Wed 29th
11:59
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



So today is the day. Article 50 and all that. We knew it was coming, and here it is. What I'd like to take time to talk about will seem odd to some of you. But here goes: what the Eurosceptics have achieved should inspire today's progressives in one particular way, which is this: regardless of how hopeless things can feel politically for your side, it is amazing what hard work and unity of vision can achieve. Dan Hannan is fond of relating a story about when he had a conversation with CCHQ in 2009 during which he said he ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

As usual, I wish I had better words – but will probably make up in volume what I lack in wisdom. This is the largest setback for progressive forces in Britain in my lifetime, perhaps in a half-century. There should be no confusion about that – even if there had been last June, the scale [...]

Posted by jubalbarca on Thoughts of Progress | Mute

If you're a lib dem who has been vaccillating about whether or not you should go help in Gorton, read this [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

You can read part 1 here and part 2 here. It's not even been two years since you joined the party, and you are now sitting in the famous House of Commons. Has it sunk in yet? Not really. One of the things I think is quite strange is how familiar it is when you enter because you see the House of Commons on tele so much. It doesn't actually feel that strange in there. The weirdest thing I've experienced while there was when waiting for one of the votes, the Article 50 one I think, I was chatting with ...

Posted by Rob May on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As Theresa May prepares to make a statement to the House of Commons the BBC reports that she is going to use the opportunity to call for unity. Her problem is that what she is seeking to unify us behind is contrary to the wishes to 48% of the population and some leavers too. It is one thing to respect the outcome of last year's referendum, which I do, but in that campaign we were told explicitly that we would remain part of the single market, that we would have £350m a week extra for the NHS and that trade ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute
Wed 29th
09:52

Blue Wednesday

So, the day has arrived. I'm wearing blue, as Roger Roberts suggested, for 3 reasons. As the Government carries out the worst assault on our children's future I have seen in my lifetime, I'm doing this for three reasons. Out of sadness at what today means for our future, out of pride in the EU's values of peace and collaboration – and out of defiance. I will not stand by why the Government destroys our country. I will take every opportunity for peaceful resistance as this incompetent and reckless government puts us all in harm's way. I will not stand ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Well, there it is. According to the TES, in the brave new world of Justine Greening's Department for Education, a GCSE pass is now a grade 4. Except when it is a 5, because a 5 is also a pass. And just to remind you, the top grade is a 9, and the bottom grade a 1. Except maybe it's a zero. Nobody really knows anymore, so don't feel too left out. And don't panic, if you're a student, a parent or a teacher. Because all will be well. Don't listen to anyone who complains about the government not knowing ...

Posted by Lee Howgate on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

What's this about then? The Tory controlled Peterborough City Council, have announced that they intend to alter junction 18 (A47/A15), by demolishing the Rhubarb bridge. According to a Council report, it will "increase capacity and make it more accessible for pedestrians and cyclists." Currently £2.5 million has been allocated in 2017/18 for this scheme and a [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

This is a reminder that I welcome guest posts on Liberal England. And as you can see from the list of the 10 most recent guest posts below, I am happy to consider a wide range of subjects. If you would like to write a guest post yourself, please send me an email so we can discuss your idea. We are all the poorer for soundbite politics - Tony RobertsonA few thoughts on walking - Phil SmithThe mad, mad world of Maghull Town Council - Tony RobertsonWhat the US can do to end the Gaza conflict? - Daphne Holmes"You're all ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

From Dundee City Council : Dundee City Council proposes to make an Order under Section 14(1) of the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 for the purpose of facilitating construction works. The Order is expected to be in force for 33 weeks from 2 April 2017. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months. The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all westbound vehicular traffic in the nearside lane of both Riverside Esplanade and Riverside Drive from a point 125 metres or thereby from the end of the Tay Road Bridge west off ramp for a ...

Article 50 annotated — with comments from its author What Lord Kerr thinks it says. (tags: ukpolitics eu brexit ) Siberian princess reveals her 2,500 year old tattoos Fascinating. (Story from 2012.) (h/t Annie Cúglas.) (tags: archaeology ) A Map of Europe's Fastest-Eroding Coast Bye bye, Withernsea... (tags: maps ) Why you should always put a coin in the freezer before you leave home Top tips! (tags: health )

My working and thinking year has begun in the state of California, which has been racked by stormy rains since before I arrived. Here is a place that has been suffering a five-year drought made worse by its status as a farmers' bastion, where agriculture pumps more water than falls from the sky, creating subsidence and ... Continue reading And if California slides into the ocean...

Posted by Tom King on Never Cruel Nor Cowardly | Mute

We shall return.

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute
Wed 29th
00:29

Why Gorton is Winnable

I wrote a few weeks ago, after Jackie Pearcey was selected for the Lib Dems in Manchester Gorton, that I think she stands a decent chance of winning the seat. Certainly the bookmakers seem to agree now — the odds ... Continue reading →

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

My PhD supervisor, Prof Adam Tomkins, is the John Millar Chair of Public Law and a Conservative MSP for Glasgow. We disagree on many things. One of the things we quite radically disagree on is the proper function of referendums in the British constitution: especially secession referendums. This disagreement can be illustrated in part by a recent statement he made on Twitter. Today the Scottish Parliament, with the support of the MSPs from the minority SNP Scottish Government and those of the Scottish Green Party, voted by a majority of 69 to 59 in favour of a motion. That motion ...

Posted by Graeme Cowie on Predictable Paradox | Mute

For years the American public disapproved of Obamacare. Until the details of abolishing it started being assembled. Then public opinion moved sharply. A lesson perhaps for Brexit...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

It was never going to be any other day, but the writ for the Manchester Gorton by-eleciton has now been moved and the poll will take place on 4th May. Lib Dem candidate Jackie Pearcey had this to say on Twitter: Not exactly a secret BUT Byelection will take place on Thursday, May 4th. We've been at it for weeks though and ready to beat Labour! — Jackie4MP (@JackieP4MP) March 28, 2017 Tim Farron sent members an email asking them for money to boost Jackie's campaign. He said: We've already been hard at work for weeks, and we now have ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

With thanks to Louis Barfe on Twitter.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

The Shropshire Star wins our Headline of the Day Award. The story below turns out not to be funny, but then that is true of many of these superficially amusing headlines.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Who's Eve, I hear you ask? Well, for me, as an ardent pro EU supporter, tonight feels a bit like Christmas Eve when you know that somehow you have found your way on to the Naughty List and all that's going to be in your stocking in the morning is a lump of coal. For those Leave voters who were duped into thinking that everything was going to be hunky dory if we could just get rid of that pesky EU, the reality may well prove far worse than that. One thing is for sure. The Brexiteers will be held ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I previously noted the bad news for Conservative MPs in the Electoral Commission's recent report which led to a record fine being levied in the party. That report clearly pointed towards numerous Conservative MPs having broken their constituency expense limits. Enforcing such constituency limits is essentially a matter for the police rather than the Electoral Commission, which is why the Commission did not go further on the issue in its report. The police, however, are very much going further: The Crown Prosecution Service confirmed that it had received a file from West Midlands Police – the 13th police to do ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Embed from Getty Images Tim Farron has given a characteristically frank, even ingenuous, interview to the Evening Standard. As a veteran (I almost wrote survivor) of the Alliance years, I was particularly interested in these comments: Labour friends keep inviting Farron to see Limehouse, the new Donmar Warehouse play about the formation of the SDP. Perhaps remembering that struggle, no Labour MPs have asked to defect yet. "Much as I love them, they're all generals without armies, and I'm interested in armies. At this time when anything can happen, why couldn't the best thing happen? That's the Lib-Dems taking their ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

With a little tweaking from Photomatix and Picasa, my photo above shows work happening this morning at the very top of Newbury's Sterling Cables Tower. I've been keeping an eye on the work on the site everyday for months now. I have enormous admiration for the skill and hard graft of the workers doing the ... Continue reading Sparks fly as Newbury's Sterling Cables Tower is brought down bit by bit...with no Fred Dibnah moment

Posted by paulwalternewbury on | Mute

Here is our latest round-up of local news and what your ward councillors have been up to: Ward News Faulty speed sign We reported the faulty speed sign on Stafford Road that was somewhat erratic in its speed measurements. We are advised that this sign will be replaced in the next couple of months. Car [...]

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor | Mute

Eight states of the USA have already legalised cannabis and Canada is set to follow suit in 2018. The Liberal government. elected in 2015, had a manifesto commitment to do so. Unlike the pledge to scrap first past the post and introduce a new electoral system, it is a promise that looks set to be kept. There are various arguments for legal cannabis. First, it has been shown to be an effective pain killer, for example for MS patients, and may ease symptoms of conditions like Parkinsons. It is cruel and unfair to deny patients access. Second, it is a ...

Posted by Antony Hook on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Oh what could have been... I didn't watch last nights Question Time Brexit Special because well, I tend to not watch Question Time in general but also a mate popped over to catch up. In fact in the past five years I've only seen one regular episode (when it was from Portsmouth after the government had given the two new aircraft carriers to a Scottish dockyard) but anyway I digress. I woke up this morning and was scrolling through my time line. One thing struck me (apart from a fellow SIAD grad and a football commentator reminding me of the ...

Posted by neilmonnery on The Rambles of Neil Monnery | Mute

If you haven't read Matt's article about how the changes to Personal Independence Payments will affect him, then please do so. Last night, the amazing Liberal Democrat peers did their best to try and stop the Government's plans in their tracks. They filed a fatal motion which, like the one that saw off the fatal changes to tax credits, would have forced the Government to think again. What they needed was the support of the Labour Party. However, as we know from Brexit, Labour don't seem to be up for providing any opposition that actually means anything. Did they vote ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

When Gerald Kaufmann passed away, and we knew there would be a by election in Manchester Gorton, the odds given on a Lib Dem Victory were 7:1. 48 hours later they had drifted, out to 10:1 In itself these odds seemed slightly mean as we came 5th in the seat in the 2015 General Election. And Kaufmann took over 67% of the vote. Making a victory v. unlikely. Although this hides the fact that in '97, '01, '05 and '10 we'd come consistently second. Today, the odds on us winning have dropped to just 4:1 This isn't because the bookies ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON | Mute

I had an enjoyable trip down to Prescot this morning to see Carl Cashman, the Lib Dem candidate to become Mayor of the Liverpool City Region, launch his manifesto. The venue was packed out and I only just managed to squeeze in. Some great green policies and a realistic approach to housing need too. First time I have heard a senior politician acknowledge that environmental, planning and housing policy needs to be joined up rather than the present daft system where they are not joined up at all. Carl's backing for a tidal lagoon off Southport to produce clean energy ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

The Party conference may be over, but whether you got there or not, there is still a chance to make an input into policy. There are four policy consultation papers inviting your comments with a deadline of this Friday. These are each likely to come to a future conference as a full policy paper. Given that it is pretty hard for ordinary members to change much if anything in a policy paper from the floor of conference, this may be your best chance to influence policy. The papers can be found here. I could have tried to offer neutral summaries ...

Posted by Joe Otten on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Tue 28th
12:37

We Are London

Last week there was an attack on Westminster. I've held off writing about this for a little longer than usual because I didn't want what I wrote to be a knee-jerk reaction, and I wanted to reflect personally before putting my thoughts out into the public realm. I wasn't involved personally, although I know people who were and they are dealing with what they saw in their own way. People were hurt. People died. My heart breaks for the families of those people who left their homes that morning and will not return. I can't even imagine how they felt, ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing | Mute

www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-39399390 The BBC has the story on its web site – see link above Well if anyone could trump Keir Starmer's bizarre Brexit demands (after Labour had walked through the Hard Brexit lobby with our appalling right wing Tory Government) then maybe the Prime Minister was the one to give it her best shot. And give it a shot she did to an audience of civil servants who have to do what the government of the day tells them to do! So who is the most out of touch Keir or Teresa? Well it's pretty much a dead heat in ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Last month the Government announced that it was going to be tightening the criteria for claimants of Personal Independence Payments (PIP) which would see those people with mental illnesses stuck without the vital support that they need. The Government has introduced these restrictions after losing two cases at tribunals. The Tribunal ruled that someone who is unable to undertake a journey without assistance from another person due to psychological distress should be scored in the same way as a person who needs assistance because they have difficulty navigating. Rather than accepting the ruling of the courts, the Government decided to ...

Posted by Matt on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

There are many things to lament in regards to Corbyn's stewardship of Labour. The destruction of the possibility that any party other than the Conservatives will be able to win a general election for the next generation, for instance, and all of the problems that brings (for the Conservatives as much as anyone else). But this is what I feel is the saddest: all those thousands of young people who got interested in politics who will are being turned off it now, and the thousands to come when it sets in that Corbyn is set to lose big time. 6,450 ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

What do you believe, at the heart of everything? Ask most people about that and they wouldn't be able to tell you. I'm not sure I can tell you myself. It shifts with the weather; it modifies itself according partly to who I most disagree with. On the other hand, people want to know what political parties think. Whatever they might say about wanting reasonable politicians, it isn't at all clear that they want political parties that are a little bit of this and a little bit of that... This is the dilemma of the 'core vote strategy' that is ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

What's the issue? Despite millions being spent to "improve" the city centre of Peterborough over the last ten years, and several generic branded outlets opening up, many people in the city, still feel that the night time economy is rather failing? Now it seems the City Council agree! What's been said? The local authority recently [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

You can read part 1 here. You were up against a well-supported, well-known and well-funded opponent in Zac Goldsmith, how did you win? I was very lucky. I won't deny it. I had the full Lib Dem by-election machine behind me. Because we thought we could win, they decided to really go for it. I had a group of people who knew what they were doing. They built a fabulous team and mobilised all those volunteers. I was very fortunate to have that support. We were also able to fundraise. This was important, as we managed to neutralise Zac Goldsmith's ...

Posted by Rob May on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I've been trawling through the YouTube archives, and came across this excellent Party Political Broadcast by John Cleese for the SDP/Liberal Alliance. So many of the arguements that John Cleese made in 1987 are still relevant today.

Posted by nicholasdacosta on Nicholas da Costa | Mute

Residents will now be receiving polling cards for an extra election this year. Voters across Greater Manchester will be asked to vote for the first elected 'Mayor of Greater Manchester'. Voting takes place on Thursday 4 May 2017. If you don't already have a postal vote but would like one, you can download form here. If you're not registered to vote then you can find out how here. People who already have postal votes will be sent postal votes for the Mayoral Election in late April 2017. The 'Greater Manchester Elects' website has basic information about the election. The Liberal ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

When I was first elected to the Welsh Assembly in 1999 and became the Deputy Minister for Local Government the year afterwards, I recall the many meetings that took place around the local government settlement. In particular there was a paper produced by the WLGA which set out precisely how much it would cost to fix all the problems in local government, which they treated as a bidding document. The paper identified hundreds of millions of pounds that needed to be spent bringing our roads up to scratch, dealing with the backlog in housing repairs, sorting out council buildings, street ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

First Manchester have done a bit a 'U-Turn' with their closure of the Bury Bus Depot on 23 April 2017. Previously First had said that there would be no changes to services, but now the media are reporting that up to 20 services will be affected. The changes particularly affect early morning services from Bury, which will affect people who rely on these services, particularly for early start jobs. The main impact to Prestwich will be on the 95 service, which will see early morning services start and finish in Prestwich rather than running through from/to Bury. The changes are ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Tue 28th
08:30

Tapestry Lawn Project

 

If you know an individual or community group that is making an outstanding contribution to a community in our borough, please show your appreciation by nominating them for an award from the following categories: · Outstanding Contribution to a Township · Young Person or Young Persons' Group · Volunteer of the Year This year there is also a VOTE for the 'Best Community Project funded by the Township Forum'. The deadline for nominations is 14 April 2017, find out more here.

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

GMATL (Greater Manchester Accessible Transport Ltd) operates the Ring and Ride service in Greater Manchester. They are holding a number of drop in surgeries in all districts during April. The date for Bury is Wednesday 5th April 17 at Mosses Community Centre Cecil Street, Bury Bl9 0SB – 10.00 – 11.30. The full list of dates is below in case other dates or locations are more convenient for people.

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

The Prestwich based mental health charity, the Creative Living Centre, are gathering information on the possibility of extending the service they currently offer. They're asking us to answer just three questions – the survey is here.

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Unspeakable Realities Block Universal Health Coverage In America Race and class and history. (tags: uspolitics ushealth ) What the war on terror looks like What's really happening in Iraq. (tags: iraq ) How to manage Brexit More sense from @AndrewDuffEU. (tags: brexit ukpolitics eu ) Brexit reinforces Britain's imperial amnesia Great @gideonrachman piece (if you can get past paywall). (tags: brexit ukpolitics eu ) Justice evades Slovenia's 'erased' citizens A stain on Slovenia's past and present. (tags: humanrights slovenia )