Archive footage (without sound) of the Great Northern line from Nottingham to Derby, which closed in 1964. Towards the end you can see a train on the Bennerley Viaduct.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The prosecution of African leaders in the International Criminal Court in the Hague is set to increase in 2013. This April will see two Kenyan former ministers - William Ruto and Uhuru Kenyatta, son of ...

Posted by Lester Holloway on

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Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings

From the Daily Telegraph obituary of the great Russian soprano Galina Vishnevskaya, who died a couple of weeks before Christmas: By this time, Galina Vishnevskaya was all too well acquainted with the absurdities of Soviet life. In her memoirs she recalled Igor Markevich being granted permission to perform Haydn's Creation but only if it was expunged of all references to God. On another occasion she remembered performing at the Bolshoi before a group of prize-winning collective farmers who had been rewarded for their efforts with tickets in the front row. A Stakhanovite peasant woman directly behind the conductor grew restive ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Tue 1st

Happy New Year 2013

My New Years Resolutions :- 1. live a healthier lifestyle 2. drive my car far less so this morning I started my training for the Bath Half Marathon and am hoping for a time of 2 hours 25 minutes this March. Run today was half an hour so a lot to do in the next two and half months. Better rejoin the sports centre and get some lunchtime swimming in. Then walked to Widcombe for the annual tradition of the Widcombe Mummers play then return trip on train to Swindon to watch Portsmouth collapse in a second half 5 goal ...

Posted by Paul Crossley on Paul Crossley

This is an interesting story about Hong Kong where the Chinese government committee selected leader is under threat as a result of building without planning permission.

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log
Tue 1st

Six of the Best 310

Mark Pack has been reading Des Wilson's memoirs. "Public trust in institutions is more quickly undermined than it is built. The Police and Crime Commissioners were never popular with the public, but the first actions of Bill Longmore and his colleagues across the nation are undermining trust further. Public confidence in the police fell dramatically during 2012. If one of the hopes of the Police and Crime Commissioners is to restore public confidence in policing it has certainly got off to a bad start." Andy Boddington on the problems with the new police and crime commissioners - in West Mercia ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Tue 1st

Yuletide Reveals Post

So finally the Yuletide reveals have started, and most of the five fics I wrote for Yuletide now had my name attached, so finally I get to actually talk about the fanfic that kind of ate my brain for a while. A Complex Problem (The Scarlet Pimpernel genderswap for croik) [18,296 words] The prompt was: "I'd love to see some part of the story retold with the characters genderswapped. Either one or both, or throw Chauvelin in there, too, whoever or however you want to do it." and me, being me, I got kind of carried away and couldn't pick ...

Posted by Debi on

Food for thought for John Rentoul (who calls Ukip 'The new third party' here), courtesy of PoliticalBetting's Mike Smithson: Aggregate vote shares from all 198 local by-elections in 2012 show: CON 33.74: LAB 29.22: LD 19.15: UKIP 6.13 — Mike Smithson (@MSmithsonPB) January 1, 2013 (Hat-tip: Vote Clegg, Get Clegg Facebook page.) * Stephen Tall is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, a Research Associate for the liberal think-tank CentreForum, and also writes at his own site, The Collected Stephen Tall.

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice
Tue 1st

The Q#4 quintet

Here are the five posts published on this blog between October and December 2012 that recorded the most hits: The maths question in economics (24th October) Not so Marr-vellous (4th November) The reopening of the economic mind? (26th November) Policy challenges around welfare reform (13th November) Osbo's poverty trap and pinging the elastic of reality (16th December) All these posts appear in the list of my top ten posts of 2012, published yesterday. That's one indication that this has been a good quarter for the blog. Onward and upward! Thanks for reading. And commenting. Even when you're disagreeing with me. ...

Posted by admin on Alex's Archives
Tue 1st

Happy New Year!

[IMG: Photo: Hope that everyone had a great time. Heart shapee fireworks :-)] Happy New Year everybody.

Posted by Maelo Manning on libdemchild, aged 13

For the last few months, I've been using the WordPress theme wp-svbtle. Even with my limited design sense, I think it looks rather spiffy. Recently though, I've had a few people on HackerNews and Twitter criticising me of "ripping off" Svbtle and accusing me of trying to defraud readers into thinking I was part of the Svbtle network. While nothing could be further from the truth, I think an explanation is in order. For those who don't know, is a "curated collection of great people who have things to say." It was created by Dustin Curtis as a self-written ...

Posted by Terence Eden on Terence Eden has a Blog

LibDemVoice's annual poll to find the Liberal Voice of the Year has just opened. The deliberate catch is that only non-Lib Dems are eligible, forcing folk to look beyond the narrow party confines towards the broader world beyond. (It's the same reason, incidentally, I started the 'Liberal Hero' series for CentreForum: not to laud individuals as liberals, but to celebrate specific liberal actions no matter who enacts them.) And just in case you were wondering how I voted, it was thusly: [IMG: lib voice vote 2012] Rationale as follows: Malala: alone among the short-list she featured as a Liberal Hero ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall
Tue 1st

Sensational News

It is hard to remember now but 2012 brought us the worst drought since 1976. It is easier to remember the rain and the floods. According to the Guardian, 'April and June were the wettest such months in a record stretching back to 1766 - the only instance of two record-breaking months in a single year'. However we didn't have to face Hurricane Sandy which devastated the Caribbean and some US states. The Gulf Stream ensures that we don't have to face extremes of temperature. Our climate is definitely temperate. And my inspiration for the first blog of the ...

Posted by Michael Gradwell on Politics for Novices

With the new year comes a fresh fare increase to Southeastern train's customers. Hard pressed commuters will be asked to fork out RPI +1 % on their tickets. Indeed my ticket, a monthly season ticket from Gillingham to London not valid on the tube or HS1 will rise to something like £352s or roughly £4200 PA which is 20% of my £20.000 PA wage. As a commuter and someone on a low to medium income with a mortgage and two children it is more money that I can ill afford and something I have consistently campaigned and written about on ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

[IMG: Des Wilson - Memoirs of a Minor Public Figure] Des Wilson was a pioneering, high-profile and controversial campaigner, leading the way in the then novel spheres of single-issue campaigning and of charities getting stuck into small-p political campaigning before turning to taking the corporate pay cheque as a pioneer of corporate social responsibility. That makes his book one that fully lives up to the quote on the cover from Peter Hennessy: "These pages crackle and burn. You will enjoy them." It is inevitable and understandable that someone's memoirs should very much give their side of the story and with ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

[IMG: liberal-voice] Today's the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of the Year to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the sixth annual award, and as is our tradition, we're looking beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the greatest liberal who's not a member of our party. The list of 10 nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; 222 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Liberal Democrat Voice

Gillingham,Kent,United Kingdom,1st January 2013 ´╗┐Dear Sir, I am writing to you in response to your open letter to Senator Rubio that was posted on the Conservative Outpost website. As an Englishman, I do not presume to be familiar with your politics or systems, however I'd like to maker a few suggestions and observations in response to your letter. Firstly and foremost, the Second amendment says a little more than The right to bare arms. For the benefit of other readers please allow me to quote the text; A well regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free state, ...

Posted by Chris Sams on The Ginger Liberal from Medway

One of my favourite extracts from the minutes of a Liberal Democrat or predecessor party meeting is this gem from a 1983 branch meeting: Campaign Strategy: After a long discussion, it was agreed that we organise ourselves, and have a separate meeting for this subject. For more up-to-date advice, I can of course recommend this.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

If you don't read Tim 'Undercover Economist' Harford, then you should. I frequently link to his stuff in my weekly 'essential reading' lists because he's witty, concise and forensic, a tricky combo. His latest post An insatiable desire to peer into the future is worth highlighting as we start 2013 with the usual list of predictions for the year ahead. ConservativeHome's Paul Goodman has, for example, saved us all the bother of waiting for the next set of election results: It's two years away, but the 2015 election is already lost. Why? Four factors conspire, apparently, to make a Tory ...

Posted by Stephen Tall on Stephen Tall

[IMG: Children in Quito, South America - Some rights reserved by] It's New Year and every single magazine aimed at women and girls will inevitably be full of the latest crash diet. Whether it's claiming you'll lose a stone in seven days, or banning carbs or suggesting you base your diet on cabbage soup or eggs, we are told that we should get rid of the excesses of the Festive Season as soon as possible with often drastic measures. Jo Swinson recently wrote an open letter to magazine editors urging them not to promote irresponsible crash diets that simply ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice
Tue 1st

2012 books read poll

The traditional librarything end-of-year poll of books read - there are a lot more over on the community if you look. There is a slight discrepancy between the list below and my own calculation of my end-of-year tally, in that the three Sophocles plays are taken together, as is each of the 2-in-1 Doctor Who books, and the two unpublished manuscripts are not listed. (I'm also still a little uneasy about the categorisation of the Lovejoy novels, which often crucially depend on his supernatural activity to tell real antiques from fakes, but am leaving them with non-genre for now.) View ...

An excellent expose by Chris Burn in the Shropshire Star yesterday reveals just how much the new Police and Crime Commissioner, Bill Longmore, will be costing the citizens West Mercia. Curiously, this cost was not mentioned when the three candidates were campaigning for election. Neither did the candidates talk of appointing a highly-paid deputy. The ... Continue reading →

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington - Liberal Democrat
Tue 1st

New Year

2013 dawns bright, sunny and cold in Eaglescliffe. My hope for individuals is that good health prevails over bad, and that friendship and love triumph over prejudice and hatred. My hopes for Eaglescliffe - that the planning officers and committee of Stockton Council will see the value of the tranquil stretch of the river bank that winds along the edge of Egglescliffe and not approve the planning

Posted by Maureen Rigg on Maureen Rigg's Blog

Quick review of what I reckoned was going to happen last year: 1. HMV will go bust. WRONG. Should have chosen Comet! 2. A currently living former Chancellor of the Exchequer will no longer be with us by the end of the year. WRONG. They're all still alive and (as far as I know) in good health. 3. Barack Obama will win reelection with an even higher percentage of the vote than in 2008. CORRECT (sort of). OK, so it wasn't with a higher percentage than in 2008 but I'm giving myself half a point for this. 4. Chris Huhne ...

Posted by Mark Thompson on Mark Thompson

For many months residents of Cricketers Way have commented on the unsafe reversing of lorries delivering to local stores. This was a matter I raised with Test Valley's highways department about two years ago. After my initial requests surveys of lorry movements were made and the highways officers wrote to the store asking for a review of safety regulations. Lorries should only reverse along the access road under supervision of a member of staff with adequate training and appropriate hi-vis clothing. Despite this there have been a number of occasions when the rules have been flouted. Town councillor Barbara Carpenter ...

Posted by lengates on Len Gates

Labour MP Gloria de Piero writes in the Guardian about how she discovered the deep unpopularity of politicians and carried out her own research to learn more. She does so in dramatic fashion recounting how a fan from her TV days asked for a photograph, posing with his arm around her. At the end, she mentioned that she was now an MP. "He didn't say 'what party' or anything, he just went [De Piero goes silent] and walked [she mimes somebody shunning her]. James and I said 'oh my gosh, it's like I'm an axe murderer now'." She took it ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

[IMG: Jeddah Corniche - Some rights reserved by CharlesFred] Raif Badawi, a Saudi Arabian liberal writer, was arrested on June 17 in Jeddah and charged with 'insulting Islam through electronic channels' and 'going beyond the realm of obedience'. His 'crime' at that point appeared to be setting up an online forum, Free Saudi Liberals, and attending a meeting in Cairo on May 7 of the Arab Alliance for Freedom and Democracy, but the words that constitute the offence were not specified. Since then the ingredients of the 'crime' have been identified: • He wrote about Valentine's Day - a celebration banned ...

Posted by Eric Avebury on Liberal Democrat Voice

Nick Clegg has been going on lately about the need to occupy the 'centre ground', as if there were a big space between the Conservatives and Labour. But that hasn't been the case since Margaret Thatcher and Micheal Foot battled it out thirty years ago. Actually, the most striking thing about the three main parties, certainly since Tony Blair took over the Labour Party, is how close they are on matters of economics. None of the party leaders seriously questions the orthodoxy that took hold in the 1980s; indeed, they do not even recognise it as an ideology, preferring to ...

Posted by Simon Titley on Liberator's blog

The True Meaning of Smekday - Adam Rex Alien invasion in 2013. (tags: 2013 ) The President's Last Love, By Andrey Kurkov Ukrainian politics, starting in 2013. (tags: 2013 ) Fay Weldon | Chalcot Crescent Broken Britain in 2013. (tags: 2013 ) The Book of Water by Marjorie B Kellogg An elemental dragon appears off the coast of Africa in 2013. (tags: 2013 ) 8 Post-Apocalyptic Works of Fiction Set in 2013 Four films, four games, some dodgy maths... (tags: 2013 )

Tue 1st

Happy New Year !

For me 2012 had some undoubted highs, but some deep lows, so hopefully 2013 will be better. I wish you a happy, peaceful and healthy New Year.

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

It's been a while since I added to the Anthology strand of this blog - something which I hope to rectify in the coming year. Poetry is going to be making a comeback on these pages! Looking for something to re-start the strand, I chanced upon Robert Frost's The Road Not Taken. At a time of year when both looking back and looking forward are national pastimes - and when many people opt to make major life choices - it seems most apt. The Road Not Taken by Robert Frost Two roads diverged in a yellow wood, And sorry I ...

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world

Looking back at the year that's gone... It is the close of another year, a time to reflect on the past 12 months and look forward to the challenges of 2013. Let me start by thanking all those who fought the council elections in May. Although we knew it would be a tough campaign, it was still so disappointing to lose so many hard working local councillors. However, in contrast to some other areas, here in the North East we still have a strong cohort of local councillors standing up for liberal democracy and I will continue to work with ...


Posted by Freedom Central on Freedom Central

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Tue 1st

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to everyone from Bar Hill Liberal Democrats! Image Courtesy Wikimedia Commons (see here)

Posted by Andy Pellew on Focus on Bar Hill
Tue 1st

Happy New Year

I posted another version of this Britten setting exactly a year ago, but this is the best performance of it I know. It comes from the same recording as the Cuckoo! I posted a couple of weeks ago. As to what the words mean....

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Tue 1st

Happy New Year!

A very Happy New Year from Janet, me, our grandson Henry and the rest of the family. Our very best wishes for the year ahead.

[IMG: Hogmanay celebrations - Some rights reserved by The Queen's Hall] See what happens when you give the Scot on the team the key to Lib Dem Voice Towers on Hogmanay... On behalf of all of us here, I wish all our readers, commenters and contributors all the very best for 2013. I'd also like to say a huge thank you to the rest of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. They are a great bunch of people to work with and are an illuminating and understanding source of help, inspiration and advice for me. Rest while you can, because soon, ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice