lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
I've written to my MP about the Health and Social Care Bill that's currently wending its way through parliament. I do not hold out high hopes that he will vote against it, as he's a Conservative MP who tends to vote with the whip, but I'm hoping he'll take notice. I've tried to be respectful and outline clearly and concisely why I disagree with the bill. At least he can't ignore me because I was rude or using a form letter.

If you're in the UK and disagree with the H&SC bill, which will lead to greater private involvement in the NHS and could possibly lead to the end of the NHS, then please please please take the time to let your MP know how you feel about it using Write to Them. If you need to (lack of spoons/whatever) then please feel free to adapt my letter to your own views.

--

Dear Mr Brazier,

As a constituent, I would like to express my concern about the Health and Social Care bill currently moving through Parliament, and respectfully ask that you vote against it. If you do not feel that you can do this, I would very much appreciate it if you would please delay voting for it until after the Risk Register has been released and all the information available about the possible consequences of the Health and Social Care bill is available. I would also appreciate it if you would put pressure on the Government to release the Risk Register, in accordance with the recent ruling by the Information Commissioner, which was upheld on appeal. Unless this available for everyone to view before the legislation is passed I will not be reassured that all possible information was available for a properly informed choice to be made before the bill is passed into law.

All the reasons I disagree are outlined in here )

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/434121.html. There are currently comment count unavailable comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
I've written to my MP about the Health and Social Care Bill that's currently wending its way through parliament. I do not hold out high hopes that he will vote against it, as he's a Conservative MP who tends to vote with the whip, but I'm hoping he'll take notice. I've tried to be respectful and outline clearly and concisely why I disagree with the bill. At least he can't ignore me because I was rude or using a form letter.

If you're in the UK and disagree with the H&SC bill, which will lead to greater private involvement in the NHS and could possibly lead to the end of the NHS, then please please please take the time to let your MP know how you feel about it using Write to Them. If you need to (lack of spoons/whatever) then please feel free to adapt my letter to your own views.

--

Dear Mr Brazier,

As a constituent, I would like to express my concern about the Health and Social Care bill currently moving through Parliament, and respectfully ask that you vote against it. If you do not feel that you can do this, I would very much appreciate it if you would please delay voting for it until after the Risk Register has been released and all the information available about the possible consequences of the Health and Social Care bill is available. I would also appreciate it if you would put pressure on the Government to release the Risk Register, in accordance with the recent ruling by the Information Commissioner, which was upheld on appeal. Unless this available for everyone to view before the legislation is passed I will not be reassured that all possible information was available for a properly informed choice to be made before the bill is passed into law.

All the reasons I disagree are outlined in here )
lizziec: (toys - ikeagiraffe)
I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. I lived in and around Croydon for the first 21 years of my life and I found seeing it get hit the way it was incredibly difficult. This is a place I'd known all my life, and the major fire that the TV crews focused on is a place that is a major Croydon landmark. It's a family run furniture store, Reeves of Croydon, who were in the same spot for 144 years and was reduced to glowing rubble in an incredibly short amount of time. It was especially soul destroying because they were amazing when I needed a bed at short notice when mum was dying.

Having said all that, where I live currently (Canterbury) was never a place that was in danger, and my brother lives sufficiently far off major thoroughfares to not be at dreadful risk either. I've also yet to be confronted with the actual results of the riot and looting in person as I've not been to Croydon since it happened, which is why [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie's account of what the trouble has done to her psychologically has been really interesting and very valuable for me to read because she's had to face the things I haven't. If you're interested in the aftermath of the rioting I really think you should read what she's written, because sometimes I think it's easy to lose track of what effect the rioting has had on people across the UK, even if they're not one of the people who has been burned out, looted or beaten up.

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/424835.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Trapper and Hawkeye)
I don't have much to say that hasn't already been said. I lived in and around Croydon for the first 21 years of my life and I found seeing it get hit the way it was incredibly difficult. This is a place I'd known all my life, and the major fire that the TV crews focused on is a place that is a major Croydon landmark. It's a family run furniture store, Reeves of Croydon, who were in the same spot for 144 years and was reduced to glowing rubble in an incredibly short amount of time. It was especially soul destroying because they were amazing when I needed a bed at short notice when mum was dying.

Having said all that, where I live currently (Canterbury) was never a place that was in danger, and my brother lives sufficiently far off major thoroughfares to not be at dreadful risk either. I've also yet to be confronted with the actual results of the riot and looting in person as I've not been to Croydon since it happened, which is why [livejournal.com profile] angelicalangie's account of what the trouble has done to her psychologically has been really interesting and very valuable for me to read because she's had to face the things I haven't. If you're interested in the aftermath of the rioting I really think you should read what she's written, because sometimes I think it's easy to lose track of what effect the rioting has had on people across the UK, even if they're not one of the people who has been burned out, looted or beaten up.

I voted

5 May 2011 12:00 pm
lizziec: (toys - max at work)
I voted at about 7:35 this morning which felt veeeeeeeeery early. Still, it's done now and I'm feeling rather Meh about the whole thing. I voted because it's my civic duty and I believe very strongly that I should be exercising it because of all the people in the past who couldn't and campaigned for my right to do it.

my polling card

But...

I had to hold my nose and vote for the least-worst option and that left me feeling rather dirty. I shouldn't come out of the polling booth feeling dirty because I had to vote and all the choices were pretty much equally dire. Let's take these decisions one at a time.

Local council elections )

AV referendum )

ETA: This is an example of what I mean. How could one not vote against a campaign that has posters like this?
The last No to AV poster from Conservative HQ. No, really. WTF? )

This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/417044.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.

I voted

5 May 2011 12:00 pm
lizziec: (Max at work)
I voted at about 7:35 this morning which felt veeeeeeeeery early. Still, it's done now and I'm feeling rather Meh about the whole thing. I voted because it's my civic duty and I believe very strongly that I should be exercising it because of all the people in the past who couldn't and campaigned for my right to do it.

my polling card

But...

I had to hold my nose and vote for the least-worst option and that left me feeling rather dirty. I shouldn't come out of the polling booth feeling dirty because I had to vote and all the choices were pretty much equally dire. Let's take these decisions one at a time.

Local council elections )

AV referendum )

ETA: This is an example of what I mean. How could one not vote against a campaign that has posters like this?
The last No to AV poster from Conservative HQ. No, really. WTF? )
lizziec: (XKCD sheeple)
So, recently we got a newsletter through from Harbledown Parish Council, stating that they had successfully lobbied to have the missing A2 slip-roads that were supposed to be being built at the Harbledown junction of the A2 cancelled. I was pretty pissed at the time because I think they're necessary to help relieve congestion throughout the city, and it's rather unfair on Wincheap and Thanington to have things like an extended Park and Ride and extra slip-roads imposed on them because the more well heeled residents of Harbledown and Rough Common think it's beneath them.

Here's the extract from the Parish Council newsletter:

Harbledown Parish Council newsletter extract

So imagine my surprise when a campaign leaflet for the local Conservative Party (candidate Brennan Dwyer) dropped onto our doormat proclaiming that the Conservatives had "Successfully lobbied for all 6 A2 slip roads..."

Brennan Dwyer Canterbury Conservative leaflet

So one of them must be lying. They can't both be right. Anyone have any idea which it is? I'd call Mr Dwyer's campaign and ask him, but his leaflet is rather lacking in contact details...



This entry was originally posted at http://lizziec.dreamwidth.org/416947.html. There are currently comments on the original entry.
lizziec: (Sheeple)
So, recently we got a newsletter through from Harbledown Parish Council, stating that they had successfully lobbied to have the missing A2 slip-roads that were supposed to be being built at the Harbledown junction of the A2 cancelled. I was pretty pissed at the time because I think they're necessary to help relieve congestion throughout the city, and it's rather unfair on Wincheap and Thanington to have things like an extended Park and Ride and extra slip-roads imposed on them because the more well heeled residents of Harbledown and Rough Common think it's beneath them.

Here's the extract from the Parish Council newsletter:

Harbledown Parish Council newsletter extract

So imagine my surprise when a campaign leaflet for the local Conservative Party (candidate Brennan Dwyer) dropped onto our doormat proclaiming that the Conservatives had "Successfully lobbied for all 6 A2 slip roads..."

Brennan Dwyer Canterbury Conservative leaflet

So one of them must be lying. They can't both be right. Anyone have any idea which it is? I'd call Mr Dwyer's campaign and ask him, but his leaflet is rather lacking in contact details...
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Toddled off to Mayday earlier to get the MRI done. I drove as carefully as I could, possibly my best and smoothest driving for ever as mum was feeling extremely nauseous and I really didn't want her being sick on the way (though we have an emesis basin in the car permanently atm just in case) as that would have been distressing for us both and we didn't need that. I (and she) made it \o/ Trying to drive smoothly makes it clear how awful the roads are at the moment though :(

Anyway, the MRI suite at Mayday smelled of paint and white spirit and was incredibly disorganised, with no signs telling us where it was. It turns out that the reason why is because they're still decorating, having moved in (from a portacabin on the hospital site somewhere) either Tuesday or today (Wednesday). After signing in and doing paperwork we waited for 50 mins, then I asked a member of staff who was passing how much longer it was likely to be. I was very polite and not mean or anything. Mostly I was just worried about whether or not I'd have to put more money on the car parking. Anyway, after asking someone mum was taken back for the MRI almost straight away. From them taking her back to her returning to me took about 55 mins. Got back to the car the minute the ticket expired. Not bad timing really. The MRI people said that they would have to write a report and would then ask mum to come back for more imaging (which I guess means another MRI or CT or something?) or she'd be called in to see her consultant. Now I guess we have to wait to see what the MRI shows. After the first CT scan mum was called back within 2 working days when it showed up a tumour, so hopefully the turnaround on the MRI will be as quick and we will find out where the primary tumour is hiding. If they can't pinpoint it using the MRI, they'll be biopsying the tumour on and behind her cheekbone. Ah, now I'm repeating myself. My apologies. The MRI today was of her head and neck.

Meanwhile, as well as the nausea and vomiting problems that I talked about last post, and the loss of appetite, the tumour appears to be causing various other distressing problems. One of the main ones is making mum vulnerable to infections - she's being treated for her second UTI in four weeks at the moment, which makes me nervous when I get a sore throat or anything. If it's a cold and I pass it along to her, I have no idea what the consequences would be. Another is nosebleeds. I guess it's the way the tumour is pressing on stuff, though I don't really know. She's had a few enormous nose bleeds that have lasted for ages (though [thankfully?] I've yet to be around for one), and on friday night she asked Phil to call an ambulance for her because the loss of blood was so sudden and dramatic (she thought it had stopped and it suddenly started again with a vengeance). Thankfully they were able to treat her at home, but it's another of those things that makes me realise how vulnerable the tumour(s) are making her, and not just in the obvious "she has cancer" sort of ways.

Cut, a ramble in which I moan about trying to get a prescription filled at half past six on a weekday in Greater London )

Since the first UTI she's been drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day. Is there anything else we can do to ward off the dreaded cystitis or is that about it? Also, is reduced sugar cranberry juice less effective or the same effective as regular when it comes to warding infections off? Does cranberry juice even work? Obviously for the comfort of everyone concerned we'd like to keep them to a minimum, hence the cranberry juice. It doesn't seem to have worked that well though :/

After my last LJ entry, [livejournal.com profile] red_pill sweetly said he'd deal with vomit as he has no particular problem with it, which is very sweet of him. I think we've decided that if he is around, he will deal with it, and if I'm the only one around then I'll grit my teeth and deal with it as best I can. Hopefully I will continue to be successful in keeping my own tummy contents in.

I should go to bed. It's very late as I've been writing this (and spent two hours bitching on twitter about the inadequacies of our legislative process with regards to the Digital Economy Bill) and [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple is visiting tomorrow (at least, as long as the hospital don't call us in on short notice), so I'd like to at least be a little alert for that ;)

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (sheep baa)
Toddled off to Mayday earlier to get the MRI done. I drove as carefully as I could, possibly my best and smoothest driving for ever as mum was feeling extremely nauseous and I really didn't want her being sick on the way (though we have an emesis basin in the car permanently atm just in case) as that would have been distressing for us both and we didn't need that. I (and she) made it \o/ Trying to drive smoothly makes it clear how awful the roads are at the moment though :(

Anyway, the MRI suite at Mayday smelled of paint and white spirit and was incredibly disorganised, with no signs telling us where it was. It turns out that the reason why is because they're still decorating, having moved in (from a portacabin on the hospital site somewhere) either Tuesday or today (Wednesday). After signing in and doing paperwork we waited for 50 mins, then I asked a member of staff who was passing how much longer it was likely to be. I was very polite and not mean or anything. Mostly I was just worried about whether or not I'd have to put more money on the car parking. Anyway, after asking someone mum was taken back for the MRI almost straight away. From them taking her back to her returning to me took about 55 mins. Got back to the car the minute the ticket expired. Not bad timing really. The MRI people said that they would have to write a report and would then ask mum to come back for more imaging (which I guess means another MRI or CT or something?) or she'd be called in to see her consultant. Now I guess we have to wait to see what the MRI shows. After the first CT scan mum was called back within 2 working days when it showed up a tumour, so hopefully the turnaround on the MRI will be as quick and we will find out where the primary tumour is hiding. If they can't pinpoint it using the MRI, they'll be biopsying the tumour on and behind her cheekbone. Ah, now I'm repeating myself. My apologies. The MRI today was of her head and neck.

Meanwhile, as well as the nausea and vomiting problems that I talked about last post, and the loss of appetite, the tumour appears to be causing various other distressing problems. One of the main ones is making mum vulnerable to infections - she's being treated for her second UTI in four weeks at the moment, which makes me nervous when I get a sore throat or anything. If it's a cold and I pass it along to her, I have no idea what the consequences would be. Another is nosebleeds. I guess it's the way the tumour is pressing on stuff, though I don't really know. She's had a few enormous nose bleeds that have lasted for ages (though [thankfully?] I've yet to be around for one), and on friday night she asked Phil to call an ambulance for her because the loss of blood was so sudden and dramatic (she thought it had stopped and it suddenly started again with a vengeance). Thankfully they were able to treat her at home, but it's another of those things that makes me realise how vulnerable the tumour(s) are making her, and not just in the obvious "she has cancer" sort of ways.

Cut, a ramble in which I moan about trying to get a prescription filled at half past six on a weekday in Greater London )

Since the first UTI she's been drinking a glass of cranberry juice a day. Is there anything else we can do to ward off the dreaded cystitis or is that about it? Also, is reduced sugar cranberry juice less effective or the same effective as regular when it comes to warding infections off? Does cranberry juice even work? Obviously for the comfort of everyone concerned we'd like to keep them to a minimum, hence the cranberry juice. It doesn't seem to have worked that well though :/

After my last LJ entry, [livejournal.com profile] red_pill sweetly said he'd deal with vomit as he has no particular problem with it, which is very sweet of him. I think we've decided that if he is around, he will deal with it, and if I'm the only one around then I'll grit my teeth and deal with it as best I can. Hopefully I will continue to be successful in keeping my own tummy contents in.

