Monday, January 26, 2009

Global Peace & Unity: Closure?

Back in October last year, Nick Clegg attacked Policy Exchange for releasing a dodgy dossier on various speakers at the 2008 "Global Peace and Unity" event. At the time, I looked at the dossier and offered my opinion on it, but the general consensus that came out of the comments thread brouhaha on LDV was that we should reserve judgment on Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes's decision to attend the event until we could see what they had to say.

Well, that day has come, the videos of speeches at the event are here.

Nick's speech:

Simon's speech:

Currently, I'm sat in Starbucks, Virgin Media having continued to not supply me with internet access for two weeks now. Consequently, I haven't been able to actually watch the videos with the sound turned up myself yet, so I will have to reserve judgement.

Of course, the really interesting thing might also be to find the speeches of the controversial speakers to whom Nick and Simon might have been lending credibility by appearing on a common platform with them. If you can be arsed to do so, go here or here. Personally, I have more important things to do with the 18 mins of laptop battery left to me!

Monday, January 12, 2009

I Have Moved... to the Stone Age

Apologies for lack of blogging lately, but I have been getting myself sorted out to move out of my parents' house for the first time and move to London, which is a lot to get your head around, or at least it would have been if I had really thought about it until now. Unfortunately, I now find myself on my own (my housemate isn't going to be here permanently until February) in a house with no internet (about which more in a minute).

As a result, you are reading this via the medium of the free wifi at wherever I've decided to go and use free wifi to post this up, having pre-writted it at 22:06 10/01/09. I expect I'm now drinking a coffee or a pint, depending what time of day it is.

So anyway, I'm now living in Camden (nice, albeit a bit trendier than really suits me), trying to do little things like clean the oven so I can cook in it, plumb in the washing machine, get a job, etc. Which has been moderately succesful so far. But when I moved down here, I thought I was going to be online by Friday 9th. Instead, when the Virgin Media chap turned up, he informed me that the cable to our house is "dead" and will have to be replaced, and guessed it would be 1-2 weeks more until I had an internet connection. Which is a bit of a pain in the arse, really, because I had been hoping to be able to use the internet to find out where stuff I wanted was, where temping agencies might be found, etc.

But it was only this evening that I realised it's more than that. Sat here without a housemate to talk to, I felt very isolated, not because I'm sat in a house on my own (which I've done many times before, obviously), but, I realised, because I would usually go on the internet and watch Maron V Seder, leaf through Lib Dem Blogs, poke about Facebook or some forums, etc. In short, the internet makes up a fair chunk of the ways I socialise.

Then it occurred to me that it was somewhat bizarre to feel like I was cut off from the world. After all, before the internet existed for the use of the general public, this was the normal state of affairs. So is this a generational thing? I don't imagine, for example, that lack of access to the internet for a couple of weeks would bother, say, my parents, anything like as much. Is this, I wonder, connected to why I'm so crap at getting reading done in my leisure time - because faced with a choice between reading and talking to people on the internet, I'm generally likely to choose the latter, with the exception of very few books.

Then again, is this a generational use of the internet thing, or just that I value time talking to other people more than many other people do? After all, at uni, where all my peers were roughly my age, I chose to keep more of my time available for just chatting over a cup of tea to friends, when I might otherwise have been sat on a million different committees, or involved in more ADC shows, or something.

Ho hum. Anyway, if you've read this far, you might as well write a comment. How much does it bother you when you're cut off from the internet?