Given what I tend to end up doing for the most part, it often surprises people to discover that, not only do I find bureaucracy a bit tedious, I find process a bit restrictive. I am a bit of a grasshopper, in that I like to hop from task to task, doing whatever appeals to me at the time. That does not, obviously, engender absolute reliability, in that tasks tend to get done when I remember them. Fortunately, I have a very good memory and a willingness to do things at unusual times (normally between midnight and three o'clock in ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on A liberal amongst the country gentry...

Features the man who said he had invented an invisible battleship which was stolen by the Ministry of Defence and moored in the Thames outside Parliament.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Last month I went to take some photos of Northampton's Eleanor Cross because there are concerns about its state of repair. Now Graham Evans from the Northampton Battlefield Society has written an article on the currents state of play for The Pipeline. He explains: A major part of the problem is that with a Monument that is listed and under the protection of Historic England you just can't go and pull the weeds out and slap on some Polyfilla. And although it is under HE's protection, they don't own it.So who does own it? The prime candidates are Northampton Borough ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Scotland's Police force has been beset with difficulties since its 8 Police forces were merged into a single entity five years ago. Some of these difficulties have come to light because police officers have reported their concerns to politicians and the media. So what is the Police management plan to deal with this? Simples. Just make police officers register every single contact with politicians or journalists. If they don't they could find themselves in big trouble. Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie has called for the intervention of the Justice Secretary and Scottish Police Authority to ensure that the police ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Earlier today, Shropshire Council announced that it is to take a different approach to getting decent broadband to rural premises. It will be using the high-speed wireless technology provided by Airband, a Worcester based company that is already delivering to many areas in Wales and the Marches. The £11.2 million contract is long overdue and very welcome. We need high speed broadband across all rural areas for our work, education, health and social needs. The great advantage of this system is that it does not rely on expensive broadband cabinets or the lumbering telecoms giant, BT to get broadband to ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

The last time Lord Bonkers met Freddie and Fiona they were working for a newspaper called the New New European. When I saw this tweet today, I reflected once again that the old boy has a better idea of what is going on than most of us. Are you ready for the NEW New European? πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ“°πŸ˜ƒ— The New European (@TheNewEuropean) July 9, 2017

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of third chapter:The flourishing field of evolutionary psychology argues that many of our present-day social and psychological characteristics were shaped during this long pre-agricultural era. Even today, scholars in this field claim, our brains and minds are adapted to a life of hunting and gathering. Our eating habits, our conflicts and our sexuality are all the result of the way our hunter-gatherer minds interact with our current post-industrial environment, with its mega-cities, aeroplanes, telephones and computers. This environment gives us more material resources and longer lives than those enjoyed by any previous generation, but it often makes us ...

Mon 10th

Big Ideas Notebook

I have a notebook called "Big Ideas". I didn't actually mean to buy a notebook called Big Ideas - I was looking for something to write revision notes in for my Open University exam in June, and picked up a packet of three and one of them came with the front cover emblazoned with "Big Ideas". But something quite interesting has happened. I have a long commute and drive a lot as part of my job, and especially after the commute in the morning, I often have a few minutes before starting work and I just jot any ideas down. ...

Posted by Louise Ankers on From one of the Jilted Generation...

Embed from Getty Images One of the things that most struck me about the arguments made by the supporters of Brexit during the EU referendum was that they seemed, in their essence, to be based on emotion. There were many arguments put forward for Brexit that presented it as a rational economic choice, but these arguments were clearly secondary, almost an afterthought, to the ones based on British exceptionalism and distrust of anything foreign. And yet when you pressed Brexit supporters, as I quite often did, on these points and suggested that perhaps those of us supporting the EU both ...

Posted by M P Hoskins on Liberal Democrat Voice

For those of you who have never experienced them, I will tell you a little bit about "Putin bots" on Twitter. I have no idea who actually runs these accounts or how they are manned, but they are a group of tweeters that fly at you on Twitter if you've crossed the wrong account – particularly on anything to do with Syria. Typically, they are Twitter accounts that throw things at you like, "You douchbag why den't you shutup with your ignorant you know nothing about Assad who is hero America cause all problems in Mid East". What they say ...

Posted by Nick on

Yesterday, I headed over to Chopwell Woods for the Woodfest hosted by Land of Oak and Iron. Lots of woodland skills on display, especially for those like me who are aiming to be self-sufficient.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

The first Leadership hustings will take place this Saturday in London. Why a hustings, I hear you ask, given that there is only one candidate? Technically nominations close next Monday, so until then the advice is that we cannot assume that there will not be a contest (although, of course, the chances of a challenge are minimal). The Social Liberal Forum Conference is holding the hustings at 1.30pm at Resource for London, 356 Holloway Road, London, N7 6PA. Vince Cable has agreed to take part. If any other candidates do come forward before Saturday then they will, of course, be ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice
Mon 10th

Great Britons

I spent last week walking on the Western edge of the Chilterns with an Anglo-French group. As is our custom we took a day off from walking midweek and did touristy things. In this location the obvious choice was Cambridge, where we took a ride on a punt on the river, which was very good value, and a walking tour round the colleges, which had the cheek to charge £20 per head ( though as "concessions" we got it for £18) which included all " entry fees to colleges," but as we didn't actually enter any, or King's College Chapel, ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal
Mon 10th

Marley Hill Funday

In between two visits to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on Saturday to visit my friend who was on the emergency assessment ward, I managed to get up to Marley Hill Community Centre to call in on the funday. The centre has been transferred to the Vineyard Church. They will continue to run it as a community centre but they will also invest in the building and use it as a base for their own

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace
Mon 10th

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: German industry warns UK not to expect help in Brexit talks In case anyone still believed the Brexiteers' fairy ta... Sun, 15:21: RT @worldcon75: Six days to go! Online voting in #TheHugoAwards closes at 23:59 Pacific Daylight Time on 15 July 2017! Sun, 16:05: King of the Cyprob swindle Devastating Greek Cypriot critique of President Anastasiades. Sun, 17:49: Sunday reading Sun, 19:03: RT @davidallengreen: You know those German car manufacturers who were going to arrive, like the cavalry, to save UK from a Hard Brexit? ht... Sun, 20:27: RT @mrjamesob: Very cynical shift from ...

Mon 10th

Blue light and siren

I thought when Dad died in May, I wouldn't be visiting the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Gateshead for a while to come. How wrong I was. A friend who has been in poor health has been staying with us recently to help him recover. Last week he deteriorated significantly. On Friday, I called the 111 service and by the end of the call, an ambulance had been ordered. I went with the ambulance to the QE

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Even top Leave campaigner Dominic Cummings said "there's a strong democratic case for" holding a referendum on the terms of Brexit once they have been negotiated: Even Dominic Cummings assumed there would be a second referendum on the terms of Brexit, as "there's a strong democratic case for it". — Georgy Bradders (@GeorgyBradders) July 8, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Yate, Thornbury and Winterbourne Libraries will be closing for 2 weeks each to install the equipment for users to access them during unstaffed hoursunder the new seven-day-a-week opening arrangements, due to start in October. Borrowers will be able to gain access ith an upgraded library card. If your local library is closed for a few days, you will be able to access another library relatively close by. You can still make reservations and renew books online and you won't get a fine if your book is due back while the library is closed. The project has been designed so that ...

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

Dementia has been a big part of my life. Over the years I have worked with people with dementia in some of our most deprived communities in south London - Brixton, Elephant and Castle, Peckham, Old Kent Road and the surrounding (often high-rise) estates. I have therefore felt very torn by the party's recent headlong charge for the populist line on the "dementia tax". As a (naturally pretty tribal) Lib Dem of three decades standing I recognised a fantastic campaigning issue that might help claw back a few coastal "retirement" seats. However, I also knew that the inaccurate use of ...

Posted by Ruth Bright on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Plymouth Herald wins our Headline of the Day Award. Thanks to the reader who alerted me to this story.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

It struck a number of people over the last few days that Volvo's decision to phase out the internal combustion engine from 2019 onwards may not be as environmentally friendly as first appeared if we do not also change the way we generate electricity. New developments in battery technology as well, may mean that in future we will need to recharge car batteries less often, assuming that mobile phone technology can be adapted to the automobile industry, but whilst we have the current mix of energy generation to provide that charge, we are continuing to contribute to climate change. This ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

The next West End Police Surgery takes place at Blackness Library today - details below :

Turnbridge Road site as it is today One thing I did not do in my last posting about what went on at the Sefton Council Planning Committee last Wednesday was to mention how the political parties voted over this contentious matter. (I often do not dabble in the politics behind some of my postings when I am sharing them on other forums where party political comment is inappropriate) What I saw was 7 Labour votes for the planning application and 5 votes against as follows – 3 Lib Dem, 1 Tory, 1 Independent. Frankly, this is no surprise to those ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

According to data released today (Monday) from the Institute for Fiscal Studies families dependent on fathers' earnings alone have average incomes no higher than 15 years ago. Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "Millions of families are no better off than they were 15 years ago. These people are the just about managing and they have been betrayed by Theresa May. "In 2017, people should not be sitting there at the end of month worrying if they can buy essentials or public sector workers having to go to food-banks. "The Prime Minister said she would help ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

The A49 has reopened at Onibury. Hopefully, we will never see the like of this again. The A49 was closed for more than nine days. The rail line was replaced by a slow bus service for four weekends in a row, and the previous Sunday. This closure had to happen at short notice because Network Rail had failed to upgrade and repair the Onibury crossing over several years. The result is that trade in Ludlow has been lower than normal. The diversions were lengthy and often confusing. Many drivers took local diversions, some suitable, some not. Culmington suffered due to ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington