mistersandman: (SHAME)
[personal profile] mistersandman
But could the party gain the same level of popular support as the US movement?

Commentators across the board have been hailing the "British Tea Party" for at least a year. Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP, has even tried to launch one, without much success.

The latest to ride on the coat-tails of the popular US movement is Nigel Farage, newly re-elected as UK Independence Party leader. Speaking on Sky News, he said that his party shared the feeling of being "overtaxed, over-governed, not being listened to". He claimed that this gave the party a "bigger political opportunity than ever before" to recruit Tories dissatisfied with David Cameron's EU-friendly policies.

Could UKIP be the British Tea Party? The two movements do have quite a lot in common: the anti-establishment flavour, the emphasis on small government, and nationalism. They also share a -- how do I put this? -- certain nuttiness, with both groups containing some pretty extreme and off-centre elements.

But, crucially, does it have the capacity to gain mass appeal akin to that of the US group? It is worth remembering that the party did gain 1 million votes in this year's general election. Some even suggested that this small but significant report could have cost Cameron his overall majority in the Commons.

Given Britain's electoral system, it is unlikely that UKIP will gain any seats in parliament, even if their share of the vote were to double. However, if they were to grow in support, they could influence public debate by pressuring the Conservatives from the right. It's also worth noting that the Tea Party is a wing of the Republican Party, so can pressurise traditionalists from within. UKIP is even more on the edges of mainstream political debate.

At the moment it remains a fringe group, but as US Tea Party shows, you write off the "nutters" at your own peril. Stranger things have happened.


Some of you may remember Nigel Farage for his infamous meltdown in the EU Parliament in February, or for his disastrous publicity stunt during the election season in May.

Clearly, history will remember him as just an ass.
mistersandman: (watchmen)
[personal profile] mistersandman

Thousands of pupils are being wrongly labelled as having special educational needs when all they require is better teaching and support, Ofsted says.

The watchdog said up to a quarter of pupils in England identified as having special needs would not be labelled as such if schools focused more on teaching for all their children.

It said the term "special needs" was used too widely.

The National Union of Teachers said such claims were "insulting and wrong".

More than a fifth of school-age students in England have been diagnosed with some form of special educational need (SEN), which range from physical disabilities to emotional and behavioural problems.

Click for full article. )

The number of state and private special schools in England has fallen from 1,197 in 2000 to 1,054 in 2010.



I've no idea what it's like to go to school in England.  Perhaps some lines need to be drawn.  345 students isn't what I would call a comprehensive population sample.
mistersandman: (Default)
[personal profile] mistersandman
I've often fretted whether or not to post certain articles on the basis of said articles not being 'news' or perhaps not being political enough. Today, CNN has put an end to those fears forever. Apparently, former Prime Minister Tony Blair mentioning George W. Bush in his autobiography is news, so noteworthy that it deserved to be on the front page. The article, archived forever under CNN Politics, shares a few none-too-interesting excerpts of anecdotes found in Blair's newest book, "A Journey."

"Blair writes that Bush was "very smart" while having "immense simplicity in how he saw the world." "Right or wrong, it led to decisive leadership... he sincerely believed in spreading freedom and democracy,"

Blair laughs off as a "great 'George' moment" the episode in which Bush was caught on microphone greeting him with the expression "Yo, Blair!" at the 2006 G8 Summit in St. Petersburg, Russia. "It indicated total intimacy," he writes."

Riveting. With a title like "A Journey," I'm sure Blair hoped to conjure images of adventure, of arduous struggles overcome, of lessons learned, and maybe the slightest most shallow hope that his career has not arrived at its inevitable destination of obscurity. CNN's coverage, however, leads this poster to believe that Blair's only journey was through the archives of the most inane sort of gossip magazine with the sole purpose of trawling up outdated gossip about American politicians.  Very few details about Tony Blair himself are included in the article.

The article concludes:

"Blair also suggests Clinton's affair with Lewinsky may have arisen in part from his "inordinate interest in and curiosity about people."

"In respect of men, it was expressed in friendship; in respect of women, there was potentially a sexual element. And in that, I doubt he is much different from most of the male population.""

I'm taking a religious studies course and that is still probably the most sexist thing I've read all week. Thank you, Tony Blair. Thank you, CNN.


monchel: Curvy woman of color silhouette with braids. (Default)
[personal profile] monchel
Individuals banned from the UK for stirring-up hatred have been named and shamed for the first time, the Home Secretary announced today.

The list covers people excluded from the United Kingdom for fostering extremism or hatred between October 2008 and March 2009.

It follows the Home Secretary’s introduction of new measures against such individuals last year, including creating a presumption in favour of exclusion in respect of all those who have engaged in spreading hate.

The Home Secretary Jacqui Smith also announced today that the government is now able to ban European nationals and their family members if they constitute a threat to public policy or public security.

The article gives a few examples of the names on the list; there are 72 total. I thought it interesting because of this particular individual:

Michael Alan Weiner (also known as Michael Savage)

Controversial daily radio host. Considered to be engaging in unacceptable behaviour by seeking to provoke others to serious criminal acts and fostering hatred which might lead to inter-community violence.

The provisions for landing on this list are as follows:

Under the unacceptable behaviour policy, the Home Secretary may exclude from the UK any non-British citizen, whether in the UK or abroad, who uses any means or medium including:

* writing, producing, publishing or distributing material
* public speaking including preaching
* running a website or
* using a position of responsibility such as teacher, community or youth leader

To express views which:

* foment, justify or glorify terrorist violence in furtherance of particular beliefs
* seek to provoke others to terrorist acts
* foment other serious criminal activity or seek to provoke others to serious criminal acts or
* foster hatred which might lead to inter-community violence in the UK.


I'm torn on whether this policy will prove useful or as a political tool to shape national agendas, even if I agree with the Savage ban. Hell, can we ban Savage from the U.S.?
xdawnfirex: (Random - Future When I Orgasm)
[personal profile] xdawnfirex

There has been a small outbreak of “zombism” in London due to mutation of the H1N1 virus into new strain: H1Z1.

Similar to a scare originally found in Cambodia back in 2005, victims of a new strain of the swine flu virus H1N1 have been reported in London.

After death, this virus is able to restart the heart of it’s victim for up to two hours after the initial demise of the person where the individual behaves in extremely violent ways from what is believe to be a combination of brain damage and a chemical released into blood during “resurrection.”

I honestly cannot figure out if this is a satire or not. )



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