Sunday, 30 November 2008

Scottish Labour Youth and Students' Conference

I just got back from Glasgow where I was part of a four person delegaion to this year's Scottish Labour Youth and Students' Conference. I think I'll start off by praising the running of the conference. There was a fantastic range of speakers (Jim Murphy, MP Secretary of State for Scotland; Iain Gray, Labour Leader in the Scottish Parliament; Johann Lamont [Aside: She's not pretentious like that old Tory Norman so please pronounce it correctly.], Deputy Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament; Catherine Stihler, MEP; Pauline McNeill, MSP; Alan Jamieson and Jenny Murdoch, Scottish Labour Party {Campaign Training}; Stephanie Peacock, NEC Youth Rep.; Drew Smith, Chair STUC Youth Committee; and two Union Representatives from GMB Scotland] all of whom I'd like to thank for first of all taking the time to come and speak to us, but more importantly making the effort to engage with young voters.

The meals provided were also fantastic and that along with the general running of the conference is a credit to Jillian Merchand and Kirsty Connell the respective Chairs for the last year of Scottish Labour Students' and Scottish Young labour, so here's a big thanks to them and good wishes to them in the future.

The Conference produced one exciting bit of news for me, in that I have been elected to an Ordinary Committee member post on the Scottish Labour Students' Committee. i hope to use this position to increase our web footprint and include the cohesiveness of our web strategy.

I would say more but I'm tired after two days of conference and a two and a half hour train ride, and Match of the Day 2 is on; so goodnight.

Saturday, 29 November 2008

Senator Bill Clinton?

Amid the blizzard of résumés blanketing Washington as the Obama era dawns, there is a superbly qualified candidate for full employment whose name has been overlooked. We refer, of course, to William Jefferson Clinton, America's 42nd chief executive and commander in chief. Yet now, by a wonderful combination of circumstances, comes an opportunity to harness his unquestioned political talents to benefit his country, the Democratic Party, New York state and his spouse. If, as is expected, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton becomes secretary of state, New York Gov. David Paterson could send her husband to the U.S. Senate.

[Source:The Washington Post via Ed Brayton at ScienceBlogs]

I find this idea intriguing. I was only 15 when Clinton left office so I don't really know how his term was viewed here in Britain but he seems like he was an excellent President and like he would be a great Senator. The main drawback that immediately springs to mind would be the danger that a return to politics could hinder Hilary's career by pulling the spotlight from her. It also would make it easier for misogynists (As in the majority men. Sorry if you don't like it, but to one degree or another it's true and a lot of those that aren't direct misogynists help extend gender inequality by refusing to recognise its extent.) to rationalise away her success as being a result of her husband.

Friday, 28 November 2008

Spotlight on Europe: Activities of the EU 1

The rest of Europe has a very large influence on the UK:

"3.5 million jobs in the UK are linked, directly and indirectly, to the export of goods and services to the EU. The estimated employment gains from the single market amount to 1.4% of total employment in the EU in 2006 – equivalent to 2.75 million jobs.

57% of total British trade is with the EU. British companies exported approximately £150 billion worth of goods to the EU27 in 2006 – 62% of total exports, and a rise of 24% compared to 2005.

With more than 490 million citizens, the EU is the largest multi-lateral trading bloc in the world, accounting for 20% of world trade.
Economic analysts estimate that the recently agreed Services Directive could be worth approximately £5 billion annually to the UK economy, and could deliver around 600,000 new jobs.

British Nationals made 53 million visits to the rest of Europe in 2006 – a 50% rise since 1998. 5% - that’s 2.2 million – British Nationals now own property overseas. 4% are elsewhere in Europe.

Full liberalisation of the ‘network’ industries in the EU (eg telecommunications, air travel) could increase prosperity by a further 1.3-1.7% of GDP – up to €95 billion – and increase employment by between 140,000 and 360,000 jobs."

However it is not always clear what specific bodies of the EU do. To the end of learning more about Europe and our role in modern Europe I intend to commence a series of quasi-regular posts detailing the make-up and activities of the EU. Hopefully it will illuminate a lot of the good work that the EU does, and dis-spell some of the overblown euro-sceptic propaganda published by the Daily Mail et al.

This series will start with a couple of articles from the BBC:

Drug firms 'block cheap medicine'

The European Commision has accused pharmaceutical companies of deliberately delaying the entry of generic drugs into the market costing European health care providers “$3.9bn (£2.5bn) in savings between 2000 and 2007”.

The Commission said that innovators filed multiple applications to stop generic drugs getting to market - in one case, there were 1,300 patents for a single drug.

The report found that owners of original drugs often intervened in national approval procedures for generic medicines.

The European Federation of Pharmaceutical Industries and Associations (EFPIA) refutes these claims and argues that greater competition between generic drug manufacturers would precipitate a drop in the price of drugs:

The EFPIA - which said the Commission's report missed the opportunity to tackle the real issues facing the industry - called for a more competitive market for generic drugs, pointing out that Europeans pay more for generic drugs than US citizens.

In response to claims that the delayed or blocked sale of generic drugs was pushing up healthcare costs, the EFPIA said: "A single member state, the Netherlands, achieved greater savings - up to 400m euros - in one year, on only 33 medicines, simply by promoting greater price competition between generics."

They make an interesting point there, but I wonder exactly how competition is helped by the pressing of multiple lawsuits and the application of hundreds of redundant patents:

There were nearly 700 cases of reported patent litigation and more than 200 settlements between brand name drug companies and generic companies.

I don’t buy into the demonization of pharmaceutical companies. Whilst I agree that like the majority of companies they are interested mostly in profit, I also recognise the vital role they play in society by their production of medicines and other vital chemical products. A balance must be struck between providing cheap medication whilst also encouraging drug development by allowing the developers to benefit from their hard work and innovation. However in this case it seems that the pharmaceutical companies have used their financial muscle to inhibit innovation and quite rightly they have been criticised for it.

EU ready to accept 10,000 Iraqis

Also from the BBC comes the news that more Iraqi refugees are to be allowed to settle in the EU. I welcome this news as, although a lot of Iraq’s problems are due to sectarianism, the 2003 invasion of Iraq and the fall out caused by the insurgence has caused a lot of displacement of people, and since several EU members took part in that invasion I feel we have to take responsibility for the consequences. Particularly when it comes to the innocent victims of conflict.

The European Union says it is ready to accept up to 10,000 Iraqi refugees, many of whom are living in extreme hardship in Jordan and Syria.

Priority will be given to those with medical needs, torture victims, single mothers and religious minorities.

Some countries are taking substantial numbers in:

Germany said it would take in about 2,500 of the refugees.

Sweden says it received about 18,000 Iraqi asylum seekers in 2007 - more than half the total that entered the EU last year.

Unfortunately the UK isn’t accepting anywhere near as many as we really should given our central role in the Iraq war:

A UK Home Office spokesperson said the UK had "already shown its clear determination to support Iraqi refugees through the Gateway Programme, with over 200 people resettled in the UK since April and more arriving in the coming months".

The number of displaced Iraqis is estimated by the UNHCR to be in the region of 4,000,000. This number dwarfs the mere 200 who have been given refuge in the UK in the past 7 months. We should be doing more to see out our responsibilities. We didn't cause all of Iraq's problems but our intervention in the country militarily means we must share the burden of finding solutions.

What do you think of these two articles?
How do you feel about the EU?
What would you like to see change in the relationship between the UK and the rest of Europe? For example, should we adopt the Euro?

Please feel to make any other comments. Thank you.

Children in care 'at more risk'

This is a disturbing article from the BBC. It seems that the City Council's inability to balance its budget is starting to hit the most vulnerable members of society. It is dismaying to see a breakdown in the duty of care that any government has to children in its custody, especially when the Council is continuously slashing the budget. Childcare and child protection should never be compromised.

One of Scotland's leading children's charities has expressed major concerns about the risks to children in the care of Aberdeen City Council.

Who Cares? Scotland said it was worried that low funding means it now could not be involved in meaningful consultations with children and young people.

It comes as the local authority is seeking to make £24m worth of cuts.
Aberdeen City Council said it had answered the letter but would not make further comment.

Who Cares? Scotland provides a voice for children and young people in care north of the border.

It runs advocacy services, looking after children's interests and rights.

'Limited service'

But BBC Scotland has learned that a letter written by the director of the charity, Heather Gray, indicates that those interests and rights are at risk.

Her letter was written in September to Aberdeen City Council's interim chief execeutive Robert Coomber.

Ms Gray expresses concern at low funding levels, claiming there had been a reduction in her service.

She said this was a "dangerously low level of independent advocacy" and that it was "not possible to deliver anything other than a very limited service".

Ms Gray concludes that this will result in an "increased risk for looked-after children".

Thursday, 27 November 2008

Leaks and Cameron's Man

Just found this on the BBC website, my particular favourite part of it is the quote from the tory official that say "As shadow immigration minister, Mr Green has, on a number of occasions, legitimately revealed information which the Home Office chose not to make public".

Now maybe its just me but I would think that if the Home office which is the organisation that is in charge of the fight against crime and terrorist activity as well as the Immigration Department has decided not to release something to the public then maybe its not a conspiracy maybe they actually have a good reason.

You know the sort of thing, ongoing criminal investigation, not wanting immigration rings to know stuff, you know the sort of thing whats it called again, aye that's right PROTECTING THE PUBLIC.

Clearly doing that is the last thing on this tories mind.

Statement from the Prime Minister on the attacks in Mumbai

Gordon Brown has spoken of his shock and outrage at the terror attacks that took place overnight in Mumbai and pledged assistance to British nationals caught up in the violence.

Speaking to journalists in Downing Street, the PM said that British counter-terror officers were on their way to the Indian city to assist local authorities and that a crisis centre had been set up at the Foreign Office for concerned friends and relatives.

The PM said:

“I think I speak for the whole world - shock and outrage at the tragic destruction of innocent lives. I have already sent my sympathy and support to Prime Minister Singh of India and to say we will do everything we can to help the Indian government.

“Our first duty is towards British people caught up in this terror in Mumbai…it is too early to say any numbers for the numbers of people who are injured - we will give that during the course of the day - what I can assure you is we are doing everything within our power.”

A number of terrorist gunmen launched coordinated attacks in various locations in India’s financial capital last night, including at the Chatrapathi Sivaji rail station and the Taj Mahal hotel. Reports suggest that more than 100 people may have lost their lives.

The Prime Minister pledged to “root out terrorism” and called for the sharing of information between countries on the activities of suspected extremists. The world “has to come together to fight these terrorist groups”, he said.

The 24-hour Foreign Office helpline is +44 (0)20 7008 0000. More information can be seen on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office website

News from Anne Begg MP

Dear Friend,

Are you fed up of Christmas shopping?
Do you want an excuse to get out of the library and also help the Labour Party in the process?
Then I have the perfect opportunity for you!

I will be conducting a leafleting session to deliver my Council Cuts Survey on Saturday 6th December, with a free lunch provided afterwards.

Everyone will be assembling at the Unison Office on Victoria Street (west end of Union Street) at 10am with the leafleting session concentrating on the Ferryhill, Rosemount, Peterculter and Queens Cross areas of the constituency.

While I realise that you will already be very busy with your studies at this time of year, all donations of time will be gratefully received.

Anne Begg MP

For our 50th post, an economics leson for Cameron

There's an excellent page at the labour homepage that dismantles the Tories ramshackle and disjopinted economic "policy". (Maybe George Osborne should spend more time thinking about the economy and less time with Russian businessmen.) Sadly David gets an F for this piece of work.

And through the power of the internet we can see quite how badly he did on this very site:

[Edit]: Well that was the idea at least, but it would seem that the blog isn't wide enough to display it properly.

Hopefully in the future we'll see a lot more of this excellent use of technology, and a fantastic and intuitive way of presenting the Labour message.

Wednesday, 26 November 2008

This week's schedule from the Club Secretary

For anyone not on our mailing list but still interested in the club this is the content of an e-mail sent out by peter, our Club Secretary:

Comrades [Editor: Peter going old school here]

Well here it is the eagerly awaited for weekly email from the Labour Club.

Just a short one this week as I know that lots of people are busy with essays.

The Big event for this week is our meeting on Friday at 5pm in the Hub, it will either be in room 2 or 3 which are situated round the back of subway. Our Guest is Johann Lamont MSP, Deputy Leader of Labour in the Scottish Parliament. So come along and if you have any questions for Johann I am sure she will answer them at the Q&A session.

The other big news is the Labour Students National Council the details follow.

Weekend of 13/14 December from 11:30am on the Saturday, and will close at 4pm on the Sunday. The event is a great opportunity for members to get together and meet people from across the country, hear from high profile speakers and participate in debates on issues clubs have raised. There will also be a series of elections for positions on Labour Students National Committee and the Labour Students Policy Forum, and the famed Christmas Social on Saturday evening.

