So it's been over a month since I last posted on here. There are two good reasons for that: the first is that I'm lazy and the second is that I've been busy.
Glossing over the first one, here's what I've been busy with:
Coursework and writing my dissertation - over the last month and a half I've had two massive pieces of coursework to do, plus a dissertation to write. The coursework was finished off just over a week ago and the dissertation was finished yesterday and handed in pretty much just before the deadline - I have an unfortunate tendency to cut things fine I'm afraid.
Still, it's done and handed in, which means a massive weight has suddenly disappeared from my shoulders. I've still got to do a viva voca on it mind you, where I'll have to academically defend my dissertation, but that's a lot less pressure than writing the dissertation was. The subject of my dissertation, incidentally, was using electropermanent magnets to hold spacecraft together when they're docked. Electropermanent magnets are pretty cool - they were only invented in 2011 and they're basically programmable magnets which you can switch on and off and which don't use any power in either state. Though, unfortunately for me, the ones I built didn't work so my dissertation is basically just 40 pages of me talking about how they didn't work and why I think that is.
Local Elections - on the 2nd of May we had the county elections in Surrey and I was standing for Shalford division. Originally a Tory seat where no one else had a chance of winning, the local Conservatives made the embarrassing mistake and failed to hand their candidate's papers in on time. So a supposedly "unwinnable" seat for the Lib Dems suddenly became a two-horse race between myself and UKIP - and kept me very busy as a result!
While I really enjoyed the campaign in Shalford and doing the best I could to convince voters to back to me, the UKIP candidate unfortunately won and became UKIP's first county councillor in Guildford borough. Still, I got a respectable 1,023 votes (one of the highest totals for the Lib Dems in Shalford ever) and I think we've laid a solid groundwork for next time round so I'm mostly satisfied with the results. Winning would have been nice of course but the voters know best and I'm just proud that so many people voted for me.
Plus my local Lib Dem county councillors in Guildford all held onto their seats and we successfully defended a seat on the borough council in a by-election on the same day as the county elections. So, all in all, I couldn't help but smiling at the count despite losing - which was fortunate as apparently footage of me and my UKIP opponent was used on the news (I didn't see it myself but loads of people I know have told me they did).
The full election results, incidentally, can be found here.
A trip to Estonia - at the end of February I spent three days in Tallinn, Estonia with Liberal Youth at the European Liberal Youth (LYMEC) congress. It was a blast, first time I've ever been abroad under my own steam and I had great fun meeting people from all over Europe and seeing the sights in Tallinn. The congress was great fun as well - the UK delegation did very well in getting more social liberal amendments to various policy resolutions and I made quite a few speeches in the debates which, if I do say so myself, were rather passionate.
In fact, they were so passionate that a Dutch liberal (actually a libertarian who didn't think the government should do anything beyond providing the judicial system and infrastructure) accused me of being a "communist "and "behaving like the Chinese" - and this just for saying that I thought there was scope for governments sometimes investing in their economies to stimulate growth.
On the other hand, I pointed out that my party invented liberalism and that I could confirm first hand that there was nothing communist about supporting the role of the government in encouraging economic growth - not to mention that British liberals had held that view since before socialism was even heard of! Oddly, the Dutch liberal in question didn't seem particularly impressed by that but a lot of the Nordic liberals appeared to agree with me and voted for our amendment, getting it passed, so I can't complain.
And so... - and so that's what I've been busy with. It's a real shame I've been busy with all of that since a lot of things have happened in the past month and a half (UKIP, the Conservatives finally going completely insane, etc.) that I'd really have liked to blog about. In fact, I've ended up staying away from my blog because thinking about not writing anything has made me feel guilty!
But all the stuff that's been keeping me busy is over with now. I mean, I still have exams to worry about, but those aren't quite so totally time consuming as election campaigns/my dissertation were. Hopefully I'll now be able to resume a regular blogging schedule. Sorry for not being able to do so until now. And thanks to any of my regular readers who've stuck around despite my unexplained absence :)