Archive for December, 2015

Trump’s An Idiot, But Let Him Speak

10/12/2015

I see there’s a petition going round to ban Donald Trump from entering the UK because of his anti-Muslim views. I refuse to sign it.

I don’t agree with Trump and never will, but he’s entitled to his opinions and to express them, however repellent they are. That is what free speech is. Banning someone from speaking is wrong, it will give him spurious legitimacy. It’s also childish. Let him speak, then criticise him, debate, argue, show him up for the ignorant bigot he is.

Censorship is no answer to this. It’s yet another example of “free speech is OK, but”. No, there are no buts. Continue down this road and soon we won’t have free speech. It’s supposed to be one of the core western values. We should not circumscribe it so readily.

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So Long, It Hasn’t Been Good To Know You

09/12/2015

The recent news of the departure Stoke-on-Trent City Council’s controversial chief executive John Van de Laarschot was very welcome and long overdue. It wasn’t a surprise: the council changed hands after the May 2015 elections and new leader Dave Conway was a frequent critic of Van de Laarschot while in opposition.

The departure was a costly one. After several weeks on fully paid gardening leave, he was given a Golden Fuck Off of almost a quarter of a million pounds. And this after a five year tenure that wreaked havoc on the council, ruining successful services and causing staff to leave in unprecedented numbers. This obscenely overpaid and arrogant little man should have been sent packing years ago – there were opportunities, but former leader Mohammed Pervez lacked the balls. Better late than never, I suppose, and good riddance to extremely bad rubbish. A pity it took so long and cost us so much.


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