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« Ferdinand Mount: The Tories and LibDems Have Become Natural Allies | Main | Joe Lieberman: America can't abandon 27 million Iraqis to 10,000 terrorists »



James please excuse my ignorance.Who or what is Godwin's Law?

James Hellyer

Godwin's Law is a natural law of Usenet named after Mike Godwin concerning Usenet "discussions". It reads

"As a Usenet discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches one."

This means that someone will eventually try and end any argument by comparing something or someone to Hitler or the Nazis. Such comparions are usually invalid and are taken as surrendering the argument.'s_law


Thank you James.I'll remember that.


The Libyan Army have now completely derteoysd Ras Lanuf oilfield in anticipation of a large NATO special force arriving to re-secure it. This after shooting down a plane several days ago carrying 82nd Airborne arriving to secure facility unaware that the Libyan Army had killed the NATO-al Qaeda Rats guarding it. That allows the Libyan Army to withdraw to defend the town. This is a MASSIVE blow to the NATO oil pirates and will significantly affect Libyas oil production and the world markets.


James is playing a bsnsieus man and he's doing bsnsieus (big bsnsieus) in China. Does China have some shameful foreign policies? Hell yeah? Does America have shameful foreign policies? Absolutely. The fact is this: most of the entire world has bought into the capitalist framework, and every single one of us contributes to it everyday whether we realize it or not. You be hardpressed to find a person who doesn't buy stuff from China or from other nations who have atrocius human rights records. Its the nature of a world that is based on consumerism.Sorry about the diatribe, but while Newble has a worthwhile cause, its silly for us to get on James when he's simply working within a structure in which important things get ignored, and most of the society (including James) are unaware or don't take action. Newble's petition isn't going to do a thing, because the system isn't going to change. I'm not directing this at you specifically, but it would be entirely hypocritical if we point the finger at James and not at ourselves. Our entire society is guilty of apathy in the Sudan case and many others.


as much. Indeed, I don't see why research is reeriuqd to prove that saying nasty things about other people on the Internet isn't a good thing to do, especially if you are a public servant. As for your other point, no, there is no mission, which is pretty cleat from what I said. Again, it's no more than common sense to say that if my elected representative is a twat, I'd like to know about it. Twitter cock ups might be one way that happens, so fair enough. The point is that many politicians use twitter and other social media tools, and the majority have no incidents like this. Those politicians find it useful, and it provides another channel for interaction with their electorate. Your previous comment said we should stop encouraging them . Why? Because one or two behave in an idiotic way? Because the entire political class is unable to use the Internet as well as you or I?I'll continue to support local politicians to experiment with new technology, if it's ok with you. Many are interested, and enjoy it when they get stuck in, and realise the benefits while having mature appreciation of the risks. I don't see why the actions of one twerp in Birmingham should mean the end of online innovation in politics and democracy.


I don't understand the terms of doing it well'. Who's sense of doing it well' are we meiursang this against. It there some kind of system for meiursang effectiveness? Some polls or research available?Twitter strikes me as not being about transparency at all. It's as much a place to construct identity as any other media platform. But you make an interesting point in that it's better to have such lapses in judgement out in the open. So if that's the mission, to sell twitter as an engagement tool to politicians and then wait with relish for the moment they expose themselves, that sounds quite progressive and radical. Count me in.


Yes and no. Do local politicians need soppurt to help them get the most of these tools, of course.But was it a lack of understanding of Twitter that got Cllr Compton into trouble here? I don't think so the problem here was him, and his appalling sense of humour.

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