Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Assassin's Creed: Revelations - Den Defence

One of the new additions to the Assassin's Creed series for Revelations is the Den Defence mini game. It's a simple tower defence game wherein enemies attack in waves down a narrow channel and you set up obstacles to keep them back. To put it bluntly - it's not very good, but it's not something that needs to be constantly done. However if you manage to win 3 such games that ticks off one of the items for the Assassin's Guild challenges which leads to a nice upgrade. So what's the problem?

The problem is that if you're playing the game 'properly' you never have to play Den Defence beyond the introduction. The mini-game initiates when the enemy becomes too aware of your presence; their awareness can be lowered by various easy means so there's little excuse for allowing it to escalate. If by some miscalculation it does jump to the point they attack if you've been training up your little assassin band you can appoint one of them as the Den leader and they will play the mini-game for you.

So the only way to gain this upgrade is to screw things up, which rankles.

Monday, November 28, 2011

A trip to Merry Hill complete with Bratii

I had a phone call on Thursday - could I look after the Bratii Saturday morning while their parents do some shopping in Kidderminster on their own. I had no problem with that. Then on Friday I thought "Why not take them up to Merry Hill while the decorations are up, but before it gets really crowded". Bratus Pater was amenable to this and so on Saturday morning they turned up, we transferred them from car to car and off we went.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Black Friday

It's always amusing to see how far the PR campaign works it way into the media. Today is of course Black Friday - or at least it would be if the UK had a Black Friday being defined as the day after Thanksgiving, which we don't have.

Anyway according to the i newspaper Black Friday is so called because it's the first time that the retailers make a profit i.e. use black ink rather than red; according to the BBC it's a tradition in America. Yeah; um no.

It was called Black Friday for the same reason the Euro had Black Wednesday - it was bad; with the first reported use in this context coming from Philadelphia indicating it was a police term used to describe the mass of traffic the city experienced on this day. The positive (?) tone only came about in 1981.

So although the start of the sales may be deemed to have started on the day after Thanksgiving in the USA and been so since the date became fixed in 1863. The tradition of 'Black Friday' in its current manifestation dates from 1981. Whoo-hoo 30 year old tradition.

I'd expect some better fact-checking from the Independent and the BBC

DC Universe online very initial impressions

I happened to be flicking through the Playstation store the other night to see what was new and what bargains were available when I spotted DC Universe.

Now previously you had to buy DCU physically with a free 60 (90?) day subscription. To continue required a subscription and handing over yet more money. If you didn't like it; tough you could trade it in but as you'd already used the free subscription code anyone buying it would have to pay again to actually play the game.

For some reason Sony didn't comprehend how truly insane this setup was until the game bombed. As such it's now available for free and to play for free with monies coming in from those who want extra abilities etc. Given its now free nature I thought it might be worth dipping my toe into the waters so I set it to download.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Dead Island PS3 1.04 patch problems

I've already made some changes to my review of Dead Island due to tweaks from the latest patch labelled 1.04 but makes the game 1.3.0 (go figure) most notably that kicking now uses stamina. However it has led to some additional problems; and some still exist. In the order I encountered them:

Problem number 1: The character now seems to strafe like a dump truck. For the first time ever in a PS3 game I had to change the sensitivity of the sticks to get it back the way it was.

Existing problem 1: I mentioned that the re-spawning enemies seemed to have been fixed... I was wrong. In the police station I had enemies spawning directly in front of me - just appearing out of thin air.

Problem number 2: On occasion the quest guideline disappears if I set a custom waypoint and then remove it. Switching to other quests highlights the flag in red; but no guideline. As a bonus though any side-quest has the goal flag showing up on the map - so I'm guessing the game is confused as to which flag it should be pointing to.

Existing problem 2: The guideline (when it works) for the Voice from Above Quest still leads to a impassable wall in the Jungle.

Problem number 3: Disappearing weapons.  When upgrading or crafting; the weapon that is being altered can disappear. I first noticed this when modifying the reward from finding the crashed plane. I came out of the menu and found myself holding an invisible weapon. Assuming a one-off glitch later I created some pistol and rifle ammo and found both of these weapons had been removed from my inventory. I had to bomb out of the game rather than exit gracefully as it saves the current state when doing so. As an aside this seems to correspond with the disappearing guideline problem.

Problem number 4: Stacking. Meat-bombs and med-kits now stack to 30... sometimes. I've checked my inventory and found stacks of 30; 6; 5 and 2 Molotovs. Equipping and de-equipping doesn't cause a re-stack only dropping and picking up. Loading again can also re-stack or cause the stacks to separate in the first place.

I've yet to return to co-operative play due to the disappearing weapon glitch - as the game saves from actions of the other player and I really don't want to lose the weapons I've got thank you very much.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Delivery Times

Had a parcel delivered the guy told me "You're lucky I was here at half-eight this morning and no-one was here so I came back" What you want a thank-you? We're a business and while some indeed open before 9am I think it's still the case that the majority don't. As such turning up before then and being surprised indicates a poor business model in the same way turning up at 10am at a residential address and finding no-one in.

Seriously how do we let delivery services get away with this?

Pandemic board game review

Still with the effort to entertain the Bratii without recourse to video games or the same board games every time I picked up a copy of Pandemic. This is another co-operative game in the spirit of Forbidden Island. In fact Forbidden Island is a simplified version of Pandemic and as such playing that first made for an easier introduction to the more complicated game.

The premise is simple - up to four viruses are infecting cities around the world and the players set out to cure them all. The players move around the board easing the infection rate of cities, building research stations and racing to cure the diseases before it becomes too late.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Government as mortgage provider

The government is now stepping in as a mortgage provider and the taxpayer will be taking the risks of the loans, because we all know how well that worked out in the USA. Ah but this will be different, rather than lending money to those who won't be able to pay it back they'll be using very tough criteria to determine who they lend money to.

So wait, if the government are only going to lend money to those whom they judge will be in a position to pay it back why aren't the banks prepared to lend this money to them? One could argue that the banks are currently being too cautious and having been burned once are reluctant to lend out the percentages needed for first time buyers despite the injection of cash from the government, but this is hardly going to encourage the banks to join in.

As an additional step the government is also looking to subsidise house building on land deemed economically unviable or those struggling to build on land for which they already have permission. In theory it's this latter approach that holds more promise. By building more houses supply will hopefully increase to match demand which will in turn lower house prices. In turn that means the amount the banks are willing to loan out will become a greater percentage of the house price and enable more people to purchase them... which in turn will push up demand, which will increase prices if supply isn't met. Perhaps an answer lies in prefabricated buildings.

It is already (or at least was) the case that the Housing Corporation demanded that 25% of new homes it funds to be prefabs; yet that only accounted for 3% of the total housing being built. Will this new subsidy have the same criteria placed upon it? I doubt it, but this is an excellent chance for the government to get houses built quickly; to create more jobs in prefab factories and as demand will increase (as we're living longer and keeping our housing) these factories will only prosper.

As an aside this could lead to a new way of building houses - no roads. Build the prefabs and connect them with wide pathways (suitable for emergency and delivery vehicles to access with pull-ins to pass). Then off-site attached to the road build a set of garages one for each house capable of holding two cars and build a guest car-park next to it. Ensure it's well-lit, alarmed and the police patrol regularly. As residents are forced outside their homes beyond getting into the car they're more likely to meet and integrate with their neighbours; the kids can play in the green areas without cause for concern from busy roads.

MobileMe Outlook Calendar disappears

In combination with the password constantly being denied and having to be reset - the major problem is that every time it happens the calender in Outlook disappears. Annoyingly to integrate the calendar Outlook needs to be shut down and to add insult to injury an Apple support staff member informed me that the MobileMe control panel wasn't even used to sync it just to set it up.

So the password got reset, the calendar disappeared and I went about fixing it. No calendar. I ticked the box; closed the panel waited and returned to find the box had unticked itself. I checked the version of the control panel - latest. I updated iTunes (because the sync notifier is a part of that package and not included in MobileMe download; why?). I restarted the computer. No calendar.

I reset the sync data for the computer - no calendar.

Finally I unregistered the computer and then re-registered it. Closed down MobileMe; restarted it with calendar unticked. Waited half an hour and then ticked it; then waited some more and finally the "Setting up calendars box appeared" and the calendar has reappeared.

It seems patience is required; though why this would be the case for a computer programme is beyond me.

[Update - and despite working it's now decided not to. So long as I keep Outlook open it'll show the calendar; but if I close it down I've got to go through it all again to get it back]

Friday, November 18, 2011

Race relations

Still talk on the racist statements made and I still find myself explaining differences. In an attempt to condense everything down here goes.

