Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Nick Clegg “surprisingly good at Twitter”

Whether it’s posting a selfie from a football match, posing with a Princess mug, mocking the Daily Mail or looking like the perfect domestic goddess before admitting that it was Miriam who had made the very nice looking pie (for which we still need the recipe), Nick Clegg certainly has a quirky way with Twitter that. Over at the i, they’ve recognised that today by posting these highlights, commenting that:

 He seamlessly blends being part of the liberal establishment and looks genuinely happy to be at a football match.

They added that a scene with children could look very awkward if …

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Clegg: Commonwealth must live up to its values and oppose LGBT discrimination

Clegg signs in at Pride HouseWe know that Nick Clegg has spoken out against discriminatory LGBT laws across the Commonwealth. He’s done so again in an interview with Gay Times magazine.  He called them after his visit to Pride House i(where the picture was taken) n Glasgow.

Shortly before he took his place in the stalls for the opening ceremony, the Deputy PM gave GT Towers a ring. “This is the Downing Street switchboard. We have the Deputy Prime Minister on the line for you,” came the call. Well, that was

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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #383

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 383rd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (20 – 26 July, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

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Lib Dems have led the case against armed police in the Highlands – not that you’d know from the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland

This time next week, I will be in one of what I think is the most magical places on earth, the Black Isle. The friendly people, gorgeously rich scenery from the fertile farmlands to the wonderful pink-sanded Rosemarkie beach, the rubbish mobile phone signal and the utter peace of the place combine to make it my perfect bolt-hole.  I feel myself relaxing as soon as I get my first view of Munlochy Bay from the A9. It’s pure heaven.

I try very hard when we’re there to do all my shopping from local shops rather than the big supermarkets in Inverness, …

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Caron’s Sunday Selection: Must-read articles from the Sunday papers

 

sundaypapsHere’s my pick of the Sunday papers this week. Please put your choice of must-read articles in the comments.

There are many harrowing, difficult to read accounts of the reality of being on the receiving end of the Israeli bombardment in Gaza. The Independent talks to a man who has lost two children and his 8 months’ pregnant wife:

“We didn’t know anything about this ceasefire. Just a few hours later they stopped bombing, just a few hours and we would have been all right. We don’t know why they decided to bomb our house with so many women and children. We are just poor people, we have nothing to do with politics. We did not receive any warning, why did they do it?” he asked. “Some of the family had come from another place, there was a lot of killings where they were. They thought they were safe here.

 

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Social Liberal Forum Conference – a belated report of an enriching day

Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 closing panel Photo by Paul WalterThis time last week, I had just arrived at a very crowded Euston Station in London for the Social Liberal Forum’s Annual Conference. It was more than worth the 800 mile round trip, even if  I’ve been ill ever since.

Our own Mary Reid had a major hand in the organisation of the event, which was attended by over 200 people. She did a fantastic job. Everything ran smoothly and the food and drink on offer all day was …

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LibLink: Charles Kennedy: Why our destiny must lie with the F word

Charles KennedyThe Independence Referendum campaign continues to be depressing. The only really good things associated with it tend to come from Liberal Democrats and most especially Charles Kennedy. He’s written a thoughtful and persuasive article in the Herald about the dilemma facing Scotland beyond 18th September as, whoever wins, we’ve all lost out from increasing centralism to Edinburgh in recent years.

He outlines the problem:

In the pre-devolution days of one- party Tory domination there was much legitimate railing against the excessive concentration of power within Whitehall. The centre accrued and amassed while

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Nick Clegg: I want to hardwire LGBT rights into our entire human rights agenda

Rennie and the Queen's Baton
The Commonwealth Games opens in Glasgow in a couple of hours and we’re promised quite a spectacle. All of Scotland is ready. Except perhaps Edinburgh, where the powers that be have decided, in their wisdom,  to dig up the road outside Waverley Station, causing total chaos.

Politicians have been all over the place in Scotland today, ahead of attending the Opening Ceremony.

Willie Rennie managed to get his hands on the Queen’s Baton (see the photo on the right).

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David Ward apologises for his tweet and calls for more action by world community to end humanitarian crisis in Gaza

David WardDavid Ward has apologised for last night’s tweet,  saying that he does not condone firing rockets into Israel. Here’s his statement in full:

I utterly condemn the violence on both sides in Israel and Gaza.

I condemn the actions of Hamas, and my comments were not in support of firing rockets into Israel. If they gave the opposite impression, I apologise.

However, while I defend the right of Israel to exist and defend itself, I will continue to speak out for the rights of the Palestinian people who are facing untold suffering. More must be done by the world community to end this humanitarian crisis and protect the families living in Gaza. I can understand their plight and desperation.

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In Full: Nick Clegg’s speech to the Girl Summit

girlsummitlogoIt’s hard to imagine the event that took place in London today happening 20 years ago. Yes, of course, we knew about Female Genital Mutilation and Child and Enforced Marriage, but it wasn’t a mainstream political issue. Now, we’re seeing concerted global action, and the UK Government is involved up to its eyeballs, as Julian Huppert told us earlier. I couldn’t have imagined Mrs Thatcher or Sir Geoffrey Howe talking openly about the need to tackle these issues. But today, David Cameron, Philip Hammond, Theresa May, Justine Greening and Nick Clegg were all present at the Girl Summit. Here is Nick Clegg’s speech which closed the proceedings.

Take some time tonight not just to read this, though. Have a look through the Girl Summit Twitter feed and look at some of the stories and experiences that were shared, of girls as young as 12 pulled out of school and forced to marry. Read about how this problem is particularly bad at the moment in the Syrian refugee camps. It’s harrowing, but you also get a glimpse of all the work being done globally to bring these practices to an end. Today’s summit must only be a staging post in a much longer journey and now that the issue has hit the political mainstream, it must not be allowed to fade until it’s sorted.

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Liberal Democrat amendment making revenge porn a crime to be debated today – watch Hannah’s story

"Frozen Poetry" - Houses of Parliament, LondonThis afternoon, an amendment to the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill in the name of four Liberal Democrat peers, Jonathan Marks, Olly Grender, Liz Barker and Sal Brinton, will be debated in the House of Lords. Its effects would be to make it an offence to publish a sexually explicit image of a person without their consent, punishable by 6 months to a year in prison.

photo by: Gaurav Pradhan
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LibLink: Danny Alexander: We want a fair housing benefit system for every tenant

speech danny alexander 6People wonder why Liberal Democrats supported the Bedroom Tax in the first place. Well, I spent 4 yesrs sitting beside a Liberal Democrat MP when maybe 5 families a week would  come to us and say that they were stuck in a house that was way too small. Their kids had nowhere to study or play. That was what was foremost in their minds when they agreed the Bedroom Tax. They wanted to make it easier for those families. That was their motivation even though I think the …

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++Breaking…Clegg: “We must axe Bedroom Tax”

I got wind of this about an hour ago.

Here is tomorrow’s Daily Mirror front page.

Clegg axe bedroom tax

More to follow. In the meantime, have a read of my post from earlier.

That’ll be number 22 on Stephen Tall’s list of policies that we share with Labour…

Update: 22:47.

This email has just been sent from Danny Alexander explaining the party’s thinking. We’re not going for abolition, but for a great reform which means that nobody would have to pay unless they had turned down an offer of a smaller property which ticks a lot more of …

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Bedroom Tax review raises serious questions – abolition or serious reform is now essential

Bedroom tax demo , all the photos taken with a iphone 5In amidst the excitement of the Cabinet reshuffle, the Government slipped out its first interim review of what is technically called the “Removal of the Spare Room Subsidy”. That’s the “Bedroom Tax” to you and me. The conclusions are pretty damning:

At the time of the research, four out of five claimants affected by the RSRS were reported by landlords to be paying some or all of their shortfall, although half of these had failed to pay in full. There

photo by: paul bevan
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LibLink: Lord Ken MacDonald: How the DRIP Bill will help us convict criminals

A telephoneThe Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Bill cleared its Commons stages last night after a long debate which saw Julian Huppert speak at every stage and in great detail. He was pretty much doing the job of a Minister and very clearly and rationally put the case for the Bill, at all times stating his own personal commitment to civil liberties.

Lord Ken MacDonald, who has been pretty sound on things like secret courts, the statelessness provisions in the Immigration Bill and the cuts to Legal Aid, has written an article …

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Nick Clegg tackles the Daily Mail’s sexism with humour

So, this is the Daily Mail’s sadly predictable response to women being promoted to high or higher office.

Daily Fail catwalk

I guess you can’t really expect better when 7 of the top 10 stories on their sidebar could be easily headlined: “Woman goes out in public wearing clothes.” That’s actually quite low for them.

Nick Clegg responded with humour in a tweet today.

 

You …

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How you can support One Member One Vote for Party Committees

lib dem conf votingIn March, Sue Doughty invited members to take part in a consultation on the idea of allowing one member one vote for party committee elections and on party policy at Conference. The Internal Democratic Reform Working Group, which Sue chairs, then looked at the submissions they received and the feedback at a consultative session at York Conference. They have now drawn up some radical proposals which will give every  member the right to vote on policy at Conference and in Committee elections which they want to submit for debate at …

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Vince Cable shows why Liberal Democrats need him to be our Economic Spokesperson for the General Election

Vince Cable, Business Secretary at the launch of the joint government and UK automotive industry's automotive strategyVince Cable was interviewed by Andrew Marr yesterday. His confident and credible manner and his clear explanation of Liberal Democrat priorities make it very clear to me that he should be our Chief Economics Spokesperson during the election campaign. He can take the fight to both Conservatives and Labour in a way that nobody else can. Stephen Tall has been saying this for a long while. I have to confess that while my heart was …

photo by: bisgovuk
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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #382

EaWelcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 382nd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (6-12 July, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

Posted in Best of the blogs | 1 Comment

LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14100 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Mike Bell resigns as candidate for Weston-Super-Mare for family and work reasons and Welsh Liberal Democrat Councillor joins Labour (12 comments) by The Voice

(Not) the Snoopers’ Charter, where we are, how we got here, what we should look for and what should happen next (51 comments) by The Voice

Ashcroft battlegrounds poll: Lib Dems set to lose four marginal seats to Labour (41 comments) by Stephen Tall

Jo Swinson

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Cool politicians poll showcases the paucity of political debate

I thought we’d scraped the bottom of the barrel when these photos of poor Ed Miliband eating a bacon sandwich led to him being mocked in virtually every publication in the UK. But it gets worse. The other day I sighed when I saw the headline “Ed Miliband is less cool than Sir Menzies Campbell”. Apparently YouGov has been spending time and money asking people how cool a group of current and former party leaders are.

Unsurprisingly, nobody makes it out of the negatives:

You Gov Cool poll

 

It’s certainly true than …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Lessons must be learned from the Jo Swinson speculation

jo swinson by paul walterOn Thursday, George Eaton of the New Statesman blogged that Jo Swinson was about to replace Ed Davey in the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Today, the Guardian’s Nick Watt says that this is not the case and Jo is expected to become Secretary of State for Scotland in September after the independence referendum.

Nick Clegg, acutely conscious that the five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are all men, is expected to promote the business minister Jo Swinson to the cabinet. But she is expected to succeed Alistair Carmichael as Scotland secretary after September’s independence referendum in September if, as expected, the pro-Union side prevails. Carmichael would be praised for his role in the victory as Swinson took charge on introducing greater devolution to the Scottish parliament.

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Departing female EU commissioners lobby for more women in new Commission

Neelie Kroes 10 or MoreThe current 8 female EU commissioners have written to new Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to support his call for member states to appoint more women. The commissioners stated that they wanted to see at least 10 women appointed. The picture shows Dutch liberal commissioner Neelie Kroes holding up her hands to show symbolise support for the Ten or More campaign.

Their letter said:

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | 11 Comments

LibLink: Norman Baker: Security and freedom in the internet age

Samsung Galaxy Note 3Norman Baker wrote an article for the party website which I thought you might find useful because it deals with some of the points raised in the questions to my mammoth post yesterday.  I must warn you, though, that there are some examples of apostrophe abuse in it, so steel yourselves.

Many, if not most, people are concerned about the rush to get this legislation through in just two days. Norman gives his explanation of why he thinks it’s necessary:

No government introduces fast track legislation lightly, but the challenge

photo by:
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An idea to put a stop to those public sector strikes

Don't Work and Fight BackSchools, libraries, the Welsh Assembly and other government offices were shut or operating a reduced service day because of a strike by several public sector unions in protest at their falling wages, increasing pensions contributions and longer working lives.

David Cameron has a totally wizard wheeze to stop all this from happening. He wants to shift the goalposts so that a certain threshold have to turn out to vote in favour of strike action. Oh, Dave, really. If you start questioning the legitimacy of elections with low turnout, …

photo by:
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UPDATED: (Not) The Snoopers’ Charter: Where we are, how we got here, what we should look for and what should happen next

The Houses Of ParliamentI’m feeling slightly nervous this morning. As I was going to bed last night, news came through that apparently a deal had been struck to introduce emergency legislation on communications data. The Guardian has the details.

The government will announce that it is rushing through emergency legislation underpinning the state’s right to keep personal data held by internet and phone companies.

Labour is expected to accept the bill on the basis that it will simply restore what the government believed to be the law before the European Court of Justice ruled in April that an EU directive on privacy retention had over-reached its powers and amounted to an invasion of privacy.

But, as part of the deal, the opposition has won agreement that ministers will launch a review of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act passed in 2000. The act is seen as the source of excessive surveillance by the security services.

Hang on, what was that last sentence again? “The opposition has won agreement that Ministers will launch a review of RIPA.” Let’s just remind ourselves who was in Government when RIPA was passed? Ah yes, that authoritarian, illiberal Labour government that thought it was ok to lock people up for 90 days without charge.  Our MPs have been going on about reviewing RIPA since it was passed. It’s really important that Labour don’t get to claim that ground.

photo by: garryknight
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Talking on Scotland 2014 about the Orange Order and those Commonwealth Games outfits

DSC_7379I was on the new Scotland 2014 show on Monday night.  It was my first live studio based interview. I travelled to the beautiful BBC headquarters at Pacific Quay in Glasgow for 9pm. I am not a great user of cosmetic products, usually because I end up looking like a clown if I try to apply them myself, but the very lovely experts soon had me looking 10 years younger. They even straightened my hair!

photo by:
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Benefits sanctions: what should happen when guidelines and reality are at odds with each other?

Benefits-welfareBack in April, I wrote about how the overuse of benefits sanctions appeared to be at odds with the Department of Work and Pensions guidance which was actually quite reasonable and gave decision makers some flexibility to take things like poor mental health into consideration.

Both the use and the penalty for even a minor infringement of the rules have been dramatically increased in the last couple of years. It’s worth noting that the minimum period of benefit loss is now 4 weeks. Given that the maximum help you can get from a food bank is 3 days’ food, 3 times a year, you can just imagine how much incredible hardship this can cause. You would think that a decision maker would take very seriously the consequences  of imposing a sanction and only do it when the circumstances were clear cut.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 27 Comments

Liberal Democrat Conference to return to Bournemouth in 2015 – share your memories of the town

Bournemouth West Beach 3 Nikon D3100.  DSC_0259Yesterday, it was announced that next year’s Liberal Democrat Autumn conference would be returning to Bourmemouth for the first time since 2008.

This’ll be a big first for me as I have never managed to get to a Conference there.

So, I’m relying on you all to tell me what the place is like and to share some of your memories of Conferences there.

photo by:
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Three reasons to hope that new enquiries will bring a satisfactory conclusion to child abuse scandal

Parliament SunsetTheresa May has announced two enquiries into historic allegations of child abuse.

The BBC reports:

The head of the children’s charity NSPCC is to lead a review of historical child sex abuse allegations, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

photo by:
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Dean 29th Jul - 2:27am
    @T-J. There are issues, certainly, but it would be foolish to throw away opportunities that the commonwealth provides, including the 20% that jedibeeftrix mentioned. And...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 29th Jul - 1:55am
    An interesting debate, as these types of philosophical debates often are. As someone who has been part of the LDV team in the past, then...
  • User AvatarT-J 29th Jul - 1:48am
    Credibility in human rights isn't needed for credibility in business, no. But credibility on the rule of law is. And if the law on whether...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 29th Jul - 1:30am
    Credibility in the human rights sphere has never been a significant determinant of credibility in business and trade. But what's this about "steering"? Maybe more...
  • User AvatarT-J 29th Jul - 1:11am
    I'm not complaining. I already asked myself those questions and found the answers pointing in a different direction. Like I say, I used to be...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 29th Jul - 12:53am
    LJP: I'm with Stephen Hesketh about status indicators. I think they would help if available for voluntary use. Someone like you could opt to leave...