Worth Reading 163: Impossible darts

The Ulster Question – A good summary of the situation in the Northern Irish seats at the start of the General Election campaign.
Why there won’t be a Labour-SNP coalition – Interesting analysis from Alex Harrowell about the difference between establishment In parties and challenging Out parties.
A shortage of optimism – Lewis Baston on the electoral and policy problems that haunt both major parties.
Grant Shapps is a lying liar who tells lies – Just in case you had any doubts, Tim Ireland exposes the full details of Shapps’ mendacity.
A troubling attitude to statistics – Jonathan Portes of the NIESR explains how the Government’s claims of £1.2bn in savings from the Troubled Families Programme are based more on wishful thinking than any sound methods.

Worth Reading 16: Four square

Or number 10000, if you’re using binary. I for one salute our new machine overlords.

To: Steve Hilton (an open letter) – Tim Ireland’s finally had enough (and with the pressures he’s been under, most people would have cracked long before) and is taking the fight back to his tormentors
Coalition FAQ – Joe Otten gathers a few points together in an easy-to-digest form
The Failure of Realism: Diagnosis Without Any Prescription – I don’t normally look at the Spectator that much, but is a very good deconstruction of Melanie Phillips pushing the ‘dictators or Islamists’ line
Fukuyama, f*** yeah – Crooked Timber’s John Quiggin wonders if the End of History theory is being vindicated now
How left wing are you? – Liberal Conspiracy take a look at some data on how the population of Britain perceives itself politically

And a special bonus Worth Watching link for Al Jazeera English, for its coverage of the events in Egypt.

Worth Reading 9: Mauve Tuesday

Links! Links! Click ’em while they’re hot!

Arab regimes on edge – Foreign Policy looks at the fallout from the events in Tunisia
Ike was right all along: The danger of the military-industrial complex – Looking back at that speech, fifty years on.
Proof: Nadine Dorries lies about police investigations – Revenge is a dish best served by Time Ireland of Bloggerheads
What’s Behind the Right Wing’s Bizarre Obsession with the Gold Standard? – AlterNet investigates
Blue Monday is bullshit churnalism. Beware any journalist who promotes it. – Going back to a point made in his book Bad Science, Ben Goldacre explains how yesterday is only the most depressing day of the year if reading lots of churnalism in the press gets you down

Meanwhile, in Blogtopia

Here’s a positive blogging story for you. An intrepid blogger reads a story in the paper (or ‘the MSM’, as I believe the cool kids refer to it) and then does some research and investigation into it which reveals that the whole thing has been manufactured in an attempt to create a scandal. The whole thing leads to lots of coverage across the media and the newspaper in question admitting that their entire article was based on lies. The investigations also revealed that the people behind the scam were supplying similarly unreliable information to an MP’s office, and so the bloggers let the MP concerned know this.

So, a feelgood story all round, right? The sort of thing you’d expect the self-appointed champions of blogging to be shouting from the rooftops about, as proof that it can achieve something other than just the spreading of gossip. Yes, surely this is a day of triumph that all bloggers can share in.

Meanwhile, in the real world, Tim Ireland is being smeared and harrassed online as a result of his work in exposing the Sun’s ‘terror threat to British Jews’ story as being a fantasy. People are lying that he’s a paedophile or an ‘electronic stalker‘ and ignoring his requests for help by not letting the MP concerned know what’s being done through his office.

I’ve known Tim almost since I began blogging back in the far distant days of 2009. I may not agree with him on everything, but he’s a decent bloke who doesn’t deserve the fields of crap he’s being dragged through by people who really should know better. So, if you can help him out in any way – and no, he’s not asking for money – please do what you can.

(More support for Tim can be found here, here, here and here, for starters)