Hackreads – some of the stories and posts I’ve been reading today

(I’m not linking to anything about snow. It’s snow. Enjoy your days off/hellish commutes and check on any vulnerable neighbours.)

Housemate sent me a link this morning to this latest example of the…unique…mind of Nadine Dorries. I’ve blogged a couple of times about the Tories on marriage and it always goes to a 1500-word rant, so I shall spare you. Instead, read this by Hannah Nicklin – I particularly love PennyRed‘s quote describing the Tory obsession with marriage as cargo-cultism, she’s absolutely spot on.

My Manchester Young Labour comrade Chris Hughes has been in touch to let me know he’s set up a new website for Gorton Labour, so add it to your ‘to check’ list if you’re from my constituency.

The Shorty Awards are, sadly, not a series of trophies given to me, but honours for the best Twitter users in various categories. I nominated Virgin Trains for customer service (they’re very good over Twitter!), ‘SavvySarahP‘ for finance, NHS Direct for health, Ben Furber for design and John Prescott for politics. It’s up for the rest of January I think, have a look.

In the real world today I spotted two billboards that have been hitting the news lately. Rather conveniently, in Wales, the two of them have apparently been put next to each other. Best. Juxtaposition. Ever.

The Cameron one I’m sure you’ve read much about – a little bit more to come – but you might not have seen the Britain Thinks ones. It’s part of a campaign by people who own billboards to persuade us that we still need billboards.

I could say a lot about the slogan in the pictures above, but it’s already been said, mostly on Mumsnet, and those ads have now been pulled. As for the idea behind it…Their argument is that no matter how brilliant your website, you need a way to drive people to it. My answer is, there is such a way. It’s Twitter. And Facebook. And Google ads. I reckon this is another example of ‘Sun syndrome‘: those who make less and less money from an increasingly obsolete medium desperately blurt out controversy in an attempt to pretend they’re still relevant. (See also the BBC.)

Speaking of desperate attention-seeking by the obsolete…yeah, you know who I’m talking about. I couldn’t possibly express my feelings about Geoff Hoon and Patricia Hewitt any more clearly than their fellow Labour MPs have.

Special mention to The Audacity of Pope. Greg Pope has been on my List of Traitors since this post (well, since a while before then if I’m honest) but he hasn’t shown the same spinelessness as Hoon and Hewitt. And either way, I think the latest post, in which Conor defends his dad while speaking out for party unity and condemning today’s coup-that-never-was, is just fascinating. Are there more intergenerational political blogs? I can’t think of any.

Oh, and LabourList have published a statement calling for party unity. It’s also, slightly annoyingly, a statement calling for the general election to be fought on LabourList’s/Progress’s terms (less criticising rich people, more chucking around words like ‘leadership’), but meh, sign it anyway, I will.

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One comment

  1. DM Andy

    Thank god the career women poster’s been pulled, the first time I saw it was in your picture and as it was next to the Tory one with a typeface that Labour have used, I was thinking it was a hideously misjudged – use the Tories words against them poster that Labour did.

    Glad to see that’s not the case but billboards are funny things, you don’t often get the opportunity to closely examine one if the message is ambiguous.

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