KCL Linux policy -- advice please!

0 views
Skip to first unread message

Gro, B

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 9:42:12 AM9/18/02
to
A couple of queries which may be of interest to UK Linux types...

I'm moving into King's College (London University) student
accomodation at the moment. They give out LAN connections, which is
great! But to my horror, I find this text in their terms and
conditions:

> You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent a serious
> risk to network integrity. Any student found running a Unix system (e.g.
> Linux) connected to the College network will have that system disconnected.

I have a few arguments lined up, like 'I can't afford to buy Windows',
'I'm a responsible Linux user', 'At least I won't help spread Klez
around the campus', etcetera. But I don't want to email the IT
department with these for fear of arousing suspicion!

Query 1:
Has anyone personally experienced KCL's policy? I.e. do they really
chuck you off for using a unix?

Query 2:
Assuming I go ahead and apply for a connection anyway, what should I
do to make my Linux box look as much as possible like Win98 (say)?
Obviously I won't run any servers, but what else?

Cheers m'dears.

Gro, B

P.S. if there are any KCL admins reading this: can't you do something
about your policy? It sucks! What are the compsci people who want to
use a real operating system supposed to do? How can you suggest that
Windows (often arriving with Outlook Express, Kazaa, Unreal
Tournament, etc etc) is more of a threat to the network than Linux?

Matthew Garrett

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 10:33:44 AM9/18/02
to
In article <7d532ada.02091...@posting.google.com>, Gro, B wrote:

> Query 1:
> Has anyone personally experienced KCL's policy? I.e. do they really
> chuck you off for using a unix?

No idea about this. If you're not worried about your long-term political
status within the university, it's worth making a fuss about how this
isn't sufficiently advertised to potential students and how if you'd known
you'd have considered somewhere else.

> Query 2:
> Assuming I go ahead and apply for a connection anyway, what should I
> do to make my Linux box look as much as possible like Win98 (say)?
> Obviously I won't run any servers, but what else?

Firstly: Don't. Ignoring the policy is one thing, and they'd be justified
in being pissed off. Deliberately subverting the policy is likely to lead
to really, really, really bad things happening.

Secondly: http://ippersonality.sourceforge.net/ . Don't say I didn't warn
you.

> P.S. if there are any KCL admins reading this: can't you do something
> about your policy? It sucks! What are the compsci people who want to
> use a real operating system supposed to do? How can you suggest that
> Windows (often arriving with Outlook Express, Kazaa, Unreal
> Tournament, etc etc) is more of a threat to the network than Linux?

Because they're incompetent fuckwits, like many university admins. Note
that telling them this is not a good plan, and nor is arguing on any
rational basis. Possible points to make include the value of high levels
of Unix experience and the way that universities make gaining this
experience significantly easier than elsewhere, how popular knowledge of
this policy would discourage competent computer literate students from
applying to KCL and how by any rational metric it makes the university
look bad compared to others. The fact that the policy makes no sense is
irrelevent.

Remember that universities, like all other institutions employing large
numbers of people, have staff who will not agree with all of the policies.
Get to know your computing staff and show that you know what you're
talking about (by being helpful and informative, not by telling them
things they don't need to know or by telling them that they're wrong), and
you'll end up finding that there will be Unix-friendly people with some
influence around the place. After a while, ask if they'd actually object
to you putting a Linux machine on the network as long as you keep up to
date with security issues and promise them your eldest child as
compensation for any fuckups you make. If you do make any fuckups, admit
it immediately. Be helpful on internal university newsgroups. Don't make a
fuss until you have people that can actually support you.

Remember, by disagreeing with a university policy you're engaging in
student politics. It is possible to have some influence, but as an
undergraduate you're the lowest of the low. If you annoy too many people,
you'll find your life a little more awkward than it would otherwise be.

(I'm mostly speaking from personal experience here. If you can avoid
making all the mistakes I did, you'll be quite a bit happier)
--
Matthew Garrett | mjg59-uk.co...@srcf.ucam.org

Andy

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 11:32:48 AM9/18/02
to

"Matthew Garrett" <mjg59-uk.co...@srcf.ucam.org> wrote in message
news:slrnaoh3m8...@kern.srcf.societies.cam.ac.uk...

> In article <7d532ada.02091...@posting.google.com>, Gro, B
wrote:

I've never been one to fight such things, though I am oftern outspoken to
people, not a good trait.

Oxford University and Sony have a slight problem over a thing called
copyright. My college says if the badwidth isnt to high Sony won't notice
you wont get kicked out, you start taking the piss they dont want to go head
to head with sony full stop. Other colleges ban you from using any service
for transfering files (including the server with the site lisenced
software!) just to be on the safe side. For an easy life we live in the
rules.

My whole college runs off Linux and used 100mbit internet unusual for Oxford
Colleges, so I never had this problem but did get along well with the
computing staff and hence they had no problem with me running a web server
(something not allowed to cut down piracy distribution). This is a case of
the uni trusting you. But Oxford did one year have a students box hacked and
the results where messy.

What I do suggest though is if you want to go for them find out how many of
the systems in the Science area run Sun or Unicies. If a lot do, put forward
that you want to use one to get used to the science block ones. If you doing
another subject try going a reason like you want to learn LaTeX, all
reasonable. But get to know the staff first, if they stuck in the muds this
will only make you enemies. Remember they may see Linux people as hackers
and have a stigma against them.

If they still say no, you may try pointing that you cant afford Windows by
email , if they suggest you pirate it in a return e-mail (with words like
"everyone else does") it is legally binding (like a fax), you could in
theory go for the throat using a newspaper. But you probably would find your
university days cut short. The same would work during a voice converstation
on tape or video. But this would get very nasty if you did, and infact you
may even find future compainies wont employ you, and while a noble victory
may occur you life may not be so fun.

In Oxford the problems clearer dont do warez, its illegal (and fairs fair).
KCL seem to be doing the opposite advocating windows by force.

Andy


Gareth Jones

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 6:03:35 PM9/18/02
to
Matthew Garrett <mjg59-uk.co...@srcf.ucam.org> wrote:

>Because they're incompetent fuckwits, like many university admins.

Of course, it is also possible that the admins all know that the
policy is dumb, but the procedure to change the policy takes 8 months,
and the suits don't think it is important enough to bother with.

Gareth

Richard Watson

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 6:04:38 PM9/18/02
to
gro_...@yahoo.com (Gro, B) writes:

> > You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent a serious
> > risk to network integrity. Any student found running a Unix system (e.g.
> > Linux) connected to the College network will have that system disconnected.
>
> I have a few arguments lined up, like 'I can't afford to buy Windows',
> 'I'm a responsible Linux user', 'At least I won't help spread Klez
> around the campus', etcetera. But I don't want to email the IT
> department with these for fear of arousing suspicion!

If they allow Macs run GNU/Darwin on one and tell them it's MacOSX
without the GUI. Then sneakily replace it with your OS of choice and
see if they notice.

--
Richard Watson
e-mail:ric...@doilywood.org.uk jabber:ric...@jabber.doilywood.org.uk

John Winters

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 9:51:49 AM9/18/02
to
In article <7d532ada.02091...@posting.google.com>,

Gro, B <gro_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>A couple of queries which may be of interest to UK Linux types...
>
>I'm moving into King's College (London University) student
>accomodation at the moment. They give out LAN connections, which is
>great! But to my horror, I find this text in their terms and
>conditions:
>
>> You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent a serious
>> risk to network integrity. Any student found running a Unix system (e.g.
>> Linux) connected to the College network will have that system disconnected.

Sounds like a startlingly uninformed network admin but I'd still try
to talk to them. Don't be confrontational. Chat. Find out what they're
worried about. There's no way a Linux box increases the risk to their
network security (unless their configuration is really *dreadful* and
they're relying on lack of tools and facilities on the client machines
to maintain what security they have).

John
--
The Linux Emporium - the source for Linux CDs in the UK
See http://www.linuxemporium.co.uk/

Evolution is now exciting.

John Ineson

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 8:38:50 PM9/18/02
to
In article <87ofav6...@raphael.doilywood.org.uk>, Richard Watson wrote:
> gro_...@yahoo.com (Gro, B) writes:
>> > You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent a serious
>> > risk to network integrity. Any student found running a Unix system (e.g.
>> > Linux) connected to the College network will have that system disconnected.
>>
>> I have a few arguments lined up, like 'I can't afford to buy Windows',
>> 'I'm a responsible Linux user', 'At least I won't help spread Klez
>> around the campus', etcetera. But I don't want to email the IT
>> department with these for fear of arousing suspicion!
>
> If they allow Macs run GNU/Darwin on one and tell them it's MacOSX
> without the GUI. Then sneakily replace it with your OS of choice and
> see if they notice.

No need for such contortions, I imagine -- you overestimate the amount
of time the average university admin has on their hands. IME, anything
non-obvious goes unnoticed. In every case I've seen, they barely have
the manpower to handle repairs, renewals, support, etc; never mind
regulating usage of facilities.

--
John Ineson
`A study of 51 chronic zoophiles found that for 88 percent of the women the
main motive was "emotional involvement," whereas 59 percent of the men said
they did it because it was cheaper.' straight.answers -> straightdope.com

David Sheldon

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 4:23:12 AM9/19/02
to
Richard Watson <ric...@doilywood.org.uk> wrote:
> gro_...@yahoo.com (Gro, B) writes:

>> > You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent
>> > a serious risk to network integrity. Any student found running a
>> > Unix system (e.g. Linux) connected to the College network will
>> > have that system disconnected.

> If they allow Macs run GNU/Darwin on one and tell them it's MacOSX
> without the GUI.

Simply pointing out that MacOSX is a Unix system (or even that Linux is
not a Unix system, depending on if they argue that MacOSX isn't a Unix
system), might go somewhere. Just remember all these arts students that
have to use a Mac becuase PCs are not cute enough. They can't be seen to
ban Macs, and it would be inconsistant if they didn't.

David
--
Dijkstra probably hates me -- Linus Torvalds, in kernel/sched.c

Ross Tregaskis

unread,
Sep 18, 2002, 12:00:20 PM9/18/02
to
On the brass tablet <7d532ada.02091...@posting.google.com>, Gro,
B (gro_...@yahoo.com) scrawled:

> P.S. if there are any KCL admins reading this: can't you do something
> about your policy? It sucks! What are the compsci people who want to
> use a real operating system supposed to do? How can you suggest that
> Windows (often arriving with Outlook Express, Kazaa, Unreal
> Tournament, etc etc) is more of a threat to the network than Linux?

I don't work for KCL, but I think I know what they're thinking.

I think they're stuck in the age of RedHat 6.0, where the OS would install
every server from here to Hawaii and run them by default. UNIX-based
servers at the time weren't exactly paragons of reliability either;
Sendmail was a default open relay (and would definitely be so if you used
Linuxconf to configure it, even recently), it and BIND had a "Hole of the
Week Club", and RedHat's nfs.statd is responsible for the portscans on 111
you still see today. Things have moved on a lot since those days, but
they're probably still scared of servers: open relays, unwrapped Leafnode,
wu-ftpd.

Whereas Windows 9x, by default, doesn't have any ports open at all; any
choices to damage it are those of its users. I would, however, campaign.

--
Ross Tregaskis
swap example with btinternet to reply

ge0rge

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 11:29:00 AM9/19/02
to
John Winters wrote:
> In article <7d532ada.02091...@posting.google.com>,
> Gro, B <gro_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
>
>>A couple of queries which may be of interest to UK Linux types...
>>
>>I'm moving into King's College (London University) student
>>accomodation at the moment. They give out LAN connections, which is
>>great! But to my horror, I find this text in their terms and
>>conditions:
>>
>>
>>>You may not run any Unix operating system since they can represent a serious
>>>risk to network integrity. Any student found running a Unix system (e.g.
>>>Linux) connected to the College network will have that system disconnected.
>>
>
> Sounds like a startlingly uninformed network admin but I'd still try
> to talk to them. Don't be confrontational. Chat. Find out what they're
> worried about. There's no way a Linux box increases the risk to their
> network security (unless their configuration is really *dreadful* and
> they're relying on lack of tools and facilities on the client machines
> to maintain what security they have).
>
> John

I think the putative risk to the network was performance (hence, the
wording integrity) rather than security. Who in their right mind would
argue that Windows are more secure than Linux but on the other hand one
could perhaps argue that the network may suffer if you offer (and
advertised) an ftp or web service to the college community.
Anyway, I can't see how they can find out whether you're running linux
or Windows as your preferred OS in your cubby hole. My son ran a dual
boot system whilst he was there last year.He had Linux because he used
postgres for his project and Windows because the college mail agent was
windows based ... and nobody was the wiser (I don't think he was even
aware of that policy!).

But I agree, that policy should be challenged (will ask my lad to find out)

ge0rge
--
New York... when civilization falls apart, remember, we were way ahead
of you.
- David Letterman

ge0rge

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 11:48:15 AM9/19/02
to
Ross Tregaskis wrote:
...snip

>
> I think they're stuck in the age of RedHat 6.0, where the OS would install
> every server from here to Hawaii and run them by default.

Am I missing something here? So what the problem if your machine is
running all these servers and nobody knows about them or asking for any
of these services. Surely it's your machine that inefficient and really
there is no impact on the network. yes?!


> Sendmail was a default open relay (and would definitely be so if you used
> Linuxconf to configure it, even recently),

That - I can see would be undesirable and would cause concern.

David Sheldon

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 2:17:02 PM9/19/02
to
ge0rge <ge0...@no.mail> wrote:
> Ross Tregaskis wrote: ...snip
>>
>> I think they're stuck in the age of RedHat 6.0, where the OS would
>> install every server from here to Hawaii and run them by default.

> Am I missing something here? So what the problem if your machine is
> running all these servers and nobody knows about them or asking for
> any of these services. Surely it's your machine that inefficient and
> really there is no impact on the network. yes?!

Ah, it is fine if nobody actually knows about them.

However evil haxor dudes do this think known as portscanning where they
just try connecting to the services on every machine in a netblock, such
as a university, looking for computers running old software to break
into. Soon enough they will find it. This happens a lot more to
university computers than to ones on dialup because universities tend to
a) have lots of bandwidth and b) can have kudos for haxor showing off to
their mates.

One of these people breaking into your computer, could then start a DoS
war between him and other haxors when he starts showing off, flooding
the university link (say if the other haxor has a few computers in
another university under his control). This has a big impact on the
network.

Does that explain it a bit better?

David
--
Cordelia: So does looking at guns make you wanna have sex?
Xander: I'm 17. Looking at *linoleum* makes me wanna have sex.
-- "Buffy The Vampire Slayer"

Nick Kew

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 3:01:37 PM9/19/02
to
In article <87ofav6...@raphael.doilywood.org.uk>, one of infinite monkeys

at the keyboard of "Richard Watson" <ric...@doilywood.org.uk> wrote:

> If they allow Macs run GNU/Darwin on one and tell them it's MacOSX
> without the GUI. Then sneakily replace it with your OS of choice and
> see if they notice.

An automated nmap probe (for example) would notice that.

A student isn't in an ideal position to LART a network admin, but
maybe you could get raise the matter through the students union?

--
Nick Kew

Available for contract work - Programming, Unix, Networking, Markup, etc.

Laurence Jupp

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 7:50:32 PM9/19/02
to
On 18 Sep 2002 06:42:12 -0700 Gro, B wrote:
> A couple of queries which may be of interest to UK Linux types...

> I'm moving into King's College (London University) student
> accomodation at the moment. They give out LAN connections, which is
> great! But to my horror, I find this text in their terms and
> conditions:

<snip>

> P.S. if there are any KCL admins reading this: can't you do something
> about your policy? It sucks! What are the compsci people who want to
> use a real operating system supposed to do? How can you suggest that
> Windows (often arriving with Outlook Express, Kazaa, Unreal
> Tournament, etc etc) is more of a threat to the network than Linux?

I am not a KCL admin, only a research student, but I have started to
make enquiries into this. I emailed my local friendly admin type person
and he seemed somewhat supportive - "Most likely the policy will be
discredited as soon as enough Windows boxes get hacked." - and forwarded
my email on to people who might be more directly involved. I shall try
and pester them for answers.

--
Laurence

Dave Stanton

unread,
Sep 19, 2002, 11:25:36 PM9/19/02
to
On W

> Sounds like a startlingly uninformed network admin but I'd still try to
> talk to them. Don't be confrontational. Chat. Find out what they're
> worried about. There's no way a Linux box increases the risk to their
> network security (unless their configuration is really *dreadful* and
> they're relying on lack of tools and facilities on the client machines
> to maintain what security they have).
>
> John

Could it be Mr Gates is putting money into the Uni ?

Dave

Andy

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 3:26:37 AM9/20/02
to
"David Sheldon" <david...@bitclean.com> wrote in message
news:amd4au$v30$1...@the.earth.li...

This happenned one christmas, and it really slowed the connection up. From
now on the uni port scanns all its own pcs. Though the biggest problem is
viruses spreading by windows networking.

Andy


ge0rge

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 4:48:24 AM9/20/02
to
David Sheldon wrote:
> ge0rge <ge0...@no.mail> wrote:
>
>>Ross Tregaskis wrote: ...snip
>>
>>>I think they're stuck in the age of RedHat 6.0, where the OS would
>>>install every server from here to Hawaii and run them by default.
>>
>
>>Am I missing something here? So what the problem if your machine is
>>running all these servers and nobody knows about them or asking for
>>any of these services. Surely it's your machine that inefficient and
>>really there is no impact on the network. yes?!
>
>
> Ah, it is fine if nobody actually knows about them.
>
> However evil haxor dudes do this think known as portscanning where they
> just try connecting to the services on every machine in a netblock, such
> as a university, looking for computers running old software to break
> into. Soon enough they will find it. This happens a lot more to
> university computers than to ones on dialup because universities tend to
> a) have lots of bandwidth and b) can have kudos for haxor showing off to
> their mates.
>
> One of these people breaking into your computer, could then start a DoS
> war between him and other haxors when he starts showing off, flooding
> the university link (say if the other haxor has a few computers in
> another university under his control). This has a big impact on the
> network.
>
> Does that explain it a bit better?
>
> David

Sure do. Thanks.

--
Say "twenty-three-skiddoo" to logout.

Paul Kinsler

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 5:02:37 AM9/20/02
to
Gro, B <gro_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> [KCL no-linux policy]

Here at Imperial there's supported linux use, and (I think)
there's even a IC RedHat variant[1]; and you can get auto-
updating of security fixes. Maybe you could point
the KCL admins in the direction of IC admins to get
an opinion.

[1] I use slackware, so the details of some ghastly Red Hat
thing are of only passing interest to me ;-).
--
#Paul

Gareth Jones

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 12:55:04 PM9/20/02
to
Laurence Jupp <laur...@mithlond.fsnet.co.uk> wrote:

> I emailed my local friendly admin type person
>and he seemed somewhat supportive - "Most likely the policy will be
>discredited as soon as enough Windows boxes get hacked." - and forwarded
>my email on to people who might be more directly involved.

Do you mean people who might be more directly involved with writing
the policy, or people who might be more directly involved with
discrediting it by hacking windows boxes?

Gareth

Laurence Jupp

unread,
Sep 20, 2002, 1:42:07 PM9/20/02
to

Writing the policy, I hope :-) We're still waiting for a reply to an
email sent to the school secretary. Don't suppose anything will be done
about it, but I might as well try arguing with them. It really is a
barmy policy since there are unix boxes scattered throughout the rest of
the college network (I have a dozen or so.)

--
Laurence

MJ Ray

unread,
Sep 21, 2002, 4:11:57 PM9/21/02
to
Gro, B <gro_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Has anyone personally experienced KCL's policy? I.e. do they really
> chuck you off for using a unix?

I used to be involved with the Student Union systems and I'm fairly sure
that KCLSU used to use GNU/Linux and didn't have any particular trouble from
the network admins.

Break out the cluebat, someone. It's time to visit London again.

Chris Newport

unread,
Sep 22, 2002, 7:21:46 AM9/22/02
to

Unfortunately clues are in short supply in that neck of the woods,
even the big march today is not going to inject much clue into
a zone that thinks that milk comes from supermarkets and foxes are
nice cuddly little red lapdogs.

Maybe cutting them off at the M25 for a few months might convince
them that they actually *need* something outside of the city, but
they would probably prefer starvation to admitting that they are
not, after all, $DIETY's gift to mankind.

Nix

unread,
Sep 22, 2002, 7:00:39 PM9/22/02
to
On Sun, 22 Sep 2002, Chris Newport stipulated:

> Unfortunately clues are in short supply in that neck of the woods,
> even the big march today is not going to inject much clue into
> a zone that thinks that milk comes from supermarkets and foxes are
> nice cuddly little red lapdogs.

We have the rubbish-scattering foul-smelling-urinating urban fox
to deal with, remember.

(I don't notice anyone calling to stop killing *them*... odd that.)

> Maybe cutting them off at the M25 for a few months might convince
> them that they actually *need* something outside of the city,

Shades of _Good Omens_... `Hail to the Great Beast, Devourer of
Worlds'...

