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

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Superb TV programme: The Bombs that changed Britain

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The devastation of South Hallsville School in East Ham, London after a bomb hit it in 1940.

The BBC is to be congratulated on a superb history series currently going out on BBC2 – Blitz: The bombs that changed Britain.

We often think of the wartime blitz and see film footage of mounds of rubble and people trying to find loved ones.

But this TV series goes one step further and very specifically outlines the terrible impact of one bomb (in each of four episodes).

In the first programme, now on BBC iPlayer for the next 28 days, they follow the story of an unexploded bomb which fell on Number 5 Martindale Road, Canning Town in London. Because it was unexploded, the whole area had to be evacuated. This led to 600 people being crammed into nearby South Hallsville School. The idea was that people would be quickly moved from the school out of danger. But due to bureaucratic incompetence and official indifference to the plight of the mainly poor people there, the numbers mushroomed over several nights. Then the inevitable happened and the school was bombed, with horrific and widespread devastation. Continue reading

Imagine if someone hacked into your canvassing database account and deleted stuff…

Well, that is exactly what happened to US Democrat party strategist Donna Brazile in November 2016. She told Joe Madison:

We had so much shit in our entire technology ecosystem that we couldn’t clean it up. Oh man, those Russians were on us like white on rice. I mean, they were, Joe, they were destroying data, critical data, Joe. I had a walking list for precinct 89 in Washington, D.C. I know precinct 89, right? And the Russians went in there and corrupted all of our critical data. All of our critical data. So, I no longer trusted this damn list that I’ve had for over 20 years of knowing every frequent voter, every Democratic voter…And, look, we were not even sure on on election day if the data that we were giving the people to do walks or calls – we were not even sure if it was clean.

You can hear the full clip on SoundCloud here. Hat-tip: Political Wire. CNN has a background timeline to this story.

Tony Blair bestrides the globe while the UK goes “la la la – not listening”


It seems that shortly after attending the Remembrance Sunday parade at London’s Cenotaph, former Prime Minister Tony Blair hopped on a plane for The Gambia. On Tuesday, he popped up there to meet the country’s President, Adama Barrow at his office (above) and then have dinner with him at the Coco Ocean Resort and Spa in Serrekunda. (A night in the Presidential suite there would set you back £1870). Globe-trotting Tony Blair also met Mr Barrow back in April, shortly after the latter had been elected President, replacing the tyrannical Yayha Jammeh.

Tony Blair has recently had many high level meetings with African leaders. Back in July he was in Kaduna, Nigeria and Togo. He’s been to Ghana. This month he was also in Cote d’Ivoire. There he met the Energy Minister, the Education Minister and the Prime Minister. Continue reading

Backlash against Trump in US elections

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Here’s a few stories about the encouraging elections in the USA last Tuesday.

Politico summarised the news:

This one was for Donald Trump. Exit polls revealed an unmistakable anti-Trump backlash Tuesday, as Democrats won resounding victories in governors races in Virginia and New Jersey. Majorities of voters in both states disapproved of the job Trump is doing as president, with significant numbers of voters in each state saying Trump was a reason for their vote. And far more of those voters said they made their choice to oppose Trump than to support him.

Continue reading

Hugely skilled Scottish/British F1 driver and gentleman whose life was cruelly cut short

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I was nine years old when Jim Clark was killed in a motor sport accident in 1968. It was a huge tragedy, cutting short the life of a vastly talented Scottish/British motor sport driver who was a quiet-mannered gentleman.

Well done BBC 4 for this splendid portrait of the man, which is much recommended.

Update on that Australian constitutional crisis sparked by the blog of a former Lib Dem candidate…

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Further to my blog this morning, many thanks to William Summers, who has got in touch from Melbourne. He’s sent us the link to the original blog post which led to the Australian Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, being ruled as ineligible to hold office, turning the Australian government into a minority one. Here is the link to the post.

As a recap, William Summers was the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Norfolk North West in 2010, and worked for Norman Lamb as an assistant. He now lives in Melbourne, Australia. Continue reading