Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open Securing the Midlands Manufacturing Prowess – in spite of devastating news of 9000 job cuts at Rolls-Royce Hong Kong power-grab by Beijing condemned Migrant NHS & social care workers must be given must be given right to remain Parents, children and teachers need answers before schools open Responding to reports that the scientific advice on the safety of reopening schools will be published tomorrow, Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said: Parents, children and teaching staff are worried about the threat of coronavirus and need reassurances ahead of reopening schools. Liberal ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 21st

Birtley eFocus edition 6

Just published tonight, Birtley eFocus edition no. 6. Issues covered include: bulk waste collection and grass cutting restart; a message from your Lib Dem councillors in Gateshead; new service for patients at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital; exact change please on local buses; theft wrecks plans for restored loco at Tanfield Railway; shop local. You can read Birtley eFocus on this link.

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo Govt warned Councils are struggling to cope with homelessness Decrease in business turnover demands action with extended transition period PM should face London Assembly after IOPC report 24,320 EU nationals are stuck in limbo The Welsh Liberal Democrats have reiterated their calls for EU citizens to be given the automatic right to stay in the UK, as new official figures show over 24,000 in Wales have not been given the right to remain. Of the 57,140 EU nationals in Wales who have applied for permanent residency, only 32,370 have been granted settled status. ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

And if you thought that yesterday was intense... Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery Govt must reimburse missed tuition to student nurses called up to the frontline 51,906 asylum seekers trapped on just £5.39 a day during coronavirus crisis EU Settled Status deadline must be scrapped, as grants crater during coronavirus crisis New stats show damaging impact of Priti Patel's nasty immigration rhetoric Lib Dems: Tackling the climate crisis is at the heart of coronavirus recovery The Liberal Democrats have secured cross-party support for their calls for local authorities to be empowered to ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

This video takes us to the sites of all the closed railway stations in and around Cambridge. There are a surprising number.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Thu 21st

Six of the Best 928

"What was the Liberal Democrats' aim at the 2019 general election: to maximise the number of Liberal Democrat MPs in parliament or to stop Brexit? That was the tactical question the party never answered." Stephen Bush looks at the Lib Dems' post mortem on their 2019 general election campaign. "Seventy years ago my dad needed to change his weird foreign name to avoid the sly glances of bigots. Stewart Lee is that bigot - a man who thinks the best response to a foreign sounding Jewish name is to ridicule it in a national newspaper." Ouch. Read Stephen Pollard in ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

Ten years ago, when the Conservative and Liberal Democrats entered coalition, there was a certain energy about the way the new government wanted to approach public services. Gone would be the lumbering, heavy-handed nanny-state of "New" Labour. In would come something more focused, less costly and with a greater community involvement. The Economist enthused about ... Continue reading The Coalition at 10: the wrong turning on public services

Posted by Matthew on thinking liberal

With millions across the UK calling for a pay rise for our health heroes, maybe it's also time we start charging serial offenders abusing one of the fundamental parts of our NHS, the GP appointments system. Our NHS knows no bounds and rightly so; the vast majority of people are proud of our National Health Service, yet despite its well-regard it is not being treated as well as it should. To my surprise, last night while scrolling through Twitter and being led, as usual, down the rabbit hole of the online world, I came across a statistic. Not only was ...

Posted by Alice Lilley on Liberal Democrat Voice

One of the benefits of the easing of the lockdown: birdwatching made easier. Also let's find space for optimism.

A few weeks ago I was standing at the ironing board thinking "Why?" Yes, why do we iron things? According to this history of ironing, the Chinese were doing it over 2000 years ago, using pans filled with hot water. Proper irons – made of the metal – were first use in the 17th century. The electric iron was invented in the 1880s and the steam iron in the 1920s. According to Wikipedia: In the case of cotton fibres, which are derivatives of cellulose, the hydroxyl groups that crosslink the cellulose polymer chains are reformed at high temperatures, and become ...

Posted by Mary Reid on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 21st

Thursday reading

Current The Complete Secret Army: An Unofficial and Unauthorised Guide to the Classic TV Drama Series by Andy Priestner Our Mutual Friend, by Charles Dickens The Nightmare Stacks, by Charles Stross The Tiger's Wife, by Tea Obreht Last books finished Roger of Hereford's Judicial Astrology: England's First Astrology Book?, by Chris Mitchell The Accident, by Ismail Kadarë Arthur C. Clarke's Venus Prime 1: Breaking the Strain, by Paul Preuss Next books The Queen's Spymaster, by John Cooper The Ode Less Travelled: Unlocking the Poet Within, by Stephen Fry

That the decision by the Federal Board to delay the leadership contest to 2021 was controversial amongst members is itself a non-controversial statement. WhatsApp groups and email chains have been filled with sometimes sweary complaints regarding the decision, comments about dissatisfied members at risk of leaving the party, and an overall despair at the lethargic and doubt-ridden approach the party has taken to 2020. That the report into the 2019 General Election car crash was hard-hitting and well-sourced is also non-controversial. It is a good bit of commentary on the reasoning behind the weakening of the Lib Dems since around ...

Posted by Huw Dawson on Liberal Democrat Voice
Thu 21st

New skills?

To help people whose income or employment have been affected by the Coronavirus crisis, the eligibility criteria for Future Bright have been temporarily expanded.Visit: Bright offers FREE career coaching, training and support to help you develop the skills and confidence you need to take your next step in your career.When you join Future Bright, you'll be matched with a dedicated career coach who will support you to create a personalised action plan. Your Future Bright journey is tailored to your individual needs and will fit around your existing commitments.During the Coronavirus outbreak, our coaches continue to support residents by ...

Recently, there has been much discussion regarding the desirability of a Universal Basic Income. Arguments used to justify it range from providing security, to alleviating poverty, to increasing freedom, to nurturing a sense of social cohesion. However, one of the most persuasive arguments is that based on justice: on each getting what is their due. Historically, liberals have tended to be most familiar with, and sympathetic to, John Locke's justification of property ownership. For Locke, the world initially belonged to everyone, but by individuals mixing their labour with land they came to own it (the possibility that such individuals should ...

Posted by Daniel Duggan on Liberal Democrat Voice

It was a useful and interesting experiment while it lasted, if only because it showed that it is possible to modernise the House of Commons, but the virtual Parliament, brought in to enable social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis, is to be sacrificed on the altar of Boris Johnson's ego and the need to boost him during Prime Minister's Questions. As Politics Home reports, the official reason given by Leader of the House, Jacob Rees Mogg, is that the current hybrid system, where members can enter debates via video-link, "fundamentally restrict the House's ability to perform its functions fully": With ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

In Stephen O'Brien's recent post on this website entitled "Why we shouldn't just jump on the UBI bandwagon", he makes a series of points in opposition to a Universal Basic Income (UBI). The difficulty with his criticisms is that he argues against a version of UBI almost nobody is proposing. If we are to have a constructive discussion about UBI as a party, we need to make sure that both supporters and detractors are talking about the same thing. First, the £830-a-month proposal Stephen critiques appears to be plucked out of nowhere. There has been no substantive proposal along these ...

Posted by Harry Samuels on Liberal Democrat Voice

What's that? You don't think spending 25 minutes watching someone else try to solve a Soduku puzzle is going to be interesting? Think again.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

Though many films have a musical soundtrack that has been specially commissioned, some directors opt to use a well-known piece of music which they feel fits the mood of their film perfectly. One obvious example is Bo Widerberg's lyrical Elvira Madigan (1967), in which Mozart's Piano Concerto No. 21 in C Major helps lure the [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Thu 21st

My tweets

Wed, 12:56: RT @thhamilton: The Tory whips' desire to open up Parliament so that Boris Johnson has his MPs behind him at PMQs will be understandable to... Wed, 16:05: The big questions left hanging by the Liberal Democrats' 2019 post-mortem Interesting criti... Wed, 17:04: RT @MichelBarnier: πŸ‡ͺπŸ‡ΊπŸ‡¬πŸ‡§ I remain convinced that with mutual respect and constructive engagement by the #UK across the board, on all issues... Wed, 17:11: RT @AndyRileyish: We are now further away from Ant Rap than Ant Rap was from the Battle of Stalingrad. Wed, 18:16: RT @Paul_Cornell: At 10.04pm tonight the International Space ...

Nigel Farage is the embodiment of everything I disagree with in politics. But rather than stopping at the mild nausea he evokes in most of us, we would be more sensible to leave emotions aside and discover why this man has given us such a clobbering in recent years, and what we can learn from it. And he has given us one hell of a clobbering. Brexit aside – he is one of the main external factors in why we did so badly in December. Unscientific, but if you take the Brexit party's result in Brecon, and apply it to ...

Posted by Charlie Du Cane on Liberal Democrat Voice

Onstage, the magician does not perform an act of magic (spoilers I know) but of distractions. Whilst the rabbit is being yanked from a top hat, the spotlight focused firmly upon its fluffy ears, the magician performs his deceit elsewhere. The Johnson administration has been doing this since it first stepped into Number 10, albeit without the rabbit (though I am sure Mr Rees-Mogg can provide a top hat). The first smokescreens appeared before and during the 2019 General Election campaign. The inflammatory entitlement of bills as 'surrender acts' and CCHQ twitter posing as an independent fact checker meant nothing ...

Posted by Peter Cocks on Liberal Democrat Voice

Tribalism is deeply set in our lives and the more insular our lives have been and the less alternative cultural experiences we have been involved in the greater the danger we see our tribe as being right about everything and other tribes as being wrong, or even a threat. But what's tribalism like in Britain in 2020? A community, a football team, a religion, a political party? Well all of those and more. Just think of the casual everyday remarks Liverpool and Manchester people for example make about each other with the aim of demonstrating one is superior/less worthy than ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus

2 big stories One of the interesting aspects of the Coronavirus crisis is how government, and in particular the Civil Service, has coped with the disruption and the demands placed upon it. At the centre of that is HM Revenue & Customs, who have, from a standing start, have processed one million applications under the Job Retention Scheme, protecting approximately 7.5 million jobs, and more than two million applications under the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme, with well north of £10 billion claimed. And all that with the majority of their staff working from home. Its American counterpart, the Internal Revenue ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Democrat Voice

[IMG: That Time You Went From Zero to One - My first steps out of a woman's midlife crisis] This is a guest post by Annie who lives and writes in New Orleans, Louisiana with her husband, three children, two dogs, and endless piles...

Posted by ambitiousmamas on Ambitiousmamas

With thanks to the local resident who kindly sent me this ... enough said!