Wednesday, 15 September 2010

BOTY Awards

As was saying yesterday, Lib Dems like a lot of things, and another of our favourite things (very Sound of Music-eque) is blogging.

So every year around this time, as Conference fever hits, are the Lib Dem Blog of the Year awards. This years shortlists have just been announced and are as follows:

Best new Liberal Democrat blog (started since 1st September 2009)

Jeremy Rowe
Libdem Child by Maelo Manning
Nick Thornsby’s Blog
Spiderplant Land by Lisa Harding
Virtually Naked by Charlotte Henry

Best blog from a Liberal Democrat holding public office (The Tim Garden Award)

A Lanson Boy by Alex Folkes
Anders Hanson
Birkdale Focus
Liberal Bureaucracy by Mark Valladares
Lynne Featherstone MP

Best use of blogging/social networking/e-campaigning by a Liberal Democrat

Bridget Fox for her challenge to the Digital Economy Bill
Daisy Benson for Daisy’s Campaign Diary
Nick Barlow (with Justin McKeating) for the hashtag: #nickcleggsfault
Simon McGrath for the Facebook group Vote Clegg, Get Clegg
Tamora Langley for her online campaigns as 2010 Parliamentary Candidate for Lewisham Deptford

Best posting on a Liberal Democrat blog (since 1st September 2009)
An Open Letter To The Labour Party by Andrew Hickey
Considering the Evidence Means You Must Consider Your Position by Alex Wilcock
Day 3401: Memo to the Labour Party – We Hate You Too by Millennium Elephant
Keeping my child safe – an over-anxious mum writes by Caron Lindsay
Ten reasons why, if you’re considering voting Labour, you should think again by Liz Williams

Best non-Liberal Democrat politics blog

And Another Thing by Tom Harris MP
Left Foot Forward
Mid-Wife Crisis by Molly Bennett
Penny Red by Laurie Penny
The Charlotte Gore Blog

Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year 2010

Caron’s Musings by Caron Lindsay
Lynne Featherstone MP
Mark Reckons by Mark Thompson
The Very Fluffy Diary of Millennium Dome, Elephant
Politicomaniac by Joe Jordan

So who are we supporting??

Personally, I feel there are many, many worthy candidates for the coveted titles, but I would LOVE to see Birkdale Focus Blog come out of on top of the pile for the bes blog belonging to a Lib Dem hldig office.

The blog is mainly written by Sefton Councillor Iain Brodie Browne of Birkdale Ward, and contains comments about possibly one of the widest ranges of material i've ever seen. The blog is highly intelligent and is generally good for a laugh. My best advice? Check it out. There's a link above or to the left of your screen.

Also a mention to Charlotte Henry's Virtually Naked blog, great content, witty articles and a slight obsession with Spurs.

Regardless of the winner, the whole thing is #nickcleggfault

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Committees, Raffles and Beer

There are perhaps two or three things a Liberal Democrat likes beyond all others; committees (note the plural), raffles (again the plural) and beer. And whilst I'm not for one moment condoning excessive alcohol intake, I maybe should have said beers.

I, and another LY rep have just returned from a good committee.

Occasionally there are times when you have to say "screw the rulebook, we're going to do what is right", and tonight was one of those nights. The local party executive had to make a decision, not a giant one like 40% cuts or where we stand on academies, but, on whether we could dole out punishment for a problem we only noticed after all was done and dusted and lived happily ever after.

No-one shall be enslaved by ignorance, I like that (paraphrased) line in our constitution. It means we don't hurt others for what they've blindly done to us, and we help them out rather than punish them when they do. An eye for an eye makes us all blind.

So we decided not to punish the gentleman involved, but to help him out- give him a second chance- and pray he's free for delivering the newspaper sometime next week. As a local party we've learnt some vital lessons, but as people, i think we did what was right. After tonight's meeting, I'm proud my local party and of my Lib Dem membership card.

I know I've revealed no details of what happened, and you may be thinking what was the point of this post, but it's simple.

Tonight, I like the Liberal Democrats. Because say what you want about us, we've got a heart.

And with that, I'm off to get another beer.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Greener and Cleaner Futures

Southport Liberal Youth members, Sarah Harding and Lauren Keith had a great time at today's' Green Fayre.

Stalls included the RSPB, the Fair Trade Shop, and local traders and visitors were able to experience free massages and a bee-keeping demonstration amongst other events.

Supporting local renewable energy firm, Alter-Native Energy, we had a fantastic time and it was a innovative way of getting people young and old excited about our energy future and how we can help our environment.

A big thank you to organisers Transition Town who put a huge amount of effort into today's very successful event.

Green Fayre

Concerned about the environment and the future of our planet or just want to enjoy a fun day out ?

Hesketh Park is tomorrow holding a Green Fayre. Alternative energy, eco and Fairtrade information and goods, free municipal compost, bee-keeping display [my favourite-Ed.], DJ, street dance, free massages, health and well-being marquee, and other attractions.

This free event (11am-4pm) is organised by Southport's branch of the national Transition Town environmental movement, which works towards creating a responsible, sustainable future for our area.

It's time to be Greener and Cleaner.

Friday, 10 September 2010

Campaign for Real Ale

*Strictly for over 18's*

For 3 nights only, the 11th Sandgrounder Beer Festival is in action at the Scarisbrick Hotel.

Southport and District CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) have organised this wonderful event which includes over 50 different beers, fruit wines and ciders, and at only £3 entrance (or free for CAMRA members) it's an event not to be missed.

CAMRA campaigns for real ale, real pubs and consumer rights. Their overall aims include protecting and improving consumer rights, seeking improvements in all licensed premises and promoting quality, choice and value for money.

This great event is open noon-11pm Friday and Saturday, and my best advice is go along, support local and independent breweries and most of all, have fun!

For a list of the available beers please see here.

A Potential Year Ahead

Southport Liberal Youth is venturing into exciting waters... Let me explain why.

Next year’s local elections are currently still undergoing their final candidate selection process. However, it is now looking very likely that we will see four Liberal Youth members running for Council on May 5th 2011. Cambridge Ward in Southport, Blundellsands and Manor Wards in Crosby and Litherland Ward will all be represented by ‘youthful’ members.

This, I feel, is an opportunity to direct our action and campaign in the coming months. This is made more poignant when considering that 2 out of those 4 Wards are not classed as ‘target’ Wards by the local Party, although I appreciate that this point is perhaps a little self serving (as the candidate for Blundellsands). However, additionally to this there is the scope to expand any campaign to host the inclusion of forwarding the voice for AV reform.

It is therefore imperative that we perhaps begin to start thinking how, as a branch, we can structure forthcoming campaigns, raise funds for unsupported Wards, increase our man power in terms of membership, get out the AV message and other such ideas.

It would be great to have all input – especially for those who may have stumbled upon this accidently and not necessarily from the Southport area – because this forthcoming year certainly has potential.

James Ludley

Liberal Democrat candidate for Blundellsands Ward, 2011.

Thursday, 9 September 2010

An award is for the past; here's to the future.

Eagle eyed readers may have noticed the shiny new button on the left of your screen.

Unbeknownst to us here in Southport Lib Dem towers several Southport Lib Dem blogs had been nominated in the Total Politics poll of Lib Dem blogs and a grand total of 4 made it into the top 75!!!

Southport Liberal Youth made it to 60th in the poll!

The Meols Ward Councillors came 63rd and our Kew ward activists a very respectable 40th.

A special mention must be given to the truly excellent Birkdale Focus Blog, written primarily by Birkdale Ward Councillor Iain Brodie Browne who climbed from a fantastic 39th in 2009 to an incredible 23rd!!

Other noticeable results were Liberal Youth Scotland who came 54th in Lib Dem blogs and 34th in Scottish blogs! And Liberal Youth executive members Matt Smith (Welsh convenor and Liberal Youth Wales Chair) who came 37th in the Lib Dem blog poll, the highest placed young blogger and Vice-Chair Communication Charlotte Henry whose Virtually Naked blog came 46th.

Congratulations to everyone!

This post was edited at 22:10 9/9/10 to correct a spelling mistake.

The door is open

Liberal Youth Scotland today launched their campaigns for 2010/2011 focusing on, among other things overturning the blood ban for men who have had sex with men, voting YES in May’s AV referendum and equality in all walks of life.

Soon, Fresher’s Fayres will be in full swing, canvassing and campaigning will begin again and conference season will be upon us. An action-packed autumn of Lib Dem-ness.

If you live in the Sefton, West Lancashire or South Ribble areas please get in touch with Southport Liberal Youth, and if you live elsewhere they’ll be a local branch you can join.

Liberal Youth can give you a lot of great opportunities- campaigning for fairer votes, an end to asylum seekers being left destitute and some great friends along the way.

Southport Liberal Youth, and Liberal Youth are here for you.

Get in touch, we’d love to meet you!