Last year, Your Liberal Britain was founded by five new members who were keen to set out a clear statement of what a Liberal Britain would look like. Their work has been supported by the Federal Policy Committee and they have already conducted a wide-ranging consultation. You can read some of the contributions made on this site here. Now they are taking their work to the next stage with a competition, for which the closing date is 23rd December. Members are asked to set out what Britain would look like in 2030 if the Liberal Democrats were in power. Your ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Lib Dems' health spokesman, Norman Lamb, is normally pretty good. On mental health, especially, he's done an extremely good job. But yesterday he co-authored a piece about autism that falls into almost every trap. The reasons for this can ... Continue reading →

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

[IMG: Sal Brinton Sal @ Crohns & Colitis Rec _2 CROPPED Nov 13] At last, there was a Liberal Democrat on a political programme panel on the BBC last night. It was such a welcome relief after the recent rightwash on all of these programmes. Sal Brinton did us all proud. I lost count of the times she was cheered rapturously by the audience. This was not just polite applause, but real, vocal agreement as she gave great, clear answers on all the questions. The best, I thought, was on the daft idea of private schools wanting money to offer ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

That's the question posed in the latest initiative by the ever-excellent Your Liberal Britain. As an email from Sal Brinton explains: As a party we strive to create and safeguard a fair, free and open society. We call it Liberal Britain for short. We know what it means to us – but what would it actually look like? And how far towards that goal could we reach by 2030? How might a single parent's life be different by 2030, for example? Or a pensioner's? Or teenager's? How would our towns, cities and countryside look different? What about our communities, jobs, ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Behind the bad by-election result for Labour in Sleaford and North Hykeham by-election sits a nightmare which could tear the party apart.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Situated below the A488, this church is easy to miss. But it's worth stopping.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Ninewells Community Garden is holding a mosaic session on Wednesday 14th December. Bring along any ideas you have, whether making signs for the arboretum, starting a personal project, stepping stones, covering garden tools - you name it! It is free of charge and no experience necessary. Refreshments provided. Taking place from 1pm and 3pm in the luxury of the Community Garden's new garden room - more details here.

These two shots are of a rather famous Liverpool building but they are not what you would call usual views of it. Where is it? [IMG: courtyard-of-cunard-building] [IMG: ceiling-of-banqueting-suite-cunard-building] The answer is amongst on my Flickr photos at:-

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

How To Win A Referendum Vote Leave's story. (tags: eu ukpolitics brexit ) Don't Cry Over Dead Trade Agreements A different view. (tags: economics ttip ) The End of the Anglo-American order Ian Buruma - long but well worth reading. (tags: Uspolitics brexit ) A hard Brexit is the last thing Japan wants @Karel_Lannoo looks east. (tags: brexit eu japan ukpolitics ) Blogger reveals mystery websites' ties to Russia AstroTurf in Latvia. (tags: internet russia latvia ) Strangford ferry tied up as ramps will not allow cars to disembark Dear God! (tags: northernireland )

The Telegraph reports that the number of cats residing in Downing Street has now risen to five with the addition of a black-and-white cat called Evie and another called Ossie to deal with the mouse problem in the Government offices. They join Gladstone, the Treasury's cat, Palmerston the Foreign Office mouser and Larry the Number 10 cat on the street. The cats are not having it their own way of course as the Chancellor, Philip Hammond has moved his dogs into Number 10, where he lives with his wife. However, he has had to lock the dogs away to protect ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Let Alan Plumb be your host. And let Wikipedia tell you about the Welland Viaduct: Welland Viaduct lies on the Oakham to Kettering Line and carries the twin track non-electrified line between Corby and Manton Junction, where it joins the Leicester to Peterborough line. The route is generally used for the passage of freight trains and steam train outings. In early 2009, a single daily passenger service was introduced by East Midlands Trains between Melton Mowbray and St Pancras via Corby, the first regular daily passenger service to operate across the viaduct since the 1960s. The viaduct is also used ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Embed from Getty Images I wore a very red tie to a little gathering this week. It is a very, very red tie that I reserve for Christmas. Someone accused me of supporting "Old Labour". Well, I am great fan of Harold Wilson. And I am normally more comfortable chatting with Labour types than Conservative types. But there it ends. "I'm wearing red for Christmas" said I. "Why's that?" said my "old Labour"-accuser. "Well, it signifies Christ's blood, doesn't it?", I asked. "Doesn't it signify the holly berries, from "The Holly and the Ivy?", they asked. At that I left ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

Embed from Getty Images Last night, in a Tonbridge and Malling Borough Council by-election, the Conservatives held Trench ward with an increased majority. Not a big surprise, you may think. But there was more to it than that. Because both the Liberal Democrats and the Greens had stood down to give Labour a clear run. It is always unwise to read too much into a single local contest, but the outcome here should remind us of an important lesson. Parties cannot deliver their voters en bloc to another party. And that is why I am a sceptic when it comes ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Elections come and go, but the memories and the camaraderie live on. The telling of old by-election stories and hearing them re-written over time and years is part of the fun. But they can also be sad and hurtful. It has taken me years to get over the deep personal trauma that I now realise I suffered in the aftermath of years of campaigning to win Hampstead and Kilburn, and the impact of losing on a recount. And I probably will never fully lose that trauma. Yet I am sitting here now in the wreckage of a by-election HQ and ...

Posted by Ed Fordham on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

On Wednesday, another local Christmas lights switch-on took place, this time in Dunston. I was there to snap a few photos (with Councillors Peter Maughan and Sonya Hawkins). Well done to all involved.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

John Reber had a plan: to dam the San Francisco Bay. He convinced some politicians - and it took the US Army Corps of Engineers, and the Bay Model they built in Sausalito, to prove him not just wrong, but dangerously wrong.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: levensquadfeat] ALDC monitors and records the results of council by-elections on behalf of the Liberal Democrats. All our by-election results are also posted on our website. This week has seen five principal council by-elections across the country with Lib Dem candidates contesting only two of them. There was also a parliamentary by-election in Sleaford and North [...]

Who would have thought that a valuable addition to the Licensing Act which would have made life better for disabled people had been scuppered by Labour Peers? And yet that is what happened on Wednesday evening. The amendment, which sought to improve the accessibility of licensed entertainment premises (pubs, clubs, restaurants etc.) for disabled people, was tabled by the Chair of the Lords Equality and Disability Committee, Baroness Deech, a crossbencher, and signed by me, as Liberal Democrat Disability Spokesperson, a Labour Peer and another crossbencher. The Committee, which was set up last year at my suggestion, to look at ...

Posted by Celia Thomas on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Fri 9th

Flat-pack physics

Being on the 'wrong' side of the lectern, in a lecture theatre where I last sat as a student sixteen years ago, did take a bit of getting used to. Continue reading →

Posted by Simon Perks on Simon Perks | Mute

[IMG: York banner] Given the excellent results we've had in the past few months, most recently Sarah Olney's fantastic victory in Richmond last week, the Spring Conference in York is going to be pretty good. As well as that, the party will finally settle its position on nuclear weapons without fudging the issue as it has been doing for decades. It is going to be well worth attending. Registration is now open, and today is the last day you can claim the early bird discount. Registration (unless you are a first-timer, claimant or are under 18) will cost £55 until ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Newbie Ross Pepper ably supported by an oldie (politically!) Baroness Sal Brinton I woke up this morning to hear news of another good result from the trio of Parliamentary by-elections that we have had over the autumn. Ross Pepper and ... Continue reading →

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

The Sefton Communities Against Roadbuilding (SCAR) Campaign I mentioned the impending launch of this new web site and organisation not so long ago and here it is – see link above. There are numerous postings on this blog site about the consequences of the building of the new (Post Panamax)Liverpool 2 Dock. The most recent is available via the link below:- This is probably the greatest environmental challenge facing the Borough of Sefton right now. As I have said many times before the cart has been constructed before anyone knew where a horse could be found to pull ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

One of the saddest things about the lurch to extremism and the right wing of the political spectrum over the past few years—and especially these last few months—has been that attention has been taken away from the significant problems with capitalism and its reliance on continued growth that the 2008 crash had exposed. The Classical Economists, in particular Adam Smith and John Stuart Mill, had already theorised centuries ago that growth could not go on forever and that eventually states would enter the condition of being a "stationary state". John Stuart Mill wrote that the "increase of wealth is not ...

Posted by Helen Flynn on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Something for you to promote about the place a bit. [IMG: Sleaford and North Hykeham change in vote share] On half the turnout, Liberal Democrats still increased their actual number of votes and were the only party to do so.

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

New, improved, modern Santa visited Swalwell on Tuesday by trailer towed by a Volvo rather than in that old-fashioned sleigh. Congratulations to everyone who helped arrange the Christmas lights switch-on or helped at the event. This is the video I made. And below, a few photos.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

The most recent meeting of the Federal Policy Committee took place on 7th December 2016 in Westminster. It was relatively sparsely attended but there were two good discussions nonetheless. Composition of Federal Policy Committee This was the last meeting of the committee as presently constituted. To say that the last two years of the Federal Policy Committee have been a journey would be an understatement! We started in the closing years of the last Parliament, when the Liberal Democrats were still in government, still had Ministers and at a time when we used to have a whole supporting cast of ...

Posted by Geoff Payne on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Another week, another by-election – this time in Lincolnshire, where a former sitting Tory MP, Stephen Phillips, had resigned over the government's handling of Brexit. As soon as it was called, UKIP bigged it up as a potential by-election victory; that it would demonstrate that they have what it takes to upset the apple cart, much like what happened last week with the Lib Dems in Richmond, only in reverse. Trot out that old cliché about a week being a long time in politics now, because the Richmond upset really does feel like a long time ago this morning. The ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

Twitter RT @RobertTyreBute: What we suspected all along is true. #bbqt Under Trump, red states are finally going to be able to turn themselves into poor, unhealthy paradises A Brexiteer despairs of the grasp of reality of most brexiteers Twitter TBF I've given Jon a pretty high pref, but even I think using the baby is cheating LOL Proposals for new M62 junction and Brighouse bypass - Halifax Courier A Map would be nice for this kind of thing, @HXCourier, even if only a rough one Twitter Lovely Ken. Twitter RT @StephenMangan: As Bane hopefully. When Greg Lake wrote to ...

Photograph by Conrad Ainsley I was delighted to be back at Hugh Baird College this week. I had been invited to the graduation ceremony for those members of Team 4 who had completed the Prince's Trust scheme. The Prince's Trust Team programme is a 12-week course, run in partnership with Hugh Baird College, that offers work experience, challenging community projects and an adventurous five-day, team building residential trip. We had a review of the scheme presented by the young people and then individual contributions from the students who had taken part. This was inspirational stuff. The programme had clearly made ...

Posted by iain on theMayoralBlog | Mute

From this Northamptonshire village's website: Geddington's history reaches back to pre-history. It is mentioned in the Domesday Book and its status in medieval times is very visible in the church, the bridge and, of course, the remarkable Eleanor Cross ...In past times the busy crossing point at the ford en route from London, the use of the Royal Hunting Lodge by former kings and the proximity of Boughton House brought noble visitors from around the country.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

If you ask Lib Dems whether they suppport prison reform, they will say yes. A general chat about rehabilitation, drug laws, mental health funding and Scandenavia usually ensues - all of which I wholly endorse. But if we are really going to address our prison crisis, then criminal records are the elephant in the room. Rehabilitation is about allowing people to become productive parts of society after they leave prison, and discouraging reoffending. One of the best ways to do this is to help people find employment (as page 8 of the Ministry of Justice's Transforming Rehabilitation document confirms). If ...

Posted by Ben Andrew on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

It was always going to be an uphill struggle to repeat the heroics of the Richmond Park by-election in deepest, darkest Lincolnshire, but the Liberal Democrats nevertheless emerged from the contest with credit, being the only party to increase its share of the vote and pushing Labour into fourth place. Labour's performance in Sleaford and North Hykeham also confimred a trend, as they continue to struggle to make any sort of impact in areas where they need to improve significantly if they are to win he next General Election. As the Guardian says, the party's candidate, Jim Clarke, a refuse ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Shropshire Wildlife Trust will today issue a press statement on the controversial plans to fell two semi-mature oak trees on Whitcliffe Common to improve views for visitors. Their position is that one tree should be felled and the other preserved. The tree that will be lost stands to the left as you look from the... Continue reading A compromise has been reached on felling of Whitcliffe oak trees - we need to learn the lessons →

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

I recently received a complaint that the Perth Road Recycling unit at the bottom of Ryehill Lane is badly needing a clean up. I contacted the City Council and Neighbourhood Services advises : "We have been out to view the containers and agree that it could do with a good clean. I have arranged for it to be power washed as soon as possible. We will continue to monitor the site over the next few months and take appropriate action."

Tetrapod Triumph! Solving Mystery Of First Land Vertebrates Filling Romer's Gap. (tags: fossils ) If You've Ever Been Fired, I Won't Hire You Rebutted. (tags: work )

Well, I said earlier that double figures would be a very good result for the Liberal Democrats in Sleaford and North Hykeham. Had this poll taken place during the coalition years, we'd have ended up in last place with our tails very much between our legs. Our percentage vote went up from 5.7 to 11% and we beat the official opposition to come 3rd. We got more actual votes than we did in 2015 despite a turnout that was down fro 70% to 37%. The Tory and UKIP votes almost halved in comparison and Labour only managed a third of ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

So who's still up waiting for the Sleaford result then? This would be the sort of seat where, in recent years, we'd have without question lost our deposit. We just managed to retain it last year in the General Election, polling 5.7%. So what would be a good result for us? Well, anything above that would be good. Very good would be double figures. Absolutely miraculously excellent would be exceeding the results we had in 2010 and 2005 – 18.2%. What does the party do when they are already focused on a highly winnable by-election in a held seat and ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute