Author Archives: Paul Pettinger

Opinion: We need to stand up for Liberal Democrat distinctiveness on economic policy

This weekend the latest Federal Party mailing further confirmed that the Party continues to define itself as a split-the-difference party between Labour and Conservatives, painting only Labour as a risk to the economy. Successive rounds of poor election results should have taught us that we need to change tack. The mailing reads, ‘Our message for 2015’:

So the choice in this election is clear: Labour will borrow too much, risking the economy. The Tories will cut too much, threatening public services and sacrificing the least well off. The Liberal Democrats will borrow less than Labour and cut less than the Tories.

Campaigners should deviate from this line to achieve a better election result. We need to stand up for Liberal Democrat distinctiveness on economic policy. If we don’t, no one else will.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 42 Comments

Opinion: Why no UKIP Peers?

House of Lords chamberBy surrendering the principle of proportionality we surrender part of ourselves

The Coalition Agreement stated that “Lords appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber that is reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election”. It is therefore difficult to justify why UKIP, having secured over 3% of the vote at the last General Election and only currently having 3 of the over 500 Peers aligned to a political Party, has not been given the opportunity to have ennobled a cohort of Peers of its choosing. The same is true for other minor parties.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

Opinion: It’s the economy stupid

The announcement on Friday that the UK economy contracted again in the last quarter of 2012 offers a damaging blow to the Government, and our leadership in particular, who have rightly and continually reaffirmed during this parliament that generating economic growth is by far their greatest priority.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 32 Comments

Opinion: It is time to pick a fight and show we are serious about institutionalised faith based homophobia

At the next general election Liberal Democrats should look forward to being able to point to the introduction of same sex marriage as a Liberal Democrat achievement. Although the move is supported by some Conservatives, it has only happened because of Lib Dem pressure.

That the Party has made the issue such a high priority, especially when working with a conservative Party, helps to communicate to the public how much we care about equality for LGBT people, and is something that we should be able to draw collective pride. However, the Government is still failing in its commitment on page 29 of …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 54 Comments

Opinion: We have let neoliberals devastate state education, we must not let them do the same to the NHS

To believe the Government’s hype, we are currently experiencing a liberal revolution in England’s education system – powers are being decentralised, with schools given more autonomy to innovate, while new education providers are adding further diversity to the state funded system by joining it through Academy sponsorship.

The uninitiated could be forgiven for believing Michael Gove’s claim that the evidence base shows the structure of the state funded school system is holding education back, as well as his recent assertion that opponents of Academies are “ideologues”, who uphold a “bigoted backward bankrupt ideology of a leftwing establishment that perpetuates division …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 67 Comments

Should religious worship be part of school assembly?

Last week LDV ran an article from Sara Bedford asking whether prayers should be a part of council meetings. The issue of compelling people to engage in religious worship is not just confined to Parliament or some of our more old fashioned council chambers, but affects a significant proportion of our population.

Unbeknown to many, all state maintained schools in England and Wales are legally required to provide their pupils with daily Collective Worship. In faith schools the worship is supposed to be provided in accordance with the school’s designated religion or religious denomination, while in all other schools …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 33 Comments
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    Lorenzo, Thank you for your kind words and best of luck with your project. Our creative arts (and software) are amongst our most productive wealth...
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    @Peter Davies. Yes indeed. My letter in yesterday's Guardian (see link above) drew attention to how the Political & Constitutional Reform Select Committee in the...
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    nvelope2003/Stevan Rose...Did you miss the "these dividends last year totalled £222m, at an increase of 21%"? If these figures are correct what impact would keeping...
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    Lorenzo Cherin In respect to your last message, in the past there would have been government (national and local) funds that might have supported you....