Sun 22nd

Immigration Irony...

On Wednesday morning, the US Supreme Court will hear arguments in the federal government's challenge to the Arizonian immigration law, S.B. 1070. A similar approach has been adopted by a number of other states across the country. The debate will focus on whether the state legislatures are able to invade thses fields of policy which the ... Read more

Posted by esainsbury on Voice of A Citizen

I wrote yesterday that I was concerned I needed to complete the week 7 materials, homework and lab this week, as well as tackling the midterm exam. However, encouraged by some of what I saw on the 6.002x forum yesterday evening, I dived straight into the material this morning and attempted the homework and lab this evening. What a relief! MIT must be feeling kind. Or perhaps the midterm exam really is going to be a stinker ...

Amazon have recently changed their customer review system, so that comments from some of the reviews — even ones marked by most people as "unhelpful" — are put *above* the full list of reviews ranked by helpfulness. On two of my books, the Beatles and Monkees ones (which happen to be the two biggest sellers), ...

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!
Sun 22nd


If ants could think, express themselves and communicate ideas to each other, and an ant expressed a disrespectful opinion or used an insulting expression about a human being, she wouldn't turn a hair. The ant's insult would be of no concern to the human, she being so far above the insect in the scale of living things, Similarly if a god or gods exist, they would be so immeasurably superior to humans that blasphemy would be of no importance in their minds. Humans do get angry when another member of the same species insults them, so blasphemy is attribution of ...

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

Holding a glorious tenth place out of ten candidates in today's presidential election in France is Jacques Cheminade, with support somewhere around a stupendous 0.2% of the total vote, who perhaps coincidentally was the only candidate with an advanced policy on space exploration:For thirty years, space policy has been suffering from an economic logic based on short-term gain, and from lack of understanding by a hostile public opinion which considers it too expensive, unnecessary, fanciful and emblematic of a spirit of unlimited conquest. Faced with this regressive vision of a finite world, we need to revive what is proper to ...

Sun 22nd


Almost three years after the event I've just received the "abnormals" figures for Consett's possible Academy sites. Clearly after such a long time this may be no more than a historical footnote, but for those who have watched this saga over the period they will have some interest – and none more than me as I first asked for them when seeking to take the council to Judicial Review in August 2009. The figures were supplied to the council by their consultants to Building Schools for the Future. So for the three sites which I believe should have been the ...

Posted by Owen Temple on Owen Temple
Sun 22nd

Six of the Best 243

Epsom & Ewell Liberal Democrats pay tribute to Lord Jack Ashley, who died yesterday. "The business model of F1 has meant that politicised events are increasingly inevitable. Almost every race in the F1 calendar (the British Grand Prix is a notable exception) receives some form of government backing." Duncan Stephen argues that Formula 1′s business model inherently politicises the sport. If Lords reform happens, it will be without a referendum, says A Brief History of Liberty. English Buildings visits the empty former Midland Bank in Granby Street, Leicester - where Martin Johnson used to work in the days when rugby ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

I publish an e mail bulletin roughly once a month with news about Cressington ward and the wider South Liverpool area. If you don't already get it, but would like to, you can subscribe using this link

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

The new Indian restaurant in Garston village - the Spice Brasserie - is now open. It's on the corner just before you go under the bridge. I had a meal in there the other day and the food was rather good. I do hope they make a go of it as we need more things like this in the village.

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

Earlier this month I went, with some residents and someone representing Cllr Flo Clucas, to meet the head of the police academy on Mather Avenue. There is a parking problem linked to the academy and residents are having problems parking and getting on and off their property. Anyway, the meeting went well and we are following up several ways of making things easier. If we can get the double yellow lines removed from the front of the building, which the police don't seem that bothered about, it should ease the problem for people living nearby. I'll blog again when I ...

Posted by Paula Keaveney on Paula Keaveney - Lib Dem Campaigner

Round at the Dower House this afternoon, I watched the senior semi-final of the Songs of Praise Junior Choir of the Year contest - my mother used to babysit one of the basses in the Oakham School choir. Of the six choirs taking part, five came from private schools. I don't know if the reason for this is cultural or economic - does it cost much to have a good choir? - but we have become used to this sort of dominance of sporting and cultural excellence by the private sector. The only state school choir taking part came from ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

[IMG: Hornsey Girls School] The next Crouch End, Hornsey & Stroud Green Area Forum will be held at Hornsey Girls School, Inderwick Road on Tuesday (24th) starting at 6.30pm. The Forums are an opportunity to find out what is happening in the area, have your say and meet local councillors. The agenda includes issues such as parking, Hornsey Town Hall and the 'Jamaica Village' event. One interesting item is that bosses from both First Capital Connect and London Overground are coming to talk about Finsbury Park, Harringay, Hornsey and Crouch Hill stations to alert us to any future plans and ...

Posted by Richard on Richard Wilson

"No-one likes me at work. What should I do?" - E. Bandymill, Doncaster I wonder if you were wise to take this job in the first place? Lord Bonkers was Liberal MP for Rutland South-West 1906-10. Previously in Lord Bonkers' Diary A reply to two Nick CleggsThe governance of RutlandAdmiring the first Lady Bonkers' obelisk

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

Today's Independent reviews a concert by a revived Bow Wow Wow, so it is high time the band featured here. The band was put together by the punk impresario Malcolm McLaren in 1980, most of its members having previously played with Adam Ant. He, it sounds odd to record now, was averse to commercialism and McLaren lost patience with him, wanting to have hits. What really made the band, though, was the vocalist McLaren found to front it. He heard 14-year-old Annabella Lwin singing along to the radio in her Saturday job with a dry cleaners. Putting them together, he ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England
Sun 22nd

Weak Tea

Albertans vote tomorrow in a Provincial election. The Progressive Conservatives have governed Alberta for the last 41 years., but it is predicted that tomorrow they will be replaced by the Wildrose Alliance Party, Alberta's home-grown Tea-party-lite (weak tea). Wildrose's candidates include two clergymen, one of whom is rabidly homophobe. who thinks that gays will suffer ...

Posted by Mira on Mira's Picture

The sins of the father shall be visited upon the son...or words to that effect are contained in Exodus 20. So, we have the Gruaniad leading last week with David Cameron father's financial arrangements. Then today the Telegraph has a go at George Osborne's father for having expensive tastes in desks. I really don't see the relevance of these 'revelations' other than the fact that they tell us that Cameron and Osborne come from rich families. Tell us something we didn't know... [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 270th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere ... Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (15-21 April, 2012), together with a hand-picked quintet, normally courtesy of LibDig, you might otherwise have missed. Don't forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging. As ever, let's start with the most popular post, and work our way down: 1. Reason why The ...

Posted by Helen Duffett on Liberal Democrat Voice

Lots of people have read my blogpost suggesting Zac Goldsmith may be about to jump ship from the Tories and join UKIP and I've had a fair amount of comments back on Twitter. But then a UKIP member - who is at least prominent enough to merit his own page on the UKIP website - has been on my blog to say they don't want him.. The full comment is... "There is flying a kite and there is plain lunacy. UKIP don't believe that we are experiencing catastrophic global warming; we don't want to cover the country in windmills; we ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON
Sun 22nd

A heart-warming story

...Saw this on Russell Howard's Good News. It's the story of a nine year old boy who made a cardboard arcade. He didn't have any customers until a film-maker came along and played on his arcade. The film-maker made a film about the arcade (below on YouTube) and arranged a Facebook flashmob on the arcade to give the boy some customers. The result was a wonderful event, and $100,000 raised towards the boy's education. [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

I mean this one, which is the online site of a Belgian newspaper, La Libre, reporting that Hollande is beating Sarkozy 28% to 26% in exit polls, in the French Presidential election, round one. Belgian and Swiss websites are not subject to the law in France which forbids the publication of exit polls on polling day. [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings
Sun 22nd

Andover Question Time

Andover Older People's Forum has a Question Time on Thursday 24th May. The meeting wil be chaired by Haydn Watkins of Andover and District Older People's Forum and include speakers from Hampshire County Council, Hampshire NHS, Test Valley Borough Council and Age Concern. Full details are given on the attached poster poster The organisers would like questions submitted in advance using the attached form which should be sent to Test Valley Community Services.

Posted by lengates on Len Gates

The final judge on The Voice UK - at least in the order I've chosen to feature them - is Jessie J. Although still in the infancy of her recording career, not many artists can say that a song they've written has been Number 2 in the US Billboard Hot 100 (Miley Cyrus' Party in the U.S.A.). Jessie J went to the BRIT School, which also produced (or rather honed) other talents such as Adele, Katie Melua, and (in part) The Feeling. An early recording contract fell through when the label went under and her subsequent songwriting contract came before ...

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world

I have a great deal of sympathy with the article by Deborah Orr in the weekend's Guardian: Whether you are religious or secular imposing your views on others is foolish. Ms Orr complains about strident campaigning from Christians against abortion and gay rights, as well as secularists complaining about the mention of God in the Boy Scouts' oath. I disapprove of these strident attitudes too, and it doesn't make me feel better about those who advance them. But I fear the distinction between free speech and imposing views isn't as sharp as she implies. Ms Orr praises the "live and ...

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

ED'S JOB - THE BLOG OF CHIEF EXECUTIVE EDELBERTHA SPENGLER Hi! I spent odd bits and pieces of time over the last few days of my short break reading "Chaotic Organization" by the American business consultant Mark Walzenunfall. He divides everybody into four categories based on their degree of external and internal organisation. For example, you might be very organised in meetings but chaotic in organising your holidays or finances, or the other way around. You might be well-organised in both or in neither. Do you have a neat desk - OK, most of you don't have desks now, but ...

Posted by SibatheHat on Siba The Hat

Just a few links for now — hope to have another Kinks post up today. If not it'll be chapter 3 of the Peculiar Branch story. Expo, a band featuring some of my friends, have released a benefit single for the Trayvon Martin justice campaign. It's on the honour system — it's a free download, ...

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

What ever peoples views on whether kerbside collection was the most environment friendly way to spend a £1m a year, the contract is signed, the lorries are coming, we must use the service. The first collection is tomorrow morning.

Posted by Gavin James on Councillor Gavin James

Today, France goes to the polls in the first of two ballots to select its next President; polls suggest that incumbent Nicholas Sarkozy and socialist Francois Hollande will go head to head in the run-off on Sunday 8 May. The Presidental election and subsequent legislative elections are a real challenge for Liberals. Our sister party, the Mouvement Democrate (MoDem) led by Francois Bayrou has struggled during this campaign. Bayrou, a popular former Education Minister, has lost momentum in an environment where populism and a breathtaking level of denial has characterized the debate. 'Bling Bling' Sarkozy has become a deeply unpopular ...

Posted by Andrew Wigley on Liberal Democrat Voice

It may sound like a silly idea of decorating bikes with flowers, but with Bath having such a heritage of participating in Bath in Bloom, maybe it isn't such a bad idea. Anything that is fun and helps cycling is great, if you want to know more hop over to their web site

Posted by Odddown on Nigel Roberts

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Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings
Sun 22nd

Abigail for the Assembly

I am very excited that Abigail Lock is our regional candidate for the London Assembly. As a Sutton resident and former Sutton councillor Abigail has the local knowledge and experience to ensure that Sutton is properly represented on the Assembly. Sutton is lumped with Croydon in terms of regional representation and so we have always ...

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor

I was just going through some old photos and found this one. This is a photo of the place where a retailing legend started. Any ideas what the legend is? [IMG: Post to Twitter] Tweet This Post

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

My husband is passionate about his music in the same way that I'm passionate about the Liberal Democrats, Doctor Who and Formula One. Over the past few months, he's been transforming our conservatory into a music haven, complete with pulsing, flashing lights. He has the sort of equipment that I look at in total awe. It looks, to be honest, that it has more to do with flying the TARDIS than music, but he's loving it. He has always had a massive record collection and the move to CDs and digital download has only served to increase his desire to ...

Posted by Caron on Caron's Musings

We're fast approaching the two-year mark of this first post-war Coalition Government, and I think it's fair to say the strains are starting to show. It is inevitable there will be tensions when two parties — with different traditions, values, expectations — come together to try and govern a country at a time of economic torpor. Until now, a lid has more or less been kept on the inter-party warfare, not least thanks to the determinedly tight-knit fastness of the dual leadership of Messrs Clegg and Cameron. But that lid is now starting to shake as the pressure builds within ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

The 15th April 1912, at 3:40 GMT (11:40 Ship's time) RMS Titanic struck the Iceberg and two hours and forty minutes later she slipped beneath the waves taking some 1500 souls with her through drowning, injuries or exposure to the freezing cold waters of the North Atlantic, only 800 survived mostly from the First Class passengers. As I mulled over the centenary I wanted to write something about it. I decided a potted History was a waste of time, especially as Walter Lord's excellent A night to remember and The night lives on cannot be surpassed. Instead, as a trailer ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

MP Julian Huppert has launched a search for a paid intern to join his team at his Cambridge constituency office. The new recruit will work up to 30 hours a week on casework and will be paid the national minimum wage. Responsibilities will include drafting responses to constituents' enquiries, conducting research, attending meetings and surgeries and answering the phone. The ideal candidate will have a good understanding of the political system and a good grasp of the issues affecting Cambridge residents. Full training will be provided and the internship is offered for a period of three months. Julian said: "I ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on King's Hedges

Ignoring for a moment, with my apologies, the Northern Irish MPs, we have a situation where we now have 306 Conservative MPs, 205 Labour MPs, 57 Liberal Democrat MPs, 6 Scottish Nationalist MPs and 3 Plaid Cymru MPs, all elected on a manifesto pledge to either abolish the House of Lords, make it fully elected, or make it mostly elected (I couldn't find George Galloway's position but I'd be surprised if he supports the status quo). On paper, at least, there is universal Westminster consensus that the House is so far from perfect at present as to warrant large-scale reform. ...

Belgium (or at least the part of it that cares about Flemish politics) has been consumed with interested over the last week in the affair of Pol Van Den Driessche, a right-wing politician and former journalist running for mayor of Bruges in October's municipal elections, who has been accused of sexual harassment of his professional colleagues. (Thanks to liliaeth for alerting me to the story.) We have had the usual depressing circus of his political allies defending him against "baseless" attacks, and even five female colleagues writing an open letter stating that they had never experienced any intimidation from him. ...

What does Twitter know about me? My .zip file with 50Mb of data Fascinating. (tags: privacy twitter ) LJarchive Fixed! Hooray! (tags: livejournal ) Why the silence is the real problem. The Belgian political sexual harassment scandal. (In Dutch.) (tags: belgium sexandgenderandsexuality )

Sun 22nd

Join Us

The stark difference between a Liberal Democrat newsletter for Houghton Regis and a Labour newsletter for Houghton Regis, is that the Liberal Democrats actually have news about the town in it, whereas Labour's doesn't even acknowledge the presence of their solitary councillor. The Liberal Democrats is a bottom up party, Labour is a top down party. Join us.

Posted by Alan Winter on Alan Winter Lib Dem Blog

Following a referral by Cardiff Council's Electoral Registration Officer, the police are investigating one of the city's Labour council candidates over allegations that he provided a false home address for use on the ballot papers. Luke Holland gave as his address a property that he moved out of last year. However that old address is in the ward where he is standing and his current address is outside the ward. Mr Holland does not deny the crux of the allegations, having told the media: It is true that I currently rent a flat in a neighbouring ward – a fact ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

Please read this cracking article written by Karen Leigh and published today in Deutsche Welle. It highlights the increasingly desperate efforts by the regime to project international legitimacy through staging the F1 Grand Prix - despite massive local opposition by ... Continue reading →

Posted by Issan Ghazni on Issan Ghazni

Developers will be holding a public exhibition of plans for 200 new houses and offices between Lodge Road, Dyers Lane and North Road and for redeveloping the football club building as a community facility. The exhibition will be next Wednesday, April 25 at Yate Town FC's clubhouse from 2 pm to 8 pm.

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

So, last night was the first of the two Battle shows on The Voice UK - and the second is tonight. Before that, though, there are two more judges to feature on these pages. First, Danny O'Donoghue of Irish band The Script. The band boasts two Irish and UK Number 1 albums, with the second also getting to No.3 in U.S. They are one of those bands who have, slightly passed me by, but I think it's fair to say that their best known song (and certainly their biggest hit in the UK), remains The Man Who Can't Be Moved. ...

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world
Sun 22nd

Postal vote delay

Postal votes will now be sent out on Monday 23 April due to a technical glitch at the district council.

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White

As many Scouts in the United Kingdom prepare for St George's Day commemorations, The Sunday Times, has reported that The Scout Association (TSA) has plans to change the Scout Promise. It is sad that this story has been published today as many of us as members will be renewing our Promise as the Founder, Lord Baden-Powell ...

Posted by Michael Carchrie Campbell on Gyronny Herald

If you're a Liberal Democrat who's been elected to anything in the last few years, chances are that you'll owe something to the efforts of either Austin Rathe or Graeme Littlejohn. Austin works in the Campaigns Department at Lib Dem HQ in London and Graeme is the Scottish Party's Director of Communications. Today, we can give them something back in return for their unfailing hard work for us. At the moment, they'll both be shivering nervously in Blackheath awaiting the start of the London Marathon. Both are aiming to raise £2000 for causes very close to their, and our, hearts. ...

Posted by Caron on Caron's Musings

Very Thai-style tribute to Her Majesty (if you've ever seen any of the cinematic tributes to His Thai Majesty, you'd know what I mean!). Absolutely love it. If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist

Posted on Neue Politik
Sun 22nd

The price of free speech

A few weeks ago I wrote that the decision of the Attorney General of Northern Ireland to bring proceedings for contempt of court against Peter Hain and Biteback Publishing for criticisms in the former Secretary of State's biography of the Northern Irish judge, Judge Girvan (now Lord Justice Girvan), was an attack on the freedom of speech. Today the Independent on Sunday reveals that this action could leave the taxpayer facing a £300,000 legal bill. Other politicians have joined in the criticism of the action: The decision by John Larkin, Northern Ireland's Attorney General, to prosecute Mr Hain for "unwarranted ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

2006 - 49.58 2007 - 49.17 2008 - 47.54 2009 - 45.64 2010 - 46.17 2011 - 45.62 Forecast 2012 45.24 These are sourced from the 2008 Oil Market Report and the April 2012 OMR. The 2008 figure, therefore, may now have been slightly changed. The figures are in millions of barrels of oil per day. In other words OECD demand appears to have peaked. A big question about oil is that of elasticity of

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

Along with many activists from all political parties, yesterday I was out on the doorsteps campaigning for votes with a special emphasis on targeting postal voters. For me that involved trips to Streatham and Haringey, both places where – as is common across London – postal ballot papers have been hitting people's doormats on Friday and Saturday. Many postal voters fill in their ballot papers promptly, so by this evening a noticeable chunk of the London electorate will have cast their votes. The same is true in many other parts of the country too, but I mention London in particular ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Sunday Express have a story about the lack of use of extended family. There needs to be a greater willingness to use extended family. Obviously this is happening in many cases, but frequently absurd reasons are given to place children other than with the family.

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

Last month I wrote a post about the state of transgender health in the NHS in Leeds. However, I realise that the post, written from the perspective of a cisgender ally, misses out the most important aspect of all: the transgender perspective. I hence asked on the LUU LGBT Society's group page for said perspective, which kind of confirmed what I thought: that the doctors at the student medical practice are really accepting of a person's trans status, but it's lagging in some areas: the lack of publicity and literature in the student practice, a lack of support groups, and ...

Posted by Will on Liberal Will

Yesterday, I had the pleasure in participating in "Sandwiches and a blether!" - the Friends of Balgay's Spring Open Meeting at Mills Observatory. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event and good to chat with all those who attended. The Friends have a litter pick planned for next month that will complement the Great West End Clean-Up, organised for 16th May!