The University of Leicester Botanic Garden is signposted from the roundabout near the city's racecourse. I have seen that signpost regularly for almost 40 years, but only on Saturday did I visit the gardens. Despite the summery weather, it was too early in the year to see them at their best, but they will clearly be worth a return visit in a month or two. There are extensive gardens, glasshouses - including one full of cacti and succulents that reminded me of the early career of our deputy prime minister - and three opulent Edwardian houses now used as university ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Cash for questions. Cash for influence. Cash for peerages. Cash for dinners. I don't know about you but I'm utterly sick of it. I've been following politics very closely for years. I have always voted and more recently got more deeply involved with the party I am ideologically closest to. I think some of my friends and family consider my interest in this somewhat eccentric. I have found it a struggle on occasion to convince people I know outside politics to even vote let alone engage on anything like the level I do. How much harder it is to convince ...

Posted by Mark Thompson on Mark Thompson
Wed 28th

Six of the Best 237

The Worcester Libertarian heard Paddy Ashdown speak about his life at Malvern Theatres last October. He has just posted an account of the evening. America's 'War on Drugs' has created a massive racial caste system, argues Michelle Alexander on AlterNet. "Research has shown that 'fear of crime' affects urban walkability, but now a new project has shown that the reverse may also be true: that improving the walkability of a street can reduce the number of crimes in an area." Sustainable Cities Collective on the Rotterdam experience. The Week offers five reasons why child beauty pageants are a bad idea. ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England
Wed 28th

Booker Avenue flats

I went along this evening to the open day organised by South Liverpool Housing so that people could see initial plans for the new shared ownership flats at the junction of Booker Avenue and Greenhill Road. When I got there about 25 people had already been in to find out more or make comments. Once we have some more concrete information I will post it here. As Councillor for the area my concern is making sure that what happens on this plot of land fits in with the area and is of benefit, not just for people buying flats but ...

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner
Wed 28th

On the money

The Project Genesis Trust has put £30,000 into a fund to make grants to local groups. They've done that by allocating the money to the County Durham Foundation, who in turn will use it to fund local projects alongside the funds they administer from many other charitable trusts. Apparently this initial grant is on a "suck it and see" basis, and further money will be forthcoming if they like the way it is handled. Project Genesis Trust has also invested a much larger (unspecified) sum of charitable monies with the Foundation to take advantage of the higher rates the Foundation ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple

I recommend watching BBC3′s My Murder here on iPlayer. It's a really accessible and moving drama telling the true story of 16 year-old Shakilus Townsend, who was killed in a "honey trap" gang murder in 2008. Mixing real CCTV footage and 999 recordings with acted scenes, it tells the tale from the point of view of the victim, Shakilus. For example, at the end, he describes, in chilling detail, the injuries he received. You then see scenes from his funeral, and his (actual) mother speaking tearfully of her lost son. You then see images of the gang who were put ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

First, came his car crash Today interview, when he tried to defend the indefensible – that Cameron entertaining donors in premises owned by the taxpayer was a private matter. Then, today the idiot was telling drivers to fill up a "jerry can" with fuel to combat a possible strike. As the words left his mouth, he sounded like a 42 carat plonker, even before you thought about what he was saying. Explosions? Fires? That sort of thing. And is enough fuel for 150 miles of travel (the legal storage limit) really going to help defeat a strike at least seven ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

If so, why haven't you joined LGBT+ Lib Dems? You don't have to be LGB or T to join, so long as you support the aims of equality for sexually and genderly variant people of all stripes. Scroll to the bottom of that page and join up. And don't forget to vote for me next time there's exec elections. :) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

You can watch the video on the BBC website. One is a discredited figure who got into the business only because his father was a respected media figure. The other is a distinguished Australian... You can see where this is going.

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Despite being in the 21st century, we appear to value the approval of medical professionals, and their control over women's bodies, more than we do women's autonomy. Last week it came to light in a Telegraph report that some abortion clinics - up to one in five - were performing abortions illegally. Doctors were pre-signing forms to permit abortions before they had seen the patient's medical information. Why are so many good doctors not following the law? Under the 1967 Abortion Act, termination of pregnancy is legal up to 24 weeks, as long as two doctors approve it. Not one, ...

Posted by Sophie Bridger on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

£20 for the Tory Party

How much does our Lib Dem membership cost a year? £20 and less for young people like me. DO you know how much the Tory party charges for membership? They do it on a sliding scale. It starts at £50,000 annual membership which will give a member direct access to Cameron at parties and lunches. The lowest charge is £50 a month (£600 a year) and it only gives a member the privillege of campaigning in marginal seats as a party patron. Even if I wanted too, which I don't, I couldn't afford to be a Tory supporter. I then ...

Posted by Maelo Manning on libdemchild, aged 11

"It'll be awesome for your business". These are the words of Peter Cruddas, the then Conservative Party treasurer, who was caught on camera by a Sunday Times investigation offering unprecedented access to David Cameron and Number 10's Policy Unit to donors prepared to pay the party a "premiere league" sum of £250,000. The Conservatives have been quick to dismiss his claims as "bluster" and force him to resign. But we can't test the veracity of his claims for the simple reason that in the UK we have no system to record which lobbyists have been meeting which politicians, and for ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill

I have previously blogged about Manchester City Council's proposed 20mph speed limit options and my concerns that some Councillors and Officers favour implementing a £42million scheme with traffic calming on every residential road. This is clearly a ridiculous idea and certainly not what the motion we passed called for. It is deeply disappointing that the Council is not taking the lead on this issue and has confirmed it is just waiting for a Government handout before it will roll the scheme out. Other Councils have got on with the job of saving lives. Some Manchester Councillors seem to misunderstand how ...

There's been a lot of debate over recent days about Tim Farron signing the 'Christians in Parliament' letter to the ASA, asking them to overturn the ban on Christian advertising promoting Faith Healing. There has been an excellent defence on LDV from Stephen Tall, and an equally good reply on LDV from David Parkes With all due respect to both these views, I think they have missed one crucial factor out of the debate (which I've also not seen anywhere else): fairness. Much of the debate has been contrasting the treatment of the Christian advertising - which has been banned ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

I'm aware that my signing of a letter to the ASA about the power of prayer has caused a stir. I thought I should just clarify what I actually think on this. I completely understand why some of you are concerned. It's not a well-worded letter – the reference to the ASA providing indisputable evidence is silly, and the implication that people should seek faith healing at the expense of medical intervention is something that I just don't believe in. For what it's worth, I also think that the Fabrice Muamba reference is crass. So on all those fronts, I ...

Posted by Tim Farron MP on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

Name of the Day

Thank you to Silvia Knobloch-Westerwick, Associate Professor of Communication at Ohio State University, for cheering a long working day.

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England
Wed 28th

Just the ticket!

All aboard! The One Hour Bus Ticket Tour is out and about today across 8 London Boroughs – an old style Routemaster is plying its way across the capital promoting part of London Lib Dems Fairer Fares policy, the "one hour bus ticket", with Brian Paddick, Caroline Pidgeon and assorted London Lib Dems. It is rather strange that ...

Posted by Greenwich Liberal on Greenwich Liberal

We have asked for the second speed hump in Old Fosse Road to be repaired

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down

Do you live in South Gloucestershire?Are you over 50? Have you been actively looking for a job or are you considering self-employment? If you answered yes to all the above, the Red Door @50 Careers Workshop could be for you... Get help with finding a job or starting a business! Wednesday 18 April 10.00 am to 2.00 pm at the Armadillo Youth Café, Yate Town Centre. Free Lunch provided. Guest speaker from Marks and Spencer: 'What Employers Want' To attend, please request an application form by email from This event is delivered By Red Door Coaching and Training Ltd ...

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

Another of this year's Arthur C. Clarke Award nominees, languishing at the end of the GoodReads / LibraryThing stats with The Waters Rising; Jane Rogers is best known for her mainstream novel Mr. Wroe's Virgins, but I get the impression that her work has often teetered on the edge of the genre, and The Testament of Jessie Lamb is certainly sf. I was really impressed with it; it felt in some way to be a response to the Wyndham-esque cosy catastrophe, in that it is a story of an ordinary middle-class girl in Manchester and what happens to her when ...

Wed 28th

Sport Aid

On Sunday morning Claire and I drove over to Litherland Sports Park to take part in Sefton's Sport Aid Mile Run. Over 200 people registered to enter the event and £1400 was raised, not including sponsorship money yet to be added. It was a thoroughly enjoyable, if tiring, event. Neither of us has ran for several months and it was an achievement for us to complete the mile without stopping. The above picture doesn't convey the fatigue and aching muscles that we endured. I look forward now to Active Sefton's 5K Challenge on May 31st at Crosby Lakeside Adventure Centre. ...

Posted by Councillor Mike Booth on kew focus

Manchester's Liberal Democrat Leader Coun Marc Ramsbottom slammed the decision by Labour's Town Hall bosses to remove long serving Moston Coun Henry Cooper from the Fire Authority, where he served as Vice Chairman, as spiteful and vindictive. The move comes after Coun Cooper resigned from the Labour Group over the Council's backing for a new stadium for FC United in his Moston ward. "Coun Cooper has effectively been punished by Manchester Labour leaders for speaking his mind and standing up for local residents. The removal of him from the Fire Authority is a vindictive and spiteful act by Labour Leader ...

You may have heard that the former Chorlton Police Station has been purchased by Transport for Greater Manchester (TfGM). Please see below the reply I have recieved from Sir Howard Bernstein (Clerk to TfGM and Chief Executive of Manchester City Council) to my enquiry about the building's future use: "The vacant former Police Station adjacent to Chorlton Bus Station was listed for auction on the 30th November. The property sale was being administered by Salford City Council on behalf of Greater Manchester Police who own the property. The property lies immediately adjacent to Chorlton Bus Station on Barlow Moor Road ...

A commission on the causes of last summer's riots has recommended that schools should be fined if they don't turn out suitably servile citizens. For all of my active career, which now spans over fifty years, it has been customary to blame the schools for any of the ills of society, from the young's alleged inability to manipulate the multiplication tables to their lack of moral fibre. I treasure the remarks of Nigel de Gruchy, General Secretary of my union, (now called the NASUWT) which he made in 1996: ...morality is caught not taught. Example is the best teacher of ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

After making no secret of the fact that they aim to make Manchester a 'Lib Dem Free Zone', with every Council seat held by a Labour Councillor, the following press release should ring alarm bells with every citizen of whatever political persuasion. Will the Labour Councillors in such a totalitarian administration stand up for their communities? Will they be allowed to? The decision by Labour to sack Moston Labour Councillor Henry Cooper for standing up for his constituents should give everyone pause for thought. PRESS RELEASE Manchester City Council Liberal Democrats Manchester's Liberal Democrat Leader Coun Marc Ramsbottom slammed the ...

Posted by Matt Gallagher on Matt Gallagher

Lib Dem Voice co-editor Stephen Tall has produced his 3 liberal reasons to stick up for Tim Farron. Now Stephen is a man I respect and who writes a lot of sense, but on this occasion I beg leave to disagree. To that end I thought I'd give 3 liberal reasons to criticise Stephen Tall's defence of our party president Tim Farron. We are of course talking about the storm Tim Farron created by co-signing a letter to the Advertising Standards Agency urging the ASA to overturn a ban on a Christian group claiming prayer could cure medical conditions. (1) ...

Posted by David Parkes on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: 20120328-155258.jpg] All, Sadly the family support group run by Warwickshire charity 'ESH Works' has pulled out of Shipston. Rather than being a funding issue the service has been hit by low numbers attending its service, which was based at the Ellen Badger Hospital. ESH Works provide support to families living with or affected by drug, alcohol or other dependencies. If you would like to know more about their work their website is here. They will be continuing their work in Stratford. Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour blog
Wed 28th

Bus route to Moreton

[IMG: 20120328-153424.jpg] All, I reported on the new service to Moreton in a previous story. The timetable is out and can be viewed here. It's only twice a day – but this is an improvement on nothing at all! After all the controversy on the supermarket I'm trying to look on the bright side........ Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour blog
Wed 28th

Interviewing Tim Farron

Thanks to Harry Matthews and Liberal Youth, way back when at Spring Conference in Gateshead I managed to secure myself some time with Tim Farron, the party president. If only he'd signed that letter to the ASA way back then! Alas he didn't and here is the full and unedited take on the interview, which is also cross posted from the libertine, Liberal Youths blogging platform. Anyone who knows my online persona is likely to understand that between myself and Tim Farron, we are two ends of the liberal microcosm. Our politics tend to clash, but we both want ...

Posted by Andrew Emmerson on

The A555 Relief Road, with a target completion date of 2017, will take a lot of traffic away from our busy town and village centres and bring jobs and economic development to the area. But it's not just drivers who are set to benefit. The new plans include a separate, wide path for cyclists and pedestrians along the whole length of the new road – right from the A6 to Manchester Airport. The path will be separated from the road, so you won't be hit with all the noise and fumes, and it will even be retrofitted to the existing ...

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts & Pam King

Christy, the multi-million pound company best known as the supplier of towels to Wimbledon, is moving its HQ from Hyde to Cheadle. Fifty staff will move to the Park Square office development on Bird Hall Lane. It's great to see another international business choosing to base itself locally. Under the Lib Dems, Stockport Council has done a huge amount of work to help and encourage businesses to come to our area. That's one of the reasons why unemployment locally is so much lower than the national average. The full story is on the MEN website.

Posted by Iain Roberts on Keith Holloway, Iain Roberts & Pam King

Two issues on which there appears to be virtual universal consensus across the political spectrum are the pressing need to address the UK's housing problems and the economic benefits of a rejuvenated construction sector. The lack of adequate affordable and social housing has been a major weakness of the UK economy and social fabric for many years. This problem has manifested itself in seriously overpriced housing costs relative to incomes, soaring housing benefit expenditures, uncompetitive labour costs and inter-generational inequity. The Centreforum report Delivering growth while reducing deficits – lessons from the 1930s highlights the major part that house building ...

Posted by Joe Bourke on Liberal Democrat Voice

This is from Paddy Ashdown's talk at Malvern Theatres last October, which I forgot to post at the time. Better late than never I suppose! As a commando; a member of the Special Forces; a spy, a Member of Parliament; formerly the leader of his party; and the UN's High Representative to Bosnia; Paddy Ashdown has certainly led an interesting life. Lord Ashdown was at Malvern Theatres to promote his auto-biography, 'A Fortunate Life' and to raise money for the charity which he patrons, Hope and Homes for Children. When asked why his book was called 'A Fortunate Life', Lord ...

Posted by antony mciver on The Worcester Libertarian
Wed 28th

Farewell Skip

Today will be a strange day to be a bowler. Later tonight at the last night of the church bowling club season I will once again be awarded a club championship trophy. Picking up and winning bowling trophies is something I have done since I was 18. I have actually been crowned a champion in three nations of the United Kingdom, but I also have been crowned a champion of Ireland, not once but twice and in the same tournament in consecutive years. That is why today is strange. In 1998 I moved bowling clubs. It was a strenuous task ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Liberal Journal

Read about local police efforts to catch the Greenshaw Woods flasher, new CCTV to inform the 'no alcohol' zone and more benches in Rosehill Park West by visiting my local ward blog here.

Posted by Lester Holloway on cllrlesterholloway
Wed 28th

Camborne's Discovery Map

Camborne's Discovery Map has been in production for over a year now and the good news is, it's about to hit the doormats of every home in the parish! As some of you may know from the previous Discovery Maps produced for towns such as Newquay and Hayle, these are very high quality, beautifully illustrated maps that introduce locals and visitors to the flora, fauna and heritage of the area. In addition to the free copy being provided to every Camborne household, the maps will be on sale for the RRP of £1.00 and would make lovely gifts for friends ...

Posted by Anna Pascoe on Anna Pascoe

Six years ago I wrote to the Times about party funding. They published my letter. Re-reading it yesterday-thanks to Simon Shaws excellent filing system-I find it is still relevant. Both Labour and Tories have failed to move on reforms. Whether it is cash for honours (as with Labour) or access the issue is the same. Anyway here is my proposal: Published at 12:00AM, March 18 2006 Sir, The health of the body politic would be improved if political parties got money from a reinvigorated mass membership instead of rich donors. Some measures would help: standard-rate tax relief on donations up ...

Posted on birkdale focus

The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that regional pay would further entrench Wales as a low-pay economy, both in the public and private sectors. More to the point it would lead to men and women doing the same job at different ends of the country, but receiving different rates of pay. I believe in the principle of an individual being paid a rate for a job, not in a multi-tier system which sees wages set on a postcode-by-postcode basis which will ultimately see the rich areas of south-east England become richer at the expense of the rest of the UK and ...

Posted by Peter Black AM on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

Orwell Prize Long List

In one of those not terribly surprising turn of events, I have not been longlisted for this years Orwell prize for Blogging. It's almost like they don't CARE about the BOTYS's Anyway, hats off to all those shortlisted especially the lone Lib Dem Blogger on the list, David Allen Green (It's also his birthday today - many happy returns).

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

The linked petition shows the difficulty of holding to account cases in the court of protection.The government's response is that people can apply for a court order to look at the bill. That is really not good enough. A court order should not be needed. Some other process is needed.

Posted by john on John Hemming's Web Log

In the 1970s there was a shortage of sugar. I used to help in my parents' grocery shop and I remember some customers coming in very regularly for their bags of sugar. I also remember stories of people with kitchen shelves full of sugar. The Irish potato famine was caused by crop failure but the famine was exacerbated by political failings. It isn't good if you allow the free market to export some of the remaining crops and there is no control over getting essential food to those in most need. Earlier this week I was reminded of environmentally friendly ...

Posted by Michael Gradwell on Politics for Novices

I read the first two Aubrey/Maturin books many many years ago, and while I enjoyed them I never quite got into the habit of pursuing the series. A couple of years back I picked up Desolation Island from Bookmooch (which seems incidentally to have lurched back into activity in the last month or so, which is good news) and have now submitted to various people's urgings in my last couple of what-shall-I-read-next-year posts and digested it. It is a cracking good read. There's an awful lot packed in here; apart from the basic plot of Aubrey commanding a mission both ...

Warning from the county council Energy conscious consumers are being warned to be on the look out for bogus cold callers selling devices they claim can cut energy use. Hertfordshire Trading Standards is warning that the devices, which are being sold for up to £99 each, could pose a fire and electrocution risk. The devices also offer no energy savings. The cold callers speak to unwitting victims and appear genuine, often possessing details of their energy supplier and sometimes some or all of the digits of their credit/debit card. The plug-in-the-wall devices have been sold by a number of different ...

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White
Wed 28th

Identify the author

Extract from a novel published in 1900; who wrote it? "I think," said the President, "that the English Government also have to keep the electorate amused. It is a Conservative ministry; they must keep things going abroad to divert the public mind from advanced legislation."And no sneaky Googling!

I haven't read the Health and Social Care Bill (soon to be Act). More pages than a Harry Potter novel, and qualified by a thousand amendments, I'm not sure reading it would throw much light on my darkness. However, there are aspects of the bill I am aware of. I know, for instance, that the NHS Bill was in no one's manifesto, and I know there wasn't the slightest hint of its major elements in the coalition agreement. The government has absolutely no mandate for NHS reform at all. It all seemed so clear ... and then I made a ...

Posted by Sid Cumberland on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

English independence

If I was Scottish and had little or no aspiration to work or live anywhere else for me or my children then I'd be in favour of Scottish Independence. Visiting the Shetlands Islands they seemed to be saying that they'd want independence from an independent Scotland which throws up an interesting dilemma. Especially important as oil taxes are presumed to pay for everything according to independence minded Scots and most oil is found of off the Shetland Islands So what would independence look like. As a Londoner I'd hope that what remains of the UK would become far more federal ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber

"As many local residents will no doubt have noticed, we recently had the budget," explains local Lib Dem ward councillor, Darren Fower. But what does it mean for local people in this area? One thing is for sure, no matter what Labour say there WERE a number of significant Liberal Democrat achievements. Local LIB DEM Cllr Darren Fower, added: "Without Big Business or Trade Unions to publicise our success, it is essential that our councillors, local activists and volunteers area aware of how they are helping achieve Liberal Democrat success in government, for Britain!" Thanks to the Liberal Democrats, aka ...

Posted by admin on Darren Fower

The forthcoming Mayoral election is certainly the contest that London is currently focusing on; however, scratch beneath the surface and there is a quiet but equally fiercely fought election taking place. June sees the French Parliamentary Elections which for the first time include eleven overseas parliamentary seats; the 3rd constituency is a whopping 1.5 million square miles area, from Greenland to Lithuania, encompassing every Nordic & Baltic countries, Ireland and the UK. London is however where most of the French expats in this constituency reside and therefore the epicentre of this election. I am standing for the Mouvement Democratique (MoDem) ...

Posted by Yannick Naud on Liberal Democrat Voice

Today saw the official launch of the National Panel's report into the riots that hit London and other parts of the country in August. As someone who was caught up in the riots, in Ealing Common, I welcome the report. Like all reports it is a large document with many findings, which we mostly agree with. It still seems like yesterday when we lost one of Ealing's residents, Richard Mannington Bowes, in the riots. I am glad his killer admitted his mistakes recently. With my Liberal Democrat Leader's hat on, the panel is correct to state there were many factors ...

Posted by Gary Malcolm on Councillor Gary Malcolm

Perhaps to distract attention from the poor publicity surrounding last week's budget (notwithstanding my general endorsement of it...), our Prime Minister David Cameron has moved the policy circus onto the pricing of alcoholic drinks. A rather unedifying debate has ensued. It's worth trying to unpack this a bit. The proposal is to force a minimum retail price on alcohol of 40p per unit. The argument put forward in its support is highly paternalistic, in the way of modern British policy making (or "evidence-based" in the fashionable euphemism). Alcoholic drinks are available very cheaply, especially from supermarkets. It is thought that ...

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal
Wed 28th

My imminent defection

Greener pastures? There have been many suggestions that I have Tory sympathies, my support for Coalition policies mean that I, like our leader, may be a subversive Blue in a Gold cloak. It is indeed true that I have more sympathies with the right and in my misguided youth my ideals were somewhat Hobbesian on a good day and on a bad day... Well I may have inferred once or twice that it was not up to us the citizens to question the rulings of our betters. That has all changed over time and the naive teenager is, thankfully lost ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

War Over a One-Horse Town - Why Badme matters (though nobody knows where it is). (tags: war eritrea ethiopia ) That Was TRIIIIIIPPY: Time-Lapse Of Ocean Currents | Geekologie Amazing. (tags: maps ) How our election cycle screws up our foreign policy #fb US election campaigns: too long, too costly, too exploitable by foreigners. (tags: uspolitics )

Wed 28th

Told you so

This is the headline in The Guardian: And I believe - as I mentioned in this post, amongst others - that it's a real issue. I am not one of those people who feels the NHS is going to close tomorrow. I'll write more about this in coming days. Nor do I feel that reform of the NHS is uneccessary. But I do feel the NHS is worse off as a result of this bill. And that we should gave torn it up and started again.

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

Another glimpse into what a Tory Britain would look like comes in today's Independent which reports that the Liberal Democrats in the shape of Business Secretary Vince Cable have fended off an attempt by the Prime Minister to erode the rights of employees. Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist who has donated almost £600,000 to the Conservative Party, produced a report last year which has so far not been published, which is believed to include proposals to allow employers to fire unproductive workers and cut entitlement to maternity leave. The Tories, says the Independent, from David Cameron down, wanted to implement ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Graeme Cowie has launched an e-petition on Direct Gov calling on the coalition to Abandon the Government's Arbitrary Non-EU Immigration Cap. The wording of the petition is as follows: We the undersigned believe that the attempts by the Coalition government to restrict non-EU immigration by way of a cap has no evidential basis and that it should be removed. Contrary to the aims of its advocates, the cap harms the UK economy and with it the job prospects of UK citizens by discouraging enterprise and foreign investment. Given that the Coalition government recognises in its agreement that immigration has "enriched ...

Posted by Tom Papworth on Liberal Vision

Alex Wilcock and I penned this list of six things* to remember for Liberal Democrat News, the party's weekly newspaper: Paddy Ashdown once admitted to under-estimating the importance of a party's history: "A political party is about more than plans and priorities and policies... It also has a heart and a history and a soul". Yet there is no "history of the party" training session for the keen Conference representative nor history briefings for new members. So here are six snippets from the party's history to entertain, elucidate and illustrate our heart and soul in ways that should still strike ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

Hapless MPs defend faith healers Martin Robbins: Fisker extraordinaire (tags: religion ) Church HIV prayer cure claims 'cause three deaths' And this is what happens if we don't point out the facts to Christians who say prayer can heal: people DIE. I'm not saying, and never have, that Christians shouldn't be allowed to say that prayer can heal: I'm just saying that being allowed to say something does not mean you are immune from others, INCLUDING OTHER CHRISTIANS, refuting your claims, especially if your claims are harmful bollocks. (tags: religion ) Christian MPs urged to prove it isn't the Flying ...

I've written many a time that we as Lib Dems should not spend all of our time on Lords Reform, going as far as to call us all a bunch of wonkers for being far to obsessed with this issue. Even if I don't believe we should spend all of our time on this, there is one thing we must ensure comes out of this, that there are no bishops left in the lords once reformed. That doesn't look like it's going to happen. I am utterly bamboozled as to the justification for keeping Bishops in the house of lords, ...

Posted by Andrew Emmerson on

Liberal Democrat London Mayoral Candidate Brian Paddick will be answering questions live on the Guardian website between 1 and 2 pm today. If you have anything you want to ask Brian about what he stands for and what he wants to do for London, head here and put your question in the comments. We'll bring you news of how he got on tomorrow. PS It's a busy day for the London campaign. Don't forget about the tweetathon to launch Caroline Pidgeon's One Hour Bus Ticket campaign which she wrote about last night here.

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

Dissing the judiciary

Much of the media has picked up on this press release issued by Biteback Publishing and Peter Hain MP, which reveals that Lord Justice Higgins has granted leave to the Attorney General of Northern Ireland to bring proceedings for contempt of court against them. They say that the proceedings relate to a passage in Peter Hain's memoir, OUTSIDE IN, in which Peter Hain makes critical remarks about the Northern Irish judge, Judge Girvan (now Lord Justice Girvan), relating in particular to a 2006 Judicial Review case heard by Judge Girvan regarding the appointment of Bertha MacDougall as Interim Victims Commissioner. ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

The controversy over the Government's view that there should be no freepost election addresses for Police and Crime Commissioner elections has caught the headlines so far, but there is something far worse in the details of the draft legislation. Put simply: having considered having national expenditure limits for the elections, the Conservative ministers in the Home Office have decided to have none. There will be expense limits for individual candidates and their campaigns. However it is proposed that political parties and outside bodies (called 'third parties' in this context) will have no limits on how much they can spend on ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 28th

New Library Hours

Some of the Library opening hours are changing from the beginning of April this year. Here are the details of the ones nearest to us in this bit of South Liverpool Garston Library 9 to 5 Monday to Saturday Allerton Library 10 to 6 Monday to Wednesday, closed on Thursday, 10 to 6 on Friday and 10 to 4 on Saturday Speke 9 to 5 Monday to Friday

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

I was spoilt for choice again this week but plumped for 4 Non Blondes with What's Up which I remember as being one of those songs which gained a lot of air-play and seemed to define the spirit of 1993. Or maybe that was just me... Whilst I didn't choose this, do check out this version of Sade's No Ordinary Love - perfect music to chill out to... Andrew

Posted by oneexwidow on the widow's world

Why should we give more money to political parties? For democracy, argues the Spineless Liberal.

Posted by Morgan Griffith-David on Spineless Liberal

Residents will recall that, last month, I was pleased to be advised by the City Council that the safety barrier needed outside the Tesco Express on the Hawkhill by-pass that I had long campaigned for was definitely to be erected before the end of the financial year. I'm pleased to say that work started on Monday on this - see right.

Wed 28th

Why Cancer Research UK?

Many of you have already donated to my fundraising efforts on behalf of Cancer Research UK and, for that, I am incredibly grateful. I've set a goal of raising £750.00 and am very, very, very slowly marching toward that goal. There's a link just over on the right, if you would like to donate, or I'd be happy to take money in US dollars offline and pool it (leave a comment if you need my address). I've had a few people wonder why I've chosen to run for Cancer Research UK, rather than a US-based charity. So, I thought I ...

Posted by Joyce on Joyce Goes for a Run

So, we were talking about how Dracula doesn't have any servants and has to make his own beds (see original novel) and one thing led to another, and... [IMG: Dracleaner] [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments