It turned out in the end not to be a good day to travel by train, but until then I had a good time. I was in Long Eaton to take a photograph of an overgrown railway bridge that I shall explain and share with you one day. But I also found the Sawley Junction - a micro pub just across the road from Long Eaton station. As a write up for DerbyshireLive said: The Sawley Junction is a bit bigger than the smallest micros, but it's still only one room and very smartly laid out. You immediately feel comfortable ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

You wouldn't expect the announcement to be made by a socialist journalist in the Spectator, but Nick Cohen appears to have important news: On 15 August, the attempt to build an effective remain force will begin when the Liberal Democrats, Greens and Plaid Cymru agree a non-aggression pact in 30 constituencies.They will back one candidate in each seat who will stand as X Liberal Democrat (Unite to Remain) or Y Green (Unite to Remain) and so on. The "Unite to Remain" title has already been agreed with the Electoral Commission so the problems found in running unity candidates in the ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Second paragraph of first chapter of third part: Verity's, to the south and the east. Between our two rooms is a third smaller bedroom with an easterly view which I will use as my study, and where I am writing now. I will put my desk in here when it arrives from New York. Otherwise all we have is a pair of suitcases each that made the journey with us. The Long Island Rail Road sped us as far as Greenport so that after these weeks of planning and letters to and fro, it is strange to arrive here so ...

The arc of history may bend towards justice, but there is nothing inevitable about progress. Societies can and do regress as well as progress. They can be dragged backwards by their lowest fears, as well impelled forward by their highest ideals.

Around midnight one October I found myself in a Manchester hotel room, facing a furious Chancellor (in black tie) and his aides (more slovenly), waving a draft PM conference speech containing an unexpected retail energy cap. Perhaps he should not have been surprised – it was a manifesto commitment, after all. But "it's in the [...]

Posted by freethinkingeconomist on Freethinking Economist

Relive the 1983-1987 Parliament, as told by the national opinion polls. It started with a landslide Conservative victory at the 1983 general election (landside as measured by seats, at least). But what happened next?

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Fri 9th

Carved in stone

Again I learned to walk without the hope of wings; tracking backwards from intricate devices to carving graven shelves of slate while still standing on those shelves, searching for a way to cut them loose that could leave their weight behind Advertisements

Posted by AL Franklin on Maintain the Advance!

Faced with the persistence of the pro-democracy mass movement within Hong Kong's "special administrative region", the all-powerful Chinese president is not sure what to do. Three options are available to Xi Jinping, but all three are bad. The first option is brutal military repression, following the example of the bloody events of the 4 June 1989 in the Tiananmen which had been occupied by a peaceful sit-in of students demanding the advent of democracy and civil liberties in their country. This military action does not pose any technical difficulties but it carries considerable geopolitical risks. In 1989, the West sanctioned ...

Posted by Renaud Girard on Radix Think Tank

When the British electorate voted in an advisory referendum three years ago about whether they would prefer to remain in the European Union or leave, the Conservative government foolishly declared that it would implement the "decision". In the event, the result was very close (approximately 52:48) and although no mature democracy had ever proceeded with [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

The other day I got talking to two Leavers on the train. They were a married couple well past retirement age. They told me that they belonged to a small group that celebrated St George's Day and Trafalgar Day, and said that they would be doing this "as long as we are allowed to". What I took away from that slightly paranoid remark was that they felt their identity was under threat from unpatriotic liberals. They were lovely people who had worked hard all their lives, and whom I instinctively respected. As we parted, I told them my father fought ...

Posted by John McHugo on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 9th

Bensham action day

Gateshead Lib Dems will be holding our next action day tomorrow, this time in Bensham. We are taking the battle to the heart of Labour territory in a ward which has been held by them for decades. We are building up our strength and campaigning activities as we move towards a possible snap general election this autumn and the local elections next May. Let's hope the rain doesn't curtain our

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace
Fri 9th

Lib Dem coffee

Last night Gateshead Lib Dems held a get together over coffee in the Staiths Cafe on the Staiths Estate in Teams. It was well attended especially by new members. And there were plenty of people there would are a fraction of my age! We will be having more events like this in the future. The next one is currently being organised for early September and will be a pizza and politics event. More

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Yesterday I took half a day off from politics and self-sufficiency to visit Beamish Museum. It is a ten minute from from my house and we have been regular visitors for years now. However, there are two new attractions at the Museum which have opened since we were last there. The first is the cottage of Joe, the Quilter, in the Georgian area of the Museum. Pictures of the cottage were in

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace
Fri 9th

My tweets

Thu, 12:56: RT @pmdfoster: @Holger_Nehring @faisalislam So. The number I've been given privately by industry is that there are currently approx 2,000 c... Thu, 13:41: RT @LoeningMarkus: @nwbrux @pmdfoster Germany would do a lot to prevent a no-deal Brexit. But not at the expense of its own interest, like... Thu, 15:36: Godson, aged 3. Thu, 16:05: Inside the mind of Boris Johnson's right-hand man What Dominic Cummings thinks. Thu, 16:09: Native English-speaker. Fluent if rusty French, Dutch, German. Tourist level Serbian/Bosnian/Croatian/Montenegrin... Thu, 17:02: UK to stay in Interrail scheme after U-turn Hooray! Thu, 17:11: Hard Brexiters' ...

Boris Johnson reminds me of an old school bully of mine. Behind the confidence and malcontent facade of someone who knows he can exploit those less fashionable (my politics never helped) lies the hidden fragility. The pursuit of popularity and the insatiable desire to be liked create a deep personal weakness, the lack of authenticity or character, masked by the charade of charm and affability. Eventually the act wares off, and he is left as a lamentable figure, destined for either a melancholy reprisal of his previous life or a painful self-evaluation. You nearly end up feeling sorry for him. ...

Posted by Patrick Maxwell on Liberal Democrat Voice
Fri 9th

Labour's vote meltdown

It's a Friday morning so we are waking up to the results of yesterday's by-elections, of which there were two. In Newnham, Cambridge, Labour had previously been within 7% of winning the seat from the Lib Dems. Yesterday, their vote collapsed, from 36% to 18%. (For good measure, the Lib Dems held the ward with 60% share of the vote, up 16%.) The second was in Claines in Worcester where the Lib

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi should consider the age-old truism "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." Actually, to say that Kashmir isn't broke would be putting an optimistic gloss on the Asian sub continent's number one flashpoint. Since independence and partition in 1947, the mountainous region has been the cause of three wars and numerous border clashes which have threatened to escalate into full-blown conflicts. Kashmir is a simmering political cauldron whose lid has largely been kept in place by two clauses in the Indian constitution which give the Muslim-dominated, but Indian-controlled region autonomy in all matters except foreign ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice

Earlier this week, I highlighted a Riverside Nature Park event this Saturday. There is also an event on Sunday and all residents are welcome at both :

The Council by-election results are in and it's been another very good night for the Liberal Democrats. In Newnham ward, where MEP Lucy Nesthinga has stood down, Josh Matthews won with a big swing from Labour. Full result from Newnham which saw @JoshMatthewsLD elected: Lib Dem Josh Matthews 774 59.5% (+16.3) LAB: 235 18.1% (-18.1) GRN: 149 11.5% (+1.5) CON: 143 11.0% (+0.2) — ALDC (@ALDC) August 8, 2019 The Conservatives held the Irthlingborough Waterloo ward in Northamptonshire. Sadly there was no Lib Dem candidate. Not a bad night, though! The Swinson Surge continues... And there doesn't seem to ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice