Your Happening World (July 14th through July 22nd)

  • 1974 -1986: A Spotlight Chronology (work in progress/draft) | Bits of Books, Mostly Biographies – What is perhaps most notable in placing a series of press reports on abuse scandals over any period of time is that there’s a lot of shock and outrage and not much action from anyone in a position of duty, responsibility or power to do anything except to apparently express more shock and outrage, this time on our behalf, before swiftly moving on. Something the collection of press reports at SpotlightOnAbuse ably demonstrate and which forms the spine of this chronology.
  • BBC – Blogs – Adam Curtis – WHAT THE FLUCK! – That at the same time as the police pursue the dodgy private investigators, like AIS, who are bugging and hacking their way into thousands of peoples' lives, the very same police – along with the security services, GCHQ and the NSA – are doing exactly the same to millions of other people. The only difference is that it's legal – because the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act of 2000, and other laws, allow them to do it.
  • How to find the missing Buk system |
  • i believe you | it’s not your fault – Can we use our collective life experience to be a safe haven for kids who need it? Can we tell stories and answer questions and offer solidarity and resources and maybe break some cycles before they begin? Can we do it with humor and transparency, and without coming across like dorky, hand-wringing moms? After all, so many of us are still those kids. So many of us will always be those kids. Well, we can try. … We’re just people who’ve been through stuff, and we’re here. Ask us anything. It’s not your fault. We believe you.
  • Rick Remender, Alleged Statutory Rape, and Jet Black – If your discomfort with the whole Captain America #22 issue is simply the fact that sex had happened between two consenting adults in the presence of alcohol, this isn’t for you. You’re free and completely entitled to hate that and view it with great disdain but my attitude and problem with the fandom is not because of people finding issue with that overused plot device to get two people to finally be comfortable enough to do it but because of people making claims that Jet Black is 14 years old (when she’s not) and thus stating that despite her even saying she’s beyond those years to dare accuse Remender writing a statutory rape scene and faulting Sam Wilson as a rapist. If you had any of these thoughts, this is for you. Before you continue your crusade, please at least let me provide you with some facts.
  • The End of Fan-Run Conventions? | Cheryl’s Mewsings – My point is, however, that there is no upside to running fan conventions anymore. There is no satisfaction in a job well done. The only probable outcome is that you will spend the weeks after the convention dealing with angry and disappointed attendees, and avoiding social media because you don’t want to have to read the awful things that are being said about you.

Michael Martin is a corrupt toadying f*ck

Speaking of foxes in henhouses, what about the chief fox, Michael Martin? Palau already mentioned some of the highlights of his career, but here’s the summation from Wikipedia:

Michael Martin, pompous asshole

On 11 October 2007 Martin was criticised for spending more than £20,000 of taxpayers’ money on lawyers to challenge negative press stories. Media lawyers Carter-Ruck were employed to represent him following articles querying his conduct. Martin was also criticised for the exemption of his wife, Mary, from security checks in the Palace of Westminster, where they live, and for trying to block the publication of details of MPs’ £5m-a-year travel expenses under the Freedom of Information Act.[5]

More controversy followed in February 2008, when press sources reported that Martin used air miles accumulated on official business to fly his children and their families to London in business class. According to guidelines issued by the Members Estimate Committee, which Martin chairs, such air miles should be used by him to offset his own official travel costs.

On 24 February 2008, John Lyon, the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards, was asked by the TaxPayers’ Alliance to investigate whether Martin had abused parliamentary expenses and allowances. Lyon is obliged to examine all such complaints though the Commissioner could rule that the complaint is unfounded. This followed a week in which Martin’s spokesman, the veteran Whitehall communications chief Mike Granatt, resigned after admitting that he had unwittingly misled the Mail on Sunday over more than £4,000 in taxi expenses incurred by the speaker’s wife, Mary Martin. Granatt blamed unnamed officials, but not the Speaker, for falsely informing him that the expenses were legitimate because Martin’s wife had been accompanied by an official on shopping trips to buy food for receptions. It turned out that she had in fact been accompanied by her housekeeper, and catering for such receptions is the responsibility of the parliamentary caterers.[6]

On 29 March 2008, the Daily Telegraph revealed that refurbishment of Michael Martin’s home has cost the taxpayer £1.7m.[7]

On 19 April 2008, an editorial in the left-leaning Observer newspaper renewed called for his retirement as Speaker, saying:
“A fish rots from the head down and in parliament the precipitous decline in ethics and probity begins with the speaker, Michael Martin. For years, the speaker and Mrs Martin have been plundering the public purse for an almost grotesque array of personal perks and foreign junkets. Only last week, we learnt of new beanos to the Gulf, in the wake of similar trips to Hawaii and the Bahamas.” [2]

No wonder the BBC’s PM programme is reporting him as “visibly angry” and “trembling with suppressed anger” about the leaked MPs’ expenses. Who knows what else this fuckwit has to hide. This after all a man who has built his entire career on toadying and has seen all the perks and benefits as no more than what he deserves. He’s the epitome of New Labour’s sense of entitlement.