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Blog Awards - VOTE!

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Campaign for Gender Balance Blog Awards

The Campaign for Gender Balance has announced the shortlists for its Blog Awards, to be announced at the Liberal Democrat Spring Conference.

The shortlists are as follows:

Best Blog by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Liberal Democrat

This shortlist will form the basis of two awards - the Judge's Choice and the Peoples' Choice. To vote in the People's Choice category, follow this link: http://cgbblog.notlong.com/

Best Blog Post by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog Post by a Woman Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Non-Liberal Democrat

Best Blog by a Woman Non-Liberal Democrat

We are sad to report that Rose Hacker died on 4 February, one month before her 102nd birthday. Her remaining columns are continuing to be published by the Camden New Journal.

Congratulations to everyone who has been shortlisted and commiserations to everyone who was not. The final results will be announced at the Campaign for Gender Balance Blog Awards' Drinks Reception, taking place on Saturday 8th March 2008, between 8.00pm and 9.30pm, at Canada Suite, Crowne Plaza Hotel, Liverpool.

The awards will be decided by a prestigious team of judges:

  • Jo Swinson MP: Liberal Democrat Shadow Minister for Equalities and Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • Baroness Jane Bonham-Carter: Liberal Democrat spokesperson on broadcasting, a former producer on Newsnight and Vice Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • Ros Harper: Solicitor and compliance officer for a global bank, Lib Dem 2005 parliamentary candidate for Surrey Heath (as which she wrote a blog for Channel Four News) and Vice Chair of the Campaign for Gender Balance
  • James Graham: winner, Lib Dem Blog of the Year 2007
  • Olly Grender: former Liberal Democrat Director of Communications
  • Ros Taylor: Guardian journalist and an editor on the Comment is Free website

To read blogs by Liberal Democrats (women and men), see the Lib Dem Blogs website (http://www.libdemblogs.co.uk).

Latest Lib Dem Blogs

  • Sep 21, 2014:
    • Paddy Ashdown warns of national civil revolt as gap between Westminster elite and people grows
      Nick Clegg used strong language earlier. However, that sounded like sweet nothings compared to Paddy Ashdown's comments on the Murnaghan programme earlier. You can read the whole transcript here, but here are some of the highlights: PM and Miliband should play Join the Dots in a darkened room An interesting turn of phrase here as Paddy tells the two "old party" leaders to take a reality check: Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron are already running away from the promises they made. Mr Cameron didn't seem to realise that when he made that promise he may not be able to carry ...
    • Post Referendum Reform
      Well I wasn't on-message over the Scottish referendum. On the post-referendum reforms, however, I'm just undecided. Nick Clegg suggests that we should start by implementing the recommendations of the McKay Commission. I'd probably agree with him if I could get my head round what those recommendations would mean in practice. Until a Peter Snow has [...]
    • Caron's Sunday Selection: Must-read articles from the Sunday papers
      [IMG: sundaypaps] Here's my selection of stories to infuriate, inform and inspire from today's Sunday papers. I can't pick all the stories, so please add your favourites in the comments. Obviously the fallout rom the Scottish independence referendum dominates. Don't blame me. Blame David Cameron for using the occasion to pick a fight with Ed Miliband to try and make him out to be anti-English ahead of the General Electiona and, more immediately, the Labour conference. Labour wanted the week to plug their platform for the election. No such luck, it seems. It's very annoying that Scotland has been caught ...
    • The end of party politics? A couple of books and some thoughts
      [IMG: I've been reading a couple of interesting books this week: Colin Crouch's Post-democracy and the late Peter Mair's final book Ruling the Void: The Hollowing of Western Democracy . Both of them share a common theme: that our understanding of how politics works, including the nature of our democracy, is wrong. For Crouch, post-democracy represents a time when corporate interests now overwhelm those of a citizenry that is incapable (and perhaps unwilling) to rpresent itself as effectively. Mair's thesis is set out quite succinctly on the first page: "The age of party democracy has passed." The political systems ...
    • A film night, at Conference? Really?
      Party conference serves so many purposes. It's there to make policy, to deliver training and for members from around the country to get together and chat. I have to say that I've never thought that the big thing missing from our annual gathering was a film night. In fact, putting me in a warm, dark room after 4 sleep-deprived nights is likely to have me snoring in seconds. I was therefore surprised to see some weeks ago that a film night was to happen and the party was running a vote on its website so that people could choose what ...
    • John Leech to speak at East Midlands Lib Dems conference
      The autumn conference and annual general meeting of the East Midlands Liberal Democrats will take place in Hinckley on Saturday 1 November. The keynote speaker will be John Leech, Lib Dem MP for Manchester Withington, and the four candidates to be the party's new president have also been invited. Book via the East Midlands Lib Dems website.
    • Some thoughts on Alex Salmond's resignation
      After being unsuccessful in his struggle to secure Scottish independence, First Minister Alex Salmond has opted to resign as First Minister. He did not need to do so, but his reasons for resigning are perfectly understandable. He has taken the SNP, and its cause of Scottish nationalism, as far as he can. It is perfectly logical, at a time when the SNP is naturally considering its next steps, to make way for a new leader - with possibly a new way of thinking. Why continue to serve until the next election in 2016, when instead the new leader can be ...
    • The secret, I'm told, is in being somewhere else...
      I'm a great believer in the concept of somewhere else. As an Englishman with a rather quirky backstory - I was born here, unlike either parent - and a deep and abiding suspicion of nationalism - who is it, exactly, that you're against? - I hold firmly to a view that you only really appreciate your nation's strengths and weaknesses by comparing it with other places. My country right or wrong? Well, not really, but it's still my country... and yours... and probably theirs too, even if they might be a bit of an embarrassment in civilised circles. And so, ...
    • It's not often the Tory reaction to an economic success is hostility
      [IMG: Imperial College London. Photo courtesy of - some rights reserved] News that four of the top six universities in the world are in England is a reminder of how tremendously successful our higher education sector is at persuading some of the most talented people around the world to buy university and post-graduate education from British outlets. It's a remarkably successful export industry, and one which brings many benefits to the UK. It brings in money that helps finance our education system. It brings in diverse and talented students which makes it easier to recruit the best and brightest ...
    • "It was as black as the night sky": The Beast of Harborough returns
