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Thursday, 16 Mar 2006

I have to say it: I felt really quite sorry for Charles Kennedy at the start of the year when he was hounded mercilessly by the press and broadcast media and then ousted by his own disloyal and scheming leuitenants because of his boozing.

I am no way of a suppporter of the Liberal Democrats; I do not take to their luke warm attitude to major Life and ethical issues. But I do expect them to be largely fair and behave like it says on the tin, so to speak. And I do think Charlie seems to be a reasonable guy and to have been an effective leader.

Charles Kennedy liked a drink, well apparently he liked it a lot; and some of his colleagues decided that he therefore was not fit to be in charge any more. Now I call that not very "liberal".

So they blackmailed him into standing down. They basically announced to Charles (oh, and everyone else) that they would not play on his team. I call that not very democratic.

The Lib Dems have a rule or policy which says that the leader is chosen by the Party Members, not by the MPs. Whether this is a good thing or bad is not an issue; the democratic process upon which their party rests is. And I believe they abandoned this value by forcing Kennedy to step down. He did not want to, you could tell that. And he could have held on and forced a vote from the party membership if he had wanted; but rather than put his party through all that, he decided to go quietly and with some decorum. Perhaps this was because he fancies a political future and did not want to shoot holes in his own boat; or perhaps he genuinely cares about the Liberal Democratic party and did the Right Thing, even though the Mark Antonies around him were prepared to stab him in the back, the front and anywhere else they could shove it in.

Well, they got their comeupppance for sure. The leadership contenders included one man who refused to come off the fence - or out of the closet - about his own sexuality and one outright pervert. Look, whatever they want to do in their spare time is fine by me, as long as they keep well away from my kids. But having publicly shamed and bounced out of office poor old Charlie for being a bit of a piss-head, they must have felt pretty awkward about the credibility of those other two putative leaders.

Serves the hypocritical scoundrels right, I say.

Friday, 10 Mar 2006

Why shall I never again try to do business with I'll tell you.

The quick precis version is: My experience with them was a complete wate of my time and energy.

The longer version is that I found their non-human ordering system a complete balls up. Items went No Longer Available only after I had placed an order. They claimed that I would be charged only when an item was shipped; this was not true. The order system claimed to let me adjust my order before it had shipped; in fact I had to send several electronic messages to get refunds for charges they had made for items that I was not going to receive. Their customer service seems to be almost exclusively an autoresponder with a lobotomy for a heuristic.

After going back and forth with emails I eventually received a reasonable and apologetic email from a real human who, refreshingly, had neither rocks for brains nor a plank up their arse; they advised me that all my money was going to be refunded to my credit card and this happened.

Dabs appeal, I think, because they have what appears to be a slick online catalogue and aggressive prices. The online catalogue might be okay but the implementation of a workable business process sucks out loud. The low prices are not worth the potential hassle if eveything does not go smoothly and the customer service system is the aggressive part of the Dabs experience.

Dabs are a case for the rule of thumb which states that you get what youy pay for.

Hear me now. I would advise that you do not try to buy from Dabs. If you do and it all goes pear-shaped, remember that I warned you, I told you so and I have no symapthy. Beacon