The Hares

This is an excellent example of the abuse of an equality narrative. “The Hares” are campaigning for gender equality in… the peerage.

I’m labelling them, ‘anachronistic progressives’.

Internet de-anonymization: Russia/UK

The Guardian trumpets new measures in Russia that fit its narrative of state suppression of freedom of expression under Putin. Fine, this narrative no doubt contains many accurate parts. I wouldn’t wish to live in Russia.

Russia tightens control of blogosphere

However, on the same day The Guardian publishes its story, there is a report advocating internet de-anonymization being published, rather closer to home, by the Communications Committee of The House of Lords.

UK Government Report Recommends Ending Online Anonymity

Both initiatives are bad, for much the same reasons. It would be heartening if The Guardian could’ve have reported both stories together, using the Russian example to push back against the Lords’ proposal. “Do we really wish to follow the same path as Russia?” etc.

Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El Fattah jailed for 15 years

Alaa Abdel-Fattah

Alaa Abd El Fattah’s sentencing comes just a week after these magnificently hollow words from William Hague, the UK Foreign Secretary:

The UK congratulates President-elect Sisi on his victory and looks forward to working with his government to strengthen the broad and productive relationship between both our peoples.

We look to President-elect Sisi to take steps to implement the rights contained in Egypt’s constitution by opening up political space, especially with regard to freedom of expression and association. We believe the best way for Egyptians to achieve the goals of the 25 January revolution of 2011 is through an inclusive political process in which all groups can participate.

Particularly laughable is the notion that the counter-revolution that has culminated in Sisi assuming the Egyptian presidency will continue the work of the 2011 revolution.

The UK is the largest foreign investor in Egypt.

You can judge for yourself the character of Alaa Abd El Fattah and the Egyptian state in this DemocracyNow! special:


Have had some good fun with the #BritishValues hashtag today. These tweets went down well: