Mon 21st
22:50
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. Ideally we need £10 before the end of the month, otherwise it has to come out of my pocket. 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



Another lost London river. This time it's the Westbourne, which rose at Hampstead Heath and flowed to the Thames at Chelsea.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

It's certainly a cold and frosty evening in the Creetings, but regardless, Parish Council got through, with me in the role of compère and continuity. We weren't at full strength due to illness and injury, but with the need to adopt a budget for 2019/20, and to set a precept, I was keen to get through the business briskly. A very prompt start as the clock reached the half-hour, and we were off, racing through apologies, declarations of interest and applications for dispensations (none of the latter two, I'm pleased to note), before we adopted the minutes - it's so ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

Liberal Democrat members in the West Worcestershire constituency have selected Beverley Nielsen as their new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC).

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

More comedy genius from The Capitol Steps with a little homage to Vladimir Putin and his use of the internet.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Now that the dust has settled a bit on the great victory by LOGS in the High Court last week, I have expanded my questions. I have written to a senior officer at the council today asking for responses to ... Continue reading →

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

Lib Dem MPs tackled the Prime Minister this afternoon as she made her Groundhog May "nothing has changed" statement. Christine Jardine, Jo Swinson, Vince Cable, Jamie Stone and Tom Brake challenged her on various aspects of her intransigence. Christine Jardine asked the Prime Minister to consider asking to extend the Article 50 period. The PM isn't even willing to ask the EU the question – and we all know that if we don't ask, we definitely don't get. Vince mentioned the troops put on standby over the Brexit period and asked how they would be carrying out their duties. I, ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

This morning Finedon's Revd Richard Coles tweeted that it was Rasputin's 150th birthday. He added our Trivial Fact of the Day: Rasputin's murderer Prince Felix Yusupov had been a member of the Bullingdon Club. It's on Wikipedia so it must be true. Oh, those Russians.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Long long ago, when I was an undergraduate at Cambridge in the late 1980s, I vaguely knew one of the university academics. He was famous for his rudeness. One evening I happened to be out with an Asian friend, and bumped into this famously rude academic at a bar. He offered to buy a drink "for you and your monkey". My friend was appalled. So was I. But because this chap was in a position of privilege (not directly; my friend and I were at different colleges to him, studying different subjects to the one he taught) I felt unable ...

I have been beginning a debate with my friend and Radix colleague Joe Zammit-Lucia about whether or not a general election is the only way out of the government's current impasse. Quite reasonably, he suggests that the Conservative Party will never call one - to quote A A Milne, "for fear of finding something worse". What has given me an excuse to return to the debate are the rumours emerging from the government that, like me, they believe first, that Jeremy Corbyn's refusal to talk to Theresa May has guaranteed that he would lose any election. Second, that this is ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog | Mute

Back in 1992 Francis Fukuyama wrote a highly influential but seriously flawed book; "The End of History and the Last Man". The general idea was that after the fall of the Berlin Wall the great ideological conflict between liberal democracy and communism had been settled. Liberal democracy had won, was spreading rapidly around the world and in due course every country would become a one. Good would triumph over evil. The end of history meant the end of ideological conflict. Democracy would continue but the disagreements would be relatively minor. Ironically this view was similar to the Marxist belief in ...

Posted by Geoffrey Payne on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Over the last fifteen months, I have been watching the winners of the Oscar for Best Picture from the beginning - I have now got through the first 26 of them, from Wings (1927) to From Here To Eternity (1953). I'm not especially a film buff, so I think I have been learning a lot. I generally enjoy the films (and carefully note the exceptions. But one of the particularly negative things that has jumped out at me is how little non-white representation there is in the most successful Holywood films of 70-90 years ago. The first scene in an ...

So, according to the press, Local Conservative Associations have been put on alert for a potential General Election on 28th February. This would presumably be intended to solve the Brexit crisis - though for the life of me I cannot see quite how. I have no idea what the chances are of an election happening on that date, but it might be worthwhile for Liberal Democrats to think about how we might respond practically if it were to happen. Let us assume a) that the Tory position in such an election would be to back the May/EU Deal, and b) ...

Posted by Maurice Leeke on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 21st
12:15

Brexit - what next?

In a post in August 2018 I argued that, although a People's Vote on Brexit would be highly desirable, an even better step would be for the party whips to be taken off and our MPs to be free to debate the merits and demerits of every conceivable option and then, perhaps having narrowed down the viable alternatives to two or three, make the final decision themselves. If they decided not to leave the EU after all on the grounds that no deal which involves leaving, on whatever terms, is anywhere near as good as the one we already have, ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

This week hit the half-way mark of the January Challenge! It's definitely keeping me occupied during the longest month of the year, and bringing a little creative spark to each day. There's a Facebook group for challengers' too, so whenever I open the app I'm greeted with a stream of pictures detailing how others have approached each prompt, and it's lovely to have such positivity and creativity filling up my feed. Day Fifteen How does music impact your mood and the atmosphere around you? Reflect When we listen to music our heartbeats can actually sync with the rhythm of the ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing | Mute
Mon 21st
11:30

A cat's take on Brexit

[IMG: A cat's take on Brexit] The post A cat's take on Brexit appeared first on FeministMama.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama | Mute

The original remain campaign was negative and defensive. Nigel Farage, in his debate with Nick Clegg, has been described as "pushing on an open door". Is all we can offer negatives - there is no European Army - there is no federal state - Turkey is not going to become a member - when all of these things are partly untrue? Our opponents will say that "remain in the EU as we were before" would be to ignore the previous result; to betray the people's vote, to disillusion the country and cast doubt on democracy itself. The Remain side were ...

Posted by Tony Harms on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 21st
11:00

My tweets

Sun, 12:29: RT @claytonhickman: At the request of @Purves_Peter I've added a splash of colour to this beautiful shot from 'War of God', the first episo... Sun, 12:32: RT @faisalislam: Dominic Raab on Marr suggests that in conversations as Brexit Sec with @simoncoveney "there was an opening" to get a backs... Sun, 12:37: RT @MrJohnDorney: Reading the ever disappointing Graham Linehan stuff today. Personally speaking, the one thing I know about being trans is... Sun, 13:25: Last day of the Arenberg exhibition. (@ M - Museum Leuven in Leuven, Vlaams-Brabant) https://t.co/xLgnCRL6zu Sun, 14:16: RT @anandMenon1: Oh my God. They're saying ...

Former senior legal counsel to the government Stephen Laws QC was on the Today programme this morning. He had a very interesting take on what's happening in parliament at the moment. He presented the notion that the Queen might be required to decide whether certain Bills that had passed the Commons should get Royal Assent or not depending on what the government asks of her on the matter. "It is a sacred duty of all UK politicians not to involve the Monarch in politics. They have a constitutional responsibility to resolve difficulties between themselves in accordance with the rules, and ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute
Mon 21st
09:12

Leaving London

Britain is one of the most overcentralized countries in the Western world. Our political and financial institutions are concentrated in London, perpetuating regional inequality and overburdening the capital's underfunded public services. London might be open but it's also full: strangers share bedrooms; commuters collapse on crowded trains, gentrification ravages local communities, savings accounts stay empty and the Westminster bubble remains as tight and cosy as ever. There seems to be no end in sight to London-centrism. Jobs flow to London without serious consideration being paid to whether or not they might be better off elsewhere. For example, in 2015 George ...

