Author Archives: Colin Green

Opinion: Lib Dems and the EU. Should we assert our Radical Localist side?

Map of the European UnionAt the beginning of the year, the European elections were looking touch and go for the Lib Dems.  Our poll ratings were on the borderline of losing our MEPs, so we took a risk.  We gambled on a strategy that, if it paid off, would win us the few percent of extra votes needed to hold most of our MEPs.  The tactic was to highlight that we are the only truly pro-Europe party, which would attract swing voters from more lukewarm parties. So we went all in with ‘The Party of In’. It was a gamble we lost.

Public opinion of the EU is mixed. People acknowledge the benefits of membership but many think the costs are too high. Polls suggest similar numbers of people want to leave the EU as want to stay in. But if the terms of membership are renegotiated, the majority of people support staying in.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 25 Comments

Opinion: The Unpalatable Truth – Pensions Have To Change

Pensions are again in the news. This time concerning the public sector. For a number of years now, private sector pension schemes have been closed or have changed from defined benefits into simple money purchase schemes. Why is this happening and what can we do?

In 1900, average life expectancy was just 50 years of age. Few people lived long enough to retire. By the 1950s, average life spans had reached 70. The state pension was introduced at age 65 giving 5 years of retirement after 50 years of work. Since then life expectancy has risen to 80, yet we still …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Opinion: Speaking up for coalition

Over the few days since the coalition government was announced I’ve been dismayed to hear several Liberal Democrat members say they will rip up their membership cards in protest.  Whilst many are understandably disappointed that we now have a Conservative Prime Minister, or that we don’t have a Liberal Democrat Prime Minister, a coalition government including the Lib Dems is not a bad thing.

Coalition talks with Labour failed.  Of the two remaining viable options, a Conservative minority was the only other choice to a coalition.  We would have a Conservative Prime Minister either way.  Unlike 1974 when the Liberal Party …

Posted in Op-eds | 34 Comments
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  • User AvatarPsi 24th Aug - 9:42am
    This is becoming a silly season staple. Not sure why. I’m sure there are other dumb ideas Sarah Noble “these sorts of accommodations can’t exist...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 24th Aug - 9:40am
    Shirley Williams MP wrote about an experience in a crowded voting lobby in the Commons. Other female MPs had suffered the same thing, but high...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 24th Aug - 9:32am
    David Raw: On-train catering is generally run at a loss; while the market for sales is captive it is also rather small with a limited...
  • User Avatarrobin bennett 24th Aug - 9:26am
    The EU in the past has found a way of accommodating anti EU electorates in Ireland and Denmark. Bill Fowler suggests one initiative. Another would...
  • User Avatarfrankie 24th Aug - 8:37am
    Homeless people are always likely to look for some way to escape their situation they are in. The temptation to escape the world they live...
  • User AvatarJane Reed 24th Aug - 8:28am
    I absolutely agree with Caron. Thank you for this article. In particular I think the following is a real possible problem; Apart from anything else,...