Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)
info@genderbalance.org.uk

Blog Awards - VOTE!

Don't know what blogging is? Check out the BBC's webwise website

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

  • Mar 3, 2015:
    • Worth Reading 160: Text message
      The 'cost' bias - Chris Dillow explains how a lot of our understanding of how much something might cost the economy is completely wrong. The robots are coming - John Lanchester in the LRB on how automation is changing everything around us. Die Another Eh: What Does It Mean Now That James Bond Is In The Public Domain In Canada? - It's almost as though copyright law has been set up to be as confusing and stifling of creativity as possible. American democracy is doomed - Slightly incendiary title for a piece that's arguing the current structure of American democracy ...
    • The Conscience Clause: Discrimination is un-Christian
      From one response to our consultation on the DUP's conscience clause: Christ commands that his followers must not treat any other human being in a way in which they would not like to be treated themselves. This attempt to legalise discrimination against LGBT people is unchristian and sinful. -Antaine O'Labhradha
    • Caroline Pidgeon expresses concern about Stagecoach involvement with LGBT Rainbow bus
      [IMG: Rainbow Bus] It's a lovely bright sight on the streets of London. A bus with rainbow livery to celebrate the 10th anniversary of OUTbound, the Transport for London's LGBT staff network. It's a nice idea to have such a clear statement of solidarity with London's LGBT people. There is a cloud though, and that comes in the form of the involvement in Stagecoach's partnership in the venture. You know, the same Stagecoach whose chairman Brian Souter took such exception to the abolition of Scotland's equivalent of Section 28 that he spent a huge some of money on a campaign ...
    • County's emails fail anxious parents
      Angry parents are demanding to know why the vital Internet services telling them whether their children had gained their chosen secondary school failed for most of Monday. It was only in the late afternoon following the intervention of Lib Dem County Councillor Chris White that the problem was spotted and the service established. Opposition Spokesperson [...]
    • Dulwich Community Solar - when ?
      Chase Community Solar, working alongside Cannock Chase District Council has what appears a ground-breaking initiative. They've created a Community Benefit Society to install PV solar panels on the roofs of council properties. The council tenants or leaseholders will receive £100-£200 of their electric bills for hosting PV solar panels on their roofs. This is funded by people investing a minimum of £100 with a 7% projected rate of return for 20 years from selling electricity generated by the solar panels to pay this interest and expenses. Bit better than 0.5% with any money sitting in the bank. The capital raised ...
    • Update on planning applications in our area
      Along with the Greenhill Road/Booker Avenue shop application (see previous post), there are a couple of others people might want to know about. There are plans to put housing on the site of the old Garston Market. The details are at this link and you can comment up to 10 March. ASDA on St Mary's Road also wants to be able to open 24 hours a day. The details are at this link and comments are on until 9 March. The bulk of the info in each case is in a bit called "Related Documents".
    • Lib Dems and Inds serve up historic 1%+ Council Tax cut to residents
      Add caption Since taking control of Redcar & Cleveland Council with Independent partners, Liberal Democrats have found a way to offer residents a cut in Council Tax bills and made it a reality by voting it through at today's budget setting meeting of the Council.Labour regularly increased Council Tax when in control, and in 2012 gave Redcar and Cleveland residents the biggest Council Tax rise in the country.This year, local people will get a cut of just over 1%. This has been done without cutting any services. It is believed to be the first ever Council Tax reduction by the ...
    • What's your funniest canvassing story?
      The Divine Ms Duffett, editor of Ad Lib magazine, and one of our team, is looking for help from Liberal Democrat Voice readers. She wants some light-hearted stories of canvassing camaraderie. What is your funniest or weirdest canvassing experience? Let us know in the comments. Your experience may be published in some yet to be defined communication to members so keep it reasonably clean. One of the weirdest things that happened to me on the doorstep was during the Dunfermline by-election in 2006. I had been kept on a tight leash doing casework by Ed Maxfield, co-author of 101 ways ...
