A full dozen council by-elections this week, with one Lib Dem defence in the mix. That one is in Scotland, caused by Jamie Stone's victory in the general election resulting in him now standing down as a local councillor. Across the twelve, there are 10 Lib Dem candidates including in the first result in, from a ward which didn't have a Lib Dem candidate on the last three outings: Labour HOLD Toddbrook (Harlow). — Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 28, 2017

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Wenlock Priory, says Wikipedia, is a ruined 12th century monastery, located in Much Wenlock, Shropshire. Following the dissolution in 1540, several buildings, including the late 15th-century Prior's House, were converted into a private residence later known as Wenlock Abbey. Today Wenlock Abbey is owned by Gabriella Drake, star of Crossroads and sister of Nick Drake. As at Fountains Abbey, the medieval ruins have been turned into a folly in the park of the great house. I also like the rather poorly focused topiary.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Earlier this year, I copied and pasted all the Facebook posts from when Bob was ill last year into a single document. I meant to post them up here with a bit of elaboration. Then some daft woman called an ... Continue reading →

Posted by caronlindsay on Caron's Musings

Embed from Getty Images In the course of my day job I went to an event on the psychology and wellbeing of military personnel. A session on mental health saw general agreement that the biggest issue facing the Forces in that field was alcohol misuse. I thought of that when I heard about Ben Stokes, Alex Hales and the unpleasantness in Bristol the other evening. Cricket shares many features with military life - slightly awkward male camaraderie, periods of boredom followed by periods on nerve shredding excitement, public school officers - and alcohol seems to play the same central role ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

A snap by-election on Sefton MBC in Merseyside could see John Pugh, Lib Dem MP for Southport until he stood down in 2017, make a return as a councillor. He previously served as one for 14 years until his election as MP in 2001. If successful, John would be following in a expanding line of former Lib Dem MPs who have gained council seats in recent times, people such as Adrian Sanders, Tessa Munt, Mark Hunter and John Leech. The by-election takes place on Thursday 2nd November in Dukes Ward (which covers Southport Town Centre and West Birkdale) following the ...

Posted by Simon Shaw on Liberal Democrat Voice

Embed from Getty Images Here are the first two stanzas to mark National Poetry Day. To a writer on his birthday August for the people and their favourite islands. Daily the steamers sidle up to meet The effusive welcome of the pier, and soon The luxuriant life of the steep stone valleys The sallow oval faces of the city Begot in passion or good-natured habit Are caught by waiting coaches, or laid bare Beside the undiscriminating sea. Lulled by the light they live their dreams of freedom, May climb the old road twisting to the moors, Play leapfrog, enter cafes, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of third chapter: Is your mother going on the road much these days?' they would ask me, and I would say no, oh no, she isn't going out much anymore, but I knew they knew I lied. "Not much time for ironing," they might continue compassionately, examining the sleeve of my blouse. "Not much time for ironing when she has to go out on the road." I've become a huge fan of Alice Munro's short fiction over the last few years, and so I approached this, marketed as her only novel, with anticipation but also trepidation; would she ...

I've been thinking a lot recently about what Boris Johnson is trying to do, and why he's trying to do it. In particular, I've been wondering why he seems to be deliberately trying to mess up every negotiation he's involved ... Continue reading →

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

Have you ever heard the following? "The government should stop subsidising exploitation wages." "I work hard for my money. Families on child tax credits need to get up off their backsides." If you've canvassed on council estates you probably have. And, no doubt, the #labservatives have too, which is why both of them supported massive cuts to welfare. There are good reasons for continuing with in-work benefits. The policy of both Labour and the Conservatives is to raise the minimum wage and cut benefits. This will result in employers replacing lower paid employees with automation; reorganising their business to employ ...

Posted by George Kendall on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 28th

An Apology

I would like to tender an apology in advance of the coming year: I will be using this blog, in part, to enable me to untangle the thoughts that arise during the MA. Image Source: freespiritandmind.com In a sense I am actually taking the blog back to its roots, as it began as part of my BA (where has the time gone? 2014, really?!) During that degree, I learned that I absorbed information best through a combination of Read/Write bias and Kinesthetic learning. So, after I write up my notes from each session, I plan to condense them into a ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing

Embed from Getty Images You have to hand it to the Conservatives: their bottomless incompetence has united the two sides of British industry. Today Frances O'Grady, General Secretary of the Trades Union Congress, and Carolyn Fairbairn, Director-General of the Confederation of British Industry, issued this joint statement: After 15 months of human poker, the uncertainty facing 4 million European and UK citizens has become intolerable. It is a blight on the values of our nations. Millions of workers and thousands of firms are today united in their call to leaders on both sides to find an urgent solution. A clear ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Thu 28th

Tom of Finland

I have never been a fan of the drawings of Tom of Finland, skillfully executed but to my mind grotesque caricatures of gay sex role models, from leather bikers to sadistic cops, all with bubble butts and humongous genitalia. However, they were phenomenally popular; when I was in California in the mid-1970s, researching my biography [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Thu 28th

My tweets

Wed, 12:41: RT @BootstrapCook: People snarking at the Laura K bodyguard story should remember that last year a female MP was murdered by a political ex... Wed, 15:23: Just to finish the story: I asked for my article to be deleted from the book, and the publishers have duly done so. https://t.co/bfgjV5gvgl Wed, 18:17: Austerity Britain, 1945-51, by David Kynaston https://t.co/rn2WTFoFsE Wed, 20:48: Demise of a PR giant: The inside story of Bell Pottinger's collapse https://t.co/egfnoaNqnW Grimly fascinating. Wed, 22:02: Thread. https://t.co/QlSMIXZvI7 Wed, 22:44: In case anyone still thinks Germans have no sense of humour. https://t.co/XZvEH11Ssn Thu, 08:00: RT @2001_italia: ...

miss_s_b | The Blood is the Life for 27-09-2017 I posted The Blood is the Life for 27-09-2017 to my dreamwidth blog [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Humble pie is a difficult dish to eat. I have had to eat a very large helping when it comes to the Labour Party, after their success in the general election. But now Labour's Autumn conference is over, I need to venture back into the fray. On reflection, I got two things badly wrong. The ... Continue reading Is Jeremy Corbyn channelling Margaret Thatcher? →

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

First there was Brexit. Then the Dutch election when the PVV showed a more than 30 per cent gain. Then the unexpectedly good electoral performance of Corbyn's openly 1950s socialist Labour party in the UK. Then France - the collapse of traditional parties and the success of Macron's En Marche - seemingly sweeping all before [...] The post Conventional politicians. reckless voters and the new normal appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Opinion - Radix

We know that women born in the 1950s are facing real struggles because of a steep rise in the age at which they become entitled to their state pension. They were not properly informed of decisions taken years ago and so have not had time to prepare. If we think that this is unfair, the most important thing that we can do is to gather evidence about the real impact of this on women's lives. Women are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and so will have less entitlement to occupational pensions. This means that many women will ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

The decision by the United States Government to impose punitive tariffs on Canadian aircraft maker Bombadier has underlined the folly of those Brexiteers who have been pointing towards the US as a potential free trade partner once we leave the EU. Bombardier received £113m in repayable funding from the UK government in a deal that is very much in line with the way that aircraft makers are funded. They are now faced with a tariff that will more than triple the cost of a C-Series aircraft sold in the US to about $61m per plane. The decision puts 4,000 jobs ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Ormskirk's Station where Merseyrail and Norther trains meet Whilst as I wrote this posting the final confirmation was still yet to appear on Network Rail's online timetables my reliable information is that on Sundays 1st, 8th & 22nd of October the Ormskirk – Preston railway line will see trains operating. The plan, I am told, is to operate six round trips between Preston and Ormskirk to the timetable below, including calls at all stations (Burscough Junction, Rufford & Croston) in both directions. It's possible that this timetable may change slightly. I also understand that there will be a replacement bus ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Dundee Voluntary Action and Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership are working together to see what accessible transport solutions can be created to help people with issues accessing public transport, to help them get out and do what they want to do. There is clearly a gap in transport for people who do not drive and are not able to access public transport. It is vital that residents who are elderly, disabled, frail and vulnerable have an accessible transport option to reduce isolation for the people who currently cannot get out and about. A consultation is underway and it closes ...


On Wednesday, the South Planning Committee gave the final approval for the petrol filling station and convenience store on Bromfield Road. Committee members voted unanimously to allow the fuel tanks to be sited below ground. Work on clearing the site prior to construction is already underway, so we can expect it to open next spring. The filling station has permission to serve fuel 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The store hours will be limited to 6am to midnight. I have said that while I support the plans for a new petrol filling station and store, I cannot ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington