Monday, 24 April 2017

Snap General Election

I thought it best to write a short post about the snap General Election, given I won't be able to write that many posts throughout it. I've got some Open Uni work on the go plus working 4 days a week plus a toddler to bring up so I generally don't have that much time anymore for reading blog posts, let alone writing them!
Anyway, five things I would like to see from this election.
1. Jeremy Corbyn's removal as Labour leader post the loss of seats for Labour. I feel the single most important thing that could happen in the Brexit process is genuine opposition
2. A Lib Dem MP (Lisa Smart) in my home seat of Hazel Grove
3. Many more Lib Dem MPs to add to the excellent 9 we already have
4. More women MPs for the Lib Dems and in general
5. Good returns to vote levels for Lib Dems to pre-coalition levels at least
Good luck to all Lib Dem candidates on 8th June!

Wednesday, 5 April 2017

Brexit - Free Movement of People Extended - BINO?

I’m wary of putting too much hope in this government, but post Article 50 being triggered, the government seems to be executing a pivot towards policies which seem sensible.
Theresa May has indicated that for an “implementation period” the free movement of EU citizens could continue, and hasn’t said much recently about her immigration in the “tens of thousands” policy. Now, I obviously don’t want to Brexit, but this is sensible, whilst businesses and government turn around the tanker of the UK economy towards slower progress….. or of course, don’t do that.

As it seems to me a great deal of normal citizens who don’t pay that much attention to politics aren’t paying a great deal of attention to Brexit, if the trade deal that was struck looked a lot like being in the EU (Brexit In Name Only) but without the MEPs (sorry MEPs – it does appear nobody seems to have your interests in mind!) and included an “emergency brake” on immigration which is probably politically possible if we continue to pay into the EU budget, well, then things go on like before, mostly, only Liam Fox doesn’t have a job.
What’s not to like?

I realise this is very rose-tinted view, but it’s nice to have something positive to write about in this mess!

Monday, 3 April 2017

I pay for journalism. Here's what I want in return....

I don’t want to link to any of the stuff, but there was a kerfuffle over the weekend on Twitter about journalism and ethics. One senior journalist decided to lay into a political party’s press operation, and a more junior journalist criticised this in public, whereupon they were put down by a third (senior) journalist that they hadn’t had any scoops so weren’t worth listening to.
Now, I don’t really want to comment on that particular situation, but all these comments flying about reminded me of two things, and as I keep thinking about it, I’m getting it all down here so as to perhaps stop thinking about it for a while.
I don’t really interact with the big columnist’s Twitter accounts that much anymore because I’m not online when they are as I am at work, and if I do interact with them, in the past I seem to have annoyed them with comments that go against the angle of their article. I think what’s happened is I misunderstood who “should” really be replying to them. I’m not actually “supposed” to reply to these accounts, especially not with criticism, but I think the medium of Twitter lends itself to thinking one is equal with these accounts. I’ve fundamentally misunderstood who they are “talking” to, at some level.
This led me on to considering do I value “scoops” as much as journalists do themselves? I’m not sure I give as much weight to it as they do, perhaps because I’m not a journalist. I value new information of course, but at least on a level with forensic analysis of the subject at hand, plus being able to write and interview a subject well and with sensitivity and a sense of the most important things to discover. I would give equal weight to all of those. To illustrate this, Rachel Sylvester may have changed the course of history with her Andrea Leadsom interview, Janan Ganesh is a must-read about Brexit and Britain’s role in the world, Dan Hodges can get to the heart of a matter very quickly (even when I disagree with him) and Eddie Mair always asks exactly the right question at exactly the right time, elevating him head and shoulders above the rest.  Of course, Eddie Mair is a broadcast journalist rather than a print one, but the point still applies.
I do pay for my journalism, I subscribe to the Guardian and use Blendle to access a lot of content that will let me pay a proportionate amount to read one article, rather than pay for a  whole newspaper that I won’t have the chance to read properly (marginal utility matching marginal revenue). I don’t want to be advertised too unless it matches my preferences and I think we can achieve that – I think a large amount of advertising falls into an area of lifestyle policing (“Beach Body Ready”) that I am really not here  for – but you can advertise Kindle novels and non-fiction books about economics to me all day long…. this really shouldn’t be that hard to achieve.
So, in total, all this leads me to think there is a little bit of a bubble, and some of us who might count as filters between it and the wider population who aren’t on Twitter, might be turned off by a negative approach towards us.