Sexual harassment and assault of women on trains must be taken more seriously

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I am rather embarrassed when I see members of my own gender rushing into comments threads about women’s rights/safety with “This is sexist against men”/”What about men/everybody”-type comments.

A) It’s boring. B) It’s embarrassing. Do they not realise how stupid they look? Continue reading

Conference Countdown 2015: Human Rights motion – we need to be careful not to throw the baby out with the bath water

As many will know, there is an excellent motion on Human Rights to be debated at the Bournemouth conference. I have set out the motion below this post.

I have one query which readers may be to help me with.

It pertains to this section of the motion:

Conference resolves to:
…C. Retain the Human Rights Act unless it is replaced with a Bill of Rights which incorporates and builds on those rights set out in the ECHR and oppose any attempts by Conservatives to introduce a British Bill of Rights which does not achieve this.

Continue reading

How would Jeremy Corbyn actually lead the Labour party?

It was bad enough watching Ed Miliband rather out of his depth as leader of the Labour party. He seemed to sit back in his study quite a lot, talking with his inner circle. He did quite well at PMQs sometimes. But you got the impression that he wasn’t really fully in charge. This was made worse by unfortunate (and somewhat irrelevant) incidents such as the bacon sandwich episode. Continue reading

Disgraceful attitude to mental health disguised by the warm words of Iain Duncan-Smith

Listening to Iain Duncan-Smith can be enough to send anyone to sleep. He drones on and one can be lulled into thinking he is being quite reasonable.

However, behind his warm words, there is a chilling attitude to disabilities and particularly to mental illness.

He seems to be saying: There must be something you can do if you are suffering from depression.

And: If we start cutting your benefits, that’ll act as a little nudge to push you gently into work.

Blimey. What planet does he live on?

Having had a little experience of mental illness and those suffering from such long-term disabilities, I have to say that none of this washes. Continue reading

From Major-General to Daniel Radcliffe

On my Spotify I am enjoying the Major General’s Song from Pirates of Penzance – it still amazes me that anyone can sing all those words in such a short space of time. Tom Lehrer took Gilbert and Sullivan’s tune from that song and turned it into the “The Elements”, which Daniel Radcliffe uses as his amazing party piece. So here’s the Major General, Tom Lehrer and Daniel Radcliffe in that order:

The magic of Slim Harpo

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I am rediscovering my love of music. After surviving on a very limited playlist of my “device” for a while, I have now invested in a UE Bluetooth Boom box, which is excellent, plus subscribing to Spotify Premium. I figure that when my music discovery voyage was at its height, I used to spend a fortune on vinyl, so forking out on Spotify is much less than that.

This week I stumbled upon the music of Slim Harpo. He was a Louisiana-based “swamp blues” artist who lived from 1924 to 1970. I don’t know how he managed it, but every track of his is pure gold – each a bit different, with a fantastic sound. Part of the magic is that it was all recorded using valves and in one take in an echoey studio, which gives the music a wonderful sound.

Here’s a couple of great tracks from him: