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The Jerusalem Post is less than impressed with the BBC

Friday, June 30, 2006
The JP covers the reaction to a call "for an independent panel studying charges of bias in its coverage of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict".

"Using the word "terrorist" to describe attacks on civilians, BBC management argued in a paper released June 19, would make the "very value judgments" it had been asked to eschew".



Don't you just love 'moral equivalence'? While I appreciate that however the BBC covers issues Middle Eastern will irk some, I find the use of the weasel word 'militant' spectacularly irritating. I would think 'insurgents' or 'gunmen' would be rather more suitable. Meanwhile, which word will they pull out of the bran tub to term what used to be called 'union militants' the next time Bob Crowe or somesuch is on the rampage?


And here's another kicker: "The BBC's Board of Governors "welcomed the finding of no deliberate or systematic bias" noting, "most viewers and listeners" in the UK "regard the BBC as unbiased." I wonder if they have commissioned any research to show this, because I certainly haven't seen any.

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More on the French Socialists

Having been under the impression that Segolene Royal had the nomination in the bag, it looks as though I could scarcely be more wrong - just about every French Socialist seems to be jockeying for it. Liberation has gone through the runners and riders in the wake of Jospin's comments the other day:

Sego: "This changes nothing: I have always said that I will support the best placed candidate. If it is not me, I will support whoever is. We will see in September".

Fabius's right hand man: "We don't feel in the least concerned by this intervention".

A Dominique Strauss-Kahn ally: Takes LJ's 'availability' quite well.

Jack Lang: "Will the former culture minister be the first to stand down in order to aide a Jospin candidature, as the whisper in the Parti Socialiste has it ? "It is a pleasant joke", he says.

Francois Holland's spokesman: "We'd always assumed there would be a Jospin candidature".

So there you have it - almost as many contenders as there will be for the Democratic nomination next time, or come to that, rather more than for the Labour leadership. Going lowbrow for a bit, whoever wins, we lose....

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Thursday, June 29, 2006
What's what in the French press

Showing its usual disregared for the maxim that 'information wants to be free', a French court has carpeted Google for its ad words programme - this time for linking to sites hawking knock off Louis Vuitton bags and so forth. Details at Le Figaro. LVMH are quite litigious, and a French court ruled a while back - insanely in my opinion - that a Morgan Stanley research note defamed it . Sigh.

Elsewhere, Lionel Jospin is interested in one more grab at the brass ring of the presidency. Liberation notes: ""the question is open." But the answer is increasingly obvious. For the first time, Lionel Jospin... indicated that the prospect of being a presidential candidate in 2007 appealed. "If it appears that I am the best placed rally the country, to assume the burden [of the role], to propose policies to the French, then I would ask myself the question, obviously".

It has often intrigued me that careers in French politics just go and on, whereas our politicians seem to give it up rather more quickly. Maybe it is something to do with immunity laws. Meanwhile, this used to be chanted at Jospin by malcontents: "Jospin - salaud, la peuple aura ta peau". That is, 'Jospin - 'blighter', the people will have your hide".


A couple of footnotes on Jospin - he was born a Protestant, making him another non-Catholic French PM, of whom there have been quite a few, considering how few non-Catholic Christians there are in France. I've got a remote Huguenot connection, which is exciting.... Also, he was a Trotskyite in the 60s and 70s, despite having risen up in the Parti Socialiste. There was talk of him actually being a sleeper when he reached the top, but I can't find the reference.

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Wednesday, June 28, 2006
A US industry initiative to combat child pxrnography

(Word 'asterisked' to stop the link being found by nutters)

The Register carries an interesting item on attempts by the big ISPs to limit the e-mailing etc of this hateful material, by adding digital signatures to known images and then blocking their transmission. I imagine that it will apply by default to Hotmail, Yahoo etc in this country, but I'd be more than happy if other ISPs joined the venture. Apart from the abused children, I also feel desperately sorry for the unfortunates who have had to catalogue this stuff. I read sometime back that Scotland Yard only allows officers to work for the obscene publications squad for a limited period, because viewing the stuff is so traumatic.

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Recycling....

I generate a lot of paper, because I'm a newspaper junkie and print at least 2000 pages of A4 every month, but have to chuck it all in a bin. This is because Croydon still doesn't provide recycling facilities for apartment blocks, but only for individual houses. Is it that foolish to think that if a council has a recycling policy it would make sense to start with flats - a guaranteed quick kill - rather than individual houses? Also, I don't have a car and the nearest possible recycling point is at least a 15 minute walk away with no public transport point to point. Both the good guys and the lot who lost in May had promised to extend recycling to flats, but as yet nothing.

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Heads on the block this week

Fiddling around with Baxter and the yougov figures of C - 39, L - 32 and LD - 17, the following 'names' would lose their seats, based on uniform national swing etc etc:

LD - Kramer, Gidley, Taylor, Cable, Oaten and Laws

L - Kelly, Follett, Glenda Jackson


In terms of seats, this takes the Tories from 198 to 317 and leaves them 7 short of a majority. Labour drops from 356 to 279 and the LDs suffer a collapse from 62 to 18. In geographic terms this would mean just two LD's and 19 Labour MPs south of a line from the Wash to the Bristol Channel, excluding London.

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French special forces in Afghanistan

Trawling through the French papers on line, I've discovered that our friends on the other side of the channel are involved in the military action in Afghanistan. That they decided to sit out Gulf War II is quite well known, but I had assumed they were sitting out this one too.

Anyway, an extract from Le Figaro, which is quite evocative:

Behind a baffle of earth works and the barbed wire perimeter of , you can see flags fluttering in the dust storms. Next to the Afghan and American flags a French flag waves. A little further back there is the Breton Gwenn-ha-Du (means black & white - C ) , doubtless hoisted by homesick marines from Lorient. This old Afghan army barracks, complete with the shell of a 1917 Renault tank..has since summer 2003 been the base for French special Forces in Afghanistan .

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Tuesday, June 27, 2006
Socialists for flat taxes


I've just seen an interesting item in the Wall Street Journal (5/5/06) about the possible implementation of flat taxes (individual and corporate) by the government of Costa Rica:

"Immediately after President-elect Oscar Arias takes office in Costa Rica on Monday, he will have an historic opportunity to help bring his country into 21st-century competitiveness. The choice? Whether to adopt a national flat tax on corporate and individual income. ..Yet despite his reputation as a man of the left, Mr. Arias is also a practical socialist, blessed with common sense and not averse to leading on controversial issues. He has pledged to fight for the ratification of the Central American Free Trade Agreement even though the country's labor unions are militantly opposed to it. On the flat tax, Mr. Arias is already sending encouraging signals. Last week his National Liberation Party made an agreement with the Libertarian Movement in Congress to seriously explore the idea. Together the two parties would have enough votes to make it a reality.

The writer (Mary Anastasia O'Grady) further notes: "Yet the flat tax has already proved an effective way to fight poverty in a host of developing countries. For individuals, tax evasion goes down and tax collection goes up because of better compliance. Low corporate rates attract capital, spurring economic growth and job creation. That means there is more money in government coffers to help the needy. Without a laundry list of tax exemptions and loopholes, corruption is thwarted".


C'mon Gordon, how about it?



(I'm not in the habit of getting my news a month old, but the explanation for why I've seen this is far too boring to go into. However, a friend's father has stockpiled his old newspapers and is currently working through copies of Le Monde from the 70's at the rate of a copy a day)

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Sexual orientation - the nature vs nurture debate kicks off again

The BBC site features a Canadian study that suggests that sexual orientation is determined in the womb. It is perhaps worth noting that a genetic cause could create an issue of ethics in screening / not screening. Probably as well that the science has not got that far yet.

Anyone remember the SDP?

