The Journal of Elections, Public Opinion and Parties (Volume 19, Number 1) back in 2009 had some still very relevant research into how many votes people cast in English local elections where there is more than one vacancy to be filled at once, for example in a three member ward with all the seats up for election at once: 7-15% of total potential votes are unused ... Unused votes occur when electors have a restricted choice of candidates, principally when parties fail to field as many candidates as there an available seats ... [and] unused votes stem from a misunderstanding ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Tue 3rd

Mind Maps

Can anyone explain to me how they are not just a pointlessly distracting and inefficient way of displaying a list? Is this an ASD thing? Like, are they genuinely helpful and useful for allistic folk but not for us? They must be useful to somebody, because enough people rave about how great they are, but I genuinely do not get them at all. (this post brought to you by trying to explain them to daughter and finding myself saying "look, they're pointless and shit, but if you've got to do one for your homework, you've got to do one for ...

Oh my. What a difference a year makes. I'm very conscious, and very grateful, that I've just watched Great British Bake Off without a care in the world. Well, when I say not a care, my bathroom is a shell ... Continue reading →

Posted by caronlindsay on Caron's Musings

In a lecture given at Gladstone's Library, Hawarden, yesterday, the former Liberal Democrat leader and deputy prime minister Nick Clegg considers Gladstonian Liberalism. He asks whether the central tenets of William Gladstone's politics should be confined to history or used as a model for the future. Read more about Gladstone's Library.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I took this photo in a Church Stretton antique shop some years ago, but did not grasp its significance at the time.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

A security guard has been jailed for four-and-a-half-years for a firearms offence linked to the theft of a Harry Potter book before it was released. Aaron Lambert, 20, of Kettering, admits threatening a newspaper reporter with an imitation pistol while trying to sell two stolen copies of the novel. Lambert took copies of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince from the Corby distribution centre where he worked.An interesting court case from 2006, but it has nothing to do with the presence of accommodation for older people on London Road, Kettering, called Harry Potter House. As Tony Smith (who has a ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of third chapter: 'Dear friends, you have doubtless already guess that this party has a theme. That theme, needless to say, is "Disaster".' This reached the top of my pile of unread sf books as recommended by you, without my realising that I had in fact read it in 2005. My review from then is posted below; nothing in the first 50 pages made me think I would change my mind this time (though there are two nice introductions by John Clute and bythe author himself), so I am moving on to something else. Next in that particular ...

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has challenged Theresa May to act on the findings of a race audit that she commissioned. The audit shows that ethnic minorities are twice as likely to be unemployed as white people. Vince Cable said: "This audit shows that prejudice and bias based on the colour of someone's skin continues to blight people's life chances, and this is utterly unacceptable in 21st century Britain. It is not right that our BAME [black and minority ethnic] friends and neighbours are far less likely to have a job or own their home - it is an unfairness ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

The construction industry is contracting for the first time in 13 months with builders blaming "Brexit blight". Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable said: "A year ago ministers promised to get Britain building again, but their plan now has hit severe subsidence. "These figures are much worse than economists predicted and builders report that confidence is fragile. "If construction firms build less this will more than outweigh any superficial boost to the construction industry from the government's latest help to buy announcement. The lack of commercial building underlines the dip in business confidence. "Brexiteers suggest that Brexit fears are not acting ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats

Earlier this year, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings off Thought for the Day, lost a legal action in the high court over his decision to dismiss Chief Constable David Crompton following a press release in which Billings alleged that Crompton sought to defend the actions of police counsel at the Hillsborough Inquest. The high court described Billings decision as "irrational, perverse, unreasonable, misconceived and wholly disproportionate". The case in my view hinged on whether the conduct of police counsel at the inquest was defensible or not. If it was indefensible – as the Hillsborough families ...

Posted by Joe Otten on Liberal Democrat Voice

On the river Rhine in Switzerland, there are reaction ferries: boats with no engine, no paddles, no onboard motive power at all.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Tue 3rd

Dulat Issabekov at 75

The Kazakh writer and playwright Dulat Issabekov is in London at the moment, as several of his works are being performed in the city to coincide with his 75th birthday. Celebrated in Kazakhstan, and well-known in much of the rest of the former Soviet Union, Issabekov is the author of numerous novellas and short stories, [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

Federal Conference Committee has it's feedback and debrief meeting relatively soon. Is there anything you would like your friendly neighbourhood FCC member to feed back about your experience of conference? I'v"e already had a bunch of useful comments left on this entry but I'm sure other people have more to say, and you'd be most welcome. Was there anything that you found particularly praiseworthy, or that particularly bugged you? ( under the courtesy cut for non-libdems, who don't care about this stuff ) Thanks, folks! [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Instagram photo #inktober #inktober2017 day 1: prompt = swift Instagram photo #inktober #inktober2017 day 2: prompt = divided [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Tue 3rd

My tweets

Mon, 12:20: That's a close one! Mon, 12:48: RT @AP: BREAKING: Nevada sheriff: We have located the female person of interest in the deadly shooting at a Las Vegas outdoor concert. Mon, 12:48: RT @Phil_Lewis_: LAS VEGAS • At least 50 people dead • At least 200 injured • Suspect identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock https://t... Mon, 12:49: RT @spectatorindex: LAS VEGAS - 50 dead, over 200 wounded - Worst mass shooting in US history - Gunman is 64 year old Stephen Paddock -... Mon, 14:57: 24 years ago today Mon, 19:20: RT @mrjamesob: Brexit latest: The EU ...

