Manchester’s first trans councillor and my dear friend

The moment Chris won

I was so happy to see Chris win my area, the previous councillors were ok but I felt not much was going on and it was time for a positive change.

Reading about my good friend Chris in the Manchester evening news. Having only missed out last election by not many votes, this May she smashed it with 355 votes in Ancoats and Beswick. I wonder how much of it was postal votes, because for example I switched which I gather can make a big difference to the turn out.

Of course the hard work has just started, as there is a lot of problems in and around Ancoats & Beswick, including a lack of green space, anti-social behaviour, tensions from gentrification, etc etc.

Go get them Chris! Apply your problem solving methodology to local political system… I know you will do a great job and be part of the very needed change in (#brexit) Britain.


VPRO documentary: How did Brexit happen?

Brexit: The Uncivil War
The UK left the EU on January 1 2021, big ben chimed and there were fireworks at 2300 on December 31st in some places.

There are so many things I have said and want to say but I found the VPRO (Dutch public service broadcaster) really worth watching.  As always its good to see Brexit from the view of our neighbours.

Good documentary, hard to watch but very fair leaning on Brexit: civil war, the horrible class divide in the UK, the lies of the Boris bus, targetted advertising, the problems with nostalgia, etc..


John Ashton on Boris Johnson’s sick responsibility

This is quite a powerful monologue by John Ashton as part of Double down news’s great coverage. He’s right all that good will during the lockdown is going to be massively tested as the furlough scheme comes to an end in October, a second wave for winter (although we haven’t finished the first one honestly) and the aim to get us all out is fine but eating junk food is almost laughable.

This government is a sick joke and John Ashton is right, the messages are mixed, muddled and deadly!

Great justification for the future of Digital Britain

Guys talk about Volume at the V and A

Victor Keegan from the Guardian, pins down a great argument for the TV license rise. Here's some of the best bits.

The BBC needs to be cut down to size because it uses the certainty of its licence fee to undermine entrepreneurial initiatives in the private sector. That is the accusation used by many of its rivals as they try to prevent the BBC from getting an above-inflation rise in its current licence application, a decision on which is imminent. The reality is rather different, as two recent examples illustrate.

Back in May the BBC – Radio 1, actually – was prescient in launching a pop concert in the now-fashionable Second Life virtual world that attracted 6,000 people. The spin-off from the event is credited with tripling the number of SL participants and helping to change it from a geek's secret paradise into a mainstream phenomenon. Justin Bovington, chief executive of Rivers Run Red, the enterprising Soho company that employs 22 people to build projects in SL, reckons that only the BBC could have done that because
private sector companies wouldn't have taken the risk.

The main UK global media brand online is the BBC (with the Guardian running second). If the UK wants to breed companies that can rival YouTube or the new wave of online media such as (which utilises 52,000 story-hungry cameraphone-equipped citizen journalists) then the most obvious organisation in terms of resources and a culture of innovation is the BBC. Why can't the politicians throw themselves behind one of the few global stars we have instead of finding reasons to cut it back?

No one knows what will happen when the digital revolution is turning whole industries upside down. The latest instalment is this week's news that the founders of Skype, the free internet telephone calls company, plans to launch a global near high-definition broadband television service.

At a time when a small cup of coffee at Starbucks costs £1.90, the BBC's licence fee of £131.50 a year for colour (36p a day) or only £44 for black and white (12p a day) is amazing value for money. If the government, through the licence fee review, underfunds the BBC during this critical period, then it will truly deserve the contempt of history.

Indeed! This certainly makes me proud to work for the BBC. This is also one of many reasons to have projects like the Backstage and Innovation labs. We're a publicly funded company and everything we do is to the benefit of the public now and into the future. If the government does (in my view) the right thing, Digital Britain will be a great place to live and work. But obviously we can't go it alone, this is why I find things like Vecosys moving on from techcrunch, Girl geekdinners expension plans extremely interesting. 2007 also seems to be the year when conferences and events in england (at least) grow massively. February looks to be very busy and with companies like Chinwag launching their own events, its certainly looks like there will be something of interest for everyone involved in Future Media and Technology (I'm dumping new media in 2007).

I was also thinking the other day about the sheer diversity of the UK compared to elsewhere. Bruce Sterling wrote a nice piece in Make 07 titled the Interventionists. About how the tech geeks and fine artists are jostling onto the same page. After reading it I thought Dorkbot London and started to reflect on some of the other groups which already occupy the UK. The UK government has also made it clear they want to help drive more of them as this is critical to enterprising britain.

So in summary, I think 2007 will be great for the reasons of people coming together more than ever. The BBC will have a big role to play in this but maybe more to highlight whats already going on elsewhere.

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