--
`Let's have a round of applause for those daring young men
and their flying spellcheckers.' --- Meg Worley

Roger Leigh

unread,
Sep 23, 2002, 1:12:20 PM9/23/02
to
Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:

> MJ Ray wrote:
> >
> > Gro, B <gro_...@yahoo.com> wrote:
> > > Has anyone personally experienced KCL's policy? I.e. do they
> > > really chuck you off for using a unix?
> >
> > I used to be involved with the Student Union systems and I'm
> > fairly sure that KCLSU used to use GNU/Linux and didn't have any
> > particular trouble from the network admins.
> >
> > Break out the cluebat, someone. It's time to visit London again.
>
> Unfortunately clues are in short supply in that neck of the woods,
> even the big march today is not going to inject much clue into
> a zone that thinks that milk comes from supermarkets and foxes are
> nice cuddly little red lapdogs.

Very true.

> Maybe cutting them off at the M25 for a few months might convince
> them that they actually *need* something outside of the city, but
> they would probably prefer starvation to admitting that they are
> not, after all, $DIETY's gift to mankind.

Maybe as a last resort ;-)


I don't know how much good the cluebat will do, since they still seem
resistant to even the most obvious of clues. I quote Alun Michael,
the "rural affairs minister" after the march:

"I am left with a little puzzlement at the end of today. I have been
listening to the things that have been said about the march. And I am
pretty good at listening but what is the message? I want to nail this
lie that this Government doesn't understand the problems of rural
areas."

Hmmm. It would almost be funny, if it wan't true. The point was
pretty obvious.

He also claimed that people were "confused" as to the reasons why they
went (I certainly know mine, as did everyone else I spoke to,
including some Londoners).


Has anyone else noticed that when making a statement or answering a
question, politicans almost never say anything that actually means
anything, or actually answer the question? Hardly any of them appear
to be worth listening to, at all. They seem to feel that scoring
points off the other parties is a worthy response, rather than saying
anything intelligent or principled. If they cut out all the banality,
and started acting like statesmen worthy of running the country, I
might (possibly) be interested in politics. For example, what about
them standing up for the principles they espouse, rather than being
swayed by (percieved) public opinion or lobby groups. As it is now, I
don't have high hopes...

--
Roger Leigh

"Liberty and Livelihood"
Support the Countryside Alliance
www.march-info.org

Tony Houghton

unread,
Sep 23, 2002, 2:24:12 PM9/23/02
to
In <87elbkz...@whinlatter.uklinux.net>,

Roger Leigh <${roger}@invalid.whinlatter.uklinux.net.invalid> wrote:

> I don't know how much good the cluebat will do, since they still seem
> resistant to even the most obvious of clues. I quote Alun Michael,
> the "rural affairs minister" after the march:
>
> "I am left with a little puzzlement at the end of today. I have been
> listening to the things that have been said about the march. And I am
> pretty good at listening but what is the message? I want to nail this
> lie that this Government doesn't understand the problems of rural
> areas."
>
> Hmmm. It would almost be funny, if it wan't true. The point was
> pretty obvious.

Tony Blair's Broadcasting Corporation seemed to do a good job of making
sure it wasn't.

--
TH * http://www.realh.co.uk

Laurence Jupp

unread,
Sep 23, 2002, 4:09:59 PM9/23/02
to
On Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:12:20 +0000 (UTC) Roger Leigh wrote:

> Has anyone else noticed that when making a statement or answering a
> question, politicans almost never say anything that actually means
> anything, or actually answer the question? Hardly any of them appear
> to be worth listening to, at all.

But how many politicians have you listened to? There are over 1000
members of the Houses of Parliament alone. I bet you haven't paid much
attention to even half of them.

> For example, what about
> them standing up for the principles they espouse, rather than being
> swayed by (percieved) public opinion or lobby groups.

^^^^^^^^^^^^
Like the Countryside Alliance?

--
Laurence

Roger Leigh

unread,
Sep 23, 2002, 6:44:45 PM9/23/02
to

I noticed that on the way back (listening to a BBC London/SE news
station, forgot the name). So much for the BBC's accuracy and
political impartiality.

Roger Leigh

unread,
Sep 23, 2002, 7:50:45 PM9/23/02
to
Laurence Jupp <laur...@mithlond.fsnet.co.uk> writes:

> On Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:12:20 +0000 (UTC) Roger Leigh wrote:
>
> > Has anyone else noticed that when making a statement or answering a
> > question, politicans almost never say anything that actually means
> > anything, or actually answer the question? Hardly any of them appear
> > to be worth listening to, at all.
>
> But how many politicians have you listened to? There are over 1000
> members of the Houses of Parliament alone. I bet you haven't paid much
> attention to even half of them.

No, I have listened to some of them on news broadcasts, newspaper
articles and discussion programmes (as I thought would have most
people). Obviously I haven't listened to them all, and I suspect that
most would only spout the official "party line". What is your point,
exactly?

> > For example, what about
> > them standing up for the principles they espouse, rather than being
> > swayed by (percieved) public opinion or lobby groups.
> ^^^^^^^^^^^^
> Like the Countryside Alliance?

I thought about that when writing the original post, and I would say
both "yes" and "no". When a group has to march to /ask/ a government
to give its people the /freedom/ and /liberty/ to continue their way
of life, I think something is very wrong, don't you? The government
should be for liberty and freedom, not against it. So no, I don't
think that's lobbying, in the usual sense (whatever that is). Also,
it's apolitical.

Additionally, unlike lobby/pressure groups, it does not seek to force
its own agenda down other peoples throats (like forcing a ban on
hunting, or insisting on "rights"), it is merely asking that its
members be left to pursue their own way of life. That's a big
difference (and why it is such a big deal).

And yes, it aims to represent the needs of rural people. Since the
government has trampled roughshod over rural needs, completely
ignoring their opinion, this sort of thing is the best way to try and
rectify that. 400,000 people is a lot of people to willfully ignore.
Mr Blair will do so at his peril.

(I'm away until Saturday, so a reply will have to wait.)

Laurence Jupp

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 4:20:51 AM9/24/02
to
On Mon, 23 Sep 2002 23:50:45 +0000 (UTC) Roger Leigh wrote:
> Laurence Jupp <laur...@mithlond.fsnet.co.uk> writes:

>> But how many politicians have you listened to? There are over 1000
>> members of the Houses of Parliament alone. I bet you haven't paid much
>> attention to even half of them.

> No, I have listened to some of them on news broadcasts, newspaper
> articles and discussion programmes (as I thought would have most
> people). Obviously I haven't listened to them all, and I suspect that
> most would only spout the official "party line". What is your point,
> exactly?

I suppose I was making the 'innocent until proven guilty' point and that
we shouldn't condemn them en masse. I genuinely believe that most people
become MPs in order to make a difference. Unfortunately, the routine
work of an MP does not make very good news so we normally only get to
see them at their worst. When MPs and lords are debating legislation and
the media is elsewhere they are (at least approximately) human.
Obvioulsy there are many exceptions to this rules and I believe that
some MPs really are slimy and awful.

I suppose I should say something about proposals to ban fox hunting. I
think the trouble here is the exact opposite of what you have suggested.
The calls to ban hunting don't come from focus groups or party politics
but from the MPs themselves. I think the government would much rather
forget about the whole thing, but, in this case, MPs are letting their
convictions dictate their actions. I think they are wrong, but I don't
doubt that they genuinely believe in what they are doing.

