Hello, good evening, welcome…

…to nothing much.

Or maybe that’s an unfair assessment of the EU. Anyway, welcome assorted people from fun low-budget holiday destinations, I’ll miss your officious officials stamping my passport. Should anybody be reading and capable of expressing themselves other than in English, feel free to welcome the new EU members in new EU official languages…

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Hello spies

and thanks for dropping in.

Please use your dark and secret tradecraft to implement all the modest proposals I (and my illustrious commenters) have laid out on this site. And try and “get rid” of that terrible bastard Negroponte, will you?


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This subject has been done to death, but I thought I’d add my bit…

I mostly feel sorry for Ron Atkinson. I’m sure he does have unfair prejudices about black people, and equally sure that he doesn’t hate black people.

It would be better if he weren’t prejudiced, but the number of 65-year-old non-Guardian-reading white males without similar prejudices is very low indeed, and he appears from his actions to be more positively disposed towards black people than his peer group. It’s not particularly fair to judge Mr Atkinson by the standards of today’s young people, who’ve grown up in a society where saying ‘nigger’ in any context is considered unacceptable unless you’re actually a fascist [1].

That said, his resignation was the only feasible course of action – simply because allowing him to get away with it would have emboldened younger fascists, who would have interpreted the word according to their generation’s meaning, not his.

Still sad though. I’m finding it hard to understand the people who don’t feel any pity for him, unless they’ve never met a kind, liberal, elderly person whose speech occasionally reflects a 1930s worldview…

[1] ‘Nigga’ is a very different word, and anyone who attempts to justify Mr Atkinson’s statements with reference to black people using it is missing the point by an impressive margin.

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A pretty big “if”

Mocking the National Review is a little like mocking a drunken, brain-damaged tramp, but without the guilt. Nonetheless, this quote on the EU constitution is ace:

If the choice is between the abolition of Britain and the abolition of Blair’s tenure then I think I’m going to have to hope for the latter.

Yup Jonah, this is certainly reasonable. However, it’s traditional to present this kind of argument with a premise that it might be possible to take seriously…

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Private militia

Why do law enforcement agencies waste police time and enormous amounts of taxpayer money on operations like this one?

Some degree of IP protection is necessary to ensure innovation – but given that enforcing IP regulations on already created property is of benefit to leading software firms and leading software firms alone [1], it ought to be their financial responsibility to track down infringers.

At least we can all sleep safe at night knowing that while we might get burgled, mugged and/or murdered, at least Bill Gates won’t lost that precious fiftieth billion dollars he was counting on…

[1] Indeed, it leaves everyone else worse off. The most economically efficient way of dealing with a zero-marginal-cost good is to make it freely available.

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