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Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Well made it back from LDYS in Orpington alive... just.
Met some lovely people, had some good debates, heard some good speakers.
Will NOT be sleeping on the floor in future. I am far too old:-(
Apart from that, three cheers to Ruth et al. See you in Southport!

Wednesday, February 18, 2004

Cynicism.
Riiiiiiiiihgt.
BBC News Online are carrying an interesting theme this week, along the lines of 'what make the British so cynical, why is it on the increase and is it right?'
It's a topic close to my heart. The professions that people distrust the most - and are therefore most cynical about - are journalism and politics. As a journalist by day and a politician by evening, this deep distrust obviously fascinates me.
The British cynic's views are fuelled by lying politicians and lazy journalists, yet it is us who have the most to lose when the public become disenchanted with us. Unfortunately honest politicians and hard working journalists get caught up in the generalised view that we are all dishonest - and I think this is the sort of cynicism that is destructive - an inability to differentiate between good and bad.
But it is that which lies at the heart of cynicism - a dangerous generalisation that is destructive rather than constructive. And the cynic doesn't care because, well, who on earth in their right mind would genuinely care enough to want to be constructive?
Except for the cynic himself, of course.
I have absolutely no doubt that the vast majority of politicians and journalists are honest, hardworking, genuine people. I think the reasons they are mistrusted are twofold.
1. They are both professions which involve having strong opinions. People tend to trust others that they agree with strongly, and mistrust those with whom they disagree.
2. In the past, politicians and journalists have been woefully inadequate in policing their own professions, meaning that the corrupt, the selfish and the greedy have been allowed to get away with their less than honourable actions.
There is a great need for a certain amount of cynicism, or those who take advantage, those who act only in their own interests and those who lie and cheat, will continue to destroy the country, the company they work for, their families or whomever they may be betraying.
There used to be a culture that people in power were trusted implicitly and that is just as wrong as mistrusting everybody across the board. The title of 'Honourable' Member does not always fit the bearer.
I guess the point is that there's no blanket, one size fits all approach. Cynicism weeds out those who deserve it, but also drags down many genuine people in the process.
The skilled cynic knows who is deserving of his derision, and is discerning in choosing who to target with his words.
Well I couldn't agree more with Bloggy's comment saying, "forget what's on the box and get on with it," although unfortunately not everybody holds that view.
These thoughts on Thatcher came from a conversation I had with my boyfriend, who happens to be *cough* a few *cough* years my senior. We were watching the golf when Laura Davies was playing in the men's tournament and discussing the implications of this in sport etc. Being a political bod, I wondered if his perceptions of women in power were different to mine, as for many years I had never known any different than a woman in the top job. Whereas he (in theory) would have remembered a previous 12 years of men in power.
Turns out he only really started to take any notice of politics when he was a bit older than that so my thought experiment was invalid. But my Maggie train of thought had been started so there was no going back.
Let's hope it's a fair while until she crosses my mind again...

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

A Post About Musings I Had At The Weekend Whilst On A Long Journey And Inspired By Laura Davies In The Men's Golf (Before She Lost)

I'm not usually one to make a big deal about gender, but I've been having thoughts about Maggie T (eek!) and her influence on gender perception in Britain.
Was the fact that she was an egomanical borderline-fascist almost a good thing, in that she proved that women can be ballsier, gutsier and nastier than the weak male of the species, leaving the rest of us ladies to get on with it and be ourselves, with nothing left to prove?
Or is she proof that to earn the same respect as a man in any field, women have to do it not equally well, but just that little bit better?
As with most questions the answer has to be a bit of both. In terms of smashing outdated and harmful conceptions about women, I'm glad Maggie happened.
But in terms of running the country, I'm also terribly glad she's gone.

Monday, February 16, 2004

I wonder how many other girls went out for a kebab for Valentine's Day? And actually really enjoyed it?
It was the culmination of a pretty nice day, we went to the British Museum and I fell in Love with the Korean room. I may go and live there.
And then we went to Harringay, my old stomping ground, to one of the Kebab houses that I always thought looked far too garish and scary to go in to. I've only just realised that kebabs - when in a sit-down restaurant environment and not an on the way home from the pub scenario - are really quite tasty. Having had a cold for the majority of 2004 so far, jalapeno peppers are pretty much the only thing I've tasted all year!
Well it's a Youth Club management meeting tonight, the club has been looking for a leader for some time now and they've finally found one. At the same time a long standing National Lottery bid has fallen through, so there'll be no rebuilding of the club.
He giveth with one hand and Camelot taketh away with the other.

Thursday, February 12, 2004

I found the 'Magic Abbreviator For Bone Idle Lazy Sods' at www.sargent.com/lazy.php, which will condense down chunks of text to any size you wish. An incoherent summary of anything - in seconds!
(Is this what Tory Party researchers use?)
Vanity took hold and I couldn't resist copy/pasting my blog in - it returned this:

"Handled whinge exactly the blue, dems, happy director, some, its."

I'm sure there must be some significance to this - but what?

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

After the shortest meeting in the world... ever! I am left with a spare (ish) evening. We were discussing the E-Government programme, which is being so deftly handled that it doesn't really need us members butting in, so the meeting was a record 20 minutes from start to finish.
So, what do I do with my spare time?
It's a choice between going to deliver some Focuses (but it's DARK! I whinge), getting on with the old PPC forms or chilling out with a video and a nice long bath (not simultaneously, obv). I'd really like to go and see School of Rock at the flicks, or ring some of my friends that I haven't spoken to for ages, or even just piddle about in the interweb.
Damn, it's gotta be the PPC forms, hasn't it.
*sigh*
One thing has been dominating my time recently - the E word.
Elections.
Scary. We have four months to carry out our campaign, deliver a squillion leaflets, canvass what feels like the entire world...
Worthing has all-out elections this year, due to boundary changes. So each and every Councillor is fighting his/her seat. Plus we have a new ward and one new seat so things are a bit hairy. The only comfort is that it's exactly the same for the opposition.
We have a lot of legpower, and very committed members so I am sure we will carry out all our election strategies without too much trouble. We've got a couple of big guns to bring to visit the town which will help. It's going to be hard work but fun, and of course worth it in the end. But the thought of it all is a bit daunting.
Although we do have quite a few members, if there's anyone in the South Coast region, and your area doesn't have elections, I'd like to put out an official call for assistance - one morning or afternoon delivering Focuses would be a great help, so please get in touch.
Mind you it'll all be over one way or another by June 10th, so we can all get on and enjoy our summer!

Saturday, February 07, 2004

I've just got back from a dinner where Lord Dholakia (National Prez of the Libs) was speaking. I have only two comments:
1. The Lord is absolutely lovely and;
2. He had the best summary of IDS ever.
I know it's a bit out of touch to diss IDS, I mean why kick a man when he's not only down, but ... sorry, who was I talking about again?
Anyway: "Iain Duncan Smith is the only man in the country, who can be left alone in a room with a tea cosy, and not try it on."
Ithangyew.

Thursday, February 05, 2004

I haven't had much time for updatage recently as work has been crazy and I've had meetings every evening about the Budget - which of course affects council tax etc. It's very draining and all I want to do is go to bed at the end of the day! Honestly, young people today have no stamina blah blah blah.
Council Tax is a matter that I will surely touch on in later posts (Hooray! I hear you shout!) but there is a more pressing matter I wanted to rant about today.
In a public meeting about the budget a very nice young man stood up and pointed out that the horrific rises in Council tax are mainly due to the Government's pathetic lack of funding, and we should just spend what we need to and try to force the Government to pay up the rest.
What a lovely (but utterly impractical and very possibly illegal) idea, I thought, and made a point of seeking him out afterwards to have a chat. Anyway, it turns out that him and the group of people he was with are Socialists and probably intend to stand a candidate or two in the local elections in June.
My first thought was 'good on you' and I wished them the best of luck and went on my merry way. I truly believe in the spirit of competition and as long as people fight a good, honest fight then all's fair in politics.
But later on I got thinking to this nice bunch of people, most of them about my age, possibly younger. In an age where Labour is more blue than the Conservatives, I guess most true - 'Old' - Labour supporters have joined the Socialists. So maybe we should take the threat of a Socialist candidate very seriously.
Their literature was hard hitting but sadly naive. They are planning to stand a candidate at Council elections but their leaflet screamed 'Get rid of Blair!'. Although I agree with the statement entirely I think that they are sadly misguided in the role of a Councillor. We can do very little in the national arena - sometimes the Government asks us for comments etc, but Worthing Borough Council is not exactly in a position to depose Tony Teflon.
But, considering that Worthing has never had a Labour MP (or at least for as long as I've been alive) and hasn't had even one Labour Councillor for at least 30 years, I think it's fairly certain that Worthing has sent a very clear message that it wants no truck with Blair and New - or even Old - Labour.
So my suggestion is that us and the Socialists try and get Worthing to become a separate State of its own. We can set our own tax, and spend it as we wish, we can ignore Tony Blair and we can go to war only when we want to. Bliss.
I must stress that the above paragraph is just a flight of fancy and in no way is indicative of Liberal policy, Worthing Borough Council's views or even what I truly believe, in more sane moments. But everyone has their little fantasies and I'd love to see Wothing Borough State. But only as long as I could be President.

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Two Very Improtant Developments...
1. Manic has set up a page on which to support the BBC, and you can get a nice logo like the one I now have. (God, that was awful grammar but I'm a bit excited you see). Please go to http://www.bloggerheads.com/bbc/ for details of his campaign.
2. Bloggy has made me his 'Personality of the Week'! He sent me some fun questions to fill out which made me have a good think as well. So clicky linky on lefty to see the interview, and don't forget to check out his blog when you're there.
There's been three inquiries announced today.
One: George has a inquiry into Weapons of Mass Destruction intelligence. Which directly leads to Two: So Tony must do exactly the same. Honestly, we went to war because Tony's best mate did and now we have to dissect the reasons, because Tony's best mate is too.
The problem with WMD is that it's very hard to prove that someone HASN'T got something. If they are in posession of something, and you find it, you have then proven that that thing exists and that someone has it.
However, at what point would George and Tony have let Hans Blix and his team stop searching, to be satisfied that Saddam didn't have weapons? At exactly the point that George got gun hungry and trigger happy, and he couldn't wait any longer. "Are we there yet Daddy?" I can hear him saying.
The Liberals are not taking part in the Inquiry, although Mr Straw believes that some 'wiser counsel' will come to regret that course of action.
Yet another case of a politician speaking of the Lib Dems as if we are a bunch of rowdy teenagers who don't know what we are doing.
The Lib Dems do not believe that the remit of the inquiry is wide enough. After Lord Hutton's findings, can you blame anyone for feeling wary of any inquiry that Mr Blair commissions?
The third inquiry? Oh yes, why on earth did Janet Jackson get her norks out at the Superbowl? Clue: She has a new single out, and it's as bland and tuneless as ever.

Monday, February 02, 2004

Well the weekend was great, catching up with a few friends in London that I haven't seen for ages. I went to one engagement party and one leaving party for a friend who's off to study in Australia... a big fry up on Sunday and I'm a happy girl.
My work colleagues are very happy because I've lost my voice! I sound like I'm on death's door but I feel loads better than on Friday. I may have to play on this one a bit:-)
I have some kind of meeting this evening but I forgot my diary so I'm not sure quite what. Whatever it is I'm sure it will be most exciting.

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