The Mitchell Mega-Mix

Sep. 20th, 2014 08:44 pm
[syndicated profile] everything_is_nice_feed

Posted by Martin

Right, straight after I talked about David Mitchell’s key position as a non-genre writer, he writes his most genre work ever. So this is what his SF novel looks like to me:

  • A Hot Spell: Nina Allan
  • Myrrrh Is Mine: David Mitchell
  • New Year’s Day: Ah yes, the only good bit of the book.
  • The Wedding Bash: Iain Banks
  • Crispin Hersey’s Lonely Planet: Adam Roberts (although he won’t thank me).
  • An Horologist’s Labyrinth: Nick Harkaway
  • Sheep’s Head: Ken MacLeod

Filed under: Uncategorized Tagged: david mitchell

referendum poem

Sep. 20th, 2014 08:24 pm
[syndicated profile] love_and_garbage_feed

Posted by loveandgarbage

Like many people I have greatly enjoyed the tremendously bad poetry about the referendum as people have put together words on a page with no sense of the shape of the words on the page, how to use space,  or any conception of subtlety, word choice or rhythm. The self important political poetry has been of such quality that I for one am grateful that the internet exists in order to allow its full dissemination.

however, how easy is it to write bad referendum Poetry lacking all of the qualities that one would expect from poetry? I thought I would try for a good five minutes or so using the challenge most seemed to have set themselves:  lines with no or nursery rhythm; littered with clichés and adverbs; and a Simple rhyming scheme.

I therefore unveil

September 18, 2014

I am sure that I will for rest of my life certainly remember

That initially foggy day in the middle of September.

I attended the polling station nearby just before eight

My heart full of hope, and devoid of hate

Apart from for those who would do Scotland down

Who I Stared at as they walked in, while giving a frown.

On the ballot with pencil I marked a big X

But waiting for the result I and my wife were turned into nervous wrecks

And as I watched the twitter timelines and saw the tweets from tannadicelad

I realised for yes the results they could be bad.

[and so on for weeks]

[personal profile] andrewducker
A couple of weeks ago, back when there was a sudden glimmer of a chance[1] that Scotland might secede from the United Kingdom, the three unionist parties all panicked into action and made promises that Scotland could have all sorts of shiny things if only it would stay.

Come the day of the result you had a sudden disagreement over exactly what was going to happen, because it became clear that the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats wanted to use the ceding of new powers to Scotland as a chance to finally solve the West Lothian Question, and that this absolutely terrifies Labour.

This sounds really dry and complex. But it's vital to the future of the UK, and if you care at all about Scotland, the UK, and what's coming up in the next decade, you _really_ need to know about this.

The West Lothian Question basically oils down to "Why is it that Scottish MPs get to vote on laws affecting matters in England, but English MPs don't get to vote on laws affecting devolved matters in Scotland?". Where "devolved matters" are things like the Scottish NHS, education, etc.[2]

And it's a good question - All MPs get to vote over any laws debated at Westminster, which covers all laws that affect England, but when it comes to matters that the Scottish Parliament covers, only MSPs get to vote on them, and that does seem a bit unfair. So lots of time and effort has been spent on resolving the issue. Which is, of course, more complicated than you might think.

The most obvious answer is "Don't let Scottish MPs vote on laws that don't affect Scotland." But this has several drawbacks.
Firstly, almost any law that affects England affects its budget. And anything that affects the budget in England has knock-on affects in Scotland because Scotland's block grant is calculated using the Barnett Formula, based on a percentage of English spending. So if England votes for cuts then that _does_ have an affect on Scottish spending.

Secondly, the Scottish Government's powers are granted by Westminster, and can be revoked by them. So any law passed in Westminster can later on suddenly find itself applied in Scotland too.[3]

Thirdly, and this is the one that Labour _really_ cares about - imagine a situation where Labour win the next election with a tiny majority. They then find themselves in a situation whereby they cannot pass legislation on the NHS, because only their English MPs can vote on it, and those are outnumbered by Conservatives. You've effectively got one government for UK matters and one for English matters, made up of mostly the same members. Also, you couldn't possibly have a Scottish Prime Minister, or cabinet member, because then they couldn't vote on most of their own legislation! Conversely, this is almost certainly a driver for the Conservatives to back it.
A second answer is to actually have multiple governments - to have one for England and one for the UK. But then you need to ask whether you make double use of MPs for both England and the UK, and whether you have a separate Prime Minister for England and the UK (because they could have majorities from two different parties/coalitions). It ends up looking terribly fiddly for not much gain for 90% of the population of the UK, who tend to think of the whole thing as being "England" anyway, and get grumpy when you remind them that it's not.

