Fri 29th
21:40
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 0 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



Following yesterday's daily coronavirus press conference, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:"The press conference today saw the Prime Minister reach a new, sordid low in his defence of Dominic Cummings. By refusing to allow the Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Officer to answer questions, and denying journalists a follow-up question, it became clear that there is little Boris Johnson will not do to try and keep Dominic Cummings in post."The fact that the police have confirmed what the public already knew - that Dominic Cummings should not have done what he did - emphasises how Ministers ...

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

Over the past month or so, the Young Liberals Executive and Conference Committee has been working hard putting together plans for an online conference, in the place of our regular in-person Activate/Conference. In the last 2 weeks we have started to announce some details, including opening up submissions and drafting advice for motions and constitutional amendments. The drafting deadline is quickly approaching, but there is still ample opportunity to draft a motion, and plenty of time to submit one before the final deadline! This is a fantastic opportunity for people who have not previously been directly involved in the Young ...

Posted by James Bliss on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

In the wake of the December 2010 self-immolation of the impoverished young Tunisian street vendor, Mohamed Bouazizi, a wave of unrest swept across much of North Africa and the Middle East, leading to the ousting of Presidents Zine El Abidine Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt. At the time, I railed against [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

Last night, Shropshire Council's Representational Committee voted to accept Shropshire Council's over the top scheme for Covid-19 signage in the town centre. It seemed to me that councillors were swayed by the statement from the chairman Councillor Glen Ginger that the signs would become the property of Ludlow Town Council. They therefore could be moved at the discretion of the council. This was a meeting based on a false premise. The Covid-19 signs will be legally be traffic signs, placed in the highway and will remain the responsibility of the highway authority. If Ludlow Town Council wants to move a ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute
Fri 29th
17:15

August 2006 books

We started August 2006 in Northern Ireland as usual (heaven knows if it will be possible this year), and I attended MeCon 9 in Belfast where the guests included Ian McDonald, Hal Duncan, Ken MacLeod, Leah Moore, and John Reppion. I thought I had pictures from it, but in fact they seem to be from the following year, and I'm not in anyone else's that I can find. I remember having a lot of fun. We also had a family excursion to the Legenanny Dolmen and the Finnis Souterrain: A mid-holiday work trip to London was unexpectedly extended by a ...

The best way to support charity shops at the moment is to store your donations at home. Many of us have been using this time to sort out our cupboards and wardrobes, putting together bags of clothes and other items to go to a local charity shop. I have been hearing that thoughtless people have been leaving lots of binbags outside charity shops during lockdown. The grim truth is that most of those 'donations' will end up in landfill, at the charities' expense. The shop volunteers haven't been able to handle, clean or store the items, which will now be ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: Money / banknotes (pounds sterling) in hand] Folkestone & Hythe District Council will be launching their COVID Discretionary Business Grant Scheme at 9am Monday 1 June 2020. This scheme draws on the Government's 5% top-up allocation to the Council for the original Small Business Grant (SBG) and Retail, Hospitality & Leisure Grant (RHLG) schemes for a discretionary scheme to support small and microbusinesses that did not benefit from the earlier funding. While Government guidance has made suggestions on the types of business that should be prioritised for this funding, councils have been given discretion on some of the eligibility ...

Fri 29th
15:37

A sixth social "evil"?

William Beveridge listed five 'great evils' (Want, Disease, Ignorance, Squalor and Idleness) that he thought should be remedied by British society after World War Two, and they were addressed by the post-war government, in what has become known as a social contract between government and people. In a February article, we suggested that the modern equivalents of the 'great evils' are poverty, poor health, lack of skills and training, homelessness and unemployment. These societal ills were in existence before the current health crisis, and should not be allowed to continue after it. Just as after World War Two there was ...

Posted by Michael Berwick-Gooding and Katharine Pindar on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Economic crises, and the C19 pandemic certainly is one, have a habit of initiating a major change in economic orthodoxy. Arguable examples include mercantilism after the collapse of the feudal system, Adam Smith after two long pan-European wars, end of the Gold Standard post-WW1, Keynes after the Great Depression and WW2, 'market reforms' after the 1973-5 recession & crash, and the 'Washington Consensus' after the collapse of communism 1989-91. Then came the 2008 financial crisis, which was still unresolved when C19 hit. To a great extent, each crisis arose from the 'flaws' in each new orthodoxy. Each of these changes ...

Posted by Paul Reynolds on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

What makes for a successful opposition party? How much of that success is down to the leader? How much does policymaking matter in opposition? What question should be asked the Lib Dem leadership election hustings? These are just some of the topics I chewed over with opposition expert Professor Tim Bale in this episode of Never Mind The Bar Charts. Feedback very welcome, and do share this podcast with others who you think may enjoy it. Show notes Tim Bale's previous appearance, talking about how you can persuade someone to join a political party. Tim Bale's excellent, re-arrangeable book on ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Today's Headline of the Day Award is a home win. Well done to the Leicester Mercury.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

South Glos has published a big set of proposals for new parking restrictions around the centre of Yate. Here are the proposals for Stanshawes Cres / Kennedy Way - we have been delivering a special Focus to alert residents but please will you share with people you known who might be affected , so they can comment. The S Glos deadline for comment is 15th June.Please note, that to comment officially, rather than emailing Joshua direct, you need to do it by post, OR go to the website and look for ' Yate Various roads' then register with S Glos ...

Regardless of political affiliations, we can agree that Britain must find its voice on Hong Kong. In the last article we looked at the Hong Kong Bill correcting historic irregularities on British Nationality. The Right of Abode for British Nationals (Overseas) British passport holders is UK's crucial response to protect all her people. It is also a tangible action, since it provides passage to these Isles. Yet, our diplomatic approach should be proactive and capable to respond to future threats. Therefore, we move on to the next provisions of the Hong Kong Bill. A regular report on the safety of ...

Posted by Nicholas Chan on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 29th
11:00

My tweets

Thu, 12:56: Dominic Cummings' name blocked by Twitter anti-porn filters https://t.co/y6yXwqIbsj LOL!!! Thu, 16:05: David Tennant and Tom Baker will star together in new Doctor Who story https://t.co/UW2eBz9K35 OMG Thu, 16:58: APCO Worldwide is looking for a great Public Affairs & Communication Intern. Learn more or Jobvite a friend. https://t.co/axbUCcMmLG Thu, 17:11: RT @NYTimesCohen: Angela Merkel and brokenhearted love of country: Germany's Lessons for China and America https://t.co/v3DiA9ZAM8 Thu, 18:23: Thursday reading https://t.co/3Egs8pujja Thu, 18:28: Started Cycle with #cyclemeter at 18:28, on a new route, see https://t.co/HbAAjORp5n, Cyclemeter will speak your replies to me. Thu, 19:59: Finished Cycle with #cyclemeter, ...

Dominic Cummings' reckless behaviour has opened a rats nest that could undermine the battle against the pandemic. If we thought that all government rules were the same, we were mistaken. There are two kinds: regulations where the police can fine us if we break them. For example restrictions on our movement (see regulation 6 here). guidelines where the police can't take action. For example, the guidelines to stay at home if you are infected. Remember this when you read the following quibble from a Number 10 spokesperson: "The police have made clear they are taking no action against Mr Cummings ...

Posted by George Kendall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This is Layla's* vision for a better future for us all. It was published via the Independent 27th May:- 'Around the world, people are looking to their leaders for guidance. Some people will feel safe and hopeful. Others may feel uneasy and question their nation's choices. In moments like this, decent leadership can make an enormous difference to people's lives. For me, the best leadership is calm, measured and purposeful. It is open, transparent and direct. Good leaders spell out what they and their parties stand for, allowing people to grasp the ideas, embrace change and move forward together. So, ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

2 big stories Oh what a tangled web we weave... The problem with taking increasingly ludicrous positions in public is that, eventually, either you have to give up, or the contortions become so absurd that everybody knows that that's what they are, at which point the game is up. Health ministers, and the Prime Minister, trashing their own policies in order to justify Dominic Cummings' moonlight flit to Durham, Michael Gove attempting to suggest that he too would test his eyesight by going for a drive, the scientific advisors silenced. And it does begin to beg the question, what does ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

 

The UK Government's insistence that MPs return to the House of Commons in person next week has already started to unravel with the revelation that there is currently no safe way for voting to take place. Both Houses of Parliament have stubbornly clung to methods of working that have been in place for hundreds of years, with apparently little appetite for reform. These include maintaining the voting lobbies, where MPs file though two opposing corridors to record their vote, in a ceremony that can take over 15 minutes for each division. Now, as the Guardian reports, Public Health England have ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Govt have "moral duty" to act given Beijing's contempt for Joint Declaration Govt must look closely at conflicting guidance on risks of schools reopening Davey: Either PM and Ministers lied or have no understanding of lockdown rules Govt must now give all Hong Kongers BNO Passport Lib Dems: PM reaches new low in attempt to keep Cummings Govt have "moral duty" to act given Beijing's contempt for Joint Declaration Responding to reports that China's legislature has approved a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority in the territory, Liberal Democrat Foreign ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

And that brings us back up to date... All Tory MPs must reflect on Govt resignation and call for Cummings to go Govt must invest now in mental health support given impact of COVID-19 Govt must scrap Vagrancy Act as part of plan to end rough sleeping for good PM out of touch with public and his own party Govt review into lockdown fines shows one rule for Cummings and one for everyone else Increase in prison staff Covid-19 cases show Govt allowing prisons to become crucible for virus All Tory MPs must reflect on Govt resignation and call for ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Nearly up to date now... Closure of Weston General Hospital shows critical need for test, trace, isolate system PM must terminate Cummings' contract PM's judgement now in question over Cummings Closure of Weston General Hospital shows critical need for test, trace, isolate system Responding to news that Weston General Hospital has been forced to close to new patients due to a high number of COVID-19 cases, Liberal Democrat Health, Wellbeing and Social Care spokesperson Munira Wilson said: This outbreak demonstrates the incredibly urgent need for a comprehensive test, trace and isolate system. That is the only way to keep people ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Sebastian Field, a Lib Dem councillor from Gloucester, explains how he has helped and kept in touch with his community under lockdown. Like many Liberal Democrats, I have been helping out in my council ward during the Covid-19 pandemic. I was due to stand for re-election in May this year, having won the seat in a by-election last July, but these elections have been postponed to next year. Although, for obvious reasons, I have not been able to deliver leaflets since the lockdown, or knock on doors, I have been able to help in other ways. Initially, I helped deliver ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Britain appointed itself the ruling power in Palestine after the First World War mainly because it suited British geopolitical ambitions, but our government solemnly acknowledged a "sacred duty" to safeguard the rights of all the people of Palestine when British rule ended. However, in 1948, Britain, bankrupted by World War II and dealing with the collapse of its empire, forgot its promise to the Palestinians, and left them to their own devices. The Jewish state of Israel was created in roughly the part of Mandate Palestine designated by the United Nations, and the rest was ceded to Egypt and Jordan. ...

Posted by Andy Daer on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

It took the judges little time on Zoom to give today's Headline of the Day Award to Sky News.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Thu 28th
17:23

Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht Last books finished A border too far: the Ilemi triangle yesterday and today, by Philip Winter Slaughterhouse 5, by Kurt Vonnegut The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross Next books The Queen's Spymaster, by John Cooper The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry

The site for the proposed new ALDi store photographed whilst road works for the rebuilt Alt junction were still ongoing. I was asked yesterday if I knew anything about ALDI opening up a store on the old car showroom site as you come into Maghull from Switch Island. I didn't. But that was yesterday and today a resident living near to the proposed site for the new ALDI store got in touch to pass on the link to the ALDI consultation that is now doing the rounds – see that link below:- aldiconsultation.co.uk/maghull/ It was only a few days ago ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

One of my colleagues here on Lib Dem Voice has suggested, somewhat tongue in cheek, that I should write about editing the blog in lockdown. That could be as self-referential as an Escher drawing, but I have risen to the challenge. At one level, very little has changed. We are sent posts by email, we edit and publish them, sometimes after a correspondence with the contributor about length, or content, or style. Sometimes we turn posts down because they aren't really relevant or of interest to our readers. Sometimes posts are simply badly written – we try to help if ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Last Wednesday was the 'Annual Council' meeting of Bury Council. Councillor Michael Powell reports: This is an important meeting, attended by all 51 councillors. This time, for the first time ever, the meeting took place as a video conference with all councillors sat in their own homes (apart from the Mayor who was in the Council chamber.) There were three main pieces of business: Appointments for 2020-21 The ruling Labour Group had changed who they proposes as Council Leader and Deputy Leader for this year. Our new Council Leader is Councillor Eamon O'Brien, and the new Deputy Council Leader is ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

James O'Brien was so incensed by Boris Johnson's defence of the indefensible actions by Dominic Cummings that, on Tuesday, his day off, he broadcast his thoughts on LBC. It is extremely powerful. You should listen to it. * Simon Pike is Data Officer of Newbury and West Berkshire local party and a member of South Central Region executive.

Posted by Simon Pike on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Responding to reports that China's legislature has approved a new security law for Hong Kong, which would make it a crime to undermine Beijing's authority in the territory, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson Alistair Carmichael said: "This vote demonstrates Beijing's contempt for the Joint Declaration. It is an unforgivable move that threatens the rights and freedoms of the people of Hong Kong."The UK Government must take immediate action. We have a legal and moral duty."It is time to urgently reopen the BNO Passport offer and extend it to give the people of Hong Kong the right to live in the ...

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

Please see below a list of planning applications received in the last month. Please just let us know if you have any queries. Two/single storey rear extension; 0.31m high decking at rear 68 Heys Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JYRef. No: 65453 | Received: Mon 27 Apr 2020 | Validated: Tue 05 May 2020 | Status: RegisteredSingle storey extension at rear including new flat roof across and 2no. flat roof lights 14 Orford Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3DBRef. No: 65445 | Received: Thu 23 Apr 2020 | Validated: Thu 23 Apr 2020 | Status: RegisteredTwo storey extension at side 98 Warwick ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

At last our Country tops a league table. Unfortunately, it is for the number of excess deaths in the lockdown period caused by the coronavirus. Regular readers of my blog will know that I have longed argued that we need ... Continue reading →

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

The Liverpool Echo reports: A Liverpool Council cabinet member has been suspended from his role for two months after breaking lockdown rules – while the city's Deputy Mayor has stepped down pending an investigation into her behaviour. The ECHO has revealed the flouting of lockdown rules by both Cabinet Member for children's services Cllr Barry Kushner and Deputy Mayor Cllr Lynnie Hinnigan in recent weeks. At least the Labour Party, unlike the Conservatives, is willing to take action. Want to know more about what the Liberal Democrats are doing in the Westminster Parliament? Sign-up for a weekly email when Parliament ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

When the Lib Dems' new members' complaints procedure went live on 1 July 2019, we committed to an independent, fair, member-led process. The Federal Board agreed to review how the system was working at the end of its first year and I'm pleased and proud to say that the first steps in that review has identified some clear positives. The system is independent. The Federal Board has no role in – or knowledge of – individual complaints. Instead, the Senior Adjudicators' Team (SAT) leads and advises our volunteers. This team of four specialists, lead by our Lead Adjudicator, Neil Christian, ...

Posted by Alice Thomas on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

You can now access thousands of local and national newspapers free-of-charge through a new online library resources. It covers the majority of national and local papers in addition to a range of international titles from across the world.During the coronavirus pandemic there has been a surge of new members joining online - up 638 per cent since lockdown began.In response to the demand, the Council has increased and expanded our online resources and are delighted to have received a grant of £1,000 from the Arts Council England to extend the service for a period of twelve months. You can also ...

South Glos has published a big set of proposals for new parking restrictions around the centre of Yate. Here are the proposals for Church Rd - we have been delivering a special Focus to alert residents in Church Rd but please will you share with people you known who use the school, church, pubs or just drive through , so they can comment. The S Glos deadline for comment is 15th June. Please note, that to comment officially, rather than emailing Joshua direct, you need to do it by post, OR go to the website and look for ' Yate ...

Homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage because of Covid-19 will be able to extend their mortgage payment holiday for a further three months, or start making reduced payments, in proposals published 22 May.The availability of a three-month mortgage holiday was first announced in March as part of a package of support for individuals, businesses and the economy. Over 1.8 million mortgage payment holidays were taken up, and the first of these will be coming to an end in June.You can read the full government announcement here.The Financial Conduct Authority has published new draft guidance for lenders which you can read ...

Look, let's be honest, I have no desire to catch COVID-19. Likewise, as someone who believes that community is important, I don't want to spread it either. I have responsibilities, as a public servant and as the Chair of my Parish Council, and should set an example. And so, I will. But I will say this, it sticks in my throat that someone who is giving me instructions is, simultaneously, defending the right of the Prime Minister's senior advisor to disregard them as he sees fit. And yes, you might reasonably say, I would be less than entirely friendly towards ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

I have often come across the idea of the strategic manager. He (and the gender stereotype is appropriate here) thinks that it is his job to look at the big picture, and leave the detail to his underlings. Indeed, too much detail could cloud judgement, as could working too hard. More than one of my ... Continue reading The Cummings Affair exposes the shallowness of the Johnson project

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

In the daily update on Friday 15th May, Matt Hancock said that the current crisis had demonstrated how closely health and social care need to work together and had acted as a catalyst to reform, referring to "integration". Care homes are not, and were never intended to be, hospitals. The residents are just as entitled to hospital care, if that is what is needed, as are the rest of us. That so many have been left to die in Care Homes, rather than being admitted to hospital, and thereby denied the benefit of oxygen, ventilators and intensive care which might ...

Posted by Chris Perry on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 28th
11:00

My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Important on where Brexit is. (Or isn't.) https://t.co/Q0aijUCG9g Wed, 16:05: In a first, Twitter adds fact-check labels to Trump tweets on voting fraud https://t.co/ox2lJD4gEV Not before time. Wed, 16:34: I had been following @realDonaldTrump out of general interest, but I'm unfollowing that account now. Anything usefu... https://t.co/91Ou4W4N7E Wed, 17:11: The politics of the spice rack: cumin https://t.co/eTpPew3zHN "Cumin has a unique distinction: it is the only Engli... https://t.co/ZJZmYiB7M2 Wed, 18:41: Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime 1: Breaking the Strain, by Paul Preuss https://t.co/kxx6sv9FgP Wed, 20:01: RT @tardis_monkey: PRESS PLAY! #ItsAboutTime https://t.co/R1h57DLsxJ Wed, 20:01: I think this is a ...

There are some moments when I'm unspeakably proud to be a member of the Liberal Democrats. Last year's local elections. Marching side-by-side with tens of thousands at the People's Vote rallies. Every time I crack open Roy Jenkins' excellent Gladstone biography. But there's one rather more recent moment that sticks out as the proudest I've ever felt to be a member of this party, and that was reading the general election review. I can't think of any other party that would have had such a frank conversation with itself about what went wrong. It makes a tough read, but as ...

Posted by Conor Hilliard on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

2 big stories Frankly, I'm bored with Dominic Cummings. I freely accept that he doesn't care what anyone thinks of him and will only quit when he feels like it – because his notional boss hasn't got the backbone to do anything about him. But he has become a symbol of exactly what senior Conservatives think of the British public, for which we should be kind of grateful. That said, it appears that more and more Conservative MPs are beginning to realise how damaging his arrogance is becoming. Is it that they don't like the grief they're getting from constituents, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Many thanks to the Step Row resident who sent me this photograph of a part of walling in the street that looks a little smoke-damaged. She was told by a lovely elderly lady who lived at 33 Step Row long ago, that on VE Day, local folk lit a celebratory bonfire and all brought out chairs to celebrate together. This wall bordering the former blind institution property (now sheltered housing operated by Caledonia Housing Association) still shows the effects of that bonfire 75 years later! The elderly lady who told the story many years ago was the late Mrs Margaret ...

This is a real road sign, or rather it is a Highways England sign that has been added to by a person or persons who is as annoyed as the rest of us at the way the man who helped formulate lockdown rules was able to blatantly disregard them without suffering any consequences. As the Mirror reports, West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson says officers are reporting that people breaking lockdown rules are using special adviser Dominic Cummings' actions as an excuse: Mr Jamieson told BBC Radio 4's The World At One programme that people are telling officers ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute