Tue 21st
11:19
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. We need £25 in the next few days, else everything goes black. With over 100 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



This year's Scottish Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference takes place much later than usual. It's been delayed by the Referendum and will take place in Dunfermline on Saturday 22nd November. There's just about enough time for Presidential candidates to come and chase some last minute votes. The preliminary agenda has just been published and it's busy. Six policy debates, two keynote speeches, a devolution discussion, a thank you reception for our former MEP George Lyon and two lunchtime fringe meetings crammed into one day. The policy motions include: Liberal Youth Scotland's on engaging young people and encouraging them to register to ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: Stewart-Pearson-Glenn-Cul-008] Things, as you may remember, were reasonably rosy at the start of the Coalition. The Tories were so happy to be back in government and the Lib Dems so pleased to have made it back after several generations hiatus that crucial differences between the two parties were swept aside as much as possible. This sometimes had strange results. One of which was my soon to be wife and I taking the train to Kendall Rise to attend Steve Hilton and Michael Gove's joint birthday party in late August 2010. Steve Hilton was Cameron's head of policy in Number ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

Calderdale Lib Dems call for a Yorkshire Parliament (tags: ) Doctor Who's new web game aims to teach children programming skills I approve of this very much :) (tags: ) Nude lap dancing application rejected by councillors Because apparently a g-string makes ALLLLL the difference between perfectly acceptable and total moral collapse *rolleyes* (tags: ) Miss Marple Blu-ray Preview with breathtaking spot the difference screenshots waaaaaaaaant (tags: ) My treasurer @mickft in storming form on the topic of English devolution *proud face* (tags: ) Gamergate: the internet is the toughest game in town - if you're playing as a woman ...

Tue 21st
09:23

Happy Trafalgar Day!

[IMG: 8433724488_90076f225f_z]

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

[IMG: crime scene] The latest independent crime survey of England and Wales shows crime continuing to fall. It has fallen by 16% over the year June 2013 to June 2014 and 25% under this government. Liberal Democrats have been working in government to make our communities safer. We have freed front-line police officers from unnecessary bureaucracy and given communities more powers to tackle anti-social behaviour. Liberal Democrat Crime Prevention Minister Norman Baker said: "Police reform is working and crime is down by more than 20 per cent under this government according to the independent Crime Survey for England and Wales. ...

Posted by Nick Hollinghurst on Nick Hollinghurst | Mute

Every five minutes a child dies from violence. This appalling statistic, released in a new report from Unicef UK today, shows that violence is not confined to an unlucky few or even to war zones. Across the world, millions of children bear the brunt of an epidemic of violence that is often hidden or ignored and that threatens their rights to a healthy, safe and fulfilling life. Violence manifests itself in many forms. Unicef UK's research reveals that more than 125 million women, most in early childhood or adolescence, have been subjected to female genital mutilation (FGM). In some regions, ...

Posted by Martin Horwood on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As a member of the Black Watch's 4th Battalion during the Great War, Joseph Johnston Lee spent time not only living and fighting in the trenches, but also as a German prisoner of war in 1917. Incredibly, the Dundonian channelled the experience into his literary and artistic passions, writing poems and drawing sketches of the wretched time to send home. He is often referred to as Scotland's forgotten poet, but in his day he was widely regarded as one of the best in the world. Tomorrow evening sees the launch of a new edition of Lee's poems. Held as part ...

#483579531 / gettyimages.com Ukip was facing the lost of around £1m a year in public funds following the loss of an MEP from the European Parliament group of which it was a member, taking the group below the size requirements for public funding. The answer? To recruit a replacement MEP. Fair enough, you might think. Except this is who they recruited: Nigel Farage's Europe of Freedom and Direct Democracy group recruited an MEP from the Congress of the New Right with the blessing of its controversial leader Janusz Korwin-Mikke, according to reports from Poland. The Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz is ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

#113719828 / gettyimages.com From the tender information published on the Electoral Commission's website: In January 2014 the Electoral Commission published its review of electoral fraud vulnerabilities in the UK. One of our recommendations was that electors in Great Britain should be required to present an acceptable form of photographic identification (ID) prior to being issued with a ballot paper and voting at polling stations. We recommended that a proof of identity scheme should be in place to be used by no later than for the 2019 European Parliamentary and English local government elections. We said that we would consult widely ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