>> > For example, what about
>> > them standing up for the principles they espouse, rather than being
>> > swayed by (percieved) public opinion or lobby groups.
>> ^^^^^^^^^^^^
>> Like the Countryside Alliance?

> I thought about that when writing the original post, and I would say
> both "yes" and "no". When a group has to march to /ask/ a government
> to give its people the /freedom/ and /liberty/ to continue their way
> of life, I think something is very wrong, don't you?

I suppose, if we are considering these things generally, then it depends
on the group. I have taken part in marches which have this aim but I am
also quite happy that some groups have their liberty curtailed. In this
particular case, I am likely to support you.

> The government
> should be for liberty and freedom, not against it. So no, I don't
> think that's lobbying, in the usual sense (whatever that is). Also,
> it's apolitical.

It's not party-political, but it is certainly political - it wants to
change policy. Even an ultra-conservative lobby, such as the Christian
Institute, has some support in the Labour Party and isn't really party
political, but I wouldn't describe them as apolitical.

> Additionally, unlike lobby/pressure groups, it does not seek to force
> its own agenda down other peoples throats (like forcing a ban on
> hunting, or insisting on "rights"), it is merely asking that its
> members be left to pursue their own way of life. That's a big
> difference (and why it is such a big deal).

It is not a lobby for more restrictive laws, certainly, but I think it
is insisting on 'rights'. Surely that is what freedom and liberty are all
about. As a liberal, I'm unlikely to object to causes just because they
are about 'rights'.

I'm not sure we should continue this here. Even the thread with 'OT' in
the subject line is more on-topic than this discussion ;-)

--
Laurence

Jonathan Buzzard

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 6:24:36 AM9/24/02
to
In article <amnsen$3k9$2...@cordelia.sunnydale>,

Laurence Jupp <laur...@mithlond.fsnet.co.uk> writes:
> On Mon, 23 Sep 2002 17:12:20 +0000 (UTC) Roger Leigh wrote:
>
>> Has anyone else noticed that when making a statement or answering a
>> question, politicans almost never say anything that actually means
>> anything, or actually answer the question? Hardly any of them appear
>> to be worth listening to, at all.
>
> But how many politicians have you listened to? There are over 1000
> members of the Houses of Parliament alone. I bet you haven't paid much
> attention to even half of them.

Really??? Last time I counted there is oh, 650 or so.

JAB.

--
Jonathan A. Buzzard Email: jona...@buzzard.org.uk
Northumberland, United Kingdom. Tel: +44(0)1661-832195

Ewan Mac Mahon

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 8:05:41 AM9/24/02
to
On Tuesday, 24 September, Jonathan Buzzard <jona...@buzzard.org.uk> wrote:
> In article <amnsen$3k9$2...@cordelia.sunnydale>,
> Laurence Jupp <laur...@mithlond.fsnet.co.uk> writes:
>>
>> But how many politicians have you listened to? There are over 1000
>> members of the Houses of Parliament alone.

> Really??? Last time I counted there is oh, 650 or so.
>
He was counting both houses, I think, which is 659 in the Commons, plus 688
currently sitting in the Lords, giving a total of 1347. Figures from
<http://www.parliament.uk/>.

Ewan

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 8:24:14 AM9/24/02
to
Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:

[snip]


> Figures from
> <http://www.parliament.uk/>.

...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to themselves?!

Grrr.

~Tim
--
Not every discomfort should |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
be criminalised. (Bill Unruh) |http://spodzone.org.uk/

Ewan Mac Mahon

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 10:39:56 AM9/24/02
to
On Tuesday, 24 September, Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> wrote:
> Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:
> [snip]
>> Figures from
>> <http://www.parliament.uk/>.
>
> ...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to themselves?!
>
In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not organised, so
where else are you going to put it? :-)

Ewan

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 11:06:33 AM9/24/02
to
Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:

>>> Figures from
>>> <http://www.parliament.uk/>.
>>
>> ...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to themselves?!
>>
> In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not organised, so
> where else are you going to put it? :-)

Somewhere nicely between the two - .gov.uk :8)

~Tim
--
16:05:54 up 24 days, 2:28, 9 users, load average: 0.23, 0.20, 0.19
pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk |There's a lighthouse, Shining in the black,
http://piglet.is.dreaming.org |A lighthouse, Standing in the dark

Chan Tai Man

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 1:15:31 PM9/24/02
to
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> wrote:
> Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:
>
> [snip]
>> Figures from
>> <http://www.parliament.uk/>.
>
> ...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to themselves?!

Yet another example is http://www.bl.uk/

I speculate that they got their SLDs so early that a well structured
hierarchy is yet to be known.

Cheers

ЭуДЛЕЖ
Chan Tai Man

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 2:03:00 PM9/24/02
to
iota...@yahoo.com (Chan Tai Man) writes:

>> ...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to themselves?!
>
> Yet another example is http://www.bl.uk/
>
> I speculate that they got their SLDs so early that a well structured
> hierarchy is yet to be known.

Aaaaaaargh! Please don't, I'm trying to *eat*! :8(

~Tim
--
Windows 98 is year 2000-ready |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
(seen during a recent, >y2000, installation)|http://spodzone.org.uk/

Tamas Gyursanszky

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 2:55:31 PM9/24/02
to
Tony Houghton wrote:

> Roger Leigh wrote:

>> I want to nail this lie that this Government doesn't
>> understand the problems of rural areas."
>>
>> Hmmm. It would almost be funny, if it wan't true. The
>> point was pretty obvious.

> Tony Blair's Broadcasting Corporation seemed to do a good
> job of making sure it wasn't.


I'm no fan of foxhunting. In fact, I strongly disapprove of
the "sport", it disgusts me, but you make a good point in
questioning the BBC's impartiality.

Friday morning, Radio 4's Today programme interviewed a
couple of "activists" from the Countryside Alliance lobby.

For these two men, the March on Westminster was just not
enough and once the Beeb had "guaranteed them their anonymity",
they went on to advocate direct action against anti-hunting
Labour MPs, "we have all their home addresses - many live in
isolated places...".

As the Beeb intended, I interpreted those mens' words as
being a thinly veiled threat of violence and/or intimidation
against democratically elected members of parliament. Not on!

The BBC didn't bother to find and present a moderating
voice from the mainstream of the CA, one that no doubt
would have sensibly condemned physical violence or threats
of violence against anyone.

The Labour-leaning Indie on Sunday "picked up on" the story,
embellising it with details of a further plot to target the
PM's wife - Cherie Booth. According to the Indie, Booth
apparently tells Blair how to run the country[side] and
therefore deserves "targetting" in her own right.

There was something deeply suspicious about this whole
story.. I sensed that it was a media plant, coming from
the Government itself. Something just didn't ring true.
It was too convenient - the government was keen to discredit
the CA as a minority extremist movement, and lo-and-behold,
there in the form of two "anonymous" extremists, was
proof of that. Dangerous people, indeed!

In a way, I don't really care how much bad press the
hunting lobby receives. It deserves it. However, I do baulk
at the BBC - the so-called "public service" broadcaster,
acting as the Government's propaganda tool, if that indeed
is what happened on Friday's Radio 4 Today programme [and
in the IoS article].


