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Yes I know there might still be a Brexit but it's not today and gosh am I relieved about that.

I told Facebook I was celebrating by going to get a prescription re-filled. Ha. I really celebrated by being able to have a normal day.

I forgot my pencil case so for today's phonology tutorial I took notes with a pen I found in the bottom of my bag. I noticed an EU flag on it and saw it was advertising a thing called Propeller that I've never heard of (I have no idea how this pen got into my possession). The flag was there next to "European Regional Development Fund."

I made a tiny bit of progress on a big uni project, walked to meet [personal profile] diffrentcolours for lunch because I had time and the weather was nice. We sat in the sun and and sandwiches (three cheese and chutney on toasted ciabatta for me) and lush chocolate cake. We talked about the European Parliament.

I went to see [personal profile] mother_bones and she said she'd been to the garden centre where the owner had taken such a large order of bog-standard terracotta flowerpots. It took her three hours to get them unloaded. She orders them from Italy now because hey aren't made in Staffordshire like they used to be. When she found out the Brexit deadline had been extended, she put in another big order.
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I spent today as well as I usually spend Lib Dem conferences: I do an exhibition stall for LGBT+ Lib Dems. Today I handed out a lot of "Trans rights are human rights" badges, signed up a fee members, answered some questions, got my picture taken with the party president, and generally spent enough time surrounded by people that I've burned through all my extraversion.

I also spent lunchtime as a panelist at a fringe called “A More Effective and Compassionate Approach to Immigration and Asylum,” where I was representing Lib Dem Immigrants and talking about the policy we helped create last conference. It was certainly good to have one of our MPs say all immigration responsibilities should be taken away from the Home Office, that asylum seekers should be allowed to work, and other things that shouldn't be as controversial as they are!
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A friend shared this article, and it's disgusting how much more sympathetically it's reported when it's a white guy rather than a brown woman. He gets to miss his mum and pasties.

My friend shared this to point out the disparity, and one of his friends, presumably in an effort not to be racist, said neither of them should be allowed to return or to keep their British citizenship.

And it just makes me so mad. Yes it would be great if we could end borders and stop treating citizens differently than everyone else. But in the meantime, revoking citizenship is incredibly serious. Being an immigrant in the UK has taught me that 99% of people born with UK citizenship have no idea what it really is, how to get it, or what it entitles a person to.

My modest proposal is that anyone who wants to revoke anybody's citizenship should have to write a damn essay on these topics.

Because now, people talk about it like its just a way to say "you smell and we don't like you." Citizenship is much too serious for such uninformed commentary.

I was about to say "if they fail their essay it's their citizenship that gets revoked" but honestly, no. It's not even fun to joke about, and if I believe the rights should be universal I have to let even uninformed bigots have them.

A few hours later, another friend shared this shitty bit of clickbait: "People who put milk in tea first to be stripped of English citizenship."

Imagine thinking that there's such a thing as English citizenship, I thought when I saw this. But that, it turned out, was the point. A representative example: "While perpetrators won’t be deported from Britain, they will have their citizenship downgraded to Scottish or as low as Welsh if it’s a repeat offense."

See, this is English people talking to themselves. Citizenship is something to joke about; this is a perfect example of how right I was to say that people talk about revoking citizenship as if it's a playground insult. The word "deported" is used so flippantly that it imperils civil society. Above all, these things are talked about merely as a means to enforce intra-British power dynamics. The fact that this was shared by a Welsh friend who doesn't like tea doesn't change the fact that people who've had to attain UK citizenship or who have ever had cause to fear deportation are not the audience here.
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The other day, swastikas were graffitied and a car was torched, both next to the mosque (which is so near to my house I saw the scorch marks from the car almost as soon as the dog and I went on our walk a couple mornings ago).

But also. People drew over the swastikas and there was a demo on the village green today (sadly run by the SWP but we can't have everything).

And I don't know whether to feel good that my community shows up to color over fascism with sidewalk chalk or just disgusted that there are National Front symbols there to be covered over in the first place.

National Front! I have the same temptation as everyone to go "what decade is this?!" but that's because I grew up learning the lie that social progress is inevitable and we can take for granted the victories of the past.

I did.

I don't any more.
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When the two drunk women in the pub wandered over to our table to admire [personal profile] miss_s_b's tattoos (they are numerous and impressive!), they probably didn't expect to end up sitting down with a tableful of LGBT+ Lib Dems.

One of them had [personal profile] miss_s_b drawing a political compass and explaining that not everything is about left and right, and the other one had the chair and secretary of Lib Dem Immigrants telling her about our work: at one point I heard her say "nineteen thousand pounds!" (which I recognize as the Minimum Income Requirement for a British spouse to bring a non-EEA spouse to the UK); she was suitably horrified.

I don't know what if any of it they'll remember when they sober up, but at least they've heard about John Stuart Mill and that the Home Office needs abolishing now.
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Today's DW meme is to look at what we were writing ten years ago. When a "post a picture of yourself from ten years ago and then one now" meme went around Facebook recently, I wasn't able to participate because I don't really have many or any pictures of myself, especially from that long ago (my FB account only goes back to 2014 I think).

But I've been blogging here (or, well, LJ but it's here now) for much longer than ten years so I was delighted to be able to go and look.

I didn't write anything exactly ten years ago; the closest was laughing at a politician who wanted "affection and sexual favors" to be a reason not to extend marriage rights to same-sex couples. Ah, back when I could laugh at irate politicians and their relative powerlessness...

The prospect of same-sex marriage got some good phrases out of those bigots. Merciless prism of equality, too.
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Yesterday when Mastodon was talking about the Iranian great-grandparents that the Home Office wants to deport, and thus inevitably about the cruelty and the unsuitability of the Home Office, someone I follow said
http://whysweetlie.blogspot.com/2014/06/the-heart-secretary-teresa-may.html
This is a poem by Wes White, an acquaintance of mine who married an American. She wanted to join him here, but could not, because their income was judged too low. May was the Home Secretary at the time, with control over immigration policy.
I thanked them for sharing the poems, which really are incredible, and they replied with a bit more of the story:
The story had a happy end: after a long campaign, she was allowed in. But if it was so hard for a white US citizen married to a (very eloquent) native Brit, it's so much harder for others. I have a lot of respect for immigrants.
Obviously as another white U.S. citizen married to a very eloquent Brit, I was sympathetic anyway. But the poems really are good. There are three, "The Heart Secretary," "Teresa," and "May." The last one is my favorite.
3. May
We married on the 18th, in a vineyard in Nebraska.
Matched cummings to Breton in our vows:
“i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart)” stood next to “My wife whose wrists are matches
Whose fingers are raffles holding the ace of hearts” -
In yellow sun and yellow dress
you looked like Disney’s Belle made flesh.
And you do. You carry and hold that card from my deck, my darling.
But this game was written by a joker,
and the hearts are trumped
by diamonds
every trick.
I'm glad it worked out for this couple. I wish it worked out for everybody.
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"Parliament are currently debating a Ten Minute Rule Bill," Andrew tells me, for reasons I can't yet fathom. Then he carries on, "About whether letterboxes should be subject to regulations."

Now the thing is, if you say that to a Lib Dem who's ever been to Glee Club, you'll have earwormed them already. "Letterboxes" is one of the most ubiquitous songs, one I learned even before I'd been because it does also get sung when we're delivering leaflets. Because it's always relevant.

"...What?" I finally said.

"Yeah," Andrew said. "Between Prime Minister's Questions, and the vote of no confidence, they're talking about this."

"Does it actually have the words 'snippy-snappy' in it?" I asked. (Apparently it doesn't. It was written by a Tory.)

'Letterboxes' lyrics )
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"Flicking the v's at you!" Andrew just said to his book. He was doing it too, of course.

He's reading a history of western philosophy (he's been ranting to me for a while now about what a dick Rouseeau is) and the sentence that inspired this reaction was something like "John Stuart Mill is not quite in the first rank of philosophers."

Andrew, a good Liberal, might be said to disagree with this, heh.
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I saw an article shared about Kyrsten Simena geting sworn in on a copy of the Arizona and U.S. constitutions rather than a religious text, which is pretty great in itself (why don't they all swear on the Constitution? that's an awesome idea) but what made me share it myself was the picture:

I said, "Making a fascist vice president glare at you like that is so totally bi culture."

When I did, a friend said, "between this and the post from Rep. Omar's father about arriving into the airport...getting a bit weepy." I didn't know this story (despite it featuring one of Minnesota's newly-famous politicians!), so went to look it up. It turns out Ilhan Omar (DFL-MN of course) and her dad realized that when they flew into Washington D.C. for her swearing-in, it was to an airport they hadn't been to since they first entered the country as refugees, twenty-three years ago. That gives me goosebumps.

Looking up that story about Rep. Omar, I also read
When she takes office, Omar will also become the first person to wear a headscarf on the House floor. During her orientation and transition period, Omar worked alongside incoming House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi and incoming House ules Committee Chairman Jim McGovern to amend a 181-year-old rule that would have forbidden her from doing so.
And it wasn't long until I read about Ilhan's co-first Muslim woman in Congress, Rashida "We're Gonna Impeach the Motherfucker" Tlaib (D-MI). Honestly I hope that is soon her official nickname.

But I'm not just happy for them because they're so cute and happy and clearly delighted to be there -- though I am (Ilhan's Twitter is a joy right now). I'm happy because they are already doing things. After the frustrating, terrifying and dangerous rhetoric we're all sick of from the Democrats (and some opposition parties in this country, ahem) that you don't want to differ too much from the ruling party or no one will vote for you, it is a relief to see "Medicare for All" (i.e. dragging the U.S. kicking and screaming into nationalized health care) and "the Green New Deal" (i.e. can we at least stop accelerating the climate catastrophe we've induced?) being seriously pursued.

They're still a long way away, and the suffering is right here now, but they're proof that the bipartisan Boomer stranglehold on U.S. politics -- which was happy to burn the oil, lowering their taxes so we can't have nice things, and securing the value of their assets and property at the expense of everyone who came after them -- may finally be breaking.

Paddy

Dec. 22nd, 2018 10:28 pm
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When Andrew said "Paddy's died," there was a big long pause before I said "Paddy Ashdown?!" it seemed impossible. Yet this single name on its own could refer to no one else in our lives.

It's a cliché to say there are people you just take for granted as always going to be around. But I guess I had been doing exactly that. I didn't even know it, until I no longer could.

I hadn't even known he was ill. It's another cliché but Paddy seemed invincible: tough as anything. There's a quote from what now has to be the Lib Dems' other beloved departed leader, Charles Kennedy, doing the rounds again today: "Paddy Ashdown is the only party leader who's a trained killer. Although, to be fair, Mrs Thatcher was self taught."

As always at this kind of news, your mind flashes back to the last time you saw the person. The last time I saw Paddy, he was telling The Joke at gleeclub. Glee is the Lib Dems' singalong, held the last night of every federal conference and it is traditional for Paddy to tell The Joke. I'd been hearing about this for years but since I'd only been able to go to one gleeclub before this and apparently I'd missed it then or he hadn't done it then, I was excited to finally be able to hear The Joke. (Which itself is a shaggy dog story; that's not the point. The point is how he tells -- told -- it, and how much everyone loved hearing it: It requires an empty bottle as a prop, and when I snuck out of Glee early, not long after he'd done it, I saw the person whose wine bottle he'd used this time bragging about this fact, and I don't know anybody else who could make someone feel special by grabbing a recyclable out of their hands.)

But only after I'd savored that memory a little did I remember the time before that that I saw Paddy Ashdown.

It had been the day before that gleeclub. Right after that immigration debate where I gave that speech, my first at conference, standing up to the party Establishment to ask my fellow Lib Dems to be more humane to immigrants, particularly disabled ones.

And it'd worked. I'd been so sure it wouldn't that I cried with relief when the vote passed. And I was still crying a few minutes later when we were all standing up and trying to get out of the hall after it was finished.

And suddenly this afternoon I remembered Paddy Ashdown being one of the first people to come up and congratulate my most visible colleague, James who'd summated the amendment after I'd proposed it, and me.

I told Andrew this and he said he didn't know that. I hadn't mentioned it to him; I'd pretty much forgotten it myself. As soon as I said it I was less sure it'd really happened: I had still been suffering from that earlier anxiety attack before I spoke and my brain doesn't form good memories then. It feels surreal and dreamlike. I was very glad that one of the first memories a friend shared of Paddy was of him congratulating James and me! It meant I hadn't dreamt it after all.

James tweeted about it very eloquently:
I only got the chance to meet Paddy this year, just briefly - but I'll very much remember him giving a warm congratulation to @hollyamory and I after a tough few days fighting to improve @LibDems immigration policy.

"You really nailed it", he said.

I intend to keep doing so.
At that point, [personal profile] po8crg reminded me that opposing the (national) establishment on immigration was one of the first major political acts he did as leader, when he stood by the people of Hong Kong all being able to enter the UK. A 1989 NY Times article about Hong Kong immigration quotes him thus:
Paddy Ashdown, leader of the Social and Liberal Democrats, has condemned the political consensus over the Hong Kong issue. ...
''This fawning before unstated popular prejudice does no credit to our leading politicians. It may not in itself be racist - but it feeds off and adds to the already dangerous level of racism within our society.''
It's true and it's important and it's still perfectly relevant today. (I take a harder line myself: I do think the fawning is racist, but it's still worth pointing out that pandering to the lowest common denominator of popular opinion is both a cause and an effect of inarguable racism.)

[personal profile] po8crg also pointed out that Paddy was still fighting for British National (Overseas) (BN(O)) passport holders to get right of abode in the UK last year, twenty-five years on.

There, so Paddy said, “I know what BN(O) stands for, it stands for Britain says no.”

I'm proud to be someone he approved of when it comes to an immigration policy.
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The UN's International Day of Migrants is December 18, so [personal profile] marjorie_bark asked me to write something about this today.

In March 2017, a group of End Deportations members blocked a deportation flight from Stansted Airport.

Just last week, this Stansted 15 were charged with "endangering the safety of an airport," under anti-terror legislation brought in after Lockerbie so it carries huge potential sentences: up to life imprisonment. All for stopping a charter flight from taking off in a peaceful protest.

Protests have been planned for today in many UK cities, including Brighton, Glasgow, Lancaster, Leeds, London, Liverpool, Nottingham and Sheffield as well as Manchester, which I'm planning to go to (5:30 to 6:30 at St. Peter's Square, if any other locals are interested; as for the rest I fear most of the details are on Facebook).

The event information says
For International Migrants Day on Tuesday 18 December, activists from all over the UK will stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15, a group of people who stopped a secret charter flight from deporting precarious migrants to destitution, persecution, and death. On Monday 10 December, the Stansted 15 were found guilty of terror-related charges. Amnesty International called the verdict a crushing blow for human rights. We are using this day to raise awareness of the plight of the Stansted 15 in addition to local migrant-rights issues in every city participating in this national day of action.

We believe that this draconian ruling was designed to thwart direct action against the UK government's brutal and violent treatment of migrants. This country’s racist and xenophobic immigration policy is rooted in its colonial history. This history continues with the mistreatment and exploitation of migrants in detention, a regime of sexual and physical violence that has resulted in over 43 migrant deaths inside ten immigration removal centres since 2000. Even when not detained, borders cross the everyday lives of all migrants, especially asylum seekers who live in enforced poverty, forbidden to work and housed in appalling privately-run accommodation. State hostility is further embedded in schools, universities, the NHS, charities and housing authorities, with employees conscripted to become border guards, making precarious the lives of so many non-EU and EU migrants and those who were born in the UK but were unable to regularise their status because of opaque immigration rules and high visa fees. The violent colonialism of the hostile environment was exposed this year by the horrible treatment of the Windrush generation, many of whom were brought to the UK to help rebuild the national economy after World War II, raising children that were born in the UK. After living in the UK for their entire lifetimes, members of these communities have found themselves cruelly detained and deported, without the ability to contest their cases.

On Tuesday 18 December, we will use our collective voices to stand in solidarity with the Stansted 15 and with all migrants, such as the women detainees in Yarl’s Wood who continue to #HungerForFreedom.

Helping migrants and stopping detention and deportations from happening in our communities is not a crime! We demand an end to the the hostile environment policy, an end to immigration detention centres and an end to deportations!

To support the Stansted 15 and End Deportations, we urge people to wear and/or make signs in pink in solidarity.
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I wrote this on Facebook this morning but wanted to include it here too.

My fictive nephew was part of the local service this morning as part of his Scout troop so I got a special invitation to go, but I couldn't bear to have anything to do with Remembrance Day this year. "Lest we forget," when recent years have shown that we've well and truly forgotten.

Trump and Brexit are both causes and effects of how thoroughly we've forgotten the dangers and brutality of nationalism. We've forgotten the non-white, non-Christian soldiers and others who died. We've forgotten how important it is to work with other countries on problems bigger than any of us.

We've forgotten and I'm sorry and ashamed.

A friend said a while ago that they remembered how much we heard about the centenary of WWI beginning in 2014 and at the time expected even more for the end in 2018.

But 2018 has been swallowed up by Brexit. 2014 seems a very long time ago now. I'm certain there will have been people at services this morning wearing poppy pins they bought from Britain First, people who voted to leave the EU which was set up specifically to stop this kind of war happening again, and it's been successful in that.

