Tag Archive: Croydon

Facts and Lies: UKIP Checking

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

UKIP, the Lernaean Hydra of British politics

UKIP Hydra
[credit: Jon Worth, please click image ]

For months I have endured a deluge of facts and lies, all leading up to yesterday’s election. (I voted Green – there were only European elections in my area, so no local stuff).  Mostly, it’s all been around UKIP.  They really have stoked the fires, first lit by this government that wasn’t elected and that has done a raft of nasty things never included in their 2010 manifestos.  But the fires against the disadvantaged are really aflame now.

It’s UKIP wot done it guv.  It’s Suzanne Evans talking – click here to pause her waffle.

Tactics

The Chubby Elite

UKIP’s backers are some of the sharpest, wealthiest people in the land.

UKIP’s tactics however, have been to take on all crackpots of all kinds, then, when the fuckwit says something beyond the pale, they evict them.

This has the effect of being news-worthy, and as we in entertainment know, all news is good news.  The normal triumvirate of red, blue and orange have had a few gobshite moments, but UKIP beats them hands down.

The litany of UKIP’s tactics is strewn across the web, but a fairly recent summary and discourse on them can be found on Another Angry Voice (AAV).

Fact Checks #1

As Tom at AAV noted in the link above, UKIP-ers are not fond of reading anything beyond the first few lines of anything and have a raft of weird ideas all   the stuff headed up and analysed with examples, summarised neatly here:

General abuse Confirmation Bias Denial of reality Just making stuff up
Conspiracies Meta-slander Persecution complexes Marxist fearmongering
Talking in absolutes This is a “Hate group” The Censorship fallacy Fascist sentiments
Straw-manning You called us racist Humourlessness Right, I’m definitely voting UKIP now!

It’s all very “lowest common denominator” (LCD) stuff.  Confirmation Bias rules, okay!

 Fact Checks #2

Though I despise UKIP and parties like them, I do try to check facts, from all over and presented by anyone.  Even those that I support get it wrong sometimes.  Question everything!

UKIP’s Suzanne Evans on Radio 4

I heard that Evans had been quoted as saying that UKIP ” had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young” with regard to the voting in London.  It was on the BBC Radio 4 “Today” programme.  You can listen to the whole thing here for the next few days.  If you do a Google search for the phrase, “difficulty appealing to the “educated, cultured and young”” a whole raft of websites, news organisations, social media and news agregation websites are all reporting this very same thing.  The search produced >1000 – here are 3.

This Reddit chat is a notable exception to the broadcast-info-with-impunity-or-checks brigade and also has a link to the interview.  They say she never said it and provide a textual view of the interview.

She Never Said It!

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The trouble is, she never actually said it!  This is my recording of the show, editted down to Suzanne Evans’ interview and compressed for audio clarity before MP3-ing it.

 It’s True – She Never Said It!

Ukip members wait for results of local election in Croydon

So why are all the news sites and almost every Google search result saying that she did?  ( Well almost all – a Reddit chat also says that she never said it. )  The Independent report even has a nicely forlorn UKIP blokey.

In the interview, then interviewer actually says that it was a colleague in London  (not known, not named) who, she said, UKIP “had difficulty appealing to the educated, cultured and young”

 

 Conclusion

Either:

  1. The truth of the matter is that people hardly ever check anything nowadays.
    • The deluge of information is too great.
    • Everyone expects reputable news providers to do properly journalistic background checks.
    • The BBC interviewer never checked.
  2. The truth of the matter is that all news providers are in collusion with the establishment to maintain the neoliberal status quo.
    • The UKIP freaks who commented on AAV are correct in that it is a conspiracy.
    • UKIP freaks are right in that the BBC shows anti-UKIP left-wing bias.

The trouble with #2 is that UKIP contains part of the powerful establishment elite.

  • Farage is a former banker and apart from a host of wealthy backers, the normal tory paper (Daily Telegraph – torygraph in common parlance) is now swapping sides since the tories are not right-wing enough for it’s wealthy  owners, the reclusive, island-owning, tax-avoiding, feudalistic, Sark-criticising (because it won’t allow them to set up a tax haven),  Barclay Brothers.
  • Many other establishment papers likewise share a divisive, right wing, xenophobic stance.
  • The BBC has had rafts of governement enforced right wing management changes (government plants is the phrase).
  • The BBC has given more airtime to Farage than any other panellist on “Question Time” except for Dimbleby.

This leaves #1.

Answer:

Nobody can be bothered to check facts.

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Ah. Edward Woodward’s Dead

Strangely post on November 16th, 2009
Posted in Art Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Actor Edward Woodward Dies

Callan Movie Poster

I’m quite sad about today’s news, because the show Callan formed a key part of my life, in a way, when I was growing up.

The dystopian genre owes a lot to the show.  Right from it’s haunting opening title sequence that had instant echoes of Orson Welles’ Third Man, to the relationships and characterisations portrayed in the show.

It was always the clash of two personages:  Those tied to destiny and those who ignore it.  Those with a conscience (no matter how bad they were), and those without.  The psychopath and those doing a job.

The relationship between Callan and “Lonely” (played by the late Russell Hunter) is something I’ll always remember.

Here’s the title to be getting on with.

In black & white it was even better, but there are no decent versions on YouTube.

Woodward’s 1973 film “The Wicker Man” remains something I find hard to watch.  It’s not that there’s any gore or stuff like that.  It’s just that the exposure of the ignorance and nastiness in people is so hard to take.

Woodward’s cop just doesn’t see it coming and it’s precisely because Woodward plays the cop’s trusting nature so well that the horror of the script is so bad.

Farewell Edward Woodward.  I remember a comedy sketch which made a word play from your name.  Now, that’s it then.

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Crawling Chaos – Neil Young – Sound Quality

I had a message from Doomage recently which allowed me to update some biographical information on the Crawling Chaos website here, http://crawlingchaos.co.uk/myths/people, but also he expressed his disappointment about the online sound quality.

Needles to say, I agree with the sentiment but am forced into this mode by the technical limitations of the medium.

But at least we are in sound company.  Neil Young, the godfather of grunge has piped up with a similar statement at a recent tech conference where he stated:

The iPod is a “Fisher Price toy” – reported in Computer Buyer Magazine

He also doesn’t like CDs which gets my vote as well but for different reasons, I think.  Whatever, it’s all a reaction to the throwaway garbage mentality to much modern music.  Everywhere you go there’s the same crap pumped out so that no-one actually notices it any more and thus, it’s disposable.

I went into Halfords yesterday to get some wipers and screenwash – there it was; booga-booga-chik, booga-booga-chik

A car drove past; booga-booga-chik, booga-booga-chik

In a lift in Croydon recently; booga-booga-chik, booga-booga-chik

And because the music is disposable it’s treated by people as if it’s free.  It doesn’t help that most stuff is produced in tiny separate sound boxes of the audio spectrum which allows huge amounts of compression at both production and dissemination to be used.  As soon as an artist tries to use overlapping sound and making the most of the spectrum, massive audio artifacts start to rear their head – and this is what Neil and Doomage are spotting.

I even noticed it in a simple news TV broadcast on digital yesterday on 5.  The audio artefacts are becoming more obvious – presumably because the technicians in charge are so inured to the crap sound in their iPods that they don’t hear the artefacts anymore! Much like two people trying to converse in an airport – after a while they don’t notice the jet noise!

It’s a kind of metallic bubbling noise.

Checking up Vince Clarke yesterday, I see that he spotted a similar thing some time ago in the way he did his synth pop stuff.  He found that his old analogue synths which took ages to wire up still had a better sound than the mechanical MIDI which followed.  I think his ears had an early appreciation of what would later become compression artefacts.

This is all part of the interconnectedness of all things.  Each notionally separate cause is having profoundly bigger and interactive effects far from the original intent.  We see how engineering solutions to data transmission affect society’s appreciation of music and how one man’s music “noise” (Neil Young, Crawling Chaos), is actually degraded by compression effects.  We see how people adapt to the new sounds designed to fit into the compressed format and we see how artists create and perform within these constraints.

Hopefully, the next step is that we can all agree that MySpace is the New Hell and is for washed up wannabees to wank into the wind.

But that’s for another day.

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Is Knife Crime London-o-centric, or the reporting of it?

Last week I arrived in Croydon to a week’s worth of knife deaths, convictions and escapes.  It seemed that the whole place was a blood-bath.  In examining them closely, some deaths were national news – and deservedly so, but mostly, there is no world outside of London for all the meeja types.

For instance, in the same week three people were knifed in the North-East that didn’t make the six o’clock news and the alarm levels are just as bad, so maybe my initial suspicions are right!  Like this example…..

A quote on last week’s “Question Time” made me jump.  Apparently the worst place in Britain for knifing is Glasgow, not some London Borough.  It’s twice as bad!

I was making this point to nice old lady from St Ives on the way home on the train – specifically relating to the high incidence of tornadoes and waterspouts (you had to be there) running up the Bristol Channel into Bridgwater and Somerset.  Having seen several myself, they are quite common, but never reported on the national news despite recent severe damage in Bridgwater and Burnham.  Jillian Greenwood’s poetry book “Western Tornadoes” is so titled for precisely these reasons.  This compares to the one in London last year.

Anyway, today, just to prove me wrong, the BBC and others are reporting “funnel clouds” in Lancashire.  There then followed a discussion about if they were tornadoes or not.  In my book, if they can suck Granny Clooties washing line into space then they’re tornadoes.  You see, if there is bad news, then London’s is worse!  They only want London to have the bad news.

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Chelsea Tractors Plough On Regardless

In a sad move against conserving the Earth’s diminishing resources and the tax take available in London, Red Ken’s two pronged proposed changes in congestion charges for the City have been flattened by the new mayor, Johnson. https://youtu.be/aaNfQCqclW4

Hitler’s peoples’ transport maker, Porsche Cars, are now gloating that their prime customer base is secure, completely oblivious to the fact that time is running out on indiscriminate consumption of the Earth’s resources…

Cars like this are expensive and fuel crazy.  People buy them for the expense and exclusivity and the prestige that this brings.  I’ve no problem with how people wish to spend their money.  But if their cars were expensive and efficient, in these changing times there would still be the prestige that expensive exclusivity brings – if not more.  Porsche et al wouldn’t suffer.  Lexus are moving that way, slowly.

The trouble is that Ken made city entry for efficient cars too cheap and thus the charge became seen as a tax and not a means to reduce congestion.  After all, it was quite reasonably argued, if there’s no incentive to stop using the car, then more people would come into the city’s streets, not less, thus negating the whole point of the “Congestion” Charge…  It was kind of in the name.

Then he also set the pollution gates at the wrong level which silently alienated a large sector of the population, allowing them to be easily whipped up by Porsche et al into a quorum of dissent.  People always take the quick and easy route, like sheep.  The map here clearly shows the effect that better mass transport systems have on people’s car purchasing in London.

Interestingly, on a recent visit to Croydon, I found that the tram system, of which the locals are intensely proud, has been run badly by a private contractor and so is now run by TfL which will save £4m per annum.

The legal costs of Porsche’s case will have to be paid by TfL, apparently and the decision will cost London in excess of £30m a year in lost revenue.

However, Boris’s statement that the proposed charge would hit families and small businesses was just untrue….

We didn’t hear any van makers or people carrier makers protesting.  Just the four seater tank makers, Porsche and BMW.

We didn’t hear all the boroughs complaining, just Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Q. What’s so special about the families and “small” businesses in the Kensington and Chelsea Council area?

A. You work it out.

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