Sunday 14th January 2007

11:15 pm

Koopa make chart history

Gravatar As someone who used to take an interest in the chart to disturbingly geeky levels, this is big news for me.
10:53 pm

Lib Dem TV - What an improvement

Gravatar After my story last week about how poor the presentation was of Lib Dem TV, can I say a big well done to them for the job they have done on the new video clip done by Lynn Featherstone. The "still" for use on websites looks professional, and all my concerns from my earlier whinge have been addressed. Well done.
9:48 pm

I just stumbled across my sister on teh internets

Gravatar Amazing things you find trolling teh internets - just found a pic of my sis! But she is fibbing, that is not Mr Tinkles! It is what Mr Tinkles sees in the mirror.
9:46 pm

What's in a name anyway?

Gravatar As Paul Walters, David Rundle and Iain Dale have all been kind enough to note, I almost get a starring mention on the back page of this week’s Lib Dem News. Almost, but not quite. For, in reporting the results of that poll, the good folk at LDN have re-christened me John Tall. Fortunately my dad, whose first name is John, doesn’t subscribe to LDN, as I’m not too sure he would care to have his
9:26 pm

Chocolate melt-off postponed

Gravatar It appears that my methods of melting chocolate have caused some controversy (apologies to any new readers; don't worry, you'll pick up on the story quickly but in essence - I am right; everyone else is wrong). I was planning to host a melt-off this weekend (oven versus microwave versus highly dangerous use of pan of boiling water) to be followed by a blind taste testing session with my colleagues. Alas, problems with my leash mean it has had to be put off. But check back soon for the exciting bar chart of the chocolate melt-off blind taste ...
9:16 pm

West End FOCUS Edition 55

Gravatar It has been a hard going weekend with LibDem campaigning across Dundee, starting in Lochee, then Coldside and Maryfield. Ok, tired, but loved every minute if I am being honest! The MP3 player is rather superb for doing leaflet deliveries, you sort of live in a world all of your own...Sunday afternoon was spent writing the next West End FOCUS newsletter; loads to report back on, but rather too much to say for the space available ... !
8:44 pm

Candidate news: Birmingham Ladywood, and Hexham

Gravatar Congratulations to Ayoub Khan, selected for Birmingham Ladywood. According to Colin Ross “Ayoub Khan is one of the Liberal Democrat Councillors in the constituency representing Aston ward. Ayoub stood last time recording one of the best swings in the country from Labour of over 20%.” Also congratulations to Andrew Duffield, who has been re-selected to stand in [...]
8:18 pm

Pot Calls Kettle Black

Gravatar From BBC News, noted lawyer-shooter and US Vice President Dick Cheney has come out of solitary confinement to warn Iran to say out of Iraq: Mr Cheney told Fox News that Iran was "fishing in troubled waters" by aiding attacks on US forces and backing Shia militias involved in sectarian violence. "I think the message that the president sent clearly is that we do not want (Iran) doing what they
8:12 pm

So will we have Chris Huhne as our next leader?

Gravatar Having attended the North Beds annual dinner last night I am sorry to say Chris Huhne did not win me over. He spoke well and was certainly more engaging than when participating in the hustings...........but...........well..........he just doesn't do it for me. Like others I was interested in the debate about our future leader taking place on Mike Smithson's political betting yesterday. Mike seems to have been pretty impressed, no doubt his views will emerge in due course. And there seem to be a lot of fellow members who are "bigging him up" at the moment. Frankly anyone who sees themselves ...
8:04 pm

Food, Fido, and Fire in the Clouds

Gravatar OK, let's get the nastiness out of the way first - today was the day that the diet came crashing down to Earth in a ball of flame and molten rock. There was just no need for the enormous pub lunch of fish and chips. And there was certainly no need for two side orders. Or, indeed, dessert. The saying goes that if you can't have a little of what you like once in a while, what's the point in being
6:32 pm

Younger-Ross: brilliant statement on LibDem attitude to Simone Clarke

Gravatar I applaud the statement of Richard Younger-Ross MP, Culture Spokesman, on the Liberal Democrat attitude to Simone Clarke, the ENB Ballet dancer and BNP member: The Liberal Democrats, while vehemently opposing the political beliefs of Simone Clarke, will nonetheless defend her right to hold them.
6:21 pm

