Thu 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 £5 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

I was, I admit, somewhat disappointed when I saw the final shortlist for the Ashdown Prize. Yes, they were all terribly sensible, but radical? No, not really, unless you consider sensible to be the equivalent of radical. And, given that I am probably one of the least obvious to be described as a radical - I have some seemingly radical views on the importance of process, but radical bureaucracy is probably an oxymoron - if I don't think that something is radical, it probably isn't. And of the three proposals, probably the least radical was to oblige supermarkets and the ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute
Wed 20th

Six of the Best 799

"Are they hiding something, or is it simply that they are so confused and divided by the outcome of the referendum that they daren't doubt its legality?" Paul Tyler asks why Labour is silent on the possibility that Russia interfered with the 2016 EU referendum. Judges in Canada are sentencing youth offenders to chess with promising results, report Monique Sedgwick, Jeffrey MacCormack and Lance Grigg. Chess joke: After 37 consecutive Berlins they break down in tears and promise to go straight. Talking of Chess, Sarah Hurst looks at the Kremlin's plans to maintain control of world chess. Ian Visits on ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Jeremy Thorpe is one of those people for whom the volume of coverage does not beget breadth of coverage, for nearly all the coverage is drawn towards the one event. The one huge, tragic, bizarre, almost in the couldn't-make-it-up category event that saw him on trial for conspiracy to murder. No surprise this overshadows so much else of what he did. In those shadows, however, are perhaps his biggest contribution to British politics: the ending of the old election expenses regime that meant even national advertising at elections was avoided and setting the path towards the current ability of parties ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Wed 20th

Bizzy Baksun

Just a brief explanation for my current lack of posting: my in-laws have been staying with me for a week, over from the US; I've got a book that's quite a bit past deadline and a few other writing things ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute
Wed 20th

All the best, Jo...

This afternoon, MPs who really shouldn't have been in the House of Commons, either through very advanced pregnancy or serious illness, had to go in and vote on that Brexit amendment. One of them was our Jo Swinson, who is two days past her due date with her second baby. It is entirely unsurprising that she made it in to vote. Anyone who knows how committed and determined she is will know that unless she was in fairly advanced labour, she would made it. She still deserves respect for doing so. Most women have stopped going into the office by ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Derwent Valley Partnership has set up a small grants fund to enable local groups to organise an event to celebrate the ending of the First World War. The fund will be available to local constituted community groups and organisations which meet the following criteria: – Event(s)/activities must represent a clear and distinct celebration of the WWI Centenary – Events /activities must be deliverable within one year of the date of the offer of funding – Funding requests of up to £1,000 (minimum £250) – Event(s)/activity must take place within the Derwent Valley Partnership area* – Event(s)/activity must be open ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis | Mute

Every day we hear about the housing crisis. Politicians tell us we must build more housing urgently. Yet they say next to nothing about empty homes. There are more than 600,000 empty homes in England, enough to cut the housing waiting list by half. Here in Shropshire, there are 4,375 empty homes. That's more than 3% of the county's housing stock. If they were brought back into use, they could provide homes for four in five of the households on the waiting list. More than a third of the empty homes in Shropshire have been vacant for six months or ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Embed from Getty Images It is a very interesting parallel. Firstly, we ought to say that, in contrast to Theresa May, Harold Wilson ran a pretty happy Number Ten at a staff level and had a quite brilliant political aura around him for his early years. As he castigated the old Tory aristocratic government and took over as PM, he got on well with the press and was pretty much in control of all he surveyed. I don't think T May has had that sort of period. It was only when he had to finally cave in to devaluation in ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Photo of Broughton Astley from Geograph © Kevin Flynn Mark Graves, who represents the Astley ward in Broughton Astley on Harborough District Council, has switched to the Liberal Democrats. Formerly a Conservative, he has joined the Liberal Democrats and joined the Lib Dem group on the council. Phil Knowles, who leads that group, tells me he is delighted to welcome Mark to the Liberal Democrats: "He is committed to working hard for the community and brings with him many talents that will complement the Lib Dem group on Harborough District Council perfectly."Note that I have avoided using the word "defected," ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter: The somewhat surprise election of U.S. President Donald Trump was followed by predictions of a collapse in the transatlantic relationship. President Trump, whose view of the world is highly transactional, had campaigned on a platform hostile both to NATO and even the general concept of long-term alliances. During the campaign, allegations were made of Russian interference. Charles Tannock is one of the two Conservative MEPs for London, and has been vocal in his despair at Brexit and his desire to minimise the damage that it will do to the UK. (He has taken Irish citizenship ...

The Federal Policy Committee is looking for volunteers to serve on two working groups which will bring forward new policy on crime and policing and on sharing the benefits of economic growth: The FPC is looking to appoint members of these groups to develop policy in each of these areas. Both working groups will take evidence in the second half of 2018, run consultation sessions at Spring Conference 2019 and prepare their final drafts over March-June 2019. These will be presented to FPC for amendments and approval. Subject to this approval, the final papers will be published in July 2019, ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I was so pleased to see Dr Shiv Pande MBE recognised in an article in the i-newspaper for his service to our City and our Country I was delighted to be reading a copy of the i-newspaper yesterday to see ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think? | Mute

We have all got used to the Labour leadership opting out, abstaining, even penalising their MPs who actually vote to oppose the Conservative Government. So I suppose we should not be surprised when they stay mum, sit on their hands and pretend it is not important to investigate whether the Russians interfered with the 2016 EU Referendum. This was the issue I raised with the Minister in a Topical Question in the Lords on Tuesday. I warned that the "piecemeal approach" currently adopted could prove dangerous; I had in mind the lack of effective protection of our electoral system if ...

Posted by Paul Tyler on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 20th

World Cup, Day Eight

View Poll: World Cup, Day Eight You should be able to vote using your Facebook or Twitter account, even if you aren't on Livejournal. For yesterday's matches, nobody foresaw Senegal beating Poland, which just goes to show. Both yiskah and trepkos called Japan as well as Russia.

What is the matter with Theresa May? Is she really the untrustworthy and uncompassionate minister she has been portrayed, or does she just surround herself with advisers who are like that? This morning on the Today programme Dominic Grieve spoke with barely veiled anger at the way he and others were let down by the PM last week over Europe amendments. Well, that's politics you may say. But this interview followed soon after John Humphreys interviewed a mother who had been trying to get special cannabis oil for her epileptic child. Not the mother who was interviewed by him yesterday ...

Posted by John Kelly on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As a former pupil, and a councillor whose teenage constituents largely attend Whickham School, I was interested to see that the planning application for the replacement buildings are now lodged with Gateshead Planning Department. A decision will come before the planning committee in the near future. The proposals include a new, three to four storey 'superblock' to the north of the current site

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Norman Lamb MP The Independent has the article on its web site – see link above What a truly shocking series of events With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

miss_s_b | An Update on the Ashdown Prize for Motherhood and Apple Pie has arrived... I posted An Update on the Ashdown Prize for Motherhood and Apple Pie has arrived... to my dreamwidth blog Poll: 73% say 'Brexit dividend' is a lie Interesting and concise on confirmation bias A ruff guide to dog body language If you like what you see here (or even if you don't) please consider dropping me a tip: [IMG: Paypal Donate Button] [IMG: Buy Me an uncaffeinated beverage (because I'm allergic to coffee) at] [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Wed 20th

McQueen *****

As a lad in London's East End, Lee McQueen (later to be rebranded with his posher-sounding middle name Alexander) had little interest in the subjects he was meant to be studying, instead spending most of his time in class drawing. His taxi-driver father would have liked him to become a mechanic or something similarly practical, [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

The Tanfield Railway is partly in my ward in Gateshead and on Sunday, they hosted a steam gala. Of particular interest to me was the Dunston No. 15, a steam locomotive that was built in Newcastle in 1942 and was used at the Dunston power station until 1972 when it was retired and moved out of the North East. This was its first return visit to the region. There was also a vintage car rally at

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

It's certainly not my place to tell the Labour Party what they should and shouldn't be doing, but aren't they, by their own rhetoric, trying to bring down the government? Isn't their main goal to end May's premiership in the hopes of bringing on a general election and then winning that plebiscite? Given communication from the Shadow Brexit Secretary to his colleagues last night on the topic of how to vote in today's "meaningful vote" amendment, we should all have strong reason to doubt this is the case: "Dear Colleagues: "Tomorrow is the final chance we will have to guarantee ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

Former Liberal Democrat Health Minister Norman Lamb has reiterated calls for cannabis to be legalised for both medicinal and recreational use following former Conservative leader William Hague voicing his support for reform. Mr Lamb said: "The evidence showing the benefits of medicinal cannabis for those with chronic illnesses has reached tipping point, but the Prime Minister must heed this warning from a former leader of her own party and admit the case for legalising cannabis for recreational as well as medicinal use. "The Liberal Democrats are the only party campaigning for a regulated cannabis market in UK, with robust and ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute
Wed 20th

My tweets

Tue, 12:56: RT @StefaanDeRynck: This set of slides ended on Friday what was a busy week of the EU27 working party on #brexit. The slides deal with acti... Tue, 13:38: World Cup, Day Seven Tue, 16:05: RT @tgeducation: Every World Cup goal, from 1930 onwards, and when they happened, via @TheEconomist Tue, 18:18: Penric's Fox, by Lois McMaster Bujold Tue, 19:30: Why you should vote for Rufus Arnold Alexis Keppel, 10th Earl of Albemarle, in his own words: Tue, 19:35: Why you should vote for Cody Charles Edward Tennant, 4th Baron Glenconner, in his own words: ...

One of my reasons for reading old election manuals, aside from the love of the physical format of old books, is the insights they give into trends in political campaigning which otherwise get missed.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

As predicted by some of us during the European referendum campaign two years ago and foreshadowed in various articles ever since, Europe's chief negotiator has now confirmed that Britain will be locked out of EU policing and security databases after Brexit. As the Independent reports, in a speech in Vienna Michel Barnier said the UK would also lose access to the European arrest warrant and that UK representatives would no longer have a role in managing agencies such as Europol and Eurojust: The chief negotiator said EU security cooperation was based on "trust", but said: "This trust doesn't fall from ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Bootle New Strand shopping centre Following the recent news that Sefton Council intends to throw another £3m+ of public money at the Strand Shopping Center in Bootle the Leader of the opposition on the Council, Cllr. John Pugh has this to say:- "Having burdened us with £32 M pounds of debt buying the asset, Sefton Council wants to spend another £3.I million pounds this year on their new toy to enable councillors to play "shops". The council should concentrate on its day job and stop pretending it's a player in the risky retail market. The fact that a year after ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

I voted Remain, I must admit through slightly gritted teeth – and mainly for one reason above all others: I didn't feel comfortable on the same side as Boris Johnson. This sounds glib but I mean it quite seriously. Brexit might have some benefits in a world that appears to be turning against cross-border trade [...] The post Why does the May government love white elephants? appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Radix | Mute

"The case of Billy Caldwell who needed cannabis oil for his severe epilepsy again highlights legalising cannabis not only for medical but recreational use. Although the Home Secretary (Sajid Javid) made an exception for Billy (by allowing cannabis oil use for 20 days) cannabis is still banned for recreational use. Sajid Javid said this week in the commons the position "We find ourselves in currently is not satisfactory". Cannabis contains active ingredients called cannabinoids. These are used to relieve the pain of muscle spasms in multiple sclerosis or used to relieve sickness in people having chemotherapy for cancer. Other ingredients ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The night before last, Busybodies Childcare Centre next to the police station in Lower Galdeford was broken into. Fortunately, nothing was stolen though a door was badly damaged. The police response, when the crime was reported this morning, was swift. An officer came from Kidderminster and scene of crime officers were also dispatched to the site. It is always bad when a crime occurs. People feel violated and less confident. Along with businesses, they are also hit in the pocket. It is a shame then, that Ludlow has a higher rate of crime per head than the rest of Shropshire. ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

From Sheena Wellington : St Paul's Cathedral, 1 High Street - Saturday 23rd June, Lunchtime Concert, 1pm Fliskmahoy! Frances Cooper (Soprano), Emma Versteeg (Soprano), Carole Clark (Alto), Rebecca Clarke (Violin) - Fliskmahoy! is an all-women group, three singers, and a violinist. Various musicians have been keen to arrange or write new pieces for them. One composer friend, Stuart Murray Mitchell, wrote one of the suites that Joanna Nicholson and Frances Cooper performed in concert at the Wighton last year. He has also made a brilliant job of arranging some of the pieces found in the Wighton Collection. He has called ...