The Blood is the Life for 23-06-2017

Jun. 23rd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael, Norman Lamb
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.

Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.

Principal Skinner asks a pertinent question

So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren idiots voices whispering in his ear, saying:
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.
To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.

Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.

Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.

And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...

The Blood is the Life for 22-06-2017

Jun. 22nd, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Loose Id sale

Jun. 22nd, 2017 07:31 am
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
A quick note to say that Loose Id have temporarily dropped the prices on many "first of series" books, including mine. This is currently guaranteed to apply only to books purchased directly through Loose Id, although they were working on getting the reductions onto the big third party sites like Amazon. You can also get two of my short stories for free from the Loose Id site. My catalogue page is here: http://www.loose-id.com/authors/erotic-romance-authors-g-k.html?cat=76

Is £70,000 a year rich?

Jun. 21st, 2017 03:35 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
I think the argument boils down to two things: what you earn, and what you picture in your head as a rich person's lifestyle.

£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?

The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.

If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
  • owned a home
  • bought a new car every two years
  • didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
  • were in the pub three nights a week
etc., etc.

Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
  • a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
  • a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
  • a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
  • Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
Now most of the people I see arguing about this are either saying "£70k is mega rich, you're in the 95th percentile FFS" or "£70k is not that rich when you consider what you can buy" but not many are following both thoughts through.

How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.

Anybody know any politicians?
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
The relevant part (and the reason why I am posting this) will also be made bigger and bolder for those hard of thinking people. I thought I'd post the whole thing again though, just because it's periodically useful to do so.

Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
  • If you don't like my colour scheme (I am aware that many people don't) add "?style=light" to the end of any url to get a different version, or "?style=mine" if you have a dreamwidth account. For an explanation of why I have it like this, see here
  • If you want to know more about me, click here
  • If you haven't got a dreamwidth account you can still log in and comment or participate in polls with openID.
  • Other platforms I am active on are listed here.

Comments Policy:
  • Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
  • I don't screen comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
  • If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.

The Blood is the Life for 21-06-2017

Jun. 21st, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

Happy Solstice

Jun. 21st, 2017 10:16 am
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... especially to all those of us who fear the filthy day star and can now look forward to inexorably encroaching cool soft darkness for the next 6 whole months :)
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
... and to nobody's surprise it is Vince Cable.

I like Vince, as a person. I like his stance on bees. I like his dancing.

None of those three things makes him suitable to be leader of the party, though. I mean, yes, he's got long service. And he did that one joke when he was acting leader that one time. But I'd really like something more than that to enthuse about in a potential leader.

Plus, there's all the things that make him unsuitable to be leader:
  • He's not a liberal, he's a technocratic centrist. This is fine if you are (shadow) chancellor; commendable, even. It's not acceptable in the leader. The leader needs to inspire. Technocratic centrism is the opposite of inspirational.

  • His stance on brexit is... at odds with the majority of the party's members and voters is probably the kindest way of putting it, and is already bringing out the "but we must appease the racists! We can't tell people they are wrong!" faction. If he wins, and maintains this stance, I predict a halving of our membership in pretty short order.

  • Tuition fees. OK, so he's not entirely to blame for the policy cock up (all those of us who voted for coalition, myself included, must take out share of that blame) but he is the person responsible for the catastrophic mishandling of the implementation and representation of it, and a big part of the reason Labour, why a party which introduced and then trebled tuition fees, can still point at them like an albatross round our necks.

  • The British Press, bless them, are not known for their nuance and balance. His name will be "Sir Vince Cable, the man who privatised the mail" - whether he wins the leadership or not, tbh.

  • Ten years ago he declared that by his own reckoning, he was too old. I do not believe he has got younger in that time.
All that said? I'll give him a fair hearing at hustings. He'll have his chance to impress me. I just don't see him doing it.

So far, to my knowledge, the field looks like this:

Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable

If anyone else declares that they are definitely standing I shall go into my reasons further, but based on Ds&Ps, and subject to persuasion at hustings, I expect my ballot to look like this:
  1. RON
  2. Davey
  3. Cable
  4. resigning from the party
  5. Lamb
There has been talk that there might be an online ballot this time, rather than a paper one. If that is the case I shall lobby very hard indeed for it to have at least one free text box for write in candidates and/or voting RON. Voters should be able to express their displeasure at the options on the ballot on any and every ballot, this one included.

(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2017 08:32 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
There's been a lot of meetings at work which limited the socializing that I was able to do in the last week. Still, it's not been a bad week.

Most of the fun took place yesterday. We got snarled in traffic early while driving out to the edge of the Earth to pick up an inexpensive sewing machine, soon to be passed on to the daughter of a friend. We followed that by taking Brushette to the veterinarian for an external ear infection. Moving on to the next venue, we had lunch on a patio where they let in dogs. Then off to Danza del Sol Winery to pick up/out this quarter's wine club choices. From there, back home: since I did the wine tasting as the non-driver, I dozed the whole drive home.

Very pleasant day.

Today is the Guardian Trials at Dungeonmaster, so I hope we'll see you all there!

Oh, and happy Fathers Day! Best to all my friends who are fathers, and prayers to my father who I miss with all my heart.

(no subject)

Jun. 18th, 2017 07:28 am
mycroftca: me on horse (Default)
[personal profile] mycroftca
This week's reading remains a bit less than previous, but it was enjoyable for the most part.

First was a graphic novel/non-fiction piece called Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygax and the Creation of D&D. It deals with the invention of, and the subsequent battles over the game Dungeons & Dragons in a comic book style. Not bad at all.

The next book I finished reading was Earth, Air, Fire and Custard, a comic fantasy novel by the British author Tom Holt. This carries forward from the previous couple of novels about the magical corporation in Britain in a rather strange and somewhat offputting fashion. For me the book was a bit of a hard slog compared to other novels this gentleman has written. I'll be picking up and starting another of his novels moderately soon, but if it's this hard to get into, I may dump it quickly.

Finally, Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey was recommended to me years ago; the tale of a wizard who'd been transported to Hell alive and managed to return for his vengeance. Fast and fun read. There's several more books in this saga and I'll be looking to read the second one soon.

Have a good week!

The Blood is the Life for 18-06-2017

Jun. 18th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

ebooks piled high and cheap

Jun. 18th, 2017 07:56 am
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
Right, have some suggestions from Amazon UK's latest ebook deal newsletter. These are all under £2 at Amazon; most are also on offer at Kobo. Penguin Modern Classics seem to be having a sales binge so it's worth trawling through the rest of the deals list if you like their catalogue. As always, check the price before clicking the buy button.

I know some of you do find these posts useful for flagging up stuff to have a closer look at. I put in the covers this time because there were a couple I specifically wanted to show. Is it useful to see the covers, or does this make the post too unwieldy on people's flist?

John Wyndham - The Day of the Triffids - in a Penguin Modern Classics edition, with the newest cover art by Brian Cronin. The art's a good match in tone/period feel for the book, but I still think of Harry Willock's reverse colour line drawing cover art of the 1970s as the ur-cover art for Wyndham, just as Tom Baker is My Doctor.
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-day-of-the-triffids
http://amzn.to/2rGLcrO




Master and Commander (Aubrey/Maturin Series, Book 1) (Aubrey & Maturin series) by Patrick O'Brian
I have provided the title exactly as given on the Amazon and Kobo pages. Yes, I am easily amused.
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/master-and-commander-aubrey-maturin-series-book-1
http://amzn.to/2sc2Ebp



Val McDermid - Forensics: The Anatomy of Crime
Non-fiction from one of the greatest crime writers of today. One for the writers, but also of general geeky interest.
http://amzn.to/2sDQEk9



CS Lewis - Mere Christianity
Lewis's collection of radio broadcasts setting out the case for Christianity.
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/mere-christianity-2
http://amzn.to/2rC8xQk


Tony Robinson - No Cunning Plan
Another acting memoir. Haven't looked at the sample yet, but if Robinson's any good at writing prose, this is probably going to be interesting.
http://amzn.to/2rBXjeT



George Orwell - The Road to Wigan Pier
Orwell's non-fiction is as important, and as topical, as his fiction.
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-road-to-wigan-pier-4
http://amzn.to/2rGIB1g



Anthony Burgess - A Clockwork Orange
Haven't read this in at least thirty years, but I suspect I would still find it equal parts horrifying, terrifying and laugh-out-loud funny. It's only just occurred to me that this book pressed some of the same buttons for me that Iain (M) Banks would some years later.
https://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/a-clockwork-orange
http://amzn.to/2sAGyzI



And while I was looking for Amazon US links for these books, I stumbled across this:

There. Are. No. Words.
julesjones: (Default)
[personal profile] julesjones
Having bought some of those circular knitting needles with mix-n-match cables and pins last week, I got them home to find that a) the cable key was too big to fit in the hole, b) the internal thread on one of the pins was knackered. I had some time off work during the week, so I made my way back to the shop to explain the situation. This is a small independent shop, so what happened next was the owner trying the bits to see what I was talking about, saying "oh dear" and similar, and trying various other packets until he found enough bits that worked to make up a full set for me. As I left he was muttering about how the rest of his afternoon was obviously going to involve going through every packet on the stand and checking them individually to find the ones going back to the manufacturer...

The other comment I've got on the Symfonie modular needles is that the 7mm pins are significantly longer than on the fixed pin Pony and Prym circular needles I have in the same size, so although the Pony and Prym versions work perfectly well in the 40cm length, these do not. There's a bit too much of the length that is rigid. Having had a look online, it seems there is a special short version of the pins to use with the 40cm cable, which is obviously Not What I Have Got. Given that I have a specific use for the 7mm 40cm circular needle (twiddlemuffs), this is a bit of a nuisance. They do, however, have a nice feel to them. I'll need to try them for a bit, but I'll probably end up getting more of these needles once I want longer length circulars. I'll be checking each individual packet for Assorted Problems, though.

The Blood is the Life for 17-06-2017

Jun. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

The Blood is the Life for 15-06-2017

Jun. 15th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b

On Circular Firing Squads

Jun. 15th, 2017 09:31 am
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
One of the most depressingly predictable things about the lib dems is if/when a leader gets pushed out, the circular firing squad immediately forms.

This morning lots of people I care about are screaming "it's all YOUR fault, you bastards!" at each other, in an extremely unhelpful way. They probably all have something of a point, if I'm honest. But hurling insults at each other is just hurtful. And some of the rank hypocrisy on display from people who are saying things to the effect of "wah, those arseholes are being mean to me, when all I said was Tim Farron/Jo Swinson/Vince Cable/Brian Paddick should be eviscerated with pointy spoons and have acid poured in the wound" is frankly turning my stomach.

And we haven't even started the leadership election yet...

* sigh *

Shall we have a nice chorus of Wouldn't It Be Nice If Everyone Was Nice?

The Blood is the Life for 14-06-2017

Jun. 14th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Having blogged recently about how nice it's been the last couple of years not having to post about the stupid decisions Our Glorious Leader has taken twice a week, every week, I had this drawn to my attention this morning.

I'm sorry, Tim, but what are you DOING? The absolute worst possible thing you can do right now is water down our position on brexit. It's a colossal national act of self harm, in ten years' time you won't be able to find anybody who will admit to having supported it, our membership and voters are massively against it, and you want to tie us to it? Have you gone COMPLETELY Tonto? Why are you spouting the brexiteers ridiculous "will of the people" line? It doesn't make you look grown up, it makes you look weak and stupid.

Our USP at the moment, the one thing we have going for us, is that we are solidly anti-brexit. We already watered it down far too much in the manifesto. And you're throwing even that away? For what? We're not going to get any positive press for it, the press are uniformly hostile whatever we do. The only press we will get out of this is "See? Brexit is inevitable! Even the Lib Dems support it now!" That's not going to attract new members and supporters, in fact it will drive away lots of the existing ones.

And worst of all, it proves all our critics right: we look like weak, unprincipled fence-sitters.

Honestly, what is it with the lib dem instinct to, every time we manage to get a USP, throw it away? I'll never bloody understand it.

Profile

lonemagpie: guy from the cover of sanctuary (Default)
lonemagpie

May 2017

S M T W T F S
 1 23456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031   

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags