[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

Friday, May 21st, 2010 12:17 am
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
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A lot of people on my twitter timeline were sharing this article approvingly this morning, and given that it prompted one of the very rare disagreements I have with my beloved PPC for Calder Valley, I thought I would detail my issues with it. And the first issue comes right at the beginning:
a small engined car with four people in it has lower emissions, lower pollution, than four people traveling by train. So it simply isn’t true that everyone benefits from more train travel
The second sentence there does not follow on from the first. While the first sentence is, indeed, true, when was the last time you saw a car of ANY engine size being used as a commuter vehicle that had more than one or two people in it? And aside from that small disingenuousness, whoever said that the only benefit that everyone gets from train travel is lower pollution? There is also less congestion for those who DO drive, and there is also the small matter of the fact that for many people public transport is the only option.

My second problem with the article is illustrated by these two sentences:
Some City fund manager who commutes in from 50 miles outside London should not have his lifestyle choice subsidised by the rest of us... why should the poor pay taxes so the middles classes can live in the greenbelt?
The blithe and blind assumption that the train is a rich person's mode of transport tells its own tale: if the train is a rich person's mode of transport, then what are those of us who can't afford a car supposed to do, hop? In reality this is a perfect illustration of the fact that trains are already too expensive, rather than that subsidies need to be cut, pushing fares higher.

I suspect this probably comes from a London-centric mindset. Up here in the Frozen North, those of us in mimimum wage jobs sometimes have to commute long distances to get from housing we can afford TO the minimum wage job. I use the train to commute to work, and the bus, and I'm quite happy for what taxes I pay to go towards subsidising public transport because otherwise I would not be able to get to my minimum wage job which Tim professes to have such concern for.

My third problem is the argument "my taxes should not go towards something I don't use", which is basically the point of the snide comments about mimimum wage workers paying for rich people to travel by train. I'm never going to need prostate surgery, but I don't object to paying for other people's. Nor do I object to paying for jobseeker's allowance, or disability benefits, or pensions. Nor do I object to paying for my bloody useless Tory MP who has actively gone against my interests several times while he's been in the House. Nor do I complain about paying for the street-lighting to be on all night, even though it bloody KEEPS ME AWAKE. I don't object to paying for these things that I don't use or am actively annoyed by, because I recognise that they are necessary.

Something that I definitely think is necessary is a working public transport system. Mass transit which is cheap and reliable creates a more mobile and flexible workforce, and that keeps the economy going. I am certainly not going to object to paying for THAT. And I would happily cut spending in other areas to obtain and maintain a cheap and reliable public transit system, because I am fully aware that there isn't a magic money tree.

Finally, most of the people who shared the article approvingly did so while sharing this quote from it:
We should not be taxing the man who cycles to work at minimum wage in order to pay for wealthier people top travel longer distances.*
Well, yes, because we shouldn't be taxing the person on minimum wage AT ALL**. Which, happily, is Lib Dem policy. So yes, vote Lib Dem, get angry blue-haired nascent train geeks cutting your taxes.



*typo included was in the article, not mine. As was the assumption that the minimum wage guy cycles to work, while the posh city gent uses the train *rolleyes*
**not income tax anyway. There are, of course, other taxes available.
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Tough)
The party's headless chicken response to this whole farrago has been utterly disappointing, and Rennard's utter inability to see what damage he is doing to the party he claims to love due to his own massive entitlement complex is sickening in the extreme. We have already lost enough people over this - many of them, Susan G especially, worth ten of an over-rated & out-dated campaigns strategist - so I won't be leaving the party.

It is true that Lord Rennard has not been found guilty of any crime in a court of law. He should not be subject to any legal sanction for his alleged actions. He is free to associate with whomever he wishes to associate, so long as they wish to associate with him.

HOWEVER I am not a court of law, and just like Lord Rennard I am free to associate with whomever I choose. Therefore I will say now, and publicly, that any room into which Lord (allegedly) Grabbyhands walks, I will walk out of. It will be safer for both of us that way, I think.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Sorry)
This serves 4 and is about 750kcals per portion

Equipment:

Deep lasagne dish or similar that holds at least 2 pints
Oven
Balloon whisk & mixing bowl
Measuring jug because baileys doesn't come in pints

Ingredients:

6 thick or 8 medium slices of bread
Some butter
Some dried fruit - I used sultanas today
Some booze to soak the dried fruit in - I used Jack Daniels today
3 eggs
1 pint of Baileys or equivalent - I used tesco salted caramel irish cream today
Nutmeg/cinnamon/mace/vanilla extract to taste.
NB: you don't need any sugar because baileys is full of it

Method:
Soak the dried fruit in the booze for as long as you can stand it before you absolutely must have pudding.
Drain the fruit and save the booze for future soaks. Or drink it. Whatever.
Pre heat the oven to 180 electric/160 fan.
Butter all the bread.
Cover the bottom of the lasagne dish with bread, butter side down.
Sprinkle dried fruit over the layer of bread, then add another layer of bread, butter side up this time.
Keep layering fruit and bread til is level with the top of the dish, and make sure you sprinkle some fruit on top.
In your mixing bowl whisk together your baileys, eggs and whatever spices etc you are using.
Pour it over the bread &butter slowly so it soaks in.
Stick it in the oven for 40 minutes or so till it's golden brown and risen.
Eat immediately, it won't keep.
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miss_s_b: (Self: Innocent)
So, who wants to bid for a slot in my Liberal Youth Election Sweepstakes? How long will it be before one of the elected officers resigns in a fit of pique? One week slots are available from the announcement of results. We're playing for pride only here, folks, I don't encourage gambling.

I reckon it'll be about 6 months, so I'm claiming week 26.

Any other takers? I'll edit you in to a list below

WeekTaker
Before result declaredNick Barlow
1Lucy
2Sarah Noble
3James Moore
4Minnsy
5Matt Downey
6
7Josh Dixon
8
9
10Ryan Cullen
11
12
13Ab Brightman
14
15
16Alisdair Calder McGregor
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26Jennie
27
28
29
30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
41
42
43
44
45
46
47
48
49
50
51
52


PS: I would hope it goes without saying that, even for pride, I will brook no officers resigning in their own slot :P
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: Peter Falk as Columbo saying "just one more thing" (Fangirling: Columbo)
If you send me a friend request for foursquare I won;t even know any more, because after several attempts to delete, deactivate or otherwise remove my account I have now set all emails from foursquare to automatic delete.

Sorry about that.

If you DO see me checking in on Foursquare, it ain't me.

(obviously I am also still not doing Failbook either)
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Liberal)
This one being my partner, [personal profile] magister, who used to work in immigration and was so incensed by Nick's speech last week that he resigned from the party. He posted about his reasons for doing so here, and he has just texted me to tell me that he has received confirmation of cancellation.

After Shirley Williams on the NHS, after Julian Huppert drank the home office kool aid on DRIP, after secret courts, after this, I really am genuinely wondering if Clegg is systematically going for properly pissing off what remaining pockets of support we have left in a perverse attempt to see how low we can go.

Still waiting for Greg Mullholland to tell me pubcos aren't all that bad, or Lynne to go all patriarchal, mind. If either of those happen, it'll be ME sending my card back in pieces.
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When I came down for breakfast this morning [personal profile] magister was watching an episode of Twin Peaks. I never saw Twin Peaks on original broadcast, but I remember everyone going on about how brilliant it was. My impressions from this morning's increasingly amazed viewing were as follows:
  • The writing is pretentious to the point of comedy, and the plot is waffer-theen.
  • The acting makes some of the cheesy 80s horror movies I've seen look like cinema verite - seriously, it's not even ham, it's gammon steaks.
  • The direction is pedestrian at best.
  • The lighting is truly awful. It takes a special talent to both over AND underlight a scene at the same time.
  • Not one of the characters I saw was in any way likeable.
The thing is, I'm left with the nagging feeling that future generations will say the same stuff about stuff that's really zeitgeisty now. Take Hannibal. I LOVE Hannibal. It's food porn with bonus men-in-great-suits and really good murders. The thing I love about it is how slow and langorous and, well, like arty porn it is over everything from the murder scenes to the cookery scenes to the fight scenes to - yes - the sex scenes. Lots of gratuitous slowmo and interesting theremin music... And yeah, I can see how future generations will decry it as a load of overly slow pretentious wank.

So if you love Twin Peaks, good luck to you. But if you didn't see it at the time, and weren't embedded in the culture surrounding it, don't bother now, because you just won't get it. Become a Fannibal instead. It's worth it for the cookery scenes alone.
miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
"Have you seen this news story? Clegg urges restrictions on migrants?"
"Yeah, that's a thing that's made me angry"
"Have you blogged on it?"
"No. It'd not bring anything to the debate if I just posted a great long stream of invective"

And that, ladies and gentles, is why I ain't been blogging much. Because, at the end of the day, if what you've got to say brings more heat than light there's not much point in saying it. And I'm feeling VERY heated these days.

About This Blog

picture of Jennie Rigg

Hello! I'm Jennie (known to many as SB, due to my handle, or The Yorksher Gob because of my old blog's name). This blog is my public face; click here for a list of all the other places you can find me on t'interwebs.






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