5135 posts • joined 19 Jan 2007
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Not clapped out Parties, but clapped out Party system.
The problem is not with the parties per se, but the Party System itself.
For the last three decades we've been told that "Strong Government" basically means that the MPs toe the Party Line and do what their leadership tells them to, with varying amounts of arm twisting from the Whips office.
Apart from introducing a system like STV where whoever is MP for a constituency actually *has* a majority of the votes, the Whip system should be abolished so all votes are *free* votes such that MPs can represent the views of their constituents to Parliament, rather than telling their consituents that this is how it is because the party leaders say so, like it or lump it.
This would mean that, especially now, no longer would a big party be able to force through any legislation it wants because there can't be sufficient opposition even if everyone else voted against it and the power will no longer be in the hands of politicians "doing deals in shady back rooms" (nor on the decks of someone's private yacht...)
It's a funny system...
... which means that a party that gets almost a quarter of the votes gets less than ten percent of the seats in Parliamen!
Only politicians with a vested interest in staying in power despite getting less than 40% of the votes could justify keeping such a system.
all party committee of inquiry on political and electoral reform"
In other words, let's kick it into the long grass with a committee which will be loaded with members who will argue and dither and prevaricate and do their damndest to ensure that it never gets *anywhere*...
If that's the best that Cameron can come up with, he doesn't deserve to govern.
... the Wicked Witch is Dead!
Insufficient staff, inadequate preparedness...
There was a queue at my local Polling Station and a bit of checking with the stopwatch function on my wristwatch found that the staff were taking between 40 seconds and a minute to deal with *each* voter ie to go through the process of them getting to the desk, handing over the Polling Card (add extra time if they'd forgotten it), find the name on the register, rule it out, tear off two voting slips and write down the numbers before the person could make actually go and make their mark.
It's clear that when the queues started to form, there was insufficient preparedness on the part of officials to speed up the process by, for example, drafting in extra staff or allowing the Polling Stations to stay open longer (some places, eg Lewisham, did stay open, others closed on the dot of 10pm because "that's the law") and that's not something we should be expected to put up with.
PR in the form of Single Transferrable Vote is quite as good as you think, in all those close races where the winning majority was less than the number of votes cast for other candidates, instead of all those other votes being thrown away, those voters' second choice candidate get the votes until someone gets a proper majority.
It works well in places like the Republic of Ireland and Denmark, it could work here too if people would let it.
Nothing more is needed.
No, you don't need anything more, but that slows down the whole process for everyone else (as mentioned in another post elsewhere, staff were taking between 40 seconds and one minute to deal with each voter, the extra time depending on if they had their polling card or not).
Oh and I accidentally upvoted that post instead of hitting "reply"...
"it seems perhaps a little odd...
"... that NASA bothered to carry out today's test at all."
Not at all.
If they'd built the thing, it would have been odd (if not stupid) not to test the thing since even if it isn't going to be used *right now* it provides valuable data and proof of concept which may be usable in the future.
"Vote Fascist for a Third Glorious Decade of Total Law Enforcement!"
"Be a Government Informer. Betray Your Family & Friends. Fabulous Prizes to be Won!"
You are guilty of doubleplusungood crimethink! Stay where you are, the Thought Police will be there to unperson you shortly.
Re: I've seen El Reg go back and fix typos before.
Yes, but El Reg tends to actually *SAY* when they've edited an article if it makes a substantive change to what went before (which isn't the same as "fixing a typo")
We have always...
... been at war with Eastasia
if we were able to pick the parties that we didn't want
That's known as Single Transferrable Vote where you rank parties in order of preference...
... hey, isn't that PR which the Lib Dems are in favour of...?!
Who are we going to nuke in retaliation??
Ignoring the ridiculous Tabloidesque anti-Lib Dem rhetoric that sounds more like something from the Murdoch Press, would Lewis Page care to tell us *who* is likely to try to lob an ICBM at the UK and *which* cities (and their millions of civilians) we are going to oblitterate in our "nation wrecking" retaliation?
In case it has escaped his notice, the Cold War has ended, so it's very unlikely that any country that actually has the ability to launch an ICBM strike on the UK *would* do so and the so-called "rogue states" like Iran or North Korea know damn well that don't have enough bombs to stop the rest of the world dropping on them like a ton of bricks if they did start lobbing nukes around.
A more likely scenario might be to put a nuke (or a dirty bomb) on a boat and sail it up the Thames, but then who do we lob a missile at in payback?
As for Space Travel, I'm all for it, but perhaps we'd better fix the big hole in the bottom of the boat before we start re-arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic...
A solution to let you write down your PIN safely...
There is a system used by (I think) some banks in Denmark where the customer is given a 9x9 grid (like an empty Sudoku board) with different colours in the individual squares.
You write your PIN in a way that you will be able to remember, eg the four corners reading clockwise or the four blue squares across the bottom row or the rightmost four squares on the middle row etc, then fill in all the other squares with the numbers 1-9.
This hides your number in plain sight because only you know which four squares are the real ones.
Banks could print these grids out for pennies and save everyone a lot of hassle.
Why would anybody need to write down a four digit number to remember it?
Because just maybe not everyone finds numbers easy to remember.
Why would anyone not consider that others may not find such things as simple as they do...?
What about "Whale Tail"?
Is someone now going to try to pass ASBOs on all those young ladies who wear short tops and then pull their thong up so it's visible above the waistband of their skirts???
... it's always one rule for them and another for everyone else.
All your IP Addreses...
... are belong to EU...
Dropped a clanger?
... Err, I think you mean Clangers...!
What is wrong with this...
... is that you are being suckered by the Police who are the ones conflating separate issues.
