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Umm, Iain?

I\’ve written this week\’s diary for The Spectator, which you can read HERE. Due to the postal strike, I suspect the paper version won\’t land on your doormat until Saturday.

Err, doubt it. They\’re on strike on Saturday.


A Blockhead\’s Essays

Fortunately, this one hasn\’t taken Dr. Johnson\’s advice to heart.

A Blockhead\’s Essays. Do go read.

This on education is a treat:

One of the best things that the splurging of money on education in recent years has done is that it has blown away any pretence that the system’s faults are due to a lack of money.

After a decade of increasing budgets, educating a child to the age of sixteen costs the state £45,000. More than a fifth of them leave school illiterate. No one would voluntarily spend that kind of money on an education so grotesquely useless that it could not even teach a child to read and write. No one, except the Department of Education.

Those who pretend that this is the best that can possibly be expected for this sort of outlay are a mixture of hardened ideologues and professional apologists. There are those who are too narrow-minded to accept any model other than the council-run comprehensive, and those whose fingers wouldn’t be able to pull so much out of any other kind of pie.

Something to add to RSS feeders I think.

Sex Blogging

So, via nosemonkey, it looks like I\’m to do a quickie (perhaps not le mot juste) book for the Christmas trade.

A directory sort of affair to sex blogging. Yes, I know about Abby, Belle du Jour, The Mr Eugenides Sex Blog (which will be in) and there\’s a few more I\’m thinking of. Is it New York Madam? Then there\’s an excellently written porno blog (ie, about making porn) from London which was in the BBRU, Creepy Lesbo….

Right, so there\’s hundreds more out there that I\’m missing. Anyone want to point me in the right direction?


What Facebook Is For

I\’ve wondered you know, tried to work it out, what, exactly, is Facebook for. Now I know. On my newsfeed this morning.

Owen Barder and Brian Barder are now friends.  They found each other using the Friend Finder.

Isn\’t that amazing? A triumph of technology I call it, overcoming human nature (those teenage years are indeed such a strain), that a father can be friends with his son. And even guiding them to each other, so that they could become so!

Whip Your MP

No, really.

The campaign to offer the right of entry to those Iraqis who have been working for us and who are now being murdered for doing so needs your help.

Here is how.

Get them to turn up: don\’t forget they work for you so your views matter to them.

Google Note

In my playing around with blogs I\’ve just found something interesting out about the Google algorithm.

The old technique of google bombing, using anchor text and a link to boost results for a certain word or phrase no longer seems to work. Indeed, it seems to work in reverse. I won\’t trouble you with what the phrase was but a post I had was at number 41 in the Google rankings for a specific phrase. In the spirit of enquiry for which I am known (read, desperate for cash) off I went to boost that by employing the above technique.

The thing is, using it now actually degrades your results, not boosts them.

Interesting, no?


The Miliblog: Uncensored!

This might get a little amusing. The Boy Dave (M) has his new Foreign Secretary\’s blog up here.

The news that the SG\’s rep has made clear his determination to go to the region suggests the world is realising the need to move as fast as events.

Fascinating stuff, eh?

Comments are unmoderated. Yes, unmoderated. Guido is telling everyone so get your comment in fast, before they realise what they\’ve done.


Welcome, Welcome.

To the Blogosphere. Legitimate Tangent. *

What I like to do in my piddling little show of defiance is put my hand up at a meeting every single time some half-wit deploys jargon/acromyms/powerpoint as a means of disguising their ineptitute and improving their standing as a hardcharging bureaucratista. I say \’I\’m sorry, I haven\’t the faintest idea what you are talking about. Can you try again in English.\’ I bathe in the glory of the collective sigh of relief to my left and right as I have just said what everybody else still awake was thinking. I maintain a serious expression to disguise the fact I\’m taking the piss. I watch, smugly, as the speaker struggles to reconcile his desire to be taken seriously and engaged with the fact he hasn\’t an arsing clue what \’annualised performance metrics\’ are either.

Also when some bastard sends me an unsolicited 20 mg presentation which clearly isn\’t an amusing YouTube clip of a dog eating itself or something, I like to wait about 20 minutes to create the illusion of havving looked at the thing and respond:

\’Please explain how this can be operationalised in Derby.\’

H/T Stephen.

Alisher Usmanov and Parliamentary Privilege

It woud appear that something interesting is in the air.

Our Man in the Eurocracy tells us that Tom Wise will repeat the Alisher Usmanov allegations under Parliamentary Privilege tonight..

That means that all and any media outlets will then be at liberty to repeat them without fear of any libel or defamation laws.

That\’ll be interesting, won\’t it?

Alert me when there\’s a transcript will you folks?

Corporate Advertising The Right Way: A Message to Schillings re Alisher Usmanov

From the Schillings website:

The internet attacker

The Issues

Our client was the founder and CEO of a financial services company. An anonymous source created a website which accused our client of assault, various financial crimes and unethical behaviour. We suspected that the source was a disgruntled former business partner, based both in the USA and the UK, but we could not initially prove this.

The Solution

The internet is not lawless. All the laws that apply to traditional publications apply, plus new regulations have been created. In this instance we:

  • applied to Court for a “Spartacus” order requiring the source to identify himself or his ISP and webhost to identify him; and
  • contacted the host, ISP and various search engines advising them that even though the allegations had physically been posted in the US they were defamatory under UK law as they could be accessed here
  • search engines and ISPs removed the material.

Once the source was outed and starved of the oxygen of publicity, he quickly settled to avoid a defamation claim.

This might read better as follows:

The internet attacker

The Issues

Our client was the founder and CEO of a Russian metals company. An Ambassador created a website which accused our client of some things which I shall not repeat here. We suspected that the source was disgruntled and while he had published such allegations in a freely available book we advised our client not to sue for defamation.

The Solution

The internet is not lawless. All the laws that apply to traditional publications apply, plus new regulations have been created. In this instance we:

  • applied to Court for a “Spartacus” order requiring the source to identify himself or his ISP and webhost to identify him; and
  • contacted the host, ISP and various search engines advising them that the allegations were defamatory under UK law, although no one had ever tried anything in court.
  • search engines and ISPs removed the material.

Once the source was closed down we could invoice our client in the knowledge of a job well done. The reputation of Gospodin Usmanov is, due to our prompt and careful attention, still spotless.

Laudatory comments upon our actions can be seen across the internet. If your reputation is at stake from some chavvy little blogger, no doubt any of the following would be delighted to provide you with references as to the effectiveness of our services.

Curious Hamster, Pickled Politics, Harry’s Place, Tim Worstall, Dizzy, Iain Dale, Ten Percent, Blairwatch, Davide Simonetti, Earthquake Cove, Turbulent Cleric (who suggests dropping a line to the FA about Mr Usmanov), Mike Power, Jailhouse Lawyer, Suesam, Devil’s Kitchen, The Cartoonist, Falco, Casualty Monitor, Forever Expat, Arseblog, Drink-soaked Trots (and another), Pitch Invasion, Wonko’s World, Roll A Monkey, Caroline Hunt, Westminster Wisdom, Chris K, Anorak, Mediawatchwatch, Norfolk Blogger, Chris Paul, Indymedia (with a list of Craig Murray’s articles that are currently unavailable), Obsolete, Tom Watson, Cynical Chatter, Reactionary Snob, Mr Eugenides, Matthew Sinclair, The Select Society, Liberal England, Davblog, Peter Gasston Pitch Perfect, Adelaide Green Porridge Cafe, Lunartalks, Tygerland, The Crossed Pond, Our Kingdom, Big Daddy Merk, Daily Mail Watch, Graeme’s, Random Thoughts, Nosemonkey, Matt Wardman, Politics in the Zeros, Love and Garbage, The Huntsman, Conservative Party Reptile, Ellee Seymour, Sabretache, Not A Sheep, Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion, The People’s Republic Of Newport, Life, the Universe & Everything, Arsenal Transfer Rumour Mill, The Green Ribbon, Blood & Treasure, The Last Ditch, Areopagitica, Football in Finland, An Englishman’s Castle, Freeborn John, Eursoc, The Back Four, Rebellion Suck!, Ministry of Truth, ModernityBlog, Beau Bo D’Or, Scots and Independent, The Splund, Bill Cameron, Podnosh, Dodgeblogium, Moving Target, Serious Golmal, Goonerholic, The Spine, Zero Point Nine, Lenin’s Tomb, The Durruti Column, The Bristol Blogger, ArseNews, David Lindsay, Quaequam Blog!, On A Quiet Day…, Kathz’s Blog, England Expects, Theo Spark, Duncan Borrowman, Senn’s Blog, Katykins, Jewcy, Kevin Maguire, Stumbling and Mumbling, Famous for 15 megapixels, Ordovicius, Tom Morris, AOL Fanhouse, Doctor Vee, The Curmudgeonly, The Poor Mouth, 1820, Hangbitch, Crooked Timber, ArseNole, Identity Unknown, Liberty Alone, Amused Cynicism, Clairwil, The Lone Voice, Tampon Teabag, Unoriginalname38, Special/Blown It, The Remittance Man, 18 Doughty Street (121).

There, that\’s the way to do it, don\’t you think?

Welcome, Welcome, One and All

Oooh, exciting isn\’t it? New blog, lovely white pages, no scuffs on the cover or anything. Time perhaps for a radical rethink of what I blog about?

Naah. Same old froths and rants I think. Just in a new place. It\’ll take us a few days (yes, there is indeed a crack team working on the styling n\’everything) to get up to speed but blogging will be here now, not there.