Sunday, 4 July 2010

This message will be held for moderation

We are all used to going to make a post on Comment is Free (except for people like me, perhaps, who have given up on the dump except for experimental purposes) only to find that our account has been deleted for reasons of censorship and ideological control.

We are all used to going back to a thread to see how a discussion is going, only to find that our post has been deleted, again for reasons of blatant censorship and ideological control.

What sometimes causes confusion, though, is the "This message will be held for moderation" warning which appears on your little screen before you even try to do anything.

This one means that the little pound-shop terrorists who police CiF are onto you, so you had better watch your Ps and Qs or they will blind you with their dayglo yellow tabards and pretend they have powers of arrest.

What could cause such a need to silence someone before they have even spoken?

Apparently this:

Comment 1

New Labour (are they going to keep that brand, by the way?) is now the third party, occupying the place formerly used by the LibDems.

This means that nobody is interested in them, let alone their petty internal wrangles.

Both David Yelland and Andrew Rawnsley on these pages have said that the position of the third party is to be totally ignored and to have to beg for any small and slight attentions from the media.

New Labour was dead long before it was buried at the election.

Off with the old Thatcherite neo-cons and on with the new Thatcherite neo-con-libs.

The idea that changing a government changes anything which actually matters to ordinary people - ordinary hardworking families - in the real world is a mixture of quaint and tiresome.

Who are the main contenders for Dear Leader again?

The Minibars and Condoleezza Rice?

Comment 2

It is as though the discrediting of British politics had never happened. Happily, on this issue, the people are on the other side of the argument from the politicians. The electorate's interest lies in greater fairness and more equal votes. We do not have such a system now. So things must change

We are almost at the stage where the MPs' expenses scandal has become a myth. People remember bits about it and imagine that some of it was true, but it's all a bit too hazy to bother about, especially when you know that you are soon going to have to start boiling up grass collected from the roadside if you want to feed your children.

Which, of course, is exactly what the political classes knew would happen. They could afford to bide their time and knew that things would simply revert to normal if they kept schtum. Of course, they are know bullying the new body which is supposed to oversee their pilfering and profligacy, so in a few years it will be worse than before.

"So things must change."

Is that because The Guardian says so? Because the feeling is that the general mood of the public demands it? Neither of those things has brought about change before, so why should they now?

Andy Burnham has turned against reform. Jack Straw is manufacturing excuses for Labour to wriggle off its commitment. Meanwhile Labour bitterness towards the Liberal Democrats is feeding a mood of arid destructiveness towards even the good things that could come out of the coalition. If Labour is to deserve support as a party of progressive reform, it needs to listen to the leadership candidates who have been calmest and truest to the AV cause.

New Labour really hardly matters any more. They are the padding, the ballast and the make-weights now and during their thirteen year regime, they never showed themselves to be progressive reformers, so nobody is looking at them for that now.

In fact, nobody is looking at New Labour at all any more. Like the prime minister who, on leaving office, suddenly loses his or her gleaming, chauffeur-driven limousine and has to make do with a dented old Austin Allegro, New Labour has gone from the offices of state to a converted garden-shed with a leaning portaloo propped perilously to one side.

Mr Clegg originally wanted the referendum early in the parliament to capitalise on the electorate's general goodwill towards the coalition. That goodwill, and thus that reasoning, still holds good.

Perhaps, but if a week is a long time in politics, a year is at least a lifetime.

By next May, people will be waking up to the idea that we are not really "all in this together."

They will have slowly come to understand that they are being fleeced in order to make Britain a low-wage economy, able to compete for the favours of big business on the global slave-market.

They will have noticed that changing a government does not actually change anything at all, since governments simply act as the servants to global business interests.

People might even remember that it was the banks which caused the global economic meltdown and wonder why it is that they and their neighhbours and other hardworking families are being punished for it.

The penny might just finally drop.

At that point, the smiles and grins of Dave and Nick might be wearing thin and the artificial love-in we have been pretending to enjoy with our sleek, smart-suited and spun new Dear Leaders will be getting tired.

We may just think that having three Tony Blairs in one lifetime is simply too much of a good thing for anyone.

Comment 3


It might work, but you may also find that the best commentators below the line are usually pretty much personae non gratae unless they doggedly applaud and parrot the party line as declared and clumsily etched in stone by the cheerleaders and circus-barkers who occupy the positions of power at Propaganda HQ.

Anyway, The Guardian seems to be hoping that teh internetz will save its bacon by using its new APIs, which will allow other websites to publish Guardian content, as long as they also carry advertising to create a resounding kerching for the Guardian's tills.

Real world newspaper circulation will continue to decline as long as newspapers are seen to be simply the megaphones of the rich, the establishment, the state and big business.

CiF has certainly never subscribed to the belief that its readers are intelligent and able to make their own judgements, frequently in opposition to the pronouncements and idiocies of its star journalists.

It works on the basis of suppressing dissent and shouting the same things louder, assuming that this line of attack will win in the end.

Meanwhile, of course, money pours from its coffers like water from Dear Liza's holey bucket, as it hopes to attract those wandering newsless refugees camped in the derelict wasteland just beyond Mordoch's pay-wall.

Suggestions like afancdogge's above to rally the traditional Guardian readership are ignored in case they upset the dilettante droves who are the intended financial milch-cows because they will not be able to resist clicking on any flickering, insistent and colourful adverts.


Perhaps any reasonable person can see that incendiary comments like that must lead to the person making them having a muzzle strapped over their mouth, even on the pages of a newspaper which pretends to be liberal and wants to go international.

Well, that was my three strikes and you're out episode with The Guardian's Comment is Free, which they apparently try to market without any irony or sniggering in the background.

I think I'll pop back for more of their nonsense in due course.

They are obviously too stupid to learn.

PS When will Matt Seaton answer the moderation question?

Is he too scared or just too thick?

Friday, 18 June 2010

WADDYA Facing Shutdown

Last weekend, the power-house of political and social debate, WADDYA, had to slam its virtual doors in the faces of the chattering classes because someone had said something rude and made the beautiful people cry.

Apparently, if decorum and sticking rigidly to the official Guardian line cannot be maintained, this will have to happen again.

The sensibilities of people like SpecialBrut are so fragile and the debate on WADDYA so essential to the proper functioning of the world that it has to be protected at all costs.

Here is how the janitor of WADDYA describes it:

This thread was a nightmare for our mods recently (although it was very good this week, must say), and it gets an awful lot of comments at times, especially at week-ends. As you know, we rely partly on our community self-moderating (i.e reporting comments which are clearly abusive or trolling) to keep the Guardian's communities as aggreeable and decent as possible.

Does this area get special treatment for some reason?

In that it will close again if unmanagable? Yes, I guess.

Have a nice week-end.
Thank you. Have a humdinger yourself.

Let's all just hope that none of those horrible wreckers turn up this weekend, otherwise we are all done for.

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Congratulations, er, Celebrations, um, Jubilation

It is, perhaps, a mark and signal of the gravity of the occasion that we begin today's post by using solemn words from the monumental talent of Sir Clifford Richard.

Congratulations! der der dah dah, erm, der
Celebrations dah dah doo doo
Jubilation der doh happy as can be!

A weight has been lifted from our collective souls and we have seen the one true light, thanks to a vision which was shared with this congregation by the prophet misharialadwani in yesterday's comments section.

We have been wrong to poke fun at Comment is Free and the Matt Seaton Gang.

As Leo Trotsky said: "The reason we are called celebrities is because we are celebrated. Do you know what that means?" (That was Leo Sayer. Trotsky was called Leon. They made a film about him, called Leon with Jean Reno and Natalie Portman. Ed).

Instead of poking the pointy finger of fun at CiF, we are going to screech and lurch around the bend of righteousness and highlight the good things which make CiF such a special place on the internet, populated with people having special needs.

To kick things off, we start with one of the queens of CiF, Brusselsexpest, also known as SpecialBrut:

[SpecialBrut is a male homosexual who does not live in Brussels, but a damp bedsit in Pinner, from which he travels to wait on tables in a cafe de transport owned by a fat man in a string vest, where he dreams of one day of being whisked off his feet by a lorry driver and becoming an international spy, saving governments from collapse across the world, with a secret night-time career as an opera singer called Hannah Mentalist].

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

CiF Hearts Rupert Murdoch

The Guardian always lays great store by the fact that it is financed by a trust with dodgy tax dealings, which it claims means that it does not have to tug its forelock to shareholders or media mogul proprietors.

Which makes it strange that it frequently runs editorials and articles fawningly praising the abundant and unquestionable brilliance of Rupert Murdoch's media empire.

It has even, in the past, run articles (you know, the ones which look like propaganda pieces) by James Murdoch and protected him from embarrassment by mowing down dissenting voices from the BTL ranks and then pulling the article altogether when, presumably, little James's face was blushing with such vermilion violence that there was fear he might explode.

So, here is CiF in its best cheerleader mode, with its pants around its ankles, about to fellate the octogenarian Emperor of News:

Set aside the personalities and the politics for a moment, and the idea of Rupert Murdoch's News Corporation buying all of BSkyB makes pure commercial sense. After all, Sky does television and News Corp does papers – and the boundaries between the two are getting increasingly blurred in the digital age. Type into your internet browser and you get an impressive news website that would make any newspaper proud. But BSkyB has an even more important attribute that News Corporation lacks: it is a massive and well-run tollbooth on the media highway.

Free virtual sick-bags for every reader.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

CiF: Beyond Praise, Complaint or Parody

The Untrusted pointed out a spot of possible deletions on the WADDYA thread, which involved whether The Guardian would publish anything from ordinary people, which led me to trundle over there to see what was going on.

Having said that we should start copying and pasting posts which look like prime deletion candidates, this is what I did.

The sequence was this:

15 Jun 2010, 12:56PM


I think it would be a good idea to have a Peoples Panel on Poverty in Britain. Panelists would be peope who are classified as long term relatively poor by British standards.People who are either stuck in mimimum wage jobs and/or long term recipients of State benefits.

Obviously anonymity would have to be guaranteed as some people may be working in the 'Black Economy' to make ends meet.Whilst others may be claiming benefits as a single person whilst secretly cohabiting with a partner.Additionally the poor are often denied mainstream financial services so are vulnerable to the loan sharks.

There are so many different angles to this that could be explored.However the Right wing media has done a pretty good job in either demonising the poor or reverting to splitting them up into the categories of 'deserving' and 'undeserving.'And clearly there are also a few regular CIF posters who are inclined to blame the poor for their predicament.So if a few people who are chronically as opposed to temporarily classified as relatively poor in Britain are prepared to share their stories it could prove to be enlightening all round

15 Jun 2010, 3:45PM

An article, in the Guardian of all places, advocating (essentially) the removal of the right to strike. I honestly never thought I'd see the day. My granddad must be turning in his grave. What with the tone of comments these days, when you get articles like that it's hard to see what differentiates this paper from any other neo-liberal rag.


Then this from carnivalesque:


I think it would be a good idea to have a Peoples Panel on Poverty in Britain. Panelists would be peope who are classified as long term relatively poor by British standards.People who are either stuck in mimimum wage jobs and/or long term recipients of State benefits.

This was actually suggested a year or two ago, at about the time that the Global Economic Meltdown had moved from being a twinkle in the bankers' eyes to a mess in their collective underpants.

No, you didn't miss it. CiF did not pursue the idea, perhaps because nobody at The Guardian knew any poor people to ask how it felt to keep being robbed by the rich from generation to generation.

Don't hold you breath.


An article, in the Guardian of all places, advocating (essentially) the removal of the right to strike. I honestly never thought I'd see the day. My granddad must be turning in his grave. What with the tone of comments these days, when you get articles like that it's hard to see what differentiates this paper from any other neo-liberal rag.

Yes, don't try looking too hard for something which is not there.

How about combining the two, CiF, and just parading a group of stupid poor people on these pages to be laughed and spat at?

The Daily Mail might even stop your losses and buy you out.

Obviously, the comment by carnivalesque was not allowed to live to tell the tale.

Open Copy News

This is how the news used to be presented - by grey people, before anyone and everyone became media stars by simple dubious virtue of being on the telly.

We now have people like George Alaghia who, instead of just reading the news, acts it out as if he is auditioning for a part in a local amateur dramatics production.

We now have people like Chris Choi on ITN and [insert first name here when you remember it] Robinson on the BBC who give their own versions of the news, rather than just telling us what is going on.

This leads to a grateful nation being told that the British Airways strike is all - and only - about horrible people depriving lovely holidaymakers of their chance to sun themselves in wonderful abroad.

So, today is a shameless plug for the new age of me, me, me.

The link above is to a new site I am in the process of setting up.

The line of thought is that news can benefit from the way the open source software movement has used public collaboration and openness of code to make ideas and products freely accessible by everyone.

We are used to receiving news through a process whereby it dribbles from the few and mighty, through the filter of the media (which have traditionally been owned by the same few and mighty and their mates and henchmen) until, after distillation and evaporation and a fair amount of adulteration and corruption, we, the supplicant poor and many, receive it like a gobbet of phlegm spat at us from the passing limousine, filled with  shrieking drunks, as it speeds on its merry way to a party to which we will never be invited.

The idea of the filthy public as newsgatherers and reporters is neither new nor original, but the underlying idea for this project is that all the time we think that we have to scrabble and ferret for the droppings and leavings from the tables of the old media channels - yes, like The Guardian - we are having their versions of news imposed upon us, with only the occasional and limited facility to politely and respectfully beg to differ, before our stupid thoughts are deleted.

So, here we go.

It may be that things will be invitation only to begin with and I am still playing with setting it up.

Anyone interested can get in touch through the contact form on the site or:

atomboy -(at)- atomboy -(dot)- org

If you felt like it, you could even pass it on.

Monday, 14 June 2010

Look at me, Mamma! Top of the World!

Not exactly the top of the world, but this woodcut was supposed to show a pilgrim or traveller who had reached the ends of the earth, the edge of the world and was then supposed to be able to look out into the heavens.

It turned out to be a fake, but is nevertheless an image which is extraordinarily touching and seems to find a ready resonance with people.

Or perhaps he was just at his wits' end.