I see (via Simon Wilson) that Tim Montgomerie over at ConservativeHome has pointed out that the Human Secularist Society want to do away with people of religion in the House of Commons. They have said about David Kerr: "The concern for voters would be that such a person would have their allegiance to the Church and not to the SNP. It is one thing to bring your religious beliefs to politics, but it is another to bring the dogmas of a right-wing Catholic organisation. That would be the worry for voters." The HSS will argue that this only applies to ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Linlithgow Journal
Thu 23rd

prescription charges

The newsletter from Arthritis Care this morning highlit a campaign about people with long term conditions like arthritis not having to pay prescription charges. If we are serious about tackling inequalities in heath then surely this is one way. Have a look at the website and sign up please. Only people with a very low income that are under pension age, and some others get them free,...

It's worth reading this Time article, which chronicles the last hours of the Bush administration in regard to Dick Cheney's obsession with getting a pardon for Scooter Libby. This is quite an historic thing. George Bush and Dick Cheney were stuck together like a .......ahem...s**t sandwich for eight years. And yet, George Bush, in this episode, finally proved himself capable of taking a decision without Dick Cheney's acquiescence. Incredible.

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Thursday, July 23, 2009 Daily Star: 'SIN BINS' FOR SCUM FAMILIES BRITAIN'S scummiest families are going to be put in "sin bins" to teach them how to behave. Thousands of the "Shameless" community will get round-the-clock supervision to make sure children attend school, go to bed on time and eat properly. Parents who take part in the Government [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Inverleith House and giant lily pads

From the BBC's political correspondent about what's at stake for the political parties: A win may be too much of a leap but they need to show significant progress otherwise questions will be asked about why Nick Clegg isn't connecting with the public.I agree with him and I think the questions need to start now, the Lib Dems were known for winning by elections in the past but currently that is not the case with the party not doing well in the Crewe and Nantwich by election or the Henley by election. I hope Nick Clegg after today has a ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

As the campaign is now over, I thought it a good time to do the "Norfolk Blogger By-Election Awards". Missed Opportunity Award Nominees - Liberal Democrats (For missing local campaign opportunities in Taverham to show how badly the Northern By-Pass plans the Tories support will affect that area) - Labour (For failing to choose a candidate that had some local support and didn't look parachuted in) - Greens (For proclaiming that they were set to snatch second place then failing to run a campaign worthy of 4th place) Best Campaign Award Nominees - Conservatives (For virtually not putting a foot ...

Posted by Norfolk Blogger on Norfolk Blogger
Thu 23rd

Royal Botanical Gardens

The first photo is the new wild flower meadow, the second photo is a flower in the gardens and the third photo is the ceiling of the building within the Queen Mother Memorial Garden.

A photo from our day out at the Royal Botanical Gardens in Edinburgh - enjoy!

According to Guerilla Welsh Fare last Thursday's Sharp End reported that Alun Davies' rather intolerant criticism of Ieuan Wyn Jones' reluctance to be scrutinised may have got him into trouble. They said that Plaid Cymu AM, Chris Franks has reported his Labour coalition colleague, Alun Davies to the standards committee after the Labour AM allegedly unleashed 'an outburst riddled with profanity at an Assembly committee meeting'. The question is does such a complaint exist or is it being mooted by persons-unknown as a means of trying to calm Alun Davies down and get him on-side? I know that Chris Franks ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black AM

Well we though that we might see an improvement in cardboard and green waste collection in Walcot with new routes and collection day. Apparently not! The Conservative run Council have once again punished Walcot residents for putting out too much cardboard and green waste and have failed to supply enough vehicles to collect waste and many roads in Walcot have been missed today: Seymour Road, Belgrave Crescent, Perfect View, Frankley Buildings, Chilton Road, Brunswick Street, Hanover Place, Kensington Place, Beaufort Terrace, Eastville Terrace and Upper East Hayes. The line is that this will be collected tomorrow (Friday) however is has ...

Posted by David Dixon on Walcot Ward

Stroud Green Road has been plagued with potholes near the junction with Morris Place for a very long time. The problem? Something is up involving water, which causes regular subsidence and new potholes. They've hunted for leaks. They've dug huge holes in the ground. They've cleaned out the drainage pipes and fitted new grills. And now they're back hunting for leaks. Here's the latest technical detail from Islington Council. If you know what the technical bits mean, do let me know... but it sounds like there's serious effort going in to fixing the problem. So enjoy those potholes while you ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack » Pink Dog

From MORI's latest email newsletter rounding up some of their most recent poll findings: Many believe that efficiencies, rather than cuts, can 'rebalance the books'. Four in five (79%) agree that efficiencies can help cut government spending without damaging services, while around half (51%) are not persuaded that there is a need to cut spending on services to pay off the national debt. This suggests that many of the public are either not aware of, or not facing up to, 'hard truths', as espoused by many independent experts like Robert Chote of the IFS. No public consensus exists on how ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

Stomped around three developments in Highgate with the top team from Haringey planning department earlier today. After weeks of correspondence and rows - today's walkabout perhaps clarified a few things - but not anything that should make anyone feel happy. For it would seem that unless a developer adds another floor / administers monstrous harm in terms of impact on neighbours - there is very little that Haringey can do that will deal with developers who given an inch take a mile. Having looked at one development in Sheldon Avenue which looms large over its neighbours - the height the ...

Posted by Lynne Featherstone MP on Lynne's Parliament and Haringey diary

Why is it when Parliament is sitting constituents have a hard time grasping the idea that Monday to Friday MPs work in parliament? I've worked for a MP for 10 months now and every week I have pretty the same conversation at least once. It simply is; "can I speak to My MP?" "Unfortunately no - He is in Parliament at the moment but you can see him at his advice bureau..." The title is Member of Parliament; yet this simple title seems to fly straight by when constituents are involved. They expect the MP to be in the constituency ...

Thu 23rd

Search me?

Why is it that a single search yesterday on you tube and I found what I was looking for. Today I can't find it, even if I searched what I was looking for yesterday!

Posted by Neil on Neil Woollcott

Workıng currently ın Turkey, it was great to hear of Carol Caruana's sweepıng victory ın the Kensington and Chelsea by-electıon yesterday, polling more votes than the Tories and Labour combined. Having lived ın the borough when İ first moved to London, İ know what a hard nut it is to crack! İ met some pretty [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Thu 23rd

Unrest in the ranks

In a report on the Norwich North by-election The Times reveals that all is not well in the Tory camp: A number of Conservative grandees have sought to express their anger at David Cameron by either refusing to campaign at all in Norwich North, or declining to make the three trips to Norfolk demanded by the whips of all Tory MPs. A number of stalwart Conservative backbenchers are livid with the party leader, feeling that he acted brutally towards them to demonstrate to voters his hard line over expenses. They believe that they were sacrificed for the sake of the ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black AM

For such a very long time women dealing with infertility problems have had to share hospital clinic and ward facilities with ante-natal and maternity units. Figures I obtained recently showed that a high proportion of hospitals in Wales use the same area for both sorts of consultation and treatment. I believe that to be insensitive and inappropriate and I took the opportunity to say so in the IVF debate in Plenary earlier in the month. I am delighted to say that the Minister has written to say that she agrees with me. Her officials will be contacting Wales' NHS Trust ...

Posted by Eleanor Burnham on Freedom Central

"Busting a gut" That's what Her Britannic Majesty's Secretary of Defence, the Right Honourable Robert William Ainsworth MP is doing. He's doing it to try to get more helicopters in operation in Afghanistan. But hey, wait a sec. Gordon Brown says there are enough helicopters there. So Bobby Boy, sit back and pour yourself a long lager. No gut busting required here, mate. There are eight Chinooks waiting to go out there. ...says our Bob. Excellent. Well done all round. And how long have they been waiting? Er............. since 2002 actually. Ah! Oh dear. But let's not concern ourselves. Boys ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings
Thu 23rd

On public transport

One of my very few acts of civil disobedience occurred when I once refused to pay the full fare for a train journey. OK, I'm no Rosa Parks, I'll admit that, but hear me out. I was late for my train. When I arrived at the station, the train was already at the platform, and there was a long queue at the ticket office. They sell tickets on board, I thought, so there's no problem: I'll dash onto the train and buy one from the conductor. But of course, this is Britain, where the customer is always wrong and computers ...

Posted by Jeremy Townsend on Freedom Central

Tastes a bit like Google juice... Posted via email from Helen Duffett's posterous

Posted by Helen Duffett on Helen Duffett

The renewal of Trident, which the government is set on, is for one thing a total waste of money. Disappointingly, the Liberal Democrat's attitude towards Trident is similar to the Tories, as shown by today's FT article with David Davis. Again, we fail to properly set our polices aside to the Tories as they too advocate the view that we should not see a renewal of Trident. Instead, like us, the Tories believe that we should have a cheaper alternative to Trident due to the economic mess that we are in now. However, what I argue is that the Liberal ...

Posted by JaneWatkinson on My Liberal Democrat Political Ramblings...
Thu 23rd

Ros Scott replies...

The reply to the email I sent to Ros Scott earlier in the week is as follows: The expense claims of all Liberal Democrat MPs and Peers have been checked out by teams from the Whips offices. The Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the Lords has given an assurance that all claims are within the Parliamentary rules for the House of Lords. Whilst you haven't mentioned MPs, I can report that the Chief Whip in the Commons has reported that no Liberal Democrat MPs have been found to have phantom mortgages, manipulated their claims for council tax or capital ...

