I mean, what did you, yourself, actually do to influence where you were born or bred? Unless you were a particularly ambitious embryo, the answer is “nothing”. Sure, your parents might have made some kind of effort to select your place of birth. Maybe they strove to move to better housing in a neighbourhood with better services and schools. Maybe they’re even immigrants, like my dad, and they struggled long and hard to learn their fourth language in order to integrate into their adopted country. But you? You didn’t do anything. Why are you so proud of that? Think of the things you've accomplished in your life. Isn't it far more fitting and fulfilling to be proud of those?
And why the obsession with asserting the superiority of a single identity over the others? “I’m English first and then British.” Pro-tip: Most of the rest of the world considers both of those to be synonymous with “ex-colonialist imperialist arsehole” so it doesn’t really matter which one you choose. ^.^
Here is a list of the geographically-linked identities that I consider myself able to lay claim to. I’m proud of some and not others.
- San Diegan
- Brummie (this is a new one; still feels a little odd)
Today, I think I’m proudest of being European. I earned that identity and that passport, and I’m still very pissed off that some people want to take it away.
Today is also, weirdly, simultaneously:
- the anniversary of Brexit, aka the Colossal Waste of Time and Money Foisted Upon Us by a Generation That Tore Down Decades of Painstakingly Won Goodwill with Our Neighbours and Won’t Live to Experience the Disastrous Consequences, Thanks a Lot, Dickheads.
- International Women in Engineering Day
So, to close this post, here is a peaceful photo of a woman doing some engineering.
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable
You'll note that Norman Lamb has moved from probably standing to definitely not standing. He announced this with rather petulant article in the Grauniad, in which (among other things) he proclaimed the Lib Dems' second referendum policy as toxic. Now I agree, it is toxic. "First we'll negotiate brexit, then we'll set up a referendum, then we'll campaign against the deal we ourselves negotiated!" is an utterly ridiculous policy. The problem is, it was only in the sodding manifesto due to the insistence of people on the rump brexity wing of the party, of which Norman Lamb is definitely one. This was as far as the rest of the party, who just wanted "we will stop brexit" to be the manifesto position, could be dragged. Policy making by committee often comes up with soggy centrist compromises, and often that's a good thing and satisfies most people, but sometimes it's patently rubbish. This time was the latter. What I don't get is Captain Brexit blaming the rest of the party for it. Well, I do. He'd like us to embrace brexit. And that is not going to happen.
Anyway, the rest of the article sticks the boot in to members in various other ways, and alludes to, but doesn't actually acknowledge, the problems autistic people have with the idea of Norman as a leader, and frankly, just makes me glad he's not standing. At least he has the self-knowledge to know he's not right to lead the party as it currently is, even if he declares it in a rather Skinnerian way.
So the only likely runner at this point undeclared is Ed Davey. And there will be siren
Don't stand, Ed. Leadership elections are expensive, Ed. They are divisive and set party members up against each other, ed. It'd be easier all round just to crown Vince, Ed. You don't want the hassle, Ed. The party doesn't want the hassle, Ed. Lets just have a coronation, Ed.To which I say, pish, tosh, bunkum, bollocks, and bullshit.
Yes, leadership elections are divisive, and do set members up against each other, and sometimes even cause resentments. Do you know what's even more divisive, and causes even more resentments? Not letting Lib Dems have democracy. Not letting us scrutinise each candidate and come to a decision on merit. Not having hustings at which we can put questions to candidates and examine their views and records and promises. Imposing a leader on us without us having a say. I can guarantee you that while a leadership election might be divisive, it's nowhere near as divisive as a coronation.
Now, Ed Davey told one of the BBC politics correspondents (I think Norman Smith) the other day that he would declare whether or not he was standing "on Thursday or Friday". He didn't declare yesterday. I'm hoping he declares he's standing today.
And if you'd told me last month I'd be crossing my fingers for Ed Davey to run in a leadership election, I'd have thought you insane in the membrane, crazy insane, got no brain. Just goes to show what a funny old world it is...
[Keiki with freshly dug potatoes in his fist, ready to deposit them in one of the two white bowls in front of him.]
We ate our first potato harvest tonight. Yum!
( +6 )
£70,000 is in the 95th percentile for personal income. This means that if you earn £70,000 you earn more than 94% (or thereabouts) of people. If you're earning more than 94% of your fellow countrymen, you ought to be rich, right? Like, if you're better off than the vast, vast majority of people, you should feel well off, or else how must the poor buggers on less than you feel?
The problem is, of course, that £70,000 doesn't actually buy that much these days. Like, it won't get you a mortgage on a decent house anywhere in the home counties. It won't buy you a new car and a couple of holidays every year after housing costs. It won't pay school fees for your little ones to go to private school once you've paid for housing costs either. £70,000 a year doesn't feel rich; and that's what the problem is.
If you look at the lifestyles our parents had, well, this is what my parents did in the 80s:
- owned a home
- bought a new car every two years
- didn't go on foreign holidays but DID send me to private school
- were in the pub three nights a week
Now, I'm not saying they didn't work for that: they did. My dad had two full time jobs (mild mannered biology teacher by day, superchef by night) and my mum worked 9-5 too. They worked bloody hard. But the same amount of work in the same jobs these days would get you, if you were lucky:
- a rented house that is one of three poky little Barratt boxes built in the back garden of the kind of house your parents owned
- a second hand banger that you run till it dies, or a bus/rail pass
- a cheap holiday for now, but only until brexit happens and then we have to pay visa fees and the exchange rate is knackered and oh look we can only afford Butlins
- Pre-loading because the pubs are so bloody expensive, thank you alcohol duty escalator
How bloody scandalous is it that even if you're in the 95th percentile you are still struggling, and you are well worse off than your parents would have been on an equivalent income adjusted for inflation etc.? If 95% of the country is not getting a good enough income, that's a bloody disgrace and somebody ought to do something about it.
Anybody know any politicians?
Hello! There now follow some handy hints on how to make the most of your Reading My Blog experience:
- If you don't like my colour scheme (I am aware that many people don't) add "?style=light" to the end of any url to get a different version, or "?style=mine" if you have a dreamwidth account. For an explanation of why I have it like this, see here
- If you want to know more about me, click here
- If you haven't got a dreamwidth account you can still log in and comment or participate in polls with openID.
- Other platforms I am active on are listed here.
- Anonymous commenting is enabled, although anon comments are screened before publication; please, if you comment anonymously, give yourself a name/pseudonym/some form of identifier. If you don't your comment will not be unscreened.
- I don't screen comments from people I know unless pushed VERY hard. Red lines include racism, misogyny, homophobia, unjoking advocation of violence, and being horrible about (or to) people I love. Anons tend to get a lot less leeway and a lot less benefit of the doubt; sorry. My blog, my rules.
- If you want to point out cock-ups I have made, please direct them to Pedants' Corner; likewise if you want to ask me something off the topic of the post please go to this entry - this saves readers' scrolling fingers.
I haven't been around much these few weeks past, but Pride Month does take one's attention when one works for an LGBTQ advocacy organization, especially in these latter days. If anything has been posted or has happened that you'd like to bring to my attention, please feel free to let me know in comments. :)
I like Vince, as a person. I like his stance on bees. I like his dancing.
None of those three things makes him suitable to be leader of the party, though. I mean, yes, he's got long service. And he did that one joke when he was acting leader that one time. But I'd really like something more than that to enthuse about in a potential leader.
Plus, there's all the things that make him unsuitable to be leader:
- He's not a liberal, he's a technocratic centrist. This is fine if you are (shadow) chancellor; commendable, even. It's not acceptable in the leader. The leader needs to inspire. Technocratic centrism is the opposite of inspirational.
- His stance on brexit is... at odds with the majority of the party's members and voters is probably the kindest way of putting it, and is already bringing out the "but we must appease the racists! We can't tell people they are wrong!" faction. If he wins, and maintains this stance, I predict a halving of our membership in pretty short order.
- Tuition fees. OK, so he's not entirely to blame for the policy cock up (all those of us who voted for coalition, myself included, must take out share of that blame) but he is the person responsible for the catastrophic mishandling of the implementation and representation of it, and a big part of the reason Labour, why a party which introduced and then trebled tuition fees, can still point at them like an albatross round our necks.
- The British Press, bless them, are not known for their nuance and balance. His name will be "Sir Vince Cable, the man who privatised the mail" - whether he wins the leadership or not, tbh.
- Ten years ago he declared that by his own reckoning, he was too old. I do not believe he has got younger in that time.
So far, to my knowledge, the field looks like this:
Definitely not standing: Jo Swinson, Jamie Stone, Layla Moran, Tom Brake, Tim Farron, Alistair Carmichael
Probably not standing: Stephen Lloyd, Wera Hobhouse, Christine Jardine
Probably standing: Norman Lamb, Ed Davey
Definitely standing: Vince Cable
If anyone else declares that they are definitely standing I shall go into my reasons further, but based on Ds&Ps, and subject to persuasion at hustings, I expect my ballot to look like this:
- resigning from the party
Dear Lazyweb! How do you manage keeping spring boot applications up to date?
We run an arseload of Java webapps. Our devs have taken a strong liking to spring boot, where everything including the Tomcat is uploaded as a JAR. A delight for them, but somewhat of a concern for the sysadmins who are the people first dealing with security issues.
So I've been asked to come up with recommendations to deal with this, and I haven't a clue as to how to do this other than laborious iterative checking, or automated versions thereof. Nor can I find recommendations.
Has anyone else got this problem or one like it? (Where applications are uploaded as a package that then runs.) What do you do?
We seem to have ended up in a period where the leaders of most of the significant parties - even if few of their second ranks - are women. And two of them are out lesbians. And we're not talking about this. Which I think is kind of awesome.
 If you haven't already seen that clip from The Last Leg's Jo Cox anniversary edition, watch it.
17.A song that you would sing as a duet on karaoke
Most things, if asked... the most recent one I did was A Whole New World (complete with the one-word substitution), with a student from El Salvador in Japan :-)
But if choosing, and if in the right environment, probably this - it's one of my favourite duets, and one of my favourite love songs, in musical theatre. And while Collins's parts in Rent sometimes go a bit low for me, I can manage this one.
16.One of your favourite classical songs
What's "classical" in the context of "songs"? Does this count? It's at least 70 years old....
It's perhaps more famous as performed by the Andrews Sisters, but I like this version because by having male and female vocalists it works both ways. Unlike, say, it's 2015 imitation.