Sixteen years ago today, John Prescott punched someone. You probably remember that, but do you remember anything else from the 2001 election? In my mind, it's always been politics as scripted by Samuel Beckett: there was a lot of talking by bizarre and unreal characters, but at the end very little of consequence had actually changed. Unlike Beckett (or like him, depending on your perspective), there wasn't any desire on anyone's part to see it happen again. Now, this election doesn't feel like one where nothing much is going to change after it, but it does feel like one that's ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With

I keep my goats and poultry on land I rent from the Whinnies Community Garden in Sunniside. In return I use the animals to promote the garden which caters for people with physical and mental health issues to experience gardening and the great outdoors. This video is all about the goat babies, the quail and hen chicks and a bit at the end of me bottle feeding one of the kids. The Whinnies

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

The Liberal Democrats will launch their manifesto for a brighter future tomorrow (Wednesday). Change Britain's Future is a plan for a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.Nothing is more important to our children's future than Brexit. A bad Brexit deal, with Britain outside the single market, will wreck the future for our children, our economy and our schools and hospitals. That's why at the heart of the manifesto is a commitment to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal in a referendum. ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Theresa May's UKIPTory government is ploughing on with Brexit, giving every impression that she expects to walk away after two years of talks with our current 27 EU partners without a deal. The one realistic part of her scenario is that Britain won't get a worthwhile deal if the Prime Minister and her unsavoury trio [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

We should be concerned about the possibility that the UK is about to have its last real general election for some time. Let's speak plainly. This UK election is a farce. Theresa May's campaign consists of three words. Labour are only campaigning to save seats. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems are treading water because May's timing ... Continue reading This could be the UK's last 'real' election. Prepare for the worst.

Posted by Tom King on Never Cruel Nor Cowardly

I rather like this from Jenny Wilson, the Liberal Democrat candidate in Aberdeen South: @JonnyChirnside @callum_mccaig @callumjodwyer @RossThomsonMSP Hello Jonathan [IMG: 👋] [IMG: 🏻] – I've utilised my artistic skills to show you what I stand for! If you have a follow up, please DM me #GE2017 — Jenny Wilson (@wilsjen) May 16, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Embed from Getty Images Interviewed by Ned Simon for Huffington Post, Vince Cable has been discussing the possibility that a new political party will be formed after the general election: Vince Cable has said the creation of a new political party in the UK depends on how the Liberal Democrats perform at the general election. ...Cable said "politics after the election may be more interesting than before it" if Jeremy Corbyn refuses to quit and the Labour party "fragments". ... Cable, 74, said it was "possible" a new party could emerge from the ashes of a left-wing collapse at the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Tue 16th

Coming This Week


Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!
Tue 16th

Six of the Best 692

Nick Barlow says those hoping for a British Macron have failed to grasp the fundamental differences between French and British politics. "The further away the problem, the easier it feels to resolve the ethics." Matthew Spencer discusses what the environment and development communities can learn from each other when it comes to achieving political impact, Isabelle Fraser, daughter of the documentary maker Nick Fraser, on his stroke and accepting a special Bafta on his behalf. David Butterfield offers 10 commandments for the public house. He is right about most things and "the handled glass and its quaint dimples" is an ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Our Headline of the Day Award returns to its natural home: the Shropshire Star.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of third chapter:'Why, I remember doing the very same thing myself!' her grandfather had often said to the younger, more easily influenced members of his family.I recorded that I enjoyed Mythago Wood six years ago, but I had largely forgotten it in the meantime, so I wa approaching this rather as if it was a completly new book. I really enjoyed it too, though, a great intense exploration of inner space and myth in English wilderness, with a rite of passage combined with quest for lost relative and connection with mythic figures from the collective unconscious. Anyone who ...

When everybody from Conservative Anna Soubry to Vince Cable, through to those on the Progress wing of Labour is talking about the need for a new centrist party, it is logical to assume someone has a plan to form one. Sometimes Paul Mason manages to stumble towards the truth. When I wrote about the problems in creating a new centre party a few weeks ago, I was aware that it was being discussed by various people, and while those thoughts and discussions may have been somewhat muted by the election, they've not completely come to an end. One thing above ...

Posted by Nick on What You Can Get Away With

What's this about? Earlier this year Westminster City Council announced a trial of emissions-based charging for diesel cars parking. They chose diesel cars, as they were considered to be some of the heaviest of polluting vehicles. A "polluter pays" principle will have the aim of reducing harmful vehicle emissions..... and any money raised will be spent [...]

Posted by Cllr Darren Fower on Cllr Darren Fower

So, for long enough, the Brexiteers have been telling us that the EU would be pretty much begging us for a trade deal and we'd easily get one within two years. Theresa May said last month that the deal could be done in two years , despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary. Paul Nuttall said that it would all be so easy. Well, in a sobering reality check, the European Court of Justice, who make the rules on this stuff, said today that all EU governments and national parliaments would have to agree such a deal. Remember how ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Last night, a rally attended by over 900 people launched the Progressive Alliance's campaign to support single anti-Tory candidates in a number of seats around the country. The event was addressed by Labour's Clive Lewis, Greens leader Caroline Lucas, Zoe Williams, Paul Mason and Make Votes matter. The Liberal Democrat speaker was former Social Liberal Forum Chair Naomi Smith. She has sent us her speech. Here it is: I'm Naomi Smith, former Liberal Democrat PPC for this constituency (Cities of London and Westminster), former chair of the Social Liberal Forum and very proud Remoaner! I'm not standing this time round, ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

I am not alone is suspecting that the early leak of the 2017 Labour Manifesto was not exactly 'accidental.' I thought perhaps they wanted to test the water on a few of their more extreme ideas. Now I am looking at the final document and I actually feel really sorry for Labour supporters. Boy have you been let down. There are things to applaud in it. I agree we need more money for things like health and social care, and I agree with the need to raise more revenue to achieve it. There are many people in desperate need across ...

Posted by Steve Guy on the sandals are off

The Independent has this opinion piece on its web site – see link above Quote 'Last year's Brexit referendum result was a catastrophe for Britain's young people, with almost 75 per cent of us voting to remain. As the initial shock subsided, the Tories clarified their plans to crash us out of the single market, restrict our rights to live, work and study throughout the EU, and leave us isolated on the world stage at a time when, in Theresa May's own words, the world needs the "liberal, democratic values of Europe".' With thanks to Roy Connell for the ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Liberal Democrats have announced they would end years of pay restraint for nurses, teachers and police by lifting the 1% cap on public sector pay and up-rating wages in line with inflation. The plans would lead to an estimated pay rise of £780 for the average public sector worker by 2021. In contrast, the Conservative's

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

Inflation has gone up to 2.7% today. This confirms long-held Liberal Democrat warnings about the impact of Brexit, with businesses struggling to contain rising costs and consumer demand being squeezed. Susan Kramer said: These worrying levels of inflation show the Brexit squeeze is hitting shopping baskets across the country. This is the reality of Theresa May and Nigel Farage's extreme Brexit agenda: higher prices in the shops, the cost of holidays going up and less money for our schools and NHS. A brighter future is possible. We will give people a choice over their future through a referendum, so they ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Speaking at the Royal College of Nursing Congress, the Leader of the Liberal Democrats, Tim Farron, has confirmed that the Party would reinstate student bursaries, which benefit nursing, midwifery and allied health students, with immediate effect. In 2015, the Conservative Government announced they would be scrapping

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

The Liberal Democrats would give a "start-up allowance' to help budding entrepreneurs with living costs in the first six months of setting up their business. The party is making a bold pitch to be the party of business with Tim Farron the only major party leader committed to Britain's membership of the single market. Tim

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

A video of all the doggie pictures I took on my phone yesterdayarthur whippet on Twitter:"Today me and @miss_s_b played tug with the flat rugby ball!" - happiest memory of the weekend right here. Harry Styles Lib Dem vote hint prompts pun-filled repsonse from leader Tim FarronAwww bless miss_s_b | Doctor Who: OxygenI didn't like it (contains spoilers) hollymath | Doctor Who: Oxygen (not a review so much as a rant)Holly explains eloquently why this weeks Doctor Who was so hurtful for her. Useful Tool for Lib Dems | Sci-Ence! Justice Leak!Find out where you might best use your talents ...

Theresa May was confronted over disability benefit cuts yesterday, during a rare encounter with ordinary people. Cathy Mohan, who lives in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, berated the Prime Minister over cuts to service and social security for people with learning disabilities. Watch the encounter here. Tim Farron said: Theresa May has shown she just doesn't care about people like Cathy who are seeing their benefits slashed and prices rise. Instead of addressing concerns over learning disabilities - she tried to change the subject to mental health. Theresa May isn't listening and is taking people for granted. People don't have to settle for ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

In the 2015 General Election the Labour Candidate criticised John Hemming for having an external interest and made a pledge that she would be a "Full Time MP for Yardley and my only other job will be mom & carer ...". Here is a copy of that pledge: Since that point she has been working on paid Television Programmes and has also written a book. John Hemming has made no secret of the fact that

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log
Tue 16th

Labour's dead cat bounce

In my weekly survey of Britain's general election, it does not look to have been a bad week for Labour. Their poll rating has hardened from the lower twenties to the upper twenties, and the leak of their manifesto moved the election agenda away from "strong and stable", the Tory slogan, to policy choices. Can ... Continue reading Labour's dead cat bounce →

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

Those who thought that the recent investigation by the Electoral Commission into how the parties spent and declared their expenditure during the 2015 General Election was the final word on the matter may need to think again. As the Independent reports things are moving so fast in the world of electoral politics and communications that it impossible for the law to keep up. The paper outlines how political parties to spend millions of pounds on locally targeted Facebook adverts with national campaign funds. They say that outdated rules mean parties can tailor hyper-local adverts on Facebook as part of a ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Copthorne councillor Peter Nutting, elected as leader of Conservative group on Shropshire Council last night, spoke to BBC Radio Shropshire about his forthcoming role as leader of the council. He talked about the council becoming a "doing council" and of investment in the business parks in market towns. He wants better quality jobs and sees opportunities arising from HS2 and building a Shropshire airport. In a reference to previous leaders, he said he was not panicked about money, declaring that "Shropshire is not a poor council." Speaking to Ryan Kennedy he said: "I hope it's going to be a very ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

There are going to be road works on another length of the B4465 Westerleigh Road from just west of Codrington to just east of Springs Farm. The usual alarming notice says that the closure "will be operative from the 3 July 2017 for a maximum period of eighteen months. The closure however may not be implemented for the whole of the period but only when signs are in position and only for so long as is necessitated by the works which are anticipated to be of 1 WEEK duration." So one week in the next eighteen months - once again, ...

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington

"I will not have it." said Tim, saying that the Tories treat nurses like dirt. He was talking to the Royal College of Nursing conference. Watch this clip here: He told them: The Government's decision to abandon bursaries for nursing students was clearly wrong. The evidence has shown a drastic fall in the number of people applying to study nursing following this dangerously short-sighted cut. We should be supporting more people into these vital professions - but instead this Government are putting up greater barriers. The Liberal Democrats are proud that we are committing to support nurses, midwives and other ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Responding to one of Theresa May's first interactions of the campaign with a real voter, in which she was confronted by a woman in Abingdon over cuts to disability benefits, Liberal Democrat Leader Tim Farron said: "Theresa May has shown she just doesn't care about people like Cathy who are seeing their benefits slashed and prices rise. "Instead of addressing concerns over learning disabilities - she tried to change the subject to mental health. "Theresa May isn't listening and is taking people for granted. "People don't have to settle for this cold, mean-spirited vision of Britain. "A better future is ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Commenting on Theresa May's announcement that the Conservatives are set to include a manifesto commitment to publish the ethnicity pay gap, former Lib Dem Business Minister Jo Swinson said: "In Coalition, I was successful in fighting an uphill struggle against the Conservatives to get gender pay gap reporting into law. To see the Conservatives first buckle under Lib Dem pressure in government to introduce gender reporting and now copy our manifesto commitment to close the ethnicity pay gap shows Theresa May is taking the Lib Dem threat seriously. "The bigger question is how can we take Theresa May seriously on ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrats have announced they would boost investment in police forces by £300m a year. This is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have overseen devastating cuts to community policing. Theresa May as Home Secretary and now Prime Minister has cut policing budgets by over £2bn, eroding the very fabric of community policing.Under the Liberal Democrats, South Wales would see a funding increase of £3,070,000 a year. This could be used to restore a visible policing presence in the community and ensure the police have the training and tools to deal with the changing nature of crime. Welsh Liberal ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

In the past few years, I have received numerous complaints from residents who live to the immediate north of the Riverside recycling centre and composting operation about the extent of the bad smell coming from the operation from time to time. I have raised these concerns on numerous occasions with the City Council's environment staff and undertook a site visit at their request to see the composting operation. The council promised an environmental audit to hopefully tackle the issue to minimise any further smell issues and I have received the following update from the City Council in the past few ...

Brexit: Avoiding the vortex @AndrewDuffEU warns how both sides could screw up. (tags: ukpolitics eu brexit )

Just a week ago, Malcolm Pate, the leader of Shropshire Council until the 4 May elections, was confident of being re-elected as leader of the Conservative group on Shropshire Council. The Conservative leader is always voted in as leader of the council. Now, the Conservative group have ousted Pate and replaced him by Shrewsbury councillor, Peter Nutting. Only a week ago, Malcolm Pate used an interview on BBC Radio Shropshire to boast of his confidence in seeing off any "superegos" that might challenge him. His task, he told the interviewers, was to get "the council out of the mire it ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

A story courtesy of fantasy author Neil Gaiman: Some years ago, I was lucky enough invited to a gathering of great and good people: artists and scientists, writers and discoverers of things. And I felt that at any moment they would realise that I didn't qualify to be there, among these people who had really [...]

Posted by Mark Mills on Matter Of Facts

Today's big Lib Dem policy is an extra £300m a year for the police over the next Parliament. Under Theresa May at the Home Office, and now as Prime Minister, the police have suffered over £2.2 billion worth of cuts in real terms. This represents a 22% real terms reduction. As of 31 March 2016 the total strength of the 43 police forces in England & Wales reached just over 124,000 FTE officers. This is the lowest number of police officers recorded under the current strength measure. Commenting on the announcement Lib Dem Home Affairs spokesperson, and former Deputy Assistant ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice