Author Archives: The Voice

Better Together lets some of Willie’s “sunshine strategy” burst through

Better Together, the cross-party campaign for retaining the United Kingdom, must have been listening to LDV’s co-editor, Caron Lindsay (always a sensible precaution, we find…). Just a few weeks ago she cautioned against the deluge of negativity that seemed to be the No campaign’s main message:

Charles Kennedy was bang on last week when he said that the pro-UK campaign needed to be more positive. He could do with being a bit more explicit about what he thinks they should be saying. And then he needs to sit Alistairs Darling and Carmichael, Danny, Ruth Davidson, the Scottish Tory leader and Nick down and tell them. For the sake of the UK, they need to listen. Better Together is in desperate need of an injection of wit and warmth and not much time to do it in.

Here, then, is the new Better Together advert. Maybe not much wit, but a whole lot more warmth:

better together ad

Posted in Scotland | Tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyThe Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

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Steve Webb on working with IDS: “When it comes to pensions I think he trusts my judgment.”

steve webbPensions minister Steve Webb is one Lib Dem minister who has emerged from Coalition with his reputation enhanced, praised even by such diverse admirers as The Sun, The Guardian and Quentin Letts. Today’s Daily Mail features a warm profile of him talking about his passion: pensions. Here are a couple of excerpts that give a flavour…

On working with Iain Duncan Smith

Today, he and Work & Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith have become Westminster’s odd couple. IDS is renowned for his Right-wing stance on benefits and welfare, and Mr Webb

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

Danny Alexander: More people in work than ever before, earnings now rising in line with prices

speech danny alexander 6Two pieces of good economic news today, as the BBC reports:

UK unemployment falls to five-year low of 2.2m

The number of people out of work in the UK has fallen by 77,000 to a five-year low of 2.24m in the three months to February, official figures indicate. The unemployment rate now stands at 6.9% of the adult working population, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

After six years, wages finally overtake inflation

After nearly six years of falling real wages, weekly earnings have finally edged above inflation. Weekly wages, including bonuses, rose by 1.7% in the year to February, up from 1.4% in January, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). Earlier this week, inflation, as measured by the Consumer Prices Index (CPI), fell to 1.6%. It is the first time that earnings have been higher than inflation for six years, apart from two months in 2010.

Here’s what the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander had to say:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 22 Comments

A message from Nick Clegg for Passover

Posted in News | Tagged and | 31 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #371

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 371st weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (6th-12 April, 2013), together with a hand-picked quintet, normally courtesy of LibDig, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

Posted in Best of the blogs | 2 Comments

Clegg announces three new garden cities to be built

Nick Clegg Q&A York Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsThe BBC reports:

Up to three garden cities, each with more than 15,000 homes will be built to help deal with a “chronic” housing shortage, Nick Clegg has announced. The deputy prime minister promised “high-quality homes in thriving new communities”, on potential sites yet to be identified.

Funding from an existing £2.4bn pot will be made available for developments being built up to 2020. Councils will be asked to raise any concerns over the schemes.

Last year 109,370 new homes were completed in England, …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 17 Comments

#SelfEU: the way to win a day with ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt*

Guy VerhofstadtYes, the #selfEU is actually a thing, as ALDE’s Guy Verhofstadt promotes his campaign to become the next President of the European Commission:

THE ONE AND ONLY “SELF-EU” CONTEST
It’s simple, just send us an EU selfie or a #selfEU, and you could win a day with Guy Verhofstadt.

