Author Archives: Carl Quilliam

A win in Richmond Park will put rocket boosters under the Lib Dem Fightback

sarah-olney-for-rp-600There are a lot of good reasons to go and campaign for Sarah Olney in Richmond Park – to send the government a message on Brexit, Heathrow and our NHS, to champion our open, tolerant and united message and to support our fantastic candidate Sarah.

But if that’s not enough for some of you, think about this: We lost 3 seats in South West London in 2015 – at least 2 of which voted heavily to remain in the referendum on 23rd June. And neighbouring seats like Wimbledon where I’m the candidate and even Putney, are stack full of moderate, centrist, pro-EU voters who are just as open to our pro-EU message.

That means if we can win in Richmond Park, we can show that we can give a real voice to the 60-70%+ of voters in these areas that wanted to remain in the EU and are worried about what comes next. It means that we can challenge the Conservatives in areas we never thought possible before – areas that voted strongly to remain but have not had a Lib Dem MP for a long time, if ever– areas like Wimbledon, Battersea or even Kensington. Taking the fight to the Tories almost literally where they live.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 17 Comments

The weekend debate: Should Boris Johnson get his way on London’s tax take?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Incumbent Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson has developed plans for Londoners to keep more of the tax revenue generated in the city to spend on better public services. Boris said the capital should be getting a greater return from the tax it contributes to the exchequer.

According to the Evening Standard the equivalent of £2,500 for every Londoner goes to other parts of the UK rather than being spent on public services in the capital.

Boris Johnson said that London should no longer be …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Tagged and | 8 Comments

The weekend debate: Should Lib Dems support the pasty tax?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

The details of the budget have been trailed extensively in the media and the blogosphere. We’ve had the increase in the personal income tax allowance, we’ve had the ‘granny tax’ and we’ve had a new stamp duty level of 7% for homes worth more than £2m. There were always going to be winners and losers in this fiscally neutral budget. But arguably the one measure that affects every self-respecting Briton is …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 26 Comments

The weekend debate: Should we support dropping the 50p tax rate?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

With leaks pouring out of the Treasury pointing towards the dropping of the 50p tax rate for high-earners above £150k in this week’s budget it seems a good time to have a robust debate about its merits.

The 50p rate was one of the party’s most high profile policies under Charles Kennedy, but was dropped in 2006 with greater emphasis instead placed on taxing wealth not income, as well as pollution taxes. However, in government, we have broadly supported the 50p rate’s retention …

Posted in News | Tagged | 38 Comments

The Weekend Debate: Should we boycott the Murdoch machine?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

This week Labour MP Tom Watson and others made a fair amount of fuss on Twitter about ‘Blue Labour’s’ Lord (Maurice) Glasman intending to write for the new ‘Sun on Sunday’, Rupert Murdoch’s replacement for the disgraced News of the World.

Watson’s position seems to be that anyone associating themselves with the Sun or the Murdoch press is tacitly condoning their behaviour over phone hacking.

So firstly, should we as …

Posted in Op-eds | 23 Comments

The weekend debate: When should an MP rebel against their party?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

In the Australian system even a single rebellion against your party can mean the whip is withdrawn but in the UK we’re much more used to MPs ‘crossing the floor’ and voting against their party.

In fact there’s been a fair amount of coverage on Lib Dem Voice of Mark Pack’s research on the number of backbench Lib Dem MPs who have rebelled against the government since the last election.

One could argue that MPs have a duty to vote with the party …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 17 Comments

The weekend debate: Should Stephen Hester accept his bonus?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Since the £963, 000 shares bonus for RBS Chief Executive Stephen Hester has been revealed there have been opinions pouring out from across the political spectrum.

When Ed Miliband accused David Cameron of a “failure of leadership” over it, Cameron promptly distanced himself from the process altogether, with George Osborne claiming it was due to rules put in place by Labour.

Boris Johnson seems to be against it, as is our usually economically …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 28 Comments
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  • User Avatarmalc 8th Dec - 9:36am
    "The Burqa ban is a violation of human rights" No it isn't. What is wrong in saying you can't hide your face when you enter...
  • User AvatarJohn Peters 8th Dec - 9:27am
    I used to tour the Scottish on-line papers post Referendum to try to judge the electorates mood. I stopped when it became apparent the SNP...
  • User AvatarPat 8th Dec - 9:07am
    Oh dear .... I think the Lib Dems are definitely backing the wrong horse! The party is taking a huge gamble in calling for a...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 8th Dec - 8:40am
    Edwin, I agree absolutely. The Burqa ban is a violation of human rights. It is contrary to the right to religious freedom, and the right...
  • User Avatarexpats 8th Dec - 8:27am
    Andy Hinton 7th Dec '16 - 11:57pm....It is not undemocratic to reserve the right for the people to change their mind. Indeed, that is essential...
  • User AvatarTim13 8th Dec - 8:06am
    Interesting viewpoint, James Spackman. Thankyou for your replies to my points, Mike S, and for your points Katharine Pindar. I know you make an important...