Six council by-elections in the final batch before Liberal Democrat conference in Brighton: four Conservative defences and two Labour ones. Petersfield, Cambridge As Britain Elects reports on the background to this contest: Research by Cambridge city councillor Zoë O'Connell has identified just eleven openly-trans people who have ever served in our council chambers (plus former British MEP Nikki Sinclaire). Five of them are currently serving, two Labour (including Osh Gantly, who was re-elected to Islington council this May after transitioning during her first term of office), one Conservative, one UKIPper and one Liberal Democrat (O'Connell herself). Four of them are ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Content note — this blog post contains discussion of weight, diet, fat-shaming, and possibly eating disorders. People who find such discussions upsetting should read no further. There has been a lot of coverage of the fact that Tom Watson, the ... Continue reading →

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

There is one of Leicestershire County Council's green plaques on the wall of a house close to Loughborough railway station. On close inspection it turns out to have been put up in honour of a horse. Sunloch, who won the Grand National in 1914, was stabled at the house to which it is attached.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Here's Jo Swinson's speech in the debate on allowing proxy voting for MPs who have had babies. It was one of the most real and honest speeches I've ever heard. Jo talked about her fury when Tory Chairman Brandon Lewis broke their pairing arrangement in July to vote in a key Brexit vote. She also spoke about some of the appalling comments she got on Twitter after that, including the criticism that she had gone to the Trump demo for 45 minutes but couldn't manage to vote in Parliament, something which would have meant hanging around for 5 hours. Jo ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: The hollowing out of the Lib Dem party?] There was something rather desolate about Vince Cable's announcement on 7 September. Yes, politics undergoes change and a level of fluidity that should never render it possible to be frozen. Political parties have to adapt accordingly.... The post The hollowing out of the Lib Dem party? appeared first on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas

From time to time I have suspected Lord Bonkers of being jealous of the Duke of Rutland. How else to explain a diary entry like this? Thursday Did you see that the Duke of Rutland has been asking actors to work for nothing? Not exactly cricket, is it? Every artiste appearing in the Bonkers Hall pageant this autumn, which will re-enact that fine actor Roger Livesey's victory in the 1985 Brecon and Radnor by-election, will be paid at full Equity rates. I am not one to pass on gossip, but I heard a most interesting story in the Bonkers' Arms ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Click here to try the beta test call entre phoning service "John Hemming, who has created an internet Startup called Cirrostratus since he ceased being an MP, is launching a free online service to make life easier for people phoning call centres. The service is provided by Cirrostratus, but the SIP backbone is provided by the multi-award winning business VoIP solution, Soho66." John said, "

Posted by John Hemming on John Hemming's Web Log

The Guardian has a comment piece by Vince Cable on its web site – see link below The left of British politics has struggled in recent times to put forward a credible alternative to the popularist right wing policies of the Tories/DUP/UKIP and this despite this same right wing cabal trying to drive through a Brexit which will hurt us all, make the poor poorer and lead to job losses and reduce investment in the UK. You would think this nightmare scenario would galvanise the left into action but sadly that has not happened. Socialism and an economy based ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

And no one will be 'bounced' into sudden, controversial, decisions; I envisage a consultation at conference and, then, any consequent changes will take place through the party's constitutional mechanisms.That's Vince Cable writing in the new issue of Liberator. His is one of two article you can download from that page, The other is by Caron Lindsay, taking issue with the immigration policy paper that will be debated at the Liberal Democrat Conference in Brighton. Sadly, Vince's advisers* have not read his article, because there has been an awful lot of bouncing going on. Members of the public are already being ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I'm somewhat amazed that the slogan 'Tough on Brexit, tough on the causes of Brexit' hasn't caught on over recent months. It should have done, and we Lib Dems should have appropriated it. It was a brilliant slogan when deployed by Tony Blair in the early 1990s. Labour was always known as a party that cared about people whose difficult starts in life led to them committing crime, but it was never going to be elected to government unless it showed that it cared about the damage crime inflicts on victims. With one three-second soundbite, Blair dealt with both sides ...

Posted by Chris Bowers on Liberal Democrat Voice

Hope to see many readers at the Liberal Democrat federal conference in Brighton. I'll be the one wandering past with a BlackBerry, or you can find me... Federal Board helpdesk The Federal Board is running a helpdesk all the way through the conference, near the Conference Information Desk in the Brighton Conference Centre. Come and ask Federal Board members what's going on or share your views with them. I'll be on it 15:00-16:00 on Sunday. There just might be a thing or two going on in the party at the moment we can discuss... Life shouldn't cost more when you ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Last Spring, I spoke against our party's disciplinary motion. "Our party aims to be agents of change and we do so by producing progressive policy', I nervously spluttered, my first ever time speaking in that bright-lit yet mustardy stage-space. So it is a natural progression then, that this Autumn conference I have submitted my first ever amendment. Heart palpitations aside, I am hoping to positively reform the Party's disciplinary procedures, so that we can take an innovative and user-led approach to tackling the scourge of sexual harassment and assault. My proposed system, Anonymised Incident Reporting (AIR) maximizes complainant control when ...

