Mon 29th
22:44
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 £10 in the next few days, else everything goes black. 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



Good news from Oxford West and Abingdon where excellent campaign Layla Moran has been re-selected, boosting also the diversity of Lib Dem candidates in the most winnable seats and the numbers of those with a scientific background too: Physics teacher Layla Moran yesterday announced she will once again be the Liberal Democrat parliamentary in Oxford West and Abingdon, and pledged to fight against the Brexit despite the referendum result. She said: "I am delighted to have been reselected once more to fight for the communities. At a time when politics is so precarious and divisive, it has never been more ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Mon 29th
20:32

Six of the Best 622

Caron Linday is not impressed by Norman Lamb and Nick Clegg's endorsement of Open Britain. "America likes to pride itself as a beacon of democracy, but our dirty little secret is just how undemocratic our electoral system actually is ... Fifteen percent of the country's congressional districts lack one of the two major parties on this fall's ballot." Stephen Wolf calls for propositional representation in the US. Lola Okolosie is right to say that There would be less pressure on GCSEs if adult education hadn't been slashed. David Boyle is frustrated by the new world of identity politics. "Coming through, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I mentioned Eva Ayllon yesterday morning, so here she is, singing Ritmos Negros del Peru, accompanied by Inti Illimani Historico... Perfect for those hot summer nights we so rarely get, eh?

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

Second speech of third scene of Tamburlaine, Part One (Act 2 Scene 1): MENAPHON [describing Tamburlaine]: Of stature tall, and straightly fashioned, Like his desire, lift upwards and divine; So large of limbs, his joints so strongly knit, Such breadth of shoulders as might mainly bear Old Atlas' burden; 'twixt his manly pitch, A pearl more worth than all the world is plac'd, Wherein by curious sovereignty of art Are fix'd his piercing instruments of sight, Whose fiery circles bear encompassed A heaven of heavenly bodies in their spheres, That guides his steps and actions to the throne Where honour ...

Versions of 'Corbyn was ahead in the polls until nasty Labour plotters got to work' crop up fairly frequently. Here's what the evidence says: From the May general election through to the end of February 2016 there were 54 polls, all of which put the Conservatives ahead. In March and April there were 15 polls, 11 of which put the Conservatives ahead, three of which – all by YouGov – put Labour ahead (by 1-3 points) and one – by ICM – put the parties tied. The other five pollsters during that period all consistently put the Conservatives ahead. Since ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Writing this on the final official day of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, I'm sitting in my small yard under a clear blue sky. It is the August bank holiday for most of the UK but not for us here. Never say that the Scottish weather does not have a sense of humour.My personal circumstances in the past year has been none too bright. Having being made redundant from the oil business (along with tens of thousands of others) at the end of 2015, frankly it has been a struggle to find a paid position. I have been through all the ...

Posted by Martin Veart on Martin's View | Mute
Mon 29th
15:58

Back to School

September 1st is the traditional date when schools in Estonia reopen after the summer break. It is not only of significance for children, because for most adults, the summer is also definitively over. The season is one of the end of leisure and the beginning of work. So, after a long break from blogging, I return. However I do not hold out much optimism for the new season. Most of the things that I would like to see for the country of my birth- a more open society and a more Liberal (and indeed liberal) politics- have been defeated so ...

Posted by Cicero on Cicero's Songs | Mute
Mon 29th
15:46

To realms unknown

[IMG: North Korea 2] I have long used Voyages Jules Verne for interesting places to visit. In 2012 one flyer caught my notice. The chance of a trip to the hermit nation, North Korea. I instantly booked up. This trip is no longer on offer and I am pleased I took the chance in May 2013. To begin, it is the only country where I have had to fill in a pre visa application form. It is certain that my son, as a former RAF intelligence officer, would not have got in. I was pleased that, despite being a former ...

Posted by Jacquie Bell on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Sign up for the dedicated UK Election Law Facebook or Twitter accounts to get more news about how elections are run.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Prime Minister Theresa May has announced proposals to bring back more Grammar Schools. Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron explains why he feels that Grammar Schools block rather than aid social mobility: [IMG: cartmel-priory-school] There are currently only 164 grammar schools left in England but none in Wales or Scotland I get why grammar schools seem an easy solution. Too many parents are understandably concerned about the standard of education their children are receiving. With school budgets squeezed to breaking point, class sizes growing, teachers feeling overworked and an increasingly narrow curriculum, it is little wonder some parents look for alternatives. ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Information from the National Lottery on their 'Celebrate England' grants scheme: More information here. Six out of ten people surveyed* say they cannot remember ever coming together to celebrate with their community. The Big Lottery Fund wants to help change this with our Celebrate! programme. We are offering grants of between £300 and £10,000 for groups to hold one off events or activities which celebrate their local community. You could celebrate something from your community's history or a local hero. Or maybe it's a chance to bring people together to get to know their neighbours better. We have a total ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

The CAB have produced this helpful summary of services which are available to Bury residents. In the first instance they would prefer people to phone their Telephone Advice Line: Monday - Friday 10am - 3pm 08448 269 320 (Click to download full size document) [IMG: Screen Shot 2016-08-29 at 12.57.21]

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

A free drop-in information session about lip-reading for people who are hard of hearing takes place on Monday 5 September. It is in the Green Room in Textile Hall (next to Bury Library), from 2.30pm to 4pm, and professionals will be there to answer any questions about hearing loss. For more details, call 0161 253 7512 or email sensory.lib@bury.gov.uk

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Mon 29th
12:29

Olympic Hoo-ha

I've been away on holiday for the past couple of weeks so have missed most of the media coverage of the Olympics. Nevertheless I've picked up enough to find much of the British coverage extremely disquieting - indeed , not at all according to my understanding of "British values" which I acquired in my youth (we were taught to be modest and unassuming and our our patriotism should be understated.) Without wishing in any way to detract from the wonderful achievements of all the athletes (and particularly the gymnasts) I find the emphasis on national rather than individual performances distasteful. ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

The Liberal Democrats have historically been enthusiastically pro EU. The strength of that enthusiasm, it's fair to say, has not always been uniform. While a small number of Liberal Democrats campaigned to leave the EU, the vast majority of us wanted to remain. That was very clear to the tens of thousands who have joined us in the aftermath of the vote to leave. As a party during the referendum, we did more than any other to campaign for a Remain vote. That's quite a staggering achievement given our size and resources compared to the Labour party. However, there are ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The news that there is significant pressure from within the Cabinet to choose restricting migration over access to the single market is a sign that, perhaps, this is not about our place in the world, it is about making sure that the world has no place in the United Kingdom. Six years ago, when the Conservative policy of reducing net migration below 100,000 per year was announced, I was somewhat unimpressed, and I wasn't alone. The failure to take into account that, to some extent, it was linked to a figure you couldn't really control, i.e. those choosing to leave ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

Twitter This is probably true, but it's still bloody depressing Twitter RT @TheReremouse: Soprano pipistrelle wing veination #bat #bats #ecology #conservation #chiroptera #wildlife... Instagram RT @TheReremouse: Soprano pipistrelle wing veination #bat #bats #ecology #conservation #chiroptera #wildlife... Twitter RT @scribblefrog: In general, really. If a tweet has a [CN], I can mentally brace myself so it doesn't smack me in the face so hard miss_s_b | The Blood is the Life for 28-08-2016 posted The Blood is the Life for 28-08-2016 on #dreamwidth Hard Evidence: Teachers' Unconscious Biases Contribute To Gender Disparity : NPR RT @HiddenBrain: Unconscious bias among 6th grade ...

[IMG: Rally entertainment Spring Conference Liverpool March 2015 Photo by Liberal Democrats] Spring Conference 2016 saw the launch of the Conference Access Fund, which makes grants to members to enable them to attend conference. It was pretty successful at York, and is proving to be even more popular this time round for Brighton. When members register for Conference they are asked if they would like to make a donation to the fund and they have been amazingly generous. The fund is ring-fenced and any that is not spent is carried over to the next conference. The website states: All applications ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Personally, I have little sympathy with the plight of the Labour Party as outlined in this Guardian article. The paper argues that two hundred Labour seats, more than 85% of the party's total, could be affected by the review of parliamentary boundaries due next month. They say that up to 30 Labour seats could disappear altogether, while the rest will see their composition altered in some form. The changes could give the Tories a substantial advantage at the next General Election. These changes were initiated by David Cameron with the objective of cutting the number of MPs by 50 to ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

This fund raising event for local good causes at the Rose of Mossley, Rose Lane raised almost £1,000 and was entirely run by volunteers supported by Marion the licensee August Bank Holiday weekend is always a great time in Church ... Continue reading →

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

Why do I feel so frustrated about the new world of identity politics? I suppose because it is politics based on partial blindness, rather than understanding the whole picture. Because it accepts no progress except complete victory. Most of all, because everybody has to be one thing or another. This is something I have discovered the hard way by writing recently about two people who were clearly bisexual. Earlier in the year, my book about the criminalisation of homosexuality came out, and the narrative interwove the rather tragic story of my great-great-grandfather, who got caught up in the Dublin Scandals ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

[IMG: cropped-Portsmouth-from-Lansgtone-Harbour-2.jpg] I've been having thoughts about time and life recently. This is all a bit random and disjointed, but I felt I had to get it down on the screen. When you look a beautiful view, it's easy to assume that it's just a beautiful view which you can always look at. The scary thought is that it will still be there when you are gone. Other people will see it. But all the people on the earth could just disappear in some awful accident and the view might still be there but no one could enjoy it. The ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

[IMG: image] A whole series of my local Liberal heroes have been leaving us over the last few years. Just recently we lost Chris Hall. Chris signed me up to join the Liberal Democrats in 1992 (long story – I joined the Liberal Party in 1987 but they didn't have a computerised reminder system so I lapsed a few years afterwards). He just stood in my house with his lovely smile and paused until the silence was unbearable and I said "Oh well I'd better sign up as a member then". I later called this silence his "unctuous silence routine", ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

For those wondering where this long-running project has actually got to here is an update. For clarity it should be remembered that the proposed site is within West Lancs Borough but the land that surrounds it to the east, west and south, is all in Sefton Borough. [IMG: HALT poster] Planners at West Lancs Council do not, I understand, expect the planning processes to be completed until October or even November. It seems that several of the statutory consultees have yet to respond to the planning authority. These include Rural England, English Heritage, NATS and MOD. If memory serves this ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

 

The Liverpool Echo has the story – see link above Well I have heard everything now. It's as if Merseyside does not have enough challenges and problems to solve! Let's talk about educational attainment, public health, housing and the environment but not about whether we need a sub-regional flag.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Fear of That Which I Cannot See There's definitely no parasitic nematodes on that mate. You should be fine. (tags: Funny ) Ian Traynor, Europe editor of the Guardian, dies aged 60 A gentleman, and an honest and dogged journalist. (tags: deaths ) A Powerful Russian Weapon: The Spread of False Stories Be aware. Be very aware. (tags: news russia )

This is the Old Rectory at Teigh in Rutland, now a bed-and-breakfast establishment that wins outstanding reviews. If it looks familiar it may be because it served as Mr Collins' rectory in the 1995 BBC adaptation of Pride and Prejudice - you know, the one with Colin Firth and the lake. In 1940 it was home to the Revd Henry Stanley Tibbs, when he was denounced as a Nazi sympathiser by some of his parishioners and imprisoned. Most sources say he was sent to Walton prison in Liverpool, though the National Archives page on Tibbs suggests it was the internment ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Welcome to my experimental new political scorecard, capturing how each party is performing in opinion polls and council by-elections.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: The Alternative] Judging by the reaction to Andrew George's post last week there seems to be a lot of unnecessary fretting among Liberal Democrats caused by 'The Alternative', the book I have co-edited with the Labour and Green MPs Lisa Nandy and Caroline Lucas. Allow me to explain why I think some people are getting the wrong end of the stick. I fully understand the views of those who say Labour is not a progressive party, and that we sometimes have more in common with the liberal wing of the Conservatives than we do with Labour or the nationalist ...

Posted by Chris Bowers on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Guest post from councillor Tracey Huffer. One of the vital services that Ludlow Hospital provides is the minor injuries unit (MIU). People go there to be patched up or seek advice, alleviating pressure on overstretched A&E services in Shrewsbury, Hereford and Telford. For the last three days, the MIU has been closed due to staff... Continue reading Ludlow injuries unit closed again - we fear our community hospital and rural health services are being closed by stealth →

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Welcome to the first in my series of tips and advice for Liberal Democrat members, which appear first in the email bulletin run by London Region for party members. Finding out about Liberal Democrat policy making Much of the work of making Lib Dem policy takes place in our policy working groups. These are set up to cover specific areas and run for many months (usually over a year), reporting back to the party's federal conferences. Throughout this there are plenty of opportunities for party members to take part – but you need to know what policy groups are running ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

While on holiday, I read the complete plays of Christopher Marlowe, my first encounter directly with his work. It was very interesting; I know Shakespeare to a certain extent (I read/listened to the entire canon a few years ago, starting here), and was struck by both the similarities and the differences between them. Marlowe died, of course, just as Shakespeare was getting started; experts trace several direct references to Marlowe's works in Shakespeare's plays. I have some general thoughts about Marlowe, but I am going to save them to the end. First, I'm going to write up the six (or ...

Christopher Pyne, Leader of the House, talks about the new post-election Parliament.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: 7 best] Many thanks to the 10,100 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here's our 7 most-read posts... Could "Traingate" derail Jeremy Corbyn's leadership campaign? (71 comments) by Caron Lindsay Nicola Sturgeon appoints controversial Brexit minister (25 comments) by Caron Lindsay Andrew George writes...Can progressives unite to defeat the Tories? (68 comments) by Andrew George Brexit and the path to a written constitution (36 comments) by Ciaran Mcgonigle Renationalising the railways is trendy but not smart (73 comments) by Jack Watson Is Labour really the natural home for those concerned about human rights? (33 comments) by ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This is the opening track from Morrissey's 1994 album Vauxhall and I, which I regard as the best thing he has ever done - as a solo artist, at least. And it seems Mozza agrees with me. In a 1995 interview for, rather improbably, the University of Manchester Computer he said: A year and a half after its release, what do you think of the lyrics of Vauxhall And I? I'm extremely proud of them. ... The lyrics of Vauxhall And I were terribly introspective, which is certainly not new for me - this record was nothing more than another ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I got a call yesterday from a Maghull resident whom I have know for years, indeed he was once a councillor himself. He told me that his daughter had taken her children to KGV Park yesterday afternoon but was concerned about the behaviour of a large group of lads. [IMG: Maghull's KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre] Maghull's KGV Park and Meadows Leisure Centre I was told that they were smoking some substance and generally behaving in an threatening and anti-social way. The lady went into Meadows Leisure Centre to raise concerns but I am told that she was told ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we've brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we'll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices. This is one of our more iconic posts. Former co-editor Stephen Tall made a bit of a rash promise on the Daily Politics in 2013. He said that if the Liberal Democrats only won 24 seats in the General Election, he would run naked ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

© Peter Wagon Fine Arts When I went back to Hemel Hempstead some years ago I found that both my primary schools - Fields End in Warners End and the old Boxmoor school in St John's Road - had both been demolished. The other day I came across this drawing of the latter school on Facebook. It is by the late Peter Wagon and I would like to thank Peter Wagon Fine Arts for their permission to reproduce it here. It chimes much more with my memory of the school than the photograph of it that I once posted here. ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: openbritain] Over the past few weeks, I've had a series of emails from Will Straw and others involved in the Stronger In campaign talking about many things and occasionally asking my opinion on what they should do next. (It's interesting, if unsurprising, that none of those emails was an abject apology for so completely bollocking up the Remain campaign, coupled with a promise to never go anywhere near political campaigning again) The culmination of all this has come today with the announcement that Britain Stronger In Europe has now completed its metamorphosis into Open Britain which follows in the ...

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

Gay people made Hollywood. You wouldn't know from the movies | Hugh Elliott | Opinion | The Guardian RT @WiseThoughts: Gay people made Hollywood. You wouldn't know from the movies - 50s heartthrob Tab Hunter points out Twitter RT @ArenaFlowers: Here's how to be awesome at relationships. Wuthering Bytes 2016 RT @Calderdale: We're supporting this years @wutheringbytes with @ODILeeds from 2-11 September. More info at Twitter RT @HistoryInPix: Edgar Allan Poe's handwritten last stanza of The Raven. First published (1845), New York Evening Mirror newspaper Twitter This is why I love @sevenhelz - no cow too sacred (FAO @ClaireAgutter the ...

It is one thing to be caught out on a PR stunt, but quite another to then lose all sense of perspective and try to turn a personal act of revenge against your nemesis into a higher cause. Alas, those leading the Labour Party have done exactly that, leaving their dummy on the field as they gun for Richard Branson. The Independent has all the details. They relate how Labour's Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell has called for Virgin's founder and CEO Sir Richard Branson to be stripped of his knighthood. Mr Branson's crime is apparently that he sought to "undermine ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Embed from Getty Images Former BHS owner Sir Philip Green has been traversing the tranquil southern European seas in his humungous new £100 million yacht, staffed by a crew to cater for his, his family's and his pets' every need. That might be fine if the flagship High Street chain was still going strong and if the pension funds were in a healthy condition. Instead, nine decades of retail history comes to an end today as the final stores close. 11,000 workers lose their jobs and many will be facing the consequences of what a committee of MPs described as ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

If you're a political activist, as most of the people reading this probably are, and not a member of the Labour Party, there is an obvious temptation to look upon the internal strife as Jeremy Corbyn and the Parliamentary Labour Party do battle and order stocks of popcorn. I started political life as a democracy activist rather than a party member though, and it's rather more complex than that, I suspect. You see, a vibrant democracy requires a range of credible options for the voter, and if Labour do destroy themselves, it removes one significant option for the electorate. Yes, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

Britain is at its best when open - open minded, open for business, open to trade and investment, open to talent and hard work, open to Europe and to the world.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Sun 28th
09:15

An election or not?

Right now it feels a little like an electoral phoney war. Rumours of a possible snap general election prompted the party, rightly, to do urgent selections of prospective parliamentary candidates over the summer. Will the election happen? Could a possible false alarm be helpful? One answer is to wait and see: a general election in October would point to a different strategy from one early in 2017, and we don't have resources to invest a lot in an election that doesn't happen. But the appointment of a slate of Prospective Parliamentary Candidates (PPCs) and putting things in place for an ...

Posted by Mark Argent on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: IMGr] The photo above is of Altcar & Hillhouse Station on 6th June 1959 Altcar and Hillhouse Station was on the Southport & Cheshire Lines Extension Railway that ran from Aintree Central to Southport Lord Street Stations. Altcar is in the present Borough of West Lancashire. The station was between Lydiate and Mossbridge Stations. It opened on 1st September 1884, closed from 1st January 1917 to 1st April 1919 (due to the First World War) and finally closed altogether on 7th January 1952. A private siding on the site remained in use up until 1960 so the track from ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT REPORT FOR WEST END WARD WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 29 AUGUST 2016 Scottish Water Clatto East (Mains Renewal) - Logie Street (Loons Road to City Road) closed southbound and City Road (Logie Street to Tullideph Road) closed for 2 weeks. Temporary traffic lights at Loons Road / Gardner Street junction. Polepark Road and Guthrie Street - traffic control for 2 weeks for street lighting works. Forthcoming Closures Perth Road (Glamis Road to West Park Road) - closed from Monday 5 September for 8 weeks for gas main renewal. Park Place (Old Hawkhill to Smalls ...

We have known for a while that the upmarket clothing chain is planning to move into the former Shoe Zone premises on King Street opposite the Bull Ring Tavern. Now, the company has published plans for a new shopfront. Shoe Zone has long been a blight on our historic streetscape. It was popular for the... Continue reading Design for Joules in King Street looks good but do we need a Ludlow town centre design guide? →

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute
Sun 28th
07:57

Death and disability

One of B's housemates died last week. He was 40, and just didn't wake up one morning. Like her, he would have been unable to tell anyone that his tummy felt sore, or his chest felt tight, or his head felt funny, and of course it might not have made a difference anyway. (I assume that the necessary investigations into cause of death have been made, and I don't expect to hear the outcome; we're not his family.) I went to see B yesterday for the first time since our holiday (and obviously the first time since her housemate died). ...

How a Self-Published Writer of Gay Erotica Beat Sci-Fi's Sad Puppies at their Own Game Wow. (tags: disability sf ) A Pocket Guide To Northern Ireland For WW2 US Servicemen. Hilarious! (tags: Northernireland wwii ) Radical Futures and Conservative Sensitivities Great deconstruction of the issues around SF today. (tags: sf ) Exonerating Milosevic: A Futile, Destructive Cause of Global "Anti-Imperialists" Alas, it still needs to be spelled out. (tags: war kosovo bosnia serbia )

A quiet summer passes by, and with it come opportunities to broaden the mind. That has meant that it's been a bit quiet here at "Liberal Bureaucracy", but I am intending to return to the blogging, if only because it is a chance to keep people abreast of what I'm up to. Yesterday, I learned a new skill, peeling hard-boiled quail eggs. we're entertaining today and, as usual, Ros has been busy in the kitchen preparing. There are, however, certain jobs that get referred to me for reasons I don't always understand. Peeling the quail eggs was one of them. ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute