[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by admin

The numbers show that this is simply not the case

You read and see this all the time both inside the Westminster bubble and out of it. Ukip voters, so the pervasive narrative goes, are simply ex-CON voters who can, if Lynton Crosby plays his cards properly, be seduced back into the fold thus providing the blues with the platform to secure an overall majority next May.

Thus the following is a statement that many might find hard to comprehend because it runs right across this current thinking

    Even if the Tories were able to win back half their UKIP defectors it would add barely 1.5% to current vote shares.

The reason why that doesn’t sound right is that one of the basic widely perceived “facts” of modern politics does not stand up to scrutiny.

Just look at breakdown in the pie chart above of current UKIP support in the marginals based on the latest data from Ashchroft polling. 2010 CON voters form only a quarter of UKIP support in the key LAB-CON marginals. If the Tories were able to win back half of them that would make up about one eighth of the kippers – and one eighth of the 13% UKIP figure in this polling is not going to make that much difference.

We see the same broad breakdown in standard national polling yet somehow so many cling to this “belief” so central to any analysis of GE2015.

Let me say that I, like so many others, have been guilty of making the wrong assumptions about where UKIP support is coming from.

Trying to win the kippers back is certainly something that the Tories should be doing but there are far far fewer ex-CON voters to be “swung back” than is widely assumed.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter

(no subject)

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 10:39 pm
synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)
[personal profile] synecdochic
Midafternoon nap times three:
Read more... )

Six of the Best 459

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 09:46 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_england_feed
David Higgerson rightly criticises the Local Government Association for its press campaign rubbishing freedom of information legislation.

Moscow dreamt of transforming southeastern Ukraine into a client state, but the Kremlin's plans are fraying as Kiev pushes back, says Anna Nemtsova on Foreign Policy.

"I really fear that higher education is moving down a slippery slope where the fetish for the best ratings and indicators ensures that we merely hold student’s hands, rather than ignite interest in their own studies," says Alister Scott on The Conversation.

Dave Cooper writes on Echoes of the Past about falling in love with Kate Bush at the age of 5: "Usually my pocket money was spent entirely on sweets or an occasional ice lolly, but I didn't mind in the least that the last month's worth of accrued funds were all spent on a record instead - after all, it was the Angel Lady. This probably set an important precedent for me, as the vast majority of my 'pocket money' has been spent on music ever since."

The Beatles want to sexually hypnotise you into Communism, warns Amber Frost on Dangerous Minds.

"What gives this book staying power is the fact that it inspired better books by later authors, and that it is the first to set out the post-apocalyptic coming-of-age formula that still defines much of the genre more than a century later." The Finch & Pea on After London by Richard Jefferies - "the first modern post-apocalypse novel".

Friday's Unscientific Poll

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 08:52 pm
nanila: YAY (me: abby)
[personal profile] nanila
Poll #15822 Pseudonymity
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 16

I am comfortable with connecting my "in-person" physical identity and my online identities.

View Answers

Never or hardly ever. I prefer to keep them separate
3 (20.0%)

Conditionally by topic, e.g. only with respect to things I've posted about publicly on my journal
2 (13.3%)

Conditionally by sphere of interaction, e.g. only in person or only online
2 (13.3%)

Conditionally by individual, e.g. only with those I know well
6 (40.0%)

Conditionally by venue, e.g. only my Twitter identity but not my Tumblr
8 (53.3%)

0 (0.0%)

Here is another condition I apply to connecting my online and in-person presences:

(Inspired by a LonCon3 panel writeup from [personal profile] kaberett. I'm still thinking this topic through and the poll hasn't come out exactly as I wanted to phrase it but it's a start.)
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
A lot of people on my twitter timeline were sharing this article approvingly this morning, and given that it prompted one of the very rare disagreements I have with my beloved PPC for Calder Valley, I thought I would detail my issues with it. And the first issue comes right at the beginning:
a small engined car with four people in it has lower emissions, lower pollution, than four people traveling by train. So it simply isn’t true that everyone benefits from more train travel
The second sentence there does not follow on from the first. While the first sentence is, indeed, true, when was the last time you saw a car of ANY engine size being used as a commuter vehicle that had more than one or two people in it? And aside from that small disingenuousness, whoever said that the only benefit that everyone gets from train travel is lower pollution? There is also less congestion for those who DO drive, and there is also the small matter of the fact that for many people public transport is the only option.

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

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

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

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

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

*typo included was in the article, not mine. As was the assumption that the minimum wage guy cycles to work, while the posh city gent uses the train *rolleyes*
**not income tax anyway. There are, of course, other taxes available.
[syndicated profile] millenniumelephant_feed

Posted by Millennium Dome


We've got just ONE day to go before DOCTOR WOO returns with brand new Doctor, Sir Peter of Capaldi.

So we've been celebrating by watching all of the Grand Moff's stories so far.

It would be UNFAIR to suggest that this hospitalised Daddy Alex, but we have to confess that our little remake of Carry On Doctor may have slightly DERAILED our Matt Marathon… our scaling the Matt-a-horn. Sufficient to say that Season Six has proved… difficult.

But looking back at the GRAND PLAN we suddenly realised we'd been looking at it all wrong! What was it we'd missed? It was right there on screen from the beginning, from The Eleventh Hour!

Who destroyed the Universe? The Silence didn't destroy the Universe; the idea is absurd. Only two powers in all of space and time have been seen to have the power to do that. And the Daleks were trying to stop it.

What did we see in The Eleventh Hour? We saw what was on the other side of the Crack. The Crack in the surface of the Universe. We saw what was on the inside. Inside Time. And it was a PRISON.

Where in the Moffat era would you hide the Time Lords? Where else but inside a lost story. Inside THE lost story.

The other side of the Crack isn't Gallifrey.

It's Shada.

Happy Capal-day!

Whatever happened to the Interim Peers List... Redux

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 04:40 pm
[syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

Posted by Mark Valladares

More than four years ago, I took a look back at the Party's concept of electing its nominees to the House of Lords, a concept that, to be honest, I had some scepticism about at the time, and to some extent still do.

I started with a look at the 1999 list, from which nine, including the woman who had subsequently become my wife, had been selected. Since then, Monroe Palmer - number 17 on that list - and Dee Doocey - number 38 - were elevated in the first Coalition list in November 2010 (the May 2010 list was Gordon Brown's dissolution list).

Next, the 2004 list. Two people, Robin Teverson and Celia Thomas, were preferred in 2006,  and Monroe was on that list too - at number 4 this time - whilst Dee had chosen not to run. However, there were three more names on that list who went on to get a peerage. Ben Stoneham, at number 12, was another on the November 2010 list, as was Jonathan Marks (number 28). And, loosely sandwiched between the two at number 24, was Julie Smith, whose peerage was announced earlier this month.

The 2006 list drew an even shorter straw, with only four appointments made during its lifetime - Sue Garden (number 7) got a thoroughly justified nomination in September 2007. However, four more women on that list - Dee Doocey (number 2 and already mentioned above), Kate Parminter (number 3), Olly Grender (number 9) and Meral Ece (number 21) - went to get peerages, Kate and Meral in May 2010, and Olly in August last year.

So, what has happened since then?...

The smell of macaroni [part 3]

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 01:38 pm
[syndicated profile] improbable_research_feed

Posted by Martin Gardiner

A_MacaroniWhile vision did play an important role in the understanding of both the macaroni as a phenomenon and the pleasure garden as a space, to focus on vision, to the exclusion of other senses and embodiment, is to miss an important means of understanding both macaronis and pleasure gardens. We must understand the pleasure gardens and macaronis as multi-sensory. In particular, I show that olfaction was a crucial means of understanding the macaroni’s place within the pleasure gardens. Pleasure gardens were a place of sensory pleasures and dangers where one was expected to, and attempted to, cultivate one’s senses in particular ways. Macaronis were frequently described in terms of their perfumes and essences, and yet none of the extensive work on macaronis has interrogated this.”

The Macaroni’s ‘Ambrosial Essences’: Perfume, Identity and Public Space in Eighteenth-Century England. TULLETT, W. (2014), is awaiting publication in the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies.

Further info: on Macaroni here at Wikipedia.

Note: “The place or exact nature of the ‘Macaroni Club’, which Horace Walpole first described in February 1764, has been the subject of much speculation but has yielded no firm evidence or answers.”

Also see: Heidegger meets Macaroni in New York State (which came first, the macaroni or the hole?)

Previous article: The smell of macaroni [part 2]

This concludes our short series on the smell of macaroni.

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by admin

It had to happen at some stage, I suppose, but today’s Populus online LAB lead of 6% brings to an end an extraordinary polling sequence – that those polls published on Mondays tended to show movement towards Labour while those coming out on Fridays moved back towards the Tories.

Quite why this is hard to say. Last month Anthony Wells at UKPR ran the numbers through his computer and found that since this polling series was established in July 2013 LAB was averaging about a point more in the Monday surveys.

I’ve done some analysis of Populus samples and nothing seems to stand out.

Is there something different about online samples during the weekend compared with those mid-week? Could it be that respondents felt different during the weekend and were more inclined to the red team?

I don’t know if this is simply a fluke but it has been fun charting it. I like the reaction from Tory activists – “let’s be thankful that general elections take place on Thursday not at the weekend”.

Mike Smithson

Ranked in top 33 most influential over 50s on Twitter

Words Aren’t Magic

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 02:00 pm
[syndicated profile] geekfeminism_feed

Posted by Annalee

So let’s talk about This Shit Right Here (that’s an archive.today link), in which technology consultant Jeff Reifman accuses Geek feminism blogger Leigh Honeywell and advice columnist Captain Awkward of harassment.

Last November, Reifman wrote a lengthy post about his relationship with an ex who eventually asked him to stop contacting her, then threatened to get a court order when he did not. He used her as an example to decry what he called ‘cutoff culture,’ and to suggest that women who want to cut exes out of their lives have an obligation to find some kind of ‘compromise’ to make sure their ex’s emotional needs are met.

Leigh and the Captain, both feminist activists, called him out. The Captain did so in this excellent post breaking down the entitlement and abuser-logic in his arguments. Leigh called him out on twitter. He wrote something in public; they challenged it in public.

Reifman then sent Leigh an email that prompted her to publicly and privately tell him never to contact her again.

So he wrote a blog post in which Leigh is very easy to identify to trash talk her for ‘harassing’ him, implying that it’s a a violation of Double Union’s Anti-Harassment Policy for her to call out his enormously-creepy behavior towards an ex who’d asked him to leave her alone (including publicly hashing out his relationship with said ex with roughly as much care for hiding her identity as he showed for hiding Leigh’s).
The Geek Feminism Code Of Conduct contains a section on things we specifically don’t consider harassment:

The Geek Feminism community prioritizes marginalized people’s safety over privileged people’s comfort. The Geek Feminism Anti-Abuse Team will not act on complaints regarding:

  • ‘Reverse’ -isms, including ‘reverse racism,’ ‘reverse sexism,’ and ‘cisphobia’ (because these things don’t exist)
  • Reasonable communication of boundaries, such as “leave me alone,” “go away,” or “I’m not discussing this with you.”
  • Refusal to explain or debate social justice concepts
  • Communicating in a ‘tone’ you don’t find congenial
  • Criticizing racist, sexist, cissexist, or otherwise oppressive behavior or assumptions

I wrote that section because people on an axis of privilege have a nasty tendency to appropriate social justice terminology (like privilege and harassment) and twist it around to serve their own point of view. They treat these words like magic incantations, as if it’s the words, rather than the argument, that convinces people.

Words are not magic incantations. They have meanings. Using a word without understanding its meaning just because you’ve seen other people successfully use it to convey a point is magical thinking.

Sometimes, the people who employ these words as magic incantations mistake other people’s refusal to engage for a victory–they must have successfully turned social justice sorcerers’ magic words against us, because we won’t argue with them anymore. Reifman himself engages in a version of this fallacy when he armchair-diagnoses his critics as ‘triggered’ rather than recognizing that their anger is a natural reaction to his demands for free emotional labor. The truth is more mundane: most of us are not interested in teaching reading comprehension to people whose comprehension is willfully limited to concepts that support their privilege.

This is the email that led Leigh to publicly tell Reifman to leave her alone:

From: Jeff Reifman
Date: Mon, May 12, 2014 at 11:03 PM
Subject: Responding to your tweets
To: Leigh Honeywell
Cc: [redacted mutual friend]

Hi Leigh, I don’t know if you remember meeting me – but I think we met
at Elysian, I’m actually close friends with [redacted mutual friend]. I saw your
tweets and your medium note and thought I would reach out.

I noticed that the comment policy on your blog asks that commenters be “
non-discriminatory, friendly, funny, or perspicacious” … I’m super
open to a discussion about this as long as comments are civil and
constructive. I would hope you would tweet as you wish others to
publicly comment on your blog.

Using the word shitbag … and repeated mentions of “fuck” both on
twitter and on medium doesn’t represent civil discussion very well.

the feedback I’ve received from the cutoff essay has been overall very
positive – but sometimes it triggers people … and I’ve now, only
twice, received attacks like this – you’re the second.

I’m open to talking about it – especially if you want to highlight
specifics … but I ask that you be civil and constructive …[sic]

Jeff Reifman

Translation: Tone argument, demand for free emotional labor and education, tone argument, tone argument, lurkers support me in email, tone argument.

You’ll notice that he CC’d a mutual friend of theirs. Then he went and wrote this follow-up post, using barely-pixelated avatars and so many direct quotes that Leigh and the Captain are laughably easy to identify. So for all his thinky thoughts about ‘shaming,’ he clearly has no problem with trying to shame people who call out his extremely inappropriate behavior.

Too bad he’s trying to do so with magic incantations.

Cool Stuff Friday

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 09:30 am
jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

I have no idea how it’s Friday again already. I’ve spent the past week in the Book-Finishing Time Vortex. Everything was so spinny and colorful…

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

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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