Tag Archives: big picture

Myth Factory

Broken Britain?

I’m not alone in noticing that the Economist are doing a good job of contrasting Conservative rhetoric with the data. The most significant bits of the article for me:

Chief among people’s worries is their security. Under Labour, fear of crime climbed until by 2007 it had become the issue that pollsters identified as the main complaint among voters. The heightened fears are a puzzle to criminologists, who point out that over the past 15 years Britain has experienced a steady, deep fall in crime. The statistics are notoriously hard to interpret, but according to the British Crime Survey, the Home Office’s most reliable measure though still far from perfect, crime overall has dropped by 45% since its peak in 1995. […] Violent crime has fallen too. It is now almost half what it was in 1995, and no higher than in 1981.

Continue reading

Advertisements

2 Comments

Filed under Content, Signal

Chaos Theories

[ Editor’s Note: Staff illness, my illness, a paid writing project, a real ale festival and significant levels of exhaustion are still in between me and the keyboard. But I do now have a working computer again (again!) and will be back as and when I can. If anyone’s still reading this after a 4 month hiatus, … I appreciate your dedication but suspect you’ve too much time on your hands. Thank you. –JQP ]


Imagine, please, a kettle. Examine the water in this imaginary kettle. It’s pretty much stationary, I’d imagine, at room temperature. Treating the kettle and the water in it as a system, at that temperature the system is extremely predictable: nothing in it is moving about much, the level of chaos is fairly low. Now turn the kettle on and watch very carefully.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Content, Signal

Vatican Rag Week

Well, ain’t that interesting. It looks as though Henry VIII’s victory over the Vatican may have been a temporary achievement after all.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Vatican Rag Week

Filed under Content, Signal

None Dare Call It Treason

The Climate Camp is back, and thoroughly established on Blackheath, scene of a number of very drunken evenings of burly cheer back when I was a Kent schoolboy rugby player. They’re slowly getting their message across in spite of all the distractions. They’re a broad, consensus-based coalition which carries no universal ideological burden. The only point of cohesion is that they are all dedicated to true debate, to collective action and to direct, rather than representative/corruptible political self-determination. They are able to be all of these things because they live in a society where the cost of entry into the communications market is so low that normal people can play too. And they’re winning the spin war, so far. Being factual, organised and in the right really helps with that. Mr. Cameron, take note.

Continue reading

2 Comments

Filed under Content, Signal

It’s better when you talk

Apologies to all British readers for reminding them of a truly dire series of BT adverts. Over at GeekaChicas A Nonny Mouse has been talking about the city travails of Bozeman, Montana. In brief; a major local employer who also happen to be the city administration and therefore publicly funded, decided that all job applicants must submit username/password data for their internet community sites, including Facebook, Livejournal and email sites. The purpose of this remarkable “background check” was to verify that servants of Bozeman should be “of the highest moral fiber”. Continue reading

Comments Off on It’s better when you talk

Filed under Content, Signal

One in the Eye

Look! Over there!

Bizarrely, from the Daily Fail, comes good news for British moderate muslims. While arguing with idiots on the internet, of both the UK and US varieties, I’ve become accustomed to certain stock insults being thrown about. Formulas, oft repeated, are much easier than nuanced positions which modify to fit the facts. One of the ones often leveled at the moderate muslim community (apart from “There is no moderate muslim community”) is that if they existed, and cared, and were not tacit fascists, they’d be out in the streets protesting against or confronting the militants in their own community. Where are the moderate muslims shouting down Omar Bakri? Where are the muslim Britons defending our troops from the insults of extremists?

Continue reading

Comments Off on One in the Eye

Filed under Content, Signal

Trouble at the Top

How many?

This is a rag-bag of things worth noting that happened, or were written about, while I was down. I didn’t feel comfortable titling a 1250-word post ‘… in brief’ though, so this is what you got.. Starting the day with the continued strengthening of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg clearly had someone competent on his design staff this week. [1] The campaign is one I like; the credentials of the leader promoting it are as close to unimpeachable as you can get, and there’s someone working on it who understands cadence. All good things.

Continue reading

Comments Off on Trouble at the Top

Filed under Content, Signal