Sat 30th

Brentford Dock in 1970

Photo: Robert Shopland Back to the Inland Waterways Association's Bulletin and its March 1970 issue. This photo is captioned 'A lost opportunity. Brentford Dock, empty and forlorn, awaits redevelopment.' Brentford is where the Grand Union Canal meets the Thames in West London - its dock for the transhipment of goods had closed in 1964. I was to visit Brentford on a canal holiday in the summer of 1970 during the brief middle-class period of my childhood. Frustratingly, I have no clear memory of the derelict dock, though I do recall being interested in the way the River Brent joined and ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The rodent-toothed ambition of Boris Johnson and nihilism of Dominic Cummings have laid bare the uselessness of Britain's constitution. In a way we should be grateful to them. For it's no use having a political system built on gentlemen's agreements if the participants aren't gentlemen. The monarchy and the BBC have proved powerless- just ask the Queen or Andrew Neil. Only John Bercow's courage and love of the limelight has kept the government in check these past few months and now he has gone, "Who cares for you?" said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

This week Deltapoll has ventured outside of London for its constituency polls, with five from across other parts of England. For Labour, its vote is down in four but up in the one it has the most hopes of winning. For the Lib Dems, beating Dominic Raab looks a very real prospect, though the Portsmouth South polling is disappointing. The others polls, though, point towards the increase in the Lib Dem vote since 2017 being very concentrated into its strongest areas – a sign of the potential for gaining seats if the party can rise further in them. As for ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Hello! I'm Mark Pack, author of 101 Ways To Win An Election, and the maintainer of the largest database of national voting intention polls in the UK, stretching back to 1943. Welcome to a round-up of the latest general election voting intention figures from each of the polling firms currently active in the UK. Below the table, you'll find the option to sign up to email updates about new polls and also a set of answers to frequently asked questions about political polling. General election voting intention polls Pollster Con Lab LD Grn BXP Con/Lab gap Fieldwork YouGov 43% (nc) ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I was given today a copy of the Brexit Party freepost leaflet for Jarrow. Have a look at it and see if you can spot something significant that is missing. Spotted it yet? There is no mention of their candidate, not even in the imprint. I'm not an agent but I'm rather surprised Royal Mail allowed this.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace
Sat 30th

Recent deliveries

Election leaflet deliveries are now in full swing. On Tuesday I was in Dunston. On Thursday I was in Sunniside, Friday in Whickham and today I was in central Gateshead. We had new members with us today and they are returning for another stint tomorrow.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

I filmed this on Tuesday at the Whickham Christmas lights switch on, starting at Rose Villa and then moving on to Church Green.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

On Tuesday, the Whickham Christmas lights were switched on. The event was organised by Lighting Up Whickham who also raised the funds for the decorations. The tree was paid for by Chris Joyce, manager of the Woodmans on Fellside Road. As usual, I was there to do the photos.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Here are all the constituency opinion polls published for the 2019 general election. Note in particular how big the swings often are from the 2017 general election, making the 2017 election results a poor guide to tactical voting choices in many heavily Remain area. Beaconsfield Con Lab Lib Dem Brexit Green 2017 result 65% 21% 8% (3% Ukip) 3% Deltapoll (Nov) 53% 7% 36% (Grieve, Ind) 1% Berwick-upon-Tweed Con Lab Lib Dem Brexit Green 2017 result 53% 25% 21% – 2% Deltapoll (Nov) 60% 17% 20% – 2% Cambridge Con Lab Lib Dem Brexit Green 2017 result 16% 52% 29% ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:- This fascinating story of the last days of the Meccano Factory is a significant part of the recent history of Liverpool. The Frank Hornby Trust was set up a few years ago to celebrate the life, work and products of world famous toy maker Frank Hornby. He lived for most of his adult life in Maghull on Merseyside in two houses – The Hollies on Station Road and Quarry Brook which is now the 6th Form building of Maricourt High School. The first English Heritage Blue ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

For readers joining this series late, here are parts one, two and three... So far this week, I've discussed the lies and indecision at the heart of Brexit that make it impossible for Johnson to deliver on any of the grand promises he makes. The biggest lie of all is British Exceptionalism, the lie that we tell ourselves that Britain is somehow special, because of our history, because of the Empire, because of the ubiquity of our language, because of the "special relationship". The dangerous delusion of "Empire 2.0". Johnson in particular, refers to Britain in towering, cod-Churchillian terms, forgetting ...

Posted by Richard Flowers on Liberal Democrat Voice

Sign up to Polling UnPacked and get a carefully curated selection of the best British political polling stories via email.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Sat 30th

November 2019 books

Fiction (non-sf): 10 (YTD 41) (counting the two Dr Strangelove books in this category, even though the punchline depends on a fictional technology) Normal People, by Sally Rooney The Camelot Club, by Brian Killick The Bluest Eye, by Toni Morrison Tom Jones, by Henry Fielding A Close Run Thing, by Allan Mallinson Red Alert, by Peter George Dr Strangelove: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb, by Peter George Two Brothers, by Ben Elton One of the 28th: A Tale of Waterloo, by G. A. Henty My Century, by Günther Grass Plays 1 (YTD 2) Pygmalion, ...

Sat 30th

Knives Out *****

Whodunnits are an important genre of popular fiction, perhaps best typified by the prolific output of that West Country mistress of mystery, Agatha Christie. Many of her books were turned into films or television specials; one thinks particularly of Murder on the Orient Express and the long-running TV series, Poirot. Rian Johnson's Knives Out, which has just [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Sat 30th

My tweets

Fri, 12:18: The UK's media failure, by @stephenkb. Fri, 12:56: How Belgium Became Europe's Den of Spies and a Gateway for China @PeterMartin_PCM reports. Fri, 13:10: RT @FT: Prince Andrew, and some right royal corporate hypocrisy Fri, 15:42: RT @pipmadeley: Anyone else remember the time Kate Bush unexpectedly turned up in #DoctorWho? Fri, 18:19: February 2004 books Fri, 20:48: RT @mariafarrell: The people in this photo . . . Peak Gilead. And with a side-order of stealing brown people's babies. Absolute horrorshow.... Fri, 21:15: RT @MalmstromEU: Delighted to spend my last days as commissioner in ...

Senior figures from such companies as the New Covent Garden Soup Company, Superdry and Lovefilm are among business leaders who have endorsed the Liberal Democrats in a letter published in the I newspaper. It says: Business is at the heart of our economy, providing the jobs that millions depend on, the prosperity that pays for public services, and the means by which we bring together our enterprise, ambition and creativity to find new solutions and opportunities. We also know there is a big task ahead if we are to build a prosperous, fair, inclusive and sustainable economy fit for the ...

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice

A standard rule of expertise is that the more you know about the topic, the more you are aware of the limitations of your knowledge. Self-confident certainty makes for media-friendly punditry, for example, but also for inaccurate punditry. In politics in particular, the error the self-confident frequently make on their road to inaccuracy is to over-estimate massively how much attention the public pays to politics and hence the public's level of knowledge about events or even whether or not the public noticed the events at all. That is why, for example, effective political campaigns need to repeat messages until well ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

The Independent reports on the mystery of how two swastikas came to be daubed on a Tory campaign placard, despite the fact that the sign has been in the possession of the local MP for two years. The paper says that Simon Hart, the Conservative parliamentary candidate for Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire, has been asked to explain the addition of two swastikas to campaign placards which were apparently defaced in 2017, and were photographed at the time but did not feature any such Nazi insignia, after Mr Hart uploaded a new photograph of the placard to Facebook on 3rd ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

I got about fifteen minutes into the BBC "leaders" debate last night before I couldn't take any more. The whole thing was just too depressing. The Labour Party sent out Rebecca Long-Bailey to fill the slot. I realise she is the heir apparent to the Labour leadership, but she's shadow BEIS – not even one of the big four jobs. Then again, the Tories sent out Rishi Sunak, the Chief Secretary to the Treasury. Again, not one of the big jobs either. It's like the Tories and Labour wanted to make the whole thing seem like it didn't matter; as ...

Posted by Nick on

Seven leading figures from the various parties competing in the election took part in a televised debate from the National Assembly of Wales. We are a site made up of Lib Dem supporters. Of course we are going to back our leader. But she surpassed even our expectations. Her opening statement offered hope, and a country where everyone is valued regardless of religion, who they love or the colour of their skin, working with our closest friends to save the planet, nurturing the bonds in our family of nations, protecting the vulnerable. A proper liberal vision. Representatives of seven major ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice

Back in 2007 I blogged about BBC TV weatherman, Dan Corbett, positing that he is Bob Monkhouse's secret love child: The slick hand movements. The comedic, chummy mid-Atlantic delivery. The clever little lines. The physical features. It's all there. The little pointy hand gesture at the end is the clincher. I hadn't thought about Dan ... Continue reading TV weatherman, who is Bob Monkhouse's secret love child, rocks up down under

Posted by paulwalternewbury on Liberal Burblings

Lib Dems respond to Tory announcement on free movement and schools Responding to the Conservative Party's claim that continued free movement would lead to 363,000 more children in state schools, Liberal Democrat Shadow Education Secretary Layla Moran said: After demonising EU citizens as benefit tourists two days ago, Boris Johnson has now shamefully turned his attack on their children. This attack is straight out of the Farage-Trump playbook. Not only is it cruel, it's completely absurd. The Government's own Migration Advisory Committee has shown that there is 'no evidence that migration has reduced school choice or the educational attainment of ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

Residents are invited to this Scottish Universities Insight Institute event next Thursday - 5th December - in the West End as part of the 'Healthy Universities for Healthy Communities Project'. In an informal morning celebration, the project will be sharing the ideas and insights generated in its knowledge cafés, held earlier this year, to identify collaborative university-community approaches to improving health and wellbeing for all. The event takes place at Roseangle Kitchen Café. In the afternoon, in the Dalhousie Building at the University of Dundee, the keynote speaker, Dr Matt Dolf, who is irector, Strategic Support, UBC Wellbeing, University of ...

Commenting on the letter written by Richard Ratcliffe to Boris Johnson regarding the ongoing detention of Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe, Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary Chuka Umunna said:"I encourage every voter to read the heart-breaking letter by Richard Ratcliffe. It is clear that Boris Johnson is totally unfit to be Prime Minister. "Johnson has still failed to correct his untrue and inaccurate comments in Hansard regarding Nazanin's case. He must learn that his words have consequences. "He has let Nazanin down at every turn. It is time that he steps up and does all he can to ensure that Nazanin is brought ...

Posted by Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats