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 AvatarTerry Wall 20th Dec - 6:00pm
    Scotland should have been given more powers to run their own affairs years ago. I think this was always Lib Dem policy, and had it...
  • User AvatarSue S 20th Dec - 5:57pm
    This is a marvellous debate because the Lib Dems are finally looking at radical alternatives to the present benefits system. I think it's unrealistic to...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 20th Dec - 5:17pm
    Peter is right. Put simply our bastions are wherever we have a group of Lib Dems who are still working, fighting and winning. Not just...
  • User AvatarPT 20th Dec - 5:05pm
    "Two studies find big jump in teen use of e-cigarettes" Why have you failed to mention that there was also a significant fall in teen...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 20th Dec - 4:54pm
    The tool that we do presently try to use, to avoid starvation and destitution, does partly consist of free money, but this money does have...
  • User AvatarStephen Donnelly 20th Dec - 4:14pm
    This press release starts with "Nobody could ever accuse Norman Lamb of political spin.". To be fair, I don't think he writes this stuff himself....
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