Mon 28th
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 £25 in the next few days, else everything goes black. With over 100 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

Writer and actor Chris Foote Wood, brother of top comedienne Victoria Wood, will be reading the Yorkshire Declaration of Integrity at Redcar Town Clock this Friday, August 1st, Yorkshire Day at 11.39am. Mr Foote Wood plays a different character each year. This is the fourth year in succession that Chris as led the Yorkshire Day celebrations at Redcar. Last year he was Charles Dickens, and this year it is the famous Yorkshire navigator and explorer, Captain James Cook. "Research at the family history centre in Whitby shows that I am very distantly related to Captain Cook," said Mr Foote Wood, ...

Posted by Chris Abbott on Chris Abbott | Mute

We join Nick Clegg in wishing those of you who are celebrating today a very happy Eid-al-Fitr. Here is his video message, with transcript underneath: As Ramadan ends, I want to wish Muslims across the UK and around the world a joyful Eid al Fitr. I know that, on both a spiritual and physical level, Ramadan will have meant an intense period of worship and devotion as you strive to draw nearer to God. As Allah says in the Quran – "Oh you who believe, Fasting is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, so that ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Please see below links to two recent DWP-commissioned reviews that may be of interest. Evaluation of Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy: interim report Independent review of the operation of Jobseeker's Allowance sanctions validated by the Jobseekers Act 2013 The report on the removal of the spare room subsidy comes after party conference passed a [...]

Those of us who exited the NHS as whistleblowers, given the bum's rush and no cash, would not be expected to have much sympathy for the small army of re-tread NHS managers who have been 'made redundant' and then re-hired, sometimes doing essentially the same job in essentially the same area, having recently received a small fortune for notional 'redundancy'. 3,950 NHS staff were made redundant between May 2010 and November 2013 and later re-hired, 2,570 of them on a permanent basis and 1,380 on fixed contracts. Last week's published Department of Health accounts show that the average cost of ...

Posted by Tony Dawson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

There were more fatalities when Britain and Germany fought over the islands in 1914 than when Britain and Argentina did seventy years later. Despite the impression one might get from the violence in Syria, Iraq or Ukraine; war is on the decline. You are less likely to be a fatality of conflict now than in [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute

[IMG: School classroom. Photo courtesy of] He isn't a minister. He's not elected. He's not even an unelected member of the House of Lords. But Tim Leunig will be able to look back on this Parliament as one where he made a much bigger contribution than many Liberal Democrat ministers. The cause? The new method for measuring school success in England which he first worked on when at Centre Forum and now has been instrumental into turning into policy as the Department for Education's Chief Analyst. Ministers such as David Laws have been supportive, and Tim Leunig is now ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

On the day Tim Farron's Beveridge lecture was a triumph. The 40 minutes speech was punctuated by warm and spontaneous applause and at the end the delegates rose to their feet without prompting to give him an extended ovation. The speech made folk feel better about themselves and their politics. It has been a rough time for those who come out of the radical tradition. Here, at last, was someone who was speaking about their dreams and hopes. The speech's great virtue was that it was forward looking. It was not picking over the bones of the coalition corpse. It ...

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute

A fascinating editorial in the Guardian last week suggested a parallel between styles of military command and the sclerosis of public service management under Blair and Brown - improved under the coalition but not nearly enough. I have been wondering about this and have been reading a psychological classic to find out more. Norman Dixon was in the Royal Engineers before he was a psychology professor, and so he was well qualified to write On the Psychology of Military Incompetence. I have been scouring the book for evidence of what I have suspected for some time - that there is ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them At eleven am on this day 100 years ago Austria declared war on Serbia. Due to the interconnectiveness of treaties across Europe within a week we had most of the major powers declaring they would be taking part in the Great War, the First World War. I knew that a number of my great uncles had served in the Second World War, but all of them had survived to tell the tale. Though very few of them talked about it much. But with an interest ...

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

Welcome to the latest in my occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. Today – the relevant of sleep to election turnout: [IMG: Pills. Photo courtesy of - some right reserved] Having had more or less sleep changes mood and behavior; for example, more sleep associates with greater productivity and a perception that more time is available. This changes the time cost of voting in ways particularly important for the United States, where the general elections are sometimes but not always held 2 days after a 25-hr day, when people typically have had more time to catch up ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder works harder than nine UKIP MEPs put together. She speaks more sense than their entire delegation, of course, but in terms of turning up to vote, it's official: the number of European Parliament divisions she's taken part in since the election is more than the combined total of nine of their lot. Since the new Parliament started at the beginning of July, MEPs have faced 39 roll-call votes in the plenary. This is where all MEPs come together to speak and vote, usually in Strasbourg. Catherine, our sole representative in the European Parliament, has voted ...