      The Hatborough Mail reports that the Black Beast of Harborough was seen near Lubenham on two consecutive evenings earlier this month. We have previously reported sightings of the Beast near Arthingworth and Foxton.
    • Can 'Rainbow Laces' tie up homophobia in football?
      Football players up and down the country this last weekend played their part in helping to stamp out homophobia in football, and to some extent, sport in general. Compared to other public domains, sport still has less LGBT representatives than most, and this applies especially to football. Players from clubs from every division and every part of the country laced up their boots with 'Rainbow Laces' to show their support for stopping homophobic attitudes in football. As a gay man and a football fan, I know that homophobia still exists in some forms in football. Gainborough Trinity Footballers showing off ...
    • Last chance to vote in Liberal Youth elections
      [IMG: Liberal Youth logo 2014] Voting closes in the Liberal Youth annual elections tomorrow at noon. All members of the party under 26 are eligible to vote. Those members for whom we have an email address should have received a ballot paper from Opavote. If you haven't received one, check your spam to make sure isn't in there, then email me on lyelections@gmail.com with proof of age and Liberal Democrat membership. You must cast your vote by noon tomorrow. Full details of the candidates and their manifestos can be found here on the Liberal Youth website. There are also details ...
    • The Blood is The Life 21-09-2014
      The roots of my complicated psychic relationship with Gordon Brown are explained in this old blog post (tags: ) [IMG: comment count unavailable] comments
    • Fantastic spectacle as Royal Welsh gets Freedom of Ludlow
      A bit of history was made yesterday when Ludlow town council gave the freedom of the town to the Royal Welsh regiment. It was a fantastic occasion, with a parade and ceremony in the Castle, followed by a march around the town watched and applauded by several thousand people. The star of the occasion, especially [...]
    • Nick Clegg is 100% right about devolution!
      Nick's written an article on devolution which is 100% right. I couldn't have put it better myself - which is why I am pasting it below. He says it all! Within hours of the momentous decision by the Scottish people to remain in the UK, Westminster found itself once again bogged down in conventional party political point scoring. I have seen for myself the way in which the vested interests in the two old parties can conspire to block reform - scuppering elections to the House of Lords and a clean up of party funding in recent years. We cannot ...
    • Strong language from Nick Clegg on more powers for Scotland: This opportunity cannot be hijacked
      I had a sneak preview of an article Nick Clegg wrote for today's Sunday Post. I was a bit disappointed in its blandness. We needed more robust language, I felt. Why? Well, when Cameron had just had almost half of Scots who voted tell him they wanted out of the Union, his main message in response was to pick a fight with Labour on the so-called "West Lothian Question." Really, Dave, is that what you take from all of this? By making more powers for Scotland seem contingent on resolving the English votes for English laws issues, he exacerbated tensions ...
    • Southport Airshow 2014
      Some nice shots via the two links above from the Liverpool Echo and the Flickr site of George C1. I used to go to this show every year but have not been for 2 or 3 years. The weather was great for it yesterday and it looks set for another nice day today. Here's a link to a shot I took at the 2006 Southport Airshow:- This show draws thousands of folk to the North West's best seaside resort and the vast expanse of sand is perfect for such an event. Now if only the rail links ...
    • Nick Clegg gets it right on devolution
      [IMG: Nick Clegg at a conference podium. Image courtesy of the Liberal Democrats.] Yesterday I wrote how: Devolution is about devolving power. There's a clue in the name. Which is why talk of English devolution that slips into talking about English MPs voting on English laws misses what English devolution should really be about. Not about a smaller number of MPs keeping power still to themselves, but about devolving power away from MPs downwards to local government (and possibly regional government, though the appetite for creating a new layer of government across England is fairly limited - better to look ...
    • Child fall - Hilton Liverpool - BBC & Echo have the worrying story
      www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-merseyside-29299336 The BBC covers it via the link above:- The Liverpool Echo covers it via the link above:- Let's hope the child gets well again as a priority but how on earth could this have happened?
    • Discovery Walk proposal - an update
      Further to my recent article about the excellent Discovery Walk proposal, it was good to see the article in Friday's Evening Telegraph - you can read this here. And ... the project now has a logo :
    • Leonard Cohen is 80
      So here is one of his classic songs
    • My favourite heretic
      The man who convinced me that Liberal Christianity is Bible-based Christianity is someone I don't believe to even be a Christian I started to be won over by the Christian view of the world during my first year at university. And initially I was drawn to the more evangelical iterations of the faith. I attended a church [...]
    • California Dreaming: Along Comes Mary
      [NB this should come before yesterday's post. A note on sources -- for most of these essays I have used multiple sources. For this essay, I have relied more than any other on a single source, Steve Stanley's liner notes for the And Then... Along Comes The Association reissue, and I thought this should be [...]
  • Sep 20, 2014:
    • Saturday song
      It's time for that fantastic alliterative replacement for 'Friday favourite' - it's a post referendum 'Saturday song':
    • Peter Capaldi travelling in time before Doctor Who
      Each episode of the second series of The All New Alexei Sayle Show, broadcast in 1995, featured a Drunk in Time sketch. This was a parody of a long-forgotten American series called The Time Tunnel. As well as Alexei Sayle, they featured Jenny Agutter and Alfred Marks as the controllers and Jim Carter as an historical figure. Here he is King Herod. And Sayle's fellow traveller in time was played by an actor called Peter Capaldi. Whatever happened to him?
    • Jenny Woods selected for Reading East
      [IMG: Dr Jenny Woods, Aldes Vice Chair, Science] We're delighted that our Vice Chair Dr Jenny Woods has been selected as the prospective parliamentary candidate for the constituency of Reading East. Jenny is an extremely influential campaigner both within and beyond the Liberal Democrats. She notably proposed a successful amendment to the civil liberties policy motion at the party's Spring Conference in 2012 laying out safeguards against infringements of online freedoms and disproportionate state surveillance. This was months before the full details of the planned Communications Capabilities Development Programme were revealed and over a year before the Snowden revelations brought ...
    • The street name signs of Oakham
      In Oakham today to visit the Dowager Lady Bonkers in hospital, I noticed that at one time the practice in the town was to paint street names on the side of houses. Some, like Station Street, are well preserved. Others, like Kings Road, have decayed. And some, like Long Row, have been imaginatively vandalised.
    • The Puzzling Problem of the Pistorius Plea
      A blog post by Felicity Gerry QC has today left me thinking again about the verdict in the Oscar Pistorius trial. I need to disclaim at the very start that I saw very, very little of the actual trial and thus did not have the evidence in front of me that was placed in front of the judge. However, given the provocative title of Ms. Gerry's post, 'The Oscar Pistorius verdict: was it a miscarriage of justice?', I was slightly surprised at her conclusion that "justice was done and seen to be done. It may or may not be the ...
    • Need For Speed Reduction
      I am not against cars. I have owned one for many years and there are many benefits to using them but they do have their problems. They kill people and cause road rage (with a little help from the drivers). They harm the environment. They raise stress levels even without road rage. They are particularly a problem in urban areas. Everyone in Morecambe and Lancaster will tell you about our traffic jams as we must have some of the best in the country. In rural areas cars are often a necessity so if we want to get people out of ...
    • Japanese Knotweed - Foxhouse Lane, Maghull
      This troublesome plant has been causing problems in Foxhouse Lane, Maghull for some time; at least 15 to 18 years to my knowledge. The plant is on Network Rail land which forms the embankment of the Liverpool - Ormskirk railway line just north of Maghull Station. [IMG: rsz_more_knot_weed] Click on the photo to enlarge it My old chum and former Maghull Town Councillor Charles Walker (see photo above) was tackling it over 15 years ago and he got what was then Railtrack to take action to try to eradicate it. I recall Charles, now a young 93, reminding Railtrack for ...
    • Some fact and figures from #IndyRef
      Ok we have all seen the conspiracy theories but here are some of the facts that would have to have been different if the Yes side really had to overcome the silent majority to win. I started to crunch these numbers when someone actually said the result wasn't a landslide to which someone else used the Politico definition: a landslide election win is one in which the winning candidate beats his opponent by at least 10 percentage points. But I decided to look at it this way. What would have been required out of the available votes remaining to turn ...
    • Last chance to apply for ALDC internship - a Lib Dem Jobwatch special
      The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners, to give it its Sunday name, is recruiting two paid Campaigns and Communications internships based in Manchester from next month to June next year. From their site: This is a full-time role, paid at the UK National Minimum Wage (£6.50 per hour for over 21 years olds), based at our Manchester city centre offices. ALDC is the national organisation for Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the work of the organisation in the run up to the 2015 General Election. The successful applicants will ...
    • Dorothy Thornhill selected as Liberal Democrat candidate for Watford
