What's that? Coming over the hill?
True silliness must therefore be left to the Monster Raving Loony Party (MRLP). Among policies likely to warm the heart of any incoming Home Secretary are proposals to outlaw the wearing of beards by terrorists (on the grounds it makes them look scary) and the institution of a separate terrorist passport for terrorists. We also liked their proposal for an official inquiry to find out if: "(a). Things are really that Bad and (b). They are out to get you."
Ironically, though, it is often in the fine print of the "silly" manifestoes that future policies – too radical to be contemplated by the mainstream - are to be found. The MRLP has blotted its copybook in the past by flying such outlandish ideas as passports for pets, lowering the voting age to 18 and all day pub opening. They were also instrumental in the demise of David Owen’s even sillier "continuity SDP" at the Bootle by-election in 1990.
As for what each party needs to do to win, a hung parliament remains favourite with the bookies. However, the vagaries of the first-past-the-post electoral system mean that the shape of the next parliament is still very difficult to call.
If you wish to play at being Jeremy Vine for the night, the BBC provides a handy do-it-yourself swingometer which will enable you to see what the outcome might be according to vote share. Don’t expect the actual outcome to be as clearcut as this model suggests, since individual constituency results are well able to buck the trend.
Bear in mind also that there have been boundary changes in England and Wales – but not Scotland – since the last election, which mostly favour the Tories. One credible analysis of the seats suggests that had the last election been fought on the current boundaries, Labour would still have won – but with an overall majority of just 36, as opposed to the 64 they actually managed.
ID 10 T
<<Their policy on copyright is "balanced" in the way demanding free sweets or free beer is balanced, or a human right. Jane Fae Ozimek's livelihood depends on strong copyright but s(he) hasn't thought this one through>>
Actually, they're more concerned with the Fair Use policy being heavily eroded by businesses paying government to erode our rights. It sounds like an oxymoron, but most "pirates" actually are labeled as such not for copying and selling (illegally), but for finding ways around the stupidly designed DRM and locked formats used by the recording, movie and software industry.
If you sat down and thought about it really carefully (and I'm not suggesting you could) , you'd realize that the problem isn't "piracy" - or to be more accurate "contract violation" - but businesses who feel they can remove your rights at a whim just because they have money.
The gaming industry cries and beats it's chest about "piracy" - then promptly goes and makes sure their games are so hobbled by DRM that legal customers have to use "pirated" versions. Oh, and even the most heavily DRM'd game statistically gets pirated within hours of hitting the shelves. Yeah, that really stopped them.
The movie industry is so busy making crap movies that they need something to blame for dropping profits. Dang they even wanted to ban mobile phones - not because of recording, it wasn't really an option at the time - but because viewers were texting their mates telling them what crap such-and-such a movie is.
And last (but not least) the music biz. Yeah, those guys that give their artists a pittance per album, suing grandmothers who don't even have computers for being P2P sharers. Then go on to say that the REAL REASON (tm) they're not making uber profits is because of the "pirating". Yeah, and it's got nothing to do with the rip-off pricing you charge huh? I mean, Sean Combs musta been talking out his o-ring when he said piracy HELPS spread his music. Actually.. strike that. Perhaps that's the problem the recording crew have with "piracy".. it's a free way to get your music into the masses. Something they can't screw over the artist or the public for.
That's not all of them for sure. But just something to start thinking about huh?
Paris. She can pirate me anyday.
For the absolutely FINAL time...
Nobody wants copyrighted material to be free. The Pirate Party wants copyright to be FAIR, as it was when it was first introduced; TO PROTECT THE *RIGHT* TO *COPY*.
Digital copying made this almost cost-free to achieve in a way never expected when copyright law was envisioned, and needs updating. Implementing a model of artificial scarcity does nothing to detract from the fact that the distribution and duplication of media is now free, and the big media companies are pushing through horrific liberty-reducing laws with huge financial backing to compensate. We need a balance to their input: Public good vs corporate greed.
THIS IS NOT ABOUT MAKING BEER OR SWEETIES FREE. Beer and sweeties have raw ingredients which are required OVER AND OVER AGAIN to make copies. I CAN MAKE A MILLION COPIES OF A SONG AND THE ORIGINAL REMAINS, WITH NO INCREASE IN MATERIAL USAGE OR COSTS INCURRED.
What's so hard to understand? Oh, wait... It's a Coward. Apologies, I'm feeding the trolls.
This has nothing to do with Grauniad loyalties and everything to do with our crap electoral system.
In first-past-the-post, if you have 25% of the vote nationally and it is spread equally into EVERY constituency in the country - you probably get zero seats. The same national proportion of vote, skewed into just half the seats of the country (so your 25% scores you 50% in every seat you do well in) gets you half the seats.
The Lib Dem vote is widely dispersed. Labour's vote is geographically concentrated (as well as being skewed into smaller constituencies).
As i have written several times recently: to obtain seat parity with Labour, the Lib Dems need to be doing 10% to 12% better than Labour in vote terms.