Mon 25th

More birds

A day off and time to visit the RSPB reserve at Satlholme, nearby. We had a great time, helped by the wonderful team of RSPB staff and helpers who showed us interesting birds, information about them, and pointed their perful binoculars at them for us. Very exciting was the arrival of the Great White Egret that we were told is very rare and flown here from France. Global warming was meaning...

Mr Andrew Mackay MP has decided to step down at the next general election. His decision came soon after the meeting with his constituents. After the meeting he still claimed that most constituents supported him on the night. The mood of the meeting was infact very angry and tense. After this event, does this really mean that Mr Mackay can operate fully as a representative of Bracknell Constituents until the general election? Is this also in the best interest of the Conservative Party? Without continuing support of both colleagues and constituents it will surely be hard for Mr Mackay to ...

Posted by dazmando on Bracknell Blog
Mon 25th

Water Wars

{10 Downing Street} {house-of-commons.jpg} I wonder if you can guess the relationship between the logos I've received on top of three recent letters? Read the rest of this entry.

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple

Given the current concern about outrageous expense claims by some Members of Parliament (MPs), it seems a good time to explain what allowances and expenses local councillors can claim. I am not of course the first to do so - see, for example, the article by Chris Game in the Birmingham Post (Chris Game is a senior lecturer in the Institute of Local Government Studies at the University of

Posted by Robert Wright on Robert Wright's Blog
Mon 25th

Time to face the change

Alan Johnson has done a good job raising the issue of PR. I am fully in favour of AV plus and I have never been an STV zealot. Put bluntly, STV is too messy, whatever the complex arguments put forward by its proponents might be. The overwhelming majority of voters are simply not interested enough but they should be able to make the effort to tick or cross two boxes, as they would be required to under AV Plus. Also, having an advocate such as the Late Roy Jenkins is a powerful argument for AV Plus. Jenkins devised what he ...

Posted by wit and wisdom on wit and wisdom
Mon 25th

Liberal Drinks

View Poll: Liberal Drinks West Yorkshire

If you're one of those hanging on my every post on ubuntu, here's my gen on upgrading to 9.04, the latest release. If you're not, seriously - move on. I have just done this upgrade - in about four goes as my wireless link is not ideal. Still, we eventually got there and today I started up my computer only to get a lovely, blank beige screen. Cue panic as all my election material is on this computer. I started it up about 16 times to get the same lovely beige...but b*gger all else. The panic rose so I decided ...

Posted by wit and wisdom on wit and wisdom

{funny pictures of cats with captions} see more Lolcats and funny pictures

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Its not just expenses, the whole thing needs reforming. Let's just remind ourselves what has happened in Parliament in very recent years. Allegedly members of the House of Lords have been taking cash in order to influence legislation. It appears as though Political parties have been taking donations in exchange for political favours and honours. (Cash for Honours) MPs have allegedly been taking money to ask questions in parliament. (Cash for Questions) Now Parliament is supposed to be where decisions and legislation is made on OUR behalf. Democracy is something we give to our elected representatives at the ballot box, ...

Posted by Alan Beddow - Lib-Dem PPC Warwick & Leamington on Alan Beddow.

Yesterday I questioned whether Susan Boyle is quite the unknown that Britain's Got Talent makes her out to be. Craig Murray, writing of the experiences of a family friend who has been a contestant in the current series, gives us an insight into how the programme works: Nadira and I spoke with Julia Nadienko this afternoon before her performance tonight in the semi-final of Britain's Got Talent, and she had been crying. She said they were forcing her to dance to music that was totally unsuitable, and not allowing her choreography.Interestingly, she said that the same thing had happened at ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Three shots. My colleague Cllr Rachel Allison grappling with overgrown planters on the Archway Road. A rather good rhododendron on Gaskell Road N6, and cat Jack getting to grips with this postal voting business. And doing it correctly, it seems.

Posted by Neil Williams on Neil Williams

On Saturday I attended the launch of Firebridge to Skyshore, Siobhan Logan's book of poetry and prose inspired by the Aurora Borealis. Siobhan is a fellow member of Leicester Writers Club, and I have heard many of the poems in the book read at meetings over the past couple of years. Writing as good as this makes me feel I am just a hack journalist. Rod Duncan and Siobhan Logan herself have written accounts of the event, which took place at the Friends' Meeting House in Queens Road, Leicester. This gives me an excuse to mention the blog devoted to ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Mike Gapes, Labour MP for Ilford South, recently refused to sign a petition organised by the Miles Not Knives Campaign. Campaign organiser Danny O'Brien who was running a stall in Ilford town centre said, "During the afternoon I saw Mr Gapes walking past my stall and I asked if he would back our knife campaign by signing the petition. But he told me "No" as he never signs petitions and just carried on walking not even showing any interest in the campaign. "I was very suprised that somebody who works for my town could just walk past. I will admit ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Paint the town Orange
Mon 25th

iPhone MP Simulator

Ah, lovely Bank Holiday weekends. In-between enjoying the sun, booze and sprouting a ghastly volume of freckles, I have been trying to a) Avoid Politics and Blogging and b) Get cracking making iPhone applications. I completely failed at A, I'm afraid to say. I decided to make an 'MP Simulation' application for the iPhone. Sadly this will not be available from the App Store any time soon - I think you need more than one cheesy joke to justify charging money, but I thought I'd share a screen grab anyway... {mpsimulator}

Posted by Charlotte Gore on Charlotte Gore

They don't do the work? its sub contracters, well maybe the subcontracters are not doing the job very well.Sorry we have been in Swinton for the past year and we have not had any complaints.Well this is my fourth this week, not very good odds. What about the hole five feet deep in water in [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

From Get Bracknell, here's a video of Andrew MacKay's public meeting in Bracknell on Friday. It's marvellous to see democracy in action but this is not for the squeamish. What amazes me is that, after this monstering, Andrew MacKay had the brass neck to go out and tell the media that three-quarters of the meeting was with him. Certainly the front three rows (which look as though they may well have been "packed" with the faithful) seem to just sit there, mostly with their arms folded, and don't clap the negative points (They do seem to clap the man who ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

As the Liberal Democrat candidate in Upper Gipping, I am proud to support our platform designed to make Suffolk a better place for all of its residents. As part of our overall manifesto, we have focussed our efforts on six core pledges; Support Middle Schools - we will stop the closure of Middle Schools in Suffolk, such as Bacton Middle SchoolBetter Care Services - we will review all care service fees and make elderly day care free once againSafer Suffolk - we will reduce accidents on our roads and reduce speeding in our towns and villagesA Better Run Council - ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

I have had a blog reader contact me to tell me that they read the blog and this is becoming common and more and more people are bring it to my attention and all I can say is that I am dazzled by the number of people that are actually enjoying the blog. I started writing in hope to entertain maybe 10 people a day but I end up entertaining more then 20x that and still I believe that if I promoted my blog a little more that couple increase into an even larger amount. People are enjoying the blog ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

Judging by speed of reading them, of three auto-biographies I have been reading recently the ranking has been: 1. Paddy Ashdown A Fortunate Life 2. Michael Parkinson Parky: My Autobiography (rather egotistical (but then again I suppose most auto-biographies are egotistical by definition) but a good read nonetheless) 3. Barack Obama Dreams from my father (the latter is currently on hold two-thirds of the way through). Currently I am reading an interesting biography which has spurred this mini-quiz: What is connection between the film of Graham Greene's The Third Man (which starred Orson Welles) and the novel A Frenchman's Creek? ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

See here

Posted by Linda Jack on Lindylooz Muze
Mon 25th

Bank Holiday Campaigning

Good weekends campaigning. Knocked on about 350 doors and telephoned 200 Postal Voters. Up till now, I've had no real trouble with the expenses scandal, but Saturday afternoon was hard work. Better today, so perhaps it was just that I was dragging people from the garden on a lovely sunny day. Or perhaps people don't feel the same need to be polite, when they finally get an actual politician in front of them, after all they've heard. And no matter how much I protest that I didn't claim any expenses as a District Councillor, we're all tarred with the same ...

Posted by Rob Nolan on Truro City Councillor
Mon 25th

Birmingham Pride

It has been Pride over in Birmingham this week and yesterday I went over. I did a couple of hours on the Liberal Democrat stall, excellently arranged by David Nikel and Gareth Hardy, and then took part in the general party going on.

I spent this morning as part of the canvassing team in Needham Market this morning, where we are defending the Bosmere county division held by Julia Truelove. The response on the doorstep was pretty good, although it was noticeable that a number of previously canvassed Conservative supporters were claiming to be switching to UKIP. The candidate herself was joined by the two sitting District Councillors, Wendy Marchant and Mike Norris, and I was intrigued to see that Mike had his most recent payslip from Mid Suffolk District Council with him. If challenged on expenses and suchlike, his response was to ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy
Mon 25th

Liberal Democrat policy

All, I get regular questions asking what Liberal Democrat policy is. I've uploaded a handy pocket guide to Lib Dem policy here, so click on the link for a good read! Regards, Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Philip Vial
Mon 25th

Dreamwidth Wishlist

So, I am fully bedded in here at DW now, and I think it's not TOO awful for those of you who have stayed over on LJ to still read and such... DW is much more suited to the way I do things than LJ, feels much more intuitive, and I am generally much happier with the way they run things. The things that I love are too numerous to list, but the things I would really like? Things that LJ doesn't have:Proper tag management. Seriously, DW folks, Tag Merge would make me want to kiss you all. I have ...

Mon 25th

A thorny issue

I took advantage of the Bank Holiday to get to grips with a particularly thorny local issue today - namely the gigantic angry shrub which lurks at the end of the garden backing onto mine, and which encroaches ever further towards our back door. Tackling it is like wading into uncharted jungle, and it wouldn't surprise me at all if somewhere within it lurks Prestwich's fabled lost tribe. The shrub itself resides at the back end of an incredibly lengthy garden, which begins at a house up a hill in the distance away from our's. By the looks of it ...

Posted by richardbaum on Richard Baum

Hyde Park Unity Day is a series of events climaxing with a 11 hour day of celebration for the community and visitors of Leeds 6. It is run on an entirely voluntary basis; there are no paid members of the team, so the professional manner in which Hyde Park Unity Day is organised is all the more [...]

Posted by darrellgoodliffe on Moments of Clarity

Liberal Democrat MEPs are already the best at revealing their expenses and allowances. More of them, in proportion to their numbers, reveal their claims on their web-sites than any other UK-based party MEPs. All candidates have now gone one stage further, and made the following commitment: LIBERAL DEMOCRAT CODE OF CONDUCT FOR MEPs The Liberal Democrat European Parliamentary Party (LDEPP) is committed to the highest standards of public service. Each of its Members undertakes to ensure strict observance of the European Parliament's Rules governing the Payment of Expenses and Allowances to Members (PEAM).1 In addition, they agree to meet a ...

Posted by Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Today i have been called out to witness this disgusting shambles from a major company laying gas mains in Swinton South, apparently this happened early on in the week the comment from one workman we have broken the drains not our problem it's the council's. Well i have only found out today reported it to [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

(am I the only person who, in order to get to google analytics, puts "anal" in the Firefox AwesomeBar and just waits for the right page to appear? I suspect I am...) This weeks headline figures:2205 absolute unique visitors since 27th April7014 visitsBusiest day: Tuesday (also the biggest peak on my graph of all time! Yay!)Readers' favourite browser: still Firefox, although it's down to 59.5% ( more Google Analytics statporn under here ) Exciting stats not from Google Analytics:# of unread emails: 66# of websites requiring work: 4# of blog posts I am committed to write that I haven't written ...


The events of the past week, and the response of a significant chunk of the Liberal Democrat blogosphere appear to have made my current publishing policy untenable. Accusations that I am merely 'a lackey of my wife', and suggestions that my comments somehow presage the opinions and plans of the Party President have demonstrated that, whilst we collectively talk a good game in terms of freedom, democracy and opposition to conformity, when push comes to shove, nothing beats a good mob scene. And as for the right to hold and espouse an opinion, that appears to depend on who you ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy
Mon 25th

Obama: contrasting views

In today's Washington Post, E.J. Dionne Jr. argues that Obama is attempting to build a liberal consensus that includes everyone bar the far right. In the Telegraph, Simon Heffer takes a very different view. Heffer believes that Obama is still in campaign mode, is incapable of making decisions and will not win a second term. It might be obvious but for the record, Dionne is pro Obama and Heffer is anti. Heffer believes Obama is flawed and at the end of his piece says that Obama must start confronting difficult decisions. This is odd from a small state conservative. Surely ...

Posted by Simon Goldie on Simon Goldie

It's hard to keep pace with the news of the number of MPs who are leaving the Commons at the next election owing to the expenses scandal. This is only likely to rise, as deselections start and even safe seats start coming available. We are going to be in a situation where even the unlikeliest of prospects become possible wins for the Lib Dems, so how do we capitalise on this? Firstly, we have to recognise that contests for those seats shall not be for the faint of heart. Big hitters with safe seats such as Hazel Blears and Alan ...

Posted by Richard Wilson on Liberal Democrat Voice

{brawn-button-branson1} {brawn-gp} The sporting sensation of 2009 has been the astonishing performance of the new Brawn GP Formula One team. Ross Brawn formed the outift from the ashes of the Honda franchise, and it only officially came into existence this March. Six weeks later, Brawn are running away with both the constructors and the drivers championship. Jenson Button started the season as a 300/1 rank outsider to finish as F1's top driver, he is now a 1/3 nailed-on favourite, having taken the chequered flag in five of the first six races of the season. Brawn GP have come from nowhere ...

Posted by Mark Littlewood on Liberal Vision

To find out what's going on in Brussels it's best to get hold of 'European Voice,' a weekly newspaper that provides the most comprehensive coverage of the EU institutions. A recent edition reviewed the European Parliament over the past five years, highlighting "top moments" such as the rejection of the software patents' directive, and "worst moments" like the refusal to publish auditors' reports revealing MEPs' abuse of expenses. I missed the reference to "star performers" until it was pointed out to me later. Just four MEPs got a mention, and only one was British: "Chris Davies - UK, Liberal." Why ...

Posted by Chris Davies on Chris Davies MEP

Well, today the Information Commissioner has told the NHS to improve it's data security according to the BBC website. The information commissioner has told the NHS to improve its data security, after breaches involving the loss of thousands of personal medical records. This is on the same day we learn the Ministry of Defence has lost data of RAF vetting records leaving people open to blackmail. The e-mail - from an unnamed wing commander - says the data "provides excellent material for Foreign Intelligence Services and blackmailers". How much data and records have gone missing since 1997, one argument in ...

Mon 25th

Liberals and the Moor

One of the things that has come out in the discussion surrounding Woodhouse Moor is it's connection with the history of our party. In 1902 David Lloyd George addressed a political rally on the Moor. Our libertarian contingent might be interested to know that in 1906 members of the Libertarian Club planted cabbages and carrots [...]

Posted by darrellgoodliffe on Moments of Clarity

From France 24: A high profile trial against the Church of Scientology opens in Paris Monday amid questions about whether the latest legal battle could threaten Scientology's operations in France. This time, the organisation faces a fine of up to 5 million euros and even the prospect of dissolution. The latest case centres on a complaint made by a 43-year-old Parisian woman, who claims the organisation persuaded her to spend at least 20,000 euros for various fraudulent cases including medication for "self-purification", books and an "electrometer", a device used to measure galvanic skin response in patients... The Church of Scientology ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

In my relentless carping about how people don't pay attention to female bloggers, one thing I neglected to take full account of is that the cycle of the blokosphere not paying attention to women is largely self-perpetuating. There follow a number of gross generalisations: Bloggers, when they first start compiling a reading list, look for bloggers who they like instinctively. This is likely to boil down to someone who appears to think like meFor male bloggers, this regularly involves randomly adding male bloggers to their list, and skipping over the females, regardless of whether or not the blogger's sex is ...

Exclusive: Information watchdog orders overhaul after 140 security breaches in just four months By Michael Savage, Political Correspondent The personal medical records of tens of thousands of people have been lost by the NHS in a series of grave data security leaks. Between January and April this year, 140 security breaches were reported within the NHS – [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats
Mon 25th

Credit Crunch Bites

Reports in the press today have caught up with the appalling fact that thousands of people are now having to resort to loan sharks, as banks are refusing loans. There are already a lot of credit companies which seem to operate at the margins of legality, and Gorton residents certainly receive more than our fair share of fliers offering loans at staggering rates of interest (150% in some cases). Plus of course numerous offers to buy our homes at their valuations with the right to remain as tenants, with the rents guaranteed for a whole six months. With only one ...

Posted by jackiepearcey on Jackie Pearcey
Mon 25th

Town Crier competition

All, If you hurry you can make the Town Crier competition at 2pm! Regards, Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Philip Vial

Swinton Town Centre – managing change This is your opportunity to respond to the first thoughts on the issues we face and how we should address them. Why do we need to develop a plan for Swinton? Swinton has seen big changes in the past 30 years since it was chosen to be the administrative centre for Salford [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Well one young Swinton South Councillor as been working in the back ground to get some parking fines rescinded , some if our elderly residents faced tickets from Aldi when using the Agnes Hopkins center. Thank you to Aldi stores Swinton for their kind gesture. Parking again creating major problems for many people within the city and [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

It seems incredible, with these new calls for a referendum, but, in the wake of expensesgate, the cause of electoral reform is back. The health secretary, Alan Johnson, has an article in today's Times calling for a referendum on electoral reform for the Commons, to be held on the same day as the next general election. Mr Johnson may have various motives for coming out at this time in favour of a referendum [click herehere] but he is a long time proponent of electoral reform. Other members of the cabinet are known to agree with him. and Yesterday's Observer supported ...

Posted by Neil Stockley on Neil Stockley

Last week, we called for readers to set out the reforms they felt were most desperately needed to our moribund political system - familiar and new ideas alike. Antony Hook responds. Liberal Democrats have traditionally supported the idea of Citizens' Juries and reforming MPs' funding is a perfect case to apply this policy. A citizens' jury is empanelled in the same way as the juries who decide thousands of our criminal cases and civil disputes every year: 12 people at random from the electoral register. They can hear evidence and arguments from every interested party. A judge presides and ensures ...

Posted by Antony Hook on Liberal Democrat Voice

Two big data loss stories today. 140 NHS security breaches in just four months have seen thousands of patient records go missing. Unencrypted files of hundreds of senior RAF officers, including details of extra-marital affairs, drug taking and use of prostitutes stolen from an RAF base, then lied about by the authorities. The RAF one may be more worrying for national security (and entertaining for us prurient readers) but the NHS story is probably the bigger one. Remember that the Government has spent the last few years trying to set up a "Spine": a big national database to contain all ...

Posted by Costigan Quist on Himmelgarten Café

Tomorrow (Tuesday 26 May) there will be a chance to share your views on local health and social care needs as part of an event in Yate Shopping Centre to celebrate Family Week. For more information, take a look at the consultation website.

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

Next Sunday morning, May 31st, Wapley Bushes Conservation Group will be exploring the Nature Reserve with the new full colour Nature Journal. Come along and claim your FREE Nature Journal. Meet at 10 am at the Shire Way gate.

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

The most fascinating aspect of the expenses scandal is how quickly the debate has moved onto a debate about meaningful democratic and constitutional reform. I have to admit, I didn't quite see it coming, and while there have been rumbles within what you might call the "democratic reform community" about making a big push in the run up to the general election, it seemed to be more driven by the need to be seen to be doing something rather than a belief that it would actually happen. Yet things have moved on very quickly. I've been amazed at the number ...

Posted by James Graham on Quaequam Blog!

Crime Housing Health Education Jobs Morals Drink Drugs Youth Facilities Provision for our growing elderly population. Economic migration Do you believe the people you elect to Council or Government have your best interest at heart? Do you believe most of the major parties have failed in their election promises in the past. Why do you feel parties like the BNP are gaining ground in the inner cities? Any comments? [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Note the way that I phrased that. I was a bit concerned that the Western Mail headline generated an image of electors clubbing Councillors to death as they emerged from a darkened Council chamber. Not something anybody would want to encourage especially in these fraught times for politicians. More seriously though the former Leader of Bridgend Council and local government consultant, Jeff Jones has suggested that we have twice as many Councillors as we actually need. He has proposed changing the Councillor-voter ratio from one for every 2,300 or so electors to one for every 4,527 voters. This would have ...

Posted by Peter Black on Freedom Central

Almost a week ago, LDV emailed those Lib Dem party members signed-up to our private discussion forum inviting them to take part in a survey focusing on MPs' expenses. Many thanks to the 240+ of you who completed it; we've published the results in full on LDV over the last few days. You can catch up with all our past exclusive LDV members' surveys by clicking here. 1. LDV asked: Now that the Speaker of the House of Commons, Michael Martin, has resigned a handful of Liberal Democrat MPs have been suggested as the new Speaker. It has been argued ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

Say what you like about the banks: they give great holiday. A day for making plans, maybe catching up on a few of those odd jobs - like electoral reform, for example... 2 Big Stories Alan Johnson writes in the Times, recommending the adoption of the Alternative Vote Plus system: this came out of the Jenkins Report (Independent Commission on the Voting System) over a decade ago. "The adoption of AV+ would shift the political focus currently concentrated almost exclusively on a few swing voters in a handful of marginal seats. It would end the perversity of the party with ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Liberal Democrat Voice

We see the statistics but i believe that stats can be used to say what ever you wish them to say. Again my wife and i paid a visit to see one more statistic who is feared to speak to the Police. I believe this is rife across the city. I can listen to the rubbish [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Jacqui Smith's husband first charged us for his porn movies which he could have got for free all he had to do was log onto their home computer which probably was paid for by us and go to Red Tube or some other sort of porn movie. Now that same man has been buying iPhones with our money and personally like many I think its unacceptable. An iPhones with our money now, what's next Mr Smith? Underpants with our money. You aren't the MP its your wife but why are you getting stuff with our money I just don't understand. ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

Sorry readers it's only Salford i am taking about. I really hope we will adopt a serious take out strategy. There are obvious seats where i think we can make gains and if we concentrate on key figures Labour need to hold we could stretch even their resources.Again we let are selves down with telephone canvassing we [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

{bono_two} Aside for their guilt-tripping adverts, I've noticed a couple of things about Oxfam of late - and particularly their political promotion of government resource allocation (also known as statist socialism). Earlier this year they released a paper entitled "Blind Optimism," a polemic rallying against private sector involvement in delivering healthcare services to the world's poor. This paper was not, I stress, an impartial evaluation of the benefits of state versus private provision - it was, explicitly, a vehement attack on the former. The Center for Global Development criticised the report in a blog post entitled: Oxfam - this is ...

Posted by Julian Harris on Liberal Vision
Mon 25th

19 Hated Things Meme

I have been tagged by Working Class Tory (I didn't know such existed) to do the 19 Hated Things meme so here goes: 1 - Most hated food. Anything that you can not pronounce, its got to be dangerous with a hard name! 2 - Most Hated person. To many to hate but some reading this will know who he is... 3 - Most hated job. Haven't had a proper job except for two weeks work experience at Sajjad Karim's Office when he was a Lib Dem and I actually enjoyed that so no hated job so far. 4 - ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog
Mon 25th

PR: Groins dampen

Secretary of State for Health, Alan Johnson, advocates a referendum on proportional representation in the Times. Like an increasing number of people, he says it should take place on the same day as the next General Election. There is plenty in this article to dampen the groin of many a LibDem activist (that's a Costigan Quist expression). He even calls the proposal of the Jenkins Commission "an elegant solution".

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

As the Daily Telegraph continues to take its expenses scoop into the territory of flogging a dead horse, I can hardly be alone in being very disturbed by the visceral and irrational nature of much of the commentary in the blogosphere on this issue. Almost literally, many bloggers have become part of a hanging mob. The level of hatred and vituperation against politics and politicians has reached a level of shrillness that is frankly sickening. The kind of angry, mostly male, blogger who can literally call for politicians to be strung up- and to mean it- is becoming part of ...

Posted by Cicero on Cicero's Songs

The BBC report that the loss of disks with data on tens of thousands of personnel from RAF Innsworth in Gloucestershire last September is more serious than previously thought. Apparently, these discs contained 500 highly sensitive files with details of affairs, debt and drug use. They were taken from a secure area, and included names, addresses and some bank account details: An internal MoD memo - obtained by a former officer and passed to BBC Two's Who's Watching You programme - shows the lost files contained "details of criminal convictions, investigations, precise details of debt, medical conditions, drug abuse, use ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black AM

Those struggling to put together the jigsaw of events in the Liberal Democrats, during the last week, could do worse than look here.

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Our week at Bonkers Hall continues. Friday Having complimented we Rutlanders on our low crime rate yesterday, I learn this morning that there is a prison riot going on in the county. Let me add at once that few if any of the felons involved will prove to have come from hereabouts when the inquiry is held. It has always seemed to me a mistake to accept prisoners from other counties when, because of the policing strategy mentioned above (together with judicious use of the Jack Straw Memorial Reform School, Dungeness, and the success of the Reverend Hughes Church Lads' ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Following up my piece on what they said about the Speaker in the nineteenth century, here's what the Quarterly Review wrote in 1830: There is something in the very atmosphere of the House unfavourable to bold and uncompromising conduct. It is, de facto, a sort of overgrown club. This is the worst part of the business. Things are every day admitted in private among the members, which are studiously denied or concealed in the speeches reported from the gallery. (January 1830, p.271-2)

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

{Oh dear} As the UK economy slips further into deflation (which has been seen as good news for those in debt - no thanks to Labour), Martin Broughton - current president of the CBI and chairman of British Airways - attacked the government's 'economic vandalism'. He was speaking about the Labour Gov'ts failure to control public borrowing and using the 50 % tax rate as a diversion ("Dig 'em" fiasco, any one? lol). Perhaps a return of the 10 % rate should be considered as this would actually help our poorest citizens. Where as those expected to pay the 50 ...

Posted by glenngoodall on Glenn Goodall

My wonderful colleague Mark Pack of Lib Dem Voice explains here how the bill for council allowances in Haringey has just shot up, by over £44,000, this year. To make this work, they have structured the system so that almost all Labour councillors receive these extra payments. Harringey's bill for allowances is one of the highest in London. Council's that fork out more tend to be either bigger, or needless to say, better performing.

Posted by Neil Williams on Neil Williams

This story was posted on the Guardian website yesterday: Nick Clegg intensified pressure for reform of Lords' allowances today when he said peers from his party would change the way they claim under the current system, which he described as "wholly unsatisfactory". The Liberal Democrat leader said the peers would not only have to abide by the letter of the rules relating to the overnight allowance, but by their spirit as well.Lord Bonkers was unavailable for comment last night.

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

It must be a very onerous job being an MP. The House of Commons sits at odd hours still, rises for recess and reassembles with the tides and seasons, and the processes and procedures for daily business are still bafflingly arcane. Hang on, though. If MPs wanted to do so, they could change all of that. For example, the House will sit for a mere 128 days in the 2008/09 session and, on most days of the four day attending week, begins its work at 2pm. How about (radical idea this) the House sitting for 220 days, from 0900 to ...

Posted by Mark Gray on Sprinkled liberally...

This takes me back to the time nearly 20 years ago when I was candidate in Hexham. We are off to the Northumberland County show to look at tractors, sheep and chickens and generally have a good time. We are not looking to buy a duck house as a second home and we won't be buying horse manure (we use cattle manure on our allotment!) We are simply going there enjoy ourselves and get more ideas as we

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

On 22nd May, the Times Educational Supplement (TES) published a story claiming that kids who ate a lot of junk food performed worse academically, even when other factors were taken into account. "there was a direct correlation between how much junk food they ate and their scores in a series of literacy and numeracy tests.Once other factors were taken into account, pupils who ate fast food between four and six times in a week scored 6.96 points below average in reading. Those who ate it daily dropped 16.07 points below average. And pupils who indulged three times a day dropped ...

Posted by Costigan Quist on Himmelgarten Café
Mon 25th

Missing leaflets

With Euro postal ballot papers arriving on voters' doormats, I have so far received leaflets from the Lib Dems, UKIP and BNP - but nothing yet from Labour or the Conservatives - what's going on? Interestingly, I've been told that postmen working in Darlington have been told they need not deliver the BNP leaflet if they object to it! Maybe that option extends to all the parties, and they're

This is cross posting to an article I wrote for Slugger O'Toole on Saturday morning. This Nipple is suffering reverse rugby culture shock Living as I do only a 30 minute train ride out from Edinburgh my insatiable thirst for Rugby is easily satisfied at Scotland's national stadium. Though my Scottish friends have threatened to ban me attending 6 Nations games if our lads in green keep winning. However, this weekend for me, a political activist, is just the two weekends before the voting in the Euro elections so I was heading into town for more campaigning. So I trundled ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Linlithgow Journal

Meh. Woke at 6am from bizarre and upsetting dream about a lack of blue cheese. Never got back to sleep again. Long working day ahead. # #3drunkwords "I wanna tattoo" # #failedtvpilots Life on Pluto # #popefacts The Pope IS Spartacus # Heh. Twitter memes, the Chinese takeaways of the meme world. Gone in a moment, then you want another #3drunkwords #failedtvpilots #popefacts # Yay - liveblogging the F1 from Monaco = a whole eight hours off the burndown chart across the team. Who knew #Scrum could be so glamorous? # Right, that's lunch break over with, now back to ...

Posted by Andy on And Then He Said...

I thought in passing I'd have a quick gander at Harry Cohen MP's website and how he defends his ACA for his `constituency base` in Leyton. How anyone would claim money for the taxpayer for a home in Leyton when you work in Westminster is beyond me. I have been an MP since 1983 and [...]

Posted by John on Liberal Revolution

Plans by the Labour Government to allow police to store innocent people's DNA profiles for up to 12 years are likely to be passed without being properly debated and voted on by MPs on the floor of the House of Commons, it has emerged: Ministers were forced to reform the crime-fighting DNA database after the European Court of Human Rights last year outlawed the current rules under which anyone arrested for any crime has their genetic profile stored indefinitely - even if they are innocent and never charged. But the Home Secretary sparked outrage over so-called 'Big Brother' powers earlier ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black AM

Over the past few days, postal voters across London have been putting their crosses on their ballot papers and sending them off — but not a few are puzzled that they have had no European election literature from the Conservatives. That's true where I live in Tower Hamlets, for example: we've had leaflets from the [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Mon 25th

MPS Expenses

I have been as shocked as anyone by the revelations that MPS have been claiming for anything and everything. A complet root and branch reform of the system must take place but also the mindset must change so that people elected to office justify to themselves the money they claim or spend. As a local councillor I hope that I have always tried to justify any spending as it is other people's cash. It doesn't mean that I am against spending money on services but that every penny must be justified.

Posted by timhuggan on Tim Huggan