The EU is about more than rules and regulations. Show us your favourite thing about the EU. Did you just board an airplane on a cheap flight, cross a border without having to use your passport or change currencies, or

Posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged , , and | 4 Comments

Lib Dems: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined”

cyril smith bookWe reported here yesterday the latest revelations of extensive alleged paedophile abuse by former Liberal MP, Cyril Smith, in a new book co-authored by his Rochdale successor, Simon Danczuk. Today’s Observer highlights the party’s response, and the responses of two current Lib Dem MPs, John Pugh and John Hemming:

In a statement the party said: “Cyril Smith’s acts were vile and repugnant and we have nothing but sympathy for those whose lives he ruined. His actions were not known to, or condoned by the Liberal Party or the

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 42 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 15,500 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Posted in Site news | 1 Comment

Tim Farron reveals all about the day he impersonated Nigel Farage

NickTimHere’s how Lib Dem party president Tim Farron recounted to his local paper, The Westmoreland Gazette, his assistance to Nick Clegg for the second Nick v Nigel debate:

In an empty central London theatre, the Lakes MP donned the trademark purple tie of the Euro sceptic for a practice debate with the Lib Dem Deputy Prime Minister ahead of the real thing.

Aides revealed that to prepare for the role as the UKIP leader, Mr Farron watched recordings of his public speaking with Farage winning plaudits for his man-of-the-world directness.

Mr Farron’s aides

Posted in News | Tagged and | 14 Comments

In the next month 6 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. They include Bristol North West, on paper the 26th most winnable seat for the Lib Dems, needing a swing of 3% from the Tories.

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

Posted in Selection news | Tagged | 2 Comments

Jeremy Browne responds on Twitter to Times’s ‘pointless’ front page headline

Three weeks ago, Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne joined Twitter. He’s been putting it to use this morning to refute The Times’s front page headline that claims he said the Lib Dems are ‘pointless’:

As for those imagining that he’s about jump ships, Jeremy couldn’t be clearer:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 37 Comments

Daily Mail serialises ‘The Double Life of Cyril Smith’

daily mail cyril smithToday’s Daily Mail begins the serialisation of a new book, Smile for the Camera: the Double Life of Cyril Smith, co-authored by Rochdale’s Labour MP, Simon Danczuk, who went public with allegations of sexual abuse by his Liberal predecessor in 2012:

The book, co-written by Matthew Baker, reveals that as far back as the 1950s, Rochdale police had their suspicions about the politician. Smith, MP for Rochdale between 1972 and 1992, was governor of almost 30 schools. In the 1960s, he helped to open Cambridge House children’s

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

How to get Lib Dem Voice by email

Why not join hundreds of other Lib Dem Voice readers in getting our latest headlines by email?

Some people like regularly visiting a site to see if there’s new stories of interest. Some people like subscribing to its news feed (RSS) and checking that way. But if you prefer email, you can instead sign up to get a daily early morning email with a summary of the previous day’s posts from Lib Dem Voice, complete with a note of how many comments each post has got and convenient links to click on if any take your fancy and you want to take a read.

Posted in Site news | 1 Comment

Ben Nicholls selected to re-gain Romsey and Southampton North for the Lib Dems

ben-nichollsWe’re a bit behind the times with this one, but better late than never… Ben Nicholls was selected as the Lib Dem candidate for Romsey & Southampton North – the seat which Sandra Gidley won in a famous 2000 by-election – at the next general election. Here’s how the local party reported the news:

At a packed meeting in Romsey’s Crosfield Hall , Romsey and Southampton North Liberal Democrats selected Ben Nicholls to be their prospective parliamentary candidate (PPC). The General Election will take place in May 2015.

Ben, 26, is a

Posted in Selection news | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

So where exactly were the UKIP peers during the Immigration Bill?

house of lordsNoticeable by their absence during the Lords debates on the Immigration Bill were the three Peers who are members of UKIP. A cross-party group of peers, including our Shirley Williams, Roger Roberts, Bob Maclennan, Jonathan Marks, Alex Carlile, Nigel Jones, David Chidgey and Mike Storey thought this was worth mentioning in a letter to the Standard.  This is what they said:

The report stage of the Immigration Bill concluded in the House of Lords on Monday April 7.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 20 Comments

The Immigration Bill: 23 Liberal Democrat Lords rebel on “stateless” power, 12 on child trafficking guardian

immigrationThe Immigration Bill was back in the Lords this Monday where the Government suffered two defeats. The first was to overturn the power of the Home Secretary to deprive terror suspects who had acquired British citizenship  (note, suspects, not anybody who has been convicted of anything) of that citizenship even if so doing would render them stateless.

