Sunday, February 26, 2006


On Saturday, Withiel, Talyn, and myself descended on the People of Oxford with a hastily bought dictaphone, a disposable camera, a wodge of paper, and several pens. Our purpose was to journalise the living intellects out of the planned pro- and anti-vivisection marches.

As soon as we recover from our hangovers/have slept, and have decided on a possible new format for the site to cover the sheer volume of information we have gathered and interpreted, expect a mindfuck of a post on a disappointingly riotless demonstration.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Dinglegate Update

Recent commentary on an Oscilnut parodic lyrical misadventure on the subject of Dinglegate ran thus:

Anonymous Very good lyrics, although I believe that you haven't quite captured the full evilness of the guy. I am acquainted with the whole story as I am close friend of the lady who had the courage to "out" Mr. Dingle. He has ruined her life for 4 years, and since the article, many other have come out of the woodwork. He is about to be declared bankrupt, and seemed to be living 10 lives, not a "double life". Some of his lies have been despicable and low (his step-mother dying, his involvement in the Tavistock Square bombing and others). The guy is a sociopath, and it's a miracle that he has held such a responsible position. Hopefully, thanks to this article, people who have been affected by him can start to move on, but don't underestimate the effect his lying has had on people around him.

Oh yes, I forgot to say, the article is completely true, but there is more. Let's hope it all comes out.

Oscilnut His involvement with the July 7 bombings???

Did he claim to single-handedly evacuate everyone off the wrecked bus or similar?

I think we ought to be told.

Also, not meaning to be unfriendly, but could you drop a name (not necessarily a real one) with you next post?

Anonymous Apparently he told another woman that he was involved in the bus bombing, probably as an excuse for being absent for a few days. He claimed that a colleague of his died and he was treated in hospital but was released the same day.

This is not the behaviour of a normal human being, but of a complete freak.

Would be good to know if you guys have any gossip on him? Did his crazy behaviour spill over into his job?

By the way, if anyone had a grass tins that were confiscated, we could probably return them!

Oh, and the thing with the dress photo....he asked if he could wear it, and also quite liked it if female acquaintances could wear school uniform. If it wasn't so sinister, it could almost be amusing.

I can drop a name...I am The Gate.

Well, The Gate, your input is greatly appreciated by all here at The Rhexis. We encourage you to add as much as you feel able to share on the subject of Dinglegate. In answer to your question, whilst the man was an intolerable, smarmy, moralising, two-faced, shallow, mildly bigoted wanker, and rumours and near-truths abounded, he never seemed insane as such. It seems you may well be right to use the word "sociopath" to describe him. More, please.

The following was found as a late addition to Commentary on Talyn's original Dinglegate article:

Anonymous The story in the Mail is absolutely true. I know the girl in the story and indeed met 'James' many times. I also understand that Royal Grammar School grass is top quality.

Veins So it would seem!

Talyn, Withiel, Oscilnut, Thaddeus, and myself are all ex-students. (As is ~x~, but his entire contribution to The Rhexis was to crash it in 2004 by trying to upload a picture of his dog, and promising (and then failing) to run our 2005 election coverage.)

However, we would be fascinated, and more than happy to publish (or not) any further information you could provide on this subject. Presumably you are "The Gate"? If not, could you drop us a name (false if you prefer)?

If anybody has anything they can share on the Dingle fiasco, feel free to let us know. Comment on this article, or e-mail or to get in more discreet contact with Withiel or myself.


Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Transport System

Now, I know there are some major flaws in this, I just don't know what they are. Feel free to rip apart. (Winces.)

Instead of cars, you have little pods covered in solar panels. The solar panels will probably not generate enough power to power said pods, but they'd help; you could also cover the rooves of houses with them, and possibly even the gaps in the rails that they would run on. These pods can be purchased and installed upon the rails. All the roads in the country are removed and replaced with rails (bear with me). The pods then, using the solar energy, run around on these rails, and when they run out of solar energy then they can switch to non-renewable energy.

