Blocked

Imagine waking up one morning in the not so distant future. You reach for your phone and none of your apps work, you can’t access your email, all your social media accounts have been deleted.

You can’t get any money out at the bank because your facial recognition is not working and you have no way of hailing an autonomous taxi.

You find out you have no job because you can no longer access the app that gives you shifts on a flexible basis.

People on the street avoid you, they all know you have been blocked.

Maybe you criticised the big monopoly tech …

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Welcome to my day- 18 December 2017: putting up the decorations…

Good morning! Yes, it’s the last Monday before Christmas, and politics is, in theory, winding down towards the transition to peace and goodwill to all. And yet, the DExEU equivalent of Bob Cratchit is probably hard at work preparing for Phase 2 of the Brexit negotiations. Not an enviable task, I suggest… If you’re watching, Bob, here’s a cheery penguin to admire…

We’re expecting a fairly quiet day here at LDV Towers. I’ll be taking my regular look ahead at this week in the Lords – yes, they’re still there – and we …

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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #499

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 499th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (10-16 December, 2017), together with a hand-picked seven you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

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Don’t feel too sorry for Nigel Farage

I know that many of us who read and contribute to this site are pretty much bleeding heart liberals.

Our hearts are not bleeding, though, when we hear Nigel Farage whinging in the Daily Mail about how hard his life is. He complains about being skint and how there’s no money in politics.  

His near £90k salary apparently isn’t enough for him to live on. I’m sure  someone struggling on Universal Credit would have a different perspective.

But his MEP salary isn’t his only source of income. He doesn’t do all his media stuff for nothing. His most recent update to …

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Vince: Brexit has no good options

Vince Cable has been on Pienaar’s Politics on Radio 5 Live this morning. He told Pienaar and journalists Paul Waugh and Kate McCann there there were no good outcomes to Brexit.

There are no good options now. We are either going to get a very poor deal or none at all.

He added that the Single market was originally a British project and walking away imposes very major economic costs.

Those costs aren’t being felt yet as business is “sitting on its hands” waiting to see what emerges from the negotiations:

We haven’t got to decision point yet. All the Government has done is got through the first stage of agreeing to have negotiations and what happens then will determine whether there will be large scale disinvestment from the UK.

He confirmed that, when the Bill goes to the Lords, Lib Dem peers will be working with dissident Tory and Labour peers to “improve” the legislation, particularly by adding in a commitment to remain in the single market and customs union.

By the time the Bill comes back to the Commons, those MPs who favour the single market may well be prepared to vote for it.

More and more people were becoming disillusioned with Brexit, he added. He reminded everyone, as you would expect, that we would be pushing for an exit from Brexit referendum, emphasising that it isn’t a second referendum, but the chance for the public to have the final say on the deal. 

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The better angels of our nature

The US state of Alabama went to the polls this week in an election that can hardly have been more polarised.

In what is normally rock solid Republican territory, the GOP candidate Roy Moore faced Democrat Doug Jones. Mr Moore, a right winger opposes abortion in all circumstances, thinks homosexuality is a sin and believes Muslims should not be allowed to hold government jobs.

However Moore’s political views were not what made this race competitive.

The surfacing of allegations of sexually inappropriate behaviour was the issue that dogged him during the campaign. It made his principle opponent a contender in a state that the Democrats hadn’t won for decades.

Jones, who has never held office, but is well known in the state for his involvement in a high profile prosecution of Klansmen, was sneeringly described by President Trump as a liberal Democrat in a statement endorsing Moore.

This from a man who with every passing day reminds the Stephen King fans amongst us of the megalomaniac politician, Greg Stillson, from the Dead Zone.

That said these days most Republicans are pretty scary.

You have to go back a long way to find a GOP liberal of the Rockerfeller variety.

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Poll gives Remain a 10 point lead over Leave – what does this mean?

A BMG poll for the Independent shows a majority of those asked are now in favour of remaining in the European Union. In fact, Remain has a 10 point lead over leave which widens to 11% when you exclude the don’t knows:

When a weighted sample of some 1,400 people were asked: “Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union, or leave the European Union?” – 51 per cent backed Remain, and 41 per cent backed Leave.

7 per cent said “don’t know” and 1 per cent refused to answer.

After “don’t knows” were either pushed for an answer or otherwise excluded, 55.5 per cent backed Remain and 44.5 backed Leave.

Polling since this time last year appears to demonstrate a clear trend; Leave enjoyed a lead last December which gradually shrank, before turning into a lead for Remain in the month of the general election, that has since grown.

So by the time the Government drags us out of the EU, it is likely that a majority of people will be in favour of staying. How can that possibly be legitimate?

This poll does come with a bit of a health warning. The fieldwork was carried out during that week where the deal over the Irish situation was unravelling in slow motion in front of our eyes. However, the deal that was reached on 8th December, the final day of the fieldwork, is simply a bit of fudge covered with sticking plaster resolving none of the key issues. Those problems will loom large in the early months of 2018.

What if the polls turned? Surely the Government would be compelled to test whether their deal has public sympathy.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCllr Mark Wright 18th Dec - 4:11pm
    This sounds like a Black Mirror episode. Be worried.
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 18th Dec - 3:59pm
    A very important piece from Darren Liberalism , and humanitarianism, should understand power and people. We have lost sight of the power of the individual...
  • User AvatarDarren Martin 18th Dec - 3:47pm
    Nonconformistradical- I did include links in the article I submitted, must have been left out when posted. But thanks!
  • User AvatarPsi 18th Dec - 3:46pm
    matt "I will chalk that one up to a slight exaggeration from a Brexiter" You're barely a trainee exaggerator by Brexit levels, out by only...
  • User AvatarWilliam Fowler 18th Dec - 3:34pm
    I got banned by ebay for some still unknown reason (said risky behaviour) despite 100 percent feedback etc and using it mostly to buy stuff,...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 18th Dec - 3:14pm
    If anything good is going to come out of Brexit, it is that politicians understand what the leave vote is pointing towards. It was a...