• Indoor work relief for the middle classes
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    Indoor work relief for the middle classes

    by

    RolwandsonSelectVestry

    John Stuart Mill described the British Empire as “outdoor relief for the middle classes”. The phrase “indoor relief”, at the time, referred to the state-sponsored workhouse programme, which invented jobs for the poor to prevent them being idle. Mill was implying that the Empire was a gigantic job creation scheme.

    But in the 21st century the British Empire appears to be resurrecting itself in a very strange and interesting new way. In response to a FOIA request from Leo Hickman, … Read More

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  • Nature ISN’T fragile – nor a bossy mother-in-law

    Nature ISN’T fragile – nor a bossy mother-in-law

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    gaia-yarn

    The Green movement needs to rethink its philosophy from the ground-up. That’s according to Peter Kareiva, a leading conservation expert and chief scientist for The Nature Conservancy, the world’s biggest environmental group.

    It must abandon the idea that nature is “feminine” and in particular that it’s “fragile”, he said, because not only is this artificial, it’s wrong, and so many bad ideas follow.

    When people believe that a fragile “Mother Nature” is harmed by anything humans do, it’s actually the … Read More

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  • Who killed ITV Digital?
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    Who killed ITV Digital?

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    After 25 years of watching the Murdoch TV empire unfold, the battle plan to beat him should be fairly obvious. You buy the best content – the most popular sport and movies – and raise lots of capital, and make watching it easy. Then you dig in for a very long fight.

    In other words, this is the entertainment-business-as-usual. Wannabe telly and radio empires have failed because they bought the wrong stuff, were inconvenient to use or because they were … Read More

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  • Cameron’s ‘Google Review’ sparked by killer quote that never was

    Cameron’s ‘Google Review’ sparked by killer quote that never was

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    cameron_zeitgeist

    Prime Minister David Cameron launched a sweeping review of UK intellectual property law based on an assertion – that the founders of Google believed they could "never have started their company in Britain" – he can’t support, from a source nobody can find. We know this because new information released by No 10 in response to FOIA requests has ruled out private conversations as the possible source.

    This is truly a strange story, and it starts in November 2010. … Read More

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  • Are you a Nouveau-Reithian?
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    Are you a Nouveau-Reithian?

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    How to fund a great BBC … without creating 142,000 new criminals a year

    Not one Hollywood studio or record label company has ever incarcerated anyone merely for not paying for media consumption. A few years ago the entertainment industry filed civil suits against individuals, but received so much criticism it stopped. Now they target industrial-scale pirates, or push for milder sanctions such as speed slowdowns and contract termination.

    To any reasonable person, prison is a harsh and unjust punishment … Read More

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  • Our ‘digital economy’ is still a circular firing squad

    Our ‘digital economy’ is still a circular firing squad

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    The British ISP industry has spent a small fortune of its customers’ money fighting the people who would, in a saner world, be its business partners – only to suffer a crushing defeat. On Tuesday Lord Justice Richards threw out BT and TalkTalk’s judicial review against the 2010 Digital Economy Act.

    Yet as trench warfare goes, they may consider it worth every penny.… Read More

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