Tue 31st

2019 books poll

View Poll: #2097935

Tue 31st

Six of the Best 903

"Take the train that derailed at Hatfield on 17 October 2000, a tragedy in which four people died. That led to huge media interest, massive upheaval on the railways, and, ultimately, as the renationalisation of Railtrack, whose failings had caused the crash. Yet more than twice as many people will have died on the roads that day. Nothing was written about those deaths." Chris Sharp asks why the government has accepted that it's OK to kill or be killed on our roads. Patrick Kidd experiences Christmas.in prison and meets the Revd Jonathan Aitken's in his new career as a chaplain. ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

In the current London Review of Books Neal Ascherson remembers his friend Jonathan Miller: I first met Jonathan's knees. This was because Cambridge sofas in the 1950s had broken springs. Once they had buoyed up culture heroes like Rupert Brooke, John Cornford or Guy Burgess. Now, as we trudged across the great Gromboolian plain of the 1950s, they had given up the struggle. Modish undergraduates perched on the arms. Jonathan, new to the place, tried to sit down and slid backwards into the depths. All I could see was these twin gatepost knees towering up. And then, peering over them, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

As my Presidency draws to an end on New Year's Eve, I wanted to write to you with a final thank you for the extraordinary help that you have given the liberal cause over the last five years. To have faced three General Elections and the EU Referendum during these five years – as well as the snap European elections this year – has been unprecedented, draining for everyone who has worked in them. Our candidates and teams, party staff and the many members and supporters who have continuously found that extra bit of energy and effort kept fighting the ...

Posted by Sal Brinton on Liberal Democrat Voice
Tue 31st

My 2019 books

I read 234 books this year, the fourth lowest of fifteen years that I have been keeping count. (Full numbers: 262 in 2018, 238 in 2017, 212 in 2016, 290 in 2015, 291 in 2014, 237 in 2013, 259 in 2012, 301 in 2011, 278 in 2010, 342 in 2009, 374 in 2008, 235 in 2007, 207 in 2006, 137 in 2005). Being Hugo Administrator ate into my reading time. I am Deputy Hugo Administrator next year, so expect similar. Page count for the year: 64,600 - third lowest of the nine years where I have kept count (71,600 in ...

What's your New Year's Resolution @LibDems? [IMG: 👇] HNY! https://t.co/9oJFJZxTPA — Ed Davey MP [IMG: 🔶] (@EdwardJDavey) December 31, 2019 I've made a New Year's Resolution. I want to show my community better than ever what liberalism means in action. So I'll be working harder than ever in my constituency advice surgeries, helping local people with their financial problems, with their housing issues and working with local people to strengthen our communities, that we're privileged to serve. If that sounds like old-fashioned, grassroots, community politics, you're hearing me. Last December's election was, on several levels, deeply depressing. But flip it ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

Current Seraphina, by Rachel Hartman Exhalation, by Ted Chiang Last books finished The Widows of Malabar Hill, by Sujata Massey Doctor Who: The Target Storybook, ed. Steve Cole Dragonworld, by Byron Preiss (did not finish) The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, by Maria Augusta Trapp The Rule of the Land: Walking Ireland's Border, by Garrett Carr I Love the Bones of You: My Father And The Making Of Me by Christopher Eccleston December Books Non-fiction: 4 (2019 total 49) Western Sahara: War, Nationalism and Conflict Irresolution, by Stephen Zunes and Jacob Mundy The Story of the Trapp Family Singers, ...

[IMG: Spend time today listing your achievements of this decade] People are more prone to be self-critical than to bestow self-praise. Being negative is the easy part. Working up positivism is hard work because praising ourselves doesn't come easy. I am more likely to recall... The post Spend time today listing your achievements of this decade appeared first on @ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on @ambitiousmamas
Tue 31st

My tweets

Mon, 12:56: 12 ways that life in Brussels has changed in 10 years https://t.co/pgZWPeQy1s Had you noticed? (Actually, most of t... https://t.co/zME79EcNrI Mon, 15:47: July 2004 books https://t.co/IdZj9zapuM Mon, 16:05: Children's fantasy literature of the Oxford School must be read critically. https://t.co/9YBn6fUoxs The connection... https://t.co/CNeAr9FXur Mon, 17:11: RT @ProfHansNoel: Knowledge is knowing that there was no year 0, so technically, the new decade begins Jan. 1, 2021, not 2020. Wisdom is... Mon, 17:40: Good news for Northern Ireland election fans: the website has now been updated with #GE19 results.... https://t.co/iCaUI93ctW Mon, 19:45: RT @andrewirelandHE: I'll always remember 2019 for Mission ...

Declaring an interest as someone of half-Indian extraction, I've argued on occasion that, whilst much attention is given to China's emergence as a world power, both military and economic, there should be more attention given to its democratic counterpart, India. It's an uphill struggle, I acknowledge, but still an important one. In terms of the domestic debate here, India falls under the category of "obvious trading partner" post-Brexit, i.e. someone we can increase exports to. Now, putting aside the fact that United Kingdom governments have treated Indian citizens in a manner akin to leprosy victims in terms of visa access ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

Many thanks to everyone who has been a reader in 2019, whether on this site, one of my other sites, on email with Liberal Democrat Newswire and my digests, on social media or in book and pamphlet form.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Over on the Independent website, Vince Cable, with typical wisdom, conducts a post-mortem on the "remain" campaign. He advises that we need to learn lessons from Nigel Farage, such as campaigning outside of Westminster through social media and other non-parliamentary means: Farage's mastery of radio and television, and more recently of social media, far exceeded in impact any disadvantage from not appearing in the House of Commons. That too can be played in reverse as the follies of Brexit, and the failures of Boris play out. Remainers can have more impact through radio call-ins and Facebook messaging than through parliamentary ...

Posted by Web Magpie on Liberal Democrat Voice

Over at the Times, the paper reports that NHS chiefs have held a closed meeting with giant technology and pharmaceutical companies to consider how billions of pounds could be made from a central database of patient records. Local NHS IT officers have criticised the service's leaders for discussing it "behind closed doors", saying that a lack of transparency could erode public trust. The NHS denies acting secretively: At the meeting in London in October, officials including the chairman and the chief executive of NHS England, Lord Prior of Brampton and Sir Simon Stevens, met representatives of companies including Microsoft, Amazon ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Following his Christmas message, today sees the release of Ed Davey's New Year message, coming with a strong focus on local campaigning.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

2019 must go down in politics as a really sad year for anyone who describes themselves as a progressive. That the UK has become more isolationist and racist is regretfully a given but for me as a passionate internationalist our frankly bizarre decision to become at best semi-detached from our European neighbours both economically and politically is profoundly depressing. I'm reminded of the play 'Brick up the Mersey Tunnel' as 2019 could easily be the start of us, at least in the abstract, bricking up the Channel Tunnel. Anyway here's my year; some big issues, some matters close to my ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Just how inaccurate was I?

Posted by Nick Barlow on Stories by Nick Barlow on Medium

There has been a weird lack of any sort of media pieces about the end of the decade. This is in sharp contrast to say, the end of the millennium, where everyone and his dog had a go at such a thing; even the end of the noughties brought with them a cavalcade of self-reflection. Perhaps people just hated the last ten years so much, they don't want to talk about it. I think the idea that the 2010s were all bad has got too much purchase. Believe it or not, lots of things improved. There are less starving people ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com
Tue 31st

A guid Hogmanay!

Auld Lang Syne Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And never brought to mind? Should auld acquaintance be forgot, And auld lang syne? CHORUS: For auld lang syne, my dear, For auld lang syne, We'll tak a cup of kindness yet, For auld lang syne! And surely ye'll be your pint-stowp, And surely I'll be mine, And we'll tak a cup o kindness yet, For auld lang syne! We twa hae run about the braes, And pou'd the gowans fine, But we've wander'd monie a weary fit, Sin auld lang syne. We twa hae paidl'd in the burn Frae morning sun ...

October There were calls for the reopening of the Market Harborough to Northampton railway line and I shared my photos of the last train on it from 1981. I photographed a striking shop window display in Nottingham. We laughed at Ann Widdecombe in the 1990s, but her cartoon image pointed the way for future Conservative politicians: Since then we have had Boris Johnson as a minor P.G. Wodehouse character, Jacob Rees-Mogg as Lord Snooty's grandfather and Geoffrey Cox as the famous actor you can't remember seeing in anything. These personae are a calculated armour designed to disguise their wearers' politics ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England