daibhidc: (Animated crest)
Parliament was sat one night,
With rebels on the left and right,
The sky was dark, the hour was late,
And still the Commons did debate.

The arguments went round and round,
There was no sign of common ground.
The MPs all shook their heads,
As Theresa stood up and said:
Read more... )
daibhidc: (Default)
So, reasons to be proud of UK include protestors, the NHS, the BBC, more protestors, freaky kids' books, multiculturalism, Ken Loach films, angry songs, Tim Berners-Lee and James Bond (not in that order). All of which I would agree are absolutely fantastic.

...And then the world outside the stadium reminded us that reasons not to be proud of the UK include protestors being arrested and Tories whinging that multiculturism is leftist. So we've still got work to do, starting with electing a government that fits the Britain Danny Boyle showed us.
daibhidc: (Default)
Sometimes I wonder if some people understand how conflicts of interest work.

If Professor Bloggs publishes a study saying that we should eat three slices of toast a day because this is the only way to avoid contracting the Dreaded Lurgy, and then it comes out that he's a highly-paid advisor for the Toast Marketing Board then, yes, we should give his results a cynical glance.

If Professor Bloggs publishes a study saying that we should eat three slices of toast a day because this is the only way to avoid contracting the Dreaded Lurgy, and then it comes out that he's donating money to the Toast For All Charitable Fund, then I'm somewhat less shocked. In fact, if he genuinely believes his results, I would look askance at him if he didn't.

(No, I don't have specific examples in mind right at this minute, but I know I've seen them.)

UK Census

Mar. 16th, 2011 11:29 am
daibhidc: (Default)
Someone from Atheism Scotland was in The Scotsman the other day disagreeing with the "If you're not religious, for God's sake say so!" position of the British Humanist Association. Apparently, they feel that the Government is going to ignore atheists anyway, and the way to send them a clear message is to rip up your census form.

Not filling in the census carries a £1,000 fine. I think the clear message the Government would get from that is that ignoring atheists is a great way to increase revenue.
daibhidc: (Default)
"Unfortunately, the Post Office came to be seen not as a system for moving the mail efficiently, to the benefit and profit of all, but as a money box. And so it collapsed, losing both mail and money. A lesson for us all, perhaps."
-Lord Vetinari, Going Postal

A lesson, it would appear, that the LibTories are completely unaware of.
daibhidc: (Default)
I can't believe I haven't heard anyone use the "Glenn Milliband" joke before.
daibhidc: (Default)
Okay, over the course of the past day, I've heard David Cameron on the radio reading out bits of the Bloody Sunday inquiry without any weaseling or trying to play the findings down. I've heard Ken Clarke talk about the importance of prison reform. I've heard Theresa May (Theresa May!) talk about an end to draconian civil rights infringements, and I've been told that the government has assigned Old Labour's Frank Fields to head a committee looking into benefit reform.

Have the left-wing of the LibDems been slipping something into the food at Coalition Towers, or what?
daibhidc: (Default)
I'm disappointed with the LibDems for getting into bed with the Tories.

I'm really disappointed with my MP for accepting the Secretary of State for Scotland post.

Before the election, we were jokingly talking about moving to Ross-shire so we could vote for Charles Kennedy instead. Now, the mood is more that we're never going to vote LibDem under any circumstances ever again.
daibhidc: (Default)
According to the Vote For Policies survey, my politics are 60% Labour, 20% Lib Dem, and 20% Green.

The problem, of course, is that I may agree with the Labour manifesto, but I'm not at all certain I trust them to deliver it. So it's between the Lib Dems and the Greens, which I'd already decided...
daibhidc: (Default)
Inspired by Radio 4's The Vote Now Show, I took the online practice Life In The UK Test, designed to test immigrants on such essential everyday knowledge as why the Hugeunots left France.

I scored 66%. I'll pack my bags tomorrow.
daibhidc: (Default)
...with Labour's Moray candidate getting sacked for foul-mouthed tweets about the elderly, ethnic minorities, women, and other Labourites

Sheesh, what is it about Scottish politicians and their inability to grasp that if you put something on Twitter, the public can see it? At least Patrick Harvie (who tweeted about how dull his meal with Brown and Salmond was, during the meal) was just a bit ill-mannered...
daibhidc: (badscience)
So here's the details on the Sunday Post thing.
click here for long rant )
daibhidc: (Default)
So I haven't posted anything for "Blog Against Racism" week, because I couldn't think of anything to post. Racism's bad and I'm against it, and I know I don't always recognise it, and beyond that I don't like to say anything, because there's always the risk that I'm being racist[1].

But as an example of how far we have to go, here's something I just read in Ansible:
Read more... )
daibhidc: (Default)
Euro election results are through. Labour did worse than UKIP, which is just scary for all sorts of reasons.

Back home, confidence in Gordon is still circling the drain.

Swine flu is still on the rise.

And the front page headline in The Scotsman is the winner of The Apprentice...
daibhidc: (Default)
On Thursday, I went and voted like a good European.

Listening to the News Quiz at lunchtime, I suddenly thought "what were the results anyway?"

I spent five minutes being infuriated by the BBC website, which seemed far more interested in the English council elections, before finally discovering that they can't make any announcement until all the countries have voted. D'oh!
daibhidc: (Default)
Copy this sentence into your livejournal if you're in a heterosexual marriage/relationship (or if you think you might be someday), and you don't want it "protected" by the bigots who think that gay marriage hurts it somehow.
daibhidc: (Default)
So Scottish local councils have invested more than 45 million quid in Icelandic banks. And naturally, Alex the Salmon and his fishy friends are worried about this in fact, they want to know what Westminster are going to do about it.

Er, hang on. I could have sworn Scottish local government was Holyrood's responsiblity, and something Westminster was supposed to keep out of. Swinney says "This has got nothing to do with local authority funding – and everything to do with regulation of financial services", but I don't see how he can claim that; this is about ensuring local authorities don't lose their unwisely invested money.

So the first time there's a crisis involving the devolved powers, the ScotNats start expecting London to bail them out. That speaks volumes for how well they'd cope if they were actually a government...
daibhidc: (Default)
So Obama uses the phrase "You can put lipstick on a pig, but it's still a pig" to criticise the Republicans' economic policy.

And McCain's people cry sexism and claim it's an attack on Scary Palin Woman.

And then it turns out McCain said "they put some lipstick on a pig" in reference to Hilary Clinton's health policy.

Raising the question: If Team McCain don't bother listening to the man, why should anyone else?
daibhidc: (Default)
I don't normally "do" politics here (let's be honest, I don't "normally" do anything here, but I think if I did it wouldn't be politics), but here's the situation as I understand it:

1)A large proportion of people were confused by the fact they had two ballot papers with different instructions. The latest news seems to be that it wasn't so much that people were putting crosses on the council one (although one person interviewed on the radio said that's what they were told by polling station volunteers!), as that they were putting two crosses on the same side of the Parliamentary one (which had MSP candidates on one side, and parties for the top-up list on the other). I imagine didn't help that the party section started off with someone's name[1].

I have a certain amount of sympathy - I got it right, but probably only because my Mum knows how easily I get confused, and explained it carefully beforehand[2]. I was certainly too busy trying to remember what I thought of all these people, and which of them I would least object to running the country, to actually read what it said on the paper.

2)Of course, most people didn't get confused by the ballot papers, because most people weren't there. I think the degree of voter apathy (or people protesting by refusing to participate) was higher than ever before.

3)The latest, I hear, is that the electric ballot counting machines didn't work, and in some cases the counts were abandoned altogether. Which was the point at which I started getting flashbacks to the news from across the Pond in 2000...

4)Assuming we don't hold another general election to deal with all this (and probably even if we do) we're left with SNP and Labour neck-and-neck. It'd take two or more parties siding with either Labour or SNP to give them a majority, and I don't see it happening. They could, of course, form an alliance with each other, but in the hypothetical universe where either would even consider it, the election was won by the Heating for Hades Party, following the unseasonable snowstorms...

5)So the chances are we'll get the SNP and a random selection of people who dislike Labour slightly more than the Nats, and a part time First Minister with a day job in Westminster[3]. This is where it gets interesting. No-one wants a referendum on independence except the Nats, who work on the basis that this would solve all our problems and therefore they don't really need any other policies. However, the Nats know as well as anyone else that they were elected to send a message to Westminster, and not because everyone wants independence. So I suspect that, rather than have a referendum, lose, and suddenly find themselves without any policies at all, they'll allow themselves, reluctantly, to be "pressurised" into shelving it by their allies.

Assuming, of course, that this election doesn't lead to the whole thing getting labelled as a failed experiment. Unlikely, I admit, if only 'cos they'll want to get value for money out of that building...

[1]The SNP renamed itself "Alex Salmond for First Minister" to be first in the alphabetical list, and also to confuse and annoy everyone. Ex-SNP Independent MSP Margo MacDonald was apparently told she couldn't call herself "Anyone Except Alex Salmond For First Minister", because that would be Silly...

[2]And even then there was a moment's panic because I thought I should have two seperate Parliament papers. Which, come to think of it, sounds like it would have been a good idea.

[3]Although I continue to hope that it may be a deal-breaker for some of their potential allies.


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Daibhid C

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