Author Archives: Samuel Barratt

Opinion: Making the EBacc work

Michael Gove seems intent on bringing forward a replacement for the GCSE, going so far as to make its introduction a matter of confidence in the face of criticism.  All parties can agree, however, it is important to set out what these reforms should look like and make sure they deliver a qualification that is fit for purpose.

There are at least two key areas that I think Liberal Democrats should seek to influence.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 17 Comments

Opinion: Tuition fees – a progressive model for welfare?

Given the proportion of public sector spending it accounts for, in austere times welfare spending has come under the spotlight, with sizeable cuts having already being made.

Looking at who is accessing benefits to ensure those in receipt of them should be is to be welcomed. A blind eye should not, however, be turned to wealthier individuals in receipt of things like winter fuel allowance whilst cuts are made to some of the poorest in our society.

It is right that Liberal Democrats have distanced ourselves from Cameron’s musings that everyone under 25 should not be able to rely on support from …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 49 Comments

Opinion: The importance of social liberalism

The debate regarding the importance and roles of ‘social’ and ‘economic’ liberalism can, on occasion, be misrepresented. Whether deliberate or incidental the relationship between the two philosophies can sometimes be presented as discrete, zero-sum options. I believe they should be considered as dialectic.

In The Orange Book, a publication that is almost Frankensteinian in how it’s perceived and what it actually contains, David Laws offers definitions for social and economic liberalism, that broadly serve well in discussion, they are:

    economic liberalism: ‘the belief in the value of free trade, open competition, market mechanisms, and the effectiveness of the

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 38 Comments



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  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 19th Sep - 6:43pm
    @Matthew Huntbach. Who allowed this to happen? How many have fought as hard as you to prevent the current surreal situation where people like Nigel...
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    @Joe Otten: " I was at a meeting once where a speaker insisted on speaking a united Nordic hybrid language" Do you remember who the...
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    When I had dealings with him over 25 years ago, Alex Salmond impressed me as a genuine, friendly guy without a trace of arrogance. Of...
  • User AvatarRichard S 19th Sep - 6:25pm
    If a mainstream party doesn't offer English voters financial equality a non-mainstream one will.
  • User AvatarRichard S 19th Sep - 6:24pm
    @Igor S - or alternatively we could stop apologising for being English and stop bribing people to stay with us who don't see themselves as...
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 19th Sep - 6:20pm
    A starting point is the implementaion of Lib Dem policy on localism and the EU subsidiarity policy which we support.