PSA + tatting

Feb. 26th, 2017 08:00 pm
yhlee: I am a cilantro writer (cilantro photo) (cilantro writer)
[personal profile] yhlee
My website now has a section for Appearances; the one that's up there is a reading/signing at Borderlands in San Francisco on April 15 at 3 p.m. It would be lovely if anyone who's not my sister showed up. XD I may even make hexarchate cartoon handouts for people who show up; we'll see!

Meanwhile, I have taken up tatting!



So the weird twisty helix-looking part of the beginning of the strand is because I had forgotten that you have to do two half-hitches in opposite directions to get a tatting double stitch. Then the light dawned (I'm slow, okay?) and the straight-cable-looking section is where I figured it out and practiced that for a while. It's hard to see in the photo, but I'm using two different colors of thread (yellow and orange, both colors I hate [1] so I don't mind using up lots of it making ugly practice tatting, I'm weird) so that I can tell what the working thread is.

[1] My favorite color is black. Which reminds me, I need to write up The LEGO Batman Movie, which Joe and I saw together.

I was introduced to tatting by [profile] lshelby, who generously set me up with basic supplies and some instructions. I struggled with it for a while (to master the double stitch, you have to figure out how to "flip" a loop, which is apparently the big stumbling block when most people try to learn tatting) then set it aside. The kit didn't survive the flood but I remembered how intriguing it was (also, she sent me the most GORGEOUS tatted dragon pendant, which also didn't survive the flood, and I want to make some of my own! she has the pattern online), and it's cheaper than knitting. Tatting thread is, like, basically thread, so it's much cheaper than fancy yarn. (Also I divorced knitting because I can't knit lace to save my soul.)

I use two shuttles to do tatting, although there are other ways. I picked Aerlit shuttles because they seem to be reasonably well thought of and were reasonably priced [2]; some people like the tiny crochet hooks for unpicking stitches gone wrong, some people hate them for catching in thread. I don't have a strong opinion yet. There's also a kind of tatting you do with needles, but I don't know how that works at all.

Also, the shuttle doesn't come with a cat sticker on it, I just stuck it on for decoration and to help me tell the two shuttles apart (because you have a working thread and a non-working thread). The smart thing to have done would have been to buy shuttles in two different colors but I didn't think of that. Whoops!

[2] You can even make your own tatting shuttles out of cardboard or plastic. But at a few bucks apiece I figured I'd rather have the kind with a bobbin. There are super fancy shuttles carved of the bone of unicorns or whatever the hell, but I'm not making that kind of investment in a new hobby I don't even know yet if I'll stick with it.

ETA: Tatted Treasures has a lot of great tutorial videos and posts on shuttle tatting, if you're interested.

ETA #2: Tatting the double stitch would have made so much more sense so much earlier if people had explained it to me in terms of KNOT THEORY.
kerravonsen: (Default)
[personal profile] kerravonsen posting in [site community profile] dw_suggestions

Title:
Take image descriptions from the image meta-data

Area:
image hosting

Summary:
Save time in creating image descriptions by taking them from the image meta-data, using that to pre-fill the image description form.

Description:
When one uploads an image to the DW image hosting (yay!) you are able to drag-and-drop or select an image to upload, and then you get presented with a form which has things like "Title" and "Description" in it, which you have to fill in. But a lot of my images already have descriptions in the meta-data (e.g. the "Comment" field in a JPEG file). It's a pain to have to type all of that in again when I already did it once. What I would like to suggest is that the image uploader read the meta-data from the image, and use that to pre-fill the form. The user then can edit that as they like, but if they're already happy with what's in their meta-data, they can just save what's there without changing it. This would also be useful if someone is using the old "upload by email" interface which used to be the only way of uploading images to DW. That interface could use the meta-data of the image to fill in the Title and Description information, which the user could edit later on the DW website. As for what meta-data to use, I think one could use the filename for the Title (that's what LJ does) and use the JPEG "Comment" field, or the "Caption-Abstract" field from the EXIF data for the Description.

Poll #18047 Take image descriptions from the image meta-data
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 9


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
6 (66.7%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
0 (0.0%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
1 (11.1%)

(I have no opinion)
2 (22.2%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

technoshaman: Tux (Default)
[personal profile] technoshaman posting in [site community profile] dw_suggestions

Title:
Suppress content in inbox notification

Area:
Inbox

Summary:
Make it toggleable as to whether the *content* of a private inbox message is sent in email. Currently the whole message comes with the notification, instead of just saying "you have a message".

Description:
DW is known for its superior privacy features. One thing it *doesn't* have - yet - is truly secure messaging, i.e. the only thing that goes outside DW is "you have a message". However, some people like using email as a vehicle for interacting with their social media. So I think in our privacy settings we should have a radio button: "Send content of messages with notification: yes/no" We could do this for comments, too, as a 2.0 thing. You could go one step further and make the "from whom" part togggleable too. Some messages are more sensitive than others... f'rex, the fact that I got a message from, oh, say, Bernie Sanders or Coretta Scott King or Dan Rather would be far more sensitive than getting a message from Joe Random I went to school with who didn't amount to much. I don't think we should go down as far as per-user.... that's a little much, and if you're that level of paranoid you should probably just turn off the "who" altogether.... but still. Having "you've got mail" land in your Gmail or Yahoo inbox where g-ds know who can see it is a lot safer than "meet me outside the palace at 2am with the gunpowder! Cheers, Guy"...

Poll #18046 Suppress content in inbox notification
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 8


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
3 (37.5%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
0 (0.0%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
1 (12.5%)

(I have no opinion)
4 (50.0%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

ninetydegrees: Drawing: a girl's face, with a yellow and green stripe over one eye (Default)
[personal profile] ninetydegrees posting in [site community profile] dw_suggestions

Title:
Styles: make it easy to list your IDs on other websites in profile module

Area:
modules, interoperability

Summary:
Dreamwidth displays links to other sites on your profile page but not on your journal. I suggest adding picture links to your other accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc.) to the profile module (or to another module if that's a better idea).

Description:
The idea is that you could enter your usernames on other sites and Dreamwidth would automatically create the appropriate picture links to the other accounts using the correct logos and display them into your profile module. This can already be done manually in the custom text module but I don't see why it shouldn't be easier to do. This is a pretty standard feature on several major websites now and I feel it's missing on DW. Ideally this could be further automated by using the 'other sites' part of your profile page and a simple option such as 'show links to other sites as filled out on my profile'. However, this part of our profiles is missing major sites such as Facebook, Instagram and YouTube so that would limit the usefulness of this new feature imo.

Poll #18045 Styles: make it easy to list your IDs on other websites in profile module
Open to: Registered Users, detailed results viewable to: All, participants: 11


This suggestion:

View Answers

Should be implemented as-is.
10 (90.9%)

Should be implemented with changes. (please comment)
0 (0.0%)

Shouldn't be implemented.
0 (0.0%)

(I have no opinion)
1 (9.1%)

(Other: please comment)
0 (0.0%)

james_davis_nicoll: (Default)
[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll
Unlocked.

I haven't actually been trained for the job but I am somewhat better qualified than the other choice, because it was her first day.
[syndicated profile] markpack2_feed

Posted by Mark Pack

Watch the new video from Amnesty International UK:

How do you think the human race is doing? Are we doing a good job or screwing it up? Do you think we should build more walls or tear walls down? Do you think people in power should tell the truth? Then make some noise. Come with us and be part of the change. We make your voice louder and no one has ever shut us up.

And here’s a reminder why it matters so much:

Le Tarot d'Ambre: Vers la Marelle

Feb. 26th, 2017 05:22 pm
yhlee: Amber Tarot Knight of Swords: Benedict (Tarot d'Ambre: Benedict)
[personal profile] yhlee
Le Tarot d'Ambre par F. Nedelec, cont'd

Toward the Pattern

Now with bonus numerology! And Douglas Adams references! And chess!

Read more... )
[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by Caron Lindsay

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 470th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (19-25 February, 2017), together with a hand-picked seven you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

1. Who will win in Copeland and Stoke Central? A final prediction by Nick Tyrone on NickTyrone.com.
Was Nick’s crystal ball in sparkling form or did it go wonky?

2. Why aren’t the Lib Dems doing better in the national polls? A possible answer by Nick Tyrone on NickTyrone.com.
Are we back to being the “none of the above” choice?

3. Britain Elects foresees Lib Dem gains in May’s local elections by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England.
The Lib Dem fightback is on…

4. Some thoughts on Stoke and Copeland by Andrew Page on A Scottish Liberal.
Andrew analyses the by-elections.

5. And the first by-election result of the week is…by Mark Pack on Mark Pack.
An unusual Tuesday by-election.

And now to the seven blog-posts that come highly recommended, regardless of the number of Aggregator click-throughs they attracted. To nominate a Lib Dem blog article published in the past seven days – your own, or someone else’s, all you have to do is drop a line to voice@libdemvoice.org. You can also contact us via Twitter, where we’re @libdemvoice

6. An unreasonable Brexit could be fatal for the UK by Cicero on Cicero’s Songs.
May’s position is the most damaging British act of policy since the 1930s.

7. Immigration – who’s really in control? by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal.
We are. And we pretty much always have been. Why Peter thinks that political cowardice over decades led to Leave vote.

8. The slowest bus tour in the world by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy.
Mark tours Santiago.

9. Throwback Thursday: And now for something completely different by Ben Lille on Lib Dem Newbies .
A reminder of that John Cleese PPB.

10. The oldest swinger in town by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace.
Optimism at the by-election win thank you party.

11. Labour: They’re dead but they won’t lie down by Richard Kemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?
Labour are devoid of principles and holding on to a past that no longer exists. What principles could bind people together, though?

12. Is the USA becoming a land of censorship, prejudice and paranoia? by Peter Black on Peter Black.
What will be left of the land of the free for Trump’s successor?

And that’s it for another week. Happy blogging ‘n’ reading ‘n’ nominating.

Featured? Add this to your blog post!
Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
<a href="http://www.libdemvoice.org/top-of-the-blogs-the-lib-dem-golden-dozen-470-53444.html"><img src="http://www.libdemvoice.org/images/golden-dozen.png" width="200" height="57" alt="Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice" title="Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice" /></a>

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

[syndicated profile] political_betting_feed

Posted by Mike Smithson

A guest slot by Stodge

30 years ago today (roughly), I was pounding the wet streets of Greenwich on a miserable cold Thursday evening. I was doing knock-up for this woman:

   This was a by election in what was supposedly a safe Labour seat which had survived the 1983 Conservative landslide but the 1987 by-election was a disaster for the Party of Opposition. The third party vote (in this case the Conservatives) collapsed and Rosie Barnes swept home by over 6,600 votes.

Yet the abiding significance was not Alliance strength but Labour weakness. Greenwich showed how far Labour was from power and even though the 1987 Labour campaign had the imprint of Peter Mandelson, Greenwich showed that however many people wanted to vote Labour to help it win, many others wanted it to lose and would vote for the Party most able to make it happen.

It’s bad enough when people don’t want your party to win but worse when they actively vote tactically to ensure your party’s defeat.

As a Sheffield man had said a few years earlier, that was then but this is now.

The main message from Greenwich 30 years ago is one that resonates now following the Conservative win in Copeland last Thursday.

Labour are not only struggling to hold on to their current support levels but are also facing the prospect of people (including former supporters) determined to vote for opposing candidates to stop Labour winning.

I’m not a Conservative but nor do I support Labour. Unlike some, I don’t wish Labour ill nor do I wish to see its destruction and nor would such an event be desirable.

Government needs to be held to proper account and scrutiny – that requires a proper Opposition which could function as a credible alternative Government whether it follows similar policies to the existing administration or a completely different programme.

We clearly don’t have that now – Labour has two problems.

The first and lesser problem is Jeremy Corbyn – now, I have to confess I don’t share the visceral contempt for the man some have. He has however proved himself quite incapable and unsuitable to be Party leader yet alone a prospective Prime Minister.

His cardinal error is simple – there’s no problem talking to political groups whose aims are diametrically opposed to yours, indeed that’s how plural politics operates. If, as a political group, you wish to campaign within the boundaries of politics and the law for a United Ireland or for a Palestinia State, that’s fine. I’ve no problem with British politicians engaging with such groups.

However, the line is crossed when such groups seek to achieve their political objectives through violence and especially when that violence is directed at British people and British military personnel. At that point we cannot and must not engage politically with such groups.

For an MP to not only engage with groups advocating violence but then to stand up and support those acts of violence including the targeted assault of British civilians and soldiers is understandably well beyond the pale for most British people and yet that’s what Corbyn and McDonnell have done.

To call these “misjudgements” would be generous in extremis, others might use words like treason. If credibility and integrity are key measures for a prospective Prime Minister, Corbyn fails miserably.

Yet Labour’s biggest problem isn’t Corbyn – the much more serious problem is that Labour has nothing to offer in way of a credible alternative prospectus for Government.

If there is an economic policy at present, it seems to be to spend more money whatever the problem. In truth, the centre-left has failed to come up with a coherent economic response to the events of 2008. That doesn’t mean the muddled Conservative response of half-hearted austerity which has now become half-hearted reflation has helped much – for many people, living standards are stagnating as wage rises struggle to keep up with growing inflation and the public finances remain in a parlous state.

What then can Labour do?

There are three years until the next election – given the seismic shifts of recent times, it’s too early to call it lost but it’s hard to see where and how any recovery will manifest. It won’t while Corbyn is in charge but even if he is replaced by someone more telegenic and agreeable to the British public (clearly any new Labour leader will be pilloried by Conservative activists but they can be ignored), the absence of a viable and coherent programme will count.

Then there’s the small matter of Brexit . It shouldn’t be forgotten that for all the talk of Conservative division on Europe, Labour too has had its differences and while the Conservatives have for now rallied round Theresa May (even though between a third and two fifths of the party’s voters supported REMAIN), Labour’s divisions have been brutally exposed. Corbyn was always part of that anti-EU tradition (the “longest suicide note in history” contained a commitment to withdraw from the then EEC) and dates right back to the 1950s.

Labour should be trying to construct a blueprint for Britain in the 2020s and that could be quite socialist or social democratic in nature. May is not afraid to be an interventionist so we could be entering a renewed period of Butskellism. It could be argued Blair won in 1997 not by being different but by being the same as the Conservatives but simply managing things better.

BY 2025, with the Conservatives having been in Government for 15 years, a revived re-dedicated Labour Party could be a highly attractive proposition to an electorate tired of a Conservative party which will inevitably fall into the traditional trap of believing in its own invincibility and will start becoming gaffe-prone, insincere and out of touch.

Stodge

[syndicated profile] skepchick_feed

Posted by Mindy

Sunday Funny: Pro and con. (via PHD Comics)

Teen Skepchick

What Is It? Hertzsprung-Russell Diagram
Mindy teaches you how to read a plot. It’s more interesting than it sounds.

Mad Art Lab

Mind Your Own Genitals
Amy creates art in support of bathroom access and trans* rights.

Visit the Glorious Trappist-1 System
Meet the habitable zone planets of the Trappist-1 system.

Trump Bans Press that Reports Facts He Doesn’t Like
Spoiler alert: The press is not your enemy.

Featured image credit: ESO/N. Bartmann/spaceengine.org

jimhines: (Snoopy Writing)
[personal profile] jimhines

Introduction

This is the fifth and final chunk of data and analysis from the 2016 Novelist Income Survey.

This is where I look at all the other random and miscellaneous data points that either didn’t fit elsewhere, or else I couldn’t figure out quite what to do with them. After this, I’ll be pulling everything together into a single downloadable report for folks.

Who Lost Money in 2016?

One thing I found interesting — of the 371 people who provided gross income and expenses data, 63 ended up with a net loss in 2016. In other words, roughly one out of six published novelists lost money last year.

17 of these identified as full-time writers, with the other 46 being part-time. Looking at the overall number of full- and part-time respondents, the part-time authors were disproportionately more likely to end up in the red.

How did those 63 authors break down in terms of indie/small press/large press?

  • Indie: 36
  • Small: 19
  • Large: 8

Comparing those numbers to the overall breakdown of indie/small/large press gives us the following graph:

Breakdown of Net Losses

We can also look at the percentage of novelists who lost money in each category, which is perhaps a little more illuminating.

  • Indie: 17%
  • Small: 37%
  • Large: 7%

As always, be careful about drawing too many conclusions from this.

Genre Breakdown

I messed up on this part. I asked people what genre(s) they published in during 2016, and let people check as many boxes as they liked, with an additional field for “Other.” This meant I got pretty accurate data, but a lot of folks selected multiple genres, which made it harder for me to do much with the data. In the future, I think I need to ask people to choose their primary genre instead.

Looking at which genres were chosen, we can see that the data are slanted toward SF/F and Romance.

Genres

As a SF/F person myself, it makes sense that my outreach on the survey would bring in a lot of my fellow SF/F authors. Basically, what this means is that the results and conclusions may not apply as strongly to, say, religious fiction as they do to fantasy or romance.

When Did You Publish Your First Book?

What happens when you plot net income against the year the author published their first book?

I removed one outlier — an author who made close to five million, and whose first book came out near the middle of the range. The results were not what I expected.

Income vs. Year of First Book

That trendline is pretty much horizontal, suggesting little to no relation between how long you’ve been publishing and how much money you make. Running the correlation function in Excel gave a correlation of 0.01.

I can see several ways of thinking about this. One is that you can spend 30 years writing books, and it doesn’t mean you’re more likely to be financially successful. Which is depressing as hell. But maybe it just means financial success can come at any time. Or maybe writers who broke in a long time ago aren’t as prolific these days, which is why their income was comparable to newer authors who might be more active?

I honestly don’t know, and I suspect you’d need a lot more analysis — and probably a lot more data — to draw any firm conclusions here.

Almost Finished

That’s pretty much everything I can do with the data. All that’s left now is for me to pull it all together into a single report. I’ll be incorporating some of the feedback and suggestions from the comments as well, thank you. I’ll also be anonymizing the data and sharing that for folks to play with.

I hope this has been helpful and illuminating for folks!

Mirrored from Jim C. Hines.

(no subject)

Feb. 26th, 2017 12:50 pm
denise: Image: Me, facing away from camera, on top of the Castel Sant'Angelo in Rome (Default)
[staff profile] denise posting in [site community profile] dw_maintenance
LiveJournal has unblocked and whitelisted our webserver IP addresses, so importing, crossposting, and feed accounts should work properly again! Thanks for the quick fix, LJ.

The Martin Schulz bounce

Feb. 26th, 2017 04:52 pm
[syndicated profile] jon_worth_feed

Posted by Jon

What is going on in German politics, just 7 months ahead of the 24th September Bundestag election? How can a party, the SPD – that was consistently 10 points behind the CDU in the polls – suddenly be running neck and neck with Angela Merkel’s party? This graph from Wikipedia maps the state of the polls:

The sharp upturn in support for the SPD of course comes after it was announced on 24th January that Sigmar Gabriel, the SPD’s long-term leader, would not run as the party’s Spitzenkandidat in the September election, and that Martin Schulz should run instead. But what is going on here, and what is actually due to Schulz and what is due to other factors in German politics?

The most obvious point – and one that, for example, yesterday’s New Statesman’s piece about Schulz fails to adequately cover – is simply that Schulz is not Sigmar Gabriel. The Martin Schulz bounce could at least in large part be seen as an anti-Gabriel bounce. Since the formation of the Grand Coalition after the 2013 Bundestagswahl, Gabriel struggled to breathe any life into the SPD (despite some of the most major successes of the government being due to the SPD – the minimum wage for example), and the party slipped further in 2015 and 2016 in part due to the rise of the populist AfD. Worries about the SPD’s predicament under Gabriel had been around for years, but it was assumed that the party would sooner see Gabriel run in 2017, and then rebuild, rather than pass the mantle to someone else.

The SPD had two other viable alternatives to Gabriel – Hannelore Kraft in Nordrhein-Westfalen, and Olaf Scholz in Hamburg – but neither was willing to take the risk and step up to the federal level and challenge Merkel. Both had too much to lose at the Land level. That was not the case for Schulz – his term as President of the European Parliament was anyway over, so he had nothing to lose by stepping across to German politics. Also remarkable for a politician previously only active at EU level, Schulz was already reasonably well known in German politics (indeed Kraft was the only SPD person better placed than him in a December 2016 poll) – this is not some sort of faceless, unknown Eurocrat.

While Schulz might look like a typically grey and dull politician, there is enough about him to allow him to seem a little different in German politics. His well documented difficult early life and battle with alcoholism, and leaving school without an Abitur, is in stark contrast to the heavily intellectual German political elite. The language he uses in his television appearances sounds more normal, more down to earth, than many of his counterparts. Meanwhile his European experience and multilingualism means he looks like less of an inward looking old-style social democrat than Gabriel. Lastly he is the first SPD candidate for high office not tainted by association by Gerhard Schröder’s government of the late 1990s – Gabriel, and Steinbrück before him never managed to move on from the association with Schröder’s controversial Hartz IV reforms. No-one can connect Schulz with that.

Having observed Schulz in Brussels for a lot of the last decade, I do wonder whether this ‘bounce’ that the SPD has enjoyed will really hold through until September. Schulz can be blunt and tetchy and come across as rather bullying in his style. He has never been subjected to the sort of scrutiny in the European Parliament that he will receive in a Bundestagswahl campaign. He is also a cunning, power-playing politician, ready to strike a deal in his interests – and this can sometimes come across negatively.

So that is the SPD side. But what about the rest of the political field? The new support for the SPD has to come from somewhere after all.

While she is feted abroad as a symbol of European and German stability, all is not altogether rosy for Merkel in the CDU. The party was willing to tolerate her centrist pragmatism so long as it worked electorally, but as the CDU’s support in the opinion polls began to drop from 2015 onwards, so rumblings about whether she is really the right person to continue to lead the CDU have become more marked. The party’s congress in December 2016 revealed some of these fault lines. The relationship between Merkel’s CDU and the Bavarian sister party frayed markedly during the refugee crisis, and while efforts have been made to patch things up since, the CDU and CSU do not approach the election in an entirely harmonious manner. The SPD looks rather united in comparison.

It is not only from the CDU that the SPD has gained. Both the Grüne and Die Linke are down in the polls. The Grüne have struggled to define themselves, and an obvious pro-European like Schulz poses a problem for them – Schulz is more appealing to urban, university-educated lefties than Gabriel was, and that is the typical base of green support. Schulz, with his rhetoric about equality and fairness sounds, in his words at least, more like a proper social democrat, and so he marginalises Die Linke. Meanwhile Wagenknecht, the co-leading candidate of Die Linke, remains a controversial character – Schulz seems sensible in comparison. Even the populist AfD has not been immune to the effect of Schulz – blue collar workers who have seen the populists as an alternative to the political mainstream have begun to return to the social democrat fold, while internal division and critique of party leader Petry have dented the AfD’s effectiveness.

All of this also needs to be borne in mind when it comes to thinking about coalitions after the election. Were Schulz and the SPD to be narrowly ahead of the CDU-CSU, a grand coalition (yet with the roles reversed) would be the most likely option. Again having seen Schulz in Brussels, and his work with the Christian Democrat Jean Claude Juncker, such a coalition would likely be Schulz’s favoured route. Even if SPD-Grüne-Die Linke (the so called R2G coalition) had enough seats for a majority, I am not at all convinced that Schulz would want to team up with Wagenknecht.

So – to conclude – Schulz as the SPD’s Spitzenkandidat has suddenly made the Bundestagswahl more exciting. But his bounce is at least as much to do with Schulz not being Gabriel as anything that Schulz himself brings. Plus the issues all other parties face have also contributed to the SPD’s partial recovery. Will all this hold throughout the campaign? There I am rather sceptical – time will tell.

Shared European views

Feb. 26th, 2017 03:21 pm
[syndicated profile] devils_kitchen_feed

Posted by Devil's Kitchen

Via the letters page of Private Eye Nº 1488, your humble Devil notes that neo-fascist Sir Oswald Mosley—father of ex-fascist, bobby-puncherparty animal and would-be respected scourge of the press, Max Mosley—decided to start a magazine to raise awareness of his Europe A Nation philosophy...
The European was a privately circulated far-right cultural and political magazine that was published between 1953 and 1959. During this tenure, it was edited by fascist supporter and politician Diana Mosley. The magazine was published by 'Euphorion Books', a publishing company formed by Mosley and her husband, Sir Oswald Mosley, founder of the British Union of Fascists.
Since the Brexit referendum, a new publication has sprung forth, boldly claiming that "we are the 48%", and its roster of contributors includes such trusted luminaries as Tony "Chuckles" Blair, Alastair "Tucker" Campbell, and convicted fraud and thief Denis "Fake Invoices" Macshane.

The name of this illustrious organ? Why...


... The New European, of course!

Your humble Devil should make it clear that he does not believe that the staff of The New European are fascists, neo-fascists or even neo-neo-fascists; neither is he accusing them of sharing the Mosleys' fascist views.

No, the only similarity between 1953's The European and The New European is a certain similarity of name and, it would seem, a shared belief in the desirability of about a united European government...

... and a bigger base of support, apparently: after all, Mosley never claimed that 48% of the country agreed with his views...


[syndicated profile] lib_dem_voice_feed

Posted by The Voice

The Lib Dem Lords have made some cracking contributions to the debate on the Article 50 Bill. Ahead of its next Lords stages, we’re bringing you all the Lib Dem contributions over the course of this weekend. That’s no mean feat. There were 32 of them and cover more than 30,000 words. You are not expected to read every single one of them as they appear. Nobody’s going to be testing you or anything. However, they will be there to refer to in the future. 

Our Lords excelled themselves. Their contributions were thoughtful, individual, well-researched and wide-ranging and it’s right that we present them in full on this site to help the historian of the future. 

After two days of debate, it fell to Sarah Ludford to sum up for the Liberal Democrats. She brought together all the strands of the debate. She took on the two days of vitriol that had been directed at the party from the Brexiteers. What were they frightened of, she wondered. They were, she said, so keen to stamp on dissent for fear of the disaster of Brexit being realised by the people. She summarised the massive negatives to business, to jobs, to prosperity, to EU nationals and their British families and made the case for a referendum on the deal.

There were times during this mammoth task of putting all the speeches up that we wondered what on earth had possessed us to think that it was a good idea, but we now have in one place a comprehensive rebuttal to everything the Government says on Brexit. Our lot did us proud as they drove a coach and horses through the Government’s arguments. The sheer vitriol they took from the Brexiteer zealots shows that their arguments were very effective.

My Lords, I draw the attention of the House, and perhaps the Daily Mail, to the fact that my receipt of an MEP pension is in the register.

We have had a long and intense debate, with many excellent speeches. I concur with the noble Lord, Lord Pannick, in thanking Gina Miller for the fact that we have had this debate. It has been a marathon rather than a sprint, just as the Brexit process itself will prove to be over possibly a decade of blood, sweat and tears. Those who swallowed the myth perpetrated by some Brexiteers that it would mean “With one bound, we are free” are going to be cruelly disappointed. This is just one of the many disillusionments to come. Another is the unravelling of the notion that leaving the EU will solve all our problems. There are in fact many sources of valid dissatisfaction, grievance and frustration among the people of the United Kingdom today. To most of these problems, Brexit will bring no relief but there is no spare capacity in this Government to focus on anything but Brexit. As Tony Blair so rightly said in his recent speech:

“This is a Government for Brexit, of Brexit and dominated by Brexit. It is a mono-purpose political entity”.

The Government’s Statement introducing the White Paper three weeks ago made an extraordinary assertion about the Bill. They said that the Bill is not,

“about whether or not we leave the EU, or even how we do so ”.—[Official Report, 2/2/17; col. 1310.]

From these Benches, and as we have heard from others, there is profound disagreement with that assertion so Liberal Democrats are not prepared to throw in the towel. We hope that majorities will form for key amendments and I welcome indications from across the House of such support.

Against the citation by the noble Lord, Lord Hague, and others that 37% of the electorate voted to leave, I set the riposte of my noble friend Lady Walmsley: that means that 63% did not vote leave. Thus, it is perfectly legitimate to try to persuade the other place to think again. Indeed, waving this Bill through with no change, while harbouring serious reservations, would be an abrogation of our responsibility—as the noble Baroness, Lady Altmann, the noble Lord, Lord Warner, and my noble friend Lord Taverne emphasised. We are being asked to rubber-stamp Brexit at any cost, the most extreme of all the options open to the Government.

Extreme Brexit shamefully forgets the interests of the young, as the noble Baroness, Lady Smith, noted. As the noble Baroness, Lady Kennedy, said, we will be asked, “What did you do to stop this?”. To the noble Lord, Lord Kakkar, who espoused the “doctrine of unripe time”, I say: if not now, when? When do we try to stop the fall off the cliff edge? As the noble Lord, Lord Lansley, said in reply to the noble Lord, Lord Lawson, no deal is the worst deal of all. I believe that the noble Lord, Lord Russell, coined the best phrase of the debate for the Brexiteers—“sore losers”—and I believe that the speeches of the noble Lords, Lord Lawson and Lord Forsyth, bore out that description. Responses came from my noble friend Lady Featherstone, who said, more or less, “Do not bully or threaten me to give up my belief in a close relationship with Europe”, and from the noble Baroness, Lady Wheatcroft, who said that speaking out is our right, our responsibility and our duty.

There have been objections to the Liberal Democrat call for people to have the final say on any Brexit deal. The noble Lord, Lord Hamilton, said it was not very British to have a further referendum, but Mr David Davis, who is surely very British, thought it was a good idea. As my noble friend Lady Walmsley said, you cannot start with democracy and end with a stitch-up, and I am grateful that other noble Lords, including the noble Lords, Lord Butler and Lord Triesman, agreed with that proposition. As my noble friends Lady Randerson and Lady Kramer stressed, this would be a first referendum on the result of negotiations, the first chance for the British people to pass judgment on the Brexit deal that the Government come back with. It is not a second referendum in the sense of a rerun of last June. Some noble Lords need to grasp this essential difference, which was well understood by the noble Lord, Lord Low of Dalston.

My noble friend Lord Newby, in his long-ago introduction, referred to Gladstone’s call to trust the people. This was in fact requoted by Randolph Churchill, but Gladstone originated it, and it is worth recalling the whole quote:

“Liberalism is trust of the people tempered by prudence. Conservatism is distrust of the people tempered by fear”.

It is that fear which is so driving the Brexiteer intolerance of disagreement or dissent from the true faith—fear that people might realise that the extreme Brexit emperor has no clothes, and that will mean exposure to cruel, cold winds.

Last June’s vote cannot possibly be interpreted as a decision to leave the single market, as the noble Lord, Lord Darling, emphasised. Not only was Mrs Thatcher —as she then was—the original sponsor of the European single market, but the Conservatives obtained an overall majority at the 2015 general election—the last one we had—with an explicit manifesto commitment to safeguard the UK’s position in it, as my noble friend Lord Shipley reminded us. The noble Lord, Lord Leigh of Hurley, urged respect for that manifesto. Perhaps he might ask his noble friends on the Front Bench and in the Government to respect that manifesto commitment to the single market.

The price we will pay for the alleged privilege of global Britain freedom is not only a restriction of opportunities for all our citizens but also the far greater weight and expense of red tape for exporting to the EU from outside the single market and the customs union. My noble friend Lady Walmsley said that the single market gives us the freedom to sell and the confidence to buy.

The refusal to seek continued membership of the single market is due to two self-imposed red lines—against enforcement of EU law through ECJ jurisdiction and against free movement of people. Yet it is blindly obvious—even the White Paper says so—that, in any transitional period or longer term under a free trade agreement or security arrangements, we will be obliged to follow EU standards and the ruling of the court either directly or indirectly. My noble friend Lord Lester pointed this out, as did the noble Lord, Lord Monks, and my noble friend Lord Marks labelled the Government’s position as absurd. The Government are clearly hoping to get away with a smoke and mirrors concealment of this link to the ECJ.

The Government turn their back on free movement without either acknowledging that it is a two-way street, enabling many British people to explore the delights of study, residence or retirement in another EU country or options for flexibility and change. This was urged by the noble Lords, Lord Hannay and Lord Hain.

Some speakers seemed to think we could have the single market without the single market. The noble Lord, Lord Stevens of Ludgate, expects free trade as at present. The noble Lord, Lord Hunt of Wirral, wants mutual market access for insurance. My noble friend Lord Wallace of Saltaire, the noble Lord, Lord Kerr and the noble Lord, Lord Mandelson, rightly refuted any such notion as delusional.

The noble Lords, Lord O’Donnell, Lord O’Neill and Lord Giddens, explained how global trade agreements could not offset the disadvantages of exit from the single market. Other noble Lords explained how Brexit would harm co-operation in different sectors, such as financial services. My noble friend Lord Paddick talked about security and my noble friend Lady Jolly mentioned defence.

The potential effect of very hard Brexit on these islands is alarming. Much concern was rightly expressed about the effects within the island of Ireland of pulling out of the single market and the customs union. The White Paper gives no clue about how it will actually avoid a hard border, as the noble Baroness, Lady O’Loan, pointed out. My noble friend Lord Purvis of Tweed rightly feared for the social unity of this kingdom and for the future of the Union. My noble friends Lady Humphreys and Lord Thomas deplored the effect on Wales and Welsh economic development of pulling out of the single market.

The Government seem blind to economic, social and personal distress being caused by their refusal to guarantee the continued residence and other rights to EEA nationals already legally here. Liberal Democrats are totally committed to securing the continued rights of Britons across the EEA, as well as those of EEA citizens here. We believe—I cite the words of the noble Lord, Lord Howard, in evidence to the EU Select Committee—that it is “inconceivable” that a first move will not be reciprocated. So I hope there will be wide support across this House for an amendment.

In conclusion, it is Parliament’s job to seek to put the “how” into Brexit in a way that at least puts a reasonable proposition to the people and allows them to make a sensible choice between that and continued EU membership. Let us have a return to the pragmatic, common sense on which Tories traditionally pride themselves, even if this is not as exhilarating as the revolutionary ideology gripping this very un-Tory Government now. Britain is set to pay a high price, unless the Conservative Government can be deflected from their inflexible pursuit of the hardest of hard Brexits.

 

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Mat Bowles

October 2015

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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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