Food paranoia – feel free to ignore it…

The Guardian is bitching and whining – dear god, are they ever!** – about how unhealthy cheese can be, and why we should seek out healthier versions. Well, here’s a thought – no, we bloody shouldn’t! Because no normal person eats enough cheese to be at risk, and even if they did Continue reading

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Is Twitter destroying your social life?

The Guardian, it seems, can’t be bothered to report on yesterday’s TUC march in London, in which an estimated 150,000 took part.

It can find the space, however, to launch one of its regular bullshit attacks on social networking, in “How social networks can destroy your social life. Written by John Naughton,** an OU professor of “the public understanding of technology” who demonstrates that, while bitching about things he doesn’t like, he really understands little.

**Tried to discover if he has a Twitter account, but Continue reading

The Welfare Bill and the Guardian – a snapshot…

Welfare bill penalises cancer patients, screams the Guardian.

Utter bullshit. It penalises every single chronically sick and disabled person in this benighted country, along with anybody who is likely to become so in the foreseeable future.

Cancer patients might be more dramatically newsworthy but a great many people are Continue reading

The Guardian’s Comment is Free moderation needs transparency…

I wrote, some time back, about the poor quality of moderation in the Guardian’s Comment is Free section, especially the habit of deleting any comments questioning the impartiality of the moderators, no matter how polite and reasonable.

The comment thread following this article, discussing the first student demo/riot (depending on which side of the argument you’re on), protesting about the grant cuts, and also covering the fact that the cabinet is so badly out of touch with reality because 18 of the buggers are millionaires, to whom the concept of a day’s work is, for the most part, entirely alien, is studded with deletions. And there are bound to be many deletions we don’t even know about, as comments seem to vanish without trace, as I mentioned in my original post,

And a thought occurred to me Continue reading

The Guardian’s Comment is Free moderation sucks…

The moderators at the Guardian’s Comment is Free section are completely out of control.

In today’s online paper, there’s a discussion of the “Blood Diamond” trial in CiF, and Naomi Campbell is getting a lot of coverage, especially in the  comments, and one guy had a comment deleted by the moderators. A few hours later he came back, protesting about his deletion, politely, and Continue reading

The dumbing-down of the Guardian…

According to the Guardian,  “The taxpayer is sitting on a profit of close to £10bn on its stakes in Royal Bank of Scotland and Lloyds Banking Group after a surprise surge in their share prices.”

Well, no, we’re bloody well not. The taxpayer will see bugger all of that money. The exchequer will reap the benefits, if any, not the taxpayer. As always.

In theory, taxes might Continue reading

Letters to the editor..

On occasion, I get the urge to write to newspapers, usually The Guardian or Observer. They often edit letters, usually when you ramble on too long, but they used to do it with skill, reducing the number of words but keeping to the spirit of the original. They seem to have lost that skill (and looking at some of the ill-written crap that appears in their online paper, it’s a plague that’s spreading).

Last week, I wrote this, in response to a restaurant review in The Guardian’s Weekend magazine:-

Matthew Norman (Weekend, January 19, at the Griffin Inn), banging on about pan-fried this, and pan-roasted that. Pans – so much better for frying and roasting, I always think, than a plastic bucket, or a top hat. Yes Matthew, it’s a restaurant, they use pans – we know!

Regards,

Ron Graves.

I mean, it’s short enough, but they still cut it – badly – when they published it:-

Matthew Norman bangs on about pan-fried this, and pan-roasted that (Restaurant Review, January 19). It’s a restaurant, Matthew, they use pans.

Ron Graves

OK, the plastic bucket and top hat bit is just me being a smart-arse, and could have been cut without too much damage, but if they’d just have left the final – we know, it would have been better than this. The tone, now, is all wrong, it just looks snarly rather than slightly witty.

A few weeks ago, they cut another one so much it was meaningless, so that they had to insert a few lines of their own in explanation. When I wrote to them about the futility of editing so badly they then has to explain – which took up the same space as my original would have – I just got back an email full of confused, incoherent drivel. I can’t say I was surprised – levels of literacy at the Guardian have plummeted of late. I think the problem is that the editorial staff are getting younger and they – even with the benefits of a university education – just don’t have the facility with language that their elders have. No-one there, for example, seems to know the difference between partake and participate, seeming to consider them interchangeable and opting for the former. Unless, of course, they are only confident in their spelling with words of seven letters or fewer…