Mon 11th

Hal Blaine RIP

I'm both ill and trying to get some work done today, so I don't have the time to give Hal Blaine anything like the tribute he deserves, but I had to quickly mark his death here. Hal Blaine was one ... Continue reading →

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

An MP from The Independent Group will be appearing at Lib Dem spring conference for a fringe meeting with party Deputy Leader, Jo Swinson.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

When I first started out in journalism, as an 18-year-old cub reporter in the Vietnam War, I'd always assumed I would devote my career to the written word. Getting my first book contract shortly after joining Reuters News Agency in 1973 only reinforced that idea. So when I returned to London after eight years based [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

The Conference Extra, containing details of all the amendments selected by Federal Conference Committee, the motion on Europe which will no doubt be hopelessly out of date by the time it's debated on Saturday and all the questions put to Federal Committees, has been published. The Europe motion is amendable – you need to get your changes in before Thursday at 1 pm. I know conference motions are supposed to be a bit circumspect and detached but I am left cold by it. Not that it necessarily says anything wrong, but, really, at this point, I want it to saying ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Watch this video and you will see why, despite having two trains in each direction daily, Redcar British Steel sees so few passengers.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

There was an extraordinary exchange on Westminster Hour when Meg Hillier was interviewed about the plans for a major renovation of the Palace of Westminster. (The item starts at the 50-minute mark.) Hillier reminded us that the old pile was built in the days when chimneys were swept by sending small boys up them. She then reported that she had heard rumours that the bodies of climbing boys may be found in the building when the work takes place. I am not so sure. Climbing boys certainly did die in their work - roasted alive or, more commonly, suffocated by ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Whitechapel Bell Foundry, which had been operating on the same site since 1739, closed in 2017. Campaigners are now fighting to prevent the buildings being turned into a hotel. But there is a bell foundry still open in England, and it's in Leicestershire. Last time I blogged about John Taylor & Co. of Loughborough there was bad news. In May of last year I reported that they failed to secure a £8m grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Visit the company's site today and you find better news: The Loughborough Bellfoundry Trust is pleased to confirm that a major grant ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The Conservatives have come up with a headline policy for May's Leicester City Council elections. They have promised voters a rocket to take them to the moon. The multi-storey car park in Lee Circle will be converted into a space port and daily flights... Sorry, I have misread this Leicester Mercury report. In fact, the Tories have promised to build a £500m tram system in Leicester. There is no funding in place, but they assure us it is "doable". Leicester is close to a one-party state (the Tories and the Lib Dems have one councillor each), so opposition parties need ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Before we start, let me make something clear. I'm not a policy wonk. It's not that I'm disinterested in policy, far from it. It's just that, as a bureaucracy geek, I'm interested in how things work. When the recent governance review took place, I found myself wondering if it was going to look at how we could engage more members in what interests many of them – policy. And, in truth, I was disappointed. It was mostly about reordering the committee structures and, whilst I have my views on that, it didn't really do anything that would engage ordinary members. ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

In her speech on the steps on Downing Street in July 2016, Theresa May said that her new administration would be committed to battling the 'burning injustices' that faced many in modern Britain. The promises to curb racial inequality among some of the most vital organs of law and state resonated well with the public and the new Prime Minister's initial poll ratings were high. Over the course of her mainly disastrous premiership, May has decided to ignore most of her promises to the country in the face of the ongoing decline of any Tory Party unity, instructing her MPs ...

Posted by Patrick Maxwell on Liberal Democrat Voice

The long predicted realignment in British politics has started. Whether it helps or harms the Lib Dems depends on how we respond to it. We can embrace the future with confidence and open arms or we can turn in on ourselves and stick to the old ways. We are at a fork in the political road and our future success or failure depends on whether we make the right choices. Some important decisions will be made at Spring Conference and it is imperative that we get them right. They are the keys to the success of our new Supporters Scheme. ...

Posted by Paul Strasburger on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:- Well, this sounds all very positive BUT Merseytravel has a long history of big aspirational railway projects that are rarely advanced. I've blogged about them before as the railway press has often picked up on them as being really possible and even really likely to be progressed only for nothing much to happen at all. And the evidence for this rather downbeat assessment? – my 3 postings from 2014:- Notes:- *The link above will take you to my 3rd 2014 posting about Merseytravel's long-standing overplaying ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus
Mon 11th

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: RT @benjaminbutter: My mum has lost her job as a school cleaner because they found out she had a drug dealing conviction *23 years* ago. Ho... Sun, 14:48: RT @SwiftOnSecurity: This should be a mandatory read for every IT person who thinks they're suddenly a forensics expert ready to judge fact... Sun, 15:39: RT @KeohaneDan: There is a history of time limits in Ireland, not to mention temporary arrangements... Sun, 15:50: RT @thhamilton: Well, Jess Phillips' claim that Jeremy Corbyn and his supporters lack self-awareness and are blinded to their own failings... Sun, 20:48: Nicholas Whyte: EU27 ...

And, as promised... Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People's Vote PM must back independent investigation into Qatar World Cup bid Home Counties knife crime rise shows crime epidemic is sweeping the UK Lib Dems: Labour must stop making excuses on a People's Vote Responding to Keir Starmer's announcement that Labour will not force a vote in favour of a People's Vote on Tuesday, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said: Labour's apparent belated support for a People's Vote needs to be put to the test very soon. If not Tuesday, when? And their commitment must go ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Hunting out some old data recently, I came across against the following statistic from the 2015 general election campaign.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I have always wanted to go 'beyond satire'. Now I have actually, I am proud to say, been accused of it. Among other things. Why? Because those Lib Dem stalwarts did not agree with what I wrote in the Guardian about how their eleven MPs should join the new independent group in Parliament - not [...] The post Will the Lib Dems take Nelson's advice? I'm afraid not appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Radix
Mon 11th

Time for higher taxes!

Calling for higher taxation used to be one of the deepest taboos in British politics. When I was drafting the 1997 Liberal Democrat manifesto, under Paddy Ashdown's firm direction, I can recall a Labour acquaintance (we were actively talking to Labour then, since they were not sure they would win an outright majority when the election came) telling me that 'you must be mad; no-one will ever vote to pay more'. The promise of a penny on income tax to increase funding for education turned out to be a vote-winner for us; but New Labour never dared to commit to ...

Posted by Lord William Wallace on Liberal Democrat Voice
Mon 11th

Following the money

As the Brexit saga continues unresolved and apparently unsolvable, people's minds are starting to think through the consequences of the chaos and incompetence that this government has brought to their project. We have already seen the way that the car manufacturing industry is being devastated by the uncertainty around our leaving the EU, and even more damage to our economy is being posed by the financial sector. The Telegraph reports that banks, asset managers and insurers have already moved nearly £1 trillion of assets out of the UK and to other European countries ahead of Brexit, with more likely to ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

There's no doubt that the Press Team have been busy over the weekend, and we'll spread the press releases over two posts accordingly... Lib Dems: Javid's judgement has had tragic consequences Lib Dems: We must now eradicate period poverty from society Swinson: UK must help secure release of Egyptian woman Amal Fathy Jardine reveals "embarrassing" gender balance of the Privy Council Lib Dems: Javid's judgement has had tragic consequences Responding to the reports that the baby son of Shamima Begum has died, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey said: The news that a little baby has died will touch ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

From Sheena Wellington : Cappuccino Concert with Fraya Thomsen, harpWighton Heritage Centre, Central Library - this Saturday - 16th March - 11am (doors open at 10.30am) Fraya Thomsen is heralded as a "leading female Scottish harpist and composer with the cosmic touch... free and wild..." - City Life Dundee Taking influences from songwriters such as Ani DiFranco and Billy Bragg and combining it with the Scottish sensibilities that she learnt in her native Highlands of Scotland, Fraya has worked as a musician in a wide diversity of settings from international harp and roots festivals with The Duplets, to musician in ...


The new episode of A History of Rock Music in 500 Songs is now up, on "Pledging My Love" by Johnny Ace, the first rock and roller to die young. This one contains a description of death by gunshot. It ... Continue reading →

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