Posts tagged: politics

May 04 2011

Why I’ll be voting YES to the Alternate Vote

It seems to me that the Yes campaign has had a bit of trouble with promoting the Alternate Vote. Either it’s presumed we’re way too smart or way too dumb. The official arguments too often have seemed to be either pure math or “just do it, it’s good for you”.
Personal arguments of course are rather more instructive.

I’m skipping most of that for a simple doodle-comic I feel gets the main thrust of it across. I had hoped to do it as a printable flyer, but left it a bit too late.
(click for larger)

Okay, that doesn’t touch on a few things;
It doesn’t mention the expectation that in order for MPs to be sure of election they’re going to have to try a lot harder to get a majority from the get-go.
Or that in doing so tactical voting and appealing only to core-supporters will have to go out of the window.
Or even that the reason the BNP is so against AV is because the extreme political parties tend to only get votes from very set core of supporters and they know that anyone who doesn’t give them their first vote is unlikely to give them any secondary ones. So they’ll be out in most first-rounds.
I suppose it also doesn’t clear up some of the other mistakes that have been circulated, like the bill for it being hundreds of millions, which assumed £110m+ for electronic voting machines no-one’s planning for.
It at no point reminds us that if for some reason it doesn’t work.. we can go back to the old system.

I think the saddest thing I’ve heard from the No campaign though is that it’s too complicated. Of course they understand it, they could do it. It’s purely concern for everyone else out there. Because it seems the entire No campaign are assuming everyone in the country aside from themselves is a blithering idiot, unable to count to 3 or 4.
They also appear to hate Australia with a passion. (Though I giggle at the idea of a group who one of the loudest portions of which has been the BNP, saying we shouldn’t do something like Australia because they’re “too racist”.)

Actually no, I think the saddest thing about the whole vote is that I know for a certainty that even though a Yes vote will improve matters greatly, it still won’t stop politicians bickering and mud-slinging in Parliament like 5-year-olds as they have in this campaign.

If the Yes vote goes through though, we have a much better chance of further reforms later on, so a better chance of them actually growing up.

Jan 28 2011

And yet more..

So after I got my card working again, I got money out and went to put some on the Oyster so I could use the bus.

“Your Oyster balance is negative £2.60. If I put a fiver on it it’ll only be £2.40.”

I tried to tear the damn card in half on the spot, but it’s too thick.

I got it replaced to fix this shit. The last time I used it was going to the Pembury a fortnight ago. I made sure to touch in and touch out at every turn, and it green-lighted me each time. But I still got charged a max-daily for my trouble.

By the by, it turns out my National Rail Card is already applied to the Oyster, so I get a grand total of no additional discount. So if you assume a SINGLE mis-read in a full days use, it’s cheaper to buy a fucking travelcard.

Right, off I went to buy a bus-pass. Oh, no, apparently this is the year they’re no longer doing them. It’d have to go on the Oyster.

Asked at the train station. Travelcard will be £7.30. To get that amount on the Oyster I’d now have to put a tenner on it. Railcard discount’s weekends only, and apparently there’s no off-peak on weekdays now?

Also ran into someone I used to work with and held the train doors for them so they wouldn’t miss it. Good deed +1.

I went home and got my bike.

Up The Avenue there’s road works. I sail through on the manual “GO” sign. As I’m cresting the hill I come face to face with a Landrover and have to ditch onto the pavement.

The driver doesn’t even slow down. I get to the other end of the works and ask the guy if they’re on the radio. I tell him he should leave more time between changing signs since I just got ran off the road. I may have said “fuck” once.

The guy with the radio starts yelling at me not to yell at him and makes gestures like he’s going to get out of the cab and come across to me. I am in shock and back down; he glares like I shouldn’t be taking up his precious world with my existence.

Get half way up Friday hill before I collapse and just have to let my legs stop shaking. A car goes past, and actually reverses back to stop and ask if I’m alright. I explain the situ and assure them I don’t need help.

The lady in the house I’m sat outside calls down to ask if I’m alright. I explain again and have a little rant about the events so far today. She agrees and says the country’s going to pot, and that she was going to be doing a degree this year, but the student cuts mean she probably won’t be able to afford to anymore. There’s a child in the window beside her. I don’t know if it’s hers or a sibling, but it hits home if you were a young-mother or similarly on the borderline of being able to afford extra education, these cuts will have thrown a lot og hope back in your face.

Tried to sugest she should make sure she knows her neighbours. Community’s the only way we’re going to get through this.

She offered me a drink, but I’m very aware the recyc center will close for sales at 2.

Coasted down to the center and had a word with the totters; they said if I spotted something in the hoppers it’d be fine to bring it over to them and ask a price. Finally some good news!

I checked the on-display finds first and picked up a sci-fi art-book for 10p, then hit the metals bin. Pretty full, and quite a tangle.

I spotted a motor with a nice pully and a few bits of thick steel, but they were all too far in, and I lost my damn grappling hook trying to get them out. Fishing for them with a long pole didn’t work either. When I gave up it was 1:40.

Did have another word; they can’t keep and eye out or reserve things. Others have asked too. But they did say they get the sort of bits I’m after in. I’ll just have to keep coming back. Fridays and Saturdays, 10-2, Friday Hill.

Went to walk/cycle back. Ended up “exploring” some back-streets while my mind reeled. Ended up near Chingford Mount, so detoured to the camera shop I’d spotted.

Asked if they had any junk cameras. The guy there was very tidily dressed, and obviously knew his trade. He also kept junk cameras for spares; mostly the odd screw sizes used. After some rumaging and chatter, picked up a broken Fuji F401 FinePix for a fiver.

It may be cheaper to grab junk cameras from ebay in future, but this does looks like it has the lens assembly I want on it.

Home again now, in the workshop (4.4c). Ankle got pushed too hard today. Again feels like there’s glass in it in certain positions. Especially when turned to the side.

Was going to cancel going for a drink tonight in town after finding how much the ticket would be, but fuck it, I need a drink with a friend today.

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