Fri 23rd
Ryan Cullen

Dear bloggers,

it's that time of the month again when the hosting meter needs a few more pounds to keep the site ticking. Ideally we need £5 before the end of the month, otherwise it has to come out of my pocket. With over 50 blogs listed, if each author donated just two pounds a year the site would stay alive. Why not make this month the month you help out?


Many thanks
Ryan Cullen

Fri 23rd

Delivering in Dunston

Our latest Focus is hot off the press in Gateshead and I was out in Dunston delivering it this morning. I did a patch of 180 before going to council. It leads on Labour's neglect of Dunston. The old Dunston Hill Primary School building has been left by Labour run Gateshead Council to stand unused and derelict for ten years. And people are understandably getting fed up.

Posted by jonathanwallace on Jonathan Wallace | Mute

A Liberal Democrat councillor has immediately defected from the party after it became clear he would not be selected to run for the party ahead of May's upcoming local elections. Following Martin Brooks resignation, it means that the Lib Dems has lost its overall majority, for now, at Three Rivers Council. [Watford Observer] That final sentence has less importance than it might appear as there are no scheduled full council meetings in Three Rivers before the May council elections. So in practice the Lib Dems will continue in control of the council until the voters cast their verdict in the ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Excerpts from a speech given at the University of Western Ontario on 8 March 2005.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Bad news for those who believe Getting and spending, we lay waste our powers;and seek respite from this in long-distance walking. Today's Daily Telegraph reports that Natural England is examining the option of inviting big business to sponsor long-distance footpaths: Natural England, the Government's adviser on protecting the natural environment, is examining ways to maintain a network of National Trails. Funding cuts have prompted concerns about the long-term sustainability of maintaining the trails which include the Hadrian's Wall Path, Cotswold Way and the Thames Path. But Natural England believes the routes are "prime for sponsorship".

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Changes to Universal Credit mean nearly 1 million poorer children will lose out on a free nutritious meal at lunch – costing parents £400 a year. Free school meals were brought in as one of a series of new investments in our schools by the Liberal Democrats in the coalition. Now they are being cut by the Conservatives. The policy has been a huge success, improving school outcomes for local children. In fact the policy has not just improved outcomes for the families and children that receive free dinners, but all across school classes. The free nutritional lunches have been ...

Posted by allanknox on Allan Knox | Mute

When Paul Chambers was charged and convicted after sending a humorous tweet threatening to blow up an airport, liberals and the left were up in arms. Earlier this week a Scottish YouTube comedian, Mark Meechan (known as Count Dankula), was found guilty of a hate crime after posting a video of himself training his girlfriend's dog to give a Nazi salute in response to anti-Semitic commands. So far liberals and the left have been silent. The only exception is the video from David Baddiel and Ricky Gervais that I have posted above. The impression I get is that, while people ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

Second paragraph of third chapter:I had one other survival technique: I sometimes said things that made the other boys laugh. When this happened I inmediately experienced a moment of warmth, of acceptance, of feeling 'Maybe I am all right, after all.' Peter Cook always said that he quite deliberately staved off bullying by being funny. I think in my case it was less a conscious activity - more 'Oh, that felt nice.' And, as I relaxed, I became funnier, of course, because the spark was always there. So the bullying faded away, and I started, for the first time, to ...

Do we lose the right to privacy when we involve ourselves in social media? The obvious answer to this question is "of course not" and that should be the case, but is it? Facebook, a business that started around 2004, has announced it has over half of all internet users in the world on it; in six years Twitter had over 100 million users. Recently, the US State Department asked Twitter not to carry out regular maintenance during the recent demonstrations in Iran as information was being disseminated through Twitter. A similar use was made of Facebook during the uprising ...

Posted by Tahir Maher on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Thu 22nd

Save the coffee cup!!

This is my thermos flask. I have been a home worker for quite a few years. For a lot of that time, I have broken up the day by walking up to the village bakery at lunchtime, and buying a roll and a coffee. The coffee always used to come in a disposable cup. About five years ago I bought this thermos, and the bakery now fill it with my coffee. Since starting to use it, I have saved well over a thousand coffee cups. Simple actions can make a big difference.

Posted by Rob Parsons on A comfortable place | Mute

The Conservative opposition led by Cllr Tim Crowley circulated an eleventh hour amendment to the Council's budget at the last meeting of this term. It was only circulated after the meeting had already begun. Essentially it called for a freeze on councillors' allowances to be spent on subsidising the Charles Cryer Theatre. It was their [...]

Posted by jaynemccoy on Diary of a Sutton Councillor | Mute
Thu 22nd

Trial of a Time Lord

I was asked a little while ago if I could write something about Doctor Who season twenty-three, the Trial of a Time Lord season. This is an interesting, and frankly difficult, request for me, because of all the Doctor Who ... Continue reading →

Posted by Andrew Hickey on Sci-Ence! Justice Leak! | Mute

The Parliamentary and Health Service Ombudsman's recent report on mental health provision is damning. Titled Maintaining momentum: driving improvements in mental health care, Rob Behrens' analysis confirms what we already know: mental health services are in crisis and people are suffering and dying because of it. The case studies are harrowing. Mr Behrens' says: The cases highlighted in this report starkly illustrate the human cost of service failures. These cases are not isolated examples. They are symptomatic of persistent problems we see time and again in our complaints casework and, moreover, they represent failings throughout the care pathway. In the ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Responding to yesterday's reports that the government will announce a 6.5% pay rise for NHS workers in England over 3 years, Liberal Democrat health spokesperson, Judith Jolly, commented: "This is a victory for the determined NHS staff members, who have fought tooth and nail and refused to accept the Tories' mean-spirited attempt to force them to sacrifice a day's holiday. "Changes like these will go some of the way to addressing the worryingly low morale and poor retention rates within our national health service. However, significant additional measures must still be taken and, fundamentally, we must deliver long-term job security ...

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

New data released yesterday by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) reveals that only 6% of Universal Credit claimants in the private rented sector have their rent paid directly to their landlords, compared to 35% in the socially rented sector [see page 9 of the report]. This is despite calls by Liberal Democrat DWP spokesperson Stephen Lloyd to make payments to landlords default. Lloyd has argued that maintaining the status quo will lead to many of the 1.3 million benefit claimants in the private rented sector being evicted, and potentially made homeless. According to the Residential Landlords Association, 73% ...

Posted by The Voice on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

miss_s_b | Eggs I posted Eggs to my dreamwidth blog andrewducker | How you should pay for newspapers in the 21st century Andrew has posted about this idea before, and I think it's an excellent one, but I can see why the news providers are resisting it. weekly_food_challenge | Challenge #37: Garlic This week's challenge is live! A magnificent Oscar Wilde quote If you like what you see here (or even if you don't) please consider dropping me a tip: [IMG: Paypal Donate Button] [IMG: Buy Me an uncaffeinated beverage (because I'm allergic to coffee) at] [IMG: comment count ...

Thu 22nd

My tweets

Wed, 12:56: RT @foreignoffice: The nerve agent came from Sweden, Ukraine did it to frame Russia, It was contamination from the UK's own research facili... Wed, 13:54: RT @JJenkinsSJB: Jacob Rees-Mogg cannot board his Brexit boat because no one asked TFL's permission, and the boat is now just going around... Wed, 17:57: RT @KeohaneDan: This analysis, by my former boss @CER_Grant, is sound as far as it goes...but in my view omits a few very important factors... Wed, 18:55: Planesrunner, by Ian McDonald Wed, 23:50: RT @DaveyCCC: @sturdyAlex Ha you can't get targeted ads based on emails to your ...

Last night I was at the Plaisterers' Hall in the City for a fundraising dinner celebrating the 25th anniversary of the National Literary Trust. This is an independent charity working with schools and communities to give disadvantaged children the literacy skills to succeed in life. It's a shaming part that in some of the poorest parts [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute

It doesn't really matter at all where the UK has its passport manufactured providing that the process is secure and good value for money, but that does not preclude us from sniggering at the embarrassment of the Brexiteers and their media cheerleaders at the news that the new, highly symbolic, blue British passports are to be made in Europe. As the Guardian reports, changing the colour of the UK passport from the burgundy favoured across the EU is regarded by some Brexiters as a powerful symbol of Britain's restored sovereignty. But it has now been reported that British firm De ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

I CAN, the children's communication charity, and The Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists have launched Bercow: Ten Years On. This report delves into the support, or lack of support, children with speech, language and communication needs (SLCN) receive in England. Over 2,500 people were consulted about speech and language therapy provision for children and young people. Only 15% thought that adequate speech and language therapy is provided. Why is this a liberal issue? Well, we advocate free speech, in its many forms, one of which is oral. If we do not help children and young people with speech ...

Posted by Kirsten Johnson on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Yes indeed this is an odd question, but if you look at the emergency notice displayed on the School Lane railway bridge, by the new Maghull North Station, you will see this:- Walton is 5 stops down the line towards Liverpool! Has the wrong notice been displayed i.e. it belongs on a bridge in Walton or is it the right notice but with Walton substituted for Maghull in error? An internet search seems to point to the latter. I have informed Network Rail about this so that they can address the matter. Click on the photo of the notice to ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

Seen in Lydiate Village Centre recently. This piece of sectional artwork (my term, there's probably a more appropriate one) has been painted by numerous different artists and then their work has been added together to make the overall effect of one great painting. And these are the artists responsible for it:- I like it. Please click on the painting to enlarge it

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

I have received complaints that, not for the first time, the car park at the Riverside Pavilion, adjacent to the playing fields on the north side of Riverside Drive, is flooded and rutted. I took this up with the council's Head of Environment, who has positively responded as follows : "I agree that this is not looking too good. I have raised with colleagues and they are going to make arrangement to have the surface restored. In the longer term and finance dependant, I would be recommending that it is completely renovated with an asphalt surface."

[IMG: Introducing my niece on World Down Syndrome Day] Kirsty Harrower, 16, is my lovely niece. She loves watching Disney movies on a loop, belts out Little Mix songs on her Karaoke machine and is a dab hand at colouring and drawing. More than... The post Introducing my niece on World Down Syndrome Day appeared first on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas.

Posted by ambitiousmamas on FeministMama @ambitiousmamas | Mute