William and Charlie

Billy Bragg meets the Lord Chancellor. Dunno why I’ve blogged this, I just liked the sound of it.

Actually, I will briefly talk about this. Bragg is proposing how the membership House of Lords (or whatever it will be called) should be chosen. Although his proposed system isn’t really spelt out fully, from what I gather it works on a sort of region-based party list system like the European Elections, where the number of successful candidates per party in a region is taken from the proportion of votes they get in a General Election, which is fair(ish). But I still think the Upper House, as an inspector rather than initiator of legislation, should have some of “the great and the good” who wouldn’t normally be the political type but would still contribute greatly – scientists, artists, writers, eminent people in their field – say a third of the House? Not too undemocratic then. Members would be allowed two terms maximum, selected by a cross-bench committee of both Houses and the process should be transparent. Or something like that, I haven’t really mulled over it too much.

Bought the Franz Ferdinand album today, annoyingly the hype is all true – they’re a bloody great band.

Another day, another name change…

Phoenix, sorry, Firebird, sorry, I mean Firefox is the latest incarnation (version 0.8) of the lightweight Mozilla browser (name clashes with other software projects have necessitated the two changes). I’ve just installed it (Mozilla’s FTP server is taking a hammering, I recommend mirror.ac.uk’s version) and it appears nice and swanky – though not too many obvious changes, and remembered all my settings and bookmarks (although I have had to re-install Flash). And the new logo is a lot prettier, although the little fox beastie does look like he’s trying to hump the globe…

Incidentally, long-running fans of the site will notice I’ve redesigned the blog entries slightly to make them quite minmialist – sorry if you don’t like the change, but, the long green horizontal bars were getting on my nerves.

Blair the blogger?

Aaagh! Run for the hills! Tony Blair may blog the forthcoming election campaign – despite his earlier confessions to being a bit of a technophobe. Will his blog have links, comments, that kind of thing? Or will it be more of a static and spun-to-sterility diary of what he did each day? Hmm…I reckon it’ll be the latter, don’t you?

This is apparently inspired by Howard Dean’s blog, an integral part of his campaign’s “grassroots up” approach, which is interactive and rich in links (though it must be noted that Dean himself doesn’t contribute much to it). There are differences though, Dean’s campaign was to use the Internet as a means for raising funds for TV adverts and the like (Dave Winer calls this strategy a folly), whereas anything by Blair will purely be for vote-gathering. Even if he does make the effort, the blog-reading types are often quite sceptical and committed in their views anyway, so how much effect this will have at swaying opinion, rather than just making Blair look ‘in touch’, is debatable.

Apparently Blair’s blog ambition is being assisted by Tom Watson, he of the infamous Teens! Get involved – to the extreme! spoof – that crime apart, his blog is actually quite an interesting read.


17 year old blows £12,000 on father’s card

People like this just do not deserve to live:

“If Dad had got me these things in the first place, I would not have had to steal his card”
“My parents are supporting me and they have got me a lawyer. But I am not sorry, I have got lots of nice new things”
“I do not care about getting a criminal record. I will just change my name or something”

Come the revolution, this waste of sperm will be first against the wall.