Responding to a criticism of an ethic minority there can be a difference between "You can't say that because it's racist!" and "You can't say that because it's untrue!" the conditional lies in how a simple question is answered:

If a criticism made about an ethic group is true is it still racist?

If you answered that with "No" then the two responses are equivalent if you answered that with "Yes" then the two responses are different. Who cares, isn't this just hair splitting? Okay a little, but consider what happens when an untrue statement is made and both the Yes and No camps respond with the same "You can't say that because it's racist".  Now consider what happens if another, but this time true statement is made and the Yes camp just respond in the same way.

To them all those who point out that the statement is true are agreeing with or placating  racists; the facts of the matter don't matter.

What if a statement is made that some in the No camp don't know is true or not? If everyone responds with "That's racist!" are they doing so because they're in the No camp and consider it to be untrue or are they in the Yes camp and don't care?

Those in the No camp can be easily identified as soon as they start asking about facts; a little more tricky to place the Yes camp because although it may be the case they don't care about the facts and keep repeating that "it's racist" they might just be No campers who think the truth/untruth is so obvious it doesn't need spelling out.

Why do I think this is important? Well in the No camp the path taken is "This is racist because it's untrue"; in the Yes camp there's a danger that it could turn into "This is untrue because it's racist". If you can't see why that could be a problem mull it over for a while.

New Tesco will ease traffic in Kidderminster?

One of the comments on the WFA entry "Tesco and the Florist" was that the new Stourport Tesco will ease some of the congestion in Kidderminster. Will it? Consider the group of people who shop in Kidderminster:

  1. Those who are there to shop at the supermarkets and then leave.
  2. Those who are there to shop at the supermarkets and then shop in the rest of the town while there.
  3. Those who are there to shop in the town and shop in the supermarkets while there, and
  4. Those who are there to shop in the town and then leave.
Taken in turn for groups 1 and 2 a proportion of those will chose to use the new supermarket and thus not contribute to traffic; those in groups 3 and 4 will still use the town and therefore affect no change. In theory therefore traffic will decrease. No let's consider the rest of the town's shops.

For groups 1, 3 and 4 there will be no change to the town as they'll continue to shop/not shop there. However group 2 are only shopping while there; if there is no reason for them to be there they won't shop. So that's three no changes and one detrimental - the town will lose customers.

Now it's possible that those in group 2 will split and some will fall into group 4; that is shopping in the new Stourport Tesco and then going into Kidderminster; some may split and fall into group 3. Which leaves the customer base for Kidderminster more intact, but does little to alter the traffic volume.

In short a decrease in traffic is likely to lead to a decrease in custom for the town; so not really something that should be looked forward to.

As an aside for group 2 the theory is that the loss of Kidderminster town custom should mean an increase in Stourport custom. And if the situations were identical this would most likely be the case... of course they're not. The types of shops in Stourport don't match those in Kidderminster; neither does pedestrian access. This means people not shopping unless there is something they actually need rather than the browsing type of shopping that is so easily accessible in closely connected shopping systems (such as Merry Hill etc.)

In reality therefore I expect a drop in trade for both Stourport and Kidderminster town centres once the new supermarket opens unless a external factor can encourage shopping in these areas.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A4025 incident

Police stopping traffic from using the A4025 early this morning. The "Police Slow" sign is still up; but it's clear now. Still a knock-on effect through town not helped by the fog.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Smoking ban in private vehicles

The latest wheeze from the BMA is to call for smoking to be banned in private vehicles. I'd be amused at their naivety that they think Parliament can even do this if it weren't for the way that the previous smoking ban was handled.

The existing legislation wasn't included as part of Health and Safety regulations that businesses have to comply with to operate in this country it was instead tied in to the Health Act 2006. The sting in the tail is comes from sections 4 and 5 whereby:

4   Additional smoke-free places

  1. The appropriate national authority may make regulations designating as smoke-free any place or description of place that is not smoke-free under section 2.
  2. The place, or places falling within the description, need not be enclosed or substantially enclosed.
  3. The appropriate national authority may designate a place or description of place under this section only if in the authority's opinion there is a significant risk that, without a designation, persons present there would be exposed to significant quantities of smoke.
  4. The regulations may provide for such places, or places falling within the description, to be smoke-free only—
    1. in specified circumstances,
    2. at specified times,
    3. if specified conditions are satisfied,
    4. in specified areas,or any combination of those.
5   Vehicles
  1. The appropriate national authority may make regulations providing for vehicles to be smoke-free.
  2. The regulations may in particular make provision—
    1. for the descriptions of vehicle which are to be smoke-free,
    2. for the circumstances in which they are to be smoke-free,
    3. for them to be smoke-free only in specified areas, or except in specified areas,
    4. for exemptions. 
The most important point is that the requirement to do so for any "place" includes the need that there be a significant risk whereas there are no requirements for vehicles at all. So a simple Statutory Instrument that can only be approved or rejected by Parliament, and is traditionally given the nod by the House of Lords, is all that is required to ban smoking in every vehicle in this country with no requirement to justify their inclusion.

      Monday, November 14, 2011

      Stalking as an offence

      The news is that Stalking is to be made a specific offence. As it stands it's not but every newspaper seems to have cribbed the definition from the Crown Prosecution Service as a

      long-term pattern of persistent and repeated contact with, or attempts to contact, a particular victim
      which should ring alarm bells for the use of the word victim which is prejudicial. So besides that this is a good thing right? Possibly depending on how well the offence is phrased. Consider for instance a debt collection agency trying to obtain money from a 'victim' on behalf of their client - would their "long term pattern of persistent and repeated contact" be classed as stalking under a new law?

      Game Workshop's customer service

      One of the things I've always liked about Games Workshop is their level of customer service; as someone (I think it was Dan) pointed out they get a lot of their custom from word of mouth rather than scattershot advertising.

      I ordered some of their Print on Demand books from the Black Library back in May; now the thing with PoD books is they tend to take a while to be delivered and are often packaged separately. So the books came and I was happy.

      I'm now re-reading the Horus Heresy set and during Flight of the Eisenstein looked up some background reference on one of the protagonists. This led to a memory that there had been some books in relation to his future. A trip to the Black Library site and I found the book. It seemed familiar and I went to add it to my wishlist so I wouldn't forget it. "But haven't I already done that?" I thought.

      I checked and it wasn't there "But I only remove books from the list when I buy them" this led to me checking my order history. Lo and behold it was one of the books I'd ordered back in May. "But I don't recall reading that" I checked amongst all my GW books and then all the others (which took some time) and couldn't find it. I located the original delivery note and discovered it was supposed to have been packaged up with another book which I did have. But I recalled that when that book had arrived it had done so by itself.

      I called Black Library; gave them the order number and they'll get another sent out to me no problem.

      Seriously six months after the order and they didn't bat an eyelid.

      Friday, November 11, 2011

      Discrimination Part 2

      I've already shared my thoughts on discrimination, how some laws meant to stamp it out may have create more of it or have other harmful effects; and why pointing this out doesn't mean you're on the side of the racists.

      However the topic has raised itself once again with a statement made by one of our Councillors and the reply from another. In essence Councillor A said something racist and Councillor B responded with the equivalent of "That's racist!". On the surface that might seem fine, I don't think it is and I find it worrying that people may consider that by itself that this is just fine.

      My pointing this out has led to the "biannual spat" between myself and Gobby Robby which as I've said in those comments I welcome because I hope it's making people think about their views (see also my conversations with the Bratii). My first comment on the page was to point out what wasn't said and that was the racist comment was untrue. Now again I think this is an important omission and I've tried to explain why in the comments; but as that's all in spread comment form I'll collect my points here.

      Terrorism ban failure

      Muslims against Crusades became a proscribed group as from midnight last night. This is all part of the attempt to ban groups that glorify terrorism or to be precise that Parliament consider to be glorifying terrorism.

      But they were already banned when they called themselves Islam4UK, but they too were already banned back when they were called Al Ghurabaa which in turn was already banned when they were called Al-Muhajiroun.

      Oh yes it's good to see that this ban is having such a real effect on stopping these groups.

      Thursday, November 10, 2011

      Windows 7 duplicate running programs

      So while running Windows 7 on the new computer up popped a message noting that one of the first actions upon starting was to run Outlook 'Would you like me to set it up so this programme starts automatically?' it asked me. "Yeah why not?" I said thinking that it would simply add it to the Startup folder designed specifically for this action. Well it didn't do that, but I don't really care.

      So why am I even writing this? Well I've got it set-up to update during lunch rather than 3am so on occasion I'll return to find it's restarted. So far so what? Well it seems that because it's restarted it runs the start-up programmes, which includes Outlook However because it also shut itself down while programmes were running it tries to restore its original state, which includes restarting Outlook.

      The result is two copies of Outlook running.

      Clever :-)

      Rage PS3 Review

      Once long ago Borderlands was promoted as a realistic shooter before Gearbox decided to go all cel-shadey and throw a ton of fun at it. But consider an alternative universe where they decided to stick with their original plan - and lo we get Rage.

      Wednesday, November 09, 2011

      Effing MobileMe

      So as mentioned MobileMe decided not to like one of the passwords. That fixed and everything seemed fine until I noticed there was no icon in the system tray. That's because it had turned off all the synching - which is the entire point of the MobileMe control panel.

      So I turned on synching at which point it started to sync the contacts while complaining that it couldn't sync the calendar because the login was incorrect. Um excuse me how can you sync one set of data, but not the other.

      I checked the version of the control panel 1.6.6 and checked for the latest version... 1.6.7 ah perhaps that will make a difference. One download later and an attempt to install. Oh I can't install it because it requires the latest version of iTunes. One massive download later and now everything is working again.

      So to summarise - it locked out the password without warning, turned off the functionality of the calendar for a previous version with no explanation and then demanded the installation of the latest version of a programme we don't use.

      Oh yes Apple are indeed the slickest and most user-friendly of companies.

      MobileMe can't sign in

      Although we're now supposedly into Apple's iCloud it's still technically in Beta and as such we're currently sticking to the proven MobileMe.

      Or at least we were until it stopped being able to sign in. Correct Apple ID, correct password what's going on. Having reset the password I can only guess - Apple have changed the criteria for the make-up of the password and the old one didn't correspond in one detail. As such I'm guessing that despite being correct it wasn't passing the parse test and was thus being rejected.

      Either that or they're having some fun with migration.

      Tuesday, November 08, 2011

      Batman: Arkham City review

      In short if you enjoyed Arkham Asylum chances are you're going to like this. There are difference though which may put off some or even encourage those who disliked the original to try it.

      The first major difference is the scope of the playing area. The majority of Asylum was spent within buildings with the odd venture into the gardens when travelling between them. Now it's as if the gardens are huge... and covered in buildings... and water. There's still a lot of interior work, but transition now integrates better within the game particularly with the side-quests.

      Side-quests are the second major difference. In Asylum the story was linear with the only off-piste jaunt being to track down the Riddler Trophies and Puzzle solutions. In City there are multiple side quests that occur within the city itself - some of the prisoners are being assassinated; Zsasz is up to his old tricks; someone's keeping an eye on you etc. None of these have to be done but they're a nice addition that doesn't clutter up the main quest log in the same way that Fallout and Dead Island can. Oh and the Riddler's still up to his old tricks, but he's pulled out all the stops.

      Riddler's trophies are the third main difference. His puzzles act in the same way as they did in Asylum,  find the incongruous item and snap it,  but the trophies have moved away from simply being in hard to spot/reach areas - now you have to work for them. Although some still are left just lying there the majority are protected and only a head-scratching use of the gadgets or moves available will unlock them.

      This then leads to the fifth and final main difference the gadgets and moves. The basic combat set hasn't changed and is still a flowing delight, but there additional moves that function against certain new types of enemy; and there are new gadgets (and new functions of old ones) which can be deployed even more smoothly in the heat of combat.

      Then there are the small touches. Travelling is much easier with the Grapnel Boost (which has to be earned) that allows a gliding Batman to pull himself up to a ledge and catapult himself off it. The Dive move allows him to pick up speed and pull up both of these allow travel across the entire city without the need to ever land.

      The Cryptographic analyser now works with passwords by matching one half of a word to another allowing for multiple attempts. The Riddler doesn't leave Maps around, but you can Interrogate the flunkies who set them up provided you don't knock them unconscious first. Oh and due to the size enemies re-spawn in locations so there's never a case of beating everyone up and then gliding through a ghost town.

      In essence Arkham City is Arkham Asylum made better which is pretty amazing given how good the first game was.

      Monday, November 07, 2011

      Water pipe ownership part 3

      I did receive a reply to my reminder regarding the transfer of the water pipes. Sadly though it was that sewerage companies already have rights to protect against building near such pipes.

      Well yes building near a sewer requires permission from the owner; which previously was often the same as the owner of the land... not any more.

      One small benefit was a link to Ofwat I didn't previously have which gives me the information that this is all being done

      under the Water Industry Act 1991
      and indeed checking on that and digging up the point about adoption of sewers
      102 Subject to the following provisions of this section and to sections 103, 105 and 146(3) below, a sewerage undertaker may at any time declare that—
      (a)any sewer which is situated within its area or which serves the whole or any part of that area;F1...[F2
      (aa)any lateral drain which communicates or is to communicate with a public sewer which—
      (i)is so situated or serves the whole or any part of that area; and
      (ii)is vested in that undertaker; or]
      (b)any sewage disposal works which are so situated or which serve the whole or any part of that area,
      shall, as from such date as may be specified in the declaration, become vested in the undertaker.
      But that just pushes the question back one Act. The government do not own these pipes and therefore under existing legislation have no right to transfer ownership of them or indeed allow anyone else to claim ownership of them.

      I now await another reply

      Wednesday, November 02, 2011

      Mark Garnier newsletter

      It seems posing a question by email to our local MP signs one up to receiving his newsletter. As such the October 2011 appeared in my inbox. I have no problem with this and I can always ask to be removed. So what news does our representative have for us?

      Kidderminster is not going to become a site for a British enterprise zone, however we are getting

      a planning order signed to encourage a speeding up of the planning process to enable new business to relocate to Kidderminster more quickly.
      So is anything to do with the Local Development Order which
      would allow the fast tracking of planning processes for future development
      and was created by the District Council via an Act under the Labour government in 2004?

      The Gypsy etc. sites also make the 'front' page as Mark's received "hundreds of emails and letters". I note he's not challenging the sites that have been chosen for us to choose from merely the number of pitches that Wyre Forest is required to have. At least he makes clear he has no authority in this matter and thus asks that any who contacted him also do so formally to the WFDC site, which incidentally requires you to login to use.

      Some pure news in that by next Autumn Kidderminster is looking to get the same ultra-fast broadband that should be going live in Stourport next Spring. Makes sense if they're already adding the infrastructure to Stourport.

      On the 'back' page we can read Mark's view on Europe. Pretty much a rehash of Dave's - it's good for us, but parts are bad for us. No mention on the referendum or how he voted and why.

      A logical snippet regarding the boundary review and having Hartlebury included within the Wyre Forest district. If we're going that far I'd also like to point out the incongruity of having Astley and Dunley in Malvern.

      Finally some pictures of all the things Mark's been doing for us... one quirk of the English language though regarding the Family Intervention Project
      which offers vital support to problem families
      Is that families who are having problems, families that are causing problems, or a mixture of both?

      Greek Bailout Part 3

      It may be political posturing, but at least Greece's Prime Minster George Papandreou is displaying some backbone. Allegedly his calling for a referendum was never mentioned as part of the bailout deal and has caught out other countries leaders as well as the markets.

      Personally I think this says much more about them than they intended. I mean putting this to the public after all the important people have decided the matter already! Who does this guy think he is - some sort of elected official whose power derives from the people and who is supposed to represent their will?

      Doesn't he know the public are all drooling idiots who need to be told what's best for them. I mean it's bad enough they get to vote for their leaders, but to let them have a say in what those leaders actually do that could affect the entire country over a long term period is utter madness.

      Next thing you know he'll be turning this referendum into a full blown question about staying with the Euro and what sort of example will that set for the much better run countries?

      Tuesday, November 01, 2011

      Gang warfare

      And so I see that it's the turn of this government to tackle 'anti-social behaviour' focussing on gang culture. Apparently this is a move prompted by the riots, which is amusing as the official analysis stated that gangs didn't play a pivotal role in those disturbances.

      But hey when have politicians ever let facts get in the way of policy?

      However this pressure on gangs introduces an important question - What is a gang? According to the BBC story the government are defining a gang as

      loose groupings of young people involved in criminality, defending their "territory" and fighting with other gangs.
      So Party MPs then? Perhaps not so young, and their grouping is more formal rather than "loose", but involved in criminality (expense claims?); defending their territory and fighting with other gangs (need I give examples?).

      Yup they kind of fit the definition and as such it's important that authorities intervene lest a young member of this society becomes ensnared by these so called 'Parties'.