Daily View 2×2: 14 June 2009

Welcome to the Sunday outing for The Voice’s Daily View series. As it’s a Sunday, today it comes with a bonus complaint and the easiest quiz question of the week.

2 Big Stories

Could Alan Johnson scrap ID cards?

Gordon Brown’s weakness means there is a set of senior Cabinet members who are now unsackable. If any of them were to take it upon themselves to indulge in a very un-Brownian desire to do something dramatic and decisive, it would be extremely hard for Gordon Brown to stop them.

Step forward then possibly, perhaps, just maybe Alan Johnson. (He is, after all, one of those who hasn’t acted dramatically or decisively to get Gordon Brown ousted.) The Sunday Times reports:

ALAN JOHNSON, the home secretary, has launched an urgent review of the £6 billion identity card (ID) scheme, paving the way for a possible U-turn on one of Labour’s flagship policies.

Johnson, who was promoted in Gordon Brown’s latest cabinet reshuffle, is understood to be “sympathetic” to critics who claim identity cards will undermine civil liberties.

The home secretary told officials that he wanted a “first principles” rethink of the plan, which was launched by Tony Blair following the 9/11 attacks in 2001 and has since been championed by Brown as a way of fighting terrorism.

“Alan is more sympathetic to the civil liberties arguments than previous home secretaries,” said an insider.

The Iranian elections

Although Lebanon’s recent elections saw a decisive victory for moderates, the official results from Iran show a landslide for the hardliners. These results have been disputed, but as so often the mainstream media coverage amounts to little more than “X says the elections were rigged, Y says they weren’t”, with little evidence presented to let you make a decision about who you think is telling the truth.

Step forward the online world, where there is much detailed argument available, including this blog post which – combined with the comments posted to it – gives a good flavour of the cases for and against the election results having been rigged.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

If David Cameron believes in first past the post, he should quit his job
From Mark Reckons:

David Cameron has spent a lot of time in the last few weeks talking about how great the First Past the Post electoral system is. He will not countenance any change from this even though MPs can end up elected with often much less than 50% of the vote in their own constituency.

What I find fascinating about this is that if you follow his line of reasoning to its logical conclusion then David Cameron should not be leader of the Conservative party at all. Instead it should be David Davis … [because] if this had been a First Past the Post election then David Davis would have been elected leader.

Twitter and politics
Euro-candidate and journalist Jonathan Fryer muses over the impact of Twitter:

Though a comparatively late convert to the practice (despite the proselytising of my friend, Stephen Fry), I’ve been finding it hugely useful in recent weeks and have noted how one can enter into dialogue with politicians of other parties as well as with journalists and bloggers of all persuasions, who are quite happy to ‘follow’ one on Twitter, but who might not wish to ask or accept to be one’s Facebook ‘friend’, in case that were seen to be some kind of endorsement.

Sunday Bonus

Don’t these US movie moguls have any respect for our heritage?

The latest Star Trek movie just isn’t right:


Trekkies Bash New Star Trek Film As ‘Fun, Watchable’

Easy quiz question: Is the BNP racist? Easy to answer, but if you’re ever looking for some extra facts to back up your answer, take a look here.

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