Author Archives: Gerald Vernon-Jackson

Conference Countdown 2015: We cannot vote to become group members of CND

We all remember the pain of the General Election. We seemed to lose votes from two major groups of people.

The first were people who would not forgive us for working with the Tories in Government. They were tacical voters who voted Lib Dem in 2010 and then voted Labour/Green in 2015.

The second group were swing Lib Dem/Conservative voters. Many of them were scared by the Tories into voting Conservative to stop a Labour/SNP government that would wreck the economy and make the UK unsafe.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 35 Comments

Opinion: Does the central and local government relationship need rewiring?

Wired Government smallerThe relationship between central and local government in the UK has always been strained. The UK is one of the most centralised democracies in Europe, and as we have no written constitution local government has no automatic right to exist or do anything. Everything is dependent on the decisions of ministers.

The new Government in 2010 did good things in reversing some of the things the last right-wing, authoritarian and centralising government had done. The huge inspection and reporting regime was abolished. Ring fencing of budgets was mainly done away with. The Localism Act was brought in that gave local government the power of local competence.

Posted in Local government, News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Danny, Don and Nick stand up for Local Government in a way that Pickles never has

The Autumn Statement has announced no further cuts to local government in the next financial year, with a 2% cut the following year.

We’re grateful to Danny Alexander, Don Foster and Nick Clegg for stepping in and saying “no” to further cuts to local services over the next year – in a way we just haven’t seen from the DCLG Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.

Liberal Democrat Ministers have stopped an across-the-board cut of 1% to local government next year. That means up to £240m extra that will be in council budgets every year which will help fund youth services, streets, parks, …

Posted in Local government and News | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Reflections on local and national power

Well, Autumn Conference in Liverpool was an interesting experience. Bumping into Ministers and asking them to sort out issues was strange. An odd aircraft carrier here, and regeneration scheme there. Who knows if these discussions had any effect, but at least we could ask the people who might make the decisions. Few of us now remember the last time this happened. The 1929 Liberal Assembly seems a long time ago now.

Being in coalition has this upside. To be able to influence decisions is what we stand for elections for. We think our ideas are better than those of the other …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 21st Feb - 12:28am
    To be honest, I am not convinced that there is a great deal of difference here. Pretty much everyone knows that it is impossible to...
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    Please explain why, since being in or out of the EU has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with our obligations to Refugees under International Law....
  • User AvatarRoland 21st Feb - 12:00am
    It is interesting noting the main focus of attention on Article 50 has todate been on: it's invocation and whether the UK can withdraw it's...
  • User AvatarMartin 20th Feb - 11:56pm
    ... and having been responsible for unleashing uncontrollable forces in a fractured Middle East, would you say that the UK is doing what it should,...
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    @Paul Holmes "Leaving the EU makes absolutely zero difference to our obligations towards Refugees under International Law" This maybe true - however is this really...
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    I think the present Lib Dem policy may be very useful for winning by elections in Remain areas. In Leave areas, it will brass people...