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Links 1 through 10 of 35 by Tom Armitage tagged politics

"The Economist has published a deliberately weird 'heroes of New Labour', to mark the end of a political decade that they dominated politically. But I think that New Labour's pantheon can only be truly understood in terms of the band that they modelled themselves on: Blur."

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"The laser has become vital for our way of life, yet no researcher who worked on it after Einstein's paper could have predicted what would emerge. If Mandelson had had anything to do with it, we'd be reading barcodes by flashlight."

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"Copenhagen was much worse than just another bad deal, because it illustrated a profound shift in global geopolitics. This is fast becoming China's century, yet its leadership has displayed that multilateral environmental governance is not only not a priority, but is viewed as a hindrance to the new superpower's freedom of action." Mark Lynas on the reality of China's actions at Copenhagen. Worrying.

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"It boils Digital Britain down to three Ms – media, music and movies – myopically ignoring the pioneers of new technology, and ?
showing a blind spot for all creativity outside the so-called creative industries... Instead of empowering digital Britons, the bill follows the lead of music and movie corporations, who already apply a presumption of guilt to their customers. Instead of treating the web as a platform of possibilities, it recasts it as a tool for mass theft." Excellent, excellent leader from the Guardian on the frankly scandalous digital economy bill.

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"The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found. The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret. The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations." Oh, I'm looking forward to the next Private Eye.

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"There is a tension between the Royal Mail as a profit-making business and the Royal Mail as a public service. For most of the Royal Mail management – who rarely, if ever, come across the public – it is the first. To the delivery officer – to me, and people like me, the postmen who bring the mail to your door – it is more than likely the second." Excellent diary in the LRB from a Royal Mail postman, which at least helps explain a lot of the problems inside the postal system, as opposed to just the ones I experience outside it.

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"This guidebook is a practical “how-to” manual on the conduct of effective nation-building. It is organized around the constituent elements that make up any nation-building mission: military, police, rule of law, humanitarian relief, governance, economic stabilization, democratization, and development. The chapters describe how each of these components should be organized and employed, how much of each is likely to be needed, and the likely cost." Not your average "for dummies" book, then.

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"It was at that moment that I understood, more fully than ever before, why revolutionaries succeed and then fail. It's because they're switching genres. They take over the country in a third-person (or first person) action game, but then they have to play an RTS to govern the country."

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Jolly good, that man; speaking sense and pointing out the hypocrisy of the media talking this all up. And: how is this different to the hoo-haa over expenses in any other year? No, I don't know, either.

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"Toine Manders, the Dutch liberal MEP who drafted the report, said: "Video games are in most cases not dangerous. We heard evidence from experts on computer games and psychologists from France, the US, Germany and the Netherlands and they told us that video games have a positive contribution to make to the education of minors."" Etcetera.

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