Author Archives: Paul Walter

Splitting hairs? Jo Swinson is “Deputy leader of the (UK) parliamentary party” ?

Many congratulations to Jo Swinson on being elected as Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat (UK) Parliamentary Party, sometimes referred to as the “Deputy Leader”.

Well, perhaps that sometimes should be “virtually always”.

The only reference I can find to creating a Deputy Leader in our constitution is here:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Norway option, at least in the interim, offers the only sensible route out of this mess

The Conservative party likes to boast that it, combined with our FPTP electoral system, provides strong and stable government.

Well, a fat lot of strength and stability the Tory party and FPTP system have given us in the last two years!

We’ve had two Prime Ministers, Cameron and May, who will have historians squabbling for years as to whether they are the worst or second worst or third worst Prime Ministers in the history of this country!

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 40 Comments

What a wonderful day to walk up to a young voter, hug them* and say: “THANK YOU”

I braced myself at 10pm last night. “Oh gawd – here we go again” I thought – along with “goodness how I hate David Dimbleby’s pompous accent and patronising manner”.

There were some distressing losses for us, and some frustrating near-wins, which Caron wrote about earlier.

But I’d like to just think about the wider picture.

As the exit poll appeared, and then the results unraveled, one thing became clear:

This was the election of the young voter. There were reports of queues of young people waiting to vote all over the place. The effect could be seen in result after result.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 61 Comments

Insanity, stupidity or senility?

Is it insanity, stupidity or senility that has led me to volunteer to deliver so many pigging Good Mornings tomorrow? Eight bundles!

Tim Farron says he’ll be up at 5am, so I will be up at 5am. I am not going to be outdone by Tim Farron. But I have had to carefully choose the sequence of the roads I will do. One has to carefully judge the extent to which residents in certain roads will tolerate some numpty stumbling around at 5am delivering “Good Morning” leaflets. (By the way, if you knock over some milk bottles, take a tip from an old colleague of mine and shout: “Sorry – Labour Party delivering leaflets!”. (That’s a joke by the way)).

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments

Photo feature: Ballot box goes off to Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland, a day early due to the ferry schedule

Some great photos from Getty Images (click on the arrows to see the slide show) which give a great view of the workings of democracy on “these islands” (as they say).

Mandy Hassan, an assistant area electoral officer for Antrim and mid Ulster, accompanies the ballot box on the ferry destined for Rathlin Island, Northern Ireland. There are 99 voters on the island and they usually have a 80% turnout.

Update 8/6: I changed the title upon sage advice from locals. Weather concerns were not a factor.

Posted in Photo feature | Tagged and | 6 Comments

If you read one thing today, read this: “Britain is being led to an epic act of national self-harm” – by Will Hutton

Well done to Will Hutton, in the Observer, for marshalling the words to brilliantly sum up what I have been thinking since June 24th 2016.

I am not one of those who feel despair about our country. But I am old enough to have experienced what economic hardship and chaos feels, to an extent. This isn’t going to be pretty. Numbed by the valium of insane and misplaced national pride we are sleep-walking to the most awful economic disaster.

Here’s a sample of what Will Hutton says today:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 65 Comments

Dan Snow on Lloyd George: My Great-Great-Grandfather


On BBC iPlayer, history broadcaster Dan Snow takes a look at Liberal Prime Minister from 1916-1922, David Lloyd George, who was his great-great-grandfather.

It’s an excellent documentary, drawing on photos and footage from the era of Lloyd George’s life, as well as commentary from a team of excellent historians and biographers.

Posted in TV and film | Tagged | 25 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 24th Jun - 2:27pm
    Andrea Clifton You are so positive here , it is great ! Some while back you praised me in words that meant a lot to...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 24th Jun - 2:15pm
    Really enjoyable post Bill. However, I don't think we as Lib Dems want a leader to do all that. I think we already want to...
  • User AvatarAndrea Clifton 24th Jun - 1:58pm
    Hooray, don't know who you are, but you are wonderful. I have felt like a lone voice, convinced most members see the party as a...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 24th Jun - 1:58pm
    The Liberal Democrats didn't "govern" in coalition — rather, we were governed — by the Tories.
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 24th Jun - 1:43pm
    I too take some comfort from the fact that we have MPs who have been Ministers and I believe we did achieve some good things...
  • User AvatarKeith Sharp 24th Jun - 1:42pm
    As a movement and a party which believes, as a fundamental tenet, in fair, preferential and proportional voting, we have to be ready to work...
Sat 1st Jul 2017