Posts by Ben Austin

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  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    Regarding that petition, well, I think by this stage everyone knows its provenance and also accepts that it wouldn't change the result. It seems to be as much an exercise in showing our anger.

    It will be interesting to see where it ends up. It does appear quite likely that the Remain groups that formed during the campaign will keep together here and there, where there is a critical mass. Not clear what we can do with that, but in London's case there is a lot of chatter about enhanced devolution (not independence!). There are also a lot of newly minted activists looking for a home - currently that isn't Labour or the Conservatives. It might be the Lib-Dems or the Greens and given how crazy things are today we might even end up with a new party this week (parliamentary rebels?).

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: A Disorderly Brexit,

    Speaking as one of the Wandsworth London StrongerIn organisers, Labour was both helpful and not. The individual membership of Labour and their activists were very helpful and friendly. Many volunteered for us when they could.

    They did what they could via backchannels to assist us. However, they were constrained as to what they could give to us on a formal basis. Then there was the decision to call the Tooting by-election, which distracted the party* till a week before the Referendum. At that point the local party seemed to do what it could right up till Get out the Vote on Thursday and that helped us get to about 80% (we think) for Tooting,.

    * although I concede it was smart politics to go to the people on the bounce from the mayorals given the Conservatives had discredited themselves.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Hate and guns, in reply to Martin Brown,

    I had to renew my firearm's licence when I was back home last year (easier to renew than let it expire) and the process still required interviews of a close friend, family member and myself. I went to the police station on the day I arrived, which was a bit surreal having just flown across the world. It was all very relaxed but still enough for them to have a good chance of determining if I was a risk.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: An interview with Ben Goldacre,

    I ran into Ben at a beer festival 4 or so years back and drunkenly shook his hand. He looked slightly surprised and slightly drunk.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Iggy at the…,

    I was sad to miss that concert, but unfortunately the tickets were snapped up long before I realised they were on sale, which is probably true for most of the European tour at this point, excepting festivals.

    If you haven't already come across it, Iggy does a BBC Radio 6 show Friday nights from 7PM through to 9PM. It is well worth listening to, if you are able to use the iplayer.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The flag referendum:…,

    Whilst Key should be a bit sad about the result he can at least be happy that his voters seem to have turned out in many places. Rural / provincial National Party voting NZ seemed to be on board, which, as someone from that group surprises me greatly. Look at Clutha or Waitaki's results!

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Legal Beagle: The flag referendum:…,

    Looking at the Electoral Commission referendum statistics it looks like the voting numbers are substantially up, compared to the first referendum. It looks like about 1.79 million have voted, whereas at this point last time it seems about 1.2 million had voted.

    http://www.elections.org.nz/events/referendums-new-zealand-flag-0/voting-second-referendum/voting-statistics

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: The flagging referendum,

    I don't see that the new flag would help or hinder global perception of our country in order to sell food or produce. That being said I don't claim to have a sophisticated knowledge of foreign consumers (despite living overseas). So far as I can see from the NZ products and brands in London they trade at best on the name not on flag.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • OnPoint: Yeah nah, but what *do* we…,

    Growing up as I did on a farm surrounded by rural National Party types I seem to have absorbed their general anti flag change view despite having not lived on a farm for a decade or more and so have not been on board with the current process at all.

    As a republican I'm more interested in a fundamental change first, then we deal with minor issues like the flag, coat of arms and all that.

    I've assumed that republicans like Holden are as much interested in the current campaign as a door opener to a wider debate as they are interested in the flag changing. Which seems like a valid strategy as at least it has made us all think and talk about flag change and other wider issues.

    Maybe in a decade, once Turnbull tries his luck, once Charles is on the throne (or not as it were - I think he'll be fine as king in our hands off remote constitutional monarchy) and time passes we'll be ready to vote for a new flag and republic.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Bowie,

    Just saw on the NYT site a Bowie story with Iggy Pop, on all the help the former gave Iggy. Interesting stuff and there is a 12 minute video from a 1970s (i think) tv show where the two are interviewed together. Quite neat.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/14/arts/music/david-bowie-iggy-pop.html?ref=topics

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 957 posts Report Reply

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