Author Archives: The Voice

Kirsty Williams questions Welsh First Minister on “lack of ambition” for young people

Kirsty WilliamsKirsty Williams seemed choked with the cold when she questioned First Minister Carwyn Jones yesterday but her fighting spirit was undiminished as she took him to task for what she called his government’s aspiration towards mediocrity rather than excellence in the wake of the annual Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission report which said that poorer children in Wales were significantly less likely to obtain 5 GCSE’s including Maths and English. Even at the age of 3, children in Wales were falling behind those in England and Scotland in terms of vocabulary. While children in England caught up with those in Scotland by the age of 5, children in Wales fell further behind.

In his response, Mr Jones had to point to the “Pupil Deprivation Grant” as being part of the solution.

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LDVideo: Vikki Slade on Free School Meals in action

In Channel 4’s Political Slot this week, Lib Dem candidate for Mid Dorset and North Poole Vikki Slade finds out how the party’s policy of free school meals for 4-7 year olds is having a huge impact locally. You can watch it here.

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Conference Speeches: Vince Cable: Liberal Democrats have brought compassion, common sense and competence to Government

Continuing our series of Conference speeches, today it’s the turn of Vince Cable. He announced an increase in pay for apprentices, talked about the benefits of migration and spelled out the difference between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. He talked about what the Liberal Democrats have brought to the Government and exhorted us to be proud about it.

You can watch here, and the text is below:

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“Durántezmania – that has legs” and other compliments for Miriam

Miriam González Durántez by Cabinet OfficeIt seems that Miriam González Durántez’s interview the other day has impressed a couple of Fleet Street columnists.

In the Guardian, Gaby Hinsliff says Miriam is “electrifying.”:

I’ve seen Miriam talking to girls at an Essex comp about raising their sights. She was electrifying. In a world where successful women are regularly portrayed as ball-breakers, lonely, or just underdressed, she makes working motherhood look thrillingly fun and achievable, if not easy. (She’s big on graft). And for teenage girls, she explodes the myth that men won’t want you if you’re clever. She doesn’t rush, surrendered wife-style, to kiss Clegg for the cameras after a party conference speech: she waits for him to come to her – and he does.

In person she’s funny, frank, mischievous, and enviably fearless. She doesn’t care how people judge her: she simply can’t see why she can’t have what men have, professionally and personally (which is of course why a certain kind of man hates her).

Posted in News | Tagged | 73 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  15,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

 ++Jeremy Browne to stand down as Lib Dem MP in 2015 (110 comments) by The Voice

Opinion: Generation Y: Why don’t they vote Lib Dem? (114 comments) by Simon McGrath

Opinion: Jeremy Browne deserves our thanks (46 comments) by Ed Fordham

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Conference Speeches: Lynne Featherstone: I have been able to do über-Liberal things in Government

Lynne FEatherstone 2007 Brighton conference by Liberal DemocratsConference may have been a week or so ago but we still have some keynote speeches to post. Lynne Featherstone spoke about the work she had done to help the most vulnerable people across the world with great humility. She said she had been able to introduce über-liberal policies but was also keen to pay  tribute to Danny Alexander and Nick Clegg for getting the economy on track.

She spoke powerfully about what she’s dong to protect women and girls around the globe and talked with great humility, saying that whenever she meets people in desperate circumstances she’s very aware that that could have been her. “I didn’t choose where I was born” she said. Here is the video and the text is below:

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

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Massive swing from Labour as Liberal Democrat Andrew Waller regains Council seat in York

There’s some really good news from York today. In a by-election, former Liberal Democrat Group Leader, who lost his seat in the City’s Westfield ward in 2011, regained it in spectacular style, with a 24.8% swing from Labour.

The result in full is:

Posted in News | 20 Comments

Berwick candidate Julie Pörksen seeks views on post-16 transport

Julie PorksenThe issue of transport so that over 16s can get to school and college is one close to Berwick Liberal Democrat PPC Julie Pörksen’s heart. She told us why earlier this Summer:

In the eighties, being a rural Northumbrian kid, I used to get the school bus to Ponteland, and just stayed on it for sixth form. Those wanting to go to college had to find their own way. Raising the age of participation and encouraging parity between a sixth form and a college education can only be a positive step for the opportunities and career and life choices for our young people.

If we are not to discriminate between 16-18 year olds in urban and rural areas across the whole country we must guarantee their rights to access free state education – and free transport is an integral part of that access.

So let’s be about action not just words – lets change the law and actually enable everyone to get on in life.

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Jeremy Browne to stand down as MP: what Lib Dem bloggers have made of his decision

Jeremy Browne with beard AD LIBJeremy Browne’s decision to stand down as MP for Taunton Deane at the next election surprised many in the party. Ed Fordham wrote a tribute to Jeremy’s long service for the party on LDV here today — and the Lib Dem blogosphere has also had plenty to say. Here’s a selection…

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

++ Jeremy Browne to stand down as Lib Dem MP in May 2015

Jeremy Browne, Lib Dem MP for Taunton Deane, has announced he will not be standing again in May 2015. Here’s his tweet, complete with resignation letter:

Here’s Nick Clegg’s response to the news:

‘Jeremy Browne has decided that now is the right time to announce he will not stand at the next election and the Liberal Democrats wish him all the best for the future. The Deputy

Posted in News | 110 Comments

What makes Nick’s work worthwhile: the Liberal Democrats’ Autumn PPB

The Autumn PPB film crews spent time following the Cleggster around. It’s not bad, and you can really see what makes him tick:

Posted in News | 19 Comments

28 Lib Dem MPs vote for recognition of state of Palestine, 1 against

As we trailed here, last night saw the House of Commons debate a backbench motion (which is therefore not binding on the government): ‘That this House believes that the Government should recognise the state of Palestine alongside the state of Israel.’

By my count, 28 Lib Dem MPs backed the motion – their names are below – with just one against (Sir Alan Beith). As the BBC notes: “It is convention that ministers abstain when voting takes place on a backbench MP’s motion and those of both the Liberal Democrat and Conservative parties did so. It is, however, Lib Dem policy to support recognition of Palestinian statehood.”

The debate was a relatively short one, so there was time for only one speech from a Lib Dem: Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood’s contribution is reproduced below. You can catch up with the debate via Hansard here.

Lib Dem MPs backing the motion to recognise the state of Palestine:

Posted in Parliament | Tagged , , , and | 39 Comments

++ BREAKING: Mark Hunter MP steps down as Deputy Chief Whip

It’s just been announced that Cheadle MP Mark Hunter has stepped down as the Liberal Democrats’ Deputy Chief Whip.

He told Nick Clegg in his resignation letter that he had never intended to stay in post for the whole duration of the Parliament and that the end of the Conference season was the time to move on:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 22,400 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 10 days:

Posted in Site news | 5 Comments

In the next month 27 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

Posted in Selection news | 1 Comment

UKIP breakthrough, Labour scrape through

The overnight news is that Douglas Carswell has been elected as a UKIP MP in Clacton with a majority of 12,068 over the Conservatives and 60% of the total vote. Liberal Democrats lost our deposit in 5th place, the 10th lost deposit this parliament.

Meanwhile in Heywood and Middleton, a Labour seat since its creation in 1983, Labour clung on with a majority of 617 votes over UKIP. This time, however, the Liberal Democrats did a little better, coming 4th with 5% and saving our deposit.

Here are the full results:

Posted in News | 257 Comments

Praise for Norman Lamb’s work on mental health

Here is the video shown to Conference showcasing the work that Norman Lamb has done on mental health which was shown before his speech. 

Posted in News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

IN FULL: Nick Clegg’s leader’s speech to conference

Clegg SpeechHere’s the text of Nick Clegg’s speech to the Lib Dems’ autumn 2014 conference:

Before I say anything else, I’m sure I speak on behalf of all Liberal Democrats when I say that our hearts and condolences go out to the family and friends of Alan Henning and David Haines for their tragic loss.

These were good men. In the work they did they stood for hope and compassion – the things that everyone in this room believes are more important than anything else. We have to take on the cowards who

Posted in News | Tagged and | 25 Comments

BBC: “Nick Clegg not executed on stage until 1320″

That was the rather startling tweet from BBC South-East reporter Louise Stewart:

But it turned out to be a typo rather than a stay of execution:

Posted in Conference | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Nick Clegg on the “great liberal cause” to boost mental health care: “I want this smack bang on the front page of our next manifesto”

Nick clegg rally glasgow 2014Nick Clegg will announce a new Coalition Government policy in his leader’s speech to the Glasgow conference today – putting mental health provision on a par with physical health by announcing waiting time targets for people with mental health problems in England for the first time.

He’s expected to say later that “Mental health conditions are one of the last remaining taboos in our society, and yet they will affect one in four people” and to make three commitments:

  • “if you are waiting for talking therapies to help
  • Posted in Conference | Tagged , and | 11 Comments

    Wednesday debates open thread: Nick Clegg’s speech

    Traditionally not many people turn up first thing on the last day – most are sleeping off Glee Club – but it would be a shame to miss the second emergency motion. After that the day builds up to the Leader’s speech,  with, unusually, no break for lunch and no lunchtime fringes. (I wonder how many of us will be finding ways of wasting our time in Glasgow because we had assumed it wouldn’t be over until 3.30pm at the earliest?)

    So for the last time this year, do add your comments about any debates and speeches in the auditorium.

    Posted in Conference | Tagged | 16 Comments

    Conference Speeches: Tim Farron: Time for ambitious, active, liberal government

    Tim Farron’s final speech to Conference was a cracker. Continuing the theme from his lecture to Social Liberal Forum Conference in the Summer – in fact he may have used some of the same lines – he made the case for a bold, distinctive liberal party to rebuild the country’s infrastructure for the 21st century.

    He also made a powerful challenge to the Tories on human rights, asking Cameron directly to explain what it was about the right to life or freedom from torture that he found quite so frustrating.

    He is trying to map out a way in which we can acknowledge the concerns of those tempted by the likes of UKIP without pandering to them. Here is the speech in full:

    Posted in News | 24 Comments

    Conference Speeches: Kavya Kaushik from Saturday’s Rally

    We have managed to get hold of a  wonderful speech given by former Liberal Youth co-Chair Kavya Kaushik at Saturday’s rally in which she talked of the joy of campaigning across the country and of the importance of defending our liberal values. Here it is in full:

    Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

    Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

    The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

    At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

    Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

    This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

    Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , and | 10 Comments

    Tuesday extras open thread: Ending in Glee

    This is almost your last chance to fit in some fringe experiences this year – there are no lunchtime fringes tomorrow, and only six early ones.

    Tuesday begins with Britain’s global economic recovery and ends with Glee Club – make what you will of that. In between you can update yourself on such diverse topics as residential care, criminal justice, rail, disability employment, welfare, immigration, tourism, food security, tax avoidance, garden cities and devo-max for Manchester.

    Tell us how your day is panning out.

    How to find out what is happening

    You can view or download the directory, which lists all the fringe …

    Posted in Conference | Tagged | 1 Comment

    Tuesday debates open thread: The big one – our pre-manifesto

    The main event of the day is the pre-Manifesto debate which will take up most of the morning, giving way only for football.

    The first emergency motion will take place this afternoon. Delegates have been voting on which two motions to take.  In between there is a chance to hear Norman Lamb, Edward Davey and Tim Farron, and to discuss our aging society.

    So what ‘s does the agenda look like?

    Posted in Conference | Tagged | 31 Comments

    Monday extras open thread: Breakfast, lunch and party

    Today is the day to do breakfast. Let us know if it was worth getting up early to attend one of the many breakfast fringe meetings.

    There is much going on throughout the rest of the day – have you noticed that fringe meetings have crept into the business day now?  Whether you want to hear about good parking management, drink driving, end-of-life priorities, aviation, experiments on animals, mental health, farming, trams, police constables or internships, you may want to end the evening celebrating the UK music industry at a party with Danny Alexander.

    Here’s a photo of Stephen Tall not paying attention …

    Posted in Conference | Tagged | Leave a comment

    Monday debates open thread: Flooding and equal marriage (unconnected, of course)

    There is a definite theme to this morning’s agenda – climate change, flooding and housing – while the afternoon highlights core Lib Dem values with a presentation on equal marriage followed by a debate on equalities. In between we hear from some of the heavyweights in the party (in the non-literal sense) and we throw questions at Nick Clegg.

    Please adds your comments on anything that is happening today in the main hall.

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      Yes, simon, of course it's racist. You're a racist. You are objecting to a population becoming less "homogeneous", to people who don't fit your idea...
    • User Avatarsimon 22nd Oct - 10:24pm
      See my last post is under review. Makes a change. :-) Here's a question for you, my Lib Dem friends. The most recent poll shows...
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      1. No 2. Quite the opposite Anyone toying with the idea of voting Labour is going to be more convinced it's a good idea after...
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      it is a shame though that we are paying north of £40b/year in debt interest...
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      "As for his racist connotations re: the ‘working class’, he would appear to have forgotten the considerable waves of immigration into this country prior to...
    • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 22nd Oct - 9:50pm
      That's me told, John. I guess what I was really meaning was the mentioning of stuffing of envelopes at the age of 7. You have...