Aspiblog Election Special

Some thoughts about the upcoming General Election, which was confirmed as happening while this post weas being created.

INTRODUCTION

Parliament has voted by 522 to 13 to accept Theresa May’s call for a snap General Election, which will take place on June 8th….

SETTING THE SCENE

This morning Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK put up a post titled “General Election Thoughts” most of which I am in agreement with. Here is a screenshot of the start to that post:

In the comments section a certain Howard Reed cited Paul Mason’s five point policy plan, which is as follows:

1/ If Theresa May calls an election today, a progressive alliance can beat the Tory hard Brexit plan. Here’s how…

2/ We set up an independent website to show how tactical voting can beat the Tories and grassroots cross party alliance promotes this

3/ Labour has to guarantee Scotland a) right to remain in Single Market b) second referendum

4/ Labour should offer *today* Caroline Lucas to be in shadow cabinet, form Green/Red alliance, stand down 1x further candidate for Greens

5/ Libdems need to decide: with the progressive forces of Britain or in a perpetual flip flop with the Tories. You have 15 minutes.

The first two of the five points are scene setters, and very uncontentious. Point 3 is the one that the Labour Party, or at least some elements thereof, will find hardest to accept, but SNP support will only be forthcoming if it is honoured. 

The fourth point is obvious, and those who remember my Fantasy Cabinet, a response to this piece on Tax Research UK, will realise that I am 100% in favour. For the fifth point, the ball is in the Lib Dems’ court. One mistake can be forgiven, especially given some of the comments May has made in calling for this election. However, precisely in view of those comments, a second decision in the space of seven years to throw in their lot with the Tories would put them utterly beyond the pale. 

SOME FURTHER LINKS

In addition to the Tax Research UK piece that inspired this I have read a number of other cracking pieces about this upcoming election.

CLOSING THOUGHTS (& PHOTOGRAPHS)

In my own constituency there is only one party with the support to have even the proverbial “cats chance in hell” of unseating the Tory who bar the years 1997-2001 has held the seat since 1983, so my General Election vote is already decided. Something else that this snap election has done is demonstrate once again that FPTP is a relic from the past that needs replacing asap. My final words in this post (other than picture captions) take the form of a social media hashtag:

#MakeJuneTheEndOfMay

New £1 (in circulation since March 27th, but this was the first I have seen, last night) – obverse

New £1 – reverse

New £1 – both faces

Comparison pic – new £1 and Britain’s only other dodecagonal coin, the brass threepenny.

Upcoming Local Elections

Politics and nature combine to form one YUGE blog post!

INTRODUCTION

In my part of the world there are local elections happening on May 4th, so I thought I would use some thoughts about them as the starting point for this blog. I will go on from that to sharing various interesting and important stuff, and of course there will be some of my own photographs.

LOCAL ELECTIONS

Although my polling card is safely in my possession I have yet to receive any communication from any of the candidates, and can therefore talk only in general terms. I will definitely be voting. Since I became of voting age more years ago than I care to reveal I have only once failed to vote in an election I was entitled to vote in, and that was in the first election for Norfolk Police Commissioner. I will not be voting for any right wing parties or individual candidates. After their massive betrayal of those who voted for them (myself one of them) in 2010 the Liberal Democrats have much ground to make up and at this moment the odds against me putting my cross in that particular box are of the “write your own ticket” variety. While it is possible that I will be impressed by someone standing as an Independent candidate it is not very likely. This leaves me looking at two options:

  1. Labour – if the candidate is of the right type and not someone who will use their entire campaign to bash their party’s  twice elected leader I may be induced to vote for them.
  2. Green – this party stands for many of the things that I  believe in, and I am not going to hold the entire party to account for a mistake made by one of its co-leaders (Jonathan Bartley endorsing “light it up blue”, which readers of this blog will realise is an absolute guarantee of an entry in my bad books). If they can find a candidate with the qualities shown by Sian Berry in her campaign for London Mayor and subsequently in her work as a Greater London Assembly member I will certainly by influenced in this direction.

I will probably be voting Green because I see the way forward as being in a red/green partnership, and I think the Green side of that partnership needs strengthening. Also, a Green vote has the merit of being a vote cast unequivocally in favour of Proportional Representation. 

After this start it is time for some…

POLITICAL SHARING

I start with a piece by Richard Murphy titled “Time For a New Political Party?”, in which he looks at a suggestion originally made by Richard Dawkins in a piece in the New Statesman. While I would say that the launch of a new political party should be delayed until FPTP is replaced with PR (under FPTP the Tories have a built-in advantage that would only be strengthened by the addition of a new party) I believe that Professor Murphy is pretty well on the money with his suggestions about this new party. Please click on the screenshot below to access this post, and if so inclined add your voice to those commenting on it:

TRUK

Next, from the Skwawkbox comes the most recent piece on the story I have dubbed Coynegate – the massive breaches of the Data Protection Act by right wing candidate for Unite general secretary Gerard Coyne. To read this story, titled “EXCLUSIVE: COYNE TELLS BBC HIS LABOUR DATA USE ‘CONCLUDED’. IT ISN’T.” please click on the image below:

coyne stopped amended

My next link is to the homepage of the We Own It Campaign’s website. To find out for yourself what they are all about click on the screenshot below:

WOI

Next, courtesy of DPAC comes a public service piece titled “Important information on how disabled people can enforce their right to travel on buses“. Although the title is on this occasion set up as a link, I also provide a screenshot below on which you can click to get to the original:

DPAC

The focus, including my photographs is about to shift to Nature (note to my many  fellow autistic bloggers although you do not feature in this post I have some of your finest stuff bookmarked for use in the very near future), and the turning point is a campaign against the large scale felling of trees in and around Sheffield. I have two links in connection with this. First, for the benefit of those of you who use social media, a Thunderclap, which you can boost by adding your own connections on facebook, twitter and tumblr. I link to it by way of the screenshot below:

ss

The second link on this subject is to the page that lists all the campaigns in and around Sheffield that are now grouped under the umbrella of Sheffield Tree Action Groups (STAG). I link by way of a screenshot once again:

Sheffield Tree Action Groups

The last piece of shared content for today before moving towards my photographs comes to you from Sweden, and has a section to itself:

ANNA INTRODUCES EMMELINA

Anna is a Swedish blogger who needs to no further introduction to readers of this blog. As for Emmelina, that will have to wait for the moment. Yesterday Anna put up a post about a very curious little creature she had photographed on her door, which she called “Who’s This?” I thought that the little creature was a stick insect, but the reveal when it came today was far more interesting. It turns out that the creature is actually a moth that resembles a stick insect. Here is a link to the piece in which Anna reveals the identity of the creature. Finally, revealing the Emmelina part of the title, here is Wikipedia on Emmelina Monodactyla.

PHOTOGRAPHS

To end the post here are some of my own photographs…

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The first bee I have caught on camera this year.

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Using a derelict shop front to explain the importance of King John to King’s Lynn’s history is sensible. My main quibble with the new statue of him being…
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That is bad quality work, not that it is of a bad quality human (though he was certainly that, in spades).

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The first ducklings of the year. I hope that some at least of them survive the marauding Herring Gulls (this is NOT a joke btw)

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I have bagged a number of peacock butterflies of late, but these light coloured ones fly both faster and for a greater percentage of their lives, so for the third time today this is a first of the year.

 

 

 

The Conservatives have been the biggest borrowers over the last 70 years

Next time someone dares to suggest in your hearing that only Tories can be trusted with the economy  point them in the direction of this very detailed piece of analysis by Richard Murphy…

Source: The Conservatives have been the biggest borrowers over the last 70 years

A sample image just to encourage you…

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 20.47.59

The Last of the April Imaging and Some Cool Links

Because yesterday was a public holiday the bus company were running a Sunday service, and because yesterday was a Friday it was a working day for me. Therefore, I got the first bus of the morning (the 9:25) to Fakenham and was able, all the essential work having been accomplished, to get home on the 15:35. Before I move on to details of the imaging I was doing, I have a fabulous selection of links for you to follow.

LINKS

http://tomdlondon.blogspot.co.uk/2015/01/a-radical-and-practical-proposal-to.html?spref=tw

http://www.nhsforsale.info/#

http://www.nhsforsale.info/share#prettyPhoto

http://linkis.com/wordpress.com/DIOYq

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnIQZ9WIAER4l1.png

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnMSxWXIAEICpX.png

https://twitter.com/FHUKPolitics/status/583740340865105921/photo/1

http://www.blog.rippedoffbritons.com/2012/02/why-we-should-be-business-friendly-and.html?

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBpIl6hVIAEJVZf.png

https://o.twimg.com/2/proxy.jpg?t=HBh3aHR0cDovL21lZGlhLnNuYXBweXR2LmNvbS9pbWFnZS9sZDM2MHAvODg0cDg4NC8yMDE1LTA0LTAyVDIwLTE2LTMwLjc2N1otLTY0MHgzNjAuanBnP2g9YmFjMTU4ZGI4Yzc0YzZkYThlYWU3NGFiYTdhODk2OGYUwAcUnAQAFgASAA&s=m1I_nwZbKTeS_rYUKHFmHvp3ynwe8mGT8Rs_O7_ZVGA Natalie Bennett gives David Cameron an epic tell off.

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnOaECUgAAv0WY.png

http://london.autismshow.co.uk/whats/autism-matters-theatre/

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/generalelection/general-election-tv-debates-a-battleground-for-david-cameron-and-ed-miliband-but-poll-declares-snp-leader-nicola-sturgeon-the-winner-10153574.html

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote The site you need to visit if you have not yet registered to vote.

http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/02/how-should-we-illustrate-mental-health?CMP=share_btn_tw An excellent article about portrayal of mental health.

https://rosslydall.files.wordpress.com/2015/02/response_ealing_midwives_final_15-02-12.pdf An example of impenetrable English.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dIrIafHhwEw&feature=youtu.be A talk given by the philosopher Daniel Dennett

https://www.facebook.com/GARRYBURGE.AS/posts/905120682883248 An excellent idea for improving the support available to autistic kids in Australian schools (I reckon we could use it in this country as well).

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/CBnTTPlW0AAa9xA.jpg

http://blog.autism-mom.com/2015/04/autism-awareness-day-interview/ An inspiring interview of one of my favourite bloggers.

http://www.labour.org.uk/w/why-im-voting-labour/public/nhs/zhc/ This is the link to my personalised graphic for why I am voting Labour.

JAMES AND SONS

There were just the three of us at James and Sons yesterday, me and my colleagues Chris and Andrew. The two most senior members of staff were at a collectors fair. I had some bulky stamp lots and a couple of pictures to image first up, and then got the really fiddly stuff (old car logbooks and collections of bookmarks) to image later.

I started with the pictures because I wanted to get them stowed out of harm’s way quickly. Pictures, especially if they have a protective covering of glass, can be tough to image, but I reckoned these two came out OK…

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The stamp lots were not especially inspiring, but there is one that I think worth sharing…

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Just for completeness sake here is a single example of a logbook lot…

This is a composite image showing both sides of the logbooks
This is a composite image showing both sides of the logbooks
These two are the individual images that  combined to make the other.
These two are the individual images that combined to make the other.

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I have no idea how much collections of bookmarks will make at auction, but they were fun (if a bit fiddly) to image, and there were many that appealed to me (given my tastes there would have been a big problem had it been otherwise!)…

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I will end this post, as day two of the Classic FM Hall of Fame begins, with my personalised “Why I am voting Labour” graphic…

safe_image

Tory HQ in Massive Blunder (Again)

Before I get to my own stuff I have a plethora of wonderful links to share with you.

LINKS

http://www.advicenow.org.uk/

http://www.autismdailynewscast.com/press-release-minister-bergen-addresses-autism-leadership-summit-highlights-harper-government-support-canadians-living-autism-spectrum-disorders/25314/pressrelease/

https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-david-cameron-mp-please-listen-to-the-attached-recording-of-my-father-93-years-old-blind-and-deaf-who-fought-for-our-country-so-that-his-unbeliveable-gut-wrenching-avoidable-agony-will-not-have-been-in-vain?utm_campaign=fb_dialog&utm_medium=email&utm_source=signature_receipt&post_id=1319562568_10206441204731804#_=_

https://mnosal49.wordpress.com/2014/04/04/autism-awareness-should-be-about-action-not-reaction/

https://saritsa.wordpress.com/ A very interesting Indian site.

https://tompride.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/londons-fire-engines-are-now-owned-by-one-man-an-old-etonian/

http://www.vox.com/2015/3/31/8322545/visit-indy-lgbt-rfra

https://www.change.org/p/parliament-prime-minister-chancellor-mps-introduce-a-windfall-tax-on-banks? recruiter=102059100&utm_campaign=signature_receipt_twitter_dialog&utm_medium=twitter&utm_source=share_petition

http://paper.li/AspieTravel/1307413001?edition_id=bdf2dfd0-d858-11e4-ae26-0cc47a0d1605

https://fullfact.org/

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/04/01/heres-a-multi-signature-letter-that-deserves-much-more-exposure/

http://www.brockpress.com/2015/03/undermining-and-over-mining-the-antarctic-food-pyramid-333/

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2015/04/01/nick-clegg-will-lose-sheffield-hallam-suggests-poll_n_6983612.html?1427887814&ncid=tweetlnkushpmg00000067

http://www.votebooster.org/

http://act.nhscampaign.org/lobby/6

http://www.londonlive.co.uk/news/2015-04-01/last-ditch-effort-to-save-waltham-forest-disability-centre Two of the people who run this centre talk about it in a must-watch clip.

http://scvincent.com/2015/03/31/more-than-best-friends/

https://sdbast.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-tories-are-the-party-of-benefit-scroungers/

https://theyhavewidescreentvs.wordpress.com/2015/04/01/the-tories-are-the-party-of-benefit-scroungers/

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/04/telegraph-business-leaders-letter-samantha-cameron-friends/ A minor contribution to the discussion of that letter.

http://faradayscandle.com/2015/03/31/thriving-in-extremes/ A very interesting piece about micro-organisms that flourish in sometimes very extreme conditions. A shining example of the gems that can be discovered via twitter

http://pro.psychcentral.com/mentally-ill-and-locked-up-prisons-versus-inpatient-wards-for-psychiatric-patients/007210.html

http://leftfootforward.org/2015/04/quentin-lettss-class-war-on-hampstead-left-hides-the-mails-real-hypocrisy/

 THE LETTER

This morning a letter was printed on the front of the Daily Telegraph. Appended to a few lines of body text about why they would be voting conservative were the names of 100 business leaders. Even if this had been entirely genuine, it would have been no more convincing than a letter to the Daily Mirror signed by 100 prominent trade unionists explaining why they were voting labour. However, it was not very long before it was discovered that the letter had been drafted in Tory HQ, and that a sizeable portion of the signatories were already known Tories, in some cases even Tory peers. As the day progressed, this was compounded by somebody noting the presence in that list of a 100 of a number of Mrs Cameron’s cronies (yes, they really are that stupid/ arrogant).

Various people made suggestions through the day about other selections of 100 people with a linked trait who could sign a letter about why they were voting labour (disabled people, and food bank users were two suggestions).

This letter was intended to boost the Tories and harm Labour, but I suspect that like the now legendary “Road to Recovery” poster that started the year its effect will be the reverse. The letter (unsurprisingly since it came from Tory HQ) was riddled with factual inaccuracies, as well as the problems already documented with the so-called signatories. It started out as a non-story given ridiculous air-time (“100 rich b**t**ds are going to vote Tory”) and un-ravelled from there.

Frankly, the use of this kind of tactic suggests desperation. To end this little section I have a couple more links to analyses of this story…

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/04/01/why-we-should-all-ignore-that-letter-in-the-telegraph/

http://leftfootforward.org/2015/04/revealed-the-fat-cat-pay-packets-of-the-100-tory-supporting-bosses/

Now for some pictures…

The first three pictures were taken through the window of a moving bus.
The first three pictures were taken through the window of a moving bus.

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four birds in the picture, each of a different species.
four birds in the picture, each of a different species.

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The Red Mount Chapel
The Red Mount Chapel
A close-up of some brickwork, Red Mount Chapel
A close-up of some brickwork, Red Mount Chapel
The Vancouver Garden viewed from near the Red Mount Chapel
The Vancouver Garden viewed from near the Red Mount Chapel

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These tiny ducklings may have been out on their first ever swim.
These tiny ducklings may have been out on their first ever swim.

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The most famous facade in King's Lynn.
The most famous facade in King’s Lynn.

I hope that you have enjoyed this and I encourage you to share it widely.

General Election and Other Stuff

As is now usual with my posts I will be starting with some links for you to follow before moving on to the main meat.

LINKS

http://blog.autism-mom.com/2015/03/the-one-thing/

https://twitter.com/LabourEoin/status/581869391802982401/photo/1

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/ending-foodbank-britain-labours-5-point-5394101

https://homoeconomicusnet.wordpress.com/2015/03/22/university-a-free-not-a-safe-space/

https://dankeeling1.wordpress.com/2015/03/28/our-unfair-society-and-cavemen/

https://a6er.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/tories-may-not-reveal-details-of-12bn-welfare-cuts-until-after-election-politics-the-guardian/

https://johnnyvoid.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/current-benefit-sanctions-policy-is-bonkers-says-workfare-industrys-top-spokesperson/ A devastating indictment of the current benefit sanctions policy.

https://thepoorsideoflife.wordpress.com/2015/03/25/single-parent-attend-the-jobcentre-and-get-referred-to-social-services-as-a-troubled-family-new-trial-at-ashton-jobcentre/ Britain;s worst jobcentre strikes again.

http://edgeofhumanity.com/2015/01/28/faces-africa/

http://politicalscrapbook.net/2015/03/leaflet-claims-former-tory-minister-is-a-socialist-chloe-smith/ Tory desperation in the fine city of Norwich.

https://notesfromthenorth75.wordpress.com/2015/03/29/uk-general-election-2015-from-dissolution-onwards/

http://charlottehoatherblog.com/2015/03/29/interview-with-george-todica-pianist A singer interviews a pianist…

http://blog.autism-mom.com/2015/03/there-if-he-needs-it/

http://autisticeyes.com/?p=1085

http://autisticeyes.com/?p=1078

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/ukips-energy-spokesman-an-idiot-after-urging-people-to-turn-all-their-lights-on-for-earth-hour-10142008.html Just another example of UKIP at their hilarious worst.

http://autism.ehoow.net/?p=115

http://www.wikihow.com/Be-a-Good-Friend-to-Some-One-Who-Has-Asperger%27s-Syndrome

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/katie-hopkins-reported-to-the-police-for-race-hatred-by-labour-mp-simon-danczuk-after-tweet-about-pakistani-men-10142833.html?dkdk A legendary troll getting her come-uppance.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/29/lgbt-wellness-march-27_n_6959078.html

http://www.visitnorfolk.co.uk/inspire/Norfolk-great-sights.aspx Some quality images of Norfolk here.

http://www.savesouthwarkwoods.org.uk/ A campaign website.

https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/save-southwark-woods The petition to save Southwark Woods.

http://www.scoop.it/t/autism-by-autism-daily-newscast

http://www.independent.co.uk/voices/comment/cameron-and-miliband-should-have-faith-in-their-bolder-policies-10142312.html The Independent on the election.

http://voxpoliticalonline.com/2015/03/30/election-choice-isnt-as-stark-as-david-cameron-wants-you-to-think/ Vox Political on the election.

http://wfdrc.tumblr.com/ The online hub of a campaign to save a vital resource for disabled people in the Waltham Forest area.

The first set of pics from today…

Mike Rosen's name on the cover of a book is generally good sign, and this book is even better than that suggests.
Mike Rosen’s name on the cover of a book is generally good sign, and this book is even better than that suggests.

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GENERAL ELECTION 2015

While I thoroughly understand and respect those who wish to vote for a left-wing alternative to labour, I urge care. By voting for a small left-wing organisation you may just end up helping the tories. In my own constituency I am faced with only two remotely palatable choices, labour or green. The fact that labour have selected an excellent candidate in Jo Rust, and the fact the only time this seat has been occupied by anyone other than Henry Bellingham since 1983 was between 1997 and 2001 when labour held it have been sufficient to sway me. I will vote labour and I will do so with a song in my heart, and I want to see a huge turnout at the ballot-boxes in King’s Lynn because that is how we will do our part to ensure that we are not saddled with another five years of Cameron and his cronies.

Here in plain text is my personal voting history in general elections…

MY GENERAL ELECTION VOTING HISTORY

  • 1997: Labour and celebrated long and hard as the government that had been in power all my conscious life was finally booted out.
  • 2001: Socialist Alliance – I was in a rock-solid labour seat at the time and could afford to vote to the left by way of protest.
  • 2005: Respect – see above
  • 2010: Liberal Democrats – my worst ever mistake in a general election, but at the time it seemed sensible. The labour candidate who had been parachuted in from Leicester then torpedoed his own credibility with a speed to rival that of a Ukipper and the only other possibility to unseat the sitting Tory was the one I voted for. Five years of betrayals later I can say with certainty that I will NEVER make that mistake again.
  • 2015: Labour – with a smile on my face and a song in my heart. We have an excellent candidate in Jo Rust, labour took this seat in 1997 (the only period since 1983 when the MP has been other than Henry Bellingham) and can therefore do so again.

Having reached this stage you deserve some more pictures…

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Another vote that will be settled on May 7th - that for Britain's national bird. Here is my candidate.
Another vote that will be settled on May 7th – that for Britain’s national bird. Here is my candidate.

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