Jan 192013

I’ve just finished watching the 3 Swedish-made movies in the Stieg Larsson “Millenium Trilogy“: The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo The Girl Who Played with Fire The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest I was gripped by the character of Lisbeth Salander, and not only because of the mesmerising acting by Noomi Rapace. I couldn’t help wondering what her Myers-Briggs Type Indicator would be. And I suspect INTP. Others think INTJ. But INTJs “tend to plan their activities and make decisions early; they derive a sense of control through predictability”. Yet I think she “tends to withhold judgment and delay . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 142012

It wasn’t until I read the following editorial in the Independent that I thought much about the PCC election tomorrow: Editorial: Police commissioners are worth voting for Here are my options for the Greater Manchester police force area. Should the candidate be independent of any political party? If so, why? One candidate thinks so: Roy Warren, Independent But the argument for a PCC who is independent of a political party is not made by this candidate. He clearly believes it, but didn’t explain what’s in it for me. Perhaps he is right, but if so the only way to find . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Sep 022012

From yesterday it is a criminal offense to squat in a residential property, hence my house. Good, and about time! This is a complicated matter, and there are claims from lawyers and people representing squatters that the change to the law is unnecessary because there were already remedies. I said why this was false in my post of nearly a year ago The law on squatting in my house in England. That post also linked to the response I sent to the Government’s 2011 “Squatting Consultation”. Here are comments from 3 points of view: real home owners; empty house owners; . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 282012

In order to demonstrate how little I understand national and international economical affairs, here is my view of a multi-stage approach to solving Greece’s problems in the Eurozone! Rather than lead up to it with waffle, here is the summary: 1. Help Greece exit from the Eurozone under control, but stay in the EU. 2. Implement something like a Marshall Plan to help Greece become more viable. 3. Allow Greece back in to the Eurozone when it has properly met the criteria. It is pretty obvious that one of the most serious problems for Greece at the moment is that . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Aug 032012

There is a lot of publicity about the Muslim women who are competing for the last remaining countries to have women in their teams. Much of the publicity is positive, of course. But there are also views that those countries are behaving unacceptably by making it so hard for those women, and it would have been better to ban the countries, or at least not accept the restrictions imposed on those women. The bravest women at the Games: Muslim athletes who battled to get to London – and for whom the taking part really does mean more than the winning . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 312012

Two UK TV programmes this week have presented problems with the new approach to sickness and disability benefits. (Channel 4 “Britain on the Sick” and BBC2 “Panorama: Disabled or Faking it?”) Both programmes used anecdotes and under-cover investigation to make their points that there are flaws with the new system. And there do appear to be flaws. But are these flaws of philosophy/policy or flaws of implementation? I think they are primarily flaws of motivation and implementation, not of philosophy. First, some statistics presented as criticism by Channel 4 about the assessments performed by Atos, the private-sector contractor used for . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 282012

(I’m not interested in sport, but I found the non-commentary version of the Olympics 2012 Opening Ceremony fascinating). Any event that has Nimrod, Jerusalem, Tubular Bells, the Industrial Revolution, Sir Tim Berners-Lee, James Bond, Simon Rattle, Rowan Atkinson, Shami Chakrabarti, and the Red Arrows, has my vote! (I quite like “Abide with me”, but perhaps “Band on the run” would have been more appropriate than “Hey Jude”?) You can’t have everything, but perhaps James Dyson and Adele would have made things better. (And if Adele had given birth a few weeks early, at least there would have been plenty of . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Jul 242012

I’m puzzled about this proposal (which I’ve also seen before): Financial watchdog criticises free banking End of free banking? Free current accounts ‘should go’ so High Street banks stop mis-selling, warns top financial watchdog There appear to be 2 arguments, neither of which makes sense: 1. It will reduce mis-selling, apparently because banks will have less need to mis-sell if they have an extra source of revenue. Really?  So banks will be satisfied with this extra money, and decide “enough is enough”? Does anyone believe that? 2. It will make it easier for new banks to enter the market and . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]

Nov 072011
Is "Islamophobia" a rational concept? Is it "the new racism"?

A blog in The Independent (Why we have to get over our fear of Islamophobia) provides an opportunity to say some things about Islamophobia. The quotes are from the blog; I’ll just respond to just a few extracts: “Islam” or “Muslims”? ‘Islamophobia is the new racism’ is now a seeming truism, or so Baroness Warsi and many others would have us believe. She claims that Islamophobia has ‘passed the dinner table test’ and that anti-Muslim prejudice is now normal and uncontroversial in respectable society. Warsi’s views are echoed by many British Muslims, who claim to experience such prejudice daily. It . . . . . . . . . . [Read complete post]