The fieldwork was Friday to Sunday inclusive, so some of it was conducted during Mark Reckless’ defection and Brooks Newmark’s resignation. There’ll probably be relief at Tory HQ, given that and the the polling was conducted in the aftermath of the Labour conference that they are up 1% and not down a significant amount. As with most other pollsters, there’s been no bounce for Labour post their conference. As ever, conference polling can be erratic, and we should wait until the after the conference season before reading too much into the polls.
On dealing with ISIS
Some 45 per cent of the public trust the Prime Minister to make the right decisions on tackling the jihadist group, but only 28 per cent trust the Labour leader to do so. Although 49 per cent do not trust Mr Cameron to make the right judgements on the issue, some 63 per cent do not trust Mr Miliband. Four in 10 (41 per cent) of Labour voters trust Mr Cameron to make the right decisions on Isis, but only 18 per cent of Conservative supporters trust Mr Miliband.
Some 48 per cent believe that taking part in such action will make Britain safer in the long term, while 42 per cent disagree. Men (53 per cent) are more likely to agree that such action will make the UK safer than women (41 per cent).
Only 38 per cent agree with the statement that the situation in Iraq and Syria is “none of our business and we should stay out of it,” while 56 per cent disagree.
Alex Massie writes about how David Cameron has lost his way:
What is David Cameron for? What kind of party, what kind of government, does he want to lead? If he knows, he’s done a grand job keeping his thoughts to himself.
And yet there were once ideas. There was compassionate conservatism and the Big Society. There was the Global Race. Nor were these necessarily contradictory. A reformed, retooled, Britain is necessary to leave Britain better placed to thrive in the years ahead; that doesn’t mean rejecting social solidarity – social decency – at home. On the contrary, the two could be woven together.
Events matter. Of course they do. But they need not – at least not necessarily – knock a government off-course. Cameron was elected as a new kind of Tory but, too often, has governed as just another Tory. He has counterfeited his own promise.And Ian Birrell has a radical idea for curing the party's malaise:
The failure to learn the lessons of the past by banging on endlessly about benefits, Europe and immigration is astonishing. There needs to be more, not less, modernisation. Instead, the Tories focus fruitlessly on these fearful older voters largely lost to Ukip, an inevitably declining sector of the electorate, while reinforcing an image that drives away the younger, female and ethnic minority voters needed to survive and thrive as a political force.
Ultimately, the question is not why are these MPs defecting, but why do politicians with such divergent views stick together? Perhaps politics is going through a process of disruption similar to that driven by technology in almost every other aspect of life. It does seem absurd to expect our tired model of binary party politics to endure in a time of transparency, with all that tedious tribalism and parroting of lines.
In the short term, the Tories must decide either to offer an optimistic vision of the future or just pander to the pessimists in a probably doomed bid to win the election.
Beyond that, it is hard not to wonder if these divisions need to be resolved with a cathartic full-blown split, as with Labour in the early 1980s – although this time it would be the militant tendency on the flank shearing off. As always in politics, there are egos and personal vanities in play. Yet what really binds the many decent and tolerant conservatives to those misanthropes filled with fear and rage against modernity?
I have never been a great lover of school dinners – I date the beginning of my long career in public service to my time on the Escape Committee at prep school – so when I heard about Clegg’s new policy I was less than impressed. I am, however, at a loss to know how to intervene as the man simply won’t listen to me on the subject.
Still pondering, I take myself off to give the prizes at the annual Well-Behaved Orphans’ quiz. There are no shocks and the bookies’ favourite – a bright little nine-year-old – wins by several lengths and secures the traditional bag of toffees.
Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10.
Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary...
A federal judge once said to me, when I was just a young’un, that this is how you read a statute: “from left to right; stop at punctuation.” You don’t know what this thing says unless you read the text. TL;DR from the headlines does not an analysis make. So here is the pertinent text, the text of section (a), which is the part people are talking about:
(a) In order to receive state funds for student financial assistance, the governing board of each community college district, the Trustees of the California State University, the Regents of the University of California, and the governing boards of independent postsecondary institutions shall adopt a policy concerning sexual assault, domestic violence, dating violence, and stalking, as defined in the federal Higher Education Act of 1965 (20 U.S.C. Sec. 1092(f)) involving a student, both on and off campus. The policy shall include all of the following:(1) An affirmative consent standard in the determination of whether consent was given by both parties to sexual activity. “Affirmative consent” means affirmative, conscious, and voluntary agreement to engage in sexual activity. It is the responsibility of each person involved in the sexual activity to ensure that he or she has the affirmative consent of the other or others to engage in the sexual activity. Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them, should never by itself be assumed to be an indicator of consent.(2) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in any disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse to alleged lack of affirmative consent that the accused believed that the complainant consented to the sexual activity under either of the following circumstances:(A) The accused’s belief in affirmative consent arose from the intoxication or recklessness of the accused.(B) The accused did not take reasonable steps, in the circumstances known to the accused at the time, to ascertain whether the complainant affirmatively consented.(3) A policy that the standard used in determining whether the elements of the complaint against the accused have been demonstrated is the preponderance of the evidence.(4) A policy that, in the evaluation of complaints in the disciplinary process, it shall not be a valid excuse that the accused believed that the complainant affirmatively consented to the sexual activity if the accused knew or reasonably should have known that the complainant was unable to consent to the sexual activity under any of the following circumstances:(A) The complainant was asleep or unconscious.(B) The complainant was incapacitated due to the influence of drugs, alcohol, or medication, so that the complainant could not understand the fact, nature, or extent of the sexual activity.(C) The complainant was unable to communicate due to a mental or physical condition.
Filed under: Uncategorized
* had to stay awake for 24 hours or so to be awake for the plumber;
* discovered, when sitting down on the guest room bed to chat with the plumber while he worked, that somebody (Gabe) had peed on the bed;
* stripped the bed linens and chucked them in the wash to soak, sprayed the mattress down with Nature's Miracle (it had a waterproof pad on it but that doesn't do much about the smell) and propped it up to dry;
* finally got to bed after the plumber was finished;
* heard, just as I was dozing off, the Leakfrog sounding its HELP HELP I AM IN WATER alert;
* went downstairs to discover the laundry drain sink had ONCE AGAIN backed up and flooded because SOMEBODY forgot to check the drain for lint, naming no names ALL RIGHT IT WAS ME, and had to spend an hour cleaning up the flood.
This week is fucking fired.
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg recently spoke with Professor Marina Angel (Temple). You can watch the full 50+-minute interview here.
I would say that I am glad that Witham Town achieved promotion; that means I will not have face them next season. Mind you the FA competitions have a habit of throwing up interesting games.
Little care from The Caretaker
The short version?
I really enjoyed "The Caretaker" when I watched it late Saturday night and into Sunday morning.
I'd been awake almost 20 hours when I hit Play, had worked 11 of those hours at the day-job and spent nearly two more riding to and from there on my bicycle.
I was tired, and I admit cracked a beer or three as I live-tweeted my first reactions.
To my regret, those tweets were an enthusiastic tailings pond spill I wish I could take back. But they do represent as "real" a reaction as my subsequent re-evaluation. And since I don't believe in censoring reality, they will stay on my Twitter timeline and live on also as a sidebar — pre-commentary, if you like — to my review.
The short version is that I thought the episode pretty awful when I watched it by sunlight. To paraphrase the blogger Patches365, it was a mean-spirited "tragedy of blunders" built on — not one — nor two, or even three — but four idiot plots. And it was an episode that tossed aside its best performer in favour of the cheapest of cheap laffs.
The long version? The long version lives on my site, of course, along with spite, spoilers and some thoughts on patterns as we reach the half-way point of what we can only hope will be Steven Moffat's farewell turn as Captain of the foundering ship Doctor Who.
Click here for Little Care — Take Two. Don't say I didn't warn you.
Kayla Reed, writing for AV Club, gives some of the background to this video:
In the year since Breaking Bad bled off the airwaves, fans and stars alike have been reveling in its wake. One of the more creative homages comes courtesy of TV Tag, whose staff gathered a crew to send a Walter White bobblehead beyond the atmosphere and back again. The video below features a timelapse of the construction, launch, and travels of Mr. White and his vessel, whose six-hour journey took him 250 miles and reached a maximum altitude of 85,000 feet.
(Thanks to investigator Jane Hill for bringing this to our attention.)
Otherwise is it still the blind woman in Battlefield who gets cured by a incestuous witch that wins this competition?
Sigh. The real reason Oswin Oswald couldn't be a companion is the lack of accessability in the TARDIS.
*I think we don't automatically call deafness a disability, but I can't remember what we do call it instead, sorz.
**"So who should invent these evil cyborgs?" "Oh, how about an embittered disabled genius? That wasn't offensive the first time, we should totally do it again."
This applies most to Ministers and full-time politicians as is evidenced by Theresa May's repeat gung-ho performance and her misrepresentation of the Liberal Democrats position on the communications data bill. The Guardian has the rebuttal:
The Lib Dems have accused Theresa May of peddling “misinformation” about their opposition to the communications data bill. This is from a party spokesman.
We utterly reject the allegation that the blocking of the communications data bill has put lives at risk.
Police already have the ability to obtain data in urgent cases where lives are in danger.
The real problem is the availability of IP address data, where we have always accepted there is a need for action, and indeed publicly committed to legislation last year.
Frankly, it is woeful inaction on the part of the Home Office that solutions have not been identified to deal with this issue.
If failure to act on the IP matching problem has put lives at risk, the home secretary must explain why her department has not acted.
Theresa May is peddling misinformation in a vain attempt to get the so-called ‘snooper’s charter’ back on the table.
Liberal Democrats will continue to oppose the Tories’ obsessive intrusion into people’s lives.
Of course it is not just Ministers who get carried away, as the Guardian makes clear:
Boris Johnson spoke at a ConservativeHome fringe meeting at the conference last night. In the past these events have sometimes been quasi leadership bid rallies, notable for Johnson giving a speech laced with coded challenges to Cameron and his supporters lapping it up ecstatically.
But last night’s speech was - well, not quite dull, because no Johnson speech ever can can, but scrupulously loyal, and a bit pedestrian. If Johnson said anything interesting about Conserative politics, or how the party should be fighting the election, I missed it.
Still, he did perform one very funny routine. My friends at the Daily Mail, who never miss a trick, have written it up as “an extraordinary attack on Tories who have defected to UKIP, claiming they were the sort of people who injure themselves having sex with vacuum cleaners.”
Each to their own I suppose.