Wed 19th
19:08

Six of the Best 818

"One thing I heard a few times at Liberal Democrat Conference was an assertion along the lines of 'most people are centrists, therefore they'll want to join us and vote for us if we just give them a chance'." Nick Barlow unpicks this centrist fallacy. Want a guide to making your voice heard on the proposed changes to the Lib Dem membership and constitution? Paul Walter is your man. Antonio Garcia Martinez says Silicon Valley's economics are fuelling a new caste system: "One of the most refreshing things about living in Europe (or small towns in the rural US) is ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

At Autumn Conference I moved an amendment to F8 "Power to People and Communities". Our amendment, concentrating solely on English regional devolution was opposed not by a rebuttal of its text and my speech but, sadly, by means of mischaracterisation and misrepresentation of what was written and said. Since attending the Agenda 2020 session at Autumn Conference 2015 and then the East of England Regional Conference (which near-unanimously passed my motion "Fair Devolution for the East of England") I have proposed additional criteria to the policy of "devolution on demand" – three little words encapsulating a seemingly straightforward and liberal ...

Posted by Michael Kilpatrick on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 19th
18:20

The centrist fallacy

One thing I heard a few times at Liberal Democrat Conference was an assertion along the lines of 'most people are centrists, therefore they'll want to join us and vote for us if we just give them a chance'. This is normally backed up by some 'recent polling' that has shown people are generally centrist, and an earnest belief along the lines that they just need to be told the right words and then they'll realise they're just like us. This is a belief I like to call the centrist fallacy because it rests on a number of assumptions about ...

Posted by Nick Barlow on Stories by Nick Barlow on Medium | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter: Entre la couleur grise et douce d'une campagne matinale et le goût d'une tasse de chocolat, je faisais tenir toute l'originalité de la vie physique, intellectuelle et morale que j'avais apportée une année environ auparavant à Doncières, et qui, blasonnée de la forme oblongue d'une colline pelée — toujours présente même quand elle était invisible — formait en moi une série de plaisirs entièrement distincts de tous autres, indicibles à des amis en ce sens que les impressions richement tissées les unes dans les autres qui les orchestraient les caractérisaient bien plus pour moi et ...

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Wed 19th
14:49

Blog Maintenance Stuff

1, I have updated my Endorsements page. 2, With some regret I have turned off anon commenting. I've had a sustained campaign from a particularly persistent (and resistant to anti-spam measures) spambot while I've been at conference, and while it will have made no difference to any of you lot because I screen anon comments by default, scanning through 647 comments to see if any of them were actual comments from actual people was extremely irritating. I'll probably turn anon comments back on in a bit, once the spambot has realised it's pointless, but until then if you have a ...

Wed 19th
14:37

Corbyn Has to Go

On a personal level, I have always got on well with Jeremy Corbyn. We have sometimes shared platforms, at home and abroad, on issues of mutual concern, such as Kurdish rights and Palestine. On such occasions, his integrity and passion for justice shine through. I haven't seen him so often since he became Leader of [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

In one episode of the masterly political comedy Yes Minister, the knowing civil servant advised his naive minster on the art of public presentation. It depends on how radical you are. The more radical that you want to be, the more sober the presentation needed to be, to reassure the wary. A contentless speech, on ... Continue reading Vince Cable sets a bold course for the Liberal Democrats

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

So, I'm on the train home and I figgered I'd give you a little rundown of the highest of lights. You can all watch the bits from the hall on iPlayer, if you want, so I don't propose to spend too much time on that. And there's a fair amount of newspixels been expended on actually happenings, so this is going to be from a very personal viewpoint. One or two things though:I am very very glad that so many keynote and debate speakers went out of their way to talk about trans rights. Special props to Layla Moran, Jane ...

Should I have written a letter? I mean once I slide off this roof, I'm embracing death as we all eventually will. Death comes for us all in the end, and today it is enveloping me. Strange how most people never take the chance to decide the manner of their death. They fear it and therefore leave it up to the banality of nature and disease to take them. Today I am taking control and making that choice. The cold breeze slides up the back of my shirt. The cotton clouds block out the sun, and I pull my leather ...

Posted by Matthew Metcalf on Matthew 'Mec' Metcalf - The Mec Journal | Mute
Wed 19th
11:00

My tweets

Tue, 12:56: Fair comment. https://t.co/bKauKmCdHT Tue, 14:26: RT @holmesreport: APCO Appoints Arnaud Pochebonne To Lead Paris Office https://t.co/4WICbgIwqS https://t.co/cRmENKllQ7 Tue, 15:12: *You* can nominate candidates for the @AuroraPrize_ for Awakening Humanity, celebrating inspiring humanitarians who... https://t.co/uzZN5JLsjE Tue, 16:05: Extraordinary piece. https://t.co/qUJ7BmQgbD Tue, 19:56: Five Moomin books, by Tove Jansson https://t.co/RcxuSSNr05 Tue, 20:48: Has Political Correctness Gone Too Far? https://t.co/OgfoAbqM7r In short, no. (Essay from the @Economist.) Wed, 06:45: RT @BBCNews: Obituary: Denis Norden https://t.co/DEDblt4hPm Wed, 10:45: Paedophile cult leader Warren Jeffs tore this town apart. Now his victims are putting it back together... https://t.co/sRKUlUalV5

During the Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton, one of the most frequent questions people asked me (coming a close second after "do you really still use a BlackBerry?"*) was about the proposals to introduce a registered supporters scheme. Regular readers will know I've long been a fan of the idea, and hence am pleased to see it migrate from being a fringe idea to being the subject of the conference's largest fringe session. But where should the line be drawn between members and supporters? There is lots of detailed work to go, along with some important arguments over principles (e.g. ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

I will start by saying that I base none of what is to immediately follow on rumours I've heard swirling around Westminster, nor some sort of insider's knowledge regarding what Boris may or may not be planning. I really have no idea what BoJo is thinking or even rumoured heavily to be thinking. I can only speculate on the basis of what is going on around him, what Boris is saying publicly and has said publicly in the past, and the timbre of the age in which we currently find ourselves. The things that make me think Boris will come ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

John Crace of the Guardian made a snide comment on Monday - in his piece about Gina Miller's speech he said we took a "two-and-a-half-hour lunch break. Presumably, because there wasn't much more business to discuss." I couldn't disagree with him more - and that's not just because I'm a member of the Federal Conference Committee. Of course, there was plenty to say on Brexit, where Tories and Labour are tearing themselves apart. However, we debated so many other important issues - how we enable people to thrive in a world of rapid technological change, how we address increasing inequality ...

Posted by Cara Jenkinson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

An informal consultation event is being held in Prestwich on the proposed 'Beelines' cycle and walking network for Greater Manchester. This is on Thursday 27 September 2018, 7.00pm, at the Church Inn, Church Lane, Prestwich. All welcome! Beelines is a plan for a cycling and walking network aiming to make local journeys by bike or on foot easier, to ease congestion on our roads and improve air quality. It is important we get the routes right for Prestwich so please do come along and share your views and ideas. More information on Beelines here.

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Yesterday's Daily Mirror comments on an expert report from the Migration Advisory Committee that it says busts some major myths about immigration, many favoured by the far right. The first myth, that EU migrants live off the state is rebutted by the stark fact that in fact they contribute £2,300-a-year more to the UK than average Britons: What today's report says: "The average adult migrant from the European Economic Area (EEA) contributed approximately £2,300 more to the UK public finances than the average adult resident in the UK. "The average non-EEA migrant contributed around £840 less than the average adult ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Many European leaders have welcomed the vote of the Strasbourg Parliament on September 11 which, following the proposal of a Dutch environmentalist, opened a procedure to deprive Hungary of its voting rights in the European Council. They were wrong. Because, unwittingly, they are weakening EU cohesion – the last thing we need after Brexit. The [...] The post Do not subject Europe to the divisive dialectic of progressives versus nationalists appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Renaud Girard on Radix | Mute

Yesterday, Vince Cable told the Liberal Democrats to reach out and appeal to the millions of voters who are alarmed at the extremes of British politics. A wee while earlier, some Liberal Democrat members had been reaching out in a manner that can only be described as optimistic. Not the Leader's speech is an annual tradition that started during the coalition years. A group of the Awkward Squad would gather in a nearby hostelry, watch the speech on Twitter and work out at what point they would have walked out had they been in the hall. There is less cause ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

A legally binding international treaty on plastics is the call from the Liberal Democrats following a major debate at their Party Conference. The treaty would encompass phased reductions in the production, consumption and trade of virgin feedstock.

It would also include a financial mechanism providing aid and capacity-building assistance to developing countries. Liberal Democrat Group Leader in Bury, Councillor Tim Pickstone said: "The problem with plastics is not only on our shores. It is a problem that impacts the environment, communities and wildlife across the globe. The Government therefore has a duty to lead from the front and start weaning the ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

An informal consultation event is being held in Prestwich on the proposed 'Beelines' cycle network for Greater Manchester. This is on Thursday 27 September 2018, 7.00pm, at the Church Inn, Church Lane, Prestwich. All welcome! Beelines is a major plan to make Greater Manchester better for cycling with a network of routes across the area. It is important we get the routes right for Prestwich so please do come along and share your views and ideas. More information on Beelines here.

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

THE Royal Oldham Hospital, Fairfield General Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary, Salford Royal and North Manchester General Hospital are asking the public to nominate their NHS heroes as part of an annual staff awards event. If you or a relative have had amazing treatment at The Royal Oldham Hospital, North Manchester General Hospital, Salford Royal, Fairfield General Hospital, Rochdale Infirmary and its community and social care services, or if you or your family want to thank a particular doctor, nurse, support worker, or ward that did their best to treat and look after you, then this is your chance. The Patients' Choice ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

A Northern Class 158 DMU at York Station The article is on Transport for the North's web site – see link below:- A Transpennie Express Class 185 DMU leaving Liverpool Lime Street Station And why do I continue to hold a skeptical line? Keolis have recently announced that the Liverpool – Chester via Frodsham service, due to start in December, will not now appear until May 2019. This is due, I understand, to "rolling stock availability issues". Keolis take over the franchise from Arriva Trains Wales (which will run this new service) next month. With thanks to OPSTA for ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

This was my second conference as a member of the Federal Conference Committee (FCC). I had just joined FCC for the Spring conference and was really an observer. For the Autumn conference, I was involved from the start. The whole thing was well organised, and the team work well together (you have to give credit where credit is due). There were approximately 2400 members - more or less in line with previous year. One note of sadness, I learned about, was the passing of Robert Adamson (Chair of the Liberal Democrat Disability Association). My Condolences to the bereaved family. Rest ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I am pleased to see the commencement of work last week on the car park extension at Lochee Park - see below :This is good news as it will provide additional capacity and also, when the park is busy with teams, ensure the spillage of parked vehicles onto local streets is minimised. Additionally, there will be improvements to the playpark with new equipment in the fairly near future which is further good news for the area.

Good morning! Following some unusual side-effects to treatment yesterday, I'm pleased to report that I seem, for the moment at least, to be turning a corner. Yesterday felt like the whole team went up at least a gear or two to make sure that I was supported. I've never spent so much time talking to haematology consultants and doctors as ... The post Transplant +7: Pulling an all-nighter appeared first on ten pence piece.

Posted by tim on ten pence piece | Mute

The Liberal Democrat team on Bury Council have been successful in getting the Council to take action on the rising prices of school uniforms, in a move to help parents who are struggling with the costs. According to research by the Children's Society, 3 million families in Britain are struggling to pay for school uniform costs. Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary D'Albert said: "We very much support the principle of school uniforms, but the rising cost in some schools is causing unnecessary hardship to parents who are struggling to make ends meet. This can be made worse where uniforms can only ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Wed 19th
05:52

Walk Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to lead scenic walks across the Bury area which will help to keep local residents fit and well. A range of Walking for Health walks is planned for autumn, and the "Bury Walk with Me" team is looking for new recruits to complement their existing walk leaders. Hundreds of Bury people have benefitted from scores of walks organised across the borough in recent years, which have taken in Summerseat, the Kirklees Trail, Heaton Park, Birtle, Prestwich Clough, Ainsworth, Elton, Radcliffe and more. A volunteer walk leader training session has been organised for Monday 24 September. For more ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Ribble Valley Lib Dem Leader Cllr. Allan Knox is backing a 4 point plan to scrap Business Rates and replace them with a Commercial Landowner Levy. The new levy would be paid by landowners, not tenants and would help boost many high street businesses. The plan was launched at the recent Lib Dem conference in Brighton, attended by Cllr. Knox and is based around the following four points. Business rates should be abolished and replaced by a Commercial Landowner Levy based on the value of commercial land only The levy should be paid by owners rather than tenants Non-residential stamp ...

Posted by allanknox on Allan Knox | Mute

As I mentioned the other day, I've started writing and recording a couple of new podcasts. One will be of my short fiction, the other one, A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs will be just that. They will ... Continue reading →

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

Remember Catch Me If You Can? Here the real-life Frank Abagnale - the character played in the film by Leonardo DiCaprio - talks about his life and career.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Last time I blogged about the threatened Herbert Morris industrial buildings in Loughborough, a commenter recommended the view from the canal towpath.He was right and here it is.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Veteran Shropshire journalist Frank Fuller has never worn his siege tie in 50 years and is not about to start now. It was produced to mark an event in September 1968 which went down in British history. "It was the longest siege in British police history, and I think that still holds good today," said Frank, 88, of Market Drayton.I have blogged about the siege of Weston-under-Redcastle before. . An article in the Shropshire Star tells the story again, with some quotes from people who were involved. I like to think that the comments on my first post on the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Tue 18th
19:10

Archbishop on the ball.

Here are three quotes from the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, when addressing the Trades Union Congress last week. On Universal Credit (a "rolled up" payment to struggling families): It was supposed to make it simpler and more efficient. It has not done that. It has left too many people worse off, putting them at risk of hunger, debt, rent arrears and food banks. When universal credit comes into an area the [number] going to food banks goes up. What is clear is, if [the government] cannot get it right they need to stop rolling it out. On individual and ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

My regular reader knows well that I am slightly obsessed with the great Finnish writer Tove Jansson, whose Moomin books I enjoyed as a child and whose more mature fiction I have equally enjoyed in recent years. (And I also marvelled at her father's statues of her.) So I have returned to five of the Moomin novels - not all, and a slightly arbitrary choice - to see if the magic remains. And, by and large, it does, as I will explain below. I must, however, register a serious disappointment with my Puffin editions, bought in 2017. Each has a ...

It's one of the questions that most often bounces around the media and Twittersphere regarding my party. It's often diagnosed as the cause of all the party's ills that after Coalition it can't establish its place and purpose in the British political system until it understands what it believes in. One of the most frequently [...]

Posted by Mike Green on Squiffy Liberalism | Mute

"Check against delivery" is printed at the top of every pre-released speech. Vince's speech today was advanced emailed with the phrase "erotic spasm" included – referring to the dreams of extreme Brexiters. Vince didn't say that, in the event. I heard him say "exotic sprism" instead. The journalistic consensus seems to be that he said "exotic spresm" – as the screenshot from Channel 4 news above shows. See also tweets below. My own view is that "erotic spasm" is not Vince's type of language. He couldn't bring himself to say it, so fluffed the line – whether consciously or unconsciously. ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

As many of our readers will have heard from other sources, long-standing councillor Gloria Stephen died recently after a long illness. Gloria served as a Dodington Parish Councillor for 23 years, becoming Chairman of the Council. More recently she joined South Gloucestershire Council as a Councillor for the Dodington Ward. Gloria was active within the community for many years, her particular passions being young people and the environment. She was a Guide Leader and a Governor of Raysfield Infants School. She was a committee member of the Southwold Branch of the Avon Wildlife Trust, and volunteered regularly on work sessions ...

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

Complete with the trailed reference to an erotic spasm (not a plug for his recent novel but rather a reference to the pleasure some got from voting Leave), changed to "exotic" when he spoke, Vince Cable gave his autumn conference speech – perhaps his last such as party leader – today. Cable's recent use of "moderate" has generated much debate about the best short-hand way of describing the party. For this speech, we got four mentions of social democratic, five uses of moderate and six of liberal (not counting its use as part of Liberal Democrat). Such a perfect pattern ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The storm continues to rage around me, but I'm comfortable. Lots of drug infusions and blood transfusions are helping. Because my platelets had dropped below 10, I've had a transfusion of those this lunchtime. I feel rather better than I did first thing. Nausea is proving to be a bigger problem than it usually is for me, but the platelet transfusion ... The post Transplant +6: Follow the lights appeared first on ten pence piece.

Posted by tim on ten pence piece | Mute

So, Vince Cable is apparently going to refer to Brexiteers being willing to trash the UK economy for the "erotic spasm" of leaving the EU. Is this really the best we could do when Conference has set out what our plans are for the Brexit endgame – withdrawing Article 50 if there is no deal or an agreement to extend it. We have so far been the grown-ups in the room. We shouldn't reduce ourselves to being a Carry On film. Every Conference goer I have met so far – and there have been quite a few – has reacted ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

What is becoming a pattern of complaints about the expenses of Scottish Liberal Democrats being followed by the police finding nothing wrong is in the news again with the clearing of Jo Swinson: Police have dropped their inquiry into Liberal Democrat deputy leader Jo Swinson's general election expenses after being "unable to establish criminality"... The allegations centred on leaflets that the Lib Dens said were not delivered, so should not count towards election spending limits... A Police Scotland spokeswoman confirmed that the force was now concluding its inquiries after failing to find any criminality. Welcoming the announcement, a Lib Dem ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Joshua Reynolds has won over a packed hustings of Liberal Democrat members to be selected at the party's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) in Prime Minister Theresa May's constituency of Maidenhead. He said: I am honoured and delighted to have been selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for Maidenhead. To represent the people of Maidenhead and its surrounding villages would be a fantastic privilege, and I know that with the hard work and determination of our local Liberal Democrats, we can and will make it a reality. I'm looking forward to engaging with voters young and old who are disillusioned with ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

In as much as speculation about the future of Liberal Democrat individuals is getting any wider attention at the moment, it's about the possible successors to Vince Cable as party leader in a contest most likely to happen in 2019. But there's also a more immediate contest coming up, which is to be the next Liberal Democrat Poisoned Chalice Holder, London Division, aka candidate for Mayor of London. Doing the role well is particularly tough as the contest – which has never yet looked winnable for the party – happens alongside the elections for the London Assembly – where even ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Those that know me are probably surprised to see me using a football analogy. It is true that I am not a lover of the game. As I understand it the analogy means working with and kicking the ball and ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think? | Mute
Tue 18th
11:00

My tweets

Mon, 12:56: RT @davidallengreen: Where we are now on Brexit, a thread. 1. Mon, 13:50: RT @UKPoliticalNews: Very insightful piece from our very own @nwbrux on the constituency boundary changes in Northern Ireland. A very sensi... Mon, 15:49: RT @apcoworldwide: New NI parliamentary constituency plans redraw the map - by our @nwbrux via @BBCNews: https://t.co/brDHEdhDNA #NorthernI... Mon, 18:28: Monday reading https://t.co/yCfR2dz1ry Mon, 21:34: Cheering for @QUBelfast on #UniversityChallenge Mon, 21:39: RT @PatCatney: We must be doing something right in Lisburn when hate groups and xenophobes like Britain First are protesting outside our we... Mon, 23:26: RT @apcoworldwide: BBC News - ...

Members hurrying from conference chamber to fringe meeting hall in Brighton have asked the question: Why are there giant colourful snail sculptures dotted around Brighton? The answer is: It's all the idea of the charity Martlets Hospice, which cares for terminally ill prople. For the next two months, around fifty snails, plus a mini-snail trail for kids, will pop up around the city to raise funds for the charity and also encourage people to #bemoresnail – to slow down, like snails, and enjoy life's precious moments with our family and friends, while we have them close to us. The photo ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Free Trade as manifested in the repeal of the Corn Laws was a founding event for the Liberal Party. There are signs however that liberals are becoming wary of the phrase. This a clear symptom of the malady that the The Orange Book was seeking to address fourteen years ago. The ailment is that key liberal ideas have been appropriated and distorted by the Conservative Party and in the case of the phrase "Free Trade" by the right wing of that party. So, by association in the minds of many with a weak grasp of history the phrase has become ...

Posted by KritiK on KritiK: Application of Science | Mute

In spite of Sadiq Khan's recent pronouncements, the Labour leadership may be right to resist the introduction of an explicit policy in support of a referendum on the Brexit deal with the EU. Labour's position is now fairly clear – some would say a model of clarity in today's political climate. In the event that [...] The post Corbyn could torpedo a second referendum – just by backing it appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Radix | Mute

My heart always sinks when I see a Parish Council using its power of co-opting a person onto its Council. The power is used to fill a vacancy amongst the Parish Councillors caused by death, illness, disqualification, resignation etc. of an incumbent councillor. It's never a good sign to see co-option taking place, in my view, because it means that local democracy is not working well and no one wants stand for election to fill the vacancy via a by-election. My personal view is that this power should be withdrawn as it should have no place in a modern democracy. ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | 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 BT pole removal works being carried out HEREBY PROHIBIT the driving of any vehicle in Benvie Road (between numbers 27a and 29a), Dundee This notice comes into effect on Thursday 20 September 2018 for 1 day. Pedestrian thoroughfare will be maintained. No alternative routes are available For further information contact 433082. Executive Director of City DevelopmentDundee City Council

Who knows what emergency motions we'll be discussing today? Will we even have a Government by that stage? Will Theresa May still be PM? The day starts without expectation of controversy but you never know in a party business session as we look at recognising the new Lib Dem Campaign for Racial Equality. Policy debates today include promoting a fairer distribution of wealth, and a motion that sets out our demands for a better Britain. And there will be keynote speeches from Scottish Leader Willie Rennie and Vince Cable. 09.00-09.20 Business motion: Renewal of Recognition of SAOs Business motion: Recognition ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I was talking to a journalist yesterday who told me that he always enjoys Liberal Democrats Conference because we are so optimistic. It comes with the territory, it really does and yet there is a lot to be optimistic about. I don't mean the polls of course. It seems that we are still becalmed in the 9% to 10% territory. I have never seen so few journalists at a Liberal Democrats Conference, with the BBC virtually absent altogether, apparently because of budget cutbacks in their political and current affairs departments. And of course we are still light on Parliamentarians, apart ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Having got a taste for canals joining the Trent - at Shardlow and Long Eaton - I though I would seek out the point where the Nottingham Canal did so. I did so, but on the opposite bank of the river I found something even more interesting: the remains of the lock where the Grantham Canal reached the Trent. It stands in the shadow of the Brian Clough Stand at Nottingham Forest's City Ground. The short stretch of canal that remains above the lock was today covered by a lurid bloom of algae. Miles to the east, strides are being ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute