Sat 8th

Six of the Best 908

"Britain and America are in the midst of a barely reported public health crisis. They are experiencing not merely a slowdown in life expectancy, which in many other rich countries is continuing to lengthen, but the start of an alarming increase in death rates across all our populations, men and women alike. We are needlessly allowing our people to die early." Will Hutton on shit-life syndrome. Boris Johnson has declared war on liberal democracy, argues Peter Oborne. Robert Saunders examines how membership of the European Union changes Britain. "Cecil Sharp working in the early to mid-twentieth century and Ghost Box ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

For all I know Lord Bonkers may have been a friend of Conan Doyle's. Anyway, this second entry of the week provides insight into the general election campaign that you simply won't find anywhere else. Tuesday Given the above shambles, I feel far from guilty at having stolen an evening during the election to attend a fancy dress party in Finchley. The boarding instructions required one to dress as a character from literature, so being a stan (as the young people say) of Arthur Conan Doyle, I went as the Hound of the Baskervilles. I hired my dog costume from ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Chances are, you're very familiar with the idea that correlation does not mean causation, as nicely illustrated by this cat: Gentle reminder: Correlation does NOT mean Causality#Science — Luis Lopez-Sangil (@bioluisinho) February 3, 2020 It's a point I've made a good few times on this blog too, such as in relation to web browsers and murder rates, not to mention mountain ranges and murder rates. But as I point out in my new book, Bad News: This wise advice quickly ossifies into misplaced repetition, too often deployed in situations where it is not applicable. Consider salt (or pepper, if ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Without a doubt one of the key determinants of health is the home you live in. Is it a home or is it just a place where you have to live? Is it adequate to your needs? Is It big ... Continue reading →

Posted by richardkemp on But what does Richard Kemp think?

Second paragraph of third story ("The Ice Man", by Rosie Oliver):"What do you want?" she moaned into her pillow.A short collection of short stories by women, a number of which ended up on the BSFA long list last month, so I expected value for money - and got it. I must say the knockout story of the lot is co-editor Rosie Oliver's "The Ice Man", which takes the Scandinavian noir sub-genre and adds a very well crafted sfnal tweak to it. But they were all good. You can get it here.

Thanks to a nomination from a reader, the Independent wins our Headline of the Day Award. The judges particularly enjoyed the reader's comment: "I haven't read the article, so I don't know if it refers to Liam Fox MP, or a member of the genus vulpes vulpes."

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Sat 8th

My tweets

Fri, 12:56: The new Sinn Fein Vote. Why can't we have nice things? @ConBrunstrom's take. Fri, 16:05: RT @JenniferMerode: Brussels lobbyists getting more attention from British diplomats: requests for unpublished EU documents, invitations to... Fri, 17:11: RT @apcoworldwide: The general public tends to quickly forget about major disease outbreaks - our @stig_albinus shares why there's a need f... Fri, 18:17: The First Season 12: The Sontaran Experiment #bookblog2020 #doctorwho Fri, 18:57: Looking forward to this! Fri, 20:48: No. Sat, 10:45: Meet The Woman Who Is Uncovering Sexual Assault And Misconduct In Westminster Grim reading.... ...

An in-depth study from the Reuters Institute into media consumption at the 2019 general election has found that people are changing how they consume their news much more than who they get it from.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack
Sat 8th


As it stands at present, I would welcome a temperature of 18C in Swansea, but it is winter and so we have to roll with what we are given. However, even with my ignorance of climatology it is clear that experiencing such temperature in the Antarctic is not just freaky, but downright worrying. As the Independent reports, it is not just me who thinks that. The paper says that Antarctica has experienced its hottest temperature on record with a provisional recording of 18.3C - nearly 1C higher than the previous record of 17.5C in March 2015 by 0.8C. This comes ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Sat 8th

Back in Baku

It's 10 years since I was last in Azerbaijan and it is fascinating to see how much the capital city, Baku, has changed. Lots of new buildings, of course, including a flower-like shopping centre under construction just next to the (new and magnificent) carpet museum. But both the fin-de-siecle edifices put up during the first [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

Developers have put in plans for a play area and 'pavilion' right behind the houses in Meadow Mead to be used for community events. Two years ago, when developers first put in plans, they included an aerial cableway. Residents got a promise it would be removed. But it is back in on the latest plans. And on top of that they have added a wooden ' Pavilion' for public events, right behind houses. It will not be locked, will not have doors or windows, but will be flat roofed (ideal for climbing on). The Focus Team have written to residents ...

Some people think I'm a libertarian. That's because either libertarians think I'm one of them, or many on the left believe this to be my creed, which obviously makes me evil. But no, I'm not a libertarian. I used to describe myself as a classical liberal until that helpful term got hijacked by parts of the right and even the far-right. So now, I'm just a liberal. Which is different from being a libertarian. I believe in the power of the individual over the collective. Often this means favouring keeping the state out of something and allowing the private sector ...

Posted by Nick on

Including stories from Liberal Democrats all across Scotland, my email digest service is available for free and you can sign up to it here.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Bootle New Strand shopping centre I've blogged about the hugely controversial purchase of the Strand Shopping Centre in Bootle by Sefton Council in 2018 previously. I've also questioned the role of our local Borough Council dabbling in the oh so volatile property market. Click on the article below, from Hannah Gee, for more detail:- Sadly my fears, based on the valuation mentioned above, make this highly questionable purchase look like the poor deal for council tax payers of the Borough that I thought it could well turn out to be.

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

An exhibition to mark the Year of Coasts and Waters curated by Archive Services at the University of Dundee. Artists, designers and creative writers were invited to respond to the University's rich archive, museum and rare book collections on the themes of rivers, seas, coasts and mountains. Original photographs, journals, plans, models and specimens relating to whaling, the River Tay, the natural world and mountaineering have inspired jewellery, artwork, sculpture, poetry and much more :