Johann on Assault on Civil Liberties, UK

A well-researched, well-argued piece by Johann Hari about the totalitarian policies of Home Secretary David Blunkett, and Britain’s failure to learn from the miscarriages of justice that came to light in the 1990s: Twelve Muslim men are being held indefinitely in Belmarsh Prison. They are boxed into small cells for 22 hours a day. Their …

Now that you mention it, they’d been pretty quiet lately

Norman Geras reports that one of my favorite political blogs, Harry’s Place, has vanished from the earth along with its host, Bloghouse, which must house a lot of blogs, because it has blog and house in the name. Eep! This is a bit like the disappearance of Dave Winer’s weblogging service a few weeks ago, …

Trade unions and emerging democracy in Iraq

[Note: I have a long-ish piece about webcomics in the works. While assembling my thoughts on that, I’m doing some linking to political stuff that I happen to find interesting] [Note no. 2: if I was female and Johann Hari wasn’t gay, I’d very much want to have his baby] Johann Hari talks of the …

Hrm, interesting

A good article by Frans Groenendijk (who posted in the comments here a week or so ago! Hi Frans!) about the success of Paul van Buitenen’s Europe Transparent party in the European Elections. He calls it “the best thing that happened in Dutch politics in many many years” and he’s right. Would that the British …

Someone should tell Ian Gillan

Bananas sold in the EU are not, in fact, banned from being excessively curved. There’s also no standard length for condoms. Despite this misunderstanding, Bananas is still a pretty good Deep Purple album. I just hope Ian G didn’t vote UKIP.

I want my, I want my, I want my MRLP

In the UK, the Monster Raving Loony Party used to be a good lightning rod for the disaffected. They could vote for a party that consisted of harmless nutters who were in it for laughs (or maybe that should read “critics wishing to expose the inherent sillyness of the political process”), safe in the knowledge …

Party animals

I got the Dutch ballot lists for the European elections in the mail a few days ago. In the List Vote system, I can vote for any of several hundred candidates whose votes will primarily be assigned to the party list. If a candidate gets more than an X number of votes, he or she …