Posted by David Chadwick on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I suspect that when the House of Commons voted to insist on the Prime Minister presenting her Brexit Plan B to them today, they were expecting a realistic rethink of her approach based on cross-party working and an alliance of MPs, which by-passed some fairly reluctant and intransigent leaders. Instead, it appears that Theresa May has given up on bringing other parties on board, cannot see past her own red lines and has decided that she is capable of defying political gravity, with a proposal that would be more at home down Alice in Wonderland's rabbit hole than in the ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I have been beginning a debate with my friend and Radix colleague Joe Zammit-Lucia about whether or not a general election is the only way out of the government's current impasse. Quite reasonably, he suggests that the Conservative Party will never call one – to quote A A Milne, "for fear of finding something worse". [...] The post It is time to remember 1918, and to hold a 'multi-coupon' election appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Radix | Mute

Liverpool Lime Street Station at night. The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below A Virgin Trains Pendolino train at Liverpool Lime Street Station. There's every danger with looking at crime stats and trying to interpret them that folk become more fearful of crime than they need to be. But the positive side of talking about railway stations where crime is an issue is to make travellers more aware of what is going on around them on busy stations. It's a question of balance as with most things of course. Southport Station.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Yesterday, Vince Cable wrote to Theresa May, offering her a way to solve her Brexit crisis... Prime Minister I appreciate the opportunity to have had a proper conversation with you about our views on the way forward on Brexit and my colleagues have had a useful discussion with yours about the practicalities of a referendum and its timing. We have followed up the discussions with a note to David Liddington setting out our views on how a People's Vote could be organised quickly. Our positions are, at first sight, far apart. But I reiterate the point that, as it currently ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 21 JANUARY 2019 Old Hawkhill (junction of Park Place) - temporary traffic lights for 2 weeks for water connection works. Forthcoming Roadworks West Marketgait (northbound from Hawkhill to Ward Road) - closed on Sunday 27 January for crane lifting operations.

Mon 21st
06:35

New 500 Songs Episode Up

A new episode of "A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs", looking at Bill Haley's first big hit, "Crazy Man Crazy", and how it was connected to the Mafia, school assemblies, yodelling, and changes in radio regulations in ... Continue reading →

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

One of the more unpleasant aspects of this "growing old" malarkey is that bits of me start to fail or, at least, work less effectively than they used to. And that's only to be expected, I suppose, what with all of the wear and tear that accrues from not having always paid a terrible amount of attention to my personal wellbeing. Losing some weight helped a bit - the back is less of a problem, as are the knees - but my eyesight continues to deteriorate slowly but surely, and my eye tests are something to be approached with, if ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy | Mute

GP postcode lottery shows vital need for a national workforce strategy Lib Dems: Car insurance rise shows cost of Brexit Labour failing their duty as Official Opposition on Brexit Fox's failure to sign trade deals shows Brexiters' 'Global Britain' does not exist Corbyn isolated as over 100 Labour MPs set to back Lib Dem call for a people's vote GP postcode lottery shows vital need for a national workforce strategy Responding to the analysis done by the BBC which shows the huge variation in the availability of GPs in different parts of England, Liberal Democrat Health Spokesperson Judith Jolly said: ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I'm sure Zoe's post on LDV will be up soon detailing what got selected and what didn't, once all the submitters of motions have been informed. When that goes up I'll have a couple of comments about which motions I liked and didn't like. But right now I'm here to give you the scuttlebutt about the rest of the meeting. Firstly, conference office was not immune to the recent upheavals in staffing that HQ has suffered, and we are going to be saying goodbye to a much-loved and very long-standing member of staff. Conference office staff do a huge amount ...

On Friday I posted a video that follows the course of the abandoned Cambridge to Mildenhall line. Studying the blurb on YouTube, I found a link to this footage of the line in operation.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

So the year is 2016, me and my wife were in Whitby at a beautiful guest house with spectacular views of the sea (we were celebrating our tenth wedding anniversary). I turn on the news and the headlines announce the UK have voted to leave the European Union after 40+ years!! I have to be ... Continue reading What a Mess we are In !!! →

