Author Archives: Robin Bennett

Achievements of the LibDems in coalition 2010-2015

The Lib Dem Manifesto of 2017 gives canvassers plenty to promise on the doorstep, but past achievements can be more convincing. Yet who among canvassers can instantly name three achievements attributable to the Liberal Democrats, against Conservative inclinations, in the Coalition Government of 2010-2015?

Here is a short list, which will no doubt benefit from correction or expansion. A full list can be found in an Appendix to David Law’s book Coalition.

  • The allocation of 0.7% of GDP to International Development, both in practice and as law
  • The raising of the Income Tax personal allowance from £6475 to £10,600
  • Steve Webb delivered the “triple lock” on the State Pension
  • Nick Clegg saw through the pupil premium of (eventually) £1320 per primary school child and £935 for secondary children to reduce the attainment gap in England and Wales
  • A £2.5 billion banking levy
  • Free school meals for infant-school children and in the first three years in primary school in England
  • Vince Cable vetoed a proposed “fire-at-will” employment law
  • Stopping welfare cuts and ensuring benefits kept up with inflation
  • Same sex marriage legislation
  • 15 hours free child care for disadvantaged children
  • Prohibition of the export of chemicals to where it is known they may be used to carry out the death penalty
  • Strong and stable government (true!)
  • 5p charge on plastic bags.
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 57 Comments

Home Rule ‘defined’ at Scottish Autumn conference

Scottish Parliament 23 May 06 061Just imagine. You are canvassing for the Holyrood election in May 2016 and are mindful of what Willie Rennie said in his speech at the 2015 Scottish Autumn Conference.

We are the party for you…  if you support independence but are disappointed by the SNP in Government.

Some voters are probably beyond redemption, such as the man who told me on the doorstep before the Westminster election that he had vote Liberal/Lib Dem for 40 years but had now joined the SNP.   In such cases, you may mutter “we are fed up talking about the Constitution” and move on.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 7 Comments

Opinion: Scottish Lib Dems should abandon their suicidal complacency and promise to devolve oil and gas

It seems now clear, after months of polling, that nothing will disengage the Scottish electorate from its preoccupation with its place in the Union.   The latest TNS poll shows the SNP on 46%. Even a fall to below 40% will win the SNP most constituencies under FPTP.

We have heard much about Scottish Labour’s slump in the polls (from 42% in 2010 to 30% now), but the poll shows that their Lib Dem counterparts have collapsed from 19% to an appalling 3%. Lib Dems MPs look like being down from 11 to between 1 and 3.

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

  • User AvatarDavid Allen 28th Jul - 7:18pm
    On leadership: I guess there are two extreme approaches, which are both a problem. The "Stalinist" approach is for a leader to ignore the party...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 28th Jul - 6:57pm
    Many thanks, chaps, for further interesting comments, but I have to go out, so I can't deal with them properly till later. But one point,...
  • User AvatarJohn King 28th Jul - 6:46pm
    To Jayne Mansfild. I did try to access that report you mention but it's difficult to determine when the work was done, as opposed to...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 28th Jul - 6:42pm
    Simon, Corbyn supporters are not getting "defensive" they are getting furious with your tedious inteminable distortions. You are playing the Corbynites on side!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 28th Jul - 5:58pm
    3 star chef
  • User AvatarSteve Trevethan 28th Jul - 5:30pm
    @ Katharine Pindar My pleasure! Here are some further bits and pieces: We would serve our fellow citizens and party well if we could spread...
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