miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
So, Spring Conference is coming up. One of the events thereat is an exclusive invite-only candidates' reception with Our Glorious Leader Cleggy and party president Tim Farron. My lovely PPC has wangled me an invite as his plus-one*. But there's a catch. He wants me to wear a dress.

I pointed out that the last time I wore a dress it raised £75 for his campaign fund, and if he wants me to do that again he'd better be damn sure to beat that amount by a long way. I gave him a target of £250. Sadly, people have already started pledging money**.

So here's the deal: you lot donate money to McGregor's election campaign, and I will tart up.


If my paypal account goes over £250 before this time next week I will wear a dress to the Candidates' Reception on Saturday night. And, you know, might as well do a proper job of it: dress, high heels, make-up, nail varnish, the works. There will, of course, be pictures. So if you see pictures of me in my Doc Martens and stuff, you'll know that not enough money was donated.

The question uppermost in my mind is this: which will be worse? McGregor's smugness if I do end up in a dress, or his sadface if I don't... I guess that's the decision you guys have to make.

ETA: It's just struck me. Glee Club is immediately after the Exclusive Reception thingy. This means I may have to do Glee CLub in a dress... Oh God.



* mainly so I can tease Farron in person, rather than over Twitter as is my usual method.
** yes, Belinda Brooks-Gordon, I'm looking at YOU *severe face*
miss_s_b: (Mood: Bravo George)
It's not often you'll see me post to my blog officially in my capacity as chair of the local Lib Dems - mostly because I know it's not something that most of my readership is interested in - but today I'm making an exception to that.

First, a little background. Calderdale council is currently run under a cabinet system by a minority Labour administration. There has been frustration among all the OTHER councillors (Lib Dem, Tory and Independent alike) about the levels of secrecy and lack of transparency this entails for some time. This has recently come to a head over the proposed council budget, agreed by Labour councillors in secret among themselves without any consultation whatsoever with the rest of the councillors.

Now the eagle-eyed amongst you might have spotted the phrase "minority administration" in that previous paragraph. You see, the thing is, if everyone else bands together, there's more of us than there are of Labour. Which has led to this: http://calderdalelibdems.focusteam.org/2014/02/19/agreement-reached-on-budget-changes/

My Council Group is a diverse bunch of people, all of whom are fierce intellects and Liberals. As you might expect, sometimes this leads to debate, and even disagreement. But with this? With this there has been mature and rational discussion, negotiation, fact-finding, costing, checking and double-checking, and ultimately a proposal reached which both we and the Tories can agree to. There were some initial proposals which we made that the Tories didn't like, and some that they made which we didn't like. But both groups sat down like reasonable human beings and worked something out.

This is how things are MEANT to work, and I am immensely proud that my team have achieved this. Well done guys and girls, and especially my negiotiation team headed by our group leader Janet Battye. Really well done.
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
Yesterday on Twitter (today, if you don't do twitter but do read my linkspams) I linked to a post called Why Marketers Fear the Female Geek. If you read my blog for libdemmery or Doctor Who you might not have bothered clicking the link, but I urge you to do so. It's the clearest explanation of how marketing works I have ever read. Go ahead, do it now, I'll wait.

The more astute among you will have already realised how this applies to British politics. Especially if you were listening to the news this morning. Both Labour and Tories have announced things today which are desperately chasing a small and shrinking proportion of the population, actively at the expense of everyone else (in Labour's case it's racists, in the Tories' case it's pensioners). Why are they doing this? Well, because they are marketing men. David Cameron worked in PR, for pity's sake. They've identified a demographic they can appeal to and they are appealing for all they are worth, trying to squeeze every last vote out.

The problem is, the longer this goes on, the more people are left out in the cold. Politicians whine all the time about decreased turnout at elections, but then they only ever try to appeal to a subset of those who already vote, which leaves everybody else angry and feeling disenfranchised.

Politics desperately needs a Disruptive Innovator. And it really, REALLY should be the Lib Dems. We made a half-arsed attempt at it in 2010 with the Tuition Fees + No More Broken Promises schtick, and we ALL know how that went; if anything that has made things worse because we didn't follow through on our marketing. But we can, and should, do better. We have LOTS of disruptive and innovative policies, we just need to get them taken seriously by the electorate. Well, I say, just... After last time there is going to be a once bitten, twice shy effect.