Paul Linford and I got into an agreeable sidetrack at Guido's place about being fellow alums of the UCL law faculty in the '80s, when it was a hot bed of SDP activists. About four or five of the faculty were up to their eyeballs in SDP-ery, and I think some of them might even have stood in the '83 election.

Anyway, having gone for a mooch around Wikipedia I dug up the Limehouse Declaration, which looks comparatively left wing by modern standards. Here's an extract:

"Our economy needs a healthy public sector and a healthy private sector without frequent frontier changes. We want to eliminate poverty and promote greater equality without stifling enterprise or imposing bureaucracy from the centre. We need the innovating strength of a competitive economy with a fair distribution of rewards".


So that's a big no to privatisation and a big yes to wealth redistribution....


Meanwhile, let us all be cheered by Polly Toynbee's failure to get elected for Lewisham West in '83, coming in a miserable third but in the process ensuring
the future Miniature (sic) for Sport Colin Moynihan took the seat from Labour.

Croydonian moving up in the world

I've just been listed by dmoz.org, which is nice, and am keeping Iain and the Johnsons, père et fils, company.

I've also outed myself as being called William. However, I'm keeping my surname to myself, as it is a comparatively rare one.

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Coalition governments and the like

Monday, June 26, 2006
Guido has, in a rather round about fashion, asked which way the LDs would jump if neither of the main parties has a working majority after the next election. Judging by the current state of the polls, a hung parliament looks a distinct possibility, and feeding the current 39/32/21 into Baxter gives the Tories 300 seats, Labour 266 and the LDs 47.

While the Orange Book tendency are people one could possibly do business with, Oaten is standing down and Huhne and Kramer look threatened. If so, it would be quite difficult for any remaining Orange Bookers to seize control of the party post election, and this would leave the LDs looking much like the unreconstructed collectivists that most of their better known names are. Under those circumstances, I cannot foresee that there could be any deal cooked up by Cameron that would see Kennedy, Hughes et al sitting around a cabinet table with David Davis and John Redwood, for example. And that is just on the issue of personalities. I would think that likely LD demands ahead of going into a coalition would include a referendum on PR, cozying up to the EU and withdrawal from Iraq as an absolute minimum. And presumably, in the best tradition of the German Free Democrats, the Foreign Office. Looking at the latter, how on earth could any party leader hope to hold the line if his/her party are eurosceptic, and the 'allies' are unabashed federalists?

If that is the price of getting into power, I'd rather the Tories sat out the next dance.

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Sunday, June 25, 2006
My first time - voting that is

Following on from the comparative interest in first political memories, where did you first vote? And when and for whom, if you are not too shy. In my case it was in Brentwood & Ongar in 1987, with Robert McCrindle getting my vote. In order to exercise my franchise I upped sticks from London where I was studying and headed home. Since then, I've always gone through exactly the same routine - I wear something blue, head out early afternoon (hey, I'm a freelancer - my time is my own), walk to the polling station, engage in a little light banter with the tellers / officials and then vote.

McCrindle was never an especially high profile MP, but ran the Aviation Committe, if memory serves. He was a decent man and a friend of my father. The tale that sticks most closely in my mind is the story of his being in Amsterdam with McCrindle junior and deciding to stick their heads around the door of a sex shop. McCrindle metaphorically sighed in relief that son and heir made straight for one of the racks of 'conventional' material.

Some encouragement for World Cup widows (and widowers)

I'm getting carried with this French business now.

Anyway, according to Le Figaro, "Women for a football-free Spain" has launched a campaign to ban the World Cup, noting "They want to be able to watch their favorite serials on television. They want evenings together with their menfolk. And they want them to be available, attentive and sober"....Among possible retaliatory measures they suggest: "every match watched in a bar will be compensated by breakfast in bed with their wives. Showered, shaved and sober". And not forgetting the supreme sanction: a monopoly on the remote control for women".


