There but for the grace of God...

Posted by Andrew Brown on the widow's world
Sun 1st Mar 15 - 01:22

Last night I took part in a sponsored sleep-out for a local homelessness charity, Crisis Centre Ministries, organised under the auspices of the Bristol Churches Action Network. Here's how it all went down. Preperation Unlike many who find themselves in position of sleeping out for real, those taking part - and there was 100-200 of us - were able to prepare in advance. In this I was grateful for the help of friends who had done the sleep-out in the past and knew what to expect. Participants came equipped with cardboard, blankets and survival bags - not to mention lots ... (more)

Sal Brinton, twitching corpses and the number 26

Posted by Energlyn Churchill on Towards the Sound of Gunfire
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 22:07

At Welsh Lib Dem Spring Conference today I learned three things: Sal Brinton is a thoroughly nice lady and has the makings of a fine Party President; the meaning of the phrase 'bouncing corpse'; and the significance of the number 26. Sal made it her mission to speak to as many members as possible and I was lucky enough to get a quarter of an hour with her. She listened patiently to my concerns about our leadership, my fears about our prospects in 'also ran' constituencies like mine, my predictions for 2015 and my hopes for the post-Clegg era. For ... (more)

A Skin Too Few: The Days of Nick Drake

Posted by Jonathan Calder on Liberal England
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 21:56

Thanks to Dangerous Minds for posting this video. He writes: Other than a few childhood home movies, no film footage of Nick Drake exists. So director Berkven had to create a sense of Drake through other means. That he succeeds is quite remarkable. He is enormously helped by Nick's mother Molly. Her own music uncannily evokes her son's and creates a deeply emotional dimension to A Skin Too Few.I blogged about Molly Drake a couple of years ago. (more)

Money saving expert Martin Lewis on Labour's fees policy: 'Poorer students will subsidise city investment bankers'

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 21:08

Here's part of what Martin Lewis, the Money Saving Expert, said on the BBC's World at One today: This is the worse type of politics for me. It is the politics that may appeal to people on the surface but it is financially illiterate...If any other party was launching a policy that effectively meant that poorer students would be subsidising city investment banking graduates, which is what this does, there would be protests in the streets and it would be led by the Labour party. I simply don't understand how they've launched this. Let's look at this very simply. It's ... (more)

To hit the LibDems, Labour give £2 billion to graduates earning 32%+ above the average wage

Posted by Paul on Liberal Burblings
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 21:04

Details of Labour's tuition fees policy are emerging today. There is a proposed higher maintenance grant and higher interest rates for higher earning graduates. It will remain to be seen how much those two changes alter the regressiveness of the main proposal to reduce the fee cap to £6,000. That basic policy proposal is to take £2 billion from pension tax breaks and give it to graduates who earn 32% above the national average wage. This is because many graduates will not pay back their full tuition fees "loan" under the current scheme. So only those earning £35,000 or more ... (more)


Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 19:45

Cataract operation on my right eye was reviewed on Wednesday and there are no problems. I am now on the list to have the left eye done. The outcome will certainly be an improvement, though nothing can be done about the macular degeneration. It advances fairly slowly, however, and may not be much of a handicap in the remaining estimated 16 months of my life. (more)

Metal Theft Plummets

Posted by James Barber on James Barber » James Barber
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 19:30

Just over three years ago I urged people to sign a petition supporting a bill to licence all Scrap Metal Dealers. Thank you to those who helped push for this change. The Act was passed with support from the government and came into force October 2013. All scrap metal dealers had to obtain a licence from local council to trade. Near 8,000 have been issued across England & Wales. Already a dramatic reduction in metal thefts down from 59,788 2012/13 to 40,680 in 2013/14. As the new system settles down I expect the level of theft to decline further. WELL ... (more)

Statement by Lord Avebury, Chairman of the International Bangladesh Foundation

Posted by Eric Avebury on Eric Avebury
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 19:26

[IMG: HoL_Cropped_edited-2] The whole world has gasped in horror at the hacking to death by machete-wielding terrorists of the secularist US-Bangladeshi blogger Avijit Roy, close to the heavily-guarded university book fair in Dhaka.Police witnessed the murder but the killers were allowed to escape.Extremist attacks on secularists and religious minorities add an extra dimension to the loss of more than 100 lives in the violence connected with blockades and demonstrations calling for new elections. The Awami League government and the opposition led by the Bangladesh Nationalist Party must sit down together and chart the way back towards democracy and a united ... (more)

The Conscience Clause: Concern for the Less Well Off in Society

Posted by Andrew McFarland Campbell on Faith and Pride
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 18:00

Christians ought to show concern for the less well-off and vulnerable in society. The DUP's proposed conscience clause provides protections for a relatively prosperous sector of society while at best ignoring, and possibly even harming, the less prosperous. If this proposal provides freedom of conscience, then it only provides it to the rich. This discrimination against the poor is abhorrent to Christianity. (more)

Labour row over Miliband tuition fee pledge

Posted by Peter Black on Peter Black
Sat 28th Feb 15 - 17:56

Labour's new tuition fee policy has certainly caused a few ripples in the electoral pond but not necessarily in the right places. As has been pointed out elsewhere the plan is to cut tax relief for pensioners so as to knock £3,000 off the cost of studying. However, the effect of this ruse is to help the well-off rather than those who need it most. Labour's new policy means that only graduates with a starting salary of at least £35,000 will pay less. Much as I dislike the system it is currently working in that there are now a record ... (more)