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Glasgow’s Common Weal launch; ‘Not me first. All of us first’

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, December 16, 2013

Glasgow — Last weekend, December 8, The Reid Foundation, a left-leaning think-tank, launched The Common Weal, a vision for a more socially just and inclusive post-Independence Scotland. Five- to six-hundred turned up for the event, billed as “[a] ‘revolution’ … with T-shirts and dancing” by the Sunday Herald, and held in The Arches club and theatre, under Glasgow’s Central Street Station.

Wikinews’ Brian McNeil travelled to Glasgow to attend, walking through the city’s festively decorated George Square, and busy shopping streets, to the venue under Hielanman’s Umbrella.

More known for theatre, live music, and club nights, organisers in The Arches confirmed around 800 had signed up for the free Sunday afternoon event. The crowd was a mix of all ages, including families with young childen. Stuart Braithwaite of Mogwai entertained the early arrivals by DJ-ing until the launch video for the Common Weal was screened.

The Common Weal present themselves as “an emerging movement which is developing a vision for economic and social development in Scotland which is distinct and different from the political orthodoxy that dominates politics and economics in London.” Contrasting current “me first politics” against concerns of ordinary Scots, the launch video’s opening, monochrome half, stresses everyday common concerns: “Will I have a pension I can survive on when I retire?”, “I miss my local library”, “Public transport is so bad it’s hard to get to work”; and, “Why can we always find money to bail out banks but not to protect public services?”, “Why is it always the poor, the disabled, and immigrants who get the blame?”

The preferred vision offered by the Common Weal, “Not me first, all of us first”, makes up the more-aspirational second-half of the film, advocating a national fund for industry, taking the nation’s energy into collective ownership, building quality new public housing, strengthening the welfare state, and ending tax evasion. Throughout the event a distinction between these ‘popular politics’, which experience wide support, and the derogatory ‘populist’ label, often used to dismiss such calls for a fairer society, was emphasised.

Comedienne Janey Godley took over following the film, to compère the afternoon, and introduce Reid Foundation director Robin McAlpine. With the mixed audience, Godley made avoiding profanity — due to the presence of children — a theme of her warm-up; although, the humour remained fairly adult in nature.

McAlpine sketched out the movement’s hopes and plans. After thanking those who were giving their time for free, he characterised modern politics as “[…] a game that is played by a small number of professionals, in a small number of rooms, in a small number of expensively-rented premises, across Scotland — and across Britain. It’s become a thing people do as a profession, and the rest of us are all supposed to applaud them — or stand back — nod our heads every four years, and be glad for it.” With a receptive audience, he continued: “The idea that politics is something that ordinary people cannae talk about is one of the great achievements of the right-wing [over] the last thirty to forty years in Britain”; remarking, to applause, “they scared us aff.”

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On discussions around the country, he claimed that “across Scottish politics, […] the people that want this, … ‘me first’ politics, there’s not many of them. The people that want Common Weal politics, all of us first politics, I’m meeting them everywhere. […] Everyone I meet wants this, a decent politics that puts people first. […] We wanted to find a way to communicate an idea of a politics which work for all the people who those politics seek to govern, not just a few of them. People don’t understand or recognise the language of politics any more, so we want to change that language.”.

Crediting the Sunday Herald newspaper for an opportunity to share some ideas underpinning the Common Weal, McAlpine was scathing in his criticism of mainstream coverage of the independence debate: “There’s this massive debate. It’s not in the mainstream.” Seeking to “get a real debate going, about a really strong vision for a future for Scotland, it’s hard. They’re still doing IFS, accounting this, and another paper from a Whitehall that. And, we’ll all debate things that nobody really cares about, interminably, until they all go away for good.” On the current political debate, he remarked: “If mainstream politics fails to recognise what is really going on in Scotland just now, then that is its problem. […] Someone is going to offer ordinary people what they want, and when they do, everything will change.”

Urging the crowd to get involved, he said: “If we can create a popular politics, that ordinary people care about, and talk about, and work[s], we can take a grip of Scotland. We can decide the future politics of Scotland, and standing around waiting for professional politicians to,… disappoint us less than they always do, does not have to be the way we do this anymore.” He concluded, “It genuinely is time for a politics that puts all of us first.”

Janey Godley took the microphone, as McAlpine left the stage to cheers and applause; joking about the ‘rabble-rousing’ tone of the speech she then introduced David Whyte of Tangent Design, creator of the Common Weal’s logo.

Whyte explained they hoped the simple image would come to represent the “all of us first” philosophy, and “a new way of doing things”. He was not the first to jokingly remark that the four-line graphic — a triangle, with a balanced line on top of it — would be an easily-applied piece of graffiti.

Politics, and the launch of the movement’s logo, then took more of a back-seat; the rest of the event more in-keeping with having a party, and the festive decorations elsewhere around the city centre. Godley, and fellow Scottish joker Bruce Morton, provided more barbed comedy. Singer Karine Polwart encouraged the crowd to sing along to a song she said was written on her way to the party, and Actor Tam Dean Burn read a speech from the 16th century Scottish play “Satire of the three estates” — given by the character John Common Weal, representing the common man — where the deeds and behaviour of the ruling classes are such that, if done by a common man, they’d be hanged.

Scotland’s Independence referendum is to take place next year, September 18. This was a repeated election pledge of the Scottish National Party (SNP) — who moved from leading a minority government, to an outright majority in the devolved parliament’s 2011 general election — making good on their promise by announcing in January 2011 their intent to hold the referendum in autumn 2014.

The question being put to the electorate is: “Should Scotland be an independent country?” A “Yes” vote would be followed with negotiations to bring to an end the early eighteenth-century ‘Union of the Parliaments’. The SNP has proposed Scotland retain Elizabeth II as head of state, a position she holds on the basis of the century-earlier Union of the Crowns.

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Unions battle in Ohio over hospital workers

Category : Uncategorized

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

The Service Employees International Union, a trade union in the United States and Canada, was trying to unionize 8,300 workers in nine different Ohio hospitals through elections that were scheduled for this Wednesday and Friday. But then organizers from a second union, the California Nurses Association, visited the hospitals to encourage the workers to vote not to join the S.E.I.U. These actions led to the service employees union on Tuesday asking to postpone the vote by workers at the nine hospitals, all which are a part of the Catholic Healthcare Partners system.

Andy Stern, the service president is quoted as saying, “nothing more than a flimsy cover for out-and-out union busting that we normally see from employers, not organizations that claim to care about workers.”

The California Nurses Association, said it dispatched organizers to Ohio because in its view the unionization efforts were part of a “sweetheart deal”.

Rose Ann DeMoro, executive director of the nurses association, condemned this agreement. She called it “a rigged scam” in which the service union would bargain without care if they won the vote.

“This was a top-down deal between an employer and a hand-picked union,” Ms. DeMoro said. “There was a gag order on everyone, and as a result this was a banana republic election.”

“As for the future,” DeMoro said, “no election is planned.” She said that delaying the election was “a significant victory for employee rights.”

Dave Regan, president of a service employees’ local representing 35,000 health care workers in Ohio, West Virginia and Kentucky, called the nurses union’s conduct as, “Their conduct is indistinguishable from that of the most vicious anti-union employers,” Mr. Regan said. “It violates every principle of unionism. Real people are worse off today as a result of their behavior.”

Orest Holubec, spokesman for Catholic Healthcare, said the system’s hospital in Lima had obtained a restraining order to bar the California nurses from entering restricted patient-care areas and aggressive leafletting outside hospitals. “They were doing exactly the kind of things we were trying to avoid,” Mr. Holubec said. “They poisoned the well to the degree that we didn’t have the conditions that we tried to establish for a pressure-free environment.”

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News briefs:July 13, 2006

Category : Uncategorized

The time is 18:00 (UTC) on July 13th, 2006, and this is Audio Wikinews News Briefs.


  • 1 Headlines
    • 1.1 Fire fights continue across the Israeli-Lebanese border
    • 1.2 Israeli vessels enter Lebanese waters to enforce blockade
    • 1.3 Investigation into Mumbai train bombings begins
    • 1.4 Several injured in Ben Nevis cable car accident
    • 1.5 Elmwood Village Hotel proposal in Buffalo, N.Y. withdrawn
    • 1.6 Microsoft, Yahoo! link their instant messaging services
  • 2 Closing statements

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World’s cheapest car launched in India, will go on sale in April

Category : Uncategorized

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The world’s least expensive car, the Tata Nano, has been launched in India. It will go on sale in April, and will start delivery in July. The automobile costs only 100,000 Indian rupees, or just under US$2,000.

“We are at the gates offering a new form of transportation to the people of India, and later I hope other markets as well,” said the chairman of the auto firm, Ratan Tata, calling the vehicle a “milestone.”

“From the drawing board to its commercial launch, the car has overcome several challenges,” Tata said. “I hope it will provide safe, affordable four-wheel transportation to families who till now have not been able to own a car.

“This was never conceived as the cheapest car, but as providing transport to those people who never owned a car,” Tata said. “Driven mainly by the change in demand that we see elsewhere in the world, we suddenly felt we had a product that could be of considerable interest as a low-cost product in western Europe, eastern Europe, the UK and even the U.S.”

The Tata Nano is a four-door vehicle, and is 3 metres long, 1.5 m wide, and 1.5 m tall. It is equipped with a 33 bhp, 624 cc engine at the rear. No radio, airbags, power steering, or air conditioning are available in the basic model, although upgrades are available. The Nano Europa, a slightly larger European version of the car, is expected in 2011.

According to Ravi Kant, the managing director at Tata Motors, the first 100,000 people to receive a Nano would be chosen from the initial orders by a ballot.

An auto analyst for Bombay’s Angel Broking, Vaishali Jajoo, predicted that the Nano will add only three percent to Tata’s revenues even if it can sell a quarter of a million such cars per annum.

“That doesn’t make a significant difference to the top line,” Jajoo said. “And for the bottom line, it will take five to six years to break even.”

Environmentalists say that the car will exacerbate traffic problems already rife in India, and help increase pollution levels. Tata, however, stated that its vehicle is the least polluting car in the country.

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Ontario Votes 2007: Interview with Progessive Conservative candidate Tyler Currie, Trinity-Spadina

Category : Uncategorized

Monday, October 1, 2007

Tyler Currie is running as an Progressive Conservative candidate in the Ontario provincial election, in the riding of Trinity-Spadina. Wikinews’ Nick Moreau interviewed him regarding his values, his experience, and his campaign.

Stay tuned for further interviews; every candidate from every party is eligible, and will be contacted. Expect interviews from Liberals, Progressive Conservatives, New Democratic Party members, Ontario Greens, as well as members from the Family Coalition, Freedom, Communist, Libertarian, and Confederation of Regions parties, as well as independents.

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Life After Lap Band}

Category : Medicine

Life after LapBand


Dr. K. Huguet, MD

LapBand surgery is growing in popularity across the United States. So far, more than 150,000 people have had the weight loss surgery and that number is increasing each year. This type of bariatric surgery is meant for only the morbidly obese – people who are more than 100 pounds overweight or who are twice their ideal body weights.

Bariatric surgery is just the first step toward a new healthy life. What patients do after surgery is just as important – if not more important – than what the LapBand surgeon does. The effectiveness of the surgery depends upon the ability of the patient to change his or her diet and eating behavior.

Bariatric surgeons and their clinicians are dedicated to providing long term care for weight loss surgery patients. Often this commitment includes dietary and behavior modification suggestions as well as counseling support. Patients must attend between three and four follow up visits in the first year after their surgery to make sure they are on the path to recovery. These visits can include a review of the patient’s progress and a discussion of concerns or problems the patient is experiencing.

Each LapBand surgery patient is encouraged to eat a balanced diet and avoid problematic eating patterns that are characteristic of their previous lifestyle. A restrictive band that is placed around the stomach helps patients feel satisfied sooner and longer. The band is meant to reinforce good eating habits and the patient’s ability to be content with smaller meals. The LapBand will teach patients to eat solid food and make sure every bite is well chewed.

LapBand patients are also encouraged to incorporate physical activity and exercise into their routine when recommended by their physician. This will improve weight loss and overall health while building a better quality of life.

Use the following guide as an outline of what foods to eat, what foods to avoid and how to begin eating again once the LapBand is in place.

Immediately after the LapBand surgery, patients should sip water and eat ice cubes. For the following week, water and liquids with some calories are allowed, but patients should avoid drinking too much at once.

One to two weeks after the bariatric surgery, patients can drink thin liquids and clear broths. That means no vegetables, meat or cream in the broths. Skim or soy milk, sugarless popsicles and approved meal replacement shakes are also acceptable during this time.

For weeks three to four, patients should eat pureed foods that are similar to baby food. Make meals with proteins first, then slowly introduce vegetables into the diet.

At five weeks after LapBand surgery, patients can begin to eat soft foods; this includes tender cooked meats, fish, soft poached eggs and scrambled eggs. All meats should be chewed well to avoid obstructions. Patients should try to eat one to two ounces of meat or fish a day, one to two servings of fruit, one small portion of low sugar hot or cold cereal and a maximum of two cups of milk or low fat yogurt. All fats, such as butter and mayonnaise, should be eaten in extreme moderation.

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Moving forward, patients are encouraged to eat the following foods:

Fresh fruit and vegetables

Whole wheat bread

Low sugar cereal

White meat chicken

Ground turkey breast


Skim milk

Low fat or fat free yogurt

Calorie free beverages

The following foods should be avoided while the patient still has the LapBand:

Seeds or skin of fruits and vegetables

Untoasted or doughy bread

Biscuits or white bread

Dry meat


High fat cooking methods


Dried fruit

Fried food

Peanut butter

Corn, asparagus, broccoli and celery




Citrus fruit membranes

Following these simple guidelines will ensure your LapBand surgery is a successful one.

Dr. Kevin Huguet, MD, of Bay Surgical Specialists, a group practice of board-certified surgeons specializing in general surgery,

bariatric surgery


lap band surgery Tampa

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Life after LapBand


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Five Ways To Keep The Fire Burning In Your Marital Life

Category : Accommodation

Five Ways to Keep the Fire Burning in Your Marital life


Richard W.

You might think that your relationship with your spouse is doing well simply because you are not having any occasional fights like most couples do. But the question is this – Do you think you and your partner is still happy with your marriage? You probably feel bored about your marriage now, so here are tips to help you and your spouse keep the fire burning in your married life.


The best advice in keeping your married life exciting is to set aside some time together as a couple. But going out for a dinner or a movie is not enough, you must spend several days and nights on a faraway place just the two of you. Book an overnight stay at a first class resort, or take a leave from work and travel to some faraway country for several days or weeks!

Socialize with Other Married Couples

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Attending dinner parties along with other married couples could actually help to bring back the spice in your marriage. Experts say that seeing your partner socialize with other people in a crowd could help to remind you of the things that attracted you to him/her. Looking at your partner talking, laughing and interacting with other people could help to rekindle the memories when you were still in the early stage of your relationship.

Have Some Intimate Moments

Being intimate with your partner is a must if you want to keep the love alive in your marriage, despite how busy you and your spouse are. Intimacy is what makes couple feel attached to each other, and such attachment is very important to keep the love alive. If you are too busy with your workloads, you can schedule your intimate moments especially if the two of you are too tired to even think of doing it during workdays.

Make them Feel Special

Because of your busy work, you tend to just ignore all those sweet moments that you and your husband are enjoying with. So regardless of how busy you are at work, you must enjoy your sweet moments together with your spouse. If you can, send sweet messages to your spouse more often, or try leaving flirty voice messages on his cellular phone.

Work as a Team

Another way to keep the fire burning within the relationship is to consider each other as a teammate. So always have teamwork in all you do, and make sure that your work as a team in making all kinds of decision. If in case you two do not go along with your decisions, be very open to talk things out with your spouse, because that is what team members should do.

Some people say that marriage is just okay on the first stages. This maybe true in some, but if you know the tips on how to keep the love alive in your marriage, then your marriage will be fine. So follow these tips now in order to have an exciting and long lasting married life.

It\’s important to keep the pleasure in relationship since boredom is one of the main cause of divorce. Find out more about other causes to avoid them at

why men leave

. Spicing up isn\’t adequate when the problems are too intense. Keep reading how to deal with it on

how to save a failing marriage


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Wikinews interviews Ubuntu developer Fabrice

Category : Uncategorized

Saturday, October 9, 2010

The 10.10 version of Ubuntu (codename Maverick Merkaat), a free operative system is to be released in the next few days. French Wikinews contributor Savant-fou (Baptiste) has interviewed Fabrice (fabrice_sp on Ubuntu), an Ubuntu’s MOTU (Master Of The Universe), member of the development team of the operative system.

Ubuntu is a computer operating system, based on Debian, which is created collaboratively by thousands of people. There are three official Ubuntu versions: Ubuntu Desktop Edition (for desktop and laptop PCs); Ubuntu Netbook Edition (for netbooks); and Ubuntu Server Edition (for use in servers).

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Mysterious power failure takes down Wikipedia, Wikinews

Category : Uncategorized

This article mentions the Wikimedia Foundation, one of its projects, or people related to it. Wikinews is a project of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

On Monday, at 10.14 pm UTC, the Wikimedia server cluster experienced a total power failure, taking down Wikipedia, Wikinews, and all other Wikimedia websites.

The servers are housed in a colocation facility (colo) in Tampa, Florida, USA. They occupy two racks, with each rack receiving electricity from two independent supplies. However, both supplies have circuit-breakers in them, and both opened at the same time, leading to a total power failure. All computers immediately went down. It’s normal for fire safety regulations to prohibit uninterruptible power supplies in colos, with the colo providing its own UPS and generator instead. The circuit breakers were on the computer side of this emergency power system, so none of the computers continued to receive power to survive the breaker trip or shut down safely.

The actual reason why the circuit breakers tripped is currently unknown.

When power was restored, it was discovered that most of the MySQL databases that store the data which makes up Wikipedia et al had been corrupted. The main database and the four slaves had all damaged the data on their hard disk drives beyond the ability of the auto-correction to repair. Only one copy survived safely, on a machine that is used for report generation and maintenance tasks, which remained 31 hours backlogged while catching up after an unusually heavy update load during the previous week.

Volunteer Wikimedia engineers worked through the night rebuilding the databases from the sole good copy onto the other servers. The Wikipedia database is over 180Gb in size, making the copying process last 1.5 – 2 hours for every server it was performed upon.

Regular back-ups of the database of Wikipedia projects are maintained – the encyclopedia in its entirety was not at risk. The last database download was made on February 9; all edits since then could only have been laboriously rebuilt from logs and recovered from the damaged database requiring much more time and effort.

Limited read-only service was established late Tuesday afternoon, with editing becoming possible 24 hours after the power failure. Final repairs continue now, as well as upgrades to prevent similar issues in the future. Server-intensive features, such as categories and ‘watchlists’ that display recent changes to selected articles to registered users, remain disabled to ease the load on the recovering systems.

The process which led to the damage originated with the operating system, disk controllers, or hard drives failing to flush the data correctly.

If the power to a database server is cut mid-write, the database may be corrupted and unreadable, however the operating system, hardware, and software are designed to make this very unlikely. In a previous incident in 2004 power was also lost to a server but the database was undamaged.

To avoid such damage, each database server saves a copy of an edit to be applied to the database on a separate storage system before making the actual update to the database itself. This so-called ‘write-ahead logging’ should ensure that in the event of a system crash, the database can be rebuilt from a ‘last-good’ state by replaying the edits saved in the log.

Earlier this year popular blogging site LiveJournal suffered a similar power failure when another customer at their colocation facility pressed an Emergency Power Off button, intended for use only by firefighters. The company suffered database corruption similar to that seen at Wikimedia.

LiveJournal are now fitting UPS to their servers to ensure that they have time to shut down safely in the event of a power failure. Wikimedia was said to be investigating the possibility of fitting similar equipment at the time of this failure.

Several pundits have suggested that the use of another database, such as the proprietary database Oracle or the free PostgreSQL, would have avoided the database corruption seen at the server cluster. A post-mortem of the incident show the failure was in the operating system, or the hardware, or some combination of the two. LiveJournal, which also uses MySQL, reported similar database corruption after their power cut.

The Wikimedia foundation only allows the use of free software on its systems, and future versions of the Mediawiki software will support the PostgreSQL database.

Users are reminded that during times of system failure or excessive demand, they can still search Wikipedia using Google. The articles may be viewed using Google’s cache.

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Who Is Responsible For Continuous Improvement In The Workplace?}

Category : Vehicle Tracking

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Submitted by: Christopher Stainow

In regards to continuous improvement within the workplace, improvements generally only happen when there is someone in the business who is responsible for improvement. In most organisations, this role falls to senior management, who strategies and plan initiatives. Various tasks within this role performed by management could include implementing quality management systems, or even improving workflow processes in order to continuously improve the standard of work that is produced within the organisation.

On the other hand, often when this role is delegated to a single person, the rest of the company no longer considers improvements. This means that entire departments may not be adhering to protocol or striving to meet continuous improvement standards within the workplace, believing this to be the job of the person in charge of such strategies. As a result, productivity is compromised, as the most important improvements are only implemented by management rather than those who perform work tasks on a daily basis. This also affects the overall standards within quality management, as there is no sense of responsibility that comes with being involved in strategies on a greater skill. Instead, employees simply follow orders and implement the tasks in question as given to them by senior management.

Improvement is achieved by learning the things that work, and the things that do not work, as well as the things that can be done in a more effective way. In this way, it is important for the entire organisation to be involved to a certain extent. Some important factors that should be kept in mind when implementing any improvement plan within the workplace include the following:

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How experimentation assists improvement

During many experiments to improve systems, mistakes are made and in many cases, the experiments fail. Companies who avoid risk and do not condone mistakes of any kind often fail to see real improvements, especially in the case of mistakes made by staff who are implementing the improvement plan.

It is therefore essential to strive towards an approach that allows staff to try new initiatives, implement new strategies and find new processes that can simplify workflow. Staff should be empowered to suggest improvements, in order to increase leadership opportunities and add value to the organisation. In this way, staff are more actively involved with strategies, and are given more responsibility to ensure that they implement each task to the best of their abilities.

Why improvement is the entire organisations responsibility

Senior management in charge of improvement processes can be seen as facilitators. Starting with small work processes, improvements are then taken to organisation level often without including levels below. This could have some serious implications however, as staff who are not involved with any aspects of improvement strategies do not feel empowered or responsible for processes within their place of work.

The primary benefit to involving staff in company improvement strategies is to encourage responsibility, creativity and productivity. In this way, the people who implement the improvements are able to contribute to the company, thereby committing to continuous improvement on a far more personal scale.

About the Author: Article by Christopher Stainow, Chief Executive of Lennox Hill; creators of

isoTracker Quality Management System

& hosted

Document Control Software




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