stop press! cameron grasps age-old concept of elections

"If we don't deliver our side of the bargain, vote us out in five years' time."

Thus is good old Dave attempting to win the trust and votes of a swathe of householders being targeted by the Tory Party in a last ditch rush to secure the comfy chairs in No. 10. Such is his utter faith in his ability to get real and grasp the fundamentals of what the populace really want, he has persuaded himself that his "contract" with the electorate, i.e. that they can vote the Tories out in five years if they don't get things right, is nothing short of groundbreaking. Actually it's nothing short of the bleedin' obvious.

Photo credit: Christian Guthier
CC Att.
They probably don't teach this sort of thing where he went to school, but here's the thing. That's the whole point of elections. To vote out the fools who've made a mess of things, to make way for a (hopefully) better shower of blighters. You don't get in and stay in by some kind of droit de seigneur.

It's that entitlement thing coming out, isn't it. That whole thing about the Conservatives being the only ones who know how to run a country (perhaps whilst leaning over a crenellation, declaiming to the peasants). Old Dave may not yet realise this yet, but privileged backgrounds do not a natural leader make, and if he thinks he's offering those householders something brand new and squeaky clean, he's either completely solid between the ears or he thinks they are.

Those of us who grew up the normal way, i.e. without using cutlery polished to a high shine by the butler, know what a democracy is supposed to be about, how it works, and how you get rid of the people who are making a complete pig's ear of running the country. That is, of course, unless the party you're trying to drag out of the front door is shored up by big business, millionaires, the banks, the aristocracy, and anyone else in whose interests it is to keep their collective feet on the necks of the lowest paid and least privileged, and to keep their own purses fat. Look how long it took to shift Thatcher.

Look at the legacy she left - and it will be more of the same but with different labels if old Dave gets the keys. Shudder.

BNP smears Marmite - shock horror probe

Marmite 500gThe party of hate has had its collective chin well and truly smacked. The BNP having commandeered Marmite, the love-or-hate-it yeast spread beloved of and reviled by swathes of Brits, and slapped it on their election videos as a sort of pathetic attempt at humour (don't give up the day jobs, guys), Marmite has got up on its hind legs and has said categorically that it is not aligned to any political party and the BNP should take it off their campaigning materials forthwith. Immediately even. If not sooner. And how dare they.

Not only that but Unilever are considering taking out an injunction against Griffin and his little racists.

I'd like to say Griffin's little mob is toast because a joke is there somewhere .. smear?  something to do with smearing Marmite's good name? oh never mind. But yes, if Unilever could see their way clear to slapping on costs for defamation or character assassination by association or loss of business because of negative publicity that would be fine by me.

let them eat quails' eggs and caviar

(Brilliant) Image credit: Mongo

There will have come a time in David Cameron's day today when he wished he'd stayed home to quell the serfs. Limping away from the podium at the first ever national televised political debate between the LibDem, Labour and Tory party leaders, the only  possible comforting solace for him, deriving from his  warm, cosy memories of Eton, might have lain in his having been soundly thrashed.

Eager to present himself as a man fit for Number 10, his accounts of meeting this person, and that person, and yet another person trying to get away before being used as a convenient soundbyte, seemed as though delivered by a freshly-moisturised-baby's-bum-faced boy sent to the headmaster's study eager to secure a prefect's badge and snitch on Carruthers Minor.

He reminded us eight times of his children in case anyone doubted his ability to do anything vaguely similar to the average human being in Britain, and spoke with breathless surprise of having met a black man in Portsmouth.  This man, he reported with astonishment - "even he" (Cameron's italics) thought the immigration situation in Britain was out of control.  You can see why Cameron would have been so agog, having been raised in the rarefied atmosphere of the aristocracy and finding himself talking  face to face  with a man who surely must have been an immigrant, what with having black skin and all and yet pronouncing on Britain's border controls. Imagine.

All was not lost however, despite what you might think. Having been trounced by the other blighters on stage, he was bolstered by the ministrations and support of the blue rinsed, the chinless and the squeakily and cleanly scrubbed acolytes who received him into their collective bosom. Valiantly they tweeted to a yawning void how well he did, how he won, how he came first in the debate. Later they retired to read of unicorns and a flat earth and a moon made of cheese.

Ding ding. Round two .... 

get your grubby mitts off my article

Gif from Free Clip Art

Plagiarism is theft. Those of us who write our own articles, research them carefully, spend time getting them just so, making sure they're accurate, with references given and sources cited, do not take kindly to finding chunks of our articles - or  complete articles - sitting on someone else's website under someone else's name.

It happens a lot of course, and there are many good ways of finding those sites where one's articles are pinned up without permission, and often all you need do is point out  the copyright violation and it's down within the day. Sometimes people really don't know what they can and can't do and will put things right lickity-split, and it's usually the case that your name is also there so they're not actually claiming ownership.

The problem arises when they're getting affiliate advertising income from your article, and thereby reducing the income that you should be getting. Not to mention that taking the whole thing is rather sticking their tongue out at your notice saying that republication online or in print requires written permission.

The most recent find was a cobbling together of someone's bits of information together with large verbatim chunks from one of my articles. After leaving a couple of comments over a couple of days, each one disappearing from view the next day, and my resorting to pointing out that Wordpress, their blog host, takes a very dim view of copyright  theft, it transpires that the "writer" was this guy's "employee". Looks like the threat of a DMCA letter made the point where a polite comment didn't, but I always try to give them the benefit of the doubt first.

Hopefully the "employee" (ahem) will be treading a little more carefully in future. Meanwhile I continue to keep an eye on my online work and protect my affiliate income.

There are some decent plagiarism checkers out there - the main one being Copyscape. There's also Article Checker, Google Alerts, Plagiarism Checker, and Plagiarism Detect. Many more of course but a regular check with two or three of these will keep the bloodhounds sniffing out the less scrupulous websites out there and rescuing your stolen articles.

Oh and I found the perfect dawg toon .. thank you
Jeff Bucchino, "The Wizard of Draws"!!

tories dance to whatever tune is played

David Cameron under CC licence
You could be forgiven for thinking that David Cameron has discovered a new seam of inspiration and social conscience since he first began shouting at the country to vote for him and trashing everyone else. After an initial burst on the economy and a desire to rein in the deficit, he has now started going on about people government. He quotes Kennedy. He echoes Martin Luther King. He goes on about a new kind of politics which is different to what's been served up in the past.

Now,  let me just think. Tories kept out of power for thirteen years. Check. Tories desperate to use any tactics that might appeal to a worn down and jaded population, no matter what they'll change after the election. Check. Suggesting change. Check. Community action. Check.

It would be laughable if it wasn't so blatant. Cameron is transparent in trying to cash in on the success of a far greater politician who, in complete contrast, is passionate about doing the right thing and has been walking the talk for far longer than Cameron has even noticed.

President Obama under CC License
Yes, we knew we'd heard those messages about change and community action before, delivered to a country that was desperate for change, for respect, for leadership that worked on behalf of the nation and not for its own selfish interests.  We've all heard Mr Obama making those election pledges to a nation desperate to hear them. We've all seen the pedigree of Mr Obama and his almost lifelong dedication to working on behalf of those who don't have a voice or any political clout.

Cameron just doesn't have that credibility. Not a whiff of it. Changing tack, altering political direction, adjusting message and mission several times throughout the campaign, so that you no longer have a clear idea of what the Tories stand for or if they will even stay with what they promise. Slagging off the opposition so as to make every speech he makes almost too irritating to hear - and that goes for all of them of course.

We're sick to the molars of political rhetoric that relies on bashing everyone else, right wing politicians altering their shape like changelings to try to fit what they think the public will be tricked into accepting, and forever forgetting the folk at the bottom of the pile. As for asking everyone to become part of at least one community action, that might sound vaguely noble if Cameron had spent much of his life spending his time helping the disadvantaged, the poor, the homeless. But he hasn't. He hasn't lifted a finger to champion the underprivileged.

He might be interested to learn, by the way, that vast armies of people already volunteer their services and make communities tick. As for suggesting neighbourhoods could buy up post offices threatened with closure - expect more post office closures under a Tory government. And maybe he doesn't realise that community initiatives take more than a couple of meetings and a plate of sausage rolls - they take years to implement because it's not community apathy but government intransigence that leads people to take action to make things happen.

Really, does the man have the smallest clue about life in this country?

Obama, in distinct contrast, has every idea how his country works and what it needs. That's why he was successful in winning the Presidency, because he walked the talk, never trashed the opposition, and gave his life experience in the communities as an example to others to make his country a better place.

Cameron is such a poor shadow of someone he wishes to emulate in the hope that no-one will notice.

no toffs, no Tories, no chinless twits

Cameron must be doing the face palm thing round about now. Just when you're trying to frighten the country by saying a hung parliament will be the ruin and death of us all, and the thought of winning the coming election is making your voice sound cracked and desperate (please! please please! vote for me! I really really really want to be PM!), along comes Chris Grayling and ruins the political image you've been cultivating so carefully.

Grayling thinks it's perfectly acceptable for people with"genuinely held religious beliefs" to refuse B&B facilities to gay couples. When did we last see something like this? Oh  yes. No blacks, no Irish. And what's a "genuinely held" religious belief when it's at home. Would a B&B owner have to provide written confirmation that they are indeed of the faith which underpins their smallmindedness? If I was gay I could have fun with that. "I don't believe you're a Christian at all. You'll have to prove it." Wheel in the Archbishop of Canterbury as moderator and then see them sweat.

Image: rafanandra under CC license
Anyway, back to Grinning Grayling and his gang. Tories appear to have about as much in common with the common man and woman as a pig does with a bar of Fairy soap. What with , nepotism and the vast private incomes of some of this crowd you can guarantee that their focus will be on them and their needs, and not on the majority of people in the country who can barely make ends meet any more, let alone provide luxury pieds-a-terre for families of ducks at the taxpayers' expense.

It's these little slips - like the Grayling gaffe - that give them away at inopportune moments and reveal them to be who they truly are. We can only be grateful for the galloping gob of the Shadow Home Secretary for reminding us what they stand for. Their own interests, and their own small minded bigotry.

That's not to say the other parties have much to say for themselves. The Labour Party is spinning on its own axis, and the Liberal Democrats are refusing all dangerous liaisons and will probably end up third again. Anybody else hasn't got a cat in hell's chance of making it half way along the racetrack let alone crossing the finish line.

However, none of the other parties are presenting themselves as something that they're not, and what you see is pretty much what you get. I'd rather that any day, than risk the prospect of even a single day under the self serving residents of Smith Square.

don't let the door hit you on your way out

Eugene Terre'Blanche, white supremacist and passionate campaigner against rights, reason and human decency, met his end on 3 April 2010.

St Peter, warned in advance of Terre'Blanche's application for admittance, has spoken frankly.  "Are you nuts?" he said. "The last thing we need is Mr Congeniality shooting the place up. Although, I'm rather looking forward to staring this guy in the face. Seeing as I'm black."

When asked if Hell might be a more suitable place for Terre'Blanche, who allegedly became a born again Christian in prison several years beforehand and yet continued to beat and harass members of the black community, St Peter was not hopeful. "We've had talks with the Lower Reaches. The draft administrative details of his particular eternal damnation are going to put serious strain on the availability of fire and brimstone." He added, "however, there's always the option of doubling him up with Hitler."