Report from Lindsay: Eric has been returned to his ward from Theatre. He just had the angioplasty and did not need the bypass operation, which is good news. He tells me that Jason Wilkins, who unblocked his renal arteries last summer, carried out the procedure, which took about 1 and a half hours. Several bubbles/balloons were inserted into the femoral artery - a few exploded because there is a calcified lining to the artery - but stents then followed in. He now has to lie very still for a few hours and we hope he may be allowed home tomorrow ...

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury | Mute

A Parliamentary report has found that Stockport has the fifth highest cancer survival rate in the country, and the highest of anywhere north of London. The report shows Stockport is now the fifth best area in England out of 211 districts, and the highest in Greater Manchester. Almost 2,000 people are diagnosed in Stockport every year, with more than 7 out of every 10 people surviving for at least one year. Stockport has steadily increased its ranking each year over the past decade, even though cancer survival rates have been improving nationwide. There are around 10,000 people in Stockport with ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

If this article in yesterday's Guardian is not a cause for concern then I do not know what is. The paper reports the startling fact that more than 70% of graduates are now leaving university with a first or upper second class degree. The Universities Minister says that 2:1s are now so common that Universities allow some students to "coast" and still get one. There has been a 300% increase in firsts since the 1990s whilst the 70% plus of graduates now leaving university with a first or 2:1, compares with 47% in the 90s. It has increased by 7% ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

[IMG: Liberal Democrat Newswire logo] Liberal Democrat Newswire #67 came out last week, looking (surprise!) at the race to be Liberal Democrat leader. You can also read it below, but if you'd like the convenience of getting it direct by email in future, just sign up here. It's free! Since LDN #67 came out, there's been further news in the leadership race: Exclusive: results of YouGov poll of Lib Dem members on leadership race Lamb lands biggest endorsement, but Farron gets the most interesting one And lo: there is some tax policy to debate in the Lib Dem leadership contest ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Last night's online Leadership hustings did not disappoint. Tim Farron rightly said liberals wanted to help people and that's the point of the party. However it became clear that both Norman Lamb and Tim Farron are still fixated with government. Both maintain it was right to go into government (though Farron qualifies this by saying it was the wrong thing for the party). Tim Farron describes how the issue of trust over the broken promise of tuition fees created an invisible force field of distrust with the public that no amount of campaigning could break. He likened it to the ...

Posted on liberal-free-voice | Mute

Yesterday the UK's Children's Commissioners published a joint report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. It makes very grim reading. If a child is poor, bullied, suffers mental ill health, gets involved with the criminal ... Continue reading →

Posted by caronlindsay on Caron's Musings | Mute

Last month, I was invited by my friend Danny Lee Wynter to an event he had organised at the National Theatre called Act for Change. It's a movement that was set up in response to a TV Advert in 2014 which trailed the upcoming season of TV but failed to feature a single BAME performer or disabled artist. AfC campaigns on a platform that the arts are for everyone, regardless of race, gender, class, sexual orientation, age or disability, and they should reflect the societies we live in. Sound familiar to problems in any other places of work? The event ...

Posted by Zack Polanski on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Last week on Lib DemVoice I remarked that when great social reforms had been enacted liberals had the support of many Christians. I was thinking of Roy Jenkin's Homosexual Law reform,when Michael Ramsay was in the front line of supporters and David Steel's Abortion Act passed at a time when he was regularly introducing Songs of Praise. This was not just a phenomenon of the 1960's you could go back to Josephine Butler's work on the Contagious Diseases Act. My point was that such Christians who are today working to celebrate same sex marriages in churches and for women to ...

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute

Yesterday the UK's Children's Commissioners published a joint report to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. It makes very grim reading. If a child is poor, bullied, suffers mental ill health, gets involved with the criminal or immigration systems or suffers the effects of domestic violence, this country simply does not provide them with what they need. I seriously recommend that you read the whole thing because a few headlines from the press doesn't quite give the flavour of the extent to which we should be ashamed of ourselves. We can have all the arguments we ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

After the hottest July day since the last last one, it's very pleasant to have some rain today, a cooling tonic after yesterday's humid heat. I didn't get time to do a Wordless Wednesday yesterday so will make up for it today with some words as well. I can't help noticing the lawn* needs less mowing as we move into summer and the grass slows down. Instead, I have a rambunctious chorus of daisies, dandelions, clover, vetches and what more discerning gardeners would call weeds (what I would call native flora vital to our insect and bee populations) shouting at ...

Posted by Trisha xx on ripplestone review | Mute

[IMG: The Aintree & Maghull Champion has the story – See link above How sad but I can't say I am surprised by Sefton Labour's latest kick in the teeth for Aintree – at least they are consistent though! But what does surprise me is that the area's Labour MP is surprised! Frankly, having seen the previous bid to run Aintree Library using volunteers being given the short shrift by Sefton and then the MP's objections to his own councillors plan to build on acres of Green Belt being ignored you would have thought that Bill Esterson should ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-33342481 The BBC Magazine has the story – see link above. [IMG: Liverpool - Southport Merseyrail line in the snow just north of Bootle New Strand Station] Liverpool – Southport Merseyrail line in the snow just north of Bootle New Strand Station Now let's remember, leaves, snow, rain, heat & high winds can all slow down or stop trains but they are still the safest and best way to travel.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

Watch on YouTube here, or below.

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

OK, so this post is something distinctly non-political, for a change. As someone who grew up around Gilbert and Sullivan amateur productions, and who has performed in such productions of all of their (still existing - I've never done a Thespis) works, this is, you could say, a subject of lifelong interest (quite literally!) for me. For many, many years there have been arguments going on about how much, if at all, productions of the Gilbert and Sullivan operettas can or should be 'modernised', and what kinds of 'modernisation' are 'acceptable'. I've engaged in such discussions many times, both with ...

Posted by Cen Phillips on Liberal Thoughts | Mute

Before I talk about the three things I don't understand about the election, let me be clear that having a choice between Tim Farron and Norman Lamb is great, as they're both excellent candidates. But Tim Farron wins my vote, due to the way that he has always chosen to engage constructively with party members and is continuing to do ...

View image | gettyimages.com I have to say that I am incandescent with rage at a profile of the only Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder which has appeared in the New Statesman. The implied conclusion of both the journalist ... Continue reading →

Posted by caronlindsay on Caron's Musings | Mute

I was lucky enough to be invited to a symposium of academics, pollsters and (a very few) politicians this week at Nuffield College on "Beyond General Election 2015". It was sponsored by the British Election Study, which takes an in depth look at the voting behaviour and motivations of a 30,000 strong sample. The discussion was held under the Chatham House rule, so I cannot disclose who said what, but here are some themes. The incumbency factor for sitting Liberal Democrat MPs seems to have been worth some 11%+ on the national vote share. Our 334 lost deposits are very ...

Posted by Paul Tyler on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Patrick Wintour and Nicholas Watt's must-read account of the Liberal Democrats in coalition provides noteworthy details about the attempt to unseat Nick Clegg as Liberal Democrat leader in the aftermath of the June 2014 elections although misses some key reasons why the plot failed and failed so badly. @iainmartin1 None of the Labour plotters managed to propel themselves out of their own party though. LibDems in a class apart...! — Mark Pack (@markpack) May 28, 2014 So here's my stab at collating reasons: The plotters didn't have experience: for any follower of the many, many attempts to have a leadership ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

 

Posted by Anders Hanson on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

The defence secretary, Michael Fallon, has added some words of wisdom to what was becoming, from the perspective of the Tory frontbench anyhow, a rather arid and even self-defeating conversation. On Radio 4 this morning, Fallon said that if a definite connection could be made between the Sousse massacre and Daesh, then surely some further military response is needed. Now, I don't so much agree with this statement from Fallon as much as I think some greater reaction from western governments to the group formerly known as ISIS is long overdue. What I really agreed with the defence secretary on ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

UPDATED DETAILS Conservative seat. Cause:Resignation. LD candidate: Geraldine Locke

Posted by Michael Powell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

UPDATED DETAILS Conservative seat. Cause:Resignation. No LD candidate.

Posted by Michael Powell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

Looking across the change in vote share at the General Election (analysing data from here) reveals that the Liberal Democrat vote was down 15.3 percentage points (pps) on average, but down slightly more in constituencies where the Lib Dems won in 2010 (15.7 pps). Excluding Scotland from these latter figures shows the Libs Dems were down by 16.8 percentage points. The biggest winner was UKIP, both in England and Wales (up 10.9 pps) and in former Lib Dem constituencies (up 7.6 pps). The Liberal Democrats need to understand why so many previous voters switched to UKIP. The Conservatives were up ...

Posted by Ed Moisson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I can't remember whose joke about the Lamb/Farron leadership contest it was, but I repeat it here. It is a wonderful thing to take part in an election and know that, whoever wins, it's going to be a Lib Dem. I've even voted already. I've been hugely impressed by both leadership candidates and the way they have kept level heads. There have been peculiar incidents but nothing like the 'calamity Clegg' business of the last Lib Dem leadership tussle. I've found the focus on what either candidates did or didn't vote for or against more than frustrating because - in ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

Before the election, the Conservatives never specified how they would make £12 billion in welfare cuts. In the end, they were correct in assuming that potential voters wouldn't need that level of detail before they went to the ballot box. Tax credits - which are regular welfare payments made to low paid workers, those with young children - seem to be first on the list to cut.

Norman Lamb has a new pamphlet out, which you can read in full below whilst The Independent has backed Tim Farron. Download this document Keep up with news on the Lib Dem leadership race Sign up for Liberal Democrat Newswire here, and Sign up for the Facebook event for the contest (where Norman Lamb and Tim Farron are regularly answering questions from members).

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The election is done with, so now it is safe for the Airport Commission to report on options for expanding airport capacity in England's South East. They have duly proposed that another runway be built at Heathrow airport. Personally I was a bit surprised. I had expected the Commission to recommend expanding Gatwick. An article in the FT a while back led me to think that its Chair, Howard Davies, favoured the expansion of point to point services, which allow greater levels of competition, over the conventional arguments for the economies of hub airports, which favour big operators. But if ...

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

The latest 2015 Sunday Bandstand Concert on the Magdalen Green Bandstand takes place this coming Sunday at 2pm. The Tayport Instrumental Band will be playing. More details are available here.

How Snobbery Helped Take The Spice Out Of European Cooking Pressure Wash or Paint Red? In which the Indy likens @timfarron to Hercules - & by implication the party to the Augean Stables I don't think we're THAT full of shit Tories plan to batter disabled people. Again. An archbishop has started a Change.org petition to free the naked rambler. We should all sign it. How same-sex marriage could ruin civilisation very very funny from Dean, as usual I used to lead tours at a plantation. You won't believe the questions I got about slavery Comment: How we impoverish children ...

Thu 2nd
07:00

Ten years a blog

It is hard to believe that ten years ago today I first sat at my laptop and wrote a blog post. Back then I was in the post first time general election candidate daze, but was already thinking about how I could do more to get myself recognised and my views heard ahead of the next election at some point before 2010. Back then the blog title was Stephen's Linlithgow Journal as back then anything I thought I would stand for as a Liberal Democrat candidate had the word Linlithgow in the title. Of course when it came to be ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Liberal Journal | Mute

Cllr Iain Roberts,Leader of the Lib Dem group on TfGM, is asking anyone affected by the rail disruption on 1st July to let him know what the rail companies could have done better. Damaged overhead lines caused chaos at Manchester Piccadilly and other railway stations across the North, with passengers stranded and delays lasting for hours on the hottest July day on record. "We need to understand why the incident happened and what can be done to prevent it happening again," Iain said "but we also need to look at whether more could have been done for the passengers suffering ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

This week's announcement by the Welsh Government that £600m will be invested in transport in South-East Wales without detailing the projects to be covered makes it imperative that they publish their Metro map. It is high time the Welsh Government said what it's version of the South Wales Metro will look like. While promises of funding for transport are welcome, we still don't know which specific projects will be going ahead. Many of us were hoping that today's much-hyped announcement would finally make clear what the Metro will actually be. Sadly, after three years of working groups and reports, we ...

Posted by Eluned Parrott on Freedom Central | Mute
Thu 2nd
00:16

eFocus 97

Our latest eFocus for the Whickham area was published tonight and can be viewed on this link.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

"The book I didn't know I was going to write" - more at Little Toller Books.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Wed 1st
23:57

New Batposts

After a while off to allow me to post the Multiversity posts, recover from the election, and copy-edit Head Of State, the Batposts are back. There's a short new one on my Patreon (about a story about which there's not much to say, so only 1000 words — the next one will be longer), and [...]

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

One of Justine Greening's leaflets delivered in Putney during the 2010 general election campaign.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Both leadership candidates have given speeches to the Institute of Public Policy Research recently. We covered Tim Farron's last week. Here is Norman Lamb's. I want to thank the IPPR for inviting me to speak here today. The IPPR has been a leading progressive think-tank since I have been active in politics. Under the leadership of Nick Pearce it has consistently shown a thoughtful and challenging perspective on the issues of the day, not least in the field of health. I have been particularly impressed with the emphasis on the quality of care and the commitment to making decisions locally. ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 1st
22:16

Six of the Best 521

The View from Creeting St Peter is far from impressed by Liberal Reform's attempt to give the Liberal Democrat leader a veto over party policy. "Shropshire Council is busy transferring many of its staff and services to its wholly owned company, ip&e. This company still must respond to freedom of information requests, in almost the same way that Shropshire Council does even if those requests are 'bizarre' in the eyes of council leader Keith Barrow." Ludlow's Andy Boddington fights the good fight. It easy to forget how consistently good Stumbling and Mumbling is. Here he argues that a powerful state ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Could it be that the much-needed revival of Liberal Democrat thinking has reached the blogosphere? Last month eight (count 'em) new blogs were added to the LibDemBlogs aggregator - many thanks to Ryan Cullen for sending me the list. Here are the eight: A Liberal Renewal (written by David Shaw) went to its first two Liberal Democrat meetings at the start of June and has not blogged since. I hope those two facts are not connected. A Liberal Take (written by Mike Brown) first appeared last year and has recently come back to life. What really catches the idea is ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

This afternoon, I had the pleasure of calling by the 30th birthday celebrations of the One World Centre, Dundee's learning centre dedicated to social justice and learning for sustainability. Over the past 30 years the centre has supported schools and community groups in Dundee, Angus, Fife and Perth and Kinross to engage in global citizenship through active learning. Sandra addresses tonight's meeting This evening, it was a pleasure to be at the monthly meeting of Community Spirit Action Group, the community group for the "north" part of West End Ward, covering Pentland, Tullideph, Ancrum and the Cleghorn area. The meeting ...

Wednesday: The badly-wounded Greek economy lurches between survival and final total collapse. When the Greek Syriza Government - elected on an unfulfillable promise to end austerity AND settle with their creditors - hit the brick wall of reality, they abdicated responsibility, punted it back to the people in a referendum where not even Nobel Prize-winning Economists understand the choice, and seemingly killed any chance of a last-minute rescue. But now, as he's already over the brink, Prime Minister Tsipras appears to accept the demands of the people trying to save him. Update: or would he rather his people voted no, ...

[IMG: EMLD Diversity Hustings chaired by Simon Woolley] At last! A departure from the standard stump speeches by Tim Farron and Norman Lamb at the Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats (EMLD) hustings last night. It wasn't all change, especially as this time there was a decent reason for Tim Farron's habit of staring at the ceiling. An intriguing collection of celebratory (birthday?) balloons lodged in its furthest, highest corner. And studded through Farron's speech and later answers was many familiar mini-riffs from the campaign. The contrast with Lamb's speech was familiar too - Farron stronger on the personal stories and passion; ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

From the Manchester Council of Mosques, including Cheadle Muslim Association: In the wake of the violence in France, Kuwait and Tunisia on 26 June 2015, Qadir Ahmad Chohan Chair of Manchester Council of Mosques says,"We are all resolved to defeat terrorism and terrorists, we condemn the callous killing of innocent people in France, Kuwait, Tunisia and America. We send our condolences to the families and loved ones of the bereaved, and we will continue to do all that we can to continually promoting a peaceful and tolerant society. The Muslim community vehemently rejects any suggestion that such murders can ever ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

At some time back in the nineteenth century most of Europe realised that putting debtors into prison was not an effective l method of enabling them to pay off creditors. Unfortunately today's European politicians have not, with respect to Greece, yet learned the lesson. In a post in January this year I argued that the Greeks Greece should be allowed to adopt a Keynesian solution to their economic problems: granted a moratorium on debt repayments for, say five years;allowed to borrow further at market rates; revived their economy and tax take, initially by growth stimulated by public infrastructure projects; sort ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

If the easy popularism of UKIP disturbs you then pause to think how much damage David Cameron's obsession with his own popularist ideas can do now that he is a position to implement them. By far the most dangerous of these ideas is English votes for English laws. In principle I have no issue with any part of the UK determining its own fate when it comes to issues that are most appropriately decided at a national or regional level. However, the best way to do that is through a democratically elected National or Regional Parliament, or by devolving responsibility ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I have to say that I am incandescent with rage at a profile of the only Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder which has appeared in the New Statesman. The implied conclusion of both the journalist and the several Liberal Democrat sources quoted seems to be that Catherine is a lightweight who needs the back-up of a group of men. She's criticised for not pursuing their agendas and her own concerns, on massive issues like wildlife and human trafficking are dismissed by the journalist as pet projects. Yes, that's right, protecting vulnerable people from the brutal exploitation of modern slavery somehow ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Iain writes in the Cheadle, Gatley & Cheadle Hulme Mail about why Northern Rail's failure to properly collect fares on our trains simply isn't good enough. [IMG: fumings]

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

After a resident contacted us, the Lib Dems asked Network Rail to repair the pigeon netting under the Gatley Road railway bridge by Gatley Station. We're pleased to report that the work is happening this week. Please be advised that contractors working on behalf of Network Rail will be repairing the pigeon netting at the railway bridge near Gatley Station on Gatley Road, Gatley. The work is scheduled to take place overnight form 9pm 02/07/15 to 6am 03/07/15 under temporary signals.

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

It's taken me ages to decide and if I'm honest it probably isn't the decision I thought I would make. Norman has managed to win me over and has convinced me to cast my vote for him. to be leader of the Liberal Democrats. The truth is, I would happily see either as leader but...

Posted by Edward Sainsbury on Stream of Consciousness | Mute

From today's Evening Standard: While Labour's leadership election has hogged the limelight, the Liberal Democrats are also choosing a new leader too. There are just two candidates: Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale, and Norman Lamb, MP for North Norfolk. Party members are voting now, with the result on July 16. The winner faces a formidable task: on May 7, the Lib-Dems crashed from 57 MPs to just eight. Mr Farron, the favourite, is seen as the more Left-wing. In truth, little separates the two men ideologically. The key is their view of the coalition years. Mr Lamb was ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Wed 1st
15:11

Soft Power

Gunboat diplomacy was often the way that Britain asserted its presence on the global stage in the 19th Century, and even as late as 2003 in Iraq, thanks to Tony Blair. But the predominant school of thought in London these days is that "soft power" can be a more effective way of winning friends and [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

[IMG: Diversity Hustings Glasgow] In a normal election, hustings can be a great place to spot key differences between candidates and find where they stand on various areas of policy. Internally, however, there's often a lot of overlap between the candidates' values and hustings can become a little 'same old, same old'. For this reason, Scottish Lib Dem Women teamed up with Ethnic Minorities Liberal Democrats, Liberal Youth Scotland, and LGBT+ to organise an event in Scotland that wasn't about policy but was about one specific area instead: diversity, both within and outwith the party. This is a topic seen ...

Posted by Jade O'Neil on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

On Friday members of the Transport for Greater Manchester Authority will be meeting to consider a consultation that T4GM has undertaken on the issue of dogs on trams. At present only assistant dogs are allowed (hearing and sight dogs). The consultation with the public and Metrolink Users found that 71% of people were in favour of allowing dogs on trams, some of whom felt that there should be some sort of restrictions (e.g. child ticket, off peak). Metrolink is extremely unusual in NOT allowing dogs on board. Dogs are free to travel on buses in Greater Manchester, are free to ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

ALDC has gathered together its guidance for newly elected councillors and By-Election victors. To make it all easier to access we've put it in one place in the "On the Council" section of AskALDC section of the ALDC website. Each article is preceded with "New Councillor" make them easier to search for. Posts include: [...]

I read somewhere that it takes 30 days to make a new habit. By all accounts, predictable behaviour is what the old brain likes. When it sniffs out something new, something out of the everyday ordinary, it'll fire up the fragile in us and persuade our will power into a quick surrender. Any attempts to break with our norm will be wrestled from us. Until 30 days. At 30 days, the brain tells itself.... hold on, I recognise this, this thing you're doing – carry on, nothing to see here. 30 days for the reluctant plodder to transcend into the ...

Posted by Dominic Collard on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 1st
13:06

Aintree Shed – 8L

Aintree once had a huge steam shed, known as 8L to supply the local rail network with motive power in the form of steam engines. Once a year it would be inundated with engines when the Grand National was on but it was a busy shed anyway right through until the 1960's. Not so long ago I received a card and on it was a black and white photo of a steam engine 'on shed' at Aintree so I thought I would share the photo which I have scanned from the card. [IMG: Loco 45529 Stephenson at Aintree Shed] Loco ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

Stood on Maghull railway station ('train station' is an American terminology) the other day and what do I hear but fluent French being spoken. On turning around I see a young lady on her mobile phone having a conversation in French. I never got beyond the odd French word and the railways of France myself at school, much to my shame, but at least I was happy to hear a European language being spoken in Maghull. If it had been a 'kipper hearing this it would have been a call to UK Boarder Force with demands to deport I assume! ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

[IMG: This is not the end of the journey. So why not sell you a ticket all the way through to the end?] This is not the end of the journey. So why not sell you a ticket all the way through to the end? Getting to a station or an airport is rarely the point of a journey. It's only part way to your destination. Which makes it rather odd that when you are buying your tickets for the journey, you then have to go somewhere else to reserve and pay for the rest of your trip rather than ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Having just done the roundup of the most popular posts for the last three months, it occurs to me that many of you reading this are election junkies just like me and are no doubt getting pretty jittery awaiting your next fix. Well, in the spirit of helping someone avoid going full cold election turkey, allow me to point you several thousand miles west, where Canada will be holding a general election in October which is currently promising to be a classic for fans of close polling performance turning into bizarre electoral results thanks to the electoral system. Like the ...

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

The Liberal Democrats has had, for many years, interest groups representing the thoughts of different opinion groups within the party. The Social Liberal Forum has been seen by some as representing the left of the party and Liberal Reform (LR) as representing the right of the party. These positions can be misleading as LR promotes [...]