They want you to think that "oh, he had indecent images of children, so that justifies them misusing other laws and stretching them way beyond any legitimate bounds simply to give them a better chance of getting a conviction".
They are trying to create an association in people's minds between child porn and "extreme writings" such that they're allowed to act as the Thought Police and get laws banning anything they don't like, even when there is *NO* evidence of harm at all.
As for "freedom of speech is a good issue to right about, but only when it involves consenting adults", what about non-consenting adults? What about all those people who are killed, raped and so on in many books and films? They clearly don't consent, so should any such writings be made illegal...?
Here come the Thought Police (again!)
Despite the failure of the attempt by Baroness O'Caithan to introduce an "Extreme Writings" provision into English Law, it seems that Kent Police are trying to bring one in by default by suggesting that an online chat counts as "publishing"!
Of course they will probably decide to claim that this is a "loophole" in existing legislation and we'll then see some politician who's heading for defeat jump onto the bandwagon to help generate some positive headlines because "well, it's For The Children, isn't it?" and anyone who disagrees is obviously not "Thinking of the Children!"
What's next? Banning Viktor Nabakov's "Lolita"??
"verified by other news outlets at significant expense"
If that were actually the situation, they might have a case, but in these days of 24 hour rolling news, instead what we have is "publish or broadcast first and *then* check to see if the facts are correct" because the important thing is being "first with the story" even if it isn't accurate...
(At least it wasn't "Smeg Head!")
Very interesting... but stupid!
You bet your Blippy!
(With apologies to Rowan and Martin ;-) )
Microsoft wins in court...
... but the company it vanquished plans to fight back.
Oh the irony!!!
... get the pictures from Wikipedia articles?
Wonder who their ISP is?
And will they start throttling the bit-stream...?
And I thought...
... this would be "Call me Dave" painting himself blue to prove what a good Tory he is!
"If we stop now you've wasted all the capital investment"
In other words, as many people have been saying all along, Labour have bulled ahead with this project so that, having spent huge amounts of public money, they can claim that anyone trying to cancel the project will be "wasting" that dosh.
Well, no, Mr Johnson, it is *YOU* who have wasted that money, it is *YOU* who have pissed it away on an unworkable control-freak project that has been doomed to failure from the start, don't start trying to put the blame on others now.
And so the second guessing starts...
... as someone with an axe to grind sticks his two-pennorth in.
If you'd prefer to vote for policies, rather than a party...
Take a look at http://voteforpolicies.org.uk/ and see which of the policy sets there appeals most to your views.
(NB I'd strongly recommend clicking on the "Show more policy points from this set" because there are some nasty ones hidden below the "headline" policies")
'Which part of "Mwahahahaaa!!!" didn't you understand?'
... how many more to go...?
... does it know the difference between a power socket and a computer terminal?
"before the age of 95"?
So how much statistical data do they have for women contracting breast cancer *after* the age of 95...?
If your kids are doing this...
... where the FUCK are you???
Try taking some responsibility for your kids' safety!
Someone who knows that the net is not a child-minding service!
On the contrary...
... cats are smart enough to know that their human owne^H^H^H^H slaves are useful enough to keep around to feed them, empty the litter tray, stroke them and so on.
They're also smart enough not to let on that they already rule the world...!
As the old tagline had it...
Error 606: Lazy programer
"16 constituencies short of an overall majority"
Is that like "a sandwich short of a picnic"?
I've just done a google search
... pictures of consenting adults engaged in consensual activities will be covered under the same remit as:
Forced Prostitution and the violence and forced drug addiction that may be involved;
Violence at music events;
Money laundering through dodgy casinos;
And the use of fake ID documents.
Nice to see that they're going to be targetting specialist resources effectively on relevant and related areas...!
Extreme Porn is vague and ill defined...
... but the law that covers it is found in sections 63 - 68 of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act 2008 see http://www.uk-legislation.hmso.gov.uk/acts/acts2008/pdf/ukpga_20080004_en.pdf
"like putting a burglar alarm inside your house"
And then not telling your children to lock the front door when they go out...
... do you want to start requiring joggers and athletes to be licenced as well given that their CO2 output will be higher that everyone else's?
Oh gods, not again...
1) Road Tax was discontinued after WWII, you now pay "Vehicle Excise Duty", ie taxed on your ownership of a vehicle.
2) Said ownership is based, now, on the amount of pollution a vehicle causes. How much pollution does a bicycle put out?
3) The administration of such a scheme would cost much more than any revenue generated unless bikes paid similar amounts of VED as other vehicles, even though they cause less pollution and less damage to the roads and take up less space as well.
4) etc etc etc in response to a tired old argument...
Oh dear, once again we get the "some cyclists are idiots, so we don't need to respect *any* of them argument"
Yes, I agree, speaking as a cyclist, there are some pillocks who give the rest of us a bad name, but that's no excuse for ridiculous cycle routes that were designed by people who don't understand that if you have to keep stopping and starting (and even dismounting if you go by the silly signs!) you are wasting energy.
It's then not simply a matter of putting your foot on the gas, it's putting your foot on the pedal and having to recover momentum that you lost due to a badly designed route which is mostly intended to keep bikes out of the way of cars, rather than actually be any use to the cyclist!
Forget the wash up...
... there should be a law against the Parliamentary Guillotine which allows the Government to set a ridiculously short amount of time for *any* Bill to be discussed in the Commons, hence why the Dangerous Pictures provisions of the Criminal Justice and Immigration Act were only ever debated in the Lords.
he could have been tried, convicted, done his time and been out by now.
Or he could have tried for a minor offence in this country and got a slap on the wrist or tried for a trumped up serious offence in the USA and locked up for years.
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