Wednesday 19th December 2007

11:48 pm

The Secret Millionaire

Gravatar I’d heard about the Channel 4 series The Secret Millionaire but not seen it, until tonight. Normally Wednesday is a campaign evening, but seeing as it’s so close to Christmas we knocked off early (though not before recruiting another deliverer - a result!). Back home early, I watched ‘Secret Millionaire’ Margaret Heffernan, under cover in St [...]
11:28 pm

Day 2544: The Pat of Power

Gravatar Wednesday: Oh, all right, so you all want to know the REAL story behind my headline yesterday. Well here is how it happened: "Is this a tradition?" asked Mr Clogg, as we got out the STICKY BUNS. "Well… it's been a tradition for all of four interviews," explained Daddy Alex. "Perhaps we owe Sir Mr the Merciless a dozen doughnuts!" "And is HE a tradition too?" asked Mr Nick, his hand coming down UNFORTUNATELY just as I turned to offer him a JAMMY DOUGHNUT. "Oh dear," he said, "I am inappropriately handling the elephant?" No Mr Nick, it was FINE. ...
11:06 pm

And today's competition.. how to spend £340 on improving MFL

Gravatar Just read this article. The Government wants all 7 year olds to learn a modern foreign language (MFL). Because the Government is so generous they are putting an extra £340 into schools. Now a special Christmas present to anyone who can think of a way to spend the £340 most effectively.
10:45 pm


Gravatar The Public Administration Committee has said that appointments to the House of Lords should not be made by party leaders and that an independent body should do it instead. They also suggest that it should be possible to boot Lords out of the House, presumably if they fail to follow their Commons' masters' orders, and that the number of Lords should be proportional to the vote-share at the previous general election. So, they want to allow our Lords to be appointed by people who are unaccountable to the public, removed from office by their political masters when expedient, and composed ...
10:43 pm

Report from Clegg Thank You Party - Planet Hollywood

Gravatar Last night the Clegg campaign organisers/helpers were invited to a party at Planet Hollywood in Leicester Square. There was a jarring incongruity here. I'm not sure who felt more out of place - the classic party activists (think conference hotel bar at about 2 am) finding themselves at a gaudy and cheesy pseudo Hollywood Y list celeb venue (not quite Z list) or the bemused tourist families with teenage kids finding themselves in the middle of a Lib Dem rally. The latter must have been very confused. Within the Lib Dems the feeling was one of relief rather than jubilation. ...
10:36 pm

Rubbish and recycling collection times in Haringey

Gravatar {Lynne Featherstone and Ed Butcher recycling} There will be no collection on the 24th and 25th of December or the 1st of January. That means if you have a weekly collection on a Tuesday you will receive no collection between yesterday (18th December) and the 8th of January. If you have a weekly collection on a Monday you will receive no collection between this Monday (17th December) and the 31st of December. If you have a flat above a shop and you get daily collections you will just miss out on the three days (24th, 25th and 1st); all other ...
10:07 pm

Amnesty International Carol Singing at Surbiton Station.

9:21 pm

Browne - 'The result was closer than I expected'

Gravatar Browne Welcomes Cleggs Election (from Somerset County Gazette)
9:15 pm

Oliver Twist: A black Nancy?

Gravatar The new BBC adaptation of Oliver Twist does not improve with greater acquaintance. But one point of interest is the casting of the black actress Sophie Okonedo as Nancy. I don't know how credible the idea of a black prostitute in Dickensian London is, though it would be surprising if there were none. But this casting does recall one of the great might have beens of British cinema history - Shirley Bassey almost played in Nancy in the film of Oliver! As Film Threat tells it: Columbia Pictures acquired the rights to the hit musical show “Oliver!” and wanted to ...
9:13 pm

Censoring "Fairytale of New York"

Gravatar There has been some debate in the Lib Dem blogosphere about BBC Radio 1's decision to censor the word "faggot" from the song "Fairytale of New York" and then not to. My heart is with Antony Hook: If I remember rightly the words crop up in the song where the male and female vocalists are abusing each other. It’s acting (albeit for a couple of mins and set to a tune). The logic of the banning argument is to purge any book, play, film, or musical that uses language taboo in polite company. It’s an artistic representation (of two people ...
9:04 pm

