Daily View 2×2: 18 February 2010

Welcome to my second Daily View of the week, as Alex continues his Caledonian cultural capers.

On this day five years ago, the ban on hunting with dogs came into force. As a long-term campaigner against blood sports, I don’t think it’s been the most successful piece of legislation ever. Today is also the anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s u-turn of 1981, when she withdrew plans to close 23 pits and agreed to reduce coal imports from eight million to five-and-a-half million tonnes over the next year. As we know, it was only a short reprieve.

Two must-read blog posts

Mark Thompson asks Is The Fink wrong on negative campaigning?

Like Danny, I still hope that the coming election campaign will be more illuminating than it has been so far. We are in a crisis at the moment and the electorate deserve to have the policies of the main parties properly explained to them.

 Sara Scarlett gives her thoughts on the service provider model currently in vogue with the Tories, telling us All about co-ops.

Lefties might want co-operatives to be non-profit, organic wool knitters but the most successful ones are not. They do this because they are smart and don’t want a third party to profit at their expense. Co-ops have nothing to do with top-down state socialism as designed by Fabians.

Two interesting news stories

iPhone app pitches climate change science against scepticism
The Guardian has details of an iPhone application intended to silence climate change deniers.

 So the next time you’re caught at the fag end of a wedding reception in an interminable one-way conversation with a reactionary uncle who’s boring on about how “the climate’s always changed”, just switch on this app, hand them your iPhone, and proceed to the bar.

One suspects this app will only act to increase the polarisation between the two sides of this “debate”. Still think a debate’s going on? When was the last time you heard someone from either side say, “Thank you for this information. Actually, I’d never thought of it like that before. I’m now prepared to change my mind on climate change.”

Chocolate can help prevent strokes
The Telegraph reports on a study from the University of Toronto, which will be music to the ears of the LDV team.

A study of nearly 50,000 people found that those eating chocolate were 22 per cent less likely to suffer a stroke than those that didn’t. And those who did suffer a stroke but had indulged in chocolate were 46 per cent less likely to die as a result.

As my Bishop has told his flock to take something up, rather than give something up for Lent, that’s the news I wanted!

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  • Andrew Suffield 18th Feb '10 - 10:02am

    Careful. The actual Telegraph headline is:

    Chocolate ‘can help prevent stroke’

    As a rule of thumb, when a newspaper reports on research, the bit in quotes in the headline is a lie. As it is in this case. The story continues:

    Sarah Sahib, the study author of the University of Toronto in Canada, said: “More research is needed to determine whether chocolate truly lowers stroke risk, or whether healthier people are simply more likely to eat chocolate than others.”

    But a headline of “unhealthy people are more careful about their diet” wouldn’t sell as many newspapers.

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