Web 2.0: digital Maoism

Bloggers come in for a bit of French stick in a series of articles at Le Monde. Apparently:

Nous sommes victimes de “la résurgence d’une idée selon laquelle le collectif est le summum de la sagesse”.

and a lot worse besides.

The rubber pierogi circuit

Ken Livingstone has been wooing London’s Polish community ahead of the elections next year, according to the Guardian. I may not be a Polish citizen (though it might come in handy if UKIP ever take over), but I’d think about voting for a man who offered pierogi.

Candidates in Brighton (Pavilion), take note.

Military co-ordination

Interesting article in the Age, in which the former Australian PM Malcolm Fraser suggests that Canberra should never commit troops to a US-led mission unless (as happened with Britain in WWII) a senior Australian Minister can be resident in Washington DC and a member of the war cabinet.

Not a bad idea for us, either, seeing what’s happened in Iraq.

If it had been a fish it could have been battery

The most startling thing about this story – where a 12-year-old was arrested for chucking a sausage at an old gent in a restaurant – is this line from his mum:

“[Being arrested] had quite a bit of an effect on him. He couldn’t sleep. He takes sleeping tablets anyway – but they didn’t work.”

Now I don’t want to be all Daily Mail here, but SLEEPING TABLETS? At 12? He may have more problems than occasional rowdy behaviour around pork products.

Planningdisaster.com: bananas

The odd website planningdisaster.co.uk is campaigning against the new Planning Bill, and specifically the idea that NIMBYs won’t be able to stand in the way of developments like places for disabled servicemen’s families to stay in. OK, like wind farms, roads and airports.

The website is supported among others by Friends of the Earth, the National Trust, and an organisation called EnoughIsEnough that seems (from its campaign material) to be a sockpuppet for the Green Party. It’s a Google Maps mash-up that allows you to see where new developments covered by the Planning Bill might go, from nuclear power plants to wind farms.

So FotE, Greenpeace and others are all supporting a website that gets people riled about new wind farms and tidal barrages. Either this is counter-productive campaigning (from their point of view) or they are assuming that wind farms do not face opposition from NIMBYs, which I think most people know is not the case.