After quite the few days in British politics, we have three council by-elections this week, two of which feature Liberal Democrat candidates. Wainbody, Coventry James Morshead stood for the Lib Dems in a ward where in the party's best days it finished third and in its worse fifth. No more, however, because he and the team took the Lib Dems up into second with a big swing from Labour: Wainbody (Coventry) result: CON: 53.2% (+1.8) LDEM: 21.6% (+16.0) LAB: 18.6% (-16.4) BREX: 6.6% (+6.6) Conservative HOLD. No Grn (-5.0) and UKIP (-3.0) as prev. — Britain Elects (@britainelects) September 5, ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Never let it be said that this blog is not focussed on the big issues, such as constitutional reform. Yet, funnily enough, having written about the importance of our unwritten conventions, this evening I found myself debating a new constitution for our county umbrella group, the Suffolk Association of Local Councils. Apparently, the current version has developed over many years and almost as many iterations, finally becoming so overloaded that it was felt easier to just start again. And, indeed, it is a far more streamlined, accessible document. But, as is often the case, I felt that it could be ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

For once, in a week when the Liberal Democrats have attracted two new MPs and played a huge role in the cross party efforts to pass the legislation to protect us from a No Deal Brexit, the party will be represented on Question Time. Layla Moran will be representing the party. The other panellists include Iain Dale, whose fringe show she appeared on in Edinburgh, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford, Labour's Emily Thornberry, Conservative Minister Kwasi Kwarteng and the Brexit Party MEP Richard Tice. Watch on BBC1 at 10:35 or catch up on iPlayer.

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

A 1935 poster produced by the London & North Eastern Railway. The artist was Septimus E. Scott. I am reminded of the following exchange. The playwright Alan Ayckbourn, famous for living in the Yorkshire resort of Scarborough and for opening all his plays there was walking along the front there one day, when he was accosted by a stranger. There ensued this exchange: Mr Ayckbourn, isn't it? It is. I was looking at the paper the other day and I noticed that you have two plays running in the West End. Yes, that's right. I hope you don't mind me ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The Rubicon is crossed. I've just ended my decades long commitment to a Labour Party I no longer recognise and joined the @LibDems @ChukaUmunna @lucianaberger— Rob FlelloPersonal (@RobertFlello) September 5, 2019Robert Flello was Labour MP for Stoke-on-Trent South between 2005 and 2017. Altogether now: "For he's a jolly good Flello."

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Though the Fixed-term Parliaments Act was necessary to prevent David Cameron ending the Coalition as soon as it suited him, Liberals and Liberal Democrats have long advocated fixed parliamentary terms. They limit the electoral advantage enjoyed by the governing party, because everyone knows when the next election will be, and they encourage parties to work together. So there is no reason for the Liberal Democrats to hurry to allow a general election. And there is a very good reason why we should put if off for a good while: Boris Johnson is desperate for it to take place soon. You ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Cavalry armies were famous for fooling their opponents through a manoeuvre known as the 'feigned retreat'. For instance, during the Battle of Legnica in 1241 a combined force of Poles and Moravians fell into the trap of charging the Mongolian cavalry lines who, apparently, fled the field. Except the didn't. The western horsemen were now separated from their supporting infantry, the Mongolian heavy cavalry turned and light horse archers enveloped the confused knights, now on tired horses. While they took some casualties in the ensuing fight, Mongolian victory was complete. What has this got to do with current UK politics, ...

Posted by Martin Veart on Martin's View

The resignations of my friends Jennie Rigg and Sarah Brown resigned from the Liberal Democrats over the joyful acceptance of Philip Lee into the party it gave me pause for reflection. It wasn't that long ago that another "health issue" caused a lot of hurt here in Northern Ireland when Iris Robinson mentioned that her friendly psychiatrist could cure Northern Ireland of Sodomy it seemed. Quite rightly the Liberal Democrats were up in arms about those comments. However, when someone's views in the past that we should stop people coming to this country who have HIV or Hepatitis, some of ...

Posted by Stephen Glenn on Stephen's Liberal Journal

Rory Stewart discusses what's wrong with British politics and how to put it right at a RADIX event during the Big Tent Festival of ideas Read the full post ""We need to unite the country" Rory Stewart in conversation with Ayesha Hazarika" on Radix Think Tank.

Posted by Ben Rich on Radix Think Tank

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been challenged to repeat his attacks on a doctor outside Parliament where he won't be protected by Parliamentary privilege from legal action.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

On behalf of Liverpool Liberal Democrats, I have today welcomed the news that Luciana Berger has joined the Liberal Democrats. I do so not only as the Leader of the Lib Dems in Liverpool but also as the now ousted ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

Second frame of third chapter, Berlin: City of Stones: Second frame of third chapter, Berlin: City of Smoke: Second frame of third chapter, Berlin: City of Light: I have been waiting for ten years for the third book of Lutes' Berlin Trilogy to come out, and took the opportunity to reread the first two volumes. Of the first one, I wrote back in 2004:This is another from the Time list of 25 must-read graphic novels. Once again, fantastic. Very much in the Will Eisner tradition, following a set of characters through a richly imagined historical background; for instance the Potsdamerplatz, ...

In case you missed it yesterday, here's Jane Dodds' excellent maiden speech. Just as a side note, Holyrood started calling them debut speeches a while ago to get rid of the gendered implication. It seems appropriate for Westminster to follow suit. The text is below: Thank you, Mr Speaker. May I start by paying tribute to my predecessor, Mr. Chris Davies. He worked hard for our local communities, raising awareness on the difficult issue of mental health and suicide in our farmers. I thank him for his service. Chris followed hard on the heels of the highly respected Liberal Democrat ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Nick Harvey, who has been the party's Chief Executive for two years, is stepping down later this year. He told Mark Pack: After the heat and dust of an election has settled, we will be at a natural change point. It will be the right moment for me to pursue new paths, and with a new Leader, a new President from January and a new Parliament, time for a new Chief Executive to complete the team to take the party forward for the next five or ten years. I have given notice so the party can plan ahead, but am ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Liverpool Wavertree MP Luciana Berger is the newest member of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary team. She said: This is a moment of national crisis. The Liberal Democrats are unequivocal in wanting to stop Brexit and are committed to securing Britain's future as a tolerant, open and inclusive society. I am joining Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats today, in the national interest, to offer a vital, positive alternative to Johnson and Corbyn and help build a future that our country deserves. Jo Swinson welcomed her: Luciana is a passionate advocate for women's and LGBT+ rights, and she's at the forefront ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Luciana Berger, the independent MP for Liverpool Wavertree, is joining the Liberal Democrats: Former Labour MP Luciana Berger today revealed to the Evening Standard that she is joining the Liberal Democrats. In an interview alongside party leader Jo Swinson, she told how the pair struck up a friendship in a WhatsApp group for MPs with babies. Ms Berger finally decided to make the move this summer because it would give her more influence to prevent a "catastrophic" no-deal Brexit. "It is a crunch moment for our country and we all have a responsibility to step up," said the 38-year-old MP. ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Thu 5th

My tweets

Wed, 12:45: RT @DavidGauke: There have been some unexpected developments of late. Who knows what the future holds? Wed, 12:56: You Go Too Fast for Me Lovely piece about Good Omens. Wed, 13:55: RT @paulwaugh: Woah. Electric moment in #PMQs as @TanDhesi lays into Johnson over his burka letterbox line. Loud applause. Wed, 13:55: RT @PARLYapp: MPs applaud as @TanDhesi demands the PM apologise for his derogatory and racist remarks about Muslim women Wed, 13:56: RT @Chevilang: Well done to @joswinson calling @BorisJohnson out for his crass reply to @TanDhesi's Q about letterbox/bank robber comments;... Wed, 14:02: RT ...

The right-wing newspapers still crow about how brilliantly Boris Johnson is doing; yes, it may look to the casual observer as if he's lost every vote since becoming PM and seems to be visibly disintegrating in the chamber, but no. It's all part of an ingenious plan to crush the saboteurs. Back in reality, I am struggling to see how Johnson hasn't put himself in check. I really don't see a move that he can make that gets the prime minister out of the hole he's willingly jumped into. He can only be saved by a major error from Labour ...

Posted by Nick on

Laura Gordon in the Sheffield campaign HQ Yesterday morning I caught the bus out to the HQ. After a most welcome cuppa, I packed up my rucksack and went off with a full load of leaflets and targeted envelopes. Once again, I was lucky enough to be delivering in the most leafy and wide streets. And the rain held off long enough for me not to be left with a fistful of soggy papier-mâché to pour through letter boxes. I finished the day with some envelope writing and a hugely restorative visit to Wetherspoons. Yes, I know Tim Martin is ...

Posted by Paul Walter on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 5th

Low Fell eFocus no. 41

Last night edition 41 of the Lib Dem email newsletter for Low Fell was published. The key articles include: Tour of Britain Cycle Race comes to Low Fell Sponsors needed for Low Fell's Christmas tree and lights More flowers for Low Fell Flagstones replaced Welcoming Grace College Low Fell Library hosts Macmillian coffee morning You can read eFocus on this link.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

The question of how to pay for the costs of motorways - construction and maintenance is solved in different ways in different countries. In Germany and most of the UK it comes out of taxation. The exceptions are such as the M6 toll road and several high cost estuary crossings (Dartford, Humber and Tyne). In [...]

Posted by haroldwoodcitizen on Harold Wood citizen's Blog
Thu 5th

Delivering in Whickham

I was out in the Whickham pat of my ward on Tuesday. I had 300 Focuses to deliver. It took just over an hour to completed the patch. But there's still more to do!

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

We had a debate in Gateshead Council last year about the need for a referendum on any Brexit deal. This was at the time when Labour opposed a referendum but supported a "public vote". We were told by Labour during the debate that a public vote was NOT a referendum but refused to say what it was. But one of the most interesting contributions from Labour during the debate was the claim that the

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Want to read the latest news about the Liberal Democrat websites but prefer the stories to come to your email inbox rather than have to remember to go and check different websites? Then this free email service is for you.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

As Boris Johnson blustered his way into his latest hole, I suddenly remembered the psychologist Norman Dixon, author of the revelatory 1976 tome On the Psychology of Military Incompetence. I have written before about the parallels with Dixon's thesis about great British defeats – the Somme, Singapore and so on – and the whole Brexit process. I had not realised before that there were parallels also with the British way of doing politics. His thesis was that the old idea that military incompetence was something to do with stupidity had to be set aside. Not only were the features of ...

Posted by David Boyle on Radix Think Tank

I am still not sure how I feel about my introducing politics to my twelve-year-old daughter. I don't like the idea of indoctrination, and despite being open about my views, I try to balance them with what the opposing ideas are, so she doesn't just take what I say as gospel. It's tricky. If I think "I'm right", shouldn't I teach her what "is right"? Yet, my father did not. A Labour man his whole life, and I barely knew it till he died. They did not shelter us from it. My parents allowed us to know the ideas and ...

Posted by Johnny McDermott on Liberal Democrat Voice


With a General Election before the end of the year now all but inevitable, the Guardian reports that more than 100,000 people have applied to register to vote since the start of the week, with young people making up the bulk of the surge against the backdrop of a momentous 48 hours in British politics. They say that on Monday, 52,408 applications were submitted, according to government figures, followed by 64,485 on Tuesday: The figure on both days was significantly above the typical number for weekday applications, which has averaged about 27,000 for the past month. Parties that have traditionally ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

It's 12:55 am and the House of Lords just got to the amendments on the first paragraph of the timetable motion for the avoiding no deal bill. They have been going for the better part of 11 hours now and the vote they are on now is, I think, the 16th. According to Lib Dem Peer Paul Strasburger, this is the most votes ever in a single session. This is part of the Government's attempts to filibuster out the Bill to stop a no deal Brexit in its tracks which was passed by the Commons earlier. There were rumours on ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice