reform. Make ‘one man, one vote’ finally mean that.
Richard Willis, Brighton Kemptown constituency (where my Labour vote didn’t count)
I would like to announce the formation of a new political force: The Commiseration Party.
We are proud to be a single issue organisation. Our only wish is to host a summer barbeque party to commiserate a selection of losing candidates from last week’s General Election. We are compiling a list of invitees, and this your chance to add to it. The current list is below, please use the comments box to add others you think should be considered. We make no exceptions for political bias, all bands of the spectrum warrant inclusion.
Ben Duncan - GRE, Brighton Kemptown
George Galloway - RES, Poplar & Limehouse
Nick Griffin - BNP, Barking
Dr. Evan Harris - LIB, Oxford West & Abingdon
Soraya Kara - CURE, Brighton Pavilion
Shasha Khan - GRE, Croydon North
Lembit Opik - LIB, Montgomeryshire
Nancy Platts - LAB, Brighton Pavilion
Peter Robinson - DUP, East Belfast
Jacqui Smith - LAB, Redditch
Charlotte Vere - CON, Brighton Pavilion
Nigel Waterson - CON, Eastbourne
If you’re having last minute doubts, here’s why you should vote for Caroline:
- Being the favourite makes her the best way to keep the Tories out
- Her track record in Brussels is excellent, winning MEP of the Year on more than one occasion (so I’m told)
- As probably the only Green MP in parliament, Caroline will be a strong, independent voice for Brighton
- Yes, the Greens might have some wacky ideas on homeopathy etc., but Climate Change massively trumps all that
- YOU can make history, by voting in the UK’s first Green MP
- Caroline’s lovely. I know, I’ve met her
- Judging by her Twitter stream, the Tory candidate Charlotte Vere is just a nasty character
I volunteered to help Caroline out over the last few weeks. I’ve been out canvassing and leafletting, and I’ll be out again on Polling day. I’m not a member of the party, or getting paid, I just recognise what might happen here and want to help. I dread knocking on people’s doors, and feel like an idiot wearing a rosette, but I do it anyway. And all I want you to do for me in return is this:
- Do the sensible thing: vote Caroline Lucas
Now don’t let me down, or I won’t share my fair trade, organic, high fibre macaroons with you!
Now let’s get out there and win this thing!
Although Swindon has grown a hundredfold in the past 200 years immigration remains a hot topic, particularly at election time.
Drawing on research conducted for his book Swindon Orbital, author Richard Willis will use Swindon’s history of migrations to argue that immigration is a force for good. If you are interested in politics, history and/or literature you should enjoy the discussion.
The talk is free. Here’s the flyer for the event. If you are in Swindon on Tuesday 4th May please do come along.
Let me tell you a story, a story that illustrates why you shouldn’t vote for the Tories.
I was once picked up in my student hitchhiking days by a lorry driving ex-marine. A friendly, talkative chap, he had phenomenal physical strength. After about half an hour of chatting, during which he told me of his time in the army, he invited me to reach underneath my passenger seat and pick up what I found there. Rummaging around I discovered a cold, hard cylinder, which was too heavy for me to pick up, even with both hands. Leaning over, he reached under my seat with his left arm and picked the object up. It was large, metal bar.
‘That,’ he said, grinning slightly maniacally ‘is for Maggie, if I ever meet her.’
I have just sent the following email to my MP, Dr. Des Turner. I urge you to do the same, as some commentators have suggested that if enough people send similar messages, a debate in the House of Commons will be inevitable, and will probably topple the Digital Economy Bill.
Dear Dr Turner
I have written to you before about this but in the light of recent events I felt it necessary to reiterate my thoughts. I write today about Lord Mandelson’s Digital Economy Bill. There is a feeling abroad that this legislation may pass on to the statutes before the upcoming General Election without actually being debated in the House. I frankly cannot believe this, particularly bearing in mind that it doesn’t take a genius to see some fairly basic flaws with the bill.
In all seriousness; how can we? It has to be stopped. I am interested in practical advice that will make an actual difference, not just an egoistic debate. I have written to my MP about it, but that’s a technique to make pissing into the wind look efficacious; nothing has ever come of any letter I have written to any MP.
David Mitchell pointed out that the only successful political protest of the present Labour administration was the Fuel Protest, which was successful because it physically denied the whole country access to petrol. One million people marching prior to the invasion of Iraq - the largest march in the UK ever - had no influence at all on Tony Blair’s decision to go to war. Only when put under the kind of pressure that the Fuel Protesters created, will the government acquiesce.
Do we have to adopt their tactics? If so, how? And if not, what do we do?
We have about a month to act. Let’s hear some ideas.