Richard Beckinsale died in 1979 at the age of only 31. Two years before that he was the subject of This is Your Life. It featured the two great comic actors he had starred with - Leonard Rossiter and Ronnie Barker - and a very young Kate Beckinsale. Because it is the 1970s he smokes all the way through the show and there is even a glimpse of the long-gone Stanton and Staveley Ironworks. h/t Lee Thompson.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Nine-year-old Shreyas Royal has variously been described as "the greatest British chess prospect in a generation" (Malcolm Pein) and "the best prospect the country has ever seen" (Chris Ward). But, reports the Guardian: Shreyas Royal has lived in the UK since he was three but has been told he will be sent back to India when his father's work visa expires in September. His parents, Jitendra and Anju Singh, moved to south-east London from India in 2012. They have been staying under a tier 2 long-term work permit. The only way Shreyas's father would be eligible to renew his visa ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

That's science that is. And it is also the winner of our Headline of the Day Award. Well done to the New Scientist.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The new Liberator has arrived, so it's time for a look at the party gossip section Radical Bulletin. There is the inside story of the push to create Liberal Democrat "supporters": Deep in a boring motion on subscriptions due to be put to the Brighton Conference, Federal Board members were not amused to find a reference to a £5 rate for 'supporters'. The FB removed it, having smelled a rat that some new category of membership was being smuggled in by being buried in a business motion few would read. The Federal People and Development Committee was equally unamused to ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Rather than the second paragraph of Book III, I'm taking the second paragraph of Book II as my sample text, because it includes the single best known quotation from the poem: P. Vergilius Maro Primus ibi ante omnis magna comitante caterva Laocoon ardens summa decurrit ab arce, et procul 'o miseri, quae tanta insania, cives? creditis avectos hostis? aut ulla putatis dona carere dolis Danaum? sic notus Ulixes? aut hoc inclusi ligno occultantur Achivi, aut haec in nostros fabricata est machina muros, inspectura domos venturaque desuper urbi, aut aliquis latet error; equo ne credite, Teucri. quidquid id est, timeo Danaos ...

Got this because I have enjoyed a lot of Flynn's other work, but I bounced hard off it and gave up after 70 pages. Discovered only afterwards that it is the second in a series; maybe I would have done better to start at the beginning. If you like, you can get it here. This was my top unread book acquired in 2011. Next on that pile is The Deer Hunter, by Eric Corner. [IMG: 102133F0-5751-4D45-9EBE-1DFBB6B0A2E8.jpeg]

A long spell of good weather, England in the semi-finals of the world cup and no rain at Wimbledon - it all feels a bit surreal and rather discombobulating. This can't possibly be an English Summer! Whatever the weather the work of your ward councillors continues and here is our latest update: Wallington Square Your three [...]

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor

The Liberal Democrats are the UK's real reformers, with a heritage that goes way back beyond the formation of the Whigs, Liberals and Lib Dems. The long quest for liberal democracy has passed such milestones as the Magna Carta, abolition of serfdom, elections to a parliament, repeal of the Corn Laws, votes for women, and eventual universal suffrage and equality before the law. This fight against impunity, monopoly & mercantilism has been our fight; checking the power of the elites and doggedly pursuing the public interest and tackling poverty, in the wake of stiff resistance. Somehow these traditions have been ...

Posted by Paul Reynolds on Liberal Democrat Voice

The King and I is definitely one of the most iconic shows from the Golden Age of musicals. Written by the godfathers of musical theatre, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II; and brought to life on screen by the legendary Yul Brynner and Deborah Kerr, the luscious music and gorgeous costumes combine to create a visual and aural feast. Image Source: Despite all this, I'd never actually seen it on stage until this week: thanks to a Twitter competition run by London Theatre Direct, I attended a performance at the beautiful London Palladium and thoroughly enjoyed myself despite the ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing

Welcome to the latest in my occasional series highlighting interesting findings from academic research. Today – how the media looks to have driven rather than reflected public opinion in the case of Ukip. Increased media coverage of Ukip drove increased support for the party rather than following an increase that had already happened, the new research suggests. This finding comes from Justin Murphy and Daniel Devine in, "Does Media Coverage Drive Public Support for UKIP or Does Public Support for UKIP Drive Media Coverage?" in the British Journal of Political Science. They found that (with my added emphasis): In the ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

It is now August and a good time to reflect, especially on those issues which have received insufficient attention. Although Brexit has understandably dominated politics for many months, it is worth noting that just six weeks ago Parliament made the decision to back a third runway at Heathrow airport. The vote – by 415 to 119 – approved the National Planning Statement (NPS) that paves the way for the £14 billion construction project. Peers did not get a vote. Some people, whatever their past thoughts on the pros and cons of a third Heathrow runway, might think that the issue ...

Posted by Caroline Pidgeon on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 3rd

My tweets

Thu, 12:56: A no-deal Brexit will not happen. Here's why Great as usual from @JonLis1 - I agree with him. Thu, 16:05: How work kills us Uncharacteristic coverage of the downside of capitalism from the @Economist. Thu, 16:41: The Two Jasons, by Dave Stone Thu, 19:11: Maigret Loses His Temper, by Georges Simenon Thu, 20:48: British Jews Find Their Voice @B_Judah mourns Britain's changed political discourse. Fri, 10:45: More from #LFCC

Even with Trump handling his twitter account each morning, there isn't much happening in politics this summer. As usual, that makes appearances and utterances by politicians stand out more; and two of those in the Netherlands symbolize the contrast in western politics nowadays. I'm talking about what two blackhaired young Dutch politicians published recently. The flamboyant conservative-populist Thierry Baudet published a remarkable photo on Instagram; while the Oxford-educated Churchill biographer and convinced European Felix Klos, presently speechwriter for D66 party leader Alexander Pechtold emphatically launched his candidacy for D66 top candidate for the European Parliament. The Dutch public has grown ...

Posted by Bernard Aris on Liberal Democrat Voice

According to Buzzfeed, the Liberal Democrats are planning to embrace some of the reforms that proved so successful for the Canadian Liberals by allowing non-members to vote in the party's next leadership contest. They add that this could also see a political outsider, like Brexit campaigner Gina Miller, take the helm as Leader for the first time. The website says that the party (or at least those doing the briefing, as this has never been discussed by the party) hope that the move will boost our profile and appeal to millions of floating voters who feel the centre ground has ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

I've been reading in RAIL magazine (issue 855 – June 20th – July 3rd) all about how CRP (Community Rail Partnerships) can deliver social benefits and many other things. And then I thought about the two lines covered by the West of Lancashire CRP and wondered what on earth does it do? I found a link to it's web site and you can see it here It's profile is low and frankly these two lines have many issues with cancelled trains, overcrowded trains (Southport Wigan Line), lack of Sunday services (Ormskirk – Preston Line) etc. etc. So how effective ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Donald Trump and his mouthpiece Rudy Giuliani are right: Collusion is not a crime. In fact, there is no crime of "collusion" in the US federal code. There is, however, a law against "conspiracy." Conspiracy means that you planned an illegal act with others. You didn't have to commit the act. Just planning it is a crime. If the crime was committed and you knew about it then you are an accomplice. If a person helps to plan the robbery of the Bank of England but is in another country during the actual theft of the gold bullion, they are ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice

Churchtown Thursday, 23rd August, BoxTree Kitchen for Queenscourt cafe, Manor Road/Cambridge Road, roundabout, from 10:30am to 11:30am. We will be there to meet you and discuss any Council problems you may have. No appointment necessary. Just pop in.

Posted by John Dodd on Meols Lib Dems

Residents have expressed concern to me about how overgrown the north side of the Hawkhill by-pass is - see below :This is unsightly and detracts from the adjacent nicely maintained planted/seating area at the Bellfield Street/Hawkhill junction, opposite the Whitehall Theatre. I have asked the council's environment management in Neighbourhood Services if this can be attended to.

Three council by-elections this week, three Conservative defences but, alas, only two Liberal Democrat candidates. Ansdell, Fylde No Liberal Democrat candidate here, continuing the recent pattern of no-shows in this part of England: Ansdell (Fylde) result: CON: 72.4% (+21.6) LAB: 27.6% (+5.1) Conservative HOLD. No Ind (-26.7) as prev. — Britain Elects (@britainelects) August 2, 2018

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack