Worth Reading 50: One L of a good time

Half a century down, how many more to go?

Leicester’s Mayor sacks the man supposed to scrutinise him – As many cities reject the idea of an elected Mayor, Jonathan Calder provides an example of why mayors don’t make for good governance.
Electoral Reform RIP – One year on and Milena Popova is still angry. I think she’s right to be, and for those people who think that the change of the electoral system is just around the corner, I suggest talking to the Australian republicans who voted no in their referendum to see how long they’ve been waiting.
The day after the count – Some interesting ideas to improve election turnout from Edinburgh Eye.
The religious fanatics behind Tory plans to block porn – Unity at Liberal Conspiracy explains some of the flaws in the ‘independent’ report that recommended the Government censoring the internet on your behalf.
So you want to get elected? Then think like a clown. Or a penguin – Amidst the usual sardonic humour of Charlie Brooker, an interesting point: “The problem for politicians is that their chosen sport looks increasingly weird and arcane in the present day – like water polo or lacrosse. The uniforms are antiquated, the rules are stifling, the action is boring, and they’re constantly terrified of upsetting their sponsors. The spectators don’t understand the lingo, don’t think there’s much skill involved, and suspect the game’s rigged anyway.”

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We have good news from Liverpool (via Liberal Vision), where all the important issues facing the city have clearly been solved. After all, they can’t have anything more important to deal with if they’ve got the time to carry out this consultation about giving films that feature smoking an 18 certificate in the city.

Sadly, people from outside Liverpool can’t take part in the consultation exercise, though this may be a good thing as I imagine the owners of any cinemas just outside the borders of Liverpool would be arguing strongly for it to be brought in. But if you are resident in Liverpool or representing ‘national bodies and organisations with a clear interest in the proposal’, please do feel free to take part, and tell them what a silly idea it is.

Of course, this has come from a Liberal Democrat-controlled Council, but I’ll save my condemnation of them until it’s shown that they were complicit in allowing this consultation to go for. Knowing how local government works, and seeing that this is being pushed by the local Primary Care Trust – again, it’s good to know that the people of Liverpool are so healthy they can concentrate on ideas like this – it’s entirely possible that this has got to this stage without any elected official actually seeing it. However, any action resulting from this does have to be approved by the Council, and I would hope that that would be where this nonsense ends.

For if it doesn’t, what next? Obviously, scenes involving alcohol would have to go behind the protection of an 18 certificate (sorry kids, you can’t watch The Parent Trap, as it features scenes on a vineyard with no information about the dangers of drinking), then dangerous driving would have to go and, of course, any character who ate unhealthily and didn’t suffer the fate of Mr Creosote would be far too dangerous an example for the kids to see. In short, the only James Bond safe for anyone under 18 would likely be any scenes involving Japanese food in You Only Live Twice, because you’re never too young to understand the benefits of sushi.

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