    • New website
      I have yet another bit of social media to operate. I've set up a website for the Blaydon constituency general election campaign. You can visit it on this link. I was hoping by now that my opponents would have some interesting material out there on the internet about what they're doing in the election battle. Sadly, there ain't much there. However, my spies in the Labour camp tell me that the
    • Black Clouds and Blacker Linings
      Week Four Coping with negative thinking. I am often accused of looking on the negative side of situations and issues; the accusation is broadly speaking accurate. I believe the cause of this is a learned behaviour I inherited from my mother. I was born late in my parents lives: my mother was 43 my father 50; it was rare in 1960s to be born to parents of their ages. My upbringing was therefore very much informed by the standards of their childhoods. It informed on their belief in structure and class. My mother was a scullery maid for Lord Romsey, ...
    • Back home!
      The on-going saga of Dad's gall stones has taken a turn for the better. He was released from the Queen El;izabeth Hospital today. I picked him up and took him home via the Co-op in Whickham where I did his food shopping (he's not quite as self-sufficient as me). He's back at his bungalow in Whickham now. I'll be at the Sunniside History Society tonight where lots of his friends will, no doubt,
    • Watch and laugh: Clarke and Dawe - The Perils of High Office
      More comedy genius from Australia's Clarke and Dawe:
    • Tim Farron on "wicked" Tories, Nick Clegg's integrity and making people's lives better
      [IMG: Tim Farron Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul Walter] On Saturday, we brought you the New Statesman trail for their interview with Tim Farron. The main feature has been published today. They headline it "The Lib Dems' Leader-in-Waiting" which is probably inevitable but annoying nonetheless. Asked about potential coalitions, he set out why the Liberal Democrats would be much better performers in Coalition than any other party: Do you want, this is the real million dollar question here, do you want the party that is second in the next coalition agreement to be some separatist ...
    • Lib Dem poll ratings - why I'm putting my trust in ICM
      Occasionally, when I see the latest poll showing the Lib Dems' poll rating dribbling along at 6-8%, I wonder if I was stupidly over-optimistic when I nailed my colours to the mast with my prediction in January that the party would win 12% and 32 seats in May's general election. Quite possibly so. But my house of straw/brick was at least built on some solid foundations, primarily my trust in ICM's polling credentials. ICM is rightly, in my view, regarded as the 'gold standard' pollster. Its final polls proved to be most accurate in each of the 1997, 2005 and ...
    • Immigration has not increased unemployment or reduced wages
      The Independent reports: Immigration to Britain has not increased unemployment or reduced wages, a major new study has concluded. Researchers at the London School of Economics looked at the levels of immigration to each of Britain's counties, and compared it to the unemployment rate in the same area across the same period. They found that there was no connection between how much immigration a county had seen between 2004 and 2012 and the area's level of unemployment. The study also looked at whether migrants coming to an area had led to a fall in wage levels and found no evidence ...
    • Urgent Care Review - this matters to Consett and Shotley Bridge Hospital
      [IMG: Emergency and Urgent care]
    • Music to a cat's ears
      Today's Independent carries a fascinating article about work by scientists who have been designing music that will appeal to cats. The paper says that the scientists have they found most cats respond to music which is a "little like sonic catnip" and using tempos and melodies originating from purrs and suckling: In a study published in the journal Applied Animal Behavioural Science, domestic cats did not respond when played human music, but upon hearing the specially-produced 'cat songs' became excited and started approaching the speakers and rubbing their scent glands on them. The team uploaded three snippets on its website ...
    • Jenny Willott on the Twitter abuse she got after Inside the Commons
      A couple of weeks ago, Ruth Bright wrote of her admiration for Jenny Willott after seeing her and her family on the Inside the Commons series. I can only echo her sentiments after finally catching up with the programme late last night. What I saw was a happy family eating together, making a difficult work/life balance situation work in a way that suited them. Of course, I did wonder why Parliament couldn't schedule its votes in a more family friendly manner and, why, in the 21st century, casting a vote requires running across your workplace then standing in a lobby ...