      [IMG: Dorothy Thornhill] My co-editor Stephen Tall is incredibly efficient. He's off on holiday, but he managed to edit his post on where we are with candidates in our held and top target seats to include Dorothy Thornhill's selection in Watford before he headed to the airport at some ridiculous hour of the night. Dorothy is currently in her fourth term as Mayor of Watford, elected for the first time in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, 2010 and in May this year. She's a former teacher. Party President Tim Farron welcomed her selection on Twitter last night: I'm over the ...
    • Devolution: now that we've found love, what are we gonna do with it?
      So, Scotland having voted to remain in the Union but with an understanding that there will be greater devolution to their Parliament, we can now move on to what it means for the rest of us. Luckily, as a Liberal Democrat, I understand and accept the logic of devolution, of subsidiarity and federalism, which is that things will be different in different places, with a greater priority placed on X in Y, as opposed to Z. And, frankly, assuming that we can annex the Waveney Valley and North Essex, and make Ros our constitutional monarch, the notion of a free ...
    • Southeastern Renew rail franchise
      Well this is a sticky wicket. Firstly I should say that for those of you who don't regularly read my blog will know that when it comes to rail travel and the EXTORTIONATE amount of time and money I throw at the railway system, I am apolitical on this subject. No party, no government is innocent in the journey that has led to this day. However I'm.... happy with the final decision that has led to Southeastern having their contract renewed. Perhaps happy is too strong a word. However I can see the logic behind it. I first read about ...
    • English devolution: it's not about which MPs get to vote on what
      [IMG: Devolution is about taking power away from here.] Devolution is about taking power away from here. Devolution is about devolving power. There's a clue in the name. Which is why talk of English devolution that slips into talking about English MPs voting on English laws misses what English devolution should really be about. Not about a smaller number of MPs keeping power still to themselves, but about devolving power away from MPs downwards to local government (and possibly regional government, though the appetite for creating a new layer of government across England is fairly limited - better to look ...
    • UPDATED: Full list of Lib Dems standing in our held seats and top 50 targets
      We're less than 8 months away from the May 2015 election so here's my latest running check on how candidate selection is going in our held and key target seats... [IMG: Lib Dems winning here] I published a first draft of this list a year ago, and asked readers to help me update it. Many thanks to those of you who have helped me keep it updated, including the party's Candidates Services Office. Here's the latest version of the list of (re-)selections in our held seats and the top 50 targets for the party. It's a snapshot of how the ...
    • Independence, devolution and power
      Independent on Sunday front page - "Who to believe" #tomorrowspaperstoday #bbcpapers #indyref pic.twitter.com/I5DyzXeMPl - Nick Sutton (@suttonnick) September 13, 2014 When I first saw this tweet, late last Saturday night, my immediate and admittedly facile response was "Neither of them". Alex Salmond was propounding a vision for an independent Scotland that was no doubt seductive for many, but was panglossian in its optimism. For me, the Yes campaign was irresponsible in the way he blithely dismissed all requests for detail or serious engagement with potential risks. It was premised on a blatant failure to acknowledge the geopolitical realities that an ...
    • Please Sir, do Northern Ireland have to take more? Part 2
      I wrote yesterday about some of the powers that Northern Ireland wanted to have added to Stormont. It may have been because I was lacking sleep, or maybe because I didn't think anybody really realistically wanted to bring either of these two into our control that I left them off that piece. However, yesterday I was reminded that my piece was lacking a couple of things. Firstly in light of the referendum Sinn Féin have called for a similar choice here in Northern Ireland, only for it to be should Northern Ireland become part of united Irish state rather than ...
    • An unexpected benefit from the Y2K IT scare
      [IMG: Financial trading screens. Image courtesy of - some rights reserved] In the run-up to 2000, huge amounts of time and money went into upgrading IT systems in order to avoid the 'millennium bug' (Y2K) - a fear that a use of two year dates (e.g. recording 1983 as 83) would cause problems when 1999 became 2000, with computers seeing 99 change to 00 and thinking we were back in 1900 or being so confused as not to know what year it was at all any more. The absence of actual problems when the time came is either an ...
    • Union Wars II: England Strikes Back
      As the Scottish referendum recedes with almost unseemly haste into the background, the country as a whole is now confronting an arguably far more disconcerting prospect than Scotland leaving. The largest part of the Union, England, has finally been allowed to move to the top of the list of problems to be dealt with. With such a vast preponderance in population and wealth, and relatively low share of public expenditure per capita (97% of the UK average as a whole, with some regions as low as 83% of that) and no devolved government to speak of aside from the London ...
    • Meanwhile, in Clacton... Meet the Lib Dems' by-election candidate, Andy Graham
      [IMG: andy-graham-at-clacton-lib-dem-office] Events in Scotland have rather dominated these past few weeks, but we shouldn't forget there's another election soon to take place: the by-election in Clacton triggered by Douglas Carswell's defection from the Tories to Ukip. Early polls shows Carswell is the front-runner to retain the seat in his new colours. The local Lib Dems have selected a candidate to fly the party's colours: Andy Graham, "a former teacher in Clacton [who] has performed in shows at the Clacton's West Cliff Theatre". Details of how you can help Andy in Clacton are as follows: 399 Old Road Clacton CO15 ...
    • The Welsh town that voted 'yes' to independence on Thursday
      Whilst Scotland was busy voting no to independence on Thursday a Welsh border town was conducting its own ballot. To be fair, Hay-on-Wye has form on this when, in 1 April 1977, Richard Booth conceived a publicity stunt in which he declared Hay-on-Wye to be an 'independent kingdom' with himself as its monarch. According to the Western Mail another bookshop owner, Derek Addyman organised his own vote to coincide with the day Scotland decided whether to go it alone. Locals cast their votes outdoors in the Cheese Market in a swing bin liner between 11am and 3pm. The question they ...
    • How do I pay tribute to Alex Salmond?
      [IMG: Alex Salmond photo] Photo by Ewan McIntosh A "++Breaking news" post on Liberal Democrat Voice asked commenters to "lean more towards tributes than we might otherwise". Well, that's very nice. Indeed, as I try to emphasise when I criticise politicians, I am sure Alex Salmond is a very nice man indeed. I am sure that if I shared a few drams with him in the comfort of a couple of deep armchairs in a hotel bar somewhere in Scotland, we would get on like a house on fire. But as a politician, despite deep and long thought, I have ...
    • One has to ask: why the fuck didn't Gordon Brown speak with such a passion when he was PM? Surely, it maybe time for him to quit as an MP and stand in Scotland? I am impressed with him today, and that is saying something.
      via Facebook
    • Lib Dem Stockport wins apprenticeship award
      Lib Dem-led Stockport Council has won a coveted national apprenticeship award for the Council's work employing apprentices. The Council won the National Apprenticeship Service's North West - Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Staffordshire - Regional Award for Macro Employer (over 4,999 employees) of apprentices. The award recognises the Council's achievements of employing apprentices at Levels 2-5, in Business Administration, Management, Creative Design and Digital Media, Customer Service, and Supporting Teaching and Learning. Councillor Shan Alexander, Stockport Council's Executive Member for Lifelong Leaning and Achievement, said: "The Council is proud of its track record on apprenticeships and I'm delighted that we have ...
    • England Wakes!
      England wakes. - Janan Ganesh (@JananGanesh) September 19, 2014 Janan Ganesh sums up the current political situation quite nicely but if we want a more rhetorical flourish we could always say that "the Battle for Scotland is over. The battle of England is about to begin!" Now that Devo max is on the table, and the other nations of England are agitating for more powers, the question of how England governs itself must now be answered. As a Liberal, I just find it axiomatic that more powers for local communities is a given but that will not be enough in ...
    • The Blood is The Life 20-09-2014
      We could be heroes: the wild world of cosplay - I LOVE the Sikh Captain America (tags: ) This is why occasionally, just occasionally, reading below the line is worthwhile. depressing, but worthwhile (tags: ) Westminster vows never to allow vote on anything that matters ever again (tags: ) The trap of the demand for constitutional change (tags: ) Coping With Activism - on how to look after yourself and be a more effective activist (tags: ) Every taunt the Labour Party has directed at the Lib Dems since 2011 is now fair comment for the SNP everytime the Labour ...
    • The Fire of 1834: how much of Parliament was destroyed
    • Echo - Ambitious 30 year plan to expand rail network around Liverpool
      The link to the Echo story is above:- The test of this will be delivery of it as my previous postings, looking at Merseytravel's aspirations over many years, led to the inevitable conclusion that it was good at the talk but mediocre on the delivery. [IMG: A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station] A Merseyrail electric unit at Bootle New Strand Station I really do want this latest plan to work but forgive me if I remain just a little sceptical for two reasons. Firstly the one above - a poorish track (no pun intended) record of ...
    • Paul Tyler writes... Pledge in haste, repent at leisure
      [IMG: Union Flag] Having the scars on my back from attempts to reform the Lords, I know how inclined people are to declare constitutional reform 'not thought through'. In the case of Lords Reform, this was patently ridiculous since introducing elections to the House has been the subject of more self-interested cogitation and political procrastination than just about any other subject. Proposals for "devo-max" to Scotland are not ill-considered either. Our own redoubtable Menzies Campbell has produced two formidable reports on "Home Rule All Round", setting out a federal future for the UK. Lord Strathclyde has produced a not dissimilar ...