Mon 19th
22:20

Family Secret Unravels

So since the 1920's there has been a rumour on my fathers side of the family that my grandfather had a Chinese father. Now I first found out about this about 10 years ago just after my grandad had passed away when my cousin bought my uncle a DNA test for his 60th birthday, as [...]

Posted by tompkin982014 on tompkin98blog | Mute

Liberal Democrats: PM must get a grip of coronavirus spread in the North Today, Liberal Democrats from across the North of England, including four council leaders, Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron, and Liberal Democrat Leader in the Lords Dick Newby, have written to the Prime Minister stating that the North has been "overlooked by a London-centric government". The letter calls for a raft measures to be implemented urgently to help stop the spread of the virus across vast swathes of the country. Some of the measures include: Rapidly funding local authorities to enable a local scale-up of the failing test, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Romans mined all this land for lead long, long before men came back, in the last century, to this haunted corner of Shropshire. These miners tore up the earth, built engine houeses, sank shafts and buried the golden gorse under piles of rubbish which may still be seen today. Those were hard days in a hard country and it must have been about that time that a few shepherds, some perhaps with the courage of despair, made their homes on the lower slopes of the Stiperstones. It is said that those who were able to establish a home here ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Mon 19th
21:10

Wildeana

One might think that everything written by and about the great Irish playwright Oscar Wilde had already been published, but one would be wrong. While researching his magisterial biography, Oscar, published two years ago, author Matthew Sturgis came across a number of hidden gems buried in libraries and obscure volumes of memoir. These he has [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

Second para of third chapter: Nothing remained to assure us that the adventure had not been an illusion of a moment but the young lady, who just at that moment opened her eyes. I could not see, for her face was turned from me, but she raised her head, evidently looking about her, and I heard a very sweet voice ask complainingly, "Where is mamma?"I read this in advance of a discussion at Octocon the otehr weekend. It's a classic vampire story from 1872, 26 years before Le Fanu's fellow-countryman Bram Stoker wrote Dracula. It's a much shorter book; the ...

It would be beyond ordinary people, but if you had all the resources of the Chinese or Russian state at your disposal?

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

For those of you who live in urban conurbations, your concept of a Parish Council is possibly associated with the TV series "The Vicar of Dibley". Funny really, because the Vicar usually works with a Parochial Church Council, a very different animal indeed. But 30% of England's population is covered by Parish Councils which, for the most part, operate under the radar of political activists... I moved out of London more than a decade ago but hadn't been here for very long before a vacancy arose on the Parish Council and, well, you know how it is. A muttered thought ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

In April Peter Oborne and Richard Heller launched a podcast to help us endure what was then a world without cricket. They are up to episode 25, which talks to the human rights lawyer Clive Stafford Smith about his work as well as his love for cricket.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Our Vice President Isabelle Parasram invites you to join her for a free event "What does it mean to be black in Britain in 2020?" on Thursday 22nd October from 7pm-8.30pm. Christopher Jackson, Professor of Geology at Imperial College and soon to be the first black scientist to jointly present the 2020 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures, will be speaking and answering your questions. He will be joined by Former CEO of the Stephen Lawrence Charitable Trust and Co-Founder of The Centre for Inclusive Leadership, Paul Anderson-Walsh, as we ask about their experiences and insights during this Black History Month ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 19th
11:00

My tweets

Sun, 12:28: Twenty Years of Doctor Who: A Celebration, by Peter Haining There is a particularly nice piece by Barry Letts, and the pieces by Terrance Dicks and John Nathan-Turner are also above average. #nwbooks https://t.co/L3jbka1iF1 https://t.co/ZBomr1vGv0 https://t.co/FO7wrDPpVJ Sun, 12:56: RT @jonathancoe: When Captain Kirk understands the ramifications of Brexit better than most of the UK public ... https://t.co/RVmDZOSqEo Sun, 13:09: The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver The Price family move to the Belgian Congo as Baptist missionaries in mid-1959, against all advice; tragedy and disaster ensue. #nwbooks https://t.co/mUW5iKprfC https://t.co/spr94ngUxU https://t.co/wZv2ZhrvE5 Sun, 13:26: RT @bbcdoctorwho: "And the story goes on...forever" ...

The Mirror reports that some of the consultants involved with the Government's failing test and trace system are receiving £7,000 a day from public coffers: Last week, Sky News said it had seen documents revealing Boston Consulting Group (BCG) was paid about £10 million for around 40 consultants to provide four months' work between the end of April and late August. The broadcaster said the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) received a 10 to 15% discount from BCG, whose day rates for public sector work range from £2,400 to £7,360 for the most senior consultants. This is despite ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I'm sure I must have heard about the sinking of this ship at the time it went down (40 years ago – September 1980) but it was a visit to Merseyside Maritime Museum's new 'Life on Board' exhibition which brought the tragedy into focus. I blogged about my September visit to 'Life on Board' and here's a link back to that posting:- I then came across this video on You Tube which I found very interesting and informative:- www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeRjGPI9S_8 Clearly the ship (originally named Liverpool Bridge) had very significant connections with the Port of Liverpool and its tragic loss ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

I wanted to let you know about my experience door knocking over the last couple of weeks. Over the last fortnight, I've spent two evenings a week knocking on doors in Portsmouth, where I'm the Lib Dem Leader of the Council. The feedback from voters here in Portsmouth has been brilliant, they were very pleased to see us. I've been out in small groups, each of us in masks, keeping 2 meters from anyone. If people weren't in, we posted leaflets through letterboxes to let them know we'd been. It was great to be back talking to residents, as we'd ...

Posted by Gerald Vernon-Jackson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This is a good as it gets these days. Unemployment, as measured by claimants on Jobseekers and on Universal Credit who are seeking work, in Ludlow remained static between August and September. Our town had 410 claimants for Jobseekers or work related Universal Credit. The unemployment rate in Ludlow North, which includes the town centre remains stubbornly high at 8%. This probably a result of reduced employment in our pubs, bars and hotels. This is the third of a monthly series on unemployment data. I don't intend to depress or scare people with the numbers but we do need to ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

19 October 1987: broadcast of third episode of Paradise Towers. Mel is rather implausibly rescued by Pex; the Caretaker is munched by Kroagnon; and the Doctor taken by the Cleaners. 19 October 1988: broadcast of third episode of Remembrance of the Daleks. The Hand of Omega is dug up and the rival Dalek factions start to slug it out in the school. 19 October 2010: broadcast of second episode of The Vault of Secrets (SJA). Androvax is imprisoned in the Vault, the aliens leave and Gita's memory is erased so that she is not troubled by blief in aliens.

I'm one of is one of 30 Lib Dem Cllrs, MPs and Peers from across the North of England who has signed a letter to the Prime Minister calling for localisation of health and economic powers to local and regional ... Continue reading →

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

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 19 OCTOBER 2020 Blackness Road (at junction with Bellfield Street for a distance of 25m or thereby in an easterly direction) - closed from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work. Blackness Road (at Bellfield Street) - temporary traffic lights from Monday 19 October for 3 days for BT work. Forthcoming Roadworks Riverside Drive (at Mayo Avenue) - off peak temporary traffic lights on Tuesday 27 October for maintenance work to DfT traffic sensors. Blackness Road (at Glenagnes Road) - temporary traffic ...

How has chess been coping with the pandemic? One development has been online tournaments between the world's top players, who play from home. As their opponents cannot see them, they are much freer in their facial reactions than they are when playing over the board. This makes it fun for the viewing public who can see the feed from both players' webcams. Keeping a poker face, or at least a chess face, is one of the arts a top player needs to master. The young Boris Spassky decided he was revealing too much and cultivated what he call a "clown's ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sun 18th
17:26

Colin Wilkie, 1934-2020

Very sorry to learn that the singer-songwriter Colin Wilkie left us today, at the age of 86. His wife and long-time performance partner Shirley Hart went before him, in August last year. They were folk musicians who made a reputation in the UK in the early 1960s, eventually settling in Germany in 1966 where they integrated into their new home while also becoming informal ambassadors for their home culture. I particularly loved them because in the summer of 1986, when I had an accommodation crisis, they took me in, no questions asked, as an non-paying guest in their home for ...

Update Monday evening. Without notice to the town council or anyone else, Shropshire Council decided not to lift the road closure on King Street today. A meeting was needed with contractors as the council no longer does hands on work like moving barriers itself. Instructions needed to be entered onto a database. The computer will trigger an action by contractors and no doubt instructions will be passed on to subcontractors. Not for the first time, I wonder how much public money is spent on managing contractors who manage subcontractors... rather than just doing the job with in-house council staff. It ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

I try to avoid the Sunday press. From its echoes on Twitter, it appears to be a troll-fest through which innocents like me are unpleasantly reminded of the existence of columnists we'd thought had gone to pasture years ago. And even the thoughtful ones, like Matthew Syed, feel an extra urge to be provocative onContinue reading "There are far worse crimes than being smug"

Posted by freethinkingeconomist on Freethinking Economist | Mute
Sun 18th
14:57

July 2008 books

July 2008 began very painfully. At the very end of June I had a vasectomy, and with somewhat imperfect timing moved office a few days later, thinking I would have recovered over the weekend. No. My testicles were swollen to the size of a tennic ball (felt much bigger) and I could barely walk. My gallant intern D and neighbour J did most of the packing up of the old office, and young F joined in the trip to IKEA and putting furniture together. I should also chronicle that the first external visitor to the office was A, who then ...

Sun 18th
12:47

Secret Service

Good investigative journalists and secret service agents have a lot in common. We follow leads, check and double check information and are careful not to compromise our sources. Yet for most of the 20th Century, Britain's domestic secret service, MI5, was almost as hostile towards the media as it was to foreign agents. We hacks [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute
Sun 18th
12:34

Laura Nyro: Stoney End

Laura Nyro, who was born on this day in 1947 and died in 1997, never seems to have enjoyed the fame she deserved. This Guardian article by Laura Barton helps explain why that is: While Nyro was one of the most important songwriters of the 60s and 70s, one who has exerted a profound influence on artists from Elton John to Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell to Carole King and Tori Amos, she also sidestepped celebrity, turned down offers to increase both sales and fame, and for much of her career put the song before the songwriter - allowing others to ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

It is almost as if the UK Government is trying to destroy people's trust in the measures they have brought in to tackle the Covid 19 pandemic. The Guardian reports that people who have been told to self-isolate through NHS test and trace could have their contact details passed to police, a move some fear could deter people from being tested for coronavirus: England made it a legal requirement for people to self-isolate if they test positive for coronavirus. Those who fail to do so face fines starting at £1,000, while repeat offenders or those committing serious breaches could receive ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute
Sun 18th
11:00

My tweets

Sat, 12:56: Think Tanks at a Crossroad: Adapt or Be Replaced https://t.co/w0OlGUYBOv Aimed at the UK, but of general applicability. Sat, 14:30: Nicholas Whyte poručuje: Republika Srpska neće biti model za Zajednicu na Kosovu https://t.co/wXYZchLnXf Sat, 14:34: RT @DavidHenigUK: Ultimately what we seem to need is the UK to be reassured the EU doesn't want to set our rules, and the EU to be reassure... Sat, 14:48: Scotland has never been closer to independence - and Boris Johnson is to blame https://t.co/CUxnnbxPQf @chrisdeerin thinks the writing is on the wall. Sat, 14:58: RT @piris_jc: You underestimate the shock of the ...

Sun 18th
10:55

Interpreting confusion

Can people insist on being confused? I am no behavioural scientist but I have been struck by the way many people in the UK respond to the rules/advice for combatting Covid-19 with "I am confused" or "I don't understand". These may be British/English euphemisms for "I disagree" or even "I don't trust you". The latter is particularly important because in a representative democracy the deal is that politicians are given decision-making powers and have time and resources to exercise them that are largely unavailable to most people. So if trust goes then there is a high risk of non-compliance. The ...

Posted by Geoff Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Nothing cheerful to say here as the maps illustrate. Over the last month, the rate of detected Covid-19 cases in Shropshire has doubled. If the trend continues upwards, we could qualify Tier 2 (high alert) in a matter of days. Telford and Wrekin is going the same way. The main impact of Tier 2 will the ban on different households socialising indoors unless they are in the same support bubble. Overnight stays with a friend you don't live with will also be outlawed. The timing is uncertain but a move to Tier 2 looks as inevitable as it is unwelcome. ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Whether it's canvassing apps like MiniVAN or our fully-fledged - and fully functioning - virtual conference, Liberal Democrats have never shied away from digital innovation. Our current platform champions the roll-out of technologies like gigabit broadband and 5G, whilst also highlighting the frustrations of those in rural areas with limited access. By no means are we wrong to support these policies. However, they do little to help those who don't have the digital skills necessary to make the most of the internet. And what good is gigabit to you if you can't even afford basic broadband? There are millions of ...

Posted by Tom McGrath on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This is a fascinating piece of work (see link below) trying to recreate walking routes which have all but been forgotten www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-54562137 Unless you're someone who owns Ordnance Survey maps, which detail every public right of way/public footpath, and you know how to read them then even your local footpaths may be all but unknown to you. I love studying maps, particularly OS maps, and I usually buy one for any place/area we are visiting around the country. My interest will often be to identify safe cycling routes but I used to do a lot of walking before taking up ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

i) births and deaths 18 October 1933: birth of Edward Brayshaw, who played revolutionary Léon Colbert in the story we now call The Reign of Terror (First Doctor, 1964) and the War Chief in The War Games (Second Doctor, 1969). ii) production and broadcast anniversaries 18 October 1963: Studio recording for "An Unearthly Child" (the version that was broadcast). 18 October 1975: broadcast of fourth episode of Planet of Evil. The Doctor clears the antimatter from the ship and restores Sorenson (who doesn't really deserve it in my view) to his normal self. 18 October 1980: broadcast of fourth episode ...

Sun 18th
07:00

Lovely #Dundee views!

Earlier this month, I posted some great Tay Road Bridge & V&A Dundee photos taken by a very talented West End resident. She has kindly sent me some other local views, which are fantastic!