I should go to bed. It's very late as I've been writing this (and spent two hours bitching on twitter about the inadequacies of our legislative process with regards to the Digital Economy Bill) and [livejournal.com profile] bethanthepurple is visiting tomorrow (at least, as long as the hospital don't call us in on short notice), so I'd like to at least be a little alert for that ;)

ETA: 12/07/11 No longer filtered
lizziec: (potterpuffs - lupin read book)
[livejournal.com profile] deusmetallum linked to the Vote for Policies website earlier, specifically the tool they have for identifying which party you should vote for based on how you respond to their manifesto (it's a blind test, so your natural/historic political leanings don't influence it.

My results show that I'm apparently a raging hippie.



According to this I identify most with the Green Manifesto on questions of Crime, Immigration, Welfare and Environment. I'm a Lib Dem when it comes to Democracy, Economy, Education, Europe and Health/the NHS.

I'm not terribly surprised that I've come up as Liberal Democrat, as that's the way I feel I most lean. I was surprised by how much I seem to agree with the Green Party manifesto. Something to think about prior to election day I think.

If you're interested, my results are here.
lizziec: (potterpuffs - lupin read book)
[livejournal.com profile] deusmetallum linked to the Vote for Policies website earlier, specifically the tool they have for identifying which party you should vote for based on how you respond to their manifesto (it's a blind test, so your natural/historic political leanings don't influence it.

My results show that I'm apparently a raging hippie.



According to this I identify most with the Green Manifesto on questions of Crime, Immigration, Welfare and Environment. I'm a Lib Dem when it comes to Democracy, Economy, Education, Europe and Health/the NHS.

I'm not terribly surprised that I've come up as Liberal Democrat, as that's the way I feel I most lean. I was surprised by how much I seem to agree with the Green Party manifesto. Something to think about prior to election day I think.

If you're interested, my results are here.
lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
This post has been brought on by two things. First, it's the Euro and County Council elections (at least for us in Kent) tomorrow (possibly today, depending on when I finish writing this). Second, we finally received a leaflet from Labour today and I really don't think they're even trying to contest this election. I was shocked by the poor quality and decided to share. Then I figured that I may as well document all the political bumf that Ben and I have had through the letter box during this process.

Some were addressed to me, some were addressed to Ben. Interestingly, apart from the Greens, it was different letters/leaflets addressed to each of us (if they were addressed at all), rather than any overlap.

Click on pictures to embiggen throughout.


An artfully arranged display of all our leaflets.

I'll start with the shoddy leaflet that kicked all this off, which is the last one we have received.

This one is courtesy of Labour. I'm not a Labour supporter, so I admit this might be rather biased of me, but this is possibly the worst political leaflet I have ever seen. Acres of blank space, poor grammar and spelling, and clearly has not been proof read before being printed off. Which is sad because I can only assume it's been/being passed around the district, and it's really not a good advert for the Labour Party. Read it and you'll see what I mean.

Labour leaflet )

The Conservatives have tried hardest, sending round several leaflets, and the only party to send someone to Canvass us. I should mention that neither Ben nor I are currently registered with any political party, so that can't be the reason we have quite so many Conservative mailshots. I can only assume that they're trying this hard with everyone.

This was the most recent. )

Ben had a 'personal' letter from the KCC candidate. )

Another Conservative leaflet. Can't remember when this one arrived. )

This last one is a copy of the main Conservative KCC leaflet. This one was hand delivered by the canvasser. We have two copies of this as one was in with the letter that Ben got, shown further up.

The problem we had with this is that it reads like a particularly poor CV. On the upside, there was little wasted space and it did appear to have been spell checked/proof read before it was printed.

On the downside, it does lie, as did the Canvasser about the John Simmonds (the Cons Candidate for Canterbury West, which is our ward) being "The Local Choice". The Canvasser told me that the candidate lived "just round the corner". This is untrue. John Simmonds lives in Whitstable, which is not "just round the corner". According to google maps it is actually 5.7 miles away from my address to his. I suppose it could be a very large corner...

In fact, I believe the Canvasser was referring to the Conservative candidate for the Canterbury South-West Ward (Maureen Robinson), who does live "just round the corner" in Oaks Park (I believe).

While Whiststable may be "local", it's not local in the sense the canvasser, and I believe the leaflet, were aiming at.

Not impressed.

Also not impressed with myself - I only remembered the questions I wanted to ask the canvasser (pot holes, Iceland[as in banks, not supermarkets]) after I closed the door, and I wasn't about to go chasing after him!

Conservative leaflet for KCC. )

The Green Party sent us two leaflets, one addressed to each of us. Unfortunately they were both identical and both came through the post. Have to wonder about the Carbon Footprint of that.

Green Party leaflet )

We also got a leaflet from the "No2EU" party, who appear to be endorsed only by Bob Crow of RMT Union fame.

No2EU )

We have also received the now infamous BNP leaflet. Not sure what we'll do with it yet. Possibly shred it and then set it on fire. Ben pointed out it looked rather like a kebab menu, which is funny because it's true.

I don't know where to start on the ways in which this hate filled nasty little piece of racist propaganda annoys and frustrates me, so I shan't even try. I only picture it for completeness and posterity. I hope in years to come I can look back and laugh on the fact that people ever considered voting for these cretins, especially on the basis of this.

I just hope they don't win a significant share of the vote, especially a share significant enough to win a seat.

BNP )

Given my political sympathies swing towards the Lib Dems, perhaps naturally as they were the party supported by my parents while I was growing up (I delivered my fair share of Focuses, did several shifts of telling at several elections at my local polling station, had an action room in our living room during a general election - tables and tables of addresses! - and even attended a Count as Lib Dem representative - all while I was 18 or younger) I am disappointed by the efforts of the local party.

No Canvassing, at least, not round my block of flats. Only one leaflet about only one of the two elections. Given they say on their leaflet that "only the Lib Dems can beat the Conservatives here" I don't feel like they really tried at all. One leaflet specifically about the election, and then only about the Europeans, nothing at all about KCC.

A Lib Dem publication was the first one we got during this cycle, I seem to remember anyway, but it was a regular quarterly Focus, nothing really to do with the election. It was also in need of a proof read as at the very least the URL at the bottom of page two was wrong - "www.cantlibdem" is no URL at all.

What I'm trying to say, badly, is that I'm disappointed in the Lib Dem campaign, at least in my ward. I want to vote for them, but I feel like they've done nothing to deserve it. They've certainly not actually tried to get my vote.

I hoped for more.

Focus )

We got this leaflet, which is the Lib Dem Euro specific one, only very recently - possibly the last week or so?

Euro specific Lib Dem leaflet )

I know campaigning in a Tory stronghold (Canterbury constituency has elected only Conservative MPs since 1874, the longest any current UK constituency has remained under the control of one party [source=wikipedia]), but really, if you don't make the effort (and I apply this to Labour, much as I dislike them atm, as much as I do to the Liberal Democrats) then they'll never be beaten here. Most elections here (Canterbury) seem to have a depressing enevitability about them. Purely on the basis of who sends out the most stuff and is the most visible (including on the doorstep), it is the Conservatives who are the most visible.

Anyway, I should go to bed. I'm getting up early to vote!

ETA: the election is today as I finish writing. It's gone 1am!
lizziec: (Frazer-doomed)
This post has been brought on by two things. First, it's the Euro and County Council elections (at least for us in Kent) tomorrow (possibly today, depending on when I finish writing this). Second, we finally received a leaflet from Labour today and I really don't think they're even trying to contest this election. I was shocked by the poor quality and decided to share. Then I figured that I may as well document all the political bumf that Ben and I have had through the letter box during this process.

Some were addressed to me, some were addressed to Ben. Interestingly, apart from the Greens, it was different letters/leaflets addressed to each of us (if they were addressed at all), rather than any overlap.

Click on pictures to embiggen throughout.


An artfully arranged display of all our leaflets.

I'll start with the shoddy leaflet that kicked all this off, which is the last one we have received.

This one is courtesy of Labour. I'm not a Labour supporter, so I admit this might be rather biased of me, but this is possibly the worst political leaflet I have ever seen. Acres of blank space, poor grammar and spelling, and clearly has not been proof read before being printed off. Which is sad because I can only assume it's been/being passed around the district, and it's really not a good advert for the Labour Party. Read it and you'll see what I mean.

Labour leaflet )

The Conservatives have tried hardest, sending round several leaflets, and the only party to send someone to Canvass us. I should mention that neither Ben nor I are currently registered with any political party, so that can't be the reason we have quite so many Conservative mailshots. I can only assume that they're trying this hard with everyone.

This was the most recent. )

Ben had a 'personal' letter from the KCC candidate. )

Another Conservative leaflet. Can't remember when this one arrived. )

This last one is a copy of the main Conservative KCC leaflet. This one was hand delivered by the canvasser. We have two copies of this as one was in with the letter that Ben got, shown further up.

The problem we had with this is that it reads like a particularly poor CV. On the upside, there was little wasted space and it did appear to have been spell checked/proof read before it was printed.

On the downside, it does lie, as did the Canvasser about the John Simmonds (the Cons Candidate for Canterbury West, which is our ward) being "The Local Choice". The Canvasser told me that the candidate lived "just round the corner". This is untrue. John Simmonds lives in Whitstable, which is not "just round the corner". According to google maps it is actually 5.7 miles away from my address to his. I suppose it could be a very large corner...

In fact, I believe the Canvasser was referring to the Conservative candidate for the Canterbury South-West Ward (Maureen Robinson), who does live "just round the corner" in Oaks Park (I believe).

While Whiststable may be "local", it's not local in the sense the canvasser, and I believe the leaflet, were aiming at.

Not impressed.

Also not impressed with myself - I only remembered the questions I wanted to ask the canvasser (pot holes, Iceland[as in banks, not supermarkets]) after I closed the door, and I wasn't about to go chasing after him!

Conservative leaflet for KCC. )

The Green Party sent us two leaflets, one addressed to each of us. Unfortunately they were both identical and both came through the post. Have to wonder about the Carbon Footprint of that.

Green Party leaflet )

We also got a leaflet from the "No2EU" party, who appear to be endorsed only by Bob Crow of RMT Union fame.

No2EU )

We have also received the now infamous BNP leaflet. Not sure what we'll do with it yet. Possibly shred it and then set it on fire. Ben pointed out it looked rather like a kebab menu, which is funny because it's true.

I don't know where to start on the ways in which this hate filled nasty little piece of racist propaganda annoys and frustrates me, so I shan't even try. I only picture it for completeness and posterity. I hope in years to come I can look back and laugh on the fact that people ever considered voting for these cretins, especially on the basis of this.

I just hope they don't win a significant share of the vote, especially a share significant enough to win a seat.

BNP )

Given my political sympathies swing towards the Lib Dems, perhaps naturally as they were the party supported by my parents while I was growing up (I delivered my fair share of Focuses, did several shifts of telling at several elections at my local polling station, had an action room in our living room during a general election - tables and tables of addresses! - and even attended a Count as Lib Dem representative - all while I was 18 or younger) I am disappointed by the efforts of the local party.

No Canvassing, at least, not round my block of flats. Only one leaflet about only one of the two elections. Given they say on their leaflet that "only the Lib Dems can beat the Conservatives here" I don't feel like they really tried at all. One leaflet specifically about the election, and then only about the Europeans, nothing at all about KCC.

A Lib Dem publication was the first one we got during this cycle, I seem to remember anyway, but it was a regular quarterly Focus, nothing really to do with the election. It was also in need of a proof read as at the very least the URL at the bottom of page two was wrong - "www.cantlibdem" is no URL at all.

What I'm trying to say, badly, is that I'm disappointed in the Lib Dem campaign, at least in my ward. I want to vote for them, but I feel like they've done nothing to deserve it. They've certainly not actually tried to get my vote.

I hoped for more.

Focus )

We got this leaflet, which is the Lib Dem Euro specific one, only very recently - possibly the last week or so?

Euro specific Lib Dem leaflet )

I know campaigning in a Tory stronghold (Canterbury constituency has elected only Conservative MPs since 1874, the longest any current UK constituency has remained under the control of one party [source=wikipedia]), but really, if you don't make the effort (and I apply this to Labour, much as I dislike them atm, as much as I do to the Liberal Democrats) then they'll never be beaten here. Most elections here (Canterbury) seem to have a depressing enevitability about them. Purely on the basis of who sends out the most stuff and is the most visible (including on the doorstep), it is the Conservatives who are the most visible.

Anyway, I should go to bed. I'm getting up early to vote!

ETA: the election is today as I finish writing. It's gone 1am!
lizziec: (XKCD sheeple)
I'm currently feeling rather annoyed by this. " All travel plans to be tracked by Government". Under the plans, starting to be brought in already: "Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade."

I don't know where to start on this, or what annoys me most. Perhaps it is the justifcation from the government:

"The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against the threat of international terrorism."


How does tracking people leaving the country and holding the details for 10 years protect us against terrorism? This comes across as a standard line from the government, much like how ID cards will apparently protect us, even if they didn't protect the people of Madrid.

Or it might be the "condemnation" of the plans by Chris Grayling, the home affairs spokesman for the Conservatives:

""Of course we need to keep a proper record of people as they come in and leave the country.

"My worry is that the Government is creating something which will be unwieldy, impossible to manage and expensive to operate.

"I think this system has to be much simpler."
"


I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound much like it's condemning the plans to me.

Grrrr. This government is making me so annoyed with plans like this I barely know where to start. As soon as one lot are withdrawn, another lot comes up. I'm starting to feel quite worn down by it all.
lizziec: (XKCD sheeple)
I'm currently feeling rather annoyed by this. " All travel plans to be tracked by Government". Under the plans, starting to be brought in already: "Anyone departing the UK by land, sea or air will have their trip recorded and stored on a database for a decade."

I don't know where to start on this, or what annoys me most. Perhaps it is the justifcation from the government:

"The changes are being brought in as the Government tries to tighten border controls and increase protection against the threat of international terrorism."


How does tracking people leaving the country and holding the details for 10 years protect us against terrorism? This comes across as a standard line from the government, much like how ID cards will apparently protect us, even if they didn't protect the people of Madrid.

Or it might be the "condemnation" of the plans by Chris Grayling, the home affairs spokesman for the Conservatives:

""Of course we need to keep a proper record of people as they come in and leave the country.

"My worry is that the Government is creating something which will be unwieldy, impossible to manage and expensive to operate.

"I think this system has to be much simpler."
"


I don't know about you, but that doesn't sound much like it's condemning the plans to me.

Grrrr. This government is making me so annoyed with plans like this I barely know where to start. As soon as one lot are withdrawn, another lot comes up. I'm starting to feel quite worn down by it all.
lizziec: (obama britain)
This is pretty cool - it's a bullet pointed list of all the things Obama has done in his first 100 hours of being President. Makes very interesting reading.
lizziec: (obama britain)
This is pretty cool - it's a bullet pointed list of all the things Obama has done in his first 100 hours of being President. Makes very interesting reading.
lizziec: (cartoon elephant)
My Political Views
I am a left social libertarian
Left: 5.14, Libertarian: 4.25

Political Spectrum Quiz


My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -5.04

Political Spectrum Quiz


My Culture War Stance
Score: -7

Political Spectrum Quiz


From [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political and [livejournal.com profile] red_pill
lizziec: (cartoon elephant)
My Political Views
I am a left social libertarian
Left: 5.14, Libertarian: 4.25

Political Spectrum Quiz


My Foreign Policy Views
Score: -5.04

Political Spectrum Quiz


My Culture War Stance
Score: -7

Political Spectrum Quiz


From [livejournal.com profile] ontd_political and [livejournal.com profile] red_pill
lizziec: (acid)
Recently I've been reading The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor (which, by the way, is an excellent book that I am highly recommending), and a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me as being completely and utterly appropriate to describe Gordon Brown and everything that is happening at the moment. As George Santayana apparently once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Perhaps Gordon Brown should pay closer attention to the lessons History has for us :)

"In the September 1965 elections, the SPD made further gains. Brandt again failed to achieve victory, but the Social Democrats' share of the vote continued to edge upwards. The conservatives' share continued its decline, while the liberal Free Democrats lost quite heavily. But the conservative/liberal coalition, led by Adenauer's successor, Ludwig Erhard, hung on to power.