I have commented recently on the plan of Merseyside Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy to sell off the underused Maghull Police Station (along with others across the County) and to get neighbourhood police officers to work out of smaller premises. In Maghull the new base for the 'Coppers' could be a shop unit, Maghull Library, Lydiate Village Centre? Your guess is presently as good as mine, but change it is a coming. Then the other day I happened to walk past Maghull Police Station and a photograph jumped out at me to be taken. The Station is certainly in the Autumn ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute
Tue 21st
01:17

We Need STV, Not "PR"

(I hope the following is coherent — I've been sleep-deprived for much of the last week, and really don't feel very good) We no longer live in anything that could be made to convincingly pose as a two-party system, even if you squint a bit. Nor do we live in the two-and-a-bit party system we [...]

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

For us at least. 10.00- 12.30 Weds Oct 22 @ Villa Real #c2ctidyup Here's the message from Sustrans and it would be great to see you there. Section of track that local to us - Consett A692 Roundabout to Jolly Drovers Pub. Tasks - Litter picking, cutting back encroaching vegetation, painting, weeding planters and signage. Meeting Point - Access to the cycle track is opposite the petrol station in Leadgate. Please meet on the same side of the road as the petrol station. This is a Google map of the meeting point - http://goo.gl/jrvDGA Supervisor and contact details - Neil ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis | Mute
Mon 20th
21:49

Early Health Warnings

Children are great incubators and spreaders of bugs. Hence why flu vaccine is being rolled out to UK children. Nurseries try really hard to install good hygiene but it isn't easy – they still lapse. New Scientist has reported a study of 4 Michigan nurseries caring for 600 under-fives where each nursery reported illnesses online. The study team spotted a 2 day spike in nursery stomach bugs and a gastroenteritis outbreak amongst school aged children 3 weeks later. They're suggesting that nurseries could be used in a similar way to canaries down mines. When nurseries spot illnesses, schools, and even ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber | Mute

#486432661 / gettyimages.com The Guardian reports: Journalists should be able to rely on a public interest defence if they break some laws relating to computer misuse, data protection and bribery, Nick Clegg has said. The Liberal Democrat leader said he believed journalists should be able to go after information in the public interest without fear of being prosecuted... "I think there should be a basically a public interest defence put in law," Clegg said. "You probably need to put it in the Data Protection Act, the Bribery Act, maybe one or two other laws as well, where you enshrine a ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Here's the new film from the Liberal Democrats, showing the candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole, Vikki Slade, finding out how the Liberal Democrat policy of free school meals for 4-7 year olds is having a huge impact locally.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

As from 2nd November the route is changing to go one way along Bloomfield Road and Bloomfield Drive. Here is a map of the change. This change is following a petition in Bloomfield Drive.

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down | Mute

Would raising the income tax threshold to £12,500 actually do more harm than good? One Financial Times columnist and the Joseph Rowntree Foundation certainly think so. Giles Wilkes' basic argument in the FT is that if you give everyone a tax cut during a period of austerity then you create more austerity. It follows that you must make further cuts to public services and welfare spending which effectively negates any financial benefits accrued for indivduals through poorer services and, possibly, higher council taxes. Through the recent research they commissioned from Loughborough University, JRF argue that the Lib Dem tax proposals ...

Posted by Energlyn Churchill on Towards the Sound of Gunfire | Mute

Of Flying Cars and the Declining Rate of Profit – "Why did the projected explosion of technological growth everyone was expecting—the moon bases, the robot factories—fail to happen? There are two possibilities. Either our expectations about the pace of technological change were unrealistic (in which case, we need to know why so many intelligent people believed they were not) or our expectations were not unrealistic (in which case, we need to know what happened to derail so many credible ideas and prospects)." Future Tense: British science fiction television – A great series of articles from Frank Collins (formerly of the ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With | Mute

I've done a couple of posts so far on why perfection is so awful. But I wanted to share this very good piece from Salon by Erica Larsen writing about her own experience battling with it: It's this loss of connection with the self, I think, that really makes perfectionists so prone to mental illness. [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute

At the last meeting of The Addy Community group we agreed we would start to run a regular drop-in coffee morning for the local community. We want to encourage more community use of the building as we put together our bid to take over the running of the building from the Council. So come along on Friday 14th November and drop by our coffee morning in 'The Addy' on Rye lane to say hello. It will be running from about 10am for an hour or so. I'll be there so I can hold an impromptu surgery if you have any ...

