Verity! Episode 57 – Flatline of Credit

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 12:33 pm
[syndicated profile] verity_podcast_feed

Posted by veritypodcast

VerityEpisode57Welcome to a squeeful episode of Verity! We loved this episode, and we’re not afraid to show it! Join Deb, Erika, Liz, and Tansy as we pick this one apart–in a(n almost entirely) good way! Liz manages to come up with some complaints, but they’re almost all laughably minor. Mostly we spend time talking about Clara and the Doctor. And what could be better, really?

What did you think of “Flatline”? Let us know in the comments!


Also covered:

Bonus links:
Splendid Chaps (podcast)
The Pumpkin Spice Phenomenon (John Oliver)
Situation Vacant (Big Finish)
Verity! on Pinterest

Download or listen now (runtime 1:28:36) 

‘The Meek’ facing enormous Inheritance Tax bill

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 12:11 pm
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Posted by Editor

meek-inheritance-largeThe nation's meek have been left shocked at the size of their potential Inheritance Tax bill, according to reports this morning.
[syndicated profile] newsarse_feed

Posted by Editor

Paris-butt-plug-largeThe giant green butt plug sculpture which caused such furore in Paris, has been sold on eBay to a user named K Price who lives in Sussex.
[syndicated profile] love_and_liberty_feed

Posted by Alex Wilcock

Twelve days ago I emailed all of the then declared contenders to be the next Liberal Democrat President with questions (below) about their personal political philosophy and our shared Lib Dem values, to be published here. I received Daisy Cooper’s answers this morning, and here they are now.

Pithy -

We believe and trust in the power and potential of every individual to be whoever or whatever they want to be. We want to tear down the barriers in your way and we want to give you the tools and knowledge you need. It’s about freedom and we believe that to be truly free every person must be free from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and conformity.

What the LibDems stand for and how it relates to what we’ve done in government:

We believe and trust in the power and potential of every individual to be whoever and whatever they want to be. We want to tear down the barriers in your way and we want to give you the tools and knowledge you need. It’s about freedom and we believe that to be truly free every person must be free from the shackles of poverty, ignorance and conformity.

Individuals and communities must also be free from the crushing concentration of power in any institution wherever it exists – in the state, the media, in corporations or elsewhere; individuals should have the power to take the decisions that affect their lives.

Our vision of society is built on a ‘holy trinity’ of individual freedom, social justice and repatriating powers back to people and communities.

Labour believe in the power of the state, the Tories believe in the power of the markets, we believe and trust in the power of every individual to know what’s best – every individual like you.

In government, Liberal Democrats have given individuals the freedom to decide how to spend more of their money by increasing the point at which low and middle earners start paying tax.

By giving schools a pupil premium to help kids from the lowest income families, we’ve pulled down some of the barriers to children getting a good education.

And in all our efforts in government to break up the banks, reform the House of Lords and curtail the monopoly of the big energy companies, we seek to wrestle power out of the hands of the few for the benefit and use of all.

Liberal Democrats are committed to breaking up the fortresses of the rich, the powerful and the privileged and to fighting for a society in which individuals can take that power back and use it.

Liz Lynne’s answers can be found here.

NB On Monday, the three contenders on the ballot paper were announced as Liz Lynne, Daisy Cooper and Sal Brinton. Linda Jack was unable to find enough people within the Liberal Democrats to support her nomination.

My Questions As Sent

I have two related questions for you. Both are more concerned with politics than process. One is after a short two-pronged answer from the heart – had I been able to come to Conference, I would have preferred to put you on the spot with it in person to hear what you instinctively believe. The other question is asking you to come up with a longer, more thoughtful answer on our values that you’d be happy having the whole party say (as if anyone could ever persuade us to stick to one hymn-sheet).

Question One: What You Believe

People say all politicians are the same. It’s hardest for us in Coalition, but there’s some truth in it when every party promises to give money to the low-paid and the NHS, or when every local candidate for every party talks about experience, hard work and listening to local people. So what really motivates you? What for you makes the Lib Dems different from any other party?

If someone asked you on the doorstep, the hustings or on TV to sum up in one or two sentences what the Lib Dems, uniquely, stand for – and then why anyone should vote for us – what are your answers?

Past answerers include Presidential contenders and London Mayoral candidates.

Question Two: What the Lib Dems Stand For

Looking for something that’s more than a slogan or a soundbite but short enough to get in one go, imagine this answer as about one minute of a speech, or a box on a leaflet (perhaps 150-200 words, but that’s up to you). As you will be the voice of the Party if elected, can come up with something you think every party member could be happy saying or printing to explain What the Lib Dems Stand For? Something to enthuse and inspire Lib Dem believers and at the same time to attract and persuade potential supporters?

How would you link what makes us different, our philosophy, to what we’ve achieved in government, and what we want to do next? However you want to put that together, as specific or as thematic as you like.

I start this as a meme that many other Lib Dems have answered over the past couple of years (if I ever get a wide enough selection in, I might publish a book of them!). If you want to see more about what that’s involved, here’s my own latest version, including links to where I’ve printed other Lib Dems’ ideas.

Best of luck to each of you.

I had also spent some time trying to think of a ‘nasty’ question individually tailored to each of you – which I did for the last set of Presidential candidates and, going back further, for Nick and Chris in 2007. You may be relieved to read that I’ve decided not to ask those this time as I was unable to construct nasty questions of equal balance: the best I could think of for one of you was much too gentle, and for another of you, too bare-knuckle brutal. So that’s your lot from me!

Interesting Links for 22-10-2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 12:00 pm
[syndicated profile] newsarse_feed

Posted by Neil Tollfree

dementia-diagnosis-largeA new scheme to pay GPs a £55 cash bonus for every diagnosis of dementia that they make has seen a massive rise in the number of dementia diagnoses that they make.

The Blood is The Life 22-10-2014

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 10:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
andrewducker: (Calvin's Brain)
[personal profile] andrewducker

Not convinced? Have your say here.

(Via [ profile] PUDunleavy) - conversation (with correction of original image) here.

My life is ridiculous

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 08:58 am
[personal profile] strangecharm
I just had a big rant at Andrew about how much I hate radiators -- it started because I said "I have to buy some pliers" and then realized that I was saying I needed pliers for my house to be at a convenient temperature and I hate to get all entitled-first-world person about this...but that's exactly what I am.

"You know what happens at my parents' house?" I said. They have a thermostat, and whatever temperature you set it to, the whole house is that!" Our house has a thermostat, too, but the temperature it gives you isn't anything to do with reality because the radiators seem to have two settings: full blast and off, so the house is an interesting patchwork of places that are too warm and places that are too cold. All the radiators have little knobs you can twiddle but these seem to be some kind of placebo, allowing you the impression that you have any control over the ambient temperature but the radiators stay either dangerously hot or disappointingly frigid whatever you do.

Andrew helpfully said things like "Believe it or not, central heating wasn't even a thing in Brtiain until about fifteen years ago."

"I do believe it!" I said. "Because central heating is still included in descriptions of places up for rent." And I know we got asked if this house we were going to buy had central heating. Even my parents didn't ask that -- and, remember, they had to ask if my house had windows.

More than most of the things I've had to learn how to fix or deal with since we bought the house, the radiators piss me off. For all my joking entitlement, my real problem is that they are entirely outside my experience. They don't work and I don't know why and I don't even know where to begin. But I know I have to, because it doesn't stop getting cold just because I don't feel up to dealing with it.

And my reward for sorting this out will not be enjoying the warm and dry; it'll be Andrew whinging that he's too hot.

That Manifesto ‘Leak’

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 07:41 am
[syndicated profile] gareth_epps_feed

Posted by Gareth

Yesterday an image was leaked of Nick Clegg’s; sorry, the Liberal Democrats’ strategy chief Ryan Coetzee holding what appeared to be the front page of the first draft of the Party’s manifesto. (It appeared via a scurrilous social media site that I will not dignify with a link)

It has been generally assumed that such an experienced political operator would not have done this accidentally. The document has not gone anywhere near the Federal Policy Committee, which is good because it means that committee’s stupid secrecy rules (which I have consistently challenged) do not apply.

The ‘front page’ contains four headlines:
Balance the books
Cut income tax
Promote mental health; and
Improve education (this appears to be a reference to requiring only qualified teachers teach in schools).

It has to be said that they are the tamest, least exciting big ticket items to be put on the front of a manifesto for very many years.

Only the mental health policy is in any way radical, mainly because of its prioritisation; it is also the only policy that is identifiably Liberal.

The first two are essentially watered-down Tory policies. The further raising of the income tax threshold is now widely regarded in the party to be misguided, benefiting as it does those on middle incomes but not an 18 year old on the minimum wage. As I have written before, it would be better to increase the threshold at which people start to pay National Insurance instead. Indeed, as Giles Wilkes has written, there is a strong case for saying tax cuts cannot now be afforded.

The teaching pledge is simply technocratic and dull; people would rather have inspiration in teaching, worthy though a paper qualification is and important to stop the further erosion of the profession by Michael Gove.

So all of this needs a lot more work. There is still no vision, nothing to suggest to the electorate that the Liberal Democrats have a point, and (with one exception) the wrong set of priorities. Think again, Ryan.

Political footballs and the Welsh NHS

Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 07:33 am
[syndicated profile] peter_black_am_feed
As a Welsh politician I am the last person to defend Labour's management of the health service this side of the border.

Hard-working and dedicated staff are being put under pressure by the under-resourcing of key services, waiting time targets are being missed and major services such as the Wales Ambulance Service Trust are under-performing. There is a clear case for an independent and over-arching inquiry into the way the Welsh NHS is being run.

You only have to read the articles on Freedom Central here to get a picture of everything that is wrong and needs fixing with the Welsh Health Service.

Having said that one has to sympathise with the director of the Royal College of Nursing in Wales, who told the BBC that arguments between politicians are just adding to the pressure on staff.

Labour have once more fallen back on the claim that the Daily Mail and Tory Ministers are conducting a war on Wales and on NHS staff. They claim that statistics are being distorted and lies are being told.

Of course they have done exactly the same thing with regards to the English NHS so it is a bit rich for them to call foul now. Claims by Labour that the NHS is being used as a political football do not stand up either. After all, as anybody who remembers the War of Jennifer's Ear in 1992 will know Labour has been using the health service in this way since it was founded in 1945.

Amongst all these accusations and counter-accusations it is difficult to establish the facts but, as Nick Servini points out on his BBC blog, it is clear that in certain areas Wales is trailing behind England in terms of how its health service is performing. I have not seen many examples of where the reverse is the case.

This row is going to escalate of course as the General Election gets nearer. After all Ed Miliband invited the comparison when he started to use the Welsh Government's record as an example of what Labour can do.

But we must not forget the essential truth that this row is about political mismanagement. It is not about the staff who, for the most part are exceptional, professional and hard-working. It is about what patients can expect from their health service and whether those in government are delivering on those expectations on both sides of the border.

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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