I think we're doing better with the Euro campaign for this year. We're the only party not doing the racist dog whistle race to the bottom of saying IMMIGRUNTS BAD all the time. We're pointing out actual facts and things about how being in Europe and free movement of peoples across Europe actually makes us richer, both economically and socially. In a country that's reading a lot of Daily Mail, that's bold, radical, disruptive innovation right there.

We need to be thinking about how we're going to do this for the general. And we need to be thinking about it now, if not sooner.



ETA: it has been pointed out to me that perhaps I could have worded one of the sentences in this better. Pensioners are, as a group, growing as a proportion of the population. But if you are appealing to voters you are appealing to individuals within a group, not the whole group, and individual pensioners get old and die. If you craft a message that appeals to post-war generation pensioners but ignores the baby boomers (like my parents) who have VERY different views, the group you are appealing to is shrinking and you are putting off their replacements.
miss_s_b: (Pratchett: Nanny Ogg)
Lib Dem Voice have been being very very naughty. It all started with James Shaddock's Opinion: As Liberals, we must stand up For sex workers. Not to be outdone, my lovely candidate Alisdair* went for the seemingly innocuous Opinion: Teresa May’s Right Hand doesn’t know what her Hard Right hand is doing - which is, of course, the Porn Star Teresa May, not the Home Secretary Theresa May, with bonus mention of hardness. And then, bless him, he's such a trier, he had another go with Porn blocking comes in… and blocks the LGBT+LD website as porn. Which clearly encouraged the lovely Lady Mark to go for This week’s by-elections: a come from behind upset in Lincolnshire brightens an otherwise grim scene*.

So which one made you snigger most?
Poll #14747 Innuendo-laden Headlines
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 11

What was the most Innuendo-laden Headline on Lib Dem Voice This Week?

Standing up for Sex Workers
0 (0.0%)

Teresa May's Hard Right Hand
5 (45.5%)

Porn Block Comes In
0 (0.0%)

The Come From Behind Upset
6 (54.5%)





*possibly with some slight encouragement from me
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
Fuck the centre ground. Seriously, fuck it with a ten foot barge pole. I have no issue with the Lib Dems being equidistant between left and right; that's as it should be, given that even within my own local party there are people who range from extreme socialist to somewhere right of Attila the Hun. You know why that doesn't mean we are on the centre ground?

BECAUSE WE'RE FUCKING LIBERALS. No matter how far left or right each of us is on the economic axis, we are ALL anti-authoritarian, some of us extremely so. And for pretty much all of us, where we are on the Liberal/Authoritarian axis is WAY more important than where we are on the left/right axis.

Every single time I see some shite about us being on the centre ground, or even worse "laying claim to the centre ground" like we BELONG there, like we OUGHT to be there, I want to scream FOR FUCK'S SAKE PEOPLE YOU ARE SELLING OUT OUR USP FOR AN OLD SPITTING IMAGE SKETCH. I'm sure those of us of a certain age remember the whole "neither one thing nore the other but somewhere in between" thing. And now the party's marketers think that's a GOOD marketing technique? Wishywashy pointless bollocks that it is.

Liberalism is NOT about carefully positioning ourselves on the ever-shifting centre ground between the Tories and Labour; it's about getting as far away from both of the scary authoritarian fuckers as we possibly can up the other axis. PLEASE can we stop defining ourselves in relation to the other two parties and start defining ourselves for ourselves?
miss_s_b: (Fanigrling: Rumpole)
Just a quick entry today: Very pleased to see that the lovely Julian Huppert has won the parliamentary beard of the year vote even though I voted Thurso.I note that this was despite the desperate, misspelled, last ditch efforts of the Labour candidate for Calder Valley. As our own, dear, beardy candidate ACMcG said:Julian's defeated opponent was much more gracious:Anyway, props to Julian for winning, AND for coming up with that hilarious punning hashtag; commiserations to King Beard Thurso for only managing third despite my vote, and may there be more beards of all parties in parliament come 2015.
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
One of the more disturbing things to come out of the Calderdale Council cabinet meeting on Monday night was that they are apprently planning to sell off the Pellon Network Centre. So while money can be found for pay rises for council officers, and for iPads for councillors, and for the long-debated strip of land hubwards of Sto Kerrig Halifax library plans, there's no money left to keep open a much needed community resource in a deprived area of the borough.

Now I could use this for political point-scoring. I could say "see, this is how Labour prioritise things! I bet they try to blame it on ConDem cuts!" and other such things. But frankly that would be cheap, and would miss the point. The point is that the centre is well-used*, has had a bucketload of public and private cash poured into it**, and is a valuable community asset which it would be senseless to flog off for short term gain.

James Baker, councillor for the ward in which the centre is situated, has set up a website with a petition which I'd be grateful if you would sign. This is a Lib Dem campaign because James is a Lib Dem, but I'd like to think it's more important than what colour your rosette is.





*Youth services operate out of the centre, it is also home to a jobs club, a computer club, an art club and a Saturday morning club with fun activities for parents and children.
**Action Halifax allocated £112k of European money and some more from the Single Regeneration Budget, the Council added another £70k as match funding, private money came in from Pennine Housing, the Community Foundation (£10k of Jennifer Pearson's money via the Stephen Pearson Memorial Fund) and others. Total costs came to about £250k of public and private money.
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (ot3))
So the date has been set for the first same sex marriages in England and Wales.



Caron has had a fantastic idea:I have to say, I get really cross when people give a long list of people who are "responsible" for same sex marriage, from Cameron down, and leave Lynne off it. It wouldn't have happened at all without her. SO I am BANG alongside Caron's suggestion.

Who's with me?

ETA: I shouldn't be as amused as I am that 29th March is also Norman Tebbit's birthday, should I? *cackle*
miss_s_b: (Who: Six (S.P.C./Eyebrow))
Those of you who have been to conference know what I'm talking about. You'll be sat having a quiet pint in the bar, and in walks Lord Ashdown. There is an instant change in the atmosphere. The sexual tension in the room goes through the roof. All the people-who-fancy-men sigh wistfully, and all the people-who-don't-fancy-men try to look that bit more impressive, while knowing it's futile.

It's hard to believe for someone who hasn't seen it happen; you don't get much of a sense of it from seeing the man on the telly or anything like that. I know this because I have been trying to convince a recent recruit to the party of the power of the Paddy Effect. She thinks she is going to be immune to it. She thinks I'm joking about how potent and irresistible it is. She thinks she'll be the one sat in the bar at Spring conf wondering what the hell is going on while everybody else has a minor meltdown.

I think she's wrong. Hence the poll:

Poll #14678 The Paddy Effect
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 13


Have you ever met anybody who is immune to the Paddy Effect?

View Answers

What?
5 (38.5%)

Don't Be Stupid
3 (23.1%)

Such a Thing Is Not Possible
6 (46.2%)

I wish to lie and say "yes" but I know I'm lying
2 (15.4%)

ticky box
9 (69.2%)

miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: Liz 10)
That would be... me. Those of you who were active on twitter last night will already know this, but I thought I'd beter mention it here, too.

Suspect this is going to prove very interesting indeed :)

Was great to catch up with a bunch of people at the AGM too, especially Hilary, who I haven't seen for FAR TOO LONG. Only real fly in the ointment was that Northern Rail made us have to get a taxi to get there, so that's twenty quid down the drain. But you know. £20 taxi fare vs being made chair? I think that's just about a win.

Of course now the accusations from a couple of people I am close to (you know who you are and where your games workshop crap is, the pair of you :P) that I am part of the establishment are coming in thick and fast. Now I am chair I am going to have behave myself, right? Be on message, in volume, over time? Outgoing chair Mick Taylor actually outright said the best way to tame a rebel is to give them some responsibility when we were initially discussing the idea of me standing... This is a man who had his lengthy hair in a french plait at the candidate selection last week LOL. So yes, the idea of me becoming Establishment is very amusing... Perhaps I am Establishment within the tiny world of the Lib Dems, but then perhaps in that world I already was. I suspect it will be a very long time indeed where an openly bi/poly metalhead who refuses to conform to Westminster standards of dress and flagrantly abuses ellipsis will be seen as Establishment by the wider world. And TBH? That's perfectly fine by me. ...no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity etc.

As for my plans for chairing... Watch this space. Mick's term doesn't actually run out till 31st December, so the local party has a little while to get used to the idea. But I have various ideas... >:)
miss_s_b: (Politics: Goth Lib Dems)
So tonight is Alisdair's housewarming party, and this morning I tweeted:You guys know me. My uniform is combats/jeans and a t-shirt with something geeky on it. Formal dress is not something I do. But I do have, in the depths of my wardrobe, several options. Sadly I am still too fat for the blue taffeta ballgown. However! Some fool offered a donation. So I shall pledge as follows:
  • the one donation already promised gets me into whichever formal clothing people vote for in the poll below

  • Five donations and I shall wear high heeled shoes as well

  • Ten donations and I'll go the whole hog and put make-up on for the first time this year
These are your options:

formal clothing options
Purple mid-calf column dress

formal clothing options
Black/silver satin ankle length column dress

formal clothing options
Black suit

formal clothing options
Purple suit (the one I turned up to regional conf in)

Poll #14548 What should I wear?
This poll is closed.
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: Just the Poll Creator, participants: 12

Which formal clothing should I base my dress around this evening?

Purple column dress
4 (33.3%)

Black/silver satin column dress
5 (41.7%)

Purple suit
2 (16.7%)

Black suit
1 (8.3%)



Do vote in the poll. Also if you want to donate, stick it in my paypal:



...and I'll transfer it over to the party (plus the couple of quid balance that's already in there anyway). It's all in a good cause. We need a fighting fund to get Alisdair elected, because Calder Valley really needs a decent MP for a change...

Get voting and donating then :P

ETA: deadline for the poll is mid afternoon, btw. There'll be no point in voting when I've already set off for Hebden Bridge; but you can donate to the party whenever you like, obvs ;)
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
... the lovely Alisdair Calder McGregor.

(You can find him on Twitter, linked in, blog, LDV articles, G+)

alisdairrailway

You'd vote for that, amirite? I totally would :)

Hustings was a lot of fun last night. Questions to candidates were very broad ranging (some of them longer winded than others LOL) and the turnout was not bad, to say what horrible cold miserable Halifaxness we had to endure to get to it.

On the evidence of last night, Alisdair is going to make a bloody awesome candidate. Pretty much everything he said in answers to questions was clear and succint. No rambling off on tangents. Lots of useful political points. And peppered with big meaty doses of Liberalism. Definitely a parliamentary candidate I can get behind. Which is handy, really, because he's already started dishing out orders to me...

I'm not going to make a secret of the fact that I wanted Alisdair to win this from the beginning - it'd be hard to with my imprint on the bottom of all of his literature - but I do want to say that had Janet won we'd still have a great candidate. So commiserations to Janet.

And forward to 2015. I guess there's going to be a lot more leaflet designing for ME.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Sam West)
Lib Dem Voice need money.
I need beard porn.
What would people say to a beardy Lib Dems calendar? It'd be like Calendar Girls only beardier*

This idea has been being chucked around by all the swines who are off to Manchester on the piss while I fold leaflets tonight several lovely people on twitter this afternoon and I think it's a good one.

Would my fellow beardthusiasts pay for such a thing? And how do we narrow down the pool of hot beardy Lib Dems to actually put on the thing? I mean there's LOADS of them. I live with two!



* and almost certainly less naked. There's a limit to what you can persuade even Lib Dem men to do with a strategically placed Focus Leaflet, in my experience.
miss_s_b: (feminist heroes: river song)
After Debi's posting of pictures of a 32 year old woman in her sports kit we had some discussion, and thus I present pictures of a 36 year old woman in her sports kit )
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
I have seen this campaign referred to in very sniffy and dismissive terms by various MSM outlets. And yet, over the last few days the number of friends and lovers I have spoken to with totally unjustified anxieties over their physical appearance has gone far beyond what I am comfortable with. Let me give you a flavour:
  • "Who's going to fancy a fat balding little hobbit like me?" - this guy has a beautiful expressive face, and his smile lights up a room like a sunrise.

  • "I did it with [new boyfriend] with the lights on! And SOBER!" - a girl with a chest I would cheerfully kill for, and those of you who have met me know I am not exactly lacking in that department ;)

  • "I'm too fat" - a guy with an arse that rivals Nightwing's

  • "I couldn't be seen out without my Fat Burqua!" - a lady who has the kind of figure that would make Rubens bite through his paintbrush in his frustration at his utter inability to capture it's beauty

  • *bursts into disbelieving laughter when I tell him he has good skin* - I've held newborn babes with coarser skin than this guy. The skin of his torso resembles nothing so much in it's smooth tactile translucency as polished marble. And don't even get me started on his eyes...
Now I'm no stranger to beating myself up about percieved physical flaws. But something I have noticed over the years is that whatever I percieve to be a flaw someone will find incredibly attactive. For instance, I detest my belly. I'd really love a six pack. And yet one of my partners loves it so deeply, with it's kneadable layer of fat and stretchmarks and operation scar, that since I have been losing weight he has been actively mourning it's passing.

We all have things we dislike about our physical selves, and society and the media encourage that, mainly to sell us shit we don't need. We all think we have something that's too fat/thin/bald/hairy/big/small/etc. But whatever that thing is that we feel that way about, somebody we know worships it. Now, I'm not saying that if you dislike a part of yourself you're wrong, and if you want to engage in some self improvement that will make you feel better then you knock yourself out. But don't ever, ever think that anybody else will judge you as harshly for it as you do yourself.

I'm reasonably sure that several of the people in the list above with have accepted what I said to them, but also mentally added "but it's just Jennie saying that, and she's mad." We are so conditioned to look only on our own flaws that we don't compliment each other in case someone looks too closely at us in return and spots our flaws. And that's sad because we all then end up in our own self-reinforcing miserable cycle of paranoia.

The Lib Dem Campaign for Body Confidence is important, as far as I am concerned, because if it makes people I love worry less about piffling flaws with thier physical appearance, then they will have more spoons to sweat the more important stuff, and THEN we can get on with making the world a better place. And the rest of us can help with it, too. Try not to condemn yourself for your imperfections. But also if you have a friend or partner with a physical feature that you love, tell them. If we can all compliment each other a bit more maybe I'll get less disbelieving reactions next time I tell someone I think some part of them is beautiful.
miss_s_b: (Default)
  • The corpse of Lady Thatcher (maysherestinpeace)

  • Catholicism

  • Anyone whose favourite Doctor is David Tennant

  • Stuffed Jeremy Bentham

  • A rabid she-wolf

  • Tony Blair

  • The guy who puked down my legs on Sunday evening.

  • The Abominable Doctor Phibes

  • The entirety of the Young Conservatives, circa 1986

  • Marxism


(Context is for cowards, but you might want to look here on LDV)

ETA: for those pointing out that of course I would LOVE to embrace the Abominable Doctor Phibes: well, yes (and his Missus). So he definitely belongs on the list :P
miss_s_b: (Pratchett: Nanny Ogg)
People seem to find the technical language around politics in general and LibDemmery in particular to be slightly confusing. With that in mind I thought a glossary might be useful; this post is meant to be taken entirely seriously and is in no way humourous or mere gratuitous filth.possibly there are some of you who don't want to see this )

Happy to amend the list with any suggestions from readers which are appropriate and sensible. Remember folks, Lib Dems do it with a Focus you won't believe ;)
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)
I have in my hand a piece of paper. Well, two pieces of paper and a booklet of manifestos. They arrived in a brown envelope, and are much more pleasing than the normal types of things that arrive in brown envelopes :)

Yes, it's the time of the year for LGBT+ LD elections, and they're even more exciting than normal this year because we're not just electing the exec, but the chair too. So I have 16 pages of manicfestos to read and then I get to choose who to vote for. I'm not going to tell you who I'm going to vote for, but I am going to give you a couple of Dos and Don'ts for Manifesto writing, in case you're ever standing for election for a party body
  1. Do: Put your name on it. Seriously, if I have to flip to the back of the book to see whose manifesto I'm reading you've lost my vote already.

  2. Don't: have huge walls of text in tiny font. The tl;dr reflex is hard to suppress when you have many manifestos to read. I will read it, because I am conscientious like that, but many people won't.

  3. Do: actually say something. Not just managementspeak. Say something of substance: what you believe in, what you plan to do, ANYTHING.

  4. Don't: think that a pretty design will make up for not saying anything. Pretty design is good, don't get me wrong, but content is king.

  5. Do: use pictures - but don't overuse them.

  6. Don't: patronise people. If you're talking down to people, or they feel like you are, they won't want to vote for you.

  7. Do: make people laugh if you can. This might be controversial, and certainly I only mean this for internal elections, but the person who will be getting my #1 for exec member in this election is getting it because (s)he made me LOL.
Good luck to all the candidates in this election (even the one who didn't submit a manifesto at all, bless him). I know who I'm voting for; I hope the other members of plus do too :) The voter number on the top of my ballot paper has 40 digits in it, so I guess the membership has gone up a LOT since I was a member of the exec... ;)
miss_s_b: (Mood: Sorry)
The eagle eyed amongst you might have noticed that I won blog post of the year at the Botties for this post.

I did not react well, which is one of the reasons why it has taken me this long to blog about it. I am very flattered, and honoured, but I am NOT good at taking a compliment, and some of the consequences of winning an award were a bit triggery* for me, and I might have gone off on one in a semi-public fashion on one of the Lib Dem email lists and upset lots of people. This was silly and ungracious, and given that I think one should own one's mistakes I am apologising for it in an even more public way.

So thank you to the judges for picking me, and sorry to everyone who had to witness my meltdown. At least it wasn't blog of the year... Can you IMAGINE how awful I'd have been if I'd won THAT? In return for being given an award I promise to keep swearing and offending people, keep teasing Tim Farron on twitter, and not become a tool of the establishment. You guys have to promise not to nominate me again next year, OK? I don't think anybody wants to go through this again.

Anyway, regarding the OTHER awards, my predictions** were somewhat accurate, apart from the small matter of not predicting my own win. I don't have to eat my membership card for Julian Huppert, which is a bonus. The one prediction coming true that I am really sad about is Vince Cable winning minister of the year over Lynne Featherstone. I love Vince, you all KNOW I love Vince, but basically all he has done this year is not fuck up as badly as he did last year. Lynne delivered same sex marriage. And in 20, 30, 100 years' time, THAT is what this government will be remembered for, and she deserves more bloody recognition for it. In my opinion anyway.



* one nano-second after winning my phone went mental with "x is now following you on twitter" notifications, and among the names was one that I really REALLY did not want to see. Those of you who know me well will know which one and why.
** here and here
miss_s_b: (Mood: Vyvyan Twos Up)
I've only been nominated for the Big Botty, not even won it, still hoping I don't, and already the ribbing has started:

Sam Phripp: "She's a darling of the establishment. Tut tut."
Andy Emmerson: "I heard Nick telling people how much he loved Jennie and how he wanted her to work for HQ"
Sam Phripp: "I heard he said she was always on message in volume over time... True story."
Andy Emmerson: "In fact I heard Jennie was personally fed lines for blogging from the establishment; people like Clegg"
Richard Morris: "I heard Nick is thinking of changing his surname to Rigg in a kind of tribute"
Andre Whickey: "I heard Jennie only didn't get made a Baroness because Clegg wanted more independent-minded people in the Lords"
Richard Morris: "I also heard he thinks of himself as just keeping Sheffield Hallam 'warm' until Jennie is ready to stand"

You're all swines :P

ETA:
Andy Emmerson: "are we included in your announcement that you're taking a job as a Clegg Spad?"
Andre Whickey: "the economy motion will be called "the Jennie Rigg motion" so it will pass... "

I'm sure the hilarity will continue on twitter for some time to come...
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
If you are a voting rep, please please PLEASE go into the hall for F17 at 17.00 Sunday evening and vote for the reference back. If the reference back fails then please vote against the motion, whether it is amended or not. The motion as submitted is terrifyingly illiberal, technologically illiterate, and will almost certainly be counterproductive. The amendment selected for debate by FFC takes all this badness and adds internet pop-ups to it too. I have no idea what FCC were on when they accepted this motion, nor when they selected the least popular and most senseless amendment from those submitted for debate, but I wish they'd stop taking it.

The motion is supposed to protect children from internet porn. It won't protect children from internet porn, but it WILL make it much more difficult for them to obtain information about sexual health, and also access a whole host of other information on the internet, including this blog. The ONLY way to prevent the harms which internet porn does to children is to EDUCATE both parents and children. Burying our heads in the sand and hoping the magic technology fairy will fix things is a recipe for disaster.

If you're unsure as to how right I am on any of this there are a bunch of people wandering round conference with this flyer. Talk to them.

Thanking you in advance.
miss_s_b: (Mood: Facepalm)
This makes this post somewhat more difficult than I was anticipating... ANYWAY. I am going to tell you who I would like to see win and who I think WILL win (with as many single intenders as I can fit) and we'll find out tomorrow how right or wrong I am.

CategoryWho I want to winWho I think WILL winComment
Blog of the Year (The Big Botty)Zoe O'ConnellDavid BoyleI nominated Jonathan Calder for Liberal England, mainly because I can't believe he's not won it already. David Boyle has been consistently good this year, though... The field is a good one, with no one blogger who will obviously stand out as "THAT'S the winner!" to everybody. Frankly, I'll be happy as long as neither I nor Count Packula win, because neither of us needs it. Zoe's blog deserves to be much more widely read, though, and on that basis I'd like to see her win it.
Blog Post of the YearSarah BrownCount Packula's pretty picturePeople like Infographics. They annoy me, because they're great big long unwieldy lumps of stuff that take ages to load, and I can't read them properly on my phone without zooming in and out all the time, but apparently I'm in a minority. Sarah's post, though, is hands down the most important and must-read one on the list, and fully deserves to win.
Tweeter/Facebooker of the year@stackee@LordBonkersI think this one is as wide open as the Big Botty to be honest, and it all depends on whether judges value dry Lib Demmery or humanity or both as to who wins. It could be any of the nominees, but I've plumped for Lord Bonkers because Rutland's award cabinet needs fresh metal.
Tim Garden AwardLynne Featherstonetoss up between Tim Farron & Julian HuppertI don't think Jo Swinson or Tom Brake use twitter in the way it's meant to be used. They put stuff out but they don't interact as much as the other three do. Julian and Tim are digital natives, and it shows; Lynne is a bloody good twitterer too, and given that there's not much to choose between the three I want her to win for basically sexist reasons. Girls doing politics AND tech? Hell to the yes.
Best LD Online CampaignGold GuardTeam EastleighThis is another one that's wide open and any of the nominees could win it. On that basis: anyone but me, please, judges.

The public vote has now ended for Non Lib Dem Online Campaign (English Disco Lovers FTW!) and Photo (YAY Doctor Huppert!) so all we need to do now is sit back and wait for the ceremony. I'll not be at the ceremony myself, but I'll be keeping my eye on twitter to see who wins. I hope those who DO go the ceremony have a good time, and whether I win or lose have a gin or several for me :)
miss_s_b: Vince Cable's happy face (Politics: Vince - happy face)
The first thing to say here is that several people had difficulty completing the survey: if this happens to you my advice would be to wait half an hour and then go back to it, that's what worked for me.

On to the meat of this post then: you can't get back into the survey once you've filled it in, so this is from memory, and the list of categories on Lib Dem Voice.

CategoryWho I voted ForWho I think will winComment
LD Councillor of the YearPauline NashAlex FolkesAll the nominees in this were not big national figures, but Alex is a blogger. More of us have heard of him therefore he will win.
Favourite Tory MPSarah WollastonP Bone & N DorriesFelt physically sick at some of the nominees for this. P Bone & N Dorries will win bcause annoying them is the most palatable option.
Favourite Labour MPStella CreasyGenuinely don't knowFelt physically sick at some of the nominees for this, too. Frank "Misogyny" Field FFS?
Online Campaign (non-LD)?English Disco LoversI don't think I got to vote in this. Can't get back ino the survey to find out...
Best Photo??Definitely didn't get to vote in this.
LD minister of the yearLynne Featherstonesomebody pale and maleLynne definitely deserves to win, but she won't, sadly. Of course, if she does I'll be chuffed.
LD MP of the yearJulian HuppertJulian HuppertI will be utterly stunned if Julian doesn't win.
Other ParliamentarianLiz BarkerNo ideaLiz deserves to win for her work in the Lords on equal marriage. No idea who actually WILL win.
Best Commentatorcan't rememberdon't careThis list was shocking. The only woman on there was Polly Toynbee, and they were ALL old media. Clueless Tory shill Nick Robinson being nominated was a particular shock. What sort of idiot rates him?
Best broadcasterCathy NewmanEddie MairWould have put Martha Kearney on my prefs list if she'd been there. And somehow there was another nomination for bloody Robinson.

I'll do a similar list for the judged categories (who I want to win/who I think will win) when all the nominees are revealed. As for those above? Well, it's an advert for getting more people to nominate next year, that's for sure. Nick Robinson nominated for TWO awards? Frank Field? Eurgh. Anyway, if you're a member of the LDV forum you should have your email for voting. Get on and do it. I don't know when the deadline is, but it's BOUND to be before Saturday night...
miss_s_b: (Default)
So Sarah Teather announced, via an article in the Observer, that she will not be standing again for her seat in Brent. Various people expressed various emotions on receipt of this news. The Lib Dem Voice comment thread, at time of typing, is approaching 200 comments. Despite the attempts of various people to inject notes of sanity there has been a massive proliferation of straw men in that comment thread, which can basically be divided into two camps: the Sarah Is a Great Loss and the Sarah is Not Such a Great Loss camps.

I fall into the latter camp. My stated position is that because of her vote on same sex marriage, after many years of cheerfully using lots of LGBT activists to work for her, I feel that I would rather spend my limited leaflet delivery time on another MP/candidate at election time. I agree with a lot of her OTHER positions, but because there are MPs/candidates who share those positions AND voted the way I would have liked on same sex marriage I would prefer to donate my time to those people.

For this I have been accused of being a single issue politician (because I am talking about this right now means it is the only thing I have ever cared about), sexism (because Sarah is a woman and I don't want to deliver leaflets for her, despite the fact that I have also publicly condemned Gordon Birtwhistle, John Pugh, and all of the other MPs who voted against), racism (because Sarah has been an anti-racism campaigner therefore if I don't want to deliver leaflets for her I must be racist), obsessed with sex (because equal rights for LGBT people is only ever concerned with sex and not human rights or anything) and of WANTING DISABLED PEOPLE TO DIE (no, I don't get that one either). And pretty much everyone who has said these things has ALSO gone on at great length about the "vitriol" being flung at Sarah.

To make that clear: saying you'd rather deliver leaflets for someone else = flinging vitriol. Accusing someone of being sexist, racist, and a eugenicist? Fair comment. As for the single issue politician thing... If I was FORCED to be a single issue politician I would be the most vocal (and probably the only) campaigner for Colin Baker to be permanently recognised as the best Doctor Who. If only because that's SUCH a minority campaign that it needs all the help it can get.

Anyone who doubted the importance of leaflet delivery in the Lib Dem psyche? I think today has proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that it's more important than pretty much anything else. It's just a shame that we're all spending valuable leaflet delivery time arguing about something that's not going to be changed by any amount of invective on any side.
miss_s_b: (Politics: Liberal)


My question is asked at 8.42, and got a pretty positive response on twitter. Clegg's answer was interesting, and not as ducky as the last time he failed to answer a question from me. He keeps saying my name, which makes me giggle.

I do like that the party does these webinars, although usually they are at a time when I can't participate live. I was quite happy that I got chance to join in today. The next one with a Lib Dem minister will be on Monday 2nd September at 7pm (when I am at work) with Mike Moore, Secretary of State for Scotland, and I'd fully recommend anyone who has an interest in the topics he plans to cover to take part. Those topics are:
- The Scottish Referendum
- Being a Lib Dem in government
- Party conference in Glasgow
... and you can register here if you're a party member, and if you meet the computer equipment criteria (sadly party top brass don't seem to have grasped that we are a party of non-conformists and some of us use, for example, Linux or other non-standard operating systems). IMHO this is one of the things that makes it worth joining the Lib Dems - our top brass are accessible to members in a way that top brass in many other parties most certainly aren't. Now if only they would do what internal party democracy tells them to... ;)

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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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