Posted by Stuart Bonar on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: The first suicide bombing in Syria to definitely involve an American perpetrator has now taken place - at least if a video released by Al-Qaeda is to be believed. Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, from Florida, pledges to blow himself in said piece. It has been confirmed that Mr Abu Salha has died in Syria, but where and when specifically is harder to pin down. There are so many suicide bombings in Syria on a daily basis, it becomes a needle in a haystack exercise. It is estimated that there are as many as ten thousand western fighters in ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

I bet @Calderdale's Labour Cabinet are REALLY looking forward to this :) (tags: ) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

One of the joys of a site like this is the lively, good-natured and well-informed discussion that can be found under perhaps not quite all of the posts. A vital part of this is the respect that is shown for our comments policy which can be summarised as: be polite, be on-topic, and be who you say you are. We have this policy because we have to take some responsibility for what appears on the site, and because this is our place to talk, not our place to indulge the most abusive people on the internet. (They have many more ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Telegraph reports that new planning guidance to be issued by UK Ministers will provide some protection from fracking for National parks and other areas of important countryside. Although they will stop short of a total ban short the Government's new planning guidance will make it harder to drill fracking wells in national parks and areas of outstanding natural beauty. The new rules will state that fracking should only be allowed in the most precious areas of British countryside in "exceptional circumstances". Ministers will only approve applications if the gas and oil reserves are so large that they are deemed ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

THE NEXT BLETHER MEETING WILL BE IN THE BURGH COFFEE HOUSE COMMERCIAL STREET TUESDAY 29th JULY 7.00PM - 9.00PM THE THEME FOR THIS MONTH IS................. DREAMS. HOPE TO SEE AS MANY OF OUR REGULARS AS POSSIBLE....AND SOME NEW FACES MAYBE? Looking forward to August we hope to have a Canadian Storyteller as our guest. More information about the group can be accessed here.

Radical steps needed to avoid thousands of repossessions Radical steps are required to ensure that the homes of hundreds of thousands of Britons are not at risk of repossession when the Bank of the England begins increasing interest rates, according to the Resolution Foundation. The foundation has proposed that the Government sets up a scheme to help people avoid losing their homes by making a "soft exit" from the market. One option suggested would be to allow owners to "trade down" to shared ownership, in which a state-funded registered provider would buy a stake in the property, leaving the borrower ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute
Mon 28th

Halsall War Memorial

[IMG: rsz_halsall_war_memorial] Another in my series of tributes in the 100th year since the start of WW1. This memorial is on the busy main road, outside Halsall Parish Church, from Maghull to Southport and will be seen by many motorists each day. Around it are 3 plaques with the names of Halsall people who fell in the 1st and 2nd World Wars. The sobering fact is that many more fell in WW1 than in WW2 as 2 of the 3 plaques cover the dead of the Great War.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

A report by the government's official English Housing Survey shows that it is now more expensive the average weekly cost of renting a home in the private sector, £163, is now greater than the £149 weekly cost of servicing a mortgage to buy one. Unfortunately potential new buyers are not earning enough to accumulate the deposit necessary to switch from renting to So the rentier class has a field day squeezing the mainly young people caught in this "rent trap" for all, or even more, than they are worth. These is nothing new in this as this lovely prayer, ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

If you work in Cambridge or travel there frequently you might be interested in completing the survey the liberal democrat MP for Cambridge has just put online. Here's the link; Please feel free to share it with your friends/ colleagues.

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill | Mute

Before the 2010 election, and for a couple of years afterward, I used to post here a lot on political topics. Since about 2012, though, I've barely talked about politics except in the most abstract manner (things like my Liberal Future series, which I do intend to continue). The reason for this is simple. My [...]

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

[IMG: Clegg signs in at Pride House] We know that Nick Clegg has spoken out against discriminatory LGBT laws across the Commonwealth. He's done so again in an interview with Gay Times magazine. He called them after his visit to Pride House i(where the picture was taken) n Glasgow. Shortly before he took his place in the stalls for the opening ceremony, the Deputy PM gave GT Towers a ring. "This is the Downing Street switchboard. We have the Deputy Prime Minister on the line for you," came the call. Well, that was rather more notable than the usual mix ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I get quite a lot of reports of antisocial behaviour. Some people tell me they feel nervous going out at night because of yobbish behaviour. Others are fed up with the noise, puke and urine. Every now and again, we get spates of broken windows and other vandalism. Councillor Viv Parry and I, and town [...]

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute
Sun 27th

The Yardbirds: Stroll On

As yesterday's video showing the locations from Blow-Up then and now has proved popular, here is a clip from the film featuring the Yardbirds. It is an unusual line up for the band, as it includes both Jeff Beck and Jimmy Page. Beck, who had replaced Eric Clapton as lead guitarist was shortly to be ousted by the other members. (You can see all three playing together in the 1983 benefit concert for Ronnie Lane and his ARMS charity.) The real Ricky Tick Club was in Windsor, but the interiors here were filmed on a recreation of it at Elstree ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 383rd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere ... Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (20 – 26 July, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed. Don't forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging. As ever, let's start with the most popular post, and work our way down: 1. Two good ideas and one ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Sun 27th

Six of the Best 453

What You Can Get Away With completes its series of posts inspired by Conrad Russell's An Intelligent Person's Guide to Liberalism. On British Politics and Policy, Mareike Kleine provides three suggestions on how Lord Hill can be a good European commissioner and still serve the British interest. China is setting up fake social media accounts to give a false impression of life in Tibet, reports Andrew Jacobs in The New York Times. Ben Goldacre, in an editorial for the British Medical Journal, says true informed choice will require wholesale changes to the way we gather and communicate evidence: "When we ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I have loaded more shots onto my Flickr site today. Here is a taster:- [IMG: Giant Grandmother on her last walk about before leaving Liverpool.] Giant Grandmother on her last walk about before leaving Liverpool. This photo and others from the Giants Spectacular event in Liverpool are amongst my Flickr shots at:-

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

[IMG: WerringtonLodge] At the start of July 2014, a report appeared in the Telegraph newspaper claimed that an investigation was underway regarding the treatment of vulnerable elderly people at Werrington Lodge, care home, at Baron Court, Werrington, Peterborough. A spot inspection by officials of the national Care Quality Commission, allegedly discovered several areas of concern: Patients left lying in soiled bed linen Strange marks on some residents' limbs Tone of voice in which some staff spoke to residents Incorrect use of a hoist to help a resident move from a bed to a chair Medication left with patients Inaccuracies in ...

Posted by admin on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

Page 2 of the Daily Telegraph, the day before the 2010 general election: [IMG: Daily Telegraph on coalition]

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

This time next week, I will be in one of what I think is the most magical places on earth, the Black Isle. The friendly people, gorgeously rich scenery from the fertile farmlands to the wonderful pink-sanded Rosemarkie beach, the rubbish mobile phone signal and the utter peace of the place combine to make it my perfect bolt-hole. I feel myself relaxing as soon as I get my first view of Munlochy Bay from the A9. It's pure heaven. I try very hard when we're there to do all my shopping from local shops rather than the big supermarkets in ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: BerkTipPicWebWords] Berkhamsted Tip – the Household Waste Recycling Centre – is threatened with a Two Day per Week Closure and Reduced Opening Hours. The Liberal Democrats are opposing the plans being put forward by the Tory-run Hertfordshire County Council. These will involve: ● Two Hertfordshire Tips to Close Completely ● The others are to be closed for Two Days per Week ● Opening Hours will be restricted to 8.00 a.m. to 4 p.m. Help us Campaign to Keep Berkhamsted Tip Fully Open. You can either Sign the Lib Dem Petition electronically by clicking here or take part in Hertfordshire ...

Posted by nickhollinghurst on Nick Hollinghurst | Mute

Round 5 of Matter of Fact's running debate on the reasons for believing (or not believing) in the Christian message Having started this whole thing off with her guest post on why she is a Christian, Helen surveys what's been said in response: A few months ago, I wrote an essay outlining my reasons for [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute

[IMG: NewMillCropped] The Liberal Democrat Councillor for Tring and the Villages, Nick Hollinghurst, has been asking for over 3 years for the New Mill Roundabout in Tring to be repaired. This roundabout lies on the busy Icknield Way, a useful through route for lorries, buses and car – as well as an essential road for people to get around Tring. It is also used every day by dozens of heavy goods vehicles coming with grain to the mill in Tringford Road and leaving with flour. All those HGVs are restricted to the Icknield Way, apart from accessing the mill. This ...

