Friday, July 18, 2008

California - it will be tight

Now the Supreme Court in California has confirmed that proposition 8 will be on November's ballot (with the intention of reversing same sex marriage) two opinion polls show that the No vote has a small lead.

Latest figures show a lead of 51-42%.

This is good but incredibly narrow and anything could happen between now and then. Still a good initial poll finding that (hopefully) will encourage the No campaigners.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Louise has some interesting blog entries about the 2 day Local Government industrial action which is now drawing to a close, with further industrial action doubtless being planned in what are, I must say, extraordinary economic pressures with considerable increases in utilities, petrol and food biting a big hole in our living standards.

UNISON also has lots of information about the strike action including this list of messages of support (including one from Louise and me on behalf of the National LGBT Committee as well as particularly encouraging messages of support from across the world).

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A message of support for strikers

At a time of heightened inflation in basic goods, this is a message of solidarity to all Local Government workers taking industrial action on the 16th and 17th July.

For more information see:

on pay matters

Jon Rogers' (by now famous) blog

I, of course, shall not be taking industrial action given I am an NHS employee and we aren't taking industrial action at this time, though we may do so next year, given the high rate of inflation.

Tories abandon belief in the market

In their current proposals for a fuel price stabiliser the Tories are stating that the government has a duty to fix the price of petrol so that people can plan ahead..... sound familiar anyone?

Maybe this can be extended to bread, milk, shoes and so on and we can have a fully socialist command economy.

Of course the implication of the Tories proposal is potentially very expensive, if the price of petrol goes up and people buy less of it it implies a big loss to the exchequer. For all that I am not against a 'modified stabiliser' which includes a fuel tax escalator where the price of fuel does not rise with inflation.

Having fuel duty go down makes, quite frankly, for chaos both for the exchequer (i.e. resources for public spending on vital services) and for the 'price mechanism' (which is supposed to have a role in giving feedback on relative scarcity).

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Gospel of hate or gospel of love?

See this clip from the BBC, showing the appalling incident of disruption of freedom of speech and homophobia during a sermon by Bishop Robinson.

Tells you all you need to know - others are just more polite in the way they go about it.

The mask slips.

Meanwhile, for people who like their religion sane, Bishop Robinson wrote a good article in Saturday's Guardian The God I know is alive and active in the Church, not locked up in Scripture.

Time for some light relief - discovering jumpstyle

It's only now that I discover the wonderful thing that is 'jumpstyle' (more popular in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands).

The fact it's performed to 'modern music' (the most accessible in the UK is probably Scooter) can only go so far in disguising the fact it's a cross between Morris dancing and Riverdance.

See for yourself (I love it by the way).

Scooter Jumping All Over The World

Jumpstyle tutorial
(you too can learn jumpstyle, but probably not from this video - anyway Youtube has plenty of jumpstyle tutorials...)

Jumptstyle for women(to Scooter)

Some weirder varieties of jumpstyle:

Teletubbies do jumpstyle

Finger jumpstyle (OK this is getting ridiculous.....)

I should just say that I haven't perfected all of the moves just yet....

More on the Registrar

One more thought - how far does this go? A registrar whose religious beliefs do not allow marriage after divorce? A GP who doesn't approve of the homosexual lifestyle? A pharmacist who does not approve of contraception? Naming ceremonies for the children of same sex parents?

In conservative areas where religious groups hold great sway and where perhaps services are thinly spread (e.g. rural areas) the service that the employer is required by law to provide (or wishes to provide in a certain manner - e.g. with an assurance of non-discriminatory attitudes from all employees) will be severely hampered and such things as roster co-ordination and annual leave requests become a nightmare as we all have to work around bigotted staff, immune from sharing their employers' duty under the law to avoid discrimination in their service provision.

Some further reaction below:

Louise Ashworth God is above employment law and More on the Registrar

The Observer has Civil rights must trump faith:

If this judgment is upheld, the implications are serious and troubling. Employees flourishing their religious convictions will be able to challenge almost any job description, whether these involve an aversion to pork, to certain clothes, to abortion pills, to gay people or to working on holy days.