Sat 23rd
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

South Gloucestershire Council is lagging behind its neighbours on delivery of electric vehicle charging points. That's... Posted by South Gloucestershire Liberal Democrats on Monday, 18 January 2021

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington | Mute
Sat 23rd

Adding Insult to Injury

Britain's Conservative government has caused a diplomatic squall by refusing to give the new EU Ambassador to the United Kingdom full diplomatic privileges. The man concerned is one of the most senior members of the European External Action Service, João Vale de Almeida, having already served as Ambassador to Washington and to the United Nations. [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

Yesterday we published a post by Cllr Rabina Khan titled "The danger of anti-vaccine propaganda". Last week Rabina was interviewed by radio interview on the Vanessa Feltz Show about the same subject. Well worth listening to.

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Sat 23rd

My tweets

Fri, 12:38: Great thread explaining high points of today's excellent @FT article on Brexit. Fri, 12:56: What Mars sounds like, and the rover's welcome party Wow. Fri, 16:05: TOVE film worldwide: Tove Jansson's first biopic TOVE heading to US Hooray! Fri, 16:30: Tyrone's Rebellion, by Hiram Morgan I found some very interesting parallels with some of the contemporary conflicts I have dealt with. I was also fascinated by the accounts of information flow. #nwbooks Fri, 17:11: RT @Popehat: Remember VoxDay? Imagine my surprise learning he's a huge Q freak now banning people from his ...

For five years now, those of us opposed to Brexit have been arguing that it will hit ordinary people in their pockets, and each time we have been labelled as scaremongerers and worse. It gives me no satisfaction therefore to point out that this particular prediction has come true. The Independent reports that Britain's online shoppers have expressed their dismay after been hit with unexpectedly high post-Brexit charges on items ordered from countries in the EU. The paper explains that consumers have been asked to pay up to one-third extra in customs duties, VAT and additional delivery charges once they ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Yesterday afternoon, a letter arrived in the inbox of our chief executive from Chloe Smith, the Cabinet Office Minister. It said in stark terms that the Government was banning volunteer delivery of political material in England. Parties who are rich enough can pay to have their stuff delivered. Some parties are so rich that they can afford to send the same leaflet to a house twice in a week, as the Scottish Tories did to me this week. Last night, Lisa Smart, the Chair of the party's Federal Campaigns and Elections Committee wrote to regional and local chairs saying: This ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

A hugely ambitious plan to green and strengthen Britain's economy in one combined move: that's what Ed Davey set out in an interview with the Green Alliance.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

i) births and deaths 23 January 2015: death of Barrie Ingham, who played Alydon in the Cushing!Doctor film Dr Who and the Daleks and Paris in the story we now call The Myth Makers (First Doctor, 1965). ii) broadcast anniversaries 23 January 1965: broadcast of "All Roads Lead to Rome", second episode of the story we now call The Romans. The Doctor and Vicki meet Nero, the Doctor pretending to be the murdered musician Petullian. Barbara is sold as a handmaiden to the Empress, Ian is shipwrecked. 23 January 1971: broadcast of fourth episode of Terror of the Autons. The ...

Ninewells Community Garden has an excellent blog and you can read the latest update - "Take a walk in the park" - here.

Blyth Town Council continue to meet over Zoom. If you wish to observe any of these meetings BTC will send a Zoom link just before he meeting. Tuesday 2nd February, 2:00 pm Community Funding Sub-Committee Tuesday 16th February , 4:30 pm Community Development Committee Thursday 25th February, 4:30 pm Environment Committee

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

Gosh, such fuss about a bust of a foreign political leader! Or rather, why should the presence or otherwise of a bust of Churchill in the Oval Office really say so much about the future of United States/United Kingdom relations? Indeed, does it say anything other than the new President wanted to decorate it with things that mean more to him? Yes, that's one of the things that is exercising right-wing commentators this week. Rather than address the fact that the United Kingdom has one of the worst death rates from Covid-19 in the world, or that we borrowed £31.6 ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

