Author Archives: Alasdair Murray

What would a liberal, progressive migration policy for the UK look like?

As the next election begins to loom into view, the issue of immigration continues to pose a challenge for liberal progressives of all political persuasions. A new report published today by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) makes a rich and valuable contribution to this essential debate on the future of British migration policy.

There are few politicians who would disagree with the report’s urgent call to “actively engage with the issue of migration – and the reality of people’s views on it”. The extent to which the political ‘elite’ have avoided talking about immigration has been exaggerated …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged and | 16 Comments

Opinion: Is it possible to be liberal and popular on immigration?

In those heady days that followed the post-debate Clegg-bounce during the last election, one issue suddenly began to dominate on the doorsteps: immigration.

Spooked by the Lib Dem surge, the Conservatives and their willing allies in the press sought to deflate the Clegg bubble by returning to dog whistle issues, such as immigration.

Whether this approach greatly affected the final outcome is questionable, but there is no doubt it forced many candidates on the defensive. Rather than having an opportunity to talk about our positive policies we were spending time trying to counter the perception that we were ‘soft’ on immigration.

Worse, the …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

The Independent View: the Lib/Lab relationship past, present, future

Few in a Labour party currently riven by civil war and threatened with electoral wipe-out will be giving much thought to the relationship with the Liberal Democrats.

For their part, the Lib Dems are busy putting as much distance as possible from the government as they seek to take advantage of Labour’s current political weakness. Yet, as I argued recently in an issue of Progress magazine the very same factors currently driving them apart – Nick Clegg’s redirection of the Lib Dems and the resurgence of the Tories – may in fact end up moving them closer together in …

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged , , and | 13 Comments
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    1999 Local election I was canvassing with my agent (shy young man) at Leaston near Haddington. Door was opened by a lady. She advised that...
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    it is beyond me how you can say "children are being incarcerated". exactly how ?
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    It was the 2005 General Election and I was the PPC for St Albans which Radio 4 had (correctly) decided was a key marginal. They...
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    Telling rather than canvassing: in 1997 I was doing a shift at one of more Conservative-voting polling stations in Torbay. A blazered retired gentleman and...
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    In the first election that I stood in the Ward I eventually won (Northgate, Crawley BC if anybody cares) I was greeted enthusiastically at the...
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    I remember Joyce Arram, South East Essex candidate. I drove her round the polling stations as an 17-year-old new driver about 50 years ago in...