Embed from Getty Images As a footnote, I later visited Montgomery, Alabama and heard about George Wallace – the governor who stood in the doorway. George Wallace was one of most vocal supporters of segregation. However, he had a conversion in later life, apologised to African Americans for his previous stance and actions, and worked against segregation and for Black civil rights. I had the great honour and pleasure of a tour around the Alabama State Capitol. My guide was Aroine Irby. An extraordinary man (pictured below to my right with some international pastors who were in a tour group) ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

After 6 years of denial the Mayor has finally recognised the importance of our World Heritage Status after 6 years saying it was just a 'plaque on the wall of the Town Hall' So, after 6 years attacking us Joe ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

Transitions are always hard. Honest Brexiteers always knew that about the UK's exit from the European Union. So it isn't surprising that pessimism about Brexit is fashionable in the metropolitan classes. Until recently I had dismissed it as just chatter: Brexit has its own momentum. Now I am not so sure. Recently the focus on ... Continue reading Brexit is drifting into stalemate

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

Business scandals keep coming thick and fast. The banks, BHS and the disappearing pensions, mis-selling of mortgages and other financial products, the VW deliberate cheating on emissions, appalling service on many British train lines, Uber and its skirting of regulations, the behaviour of monopoly tech giants like Google and Facebook, continued tax avoidance by large [...] The post Chickens, home, roosting – will business deliver us Corbyn? appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Opinion - Radix

It is possible that my expectations of government ministers are too high. I have always inhabited a world where policy should be based on some evidence, some understanding of the facts, even if in the end one defies commonsense and shoots off onto an incomprehensible tangent. The admission from the Home Secretary that she doesn't understand the technology powering WhatsApp but that she wants to change it anyway, is especially disturbing given the consequences for the privacy and security of our information, the protection of trade and even the administration of law and order. The Independent reports that Amber Rudd ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

I've got to admit that I've never been a fan of our Foreign Secretary. I tend to prefer gravitas over 'personality' and competence over an ability to dissemble. But what fascinates me it why, despite a history for which the word 'chequered' seems almost inevitable, and a relative lack of achievement, Boris Johnson is considered by so many to be a credible leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister. And then you see the way that he has done Theresa May like a kipper and you think, "Gosh, what a cunning bastard!". Yes, the Prime Minister is notionally in ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

To say that I was utterly and completely underwhelmed by the announcement of this 'new' money to assist with the so called Northern Powerhouse Rail project yesterday at the Tory Party conference is to put it politely. £300m will go nowhere with a massive civil engineering project such as this I knew I was right when the BBC said Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham had welcomed it – I would not want to be on the same page as Mr Burnham. I must qualify as one of the North West Region's greatest skeptics with regard to the Northern Powerhouse, or ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

From Sheena Wellington : Wighton Heritage Centre, Central Library - Lunchtime Recital with Jim & Kate TaylorWednesday 4th October at 1.15pm Admission free. For our October Lunchtime Recital we are delighted to welcome two stalwarts of the Scottish traditional music scene Jim & Kate Taylor and their extensive repertoires of old songs and bothy ballads of the northeast. Jim Taylor was born near Garlogie where he still lives, and is a retired Quantity Surveyor. A nephew of the late King of the Bothy Ballads, Tam Reid, Jim is keeping Tam's songs going as well as a few others. He is ...

Tue 3rd

Political Autumn

Local Liberal Democrats have been active in a number of causes this autumn including: Exit from Brexit 'March for Europe' on 9 September. They joined the tens of thousands of people marching alongside the Liberal Democrats' new leader, Vince Cable. He addressed supporters before the march, which went from Hyde Park Corner to Parliament Square [...]

Posted by margotwilson on Up in Forest Hill

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable has called on the government to re-introduce tough restrictions on arms sales to Saudi Arabia that he imposed as Business Secretary in the coalition government. An Oxfam campaign against arm sales to Saudi Arabia has just won the support of a group of prominent individuals including Ian McEwan, Bill Nighy and Coldplay. This follows reports that Britain has sold nearly £4bn worth of arms to Saudi Arabia since it began its bombing campaign in Yemen. Vince Cable said: "I fully support this initiative by Oxfam. There can be no justification for the continued selling of ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats