Thursday, 24 April 2008

Gordon, Darling, WAKE UP!

You may have noticed this week that Gordon Brown and Alistair Darling are doing very good headless chicken impressions. Many moons ago, Gordon, as chancellor, introduced the 10% tax rate (which really did benefit many low income earners). More to the point, it was a classic Labour-helping-the-poor type of policy. Last year, Gordon decided that this in fact did not help the poor and so ditched that tax rate in favour of a reduction of the higher rate from 22% to 20%. The effect of this was, that anybody earning below about 17K a year would be worse off and anyone earning above this would be slightly better off.

At the time, nobody particularly commented on the inequitable nature of the tax change. Furthermore, Labour MPs had to back the change in order to pass the budget. It seems to have taken those poor, slowminded Labour backbenchers a year to figure out their sums and see that something is not quite right here. Now, following a minor revolt, Gordon and Alistair are backpedalling in order to come up with some way to recompense those most affected by the tax change (primarily young workers and pensioners).

Nick Robinson attempted to get Grodon to clarify what this means for those who pay tax, but one thing that is certainly clear to everyone - Labour has lost its way and is falling deeper into disarray. From Gordon being labelled "pathetic" by David Cameron or considered increasingly "pointless" by Nick Clegg to the growing number of dissenting voices from Labour back and front benches, things do not look good. Expect punishing local election results for Labour!

Tuesday, 8 April 2008

The New, Disimproved and Less informative BBC

What the hell has happened to the BBC RSS news feeds lately? I regularly use the BBC feeds to get a quick summary of the news and until recently the headlines were enough to give a clear idea of what was going on in the world.

Something like "Mortgage lending hits 16-year low" seems reasonably unambiguous and allows me to make a fair assessment of whether I would want to click through and read the rest of the article. Now, however, somebody has decided that these headlines are just too darn useful and informative. The headlines have been "improved" to become empty, uninformative statements of nothingness such as "After 94 days...", "Too Diplomatic" or "Given the Boot". And they're just from today's listings.

Unless the Beebs are planning on releasing a Telepathy software patch that allows me to mentally peer into the content of these stories without clicking through, the new headline system has got to go! Pleeeease...