The cost of the event is £30 for those requiring accommodation, and £10 for those who don’t. Club Chairs have all the relevant information regarding motions, elections and registering delegates, but please feel free to get in touch with us directly if you have any questions or require any further information.

So if you want to go, get in touch.

So see you all on Friday, remember 5pm in the Hub.


If anyone wants to contact us at anytime feel free to comment on this blog or send us an e-mail @ aberdeen[go away spambots]university[go away spambots]labourclub[go away spambots]

The Labour Blogosphere: Blogorama I

I believe that Labour is the best party to lead Britain. I'm sure that a lot of people reading this agree with me. However, not everyone does. That's why communication of ideas and campaigning are so important in politics. The ability to reach out and affect the thinking of voters, and to persuade people to support you is key to any political campaign. During Barack Obama's year long campaign for the White House he was supremely successful at building up a grassroots network of supporters and fundraisers using the internet.

At the next general election, and especially as time goes by at future elections, the internet will play a far greater role in informing people about the policies of the Labour party, what we have achieved in office, and what we plan to do in the future. And that is what this post is about; using the internet to transmit ideas, mostly via blogging but also through e-mail and video.

At the Labour homepage you can access membersnet the homepage for members of the Labour Party. Here you can browse a directory of members' blogs. I think that the widespread involvement of members in actively discussing politics is something to be encouraged. So every Wednesday from now I intend, conditions permitting, to introduce the readers here to a new Labour blog. This new weekyl segment is to be called Blogorama.

For the inaugural Blogorama we are going to visit the remote, rarely travelled reaches of darkest West Lancashire, specifically the town of Bickerstaffe. The blog in question is the Bickerstaffe Record, which is written by the local Labour Councillor, a man whose supreme intellect and refined tastes are shown by the fact that he has read posts and commented on this very blog. ("One month on" and "Why do we do it?" for those who are curious.)

In particular I wish to draw your attention to a very good post he did in the last few days about unemployment figures. A topic which may seem very dry, but is of the utmost importance not just to those who have unfortunately lost their jobs, or are in danger of unemployment, due to the current global economic problems, but also to those of us that wish to refute the untruths propagated by the Tories and others. Specifically that the current economic situation is as bad as, or getting to be as bad as, it got during Thatcher's time in office.

"IT ISN’T! THE WAY UNEMPLOYMENT IS MEASURED HAS CHANGED, roughly by the same proportions that we changed from inches to centimetres, but which didn’t mean we suddenly got people who were 20 feet tall."

That quote from the blog links back to a previous post he did on the subject which explains what the problem is with regards to the reporting of unemployment figures:

"The BBC, then, carries as it’s headline figure the unemployment total (end of September) of 1.82 million. Responsibly enough, it also quotes the latest claimant count at 98,900, but this latter figure is likely to get less coverage in days to come as the media focuses in on the higher figure.

It’s important first to make the difference between the two figures clear. The unemployment figure (1.82 million) is based on the International Labour Organisation definition, which the incoming Labour government said it would use when it came into power in 1997. It is measured by the Labour Force Survey of (from memory 57,000)households, and even though it is based on a sample and there open to samplinig differences, it is generally reckoned to give a more accurate representation of unemployment because it measures the number of people who ‘want to work, are available to work, and are actively seeking employment’, whatever their benefit status (including those not claiming benefit).

As such, it is generally considered more accurate than the ‘claimant count’, which is simply the number of people seeking unemployment-related benefit, as well as being comparable internationally. For a summary of the differences between the two measures see here.

The important point is that the Conservatives used the less accurate claimant count when they were in government. Thus, when we talk about the ‘1 in 10′ jobless figure of the mid 1980s, we are referring to 3 million people on the claimant count alone. The ILO figure was much higher."

The Tories would like people to believe that Labour's strong record on the economy (In large part thanks to our extremely capable Chancellors) is not as solid as it seems. They aim to do this by their manipulation of statistics to make labour's record seem as dismal as their own, but as this post so ably demonstrated that just isn't the case. One of the major differences between Labour and the Tories as I noted in the post yesterday is the manner in which we react to unemployment and insecurity in the job market. We do something about it, the Tories simply close the shutters and sit snugly in the warm whilst those left in the cold have to fend for themselves.

Recently when John Prescott was in Aberdeen he gave an excellent speech about campaigning which was attended by members of the Labour Club. One of the things he stressed was getting the truth out about Labour's record in government. That's what this post from the Bickerstaffe Record does. It may not have the readership of a national newspaper but it is directed and engages with local people. All we need is a blogger in each constituency providing direct and accurate information about all that Labour has achieved and all we can achieve and to refute Tory and SNP misinformation, and we can make sure that we are ready for 21st Century campaigning, and we can make sure that we are ready to Go 4th and win again.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

The Tories say recession is good for you!

For those who don't know there is a Facebook group (link in the title) called Labour Campaign for a Fourth Term: Go Fourth (pretty self-explanatory I think). I would urge anyone reading this who has a Facebook to join up and show your support for a 4th term. As a member of the group you'll get regular updates from members of the Go 4th team such as this message, sent today, from John Prescott about the callous attitude the Tories have to the people of the UK:


I had to share this with you to show that the Tories haven't changed. They're still the same old heartless Thatcherites who said there was no such thing as society.

Tory Health Spokesman Andrew Lansley - the man who frighteningly could be running our NHS in less than 20 months - has actually written an article on the Tory Party blog stating the following:

"On many counts, recession can be good for us. People tend to smoke less, drink less alcohol, eat less rich food and spend more time at home with their families."

Absolutely remarkable! These people never suffered the full heartless economic impact of the Tory Do Nothing strategy during the 80s and 90s recessions.

You may remember what Lamont said in 1992, with Cameron at his side.

"If higher unemployment is the price we have to pay in order to bring inflation down, then it is a price worth paying."

And John Major said "If it's not hurting, it's not working" – And he was a moderate Tory!

They've even dug up that old 1992 Tax Bombsell poster which may have helped them win the election, but was at the cost of 3 million unemployed and caused a great deal of damage to the roof of the public services.

As I said yesterday, there's clear water between our parties now.

Intervene for the good of the country and its hard working citizens or do nothing.

So do me a favour - forward this email onto your friends. Let them know how heartless these people really are and get them to join us on this Facebook Group.

Take care and remember to Go Fourth. I can’t wait to campaign even more!


An absolutely spot on article, these quotes exemplify the Tories' attitudes. They have no idea what is means to struggle, for them a recession means cutting back on a few luxuries. They won't be counting every penny to try and stretch the weekly budget to cover enough food for their families, but that doesn't mean that they can't imagine what it would be like. And yet, they don't. They just don't, because they don't care about anyone apart from people like them. And that is why I will never, ever, vote Tory.

Monday, 24 November 2008

One Month On...

It is now one month since we started blogging and I think we've made a good start. After only 31 days we are coming up on a half century of posts. 

In order to build on this start I would like some feedback. What do people like about the blog, what don't you like, what do you think we should cover? Please feel free to leave any comment that you like.

Also, this is a collaborative effort. If you want an article about a particular topic or you want to write your own blog post please e-mail us at

Thank you and please comment.

Sunday, 23 November 2008

A mixed bag - a few entertaining articles from my blogroll

Britain's* Black Women Overcome Pay Gap.  I found this article through Feministing's Weekly Feminist Reader, and i thought it seemed interesting.
*In the original article it says "England's" but it's referring to Britain as a whole so I altered it.

Also at that site I found an article entitled McCain to Be in the Obama Cabinet?

And from the Friendly Atheist is news of a church that can be summed up simply by its name; Madonna of Orgasm Church
A quote from the priest; "The orgasm is God, the orgasm should be worshiped".

And finally, again from Feministing's round up is "The Bitch and the Ditz", a very good article about the two women in this year's Presidential election. I'll let you guess which one is which.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Blogging and Google Reader

I have a confession to make; I love Google. I love the search engine, I love Gmail, I love the fact that they supported the no vote on Proposition 8 (If anyone want to know what Prop 8 has to do with the Labour Club and why I care about it, it's because it's about equality and that is an important issue to Labour.) but most of all I love Google Reader.

Google Reader collects the posts of all my favourite blogs in one place for me to read. Best of all it means that I can easily stay up to date with whatever is being posted here or at the Labour Party's own news feed. That's why I would recommend Google reader to the readers of this blog. It's an easy way to keep up with Aberdeen University labour Club's news and events; plus with the Labour news feed you can stay tapped into what the Party is saying and doing.

Aside from talking about Google reader, I'd also like to hear about the readers of this blog. What are your interests? What other blogs do you visit online?

To encourage a bit of disclosure here's my own personal blog roll (categories are in bold, my favourites are in italics):

A Comrade in Ellon
Aberdeen University Labour Club

Bitch Blogs
Boiling Point Blog
Feminism/Popular Culture
Feminist Daily News
Feminist Finance
Labour Party News

ScienceBlogs: Politics

Angry Astronomer
Bad Astronomy Blog
Good Math, Bad Math
Science Blogs: Physical Sciences
The Unapologetic Mathematician
Real Climate

Secular Philosophy
a geocentric view
Friendly Atheist
Greta Christina's Blog

Sam Harris
Daylight Atheism

Webcomics, I'll just list these to save space: Darths & Droids, The Last Days of FOXHOUND, The Perry Bible Fellowship,, Erfworld, Order of the Stick, QC RSS, Ctrl+Alt+Del, VG Cats.

So, now you know a little bit about me. What about you, the reader?

Any comments about blogging, my blogroll, this blog or just in general are welcome.

Thursday, 20 November 2008

Senatus Populusque Britannicus

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Wise words from Michael Palin there. I have been inspired to quote them by this article by Johann Hari in the Independent. It would seem that Prince Charles has decided that his position, achieved by birth, gives him the knowledge and expertise to make pronouncements on a variety of issues which he is at best partially familiair with.

However, as much as I could say about Charles' anti-science positions, including amongst others his campaigning to have "alternative" medicine practiced in the NHS (alternative because it hasn't been shown to work) at the expense of the taxpayer. But no, this post is instead a more general one. This is about the existence of the monarchy itself.

There are those who defend the monarchy, they say that spead over the 65,000,000 people in the UK the cost of the monarchy is very low. They say that the monarchy is a big tourist attraction and the Queen in an important ambassador for this country.

Well I say, I don't care. I don't care how much the monarchy costs, I don't care how much public work they do, I don't care how many tourists they bring in. I don't care because fundamentally for me this argument is not about logisitics, it's about ideals. It's about the idea that a person's status can determined not by their character or their achievements or by their own hard work, but instead that position can be determined simply by their birth. Be that birth "high" of "low".

I find it repugnant that in a modern country there is a family that by birth is set above all others. That there is a person who simply by birth has the right to decide who becomes PM, has access to government papers, and has direct access to a bully pulpit to propagate their ideas to the public and to politicians, no matter how asinine they may be. And not forgetting that it is a fundamentally discriminatory organisation; it is now 179 years since the passing of the Catholic Relief Act 1829 allowed catholics to sit in the House of Commons and yet still being a catholic, or being married to a catholic, makes a person ineligible to become the monarch. That is the reality of the monarchy, and such a thing as no place in a modern society.

What I'd like to know is what everone else thinks...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

BNP List

One of the main stories that has been about for the last 24 hours has been the publication of the BNP national membership list. Included on the list, which I saw before it was removed from the net, was a family from Aberdeen with the 3 children as members, the oldest of which was 18. Now it seems that some of the members are not happy that their membership of a party which believes that all people of colour should be asked to leave the UK has become public knowledge.

Now I talk about asked, but forceable repatriation is what they actually want; to force people to leave the country of their birth to return to a nation that many of them have only ever visited to see family.

I did that last year, I went to visit the place where my family comes from, its now in another country, so as my family are immigrants does that mean that I should be sent home. In my case it was Donegal in the Ireland but you see the point.

We are a nation of immigrants, we have become the country we are thanks to the work done over countless generations by people from different lands to build our country, from Ireland from Europe from Africa from Asia; they came to make Britain Great, and now a bunch of nationalistic nutters want to send them all away because they don't meet their view of what British is.

So I have a suggestion; if the members of the BNP don't like the way the UK looks why dont they leave, why should the rest of us have to go as its our country, it has its faults but its ours and we love it for good or bad, shame they don't.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Parallel Processing

>If you look at the bottom of the screen you will see a brand new gadget. That shows the amount of processing time given to the World Community Grid by members of the brand new Aberdeen University Labour Club WCG group. [Currently 0 but then it is a brand new group.]

I will let their own words stand as an introduction: 

World Community Grid's mission is to create the largest public computing grid benefiting humanity. Our work is built on the belief that technological innovation combined with visionary scientific research and large-scale volunteerism can change our world for the better. Our success depends on individuals - like you - collectively contributing their unused computer time to this not-for-profit endeavor.

In short, by becoming a member of World Community Grid you can use the spare processing power of your computer to help perform research on numerous excellent causes: fighting cancer, AIDs and researching higher yield varieties of rice amongst many others.

All you have to help is sign up and download the software. [Joining the team Aberdeen University Labour Club would be nice too.]

Saturday, 15 November 2008

"They're immature... and jerks"

Sarah Palin strikes back at her critics.

Whata Mistaka To Makea

I found this story in the Scotsman, and I mean if the SNP can't even buy the Saltires From Scottish companies then so much for them looking after Scottish Industry.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Isn't it strange how two Republican Senators who won in the Polls this year now find themselves losing in the recount.

Alaskan Senator Ted Stevens, recently found guilty on seven felony charges for making false statements, won back his seat in the United States senate in this years election; or did he?

It was found shortly after the election that a few ballots had been mislaid, and so not counted...

...and when I say a few, I mean over 90,000. [That's about 29% of the total number of votes cast.]

Yes you did read that correctly, 90,000 uncounted ballots surfaced from the æther. Amazingly the newly counted ballots have so far demolished Steven's 3,257 vote lead and he now trails his opponent, Anchorage Mayor Mark Begich, by 814 votes.

Now in Minnesota, despite Norm Colman's best efforts to throw out votes, Al Franken's deficit in the polls has dropped to a mere 204.

So, yeah.

This is Obama's chance to end the Star Wars fantasy

Another well written and thought provoking article from the Independent's Johann Hari:

The US has spent $160bn, only to increase the nuclear danger to itself and the rest of us. 

The world is still pleasurably suffering from Woah-bama whiplash. Did he really win? Are we all awake? And would anybody mind if he starts a few months early? The need for decisions is rapidly piling up – and one of President-Elect Obama’s first choices is whether to bring to an end the strangest story ever told in American politics. 

It is the tale of how a man with Alzheimer’s Disease came up with a physically impossible fantasy based on a B-movie he once starred in – and how the US spent $160bn trying to make it come true. These billions succeeded only in making some defence companies very rich, and making Russia point its nukes at Poland and Britain once more. Oh, and if Obama doesn’t decide to close this long-running farce now, it will make one more contribution to world history: the number of Weapons of Mass Destruction in the world will dramatically increase.

Read the rest here.

Tuesday, 11 November 2008

Keith Olbermann on the passage of Proposition 8.

Keith Olbermann here delivers a Special Comment on the passage of Proposition 8 in California. I don't always agree with Olbermann, see for example his ridiculous rant about Senator Clinton supposedly raising the spectre of assassination, but in this instance he's spot on.

Monday, 10 November 2008

Arbeit Macht ein Douchebag

Just a quicky today beacuase I'm tired and I have work to do. Anyway over at Scienceblogs there's a fun story about some right wing stupidity.

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Obama Predict-o-meter

[Edit: I decided to remove the names for privacy reasons.]

Those of you who were at the Obama night may remember (or maybe not that whisky Peter brought was pretty lethal) that we had a predict-o-meter (excel spreadsheet if you must know). Well here's how many electoral votes everyone thought Obama would get.

AB 367
PS 337
CD 305
TPD 325
DL 327
AD 335
MF 320
NM 345

The final result for Obama was 365. So the winner was.......ME!!! Yay, go me. It had seemed like Peter would win, but North Carolina turned at the last minute and gave me a memorable victory.

[Pause for applause.]

While we're on the theme of the election, here's a picture of the US electoral map if the election had been decided by young voters.

Not a happy map for the Republican Party I think you'll agree.

Scottish Independence

The following article was in last week's Gaudie. It was written by Amy Robertson, a member of the Labour Club. I hope everyone enjoys reading it as much as I did.

Financial crisis? I’m more worried about the SNP…

So, the FTSE is down, a huge number of our banks have been nationalised and the countries savings are in jeopardy. Unless it affects my interest free overdraft I'm not really interested. I think there is something much more frightening and relevant to us, as students, on the political horizon - something that will take more than a 700 billion dollar bail out to cure. Last week Alex Salmond caused what can only be called a cringe worthy scene when he attempted to talk economics. Not only did he embarrass himself with his fumbling incoherent number chat, but he also embarrassed this country.

Many people I'm sure must be drawn to the SNP and the notion of independence, however I have a feeling that SNP for many Scottish citizens is a mere euphemism for the ‘We hate England’ party. Has anyone put down their Saltire for more than a second and stopped to think of the repercussions of Independence? Well for one, if we were once again faced with the onslaught of recession we would not be able to run to our big brothers in Westminster for help.

How many of us grew up with Blue Peter, or Neighbours? (Before the cruel people at the BBC moved it to Five)- or even the Six o clock news? Well hate to break it to you but as menial as it seems these programs are controlled by the British Broadcasting Corporation - not the Scottish Broadcasting Corporation. Could we really face an abundance of home-grown channels such as STV and copious amounts of shows such as Postcode Challenge with the MostAnnoyingWomanInTheWorld Carol Smilie? Nah, I didn’t think so.

For students how will the Loans and Tuition fees system change? Furthermore it would be more complicated for students to study in places such as Aberdeen from England and the rest of the UK. The pound would no doubt be abolished, to be replaced with a completely new currency, or indeed the Euro. How complicated would that be? A trip to the Carling weekend in Leeds would be up there in terms of logistics with going to America! Furthermore changing currency tends to trigger inflation meaning that things such as magazines are much more expensive. You might not notice the difference between two fat balding MP’s in Parliament but you would notice the price of your weekly NME or Heat rising. Plus erm, Scotland would have to have its own Olympic team... with the highest obesity rate in Europe we’ve not got the best prospects.

We as students are the members of the population who would be most affected by possible independence - as the future working population. For us it would mean a much more fragile infrastructure to live in, could Scotland really cope without England? I'm not so sure, plus would the Queen still be our Queen!?! So as the race commences for the title of Leader of The World - aka the American Presidential Election stop for a moment and imagine Alex Salmond (supposedly our First Minister..) making small talk with Barack Obama or John McCain. One can't help but think he’d look hugely insignificant.

Friday, 7 November 2008

This guy knows a thing or two about hope.

'Your victory has demonstrated that no person anywhere in the world should not dare to dream of wanting to change the world for a better place.'

- Nelson Mandela in a letter to Barack Obama

A mixed bag.

Firstly the Societies' Union is holding a fundraiser at the Tunnels to raise money for all of the Societies. It's £3 to attend and all of that lovely money comes right back to us, plus each ticket gets an entry in a prize draw to win £300 for the society.

Also, I've come to realise that we've been too harsh on Sarah Palin, and you know what, Chris Crocker agrees with me:

Preach it Chris!!!

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday 6th November

Yesterday as we now know was a great day for Labour.

We won 2 council by-elections against stiff opposition in Glasgow and Edinburgh, I know the new councillor for the Forth Ward in Edinburgh personally and I know that Cammy Day will represent the people of Forth brilliantly.

In Glasgow we won in an area that the SNP now call their own, Baillieston is in the heart of Glasgow East a constituency that we lost just a few months ago, in a By-election in the same council ward just over 2 months ago the SNP held their vote but today we won and fought back the SNP tide.

And as has been posted already the victory in Glenrothes is stunning.

To not only win, in lets remember is a seat that Alex Salmond was prediction that the SNP only had to turn up take, but to do it with an increase in Support over the 2005 election is stunning.

Now i could sit and blog about the reasons behind the victory but to be honest their are too many to mention, but i will just make comment one one.

Lindsay Roy

What a stunning candidate, a man who has a love for the constituency and who has a vision for the future of Glenrothes.

A great headteacher who has been an inspiration to so many.

His loss to fife education is our gain.

Linsday you've done us proud mate.

Glenrothes Analysis



There is the analysis of the Glenrothes By-Election

A huge thank you.......

Lindsay Roy

6737 majority.

You have made us all proud. A huge result for Labour tonight, the SNP are now on the back foot for the first time in since May 2007. Comrades one and all, let us take confidence from this result and begin the battle NOW for the Fourth Term. I will leave analysis to a later date, I feel the urge to celebrate.


An ecstatic Laudrup!

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Sarah Palin

If even half of what this guy says is true then Palin is even more ignorant than I thought possible.

From Fox News:

The Great White Sort

During the course of this year's Presidential Election Campaign there was an often seen trope amongst Rethuglicans Republicans. That is the claim that black voters were only voting for Obama because he's black, and that this makes them racist. 

Well let's take a look at that claim. In this election Obama received a whopping 95% share of the vote. Pretty racist huh. After all black people wouldn't support a white candidate to that high a degree; white candidates like Bill Clinton (83% of the black vote in '92, 84% in '96), Al Gore (90% in 2000) or John Kerry (88% in 2004). Isn't it lucky that we have those lovely tolerant Republicans to point out racism for us. And isn't it terrible that Obama won just because of the black (/Youth/Middle Aged/Catholic/Jewish/High School Graduate/University Educated/Female/City Dweller/Suburban Dweller) vote. [/sarcasm]

And so to the title of the post. The main demographic that Obama didn't win was white (f*cking crackers) people (especially men). This isn't neccessarily totally damning since this is a group that trends towards Republicans anyway, so it's better to look at it more closely. To see where white voters switched to Obama, and where they switched away.

The graphs show a greater than 15% increase in the Democrat's share of the white vote between 2004 and 2008 in 15 states. Most significantly in Colorado, Indiana, Virginia and North Carolina; four states which went from Republican in 2004 to Democrat this year. This I think further illustrates Obama's widespread support and refutes the notion that he only won because of black voters voting along racial lines.

On a side note it's interesting to note that the four states in which the Democrat's share of the white vote fell by more than 15% [Louisiana, Arkansas, Mississippi and Alabama] are all in the Deep South.

Not that I'm trying to imply anything about these states. I'm sure they're perfectly nice Kind people there and it would be unKind of me to say other wise. K.

On yet another sidenote here's a wonderful picture of newspaper front covers.

Wednesday, 5 November 2008


...I suppose it's true that the early bird gets the worm, but I'm not quite sure if this is serious or not. It looks genuine.

I am appalled.

In May this year the California Supreme Court ruled that gay marriage was allowed by the Californian constitution, thereby making California only the third US state to give full equality in marriage to its citizens. This was a fantastic breakthrough in the struggle to attain equality, and the fight against intolerance, ignorance and bigotry. In the months since then many thousands of couples sealed their loving and committed relationships by getting married, knowing that they would have the same rights as every other couple. And that discrimination based on sexuality would not be allowed.

That lasted until yesterday, when a majority of the Californian population voted to enshrine bigotry and discrimination into their constitution, a document that is supposed to enshrine rights, not remove them. In doing so they took a step backwards, away from equality and towards segregation.

It is ironic that this would occur during this election. An election in which an African-American candidate would take the state of Virginia on the way to a landslide election victory. It is ironic because Virginia was the originating state of the historic Loving v Virginia Supreme Court decision, the decision which declared unconstitutional the racist and intolerant anti-miscegenation laws that were in place in states across the US.

This should serve as a reminder to all progressive people, and all people everywhere who cherish tolerance and equality. A reminder that although we've come a long way, and gained a great deal, and through our common endeavour we have helped break down the barriers that divide us, we still have a long way to go. There are still those who would build walls into our society, between them and those they choose to dislike.

President Obama will fight for change, and I fervently hope that this is one area of change for which he will fight.

[Edit] I think that I should point out that Obama was opposed to proposition 8.

A Dream Come True


Portrait of Nelson Mandela

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Election 2008 - Live


[04:00] OBAMA IS PRESIDENT!!!!!!!!!!!!1

[03:58] We're coming up on the Pacific states polling closing. We're minutes away from President Obama being confirmed as the 44th President of the United States of America.

[03:51] Donald is going to be sick because kyle proposed to his fiancee on a boat going past the Statue of Liberty.


[03:42] Obama's lead in Virginia stretches to 57,000. A few flyover states go for McCain.

[03:30] It's looking good for Obama in Virginia. 49,000 with 90% reporting.

[03:19] Njoki says: "John Bolton is Ned Flanders with attitude.

[03:13] John Bolton's going off on one on the BBC. A BBC reporter in Colorado didn't accept a Republican's BS and supposedly that means he's an appalling journalist. Idiot.

[03:04] Iowa has gone Obama. That gives Obama 207 electoral college votes and with California he needs only 8 votes more. If he wins all of the states he's winning in he'll get close to 340 votes.

[02:58] Obama now has a small lead in Virginia. He now leads in Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.

[02:50] Mississippi has gone to McCain. A late surge for McCain perhaps. Hell no.

[02:47] Arizona is expected soon. This could give us an idea of how bad it's going to be for McCain.

[02:39] With 73% reporting Virginia is now 50:50 with McCain's lead down to 5,000.

[02:36] Update.
ABC: Obama 200 McCain 90
CBS: Obama 199 McCain 124
BBC: Obama 200 McCain 90

[02:34] Two US networks have projected New Mexico for Obama.

[02:31] McCain's lead in Virginia is down to 12,000 with 71% reporting.

[02:25] Ohio has gone Obama!!!! If he wins California, Oregon, Washington and Hawaii which are all safe democrat he will be the 44th President.

[02:17] McCain's lead in Virginia is down to 21,000 with 67% reporting.

[02:09] Update: Obama 174 McCain 76

[02:04] Fox has projected Ohio for Obama.

[02:03] A McCain campaigner has been quoted as saying the McCain needs a miracle.

[02:00] New York, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Rhode Island and Michigan all projected for Obama. Kansas, North Dakota and Wyoming projected for McCain.
Updated score: Obama 174 McCain 61.

[01:59] Prague says Good Bye for Now! Wake me up, when someone gets over 270 electoral college votes. Thank you for a wonderful evening and coopearation. See you!

[01:44] Some networks are projecting Georgia for McCain.
Jesse Jackson is on the BBC.

[01:33] Obama leads by 5% in Florida with 36% reporting.

[01:32] Updated electoral college votes: McCain (R) - 49; Obama (D) - 103. BBC reports.

[01:27] We have developed a theory here to explain the Obama vote discrepancy. It is possibly due to the splitting of New Hampshire's votes between the candidates. New Hampshire apportions its votes proportionately to the vote total for each candidate.

[01:21] No changes to report but Obama has a 250,000 lead in Florida with 30% reporting and a 17% lead in North Carolina.

[01:18] According to Czech media, Pakistani public opinion would prefer Barack Obama as US president. Additionally, Cuba's ex-leader Fidel Castro indirectly referred to Obama as being a better candidate.
Overall, we can say that Obama's moderate image appeals to many sides and could play beneficiary role in stabilising US foreign policy and the way USA is perceived around the world. Foreign politics and economy are indisputably the two most important long-term topics that need to be solved.

[01:10] Interesting clash in totals, ABC says 102 for Obama, BBC says 103. And CNN's website still keeps the old figure of 77.

[01:04] Updated electoral college votes: McCain (R) - 34; Obama (D) - 103.
BBC reports.

[01:01] Illinois goes to Obama and so does the District of Columbia!

[01:01] Pennsylvania goes for Obama. It seems like Obama will get it.

[00:55] Updated electoral college votes: McCain (R) - 16; Obama (D) - 3.

[00:52] Virginia appears to go to McCain, currently leading with 56% against Obama's 43%. ABC projects South Carolina for McCain.

[00:46] At this very early stage Obama leads in South Carolina!!!

He has opened up a 10 percentage point in Florida and a 3 point lead in North Carolina.

[00:42] Opinion polls show that John McCain managed to persuade 70% of voters that Barack Obama will raise taxes. Needless to say, that 61% of voters feel that McCain will do the same.

[00:37] Early information show narrow difference between McCain and Obama in Indiana. But further news can't be assumed. Indiana has 11 electoral college votes. And its results are important for McCain's performence.

[00:34] Obama has narrow leads in Florida and North Carolina, but with only a few districts reporting.

[00:31] Senate elections in Virginia were won by Democrat Mark Warner (57% of vote), could this be an indicator that the 'swing state' of Virgina will go to Democrats and Obama?

[00.25] This just in from ABC news. McCain is 6% ahead in Virginia but it is still too close to call.

[00:10] First electoral college votes appear! So far: Barack Obama (D) - 3; John McCain (R) - 8.

[00:00] Good evening (repectively morning) to Aberdeen and thanks for the admin privileges! So here is what the Czech media reports. According to the opinion polls, 72 % of new voters have casted their vote for Obama, while 27% were in favour of McCain.
Analysis have previously shown support among youth voters for Obama. However since this group of voters has a traditionally lower turnout during the elections, their presence will be important for Barack's potential victory.

[23:56] Here's a shout out to out supporter in the Czech Republic. I have now granted you admin privileges so you should be able to add your thoughts to the mix.

[23:32] The party's started here with the attendance now in double figures. Still very little to report.

[23:17] Not much yet but we're still here and ready to keep you filled in. Polls have now closed in parts of Indiana and Kentucky. No results in yet.

[23:00] Welcome to Aberdeen University Labour Club's 2008 live Presidential Election coverage. Hopefully we'll be covering an Obama victory, but no matter what the result we're going to be here all night.

This says it all

I was sent this today by a good friend and i think it says it all.

I Didn't Vote For Obama Today
November 4, 2008, 9:37AM

I have a confession to make.

I did not vote for Barack Obama today.

I've openly supported Obama since March. But I didn't vote for him today.

I wanted to vote for Ronald Woods. He was my algebra teacher at Clark Junior High in East St. Louis, IL. He died 15 years ago when his truck skidded head-first into a utility pole. He spent many a day teaching us many things besides the Pythagorean Theorem. He taught us about Medgar Evers, Ralph Abernathy, John Lewis and many other civil rights figures who get lost in the shadow cast by Martin Luther King, Jr.

But I didn't vote for Mr. Woods.

I wanted to vote for Willie Mae Cross. She owned and operated Crossroads Preparatory Academy for almost 30 years, educating and empowering thousands of kids before her death in 2003. I was her first student. She gave me my first job, teaching chess and math concepts to kids in grades K-4 in her summer program. She was always there for advice, cheer and consolation. Ms. Cross, in her own way, taught me more about walking in faith than anyone else I ever knew.

But I didn't vote for Ms. Cross.

I wanted to vote for Arthur Mells Jackson, Sr. and Jr. Jackson Senior was a Latin professor. He has a gifted school named for him in my hometown. Jackson Junior was the pre-eminent physician in my hometown for over 30 years. He has a heliport named for him at a hospital in my hometown. They were my great-grandfather and great-uncle, respectively.

But I didn't vote for Prof. Jackson or Dr. Jackson.

I wanted to vote for A.B. Palmer. She was a leading civil rights figure in Shreveport, Louisiana, where my mother grew up and where I still have dozens of family members. She was a strong-willed woman who earned the grudging respect of the town's leaders because she never, ever backed down from anyone and always gave better than she got. She lived to the ripe old age of 99, and has a community center named for her in Shreveport.

But I didn't vote for Mrs. Palmer.

I wanted to vote for these people, who did not live to see a day where a Black man would appear on their ballots on a crisp November morning.

In the end, though, I realized that I could not vote for them any more than I could vote for Obama himself.

So who did I vote for?

No one.

I didn't vote. Not for President, anyway.

Oh, I went to the voting booth. I signed, was given my stub, and was walked over to a voting machine. I cast votes for statewide races and a state referendum on water and sewer improvements.

I stood there, and I thought about all of these people, who influenced my life so greatly. But I didn't vote for who would be the 44th President of the United States.
When my ballot was complete, except for the top line, I finally decided who I was going to vote for - and then decided to let him vote for me. I reached down, picked him up, and told him to find Obama's name on the screen and touch it.

And so it came to pass that Alexander Reed, age 5, read the voting screen, found the right candidate, touched his name, and actually cast a vote for Barack Obama and Joe Biden.

Oh, the vote will be recorded as mine. But I didn't cast it.
Then again, the person who actually pressed the Obama box and the red "vote" button was the person I was really voting for all along.

It made the months of donating, phonebanking, canvassing, door hanger distributing, sign posting, blogging, arguing and persuading so much sweeter.

So, no, I didn't vote for Barack Obama. I voted for a boy who now has every reason to believe he, too, can grow up to be anything he wants...even President

Democracy Rules

I have just watched the voters waiting in lines to cast their ballots today. Waiting it some ques that are more than a mile long in places and it takes me back to the day in 1994 when the same thing happened in South Africa.

Now i am not saying that either Obama or McCain is Nelson Mandela or indeed that the USA is coming out of a post apartheid period, I just think its wonderful that people care that much to wait for hours to vote.

Democracy Rules

The Last Battle of the American Civil War

Do you know who the last US President to call Illinois his political home was.

The Answer may change tonight with the election of Barack Obama, but at this point the last one was Abraham Lincoln.

The American people may vote for a leader who is African American, a leader who has limited experience of national politics and a leader with a young family from a poor background who has pulled himself up with hard work and represented the poor as a lawyer.

Lincoln was not African American but he was the rest, he had limited federal experience, was married with a young family who only one of his sons lived passed his childhood, was born in a log cabin in Kentucky and worked as a lawyer representing the poor.

The very fact that today America gets to vote for an African American is thanks to Lincoln and the many thousands of Americans who fought and died in the Civil War, it is thanks to the men and women who saw slavery as an abomination and it is thanks to the many people who risked their lives to help fugitive slaves stay safe.

Lincoln and Obama have one last thing in common, both in their own way are figures in the American Civil War, Lincoln President at its start and if all goes well Obama the President at its end.

Because today could be seen as the Last Battle of the American Civil War.

Remember Remember the 4th of November

Just a reminder to all the people who read this blog that tonight we are going to be doing a live blog from the election night party.

We are going to be watching a live feed from a couple of the US networks (the wonders of the Internet) and adding our own comments on what is happening. So come and joining us and add your own comments if you want.

We go live at 11pm.

Sleazy goings on as Trumpgate takes a new turn.

It has happened. Pound signs flashed before our ruler's eyes. Emperor Alex has shown his true colours by forcing through the Trump application for building a private village for those who use pound sterling as loo roll £1bn golf resort in the north east.

Far be it from me to slag "The Donald", after all I am in high hopes that after spending 82 seconds in his mother's home on my native island this summer he will revamp our old castle for us. Also Aberdeen's economy will need a change of direction at some point despite Shell and BP posting obscene profits in the last quarter. My problem is the SNP's obsession with going over the head of local democracy and imposing their own decisions and their inability to put the impact on people's lives over greed.

They claim to support devolution; rather strange then that they routinely block devolved decisions. The largest wind farm project in Europe, proposed to be built on the Isle of Lewis (there you go that is two mentions, it is rather an important place after all), was thrown out by the SNP "Government" despite the local councillors voting in favour of the proposal. Here they cited environmental impact as the reason for turning down the project; funny they are not so green when assessing the impact of Trump's golf course.

Aberdeenshire council's infrastructure committee voted against the proposal. "Oor Eck" and his cronies then called the plan in, this apparently had nothing to do with dodgy phone calls from Trump's aides. After a fashion the plans have now been approved. "Bawheid" now looks like he is creating jobs in a time of great economic hardship and also boosting Scotland's tourist industry. The truth is that political gain is being put before the impact this plan will have on people.

It is here I will quote my comrade from Deepest Darkest Ayrshire who by virtue of being born in Golf country tells me explicitly "Golf courses in themselves do not make money". In essence Trump is only interested in the hotels and housing developments which will come on the back of the course. These developments which fly in the face of Aberdeenshire housing policy will create a millionaires row, housing for those with astronomical amounts of money who are no longer content with only having six holiday homes. The impact this will have on Aberdeenshire communities in the vicinity of the development can only be described as detrimental. I can only imagine the resentment a gaggle of yahoos turning up their noses at locals would cause, the new residents would find it almost impossible to integrate and their presence, in such large numbers, would undoubtedly lead to problems.

Our "saviour " never looks at the bigger picture however and we should not be surprised that despite all manner of objections(most of which I have omitted for brevity) his narrow view of the world has led to this application being bundled through by whichever means necessary.


An interesting Poll question;

Who has the largest head?



Sunday, 2 November 2008

Breaking new ground in blogging.

As always the Aberdeen University Labour Club blog is breaking new ground in blogging technology. I am writing this blog and posting it from a train halfway between Carlisle and Edinburgh. [A route about 100 miles out of my way, thank you very much rail works at North Berwick.]

And now I shall justify this self serving proclamation by posting some juicy intellectual quotes about voting:

Vote early and vote often. - Al Capone, 1899 - 1947

Suffrage, n. Expression of opinion by means of a ballot. The right of suffrage (which is held to be both a privilege and a duty) means, as commonly interpreted, the right to vote for the man of another man's choice, and is highly prized.
- Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary, 1881 - 1906

Ask a man which way he is going to vote, and he will probably tell you. Ask him, however, why, and vagueness is all.
- Bernard Levin

Truth is not determined by majority vote.
- Doug Gwyn

Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.
- John Quincy Adams, 1767 - 1848

My problem is that, with the two-party system, you only get to vote against one candidate in each race.
- G. Armour Van Horn

Live Blogging on Election Night

Those of you in the know (you clever people) will already be aware of our upcoming Preisdential election event. [For those who don't here's a link.] During this event we are going to appempt something new and interesting, live blogging. During the course of the night we will keep the blog updated on both the events of the election and also what is happening at the party and how people feel.

Anyone who's interested in the Labour Club but can't make it to the event is of course more than welcome to join in and post their comments to tell us how they feel about what is looking like it could be a historic night in US politics.