SadButMadLad's Blog

Just another blog complaining about anything and everything

Archive for November 2010

Strictly the journey

So Ann Widdecombe think that Strictly Come Dancing is an entertainment show and not a dance show.  She says if it was a dance show it would be on BBC Sports. It’s entertainment because of the people like her in it.

But I say it is a dance show which provides entertainment as the audience watches the celebrities learn how to dance. The reason the likes of Ann Widdecombe and Paul Daniels are in the show is to allow them to be kicked out early whilst giving the other celebrities a chance to actually pick up some useful skills.

However, I will agree with her on one point. The audience is liking her antics and are voting to keep her in so it is democracy in action. Though the reason she is being kept in is so that the audience can laugh at her. But since she knows that and is happy with that then all you can say about her is that she just wants publicity, any publicity, now that she is no longer a politician able to command publicity whenever she wants.

As is mentioned many times on Strictly Takes 2, it’s the journey that is the important thing with all participants.

Written by sbml

November 28, 2010 at 20:51


BadReason has written to his MP about the #TwitterJoke trail. He’s encouraging as many as possible to use his letter as a template for their own letter to their MP.

You can find it here –

Written by sbml

November 22, 2010 at 00:34

How to fill empty houses

Controversial idea this. How about we ship a whole load of people out of England across the sea to Ireland?

Ireland has had a housing collapse. Loads of estates full of empty houses.

England doesn’t have enough houses and loads of people who don’t do any work.

So why don’t we ask politely of all the people put up in cheap crap houses if they would like to move to a brand new house. And rather than the government giving Ireland £7bn what it should do is buy all these empty and now cheap houses. Money flows into Ireland. English people get brand new houses. The UK government’s capital base will increase after the end of the recession and they can sell the houses for a profit. Everyone wins. Well maybe not Ireland totally as they would get the dredges of English society. But then see how Australia changed from being populated by convicts to being a major succesful country. Would Ireland change from a sparesly populated country to one heaving with a multicultural society?

Written by sbml

November 20, 2010 at 18:32

Posted in Silliness

Tagged with , , , ,

Outside broadcasts

Outside broadcasts by reporters. What’s the point?

A waste of money in many cases. Basically they duplicate what is in the studio already used by the newsreader and put it in a location in the middle of nowhere.

Sometime the OB is useful. There could be a situation and the reporter on the ground can speak directly with police or other authorities to get immediate information. But this is very rare as in most case the information is sent up the chain in the police (or other organsiation) and then deciminated by the PR department. This is then received by the news organisation and then then sent back to the man on the ground who then tells the audience.

Many times the pointlessness of the OB is obvious, especially when the reporter is standing outside an empty office block in the dark, cold and wet spouting out about the news that was news at the start of the day but not at 10 at night.

Written by sbml

November 17, 2010 at 22:13

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with ,

Citizen speed traps

BBC Breakfast had this story about volunteers manning speed traps and how it’s a Big Society topic. They use handheld speed cameras and note the details of any speeding motorists and pass on the details to the police. Mention was made that a number of drivers had been fined or arrested for various driving offences.

But if they aren’t police, then the evidence they collect is invalid in court. So what’s the point in having them as cheap PCSOs if they don’t do anything, except maybe act as a bit of a deterrent.

And it’s not a Big Society issue either. Upholding the law should always be done by the police.

See BigBrotherWatch for their take on it.

Written by sbml

November 16, 2010 at 12:00

Posted in Annoyances

Tagged with ,

A new disability

I’ve just found out via Nik Lowe the Filthy Engineer that part of the  constitutional stipulates that congressmen for the Brazilian congress have to be literate. Sounds pretty sensible I thought.

But then I got to thinking about it a bit more. Could it be a disability?

Those with disabilities can get help to cope with getting through the day. If you are physically disabled you can get carers to get you of bed and feed you. If you are mentally disabled you can get help to cope with the demands of modern life. If you are visually disabled you can get a dog to guide you around.

So if being illiterate is a disability you could in theory get a helper to do the reading and writing for you. In the case of the Brazilian he would be able to get an assistant to do his reading and writing for him.

In these days of everyone coming up with new disabilities (or overemphasizing existing disabilities such as dyslexia) so that they can get extra attention, campaigning for illiteracy as a disability should be the next in thing.

Written by sbml

November 16, 2010 at 00:11

Posted in Non-science

Tagged with ,

The right to hate

Where I go all Predator like

Nothing I said on the Nicky Campbell show was so outrageous that it should provoke such a response from a man who should know better. If I, as a citizen of this country, cannot even express an opinion about human rights and the moral authority of our politicians, what does that say about how equal we are?

Everything Yasmin Alibhai-Brown (YAB) says is outrageous. She winds me up no end. I find it very exasperating to read her articles that I hardly get past the first paragraph before giving up and trying to calm down before I personally feel that I have to shove a big huge clue stick down her throat to shut her up.

I feel that as a citizen of this country I should be able to respond to a person in the public eye in the same manner in which she comments. I think that makes us equal.

Gareth Compton is not an idiot, he knew what he was saying. If I had said, “It would be a blessing if this man was stoned to death,” what would happen to me as a Muslim woman in this country?

YAB is an idiot. She obviously knows that as a muslim woman if she said such things that she wouldn’t even get a quiet talking to because everyone is afraid of offending in the slightest manner any Muslim anywhere in the world at any time in the future.

We are in a post-Jeremy Clarkson universe where men think they can only be men if they insult people; there is a masculinity associated with this rough and anti-politically correct talk. What is so manly about going on Twitter and putting this out about a journalist who is trying to do her job and giving an honest opinion?

Sexist bitch. Can’t women insult people? Ahhh, I get it, YAB is a woman so she can’t possibly insult anyone.

This is not just an insult, this is incitement in my eyes. He knows I’m a Muslim – he didn’t say “shot,” he said “stoned to death”. My daughter was distressed but she would not tell me why. “Why do you have to be a journalist?” she asked. “Every time you go to the door, mum, I think someone is going to shoot you.”

He said “stoned to death” because that was what you were talking about. If you were talking about interfering in Chinese politics and their execution by firing squad I’m sure he would have said “shot”.

Your daughter is distressed because you haven’t taught her “That sticks and stones [pun intended] might break my bones by words will never hurt me”. If anyone has a public presence of any sort then they should know that they will get some odd and possibly extreme responses. It’s part of life.

Of course I do not think I’m going to be stoned when I go outside, but he validates those people who threaten columnists like me, and I cannot accept that. There are a lot of very violent people out there and they think they have the right to threaten me. This guy has made it OK.

Ah-ha, you’ve just admitted that you don’t think it a credible threat. Isn’t that admitting that it’s a joke? So you think that because someone has voiced their opinion that because some mad random nutter then uses it as the excuse to do something that the opinion voicer should be dragged over the coals? If that was the case anyone reading Guido’s blog who decided that it was right to abuse MPs and actually did it that you would get Guido locked up.

I am glad we live in a society where I am freer to speak than in any Muslim country I would be living in. I am grateful.

Except if someone disagrees with you.

I question the hypocrites though; there are people who say they believe in freedom of speech, but not for black people or Asian people or Muslim people, who turn into the Taliban when someone upsets their own views.

I question the hypocrites though; those that believe it they can make any outrageous comment to others, but who feel that if they receive the same kind of comment in return that the comment maker has gone beyond the pale.

In which universe does a Tory councillor think it is a joke that the Taliban go around stoning people for expressing themselves? I don’t think that is acceptable, and I’m very pleased the Tories have suspended him.

In which universe does a newspaper columnist think that they can make their opinions known and not expect to get some robust, negative, comments in return. Especially when their opinions are outrageous and narrow-minded. I found YAB’s opinions offensive and would be very pleased if the Independent got rid of her.

Update: All the comments on the Independent article have now been removed – possibly because they were overwhelmingly negative.

Update #2: Important point about Gareth Compton’s tweet. It had the hashtag #R5L which immediately puts it into the context of a discussion about a Radio 5 Live programme.

Written by sbml

November 12, 2010 at 12:37

Gold value

Where I do a Tim Worstall

“…there is something ludicrous about imparting such special worth to something that is inherently worthless. Or at least it is if all you do is dig it up, refine it, and stick it back underground in a bank vault. Real wealth is the ingenuity and productive power of human beings, forces that generate a flow of income, not gold.”

Everything is worthless. Value is what people make it to be and what they are willing to pay to buy it.

Written by sbml

November 10, 2010 at 12:42

Posted in Economics

Tagged with , , ,

Abu Hamza’s council house

The TPA have come out and stated that

“Taxpayers will be ­incensed to hear that thousands are ­being spent on this hate preacher’s home while ordinary families struggle for cash.”
“It’s bad enough that the British ­public may be stuck with this venomous ­character for good”
“But it’s a real slap in the face to have to fund ­large-scale house renovations for someone whose racist ravings were inciting murder”
“It’s a shame that having ­already landed the taxpayer with a hefty legal and benefits bill, this man can siphon yet more money from the public purse.”

Just one point – it’s a council house, not his. So he does not siphon off any money. He does not benefit (other than the house not falling down). Plus it’s not a renovation, it’s a repair to the foundations to stop it, and his neighbours homes, from falling down.

Yeh, I know its not right that he’s in a council home, but that point aside, the council are spending money to keep their investment from falling down.

The TPA have probably been asked for the quote from the Daily Star with little or no background information and with a tight deadline so it can be excused that they might trot out some standard phrase. However they should learn from this and ensure that they don’t just trot out such phrases on the basis of little or no information. It makes the TPA look stupid.

H/t to Tim Worstal

Written by sbml

November 7, 2010 at 17:17

Philip James Woolas

A couple of points not really mentioned in the many blogs about the subject.

Some commentators were saying that the only reason the case was brought before an election court was because the margin was so small – 103 votes. In fact I don’t think this would be the case. If the margin was greater but the winning candidate commited the same crime then the benefit of winning the case would be greater and the loser would get a bigger bloody nose. So more reason to take a case to court.

Another aspect that has made me think about the case and the law surrounding it is that the individual MP is the one who is punished, not the party. This being that the law originally comes from the Edwardian era of being a gentleman and only gentlemen of good standing would go through with the election process. But I suspect that MPs of that time were the same as the MPs of this time – corrupt but showing a thin veneer of respectibility. In modern times, the role of the party in organising and controlling MPs has become more prominent and more centralised. I think that as the party has quite a bit of say in the selection of candidates and in the help they give (centralised printing services for pamphlets for instance) then the party should also take some of the responsibility.

This is especially the case that the result of this case causes the production of future election pamphlets to go underground because election agents would not be prepared to do the research and check their sources to ensure that their facts were correct. Instead front organisations would be created and they would produce the scurrilous literature instead. So long as only the person can be punished by the election court then those who produce this underground election material would not get punished.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen, the election law has to be changed (just like all other laws are changed to cope with changes in society) to ensure that the party is punished too. That way even if independant non-attributable literature was published it would still be obvious which candidate it was backing and therefore it should be the responsibility of the party to ensure that all literature produced on their behalf was valid and correct.

The photo by the way is not a doctored, photoshopped image – its a “superimposition”.

Written by sbml

November 6, 2010 at 22:00