Sunday, March 28, 2010


It's starting to click for Labour, isn't it?

I'm not so much talking about the polls. After two years of saying "it's not all over yet" I'm now finding myself being the one who is telling everyone not to get too excited about recent tacking as the bookies are still convinced the Tories will do it.

But this idea is a good one:

Starting tonight, Labour HQ is asking its growing army of online supporters to lend your creative talents to the election campaign in an exciting new initiative to design the party's next campaign poster.

The best one will be emblazoned on ten digital poster boards in London and Manchester throughout the long Easter weekend.

We're calling the initiative #PeoplePosters.

There are two different messages you should seek to convey with your poster designs:

1 - Labour’s pledge to protect frontline services.

2 - David Cameron’s lack of substance.

And Philip Gould has three top tips for creating a great political poster: keep the message simple; use strong images; and try to weave in humour wherever possible.

The rest is up to you.
Elsewhere, I've been quite impressed by the Tories deftness with social media, but this is a surprisingly sharp response by Labour I reckon?

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Copperblogging redux

Congratulations to Jack of Kent for being longlisted for this year's Orwell Prize. Take it from me comrade, those judges are a bunch of bastards who wouldn't know a good blog from a hole in the wall ;-)

One of the judges is Jack Night - the copper who won it last year. He caused a bit of a stir when he referred to the evil poor (his own site is gone now, probably because of this?). Most of the commentary I read at the time seemed to be a rehearsal and a re-run of older arguments, but there was one thing that I was sure of:

Its better that people who work in the public sector can showcase prejudices that they have and do it anonymously (without having to duck people trying to unmask them) than to keep them buttoned up. If lots of coppers think the way that Jack Night does, then it's something that needs challenging.

So it's a shame his site has been taken down.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Fine free mixes

Over here. That's Hintertainment.

Give up yer 'aul sins

This was on Desert Island Discs earlier...

Friday, March 19, 2010

The shape of the helmet

I'm sure you've seen it hundreds of times, but this surely must be the best British news photograph of the 20th century? As a piece of composition - the Christ-like streaker, the look on that copper's face, the bloke scurrying with the coat (and the look on his face) and the helmet (and the widely shared joke where people said "now we know why they're that shape!") - it's as articulate as any of Delaroche's historical tableaus (tableaux?).

It reminds me of the dialogue in Miller's Crossing - heavy and portentous - almost Shakespearean - in its form while actually carrying little more than an amusing yarn.

There's a better word than yarn, but I can't think what it is right now.

(I've not embedded the pic here because I'm not sure who has the copyright - but surely it should be donated to the nation anyway?)

Update: Just seen some other examples of good shutter timing

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The halo effect

Shuggy is at his very best over here.
"Cyclists, not content with having lanes painted everywhere to accommodate their perversion, routinely feel free to jump lights or board the pavement whenever tedious interventions like the Highway Code interfere with their path of righteousness. My own view is that the lycra-wearing freaks should either pay road tax or face being hosed off the streets."
I've been worried for a long time about the way that cycle lanes lure flatulent vegetarians into particular areas. The hole in the Ozone Layer over Camden Town should come as no surprise to anyone.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Get Better

Post puritan positivity.

Will have to think about this one.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Moonage Daydream

Just stumbled across this remix - different, but quite good.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

The Lib-Dems 'Cyberlock'

The Lib-Dems seem determined to impose a Cyberlock on themselves after the election.

I reckon it's a bit of a stoopid move. I've reckoned so over there and not here though.

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Smash Hits archive

Over here.

A few of the covers are so familiar, it's amazing. At that age, I suppose, these artifacts burn themselves onto your retina. I even remember some of the letters that they published (one girl asking "does Paul Weller have a girlfriend, and if so, what is she allergic to?"

Within about six months, I'd graduated to the NME I think, but at this point Smash Hits covered a great bunch of bands. Forest were European Champions and The Jam, The Specials, Blondie and Dexys were in the charts.

On that site, if you click the front covers you get all of the inside pages as well.

"The 'we hate the punk' elite."

Update: Looking through it, I keep finding the pictures that I had on my bedroom wall. This one, for instance:

(Ta Astrid)

Saturday, March 06, 2010

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

BBC cuts

Lots of others are saying the things that need to be said about the proposed BBC cuts and I'm a bit too busy to do one of my normal rants. Jon Worth has said things I'd agree with, but then so have dozens of others.

Here are my two observations - ones that I've not seen elsewhere:

1. The BBC needs a Wartime Consigliere at the moment. It shows how it has allowed itself to be strategically outmaneuvered that it has a drip like Sir Michael Lyons instead. Michael Grade would be parking his tanks on a few lawns at the moment, but Lyons is a disgrace and he needs to be moved on quickly. Don't suppose this will happen tho...

2. Mark Thompson and everyone who work in is outer office will probably be earning more in five years time working for one of the BBC's commercial rivals. There is no longer a caste of people who identify the BBC's survival with their own. Quite the reverse. If the BBC were led by less ambitious / careerist people, paradoxically, it would probably be better led than it is.

The BBC has caught this bug about highly paid management from the extortionate car-crash that is modern management. History may teach us that it probably shouldn't apply to the BBC even if it works elsewhere.

To hell with them

I've just posted something about Michael Foot over at Slugger O'Toole. This quote of his popped up in the comments (hat tip: DeargDoom) and I couldn't help nicking it:
“We are not here in this world to find elegant solutions, pregnant with initiative, or to serve the ways and modes of profitable progress. No, we are here to provide for all those who are weaker and hungrier, more battered and crippled than ourselves. That is our only certain good and great purpose on earth, and if you ask me about those insoluble economic problems that may arise if the top is deprived of their initiative, I would answer ‘To hell with them.’ The top is greedy and mean and will always find a way to take care of themselves. They always do.”