Posted by libdemviewseditor on libdemfuture | Mute

Tim Farron has been writing for Politics.co.uk about his desire to see the party change its policy on fracking. The headline is entirely misleading, because what he actually does is show respect to the party's processes by saying he'll ask the Federal Policy Committee and Conference to reconsider the issue. But why? The UK should not be pursuing another fossil fuel source, when there is so much potential for renewable generation from tidal and hydro that is still untapped. I would like the party, through the federal policy committee and the conference, to think again about our existing policy on ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Being the most popular posts on this blog for the last three months. Be warned, some of these links seemed incredibly relevant at the time, but the post-election landscape now makes them quaint relics of an earlier more innocent time. 8) On Milifandom and politics fandom in general – "Most political parties are just organised fandoms for a political ideology or slice of political history, it';s just that they've been around so long people treat them as something different and respectable." 7) Hampstead and Kilburn: Election not postponed – For a few hours at the start of the campaign, it ...

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

Many thanks to Robin Bennett from Ceres in North East Fife for sending us this from the Scottish Highland Games Association website: Running from the scratch mark in the 1600 metres handicap Scott McDnald, Central AC thrilled the crowds as he worked his way through he field before going on to snap the worsted in 4:28.42., the previous weeks Newburgh winner Dean Whiteford took 2nd place with Jordan Taylor, Hawick in 3rd. McDonald was thwarted in his bid to land a double when he had to settle for he runners up spot in the 3000 metres handicap behind none other ...

Posted by Newsmoggie on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Much has been said about the Lib Dem's parliamentary party being too 'pale and male'. That is, of course, true, but I think that easy soundbite description misses an important point - it's not so much that it is 'too' anything so much that it 'isn't enough' something else! The parliamentary party is not sufficiently 'diverse' - that is the key point for me. It's all about 'diversity'. The reason I think that is such a key point is that considering it to be 'too' something can all too easily lead us into attempts at 'quick fix' solutions that might ...

Posted by Cen Phillips on Liberal Thoughts | Mute
Wed 1st
09:12

The Capacity Problem

So at York we have an event called policy speed dating the premise behind which is quite simple. Each person in turn has 10 minutes to pitch a policy, on any topic, then it gets voted on. So as today this seems relevant (and not at all controversial) I'll repost one of my contributions about expanding the [...]

Posted by Mike Green on Squiffy Liberalism | Mute

I am one of nature's political optimists. But 2015 is one of those years where it is all going wrong. The Lib Dem near wipe out in this year's UK General Election, for one thing. The rise of Islamic State is another – along with the spread of vicious Islamophobia promoted by such outfits as Britain First. Meanwhile state after state in the Middle East and Africa is failing, with vicious dictatorships taking hold in other countries. This gives Israeli hardliners the cover they need advance their own brand of apartheid, and the ghettoisation of Gaza. Any attempt at finding ...

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

Waking up to the miserable and depressing conclusions of the Davies Commission, that there should be another runway at Heathrow, reminded me of the biggest cost-benefit analysis ever carried out - to somehow calculate where to build the third London airport. I tell the story in my book The Tyranny of Numbers and it casts a sad shadow over the current debate, with its bogus talk of 70,000 new jobs. Back in 1969, the government had rejected the preferred site at Stansted and, for the next two and a half years, the commission chaired by the senior judge, Mr Justice ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

Clifton Road car park in Prestwich will become a short-stay car park on Monday 13 July as previously reported. Parking will be free of charge, but restricted to a maximum of two hours, between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Saturday (except Bank Holidays). Bury Council has taken the move, following consultation with residents and local businesses, to help shoppers who have struggled to find a parking space. Notices are now going up on site informing drivers of the upcoming changes. Please note – drivers will need to obtain and display a free ticket from the machine which is being installed ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Norman Lamb has been writing for the Huffington Post about his vision for the future of the Liberal Democrats. The next few years can't just be about making ourselves feel better; we must be far more ambitious than that. That means broadening our policy and political thinking, daring – once again – to be radical and challenging. It is why I am proposing a renaissance in our approach to political action and debate, reaching out to include the many – particularly young people – who share our values and instincts but are put off by closed party structures and, even ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Last night, Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats held a hustings for the two leadership candidates, Tim Farron and Norman Lamb. They covered the event brilliantly on Twitter. Covering an event like that is really challenging – things move on so quickly and you can easily make a mistake. I know that. I once tweeted that Vince Cable was in favour of low pay when he had very clearly said the opposite. So it was good to see that they corrected a very similar error that they had made last night. They had tweeted that Tim had said that equality was immoral ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

John Woodcock, who is openly supporting Liz Kendall for leader, has said the following regarding Cooper and Burnham: "If those who seek to take his place think the route to victory in the leadership contest is Continuity Miliband with a different accent or gender, or with a higher level of emotional connection, they will consign Labour to another defeat. If that happens, Britain will face another decade of Tory government from here, not just another five years." Ouch. The fact that everyone word the Rt Hon Woodcock said above was 100% true does not change the fact that it was ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

Here are the five posts on this blog that recorded the most hits between April and June 2015: Why is Owen Jones so annoying? (4th July 2013) Selling off social housing (14th Apr) Labour, leadership and the catastrophic benefit cap (11th Jun) Social liberalism and the Liberal Democrats (26 May) Liberalism redux (12 May) So my venerable 'Owen Jones' post continues to attract plenty of traffic. In fact, this may have been its biggest quarter so far. For the first time in a long time 'Uncertain Terrain ...', also from 2013, dropped out of the top five posts for the ...

Posted by admin on Alex's Archives | Mute

On Friday, Tony Lloyd, Greater Manchester's Police and Crime Commissioner was confirmed in office as the (interim) Mayor of Greater Manchester. Don't worry, you didn't miss the election. The post was appointed by the ten Council Leaders from across Greater Manchester. I have nothing against Tony. I have no doubt he worked hard in the 29 years he served as Labour MP for Manchester Central, I have no doubt he has worked hard in the two years since he became our Police and Crime Commissioner. But I'd never vote for him. Personally I don't agree with many of his political ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Residents have raised with me concerns about road safety at the Bankmill Road/Milnbank Road junction, with vehicles coming along Milnbank Road having to pull in at the junction to give way to vehicles heading along Milnbank Road in the opposite direction. I raised the concerns with the City Council and the City Council's Head of Transportation has now updated me as follows : "From a recent site inspection and information provided by yourself the vehicles travelling along Milnbank Road are unlikely vehicles exceeding the 30 mph speed limit but due to parked vehicles and the narrow carriageway width they may ...

Bury's 'Walking Rainbow' event returns on Sunday 12 July 2015. The event, now a regular part of the calendar in Bury, is a walk organised by young people to celebrate diversity, promote equality and say no to homophobia. The walk takes place on Sunday 12 July 2015, meet at 12.30 at Bury Town Hall, then walk half a mile to Kay Gardens where there will be information stalls, speeches, music and 'fun'! More information from Tony or Lisa on 0161 253 5663. [IMG: BOmx97gCcAAjgVB]

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

EU Moves To Create Internet Fast Lanes, Pretends It's Net Neutrality By Redefining Basic Words Top tips for interacting with visually impaired guide dog users No, Most U.K. Homes Do Not Get More In Welfare Than They Pay In Tax ... unless you count not just pensions but the NHS, education, and public transport subsidies as benefits. Even counting pensions it's still only a third. and if you don't count pensions, as most people don't when they talk about welfare, I bet you it's maybe 1 or 2% [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

From the Telegraph obituary for Ian Allan: Ian Allan, who has died the day before his 93rd birthday, triggered the post-war explosion of trainspotting as a British pastime by publishing the first booklet of engine numbers in 1942 and starting a club which had 230,000 members by the time steam gave way to diesel.Perhaps he did not invent the pastime - I have a friend whose father remembered collecting locomotive names before the war - but he certainly codified and popularised it.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute