Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hubris, 2015

I hear that the Tory leadership is not actually  too respected by the Tory MPs, especially since the tax credits debacle. They believe that the leadership think they are God's gift to politics - but isn't there something old that people say about campaigning in poetry and governing in prose?

As I tweeted today, watching the Tories stumble around since they've been governing on their own is like bumping into your ex in their pyjamas, shouting at traffic.

In the midst of their travails, they seem very triumphant about winning seats from us, so much that DavidCameron thinks it's a fine rejoinder to Tim Farron's question about child refugees, to mock him for having fewer MPs now.

There's a word for all this. It's hubris.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Lib Dem Win - coverage for setting up a panel on legalising cannabis

It's a political jungle out there and at the moment the Lib Dems are getting eaten alive, as we only have 8 MPs, and thus very little coverage about policy announcements.

In one part it's nice not to have daily attacks on us but the much more worrying issue is our messages have less chance of getting through to the electorate

It requires more creative use of social media, so it's good that's something that Tim Farron, our leader, and his team are very good at.

The story is great because it's evidence based, in line with Lib Dem values and popular amongst our base and beyond it. More of the same please, much more!

Monday, 12 October 2015

Please stop with "I have considerably more followers than you"

We need to talk about twitter etiquette. Right about now.

Can people PLEASE stop sneering at the number of followers people have* a la people piling on to June Sarpong this morning? You don't think she's cool, you think you're cool, we get it. But if you, say have 25,000 followers because you're a journalist and your twitter profile is at the top of each of your articles, and the person you are criticising only has 3,000, you look rubbish. You do.

It looks cheap and nasty, because it is. It's rude. Don't do it.

Would you openly go around saying "Look how many friends I have! And look how many that person over there has! They have hardly any compared to me! I have considerably more friends than YAWH" (to misquote Harry Enfield's character )

There's quite a good guide from Twitter user @Theguyliner who does a good line in what's good and not good to do on twitter.

Here are a few

How to be cool on social media


Things we all think of social media.

He also does an exceptional line in Blind Date reviews

*There is one exception - if it's clearly a new account creating for the sole purpose of abusing you, it's probably legit to criticise that, and that often comes with said account having few followers. But as @theguyliner says, it's probably better not to retweet trolls.

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Manchester is such a nice place.

I'm rather upset at the rudeness of two journalists today, trotting out the tired old "Oh, all this violence and stuff is just life in Manchester"

Camilla is well known for making jokes, and I defended her when UKIP tried to get the police arrest her for suggesting she'd been to South Thanet more often than Nigel Farage, on a satirical comedy show.

This latest from her is clearly a joke, but it's also pretty rude and prejudiced.

The editor of GQ, that's Gentleman's Quarterly, you think might have a line in charm but replied to Camilla Long thus:

Nice. So both journalists are subscribing to a view, allegedly put forward by the Queen, that Manchester is "not such a nice place".

Perhaps we should look at the evidence :

Q. Is Manchester perceived as meaner by the public at large, rather than prejudiced London-based media?

A. No, according to YouGov the impression is overall positive.

Q. Are many of the protesters from Manchester?

A. Quite hard to tell, tho certainly anecdotal evidence and interviews would suggest there are a number of protesters from elsewhere, including London!

Q. Does Manchester have more of a gun crime problem than London?

A. No, London has more of a problem


Monday, 5 October 2015

On Parenting and Politics; or the triumph of the mundane.

I have always been a firm believer that there is politics in pretty much everything, and that people generally care about issues, even if they don't think they care about politics, as packaged.

However, since becoming a parent, I've noticed an issue. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and family, but I do work, and the minutae of daily life is so complicated, I need a series of automations (perhaps even automatons, or androids!)  to keep it going. And though it sounds a bit, well, weak, I think keeping on top of the washing schedule, cleaning, caring for a child, cooking AND working full time do take up a lot of mindspace.

I listen to Radio 4 today every morning and PM in the evening, but although my opinions are still well informed, I'm not sure where I have the time to contribute strategically to the issues I see. 

But I can see big problems in this daily life, problems that frustrate me Such as North West traffic chaos -  how are people literally going to drive IN George Osborne's Northern Powerhouse in order to metaphorically drive the change he wants to see in the world?  Or childcare and the people who lose out at the bottom of the income scale - the people affected by tax credit cuts. Or the slow creep of credit ratings into every area of our lives, meaning a number of people are cut off at the bottom of the market from accessing housing, loans to expand or a (reliable) car to get to their job on time (looks like we are back to NW traffic chaos....)

Not all of these issues affect me, but I worry about them all anyway.

It makes me realise why clicktivism has taken hold so much - who actually has the time to research and lobby effectively for these changes? In a one party state like Manchester, what good will it do?

I think the answer is possibly a rationalisation of what I do spend my time on outside work, watch this space!