Author Archives: The Voice

LDVideo: Nick Clegg speaking in Oxford West and Abingdon today

Thanks to Daisy Benson for putting this on You Tube. If this was the West Wing, it would be Nick’s stump speech and every time he speaks in the next few weeks, it’ll be the “modified stump” that he delivers.

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LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  17,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

We’re heading for a minority Labour government supported by the SNP (101 comments) by Paul Walter

The attacks on Tim Farron need to stop – Vince Cable should know better (50 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Is David Steel right about the Lib Dem attitude to a future coalition (70 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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Wow, Labour really are pandering to UKIP, aren’t they?

Didn’t they once used to be the party that talked about international solidarity amongst workers? Didn’t they once used to at least say they stood for decent, liberal, progressive values?

Those days are gone. Look what you can buy in their shop for £5. 

Labour immigration mug

It’s one of their key pledges in this election. The way to deal with UKIP’s rise is to challenge them with evidence, not pander to them.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 84 Comments

David Heath’s final speech in the House of Commons

David Heath
On Thursday a valedictory debate for retiring members took place in the House of Commons. Members whose service totalled several hundred years bade farewell to the Commons. Three of them were Liberal Democrats and we’ll be publishing their speeches in full. Today we have David Heath, MP for Somerton and Frome for 18 years. You can read the whole debate, with speeches from long-standing and distinguished MPs such as Gordon Brown, Joan Ruddock, Sir George Young and Elfyn Llwyd, here.


Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Sir Malcolm Bruce’s final speech in the House of Commons

Malcolm bruce glasgow 2014Today a valedictory debate for retiring members took place in the House of Commons. Members whose service totalled several hundred years bade farewell to the Commons. Three of them were Liberal Democrats and we’ll be publishing their speeches in full. First up is Sir Malcolm Bruce, MP for Gordon for the last 32 years. Today we have David Heath, MP for Somerton and Frome for 18 years. You can read the whole debate, with speeches from long-standing and distinguished MPs such as Gordon Brown, Joan Ruddock, Sir George Young and Elfyn Llwyd, here.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

+++ Lib Dem PPC arrested on historic child sex abuse allegations +++

According to Mansfield and Ashfield Chad, Jason Zadrozny has been arrested today over historic child sex abuse claims. Jason is a Nottinghamshire county councillor and also serves on Ashfield District Council. He has today withdrawn as the Parliamentary candidate for Ashfield, and has been suspended from the party.

Jason says:

I am in full cooperation with the Police and vehemently refute the allegations.

Comments on this post will be moderated. 

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LDVideo: Jeremy Browne MP’s final Commons speech – politics must seize the opportunities of the future, not preserve the past

Taunton Deane MP Jeremy Browne, who announced last year that he would not be seeking re-election having served in the House of Commons for nearly 10 years, took the opportunity of the debate following last week’s budget to make what was his final speech in the House. He used it to praise the coalition’s “vision” in its determination to solve the country’s weaknesses and to pay tribute to his constituency. He also returned to the theme of his book, Race Plan, calling for a less timid, more ambitious politics in order to prevent the UK becoming ever more irrelevant on the world stage.

You can watch Jeremy’s speech below or on YouTube here, and the Hansard transcript follows.

Posted in News | Tagged | 20 Comments

What Danny Alexander would say to his successor: “Jobs up, growth up, economy up, don’t screw it up”

We all remember the rather pathetic note that Labour’s last Chief Secretary to the Treasury left for his successor.

no money left

“I’m afraid there is no money left” he said. And he wasn’t a million miles from the truth.

Danny Alexander was asked yesterday at an event what he would put in a note to his successor. His reply was a little more, shall we say, motivating and inspiring, as the Vote Clegg, Get Clegg Facebook page reports:

At a meeting yesterday with Danny Alexander on the panel, he was asked what he would say in a note to his successor. Brilliant reply: “Jobs up, Growth up, Economy up, don’t screw it up”!

Posted by Vote Clegg, Get Clegg on Tuesday, 24 March 2015

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Archie Lamb talks to The Times about his struggles with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Norman Lamb’s son Archie has been talking to the Times about his experience of Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Many people with this condition find it incredibly irritating when people casually joke about “being a bit OCD”. If you are one of them, perhaps you’ll stop after reading about what life is like for sufferers. This is not a condition to be belittled.

Archie talked about how the condition affects him:

“People think OCD is nothing, that it’s a bit of a joke. It is not just about being clean and washing your hands or lining up cans of Coke in the fridge. It’s not. It’s about terrible thoughts and what it does to you having them in your head all the time. It goes a lot deeper than rituals,” Archie says.

