First off, the aforementioned resident of the devil's kitchen tears a new arsehole for this poor bastard over his status as designated mourner for the ID card scheme.
Now being the bleeding-heart liberal I shamelessly am I'm rarely in total agreement with my good friend in the kitchen, but on these he (and in fact the rest of those knowledgeable folk on the web) are entirely on the button. A lot has been said on the subject and I have little constructive to add, simple go read whats already been said.
In a narrative similar to the motives for the Iraq invasion, the benefits claimed for the cards have changed as each has been systematically rebuffed. This does not inspire confidence. What is the point of the cards if they will not stop terrorism or identity fraud? And what is the real reason for the government's enthusiasm for them?
Meanwhile in another dusty little room in Edinburgh, bookdrunk is ripping great big stupid-holes in the government's new white paper on education:
And finally, a 'shout-out' (in the lingo of our esteemed tory leader-in-waiting) to another new Edinburgh blogger, the fluffy economist who's latest blog is fighting the corner for a long-dead Greek in the face of a whole tidal wave of confusing Germans. And my position on the subject?
Given the desirable situation is for every school to be a good school, we're left wondering exactly what criteria will be used to exercise 'choice'; it's inferred that this might mean 'specialist' schools or religious schools, but for a document stating a new principal for education it's still left tremendously unclear. There's a curious blend of comprehensive values ("excellence for all") - and free marketeering ("individual choice for all") that has yet to be resolved in any coherent fashion.
Well, far be it from to take the intellectual high ground, but to (mis)quote from Peter Shaffer's Amadeus 'philosophers are not horses to be run against one another'. The idea that everyone of any import has to be dug up, tossed in a ring and forced to fight it off against one another is simple absurd. Whether they're great Britains or great Philosophers or great chartered accountants, to list them in any form is going to rely on current cultural whim and fancy (as Marx would surely tell us) and any spurious factual basis is nothing but a reality effect.
And as for relying on a general(ly uninformed) public guided by some token b-list celebrity backer.... do not get me started.
Next time Anne Robinson comes anywhere near Nietzsche, I'm gonna beat her to death with a copy of 'Thus Spake Zarathustra'.