David Noble's Blog

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Cherie Scrapes the Barrell by Signing Hutton Report for Auction

I'm a little late to this story, but I have to say that I'm absolutely astounded but, on reflection, perhpas it isn't that surprising. To precis, Cherie and the icky Alistair Campbell have auctioned off signed copies of the Hutton report. The woman has NO SHAME.

Cherie Scrapes the Barrell by Signing Hutton Report for Auction

[via Iain Dale's Diary]

Monday, May 22, 2006

More tests needed for ID card technology

It's not often i blog UCL news, because frankly it's usually pretty insular, but this one is an interesting opinion, and always worth paying attention to.

More tests needed for ID card technology

The government’s development of ID card technology has been hallmarked by a disregard for testing, usability and clarity regarding remit and capabilities, according to Angela Sasse, Professor of Human-Centred Technology (UCL Computer Science).

[via UCL News]

Left to the market alone, train travel will become the preserve of the rich

Buying train tickets is one of those things that's got more complicated since the internet rather than simpler. And the prices are generally ridiculous, to the point where it's cheaper to fly to Scotland than take the train, with all the additional environmental impacts that has.

Transport is one of those issues that Labour has completely failed to grasp, or even tackle, except by kow-towing to the transport lobby. If Tone wants a legacy, there's something he could really get his teeth into.

Jenni Russell: Left to the market alone, train travel will become the preserve of the rich

Jenni Russell: A baffling price structure, overcrowded carriages, soaring public subsidy - all good reasons to renationalise the railways.

London's heart of stone

It's one of those funny things, the London Stone. I've seen it once, was fascinated by it and the history, rumours and superstions attached to it, and then almost immediately forgot about it again. Every now and again it pops into my consciousness and gets me thinking about why i get a little nervy when i hear stories about it being moved or nearly getting lost. I don't know why, i'm not a superstitious person on the whole, but I really don't know if I'd want the stone moved. I suppose if they do move it, it should only be temporary while the new buildings are built, then put back in time for 2012.

London's heart of stone

[via BBC News | England | London | UK Edition]

Friday, May 19, 2006

Bye Elections

Democracy in action in Chichester as Labour trail in 5th, behind the BNP and UKIP with a might 14 votes. Not 14%, but 14 individual votes. On the plus side, at least there'll be no accusations of electoral fraud...

Bye Elections

West Lindsey DC, Lea - Liberal Democrat gain from Independent
LD 621 (61.4; +27.3), Con 391 (38.6; +19.8), [Ind (0.0; -47.1). Majority 230. Turnout 57.4%. Last fought 2003.
Chichester DC, Tangmere - Conservative gain from Lib Dems
Con 278 (44.1; +2.9), LD 275 (43.7; -8.4), BNP 41 (6.5;+6.5), UKIP 22 (3.5; +3.5), Lab 14 (2.2; -4.5).
Majority 3. Turnout 36%. Last fought 2003.
South Kesteven DC, Truesdale - Conservative gain from Ind
Con 416 (42.2; +42.2), LD 232 (23.6; +23.6), Ind 1 171 (17.4; -82.6), Ind 2 166 (16.9; +16.9). Majority 184. Turnout 27.7%. Last fought 2003.
Wyre DC, Park - Con gain from Labour
Con 560 (55.1; +27.2), Lab 456 (44.9; -27.2). Majority 104. Turnout 32.0%. Last fought 2003.
East Ayrshire UA, Alton Hill, Hillhead and Long Park - SNP hold
SNP 715 (59.0; +4.4), Lab 296 (24.4; -6.8), Con 178 (14.7; +6.1), SSP 23 (1.9; -3.6). Majority 419. Turnout 42.2%. Last fought 2003.
Hambleton DC, Thirsk - Conservative hold
Con 700 (61.0; +34.2), LD 286 (24.9; +5.8), Lab 161 (14.0; -10.9), [Ind (0.0; -29.1)]. Majority 414. Turnout 25.5%.. Last fought 2003

Saturday, May 13, 2006

Best FA cup final ever? Quite probably. Were it not for Istanbul almost exactly a year ago, I'd say probably the best cup final i've ever seen.

Steven Gerrard is clearly some sort of god

Friday, May 05, 2006

Clarke axed in Cabinet reshuffle

Thank god. The only problem is the even more rubbish Reid has replaced him. Surprised Kelly stayed, and very surprised that Straw has taken the bullet for Blair's foreign policy cock-ups.

EDIT: I was premature, Kelly has gone, replaced by Alan Johnston. Prescott loses his department, which goes to Ruth Kelly. Margaret Beckett becomes the first female Foreign Sectretary, which will be very interesting, especially with Ms Rice.

