Second paragraph of third chapter: Midway through the afternoon we turned onto another trail. It led north into an area of low hills. The soil was sandy. The trees were small and scrubby. Here and there we came upon outcroppings of a sandy rock, yellow or dull orange. The trail was barely visible: a faint line that wound among the rocks and trees. It led finally—in the late afternoon—to a shack, made of long branches leaning against rock. Skins were stretched over the branches. Smoke came out of a hole. What a sad little dwelling place! I enjoyed A Woman ...

I've been to the vast majority of both spring and autumn party conferences since I joined the Lib Dems back in March 2010 and I can honestly say I enjoyed the one that ended in Bournemouth, on Tuesday, the best. I think I'm finally starting to work out the ebbs and flows of conference; when best to put in a speaker's card with a chance of actually being called; when to take time out with friends and not fill your whole rota with yet another fringe meeting (as good as they almost always are); how to network with like-minded fellow ...

Posted by Mathew Hulbert on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Today I return to a subject that I have discussed before, that of Emotions in Politics, with some of my previous posts on this subject here, here and hear. However I am interested today in how it impacts the strongest political issue of our times, namely Brexit. When I floated the provisional idea for this post on twitter, another user thought it would be dangerous to cast people who feel one thing and hence vote based on that one way or another as being Type A or Type B, which is a fair enough objection. My hypothesis is, that if ...

Posted by Louise Ankers on From one of the Jilted Generation... | Mute

This post is a political one, and discusses party strategies, but I think it has more applicability than just to Lib Dem partisans (which means that unlike the internal-fighting posts of last week, I'm going to charge for this on ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute
Fri 22nd

Latest Lib Dem broadcast

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Posted by chriswhite on Chris White | Mute

There is one childhood memory which will always stick in my head. Aged 8 or 9 our headteacher at primary school sat us down and told us about the first black child to enter our school. We were given a pep talk us that this boy was no different to the rest of us and that we were to treat him as an equal. This was middle class Surrey in 1982. What I have seen and heard since the referendum in various parts of the UK has made me thing that in some ways we have not moved on when ...

Posted by Chris Key on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Loughborough Echo wins our Headline of the Day Award. Well done to all concerned.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Commenting on reports that Michael Gove has suppressed reports showing that food prices will rise as a result of Brexit, Tom Brake, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Spokesperson, said: "Michael Gove needs to show a bit of honesty. Brexit Britain is not going to be the land of milk and honey that he dreamed of. "The truth is clear that on our current path prices will go up, jobs will be lost, public services will suffer and Britain's place in the world will be diminished. "This government are dragging the country disastrously and reckless out of the EU. The British public ...

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

Vince Cable has called on Theresa May to use her speech in Florence tomorrow to make a bold offer on EU nationals' rights, as new figures reveal that almost 10,000 EU workers quit the NHS in the year after the Brexit vote. 9,832 EU nationals left the NHS between 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017, figures provided by NHS Digital today have revealed. This is an increase of 22% on the previous year, and up 42% on two years earlier. In total 3,885 nurses, 1,794 doctors and 1,518 support staff from the EU left the NHS between June 2016 ...

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

The Liberal Democrats have responded to claims by Lynn Faulds Wood - author of an independent report - that the government has taken no action on her demand to increase the safety of electrical goods. This is hugely significant as it seems increasingly clear that the Grenfell fire was started due to faulty electrical products. Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat DCLG spokesperson, said: "The government is risking lives by failing to protect consumers from faulty products that can cause fires. "There have been repeated calls for action, both before and after the tragedy at Grenfell Tower, yet the government has ...

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

Happily, it doesn't matter that I had to be in 3 other places at the time when Nick Clegg's only fringe meeting appearance in Bournemouth, because those nice people at Prospect magazine have only gone and put it on You Tube. Enjoy. * Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

From the District Council: St Albans City & District Council's Housing Department will be replacing the wooden boundary fence between Woodvale Park and Alban Way. The Alban Way will be closed to both pedestrians and cyclists during this work. The works are due to start on Monday 2 October 2017 and will take around 10 days [...]

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White | Mute

This conversation happened at the Lib Dem Conference when I was on the SLF ( Social Liberal Forum ) stand. I was approached by a man who was attending his first conference. He had won a prize in the raffle. He explained that his son was on the Liberal Reform stall and they had told him we were a 'bunch of lefties'. He wanted to know about joining.... Left is often one those words which creates more confusion than clarity. So we should be clear that SLF stand in a long tradition of radical Liberalism as this article in the ...

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute

I have a new hobby horse: the politics of information. The development of information technology is transforming our lives, but the politicians are being left behind. This is becoming at least as important as economics and finance to the way we live our lives. But we amateurs face a problem. The IT industry obfuscates everything ... Continue reading Information technology is enslaving us: we must learn to master it →

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

At the consultation meeting the Lords Party held at our Bournemouth conference, the strongest plea that came from round the table discussing Brexit was for more information on what is happening. We will take that back to the wider parliamentary party and our small and overworked group of researchers, and see what more we can do. There are some really good papers from Nick Clegg's advisory group on the party's web site, which explore the underlying issues; but the politics of the negotiations are moving and changing almost every week, and I guess that campaigners want usable material to respond ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This place is more like a circus than a debating chamber with Labour flailing around like manic clowns to try and avoid serious questioning and debates On Wednesday, at the Council meeting we were supposed to have a debate about ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think? | Mute
Fri 22nd

My tweets

Thu, 17:53: RT @davidallengreen: The test for Theresa May's speech is whether it engages with serious and detailed points in Barnier's speech today: ht... Thu, 18:47: Etymologicon, by Mark Forsyth Thu, 20:48: In Ireland, Israel's Religious Right Engages with Ideas for Peace This is fascinating. @CrisisGroup #fb Fri, 10:03: RT @JenniferMerode: Council of Europe defers decision on legal action against Azerbaijan over refusal to release Ilgar Mammadov https://t.c... Fri, 10:19: RT @GdnPolitics: Morning! It's a big day for Florence. And Boris Johnson.

Woman seeing three men at once struggling with the adminRT @davidgerard: The Daily Mash accurately depicts polyamory in practice The Hobbit Was Almost Illustrated by Maurice Sendak......but Tolkien rejected his artwork. Here's the story. [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

A few days ago former Troy MP Matthew Parris wrote and article in The Times in which he argued that now there is a good opportunity for a Liberal Democrat revival because, whereas both Conservatives and Labour are weighed down by ideological baggage, we Liberal Democrats, along with the bulk of the electorate, aren't. This provoked indignation from the faithful, best expressed by my friend Michael Meadowcroft, who wrote directly to Parris: Dear Matthew There was much to take note of and to act on in your Times article last Saturday, "This is the moment for a Lib Dem revival", ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute
Fri 22nd

Time to ditch Connect?

The party has used two systems for computer based campaigning. EARS, developed in the UK for UK elections and more recently Connect, which was developed for use in US and Canadian election systems. Some elections ago the party made a decision to start using Connect instead of EARS as its main computer tool for digital and on the ground campaigns. This was largely because at that time EARS had not been able to demonstrate that it could provide an internet based service of the sort the party wanted. So there began an experiment with this USA based computer tool that ...

Posted by Michael Taylor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Public finances remain in a mess, the economy has barely recovered from the 2008 crash and hundreds of thousands of people are struggling to make ends meet, with the in-work poverty and a reliance on food banks growing by the day. The on-going public sector pay freeze has exasperated this problem for those who have dedicated their working lives to keeping vital services going. This is especially harsh in the health service, where nurses, ambulance staff, junior doctors, professions allied to medicine and auxiliary staff have seen their commitment and dedication unrewarded for a number of years. The scale of ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I found myself carrying out a small experiment at the Radix fringe meeting on Monday at the Lib Dem conference in Bournemouth. It rather confirmed what I thought – which is that there is an ideological divide at the heart of the radical centre, even before it has re-launched itself onto an expectant electorate. I'll [...] The post The great divide at the heart of the radical centre appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Opinion - Radix | Mute
Fri 22nd

What now for the centre?

'When the autumn weather turns the leaves to flame/One hasn't got time for the waiting game'. So sang Frank Sinatra on September Song and it is hard not to mirror his impatience. In many ways the June general election was a disappointment for Liberal Democrats, but the way that politics has fragmented in the fallout from the vote does offer some points of reflection- not all of which are negative. One theme of the summer was a revived interest in a new 'centrist' party that could lead the fight against Brexit. I'm sceptical about the need for another party, but ...

Posted by Steven Duckworth on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Southport Visiter has the story – see link above With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute


Be scared. Be very scared. In fact if you saw, listened to or read about President Donald Trump's UN address than you are probably terrified. If not, then think again. Trump used the occasion of his first speech to the General Assembly to draw red lines across the map and dare his opponents to cross them. North Korea, Iran and Venezuela are the new axis of evil. In one breath he called for an international order based on a respect for national sovereignty and with the next bullied those those who oppose him. The United Nations and international cooperation enjoyed ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Two Labour defences and one Conservative defence make up this week's trio of council by-elections. That trio even comes with a full slate of Liberal Democrat candidates, hooray. Those two Labour defences were both in wards that used to be Lib Dem – and this week generated a pair of gains for the party. Liberal Democrat GAIN Holmebrook (Chesterfield Council) from Labour. — Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 21, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

About 20.5 years ago, I was part of the campaign which beat Labour to win the Holmebrook ward in Chesterfield in a council by-election. A certain Keith Falconer won. Later on, his wife Glenys Falconer also represented the ward. In fact, since I wrote this, I have learned that it is the third time Keith has won this seat in a by-election. The first was in 1986, before my time in the East Midlands. He then represented the ward for 22 of the 25 years until 2011. He fell victim to an utterly unprincipled and nasty Labour campaign in 1995. ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Major renovation work on Whickham's historic Chase Park has now been completed. To celebrate the £1 million refurbishment, Friends of Chase Park are holding a re-opening event on Saturday, 23rd September, from 11am to 3pm.The Mayor of Gateshead, Cllr Pauline Dillon, will lead the re-opening ceremony. There will be lot of entertainment, activities and a fair.Everyone is welcome to join in the

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Poor Vince. He was in Bournemouth on Saturday cos he spoke at the Lib Dem Voice fringe meeting on adult education. Then he had to go back to London for Marr on Sunday morning. Then back to Bournemouth on Sunday afternoon for his Q & A, home on Tuesday and then back to the west country tonight to appear on Question Time. Here's the whole panel – join us on Thursday evening! #bbcqt — BBC Question Time (@bbcquestiontime) September 20, 2017 So, some bits of that programme will actually be bearable for a change. Watch on BBC at 10:45 ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Opened in 1862, Much Wenlock station stood on the line between Wellington and Craven Arms. The line to Craven Arms closed in 1951, but trains continued to run between Much Wenlock and Wellington until 1962. Today the old station building is a private house. I have previously posted four videos by Holden Webster that follow the line from Wellington to Craven Arms today: Wellington to Craven Arms disused railway 1Wellington to Craven Arms disused railway 2Wellington to Craven Arms disused railway 3Wellington to Craven Arms revisited

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

I've seen people go through the pain of losing someone they love because a transplant didn't happen in time. I've seen people, in shock at having lost someone suddenly and tragically being put under the added pressure of deciding whether their loved one's organs should be donated. Maybe they hadn't even had the conversation and didn't know what their wishes would be. Maybe it was pain too far. I've always made it clear to my family that should it be me, anything that would make anyone else have a chance of improved life should be used. I've signed up to ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

And so another week with Lord Bonkers draws to a close. If I come across the notes from this discussion I shall certainly post them here. Sunday Yesterday evening we held a 'Question Time' at the village hall. (The building, complete with a library and billiards room, was erected by my grandfather and the front boasts a modest statue of him accepting the tribute of the grateful widows and orphans of Rutland.) What a panel we had! There was our own Vince 'High-Voltage' Cable; the Wise Woman of Wing; the High Queen of the Elves of Rockingham Forest; and the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Vince Cable has called on Theresa May to use her speech in Florence tomorrow to make a bold offer on EU nationals' rights, as new figures reveal that almost 10,000 EU workers quit the NHS in the year after the Brexit vote. 9,832 EU nationals left the NHS between 30 June 2016 and 30 June 2017, figures published by NHS [...]

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White | Mute
Thu 21st

Culture Means Culture

I've been quite quiet on here in recent weeks. I've been saving up my brain power as, as of today, I am once again an official student! Enrolment Day at KCL I'm already a little bit exhausted, and I definitely chose the wrong shoes, but I'm also exhilarated after meeting the others on my course and the inspiring professors who will be guiding us throughout the year. We've been laden down with course materials, and I will be spending every extra penny I can scrape together on books from the Recommended Further Reading lists. Getting Started I've made a start ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter:Take generous: the word originally meant well-born, and because it was obvious that well-bred people were magnanious and peasants were stingy, it came to mean munificent. Indeed, the well-bred gentleman established such a reputation for himself that the word gentle, meaning soft, was named after him. In fact, some gentlemen that the gin in gingerly is probably just another gen lurking in our language. Gingerly certainly has nothing to do with ginger.A somewhat rambly book of etymologies, with some interesting nuggets (eg usages from Coverdale's Bible) but priding itself on having no real overall structure. Probably ...

The Leicester Mercury wins our Headline of the Day Award by a distance.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

This is crossposted from the Radix blog. I set out five different ways in the Guardian on Monday that we might kick start politics from a broad radical centre in the UK - by which I mean almost anything except the conventional, conservative Left and Right. I made what might have been the mistake of starting with Vince Cable's assertion that he might be prime minister, explaining that politics is in such flux and we might any of us. Unfortunately, the editors started their headline with the words 'Sorry, Vince', which made it look a little like a slapdown. All ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has said the Brexit bill will soar way above the £20bn that Theresa May is reportedly going to offer the EU27 in her Florence speech. Vince Cable said: "Be warned, the £20bn that Theresa May is reportedly about to offer as the biggest divorce settlement in history would simply be the down payment. Brexit will cost a lot, lot more than this. "This government is being utterly reckless with the public finances by preparing to spend an absolute fortune simply to get out of Europe. "This £20bn does not cover liabilities such as pensions and ...

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

Shalom alechum, alsalam ealaykum, peace be with you. Peace, Peace in the land between the river & sea is what we should be working for. And, to put it mildly, the motion we passed at Conference on Sunday does not do that. Indeed, by passing it, it means we probably won't get another chance to debate the Palestine/Israel conflict again for some time. I tried to get the motion referred back to the FPC and to ask them to bring back a better, more comprehensive motion next year as the one we passed today is the lowest common denominator that ...

Posted by Leon Duveen on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The latest monthly poll from Ipsos-MORI shows Vince Cable with the best net satisfaction rating amongst the main party leaders.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

I joined the Liberal Democrats in April 2017. This was my first party conference. I also voted Leave in the EU the referendum. Should I be in this party? Absolutely. Europe I sensed that many members didn't truly understand Leave voters. Nick Clegg seemed a bit more in tune: "why wouldn't you vote Leave after all you were promised by the Brexiteers?". Remain is one thing that undoubtedly keeps the party unified. But Remain in what? Jean-Claude Juncker's vision of a more federalised EU with power centralised? Seems profoundly un-Lib Dem to me. Nick Clegg convinced me on Remain when ...

Posted by Keith Bates on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I am sitting in a conference listening to a presentation by Luc Tissot, the current CEO of the Tissot watch company in Switzerland. He points out that his company is in the middle of 'watch country' in the canton of Neuchatel in Switzerland. "When the electronic watch appeared on the market, our industry was devastated. [...] The post Why companies actually care about their communities appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Opinion - Radix | Mute
Thu 21st

Strong and Cable?

Liberal Democrats left sunny Bournemouth this week buoyed by the camaraderie and intellectual stimulation of autumn conference. It was make or break time for new Leader, Sir Vince Cable, who gave us all a rousing send-off with a speech full of meaty political content and a smattering of good jokes. Vince is a serious player; [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

The Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party are two parties that historically have had many things in common. The birth of the Liberal Democrats stems from a splinter section of the Labour Party joining with the Liberals. Therefore, whilst the two parties are further apart than they ever have been in their histories they both share a common history of social justice and a willingness to oppose the Conservatives. Given that we are once again in a Hung Parliament it is more important than ever for Labour and the Liberal Democrats to work together to ensure that Britain gets the ...

Posted by Will Barber Taylor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 21st

My tweets

Wed, 12:08: RT @KenRoth: Nobel Prize for Feigned Ignorance: Aung San Suu Kyi pretends not to know why Rohingya Muslims are fleeing homes. Wed, 12:56: Why serving wine at room temperature is a myth Interesting. Wed, 16:05: The great nutrient collapse This is really frightening. #fb Wed, 17:12: RT @BradStaples: Excited to speak @oxfordanalytica today & debating social media with @SteveMcGookin @AngelaELL, & Shelby Coffey #GlobalHor... Wed, 18:01: RT @LaJaOxAn: @SteveMcGookin @BradStaples following up: it equalises weak and powerful voices - consumers hold firms to account @oxfordanal... Wed, 18:06: RT @apcoworldwide: Our CEO @BradStaples on how social ...

miss_s_b | The Blood is the Life for 20-09-2017 I posted The Blood is the Life for 20-09-2017 to my dreamwidth blog [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

The battle over the "McDonnell amendment" ends not with a bang, or a punch up at conference or talk of potential splits, but with a profound whimper. The political press have barely even commented on a change waved through the newly shifted further to the left National Executive Committee taking the need for 15% of the PLP (and Labour MEPs although that will soon be irrelevant) down to 10%. And it's been done during the run in to Labour conference as well. Last year, we would have seen great drama around this issue; now, it is barely noticed by anyone. ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

Liberal Democrats should be leading the fight in both Houses of Parliament by demanding that a proper legislative process is followed which assesses the benefits, costs and risks of Brexit but also ensures that Brexit, if there has to be one, can only occur if, concurrently, the pitfalls in the constitutional framework exposed during the last 18 months are satisfactorily addressed. A specific set of overarching rules would need to be put in place ideally before any Brexit can reasonably be implemented. We should explain to the general public that Brexit is not only bad for the economy, our jobs ...

Posted by Riccardo Sallustio and James Thellusson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Along with the introduction of a proportional voting system the creation of an elected second chamber to complement the House of Commons is the missing link in UK constitutional reform that needs to be addressed. There are currently about 800 members who are eligible to take part in the work of the House of Lords. The majority are life peers and have therefore been appointed as a result of political patronage. That is an unwieldy and unworkable body. It is little wonder that a large number rarely, if ever show their face in the chamber. According to the Independent, Peers ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Well I would like to think so as it could build on the work of Lydiate Parish Council which created the lovely garden area at Southport Road/Nedens Lane and the grassed/planted area outside St. Gregs Church on Liverpool Road. My previous blog posting about the gardens at Nedens Lane refers at:- And here's a shot of the flower beds outside St. Gregs Church:- Of course Lydiate Parish Council also used to provide beautiful hanging baskets along Southport Road and outside the Coronation Road shops but it stopped them a couple of years ago due to the cost implications. If ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Recently, an event was held in London, to discuss Brexit, and its effect on the rights of women and what might change following its implementation. As a participant, I had arrived with the view that it would be difficult to change the law as it stood, but new laws might be affected. For the last 43 years, most if not all of our Equalities legislation has come through the European Union. For women in particular, that has changed both their entitlements and rights as matters from equal pay to maternity leave have been secured by that route. It is astonishing ...

Posted by Flo Clucas on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Further to my recent update about residents' concerns about a poor quality of pothole repair in Dunmore Gardens, I have also had similar complaints in Hillside Drive. I raised this with the City Council's Roads Maintenance Partnership and have been advised : 'Similar to Dunmore Gardens, the repairs were inspected and I note that these pothole repairs do not have a film of bond coat painted on the existing road surface prior to filling which will affect the long term adhesion and therefore durability, and I will take this matter up internally. DCC Actionable Pothole Definition: "A surfacing defect will ...

The Daily Mirror has the story on its web site – see link above. As the UK seeks to isolate itself within Europe whilst at the same time hawking its suitcase of trading products door to door around the planet you can't help but think that humouring and ignoring us has become the way of the world. What a sad state we are in! With thanks to Roy Connell for the lead to this posting

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

From this to electrically powered HGV's? The link above is to a photo together with a short write up on Flickr but it's really worth looking at as it could just be a possible future without diesel pollution. Thinking of the air pollution in and around Bootle due to HGV's accessing the Port of Liverpool (and of course HGV pollution everywhere else too) this must be looked at as a serious alternative to us all being poisoned by traffic pollution. My friend Bob, who provided the lead to this posting says – I think the point to stress is ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

New forecasts by the OECD today that predict UK growth will slow to 1% in 2018, the lowest growth in the G7. It comes as a survey by the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) has found the number of small businesses planning to close or downsize is the highest since records began, while optimism amongst small firms has fallen to its lowest level since the EU referendum. Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable commented: "Brexit is set to turn Britain into the sick man of Europe again. "One in eight small businesses now plan to close or downsize, the worst level ...

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

The meeting of the Blyth Town Council Full Council tonight ( Thursday 21st September ) will now take place at the Briardale Centre , Briardale Road, Blyth, NE24 5AN This is due to problems with the lift at Arms Evertyne House/ The meeting starts at 6:30, and will be preceded by Public Question Time from 6:00

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton | Mute