miss_s_b: (Music: Progtastic Rock Wankman)
I've been reminded to post this by seeing it recced on twitter today. And yeah, I know, I've put this in linkspam a couple of times, and you probably think I am just wanging on about it because it's by my friend. And sure, there's probably an element of that. But if you are a music geek? Even you're even vaguely interested in music? You really need to listen to this podcast.

Andrew has SUCH an ear for detail, and brings in so many things that are not standard analysis, but are so interesting. And he's got a comfortingly Scouse-ish accent.

Honestly, trust me, go listen to it:

RSS
Spotify
iTunes
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Cthulhu the Six!Fan)
How old are you?
Chronologically, I'm 41. In sense of humour terms, about 12. In world-weary cynicism about 9000. In my love life right now... Somebody's making me feel about 17. Which is great.

Click for more noseying into my personal life )
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
Zoe's post on motion selection is now live, so I'm going to follow up my initial post with my thoughts on some (not all) of the actual motions. If I haven't put any comments down on a motion it's just because I would have been pretty happy to see it go on the agenda but did not have any particular passions roused by it. Other committee member's passions are different from mine, and that's as it should be. These are my views, not the views of the committee, and any issues you have with them are with me.
  • Access to Justice for All** is one that did rouse my passions, and I am very glad it made it onto the agenda. I don't think it counts as MHAP because I can see Liberal Reform types arguing against it - as, indeed, a couple of them did at FCC - so I think the debate will be interesting, and I hope this will ultimately pass.

  • Broadcasting Standards for Video Websites came from my own local party, and... would also have caused an interesting debate, if in not quite the same way. But it was probably fair that it fell. I think it would have been difficult to implement, had it passed, which is not necessarily a reason to shy away from a motion (see UBI, below), but...

  • Boycott the world cup was just far too late. Should have come four or five years ago, whenever it was the venue selection happened.

  • Sign the UN Treaty on Nukes. * sigh * Where to start on this one? This is a motion we have seen several times before in various iterations. The submitters of it have been given lots of advice as to how to make it acceptable. They have not taken any of that advice. I'm a passionate unilateralist when it comes to nuclear weapons, and I despair that this motion is the one that keeps getting put before us. It's cloaking its unilateralism behind a smokescreen of multilateralism because it thinks it's clever and it really, really isn't. Please can somebody write something on nuclear non-proliferation I'd be happy to put before conference for next time? Please? We might lose (we probably will - conference splits four ways on nukes) but at least we'd lose honestly.

  • Leaving London: Moving Parliament. While there were some issues with the drafting of this, I loved the sentiment. Sadly, FCC, which meets in London, tends to have a London-heavy membership. Props to the one member of London region who piped up about them having to move parliament anyway because of the refurb, so why not debate this. You're a good egg.

  • Demanding Better Transport for the English Regions. This split almost entirely on London/not-London lines as well***, with predictable results. I'm actually a little annoyed by that. The place we are holding conference is served by the two worst performing rail companies in the country, and it would have been nice to at least acknowledge that on the agenda. Still, Democracy.

  • Towards income security for all. I am very sorry that this motion did not make it onto the agenda, and I voted for it to do so. We were told that UBI will be considered by FPC in their fairer share consultation****, but my suspicion is that they will consider it in the same way they considered it last time - how can we get rid of this troublesome suggestion?***** - rather than actually considering it.
    I do think that at some point we need to get beyond the mentality of having a fully costed programme for government in the pretence that we are going to win a majority at the next election, because that is always used to stop us from considering big questions of principle, and I think that this is a big question of principle that at least merits "should this be an aim to work towards" consideration, rather than being shot down for not being capable of being immediately implemented.

  • Alleviating Poverty in Britain and Restoring British Values. This was an odd fish. It didn't call for anything to be changed in party policy, only for the party to campaign more vigorously on existing policy. Which... lobby FCEC******, don't put it in a conference motion.

  • Completing One Member One Vote. This was called out of order for some drafting issues, but I really liked the sentiment of it, and what it was trying to do - basically that only directly elected members of federal committees would get voting rights, so all the various reps from other committees and HQ appointees would only be able to sit on committees in an advise and observe capacity rather than (as in some cases they do at the moment) forming a majority of the voting members of a committee. I'd like to see a redrafted version of this come back to us.
And now I have lit the blue touchpaper, I am going to retire to a safe distance. I hear New Zealand is nice this time of year...



