the thought gang

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That Cameron PR stunt thing..

There’s been a twitstorm.

In summary, DCam did a photo-op to show how brilliant ‘help to buy’ is, and a blogger thought it smelled a bit fishy, did a bit of digging through social media, and showed that the whole thing was a bit of a sham as the poor single mother that DCam was parading about with was a married high powered BMW-toting ‘we-are-the-1%’ company director. HA! GOT YOU, DAVE!

Except that nobody was fact-checking the fact-checker.. and it was a load of rubbish. The woman in the article, having already had to put up with David Fucking Cameron coming to her house, then had to deal with a mob abusing her on twitter, her personal details and relationship history going viral, and being called a liar.

It was a bad piece of detective work by the blogger, and even though this has been pointed out by lots of people, and even though some of those who were spreading the muck have issued the due mea culpa’s, the original blogger (who enjoys the anonymity that the target of his piece does not) has not backed down or apologised. The owner/admin of the site isn’t much interested in correcting matters either:


I’ve been in the comments at the original piece, and those of us trying to get some admission of error are just being accused of sock puppetry, and the ‘owner’ is trying to say that the piece was never about the homebuyer anyway, it was about Cameron and ‘help to buy’. I’m not sure why a piece about the Prime Minister and a flagship government policy needs details of when a single mother from Southampton last tweeted about decorating.

It did not take a lot of brain engagement to realise that the blog might not have hit the mark. A huge assumption was made based on the job title of the woman, and anyone who understands how job titles work these days (or, even, read the linkedin profile that the blogger published, which clearly listed her duties, which were clearly not the duties of a ‘director’ in the traditional sense) would have known that she’s probably not the fat-cat that the blogger assumed. From that false foundation, the blogger just went looking for dirt and, crucially, never bothered to ask the woman for comment. Whilst I don’t have any evidence for it, it’s hard not to assume that the blogger would be aghast if the Murdoch media were so cavalier. I wonder how many of the people who retweeted the article actually read it? How many of those engaged any scepticism when doing so?

The blogger probably thinks that he is ‘better’ than those nasty right-wingers who knowingly spread lies and half-truths about single mothers in order to fit their agenda, and who never seem to admit their mistakes, or give due prominence to their corrections. He’s exactly the same.


It’s always nice…

.. when someone else articulates something, so you don’t have to…

The slaughter of tens of thousands for the gains of a few feet of no man’s land was not worth the sacrifice. It was an appalling waste of life and should be remembered as such.

On reasons..

I’ve got a fair handle on what I’ve thought about ‘things’ throughout my life, but not, so much, on why. I remember being a Tory voter in 1997, the first election I was eligible to vote in. I was one of few, as Tony Blair swept New Labour into power. Nobody I knew as a friend at the time, nor anyone I’ve met and called a friend since, voted the same way. I wasn’t politically ‘engaged’ in those days – I just didn’t like Tony Blair. I think that the people I argued with at the time would, at least, now concede that point.

When the next general election came in 2001 I still wasn’t particularly interested. I still didn’t like Tony Blair, but I didn’t like any of the Tories either. I liked Paddy Ashdown and I voted Lib Dem. In 2005 we were in the post-Iraq protest mode, and I had started paying attention. Not a lot, however. I voted ‘Respect’.

By the last election, I’d definitely gotten engaged enough to know that I didn’t like any of them. I was a card-carrying member of the Green Party (don’t ask) but voted Lib Dem in the hope that a big enough popular vote for them would hasten electoral reform because, you see, the only thing that all my votes have had in common is that none of them mattered in the slightest.

And so now I sit here, holding on to my mid-30’s for dear life, realising that I don’t know what I believe or believe in.. except for an absolute certainty that it’s not the same as those who rule me.

So I shall try, for my own indulgence, to articulate what I think about things. Or, maybe, note down where other people have thought for me and written it in ways I cannot. Perhaps, then, in 15 years time I will have some idea of how I got to wherever I will be.