Mon 21st
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 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

One of the more unpleasant aspects of this "growing old" malarkey is that bits of me start to fail or, at least, work less effectively than they used to. And that's only to be expected, I suppose, what with all of the wear and tear that accrues from not having always paid a terrible amount of attention to my personal wellbeing. Losing some weight helped a bit - the back is less of a problem, as are the knees - but my eyesight continues to deteriorate slowly but surely, and my eye tests are something to be approached with, if ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

GP postcode lottery shows vital need for a national workforce strategy Lib Dems: Car insurance rise shows cost of Brexit Labour failing their duty as Official Opposition on Brexit Fox's failure to sign trade deals shows Brexiters' 'Global Britain' does not exist Corbyn isolated as over 100 Labour MPs set to back Lib Dem call for a people's vote GP postcode lottery shows vital need for a national workforce strategy Responding to the analysis done by the BBC which shows the huge variation in the availability of GPs in different parts of England, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said: ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I'm sure Zoe's post on LDV will be up soon detailing what got selected and what didn't, once all the submitters of motions have been informed. When that goes up I'll have a couple of comments about which motions I liked and didn't like. But right now I'm here to give you the scuttlebutt about the rest of the meeting. Firstly, conference office was not immune to the recent upheavals in staffing that HQ has suffered, and we are going to be saying goodbye to a much-loved and very long-standing member of staff. Conference office staff do a huge amount ...

On Friday I posted a video that follows the course of the abandoned Cambridge to Mildenhall line. Studying the blurb on YouTube, I found a link to this footage of the line in operation.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

So the year is 2016, me and my wife were in Whitby at a beautiful guest house with spectacular views of the sea (we were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary). I turn on the news and the headlines announce the UK have voted to leave the European Union after 40+ years!! I have to be ... Continue reading What a Mess we are In !!! →

Posted by tompkin982014 on tompkin98blog | Mute
Sun 20th

Six of the Best 843

"In many ways, the desire to pull all of those in poverty under one roof, literally or figuratively in the case of Universal Credit, stems from the same impulses today as it did in 1834: a desire to drive down spending and make people work, or work harder." Alannah Tomkins says Universal Credit is like the Victorian workhouse. Simon Parker looks at the government's response to civil disorder in Liverpool in the 1980s and specifically at the policy of 'managed decline'. "'It's a programme designed to knock current affairs broadcasting off its axis,' said editor Ross Edwards in that week's ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sun 20th

Low Fell Focus no. 26

Lib Dems in Low Fell ward in Gateshead have just published edition 26 of their eFocus newsletter. Issues covered include: Information sessions about extra bin trial in Low Fell Pathway to be reopened Supporting the Low Fell Ukes New Environmental Team comes into force Road markings on Durham Road £1,400 for bollards! You can view Low Fell eFocus on this link.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

"Ministers agree to consider Lib Dem plans for new referendum" say the headlines. This is a victory not only for the party and our chances of stopping Brexit, but also for the millions of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens around the world who were excluded from voting in 2016. At Conference in Brighton in September, Lib Dem members condemned this injustice, and passed policy that EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens abroad must be included in all future referendums. Lib Dem Immigrants are proud that our party refuses to treat immigrants and emigrants as ...

Posted by Lib Dem Immigrants on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Julia Ewart has been selected by Liberal Democrat party members as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the Suffolk Coastal Parliamentary constituency. The current MP is Conservative Thérèse Coffey. Julia Ewart is chair of Suffolk/EU alliance and is a leading campaigner in the fight against Brexit and won the selection from a field of four. She said, It's a changing time in politics and the Lib Dems, with a growing number of members and supporters, can take advantage of these opportunities at forthcoming local elections. I will now dedicate my time to make the difference for our constituency and help ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Leuven has been commemorating the Arenberg family as previously noted, and I suddenly realised this morning that today was the last day of the exhibition in the M Museum about the family's Power and Beauty, so I zoomed into town at lunchtime. It was pretty crowded, no doubt partly because other people like me had realised that this was the last chance to see it. The Arenbergs dominated the town from the moment that they inherited the lands in 1612, owning the castle at Heverlee and the forest where we often walk. I was particularly fascinated by an estate map ...

Way back in the late 1980s we were running a very early version of social media at the Open University. One Friday night, I was alerted to an abusive conversation going on about how much debate it would take to hang all the homosexuals in Britain. I shut down the debate immediately. I suspended the officer from all university computing (ergo, he would use lose his job), went to his 21st birthday party and floored him in my office first thing Monday morning. It is rumoured that everyone stopped work in the corridor as I made the man (young and ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

I am starting to think that the likelihood of a General Election is rising. Theresa May's options are limited. She could probably get a majority of MPs to back a Norway style Brexit if she put some effort into it. She could have done that two years ago. But that would split her party. So she won't. She could, as Vince suggested to her, put her own deal to the British people. But every poll that has been done on that possibility suggests that it would lose against a Remain option. However right that would be, it would split her ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Tom Brake's speech in the Brexit debate was a candid one in which he took responsibility for his part in creating the set of circumstances where so many people voted Leave. Brexit, and the way it is being handled, is a national embarrassment. Worse than that, it is a damaging international embarrassment. That great tactician, David Cameron, devised what he thought would be a cunning plan to staunch the decades-long Euro bloodletting in his party: a referendum. But the referendum, instead of acting as neat sutures to bind together the ideologically driven Brexiters and their more rational colleagues, has taken ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Mannfred Mann reached no. 2 in the UK singles chart with this Bob Dylan song in 1965. This live version, featuring the band's original vocalist Paul Jones, comes from that year's Richmond Jazz Festival. It was recorded for the American television programme Shindig, which explains why Jones is faded out at some points. The lines that would have shocked America are every appearance of "Or else you gotta stay all night" and, later on, a lone "It'll be too dark for you to find the door". It makes you proud to be British.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sun 20th

My tweets

Sat, 12:56: RT @Ed_Miliband: Yes Sat, 14:44: Voting for Magrs - he is variable, but on form he is very good. Also invented Iris Wildthyme.... Sat, 17:45: Favourite Dalek Story: There is only one correct answer to this question. Genesis of the Daleks FTW!!! Sat, 21:32: From Here To Eternity: 1953 film, and book by James Jones Sun, 10:55: RT @SJAMcBride: Time is running out for the DUP to take a decision with historic and uncertain consequences. The logic of its 'one red line...

The Sunday Times reports on the view of party insiders, that the Labour Party is haemorrhaging members amid a growing backlash over Jeremy Corbyn's stance on Brexit. They say that at the height of Corbyn's popularity following the general election in 2017, Labour was considered the "largest party in western Europe" with more than 500,000 members. However, in recent months, sources have told the paper that Labour has lost up to 150,000 members. It is estimated that up to 100,000 are not up to date with their subs and enrolment has slumped to around 385,000. One former Labour Welsh Assembly ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The History of Parliament blog has a fascinating piece on the origins of MPs holding constituency surgeries – that is, the practice of holding regular sessions in their constituency to which any constituent can come and raise any sort of question. There was no one clear creator of the idea, but MP surgeries do seem to have started with Liberal and Labour MPs: A century ago, the surgery certainly didn't exist. But it's difficult to be categorical about when and why Members started holding them. Their origins might be traced to the activities of some of the early East London ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Ten years ago, I watched, full of hope and optimism, as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th US President. I didn't get to concentrate on his speech as our hamster, Powder Puff, became ill and passed away at the critical moment. For that she will never be forgotten. The speech itself was a turning away from the divisive politics of the Bush years. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:- Now I don't recall amongst all the hype from Tories in Government and Labour locally who backed us having a Metro Mayor, on what I called at the time a 3rd rate devolution deal, that there'd be an addition to all the Liverpool City Region council tax bills, do you? But then again it was probably always the case that there'd be more mouths to feed and such has come to pass. I'd be much happier if the powers devolved to our Metro Mayor had made ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

It was not until 12:40 am that Wera Hobhouse was called to give her speech in the Commons debate on the Brexit deal. She highlighted the uncertainties in the PM's blind Brexit and talked about the dangers of a post-Brexit deregulation on the environment and trade. We have come a long way since June 2016. There is no more hiding from the fact that any Brexit will leave us worse off and that the best that any post-Brexit Government can do is damage limitation. If we go ahead with Brexit, we will have to find new ways of stimulating the ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Lib Dem Councillors John Dodd, Daniel Lewis, Nigel Ashton and Yaso Sathiy, Focus Editor are holding their next advice centre in Churchtown. We will be at BoxTree Kitchen for Queenscourt café, Manor Road/Cambridge Road, roundabout, from 10:30 to 11.30am on Thursday 24th January. We also hold a monthly advice centre in Crossens, at St John's School, Rufford Road, Crossens every month (except August) on the second Saturday of the month from 11:00 am to 12:00. We will be there to meet you and discuss any Council problems you may have. No appointment necessary. Just pop in.

Posted by John Dodd on Meols Lib Dems | Mute

If you down into the woods this weekend, spare a thought for how they are managed and might be improved. The Forestry Commission has published a fifty-year plan for the Mortimer Forest and wants to hear views by 1 February. The plan's vision is for the 1,029-hectare forest to be become a haven for people, nature and the economy. Broadleaf cover will be increased to over one-fifth of the forest over the next ten years and to much larger areas over the subsequent decades. Views including from Ludlow will be improved. There is no mention of building accommodation in the ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

As I previously advised, I am participating in tomorrow's Dundee Pensioners' Forum Question Time. Here's a new poster advertising the event to which all are welcome :