Author Archives: Evan Harris

Opinion: Child taken from womb by social services. Really?

Yesterday Caron Lindsay blogged on the case of what some are describing as the “Forced Caesarian and Child Abduction” case. In her article she reached certain judgments that I think displayed a degree of unjustified faith in accuracy of newspaper reports.

This is especially unwise in cases where those who are criticised can not answer back due to medical confidentiality and/or legal restrictions designed to protect the privacy of a child (and possibly the patient).

I felt the quickest way to “put the other side” is to look at and respond to some of the points made by Caron in her post.  In …

Posted in Op-eds | 144 Comments

Evan Harris writes… Speak out against the marriage tax allowance

David Cameron has finally given in to his backbenchers and promised to introduce a tax break for married couples in the next few weeks. Even David Cameron does not really support the policy. As Iain Dale put it in a blog last week “David Cameron and George Osborne keep paying lip service to this idea in the vain hope that it will keep Peter Bone and Mrs Bone happy if somewhere at the end of the rainbow this promise is ever introduced, but the truth of the matter is that neither Prime Minister or Chancellor gives a monkey’s cuss …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 34 Comments

Evan Harris writes… Lynne Featherstone delivers on Lib Dem equality pledge – a response to Peter Tatchell

“It’s a Coalition, innit!”

No one would accuse me – I hope – of a lack of commitment to LGBT equality. Nor would anyone  – I fear – of being a cheer-leader for the Government, nor indeed of slavish support for Liberal Democrats in Government. But I can not accept my friend Peter’s criticism of Lynne Featherstone set out in his article. I doubt many readers of Lib Dem Voice would do so either, because his failure to distinguish between “Liberal Democrat policy” and “Government policy” is schoolboy-obvious, and his attack thus falls as flat as a pancake that’s been …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

Dr Evan Harris fisks: What is really at stake on the health reforms

On 8th April Norman wrote an interesting article here entitled “The NHS: safe in our hands”. That article is a good basis on which to discuss a few of the problems with the bill and the Government’s approach so far.

We should be clear that Norman Lamb is one of the good guys, who spotted earlier than most the problems with the White Paper and the Bill, and has been very clear that it requires radical surgery. He has also been particularly concerned, and this week expressed this publicly, that the pace of change is financially (and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

Evan Harris writes… The Draft Libel Bill – A good start, but much still to play for

Yesterday the Government published its draft Defamation Bill. This consisted not only of draft clauses but also a formal consultation on some key issues not included (yet).

The Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront of the campaign to reform our libel laws as Nick Clegg points out in his Guardian piece yesterday. I convened the parliamentary wing of the Libel Reform Campaign in 2008/9, working with Sense About Science, Index on Censorship and English PEN. We achieved our aims of getting manifesto commitments from all three main parties before the 2010 Election. This campaign …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 13th Feb - 10:48am
    But Tony Benn always refused to listen to any criticism of his son Hilary, and I am sure that Vera Britain would similarly have continued...
  • User AvatarCatherine Jane Crosland 13th Feb - 10:42am
    A fascinating interview, which for many of us will bring back so many memories, and a whole mixture of emotions. If you closed your eyes,...
  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 13th Feb - 10:36am
    Paul Holmes - You could add Edinburgh West in 2010 to that list, where a "safe" Lib-Dem seat was available, when I stood down in...
  • User AvatarStuart 13th Feb - 10:28am
    Not far from me, another car full of teenagers being driven way too fast ended up wrapped round a tree the other night; one killed....
  • User AvatarStuart 13th Feb - 9:55am
    @Ann Stoker "In view of the composition of the ‘expert panel’ appointed by the LibDems which consists of five known individuals who have campaigned publicly...
  • User AvatarPeter Parsons 13th Feb - 9:49am
    Another twist. It seems Foundation Trusts in England are under no obligation to use the new contract: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/junior-doctors-hospitals-could-refuse-to-impose-jeremy-hunts-new-contract-a6871401.html "During this transition period, I suspect a...