Author Archives: Alex Paul

Opinion: Predictions for a new Parliament


As the dust settles from Thursday, one key question is what will David Cameron do with his unexpected Conservative majority? Here are a couple of predictions for the upcoming Parliament.

Where the £30bn of proposed cuts will fall is largely unknown until the autumn. Health spending is protected though – which means bigger cuts elsewhere, such as £12bn to welfare. The only bright spot could be the linking of the personal allowance to the national minimum wage – raising it to around £13,000 pa.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 20 Comments

Opinion: A commitment to Trident diverts resources from the real threats to the UK

The ratcheting up of tensions in the last Cold War conflict in recent days has got David Cameron reminiscing about Britain’s own Cold War relic. Writing in the Daily Telegraph this Wednesday, the Prime Minister argues North Korea’s threats of nuclear war demonstrate that “it would be foolish to leave Britain defenceless against a continuing, and growing, nuclear threat.”

When I first heard this it struck me how out-of-date this view seems. As the world has watched the North Korea issue increasingly apocalyptic threats and the U.S. Government respond almost daily by deploying more military hardware

Posted in News | Tagged | 58 Comments

Opinion: Jury duty: in need of some government assistance?

When the trial of Chris Huhne’s ex-wife Vicky Pryce collapsed on Wednesday, the judge felt moved to declare that the jury had, in his opinion, demonstrated “a fundamental deficit in understanding” in the task that was required of them, an occurrence which “in 30 years of criminal trials (he) had never come across”. He was, of course, referring to a list of 10 questions submitted to him by the jury, a list which is now quickly gaining notoriety across the blogosphere and which has prompted one commentator to even label the jury as the worst “in the history of …

Posted in News | 26 Comments

Press regulation – something a liberal party can support?

My reaction to the report of the Leveson Inquiry today was mixed to say the least. On the one hand, any intrusion of Parliament into our free press seems fundamentally illiberal to me – the heavy weight of bureaucracy coming smashing down to dampen our fiercely independent media, which has shown itself more than capable of exposing the very worst excesses in recent times. After all, it was Nick Davies at the Guardian whose reporting exposed the phone-hacking scandal that led to the Leveson Inquiry in the first place. And it was the Daily Telegraph that reported on the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems need to wake up to drastic implications of legal aid cuts

Lib Dem Voice last week featured a brief post on the Coalition’s plans for legal aid reform. But this is an important change that’s been passed with barely a murmur from any Lib Dem MPs, when in fact it strikes at a principle at the heart of the party – civil liberties.

The bill in which this change is contained, the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, is currently making its way through the House of Commons. For something that will have fairly drastic effects on many people’s access to justice there has been relatively little talk …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: our growing military impotency is restricting our foreign policy

Recent events in the Middle East have demonstrated how the Strategic Defence Review (SDR) is cutting the British military back to the barest of bare bones. In doing so, we risk losing our position as a leading world player, as befits a nation with a veto on the UN Security Council. Instead we are becoming a two-bit regional player, all diplomatic swagger but militarily impotent.

Amidst the criticism of the Government’s evacuation of British citizens from Egypt and Libya, one success story was the deployment of HMS Cumberland, a Royal Navy frigate, to Benghazi in February. Whilst other countries were having …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 28 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Otten 9th Oct - 12:06am
    The problem with Syria is that nobody has a solution, and so every answer will fall short of what we want to hear. For me...
  • User AvatarHuw Dawson 8th Oct - 11:50pm
    @ Eddie Sammon, The approach I thought Tim was suggesting was working to solve the issue utilising diplomacy, as we know it's ultimately the only...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 8th Oct - 11:44pm
    Well done ,Tim. Apart from him - and to an extent Hosie - what a tedious panel. Time for Dimbleby to pack it in -...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 8th Oct - 11:43pm
    Lovely comment from Gareth Epps (not). Tim was better than some of his other performances on QT, but I don't know what he is talking...
  • User AvatarHuw Dawson 8th Oct - 11:41pm
    Fun fact: I threw QT on the TV tonight, Farron got the first comment in and my sister immediately commented that she really liked his...
  • User AvatarDavid Wright 8th Oct - 11:41pm
    Not very Liberal, but I'm indebted to tonight's BBC Radio 4 'We British' for this passage from Robert Graves famous poem on Grantchester, including places...