Archie’s rituals were about checking — that lights were switched off, that he had the right kit in his bag, keys, money, everything. Often accompanied with paranoia, they became so bad that at times he could not leave the house. On a simple walk down the road he would constantly check that he had not stepped in something.

Despite his illness, he left school and began to make his way in the music business, setting up a hip-hop night in a Norwich club, then moving on to managing performers. At the age of 21 he had a chart-topping hit on his hands when Tinchy Stryder went to No 1.

Sadly, his OCD was so bad that he had become a recluse. “I suddenly got spots on my face at that age and just could not go out of the house. Everyone was out partying because we had this No 1 hit and I didn’t even care. I just stayed in.”

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In full: Malcolm Bruce’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference “Liberal Democrats offer the voice of reason, reform and responsibility – against the forces of division, despair and defeatism.”

Sir Malcolm Bruce photo by LIberal Democrats
As well as being Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrat parliamentary party in the Commons, Malcolm Bruce is also the President of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. His traditional close of conference speech is usually a cracker and this was no exception. It had some blistering attacks, mainly on the SNP and Conservatives, some personal reflections on his 32 years as Gordon’s MPs and a passionate defence of the Liberal Democrat record in government and a strong statement of Liberal Democrat values of internationalism, openness and freedom. This is proper oratory. There are too few in the next generation across politics, Farron being one of them, who can deliver this real heart-tugging, stirring sort of speech. Here it is in full:

Just across the road from this conference centre you are in the Gordon constituency. Indeed about 30 per cent of Gordon voters live within 5 miles of here. If you haven’t taken an hour out from the conference to help the campaign there is still time to do so. If you have, thank you, but you can still do some more!

I have had the honour to represent the people of Gordon for the past 32 years. I want to tell you something about them and the area.

Things have changed enormously since 1983. There were no mobile phones, no emails, no laptop computers. The fanciest piece of kit I had was a golf ball memory typewriter. The House of Commons paid for one member of staff. The local party paid for a part time secretary in the constituency office which they provided rent free. So during my early years as an MP I and the local party subsidised my work.

In that first winter severe storms brought down power lines leaving thousands of people without power, in some cases for weeks. My office became an unofficial helpline and I worked with what was then the Hydro Board to help prioritise re connections – for vulnerable elderly people and young families and farmers facing the loss of livestock.

In the last 32 years the farming community have not had their troubles to seek. The biggest disaster was the BSE crisis which saw more than 1000 people laid off within a week, One young company lost 95 per cent of its business and all but one of its employees. By its own enterprise and some help from the Government it is now one of our most successful companies in the meat industry.

Years later the industry was hit by foot and mouth. The outbreak wasn’t here but the restrictions on movements of animals had severe effects. Then I was grateful for the wise advice of local vet Richard Brown and the sensible response of Ross Finnie.

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In full: Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference – personal stories which show the good Liberal Democrats have done

This is Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie’s speech just delivered to the party’s Spring Conference in Aberdeen. It’s full of real, practical accounts of how the Liberal Democrats have improved people’s lives. 

George is a young man. He lives in the Borders.  George works hard but is not rich.  He earns £12,000 a year.

Before Liberal Democrats were in Government he used to pay over £1,100 income tax. But this year it will be cut to £200.

George is not alone.  Over 2 million Scots have had their income tax cut.

I believe fair tax is necessary for a fair society.

It makes work pay, so people can stand on their own two feet.

It is what liberals are for – giving everyone the opportunity to get on in the world.

Without Liberal Democrats in Government this would not be possible.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Tim Farron’s UKIP opponent resigns, citing claims of “open racism” and “sanctimonious bullying” within the party

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In Full: Alistair Carmichael’s speech to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference: “Liberalism is needed more than ever”

Here is Alistair Carmichael’s speech to Scottish Conference in which he says the party will confound the doom-mongers and sets out why we can be proud in our records in Government. He paints a grim picture of life with the Tories governing alone and, after praising Willie Rennie, tells us  “Let’s go win.”

Good afternoon, Conference.

It is good to be back in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen is where I attended party conference of the Scottish Liberal Party for the first time here in 1983.

The party was very different then.   In fact it was a different party – liberals and social democrats were still in different parties.

The Scottish Liberal leader then was Russell Johnston.

The party Chair was Ross Finnie and the vice-chairs included a couple of young turks called Jim Wallace and Malcolm Bruce.

What ever became of them?


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Paul Strasburger stands down from Lib Dem Lords group pending investigation of fundraising allegations

Lord Strasburger has temporarily stood down from the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords pending investigation into allegations to be made in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme which have been reported in the Telegraph. This involved another undercover operation involving a reporter posing as a businessman. Lord Strasburger has denied doing anything wrong.

From the BBC:

In a statement published by the Liberal Democrats, Lord Strasburger said: “Whatever Channel 4 may say in their Dispatches programme, I do not think I have committed any offence.

“Having said that, I believe that we should all be accountable for what we do,

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Danny turns the tables on Balls on TV economy debates

On Sunday’s Andrew Marr show, Ed Balls caught the chancellor off guard when he all but forced him (in one of recent television history’s most awkward moments) to shake on an agreement to hold a television debate.

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Budget open thread


We will not be live blogging the Budget as there are plenty of other sources of live information. But readers are very welcome to add their own reflections in the comments section below.

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LibLink … Ed Davey: Britain must signal the beginning of the end for coal investment

Ed Davey Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterEd Davey writes in the Guardian:

For over 200 years, modern civilisation has been built on fossil fuels; now climate science says we must phase out fossil fuel pollution in just a few decades. That’s a colossal challenge – especially if we are to keep anything resembling current lifestyles while also ending the poverty that blights the lives of more than 1 billion fellow human beings.

We are already seeing a significant shift in thinking. The Rockefeller Foundation is divesting from coal and tar sands. Oxford University is considering similar action. And the Bank of England is analysing the impact on financial systems of fossil fuel investments becoming “stranded assets” – in other words worthless – if the world gets its act together on climate change.

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In praise of Eric Pickles

We bet you never thought you’d see that title on Liberal Democrat Voice, eh?

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Peers visit 1000 constituencies

IMG_1603Early Friday morning, as others made their way to Liverpool for Conference, I set off to Hereford, following in the footsteps of a large number of my colleagues in the Lords. Our local candidate Lucy Hurds has been hugely successful in getting our Peers out of the House of Lords and onto the streets of Hereford including John Shipley, Jenny Randerson, Nigel Jones, Sally Hamwee, Shirley Williams and Chris Fox. She’s clearly been effective in getting others out too and it was great to see a good number of Lucy’s campaign team out with us and working hard to reclaim the seat for the Lib Dems.

Dick Newby, our Chief Whip, called for 1,000 visits to be made before the election. After many months of hard campaigning this was our 1,000th.

Posted in Campaign Corner | 5 Comments

LDVideo: Dorothy Thornhill for Watford

Dorothy Thornhill from Think About It Films on Vimeo.

As a resident, a mayor, a teacher and a mum, I’ve been involved with our town for nearly 40 years. You know me – I can’t pull the wool over your eyes, but there’s no quick fix and I’m not a miracle worker, but I can be a strong practical passionate woman for Watford in Parliament.

Posted in YouTube | 10 Comments

LibLink … Tim Farron: The Conservatives are underplaying our hand in Europe

Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsJust before conference Tim Farron posted on Huffington Post on a totally different subject – Conservative foreign policy.

He writes:

The Russia-Ukraine conflict, and the deterioration of human rights in Russia should be a key concern of all our political parties. If we are to stem the violence in Ukraine, we need a strong and united Europe, as much as we need wise thinking from the US and other players. But I am concerned that the Conservative leadership is crippled by an overblown and insecure fear of Ukip. We are punching below our weight in Europe. Cameron is in danger of putting party politics above peace in Ukraine and Europe – and our national interests.

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In full: Norman Lamb’s speech to Liberal Democrat Conference

Norman Lamb Liverpool Spring conference Spring 2015 Photo by Liberal DemocratsAs anticipated, there was huge affection in the hall for Norman Lamb when he made his speech. He alluded to the personal family crisis which, thanks to the Mirror, had needlessly become public knowledge. The courage and dignity of the way he’s dealt with it was highly praised by Conference-goers all around the convention centre this morning and by many online, too.

He talked about the massive investment he’s brought about for young people’s mental health services which, Nick Clegg later said, would allow 100,000 extra young people to be treated.

It’s so clear that he’s listened to the professionals and service users and their families alike in formulating his future policies. This isn’t a one term job, though – we need him back in there to continue the progress he’s made.

Anyway, here’s his speech in full:

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In Full: Danny Alexander’s speech to Conference

Danny emphasised the Liberal Democrat contribution to the economic recovery in his keynote speech to Conference and talked about the forthcoming budget and the choice facing the country. Liberal Democrats were needed to provide fairness and responsibility, he said. Here is his speech in full:

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In full: Vince Cable’s speech to Liberal Democrat Conference: Has the coalition been worth it?

Here is Vince Cable’s speech in full – another thoughtful reflection on the Liberal Democrat contribution to business and the economy over the last five years. He asked if it was all worth it for both the country and the party.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Saturday debates open thread – Mental health, manifesto, green laws

This is what’s happening in Liverpool today and how to follow it. It should have been published a while ago but got lost in the technology.

Today’s timetable

 F1 Formal opening of the Federal Conference byLord Mayor Cllr Erica Kemp CBE 

Report: Federal Conference Committee

F3 Report: Federal Policy Committee

Policy motion: Mental Health 48 Speech: Rt Hon Danny Alexander MP 50

Policy motion: Stronger Economy, Fairer Society, Opportunity for Everyone 50

Speech: Jo Swinson MP

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Ibrahim Taguri steps down as Lib Dem candidate in Brent Central after Telegraph donation claims

Ibrahim Taguri has stepped down as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Brent Central after the Telegraph made allegations that he had accepted a donation that was potentially outside the rules.

Ibrahim will continue to fight the seat as an independent candidate and denies any wrongdoing.

From the BBC:

Mr Taguri had been selected to stand for the Lib Dems to replace departing MP Sarah Teather in the London constituency of Brent Central.

But in a statement, he said he would step down as a parliamentary candidate and from his Lib Dem race equality role while the claims against him were investigated.

“I will continue my campaign to become the next MP for Brent Central as an independent candidate with the intention of achieving the one thing I entered politics to do, to end child poverty in the UK by 2020,” he said.

“I look forward to clearing my name and returning to the Liberal Democrats.”

He said he was “happy to co-operate with any investigation” and “confident that I will be exonerated of all the claims made against me”.

“I am capable of demonstrating that I have gone above and beyond the legal requirements in the interests of transparency,” he added.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

Mike Beckett’s type of politics

Mike Beckett is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Scarborough and Whitby. He has found a novel way to tell voters about the sort of person he is – a cartoon drawn by his friend Nigel Roberts based on an original concept by Paula Dolphin. Some fascinating insights into the nature of modern politics, I’m sure you’ll agree.


Michael Beckett, My Style of Politics


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LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 16,300  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Clegg: I’ll take Cameron’s place and defend government’s record if he’s too important to take part in the debates (146 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Ashcroft polls predict SNP gains – including Bob Smith and Charles Kennedy’s seats – but don’t panic yet (60 comments) by Caron Lindsay

What’s your funniest canvassing story? (64 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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Paddy to broadcasters: Let Nick into third debate. He’ll debate Miliband if Cameron refuses

Paddy Ashdown has followed up his no-nonsense appearance on the Today programme, in which he said that if Cameron wouldn’t debate Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg would, with a letter to the Chair of the committee of the broadcasters who are organising the events.

He said that the debates were here to stay, that anyone with a record in government to defend should be present in all debates and that Nick should be in the third debate anyway, but should debate Miliband if Cameron doesn’t turn up.

If Cameron now takes part, he looks like he’s been dragged there. If he doesn’t he looks scared, but he doesn’t take the risk. Will it actually change people’s votes, though? Do people actually care? 

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Willie Rennie’s message for International Women’s Day

Willie Rennie doesn’t have a fancy video, but he this is his message for International Women’s Day.

Liberals across the world are driven by an ambition to see a fairer, more equal society. The bedrock of which must be equality of opportunity.

I’m proud that Liberal Democrats have used the responsibility of Government to drive our ambition of equality even further forward. Shared parental leave, free childcare and flexible working are all measures taken forward by Liberal Democrats which will enable more women to have the equality of opportunity they need to get on in life.

But we still have much more we need to do. That is why Liberal Democrats have led efforts to end FGM, where millions of women are still at risk across the world. We want to end FGM within a generation.

We can be proud that in Holyrood, the leadership of our political parties better reflect our society. But I take a personal responsibility in ensuring my party does all that it can to remove the barriers which prevent women from representing their peers in parliament. I hope that this is a personal responsibility of all leaders, be they party leaders or business leaders.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 30th Mar - 4:39am
    @ Stuart This is getting rather tiresome... I did get it, I have studied economics and have a reasonable grasp of statistics. I know the...
  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 30th Mar - 3:28am
    @ Stuart "There is no need for you to come up with your own “interpretation” of what Labour’s pledge means, because Labour have been very...
  • User AvatarAlex Sabine 30th Mar - 3:10am
    @ PT I agree with you that GDP per head is a better proxy for economic welfare than the absolute level of GDP, which merely...
  • User AvatarGary Mc 30th Mar - 12:47am
    I've noticed all of the polls seem to give the SNP more seats than us (Liberal Democrats). I'm not sure the SNP will win as...
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 29th Mar - 11:39pm
    Immigration must be restricted to the number of people we can integrate and absorb culturally, socially and economically each year. It must be planned so...
  • User AvatarPT 29th Mar - 11:23pm
    How high do you want our population to go, Max Wilkinson? 80 million? 100 million? Perhaps we should increase net immigration to 1 million each...
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