As a result of their free membership offer, I joined the ERS in July, and received my ballot papers for their Council elections yesterday morning. Several people I know, including two old friends and a few new ones, are competing for my vote. So I need to think it through and prioritise people.

One of the candidates, Chris Carrigan, has written some notes on the elections on the Reform groups site, which was founded in large part by activists heavily involved in the Yes referendum campaign who were very disgruntled with central leadership. I, broadly, shared those worries and concerns, and will be giving those involved, broadly, fairly high preferences, although nowhere near the order Chris has outlined.

Partially because Andrew Hickey has raised some concerns having read through the full set of manifestos already and noticed things I didn't. As I've said in the comments there, I know in some cases his concerns aren't justified, but can't say that for all the candidates.

So, I still need to decide my full running order, but the early ones are fairly close to fixed in my mind.

1 - Thom Oliver )

2 - Paul Pettinger )

3 - Arnie Craven )

4 - Jessica Asato )

5 - Andy May )

Up to now, all those I've listed have been pro reform of the way the ERS works, although the top two aren't on the Reform slate. My sixth choice? Is the complete opposite of a reformer. He's someone who's talents and abilities I have so much respect for that even if we do disagree on the future of the society, I'd want him to be heavily involved and giving the benefits of his decades of experience. I refer, of course, to 6 - Michael Meadowcroft )

To be honest, due to my knowledge of how STV and vote transfers work, I'm not sure after the last three I'll have much left to transfer on to others as I suspect and hope the last three I list will definitely get elected due to name recognition. Consequently I'm open to suggestions for my remaining preferences, I plan to vote for at least 15 people (the size of the Council), but a small fraction of quota after Michael gets on is likely largely irrelevent. Worth paying some attention to though, as I may be completely wrong and misread the field.

I'm also open to persuasion/suggestion if you know anyone else on the candidates list personally or politically and feel I've unfairly overlooked them. I may simply go with the order from Chris's above list, but I'm not sure how confident I am about some of those he favours. For example, Amisha Ghadiali is [one of] the only [two] visibly BAME candidates, and she appears competent, however her statement both on the website and in the ballot pack is riddled with typing and spelling errors, in one case her actual meaning is unclear. While I'm notorious for typos and similar, if I'm submitting something important for campaigning purposes, I always get a competent proofreader, that's just basic.

To most of you, of course, this is all completely irrelevent, as membership of the ERS is an unusual thing to say the least. However of my personal friends, the proportion involved is higher than the general population, and I welcome feedback from anyone with any interest or knowledge.

ETA: It's been pointed out in comments that I overlooked Eric Syddique when I wrote that line, it's now amended.
OK, so you're in the main train station, waiting for a train. Then a bloke starts beating a drum. And a flute joins in. And there's a bloke waving a stick, and more people just start turning up. Isn't this cool:

The Copenhagen Philharmonic Orchestra decided to flashmob the local station.
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Overnight, the events in north London have, simply, been horrifying to watch. As news unfolded on Twitter I began switching from BBC to Sky and back again trying to see if anyone, at all, knew what was going on. News reports are concentrating, naturally, on the riots themselves and the shooting that's supposedly sparked them.

Earlier in the week, a fairly well known resident in his late 20s was shot by police, reportedly responding to shots fired at them. However...

From what I can gather from Twitter and other sources, there was a planned, peaceful, protest outside the police station about the shooting. Then this happened:


These are, naturally, unconfirmed reports. ETA: both are based on seeing ‪this BBC News witness broadcast but appear to have been corroborated. ETA2: ‪16 YEAROLD OLD GIRL ATTACKED BY TOTTENHAM RIOT POLICE!‬‏ - YouTube You can make out the police beating someone on the ground, it's very grainy, but...

But if true? The initial spark for violence wasn't a man being shot. It was a 16 year old girl being beaten by the police in front of a crowd of demonstrators. Is it true? I have no idea.

I, broadly, agree with Steve:
In the UK,
a) having a gun and
b) firing it at CO19 (armed police)
are both very bad ideas. So is
c) sitting next to a person firing a gun at CO19, which is the other possibility.

...

We won't know the details for a while yet. There's an IPCC investigation... but the last few of those might have just as well had the word "whitewash" stamped on them in red ink.

...

I hope we find the truth about Tottenham's grievances and the police actions, but I'm not going to cheer on looters and bus-burners in the meantime. Not all action is heroic.
That's three choice extracts, I recommend reading the whole post.

If those tweets are for real? If the police genuinely did beat an unarmed, non-violent 16 year old girl who was shouting at them in front of a non-violent protest? That's horrifyingly wrong.

Reports of fires and looting in Wood Green as well as Tottenham are unconfirmed but sources are credible. A Home Office minister is the MP for Hornsey and Wood Green, she also happens to be one of the Lib Dem MPs I respect immensely.

Something is rotten in the state of Denmark. The Metropolitan police is giving every indication of being completely out of control, not just for their close links to News of the World journalists.

Lynne? Not just for the sake of your constituents, but for the country, make sure the Met are sorted out and the investigation is full, thorough and open?

I hope those with friends, family, etc in the area are OK. I'm going to bed, insomnia can only keep me awake for so long.

ETA: Guardian NewsBlog has two different witness statements saying that a girl was attacked by police, one of which says she threw something at them first. But
the girl was then "pounded by 15 riot shields". He said that the police "launched into her with startling force using both batons and shields. She went down on the floor but once she managed to get up she was hit again before being half-dragged away by her friend."
One teenage girl throws something, she'sbeaten to the ground by 15 riot shields? FFS. Heavy handed tactics never work in a tinderbox, what are the Met on?

(I've applied some formatting to the two copied tweets to attempt to make them look good, that CSS only exists currently on the Dreamwidth version of this post so might look awful on friends pages, reading pages or in feedreaders, do let me know if it messes things up particularly badly.)
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Jonathan May-Bowles is, as far as I'm aware, no relative of mine. This is good, because while I and my family have done some daft things in our time, directly attacking Parliament isn't something I'd particularly like to be associated with. 'Jonnie Marbles' jailed
Sentencing May-Bowles, district judge Daphne Wickham said the aim of the attack was to disrupt proceedings, which were of "of huge importance" ... "This is a parliamentary process, which as you know conducts itself with dignity and in a civilised fashion. Everybody else in the room expected that, with one exception - you.

"You attended those proceedings with only one intention, to disrupt them."
That the subject of his attack was a noxious git who I dislike intensely is irrelevent. A witness giving evidence to Parliament during a parliamentary enquiry was attacked in a clear attempt to disrupt the enquiry.

I believe, fundamentally, in the principles of Parliamentary democracy. I believe that in this country Parliament is not strong enough and needs trengthening signiificantly in many ways--it's the stated objective of this Government to do some of these things, I don't think they're going far enough.

Jonathan May-Bowles "was ordered to serve three weeks in prison and pay a £15 victim surcharge and £250 costs." He got off lightly.

Addendums:This Tweet is also relevent though:
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Posted several linkdumps and a substantive entry to DW. The crossposter from DW is still not always getting access, neither am I, but figured some of you might like links to what you may've missed:
Livejournal under attack again
(friends locked, you'll need to login with OpenID, it's got a full list of all my currently available invite codes)

Interesting Links for 28-7-2011

Interesting Links for 27-7-2011

Interesting Links for 26-7-2011

Interesting Links for 25-7-2011

For those unaware, the attacks have been nasty, significantly stronger than the previous set and targetted at some Russian political blogs. The Russian President has ordered a police investigation, he likes to check his friends page fairly regularly...
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matgb: Artwork of 19th century upper class anarchist, text: MatGB (Default)

British Liberal, house husband, school play leader and stepdad. Campaigner, atheistic feminist, amateur baker. Male.

Known to post items of interest on occasions. More likely to link to interesting stuff. Sometimes talks about stuff he's done. Occasionally posts recipes for good food. Planning to get married, at some point. Enjoying life in Yorkshire.

Likes comments. Especially likes links. Loves to know where people came from and what they were looking for. Mostly posts everything publicly. Sometimes doesn't. Hi.

Mat Bowles

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Stuff and nonsense

I'm the Chair of the Brighouse branch of the Liberal Democrats & the membership secretary for Calderdale Lib Dems and run the web campaign for the local candidates. I have a job, a stepdaughter and a life.

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