It’s Friday, which can mean only one thing – we at Red Molotov have once again trawled through the week’s news to bring you another ‘worst of’ compilation of general wrongdoings, injustices and the occasional morsel of outright hilarity.
Oh, and if you’re wondering where a certain fella with a big hat is, you can find our take on him here.
The Clock Strikes Thirteen
Keen to take advantage of the veritable treasure trove of personal data otherwise known as social media, this week a lovely bunch called Raytheon – the world’s fifth largest defence contractors – unveiled a new piece of software that could have come straight from the mind of George Orwell himself.
The non-provocatively-titled ‘Riot’ (that’s ‘Rapid Information Overlay Technology’, fans of generic science fiction-esque acronyms), allows users – let’s say a government, for example – to build a comprehensive picture of someone, where they’ve been and, most importantly, where they are planning to go by mining social media data. Cue world-weary old spies shaking their head and lamenting the old days when kids couldn’t just sit gawping in front of a screen, etc and so on…
Fans of paranoia will be pleased to know that Riot can piece together everywhere you’ve been using Foursquare data, the longitudinal and latitudinal data of digital photos and all sorts of other seemingly innocent nonsense you might have shared on social media – you know, the sort of thing that definitely won’t get exploited by overly-keen-to-know-everything-about-us governments ‘protecting’ us from bad guys and terrorists.
So what can one do to counter this new threat to personal freedom? Here’s a couple of WTF top tips:
- Keep posting lots of pictures of yourself at various locations, keep ‘checking-in’ at every location you possibly can and keep posting sardonic tweets about bus drivers. Who are you to deprive people of such a vital stream of information just because someone might be recording all of that personal data you’re giving away.
- Turn off your computer, dismantle it, burn it, dig a hole in the dirt and bury the charred remains. Close the curtains, take an ongoing vow of silence and trust no-one. You can’t risk a shadowy Government task force coming for you because of the time you drunkenly kicked one of the Queen’s own swans and bragged about it on Facebook.
- Do something about it. In the words of the Guardian’s James Ball: ‘The only way to prevent such a shift is to group together, raise funds, and lobby hard for real legal safeguards, fast, before the culture shift is irreversible. Anything less is acquiescence.’
- Buy a couple of movie t-shirts from Red Molotov and tell all your friends about it online. It won’t stop people knowing what you’re up to, but it will tell them that you have an eye for style and probably have loads of friends too.
Kicked Out Of Camden
Sensitivity was top of Camden Council’s agenda this week as they announced they’d be rounding up 200 or so poor families and politely telling them to bugger off somewhere else and stop stinking up their ‘quirky’ mix of bars made to look like twee French cafés. Go on, poor folk, off you go to Liverpool or Northdale or whatever those places poor people up North live in are called.
Of course, it’s not technically Camden Council’s fault that they’ve had to try and find new housing for families unable to afford their rent anymore – that would be the coalition government, who introduced a benefits cap limiting welfare payments for families to £500 per week. Camden aren’t the only council planning to shift families out of London either; both Brent and Westminster are also toying with the idea of sending off their poorest families elsewhere.
London, then – a truly diverse city. As long as you aren’t on benefits.
Everyone (who enjoys the work of the right wing press) knows by now that unemployed people are workshy spongers who’d rather spend their days leading a nihilistic lifestyle consisting of daytime TV, cheap lager and having lots and lots of babies than mucking in and trying to save the British economy from dying on its arse completely. Because that’s their responsibility. Obviously.
With that in mind, it seemed perfectly reasonable that the government decided to introduce a ‘work for your benefits’ scheme, in which workshy spongers with no ambition, such as geology graduate Cait Reilly, are forced to undertake completely irrelevant work in Poundland stacking shelves rather than trying to get themselves a job relevant to their education by undergoing work experience at a museum, for example. Oh, and if she’d refused to do it, she’d have lost her benefits. Nice.
This week, however, those manic lefties who run the British legal system decided that breaking people’s hopes and dreams by forcing them to work jobs they have no interest in (jobs that could be filled by other people who might want to work in Poundland, remember) isn’t actually that good an idea and deemed the ‘workfare’ scheme in its current form unlawful. Political correctness goes mad again!
Thankfully, the Department for Work and Pensions are going to work tooth-and-nail to get the scheme back up and running, although presumably not using forced labour from their nearest job centre.
The Great Horsemeat Conspiracy
Horsemeat – it really is what’s for dinner. This week it was revealed that the average person eats at least one Grand National worth of horses a year* while a leading food expert took the time out to declare that he ‘didn’t know what all the fuss was about’ because ‘horses are just pretentious cows really, aren’t they?’*. (* May not be factual)
Oh, hang on – it actually turns out that the horsemeat scandal (as it has been christened) has grown into a Europe-wide conspiracy of shady meat dealings that will probably form the basis of a gritty political crime thriller when Hollywood gives up on this creative lark and decides to just regurgitate recent events for entert…oh wait…
Why not show how proud you are of what seems certain to be Britain’s new national dish with our completely unspecified supermarket Value Horse T-Shirt?
So that was the week that was; we’ll be back next week for more WTF news providing we’re all not off our faces on the animal drugs it turns out that hilarious horsemeat might have contained.