(Almost all of the following is true) I had to install Windows on a computer on Thursday, after ten years of using GNU/Linux almost exclusively (I've occasionally used Solaris or AIX for work stuff). The results convinced me that no matter how much people online talk about this Windows thing, it's definitely not ready for ...

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!

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Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

[Originally posted at Dale&Co, 06/04/12] What is going on? I mean, seriously? Is it just me or do the wheels seem to be coming off this Government quite badly? If we look over the last couple of weeks we've seen a botched budget, including the failure to make the case for a "granny tax" in the context of cuts to the 50p rate and the bizarre brouhaha over the "pasty tax". The #CamDineWithMe scandal over cash for access has been exposed. And we've witnessed a Government-induced panic over possible fuel shortages in the face of the strike that never was ...

Posted by admin on Alex's Archives

Ranked by Goodreads popularity, with LibraryThing popularity and rankings from both sites provided for comparison. Goodreads Librarything number average number average A Dance With Dragons, George R.R. Martin 33297 4.13 2756 4.04 Embassytown, China Mieville 2944 3.86 842 3.95 Deadline, Mira Grant 2479 4.26 270 4.29 Leviathan Wakes, James S.A. Corey 1710 4.03 211 3.97 Among Others, Jo Walton 1499 3.83 496 4.21 Hearty congratulations to papersky. This is really cool. (But A Dance With Dragons is owned by roughly four times as many GoodReads members as the other four combined.)

The following email has started to go out to Parish Councils (and any others who have put bids in for Highways Improvements I imagine) in South Cambridgeshire; "As a result of the high number of applications received for Minor Highway Improvements the Cabinet Member for Community Infrastructure, in discussion with officers, has decided that to keep the panel meetings manageable it will be necessary to reduce the number of bids considered at the meeting. In order to reduce the bids, prior consideration will be given to : Whether the bidder has confirmed a contribution of at least 10%Affordability within budget ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill
Sat 7th

Swimming and poverty

A month ago, six African-American teenagers drowned in a single incident in Louisiana, prompting soul-searching about why so many young black Americans can't swim reports BBC News. The article goes on to discuss the reason for black children's inability to swim, suggesting that poverty and historic segregation are to blame. Which put me in mind of this passage from Bevis by Richard Jefferies (published in 1882): For seventy years he had laboured in that place, and never once gone out of sight of the high Down yonder, and in all that seventy years no one till Bevis and Mark, and ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

The link is to the story of Anna Guilia Camparini. At least in Italy these issues can be properly discussed unlike in the UK.

Posted by john on John Hemming's Web Log

Issan and a team from Nottingham have been out and about campaigning today with excellent local councillor, Joe Niatta. Joe is a councillor in the Blagreaves ward of the city with his colleagues Ruth Skelton and Robert Troup. Ruth and ... Continue reading →

Posted by Issan Ghazni on Issan Ghazni

It challenges my fellow Liberal Democrats to challenge Education Secretary Michael Gove's rightward-lurch when it comes to how our children are educated.

Posted by mathewhulbert on A Liberal Helping

Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice has reproduced a ministerial statement on the wearing of crucifixes at work. It's worth reading. The point is that there is nowhere in the Bible where it tells Christians to wear crucifixes visibly. Indeed, one could argue that Matthew 6:5 is suggesting a quiet, closeted approach to one's faith. Indeed, on March 11th, Archbishop Williams said in Rome: I believe that, during Lent, one of the tasks we all have to face is to look into ourselves and ask how far we are involved in the 'religion factory'. Because in spite of all this, ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Once a month the Friends of Beech Road Park organise a voluntary gardening session to keep the park looking at its best. They will next be out between 10.30 and 12.30 on 14 April, 12 May and 9 June. If you are able to join them please bring hand tools if you can for weeding, planting etc. For more details please contact 0757 087 9091.

This article was printed on Page 2 of Today's Manchester Evening News. It highlights Manchester City Council's new policy of cleaning streets, cleaning graffiti etc. based on an area's level of deprivation. Because the Council see Chorlton as being "rich" we are being deprived of the service other Mancunians are receiving and we are paying for! This is on top of the Council giving Chorlton the lowest road repair budget in the whole City. For every £1 Labour Town Hall Bosses are willing to spend on road repairs in Chorlton, they are spending £3 in wards such as Harpurhey and ...

Sat 7th

Real Ale today

It's been a while since I posted about real ale, and given the heading at the top of this blog, I thought I'd share a comment about the ale I had today. Having been for a lovely Italian meal in Newcastlel, my wife, step-mum and I went to The Goose, a pub that has got a mixed clientele, but one that I might not normally use on a busy Saturday afternoon. The place was full, but we got a seat reasonably easily, and while the women shared a bottle of rose wine ( apparrently a good one, and less than ...

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

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Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

Lord Bonkers writes exclusively for Liberal England: I can remember the year a Soviet submarine disrupted the Boat Race. These Marxists used to be more formidable

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

There's no prize at stake - just the opportunity to prove you're wittier than any other LDV reader... (Picture reproduced here with thanks to Steven Barber.) Here is Lib Dem party president Tim Farron meeting Prince Charles this week. What do you think might be being said or thought by or about them? And the winners of our last caption comp is... Some fantastic entries for our most recent caption competition, Clegg & Obama "Seoul Brothers" Edition. The winners, according to The Voice's judging panel of one, was this one by Jayne Mansfield: As your coalition partners we will help ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

A bit of a hoot... ✒My mention of elderly foodstuffs last week has brought umpteen replies, often carrying the gruesome news that many are still in production. Paul Walter says that Cadbury's Smash still sells 140m servings a year. Who to? People who need loads of paste to hang wallpaper? Mr Walter says you can buy Mivvis, Camp coffee, Marvel instant milk and even dried egg. Dan Atkinson reminds me of Instant Whip, not that I wished to remember. Dermot Nolan found some Vesta beef curry, and reports that it is inferior now to the original version, though I can't ...

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Well done This is Somerset: Stretch of A39 closed after hand grenade is found during Easter Egg Hunt

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England
Sat 7th

East Timor

Contrary to John Pilger's New Statesman article (http://bit.ly/I6Yu6c),silence didn't envelop East Timor afterthe Indonesian annexation of 1975. Carmel Budiardjo's TAPOL reported in detailon the occupation, and a network of MPs from Japan, Australia and the UK campaignedfor East Timor's liberation.

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

A proposed law has just been presented to the European Parliament. If it passes and is implemented by EU states then I will be made a criminal. Let me explain. The law is an anti-hacking law - despite the fact that hacking is already illegal in all EU states. But, if you look deeper into the law this is what you find: The proposal also targets tools used to commit offences: the production or sale of devices such as computer programs designed for cyber-attacks, or which find a computer password by which an information system can be accessed, would constitute ...

Posted by George W. Potter on The Potter Blogger

Apparently there is a mayoral election on at the moment. It gets tremendous amounts of publicity for candidates called Brian, Jenny, Ken and Boris. "That's funny", say people in Liverpool, "we have 12 candidates and our leading candidates are called ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

It's very simple, and only requires one form. (Aside from nomination paperwork of course. You have to be in it to win it.) It's a deed poll form. Change your name to Mr/Ms/Dr/Earl/Wing Commander/Duchess No Third Runway and you will be a shoo-in. Such was certainly the message from the doorsteps in Richmond this morning when I was knocking on doors for Jane Dodds in the "Barbados" by-election. (No, it's not in Barbados. No, it doesn't feature Barbados weather. No, it doesn't feature a beach. No, thank goodness, it does not feature people wearing Barbados/Newcastle levels of clothing. Rather it ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

The last time a Conservative was elected to Oxford City Council was 12 years ago, in 2000. Her name was Barbara Burgess, and she won in a backlash against Labour over a local planning issue (the controversial building of the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies). Her time on the Council was brief — she resigned two years later. And since then not a single Conservative has topped the poll in any of the 24 wards across the city. Given that the Tory tally stands at a big fat zero, it's perhaps not too surprising that the party is downbeat about ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on stephentall.org

In recent days Liberal Democrats have united against reported Home Office plans for the state to acquire unprecedented power to search private online communications. As Mark Pack noted, resistance to this has even won Nick Clegg rare praise from the Daily Mail. Many Liberal Democrats have the necessary habit of not just debating how society ...

Posted by antonyhook on Antony Hook
Sat 7th

With Kohee

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Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

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Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sat 7th

A happy reunion

With Mekh Gurung, Indra, and daughter Kohee, 6. She was interested in the cats, and wanted to know if we thought there were cats on other planets. The consensus was that if life evolved elsewhere in the universe to the same extent as it has on earth, the most intelligant species would probably have domestic pets, but they might not look or behave like cats. Kohee is doing very well at school! [IMG: Posted by Picasa]

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sat 7th

Alastair visits

Dear little Alastair, who was staying overnight April 5/6 [IMG: Posted by Picasa]

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sat 7th

April 6, 2012

Visit from Mohammed Anwar of the Pakistani political party MQM, which has 51 Members in the Provincial Assembly of Sindh, 25 in the National Assembly of Pakstan, and 7 in the Senate. They campaign against feudalism, illiteracy, poverty, religious extremism and obscurantism [IMG: Posted by Picasa]

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

Week 5 on MITx has felt rather like revisiting week 4. The main difference has been that rather than using circuits with hypothetical voltage controlled current sources in them, we've been introduced to using transistors (or MOSFETs, as the course likes to call them) in their saturation region as a way of achieving a practical amplification circuit. Even some of the homework on week 5 has had a sense of repetition about it. The first few questions in H5P3 are all but identical to those given as H4P2 last week. Still, I'm not complaining – definitely easy marks compared to ...

Sat 7th

Independent Living

A regular element of my casework is helping older or disabled people to get adaptations done to their home to help them live more independently. This can include having ramps put in for wheelchair access, having stairlifts fitted or getting walk in showers to replace baths. Such work makes a big difference to the independence and well-being of those who are helped. Under the last Labour administration (which left office in 2004) there was, sadly, a huge backlog for major adaptations, with residents waiting for up to 2 years from assessment to grant provision. It has been one of the ...

Posted by rogerharmer on Roger Harmer
Sat 7th

Planning Fears

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has just been published, with significant amendments negotiated by the Liberal Democrats in Government since the Draft NPPF was released for consultation last July. I must admit to being horrified by the original proposals but happily surprised with the final outcome. Those major Lib Dem inspired changes, since its controversial Draft version, are: - The controversial default 'yes to development' is no longer part of the Framework. This addresses a number of concerns that the NPPF as drafted may have led to a rash of quickly implemented, unsustainable development. - The section on protecting ...

Posted by James Barber on James Barber

This is the leaflet the Labour Party is delivering through letter-boxes in a ward where the sitting Conservative councillor — Cllr Azam Janjua, a Reading resident for half a century — is facing a Labour opponent, Eileen McElligott. See if you can notice the oh-so-subtle way in which Labour puts its lips together to dog-whistle: You read that right: "Eileen McElligott ... was born and bred in Reading ... She will fight for us here ... because she is one of us." Nor is this simply the case of generic wording being applied to all candidates across Reading. As Gareth ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 7th

Easter in Ahmadi

As a Muslim country, Kuwait does not acknowledge Easter, but the state's constitution recognises the freedom to practise religion, so the more than 300,000 Christians in the country can go to the masses and other Holy Week services at the Catholic cathedral in Kuwait city or at various other churches and house worship groups in the capital ...

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

Easter is about the death and the resurrection of Jesus. These pictures were taken of the Passiontide on Good Friday at Trafalgar Square. I made this sign for stations of the cross at my church.

Posted by Maelo Manning on libdemchild, aged 11
Sat 7th

Why RIPA is flawed

Greg Callus's excellent post dissects in documented detail some of the problems with the RIPA regulatory mechanism – and why therefore simply extending the range of data that can be accessed under RIPA would be extending the range of data that can be accessed without proper control. In particular: Sometimes, there isn't time for a written request [for access to communications data about someone] because of an imminent threat to life and limb, and so the Urgent Oral procedure kicks in – the SPoC will normally be rudely awoken by a police officer explaining they have (eg) an urgent terrorism/kidnapping ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

How the Snooper's Charter materially threatens the UK Coalition Government #CCDP #LibDems #telldaveeverything - dropsafe Could the CCDP thing actually bring down the coalition? (tags: ) David Cameron wanted to wave through donor's policy to destroy rights of workers - UK Politics - UK - The Independent SOmetimes I am grateful we are in coalition, even with all the pain. (tags: ) legionseagle | Aargh!!! Puncturing the myths that certain senior politicians are trying to peddla about CCDP and RIPA (tags: politics ) Lies, distortions, or fiction? | Too Much To Say For Myself Because no day is complete without ...

Lock that bike! Video of New York bike expert Hal Ruzal in Bristol shows how to lock your bike - and how not to!

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

From Gaumont British News dated 28th June 1945, this preview clip is available on ITN Source. Sir Archibald Sinclair was the last Liberal Cabinet Minister before the current (Lib Dem) crop who took office in May 2010. I hadn't seen any footage of him speaking before. He's a stirring speaker, giving a good liberal message. His grandson, John Thurso is MP for his grandfather's seat, now known as Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross. [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Here's the answer, courtesy of the official reply being sent to people who write to ministers on this topic: Unfortunately, some recent media coverage has misrepresented the position with regard to the ability of employees to wear crosses, or other religious symbols, while at work. The Government believes that people should be able to wear crosses openly at work. The law allows for this, and employers are generally very good at being reasonable in accommodating people's religious beliefs. There is no law stating what people can or cannot wear as this is considered a matter of personal choice. The Equality ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

First, in the story about the letter to Tim Farron from Lib Dem members over online snooping: And then on the letters page, with added commas courtesy of the sub-eds: David Cameron is right to say that the government's first priority is to protect the public. When it comes to his plans for online surveillance, I do want plans that protect members of the public like myself, not only from terrorists but also from snooping journalists, unscrupulous employers and disgruntled acquaintances. What we have discovered, courtesy of all the stories and investigations into phone hacking and related misdeeds, is that ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

This photo of the floral display at Loveston Church was taken by my father, Lance Cole, back at Easter 1962. It is taken from the collection of his photographic slides dated 1961-1976 that we are transferring to modern media. It is quite incredible, but wonderful at the same time, that this photo taken by my father a full 50 years ago can now, with the help of modern technology, be viewed as fresh, all over again. Loveston is a small village in south Pembrokeshire. Mine and my father's home of Hungerford Farm was located just a mile to the north. ...

Haringey Council failed to clear a drain for three months? Twice claimed to have cleared it but didn't? Involvement of Chief Executive not resolved the issue so far? There's only one thing for it. Deploy the pointing councillor! (The pointing man is Cllr Richard Wilson, Stroud Green, who does many other fine things about from pointing, as you can read about on Richard Wilson's blog.)

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Sat 7th

Buying influence?

After all the fuss made by Labour regarding David Cameron treating major donors to dinner, how are we to react to this piece in today's Telegraph in which a senior Labour MP argues that his party "owes" its union bankrollers respectful treatment and early warning of any policy changes? The paper says that Tom Watson, Labour's deputy chairman, has attacked Ed Miliband and Ed Balls for failing to warn the party's trade union backers about a major shift in economic policy. Mr. Watson, who is also Labour's election campaign coordinator, has said that Mr Balls, the shadow chancellor, was "wrong" ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Here's your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate... The race to be London mayor took a fresh twist this week when the leading candidates pledged on BBC Newsnight to release their tax records. Lib Dem mayoral candidate Brian Paddick declared himself very happy to publish full details, which appear here on his website: Brian Paddick has nothing to hide and is very happy to be open and transparent about his income and tax returns as a registered sole trader. His figures show he has never attempted to use any ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: 20120407-081726.jpg] All, You may remember that I offered a bottle of wine to the person who could find a turnout in a Parish Poll lower than the recent pointless poll in Shipston. The competition winner, Martin Ferrier, has helpfully posted a review of the prize on his website, which you can read here. The moral of the story? Look a gift horse in the mouth and move away. Quickly. [IMG: :-)] Martin has offered, more generously than necessary, to open a bottle of something nicer for me – an offer I intend to accept. Regards, Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour blog

Please view and share this excellent video that shows some examples of why civil partnerships are different to marriage (despite what Ben Bradshaw and others might say!) If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Posted on Neue Politik

There has been much publicity regarding George Osborne's decision in the budget to charge VAT on warm Cornish pasties, and I've enjoyed David Cameron's thwarted attempt to prove he is a "man of the people" and once ate one in Leeds. However, this furore is just a populist storm in a teacup (yes, I know, there ought to be a better metaphor, but I can't think of one): merely an attempt to introduce fairness by taxing hot pastries in the same way as fish and chips. What is far more serious in the long run, and will even have consequences ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

So reads the headline on the front page of today's Independent, reporting a letter to Tim Farron, Lib Dem party President, revealed here yesterday: More than 150 Liberal Democrat activists have warned Nick Clegg he could destroy the party's liberal identity if he backs government plans to allow the authorities to monitor online activity. The unprecedented grassroots protest, in which some members have threatened to tear up their party cards, will put the Deputy Prime Minister under pressure to extract more concessions from David Cameron over the controversial "Big Brother" proposals. You can read Tim Farron's reply to the letter ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

Some weeks ago, I mentioned that the City Council had advised me that it would be providing a new bus shelter at the exposed bus stop in Blackness Road at Victoria Park. I am pleased to say that, last week, work started on providing this much-needed shelter. It will be much welcomed by local residents. A number of residents mentioned to me that they felt that the "build out" proposed for the roadway to accommodate the shelter would unnecessarily reduce the width of the roadway and I passed their comments back to the City Council. The City Council has now ...

Sat 7th

Spring Art Exhibition

by John Stoa Local residents are invited to the free exhibition of paintings completed in 2012 by many of John Stoa's art class students. Preview on Friday 20th April at 7pm. Botanic Garden, off Riverside Drive. Exhibition starts Saturday 21st April and runs to Wednesday 2nd May - 11am to 4.30pm daily.

Something Else is the Kinks' first masterpiece. Recorded while Ray Davies was twenty-two, and Dave Davies only nineteen, it's an astonishingly mature album by any standards. When one realises it's only three years since this band were recording mediocre blues covers, the rate at which the band were growing as artists becomes absolutely flabbergasting. This ...

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!