Terrorism: What to ban

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The scene: A secret governmental office in some seemingly innocuous building in London. Four top executive types sit around a conference table.

Man 1: Right, the department that provide us with our funds are wanting to cut our funding back unless we can prove how valuable and useful we are to the country.

Man 2: Again?

Man 1: Yes again. So what we need to do is highlight the dangers of something…like what we did before.

Man 3: Yes like with the bottled water thing. That proved effective though unpopular with voters and as approval ratings of our existence is wavering on the low side we need to appear to be proactive but not too disruptive to society.

Woman: I get it. Ok, how about getting MI7 to create another terrorist attack?

Man 1: Too costly. We’re still paying the compensation on that one.

Man 2: Could we not create some new figure of focus like Abu Hamsa?

Man 3: That requires international agreement and at the moment we’re not that popular.

Man 1: Indeed, so what we need to do is think of something like with the bottled water thing that makes us look proactive but causes the minimal amount of disruption.

The four look around the room for inspiration…

Woman: Oooh! Ooh! How about pens? A would be terrorist could pack a pen with explosive and then detonate it aboard a plane or ferry.

Man 3: Good one…but still too disruptive. Worth remembering that one though. The airlines would probably be in agreement with that and be able to sell biros during the flight for exorbitant prices….but no…not this time…let me think…

 

The four look around more…

Man 1: How about spectacle cases?

Man 3: Yeah…fewer people carry those…but I don’t think the public would buy it.

 

More looking round and scratching of heads.

There is a knock on the door. The door opens.

Youthful IT dude: Entering room Alright…sorry…I’m from IT. I’ve been asked to change the toner cartridge on the printer in here. Would it be OK for me to do that? I’ll only be a couple of minutes.

All four: With look of universal approval and acceptance. Toner cartridges!

 

And that….is EXACTLY what happened.

I know this…because I was the IT dude *

 

 

 

 

*May be lies

Press

NewspapersWell it looks like the press (Murdoch) is worried that the Lib Dems are gaining more support than the press (Murdoch) likes. Judging by yesterday’s newspaper headlines Nick Clegg is a Nazi paedophilic ex-priest with sadomasochistic tendencies who would bring naught but ruin.

Interestingly, last night’s leadership debate took place on….Murdoch TV. Sorry. I mean Sky.

Mr Murdoch believes, I have been taught, that he has the power to sway elections and tip the balance to his favour. This, it seems has been the case in previous elections in the UK. His support for Thatcher during her incumbency and Major during his 1992 election seemed to show that what his newspapers said was how the voting public voted. Indeed, in 1997 when The Sun switched sides to support the Labour party it is believed that Murdoch’s media empire’s influence saw to Blair winning that election. Indeed, it has been suggested that his support for Obama in his American owned press helped win Obama his election.

Murdoch Murdoch’s power does not stop at newspapers, FOX and SKY TV. Far from it. Murdoch controls ageing and failing social media giant MySpace something which he paid $580million for. Unfortunately, Murdoch is trapped in this mindset that as long as people consume something unquestioningly and uncritically, they desire something and it will never get tired . This belief, it seems, is why Murdoch was demanding to know why people weren’t using Myspace anymore without being aware of the transient nature of social networking and the and fickleness of internet users. Today’s Facebook could be tomorrows Myspace

[see Johnson, Bobbie (2010) “Turmoil at MySpace blamed on News Corporation” [On-line]

Available at: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2010/feb/14/myspace-news-corporation-owen-van-natta>]

Watching TV-2 So use caution when you consume media. Especially in during the current circus that is the lead up to the election. Don’t take one viewpoint, indeed even my viewpoint for that matter, as concrete. Look around. See what the other media outlets are saying and consider who controls those outlets. Notice the tricks they play like using surveys to back up what they say – were you questioned? Did you take part? Are you in the minority? Notice how they build people up then discredit them somehow when opinion doesn’t go the way they would prefer.

I know some will say “Oh I don’t pay any attention to media” but I’ll argue that you do. Maybe not directly but the people you interact with may have. I know some will say “I don’t get involved in stuff like elections or media because no matter what I believe it won’t make a jot of difference. Well maybe. But think about how like shoals of fish all move in one direction but soon as the predator appears they scatter causing chaos and disturbance in their formation.
The other danger is that Murdoch strongly believes that users should pay for the content on the internet. Now while I like the idea of charging you lot 50p to view my diatribe I am an advocate of freedom of media. But then I am also an advocate of philanthropy, something which Mr Murdoch doesn’t seem to believe in either.

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The gallery where producers live

One thing I noticed, as a Television and Media graduate was how those in the production and direction department used dirty tricks to try and smother the Clegg message. Frequent cut-aways from Clegg when he spoke; the positioning of Clegg in the middle; etc. All pointing to the wrinkled digit of Murdoch. A dangerous man in fear of his public not following his lead.

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Pot Noodle

When one man controls the media, the media becomes his voice. When only one voice is heard; there may as well be nought silence. Indeed, when I posted this yesterday on my LJ a number of commenters drew parallels with Murdoch and Italy’s Berlesconi. Both control the media to their own end but I fear the greatest danger is not a man who controls the media and sits as the head of state but a man who pulls the strings from the sidelines. Unseen. Unelected. With dangerous ideals and a belief that the public are there to be shepherded.

Conspiracy

I have a theory.

As some may know I love a good conspiracy theory. Sometimes I’m spot on other times I’m waaaaaaay off the mark. But recently I’ve thought of nothing else so I guess I’ll share it here.

Let me begin by outlining two “issues” in Britainland ™ today.

Firstly, there is a housing shortage. Allegedly there are too few houses in Britain for all the new comers (immigrants and those reaching adulthood) to live in. As a result house prices in some areas are through the roof. Twenty years ago a house in my mum and dad’s road would have set you back a princely £60k now you’d be lucky if you could get change from £250k. The solution? Well instead of arranging a mass cull to reduce the population, the government cries “Let’s build more houses!”. Because more houses means jobs in the construction industry, money for those supplying materials to such industries and miles and miles of paper work for the plethora of solicitors & accountants and stacks of wedge for your chaps in the mortgage and loan industries. Money = Jobs and Jobs = wealth. Capitalism at its best.

One problem though is Britainland ™ is very small. Compared to vast super countries like the USA where to go from coast to coast in a day is kind of optimistic, in Britainland ™ you could do it in a couple of hours, weather and traffic permitting. Fear not though! Britainland ™ has a wealth of old unused ex-industrial land or Brownfield. With me so far? Good. So there we are building houses in places where once was industry and in someplaces where there was destitution, poverty and unemployment because the industries have all fucked off to China or India where labour is cheaper leaving behind handy plots of land. Unfortunately, this land is rapidly running out and people are starting to realise that cheap housing usually means it’s in Chav central or built on an old toxic waste dump.

Secondly, we have had several really bad “agricultural” disasters. First there was the price of fuel. “If the price of fuel goes up how can we power our 4x4s tractors and combine harvesters?” cried the farmers. So they blockaded the oil terminals and managed to bring our attention to the shockingly high fuel prices. Then, within a year Britainland was closed. Closed to visitors. Why? After several years of Mad Cows disease, foot and Mouth disease had reappeared. , farmers cried “Oh woe is me! All those animals I’ve bred for you to eat have had to be culled because they are infected. How am I going to afford to feed my children?”.

Some livestock farmers saw the light and switched to growing crops. “Ha! I’m not going to let some livestock lurgy spoil my childrens Christmas” they said in a similar manner to those that said “She’s Unsinkable” about the Titanic. 2007 was the wettest year on record. Flash floods and torrential rains brought many crop growing farmers to their knees as entire fields were laid waste with fields polluted or washed away by the waters. Catastrophy! Then, just as you though it was safe to go back into livestock farming BAM! Foot and mouth (albeit a governmental laboratory version of it) strikes again, this time with BLUETOUNGE from Europe! Will the torment never end?

So, congratulations if you’ve spotted where I’m going with this, farmers are on the bones of their arses. Supermarkets paying shit money to buy their scran, Disease and floods. Today is not a good day to go into farming and with many farming families calling it a day, sons of farmers giving their father’s career choice a miss for better paid city jobs and the man on the Clapham Omnibus too content with his 4 bedroom house and shiney car in suburbia to swap it all for a life of early mornings and hard physical graft, farming, once the choice of the workproud, is waning.

But fear not! Help is at hand! Britainland ™ needs your land! Mr Farmer, sell us your land, we’ll give you a princely sum and all you have to do is sit in your farm house and enjoy your new Land Rover. Problem solved. Planning restrictions? Fuck them, they went out of the window in July (sorry were you not paying attention?). Greenfield sites you say? No! They are agricultural industry land perfect for building houses on.

Not enough land available to buy? Oh dear looks like we’ll have to make a few more farmers destitute then. Let’s have another “leak” of infected water from our laboratories, or how about a spot of flooding? Turn on the Weather control machine (yes there is one, it was developed by the American Government along with the Seismic weapon) Sorry we can’t afford flood defences. That’ll teach you for bringing the country to a stand still in 1999. Ha! Ha! Bit too devastating for the people that make money out of tourism of the countryside? OK let’s have a bit more Bluetongue, that way we can blame the midgies and gnats.

So remember this. Remember that Britainland was once known as a green and pleasant land. As well as a nation of shop keepers we were a proud agricultural nation. The birthplace of the agricultural revolution, crop rotation, seed drills, Turnip Townsend, Jethro Tull (not the progrock band though I think Ian Anderson is British) Now? We live in a time of rapid change and no doubt I’ll be telling my grandchildren how I do remember when all this were fields; how there was a colour other than brick orange and that the green grass of the lawn is nowhere near as vivid as a field of turnips, the yellow of daffodils dulled by the bright colour of Oilseed Rape, the beige of emulsion paint artificial compared to brown of ripeining barley and wheat. The smell of Widnes The smell of rotting garden compost less fresh than silage spread on fields. The low monotone of new music fainted by the dull distant purr of a combine harvester.

Next time you see a field, take a good look, because next time it could have houses on it.

Just like this one in front of my house. Well…the one behind that garage thing.