Danny McCarthy Party collapses

Gravatar Out in Cathedrals Ward today delivering welcome leaflets for Labour's 'new'/returning Councillor Danny McCarthy. Only two months ago Danny stated he would be sitting as an independent in the Council chamber given his recent election as a Liberal Democrat. He felt it would be "morally wrong to take the Labour whip". However, he appears to have changed his mind and announced his decision in this week's Southwark News, citing unreasonable treatment. Unreasonable what? It seems Danny's main gripe is that he felt he could continue as Chair of Borough and Bankside Community Council having jumped ship. The Liberal Democrat ...
6:17 pm

US Iraq policy - showdown takes a step nearer

Gravatar Dick Cheney has been outdoing himself today. "Cheney to Congress: Can't run Iraq war by committee" - says CNN: -Vice president says congressional critics won't influence Bush's troop plans, Cheney says -Congress does have a role to play in terms of fundingI see. So, after one of the clearest election results in US history, Cheney tells Congress they just pick up the tab whatever George Bush
6:05 pm

Modernising Medical Careers

Gravatar I don't like the word "modernising" as it is spectacularly meaningless. However, the linked spoof magazine about the changes for doctors in the Health Service is worth a glance at.
6:04 pm

Australian open

Gravatar Tennis was an early love in my life so, I am counting down the hours to the start of the Australian Open in Melbourne, the first grand slam event of the tennis season. Can anyone beat Federer? Will Murray live up to (or outperform) his seeding? How many times will the UK media refer to him "British" when he wins but "Scottish" when he loses? How will his brother Jamie do in the doubles (as UK number 1 player)? Will Mauresmo defend her title successfully? Can Clijsters win in her last season? How many players will withdraw before or ...
6:00 pm

No To Trident

Gravatar A while ago I wrote to Liberal Democrat News expressing my anger at the proposed Liberal Democrat policy regarding Trident. I had almost forgotten about it and then it appeared in this week's edition, I have reprinted it below. This is an issue I feel very strongly about and have also created a petition to Sir Menzies calling for Trident not to be renewed - please sign and encourage others to do so. The petition is the second item on the navigation menu on the left hand side of this page.
5:23 pm

Britblog #100

Gravatar No more nervous nineties for Tim.
5:15 pm

Ayoub Khan selected for Birmingham (Ladywood)

Gravatar Ayoub was selected today with unanimous support from the Ladywood members. He achieved a 20% swing last time and with Clare Short both standing down and arguing for a hung parliament he is challenging to take the seat when the General Election comes.
5:10 pm


Gravatar It's good to see that Britain's onward march towards utopia means that the school leaving age will soon be rising to 18, and I'm sure it's even more pleasing for those people concerned with unemployment statistics or providing the facilities to accommodate a sudden increase in students. Cynicism aside I'm sure the change will bring about improvements in the lives of people aged 16-18 and for us all it's never a bad thing to have a more qualified set of young people doing something more purposeful. I do wonder though at some of the stock arguments wheeled out to defend ...
5:00 pm

Ayoub Kahn selected for Birmingham Ladywood

Gravatar Earlier today I attended Birmingham Ladywood Liberal Democrats Inaugural General Meeting (its a new local party) and their Parliamentary selection. The IGM was fairly straight forward, hopefully Birmingham Perry Barr's next week will be as straight forward. Ayoub Khan was then selected to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for the General Election for the Ladywood seat being vacated by Clare Short.
4:54 pm

Selling off council houses

Gravatar It was a marathon City Council meeting on Wednesday night, not finishing until 11.30 pm. One of the reasons was the long debate on a new proposal from Winchester's Tory administration. In a nutshell they wanted to give the Portfolio Holder for Housing the right to sell off up to 10 vacant council houses every year if it would cost more than £8000 to bring such a house up to lettable standard. We
4:45 pm

Scientologists funding Labour and Conservatives

Gravatar According to the Telegraph HERE, the Conservative and Labour parties are taking money from a part of the Church of Scientology. What ever next, new NHS rules to prevent treatment for depression, no drug treatments, no screaming in childbirth. Everyone, you have been warned !
4:22 pm

For "New Orleans" read "Norfolk"

Gravatar The decision to cut £5 million from flood defence schemes in Norfolk, leading to a cancellation of plans to re-inforce a breach between Eccles and Winterton could put thousands of homes at risk of flooding. Norman Lamb, Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk has described the plans as "ludicrous" and potentially "disastrous". Norfolk faces massive flooding problems in the future with sea levels continuing to rise. Even the environment agency have condemned the cuts. If this were London, there would be a furore, but because it is in a rural part of the country, our views are ...
4:02 pm

Tim Worstall: Well played, sir!

Gravatar Tim Worstall has posted his hundredth Britblog Roundup this afternoon. Perhaps he has brought up his ton with a scampered single rather than a glorious six, but it is still a mighty blogging achievement.
4:00 pm

Cameron notices a kettle and calls him black

Gravatar So David Cameron has announced that Gordon Brown lacks a mandate to be Prime Minister. Read about it HERE. Presumably John Major did too in 1990 ? Of course not, he was a Tory ! So why, according to Dave does Brown lack a mandate ? Well apparently it is because, so says Dave, Tony Blair was elected to serve a "full term". Similarly in 1987, voter elected Margaret Thatcher to serve a full term. Again, no doubt this is completely different because, she was a Tory ! You could take the view that people elected a Labour government ...
3:55 pm

Commenting on Liberal Review

Gravatar Here's the easy way.
3:54 pm

Bad news for Britain as Sarkozy fails to convince his own party

Gravatar Now I'm no expert in French politics but the news that Nicolas Sarkozy only won 69% of the vote in the UMP (centre right) primary for President, despite being unopposed, probably doesn't bode well for his chances in the general election. It is well known that Jaques Chiraq and Dominique de Villepin are not fans, but the fact that the splits in the party go so much deeper surprise me. Given the
3:25 pm

Hear me on the radio this evening

Gravatar I'm making the first of a series of appearances on The Westminster Hour on Radio 4, at 10pm this evening.
1:21 pm

Kiva: what do you think?

Gravatar Since being promoted to the Lib Dem Shadow Cabinet, I've had quite a lot of suggestions for issues around international development I should be campaigning or working one. One was about championing a particular outfit working to aid encourage by investment in small businesses in the development field. I've been looking into its work, but thought – why not also ask more widely for what people
1:06 pm

Day 2202: The Urge to Surge

Gravatar Thursday: So, you’ve gone and kicked off a horrible terrible CIVIL WAR with both sides liking nothing better than to take pot shots at foreign soldiers just for getting in the way. Do you: a) apologise to the United Nations and ask for help from the countries in the region and the rest of the world to try and ease tensions and help as many people as possible; b) try to walk away and leave then to it, whistling innocently and hope that nobody notices; or c) stick your head further into the briar patch and shout loudly “Nyar ...
12:17 pm

The end of elite rugby in England?

Gravatar According to the Sunday Times the RFU in their eternal wisdom are to announce a new blueprint for how elite club rugby should be organised in England. On the face of it the plans look like a very elaborate suicide note for elite rugby in England. Not surprisingly, according to the Times, they are looking to move towards a franchise system from 2009, similar to that operated by the other home
12:09 pm

Three deaths in the south

Gravatar This story appears to have been picked up by the BBC but does not as yet appear on the websites of either The Nation or The Bangkok Post. Apparently Islamic militants have killed three people in southern Thailand. A man and wife were found dead at the entrance of a rubber plantation in Yala province - the man had been shot and then decapitated. The third person was killed in a separate attack by a gunman on a motorcycle. This probably does not fit too well with the statement today by the Prime Minister Surayud Chulanont that ...
12:01 pm

First Buses Challenged On Under 5s Ticket Policy

Gravatar Cllr Barbara Hacker, Leader of the Norfolk County Council Liberal Democrat Group, and Simon Wright, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesman for Norwich South, are challenging First (Eastern Counties) over their ticketing policy for under-5s.
11:49 am

Staffordshire Care Home problems again

Gravatar The link is to a story from Staffordshire (today) about a Children's Home where the children were threatening each other. The home may have been closed down, but we really do have to ask if this is a good level of care. The boy, then aged 17, dubbed Ed Adair to protect his identity, lived at Hill House, also a false name. It was home to seven boys until it shut in 2005 as part of a series of
11:25 am

More on Rochdale: Lib Dems take overall control of council

Gravatar The Liberal Democrats have taken overall control of Rochdale Metropolitan Council after a Labour Councillor quit. This leaves the Liberal Democrats with over half the Councillors and now in full control of the Council. The Lib Dems have been in minority control since May after gaining a number of seats in the local elections. [...]
11:16 am

Training hand-over

Gravatar Today, as well as going to the Birmingham Ladywood Inaugural Meeting and their Parliamentary Candidate selection I will be meeting up with Adi Teladia to do a training handover. Adi is the new West Midlands Liberal Democrats Training Officer for 2007, I am now the Vice Chair.
9:59 am

Conservatives in deep, deep denial over their European leader in 16 million euro scandal.

Gravatar Liberal Review ran the original story the other day. To quote myself, the essential point was that Just three days after being elected leader by the EPP (the home of British Conservatives in the European Parliament), the FT reveals that Jospeh Daul, the protectionist French farmer who now leads the Conservaitves in Europe, is under investigation in connection with the diversion of €16 million of farmers´ funds. He is innocent until proven guilty, of course, but I commented that the scandal was bound to heighten Conservative misgivings about David Cameron's broken promise to leave the EPP. Today the ...
9:49 am

"If you don't withdraw from the Parliamentary selection process meeting you'll find your body parts spread across the M6 motorway"

Gravatar Kevin Maguire has the gory details of Labour’s infighting in Rochdale over selecting a candidate to challenge Paul Rowen at the next election. Hat tip: Liberal England labour Opposition watch rochdale
9:28 am

Home Office in crisis

Gravatar So far John Reid has managed to keep things together at the Home Office in the face of the pressure on his apparently floundering junior colleagues. However, today's Sunday papers will make that much more difficult. The Independent on Sunday reveals that Home Office officials are investigating claims that a man whose conviction in Europe was not registered on the police database went on to kill on his return to the UK: Dale Miller, from Gateshead, Tyne and Wear, was convicted in 2002 of shooting dead gangster Freddie Knights. It is understood that Miller is ...
1:01 am

Chris Huhne MP comes to South Wales - JAN 25th

Gravatar     Dear all,   A Date for your diary and not to be missed opportunity tohear one of the party's leading MP speak on Climate Change and our environmentalpolicies.     Chris Huhne will speak to and answer questions from you the membersand supporters.   THURSDAY, JANUARY 25th  at 7.00pm     An opportunity for you to ask questions:   Severn Barrage or SevernTidal Pools?   Will a Severn Barrage unleash a rush for developers on theshores of a new lake Severn?   Can we meet our commitments under the Kyoto Protocolswithout using Nuclear ...
12:12 am

Kylie live in Melbourne

Gravatar I have read several blog postings from people who have been to see Kylie on her tour. I think that the ones I have read are all by gay men. I am sat blogging now watching the TV showing of the concert from Melbourne a few weeks back. Now if you follow my varied music tastes you won't have seen Kylie listed (or expect it), but I am a bit of a fan in, dare I say, a very heterosexual male way. For
12:08 am

ASBOS demonstrate everything that is wrong with British society

Gravatar I remember vividly my politics professor at graduate school, and an expert on Belgium and Holland once asking my class, "has anyone ever wondered why the Dutch are so fucking liberal?" His answer was that they are so self controlled that they do not need anyone telling them not to do drugs, only foreigners do drugs in Holland and Dutch people would probably resent the state telling them what to do with their lives. The point is that the state only really needs to step in to stop behavior that is deemed damaging to society when society cannot do the ...

Previous days:

Saturday 13th January 2007, Friday 12th January 2007, Thursday 11th January 2007, Wednesday 10th January 2007, Tuesday 9th January 2007, Monday 8th January 2007