On Lib Dem Voice today Jo has updated on the progress of the secret courts Bill in the House of Commons, and asked for support for a motion for Spring Conference in Brighton. The deadline for us to submit the motion is 9th January. If you would like to support the motion and are a 2013 Federal Conference representative please email either martin@libdemsagainstsecretcourts.org.uk or jo@libdemsagainstsecretcourts.org.uk with your name, local party and membership number. And please do share the motion, the petition and the campaign generally with as many of your party colleagues as you can, via email, Twitter or Facebook. ...

Don't forget Faith, Pride, and Chat, our informal social evening, is taking place on Friday, 28 December at 7 p.m in St George's Church on High Street. There may even be a Christmas-themed quiz. More detail....

Posted by Andrew McFarland Campbell on Faith and Pride
Sun 23rd

Sunday Sounds 60

I came across this on Twitter earlier (h/t to Marie Jenkins) and decided that, although dated, it was a lovely festive song to share with you all... Andrew

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world

Last night I noticed that Mark Cole had written up his top 10 sporting events of the year. I was considering doing my own anyway but his writing about his got me to focus on it. And yeah the time I am posting this is deliberate. 10. Rory McIlroy wins the US PGA you may have missed this, you were probably watching the closing ceremony of the Olympics. But golf becomes an Olympic sport in Rio 2016 so what better way to put down a marker than to blow the field away. He shot -6 for the day to win ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Liberal Journal
Sun 23rd

Happy Christmas

The Meols Ward Liberal Democrat team wish you a Happy Christmas and all the best for 2013. The local Focus team, led by Councillors John Dodd, Nigel Ashton and David Rimmer, and Focus editor Jo Barton, will continue to keep you in touch through this website, our regular Focus newsletters, and our monthly advice centre.

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

A memorial bench in memory of Ben Gautrey has been installed in Churchtown, just outside St Cuthbert's Church, where Ben is buried. Councillors joined Ben's family and friends to declare the bench 'open' Ben lost his life last year, doing what he loved most - motorcycle racing. Ben, who was just 18 when he died, had been a pupil at Marshside Primary and Stanley High schools. As well as motorcycling, Ben was a talented cricketer. He had just started studying engineering. A charity was set up by Ben's mum, Lorraine, in his memory. The Benjamin Gautrey Foundation has raised many ...

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 305th 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 (16 - 22 December, 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. Where ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Post Office at 167 Preston New Road, near the Fairhaven Road / North Road roundabout, is not going to move. Post Office Ltd have announced that a proposal to move the Post Office to new premises near Marshside Road has been dropped, and the branch will continue to operate at the current site at this time.

Posted by Nigel Ashton on Meols Lib Dems

Stockport Market came alive today as people flocked in to have a turn on the ice rink, ride the donkey and enjoy the shopping. With free parking at all council car parks, and a dry, sunny day after Saturday's torrential downpours, the town centre was busy with shoppers grabbing last-minute presents and enjoying the fun. Parking in Stockport is free after 2pm tomorrow (Christmas Eve) at all Council car parks and on-street parking, so there's still time to get those gifts. [IMG: Ice rink. Stockport Market]

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

Statement from the District Council St Albans City and District Council is to commission an independent review of Green Belt boundaries and a study of potential housing locations in the District. This follows a decision of Full Council on 28 November. This led to the withdrawal of the pre-submission Strategic Local Plan (SLP) whilst further work is undertaken. On 20 December, Cabinet considered the terms of the decision and a plan to take this forward. It agreed an approach for points 1, 4, 5 and 7 of the decision. This entails commissioning an independent review of Green Belt boundaries and ...

Posted by chriswhite on Chris White
Sun 23rd

Transparency and Truth

I am not sure that there is a category of people that is always truthful. It is clear from Hillsborough and the Andrew Mitchell sagas that police don't always tell the truth. Politicians are not always honest, nor are business people, nor are doctors, nor indeed are judges and other lawyers. That is why transparency is so important because it has two effects: a) It allows independent people

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

[IMG: John Morrison with Jo Swinson MP] Scottish Liberal Democrats were shocked to learn of the sudden death of former East Dunbartonshire Council Leader John Morrison at the age of just 50. The Sunday Herald reports that John was found unconscious as the result of an assault in a Glasgow Street early on Saturday morning and died later in hospital. John was affectionately known as Hobbit throughout the Scottish party. He had acquired that nickname while at Glasgow University and bore it with his customary good humour. He'd been a leading light in the university debating society as well as ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: Norweigan coast] In Britain's recent EU debate, it's clear that the anti-Europeans have been doing most of the running. When they're not basing their arguments on wholesale lies, they fall back on a mixture of half-truths, assumptions and wishful thinking. One of the best examples is the common claim that Britain can leave the EU but keep trading with the Single Market, 'just like Norway'. A have-your-cake-and-eat-it solution that sounds like the best of both worlds. They highlight the non-EU country's considerable oil wealth - irrelevant to the membership debate - to drive home their point. Unfortunately, like most ...

Posted by Giles Goodall on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sun 23rd

Review of 2012

This is my last entry of 2012 so I am using it to review the year gone by. The highlight of the year was the London Olympics. I took two weeks off to follow TV coverage, visited various events on five occasions, and thoroughly enjoyed it all. The highlight of my five visits was taking my wife to Wembley Stadium to her first ever football match, where we saw Team GB Ladies defeat Brazil 1-0 in a great atmosphere. We also met some Brazilian supporters at a volleyball event in Earls Court and the colour and enthusiasm they showed on ...

Posted by Keith Nevols on Keith Nevols

We live in a curious world. I was out doing my Christmas shopping yesterday and came across a legal high stall right in the middle of Glasgow's Buchanan Street. The packaging and brand title were lurid, the stall was huge - much bigger than any I'd seen before in a similar spot - and they were brazenly giving out free samples of their highly addictive product to anyone who was curious. You'd imagine I'd be furious at this attempt to ensnare the Glasgow Christmas punter, but I wasn't. I was quite content, and later on I was cursing my failure ...

Posted by Ewan Hoyle on Ewan's liberal musings
Sun 23rd

My new Great-Niece

My new Great-Niece Veronica and her mother Suzie, who is a refugee from Sudan Veronica's Dad is George Stewart, Lindsay's brother Andrew's elder son. They live in Canberra. [IMG: Posted by Picasa]

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

LibDemVoice is delighted to bring you A Christmas Carol, a contemporary re-imagining of Charles Dickens' classic tale, told in five staves (as Dickens called them). The fifth stave, The End of It, follows. You can catch up with the story so far here: Stave One, Mensch's Ghost; and Stave Two, The Ghost of Avarice Past; Stave Three, The Ghost of Arrogance Present; and Stave Four, The Ghost of Austerity Future. [IMG: LDV scrooge story] As sketched by Bodz "Osborne, you are late!" Cameron said sternly. The wretched Chancellor mumbled an apology. But Cameron was in no mood to listen. He ...

Posted by Andy Boddington on Liberal Democrat Voice

Because it is Christmas I suppose we can forgive the Independent for repeating itself, which explains why this article has a familiar feel about it. In fact the paper carried a similar piece back in September, prompting me to blog on it then too. The current article contains a bit more detail of the many sons and daughters of Labour MPs seeking to extend or create a dynasty. In addition to Euan Blair's interest in Coventry North West, Will Straw lurking around Rossendale and Darwen, and Joe Dromey, devoting a lot of time to the safe Labour seat of Lewisham ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Here's today's hand-picked selection that caught my interest... Backstabbing Tories are the real villans of 'Plebgate' | Mail Online Gotta love how right-wing media (1) demanded Cam sack Mitchell, (2) are now up in arms against Cam for sacking Mitchell http://buff.ly/UmmQQW Iain Duncan Smith has to win the day in the Tory war over welfare – Telegraph Wonders will never cease: a well-argued piece by Peter Oborne that I agree with > IDS must win in Tory war over welfare http://buff.ly/Ummutv Chris Huhne tipped to replace Nick Clegg and halt poll slide if he wins criminal case | Mail Online ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall
Sun 23rd


[IMG: Posted by Picasa]

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sun 23rd

This week

Monday: Chaired Bahrain seminar in Committee Room G. Good attendance by some regional TV, but no al-Jezira. Supplementary question on Democratic Republic of Congo Third Reading of my Caravan Sites Bill passed. Andrew George MP has kindly agreed to take it forward in the Commons. Annual meeting of Silbury Fund Trustees Tuesday: Meeting with GE-Hitachi to discuss progress of the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority's evaluation of the options for disposal of 100 tonnes of Plutonium at Sellafield Crime and Courts Bill: amendments on immigration http://bit.ly/UgFSHe Meeting of the APPG on Ahmadiyya Muslims Wednesday EU Subcommittee F: scrutiny, and looking ahead to ...

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury

In our flat in south London I have an envelope filled with invitations sent to my great-grandparents. They lived for much of the early part of the twentieth century in what is now Ghana, but was then known as the Gold Coast, a British colony in west Africa. My great-grandfather was an accountant in the ...

Posted by pauldavidevans on The Evans Account
Sun 23rd

Yes: Wonderous Stories

I was not a big prog rock fan, but I did like this when it was in the charts in 1977.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Give As You Earn is a wonderful system; I can donate to charity directly from my monthly pay cheque. I don't have set up any Direct Debits, or standing orders, I get a tidy tax break, and the charity gets a chunk of change. For every tenner I donate, it costs me £6 - and the Government chips in the rest. I used PayrollGiving.co.uk to set up my donations - but your workplace may have specific arrangements with someone else. These are the charities I support. Amnesty [IMG: 200px-Amnesty_International_logo.svg] I believe in Human Rights. It's an old fashioned concept, perhaps ...

Posted by Terence Eden on Terence Eden has a Blog
Sun 23rd

In memory of Sam Lewis

Last month, I mentioned that I had the privilege of meeting the dozens of friends and family of Sam Lewis, the 19 year old BT call centre worker from the West End, who tragically collapsed and died at work in July. That Sunday in November, Sam's friends and family set off on a sponsored walk to raise funds to provide for a bench on Magdalen Green, in memory of Sam. The fundraising efforts, masterminded by Sam's friend Derek Kelbie, were extremely successful and by this weekend, the memorial bench is now in place on the Green. Many thanks go to ...

Nick Clegg's latest letter has hit my inbox, this week reflecting on his five years as party leader — and in particular how he believes the Lib Dems are "anchoring this government in the centre ground". The example he uses is one that is likely to dominate politics in 2013: welfare reform. As Nick points out, the Tories had wanted swingeing cuts: it was the Lib Dems who at least ensured parity between public sector pay and benefits payments, both receiving a below-inflation 1% cash rise. And if I had a Christmas wish, by the way, it would be this ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

Over at LibDemVoice today, we've published an article by Jo Shaw who's led a quite brilliant grassroots campaign against the Government's plans to extend secret courts. In September, the party conference passed overwhelmingly a motion rejecting the controversial Part II of the Justice and Security Bill in its entirety — despite a bevvy of high-profile parliamentarians appealing to Lib Dem members to let them try and reform it instead. Since then there has been, with a few honourable exceptions, little sign the party leadership wants to implement the party's policy in full and ditch secret courts. Jo is now looking ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall

As 2015 gets closer and the candidate selection process is looked at for the Medway Libdems I am forced to wonder if it is even worthwhile me standing at the next election. Apart from personal issues such as work, money, family etc there is of course the big question of; Will I get elected to my ward of choice? The answer is; Probably Not. The answer is very predictable because I am a Libdem. A good chunk of the dislike that will be aimed at us in 2015 is somewhat earnt. Some of the things we have been associated with ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

Pizza Hut Achieves Pizza Within A Pizza; Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory of the Coming of the Lord Like a circle in a circle like a wheel within a wheel (tags: ) Series 44 of Have I Got News For You is over | What You Can Get Away With - Nick Barlow's blog ... and Nick has completed his spreadsheet. He makes some interesting and salient comments too. (tags: ) The Pessimistic Style in British Politics | Hopi Sen (tags: ) David Davies, Conservative MP: 'I may well be wrong' | Politics | The Guardian Honest, but heart-breakingly ...

[IMG: Supreme Court - Some rights reserved by cphoffman42] The Justice and Security Bill, which introduces secret courts into almost all civil cases, was rushed into its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday this week. The Minister in charge of secret courts in the Commons, Ken Clarke, made an opening statement in the debate which made it clear that the Coalition Government does not accept the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, some of which were passed by the Lords. It is still not clear whether the Coalition is going to accept even the ...

Posted by Jo Shaw on Liberal Democrat Voice

Every year Google publishes an analysis of what people are searching for on the internet - last year amounting to 1.2 trillion searches. Interestingly for UK googlers (if there is such a verb) the European football championship proved of more interest than the Olympics. And the top ten most googled politicians makes interesting - if grim - reading for the three party leaders: Jeremy Hunt Boris Johnson Justine Greening Alex Salmond Michael Gove George Osborne Louise Mensch Nadine Dorries Keith Vaz Ed Vaizey

Posted by Dan Falchikov on Living on words alone

Yesterday's Courier highlighted my concerns about possible impacts on the timescales for deliver of the V and A at Dundee and the wider Waterfront project of delays in the completion of the Olympia swimming pool project. The City Council's Director of City Development has advised me: "Fraser The phasing relationships between the Olympia demolition and the Waterfront infrastructure and the V&A at Dundee are complex, we are assessing these at present to establish if a delay will result and to what extent we can mitigate delay (if any) through reprogramming. At present, therefore, there is no programmed delay in these ...


Sun 23rd

All in this together

There are signs on the M6 that tell you whether traffic is flowing freely on the toll road and these signs are just before you have to make your decision as to whether you pay the toll. The toll road is usually free of traffic jams because most drivers choose to avoid paying and take their chance with possible jams. There are other signs elsewhere in the motorway system that tell you how quickly you will travel over the next few junctions but this information is not available near the toll road. Choice is hardly informed but you do know ...

Posted by Michael Gradwell on Politics for Novices