Saturday, 28 November 2009

If you only do one thing...

Then join the new LibDem Media Watch ACT group. Liberal England has already encouraged people to join and I want to add to that call.

I think this is the single most important (low-impact) thing activists of the armchair* or non-armchair variety can do. Currently there are 5o members, every single member of ACT (currently >1000) should be on it.

Our media coverage/treatment is, in my opinion, the last big barrier for us (the final frontier), we have the right principles, policies and people (again in my opinion) but it's just getting our message across.

Yes, it might not make a vast different to get fair representation on This Week, say, as clearly it's only saddos like us that watch it** but it's a start and the culture will eventually permeate through to more important/widely-watched programmes.

The current deliberate-seeming policy of keeping us away during the Iraq enquiry (non-coverage of Nick at PMQs, no LibDems on Question Time or Any Questions), allowing the normal establishment type to blether on about how no-one could have known at the time or how they're support was less than complete (er...remember "Charlie Chamberlain"?) and generally rewriting history and defending the indefensible

It's time to stop pussy-footing around the issue and let them know that:

"We're as mad as hell, and we're not going to take this anymore!"

Let's man the virtual barricades and get complaining!

*Having shamefully been an armchair activist for the last few years, I actually went and stood in the biting cold and talked to the public on a LibDem stall this morning. Unfortunately, I think I may have insulted a neighbour by not initially recognizing her! Well I was in full LibDem prosthetising mode:

"Hi, I'm from the local LibDems...blather blather...local issues..."
"I see you've sold your house"

**In fact I stopped watching it years ago as the three-pronged axis of smug (Portillo, Abbot and Neil) makes me want to put my fist through the screen

Friday, 27 November 2009

The BBC's establishment bias

A lot of people have blogged about the decision to drop Jo Swinson from Question Time.

Interestingly, I had a similar reaction to when Nick Griffin was on, "At least we won't be the ones to be patronised and rudely cut off and not allowed comeback by a smug establishment-biased Dimbleby"

(It has been pointed out elsewhere of course that we were still maligned with no comeback by at least one panelist - this time Nicola Sturgeon, usually Caroline Lucas can relied upon to fulfill this role)

It has been suggested that we all complain more. I completely agree (although I have been remiss on this count in the past). I see that someone has set up a group on ACT to protest against Jo's dropping. Maybe there should be a general "The BBC have done it again" group to co-ordinate (but in a completely individual way!) complaints to the BBC everytime they do somthing similar (misrepresent or omit us).

We all know that famously we have people timing our coverage during the election campaign so we can prove the discrepancy to the BBC and make them make up for it during the rest of a GE campaign. I know some might argue about the downsides of p*ssing off the BBC. But I think relentless pressure is the only way to go.

Further evidence of the BBC's indefensible position (WARNING: about to use the Daily Mail as evidence!), is that after Nick's excellent performance at PMQs where he genuinely raised a point of wide interest which skewered the Prime Minister, the BBC decided that it obviously wasn't worthy of wider reporting. Nick Robinson's PMQ report doesn't even mention it. Then I go shopping yesterday and what should I see i the supermarket but the front page of the Daily Mail:

"Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg ambushed the Prime Minister in the Commons, angrily accusing him of trying to 'suffocate' the Chilcot Inquiry"

and goes on to mention Nick 6 times including in pictures and pull-out quotes.

Oh, so it did happen and somebody thought it might be worth reporting...

Friday, 20 November 2009

LibDems in the clear!


In yer face Dale.

Ahem. Anyway, in summary:

“Having considered all the evidence in this case, we have concluded that 5th Avenue Partners Limited met the requirements to be a permissible donor. The Electoral Commission will be taking no further action in this case.“

UPDATE: LibDemVoice has the announcement here.

Friday, 13 November 2009

"Thatcher Dead" text mix up

This story made me laugh. Canada's transport Minister's cat, Thatcher (named after the iron lady), died so he texted friends "Thatcher had died". This soon lead to their prime minister being informed and it unraveled from there...

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

That letter

I wasn't going to write about the Brown letter as it's been covered extensively elsewhere. Most liberal thinking bloggers have been disgusted (by the Sun). The normally spot-on Charlotte Gore initially jumped the wrong way (IMHO) but then corrected herself.

Anyway, I have really bad hand writing (I expect this is something that may unite many bloggers, ah the lure of the simple keyboard...) and this morning Mrs. L commented that Brown hadn't misspelt the mother's name as his handwriting looks just like mine!

I think it's a credit to Brown that he takes the time to personally writes these letters. Writing a letter is a real effort for me and I wouldn't be surprised if our Prime Minister doesn't sometimes find himself sticking his tongue out in concentration whilst writing them.

Any, I was also sick of this whole "She thought to press record" thing. Are they really suggesting there wasn't a Sun Journalist sitting with her waiting for the call? I see Moments of Clarity have already covered this angle.

A Fox news future is of course what Call me Dave wants for all of us and I do sometimes wonder if it isn't time to batten down the hatches in preparation of a Tory government and see if there aren't a few good things in our country that we can't concentrate on trying to save from the oncoming gleeful wave of destruction?

Sunday, 8 November 2009

What should I get instead of Norton?

My Norton subscription is coming to end and and recently it has been causing me terrible problems with it using 99% CPU (ccSvcHst.exe) whilst seemingly doing nothing.

I want to replace it with something else. Should I just go for another commercial program like McAfee or should I go for the free AVG (which geeks seem to rave about)?

Any recommendations?

Saturday, 7 November 2009

WARNING: There are no First Capital Connect trains tomorrow (Sunday)

At our local station, there is a poster up informing the long-suffering passengers that there will be no trains tomorrow (Sunday) at all on the First Capital Connect Great Northern route (London to Stevenage, Hertford, Cambridge etc.) due to a shortage of drivers!

This doesn't help Mrs. LibCync who is staying over in London tonight and will need to try and make her way back home tomorrow. Seeking an alternative way home is made even harder by the fact that half the tube isn't working.

Anyway, this appears to be the result of an unofficial ban on rest day working linked to pay talks and it's also affecting other parts of the county.

Just thought I'd raise the alert for anyone planing to travel by train tomorrow. It was the first I'd heard of it.