Saturday, September 20, 2014

Come to TechCentral in Manchester at Labour Conference

tc-manchester

Sponsored post.

The UK political party conferences have seen health hotels and transport hubs; now it is time for TechCentral. An initiative from the teams behind MessageSpace and Big Brother Watch, TechCentral is putting technology and digital policy firmly on the party conference agenda for the first time.

With key players in the industry, including TalkTalk, Microsoft, EE, Facebook and a host of NGOs and start-ups, showcasing fringe meetings, debates, interactive experiences and workshops, TechCentral promises to be an exciting addition to the party conference season.

Conveniently placed in a marquee within the secure zone at the Labour and Conservative conferences and in the conference centre at the Liberal Democrat conference, TechCentral offers MPs, delegates, campaigners and journalists the chance to debate and explore tech and digital policy. MPs and candidates will also have the chance to brush up on their social media skills ahead of the general election through a series of workshops.

Emma Carr, co-founder of TechCentral says: “How technology and data are used can fundamentally improve the way that our country, and indeed the world, functions. Yet far more can be done to ensure that technology policy making is better informed and it is this that lies at the heart of TechCentral. We’re very pleased to have significant players in the digital industry supporting the project in its first year. The conferences will feature sessions on social media training for the general election and fringes on digital policy, all of which we very much hope the delegates will enjoy.”

TechCentral will be kitted out with free Wi-Fi from EE, the Facebook Geni Bar, live conference feed and a bloggers lounge (when fringes are not taking place).

For a full agenda of events taking place in TechCentral at each conference just click: Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat Conference, or head over to the TechCentral website.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Björk Backs Yes

yes-bjork

The lyrics call for a new flag, new currency and protection of indigenous languages and to ignore the patronising.

Funking for freedom…

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Ipsos Mori: 51% No, 49% Yes

scotland_indyref_4box[1]

Neck and neck…

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Scottish Sun’s Endorsement

sun-maybe

The full leader is here.

So Far Scottish Newspapers Firmly Behind No Campaign

sunday-scotland

So far only 3% – by circulation – of Scottish newspapers have declared for the Yes side. Only the small circulation Sunday Herald which sells 25,000 copies has come out for independence. The editor of the Scottish Sun has just tweeted:

UPDATE:

No Campaign’s Lidl Lies

fact-checking-project-fear

The No Campaign have found a few unionist supermarket bosses to make supportive outlandish claims; Andy Clarke, president and CEO of Asda said “If we were no longer to operate in one state with one market and – broadly – one set of rules, our business model would inevitably become more complex. We would have to reflect our cost to operate here.” Asda is the UK brand name of Walmart, the US giant is the world’s biggest supermarket so presumably it has mastered the logistics complexity of operating in multiple markets. Trucks do bring Asda’s products from all over the world already…

If Asda or the other supermarkets were to raise their prices they would be killed and they know it. Lidl, headquartered in Germany, would take even more of their market share… 

Posh People Politely Tell Scotland to Stay

Speccie readers really do need somewhere to go stag hunting…

Yes Campaign Winning On Search Terms and Facebook Likes

search

More people are searching online for Yes than No in relation to the Scottish referendum according to Google’s data, Facebook have also released data showing the level of interaction around the Scottish independence referendum favours the Yes campaign. Over 2.05 million interactions directly related to the Yes campaign and Yes Scotland, compared to the No campaign 1.96 million over the same period. If Facebook “likes” were votes, the Yes campaign has won, with 258,000 likes to the 182,000 of the No campaign…

Leaders of The Parties That Promised An EU Referendum Vow:
“We’re Politicians, Trust Us This Time…”

vow

Guido thinks that wavering Scottish voters may be more than a little sceptical about a last minute vague offer from the three establishment party leaders. Clegg’s history on signed pledges is not encouraging. Cameron gave a cast iron guarantee of an EU referendum that turned out to have small print that let him off the hook. Labour has gone back on their pledge as well. So why should anyone trust them to deliver on this pledge?

There is also the small problem of English MPs being up in arms at the prospect of their constituents paying more taxes to buy off Scottish voters. If the parties were really serious about this and have the cross party support they claim, why didn’t they actually put it to a vote last week? Because English MPs are livid…

Monday, September 15, 2014

Journalists Are Not Above Criticism

A lot of journalists are getting very prissy about the above banner which was paraded on Sunday as Yes supporters staged a march towards the BBC’s Scottish headquarters in Glasgow. Many have taken to Twitter muttering support for Nick Robinson and that this bodes badly for freedom of speech if the SNP win the referendum. Given the SNP have been in government for years with no noticeable damage done to a free press, this is a bit of hyperbole. That Charlie Whelan, formerly Gordon Brown’s bruiser spin doctor, could tweet that he was frightened is laughable. New Labour’s tough operators Mandelson, Campbell and Whelan himself were not above bullying the media and calling for firings of journalists on a regular basis. That is one of the many ways they pressurised editors – particularly at the BBC.  

The suspicion of an imperial BBC amongst Yes supporters is pretty much universal and has become focused on Robbo after he asked a tricky question of Alex Salmond based on a briefing from the Treasury. Fair to say Salmond didn’t like it one little bit…

The personalistion aside, the feeling is that the BBC is a partial propagandist is inevitable given the British Broadcasting Corporation is seen as institutionally biased in favour of the British status quo. The clue is in the name…

bbc-scot

Journalists are remarkably thin-skinned when it comes to being on the receiving end of what they dish out – that is why they invariably hate unfiltered comments below their articles and the feedback of the mob on Twitter and the streets. Tough, freedom of speech is for everyone, not just journalists…


Seen Elsewhere

Government Needs 10.6% Spending Cuts To Meet Target | IFS
What We Learned From the Referendum | FT
Scottish Crisis Moves South | Nick Wood
English Democrats Accidentally Celebrate Yes Victory | Pink News
Union In Its Current Form is Dead | Janan Ganesh
Labour Could Be Split in Two | Sun
Ashcroft Poll: Why Scotland Voted No | Buzzfeed
Boris: Change Barnett Formula | Sun
Cameron is Back | Dan Hodges
What Happens Now | James Kirkup
Cairo of the North | Quentin Letts


VOTER-RECALL
Find out more about PLMR


Diane Abbott on the Daily Politics:

“Labour MPs will unite behind Ed Miliband, once we find out what our policies are.”



cynic says:

Can anyone help me? I went on holiday a week ago and returned to find someone has pulled out the stake and Gordon Brown is back and acting as Prime Minister. What did I miss? Has there been a snap election?


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