Mon 24th
17:29
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 £10 before the end of the month, otherwise it has to come out of my pocket. With over 0 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



Mon 24th
15:07

The real north

I have been feeling grim about the prospects of the union, should there be another referendum. I'm trying to figure out what we can do to stop it breaking apart, beyond the empty soundbite of "working together for now, cross-party, towards a better Scotland, regardless of its constitutional state". Basically making some progress on "the day job" stuff for a while. To do that, we need to figure out what it is nationalists want, because like it or not, there is no Scottish Parliamentary election result in 2021 that doesn't see us having to find some common ground with the ...

Posted by Johnny McDermott on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

Imagine you've turned up at the airport 3 hours early for your flight. It could be a much-anticipated and saved-for holiday for the whole family or a quick business trip. You've taken out travel insurance which covers you for delays - but then, just as you are getting onto the plane, you're stopped and questioned by officials for security reasons. You're not detained, all's well, and you're allowed to fly – but the length of time you were questioned for means you've now missed your flight. You might think your travel insurer will cover you for losses in buying a ...

Posted by Mohsin Khan on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Mon 24th
12:29

Birds - Tree planting

Local councils and groups have been working with South Glos on the first year of a major tree planting programme. Across South Glos around 8,250 young trees have been planted. In Dodington Parish local councillors worked with residents to find out where they did and didn't want trees. For example they didn't want trees that would block where children play. In Lilliput Park a class of children from Raysfield School planted 100 trees, helped by South Glos and Dodington staff and by volunteers from Avon Wildlife Trust Southwold Group. Before Christmas the same partnership helped schoolchildren create a wildlife flower ...

The local party has the news: Buckingham Constituency Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that Cllr Peter Cooper has joined the Liberal Democrats and will be a candidate in the elections to the new Buckinghamshire Council on May 7th. Peter has vast experience, having represented the Wingrave Ward of Aylesbury Vale District Council (AVDC) for twenty years. Welcoming Cllr Cooper to the party Cllr Anders Christensen. Leader of the Lib Dem Group on AVDC commented, 'As an Independent member Peter has been a model of diligent representation for the people of Wingrave Ward. He has been successful in holding the ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

During the period between the EU referendum result becoming known and the December 2019 general election, a three and a half year epoch unto itself, many Remainer commentators found it astounding that no matter how many things the Leave campaign had stated were visibly disproven ("we hold all the cards" became "they are bullying us"), very few Leavers changed their minds. I think a lot of Remainers did not understand the power of the "Get Brexit Done" mantra and both Labour and the Lib Dems did not absorb the fact that they had to fight directly against it if they ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute
Mon 24th
11:00

My tweets

Sun, 12:56: RT @BurpleMan: My Irish passport is so technologically advanced it allows me to live, work and study in 27 other countries 🤭 https://t.co/1... Sun, 14:19: Another great thread. https://t.co/WZuP5f82oG Sun, 15:47: April 2005 books https://t.co/F5tkGRssVL Sun, 20:15: In the last 56 years and three months, not a single second of #DoctorWho on television has been set in Ireland. Just saying. Sun, 20:46: RT @H_Bettsworth: Don't split the party, you never split the party, I'm getting anxious here #DoctorWho Sun, 21:01: RT @TobiasVaughn: @VaultAusir @nwbrux The first nine minutes or so of "Nikola Tesla's Night of Terror" are set ...

If the new immigration regulations are forced through, Parliament itself could be very short of staff. That is why I've tabled questions to find out exactly how many of the present staff could on appointment have satisfied these regulations. A question that is not permitted is where new recruits will come from and how many meet the demand that they must earn £25,000! Questions about parliamentary staff would be for the Senior Deputy Speaker. However, his remit only covers matters relating to the House of Lords so he could not answer about House of Commons staff, or staff employed by ...

Posted by Lord Roger Roberts on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

The recent heavy rain got me thinking about the soon to be built and vast urban extension to Maghull of @1700 houses. I went to have a look at the site on Sunday 23rd February. The photos below really speak for themselves as they start with the waterlogged site as I saw it followed by where the water eventually drains to i.e. Dovers Brook and the River Alt. Maghull East Site from Ashworth Motorway junction 23 02 20 Maghull East Site from Poverty Lane 23 02 20 Dovers Brook at Sefton Lane looking north 23 02 20 Dovers Brook at ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

I wanted to share my experience of submitting a motion defining the definitions of Antisemitism (IHRA) and Islamophobia (APPG). But I decided to not add the caveats (mentioned in this Liberal Democrat Voice article by John Kelly). You can read my speeches and the motion here. Firstly, the IHRA definition is clear that it is not anti-Semitic to criticise Israel and lastly, I did not want to single out the Jewish community over geopolitics that they have no link with, no control over, and are not responsible for. As we did adopt the APPG definition of Islamophobia without clarification over ...

Posted by Alexandrine Kantor on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

From Blether Tay-Gither : Our February 2020 Blether will be on Tuesday 25th February - at 7pm at Madigan's Tearoom and Bookshop at 25 Castle Street. The Theme is "Leaps, Jumps and Dives" to mark this leap year. Interpret this how you like with whatever story the words and your imagination conjures up. Join us for a relaxed evening of stories and tales. bring a story or just come to listen. Hope to see some of you there - all welcome!

The Sunday Times reports that peers paid themselves almost one-third more last year just as the size of the House of Lords is set to swell to its largest in two decades. Their analysis has found that the cost of peers' expenses and daily attendance allowance rose by 29% in the year to last March to £23m and that taxpayers face a triple hit: The average tax-free payment was £30,827, higher than the median salary of a UK worker, while 31 lords claimed more in expenses than the standard take-home pay of an MP.Peers are set to receive an above ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

Liberal Democrat member Sal Fulcher has a new play about politics and coalitions on at the Waterloo East Theatre in London.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

Shropshire Council made national headlines with its decision to pay a highway consultant £1,000 a day to fix its highways management and resolve the plague of potholes. Lib Dem councillors on the council have called for Steve Davenport, the cabinet member for highways, to resign. He says he will not resign and the consultancy money will come from his underspent staff budget. Want he hasn't explained is why the council has assessed itself as a top performer on highways allowing it to draw down Whitehall funding, even though it has been underspending. If Shropshire Council is a top performer on ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

This weekend our London Mayoral candidate, Siobhan Benita and her team have been campaigning very hard all over the city: Good morning! Today I'll be meeting people at: [IMG: ✨] 11.00 West Hampstead Station [IMG: ✨] 14.00 Ickenham High Street, Hillingdon Come and have a chat about London and the mayoral election. #BackBenita #LoveLondonBetter pic.twitter.com/bygDGTVSPI — Siobhan Benita #BackBenita [IMG: 🔶] (@SiobhanBenita) February 22, 2020 * Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute
Sun 23rd
14:47

April 2005 books

April 2005 began for me with a job interview to run a Brussels-based thinktank (I didn't get it, and the thinktank has since folded), and also included trips to the USA (Washington and New York) and, for the first time in my life, Albania. I got a letter about Kosovo and Bosnia in European Voice; we published a briefing on refugee rights in South Ossetia (wildly optimistic, as it now turns out) and a full report on the Sandzak, which includes my favourite footnote from my time at Crisis Group:The Sandzak of Novi Pazar is chiefly remembered as one of ...

Good luck to Councillor Andy Corkhill who has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for the Liverpool City Region (LCR) Metro Mayor Selected by party members for this May's Metro Mayor contest, Andy Corkill stood in Wirral West at the 2019 general election and has been a councillor in Wirral since May 2019. He's highlighted five priorities for the Metro Mayor: -To revolutionise transport across the Liverpool City Region; -To equalise education and skills across the region; -To enhance the Liverpool City Region on a global level; -To protect the rights of European Union citizens; and -To take the ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

 

Sun 23rd
11:33

My Talisman

The great Russian poet Alexander Pushkin has often been poorly served in English translation, which is probably why his star does not shine so bright in British eyes as that of the novelist Fyodor Dostoyevsky. And yet for millions of Russians, past and present, Pushkin is the beating heart and soul of Mother Russia — [...]

Posted by jonathanfryer on Jonathan Fryer | Mute
Sun 23rd
11:00

My tweets

Sat, 12:35: RT @simoncoveney: This is unfortunately a good assessment of where we are on #Brexit and why the issue will dominate Irish politics for the... Sat, 15:13: Oliver! https://t.co/uFMsx8k6IQ Sat, 17:51: Just had a wee chat with Julian Glover at @comicconbxl. I mentioned I recently watched the 1963 Tom Jones. "My firs... https://t.co/es43WujVei Sat, 17:54: Adherents of the Flying Spaghetti Monster at @comicconbxl. https://t.co/XbSOWgl8wH Sat, 18:26: RT @H_Bettsworth: Colin Baker: the thing with the TV series is that you need to build a set for it, but the Big Finish audio lets you go so... Sat, 18:26: RT @H_Bettsworth: ...

The party is quite rightly campaigning to change the Vagrancy Act so that homelessness is not a crime. This is an initiative that has been spear-headed by Layla Moran: Being homeless shouldn't be a crime. And yet, between 2014 & 2016 alone, over 3000 people were dragged before the court. We should be caring for people who end up on the streets, not locking them up. Sign today if you want to scrap the Vagrancy Act > https://t.co/jWcFlmt9Wt — Liberal Democrats (@LibDems) February 21, 2020 * Newshound: bringing you the best Lib Dem commentary published in print or online.

Posted by NewsHound on Liberal Democrat Voice | Mute

There's a curious consistent difference between how periods of political rule seem when people paint broad-brush pictures of political history and how they felt at the time.

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

I walked into the Oxfam book and record shop in Harborough yesterday morning and this was playing. Golden Earring are a Dutch band and Radar Love was a worldwide hit in 1973. It reached number 7 in the UK singles chart and I remember listening to it under the bedclothes on Radio Luxembourg.

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute

How desperate are the UK Government to strike a trade deal with the United States? Are they desperate enough to compromise our food safety standards and allow big business to flood our farms with GM crops, endangering organic producers and putting farmers into financial hock to the seed suppliers? None of these questions are being answered by government, and it is not just because the opposition are in too much chaos to ask them. Instead queries are being met with obfuscation and evasion as is illustrated by this article in the Independent. The news site reports that the newly-elected environment ...

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black | Mute

The weirdest thing about the political times we live in is that the government has pledged to make a revolutionary change at the end of this year and no one is really addressing what that might mean. Part of this is Brexit burnout; part of it is that we just had a general election in which "get Brexit done" was the winning slogan and so most people seem to really think this is the case, even though we're still in the Single Market and Customs Union until the end of the year. A commenter on my blog unconsciously put it ...

Posted by Nick on nicktyrone.com | Mute

The Scottish Liberal Democrats have called for sweeping changes in drugs policy - including partial decriminalisation and the creation of a "regulated cannabis market". The party has announced it has sent a 10-point plan to ministers, which leaders believe will tackle the current drugs problem in Scotland, which killed 1,187 people in 2018... Health spokesman Alex Cole-Hamilton, who unveiled the plan, has called on the Scottish Government to back the proposals, which include diversionary treatment for people caught in possession of drugs for their own use instead of being sent to prison. The plan also suggests the Scottish Government "back ...

Posted by Mark Pack on Mark Pack | Mute

The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:- What it says about the Sefton coastline:- 'A site of specific scientific interest, Sefton Coast stretches for 12 miles between Southport and the end of Crosby Beach. Environmental Scientist Tara Shine says: "It's a remarkable piece of coastline, with beaches, mud flats, woodlands and an internationally-recognised sand dunes habitat forming a barrier between the sea and the towns of Southport and Formby." Formby Point Bird spotters, dog walkers and adventure sports enthusiasts alike love this stretch of coast, but its incredible sand dunes, which represent 20% of ...

Posted by Cllr. Tony Robertson on Sefton Focus | Mute

 

Two seats were up for election after the resignations of Councillors Tony Mahalski and Nicola Paton. Rod Naysmith from Downton View was been elected to represent Clee View on Ludlow Town Council unopposed. Phillip Adams from Corve Street and Hillary Hall from The Angel battled it out for the Whitcliffe Ward. Congratulations to Philip who won by 14 votes last Thursday. The turnout was 22% and 226 ballot papers were issued. Philip received 118 votes, Hilary 104 votes. Four votes were declared void. The new councillors will have to stand again in the countywide elections in May 2021. Elections are ...

Posted by andybodders on Andy Boddington | Mute

I called in at Leicester's New Walk Museum and Art Gallery today to take in a couple of exhibitions. There was Dissent and Displacement: Contemporary printmaker Monica Petzal explores opposition, persecution and persistence inspired by her German Jewish refugee heritage and the German Expressionist collection in Leicester. Interweaving threads of family, politics, culture and art, the narratives range from the rise of National Socialism in 1930's Germany to the life of a Syrian refugee doctor in Leicester today. Using original sources, it brings together contemporary collaged and painterly lithographic prints with accessible descriptive text, as well as German Expressionist work ...

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England | Mute