Author Archives: George Kendall

When is the right time to reduce the deficit?

Liberal Democrats and Social Democrats have a very wide range of opinions, including economics. However, despite our differences, it’s possible to discuss them in a good-natured, honest way, without polemic.

The time to reduce the deficit has been a matter of huge controversy over the last six years. Paul Krugman is, perhaps, the best known advocate of continuing stimulus. In 2012, he attacked the UK deficit reduction programme as ‘deeply destructive’. He said, “Give me a stronger economy and I’ll turn into a fiscal hawk. But not now”.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 56 Comments

The Syria Vote and Beyond – Radical Ideas for Difficult Problems

This Saturday, there is a day conference for Liberal Democrat members on the Syrian issue, sponsored by Lib Dem Lawyers association, Liberal International, and the Lib Dem Christian Forum.

It looks excellent.

Posted in Events and Party policy and internal matters | 21 Comments

How do we reach out to social democrats beyond the party?

social democrat groupMany Labour members are thinking of resigning. I’m sure we would love them to join us. How can we encourage them without being too pushy?

If you are a social democrat outside the Liberal Democrats, whether in the Labour party or not, if there are ways the Liberal Democrats could make it easier for you to switch to us let us know in the comments below.

Here are a few of my thoughts.

Don’t forget we lost too. Moderate members of the Labour party may have lost the leadership battle for their party, but we’ve lost most of our MPs. Let’s acknowledge these twin disasters for the centre-left, and talk about how we can move forward.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 61 Comments

We must reclaim our Social Democrat heritage

The election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour party brings back memories. Of when a Labour activist grabbed me by the throat, and a Trotskyist threatened to break my arm.

Few Labour members in the 1980s were violent, and nor are the vast majority of Corbyn supporters. But I have no doubt that the same intolerance and intimidation that I experienced at university is being felt by moderate Labour members today.

Posted in News | Tagged | 52 Comments

Should we laugh when the Daily Mail flex their muscles?

I admit it. I laughed at #piggate. But should I have?

Four years ago, a scandal engulfed the newspaper industry. The News of the World was closed down, and News International reporters were arrested.

Before, all politicians knew, if a major tabloid newspaper targeted them, they had good reason to be afraid.

After, I remember the heady celebration of politicians who compared it to liberation from a police state.

“Don’t worry,” one said, when asked if this kind of threat would return. “It’s like when people stop being afraid of the secret police. If no one is afraid, they lose their power.”

Well, if I …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Conference Countdown 2015: Why you shouldn’t give me a vote at Conference

In the last four years, I’ve been to a lot of Lib Dem conferences – though sadly not next week – but I’ve had a vote at none of them. I was even the mover of an amendment, but I didn’t get to vote on it.

On Monday the One Member One Vote motion would give me a vote at conference. So why do I think you shouldn’t give it to me?

I’m not worried about the vast, vast majority of members. But there are a just a few who do worry me. If we decided votes by referenda, I wouldn’t be concerned. Among 61,000 members, a few rogue votes wouldn’t be significant. But attendance at conference is a lot lower.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

Why I am a Social Democrat

Poor boy afraid
Social democrats know that to fight poverty you need a vibrant economy. It is the goose that lays the golden egg, and it flourishes with freedom, but it stagnates in a factory farm.

Social democrats don’t just do poverty reduction as a minor act of charity, it is central to what drives them. But a true social democrat won’t just throw money at the problem, they will look for what works.

For a short period, I worked in the field of international development. When listening to those who had worked in

Posted in News | Tagged | 62 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Barrett 7th Feb - 12:46pm
    Sarah - It's not preferable for everyone. Just because an MP is a woman does not automatically mean she will be impressive. My current MP...
  • User AvatarEx Liberal 7th Feb - 12:45pm
    This isn't rearranging the deckchairs on the Titanic. It's setting up a bureaucracy to organise rearranging deckchairs on the Titanic. One would have hoped that...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 7th Feb - 12:44pm
    Tim Farron was asked about this on BBC1's Andrew Marr Show of 7/2/2016, available on the I-player.
  • User AvatarMark Argent 7th Feb - 12:42pm
    Super article, but my sense is that there is an added dimension... I fear that the electorate still has a tendency to default to a...
  • User AvatarManfarang 7th Feb - 12:23pm
    PS AndrewR 10:32 am Don't believe everything you read in newspapers. The News Chronicle needs to be revived in an internet format.
  • User AvatarIan Swales 7th Feb - 11:10am
    Good points Ruth and I found your article interesting. The while situation is fraught, with the unavoidable givens being the huge amount of work Lib...