Archive for September 2010
Want a leader that stands for civil liberties, equality (gender, sexuality, race, age), political reform, the rights of workers, the environment, challenging the record, optimism…? A leader who believes in work, but unlike the Deputy Prime Minister does not stereotype those who cannot work and does not think all self-worth comes from (paid) work. His record does not bear out all of these things, this I know, but he said Labour were wrong on 90 days, wrong on OTT application of anti-terrorism laws, wrong on Iraq. I’d rather have a leader who admits he is wrong and moves to the correct position, than one who said that VAT increases were regressive and terrible, that cuts were objectionable, that disabled people needed support and free schools were a bad thing, and moved his position to the wrong one as soon as he got power. Or one who has ideological objections to some of the things I hold most dear.
This may be idealistic, but for now I’m in. Cautious optimism. Just…sort out the music supervision, nobody needs to hear Kings Of Leon or Vampire Weekend bookending speeches again.
Here’s the text of Ed’s speech, from LabourList.
Oh, and because the gag had to be made given the tagline of the speech:
Harriet Harman, Yvette Cooper and co speak in the above video about what it’s like to be a female MP, and activists discuss the disproportional effect of the budget on women and the length of time it might take to achieve equal representation. Newer MPs like my MP Rachel Reeves talk eloquently about the way male MPs, particularly on the Government’s benches, make patronising and inappropriate comments about appearance and clothes while thinking they’re being polite and gentlemanly. Note to blokes – it’s not. If you wouldn’t regularly compliment Dave on his suits, ask Danny if he’s had a haircut recently as his glorious red hair looks marvellous or tell Nick green’s a good colour on him and really brightens up the place, don’t do it to your female colleagues.
Lead4Women campaigned for a Labour Party Leader who would, as the name on the tin says, Lead For Women. They wrote letters to all the candidates, asking them a set of questions. Ed Miliband committed to a 50:50 male:female shadow cabinet in his response – L4W are now working on holding him to his promises.
The I’m a WAG campaign has a tongue in cheek name standing for Women Against George – in recognition of the fact that the new Chancellor’s cuts disproportionally affect women:
“George Osborne’s cuts to the Health in Pregnancy grant, the Sure Start Maternity Allowance, Child Tax Credits and Child Benefit expose how he and the Coalition are not on women’s sides.
Women are at the very heart of family and society, and with lower Carers Allowance payments, cuts to housing benefit, and the rise in VAT, this Tory Government propped up by the Lib Dems is just throwing more hurdles in the way of hard working women.”
So the first Miliband I met snatched it in the end, in a very close vote that made AV look exciting to me and the electoral college system and the idea of union members having their own individual votes seem apparently incomprehensible to journalists.
Ed Miliband is the new leader of the Labour Party. Hurray, now we can get on with the business of Opposition…and I can get on with revising for my exams.
I am even more excited than usual about my Dr. Martens boots this morning, thanks to filming pics from the next series of Doctor Who showing that Karen Gillan as Amy Pond is wearing my current favourite pair – of which more later. Scroll to FIFTH PAIR, if you’re lazy.
First, a little history. I always wanted a pair of DMs. Come on, I was a teen in the ’90s. I was skint and every time I tried them on, my feet were too narrow for them to fit properly. My sister got some green 1460s and I was very jealous. Then when I moved to London and got my first proper job during the dotcom bubble, just over ten years ago, I went nuts and bought two pairs in a week. Figured I could stuff them with orthotic insoles and wear an extra pair of socks to make them fit comfortably. And so I did…
FIRST PAIR – RED PATENT 1460
Bought in Camden, 2000. I adored these, I had black shaggy hair and stomped about being punky. I wore them on and off for years, but they’re now showing their age – they’re discoloured and cracking (see below). I can’t bring myself to throw them away, though.
SECOND PAIR – CHERRY RED VELVET 1460s
Bought in High Street Kensington, I think, 2000. These are still going strong – every time velvet comes back into fashion, I drag out my jackets and these little beauties. <3
THIRD PAIR – BLACK INDUSTRIAL/1920
Purchased in Leeds, 2005. With steel toe caps and weighing over a kilo each, these are hardcore. I bought them from my old workplace – they sold a small range of workwear and industrial footwear and these were an uncollected customer order. They just happened to be my size, and when they emailed around the list of cheap clearance and uncollected items, I had to have them. I performed at Glastonbury that year. It was very muddy and these were a lifesaver. They’ve been to every festival since – even if it’s dry, they make excellent tent peg mallets.
FOURTH PAIR – BROWN NEW AUTHENTIC WEDGE ZIP CALF BOOT
Bought with Amazon vouchers earned from doing surveys online in a time of particular misery and poverty, 2008. Apart from the fifth pair, of which more shortly, these are my most worn boots. I wished (and still do) that I’d been able to afford them in all the colours available. I live in fear of the soles wearing out. They gave me back the confidence to wear short skirts and dresses. People were already saying I looked like a Doctor Who companion before anyone saw Amy Pond’s short skirt/boot costumes. I wore them to meet Lis Sladen, who plays Sarah Jane Smith. Brilliant.
FIFTH PAIR – BLACK MIRAGE TRIUMPH 1914 W
Aren’t they amazing? I lusted after these for ages, but couldn’t afford them. Heartbreaking. Then earlier this year, I won a competition on the Dr. Martens blog for VIP tickets to Benicassim festival. Unfortunately, the prize didn’t include travel or accommodation, and as our car had just required very expensive repairs and an MOT, we couldn’t afford to accept the prize. Thankfully Phil at Dr. Martens was lovely about it and said I could pick any pair of DMs I liked as an alternative prize. MY DREAM BOOTS. I have worn them near constantly ever since.
Last night, I saw some filming photographs from the set of the new series of Doctor Who. Amy Pond (Karen Gillan), the Doctor (Matt Smith) and Rory Williams (Arthur Darvill) all looked awesome in their new clobber. And then…hang on…are those my boots?
AMY POND IS WEARING MY BOOTS! FOR AT LEAST ONE EPISODE! AMY POND IN TRIUMPH 1914 DR. MARTENS, JUST LIKE ME. INCREDIBLE!
I am not a cosplayer, but I’m ever so happy about this news. Now, I wonder what my sixth pair of Docs will be and what stories they will have to tell…?
So, here we are at the final furlong. Votes close in the Labour Party Leadership Election 2010 on Wednesday (21st September) and the result is announced a week today (Saturday 25th September). Handy timetable from the Party’s website.
I voted online earlier today – for those who don’t know, they send you physical ballot papers but also codes so you can vote on a special website – and I am not telling you who I voted for. Also included were various other internal elections, of limited interest to those outside the Party. I had two leadership votes, as a member of Labour Students as well as the Party proper. I used my preferences slightly different on each – Labour Party leaders are voted in using the AV system of preferential voting. I will back whoever wins as unity is important. Also I’ve met them all and heard them all speak, and there’s only one candidate I would be seriously unhappy with as leader, and that candidate is unlikely to win.
The picture at the top of this post is of a mere fraction of the gubbins I have been sent or handed during the campaign, and doesn’t include the vast number of emails, texts and phone calls I have also received. The Party send you booklets with statements from the various candidates, the candidates’ teams post and hand out leaflets and I also signed up to several campaigns directly for more information, so it’s my own fault that I now have a shoebox full of stuff relating to this election.
Here are my past posts on the subject of this election, most recent first:
And a link to all my photographs, also most recent first. Please note that the number of photographs per candidate, quality of shot and which candidates I have had my photographs taken with only reflect the lighting conditions, distance from the candidate and access I had, rather than indicating my preferences:
Roll on Saturday 25th September! If only I had the time and money to go to Conference this year…
Again, I’m very busy and short of time, but here now are my photos from David Miliband’s individual hustings in Horsforth late last month. Some I will post here, the rest can be found in the Flickr set: David Miliband in Horsforth 22/08/10
Ballot papers start going out from today for the Labour leadership election. I have a clear idea of my preferences (David Miliband, Ed Miliband and Andy Burnham – surprising nobody – though I hope Ed Balls gets a good job where he can be a solid attack force), but the order keeps changing. Closer to the close of the election, I will link to the candidates’ manifestos. Please note that cheerleading or endorsements from politicians, celebrities, friends and others will not affect my vote, though Patrick Stewart’s speech is quite nice:
I know that some people have found the contest to be long and boring, but as a new member with more interest in national than local politics, I’ve found it to be exciting, engaging and an invaluable way in to a more party political life. I’ve loved the hustings, though they have been pretty much uniformly badly lit for those of us with cheap compact cameras.
David’s Horsforth meeting was the most “intimate” I have attended yet, even though probably double the number of people were there than were at Andy Burnham’s Oracle bar meeting a few days previously. It felt a lot more “local” – in keeping with the surroundings out in Horsforth and David’s childhood there rather than in a city centre bar, theatre foyer, big hall or civic chamber. We met some wonderful older party members, who really made us feel welcome and were full of passion and wisdom, and I was sitting a short distance from David for the whole meeting. I found the observation of body language, tone of voice etc very interesting. I don’t get the whole “robotic” thing with DM, incidentally, as in person he never comes across that way, but the “presidential” vibes are indeed strong.
Politics pervs may find some of the close-ups interesting. Ha.