Posted by tompkin982014 on tompkin98blog | Mute
Sun 20th
20:33

Six of the Best 843

"In many ways, the desire to pull all of those in poverty under one roof, literally or figuratively in the case of Universal Credit, stems from the same impulses today as it did in 1834: a desire to drive down spending and make people work, or work harder." Alannah Tomkins says Universal Credit is like the Victorian workhouse. Simon Parker looks at the government's response to civil disorder in Liverpool in the 1980s and specifically at the policy of 'managed decline'. "'It's a programme designed to knock current affairs broadcasting off its axis,' said editor Ross Edwards in that week's ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sun 20th
20:17

Low Fell Focus no. 26

Lib Dems in Low Fell ward in Gateshead have just published edition 26 of their eFocus newsletter. Issues covered include: Information sessions about extra bin trial in Low Fell Pathway to be reopened Supporting the Low Fell Ukes New Environmental Team comes into force Road markings on Durham Road £1,400 for bollards! You can view Low Fell eFocus on this link.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

"Ministers agree to consider Lib Dem plans for new referendum" say the headlines. This is a victory not only for the party and our chances of stopping Brexit, but also for the millions of EU citizens in the UK and UK citizens around the world who were excluded from voting in 2016. At Conference in Brighton in September, Lib Dem members condemned this injustice, and passed policy that EU citizens living in the UK and UK citizens abroad must be included in all future referendums. Lib Dem Immigrants are proud that our party refuses to treat immigrants and emigrants as ...

Posted by Lib Dem Immigrants on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Julia Ewart has been selected by Liberal Democrat party members as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the Suffolk Coastal Parliamentary constituency. The current MP is Conservative Thérèse Coffey. Julia Ewart is chair of Suffolk/EU alliance and is a leading campaigner in the fight against Brexit and won the selection from a field of four. She said, It's a changing time in politics and the Lib Dems, with a growing number of members and supporters, can take advantage of these opportunities at forthcoming local elections. I will now dedicate my time to make the difference for our constituency and help ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Leuven has been commemorating the Arenberg family as previously noted, and I suddenly realised this morning that today was the last day of the exhibition in the M Museum about the family's Power and Beauty, so I zoomed into town at lunchtime. It was pretty crowded, no doubt partly because other people like me had realised that this was the last chance to see it. The Arenbergs dominated the town from the moment that they inherited the lands in 1612, owning the castle at Heverlee and the forest where we often walk. I was particularly fascinated by an estate map ...

Way back in the late 1980s we were running a very early version of social media at the Open University. One Friday night, I was alerted to an abusive conversation going on about how much debate it would take to hang all the homosexuals in Britain. I shut down the debate immediately. I suspended the officer from all university computing (ergo, he would use lose his job), went to his 21st birthday party and floored him in my office first thing Monday morning. It is rumoured that everyone stopped work in the corridor as I made the man (young and ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

I am starting to think that the likelihood of a General Election is rising. Theresa May's options are limited. She could probably get a majority of MPs to back a Norway style Brexit if she put some effort into it. She could have done that two years ago. But that would split her party. So she won't. She could, as Vince suggested to her, put her own deal to the British people. But every poll that has been done on that possibility suggests that it would lose against a Remain option. However right that would be, it would split her ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Tom Brake's speech in the Brexit debate was a candid one in which he took responsibility for his part in creating the set of circumstances where so many people voted Leave. Brexit, and the way it is being handled, is a national embarrassment. Worse than that, it is a damaging international embarrassment. That great tactician, David Cameron, devised what he thought would be a cunning plan to staunch the decades-long Euro bloodletting in his party: a referendum. But the referendum, instead of acting as neat sutures to bind together the ideologically driven Brexiters and their more rational colleagues, has taken ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Mannfred Mann reached no. 2 in the UK singles chart with this Bob Dylan song in 1965. This live version, featuring the band's original vocalist Paul Jones, comes from that year's Richmond Jazz Festival. It was recorded for the American television programme Shindig, which explains why Jones is faded out at some points. The lines that would have shocked America are every appearance of "Or else you gotta stay all night" and, later on, a lone "It'll be too dark for you to find the door". It makes you proud to be British.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute
Sun 20th
11:00

My tweets

Sat, 12:56: RT @Ed_Miliband: Yes https://t.co/t0YrDvhudn Sat, 14:44: Voting for Magrs - he is variable, but on form he is very good. Also invented Iris Wildthyme.... https://t.co/njJMNP4IKN Sat, 17:45: Favourite Dalek Story: There is only one correct answer to this question. Genesis of the Daleks FTW!!! https://t.co/rfCHvToynI Sat, 21:32: From Here To Eternity: 1953 film, and book by James Jones https://t.co/RP549XC5MQ Sun, 10:55: RT @SJAMcBride: Time is running out for the DUP to take a decision with historic and uncertain consequences. The logic of its 'one red line...

The Sunday Times reports on the view of party insiders, that the Labour Party is haemorrhaging members amid a growing backlash over Jeremy Corbyn's stance on Brexit. They say that at the height of Corbyn's popularity following the general election in 2017, Labour was considered the "largest party in western Europe" with more than 500,000 members. However, in recent months, sources have told the paper that Labour has lost up to 150,000 members. It is estimated that up to 100,000 are not up to date with their subs and enrolment has slumped to around 385,000. One former Labour Welsh Assembly ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The History of Parliament blog has a fascinating piece on the origins of MPs holding constituency surgeries – that is, the practice of holding regular sessions in their constituency to which any constituent can come and raise any sort of question. There was no one clear creator of the idea, but MP surgeries do seem to have started with Liberal and Labour MPs: A century ago, the surgery certainly didn't exist. But it's difficult to be categorical about when and why Members started holding them. Their origins might be traced to the activities of some of the early East London ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Ten years ago, I watched, full of hope and optimism, as Barack Obama was sworn in as the 44th US President. I didn't get to concentrate on his speech as our hamster, Powder Puff, became ill and passed away at the critical moment. For that she will never be forgotten. The speech itself was a turning away from the divisive politics of the Bush years. On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord. On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:- Now I don't recall amongst all the hype from Tories in Government and Labour locally who backed us having a Metro Mayor, on what I called at the time a 3rd rate devolution deal, that there'd be an addition to all the Liverpool City Region council tax bills, do you? But then again it was probably always the case that there'd be more mouths to feed and such has come to pass. I'd be much happier if the powers devolved to our Metro Mayor had made ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

It was not until 12:40 am that Wera Hobhouse was called to give her speech in the Commons debate on the Brexit deal. She highlighted the uncertainties in the PM's blind Brexit and talked about the dangers of a post-Brexit deregulation on the environment and trade. We have come a long way since June 2016. There is no more hiding from the fact that any Brexit will leave us worse off and that the best that any post-Brexit Government can do is damage limitation. If we go ahead with Brexit, we will have to find new ways of stimulating the ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Lib Dem Councillors John Dodd, Daniel Lewis, Nigel Ashton and Yaso Sathiy, Focus Editor are holding their next advice centre in Churchtown. We will be at BoxTree Kitchen for Queenscourt café, Manor Road/Cambridge Road, roundabout, from 10:30 to 11.30am on Thursday 24th January. We also hold a monthly advice centre in Crossens, at St John's School, Rufford Road, Crossens every month (except August) on the second Saturday of the month from 11:00 am to 12:00. We will be there to meet you and discuss any Council problems you may have. No appointment necessary. Just pop in.

Posted by John Dodd on Meols Lib Dems | Mute

If you down into the woods this weekend, spare a thought for how they are managed and might be improved. The Forestry Commission has published a fifty-year plan for the Mortimer Forest and wants to hear views by 1 February. The plan's vision is for the 1,029-hectare forest to be become a haven for people, nature and the economy. Broadleaf cover will be increased to over one-fifth of the forest over the next ten years and to much larger areas over the subsequent decades. Views including from Ludlow will be improved. There is no mention of building accommodation in the ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

As I previously advised, I am participating in tomorrow's Dundee Pensioners' Forum Question Time. Here's a new poster advertising the event to which all are welcome :