I suspect that what those attending the Festival of Liberalism at Bonkers Hall really need to worry about is being robbed by the Elves of Rockingham Forest on the way home. Saturday The morning post arrives and with it a brochure for the Festival of Brexit Britain. I flick through it in a desultory way and find the programme pretty thin gruel - and as Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Bonkers' Home for Well-Behaved Orphans I know a thing or two about thinning gruel. It turns you will be able to insult Belgians at the Empire Pool, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

I welcome guest posts on Liberal England. So if you have views on what the Liberal Democrats should do next, why not share them here? As you can see from this list of the 10 most recent guests posts, I am happy to consider a wide range of subjects beyond the Lib Dems If you would like to write a guest post yourself, please drop me an email so we can discuss your idea. For Liberalism to succeed we must embrace all of its creed - Patrick MaxwellForgotten Victorian folklore collectors: An undiscovered treasure trove - Francis YoungJoseph Merrick in ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

From the Guardian: Boris Johnson's Caribbean holiday over the New Year was a £15,000 gift from a wealthy and controversial Conservative donor, newly released documents disclose. The prime minister and his partner Carrie Symonds accepted accommodation for a private holiday in St Vincent and the Grenadines. David Ross, a Tory donor who co-founded the Carphone Warehouse chain, provided the accommodation, which was reportedly on the private island of Mustique, one of the Grenadines.David Ross, as regular readers will know, is the owner of Nevill Holt, which most historians now accept to be the model for Bonkers Hall. Later. Or did ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Lara Pringle, a criminal barrister with more than two decades of experience prosecuting, has worked professionally with every police force in the country.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Chuka Umunna Campaign launch It's 2020 - a new year, a new decade. Once more, and I know it's already February, I feel the urge to reflect on the gains and losses of the general election last year and set out why I believe that there has never been a better time to be involved in politics. I think we can all agree: the general election result was disappointing. There is no way to spin it. We lost the election. We didn't win the argument, despite the largest national increase in vote share of any party. In Tom Brake, Chuka ...

Posted by Dominic Buxton on Liberal Democrat Voice

While I have vague memories of watching this in 1975 - my brithday was on a Saturday that year - I have much clearer memories of renting the video in about 1990; it was one of the first Doctor Who stories to be released on VHS. I persuaded sceptical housemates in the wonderful 49 Chesterton Road, Cambridge, to gather round and watch, and we all enjoyed the nostalgia trip. When I came back to it in 2007, I wrote:Revenge of the Cybermen has a rather poor reputation among fandom, but I rather enjoyed it this time round (I remember it ...

Wed 12th

Wednesday reading

Current The City in the Middle of the Night, by Charlie Jane Anders A Popular History of Ireland, by Thomas D'Arcy McGee The Aachen Memorandum, by Andrew Roberts Last books finished The Critique of Pure Reason, by Immanuel Kant - did not finish Oliver Twist, by Charles Dickens Shadow over Mars, by Leigh Brackett Arc of the Dream, by A. A. Attanasio - did not finish Next books Hex, by Thomas Olde Heuvelt Small Island, by Andrea Levy

Wed 12th

An Arsenal Of Democracy

In 1940 US President Franklin D Roosevelt coined the phrase 'An Arsenal Of Democracy' as a reaction to the twin threats of Fascism and Communism in a time when large parts of the globe were living under brutal dictatorships. That century had seen the Bolsheviks triumph in Russia, the Nazis in Germany and the Francoists in Spain. Portugal was under authoritarian rule, and France invaded by the Germans lived under the yoke of Hitler's appalling regime. In Europe, Britain stood alone in what were the darkest days of WW2. It wasn't until America entered the war that the tide started ...

Posted by David Warren on Liberal Democrat Voice
Wed 12th

What would Paddy do?

I've been rooting around the comments on LDV autopsies, finding myself in a contradiction. We "already have a horse", I said - Sir Ed Davey - and could steal a march on whomever Labour appoint as the second of only two horses in the next No 10 race. I don't believe it to be an anti-democratic appeal to ask new entrants and MPs with little or no public recognition to think about what the party needs before personal careers. We are in desperate need of realism. We really cannot go into 2023-24 expecting a majority. That would be a farce. ...

