Saturday, 20 December 2014

Merry Christmas - What The New Year May Bring

Well Christmas is upon us and I'm personally looking forward to a very merry one. We're having friends over for dinner and there's going to be eight of us altogether, including a single mum and her three kids.

We're having turkey and three fish roast. I've got most of the ingredients in and we're ready to go. As I look over the year and how things have gone it's occurred to me to do a bit of a round-up.


Wendy Cockcroft Web Design


I used to be a web designer. I ran my own business from February 2011 to February 2012. Before that I was just foolin' around helping friends out with their sites and playing with applications CMS on my own. My hosting finally ran out though the domain is still active. I've redirected it to On t'Internet, along with Practical Digital and my .co.uk domain.

These days I'm a helpdesk adviser for a facilities management company. As a problem-solver, I'm ideal for the job and it is for me. Needless to say, I tend to bring my problem-solving to bear in other areas...

The Pirate Party


I got more involved in discussing policy, but to be perfectly honest that tends to be me complaining that they're not basing their polices on evidence and them just repeating liberal socialist nonsense. We've only got one Pirate MEP at the moment, we used to have three. NOW will they listen to me? Will they 'eck. Loz Kaye actually asked on Twitter for policy ideas and I pushed Middle-out.

Middle-out economics


This is the year I got my head around Middle-out economics. I am very much into it because I honestly think it's the future. It rewards work and works from the community out, which is a thing I've always believed in. This is also the year in which I began declaring that there's no such thing as the free market to anyone I thought would listen. Turns out they're not interested. It also seems that, despite protests to the contrary, people prefer a left-right dichotomy to trying something (more) new. As a consequence Pirates can expect lukewarm support from me at best; I'm not going to put myself out for a party that doesn't actually represent me.

Surveillance


This is the year it turns out that mass surveillance has been a thing for some time. It also emerges that our government doesn't know how to run the country so it's selling off our personal data to corporations — data gleaned from spying on us and using our medical and other data. Despite all this, terrorists are running amok shooting at, bombing, and beheading civilians here and abroad. Turns out that having all those haystacks makes the needles harder to find.

IPR


So copyright went up another 20 years. It seems our government is owned by US corporate interests and jumps when it's told to. Needless to say, the starving artist arguments came up again and again, only to be refuted again and again. I wrote up some talking points for the Pirates to avail themselves of and took down a heckler on Twitter with it.

Meanwhile, in America...


Gun nuttery and right-wing nutbaggery continue unabated while the left-liberals cheerlead a president who persecutes whistleblowers. And they wonder why there's talk of another civil war. I can't go back to Google Plus, it's full of idiots on both sides of the aisle, both of whom want to push talking points but neither of whom want to actually debate. It's the Republicans' turn to run the country at the moment; they're trying to bash Obama but there's a trade agreement that would benefit their paymasters in the works. Cue much cognitive dissonance as they try to convince themselves that they're against him but for the TTP, etc. Have fun with that one.

And the future?


I predict an escalation of the war in the Middle East with ISIS and associated groups, lessons not being learned from the last time we got involved in that mess, and further cuts in services to pay for it all. Meanwhile, the defence industry will make out like bandits.

As the public continue to question mass surveillance, I can see more terrorist actions being permitted to happen to convince us to vote otherwise. The Tories will almost certainly win the next election unless Labour can convince us they can do a better job; people swing right when they're scared and no one, to date, has even discussed this with a view to taking advantage of the lessons presented by UKIP, who will definitely win a few seats in Parliament this time around, dragging political discourse further to the right while everyone else scrambles to keep up with the prevailing trend.

If the Pirates are willing to actually use evidence-based policies and engage properly with voters instead of hoping they'll tag along, we might have a chance. As it is, I've got none standing in my area and I'm not sure if they really are the best choice if they're going to throw logic and reason out the window.

Let's see if I'm right.

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