That feeling after a satisfying election

Mon 5 – Sun 11 June 2017

Politics

It’s all over – thank fuck. Hopefully life can get back to normal a bit. We’ve made our choice and now it’s up to the elected politicians to get on and do their thing. Nobody wants another election or referendum for at least a couple of years now.

Has the world changed?

Daily Mail front pageThe result itself was interesting. I was surprised at the Labour gains. Though I think my world view is based on past disappointments such as 1992 and 2010. What has changed is that maybe the print media has less impact now and the power of social media is greater. Also no-one can take it away from Corbyn that he campaigned well and there is a genuine idealistic appeal to him. Compare to the Maybot who clearly doesn’t like performing and just seemed to flip-flop around in a haughty manner.

Just plain impolite and nasty

I was in Vauxhall on election day. That proved to be a waste of time in the that the vile Kate Hoey won with a majority of about 20,000. We were out knocking up and saw her. Now I think people should be polite to each other, it’s just nice. If I were her and I saw other party supporters then it would be a friendly ‘Hello’ appreciating that we are volunteering our time. Not her. She gave us a screwed witch-face look and simply said ‘Waste of time, waste of time’. I just responded ‘Tally Ho’ as she’s a big supporter of fox-hunting.

Where to from here?

A decent enough performance by the Lib Dems. Shame to lose Nick Clegg but that avoids him challenging Tim Farron for the leadership and marks an end to the coalition period. I think Tim needs to gain some seriousness and gravitas going forward to broaden the party’s appeal. Some decent gains. And devastating near misses including not gaining Fife North East by 2 votes and Zac retaking Richmond Park by 45 votes. Why would you elect someone like him with zero credibility? Though tis difficult to see many seats that are easy pickings in the future. Many former seats now have us in distant seconds and even thirds.

Closer to home

Irina performed well in my ward by-election. She got over 600 votes representing about 12% of the total vote. The Labour guy beat the Tory by about 2000 to 1,800 votes (or something like that). It’s normally a Tory ward with Labour occasionally getting a look in. Always difficult for a third party to get a foothold especially with the craziness of a general election to drive all the voters out.

Health and efficiency

Hopefully I can get back to some normality in my exercise routine. Gym twice last week – Mon and Sat morning. Decent work-outs reinforced by lots of walking for knocking up voters on Thurs. I did not make my yoga class on Thurs morning. I didn’t get back from Belfast till around 11pm on Wed night and then had a busy election day.

Jog-run

I could feel a cold coming on Thurs night / Fri morning as I watched the election results come in. This progressed through the weekend and led to several crap night’s of sweaty, snot-riddled sleep. I forced myself to the gym on Sat because I knew a little workout would make me feel better. And I forced myself for my jog-run on Sun. Wasn’t a classic by any stretch of the imagination but glad I pushed myself.

Tech for Good

The Northern Ireland angle

Map of Northern IrelandWell with the DUP pulling the strings in Westminster now, it was rather opportune (though coincidental) that my main Tech for Good stuff last week was focused on Northern Ireland. Tues I flew to Belfast in order to attend on Wed a Tech for Good event. The Building Change Trust over there runs a scheme called Techies in Residence. Fundamentally it’s about matching not-for-profits interested in using tech with tech companies in order to explore options. There was a general tech event called Digital DNA and within that a specific presentation strand around tech for good including presentations by projects that were looking for seed funding to continue the development of projects that had initiated.

Useful learning

Some interesting ideas and useful for me to be able to reflect on the potential that comes from linking up the not-for-profit sector with a local developing tech sector. The commonality that both sides bring from living in the same community and identifying together the changes needed. Also useful to note how much cheaper things can be done outside some of the high profile tech centres. A good conversation and I am hopeful that we can get involved with pushing out another iteration of Techies in Residence.

Bits and pieces

There was also bitty tech for good stuff last week including:

  • Continuing to develop our new crowdfunding programme including the workshops plus also sorting the separate video workshops
  • Prep work for a new presentation I have been asked to do to other funders
  • Supporting our current tech for good projects and planning the wrap-up event at the end of July
  • Liaising with various resesearchers and evaluators particularly with regard to getting people and projects to provide them with info
  • Giving feedback on the latest version of the research around ‘social tech eco-systems in sub-Saharan Africa’
  • Lots of reading including the entries for the Tech4Good Awards (I sit on the judging panel), a big tech bid to another funder where my comments have been requested, and the papers for our panel on Mon to choose the UK HIV & Tech projects to be funded (I am chairing this)

Personal development

Complete failure to do any Duolingo language learning on Thurs and Fri. Thurs obviously I was tied up with election day stuff. Fri was a case of recovering from staying up to see the election results combined with my cold coming on. A day of doing things I needed to do and then snoozing in-between. I did manage to do some coding practice done on Tues before getting the tube to Heathrow in order to fly to Belfast.

Books and reading

‘The Power’ by Naomi Alderman

The Power by Naomi AldermanNow this was an interesting book. Picked it up very low cost to read on my kindle. And it has just won the 2017 Baileys’ Prize for Fiction which is only open to women authors – very deserved. It is a modern day sci-fi where women obtain the ability to channel electricity and give shocks. The world is turned on its head as they are inherently more powerful than men. It’s a very challenging read that makes you think about what it is like to be a woman. You read about the way laws are used to discriminate against men but then realise that is exactly what is happening now in countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran. You read about the way women abuse and rape men then realise that is real life for many women now. A real ‘mind-fuck’ book.

Dr Who audio adventures

‘Protect and Survive’ (seventh Doctor Sylvester McCoy & companions Ace + Hex)

I remember listening to this before but there was far more to the story than I remembered. The Doctor is away for most of it (he was actually filming for The Hobbit in New Zealand). Ace and Hex find themselves caught in a time-loop with an old couple constantly forced to build their fallout shelter and taking refuge before the nuclear bomb drops. Amazingly I remember that time in the eighties when we thought the bomb could be dropped at any time. Turns out that the couple are super-beings being punished by the Doctor. A good little story.

Looking ahead

Did most of the things identified in last week’s blog that I was looking forward to (more details here). Though I didn’t have that massage. Really need it because my neck and back feel so stiff and aching (old age?). These are the things I am looking forward to this week even though Dave is away for work again for most of it:

  • The panel to agree the applications to go to assessment that want to use tech to tackle HIV issues in the UK
  • Tech for Good meet-up on Mon night around the theme of ‘looking back from the year 2050’
  • Announcement on Tues of the shortlists in each category of the Tech4Good Awards. Followed by the judging panel to agree the winners.
  • Off on Wed to visit Stoke Wavemaker and be there for the visit by some corporate sponsors
  • Meeting up with my old friend Jane on Thurs to find out about her major health issues
  • Aiming for either two gym sessions and a jog-run or three gym sessions. Dave’s mum is down at the weekend so I can’t use his flat as a base for my jog-run.
  • My 45 min work-based early-morning yoga session on Thurs followed in the evening by a new ‘back to yoga’ course starting
  • A family meal at the weekend to celebrate mum’s birthday. I’ll must send a father’s day card as well.
  • Duolingo/language learning every day and some coding practice
  • Another couple of books to be read. Again I have a two good ones on the go – one paper and one kindle.
  • Listening to at least a couple of Dr Who audio adventures

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