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Posted by Lord William Wallace

 

Dear New Member,

It’s been exhilarating to meet you and so many of your friends and fellows at meetings over the past few months.

After years of talking to small numbers of Liberal Democrat members in the corners of pubs or the living rooms of houses, packed meetings of interested and well-informed people warm the soul.  Some of the questions thrown at me display levels of expertise on specific policies well above what I’ve acquired; the only answer I could offer to the new member who asked what I thought we could learn from the Finnish school system was, “You tell me”.   I was invited to a meeting for new members in Yorkshire, some months ago, to talk about our party’s approach to foreign policy, to discover from the first three people I met that each of them had years of experience of working in countries that I had never visited.

The party organization is struggling with its limited resources to make good use of the expertise which many new recruits have brought us.  Some are already serving on policy working groups, some helpfully advising different parliamentary spokesmen, others are feeding in to shaping policies at regional level.  I look forward to meeting more new members at the Spring conference in York, including in the consultation sessions on Friday which provide the easiest opportunities for members to feed in ideas.

Many of your friends and fellow enthusiasts have piled in to Witney and Richmond, and some also to Sleaford, Copeland and Stoke – and found election campaigning a wonderful collective activity.  But can I say to you what I’ve said to the several university professors who have come to talk to me about helping the party they have just joined?  “Get out there and walk the streets, outside active election campaigns.  Deliver leaflets, and knock on doors.  You will learn a huge amount about the state of British politics and society; and it starts to make a difference to people who feel cut off from politics and political elites and will respond to activists who take an interest in their own concerns.”

Political alienation – voters who feel that politics is a circus that performs in Westminster, unrelated to life as experienced on a housing estate in Bradford or a suburb in Solihull – is one of the deepest problems our democracy faces.  Labour’s current troubles flow partly from taking its voters for granted, parachuting parliamentary candidates in from London and abandoning canvassing and other local contacts.  All politics is local; get in there, talk to local people – and listen to them, too, try to work with them on local problems, and you begin to reconnect them to wider political life.  Besides, you learn a lot from the exchange.  Involvement in political activity takes you to parts of your community, and country, that you might otherwise never discover.

One of my greatest memories from canvassing is from a morning in Hull, the year after the Iraq war.  A journalist friend from Washington had asked to come out with me, to gather English reactions to invading Iraq.  At the first door we knocked on, the householder started off on the problem of illegal parking on grass verges.  90 seconds later, via Council taxes and the Labour government, he had reached Iraq, and gave us his opinion that Blair had made a disastrous mistake.  Opinions often come out in a flood, a mixture of responses to the latest news, prejudice, hopes, fears, and local wisdom, with personal experiences woven in.  In pitching the message of liberalism to the British electorate, we need to listen to where voters are coming from, and find ways to match our principles to their concerns.

Social media and telephone canvassing have begun to transform political campaigning – I hope you’ve tried telephone canvassing too.  But the sense of immediate contact that comes from the leaflet dropped through the door, and the canvasser standing there asking what you think, remains vital.  And it’s great exercise!

 

(Ed: The photo was taken in 2006 – but who is it? Answers in the comments, please)

* Lord Wallace of Saltaire is a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords.

[syndicated profile] bookdrunk_rhetorical_feed

Posted by Waone Setya

 Permulaan desember 2015 Huawei kembali meluncurkan dengan cara resmi model HP Android Menengah anyar mereka ke Tanah air diberi nama Huawei Y6. Ponsel canggih ini sepertinya didesain oleh rencana serupa misal Huawei Y5 yang beberapa waktu lalu pula telah kita ulas beberapa waktu lalu. Tetapi kepada model ini bandrol nya unggul mahal oleh ada banyak penambahan di spek hardware yang digunakannya. Bandrol Huawei Y6 sepertinya dapat disebutkan lumayan mahal sebab bekalan spesifikasinya tetap termasuk lumayan biasa saja. Dapat dipandang besutan monitor yang tetap beresolusi HD 720 x 1280 pixels, walaupun ia telah memakai panel IPS dan memiliki ukuran besar namun resolusinya ini kepada ponsel canggih di atas 1 jutaan tetap termasuk minim. Mengingat tak terdapat Corning Gorilla Glass kepada memproteksi monitornya. Tetapi demikian terdapat dampak positif apa bila monitornya beresolusi HD yang mana mengkonsumsi baterainya tentu tak bakal boros tidak sama yang


Berpindah besutan sisi desainnya, Huawei Y6 nampak serupa oleh Ponsel canggih Huawei menengah beberapa waktu lalu. Yang mana material yang ia gunakan tetap memiliki bahan plastik. Keuntungannya bobot Huawei Y6 cuma 125 gr, yang termasuk enteng kepada diangkut serta dimasukkan kedalam saku. Ketebalannya termasuk tidak tipis apa bila dipandang besutan samping, hal semacam ini lumrah sebab spesifikasi ketebalannya sampai 8. 5 mm. Bila sahabat deteknokers orang yang tak memprioritaskan permasalahan penampilan luar, jadi Huawei Y6 tetap jadi alternatif yang pas kepada pengganti Ponsel canggih Android lawas sahabat.

Argumen ia dapat jadi opsi Ponsel canggih Android anyar merupakan ia didukung chip besutan Qualcomm Snapdragon model MSM8909 yang mana chip ini telah mendukung processor Quad Core oleh Clock Speed 1. 2 GHz. Pengolah grafisnya telah memakai Adreno 304, yang termasuk lumayan ampun kepada menghadirkan grafis yang jernih serta kuat kepada memainkan ada banyak permainan yang terdapat di Google Play Store.








Baca Juga : Harga HP Huawei Android Terbaru

Buat yang sukai multitasking, Huawei Y6 menghadirkan kemampuan RAM 1. 5 GB oleh media penyimpanan internal 8 GB. Mengerti media penyimpanan internal yang ia gunakan kecil jadi Huawei Y6 dilengkapi slot memori eksternal yang terdapat selanjutnya sektor dalam dekat oleh baterainya. Maka memori eksternal ini dapat dipakai kepada sahabat menaruh ada banyak file misal musik, film ataupun video. Keunggulan Huawei Y6 yang berdasarkan team detekno layak kepada sahabat kenali merupakan Huawei Y6 telah dilengkapi koneksi 4G LTE oleh slot kartu Dual SIM dan baterainya yang dapat dicopot.



[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

The economic numbers for Scotland haven’t added up for some decades now, that’s why the English have had to subsidise the place for so long. Given the various talk about a second independence referendum and the possibility of Scotland leaving the Union that is the UK a new attempt has been made at totting up quite how badly the numbers do work out. And the answer is that the gap between spending and taxation is so vast that Scotland would be, effectively, bust as a government and rectifying that would entail cuts of such magnitude as to produce a Greek-style depression in the country.

Still, if the Scots want to go that’s their right. I can hardly insist that Brexit’s a great idea and never mind the economic pain and then deny others their own view of the value of such independence. Especially as their going would mean we English had to do less of the paying for it all that we currently do:

Economy Secretary Keith Brown’s response was to attack the source of the claim — the Centre for Economics and Business Research — and to say that under Brexit things would be far worse.
He also cherry-picked a stat about Scotland’s productivity growing at a faster rate than the UK as a whole, in a bid to show what rude health we’re in.

One simple question for Mr Brown. Do you think we’re thick?

The North Sea is in crisis. Our economic growth is way behind the UK as a whole.

The current gap between Scotland’s income and spending is massive — £14.8billion and that is going by his government’s own figures.
These are matters of fact.

The Scottish economy isn’t all that big and of course the government’s part of it is smaller. £15 billion in this context is a massive sum:

The Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) forecast the gap between public spending and taxes raised will hit an “unsustainable” 9.4 per cent of GDP in 2017-18.

This is more than three times a prediction for the rest of the UK as a whole at 3 per cent and follows the dramatic collapse in oil revenues.

Douglas McWilliams, the think-tank’s chief executive, also said if Scotland were independent today the deficit would be even higher at 12 per cent.