A third answer is to push it down a level. Scotland only has about 10% of the UK's population. Is there any reason why we could push down a lot of decision making to a local level, slice the UK into a number of smaller parts[4], and give them all a lot more control over their local running than they currently have. Something like the divisions currently used for the European Elections would probably work reasonably well, although the horse-trading over how to divide it up would probably keep us busy for a very long time. The disadvantages there being that whenever things are different from area to area people complain a _lot_, using phrases like "Postcode lottery". Lib-Dems like devolution and local decision making, so they're all in favour. Labour and The Conservatives both dislike it, because they like keeping a tight rein on decision-making.

Essentially, the current system is rubbish, but nobody can agree a better one, because they all have drawbacks which mean a large chunk of the population hate them too. This isn't a new question, of course, The West Lothian Question was first asked in 1977 (when discussing the Independence Referendum of the time), and similar questions were raised as far back as 1866 (when Irish Home Rule was first discussed). It's only been a massive issue for 16 years now (since the Scottish Parliament came into being), and a number of solutions have been proposed.

Personally, I don't have an ideal answer - the problem is that you have powers devolved down the way for one area, with represenatives that cover both.[5] I strongly suspect that we're going to have the first solution foisted on us by the end of this parliament, and that it will cause me to agree with Jack Straw for the first time ever[6], because removing the power of Scottish Labour MPs to vote on most English matters will almost certainly split Labour, and lead to Scottish Labour being a lot more ambivalent about any future independence referendum, if not actively in favour.

[1]It's amusing to consider where we might be now if that poll hadn't shown a 1% lead for Yes. Not nearly as amusing as watching the parties bicker though.
[2]You can see a list here.
[3]This has already happened when the UK Energy Bill removed the scottish parliament's powers over renewable energy obligations.
[4]A perfect opportunity to bring back the Heptarchy.
[5]Oh, and Wales is different again. I don't know much about how that works, but it's not as separate as Scotland is, so far as I can tell. I suspect that any changes will have to also cover Welsh MPs for certain issues too.
[6]"I say to the Conservatives that if they start to take a mechanical approach, this so-called 'English votes for English laws' approach, then they will break the Union."

Brain admin

Sep. 20th, 2014 08:26 pm
[personal profile] strangecharm
This is mostly a reminder to myself, somewhere I'm actually certain to look, to take my sertraline in the morning.

I'd been considering trying this anyway because my sleep's been so awful recently. Since I forgot to take it last night, I figured this morning was a good chance to change it, but I have years of "meds = bedtime" to overcome so I'm not confident I'll remember.

It's not easy for me to tell yet whether it's having any effect at all, good or bad. I don't know if it's affecting my sleep but I know the kind of insomnia I've had in the last week or two is particularly unusual and miserable for me, so I'll try tweaking anything that might help with it.

Today I am finding myself very sleepy very early, despite a reasonably good night (except lots of nightmares, so my sleep wasn't hugely restful but there was a fair amount of it and I didn't have much trouble getting (back) to sleep) and not a particularly taxing day. All of which might be an interesting correlation with not having taken the sertraline last night and having taken it this morning, but also might well be a coincidence.
[personal profile] happydork
So, I just read The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisin, and I 90% loved it to pieces and 10% really didn't -- I already bought the other books before reading this one, so I suspect I'm going to read them at some point, but I'm not sure whether I want to read them now on my lovely holiday of loveliness:

Request for (very specific) spoilers, based on first book only )
[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

And now I am home again.

Save for a couple of one-off events in October, the Lock In tour has come to a close. It was a lovely time and it was lovely seeing so many of you out there on the road, but it’s nice to be able to come back home and not have any place that I need to be for a little while, other than here with the family.

It’s been a great four weeks. If you were a part of it, thank you for being part of it.

I think I’ll go take a nap now.

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by TSE

….David Evershed, who got the Yes percentage spot on.

David, can you contact Mike here so you can receive your £50 worth of free bets from Shadsy.

You can check out your own performance by clicking here.

Many thanks once again to Shadsy of Ladbrokes politics for donating the prize, and Mark Hopkins for developing the software for us to submit our entries.


[personal profile] andrewducker
There have been a few conspiracy theories around vote rigging in the election, which frankly I discounted from the beginning, because UK elections have so many observers that doing so tends to be _really_ obvious.

And so I was rather cheered to see this shared over on Facebook, from one of the vote counters:

Just woke up after my very loooong night of vote counting!! Here's a few points from Me (An experienced vote counter who is proud to be Scottish & part of this historical event)

Point 1-the guy who is accused of filling in votes is filling in a slip of how many in that bundle & then elastic bands it!(standard counting procedure)

Point 2 - the Yes votes on the No table, it was confirmed on live TV (cleverly cuts out before this)that these bundles were yet to be split - therefore they were still mixed bundles & the table was only used for space until it was used for it's real purpose!!

Point 3 - the woman who is accused moving Yes votes to No - looks to me like she realised she'd put them in the wrong pile (omg an accident) then corrected them.

Point 4 - bundles being emptied out of boxes with elastic bands - Postal Votes!! They are closely monitored & counted then re counted along with normal votes (less margin for error don't you think)! We all worked bloody hard last night & I for one am proud to have been part of it!! Disgusting at some of my friends attitudes & comments!!

(I've added spaces for clarity.)

The source is here, and you can see in the comments "Yes Dundee" backing her up on the second point.
[syndicated profile] robinince_feed

Posted by robinince

This is a dressing room blog, I’ve written it because I can’t concentrate on reading when it is 20 minutes before show off time.

As the Northern Line train indicator comes into view, I see that it is three minutes until the next train to Morden. I mumble a Grade D swearword.
That was the three minutes when I was going to write that opening paragraph of the novel in my head.
That elusive paragraph, the one I have been seeking for months.
The one that was going to prise open the rest of my imagination, and then the whole book would come tumbling out.
But now, this three minutes stood opposite a poster of Ben Affleck, this three minutes which the contents of Metro are not lengthy or invigorating enough to fill, has robbed the world of that novel.
This was my most vital three minutes.
When I lie dying, or standing arms looped around barbed wire after the apocalypse, I will curse the fact that I would only have needed three minutes more to sort out humanity, but that sluggish train to Morden robbed the human race of its redemption.
That three minutes of being briefly distracted by a dusty mouse, just one, Euston is not a lair like Charing Cross, whose platform can be like a cowboy jacket of scampering mouse tail tassels, was so damn important, it is worth being furious about. It is worth pressuring the blood around my brain.

The problem with the city, beyond the cannibals that hide in Russell Square, is that you can find yourself petulant and red over three minutes. They don’t even have to be three lost minutes, they can be the three minutes to read further, or even to try and think something beyond, “THREE MINUTES!”
The three minutes is only really wasted if you spend it angry about lost time.
Enraged by 180 seconds more until you get to a meeting or a film or glass of wine, and yet placid when it comes to wasting hours of the day doing so many things and getting nowhere. I waste my own time, and so much of it, yet when something else steals it by chance or bad town planning or a crumbling infrastructure, the pulsating begins.
It’s that descent into busyness that the urban are warned of, and then feel to heed that warning. You are hurrying, and cursing lost time, but as you move so speedily along, you don’t notice that you are doing fuck all anyway.

Anyway, I better start running and cursing now, just in case there are some insidious delays to me getting to Twitter and staring at Saturday newspaper suppliments without seeing a thing.

Maybe I should start writing that novel before I get to platform 3.

Next week, I am off to Oslo, Croydon, Cambridge, Laugharne, and then on to Cardiff, Sheffield, Nottingham, Goole and probably a town near you. Dates HERE

Stephen Fry has now been added to the Cosmic Genome App.

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 04:48 pm
[personal profile] synecdochic
Cutest damn blissface in the world. Read more... )
[syndicated profile] pink_dog_blog_feed

Posted by Pink Dog

Chocolate bathroom

Willy Wonka would be proud to own this bathroom set. Made entirely of solid Belgian chocolate, it’s currently for sale in the UK, retailing for about $133,000. created the Maderno Sweet in collaboration with British chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah…

The set, which includes bathtub, sink, toilet and bidet, contains 9.4 million calories worth of cocoa deliciousness. That equals the average person’s caloric allowance for 12 years. (Elite Daily)

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners, to give it its Sunday name, is recruiting two paid Campaigns and Communications internships based in Manchester from next month to June next year.

From their site:

This is a full-time role, paid at the UK National Minimum Wage (£6.50 per hour for over 21 years olds), based at our Manchester city centre offices.

