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Digital Economy and Vulture Funds

Wednesday 24th March, very mild, cloud rising and clearing as the afternoon declines. Did I say, on that walk from Woodingdean to Lewes, I never saw so many sweet violets before. These, in the thumbnail, running all along the foot of an old wall by the Downs Hotel, unphased by busy road at their feet. The scent, a delicate blend of Parma sherbert and dog wee. . . presumably passing dogs either like the odour and give it their seal of approval, or else hate it and try to do everyone a good turn by providing their own Febreze.

If you were involved in the Drop the Debt movement a few years back, you probably got an emergency email a week or so ago, over the sabotaging of the Debt Relief (Developing Countries) Bill: a private member's move, that had cross-party support and was about to become law, to protect the poorest countries in the world from toxic lawyers. Here's the link if you'd still like to do something to support that: Sadly, though we may have hoped that the toxic lobbying behind that last minute "objection" from Christopher Chope was private enterprise too, it seems that Mr Cameron may well have approved their attitude:

It shouldn't be this way. Justice and Peace should be the openly avowed objectives of the State, globally and locally. Greed and Hypocrisy, those two pillars of the English nation, should be the country's shadow-self, skulking in corners, afraid to speak their own names. Would it were so.

While I'm at it, here's news of another Bill that's going to be law before you know it: a link to Gill Spraggs' post on the Digital Economy Bill. An issue that definitely wants watching. Plus her detailed take on Clause 43

Small item in New Scientist: Surveys have shown that when people insulate their housing to the nth, the saving on energy consumption is considerably less than predicted, for the people are more interested in comfort than conservation, and having stuffed their cavity walls, filled the loft with foam and double-glazed everything else, they then tend to turn the heat up. Same sort of thing happens when Gordon Brown, who doesn't have a clue, or want one, on Environmental Issues, decides to embrace Greenwash. Hence the High Speed Rail Network proposal, a Big, Big, Flagship project that will Save the Planet (as less people will fly from London to Birmingham) so that means huge spending on a completely new build, while leaving the existing network languishing, is perfectly okay. It's having your cake and eating it too! Shame it isn't actually going to connect with Heathrow, but that's a footnote. Here's Christian Woolmar's take:

Hm. Maybe I should have headed this "please do not read unless you already agree with me". But though it sounds like a ranting set of links, that's because of my grumpy temper this afternoon. Your actual respondents are an even-handed lot, and worth anybody's attention.