Clarke axed in Cabinet reshuffle

Charles Clarke has been axed as home secretary as Tony Blair seeks to regain momentum after local election losses.

Blair - I blame John

Clearly, it can't be anything to do with El Presidente.

Prescott to lose job in reshuffle

Blair reshuffles cabinet in wake of local election losses.

Schools should set bedtimes, parents say

I wonder how many of these parents also complain about the Nanny State trying to control everything they do.

Schools should set bedtimes, parents say

Parents increasingly want schools to set bedtimes for children and many feel their children are watching inappropriate shows before bed, a new survey shows.

63-year-old to become Britain's oldest mother

So, when the child is going through the trauma of being a teenager, first loves, sex, self-concious image, maybe questions about sexuality, its mother will be in her mid-to-late 70s, assuming she's still alive. When the child is stressing through A levels, its mum will be 79. When the child graduates, she'll be 85.

I'm glad that Patricia Rashbrook isahppy to be pregnant, but it's a shame her selfishness is most likely going to put her newest child through unneccesary emotional pain for totally selfish reasons. It's not like this would have been her only child. This just smacks to me of a selfish woman (well couple) who can't re-adjust to not being so needed by her children anymore, and has decided to have another to self-validate. I pity the child.

63-year-old to become Britain's oldest mother

Society: Child psychiatrist set to become Britain's oldest mother says she is very happy to be pregnant.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Star Wars/LotR mashup - see Gandalf/Yoda disco-fight!

Star Wars/LotR mashup - see Gandalf/Yoda disco-fight!

Brilliant,  simply brilliant. When geeks sit down and create, the world should stop and take notice!


Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Boy, 16, executes father's killer

That is terribly sad.

Boy, 16, executes father's killer

A teenage Somali boy stabs and kills the man convicted of murdering his father, in a public Sharia law execution.

Monday, May 01, 2006

The British: Just Like Us, But Better

This is, obviously, from an American blog! Just wait till news of more Prescott infidelities break!

The British: Just Like Us, But Better

Striking similarities exist between the U.S. and British governments. Consider the following ways in which the Brits are just like us:

  • they view their current government as “sleazy and incompetent”;

  • due in part to an unpopular war, their leader’s approval rating is languishing in the low 30’s, an all-time low; and

  • various administration officials are now the subject of repeated and vociferous resignation calls.

In addition, Tony Blair, just like President Bush, has a hard-drinking kid who sometimes gets a little out of control.

So why are the British better than we are? Well, they currently have a sex scandal going on in the administration:

[Deputy Prime Minister John] Prescott’s former secretary, Tracey Temple, 43, has accused Prescott of having an affair with her, which included liaisons in his office and in a hotel room just before they joined Prescott’s wife, Pauline, for dinner downstairs….

[Temple also] alleged that she and Prescott often had sexual relations behind the desk in his office, with the door left open. She said one sexual encounter at his taxpayer-funded apartment took place immediately after the two had attended an Iraq war memorial service at St. Paul’s Cathedral.

We can’t let our former colonial masters get the better of us like this. Please, someone tell us about a Bush Administration sex scandal that’s just waiting to be exposed! We’ve blogged extensively about those congressional hookers; but that didn’t come as a surprise, given how Members enjoy living the high life. Right now we’d like to learn about lust within a famously disciplined executive branch.

(Random observation: Gale Norton sure left office quickly, and with surprisingly little commentary or media attention devoted to her departure. What’s up with that?)

Sex Scandal, Low Ratings Are Latest Setbacks to Blair Government [WP]
Report: Blair’s Son Gets Rowdy in D.C. Bar [WT/UPI]

Earlier: Hooker/Cunningham/WatergateGate: Who Didn’t Get Hookers?
Boring Ol’ Congressional Corruption Case NOW WITH HOOKERS

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Related: A Few Good Men -- and Their Tattoos, Too

[via Wonkette]

Is union man back?

There's an interesting piece in the New Statesman about the potential re-growth in importance of the Trades Unions. Clearly depending on your politics will determine whether this is a good thing or not, but as far as I'm concerned, it has to be, if only to stop Labbour's continuing drift to the right. However, for me the big problem for the unions is their inept management an infighting. The continuing trend for mergers threatens to undermine the whole movement by homogenising the membership.

Is union man back?

As public sector workers get restive and rich donors back off, the Labour Party is being forced to reassess the importance of the trade unions. The balance of power is starting to shift, reports Martin Bright

Clamping the clampers!!

Ahhh, there are stories that you just want to read on a bank holiday Monday morning, and sticking it to 'the man' are always near the top of the list!

Clamping the clampers!!