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Jenny introduces Vince’s “industrial renaissance” speech

A bit of politics – oh dear! But bear with me…

My partner Jenny is introducing Vince Cable’s speech today (extracts at http://www.libdems.org.uk/extracts-from-vince-cables-spring…). There’s a number of critical issues at a general election, of course, but the economy is at the heart of it all, and I’m a bit proud to see Jenny picked as a sincere, intelligent voice in politics to introduce perhaps the only leading politician to raise alarms *ahead* of the financial crisis.

The two important points in the speech to me are first, making it clear that the financial crisis made it a tad obvious that blind faith in free markets is cruel insanity (I may be paraphrasing to suit my own tastes here). Second, we need to invest in science and in our industrial base. The tone is important, too, such as being positive about immigrants. I’d have like to see a bit more about the importance of both the economy and science to the NHS, but this is only one speech out of many.

I’m a bit biased, of course, seeing as Jenny is the smartest, most empathetic, and generally wonderfullest woman on planet Earth. But the world would be a better place with more people of her calibre and character in politics. So I’m dead chuffed that’s been recognised in the few years we’ve spent delving into the political arena.

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Thames Valley Science Park plans go on display

A science park in the Thames Valley has been in the cards for a while, with planning permission first granted back in 2010. I’m really looking forward to seeing it made real. I’ve been living and working in the “Thames Valley tech corridor” along the M4 since the year 2000, but the original research and development work has always tended to be done elsewhere. The new park is putting its plans on display today.

Lord Carlile announces split from “boring” justice

Lord Carlisle recently announced his firm decision to split away from traditional notions of justice, declaring that he now finds the foundations of British law, which he committed to as a young man, to be “boring”.

Under his proposed laws, tired and outdated ideals such as living our lives as a strong, free and united nation would be retired. In their place, there will be a new policy of splurging out on fancy new technology with more superficial appeal. Lord Carlile is joined by a tiny number of fellow peers in the belief that their sheer self-regard will overcome the mathematical impossibility that less secure infrastructure will produce a more secure country.

Despite historical evidence suggesting that a desire to keep tabs on every citizen is the sign of an insecure nation with a tendency to poor economic judgement and unnecessary war, the group of Lords are confident that it is different when people like them do it. Read more

It’s alive!!

After a long break, I’m reviving this site. Had a problem with the backup, so a lot of content is going to have to be restored (probably manually) from original drafts. If anyone wonders why new content pops up with old dates, that’s why – it’s actually old stuff. Bear with me, caller, we are working to restore the service…

Excellent dancing at The Lyndhurst tonight!

I know what you’re thinking, punk. You’re thinking “did the band get six encores or only five?” Now to tell you the truth I forgot myself in all this excitement.

But being this is Fully Twisted, the most powerful band in Reading and will shake your ass clean off, you’ve gotta ask yourself a question: “Do I feel lucky?”

Well, do ya? Do ya, do ya wanna? Wanna go where I’ve never let you before?

(with apologies to Clint Eastwood and Franz Ferdinand)

Tips for gigging with a dep musician

My band is set to do a gig with a just-for-one-night replacement drummer, which is an interesting thing to contemplate the first time around. My advice to the guys who were wondering how well it would work was: Read more

The Lib Dem disciplinary process is a Harassers Charter – it needs to change

The long running sexual harassment story in the Lib Dems has crawled across a milestone from one phase to another. Having failed to reach a clear conclusion, the Lord Rennard story will sadly carry on to the detriment of all involved. At the heart of it all is the party’s disciplinary process (such as it is), and the culture surrounding it. In adopting the standard of “proof beyond a reasonable doubt”, we Liberal Democrats would appear to consider ourselves equal to a criminal court. This is an arrogant conceit; it cannot be left to stand.

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Being safe, sound and free: surveillance needs monitoring, too

Privacy is something we take for granted. We lower our voices, close doors and curtains, and simply expect that trusted friends and colleagues would not think to reveal private information. Even trivial things, that are perfectly legal, can be embarrassing. They can be damaging to our reputations and livelihoods. They can provide dirt for mud-slinging, affecting processes from civil claims to democratic elections. Until the human race is entirely free of prejudice and unconscious bias – don’t hold your breath – this will remain the case. Make no mistake, mass surveillance is counter to the nation’s interests.

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The importance of trust

The importance of trust
3 Jan 1845

Paddy Ashdown has inspired an editorial via an interview in The Times today (Links: £), on the subject trust. I largely agree with the point being made – trust is important. This is a non-partisan point. Trust is part of the fabric of society. If you are of Thatcher’s “no such thing as society” view, then as she said shortly after that, “life is a reciprocal business”. However, The Times goes a bit astray if it meant to actually engender trust.

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2013 – The Good, The Bad, and The Funky

As 2013 draws to a close, I am hoping to use the break to kick-start the writing habit. Here’s a few brief reflections on the year gone by, from Mandela and economy, to tales of abuse, to gigs and gadgets. For those who don’t get to enjoy the break, especially those suffering floods or worse – may 2014 be kind to you.

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