Archive | December, 2010

Outdoor gym in the snow

26 Dec


Taken at Morden Park, Morden, Surrey

New exit passageway at Stratford station

16 Dec


Taken at Stratford London

Welcome to Newham

16 Dec


Taken at Stratford Station

Mehboob Kahan

13 Dec


Taken at The Kings Arms

I Can’t Believe It!

6 Dec
Alex Brummer, writing in the Daily Mail of all places, comes out against tax avoidance:

Tax avoidance (organised by expensive teams of accountants) is perfectly legal. Yet it comes at the expense of millions of hard-working people who are not in a position to exploit such loopholes and have to bear the brunt of subsequent cuts in public services and increases in their own taxes.

Those workers on Pay-As-You-Earn tax arrangements have no means of lowering their Inland Revenue bills because tax is removed from their pay packets every month, along with their National Insurance Contributions (NIC) – which have now lost their original purpose as payments towards state pensions and social security, and are simply another form of income tax. Remember, too, that the vast majority of these ordinary taxpayers have had pay-freezes – and that the Government has not increased their tax-free allowances in line with inflation.

Read the full story here

When Fascism Comes to America . . .

6 Dec

Public Parts?

6 Dec

Jeff Jarvis, author of What Would Google Do?, is writing a new book on why open is better than closed and why we all benefit from putting more stuff out there in public. On his blog at he sets out the basis of his thinking:

  • Publicness makes and improves relationships. To make connections with people, you need to be open and share. When you decide not to be public, you risk losing that connection.
  • Publicness enables collaboration. That’s the beta lesson: When you open up your process, you invite people to help you improve what you’re doing. It is also, of course, the lesson of open-source.
  • Publicness builds trust. Secrecy doesn’t.
  • Publicness kills the myth of perfection. That is, when we open our process, we are showing our faults and are no longer held at every moment to the myth of perfection that has come to rule our industrial-age processes.
  • Publicness disarms taboos. Publicness was the daring weapon gays and lesbians used to tear down their closets. I’m not saying that people should be forced out of their closets; that is their choice. But I am saying that when they do, it faces down the bigots who made homosexuality a taboo; it disarms them.
  • Publicness grants immortality. (Note to Andrew Keen: That’s a joke.) Publicness at least grants credit and provides provenance for ideas and creation.
  • Publicness enables the wisdom of the crowd. If we all keep our information, knowledge, ideas, and lessons to ourselves, we lose collectively.
  • Publicness organizes us. Cue Clay Shirky. Speaking and assembling go hand-in-hand as rights. When we stand up and say who we are, we can find others like us and do things together.
  • Publicness protects. This will be controversial but the knowledge that one’s actions could be public have an impact. That’s why I’m not against cameras on Times Square to thwart the next bomber.
  • Publicness is value. This is an argument I’ll make that what’s public is owned by the public — whether that’s governments’ actions or images taken in public space — and whenever that is diminished, it robs from us, the public.

An interesting set of perspectives. What do you think?