Author Archives: The Voice

A new milestone on #libdemfightback

LibDemFightback 14000

And welcome to you all.

Do read Caron’s guide to the party here and Jennie’s reading list here.

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Video: Simon Hughes endorses Tim Farron’s leadership bid

It’s Simon, so it’s not going to be brief, but here is a party legend saying why he thinks Tim should be leader:

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++ Breaking…Willie Rennie: I hope that fair minded people will give Alistair Carmichael a second chance

Scottish Liberal Democrat Leader Willie Rennie has just issued this statement acknowledging the seriousness of Alistair Carmichael’s actions but saying that the Orkney and Shetland MP deserves a second chance.

I have discussed the serious nature of the publication of the Scotland Office document with Alistair Carmichael. He fully understands the impact it has had on his reputation. He deeply regrets his actions, has accepted responsibility for his error of judgement, apologised to Nicola Sturgeon and the French Ambassador and declined his ministerial severance payment.

I have known Alistair for almost thirty years and have worked closely with him in parliament for almost a decade. I have always been impressed by his energy, dedication and professionalism.  He has served Orkney and Shetland for fourteen years and has been elected on four separate occasions.  It is clear to me that recent events are an aberration.

As a liberal I believe that people deserve a second chance.  I hope fair minded people would agree that Alistair Carmichael should be given that second chance.

Yesterday, the Scottish Liberal Democrat Party Executive met and gave Alistair Carmichael its support. He has my support too.

Alistair will now get back to his job representing Orkney and Shetland.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 62 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 19,400  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Statement from Alistair Carmichael following leak enquiry (62 comments) by The Voice

How not to motivate your exhausted, defeated candidates (65 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Opinion: This will be closer than we all think (57 comments) by Craig Dearden-Phillips

Posted in Op-eds and Site news | 1 Comment

Statement from Alistair Carmichael following leak inquiry

Following the Cabinet Office’s conclusions regarding the leaking of a Scotland Office memo to the Daily Telegraph, Alistair Carmichael issued the following statement:

The Cabinet Office has today published the conclusions of its inquiry, after an internal account of the First Minister’s discussions with the French Ambassador was published in the Daily Telegraph on 3rd April.

I had not seen the document before it was published in the Daily Telegraph, however I was aware of its content and agreed that my special adviser should make it public.

I should not have agreed this. It was an error of judgement which I regret.

Posted in News | Tagged | 75 Comments

Video: Young activists say thanks to Nick Clegg

The production values aren’t maybe the slickest, but that doesn’t matter.  This heartfelt video made by young activists shows what Nick’s leadership has meant to them. Some people have agreed with Nick more than others over the years, but there is no doubt that there is much to thank him for.


Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments

Rennie: Scottish Liberal Democrats are listening

It’s 4 years since Willie Rennie became Scottish Liberal Democrat leader this week. He was elected in the wake of a crushing electoral defeat and he celebrates this anniversary in the wake of another one. That is despite him regularly being credited with landing some real blows on the SNP administration at Holyrood with not even 5% of MSPs. Let’s just look at some of the accolades he and his small team have received.

Within weeks of him becoming leader the journalists were full of praise:

A doughty campaigner, with an unpatronising down-to-earth style, Mr Rennie may grow into an impressive leader, building a level of credibility… The Herald

Amid what was… a general air of gloom, there was one bright spark.  This was the performance of Willie Rennie, the new leader of the much depleted Liberal Democrats, whose brief sojourn in the Commons seems to have at least taught him how to frame decent questions, on this occasion about Mr MacAskill’s outrageous behaviour.”  Alan Cochrane, Daily Telegraph (not a known fan of the Liberal Democrats, to put it mildly)

“The former Scottish Lib Dem chief executive has made a decent start and showed he wasn’t afraid to throw a punch”  Andrew Whitaker, Scotsman

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Elaine Bagshaw launches Tower Hamlets mayoral bid

Elaine BagshawElaine Bagshaw launched her campaign for Mayor of Tower Hamlets on Saturday, saying that the borough is in need of a clean-up and a resilient, bold, Liberal Democrat voice in our Tower Hall. The position of mayor is vacant following the conviction of Lutfur Rahman for breaches of election law.

Elaine lives and works in the borough and is offering new ideas and a fresh vision including:

  • Making sure that there are affordable homes for working families, by ensuring that all new developments in the borough include an allocation of social housing
  • Delivering

Posted in Local government and News | Tagged | 4 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  32000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

LibLink: David Steel: Six ways Nick Clegg steered the Liberal Democrats to disaster (71 comments) by Paul Walter

Norman Lamb MP writes: Trust in people: why I’m standing for party leader (130 comments) by Norman Lamb MP

Party membership passes 50,000 with more than 5000 new members since Thursday (69 comments) by Nick Thornsby

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#NewMembersDay Why I joined the Liberal Democrats #4

Here are some more new members who responded to our request on Twitter to tell us why they are one of the 10,000 people who have joined the Liberal Democrats in the past few days.

Here’s what Thomas Liebers told us:

I was already politically minded but the Lib Dems best represent my  views on equality and rights,healthcare, business, relationship with
the EU and constiutional challenges in present day UK;
I’m a professional with experience in healthcare, science and business and I believe that i can contribute my skills and knowledge to the Lib Dems policy discussions;
I want to take an active part in local politics where I live (Richmond, Surrey) and there is an active local Lib Dem party presence;
I’m serving in a voluntary capacity in the community already which gives me a degree of credibility;
I want to take part in the leadership elections for the new Leader of the Lib Dems;
I want to take my part in shaping policy and politis for the entire United Kingdom!

Luke Tibbitts lives in Nick’s constituency. In a long post on his own blog (which, by the way, we hope he and others registers on Lib Dem Blogs, he explains why he was motivated to join up. Here’s a snippet:

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#NewMembersDay Why I joined the Liberal Democrats #3

Some more new members respond to our tweet and tell us why they are part of the many thousands who have joined the party in the last few days. We asked people on Twitter to tell us why they had joined. Here are some of the responses:

Lee Wright:

In 2010 I voted for the Liberal Democrats. I believed and bought into Nick Clegg and his party’s vision. When the party became the third-largest in the House of Commons and entered the coalition I was hugely disappointed that is was the Tories they would be working with. However, I paid close attention to the party’s progress over the past five years and could see the positives that the Liberal Democrats were making. The huge loss of seats last week was nothing more than I expected. The moment Nick Clegg put one foot in the door of number 10 with David Cameron, the party was doomed to fail next time around. The public, and some supporters of the party, had had their fingers burnt. Once bitten, twice shy. Nick Clegg was never going to survive another day as leader after May 7th. He took a bullet for the party, which has taken five years to hit the target.

But anyone who thought that the Liberals were dead, should have watched Lord Ashdown on the BBC’s Question Time programme last Friday. He won me over. His passion and determination for the party to continue was all the persuading I needed to pay and become a member of the party for the first time in my life. Now Tim Farron says the party must “turn our anger into action.” Nothing truer has ever been said. With Labour at sea, and a majority Tory government steering the ship, anyone in the country who values a fair, free and open society will need a Liberal to fight their corner. And I’m up for it.

Chris Buckett

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#NewMembersDay Why I joined the Liberal Democrats #2

This time a selection of new members tell us their reason for joining after we asked them on Twitter.

First up, Dagmar Mackett from Bewdley in the West Midlands

I joined because I felt the LibDems received no credit for its record in Government. Yes, mistakes had been made, but punishing the party in such a way means putting liberal Britain as a whole in jeopardy. Voters will realise this once they understand the full extent of what the Tory government will push through in forthcoming months, and a new strong LibDem “movement” will be required to try to counter balance this.

Now David Luton-Brown:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

Rennie and Williams back “brilliant communicator and outstanding campaigner” Farron

Scottish Liberal Democrats leader Willie Rennie, and Welsh Liberal Democrats leader Kirsty Williams, have today endorsed Tim Farron to be the next leader of the federal Liberal Democrats.

In a joint statement, they said:

Thursday’s results were devastating for the Liberal Democrats.

Our pain is eased by the knowledge that our liberal gains in government will endure.

Despite our loss our party remains optimistic, hopeful and confident about what we can achieve on behalf of Britain.

However, we now have to earn the right to be listened to again.

To move forward we need a fresh start. With that in mind we call on Tim Farron

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 50 Comments

There’s a whole load of hat eating going on in the world

Paddy Ashdown will probably never live down his statement that he’d eat his hat if the exit poll was right. On Question Time last night, they made him actually do it. Sort of. Here’s the video, from the Telegraph:

He’s not the only one who has eaten a hat in the last day or so. Remember that nice Mike Beckett, candidate for Scarborough and Whitby whose cartoon we featured a couple of months ago? He had a bit of a special birthday during the election and decided to celebrate it with a hat-shaped cake.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

A message from Willie Rennie

This message came out from Willie Rennie to all Scottish members this afternoon. As ever he strikes the right tone:

Scotland has lost liberal giants. Our Members of Parliament were local champions with powerful liberal voices. They enriched the political debate of our country.

I am sad for the loss to our party, to their communities and to the politics of our country. I know they will make a contribution to rebuilding our strength.

We can proud of many of our achievements in government. We brought stability, unity and decency in tough economic times.  Getting the economy back on track and doing it fairly, the biggest tax cuts ever for workers, the green investment bank, big childcare expansion, big pension increases, ending child detention at Dungavel, a multi-billion pound international budget guaranteed and more powers for the Scottish Parliament are just the start of a long list of achievements.

We have an ongoing duty to the people who voted for us to promote liberal values.

That duty is even important in the face of a Conservative majority at Westminster, already planning to bring back the Snoopers Charter that we blocked in Government.

And in the Scottish Parliament the job goes on with the centralising and often illiberal agenda being pursued by the SNP.

We will heed the lessons and message of the election result.

It has been a body blow to our party but that over 2,000 new members have joined the party in just one day gives me great hope.

Thank you for your tireless support throughout this and every campaign. That we came so close to victory in many seats is a testament to your campaigning efforts.

Our vision for Scotland is hopeful for the future, founded on opportunity and liberty for all. It is a positive prospectus.

A year from now we have an opportunity to grow. The Scottish Parliamentary Election campaign starts today.

Best wishes,

Willie Rennie MSP

Posted in News | Tagged | 6 Comments

Records smashed here at Liberal Democrat Voice – Our place to talk – thank you!

The Liberal Democrat family has been knocked sideways by disastrous election results. We’re also all cream crackered after working all hours for months.

But over 2,000 people joined the party yesterday.

And here on Liberal Democrat Voice you have helped to smash records.

Posted in Site news | Tagged | 26 Comments

Sal Brinton – Libby is our phoenix

Sal Brinton Sal @ Crohns & Colitis Rec _2 CROPPED Nov 13Here is Party President Sal Brinton’s video address to members this afternoon:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 41 Comments

The LibDemVoice Election Live Blog

We are going to be here all night

Posted in General Election | Tagged | 291 Comments

Why this Bristol student is backing Stephen Williams

Bristol University’s student newspaper, epigram, has a piece from Sarah Redrup explaining why she is backing the Lib Dems’ Stephen Williams when she heads to the polling station in Bristol West today:

It may seem strange to some that a 2012-entry student from an under-achieving state school has chosen to support the Liberal Democrats. There are several reasons why I believe, despite the tuition fee debacle, that the Liberal Democrats are a party that represent my interests as a student.

The policies that attracted me the most to the Lib Dems were those addressing the specific barriers to accessing university that I felt whilst at school. One of these is the Liberal Democrats’ 2010 manifesto priority, Pupil Premium , which directed funding towards children and students on free school meals, helping secondary schools like mine address serious attainment gaps.

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Why The Times’s David Aaronovitch is voting Lib Dem

The Times’s David Aaronovitch has a piece in today’s newspaper that will put just a bit more wind in the sails of Liberal Democrats heading out for the all-important get out the vote operation.

First, he deals with his local situation in Hampstead and Kilburn in North London:

In other seats I think you should reward bravery and political honesty. We rejected voting reform in 2011 but that shouldn’t force us to cast our own clumsy ballots for candidates purely on the basis of which party they represent. If someone stands out, reward them, whichever party they belong to. Labour’s Stella Creasy in Walthamstow, Naz Shah, also Labour, in Bradford West and the Tories’ Anna Soubry in Broxtowe. I have a candidate in my own constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, Maajid Nawaz of the Liberal Democrats, who has proved himself far-sighted and courageous. He gets my vote.

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Jo Swinson’s SNP rival has row with Lib Dem on Twitter – then complains to their employer

So, you have a row with someone on Twitter. Most of us would just shrug it off and get on with our lives. Not John Nicolson, the SNP candidate up against Jo Swinson.

After a Twitter exchange with Federal Policy Committee member Belinda Brooks-Gordon, he blocked her and then took the unusual step of writing to her employer.

The Daily Record has the story:

East Dunbartonshire hopeful John Nicolson sent a bizarre email to the master of Birbeck College in London after the fiery Twitter exchange with Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon.

The lecturer in forensic psychology is standing for the Lib Dems in the Cities of London and Westminster seat and had voiced her support for Nicolson’s opponent Jo Swinson.

Brooks-Gordon had referred to former BBC journalist Nicolson’s property portfolio in London and suggested he could return to the city and questioned his credentials as a local candidate.

Nicolson joined the Twitter exchange to rubbish the claim.

But he did not let the matter rest there and decided to send off an email to Brooks-Gordon’s boss at the college, which is part of the University of London.

Belinda made a very good point, asking what he would do if a constituent disagreed with him or criticised him. Would he be complaining to their boss, too?

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The final Liberal Democrat party election broadcast – all 3 versions: It’s decision time between self-interest and grievance or Lib Dem fairness, tolerance and decency

Here’s the party’s final party election broadcast, It’s decision time now for all the people we’ve met in the series. The film argues that Liberal Democrats have brought compassion and fairness, built on consensus and co-operation, to Britain.

Your vote will be the difference between a government of self-interest and grievance or a coalition of tolerance and decency.

Here’s the Scottish version and listen to who is voicing it. There’s more emphasis on what we stopped the Tories doing.

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Manatee needs your help!

Look at this beautiful manatee! Isn’t he adorable?

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Election night on LDV

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Former OxWAb Green candidate backs Lib Dem Layla Moran

Good news for the Lib Dem’s Layla Moran in Oxford West and Abingdon. The Green candidate from 2010 has endorsed her. The Cherwell has the story. 

Chris Goodall, who ran as the Green candidate for the area in the 2010 General Election, has written to residents urging them to vote for Layla Moran of the Liberal Democrats, rather than the Greens’ Larry Sanders.

In the letter, he explained, “If the UK had proportional representation, I’d have no hesitation giving Green candidate Larry Sanders my vote this time. But we don’t.”

He went on to call the seat “ultra-marginal”, saying that no one except that Conservatives and the Lib Dems “stands the remotest chance of winning”.

He continued, “Those of us who want to see a fairer, more tolerant and more equal society have to vote for Layla even if it is against our party loyalties.”

Despite the tactical nature of his endorsement, however, he also had high praise for Moran herself, calling her “a thoughtful and energetic individual”, and opining, “Parliament needs far more people like her with a background in science. And her experience of living in different countries would help reduce the extraordinary insularity we often see in the House of Commons.”

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Watch: Paddy’s Team Talk for the final few days: Where we need to win, we’re winning and what’s more the Tories know it…

As activists all over the country pull up their hoods to protect them from the torrential rain, Paddy pops up to say thanks, to remind us to keep going till 1o pm on Thursday and reminds us why we are doing it – for stability, decency and unity in our country.

He also reminds us that the Tories know that we are winning where we need to be and points out that at this stage in the last election they said they only had to win 14 seats, this time they are saying it’s 23 but we know it’s more.

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Norman Baker’s genius response to David Cameron: David, I need you to stop sending dishonest and patronising letters

Norman Baker by Liberal DemocratsThe Tories don’t seem to have got the hang of excluding the opposition from their target mailings. This may be a good thing as we wouldn’t have had the joy of reading our Norman Baker’s fantastic and hilarious response to a missive he received from David Cameron, in whose government he served until last November.

Here’s the Prime Minister’s letter:

David Cameron Letter

And here, in full, is Norman’s pithy response. Enjoy.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 18 Comments

Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 7: Crime, freedom and equality and political reform

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find crime, freedom and equality and political reform.


Freedom and equality

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Lib Dem Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 6: Europe, International and Defence

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find Europe, and International and Defence.


International and Defence

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Election night LIVE on Liberal Democrat Voice

We’ll be covering election night live here on Liberal Democrat Voice on Thursday night through to Friday morning.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSamuel Griffiths 26th May - 2:37pm
    George Potter! You took the words right out of my mouth. Perfectly spot on.
  • User AvatarJohn Grout 26th May - 2:37pm
    Helen Tedcastle - Yes, it was, but this was required under their constitution in order to remove the discrimination I mentioned above. As for the...
  • User AvatarMark Blackburn 26th May - 2:37pm
    You seem to have just fallen into the pitfall the right-wing press and their global corporate cronies want you to, by using their narrative. Attacking...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 26th May - 2:30pm
    The problem is this. If we think that the present levels of inequality are not acceptable we need policies (of whatever variety) that reduce that....
  • User AvatarRichard Gadsden 26th May - 2:28pm
    Such a shame that you're not there to stand for Leader.
  • User AvatarMartin 26th May - 2:28pm
    Jo supports Tim, Lynne supports Norman. Both Jo and Lynne would have been excellent candidates, possibly better than either the two on offer. What Jo...
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