All the roads are connected to a computer which knows exactly where each pod is (though not who it is owned by or who is inside for privacy's sake). When you get inside the pod, you tell said computer where you want to go (like sat nav) and it works it out and sends you off. Roundabouts and stuff can be worked out with this computer. (In games such as Grand Theft Auto they have managed to successfully simulate working areas of roads, so it isn't that big a leap.) There would be a set speed that these pods can go (the speed limit could often be increased if more pedestrian crossings were built), and so we wouldn't really have the problem of speeding. The pods themselves could be made incredibly secure, as no glass would need to be present, since you don't need to see where you are going. (If you wanted windows you could possibly pay extra for cameras and screens hooked up live to each other or whatever.)

The most obvious problem would be changing the current system. You could, however, convert cities (or areas of cities) into pedestrian areas with these little pods and tracks, one at a time, and have systems like the Park and Ride governing them. These could then be gradually connected up until people in the more rural areas would have to drive to a station and get one of these pods. You could have larger pods to act as public transport, and possibly even larger ones to allow the transport of goods.

The benefits would be huge. For one, people of any age could go anywhere and not have to rely on parents for lifts (though obviously some sort of parental control would need to be implemented). The fuel would be much cleaner, and it would solve car crime, congestion, etc. You could even have seperate rails for emergency services.

The big problem is money, as usual, but still...

As I said, there must be more problems with this that I haven't seen, so feel free to rip apart. It'll only result in a wasted bus journey on my part.


Dear Mr. Grieve,

Re. the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

I urge you to ensure that this bill is not passed. The frankly astounding and disgusting powers that this legislation would allow threaten the very existence of democracy in the UK.

Permitting the government to alter the terms of any law after passing and without vote, no matter what qualifications are applied to these powers, is a repugnant betrayal of the due process of democracy.

In the name of sanity, I feel I must insist that you continue to do all within your power as a Member of Parliament to stop this immoral madness.

Yours &c.

(SXV to Dominic Grieve, MP (Con) for Beaconsfield)

Dear Mr. Goodman,

Re. the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill

In the name of sanity in general, and continued democracy within this country in particular, I urge you to do everything within your power as a Member of Parliament to oppose this repulsive and dangerous Bill. This is a matter of the greatest urgency, upon which the Government must be challenged for its immoral and anti-democratic actions.

Yours &c.

(WSB to Paul Goodman, MP (Con) for Wycombe)

Confused? I refer you to the Abolition of Parliament Bill. Remain calm. Go here. NOW PANIC. 100% negatives from Lib Dem and Con seats is to be expected - but 100% AFFIRMATIVES FROM LABOUR SEATS IS NOT. Not ONE fucking rebel. If the PLP falls in line, this bill WILL be passed, the opposition be damned, sanity be damned, democracy be damned, and we'll all be damned.

Be prepared to descend on London and become EXTREMELY agitated if this bill is passed. Until then, write to your MP.


Edit: A response from Dominic Grieve, MP

Dear Mr [SXV],

Thank you for your email of 22 February concerning the Government's Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill. I read with interest the points that you made.

Firstly, let me say that I fully support the aspiration to reduce the amount of regulation, red tape and bureaucracy in this country. Independent studies have shown that the UK's economic competitiveness has slipped in comparison to other countries, and that one of the key reasons for this is that we have become over-regulated over recent years. The British Chambers of Commerce has estimated the cost of new regulations introduced on business since 1997 is now approaching £40 billion. This is a heavy burden for British business to bear, and I firmly believe that this trend must be reversed.

I am not convinced, however, that the Legislative and Regulatory Reform Bill is currently the best way to achieve genuine deregulation in this country. I accept that the Bill could provide genuine benefits for business, but believe that crucial changes must be made to the Bill before it can become law.

I am particularly concerned at the potential for Parliament to be by-passed by the order-making powers contained in Part 1 of the Bill. These powers are extremely constitutionally significant. There is a precedent for governments possessing the power to relieve burdens without full Parliamentary approval, but the Bill extends the powers available to Ministers while relaxing the constraints of Parliamentary scrutiny.

The Bill does not actually mention deregulation, so it is perfectly possible that the powers could be used to introduce new legislation and regulation, rather than to relieve burdens. It is imperative that the circumstances in which these powers can be used are limited and clearly set out in the Bill.

I would like to assure you that Oliver Heald MP, the Shadow Constitutional Affairs Secretary, and I, will be working hard to ensure that the proper safeguards are built into the Bill and that Parliament is not sidelined.

Thank you for taking the time to write to me on this important issue.

With best wishes,

Yours sincerely,

Dominic Grieve MP

Edit: our attention has also been drawn to this excellent site, which contains thirteen very important questions to put to your MPs. I urge you to read them, and include some or all in letters to your representatives.

Monday, February 20, 2006

The Trouble With Boys (Soldiers, Poets and Theory, Oh My!)

What's wrong with men?

It's a very valid question, considering the fact that they kind of, you know, run more or

less everything. And, as has been pointed out, a fine mess they*'ve got us into. ("They" and

"us" being fairly nebulous concepts in this case, given that I am in face of a masculine

persuasion - there's a distinction to be made here between people who are phenotypically male

and males who define themselves fully by a societal conception of their gender role. A

differentiation between "men" and "gentlemen", if you like, although the reality tends to

differ from the etymology rather).
Right. Society is a self-perpetuating system, in that it reproduces the image of its subjects

into the next generation. What I mean by this is that the reason you fit into society is not

that it is designed for you, rather that its dictates have shaped aspects of your persona. So

far, so simple. This can be seen incredibly obviously in the choice of playthings we give

children. All little girls grow up to be mothers, so we give them plastic imitations of

children and household objects to train them for this role. Equally, we give little boys toy

guns and military uniforms, because all little boys... Hang on a minute.
The first statement is evil, anti-feminist and Wrong. However, the role of wifehood is more

or less achievable to women. (Slightly more sane note: Unless they're gay, asexual,

individualist, etc, but bear with me here.).
However, in a fairly non-militarised culture, we bring young boys up to be soldiers. Some of

these young boys can go on to fulfil their goal, and join one of the various

uniformed-forces-that-kill-people in their respective countries. Everyone else has to live in

a supposedly civilised society where you have to make your own decisions and try not to kill

people (unless you're in the Cabinet). So, in the simplest figuring, as a man you're either

trapped in a societally-approved and lethal childhood fantasy, or wishing you were.

So, Binky the Cheap-Suited Corporate Drone in middle-management wishes he was out on a

battlefield somewhere, blowing the backs of people's heads off, or, worse, he figures his

current career as if this were the case.
The problem is that this meme of men-as-soldiers is incredibly widespread, and it's not

restricted to simply to people who buy into societal concepts of gender. It's almost

tediously common for men in counter-cultural positions to figure themselves as soldiers or

rhetoric as warfare (look at the archives and you'll see how often I do it myself). To think

of yourself as a soldier in a war against the forces of conformity shores up the reactionary

paradigm of discourse and discussion as warfare. To a certain extent, for the polemicist to

represent hirself as a soldier is useful: a soldier is a utilitarian humanoid who is trained

to perform a task adequately, but is ultimately replaceable. This, then, is useful, but

ultimately anti-individualist. Therefore, it looks like we need another archetype to adopt for maximum cultural impact. Perhaps the poet symbol might work, given that it is the diametric opposite of the soldier. The poet is aesthetic, super-sensitive, artistic and irreplaceable. However, this archetype is seen by society as effete and irrelevant, and any polemic produced from this figure can be pigeonholed as "artistic" or otherwise not true. My suggestion is that a fusion of the two as a symbol would be the most efficacious. The polemicist should be a solder-poet; a sensitive figure that is fully capable of doing battlle in a rhetorical arena, an individual figure that is part of a wider ideological movement and so can't be dismissed on hir own... In other words, FORWARD THE LEGION OF DOOMED POETS!

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Brief Miscellany


...makes sense. Calling free trade "Thatcherite" is like calling toothbrushing "Hitlerite"; neither was the inventor of the former, and simply supporting the technique, however mismanaged, does not make it evil by association. Both Churchill and Clinton were advocates of open borders (war withstanding) and free trade, and whilst it causes temporary job loss, it also creates jobs, and improves the economy and opportunity for both countries employing the policy, and those struggling to survive.

I will post a coherent argument in favour of free trade, and exactly why it compromises PRECISELY NONE of socialist libertarian ideals, when there is the inevitable general uproar of WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT? CAPITALIST PIG! EXPLAIN YOURSELF! REMEMBER THE ALAMO! WOULD YOU LIKE A FRENCH FANCY?


"You have to put Orange-Juice-and-Lemonade in an Old Regular glass, not a Pint glass, and Lattes in mugs, not Capuccino cups."

"OJ-and-Lemonade looks fine in a pint glass, and Lattes look better in Capuccino cups. There's no picture of either in the menu, so you can't use that ridiculous 'ALL PRODUCTS MUST MATCH THE IMAGE OF GOD' argument again."

"Harvester is a branded restaurant. If people have been to a Harvester somewhere else, and then order the same drink here and get it in a different cup, they complain. Harvester is a branded restaurant."




3. YOU CANNOT BRAND-REGULATE SERVICE. Coke is a product. Wherever people go, they expect it to taste the same. The Harvester is a chain of restaurants and pubs. Every Harvester is in a completely different building, with a different manager and different staff, at a different level of catch-up with ever-changing procedures and products, in a different area, with different clientèle. Chemicals are controllable, people are DIFFERENT. You can, and in many cases should, ensure that a product is exactly the same wherever it is. You cannot, and will only encourage resentment and counterproductivity if you do, ensure that a service is exactly the same wherever it is.

Monday, February 13, 2006

What is the relationship between a person within a literary text and a person outside of it?

Interpolated Answer (i)

Initially, it is necessary to establish the meaning of the term “person”, and traditional to do so by citing and elaborating a canonical definition. Therefore, according to Locke, “a person” is different from “a human being”. To callously truncate a well-developed philosophical debate (quite possibly with the figurative Vulgar Freudian Vorpal Sword of Brevity), identity in general is predicated on continuity of some sort, and personal identity is established by means of the continuity of memory. It is entirely possible, then, that Locke’s definition of a person as a thinking being with a continuous set of memories can be adapted to apply to fictional characters to a greater or lesser extent. In that although the majority of human beings (the notable exceptions, it seems, being most State administrators) treat others as if they were thinking beings with memories &c, we have no means of objectively proving this. However, we have evidence of the thinking of entities within texts that is greater than that we possess of other minds: one can literally “read the mind” of Titus Groan, but be unable to enter the mental world of one’s coincidentally violet-eyed teenage son. At this point, the Free Will Debate rears its scabby head, and somewhere in a completely metaphorical afterwor(l)d(?), A.J.Ayer sharpens Occam’s Razor with a horrible grin. This may need some explanation.

Clarification on (i) ((ii))

To clarify, it is unclear whether or not human beings possess free will. Although I know that at least one human being (Your Humble Narrator) is capable of thought and an approximation of coherent memory, I am unaware whether or not my life is in fact that of a puppeteered envatted brain, and that I have in fact no choice but to lack a range of facial expression and say “Whoa” a lot.

Quaalude (iib)*

At this point, it strikes me that getting to the point is a little like Hunting the Snark; it requires an awful lot of nonsensical preamble, and ends with the thing turning out to be unexpectedly predatory. In this case its principle prey appear to be the endangered Brevity Antelope and the cripplingly shy Coherence Hedgehog. More on this later, I fear.

* A Quaalude is a neologism implying a gently soothing interlude, possibly with mildly narcotic effects.

Interpolated Answer (iii)

Logically, therefore, it would seem that it is certain that if our free will is dubious, that of entexted characters (those in the state of being present in a text, regardless of fictionality) is impossible. However, this is not always the case. Although some characters are devoid of opportunity to act with some freedom, due to the specificity of their description, those that are better written, and in the Deconstructionist sense, more fertile, may be demonstrated to have shifting motivations within the text. That is to say, although conventional figurations would have their attributes and reasons for behaving established by the readers’ interpretation, this seems unnecessarily egotistical on the part of the reader: this fluidity of character content in open texts could instead be constructed as a product of the interface between the current condition of the outside world and the text itself, with the human being performing the act of reading behaving as a mere catalyst. It cannot be denied, for example, that greater knowledge of homosexuality renders “fertile” characters in Victorian sentimental friendships quite differently than might have originally been intended. I, for one, find it a great effort of mind to consider the relationship of P.G.Wodehouses’ Jeeves and Wooster in an “innocent” manner. These characters develop velocity and intentionality, and often cannot be contained by their respective texts or indeed original authors. Therefore, the more an entexted character’s motivation or nature can be considered ambiguous or open for interpretation, the greater portion of free will ze can be allotted, in light of the reasoning that our own freedom of action is equally, if not more dubious.

Preliminary Summary (iv)

A summary! It has been established that characters within a text can be considered “persons” to the same extent as those ostensibly outside such a construction, which validates the first part of the question, and completes (according to ancient tradition) the first phase of the answer. (The second part of the question finishes with a preposition, and as such is entirely irredeemable).

Dialogue (v)

Question: How is the above discourse relevant to Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market?

Puck (in an Expository Voice): I’m glad you asked that, Question. Not only is all that has preceded necessary to establish the philosophical and tonal grounds on which the discussion of the poem takes place, but it has also permeated the text with an air of gentle whimsy.

Question: That’s not really an answer, you know.

Puck: Certainly not. I will expand upon this. Christina Rossetti’s Goblin Market is fascinating in this context because it contains convoluted and partially-hidden chains of command and association between entexted characters, the poet, the author-function and the text itself. Firstly, the establishment of persons is a little awry; not only are the “Maids” of the second line not named until the second stanza, suggesting that the characters of “Lizzie” and “Laura” may in fact be representative types, the narrative voice adopts the focalisation of the goblins themselves in order to express the first iteration of the erotic, fast-rhythmed fruit chant that appears periodically throughout the poem. To a critical mind such as mine, dear Question, this immediately casts doubt upon the poets’ intentions, in that the division between speaker and writer is highlighted by the inconsistency of voice and character naming: the use of specifically textual toyings with identity draw attention to the flesh-and-blood poet’s existence by flaunting their unreality. Or at least existence on another, written plane of existence. Moreover, the alliteration of the only human characters’ names implies a basic typical similarity, and this appears to be borne out by the fact that the only difference between them is in their behaviour towards the “goblin men”. This would imply that they are perhaps allegorical constructions intended to demonstrate a conflict in dichotomous, possibly didactic form. Furthermore, if one considers the figuration of the psychomachia – are you following me?

Question (Brechtianly): Yes, yes, do go on.

Puck: Good. If one considers the popular construction of the psychomachia, then one could figure Lizzie and Laura as “Lizzie” and “Laura” – figures for two conflicting elements of the poet’s personality. Furthermore, their descriptions throughout as two parts of one whole – when embracing, their body parts are not distinguished from each other, nor are they ascribed individual physical characteristics at any time – would appear to provide a nice (in the archaic sense, of course) illustration of the way in which conflict destroys the harmony of the mind. Therefore, one could, in fact figure the entire narrative as a reintegration narrative using the “goblin men” as any tempting force one cares to name, and “Lizzie” and “Laura” as conflicting sub-personalities within the mind of the writer. Shall we do that, Question?

Question: Yes, that would be a lark!

Puck: I’ll start. Once it has been established that the formerly inextricably intertwined protagonists are split only over their attitude to the special fruit of the goblin men, Rossetti’s puzzling use of homoerotic imagery begins to make sense within the societal and religious context of the poem. In the same vein as the Song of Solomon, the sexual imagery is used as a metaphor for perfect unity and interpolation, or interpenetration if you prefer.

Question (with rising excitement): And I do. (he takes a breath) Therefore, it is all the more significant that the enactment of the desire of one element of the difecta results in their physical differentiation: Laura becomes grey and wizened after her traumatic goblin-fruit encounter, whereas the more restrained Lizzie remains plump and golden. Although textually they are reunited only by a Christian act of simultaneous altruistic submission and self-abnegation (combined with the much older Tricking-the-Trickster-Figure motif), on the more symbolic level the twain only do meet, so to speak, when they come to the mutual realisation that they are in fact elements of an integrated whole.

Puck: Of course! And this is enacted in the text by the repetition of lines from the initial goblin-encounter such as “knew not was it night or day”, and the return of the aforesaid sexual imagery, here made even more explicitly oral than the goblin men’s parade of suggestive and magical fruit, with their juices that lead to terrible consequences for a young girl. So we’ve worked it all out! Well done us!

Question: Hold on there…that might be the author’s interpretation of the relationship between her and the characters , but this is impossible for us to know, because she’s dead, and necromancers are too expensive for literary critics, especially imaginary ones. Surely it’s impossible for us to know whether or not we’ve established the relationship and the nature of the characters for certain? In fact, isn’t this whole argument

Puck: Just a straw man enacting the writer’s false-dichotomous use of characters to sort out a problem?

Both: Ah. (Exeunt within the page with great rapidity.)

A Conclusion, in One Part, or, Glossoembolaliectomy*. (vi)

It has been established that the relationship between characters within a text and writers is far more fertile and obscured than a crude discourse on the matter would claim. Furthermore, this is complicated by the propensity of human beings to adopt personae for varying reasons, especially if this is consciously performed: it is possible for a writer to adopt two personae simultaneously in order to solve a problem, which are then extant in the text being written and in the real world in the mind of the writer (QED, see (v)). Moreover, given the philosophical debate and uncertainty over the nature of a “person” and the existence of free will, the extent to which a writer and an entexted character differ seems to be either vanishingly small or impossible to ascertain. Indeed, if a writer constructs certain passages in order to elicit a response from the reader, and in doing so manipulates, forwards in time, a “real” person’s response, is the latter entity not to some degree a character being “written” by another character on the same (presumably) non-fictional plane of being? This would be borne up by the Structuralist assertion that everything, including real behaviour and character, can be considered “text”. To summarise the relationship between a person within a literary text and a person outside of it is impossible, due to the mutability (implicit in personhood) of both parties, even disregarding the problems inherent in the interpenetration of different levels of textual reality. These relationships are incestuous at their simplest, and at their most complex, fractal. The primary use of fractals at our current technological level being to make pretty pictures, the projected use being to build computers capable of generating coherent alternate worlds. In short, the best a critic can do until philosophy catches up with hir is to configure intra- and extra-textual relationships into as appealing a pattern as ze can: The best stories, then, are those that beget stories about them.

*The removal of unnecessary and random babble from a discourse with surgical precision.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

A musical tribute to Timothy T. Dingle.

We apologise for the length, shoddy verse, and tedium of this latest of Oscilnut's unfortunate song parodies, but since it led to important Comments, it has been left up rather than appended to the earlier Dinglegate article. -SXV


"The School, she hangs her Head in shame
At Tim Dingle's serial lying disease
As this comedy starts with a shattered glass heart
And the moralising sermonic reams.
But no, no tears please
Nicked cocaine leads to career death
But it is desire that shepherds its certainty
As we shall see..."

He was a two-faced crap teacher snorting powder off mirrors
A royal cunt.
Far beyond the pale, typical Walter Mitty, with his morals for sale
Psycho-christian views, libertarian's nightmare...

He trawled across the internets looking to wet his dick...
Until She realised he was married, and was heartily sick.

That fateful eve when
Tim D. logged onto web dating
He quit his wife, family and blew
A small fortune on blow, cross-dressing and whores
And extramarital sex in a hotel room

Putting reason to flight
With his fantasy life
She saw "Tall James", mesmerised
By his seeming endless cash
And drugs-fuelled bash
Dirty weekends came fast
And faced with trouble and strife
He simply quit his wife
His Post, Down The Bog!!!
Flushed his career and left to rot
His Post, Down The Bog!!!

We discovered him there
Beneath the tabloid's stare
Red dress worn, qualms all torn
Lectures aside his lying bared
Claimed double crossed, his credibility lost
No doubt cursing "that horrendous mare"

He'd sworn her vows to stay faithful
His lust would stand, till his next mistress took his hand
Then this he pled, "Come back to me
My love for thee will last for hours, like ice out on the desert sand!"

The Pupils laughed so hard they cried
For he'd took their weed and sent them by
A hypocritical stance as he fucked off to France
And with their Mary Jane... danced...

A royal cunt.
Far beyond the pale, typical Walter Mitty, with his morals for sale
Psycho-christian views, libertarian's nightmare...

He did pimp out the school's walls to fund his sordid sin
While at the same time buying and selling skin

That fateful eve when
Tim D. logged onto web dating
He quit his wife, family and blew
His career for a fuck, and thus he came unstuck
Those who wish to mock him please form a queue...

Putting reason to flight
With his fantasy life
She saw "Tall James", mesmerised
By his seeming endless cash
And drugs-fuelled bash
Dirty weekends came fast
And faced with trouble and strife
He simply quit his wife
His Post, Down The Bog!!!
Flushed his career and left to rot
His Post, Down The Bog!!!

Apologies to Dani Filth for having associated an otherwise perfectly good bit of melodic black metal with that hypocritical penivore.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

The Liberal Democrats

On the Liberal Leadership Race and Political Redefinition

It is absurd - nay, dangerous - for the Party to be gravitate towards the fashionable centre-right in the hope of stealing crumbs dropped from Tovid Blameron's table. We stand a better chance of electoral success, or at the very least increased exposure, by standing firmly south-west of the two other main parties, and yelling "LOOK AT US! WE'RE DIFFERENT!"

Even if electoral success fails to ensue, we will be participating in the equally important duty (in a democracy) of providing an opposition. Without a firmly sociolibertarian opposition, not only will the UK gradually slip further towards the authoritarian right, but those of us who value people above pounds and liberty above law will no longer be represented.

To those of you who are Members of the Party: ensure you cast your vote wisely.

To those of you sympathetic to the Party, but not Members: join.

As I see it, the only realistic choice is between Hughes and Huhne; Sir Menzies has all the charisma and competitive political acumen of a partially eaten, musty old leather armchair. Simon Hughes and Chris Huhne (another leadership race that the public will undoubtedly find confusing, having only just gotten over the Tory Two-Davids nightmare) are more clearly in opposition to the centre-right tail-chasing going on with New Labour and the Conservatives, and, yes, are YOUNGER. Sexuality might be an issue with some voters, but it does serve to underscore the fact that the Liberal Democrats are The Alternative; besides, how many queer-bashers vote left anyway?

In Ming's favour he has been called the "safe pair of hands". To his detriment, he has been called the "safe pair of hands".

Chris Huhne, on the surface, seems an unlikely choice: a parliamentary newcomer, with only a limited experience in the European Parliament on his résumé. However, he does have good experience in journalism, and can mop the floor with your face in any debate on any subject.

Simon Hughes, on the other hand, is notoriously disorganised, has a tendency to talk without self-editing, is late, and recently "lied" about his sexuality. (Encouragingly, I heard a report the other day that a Caribbean community website was backing him despite this "shocking" revelation; at the risk of making repugnant assumptions based on stereotypes, it is common knowledge that many Caribbean communities are rife with homophobia.) I have no doubt that swathes of the electorate will stop viewing us as "the nice party" and start viewing us as "the queer party". This, I agree, is unfortunate - but unavoidable, and, as I have already made clear, electoral success should not be the sole goal of any responsible political party.

We have to weigh Hughes' lack of professionalism against his surfeit of passion. Huhne is more polished, but less pyrotechnic.

As far as direction of the party is concerned, Simon Hughes falls closest to the socialist-libertarian sympathies of myself and most of those involved with The Rhexis.

A particular bone of contention recently has been Hughes' backing of the proposed new upper bracket of income tax. Discussion has been heated, with ill-defined politico-economic terminologies and loyalties squealing past at head-level like so many blindly-fired tracer bullets. The original tensions caused by the amalgamation of the Social Democrats' socialist-libertarianism and the Liberals' centrist neoliberalism have been re-strung.

Let me make this very clear. I come from a well-off family. We fall comfortably on the lower cusp of socioeconomic class B. However, I believe that 50% is a fair tax. It is the very highest level of fair tax in my humble etcetera, but still acceptable for those earning that much.

Anyone earning a salary of £100K+ can easily afford to pay another 10% tax on the last portion of their income.

There is an argument, of course, that it is unfair to pay for services you don't use; anyone residing in the proposed top tax bracket almost certainly snubs public transport and has private health insurance - arguably the two most prevalent public services provided by the state. However, those who genuinely need buses and the NHS are those who can, quite simply, not afford to pay for it. It is the duty of the most fortunate (even if they got to where they are by their own hard work) to subisidise the least fortunate. This is altruism at its basic and most requisite level.

Economic libertarianism is an interesting concept, but I believe it concentrates a dangerous quantity of power in the hands of unelected CEOs, as opposed to dispersing a dangerous amount of power among elected public officials. Politicians are directly accountable to the electorate; businessmen are not. See South America for examples of deeply concerning neoliberalism and state privatisation.

It is for these reasons that I propose to back Simon Hughes.

How to Vote

1. Simon Hughes

2. Chris Huhne

Edit: Top Tax Bracket and Stifling Economic Growth

Adam, New York City, explains:

"It's not a matter of whether they can pay [50% tax on earnings over £100k]... It's a matter of whether making them pay that will stifle economic activity... History, experience, and economics says it would.

"When an independent business owner has to decide whether to make an investment of $100,000 and he has a 50% chance of it working and earning $300,000, and a 50% chance of it not working and him getting back $0, he will make the investment, because he has an equal chance of earning $200,000 or losing just $100,000. Now if you impose a 50% tax on him, he only makes $100,000 if it works, and loses $100,000 if it doesn't... The investment is nothing more than a gamble, and the businessman will not take the risk. This is just an extremely simplified hypothetical example of the economic decisions that are made all over the world every day.

"Any significant increase in tax rates (especially at the higher level) WILL stifle/discourage a certain amount of economic activity. The rest is just a matter of whether it's still worthwhile to do it (if the money is so vital in other areas that you're willing to sacrifice economic growth)."

This suggests that backing Chris Huhne would be the more economically sound choice; in a country whose primary natural resource is a finite Oil reserve, and primary manufactured good is Management, can we afford to risk decreased economic activity?

A better compromise would be increasing indirect taxes, e.g. Corporation and Capital Gains, and also VAT, a choice tax, in order to provide relief for lower income bands, without risking economic decay.

The jury's out.

Edit: Whoa there, chicken-lips

(He snaps out of it.) Nearly turned into Margaret Thatcher there. (He shudders.) A less flagrantly illiberal disequalising economic incentive needs to be found.

We already have a 40% tax. The risk is already high. It will stifle the market a little more, but surely not cripple it? The most potentially damaging phenomenon resultant of Hughes' 50% bracket would be a "brain drain" - top business minds fucking off to freer markets and tax exile. Might I suggest the United States?

What price social justice?


Note: this article magpied from some of my comments in debates on the Liberal Democrats' MySpace group.

Monday, February 06, 2006


I hope this is true. I hope this is true.

Free Image Hosting at Free Image Hosting at

Now. I know this is the Daily Mail, but I do suggest 'click for big'. You remember all those hours spent photoshopping Tim's head onto amusing pictures? Well, ... Note also that Roy Page refuses to comment, but promises to do whatever necessary with the governors.

There are so many ways in which this article is the Best Thing Ever. The main one being that Dingle is wearing a dress. A concerning development is that he has rather sexy ankles.

It suddenly puts all of those long, nonsensical, moralising speeches about drug abuse into sharp and obvious perspective, doesn't it?

In the dress-photo he really does look like Robert Llewellyn crossed with Martin Clunes and Tim Nice-But-Dim.

Farewell, Timothy "James "£2,500/hr" Bunyard" Dingle, still CEO (sorry, "headmaster") of our beloved academy, The Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe. Con-artist, Conservative, moralising cunt-waggon, joke.

See also: Dinglegate latest: Dingle denies all allegations. Obviously, the white powder on the table was sugar. Dingle was making coffee. In his dress. YES, TIM. Also, new paragraph by Veins in Wikipedia.

A minor edit by Thaddeus to add in the first page of the article for the sake of completeness. Apologies for the change in image format, but the blogger image upload function can fuck off.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

For Your Information

"You'll Be Glad (When I'm Dead)" is currently featuring in Warren Ellis's Apparat Programme, which is a podcast of New Music From the Intarwub. And you should all listen to it, because it lets you hear what people are Up To in those mythical back bedroooms with synthesizers. The other Apparat Programmes (Each are about 30mins long) can all be found on, and the rest of my album (along with some embryonic Satellite B tracks, of which more shortly) can be found in the rhexisMUSIC tab to your left.