Lord Forsyth gives me a headache

Lord Forsyth was on Today about giving 16 and 17 year olds the vote in the Scottish referendum.

There should be some sort of law to prevent him appearing on radio so early.

He’s against it because people will realise what a good idea it is and those kill-joys in Westminster won’t be able to stop all this joy spreading.

That’s it basically.

When do you actually get an oxyacetylene torch and melt someone's name off a plaque?

With the denaming of several Savile memorials, the questions arises…

When I was in Australia I was intrigued by a plaque at Rex Lookout in Queensland. It is made of brass. Someone has taken an oxyacetylene torch to the name of the person who unveiled the plaque and actually melted their name, so you can’t read who it is.

It did say that the person was the Member of the local parliament for Barron River in 1982. A quick Wikipedia search showed this to be one Martin Tenni.

Further quick searches revealed that his “sin” was to have been investigated by the Fitzgerald Inquiry in the late 1980s.

Wikipedia states:

The Fitzgerald Inquiry (1987–1989) into Queensland Police corruption was a judicial inquiry presided over by Tony Fitzgerald QC. The inquiry resulted in the deposition of a premier, two by-elections, the jailing of three former ministers and a police commissioner who was jailed and lost his knighthood. It also led directly to the end of the National Party of Australia’s 32-year run as the government of Queensland.

Mr Tenni still stimulates anger to this day.

So now we know what motivated someone to go all the way to Rex Lookout to melt a name off a plaque…. It seems doubtful that the name melting was officially sponsored. It looks like the plaque has been subject to other vandalisation, now rubbed off.

My photos show the plaque and the beautiful, nay breathtaking, view from the lookout.

Tory burglar bashing: The singer has changed but the song remains the same

Re:Chris Grayling on Today.

It is not often I can simply repeat a blog post I wrote in January 2010 when Caroline Spelman said exactly the same thing as Grayling (very fishy) said today:

The law allows “reasonable force” to be used by householders, outlined here in elaborate detail by the Crown Prosecution Service. There was a lot of talk on Question Time last night about the word “reasonable” not being clear.

Codswallop. Claptrap. Hogwash. Tiddlyfart.

“Reasonable” is the most clearly defined and well established term in English law. Juries know instinctively what it means after a few moment’s explanation.

And now we come to the Conservative position as spelt out by Caroline Spelman on Question Time.

O-H      M-Y      G-O-O-D-N-E-S-S.

Pass the sickbag, Alice.

Spelman said that the Tories want to change the law so that householders are in the clear as long as they do not use “grossly disproportionate force”. I see. So that means that they can use force that is somewhere between “reasonable” and “grossly disproportionate”. So that means that they can use disproportionate force but they cannot use “grossly disproportionate force”.

It’s worth savouring that. The Tories say that they want householders to be able to use disproportionate force in warding off burglars (as long as it isn’t gross). Disproportionate force is by definition “unreasonable”. So the Tories want people to be able to use unreasonable force to fend off intruders. Unreasonable force. Brilliant. That’s force, as in NOT reasonable.

Blogging is in good health – the stupid bubble has gone

There were a lot of round spherical objects around in the heady days of the height of what we call “blogging”.

There was a great deal of navel gazing and mutual onanism.

Stupid, idiotic annual awards and league tables. Bloody silly “memes”. People (including myself) going mad on blogging. A lot of back slapping. The word “hat-tip” was a personal object of hate of mine.

Hardly anybody read the things. Indeed, I heard research once that said that most blogs were read by one person. The person that wrote it.

And there were a lot of unnecessary words.

I am a great lover of Twitter. It stops you being too verbose. It is really good for sharing links, which used to take up a whole post. And photos. And there is still blogging for longer posts.

We’ve entered a more mature era where there are a range of online vehicles for sharing views: You Tube, Flickr, Twitpic, Twitter, Facebook, comments on mainstream media sites etc etc.

Blogging is best when it is personal, short and pithy.

If I needed to answer the question: “What’s the point of blogging these days?” I would point very firmly to blogs like Caron’s Musings.

Exposure: The other side of Jimmy Savile

I have now watched ITV’s documentary, “Exposure: The other side of Jimmy Savile” which was very disturbing indeed. It was a deeply researched and very carefully, responsibly produced programme.

I know Esther Rantzen is a bit of a show-off, but I have to say that I was terribly moved by her remarkable interview at the end of the programme. She said she believed the women who spoke out, that “the jury is no longer out” on Savile and that “we are all responsible” for allowing him to get away with it.

Well done Esther!

Recommended viewing: The Clintons

I have been slowly working my way through “The Clintons”, a three part documentary recently broadcast on BBC2. It’s available now on BBC iPlayer. There is nothing remarkable about the production of the documentary itself, although Zoë Wanamaker is a superb narrator. But the bringing together of all the pieces of the Clintons’ story makes for absorbing television.

I swear there is a toy – but I can’t quite think of it specifically – which you knock down repeatedly and it repeatedly gets back up again.

Well, that’s Bill Clinton.

Gary Hart. Remember him? No, most people don’t. (One of his claims to fame is that he, in general terms, warned of 9/11.) Just like Clinton, he was once a Democratic front-runner for President, who got accused of an extra-marital affair (with Donna Rice). But Hart sank without trace and Clinton got back up again, again and again. That’s what has made Clinton great.