Posts by Ben Austin

  • Hard News: Burning down the house to…,

    Interestingly for UK situation there is an estimated 5 million or so UK citizens living away from UK of which about 100,000 were registered to voted in 2015. Which seems low, but that is apparently about 4x the rate prior to 2015. The government thinks that online registration has made this massive increase possible. Suspect numbers even higher due to EU Ref, as it became a massive issue within EU at least.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Burning down the house to…, in reply to Zach Bagnall,

    NZ has reasonably generous rules by some measure - in that a citizen can keep voting if they return at least once every three years. The UK's 15 year rule seems to only reset if you move back and re-register. So long term expats from NZ can quite easily keep voting for ever, if they so wished (I imagine they probably don't) but UK expats won't be able to even if they want to.

    Of course NZ's rules are only generous if you can afford to come back every three years and that could be unjust.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taking the stage in Mount Albert, in reply to Caleb D'Anvers,

    That definitely would have motivated a lot of people although I don't think it is good enough for why most people voted for say brexit (sovereignty, immigration, f*ck off, media, local issues (housing!), racism (anti Muslim especially for some reason).

    One thing I've heard a lot recently from campaigners is how UKIP, made an effort to go around local pubs to get people to register to vote. Anecdotally it seems they made a real effort in parts of England to enrol long term non voters who were sufficiently angry as to make an effort.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Taking the stage in Mount Albert,

    It does seem like it could be, along with the Mt Roskill by-election, be a good stress test for the Party for later in the year, as well as as a good training opportunity. However the downside of course is that they probably are struggling for money and perhaps would rather spend it on the General.

    It is also interesting to contrast electioneering styles. I don't recall ever being door knocked in NZ, although I do remember my father and his friends doing it as late as the early 90s down south. I guess this isn't a thing parties really do anymore?

    Whereas in London there is a huge amount of election canvassing, then Get Out the Vote work done on election day by all parties that have the means to do such things (£, volunteers etc). Lib Dem friends say that they can expect to win a by- election if they can get a thousand volunteers on the day (which is obviously not something they can usually do but almost did for their recent Richmond win)

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Looks like Uber UK (if such an entity actually exists ! ;) ) may have some issues with local VAT (Value Added Tax - UK/EU wide)

    https://waitingfortax.com/2016/12/20/thats-one-uber-vat-problem/

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    Uber has lost a first level Employment Tribunal claim in England today on the question of employment status (or more precisely, worker status*). Page 26 onwards has the conclusions.

    https://www.judiciary.gov.uk/wp-content/uploads/2016/10/aslam-and-farrar-v-uber-reasons-20161028.pdf

    *Similar to employment, but a new statutory concept. Entitled to national minimum wage, holiday pay and subject to working time rules (say hours of work).

    text__Any other contract, whether express or implied and (if it is express) whether oral or in writing, whereby the individual undertakes to do or perform personally any work or services for another party to the contract whose status is not by virtue of the contract that of a client or customer of any profession or business undertaking carried on by the individual.__text

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…,

    I saw a transit app in Toronto last week which seemed to integrate Uber availability with the local metro bike hire scheme, which was quite neat. Think it may have been semi official, linked to the local Transit Commission

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News, in reply to Rich Lock,

    This last few months especially, their Twitter feed has become a joke.

    It is interesting watching how they transform stories. The current one about the Russian river going red - they've carefully removed the geographic references in the tweet, despite other news sources seemingly having space to mention Russia,.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Obscuring the News,

    I've also noticed this and have largely stopped reading the Herald or Stuff for this reason. That being said, they don't really need to care what I think, as I'm overseas and I don't buy the paper copy, or buy the products they advertise.

    The UK papers have a bit more variety and so it isn't so bad, but the Independent (digital only now sadly) sounds a lot like the Herald.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

  • Speaker: Confessions of an Uber Driver…, in reply to David Hood,

    Now that I think about it, a friend wrote a short story based on the Croydon atmospheric railway, for a local newspaper.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 966 posts Report Reply

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