This is a low flying panic attack

From the wise owls of MetaFilter to the comedians of Twitter, I follow a pretty diverse bunch of interesting people online. It’s generally a pretty left-of-centre bunch, because I’m a pretty left-of-centre guy. So you can imagine the howls of despair in my various feeds over the post-Brexit landscape, the outright hatred being peddled by the UK tabloids and now, President-elect Trump.

In most cases those howls aren’t coming from armchair warriors or the professionally offended. They’re people who see the world becoming nastier, more selfish, less tolerant – and in many cases they’re people who are experiencing that nastiness, that selfishness, that lack of tolerance first hand. Scared trans kids. Married gay couples. Pro-choice women. People with the “wrong” skin colour, the “wrong” accent, the “wrong” sexuality, the “wrong” gender, the belief that, hey! Maybe sex offenders should be punished rather than celebrated!

It feels rather like a bunch of straight white old folks are burning down the house to prevent the kids from inheriting anything.

And, well, they are.

But there are more of us than there are of them.

Or at least, there are if we celebrate what we have in common rather than what divides us.

If we challenge intolerance in whatever form it takes, even if – especially if – it’s directed at someone who’s not part of our own little bubble.

If we remember that we’re all here to get each other through this thing, whatever it is.

Whoever we are.

#leaveoutthetout

Fascinating and appalling statistic in this article about Adele’s anti-tout plans:

approximately 1.9% of the ‘first wave’ of Adele tickets ended up on secondary ticketing sites – with some today being sold for prices in excess of £1,000.

1.9%. It’s a percentage that’s much lower than the touts would have liked to have achieved, with experts telling us the average arena gig sees closer to 20%.

I knew it was a lot, but nearly 20%? That’s an astonishing amount of tickets, a huge pile of money and a bloody scandal.

In the absence of any legislation, the only way to stop this is to #leaveoutthetout (hashtag courtesy of Chvrches, who retweet fans’ last-minute ticket availability): if you’ve got spares or need them, there are ethical ticket exchanges such as Scarlet Mist and Twickets. The big-name resale sites are despicable, as are the people that sell on them.

Prince is right about ticket touts

Tickets for Prince’s UK shows were supposed to go on sale today, but he pulled the sales before they started. The reason? Listings were already appearing on secondary ticketing sites such as GetMeIn.

There’s something seriously wrong with the way UK ticket sites and touts operate: tickets for Jeff Lynne’s ELO went on sale at 9am this morning, and by 9.20am there were 4,264 tickets listed for resale on GetMeIn alone.

The government is currently consulting on the ticket resale market in the UK. If you think it needs reform or regulation, you’ve got until next Friday to make a submission. 

Return of the son of ID Cards

It turns out that the national political parties don’t have a monopoly on bad ideas: ID cards, something the SNP were very much against when they were planned for the UK, may appear in Scotland as a result of a minor NHS amendment. Jim Killock of the Open Rights Group:

in Scotland, the idea is alive and well, and the idea of giving everyone a unique identifier – and placing every citizens’ name and address into a single database – has not been given up by civil servants.

There’s a detailed analysis of it here (thanks to Heather at Idea15 Web Design for the heads-up):

The intention is to transform the current NHS Central Register (“NHSCR”) so it can be accessed by more bodies, to increase the number of individuals recorded in the Register, and to use a Unique Citizen Reference Number (“UCRN”) for each citizen.

The NHSCR can then be accessed by well over 120 Scottish public authorities (including police, prison, national security, visas and immigration) and certain publically owned companies.

It’s well worth a read. There’s a public meeting about it in Glasgow next week, too.

Another victory for the ticket touts

News I’d missed: online ethical ticket exchange Scarlet Mist has shut down.

Richard, the owner, writes:

I’ve been running it more or less single-handledly for the past eleven years, as a part-time hobby whilst doing my day-job as a hospital doctor. It has been fun to run it, and it has been a useful service.

Unfortunately my wife is now disabled and I need to devote more time to caring for her and my family.

Ticket touts and the secondary ticket market is here to stay. There is very little political will to address it, money talks in this world.

He’s right. My local MP is one of very many politicians who voted against proposals to crack down on the legal-tout market. Personally I don’t think gigs should only be available to the rich.

That’s not really funny

One of my favourite jokes: a kiddie-fiddler and a child are walking through the woods. “I’m scared!” cries the child. “You’re scared?” retorts the kiddie-fiddler. “I have to walk back alone!”

Like many such jokes, the sheer awfulness of it is what makes it funny – but would it still be funny if I tweeted it because a real child had gone missing?

Last night, as six people lay dead in Glasgow’s George Square after a terrible accident, a parody account on Twitter ( @hackneyabbatt) tweeted a joke about the lorry crash causing £3 of damage. It wasn’t very funny, but more importantly the timing was crass and insensitive: people searching Twitter for news of the deaths in George Square, a situation that was still ongoing – the bodies hadn’t been removed at the time and as I write this, their identities haven’t been revealed yet – would see it.

I was one of a few people who replied to the poster – “shame on you”, in my case – and hoped they might realise they’d been a bit of a dick; it’s easy to post something on the internet thinking it’s funny without thinking of who it might upset. The poster deleted the tweet and went off in a huff.

But I think somebody called the police. According to The Drum:

Northumbria Police have announced that they are investigating a crass joke published on Twitter, since deleted, poking fun at yesterday’s bin lorry crash in Glasgow in which six people died and eight were injured.

If it’s the same post, and I’m assuming it is, that’s all kinds of wrong. The post was insensitive, yes, but the poster wasn’t responding to anybody or hurling abuse: they were just making the kind of off-colour joke they’d make to friends in the pub, posting something they thought was hilarious. There are lots of things online the police should take more seriously, but that isn’t one of them.

“Austerity is a lie, and remaining in the UK will continue to feed it.”

An angry and passionate pro-indy post:

No voters are not evil. Voting No is not evil. But voting No is voting toallow evil to continue governing our lives. It is a vote that ensures every millionaire who received a tax break while pensioners freeze to death in an oil-rich country had their pockets lined, in part, by us. It is a vote that ensures every person who died within six months of losing their disability benefits was facilitated, in part, by us. It is a vote that ensures that every bullet that takes an innocent’s life was paid for, in part, by us. 

Stirring stuff.

That was quick

Better Together launched its new poster campaign – “We love our kids/family/Scotland so we’re voting no” – this afternoon. Within minutes, the Yes campaign tweeted this.

Bwcx_4XIUAAMJPd

It’s not always obvious from the media, but there’s a lot of humour in the referendum campaign.

Fear

Today’s Herald newspaper front page reports No campaign claims that we’ll experience “carnage” at polling stations because the  referendum campaigning’s turned nasty. It’s bollocks, dangerous bollocks, but I don’t need to write a full post about it because Burdz Eye View has beaten me to it.

If anything told us that they are worried – seriously worried – that the tide in this referendum has turned, it is this little publicity stunt.  Because it is designed and intended to keep the Scottish people in their place.  To put the fear of God in them that if they turn out to vote on 18 September and to vote Yes, then something terrible may befall them.

It smacks of desperation, that the only way they can prevent defeat by democratic means is by suppressing the democratic process.  “We are worried there is going to be absolute carnage”? Yep, I can see why you’d be worried about that.  Clearly, the No campaign’s private polls are telling them things that they really would rather not hear.

Today’s other news, the launch of posters suggesting that only people who vote No love their kids, suggests the same.

Apologies in advance to my non-Scots friends, but my posts will probably contain a disproportionate amount of indyref stuff over the next 18 days. It’s a bit of a big deal here.