Messiness #3

East Lothian Liberal Democrats are in a mess. The last meeting of it’s Executive Committee was in April this year. There have been no meetings since the elections in May. The last communication to members only was in the run-up to the AGM last year. There has been no comms by email or post letting members know who the new office bearers are.

There are no plans to campaign. I have tried to alert them to possible migration from our current web-site and bulk email system. I mentioned costs would increase from £17 p/m to £45 p/m as a “development party”. That caused concern from the Treasurer. I raised several points over the costs but the key people haven’t responded. I am not taking the migration any further.

I could, in theory, start campaigning myself at my own cost but need to sort out leaflets first. I’m still thinking about it. It would give me something to do. I am not going to be chasing the local party to do anything, just sit on my hands and wait.

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Messiness #2

A rail strike organised by only one of the unions that have members in the rail industry has the Minister responsible following his leader by telling lies about the dispute. He has said the average rail worker earns £44k per year but the RMT do not represent every rail worker. The striking workers do not include train drivers who are very well paid. The RMT claim the majority of staff on strike are paid around £31k per year. There is also the fact the Government still dictate to the Rail Management companies how much they are able to offer as the Government still controls the purse strings as they took over the railways during the early days of the pandemic and haven’t handed all the powers back. It’s time the railways were re-organised back into one integrated company.

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Looking back on recent posts I find they relate to books I’ve read and posted reviews on Goodreads for. Nothing about anything else that’s going on. It’s just that I find them too messy to get my thoughts round them properly.

Take SARS-Cov-2 for example. You have a government administration under a leader who has told fibs over his entire career suggesting the pandemic is over and everything can go back to normal! The pandemic is not over and the WHO, the only organisation that can make such a declaration, is about another 18 months away from stating so. Meantime, infection rates are increasing but there are no plans in place to deal with this nor prevent an autumn spike.

Air travel is a major problem for the air industry. It has failed to plan for the number of people who want to travel. It got rid of a lot of staff during the first 18 months of the pandemic as no-one was flying anywhere. Now that restrictions are off, they are selling too many seats on flights that they don’t have the capacity to fill with crew. They’ve also failed to work with the airports to ensure they have enough staff to service the planes or passengers. The people that left have reassessed their lives and want to live differently. Above all they want better pay and conditions. There are plenty of vacancies in this area but people don’t want these low paid, long hours jobs anymore. Hence a crisis that won’t get fixed for months until they offer better pay.

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Preventable by Devi Sridhar

Preventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World How to Stop the Next OnePreventable: How a Pandemic Changed the World How to Stop the Next One by Devi Sridhar
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Prof Sridar has written an insightful, compelling narrative of the COVID-19 pandemic that is easy to read and understand. She has provided lessons from past pandemics to help explain how we have gotten where we are, how the responses to dealing with the pandemic varied across the world, some got it right, others wrong. An overview of the race for a vaccine and gives her ideas on what can be done moving forward.

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Rutherford and Fry – Complete Guide to Everything (Almost)

Rutherford and Fry's Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything (Abridged)Rutherford and Fry’s Complete Guide to Absolutely Everything by Adam Rutherford
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is a fun book to read despite the title and subject matter. The tongue-in-cheek writing makes the sometimes humdrum science and math fun and the obscure facts and info add to the interest. It is indeed a guide to almost everything. Its anecdotal style and info may spur you to research more on the topics that interest you. I liked it.

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