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Comment: Re:Reality Check (Score 1) 312

by mpk (#27820461) Attached to: UK Possibly Exploring "Google Tax"

The point I was making (and read other comments to this) is that it's actually entirely possible that politicians *aren't* in fact thinking like this - it just makes a good story for the Mail. Giving a good "whoosh" every time someone thinks there's a faint chance a politician might want to do something they wouldn't approve of would turn into a full-time job for most people - if this actually turns into a proposal it'll be made public, and that's when the actual political process (Parliament, etc) kicks off.

Comment: Reality Check (Score 5, Informative) 312

by mpk (#27816585) Attached to: UK Possibly Exploring "Google Tax"

* This is the Daily Mail - a notoriously unpleasant and right-wing newspaper which leaps at any chance to run "shock horror" stories about things like this even if they aren't actually necessarily 100% true, because it sells newspapers to their target market (right-wing anti-government types).

* The Daily Mail doesn't like the BBC either.

* "Ministers are considering" is generally code for "Someone suggested this in passing". It doesn't mean at all that there's any actual policy there or anything else. Hell, it might just mean someone talked to someone in the pub who suggested it in passing.

In summary, take this story with a pinch of salt. It might become a more concrete proposal at some point in the future, but I think that'd be unlikely.

Comment: Be aware of your sources... (Score 1) 521

by mpk (#24831079) Attached to: Councils Recruit Unpaid Volunteers To Spy On Their Neighbors

The reality is probably somewhat different than this article suggests. Don't forget that thisislondon.com = the Evening Standard = Associated Newspapers, the same people who brought you the Daily Mail. The Mail is one of the heaviest and most obnoxious pushers for the Law and Order lobby in this country (and very keen on Registration And Surveillance of such 'undesirable elements' as immigrants), but at the same time it has a vested interest in running "big brother" hysteria stories like this one, which if you actually read it is short on details and big on hyperbole. I presume that the reality is that someone from the council might put a leaflet through your letterbox if your recycling box is empty, not that you're going to get carted off to the cellars of the Ministry of Love.

Indeed, it should be mentioned at this point that the Mail was such a big supporter of the British Union of Fascists and, indeed, of Adolf Hitler in the 1930s that it had the nickname "The Daily Heil".

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