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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"Whenever you hear right-wingers invoke ‘the free market’, remember that this is Conservatese for ‘my fairy godmother’" – The Editors

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Tinfoil update

According to the libertoonians, Ken Livingstone made his antisemitic [*] remarks and kept the controversy in the public eye for weeks in order to help win the Olympics for London.

You see, the IOC is made up of people who mostly aren’t Israeli or American, and who therefore definitionally approve of antisemitism in all forms.

[*] No, of course they’re not fucking antisemitic remarks, as repeatedly discussed. However, they’re made by someone who isn’t Israeli or American, which makes them inherently antisemitic in the context of libertoonian discourse.

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Stephen Green of ignorant bigots Christian Voice has more than earned his position on the SBBS assassination list. Not content with harassing cancer carers, he’s now turned his attention to local theatres…

After his performance on the Today programme (available in RealAudio here), in which he compared himself to John the Baptist, I’m willing to double the standard bounty for anyone who presents me with Mr Green’s severed head on a platter.

Relatedly, check out Media Watch Watch for updates on the lunacy of Mr Green and his ilk.

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The Economist has rather a good point, as is frequently the case: "In 1990 there were 2,290 murders in [New York City]; last year there were 566. Thus even if a September 11th were to occur every other year, the city would by one measure be quite a lot safer than it would be with crime at its 1990 level and no terrorism."

(via Dan Drezner)

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It’s time to lobby for a law against reporting non-polls as polls. A phone poll or an online poll has no statistical validity, and it’s completely dodgy of newspapers or politicians to treat them as if they were real opinion surveys.

Obviously, I plan to use the survey below as a basis for my law-changing campaign:

Should there be a law against taking online polls seriously?
Oooh, you’re such a master of irony.

Free polls from

Side note: I read the headline to this article and wondered why anyone would want to read Pete Shelley’s private letters. “Today I fell in love with someone I shouldn’t have fallen in love with”, etc…

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Even a lying, cheating, crooked clock…

Johann Hari was always the best of the Harry’s Place lot. In contrast to the Sensible Left’s hysteria, Mr Hari has an extremely strong, well-reasoned article on his own blog about antisemitism.

Let’s be clear. There is no sensible paradigm under which you can accuse Trevor Beattie, the Labour party or Ken Livingstone of antisemitism, and the people who nonetheless make such accusations are cynically exploiting Jewish history to win political points. Similarly, when ignorant American bigots suggest that all Jews should get out of the UK right now because life here is too dangerous, they display a combined degree of arrogance and ignorance that’s unprecedented outside of the rightwing punditocracy.

However, it’s important not to lose sight of real examples among all the nonsensical wolf-crying bullshit. Across the world (including the US), there has been a small-but-actual rise in negative attitudes to Jews and physical attacks on Jews. This is a very, very bad thing, and should not be trivialised, played down, or swept under the carpet.

Read the Hari article. Question your own attitudes. And try not to let your understandably visceral reaction against bastards like Rod Liddle and the Conservative Party colour your approach to reports of resurgent antisemitism.

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