Category Archives: Bloggery

Online diarising and the like

The Bristolian is back! (slight return)

The Bristolian returns (again)

So, it seems that Bristol’s “favourite muck-raking scandal sheet”, The Bristolian, has returned (again).

Now in its third iteration (lovingly retconned to v4.0 through a quick history lesson that drags in James Acland’s 19th century anti-establishment rag serendipitously of the same name), there’s also a website to back it up, plus Twitter account and Facebook page. How terribly modern!

One gripe: first issue seems to be rather council-focused (I know, it does say ‘CRAP COUNCIL SPECIAL’ in big letters on the cover) – hopefully they shall be casting their net a little wider with future issues.

Anyway, there’s stuff on outgoing council capo Graham Sims getting a sweetheart deal from new Mayor George Ferguson, a new crap legal supremo replaces old crap legal supremo, and some righteous anger at adventure playgrounds & youth centres being dumped as large swathes of our public play facilities and services are privatised…

There’s a growing list of places to pick up paper copies (I suspect it will take a while to get it out though, so might be best to contact the Bristolian people first before trekking out).

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BristolBloggerGate: Three years on – the University of Liverpool, WordPress & censorship

Three years on from the original incident, fellow blogger EcoLogics has recapped some of the salient points in what some called BristolBloggerGate as something of a valedictory to the WP platform…

Exactly three years ago today, on 5 January 2010, WordPress took down several of this blog’s posts.

Actually, Ecologics didn’t fare too badly; even as a handful of my posts vanished without warning, WordPress, or rather its parent company, Automattic, closed down the entire blogs of some other writers (at least one has subsequently managed to find an alternative home). To be sure, WordPress also agreed to republish the censored posts. What we the censored bloggers had in common was that we had all published information about one Howard Newby, the former vice-chancellor (director) of the University of the West of England. It seems that Newby took exception to our views regarding a financial scandal which erupted around him in 2007, and which involved a private training firm which subsequently went bust (Carter & Carter).

Soon after the scandal emerged, and only about a year and a half since he first took up the post, Newby left UWE. But most peculiarly, it was not before three years had passed that the legal department of the University of Liverpool, Newby’s new home, got Automattic to close the blogs with information about Newby’s practices at UWE […]

I hope to revisit some of these issues again myself when I have the time. Perhaps even The Bristol Blogger – now relocated beyond the walled garden of WordPress.com, but quiet for nearly a year – might themself pipe up once more some time in 2013.

In the meantime, here’s a quick rundown of the various pieces I wrote about the whole Sir Howard Newby/Lady Sheila Newby/Kevan Ryan/University of the West of England/University of Liverpool clusterfuck:

2013 – unlucky for some

Well, for no reason in particular I’m going to have a crack at nailing at least one post a day in 2013. Why not, eh.

That said, not really got anything interesting to impart today. Eugene Byrne, however, has. Go check out his post on workhouses.

Personally I reckon that it’s high time the political right started calling for the return of the workhouse. I’ll write you the script:

First, you get some think-tank to source and publish “research” that shows that by late Victorian times, the parish workhouse wasn’t nearly as awful as Dickens portrayed it a generation earlier. Then some politicians wade in to start a “debate”. Workhouses would be more “fair” to the taxpayer as every able-bodied inmate would be obliged to work for their keep. You know, they might even ultimately be cost-neutral for the taxpayer as private companies would obviously want to pay for use of a pool of cheap labour. And the workhouse would provide them with food and accommodation so the national welfare bill would be reduced. Obviously there would be initial costs in building and running them, but this can be done very competitively by the private sector on PFI contracts[…]

Best wishes to you and yours; and here’s hoping enough of us make it through to the other end of this year, no matter how much shit these bastards sling our way.

The BRISTLE – full of lovely comicky goodness including rare Judge Dredd strip and behind-the-scenes photos from Eagle Mk II launch!

Okay, so this is nothing more than a shameless cross-blog promo plug for The BRISTLE!

But who wouldn’t want to know about the rare 1990 John Wagner/Ian Gibson ‘Judge Dredd’ strip?

Who would want to be left in the dark about Ron Smith, John Gillatt and Gerry Embleton working on ‘Dan Dare’ designs for the rebooted Eagle?

And who in all honesty isn’t interested in a letter sent by the assistant editor of a British comic to an eleven year old boy in 1988?

So get thee over to The BRISTLE – it’s a Bumper Bonanza of Inky-Fingered Fun!

Great news, chums – new UK comics-related blog The BRISTLE launched!

As part of a slowly-unfolding plan to hive off different aspects of this blog to more focused efforts, I am pleased to announce the launch of my new venture, The BRISTLE!

Devoted to all sorts of stuff connected to UK comics, The BRISTLE will be a handy resting place for musings on the peculiarly British anthology titles – both of yore, and contemporary efforts too.

So whether you were a fan of DC Thomson’s perennials like The Beano and The Dandy, or IPC’s more off-the-wall funnies like Whoopee!! and Oink!; or a boys’ adventure paper junkie revelling in The Victor and Valiant; or a pure child of the 70s with your Battle and Action and 2000AD, I shall endeavour to root around my boxes of delights for rare strips, odd titbits and aged newspaper cuttings to share with you.

Already I have posted up a ‘Judge Dredd’ six-pager by John Wagner and Ian Gibson that was exclusively published in Sinclair User magazine to tie-in to a Spectrum ZX game – so keep your eyes peeled on The BRISTLE for more such treats in the future!

PS

In tangentially-linked news, British comic writer par excellence Pat Mills has endorsed on of my posts about cop-spook-turned-academic Bob Lambert MBE!

The unsung engineer of British comics: Pat Mills – welcome to the blogosphere!

Just a quickie: Pat Mills – probably the comic writer who most inspired, influenced and guided me – has taken up blogging, and his first post, on the genesis of 2000AD and ‘Judge Dredd’, is a corker…

DREDD – THE KILLING MACHINE.

The legacy of Die Hard

You may like this blog post: The legacy of Die Hard, a look at thirty films (and a TV show episode) that rip off, homage or otherwise seem mighty similar to the white vest trials and tribulations of John McClane.

MikeyMo’s enthusiasm for his subject matter is strong enough that you forgive him the occasional typo. Definitely worth following his blog, methinks.