Today, Liberal Democrat MSP for Edinburgh Western, Alex Cole-Hamilton turns 40. I have to confess to being slightly traumatised by this – much more so than by my own imminent Golden Jubilee. You see, I don't feel 50. I feel about 28. And I'm in much better shape physically and mentally than I was at 28, so it's all good here. And the waiter at the Indian last night referred to me as a "young lady." Even better. Alex's big day, though, provides inescapable evidence of the passage of time. I can't help but remember that I first met him ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Children aged 3-10 years are invited to bring your families along to the Garden for a Mad Hatter's tea party on the afternoon of 30th July. Arrive in time to get your picnic set out for a 3pm start. Entertainment will be provided by the University's JOOT theatre group, so you might want to brush up on your Alice in Wonderland characters before you come! Bring your own picnic and some rugs to sit on for the tea party, and wear a MAD HAT. You might want to make your own? There is no charge for this event, but numbers ...

The Guardian has the story on its web site – see link above 'Parliament needs to leave London and reconnect with the people' Simon Jenkins This is an interesting read indeed. With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Traffic congestion in the Prestwich area has seemed pretty bad recently, probably due to the roadworks through the village, and people finding ways to avoid them. Two more sets of roadworks start soon. We have already asked the Council's Director to reconsider what can be done here, and why ALL THREE sets of roadworks have to happen at the same time. No reply yet... Highways England – A56 Bury New Road/Junction 17 - Bridge maintenance works Bridge maintenance works, due to take place on the A56 Bury New Road at the M60 Junction 17 roundabout. The works will include replacement ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

I was introduced today to the comic gold that is photographs of football mascots observing silences before games. Here, borrowed from The Peterborough Defect, is a shot of Fleetwood Town's Captain Cod remembering the dead of two world wars.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I have already posted Lord Bonkers' Diary from the current issue of Liberator and given you a taste of the party gossip to be found in Radical Bulletin. But there is more to Liberator than that. As well as being the Liberal Democrats' Private Eye, it also aspires to be their New Statesman or Spectator. You can download two articles from the new issue as pdfs. There's Liz Barker's account of her attempts to address Tim Farron's line on gay sex. And there's Liberator's traditional questionnaire to party leadership contenders (even though there was only one contender this time). Subscribers ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Former Liberal Democrat leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has written to constituents in Sheffield Hallam saying that he doesn't want to be re-selected as the Lib Dem Parliamentary candidate: So @nick_clegg officially announces he will not stand for election again, in a letter today. A great statesman and great MP, thank you. — Patrick English (@PME_Politics) July 21, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Fri 21st

Six of the Best 710

"Within secure children's homes, regulations limit the use of restraint to prevent injury, serious property damage and to stop a child running away. Escort officers, however, are permitted to restrain for 'good order and discipline'." Carolyne Willow shows that the deliberate infliction of pain is still used on children in care. Alan Jay Levinovitz says economists turned economics into a highly paid pseudoscience because of their fetishising of mathematical models. "If I put food on the table from writing BuzzFeed columns, or were up for course renewal at a local journalism school, this piece of writing would not exist." Jonathan ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I am well known for the fact that Colin Baker is my favourite Doctor when it comes to Doctor Who; possibly I am well-known for it because it is somewhat unusual*. The Other Baker has the biggest cohort of fans from classic era, I suspect at least partly because he is the longest serving, and my least favourite of the new era Doctors remains inexplicably popular among youngsters, perhaps because he's conventionally pretty. Us Colin fans are a small yet hardy bunch, and quite a lot of the time the rest of fandom treats us like we are A Bit ...

Responding to the appointment of Lady Hale as the next President of the Supreme Court, Liberal Democrat Equalities Spokesperson Lorely Burt commented: "This news is incredibly welcome and a major step forward. "Lady Hale has championed diversity in her field and this appointment, I'm certain, will inspire many who are studying the law now. "I hope this will encourage a new generation of female leaders across all fields."

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Our new leader I wish Vince all the luck in the world, in what is one of the most demanding jobs in politics today...ensuring we get enough coverage to break through and continue the Lib Dem Fightback which Tim Farron made a such a good start on during his time in the top job. There's no doubt that Vince has pretty good name recognition among the general public (for a politician, anyway) and is clearly a trusted voice on the economy, something which hasn't always been the case for our leaders. As the star of a past Christmas edition of ...

Posted by Mathew Hulbert on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Good effort but just not good enough - Layla Moran's verdict on childcare policy.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The Liberal Democrats have blasted the government for selling billions of pounds of weapons to countries who they believe abuse human rights. Jo Swinson said 'When you sell weapons to countries with serious human rights concerns and regulate an arms dealer less than a scout leader, you have to seriously question the judgement of ministers.' The Foreign Office has released its 2016 Report on Human Rights and Democracy. The report assesses the human rights situation in 30 countries which FCO has designated as its Human Rights Priority Countries. These are: Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Burma, Burundi, Central African Republic, China, Colombia, ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

The Liberal Democrats have accused Michael Gove of "breaking a Brexit promise," after he set out plans to cut subsidies for farmers unless they meet certain criteria. It comes despite a pledge made by Vote Leave during the referendum campaign, signed by ministers including Michael Gove, which stated that farmers and other recipients of EU funding would continue to receive payments after a Leave vote. Michael Gove's speech also failed once to mention the single market and potential tariffs, a crucial issue for British farmers who export around £11bn of agricultural goods to the EU each year. Former Liberal Democrat ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute
Fri 21st

Festwich - this weekend

Don't forget that we have 'Festwich' in St Mary's Park this weekend – "The UK's biggest Free tribute festival". Festwich is now entering its 6th year. According to it's website, free tickets are still available.

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Second course of antibiotics seems to have done the trick, so it appears the infection she had was a resistant strain, or at least resistant to the most common doggie antibiotic. Now we have to sort out her teeth... Daughter has been really excellent recently, alternately cajoling me into doing self care ("come on mummy, lets go to the gym, it's good for both of us" "Lets take the doggies for a walk, clear our heads") and baking cakes for me to eat. She's getting REALLY good at baking. Pretty much everything else is still stressful or infuriating or depressing, ...

Edinburgh West MP Christine Jardine has set out some thoughts on our strategy as we respond to the total mess that the Tories are making of the Brexit negotiations. In an article for the Times Red Box (£), she sets the scene: The internal squabbling of our chancellor, foreign secretary, and Brexit secretary — to name just a few of the clowns at play — is making the chances of a poor deal for the UK, or a catastrophic failure to get a deal at all, all the more likely. Instead of knuckling down and approaching negotiations with a seriousness ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 21st

The Mayor meets Pinkie

During the general election, Labour Councillor Chris McHugh spat out some pretty nasty and venomous comments on residents' Facebook sites about me and my self-sufficiency activities. According to Cardboard Cutout Chris, I "can't be taken seriously" because I have an allotment, keep goats and grow my own food. Quite how his attack on me can be squared with his beloved Leader's own allotment

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute
Fri 21st

Blaydon Food Festival

I am a keen advocate of local food production. Shipping food over long distances is wasteful and causes pollution. Producing as much as we can as close as possible to where it is consumed helps to reduce our impact on the environment. As well as preaching the message, I also practice it - I am a food producer myself, growing most of my own food and trading the surplus at events such as the

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute
Fri 21st

The sixties

I just visited an amazing exhibition in Montreal at La Musee de Beaux Arts, entitled 'Revolution', all about the sixties, when I was a teenager. The revolution in question was the change in art, ideas, politics, power, dress, music etc etc that occurred in the late 1960s, which culminated in the 1968 student riots, Expo '67 in Montreal and Woodstock. Many people today, especially young people it seems, criticise the sixties as a time of fantasy, forgetting what life had been like before the so-called swinging sixties. Before the sixties, (male) homosexuality was illegal, women were second class citizens, treated ...

Posted by Michael Taylor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 21st

My tweets

Thu, 15:44: Six months in, not a single one of Trump's pledges for his first 100 days has been fulfilled. Thu, 16:05: How to beat the ticking Brexit clock: let British business leaders do the talking Miriam González Durántez explain... Thu, 17:11: RT @samthielman: Akie Abe is my new hero. Thu, 18:56: The 2017 WSFS Business Meeting: Best Series Thu, 20:25: RT @erin_sebo: The #IvoryBangleWoman, a C4 North African living in #Roman #York @YorkshireMuseum #Eboracum #multiculturalism #Brexitnegotia... Thu, 20:33: In anticipation of @worldcon75 : Thu, 20:48: The Japanese First Lady might have pretended not to ...

The 2017 Liberal Democrat manifesto boldly sets out in section 1.1 the intention to hold a second referendum on EU membership (or indeed, a first vote on the Brexit deal). As a LibDem supporter and remainer in an area which voted 70% to leave, I was simultaneously pleased and worried at the announcement. When asked by Nick Robinson on the BBC Question Time Leaders Special about the second referendum, Tim Farron made it clear that the result of the referendum is respected, though the people 'didn't vote for destination'. Whether true or not, I believe that the type of Brexit ...

Posted by Edward Goater on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Before yesterday evening, I had never watched "Love Island" before. In fact, the only reason I really knew of its existence was through articles like "Why is Love Island so Tory?" in the New Statesman. But my wife's younger sister is in town, and she wanted to watch it last night, so there we all found ourselves, in front of ITV at nine PM. I haven't watched reality TV in some time – as a result, "Love Island" came as a bit of a shock to me. A few years back, reality TV was all about people essentially using each ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

One of the first policies enacted by the innovative New Zealand government of David Lange in the late 1980s was to remove all agricultural subsidies. It was a courageous decision for a nation as dependent on farming as New Zealand, and it was an enormous risk – which has mainly paid off. New Zealand is [...] The post Putting the farm subsidies machine into reverse appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Opinion - Radix | Mute

On Sunday 30 July National Grid will be transporting a very large piece of new equipment to Iron Acton substation. The lorry carrying it will be 57 metres long by 5 metres wide and weigh 231 tonnes. Due to the size and weight, the lorry will travel between 10 and 15 miles per hour. The vehicle will start from Avonmouth Port in Bristol on 30 July at 9.00, arriving at Iron Acton substation in the late afternoon. It needs to avoid hazards such as weak bridges and narrow turning points, so the route is quite indirect: Avonmouth docks - M49 ...

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

Is the Trump team totally incompetent or crooked? Is it perhaps a combination of the two or an unappealing variation on the political spectrum? For despite the never-ending stream of White House protestations and presidential tweets, not all of President Trump's problems are the result of a witch hunt of historic proportions orchestrated by the Democrats, the liberals, " the dishonest media," immigrants, refugees, Muslims, "so-called judges", turncoat Republicans, Chinese currency manipulators, Angela Merkel, Mexicans and Canadians. Next week we may start to learn the answer to the questions posed. It is a major week for the Trump Administration. Three ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Tory government used the last day of the Parliamentary term this week to off-load a whole host of unpopular announcements, whilst avoiding any proper scrutiny of the decisions. As the Guardian relates, Theresa May's ministers dumped dozens of official documents online on parliament's last day of term, showing the police force numbers have dropped to a 30-year low and the number of soldiers has fallen by 7,000. The paper says that the government has published very little for weeks after the election but about 22 written statements and dozens of Whitehall reports were released on Thursday, just as MPs ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Sandwiched between Walls the butchers and the kebab shop, the former Forest Dog Rescue charity shop at 13 High Street looks forlorn and neglected. Now the 18th century building is about to get a makeover and open as a three room Victorian style pub. This is another project from Son of Saxon - Jon Saxon's operation that has brought us The Dog Hangs Well at 14 Corve Street and the Ludlow Ledger. In his application, Jon Saxon says he aims to create a Victorian pub in the style that would once have dominated provincial towns like Ludlow (17/03384/COU). Jon says ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

From Blether Tay-Gither : Our July Blether will be on Tuesday 25th July at 7pm in Madigan's Food Emporium and Bookshop, Castle Street. The theme this month is "Travel and Transport." Hope to see some of you there - all welcome!

Yesterday, together with Roy Connell (who is often credited on this blog site for unearthing interesting subjects) I cycled from Ainsdale to Crosby (and the Iron Men) along the Sefton Coast through Formby, Hightown and Altcar Riffle Range. Despite having lived in Sefton all my adult life I had not previously done this route either walking of cycling. The stretch from Formby through Hightown and onto Crosby is very interesting and the cycle/footpaths are in great condition. Well worth tackling this stretch of the Sefton Coast if you have access to a bike or like a long walk. The photo ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Nationalistic fantasies about future export strengths, an ill-informed public debate and political deceit all masked the economic disaster that was Concorde The idea that we now live in an age of 'post-truth' implies that once-upon-a-time politics was guided by objective reality. Clearly, this is nonsense. We shouldn't mistake a period in which the media and political establishment offered more coherent stories for a time when politics was truthful. In the recent past, politics could be astonishingly dishonest, especially when it came to supporting national machines. Concorde, the fastest lame duck ever built, was a flying Brexit. The political establishment privately ...

Posted by Tom Kelsey on Political science | The Guardian | Mute

A bumper set of nine council by-elections this week, including two Liberal Democrat defences. No Lib Dem candidate in the first result to come in, even though the ward had a Lib Dem candidate in May 2015 (here's why that matters): Ketton (Rutland) result: CON: 68.8% (+12.7) LDEM: 31.2% (+4.2) Conservative HOLD. No UKIP as prev. — Britain Elects (@britainelects) July 20, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Free information on the maintenance of NHS hearing aids will be offered on Monday 7 August. It is held at the Green Room, Textile Hall (next to Bury Library) and anyone can drop in between 2.30pm and 3.30pm. Professionals will be on hand to answer any questions about hearing loss. For more information, call 0161 253 7512 or email

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

From helping homeless people to refurbishing playgrounds and providing life saving equipment, Coop Local Community Fund provides funding for thousands of local causes If you're part of a local cause or know one that would benefit from funding Apply now at (deadline 8 August) To apply to be a Co-op cause you must have a project or event in mind that: * takes place in the UK or Isle of Man * doesn't have religious or political aims (although you can still apply if you're a religious organisation) * meets the Co-op's values * takes place or will still ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Just to let residents know about recent planning applications in your area. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Change of use from public house (Class C4) to offices (Class B1a) (following 2 year temporary fle... 315 Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JA Ref. No: 61743 | Received: Mon 17 Jul 2017 | Validated: Mon 17 Jul 2017 | Status: Registered Alterations to garage roof to form raised terrace with balustrade & new external staircase 227 Bury Old Road, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 1JE Ref. No: 61700 | Received: Mon 03 Jul 2017 | Validated: Fri 07 ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Just to let residents know about recent planning applications in your area. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Two storey extension to side and rear 23 Newlands Drive, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3BU Ref. No: 61678 | Received: Mon 26 Jun 2017 | Validated: Mon 26 Jun 2017 | Status: Registered

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Sir Vince Cable and Jo Swinson at the 'welcome the leader' event in Central London Sir Vince Cable was in great form at his first 'outing' as leader of the Liberal Democrat party. In Vince style he was calm, assured and completely realistic about the challenges facing the party when he launched his leadership manifesto. He demonstrated a steadying hand which is just what the party needs post-election when it did not reap the dividends that it had hoped for from the pro-Europe campaign stance that it took during the election. There were no surprise announcements as such but Vince's ...

Posted by Jane Chelliah on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas | Mute

Earlier this week I returned to the British Library to do another two hours of listening to Kenny Everett's tapes. As I explained in February, dear Kenny Everett left his numerous audio tapes to the nation, in the shape of the British Library. You can go there and listen to them. They are endless and ... Continue reading Kenny Everett's tapes – and the Troggs arguing over a song

Posted by paulwalternewbury on | Mute