Posted by April Preston on Liberal Democrat Voice

... called "Lets have a proper debate on Vince's Reforms". It goes like this: The last several days have seen these pages full of unalloyed cheerleading for Vince's Moderate Movement scheme from the great and the good, and even people who have set up rival parties to our own. We have also been assured repeatedly that these changes will not be imposed on us, that we will have chance to debate them, that we are a democratic party, but here is what I, as a member of federal conference committee, have seen: - a total lack of communication with the ...

Thu 13th

Vurt, by Jeff Noon

Second paragraph of third chapter: Yeah, sure! And the king was in his counting house, counting out his money. No doubt. Except that we'd just trashed a week's dripfeed on five lousy Blues and a single done-it-already Black. Sure, The Beetle could sell some low-level Vurt to a robo-crusty. Or maybe I could persuade Brid to sing some smoky songs in one of the locals, me on keyboards and decks, but the shadow-cops were everywhere. Most pubs had one, broadcasting from above the Vurtbox, shining inpho all over undesirables. Those inpho beams could match a face up to the Cop ...

The last several days have seen these pages full of unalloyed cheerleading for Vince's Moderate Movement scheme from the great and the good, and even people who have set up rival parties to our own. We have also been assured repeatedly that these changes will not be imposed on us, that we will have chance to debate them, that we are a democratic party, but here is what I, as a member of Federal Conference Committee, have seen: – a total lack of communication with the federal committees about this – all the MPs being brought out to bang the ...

Posted by Jennie Rigg on Liberal Democrat Voice

Vince is most definitely right: our party's 12-month rule is arbitrary and should be removed. The randomness of such a timescale before a member can stand as a candidate for MP, mayor or the GLA is exposed by the fact that Scotland's rule is only nine months. It also makes new members feel unwelcome, their commitment automatically doubted. I hope no-one would doubt my loyalty or my passion for our party, which is my natural home. Since joining the Lib Dems in December I have campaigned and spoken at innumerable associations across the length and breadth of London, helped out ...

Posted by Kishan Devani on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Liberal Democrats dream of becoming the party that represents the 48 per cent of the electorate who voted Remain. But what policies should such a party have? The same question would face a new party that expressed this ambition. Research by Christina Pagel and Christabel Cooper suggests it is not an easy one to answer. They surveyed 7000 UK voters to rank 13 challenges for the UK in order of importance to them. Having analysed the results, they write: Using this data, we examined whether the numbers add up for a new party - and what such a party ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

With apologies to the late, great Victoria Wood. Alex and Ruslan sat one night. The sky was clear. The stars were bright. The wind was soft. The moon was up. Alex drained his vodka cup He licked his lips. He felt sublime. He switched off Dacha Gardening Time. Ruslan cringed in fear and dread As Freda grabbed his tie, and said: Let's do it! Let's do it, Do it while the mood is right! I'm feeling Exploring. I've really got an appetite. I'm on fire With desire. To see Salisbury's Cathedral's great big spire. Let's do it! Let's do it ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Liberal Journal

Security specialists use a variety of ways to address the risks that they face: and these risk assessments are made in the certain knowledge that the actors in the system hold only incomplete information. Although much mocked at the time, Donald Rumsfeld's categorization of "known unknowns" and "unknown unknowns", is now generally recognized as a succinct summery of his strategic quandaries. By contrast, actors in the financial markets have a more sanguine assessment of the risks they deal with: they divide them into two kinds of risk: quantifiable and unquantifiable. Unquantifiable risk is not generally considered, since there is usually ...

Posted by Cicero on Cicero's Songs

Former leaders probably shouldn't write articles in the run up to a party conference, but here goes... Let's start by turning the clock back eleven years. In September 2007 we arrived at our conference in Brighton with Ming Campbell as leader, expecting an early election. Gordon Brown had just succeeded Tony Blair as Prime Minister without a fight. Actually, there had been quite a fight as the Blair / Brown psycho drama had played out over the course of a fractious decade in Downing Street. But there had been no electoral contest as Gordon took the top job. David Miliband ...

Posted by Tim Farron MP on Liberal Democrat Voice

I'll admit it, I do not always come to conference fully prepared. Well, to be honest, I'm often reading the motions or amendments for the first time in the hall. As a result I have sat in debates and wondered "why has Y been carved out" or "why hasn't this great idea been extended to X" and occasionally "how on earth has line Z made it in"! I know I am not the only one -speakers in debates often raise everything from minor tweaks to wholly new directions in policy in their speeches and interventions, only for a summation speech ...

Posted by Alex Meredith on Liberal Democrat Voice

Microsoft intercepting Firefox and Chrome installation on Windows 10 ARGH. If you like what you see here (or even if you don't) please consider dropping me a tip: [IMG: Paypal Donate Button] [IMG: Buy Me an uncaffeinated beverage (because I'm allergic to coffee) at] [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

Thu 13th

My tweets

Wed, 12:56: Ethiopia-Eritrea border reopens after 20 years - BBC News Hooray! Wed, 16:05: Domino's Offers 'Free Pizzas For Life' To Customers Who Get A Tattoo Of Their Logo, Then Cancels It #marketingfail Wed, 21:11: Byzantium: The Surpising Life of a Medieval Empire, by Judith Herrin Thu, 09:34: RT @damonwake: Suu Kyi gives a robust defence of Myanmar's jailing of two Reuters journalists. It's a point of view, I suppose. https://t.... Thu, 10:45: RT @RobertMaguire_: HE IS EVEN SAYING "PEEKABOO" IN A TINY VOICE THIS IS NOT A DRILL

Thu 13th

Women rule! #libdemdisco

I'm so excited! Autumn Conference is nearly here and that can only mean one thing. Lib Dem Disco! This year, the famous Lib Dem Disco, darling of the Sunday morning press, is extra special. In this, the centenary year of when some women were first able to vote and with so many incredible, inspirational women in the party, we've taken the opportunity to put on a Vote100 Centenary Disco. This year, all four competing DJ's and the host/compere are fabulous Lib Dem women. We of course have our reigning champion and leader of the Lib Dem Newbie revolution Daisy Benson ...

Posted by Colin McGerty on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Liverpool Echo has the story on this web site – see link below:- Planning applications, particularly those for vast new urban housing estates on what has to date been Green Belt and/or high grade agricultural land, always causes huge public upset. We've seen it neighbouring Sefton Borough in Formby, Southport and Lydiate/Maghull as is recorded on this blog site numerous times. Having been on a Borough Planning Committee my thoughts are this. Local people do not have enough control over how their communities are developed, the planning system is far too complicated and difficult for ordinary folk to ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Economic thought follows a 40 year cycle. It starts with a period of doubt, as the conventional wisdom appears inadequate; this lasts ten to twenty years. A new way of looking at the economy then emerges and this leads to a period of confidence and optimism, lasting twenty to thirty years. And then optimism collapses ... Continue reading What can we learn from 1977? The need for fresh economic thinking

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal
Thu 13th

Cold War *****

When the Communists took over power in Poland after the Second War — marginalising the government-in-exile in London — the country had to adjust to new frontiers, a more homogenous population following the expulsion of minorities and the gradual imposition of a new political order to fit in with the dictates of Joseph Stalin in [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

The man who door-stepped Jacob Rees-Mogg, his children and his nanny yesterday has been identified as long-standing anarchist Ian Bone. Condemnation of his actions in directly addressing the Rees-Mogg children has been universal and quite rightly so, but Ian Bone has a long history of upsetting the apple cart. One of Bone's actions was to quiz Rees-Mogg's nanny Veronica Crook, over her pay and working conditions, no doubt a cause close to the anarchist's heart given that his own father was in domestic service, working as a butler. Ian Bone does have connections with Swansea. He studied politics at Swansea ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

After a week's stay in the United States, I have returned stunned by the persecution of President Trump by the mass media – whom I used to trust to provide me with impartial information about American political life. It is as if these media, once respected around the world for the quality of their information [...] The post The counter-productive persecution of Donald Trump appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Renaud Girard on Radix

Liberal Democrats in Hinckley and Bosworth have selected local Councillor Michael Mullaney to be their parliamentary candidate.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

The problem with conference is that it is impossible to get to everything! I was hoping to speak on Sunday morning in our debate on the policy motion entitled, "Ending Discrimination In Mental Health Provision". Regular readers of LDV know that mental health policy is an area I feel strongly about, so I am gutted I can't get there due to a conflict. So I'll blog my speech instead... Currently, in our country if you are someone without a mental disorder you have an absolute right to refuse medical treatment or refuse to be detained for medical purposes. However, if ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 13th

Transplant +1: Ugly baby

Transplant day went off smoothly. It was all complete by 1457, and I've been resting since. As the photo shows, unlike 50+ years ago, this time I'm a really ugly baby. I had a good night's sleep but have woken up to a bit of a grumbly tummy. Probably due to lack of food more than anything else, as chemo ... The post Transplant +1: Ugly baby appeared first on ten pence piece.

Posted by tim on ten pence piece

Residents have complained to me about the poor, worn road condition in Hillside Place and I raised this with the Roads Maintenance Partnership. This is the response I have received : "The Road Maintenance Partnership inspector has advised that there are currently no actionable defects in Hillside Place. However he has raised an order for thermal patching to be carried out when resources are available. There are currently a high number of locations awaiting thermal patching so there is no specific timescale at present." I will continue to pursue this as thermal patching would significantly improve the state of the ...