This photograph of Market Harborough station house must date from about 1980. In the foreground you can see the bay platform which once accommodated trains heading for Rugby or Northampton. On the Midland main line there is a nice splitting distant semaphore signal. You can see it in more detail in another photograph on this blog. Below that you can see some cycle sheds. Until I saw this photograph I had forgotten they used to be there.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Mon 31st

Highlights of 2018

As you are inclined to do on Hogmanay, I was looking back at the year. 2018 was far from a great year but there were some fantastic moments. Here, in no particular order, are six of mine. Gabriel in the Commons Another piece of progress today in @UKParliament – thank you to @alisonthewliss @HarrietHarman for the encouragement! — Jo Swinson (@joswinson) September 13, 2018 The last time many of us saw him was at the Glee Club at Conference. It had been his tradition to tell a joke that, if truth be told, wasn't that funny, but its telling ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

This year was the year when hugely dramatic things should have happened. Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition should have gone. A referendum on the reality of Brexit, with an option to remain, should have been scheduled for early in the New Year and we should be celebrating a new feeling of hope and optimism as our politics changes for the better and starts delivering for the people who are really struggling and who have been let down by successive governments for decades. Instead this was the year that media and the internet got very excited ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

I was, I admit, intrigued by this week's suggestion by the Secretary of State for Defence that, post-Brexit, we could open military bases across the globe. Guyana, Singapore and Brunei are three of the possibilities floated by Gavin Williamson. Putting aside the rather brutal truth that we currently can't afford to put aircraft on our shiny new carriers, successfully recruit soldiers, or even maintain our current capability without sizeable additional investment, it does strike me that the obvious question is, why would we need such things? Of course, I'm not old enough to remember a time when we had a ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

As I finally overcome the effects of flu and Christmas celebrations, it is a moment to reflect on 2018 and what 2019 might bring. In common with most liberals (I hesitate to say all...), I am not feeling cheerful. But surely there is hope? The anti-liberal wave continued through 2018. I will come back to ... Continue reading Will 2019 be the year of the liberal backlash?

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

February His lordship proposed a characteristically radical solution to the problem of Donald Trump: As my regular readers will know, I am not a vengeful man, but I am forced to conclude that Trump has Gone Too Far and Something Must Be Done. So I am urging my American friends to arrange a Presidential visit to Dallas, the home of the fearsome Texas Schoolbook Suppository. It did for poor Jack Kennedy and I have no doubt that it would do for Trump too. April We were treated to a glimpse of Jeremy Corbyn in action at Westminster:News reaches me from ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Mon 31st

Old Timmy's Almanac 2019

After my 100% non-success rate last year, I've wiped the Christmas pudding from my crystal ball again in the hope that this time it will be different. Let us, in the words of Her Majesty,...Continue Reading The post Old Timmy's Almanac 2019 appeared first on ten pence piece.

Posted by tim on ten pence piece

I read 262 books this year, the seventh highest of fourteen years that I have been keeping count, so squarely in the middle. (Full numbers: 238 in 2017, 212 in 2016, 290 in 2015, 291 in 2014, 237 in 2013, 259 in 2012, 301 in 2011, 278 in 2010, 342 in 2009, 374 in 2008, 235 in 2007, 207 in 2006, 137 in 2005). There were some pretty slow months when travel didn't quite allow for full enjoyment, but I've been getting back in the habit of reading rather than supping from the information firehose. Next year I'm on the ...

Extraordinary circumstances force us to address hard questions. And the situation in British politics at the beginning of 2019 is the most extraordinary I can recall since I joined the Liberal Party 59 years ago. Both major parties are bitterly divided, with some long-term members talking almost openly of leaving for some other group. Neither of their leaders commands popular respect. Normal government has almost ground to a standstill, with ministers and officials overwhelmed by the uncertainties of Brexit. Either or both Labour and the Tories may find MPs, Councillors and activists splitting away. Which raises, for long-term Liberals and ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice
Mon 31st

2018 in Bisexual

Something I wrote for the BCN website wrapping up loads of bi news from the past twelve months... So, 2018 has been and gone. Here are our bi-lights of the year past. Seen On ScreenWe had more bis on TV than ever including shows with bisexual leads The Bi Life, Sally4Ever and The Bisexual, as well as bis in shows like Riverdale, The Good Place, Jeremy Thorpe drama A Very English Scandal, bi poly life in the 1940s with Professor Marston & The Wonder Women, and the Freddie Mercury film Bohemian Rhapsody. ResearchResearch showed bisexuals are far more closeted than ...

Posted by Jen on Either / And

[IMG: Reflect on your 2018 achievements] I am a firm believer that you cannot look forward without looking back and taking stock. We are the sum of our experiences. Our psychological DNAs collect our experiences, our joys and disappointments and make... The post Reflect on your 2018 achievements appeared first on FeministMama.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama

The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below Why on earth attack a football ground? I've been to Haig Avenue a few times mostly to see matches between The Sandgrounders and my team The Stags when they were both in the same division. What a friendly place the now renamed Merseyrail Stadium is; so sorry to hear of their troubles. Southport V Mansfield Town – Jan' 2013

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

I'm not on the habit of making New Year's Resolutions, but this year I feel it a must. 2018 has been pretty much of a disaster, as the storm clouds of Brexit have gathered, but 2019 is going to be much worse if Brexit actually happens. It seems incredible that both the Conservative Government and [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

So the government has committed £14 million to Seaborne Freight to provide ferry services after 29th March in the world of Hard Brexit. This is a significant amount of money just so that the Conservatives can claim that not all ferry contracts for the Hard Brexit crisis have gone to EU companies. Seaborne Freight now have to spend the next few weeks desperately racing around to find some ferries

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Monday Reading Current The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2010 Edition, ed. Rich Horton Heartspell, by Blaine Anderson Last books finished Finding Time Again, by Marcel Proust Ergens Waar Je Niet Wilt Zijn, by Brecht Evens Freddie Mercury: An Illustrated Biography, by Mark Blake Factfulness, by Hans Rosling The Fate of Rome, by Kyle Harper December Books Non-fiction: 4 (2018 total 50) Outside In: 160 New Perspectives on 160 Classic Doctor Who Stories by 160 Writers, ed. Robert Smith? Freddie Mercury: An Illustrated Life, by Mark Blake Factfulness, by Hans Rosling The Fate of Rome, by Kyle Harper Fiction ...

The Conservatives finally published their immigration white paper before the Christmas break, setting out their vision of how immigration policy would work after Brexit. The Lib Dem response was robust and clear, setting out redlines on scrapping the net migration target, limiting immigration detention and lifting the working ban on asylum seekers to name a few. But our approach to the estimated one million population of illegal migrations living and working in the UK seemed to be lacking a strong, decent and Liberal solution. Windrush, after Brexit, was the biggest story of 2018. A mixture of insidious ideological incompetence and ...

Posted by James Cox on Liberal Democrat Voice
Mon 31st

New Year's Eve

The year falls due, closing in a private tragedy – of island bloodlines and decline – unfolding in slow motion It was always on. But now it tumbles, sliding to its close – ungainly; insignificant; but ours – a squall among the juggernauts we've known. Advertisements

Posted by AL Franklin on Maintain the Advance!
Mon 31st

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: RT @EU_Commission: In 2019 Europe will be more international than ever! 🌐 The #EUJapan 🇯🇵🇪🇺 trade agreement will enter into force in Februa... Sun, 14:48: How Newt Gingrich Destroyed American Politics Fascinating and horrifying. Sun, 15:32: Freddie Mercury: An Illustrated Biography, by Mark Blake Sun, 16:05: RT @electricmastro5: @ericrosenfield @ZeppoMarxist Jacqueline Rayner Caroline Symcox Lloyd Rose Catherine Harvey Emma Beeby LM Myles Una Mc... Sun, 18:32: Factfulness, by Hans Rosling Sun, 20:48: Unprepared and Overwhelmed The grim story of how school security and law enforcement failed... Mon, 10:45: RT @FelicityHannah: Hey Twitter, I ...

In my last blog I pointed out that we were pleased that the Labour Party had shared with us in advance a motion they were putting to the January Council meeting. We were pleased that they have also sent us ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

Malta is, perhaps surprisingly, a very densely populated place, with a higher population density than Bangladesh. And, when you arrive here, it is much less surprising, as Valletta is ringed by communities that climb the slopes around the capital, coat the surrounding peninsulas and cluster wherever building is even remotely possible. We were meeting a historian friend of Ros, and his partner, who have been staying here for the past six months, and had offered to show us Valletta. And so, we caught another bus which hurtled along, around the Sliema peninsula and through Floriana to the Valletta bus station, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy
Mon 31st

No deal, no commonsense

The UK Government's planning for a 'no deal' Brexit slipped from incompetent to farcical yesterday as it was revealed that have awarded a £13.8m contract to a British firm to run extra ferries in the event that we do jump over that cliff on 29th March. However, as the BBC reveal, Seaborne Freight, who have been awarded the contract has never run a ferry service and a local councillor has said it would be impossible to launch before Brexit. The government said it had awarded the contract in "the full knowledge that Seaborne is a new shipping provider": The Department ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

At ALDC we're determined that 2019 is a Year of More: More Liberal Democrat campaigning More Liberal Democrat candidates More Liberal Democrat councillors More Liberal Democrat-run councils We can only do that with your help. Here are six ideas for your new year's resolutions: 1. Stand yourself, or recruit a candidate – In 2015 (when the same seats were up) we only stood a Lib Dem candidate in about 40% of vacancies. If we're going to increase the number of Lib Dems on ballot papers, we need more of our members to stand. There's help, support and advice in place ...

Posted by ALDC on Liberal Democrat Voice

Many thanks to everyone who has been a reader in 2018, whether on this site, one of my other sites, on email with Liberal Democrat Newswire and my digests, on social media or in book and pamphlet form.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

From Tomorrow's World, a long-running BBC show that showcased scientific and technological developments in prime time, making them easy to understand without dumbing down.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

It's always interesting to look back at a year just ending – lessons can always be learned from history (even very recent history) but that's a piece of traditional advice many of our present-day politicians really seem to struggle with. So let's look back at the past 12 months via 12 Sefton Focus postings – each month has a link back to my original posting. It's my personal take on 2018:- January – A celebration of everything Hornby:- In the Hornby Room at Meadows Leisure Centre Maghull – Michael Portillo with Frank Hornby Trust Chairman Les French as seen on ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Liberal Democrat leader Vince Cable will use his New Year's message to highlight the urgency to win a people's vote on Brexit with people having the right to choose to remain in the European Union, something the Liberal Democrats have argued for since the summer of 2016. He also highlights the need to address issues that the government has neglected due to the focus on Brexit including properly funding health and care services, increasing resource for schools and police services, tackling homelessness and the lack of affordable housing, and harnessing the power and opportunities of new technology. You can view ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice
Mon 31st

Happy New Year

Among all the uncertainty that each New Year brings, can I wish all the readers of this blog a particularly good one this year. It has been a weird year politically, but things can only get better,. no ...... things may well get worse , but hey ho, it was what the (narrow) majority wanted ... Who knows what Brexit will bring, or even if we can avoid leaving the EU at all, but, whatever happens I'd like to wish everyone, a happy, peaceful and prosperous New Year. See you in 2019 ....

Posted by Alisdair Gibbs-Barton on Alisdair Gibbs-Barton

"As we enter 2019, time is ticking down on Brexit. The history books will look back on the coming three months as critical." - Vince Cable

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Mon 31st

A guid Hogmanay!

Auld Lang Syne Should auld acquaintance be forgot,And never brought to mind?Should auld acquaintance be forgot,And auld lang syne? CHORUS:For auld lang syne, my dear,For auld lang syne,We'll tak a cup of kindness yet,For auld lang syne! And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp,And surely I'll be mine,And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet,For auld lang syne! We twa hae run about the braes,And pou'd the gowans fine,But we've wander'd monie a weary fit,Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl'd in the burnFrae morning sun till dine,But seas between us braid hae roar'dSin auld lang syne. And there's a ...

Thanks to Nicholas Parsons and the Spencer Davis Group for their demonstration.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England