'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Monday 31 January 2011

Losing Track of the Issue

On Saturday, I was in Bloomsbury and watched the march against the cuts go by. Apart from the slightly surreal experience, as a Lib Dem, of watching the crowds go by chanting against the government and realising they mean us, the whole thing appeared to be passionate, enthusiastic, well meaning and orderly.

The rest of the day proved an illuninating experience for me as the various forms of digital media I use brought varous different slants on the story.

Firstly, I leant from Twitter via Guido Fawkes that Aaron Porter had been arrested for his own safety.

This gave vent to one stream of comment on the story - that Aaron Porter had lost the support of a sizable part of his constituency.

I then learnt on The Guardian that in fact, violence had featured in both Manchester (seemingly targetting the NUS leadership) and London. You can link to the story here

Then I learnt from Martin Bright (@martinbright on twitter) and also the Union of Jewish Students that there had been anti semitic chants aimed at Porter - which is a disgrace.

And finally I was tweeted by Liberal Conspiracy - with a piece questioning the veracity of the reports about the abuse aimed at Porter - and suggesting it might be a smokescreen to obscure the real issues at hand.

So, depending on who you believe:

1. The London protest was hijacked by anarchists
2. The Manchester protest turned on the NUS leadership
3. The NUS leadership was targeted with anti semitic abuse
4. The abuse story was cooked up by media with an axe to grind.

All in the space of about 12 hours.

The real point being: Whatever your view on the issues of cuts and student funding, thousands of good natured students (and others) with a legitimate view to express have had their protests drowned out by a load of competing groups obscuring the original issue.

Which I think is a disgrace in itself.

Friday 28 January 2011

Kicking Sexism out of Football

Most right minded people agree that the comments by Andy Gray and Richard Keys were bang out of order; and anyone in any doubt only has to consider whether they would have made the same comments about someone based on their skin colour or a disability to see how discrimiinatory they were.

However some bright people have gone a step further - and extended the excellent 'let's kick racism out of football' campaign to include sexism as well. The film (link below)they have produced makes the point beautifully.

Hats off to McCanns who I believe made the film.

Meantime - if you enjoy shouting furiously at the TV - do have a look at Katie Hopkins on Question Time last night, demonstrating a gobsmackingly ignorant view on the issue.

Who in the world are those people in the audience clapping?

A toe in the water. Or at least, a toe in Ham Pond

Welcome to the new blog

I will attempt to be disciplined, blog regularly, link to things I find interesting, and keep it current. and I'll try and make it short. But I can't promise.

I would value comments, feedback and pointers to new and exciting things.

For example. The 'about me' box. It's a bit dull isn't it. Any suggestions?

Here goes...