Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in the Times of  ”very aggressive male bloggers” (8 comments) by Stephen Tall

Daily Mail attacks Nick Clegg for Cyril Smith RIP tribute. Why? (34 comments) by Stephen Tall

Jeremy Browne’s Race Plan. I’ve read it, so here’s my review. (58 comments) by Stephen Tall

Opinion: Regina v Nigel Evans should wake up MPs (35 comments) by Antony Hook

Lib Dems: “Cyril Smith’s

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Alistair Carmichael as many of you will never have seen him before

Do you know what, this independence referendum is actually starting to have some nice moments.  I would never have thought it. Sadly, few of them are to do with the actual substance of the campaign, but there’s always hope.

One of the best things about it for me is that for what I imagine will be the only time in our lifetimes, my Dad and I are on the same side in a political debate. I was absolutely thrilled when he took up volunteering for Better Together one day a week and he’s become a bit of an expert on the …

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I don’t care where Alex Salmond lays his head – but does he have to be so evasive about it?

The Benjamin HotelBuckwheat or memory foam, or water. Those are some of the pillows Alex Salmond could have had, according to the Telegraph when he stayed in New York’s Benjamin Hotel in 2007 when he was there on official business. But, do you know what? I’m not really that bothered. Yes, luxury hotel suites are expensive but in the world of international diplomacy and business, it’s pretty much par for the course. Sure, some people would be happier to see our politicians stay in a Bed and Breakfast with squeaky, staticky, purple nylon sheets and those duvets with flowers on that were so popular in the 70s, and a bit of thrift never goes amiss, but I’m not going to get in a lather about it.

photo by: Reading Tom
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Jeremy Browne and his plan for the privileged

Eton college sign. Photo by Paul WalterOver the last couple of days, discussion of Jeremy Browne’s new book has caused, it’s fair to say, a bit of controversy on this site. Race Plan, contains ideas which make some liberals dance with joy and others wince. We previewed it yesterday and Nick Thornsby has produced an extremely well written review. You might well disagree with it, but he presents his arguments knowledgeably and respectfully.

I have not read this book. I probably will, but it’ll take a wee while before it gets anywhere near the top of my “must read” list. I do, however, feel that I know enough of its contents from Jeremy’s Daily Politics video, various press articles and, of course,  Nick’s review.

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A trio of damning reports on impact of Government’s welfare reforms

Joseph Rowntree FoundationThree reports published today on the impacts of the Coalition Government’s welfare reforms should concern anyone who is interested in creating a fairer society.

The Joseph Rowntree Foundation publishes two reports on wider welfare reform in general and the Bedroom Tax in particular which should inform those who are responsible for the Liberal Democrat manifesto as well as our ministers.

photo by: HowardLake
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Maria Miller resigns – but is that all that needs to happen?

Rt Hon Maria Miller MP, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and SportThe writing was on the wall for Maria Miller in the 33rd second after she began her grudging apology last Thursday. Even if she had shown the required amount of contrition, the very fact that a system which allowed a committee of MPs to water down the Standards Commissioner’s judgement looks, even if it isn’t, motivated by self interest, by the privileged protecting their own.

At no point did she, or David Cameron, show any signs of “getting it”, of showing any understanding why the original issue was a serious matter.

By allowing it to become a battle between the Conservative leadership and the Tory right, one in which the latter has triumphed, Cameron has weakened his own position.

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LibLink: Ming Campbell: I will vote no to independence because I love Scotland

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TWillie Rennie’s “sunshine strategy”, talking up the positive side of Scotland staying in the UK even got a mention on the Andrew Marr Show during our Scottish Conference. The independence referendum is sorely needing a lift, and on the rare occasion it gets it, it is usually down to a Liberal Democrat, it has to be said. Charles Kennedy, Mike Moore, Willie Rennie and Alistair Carmichael have all added some much-needed appreciation of the UK and thoughtful consideration of the arguments. …

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Ros Scott speaks out against food waste

Food waste 215 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK each year.

122 million tonnes wasted in the industrialised world (which makes the British contribution of an eye-wateringly high proportion).

The latter figure is equal to the entire food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s a far cry from the days when we were growing up. Any waste at all horrified my Granny. She went to the shops every day and bought what she needed for that day and no more. Most of what she bought was relatively locally produced, unprocessed and fresh.

photo by: Nick Saltmarsh
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In Full: Kirsty Williams’ speech to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference – Proud, passionate and “hungry for Welsh success”

rally kirsty williams 1This weekend, Welsh Liberal Democats have held their conference in Newport. One of these years, I must try and get there because it sounds great fun.

Kirsty Williams closed Conference this afternoon with her leader’s speech. A few weeks ago, I linked to an article she wrote for St David’s Day which expressed her pride in her nation with such positivity that I suggested that those in the pro-UK campaign in Scotland should take note. She was every bit as proud and passionate today. She outlined the Labour governments …

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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #370

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 370th 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 (30 March - 5 April, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, normally courtesy of LibDig, 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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What’s on in our Parliaments next week? 7-10 April

Houses of ParliamentThe Scottish Parliament and Welsh Senedd are in recess next week, but Westminster is still sitting.

House of Commons

The Commons is still dealing with the Finance Bill, implementing the measures in the Budget. There, is however, a Justice and Home Affairs debate on Monday.

Communities & Local Government, Foreign Office, the Department of International Development (therefore Lynne Featherstene) and Business, Innovation and Skills face questions.

photo by: wwarby
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Scotland mourns Margo MacDonald MSP

Contains Scottish Parliamentary information licensed under the Open Scottish Parliament Licence v1.0.There won’t be a dry eye anywhere in Scottish politics this afternoon. Margo MacDonald, the spirited, warm-hearted, funny, plain-speaking, independent minded MSP for Lothians died this lunchtime.

Margo shot to prominence after winning the Govan by-election in 1973. Although she lost her seat in the General Election 2 months later, she made an impact on Scottish politics. She never returned to Westminster, but has been one of the real stars of the Scottish Parliament over the last 15 years. She …

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Nick v Nigel: What the commentators say – and don’t say

Farage cleggWell, there’s a surprise. After last week’s largely positive stories, the headlines aren’t so good this week. It’s interesting to see that those who called for Nick to be more passionate and to go less on the detail weren’t satisfied when he did just that. I wonder if last week’s coverage prompted too much of a strategic rethink to an approach that was working fine. In my opinion, the only thing that needed changing from the LBC debate was a stronger answer on the referendum question, especially as it …

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Party gets smart over fundraising

Pound coins with no dateWe know that the Obama campaign made great use of micro-fundraising during its two successful campaigns. If you are signed up to the emails, you’ll know the kind of thing. You get an email asking you to donate $5 before midnight to get a chance to have dinner with Obama or some (other) celebrity.

The Liberal Democrats have been experimenting a lot with that sort of thing. During the Eastleigh by-election I had a whole host of emails, with increasingly emotional appeals, designed to get me in my …

photo by: Images_of_Money
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Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #369

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 369thth 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 (23 - 29 March, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, normally courtesy of LibDig, 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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Liberal Democrats put mental health on the agenda in Holyrood and Cardiff

Phrenology head - mental health - Some rights reserved by evansvilleWe know that mental health has always been one of Nick Clegg’s top priorities. His first major speech as Liberal Democrat leader was on the subject. In the coalition, he, Paul Burstow and Norman Lamb have been pushing forward improvements to mental health care from making sure people in crisis see health professionals and not the inside of a Police cell, to a massive expansion of talking therapies to action to tackle the stigma that still exists.

A friend of mine has recently had some time off work for Depression. She wrote on Facebook, and asked people to share, the following:

What I do want to say is that until being off work for eight weeks with depression is regarded on equal footing with the same period of time off with a physical ailment of any kind ( from a hip replacement, to heart attack,stroke, badly broken limb, severe diabetes, or any of countless medical conditions ) then we will all suffer individually and as a society.

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Tim Farron “will withdraw party’s support for Bedroom Tax”

Bedroom tax demo , all the photos taken with a iphone 5Ok, so we’ll overlook the Guardian’s inaccurate headline. Have they learned nothing from years of watching our policy making process? Tim Farron doesn’t have the power to do what the Guardian says he’s done:

The Liberal Democrat president, Tim Farron, will withdraw his party’s support for the bedroom tax on Wednesday, saying it has caused “huge social problems.”

I think he’s right, of course. It might just about be ok if there were suitable smaller properties for people to move into, or if …

photo by: paul bevan
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It’s #NickvNigel Round 2 and we have bingo and billboards

Nick v Nigel Round 2 poster

Today the second debate on EU membership takes place between our Nick Clegg and UKIP leader Nigel Farage.

The image you see before you will be beaming down on commuters and shoppers in Tottenham Court Road, one of London’s busiest areas from around now. At least I think that’s the case. I’m only from Scotland.

It’s also fair to say that no social media timeline will be safe from the image of Cameron and Miliband missing

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Clegg slams Farage over “extreme” and “utterly grotesque” Putin comments

Nigel Farage MEPMost Liberals would have been choking into their Corn Flakes this morning upon reading that Vladimir Putin, who apparently has designs on Finland, is the object of Nigel Farage’s admiration.

I just think it is utterly grotesque that Nigel Farage apparently admires – and that was the question to him, ‘Who do you admire?’ – admires someone, Vladimir Putin, who has been the chief sponsor and protector of one of the most brutal dictators on the face of the planet, President Assad, who has blocked at every single

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In Full: Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference

Willie Rennie speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008Willie Rennie’s crucial final leader’s speech before the independence referendum highlighted the party’s achievements in UK Government – 8 words, Taxes down, pensions up, new jobs, more childcare.

He also highlighted his team’s contribution in the Scottish Parliament, pressing the SNP government over 18 months until they expanded childcare for 2-4 year olds and fighting against the “wrecking ball” being taken to the justice system. He announced that the party would be putting down amendments aimed at properly regulating stop and search to …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Two same sex weddings, one happy politician

Protest against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriageIt was a struggle to stay awake till midnight on Friday night because I’d been up at stupid o’clock to travel to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference. But I did, just to mark that very special moment when same sex marriages started to happen. In the morning, the scenes of happiness on the television news had me blubbing.

Both Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone talked over the weekend about how this isn’t just an important thing for the couples themselves. In his speech to Scottish …

photo by: Fibonacci Blue
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In full: Nick Clegg’s contribution to the “sunshine strategy” at Scottish Lib Dem Conference

Forth Railway Bridge at North Queensferry Fife ScotlandI’ve been saying for a long time that the pro UK side of the independence referendum campaign in Scotland needs to make sure that there’s a positive melody to go a long with the necessary deconstruction of the SNP’s arguments. Nick Clegg stepped up to that plate with aplomb yesterday in his keynote speech, saying that the case for staying in the UK must be as “thrilling” as that for independence.

There was one hilarious moment when he slipped up and talked about he and …

photo by: conner395
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Carmichael: We should be proud of what we are achieving in the UK, not talking about leaving

Union FlagIn a week where I’ve despaired a bit of the pro-UK campaign in the Scottish Independence Referendum, it’s good to see Alistair Carmichael come out brimming with pride at what we have and what we’ve built together in the UK. In a speech at Edinburgh University last night. Yes, it’s a wee bit listy, but we actually need to look at and appreciate what we’ve got rather than just assume that the grass on the other side is going to be greener. Frankly, when people are wooed by the thrill …

photo by: mrs.timpers
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Call Clegg: Nick condemns morning after pill critics as misogynist, medieval and insulting to women

call cleggI do love it when Nick gets all cross about things. He’s always been pretty open about his views but at times can come across almost too careful. Those occasions when he just lets rip are so good.

This morning, he did not mince his words about those “experts” (sorry for the Daily Mail link, but who they count as experts is really funny) who think that giving women access to the morning after pill will fuel promiscuity. It took me about 4 tweets to get it all in – misogynist, …

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Stop and search nonchalance from Justice Secretary shows why Scotland needs the Liberal Democrats

Police BrutalityIn January, I wrote about the worryingly high police stop and search figures in Scotland, which is proportionately much higher than in England includes over 500 children under 10 years old.

Now it transpires that these figures may not be accurate. And may be made up. According to the Edinburgh Evening News:

Official figures show a huge number of incidents where stop-and-search powers have been used since the creation of a single police force. Critics claim officers are under pressure because the number of stop-searches has been made a “key

photo by: Tony Austin
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Alex Cole-Hamilton selected for Edinburgh Western

Alex Cole-Hamilton Edinburgh WesternThe Scottish Liberal Democrats are cracking ahead with selections for the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections. Alex Cole-Hamilton has been selected for the constituency of Edinburgh Western. This seat is part of Mike Crockart’s Westminster constituency and was held by Liberal Democrat Margaret Smith from 1999-2011.

From the Edinburgh Evening News:

Despite this year’s independence referendum and next year’s Westminster elections, Lib Dems in Edinburgh Western have already chosen their candidate in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections and are promising a “relentless” drive to regain the seat from the SNP, who took it from them three years ago.

Former MSP Margaret Smith, who represented the constituency for 12 years, decided not to stand again.

In her place, charity worker Alex Cole-Hamilton – who has stood for both Holyrood and Westminster – has been selected to fight the seat.

He was chosen in a postal ballot of all party members in the constituency, which saw him win 71 per cent of the votes, with long-serving councillor Robert Aldridge the runner-up.

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#NickvNigel LibLink Special: Nick Clegg: Let’s keep Britain prosperous, safe and IN

Well, today’s the day. The first Nick v Nigel debate takes place on LBC tonight. I’ve already been on the station this morning batting for Team Nick against a UKIP MEP who suggested that Nick using facts might be a problem and that Nick had agreed to the debate. Everyone knows it was Nick who actually issued the challenge.

Nick has been writing for the Mirror on the reasons why he believes Britain needs to stay in the EU.

He knows it’s not perfect but who’s going to invest here if we are not part of that much larger market:

Europe isn’t

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Andy Myles announces support for Scottish independence

I was not even remotely surprised to wake up this morning to this headline.

Andy Myles joins Yes

 

Andy was Chief Executive of the Scottish Party from 1992-1997. He was then a special adviser to Nicol Stephen during the second term of the Liberal Democrat/Labour coalition. Sadly, he’s no longer a member of the party, which is a great shame. We shouldn’t be losing good liberals like him. I hope that at some point in the future he’ll feel able to join us again.

It’s been clear from his always thoughtful and considerate posts …

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In which Beaker agrees with Kermit that we’re Better Together

Kermit de FrogI know I had a bit of a go at Danny Alexander over the independence referendum yesterday, but one thing he can never be accused of is not having a sense of humour.

We saw it when Harriet Harman called him a ginger rodent. The world got a new beer out of that one.

He laughed his head off at a song which suggested that he be fed to the pandas at Edinburgh Zoo.

Yesterday, Kermit the Frog did an interview for the Big Issue in which he …

photo by: Looking Glass
Posted in News | 4 Comments

Should prisoners have unlimited access to books?

Books to PrisonersThe bees are buzzing around my bonnet today. Earlier I had a bit of a go at Danny Alexander for falling in with the Better Together dourness in the Scottish Referendum campaign. Now, I have Chris Grayling in my sights. The Justice Secretary, under the guise of making the prisoners’ incentive scheme more “effective” has banned a number of things. The issue being given most prominence is that prisoners can no longer be sent books. The Howard League for Penal Reform’s Chief Executive Frances Crook condemned the

photo by: dreamsjung
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 32 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Apr - 2:19pm
    If Ray Love says as much then that's good enough for me.
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Apr - 2:18pm
    A quick comment on Polls, Polling for European Elections & for individual Constituencies in General Election both have a very poor record, so poor its...
  • User AvatarRay Love 20th Apr - 2:08pm
    I've lived in Bath for just under a year following 35 years in Winchester so I know when the feeling is positive, not only do...
  • User AvatarRuaraidh 20th Apr - 2:05pm
    @daft ha'p'orth Thank you. I take your point, but I suspect LDV would see more comments than that site (though certainly less than at the...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Apr - 1:55pm
    The current atmosphere in Labour circles is an odd mix, beneath the outer shell of smugness thres a feeling of panic, competing with despair. Its...
  • User AvatarStephen Howse 20th Apr - 1:49pm
    @ Martin – “My hunch is that in 5 years time, much of what Lib Dems have achieved in government will be seen more positively…”...