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 AvatarNick Collins 6th Mar - 7:39pm
    @ RC The only "tribe" to which I have ever belonged was the Liberals and then the Liberal Democrats. I left them simply because it...
  • User AvatarPaul in Wokingham 6th Mar - 7:07pm
    The Spirit Level. Both Seamus Heaney's poetry and the critique of inequality.
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    The late great David Penhaligon told the story that the first time he stood for Parliament, in Devon not Cornwall, he was visiting a polling...
  • User AvatarCharlie 6th Mar - 6:32pm
    Matthew Huntbach Extremely well said .The sort of political honesty and balanced judgement which is often lacking.
  • User AvatarSteve Comer 6th Mar - 6:30pm
    My favourite political book is: For Europe by Guy Verhofstadt and Daniel Cohn-Bendit Every Liberal Democrat should read this - it shows how a European...
  • User AvatarCharlie 6th Mar - 6:23pm
    My experience of talking to many nurses and doctors are that perhaps 30-50% of people at A and E are wasting NHS resources. Basically it...