Fri 13th

More eFocuses

We have had 2 more eFocuses published in Gateshead this week. The first was for Low Fell, bringing the total number of editions to 76. Issues covered include:Call for plan to remove barriersRemembrance in Low Fell Progress on getting a new free cash machine on the FellCovid testing centre opens at Central LibraryLow Fell library's Ring and Read ServiceYou can read this edition on this link.The

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

There are only four railway stations left in Herefordshire. The least used of them is Colwall, even though you can still catch direct trains from it to Birmingham New Street and Paddington. Geoff Whitewick and Paul Marshall are our guides and they find time for a bit of industrial archaeology, looking for the original railway tunnel at Colwall, which was replaced by a new bore in 1926.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Fri 13th

Six of the Best 975

All too often, says Aliya Rao, jobseekers are told that unemployment is their own fault. "We don't allow companies to make a profit out of children by running schools, so why do we allow it in the 24-hour care of vulnerable children? One justification would be if allowing modest profit-making resulted in better quality and more reasonably priced care than the state could provide. Yet there is evidence that privately run care is of poorer quality and more expensive." Sonia Sodha shows that children's homes have become centres of profit-making and abuse. Peter Mitchell has seen through the campaign against ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England

After several days of bickering and in-fighting inside 10 Downing Street, special advisor Dominic Cummings walked out of the front door earlier this evening carrying a box of possessions from his cleared desk. Although he had widely been expected to leave before the end of the year, his departure was abrupt and a source of [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer

Second frame of third chapter: I picked this off the bookshop shelves ages back, and have now got around to reading it. It's a graphic novel about Marie, growing up in England in the 1960s, Catholic family and school, but herself determined to live her own life and to love who she wants. And the story then goes through to the 1990s when things are different in some ways and the same in others, through sadness and happiness. I generally liked it, but was a bit surprised that Marie didn't especially seem to have learned much or developed much over ...

There are few certainties in American politics at the moment, but I think we can say (with fingers and toes crossed) that Donald Trump has lost the presidential election; Joe Biden will be inaugurated on 20 January 2021 and Trump will leave the White House (one way or another) on or about the same day. But what will the obese, orange-faced narcissist with the bouffant hair style do once he has exited 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue? Well, he will be 74 years old. He could simply retire to Mar-a-Lago and work on his golf handicap. He doesn't have to worry about ...

Posted by Tom Arms on Liberal Democrat Voice

I am in a joint NECA/North of Tyne scrutiny Committee meeting looking at the region's response to covid and how we deal with the government. Most of what has been discussed is about what has happened at a regional level. Indeed, most of the work done to tackle covid has taken place jointly across the 2 combined authorities. This rather begs the question, what is the point of having 2 separate

Posted by Jonathan Wallace on Jonathan Wallace

Another week, another solitary council by-election in Scotland. Craigentinny/Duddingston, Edinburgh Another SNP defence, this by-election saw Elaine Ford stand for the Liberal Democrats. Congratulations to Elaine and the team on doubling the Lib Dem vote share: Craigentinny/Duddingston (Edinburgh) By-Election, First Preferences: SNP (Elected) – 2920 (39%, +1.8) Con – 1420 (18.9%, -4.8) Lab – 1205 (16.1%, -7.2) Green – 1185 (15.8%, +4.1) LD – 631 (8.4%, +4.2) Ind – 93 (1.2%, +1.2) Libertarian – 42 (0.6%, +0.6) SNP elected stage 6. — Ballot Box Scotland (@BallotBoxScot) November 13, 2020

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack

[IMG: Money ()] The application process for two Folkestone & Hythe COVID grants schemes to support businesses during the current national lockdown period have been launched today: one for businesses in business rated premises forced to close by the current lockdown rules, and a second for those outside those criteria but still being harmed. Folkestone & Hythe Local Restrictions Support Grants (LSRSGs) - grants are available to businesses located in business rated premises that are legally required to close during the lockdown period. Eligible businesses should receive a letter or email from the Business Rates team in the next few ...

As if we didn't have enough to worry about, what with the Prime MInister's fiance dictating staff appointments in his office and all, the latest news on Brexit must be causing some considerable concern, not least because of its impact on trade and the price of goods in the shops. The Independent reports that British businesses are facing disruption to as much as £80bn of global trade because of Boris Johnson's failure to roll over 15 EU trade deals with other countries in time. Apparently, the government has just 50 days left to sign free-trade agreements with countries such as ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Fri 13th

My tweets

Thu, 12:56: The Elusive Allison V. Harding and How to Suppress Women's Writing... Again A case study from @corabuhlert. Thu, 13:11: RT @stephenkb: Unpopular opinion, but I don't think the government's comms strategy was actually that bad. The reason why the government's... Thu, 14:51: The Summer Book, by Tove Jansson A series of vignettes about the relationship between Sophia, whose age is somewhere between seven and eleven, and her grandmother, living on an island in the Gulf of Finland. Beautiful. #nwbooks Thu, 15:16: The Distant Past, by William Trevor Depressing tales about Protestants in rural County ...

Liberalism's answer to populism, I believe, is to give people what they really want, not what the forked tongues of populism tell them they want. Hopefully in the USA a majority has now chosen a President to give them what they really want. But here in Britain we still have a populist Prime Minister with his inadequate government. There is still Lockdown, winter weather and seasonal colds and 'flu yet to come – and the looming problems of Brexit, with or without a last-minute trade deal, before most of us can expect to share in a new vaccine. There is ...

Posted by Katharine Pindar on Liberal Democrat Voice

Unemployment, as measured by claimants receiving Jobseekers or Universal Credit who are seeking work, in Ludlow dropped between September and October. Our town had 365 claimants in October, down 11 per cent on September. That means 45 more people in work or more correctly 45 fewer people claiming benefits. Although unemployment is still more than double the rate it was a year ago, this welcome fall shows that businesses have adapted their ways of working, their ways of procuring and their ways of delivering during the ongoing epidemic. The second lockdown began a week ago. The biggest impact of Lockdown ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington

broadcast and webcast anniversaries 13 November 1966: broadcast of "The Nightmare Begins", first episode of the story we now know as The Daleks' Master Plan. First appearance of Nicholas Courtney, as Bret Vyon who captures the Tardis after Brian Cant's character is killed on the planet Kembel. Meanwhile Mavic Chen, the Guardian of the Solar System, announces that he is going on holiday. In fact, he is in alliance with the Daleks. 13 November 1977: broadcast of third episode of The Deadly Assassin. The Doctor and Chancellor Goth battle through the nightmarish world of the Matrix, one of the most ...

Towards the end of last year, the City Council's Outdoor Access Officer discussed possible improvements to bike racks provision in Perth Road and Blackness Road, something many local residents have said would assist local cyclists. Sites were discussed and agreed but, meantime, the health emergency rather got in the way of these being installed. I recently asked the Outdoor Access Officer for an update and have received the following positive response : "I was in touch with the contractor about a week ago, and he was intending to get the racks installed this month. You will remember this will install ...