Before I went off to Shropshire for a week - hence my break from blogging - we visited the tombs of the Earls and Dukes of Rutland in Bottesford church. There I wrote that one of the tombs has some dark history attached to it. That tomb is the grandest one in the church: the tomb of Francis Manners, the sixth Earl, and his two wives and children. And you will see above that the inscription on the tomb attributes the deaths of two of those children to "wicked practise & sorcerye". Witchcraft tells the story behind this: The Witches ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Wed 9th

Swalwell Focus

The Whickham North Focus Team have produced their latest Focus on Swalwell which is currently being delivered. Issues covered include fly tipping, anti-social behaviour, planning issues, Whickham Library update and the Swalwell Fayre (taking place is Saturday).

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

In the contest to be the host of the Commonwealth Games in 2022, the North East England bid was nowhere to be seen. Nick Forbes, who splits his time between polishing his halo and leading Newcastle City Council, announced a possible bid to take on the Games in 2015 when he said, "I would like a devolution deal to look seriously at major investment in rural broadband and a big unifying project

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

You may recall that it was announced last month that plans to electrify the line from St Pancras to Sheffield have been scrapped. The line is currently electrified to Bedford. That will be extended to Kettering and Corby, but no further. Services to Leicester, Nottingham, Derby and Sheffield will be provided by new bi-mode trains that will take power from the overhead lines as far as Kettering and use diesel engines north of there. Then the other day there was this story from Chris Doidge, BBC Radio Derby's political reporter: BBC Radio Derby's learned that the government's decision to scrap ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Tim Gordon has stepped down as the Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats. In a statement today, he said: It has been an honour to work for the Party for the past half decade. These have not been easy years but I am proud to have worked with both Nick Clegg and Tim Farron who so clearly and eloquently articulated the Liberal voice that Britain needs. We now have a great new leader and deputy in place and after the challenges of the past few years this feels like an appropriate moment for a change. There are other opportunities that ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 9th


Over the next couple of months there will be marches against Brexit in London and Manchester and doubtless other places, as those of us who believe passionately that Britain is better off as a member of the European Union try to stop the Conservative government making the biggest mistake since Suez. In fact, Brexit — [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

It is noticeable that Venezuela is prominent in the British media at the moment. To be honest, the chaos of a typical Latin American banana republic seldom causes such interest, but given the links between the Venezuelan Government and Jeremy Corbyn, its failure is a convenient stick to beat him with. And let's be honest, things are bad there. I had the opportunity to go to Caracas in December 2015, when things were already falling apart, inflation was spiralling and the bolivar was on its way to toilet paper status. At that point, the government had stopped publishing most economic ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Our Headline of the Day Award goes to the Australian newspaper The Age.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

VInce Cable set the ball rolling a month ago with a simple remark: "I'm beginning to think that Brexit may never happen." It brought into focus the reality that our deeply divided government is failing to progress the Brexit negotiations and doesn't even know what it wants to achieve as an outcome. (Nor, for that matter, does the Labour opposition). Within a fortnight the talk was all of the need for a 'transitional arrangement'. Even Brexiteers who once told us that Britain's separation from the EU could be achieved within six months now appear happy to endorse Philip Hammond's suggestion ...

Posted by Chris Davies on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 9th

My tweets

Tue, 19:56: Worldcon karaoke! (@ Kaivopihan karaokekellari) Wed, 09:36: Today is Tove Jansson's 103rd birthday. These are the three statues of her in Helsinki by her father. @worldcon75... Wed, 10:06: Suit hired for Hugos - efficient and cheerful service! (@ Suomen Pukuvuokraamo in Helsinki) Wed, 11:31: RT @kittygbooks: Discussing freedom of movement with Exit West as the focus. A novel with portals to travel all over the world! #booktubeW... Wed, 11:44: RT @rebelrebel62: #Worldcon75 Achievement 9 unlocked: first panel! (Fantasies of Free Movement) Wed, 11:44: RT @andicbuchanan: First panel: Fantasies of Free Movement #Worldcon75 Wed, 11:44: ...


I read Perfect Prey (D.I. Callanach, #2) - here's my review on Goodreads I quite liked it, but found a few bits frustrating. Overall v entertaining, though. [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats have joined the objections to Welsh Government land in Baglan being sold to the Ministry of Justice for a prison. The prison being sited on the business park will tend to deter firms from setting up there and it will be a poor advertisement for Briton Ferry and Neath, being visible from the GWR main line. Although it is defined as a category C prison, there would be a danger of more dangerous convicts being housed there because of overspill from England's historically high prison population. Frank Little, candidate for Neath in the general election, ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Embed from Getty Images The Liberal Democrats have a unique opportunity to occupy the centre ground in UK politics. At least, this is the assertive and ambitious pitch set out by new party leader Vince Cable MP. On the face of it, this is a compelling argument, coming just as the Labour and Conservative parties seem to be in thrall to their fringes and flirting with a hard Brexit. Moreover, it is now evident that many remainers voted Labour to deny the Conservatives a clear majority for a hard Brexit, and are likely to be less than enamoured by Corbyn's ...

Posted by Rory Domm on Liberal Democrat Voice

In the Shropshire Star yesterday, Ludlow Chamber of Commerce made the case for a multistorey car park in Ludlow. In an attack on Shropshire Council's proposed car parking strategy, Tish Dockerty, secretary of the Chamber said: "What Shropshire Council has failed to realise is that Ludlow needs more parking spaces. The most effective way of making more money for their coffers is to build a multistorey car park which could be filled a hundred times over. However there has been no or little investment of this type by Shropshire Council." Do we need a multistorey car park? Do we want ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

Faced with a growing deficit, NHS chiefs have proposed a series of changes to local health services to cut costs. You can find out more about their plans and how to have your say on their website. Most controversially, they are proposing to limit fertility treatment to women between 30 and 35 years of age. They already only fund one treatment, rather than the NICE recommendation of up to 3. This would mean that access to fertility treatment was even more limited. Your have until 15th September to have your say on this - some of the other consultations finish ...

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

Ten years ago, the financial system began its collapse before governments intervened to save it. Much of the subsequent legislation, regulation and angst has been directed at attempts to make the system less risky, so it does not collapse again. But what is the social function of the financial system and does it do this [...] The post Why are financial markets still corroding wealth ten years after the crash? Because they are based on a lie appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Nick Silver on Opinion - Radix

Corbynistas have taken to social media to defend their hero in the face of a fairly relentless right-wing onslaught on the topic of the Labour leader's refusal to say a single bad thing about Maduro and his regime. When pushed by the press to condemn the Venezuelan leadership, Corbyn said: "What I condemn is the violence that's been done by any side, by all sides, in all this. Violence is not going to solve the issue." This is classic Corbyn. Yes, Maduro may be doing bad stuff – but so are the opposition. We should just stay out of it ...

Posted by Nick on

So we know that Home Bargains is going to occupy the new store on the old Maghull Library/former Stafford Moreton Youth Centre site but have you seen the weeds that are growing in the 'landscaped' parts of the site! Click on the photo to enlarge it Who is the land owner I wonder and when will their grounds maintenance regime kick in? As a Maghull in Bloom volunteer my view is that we need the owner to step up and make the landscaped parts of the site a credit to Maghull and the sooner the better please.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Nobody can govern in isolation. Ministers need to engage with the outside world to help attract trade, to build contacts and influence with other governments and bodies so as to secure benefits which we can all enjoy, and of course, to learn from the work of others to improve public services. I have no problem therefore with this piece on Walesonline, which details the £150,000 spent by Welsh Ministers travelling around the World last year. In my view, if the £30,936 spent by the First Minister, a private secretary, special advisor and press officer to go to Washington DC and ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black



The 1979 Prometheus Award was originally intended as a one-off event, awarded by the writer L. Neil Smith (who would himself go on to win three of the awards once the Libertarian Futurist Society established itself in 1982 and started ... Continue reading →

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