Fri 22nd
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 £10 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

Fri 22nd

Did a nart

well, more of a sketch really, because I'm not patient or talented enough to do a nart properly. Still, [IMG: [community profile] ] drawesome's current challenge is one that sparked a synapse, so: Title: Jeremy Clarkson Test Rides the BGD 2000 Artist: miss_s_b Rating: G Fandom: Top Gear/The Grand Tour Characters/Pairings: Jeremy Clarkson, a bloody great dragon Content Notes: media: random lump of card I found lying about, Yard-o-led Viceroy Victorian fountain pen, Diamine saddle brown ink, Caran D'ache water brush, water. ( image under cut ) If I had the artistic talent I might have gone with [IMG: [personal ...

Despite the headline, I actually don't want to talk about Shamima Begum in the specific very much in this article. I don't want to get lost in discussing what it is she did that led the Home Office to strip her of her British citizenship; I want instead to focus on why I think that [...] The post On Shamima Begum and British citizenship appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Nick Tyrone on Radix | Mute

Okay so to give a little background to myself I do have a history degree achieved many years ago now. One of the first things lecturers harp on about when trying to get a history degree is the lessons learned from history, how the lessons learned from the past will mean we never repeat a [...]

Posted by tompkin982014 on tompkin98blog | Mute

I imagine that you are rarely met with a party atmosphere when stepping out of Westminster tube station on a February afternoon. But on the 15th February 2019 at 1 o'clock, the sun was shining, people were singing and smiling, and that distinctive smell of cannabis smoke was in the air. It felt more like Reading Festival than the epicentre of the British political system. This being said, most of the 2000 students weren't there for a party. This wasn't a day off school or an early half term get-together. The majority of people were there to get their voices ...

Posted by Lennard Metson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 22nd

My tweets

Thu, 12:03: #CEPSlab19 77 minutes into the session and @Poli_Eleonora is the first woman to speak. Thu, 12:17: RT @FrancescoNicoli: @simonjhix: "to go beyond the second order election trap, the Eurosceptics must have a lead candidate. That creates re... Thu, 12:56: RT @DmitryOpines: "I guess we were a bit overcautious in requiring a backstop," thinks absolutely no one in Europe watching both UK politic... Thu, 13:11: Met an old friend who works for @EFTAsecretariat at #CEPSlab19. Apparently UK's Withdrawal Agreement with EFTA is r... Thu, 13:24: RT @hostwriter: One year ago, Slovak investigative journalist #JanKuciak and his fiancée Martina ...

Despite the headline, I actually don't want to talk about Shamima Begum in the specific very much in this article. I don't want to get lost in discussing what it is she did that led the Home Office to strip her of her British citizenship; I want instead to focus on why I think that move by the government creates extremely problematic issues for what British citizenship actually is – for every British citizen, whatever their race, background or birthplace. Stripping existing citizens of their citizenship is something I feel instinctively hostile towards. If someone who has become a British ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

I was in bed with Beloved yesterday, both of us on laptops, he doing Important Actual Writer Stuff and me selecting fic challenges for next month and looking at Tweetdeck. He glanced over at my Tweetdeck and commented: Him: You follow a lot of dogs. Me: It leavens the stress of politics twitter if every third tweet is a doggy tweet. Him: You could make a doggy list, then when it gets really stressful you could look at a feed that's entirely dogs? Me, sotto voce: Why the hell didn't I think of that? Anyway, as a result of that ...

There is news this morning that a ninth MP has left Labour, however, as the Independent reports, Dudley North MP, Ian Austin is going to sit with the independent Independents. Confused? you should be. In fact, Ian Austin's final destination means that he is not the ninth MP to desert Labour for some ill-defined grouping of malcontents, he is in fact the fourteenth Labour MP to make this walk. That is because the non-aligned MPs who have walked away from their party for various reasons (or who have been ousted) include former Labour MPs such as Ivan Lewis, Jared O'Mara, ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

This was always going to come. Connexus is the mega housing association that has absorbed South Shropshire Housing Association. It has now appealed against Shropshire Council's refusal of plans for five bungalows on the green space at the bottom of Charlton Rise. This is an important amenity area but it has no protection as a green space. The Norway Maple is covered a tree protection order but that will be lifted if planning permission is given and the tree will be felled. The South Planning Committee twice rejected the planning application. The appeal will be conducted by letters - email ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Responding to reports that the Conservative Government has admitted they will not be able to negotiate deals with Japan and Turkey before March 29, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said:"One of the great myths of Brexit was that we could instantly sign new trade deals whilst seamlessly rolling over the existing deals we already have with over 70 countries as a member of the EU. "This is damaging myth which has proven to be false. Should no-deal materialise, this will cause serious problems for our economy. "Theresa May must take no-deal off the table and give the public ...

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

Many residents have contacted me concerned about the need for a better road surface in parts of Blackness Road. I raised this with the council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have received the following positive response : "Blackness Road from Glamis Road to Glenagnes Road has been identified for possible inclusion on the 2019/2020 Carriageway Programme for surface dressing subject to available funding."

One Labour seat and one Conservative-turned-Independent seat make up this week's council by-elections. Both, hooray, have a Liberal Democrat candidate.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

There is just one meeting scheduled at Blyth Town Council for March Tuesday 12th March - Community Development Scheduled to start at 6:30 at Arms Evertyne House As usual, check with BTC before attending

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton | Mute

Tories fail to support Lib Dem motion to end schools and SEND underfunding Parties unite on Conservative call to promote Hindu and Buddhist new year After a short adjournment of the meeting to allow the crowds there for the Parking Strategy to disperse, the business of the council recommenced. Lib Dems call for fair funding [...]

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor | Mute

This week saw the birth of the long-awaited new centrist party, The Independent Group. Who knows what's going to happen? My heart says I hope it thrives. At last, a handful of the grown-ups in our two main parties have had the courage of their convictions and done something constructive, positive. Just perhaps it will force a response from the Conservatives and Labour, a reversion to the sensible, moderate mainstream; a rejection of their current adherence to their controlling extremists, whether ERG or Momentum. My heads says it's bound to get squashed by our stultifying electoral system, which stifles at ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall | Mute

Whilst we wait to find out if there will be a Parliamentary by-election in Peterborough, and with one definitely on the way in Newport West following the sad death of Paul Flynn, there is also now the chance of one in Brecon and Radnorshire.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Sometimes you don't realise how much you liked a public figure until they die. I remember being on a walking holiday in the West Country in 1997 when Brian Glover died and borrowing someone's newspaper in the pub so I could read his obituary. Before he was an actor, Glover was a wrestler and British Wrestlers Reunion explains the genesis of Leon Arras: At the start of his career Glover took the ring name of Erik Tanberg from Sweden but he was struggling to make any impact and despite his best efforts did not seem to climb the wrestling ladder. ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I regard myself as a Fortean - happy in general to accept that "there are more things in heaven and earth...", but distinctly sceptical in individual cases. Recently I came across a podcast called The Unexplained, which is introduced by a smooth professional broadcaster called Howard Hughes who has an obvious interest in such matters. Some of the episodes are really good. I recommend one on the death of Dr David Kelly with the journalist Miles Goslett and the most recent one, which looks at the D.B. Cooper plane hijacking in the US. There are also interviews with David Icke ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

One Something had to happen and I am glad that it did. The two main parties have both been captured by groups of extremists that have more in common with each other than they do with the political mainstream. You only have to see the happy faces of The Independent Group MPs to see what a strain it has been to fight for mainstream values in the Conservative and Labour Parties. The response from Corbyn loyalists, at least, has shown how broken our political system now is. I have no idea what will happen next, but I have a feeling ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Lots to crunch here. First of all, the GR/LT stats for the Best Novel finalists: Goodreads LibraryThing owners av rating owners av rating Spinning Silver, by Naomi Novik 114,671 4.3 793 4.28 The Poppy War, by R.F. Kuang 76,250 4.04 371 3.98 The Calculating Stars, by Mary Robinette Kowal 27,696 4.22 321 4.08 Blackfish City, by Sam J. Miller 18,116 3.63 189 3.4 Witchmark, by C.L. Polk 15,627 3.92 182 3.71 Impressive lead on all four metrics for Spinning Silver. For Best Novella, there is also a clear leader, if not quite so strongly ahead, but the different modes of ...

Thu 21st

Peter Tork RIP

We knew it was coming, of course — the cancer he was diagnosed with around a decade ago is one which most people survive for a long time, but which pretty much always gets you within a decade or so, ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute
Thu 21st

Welcome back to York!

As we mark the beginning of 2019, the countdown to Spring Conference has begun! And on behalf of the York Liberal Democrats, I would like to say how pleased I am to be welcoming everyone back to York in March. For those who have not been to York previously - York is a beautiful, well-connected and unique city, with a lot to offer. Visit York estimates that this year's Conference will provide a substantial boost to the local economy, valued at more than £600,000. Combined with the St. Patrick's Day weekend, I know that the city's wonderful pubs, hotels, B&Bs ...

Posted by Keith Aspden on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

"Break the mould" was the slogan of the SDP/Liberal Alliance after the defection of 28 (yes 28) Labour MPs to form their Social Democratic Party (SDP) in 1981. A sole Conservative joined them as well. Together with by-election successes (Roy Jenkins at Glasgow Hillhead, for example) and the existing 11 Liberal MPs the Alliance eventually totalled around 40 MPs, but , in the first General Election to follow, in 1983, although our Alliance polled 25% of the vote (against Labour's 28%and the Tories' 42%) only 23 Alliance MPs were elected, just six of whom were members of the SDP. The ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

Needless to say, The Independent Group could possibly flop from here. There could be no more resignations from the two big parties, for starters, which would leave it dead in the water, the 11 souls stranded on their own political island. The group could really screw up – we've had the unfortunate "funny tinge" moment, right off the bat, after all. On the other hand, this could be the real start of political realignment in this country. It is clear from the reactions of both May and Corbyn that neither of them are taking this in any way seriously enough. ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

As has become a tradition over the past decades, the LibDems and Dutch sister party D66 sing from exactly the same hymn sheet on the subject of taking back "ISIS jihad brides" and their children from the Syrian-Kurdish YPG/SDF prisoner camps they're housed in at the moment. And just as usual, the ALDE right wing (in the Netherlands, Prime Minister Mark Rutte's VVD) is fervently opposed to taking back anybody who has moved to the ISIS Caliphate since 2014, thus bending liberal, judicial and humanist principles to populist kneejerk reactions. In the Netherlands, Rutte and the VVD know they stand ...

Posted by Bernard Aris on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Manuel Chaves Nogales (1897-1944) was witness to many of the catastrophic events of the first half of the 20th century, from the turmoil that followed the Bolshevik Revolution in the USSR to the rise of Fascism, the Spanish Civil War and the Second World War, which saw the loss of millions of lives. Though opposed [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

First the Seven, then plus One and, at the time of writing, now joined by the Tory Three. Brexit has made strange times for politics is highlighting the flaws in our current political system. From both Labour and the Conservative sides, the emphasis has always been on "broad church politics". What does this phrase really mean? It means that each of the larger parties are a coalition of views: a group of sub-spectrums within the larger political continuum. The latter is often described as horseshoe-shaped, as the extreme ends of left and right bend in towards each other. It is ...

Posted by Martin Veart on Martin's View | Mute

There is a hidden gender problem deep in the heart of Westminster. We often talk about the number of female MPs in parties and on the frontbenches, and how male, pale and stale those can look.It is obviously worth discussing, but we should look at what goes on behind the scene as well. By the [...] The post Westminster's hidden gender problem – and how it's getting worse appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Marie Le Conte on Radix | Mute
Thu 21st

My tweets

Wed, 12:34: RT @JusticeLeagueEU: @jonworth Reminds me of when @nwbrux diplomatically said 'I don't know why the minister said that' when what he meant... Wed, 12:37: The Independent Group: Tories Anna Soubry, Sarah Wollaston and Heidi Allen quit party over Brexit to join ex-Labour... Wed, 12:47: RT @purves_peter: Almost ready to go Wed, 12:56: RT @Dublin2019: Still undecided about who to vote for in the Retro Hugos? Ian Moore investigates what else was happening in fandom in 194... Wed, 16:05: The world's first democratically elected Muslim woman was from Georgia Fascinating piece by... Wed, 19:52: RT ...

Thu 21st

Will they all froth off?

The real advantage of having been around a long time (52 years as a member and 36 as a councillor) is that you can usually say, "I've seen it all before". There are two things about the emergence of the "Independent Group" which are different to the huge surge of support for the SDP when it was created. Firstly, there are no big names amongst them. Most people outside their own constituencies probably couldn't put a name to a face if shown the magnificent 11. Secondly, this time there are splits in both the other Parties not just one. It's ...

Posted by Richard Kemp on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Rimrose Valley Country Park map. Some years back Sefton Council's then Technical Services Traffic Services Unit produced, in conjunction with The Countryside Commission, a quite beautiful set of walking booklets* which are pieces of artwork in their own right. I blogged about another of the walks (No.7 in the series – The Maghull Trail) not so long ago – here's a link to it:- But back to the Rimrose Valley, which I cycle through regularly. The threat is of course a new road to the Port of Liverpool that Highways England says it is going to build down through ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

History tells us that the championing of tariffs on imports by Joseph Chamberlain in the early 1900s through the Tariff Reform League, was a major factor in enabling a Liberal landslide in the 1906 General Election. Free-trade stalwarts in the Liberal and Labour parties prevailed with the argument that such an arrangement would penalise voters by undermining their cost of living. Many working-class people at the time saw tariffs as a threat to the price of food. The election was won with the slogan 'big loaf' under a Liberal government, 'little loaf' under a Conservative government. Liberals also commissioned a ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I welcome the report by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, High Streets and Town Centres in 2030, which calls on the Government to consider the options of an online sales tax and reforms to business rates. It states: We believe that high streets and town centres can survive, and thrive, by 2030 if they adapt. Our vision is for activity-based community gathering places where retail is a smaller part of a wider range of uses and activities and where green space, leisure, arts and culture and health and social care services combine with housing to create a space ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Continuing a trend largely unremarked in the media, another local councillor has joined the Liberal Democrats.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

From Sheena Wellington : Bruce Davies at the Wighton! - Cappuccino Concert Wighton Heritage Centre, Central LibrarySaturday 23rd February - 11am (doors open at 10.30am) Bruce Davies, the Fife based singer songwriter will be appearing at Wighton Heritage Centre, Dundee on Saturday 23rd February from 11am to noon. With 35 years as a professional entertainer behind him, Bruce is a musician whose easy on the ear singing and storytelling have gained him many friends on four continents. Crisp acoustic guitar playing is one of his trademarks and, as BBC Celtic Roots said, "a voice in a million". His recent album ...

This application has taken a long time to get approval but earlier this week Shropshire Council gave outline planning permission for 74 houses and apartments in the former brick quarry. There will no affordable homes on site and the developer will only have to pay affordable housing contribution if profits from the site are higher than expected. This is because of the costs of providing a retaining wall to protect the development from the quarry face and decontaminating the site. Nearly half the homes will be two-bedroom. This is only outline permission. The developer now has three years to submit ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Responding to the report by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee calling on the Government to consider the options of an online sales tax and reforms to business rates, Leader of the Liberal Democrats Vince Cable said: "While our high streets are going through an extremely difficult time, with the right action from government, councils, businesses and local communities, they can prosper once again. "Instead of trying to recreate the high streets of the past, our towns and cities need to tailor their offer to local tastes and focus on experiences at a time of growing demand for online ...

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