Mon 21st
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

[IMG: Trewellard Sunday School] Trewellard Sunday School Wearing 2 hats (yes I know that sounds silly) as local Cornwall Councillor and Chair of Lands End Peninsula Community Land Trust, I was asked to attend a site meeting at Trewellard Sunday School with an officer from the affordable housing team and a representative of the local Methodist circuit. For those unaware, the Chapel and Sunday school fell into disuse in 2005. Whilst the Chapel was sold, legal complications have prevented the sale of the Sunday school and field next to it. I have watched it fall into disrepair – very sad! ...

Mon 21st

A Christian country?

[IMG: Christ Church cathedral, Oxford - Some rights reserved by Paul Stevenson] I did cringe when David Cameron started talking about the UK being a Christian country. I tend to agree with the assorted people in today's Telegraph who disagree with him. 8 million people go to church once a month in this country. But 33 million people describe themselves as Christian. So what are the 25 million people in the gap between those two numbers doing to justify their self-description as Christian? Lots of bible reading and praying, I hope. [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings | Mute

Much has been written about the recent OFSTED investigations into the 'Trojan Horse' incidents in Birmingham schools and I am not going to repeat the whole chain of events that have been widely reported on. What I want to comment on was the fact that statements on this wholly bizarre and depressing set of events have been doing the rounds which do not add to anything of interest. In fact they have simply blurred what may be the truth. Whether or not there was a strategic plan to promote what the papers have got 'the Islamicization' of schools will not ...


I have long been a fan of the British Pathé site and have sometimes sent you off to watch films there. The good news is that 85,000 of its films are now available on Youtube, which means I can embed them on this blog. This one shows HMP Gartree, which is situated a couple of miles from Market Harborough on a World War II airfield, at its opening in 1966. Note the hopeful tone of the commentary and that nowhere does the argument that the chief purpose of prison is to protect society appear.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

From Sky News this evening: Former Tory frontbencher Patrick Mercer has announced he is quitting Parliament amid allegations he broke rules on lobbying. The MP for Newark said he was resigning the Tory whip immediately "to save my party embarrassment". He also made clear he will not stand at the next general election, due in 2015. The move comes after a joint investigation by The Telegraph and the BBC's Panorama programme into an alleged lobbying scandal. It is believed the allegations about Mr Mercer relate to "cash-for-questions" about Fiji and its suspension from the Commonwealth.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Jesus seems to defy the impotence of individuals in the face of historical forces As you likely know already, today is Easter Sunday. This is the day when Christians celebrate Jesus' resurrection. For believers this is the central moment of human history: the moment of humanity's redemption. However, I would argue that even seen in [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute
Sun 20th

Ten weeks to go

This year was probably my last White Good Friday, and I won't be sorry if I never experience another White Christmas either. My heart's desire is never to see another snowflake for as long as I live. Swapping continents involves keeping a lot of balls in the air at once, and between now and the [...]

Posted by Mira on Mira's Picture | Mute

Owen Jones is one of those writers I never agree with, he's a socialist, I'm a liberal - so why should we? Except that is when Owen writes about a shared and mutual experience - that about being a young ... Continue reading →

Posted by AAEmmerson on DIY Liberalism | Mute

Paul Buff had a rather unusual job. He was an independent record producer at a time when that job essentially didn't exist. There had been one or two in the 1950s (Sam Philips, for example, sold recordings to Chess Records before starting up Sun himself), but in general the job of record producer was a [...]

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute
Sun 20th

The Lunchbox

The dabbawallahs of Mumbai, who deliver tiffin or light lunch to clients in their workplace, usually from their home where the wife has prepared the meal, have a record of many decades of reliability behind them. Indeed, academic studies have been made about the extraordinarily efficient system of various means of transport, but normally involving [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute
Sun 20th

Southwark Heartbleed

April the 7th a security patch was released in response to a new security loop hole for websites was discovered – the Heartbleed issue. Amazingly one our Lib Dem volunteers after checking all our websites on the 8th then the checked Southwark Council website and email servers on the 9th and found they didn't have this crucial software patch. Southwark Council have an awful lot of personal data from people registering with MySouthwark. I immediately alerted Southwark Council officials first thing on the 10th.Half a day later officials responded that indeed they did have security holes and hoped to seal ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber | Mute

[IMG: Tux - the linux mascot] So, I've submitted my first patch to the Linux Kernel! It's trivial set of documentation improvements - mostly done so I could see if I've got everything set up correctly. This blog post is more of an aide memoire than a fool proof guide - I hope future me finds it useful! Install and Configure git I'll leave you to figure out how to install git on your system - one thing you will need to is run this command once you've finished setting it up. git config --global format.signoff true That will format ...

Posted by Terence Eden on Terence Eden's Blog | Mute
Sun 20th

Saving justice

[IMG: savingjusticecover] If we were conducting a survey to find the Coalition's most objectionable and destructive policy then we'd very likely end up with a long list of contenders. Parts of the policy agenda - such as welfare reform, education policy, or the privatisation of NHS delivery - have attracted plenty of media attention, although they have not encountered anywhere near the level of informed critical scrutiny they needed. Other parts of the Coalition's policy agenda have been moving forward relatively unnoticed, except among those directly affected. Most notably, Chris Grayling's single-minded and boneheaded attempt to destroy the English legal ...

Posted by admin on Alex's Archives | Mute

I asked the following questions via Twitter on Friday – they're all taken from the now-deceased Punch magazine's Election 1992 political board game, Landslide. Yes, I have kept it for 21 years in the hope that it would come in useful for a blog-post on a quiet holiday week-end: I'm that far-sighted. You can tackle the first set of questions here. Easter Quiz (11): Which now deceased Labour MP was once a farm-hand in The Archers? — Stephen Tall (@stephentall) April 18, 2014 Answer here. (Disputed here, clarified here/here.) * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and editor ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

For this Easter day post, I'd been trying to think of something profound to say about the resurrection. Unfortunately, profound insights don't arrive on cue. So here is instead is what Vox has to say about the origins of the Easter Bunny: In case you're unsure — no, there are no Easter Bunny cameos in [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts | Mute

[IMG: 7 ver 4 full] Many thanks to the 14000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here's our 7 most-read posts... On Sarah Wollaston's naming and shaming in the Times of "very aggressive male bloggers" (8 comments) by Stephen Tall Daily Mail attacks Nick Clegg for Cyril Smith RIP tribute. Why? (34 comments) by Stephen Tall Jeremy Browne's Race Plan. I've read it, so here's my review. (58 comments) by Stephen Tall Opinion: Regina v Nigel Evans should wake up MPs (35 comments) by Antony Hook Lib Dems: "Cyril Smith's acts were vile and repugnant and we ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Man Who Sold the World is a David Bowie song which, a little improbably, was brought to the British singles chart in 1974 by Lulu. I like this Nirvana version, which I heard playing in the little shop at Market Harborough station the other day while I waited for my coffee. Grunge did for American rock what punk did for British rock in its day: purged it of bombast for a little while.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

On Saturday, I was given a patch in Whickham North and Swalwell ward to deliver. It was the old terraces in Swalwell, my old home patch. Napier Road, in the middle of the patch, was where we bought our first home nearly 30 years ago. I was at university at the time and our house move took place only a couple of weeks before the start of the local elections that year that saw me elected for

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Last week Barbara Potter, until recently the whip of the ruling Labour group on Leicester City Council, resigned from the party. The Leicester Mercury reported that she announced her resignation in a letter to the East Midlands Labour Party and will seek re-election as an independent next year: In her letter, Coun Potter, who will now sit as an independent member, wrote: "I regret this action but feel I have been given little choice. "I have been a staunch Labour Party supporter for all my adult life."She said she had never felt prouder than when she won her seat for ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

A strange thought occurred to me earlier on this morning. Who owns the rights to the data provided under self-assessment to HMRC? The form itself is clearly crown copyright (even though the 2013-14 self-assessment short form carries no copyright markings) but what about the numerical data that I provide on it? Commonsense says that it's mine(*) and that by filling in a tax return, all I'm providing to HMRC is a limited, non-exclusive right to use that data for a specific purpose only – that of calculating my tax liability. I'm certainly not assigning copyright or even providing them with ...

Pathe News thinks so:

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: shirley williams by paul walter] Next week, Shirley Williams is to take part in the Stratford Upon Avon Literary Festival talking about her mother Vera Brittain's role as a nurse volunteer in the First World War and on the wider role of women generally before, during and after the war. From the Birmingham Post: Baroness Shirley Williams is incredibly proud of her "wonderful" mother Vera Brittain, whose First World War memoir has been adapted into a new BBC drama with an all-star cast. Testament of Youth charts Vera's personal journey from an Oxford scholarship to the battlefields of France ...

Posted by Newsmoggie on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The steps between Fosse Gardens and Ridge Green Close are to be refurbished around the 12th May and will be closed periodically.

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down | Mute

Welcome investment committed to 'end loneliness' by @calderdale & @calderdaleccg Part of me wonders if the CCG are doing this NOW because they suddenly understand loneliness now they have no friends after threatening to close our A&E... (tags: ) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

The Sunday Times reports on warnings by senior Labour party figures if their party continues to base its election strategy on a "cost of living crisis", it risks becoming a "one-trick pony". The paper highlights that the warning comes as polling for The Sunday Times shows that the Tories are closing the gap on the issue, and that Labour now only has a narrow lead on its ability to tackle high prices, boost living standards and provide jobs. The Tories have also extended their advantage over Labour when it comes to questions of economic competence: A senior Labour frontbencher said ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

If you are a parent you will know about the high costs of child care. In Wales we have some of the highest child care costs in the world. That is why the Liberal Democrats in the Welsh Assembly have been raising this issue during recent debates. The Family and Childcare Trust's annual childcare survey for 2014 showed that childcare costs in England are falling for the first time in twelve years, whilst in Wales the cost of nursery care for under twos has significantly increased. Only five local councils in Wales report that they have sufficient places for places ...

Posted by Aled Roberts on Freedom Central | Mute

This story in the Sunday Telegraph is a very important issue. Basically for voluntarily assisting someone to challenge the state some advisors have been hit with a costs bill. It has been done on a sneaky way which allowed them to challenge the award of costs, but only at the risk of paying more costs if they lose. In fact I believe this is against the practise direction in respect of costs

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log | Mute

Here's some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days... Charlie Brooker: Nightclubs are hell | Comment is free | The Guardian Charlie Brooker's contempt for nightclubs is wondrous (He's a year younger than me, depressingly.) On Sarah Wollaston's naming and shaming in The Times of "very aggressive male bloggers" My take on @drwollastonmp's naming&shaming of @GuidoFawkes @IainDale & @DPJHodges as "very aggressive male bloggers" New Statesman | Welcome to Militant England Brilliant, must-read essay by @rafaelbehr on the meaning of Ukip's rise > Welcome to Militant England

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall | Mute
Sun 20th

Corston View Play Area

We welcome the council statement that Corston View Play area is to be upgraded, including a new bin asked for by residents "Corston View, Bath; major refurbishment with several new pieces of play equipment chosen to broaden the activity range and age range appeal of the site;"

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down | Mute

[IMG: Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 08.14.13] Labour's Easter weekend headline grab isn't about their policies. It doesn't tell you why you should vote for them, why their vision is any good. Oh no. It's a highly personal attack on Nick Clegg in the shape of a chocolate Clegg. All very mature. From the Mirror: But the packaging warns the Clegg Eggs are "guaranteed to leave a bad taste in your mouth - and like the Deputy PM himself - are "completely hollow". The slogan for the campaign on Twitter suggests the eggs, shaped in the image of Nick Clegg wearing ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Road at the Harris site As residents will recall, I have recently raised road safety issues outside the Harris Academy site in Perth Road during the new school buildings construction period that the City Council and the contractor has been swift to tackle and resolve. Residents have recently raised some other issues - mud and dirt on the roadway where contractors' vehicles enter and exit the site, the height of speed limit signs and the extent of contractors' staff vehicles parked on West Park Road. The contractor's Site Manager has sent me the following helpful response:... we constantly monitor the ...

A guest posting from Cllr. Jen Robertson [IMG: Lord Ronnie Fearn, Barness Shirley Williams, John Pugh MP & Anette Pugh] Lord Ronnie Fearn, Barness Shirley Williams, John Pugh MP & Anette Pugh Good article (see link above), she as ever comes across as reasonable and sensible in a way politicians so often fail to. Even if I don't always agree with her she's always so compelling and rational.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Having raised over a long period, on behalf of residents, the need to upgrade and adopt the very poor pavements in Arnhall Drive - see right - I was pleased to be advised last year that the pavements would be upgraded relatively soon. I recently asked for an update from the City Engineer on timescale, who has advised:The unadopted footway works at Arnhall Drive were included in the 2013/14 programme but carried over into 2014/15 programme. Works started on site on 14 April 2014 and are currently ongoing. Work should be completed by early May with the exception of the ...

Sun 20th

Happy Easter