Posted by Johnny McDermott on Liberal Democrat Voice

It's been mostly good news for Boris Johnson on the Labour Party front since the general election. An unnecessarily elongated leadership contest resulting in Corbyn hanging around like a very bad smell has helped dampen any scrutiny of what the government has been up to. People talk about Boris employing dead cat strategies but it hasn't really been needed; the Labour Party have been a deceased feline factory on the Tories behalf. Today, Keir Starmer has come out with ten pledges, one of which is around public ownership of utilities. And there is another nearly two months to go of ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com
Wed 12th

My tweets

Tue, 15:15: Backstop Land, by Glenn Patterson https://t.co/2paP8sITI1 Tue, 15:19: RT @IFAD: As part of the fight against poverty —that mission has already achieved critical victories. Since 1990, we have cut the rate of g... Tue, 15:34: RT @IFAD: The goals we've set are not beyond reach. With your commitment and continued support of our goals, we can revitalize the intern... Tue, 15:57: RT @IFAD: We know that economic growth in agriculture is more effective in development than other sectors. We must invest more so we can r... Tue, 16:05: RT @ColinYeo1: Some short points about the law behind the ...

Responding to the news that the government will go ahead with the HS2 project, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:"There are huge questions about how the Conservatives have mismanaged HS2 so badly, but the climate case for expanding Britain's railways remains a strong one."Yet HS2 alone won't unite the country, bring economic benefits to the Midlands and North or cut the demand for domestic flights to help our climate unless it's part of a bolder rail revolution. "Above all, we must improve railway links east to west, with train lines that don't always have London as their ...

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

Responding to reports that Dominic Cummings has attacked judicial review as a "farce", Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:"Dominic Cummings seems to believe that he, Boris Johnson and Tory Ministers are above the law. They are not."When Ministers act outside of the bounds of the law, people must be able to hold them to account in the courts."These Tory attacks on our courts, judicial review and the Human Rights Act are all designed to weaken ordinary people and enable Ministers to act with impunity. They are the actions of despots, not democrats. "The rule of law is ...

Posted by Aberavon and Neath Liberal Democrats on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats
Wed 12th

On story telling

Storytelling is one of the oldest human traditions. A good story engages the audience, communicates information and leaves a lasting impact. Stories spread either through small communities retelling it, with it evolving through each retelling or through mass media, which increases reach and minimises variation. Stories are everywhere, and with millennia of practice, we're pretty good at telling them. Stories are used as a lens to help people make sense of the world, and through relating to a character how they fit within it. When people vote for a political party, they listen to the stories about that party: Which ...

Posted by Chris Northwood on Liberal Democrat Voice

St. Helen's Church, Sefton Village, where the Borough gets its name from. The Liverpool Echo has the story on its website – see link below:- This sounds great but as a resident of one of Sefton's East Parishes (Maghull, Lydiate, Aintree Village, Sefton & Lunt Villages & Melling) I had to have a sigh as unsurprisingly, at least from my perspective, there's no light show planned for our part of the Borough. It takes me back to my time as a Sefton Borough Councillor when I always felt I had to fight to gain recognition for my part of ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

Those on the Brexit side who have been confidently predicting that the negotiations with the EU will be over by Christmas, and that we will get all we want, may well want to rethink their strategy this morning. The Independent reports on a setback for this mindset with the EU's chief negotiator immediately rejecting a plea by Sajid Javid to protect the City's access to EU financial markets after Brexit. The paper says that the Chancellor had called for a "reliable equivalence process" for financial services rules on which "a durable relationship" can be built with the EU, but just ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

More usually known as H.A.L. Fisher, Herbert Fisher was the doubly rare combination of an academic who successfully took his expertise to a mass public audience and a thinker who successfully implemented his ideas as a politician.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Dundee's Literary Suburbia: Newport and its connection with the People's Friend, 1870-1920 Later today - Wednesday 12th February - 6.30pm to 7.30pmLecture Theatre 2, Dalhousie Building, University of Dundee Charlotte Lauder of the University of Strathclyde will speak about the political, journalistic and cultural connections between the People's Friend magazine and Newport-on-Tay in late nineteenth century. All welcome - refreshments available from 6pm.