I had a meeting tonight of the Whickham Library volunteers. The library closed as a council facility earlier this year but then reopened as a voluntary library in July. I am one of the trustees but I am also helping with communications. Tonight I outlined my proposals for an email newsletter for library users to help promote the library and its activities. The proposals were accepted and I will

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

I was interviewed by BBC Radio Newcastle yesterday about Jeremy Corbyn. It was broadcast this morning. The article is 19 min 30 sec into the programme, after the feature on speedos and tight lycra! Only a small part of the interview was used but generally, my points were that Corbyn can't win from the left and needs to capture the centre ground; while he had a record increase in the number of

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Good news! The series of Shoestring are about to be released on DVD. The Network on Air site says: Trevor Eve stars as radio "Private Ear" Eddie Shoestring in the massively successful BBC drama series. Co-created by Robert Banks Stewart, Shoestring also stars Michael Medwin as Eddie's long-suffering boss Don Satchley; Liz Crowther as station receptionist Sonia; and Doran Godwin as Eddie's landlady, on-off lover and occasional assistant Erica. This complete-series set also features appearances from Diana Dors, Harry H. Corbett, Toyah Wilcox, Geraldine James and Michael Elphick. Poison phone-ins and threats to a disc jockey lead Radio West to ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

You should always be careful when something is repeatedly said but rarely sourced. Not only with hyper about technology but also with claims about what the public thinks. Case in point: it's rather rare to find an article about the state of the Liberal Democrats that doesn't contain some reference to the party's current level of (un)popularity being down to 'the voters hated the Lib Dems going into coalition and still haven't forgiven them'. The evidence, however, has consistently been rather different as a new YouGov poll demonstrates: Which of these comes closest to your view? The Liberal Democrats were ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Embed from Getty Images Remember this post from June? Though he was acquitted of murder at the Old Bailey, there seems little doubt that Eastbourne's Dr John Bodkin Adams was a serial killer along the lines of Harold Shipman. The town's rich widows had a habit of changing their wills in his favour and then expiring shortly afterwards. As well as having a general practice, Bodkin Adams worked at All Saints Hospital. And who was chaplain of All Saints Hospital, Eastbourne, at the time of Bodkin Adams' arrest in 1956? The Revd Hubert Brasier, better known today as the father ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

In his foreword to the new Liberator Songbook, Lord Bonkers addressed himself to those attending for the first time: You may see impressionable young journalists wandering around the hall. If you do, please be gentle with them. Newspapers publish horrified exposés of the Glee Club ever year. I think there must be some sort of legal requirement upon them, so it is best not to worry about it too much.Sure enough, Tim Sculthorpe, the deputy political editor of Mail Online, went along and came away with revelations to freeze his readers' blood: You may see impressionable young journalists wandering around ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

As if we needed any further proof that the best people were born in 1967 after Nick and I celebrated our Golden Jubilees this year, it is Willie Rennie's special day today. I wonder if he celebrated it like this. If you look at the longer post, you can see him actually giving a political interview on a slide. He probably didn't do anything like this: Or have an alpacalypse. It's an alpacalypse! #GE2017 #winninghere pic.twitter.com/CGMLVVmkkW — Willie Rennie (@willie_rennie) May 27, 2017 And we hope to goodness he didn't meet any angry rams. He might have had another Lady ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Before we start looking at this book properly, a little note on something about my edition of it - in the introduction to the ebook edition, the author says "Thanks largely to Jim Frenkel and Tor Books, who believed in ... Continue reading →

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

Ahead of the meeting of Shropshire's Clinical Commissioning Group on Thursday, 28 September, Tracey Huffer says the paperwork gives a gloomy prognosis for Ludlow Hospital. The Maternity Unit is closed. Services have been stripped out of the hospital. The commercially oriented NHS company, PropCo, wants to hike the rent. It costs more to run the few services left at Ludlow Community Hospital because health chiefs have left us with a half empty building. Tracey Huffer, Shropshire Councillor for Ludlow East and a practising nurse, believes the writing is on the wall for Ludlow's community hospital. "We are witnessing the closure ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

The Liverpool Women's Hospital provides an important service to women and new-born babies. We must carefully and rationally consider its future. Four years ago, the life of my grandson Jonah was saved by the staff at the Women's Hospital. He ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

Second paragraph of third chapter [context: it is May/June 1945]:For Henry St John, working a few days later in Midsomer Norton, there was as ever only frustration — 'I tried in vain to buy some Ovaltine, this being the 11th successive shop at which I failed to get it, although it continues to be widely advertised' — but there was some compensation when, on the train back to Bristol, an American soldier gave him a Camel cigarette. The American influence, and indeed anything that smacked of the modern, did not play well with Ernest Loftus in Essex. `Mrs Williams [the ...

Last Tuesday, I visited the CNN Center in Atlanta, Georgia, USA. I don't have any great insight on CNN Center which will interest LDV readers, except to say that it is absolutely humungous, gives the impression of being an extremely professional organisation and, if you're ever within striking distance of Atlanta, I would thoroughly recommend a tour. I booked well in advance for a "VIP tour". This is a few more dollars than a standard tour and you see a few more control rooms and studios. It is to CNN's credit that they organise such tours. You can no longer ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

Responding to the news that Saudi Arabia's King Salman has issued an order allowing women to be given driving licences, Lib Dem Foreign Affairs spokesperson and deputy leader Jo Swinson said: "It's 2017; this is welcome but decades overdue. Of course it is good news for women in Saudi Arabia, but they continue to face oppression, such as the guardianship laws that put men in control of women's lives. "This news must not be allowed to act as a smokescreen to distract from Saudi's most recent crackdown on human rights and freedom of expression, and the international community must also ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

A new rule around combatting anti-Semitism has been adopted by the Labour Party at their conference in Brighton. Good, glad to hear it. Except that surrounding it was a heated battle that hasn't abated within the party. On stage during the debate regarding the motion, several figures stood up any said the party was trying to police "thought crime" via the proposed rule change. This was after a fringe event on Israel earlier that day in which it was wondered whether or not Jews should be expelled from the party. The attitude towards anti-Semitism the Left often adopts is mostly ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com

In the UK, we're used to elements of the Palace of Westminster reflecting past goings-on. The two sides of the House of Commons are seperated by enough space to accomodate the length of two swords. And there are little red silk loops for each MP to hang their sword in outside the chamber. So, what is this brass object (photo above) which is next to every desk in the Alabama State Senate? Any ideas? * Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is a councillor and one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 27th

My tweets

Tue, 16:29: 1/3 So, a couple of months ago I wrote a short article for a book edited by a chap I know, for free. Tue, 18:40: Synners, by Pat Cadigan https://t.co/QUVFgP2Adu Wed, 10:45: An Oxford student stabbed her boyfriend with a bread knife. So why was she not jailed? https://t.co/zx9Aj19Rrq Good read. Wed, 11:25: RT @ChukaUmunna: So May, Fox &co look to the US for a trade deal to make up for Brexit; US responds with a 220% tariff on a UK product http... Wed, 11:28: "the fundamental difference between being a fully-fledged member of an internal market and ...

miss_s_b | The Blood is the Life for 26-09-2017 I posted The Blood is the Life for 26-09-2017 to my dreamwidth blog [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

The sponsorship by Shell and BAE Systems of this weekend's New Scientist Live festival crosses an ethical red line, writes Chris Garrard, a campaigner and member of the Art Not Oil coalition In the past month we have witnessed record-breaking storms, provoking pressing questions about our changing climate, while the Cassini probe concluded an almost 20-year journey in space which has shaped our understanding of the solar system. It is perhaps the ideal moment for the New Scientist to be hosting "the world's most exciting festival of ideas" - New Scientist Live - an event which is "rooted in the ...

Posted by Chris Garrard on Political science | The Guardian

Richard Coward, writing for American not for profit news site the Fair Observer, suggests that our Vince could lead a Government of national unity aimed at stopping Brexit or at least remaining the single market. It certainly requires the alignment of many disparate forces, but it's not the daftest scenario on the planet: Somehow or other, pro-European Labour and Conservative MPs are eventually going to have to find a way to cooperate with each other in the national interest. Only by doing so can they defeat the hard-line Brexiteers. Moreover, since the EU will only negotiate with a government, they ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Anyone from the Brexit side who had put their faith in a free trade deal with the USA must now be re-examining their position following the decision by Trump's government to bring in a massive tariff on Bombardier aircraft exports. Trump is a protectionist. When he talks of a "beautiful" trade deal with the UK following Brexit, he means it will be "beautiful" for the USA. After all, his campaign

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

This post is a version of one published on the Radix blog. There is a strange piece of British mythology in Geoffrey of Monmouth which I keep being reminded of. The head of Bran the Blessed (as distinct from Brian Blessed) was buried on Tower Hill in London and had a strange power to protect the nation - as long as it stayed put. King Arthur dug it up because he wanted the kudos for protecting the nation himself alone. The result: the Saxon invasion. I thought of this as I listened with fascination yesterday morning to a slightly blustery ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog

I listened with fascination yesterday morning to a slightly blustery interview on the Today programme with Labour's health spokesperson Jon Ashworth about PFI contracts and the future of the NHS in the coming winter. He is right of course that PFI contracts were often not fit for purpose, locking a changing NHS into bricks, mortar [...] The post The soft underbelly of the Labour Party appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Opinion - Radix
Wed 27th

Obituary for Tor Foster

Sad news, reported in the Bath Chronicle, that Tor Foster, married for almost half a century to Liberal Democrat peer and former Bath MP Don Foster, died last week. From their obituary: Tor supported Don ceaselessly in his political career. Intelligent, articulate, wise and warm she was universally admired, although always happier to take a back seat in public life. When they moved to Bath in 1992, after Don had unseated the sitting MP, Chris Patten, Tor took great pleasure in creating a fine home in Northend. Myrtle Cottage became a haven for family, friends and political colleagues alike. An ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

This was the scene on Tuesday 26th September as contractors were making a big impression on the site of Maghull's second railway station which is due to open in May 2018. The 3 car Merseyrail Class 508 EMU (508 139) has left the present Maghull Station and is heading for Town Green Station in Aughton on its way to Ormskirk. For those who don't know where this second railway station will be in the Town, it's on the Liverpool – Ormskirk line off School Lane (between the present Maghull & Town Green Stations) and the station building will be on ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

As if the performance of UK Government Ministers in negotiating with their EU counterparts was not woeful enough, the Independent reports that they have problems at home too. The paper says that Britain's Department for Exiting the European Union has only existed for 14 months but already more than 20 per cent of its staff have left: According to the Government's response to a freedom of information request submitted by Bloomberg, as of 18 August, 124 employees had left the department since it was set up, leaving 482. The churn on Cabinet office jobs reportedly soared from 20 per cent ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

The Friends of Balgay Autumn meeting takes place this coming Saturday (30th September) at 2pm at the Mills Observatory. In addition to the AGM, Jean Oudney (pictured right) of the Tayside Bat Group will give a talk about "Batty Tayside" - all welcome!

Blyth Town Council has a busy month of meetings scheduled for October:- Tuesday 3rd Allotments Committee Tuesday 10th Environment Services Committee Thursday 12th Community Grants Committee Thursday 19th Planning & Development Committee Tuesday 24th Events Committee Thursday 26th Staff Committee (*) All meetings are scheduled to start at 6:30 pm at Arms Evertyne House (*) Due to the nature of the matters to be discussed this meeting is likely to be largely in "Part II"

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton
Wed 27th

The Brexit nettle sting

I paid a visit to the Northumberland Cheese Company today and had a tour around the premises. It was a fascinating experience, especially as I am a cheese-producer myself, though on a tiny scale compared to this company (I have only one milking goat!) What rapidly became obvious however was how much this food manufacturer relied on easy trade with the EU, and especially with Holland, to produce

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

The latest email to Gateshead Lib Dem members was sent out this evening. Issues covered include conference, the forthcoming local elections, the North East regional conference in November, the local party AGM and North East for Europe. You can read the email on this link.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace