Liberty Street, London SW9, is an enviable address with a suitably distinctive street sign.
Unusually for London, the sign features The Village Font, (a derivative of Albertus™) which was used in the 1960s TV drama The Prisoner.
Bonus font fact: Liberty Street is just around the corner from the Type Museum in Hackford Street.
Tantalisingly, the museum is not open to the public at present. As with the Village in the Prisoner series, I'd like to know what one has to do to end up inside...
Treets are back!
I used to buy them with my pocket money.
They were the 70s forerunner to M&Ms and inspired an uncle to tell the following awful/brilliant joke, long after they'd stopped making them. (I don't think he'd realised).
Anyhoo, drumroll please...
"Once I got a peanut stuck in my ear, so I poured in some chocolate and it came out a Treet."
Best bit was the baffled audience. Now it's my turn to be baffled, as I've found Treets in a stub on Wikipedia:
LCC will be running 10 BikeTube rides a week for 10 weeks this summer in an attempt to encourage more novice cyclists to ride to work.
Working in partnership with Transport for London, who will be publicising the led rides through their website, LCC will provide experienced marshals to guide hundreds of new cyclists from the suburbs into central London.
Details of when and where the rides will go have yet to be finalised, so be sure to check back on the LCC news pages or the BikeTube website soon.
According to his blog, our over-tall photographer Alex Turner was taking snaps in Chatham High St last Thursday, when he was approached by two unidentified men. They did not identify themselves, but demanded that he show them some ID and warned that if he failed to comply, they would summon police officers to deal with him.
This they did, and a PCSO and WPC quickly joined the fray. Turner took a photo of the pair, and was promptly arrested. It is unclear from his own account precisely what he was being arrested for. However, he does record that the WPC stated she had felt threatened by him when he took her picture, referring to his size - 5' 11" and about 12 stone - and implying that she found it intimidating.
Turner claims he was handcuffed, held in a police van for around 20 minutes, and forced to provide ID before they would release him. He was then searched in public by plain clothes officers who failed to provide any ID before they did so.
Following his release, he further claims that the police confirmed he was at liberty to take photographs, so long as - according to the PCSO - he did not take any photographs of the police.
Cathall member Cllr Milton Martin made the switch after he was spurned by the party in a major cull, it has been confirmed.
He said: “It's true that I've crossed the floor and I'm no longer part of the Labour group.
“It's to do with the deselection but it's a long story and it's also to do with a catalogue of things that have taken place over the last 12 years I've been a councillor.”
Cllr Martin has not yet given the full reason for the shift but has said a statement will be released in due course.
Forest member Cllr Faiz Yunis confirmed that he too has been deselected but has said he will not yet comment on reports that he is set to follow Cllr Martin's lead.
He said: “As far as I've heard, the process has been suspended. There's an inquiry by the regional Labour party."
I am not necessarily convinced that is a true defection. Does the Liberal Democrat values really reflect Councillor Martin's values or is it a point scoring exercise against his old guard?
Twitterers and readers of the Independent are to interview Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg on Wednesday, in a question and answer session delivered purely through Twitter. It will take place live on Wednesday July 15th at 4pm (BST).
So we're looking for Twitterers around the world to join with us to help put questions to Mr Clegg - we are working with Tweetminster, the estimable company that focuses on UK politics and brings news and commentary together with its Twitter service (of which, more soon), and we will launch the first ever (well, so far as we know) Twinterview with a major political figure. The idea is to bring politicians and citizens closer, using the mechanisms of the web to open up new channels between them. So please ask your questions and get your followers and fellow twitterers to do the same.
To ask Nick Clegg a question simply tweet your question to @IndyPolitics with the hashtag #tweetclegg . Questions will be filtered by @IndyPolitics and answered by Nick through his account @Nick_Clegg. Tweetminster (@tweetminster) will be re-tweeting all the questions and answers too. To follow the Twinterview make sure you’re following all the accounts involved (@IndyPolitics, @Nick_Clegg and @tweetminster).
You can start sending your questions in now and also tweet them in live during the interview.
The London Fire Authority have awarded a £12 million contract to a company that lavished hospitality on its Chairman Brian Coleman.
Asset Co and its chief Executive Mr. John Shannon took Brian Coleman to dinner on three separate occasions.
On a fourth occasion, Brian Coleman accepted a Harvey and Nichols hamper from Mr Shannon at an estimated value of £350.
The relationship between Coleman and Mr Shannon only came to light because of a Freedom of Information request placed by this blog earlier this year.
Unlike the London Assembly, the Gifts and Hospitality registers for members of LFEPA are not available online.
The Asset Co contract is for a force of reserve firefighters, to be used in the case of industrial action and major incidents.
Members of the authority say that the contract was awarded on a purely competitive basis, and that Asset Co were agreed upon on a cross-party basis.
However, London's Fire Brigade union are not convinced.
"AssetCo’s wining and dining tactics might appear to have paid dividends for them, but I have no doubt that many of the volunteers, being ex-firefighters themselves, will refuse to participate when they realise how they will be used."
The sewer is a horrifying/fascinating place. On one hand, everything we flush down the toilet ends up there, which makes the sewer horrible and gross. On the other hand, everything anyone else flushes down the toilet ends up there, which makes it a fascinating haven for alligators, giant pythons, and ninja turtles. Personally, I would never want to explore the sewer, but Alexa Longueira got the chance to when she fell down an open manhole in New York this weekend while tapping out a text message on her phone.
Now, maybe we should cut Alexa some slack because she was preparing for the world texting championships, but I kind of doubt it. Odds are she was like everyone else who texts while walking, completely wrapped up in the message she was typing out with her thumbs. It’s so easy to take things for granted (like the fact that there won’t be a giant gaping hole in front of you) while texting that it’s not a surprise she fell through the sewer grate.
“Much of my casework now comes through Facebook – the bizarre and heavy-handed decision to disable my account only hours after a protest organised through the social-networking site, severely disadvantages my constituents who rely on the net to contact me.”
“I’ve sought to use Facebook to keep local people informed about my work on their behalf, and I’ve seen an overwhelming response to this way of engaging with people.”
“I’m surprised and disappointed that in this high-technology era Facebook believes it’s appropriate to delete the accounts of elected representatives without warning, who are seeking to engage with the public.”
“The N213 protest illustrates the power of social networking sites to mobilise people quickly and effectively as part of a campaign – the event was a huge success, but Facebook’s decision to withdraw my account is a setback to the campaign, and to my constituents.”
On Monday we can change the way we do politics. Every week I travel around the country to meet people in their local town halls and listen to their views. Anyone can come along and ask me (just about) anything and in return I get a pretty good picture of how people across the UK feel about politics and how they are being affected by the recession.
Next week I am going to do another of my public Q&A meetings, but this time it is going to be live and online so that you can ask me your questions from home, your work or wherever you happen to be online. There will be no script and no special invitations - just get in touch and ask a question on subjects that concern you.
The one thing that keeps coming up again and again is the state of our politics and how we can clean it up. Many people say they would like to see action taken against MPs who seriously abuse the system. But currently voters have no power to sack those MPs who have been found guilty of serious wrong-doing. I want to change this and make politicians more accountable and politics more transparent. I am keen to hear your ideas.
This has never been done before so, on Monday 13th July post your questions and let’s discuss how we can clean up politics and fix the British economy.
"I won't do it voluntarily. It's none of the public's business. They have coped well without knowing this kind of detail for more than 75 years. They are not entitled to drool over our personal lives. I'm not going to help the mad, bad and the sad, the bloggers on the internet. I'm not pandering to mob rule. It undermines democracy to suggest that all MPs, all politicians are the spawn of Beelzebub.
“Politicians with lower expenses tend to be the politicians who do least work. Those with higher expenses are the ones who do most work.” [London Evening Standard]
If you want to become MP you should get a safe seat. But if that doesn't happen, and your only option is to campaign in a constituency where your party doesn't seem to have much chance of winning, then you should definitely take some inspiration from the remarkable story in chapter 10 of Paddy Ashdown's autobiography, A Fortunate Life.
Ashdown was enjoying a successful career as a diplomat (and spy) when, in the mid-1970s, he was afflicted by the desire to become an MP. Nothing particularly unusual about that. But Ashdown wanted to be a Liberal MP, and he wanted to represent Yeovil, a seat where the Liberals were third in the October 1974 election, more than 7,000 votes behind the Tories, who had held the constituency for most of the 20th century. Any normal aspiring MP would have given it a wide berth. But Ashdown gave up his Geneva-based job, moved to Yeovil in 1976 and set to work. He was eventually elected to the Commons in 1983. Chapter 10, which describes how he got there, is the longest chapter in his book and the best description of a successful grassroots campaign I've read in any British political biography.
In a statement, he told MPs he wanted two deputy speakers from the government side and one from the opposition side.
He is believed to be concerned that following his own election by secret ballot last month the three deputies should also be elected.
Mr Bercow indicated he had consulted party whips, who normally appoint the deputy speakers, about the plan.
It is thought that Mr Bercow is looking to implement the changes - or to start the process of change - after the summer recess.
Electing the deputy speakers could raise a question of political balance - traditionally the Speaker and his three deputies have been chosen to reflect the strength of the various parties in the Commons.
The three current deputy speakers are Conservative MPs Sir Alan Haselhurst and Sir Michael Lord, who were both among the MPs defeated by Mr Bercow in the contest to be Speaker, and Labour's Sylvia Heal, who did not stand."