Author Archives: Phil Ling

Opinion: The pressures of being a parliamentary candidate

20140201-202125.jpg Sarah YongIt is with a sad, and heavy, heart that yesterday I heard of Sarah Yong’s decision to stand down as PPC for Somerton and Frome for personal reasons. What is even sadder is that people are demanding to know the personal reasons, either because the privacy of an individual is less important than what this means to the party or to show it’s not because of the party prospects. If an employee (even CEO) of an organisation stepped down for personal reasons it is normally respected and the organisation moves on.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

Opinion: Canvassing – a few steps to success

Dundonald ward, in Merton, was awarded the “most canvassed ward in London” at the London Liberal Democrats regional conference.  As one of the people co-ordinating the campaign in the ward, it was great that the hard work was recognised, but I was also a bit surprised.

Not surprised as in “can’t believe we’d won”, but surprised in the fact it didn’t feel like hard work, once the initial groundwork had been done. In reality, although there were times where we were out doing surveys, recruiting or canvassing twice a week, it averaged about once a week. The canvass teams were never huge, 3-5 people, with the

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Opinion: Two ways to help fix the global crisis

It has long become clear that the financial crisis has been on a scale deeper and larger than many people have suspected. It has also been exacerbated by muddled policy responses from all Governments and policy makers. Whilst the need to control debt is not in doubt, capital expenditure projects should be pursued and tighter bank regulations need introducing (with much clearer splits between retail and investment banks); all economies are still struggling.

Step one: better Quantitative Easing

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: What right do politicians have to decide rules on their own jobs?

The party funding report by the Committee for Standards in Public Life was barely off the printers and politicians from all parties were saying they were broadly supportive, but more importantly could not back the main suggestion that state funding of political parties be increased.

Party funding will always be tough to square given the reliance of Labour on union money and the Conservatives (and increasingly the Liberal Democrats) on major donors. State funding is inevitable to reduce sleaze, real or inferred, and trust in politics. It only costs  the equivalent of a couple of first class stamps a year, …

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    Judy Abel British people who have been resident abroad outside the EU and return to Britain are not given access to all benefits. I am...
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    tez The education is there if you want it.Plenty of evening classes, public libraries where people can borrow books for free and you can buy...
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    All polls are hypothetical, but this is more hypothetical than most. People can pretty much draw whatever conclusions they want from them. The most I...
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    David: Surely the principle of free movement implies a lack of restriction on movement, not a particular entitlement to benefits or the lack thereof. In...
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    Liberal Al Small flat? Are you sure it wasn't Thai style?
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    @David Evans: "Nick only has a 3% lead over Labour in Hallam. Tough times ahead." What's interesting is how much more effort the Lib Dems...