That 407,000 people chose to march on London for the right
to kill foxes, does tell us something - that this country
has gone well and truly mad, with no insight into its own
problems and no concept of priorities.

Isn't the prospect of a lengthy ground war in the Gulf
a more important reason to raise one's voice, regardless of
whether you're an Aye or a Nay?

Gareth Jones

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 2:43:21 PM9/24/02
to

Give the fact that most of them are self-serving egos, something in
.me.uk would probably do.

Gareth

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 2:58:05 PM9/24/02
to
Tamas Gyursanszky <hung...@freemail.hu> writes:

> I'm no fan of foxhunting. In fact, I strongly disapprove of the "sport",
> it disgusts me, but you make a good point in questioning the BBC's
> impartiality.

I'm biassed and therefore maintain a fair neutrality and distance in the
matter...

> Friday morning, Radio 4's Today programme interviewed a couple of
> "activists" from the Countryside Alliance lobby.

Oh dear. As soon as you say `activists' you have to wonder whether that's
what *they* call themselves, or what they've been labelled.

[snip]


> As the Beeb intended, I interpreted those mens' words as being a thinly
> veiled threat of violence and/or intimidation against democratically
> elected members of parliament. Not on!

Thank you for helping me alleviate some of my built-in bias on the case.

(Background: the first news report I ever saw, >>10 years ago when I was
all the more naiive than now(!), on fox-hunting showed scenes of
"activists" deliberately sabotaging a hunt (probably with intent to cause
harm). From that point on I've considered anything that's born with violent
intent to be somewhat infra-dig.)

> The BBC didn't bother to find and present a moderating voice from the
> mainstream of the CA, one that no doubt would have sensibly condemned
> physical violence or threats of violence against anyone.

That's where I get less naiive. Thanks :)

> In a way, I don't really care how much bad press the hunting lobby
> receives. It deserves it.

Really? So people should *have* to defend themselves against whatever
people say? Guess that helps keep the land-sharks in business...

> However, I do baulk at the BBC - the so-called "public service"
> broadcaster, acting as the Government's propaganda tool, if that indeed
> is what happened on Friday's Radio 4 Today programme [and in the IoS
> article].

I've not been all that keen on the BBC ever since I saw their may-day
"riots" write-up online, but hey...

> That 407,000 people chose to march on London for the right to kill foxes,
> does tell us something - that this country has gone well and truly mad,
> with no insight into its own problems and no concept of priorities.

Correct. Also the reporting shows a lack of data as well - I'm informed
that foxes *do* want[0] culling, to some extent, however that happens. And
it does show a considerable over-emphasis on the perceived "value" (read:
fluffiness) of animals over human life (and maybe lifestyle).

Think you might appreciate the .sig-quote, btw.

[0] I'm not going to say `need culling' here; that's a matter of human
opinion on controlling another species which I consider rather contentious.

> Isn't the prospect of a lengthy ground war in the Gulf a more important
> reason to raise one's voice, regardless of whether you're an Aye or a
> Nay?

Again, the LibDems say the right&sensible thing just like they did after
Sept 11., and still they're not the ruling party. I guess the country
really is just lacking in clueful voters.

~Tim
--
| The fact is that this government is prepared to put the fox before people
| and continues rural degeneration as a masterpiece of misguided social
| engineering for the sake of political correctness.
| (<http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/scotland.cfm?id=1057722002>)

Tony Houghton

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 3:43:30 PM9/24/02
to
In <868z1r1...@potato.vegetable.org.uk>,
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> wrote:

> Tamas Gyursanszky <hung...@freemail.hu> writes:
>
>> That 407,000 people chose to march on London for the right to kill foxes,
>> does tell us something - that this country has gone well and truly mad,
>> with no insight into its own problems and no concept of priorities.
>
> Correct. Also the reporting shows a lack of data as well - I'm informed
> that foxes *do* want[0] culling, to some extent, however that happens. And
> it does show a considerable over-emphasis on the perceived "value" (read:
> fluffiness) of animals over human life (and maybe lifestyle).

Chasing after a fox on a horse is one of the last things I'd want to do,
and there are probably more humane ways of culling them, if that's
necessary, but I don't support a ban. I question the motivation of the
majority of anti-hunting campaigners. If they really cared about animal
welfare, I'm sure there are more deserving causes they could turn their
attention to. But causing trouble for a bunch of Hooray Henrys that
nobody likes anyway is more fun.

Gareth Jones

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 4:44:16 PM9/24/02
to
Tony Houghton <{tony}@realh.co.uk> wrote:

>Chasing after a fox on a horse is one of the last things I'd want to do,
>and there are probably more humane ways of culling them, if that's
>necessary, but I don't support a ban.

I agree. I think most of the people that have appeared in the media
for one side or another have used very poor arguments indeed.

There is actually a real issue to debate though - whether our
constitution should allow a majority to outlaw an activity just
because it finds it distasteful. Some people say that is what
democracy is - but democracy is a broad term, and can be used to
describe many styles of government. It is possible to craft
constitutions in such a way that minorites (and not just fashionable
ones), can't be trampled on by the majority.

> I question the motivation of the
>majority of anti-hunting campaigners. If they really cared about animal
>welfare, I'm sure there are more deserving causes they could turn their
>attention to.

I'm sure you are right.

Likewise the arguments of the pro-hunters are very weak. They explain
how important it is to keep down fox numbers because they are vermin,
then they explain that foxes are rarely killed anyway - and all the
while, no one asks them why they don't hunt rabbits so
enthusiastically.

Gareth

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 4:46:30 PM9/24/02
to
Tony Houghton <{tony}@realh.co.uk> writes:

>> Correct. Also the reporting shows a lack of data as well - I'm informed
>> that foxes *do* want[0] culling, to some extent, however that happens.
>> And it does show a considerable over-emphasis on the perceived "value"
>> (read: fluffiness) of animals over human life (and maybe lifestyle).
>
> Chasing after a fox on a horse is one of the last things I'd want to do,

Oh, likewise. Far too much like a waste of energy :)

> and there are probably more humane ways of culling them, if that's
> necessary, but I don't support a ban. I question the motivation of the
> majority of anti-hunting campaigners.

Exactly so.

> If they really cared about animal welfare, I'm sure there are more
> deserving causes they could turn their attention to. But causing trouble
> for a bunch of Hooray Henrys that nobody likes anyway is more fun.

Also understood and generally agreed :)

~Tim
--
21:45:50 up 24 days, 8:08, 4 users, load average: 0.29, 0.17, 0.11
pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk |Another day,
http://piglet.is.dreaming.org |Another kernel recompile

Laurence Jupp

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 8:51:31 PM9/24/02
to
On Tue, 24 Sep 2002 16:23:25 +0100 Richard Kettlewell wrote:
> Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:
>> In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not
>> organised, so where else are you going to put it? :-)

> I wasn't quite clear why it didn't go under "gov.uk"...

Hmmm. They are clearly over-compensating for our lack of proper
separation of powers.

--
Laurence

Chris Newport

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 8:59:50 PM9/24/02
to
Richard Kettlewell wrote:
>
> Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:
> > Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> wrote:
> >> Ewan Mac Mahon <ecm...@york.ac.uk> writes:
>
> >>> <http://www.parliament.uk/>.
> >>
> >> ...and why TF do they deserve yet *another* complete SLD to
> >> themselves?!
> >>
> > In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not
> > organised, so where else are you going to put it? :-)
>
> I wasn't quite clear why it didn't go under "gov.uk"...

Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as
well as the gummint ?.

Tamas Gyursanszky

unread,
Sep 24, 2002, 9:07:56 PM9/24/02
to
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> wrote:

> Tamas Gyursanszky <hung...@freemail.hu> writes:


oops.. this should have read Saturday morning ..

>> Friday morning, Radio 4's Today programme interviewed a couple of
>> "activists" from the Countryside Alliance lobby.
>
> Oh dear. As soon as you say `activists' you have to wonder whether that's
> what *they* call themselves, or what they've been labelled.

The Indie calls them 'radicals' and 'renegades'..

Hunt radicals make Cherie Blair a target
By Jo Dillon, Political Correspondent

"Renegade fox hunting supporters yesterday vowed
to target the Prime Minister's wife, Cherie
Blair, in a continued campaign of threats,
lawlessness and violence against those in
favour of a blood sports ban..."

http://www.independent.co.uk/story.jsp?story=335438

>> That 407,000 people chose to march on London for the right to kill foxes,
>> does tell us something - that this country has gone well and truly mad,
>> with no insight into its own problems and no concept of priorities.
>
> Correct. Also the reporting shows a lack of data as well - I'm informed
> that foxes *do* want[0] culling, to some extent, however that happens. And
> it does show a considerable over-emphasis on the perceived "value" (read:
> fluffiness) of animals over human life (and maybe lifestyle).

Very true.. So much wildlife is lost as roadkill, the hunts by comparison
look very inefficient.. Not so long ago, I unintentionally squashed four
rabbits in a three mile road journey. I threw them in the car boot, still
twitching, and took them home for the cats to chew on, but they were having
none of it.. The fickle things only eat Whiskas, preferably rabbit-flavoured.

The cats are as out of touch as the kid next door who when told: "Pluck
yourself an apple from the tree, son" replied: "No thanks, we only eat
apples from Sainsburys" :(

> Think you might appreciate the .sig-quote, btw.
>
> [0] I'm not going to say `need culling' here; that's a matter of human
> opinion on controlling another species which I consider rather contentious.
>
>> Isn't the prospect of a lengthy ground war in the Gulf a more important
>> reason to raise one's voice, regardless of whether you're an Aye or a
>> Nay?
>
> Again, the LibDems say the right&sensible thing just like they did after
> Sept 11., and still they're not the ruling party. I guess the country
> really is just lacking in clueful voters.

Yes, the LD are looking very promising.. Their stance on civil liberties
wins them a big applause in this household.

> ~Tim
> --
> | The fact is that this government is prepared to put the fox before people
> | and continues rural degeneration as a masterpiece of misguided social
> | engineering for the sake of political correctness.
> | (<http://www.thescotsman.co.uk/scotland.cfm?id=1057722002>)

and yet, this year's gross domestic turnip yield followed our 'A' level
results in being the best on record. Stalin lives on!

I see the Beeb received a dressing down from the Daily Telegraph over
its 'pro-Government bias' towards a hunting ban. Auntie isn't quite
the Pravda of old, but she's getting there :)


http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=%2Fnews%2F2002%2F09%2F24%2Fnhunt124.xml

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 4:06:55 AM9/25/02
to
Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:

>> > In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not
>> > organised, so where else are you going to put it? :-)
>>
>> I wasn't quite clear why it didn't go under "gov.uk"...
>
> Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as
> well as the gummint ?.

What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the party
in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP! must detag
their domain!'.) That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility
guidelines are, however, clearly defined at
<http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.

~Tim
--
The light of the world keeps shining, |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
Bright in the primal glow |http://spodzone.org.uk/

Jonathan Buzzard

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 4:45:39 AM9/25/02
to
In article <s4f1pu4vf74tcq10a...@4ax.com>,

Gareth Jones <gar...@uberdog.net> writes:
> Tony Houghton <{tony}@realh.co.uk> wrote:
>
>>Chasing after a fox on a horse is one of the last things I'd want to do,
>>and there are probably more humane ways of culling them, if that's
>>necessary, but I don't support a ban.
>
> I agree. I think most of the people that have appeared in the media
> for one side or another have used very poor arguments indeed.
>
> There is actually a real issue to debate though - whether our
> constitution should allow a majority to outlaw an activity just
> because it finds it distasteful. Some people say that is what
> democracy is - but democracy is a broad term, and can be used to
> describe many styles of government. It is possible to craft
> constitutions in such a way that minorites (and not just fashionable
> ones), can't be trampled on by the majority.

I don't go fox hunting, but it this is the reason why I find the
proposed ban on hunting with hounds very worrying. That the majority
think they have the right to criminalize something that does not
effect them in any material way gives me grave cause for concern.

If simple majorities can outlaw things then democracy is no better
than mob rule.

The fundamental principle of democracy is that the majority can outlaw
something if it is effecting them, but something that has no effect on
them or anyone else are not up for outlawing.

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 5:28:37 AM9/25/02
to
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:

> Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:
>
> >> > In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not
> >> > organised, so where else are you going to put it? :-)
> >>
> >> I wasn't quite clear why it didn't go under "gov.uk"...
> >
> > Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as
> > well as the gummint ?.
>
> What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the party
> in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP! must detag
> their domain!'.)

Where did you get that from in Chris's statement?

> That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility guidelines
> are, however, clearly defined at
> <http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.

And quite plainly, Parliament doesn't qualify. It isn't a governmental
department or agency; it isn't part of the government at all. The
government is, at least in theory, subservient to Parliament.

Of course, they fuck all that up with www.royal.gov.uk

--
Keith Willoughby | http://flat222.org/keith/
Not back on it Joe, still on it.

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 5:56:04 AM9/25/02
to
Keith Willoughby <ke...@flat222.org> writes:

> Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:
>
>> Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:
>>
>> >> > In principle it's not commercial, and in practice it's not
>> >> > organised, so where else are you going to put it? :-)
>> >>
>> >> I wasn't quite clear why it didn't go under "gov.uk"...
>> >
>> > Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as
>> > well as the gummint ?.
>>
>> What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the party
>> in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP! must detag
>> their domain!'.)
>
> Where did you get that from in Chris's statement?

From the above, perhaps?

>> That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility guidelines are,
>> however, clearly defined at <http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.
>
> And quite plainly, Parliament doesn't qualify. It isn't a governmental
> department or agency; it isn't part of the government at all. The
> government is, at least in theory, subservient to Parliament.

Oh, FFS, read what I wrote above. `.gov.uk' is concerned with the
allocation of domain names in the part of the 'Net delegated to the UK; the
way only part of parliament is called "the government" at any point in time
is the wrong context for "government".

> Of course, they fuck all that up with www.royal.gov.uk

Royalty is part of the government-sytem of this country.

~Tim
--
Famous moments vanish without trace |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
Trees grow tall, fields grow wheat |http://spodzone.org.uk/

Dave Pearson

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 5:45:21 AM9/25/02
to
* Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk>:

> Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:
>
> > Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as well as the
> > gummint ?.
>
> What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the party
> in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP! must detag

> their domain!'.) [SNIP]

Where is there evidence of such "tracking"?

--
Dave Pearson: | lbdb.el - LBDB interface.
http://www.davep.org/ | sawfish.el - Sawfish mode.
Emacs: | uptimes.el - Record emacs uptimes.
http://www.davep.org/emacs/ | quickurl.el - Recall lists of URLs.

Dave Pearson

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 5:48:18 AM9/25/02
to
* Tamas Gyursanszky <hung...@freemail.hu>:

> That 407,000 people chose to march on London for the right
> to kill foxes, does tell us something - that this country
> has gone well and truly mad, with no insight into its own
> problems and no concept of priorities.

I think the main thing this tells us is that you bought the line that the
march was about fox hunting.

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 6:23:46 AM9/25/02
to
Dave Pearson <davep...@davep.org> writes:

> * Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk>:
>
>> Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:
>>
>> > Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as well as the
>> > gummint ?.
>>
>> What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the
>> party in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP!
>> must detag their domain!'.) [SNIP]
>
> Where is there evidence of such "tracking"?

OK, I'll explain the above slowly....

If .gov.uk is limited to "the Government" then only organizations with the
same party allegiance would appear to be valid for inclusion.

That changes over time.

Looks ludicrous to me.

So I figure this "Government" that you & Keith are introducing as "subset
of parliament" is really nothing to do with the allocation of domains
within .gov.uk, rather, the latter is a best-fit process.

~Tim
--
Morning dawning / |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
With life abounding |http://spodzone.org.uk/

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 6:34:14 AM9/25/02
to
Richard Kettlewell <inv...@invalid.invalid> writes:

> Keith Willoughby <ke...@flat222.org> writes:
>> Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:
>

>>> That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility guidelines
>>> are, however, clearly defined at
>>> <http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.
>>
>> And quite plainly, Parliament doesn't qualify. It isn't a governmental
>> department or agency; it isn't part of the government at all.
>

> It's not a "non-departmental public sector organisation" then?

Indeed; and if it's not `part of the government' then whence came the RIP
Bill?

Again, this is what I mean about `government' versus this rather restricted
"Government" idea.

~Tim
--
Arise soul |pig...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk
Soar above the singing river |http://spodzone.org.uk/

Dave Pearson

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 7:44:29 AM9/25/02
to
* Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk>:

> Dave Pearson <davep...@davep.org> writes:
>
> > Where is there evidence of such "tracking"?
>
> OK, I'll explain the above slowly....

No need for that sort of tone.

> If .gov.uk is limited to "the Government" then only organizations with the
> same party allegiance would appear to be valid for inclusion.

Where does party allegiance come into this? I don't recall seeing it being
part of the post you followed up.

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 8:34:20 AM9/25/02
to
Dave Pearson <davep...@davep.org> writes:

>> If .gov.uk is limited to "the Government" then only organizations with
>> the same party allegiance would appear to be valid for inclusion.
>
> Where does party allegiance come into this? I don't recall seeing it
> being part of the post you followed up.

Right where someone mentioned the concept of "opposition".

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 8:48:54 AM9/25/02
to
Richard Kettlewell <inv...@invalid.invalid> writes:

> Keith Willoughby <ke...@flat222.org> writes:
> > Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:
>

> >> That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility guidelines
> >> are, however, clearly defined at
> >> <http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.
> >
> > And quite plainly, Parliament doesn't qualify. It isn't a governmental
> > department or agency; it isn't part of the government at all.
>

> It's not a "non-departmental public sector organisation" then?

No. http://www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/quango/index/whatis.htm

| A "public body" is officially defined as a body which has a role in
| the processes of national Government, but is not a government
| department or part of one, and which accordingly operates to a
| greater or lesser extent at arm's length from Ministers. More
| simply, this means a national or regional public body, operating
| independently of Ministers, but for which Ministers are ultimately
| responsible. Such bodies are formally classified as NDPBs - or
| non-departmental public bodies.

Ministers aren't responsible for parliament. It's the other way
around.

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 8:53:03 AM9/25/02
to
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:

> Keith Willoughby <ke...@flat222.org> writes:
>
> > Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:
> >> That is not the role of .gov at all; the elligibility guidelines are,
> >> however, clearly defined at <http://www.ogc.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1876>.
> >
> > And quite plainly, Parliament doesn't qualify. It isn't a governmental
> > department or agency; it isn't part of the government at all. The
> > government is, at least in theory, subservient to Parliament.
>
> Oh, FFS, read what I wrote above.

I did. I even went to the link you gave. FFS.

> `.gov.uk' is concerned with the allocation of domain names in the
> part of the 'Net delegated to the UK; the way only part of
> parliament is called "the government" at any point in time is the
> wrong context for "government".

You were the one who posted a link to the rules. Under those rules,
parliament doesn't qualify.

> > Of course, they fuck all that up with www.royal.gov.uk
>
> Royalty is part of the government-sytem of this country.

So? Apparently, that isn't what .gov.uk means. It's for "UK government
departments and agencies, local government bodies (including town and
parish councils), and other associated and non-departmental public
sector organisations and projects."

Dave Pearson

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 8:57:05 AM9/25/02
to
* Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk>:

> Dave Pearson <davep...@davep.org> writes:
>
> > Where does party allegiance come into this? I don't recall seeing it
> > being part of the post you followed up.
>
> Right where someone mentioned the concept of "opposition".

But a service provided by the Government is a service provided by the
Government no matter who is in opposition, isn't it?

Keith Willoughby

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 8:59:57 AM9/25/02
to
Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk> writes:

> Dave Pearson <davep...@davep.org> writes:
>
> > * Tim Haynes <use...@stirfried.vegetable.org.uk>:
> >
> >> Chris Newport <c...@NOSPAM.netunix.com> writes:
> >>
> >> > Maybe because parliament includes the "loyal opposition" as well as the
> >> > gummint ?.
> >>
> >> What kind of half-cocked system would have domain-names tracking the
> >> party in power at any one time? (`Oh no, Leeds council has gone SNP!
> >> must detag their domain!'.) [SNIP]
> >
> > Where is there evidence of such "tracking"?
>
> OK, I'll explain the above slowly....

Oooh, get her.

> If .gov.uk is limited to "the Government" then only organizations with the
> same party allegiance would appear to be valid for inclusion.

Do you have some different definition for government? The 'government'
isn't the Labour party at the moment. It's just the 'government'. Tony
Blair was appointed to the office of Prime Minister by the Queen,
because she deemed him to be the one who could form a functioning
government, and he formed that government. He could have chosen
Ministers for that government who weren't even in the Labour party -
it's happened plenty of times before. Those ministers, and the
ministries they lead, and the agencies they control, form the
government. Nothing to do with "party allegiance", except that the
Prime Minister usually chooses members of his party to form the
government.



> That changes over time.
>
> Looks ludicrous to me.
>
> So I figure this "Government" that you & Keith are introducing as "subset
> of parliament" is really nothing to do with the allocation of domains
> within .gov.uk, rather, the latter is a best-fit process.

Not according to the rules you posted a link to.

Tim Haynes

unread,
Sep 25, 2002, 9:06:33 AM9/25/02