The UK Chancellor has this afternoon announced that HM Revenue and Customs ‘lost’ personal information on 25 million individuals.
Apparently, every single child in Britain had their data lost on two password-protected (but not encrypted) CD-ROMs which were sent to the National Accounting Office but never turned up. After the Northern Rock incident, Alistair Darling should now resign. He probably won’t yet, but I bet he’ll be gone soon.
The Tories have suggested that this is proof enough that the National ID Card project is a risk to far, and dead in the water. They’re probably right about that too.
I don’t have much of a problem with the term ‘Cataloony’. But it does seem to be something of a handy shortcut past debating an issue which concerns a large minority of people here. John at Iberian Notes, ‘expat wanker’ according to a fan, loves using ‘Cataloony’ to describe any Catalan who dislikes the king of Spain or wants more independence for Catalonia. Statistically, some of those people probably are lunatics, so he probably scores a couple of hits with his scattershot.
The problem is, if I use the terms ‘dumb Yanks’ or ‘stupid Americans’* to describe American citizens who still support Georgey boy and his gang of no-good rats, then I’m being anti-American. Moi? But calling Catalan nationalists ‘loonies’ ain’t the same thing. See, I get more than a little whiff of hypocrisy from this. So my proposition is simple: either quit using the ‘Cataloonies’ tag or quit whining when someone has the temerity to insult one of your stupid countrymen (like your stupid president). Name calling is just as clever/silly, whatever side you’re on. It’s exactly the same thing and you can’t have it both ways.
Personally, as someone who believes in freedom of expression, I reckon that John should be able to call Catalan nationalists whatever he likes.
*sorry, these names don’t quite have the same ring to them as Cataloonies. I’m not a very experienced name caller. It’s a short cut to thinking, really, isn’t it?
LITTLEJOHN: But you haven’t read the book in its totality and you have to read the book in its totality.
LITTLEJOHN: In order to understand it.
SELF: Does it turn into Tolstoy at page 205?
LITTLEJOHN: No it doesn’t turn into Tolstoy. I don’t set out to be Tolstoy. It is a much more complex book than that.
SELF: Than Tolstoy?
OK, so it’s from a few years back, but I still find this ‘clash’ between pernicious right-wing cock, Dick Littlejohn, and actual writer, Will Self, makes for genuinely uplifting reading. Littlejohn is so markedly out of his depth when met with a truly intelligent man that he looks utterly absurd.
Also, have a look at the reviews for his books on Amazon. Some of them (particularly the one comparing Dick to Plato) are more than a little tongue-in-cheek.