Author Archives: Richard Morris

Please stop saying people don’t vote against their economic interests. They do it quite deliberately, all the time.

I’m hearing the same argument uttered over and over again  – ironically by both sides  – in the Brexit debate.

Remain supporters keep saying ‘no-one in Britain voted to be worse off in the referendum campaign’, on the presumption that folk don’t vote against what they believe is in their economic interest.

Leavers, for the same reason, believe that they’ll get a great deal in their Brexit negotiations because ‘it’s in the remaining EU member countries’ economic interests to do so’

Both sides are of course wrong. People make quite deliberate decisions against their economic interest every day. The reason why political folk don’t realise this is because they are brought up in a culture of Fiscal and Monetary economics. The real world works rather more like Behavioural Economics.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 36 Comments

Opinion: it’s no good counting on those rose-tinted spectacles

We’re a generally an optimistic lot aren’t we, looking on the brighter side when the world and his wife thinks we should be walking around with our heads in our hands. I even wrote a piece about how genuinely cheerful we are for the New Statesman the other day…

But whisper it gently… and just between us… you don’t think we’re fooling ourselves do you?

I say this because we seem to be taking it as read that the mid term polls are generally where we are now. “It’s always this bad’ seems to be the general gist…

Problem is – it’s …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 150 Comments

Opinion: It’s tricky isn’t it, this coalition business?

Try and be too Liberal and our coalition partners do all they can to put a spanner in the works. They surely feel much the same about us. Try and find a happy compromise and you end up with everyone hating you.

And the danger is you sink into a sea of obfuscation and intransigence and get absolutely nowhere. Or worse, you go native – or at least let the world think that you have. Then you end up hating yourself.

Is this ringing any bells?

Which is why we probably need more people inside the party who have experience of making coalition …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 16 Comments

Opinion: I don’t think Jeremy Hunt should resign

Don’t get me wrong. This isn’t a post I really wanted to write. But I don’t think Jeremy Hunt should resign over the Murdoch affair. Lord, I hate myself.

Anyway, ‘why so?’, you’re all bellowing at the screen. Let me explain

As of now, Jeremy Hunt has not been shown to have done anything wrong, and he maintains he has been whiter than white. The blame has been laid firmly at the door of his SpAd, Adam Smith, who has dutifully fallen his sword. Innocent until proven guilty and all that, so no reason for Hunt to go as yet.

Hence the …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 31 Comments

Why Mohamed Al Bouazizi should be the Liberal Voice of 2011

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

So speaks the first few lines of our constitution. They should be enshrined in everything we do – for if we’re not fighting for this, then, as Liberals, what are we fighting for at all?

So when I think about who should be the Liberal Voice of the Year, I think about who has done most to make those values real. …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: #HandsOffTwitter

So, good news everyone – according to reports in the Guardian and others, the Home Office have decided that introducing legislation to allow the police to turn off access to Social Networks would be, ahem, inappropriate, and will instead work in cooperation with the networks going forward. To quote the Home Office after talks today

“The discussions looked at how law enforcement and the networks can build on the existing relationships and co-operation to prevent the networks being used for criminal behaviour”.

Good.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Stephenson resignation – the bar just got lowered

The resignation of Sir Paul Stephenson as commissioner of The Met is significant in a way beyond the obvious.

As someone tweeted earlier, from their resignation statements, one might surmise that everyone who has resigned so far has done absolutely nothing wrong. However, the difference in the Paul Stephenson case is that everybody seems to be falling over themselves to agree.
 
In the hour after his resignation I saw or heard statements from Boris Johnson, Kit Malthouse and Jenny Jones all lauding the honourable decision Sir Paul had made and in many ways lamenting his loss.
 
So, let’s take it on face value that …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 22 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 16th Aug - 8:57pm
    Michael BG, there are a number of different issues here. Our decline in the opinion polls occurred in stages as Tim13 comments above. The tuition...
  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 16th Aug - 8:49pm
    @Kirsten Johnson In your previous article you referred to Oxfordshire County Council recently voting to move to a committee system of governance rather than the...
  • User AvatarMartin 16th Aug - 8:14pm
    @davidallen, Brexit will cause a century of impoverishment? Obviously voters won't want to know if you make such ridiculous and unprovable claims, they probably think...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 16th Aug - 7:51pm
    I think that we need to be careful about rushing to judgement about what is going on. Something is clearly not right. The important thing...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 16th Aug - 7:36pm
    @ Joe Bourke “Trying to win votes by appealing to a section of graduates is not much of a strategy.” Scrapping the current student tuition...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 16th Aug - 7:17pm
    David Evershed. Given that there are at least five food banks in Buckinghamshire I would have that social justice in a rich county was infinitely...