Top of the Blogs: the Golden Dozen #43 (Leadership special)

Gravatar Welcome to the 43rd of our weekly round-ups from the Lib Dem blogosphere, featuring the seven most popular stories according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (9th-15th December), together with a hand-picked quintet you might otherwise have missed. The final full week of the leadership contest… Here are the top-rated stories in descending order:
9:00 pm

Time Magazine's person of the year

Gravatar Time Magazine has named its annual person of the year, the person or group of people the editors of the magazine feel have had the greates impact on the worlds news wether it be for good or bad reasons. Previous winners range from Winston Churchill (who was named person of the year twice) JFK, Richar Nixon (who also was named person of the year twice), to Adolf Hitler (who was chosen before he went onto order and commit mass murder), Joesph Stalin (who was ordering mass murder at the time of his choice, but no-one actual knew at the time), ...
8:35 pm

A word from our Director of Campaigns & Elections

Gravatar Hilary Stephenson, the party’s Director of Campaigns and Elections has been in touch with The Voice to express her satisfaction with the way the party has been welcoming its new leader. I’m delighted that we have got Nick Clegg’s leadership off to a flying start. Party campaigners across the country seem to have been eager to get [...]
7:09 pm

Interview with Alison Weir

7:07 pm

Nick Clegg's acceptance speech in full

Gravatar Nick Clegg made an excellent speech when he won the election for Leader of the Liberal Democrats. This is what he said:
7:06 pm

Nick Clegg: Together, we can build Britain’s liberal future

Gravatar I would like to thank all Liberal Democrat members whose support led to my election yesterday as Party Leader.  Now is the time for our party to come together to work for a more liberal Britain. Politics is out of step with the liberal instincts of the British people: we must change that. When I look [...]
7:03 pm

I'm actually very sorry, but I did say it would happen

Gravatar Iain Dale has failed in his attempt to get selected as Tory PPC for Maidstone and the Weald. This safe Tory seat which is very close to where Iain lives in Kent is currently held by Ann Widdecombe and seemed like the perfect fit for Iain. As someone who vociferously campaigned against him when he campaigned in my old patch in North Norfolk in 2005, I am genuinely sorry that Iain was not selected and offer him genuine sympathy and commiserations, but I did think this would happen. I told people in the Lib Dems and some quite senior Tories ...
7:02 pm

Far right to split again ?

Gravatar I seem to recall that the BNP came about after something of a split in the National Front in the late 1970's and early 1980's. Now, it appears, the BNP is set to split itself after factional fighting.
6:49 pm

Christmas buses

Gravatar Geoff Pope, one of the Lib Dems on the London Assembly, has been quizzing Mayor Ken about public transport at Christmas. Last year Geoff pressed the Mayor to look at whether a Christmas Day bus service running on a night bus timetable might be possible; so far Ken’s answer is no. Bah humbug! I think it’s a [...]
6:41 pm

Give me an atheist who acts like a good Christian rather than someone who claims to be a good Christian but isn't

Gravatar I heard Nick Clegg's revelation that he does not believe in God this morning on Radio Five and was, a little shocked and surprised he did not elaborate more on his answer (he did have the opportunity to do so and did so on other questions). But you have to admire his honesty and his ability to give a straight answer to a straight question. Since then the BBC in particular seem to be wetting themselves in excitement over what Nick Clegg said. It was being discussed on Radio 4 and Radio Five on the way home form work this ...
6:36 pm

Clegg ‘Doesn’t believe in God’

Gravatar In news that will surely delight Lib Dem Voice’s resident militant atheist (and at least one fluffy elephant), our new leader does not count himself amongst the nation’s theists, according a report over at the BBC. The revelation came as part of a Radio 5 ‘rapid fire’ interview when he was asked whether he believed in [...]
6:36 pm

Oh dear! Someone mentioned Justin...

6:28 pm

BNP ballerina to marry BNP barmcake

Gravatar Good luck to them: The ballerina and British National Party activist Simone Clarke is to wed a fellow far-right party councillor, her new fiance announced today. Clarke will marry Richard Barnbrook, a councillor in Barking and Dagenham and the party's candidate for mayor of London, whom she met after he came to support her during anti-fascist protests of her performances as Giselle in London
5:56 pm

Mark Littlewood’s advice to Nick Clegg and the future of Chris Rennard

Gravatar Mark’s advice is worth a read and can be found on the Politics Show website. I think I’d go along with all of it, particularly the advice about Clegg sacking his hangers on, with one minor qualification. He says don’t fire Chris Rennard and I wholly agree. I’ve been accused of calling for this over the past couple of weeks including in my CiF piece yesterday. I said no such thing. What I have done is highlight the degree to which Rennard himself appears to be on the defensive at the moment, the way he consistently presents his critics as ...
5:51 pm

Nick Clegg video message

5:49 pm

Justin Timberlake he ain't!

Gravatar As a middle aged man in his late 40’s I am well aware who Roxy Music and Brian Eno are - I have even got a mobile phone with “savor crystalline ring tone notes composed by the renowned ambient music innovator, Brian Eno”. However, I am willing to hazard a guess that I am in the minority. The vast majority of the population, let alone young people, will never have heard of either of them. So, I will have to disagree with Linda jack (sorry Linda, first time for everything) and say that Brian Eno is far from being an ...
5:08 pm

New local history course

Gravatar Click on the above headline to read more about a new local history course taking place in the Mitchell Street Centre in early 2008. Taking place over 8 weeks it will cover : Victorian DundeeThe Smeiton family of CarnoustieThe impact of the wars on DundeePolitics, Suffrage and Riots in DundeePlus visits to the McManus Collection and the City ArchivesThis Alexander Wilson photograph shows the Sinderins (with thanks to Dundee City Council). Many more fascinating photographs of old Dundee can be seen at
4:58 pm

Poor old Iain Dale fails to get past the first interview at Maidstone

Gravatar Poor fellow! I have news from the Maidstone & the Weald selection. There's no way of skirting the issue, so I'll just come out and say it. I didn't get past the first interview, which took place on Saturday. Commiserations Iain, we've all been there!
4:28 pm

Nick Clegg: New Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar Watch a short film on You Tube: Nick Clegg: New Leader of the Liberal Democrats
4:28 pm

The Hoosiers / The changing perspectives of age

Gravatar More details on the Hoosiers origins in Berkshire / / The three ages of man?
4:26 pm

Tall story

Gravatar Mike Parker, Deputy CEO of Young's, when asked about his companies decision to send shrimp half way round the world to processed only to send it back to the UK to be sold said"What they found was that there was no difference between the two and the reason for that is simply that by moving from machine processing here in the UK to hand processing in Thailand saves a lot of energy and obviously a lot of the CO2 emissions associated with that. Mmmm.... I'm no scientist, or environmentalist, but I can't help viewing this with a healthy dose of ...
4:13 pm

Reduce, Re-use, Recycle

Gravatar Today was the first evidence-gathering meeting of the Environment Select Committee review of Waste Management in the Borough. We had Dr Andrew Craig, a local expert who's been involved in formulating strategy at Tees Valley level and in the North East as well as having some input into national thinking on the subject. I think that everyone in the room learned something from the session and we
4:08 pm

Nick Clegg Video

3:46 pm

Chris Huhne salutes Nick Clegg

Gravatar Nick Clegg has received praise from his defeated rival for the Lib Dem leadership, Chris Huhne.
3:34 pm


Gravatar Keats said rather puzzlingly that beauty is truth, truth beauty. Politics may be showbusiness for the facially challenged, but there are very few politicians who haven’t at some point suggested that they can help revive a mythical truthfulness in public life. Some time ago I read Matthew Parris’ book Chance Witness, and it sparked me off thinking about honesty concerning ourselves. He is quite ruthless about his failings, never self-deprecating or displaying false modesty. He explains to us why his political career was a failure, illustrating it with despairing little vignettes about his time in the Commons (including exerts from ...
3:33 pm

Nick Clegg elected Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar Nick Clegg has been elected as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. The result of the ballot of all Lib Dem members was announced by the acting Leader, Vince Cable, in London on Tuesday 18th December. Nick Clegg won by a narrow margin, gaining 20,988 votes to Chris Huhne's 20,477 votes.
3:32 pm

The N-word and the F-word

Gravatar With some hesitation, I disagree with Alex that the he N-word and F-word ought not to be used. If I remember rightly the words crop up in the song where the male and female vocalists are abusing each other. It’s acting (albeit for a couple of mins and set to a tune). The logic of the banning argument [...]
3:31 pm

A Polygamist Christmas

Gravatar I’ve just read this article describing Christmas in a polygamous family in the second half of the 20th Century. It tells of times when the family could not be together because they were being pursued by the state for the ‘crime’ of polygamy. Personally, I know I couldn’t cope with polygamy (or polyandry or whatever other arrangements [...]
3:09 pm

Supermarkets slammed for trying Fair Trade.

Gravatar Recently the results of a review into price fixing by the supermarkets was released. The anti-supermarket brigade celebrated, now they could point to how the evil supermarkets were raising prices! (whilst ignoring recommendations that the planning process should be relaxed to allow more supermarkets and greater competition…). Except, what the supermarkets claim they were doing was [...]
2:59 pm

The N-Word Versus the F-Word

Gravatar There’s been a lot of fuss about Radio One’s banning and un-banning of Fairytale of New York. Which, of course, they didn’t ban. They bleeped. Now, censorship is usually a bad idea and frequently a silly one, and it’s difficult to get more ridiculous than bleeping a word in a pop song. But I’ve got one question. Why is everyone chortling over “faggot,” a word derived from the religious practice of burning gay men alive (something, call me old-fashioned, that I find rather offensive), while no-one would ever say on the airwaves the word “N*****,” which is derived from “black”? ...
2:58 pm

How I Voted

Gravatar Well I wonder if the Chief Operating Officer of Second from Bottom Great Western has been reading my recent blogs about his train services because there was a letter from him on every seat of the trai...
2:32 pm

The Curse of Cicero...

Gravatar An absolute joy to see the vile Tommy Sheridan being charged with perjury. I commented at the time on what- even then- seemed his dubious acquittal, that we had not heard the last of the case. I for one look forward to justice being done to one of the most negative influences on Scottish politics in recent years. Then again, only a few days after commenting that the role of the First Minister in the Balmedie Golf fiasco seemed pretty questionable, it seems that indeed Wee Eck now has to face questions over precisely what and when he did things. ...
2:20 pm

Protocols of the Elders of Brussels

Gravatar Amidst the various comments on concerning the election of Nick Clegg as leader, there came this rather priceless contribution: "Clegg is a fully-paid up member of the new European elite who want to replace democratic government by a kind of bureaucratic authoritarianism, in which all important decisions will be taken by unelected committees of technocrats. This will of course be disguised by window dressing such as the fatuous ‘Town Hall Meetings’ you describe, as well as ‘regional assemblies’ and other such nonsense. It’s surprising he made his position so obvious though - a serious gaffe. Runnymede December 19th, 2007 ...
2:19 pm

Why I love Tesco

Gravatar An excellent article, at of all places, The Grauniad. Choice quoatations: In 1919, after serving with the RAF during the first world war, 21-year-old Jack Cohen invested his £30 demob money in surplus food stocks and a stall in the East End of London. … The idea that Tesco has always been a corner-shop-crushing colossus is a [...]
2:00 pm

Christmas pros and cons

Gravatar As usual around this time of year someone accuses me of being a Bah Humbug Scrooge as I'm often found muttering darkly about various aspects of this holiday which I don't care for. Being an Atheist I have no religious reasons for liking Christmas but I am particularly keen on socialising with family and friends. So, here's a list of my Christmas pros and cons. please feel to add your own suggestions to the list. PRO - good time to socialise with family and friends. - wonderful food. - getting to drink things like mulled wine and eggnog. - giving ...
1:55 pm

A question to First ScotRail

Gravatar As someone who regularly travels from Irvine to Edinburgh, usually with a stopoff in my Glasgow Office, I was rather perturbed to find out that it is cheaper to purchase a return from Irvine to glasgow and a return from Glasgow to Edinburgh than it is to buy a return from Irvine to Edinburgh. Cheaper by 75p in fact. I have posed this question verbally to First Scotrail's "Customer Liaison Team" and got no satisfactory answer whatsoever. They have now booted my query upstairs and I await an answer. In the meantime I suggest that if this anomaly exisits on ...
1:20 pm

Clegg's inspired appointment - Brian Eno

Gravatar Well, start as you mean to go on Nick! Great inspired choice to appoint Brian Eno as an adviser. Brian is not only an outstanding musician and artist, but also a hero in the anti-war movement. He will be a beacon to those who have been struggling to find a home to go to politically as well as bringing a fresh edge to the party. I am thrilled to bits and eagerly anticipating what other surprises Nick has up his sleeve...............
12:55 pm

Tories continue to resist devolution

Gravatar As I was not at the Health Wellbeing and Local Government Committee on 12 December I have had to await the publication of the transcript of proceedings before posting this. It was well worth it, if only for the hitherto unreported comments by Deputy Social Services Minister, Gwenda Thomas, regarding the further antics of the Tories in Westminster and their continuing attempts to undermine the devolution process. What Gwenda had to say seemed to come as news to the Conservative Chair, Jonathan Morgan. He did not appear too pleased at the behaviour of his MP colleagues: The Deputy Minister for ...
12:47 pm

Clegg on Diversity - I will consider appointments process

Gravatar At the bloggers interview yesterday Alex Wilcock and I both asked questions about diversity. Alex highlighting the urgency of the problem as those who flocked to us following Iraq now appear to be drifting away (well covered here). I pointed out to Nick that whilst I applauded his commitment to an academy to improve representation in the party, he had not addressed my concern that we already had a lot of talented BME members, many of whom are already being wooed by the other two parties as they begin to lose patience with us (in the middle of me trying ...
12:27 pm

Zuma beats Mbeki for Leadership of the ANC

Gravatar Jacob Zuma is the new leader of the ANC beating Thabo Mbeki. Zuma received 2,329 votes to Mbeki's 1,505 - compared the the Liberal Democrat Leadership election this was a landslide result!
12:20 pm

Krispy Cremes with Nick Clegg - Don't expect a picnic!

Gravatar It was a real privilege to be part of the Blogger's delegation to interview Nick Clegg last night and a clear sign of him putting his money where his mouth was, in a ridiculously busy schedule, to make time for us. Time was really short but Nick after grapping Millenium's bottom - trunkated (apologies for the pun) his answers accordingly. In between deftly managing to eat a jammy doughnut without spilling it all down his eye catching tie, he answered questions confidently and with that hint of steel which I am sure will become his trademark. Having left the bloggers ...
12:16 pm

Clegg vs Cameron - there is no confusion

Gravatar I’m delighted to hear that 86% of Five Live texters could correctly identify Nick Clegg’s voice over David Cameron’s. So after a whole morning devoted to the question of “can you tell the difference?”, we have a resounding answer - yes! Congratulations to Nick Clegg. I’m surprised at the slender majority but that will be quickly forgotten if Nick continues the good start he made on the radio this morning. Stephen Tall’s excellent post on Lib Dem Voice points the way forward for Nick and I wholeheartedly agree. I’m impressed with the “Town Hall” idea, which should help to address ...
12:07 pm

Post Conflict People

Gravatar Black Rod (Lieutenant-General Sir Michael Willcocks) hosted a reception at the House of Lords last night, to launch Post Conflict People, a group of professionals with experience in post-conflict reconstruction, development and institution building, for which several parts of the world are in crying need. Lord (Paddy) Ashdown gave a short speech, reprising the arguments [...]
11:56 am

Salmond hauled before Holyrood Committee over Trump

Gravatar First Minister of Scotland Alex Salmond is to appear before Holyrood's Local Government Committee, which has decided to investigate the Scottish Government's interference over Trump's application to build a large development on the Menie estate in Aberdeenshire. There would have been a public inquiry were it not for the Tories siding, as usual, with the Gnats thus the Lib Dem's and Labour had insufficient votes to force the issue. I really feel that the Tories, allegedly the most pro-Union party, are playing a very dangerous game in sooking up to the gnats as they are putting the Union in peril. ...
11:55 am

6th May 2005: What You Didn't Read

Gravatar After today's press coverage of Nick Clegg's win, criticising his 50.6% win on a 64% turnout: "Labour today squeezed back to victory in yesterday's general election by the narrowest of margins, taking just 35.3% of the vote, with the opposition grabbing 64.7% on a turnout of just 61.4%. Serious questions are being raised about Labour's mandate to govern, with many calling for a reform of the
11:33 am

Leader article: United in Europe

Gravatar Across Europe we have entered the age of drawbridge politics. What do I mean by this? That the dividing line between left and right, which for years divided those favouring a free market economy (generally on the right) from those favouring a planned or social market economy (generally on the left) - and which estranged [...]
11:26 am

And here’s the People’s Republic with the morning’s papers…

Gravatar Millennium Elephant brought a copy of London Lite along to the bloggers’ meeting last night, and pointed his fluffy foot to the inch-and-a-half at the bottom of a round-up column recording Clegg’s expected win. That was how much press we got yesterday. Happily, yesterday’s papers will have gone to press hours before the announcement and this morning [...]
11:17 am

Received today from Nick Clegg MP

Gravatar Dear Cllr Macpherson Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats will be ambitious. Ambitious for ourselves and ambitious for Britain. I want to thank you for giving me the chance to lead our great party. It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell, who have all contributed so much to our party. I look forward to working with them all during my leadership. I would also like to pay tribute to both Vince Cable and Chris Huhne. Vince has been an inspiration as stand-in leader with both his forensic questioning and his ...
11:06 am

Photos from the Leadership Declaration

Gravatar Another photo exclusive of sorts (ignoring the fact the room was full of other photographers!) but here are the photos I took at the declaration yesterday of the new Leader.
10:58 am

Iain Dale proves that the Tories wouldn't recognise decentralisation if it hit them in the face

Gravatar We used to have a game at school in our common room when someone was sitting in one of the few armchairs (e.g. me) and suddenly someone would shout "PILE UP ON WALTER!" (or the name of some other hapless pupil) and everyone would run over and jump on top of the poor soul at the bottom in the armchair, in a marginally good-natured way, of course. It was great fun except sometimes for the poor
10:56 am

Belated congratulations to Nick

Gravatar It's not through any grand huff that I haven't yet blogged my sincere congratulations to Nick and sympathies to Chris, for whom I voted, it's simply that I've not had he time thanks to a Scottish all members mailing being sent from Edinburgh HQ. My congratulations to Nick is genuine - I always felt and have gone on record as such that whoever of the two contenders we chose we would have a first class new leader. The one suprise was that the result was so close. Some of the Clegg team seemed, at times, to believe their own propoganda ...
10:32 am

Brown and Out

Gravatar Nick Clegg takes his place as leader of the Liberal Democrats facing the usual chorus of contempt from his political enemies. It is not a question of making the best of any honeymoon, because there is not going to be one. He will be hectored, booed and ambushed at every turn. His first PMQs on January 9th will be a baptism of fire- with Conservatives especially keen to show him in a weak or ineffectual light. The usual script against the Liberal Democrats is to try to paint them as "pointless" or "irrelevant", since research proves again and again that ...
10:31 am


Gravatar On Radio 5 this morning Nick said he would like to see a Referendum on Europe. In or Out, no messing about with referenda every time there is a new treaty, or a change in membership. Do we want to be in or not? Straightforward question. I can go on the doorstep with that.
10:30 am

The world’s first Liberal stalker, healing the world in 10 seconds flat

Gravatar I am concerned that Nick Clegg is watching me.   Last night as I was walking through Manchester on the way to the City game (Awful match. Defeat. Cold. Unpleasant) I passed a bank of TV screens in the foyer of an office building, and there he was staring back at me from the BBC News 24 studio. Nine versions of his face, speaking in unison from a massive three-screen by three-screen TV display.   Why do these TV arrangements exist, I wonder? Why invest in nine screens in a big square, only to have the same, regular sized picture ...
10:24 am

Nick Clegg is new Liberal Democrat Leader

Gravatar Yesterday the results of the Lib Dem leadership election were announced. Nick Clegg won by the surprisingly narrow margin of 500 votes. After much heartsearching I had voted for Chris Huhne, but both were excellent candidates. Below is an extract from Nick Clegg's acceptance speech: "Above all, our politics is broken. Out of touch with people. Out of touch with the modern world. And that is why I have one simple ambition: to change Britain to make it the liberal country I believe the British people want it to be. I want a new politics, a people's politics. I want ...
10:22 am

Clegg vs Cameron. Testing, testing, testing....

Gravatar We will soon be into the New Year and the inevitable media cry of "May 1st will be the first big test of Nick Clegg's leadership" will go up. Let's be frank; it's down to us. I'm sure Nick and the rest of the gang of 63 will help us (well, I hope so) but it's mostly going to depend on our progress. Speaking for my patch, it's the Tories who are looking vulnerable. It's the last year of the cycle, so it's the councillors with the safest seats who are up. But the Tories, as usual, will have a ...
10:04 am

Keran Henderson - another juror speaks out

Gravatar There is more media interest in this issue today. What I wonder is how many innocent people are locked up somewhere in the UK. We are supposed to be short of prison places. Why then have an obsession with locking people up on the basis of unproven theories.
9:58 am

Nick Clegg gets lobbed a question about Radio One ban

Gravatar On PM last night Nick Clegg was lobbed a question about the Radio One ban (later removed) on "A Fairytale of New York". Did he agree with the ban? - Eddie Mair asked. I thought Nick handled the question very well. He said he did not know the song and that there would have to have good reasons to ban it. "Can I listen to the song and then get back to you?" he asked. Good answer. Should a party
9:45 am

And the winner is…

Gravatar …nope, not Nick Clegg, but Steve Comer who got the closest in our Leadership Contest Competition only being out by 0.7% of the vote share for Clegg and Huhne and only 0.6% out on the turnout. He will be shortly sent an exclusive LibDemVoice mug in the post. A special mention goes to Alex who [...]
8:56 am

Bin and recycling collections over the holiday

Gravatar The timing of the bin and recycling collections over Christmas and the New Year is always a bit confusing. We've had this information from the Council. NORMAL COLLECTION DAY REVISED COLLECTION DAYMonday 24 December 2007Saturday 22 December (two days early)Tuesday 25 DecemberMonday 24 December (a day early)Wednesday 26 DecemberThursday 27 December (a day late)Thursday 27 DecemberFriday...
8:29 am

Nick Clegg gives message to Bury

Gravatar Nick Clegg, the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, has set out his priorities in a message to Bury residents: “I am greatly honoured to have been chosen by my fellow party members to be the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Throughout Bury, Liberal Democrats are already working hard to reach out to local people and listen to their concerns. In my leadership I will be taking that spirit nationwide, moving beyond Party Politics and making liberalism connect with the millions of people who share our values. Labour and the Conservatives have failed Britain’s families. I will lead my party ...
7:55 am

BBC Gaffs

Gravatar Why is it that the BBC cannot get the most simple of facts right? Just been watching Sian Williams interview Nick Clegg on the BBC Breakfast programme. Do the BBC ever check their facts before going on air? If so, how can they explain some basic errors made in the interview. For example, Sian Williams kept on saying that two thirds of members hadn't bothered to vote. Now, anyone that read my blog yesterday will know that number was one thrid. I wish there were 120,000 members! Also, and this really does get under my skin. She kept referring to ...
7:50 am

Policies of the Matchimathipataya Party

Gravatar Matchimathipataya Party  Issue 600bn Baht 40 year bonds to raise funds for construction of mass transit and other infrastructure projects  Build 10 new electric train routes with a fixed fare of 15 baht for 10 years  Dredge Canals and Rivers and expand dams to allow 2,000 tonne tankers to transfer goods from Koh Si Chang to Saraburi and [...]
2:56 am

Clegg Wins: Comment Roundup

Gravatar Well now. I was sat in a cafe eating my lunch today, when I received a text message from Lord Rennard. Apparently, Nick Clegg won the leadership race (hurrah!). By 511 votes (gosh!). I had to wait till later, when I got home, to discover that our beloved MSM has spun itself on a dime and is now peddling the line that we are a split party. Yes, the same people who until 2.30 today had been
1:50 am

Eep! My ex-boss now runs my party!

Gravatar I’ve been avoiding commenting publicly on the leadership election since I fell slightly between two posts.  Of my former party employers, one was a candidate and another was a key campaigner for the other guy. But now it’s all over, I’m delighted it’s Nick Clegg, my former MEP, and my former employer. I have to say Nick inspired me the first time I met him.  Writing it now seems fawning and mawkish, but it’s true.  He came to Nottingham University and gave a speech to a student society.  I can’t remember what he said, or who he said it to, ...
1:35 am

Opinion: Now’s your chance, Nick

Gravatar Dear Nick, I know you’re knackered, and that you’ve spent the last two months running yourself ragged in this leadership campaign. God knows why. Well, I guess there are 511 reasons why (though it’s mainly ‘cos the party exec reckons leadership campaigns should be run like by-elections, frantically keeping the party four-square in its comfort zone, [...]
1:23 am

Radio 1 backs down

Gravatar Thank god. I was losing all hope. But minutes after my last posting I spotted on the Facebook group set up (by I believe a gay man) to reinstate the lyric that Radio 1's Andy Parfitt has reversed the decision about Fairytale of New York. It still makes you wonder about the mindset of the people who took this decision. Can they only read a lyric and not understand the context?
1:14 am

Jam today! A chat with the Cleggster

Gravatar “Um,” says The Man Himself, contemplating the jam which is about to drop from his Krispy Kreme doughnut all over his leadership-winning trousers, “I think I might have to put this down somewhere. Sorry, that’s really rude, isn’t it…” Nonono! It’s your party! And today of all days, we can’t have the shiny new leader going on television [...]
1:08 am

What any leader may want to play on

Gravatar The Sky News website has launched a new feature - If i were Prime Minister. it is simple put a (well i was going to say game but thats the wrong word) way of seing how the government spends the revenue it makes on tax, although there is no button for Northen Rock...or misplacing people's personal data. But more than showing you where the money is spent, it invites you to change the figures around alowing you to spend more or less money in as many or as few departments as you like, and then afterwards shows you the affects ...
12:58 am

Thinking woman's crumpet

Gravatar Sorry, I can't resist. After my earlier posting about the BBC (well Radio 1 anyway) censoring Fairytale of New York I couldn't resist recounting one of the stories I bore people with. In 1991 I was in charge of sound for Molinare Studios in London's Soho. Molinare is an independent faciltiy company, one of the biggest and first in London. One day we were booked by Iambic Productions to record the
12:29 am

Nick Clegg: game on!

Gravatar Finally, the Liberal Democrats have a new leader: Nick Clegg. During the leadership contest, I’ve refrained from openly supporting one candidate or other on my blog, but it’s worth saying that I voted for Clegg, and am very glad to see him win. This is a crucial juncture for the Lib Dems, and comes at the end of a period where we’ve struggled to make progress. The trouble started at the last general election, where we achieved our best result in living memory, but still undershot our expectations – expectations which were understandably quite high, given the favourable political landscape. ...
12:27 am

You want Lib Dem blog reaction? You got it

Gravatar Bless Iain Dale. He’s worried that if Lib Dems don’t speak through Lib Dem Voice they have nothing to say. Here’s a hint, Iain: cast your eyes down the Lib Dem Blogs Aggregator, and you’ll see we party members have plenty to talk about. There have been (by my count) seventy-three - yes, count ‘em, [...]
12:18 am

Hilary Clinton plays the "Islam" card in fight with Barack Obama

Gravatar It is interesting to read the various reports of what is going on in the race to be selected as Democratic and Republican nominees for the US presidency. In recent weeks it appears that Hillary Clinton's team have been pressing the self destruct button by going negative on Barack Obama, but the latest attack reported today really smacks of desperation. It appears the Clinton team are now making reference to Barack Obama's "islamic" heritage, the fact his middle name is "Hussein" and are using this to imply he will not stand up for non muslims. A pretty low tactic which ...
12:08 am

We don't want a coalition so why don't we say that?

Gravatar The most telling comment on Newsnight came when balding Tory Danny Finkelstein agreed with the bland, nameless Labour frontman (Hyman?) that Clegg should start 'flirting' with the other two parties to show who he'd support in the event of a hung parliament. Yeah, sure guys, that'd be a great move, wouldn't it?! And it might just serve the agendas of both the old parties. How laughable to hear them both coming out with the same idea and almost salivating as they said it. No agenda there, then... Another suggestion might be for Nick to ignore the two jokers either side ...
12:02 am

People and Politics Day Europe

Gravatar Unlock Democracy, with the support of the European Commission and the Ministry of Justice will be hosting People and Politics Day Europe on 18th March 2008 from 10.00am at Central Hall Westminster.

Previous days:

Tuesday 18th December 2007, Monday 17th December 2007, Sunday 16th December 2007, Saturday 15th December 2007, Friday 14th December 2007, Thursday 13th December 2007