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lexin: (Default)
Thursday, June 8th, 2017 01:40 pm
Have voted. Go me. Fingers crossed.
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Thursday, November 10th, 2016 04:39 pm
I discovered today that my Aunt Irene died on the 1st of November – I got a letter from her son who lives in Australia. She didn’t have a note of my phone number, but had my address. Odd, because I put my phone number (and email address) into all my Christmas cards, and I always sent her one.

She was a dear. Straight spoken, always, but someone you could rely on in a pinch. She was amazing when my father died in 1997. She came down to our place from Doncaster and helped me and my then sister in law nurse my father until he died. For eight weeks, she was there, talking to him, fetching drugs (and his doctors were always updating his pain meds), cooking, whatever needed doing. She and I did most of it, because my sister in law’s children were toddlers meaning she couldn’t stay for long and my mother was no help because she’d disappeared into a weird 1941 world of rations and blackout. I’d always loved Auntie Irene for her wit and her kindness, but after that she could do no wrong in my eyes.

I probably won’t be able to go to her funeral, what with the cat’s teeth and new glasses, but I will raise a glass to her on the day.

International news

Trump won? TRUMP won?! What madness is this?

He’s a lying liar who lies like a cheap rug. I could not forgive him that impersonation he did of that disabled journalist, let alone his attitude to women. What a scuzz-bucket the man is.
lexin: (Default)
Thursday, August 6th, 2015 01:26 pm
Some people use the phrase "Political Correctness" instead of "showing respect to others", because "fighting back against Political Correctness" sounds a lot better than "fighting back against showing respect to others. It's showing respect to others gone mad, I tell you!"
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Saturday, June 6th, 2015 10:40 am
In the 'Annals of things that have Never Happened', I had a dream where Iain Duncan Smith (Secretary of State for Work and Pensions) touched my hair. Twice.

In general levels of nastiness, that falls somewhat in advance of the hallucination I once had of Cthulhu sleeping in Ry'leh, including rinky-dink music and a smell of dirty water.

I mean: ack!

"Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn" ("In his house at R'lyeh, dead Cthulhu waits dreaming.") Presumably he's keeping a place ready for Iain Duncan Smith.
lexin: (Default)
Friday, May 8th, 2015 10:26 am
Some days, life hands you shit. I look at the BBC coverage of the election and it looks as if the Tories have won. Not a landslide but a reasonable ruling majority. Unless there are a massive number of upsets in the uncounted seats, which there won't be, they can retain power.

I've had a long time to develop a burning anger against the Tories. Mine started when Thatcher was elected in 1979 and has been burning ever since.

When I worked, I used to work for the DWP, the Department for Work and Pensions. When I first started to work there they were called something else (the DSS) and it was a decent place to work, with generally good managers and people who meant well and wanted to serve the public and were dedicated to good governance.

It started to go downhill, not so much under Thatcher, because I felt the majority of the staff loathed her as much as I did, if not more, and there were few immediate changes in the way things ran. No, it was actually Blair, Thatcher-lite, when the rot really started to set in. That was when we started to get the management-speak and the dreadful 'positive mindset' bollocks.*

Under the latest Tory government it got much, much worse to the point where I started to think (and I first remember thinking this in around 2010) that I could not continue working for an organisation that seemed hell-bent on making things worse for ordinary people. I felt like a guard in a concentration camp, and I had to get out before it killed me.

I hate Cameron. I thought I hated Thatcher, but Cameron I detest. Even more, I hate Iain Duncan Smith, waster and hypocrite. I don't like hating people. I don't. It's a waste of my time and energy, but those two, I can't help loathing.

* On this point I recommend the book "Smile or Die by Barbara Ehrenreich which deconstructs the positive thinking industry and sets out why it's misleading and even risky for individuals, but very attractive for businesses and managers.
lexin: (Default)
Thursday, May 7th, 2015 01:14 pm
It's election day in the UK. Those of you who have a vote, use it. Please.

It's cliche to say that people died for your right to vote, but they did. Emily Wilding, anyone? Peterloo Massacre?

Even if you consider every politician who ever lived to be a double-dyed swine, go and spoil your ballot paper. Writing 'stuff you fuckwads' across it might tell them something.
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Saturday, April 18th, 2015 12:29 pm
[personal profile] oursin drew my attention to an article in the Guardian in which there is the following quote, "The party that claims to be all about small government does seem peculiarly interested in our private lives." (It's near the bottom).

Which chimed with me - I've never been able to understand why people who claim to be "right wing and/or libertarian" claim to be in favour of small government, but then are so concerned about other people's personal lives and tastes.

There is on UK television - I don't know about US TV - a sort of 'poverty porn' where the lives of benefit claimants, the disabled and others are held up for comment and ridicule by programme makers and the public. One sees, if one follows the Twitter feed for these programmes people making the most dreadful, cruel, judgmental comments about the people on the programme. It's very much the situation Owen Jones describes in his book, Chavs, the Demonization of the Working Class. People particularly scorned is anyone who has the temerity to be fat and disabled or otherwise a claimant. It seems that if you're a benefit claimant you must look starved in order to 'count'.

Being in favour of small government seems to be at odds with a desire to police the appearance and behaviour of other (mostly poor) people. You can't have both. You can have small government, or you you can push fat, sick or disabled people into taking up treatments they may not want (as David Cameron has announced the Tory party want to do if they're elected). You can't have both. Putting effort into making people do something requires civil servants at the sharp end, dealing with the public.
lexin: (Default)
Friday, September 19th, 2014 03:31 pm
So Scotland is not to be a separate state. Hmmm. I don’t know whether to be pleased or not. The part of me that is ‘Braveheart’ – “Freedom come all ye, kill all the Sassenach bastards!”* is sorry. And it would have been such fun to watch the civil service not cope with having to pass that much law in one go having been skinned to the bone by the cuts. It would have been a rare joy to see them making it up as they went along.**

The part of me that hates Cameron and all his works*** is pleased, because Scottish independence would have given the Conservatives an easy victory in England for the next ten years. And I couldn’t bear that. Not to mention that half of the ‘yes’ camp’s plans were handwavery to say the least.

* Forgetting that I am one of them, obviously.
** How much policy is decided on the hoof is a secret that none but civil servants know.
*** My mother called him ‘that nasty little spiv’. And she was right.
lexin: (Default)
Friday, March 14th, 2014 12:35 pm
Very saddened by the death first of Bob Crow on Tuesday and secondly of Tony Benn today.

For those of you who have never heard of either, both were leaders of the left wing of British politics. Tony was 88, and the signs had not been good for some time, but Bob was only 52 – scary because I’m the same age, and probably in worse health.

Tony has been an inspiration to me practically since I was old enough to say his name. It was something my parents thought rather amusing that I should venerate someone simply because I’d heard him speak at meetings. When he spoke – something he and Bob shared - he was a mixture of amusing, angry and inspiring. I never missed a chance to hear either of them.

True leaders of the left, now lost to us. A very sad week for progressive politics in the UK.
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Monday, August 5th, 2013 03:09 pm
Nice article here about why women are paid less than men for full time work.