"how do you feel ..."

Well frankly, Ms Kate Burley, I'm feeling sickened by your heartless journalistic approach. I'm sickened that you couldn't stop the filming for two minutes to give those people the space to have a moment of reflection. I'm sickened that you followed your revelation of the latest news with "would you like to say anything" in the very next heartbeat without giving them the respect of privacy to gather their thoughts. For even two minutes. That's how I feel, Ms Kate Burley.

cameron avoiding tax avoidance

Cameron commenting on tax avoidance in his inimitable way. Odd, given his moral outrage about Jimmy Carr. Odd, then, that he avoids commenting on Gary Barlow or anyone else.

Firstly, he has no right to comment on the private arrangements of any person who - going by HMRC's guidelines - is acting within the law. Secondly, he's known about these tax loopholes for aeons. Now that he's seen fit to throw boiling oil on Jimmy from the great heights of the crenellations, perhaps he can now extend his opprobrium to the people who do exactly the same thing but are in his favour. Like ... good old Phil Green. Why should one person be thrown to the lions and not the whole pack of them. And let's discuss his invitation to French tax exiles to squirrel their money over here rather than pay French tax, never mind, as Richard Murphy points out, that this is diametrically opposed to what the voters of France want.

Much as I loathe the Murdoch press I do feel a grudging pleasure in The Times having brought this out into the open. It's just a shame that by picking on Jimmy, they've unleashed a predictable wave of fury against an easy target, which seems to me to be a very cheap and cynical way of harnessing public prejudice. Perhaps Murdoch doesn't like Jimmy Carr. Or maybe Rebekah has begged Murdoch to take him down. Can't say Carr's humour appeals to me either.

But there again, he did rather put himself in the firing line by calling tax avoidance a scam.

when art mirrors leveson


This pic is so apposite, in so many ways, I can hardly stand it.

500 words for $2 and a smack in the teeth

I know I keep going on and on about it but I'm sick of these "write 500 words for $2 and we will reward you with regular visceral flayings and hang you upside down by your ankles over a vat of boiling vomit until you reduce your fees even further, to like, $0.35 per 1,000 and we can't say fairer than that."

I know. It's a global thing. People can write cheap if their costs of living are cheap. In comparison to ours, that is.

And yes. I know. Avoid the cheapskates. Don't even go there. And I don't, unless it's to marvel at the scintillating people skills some of these buyers have. "You must have expertise! We want expert copy! No grammer [sic] errers! [sic]. NO PLAGRISM! [sic] It must pass Copyscape or we will come round to ur house and rip ur ears off and eat them and then roast ur children alive and eat them too!"

You just know that these vermin are going to bitch about your copy, question every invoice, refuse to pay you for your work (while keeping your articles for uploading elsewhere) and turn your life into a pit of snakes.

Every time I see one these loathsome things on somewhere like PPH or Elance I'm amazed by the number of people in the UK, the States, and Europe bidding for the damn jobs. They're paying the buyers, really they are. Factor in the costs of writing - even if you're doing it to make a few squiddlies here and there - electricity, heating, wear and tear on your computer ... Even if you live somewhere cheaper, you're intending to work for people who think you're one genetic leap down from a bucket of giblets.

I blame Al Gore, since he claimed once to have invented the internet. The modes of supply, demand and delivery have forever changed the way writers find markets and buyers find commercial copy. Now we're all in the same wrestling ring and the only winning strategies are to either stick to print magazines and journals who haven't yet reduced their own rates to bowls of gruel every Friday, or find online buyers who appreciate a fine turn of phrase and rain cash down upon you in return for your glittering creative skills. Anything else is just a dentist's appointment waiting to happen.