Posted by jamesbaker on Cllr James BakerCllr James Baker | Mute

Congratulations are due to West Yorkshire Police who have successfully caught a man who stole a TV and projector equipment from Christ Church, Mount Pellon. Stealing from a Church that works hard for its local community is a particularly immoral crime. The courier is reporting that the man responsible was caught as a result of covert surveillance put in place by the Police following an earlier burglary and forensic evidence. A sentence has yet to be handed down, but I hope it suitably reflects the crime committed.

Posted by jamesbaker on Cllr James BakerCllr James Baker | Mute

A few months back I published the photo below which had been given to me by a Maghull resident who used to live in Lydiate as a child. [IMG: rsz_lydiate_signal_box_2] We did not know much about the photo but some detailed detective work by Trevor Booth has brought the photo to life so to speak. This is what Trevor has deduced from it:- The loco is number 5862 and is an LNER (ex GCR) D6 class 4-4-0. It was built in Dec 1898 by Beyer Peacocks of Manchester. [IMG: Lydiate - Cheshire Lines - a closer view] Lydiate – Cheshire ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

[IMG: bin-for-website_2014] Dacorum's Recycling Service will be delivering new bins to residents across the Borough from 20 October until the 21 November. You will receive > a new blue lidded bin for mixed recycling, > a kerbside caddy for food waste and > a free roll of 52 kitchen caddy liners > an information pack attached to the blue lidded bin which fully explains the changes to the waste collection service. The improved service will give you extra space to recycle even more items such as cardboard, food and drink cartons and clean aluminium foil and trays. The new service ...

Posted by Nick Hollinghurst on Nick Hollinghurst | Mute

-Follow and keep in touch!The latest Ashcroft National Poll from Lord Ashcroft does not make pretty reading for the Liberal Democrats. It puts the party into fifth place, behind both UKIP, the Greens and even 'Others'. Labour leader the Tories by three points UKIP remain in third on 18% Lib Dems trail Green party Labour [...]

Posted by Charlotte Henry on Charlotte Henry | Mute
Mon 20th
16:19

Landlord of England

Leadership is a crucial factor in politics. I would define it as being the ability to have others follow your direction without needing to coerce them. Given how expensive and time-consuming coercion is as a method of controlling any meaningfully large group of people, leadership is a quality that enables an individual to draw in people and build momentum behind their direction and policies. Someone with this quality is attractive to others, who will spread their message and carry out deeds on their behalf in the belief that what they are doing is right. This quality enables one to set ...

 

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute

[IMG: Role Playing Games] I went into Yes to AV HQ on the Monday following polling day, which was May 9th. As I approached my desk I found that someone was asleep underneath it. I noticed then that the office was littered with empty lager cans. The culprit was Sam, one of the interns. I shook him back to the conscious world and asked him why he was still in the office. He grumbled something about the conciliation party having gone on all weekend and then stumbled towards the lift. A few hours after my discovery of Sam, a few ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

[IMG: Laptop and mobile] The Liberal Democrat conference's decision to support the use of One Member, One Vote (OMOV) in federal conference decisions is to be welcomed. It means any member who attends conference can vote on conference decisions, not just leading figures and those elected by their local parties to be conference representatives. While this is all very good news, we can go a lot further. Instead of conference making policy decisions, it is a logical next step to give all members the power to make policy regardless of whether they attend conference. We can do this by conducting ...

Posted by Robin McGhee on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Have you any idea how many people I drank with from different nations in the Caledonia Pub on Saturday night? Well to be frank neither have I. It all got a bit blurred towards the end! But let me tell ... Continue reading →

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

I'm standing for Federal Executive as I want to improve the representation in policy debates and for committees in our party. As I've blogged about before, it can be a confusing and difficult process for a new member (or not-so-new member!) to get selected as a conference rep, yet we insist on telling new members that they "can vote on policy" - yes if they jump through a number of hoops at the correct time of the year, they can. But many new members don't know about those hoops..... I was speaking to a new member in another local party ...

Posted by Louise Ankers on From one of the Jilted Generation... | Mute

[IMG: pre manifesto document] In the flurry of press coverage over recent UKIP success, the steady rise of the Greens is usually ignored (including by the broadcast media who are excluding them from the pre-election debates). The Greens have taken the left-wing protest vote which of course we used to get. On the doorsteps in Hornsey and Wood Green, disillusionment with politics is clear to see - not because of immigration or Europe, but because the burdens of austerity are not seen to be shared equally. One of the main sources of outrage is tax avoidance. Major corporations are still ...

Posted by Cara Jenkinson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The big increase in the basic income tax allowance to £10,000 is one of the most popular policies of the government* but also one there's a bit of a political tussle over claiming credit for. It's a tussle that so far the Liberal Democrats are mostly, but not totally, winning. However, the case for this being a Liberal Democrat policy, delivered only thanks to the Liberal Democrats being in government and despite Conservative opposition, is a compelling and simple one-two. First, it was there in the Liberal Democrat 2010 manifesto; in fact, the very first policy in the list of ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: unemployment-Q3_2014 blog] Employment figures released by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) show further encouraging signs that our economy is recovering. In the quarter to August, unemployment fell by 154,000 to 1.97m. This is largest fall in unemployment since records began. And the rate of unemployment fell from 6.2 per cent to 6 per cent – its lowest level since 2008. In the last three months youth unemployment fell by 88,000. There are more than 30m people in work, which further shows our economy is growing. Commenting on the figures, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Danny Alexander ...

Posted by Nick Hollinghurst on Nick Hollinghurst | Mute

I am personally very sad that Linda Jack did not get the required number of nomination signatures in time to stand as President of the Liberal Democrats. Linda would have been a fantastic keeper of the Liberal Democrat flame. I am now supporting Daisy Cooper to be party President. It is quite clear to me that she is the best candidate of the three nominees. She is the real "new broom" which we need. I am particularly impressed with her reflections on internal democracy for the party. But, most of all, she has the sort of young, dynamic personality which ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

[IMG: linda-jack-6] The election for the new president of the party is underway. Ballot papers will be sent out on Friday to all members of at least one year's standing to everyone who was a member on the qualifying date at the end of September. [Apologies for the earlier error] Candidates had to collect 200 nominations from conference representatives across at least 20 different local parties, with no-one allowed to nominate more than one. Traditionally the candidates try to get the requisite signatures at Autumn Conference, but this proved to be a particular challenge this year. Linda Jack has issued ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: susan taylor] In the early hours of Thursday 2nd October 2014, long term Liberal activist Susan Annemarie Taylor (née Annemarie Susanne Goldschmidt) quietly passed away at the grand old age of 95 in Newcastle. Susan was known in South London as one half of a fearsome Liberal duo with husband Brian who passed away in August 2013. Along with Brian she joined the Liberal Party in 1955 (having previously voted Conservative if rumours are true). They set about persuading the good voters of Bromley that Liberal was the way to go, played a role in several famous London by-elections ...

Posted by Rebecca Taylor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I've been contacted by local residents living in and around the shop on Gunthorpe Road, who have, rightfully so in my opinion, complained about the state of the area. I would add that "technically" this area is actually in the Paston ward, rather than South Werrington and North Gunthorpe, but as many local residents from [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

Ten days ago I emailed all four of the declared contenders to be the next Liberal Democrat President with questions (below) about their personal political philosophy and our shared Lib Dem values, to be published today. I received Liz Lynne's answers last week, and here they are now. The Liberal Democrats exist to build a society where everyone has equality of opportunity, regardless of their background, gender, age, disability, race, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We believe everyone has the right to be themselves and we work to make sure that no one is enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. ...

Posted by Alex Wilcock on Love and Liberty | Mute

[IMG: Paper files. Photo courtesy of http://www.freeimages.com/photo/1370556 - some rights reserved] Don't panic. This isn't overload. This is opportunity. Forget all the wails of agony about how increasing volume of information is overloading you. Forget that there has been more than a lifetime's worth of videos about cats related to Kevin Bacon making tea uploaded to YouTube in the time it takes you to read this sentence. Information overload has been with us for centuries. Just look at the volume of books in a library. Since even before the discovery of electricity, there's been far more information out there than ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: Manchester Town Hall Clock] Our party has saddled itself with a totally unworkable policy on devolution, but the formulators and protagonists of devolution on demand simply don't understand why it's a passport to total confusion. Let's consider a future House of Commons where legislation is being considered for schools. A vote is needed. Ah, but not everyone can vote because there's been some devolution. Let's see now. This legislation won't cover Scotland and Wales or Northern Ireland, but neither will it cover Yorkshire (except for Selby which opted out), Cornwall, the city regions of Manchester and Birmingham (minus Solihull ...

Posted by Michael Taylor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

#187750860 / gettyimages.com For computer-related technologies, it's usually younger rather than older people who are keenest to try them out first. But for driverless cars (which are set to make much transport planning irrelevant), it may be older people who lead the way in take-up, as the Wall Street Journal has speculated: "The realities of life just take mobility away from people as they get older," [driverless cars expert] Mr. Templeton says. "A solution to that problem is going to be highly welcomed... "I don't think anyone wants to be a shut-in. "The boomers all moved to the suburbs, and ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: Map of the European Union] EU citizens should have the right to live and work in the UK: 36% Yes, 46% No. British citizens should have the right to live and work in the EU: 52% Yes, 26% No. These results from ComRes were presented by the Guardian Data Editor Alberto Nardelli, alongside the title "Confused Britain". However, in many ways it summarises an increasingly predominate view on the European Union. It seems vast swathes of the public are happy to have their cake and eat it when it comes to the EU. It is a choice that has ...

Posted by Scott Stables on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

A new planning application has been received – it's outside Holyrood Ward but still no doubt of interest to people. Application Number: 58043 Registration Date: 14/10/2014 Location: Land adjcent to Prestwich Post Office, Bury New Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3AJ Proposal: Erection of drive through restaurant (Class A3/A5) with associated access, car parking and hard and soft landscaping This application is for a 'drive through' Kentucky Fried Chicken (KFC) restaurant on the piece of land just north of the post office (i.e. between the post off and Tescos). The restaurant would have 28 car parking spaces. KFC say that this ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Our friends at the LGA Liberal Democrat Group have appointed a new head of office, Terry Stacy. We'd like to congratulate Terry on his new role and we look forward to working with him. The LGA Lib Dems notice of Terry's appointment is here: Dear All, Just a quick note from all of us to [...]

According to the Liverpool Echo the great comedian Leonard Rossiter had a spell at Deyes High School during the Second World War. See link above for an article all about him.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

It will be interesting to see how the bonfire night period goes this year. If it is anything like recent years it will go reasonably well without weeks and weeks of idiots setting of fireworks at all times of the day and night. It is not so many years ago that places like Maghull & Lydiate were lit up by fireworks for weeks before and after the 5th November. Illegal firework sales were the problem but they seems to have been dealt with quite effectively in recently times. I like firework displays but some folks, especially those with dogs, do ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee : Rachel Anderton : "Mad Dundee" 1900-1920: Understanding Changing Attitudes to Mental Illness Tuesday 21 October at 6pm : Gannochy Trust Lecture Theatre, School of Medicine, Ninewells Hospital This free public lecture, co-organised by the Tayside Medical History Museum and the Abertay Historical Society, allows us to look at the history of the stigma of mental illness, and assess how attitudes towards it changed in Dundee in the early 20th century. For the first time, people began to understand the relationship between mental health and poverty, though not to ...

I'm having trouble with my car (a Citroen C3). The engine keeps cutting out at the most awkward moments, even going along the motorway. I've searched the internet and find that this is actually surprisingly common, and nobody knows what causes it (yes, I've changed the crankshaft sensor, in case anyone asks). It is pretty extraordinary that this kind of thing should stymie a otherwise perfectly effective car. It is, of course, to do with the sheer complexity of the electrical and IT system that now inhabit every bonnet, and especially perhaps Citroen bonnets. Once the garage has run a ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

I mentioned Anthony Downs' An Economic Theory of Democracy in a post during the week, so thought it was time I explained the area of his theories that has possibly had the most impact on politics. [IMG: Downs_Figure_2] Downs' work originates from the work of twentieth century rational choice theorists. Downs was looking at all areas of how rational individuals approach politic, but for this post we'll just be looking at the 'Downsian Model' (also known as spatial theory and the median voter model). This assumes that voters are arranged in a normal distribution, with the bulk of voters in ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With | Mute

The impact of the campaign by David Cameron and the Conservative party to renegotiate our position in Europe on our relations with other countries is not often commented on by the press, but inevitably it has undermined our position in Europe itself and weakened the British Prime Minister's bargaining position in terms of getting a better deal from the EU. This is made clear today from the comments by the European Commission President, José Manuel Barroso who believes that David Cameron is pushing Britain closer to leaving the European Union by running a negative campaign that fails to take on ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute