Wed 24th
Ryan Cullen

Dear bloggers,

it's that time of the month again when the hosting meter needs a few more pounds to keep the site ticking. Ideally we need £5 before the end of the month, otherwise it has to come out of my pocket. With over 50 blogs listed, if each author donated just two pounds a year the site would stay alive. Why not make this month the month you help out?


Many thanks
Ryan Cullen

Tue 23rd

Canvassing in Dunston

We had a good evening canvassing in Dunston. We deliberately went into the strong Labour areas to see what was happening to the Labour vote. The preliminary results are encouraging. There was no swing to Labour from us and we found a number of Labour supporters who aren't voting or are voting for us because of Jeremy Corbyn. Yet again, I'm not in the photo above as I was the one taking the

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Quite the week for tactical announcements by possible Remain candidates in the European Parliament elections.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Political parties have the choice of using on ballot papers either their official name or one from a set of official party descriptions registered with the Electoral Commission.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

An MP, who submitted false expenses, has been fined £1,500 and ordered to carry out unpaid community service. Christopher Davies, the Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire, pleaded guilty to providing false or misleading information for allowances claims, and attempting to do so. The 51-year-old was told he had committed "two very serious offences" which were "absolutely intended to deceive". [ITV] This level of punishment does not trigger an automatic Parliamentary by-election as it is not sufficient to disqualify him from being an MP. Instead, if he decides not to resign anyway, he will now face a recall petition. If ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Cape Reinga, at the very northern tip of New Zealand, is known for being where the Tasman Sea meets the Pacific Ocean, where two oceans collide. The truth, though, is a little more complicated than that.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

This is the last surviving industrial aerial ropeway in the country. They used to be common - a cheaper way of transporting heavy loads than building a railway. You found them in the Northamptonshire iron ore fields. One crossed the Market Harborough to Northampton road just south of Brixworth. Another passed closed to Rushton Triangular Lodge. And as any reader of Malcolm Saville's Seven White Gates will know, you found them in the Shropshire lead mining country too. So enjoy this one while you can. There is something satisfying about the way the loaded buckets negotiate the pylons.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

On Tuesday 23rd April 2019, sparked by the visit of Greta Thunberg to the UK, the Westminster leaders of the UK political parties, except for the Prime Minister and the DUP (both invited), took part in a private round-table with a number of the leaders of the youth climate strikes to discuss the UK's response to the deteriorating ecological crises. At that meeting, the Westminster Leaders present agreed to three actions. These actions mark a significant cross-party response to Greta's visit to the UK; the UK youth climate strikes and ongoing climate protests; the IPCC's Special Report on 1.5 Degrees; ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

So Donald Trump has been invited to pay a state visit to Britain. There is a long history of unsavoury characters paying such visits and of good people protesting against them. I hope there will be mass protests against Trump when he comes. Even I took to the streets last time he was here. But the best way to deal with such visitors was demonstrated by the people of London back in 1850. The Southwark News introduces us to General von Haynau: Julius Jacob von Haynau was an Austrian general who, due to his brutal suppression of Hungarian forces during ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Change UK - or the Tiggers, as I still think of them - announced their Euro candidates today. There are some names I recognise, notably the former Conservative cabinet minister Stephen Dorrell. I note, however, that he is standing in the West Midlands rather than the East Midlands, where he was an MP for 36 years. With Dorrell and a few other people we politicos have heard of - Rachel Johnson, Gavin Esler - the Tiggers must be feeling pleased with themselves. But they should not feel too pleased. Last year I pointed out how little most people know about ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Brecon and Radnorshire Liberal Democrats have issued the following statement following the sentencing of the Conservative MP for the constituency: The people of Brecon and Radnorshire have been deeply disappointed to see their MP embroiled in such an unnecessary controversy. Chris Davies has put Brecon and Radnorshire on the map for all the wrong reasons. Instead of plunging local people into yet more uncertainty with a six week recall process, Chris Davies should resign immediately and give Brecon & Radnorshire the chance to elect a new voice to represent them in Parliament.

Posted by Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute
Tue 23rd

Tuesday reading

Current Dark Lord of Derkholm, by Diana Wynne Jones A Sunless Sea by Anne Perry Last books finished The Botany of Desire, by Michael Pollan Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik The Day She Saved the Doctor, by Jacqueline Rayner, Jenny T. Colgan, Susan Calman and Dorothy Koomson Dread Nation, by Justine Ireland Doctor Who Episode Guide, by Mark Campbell Next books Feersum Endjinn, by Iain M Banks The Ginger Man, by J. P. Donleavy

Here is the full text of Greta Thunberg's speech to Parliament today, via the Guardian: My name is Greta Thunberg. I am 16 years old. I come from Sweden. And I speak on behalf of future generations. I know many of you don't want to listen to us - you say we are just children. But we're only repeating the message of the united climate science. Many of you appear concerned that we are wasting valuable lesson time, but I assure you we will go back to school the moment you start listening to science and give us a future. ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

If you are reading this then I suspect there is a decent chance that you know me or at the very least follow me on twitter. In that case you'll know I'm pretty much a nobody. An insignificant speck that resides on this great vast planet we call the Earth. I have around 1,500 people who follow me on twitter. That isn't a large number by any means. So in terms of having a social media platform, I have one just like oh so many others, it is just infinitesimal. This takes me to this past weekend. On Friday night ...

Posted by neilmonnery on The Rambles of Neil Monnery | Mute

My heart sank again as I saw that our European Election campaign was going to major on the fact that a vote for us was primarily a pro-EU, pro-PeoplesVote Vote. Again we will be conducting this as a proxy vote rather than for what it should be for. However, a non-LibDem voter friend said to me he would vote LibDem for the first time in this election for precisely this reason, so the party are probably right. However, we would be missing a trick if we didn't also constantly say "If we were to choose to stay in the EU, ...

Posted by LibCync on LibCync | Mute

[IMG: Conservative Party logo] Part 1: From the 2019 Constituency Revolt to the 1846 Corn Law Split, and back In its April 22th coverage of the Tory Constituency Party leaders' revolt in demanding an "Extraordinary General Meeting" to shake May's throne, the BBC inserted the link to its article from August 2018 about how, between the Chequers Cabinet Brexit Agreement and May's disastrous Tory 2018 Autumn Conference, a Hard Brexit revolt started brewing in the Tory grassroots. That 2018 article, by BBC researcher Georgia Roberts, referred to the Tory party Conference revolt of 1950, right after the general election that ...

Posted by Bernard Aris on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Today I'm speaking at the British Parliament in London. #FridaysForFuture — Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) April 23, 2019 Today, schoolgirl Climate activist Greta Thunberg speaks at the Houses of Parliament. Vince Cable has said that he hopes that this event will greatly increase the profile to our climate emergency. He remarked: Young people leaving their classrooms and lying down on the streets of London have given much needed profile to the climate emergency our planet is facing. As we welcome the hugely impressive Greta Thunberg to Parliament - a sixteen year old who has led a global movement - I ...

Posted by News Meerkat on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As we left the Liberal Democrats conference in York we were handed a small book: Beyond Brexit: Liberal politics for the age of identity, by the party leader Vince Cable. Vince had already announced his imminent departure as leader. This was his parting shot. Good and bad, it is a fitting verdict on his leadership. ... Continue reading Beyond Brexit: Vince Cable's valedictory

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

No matter how many times BoJo's ambition of becoming PM is pronounced dead and buried by the Westminster lobby, it somehow manages to rear its head again. This time in the form of several polls, one of Tory councillors, the other of Tory voters, both of which put Boris way ahead in terms of first choice of next leader. Sure, he would have to get enough MPs to back him to get to the final two, which is no mean feat given how many of them he's managed to alienate over the years, but if he managed that it seems ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

A fishing boat is unloaded at the Gambian fishing town of Tanji Three years ago I wrote about a visit to The Gambia in West Africa which was bitter sweet. As always the country itself, and the people of The Gambia, were charming. However, the country was in the last days of a dictatorship which lasted for 23 years. Indeed, I left out the name of the country in my article to avoid any problems with future entry. I recently revisited The Gambia. It was very heartening to see the progress of the elected President, Adama Barrow. I was particularly ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Tue 23rd

My tweets

Mon, 12:34: RT @everywhereist: Inventor of the Dishwasher: I HAVE CREATED SOMETHING THAT WILL MAKE ALL YOUR LIVES EASIER. Humanity: WHOA. So we just p... Mon, 12:56: Fascinating short thread. Mon, 15:13: The Capital, by Robert Menasse Mon, 15:37: Great thread, worth reading in full. I was in the audience when Tusk made this speech. Effective and accurate. Mon, 16:05: The look on her face... Mon, 17:11: How Andy Warhol and Tintin Creator Hergé Mutually Admired and Influenced One Another Sometimes it's a small world. Mon, 20:48: Detailed thread, well worth reading. Tue, 08:31: ...

The photo above shows the view from the Sri Lankan Independence Memorial Hall in Colombo. The flag flying is the Buddhist flag. I took the photo last November. The Memorial Hall is very much a centre of national events in Sri Lanka. Annual Independence celebrations are held there. It is a very peaceful place. When I visited, children played in the hall while families sat admiring the sunset. That peacefulness is very much a keynote of Sri Lanka. The majority Buddhist religion is pervasive in its emphasis on meditation and spiritual development. The people of Sri Lanka are generally very ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Electoral Reform Society has an illuminating and worrying article on it's website – see link below:- Quote from the ERS article – 'Since moving to a proportional voting system (STV) for local elections in 2007, the scourge of uncontested seats has almost vanished in Scotland.' The article is sobering indeed because of the number of seats where a single candidate is unopposed and where the electorate for the wards where this happens is denied a vote because there is no election – they get the only nominated person whether they like it or not. Of course those of ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

At some point we will have to collectively decide that the views of UKIP candidates are so ludicrous, and their party's chances of winning anything so remote, that we can happily ignore what they have to say and get on with our lives. Unfortunately, that time has not yet come, not least as UKIP still possess a number of elected officials in the European Parliament and the Welsh Assembly, are rapidly turning into a vehicle for the far right and other extremists, and, despite denials on all sides, form a continuum with other right wing, anti-European Parties such as Nigel ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I will begin this article with a disclaimer: I am not making a solid prediction here, nor am I telling you how you should bet your own money. What I am doing rather is making a point about the unpredictability of British politics at present and how if you were a betting person, you could [...] The post Why I'm betting on Theresa May staying on as PM appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Nick Tyrone on Radix | Mute

t's easy to get despondent about the shenanigans at Westminster over the Brexit debate. To see it as a sign of a broken politics. But is it? The essence of democracy is robust, maybe even fierce, debate. What kills democracy and political engagement is when politics becomes nothing more than technocratic management. When viewpoints become [...] The post We should be proud of our democracy red in tooth and claw appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Radix | Mute