Embed from Getty ImagesEd Davey says Gavin Williamson is the worst education secretary in living memory. He's right, of course. But then Williamson is not alone in not deserving a place around the cabinet table. Priti Patel resigned as secretary of state for international development when it emerged she had been holding meetings with Israeli officials without informing anyone in London. Yet somehow today she is home secretary. Jacob Rees-Mogg is such a liability that he had to be hidden from voters during the last general election, but he is still leader of the House of Commons. But maybe their ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Trump is gone. He boarded Air Force One on Wednesday and flew off into the Florida sunset. Biden is now the President of the United States and has called for an end to the "uncivil civil war" of the last four years. In his departing speech before a diminished crowd, the outgoing president promised (or was it threatened) that he would be back "in some form or another." And he probably will. Perhaps not the "The Donald" personally. His legal and financial problems ranging from the impeachment trial, to tax evasion, to fraud, to money laundering, attempted subversion of election ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: NHS GP Registration forms] Email received from NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group this evening: "NHS Kent and Medway Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), which is responsible for making sure patients have access to GP practice services, is engaging with patients of Orchard House Surgery in Lydd about the future of services at that site. "Orchard House Surgery in Lydd is currently managed by a group of GPs, who have made the decision to stop services there after 30 April 2021. "It is the CCG's priority to ensure that all patients registered at Orchard House Surgery can continue to ...

Fri 22nd

November 2009 books

This is the latest post in a series I started in late 2019, anticipating the twentieth anniversary of my bookblogging which will fall in 2023. Every six-ish days I've been revisiting a month from my recent past, noting work and family developments as well as the books I read in that month. I've found it a pleasantly cathartic process, especially in recent circumstances. If you want to look back at previous entries, they are all tagged under bookblog nostalgia. November 2009 was an extraordinary month of travel for me. As previously noted, I woke up on the morning of 1 ...

This was unexpected. Shropshire Council's portfolio holder for health, Dean Carroll announced this morning that the Ludlow Racecourse Vaccination Centre will open at the beginning of February. National Health England (NHE) had been refusing to release this information and Dean stuck his neck out to make the announcement this morning. It was not due to the end of next week. I take my hat off to him. NHE and the Shropshire CCG believe that the best way of keeping everyone informed is to tell them as little as possible as late as possible. And blame everything onto the complexity of ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute
Fri 22nd

Friday reading

Current Gormenghast, by Mervyn Peake T.K. Whitaker, by Anne Chambers Watling Street, by John Higgs Greybeard, by Brian Aldiss Last books finished The Lowest Heaven, eds Anne C. Perry and Jared Shurin Endgames: Political Cartoons and Other Stuff, 2015-2020, by Martyn Turner The Food of the Gods: And How It Came to Earth, by H. G. Wells Next books Koko Takes a Holiday, by Kieran Shea The Kappa Child, by Hiromi Goto

Brexit is not over. Nor have the Liberal Democrats given up on the issue - nor should you. Ed Davey and others have taken the tactical decision that the campaigning priority now should be on the government's incompetence across the board. The Conservatives now 'own' Brexit, and are struggling with the consequences of sacrificing free access for the illusion of sovereignty. They would love us to come out at once for rejoining: that would allow them to return to blaming 'remoaners' for somehow sabotaging Brexit, and avoid having to explain how they got us into this mess. Voters are tired ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

It was the NHS's worst kept secret. Shropshire is way behind many other areas in vaccinating it's over 80s. Just 49 per cent of over 80s, including those in care homes, have been vaccinated. Just across the border in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, 73 per cent have been vaccinated. Only seven of 42 areas in England are doing worse than us. The Shropshire Clinical Commissioning Group blames this on the complexity of the vaccine and logistics. It has not explained why this is suddenly becomes more complex when the vaccine crosses the border into our historic county. All the over 80s ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

A press release brings the news: Liberal Democrat MP for North East Fife, Wendy Chamberlain, has urged the Home Office not to deport a 70-year-old grandmother. Valentyna Yakoleva fears she will die if she is deported to the Ukraine, where coronavirus is out of control. Mrs Yakoleva has lived in the seaside village of Tayport, in Fife, for ten years while helping to raise her grandchildren. The Home Office intends to send Mrs Yakoleva back to the city of Kharkiv, near the Russian border, where she has no family. Lib Dems have called for a stop to deportations during the ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Following on from my post yesterday, there is an interesting article in the Financial Times from a few days ago in which Robert Shrimsley speculates on what Brexit means for then future of Ireland. As he says, this year marks Northern Ireland's centenary, but, given the effects of Brexit, few are betting on there being a 125th birthday: The Brexit terms keep Northern Ireland inside the EU customs union and single market for goods, weakening its legal and commercial ties to the UK. The first weeks of Brexit have amplified this. British retailers halted some supplies while they grappled with ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I recently had Covid-19 myself and although it was not a serious case compared to many others, it knocked me for six and I was unable to do anything for several weeks. The first symptom I noticed was losing my sense of smell. Over the following 48 hours, I became very unwell. I suffered from severe headaches, which made me feel nauseous and every time I stood up, I had terrible vertigo. I could barely walk, so all I could do was to take painkillers, drink hot water with ginger, honey and lemon, and stay in bed. I requested an ...

Posted by Rabina Khan on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 22nd

My tweets

Thu, 12:20: RT @lukeharding1968: Breaking: the European Court of Human Rights has found Russia guilty of ethnic cleansing of #Georgian civilians during... Thu, 12:56: A Brexit lesson: EU's benefits, largely invisible, hurt to lose #takingbackcontrol #nothingbutaconsiderableupside Thu, 15:02: Nebula Award Stories Number Three, ed. Roger Zelazny Zelazny seems to have taken the job of editing this collection seriously, and his introductions include lengthy quotes from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Czesław Miłosz. #nwbooks Thu, 15:24: Caricature, by Daniel Clowes I love the way Clowes takes us into his characters' worlds, and at the same time using the ...

It's easy to criticise our party's policy-making process and the amount of policy we produce. Such criticism feels a tad unfair. It's amiss to suggest that members voluntarily producing detailed policy in their spare time prevent our party from winning its target seats. Our candidates ought to help us win by making our policies relevant to their constituents. Are we missing an overarching theme that ties our policies together? Absolutely. As mentioned in the Thornhill review, our leader's job is to develop that vision and articulate it. Is now the right time to roll that out? Well Lockdown 3 probably ...

Posted by David Chadwick on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Data last date 17/1/2021 This table reports a forecast based upon fitting hospital admissions to a gompertz curve starting in November. Xmas will skew these figures, but it is a mechanism for forecasting demand. td{border-left:1px solid black;border-top:1px solid black;}table{border-right:1px solid black;border-bottom:1px solid black;}Peak admissionsPeak DateThe Dallingtons2525.01.2021501

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log | Mute

Data last date 17/1/2021 This table reports admissions into hospital trusts for covid in the order of the number of admissions in the last available week compared to the total number of admissions. The idea is to highlight those trusts which are having a high level of admissions that has grown in the past two weeks. Some trusts serve areas where there is a high level of immunity and hence few

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log | Mute

i) births and deaths 22 January 1940: birth of Sir John Hurt, who played the War Doctor (The Day of the Doctor, 2013). 22 January 1950: birth of Pamela Salem, who played Toos in The Robots of Death (Fourth Doctor, 1977) and Rachel Jensen in Remembrance of the Daleks (Seventh Doctor, 1988). 22 January 1993: birth of Tommy Knight, who played Sarah Jane Smith's adopted son Luke in the Sarah Jane Adventures. 22 January 2008: death of Kevin Stoney, who played Mavic Chen in the story we now call The Daleks' Master Plan (First Doctor, 1965-66), Tobias Vaughn in The ...

Fri 22nd

Fuel Well Dundee

I am pleased to advise of a new programme that has been launched in the city for households facing fuel poverty as a result of the pandemic. The Fuel Well Dundee Programme will support people on a low income whether they are in or out of work, on reduced incomes as a result of COVID-19, or are already experiencing fuel poverty. People may have heating systems or home insulation that is inadequate and causing high energy bills or are struggling with other financial or coronavirus related issues. The scheme can help with top up payments of between £40 and £100 ...