Entries from May 2010 ↓
May 30th, 2010 —
A great Mick Jagger interview. One answer in particular struck me:
“people only made money out of records for a very, very small time. When
The Rolling Stones started out, we didn’t make any money out of records
because record companies wouldn’t pay you! They didn’t pay anyone!
Then, there was a small period from 1970 to 1997, where people did get
paid, and they got paid very handsomely and everyone made money. But now
that period has gone.
So if you look at the history of recorded music from 1900 to now, there
was a 25 year period where artists did very well, but the rest of the
time they didn’t.”
May 21st, 2010 —
I was saddened to read in this morning’s Guardian that one in five children have never received a letter. I tweeted a link and a comment that it was sad. When I was a kid, I used to love letters arriving in the post. I remember the local Conservative MP writing to me about the closure of the local swimming pool. It meant a lot to me, even though back in the 1970′s he was in favour of “spending taxpayers money wisely” by closing my beloved pool. He still wrote back. I’ve never forgotten that.
Those poor kids who’ve never had the joy of opening an evelope from grandma or a pen pal in Malawi or the secretary of the Dennis the Menace Fan Club. These things should matter.
Opinion on Twitter was more divided. Some thought I was taking an anachronistic view.
“Seems like empty nostalgia to me. Like lamenting about how few children have used a plough. Or developed rickets.”
“its only sad from a nostalgia point of view. I’ve never been in a horse and cart which people would once have thought sad”
Others thought it inevitable:
“It has been downhill since cuneiform.I do get your point though, I think it is just one of those things that will pass. Like TB.”
“that is very sad. The art of letter writing is a victim of technology.”
But more thought that the art of letter writing was worth fighting for. The idea of directing ink across paper, crafting letters to form words was something to be cherished:
“my mum is a primary school teacher, and sends her 8 year olds thank you letters and birthday cards at home. They love it!”
Another, quoted Auden:
“And none shall hear the postman’s knock
Without a quickening of the heart
For who can bear to feel himself forgotten?”
This statement impressed me: “I sometimes hand write letters to friends. Sick of how disconnected net made us even though we’re more “connected” than ever.”
My pal Dan said ”I miss letters. Not bills, but handwritten letters from people you rate. #web0”
So even the most digitally connected people love the idea of handwritten notes. I think we should create a kind of Secret Santa for handwritten letters. There must be some clever coders out there who could knock something up.
May 15th, 2010 —
I’ve been told that an amendment has been accepted on the Digital Economy Bill. It says:
“Conference urges Liberal Democrat MPs and members of the coalition Government to take all possible steps to ensure that the freedom bill includes the repeal of those sections of the Digital Economy Act 2010 which are inconsistent with policy motion Freedom,Creativity and the Internet as passed at Spring Conference 2010.”
That’s basically Clauses 11-18 of the Digital Economy Act on cutting access and web blocking.
May 14th, 2010 —
May 13th, 2010 —
I was at a brilliant social media event tonight. A number of non-aligned delegates raised some pertinent points:
1. If Labour’s future leaders are to be “authentic”, they’re going to have to produce their own web content and they’ll have to do this over time not just during elections.
2. We need a “Labour Uncut” approach. That’s a clever way of saying we have to be clearer about our stresses and strains, be more transparent about our policy dilemmas; be more up front with our work in progress
3. A Labour Uncut approach should not fear giving credit to the new government when they do good things. A number of people praised the commitment to ending ID cards for example. Others looked forward to the repeal of the Digital Economy Act. Amen to that.
4. Others said that they looked forward to Labour’s innovators finding imaginative ways of holding the government to account in the digital space. Someone said that this is the first new government of the Internet age. Of course, Labour is also the first new opposition of the internet age.
5. One last thing. It isn’t half great not worrying about a call from Downing Street if you say something too controversial. I almost feel sorry for the social media friendly ministers in the new government. Almost, anyway.
May 9th, 2010 —
JH: That was a very positive and constructive meeting. We talked about how the national interests could be best served by politicians working together in the best interests of the country
EM: What about the Liberal Democrats’ interest?
JH: Well it’s the national interest which is the absolutely critical thing. The country is in a very difficult situation, we need political reform, we need economic reform, we need a better deal for the kids – the pupil premium, and we also need a better tax deal for the low-paid.
EM: What was decided about the bottom line because David Cameron has laid where he doesn’t really want to move, what do the Liberal Democrats say in that regard?
JH: What we say is that we want to put the national interest first and that what we are looking at is the four planks on which we fought the general election campaign. To think that we might sort of do anything other than what was in our manifesto is somewhat surprising.
EM: How does your education policy dovetail with the Conservative policy?
JH: Well interestingly they seem quite positive about the pupil premium which makes that perhaps a very easy issue to settle.
EM: And voting reform?
JH: Well the political reform is a much wider issue than just voting reform. In theory they support the Wright Report reforms for instance.
EM: What about changing the voting system which is what so many people shouting outside want to hear about?
JH: Well exactly and changing the voting system is one something we want to see.
EM: But you’re being promised an inquiry which isn’t the same thing as getting the change?
JH: Well I’m not going into the details of the negotiations, I’m not on the negotiating group.
EM: I just wondered what the mood of the meeting was?
JH: Well the mood of the meeting was that we should decide what to do in the national interest.
EM: That’s a phrase that you’ve repeated several times and people can interpret that a hundred ways I guess. I’m asking you abut an important detail about a central plank of Liberal Democrat policy.
JH: I would have thought to most people in the country, when the country is in such financial problems as it is, that people would want us to be focussed on the economic situation and what’s good for the children and things like that.
EM: So forget voting reform for now is that it?
JH: I’m not saying forget voting reform for now, what I’m saying is we have four planks to the manifesto and those are the planks that we’re looking at in negotiations.
January 2010: “Lib Dems ‘should say no deal to coalition’ – John Hemming”