Month: February 2011 (Page 1 of 2)

What should Liberal Democrats do now? and what has changed in Ukraine?

Change their name!

Well, I’m not sure it would achieve a great deal but it was one on the more playful suggestions Prof Timothy Garton Ash made during a presentation this evening in Oxford.

As a liberal who has an almost unhealthy obsession with European affairs, I was keen to hear what GA (a Professor of European Studies here in Oxford) had to say about my favorite subject. I’m glad I did for two reasons.

Firstly, having spent most of 2010 bemoaning the absence of a cohesive EU policy in Ukraine, and having concluded that the mass duplication of national and EU embassy resources Ukraine is, in part, the root of this problem – I was able to ask what he (and lets face it he’s a lot smarter than me) thought. Depressingly, GA turned my whole argument on its head and instead pointed-out the benefit of having 27 national + one EU embassies, all pushing for similar change  …the result is greater than the sum of its parts etc etc.
I’m still not sure I agree but I can see his point and it means I’ve got some thinking to do. At least in the case of visa policy (my area of limited expertise) I need to give some greater consideration to the possibilities this duplication offers.  

Secondly, during a very brief conversation after after his speech he asked me how I thought things were going in Ukraine since Fedsy Yanokovych took the helm in February.  In answering his question I found myself explaining that, whatever the political arguments were on either side and despite the doomsday predictions – not much has changed. I mean, for your average hard working (and hard-up) Ukrainian – life is not much different. It’s the same shit, just a different day.

However, I realized after I left that this itself is actually the tragedy. Ukraine and Ukrainians need change (a lot of it) and they need a government with the academic, political and moral integrity to pull it off. No positive change in Ukraine would itself be failure.

Anyway, GA did what he does best and got people thinking, I’m not used to that on a Friday night….

Oh, and while I’m on the subject of Ukraine – it’s good to see that, in the case of D Fitrash vs The Kyiv Post, common sense won over our ‘draconian libel laws’. See why here:

For GA on Europe, watch here:

…oh, and he suggested the Lib Dems should call themselves (wait for it) …the… “Liberals”!!
I’m not sure about that one Tim. 

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the plural of training is training NOT trainings

…you may attend one training session, you may attend many training sessions. These might make up your training schedule but they are NOT trainings!

Repeat after me: “there are no such things as ‘trainings'”

There are lessons and training sessions (note the plural sessionS)

OK, now, if you like you can enjoy the following article and correct the mistakes.

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Hard knocks of EU diplomacy | euronews, Europe

Hard knocks of EU diplomacy euronews, Europe

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Brussels ü Paris > London > Wroclaw > Poznan > Kiev > Home…

btw, if you ever decide to walk, cycle or (god forbid) drive in Belgium – invest in a gps navigation system and a lot of patience. Road signs are not something that the Belgian state provides. Maybe it’s a security mechanism from the Enver Hoxha school of defense…

Next stop London. Sorry Paris, I couldn’t break my ‘Paris Rule’. 

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EUobserver / [Comment] The EU and US should take power in Kosovo

EUobserver / [Comment] The EU and US should take power in Kosovo

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BRUSSELS — Chalk up another giant victory for Britain’s regular folks.  The glorious months of World Cup or European Championship soccer, when dozens of games are followed with rabid enthusiasm across the continent, will stay on free TV, not cable.

In a major slapdown to powerful federations like FIFA and UEFA, who pocket big profits from lucrative TV broadcasting rights, a European Union high court in Luxembourg ruled Thursday that they have no right to sell most of their prime tournaments to pay-TV networks.

The court said World Cup and Euro games are cherished social and cultural events that belong to all the people, including the poor.

It was the second TV victory for ordinary citizens this month. A top EU court official also advised that bars and individuals have the right to use the cheapest satellite decoder available to watch matches in England’s Premier League, even if that sidesteps exclusive national broadcasting agreements.”

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Brussels > Paris > London > Wroclaw > Poznan > Kiev > Home…

I’m on the move again, so if you’re in any of these places, make sure you have tea, milk and biscuits – I’m coming to visit… 

Also, if anyone has an Android smartphone, can you tell me what it’s like? I’m thinking of re-joining the digital cool-kids but can’t decide which phone to get. Any advice would be welcome.

Edd Eddy Edwards  

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One man, one week, one mission…

Ian Bearder stars in “The King’s P-P-Patio”
Act 1 

Act 2 

Act 3

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Good Communism?

Facebook and farmers markets – feeding the social self. 

> Usage trumps possession 
> Access is better than ownership
> Social networks are redefining our values and our society allowing us to produce less and reuse, repair, recycle and redistribute  
> Don’t keep up with the Jones’s – connect with them…

These are all points Rachel Botsman raises in her refreshingly optimistic view of the future and her exploration of our connected future. 

As the RSA puts it “an emerging culture and economy of sharing, swapping and trading that is transforming how and what we consume.  Fuelled by a mix of drivers including the rise of new technologies and social media, a rethinking of traditional market principles and a renewed belief in community, many more people are now sharing not just material goods, but also experiences, skills and time.

Join Rachel Botsman at the RSA to find out how the millions of small contributions that make up collaborative consumption are accumulating to create a new kind of wealth, where commerce and community meet.”

So, while I’m appalled that she babbled on about without so much as a reference to the long-running pioneers in this area – and, on the whole she makes a great case for a future in which we define ourselves through interaction and not ownership. 

If you missed the link above you can listen here:

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“Britain is the only country where people will introduce you to a friend by saying: ‘this is my mate Barry, he’s a bit of a twat'”
~: Reginald D.Hunter
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