Posted by nickhollinghurst on Nick Hollinghurst | Mute

The Times reports that the Liberal Democrats are to shatter the coalition truce on the economy through a summer offensive to gain credit for the Lib Dems for an upturn which this week saw the economy surpass the size it was before the crash of 2008-9. More significantly, and possibly with more chance of success, the party will seek to counter the Chancellor of the Exchequer's attempts to claim credit for raising the rate at which people pay the basic rate of income tax, to £10,500, which is a flagship Lib Dem policy. The paper report that the Liberal Democrats ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

via Facebook

Posted by Raging Reg on Raging Reg | Mute

[IMG: 7 ver 4 full] Many thanks to the 13,600 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here's our 7 most-read posts... David Ward: "If I lived in Gaza would I fire a rocket? Probably yes" (75 comments) by Stephen Tall Tim Farron's Beveridge Lecture in full (37 comments) by The Voice Opinion: Beware conflating offence with racism – don't demand David Ward's expulsion (39 comments) by Jonathan Brown Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn't mean they're liberals (52 comments) by Stephen Tall Ukip may well win a ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: sundaypaps] Here's my pick of the Sunday papers this week. Please put your choice of must-read articles in the comments. There are many harrowing, difficult to read accounts of the reality of being on the receiving end of the Israeli bombardment in Gaza. The Independent talks to a man who has lost two children and his 8 months' pregnant wife: "We didn't know anything about this ceasefire. Just a few hours later they stopped bombing, just a few hours and we would have been all right. We don't know why they decided to bomb our house with so many ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The council's planning committee is meeting on Wednesday to consider this application, the recommendation is for approval. It remains our view that this shouldn't be passed the traffic on the Wellsway and around the Red Lion Roundabout is far too great. With 800 houses being built at Foxhill and 300 potential houses on the Southstoke plateau the roads in the area can't take anymore heavy good

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down | Mute

Here's some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days... Dog faints from 'overwhelming joy' upon reuniting with owner after two years – Weird News – News – The Independent Good news story of the week >> Dog faints from 'overwhelming joy' upon reuniting with owner after two years The British economic recovery in 13 charts | FT Alphaville Lucky for some... The British economic recovery in 13 charts MH17: Vladimir Putin is callous, Nigel Farage says – Telegraph Oh dear. Poor Farage is disappointed Putin's not quite the brilliant operator he'd ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall | Mute

[IMG: Miliband-Clegg] It's a few months since I first published my list of 17 policies on which the Lib Dems and Labour now agree. These ranged from including tax-cuts for low-earners, the introduction of a mansion tax, a major council house-building programme, cuts to universal benefits for wealthy pensioners, and an elected House of Lords. One I highlighted was the likely scrapping of the Bedroom Tax, noting then: "Officially the Lib Dems are committed to an immediate review of the impact of the 'bedroom tax' (or 'spare room subsidy' as no-one calls it), including looking at what money (if any) ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Yesterday afternoon, I attended the Friends of Balgay Summer Meeting at Mills Observatory. There was an informative and really interesting talk by guest speaker Carly Cooper, Curator of Social History at the McManus Galleries, on the life and work of Mary Slessor. It was also fitting that, at yesterday's meeting, there was a presentation to Gillian, daughter of Dr Hilda Spear, the Friends' Chair for many years. Hilda sadly passed away earlier this year and the Friends yesterday paid tribute to Gillian's hard work over many years providing the refreshments at so many Friends' meetings.

Yesterday morning, I had the pleasure of meeting Michelle Donoghue who, on behalf of Action on Hearing Loss, is providing a drop-in session at Blackness Library once a month on Saturdays from 10am to 11.30am, one of a number of drop-in facilities across the city, aimed at assisting people who are deaf or hard of hearing. This free service gives advice on caring for and getting used to hearing aids, fits new batteries and tubing and gives information on both services and equipment available. It is a great service and Michelle provides a friendly, professional and free service. The drop-in ...

I've had a number of enquiries about whether anything can be done about the junk mail that comes through most of out letterboxes. The answer is yes! Just fill out the form below and post it off to the Royal Mail address given. In my experience, this service works except when my usual postie is [...]

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute Cllr. Mike Booth has one story of the 'sit down and shut up' carry on. See link above. The other daft happening was the Labour amendment to my motion about the Southport – Wigan – Manchester railway line. The amendment was nothing more than sycophantic and rather sad because it praised the Labour Leader of Sefton for raising the matter at a City Region Cabinet meeting. What Labour's amendment did not say was that I had asked him to do just that, indeed in moving the motion I had made mention of that very exchange! One thing you quickly ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

After the still from the set of Performance the other day, I had hoped to show you from the set of another key sixties film, Blow-Up. And there are some on Getty Images, but none of them can can be embedded on blogs. So instead here is a short filming showing Blow-Up's locations in the original film in 2011. Blow-Up ostensibly shows London in the swinging sixties, but today Antonioni's take on the city and the era seems cool, continental and very much his own. It is all a long time ago - Blow-Up was released in 1966 - but ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute