Money to support young people who want to see a parliamentary by-election campaign at first hand

I thought that might get your attention…!

It’s eighteen months since the death of David Rendel, former Liberal Democrat MP for Newbury from 1993 to 2005. His untimely demise was obviously a cruel blow for his family. In Newbury, we also miss him dreadfully in the Liberal Democrats. We lost a great friend. I lost a great friend. I miss his humility, his enormous wisdom, his integrity, his selflessness, his sense of humour, his encouraging smile, his endless energy and passion for liberalism.

Fortunately, shortly before his death, when asked if there was anything that the local Lib Dems could do in his memory, he expressed his wish. David was a great by-election afficianado. Indeed, he himself swept to victory in Newbury in 1993 in one of the most famous Liberal Democrat by-election victories in history. David was also a passionate mentor to many young people in politics. In his last months he said that he would like there to be some sort of fund in his name which enables young people who are interested in politics (and he specified that these young people would not necessarily be Lib Dem members, but perhaps broadly share our values) to be able to go to a parliamentary by-election and immerse themselves for several weeks in the campaign – getting involved in the campaigning. He particularly wanted such a fund to benefit those young people who, without such financial support, might not otherwise be able to travel to and stay at a by-election location. Continue reading


How the Samaritans helped me and how they can help you

In the last two years, I have been helped twice by the Samaritans. The first time was when I had a number of personal, family and work issues piling up. I felt as though everything was getting on top of me, and that if I wasn’t careful, I would end up feeling worse. As usual my family were a great support to me. But I just felt I wanted to reach out to another human being, unconnected with the situations, to share what I was going through.

I emailed . Emailing seemed the best thing for me in that situation. I just wanted to share my issues with another human. – To know some other person was reading my thoughts. It was an insurance policy to an extent. I hoped, and my hope turned out to be fulfilled, that emailing “Jo” would help put a limit on my feelings of being somewhat overwhelmed by life at that time. Jo wrote back and was very sympathetic. Jo helped focus my thoughts. Jo read and understood what I was saying, and acted as a “shoulder to cry on”. A safety valve. Jo promised to be there if I needed to share more. Things gradually sorted themselves out. But it was good to know that I had “Jo” on the end of an email in case I needed more support – to let off steam, set out my thoughts, whatever… Continue reading

Do we fancy jumping off a cliff like lemmings?……now let me see…’s a tough one…..

PSM V11 D400 Lemmings in migration

I sympathise with Theresa May. She has a very difficult decision to make for the country.

The two options are:

Option 1: The Mass Lemming option

We are hold hands – that is all 65.64 million of us, minus two, and jump over a very high cliff into economic contraction/uncertainty and a return to ghastly sectarian murder in Northern Ireland. But the good news is that the press will love it and John Redwood and Jacob Rees-Mogg (the minus two) will be at the bottom of the cliff to catch us. Continue reading

A great tune from Stealers Wheel which isn’t the one from Reservoir Dogs…

I was wilfing around Spotify yesterday when I chanced upon an old favourite tune on mine. It proves that Stealers Wheel did great stuff apart from “Stuck in the middle with you”- which made them extremely famous, and presumably rich, due to being used in the film “Reservoir Dogs”. This one is called “Star” and has some great lyrics:

You breeze through the door and when you take the floor
You expect to have it all to yourself

The harmonies are superb and there’s a great piano break on this – presumably from Joe Egan (correct me if I am wrong).
Hello Jonathan!

The Damian Green alleged web misuse case – the employer should investigate and take whatever actions they deem appropriate

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I may be reverting into my sandals here, but I can’t see why Damian Green should be sacked – unless his employer investigates his case (regarding alleged web misuse) and deems a dismissal is appropriate.

We’re assured (by, oddly enough, retired Detective Lewis – I can imagine John Thaw saying “LEWIS!” as I write) that there is no chance that Mr Green has broken the law. The pornography allegedly found on his computer may or may not have got there due to his actions – Mr Green strongly denies any wrong-doing. But the alleged images were, apparently, not illegal, and not even extreme. The case was years ago and the result of a contested search of parliamentary premises. The current controversy seems to be a battle of retired police officers. Retired Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy says unrelated non-criminal events uncovered by enquiries would normally be kept confidential with no action taken. Continue reading

LibLink: Tim Farron – What Kind of Liberal Society Do We Want?

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Theos is an organisation which, in its own words: “stimulates the debate about the place of religion in society, challenging and changing ideas through research, commentary and events.”

This week, Tim Farron gave the Theos Annual 2017 Lecture.

It is an extremely thoughtful, nuanced and quite complex speech.

You can read it in full here on the Theos website. Continue reading