Friday, June 25, 2004

Portugal vs. England

I missed the first half so I can not say anything about that however from what I saw (the whole second half, extra time and penalties) I have to say that England were playing too deep and it was a case of when Portugal scored rather than if Portugal scored. On the basis of what I saw England did not deserve to win. The only player who I thought played well was Ashley Cole.

With the Sol Campbell disallowed Goal I have to say that my first reaction was that he got it right (however I have since changed my mind) but we must remember that the referee made his decision on what he saw so to him John Terry was pushing Richardo.

Previously England had a good chance of winning Penalty shootouts because we had a keeper (David Seaman) who was great a saving penalties but David James is rubbish and while David James is England's first choice keeper England have no chance of winning a Penalty shootout.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

WMANUS is currently facing a bit of a weird situation!

Earlier today we had a bit of an odd thing happen at the extraordinary conference, which we held to co-opt our Area Convenor Training & Development.

However only four institutions there with eight votes, making the conference inquorate but we decided to press on and hold an indicative vote anyway, to which the following results were announced:

Darren Holmes 2
William Salt 1
Re-open Nominations 5

This means that the Executive would be stupid if we decide to co-opt either of the candidates. Indeed, the votes for the candidates were likely to have come only from the institutions fielding candidates.

So what can we do?
Some members of the executive had a chat afterwards and came up with a few options, which we will research in more detail before our first executive meeting(17/07/04). We also plan to send out a consultation to our Constituent members on the matter, which can also form the basis of our discussions.

The options
1. Do nothing: We simply wait until September and call our Winter Conference at the earliest opportunity. We open nominations as normal and see who comes forward.

2. Ask unions in the WM region to second a member of staff: Unions around the region already have skilled staff employed doing comparable roles. It may be possible that a union could "rent" a member of their staff to us for a certain number of hours per week and they could run our administration and/or training functions during the time seconded to us.

3. Employ a member of staff directly: We'd set up a temporary contract. They would take on some or all of the convenor's duties. We'd need to discuss how the job roles were altered and responsibilities divided between Sarah (Convenor Campaigns & Communications) and the member of staff, and whether we took someone on part-time or full-time.

4. Pay members of the part-time executive: Certain members of the executive (we'd need to work out a way of choosing who) could be paid to take on various responsibilities of the Convenor (T&D).

My evaluation of the options (please let me know how you feel

1. We cant Do nothing because NO suitable candidates have come forward thus far and are unlikely to, If anyone does come forward they would be those doing part-time courses, and those willing to leave their course in September to take a year out. And that's not a huge pool of candidates.

2. Secondment has some advantages. The staff member would already have skills and experience in the area we're looking for. We'd get more than a part-time member of staff's worth of work because their work in their current union would be complementary to that in WMANUS. The need for training would be greatly reduced.

3. Employing a member of staff. There are so many sub-options to this that it's difficult to evaluate this as a general option. The advantage with this is that they're all ours, and we're far more likely to get someone than looking for a secondment. We'd have more freedom to define the job role and jig Sarah's and the staff member's roles to make them as complementary as possible. There are, however, legal hoops through which we'd have to jump- right from the moment we put out an advertisement for the job in the local or national press.
There are also several questions we'd need to answer. Would we want a full-time administrator, or a part-time member to fulfil most of the duties of the T&D convenor? Would we employ just for this year, reverting to two elected convenors, or would we make this a permanent thing with time?

4. Pay members of our part-time exec has advantages in that we need waste no further time in searching for another member. This does, of course, depend on there being people on the exec with adequate time to devote to the task, and we'd need to devise some way of making sure that work was tied together.

If anyone has any ideas, which would help me, come to decision on which option I should vote for or alternative ways of tackling the problem please let me know.

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Seven Down, Two to go.

Sorry have not posted for a while but just getting a little busy with exams. However I do wish that it was revision for my nine exams that was keeping me from blogging but there is this football tournament called Euro 2004 that is currently taking place and has come at the end of a long local election campaign which prevents me from revision when I need it most so I know what to blame when my results come out in August.

Exams Report
My first exam was Economics Unit 1 on Monday 14th which was a retake of an exam I did last year and didn’t do too well on. I thought the paper was not too bad but because I was the only one sitting the paper I could not talk to anyone about it to get a feeling of how I have done.
My second exam was Economics Unit 4 on Wednesday 16th which was a paper on the European Union expecting the question to be on EU Competition Policy or enlargement you can expect my surprise when I was asked to write a memo about the EU employment.
Then there was “Super Monday” and like all things to do with Adam Nazir Ahmed Teladia it started well with the History Unit 4 & Unit 5 papers being especially as the compulsory question on Unit 5 was about Margaret Thatcher and then the options of essays asked a question about the role of Neil Kinnock and John Smith in helping Labour win the 1997 General Election.
However then came the afternoon and things went from bad to worse. During the law I could not remember a thing from Unit 4 or 5 and I will be surprised if I pick even one mark on the Law paper.
Then came this morning Unit 6 law after all the reading I did about Justice and Judicial Creativity during my journey yesterday I thought that I would be alright but NNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOOO0000000000000! the same bloody thing as Monday afternoon. I could not remember anything.
So with seven from the nine gone I have so far had three exams in which I think I have done reasonably well so you will think that that makes the two remaining Economics exams on Monday crucial if I am to get some good grades in August however after my experiences from the last ten days or so I am not expecting much.

What Else Have you been up to?
I have been helping the Hodge Hill Liberal Democrats with delivering leaflets and surveys in preparation for the forthcoming Hodge Hill by-election.
Now that Terry Davis has actually jumped ship (and we’re not only hoping) the Hodge Hill Liberal Democrats have a real opportunity to win the Hodge Hill by-election. Good luck to Hodge Hill Liberal Democrats, I'll be down there lots soon and I am certainly looking forward to the upcoming West Midlands LDYS action weekend in July.
Hopefully success for the Hodge Hill Liberal Democrats will help the Liberal Democrats in Folkestone and Hythe beat Michael Howard.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


Found two links that I thought I shoulkd share with you the first is a game where you have to smack the flies.

The second however is more serious it is the new site They Work For You which aims to improve access to the Parliamentary record and show what MPs do in an easy to understand way.
Welcome Adam

Adam Parsons who is studying Politics, Psychology and Sociology A-levels at Worcester College Of Technology has started a blog.

Adam is a Liberal Democrat and is involved nationally with the Liberal Democrat Peace Group. He is also currently looking into becoming a PPC (prospective parliamentary candidate) for Wyre Forest. Adam is a general executive member for WMLDYS's and WMLDYS official rep to the Regional Executive.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Thank you

"The Liberal Democrats have had a spectacular set of local, London and European elections results, gaining seats all across the country and making large inroads in Labour's former heartlands. Thank you to everyone who turned out and voted for us."

Charles Kennedy MP

When at first I read the message above my reaction was that the party were being typical politicians and spinning the situation to make it look like we had a good election however I then began to seriously look at the results we had and realised that the Liberal Democrats have had a good set of local, London and European elections results.

In the local elections we increased our number of Councillors by 137 to 1283 that’s an increase of approximately 12%. We gained Newcastle-upon-Tyne from Labour and Pendle from NOC. We defended our overall majorities on Liverpool Council, Stockport Council, Milton Keynes Council, Eastleigh Council (gaining 2), Three Rivers Council (gaining 2), Cambridge Council (gaining 2) and Watford (gaining 6). We lost overall control of three councils whilst remaining as the largest party Cheltenham, Winchester and Norwich. In Cardiff the Liberal Democrats gained 15 seats to become the largest party so now in Cardiff Central Constituency every councillor is now a Liberal Democrat including WMLDYS General Executive Member Joe Carter.

In the European elections our national share of the vote went up, and with it our number of MEPs plus with it being a year when Britain’s allocation of MEPs fell that surely has to be a success.

Congratulations to all the Liberal Democrats elected as Councillors, GLA members and MEPs and commiserations to all those who didn’t win this but lets hope that we can build on this years success in next years general election and make more progress at national level.

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Super Thursday

Over the past year I have worked with Liberal Democrat Focus Teams in seven different Wards in Birmingham (Stockland Green, Aston, East Handsworth and Lozells, Handsworth Wood, Oscott, Perry Barr, Selly Oak). Generally the response we have received has been warm and welcoming.

We have heard many warm and kind comments about Liberal Democrat campaigns to clean up areas, save local post offices and scrap the unfair council tax.

Across the city of Birmingham Conservative supporters are pissed off and feel very angry and annoyed that the local Conservative Councillors are keeping the Labour party in power in Birmingham. Lifelong Conservative voters are now saying that they will vote for the Liberal Democrats.

Labour party supporters across the city of Birmingham are angry with the Labour Council for failing Social Services, Housing, Transportation among other things in Birmingham and they are angry with Labour government for their spin on Iraq and for breaking their promises on student tuition fees.

Over the past twelve months and in a lot of cases longer local Liberal Democrat Focus Teams have been campaigning hard to improve their local areas for everyone. They have dealt with local residents' problems and queries from potholes to overloaded skips to dumped rubbish.

A Liberal Democrat Council in Birmingham will work with its citizens not try to control everything itself, a Liberal Democrat Birmingham City Council will be open and accountable not a centralized bureaucracy. Birmingham City Council under the control of Liberal Democrats will be Efficient and Effective.

On Thursday the whole of Birmingham City Council is up for election. I urge the people of Birmingham who want a city–“on the move”, a city–“that is safe”, a city–“for the future”, a city–“that cares”, a city–“that we can be proud of”, a city–“for all”, a city–“for learning”, a city–“with adequate housing”, a city–“with services for all”, a city-“that thrives” and a city–“with good services” to vote for Liberal Democrat candidates across the city.

All Birmingham Citizens must remember that they have 3 votes in the council election. Please use all 3 to elect the Liberal Democrat.

P.s. the Liberal Democrats have published manifestos for the local and European Elections and the Birmingham Liberal Democrats have published a manifesto for Birmingham.

Saturday, June 05, 2004

West Midlands Area NUS Executive Elections

The elections for the West Midlands Area NUS executive took place on Thursday at the Area conference Staffordshire University. It was unfortunate that so many nominations were withdrawn between the close of nominations and the elections but hey that’s the way it goes.
I look forward to working with all those elected over the coming year.

Area Convenor (Campaigns & Communications)
Sarah Griffiths (Aston Students' Guild)

Area Convenor (Training and Development)
To be elected at a future meeting.
This space remains vacant. If you'd like to find out more, contact

Area Treasurer and Secretary
Matthew Walsh (Aston Students’ Guild)

Further Education Union Development Officer
Lucy Nobo (City of Wolverhampton College)

Events Officer
Beccy Lawrance (Coventry University SU)

Non-Traditional Students’ Officer
Jonathan Horan (currently WMANUS as Training & Development convenor)

Cultural Awareness Officer
Manishta Sunnia (Dudley College)

Network Officers
Adam Nazir Teladia (Josiah Mason College)
Andrew Slattery (Birmingham University Guild of Students)
David Pleavin (West Cheshire College SU)
Richard Angell(BUGS).
Gary Youens (Oxford & Cherwell College)

Liberation Campaigns
Just like NUS; WMANUS has four liberation campaigns working for students who define themselves as fitting particular groups.

Black Students’ Officer
Roopa Rajani (Coventry University SU)

LGB officer
Ciaran Osborne (Warwick University SU)

SWD Officer
Andy Watts (Staffordshire University SU)

Women’s Officer
Leanne Bates (Keele University SU)

Now all you unlucky people can see my ugly face on two different website. YES, two different websites, one and two.

The Annual WMANUS Area Awards

The presentations for The Annual WMANUS Area Awards were made at this year's Area Spring Conference.

A big massive congratulation must go out to all the winners.

Student Union Executive Member of the year
Natalie Puttick - Staffordshire University

Best FE Officer
Manishta Sunnia - Dudley College

Best Publication
Ciara Hill - Keele University (Concourse newspaper)

Best Campaign
Tim Filby - Staffs University (Health Awareness week)

Best Club Night / Venue
Paul Roberts - Staffs University (Ember Lounge)

Best Innovation
Andrew Grimwade - BUGS (Alternative Voting system)

Best Collaboration
Mathilda Branson - Birmingham University (Cadbury Mentoring Scheme)

Special Recognition
A special award was made to Beccy Lawrence (Coventry University) for coming up with the winning design for the Your Vote Counts campaign.
So how many political conversations do you have every day?

So research by the Electoral Commission suggests that Britons take part in 14.5m political conversations every day.

That comes as no surprise to me as almost everyday my brother like most people who work complains about how much tax he pays, most my friends who use the No 11 route complain about how rubbish the service is, most students complain about the number of exams they sit, the debt they get in to studying or they have to pay, drivers complain about the traffic on roads, pedestrians and residents complain about the mess on the roads, home owners complain about the price of their mortgage.
These are just some of things that I can think of at the moment there must be loads of other things that people talk about during the day without realising that it is a consequence of a political decisions.

A rough idea of how much politics affects can be seen from the wide range of governments departments that exist i.e. Foreign, Environment, Rural Affairs and Food, Transport, Trade and Industry, Education, Work and Pensions, Health, International Development, Culture, Media and Sport, Defence etc how many us take time to discuss an issue relating to any one of those at least once a day?

Congratulations to West Midlands Area NUS (WMANUS) who have launched a website to encourage people to vote on June 10th when here in Birmingham we will be electing the whole of our city Council and as part of the West Midlands we will be electing our MEPs.

Therefore I would just like to wish to all the Liberal Democrat Candidates in Birmingham City Council and European elections the best of Luck.

Why I will Vote for the Liberal Democrats:
On a national level the Liberal Democrats are opposed to Tuition and
Top-up Fees, taking a principled stance against the war, want to introduce votes at 16, want to save our School Buses, want to take action against ticket touts, want to replace the council tax with a local income tax.

Closer to home the Liberal Democrats are promising to achieve value for money, a cleaner and greener environment, safer communities, better and more affordable housing and economic development and regeneration.

In the European Parliament the Liberal Democrats will battle to make sure that the EU tackles the needs of British people and promotes their interests, and that the EU works to help people who are suffering in every corner of the world.

That’s why I will vote for the Liberal Democrats on Thursday 10th June 2004, why not join me?

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Just sharing some mindless thoughts, employee appraisals and lessons learnt

I’ve just spent the morning going through some old floppy discs I have and I came across files containing the items below and thought I should share them with you.

Some Mindless Thoughts

If your father is a poor man, it is your fate but,
if your father-in-law is a poor man, it's your stupidity.

Practice makes perfect...
but nobody's perfect...
so why practice?

If it's true that we are here to help others,
then, what exactly are the others here for?

Since light travels faster than sound,
people appear bright until you hear them speak.

Money is not everything . . . . .
there's Mastercard & Visa.

One should love animals,
they are so tasty.

Save water,
shower with your girlfriend.

Love thy neighbor,
but don't get caught.

Behind every successful man, there is a woman . . . . .
and behind every unsuccessful man, there are two.

Every man should marry,
after all, happiness is not the only thing in life.

The wise never marry,
and when they marry they become otherwise.

Love is photogenic . . . . .
it needs darkness to develop

Children in backseats cause accidents . . . . .
accidents in backseats cause children

"Your future depends on your dreams" . . .
so go to sleep

There should be a better way to start a day . . . . .
than waking up every morning

"Hard work never killed anybody" . . . . .
but why take the risk!

"Work fascinates me" . . . . .
I can look at it for hours!

God made relatives;
Thank God we can choose our friends.

When two's company,
three's the result!

A dress is like a barbed fence . . . . .
it protects the premises without restricting the view

The more you learn, the more you know,
the more you know, the more you forget,
the more you forget, the less you know,
So... why learn?

Extracts from actual employee appraisals:

Since my last report this employee has reached rock bottom and shows signs of starting to dig.

His men would follow him anywhere but only out of morbid curiosity.

I would not allow this man to breed.

Works well under constant supervision and cornered like a rat in a trap.

When e opens his mouth it seems that this is only to change whichever foot was previously in there.

This man has delusions of adequacy.

He sets low personal standards and then consistently fails to meet them.

This employee should go far – the sooner he starts the better.

Got into the gene pool while the lifeguard wasn’t looking.

Fell out of his family tree.

Any dumber and he would have to be watered twice a week.

Its hard to believe that he out beat 1’000’000 other sperm.

Some drink from the fountain of knowledge, he gargled.

Finally I did come across something that was serious I hope you all benefit from the wise words that a friend passed on to me.

Finally something serious

I’ve learned

I've learned that no matter what happens,
or how bad it seems today,
life does go on,
and it will be better

I've learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way he/she handles these three things:
a rainy day,
lost luggage,
and tangled Christmas tree lights.

I've learned that regardless of your relationship with your parents,
you'll miss them when they're gone from your life.

I've learned that making a "living" is not the same thing as making a "life."
I've learned that life sometimes gives you a second chance.

I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands.
You need to be able to throw something back.

I've learned that whenever I decide something with an open heart,
I usually make the right decision.

I've learned that even when I have pains,
I don't have to be one.

I've learned that every day you should reach out and touch someone.

People love a warm hug, or just a friendly pat on the back.
I've learned that I still have a lot to learn.

I've learned that people will forget what you said,
people will forget what you did,
but people will never forget how you made them feel.