Responding to the Budget announcement on Universal Credit yesterday, Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions Spokesperson Stephen Lloyd said: "The government's U-turns are welcome but beg the question: why have they taken this long? "The overall system is still not fit for purpose. It must be paused before even more of our most vulnerable citizens are made to suffer on the ideological anvil of this Conservative government. "Why is it that this government insists on rolling out Universal Credit, instead of just stopping and fixing it?" "The Chancellor ignored the £3 billion cut that was taken out of UC by George ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has seized on the Chancellor's admission that the UK economy will be smaller by a huge £45 billion than was estimated as recently as March. Vince Cable said: "The economy will be £45 billion smaller in 2021 than predicted as recently as March. And that is the least worst case scenario. "Philip Hammond might as well have sat down and stopped talking once he announced this slump in growth figures. "Britain has gone from top of the growth league to deep into the relegation zone, with each person set to be £687 worse off per ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Philip Hammond has announced he will consider charges on single-use plastic items to reduce waste. It comes following a Liberal Democrat campaign to introduce a charge on disposable coffee cups, to reduce the billions of cups thrown away in the UK each year. Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat Environment Spokesperson, said: "This is a major victory for the Liberal Democrats, who have long been demanding action to tackle plastic waste."We now need to make sure this consultation leads to real action and isn't just kicking the cup down the road."Our environment and wildlife cannot wait any longer for tough measures ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

This school was built in the late 19th century to educate the children of Acton Scott in Shropshire. It now serves as the cafe for the historic working farm tourist attraction there. I photographed it a few summers ago.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Today's budget statement by the Chancellor included no additional funding for the police in England and Wales. Commenting, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said: "Crime is rising and police numbers are falling but you wouldn't think the Government cared looking at today's budget. The police barely got a mention in the Chancellor's speech despite forces up and down the country being desperate for a cash-injection. It is clear where the money is going - £3.7bn to help the Conservatives drive through a hard Brexit. Just a fraction of this money would have been transformative for the police but ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Vinay Gupta is a fascinating man, graduating from developing simple yurts to support refugees anywhere to working out the deeper implications of bitcoin, blockchain technologies and climate change. I was keen to meet him, and I did. In fact, I met him at an amazing annual event hosted in Brighton called the Meaning conference, packed full of thirty- and forty-something entrepreneurs who are optimistic that enterprise and imagination - social and profitable - can develop solutions to the world's problems. We live in undeniably pessimistic times, so it does everyone good to be around optimists. And Gupta's presentation was optimistic. ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

The town of Staufen, in the south-west of Germany, has a problem: a drilling operation in 2007 that went very wrong.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The old boy lets Chris Heaton-Harris have both barrels. Wednesday To the University of Rutland at Belvoir in my capacity as vice-chancellor. This role, I will admit, is something of a sinecure as I generally leave the budgeting to the institution's famed Department of Hard Sums and concentrate on handing out scrolls to young people in mortarboards. This morning, however, I find the place in turmoil. Some silly ass with a hyphen who makes the tea in the Conservative Whips Office has written asking about our course in European Studies. That subject is naturally of interest here in Rutland as ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Despite what Lord Bonkers would have you believe, his diaries are not the only feature of Liberator. The November 2017 issue, which has just arrived with subscribers. In it, Paul Hindley argues that the Liberal Democrats face "death by fudge" if they do not soon offer some more radical and imaginative policies. You can read Paul's article, and one by Tony Greaves, on Liberator's website. And a debate about them is developing on Lib Dem Voice. Meanwhile, Liberator's Radical Bulletin feature gives you the inside track on Your Liberal Britain, the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats and the prospect of further ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

It was Jo Swinson who led the Lib Dem speeches in the Commons today in response to Philip Hammond's insipid budget. Here is her speech in full. Note the cheeky intervention from Tom Brake, reminding of us of some words on the side of a bus. The British economy today faces three key challenges. First, we have low productivity, with the associated wage stagnation that comes with it, and of course the reduced tax receipts. Secondly, we have high public sector debt. We must recognise the constraints that that places on what is possible economically, and be honest about some ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

So, we've seen the extent of Phil's spreadsheet and it didn't make pretty reading. An economy on the slide, a disastrous Brexit on the horizon, growth forecasts crumbling – and that's before we even get to the awful bit. Hammond's response to all of this seemed so, well, inadequate. It's like your town is flooding before your eyes and someone goes to Boots and buys a bath sponge to mop up the damage. If this country is going to survive the oncoming storm it needed massive investment – a social housebuilding programme to rival that in the post war years, ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I've been meaning to post a few photographs from this event for some time as a follow-up to the 1974 cine film I wrote about earlier this year. The railway is currently open to the public on a couple of occasions each year in June and August, with profits going to the Leicestershire and Rutland Hospice (LOROS). It's maintained in ... The post Stapleford Miniature Railway Open Weekend – August 2017 appeared first on ten pence piece.

Posted by tim on ten pence piece | Mute

Dear Anthony [not been called that in a while], Today's Budget saw the UK slip from the top of the growth league to deep into the relegation zone. Each person in Britain is set to be £687 worse off per year compared to forecasts before the election. And as living standards are squeezed, the Government is setting aside £3.7bn to cover the cost of a 'no deal' Brexit. The Chancellor found more money in the Budget to plan for Brexit than he did for our struggling NHS, schools and police. And the Labour Party are little better and their support ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

It's because Labour are rabidly following Tory housing policy in Liverpool that we are stuck with sites like this that have seen no building work for 12 months I have today written to the Head of the Paid Service of ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think? | Mute

Sheila and I went along to what turned out to be a packed out talk at Crosby Library this afternoon all about shipping wrecks along the coast of Sefton. The talk was given by Martyn Griffiths who has a web site about such matters which I have linked below: The fact that there have been around 300 wrecks in the past 300 years is quite a surprising stat for those of us who are not well antiquated with the treacherous nature of the sand banks out in the Mersey estuary. Martyn told us about just a handful of the ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter: By May 1915 the Baltic was under German naval blockade and the timber trade was at a standstill. Mendel [Isaiah Berlin's father] had managed to re-orient the business away from export to supplying the Russian railroads, but still a large portion of his timber was sitting in local yards. When a fire wiped out his stock, Mendel accused the German owner of the yard of setting it deliberately; the German retaliated by denouncing Berlin to the police, for setting it to claim the insurance. By then imperial Russia was in full retreat along the eastern ...

"So your key young-voter-friendly measure will actually push house prices up?"— Robert Hutton (@RobDotHutton) November 22, 2017Not the Grand Old Man, you will have noticed, but the Treasury's resident cat.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: 'Profiles in Courage' - a tribute to JFK on the 54th anniversary of the assassination] 'Profiles in Courage' is a book well worth reading especially in the current context of spineless and weak politicians all around the world The post 'Profiles in Courage' – a tribute to JFK on the 54th anniversary of the assassination appeared first on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas | Mute

New studies show that the UK economy has stalled under the Conservatives. This Conservative crash will wipe £49bn off the UK economy by 2021. That's £687 for every person in the UK. Or enough to recruit 69,000 new police officers or 66,000 teachers, reports Cllr Allan Knox. The Conservatives are also putting £3bn aside for 'problems' with Brexit, but only £2.8bn for the NHS. Despite a combined £52billion black hole the Conservative Government have still found money for extra new tax cuts for the richest. The Liberal Democrats, "These are the wrong priorities. Tax cuts for the very richest are ...

Posted by allanknox on Allan Knox | Mute

[IMG: 'A Commencement Villanelle' - mums never stop worrying] This poem expresses the timeless and never-ending worries that mothers have over their children's wellbeing. This poem pivots around a graduation ceremony. It shows that milestone events and birthdays may come and go which signify a... The post 'A Commencement Villanelle' – mums never stop worrying appeared first on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas | Mute

For decades, in the post-war era, there was not a budget day when the Liberal Party did not move an amendment to promote employee ownership and industrial democracy. Jo Grimond and Richard Wainwright were always looking for opportunities to make the case for the redistribution of ownership. Not only did they believe that this would lead to a fair distribution of wealth and influence they saw that it would contribute to productivity improvement-but more of that later Donald Wade, (who for younger readers, was the MP for Huddersfield West,) laid out the argument in his pamphlet Our Aim and Purpose ...

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute

Yes, it was time for FIRC to meet again, our fifth meeting of the year, and we had a packed agenda, notable really for a general lack of policy discussion. Again. For those Committee members who had joined the Committee in anticipation of debating the burning foreign affairs issues of the day, this will have come as a disappointment. For former bureaucrats like myself, it's just as frustrating, because if there's one thing worse than bureaucracy, it's bureaucracy done inelegantly. The bright spot on the agenda was the visit of Andrew Hames, who burbled happily enough whilst his mother, and ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 22nd

On Assigned Identities

This is a bit of a long one, I'm afraid, as I'm trying to untangle several different ideas in my head. Bear with me... and be warned, at some point, you will probably hit on a generalisation about one of ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute

Noted cricket commentator Jim Maxwell has described the England batting line-up, due to play in the first Ashes test in Brisbane in just under 11 hours time, as the "worst ever" to play in an Ashes Down Under series. He has a point: the top of England's order is fairly atrocious. Root has been the only consistent performer in there for some time, and the narrative of an England test innings has become thus: top order collapses, Root hangs on and gets a century with the middle order batting incredibly well to support him, giving England just enough runs to ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

A couple of weeks ago, Vince got his retaliation in first by delivering a statesmanlike Budget speech. Two weeks ahead of the Budget, tomorrow Vince gets his retaliation in first. Of course, as a former business secretary and the man who predicted the financial crash, he has a whole load of economic credibility. In comparison, when the Chancellor delivers his speech on 22 November, he's going to look pretty amateurish compared to Vince. He will outline the major challenges facing Phillip Hammond in light of the expected downgrades in Britain's projected future growth, the threat posed by Brexit to any ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Vinay Gupta is a fascinating man, graduating from developing simple yurts to support refugees anywhere to working out the deeper implications of bitcoin, blockchain technologies and climate change. I was keen to meet him, and I did. In fact, I met him at an amazing annual event hosted in Brighton called the Meaning conference, packed [...] The post Blockchain! Time to introduce you to your heritage... appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Opinion - Radix | Mute
Wed 22nd

My tweets

Tue, 13:47: RT @milann_sk: @SlovakiaMFA is dissapointed that yday vote did not consider geographic criteria. But before fuelling anti-W.Europe bashing... Tue, 19:52: A Man of Parts, by David Lodge Tue, 20:31: Three Things to Know About the Latest Brexit Developments via @YouTube by me. Tue, 21:50: RT @BarackObama: ME: Joe, about halfway through the speech, I'm gonna wish you a happy birth-- BIDEN: IT'S MY BIRTHDAY! ME: Joe. Happy... Wed, 08:43: RT @JCKP1966: A hard border is madness. A firm commitment to no hard border is hardly too much to ask for. Wed, 09:39: RT @Novorossiya_PR: #Novorossiya abandons ...

Yesterday Jo Swinson took on Boris Johnson at Foreign Office questions: Today I challenged Boris Johnson over his complacency about Russian interference and cyber-attacks on the UK — Jo Swinson (@joswinson) November 21, 2017 The text is below: Jo: At the last Foreign Office questions, the Foreign Secretary told me that the UK could not pinpoint any direct Russian cyber-attacks on this country. Today, he tells us the Prime Minister's comments last week about Russia's sustained campaign of cyber-espionage and disruption refer only to other countries. Why does he think the UK is uniquely immune to Russian interference, or ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The fatherhood bonus and the motherhood penalty Yay the patriarchy! Avon and Somerset Police accused of stigmatising people with HIV AAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRGH More than 480 web firms record 'every keystroke' - BBC News So, I've linked to my last Torygraph story EVER. Automated checkouts 'miserable' for elderly shoppers - BBC News Not just elderly shoppers. I detest them. Sayeeda Warsi accuses UK press of hate speech and Islamophobia And she's right, too. Stop Funding Hate is honoured to receive the Jo Cox Award FCC plans total repeal of net neutrality rules Note for Lib Dems: this is the American Federal Communications ...

Over the last 6 years South Glos Council has already cut £63.6m from its annual budget and they're intending to cut another £10.5m per annum across 2018/19 and 2019/20. Even that leaves the council with a predicted hole of £15.7m by 2021/22 so watch out for more cuts being announced. What do you think the council's priorities should be? Fill in the budget survey to let them know. Your Liberal Democrat Focus Team will be fighting to protect services for the most vulnerable.

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington | Mute

Just imagine your phone rings. You pick up and the voice on the line says: Hello, Philip Hammond here. I'm just looking for some ideas for my Budget. What is the one thing you want me to do?" How would you respond? What is the one thing you want to see? I know we could all rattle off about two dozen things, but you only have one. Be disciplined. When I asked on Twitter last night, the first person said what I was going to say: Borrow to invest. Bit general, I know. Really I just want him, in a ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As we wait the budget, an event that seems to be more significant for Phillip Hammond's future than that of the UK economy, if media reports are to be believed, it is worth considering some of the hype. Theresa May is reportedly keen to grasp the UK's housing crisis by the neck and sort it out. Already, Ministers have made speeches and suggestions that implies that (a) they understand what needs to be done; and (b) they are going to do it. However, their track record on this issue is not so good. It is pointless promising massive investment in ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute


Wed 22nd

Christmas Night Market

Christmas Night Market, this Sunday 26th November, 2pm - 8pm, Crossens Community Centre, Rufford Road, Southport.

Posted by John Dodd on Meols Lib Dems | Mute


Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor | Mute