Sunday, September 14, 2008

Britblog Roundup 187: The Bournemouth edition

This roundup comes to you live from the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth. To be more precise, from the Roma Internet Cafe, 20 St Michael's Road.

It's not quite the Stiperstones Inn - there is no cat, for instance - but the coffee is good and it is a lot cheaper than the broadband access at the Bournemouth International Centre. There are some free terminals there for Lib Dem bloggers, but you have to stand to use them. Given the large number of submissions this week, I did not think that was a good idea.

So let the fun begin


They regulate our bananas, they threaten the British sausage and now it appears that the Brussels bureaucrats want to get their claws into the blogosphere too.

Open Europe Blog says: "The EU has had an issue with the internet for a while now ... Basically they don't like the internet because they can't control it."

And continues:
Eurocrats are especially upset because many bloggers, being of an anarchic disposition, are anti-Brussels. In the French, Dutch and Irish referendums, the MSM [mainstream media] were uniformly pro-treaty, whereas internet activity was overwhelmingly sceptical.
Tory MEP Daniel Hannan takes up the story:

The EU's solution? Why, to regulate blogs! Back in June ... MEPs began to complain that unlicensed blogs were "polluting" cyberspace with "misinformation and malicious intent". They wanted "a quality mark, a disclosure of who is writing and why".

At the time, I dismissed it as the ramblings of a single dotty MEP. Not even the European Parliament, I thought, would actually try to censor the internet.

I was wrong. We now have the full report and, sure enough, it wants to "clarify the status, legal or otherwise, of weblogs", and to ensure their "voluntary labelling according to the professional and financial responsibilities and interests of their authors and publishers".

With a glorious lack of self-awareness, the Euro-MPs behind the report elaborate their motives: "The report points out that the undetermined and unindicated status of authors and publishers of weblogs causes uncertainties regarding impartiality, reliability, source protection, applicability of ethical codes and the assignment of liability in the event of lawsuits. It recommends clarification of the legal status of different categories of weblog authors and publishers as well as disclosure of interests and voluntary labelling of weblogs."

You have been warned. How such a system could possibly operate without a secret police operation on a Chinese scale is a mystery to me.

Charles Crawford offers a voice of sanity here:

Above all there is a way to 'validate' the best bloggers.

It's called the marketplace, millions of judgements by millions of people, evolving over time, exploring what makes sense and what does not.
The Lib Dem Blog of the Year awards were announced here last night. Liberal Democrat Voice has the results.

And Blogzilla says Google must try harder on privacy.

Mystery Item of the Week

This posting from Redemption Blues has been nominated. Unfortunately, Internet Explorer won't display this site properly. But I am sure it is a very good posting.


Who has the worst job in politics? The Daily (Maybe) will tell you.

Why are the Conservatives known as the Tories? Telford & Wrekin Council Watch has one child's theory.

Susanne Lamido reports the story of the Lib Dem councillor from Camden who reckoned he could represent his constituents in Kentish Town while doing a PhD in Arizona. I know we have e-mail and all sorts of useful things these days, but it was inevitable that he should resign his seat when the story broke. Informed sources (i.e. some people I was drinking with last night) suggest that it was as much a surprise to his colleagues in the Lib Dem group on Camden as anyone else.

Stephen's Linlithgow Journal looks at the history of the political phrase of the week: "lipstick on a pig". Looking for a Voice disapproves of the introduction of Sharia law to Britain and fears the "Vortigern effect".

Boris Johnson has taken a break from mayoring to write a column critical of the UN Panel on Climate Change. If you to live off-grid, Ruscombe Green can recommend a good book.

Elsewhere, Lancaster Unity speculates on the BNP's dodgy financial returns, while the commune has the latest on the internal politics of the SWP.

Green councillor Jason Kitcat talks about the Green's new leader Caroline Lucas. And The Daily (Maybe) is concerned at recent developments in Bolivia.

How does gender impact on landmine clearance? The F Word explains.

Penny Red and Stumbling and Mumbling are both critical of calls for "balanced migration".


The F Word writes on the pleasures of underwear:

It’s hard to articulate the reasons why. I think in part it emanates from the fact that it’s not something that’s visually apparent to the people I meet everyday, it’s a personal choice not influenced by anyone else and, as I have got older, it has (in all honesty), helped me appreciate my body more, and understand that, while I may not be traditionally attractive, that I am still a sexual being.

Plus, considering the fact that I do not dress sexually on a day to day basis, I like the contrast, something about which (until now) only I knew about.

And A Very Public Sociologist talks about Channel 4's The Sex Education Show:

If some people pick up on the information around contraception and body image and helps them lead safer, more fulfilling sex lives, than that's all for the good. But I can't shake the thought that SES is more geared toward navigating the world of contemporary commodified sexuality than anything else.

The Blog of Funk suggests things are very different across the Atlantic:

So complete is the conservative victory over the American mind, you'd think the 60s revolution, make love, not war, never happened.


¨°º©[ Fink ]©º°¨ offers a list of links - one thing we are not short of this week. Good name for a blog, though.

Dr Who fans are all geeks? Wrong, says the Yorksher Gob.

Razor-blade of Life remembers school dinners, while Lady Bracknell is Sound on superlambananas.

A Somewhat Old, But Capacious Handbag debunks astrology. With footnotes. And Random Acts of Reality describes the problems of ambulance management.

Philobiblon has been reading Diary of an English Resident in France During Twenty-two Weeks of War Time from 1916. And Early Modern Whale has been watching the Tour of Britain cycle race. Thanks to the wonders of video, so can you.


That, I hope, is all the nominations taken care of. So it's goodbye from sunny Bournemouth. Already, thanks to Unmitigated England, I feel the green of the Welland valley calling me home.

Next week's Roundup will be at Suz Blog.

Nominations, as ever, should be sent to britblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

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