miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
2010-05-21 12:17 am
Entry tags:

[sticky entry] Sticky: Introduction & Comment policy

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.
  • 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 censor 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.
miss_s_b: (Politics: FU)
2017-04-26 03:27 pm
Entry tags:

Jennie's Ginormous General Election Sweepstake!

Comment below with your seat predictions for the general election, in the following format, where x is your prediction:
Alliance 0 > x
Conservative 330 > x
DUP 8 > x
Green 1 > x
Independent 4 > x
Labour 229 > x
Liberal Democrat 9 > x
Official Monster Raving Loony 0 > x
Plaid Cymru 3 > x
Sinn Fein 4 > x
SDLP 3 > x
SNP 54 > x
Speaker 1 > x
UKIP 1 > x
UUP 2 > x
Others 0 > x

Total 649* > 650
The winner gets nothing but boasting rights and glory. Sorry; I'm both skint and disorganised, so arranging actual physical prizes is beyond my capabilities at the mo. And yes, I'm going to put my pixels where my mouth is. my prediction under the cut )



* NB: total is currently 649 because of the death of Gerald Kaufman.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Yorkshire)
2017-04-26 02:40 pm
Entry tags:

That's today's Storm in a Teacup over, then.

The Grauniad is loudly trumpeting "Farron Sacks David Ward".

I suspect that what actually happened is that there was a phone call to Yorkshire regional candidates' chair, who in her turn made a phone call to the chair of City of Bradford Liberal Democrats, who in her turn made a phone call to David telling him that the situation was untenable... But the narrative of Tim making swift and decisive action won't hurt us in the press, even if constitutionally it's a bit suspect.

I'm not going to comment one way or the other on the justice of this outcome in the particular case of David Ward. He has undoubtedly made some indefensible comments at various times. However, I don't like to see procedures circumvented, whether actually or only apparently. I can't help it, I've got legal training. Equally, I can see that there's a strong argument that the party's internal disciplinary procedures are crap and toothless, or if they have teeth, that the teeth are carefully muzzled in any situation whether they might actually have to put the bite on someone. The party's internal disciplinary procedures are, however, also currently under process of review.

I am supremely uncomfortable about the idea of being in a party where one can be summarily dismissed at the whim of the leader without some form of due process in place. I fear that because that is what the media expects, not to say bays for, we are creeping ever closer to it. I wish we had more robust and transparent disciplinary procedures. I hope and expect that once the governance review is fully completed, we will have more robust and transparent disciplinary procedures.

Still.

I wonder what we'll be smacked in the chops with tomorrow?
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-26 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 26-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-25 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 25-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-24 08:14 pm

Why DO LGBT+ Lib Dems get cross when I say we "Achieved Equal Marriage"?

I've come across this a fair bit the last few days (can't think why it's been coming up *rolleyes*), and as it's a big frustration for LGBT+LDs I thought I'd better post about why.

Lots of people high up in the campaigns department at LDHQ think it's great to say that "we achieved equal marriage". They think that because we campaigned for equal marriage, and the Same Sex Marriage Act passed, we should trumpet our achievement. They think that calling it Same Sex Marriage is bad "framing" and Equal Marriage sounds better*.

The problem is that although we did campaign for equal marriage, we didn't get equal marriage. Here is a list of some of the things that remain unequal:
  • Northern Ireland. There is no recognition of same sex marriage there at all.

  • The Spousal Veto was a part of the Same Sex Marriage Act and actually made things worse for trans people. It's not extant in Scotland, but still applies in England and Wales.

  • Likewise, to get a gender recognition certificate prior to the Same Sex Marriage Act, if you were married, you were forced to have your marriage annulled, even if your spouse was supportive. These stolen marriages have never been restored, despite Same Sex Marriage now being legal.

  • Same sex spouses do not enjoy the same pension rights as mixed sex spouses. This is obviously unequal.

  • The church of England and the church in Wales are legally prohibited from performing same sex marriage ceremonies. This is manifestly unequal for same sex couples who are adherents to the state religion.

  • Adultery and non-consummation. To commit adultery, you must have vaginal intercourse with a member of "the opposite sex". Yup, not only is the strict gender binary embedded in law, but so is the necessity for PIV to happen for it to count as sex. This is... problematic for people who do not adhere to the strict one man, one woman, no genderqueer people model of relationships. Non-consummation of marriage and adultery both rely on PIV sex. And sure, reasons you might split up don't apply at the moment of marriage, but not every marriage will last, and equity in the divorce courts is surely a consideration before we start calling it equal marriage?

  • The special requirements for registering premises for the conduct of non-CofE religious same-sex marriages are more restrictive than for opposite-sex marriages in religious premises. If the premises are shared by several small denominations - which is often the case with evangelical, African and pro-LGBT churches - every last one of the faith organisations which share the premises has to give their permission for the premises to be used for same-sex marriages. In effect, anti-gay churches have a veto over pro-gay churches.

  • There's no humanist marriage in England and Wales (despite the best efforts of the lovely Julian Huppert) - which affects both mixed sex and same sex couples, but still means that humanists are second class citizens (unless they live in Scotland). Equal marriage should be equal for all beliefs (and lack thereof) as well as for all genders and sexualities.
Now, imagine you are one of the people who is affected by one of these things. Imagine you have been faithful to your partner for decades, and you've finally been allowed to marry under this legislation, and you retire loving and happy, only to discover that your pension rights are not equal.

Imagine you are a trans person, and your spouse has been supportive all along, and first you had your marriage stolen because that had to happen for you to get your gender recognition certificate, and when that happened you got a civil partnership because that was the best that was available and you loved your spouse, and then when same sex marriage came in you had to get married for a third time to convert your civil partnership into a marriage, and you'd meantime been supporting other people going through transition and the spousal veto had applied to some of those people... How would you feel in that situation if you were told that we'd achieved Equal Marriage?

Imagine you were the chair of an LGBT+ campaigning organisation. Imagine trying to persuade people that there are still inequities that need to be corrected, that people are still suffering injustices that need to be righted, that work still needs to be done, when everybody says but we achieved Equal Marriage, didn't we? What are you fussing about?

Imagine trying to persuade other LGBT+ people to vote for your party, when they can look at what your party is saying about "equal marriage" and think but they are completely tone deaf to the actual concerns of LGBT+ people, or else they would know that 'equal' marriage is nothing but!

For anybody, in any of those situations, Lib Dems trumpeting we achieved equal marriage! is going to feel like a proper slap in the face. It's going to feel like the inequalities and injustices that you suffer do not matter to Lib Dems. Equal Marriage, as framing, makes a very ugly picture indeed if you are suffering from one of the unequal effects of the Same Sex Marriage Act.

Please, please, please, for the love of Cthulhu, if you are a Lib Dem, stop saying we achieved equal marriage. We achieved same sex marriage. There's still a way to go before it's equal. Our leader gets this. Please get it too.



* NB: Our Glorious Leader is not one of these people, and completely gets everything I am posting about here, and that's yet another reason why I get annoyed with partisan Labour types going BUT TIM HATES THE GAYS!!!!! at me. Apart from anything else the conflation of gay rights and LGBT+ rights is infuriating.
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-24 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 24-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-23 12:45 pm

Lists of Who To Follow On Twitter during the UK general election on Twitter abound...

... and, inevitably, they are massively cishetwhiteabledmale. This is a bit of a self-reinforcing thing, so I thought I would try to help out.

The people on this list are not all people I agree with all the time, but they are all people you find things out from following, and they are all civil (none of them will start frothing at you for differing with them, although if you attack them they're perfectly capable of defending themselves or blocking/muting you).

  • Journos and Pundits:

    1. Jen Williams - I'm with Gadsden on this, Jen is the best political journalist in the UK right now. Mancunian focus, but covers national stuff too. Forensic with information, and does proper investigative journalism as well as straight reporting. If you only follow one from this list, make it Jen.
    2. Samira Ahmed - freelancer who pops up all over the place, often Radio 4. Her twitter feed is exactly the kind of blend of politics and geekery I love.
    3. Jessica Elgot - Grauniad politics correspondent. This is where you go for straight Westminster bubble news, as it happens.
    4. Emily Maitlis - Presents Newsnight and tweets about politics a lot. Easier on the brain than following BBCLauraK.
    5. Marina Hyde - absolutely brutal yet hilariously funny political columnist.
    6. Judith Moritz - BBC North of England correspondent. Was astoundingly good on Hillsborough, among other things.
    7. Susan Hulme - presents Today In/Yesterday In Parliament on Radio 4. Excellent coverage of stories some others don't pick up - recent example being the gay concentration camps in Chechnya.
    8. Isabel Hardman - writes for the Speccy on politics. Also very good on mental health issues. Not to be confused with Oakeshott, who is Wrong Isabel.
    9. Joanne Douglas - Yorkshire politics, with a focus on Huddersfield. Like Jen Williams, Joanne digs deeper and goes harder than most local paper political journos.
    10. Neil Nunes - yes, that's right, the sexy-voiced radio 4 continuity announcer. His twitter feed is a source of news stories that I don't see a lot of links to, but are usually very interesting.


  • Actual Politicians:

    1. Ruby Chow (lib dem) - Ruby is refreshingly blunt and very precise. I like her a lot.
    2. Zoe Kirk-Robinson (Tory, and Leave campaigner) - look, you've got to have at least ONE Tory leave campaigner, and Zoe is the most reasonable of them that I've found.
    3. Hollyamory (lib dem) - Holly is an LGBT campaigner and an immigrant, and thus has a pretty unique perspective on electoral matters. Always worth reading.
    4. Sophie Cook (Labour) (and football) (and photography) (and LGBT TV)
    5. Dipa Vaya (Lib Dem) - lib dem diversity officer and all around Good Egg
    6. Caron Lindsay - (lib dem & unionist scotpol) - sorry to be having so many Lib Dems on this list, but I can't link you to my absolute favourite SNPer ScotPol account because she's friends-locked. So here is the editor of Lib Dem voice instead.
    7. Niamh Ní Mhaoileoin (labour) - editor of Left Foot Forward blog. Good on internal Labour stuff and things to do with Ireland/Northern Ireland/Intersection between the two.
    8. Caroline Lucas (green) - worth following for both internal green stuff and attempts to reach out cross party.


  • Non-Party-Affiliated and Other Interested Bystanders:

    1. Writers of Colour - this is another absolute essential, as far as I am concerned. Often combative, but always justifiably so when they are. I have learned so much and re-examined so many of my own thoughts from following them.
    2. Number Cruncher Politics - run by Matt Singh, and full of lovely graphs and ananlysis.
    3. Shoni - a lot on intersectional racial stuff. Very left wing.
    4. Ellavescent - absolutely essential for both disability and trans rights issues. Is "A Pox on All Their Houses" politically, so can sometimes be a bit rude about party politics. She's got very good reasons for being so, though.
    5. Milena - generally awesome on politics whether there's an election on or not; Milena is also an immigrant and can't vote in the general election. They've tweeted eloquently about how bloody awful that is.
    6. Shappi Khorsandi - stand up comic and president of the British Humanist association. Manages to be pointed yet hilarious about politics, both party and non, on a regular basis.
Obviously, this list is not exhaustive, and there are plenty of other interesting not!cishetwhiteabledmen to follow on twitter. These are just some of the ones I follow and find particularly useful. I hope you will too.
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-23 12:01 pm
Entry tags:

Quick thanks to [personal profile] fuesch for the lovely happy!Bill icon

... I said all I wanted to say in the title, really. There's 37 more here if ppl want to go look :)
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-23 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 23-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Blogging: Internet forever!!)
2017-04-22 09:32 pm
Entry tags:

New Twitter Muting Policy

There's an election on.
I tweet about politics.
I have over 3000 followers, and several of them RT me on occasion.

This all means that I quite regularly attract... People who wish to engage in debate. Some of them in a less than friendly manner.

Now, sometimes, these people are just asking a question. And sometimes, when I answer their question they say "oo, I didn't know that! Thanks!" and we both carry on our merry way after a positive interaction.

Sometimes they are just outright hostile or insulting, and those people I mute straight away.

Sometimes though... Sometimes they are asking a question in the hopes of trapping me, or pissing me off, or just wasting my time. So I answer their initial question, and then they say "yeah but..." and bring up something unrelated, but still opposing, or they build a straw man (or a battalion of straw men), or employ any number of other tactics designed to irritate me.

Life is too damn short for people like that.

Therefore, from today, I have instituted a Three Strikes and You're Out policy for twitter. If you ask me a question, and you respond with "yeah but...", I'll answer. If you respond to the second answer with "yeah but..." then I will know that you are not debating in good faith, you're trying to irritate me and/or waste my time, and I will simply mute you.

Like I said, life is too short. I confidently expect lots of "yeah but..." replies to this post, btw...
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-22 08:15 pm
Entry tags:

Smile: Initial reaction

OMG you guys, Doctor Who was good TWO WEEKS RUNNING!

Spoilers under the cut )

Carlton does a happy dance
miss_s_b: (fangirling: hounds)
2017-04-22 12:46 pm
Entry tags:

When Worlds Collide, said George Pal to his Bride, I'm going to give you some terrible thrills

Unless this is the first entry of mine you've read, you'll know that I am active in politics.
You will also know that I am active in a lot of geekeries (Doctor Who, obvs, but lots of others too).
The thing about both of those things is that they can sometimes cause a teeny tiny slight amount of stress to enter one's life. If I get stressy, one of my main ways of destressing is to look at Cute Doggy Pictures. A clear majority of the Instagram accounts I follow are hounds of various stripes, and a healthy smattering of the Twitters I follow are doggies too. @arthurwhippet and @smiththewhippet are two of them. I've been following these two for a while. They live together, with some humans obvs, and are utterly adorable. I mean, who can look at Arthur's excitement about a flat rugby ball and not feel all squishy inside?

This morning I was leafing through twitter, and the following tweet caught my eye:
A tale of 2 leaders; May talks at a group of constituents and orders 'no questions', Tim Farron chats to the passing public in Manchester.
tweet by @TammRehgallag (Matt Gallagher)
I'm pretty sure the use of the words at and to were very deliberate in that tweet. Attached to the tweet are two pictures. One picture is of Theresa May, looking shouty and authoritarian and offputting. The other is of a nice lady with pretty hair and a fab coat talking to Tim Farron. She was walking some dogs in the picture. I did a double take at the dogs. Hang on... I know those dogs!

It turned out that my politics world and my cute doggies world had collided with some force. My friend April even got to pet Smith and Arthur and their friend Ziggy! I've never met Arthur and Smith in real life, only on twitter, so I am quite jealous of April for that. And it appears I am not along in thinking that doggies are more exciting than party leaders.

If you, too, think that doggies are better than politics, you may wish to follow @arthurwhippet and @smiththewhippet on twitter as well.

(why yes, this post really was just an extended and belated Follow Friday post O;) )
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-22 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 22-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-21 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 21-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Mood: Kill me)
2017-04-21 10:21 am

Right, fellow Who fans

[community profile] gallifrey_times went away for a long while, but since I've managed an issue per day all week, I think I can confidently say that it's back.
  • If you are a Who fan who wants a daily shot of news and reviews and links to fanworks, please subscribe. We're a bit like Who Daily on LJ (although we explicitly try not to tread on their toes - there was a time when I was a back up for Who Daily as well as doing GT and I still have a lot of affection for them).

  • If you're a Who fan who does fic, or reviews, or art, or vids, or podcasts, or any other content you want promoting to other Who fans? please request to be added to our watch list - I'd really REALLY love to have more Dreamwidth-hosted content on there.
(X-posted from [site community profile] dw_community_promo)
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-20 08:48 pm

So, yeah, I was on the radio earlier...

... if you want to listen to me, load up this show on BBC iPlayer (you DON'T have to be in the UK, apparently, but you do need flash). I am in a group discussion for the last half hour, so two and a half hours in. Fellow Lib Dems might want to start at about one hour 45 minutes, though, because my lovely regional chair, the fabulous Stewart Golton was on at that point, and I thought he was rather good.

I... don't think I did too badly. I could have done better. I'm glad I got the dig in about Niggle Farridge though :)

It all felt very good-natured, despite our areas of disagreement (we'd all had half an hour or so to get to know each other first). And Nicky the Entrepreneur and Heather the charity CEO and I are now following each other on twitter and plotting going for a jar together at some point. AND I recced the pub on Dewsbury station to the producers of the show on their way home; I hope they enjoyed it. I mean, if you're GOING to be waiting for a TPE at Dewsbury, it'd be rude not to...

Thank you to everyone who wished me good luck earlier. It really is much appreciated.
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-20 03:34 pm

Off to meet the beeb

I'm on my way to Morley to be on radio 5 live's drive time discussion show. I'm a radio 4 girl through and through, so not sure what'll happen. Hopefully won't embarrass myself TOO badly…
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-20 11:00 am

The Blood is the Life for 20-04-2017

miss_s_b: (Blogging: Mod hat)
2017-04-20 10:45 am

An explanation of my colour scheme, and a fix for those who don't like it.

More than one person yesterday mentioned a dislike of my colour scheme. The word "Geocities" was uttered. I am not unaware that everywhere else on the internet is bright white with lots of free space, and that my colour scheme might be seen as undesirable, so I thought I ought to explain (especially for non-LJ/DW users) why it is as it is:

If you use Dreamwidth (or any other code fork of LJ) your blog is not just your blog; it is also a social network and an RSS reader. Look up at the top right of any page on my blog, you'll see "what I am reading" - it does what it says on the link. It is my reading page.

If, like me, you suffer from crippling migraines, which can easily be triggered by looking at lots of bright white screens, this is a positive boon. It means that you can set up your style to be as restful and brain-kind as possible for you and it doesn't matter for any other DW or LJ user, because they have done the same. Dark purple on black, for me, means I can spend a lot, lot longer looking at the screen before it starts to hurt. I always have twitter/tweetdeck on Night Mode when I look at it, and Lib Dem Voice has a dark theme because I asked for it; pretty much every other blog or website I read regularly, I read on my reading page here.

However, I am aware that lots of people really like looking at bright white screens, and find them much easier to read. If this is you, you can add "?style=light" to the end of any url on Dreamwidth (not just my blog, any Dreamwidth url) to get a black text on white screen colour scheme. It makes the landing page of my blog look like this. And, as [personal profile] sfred points out below, if you're a Dreamwidth user yourself, you can add "?style=mine" and everything looks absolutely optimal for your own preferences!

I hope that helps :)
miss_s_b: (Default)
2017-04-20 10:24 am
Entry tags:

A snipping from Google Analytics

Holy shit, you guys...

a screencap from google analytics

My regular readership is not tiny. Yesterday was... impressive.
Most people looked at more than one post, too.
And links came from EVERYWHERE: obviously, twitter was by far the biggest source of links; Lib Dem Voice, HuffPo, and fellow LDs like Zoe O'Connell and Nick Barlow were also expected, but... Mumsnet? Two different Liverpool local websites? Outpost Gallifrey? And DuckDuckGo, which implies people were searching for me...

Genuinely kind of bowled over here.