It would be an act of monumental self-deception for Canadians to believe that our country is an island set above the rage bubbling across the world.

This is how the voice of the speaking clock was selected in the UK in 1936... perhaps a format that could be adopted for training telephone canvassers in the Liberal Democrats?

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

A report by the electoral commission has called for the regulation of targetted political messages sent digitally. In general, the report calls for limits to the amount of money spent during election periods, the prohibition of foreign money, and the identification of the senders. You can see the details here. Sadly it is probably too late to bring in relevant new laws before a snap general election or even another referendum, but it is vitally important for us, the public, to be fully aware of what is going on. A recent article by Peter Pomerantsev tells of a world of ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

Embed from Getty ImagesSo, what should we make of yesterday's report from IPPR North about projected spending on transport in the North of England up to 2033? Lets first look at those figures: The north of England is set to receive £2,389 less per person than London on transport, according to a new study which has stoked concern that the north is "held back by government underinvestment". The study, by IPPR North, analysed the government's planned infrastructure projects between now and 2033 and found that planned transport spending in the capital was set to be £3,636 per person, compared with ...

Posted by Richard Kemp on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Tue 20th
11:00

My tweets

Mon, 12:14: We were surprisingly close to not awarding Best Fanzine in both 2019 Hugos and 1944 Retro Hugos this year. The tota... https://t.co/NR6Qp68YOq Mon, 12:56: RT @DmitryOpines: Reminder: When New Zealand lost preferential access to its traditional export market (the UK), its economy and standard o... Mon, 14:03: @GeekMelange You have mail. Mon, 14:03: @MaryRobinette You have mail. Mon, 16:05: RT @claudiascore: This aged well. https://t.co/Z5cJgZPggq Mon, 18:48: "John W. Campbell, for whom this award was named, was a fascist." @jeannette_ng's Campbell-winning speech. She actu... https://t.co/S5mWUpnOKH Mon, 19:03: RT @davidallengreen: Given a No Deal Brexit means, on any view, ...

I heard the good news about Brecon and Radnorshire having disappeared for some R&R as soon as Parliament closed, and the new Lib Dem leadership was settled. I was delighted with the result not just for Jane Dodds and our campaigners - who fully deserved it - but for an excellent colleague, Roger Williams, who didn't deserve to lose back in 2015. Our victory is testament also to Kirsty Williams, our AM, who kept the Lib Dem flame, and local party, alive through the years of exile. I enjoyed my three visits to the constituency as party leader for more ...

Posted by Vince Cable on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Liberal Democrats in Greater Manchester have announced their candidate for the election for Greater Manchester Mayor in May 2020. Councillor Andy Kelly, who is the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group on Rochdale Council will take on Labour's candidate, Andy Burnham. Andy said: "The Tories are playing parlour games with people's lives and Labour are betraying those they profess to represent I felt the need to step up to the plate. Greater Manchester voters deserve better representation, we need someone who is not afraid to be frank about our future. That person is me. This year the Liberal Democrats made ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

When I first read about Trump's interest in buying Greenland from Denmark, I thought it was a spoof story doing the rounds. So I was a bit surprised to learn that the story was for real. Greenland is the biggest area to leave the EU and the population of 60,000 has something of a reputation for wanting at least their own internal independence. It's unlikely they will ever want to be bought or

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

The Sunday Times on August 18th led with this "leaked" Cabinet document, purportedly by a former Cabinet official and then downplayed by Mr Gove and others as a "worst case" scenario or a re-hash of "project fear". Even if the "revelations" are slightly dated (although it is said to have been an updated version) the base-case cannot have changed materially since March 2019 and if anything could arguably have worsened given the macro-fiscal setting the UK faces. The National Audit Office produced a dry overview of Operation Yellowhammer in March 2019 which was setup under the aegis of the Civil ...

Posted by Rupinder Singh on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Council Leaders in Greater Manchester have voted to introduce a £10 a year charge for pensioners to travel for free on Metrolink and trains. The charge will come into effect in 2020 and is expected to bring in in around £1.2 million, straight out of the pockets of Greater Manchester's pensioners. This was supported by the nine Labour Council Leaders (including Bury's), the Labour Mayor and the Conservative Leader of Bolton Council. Bus travel will still be free but for us. this extra charge for pensioners at the worst possible time. Free TV licenses for the over 75s end next ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

I never have had much time for superheroes. Entire stories and worlds in which women barely feature, apart from as occasional love-interests, always read like the self-aggrandising fantasies of male comic-writers and directors, somehow given big budgets to play out their make-believe on cinematic scale. I don't watch the films – the tales of ordinary men turned into extraordinary men don't matter much to me. Putting on BBC Parliament can feel a lot like watching the latest offering from Marvel Studios. Last month, a battle played out between Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt, two particularly average men. In fact, they ...

Posted by Zoe Hodge on Radix Think Tank | Mute

Gibraltar has just controversially released the Iranian oil tanker formerly known as the Grace 1 with a new name and a written assurance from Tehran that its shipment won't be used to break EU sanctions on Syria. As a member of the European Parliament's Iran delegation and one of the LibDem MEPs for Gibraltar, as well as the South West of England, I have warmly welcomed this move. And I'm pleased to be in a position to strengthen our co-operation and influence with Europe on this critical issue. Its no exaggeration to say that peace in the Persian Gulf hangs ...

Posted by Martin Horwood on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Last month was there regular meeting of Bury Council's Cabinet. Opposition Leaders are allowed to attend the meeting but not vote. Councillor Cristina Tegolo reports: Corporate Finance Monitoring Report The Leader and Cabinet Chair, submitted the Cabinet Financial monitoring report. The report informs Members of the Council's financial position for the period April 2019 to June 2019 and projects the estimated outturn at the end of 2019/20. The revenue budget projections highlight the fact that budget pressures exist in some key areas and it will be necessary to continue to maintain the high level of scrutiny, control and support around ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Reproduced with permission, a message from Candy Piercy on Facebook: Lib Dem friends! Calling all artworkers. If you are an experienced leaflet writer, Sarah Yong and I need your help this week! I am the Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance and Sarah is Chair of the Racial Diversity Campaign. We are working together with Daisy Cooper and Miranda Roberts getting ready for an imminent general election. We are supporting lots of brilliant women members, BAME members and potential candidates from other underrepresented groups in the current snap selections, In order to do that they need great artwork and ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Reports that the new Home Secretary is proposing to end freedom of movement for EU citizens immediately after a no-deal Brexit are both predictable and disturbing. It is predictable because Brexit has always been about isolating the UK in the world and taking us back to the pre-World War One era of Empire, when Britain ruled the waves and all was right in the world. It is an unachievable fantasy but one that is nevertheless driving the actions of UK Ministers. It is disturbing of course because, as the Guardian reports, it could create a hostile environment for European nationals. ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

This weekend is the annual Manchester LGBT Pride festival, so expect the city centre to be busy with some road closures for the parade on Saturday. The parade starts at midday on Saturday 24 August 2019 going down Deansgate, then Peter Street, ending up in the gay village area. The rest of the event takes place at two venues: – Manchester Pride Live at the former Mayfield Station site near Piccadilly with acts which include Ariana Grande – Gay Village Party, in the gay village. You need a ticket to go to both events, which are available here!

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

NHS Bury have issued the following information to local residents about health service opening times over the summer bank holiday weekend. "Patients are being urged to get organised ahead of the summer bank holiday on Monday 26th August, collect prescriptions in advance and to consider self-care for minor, short term conditions. There are a range of services and options available over the bank holiday with some community pharmacies open. Pharmacists offer expert health advice and can recommend over-the-counter medicines to provide relief from many minor, short term conditions such as coughs, colds, sore throats, tummy trouble and aches and pains. ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Tue 20th
07:00

Dundee Cycling Forum

 

3097 votes were cast for the final ballot, 3089 online and 8 by paper ballot - higher than the number of votes cast in 2018, or in any year up to 2013, but lower than the years 2014-2017. All but two of the winners had the most first preferences in their categories. The exceptionsBest Dramatic Presentation, Short Form: The Good Place: "Janet(s)" came from third place to overtake Dirty Computer and The Expanse: "Abaddon's Gate".Best Graphic Story: Monstress, Volume 3: Haven started in second place but got enough transfers to overtake Black Panther: Long Live the King.The only category where ...

If you're interested in the Liberal Democrats and you're into Twitter, here are three lists to help you get the best out of the social network: Liberal Democrat MPs (15 currently) Liberal Democrat peers (51 currently) Liberal Democrat MEPs (16 currently) (Note – there are other versions of these lists maintained by others, but I usually find, ahem, that my three are more accurate and complete. That's not to say they're always perfect so do let me know if you spot any errors or omissions. Thanks!) There is also a collective Twitter account for the MEPs – @LibDemMEPs – and ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

A Labour councillor, reports the Leicester Mercury, is arguing that the city needs a rapid transit system and proposing trolleybuses as a cheaper alternative to trams. Trolleybuses have rubber tyres and use the roads like any other vehicle, drawing their power from overhead wires. I don't know if anything will come of the idea, but it does give me an excuse to post this footage of the last trolleybus system in the UK. They were running in Bradford until 1972.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

It's a while since we had news of the former Liberal Democrat MP for Montgomeryshire. So I am pleased to report that Lembit Opik now presents the mid-morning show on BBC Radio Kent every Friday and sometimes fills in for the regular presenter on other days too.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: UK passport] When as Home Secretary Sajid Javid attempted to strip British-born Shamima Begum of her citizenship, he highlighted how the Home Office has come to possess powers to revoke citizenship that did not exist a generation earlier. These new powers are nothing short of racist, allowing the Home Secretary to strip Brits of citizenship by dint of their ancestry. According to Javid's interpretation of the new laws, so long as a person can claim citizenship elsewhere - such as by having foreign ancestry in Shamima Begum's case, or by virtue of laws such as Israel's and Ireland's allowing ...

Posted by Imaduddin Ahmed on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Two tips missing from most of the advice online for authors - as they're specific to Britain and that advice is often US-centric.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

So, what should we make of today's report from IPPR North about projected spending on transport in the North of England up to 2033? Lets first look at those figures: The north of England is set to receive £2,389 less ... Continue reading →

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

Responding to Jeremy Corbyn's speech this morning, in which he said he would do "everything necessary to stop a disastrous no-deal Brexit", Liberal Democrat Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake said:"Jeremy Corbyn must now deliver and prove this is not just an empty promise. If he truly wants to stop a no-deal, he must accept that he must not be prescriptive about how we ensure that happens."This is not about party leaders, but about stopping Boris Johnson from dragging us off the cliff-edge."It is clear Jeremy Corbyn cannot command a majority in the House. He must do the right thing and confirm ...

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

I am over the moon to confirm that you the members have selected me to be your candidate for the Greater Manchester Metro Mayor elections in 2020. As a Liberal Democrat council leader in the region I know what it takes to fight against the odds, but this time I really feel the tide has changed - This is now OUR time. The Tories are playing parlour games with people's lives and Labour are betraying those they profess to represent I felt the need to step up to the plate. Greater Manchester voters deserve better representation, we need someone who ...

Posted by Andy Kelly on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As a new member (I joined in June) Brexit, or rather stopping Brexit, was one of the reasons I joined. Yet this wasn't the sole reason. Likewise my new colleagues have no doubt been pushed 'over the line' by our strong Anti-Brexit stance. Yet, what happens post Brexit? I've been a regular LibDem voter for some time before joining, coupled with this, Brexit and a growing dissatisfaction with the 'big two', I found myself increasingly agreeing with LibDem policy, on a variety of issues. Indeed I found that there was very little I disagreed with and that was true for ...

Posted by Aidan Jenkins on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 19th
11:00

My tweets

Sun, 13:25: I don't mind losing, but I prefer to lose fairly. https://t.co/Ajbyov0moJ Sun, 14:22: RT @JohnnyPixels: No. 10 sticking to the line that the EU couldn't possibly know anything about how the UK operates and trades, despite the... Sun, 14:48: RT @davidschneider: Government's own report: Food shortages, fuel shortages, running out of medicines, meltdown at borders and airports, so... Sun, 21:00: The night begins... @Dublin2019 #TheHugoAwards https://t.co/7wxVqBD1qj Sun, 21:28: RT @Dublin2019: The John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer goes to Jeannette Ng (@jeannette_ng). #HugoAwards #Dublin2019 Sun, 21:29: Fantastic speech by @jeannette_ng! https://t.co/7Z8FuDOMUe Sun, 21:29: RT @Dublin2019: The ...

I'm going to sound like a misty-eyed old fossil now, but often I find my base reference point, with respect to the police, was the actor Jack Warner playing "Dixon of Dock Green". Yes, I know most people under 60 years old won't remember him. Yes, I know "Dixon of Dock Green" probably gave an idealised version of law and order even when it was broadcast from 1955 until 1976. But many of us watched "Dixon" for decades. The series was created by the great TV scriptwriter, Ted Willis. You can see an example episode below from BBC4. There was ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

There is a lot of smoke surrounding the prospect of a no-deal on 31 October. The bookies' odds are shortening for a no-deal exit. But I still have faith that MPs in our government won't let a no-deal go through. How they do that (through a no confidence vote, or forming a new government of national unity), who knows? With Parliament on holiday, no one is really saying what they are going to do, including Boris. According to the Fixed Term Parliament Act, Boris would need Corbyn to agree to call a general election anyway because they need two thirds ...

Posted by Dinesh Dhamija on Radix Think Tank | Mute

I love museums and always have done but I must say this one in Manchester disappointed me. The day did not start well when we arrived at Ladywell Park and Ride to get a tram into Manchester only to find that on this particular line last Saturday the trams were being replaced by buses as maintenance work was being done. Obviously I've heard the dreaded words for rail travellers before 'rail replacement buses' but tram replacement buses was a new one on me, although sadly just as depressing in practice I have to say. It took forever to get into ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

 

I don't make a habit of writing about what I did on my holidays, but my recent experience in San Francisco causes me to post a brief commentary on some of the social issues we observed there. Of course the UK is not exempt from similar issues of homelessness, mental ill-health and drug abuse, and in fact many cities here have seen an increase in these problems, but the scale of the problem in the United States is not just daunting, it is frightening. I love San Francisco, I have now been there three times. I have read numerous books ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The new episode of "A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs" is now up. This one looks at "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" by the Chuck Berry Combo, and how Berry tried to square the circle of social commentary and ... Continue reading →

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