The redevelopment of London's Docklands was not dreamt up by Margaret Thatcher or by Bob Hoskins in The Long Good Friday: it was already under way in 1970. This film looks at the redevelopment of St Katherine Docks and their derelict, bomb-damaged warehouses. The tensions between the needs of existing inhabitants and the gentrifying ambitions of the developers are laid bare. And where was the derelict tube station with the unfenced shaft that the mother complains about? Click on the still above to play this film on the British Film Institute site.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

We've been watching the Michael Palin retrospective on the BBC, in which our hero looks back at his travels, playing a thoroughly decent fellow, meeting interesting people, treating them kindly and visiting interesting places in unexpected ways. It's easy to forget, looking back, just how radical this was. And we've taken the opportunity to rewatch the original series, courtesy of BBC iPlayer. Watching him arrive in Tallinn, under Soviet control as it was then, in the summer of 1991, brought back memories. My travel horizons were, once upon a time, really quite limited. I'd gone backwards and forwards to Mumbai ...

Posted by Mark Valladares on Liberal Bureaucracy
Sat 17th

Six of the Best 967

"The by-election team included Candy Piercy handling the media, Norman Baker (then a Lewes councillor) doing casework, John Ricketts in charge of direct mail, and Paul Burstow (then a staffer for the association of Lib Dem councillors) in charge of leaflets. One such leaflet gleefully pointed out that a hospital listed by the Conservatives' media guide had just been demolished." Tides of History looks back at the Eastbourne by-election of 1990, where David Belotti's victory hastened the end of Margaret Thatcher's reign. "Our national parks could be beacons of hope for natural climate solutions - brimming with native broadleaf woodlands, ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

The Empire Strikes Back won the Hugo for Best Dramatic Presentation in 1981. The other finalists were Cosmos: A Personal Voyage (the Carl Sagan TV series); the glorious Flash Gordon movie, which Ian wrote about only yesterday; The Lathe of Heaven (TV adaptation) and The Martian Chronicles (TV series). It was actually quite unusual for TV to get a majority of the spots on the Hugo ballot around this time. It's also a bit surprising not to see The Shining, Friday the 13th or Superman II on the list. I suspect that if I'd been voting in 1981, I'd probably ...

Sixty years ago today the great Liberal-supporting newspaper the News Chronicle disappeared despite boasting a circulation of more than a million - considerably more than some of today's nationals. On the morning of October 17 1960 - "Black Monday" as it would become known - the News Chron appeared as normal. Staff turning up at the newspaper's offices in London were sent out on assignment as usual while the newsroom tape machines clattered out the day's happenings. But when darkness fell it was announced that the paper had been "merged" with mid-market rival the Daily Mail in a move that ...

Posted by York Membery on Liberal Democrat Voice

Much of the worst fighting of the First World War took place in northern France, as armies moved slowly back and forth across absurdly short distances, the fields churned up and slashed with trenches, as the daily toll of bodies rose. But well away from the Front, life in rural France carried on much as [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer
Sat 17th

My tweets

Fri, 12:43: Accelerando, by Charles Stross I found the individual stories so full of ideas that they were a little difficult for me to absorb. Having them all together as a unit does help. #nwbooks Fri, 12:56: Rudy Giuliani is my father. Vote Biden/Harris. Clear and eloquent. Fri, 13:49: About Time vol 8: 2007, Series 3 of New Who, by Tat Wood and Dorothy Ail In general, Wood and Ail's assessment of the stories is pretty similar to mine - they are even tougher than I am on the Dalek one. #nwbooks Fri, ...

Continuing his focus on the importance of carers, Ed Davey has made this moving short film about one carer he recently met: Last week I met Terry as I worked a shift at a local food bank. She's a full time carer & her story is like so many others who are struggling. COVID-19 has made things harder. I'm determined to make the Lib Dems the voice of carers like Terry who are let down by this government. — Ed Davey MP [IMG: 🔶] [IMG: 🇪🇺] (@EdwardJDavey) October 15, 2020

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

I am not sure whether I am more angry or resigned this morning reading on the BBC that Boris Johnson has effectively pulled the plug on trade talks with the EU and told us all to prepare for a no deal exit on 31 December. One is tempted to think that the lurid tell-all by Jennifer Arcuri in the Brexit-backing, Tory-arse-licking, formerly nazi-sympathising Daily Mail this morning, in which she finally admits to bonking our serial shagger PM, providing far more detail than is decent at any breakfast table, is a deliberate distraction tactic on the part of that rag. ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black

Wendy Chamberlain got to question the Prime Minister this week. She asked him to sort out the issue that means that she and other Scots travelling between Scotland and England, and everyone living in the Borders, who may cross from Scotland to England several times a day, to sort out a problem with the respective English and Scottish test and trace apps. Anyone crossing the border has to manually switch between apps. It doesn't happen automatically. So you might think that your app is working, but it isn't if you haven't made the change between them. See Wendy in action ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice

i) births and deaths 17 October 1936: birth of Timothy Combes, director of Doctor Who and the Silurians (Third Doctor, 1970) and The Mind of Evil (Third Doctor, 1971). 17 October 1966: birth of Mark Gatiss, author of eight New Who TV stories, An Adventure in Space and Time (First Doctor dramadoc, 2013), four novels and two Big Finish audios, and also plays the eponymous scientist in The Lazarus Experiment (2007) and the Captain in Twice Upon A Time (Twelfth Doctor, 2017; incidentally the only televised Who set in Belgium, though some of The War Games is set in a ...

Just a reminder that this weekend sees Frances and John Dent in Glamis Drive open their lovely garden to residents as part of Scotland's Gardens Scheme, with new arrangements to comply with coronavirus routemap rules. Not only is a visit to the garden a pleasure - it also helps raise funds for charity. You can get full details of when the garden is open today and tomorrow here.