* legit the bit of this that took longest was deciding the title. The Nightmare Returns? This Time It's Personal? Obvs couldn't be Tokyo Drift because that's for a far later sequel than part 2...
** what I have been thinking of as The Metallica Motion because of this. If anyone wants access to it, I have it on vinyl, but Spotify is a thing too.
*** Even the LR types split regionally on this one
**** there will be a consultation on this at York, to be followed by a paper in the autumn
***** Members of FPC and policy unit may disagree with that characterisation
****** Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee, who steer campaign priorities. You might discover, upon doing a quick google, that this committee is not massively public-facing, and does not have an easy method of contact. A mischievous person might suggest that a question to the federal board report might be in order about that.
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)
I'm sure Zoe's post on LDV will be up soon detailing what got selected and what didn't, once all the submitters of motions have been informed. When that goes up I'll have a couple of comments about which motions I liked and didn't like. But right now I'm here to give you the scuttlebutt about the rest of the meeting.

Firstly, conference office was not immune to the recent upheavals in staffing that HQ has suffered, and we are going to be saying goodbye to a much-loved and very long-standing member of staff. Conference office staff do a huge amount of work, and I don't think the party in general necessarily appreciates that, because much of it is invisible work. With conference people only notice when things don't run smoothly, rather than when they do. I hope the restructure doesn't have too much of a negative effect on York conference: that said, I'm sure you lot will all let me know if it does.

A decision has been taken as to where the 2020 conferences will be, but I can't tell you what it is yet (sorry). After York this spring some work will be undertaken to look at a bunch of alternate venues to the ones we have used in the last few years, some of them suggested by members, and we are going to find a way of communicating to members why certain venues do and do not make the list (and why). Inevitably all venues elicit both positive and negative comments in some measure, and doubtless there will be a lot of robust comment on this whatever happens.

We discussed also encouraging members not only to put forward motions, but to put forward motions on particular topics: it was felt that sometimes it would be timely to have a motion on a particular topic, and that might also encourage submissions in general. Prompts work for fanfic, so they should work for conference motions too. I can't promise you that it'll actually come in the form of a prompts grid, but who knows?

The other notable thing that happened was that I found myself in unexpected agreement with Simon McGrath 3 times. It's really disappointing when the right wing bogeyman turns out to actually be a reasonable and affable human being... ;)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)


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Audiophile Wankery

Wednesday, January 16th, 2019 05:57 pm
miss_s_b: (Music: Progtastic Rock Wankman)
So for various reasons including not actually having my own room for most of the last few years my audiophile tendencies have gone unloved. My lovely Technics turntable sat lonely and unconnected. My vinyl languished on its shelves.

Recently I got my room back.

So I decided to reward myself for getting it (mostly) sorted out, tidy and shipshape by buying myself one of these.

Oh. My. God.

I am hearing some songs as I haven't heard them in YEARS. All those people who tell you that there's no audible difference in sound quality between compressed digital stuff and analogue are bullshitting. I know this because one of the first things daughter and I did was put on Fear of the Dark (1998 digital remaster) followed by Fear of the Dark (2015 remastered for hipster vinyl) and it was astounding. So I have spent most of the last couple of days excitedly fishing out old records and cooing over how amazing they sound. Side 2 of Welcome To My Nightmare gave me goosebumps.

Of course even if you're not as much of an audiophile wanker as I am, and are merely a tech geek, I'd still rec the particular amp I bought because it works seamlessly with things like spotify too. Best of both worlds? Hell yes. Thank Cthulhu for hipsters, I say. You'd never have got something that did spotify AND vinyl even a couple of years ago... I can punt podcasts to it from bed! I am really genuinely massively happy with it.

Of course now I need to get new speaker cables, and build a proper stand for it, and... ;)
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Liberal)
Motions have landed in my inbox for Spring conference, and I am composing my emails to the spokes I need to contact on the topic I have been designated, but I'm reading all the others too, and...

I actually really like the name blind submissions.

We get "10 or more members" or "SAO" or "local party" or "federal committee" under who the motion was submitted by, and honestly? I think even that is too specific. But FPC/FB would probably moan if we got rid of the differentiation completely... I'd really like to see their motions assessed on their merits... But it's very nice to not even have the possibility of an accusation of unconscious bias against a particular submitter.

Anyway, those of you who have sent things round saying "the more signatures we get the more persuasive it is!!" - sorry. Doesn't work like that. Just thought I should publicise that.
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miss_s_b: (Mood: Drama queen)
This morning I woke up at 5.30am. The instant I awoke my brain was bombarding me with all the reasons I am a terrible, worthless person who does not deserve to have anyone's time, attention, or care.

At 7.30am, after two hours of constant berating by my own brain, I sent a message to someone who might reasonably have expected contact from me today that I would probably not be as responsive as usual because my depression was acting up, and that I was planning to throw myself into work to see if that would help at all.

By 10am, still lying in the dark, not even having been able to summon the spoons to go brush my teeth, I realised that throwing myself into work would need me to actually be able to do some work, and turned on the laptop. Of course I could not concentrate on work.

I've managed to get here, typing this blog post, by composing an email entitled "Maybe typing out an email I am too mortified to ever send will help" which contains within it a list of all the things my brain is beating me up about today. A non-exhaustive list of my flaws and failures and inadequacies, all down in black and white. Looking at them like that... I'm not able to convince myself that they're not bad - they are bad; I am bad - but I can convince myself that they're understandable. That anyone could have these issues, that it's not just me who is uniquely and embarrassingly awful. Apart from anything else, looking at the list pricks my sense of the absurd: it's faintly ridiculous that I am letting this consume me instead of doing the ibble words and getting on with something productive.

So NOW I'm going to throw myself at work and see if I stick...

ETA: It's now after noon. Still no work done but have managed breakfast. Baby steps...

ETA 4pm: Have had a bit of good news, which has helped, and a bag of mini cheddars. And have managed some work! YAY!
miss_s_b: (Politics: Democracy)
A casual glance at the news these days will see lots of journos giving the fash the publicity they crave reporting on this new craze of pro-brexit protestors in yellow hiviz jackets. Why, you might think, would people who abhor Europe and all it's works suddenly adopt the markings of a European protest movement? Why do people who object to being dismissed as gammons voluntarily clad themselves in mustard?

A little trawl through some UK primary legislation will bring you to the Public Order Act 1936 {wikipedia link for those who get the heebie jeebies at the thought of reading Acts of Parliament}, which prohibits the wearing of political uniforms on protest marches. While this may come as a surprise to many of us who have marched at Pride happily emblazoned with rainbow Libby Birds (or, for that matter, the execrable red "never kissed a tory" shirts), the Act has seen some use in recent years against fash members of the far-right political group Britain First. And if you look at the make-up of these groups of British Gilets Jaunes, they bear a striking resemblance to groups like Britain First and other far right groupings.

It's almost like, as Cass pointed out on twitter this morning, they've found a uniform that's worn by lots of people in the course of their work and thus it is difficult for the police to prosecute them for wearing it...

Of course it's properly shitty for those poor buggers who actually have to wear hiviz for work, that they are now starting to be tarred with this brush. And workplaces who change their hiviz colour to green or orange or pink off the back of this are not going to be stopping the fash from wearing those colours too. Well, the fash probably wouldn't wear pink, now I come to think of it, given how much they hate us queers... So I guess if you have a choice at work, pick the pink hiviz?

ETA: I have now seen them referred to as "Neon Nazis" and that's just too perfect to not pick up :)
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Hair etc

Thursday, January 3rd, 2019 09:52 pm
miss_s_b: (Self: Profile)
I realised that I forgot to tell all those of you who voted here that I went for greens in the end.

I'm not sure I like it; the greens I bought ended up being not as varied as they looked like they were going to be from the tubs, and it's all gone a bit boring and turquoise even though my colourist used four different shades. Turquoise always feels to me more of a summer hair colour*... So this is a mea culpa and an "I'll listen to you lot next time". Purple does seem to be the one that works best on me.



* "some things in their natural state have the most vivid colours" etc.
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)

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Oh go on then

Tuesday, January 1st, 2019 04:54 pm
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
Since two daft buggers have sent me donations since this morning, here are two predictions for 2019:

- Theresa May will still be PM at the end of 2019. There will be a lot of sabre-rattling and furious speculation, seemingly every five seconds, but she'll cling on with a combination of masterful can-kicking and the inability of the opposition to actually oppose even in the face of the brexit deadline.

- There won't be another referendum. Whatever happens on the 29th of March (and I have my views) they won't get legislation for another referendum through in time, even if there was the political will to do so, which there isn't.
miss_s_b: (Fangirling: Arachnia Janeway)
I went to look at my last year's prediction post, and completely unexpectedly I was almost completely dead on, especially about the political stuff. Of the 12 predictions I made, only one was wrong. You can start paying me for my wisdom and insight any time you like, world...


Things I learned last year that I really should have known before:

- Sometimes a thing is just not meant to be, no matter how much you want it or how hard you work at it.
- Conversely, sometimes you can find something joyous, beautiful, and completely unexpected with very little effort at all.
- Sometimes when you are in the depths of despair and feel like throwing in the towel, a good friend can give you the perspective to carry on.


Things I am going to resolve to do off the back of that:

- Get better at recognising where the best place to put my efforts is.
- Cherish my friends.


Predictions for 2019

Not unless enough of you pay me to provide them :þ - the donation link is in the sidebar ;)

Happy New Year :)
miss_s_b: Mindy St Clare from The Good Place, hiding her nakedness behind very large sunflowers and looking shocked (Default)

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About This Blog

A picture of me with my mum's dog Pippin

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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Miss SB by Jennie Rigg is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial-No Derivative Works 2.0 UK: England & Wales License.
Based on a work at miss-s-b.dreamwidth.org.

Please note that any and all opinions expressed in this blog are subject to random change at whim my own, and not necessarily representative of my party, or any of the constituent parts thereof (except myself, obviously).

Printed by Dreamwidth Studios, Maryland USA. Promoted by Jennie Rigg, of Brighouse, West Yorkshire.

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