Banish the poor from the electoral register!

The development of the politics of the Boundary Commission review is moving with immense rapidity. In the area I live, we have a rather awesome local web site called Brockly Central which has reported on the Boundry Commission’s review in an article called “Deptford & Greenwich”. The Tory/LibDem coalition have decided to reduce the number of MPs in the House of Commons. While this may on the face of it be poplar, it’s a ruse to disguise the rewriting of the rules in their favour. …

A pointless audience

PointlessI just love Pointless, the BBC Quiz show, where contestants have to show they know more than an audience by answering questions, obscurely, to obtain low scores. The final question requires that the contestants find an answer which none of the audience has mentioned. The hosts, Alexander Armstrong & Richard Osman do their best to make the contestants welcome,  it’s a really gentle atmosphere, teams get two chances to play so if they’re very unlucky with the questions they don’t feel badly treated, the prizes are typically British quiz show,  …

Of compromise agreements, and the spreading of manure

Coulson, the former Director of Information for the Conservative Party and Govt. Press Supremo, and currently under arrest, has been spreading it like manure again. It seems he left News International under a ‘Compromise Agreement‘ and continued to receive payments from his previous employer while serving as a senior employee of the Conservative Party. It has been suggested that these payments are a de-facto and thus undeclared donation to the Conservative Party. If true, this would be against the law. …

Good British Universities, again

I don’t want to get into a row with David Blanchflower,who takes issue with the QS University Ranking results 2011 and have no argument with his assertion that Cambridge is not the best University in the World, but unless the U. of Shanghai  (UoS) have revised their methodology since I last looked at it while on the EU’s NESSI steering committee, in early 2009 , they

  • overemphasise Science (& specifically Medicine)
  • overemphasise US publication (& hence English language research)
  • have no teaching quality metric ( apart from alumni citations)

Music Copyright, Qui Bono?

The Register today comments on whether Vivendi might buy EMI. They don’t seem that interested but they point at a story that EMI had passed into the hands of Citigroup, which I had missed. They are no longer a public company and certainly not in the FTSE any more.

This is important, since according to Wikipedia’s Music Industry page, albeit in 2005, EMI sold ~13% of the world’s traded music.(The market is dominated (72%) by four companies, the other three of which are Universal, owned by Vivendi, a French company, Sony, ultimately a Japanese company and Warner Music, a US based company.)

World music sales, 2005. Source: Wikipedia.

They were the only UK company in this list. (I think we can see where I am going with this). The world’s law makers are passing laws, such as the UK’s Digital Economy Act against the interests of their voters, and in the interests of four companies. In the case of the UK lawmakers, none of these companies are now UK quoted. Just whose jobs and prosperity are they protecting?

Why are we doing this again?

Wikipedia also has a page called Global Music Market Share, which might shed some light on today’s numbers. …