But I *like* random strangers knowing my marital status

There are lots of angry reactions to Lucy Mangan’s Guardian article about how she prefers to be called Miss rather than Ms.

Certain conservatives took this the wrong way – they should read this article and then sod off. The real point, and one of which I highly approve, is one of some women choosing to use ‘Miss’ in the way men use ‘Mr’, unaffected by marital status. Since ‘Ms’ is quite an ugly term, this is no bad thing – although I’m going to continue referring to all women as ‘Ms’ on the (thankfully few) occasions when I have to use titles until this reclamation becomes more widespread.

Ms Mangan has another good article this week based around the Oxbridge elitism fuss – making the very obvious point that Oxbridge doesn’t discriminate against students from poor backgrounds, but that more or less the entire pre-university education system does.

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Worth knowing

According to the Canadian skilled worker immigration test, I’m more than qualified to gain a Canadian work visa as a skilled migrant (and I don’t even need to pretend my MA is a proper master’s degree…). I knew that all that time spent learning fluent French vaudrait la peine.

This is a relief, should things continue to go horribly wrong in the UK. Why can’t all civilised countries have Canadian-style immigration procedures?

(link via Greenlander)

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There were claims in the wake of Hunter S Thompson’s death that he hadn’t done anything worthwhile in 25 years. Since he, more than anyone, had the measure of the current political climate, this would seem unfair.

Top quote: "we are turning into a nation of whimpering slaves to fear — fear of war, fear of poverty, fear of random terrorism, fear of getting down-sized or fired because of the plunging economy, fear of getting evicted for bad debts, or suddenly getting locked up in a military detention camp on vague charges of being a Terrorist Sympathizer".

(incidentally, I’m holding a very small-scale tribute to HST in London tonight – gmail me for details if you want to come along).

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Nine people required

Mark Steyn is only nine points away from topping Harry Hutton’s Canadian asshole poll. He’s ahead of Lord Black, and only has Celine Dion to beat. While Ms Dion’s music is objectionable, she simply doesn’t have Mr Steyn’s assholishness about her.

So go and vote. If you’ve already voted, you can vote again as long as it’s more than a day since last time (this system should also be applied to elections). Oh, and boo! to the 34 miserable bastards who voted for Avril Lavigne. Sure, her music is derivative Busted-esque trash-fake-punk-pop, but she is really cute. Unlike either Dion or Steyn…

Unrelatedly, via Edward Staines‘s comment at the better-than-having-your-testicles-sandpapered-by-Avril-Lavigne Hungbunny, the best joke I’ve heard in ages: An Englishman, Irishman and Scotsman walked into a bar and beat the shit out of Kilroy.

Update 25/2/04: Mark Steyn is now, officially (and with great statistical validity), Canada’s biggest asshole. Hurrah!

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Not Backing Blair

Michael Howard is absolutely right on asylum: it would have been better if we’d refused to let his ancestors into the country and then they’d died in the Holocaust. Loathsome bastard.

Ignore Backing Blair, fab though Tim Ireland is: the Tories really could win this. Then they’d give all our money to the rich and senile (why the fuck should a well-off old person with a quarter-million-pound house that they bought for a fiver escape paying their share?), lock us all up, and do even more racist shit-stirring than the current lot.

Obviously, if a Liberal has a chance of winning your seat, you should vote for them. But don’t make the mistake of assuming the centre-right and the extreme-right parties are the same. The American left did that in 2000, and that really didn’t work out too well.

Update: Ryan has quite a nice quote on the same topic: "anyone who votes Tory because Tim Ireland tells them to deserves their own personal Tory government, governing them alone".

Updated update: Stumbling & Mumbling rips apart the daft Tory pensioner plans.

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