Monday, 29 September 2008

Britblog Roundup #189 - the War on Censorship edition

There have been an epic number of nominations this week, and I'm a finance wallah, so this has been a difficult time, death of Global capitalism and all that. Plus I had a long weekend with the TA. And I thought the Rota said I was on next week. So I make no apologies for the lateness of this post. Except this one: Sorry. I'd also like to add if I missed anything or misrepresented any of the posts, this is not deliberate, there were nearly 50 nominations to deal with; drop me an e-mail if you feel anything needs changing, or if I've missed anything.

Right let's kick off with serious stuff: the Pigeon blog. This week it's Stuart's turn to make our acquaintance.

The Great Big EU Blog censorship threat:

Mr Eugenides deals with the Marianne Mikko's plans to regulate eurosceptic blogs with his customary venom. Here's his demonstration of how to differentiate fact from opinion...

For example, "you are a braindead Estonian fuckstick" is fact; "I think you should go and fuck yourself, you braindead Estonian fuckstick" is opinion. See?
There are more dealing with this subject Charles Crawford; Shouting out loud, Berlaymonster; Nosemonkey; Chris White; Heresy Corner ... Even Jon Worth and Child of Europe cannot support the EU on this issue. England Expects has alas already been shut down by his EU employers; can we hope TEBAF* Margot gets the same treatment?

But for the best analysis here is an in-depth look from Redemption Blues, who gives you all the information on the proposal in all its nannying, anti-democratic glory. Why are 'they' so against blogging he asks?
...your writings can potentially reach an audience right across the globe; What could possibly be more conducive to "effective participation in the democratic process"? This is precisely what sets blogs apart, what makes them intoxicating for those who devote their time and energy to them. Their sheer variety is overwhelming: there are teenagers seeking catharsis for their hormonally-induced angst, feminists picking apart the latest batch of newspaper articles perpetuating gender stereotypes, even politicians anxious to show that they are not so out of touch as they are often lambasted for being. Yes, there is plenty of dross, yes, there are exquisitely crafted products that do not receive the recognition they deserve...
But the EU seems to feel threatened nonetheless:
we are confronted with Ms Mikko’s patronising assumption that the Great Unwashed are idiots, devoid of an ounce (or should that be a gram?) of discernment and common sense. Even if this were true, the best means of remedying the perceived problem would indeed be to enable readers to maintain a critical distance from texts through developing their analytical skills, rather than clamping down on blogs.
The EU is showing its true colours of late: An arrogant bureaucracy bent on "ever closer union" and they will lie and defraud the people to achieve what, to them is a noble aim. The people are "xenophobic" or "bigoted" if they are sceptical of the benefits accrued by the grand march of integration. Blogging is just an irritation to that bureaucracy, which can be dealt with by the flick of a Brussels mandarin's pen: they certainly did not let referendums bother them. If the democratic will of the people expressed at the ballot box does not go the federasts' way, that ballot box gets withdrawn. If Referendums can be ignored so flagrantly, what hope is there for the mere freedom to tell our (un)elected masters to "fuck off"?

If blogging is ever to be a more powerful force in politics it must cease to be a bunch of incestuous conversations. DMK suggests a more ecumenical approach, of which Britblog roundup is a part and it is heartening that the great issue of censorship is the means by which the EU has united bloggers, sceptic and federast in a great wail in favour of free speech. This is good - and should make even the PC lefties think twice about trying to impose some sort of "voluntary code" here. Everyone should be entitled to their voice, however they chose to express it. One has no right to not be offended, nor should any political solution or project ever be seen as an a priori good. Everything must be argued in public, without fear or favour. Any other way lies tyranny, and Europe of all continents should find politicians who know better.

Now onto matters more parochial...

Politics

There's only one, Harry's Place, dealing with the seemingly endless US presidential election. Who won the first debate?

There are two blogs dealing with Ruth Kelly being fired quitting: Heresy Corner and StroppyBlog. Both are glad to see the back of her. Can't say I disagree.

The ID card is about to go Live for foreigners anyway. Boing Boing highlights how far the UK Government has already gone in its plan to turn the UK into the fourth Reich. But there is some positive news: The youth of today aren't too bad... They think the Government's ID card site is "creepy". Scribio ergo sum reports...

There are two blogs dealing with the Stockwell tube shooting inquest Heresy Corner again and HarpyMarx.

Finally there's the Liberal Democrats. Bless them. Liberal England has some advice for Nick Clegg. Suz blog says that Lembit has a serious side, and Hunterand Shooter deals with a councillor who's a nonce. Next left deals with Peter Hain's ideas on electoral reform: to my mind the last refuge of a failing party, but It seems quite important to the yellows: It is suggested none the less they're possibly desperate enough to compromise on PR! Finally Eddie Mair gets his revenge on Nick Clegg. That'll learn 'im to make prank calls

Socialism sandbox.

Gaian "economics"
thinks nationalisation is a good thing. Or something.

Social issues

I cannot imagine how difficult prioritising 999 calls is. Hooray there are some people prepared to take the responsibility. They do not get the excitement of other bits of the emergency services. Nee Naw tells us what it is like...

Croilia deals deals with Toxic childhood, a book about how we're screwing up our children.

The F-word deals with plans to Ban Prostitution in hotels. Twice

Cruella deals with the other Feminist issue: Domestic Violence.

Natalie Bennett wonders what happened to the 2million 'Surplus' women.

The Daily Maybe deals with the different social spheres of Cambridge.

Miss Prism deals with the American Culture wars by pointing us to a review of Left behind, the Fundamentalist Christian Lunacy primer for rednecks.

Miscellaneous:

Why do the British talk about the weather?

A Short Story,

And Bridgit tells us about Islington's flowers.

Cranmer deals with the pinkos in the CoE.

Meanwhile here in France deals with Life in the pit (orchestra, not hell)

So that concludes a busy week in the UK blogosphere. Next week expect lefties crowing over the death of capitalism and libertarians trying to explain how it's all actually the Government's fault. Tories will be drooling over their conference bounce - we will be back to normal. In a week where the world seems crazy, at least the Blogosphere is united around the principle of free speech. And there will always be the pigeons.

We are not doomed.

As ever, nominees to Britblog [at] gmail [dot] com. Next weeks host is... Me according to the list, but actually I think it is Cabalamat over at Amused Cynicism..

*The Ever Blessed and Fragrant



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