[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

Paul Kennedy’s magisterial study of the Second World War identifies five challenges that were key to the Allies winning the war – finding a way to get convoys safely across the Atlantic, winning command of the air, stopping blitzkrieg tactics, working out how to seize an enemy-held shore and overcoming the ‘tyranny of distance’ (operating far away from the military’s home bases). He charts the many failures along the way in overcoming those five challenges, and focuses in on how they were beaten, making this a history of the evolution of technologies and tactics rather than an account of one battle after another.

Engineers of Victory - Paul KennedyThis approaches makes the eventual Allied victory look less certain than in classic accounts, especially as Kennedy takes the reader through the formidable difficulties in turning economic dominance into actual military superiority, and also makes the outcome of the war look much more uncertain from the perspective of early 1943 than is usually given credit for with the traditional identification of turning points at Stalingrad, El Alamein and Midway.

Kennedy’s account also makes those who opposed invading France until 1944 seem very wise; the long trail of mistakes made at Dieppe, Kasserine Pass, Salerno, Anzio and elsewhere were vital learning stages. It’s hard to read the book and not conclude that American enthusiasm for an invasion of France in 1943 would have led to disaster.

The use of “engineers” in the title is perhaps a little problematic, as judging by other online reviews it led some readers to expect detailed engineering stories. That’s not what Kennedy provides: he explains the strategic context which made certain problems so important for engineers to fix, and hence also why the work of some engineers was so much more important than that of others.

Hence Paul Kennedy gives very little detail about, for example, the Mulberry artificial harbours that were so important to making the days after D-Day a success. But his broader account of the logistical problems armies faced as they moved further and further from their original bases explains why they were so important.

In other words, it’s in explaining why some problems were so vital to fix that Kennedy’s book stands out. His descriptions of exactly how they were fixed are more variable in level of detail (and, judging by other apparently well-informed reviews, in accuracy of details too).

This approach means too that some famous problem solvers get very little credit in the book as they were not working on problems Kennedy has identified as the big ones of the war.

Most notably and controversially, the codebreakers therefore get little credit. He addresses this briefly, arguing that whilst the intelligence they produced was useful, when you get down to looking at the individual struggles, it is hard to assign improved intelligence as the key to their course. For example, in the battle with U-boats in the North Atlantic, intelligence was useful – but it was developments in a wide range of technologies and tactics that can be more closely traced with the changing fortunes on that battlefield.

The book comes with a good number of photographs, though disappointingly small in size. One however, despite its size, did have a powerful impact on me. It’s of the Gilbert Islands, apparently showing a scene of devastation from after the American invasion. But check the date, and the photo was actually taken four years afterward – a powerful testament to how massive and long-lasting the destruction caused by a world war is.

Got a view on this review? Then please rate it on Amazon.

Buy now from AmazonBuy Engineers of Victory: The problem solvers who turned the tide in the Second World War by Paul Kennedy here.

 

Engineers of Victory: The problem solvers who turned the tide in the Second World War by Paul Kennedy
Great book, as long as you expect it to be about strategic problems and not a history of engineers
My rating (out of 5): 5.0
Mark Pack, 25 October 2014 |
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Stephen Tall

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions – thank you – in a supplementary poll ran just before the party conference.

Majorities say Education and NHS should be governed at local/regional level

Which of the following should be decided mainly at a local/regional level? (Please tick all that apply)

    Education – 70%
    NHS – 57%
    Welfare – 42%
    Environment – 41%
    Business and trade policy – 31%
    Income tax rates – 29%
    Criminal justice – 14%
    Defence – 1%
    Foreign policy – 0%
    None of these, all should be mainly UK-level – 17%
    Other – 7%
    Don’t know – 1%

Clear majorities of Lib Dem members like the idea of decisions to do with both education (70%) and health (57%) being decided at a local/regional level. Significant minorities support policies on welfare (42%) and the environment (41%) being decided there, too. There is less support for economic matters (business and trade, income tax) being devolved, nor for matters of criminal justice. Hardly any Lib Dems like the idea of defence or foreign policy being decided at local level. Of the 7% who selected ‘Other’, transport and housing/planning were the issues most frequently mentioned.

90% want cities to have greater powers

To what extent do you agree or disagree with each of the following statements?

I would support greater power for local government to affect change in UK cities:

    Strongly Agree – 55%
    Agree – 35%
    Total agree = 90%
    Disagree – 5%
    Strongly Disagree – 2%
    Total disagree = 7%
    Don’t know – 4%

I am confident that the interests of UK cities are well represented at the national level

    Strongly Agree – 2%
    Agree – 11%
    Total agree = 13%
    Disagree – 59%
    Strongly Disagree – 17%
    Total disagree = 76%
    Don’t know – 12%

I am confident that local politicians have the powers they need to boost my local economy

    Strongly Agree – 1%
    Agree – 7%
    Total agree = 8%
    Disagree – 51%
    Strongly Disagree – 31%
    Total disagree = 82%
    Don’t know – 10%

I do not believe politicians at national level understand what UK cities need to prosper

    Strongly Agree – 21%
    Agree – 43%
    Total agree = 64%
    Disagree – 17%
    Strongly Disagree – 3%
    Total disagree = 20%
    Don’t know – 15%

I believe that local government needs greater power to meet the needs of UK cities

    Strongly Agree – 45%
    Agree – 41%
    Total agree = 86%
    Disagree – 5%
    Strongly Disagree – 3%
    Total disagree = 8%
    Don’t know – 6%

Lib Dem members’ top priority for their local area: “Delivering more affordable housing”

Following the General Election in May 2015, which of the following would you like the next Government to prioritise in your local area?

We asked those we survey to rank the following five policies in their order of priority. These are the results when ranked in order using an STV election, re-run each time for the additional number of required “seats”:

    1. Delivering more affordable housing (245 first preferences)
    2. Creating more and better jobs (105)
    3. Improving education and training (78)
    4. Improving public transport (81)
    5. Supporting local businesses to grow and prosper (77)

“Delivering more affordable housing” polls well ahead of the other four priorities for Lib Dem members — more than twice as many opted for it over “Creating more and better jobs”. As Mark Pack has repeatedly pointed out, though, this is at odds with the priorities of the voting public.

  • 1,500+ Lib Dem paid-up party members are registered with LibDemVoice.org. 586 completed the latest survey, which was conducted on 2nd and 3rd October.
  • Please note: we make no claims that the survey is fully representative of the Lib Dem membership as a whole. However, LibDemVoice.org’s surveys are the largest independent samples of the views of Lib Dem members across the country, and have in the past offered accurate guides to what party members think.
  • For further information on the reliability/credibility of our surveys, please refer to FAQs: Are the Liberal Democrat Voice surveys of party members accurate? and polling expert Anthony Wells’ verdict, On that poll of Lib Dem members.
  • The full archive of our members’ surveys can be viewed at www.libdemvoice.org/category/ldv-members-poll
  • * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

    Folk Buddies Episode 31

    Oct. 25th, 2014 09:48 am
    [syndicated profile] andrew_rilstone_feed

    Posted by Andrew Rilstone



    Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
    Will friendship and honour flourish on both sides the tweed?
    What do westering winds and slaughtering guns do at this time of year?
    Should you, under any circumstances, shove your granny off the bus?
    Will Andrew and Clarrie get through a whole podcast about Scottish folk music without making a joke about deep fried Mars bars?

    Listen Now

    ITunes

    Playlist of songs



    [syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

    Posted by Mark Valladares

    It is that time again that comes around every two years when I take a deep breath, fill in a nomination form, agonise over the drafting of a manifesto and file it all in the hope that enough friends, colleagues and complete strangers will see it within themselves to put their faith in a mildly bemused bureaucrat to perform some service or another to the Party.

    Historically, I ran for things that no sane person did too willingly - I served five terms as a Regional Secretary and was opposed just once - but now find myself wanting the sorts of roles that others, often more assertive than I, want too. Self-promotion does not come easy, which given the successful career that my father has built in the advertising industry, is perhaps counter-intuitive. But, being a nice person is not enough, I need to give people reason to vote for me over the other guys/girls/sea otters.

    And so a Valladares manifesto goes through a number of iterations, filtered through the eyes of people better at this sort of thing than I am - Ros, for example - until a document exists that reflects me well enough. I then file it with the Returning Officer and wait.

    Campaigning is not easy - you have no access to the electoral register and must rely on the network of friends and acquaintances, of contacts made through years of Returning Officer gigs, committee meetings and those small acts of kindness that are hopefully remembered when the manifesto booklet is studied. My blog helps, as does my reportage on ALDE activities for Liberal Democrat Voice, as I seek to report back on my activities as one of the Party's representatives. I have, radically, done things, and so have a record to run on.

    It is, nonetheless, with a sense of trepidation that I await the verdict of the electorate, especially as I would really like to win - ALDE has been a valuable experience personally and, I like to think, I have played a part in helping it to work effectively and in its policy making, seeking compromises that bring different sister parties together in establishing a shared, liberal vision for Europe.

    No doubt my opponents will all want to win too, and will offer up their skills, knowledge and experience. I hope some of them win too, just not so many of them that I don't...
    [syndicated profile] liberal_bureaucracy_feed

    Posted by Mark Valladares

    At some point, way back in my family's history, someone important boarded a wooden sailing ship somewhere in Portugal and set off into, if not the unknown, something a bit riskier than a trip along the coast. They probably weren't historically important - indeed, I have no idea who they were or whether or not they even existed - but if they did, they are likely to have had a not insignificant role in the life of this rural, liberal bureaucrat.

    That's a bit cryptic, I guess, so perhaps a little context is in order.

    My father's family is from the Catholic, East Indian community of what is now Mumbai, but which was, until 1662, a Portuguese colony consisting of seven or so swampy islands inhabited by fishing communities. It was sufficiently important to have at least one church, however, and there has been one on the site of the Valladares family parish of St Michael's since 1534. Naturally, being a prosletising faith, especially in that era, the colonists sought to convert the locals, aided and abetted by Jesuit missionaries.

    They were clearly successful, for when the British decided that Bombay was to be the commercial capital of Western India, a relatively well-educated Catholic community was ready and willing to fit in, one that my ancestors were part of.

    Yes, the connection is a bit tenuous but a logical one nonetheless, and it for that reason that I always feel a curious sense of wistfulness when in Lisbon, where Ros and I were the weekend before last. Ros was there to work, naturally, whilst I was... well, just there, really, tagging along for the ride.

    And, although I hadn't been there for some years, Lisbon feels comfortable. I can walk the streets and absorb the atmosphere of city life, ride the wonderful rickety trams as they make their switchback journeys up to the castle and the Alfama district, I can slip discreetly into the great São and light candles for my late grandmother and for my father in the hopes of preserving his health and strength, I can eat bacalhau and drink some of the fantastic and relatively unknown wines from the north of the country. It seems like the sort of lifestyle I could have handled had life turned out differently.

    But enough mawkishness.

    One of the advantages of this trip was that I got to scope out the city in preparation for my return visit in less than four weeks, for the ALDE Congress is taking place there next month and, as an elected member of the ALDE Council, I am expected to attend. It is, I admit, not an onerous responsibility given my relationship with the city. I've found a hotel that works, restaurants worthy of repeat custom and have a good idea as to how the public transport system works. I even know where the sea otters are...

    There is, however, the small matter of a trip to the Eternal City to deal with first...
    [syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

    Posted by ALDC

    ALDC Master Logo (for screen)Thursday saw eight principal by-elections take place in England and Scotland. The Conservatives secured a gain on Gloucestershire County Council in the Mitcheldean by-election, a ward which previously had an Independent councillor.

    In Durham, Labour gained a seat in Burnopfield and Dipton, defeating the Derwentside Independents by just a single vote.

    In Shepway, the Conservatives successfully retained their seat in Folkstone North West. However UKIP made considerable inroads into the Conservative majority in the ward, with the party registering 27.7% of the vote having not fielded a candidate in the ward’s previous election in 2011. Also in the ward, the Lib Dems saw a rise in their vote percentage, with Hugh Robertson-Ritchie increasing the party’s vote share by 3.4% from 2011 in finishing third, two places higher than the party managed in the last election.

    In Scotland, the SNP gained their first seat in a local by-election since 2011 by winning the Oban North and Lorn contest in Argyll and Bute by 461 first preference votes.

    Elsewhere the Conservatives held seats on Chichester, Shepway and Mid-Sussex councils, with Labour successfully defending their seat in Evenwood ward on Durham Council. In addition, an Independent candidate was one again victorious in the Forest of Dean District Council ward of Newnham and Westbury.

    For all the detailed results see ALDC elections.

    * ALDC is the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners

    [syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

    Posted by Stephen Tall

    Congratulations to Jon Featonby, who leads the LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League after Week 8, with a whopping 484 points. However, not far behind are George Murray (472) and 2013 Liberal Voice of the Year, Sam Bowman (470). However, as just 39 points separate the top 10, it’s fair to say it’s still very much anyone’s season.

    For the record, I’m only 82 points off the lead, biding my time, ready for my Premiership-winning push. Like Arsenal. And I suspect I have about as much chance of winning as the Gunners do.

    And not that it matters in the least, but the bottom-placed team, Ceredigion Premier, is on 142 points. Which is fine – we Lib Dems don’t after all believe football is all about the winning

    LDV FANTASY FOOTBALL_8

    There are 150 players in total and you can still join the league by clicking here.

    * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor of the 2013 publication, The Coalition and Beyond: Liberal Reforms for the Decade Ahead. He is also a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum and writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

    No it’s not an investment

    Oct. 25th, 2014 07:25 am
    [syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

    Posted by Tim Worstall

    The IFS is focused on the idea that taxpayers’ money is being wasted on childcare. What the thinktank doesn’t seem to understand is that this wise and sensible investment is actually generating taxpayers, now and for the future.

    Whatever the rhetoric here this is still current spending. It could even be desirable current spending, something that a decent society does. But it is still current spending, not investment.

    james_davis_nicoll: (Default)

    What

    Oct. 25th, 2014 12:36 am
    [syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

    Posted by David Herdson

    How come poor CON/LAB/LD polls are being accepted so readily?

    Time was when you could be reasonably sure that a party struggling in the polls would lead inevitably to speculation about its leader’s position.  The media would talk about it, backbench MPs would talk about it and cabinet or shadow cabinet members would let their friends talk about it.  What is remarkable about the last few years is that despite unprecedented combined unpopularity of both leaders and parties, there has been so little such talk never mind action.

    Of course, the fact that all three main Westminster parties are so unpopular simultaneously may have something to do with that: it’s easy to console yourself that you stand a decent chance of recovery when your opponents are doing badly too.

    Even so, this is very far from a zero-sum game.  All three parties face an existential threat.  UKIP has the potential to replace either the Tories or Labour (but not both) after the next election as the main party in their part of the spectrum if the cards fall well for it.  Neither has a right to exist, never mind to success, and both parties’ former core vote is disillusioned.  At the moment, Farage’s party’s mid- to upper-teens score would probably see them pick up only a handful of seats but were that to be upped to the mid-twenties that would do real damage.

    The prospect of such a step-change in UKIP’s polling is far from inconceivable: they have polled up there on occasion, by-election victories between now and April would reinforce their current momentum and the debates – if they happen – provide a further opportunity to advance.

    Strangely, a half-reasonable performance may be worse in the long run than a bad one as it’s far harder to fight off the threat while in government.  Clacton has already demonstrated the risks to the Conservatives and Rochester may reinforce that message.  Should Labour regain government, the danger may be even worse, polling as it is in the low thirties with the support of a great many 2010 Lib Dem defectors.  A majority Ed Miliband-led government could easily leak that support straight back on one wing while being assailed by UKIP on the other.  Gordon Brown’s Labour government bottomed out at 18% in the polls; an Ed Miliband one could go further still – and that might drop it to fourth place by vote share.

    For the Lib Dems the threat is greater still and more immediate: their party has lost more than two-thirds of their 2010 vote, a level meaning it’s dicing with oblivion.  True, local strongholds appear firm for now but results from the constituency polls sit uneasily with the national ones: my guess is that it’s the national ones and we’ll see Lib Dem support edge up as May approaches and people think more about their local situation.  But it may not and didn’t in Scotland in 2011, where the Yellows lost all but two of their constituency seats (and Orkney & Shetland is just one seat for Westminster).

      With threats to their existence such as the parties have not faced in many decades, if ever, what’s remarkable is how calm the leaderships and parliamentary parties are. 

    There is grumbling about Miliband but no serious threat this side of the election.  Cameron has suffered two defections – one reinforced by a by-election defeat – but despite their reputation for deposing leaders, Tory backbenchers have remained unusually quiet on the subject.  Even quieter have been Lib Dems, who are polling worst of all and perhaps have most opportunity for change (their leader has the worst ratings, plausible alternatives are available and one of the causes of their woes – being in government – could be resolved by a well-timed withdrawal).

    Will one or more of the parties brake out of their zen-like calm – or zombie-like sleepwalking if you prefer – before the election?  I doubt it.  It’s almost too late now to change strategy or leader and will be by the New Year.  These things need pressure to build and that rarely happens quickly.  It also needs anger, focus and division, and such factors simply aren’t present in sufficient quantity, particularly when there’s the belief that the other side(s) might hand you victory by default.  It is somewhat ironic that the biggest upheaval in the political system since at least the early 1980s has produced so little reaction.  But then maybe that’s the point: the changes are so far outside their experience, they can’t reach for a stock response and like rabbits in Farage’s headlights, produce none.

    David herdson

    azurelunatic: Azz and best friend grabbing each other's noses.  (Default)

    Halloween at work

    Oct. 24th, 2014 07:21 pm
    [personal profile] azurelunatic
    Not allowed to peck Purple with my long, dagger-like loon beak.
    synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

    (no subject)

    Oct. 24th, 2014 08:15 pm
    [personal profile] synecdochic
    Sarah, sitting and putting labels on the 150-odd vials of BPAL I decanted today: "You know, I don't think it was an unreasonable request."

    Me, opening 200-some vials that I bought secondhand to sniff them and determine if I like them or not: "What?"

    Sarah: "'One of these days I should find a perfume I can wear to work', I said. And here we are, somehow that having turned into 'try everything BPAL has ever made'..."

    Me: ...Hello, have you MET ME? YOU KNEW IT WAS ON FIRE WHEN YOU LAID DOWN ON IT.

    (She is so very tolerant of the fact that "....that escalated quickly" is my life motto.)
    [personal profile] andrewducker
    Warren Ellis clearly enjoys reinventing characters. He clearly enjoys playing around with the form and structure of comics. And he clearly enjoys lots of violence.

    Moon Knight lets him do all three (including some interesting bits of design in the opening of the Sniper issue that I hadn't encountered before) and it's a lot of fun (provided you're comfortable with the aforementioned violence).

    It's not essential, and I doubt whoever took over from him after his six-issue relaunch will do anything nearly as interesting, but I'm glad I picked it up.
    yhlee: (AtS no angel (credit: <user name="helloi)

    Unpopular Opinions

    Oct. 24th, 2014 05:36 pm
    [personal profile] yhlee
    Unpopular Opinions
    (or possibly opinions that are actually popular, but no one informed me because I live under a rock, and also this parenthetical statement is too long for its own good)

    I've been sick half this week and my concentration is shot, so why not?

    1. Story vs. writing. I think there is a useful distinction to be made between story and writing; between the essence of the tale, and the language it is clothed in. I came to this opinion partly because of Joe. Joe is much better at story than I am, in the sense that he comes up with plot mechanisms that I find interesting. (I've mostly seen this in action in an RPG context.) I sort of cobble my stories together. I have a hell of a lot more practice with the language-clothing end of things. (It's as well it's just one of us with this specialty, because this way Joe earns money with physics, and we all eat.)

    This is one of the reasons why, although I can tell the difference between good and bad prose (or what I consider good and bad prose, anyway), bad prose doesn't automatically eject me from a story. If a particular piece of fanfic hits my trope kink buttons? I will put up with all sorts of bad prose. If you're writing giant robots and smashy battles and your female characters don't suck? I will put up with your bad prose. Feed me a story I like--hell, not even a story but a bunch of happy trope kink buttons mashed up together--and I'll keep reading.

    That being said, when I was reading slush [1], I would, in fact, bounce stories for bad prose. If I'm recommending something to the editor upstairs, I want the story to be good at both.

    [1] I am no longer a slush reader, although I miss it and wouldn't mind doing it again someday.


    2. I'm still bitter that real-time strategy completely killed turn-based strategy for the PC. But that may just be because I want to play M.A.X. for the rest of my life. And hey, there's Sid Meier's Civilization: Beyond Earth, even if I expect to cause the planet to die horribly. I've played Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, but not any of the "regular" Civilization games. And even when I played SMAC, I would do it on one of the easier settings. But that's okay because SMC:BE is now on my hard drive, mwahahahaha.


    3. I like Tom Godwin's "The Cold Equations." It's manipulative! Tear-jerking! Sexist in that old-timey way, with the helplessness of the young girl! God knows, I highly doubt Godwin would have described a boy of equivalent age with such doelike innocence and tear-jerkitude, or possibly even used the word "boy" at all. And yet every time I read that damn story, I get to that one line and I cry.

    You don't have to tell me all the things that are terrible about the story! I agree with you! I found this essay by Paul Kincaid on the story and his follow-up essay to be very illuminating. And yet, I like the story, in that way that I frequently like things that are not objectively good.

    God knows, I cannot call it an unsuccessful story either. I knew the entire plot of the story, and its title, and its author, at least five years before I was able to track it down, from reading sf literary criticism essays that I scraped out of my high school library. (Yes, there were some.) I can mention the story to Joe and he will know what I am talking about. I bet I could start a flamewar about it. (Please not here, or anyway, not while I'm still kind of sick.) I am personally indifferent to the idea of an sf literary canon because I am too lazy to read things for homework because, sorry, I dreamt last week that I had to write an exam for IBH World Literature and I am so done with taking lit courses anymore. But is it a story that I would expect to find litcrit discussion of, skiffily, somewhere? Sure.


    4. While I'm at it, I enjoyed slush reading.

    I may just not have done it long enough to become completely jaded and cynical about it, though.


    5. It is okay to spend just two hours writing your 1,000-word Yuletide story (plus a few minutes for tweaks). I've done that. As far as I can tell, no one has ever been able to tell the difference between the fast stories and the ones I slave over forever while gnawing my fingernails ragged (or I would, if I still chewed my nails). In fact, this is true of more than fanfic. Stories are weird. Some of them take more effort than others, and I've never ever been convinced that the reader on the other end can reliably tell the difference without external evidence. If only effort were correlated with quality--but it isn't. Not usefully, in my experience.


    6. So I didn't actually think Meyer's Twilight was a good book (I read it because a friend sent it to me as a joke, and in fact it's pretty amiable airplane reading, which is what I used it for). I mock the sparklepires. Rather a lot, if you must know. (Not that a Yoon would mock anything, least of all a Yoon.) But it irritates me tremendously when people diss the people who like Twilight and talk about how people buy bad books and how other books deserve to be bestsellers and cry me a river. People read the books they want to read, people enjoy the books they enjoy, I may think Twilight is kind of terrible but I will defend to the death your right to think it is awesome, or to enjoy it despite thinking it's kind of terrible, or anything in between. This applies generally to romance (for me); romance is not my genre, I will mock individual romance novels (and I don't expect to stop), but we all have different tastes and I do not find romance novels inherently more mockworthy than giant robot novels (Battletech tie-ins) or grimdark (Warhammer 40k tie-ins, Paul Kearney's Monarchies of God) or over-the-top mind-bond space opera (Margaret Weis's Star of the Guardians), all of which are things I've read. I am sure this applies generally all over the place. I am long past the point where I care much about literary merit anymore. De gustibus, cheers.
    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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    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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