history_monk: (Me)
The "Great Repeal Bill" is trying to chip away at human rights protection for UK citizens. I'm amazed that the Tories think this is a good idea; do they expect to be in power forever? Petition from 38 Degrees here
history_monk: (Default)
This is a semi-cunning plan. Like most of what Mrs May has been doing since she became Prime Minister, it's mainly about improving the position of the Conservative Party.

  • She would not be doing this if she didn't feel confident of winning the election. Given the disarray of the Labour Party, her confidence is not misplaced.

  • It created an instant dilemma for the Labour Party: support it and lose seats, or oppose it (and prevent the election - the vote needs a two-thirds majority) and open themselves to accusations of supporting everything the Conservatives do subsequently. In fact, Labour has welcomed it; Jeremy Corbyn may be delusional enough to believe he can win the election.

  • It gives May a personal mandate, rather than being the person who the Conservatives elected after the previous leader resigned.

  • It forces most of the press to decide if they support the Conservatives or UKIP.

  • It means that the Conservatives will be in power for a little over three years after Brexit, rather than just over one year. Since anyone other than the most fanatic Brexiteer would concede that there may well be short-term economic instability after Brexit, this increases the chance that the next election will be held under conditions of stability.

Overall, good politics, more questionable government. It delays the start of proper Brexit negotiations, and reduces the ability of negotiators to compromise. But that's probably what May wants when she says that this will bring "strong leadership" to the negotiations.
history_monk: (Me)
I have the same account name there. I'm not deleting this journal, for now, but I doubt there will be any more posts to it.
history_monk: (Me)
Kind of Blue; He 177; Cook; Vesuvius; Prog-rock Jabberwocky; Wolves; Anxiety; HMS Warspite; Briah; Teller; The battle with Windows 10; Anna Kreisling; Stack Exchange; Karen Gilham; JavaScript; Monty's Double; Brexit; Manifolds; Ogre dice; Introversion; Siemens; Infinity; iOS; Pegasus Bridge; Re-pointing; Centrum; Kickstarter; Manchester; Diplomacy; Golden Lads; VDS; Foolish politicians; Radio 3; macOS; The Whiteboard; Paris; Reputation points; Pykrete; PSS; Wendy; Skill of the Week; Caen; Surgery; India; Schlock Mercenary; Amerika Bomber; Adele; GWX Control Panel saves us; Trump; Hilton; Mark Clark; Painting; Dragons; burgers; CentOS 7; Bohr; GCA; Two Italian restaurants; RQ Classic; XKCD; The past that is willfully forgotten.

A Happy New Year to you all.
history_monk: (Me)
I've been to vote. I'm not very well, but the polling station is only 50 yards away. The polling station staff described voting as "lively."

The question is what happens next. If the vote is "leave", then the Tories who backed that cause will want to displace Cameron, to avoid compromise and back-sliding. If it is "remain" they will probably want to leave him in power, so that he can be blamed for everything that happens which they don't like.

So if it's "leave", there will be a vote of confidence in the Commons, probably next week. That leaves Labour with a significant problem: keep a right-wing Tory government in power, abstain and risk a collapse of the government, or bring it down for sure? If the government collapses, there will probably be a general election, since I doubt anyone else can win a vote of confidence. The Leave camp might welcome this, since they might well feel that momentum is with them.

Interesting times.
history_monk: (Me)
... is a rather decent Radio 3 feature about Naomi Mitchison, Margot Bennett and Rose Macaulay. Still broadcasting as I post, should be on the BBC iPlayer for at least a week.
history_monk: (Me)
Housekeeping; Plaistow; Werewolf; Catia; Schlock Mercenary; El Capitan; Chronobahn; SIP; Dice designs; Bacon soup; VC14; Death of Duncan Druce; Coverity; Einstein, twice; eBay; Flamefang; PST; Book Depository; GuardStack; Skill of the Week; Code Signing; de Havilland Museum; Playtesting; Counterproductive marketing; Inkscape; Mara; Part Data Adapters; Echoes; Miss Brunner; Philby; John Lewis; Maxwell Knight; Wendy; Roger Keyes; Stuart Broad; Fritz-X; Blithe Spirit; Windows 10; USS Eldridge; Chessex; Red Lion Square; Monty Panesar; Forever City; Forums; Berserkers; T-34/85; Frankie; Syria; Mercury & Venus; 100 Windows machines; Europe; National Maritime Museum; Foolish selfishness; PayPal; Peninsular War; Amazon; Harpoon; SVG & PDF; Decans; LDAP.

A merry Christmas and a happy New Year to all.
history_monk: (Me)
From [livejournal.com profile] coth

Grab the nearest book. Find the 5th sentence on page 23. Append it to the paragraph below. Append your name to the list below of people who have contributed to the paragraph. Post the result to your LJ.

They also talk of our being guilty of injustice, and their being the victims of an unjustifiable war. Brandy, and Tom got increasingly close-mouthed and sour. Although a certain sense of tripartite society survived down to Christian times, the three classes described in the Eddic poem "Rigdthula" bear little resemblance to Dumezil's three. It is often argued, and still oftener thought, that none but bad men would desire to weaken these salutary beliefs; and there can be nothing wrong, it is thought, in restraining bad men, and prohibiting what only such men would wish to practice.

At its nearest point the wall was little more than one league from the City, and that was south-eastward. When he saw Jack Hare jump towards the fire, and the Practical Man brandishing the toasting-fork, Sir Isaac grabbed the strings of gravitational force that bound Jack to his destiny and PULLED--- That's a seventy-four gun privateer, besides. To honour a group of British nobles, treacherously slain at a conference by Hengist's guards, Aurelius decides to erect a great monument near Amesbury. That being so, he did not chortle when he went upstairs. Let stand. This ensures that when the garbage collector runs, it has complete access to the memory in the heap and can perform its tasks safely without the threat of being preempted by another thread. And then you may begin to laugh. The data are stored in Column 1 and renamed "Age."

Pull your hand back. I don't remember that any secrets were revealed to me, nor do I remember any avid curiosity on my part to learn something I wasn't supposed to--perhaps I was too young to know what to listen for. You don't remember how awful it is being normal. Highlight the desired state tax table and press Enter. Abraham had now reached a ripe old age, and the LORD had blessed him in every way. The third lieutenant started, then said a little weakly, "Huzzah for Captain Riley."

"Oh," said Pooh. In fact White had carelessly placed the team in Nip without realising it. The "well" symbol (obviously the Existentialist mirror image) combined with the shockingly distraught "feathers" impales with one word a vast social fallacy (man's flight-wish exposed for what it is).

It is not easy to do nothing and not mind it, not mind the hours passing, the hours of the morning passing and then the hours of the afternoon, and one day passing, and the next passing, while you do nothing. She turned at a sound behind her.

1) Ranger Rick - 2) Rialian - 3) Elenbarathi - 4) Starsandfishes - 5) Echthros - 6) Doltaghey - 7) Ebonhost - 8) Tibicina 9) Browngirl 10) ceo 11) roozle 12) quietann 13) Dale (achinhibitor) 14) tigerbright 15) autographedcat 16) kitanzi xvii) annonynous 18) thnidu 19) singinglark 20) curiouswombat 21) ffutures 22) coth 23) history_monk
history_monk: (Me)
This is fairly positive, within the limits of what an opposition backbencher can do:

Thank you for your email regarding the refugee crisis we have seen unfold over the last few weeks.

All too often these issues are picked up by the tabloid press and a lot of misinformation is spread to the British public on what can be a very complex issue.

I agree that the UK needs to do more to support asylum seekers. So far this year, more than 180,000 migrants have reached Greece and Italy by sea (others come from Turkey via the land border with Bulgaria). Of those, only a few thousand make their way overland across Europe to Calais. Other, broader statistics tell a similar story. In the first four months of this year, more than a quarter of a million people claimed asylum in a European Union member state; fewer than 10,000 of those claims were in the UK, although Britain has well over a tenth of the EU’s total population.

This is why I have written an Early Day Motion (EDM 369) to support the refugees fleeing war and persecution which states:

"That this house Is appalled at the humanitarian crisis unfolding on the doorstep of Europe and urges Her Majesty’s Government to honour and follow in the great traditions of the United Kingdom by accepting many more thousands of genuine and desperate refugees caused by the greatest displacement of people since world war two; notes that as part of the Vulnerable Person Relocation Scheme Germany has pledged to resettle 30,000 refugees whilst the UK so far taken fewer than 200; further urges the Prime Minister and Home Secretary to rekindle the spirit of the Kinder-Transport and bring forward innovative ideas like a Voluntary National Homes Register for those citizens able and willing to accommodate the most vulnerable refugees; and finally commends the work of the many of thousands of people from all political persuasions across the country who share a desire to offer refuge and hope to those escaping great hardship, violence and terror from across the world"

I would like to urge you to ask all of your friends who live outside of Cambridge to write to their MP's asking them to back EDM 369.

I can assure you that I will be doing all that I can within my role as an MP to ensure that this issue is dealt with in a fair and compassionate way.

Yours sincerely,

Daniel Zeichner
Member of Parliament for Cambridge
history_monk: (Me)
1. Marmite- love or hate?
Dislike as a spread, useful as a seasoning
2. Marmalade- thick cut or thin cut?
Thin, when I could eat it, but my liver seems to object to citrus these days.
3. Porridge- made with milk or water?
I'll pass on porridge, thanks.
4. Do you like salt, sugar or honey on your porridge?
5. Loose tea or teabags?
6. Where on your door is your letterbox?
7. What's your favourite curry?
None, sadly. Never learned to like Indian food at all. It either hurts, or it's too bland to be of interest.
8. What age is the place where you live?
9. Where do the folks running your local corner shop come from?
The "corner shop" is a small supermarket, with quite a lot of staff, and no group origin.
10. Instant or fresh coffee?
Ground myself.
11. How far are you from the sea?
About 34 miles. Ipswich seems to no the nearest point on the coast.
12. Have you travelled via Eurostar?
13. If you were going to travel abroad, where's the nearest country to you?
14. If you're female (or possible even some males) do you carry a handbag?
I have a satchel that I take almost everywhere. It's effectively a handbag.
15. Do you have a garden? What do you like growing?
Yes, but only because you can't get houses without gardens.
16. Full cream, semi skimmed or skimmed?
Semi-skim lactose-free.
17. Which London terminal would you travel into if going to the capital?
King's Cross.
18. Is there a local greasy spoon where you live?
The nearest thing I go to is an extremely unpretentious sandwich shop, where I get lunch each working day.
19. Do you keep Euros in the house?
No, don't think I've ever had any.
20. Does your home town have a Latin, Gaelic or Welsh alternative.
Yes: Cantabrigia, based on the Anglo-Saxon Cantebrigge.
21. Do you have a well known local artist or author?
22. Do you have a favourite Corrie character?
I have never watched Coronation Street. As in, genuinely never.
23. Are your kitchen sink taps separate or a mixer?
24. Do you have a favourite brand of blended tea?
25. What's in your attic if you have one?
Old fanzines, suitcases, computer boxes.
26. If you go out for a cream tea, what jam do you like on your scone?
27. Talking of scones- scon or scown? Jam or cream first?
Scon. Jam, no cream.
28. Barth or bath?
29. Carstle or castle?
30. What flavour of crisps do you favour?
31. If you go to the chippie, what do you like with your chips?
Fish or Steak-and-Kidney pie.
32. Take away, take out or carry out?
Take away.
33. If you have one, what colour is your wheelie bin?
Black for landfill, green for compostables, blue for other recycling
34. What colour skips does your local skip hire use?
No idea.
35. Do you celebrate Guy Fawkes?
36. Dettol or TCP?
Supermarket own-brand.
37. Do you have a bidet in the bathroom?
38. Do you prefer courgettes or aubergines?
39. In the 'real world', do you have friends of other nationalities? Which nationalities?
Yes, mostly Anericans.
40. Do you have a holy book of any sort in the house?
41. Do you prefer a hankie or tissues?
42. Are you a fan of crumpets? What do you like on them?
Yes. Butter or raspberry jam.
43. Doorbell, knocker or both?
44. Do you own a car? What sort?
45. What sort of pants do you guys prefer? Y fronts or boxers?
46. Anyone still a fan of suspenders?
I have a set of braces I wear with a suit. Maybe once every couple of years.
47. Do you have a favourite quote from the bard?
This rudeness is a sauce to his good wit, / Which gives men stomach to digest his words / With better appetite.
48. Do you like toasted muffins?
Not really.
49. Do you think a traditional trifle should contain jelly?
Once a pudding has sherry and custard in it, I've lost interest entirely.
50. Do you attend regular religious worship? Of what kind?


Jul. 16th, 2015 08:30 pm
history_monk: (Me)
Gutting the BBC has been on the Tory agenda for a long time. Petition against the latest attempt: https://secure.38degrees.org.uk/protect-our-bbc.
history_monk: (Me)
The UK's Human Rights Act 1998 embeds the European Convention on Human Rights into UK law. Given that the Convention was largely written by British Conservative lawyers, in the aftermath of WWII, it's rather disappointing that the current Tories want to remove these human-rights protections.

Amnesty International is campaigning against this: http://keeptheact.uk
history_monk: (Me)
http://what3words.com/ is a way of designating any point on Earth with three words, and a website to look them up. My front door is in square hats.brand.chimp, which I'll settle for, given how many hats I have on the coat-pegs. Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] gerisullivan
history_monk: (Me)
Is an independent pressure group campaigning for openness and freedom on the Internet. I've belonged to it for a couple of years. They're mostly funded by members' subscriptions, and are having a membership drive to enable some campaigning for the general election, mainly against the government's message of "Privacy means the terrorists win."

history_monk: (Me)
When flaming a Christmas Pudding, 15cl of brandy is too much. It takes ten minutes to burn out, and the nether regions of the pudding become overly crisp, although their flavour is fine.
history_monk: (Me)
FrameMaker; Wendy; Citrus; MS-SDL; Windows 8.1; The Cardinal's Mistress; Embedded XP; Chicago; SHA-256; Rabul; Peenemünde; RHEL7; Daphne Oram; VC14; Reality quakes; JavaScript; Bethnal Green; John Lewis; Radio 3; Woolwich; Sea Serpents; Juliet McKenna; Princess Charlotte; Dr Bob; Anna; Frogmen; Mount Etna; Salamanders; Podcasting; B-axis; WinRT; Joe Root; SSL and TLS; Gary Balance; SLES12; TORG; "Where's your other?"; David Jackson; MH370; Gare Loch; Moen Ali; SSL and TLS; RPoL; Army & Navy Stores; John Meaney; Persistent & Vexatious; Book Depository; 10.10; Porcupine Books; DMW Carol; Winston Churchill; The Huntress; Ukraine; Skill of the Week; rasff; "Winkle" Brown; ODE; Everest; Classic Shell.

A Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.

Tony Blair

Nov. 24th, 2014 08:38 pm
history_monk: (Me)
I get quite a few "please sign our petition" e-mails, and I sign some of them. They all want you to pass them on, and I'm much more restrained about that. But the idea that Save The Children, a charity I had thought to be reasonably worthwhile, is giving Tony Blair an award for saving children is ... beyond polite description. There's a petition to ask them to withdraw it, here.
history_monk: (Me)
Is, of course the centenary of Armistice Day, the end of fighting in the First World War. It's a Sunday, which means that the Remembrance Day ceremonies (always on a Sunday nowadays in the UK) will take place on the correct day. There are normally parades, the laying of wreaths and a two-minute silence; I expect that there will be extra elements for the centenary, but we haven't reached the centenary of the start of the war yet, and nothing seems to have been announced yet.

I've thought of something I plan to do personally. A whole-day silence. This means no talking, unless it's necessary for safety, no TV or radio, no music except a part of a ceremony, and so on. This seems perfectly practical, as it's a Sunday - a working day without speech is not possible in my job - and while it will be strange, and something of a strain, I think it will force me to contemplate what the war and our memories of it mean.

I would be very happy if others were to do this, but I really don't think it ought to be made an official act of remembrance.

history_monk: (Me)
I had a response from my MP. He was noncommittal about LibDem policy, since he's in no position to make rulings, but he's not in favour of this.

Here's a petition to the head of HMRC about it:


history_monk: (Me)

Here's the letter I've just written to my MP:

Guardian Article

The government is intending to provide "anonymised" access to tax records. A senior Tory MP has described this as "borderline insane". I'd go considerably further than that. It will mean that people don't reveal their financial affairs to the tax authorities, producing a vast increase in evasion and clogging the courts with pointless cases.

It's a very naked example of what has seemed to be this government's attitude to the population for some time: not as citizens to be safeguarded, but as resources to be strip-mined. If this goes ahead, it will be historically recorded as one of the steps that triggered revolution. The people will not put up with this.

It will, incidentally, make certain of the Scottish Referendum result. All the SNP has to do is undertake that an independent Scottish government will not do such a thing, and they've won. And a lot of the English will be considering emigration.

Up until now, I have still be prepared to support you at the general election. I am not happy with much of the coalition's policy, but I feel that Parliament needs at least one scientist, and Cambridge seems to have the role of supplying them. Were Nick Cleg my MP, voting for him would already be quite impossible. But sale of tax records passes, you would be mere collateral damage.

I'm already reasonably certain that you would vote against this scheme. That is not enough to save your seat: Parliament must reject the idea, if it is brought to a vote.

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