12 % of GDP is a tooth-suckingly large sum. It’s the sort of number one might manage for a year or two while prosecuting a proper shooting war but other than that it’s just not going to get financed. Meaning that:

He said the deficit could rise to an unmanageable 12 per cent of GDP due to additional costs of becoming a separate state.

“Because of Keynesian multiplier effects, there would need to be cuts of about 15 per cent of GDP. That’s roughly on the scale of what has happened in Greece, which has led to a fall in GDP of a quarter.”

Trying to rectify the situation would cost 25% of GDP, our usual description of a depression being a reduction of 10% of GDP. That 25% is in fact about what happened to the US in the depths of the Great Depression.

What’s truly amusing about this, in a rather droll manner, is that there is a solution to the problem. Scotland should have its own independent currency, bring back the Scots shilling (from memory, worth about one quarter of an English one when abolished). But the same SNP demanding independence is also insisting that Scotland should keep the pound sterling, or adopt the euro, exactly the thing which would not allow using the exchange rate to take the strain of such economic adjustment. For, as I’ve been saying all these years, if Greece had been able to devalue the drachma then they would have been able to get back to a balanced budget and economic growth much sooner. As Iceland has been able to.

I’m all for Scots independence on two grounds, if that’s what the Scots want then why not and if the English no longer have to pay then why not again? But they will need an independent currency to deal with it yet that’s the very thing they’ve set their face against.

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_forbes_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

The Local Government Association has taken to the airwaves to bleat about how every local council everywhere is having to raise the tax squeezed out of their resident population and yet still there will need to be deep cuts in the services they provide. We could, of course, just dismiss this as the usual such bleating at tax setting time, setting the population up for another raid on our wallets to keep the gravy train running. We could also look a little deeper at this and conclude that this is what happens when you raise the minimum wage. There are only three things that can happen when said minimum wage is raised. Prices can go up, profit margins are slashed or less labour is employed. This is true of private as well as public business, our example here in front of us is of public of course:

Council tax rises won’t bring in enough money to prevent further “deep cuts” to services, local authorities have warned.

Taxes are the price we pay for those council services and if the costs of providing the services have gone up then perhaps those taxes, those prices, must also rise?

All councils can raise taxes by up to 1.99% in April, while those responsible for social care can increase bills by up to 3% more.

Nearly all local authorities responsible for social care have approved or are considering applying the precept, the body revealed.

Yep, definitely, prices are going up:

Council Tax rises won’t bring in enough money to prevent further “deep cuts” to services, warn local authorities.

And production is going down. Which is, we can safely assume, going to mean fewer people employed to produce those services. So, the big question is why? Why is this desecration of social care happening?

And while the council tax rises would raise about £600m, she said that would be swallowed up by paying higher wages to existing staff more when the National Living Wage comes into effect.

Ahhhh, that’s the reason.

So, back to the basics here. We raise the minimum wage which is just lovely for those who gain more in their pay packets. But that money has to come from somewhere. Prices, productivity, profits or employment, they are the only places it can come from. Here, in the public sector, there are no profits so they cannot take the strain. Productivity among public servants is of course extremely high already and cannot possibly be improved in any manner whatsoever. That’s just obvious, isn’t it? Meaning that the extra costs must come from the other two sources. We can raise taxes, which are the price of producing those services, and we can reduce production and thus the number employed to provide it.

Thus a rise in the minimum wage produces both a rise in prices and a reduction in employment. This will also, of course, be true of the private sector. Thus perhaps raising minimum wages isn’t all that good an idea?

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Posted by Tim Worstall

We’ve been having a series of stories telling us all of the terrors of Brexit. All that is good and holy in the nation will scarper over the Channel as it happens and thus we will be bereft. The latest addition to this is the idea that Oxford University will open a campus in Paris in order to maintain access to the lolly that the European Union doles out in order to be able to continue with European cooperation. Last week we were told that Lloyds Bank is likely to open a subsidiary in Berlin in order to be able to maintain passporting rights to offer financial services across the Continent. And yesterday, that various orchestras are going to have to leave Britain.

The other way we can read these stories is that Brexit, that sundering of historical bonds with the trans-Manche cousins, appears to be very much easier to deal with than we’re being told. Thus those who desire to or must maintain their links are finding it easy enough to do so, those of us who would be free of them will be so.

The Oxford story:

The University of Oxford is considering opening its first international campus in its 700-year history in Paris in response to the economic impact of Brexit.

French officials met with senior officials the Telegraph reported to discuss whether a Paris campus could secure further European Union funding that the university might otherwise have missed out on after Britain leaves the EU.

It’s entirely true that the EU doles out lots of that lovely lolly to academic institutions. Many such would like to continue to receive their subsidy. And we can then read this story either way. We are denuding our young of the possibility of a decent education by being so crass as to leave the EU:

A French subsidiary would help maintain Oxford’s access to European funding programmes as well as international students.

Brexit, and potential changes to immigration rules, has already had an effect on foreign student numbers in the UK.

Or we can read this the other way around. It appears trivially simple for Oxford to maintain access to the cash spigot and the rest of us will still be free of regulations about the allowable curvature of bananas. That seems like something of a bargain really.

So too with banks and passporting:

Lloyds Banking Group is close to selecting Berlin as a European base to secure market access to the European Union when Britain leaves the bloc, sources told Reuters.

Britain’s largest mortgage lender is examining steps to turn its branch in the German capital into a subsidiary and may apply for a licence to do so later this year, the sources said.

We’ve heard much about how essential it is to The City that they be able to maintain those passporting rights. What this means is that if you are approved and regulated somewhere in the EU then you can sell anywhere in the EU. If Britain’s not in the EU then–maybe–you don’t have, as a British regulated bank, the right to sell across the EU. Terrors! And yet the answer turns out to be as simple as changing the legal form of an office you already own and run. And again, this leaves The City entirely free of all of that EU regulation and legislation while still being able to sell those lovely financial services across the continent. This does sound like rather a bargain from the British point of view.

And then there’s the rather fun little story from yesterday about orchestras.

One of Britain’s most successful orchestras is moving to Belgium amid fears that its musicians may be among the victims of a post-Brexit crackdown on immigration.

The European Union Baroque Orchestra has been based in Oxfordshire since 1985, but will give its last UK concert in its current form at St John’s Smith Square, London, on 19 May, before moving to Antwerp.

Immigration rules may not be quite why this is happening:

The European Union Baroque Orchestra is unique: EUBO nurtures and supports young baroque music performers through the challenging transition between conservatoire study and the music profession.

The activities of EUBO are an integral part of the EUBO Mobile Baroque Academy (EMBA), a Creative Europe co-operation project 2015-2018 co-funded by the European Union.

It could be, there’s a soupcon of a whit of a possibility here, that this is following the cash, no?

All of which leaves us still with those two methods of totting up the costs of Brexit. We could still complain that the UK is being stripped bare as people flee to maintain those European contacts. Or we could be more sensible and note that the actions needed to do so are near trivial and once taken leave the rest of us blissfully free of Brussels. Although, to be fair, possibly short of an orchestra or two but then everything worth having has some cost or another, doesn’t it?

[personal profile] alexbayleaf

Originally published at Spinster's Bayley. You can comment here or there.

It’s been a long time since I posted, but I’m trying to get going again so I’ll just dive right in.

It’s been a slow, cool summer. Tomatoes hardly ripening (just a few handfuls, mostly cherries) and I wonder whether I’ll have any to preserve this year?  Despite the cool weather, things are slowly coming along including the corn my neighbour is growing for both of us (I’m responsible for pumpkins), enough zucchini (but not too much), and self-seeded greens starting to sprout.  Thanks to the cool weather I also had a crop of mushrooms off a compost delivery, which quickly made it into several meals.

I set up a weighing station by the back door, inspired by hearing of a Melbourne acquaintance who grew 350kg of food on her 1/14th acre block, but I have to admit I’ve only weighed in a couple of kilos in these first two months of 2017.

Corn in my neighbour’s backyard
A cool summer
Weighing station by the back door

Pasta with pesto genovese, zucchini and mushrooms.

A friend left me a basketful of plums, which got made into plum mead. There’s a funny story involving condoms as airlocks – check my instagram.  Just recently, I’ve been picking with a group who are starting a project called the Hidden Orchard, which aims to harvest fruit from unloved fruit trees in people’s backyards, as well as pruning and maintaining the trees throughout the year.  I’ve also been picking elderberries, to make elderberry syrup and perhaps elderberry mead.  I posted an elderberry recipe on my Tinyletter – check the archives.

Plums and op shop books from Carla
Elderberries don’t smell of anything, despite what Monty Python say
Hidden Orchard harvest is donated to community groups


A month or so back I moved into the smallest bedroom of the house – really very small, just enough room for a single bed and a chest of drawers – just to see how I felt about it.  Conclusion: I like being in a small room, like curling up in a nest, with nothing else in there but my personal effects. It is very important to keep it tidy, though, as there’s no room for a “floordrobe” or any other clutter to pile up.

I’ve also been making salves from calendula oil (calendula harvested and dried in spring, then infused in olive oil) and beeswax left over from candles. I made two kinds, one very thick that I use on my cracked heels, any small scratches, or even as a lip balm; the second is less waxy and I use it just as a general moisturiser.

My nest
Keeping things tidy, konmari style
Calendula balms

Visiting Jonai Farms’ happy pigs
Touring Yonke’s property as part of the PDC

Finally, I’ve been out and about. A few weeks ago I paid a visit to my friends Tammi and Stuart at Jonai Farms, then on to Daylesford where I spent a great day with Patrick, Meg and Woody of Artist as Family. It was so interesting I didn’t even take any photos, but they gave me heaps of great info and reassurance about living car-free in smaller country towns, and they have a house that’s very similar in style to what I want!  More recently I’ve been doing a Permaculture Design Course with the local permaculture guild, which means regular treks out to a friend’s farm where most of the course is held, plus additional site visits to other properties.  Everywhere I go now, I think about how I’d get there by bike. Next month, I hope, I’ll have the opportunity to try it!

Speedy leaflet delivery

Feb. 20th, 2017 10:53 am
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Jane Reed

 

The last two Sundays I have been helping with our campaign in Stoke-on-Trent by delivering leaflets. The first visit I set off on a blustery, drizzly day with an armful of slippery leaflets. Within five minutes the leaflets had cascaded to the ground buffeted by the strong  gusts of wind. I suppose this is one way of distributing leaflets!

Helped by my leafleting companion we managed to retrieve most of the leaflets which now formed a rather soggy jumbled pile. I went on to deliver them but this having happened didn’t help the process especially with awkward letterboxes. Being a person who believes in learning from our mistakes, and who in general takes a problem solving approach to life, my next visit I equipped myself with a suitable delivery bag and an extra long spatula.

The bag is most importantly waterproof, has an adjustable strong cross-chest strap, good capacity for all batches of leaflets, a secure zipped compartment for your valuables and is in Liberal Democrat colours. In using the spatula I wrapped the leaflet around the flat end and delivered it though the letterbox. It was particularly helpful when the letterbox has bristles and it also prevents the leaflet becoming crumpled. This spatula is a couple of inches longer than a regular cooking spatula so you are unlikely to lose it through the letterbox. Using this equipment made an enormous difference to the speed at which I delivered the leaflets, about three times faster, and because I was physically comfortable and the process was efficient it was much more enjoyable.

If you think you would like to equip yourself in this way details of where you can buy this bag and spatula are below.

Gold/Black delivery bag  

Features: capacity for all batches of our leaflets, waterproof,  strong adjustable cross-chest strap, secure zipped compartment for your valuables, phone, keys etc., Liberal Democrat colours,

You can buy this from Amazon for £9.99

Bagbase Funky Retro Messenger Bag, Gold/Black

Spatula for delivering the leaflets

Just wrap the leaflet around the end of the spatula and deliver though the letterbox, particularly helpful when the letterbox has bristles and prevents the leaflet becoming crumpled.

This particular spatula is a couple of inches longer than standard cooking spatulas and so reduces the chance of losing it through the letter box!

It comes with quite an attractive ladle which hopefully you would find useful.

You can buy the spatula and ladle set from Amazon  £10.49

Garcoo Wooden multi-purpose spatula and ladle set in Beech

* Jane Reed is a Liberal Democrat member and activist in York

supergee: (sado)

Unter

Feb. 20th, 2017 06:01 am
[personal profile] supergee
Woman works at Uber and lives to tell about it.

Thanx to Metafilter

So how is our vote share shaping up?

Feb. 20th, 2017 09:47 am
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by John Grout

Earlier in the week, on a whim, I collated figures for every vote cast so far this year,* by party, expecting either the Tories or Labour to lead by a decent margin.  The actual result surprised me – prior to this week’s by-elections, the Lib Dems were leading Labour by over 800 votes despite standing in barely over half the contests.  Even after those by-elections, which were decidedly mixed for the Lib Dems (1 hold, 1 gain, 2 losses, 1 no-show), we’re still leading the pack, 500 or so votes ahead of Labour.

I hadn’t planned to share this graph again for a while – it’s nice, but doesn’t really compare to the cumulative by-election changes graphs myself Brian and I have been preparing since the summer.  But, next week we have six by-elections – one on Tuesday (!) in Basingstoke and five on Thursday.  Two of those are Parliamentary, in Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland.  You may have heard of them.  Both are in “Labour heartlands” where we “can’t win”.

Here’s the thing, though: we are.  We’ve stood in five fewer elections than Labour this year, and we’re still beating them.  Labour’s largest win so far is smaller than our second-largest, their second-largest is only 5 votes more than our third-largest – and our third-largest win was Sunderland/Sandhill, which made jaws drop up and down the country.

Since the May elections, the Lib Dems have taken 7 seats off Labour, in every country in which they stand.  Those seats were in places like Sheffield, and North-East Derbyshire, and Sunderland, and Rotherham.  None of those victories were small; they were emphatic, none more so than our 2,000 votes in Rotherham, in the very ward of Orgreave Pit.

So when people say we can’t win, don’t believe them.  Don’t accept it.  Don’t internalise it and think they’re probably right.  Parliamentary seats aren’t local ones, it’s true.  Winning either is a big ask, but don’t think for one second that it’s impossible.

After a decidedly mixed run of by-elections I ran the numbers again, and guess what?  We’re STILL beating the blighters!  So, if anyone says we can’t win, consider showing them this.  We can.  We are.

 

* To be clear, reliable figures only exist for Parliamentary and principal local authority by-elections (and there are yet to be any of the former)

* John Grout is a member of Greater Reading Democrats.

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Posted by Jon

After Tony Blair’s Brexit speech last week, former Deputy Director of Britain Stronger in Europe (and now Edelman exec) Lucy Thomas tweeted this:

Shortly before that an interesting discussion on Twitter ensued between Sunder Katwala and David Aaronovich, with this Aaronovich tweet being the highlight of it:

It refers to Sunder involving Gisela Stuart MP in his British Future report, a report that argued rights of EU nationals in the UK should be protected before Stuart then voted exactly the opposite way in Parliament. Steve Peers determinedly slams Stuart in The Guardian here.

The line Thomas and Katwala pursue is a variant of that argued for by – among others – Liz Truss, Caroline Flint and Chuka Umunna, and is also behind the compliant behaviour of the House of Commons in the Brexit notification bill debate.

Jessica Elgot and James Savage it up:

It’s essentially pretty simple. If you think Brexit – and especially the version of Brexit Theresa May is pursuing – is wrong, you still have to argue that it is wrong. Critique, argue, oppose, campaign. But do not fold. Folding is essentially what the likes of Thomas and Katwala are doing. Just as they could not really muster an impassioned case for the EU during the referendum (and were out-thought as well), so they cannot muster determination to oppose now. Meanwhile the hard core Brexiteers are still sounding like insurgents, making impassioned pleas for the hardest and swiftest form of Brexit possible, behaviour that has borne fruit by pushing Theresa May that way.

Also – as Rob Ford correctly points out – had the referendum result been the other way, Farage would not be shutting up now, so why are so many Remain people (other than Blair, the SNP and the Lib Dems) so compliant? Likewise in Scotland Nicola Sturgeon legitimately keeps up the pressure for a second referendum, a point Alex Massie makes in this excellent piece about the Blair speech – that’s the sort of determination that needs to be widespread on the UK-EU issue. But then the SNP see themselves as the insurgents, and Remain people do not.

Ultimately if the UK is to end up with some non-disastrous, softer Brexit, or indeed get at the end of all of this a second referendum and possibly no Brexit at all, it needs those who see the foolishness of this whole thing to stick to their guns and not give in.

Sexism at Uber

Feb. 20th, 2017 08:27 am
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

After the first couple of weeks of training, I chose to join the team that worked on my area of expertise, and this is where things started getting weird. On my first official day rotating on the team, my new manager sent me a string of messages over company chat. He was in an open relationship, he said, and his girlfriend was having an easy time finding new partners but he wasn’t. He was trying to stay out of trouble at work, he said, but he couldn’t help getting in trouble, because he was looking for women to have sex with. It was clear that he was trying to get me to have sex with him, and it was so clearly out of line that I immediately took screenshots of these chat messages and reported him to HR.

Uber was a pretty good-sized company at that time, and I had pretty standard expectations of how they would handle situations like this. I expected that I would report him to HR, they would handle the situation appropriately, and then life would go on – unfortunately, things played out quite a bit differently. When I reported the situation, I was told by both HR and upper management that even though this was clearly sexual harassment and he was propositioning me, it was this man’s first offense, and that they wouldn’t feel comfortable giving him anything other than a warning and a stern talking-to. Upper management told me that he “was a high performer” (i.e. had stellar performance reviews from his superiors) and they wouldn’t feel comfortable punishing him for what was probably just an innocent mistake on his part.

I was then told that I had to make a choice: (i) I could either go and find another team and then never have to interact with this man again, or (ii) I could stay on the team, but I would have to understand that he would most likely give me a poor performance review when review time came around, and there was nothing they could do about that. I remarked that this didn’t seem like much of a choice, and that I wanted to stay on the team because I had significant expertise in the exact project that the team was struggling to complete (it was genuinely in the company’s best interest to have me on that team), but they told me the same thing again and again. One HR rep even explicitly told me that it wouldn’t be retaliation if I received a negative review later because I had been “given an option”. I tried to escalate the situation but got nowhere with either HR or with my own management chain (who continued to insist that they had given him a stern-talking to and didn’t want to ruin his career over his “first offense”).

So I left that team, and took quite a few weeks learning about other teams before landing anywhere (I desperately wanted to not have to interact with HR ever again). I ended up joining a brand-new SRE team that gave me a lot of autonomy, and I found ways to be happy and do amazing work. In fact, the work I did on this team turned into the production-readiness process which I wrote about in my bestselling (!!!) book Production-Ready Microservices.

Umm, this is sexism?

It’s a number of things, sure, including most undesirable that management should be propositioning those who work for them, but sexism?

The other stuff about organisational chaos and bureaucratic backstabbing seems like every large organisation everywhere everywhen.

Fake News Scandal!

Feb. 20th, 2017 08:08 am
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

One of Britain’s most successful orchestras is moving to Belgium amid fears that its musicians may be among the victims of a post-Brexit crackdown on immigration.

The European Union Baroque Orchestra has been based in Oxfordshire since 1985, but will give its last UK concert in its current form at St John’s Smith Square, London, on 19 May, before moving to Antwerp.

[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

History will remember the glory and romance of Lincoln City’s improbable triumph, memories fixing on the drama that has propelled a non-League club into the FA Cup quarter-finals for the first time in more than a century.

Yet the secrets underpinning this remarkable leap to immortality are rather more mundane. Theirs is a success founded upon hard work, and Marmite on toast.

[syndicated profile] bookdrunk_rhetorical_feed

Posted by Waone Setya

 Advan G1 merupakan adalah satu handphone android yang diunggulkan selanjutnya camera pada bagian dalam serta handphone ini telah di jual di market tanah air kita, Tanah air. Di ketahui baru-baru ini yang menjelaskan ada banyak toko on-line telah menghadirkan handphone ini. Kepada bandrol jual besutan handphone Advan G1 ini di jual dengan harga Rp. 2, 2 jutaan per unitnya.

