Lib Dems respond to Iran Crisis Responding to reports of the death of General Qasem Soleimani by a US Air Strike, Liberal Democrat Acting Leader Ed Davey said: Iran is governed by a brutal regime which has been openly hostile to the west. Donald Trump has yet again radically and recklessly escalated tensions in an area where peace-keeping was already on a knife edge. There is a real danger this will stoke further conflict, undermining peace and stability in the region. Given the severity of the crisis, the Prime Minister must make a statement about the UK's position immediately. The ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

So here is the last of these videos from the Orthodox monastery beneath the Stiperstones in Shropshire. "It's jolly mysterious," said Dickie.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Fri 3rd

Last delivery of 2019

On Tuesday I did my last literature delivery of the year/decade. 370 calendars were put through doors in Whickham. Alas, next to me is a large pile of leaflets waiting for me to deliver over the next few days. At least I will get lots of exercise. I wonder if I will be able to deliver at the same rate at the start of 2030.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace
Fri 3rd

More eFocuses

We are only a few days into the new year but Gateshead Lib Dems already have published two efocuses. You can read them on the following links: Low Fell no. 49 Pelaw and Heworth no. 14

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

If you want to become a Ludlow Town Councillor, you have until 22 January to apply. This follows the resignations of Councillors Tony Mahalski and Nicola Paton. Their departures have created vacancies in two wards, Whitcliffe and Clee View. The rules for the applications are set out on the town council's website. Ludlow Town Council achieves a lot for our town. It's a voice for the people who live here. It makes grants to community groups. It maintains some of the town's open spaces and play areas. It runs the market. It works hard to ensure that Ludlow's voice is ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

It was entirely coincidental that, more than 3,500 miles apart, Dominic and I were both blogging about his suggestions about changing the way Government is done. Trust me, my typing speed isn't really that quick, and my drafting far too cautious to allow me to have responded that quickly. But now I've had a chance to read his blog, and reflect upon its content a little, perhaps I ought to offer some thoughts. Firstly, the sort of people he indicates that he's looking for. Smart, "weird" people, he suggests. Bright, young, without any baggage. And in at least one sense, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

Second paragraph of third chapter (and it's a long one, sorry):The background to this logic is simple enough. There has long been a fear among French and U.S. strategists that without the monarchy, Morocco could slide into chaos or be taken over by elements that might not ensure continuity of Western interests. During the Cold War, left-wing nationalists were the threat. Now it is political Islam. The Moroccan monarchy has been more than willing to play up its alleged vulnerabilities—"apres moi, le deluge!"—to win over support. Although the popular Moroccan political imaginaire is not as limited as the West fears, ...

Fri 3rd

Valediction for a year

Goodbye to you, two thousand and nineteen, without regrets. A year that fled: lived through in disarray –nothing new or unexpected there – except it let those bastards steal the future, taking out a mortgage on their souls redeemable against our children's liveswithout responsibility. Goodbye, two thousand and nineteen: My beloved dog outlasted you / but only by three days

Posted by AL Franklin on Maintain the Advance!

The US assassination of Iranian General Qassem Suleimani, reportedly on President Trump's direct order, is a dangerous escalation of tensions in the Persian Gulf that could all to easily develop into all-out war. Donald Trump has been itching to hit out against Iran ever since he came to power and last year a direct US [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

Party members should now have received two emails with a link to the party's initial election debrief survey (one before Christmas from Sal Brinton and Ed Davey and one this week). If you don't think you received the emails, then: Try searching both your inbox and other email folders, including spam, for "I am honoured to be taking up post from the start of this year as President of the Liberal Democrats", which is one of the sentences on the email from myself; and If that doesn't work, try the steps here. In addition to the many submissions already to ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

New year is a time for new projects. And with a parliament likely to last four years, we have time to devote to thinking about where we want the party to be by 2024 - and how we get there. So before Christmas, Lisa Smart (Hazel Grove) and I met up for a pub lunch in the Peak District. We picked Hope, partly because it's halfway between our homes, and partly because... well... we could use some hope. While this election was disappointing across the board, the result masks significant regional variation. We did relatively well in London and the ...

Posted by Laura Gordon on Liberal Democrat Voice

We had an awkward four hours or so between being "evicted" from our cosy hotel room and an appropriate time to head for the airport, and given the fairly frigid temperatures outside, catching a movie seemed like a good idea. Our choice, "Bombshell", a dramatised version of the events which brought about the end of the career of Roger Ailes, the former head of Fox News. Starring Charlize Theron, Nicole Kidman, Margot Robbie and John Lithgow, the film charts the story of Megyn Kelly, the news anchor who, after Roger Ailes was sued for sexual harassment by a former colleague, ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy

The disappointment for Labour supporters of last month's British general election result must be crushing. Back in 2017, after the party's surprisingly strong performance at the June election, I remember a Labour-supporting union official talking as if the party was going to bring down the minority Tory government and install itself in power in a ... Continue reading Labour: tactical errors and a strategic weakness

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

Boris Johnson may talk a good story, but he has still not convinced the people who matter that his so-called timetable for exiting the EU and delivering a trade deal is deliverable. Any idea that the Tories were the party of business was lost some time ago in the mists of Brexit fantasy, however now that we are faced with an 80 seat Tory majority, a Prime Minister who struggles with the truth, and the cliff edge looking a much more realistic destiny, the economy's only hope is that business confidence somehow holds up. Alas, if this Guardian article is ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Fri 3rd

My tweets

Thu, 13:02: RT @levarburton: I've been thinking a lot lately about the state of race relations in America. One thing I learned from the success of ROOT... Thu, 13:10: RT @BBCArchive: #OnThisDay 1981: Carry On Thermocoupling: Kenneth Williams was a guest presenter on Tomorrow's World. Thu, 18:53: Must-read thread. Thu, 18:57: Wildthyme Beyond!, by Paul Magrs Thu, 21:19: RT @Hugo_Book_Club: Deciding not to gatekeep what it means to be a fan is what defines real Star Wars fans. Thu, 21:19: RT @KeohaneDan: Stunned, a broadcasting legend. RIP Thu, 21:30: RT @EmGusk: "The Wonder Years aired ...

Layla Moran (Photo: Oxford Mail) I joined the Lib Dems before the 2010 general election. At that election there were a number of gay MPs returned - Stephen Williams, Stephen Gilbert and David Laws. There was of course also Simon Hughes, whose bisexuality was made public during his 2006 leadership campaign. There were various other high-profile party members who were LGBT, and at a time when same-sex marriage was being openly debated these voices were very much in the foreground. I recall a few years later, when the focus was on LGBT+ issues in a way like never before, I ...

Posted by Andrew on A Scottish Liberal

Everyone is doing post-mortems of why Labour and the Lib Dems did so badly in the general election and why the Tories were able to make such a massive electoral breakthrough. Understandably, a lot of this has focused on leaders, manifesto policies and short campaign tactics. I would like to now move onto the bigger picture: why I think the Right keeps winning and the Left keeps losing in broader, cultural terms. As I wrote about yesterday, many on the Left want to say it wasn't all Corbyn's fault and that Labour has been bleeding votes for some time. They ...

Posted by Nick on

Over on the Independent, Wera Hobhouse MP argues that the whole EU referendum and ensuing mess came about due to the faults of the First Past the Post voting system, and has now left us with a government elected by 44% of voters which can deliver any Brexit it wants, despite 52% of voters voting for parties committed to a People's Vote or revoking Article 50: But first-past-the-post had had another pernicious effect on British society. With its "safe seats" and wasted votes, (in 2016) it had made millions of voters justifiably feeling ignored for decades. In doing so, it ...

Posted by Web Magpie on Liberal Democrat Voice

The Liverpool Echo has the article on its website – see link below:- Well the rather too obvious comment is why has it taken so long with services having been awful for far too long? Remember the Ormskirk – Preston Line being without trains at all for weeks on end in 2018? But, and it's a big but, it would be unwise to think that the day after Northern are shown the door that things will improve much as they won't. The failings of the UK rail industry are widespread and passengers face a long wait until things ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

This is Willie Rennie's New Year message: Around the globe, dark currents have buffeted liberal democracy. Boris Johnson's Brexit threatens to cut us off from our European neighbours, while Donald Trump's trade wars and Twitter tirades threaten to undo America's status as a global leader. Meanwhile from Hong Kong to Xinjiang, protestors and activists face brutal clampdowns. These are the challenges we must face up to over the next twelve months. Closer to home there are huge challenges too. From long waits for mental health treatment to the bungled rollout of the new childcare entitlement, Liberal Democrats will highlight, debate ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

The next Discovery Days event from the University of Dundee will take place on Thursday 9th and Friday 10th January. The venue is the Main Lecture Theatre, Dalhousie Building, Old Hawkhill. You can listen to the university's newest professors and award-winning teachers and students, as they share the ideas that inspire them. Everyone is welcome, including school pupils, members of the public and university staff and students. As part of Discovery Days 2020, there is also holding the annual public session with the University's Court. This is a unique opportunity to hear from and pose questions to the university's governing ...