Linky Love: 28th January 2010

1) Unity uncovers exactly how unpleasant James Dellingpole (and possibly Tory PCC Edwin Northover) is:

On Sunday, Delingpole posted this on his blog at the Telegraph:

The Warmists are looking increasingly foolish and wrong. But they aren’t going to go down without a fight. Consider, Exhibit A, this nauseating email currently being sent out to Conservative candidates. It seems that in the last week a couple of hundred Tory candidates have received variations on the theme below. Note that these emails do not come from a named organisation but from individual voters in each of the different prospective parliamentary candidates’ constituencies.

The text of the email in question, which he also posted, goes like this… Not only does that look to be a perfectly polite and reasonable enquiry but it looks, to me at least, very much like the kind of  simple fill-in-the-blanks form email that’s pretty much a staple tool of internet-based campaigning.

In other words, it about as far from ’stalking’ – the term Delingpole used in the title of his post – as its possible to get.

From here, I’ll let Monbiot pick up the story:

It looks to me like a polite enquiry from someone concerned about climate change. Delingpole, however, saw it as a “nauseating email” which must have come from a “disgusting eco-fascist organisation”, though he didn’t know which organisation this might be. His post was headlined “Conservative candidates stalked by eco bullies”. Much worse, he published the man’s name and home address.


One commenter wrote: “I tried to telephone *** *** on the number helpfully posted in this blog, but he’s out until tomorrow. Perhaps he is out ‘tackling climate change’? – anyway his missus didn’t seem to know where he was.”

2) Paul Cotterill compares the most recent Labour and Tory recessions:

Here’s the ONS graph showing three different recessions:

And here’s the ONS graph showing unemployment rates over the same time elapses:

Taken together these show that under the Tories in the 1980s unemployment went on rising for a further 4 and a half years AFTER the end of recession (in fact Chris Huhne said it rose for six years, so he may be using different data, but the point is the same).

This time around, the unemployment rate has already started to fall, though of course it may rise again (and the growth of part-time employment has also helped.

But why did this continued rise happen under the Tories? Well…

3) Hopi Sen asks if it is time to allow broadcasters to be biased:

In a world where free to view TV has three dedicated roulette channels showing each night, it cannot be argued that there are enormous barriers to entry to TV production.

Nor, can it be argued that only a few media operators can access the Radio or TV markets. There are currently 250 stations on DAB alone, with more available in different digital media to come. This is a world where almost anyone who can find an audience can run a station.

At the same time, changing media channels means it will soon be impossible for a national body to regulate people’s watching habits in any meaningful sense.

If I wanted to start “Socialist Workers Party Radio” once I had the production facilities and the marketing budget, all I am really waiting for is a way of reaching listeners that compares to traditional FM radio.  If Wi-Fi radio were to take off in any meaningful fashion, you’d be ready to go. All you’d be hoping for is that your audience would not be pitiful – and that’s your problem, not the government’s.

At the same time, if Rupert Murdoch wished to take Sky News down the route of Fox news (which is wildly profitable in a very competitive market), then I find it hard to argue that he should face restraints that don’t apply in either the print or internet media markets.

4) Will Straw exposes Ken Clarke’s attempt to rewrite history:

On Channel 4 News last night, Ken Clarke categorically denied that he had ever called for a VAT cut. But Left Foot Forward can this morning reveal that in the autumn of 2008, Clarke called repeatedly for a VAT cut before and after it was announced in the pre-Budget report by Alistair Darling.


On November 11, 2008, following an interview on BBC News, Clarke was quoted in his local paper, the Nottingham Evening Post, in an article titled “Clarke suggests VAT cut”:


Later that month in an interview to The Times, Clarke clearly calls for a VAT cut:

The Government should, he says, consider cutting VAT to 15 per cent in the Pre-Budget Report on Monday – an idea that is certainly not Tory party policy….

5) MacGuffin exposes another fake PC Gawn Maad story:

It was the lead story on the Mail website this morning:

Employer told not to post advert for ‘reliable’ workers because it discriminates against ‘unreliable’ applicants


It was on the front page of the Express and it also made the Star and Telegraph, although all four stories are suspiciously similar, with the same quotes in much the same order.

And as the first screenshot shows, the Mail story was gaining (unmoderated) comments by the hundred, almost all of them proclaiming it’s ‘political correctness gone mad’.

But is it? [I’ll give this one away, the answer is no]

Employer told not to post advert for ‘reliable’ workers because it discriminates against ‘unreliable’ applicants