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Month: April 2010

Tanned, fit, rested & ready: Barfe for Waveney 2010

Tanned, fit, rested & ready: Barfe for Waveney 2010

Well, it’s looking like a goer. In only a few short hours, friends on Facebook, Twitter and Cook’d and Bomb’d have pledged donations to my election deposit fund to the tune of £344.22. With another donor pledging the final £100 when we reach £400, my candidature as the Protest Vote Party‘s man in Waveney for the 2010 General Election seems assured. Policy fans will notice a change of party name. This is because a law was passed in 2005, banning the use of the phrase “None of the Above” anywhere on a ballot paper. So, we (party leader Russ Swan and I, plus any other candidates who join the happy coalition before 4pm on Tuesday 20 April) are now the PVP. We will be offering a sane, rational alternative for anyone disillusioned with the big two and the slightly smaller third one. We like foreigners, we like democracy, we like representatives who represent, we don’t like corruption and we don’t like the clueless legislating on the complex. I will, in due course, be setting up a separate campaign blog.

Digital Economy Bill = Tesco Value politics

Digital Economy Bill = Tesco Value politics

So, one of the most controversial and problematic pieces of legislation of the last 20 years was shunted through Parliament in 2 hours last night, without proper scrutiny and leaving 47 good parliamentarians with the distinct feeling they’d been shafted. History will be kind to you. Even David Amess. The 189 who voted in favour of the Digital Economy Bill (see below for who voted and how) might find that their decision will bite them on the arse come 6 May. I’m going to give my own MP a copy of Where Have All The Good Times Gone? with an inscription explaining that it will tell him why the record industry can’t be trusted or believed, and expressing a fervent wish that he will soon have plenty of reading time to take it all in.

The site-blocking clause is particularly dangerous. It gives the Government power to block any site that contains inconvenient opinions on the basis that it also contains infringing material. If no-one in the UK can see the site, how can they tell if the Government’s telling the truth or not? Also, one man’s infringement is another man’s fair use. As a result, Digital Britain isn’t much better than Digital China.

If there’s any consolation from this it’s that this misguided law will be subject to another law, that of unintended consequences. The Digital Economy Bill was pushed through by people with no technical knowledge or ability whatsoever. Putting the case for the gubmint, Stephen Timms responded to a question about IP addresses in a way that made quite clear that he did not know what they were. The technical know-how is overwhelmingly on the side of those who opposed this bill. They can and, I suspect, will work out ways to make this law unworkable and unenforceable. They will prove this law to be an ass. I have the feeling that, before too long, the record companies and the politicians involved will wish they’d never bothered with the Digital Economy Bill.

Meanwhile, there could well be an alternative to the paper spoiling I outlined the other day. Fellow hack Russ Swan is getting together a coalition of protest candidates under the None of the Above Party banner. If I can scrape together the £500 for the deposit, I’m happy to be his man in Waveney. Pledges of financial support gratefully received. No donations yet, just an indication of willingness and amount.

AYES

Afriyie, Adam
Alexander, rh Mr. Douglas
Allen, Mr. Graham
Anderson, Mr. David
Austin, Mr. Ian
Bailey, Mr. Adrian
Bain, Mr. William
Baird, Vera
Barron, rh Mr. Kevin
Battle, rh John
Bayley, Hugh
Beckett, rh Margaret
Benton, Mr. Joe
Berry, Roger
Betts, Mr. Clive
Blackman, Liz
Blizzard, Mr. Bob
Bradshaw, rh Mr. Ben
Brennan, Kevin
Brown, rh Mr. Nicholas
Browne, rh Des
Bryant, Chris
Buck, Ms Karen
Butler, Ms Dawn
Byrne, rh Mr. Liam
Caborn, rh Mr. Richard
Cairns, David
Campbell, Mr. Alan
Cawsey, Mr. Ian
Chapman, Ben
Clapham, Mr. Michael
Clark, Paul
Clarke, rh Mr. Charles
Clelland, Mr. David
Clwyd, rh Ann
Coaker, Mr. Vernon
Coffey, Ann
Cohen, Harry
Connarty, Michael
Cooper, Rosie
Cooper, rh Yvette
Creagh, Mary
Cryer, Mrs. Ann
Cunningham, Mr. Jim
Cunningham, Tony
Davidson, Mr. Ian
Davies, Mr. Quentin
Dean, Mrs. Janet
Dobbin, Jim
Dobson, rh Frank
Doran, Mr. Frank
Eagle, Angela
Eagle, Maria
Efford, Clive
Ellman, Mrs. Louise
Fitzpatrick, Jim
Flint, rh Caroline
Follett, Barbara
Foster, Mr. Michael (Worcester)
Foster, Michael Jabez (Hastings and Rye)
Francis, Dr. Hywel
Gapes, Mike
Gardiner, Barry
George, rh Mr. Bruce
Gilroy, Linda
Goggins, rh Paul
Goodman, Helen
Hall, Mr. Mike
Hamilton, Mr. David
Hanson, rh Mr. David
Harman, rh Ms Harriet
Havard, Mr. Dai
Hayes, Mr. John
Healey, rh John
Henderson, Mr. Doug
Hendrick, Mr. Mark
Hesford, Stephen
Hill, rh Keith
Hillier, Meg
Hodgson, Mrs. Sharon
Hoon, rh Mr. Geoffrey
Hope, Phil
Hopkins, Kelvin
Hosie, Stewart
Humble, Mrs. Joan
Hunt, Mr. Jeremy
Hutton, rh Mr. John
Iddon, Dr. Brian
Illsley, Mr. Eric
Ingram, rh Mr. Adam
Irranca-Davies, Huw
Jackson, Glenda
James, Mrs. Siân C.
Johnson, rh Alan
Johnson, Ms Diana R.
Jones, Helen
Jones, Mr. Kevan
Jones, Mr. Martyn
Jowell, rh Tessa
Keeley, Barbara
Keen, Alan
Keen, Ann
Kelly, rh Ruth
Kemp, Mr. Fraser
Khan, rh Mr. Sadiq
Kidney, Mr. David
Ladyman, Dr. Stephen
Lammy, rh Mr. David
Laxton, Mr. Bob
Lepper, David
Levitt, Tom
Lewis, Mr. Ivan
Linton, Martin
Lucas, Ian
Mackinlay, Andrew
MacShane, rh Mr. Denis
Mann, John
McAvoy, rh Mr. Thomas
McCabe, Steve
McCarthy-Fry, Sarah
McDonnell, John
McFadden, rh Mr. Pat
McFall, rh John
McKechin, Ann
McNulty, rh Mr. Tony
Merron, Gillian
Michael, rh Alun
Milburn, rh Mr. Alan
Miller, Andrew
Moffatt, Laura
Mole, Chris
Morden, Jessica
Mountford, Kali
Mudie, Mr. George
Mullin, Mr. Chris
Munn, Meg
Naysmith, Dr. Doug
Norris, Dan
O’Brien, rh Mr. Mike
O’Hara, Mr. Edward
Osborne, Sandra
Owen, Albert
Pearson, Ian
Pope, Mr. Greg
Prentice, Bridget
Primarolo, rh Dawn
Purchase, Mr. Ken
Purnell, rh James
Raynsford, rh Mr. Nick
Reed, Mr. Jamie
Reid, rh John
Robertson, John
Ruddock, Joan
Salter, Martin
Seabeck, Alison
Sharma, Mr. Virendra
Sheridan, Jim
Simon, Mr. Siôn
Skinner, Mr. Dennis
Smith, Ms Angela C. (Sheffield, Hillsborough)
Smith, rh Angela E. (Basildon)
Spellar, rh Mr. John
Stewart, Ian
Stoate, Dr. Howard
Strang, rh Dr. Gavin

Straw, rh Mr. Jack
Sutcliffe, Mr. Gerry
Tami, Mark
Thomas, Mr. Gareth
Timms, rh Mr. Stephen
Touhig, rh Mr. Don
Trickett, Jon
Ussher, Kitty
Vaizey, Mr. Edward
Watts, Mr. Dave
Whitehead, Dr. Alan
Wicks, rh Malcolm
Williams, rh Mr. Alan
Williams, Mrs. Betty
Wills, rh Mr. Michael
Wilson, Phil
Winnick, Mr. David
Winterton, rh Ms Rosie
Woodward, rh Mr. Shaun
Woolas, Mr. Phil
Wright, David
Wright, Mr. Iain
Wright, Dr. Tony
Wyatt, Derek

Tellers for the Ayes:
Lyn Brown and
Kerry McCarthy

NOES

Abbott, Ms Diane
Amess, Mr. David
Barrett, John
Beith, rh Sir Alan
Breed, Mr. Colin
Burgon, Colin
Burstow, Mr. Paul
Carmichael, Mr. Alistair
Cash, Mr. William
Challen, Colin
Chope, Mr. Christopher
Corbyn, Jeremy
Davey, Mr. Edward
Davies, Mr. Dai
Davis, rh Mr. David
Dismore, Mr. Andrew
Drew, Mr. David
Fallon, Mr. Michael
Featherstone, Lynne
Foster, Mr. Don
Gerrard, Mr. Neil
Grogan, Mr. John
Hancock, Mr. Mike
Harris, Dr. Evan
Hoey, Kate
Howarth, David
Howarth, rh Mr. George
Hughes, Simon
Jones, Lynne
Joyce, Eric
Keetch, Mr. Paul
Kilfoyle, Mr. Peter
Lazarowicz, Mark
Love, Mr. Andrew
Marshall-Andrews, Mr. Robert
Mitchell, Mr. Austin
Öpik, Lembit
Paisley, rh Rev. Ian
Palmer, Dr. Nick
Price, Adam
Reed, Mr. Andy
Russell, Bob
Simpson, Alan
Thurso, John
Todd, Mr. Mark
Truswell, Mr. Paul
Watson, Mr. Tom

Tellers for the Noes:
John Hemming and
Mr. John Leech

Sammy at the BBC

Sammy at the BBC

After a bit of digging, I’ve found that the ‘Maria’ clip comes from Meet Sammy Davis Jr part 2, which was made the year after the show that BBC4’s repeating tonight. So, here, from The A-Z of LE, transmitted as part of Lime Grove Day in 1991, is the clip in question. The bongo player is Juan Mendoza, and on first viewing, I thought that the shot had been achieved using overlay or inlay techniques, but the shadow cast on Sammy’s arm at 0:50 clinches it. Mendoza is physically sitting in front of the camera, which is mounted on a camera crane being moved backwards and forwards. I’d love to know who the senior cameraman on this was. Someone like ELS904 will have a shrewd idea.

Dissolution

Dissolution

So, 6 May it is. Which way will you be voting? For the first time in my life, I am, very seriously, considering spoiling my paper. There’s just nothing on offer for me. The party of which I was once a member has spent the last 13 years reducing freedom and privacy, as well as raping the economy. The Conservatives would shit on everybody who hasn’t been shat on by Labour, and I can’t abide the thought of the least worthy Tory leader of the last 15 years being in the right place at the right time to become PM. I think I’d rather countenance Iain Duncan-Smith running the country than David Cameron. Yes, that bad.

What about the Liberal Democrats? My constituency is a two-horse race and, with the best will in the world, they aren’t going to make up the ground they’d need. If it were closer, they’d have my cross, just to revive that February 1974 vibe. As for the rest, they can all fuck right off. UKIP are headcases – we should be sunk to the nuts in Europe, not waiting around for the USA’s sloppy seconds. BNP? No thanks. Despite being blond and white, I quite like people who aren’t.

I can’t allow myself not to show up at the ballot box. I might be powerfully disillusioned, but I still hold to the view that this shit is important. I couldn’t enjoy the TV coverage (as I always do) if I hadn’t made some effort to be a part of the democratic process. Back in the students’ union election days, there was always a candidate called RON. This stood for ‘re-open nominations’. If I were to spoil my paper (almost certainly by writing “They’re all shite” across it in purple fountain pen) on 6 May, it would be a de facto vote for RON. If you’re thinking of not voting, go along and write “They’re all shite” on your paper.

No one-eyed little black Jew jokes

No one-eyed little black Jew jokes

Tomorrow night (Tuesday), BBC4, 11pm, Meet Sammy Davis Jr – original tx: 5 May 1963. A one-off special produced by Dennis Main Wilson. I’m not sure, but I think it’s the source of the clip in The A-Z of LE from Lime Grove Day, with Sammy singing ‘Maria’ from West Side Story accompanied only by a bongo player. The bongo player remains close to the camera throughout, while Sammy gets nearer and further. For years I’d assumed it was inlay or overlay, but someone on Bernie Newnham’s excellent Tech Ops site, possibly Bernie himself, mentioned that one of the types of camera crane used at the BBC had a bucket seat at the camera end, so it’s possible that the bongo player was physically on the crane. Watch tomorrow and see what you think.

Some great background on the show from the producer here.