    • Julian Huppert writes ... We must end indefinite detention for immigrants
      [IMG: Immigration detention] Looking back over the Coalition Government, one of our great successes is putting an end to the routine detention of children for immigration purposes. In 2009, 1,119 children were locked up in immigration centres, nearly 500 of them were under five years of age. Not only have we ended this practice, but in the Immigration Act we made sure that if any future government wants to undo our reforms, they'll have to do it the hard way by passing an Act of Parliament. But the issue of immigration detention doesn't and shouldn't stop there. The UK is ...
    • Celebrity candidates
      [IMG: Scenes like this will not be seen in the House of Commons.] Scenes like this will not be seen in the House of Commons. The news that Frank Lampard has apparently turned down the chance to be Conservative candidate for Kensington is perhaps unsurprising given that I've never heard of him expressing a political view before, and City Football Group will pay him much more to not play for somebody than he'll ever earn as an MP. (One does wonder if he was only mentioned because he has so much in common with the seat, as both have cut ...
    • Joan Walmsley writes ... Disadvantaged children should be prioritised in the Early Years, says House of Lords Committee
      [IMG: Childcare Centre] Liberal Democrats have done a great deal in Government to provide more and better early education and childcare. From increasing the free entitlement for three and four year olds and extending it to disadvantaged two year olds to introducing the Early Years Pupil Premium and helping parents with the costs through tax relief, this government has been on the side of young children and their families. Two things have happened relating to childcare in the last two weeks. Nick Clegg has made some commitments about what Liberal Democrats would fight for in the next Parliament and the ...
    • Want to get housing policy right? You need to learn from road building
      [IMG: A road. Possibly foreign. Hopefully to the future.] Imagine what would happen if, due to an unfortunate editing error, the transport and housing policy speeches of a centre-left, environmentally friendly politician - who could be a Lib Dem, Green, Labour, Ukip, Plaid, SNP, SDLP or even a wet Tory - got mixed up. Speech one: It's absolutely absurd to think we can fix the housing crisis by concreting over beautiful fields and building more houses. More houses will just increase demand and perpetuate the crisis. Speech two: With our population growing every year we have to build more roads ...
    • Delivering our tabloid
      Our latest tabloid is now being delivered in the Whickham area. We've produced two editions - one for the three Whickham wards and one for Lobley Hill and Dunston and Teams. The large pile in the photo above belongs to Whickham South and Sunniside and a forthcoming job for me is to bundle them up into their delivery patches. I'll get the patch where I live in Sunniside delivered first. I also
    • Become a Community Fire Safety Volunteer and help save lives
      Help Avon Fire and Rescue Service prevent devastating home fires by encouraging social groups to sign up free Home Fire Safety Visits. Gain experience, training and references, and provide a valuable life-saving service in your community. Help make a difference. Contact the Volunteering Team at The Care Forum - you can phone them on 0117 9589308 or email them at volunteering@thecareforum.org.uk
    • Why the soggy centre is a good place for the Lib Dems to be
      The most recent issue of Liberator, the anti-establishment Liberal magazine, has more than its usual quota of groans about how the Lib Dems have failed to define clearly what they stand for. There is particular venom reserved for the idea that the party should be of the political centre, which implies a sort of rootlessness, allowing itself to be defined by others. Much of this comes from seasoned campaigners, and there is much wisdom in what they say. But I also sense a rather wilful failure to address how politics really works. For example, in his article, the veteran Kingston ...
