In case anyone hasn't noticed Labour is in a spot of bother over its leadership election. Jeremy Corbyn looks relatively comfortable in his position as favourite to win and the other candidates seem to be busy bickering over who is best to challenge him for the position of Labour leader. I've seen it thrown around that if Corbyn wins there'll be a mass migration from Labour, or even that no matter who they elect they've got themselves into a flat spin and aren't likely to recover. I've also seen it thrown around that if that happens we'll be the ones ...

Posted by Will Wilshere on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Sat 1st
11:51

Interesting Bus Photos

These photos are from my archives and I found them when getting rid of some old floppy discs. They were taken in the late 1990s. I thought they were an interesting historical record, however, so have uploaded them to flickr. I asked a question of the Prime Minister (when it was Gordon Brown) about bus regulation. I think the Greater Manchester Combined Authority is getting the powers to do

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log | Mute
Sat 1st
10:25

The next housing crash

It's not only the Tory crackdown on tax credits for families that will hit the working poor: it's the Conservatives' multiple mistakes on social housing that will do the most damage to our society. The problem is, these are less well-understood. Yet added together, they are set to cause a social housing sector crash almost comparable to the banking crash. This is probably unintended - not least because there's not one single policy that's driving this. It's the combination of a series of separate decisions that are coming together to fatally undermine the finances of many social housing providers, especially ...

Posted by Emily Davey on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Note the farewell speech from Nick Clegg and also the speech from the leader of D66, Tim Farron's favourite example of a sister party hammered in coalition which then bounced back spectacularly. Download this document

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: LDV FANTASY FOOTBALL] The English Premier League kicks off a week today, on Saturday 8th August, and LibDemVoice has revived its Fantasy Football League to mark the occasion. So if you fancy pitting your soccer selection skills against fellow party members — and try and knock the 2014/15 champion George Murray off his perch — then here's your chance. To enter all you have to do is click on this link. Simply register your details, pick your team, and away you go. If you need the joining code at any point, it's 271576-231936. And for those who don't feel ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Yesterday, I had a very interesting and useful visit to the new offices of Starter Packs, who recently moved from Perth Road to Forest Park Road. Starter Packs Dundee is a voluntary charity, initiated by Scottish Churches Housing Action in 2000, and provides vital home 'starter packs' for resettling homeless and needy individuals and families in the Dundee area. The team are always looking for donations of good, unwanted basic household goods, bed linen and curtains. These are then re-cycled and made up into 'starter packs' by a team of volunteers working on a rota basis. Last year Starter Packs ...

After David Cameron ruled out another plebiscite on whether or not Scotland should secede from the United Kingdom before 2020 (which is a pretty reasonably time scale), Nicola Sturgeon predictably went on the offensive. "Two questions I get asked often these days - will there be another independence referendum and, if so, when? My answer is simple. It will be if and when the Scottish people decide and not a moment before. No politician can impose a referendum on Scotland, no matter how much some of us would like Scotland to be independent. And it's worth pointing out that the ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

The latest 2015 Sunday Bandstand Concert on the Magdalen Green Bandstand takes place tomorrow, Sunday, at 2pm. The Arbroath Instrumental Band will be playing - more details here.

Blog comment of the week from @lauralorgy here (see what you've done, @charlottegore? LOL) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Andy Burnham is the latest politician to flounder in a live webchat with Mumsnet, responding to the famous biscuit question by saying he prefers beer, chips and gravy. What sort of answer is that? Over at the Telegraph, they have listed all the answers given by politicians to the query as to what is their favourite biscuit. It has featured in 28 of 76 such encounters. Margaret Thatcher famously struggled with a member of the public demanding details about the sinking of the Belgrano. For Gordon Brown, it was the biscuit question that sank his campaign. As for the rest: ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

"Locke's discussion of liberty as a process pertinent to self-reflective creatures buttressed his account of the relationship between selfhood and consciousness, as well as extending it into more obviously political questions about money and appropriation in the Second Treatise. Ownership is once again the 'Rule of propriety'; because the regulation of civil life in a... More Liberty and Personal Identity

Posted by Mavarine on MY LIBERAL EXPRESSIONS | Mute

Never let it be said that Party committees move slowly. So, when I received an e-mail last Thursday evening, inviting me to a meeting on Wednesday, I moved swiftly... to open the e-mail (one doesn't want to over-exert oneself...). It seemed that I was invited to attend a meeting to discuss the Party's engagement with both ALDE and the Liberal International, both in terms of the forthcoming Congresses (Budapest and Mexico City, respectively) and of our delegations. One of the lesser known effects of our election result is that our entitlement to delegates to each is, how might I put ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

There seemed little prospect of this 5MW solar farm progressing through the planning system a few weeks ago (15/01472/FUL). Historic England had dug its heels in over the impact the solar arrays would have on the setting of Henley Hall and gardens. Since then, a site meeting has been held between a Shropshire Council, an [...]

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

Tim Farron asked Nick Clegg to serve on the Liberal Democrat front bench with a portfolio covering Europe, foreign affairs and defence. Nick Clegg turned the request down. I think Nick was right and Nick was wrong. Some say that by declining to serve under him, Nick is giving Tim some space as the new leader. But with the Liberal Democrats down to eight MPs, we cannot afford to lose someone with Nick's experience of government. And the country cannot afford to lose his talents. It is by no means certain that David Cameron's foolish referendum will be won by ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: rsz_protesting_about_library_closures_-_southport] The story of Liverpool City Council handing some of its libraries over to volunteers is on the Liverpool Echo web site – see link above. [IMG: Every time I see a Council handing over its libraries to volunteers to run I say why were Sefton Labour so determined not to allow volunteers to run its closing libraries? It is clearly not a Labour Party thing to keep volunteers at arms length nationally so why in Labour run Sefton?

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

Mark Geraghty, the Chief Executive of the Seashell Trust, came to speak to councillors in a public meeting at the Town Hall. He was setting out his plans – still at an early stage – for the charity. Founded in 1823, the Trust is one of the leading bodies caring for profoundly disabled (mostly deaf-blind) young people. It takes in children from 44 local authorities from Kent to Scotland. It has two schools. The Royal School looks after children aged from 2 to 19. In theory it can take 60 pupils, but due to limitations of the building the current ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute
Fri 31st
16:01

Haematology

Letter from consultant Dr A to GP following July 22 appointment: I was pleased to review Lord Avebury who was feeling much better since undergoing angioplast three weeks ao. He is suffering less pain and able to move better. Hr has laeral left anklwulcer which is healing gradually and I explained it could take a few weeks to heal completely. He was jnstructed to leave it open, I am happy for Lord Avebury to continue on Hydroxycarbamide o. vg three days a week in addition to Aspirin and Clopidogrel and arranged to see him again jn thee months.

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury | Mute

There were five principal council by-elections held yesterday, with Lib Dem candidates standing in all of them. The two contests in Aberdeen (UA) in Kincorth/Nigg/Cove and Hilton/Woodside/Stockethill wards, caused by the resignation of the new MPs for Aberdeen North and South, resulted in two comfortable SNP holds. Lib Dem candidates Ken McLeod and Jonathan Waddell polled 6.5% [...]

Posted by Michael Powell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

[IMG: Ruth Bright and child] A few weeks ago an SNP MP did something very brave but ridiculously ordinary. Did she: Eat chips on the terrace of the Commons Clap instead of saying "Hear, hear" Say the UK parliament should relocate out of London No, none of the above. What Alison Thewliss did was tweet a photo of herself breastfeeding her toddler. Ask almost any breastfeeding mother and she will tell you that many people will tolerate cute young babies breastfeeding in public but breastfeed an older child and the reaction is very different. Prepping for next week's breastfeeding debate ...

Posted by Ruth Bright on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Stockport Council has completed its purchase of Edgeley Park. Contracts have been signed and all due diligence requirements for the purchase have been finalised. The Council has purchased Edgeley Stadium, the home of Stockport County Football Club for the benefit of the Club and the people of Stockport. We will now be working with the Football Club to review their lease of the Stadium. Councillor Iain Roberts, Deputy Leader of Stockport Council, said: "This is a genuinely commercial arrangement which will enable a landlord-tenant relationship to be set-up between the Council and Stockport County Football Club. This purchase is on ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith, Graham and Iain | Mute

The post Which Are The Most Creative Colors appeared first on James Taylor.

Posted by James Taylor on James Taylor | Mute

Having issued invitations to the opening ceremony Sefton Council has had to withdraw them as the latest planned opening date has been put back yet again. All was looking good for 6th August but today news slipped out of the Council's Bootle bunker to the effect that it had been put back to 19th August. Makes you wonder how good the communication channels are between the Council and the road builders does it not? What's more the 10 Parish Councils in the Borough who had all been invited to send along a representative to the opening ceremony have now been ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

Humanity: The quality of being humane; benevolence The killing of Cecil the Lion is a reprehensible act of a rich man playing the 'great white hunter' of the 19th Century. Appalling and in this age abhorrent. Yet, the online and mainstream media has hounded and condemned this man. This is not misplaced vitriol: it is however concerning. Why is there not the same level of condemnation of the EU in the drowning of 1000s trying to cross the Mediterranean? Do we care for animals more than we care for our fellow species? Where is the humanity and benevolence toward those ...

Posted by Raging Reg on Raging Reg | Mute

After an Liberal Democrat Voice conclave, an appropriately coloured smoke signal has arisen from the chimney at LDV Towers, indicating that we will no longer put the word "Opinion" before contributions from readers to our site. We think it is obvious that what people write is their opinion (not necessarily shared by the LDV team) and the label was starting to look a bit "clunky". We will still flag up such posts as being in our "Op-Ed" category. The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Thanks to solarpilchard on Twitter for this extract from Simon Evans Goes to Market.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: Alex Salmond on Scottish independence (1)]

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Sometimes election results are indecisive but in the 2011 AV vote, the country gave a resounding no in the referendum. What we're not entirely sure of though is what the country were saying no to. Since the vote, the Conservative party in the main have claimed that people are happy with the First Past the Post system. Progressives would argue that the result was simply a no to the Alternative Vote system – and people did state at the time they only wanted a change that would be proportional. In their opinion, AV didn't go far enough. And they were ...

Posted by Zack Polanski on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk, Steve Wozniak and artificial intelligence researchers published a letter calling for a ban on autonomous weapons. This is an easy first step. A ban that works in practice will be much harder. To coincide with a major Artificial Intelligence (AI) conference in Buenos Aires this week, leading scientists, world-renowned philosophers and technology investors signed a letter that urges a ban on weapons that use artificial intelligence technology. We have added our names to the sixteen thousand (and rising) signatures. We are not in favour of automated weapons that make the decision to kill someone. As reported ...

Posted by Jessica Bland and Jack Stilgoe on Political science | The Guardian | Mute

[IMG: The LGA Lib Dems support Liberal Democrat council groups across the country] Proposals to reduce rents paid by tenants in social housing in England by 1 per cent a year will cost councils £2.6 billion by 2019/20, new analysis reveals today. The measure, as part of the Welfare and Work Bill, would see the rent reduction come into force from 2016 and last for four years. The [...]

Dear Sir, I suspect that I am not the only elector in the Sefton Central Constituency who is livid that my MP abstained in the vote over the Tories Welfare Bill. Voters in Southport and Bootle Constituencies on the other hand can be happy that their MP's voted against what I see as an attack on the poorest in our society. Yours sincerely Tony Robertson The letter had not been published by the 29th July edition of the newspaper

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus » Sefton Focus | Mute

Are you enjoying the Labour leadership election as much as I am? It's been dramatic so far, Chuka Umunna and Mary Creagh's withdrawals, two credible female candidates and the Jeremy Corbyn story. Whatever happens in the next two months, the Corbyn tale will be told for decades all around the world, it's the story of Bernie Sanders in the United States or Syriza in Greece - the moment the principled left got their chance, after decades of being locked out. These days I spend my time in political group therapy, sat in a big circle introducing ourselves. Well, I'm Richard, ...

Yesterday was a good opportunity for someone leading the EU referendum "No" campaign to make a mark. You know the sort of thing, a bit of EU bashing and announcing a countrywide campaign. A bit of "no brainer". Incredibly, Nigel Farage decided to take a really peculiar tack on Today and other outlets: He talked down the "No" campaign, saying that it was behind in the campaign and letting the "Yes" campaign rule the airwaves. I mean. Blimey. Why use a precious media slot to do your enemies' work for them? He drew attention to splits in the "No" campaign, ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As promised, I'm squeezing in a final survey of bloggers in the last 24 hours before Hugo voting closes. This final snapshot doesn't change the picture much; the three front-runners for Best Novel remain close to each other, and No Award remains in front in the other categories. To repeat a caveat from my previous post:Again, I want to emphasise that this is a small self-selecting sample of voters. When I first carried out a survey like this in 2011, it did not flag any of the eventual winners as leading among bloggers. In 2013, I did not find a ...

At the last South Gloucestershire Council meeting the Conservatives used their majority to remove the rights of opposition councillors to force a rethink on bad decisions. Previously the lead member for any of the political groups on a committee could "refer up" a decision to full council for further debate, if they felt a mistake had been made or more information was needed to make a properly informed decision. Only a few months ago this safety check was used when the planning committee initially decided to approve the planning application for Top Yard in Westerleigh. Given the chance to review ...

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

If you are a dedicated Ukip supporter, you're unlikely to like the way you're portrayed in Following Farage: The Ultimate Political Road Trip, even though Owen Bennett finds some nice things to say about both Winston McKenzie and Godfrey Bloom. That's because Bennett recounts in amusing detail, often with the mesmerising quality of watching a car crash, Ukip members again and again veer from preppy populism into disorganisation, offensiveness or both. [IMG: Following Farage by Owen Bennett - book cover] For over two years Bennett followed Ukip and Farage himself closely, and in this book gives plenty of the cast ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The Leicester Mercury has the latest on the Homophobic Monk: A monk has pleaded guilty to harassment after getting into a war of words with a pair of lesbian witches. Damon Kelly, 53, from a Catholic group calling themselves the Black Hermits, delivers leaflets campaigning against homosexuality and other things he regards as sins. When a lesbian couple living in Clarendon Park, Leicester, received his leaflet one of them stopped Kelly further down the street and confronted him and tried to hand him back the leaflet. ... The woman's partner joined her outside and defended the couple's sexuality and pagan ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

[IMG: 'Syrians demonstrate for protection outside the US Embassy'. by Jonathan Brown] Syrians demonstrate for protection outside the US Embassy, London – photo by Jonathan Brown Although the relentless misery in Syria rarely makes the headlines these days, I wonder if we now have another brief window of opportunity to do something positive. "Turkey and the United States have agreed on the outlines of a de facto "safe zone" along the Turkey-Syria border ... [including] ... a plan to drive the Islamic State out of a 68-mile-long area west of the Euphrates River and reaching into the province of Aleppo ...

Posted by Jonathan Brown on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

You can read all the articles that have caught my attention this week here: https://delicious.com/stephentall Below are a selection... Calm down. Jeremy Corbyn hasn't won this – yet Sensible. Spoilsport. > "Calm down. Jeremy Corbyn hasn't won this – yet" | @keiranpedley: http://bit.ly/1Iu73rY Why are the Labour leadership contenders so weak? Only 2 people hv had a good Lab l'ship campaign: Corbyn and @stephenkb. Here's the latter on the former (& t'other 3) http://bit.ly/1Mzr3vQ The Labour party is a joke. We should stop taking it seriously – Telegraph Dan Hodges at his savage best > The Labour party is a ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall | Mute

"It is a fundamental principle of good public services that decisions are made on the basis of strong evidence and what we know works." Danny Alexander and Oliver Letwin, launching the Government's What Works Network of evidence centres in 2013. Suddenly politicians are interested in evidence-based policy. About time, too. The fields of public health and social policy are strewn with warnings of the dangers of ignoring evidence: • an estimated 10,000 infant deaths in the UK could have been prevented if official guidance had followed the available evidence and parents had been advised not to place their babies to ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall | Mute

From the City Council : THE ROAD TRAFFIC REGULATION ACT 1984 - SECTION 14(1) THE DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL AS TRAFFIC AUTHORITY being satisfied that traffic on the road should be prohibited by reason of Scottish Water manhole repair works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Milnbank Road (between Rosefield Street and Bankmill Road), Dundee. This notice comes into effect on Monday 3 August 2015 for one day. Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained. Alternative routes are available via Rosefield Street / Blackness Road / Forest Park Road. For further information contact 433168. Director of City DevelopmentDundee ...

It is still 43 days before we will know who the new leader of the Labour Party will be. It feels like an eternity has passed already. Can we cope with another six weeks of Labour's very public self-immolation? Haven't they learnt yet that there are some things best done in private? What is worse the Times reports that a number of Blairites are already planning for a post-Jeremy Corbyn world. That is they are starting to line up options for getting rid of the Islington MP should he win in September. The paper quotes 'leading-Blairites' who believe that David ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The recent decision by the City Council to undertake a compulsory purchase of the derelict property at 28 Roseangle, which I warmly welcomed, resulted in several constituent concerns about another empty property in Roseangle - Number 2 at the top end of the Street (see right). This has planning approval for a restaurant and bar but this has not made any real progress. As one constituent pointed out : "2 Roseangle ... is deteriorating fast. I was shocked to see lots of pigeons flying in and out of the cupola recently and there has been a broken window facing the ...

Yesterday it was announced that Jeremy Clarkson, Richard Hammond, and James May have signed with Amazon TV to do a show that will essentially be "Top Gear" in all but name. The continuity "Top Gear" meanwhile will be hosted by Chris Evans and in competition for viewership with the new Clarkson show, and one has to think the Evans programme stands little chance against it (although it does remind one of the Van Halen v David Lee Roth battle in the 80s, and that turned out to be the polar opposite of what was expected). Anyway, whether Evans or Clarkson, ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

Fabulous Star Trek fanvid for Shatner's "Common People" You're welcome. (tags: video funny sf ) Jailed Azeri Reporter Ismayilova Wins Press Freedom Award I hope that this will accelerate her release. (tags: azerbaijan humanrights ) In Memoriam, Professor Stephen Ellis, 1953-2015 Sad news of a former colleague. (tags: death africa ) We Need Clean-Energy Innovation, and Lots of It Bill Gates speaks. (tags: climatechange )

ICYMI: I did a blog post: Everyone else is posting about Corbyn, so why shouldn't I? Brits Tried To Guess The Cost Of American Healthcare And Got Really Confused "That's the price for one colonoscopy? Please tell me you get a DVD of it to take home for free at that price. You know, for family gatherings at Christmas and such." LinkedIn says 'less is more' as pledges to cut emails - I'll believe this when I (don't) see it The 3 Biggest Things That Bother Men In Bed -no.3 is one of my biggest bugbears. Guess I'm a man. ...