I am gay. Do you want to know how you know that I am gay – I just told you. The only way you would know if I was gay if you saw me would be because I'd be doing something with someone of the same sex or I'd tell you to your face that I am gay. Guess what? There is no other way you would know I was gay and I'm sick to death of hearing the same platitudes about being able to tell that someone is gay. In the past two weeks alone, I have heard some ...

Posted by The Mec Journal on The Mec Journal

In recent weeks I have been thinking of Michael Haneke's film Time of the Wolf, which I must have seen at the Renoir, near St Pancras, in 2003. It was set in a Europe that has been struck by some explained catastrophe. Refugees wait at wayside station for trains that may not come or stop if they do. I found it hard viewing - I would not have said at the time that I enjoyed it - but days later found myself thinking about it. Fourteen years on I am thinking about it still, because recent political events are starting ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 468th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere ... Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (5-11 February, 2017), together with a hand-picked seven 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. By Election Results 9 February 2017 by ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Do you have the skills to help support an amazing local charity that supports over 250 local residents? Creative Living Centre is seeking new Trustees and a new Chair of Trustees The Creative Living Centre, is a charity supporting adults experiencing mental health problems through an integrated set of activities, therapies and support. They are [...]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

A large number of issues were raised by Unsworth and Whitefield residents at the last township forum and attached are the responses from local councillors, Bury Council officers and the Police. Download PDF document for reading offline [pdf-embedder title="Issues raised"]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

Last week I went to see Roy Wood live, and was struck yet again by just how wonderful the Move's hit singles were (I haven't reviewed the gig, because Wood literally never deviates from the setlist, and very rarely deviates ... Continue reading →

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

Mike Bennett, a golf coach at Bury Golf Club is planning on delivering "Tri-Golf" for children from the age of 5 at Hollins Community Centre. What is Tri-Golf? Tri-Golf is a miniature version of Golf that can be taken into almost any environment and is a perfect way for children to learn a new sport [...]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton
Sun 12th

Sunday reading

Current Watchmen, by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons (a chapter a month) THEN: Science Fiction Fandom in the U.K., 1930-1980, by Rob Hansen To Lie with Lions, by Dorothy Dunnett Broken Homes, by Ben Aaronovitch Short Trips: Time Signature, ed. Simon Guerrier Next books A Suitable Boy, by Vikram Seth The Parrot's Theorem, by Denis Guedj The Eye of the Tyger, by Paul McAuley

Last Wednesday (1 February 2017) was the regular 'Full Council' meeting of Bury Council, the one meeting where all 51 councillors meet to discuss the main issues facing the area. This was a very busy meeting of the Council, with a full public gallery - mostly people concerned about the proposals in the Greater Manchester [...]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

In May of last year I highlighted the vandalised Playground on Sunny Bank Road here. I am pleased to report that the damage has been repaired and the equipment has all been replaced. I am grateful to Bury Council and in particular Team 6 of the Parks and Countryside service for working hard to return [...]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton
Sun 12th

Six of the Best 666

I would make more of Six of the Best reaching this landmark if something had not gone very wrong with the numbering a few hundred posts ago. Garry Kasparov, who knows a thing or two about opposing authoritarian leaders, says the key to opposing Trump is "making him look like a loser". "The recent political earthquakes have found us intellectually and emotionally underprepared, even helpless. None of our usual categories ... and perspectives ... seem able to explain how a compulsive liar and serial groper became the world's most powerful man." Pankaj Mishra recommends reading Václav Havel as a way ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Just to let residents know about a new planning application in Unsworth. Please just let me know if you have any queries. First floor extension at side – 26 Randale Drive, Bury, BL9 8HZ Ref. No: 61092 | Received date: Thu 02 Feb 2017 | Status: Application registered | Case Type: Planning Application

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

Just to let residents know about a new planning application in Unsworth. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Detached games room/gym with external platform – 23 Hathaway Road, Bury, BL9 8EG Ref. No: 61116 | Received date: Thu 09 Feb 2017 | Status: Application registered | Case Type: Planning Application

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

Just to let residents know about a new planning application in Unsworth. Please just let me know if you have any queries. Two storey extension to side and rear and demolition of existing garage – 83 Hillsborough Drive, Bury, BL9 8LF Ref. No: 61104 | Received date: Mon 06 Feb 2017 | Status: Application registered [...]

Posted by Steve Middleton on Steve Middleton

South Down, Northern Ireland's southeastern corner including Downpatrick, Newcastle and the Mournes, was Northern Ireland's most Nationalist constituency at the last Assembly election (Foyle and West Belfast, normally well ahead on that score, voted in unprecedented numbers for the non-aligned People Before Politics). 62.5% of the vote elected four Nationalist MLAs, two SDLP and two SF. 30.2% elected two Unionists, one DUP and one UUP. Alliance got 5.4% and the Greens 2.0%. 2016 result DUP 5,033 (12.3%, -0.2%) 1 seat UUP 3,481 (8.5%, -2.1%) 1 seat TUV 2,718 (6.6%) Alliance 2,200 (5.4%, +3.3%) Independent 1,156 (2.8%) Green 820 (2.0%, -0.7%) ...

This is the first of a bunch of election profiles I'll be posting for the upcoming Northern Ireland Assembly election over the next week or so. Lagan Valley, which is basically Lisburn and Carryduff on Belfast's southern edge and Dromore a little further south, was the most Unionist constituency in Northern Ireland in the last Assembly election - 74.6% of the vote went to nine candidates from five parties, electing three DUP and two UUP (the DUP, who benefited from UUP disarray in 2011 and won four seats that year, lost one to the UUP in 2016). The last seat ...

Embed from Getty Images The House of Commons has no trouble with the idea that an MP can, overnight, go from taking a party whip to being its impartial speaker. So it really ought to be able to cope with John Bercow having expressed a view on Brexit after the referendum. I have never been a Bercow fan - see the column I wrote for Liberal Democrat News when he was first elected speaker - but the meetings with young people he holds around the country to talk about parliament and its workings seem wholly admirable. No, what the fuss ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Sunday morning at Staffordshire University on the Leek Road Campus and we getting ready for Sunday Politics Midlands who are hosting a live debate between the five leading candidates in the Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election. I'm here with Zulfiqar having a coffee before it all commences. Sitting here in the coffee bar with the other candidates is always slightly curious – I'm trying to think of a witty line about watching the Labour candidate Gareth Snell having make-up applied... but I think I'll leave that there So what will Zulfi have to say? I'm pleased to say he's standing on a ...

Posted by Ed Fordham on Liberal Democrat Voice

In a defeat for the right-wing People's Party, voters in Switzerland have supported making it easier for immigrants to become Swiss citizens.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

[IMG: 7 best] Many thanks to the 15,300 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here's our 7 most-read posts... Two Lib Dem GAINS from the Conservatives (17 comments) by Caron Lindsay WATCH: Tim Farron on Sky News "It's a dark day" (56 comments) by The Voice P-16: What is Stoke's daily paper saying about the by-election? (5 comments) by Ed Fordham Farron attacks government plans to make patients pay upfront for NHS treatment (42 comments) by Caron Lindsay Farron: Lib Dems will not make a pact with Corbyn's Labour (34 comments) by Newshound Can anyone tell me ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

This week, Lib Dem Peer and ALDE Vice President Ros Scott was interviewed live on Facebook. Listen to her talk about the "constitutional nonsense" that is the House of Lords, explain the Lib Dem position on Brexit and encourage people to get involved in the Lib Dems. What was particularly brilliant was to hear her talk up the importance of the local elections. As a former councillor, she really gets how important they are in themselves, but she also adds that commentators will be watching to see how well we do. She also predicts a "sensible and rational" agreement on ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

The ever-excellent Anthony Wells writes: The BBC have quite an Ipsos MORI have quite a detailed poll on public attitudes towards funding the NHS... Increasing income tax to fund the NHS was rejected by 40% to 50%. This is in contrast to a recent YouGov poll that asked a similar question and found slightly more people supported paying more income tax for the NHS than opposed it. I think this difference is down to wording - YouGov asked specifically about increasing income tax from 20% to 21% while the MORI poll did not specify the size of the increase - ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Nick Clegg has written an article for the Huffington Post to mark Children's Mental Health Week, highlighting a study which found that nearly two thirds of children feel worried all the time. As he says, stress and worry are part of life but it's important that people have the right support when they need it or that stress and worry could develop into mental ill health. Stress and worry are a part of every walk of life. No job, no task, is without its stresses and strains. During my time as deputy Prime Minister I would have numerous decisions to ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

Here's the new film from the Liberal Democrats, in which Tim Farron rightly takes Theresa May to task for her miserly approach to helping child refugees.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

What's this to do with? Each year the Peterborough Liberal Democrats undertake an on-line Resident Survey, asking local people their thoughts and opinions on a range of community topics! Because one of the issues faced by local residents face each and every day, relates to roads and footpaths in their area, we asked last year, [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower
Sun 12th

Waste Bin - Wellsway

We have had complaints about the amount of litter around the bus stop on the Wellsway opposite on the Beeches on the Wellsway, we have asked the council to look and see if it is possible to consider a waste bin.

Posted by Odddown on Odd Down

This is a Labour leaflet being delivered in Stoke. Here they are, trying to out-UKIP UKIP. "Every major party except the Lib Dems are supporting Brexit here in Stoke" They are doing our job for us! It certainly gives voters who don't want the Government given a blank cheque over Brexit a clear direction about who will stand up for them. That would be only the Lib Dems. Why does this matter? I mean, the Article 50 vote is done and dusted, isn't it? Well, no. If the Lords does it job properly and adorns the Bill with helpful amendments ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sun 12th

The Nicotines: Mary Wana

For years I have had a song at the back of my mind called, in a not terribly subtle drugs reference, "Mary Warner" or something like that. It was on one of the free CDs they used to give away with Q magazine. The other day I did some research, finding a page on Discogs that lists all the free discs the magazine has given away. And there it was on Hello! Discover The Best New Music Of 1997: Mary Wana by the Nicotines. It still sounds good today, though very much of its era. The Nicotines do not seem ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The Paul Nuttall campaign has demonstrated again why UKIP haven't been able to achieve breakthrough despite their popularity amongst certain portions of the population. They like to blame it on the First Past the Post system, which admittedly isn't a help to them, but that's cop out: UKIP are just really, really bad at campaigning. And before you point to the EU referendum, that was won in spite of UKIP, and was much more down to the genius of the Elliot/Cummings nexus. I've seen UKIP's awful campaigning style first hand. Canvassers knocking on doors that aren't even in the relevant ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com
Sun 12th

Campaigning in Copeland

In Copeland we're energetically getting on with promoting our excellent candidate, Rebecca Hanson in the by-election which takes place on 23 February. Willing helpers are flocking to this huge constituency. There is immense Facebook support, but the pleasures of reaching out to the towns and villages between the fells and the sea are considerable, so we invite many more of you to come to share them with us in the next, crucial, ten days. Yesterday morning Roger Putnam, Vice-Chair of our Copeland and Workington Executive, and I managed to beat the rain, leafletting in Seascale in the south-west of the ...

Posted by Katharine Pindar on Liberal Democrat Voice

I am going to tell you a story. It happens to be true. But bear with me, there is a point to it. The "Swinsty cormorant" was usually there, perched on a float around 100 metres out from the dam wall at Swinsty Reservoir in North Yorkshire, whenever I ran round it with my dogs. I used to be fascinated by the lone bird and would always look out for him to see if he was there. My imagination ran riot with why he was always there on his own with no mates in sight. I was captured by the ...

Posted by Helen Flynn on Liberal Democrat Voice

There is no doubt that austerity as either implemented by the Coalition Government (and then sadly pushed far, far harder by the present Tory Government) or indeed as outlined by Alistair Darling (his austerity would probably have been harsher than the Coalition's some commentators say) on behalf of the Labour Party prior to the 2010 General election has had a huge impact on the ability of councils to deliver services. But in fact there is a funding crisis that goes back much further than the financial crash of 2007 that has impacted on local authorities. That funding crisis is back ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Right, I'm after some more political drama to watch. Take it as given that I've seen the obvious stuff, such as House of Cards (however reluctantly) or the obscure Danish stuff.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I am pleased that Police Scotland is now running community surgeries in the West End. The surgeries at Blackness Library start tomorrow - see below :There are also surgeries at the Mitchell Street Centre (first Tuesday of each month) - further details available here.

I Helped Create the Milo Trolling Playbook—Stop Playing Right Into It Confession and advice. (tags: Marketing psychology internet ) Gerrymandering the Presidency: Why Trump could lose the popular vote in 2020 by 6 percent and still win a second term Don't give him ideas! (tags: uspolitics ) 14 Versions Of Trump's Presidency, From #MAGA To Impeachment Almost anything is possible. (tags: uspolitics )

The Independent reports that the cost of leaving the EU could be far more substantial than any of the leavers let on during the referendum campaign. They say that Michel Barnier, the European Union's chief Brexit negotiator, is set to demand a €57bn (£48bn) payment from the UK to the leave the bloc. The figure was purportedly agreed at a meeting of member states, although Sky News reported that France and Germany called for the UK to be charged at least €70bn. They add that Britain is committed to tens of billions in spending on EU-wide projects up until 2020, ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black