It may be that Parliament is at a bit of a loose end whilst the Government argue amongst themselves over Brexit, but that isn't to say that there is much for Liberal Democrats to be stirred by... Government ferry plan hits the rocks UK citizens to be left without medical cover in event of no-deal Brexit No specific funding for NHS in no deal scenario Stone: Immigration rules for Commonwealth soldiers are outrageous Cable: PM's meaningful vote timeline irresponsible and insulting to parliament UK must support Turkey's stand on Uyghur crisis – Carmichael Government ferry plan hits the rocks Responding ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

I was fascinated by Peter Fischer Brown's suggestion in the Radix blog that there are people in the Brexit camp who believe that a no-deal Brexit the hard way is likely to be as successful and unifying as our national escape from the Dunkirk beaches. This was, as I said in my book about Dunkirk, during the last Brexit - when they decided their hand had been forced, and that they had to abandon their French allies. But I wonder whether it might be worth following the parallel a little further. The miraculous escape of the BEF from the beaches, ...

Posted by David Boyle on The Real Blog

Congratulations to Graham Reed, newly selected as the Liberal Democrat Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) for the Plymouth Moor View constituency. Graham Reed said: I stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Plymouth Sutton and Devonport constituency in 2015 and for Moor View in 2017. I am delighted to have another chance to represent you, the residents within the City. I am lifelong supporter of liberal values and have always fought for these basic, core principals and goals: a fairer voting system to ensure everyone has a true democratic representation, a strong and competent economy, a sustainable environment, good housing, ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I was on the road last week, and will be again next week, so blogging will be light until things settle down. However. An old friend contacted me on the first day of my trip, asking for recommendations for either "the three best sci fi novels? Or your three favourites?" I didn't really have time while travelling to give this the thought it required, so I outsourced the question to friends on Twitter and Facebook. The results indicate only the views of a bunch of people responding to a straw poll on a Sunday evening or Monday morning, but I ...

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 542nd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere ... Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (3-9 February, 2019), together with a hand-picked seven you might otherwise have missed. Don't forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging. As ever, let's start with the most popular post, and work our way down: 1. A bumper set of by-elections with a ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

The photographs in the Britain from Above collection are great if you are hunting for long-vanished railway stations. Have a look at the bottom of this 1934 short of Northampton town centre and you will see a railway station. It is Northampton St. John's Street: The station was a large elegant building of a light sandy-coloured limestone was constructed above street level on red brick arches with retaining walls which carried the line above Cattle Market Road as it meandered southwards past Northampton Cattle Market and then across the River Nene. An imposing train shed covered the central part of ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Eagle-eyed viewers will have noticed that yesterday's diary entry came from Thursday and today comes from Wednesday. A mistake on my part? Not at all. Though most villages in Rutland now use the Gregorian calendar, it is a local version that can vary in important respects from the calendar used in the rest of the world. This is but one example: Lord Bonkers has more than once been involved in an unfortunate confusion of dates with HM Revenue & Customs arising from the same cause. Wednesday If we Liberals are to return to government before we grow much older, it ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Sun 10th

Whickham delivery

Friday morning was cold and windy. Perfect weather for delivering Focuses on the Glebe in Whickham. 300 Focuses later and the cobwebs had definitely been blown away!

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace

Mobile mapping, 19th-century style with this leather glove (created for the 1851 Great Exhibition).

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

My annual tax report for the year 2017-18 arrived the other day. It outlined to me what I get for the relatively low tax I pay every month. The last item on the breakdown broke my heart. "Contribution to the EU Budget – £10" That's all it costs. For that I get: Freedom to work and travel and live in 28 countries The prosperity that being in the customs union and single market brings, with the added advantage that showing up with 27 of your mates when you are trying to do business with the likes of Donald Trump and ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sun 10th

Cheers and Jeers #7

Here's my latest news roundup, in which I cheer or jeer the week's events. Cheers to John Barnes for providing both context to Liam Neeson's misquoted words on race and also for helping to aid a much-needed conversation on understanding the thinking behind prejudice in order to combat it. That Mr Barnes had to do this at all when it should have been obvious to anyone that Liam Neeson was clearly not proud of the thoughts he admitted to once having speaks volumes about the quality of reporting at a time when sensationalist headlines trump critical analysis. Cheers to Altrincham ...

Posted by Andrew on A Scottish Liberal

The office wall in one of my former jobs had a cartoon with two drunks slumped in an alleyway bemoaning their fate.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Isn't this great? Groovin' with Mr Blue reached number 2 in the UK singles chart in the summer of 1970, but I have no memory of it. The track has a complicated history, as explained by Wikipedia. It was originally a B side recorded by the American band Wind. The BBC once played the wrong side and a British producer heard it and wanted to release it as a single over here. He could not get the rights, so he recruited a band of session players to record a new version. Despite the fact that they included Elton John on ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Back in December I gave my view on key Brexit developments and where we were headed. With yet another key vote coming up next week, it seemed a good time to give readers a view on where we are and where we might be headed. If I may say, my predictions are so far looking quite sound, so here goes again. Rather than go through all the ins and outs of the various votes since December, I'll try and give an overview of key options and where I think we'll end up. As ever, predictions can be difficult and Brexit ...

Posted by DaveGorman on Liberalism5
Sun 10th

My tweets

Sat, 12:04: Government cancels Brexit ferry contract with no-ship firm Hahahahahahahaha #TakingBackControl Sat, 12:56: Brexit: Hell, High Water and the Return of Chequers Latest excellent analysis from @TonyConnellyRTE. Sat, 13:48: #TakingBackControl Sat, 14:48: RT @remkorteweg: Based on talks this week w EU & national diplomats: Growing sense of resignation that if No Deal comes, it comes. "Out o... Sat, 15:54: RT @garius: STEPHEN: Chris, I just wanted to stop by and apologise for... Chris? Are you okay? GRAYLING <sobs>: She is all that remains of... Sat, 16:05: Something positive, for a change. Sat, 17:36: RT @pmdfoster: ...

In case you missed it, the youngest member of the US House of Representatives showed why she managed to unseat a senior Congressman in the Democratic primary last year. We think campaign finance in this country is unfair. It is. And neither Conservatives nor Labour are that bothered in changing a system that suits them and keeps others out. In the US, it's a whole other layer of awful. This week Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gave us all a lesson in how to take apart a system that gives massive power to large institutions and their interests. Enjoy. In this country, Liberal ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice
Sun 10th

I see no ships

At the Battle of Copenhagen, Horatio Nelson famously put a telescope to his blind eye and announced that he could not see the signal calling on him to end the action and to retreat. It wasn't quite 'I see no ships' but it wasn't far off, as the British Admiral, Sir Hyde Parker, was offering Nelson an honourable route out of a bloody action, which he feared could not be won against overwhelming odds. Nelson's courage and leadership would be quite handy in today's political climate, as the UK Government faces up to its own incompetence in dealing with Europe ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Mental health care in this country needs radical transformation. Both adult and children's mental health services continue to be plagued by long waiting times, lack of access to treatment and chronic staff shortages. For children, the average wait between their first symptoms developing and being able to access treatment is estimated to be a horrifying 10 years. Once a referral has been made, The Children's Society estimate that young people wait an average of 58 days until they are assessed and then a further 41 days until they begin treatment. In a recent survey, a thousand GPs across the country ...

Posted by Claire Tyler on Liberal Democrat Voice

My letter to the Champion newspaper following it publishing a photo taken by the MP in the 'No' lobby of fellow MP's voting against Teresa May's appalling Brexit Deal:- ***** Dear Sir, I notice that MP Bill Esterson photoed fellow MP's in the 'No' lobby during the defeat of PM May's Brexit Deal. So whilst we know that Mr. Esterson does not like May's Deal what Brexit solution does he like? I ask because to date I have contacted his office 5 times in recent weeks asking him to let me know where he stands over Brexit. Sadly, I have ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus
Sun 10th

Northern Links update

Last Friday, the proposed Northern Links project launched early concept designs that would aim to make it easier for residents to travel on foot and by bike more often for their local journeys on certain Dundee main streets, by improving the opportunities for and tackling barriers to active travel. Northern Links aims to reallocate some road space in favour of cyclists and people rather than traffic, attempting to make the affected streets safer and more convenient for cyclists and pedestrians - and for buggy, scooter and wheelchair users. One of the proposed streets for the project is Lochee Road and ...


We can just bury our heads in the sand and hope housing development doesn't happen. But we can no more hold back housing than you can stop the tide. Ludlow will expand. Half the town hates that. The other half thinks it is essential. Shropshire Council's local plan has ambitious growth targets for the county but these pose dangers for a town like Ludlow which has seen decades of unplanned, incoherent growth. We need to bring an end to "Beetle Drive" planning in Ludlow. We can't continue adding one limb at time. We must begin planning for a Ludford Garden ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

Last week, walking home from the tube in London, I saw that a neighbour (unknown) had left out a dozen books or so on a wall for passers-by to pick up and take away. By chance my eyes fell on an old Penguin edition of E M Forster's Howards End, which I had never read, despite [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Sun 10th

An Oundle bus stop

Looking for my photograph of Oundle's North Bridge the other day, I also came across this one of a bus stop in the town. Meanwhile, councils are warning that thousands of bus routes are at risk of being scrapped because of the cost of the free bus pass scheme. But that is only a problem because of the reduction in government funding of local authorities.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England