Wed 24th
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 £10 in the next few days, else everything goes black. 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

Here's an update on Lydiate's very own volunteer litter pickers and their activities:- Dear all, Firstly a thank you all for the stalwart work done to date. We have collected near to 200 bags of rubbish around Lydiate this year. Personally I can physically see the difference when I walk/cycle around. Please don't feel that because I am emailing you I am expecting you to turn up on Saturday, I think it is good manners to keep anyone who has shown an interest in keeping Lydiate green and pleasant, to update them as to progress. So, next Saturday is that ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Members of the Nuclear Weapons Working Group are presenting their personal views as part of a wider consultation process into the party's future policy on nuclear weapons. The full consultation paper can be found at and the consultation window runs until 28 October. Party members are invited to attend the consultation session at party conference in Brighton, to be held on Saturday 17 September at 1pm in the Balmoral Room of the Hilton. [IMG: Trident] UK nuclear defence policy does not exist in isolation. As the Lib Dem's Nuclear Weapons Working Group Consultation Paper makes clear, nuclear defence policy ...

Posted by Paul Reynolds on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Instagram Brother Spike is performing "Dignity" Twitter RT @jdthndr: Right: MPs debating their pay Left: The 11:32 to Reading #traingate Twitter RT @BenHCarrington: Hard to ignore the allegorical significance of a black woman trying to console white women upset at HER for existing Transgender health discrimination ban faces legal challenge from five states | US news | The Guardian RT @latentexistence: Catholic healthcare providers and 5 states are suing the US govt to get out of *all* healthcare for trans people. Twitter RT @jelle_simons: Brexit is taking too long. Leavers expected they'd be pretending to be a global power by ...

For those of you who have been avoiding the news, living in a box, or are reading this in the future, Jeremy Corbyn has caused a social media storm this week with what has been dubbed "Traingate". Corbyn and his team got on a Virgin train and filmed the Labour leader sat in a corridor, complaining about the lack of seats. Virgin subsequently released CCTV footage of Corbyn on the very same train journey getting up and sitting down in a now miraculously free seat. All this has caused some to speculate that this shows Corbyn can be fickle with ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

[IMG: Kickstart 2016] With just over two weeks to go until KickStart, teams from across the country are getting ready for a great weekend of campaigning advice and planning. From Friday 2 September until Sunday 4 September, Lib Dems will come together to work on their campaign plans for the election in May 2017 and beyond. There will [...]

Just how toxic is the on-going civil war within UKIP? Well, if the Guardian is to be believed it extends to senior members actively sabotaging the election campaigns of their colleagues. The paper says senior members of UKIP have accused the party's only MP of helping the Conservatives defeat Nigel Farage in South Thanet in last year's general election. UKIP's main donor, Arron Banks, has written to Kent police with the allegation that Douglas Carswell, the Ukip MP for Clacton, helped the Tory campaign retain the seat. his letter details allegations that Carswell downloaded Ukip data for South Thanet and ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

At the outset, I would like to make clear that, in writing this article, I am not lending my support to any argument that the EU referendum should be re-run or that the result should be overturned. In my view, any such argument is specious in the extreme, with its Liberal Democrat proponents appearing especially hypocritical. That the EU Referendum Bill received overwhelming support from all parties (the SNP excepted) is demonstrative of both the democratic inviolability of the outcome as well as the abject failure of Parliament to properly countenance the potential impact of an affirmative vote to leave ...

Posted by Ciaran McGonagle on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Phew, finally looks like truth about Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn and train seats looks to be clear. Mostly. He and his team has admitted there were spare seats on the Virgin train which he could have sat in, but he chose not to use them as he wanted two seats next to each other to be able to sit with his wife. In itself, a perfectly reasonable choice, but also very different from how Corbyn and his team presented the original imagery of him sitting on the floor in the train, which was about how there were not any seats ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

From the Curator of Museum Services at the University of Dundee : "Of the verse that has come straight from the trenches, the Ballads and Battle are among the very best. The horror, the exultation, the weariness and the humour of trench warfare are here." - The Spectator As part of the on-going commemorations of the centenary of the Great War, the University of Dundee's Archive and Museum Services have created a new exhibition celebrating the life and work of the Dundee writer and illustrator Joseph Lee (1876-1949), whose first book of war poetry, Ballads of Battle was published 100 ...

Banks' Brexit wishlist Summary of the UK financial services industry's position paper (tags: ukpolitics eu ) Belgium denies NSA helped in Salah Abdeslam manhunt: report Countering the spin swallowed by Buzzfeed. (tags: waronterror Belgium ) Brexit casts a shadow over UK development aid How things become more difficult. (tags: ukpolitics eu development )

It's high time we had another one of these videos.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Every politician who been interviewed by Mumsnet since 2009 has been asked what their favourite biscuit is, reports the Daily Telegraph: Tim Farron, whose constituency is in Cumbria, opts for a local treat, the Kendal mint cake. It should at least help him keep his energy up in his endless, lonely journey through the political wilderness which the Lib Dems must now inhabit. Zac Goldsmith's answer (chocolate digestive) was as boring as his campaign, while former soldier Dan Jarvis' love for army-issue garibaldis seems deep and genuine. Nicola Sturgeon's penchant for Tunnock's Caramel Wafers (shared by her young MP Mhari ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

At first glance, the news from Chicago's attempt to use big data to cut crime looks fairly standard reality-check fare. Not every clever thing works every time and not all the world is a Malcolm Gladwell anecdote. Chicago's Experiment in Predictive Policing Isn't Working... A new report put together by Jessica Saunders and colleagues at the RAND Corporation examines how the Chicago Police Department implemented a predictive policing pilot project in 2013 and 2014. The city used a computer model to examine data on people with arrest records and come up with a list of a few hundred individuals deemed ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Our Headline of the Day Award crosses the pond. Well done to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

As the world switches to renewable energy - and we are switching - there's a problem you might not expect: balancing the grid. Rotational mass and system inertia are the things that keep your lights from flickering: and they only appear in big, old, traditional power stations. Here's why that's a problem, and how we're likely going to fix it.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

[IMG: iphone] Text messages are starting to become a more of a feature in local election campaigns. SMS text messaging can help you get your message out quickly to supporters and voters, help you organise events, increase voter turnout and remind supporters about the key issues of your campaign. Latest research shows that 98% of recipients read their text messages, 90% [...]

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

During this Edinburgh Festival, non-stop from 8th to 20th August, hundreds of volunteers read the whole Chilcot Report on the decision to go to war in Iraq. The event's producer said: "[The report] wasn't expected to be read. The establishment didn't expect anyone to read it. Rather like the Latin bible, it's not for the public, it's to be shelved away. And yet it has been read here." [IMG: The Chilcot Report in its entirety...] The Chilcot Report in its entirety... This idea really struck me. Somehow, through the act of performing it, reading it out loud, during a festival, ...

Posted by Maria Pretzler on Working Memories | Mute

Second frame of third page: Wow. How come nobody told me about this sooner? (Well, yes, I know you told me. I should have listened.) This is a glorious exploration of the cultural history of Sunderland and its immediate vicinity, and specifically its impact on the Alice books and the other works of Lewis Carroll. Talbot makes the argument that Oxford has for too long claimed a monopoly on Alice, when in fact both Dodgson and the Liddell family had long-standing links with this part of North-East England, and there is convincing evidence that the relationship between the families, and ...

Jeremy Corbyn on a train (Photo: The Independent) Amazingly, the big political story today is that Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn's recent stint on the floor of a train was something of a stunt. Well, there's a surprise! A politician with camera crew, out to document how crowded trains are, exaggerates for effect. That's never been done before... And yet everyone's jumping about as if this proves how hypocritical Corbyn is. Even Lib Dem Voice is asking whether "train-gate could derail his re-election campaign?" All this reaction has come about because Virgin Trains issued a statement, in which it refuted Mr ...

Posted by Andrew on A Scottish Liberal | Mute

I'm always keen to ensure that we have enough bins in the Gunthorpe area, both general and dog waste, as I am keen to ensure that the area is kept free from litter. In recent times we have seen new bins introduced to areas like the footpath that run alongside Swale Avenue, the John Clare [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower | Mute

I travel up and down to London pretty frequently. I haven't often had a problem getting a seat on the East Coast mainline – and when there has been an issue, it's usually because there has been some extreme weather issue and two trains worth of people have been decanted into one train. So when I saw that Jeremy Corbyn had had to spend a journey to Newcastle on the floor of a train, I was a bit surprised but didn't let it distract me from enjoying my holiday. Today's development in that story is worthy of some comment though. ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This will all make more sense if you start reading here Peter Layzell, Three Figures in a Gallery As we entered the storage room in The Atkinson one picture at the farthest end of the first rack and the edge of my vision made me pause and look. Steve Whittle had prepared a long list of options for me to consider and was already sliding out an English Impressionist landscape of Ormskirk, I had logged the modern painting with the women in the vivid pink dress and wanted to look at it more closely. After we had worked our way ...

Posted by iain on theMayoralBlog | Mute

In the late 70s and early 80s economic monetarism was espoused by Margaret Thatcher and Sir Keith Joseph who wanted a radical alternative to the prevailing Keynesianism of previous governments. The theory seemed to be simple enough. The idea was that the money supply was a key parameter of our economy. Therefore, if we wanted to control inflation, and it did need to be controlled at the time, all Government needed to do was control the supply of money. Inflation would then fall and all would be well. Very quickly the Government and Treasury economists learned that they could not ...

Posted by Peter Martin on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

People like consistency. I think this helps explains Corbynmania amongst his supporters in the Labour party, and also to an extent Brexit. I think that because Corbyn refuses to compromise, he engenders support amongst people who dislike compromise. This could also apply to those who want "Hard Brexit" or mean to bounce Theresa May into it. This is my theory, so much as it is. It's not meant to apply to everyone, but is after trying to think through how I'd end up supporting Corbyn or Hard Brexit, that I thought if I was someone who believed in no compromise, ...

Posted by Louise Ankers on From one of the Jilted Generation... | Mute
Tue 23rd

After the recess

[IMG: Beautiful Ireland] Holiday over. Nose back to the grindstone.

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple & Margaret Nealis | Mute

[IMG: Bus Stop at Old Library Site 07 16] I've been making inquiries into the missing bus shelter outside the site of the old Maghull Library via Cllr. John Dodd who sits on the Merseytravel Committee. This is what Merseytravel has said:- The Developer responsible for the former library site has provided a purchase order directly to Clear Channel Uk Ltd for the provision of a new bus shelter at this location. Merseytravel has received confirmation of this aspect and we look forward to a shelter facility being reinstated as soon as possible. Unfortunately, we are unable to give a ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Since last October, I have been chairing the Social Security Working Group, which has been taking a fresh look at party policy in this area. We had a wide ranging remit covering all aspects of working age social security, from supporting people with disabilities to tackling child poverty. We have now published our policy recommendations: it has been a big challenge, but thanks to a working group of passionate, talented people, ranging from experienced policy makers to new enthusiastic party members, I think we've produced a paper of which Lib Dems can be proud. You can find Mending the Safety ...

Posted by Jenny Willott on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP today said that the First Minister must focus on addressing the challenges facing Scotland rather than plunging the country into another constitutional crisis. Speaking as the First Minister published a report on Brexit, Mr Rennie said: "Liberal Democrats are the only party fully committed to Scotland in the [...]

Posted by dawudislam on Welcome to lib dem hame | Mute

Scottish Liberal Democrat justice spokesman Liam McArthur MSP said top down targets have tied the hands of Police Scotland management following reports that hundreds of officers face redundancy. Media reports today revealed that up to 300 officers face the prospect of losing their jobs, with additional civilian staff to be hired in their place. This [...]

Posted by dawudislam on Welcome to lib dem hame | Mute

The media have named this time of the year the "silly season". The Westminster political types have jetted away on their holidays, leaving newspapers with column inches to fill and broadcasters facing empty slots. The Olympics has spewed out stories over the last two weeks but now, even sporting stories are just about stretched to... Continue reading "Silly Season" arrives in Ludlow as Shropshire Council issues parking fines and then says challenge them →

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

[IMG: Sparc 1] Little did I know that the press release I put out on August 8th would hit national TV. The following day our funding crisis at SpArC - the Bishops Castle Leisure Centre in south west Shropshire -was front page of the Shropshire Star. Most of the County has been given a year's reprieve to try to find revenue funding for their Leisure Centres. Not so for four centres in the South of the County. We face an extra 25% cut and a cut of £65,000 in education funding for SpArC alone. The community are rallying. We are ...

Posted by Heather Kidd on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

[IMG: The LGA Lib Dems support Liberal Democrat council groups across England & Wales] A template press release on Right to Buy Replacement is below- RIGHT TO BUY REPLACEMENTS IN ENGLAND FALLING SHARPLY, LIB DEM COUNCILLOR [YOUR NAME] WARNS The number of homes sold under Right to Buy (RTB) in England that councils have been able to start replacing fell by more than a quarter last year, [YOUR NAME] [...]

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors | Mute

In England the Tories are planning an overhaul in the regulatory framework of Higher Education. They're are changing the governance of fees. They're planning fee increases in through an incredibly flawed Teaching Excellence Framework, and they plan on introducing differential fees within Universities. Critique of the new proposals warrants an essay in itself – you can read [...]

Posted by Rhys Taylor on Rhys Taylor | Mute

Owen Smith has decided that under his proposed leadership (looking more distant by the day), the Labour leadership would be completely bound by conference as the decision making centre of the party – even if they formed a majority government. "My promise to the party is that I will not ignore conference. I will bind myself to the decisions made by conference about party policy." Direct democracy has been the flavour of the month for a lot of months now, all in the name of "bringing power back to the people". This is an inherently false premise – all direct ...

Posted by Nick on | Mute

Last week, Kat Bavage told us about an event at the National Liberal Club in London tomorrow. Liberals will gather to pore over the NLC's vast array of historical resources and edit Wikipedia entries to make sure that the Liberal and Liberal Democrat contribution to history is properly recorded. Kat said: The irony is however that although very many people read Wikipedia's content (half a billion people a month or thereabouts) very few actually engage in creating it. In the UK there are perhaps only around 15,000 editors, and of these the majority only occasionally chip in to correct a ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Two months after Britain's shock referendum result, and what has happened? Not a lot. Though you wouldn't think it from reading the running commentary. So was Project Fear the hoax that the Leave campaigners always said? Probably not. The few days after the result seemed to fulfil Project Fear more quickly than even Remain campaigners suggested. ... Continue reading The post-Brexit phoney war on the economy →

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal | Mute

The Liberal Democrats in Parliament are pushing forward a 'Renters Right Bill'. supported by tennants lobby groups such as Generation Rent and the Make Renting Fair Campaign. We're proposing to: – Ban letting fees for renters – Give renters access to an open register of rogue landlords – Bring in compulsory electrical safety checks in rented homes – Prevent rogue landlords from obtaining an HMO licence Renters are hit with high costs every time they move. It is time to bring an end to rip-off letting fees which are already banned in Scotland and which allow letting agents to unfairly ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone | Mute

A new planning application has been received in Holyrood Ward as below: Certificate of lawfulness for proposed vertical (first floor) rear extension 153 Simister Lane, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 2SF Ref. No: 60448 Received: Mon 08 Aug 2016 Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require further information or help with this. The details will be on the Council's website here. Tim

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Tue 23rd

The empire strikes back

There is no better sign of how a backswood Tory MP thinks than this tweet: Clearly riled by equally irrelevant tweets showing how countries within the European Community had topped the Olympics medal table, the MP for South Derbyshire hit back, and in doing so sought to resurrect the British Empire. At least the EU is a current institution. Heather Wheeler has taken a lot of stick on social media for this tweet, some of it worth repeating. As the Independent reports, one pointed out that "Given that Empire day became Commonwealth Day in 1958 your use of Empire in ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Bury's first 10km run takes place on Sunday 18th September, staged in partnership with the Bury-based I Will If You Will project, funded by Sport England. The run starts and finishes close to The Rock, the course is suitable for all ages and abilities from beginners to experienced fast runners. It is £22 to enter, but many charities will also have fundraising places available. There is also a family run run on the same day. More details and enter here. [IMG: Screenshot 2016-08-23 08.33.06]

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

From the 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 Scottish Water mains renewal works. The Order is expected to be in force for 8 weeks from 29 August 2016. Its maximum duration in terms of the Act is eighteen months. The effect of the Order is to prohibit temporarily all vehicular traffic in (1) Logie Street southbound between Loons Road and City Road, (2) Lochee Road: Phase 1 - southbound between Tullideph Road and Dudhope Terrace and Phase 2 - southbound ...

The Police and Crime Commissioner has announced the second cycle of small grants funding - The Active Citizen's fund, available to Community and Voluntary groups and organisations, funding projects of up to £5,000. The fund will be suitable for: Projects aimed at reducing demand on policing services (without displacing demand on other services) Projects which encourage organisations to build capacity within their organisations and improve the voluntary network, including vulnerable groups, i.e.: dementia watch, street pastors Projects which encourage citizens to become involved in local community projects and organisations Projects which seek to increase resilience within the community Themes Increasing ...

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute
Tue 23rd

Eden Allotments Open Day

This Sunday (28 August 2016) is the Eden Gardens Allotment Autumn open day. The allotments are situated just off Derwent Road in Whitefield, and the open day includes: – home grown veg, jams and chutneys and free range eggs for sale – cafe with home made cakes – advice from local service providers – Pinhole Animal Sanctuary [IMG: image003]

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

The Brexit Culprits You Never Saw Coming Clumsy title but interesting content re British agriculture. (tags: eu ukpolitics )

A new planning application has been received in Holyrood Ward as below: Single storey rear extension 2 Lime Grove, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 3DX Ref. No: 60449 Received: Mon 08 Aug 2016 Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require further information or help with this. The details will be on the Council's website here. Tim

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

Two new planning applications have been received in Holyrood Ward as below: Two storey side extension 88 Tamworth Avenue, Whitefield, Manchester, M45 6UA Ref. No: 60415 Received: Thu 28 Jul 2016 Loft conversion with dormer at rear 5 Perrymead, Prestwich, Manchester, M25 2QJ Ref. No: 60416 Received: Thu 28 Jul 2016 Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you require further information or help with these. The details will be on the Council's website here. Tim

Posted by prestwichfocus on Tim Pickstone | Mute

For a band as important as they are, and one that (unlike almost all of their contemporaries) owns all their own masters, the Turtles have been rather shoddily dealt with in terms of reissues of their catalogue. While they were ... Continue reading →

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