Thu 16th

By-Election watch

We are defending 3 seats tonight and the first result is in. It's a good one. Congratulations to Helen Hall and the team in East Staffs! Hold! — ALDC (@ALDC) February 16, 2017 Well done to us for fielding a candidate (Lib Dem Voice contributor Alex Hegenbarth) in the Forest of Dean ward of Lydbrook and Guardian where we gained 6.6% of the vote in a seat that the Greens took from UKIP. This is the first time we've stood in the ward since the 90s. Lydbrook & Ruardean (Forest of Dean) result: GRN: 35.3% (+27.9) CON: 24.3% (+6.2) ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Seven by-elections across six wards, with three Liberal Democrat seats up for defence, this week. First in, a successful Liberal Democrat defence of the party's one seat on East Staffordshire: Liberal Democrat HOLD Burton (East Staffordshire). — Britain Elects (@britainelects) February 16, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Conservative seat. Cause: Resignation. LD candidate: Sam Al-Hamdani. To help, please contact Jo Maitland on 07808164669.

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

UKIP seat. Cause: Resignation. LD Candidate: Heather Lusty. To help, please contact Chris Ward on 07708 196805

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Liberal Democrat seats (x2). Cause: Resignation x2 LD Candidates: Lori Flawn & Sinead Holland. To help, please contact the Campaign Organiser, Alan Dean, on 01279 813579/07710 105824

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Liberal Democrat seat. Cause: Resignation. LD candidate: Helen Marie Hall.

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Labour seat. Cause: Resignation. LD Candidate: Shaun Duffy.

Posted by Claire Halliwell on Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors

Whilst the government says that the NHS will become a seven-day service, we know that many areas do operate seven days a week service for many health services. Given the underinvestment from the Conservative government we have staff, nurses and doctors who are demotivated. The Liberal Democrats say to ensure we can cope with increasing some of the services such as Accident and Emergency care this will cost more money since there are not enough staff at the moment. The waiting times in our hospitals are getting worse and many ill patients are left in corridors suffering unnecessarily. Ealing Hospital ...

Posted by Gary Malcolm on Councillor Gary Malcolm

If you enjoyed this week's footage of Tornado hauling scheduled passenger trains, remember that the authorities tried to close the Settle & Carlisle line in the early 1980s. This is the closure notice that was posted at the time. The local transport users' consultative committee held a hearing in Appleby, and a former fellow member of the University of York Railway Society was one of the people to give evidence. As I recall, he spoke about the line's importance as a way of giving cyclists and walkers access to the Dales. The transport minister Paul Channon originally announced that he ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Embed from Getty Images When I wrote about this in June of last year, someone left a comment directing me to The Cedar Lounge Revolution, an Irish political blog. There a commenter, NollaigO, left the following in 2008: Living in London in the early 1970s she became a vice-president of the NUS.[Jack Straw was NUS president at the time]. Returning from an overseas conference, she found herself sitting next to Tariq Ali on the plane. Tariq persuaded her to join the IMG, which she did in summer 1971. In subsequent years she used to muddy this connection by claiming that ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Thanks to Sarah Ludford, the Liberal Democrat shadow minister for exiting the European Union, for pointing out to me that Rutland Bitter is a protected food name under the EU. The British government page on the protected food name scheme lays out the protections it provides: The EU protected food name scheme highlights regional and traditional foods whose authenticity and origin can be guaranteed.Under this system, a named food or drink registered at a European level, will be given legal protection against imitation throughout the EU.And you can read the full product specification for Rutland Bitter there too: Alcoholic Beverage ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I'm departing Derby and calling at Peartree, Tutbury and Hatton, Uttoxeter, Blythe Bridge, Longton, Stoke on Trent Longport, Kidsgrove, Alsager, Crewe... no more will I call at Etruria Station on the slow train... (to recall Flanders and Swann). Ah the nostalgia of going back to a place you know and love is that everything has changed and nothing is different. But as I sit on my train to Stoke-on-Trent (the train signal board cited above doesn't have hyphens!) I reflect that Etruria railway station has closed since I was there. Now in most by-elections, there comes a point when you ...

Posted by Ed Fordham on Liberal Democrat Voice

For more than two weeks, works by Western Power have been disputing traffic at the junction of Station Drive, Upper Galdeford and Gravel Hill. This is essential work to replace power cables. That's fine but there are usually no contractors on duty. Along with everyone else, we have got very annoyed by this. This is what we told the press earlier today. Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East says: "This work is essential but I don't know why it is taking so long. We've had temporary traffic lights in place for a couple of weeks but most of the ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

Perched on the western shore of Lough Neagh, Mid Ulster includes Magherafelt, Cookstown and Coalisland. 61.9% of the vote got Nationalists four MLAs last time, with Unionists winning the other two with 35.2%. 2016 result DUP 7,393 (18.1%, +1.4%) 1 seat UUP 4,862 (11.9%, +1.6%) 1 seat TUV 1,877 (4.6%, -0.3%) UKIP 256 (0.6%) Alliance 471 (1.2%, +0.3%) Green 349 (0.9%) Workers' Party 316 (0.8%) Sinn Féin 19,015 (46.7%, -2.5%) 3 seats SDLP 6,209 (15.2%, +0.5%) 1 seat 2017 candidates @Keith Buchanan (DUP) @Sandra Overend (UUP) Hannah Loughrin (TUV) Fay Watson (Alliance) Stefan Taylor (Green) Hugh Scullion (WP) Hugh McCloy ...

North Down is the wealthy coastal fringe east of Belfast. Unionists won four seats here in 2016 with 63.3% of the vote; the total Nationalist vote was a microscopic 2.3%. Alliance and the Greens won the other two seats with 16.8% and 12.7% respectively. 2016 result DUP 13,446 (41.7%, -2.5%) 3 seats UUP 4,987 (15.5%, +5.1%) 1 seat UKIP 681 (2.1%, -0.1%) Conservatives 672 (2.1%) TUV 610 (1.9%) Alliance 5,399 (16.8%, -1.8%) 1 seat Green 4,109 (12.7%, +4.8%) 1 seat Independent 1,415 (4.4%) NI Labour 177 (0.5%) SDLP 426 (1.3%, -1.4%) Sinn Féin 307 (1.0%, no change) 2017 candidates @Gordon ...

Tim Farron was on Sky News earlier talking about the crisis in social care. Watch his interview here. * Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

Very well, and thank you for asking, interrogative construct of a title. ArtsOne at QMUL – one of these windows is of the PhD office where I work. What? You want some more detail than that? OK then... I'm now about 4 1/2 months into doing a PhD. During that time, I've been doing a hell of a lot of reading, attending classes on quantitative and qualitative research methods, attending a range of other seminars and classes on a variety of subjects, meeting with my supervisors (Tim Bale and Philip Cowley), travelling to Germany for a conference...oh, and doing lots ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With

Mark Clattenberg has decided it is time to up sticks and walk away from being the best referee in not only the UK but in all of Europe and take on a new role in Saudi Arabia. I have no doubt it is mostly due to bundles of money that he has been offered and I have no issue at all with him making that decision. I mean who wouldn't take a massive salary hike to to a similar job elsewhere? We all would. The reason why I am likening it to politics is just watching the comments on this ...

Posted by neilmonnery on The Rambles of Neil Monnery

Opinion pieces attempting to explain why people voted for Trump or Brexit have become a cliché in the progressive media. But no matter how many soul-searching articles I've read on the subject, none of them address one important question. Whether our condemnation of mainstream politicians has gone too far, and if it led to these troubling outcomes. Now I'm not saying that people shouldn't be sceptical of politicians - of course they should. As an American and British dual citizen, I can think of many times that my representatives have let me down: the expenses scandal; deadlock in congress; continuing ...

Posted by Ben Andrew on Liberal Democrat Voice

More than 4,000 people have joined the party in January, turned off by Theresa May's plans to take Britain out of the Single Market and attracted by the Liberal Democrats' opposition to "the politics of fear, division and hatred". [IMG: Lib Dem Membership is at the highest level in decades - now at 82,000 and climbing!] The Liberal Democrats: the fastest growing party in British Politics Since January 1st more than 4,000 people have joined the Liberal Democrats and our membership is now the highest it's been in more than two decades - and more members are joining every single ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

I have often pondered on boundaries especially those associated with local government. What forms a boundary, why was it chosen and who chose it? Here are two boundaries close to my Lydiate home. One is with Maghull and the other with Aughton:- [IMG: Maghull Brook - On the left Lydiate (and me) - on the right Maghull.] Maghull Brook – On the left Lydiate (and me) – on the right Maghull. [IMG: Sudell Brook - On the left Lydiate - on the right Aughton] Sudell Brook – On the left Lydiate – on the right Aughton In both cases the ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus
Thu 16th

Come to Copeland

We have had a busy few days here in the Copeland by-election campaign. Across this enormous constituency that stretches from Keswick in the north-east, across fells and lakes to the port of Whitehaven, and then down the coast past St Bees and Sellafield, all the way down to Millom in the South, and then back up across Eskdale and Wasdale including the majesty of Scafell Pike, the highest peak in England, the Lib Dem fightback has been in action. Our excellent candidate Rebecca Hanson has grabbed the moment; demonstrating to local, regional and national media her deep knowledge of key ...

Posted by Andrew Sangar on Liberal Democrat Voice

In response to media reports of text messages being sent warning Muslims to vote Labour in the Stoke-on Trent Central by-election, Stoke-on-Trent Central Lib Dems have issued the following statement: Stoke-on-Trent Central Liberal Democrats call on the Labour Party nationally and locally 1. To condemn the campaign of misinformation and intimidation currently underway in their name in Stoke-on-Trent. 2. To apologise for their members and activists who have been involved in stirring up community tensions and to suspend all those involved in the text scandal and have them removed from the Labour Party campaign with immediate effect. 3. For Gareth ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

The 12 year old Paul Nuttall may well have been at Hillsborough, however, the fact that he and/or his staff have subsequently sought to build up a personal mythology around that tragedy is clearly inappropriate and insulting to the families of those who died and to the community in which they were rooted. As the Independent reports, the false claim that Mr. Nuttall lost "close personal friends" in the Hillsborough disaster was made twice on his website and repeated in a news story on the BBC. These claims have sat on his website for over five years without any apparent ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

It is looking increasingly bad for Labour in the two by elections to be held on February 23rd, i.e. next Thursday. The Tories have a small but steady lead in Copeland, and barring a herculean ground campaign on the day, Labour are almost certain to lose. Corbyn and his inner circle seem to have all but acknowledged this. In Stoke, UKIP have a large lead – which is growing – but Labour might hang on just through the almost dependable awfulness of UKIP's ground effort on the day mixed with UKIP's other gaffes throughout the whole campaign, which are too ...

Posted by Nick on

Having, on behalf of residents, raised the poor condition of pavements along Balgay Road and in the short west part of Scott Street west of Balgay Road (towards the Balgay Park entrance) in the past, I am pleased to see the long-awaited resurfacing now being completed. Here's a plan of the works kindly supplied to me by Tayside Contracts and a couple of photos of the works :

Polio then and now: the story of a crippling disease on the verge of worldwide eradication Well told. (tags: health polio ) The Sleeper Walter Jon Williams, @worldcon75 GoH, on Roger Zelazny and Wild Cards. (tags: sf ) 13 things you didn't know about Brexit Some key numbers from the European Parliament via @POLITICOEurope. (tags: brexit eu ukpolitics ) What to Learn from Trump's Learning Curve My colleague @HotraMHotra on what to look out for. (tags: ) Gagauzia, Land of the Straight-Nosed Turks I spent an afternoon there in 2011. (tags: moldova )

Thu 16th


I woke at 4am. I was filled with this pain that I couldn't immediately place. I had to run to the bathroom and I was violently sick. And as I sat there, crying, sweat sticking the hair to my forehead, it all came rushing back to me. My dog died. And to many, that's a [...]

Posted by Becca Plenderleith on Some Ramblings.

After completing That Lucky Old Sun, Brian Wilson went into one of his periodic creative slumps, discovering that he was, at least temporarily, unable to write new songs. Making an album of cover versions seemed the obvious option to keep ... Continue reading →

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