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Category Archives: Current Events

Newcastle, City, and The Offside Rule

I had the Newcastle v Man City match on while I was working at my PC (I feed games through to one of my monitors), when the ref disallowed what would have been a crucial, and spectacular, equaliser for Newcastle. On first look, it appeared to be a legitimate goal, but after a brief discussion the ref disallowed the goal due offside. An instant twitter storm erupted, with many people immediately castigating the referee for an awful decision, but was it an awful decision? I took a look at the various FIFA documents to try and work it out.

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Spot the difference – Royal Charter Edition

Debate about the Royal Charter rumbles on, even after it was finally granted this evening. It’s interesting that it’s not the principle of a charter that the press object to, if it was, surely they would not have submitted their own version. No, it’s the one submitted by those dastardly, elected by the people (sort of), politicians that they specifically object to.

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Press Regulation and the Royal Charter

Over the last few weeks it’s been interesting to watch the press attack the proposed Royal Charter which will provide the framework for press regulation in the UK. I was going to write a rambling post on how the Charter doesn’t restrict press freedom, but realised I don’t need to because it boils down to some key points as follows (in no particular order):

  • It requires a two thirds majority vote in Parliament to change the charter (Point 9.4 or the Charter). This is more than it takes to pass a normal law, which requires a simple majority. I.e. it will be easier to implement a new law curtailing press freedom than to change the Charter to permit it.
  • The Charter explicitly states that any recognised regulator “should not have the power to prevent publication of any material, by anyone, at any time” (Schedule 3, Critera 17). This means that any regulator will not have the authority to prevent the press publishing anything. The press can print anything they like, the Charter simply ensures that people have a cheap way to challenge it afterwards via a regulator.
  • The Royal Charter explicitly prevents politicians from choosing the people on the recognition body (Schedule 1, Clause 2), from being on the recognition body (Schedule 1, Clause 3.3), and from being on a regulator. (Schedule 3, Criteria 5).
  • Given the above, politicians will have no more power or influence over the press than they do now. Of course, like anyone else in the country, politicians will be able to complain to the regulator after publication, and as with every other case,  the regulator will have to judge each case on its merits.

If you are concerned about how the Royal Charter will affect Press Freedom, go and read it (here). It’s reasonably easy to understand, but a bit dry.

 

Edit: Added reference to specific criteria which protects right to publish.

Leaving the UK – Part 2, Democracy and Politics

So part 2 of my writing about leaving the UK will be about the democratic process and politics. This plays a fundamental role in society in general, and the consequences are significant both culturally and personally.  And because it’s important, it’s one of things that can wind me up. As I leave the UK, and I’m no longer affected by the ebb and flow of political whims that I have some personal investment in, the importance and relevance of it all fades, and I can be more pragmatic about it all.

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Leaving the UK – Part 1, Introduction

As my friends and family know, I have finally (after several years of Euro-commuting) left the UK and have no plans to return. While no country is perfect, and my new place of residence has its share of issues, I thought it might be cathartic to explain some reasons why I’m becoming ever more comfortable with my decision, and why it will lead to a better life for my family and I.

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Red Card Reaction

I was watching the Manchester United v Real Madrid match last night while following the #BBCFootball tag on Twitter. It was an okay game, not particularly special or exciting for the neutral and certainly not living up to the hype, even after United got the first goal. Then it all changed, and watching the resulting TwitterStorm there were two things that struck me that I couldn’t explain in 140 characters, so I thought I’d write about it here.

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Real life with Windows 8

It’s been almost four months since I took the plunge and blew away my Windows 7 system and replaced it with Windows 8. I can’t remember exactly why I did it, except that I figured it would be good to get some hands on experience. Having read about but not used any of the pre-release versions, I approached the new release with an open mind, especially since I’m a real fan of Windows 7 (compared to previous Windows releases and Ubuntu). Now I’ve been using the new OS for a while I thought I’d post some some thoughts on the experience of daily use over a sustained period, compared to say initial rantings after a just a few days.

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