An ex of mine is currently a World Cup widow, her husband having decamped to Germany for the duration, and missing their first wedding anniversary in the process. Showing an extraordinary degree of grace she has forgiven him because he booked the holiday before they were married.

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An interesting piece in Libération on Christians in Pakistan

Following Iain Dale's comment a few days back about how disappointing he finds international news coverage in the UK press, and a comment maker noting that we tend to blog about whatever is in the UK MSM, I'm trying to cast my net a bit wider and look at news websites from further afield. Anyway, a mooch around Libération (the French equivalent of the Guardian) turned up an item on the lamentable status of Christians in Pakistan.

Here are some extracts, roughly translated:

"A few years ago, a Muslim girl fell in love with one of the pastor’s brothers. "My brother had the whole neighbourhood on his back, people said: "If you marry a Muslim woman we will have you hide", remembers Imran. Here, one does not mix, and my brother did not want to convert. Finally, the girl threw herself under a train."

"...the 1956 Constitution made Pakistan an Islamic Republic. While religious freedom is supposed to be guaranteed, Islam is at the base of the legislation, and all citizens are supposed to live according to its rules. At the end of the Seventies, the county fell under the sway of a radical Islam imposed by dictator Zia ul-Haq, and the minorities, whose members are regarded as second-class citizens, suffered. The law on blasphemy criminalises "those who, by word or writing, gestures or representations, with direct or indirect insinuations, insult the blessed name of the Prophet". Those accused risk life in prison, even hanging. Nearly 700 people,­ of which 10 % were Christians have been imprisoned under this law since 1988”.



It is perhaps worth noting that the white in the Pakistan flag is supposed to represent the country's religious minorities, and it is rather sad that the Churches elsewhere are happy to engage in so much navel gazing rather than concerning themselves a little more with the persecution of Christians in parts of the world where they are a minority.

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Labour Home

Is it just me, or is it a bit feeble of our friends over there to so obviously ape the name of Conservative Home ?

Also, labour home to me suggests staggering home under the influence, or at best describes a really bad commute.

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Saturday, June 24, 2006
Oh Tempora! Oh Mores! Again...

The BBC website has a photo set up featuring British football fans visiting Dachau. A worthy endeavour on the BBC's part, and indeed on the part of the visitors. However, the visitors pictured deemed it appropriate to wear their football shirts.

It is unrealistic to expect people to dress as for a funeral, but did none of them hear an inner voice suggesting that they might dress in a way that would show just a little more respect for the dead?

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Friday, June 23, 2006
A rather depressing survey in the Herald Tribune

The IHT carries an interesting survey on attitudes of Westeners to Muslims and vice versa. The whole item is well worth reading, but here are some of the stand outs:

"Pew asked respondents to give their opinions of Christians, Muslims, and Jews, and it found anti-Jewish sentiment to be "overwhelming" in the Muslim countries surveyed. It reached 98 percent in Jordan and 97 percent in Egypt"

Turkey also stood out because of the high percentage now saying they do not believe that Arabs carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Fifty-nine percent express disbelief, up from 43 percent in a Gallup survey in 2002. Disbelief was equally strong in Egypt, and stronger still in Indonesia (65 percent). Even in Britain, 56 percent of the Muslims surveyed did not believe that Arabs carried out the attacks; only 17 percent said they believed it."


And the comparatively good news:

As for suicide bombings, however, Pew found that support declined over the past year in Pakistan, Indonesia and especially Jordan, where 29 percent now say violence against civilian targets can often or sometimes be justified, down from 57 percent in 2005. Support remained sizable in Turkey, at 17 percent, and even higher in Egypt, at 28 percent.
In Pakistan, where 69 percent now say suicide bombings can never be justified, up from 46 percent last spring, those seeing relations as generally good (30 percent) outnumbered those viewing relations as bad (25 percent), although 39 percent were undecided. In follow-up interviews, people cited the Pakistani government's support of the U.S. war on terror as one reason for the mixed view.

And here is the report on Pew's own site

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Thursday, June 22, 2006
Israel admitted to the Red Cross

And not before time, frankly. It has only taken over 70 years. The BBC covers the same story , even if they could not be bothered to translate 'mogen' properly - it means shield, not star.

As a sidebar, I note that the Red Cross emblem is used in India.

The Jerusalem Post has a rather fiery editorial about the issue

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Merseyside's baboons come out for Inger-land


Apparently baboons at Knowsley safari park have been swiping England flags from cars passing through. Since I don't want to suffer Boris Johnson's fate, I will refrain from any comments about the location of the park. Meanwhile, congratulations on quite a good publicity stunt by the park's management.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006
We live in strange times

Many years ago Bernard Levin opined that ballet was the most ridiculous human activity ever devised, with the possible exception of stamp collecting, but my beloved Borough decided to offer up a still stranger source of diversion - an open day at the Croydon Crematorium. Yes, really. And to think that I missed it. I wonder how they coped with all the whey-faced goths?

23/6/6

It looks to me as though this lot used the open day to case the joint..... After all, if honour among thieves truly exists, I find it hard to imagine that there is anyone who while attending a funeral would be sizing up the the crematorium roof for lead to steal.

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O Tempora! O Mores! dept

Tuesday, June 20, 2006
From today's Telegraph:

"The Ghanaian Football Association apologised yesterday after one of their players waved an Israeli flag to celebrate beating the Czech Republic 2-0. Defender John Paintsil, who plays for Hapoel Tel Aviv, had wanted to acknowledge the Israeli fans who had travelled to Germany to support him. "We apologise to anybody who was offended," team spokesman Randy Abbey said. "He did not act out of malice for the Arab people or in support of Israel".

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First political memories.

Iain Dale has scared the bejasus out of me with his interview with Adam Rickitt, in which the latter's earliest political memory is of the Wall coming down. Having been born in the mid/late 60s, my earliest memories relate to Watergate and the '74 elections. Anyone else want to confess?

Monday, June 19, 2006
'Doctor' Tony tests our gag reflexes

Being ever concerned with our well-being, our beloved Prime Minister has been testing the nation's gag reflexes with this aside during a radio phone-in:

"He also urged England fans to lay off under-fire Owen Hargreaves.

Hargreaves, who has been booed, could even learn lessons from Culture Secretary Tessa Jowell, who had bounced back after a barrage of media criticism, he suggested."


Mine is working just fine, it would seem.

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The return of Sabine Herold


Further to what I was saying about Revel the other day, the Telegraph has had words with the splendid Mlle Herold, who I judge by far the most cheering individual to feature in French politics in my lifetime. My estranged wife is French, my mother lives across the channel and I know a goodly number of Gauls, so I have followed French politics fairly closely for a long time, and find the posturing and lack of action by the respectable Right in France frustrating in the extreme.

Given the way fonctionaires are strangling France, the showdown as and when it comes will be messy.

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Friday, June 16, 2006
The other A List

Which doesn't involve would be Tory candidates....

Courtesy of archive.org, I've been able to resurrect a rather splendid gossip site that used to trade as the A-list. How much, if any, is true is open to question, but it is rather entertaining. Although the bulk of the list deals with Americans celebs, there are plenty of household names from both sides of the Pond featured. If you like this sort of thing - be warned, you could easily spend rather a lot of time in reading it.

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The joys of Croydon.....

Two years ago the scum element decided to riot after France beat England, causing a huge amount of damage and a fair few injuries. In the aftermath there were posters in all the local pubs of CCTV screen grabs of those being sought, with rewards offered for information etc etc. A waggish friend christened them 'Spot a chav and win a prize' posters, which seemed about right. Anyway, so far so good on the riot etc front, although CR0 on a Saturday night is rather like the Fall of Rome, so I avoid it.

I watched the game in question in a French bar in Clapham, and the Gauls and their Amen Corner literally danced in the street. This was all quite entertaining, and made for a far more pleasant rounding off to the occasion than being surrounded by drunk and aggressive English 'fans'.

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Hurrah for Hague

The now, thankfully no longer under appreciated William Hague has come up with a corker:

”The Conservatives will "do whatever is necessary" to realise their goal of a transatlantic free trade zone, says shadow foreign secretary William Hague.

He says he is not ruling out rewriting the Treaty of Rome - the deal creating the EU's forerunners. The UK should be championing efforts to break down trade barriers between the US and Europe, he argued”.

Perhaps the single most encouraging thing I've heard from the Tories in a while, so yes please. And can we go about pulling in the rest of the world sooner rather than later, please?

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Flags of the world

Flags of the world rated 1-100.

One of the many delights of the interent is stumbling upon quality sites at random, with a reverse delight being the disappearance of same the next time you go to look for them. Anyway, courtesy of archive.org, this particular site has proved to be immortal. Archive's storing of the graphics is fitful, but the text has stayed in place, and I strongly recommend going for a sniff around this site the next time anyone finds themselves with a stray 10 minutes or so. Can't say I agree with the marking down of flags for use of maps - I think the Cypriot flag is a thing of great charm.

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Thursday, June 15, 2006
Fame at last - after a fashion

A few weeks back Iain Dale canvassed his audience for an article he was penning for Tribune, and I was first out of the traps in suggesting that it was easier to blog against than to blog for. Admittedly this is hardly an earth- shattering insight, but it made it into his finished article.

Meanwhile, nice work by Iain in taking the battle of ideas into the enemy camp, and I hope the article has the old class warriors at Tribune spluttering into their tea.

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Death of an Immortal


Jean-Francois Revel has died, leaving the world and particularly France the poorer. Who will now supply the intellectual ammunition that will some day confront the ossified French model, a confrontation that gets ever more urgent?

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Amicus advises staff to pull 'sickies'

The Telegraph is reporting that Amicus is advising that those who cannot negiotiate time off to watch World Cup games should just pull sickies. Some points to consider - Amicus is largely a public sector union, so anyone doing this is effectively stealing from the tax payer, anyone who pulls a tactical sickie is forcing his or her colleagues to do additional work (or at the very least delay it) and is undermining the trust of the employer.

Can't say I'm exactly impressed, particularly since I joined the labour force in 1987 post University I've never taken any sick leave, A - because I haven't been ill, B - if I am not sick I will not defraud my employer and cheat my colleagues and C - for the last ten years I've been self -employed and therefore only ever get ill when I'm on holiday.

And the fact that I've got an uncancellable medical appointment at 5 today has absolutely nothing to do with me being bitter and twisted about this.

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Tuesday, June 13, 2006
Charles Haughey dies

Second only to Mitterand as the vilest individual to achieve high office in a European democracy since the war.

Meanwhile, the world waits with bated breath for Conor Cruise O'Brien's full thoughts on this event, but for now we have this from 1982 :"If I saw Mr. Haughey buried at midnight at a crossroads with a stake driven through his heart, politically speaking, I should continue to wear a clove of garlic around my neck, just in case,'' wrote Conor Cruise O'Brien, a former Irish diplomat and editor of the Observer newspaper, in 1982".


And if the Irish Independent would hurry up and approve my registration I could fill in a detail or two about CCO'B reckoning that the old crook doesn't merit a state funeral.

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Something scary coming to a personnel department near you - soon...

Although generally an admirer of most things American, we do have a tendency to pick up on the more ghastly developments in management and workplace 'thought', and this snippet from the New York Times (30/4/6) suggests to me that terrible things will be coming our way ere long:

"Go to human resources for advice before you ask a co-worker out. The office can update you on company policy regarding dating and give you tips on how to avoid having your interest be interpreted as harassment. If you are looking to date your boss, registering the relationship upfront may make him or her more comfortable about accepting your advances. ''It helps if you can say, 'I told H.R. that I initiated this, so you don't have to worry about harassment charges if things don't work out,' '' Mr. Ferrazzi said.

