Thu 19th
23:19

Printing Focus

I spent the morning in the Lib Dem office in Consett, printing my latest ward Focus. I returned to the office this evening to do the folding. Delivery starts tomorrow though the weather may not play ball. The lead story is the re-opening of Chase Park. Page 2 leads with the takeover of Whickham Library by volunteers. Fly-tipping and new powers to fine people is also covered. There's also a bit

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Eight or nine council by-elections this week? It was scheduled to be nine, but one ward in South Oxfordshire produced only a Conservative candidate at close of nominations, resulting in their election unopposed. The other wards see seven Liberal Democrat candidates in total, a slip on the last few weeks but still up on some of the poor runs of the past. First in, a Conservative hold in a ward that used to regularly have Liberal Democrat candidates until last time (2015). Good to see that pattern returning. Conservative HOLD Lower Sheering (Epping Forest). — Britain Elects (@britainelects) October 19, ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

... and while not everybody on these two playlists fits the definition of feminist or metal (especially not metal, TBH) I would say that these two spotify playlists are the place to start: Emma Jay Olsen's Angry Feminist Playlist and my very own Ladies Who Rock But in terms of feminist metal bands, you can't go far wrong with: Hysterica (esp Heels) McQueen (esp Not For Sale) Wicked Wisdom (esp You Can't Handle) Halestorm (esp Rock Show - principally because I've never heard anything capture that feeling better) In This Moment (esp Comanche - we've took all we can and ...

If you want someone to blame for the fact that adopting a core votes strategy and targeting tightly to win seats are sometimes seen as opposites, then I'm a good person to pick. Sorry. And if you think you really like one and really dislike the other, hoping that arguing for one is a way to dis the other, then bank that apology ready for after you've read this piece. What then is, or rather should be, the relationship between these two approaches? Votes at election time come from one of three sources: Core votes are the long-term loyal supporters ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Full text is below: The festival of lights is upon us once again; across the country streets will be aglow with lights and decorations as thousands of Hindus, Jains, Sikhs and Buddhists gather to celebrate the ancient festival of Diwali. Celebrations such as these speak to our shared human experience, causing us to see beyond that which too often divides us. There is a universal capacity to resist evil, hate and ignorance, this is particularly significant given the intolerance and division we continue to witness across many parts of the country. Let us all use this time to reignite the ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

I have had an affection for the Crosskeys Bridge at Sutton Bridge in Lincolnshire ever since we won the Ashes there in 2009. This is a good video of it in operation with an equally good backing track - Human by Rag'n'Bone Man.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Not much to report back, really. It was the debrief meeting. It was mostly us examining the things you lot had reported back to us. I fed back all the things that you folks asked me to feed back in this and this post; pretty much all of them were received loud and clear. Especially popular was [IMG: [personal profile] ] hollymath's suggestion that we put "would you benefit from step-free access" rather than "are you a wheelchair user" on Speaker's cards; this is definitely going to be done, hopefully for spring, but if not then for next autumn. I've ...

Thu 19th
20:21

Six of the Best 735

Arron Banks, the self-styled 'bad boy' who bankrolled the Leave campaign appears to have exaggerated his wealth. So, ask Alastair Sloan and Iain Campbell, how did he pay for his Brexit spree? David Boyle on the way monopolies no longer seem to concern us: "I'm not sure why the forces of Liberalism worldwide should have abandoned their most important economic doctrine." "I have been speaking and writing about misogyny in Tower Hamlets for a long time - now feels like the right time to put something more comprehensive on the record," says Rachael Saunders. "I really wish it was clearer ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

The Times Literary Supplement has published a speech Jonathan Meades gave in the summer to the annual dinner of the Royal Academy of Arts in London. A couple of morsels: The last time I attended this dinner, thirteen years ago, the speaker was the late Robert Hughes. In contrast to Casson he was supremely indifferent to whether or not he was liked. Hughes evidently considered that a writer who is not causing offence is a writer who is not doing his or her job. The volume of disconsolate muttering that Hughes provoked in this room might be taken as a ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Most often these days, I can't even force myself to watch Question Time and I'm interested in politics. It's become such an unbalanced, thoughtless shouting match which rarely yields intelligent observation. The liberal viewpoint is rarely represented and the frequent presence of the most unpalatable voices from the right wing tabloids or extreme right wing politics just makes me want to weep. Tonight, though, we are in for a treat. Not only are we going to get our amazing Sal Brinton, but also on the panel, fresh from Strictly, is the one and only Reverend Richard Coles. He will no ...

Posted by Caron Lindsay on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Poverty is easy to describe - not having enough resources to live a decent lifestyle - but difficult to be precise about. In Britain today Winstanley's " poorest he*" has access to clean water, adequate sanitation, free schooling for his children and a first-rate health service - services that most of even the comfortably-off in the Third World would give their eye teeth for. Clearly poverty is relative to the "norm" in the society in which you live. In Britain we define the acceptable minimum as having a household income of at least two thirds of the median. The nature ...

Posted by Peter Wrigley on Keynesian Liberal | Mute

I'm attending this meeting right now, by dialing in to the phone conference machine in the middle of the meeting room. It's interesting to note who has a clear speaking voice and who doesn't. No, I couldn't possibly name names :P Will report back on actual happenings later... ETA: Have just been christened The New Gareth Epps due to my scathing comments about real ale provision; I'm taking that as the compliment it was doubtless meant to be [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments

There is a strange negotiating position being proposed by the extreme Brexiteers: if the EU does not give Britain what the government demands, Britain should slash its wrists. In other words, Britain should have all the advantages of a membership of the club without having to pay the membership fee and without having to abide by any of the rules that go with being in the club. And if the EU

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter: System 2 also has a natural speed. You expend some mental energy in random thoughts and in monitoring what goes on around you even when your mind does nothing in particular, but there is little strain. Unless you are in a situation that makes you unusually wary or self-conscious, monitoring what happens in the environment or inside your head demands little effort. You make many small decisions as you drive your car, absorb some information as you read the newspaper, and conduct routine exchanges of pleasantries with a spouse or a colleague, all with little ...

The Federal Policy Committee met again on 18th October 2017. This was a fairly heavy agenda this time and decisions were taken that will reach some distance into the future. Association of Liberals and Democrats for Europe (ALDE) Peter Price presented a report on the work of ALDE. The organisation has a total of 59 member parties throughout the EU and members of the Liberal Democrats have traditionally played a significant role within it. It is governed by a Bureau, a Council and a Congress, the latter meeting annually. Motions and papers can be submitted and there are usually quite ...

Posted by Geoff Payne on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 19th
12:57

Thinking Theatricality

It is interesting that in the Oxford English Dictionary definition of the two terms, Theatricality emphasises the more negative association of the term, rather than the aesthetic connotation. Theatricality, as a notion, relates to lies and falsehood, all the way back to Plato's suspicion of mimesis. Even Nicholas Ridout writes that there is 'an antitheatrical prejudice within the discipline of theatre studies itself.'[1] And Stanislavski urged his students to 'act simply and naturally, without theatricality.'[2] But even to 'act naturally' in a theatre production is still theatrical as the self of the character is not the self of the actor. ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing | Mute

I have been inspired by Paul Walter's excellent series on this site for Black History Month. If you have as well, I encourage you to write a blog for Black History Month and send it in. American by birth, I am guilty of unconscious bias which permeated through my upbringing. Many people don't recognise the racism which lies beneath the surface in the way they relate to one other. Of course overt acts of racism make the news, but it is the little interactions and assumptions which bother me, as they are unconscious and difficult to shift. My brother and ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 19th
11:00

My tweets

Wed, 18:03: The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, by Erving Goffman https://t.co/YCPyKcabMJ Wed, 19:16: RT @CER_Grant: After BXL meets I conclude deal on Art 50 likely in Dec. Real battle will be over future rels, next year. EU will be tougher... Wed, 19:19: At desolate @DeLijn Leuven Perron 14 at Leuven, #337 is 10 mins late again, disappeared from signs without explanation. Wed, 19:37: Interesting. Misquotes me though; I think @DUPonline must lose at least 1 seat if NI goes from 18 to 17. https://t.co/vawy7oEpkJ Wed, 20:11: RT @AlexBigland: When the dress code is 'black tie with a hint ...

Nick Barlow on the New Centrist Parties popping up all over the place "If you're going to build a movement based on people who aren't willing to compromise, don't be surprised when they won't compromise with each other." Why the next general election will be in 2022 I've seen enough pieces like this now that I'm half expecting a successful no con of May to install Saint Jeremy before Christmas. Theresa May says no Government cash for sprinklers in tower blocks despite promises made after Grenfell Warning: autoplaying video. Still, pretty fucking damning. Money is more important than people's lives. ...

So, my friend made a game. It's a classic point and click adventure in the style of things like Monkey Island. You click on things, you talk to characters, you solve puzzles, you win the game. Except... I thought Monkey Island was dead boring. This is not dead boring. I've even played the tutorial through three times, just to see what the different answers do, because it's so laugh out loud funny. So yes, I'm slightly biased here because the game is made by someone I know, and is set in a fictionalised version of a town two train stops ...

Following an announcement by Stephen Gauke that the Universal Credit hotline will be made free, Liberal Democrat work and pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd said: "I welcome the government's change of heart, but it is no compensation to the those on the breadline who have already been fleeced. Given the mess of Universal Credit, this is likely to become the hotest hotline in Britain. "To even think about charging our most vulnerable citizens before they received their benefit shows just how out of touch the Conservatives are over Universal Credit. "To prevent the car crash which is clearly heading our way ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Responding to James Brokenshire's comments that power-sharing talks in Northern Ireland are stalling, Alistair Carmichael, Lib Dem Spokesperson for Northern Ireland, said: "The comments from the Secretary of State regarding the current state of the talks process in Northern Ireland is deeply troubling. There are very real consequences for the people of Northern Ireland with the continuing stalemate - budgetary decisions are waiting to be taken, NHS targets are being missed and waiting lists are getting longer, and there is uncertainty for economic investment. Northern Ireland is also lacking a voice in the crucial Brexit negotiations. "It is clear that ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute
Thu 19th
10:12

Semiotic Shopping

Performance artist Miranda July has joined forced with Artangel and installed a charity shop in Selfridges. When I visited, on a quiet-ish weekday afternoon, Selfridges itself may have been comparatively quiet, I don't know, for me it was heaving busy. I can't stand department stores, I avoid Oxford Street at all costs, and I'm not a fan of shopping at the best of times. However, I do enjoy a good charity shop, and art with a purpose, so off I went. The first thing that struck me was the very deliberate definition of space. This shop is very obviously 'other'. ...

Posted by Dani Tougher on More Than Nothing | Mute

A report by the IPPR has revealed that wealthiest 10% of households have five times the wealth of the bottom 50% and nearly 900 times the wealth of the bottom 10%. Liberal Democrat Leader Vince Cable commented: "This report reveals just how unequally wealth in the UK is distributed. "When the richest 10% of the population are almost 1,000 times wealthier than the poorest 10%, it puts the very existence of social mobility in 21st century Britain into question. "Tackling inter-generational inequality and the growing concentration of wealth will require radical solutions, including reforms to the taxation of land, property ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

The Liberal Democrats have accused the government of treating parliament with contempt by ordering their MPs to abstain at the end of the Universal Credit debate, and have now called on ministers to listen after their defeat.Liberal Democrat Work and Pensions spokesperson Stephen Lloyd MP said:"The government has shown contempt for parliament by yet again seeking to ignore votes that happen to be inconvenient. Parliamentary votes are meant to matter, this is not a debating society."None of this changes the fact that the government's Universal Credit proposals are a slow motion car crash. The government lost the argument, and now ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Responding to the Social Mobility Commission's report which has found millions of workers remains trapped in low-paid jobs, Liberal Democrat Deputy Leader Jo Swinson: "This report shows that a whole section of society are being failed by this government and remain permanently trapped in low-paid work. "This is only being made worse by the Conservatives' pursuit of an extreme Brexit that is damaging businesses, pushing up prices and hitting the poorest hardest. "We urgently need to invest more in education, including adult learning, to improve social mobility and help people escape from poverty. "Employment rules must be made fit for ...

Posted by LD Neath on Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats | Mute

Kent is known as the Garden of England and the Gateway to Europe. As a County Councillor, you will rightly expect me to be proud of the place. It's England largest county authority with 1.82m people. It has a significant economy (GDP about £37 billion in 2015). We have everything from Blue Flag beaches (where you can quite often find a Lib Dem peer swimming...) to UNESCO World Heritage sites. Our history has been shaped by being only 17 miles by sea from continental Europe. Today it's just 75 minutes by ferry or 35 minutes in the tunnel. So the ...

Posted by Antony Hook on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 19th
09:42

A Diwali Poem

The clear blue sky, The scent of flowers, The colours of Rangoli, And the sound of crackers. The gifts and sweets from dear ones, And the getting of their love, The light of the candles below, And the dazzling fireworks up above. Lighting lamps at our homes, Making the less fortunate smile, Putting on new apparels, Show our friends some style. Paying respects to the gods, And decorating for them the thali, This is what the occasion is all about, This is the spirit of Diwali

Posted by Jane Chelliah on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas | Mute

We were all emotional after the terrible tragedy that killed so many people living and staying in Grenfell Tower in London. Our first thought was with the families and then we started to think how we could prevent such a terrible fire happening again. That was when the UK Government together with the three National Governments and every local council started to identify high risk blocks of flats, carried out tests and started to plan to replace unsafe cladding and install sprinklers and other measures where appropriate. Ministers promised every assistance to keep tenants safe. We are now learning the ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

On Monday, a Maltese investigative journalist was blown up by a car bomb. I had never met her, but her husband is an old friend. We were in the same class at school and at university together. Daphne Caruana Galizia made it her life's work to expose corruption and shady political dealings. Much of what she [...] The post We're not as far from a 'flawed democracy' in the UK as we think appeared first on Radix.

Posted by Joe Zammit-Lucia on Opinion - Radix | Mute

South Gloucestershire Council is looking for new ways to deliver positive activities for young people and want to get a better picture of what youth activities (youth clubs, centres, detached and mobile work etc) are needed and where they should be, as well as how they should be provided within available resources. In other words, what should South Glos be spending its limited youth budget on? A needs assessment of young people has been completed and from this South Glos have proposed some areas that they think should be considered for future council funded youth provision. They are now seeking ...

Posted by Paul Hulbert on Focus on Sodbury, Yate and Dodington | Mute

Last night, I gave a talk at Pembroke College as part of Cambridge Hub's Michaelmas Series. The topic was censorship. This morning, I woke up and saw that the headline story in The Times is Jo Johnson, the Secretary of State for Education, wanting to "guarantee free speech" at universities. It is worth noting there is already a law that ensures freedom of speech at universities, but it would seem that Johnson wants even more extreme guarantees. The existing law is not invoked or referenced when we have one of the regular fusses about high-profile figures having their right to ...

Posted by Zoe O'Connell on Complicity | Mute

Residents have contacted me about the extent of the leaves on the public path at the south end of Hazel Drive that leads to Perth Road - see right. As a result, the path is slippy so I have asked the council's Neighbourhood Services to have it swept as soon as possible.

The Independent has the story on its web site – see link above Well apart from the OECD's report a statement of the blindingly obvious it will, I assume, be treated as a piece of 'fake news' by Brexiters. It's time for the UK to wake up and smell the coffee: it's not too late for us to say 'we made a right mess of our kids future as we voted to go back to the 1950's, but we now want to put things right by them'. A little humility is required to say 'we made a terrible mistake ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

My dismay over inequality was one of the two main issues (the other poor mental health care provision) which drove me into politics in 2014. I jumped in with both feet, determined to be a voice for the voiceless and make the world a more equal place. But here we are in 2017 and the IPPR report just out shows we are more unequal than ever. The report was commissioned by Channel 5 to mark the launch of the second series of Rich House, Poor House, which sees two families from opposite ends of the wealth divide switch places. The ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute