Thursday, August 28, 2008

Harry is Back

Harry’ s Place disappeared, Guido asked them what happened:

Last Friday, Harry’s Place republished an email sent to the Universities and Colleges Union activists email list by a Sheffield based academic, Jenna Delich. In that email, she linked to the website of the former Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan, David Duke and recommended an article by the racist conspiricy theorist Joe Quinn, on the Israel/Palestine conflict.

As a result, LSE academic, Mike Cushman recommended that Ms Delich contact the DNS service providers of Harry’s Place, to complain that the article was defamatory. The complaint was made and the DNS address was taken down by the gutless Daily.co.uk.

The attempt to censor Harry’s Place has failed. Harry’s Place’s DNS service has moved to a more ballsy ISP: the Positive Internet Company. The site will be up again over the course of the next 24 hours.

Jenna Delich claims that she did not know who David Duke was, and didn’t notice that his website contained lashings of old fashioned White Power material. She has, however, been banned from the UCU activists list.

Now it is back. Moral of this story? Host your website with someone who is robust in dealing with threats.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bag Lady Has Strop

This just forwarded to the inbox:

“I was one of the lucky BA passengers who got to fly home with the Olympians – an incredible honour. We were thrown off first and after we walked down the steps and past the paparazzi I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw the Prime Minister standing in the doorway shaking hands with my fellow normal pasengers. I walked up to him and shook his hand and asked where we went to collect the bags. He was dumbfounded and the wifey minister* standing beside him with the t-shirt said rudely to me “that is the Prime Minister, ask someone inside”. It wasn’t as though I asked him to carry my bags. She is one ugly cow.”

*Tessa Jowell

Diversion to the Left

You co-conspirators are all mental for saying the Prime Mentalist is bonkers say the whining lefties. Actually, to be fair, some of them agree that Brown is bonkers as well. Worth visiting for the sport.

Have just got back from the spa and am now off for cocktails. Baby and Ms Fawkes with their grandparents…

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Meme Thing

Tory Bear has tagged Guido to do Iain’s meme:

Princess Diana’s death – 31 August 1997
Can’t remember.

Margaret Thatcher’s resignation – 22 November 1990
Can’t remember. Haven’t voted since.

Attack on the Twin Towers – 11 September 2001

Watched second plane crash live on CNBC. Immediately got short S&P futures. Messaged via Bloomberg terminal friend working at EDF Mann in the WTC complex to get out. He replied. Didn’t here from him again for 24 hours. Subsequently he travelled to work with a full NBC suit in his hold-all for a couple of years.

England’s World Cup Semi-Final v Germany – 4 July 1990
Can’t remember.

President Kennedy’s Assassination – 22 November 1963
Not that old.

If British Soldiers are Like "Olympic Heroes", Why Doesn’t Brown Meet them When they Return Home?

He fatuously told frontline soldiers in Afghanistan last week en route to Beijing that they were like Olympic heroes. He caught an early flight home from Beijing just so he could bask in the medal winners reflected glory – as if it had anything to do with him – shaking their hands on their return.

Bush and Sarkozy have solemnly met the coffins of their returning war heroes. Guido has never once seen a picture of Gordon Brown or Tony Blair showing their respects. It might not be such a good photo-opportunity, it would however be the right thing to do.

UPDATE : A co-conspirator asks in the comments “Yes, how come our armed forces have a part time minister and the Olympic games a full time minister?”

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rich & Mark’s Monday Morning View

Is Brown Bonkers?

It is time to bring the question out into the open: is the Prime Minister of sane mind?

Going right back to the Blair charge that he was “psychologically flawed” this question has periodically arisen. Whereas in the past people made a joke of it, now the issue is becoming a genuine concern. Labour MPs discuss it semi-openly and political journalists report evidence of hysterical rants, the rages, the odd behaviour. The question comes up in private conversations all the time. Guido has heard it seriously suggested that Gordon suffers from “high functioning Aspergers”.

It is becoming harder to cover it up whatever it is – some interviews border on totally loony – the repetitive mantras, the uncorrelated bizarre smiles, the complete inability to empathise. When Kay Burley asked him this week would he still have the PM’s job at Christmas his reply was “Of course, because we have got to get on with the job… We have got to get on with the job. People want us to get on with the job. Getting on with the job is the most important thing at the moment.” He snapped at the Mail on Sunday “I’m happy to talk to you because you are here… I have given you special time. That is very good of me. You are very fortunate.”

He told smirking political correspondents on the flight to Beijing that he was going to win the next election, he tells confidantes that he believes the economy will turn around in a few months. We are told to expect an economic plan to turn things around – a plan which the Treasury is openly briefing it knows nothing about. He is clearly becoming increasingly disconnected from reality.

It is low politics to hurl cheap abuse at opponents, but this is not borne of malice towards Brown, Guido feels like the boy who pointed at the naked emperor and said what everyone was too embarrassed to say. The head of government is clearly at the very least deluded and unable to function under the pressure. The worst is frightening to contemplate, for his party and the country…

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Travelling Optimistically Today

Am en route with kids screaming and just caught some of the Olympics closing ceremony.

London 2012 will of course over-run in costs by billions, burden taxpayers in London in particular, cause immense problems for the host city, not get a return on investment and generally result in a lot of moaning. As a libertarian who would prefer it to have been run as a private venture – the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles made a $200 million profit – you would expect Guido to moan.

It will however also generate a lot of pride and excitement, so rather than begrudging it, maybe we should just make the most of it. Who knows, with Boris in charge and a Conservative government in power, it might, like Ronald Reagan’s 1984 Olympics, even make a profit - we can dream...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Microsoft Shifting Party Allegiance?

Iain Dale, who is bravely going to all the party conferences, asks what facilities are being offered to bloggers by the U.K. parties this conference season? In the U.S. they are being feted by the parties to some degree. Guido believes that Microsoft is providing free internet connections at both the Labour and Tory conferences – which is a sign that they must see power moving since they have usually kept close to New Labour and the Tories had more of an affinity with Google. (Obviously both corporation’s public affairs teams will deny it, pointing out the diverse backgrounds of different individuals.)

Not sure what special facilities bloggers really require. You can blog from your laptop with a 3G card, or at a push your Blackberry* or iPhone. Is it worth the parties making any effort to offer special access or have briefings for bloggers? Maybe if they want to shape the reporting. To be honest briefings tend to be worth very little, bloggers would be best advised going and getting their own stories rather than just regurgitating the spin handed out. That is what the lobby is for…

Guido is going to hit the bright lights of Birmingham for the Tory conference but is frankly unable to face going to all the conferences, even declining one corporate titan’s invitation to join his table at the Labour gala dinner – unarmed.

*Sony Ericsson press office please note: after years of loyalty Guido is switching back to Blackberry when the new Bold comes out next week. It has a 3G connection that can be piggybacked via a laptop, Qwerty keyboard, MP3, camera and GPS – a pretty hard to beat package. Of course you could still send over an ultra portable…

"The One" Chooses His Two : Biden Kinnock Copycat Windbag is VP Candidate

Guido laughed this morning, Obama has chosen the man who admired Neil Kinnock’s oratory so much he copied Kinnock’s speech – word for word. This will be Biden’s second try for the White House, the first ended badly in 1988 when he was caught lifting lines from Kinnock’s speech. Obama broke his promise to supporters who registered for text messages that they would “Be the First to Know” who was his VP pick. CNN reported it was Biden late last night. Hesitant Obama campaign managers decided they had to send the $3 million dollar text message and sent it at 3 a.m. EST, waking a lot of East Coast liberals from their dreams.

Biden dropped out of the 2008 race for the Democratic presidential nomination after a poor finish in the Iowa caucuses, but not before saying “I am not running for vice president, I would not accept it if anyone offered it to me. The fact of the matter is I’d rather stay as chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee than be vice president.” That quote will not hurt as much as other quotes McCain’s campaign will be replaying extensively – Biden gave a hard-hitting TV interview during his abortive 2008 run where he laid into Obama as too inexperienced to be President.

UPDATE : This just in from McCain ’08:


Seen Elsewhere

What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts
Labour are the Biggest Losers | Phil Collins


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Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



It was only a tiny tiny collision.


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