And the institutions Britain set up after the second world war -- the NHS, the welfare system -- are in peril now from those same people thinking that immigrants are ruining them. Brits are proud of the Kindertransport but the current government is doing its best not to let a single refugee child in the country now. Windrush was synbolic of another part of postwar Britain that I learned about a few years ago when it was still something Britain was proud of (celebrated during the London Olympics wasn't it?); now it's a disgrace too.

Today I can't be reverent and remember because I'm so goddam angry and disappointed. And determined to make it better.
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Andrew's listening to the History of Rome podcast, on his computer so I can hear it too.

He's on like the second episode, so the guy, Mike Duncan is talking about Romulus and how while it might seem weird to us to hear so much stuff attributed to this founder of the city, its not all that different from how Americans think about George Washington. He didn't single-handedly win the American Revolution, Duncan says. "In fact, most people don't even know how crucial French involvement was to its success."

"This was before Hamilton," I told Andrew in a theatrical aside. "People know now."

I know what Duncan says was true when he said it, but a few years can be such a long time in history.
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I started writing a huge detailed essay about my interaction with the Lib Dems' policy motion on immigration, a proper how-the-sausage-gets-made thing that was very cathartic but also full of things I shouldn't say -- both because they're not really fair to talk about in public but also because it'd be boring or confusing to anybody who doesn't care enough that they already know anyway.

To turn several screens of text into a single clause, it turned out that the part of the proposed immigration policy the leadership were digging their heels on was the part most personally affecting me.

It's a close-run thing, because one of the amendments was about reducing the fees to cost, not to let the government continue making huge profits off of ordinary people. I would never have been able to pay for citizenship on my own, and yet there's still something that has affected me more than the many thousands I've paid out (it's esitmated to cost £7,000 to pay all the application fees involvined in immigrating here now, but it was only ("only," she laughs bitterly) about half that when I did it because they're hiking up the fees so much every year).

But another of the amendments was about something even closer to my heart. No Recourse to Public Funds )

So our Home Affairs spokesperson, an MP and former cabinet minister, got up to propose this policy motion and speciffically mentioned as a point of pride that we'd only have No Recourse to Public Funds for two years and how disabled people would be okay because there would be exceptions for them... and then people started talking about the amendments that had been chosen for debate. The first two were very good but I confess to not remembering the speeches because I was so nervous.

I wasn't nervous about public speaking, which I love doing. I had been excitesd and honored to have been chosen to propose this amendment, suddenly most important because it was the one that had all the resistance while the others were not being opposed by the leadership. I felt I was representing Lib Dem Immigrants, of which I was a founder member a year ago, and all my friends and colleagues in the party who wanted as much liberalism in our immigration policy as possible.

But that wasn't why I was nervous. I was nervous because I'd just had a panic attack and I'd worried it was still obvious on my face that I'd been crying. )

The silver lining of this horrid brain/body overload was that I had exactly no time or energy for worrying about actually speaking. I got up on that stage worried about exactly two things: was my face still red/blotchy from crying and was I going to fall down the stairs getting on/off the stage. (Of course there was step-free access but I couldn't see it and reasoned it must be somewhere behind the stage, probably dark, and that dark/unfamiliar places would be less good for me than dealing with the three or four steps everyone else was using at the front of the stage. Plus the hall aide was Zoe, a friend of mine, and when she asked if I would want help getting onto the stage I felt good about saying yes, so she just walked with me and I didn't fall down the stairs.)

But even with goals like that I don't think I could be faulted for a lack of ambition. I am an ordinary member; I've never spoken at Conference before; I'm not on important committees and no one important knows who I am. And yet here I was trying to tell people the MP, former cabinet minister, who'd proposed this motion was wrong on this subject and that I was right and that people should vote for what I said I wanted.

And they did.

As Lib Dem Immigrants told our members today,
we as a party can say: If you're married to someone British, you should be able to live here with them. No ifs, no buts, no means-testing. This is in contrast to the policies of the Conservative and Labour parties, and we urge them to follow our lead. As we campaign for Equal Marriage for LGBT+ couples, so also for mixed-nationality couples.
Like all our conference speakers, I was on BBC Parliament, so I've put the video from that feed, and a transcript of my speech, here if anybody is interested in even more detail than I've burdened you with here.



Featured on Liberal Democrat Voice
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Andrew has found numbers on 538 for the midterms, so he's asking me which congressional district is mine and stuff.

I know the answer to that. But then he kept talking about the other ones, and I'm like how surprised should I be that that one's expected to flip Democrat? which one's the 7th again?

