Monday, 4 January 2016

Tipping the Board.....

A fantastic initiative has just been started by someone I know - it's called "Tip The Board" - the idea is to get more people from different backgrounds onto boards of companies and voluntary organisations.

It's one of my ambitions to eventually be a board member and this initiative is definitely for me and I've signed up. You can read more at the website and a description of how Dotty Winters can help you with getting onto boards on Standard Issue

For me it's about being in the right room, the right room to make the decisions. For years in my early career I was frustrated by bad decisions being taken without input from those below, but now I know it's important for the right people to be in the room to ensure the right decisions are made. For me, those boardrooms need to reflect the society we live in, to ensure many different viewpoints inform the decision.

This is also relevant to politics, as in the right room for decisions in the UK is the House of Commons. Which reminds me, I better buy that feminist T-Shirt "A Woman's Place Is In The House.... Of Commons". I think women interested in going places in politics should be interested in getting onto voluntary boards, and this is a cool initiative to help you do just that! Of course this also applies to  people from other marginalised groups wanting to get on such as minority ethnic backgrounds, disabilities and LGBTQ+

So what's stopping you??

Wednesday, 23 December 2015

Review of 2015

Personally, 2015 was brilliant - ushering a small person through their first months & years of life is a fantastic privilege which only keeps getting better.

A picture you say? Oh go on then. But only the one, I'm very shy of "creating" an online identity for my daughter before she's able to do that herself.

Alongside this, politically 2015 was pretty much an unmitigated disaster - the Lib Dems faced an electoral apocalypse and are now, rather more quietly than the Labour Party, having a long protracted debate about what we mean, what we say and what the point of it all is. 

A small comfort was that OMOV in the Lib Dems passed, thanks to the efforts of Sue Doughty, Daisy Cooper, Mark Pack amongst others. A welcome step forward for the party.

P.S. A lot of Liberal Democrat pixels have appeared recently which I've only become vaguely aware of as my high speed working mum life pulls over into a lay-by for Christmas. I think my most cogent advice would be to ignore those that cause you too much pain and if you are ever urged to write a long blog post about those that have wronged you, you probably shouldn't...... I actually received this advice myself once - definitely good advice.

This too shall pass, Lib Dems, and hopefully our electoral chances will improve as well. Here's to more victories in 2016 politically and a Merry Christmas and prosperous New Year to all followers and those who wish me and my family well. 

Wednesday, 25 November 2015

How to survive without Twitter (SPOILER: pretty easily)

This is NOT an article on why I've decided to quit Twitter, there's too many of those and it really wouldn't be that interesting to people. Suffice to say I have.


But last time I quit, I found it much harder, but now I think there are many alternatives - a lot of news sites have "Twitterish" aspects now and it works quite well.


Also, if someone links to a tweet, it's entirely possible to follow the tweet even when you don't have an account, which was one of my main concerns.


Take today, the day of the Autumn Statement, a day I thought would be very difficult without twitter. But the BBC had a live blog and also linked to the website with all the documents available which gave me a MORE in-depth view than I would have had from all the two-bit analysts on Twitter. It was helpful as well to make my own mind up rather than be swamped with the feed as well.


Most of the people I talk to regularly online talk over Facebook or WhatsApp, so that's not a concern either, so I'm pretty much sitting pretty. Anyway, that's Day 1 over, wonder what the rest will be like?

P.S. I am considering going back to auto-tweet my blog posts only but will give it a week or so to bed in first.

Monday, 23 November 2015

Women's Hat Etiquette

Occasionally I don't talk about politics on this blog, and this is one of those days. I was going to write about Jeremy Corbyn, but that's a bit pointless, and besides my adoring public apparently wants to hear about women's hat etiquette. So this is what I know....
Women don't have to take their hat off as much as a man would do, unless it's a hat that a man would wear as well - such as baseball hat, or beanie. It seems the etiquette follows the style of hat rather than the gender of the person who is wearing it.

However, if a woman is wearing a more typically female style of hat, like those that you would wear to Ascot, for instance, then you have different rules.

Male "style" hats e.g. baseball hats, beanies

Remove these when indoors in most cases
Remove at religious ceremonies (unless head covering required)
Remove those when wanting to show respect i.e. when being introduced
Remove at work (unless hat is required)
Remove in the presence of ladies
Remove when in someone else's home
Remove at home (but you'd probably do that anyway, right?)

"Female style" hats

These are accorded different rules as they are considered to be part of a woman's "ensemble"

No need to remove in a restaurant
No need to remove at religious ceremonies
Remove when at work (unless hat is required)
Remove when it might block someone's view
Don't wear them on the dancefloor (more for practical reasons than anything else)

"Female style" Wedding hats

Many people don't wear them now.
Mother of the groom should have either the same brim size or smaller brim size than the mother of the bride
If you have worn a hat and so has the mother of the bride, you should wait till she takes hers off before you take yours off

A note on brims

Large is good  (but not required) in the sun and during the day, as it's required for keeping the sun off, but can look like you are trying to attract attention (vulgar) later in the day - try and reduce brim size as you move towards the evening (tho not on the same hat - although perhaps there could be a Kickstarter in that idea!)

P.S. Never point out if someone has messed up with these rules. That's rude and thus vulgar and thus not to be done!

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Safe spaces, dinner parties, freedom of association and virtue signalling.......

Right wing journalism doesn't annoy me half as much, as a centrist, as it does some of my left wing friends.

However, some trends and buzzwords have developed recently and I'm not sure people are really thinking them through.

Safe spaces seem to have evolved into a put down by people who consider that folk are "insulating themselves from argument" when some people declare an area for discussion as a "safe space".

But it isn't - most of the communities we circulate in are free and areas where free speech is tolerated and arguments engaged in. Twitter is one such area, for instance.

However, if you are exploring ideas, most of us would like to do that with similar minded folk - sometimes.  It is sometimes helpful for me as a feminist not to have to argue back against people with differing views. I'm different from some people in that I enjoy a good argument and seek to learn from it - but I'm not always in the mood, and like to exercise my right to freedom of association to associate with whom I darn well please.

This is a good blog on the subject that it helps everyone sometimes to associate with others of like mind - from Scott Alexander of Slate Star Codex - hat tip to new follow/follower @declamere for the link.

Some right wing journalists who are devoted to free speech above all, seem to get rather annoyed at "left wing dinner parties", which just leaves me wondering if they never get invited to any dinner parties.... What they are really telling us is they don't like left wing groups meeting and discussing their ideas without balance or bias....... but that's something the left wing go on about too!!

Freedom of association is important. It's important to associate with people you like! If you favour it you can learn a lot from disagreeing, discussing and yes, arguing with those you don't have a lot in common with. But you don't have to.

I'm also going weary of people dismissing ideas as "virtue signalling" - again this seems to be shorthand for putting down left wing groups and freedom of association - right wing groupings do this too! They volunteer for charities, Parent Teacher associations, they join clubs, they do all sorts of things to indicate that THEY fit into their chosen social milieu. We all do these things all the time, it's called human nature.

If people want to call others out on behaviours that they believe are wrong when it's on the other side of the social tracks to where they stand, fine. But don't expect me to think that's very rational.

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Hubris, 2015

I hear that the Tory leadership is not actually  too respected by the Tory MPs, especially since the tax credits debacle. They believe that the leadership think they are God's gift to politics - but isn't there something old that people say about campaigning in poetry and governing in prose?

As I tweeted today, watching the Tories stumble around since they've been governing on their own is like bumping into your ex in their pyjamas, shouting at traffic.

In the midst of their travails, they seem very triumphant about winning seats from us, so much that DavidCameron thinks it's a fine rejoinder to Tim Farron's question about child refugees, to mock him for having fewer MPs now.

There's a word for all this. It's hubris.

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Lib Dem Win - coverage for setting up a panel on legalising cannabis

It's a political jungle out there and at the moment the Lib Dems are getting eaten alive, as we only have 8 MPs, and thus very little coverage about policy announcements.

In one part it's nice not to have daily attacks on us but the much more worrying issue is our messages have less chance of getting through to the electorate

It requires more creative use of social media, so it's good that's something that Tim Farron, our leader, and his team are very good at.

The story is great because it's evidence based, in line with Lib Dem values and popular amongst our base and beyond it. More of the same please, much more!