As Economics Minister, Professor Erhard had been the architecht of the West German 'economic miracle' after 1949, but, like so many long-serving successful second-in-commands, once he finally heaved himself into the top position he swiftly confirmed why he had always been the deputy and not the chief. Erhard proved inept at both party-politicking and foreign policy. Moreover, for the first time since the end of the war, German industry went into recession and a 'black hole' appeared in the state finances.
With half a million West Germans unemployed - paradisiacal, at just over 2 per cent of the work-force, as this may seem by twenty-first-century standards - in 1966 there was anxious talk of a return to the 1930s." (Pages 512-513)

See what I mean? ;) If you changed some words (Erhard for Brown, West German for Britain etc) it could have been written about our Iron Chancellor Prime Minister.

ETA: I just realised I don't have a history icon! :O This will have to be rectified!
lizziec: (acid)
Recently I've been reading The Berlin Wall: 13 August 1961 - 9 November 1989 by Frederick Taylor (which, by the way, is an excellent book that I am highly recommending), and a couple of paragraphs jumped out at me as being completely and utterly appropriate to describe Gordon Brown and everything that is happening at the moment. As George Santayana apparently once said "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it". Perhaps Gordon Brown should pay closer attention to the lessons History has for us :)

"In the September 1965 elections, the SPD made further gains. Brandt again failed to achieve victory, but the Social Democrats' share of the vote continued to edge upwards. The conservatives' share continued its decline, while the liberal Free Democrats lost quite heavily. But the conservative/liberal coalition, led by Adenauer's successor, Ludwig Erhard, hung on to power.

As Economics Minister, Professor Erhard had been the architecht of the West German 'economic miracle' after 1949, but, like so many long-serving successful second-in-commands, once he finally heaved himself into the top position he swiftly confirmed why he had always been the deputy and not the chief. Erhard proved inept at both party-politicking and foreign policy. Moreover, for the first time since the end of the war, German industry went into recession and a 'black hole' appeared in the state finances.
With half a million West Germans unemployed - paradisiacal, at just over 2 per cent of the work-force, as this may seem by twenty-first-century standards - in 1966 there was anxious talk of a return to the 1930s." (Pages 512-513)

See what I mean? ;) If you changed some words (Erhard for Brown, West German for Britain etc) it could have been written about our Iron Chancellor Prime Minister.

ETA: I just realised I don't have a history icon! :O This will have to be rectified!
lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
[livejournal.com profile] benc has just come to a startling conclusion that I feel must be shared with the world.

The last time the economy crashed Norman Lamont was Chancellor.


This time, Alastair Darling is Chancellor.


What do they have in common? )

Thus, the solution to the UK's economic woes is... )
lizziec: (XKCD drunk)
[livejournal.com profile] benc has just come to a startling conclusion that I feel must be shared with the world.

The last time the economy crashed Norman Lamont was Chancellor.


This time, Alastair Darling is Chancellor.


What do they have in common? )

Thus, the solution to the UK's economic woes is... )
lizziec: (apod - milkyway)
I was watching Newsnight just now and there were some politics experts talking about the new Counter Terrorism Bill, which is going to be voted on by MPs next week. There are lots of things in the proposed bill which make me angry, and I'm not going to go in to that right now, but the major thing being discussed tonight was the clause of holding suspects without trial for 42 days (the current is 28 days and the highest in the world already). What made me especially angry tonight, livid in fact, was the man who basically stated that the bill with 42 days would probably pass because most of the Labour MPs who would rebel feel that they have caused Gordon Brown enough trouble right now and that the bad headlines would damage their party. There are just no words for how angry that makes me.

The idea that a flawed bill with a hugely flawed detention without trial limit would be allowed through because some people feel that they need to conform for the good of their party and are not willing to stand up for what they believe in (and the fact they were considering rebelling in the first place tells me that they think this is wrong) makes me really angry. What a ridiculous reason for letting this bill though. I could almost respect them if they thought it was the right thing to do but just because they think they've caused enough trouble for now? It strikes me that it is an inherently bad law if the best reason for passing it that someone voting for it can come up with is that they don't want to rock the boat any more.

ARGH!

AngryAngryAngry.
lizziec: (apod - milkyway)
I was watching Newsnight just now and there were some politics experts talking about the new Counter Terrorism Bill, which is going to be voted on by MPs next week. There are lots of things in the proposed bill which make me angry, and I'm not going to go in to that right now, but the major thing being discussed tonight was the clause of holding suspects without trial for 42 days (the current is 28 days and the highest in the world already). What made me especially angry tonight, livid in fact, was the man who basically stated that the bill with 42 days would probably pass because most of the Labour MPs who would rebel feel that they have caused Gordon Brown enough trouble right now and that the bad headlines would damage their party. There are just no words for how angry that makes me.

The idea that a flawed bill with a hugely flawed detention without trial limit would be allowed through because some people feel that they need to conform for the good of their party and are not willing to stand up for what they believe in (and the fact they were considering rebelling in the first place tells me that they think this is wrong) makes me really angry. What a ridiculous reason for letting this bill though. I could almost respect them if they thought it was the right thing to do but just because they think they've caused enough trouble for now? It strikes me that it is an inherently bad law if the best reason for passing it that someone voting for it can come up with is that they don't want to rock the boat any more.

ARGH!

AngryAngryAngry.
lizziec: (apod - Venus)
I got this from [livejournal.com profile] jmkg, and she explains it best, so I'll let her:

"Please sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/flexibleleave/ which was set up this week. The current system of new parent's leave in the UK is very unbalanced, where the mother can take 52 weeks off (13 unpaid) but her partner can only have 2 weeks off at a low rate of pay. We believe that this needs to be changed.

We believe that families should be able to choose what works for them, rather than assuming that the mother will always be the parent who will be taking the childcare leave. In a lot of situations the mother may wish not to have a full year off work, or the family may not be able to afford for her to. Yet there is no provision to transfer any leave to the mother's partner, who equally may well prefer to have more than the two weeks allocated to spend with their new baby. Naturally a lot of families would still choose the traditional route of the mother taking the full leave, but *there should be the choice*. Please sign the petition even if you don't think it affects you personally, but you think that other families should be able to choose what's right for their situation.

A flexible system of leave could also have the advantage of reducing sexist employment behaviours. MEP Godfrey Bloom (UKIP) said "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age", but if parental leave wasn't automatically assigned to the mother then a major incentive for unscrupulous businesses *not* to hire women of child-bearing age would disappear.

The petition doesn't propose any increase in the overall amount of leave allowed to new parents, though that could be a focus for future campaigns. It is just intended as a first step - a large first step, which could make the world a fairer place without costing money for businesses (a major reason why other proposals to make the leave allowances fairer have failed).

What you can do: please sign the petition, and visit our website at equalrights.org.uk for more information. Please pass this message onto other people: tell your friends, tell your online communities, get people interested, help spread the word!
"
lizziec: (apod - Venus)
I got this from [livejournal.com profile] jmkg, and she explains it best, so I'll let her:

"Please sign the petition at http://petitions.pm.gov.uk/flexibleleave/ which was set up this week. The current system of new parent's leave in the UK is very unbalanced, where the mother can take 52 weeks off (13 unpaid) but her partner can only have 2 weeks off at a low rate of pay. We believe that this needs to be changed.

We believe that families should be able to choose what works for them, rather than assuming that the mother will always be the parent who will be taking the childcare leave. In a lot of situations the mother may wish not to have a full year off work, or the family may not be able to afford for her to. Yet there is no provision to transfer any leave to the mother's partner, who equally may well prefer to have more than the two weeks allocated to spend with their new baby. Naturally a lot of families would still choose the traditional route of the mother taking the full leave, but *there should be the choice*. Please sign the petition even if you don't think it affects you personally, but you think that other families should be able to choose what's right for their situation.

A flexible system of leave could also have the advantage of reducing sexist employment behaviours. MEP Godfrey Bloom (UKIP) said "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age", but if parental leave wasn't automatically assigned to the mother then a major incentive for unscrupulous businesses *not* to hire women of child-bearing age would disappear.

The petition doesn't propose any increase in the overall amount of leave allowed to new parents, though that could be a focus for future campaigns. It is just intended as a first step - a large first step, which could make the world a fairer place without costing money for businesses (a major reason why other proposals to make the leave allowances fairer have failed).

What you can do: please sign the petition, and visit our website at equalrights.org.uk for more information. Please pass this message onto other people: tell your friends, tell your online communities, get people interested, help spread the word!
"
lizziec: (me - Lizzie-ben-wedding)
The Chancellor is a prick, I am not impressed with today's budget. At all.

At least the Daily Mash does The Budget made me laugh. So I'm sharing it.
lizziec: (me - Lizzie-ben-wedding)
The Chancellor is a prick, I am not impressed with today's budget. At all.

At least the Daily Mash does The Budget made me laugh. So I'm sharing it.
lizziec: (don't be a sheep)


(also here)
lizziec: (don't be a sheep)


(also here)
lizziec: (LDS - called to pester)
As when I did my A-Levels between September 2000 and June 2002, the issue of Lords reform is becoming highly pertinent again. politics - cut to save your friends page :) )
lizziec: (LDS - called to pester)
As when I did my A-Levels between September 2000 and June 2002, the issue of Lords reform is becoming highly pertinent again. politics - cut to save your friends page :) )
lizziec: (owl)
Listening to the extended version of Barenaked Ladies are Me while heading up to [livejournal.com profile] no1typo's to fix the internets there I suddenly caught part of one of the songs on it "Fun and Games" and realised that the protest song isn't dead and BNL had included one on their new album.

Having listened to it I don't think they like President Bush, the war on terror or Iraq very much at all...

A copy of "Fun and Games" is uploaded here here (ogg) and here (flac). Help yourself.

Lyrics )

ION: Ben and I have tickets to go to the London BNL concert at the end of March! squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
lizziec: (owl)
Listening to the extended version of Barenaked Ladies are Me while heading up to [livejournal.com profile] no1typo's to fix the internets there I suddenly caught part of one of the songs on it "Fun and Games" and realised that the protest song isn't dead and BNL had included one on their new album.

Having listened to it I don't think they like President Bush, the war on terror or Iraq very much at all...

A copy of "Fun and Games" is uploaded here here (ogg) and here (flac). Help yourself.

Lyrics )

ION: Ben and I have tickets to go to the London BNL concert at the end of March! squeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
lizziec: (lego l)
So the House of Lords have rejected the Government proposal to link ID cards to passports for the third time.

This means that the Government will potentially use the Parliament Act to force it through without the approval of the Lords.

I hope not, despite what Charles Clarke says ("passports were "voluntary documents" that no-one was forced to renew" - umm, except when you need to leave the country that is), the linking of ID cards to passports is creeping compulsion. If you are forced to get one when you renew your passport then eventually practically everyone will have one...except for your terrorists, the people they are designed to stop, because they may not have a British passport to start with, they probably won't be worried about them even if they do [after all, they didn't stop Madrid] and they probably have access to forgers who can make the sodding passports without the need for this ID card rubbish.

Best quote of the night came from the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords. From the BBC News article:

"The Liberal Democrat leader in the Upper House, Lord McNally, said the House of Lords must retain its right to say "no".

"There is the Parliament Act and that is the right of the elected House to have its way," he said.

"But this House must retain the right to say 'not in our name'."
"

It's certainly not in mine.

(P.S. For those of you who don't read my teacher blog I have a job interview! :D)
lizziec: (lego l)
So the House of Lords have rejected the Government proposal to link ID cards to passports for the third time.

This means that the Government will potentially use the Parliament Act to force it through without the approval of the Lords.

I hope not, despite what Charles Clarke says ("passports were "voluntary documents" that no-one was forced to renew" - umm, except when you need to leave the country that is), the linking of ID cards to passports is creeping compulsion. If you are forced to get one when you renew your passport then eventually practically everyone will have one...except for your terrorists, the people they are designed to stop, because they may not have a British passport to start with, they probably won't be worried about them even if they do [after all, they didn't stop Madrid] and they probably have access to forgers who can make the sodding passports without the need for this ID card rubbish.

Best quote of the night came from the leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords. From the BBC News article:

"The Liberal Democrat leader in the Upper House, Lord McNally, said the House of Lords must retain its right to say "no".

"There is the Parliament Act and that is the right of the elected House to have its way," he said.

"But this House must retain the right to say 'not in our name'."
"

It's certainly not in mine.

(P.S. For those of you who don't read my teacher blog I have a job interview! :D)
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
The BBC news story about last night's ID card vote.

It makes me really quite stompy, and I know that I am not the only one.

So now we get a seperate law before it is made compulsorary. Whoopdedoo. How is that going to help when from 2009 you will not be allowed to get a passport without also getting an ID card. If you cannot leave the country without a passport and you cannot get a passport without getting an ID card it will be a short time before everyone has one anyway.

As for the "it will stop terrorism" issue, don't even get me started. The Madrid bombers had valid Spanish ID, the July bombers were all UK citizens. I do not see how having ID cards would have stopped these atrocities.

It will stop identity theft? I don't think so. It will only be a short amount of time before this too will be forged, except now they will be supposedly fool-proof. If your identity is stolen with a forged card then how long will it take you to get it back - if someone has one of these pieces of plastic then they must be who they say they are.

Let's not even mention how little I trust this or any other government with biometric data on me, let alone data on me stored on one of those Oh-So-Reliable government IT projects.

Oh for pity's sake. How stupid do the Government think we are?

The report is full of little quotes from various organisations. Let's start with the one from Home Office minister Andy Burnham. Support, apparently is "Solidifying" and the majority of a whole 31 MPs means that "We think it gives the vote a very clear mandate going forward".

Let's now examine what "mandate" means a clear authorization or direction...the authorization to act given by a constituency to its elected representative (sourced from dictionary.com)

So the fact that a government, who a minority of the UK voted for, have won a vote gives them a mandate - we, the people, apparently support them.

Except, oh wait! We don't! Shock horror.

According to a poll by yougov if the scheme cost £6bn - "a figure that some ministers have talked about" - then public support for it was at "2 to 1 against", and when you move to the figures that the LSE* and others have been talking about, £10bn+ then we are at a figure of "8 to 1 against"

What this tells me is that the esteemed Home Office Minister has a different understanding of mandate. A slim majority of a government a minority elected into office voted for something that at least two thirds of the country are against.

Doesn't sound like a mandate to me.

*not even mentioning that the LSE now refuses to release another figure on the cost owing to the high levels of secrecy from the government about how the project will go ahead. Many officials from LSE have been scathing of planning for this project owing to "contradictions, guesswork and wishful thinking" on the part of the Government.

[Edit] This is quite interesting for looking at the views of the public on ID cards
lizziec: (potterpuffs - dumbledore flesh wound)
The BBC news story about last night's ID card vote.

It makes me really quite stompy, and I know that I am not the only one.

So now we get a seperate law before it is made compulsorary. Whoopdedoo. How is that going to help when from 2009 you will not be allowed to get a passport without also getting an ID card. If you cannot leave the country without a passport and you cannot get a passport without getting an ID card it will be a short time before everyone has one anyway.

As for the "it will stop terrorism" issue, don't even get me started. The Madrid bombers had valid Spanish ID, the July bombers were all UK citizens. I do not see how having ID cards would have stopped these atrocities.

It will stop identity theft? I don't think so. It will only be a short amount of time before this too will be forged, except now they will be supposedly fool-proof. If your identity is stolen with a forged card then how long will it take you to get it back - if someone has one of these pieces of plastic then they must be who they say they are.

Let's not even mention how little I trust this or any other government with biometric data on me, let alone data on me stored on one of those Oh-So-Reliable government IT projects.

Oh for pity's sake. How stupid do the Government think we are?

The report is full of little quotes from various organisations. Let's start with the one from Home Office minister Andy Burnham. Support, apparently is "Solidifying" and the majority of a whole 31 MPs means that "We think it gives the vote a very clear mandate going forward".

Let's now examine what "mandate" means a clear authorization or direction...the authorization to act given by a constituency to its elected representative (sourced from dictionary.com)

So the fact that a government, who a minority of the UK voted for, have won a vote gives them a mandate - we, the people, apparently support them.

Except, oh wait! We don't! Shock horror.

According to a poll by yougov if the scheme cost £6bn - "a figure that some ministers have talked about" - then public support for it was at "2 to 1 against", and when you move to the figures that the LSE* and others have been talking about, £10bn+ then we are at a figure of "8 to 1 against"

What this tells me is that the esteemed Home Office Minister has a different understanding of mandate. A slim majority of a government a minority elected into office voted for something that at least two thirds of the country are against.

Doesn't sound like a mandate to me.

*not even mentioning that the LSE now refuses to release another figure on the cost owing to the high levels of secrecy from the government about how the project will go ahead. Many officials from LSE have been scathing of planning for this project owing to "contradictions, guesswork and wishful thinking" on the part of the Government.

[Edit] This is quite interesting for looking at the views of the public on ID cards

Stuff

7 July 2005 07:37 pm
lizziec: (Default)
I wanted to mention something on this journal about



my dad who would have been 58 today. This brings with it its own difficulties and grief but owing to the events in London today I don't feel that I can possibly wallow in it. Instead there is a teeny mention of this wonderful man, my father, Phillip Robert Overal, who is still greatly missed by his family.

As for London, the dead and injured were just ordinary people doing ordinary things. They were people who were thinking about the weather, or work, or what was for dinner tonight and that is the tragedy that hurts so many people but I will not grieve for them. Instead I grieve for the people who are left behind and the years of pain they face.

Despite the attacks today I still think ID cards are a very bad idea, as is the further removal of our human rights. That is the only way in which the terrorists will win.

Stuff

7 July 2005 07:37 pm
lizziec: (Default)
I wanted to mention something on this journal about



my dad who would have been 58 today. This brings with it its own difficulties and grief but owing to the events in London today I don't feel that I can possibly wallow in it. Instead there is a teeny mention of this wonderful man, my father, Phillip Robert Overal, who is still greatly missed by his family.

As for London, the dead and injured were just ordinary people doing ordinary things. They were people who were thinking about the weather, or work, or what was for dinner tonight and that is the tragedy that hurts so many people but I will not grieve for them. Instead I grieve for the people who are left behind and the years of pain they face.

Despite the attacks today I still think ID cards are a very bad idea, as is the further removal of our human rights. That is the only way in which the terrorists will win.
lizziec: (Default)
Those of you who get pissed off at politics would do best to ignore this one ;)

Today ex-MP Brian Sedgemore defected from Labour to the Liberal Democrats. I didn't really pay much attention to this story to begin with cos I didn't really care. Then [livejournal.com profile] metamoof pasted the link to his last speech in Parliament which was against Prevention of Terrorism Bill. I read it through and developed a whole hearted respect for this man. The speech is very strong stuff. It's certainly more than a little bit emotive.

The text of the speech )

I was really surprised. At the advanced age of 21 I am incredibly cynical about parliamentary debates and get easily bored by them, but reading this speech made my hair stand on end.

He compares the system of justice in this country to being akin to the one that "found favour with the South African Government at the time of apartheid", but for me the most powerful connotations come from a paragraph further down the page where he states: "Many Members have gone nap on the matter. They voted: first, to abolish trial by jury in less serious cases; secondly, to abolish trial by jury in more serious cases; thirdly, to approve an unlawful war; fourthly, to create a gulag at Belmarsh; and fifthly, to lock up innocent people in their homes. It is truly terrifying to imagine what those Members of Parliament will vote for next.I can describe all that only as new Labour's descent into hell, which is not a place where I want to be."

For me this conjures up images of the Nazi state, possibly because of the things I have been reading at the moment (including Lawrence Rees' excellent "Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution"), but it brings up a theme that is touched upon by book after book, time after time. The erosion of the rights of the Jews in Germany were so gradual that it seemed that to ride it out and wait was the best course. It couldn't last, people told themselves, things would get better and they wouldn't get much worse. History tells us these people were wrong, but hindsight is a beautiful thing. I will admit the analogy is somewhat harsh, but it also shows us what a dangerous road we are starting on.

Our Human Rights are being chipped away at so slowly that we barely notice it in the name of freedom from fear. First this right is eroded, then that, and then another. If this continues one day we will have nothing left. I want to say, here and now, that the attacks on the 11th September 2001 made me no more afraid of the world around me than I was before. In the wake of all that has happened since I have become more afraid of the actions of our government, at home and abroad, and that of the US than I have those of terrorists.

Something in Mr Sedgemore's speech has touched a chord with me. I will be voting in this election and I will be voting against the party that has eroded my rights as a human and as a citizen. I will be voting against the party that took us into a war I did not support under the premise of a lie. I will be voting against the party that has time and again shown themselves to be untrustworthy.

I feel motivated to vote, and I will not be denied my oportunity to speak out, even if it is what others proclaim as "a wasted vote" or "a vote that will help the Conservatives win".

I will use my vote to make my stand.
lizziec: (Default)
Those of you who get pissed off at politics would do best to ignore this one ;)

Today ex-MP Brian Sedgemore defected from Labour to the Liberal Democrats. I didn't really pay much attention to this story to begin with cos I didn't really care. Then [livejournal.com profile] metamoof pasted the link to his last speech in Parliament which was against Prevention of Terrorism Bill. I read it through and developed a whole hearted respect for this man. The speech is very strong stuff. It's certainly more than a little bit emotive.

The text of the speech )

I was really surprised. At the advanced age of 21 I am incredibly cynical about parliamentary debates and get easily bored by them, but reading this speech made my hair stand on end.

He compares the system of justice in this country to being akin to the one that "found favour with the South African Government at the time of apartheid", but for me the most powerful connotations come from a paragraph further down the page where he states: "Many Members have gone nap on the matter. They voted: first, to abolish trial by jury in less serious cases; secondly, to abolish trial by jury in more serious cases; thirdly, to approve an unlawful war; fourthly, to create a gulag at Belmarsh; and fifthly, to lock up innocent people in their homes. It is truly terrifying to imagine what those Members of Parliament will vote for next.I can describe all that only as new Labour's descent into hell, which is not a place where I want to be."

For me this conjures up images of the Nazi state, possibly because of the things I have been reading at the moment (including Lawrence Rees' excellent "Auschwitz: The Nazis and the Final Solution"), but it brings up a theme that is touched upon by book after book, time after time. The erosion of the rights of the Jews in Germany were so gradual that it seemed that to ride it out and wait was the best course. It couldn't last, people told themselves, things would get better and they wouldn't get much worse. History tells us these people were wrong, but hindsight is a beautiful thing. I will admit the analogy is somewhat harsh, but it also shows us what a dangerous road we are starting on.

Our Human Rights are being chipped away at so slowly that we barely notice it in the name of freedom from fear. First this right is eroded, then that, and then another. If this continues one day we will have nothing left. I want to say, here and now, that the attacks on the 11th September 2001 made me no more afraid of the world around me than I was before. In the wake of all that has happened since I have become more afraid of the actions of our government, at home and abroad, and that of the US than I have those of terrorists.

Something in Mr Sedgemore's speech has touched a chord with me. I will be voting in this election and I will be voting against the party that has eroded my rights as a human and as a citizen. I will be voting against the party that took us into a war I did not support under the premise of a lie. I will be voting against the party that has time and again shown themselves to be untrustworthy.

I feel motivated to vote, and I will not be denied my oportunity to speak out, even if it is what others proclaim as "a wasted vote" or "a vote that will help the Conservatives win".

I will use my vote to make my stand.
lizziec: (Default)
Firstly, CCUC has recieved confirmation that it will be a University before next year \o/

Secondly, CCUC has a much prettier campus than UKC.

Thirdly, I think the interview went ok. I hope it did anyway. I said all the things I needed to, though I can think of some things now that I should have said then it's no good beating myself up over it. I can't change anything now. I should hear how I did before the end of Easter...

Finally, a real travesty was revealed to me today: From next year in line with the rest of subjects PGCE students will pay £3000 tution to learn to teach. At the moment student teachers have their tution paid for by the state. Am I the only one who thinks this is quite ridiculous? If the government want more teachers in the classrooms then they are going to have to shell out some money for them.

Pfft. I so won't be voting labour at the next election...
lizziec: (Default)
Firstly, CCUC has recieved confirmation that it will be a University before next year \o/

Secondly, CCUC has a much prettier campus than UKC.

Thirdly, I think the interview went ok. I hope it did anyway. I said all the things I needed to, though I can think of some things now that I should have said then it's no good beating myself up over it. I can't change anything now. I should hear how I did before the end of Easter...

Finally, a real travesty was revealed to me today: From next year in line with the rest of subjects PGCE students will pay £3000 tution to learn to teach. At the moment student teachers have their tution paid for by the state. Am I the only one who thinks this is quite ridiculous? If the government want more teachers in the classrooms then they are going to have to shell out some money for them.

Pfft. I so won't be voting labour at the next election...
lizziec: (Default)
I have been prompted to post this morning by the case of Terri Schiavo, (and here and here) a woman in the US who has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1990. Her husband who is her legal guardian wants her to be allowed to die with dignity and has been fighting since 1998 for her feeding tube to be removed. He has been successful on three occasions (including this last one) and twice the decision has been overturned by those on the opposite side, Mrs Schiavo's parents and siblings because they:
"believe she can still lead a fulfilling life".


My take on it is that if there is anything left of this woman, she is trapped, unable to do anything inside this shell of a body. I don't think being trapped like that is in anyway a meaningful existance and I think she should be allowed to die.

It is a difficult decision for people to make and the law courts have constantly approved Mr Schiavo's wishes. I do not think that Congress (overwhelmingly republican) should have got involved and certainly should not be passing laws to prevent it. It is government meddling gone mad, and the wrong people are being caught in the middle. Now we have intervention in this case what is to stop them from doing the same in other cases? Or even make abortion illegal again.*

I hope if anything like that happens to me the people who love me will allow me to die with dignity and not stay like that for fifteen years. It isn't a life. It may bring comfort to the family because in a bodily sense the person they love is not dead, but in my opinion they are worse than dead.

I have been told before that Greif is a selfish emotion, and I agree with it. It is an emotion for the living and not for the dead, one that doesn't take into account how much the dead person would have suffered if they had lived, just how much the living person wishes they hadn't died. I think the case of Mrs Schiavo is grief taken to its most extreme level of selfishness by the parents and siblings. In not wanting her to be dead they are denying her right to dignity, and trying to justify it by telling themselves and the world it is because they know she can have a meaningful existance.

I think that is just unfair to her.


*Abortion is something I don't think I could ever do, but I defend the right of women to it.
lizziec: (Default)
I have been prompted to post this morning by the case of Terri Schiavo, (and here and here) a woman in the US who has been in a persistent vegetative state since 1990. Her husband who is her legal guardian wants her to be allowed to die with dignity and has been fighting since 1998 for her feeding tube to be removed. He has been successful on three occasions (including this last one) and twice the decision has been overturned by those on the opposite side, Mrs Schiavo's parents and siblings because they:
"believe she can still lead a fulfilling life".


My take on it is that if there is anything left of this woman, she is trapped, unable to do anything inside this shell of a body. I don't think being trapped like that is in anyway a meaningful existance and I think she should be allowed to die.

It is a difficult decision for people to make and the law courts have constantly approved Mr Schiavo's wishes. I do not think that Congress (overwhelmingly republican) should have got involved and certainly should not be passing laws to prevent it. It is government meddling gone mad, and the wrong people are being caught in the middle. Now we have intervention in this case what is to stop them from doing the same in other cases? Or even make abortion illegal again.*

I hope if anything like that happens to me the people who love me will allow me to die with dignity and not stay like that for fifteen years. It isn't a life. It may bring comfort to the family because in a bodily sense the person they love is not dead, but in my opinion they are worse than dead.

I have been told before that Greif is a selfish emotion, and I agree with it. It is an emotion for the living and not for the dead, one that doesn't take into account how much the dead person would have suffered if they had lived, just how much the living person wishes they hadn't died. I think the case of Mrs Schiavo is grief taken to its most extreme level of selfishness by the parents and siblings. In not wanting her to be dead they are denying her right to dignity, and trying to justify it by telling themselves and the world it is because they know she can have a meaningful existance.

I think that is just unfair to her.


*Abortion is something I don't think I could ever do, but I defend the right of women to it.
lizziec: (Default)
This morning [livejournal.com profile] benc pointed me at an article he had read via his RSS feeds that had appeared in the Observer. This article is the account of a British man who was detained in Guantanamo Bay for 33 Months and it is truly horrifying. I don't usually quote from the bible and those who know me best will know that I'm in a very confusing place right now wrt religion, but I feel John 8:7 sums up perfectly what the attitude of the Coalition should be in all this. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Everyone knows that no person or country can be perfect but that they should try as hard as they can to be beyond recrimination. In their "War Upon Terror" the "coalition" is doing things that makes them as bad as, if not worse than the people who committed the September 11th atrocities. Do they really think that by performing torture and denying people their basic human rights they are going to gain support? All they are doing is turning more and more people against them as a country and Bush's regieme.

If this is the price of freeing the world from terrorism I want no part of it.

Not In My Name
lizziec: (Default)
This morning [livejournal.com profile] benc pointed me at an article he had read via his RSS feeds that had appeared in the Observer. This article is the account of a British man who was detained in Guantanamo Bay for 33 Months and it is truly horrifying. I don't usually quote from the bible and those who know me best will know that I'm in a very confusing place right now wrt religion, but I feel John 8:7 sums up perfectly what the attitude of the Coalition should be in all this. "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone". Everyone knows that no person or country can be perfect but that they should try as hard as they can to be beyond recrimination. In their "War Upon Terror" the "coalition" is doing things that makes them as bad as, if not worse than the people who committed the September 11th atrocities. Do they really think that by performing torture and denying people their basic human rights they are going to gain support? All they are doing is turning more and more people against them as a country and Bush's regieme.

If this is the price of freeing the world from terrorism I want no part of it.

Not In My Name

March 2012

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