Posted by Sara Scarlett on Liberal Vision

Over at Conservative Home, Tim Montgomerie brings news of The National Secular Society's latest attack on the participation of people from religious faith prespectives in politics. This time the target is David Kerr, SNP Candidate in the forthcoming Glasgow East by-election. He has been open about his membership of Opus Dei and rightly tells the Scotsman (190709)that it is "preposterous and deeply prejudiced" to argue that somebody of his religious beliefs should be "debarred" from running for public office. Unsuprisingly, the NSS disagree and claim that "The concern for voters would be that such a person would have their allegiance ...

Posted by Simon Wilson on simon wilson

Question for the One Wales sceptics – would this have happened if Ieuan Wyn Jones was not Transport Minister? Welsh Ramblings (a Plaid Cymru staff member) Well, judging by his comments on Radio Wales this evening the Finance Minister, Andrew Davies would quite categorically answer 'yes' to that question. Mr. Davies asserted that the announcement on electrification came after concerted pressure over a period of time commencing when he was responsible for Transport in a Labour Assembly Government. Do the British Cabinet even know who Ieuan Wyn Jones is? No related posts.

Posted by Freedom Central on Freedom Central

Troubled tycoon Whyte outlines deal for creditors Thursday, July 16, 2009, 07:00 7 readers have commented on this story.Click here to read their views. TROUBLED tycoon Chek Whyte hopes creditors will agree to see money from his property empire used to pay off his debts. The Post revealed last week that Mr Whyte, who found fame on TV's Secret [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Nick Clegg has been putting the quiet days of summer to good use, attracting considerable media coverage. Yesterday saw the launch of the party's pre-manifesto A Fresh Start for Britain. Today Nick fired a broadside in the Telegraph against Labour for failing to address the real problems underpinning public anger over the MPs' expenses scandals: If you had said to me two months ago that we would go on a three-month recess and all we would have was this insipid Standards Bill, and that nothing substantial had been changed, I wouldn't have believed it. "The whole momentum for change was ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

before you write in i could not find one picture of a Liberal Democrat. So it stays

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Over at The Guardian today, Councillor John Shipley, Lib Dem leader of Newcastle city council, writes a robust response to Tristram Hunt's partial (in every sense) attack on the Lib Dems' record in local government. Here's an excerpt: Tristram Hunt's claim that the many cities and urban councils now run by Liberal Democrats lack the leadership and vision of Labour authorities such as Manchester and Glasgow is nonsense. ... He fails to mention Newcastle upon Tyne at all. Lost by Labour to the Lib Dems in 2004, civic leadership flourishes here with a new £40m city library and investment in ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Last weekend I was invited, along with 70 odd other random members of the public, to a consultation event with the local PCT over the priorities for future healthcare in Sheffield. As usual I could not refuse an opportunity to put the world to rights. A free lunch and £50 "expenses" was only icing on the cake. But what did the PCT get for its, er, your money? After the introductory speeches and getting-to-know-you gubbins, session 1 was on the subject of improving the patient experience. On my table, the three main issues raised were i) the difficulty of making ...

Posted by Joe Otten on Joe's Extra Bold Blog

Last night I fully intended to write a post on A Fresh Start for Britain. The trouble is that reading it - or as much of it as you are allowed to read on the website without sending in your email address - left me feeling uninspired. And reading Nick Clegg's interview in the Independent left me terminally uninspired. Of course, Nick is right to say that the economic crisis means that whoever wins the next election will have to cut public spending sharply. In fact, I suspect they will have to cut it more sharply than most commentators have ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

we'll see what will happen when the Audit Commission reports on the affects of council newspapers on local media outlets. As it happens, I think the link between Labour policy and the closure of local newspapers is a damn site stronger than you suggest Are labour to blame i have to say there is a good case to [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

  {Addington Road} Yesterday evening after a day's work and then a meeting in which I  chaired HHCC Scrutiny Management Panel (to plan our September agenda), I popped down to the ward to meet up with my fantastic constituent Rebecca on Erleigh Road. Rebecca has spent the last couple of weeks chasing Reading Borough Council and Reading University to do more to sort out rubbish problems around the University area. She sent a number of coruscating emails to officers which had the effect of escalating this issue even further up the agenda. Rebecca has very strong views about the subject of ...

Posted by Cllr Daisy Benson on Redlands Liberal Democrats

Parents are to be forced to sign contracts promising good behaviour from their children in the classroom. The Home School Agreements (HSAs) will be signed before the start of term and could mean that parents face a £1000 fine if their children repeatedly break the rules? The slipper never failed us. [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

• Straw to be given power to remove ineffective staff• Local authorities say that they were not consulted New powers are to be introduced to enable the justice secretary, Jack Straw, to send in a team of experts to take over failing youth offending teams with powers to remove ineffective staff. Straw said the powers were needed [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

From The Times July 23, 2009 <!– Remove following to not show photographer information –><!– Remove following to not show image description –> Cambridgeshire councillors who have worked hard on Arbury Park estate are angry that work on some projects will have to stop <!– Remove following to not show enlarge option –> <!– –> div#related-article-links p a, div#related-article-links p [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Leader Nick Clegg has said that the public has been "betrayed" by Parliament's response to expenses disclosures in the months since the scandal broke. To read the full story follow the Link HERE

Posted on Tim Ball

I was out delivering election day leaflets with my good friend (don't I sound like Iain Dale) Norman Lamb earlier when I spotted a couple of Tories doing the same thing. I always like to have a pleasant polling day so trotted over to chat to them (leaving Norman to do the leg work). The Conservatives came from Sheffield, but when I asked if they wanted to swap leaflets, the female Tory asked "Are you the Norfolk Blogger". When I said yes, she got all excited in a very unexpected way, we then posed for a photo (which they say ...

Posted by Norfolk Blogger on Norfolk Blogger
Thu 23rd

More Good News

DLP secures record £10m homes contract jill burdett July 23, 2009 A SALFORD firm has secured the biggest deal in its history with a £10m housing maintenance contract. DLP Services (Northern), of Pendleton, was one of 30 companies to bid for the Arena Housing Group contract and won after a lengthy selection process that also involved impressing residents. [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Having decided to get down to Bournemouth for the Lib Dem conference in September, I set about booking a train home (I'm sure I can get a lift across to Bournemouth, but I'll be heading out on the Monday). My first port of call is thetrainline.com ("your first stop for train tickets"). Quite happy to see an advance ticket for well under £20 (but then I am buying two months in advance, so I'd hope so). I go through the ordering process and get to the end, just before paying. It comes up with an error and gives me a ...

Posted by Costigan Quist on Himmelgarten Café

After watching The Thick of It, it reminded me of Alistair Campbell and his struggles with depression, and how he has promoted more equality for mentally ill people in politics. His struggles with mental health really make you remember that MPs and those that work within parliament are real people. I was happy to hear that Brown was taking five weeks off, as the stress that he must have been under recently must have been unbelievable. This interestingly relates to the expense scandal, as even though the coverage it has received and the anger that the public have felt towards ...

Posted by JaneWatkinson on My Liberal Democrat Political Ramblings...

City MP Don Foster has warmly welcomed the news that the government is to begin immediately with plans to electrify the Great Western line from London to Swansea. Although the work will take 8 years to complete, it will provide numerous benefits including increased capacity on trains, shorter journey times and, most importantly, a reduction in CO2 emissions. ...

Posted on Sharon Ball

Lib Dem blogger and LDV-editor-on-sabbatical Alix Mortimer writes for CiF about tuition fees and the Lib Dems. I wish people would let go of this idea that the pre-tuition fees era was some sort of egalitarian utopia. No system ever is. Even so, Nick Clegg's suggestion that scrapping tuition fees be downgraded from a firm Lib Dem policy commitment to an "aspiration" makes me uneasy, and not just because of the Labour-flavoured wording. I cannot imagine why he thinks this particular quarrel is worth picking now. Read the piece here. Alix says: "Please note that the headline and byline are, ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Weyhey! Mario put my Someone Once Told Me up and here's my little piece to video! I look OK but sound slightly annoying, I think.

Posted by Jo Christie-Smith on Jo Christie-Smith

This week, the Government published its consultation on reform of the Housing Revenue Account. Liberal Democrats have campaigned in Parliament and on the ground for many years for reform of this system. The subsidy and debt problem, coupled with the loss of right to buy receipts has held Councils back from investing in existing and new housing stock for far too long. However, the devil is always in the detail with reform. The Government are proposing to redistribute debt between all Councils, which would abolish the subsidy system, but would mean Councils who are currently debt free taking on debt ...

Posted on ALDC.org RSS Feed

I downloaded ÜberTwitter to my BlackBerry recently - it does so many things that TwitterBerry can't. These are the ones I like in particular: On the ÜberTwitter icon, the umlaut accent marks change from green dots to red stars when new tweets come in, without you having to launch the app Tweets are appended with your (approx) location on a Google Map - don't worry, it's optional but can be useful for campaigning, events, or just showing off when you're on holiday ;-) When readers click through, they see something like the above screenshot Photos are embedded in tweets without ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Helen Duffett
Thu 23rd

Answer on a postcard!

Mark was asking on LibDemBlogs about a Standing Order - was this Standing Order 61 you where asking about or . . . ?

Posted by admin on Chris and Eddie in London NW1
Thu 23rd

The world has changed

Thanks to Labour's mismanagement and the world economic crises the public finances here in Britain have been devastated. That's why everything we wanted to do when the public funds were available will not be possible to do now that they are not. Of course we can reallocate budgets, cut waste and ditch projects that we don't need but funds are now tighter so we need to make choices. Labour and the Tories may wish to try to fool voters but the Lib Dems will be straight about what needs to be done. Fresh Start for Britain builds on Nick Clegg's ...

Posted by Willie Rennie on What Oor Willie Did Next

Just found out today that Borders is closing their Oxford Street (London) store!! Are they suffering from the recession or is it something as simple as too high rent increases?? Anyway, they are having a closing down sale - 50% off almost everything! Shame they are going - I have the Charing Cross one and the Islington branch [...]

Posted by admin on Chris and Eddie in London NW1
Thu 23rd

LibDems win in London!

Last night, the LibDems secured an election victory in London! In a by-election in Kensington and Chelsea (Colville Ward), the LibDem candidate Carol Caruana managed to succeed in winning the first LibDem seat on the council. With a nearly 17% swing in the vote, Carol secured almost 47% of the vote, more than the Tory [...]

Posted by admin on Chris and Eddie in London NW1

Chris Osuh July 23, 2009 A PAIR of callous crooks who attacked and robbed elderly women in their own homes have been locked up. Andrew Birchall, 25, and Carl Damien Siddall, also 25, terrorised their victims to the extent that one of them died – aged 94 – just a few weeks after they had attacked [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Is it just me, or have we had this debate more times than Blade Runner's been released on DVD? At conference this year, we pointedly didn't have it, and yet people filed on stage supporting the policy anyway. The party supports it, the public supports it, and we can find the money for it – [...]

Posted by ruaraidhdobson on My Very Infrequently Updated Lib Dem Blog

"Perhaps because of the nature of the technology, there is a tendency for political blogs to have a 'Samizdat' style," she said. "The most popular blogs are rightwing, ranging from the considered Tory views of Iain Dale, to the vicious nihilism of Guido Fawkes... mostly, political blogs are written by people with disdain for the [...]

Posted by mole45 on Swinton South Liberal Democrats

Yesterday Nick launched 'A Fresh Start for Britain' - a document which outlines the values upon which our manifesto for the next General Election will be based. You may have seen some of the media coverage; I hope you have also visited Nick's new site on it – www.freshstart.nickclegg.com. This document is the first part of a two-part paper which we will be taking to Autumn conference. It promotes a vision that was agreed by both the Federal Policy Committee and the parliamentary party; which shows how our party would do things differently from Labour and Tories. The second explains ...

Posted by Danny Alexander MP on Liberal Democrat Voice

Alright, I'm flummoxed. What does this Standing Order mean? 61. The Clerk shall make known the purpose of this Standing Order to every candidate. I am confused...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

Following my previous blog post criticising Robert Smithson's prediction model here is a proposition that I am going to make with Political Betting. Robert predicts that the results in Pendle will be: CON:16094 LAB:10982 LIB DEMS:9060 for the record the general election in 2005 results were: Gordon Prentice (Labour): 15250 votes Jane Ellison (Conservative): 13070 votes Shazad Anwar (Liberal Democrat): 9528 votes Now Mr Smithson I think you are totally wrong with your model, the prediction for Pendle by yourself is wrong as the Lib Dems in my prediction are set to get more votes then the Labour party. If ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

From Liberal Democratic Voice: Fantastic news from yesterday's Colville by-election in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (unusually held on a Wednesday): Carol Caruana is the first elected Liberal Democrat in the borough - with more votes than the Tories and Labour combined. The results from ALDC are as follows: Carol Caruana LD 634 (46.9; +16.8) Con 330 (24.4; [...]

Posted by admin on Chris and Eddie in London NW1
Thu 23rd


350 parts per million CO2 in the atmosphere is the safe upper limit. We are already at 385.World leaders will meet in Copenhagen in December to craft a new global treaty on cutting emissions. What can you do to help Look at 350 web site by following the link HERE. Then look to see what you can do to help to show that Bath People Care. Some local Bath people...

Posted on Tim Ball

The link is to NHS Blog Doc's take on Swine flu. Extracting a bit:I hear there is to be a dedicated "swine flu line". The layman who answers has been "empowered" both to diagnose swine flu and to prescribe Tamiflu. I wish someone would likewise "empower" me. I don't know how to diagnose swine flu. I can prescribe Tamiflu, though as yet I have not. I would not take it, and I would not give it to

Posted by john on John Hemming's Web Log

{New Street could soon be welcoming trams} The front page of today's Birmingham Post reports the Government has backed plans to extend the Midland Metro in Birmingham. The plan would link up the existing terminus at Birmingham Snow Hill with Birmingham New Street station, although there's no mention of the line continuing to Five Ways as was originally suggested. Plans for extending the line have been talked about for years, but money was always the sticking point. It would seem that Centro has now been given the go-ahead to bid for Government funding. Centro will ask the Department for Transport ...

Posted by David Nikel on Liberal Ladywood
Thu 23rd

Mr Smithson: I disagree

That's Mr Robert Smithson and not Mr Mike Smithson. Robert has blogged over at Political Betting about a new election outcome forecasting model that he has created and personally I think he has just poured time away down the drains and he could have spent that time writing at Political Betting or upgrading the site. Robert predicts the Tories will have a 150 seat majority and personally I think he is dreaming. We all know Mike is a Lib Dem but I don't think his son is because clearly he is too Tory to predict something like this. The Conservatives ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

{Carol Caruana signs in as councillor} Fantastic news from yesterday's Colville by-election in the London Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (unusually held on a Wednesday): Carol Caruana is the first elected Liberal Democrat in the borough – with more votes than the Tories and Labour combined. The results from ALDC are as follows: Carol Caruana LD 634 (46.9; +16.8) Con 330 (24.4; +3.2) Lab 300 (22.2; -19.2) Green 77 (5.7; -1.5) Ind 10 (0.7; +0.7) Majority 304 Turnout 24.0% Lib Dem gain from Lab Percentage change is from 2006 Congratulations to agent Robin Meltzer, who ran a cracking campaign and ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Prime Minister has accepted that Labour is to get defeated at the Norwich North by election and that brings back the prediction that I made on this blog yesterday. My prediction is that the order parties will finish is: 1. Conservatives 2. Liberal Democrats 3. Labour 4. Green 5. etc... The results from the by election are to be declared tomorrow so lets wait and see what the results bring and if the Lib Dems have increased their vote or not. Like I posted on this blog I don't think leaflets win elections because if they did then the ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog
Thu 23rd

The axe of friendly fire

Sometimes in politics, one doesn't agree with the leadership. I did not agree, for example, with our decision to abandon the pledge for a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. Nor the decision not to oppose David Davis at his self-declared by-election. It was on the coach home yesterday that I opened the Evening Standard to see the headline that the Lib Dems were considering axing key pledges - and my heart sank to the floor. Free tuition fees - higher state pensions - all vote-winning eye-catching polices but were now 'up for review'. In my mind's eye I had the ...

Posted by Keith Nevols on Keith Nevols

I was utterly appalled to read this story on the BBC website about the firefighters in Motherwell, North Lanarkshire who after being called out to a fire in a rubbish chute on the 17th floor of a block of flats were pelted with missiles when they arrived. Perhaps the morons who attacked the firefighters didn't read the newspapers or watch the news on the 3rd of this month when this story broke about a fire in a multi storey block of flats where people tragically lost their lives. The emergency services do an amazing job, whether its the police, firefighters, ...

Thu 23rd

WestFest 2010 update

A couple of meetings last night, so I only managed to catch half of the West End Festival committee meeting, but its a great gathering of interested people and the festival, taking place next June, is taking good shape. You can read updates in the coming months by going to the Festival site - www.dundeewestfest.com.

As electors go to the polls in Norwich North news reaches me of a more local by-election.

A great blog post by Mark Pack on how Japan is now going to ban twitter from being used in the elections, they already have banned blogs and websites from being used in the campaign and I am a little confused by all this. Japan as Mark points out is a country that really is leading the way with technology with the most amount of blogs being written in its native language then any other so why is the country banning online political activity? Clearly the Japanese government have something to back their views that online activism should not be ...

Posted by Irfan Ahmed on Irfan Ahmed's Blog

An interesting spin on self-cannabalism, one might think. There I am, a bureaucrat to my fingertips, in a mini-flap over a set of rules. The problem is, put simply, I have to read them. And what are these rules, you ask? The Standing Orders for Creeting St Peter Parish Council. Alright, we're not a vast organisation, with a staff that runs to a part-time Parish Clerk, and responsibility for... not very much actually. The Standing Orders run to eighty, yes eighty, clauses and fourteen pages, with references to European Union Public Sector Procurement Rules (damn, there goes the opportunity to ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

Police are looking for witnesses to an incident in which a 16-year-old girl was assaulted on Monday afternoon (July 20) at about 2.30pm in Yate shopping centre. The victim was outside the Dorothy Perkins Store when she was approached by a woman in her 30s who appeared to head butt the teenager, who was also punched several times. The victim suffered bruising to her head. Police believe there would have been a number of people in the shopping centre at the time who may have witnessed the incident. They would like anyone who could help their enquiries to contact them. ...

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

If you want to follow me on Twitter at the Norwich North election count tomorrow. My twitter feed is @norfolkblogger

Posted by Norfolk Blogger on Norfolk Blogger

Tonight's Question Time comes from Norwich, and is broadcast shortly after polls close in the Norwich North by-election. For the Lib Dems, Baroness Shirley Williams enters the fray. She is joined by fellow peeress Baroness Warsi, writer and broadcaster Clive James and from the House of Commons, Geoff Hoon MP and George Galloway MP. If you're tuning in, you can join the simultanous online Twitter debate here at #bbcqt, or the LDV debate in the thread below. Meanwhile Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson will be liveblogging events via CoverItLive at his own blog. Finally, if you want to be amongst ...

Posted by Alex Foster on Liberal Democrat Voice

Journalisted.com is a very handy little site, supplied courtesy of the Media Standards Trust, which lists journalists* working on the main national media outlets and gives details of what they've written about, how to contact them, their most recent stories and so on. All in all, a very useful resource. * Actually it goes a little wider, featuring people such as Gianfranco Zola - in his case due to his writings in The Independent. The automatic processing of data treats him a little unfairly, painting him in rather a egotistical light with its conclusion that he has written, "More about ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack's blog feed

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea LBC, Colville

Posted on ALDC.org RSS Feed
Thu 23rd

How low can we go?

General elections in the UK used to be about two parties. Labour and the Conservatives. They used to get most of the votes between them. A few percent would go to the third party and "others" but the vast majority voted red or blue. In this sort of situation, where you effectively have a two party system, the First Past the Post electoral system was perceived as working quite well. It often ensured that one of the parties had a majority (even though this was often on a minority of the vote) but it was often only a few percent ...

Posted by Mark Reckons on Mark Reckons
Thu 23rd

Blog closed

This blog is now closed for further details of Smannell and Alamein Liberal Democrats please go to our new blogs for Alamein ward http://www.alameinlibdems.blogspot.com/

Posted by Len Gates on Smannell Liberal Democrats Focus Team
Thu 23rd

Cybernetic Enhancement

A couple of days ago I got fitted with my hearing aid. Which, incidentally, is green with sparkly bits. It makes a tremendous difference, I can actually hear people talking on my left side now, and when one of the lifts goes "ding!" I can tell which one it is without having to look at them all. Directional hearing is awesome!Two of the features of all modern hearing aids are the telecoil and DAI (direct audio input).The telecoil is a useless obsolete hangover from simpler days. I'm sure that back in the 1960s they were better than nothing, but these ...

Posted by david on Dave's Free Press

"If you have to ask whether or not its art, then please adjust your definition of art." With my hour on the plinth now just nine days away, I found this an interesting read.

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With

Writing yesterday about the Lib Dems "A fresh start" document, I suggested that most activists would be supportive overall but there could be a real fight over specific proposals. And so it seems. So far, the one spending pledge that's been singled out is tuition fees. Clegg wants it to become an aspiration. Bloggers like James Graham and Alex Wilcock disagree. I'll leave the debate over tuition fees to others (for now), but I was struck by Nick's dismissal of cutting NHS funding. The Independent article says: Mr Clegg admitted, he found it "almost impossible" to think his party would ...

Posted by Costigan Quist on Himmelgarten Café

Last year I blogged about the unusual attitude towards the internet in Japan: It's been a democracy for over 50 years. 60% of its population has access to high speed broadband. More blogs are written in its native language than in any other language. And the country is ... Japan, where: "Once an official campaign has started, candidates are barred from updating their home pages, launching or amending blogs—podcasts are allowed because the law applies only to text or images—posting political statements or sending text messages to mobile phones. Additional regulations prohibit donors from using credit cards online to support ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 23rd

Murray Attack Leaflet

I fear his halo may slip if I publish his leaflet that arrived yeserday inside a menu for an Indian takeaway, but this is Mr Murray's attack leaflet.

Posted by Norfolk Blogger on Norfolk Blogger

It's that day again (BBC Question Time day) and the Live Chat on this blog will start at 10:30pm. The panel will include the former Secretary of State for Defence Geoff "Buff" Hoon MP, the Conservative shadow minister for community cohesion Baroness Warsi, the veteran politician and former leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords Baroness Williams, the writer and broadcaster Clive James (hurrah!) and the Respect MP "Gorgeous" George Galloway. You can also follow people's comments on Twitter via the #bbcqt hashtag (you can also follow me here on Twitter by the way). Liberal Democrat Voice ...

Posted by Mark Reckons on Mark Reckons

Lorry deliveries can be a sore point in London. Our Victorian streets can't cope with the size of many lorries, their weight shakes our homes, and their diesel fumes pollute our air. At the weekend, I was at Islington Green with colleagues observing the Tesco lorries in action. The Tesco there is only a 'Metro' [...]

Posted by bridgetfox on Bridget's Blog

From the BBC Cornwall pages comes a novel way of dealing with this invasive species: Harvesting and eating Japanese Knotweed could be the best biological way to control the "nightmare" weed, a woman in Cornwall has said.Caroline Davey from St Buryan said the shoots of the plant, which taste like rhubarb, can be used in jams, chutneys, crumbles, pies and even cocktails.

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Many people are asking why it is that the count for the Norwich North by-election is not being held on the evening of the election, and others are asking why it is that the count is not even being held in Norwich North or in the District of Broadland or the City of Norwich. In 2004 I was agent for elections in Broadland and they sent me the wrong agents forms. At the time I was a councillor on North Norfolk Council so I got the correct forms from their electoral packs and crossed out "North Norfolk", inserting "Broadland" in ...

Posted by Norfolk Blogger on Norfolk Blogger

Good morning. You join us here on LDV as we wish happy birthday to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michael Foot, and as the nation of Egypt and the Rastafarians commemorate the birth of Haile Selassie. It's also polling day in Norwich North. Will April Pond become the 64th Lib Dem MP? Will we make our second by-election gain in the 2005 Parliament? Find out first on twitter – as the blogosphere's reporter on the spot Nich Starling will report, live from the Norfolk Showground. Two big news stories Kingsnorth tactics criticised The Guardian reports the report into police behaviour at ...

Posted by Alex Foster on Liberal Democrat Voice

George Bush is spending his time raising millions for his Presidential Library. It made me wonder. Who would want to take a day out of their life to visit the George Bush Presidential Library? OK, so quite a few people will do it out of grim fascination, for the next few years. But in forty years time? And how many relatively useless Presidential Libraries are strewn over the USA? Well, let's just take the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library. Hoover was one of the most unpopular US Presidents, blamed for the Great Depression. In 2004, only 66,000 visited his library. That's ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

It's a huge well done to Carol Caruana and the local team in Colville, Kensington and Chelsea. Last night Carol won the Liberal Democrats first ever seat on this Council with a massive gain from Labour. The result was Carol 634, Con 330, Labour 300, Green 77, Ind 10. Lib Dem gain from Labour. It's a huge win and one that is well deserved by Carol and her team led by the charming, efficient and cheery Robin Meltzer - well done all and one... David Cameron's backyard? a Lib Dem gain in this ward at least. Yippee! I love the ...

Posted by Ed Fordham on 474 votes to win

...then maybe you'll believe a published economist. Prof Steve Horowitz explains exactly what I have been trying to explain about the causes of the housing and debt bubble and thus the current recession. Or watch it here: <!-- google_ad_client = "pub-8502734622986536"; /* 468x15 */ google_ad_slot = "9254756953"; google_ad_width = 468; google_ad_height = 15; //-->

Posted by Jock on Jock's Place

The result in the Colville ward of the London Borough of Kensington & Chelsea was an overwhelming win for Liberal Democrat Carol Caruana. Labour, who originally held the seat, were pushed into third place. Carol Caruana becomes the sole Lib Dem councillor on a predominantly Conservative council, but hopefully the first of many. Lib Dem 634 46.9% Conservative 330 24.4% Labour 300 22.2% Green 77 5.7% Independent 10 0.7%

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

Oh God. Here we go again. Remember all that nonsense last year when Nick Clegg started claiming that the Lib Dems were about to unveil a package of £20 bn of cuts – the "vast bulk" of which was to be passed on in the form of tax cuts? Remember how, after an ugly [...]

Posted by James Graham on Quaequam Blog!
Thu 23rd

Ta for voting!

Thanks so much to everyone who voted for Lara - she is through to the final next Friday, coming in 7th out of over 4000!

Posted by Linda Jack on Lindylooz Muze

From The Pink Paper: Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, will not be entering the Greater London Authority as a candidate for Stonewall's annual Top 100 employers list, PinkPaper.com can reveal. The news comes as a surprise considering that the authority – which is based at City Hall – was ranked second in 2008 and third in 2009. The decision has also contradicted a former promise by Johnson who, in response to a previous question, said the GLA would be entered for 2010... Dee Doocey, the Liberal Democrat London Assembly Member [said], "Last Summer Boris Johnson's office was in such a ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 23rd

Can you get Addicted??

I have spoke to a few young people who have become addicted with the new phenomenon, high speed Internet. Young people spend a lot of time surfing the net, socialising and signing up to these virtual networks. Young people feel that they are addicted to networks such as face book, hi5 and even myspace. These networks offer them the opportunity to talk to existing friends whilst making new ones. The best part is that it is free. If you have a high school friend that you have not spoken to in ages, you may find them on face book etc. ...

Posted by The Speaker on The Speaker