    • Planning applications in our area
      Liverpool's planning committee meets next week (Tuesday 10th) to decide on the application for a shop (and houses) on the plot of land at the junction of Greenhill Road and Booker Avenue (this is the bit that was a petrol station quite some time ago). The council report to the meeting is at this link. I sent in comments which were around the need for traffic measures at that junction as it can already be hard for vehicles to use it and for people to cross safely. This is potentially more of a problem because of the new housing on ...
    • The "Save Dave" campaign says a lot about the modern Conservative Party's problems
      You may not be at all aware of it, but within the confines of the Conservative Party there exists a concerted effort to hold onto David Cameron as leader of the party. The severity of the loyalty to the current leader ranges: from a sort of, he must be kept in situ if there's a hung parliament and the Tories are the biggest party; to holding onto Dave even if the party really loses. This has all leaked from a Whips' dinner, or so the Guardian tells us. I'm inclined to believe it. Because whatever your average Tory backbencher thinks ...
    • The Blood is The Life 03-03-2015
      "Boys won't watch action movies with female leads" my arse. Also Vasquez FTW - via @Nyctibiidae (tags: ) Boy, 11, told by school not to wear ponytail because style is 'linked with drug-taking' (tags: ) Boris Johnson Has No Idea How To Play A Guitar - bless his little blonde overprivileged socks (tags: ) Comedian Shappi Khorsandi to host Index on Censorship awards (tags: ) Channel 4 report shows true brutality of detention centres (tags: ) Autistic Adults Do Not Look Like Autistic Children by Judy Endow, MSW (tags: ) The only training course at #ldconf I might possibly look ...
    • Labour apologises for defamatory by-election leaflet
      The Kilburn Times has the curious story: Brent Labour Party has been accused of carrying out a smear campaign against a rival after they distributed defamatory leaflets about the Tory candidate in the Kenton by-election... The handouts, which Mr Maurice claims was sent out at the same time as postal votes, said: "Even the Conservative candidate for the Kenton by-election has said he will not be voting conservative." It included a scanned feedback form claimed to be completed by Mr Maurice where he attacks his party for failing to control immigration. After being alerted to the leaflets, Mr Maurice employed ...
    • Lord Roger Roberts writes...A step towards abolishing the Azure Card
      [IMG: Azure card] Last November I wrote that we must abolish the Azure Card and secured a debate in the House of Lords to that effect. For those who may be unaware, The Azure Card is a prepayment card provided destitute asylum seekers who require support because they are temporarily unable to leave the United Kingdom. It is a discriminatory and wholly inadequate system of support which the Red Cross - as well as many other refugee organisations have called to be abolished. Azure card Features - £35 per week - Can only be used in 14 shops - No ...
    • Friends of Blackness
      Last night, I had the pleasure of attending the latest Friends of Blackness meeting at Blackness Primary School. Friends of Blackness undertakes both the Parent Council and Parent Teacher Association roles at the school and, last night, there was an extremely positive meeting with a Head Teacher's Report, discussion about school meals, feedback on the highly successful Christmas Fair and using funds for school improvements. Gordon Ferrier, Blackness Primary's excellent Head Teacher, will be on secondment between April and the start of the 2015/16 session at another primary school, but Blackness Primary will remain in safe hands with Depute Head ...
    • Latest from Friends of Wighton
      Barbara Dymock From Sheena Wellington : Lunchtime Recital - Wednesday 4th March at 1.15pm Wighton Heritage Centre at the Central Library Barbara Dymock and Chris Marra One of Scotland's finest singers, Barbara Dymock and Chris Marra, a brilliant instrumentalist, who also sings, combine to make a truly wonderful sound! Admission free, donations welcome.
    • Who is the oldest Liberal Democrat peer?
      When Lord Mackie of Benshie died last month, I asked who the oldest living former Liberal MPs are. With some help from readers, I came up with this list: James Davidson (b. 10 January 1927)Elizabeth Shields (b. 27 February 1928)Eric Avebury (b. 29 September 1928) Then, the other day, Joshua Down emailed me: Your recent blog post about the oldest surviving Liberal MPs prompted me to think about the equivalent people in the House of Lords. As far as I know there isn't a single source of birth dates as there is for former MPs, which makes it a bit ...
    • So how much money does Sefton Council hold in reserve?
      This is question I get asked now and again and here is an answer. As at 31 March 2014, Sefton held £67.7 million in revenue reserves, of which £17.8 million was schools reserves and £49.9 million was non-ringfenced reserves. Of the non-ringfenced reserves, £39.7 million were earmarked reserves, and £10.2 million were unallocated reserves. The school reserves can be deducted as to misquote Father Ted the money is simply resting in Sefton's account. In other words Sefton has no control over that money what so ever. There seems to be no shortage of money for a rainy day.
    • How Labour views its self - An illuminating and pretty accurate assessment
    • Marley Hill's first community pub
      On Saturday evening we held our first community pub at Marley Hill Community Centre. The aim was to get young families in from about 6pm to about 8.30pm, and then people without kids in the later hours. It was a tremendous success with the families. They were there 10 minutes before we officially opened until about 9pm. Dozens of kids running round the main hall where we had set up the play
    • Linkblogging For 02/03/15
      OK, no, I'm not really going to keep the clickbait headlines up. No proper post tonight, because I've spent my writing time working on a thing Simon Bucher-Jones asked me to do. That will hopefully be up in a little while, once I've finished it (if he likes it. It's... grown a bit from the [...]
  • Mar 2, 2015:
    • Live streaming of council meetings
      I had a meeting of Corporate Resources Overview and Scrutiny Committee this morning. On the agenda we had an item about the council's website. The officer giving the presentation said that a revamp was needed. He referred to the Newham Council site which had 70,000 residents signed up to it who receive an email newsletter. I pointed out that 10 years ago, I was "banging on" about needing to
    • In hibernation
      So obviously I haven't posted on here in quite a while. There are a number of reasons for that which I'll quickly go through. One is that I think I've mellowed somewhat. I still get angry about things which I think are unjust but I find that I don't have the same drive to shout from the rooftops about them. On top of that I find that reading through some things I've posted in the past makes me feel embarrassed about how sweary I've been. While I might still think that some people are [expletive deleted]s that doesn't mean that ...
    • Roseangle - new playpark taking great shape!
      This morning I had the pleasure of touring the Roseangle Playpark site along with Sharon Dickie of the playpark campaign. Its still a construction site but the new playpark is taking great shape. It was good to tour it on the day the new turf was being laid, a sign that the project is moving towards completion. Here's some photographs from today's site visit :
    • Kay Macfarlane
      It was with a great deal of sadness that I learned at the weekend of the passing of Kay Macfarlane, one of the founders of WestFest and accomplished local artist. Kay, along with Liz Broumley, was the driving force in getting WestFest started and established. Following a career in social work, Kay put her huge energies into her art and community activities. I think Kay is summed up by her own comment about herself: "I love being creative and making things. I am a fidget and cannot sit still having to do something all the time." We'll all miss Kay ...
    • Lib Dems offer new hope in Redcar pier fight
      Since taking control of Redcar and Cleveland Council, Liberal Democrat Cabinet members have asked officers for a report on the possibility of providing a traditional pier at Redcar.The Ind/Lib Dem led Council will be looking at basic structures and trying to find a realistic option that is achievable. A feasibility study is expected in the next three weeks.The Council is examining various funding possibilities but none can be addressed until the pier is included in the Council's masterplan.Lib Dem Cabinet Member for Culture, Tourism and Leisure, Councillor Chris Abbott (Newcomen ward, pictured right) said:"Liberal Democrats in Redcar have a long ...
    • What's planned to improve the Kingsway junction?
      We've already reported back from Mark Hunter's public meeting about the Kingsway/Gatley Road junction. Residents came up with lots of good suggestions and, though we know there are no easy answers, they've been taken away by the Highways Agency, TfGM and Stockport Council to investigate. [IMG: Local MP Mark Hunter addresses the public meeting] Local MP Mark Hunter addresses the public meeting But there are some measures already planned to improve the junction. None will solve the problem but they should help. We live in a prosperous area with high employment. That's good, but it means more and more people ...
    • Bobby Henrey 66 years after The Fallen Idol
      Insomnia can have its advantages. In the small hours of this morning I came across this video of a Mr Robert Henrey addressing the Greenwich Retired Men's Association. Robert Henrey turned out to be the child actor Bobby Henrey, some 66 years after he shot to fame for his performance in Carol Reed's The Fallen Idol. Listening to him today there is no hint of the gorgeous French accent he had as an eight-year-old, but his voice still sounds more English than East Coast American. The Fallen Idol is one of my favourite films, though I suspect I may have ...
    • Archaeologists open mysterious lead coffin found at Richard III site
      The Leicester Mercury reports: Archaeologists have opened a unique and mysterious lead coffin which was discovered just metres from the grave of Richard III. The casket - the first of its kind to be unearthed in Leicester - was found at the Grey Friars dig site, in August 2013, one year after the bones of King Richard III were exhumed. It contained a set of female remains, which experts carefully removed and studied after transporting them back to the University of Leicester. They found that the occupant was an elderly woman, who could have been an early benefactor of the ...
    • Mohammed Emwazi and Tony Blair go to school
      The Telegraph reports: Nicky Morgan, Education Secretary, has ordered an investigation into the school attended by "Jihadi John" after it emerged a third Islamist fighter was taught at the same north London academy. Choukri Ellekhlifi, a contemporary of Jihadi John at Quintin Kynaston academy, was killed fighting with terrorists in Syria in 2013 after joining up with an al-Qaeda group. The disclosure comes after The Telegraph reported that another former pupil at the St John's Wood school, Mohammed Sakr, had died fighting for al-Shabaab, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Somalia. Their deaths and the fact Mohammed Emwazi, the true identity ...
    • VIDEO: Nick Clegg meets veterans at the Lakes Unit Colchester Hospital
      Here's the new film from the Liberal Democrats:
    • Paddy Ashdown and Maajid Nawaz on the need for a liberal voice to counter extremism
    • Coach Parking Could Boost Economy of St Just
      Coach parking could boost economy of St Just by allowing visitors to stop instead of passing through, as they enjoy the scenic journey along the coast road. For a while now I have been talking, to whoever will listen, about the idea of making it easier for all the coaches that pass through the town of St Just to be able to stop and allow their passengers to spend money. After many conversations, the plans are coming together and I am hopeful we will have a parking bay in place during April. Lafrowda Bus terminus Plan for coach parking space. ...
    • Invitation to a blogging masterclass
      [IMG: The competition, apparently.] The competition, apparently. Apparently, there's a market - and someone at the Guardian reckons it's at least 18 strong - for a 'masterclass' on live blogging at a cost of £99 for three hours. I look at that and think 'who is this Stuart Heritage?' Does he have the extensive knowledge and experience of blogging that has made him the eighth most influential blogger on the subject of 'other'? He clearly does not. Has he been nominated for a Blog of the Year award only when the field from which nominees are selected has shrunk dramatically? ...
    • Opinion: Scottish Lib Dems should abandon their suicidal complacency and promise to devolve oil and gas
      It seems now clear, after months of polling, that nothing will disengage the Scottish electorate from its preoccupation with its place in the Union. The latest TNS poll shows the SNP on 46%. Even a fall to below 40% will win the SNP most constituencies under FPTP. We have heard much about Scottish Labour's slump in the polls (from 42% in 2010 to 30% now), but the poll shows that their Lib Dem counterparts have collapsed from 19% to an appalling 3%. Lib Dems MPs look like being down from 11 to between 1 and 3. Despite such a desperate ...