So I said "Can you not get me a map of Minnesota with all the congressional districts that I can hang right here so I have some idea what you're talking about when this happens?" (It happened not that long ago, another late-night conversation about Minnesota politics; that's when I taught him how to say names like "Ole" (which is a given name) and "Edina" (which is a town).)

Andrew looked on Amazon and couldn't find that but has found a coloring book of all the states where you can color the congressional districts!

It's called United Shapes of America. One of its authors is the 9-year-old daughter of the other; her author bio says she "enjoys reading, drawing and Taekwondo. She wants to be an astronomer and find life on other planets." I am utterly charmed.

I have too many coloring books I'm not using, or I'd have bought it already.

Heck no

May. 23rd, 2018 09:05 am
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I've signed a million petitions since the reign of POTUS45 began, of course, so I get all kinds of e-mails. It's nice to see the odd one that's daring to make their campaign a little different. Yesterday's:
On June 5th, you’ll have an opportunity to amplify that message. You can “Give ’em Heck” in Iowa. And in the process say “Heck No” to more pipelines.
"Give 'em Heck" is pretty strong words for this part of the country.

With "heck" now being associated with doggo internet language, I was half expecting a picture of a stern-looking pupper to accompany this message.

269

May. 5th, 2018 06:47 am
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Well, the opposition on Manchester council has doubled!

We've gone from 95 Labour councilors to 94. So it's about the most pitiful doubling you can imagine but hey. It's movement in the right direction.

Whatever one thinks of Labour nationally, here they are corrupt and taking Manchester's vote for granted: they're not building any social housing, they're a national disgrace on things like drug use and homelessness, they won't let in a single Syrian refugee, and they need some goddam accountability and opposition. I don't think anyone should be in unopposed power; even my ideal Lib Dem-run council would have an opposition party because its not good for anyone to get lazy and complacent and selfish and that's too easy to do when no one shares your power and will use that to point out that you are.

As for me personally, despite being utterly unable to do even the little campaigning I had promised to because I was snowed under with tests and exams, plus a bunch of grown-up problems like the dog needing to go to the vet, having two plumber visits in three days...I still managed to get what [personal profile] miss_s_b called "a very creditable" result for the first election I'd stood in.

I think we were successful in our real goals too: we have a bit more work put in and we can hopefully keep moving forward with that next year.
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I try not to talk negatively about my own political party in public, because we have all of the media to do plenty of that for us, while the positive things go unnoticed or misunderstood.

But as several of us have said, the consultation on what our immigration policy should be is abominable. I've been mired in it this week, trying to face up to questions awful both in style (unevidenced assertions, soliciting opinion on matters of fact, leading questions) and substance (bigotry worthy of Nigel Farage or the Daily Mail).

I wish I could say I didn't, but I feel personally attacked by this consultation paper. However! I'm buoyed by how many of my friends are sharing the words they've used to stand up and speak up against it; this is also something I'm taking personally.

When the questions made me nearly cry from frustration or fear that the world may never improve, these people make me nearly cry with their unashamed support for me, and for other immigrants who've had it much worse, and for refugees and asylum seekers.

Most spectacularly, and the one I can share with you verbatim, is Andrew's. He's gone on a proper tour de force here.It includes so many good bits that [personal profile] miss_s_b said she kept reading bits of it out to [personal profile] matgb until she just read the whole thing to him.

It's basically summed up in this paragraph.
I urge that this consultation be dropped as the appalling piece of racism appeasement that it is, and that those responsible consider the idea that at a time when the country is about to go through the catastrophe that is Brexit because for the last thirty years nobody in the mainstream of politics has dared to stand up and tell racists that they might be wrong about anything rather than pandering to their so-called “legitimate concerns”, when even the economic profit and loss calculations that this consultation prizes so much more highly than human beings are being destroyed thanks to hatred of immigration, it might — it just might — be time for a political party to suggest trying something else instead?
But the beat paragraph for my mental/emotional equilibrium is probably
My wife being here has brought me untold benefits, even though by any purely economic cost/benefit analysis I, as principal earner in our household, am down many thousands of pounds by her presence (many of those thousands being money paid to the vicious bureaucracy that this consultation paper presupposes needs only minor tweaks). Perhaps the people in charge of this consultation believe I should send her a bill for the tens of thousands of pounds I have spent on her over the years, for which all I have received in return are love and affection and companionship and other such trivialities which affect the exchequer not one whit.

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