Saturday, April 18th, 2015 07:56 am
strangecharm: (Default)
[personal profile] strangecharm
I had an extremely odd dream.

Andrew and I were on vacation, somewhere in Britain but there was a Target there. We went in and, seeing that they had a counter where you could change your name by deed poll, I spontaneously decided to.

I didn't have anything particular I wanted to change my name to, but I was suddenly very keen on having a name people could spell and understand when I said it ("Holly" sounds different in my accent than in the ones people around me use, and I have had to spell it a lot recently...And of course my last name continues to be a nightmare). To illustrate the difficulty of my name, in the dream I had to write out my current/old name a couple of times, and I kept making odd spelling mistakes and writing it illegibly.

Since I wanted to change my name but I didn't know what to, dream-Andrew suggested "Morag," which I wasn't sure about but couldn't think of any reason why not. The guy at the departmet-store deed-poll counter (this should so be a thing) was Scottish, so he thought that was a good idea. I thought I might keep my own middle name -- which is Michelle -- but then I saw he'd written "Lynsey" down on the forms (this is also how I learned I was apparently going to "Jones" as a surname) which I did not like, so the three of us had an argument about what my new middle name should be...It was nearly "Ginny" but then the Scottish man said something about "Kean" (and, in the way with dreams, I immediately knew it was that spelling) and I excitedly latched onto that.

So I happily walked away with a big envelope full of paperwork and a list of all the things I had to notify of the name change...all emblazoned with the name Morag Kean Jones.

I'd love to know what dream-world I was living in where a Scottish first name, an Irish middle name usually expected to belong to a gender different from mine were going to be easier to navigate the world with than the name I've already got!

It amused me when I woke up (which is good because I woke up way too early to the noise of the damn smoke alarm whose batteries need changing but which I hav never been able to take apart to get at the batteries, so I'd have otherwise been very grumpy).

Waking-me hasn't ever really thought about changing my name, beyond using that as a rhetorical device to whine about how sick I am of having a name people get wrong, and the whole milliseconds it took to make the decision not to change my surname when I got married.

But in the dream, I didn't feel much attachment at all to my name. As I signed the paperwork, I distinctly remember being a little sad I would no longer have the same name as [personal profile] miss_s_b's daughter, and thus the still-running joke of her being my mum (a real thing! which, months after the misunderstanding that spawned it, is still an idea that makes me laugh) might have to die. But on the other hand, dream-me mused, it'd take Andrew absolutely ages to get used to calling me anything other than "Holly," and I'd enjoy laughing at him when he did.

I was vaguely aware there'd be a lot of bureaucracy to deal with in changing my name, but I didn't dwell on that nearly as much as losing my affiliation with another awesome Holly and watching Andrew get something wrong.

Brains are such funny things, aren't they?

A country haunted by its past

Saturday, April 18th, 2015 04:51 am
[syndicated profile] peter_black_am_feed
Bosnia Herzegovina is struggling to come to terms with its past. When the war ended almost 20 years ago now, there were 40,000 missing persons in the former Yugoslavia. The scars of a long and bloody conflict run deep. Men await trial for genocide even now, whilst many families do not know the final fate of their loved ones.

The political settlement that ended the conflict left unresolved divisions. There are now three Presidents, a Bosniak, a Serb and a Croat, children are educated in separate schools and taught three separate versions of history, the country itself is effectively divided through a second tier of government into two entities roughly equal in size: the Bosnian Croat Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Bosnian Serb-led Republican Srpska, and the absence of a truth and reconciliation commission means that many issues cannot be properly addressed.

The Assembly Commission delegation that visited last week spent a lot of time meeting survivors of that conflict and those working to piece together what happened and to help the families of victims reach some form of closure. We visited the Sarajevo Tunnel Museum and the International Commission on Missing Persons as well as the Srebrenica-Potocari Memorial Centre.

The first of the photos was taken at the Podrinje Identification Project, which is a forensic anthropology unit. We were told that there are 8,000 body bags in that room containing remains and personal belongings. Of the 8,372 men and boys massacred by Serb forces at Srebrenica, 6,500 have been identified, over 1,000 are still missing.

The other pictures show the Assembly delegation meeting the Mothers of Srebrenica and laying a wreath at the Potocari memorial cemetery. 

We were told that bodies were buried and reburied at different sites, some spread across as many as five mass graves. Some relatives have only been able to bury parts of their loved ones, In one case a mother buried her son wiithout his head, and only a few bones of her husband.

The use of DNA to help with the process of identification has been ground-breaking and is being used elsewhere in the world to identify victims of other tragedies. The process though cannot eradicate the pain or the trauma.

This is a country traumatised by its past. Its economy is struggling, youth unemployment is amongst the highest in the world and its application to join the European Union seems doomed to failure.

We must remember those who were murdered in cold blood as part of some misconceived policy of ethnic cleansing, the children and their parents who were mowed down in cold blood in the centre of Sarajevo, the deprivation and hardship experienced by the inhabitants of that City in a siege that lasted nearly four years, and the men and boys who were killed on the road trying to escape the Serb offensive.

The international community must also bear some responsibility for failing to intervene earlier, and for the UN troops who allowed the slaughter to be carried out.

The process of reconstruction has begun but it is hampered by the ghosts of the past and the settlement that ended the war..
andrewducker: (Default)
[personal profile] andrewducker

(Also, I'm enjoying being able to set up posts for the future. My tool seems to work really well.)
[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by David Herdson

Contradictory nuances make it hard for both CON or LAB

You might think that the extremely positive employment figures released yesterday would be cause for a great deal of campaigning from the Conservatives, both positively on their record and negatively against Labour. After all, the repeated criticisms and past predictions of doom from the Eds Balls and Miliband can now be set against the facts of the UK having one of the fastest-growing economies in the developed world, record employment, rising real wages (finally), unemployment at a seven-year low and the timely endorsement from the head of the IMF.

To an extent, you’d be right to so think, but while both Tories and Lib Dems played up the figures as evidence of their policy success, the game is too complicated to allow them to simply run on that record. For a start, there are still flies in the ointment: the deficit remains too high, productivity improvement too low, and while overall wages may be growing, that’s only started recently and is a long way from being a universally shared experience. But the reticence to trumpet the numbers is about more than that; it’s not necessarily in the interests of the Conservatives for the economy to be seen to be doing too well.

The relevant history here is 1992 and 1997. In the earlier election, the Conservatives not only had the better rating on the economy but that subject was foremost in the election debate; which the Tories duly won. Five years later, not only had their relative ratings slipped but other subjects mattered more – in the Mori issues index, unemployment was ranked fourth and the economy sixth, behind the NHS, education, Europe and crime. Once things are going well enough, the question turns from how to make enough money to what you spend it on. And Labour traditionally has the edge on spending money.

On that note, what is perhaps surprising is that more hasn’t been made of the record of two of Gordon Brown’s closest advisors while in office. Yes, plenty of people blame this government for the cuts but plenty don’t, or blame both roughly equally, and elections are won at the margins. You don’t need to persuade all the people, just enough make the difference. Furthermore, in this election, the Tories don’t even need to persuade some of those supporting Labour (though obviously it helps if they can), when plenty of supporters from last time have drifted to UKIP. Again, while there are lots of UKIP supporters who were previously non-voters or non-Blue, that doesn’t matter; the primary target audience is those who did back the Tories in 2010.

The problem of course with the message that Labour can’t be trusted or that the job isn’t yet done is that they both have the negative subtext that austerity is still needed. Both parties have paid lip-service to closing the deficit but both have also engaged in a spending auction on the NHS and elsewhere. The public mood is not one for more austerity. Or perhaps not even one for responsibility. The most recent Mori issues index poll had more people saying that how the respective parties handle the NHS would determine their vote than the question of economic competence. In comparison, whereas in 2010 fully 55% rated the economy as an important issue, this time only half as many say so, with the issue dropping to third, behind immigration and the NHS (which was only fifth-most important in 2010).

The result has been to minimise policy differences and close down debate, giving the public very little to go on than the (almost certainly accurate) perceptions that the Tories would cut more and Labour would spend and borrow more – but that won’t shift votes. It is, however, why Labour is also keen not to downplay the economy too much: it would reinvigorate a dangerous subject as well as undermining their own spending plans.

So we have a situation where the Tories don’t want claim too much credit for fear the electorate will wrongly confirm a growing belief that the ‘job is done’ and a Labour party which has gone quiet on the government’s record because of the mixed messages it sends about its own policies. And we wonder why the polls are static.

David Herdson

p.s. One man who may be happy for the debate to move on from the employment figures is Mark Carney. Back in August 2013, he said that interest rates wouldn’t begin to rise until unemployment fell below 7%, which could take three years. At the time, the rate was 7.8%; yesterday, it stood at 5.6% – triple the fall in half the time – prompting the question as to when rates will start to rise and QE be wound back. With the economy expanding firmly, the stock market at record highs and lending seemingly more relaxed than it was, one does wonder whether the Bank’s crisis-state monetary policy is still appropriate, even when accompanied by the current low inflation. Though you can bet that electioneering politicians will steer clear of answering that question too.

Mapping the Political Twittersphere

Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:45 pm
[syndicated profile] demos_feed

Our Centre for the Analysis of Social Media (CASM), a collaboration between Demos and the University of Sussex, is exploring the role of Twitter and other social media in the British General Election. As part of this project, CASM has mapped the political Twittersphere of the United Kingdom, capturing the different voices in the conversation - including MPs and the media - and how they are interacting between their various groups. 

In doing so, the 'galaxy' map reveals an increasingly contested political environment, anchored by the mainstream media, but one that largely sees conversations taking place within, not across, party lines.

You can explore the CASM Twitter Galaxy here.

If you are interested in talking to CASM further about the Twitter Galaxy, please get in touch with DirectorsJamie Bartlett and Carl Miller.

For press and media enquiries, or to arrange interviews, please contact Sophie Gaston.


I love AO3's weird tagging

Friday, April 17th, 2015 06:35 pm
darthfangirl: a cat watches a fish (bad kitty!)
[personal profile] darthfangirl
Actual tags I have clicked on on AO3 today:

-Tony Stark needs a hug
-Tony Stark has Daddy issues
-Howard Stark's A+ parenting
-Darcy Lewis is Tony Stark's daughter

That last one has over 100 fics! Is that even a thing? I didn't know that was a thing! Of course, now I'm going to have to read all of them. Oh internet, you are always full of strange and wonderful surprises.

The rewatchathon restarts!

Friday, April 17th, 2015 10:36 pm
nostalgia: (Default)
[personal profile] nostalgia
Oh good, the Slitheen. But I am restarting RIGHT NOW because the faster I watch them the sooner I will hit the good stuff.

Aliens of London )

NEXT TIME: "I could save the world but lose you... everyone else is chopped liver to me."

Vanished Leicester: Carlton Street

Friday, April 17th, 2015 08:38 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_england_feed
Copyright © Dennis Calow

Back to the University of Leicester Special Collections for this photograph of Carlton Street before redevelopment in 1965.

Carlton Street, close to the Royal Infirmary, still exists.
[syndicated profile] liberal_england_feed
Allegations of child abuse - which he and his family have always denied - against Lord Janner were first aired publicly during the trial of Frank Beck.

Beck, who was in charge of a number of children's homes in Leicestershire including two in Market Harborough, was imprisoned for serious sexual offences against children in 1991 and dies behind bars three years later.

But the judge did his very best to ensure that those allegations were never heard. First Mr Justice Edwin Jowitt ruled that the trial could not be reported.

This ban was lifted only after the Guardian, Times, Independent, Daily Telegraph and Press Association went to the Court of Appeal. You can read a contemporary report of this appeal from the Guardian on the Spotlight on Abuse site - I have also borrowed it as an illustration here.

Then, Mr Justice Jowitt tried a different tactic. Desiring Progress has a contemporary Press Association report that begins:
A judge intervened in the Leicestershire child sex abuse trial today to prevent names of “people in high places” being revealed.
He was unable to do so and serious allegations against Greville Janner were heard in court and reported in the press. See Spotlight on Abuse again for a contemporary report of this.

After an interlude in the Commons in which Janner was cheered by a claque led by Keith Vaz, there came the public inquiry into abuse in Leicestershire children's homes.

This was conducted by Andrew Kirkwood QC, who decided that it should hear all its evidence in private. That report became hard to find over the years, although the University of Leicester's library has always had one. Today you can find a copy on the county council website.

Local rumour had it that when Frank Beck gave his evidence to the inquiry at Gartree Prison he mentioned a number of prominent names.

I am writing this because I have a strong feeling of unfinished business from the past and also to point you to a couple of sites that have assembled contemporary reports on this and other affairs.

One reason I am against the idea of a right to be forgotten is that allowing the powerful to scour their pasts will make it harder to gather such evidence in future and harder to right wrongs that the authorities have failed to right the first time around.

Three weeks to go

Friday, April 17th, 2015 07:40 pm
[syndicated profile] uk_polling_report_feed

Posted by Anthony Wells

Here are this week’s GB polls:

Opinium/Observer (9/4) – CON 36%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 11%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (10/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/S Times (11/4) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
YouGov/Sun (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 36%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Ashcroft (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
ICM/Guardian (12/4) – CON 39%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 7%, GRN 7%
Populus (12/4) – CON 33%, LAB 33%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 15%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (13/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 6%
TNS (13/4) – CON 34%, LAB 32%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (14/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
YouGov/Sun (15/4) – CON 34%, LAB 35%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 13%, GRN 5%
Ipsos MORI/Standard (15/4) – CON 33%, LAB 35%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 10%, GRN 8%
Panelbase (16/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 8%, UKIP 16%, GRN 4%
YouGov/Sun (16/4) – CON 34%, LAB 34%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 14%, GRN 5%
Populus (16/4) – CON 33%, LAB 34%, LDEM 9%, UKIP 14%, GRN 4%
Survation/Mirror (17/4) – CON 34%, LAB 33%, LDEM 7%, UKIP 17%, GRN 3%

Voting intention continues to be pretty much static, with levels of Conservative and Labour support extremely close. There were sixteen polls published in the last week, nine had the two parties within a point of each other. The UKPR polling average is back to showing a tie – CON 34%(+1), LAB 34%(nc), LDEM 8%(-1), UKIP 14%(-1), GRN 5%(nc). It is hardly been an exciting election campaign anyway, but certainly nothing seems to have made any significant impact upon voting intention and we are running out of time for anything to do so. The first postal ballots will have gone out this week.

Other polls

This week we’ve also had ComRes polling of Lib Dem seats in the South West and Ashcroft polling of some seats in Scotland. I’ve written about both of them at length already – Ashcroft here and ComRes here.

Week fifteen

This week was manifesto week – the five main GB parties all published their manifestos, though the SNP are saving theirs for later in the campaign. YouGov have done two bits of polling on the manifesto for the Times and the Sun.

The most widely supported policy in the Labour manifesto was to reduce the deficit every year (76% support – largely because it got the backing of Tory voters too), followed by the promise to raise the minimum wage to £8 (71% support), freezing utility bills (65%) and the mansion tax (61%) – none of their main policy announcements got a thumbs down.

Looking at the Conservative manifesto the most popular policy was linking the personal tax allowance to the minimum wage (supported by 80%, again because it got wide cross party support), followed by stopping above inflation rail fare rises (67%) and lowering the benefit cap to £23k (65%). Unlike Labour some of the main Conservative policies got a thumbs down – opening 500 new Free Schools only got 26% support, the flagship announcement of extending right to buy to housing associations only got 28% support.

I shall make my usual caveats about overestimating the importance of individual policies. Despite Labour’s individual policies polling better, in the same poll the Conservatives had a narrow lead on having the best policies and ideas for the country (29% Conservative, 26% Labour). Neither do people pay much attention to these announcements – a separate YouGov poll for the Sun found that the right to buy policy was the only one of the manifesto policy announcements tested that a majority of people could correctly link to the right party – in most cases less than a third of people were able to say which party had proposed it.


The latest forecasts from Election Forecast, May 2015, Elections Etc, the Guardian and YouGov are below, as well as the less regular prediction from the Polling Observatory team who released some new numbers today. As ever, all show a hung Parliament, but most are now showing Labour with more seats in a hung Parliament – with the notable exception of Steve Fisher’s model, which has the Tories with about 30 more seats than Labour. On the subject of the differences between the models, Chris Hanretty of the Election Forecast team wrote a blog post earlier this week.

Elections Etc – Hung Parliament, CON 292(+3), LAB 260(-6), LD 22(nc), SNP 51(+2), UKIP 4(-1)
Election Forecast – Hung Parliament, CON 280(-2), LAB 277(+2), LD 27(-1), SNP 42(+1), UKIP 1(nc)
May 2015 – Hung Parliament, CON 268(+3), LAB 276(-3), LD 26(nc), SNP 54(nc), UKIP 3(nc)
Guardian – Hung Parliament, CON 269(-2), LAB 271(nc), LD 29(nc), SNP 55(+2), UKIP 4(nc)
YouGov Nowcast – Hung Parliament, CON 266(+2), LAB 279(+2), LD 27(-1), SNP 50(-5), UKIP 5(+1)
Polling Observatory – Hung Parliament, CON 268, LAB 278, LD 28, SNP 49, UKIP 3

Lord Bonkers' Diary: "Bomb on the Buses"

Friday, April 17th, 2015 07:00 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_england_feed
Bomb on the Buses

To my solicitor to discuss the latest turn in my legal action against MegaGalactic Studios of Hollywood, CA. Perhaps you remember the film Speed, which was released some years ago? It concerned a bus with a bomb on board that would go off pop is said bus’s speed fell below a certain figure.

Well, here’s the thing, that film’s plot, twist for twist, was copied from a film we made at Oakham Studios back in the 1970s.

Seeking actors who were well versed in the practicalities of operating a bus, I hit upon the idea of recruiting the cast on On the Buses en bloc. The result was that Bomb on the Buses was wildly popular – who could forget the scene where poor Olive is rescued from the speeding bus? Lines of dialogue such as “Blimey, Stan, keep your foot down” and “Don’t you dare touch that brake, Butler” were on everyone’s lips.

I leave the office having given the instruction to instruct counsel.

Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10.

Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...

Former MP for Montgomeryshire is a fruitcake

Friday, April 17th, 2015 06:40 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_england_feed

I know what you are thinking and it's not worthy of you.

Because the County Times is reporting that the former Conservative MP for Montgomeryshire, Delwyn Williams, has been backing the UKIP candidate Des Parkinson’s election campaign in the constituency.

Williams won Montgomeryshire from Emlyn Hooson in 1979, only to lose it to Alex Carlile in 1983.
[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

The turning of the tide or just sample variation?

With all poll movements we must set out the normal caveats and these are just two polls.

But the blue team will find it heartening.

Opinions I Am Sick Of: A Short List

Friday, April 17th, 2015 05:56 pm
[syndicated profile] andrew_hickey_feed

Posted by Andrew Hickey

“I don’t like $votingsystem, because it makes $party more likely to win.”
Every voting system has plus and minus points, but they should be evaluated on how democratic they are, not on which party, if any, they favour. If you’re going to do the latter, you might as well just advocate a dictatorship, since that’s what you really want.

“The left-wing ex-SDP part of the Lib Dems should split away from the right-wing ex-Liberal Party part”
Anyone who says this doesn’t have a clue what they’re talking about, in many, many, different ways.

“There are no security problems with electronic voting. I know this because I have thought for a whole ten seconds about it”

“If you think Brian Wilson’s new album has autotune on it, it’s because you have a secret agenda to do down Brian and you’re working for Mike Love”

“I don’t like AV because I don’t like party list systems”

Most of these can basically be summed up as “I’m going to loudly and confidently express an opinion despite having never investigated the facts and having no interest in doing so.”

Opinions I am sick of hearing: a short list

Friday, April 17th, 2015 07:18 pm
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
Inspired by (ok totally blatantly nicked from Andrew Hickey)

- "David Cameron just looks more like a Prime Minister than $other party leader" - yes, because choosing a PM based on what they look like is EXACTLY the best way to choose.

- "Nigel Farage taps into a populism that mainstream politicians can't" - Nigel Farage taps into the unthinking, mutually contradictory opinions of the pub bore who cares only for his own prejudices and not for petty little things like facts. There's a REASON most serious politicians don't follow that route.

- "The Liberal Democrats weren't perfect at $thing in coalition with the tories, so I'm going to vote labour, even though when they had a stonking great majority they were still worse at $thing than the current coalition. I shall do this to punish the Lib Dems for propping up a "tory" government which is, in fact, a damn sight less tory than the last labour government."

Interesting Links for 17-04-2015

Friday, April 17th, 2015 07:00 pm

More Ashcroft Scottish polling

Friday, April 17th, 2015 04:14 pm
[syndicated profile] uk_polling_report_feed

Posted by Anthony Wells

Lord Ashcroft has released a new batch of Scottish constituency polling. Full details are here. As regular readers will know, national polls in Scotland suggest an SNP landslide with no sign of the SNP lead narrowing as the election approaches. In fact the most recent Scottish polls from YouGov and TNS showed the SNP lead growing. Lord Ashcroft has previously carried out two waves of Scottish polling, both showing the SNP winning in seats that were previously thought very safe.

Across the two previous waves Ashcroft polled nineteen Labour seats, finding the SNP ahead in all except East Renfrewshire and Glasgow North East. He has also polled four Lib Dem held seats (finding solid SNP leads in three and a narrow SNP lead in Ross, Skye and Lochaber) and the one Tory seat in Scotland where he found a tie.

In this latest wave Ashcroft has returned to the five of the tighter races he polled earlier, and polled three more Lib Dem held Scottish seats for the first time. Most of the close races are no longer close – in Glasgow South West (where Labour have a 46% majority) Ashcroft found the SNP 21% ahead. In Paisley and Renfrewshire South, Douglas Alexander’s seat, he found an SNP lead of 11%. In East Renfewshire he found a 9% SNP lead – this is the seat of Labour’s Scottish leader Jim Murphy and one of the two seats where he previously found a Labour lead.

People commenting on the Scottish election seem to fall into two groups – those who expect an almost complete SNP walkover, and those who expect them to merely do extremely well, to take “only” thirty or forty seats. I think the logic of most people in that second group is simply down to the scale of the SNP landslide looking unrealistic – the belief that they can’t be doing that well. I am often the first to advise caution towards polls showing huge shifts, so it’s fair to be sceptical – with a landslide of this scale perhaps the polls could be overestimating the swing… but they are consistent across national and constituency polling, online and telephone, and if they are correct the SNP are headed for an overwhelming victory and Scottish Labour towards something close to wipeout.

The polling in the sole Tory seat in Scotland remains extremely close. In his last poll Ashcroft found a dead heat between the Conservatives and the SNP, this time he found an SNP lead of two points.

Turning to the Lib Dem held seats, last time round Ashcroft found only a five point SNP lead in Charlie Kennedy’s seat in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, that has now grown to fifteen points. He has now additionally polled North East Fife (Menzies Campbell’s seat) where he found a 13% SNP lead and East Dunbartonshire (Jo Swinson’s seat) where he found an 11% SNP lead. Finally he polled Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk – here he found a 20 point boost for the SNP, which is enough to make it into a three way marginal but not to put the SNP ahead – the poll found the Conservatives ahead on 30%, SNP 29%, LDEM 28%.

Note that the East Dunbartonshire is one of the seat where the Lib Dems have recently released their own private polling (which may or may not be a co-incidence!). Their own polling showed figures of CON 13%, LAB 16%, LDEM 35%, SNP 32%. The SNP are 8 points lower than in Ashcroft’s poll, the Lib Dems 6 points higher. I wrote about the Lib Dem’s own polling at more length here. The primary differences are that the Lib Dems prompt using candidate name, which is fair enough, and ask about how favourably people see their local MP before they ask that voting intention question, a more questionable approach. We shall see which is the better guide. The Lib Dems have not released any of their private polling for the other three Lib Dem seats Lord Ashcroft released polls for today, from which one must draw one’s own conclusions.

Dance The Linkspam Away (17 April 2015)

Friday, April 17th, 2015 04:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by spam-spam

This was the week of tableflip.club!

  • tableflip dot club: “Women are leaving your tech company because you don’t deserve to keep us around.”
  • Why Women in Tech Need to Start Flipping Tables | Motherboard: “I think the huge response to the piece makes it clear how much these are the shared experiences women in tech have, so I’m glad I did go all-out. I’ll probably reveal myself eventually. It’s not like people don’t already know my opinions, but commentary on individual issues are a bit different from a call for women in tech to flip all the tables :)”
  • Screw leaning in. It’s time to slam the door in Silicon Valley’s face | The Guardian: “Even as an outside observer, I found the tableflip.club manifesto energizing. It has the feeling of a furious tweetstorm or impassioned speech – it goes beyond a mission statement and into the realm of oratory. It’s a huge departure from the usual women-in-tech rhetoric, which usually focuses on prying the doors of the tech world open through education, a positive attitude and changing the work environment. Nobody ever advocates just slamming the door back in Silicon Valley’s face.”

Other links:

  • Not the affirmative action you meant, not the history you’re making | Epiphany 2.0: “See, in America we often forget that the various initiatives which made up the capital-A Affirmative Action program were based on policies and procedures that have always existed for white men… SFFdom has not been immune to this societal tendency to give straight white guys more, treat them more kindly, eagerly open doors to them that are firmly shut against others.”
  • Codes of conduct and the trade-offs of copyleft — Crooked Timber: “But the first step might be — if you’re trying to get your community to adopt a code of conduct, you might benefit by looking at other freedom-restricting tradeoffs the community is okay with, so you can draw out that comparison.”
  • Does 18F Pass the Bechdel Test for Tech? | 18F: “We decided to see how many 18F projects pass this modified test. To pass, a project had to have at least one function written by a woman dev that called another function written by another woman dev.”
  • This Public Shaming Is Not Like The Other | Buzzfeed: “What makes this book an uncomfortable, if distant, cousin of GamerGate and men’s rights activist logic is that it, too, relies on a series of false equivalencies and muddy distinctions in order to elevate being shamed on social media to epic proportions. These sorts of distortions are dangerous because they minimize — and even threaten to erase — far more systematic and serious problems that have taken years to even reach the public consciousness.”
  • Black Girls Code Founder: To Bring Diversity to Tech, First We Need Role Models | Inc.com: “Bryant credits her own mentor, an electrical engineering upperclassman she met in college who was black and female, for keeping her — a student from inner city Memphis — in technology and in school. ”
  • Help Me Help You | Jenna Pederson: “I am asked, in what turns out to be a not so awesome way, if I’ll consider speaking at a conference or event. And if I won’t, do I know any other women who will. Sometimes this request comes after the speaker list has already been set and organizers have realized they don’t have enough diversity on the speaker lineup. Or it comes in a passive-aggressive, backhanded comment like ‘Well, if only Jenna would have submitted a talk…’ with a side-glance my way. Wait… so now it’s my fault?”
  • As Tech Giants Push For Diversity, Blacks And Latinos Are Fleeing Once-Diverse San Francisco | International Business Times: “It’s been a year since many tech companies in Silicon Valley released workforce transparency reports laying bare a sorry track record in minority hiring and announced plans to be more inclusive. But the Bay Area’s changing demographics are working against them. Local African-American and Hispanic residents are employed only in minuscule numbers by the tech industry, and increasingly finding themselves priced out and forced to leave.”
  • The Attention Game | Accidentally in Code: “This idea that you do things for “exposure” where the formula is exposure -> ??? -> profit. OK maybe you can argue that this model works for Kim Kardashian but not, I think for most of us. It didn’t work for Monica Lewinsky. Exposure is not inherently valuable. The value is in what results from it.”
  • Female Programmer Denied Job Because of Her ‘Unprofessional’ Attire | Daily Dot: “Elizabeth is a senior at Oberlin College in Ohio, and like many college seniors, she’s currently interviewing for jobs. But one interview made her so angry that she took to Facebook to vent her frustration.”
  • What They Really Mean When They Say They’re Not a Feminist | Everyday Feminism: “If you don’t call yourself a feminist, see if you find some of your reasons here. The stories in this comic can help us all have more respect for the wide range of ways we stand up to oppression.”
  • Project Opportunity: Contribute Stories on Digital Labor | HASTAC: “I’m currently launching a project that will act as this kind of publication, using familiar aesthetics and tropes of tech and business media to tell digital labor stories that usually don’t get coverage. The aim is to use familiar media elements to disrupt (to use a popular tech-industry word) dialogues on digital technology and the labor it runs on.”
  • BGN’s Women in Gaming Series: Nichol Bradford | Black Girl Nerds: “Nichol is currently CEO of The Willow Group, whose mission is to permanently move 100 million people into a state of fundamental well-being by 2025. She is also the Executive Director of the Transformative Technology Lab at Sofia University that is working outside traditional research boundaries to find creative ways to manage the intersection of technology and consciousness. We had a chance to talk about what it takes to be the architect of your own success, the power of “raising your hand” to create opportunities and the benefits of being obsessive about your passions in life.”

We link to a variety of sources, some of which are personal blogs.  If you visit other sites linked herein, we ask that you respect the commenting policy and individual culture of those sites.

You can suggest links for future linkspams in comments here, or by using the “geekfeminism” tag on Pinboard, Delicious or Diigo; or the “#geekfeminism” tag on Twitter. Please note that we tend to stick to publishing recent links (from the last month or so).

Thanks to everyone who suggested links.

About This Blog

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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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