Yang menjadi berita kembali kepada spek besutan Advan G1 ini dari lain merupakan mempunyai monitor sentuh memiliki ukuran 5 inch 2. 5 D beresolusi HD 1280 x 720 pixel, oleh kepadatan monitor sampai 294 pixel per inch berteknologi IPS capacitive dan dibungkus dengan Corning Gorilla Glass, didukung dengan chip MediaTek yang mengadopsi cpu ARM Cortex-A53 quad-core bertop speed 1, 3GHz yang di dukung dengan memori RAM berdaya 3GB serta gpu Mali-T720 MP


Ponsel canggih yang digerakkan oleh OS android 6. 0 Marshmallow oleh penampilan antar muka khas ID OS. Tak lupa disematkan oleh camera bagian belakang beresolusi 13 mp oleh optik BSI dan lensa largan oleh aperture f/2. 0. disempurnakan dengan feature auto focus oleh hadirnya dual LED Flash. Lalu kepada camera muka beresolusi 8 mp.

Tak ketinggal ponsel canggih ini di dukung dengan media penyimpanan internal atau ROM berdaya 16 Gigabyte, ada juga slot microSD kepada ekspansi penyimpanan sampai 128 Gigabyte. Disamping itu kepada koneksi ponsel canggih ini telah dilengkapi 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution), dual SIM, Bluetooth, WiFi, 3G HSPA, GPS, serta port microUSB. Pastinya Ponsel canggih ini di dukung dengan baterai berdaya 2600mAh. Berminat memilikinya?








More proof needed here

Feb. 20th, 2017 07:04 am
[syndicated profile] tim_worstall_feed

Posted by Tim Worstall

The average driver will spend 32 hours a year in traffic jams, a report has found as online shopping is blamed for the rise in congestion.

The UK was found to be the third worst country in Europe for traffic congestion, with the direct and direct costs of hold-ups reaching £31 billion last year, an average of £968 per driver.

Online shopping has contributed to the rising levels, according to analysts, with figures showing the number of delivery vans on the roads has increased in the last five years.

A rise in the number of delivery vans, yes. But presumably a fall in the number of trips by car to the shops.

And yes, one stop by a van will only drop off one thing, while one trip to the shops will buy many things – normally. But then one delivery round by a van will, presumably, deliver many more things that a trip to the shops.

I don’t know the actual outcome here. But it’s more complex than more vans thus more congestion.

yhlee: chessmaster (chess pieces) (chessmaster)

sketch of the day

Feb. 19th, 2017 10:44 pm
[personal profile] yhlee
Not really a sketch; it's a line rendition of this photo in an interview with actress Megan Boone; I'm not seeing a credit for the photographer.



The proportions are a bit off :/ which is why I will never be a portrait artist, but I was working fast and loose. Also, I cannot even with the FBI badge (or TV fake FBI badge, not like I'd know the difference). Sorry?

Ink: Robert Oster Astorquiza Rot
Pen: Aurora Optima 75th Anniversary

BTW, for the curious, both my Auroras have M nibs. I know a lot of people who prefer F or XF nibs for fountain pen drawing, but I'm finding that when I'm drawing with a firm nib, the bolder line of a European M is kind of nice.

I have now watched all of Blacklist S1 and am wondering whether to continue, because the unrepentant torture quota is...high. :( I get that bad guys will use torture in the course of narrative but when the "good guys" are doing it all over the place it's hard to care about anyone, especially in a modern-day setting.
tkingfisher: (Default)

(no subject)

Feb. 19th, 2017 08:52 pm
[personal profile] tkingfisher


Built a proof-of-concept today. I don’t even know what this is–a mini-chinampas-inspired tub concept? Or is this something everybody already knows about and I just can’t get the right search terms to spit it out? Or has everybody tried this already and failed and now we all know better except me?

Well, I had pond liner and a whiskey barrel planter and Azolla caroliniana and I’ve been making grow bags, so let’s see what happens.

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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