Wednesday, 20 May 2009

A few links & an explanation

Sorry about the lack of posts of late, unfortunately I have quite a bit of work to do away from this blog – and it will be the case for a couple of weeks.  In the meantime, I shall continue to post links.  Enjoy.

Enemies of Reason looks at the press' reaction to the ruling that British soldiers must be protected by European human rights laws.  'The Human Rights Act is here to save the day!'
Mongoose Chronicles reviews Sky1’s new hour-long series called UK Border Force, which observes the operations of the Border Agency. 
[T]hese shows are in danger of encouraging that perspective, (one might argue that the police shows are in similar danger, but that's another post), especially with continuous references to agents being "on the front lines", as if by merely presenting my passport with my brown, foreign hand I represent a potential threat to citizens of the UK.

(Notice too the words to which they've chosen to give prominence on the website graphic: enforcement, asylum seeker, counterfeit, illegal worker, work permit, student visa. Is this the only business of the Border Agency? And what is the association of work permits and student visas with 'counterfeit', 'illegal worker' or even 'asylum seeker', which in these parts might as well be called 'baby eater'? They all fall neatly under the same column, as if we're meant to think, without qualification, that foreign workers and students are threats to security.
Tabloid Watch looks at a biased poll reported in awful newspapers produced on behalf of a right-wing pressure group in think tank’s clothing.  'Deeply flawed poll from Migrationwatch is not questioned by the papers' *

[I]f you give someone £100 to buy a chair, you can't say for sure that he bought a chair with your money - even if he shows you the chair, and a receipt. All you can say for sure is that you made him £100 better off, and he has bought a new chair. [...]

If, like so many MPs, your MP has claimed the full amount - around £24,000 in the most recent year, then the point to note is that he or she has had £24,000 a year more to spend. Full stop. [...]

For example, some have said it was unfair that MPs such as David Cameron have escaped criticism for claiming the maximum allowance each year, because their claims were almost entirely made up of mortgage interest and utility bills. Whereas other MPs, possibly with similar necessary expenses, have made much smaller claims, yet faced criticism for the details.

David Cameron could be spending his allowance on underground swimming pools and platinum cycle helmets. All we know is that he has utility bills and mortgage interest to pay of more than £20,000 a year.
I'm sure nobody viewing this site needs reminding but ...

*The comments on the Tabloid Watch are worth a read too. After some further analysis of the figures, which proves them to be even more misleading, Five Chinese Crackers suggests that "they should rename themselves ForeignerWatch, since that's what they're really interested in."

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