Do an emotional prenuptial agreement. If your company won't let married people work together, decide in advance which one will resign if you wed. And decide how you'll handle working together if you break up. ''Every business plan needs an exit strategy,'' Mr. Ferrazzi said.

Don't try to keep the relationship secret. You can't. So be proactive. Call a staff meeting to lay the ground rules. ''Make it clear that your boyfriend will have to work just as hard for promotions, that currying favor with your girlfriend will not curry favor with you,'' Mr. Ferrazzi said.

Realize that exclusive lovers should not be exclusive friends. Networking with colleagues is an important part of building a career. Talk freely about your love life, just as they talk of theirs. You may be surprised at how quickly the subject shifts to the boss's latest tantrum, or the home team's win. ''The more you hang out with others in the office, the less they'll focus on your courting a colleague,'' Mr. Ferrazzi said.

If you do break up, set up mechanisms to keep routine workplace disagreements from turning into perceived harassment. Before rehiring his former lover, Mr. Ferrazzi insisted that he pick an outsider who could give a second opinion, in case Mr. Ferrazzi did anything to make him feel uncomfortable. ''I was being very cautious, but these days you have to be,'' Mr. Ferrazzi said.

Know that you can't get through a breakup alone. This is no time for false pride. Ask your boss for assignments that don't involve dealing with your ex. Ask colleagues to let you vent over after-work drinks".



Be afraid, be very afraid. I'm once again grateful to be self-employed....

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Segolene Royal

Monday, June 12, 2006
Segolene Royal


The French edition of that journal of record, FHM, polled the readership on the world's sexiest women, and would be socialist presidential hopeful La Royal made sixth. Does this tell us that France is lacking in pulchritudinous women, or that nos amis outre Manche are taking a heightened interest in politics? Can't say that 'socialist' and 'sexy' go together that often in my book... I very much doubt if many of the readers of the British edition could name any female politicians beyond Clare Short, Margaret Thatcher and Hilary Clinton, none of whom I could see appealing to them. Still, I suppose it makes a change from the equivalent polls in this country which always seem to be dominated by girl next door types who happen to have benefited from having good lighting and a publicist.

Anyway, judge for yourselves:





(She's the one on the left)









Can't say that I want my politicians to be sexy, frankly. However, if I did have to choose an obscur objet du désir from among French Socialists it would be Élisabeth Guigou in her prime. Right, that's enough of being shallow.....


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Sunday, June 11, 2006
Anonymous comments

I've decided to allow anonymous comments, although if I get overrun with bores, charlatans and spam I'll return to the status quo ante.

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'The Croydonian' makes Iain Dale's Top 20 Conservative Blogs list

I am honoured, and not all together unchuffed. Doubtless any visitor here will know Iain's excellent blog already, but on the slim chance that anyone does not - make haste to read it. Iain combines wit with insight and has the menschkeit to allow comments on himself that sometimes verge on the defamatory, and are frequently far from complementary. Were I to attempt a Top 20, Iain's blog would be a clear leader for straight down the line Tory blogs.

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Thursday, June 08, 2006
The B3ta 'Vote Conservative' photoshop challenge

Some winners there already, but many will not be safe for work.

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Wednesday, June 07, 2006
Tessa Jowell and those England flags

Jowell has exceeded even the 'I'd jump under a bus for Tony' comment for sheer toe-curling awfulness by bedecking her car with the flag. Honestly, can anyone believe there is even a micron of sincerity in that act? At least Coriolanus abased himself in the pursuit of office, so to speak, whereas Jowell has no excuse for chavving up. Ick....

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Thursday, June 01, 2006
Which famous broadcaster has a predilection for the English Vice (apparently)?

A tale I read elsewhere remarks upon knocking over said broadcaster's briefcase and a torrent of hardcore BDSM and contact mags fallling out of it.......