Friday, October 28, 2005

Burglar bashing

As much as it galls me to agree with a Tory I can't see too much wrong with this

Nature knows best!

This shouldn't really be a surprise. Why do something about your citizens' poverty, ill-education, and total lack of basic human rights when you can give them an enemy to hate?

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Tales of the underclass

'The police had to attend her last Ann Summers party'

Something PC Copperfield could have wrote.

This is such a bad idea. Religious schools = Northern Ireland-sized troubles. And to cap it all, it's a PFI deal! You would think the government would have learned by now....

I have dropped the Elect The Lords logo from this site as it now seems apparent that only an unelected body has the necessary long decision horizon and freedom from manifesto constraints required to protect us from stupid policies.

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Rosa Parks

Sometimes, you can move a whole nation by just sitting and staying where you are. RIP.

Monday, October 24, 2005

Graham Greene quote

A friend of mine sent me the below quote, suffixed with 'discuss' (I think he was trying to stimulate debate and thereby avoid work.) My response follows.

“You can't conceive, nor can I, the appalling strangeness of the mercy of God” - Graham Greene


Well, if there is an omnipotent creator God (which I do not believe, but let's pursue the thought experiment anyway), then it would be impssible for a mind limited in space & time (ie. mine, which is more limited than most anyway) to conceive of any of its characteristics. Just as a worm could not conceive of my mind, and I could not conceive of (say) the mind of a whale, there is no way I could grasp the mind of such a being. I assume the omnipotence of this being because I know Greene was a Catholic.

On the specific point of mercy, I fail to equate mercy with condemning people to eternity in hell and/or killing them indiscriminately and randomly (Aberfan, the Asian tsunami, earthquakes, etc.)

Is it is mercy, it's a strange one all right. And it is appalling. It is not, therefore, mercy, and this may just be a wordgame of a question.

I am thinking on the fly here. It shows, I am sure!

I picked up on the FreeCopts blog today - the Copts are an ancient group of North African Christians who are now a minority in the lands they occupy. The blog is well worth a read, and as far as I know is unique. I'll try to link to some more interesting blogs, particularly those written by people living in interesting places, in the coming weeks. Some starters:
Irene Adler
Inuit art blog
Uighur blog
The news in Bhutan

Friday, October 21, 2005

Say no to 0870

If you've ever wept with frustration at trying to get through a 'press 9 if you'd like to speak to a F*CKING HUMAN BEING' menu, no doubt you'll be very pleased that some enterprising souls are attempting to circumvent the situation. Especially as 0870 numbers are exorbitantly expensive. This site lists alternatives to 0870 numbers, allowing you to hopefully talk to a person, at local rates. Excellent idea that I am very happy to propagate (hat tip to Brian Barder).


Hello to everyone who has come via The Sharpener; my pageviews have rocketed since I submitted my rant, which I suppose proves that controversy attracts eyeballs. If you're new to the Lighthouse, have a look at the archives and try to work out if there is any discernable strand to my ramblings (I can't see one, I just write this stuff.)

It's Trafalgar Day! Rule Britannia! Britannia waives the rules! Ta-daaaaa!
Learn more here, and here. I'd have a pint of Bombardier at lunch to celebrate if I didn't have sodding meetings all day.

Which 80s band are you? What a daft result. I wanted Joy Division.
'You have a lot going for you, but most people will
only remember you for one thing, and a lot of
them will try to copy it. They'll all suck at
it, though. Besides, you've got better stuff.'

What band from the 80s are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Tin hat time

My rant is up at the Sharpener. Tin hats on, over the top and all that.

Dear Lord, I am agreeing with a Torygraph article, which came from this article. By way of balance, the news from Havana and Thimpu!

The ID cards bill survived its first reading. Look at him! Look at his fat grinning face! It is a dark day indeed when we will have to rely on the Lords to protect us from the government. ChickYog on the matter here.

Animal (it is an animal, just) of the day: the zombie snot flowers of Sweden!

Links have been updated below to include Misty, the Sharpener, and a few other random places I like. Blogging-lite for a day or two as work is getting horribly complicated at the moment.

I blog on my personal life extraordinarily rarely, but, LBF, if you're reading this, I'm still sorry and I love you x

Wednesday, October 19, 2005


Go here to read CY's (entirely correct) view on the Potters Bar enquiry, and then here to see there are clear historical parallels here with the Aberfan Disaster. In 1966 the NCB buried 144 people alive in a school, including 116 children under the age of ten, due to entirely negligent dumping of cola waste on the hill above the school. They told barefaced government-backed lies at the tribunal, and, although found entirely culpable through the vociferous prosecution of the mighty Desmond Ackner, to this day no-one has ever been censured, fined, or even demoted for the manslaughter of innocents. The man at the top - NCB head, Alf Robens, was made a Lord. I had hoped times had changed and the victims of corporate manslaughter would never again been treated so callously. Evidently not. Hell, the bloke in charge of Jarviscould find himself in the Lords in a few years time, that b*stard Robens did.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005


Blogging-lite at the moment as I have been asked by Jarndyce to submit a rant to The Sharpener. I have decide to stick my head above the parapet on a subject that will no doubt prove incendiary, and I am already expecting to get called a racist. A fuller version of the post will appear here.

News in brief:

The threat of terrorism is everywhere - stop that lady, she's walking! Who says the anti-terrorism powers are being misused by our noble guardians?

Yet more fuel to the anti-ID card fire....

“I lied, you know I lied, and there isn’t the first thing you f*ckers can do about it. So screw you all. Ha! If that b*stard Blunkett can do it and stay in the cabinet I can certainly do it from the back bleedin’ benches. So, in a nutshell, stick it up your bum."

Friday, October 14, 2005


I describe myself above as a recovering socialist, and I was asked last night in the pub what this meant. Let me explain.

I have come to believe over time that things are more compex than they seem. I see political issues as a set of problems. Like, should we join the Euro? Is the NHS getting better, and if not, how do we make it better? How do we appoint good judges? These are all problems.

When one attempts to solve a problen, one uses tools, be they physical (problem = flat tyre, solution = jack + wrench + spare wheel) or mental (problem = broken computer, solution = previous experience with computers + deduction). One's mental tools - ideas, axioms, experience, hypotheses, observations - are often synonymous with one's ideology. Left wingers have very very different mental tools to right wingers. A social worker will reach a very different conclusion about Policy X than a banker will. When Charles Kennedy considers the Euro, he applies his positive view of the EU and his experience the advantages of integration. Gordon Brown, an economist at heart, applies very different tools to this problem.

The problem is, is that political problems are all very diffent. Health is a very, very different problem to European integration. And I have come to realise that one ideology - one set of mental tools - cannot solve all problems. I have realised that socialism alone is not sufficient to answer all the questions. My core belief - my core policy - remains full employment. I will not brook any policy that causes unemployment (the source of my current Euroscepticism), because I have seen the catastrophic effects it has on health, crime, housing, and many more things, from the level of the individual to the level of a nation as a whole. But apart from that, I am open-minded enought to see that no one ideology provides all the answers. Melanie Phillips is a good example of someone else who has seen this.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Curing the curable

This is an excellent idea. Although the likes of bilharzia lack the 'glamour' and crucially the Western prevalence to be of interest to researchers, they cause massive damage in Africa and as the article points out, only a few pieces of the puzzle are missing. When a subsistence framer is blinded, he can't work; he can't feed himself or his family, creating a burden on them, his community and ultimately his country. This sort of thing is an example of the sort of simple practical solution that will help the Third World help itself.

Gav's gob

Good old Gav appears to have been sticking it, at least belatedly, to Baldy Woodward and that b*stard Campbell here. Why didn't someone hit Campbell? Why? Why?!?

In other news, I was at the John Peel Memorial Gig last night. I am to going to attempt a gig review (LargeTrousers's old blog on 20six is the place for that), but:
Super Furries: bizarre but good
The Fall: old but good (but the bored-looking female keyboard player was younger than me)
Laura Cantrell: beautiful voice, a real find
Venetian Squares: industrial percussion DJ, live mixing: well, it wouldn't be John Peel with out the token obligatory unlistenable 'I think I might have played that backwards' act
New Order: joyfully, they focussed on the Joy Division back catalogue: Transmission, Atmosphere and the mighty Love Will Tear Us Apart. Wonderful wonderful wonderful!

PC Copperfield is apparently considering giving up blogging; if he's being leaned on by his employers that's a shame because his writing is excellent and I for one have learnt a lot about the force. A great blog, all about well-written content.

I have recently had quite a few old schoolmates trying to contact me via Friends Reunited. Of course, I can only reply if I sign up for the paying service (great business model, natch), but I am in two minds about it anyway. Has anyone tried this, and had a positivce/negative outcome? How much in common will I have with all those people now? And will Pricey still be able to p*ss higher than his head?

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Welcome back...

.... to the Lighthouse, which has been closed up these last few days as I sunned myself in glorious mediaeval Carcassonne in south west France. I found time to enjoy the local wine, meet the locals (lovely friendly sorts, even when faced with my mangled French) and also visit Toulouse to see the Ayatollah in action against Biarritz. All great fun. Sorry to be back, really.

More later when the in-tray has become slightly less vertiginous.

Monday, October 03, 2005

Top tippery

Yay, I'm in b3ta!. Great tip, that.
See you all next week
The Moai