ALDC is the national organisation for Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the work of the organisation in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

The successful applicants will be helping us with our campaigns output, our communications and social media, and also helping campaign ‘on the ground’ with one of our partner local parties in Greater Manchester.

Successful candidates must have sympathy with the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats.

The deadline for applications is Monday 22 September 2014.
Interviews will take place in central Manchester on Tuesday 30 September 2014.

You can find out more details, including how to apply, here.

There are also loads of campaigning jobs available on W4MP: David Laws, Mark Hunter,  Mike Thornton, Tim Farron and Torridge and West Devon Liberal Democrats are all looking for organisers.

If you want a more traditional parliamentary job, Simon Wright and Roger Williams are looking for a secretary, Sarah Teather, Alison McInnes  and Simon Wright seek caseworkers. There are few more diverse and gorgeous areas of the country than Brecon, Ellon and Brent.

Full details of all the jobs and instructions on how to apply can be found here.

* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Pink Dog

Chocolate bathroom

Willy Wonka would be proud to own this bathroom set. Made entirely of solid Belgian chocolate, it’s currently for sale in the UK, retailing for about $133,000. created the Maderno Sweet in collaboration with British chocolatiers Choccywoccydoodah…

The set, which includes bathtub, sink, toilet and bidet, contains 9.4 million calories worth of cocoa deliciousness. That equals the average person’s caloric allowance for 12 years. (Elite Daily)

synecdochic: torso of a man wearing jeans, hands bound with belt (Default)

(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2014 03:42 pm
[personal profile] synecdochic
Can't go to bed, cat has all the covers. the one flaw in our "don't bother making the bed" thing: Gabe likes high places. Like Mount Duvet. )
[syndicated profile] love_and_garbage_feed

Posted by loveandgarbage

I live in a relatively new housing estate in central Scotland. Like many recently built housing estates our area neighbours extensive social housing. The local primary school has a great mix of children and parents talk at the gates or in the playground when dropping off or picking up children. For nearly two and a half years the referendum was scarcely mentioned. But when the schools went back in August the referendum campaign was up and running and entering the final weeks, and people started to talk.

“have you had anyone at your door?”

Uniformly, across parents from social housing and those from the new estates the answer was no. This confused me. I thought it was just us. That our estate was identified in these demographic mapping exercises as clearly supporting one side or the other and consequently not worth bothering with. But it wasn’t just us. It was everyone. The media talked consistently of a massive ground campaign by yes supporters, contacting areas never previously canvassed for opinion. But not where I lived. Not in central Scotland. Not in a council area with two SNP MSPs. And watching the media something struck me. This massive ground campaign was filmed in one or two geographical areas.

Now I knew there were activists for the yes campaign in the area. indeed, one neighbour was an early adopter of the YES car sticker. But he did not have a window poster (in my area in a one and a half mile radius of my house they did not appear until the final week  after an unfortunate incident earlier in the campaign, and it was the yougov poll showing yes in the lead that prompted window posters although even then no more than a handful with “no” outnumbering “yes” (disregarding the enthusiastic homes, one on each side where three posters appeared in the windows of one home)). So where was the campaign?

I know some people are uncomfortable knocking on doors (I did it myself for a party in the late 80s and early 90s when enthusiastic and devoid of cynicism and am conscious that forcing yourself into someone else’s personal area requires you to be in a particular mind set) and would have expected lots of leaflets. But we didn’t even have that. Over the more than two years of the campaign we had (up until the final week) five leaflets that had no been delivered by the Post Office. One was for yes, four were for no. When these leaflets were delivered the person did not knock at the door, did not want to engage. On two occasions I tried to go out to speak to the leafleter (partly out of a desire to get information, partly out of mischief given that I had some questions I has been trying to persuade someone to ask the politicians throughout the campaign) the leafleter rushed off. Once I recognised the local SNP councillor, who – following my cheery shout – darted round the corner as if attempting qualifying for the Commonwealth Games relay squad. We were getting hardly anything, but there was the Yes activist in the immediate area. What were they doing? Where were they going?

When I raised this at my work, in central Edinburgh, I expected colleagues to regale me with multiple tales of canvassers. But no. Despite people living across different parts of Edinburgh only one of my work colleagues (from a sample of ten I had chatted about it with) was canvassed. One, living in the city of Edinburgh had, apart from royal mail deliveries, never had any leaflets from either side.

This seemed bizarre.

But then I spoke to my parents in Dumfriesshire. They were canvassed four times by one side during the campaign, never by the other. Four times. Now, as a long time apathetic former activist four time seemed unnecessary. My mum and dad were pretty clear in their vote. They had been clear in their statements with the canvassers. When I canvassed (Admittedly more than twenty years ago) we usually relied on the first response, would note probability, and may go back as a check potential swings, or to encourage our supporters. And once identified it was about getting those supporters out to vote. But if the yes side was canvassing avowed no voters four times I had some queries. The media proclaimed the database of the yes campaign and the SNP hugely impressive. What sort of database needs you to go to the door of someone supporting the other side four times? What was the record keeping really like? And why, when I knew so many areas were uncanvassed, was the same series of streets in a small town in Dumfriesshire, being done four times?

The use of resources seemed inexplicable. Moreso, when told by parents that a team of sixty canvassers descended on their home town in the final weekend of the campaign for another go at the same streets in an area near the border that was nothing like SNP or pro independence territory – while I lived in central Scotland in a town with two SNP MSPs and had never had anyone at the door.

That weekend 6,000 yes supporters attended a protest at the BBC protesting against BBC bias and the temerity of the political editor of the BBC asking political questions. And we got another no leaflet. And no one from yes came to the door.

On the night that thousands of yes supporters rallied in George Square in Glasgow, less than half an hour away on the train was a sizeable chunk of a Scottish town – where ultimately over 100,000 people voted – where the yes campaign had never made any contact. The night that the rally took place in Glasgow I saw my neighbour, the yes activist. It was at the train station as he left for Glasgow and I got home from Edinburgh. Knowing that I watched pictures of the rally, and videos appeared, I was reminded of Kinnock’s rally at Sheffield. It looked like a victory rally. That night we had a no supporter at the door.

The following day I saw a car with two saltires drive round our estate. The driver stopped and dropped off boxes at my activist neighbour’s home. We did not get a leaflet until much later that night. Just after the one from no arrived.

I voted early on 18th September, completing my referendum journey. As I wandered round I reflected on questions I had raised with friends that were activists that had gone unanswered, questions that had been asked to representative bodies for the campaign based on readings of directives and other legislation that had been answered with one line emails, I reflected on my childhood weekends, on my family, and my job, and my home, and I reflected on a twitter exchange which exemplified a feeling that neither side really understood the emotions of the other and lacked any empathy. I got my ballot paper. I marked my cross.

That night I went to the local corner shop. I passed the car with two saltire driving around. The shopkeeper and I chatted about the number of people who had voted. He closed early to go to vote himself. I returned home and saw the car with the two saltire driving around my street aimlessly. What was the driver doing? Given there had been no canvass if this was a get out the vote operation where was he going? I stood at the door and watched it drive past my door three times in five minutes as it followed the loop of the road. Going round and round in circles.

I closed the door and waited for the results.

[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Daniela

The young men and women who were arrested in May for posting a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Williams’ ‘Happy” have been sentenced to six months in prison and 91 lashes. The sentences are suspended for the moment, but could be carried out any time in the next three years.

Several members of a Mexican family, including the mother and grandparents, have been jailed for 30 years for gouging out the eyes of a five-year-old during an “end of the world” satanic ritual in 2012.

It’s been five months since over 270 schoolgirls were kidnapped by Boko Haram. Some have escaped but none has been rescued. The Huffington Post has a good summary of what has happened since.

A cloud and a piece of fried chicken (wrongly) predict the Scottish independence referendum results.

At least 67 people died when a church building collapsed in Lagos last week. The building belonged to the country’s best known televangelist, and the church has been accused of being hostile and preventing rescue officials access to the site.

A Colombian women’s cycling team has said that it will not stop wearing its flesh-coloured uniforms. The uniforms, worn by the team on the Tour of Tuscany were called “unacceptable by any standard of decency” by the president of the International Cycling Union. (mildly NSFW).

Featured image: Iranians dancing to Happy

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

Naomi Klein has a new book out on the subject of how capitalism is boiling the planet. Yes, I know, such a surprising conclusion for her to come to, isn’t it? As part of the push for the book there’s various interviews and pieces popping up all over the place and it’s this one that really caught my eye. Because in it Klein displays some logical ignorance of quite breathtaking extent. She actually ends up arguing against the very policy that achieves her ends. And the thing is she doesn’t manage to understand that this is what she’s doing. It’s absurd really but there it is.

Her original complaint seems reasonable enough:

Then about three years ago, I started to notice that green energy programs – the strong ones that are needed to lower global emissions fast – were increasingly being challenged under international trade agreements, particularly the World Trade Organization’s rules.In 2010, for instance, the United States challenged one of China’s wind power subsidy programs on the grounds that it contained supports for local industry that were considered protectionist. China, in turn, threatened to bring a dispute against renewables subsidies in five U.S. states.

If free trade rules are reducing the fight against climate change then that’s certainly something worth worrying about. But it’s the example she goes on to use of free trade rules limiting that fight that is so obviously absurd:

The legislation created what is known as a feed-in tariff program, which allowed renewable energy providers to sell power back to the grid, offering long-term contracts with guaranteed premium prices.

The catch was that in order for energy providers to qualify, they had to ensure that a minimum percentage – 40 to 60 per cent – of their workforces and materials were local to Ontario.

OK, a feed in tariff, no problems with trade rules there. Local content rules in order to gain that subsidy though, that would be a problem, yes.

Then things started to go very wrong. Just as the U.S. has acted against local renewable supports in China, so Japan and then the European Union let it be known that they considered Ontario’s local content requirement to be a violation of World Trade Organization rules.

The WTO ruled against Canada, determining that Ontario’s buy-local provisions were indeed illegal. And the province wasted little time in nixing the local-content rules that had been so central to its program. It was this, Mr. Maccario said, that led his foreign investors to pull their support for factory expansion. “Seeing all those, for lack of a better term, mixed messages … was the straw that broke the camel’s back.”

From a climate perspective, the WTO ruling was an outrage: If we want to keep warming below catastrophic levels, wealthy economies like Canada must make getting off fossil fuels their top priority.

How absurd, then, for the WTO to interfere with that success – to let trade trump the planet itself.

And there’s the error. The WTO ruling made solar panels in Ontario cheaper, thus increasing the number of people who would purchase and install them. She’s complaining about trade rules that make what she wants, more renewable energy, more likely to happen. And how logically ignorant or confused do you have to be to do that?

To run through this in a little more detail let’s start by recalling our Adam Smith: the sole purpose of all production is consumption. Here this means that we’re not worried about who produces nor how those solar panels. Sure, we’d be happier if they were produced by a smiling, equitable and gender equal workforce who skip to work as kittens gambol in the sunshine. But that’s all very much a second order concern compared to the fact that we want people to be consuming said panels in order to displace coal fired electricity generation. We might also vaguely want solar panels used in Ontario to be made in Ontario (difficult to think why but maybe some people would) but again that’s very much a second order concern compared to our desire to get people using any solar panels in Ontario.

And we’ve got that feed in tariff to encourage people to install them and the WTO hasn’t made any difference to that. So, what’s the next thing we want to do in order to encourage take up of solar power? Yup, that’s right, we want to make solar panels cheaper to buy in Ontario. It’s a reasonably standard economic finding that people will buy more of something as it gets cheaper: So, to encourage people to buy solar panels we want to make them cheaper. And we know very well that this subsidised factory, the one that is failing as a result of the banning of the local content rules, is more expensive than imported Chinese panels. It must be: if it weren’t then it wouldn’t be going bust in the face of the Chinese imports, would it?

So, the WTO ruling has meant that the local content rules are scrapped. This makes both Chinese and locally produced solar panels eligible for the feed in tariff. Those Chinese panels are cheaper so, other things being equal, there will be more solar planets installed in Ontario than there would have been if the local content rules had remained valid. The WTO has just increased the installation rate of solar in Ontario, making climate change that infinitessimal bit less bad. And Klein is complaining about this on the grounds that we’ve got to install more solar in order to beat climate change?

I really don’t think I’m being too harsh in describing this as monumental logical ignorance.

[syndicated profile] scalziwhatever_feed

Posted by John Scalzi

Because why wouldn’t there be?

Also, it’s well past time I came out of the closet as a Sith Lord, evidenced by my red lightsaber. Frankly, I’m relieved it’s out there. Now I don’t have to pretend I’m not Force Choking all who oppose me.

Heading home.

[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

Dorothy ThornhillMy co-editor Stephen Tall is incredibly efficient. He’s off on holiday, but he managed to edit his post on where we are with candidates in our held and top target seats to include Dorothy Thornhill’s selection in Watford before he headed to the airport at some ridiculous hour of the night.

Dorothy is currently in her fourth term as Mayor of Watford, elected for the first time in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, 2010 and in May this year. She’s a former teacher.

Party President Tim Farron welcomed her selection on Twitter last night:

Dorothy is a regular tweeter as @MayorDorothy.



* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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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