Sat 3rd

RIP Cheeks

RIP Cheeks, June 2010 to November 2012. [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Not the former Liberal Party leader and grandfather of John Thurso, but the Battle of Britain class locomotive. Sir Archibald had a locomotive in this class named after him because he served as secretary of state for air during World War II. The Bluebell Railway site says Sir Archibald Sinclair was rescued from Barry scrapyard in 1979. Again, I suspect that are talking about the locomotive rather than the Liberal leader.

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

London Liberal Democrats' Team London descended on Thornton Heath today for an Action Day of leafleting, surveying and canvassing with Marisha Ray, the Party's candidate in the Croydon North byelection. Some of the streets were very familiar to those of us old enough to remember the by-election in Croydon North West (as the seat's predecessor was then ...

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

The internet is full of people saying they never liked Jimmy Savile or understood his popularity. He was a strangely unhip disc jockey and a strangely creepy children's television presenter But it is even stranger than that. There was a period between these two careers during the 1970s when Savile cut his hair (or at least bought a shorter wig) and became an authority figure. If you wanted someone classless, down to earth and credible to front your campaign, Savile was your man. You can see him playing this role in his advertisements for British Rail and the Clunk Click ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

After the build up it received, yesterday's Newsnight was something of an anticlimax. The 'senior Conservative' alleged to have been involved in the abuse of children's in local authority homes in North Wales. But the programme did at least one valuable service in revealing further shortcomings of the inquiry held in the late 1990s by Sir Ronald Waterhouse. There had already been an internal inquiry conducted by Clwyd County Council. According to Newsnight, the findings were so damning that the council insisted all copies were returned to it and pulped. One suspects it would be harder to suppress such a ...

Posted by Jonathan on Liberal England

So you know weather, right? When there's a bit of rain, or winds blow stuff over, or the sun's too hot or the snow is the wrong kind or leaves? And the tube throws up its metaphorical hands and announces that no public transport system should be expected to work in these conditions! And then all of London take to the Metro letters section to complain about how their lives have been ruined by rail replacement buses? You know that, right? Hahahahahahahah. Amateurs.

Posted by Debi on

Over at the Endeavours Public Affairs blog, Lib Dem MEP for London Sarah Ludford looks at this Tuesday's presidential election and what it means for Europe. Here's an excerpt: The Obama administration has in any case been perceived as not very interested in Europe, except as a source of financial and economic worry, with a strategic shift of US focus to the Asia-Pacific region distracting from relations with the EU. It's a sobering cause for reflection that neither candidate has talked about Europe in their campaigns, even in the televised debate devoted to foreign affairs. But why do we Europeans ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

There will, of course, be a move to claim that all the current stories revealing historic coverups are historic and have no relevance today. However, this would be misleading. I know of recent cases of children being maltreated in care that I have reported to the authorities and received an inadequate response. It is also obvious that the action of banning Leah McGrath Goodman was part of a

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

The Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government has granted listed building consent to restoration work on the war memorial in St Peter's Street, St Albans. This work will be the first part of a restoration programme for the war memorials in the care of St Albans City and District Council. The Council is committed to honouring those who died for their country and to the long-term preservation of the City's war memorial heritage. Last year Cabinet agreed to obtain specialist advice on the cleaning and maintenance of the war memorial at the top of St Peter's Street, St ...

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White

Last Thursday, the day after the Parliamentary Labour party had allied itself to the Tory right-wing Euro-sceptics in order to defeat the government on the of the EU budget, I happened to run into my ((Labour) MP in our market place. I told him that I thought the Labour Party's action was deplorably opportunistic. He grinned and replied that any opportunity to kick David Cameron was not to be missed. Well, I suppose it goes down well in the Westminster bubble and gives the media, chattering classes and we political anoraks something to get excited about. But it is just ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

Cambridge city councillors will determine six planning applications on 19th November - half of them for sites in Queen Edith's and the other half for Trumpington. If you want to speak on the applications or listen to the debate, you will need to go into town, as they are being heard not locally at the South Area meeting, but at the Guildhall. All three of the Queen Edith's applications have objections to them and are controversial, so it is surprising that the meeting is not to take place in the area where people live. It is a regressive step to ...

Posted by Amanda Taylor on Amanda Taylor

Looking at searching and sorting algorithms is a logical way to follow on from an initial discussion of algorithmic complexity, so I wasn't completely surprised when the material for this week addressed precisely those two topics. Linear searching, selection sort and merge sort algorithms were covered along with a discussion of how to calculate their complexity. There was also some light relief as the usual "talking head" videos were supplemented by a rather quirky video on how to amortize the cost of algorithms. If I ever need to figure out the costs of storing and moving puppies I now know ...

A message to London Liberal Democrats from John Oakes (Haringey) Why I'm Backing Jonathan to be London's Next LibDem MEP Most of you who are Liberal Democrats in London will know Jonathan from his regular visits to local parties across the capital, or his present and most-effective chairing of the Party's London Region, which has seen a marked increase ...

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Sat 3rd

Latin homework

I have a week's worth of e-mails to catch up on, not to mention some serious work preparing for my statement to Plenary on my Mobile Homes (Wales) Bill on Tuesday so this is just a cursory visit to announce that I am back and to leave you with a small appetiser until next time. My eye was drawn earlier in the week to this item on David Cameron's failure to tell a US chat show host what Magna Carta meant. To be fair I did not know either, not without thinking about it for a bit anyway, but then ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Sat 3rd

Notice anything new?

The new community noticeboard that's been installed outside West Hampstead library is the final touch in the popular improvements to the outside of the library first planned a couple of years ago when the Liberal Democrats were running Camden Council. Regular "area forum" attenders will remember that in those days area forums had a small budget to spend on local projects. One of the ideas the West Hampstead and Fortune Green area forum came up with was to improve the outside of the library, including the new entrance, the benches and a new community notice board. The steps and benches ...

Posted by Flick Rea on Fortune Green Spotlight
Sat 3rd

Linda Jack For PCC

Lots of people bewildered that they have postal votes for PCC Elections and not knowing anything about the actual candidates. Here's Linda Jack's website ...

Posted by A D Winter on Alan D Winter

Now of course, I exaggerate for effect. But still, an alarming statistic reared its head this morning. The last Lib Dem Voice Members survey highlighted that a significant minority of current members do not support the party being in coalition with the Conservatives - although a significant majority felt we should stay... On the face of it, a clear endorsement of the status quo. However... That 21%, if an accurate representation of the mood of the party overall equates to no less than 10275 members (if we had the reported 48932 members at the end of 2011) But at end ...

Posted by Richard Morris on A VIEW FROM HAM COMMON

Four years ago I declared my support for Barack Obama. I truly believed he would return the USA to something more resembling Clinton's America (well the imaginary Clinton's America in my head anyway) than Dubya's America. Sadly Obama has simply been "Dubya with a human face". He signed the National Defense Authorization Act. He had a US citizen assassinated. Let me repeat that for you: HE HAD A US CITIZEN ASSASSINATED! The list of civil liberty violations continues to grow and the Democrats have removed most of the civil liberty supporting parts of their platform for 2012. Regardless of any ...

Posted on Neue Politik

Mark Valladares reported here yesterday the 'temporary withdrawal of the Election Registration and Administration Bill'. That temporary appears to have become a bit more permanent, according to the BBC: A Lords vote to delay the review of constituency boundaries until 2018 has been postponed "indefinitely". The vote on an amendment to delay the changes, tabled by Labour and signed by Lib Dem and other peers, was originally expected on Wednesday and postponed until Monday. But government sources say it has now been delayed to an unspecified date. It follows reports that Downing St was unaware Lib Dems supported the motion ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 3rd

Last post

All, Most people know that I'm not in a political party any more and my work commitments mean that the site's only been irregularly updated. So, this will be my last post here. Thanks to all of you who have commented on and read the site over the years. I'll still be staying on the Town Council, at least for now, just with a bit of a lower profile. If you want to contact me over any problems then my contact details remain the same. Regards, Philip

Posted by Philip Vial on Shipston on Stour Blog

This is the start of an email from the NDP in Canada, sent with the subject line "Stop the Conservative online spying bill". All sounds rather familiar: The email includes a link to this online petition.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I blogged last month about the new pamphlet from the Liberal Democrat History Group, Mothers of Liberty: Women who built British Liberalism, a series of biographies of famous women liberals, which details the contribution of women to Liberal politics from the eighteenth century to the present day. That was launched at a conference fringe meeting, chaired by Lynne Featherstone and featuring three excellent speakers: Dr Helen McCabe, Oxford University, on women associated with the development of Liberal political thought in the 18th and 19th centuries, including Mary Wollstonecraft, Harriet Martineau, Harriet Taylor Mill and Barbara Bodichon. Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter, on ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sat 3rd

Conwy's Food Waste

A percentage of our food waste will be making electricity in the future.

Posted by Mike Priestley on Mike Priestley

View Poll: #11987 [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Here's an interesting twist to the tale of Lee Barron, the latest Labour Police Commissioner candidate who has had to pull out for a previous conviction. This has come to light too late in the day for him to actually pull out of the election, so his name will still be on the ballot paper with the Labour Party's name and logo next to it. If he's elected, he will have to immediately resign, triggering a by-election. For voters who don't follow the news that closely, there is therefore a good chance people will vote for him not knowing this. ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice

I noticed someone on Twitter last night point out that yet again, everyone appearing on Have I Got News For You was male. This piqued my interest, and I decided to take a look and see how HIGNFY had done over its existence in balancing representation of men and women. The answer appears to be 'not very well at all'. Using the information from here, I went through each of the 44(!) seasons, looking at how many spaces there were for guests and how many of those guests were female. I also looked at how many episodes featured an entirely ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With
Sat 3rd

Stray wheelie bins

Amazing how wheelie bins can go so astray. This one appeared on the corner of Melbourne Grove and East Dulwich Grove. Minus a lid it soon started to collect rain and then rubbish from people passing by. I've given it a while expecting council rubbish contractors and street cleaners to resolve it but to no avail. So I've now reported it. If you ever see such problems please do email the council via nothing happens escalate it to me by forwarding the original email to

Posted by James Barber on James Barber

Stonewall faces mounting criticism over 'bigot' award - Channel 4 News (tags: ) Stuart Rodger sentenced for shouting at David Cameron This is just terrifying. (tags: ) UK: Catholic adoption charity loses anti-gay legal appeal - (tags: ) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Sat 3rd

Saturday Six 12

It's Saturday, it's 9am and, wonder of wonders, here is this weeks Saturday Six. On time and on budget. Those Bond Vigilantes at M&G had a special post for Halloween - five charts that will scare you senseless... As you will no doubt be unaware, the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales are coming up. Lee at Program Your Own Mind 2 casts a cynical eye over the candidates for Avon and Somerset.* Richard Morris has been looking at how frequently cabinet posts change hands. I've heard it suggested it takes a good six months for a ...

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world

This is my selection campaign video address, which I have emailed to members this morning. Grab a cup of tea, sit back and enjoy. If you have any questions or comments, I'd love to hear from you so please get ... Continue reading →

Posted by Issan Ghazni on Issan Ghazni

It's Saturday morning, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices... Where now for the immigration debate? – Sarah Mulley in the New Statesman with an excellent analysis: 'the public don't (on the whole) feel that immigration is a problem in their own local communities, although a large majority do feel that it is a problem for the country as a whole.' The Empire Strikes Back: Ofqual, and the omnishambles of assessment – Tom Bennett on the latest GCSE controversy: 'let's be clear: the system has been shifty; it was designed, if anyone can't see it, to ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

Don't take my word for it. Take that of (former) Tory blogging supremo Iain Dale in 2009: McShane has invoked basically a Godwin's Law defence to hide his own greed and excess. He was one of the least likeable Labour ministers, smug, arrogant and detached in equal measure. A man that made Cameron and Osborne look like the tribunes of the ordinary and the poor. McShane was a cheer leader for the worst elements of the Blair/Brown years - the 'relaxed about extreme wealth', the ones who hobnobbed with the rich and famous in a desperate attempt to deflect from ...

Posted by Dan Falchikov on Living on words alone

Thursday: Apparently Mr Milipede Senior... I want to say Milipede Prime, but that makes him sound like a TRANSFORMER (robot in disguise)... ...though I guess, wot with him being a DECEPTICON, he ought to be called MEGAPEDE... ...which, I suppose, would make the other one GALVAPEDE (the even-more-evil model sent back from the future to replace him)... ...I'm drifting... ...Apparently Mr DAVID Milipede was appearing on Questionable Time* in his role as his own representative on Earth (no one else will do the job) and described Hard Labour's SHAMEFUL SHACKING UP with the Tories' Europhobic Wingnut brigade as a "repositioning". ...

This is a report about the possible economic consequences of peak oil from the IMF. The report is impressive because of the way in which it looks at a number of the key issues. It comes to similar conclusions to those which I have highlighted. Historically the DTI refused to do a risk analysis on peak oil because it was "too risky." I need to allocate some serious time to reading the IMF

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

As mentioned earlier, I've been inspired by the Byte Brothers to create a mystery story which kids have to solve using their l33t h4x0r skillz in Python. This is loosely based on The Byte Brothers Go to a Getaway, by Lois and Floyd McCoy. [IMG: Byte Brothers Go To A Getaway] My well-thumbed copy was printed in 1984. I'm not sure when I got it, but I remember being around 8 or 9 when I first started writing programs in BASIC. Sadly, BASIC is as outdated as the Lascaux Cave Paintings, so I've written this in more friendly Python. My ...

Posted by Terence Eden on Terence Eden has a Blog

Just a reminder on behalf of the Bar Hill Community Market which is taking place today at the Bar Hill Octagon and in the next door Church. Please come along and help support your local community. Stalls will include fruit and vegetables, home-made cakes, jewellery, greetings cards, sweets and other confectionery, locally made jams, knitted items, patchwork, bags, wooden crafts, and other beauty products. There will also be opportunities for raising funds for local projects. Refreshments will be available and (Weather Permitting!) there will also be a BBQ. If you wish to be part of the market and have your ...

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill

I have previously updated West End residents on the proposed Park and Ride facility at the land west of Wright Avenue. A public exhibition is taking place on Thursday (8th November) between 2pm and 8pm at Dundee Contemporary Arts in Nethergate in order that all interested residents can view the proposals and make comment. You can read the technical report on the proposal here.

Local Healthwatch will be the new people's voice or "champion" for health and social care services. Next April Bury Healthwatch will replace the current Bury Local Involvement Network (LINk) as the local voice on health services. It will be an independent organisation able to employ its own staff and involving volunteers. Bury Council wants to hear your views about the new Local Healthwatch, as this will be your opportunity to help shape what the service will look like. Healthwatch will be set up to provide information, advice and support about health and social care issues.; however, we want to consult ...

Posted by timpickstone on Tim Pickstone

This is the latest in my series of Random Thoughts posts with links, things found on the web and other stuff that has occurred to me between 27th October 2012 and 3rd November 2012: Nick Clegg insists on speaking Dutch at Cabinet Office meeting Those on the political right can inhabit a deeply weird paranoid world. Witness this story in The Telegraph – Nick Clegg can speak 5 languages – so this is obviously suspicious. Nick Clegg used one of these languages in a meeting – this is doubly suspicious. Surely the only reason he could have for speaking Dutch ...

Posted by Andy Strange on Strange Thoughts