About me
About me

True bicameralism, landmarks, and speed cameras


Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 12 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 12 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and wrote about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

So, given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views may well have changed in the last 12 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

A true landmark vote in the Commons tonight gave a result that surprised many – including Iain Dale, Dizzy, and (errr) me. A vote in favour of a 100% elected House of Lords. Of course, quite how (if?) that’ll work remains to be seen, and it’s not quite what I would’ve gone for, but it’s probably a positive move. Are we on the brink of true bicameralism?

An interesting, but much more parochial landmark also passed tonight – over 100,000 spam comments caught by Akismet on this blog alone. Again, I’m not quite sure what that means for the future of humanity, but it’s interesting. On the one hand, it shows that spam is well and truly alive – but the fact that the filter caught it shows that their tactics aren’t quite so strong any more. It’s an interesting dichotomy – an increase in spam being used to mark its decline.

I’ve uploaded more stuff over on the Work pages for the first time in a while. I think it’s worth highlighting this piece, about the public health effect of speed cameras, which I think from previous posts that some of my readers might find interesting. It’s hardly crucial seminal research, but I think some people might find it an interesting read.

So there you go – three utterly different topics in one barely coherent post. It’s a while since I’ve done that.

This 1,079th post was filed under: Politics, Site Updates, Technology.

Some recently published posts

The Tyne Pedestrian and Cycle Tunnels: eight years on / January 2020, 8 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / January 2020, 7 minutes long

Faber Stories / December 2019, 4 minutes long

My favourite books of 2016 / December 2019, 26 minutes long

What I’ve been reading this month / December 2019, 12 minutes long

Some random old posts

Newspaper misspells own name in masthead / July 2008, 1 minute long

Linda Smith has died / February 2006, 1 minute long

The professor and the bikini model / September 2013, Less than a minute long

alldaybrekkie.com / February 2005, Less than a minute long

Film / June 2004, Less than a minute long

Review: The Tiger That Isn’t by Andrew Dilnot and Michael Blastland / February 2014, 2 minutes long

Comments and responses

Comment from Mort Karman

by Mort Karman

Comment posted at 00:16 on 10th March 2007.

I just got the HP computer which did not work replaced by Walmart with one that does, even though it is another HP. This one has the new Vista.
The old Windows had better screen savers and background pix. The ones on Vista are not at all as good.
As I reprogrammed everything I noticed that Firefox has zonked a bunch of the tool bars, including the BBC bar and Reel New Media. I miss that and hope Firefox brings them back. Most of the tool bars are still available on IE. Perhaps someone can say why Mozilla did this?
As far as Vista goes, there is nothing really good or really bad about it. I would not go the extra several hundred dollars to put it on my Dell, but I would not pull it off my HP and put XP on that computer.
I am not impressed. I think Windows Vista is much over rated.
Rather Microsoft should work on improving the reliability of existing programs then trying to bring star wars style stuff to every household.
I will let you know after I have spent some time with it, but I say again, I am not very impressed.

Comment from Coire

by Coire

Comment posted at 18:56 on 11th March 2007.

from what I heard, the vote on the house of lords was more a vote to ‘test the water’ rather than decide anything. Even those against voted for it, cos (i really didn’t listen properly, but this is what it sounded like), it has to be voted for by the house of lords if it goes thtough, and they’re obviously not going to want it – so it get stopped there, much easier than fannying about in the house of commons. Don’t know if that’s correct, or makes sense, but there you go. Apologies for crap punctuation. i can’t be bothered.

Comment from sjhoward (author of the post)

by sjhoward

Comment posted at 20:18 on 11th March 2007.

Mort – I’ll avoid upgrading to Vista, then!

Coire – You’re right, the vote was largely to test the water. But the breakthrough is that the water has been tested and come up with the result we wanted – for the first time ever, it has finally been recognised by the bods in Westminster that reform needs to happen. The actual type of reform that happens is still very open, and (as you say) unlikely to be of the form which MPs voted for, as the Lords would never agree. But the need for true reform has been recognised for the first time, which is impressive.

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