Another day, another delivery of Focuses. Today I delivered 260 in my home village of Sunniside. The Focus was about the PCC by-election. Our normal Focus is delayed until the PCC election is out of the way. The by-election is on 18th July.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Well, thank you for your company today, and for your comments. Also, thanks to my colleagues, Paul and Caron, for filling some of the gaps. The noble Lord Greaves has noted that, whilst not much has been happening, we did miss an interesting debate in the Lords on 27 June, proposed by Barbara Janke, on the impact of recent benefit changes on vulnerable people. We (and by that, I mean "I") have rather lost the habit of reporting on the Lords. Perhaps I need to get back into the swing of that, as nobody else seems to be keen on ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Two today, with two more embargoed until after midnight (we'll publish them in the morning)... Labour heads towards another Brexit fudge Responding to the latest potential shift in Labour Brexit policy, Liberal Democrat Brexit Spokesperson Tom Brake said: The unions seem to have moved to a position to support Liberal Democrat policy to stop a Tory Brexit. However, a Labour Brexit would be no better. Labour must rule out their Brexit-supporting leader negotiating their own Brexit deal. Liberal Democrats have been clear for three years on our policy for Brexit. We will keep fighting to stop Brexit. Even now, after ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Love this idea from Cllr James Baker and Halifax Liberal Democrats to help our environment while not losing that key element in a democracy – elected representatives communicating with those who elect them: — James Baker [IMG: 🔶] (@Jamesdbaker1) July 8, 2019 (If you're wondering why anything much non-electronic is required these days, remember that massively widespread though internet access is, not everyone has it, and also the points I previously made here.)

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Worrying news about the Bonzos: The band, whose members are now in their seventies and eighties, say they discovered two years ago that "an entity" had registered their name as a figurative trademark without their consent or knowledge. They are now challenging the decision to grant it, because it means they will never be able to record an album or perform a concert under their name again. The surviving members - who are Rodney Slater, Roger Ruskin Spear, Neil Innes, "Legs" Larry Smith and Vernon Dudley Bohay-Nowell - say they are facing a lawsuit by the trademark owner who asserts ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Mon 8th

Six of the Best 874

Andrew Page gives his reaction to Plaid and the Greens' decision not to field candidates in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election. "Dismissing an issue or challenge or complaint as being "politically correct" has become catchall for those who want to avoid discussing racism, sexism, and discrimination and who are willing to rebrand offensiveness as frankness." Edwin L. Battistella on the evolution of a concept. William D. Cohan reviews a life of John F. Kennedy Jr. Nicole Rudick on the way women science fiction writers are left out of the history of the genre. "Four decades on, what started as a ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Iv'e blogged before about Lydiate's lost alehouse – The Anchor – which was located on the Leeds Liverpool canalbank between Lydiate Hill/Billy's Bridge and Jacksons Bridge. The property, whilst still standing, is private housing now. Here's a link to my previous posting:- The reason for returning to this subject again is because removal of the rendering on part of the building has revealed what the pub used to look like. In the words of the chairman of Lydiate Parish Council:- 'The brickwork was decorative with red whole bricks alternating with darker half bricks. There is also a band of ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Congratulations to Rhian O'Connor: Delighted to be selected as Liberal Democrat PPC for Greenwich and Woolwich. Let's turn London Liberal Democrat @LibDems #LibDems @GreenwichLibDem — Rhian O'Connor (@GreenwichRhian) July 5, 2019

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Jo Swinson headed to Brecon again today to help Jane Dodds campaign. Here's her whistle stop tour of the busy looking by-election HQ. As you would expect, there are lots of leaflets and cake. And someone on his very first Lib Dem by-election campaign. And that someone looks incredibly comfortable and on message. Join me a on a tour of the Brecon & Radnorshire campaign HQ, featuring a cameo from @ChukaUmunna at his first ever Lib Dem by-election ( [IMG: 🎉] ). As Chuka says, we can win this, but only with your help. Volunteer here: — Jo ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

On Tuesday 16 July (7-8.30pm) the Leicestershire branch of the European Movement is offering an in-depth briefing on the European Union. You will hear all about the EU's institutions, the Single Market, Agencies, law making, subsidiarity, peace and security, multi-tiered Europe and intended reforms. The speaker will be Dr Carol Weaver and the meeting will take place at the Secular Hall on Humberstone Gate in Leicester. Book your free place via eventbrite.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Mon 8th

Karl Marx in Brussels

Here's a nice little research project which I was able to pull together fairly quickly, a Communist plotting if you will: This map shows the seven places where Karl Marx and his family lived in Brussels, 1845-48, plus his favourite cafe, plus the venue of the 1868 Third Congress of the First International. Going top to bottom, the wee house symbols are: - the sites of the Hotel de la Gare and Hotel de Saxe, where the Marx family spent their first few days in Brussels in 1845, now the INNO department store - Rue Pacheco 35, where they lived ...

Mon 8th

Conditions for a Coup

Back in 2017, while on a waling holiday (in Wales?) Mrs May had the sudden revelation that we needed a general election. That didn't work out well for her. My own realisation, whilst on a walking holiday in the English Lake District last week, was that I, for the first time, understood why less happier lands are so often subject to military coups. Let's take a mythical Bongo Bongo Land. It doesn't have the luxury of institutions honed to near perfection by centuries of experience, a highly educated population, an official opposition offering a viable alternative, free and regular elections, ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal

There was a very interesting discussion on Radio 4's Westminster Hour, last night, concerning the leaking of memos from the UK ambassador to the USA, Sir Kim Darroch. Pippa Crerar, Policy Editor of the Mirror, expressed the view that the leaks were unlikely to have come from a civil servant because the memos were restricted. Therefore, the leaks are more likely to have come from senior politicians. Ms Crerar then asked us to look at the motivations of those involved. The following wasn't mentioned on the programme, but it is not outlandish to suggest that the undermining of Sir Kim ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice

After the general election of 2010, and the Liberal Democrats entering a coalition with the Conservatives, I remember the cognitive dissonance that overwhelmed the party. It was the centre of sustained media attention, for the first time in its history, and with all the trappings of being a significant political force, with MPs and cabinet ... Continue reading The Conservative and Labour parties are in trouble

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

I'll know we've turned a corner at long last in this confusing political era we are unfortunately experiencing when political pundits of all stripes stop buying into the magic Brexit myth. By this I mean the idea that all it will take is one move, whatever that might be, and then Brexit will be "resolved" as an issue and the country will handily move on. The most widespread example of this thinking at the moment centres on Boris Johnson. Either Johnson will push ahead with a no deal Brexit and this will mean that at least we've left. Nigel Farage ...

Posted by Nick on
Mon 8th

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America. Wow. Sun, 13:02: RT @SimonBruni: Your liberal-elite remoaner name is your favourite European city followed by a double-barrelled surname consisting of your... Sun, 13:47: Finding the 1944 Retro Hugo finalists online via @IanMoore3000 Sun, 13:50: @laurenthehough Sun, 14:48: IT'S MOTHEREFFING WEDDING SEASON AGAIN, SO LET'S CHAT Glorious. Sun, 18:13: RT @GuitarMoog: Quite right too. Diplomacy cannot function if there can't be confidential communication between Govt and its Ambassadors fo... Sun, 18:20: That's that. #USAvNED Sun, 20:03: Gigi (1958), plus original book and bonus ...

Gateshead Lib Dems held another strategy meeting yesterday morning in our office in Consett. The aim is to reform our organisation to get it into shape to take forward our campaigning. The targets of our strategy are to win control of Gateshead Council and gain Parliamentary representation in the borough. We also looked at campaigning in our target wards, where are strengths and weaknesses are

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

On Saturday I took two of our goat kids to the Whickham Community Fayre. Also accompanying us were four ducklings. We set up a pen for them opposite the library. They proved a great hit (as usual!) with residents and especially children. I suspect the animals appeared in more photos than anything else at the fayre.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Welcome to another week of political drift. With both ourselves and the Conservatives (and by extension the country) waiting for new leaders, and the Labour Party merely waiting for signs of leadership from the incumbent on the biggest issue of the day, it's fair to say that government is a bit like an aircraft awaiting a landing slot at a congested airport – merely circling the intended destination but not actually reaching it. And yet, with the current deadline for a Brexit deal less than four months away, and Parliament still due to go into a five week recess in ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

There's no doubt that this was something of a helter skelter sort of the trip, and I didn't really allow myself much time to stand and stare, so it was time to head back to Tbilisi, for I had arranged, via an online app, a ticket for Georgia's home Euro 2020 qualifying match against the mighty Gibraltar. The train times out of Borjomi being somewhat inconvenient - either too early in the morning or too late to get to the game, I had to improvise. A taxi was arranged to take me back to Khashuri, to connect with the train ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

The polls in recent weeks have been a little nerve-wracking, at least for anyone who believes that democratic politics has the potential to make a difference - for better or for worse. They are in a sense exciting reading for anyone in the radical centre, but - if people are even a little bit thrilled [...] The post Is it time for an electoral alliance to save the planet? appeared first on Radix.

Posted by David Boyle on Radix

DUNDEE CITY COUNCIL - WEEKLY ROAD REPORT REPORT FOR WEST END WARD - WEEK COMMENCING MONDAY 8 JULY 2019 Nethergate (West Marketgait to Park Place) - closed until Wednesday 10 July for City Fibre duct installation and pedestrian crossing refurbishment. Lochee Road and Logie Street (City Road to Tullideph Road) - closed from Monday 8 July for 2 weeks for carriageway resurfacing. Forthcoming Roadworks Perth Road (West Wynd to Seafield Road) - closed on Sunday 28 July for manhole repairs. Kirsty Semple Way - closed on Saturday 17 August for crane lifting operations.

Davey: Underfunding of Children's Services is costing police time Responding to research by the Howard League for Penal Reform, which shows that some children's homes call the police 200 times a year, Liberal Democrat Home Affairs spokesperson Ed Davey said: The Conservative Government is underfunding Children's Services, and that's a false economy. When they don't have the staff to deal with these issues, it falls to the police at much greater cost. We also need different services to work together to address the factors that cause children to run away or engage in criminal behaviour in the first place. That ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Labour and the Tories are not the only political parties struggling with internal divisions, Plaid Cymru, the self-proclaimed Party of Wales, are also in a bit of turmoil at the moment. Plaid's issues revolve around the fate of one of their Assembly Members, Neil McEvoy. McEvoy is currently suspended from the party for a whole host of reasons, and estranged from a number of members of the Assembly's Plaid Cymru group, who expelled him. He is now seeking readmission as a member of Plaid, in the hope that he can unseat the First Minister in the Cardiff West constituency at ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Episode forty of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at "Drugstore Rock 'n' Roll", by Janis Martin, an early rockabilly classic by the woman known as "the Female Elvis", musical gentrification, misogyny, and third acts ... Continue reading →

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