Take Jane

Normally politics makes me depressed and / or angry. And ID cards moreso than most other political gubbins.

But this viral that No2ID have produced is powerful, frightening and so easily close to being a reality. It makes its point well without resorting to going over the top, and neatly counters the “if you’ve done nothing wrong then you’ve nothing to fear” argument.


ID cards scare me, especially given the government’s record in data retention and civil liberties. And the public discourse around them has been rubbish, frankly. Hopefully one day MPs will realise that Minority Report and 1984 were meant to be fictional visions of a dystopian future, not a training manual.

Chris Todd

Certain news really puts football in perspective. Fans are fond of quoting Bill Shankly’s famous phrase about the sport being more important than life and death, but that gets put to one side when you hear some genuinely upsetting news that actually does deal with life and death situations.

This news concerns Torquay United defender and former Exeter City club captain Chris Todd who has just been diagnosed with Leukaemia.

Chris arrived at Exeter City after being released in Swansea City, via a brief spell in Ireland. He was brought to the club by Neil McNab in 2003, one of the few decent things to come out of the much-maligned coach’s short-lived reign at St. James’ Park.

Demya – a spam tin with a different label is still spam

Spam comments, as any regular blogger and forum user will tell you, are a right royal pain in the arse. While it’s a way of life on teh interweb, it doesn’t make them any less irritating to delete, especially if you get hit by a plethora of spam comments, which is what happened to Lewis yesterday.

He started off by Tweeting that he’d been hit by an unusually large amount of spam. He Tweeted his further investigations, and uncovered the source – a company called Demya who, for the princely sum of £75, promise to publish 100,000 forum posts promote website, products and service. They stopped short of offering to love you long time.

A bit more on libel and t’interweb

First up, a quick update on the blog post by Kezia Duggdale that was taken down, apparently under threat of legal action.

Tim Ireland at Bloggerheads has usefully put together a bit more of a comprehensive background to the issue and it still doesn’t seem all that clear cut (and certainly very different from the Usmanov case):

“The Daily Record goes on to use further extracts from the letter, but stops short of printing other allegations that are, quite frankly, tangential to the central issue here *and* a matter primarily for the authorities until the moment Noor Hanif turns 18.

Killing music

A few weeks ago I eulogised about Mixwit, a site that allowed you to create your own mixtapes, embed them in blogs and the like, and generally feel nostalgic for the 1980s through to the mid-90s.

Now it seems it may be going the same way as Muxtape, a similar kind of site that taken down after problems with the RIAA.

Mixwit isn’t actually down. It’s just that a large number of songs I’ve put on compilation tapes are now unavailable and the amount of songs that are available for new tapes are decreasing by the day to the point that the site isn’t worth bothering with.

Manchester City fans: Am I missing something here?

A good few years ago, when I was still at university, I ended up watching a lot of Manchester City on TV. One of my best friends was a huge Man City fan, and often after lectures or at the weekend we’d head down the pub for a few drinks and the football.

When Thaksin Shinawatra brought the club a couple of seasons ago I asked said friend what he made of it. “Not best pleased,” was the response.

My friend’s response wasn’t typical. By and large, Man City fans embraced Thaksin “Frank” Shinawatra, reasoning – not necessarily incorrectly – that his money could take them into the top four.

Pet hates: Prestigious

Every editor, sub-editor and writer has a list of words they detest seeing in copy. Words that range from meaning nothing to desperate padding by the author, or just a plain misunderstanding of the context. Words that will induce apoplexy if repeated too far.

My second least favourite word is prestigious.

I was trained in the school of journalism that encourages the striking out of unnecessary words, usually adjectives. Not all adjectives, as you’d end up with a few peculiar sentences, but long words that add nothing to the copy. Unless you’re a very good colour or feature writer, or possibly Russell Brand. I’ll let you off then.

A somewhat ranty Gary elsewhere

I’ve also had a bit of a soft spot for Manchester City. One of my best friends at university was a fanatical City supporter and I’d frequently become a de facto Blues supporter when watching them down the pub. In return, he got the dubious fare of the likes of Exeter v Accrington and Exeter v Grays.

Thankfully, said friend has never been too happy at Thaksin Shinawatra’s takeover at Eastlands, unlike the majority of Manchester City fans, who were happy to brush corruption charges, frozen assets, questions about cash flow and a poor human rights record to one side in pursuit of a place in the European Big Cup.

More on the Catwalk Queen/Panorama brouhaha

Last week I did a hastly-written comment about the BBC failing to credit fashion blog Catwalk Queen in their Panorama documentary on Primark. Interestingly, it’s made it around the internet and into Media Guardian, among others.

In a way, it neatly highlights what I mused about – that this was another conversation on the internet that makes the corporation look bad and adds another chip to that link between old and new media (I really have to stop using those terms, they’re so outdated). Although it feels like an individual error rather than systematic blogger pillaging, the damage has still been done. How many bloggers may think twice about accepting interview requests?

Gary Elsewhere (Leigh Genesis) plus a quick moan

At Soccerlens. The evolution, if that’s the right word, of Unibond side Leigh RMI into Leigh Genesis.

Having read back the piece this morning, if it seems a little more cynical than usual, it’s because I’ve seen this scenario all too many times. New chairman takes over at small, often non-league, club. Pumps loads of money in an effort to achieve their vision, whatever that may be. Pulls out when vision fails to be reached or cash runs out. Club goes down the shitter.