Daniel proposed a few hours after Freddie was born!
When were moved out of the labour ward and to the day unit, I went to the toilet and when I came back Daniel handed me Freddie, freshly changed into this outfit!
I turned to him and he pulled out a ring and got down on one knee.
It was beautiful.
We’re so happy.

Women do the lowest work of the society whatever that lowest work is perceived to be; and when women are the primary workers in a field, the field itself takes on the females’ low status. Therefore, it is false to think that the inferior status of women will dissolve when women do productive labor or enter freely into high status professions. When women enter any field in great numbers, the status of the field itself is lowered. The men who are in it leave it; the men looking for work will not enter it. When men leave a field, they take its prestige with them; when men enter a field, they bring prestige to it. In this way, the subordination of women to men is perpetuated even when women work for a wage and no matter what work women do.
—  Andrea Dworkin, Letters From A War Zone
A student going through for engineering is like a woman going through childbirth. Once it’s over, you forget how intense the pain was in those moments and how much you suffered. It’s easy to rationalize going through it again.
—  My former TA, an engineering graduate herself

November 14th 1982: Wałęsa released

On this day in 1982, Polish labour activist and future Polish President Lech Wałęsa was released after eleven months of internment near the Soviet border. Born in Popowo in 1943 to a poor family, Wałęsa received only rudimentary education before he entered the working world. In the late 1970s, Wałęsa became an anti-government union activist, after having been witness to violent suppression of dissent by Poland’s communist government. He quickly rose to prominence as a labour leader who pushed for trade union rights, becoming chairman of the Solidarity movement which was a national federation of unions. In 1981, after increased pressures on the government by Solidarity, the Polish government imposed martial law, outlawed the movement and arrested its leaders. Wałęsa was one of the leaders who was detained after the government crackdown, and was released after about a year. After his release, in 1983, Wałęsa was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. He and the Solidarity movement continued their labour advocacy despite harassment by the government. Economic problems and labour unrest in 1988 forced the Polish government to negotiate with Solidarity, which resulted in free elections which Solidarity winning a majority. The Soviet Union, under Mikhail Gorbachev, would no longer use military force to keep communist governments in satellite states, and they thus allowed the Solidarity movement to take power. The movement’s leadership of Poland was solidified in 1990 when Wałęsa won Poland’s first direct presidential election by a landslide. Despite successfully negotiating Poland’s transition to a free market, Wałęsa’s popularity waned and he was defeated in 1995.


This is one of the ways in which Scottish politics is different from Westminster politics. Both the Scottish Labour Party and the Scottish Conservative parties are run by women.  The Scottish Nation Party is highly likely to elect Nicola Sturgeon is party leader very shortly.

That will be all 3 main parties in Scotland with female leaders.

You also have the Scottish Green party which is co-convened by a woman and an openly bisexual man.  

Another reason to be proud of our little country.  See it doesn’t need to be an all boys club.

A wee note: The Scottish National Party is not the Scottish equivalent of the British National Party.  The SNP referendum campaign was run on the premise of Scotland being strongly supportive to immigration and that everyone living in the country deserved a say and a vote regardless of nationality.   

Conventional agriculture doesn’t seek to maximize yield per acre; it seeks to maximize yield per unit of labor. If we had 10% of the population engaged in agriculture rather than the current 1%, we could easily feed the country without petrochemicals or pesticides.

It turns out, though, that my statistics are way too conservative. The latest permaculture methods can deliver much more than just double or triple the yield of conventional farming. I recently came across this article by David Blume chronicling his nine-year permaculture enterprise in California. Running a CSA for 300-450 people on two acres of land, he achieved yields eight times what the Department of Agriculture says is possible per square foot. He didn’t do it by “mining the soil” either – soil fertility increased dramatically over his time there.

When people project an imminent food crisis based on population growth or Peak Oil, they take for granted the agricultural methods we practice today. Thus, while the transitional period may involve temporary food shortages and real hardship, permaculture methods can easily feed the peak world population of perhaps 10 or 11 billion we’ll see by mid-century.

It is true that the old, control-based methods of agriculture are nearing the peak of their productive potential. Further investments in this kind of technology are bringing diminishing marginal returns – witness the proliferation of Roundup-resistant weeds and the “necessity” of new kinds of herbicides to deal with them. This parallels the situation with so many other kinds of control-based technology, whether in medicine, in education, politics…


Many would-be reformers of capitalism (including the Labour Party propagandists and the Independent Labour Party) urge that if only the capitalists would pay higher wages to the workers, enabling them to buy more of what they produce, there would be no crisis. This is utopian nonsense, which ignores the inevitable laws of capitalism — the drive for profits, and the drive of competition. The drive of capitalism is always to increase its profits by every possible means, to increase its surplus, not to decrease it. Individual capitalists may talk of the “gospel of high wages” in the hope of securing a larger market for their goods. But the actual drive of capitalism as a whole is the opposite. The force of competition compels every capitalist to cheapen costs of production, to extract more output per worker for less return, to cut wages. Just in America, where the “gospel of high wages” was most talked of to conceal the real process of capitalism at work (intensified output from the workers, with a diminishing share to the workers), the resulting crisis has led to wholesale wage-cuts in every industry.
—  Rajani Palme Dutt