Cameron’s Legacy

So, we’ve not yet left the EU, but the British public has voted to, by the smallest of margins. The British public has chosen to believe the lies and fear-mongering vomited up by the Leave campaign. The British public, when presented with actual facts, and advice from pretty much every economic expert, has chosen to side with Nigel Farage, Michael Gove and Boris Johnson.

I’m still trying to get my head around that.

Overnight the pound drops to a 30 year low, Scotland considers leaving the UK again, as does Northern Ireland, Greek banks are (at least temporarily) not exchanging sterling, several other right-wing parties in European countries are talking about holding their own referendum to leave the EU and my daughters have lost the right to live and work in 27 countries. Due to a 52/48 vote.

I had zero respect for our government before this. Is it possible for respect to drop to negative figures? Cameron called this referendum due to internal struggles within his own party. He gambled the entire UK economy on a whim, and lost. It now remains to be seen whether Cameron’s legacy will merely be the wholesale destruction of the British economy, or whether he has started the avalanche that will destroy Europe, too.

You did this, Cameron. Although you claim that you wanted us to Remain, you ruined the future for our children. This is your doing.

And yes, you had help from the floppy haired buffoon, the racist and the other liars, as well as half the UK voting population, who were spoon-fed lies and empty promises, but this is your doing. You will forever be remembered as the worst prime minister this country has ever had.

But still – you’ll get on the board of several multinationals and maybe negotiate a few last-minute sales of British institutions to your friends before you leave, so you’ll be all right. While the rest of us have to try to find a way to move forward through this stupidity.

It feels like today will be the day the calendar started, again, that in a far-off post-apocalyptic future, people will look back on Brexit day and wonder how we could have been so fucking stupid.

Grrrrrrrrrr!

That is all.

 

(Nothing to do with parking, for once).

More parking fun

So, I’ve now sent off my 2nd appeal against the parking fine. (Details here and here).

I’ll post my (4 page!) letter here, once I get York Council’s response.

Fingers crossed they see sense…

 

The Greens and Copyright

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This is currently doing the rounds, and (understandably) getting a lot of creatives concerned.

The copyright thing is annoying, certainly, but I doubt it could ever get any real traction. First of all, it’s highly unlikely that the Greens will lead in the next decade or so – it would take at least 15-20 years for them to amass enough support for that to become a possibility. And if they happen to be the smaller party in a coalition (unlikely, but not *completely* beyond the realms of possibility), I doubt that copyright reform would be high on their list of priorities. And the likelihood of that level of copyright reform going through is pretty low, I’d say. And it would only materially affect those who rely largely on UK-based backlist royalties. Anyone whose main income is overseas will remain largely unaffected. Disney will still have to pay you for your rights if they want to produce and distribute it in the US and elsewhere. And while I don’t for a second agree with a 14 year copyright term, I do believe the current legislation is too restrictive.

And if/when the Greens *do* come into power in 15-20 years or more? It’ll be a different bunch, with different views, and decades more experience under their belts.

Voting Green this time around won’t be a vote towards copyright reform, but it will help indicate a general dissatisfaction with the current 2.5 party system we suffer under. If you’re against Lab/Con/Dem at the moment, don’t let the prospect of a discussion about copyright in 2 decades’ time dissuade you from voting with your feet.

Or your pencil.

York Council’s response…

to this letter (click).

 

Dear Mr Harris,

Thank you for your letter of objection against the issue of the above penalty charge notice. 

The points that you made in your letter have been carefully considered.  I regret to advise that you have not established grounds for cancellation of the penalty charge notice and it remains payable because you were parked in a council car park without a valid ticket or valid resident discount permit.

I understand the points you have made regarding the advertisement of the changes to the Minster badge scheme, however, I am unable to cancel the PCN based on the effectiveness of it. The council took measures to ensure all residents were notified and these were deemed sufficient. I understand that you do not wish to purchase a new permit, as such, I am unable to cancel this PCN.

You have a period of 14 days, beginning with the day that you receive this letter, to make payment at the discount amount of £25. If you wish to pay by debit or credit card you can do so online at https://parking.york.gov.uk  or by contacting the Parking Office on 01904 551309. If you wish to send payment please make your cheque or postal order, payable to ‘City Of York Council’ and send your payment to; Parking Services, City Of York Council, West Offices, Station Rise, York, YO1 6GA. Please quote the above penalty charge notice number with your payment. 

If the payment is not received within a 14 day period, beginning with the day that you receive this letter, the discount amount will no longer be available and the full charge of £50 will be payable.  You are legally deemed to have received this letter two working days after the date it was sent. 

If the penalty charge remains unpaid after 28 days from service, we may then serve a legal document called a ‘Notice to Owner’ on the owner of the vehicle. At that stage, the vehicle owner, or driver on behalf of the owner, will be able to make further formal representations against the penalty charge notice.  We will consider further representations even where we have previously concluded that the evidence presented is not such that we can cancel the penalty charge notice.  In order to ensure impartiality if you decide to make further representations a different Council Officer will consider them.

If we decide to reject the formal representations and the owner, or driver on behalf of the owner, is not satisfied with the decision that has been made, they may then appeal to the independent ‘Traffic Penalty Tribunal’ within 28 days of the service of a ‘Notice of Rejection’ by us.  Further details of the ‘Traffic Penalty Tribunal’ are available at www.trafficpenaltytribunal.gov.uk and further information regarding the civil parking enforcement procedure is also available at www.patrol-uk.info.  Information concerning our parking and enforcement policies and procedures is available on our website at www.york.gov.uk/parking. If you have any further queries regarding the matter please do not hesitate to contact the Parking Office on 01904-551309.

Yours sincerely 

Lindsey Kelly
Technical Administrator

 

Needless to say, as the council did not inform me that the undated residents’ badge that they issued had been cancelled, I will be appealing this decision. How silly that they feel it worth going through the time and expense to try to get an extra £25 out of me!

It isn’t easy being Green…

I’ve become increasingly interested and invested in politics since the last election. The last time around I voted Lib Dem. This was partly a reaction against the Conservatives, and against Labour. The Lib Dems (at that point) were the only major (!) political party to have not yet had the opportunity to disappoint on a national scale. They promised everything (of course) and then they got into bed with the Tories, took a shit on my doorstep and tried to convince me it was chocolate. Meanwhile, the Evil League of Evil (aka the Conservative Party) took the opportunity to begin the wholesale sell-off of our national resources to their pals, their donors and themselves, all the while congratulating themselves that they managed to defraud us for so many years with their expense claims (though to be fair, that last bit was also Labour and the Lib Dems).

So, no Tory vote, that’s for sure. It would be like voting for the hordes of hell to administer the staff pension fund. Or something. It’s not a great analogy, I know. But it would be bad, ok? That’s the general gist. I have absolutely no doubt that if the Tories stayed in power, the standard of living in this country would deteriorate at an unprecedented pace.

Who else? Labour? Well, they don’t have an amazing track record over the last couple of decades, and I remain unconvinced by Millibland.

UKIP? Fuck off.

Green? Well, yes. Their policies are generally sensible, and they appear to have the national interest at heart. Their policies align more closely with my wishes for the country more than any other party.

So, Green. I joined the Green Party a few months ago – the first time in my life I’ve felt strongly enough to actually join a political party.

But isn’t Green a wasted vote?

I don’t believe so, no. Do they have a hope in hell of getting into power this term? Not a chance. But interest in the Greens has never been higher. They have more members than UKRAP, and their growth is greater than any other party. They’ll probably come 4th this year. I hope they’ll come 4th, and not the we’re-not-racist-it’s-just-our-members-that-are-racist party. But people will see how many others are voting for them, and people will see that they’re not alone in not wanting Labour/Tories to dominate. So this time Greens could come 4th. Maybe next time, too. Maybe 3rd in 8 years’ time. And in 12. And maybe in 16 years they’ll be big enough to be a real contender.

“But they don’t have any real experience at governing,” I hear you say. Well, that’s a good point – thanks for bringing it up. No, they don’t. Not yet. But as they – and their prospects – grow over the coming decade and a half, so will their experience. By the time they’re big enough, and popular enough, they’ll be ready.

If we only vote Labour/Tory we will only ever have a Labour or Tory government. That’s not democracy – that’s a trap of our own making. If we vote according to our conscience and beliefs, and not vote tactically, perhaps one day, one day, we’ll have a government that cares about us, and not one that simply wants to milk us for all we’re worth.

So, a vote for Green (or for the party of your choosing) is not a wasted vote. The only wasted vote is the one you didn’t use, or the one you didn’t believe in when you cast it.

 

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