Sun 26th
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. We need £25 in the next few days, else everything goes black. With over 100 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

Sun 26th

Agents of Shield returns

I've kept this spoiler free. If you're watching in the States please don't spoiler me as the UK is several weeks behind. The very fact that Agents of Shield is back for a second season is remarkable. For most of its initial run it was resolutely mediocre. As a result, both audiences and critics had largely [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute

This is a busy weekend for me, hence no proper posts yesterday or today — every spare moment has been spent with people. And tomorrow (well, thirty-four minutes from now) will be one of the busiest, as I'm going to the wedding of two of my favourite people, Alex Wilcock and Richard Flowers (who helps [...]

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

Yesterday, I brought you Monteverdi's version of Psalm 122, and wasn't it good? The words may not have been terribly familiar to you, especially given that it was in Latin - and no, I don't speak Latin either, it not having been a core subject at my North London comprehensive school. Ironically, in English, they are rather more familiar, although not in their most famous setting for more than sixty years now, for Psalm 122 has been sung at the entrance of the monarch at every British coronation since that of Charles I in 1626. So, here is Ian Esswood, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on The view from Creeting St Peter | Mute

#500951519 / Given the breathless excitement that accompanied my discovery of the forgotten Anglia TV soap opera Weavers Green, I thought I would share this photograph with you. It shows two members of the cast: Grant Taylor and (with the cigarette) Eric Flynn.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

At Southwarks Planning sub-Committee A 15 October we had to decide on a Dulwich school re organising its parking. It caters for 5-13 year old boys. This application was designed to enable a more secure site for child safety and while doing this upgrade the playground. This was in response to Southwark Council highlighting child safety concerns. Sadly it also requires the loss of depending how you read the plans 4 to 7 car parking spaces for staff. I read the before and after plans as reducing staff parking from 36 to 32 car parking spaces while doubling cycle parking. ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber | Mute

The sort of people who think we should have British Summer Time all the year round are like those who think voting should be compulsory or that Richard Branson should be prime minister. In all these cases, find someone else to talk to as soon as possible. If you doubt me, revisit the question of putting the clocks back around 6 January and ask yourself then if you really want it to be an hour darker and an hour colder when you have to get up for work. But I was surprised by a fact in the Independent's article suggesting ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Barely four and a half months have passed since I rejoined the party, yet I'm probably more involved than at any time since the Welsh Lib Dems stopped paying my wages. Thus far, I have: attended the Social Liberal Forum Conference; committed to staffing the Social Liberal Forum Stall at the Welsh Lib Dem Autumn Conference; become the Secretary of my local party following the unexpected defection of my immediate predecessor; become an ex-officio Welsh Conference voting rep as a result of the above; and successfully secured nomination for election to the Welsh Liberal Democrats' Policy Committee. It is safe ...

Posted by Energlyn Churchill on Towards the Sound of Gunfire | Mute

A close inspection of the responses to the last round of consultation, in respect of Sefton Council's Local Plan proposals, by a Lydiate resident threw up this question. You see there, sat in the Sefton Council on-line report, is a submission from this Group but no one seems to know who they are. The Lydiate World Web Site is looking for an answer and so are a number of local environmental campaigners who are fighting Labour-run Sefton Council's plans to build on Green Belt and high grade agricultural land around Maghull & Lydiate. I have read their submission which clearly ...

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


Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury | Mute

The Scottish Labour Party has been thrown into turmoil by the sudden resignation of its leader, Johann Lamont. Her decision effectively sets Labour's Holyrood and Westminster camps in open warfare against each other. Lamont threw in the towel after discovering that Scottish Labour's General Secretary Ian Price had been removed from office without her even being consulted. I have to say that I am beyond furious about the way Ian has been treated. He is a friend of mine and an opponent who is worthy of respect. The problems faced by the Labour Party are primarily to do with their ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: Lib Dems winning here] Here's the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates' list, together with the closing date for applications. They include Taunton Deane, Jeremy Browne's seat since 2005, and which he held at the last election with a majority of 3,993 (6.9%) over the Conservatves. The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates: Aberconwy, 31st October Rutland and Melton, 31st October Cleethorpes, 6th November Great Grimsby, 6th November Birkenhead, 7th November Blaydon, 7th November Clwyd south, 7th November Fylde, 7th November ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The adage "love the sinner but hate the sin" is often used in discussions of Christianity and same-sex relationships, usually in a context where someone is saying "I love you, but I hate your sinful relationship". This is problematic for two reasons, a secondary reason, and a fundamental reason. The secondary reason is that it [...]

Posted by Andrew McFarland Campbell on Faith and Pride | Mute

More comedy genius from Australia's Clarke and Dawe:

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute
Sat 25th

Jack Bruce

RIP Jack Bruce

Posted by Raging Reg on Raging Reg | Mute

OrRaisin to the occasion. "Imagine that you are a Martian and have travelled to Earth: the first thing you see is the object before you."Before us on a napkin was a raisin. The dark, wrinkly dried fruit of the worst sort. They look like particularly large grollies, I have likened them to the haemorrhoids of a hippopotamus. What is asked of us is to suspend reality, enter into 'The Now', and just observe outwardly the object with no judgmental emotions attached to it. My definition of observing is to investigate, asking what it is. Why is it? Looking for behavioural ...

Posted by Raging Reg on Raging Reg | Mute

[IMG: Paddy Ashdown talks on "The global power shift" in Brussels March 1st 2012 - Some rights reserved by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE ] Lord (Paddy) Ashdown, former international High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina from 2002 to 2006, led this week's House of Lords debate on the situation in the country following its recent election. Here's what he had to say... Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon (LD): My Lords, a few months before the last election in the last months of 2009, my right honourable friend William Hague and I—well, at least he was not my right honourable friend then, but he is ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Note from Chris A number of you have expressed frustration about the fact that the repainting of lines is still not complete weeks after the original resurfacing. Sadly this is typical of this contractor, Eurovia, who have also failed to make good previously around Maple School. On Friday I spoke to a representative of Eurovia [...]

Posted by chriswhite on Chris WhiteChris White | Mute

Shock horror! It tunrs out if cars drive slower in built up areas or when passing schools, it makes it a safer place ............... who'd have thought, eh? The news comes after a research review on September 28th 2014 led by Dr Jo Cairns from Durham University that concluded 20mph zones and limits effectively improve public [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

Here is Nick Clegg's message for Diwali. The full transcript is below for those who have difficulty with hearing. Saal Mubarak. This is the time of year when the lights of Diwali burn brightest, bringing joy to communities across the world. Important to Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, Diwali means different things to different people. Yet the core values it embodies - kindness, compassion and the enduring power of knowledge to banish ignorance and fear - matter to all of us, regardless of our faith or background. In Britain, our pride in holding some of the biggest Diwali celebrations outside of ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Independent wins Headline of the Day - and Gilbert the Gull wins Football Mascot of the Day.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sat 25th


I was taken with this quote from the latest edition of Private Eye:- 'Localism, of course, doesn't always suit the government, which most of the time is anxious to remove as much power as possible from local authorities' – You can read into that any government since the Second World War in my view! This comment sums up my views on the matter very well. Yes all the political parties talk the talk about localism but they rarely walk the walk! We still live in one of the most centralised democracies in Europe and when government throws out a rope ...

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

[IMG: ELephants Bostwana Sedudu Photo by Mp3ief] Yesterday was polling day in the General Election in Botswana. 57 parliamentary seats are up for grabs along with council seats across the country. The Botswana Democratic Party has been in power since the country gained independence in 1966. The Liberal Democrats have been helping our sister party, the Botswana Movement for Democracy, which has been fighting the election as part of a coalition of opposition parties, the Umbrella for Democratic Change. In early August, their campaign suffered a huge blow when BMD leader and Vice Presidential candidate Gomolemo Matswaledi was killed in ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

#154418597 / Paul Kennedy's magisterial study of the Second World War identifies five challenges that were key to the Allies winning the war – finding a way to get convoys safely across the Atlantic, winning command of the air, stopping blitzkrieg tactics, working out how to seize an enemy-held shore and overcoming the 'tyranny of distance' (operating far away from the military's home bases). He charts the many failures along the way in overcoming those five challenges, and focuses in on how they were beaten, making this a history of the evolution of technologies and tactics rather than an ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Today were see launched plans for City State devolution within England. These are by their very nature inadequate as a response to what is happening in Scotland with Devo Max. We should remember that Glasgow has the biggest City Deal worth £90billion, it is not an alternative to the Scottish parliament it is as well as. We need to recapture our confidence in Regionalism if we are to have an adequate answer to the challenge, and then we need to make afresh the federalist case. I was watching John Prescott getting a hard time in Rutherglen on the TV last ...

Posted on birkdale focus | Mute
Sat 25th

Aadiat White Man

[IMG: Aadiat WM pic] New York City, sometime in the late 1990's. Pre-9/11 and all of that. What I'm doing in the Big Apple would take a whole other story - let's just say I'm there. Staying in a little place just off Bleecker Street, Greenwich Village. Some friends of friends knock on my door one evening, out of the blue. "It's this stand-up comedian. You have to see this cat to believe him," said a guy wearing a black onesie. This is the way Village hipsters in NYC talked in those days. I thought about it for half a ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

[IMG: Have_I_Got_News_For_You_titlescreen] Have I Got News For You has been on the air for twenty-four years, and last night it managed to do something it's never done before. For the first time ever last night, the majority of people on screen for an episode of the show were women – Victoria Coren Mitchell as the host, and Katherine Ryan and Janet Street-Porter as the guests, alongside regulars Ian Hislop and Paul Merton. As I'm here to write this today, it appears the sky didn't crack asunder and the world did not come to an end as a result. As some ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With | Mute

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Almost 600 party members responded to this set of questions - thank you - in a supplementary poll ran just before the party conference. Majorities say Education and NHS should be governed at local/regional level Which of the following should be decided mainly at a local/regional level? (Please tick all that apply) Education – 70% NHS – 57% Welfare – 42% Environment – 41% Business and trade policy – 31% Income tax ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

'Getting your name out there' to become legal tender (tags: ) Political poetry (tags: ) This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting (tags: ) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

[IMG: Excited people] What is making these people react with amusement, bafflement, puzzlement and apparent drunkenness? Surely it can only be the discoverg that 101 Ways To Win An Election is still unreviewed in The Guardian Bookshop. Go on, you know you want to...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Pam penned the article below for the Maghull & Lydiate Action Group, an independent environmental campaign team who are fighting for the area's Green Belt and high grade agricultural land. I asked Pam whether I could publish her thoughts. She agreed and I hope this short but succinct and powerful piece is of value to all those who want to preserve all that is good in the Maghull & Lydiate community. ***** [IMG: Pam is second from the left in this photo of Lydiate campaigners and councillors fighting for their Green Belt] Pam is second from the left in this ...

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

It is that time again that comes around every two years when I take a deep breath, fill in a nomination form, agonise over the drafting of a manifesto and file it all in the hope that enough friends, colleagues and complete strangers will see it within themselves to put their faith in a mildly bemused bureaucrat to perform some service or another to the Party. Historically, I ran for things that no sane person did too willingly - I served five terms as a Regional Secretary and was opposed just once - but now find myself wanting the sorts ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on The view from Creeting St Peter | Mute

At some point, way back in my family's history, someone important boarded a wooden sailing ship somewhere in Portugal and set off into, if not the unknown, something a bit riskier than a trip along the coast. They probably weren't historically important - indeed, I have no idea who they were or whether or not they even existed - but if they did, they are likely to have had a not insignificant role in the life of this rural, liberal bureaucrat. That's a bit cryptic, I guess, so perhaps a little context is in order. My father's family is from ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on The view from Creeting St Peter | Mute

Discovery Film Festival : Scotland's International Film Festival for Young Audiences Saturday 25th October - Sunday 9th November 2014 Discovery Film Festival is now in its eleventh year and starts today. Based at Dundee Contemporary Arts, and touring to partner venues throughout Scotland, the festival screens films from all over the world which have been specially programmed for young audiences. The festival includes three exciting weekends of films, creative activities, and gala events, as well as two weeks of screenings and events for schools. Discovery aims to develop new audiences for the best in international film, improve media literacy and ...

[IMG: ALDC Master Logo (for screen)] Thursday saw eight principal by-elections take place in England and Scotland. The Conservatives secured a gain on Gloucestershire County Council in the Mitcheldean by-election, a ward which previously had an Independent councillor. In Durham, Labour gained a seat in Burnopfield and Dipton, defeating the Derwentside Independents by just a single vote. In Shepway, the Conservatives successfully retained their seat in Folkstone North West. However UKIP made considerable inroads into the Conservative majority in the ward, with the party registering 27.7% of the vote having not fielded a candidate in the ward's previous election in ...

Posted by ALDC on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Congratulations to Jon Featonby, who leads the LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League after Week 8, with a whopping 484 points. However, not far behind are George Murray (472) and 2013 Liberal Voice of the Year, Sam Bowman (470). However, as just 39 points separate the top 10, it's fair to say it's still very much anyone's season. For the record, I'm only 82 points off the lead, biding my time, ready for my Premiership-winning push. Like Arsenal. And I suspect I have about as much chance of winning as the Gunners do. And not that it matters in the least, but ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute


Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Alex Salmond shocked the political world when he announced his resignation as First Minister, following a campaign in which the Yes side were generally acknowledged as having exceeded the expectations of many commentators who had failed to foresee how close the result would be. If the First Minister's resignation surprised observers and stunned many Scots, the departure of his Labour counterpart, Johann Lamont, will be greeted in many circles with a shrug of the shoulders and an acceptance of the inevitable. Lamont has struggled to provide Scottish Labour with the vision and purpose it so desperately needs, and has come ...

Posted by Andrew on A Scottish Liberal | Mute

[IMG: aquosticcov1] Well, this was a bit of shock first thing in the morning today on TV. These guys are both old-aged pensioners!

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

The Hawker factory on Richmond Road in Kingston was the first building I saw when I moved to Kingston in 1990. Its massive Art Deco facade was a dominant feature of the area and its bulldozing in 1993 remains one of the worst decisions of the planning inspectorate. But I stumbled across this film recently showing the factory after its closure - which quite strangely only hints at the granduer of the main building just at the end of the video.

Posted by Dan Falchikov on Living on words alone | Mute