Monday, 22 February 2010

Pressing Buttons

Skip 16 mins into this vid from CPAC for a gem of a speech from YBF's Matthew Richardson:

The crowd reaction to buzzwords is hilarious. As is the fact taking the piss out of Kerry McCarthy has gone global.



Thanks for the advice to skip the first 16 mins. However, since I am (like that airbrushed poster says) "with suspicious minds" I decided to listen to some of the other speeches. God they were dire, no wonder Obama was elected if that is all the right can offer.

So I have to hand it to Matthew Richardson that he was the best of the bunch, but that really is not saying much. Here's a bet for you. I bet Dave does not give Richardson a spot on the main stage at the next Conservative Conference. But TB, I will buy you a pint in the renovated Red Lion if Richardson does get a main stage gig this year (fringe events are exempt from this bet). Care to take up the bet?

OK, so to the talk. It was honed for the audience, of course, so he crossed out all of the main themes that Dave will fight this election on. But that said, he's not particularly good at research, is he?

The 20% CCTV is a bogus figure, it was based on one person doing a survey of one street in central London and then lazily extrapolating. I suggest Richardson checks Snopes next time he writes a speech.

He's a BBC hater and has no licence, he is on record for giving a false address. And he's a lawyer, really? He's going to get a knock on the door from Capita!

Ooo he's an NHS hater. See what I mean? Dave will hate him. Dave loves the NHS, he's said so many times. Is Richardson a Conservative, by the way? 3rd largest employer is easily refuted because Wal-Mart employ more than the NHS, but this "fact" was quoted by Hannan on Glenn Beck last summer, so I am getting an idea of where Richardson does his research.

Finally, and this is the best quote from Richardson, he said that it was too late "to protect the UK from socialism". Golden! He says that Dave will not get elected?

I am off to get a T-Shirt printed with "YBF says Dave will not win the election!"

Derp said...

You can dissect evil Tory policy all you want, Dick. You're still gonna lose in May.

John said...

CPAC....I reckon the Mock the Week guys could have fund with that one......

And I love the fact that Matthew Richardson begins his speech with a joke on impersonation :-)

Matthew Richardson

Fisking Matthew Richardson by Matthew Richardson

He starts of with a little joke about Kate Zernike and her absurd attack of his friend Jason Mattera a link to which can be found here that was really a rhetorical technique used to set tone for the speech and to defend his friend Jason.

After some rhetorical filler he suggests that in Britain there are 20% of the worlds CCTV cameras. It seems like a bold claim but here it is in the London Evening Standard and also in the Daily Mail now I know what you’re thinking the Daily Mail is written by hateful right wingers and so can’t be trusted to do anything. That may be true but the New Statesman is written by hateful left wingers and it’s in there too, so maybe it balances out. It is possible that in addition to these three reputable news sources he should have checked an internet site based in America which rarely credits or attributes its work but I imagine his time was short.

He then talks about the power to enter a persons property and makes spurious claims about the reasons that they may do so. I think that he might have got this from Her Majesty’s Stationary Office or the Office of Public Sector Information or some other dubious source because those powers are contained in the following legislation:

Illegal Plant Pots (Plant Health Order 2005).
Refrigerator Ratings (Energy Information Household Refrigerators and Freezers Regulations 2004)
Surveying the home and garden to see if hedges are too high (Anti-Social Behaviour Act 2003)
Inspecting a property to ensure illegal or unregulated hypnotism is not taking place (Hypnotism Act 1952)

He then talks about all of the new crimes the government have created in the last 13 years, again it looks like he has only looked at actual law rather than internet, the fool:

Polish Potatoes: Polish Potatoes (Notification) (England) Order 2004
Grey Squirrels: Natural Environment and Rural Communities Act 2006

Here is where he does become slightly less intellectually honest and just goes for laughs, although the crimes listed below are actually crimes they were enacted by Tory governments. Perhaps the Young Britons’ Foundation is not a mindless party machine but actually cares about freedom.

Dolphin Bothering (Recklessly Harassing Dolphins): Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
Treasure: Treasure Act 1996

A couple of jokes about Climate change and #Kerryout and a sly mention of #cheesecakefact (a phrase which has no meaning outside of CPAC) and he is back in asserting facts. He asserts that the NHS is the world’s third largest employer. Did he copy it from Dan Hannan? Well if he has is that a problem? Dan certainly quoted it on Glenn Beck last year and also at the Young Americas Foundation conference at which Richardson was present. Perhaps they made it up together or perhaps they got it from this Times Article or this Telegraph Article or this BBC article Who knows.

Finally, if David Cameron doesn’t cut spending and taxation he is a socialist it doesn’t matter what party he is leader of.


Also, Matthew Richardson did not say that he has no television licence, and I suspect his property was already properly licensed before the purchase of said T.V.

His very good point is that a person should not be compelled to provide personal details such as his address, simply to purchase electronic equipment. I heartily agree with him.


Oh lovely The Daily Mail says that "20% of the worlds CCTV cameras" are in Britain so it must be true."4.2m cameras" or "1 for every 14 people". as I mentioned, this was a rather lazy figure calculated 8 years ago:

"The exact number of CCTV cameras in the UK is not known but a 2002 working paper by Michael McCahill and Clive Norris of UrbanEye,[7] based on a small sample in Putney High Street, estimated the number of surveillance cameras in private premises in London is around 500,000 and the total number of cameras in the UK is around 4,200,000."


"According to their estimate the UK has one camera for every 14 people, although it has been acknowledged that the methodology behind this figure is somewhat dubious."

A figure of 4.2 million cameras works out as 71 per 1000 people. Remember, this is the supposed figure as an average over all 60 million of us, so in an area of dense population there will be, well thousands of the things. By rights you would not be able to move for them in central London.

OK, some sanity. I know that Mr Richardson hates the BBC, but here's a link from that august organisation who actually went to the effort of asking local authorities for some figures.

"West Sussex has the highest number of CCTV cameras in the sample of English counties, with 0.52 per 1,000 people. "

Note that figure: the *highest* number for a county council is 0.52 per 1000, as opposed to the Daily Mail's *average* of 71. So the Mail's average is a factor of 137 larger tnan the county with the most cameras!

But what about London? Well it should have a lot of cameras because a lot of people live there and there are a lot of government buildings. Wandsworth has the highest number with just under 4 per 1000 people. Again, the Mail's figure of 71 is 7.6 times larger than the actual figure for the borough with the most number of cameras.

So now can we agree that the "20% of the world's cameras are in the UK" is a silly statement?

I am annoyed with the lazy use of this 4.2 million figure because, like the 54% pregnancy figure released last week by CCHQ, it shows that the person using the figure did not stop and think "can this figure be right?" In the case of the pregnancy figure it showed not only innumeracy in Team Cameron, but it also showed what a low opinion they have of young people.

As to the other figures, well, I found them quite amusing (as Mr Richardson intended them to be). As I said in my other comment, he's a capable speaker and significantly better than the dire speakers before him.

I have to say that a grey squirrels are vermin in this country, and do a lot of damage. They also carry a virus that they are immune to, but our native reds are not. However, greys are native in the US and it is interesting that the roles are reversed in the US, where they regard gray squirrels (I got it right that time) with the sort of affection that we Brits have for red squirrels. I don't know if Mr Richardson realised that and therefore deliberately mentioned the grey squirrel legislation in his speech.

It is also nice to see that Mr Richardson thinks that Dave is a socialist. As we all know, Dave will not cut taxes in the first term of a parliament. Although he intends to cut deep, he will face the problem that Thatcher did in the 80s, namely, having to pay out lots of benefits to the large numbers of unemployed he will create. If we get a double dip, then there will not be the expansion of the private sector to tax to get those benefits and since Dave will not have the North Sea oil bonanza that Thatcher had, he will have no choice other than to borrow more. But you know all of this already.

John said...

Finally, if David Cameron doesn’t cut spending and taxation he is a socialist it doesn’t matter what party he is leader of.

Do you really believe that Matt?

Anonymous said...

I used to think it was just the US that had a pathological problem with understanding what socialism is - most of you have clearly got it as well.

James said...

The man is a child.

Anonymous said...

Derp said...

hahahahahaha! ITT socialist rectal anguish and Liarbore damage control.

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