Of the 242 peers supporting Lord Pannick’s amendment, 23 of them were Liberal Democrats. And their ranks included more than the usual Awkward Squad.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , and | 16 Comments

Danny Alexander tells Bloomberg of Liberal Democrat contribution to fair recovery and plans for Mansion Tax

Danny Alexander by Paul WalterDanny Alexander gave a big speech at Bloomberg this morning. Interestingly, he mentioned several times that he was from the Highlands and credited his upbringing in a small community with forming his commitment to fairness and managing resources wisely.

It was a wide-ranging speech, which looked back at the almost four years since he entered the Treasury. He said that some of the detail of getting to grips with the economic crisis would have to wait for his memoirs which he hoped would be “some way off”.  His main theme was that the Liberal Democrats were, uniquely, capable of managing the economy fairly. It was another variation of the “stronger economy, fairer society” melody.

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Jeremy Browne’s liberal regime to get Britain fit for the global race

Jeremy Browne bookAs we reported last month, Jeremy Browne has been using his time since he left government last October productively, writing a book on what he sees as the challenges facing Britain over the decades ahead, and the liberal approach that her believes is necessary in response to them. The book, Race Plan: An authentic liberal plan to get Britain fit for The Global Race, is published today by the think tank Reform.

The conundrum facing Britain is outlined neatly in the book’s first few chapters and can be summarised thus: world power and economic strength is shifting, from the Western powers that dominated the last century, primarily east, to Asia, but also south, to South America and Africa. On a whole range of indicators — productivity, educational attainment, global influence — Britain is losing out or is danger of doing so to these ambitious, focussed countries.

How do we respond? Do we accept relative decline as an inevitable consequence of globalisation? Or do we rethink our approach and seek to maintain the competitive advantage and influence on the world stage that we have grown used to? Browne’s answer is emphatically the latter, and he is clear on what form that response should take: it should be distinctly, “authentically” liberal.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 86 Comments

In full: Nick Clegg’s speech to Welsh Conference

Nick Clegg speaking York Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats“We meet on the eve of a new tax year” is no conventional beginning to a political speech. However, Nick Clegg spoke to Welsh Liberal Democrats as taxpayers were about to get a Liberal Democrat tax cut which they’ll notice in their pay packets in 3 weeks’ time. He went on about it for quite some time, as you would expect, given that it was a major pledge on the front of OUR manifesto. He said that Cameron and Osborne, who are …

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment

The three things Nick Clegg would change about the EU

Nick Clegg York Q&A Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats13 hours after leaving the debate stage last Wednesday night, Nick Clegg was back on his regular Call Clegg radio show. The show had been nominated twice in the Radio Academy Awards to be presented next month.

The first caller, Caron from West Lothian, (who might she be, I wonder?) made the point that she was highly amused by David Cameron trying to pretend that he was the voice of reason on Europe when his plan was to sell all our employment rights down the river and then give us a referendum.  Her question to him was that although he’s a powerful advocate of the EU, he acknowledges that it’s not perfect,

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 16 Comments

Norman Lamb: “As a Lib Dem, I want to eradicate gay conversion therapy”

Norman Lamb, Minister for Consumer AffairsNorman Lamb has told the Guardian that he will do all he can to eradicate referral to gay conversion therapy in NHS England:

Gay conversion therapy is abhorrent and has no place in a modern society, according to the health minister Norman Lamb, who has asked for assurances from NHS England that GPs do not make any referrals for such treatment.

photo by: bisgovuk
Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  14911 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Nick v Nigel: the polls call it for Farage. Disappointing, but don’t panic! Here’s 3 reasons why you shouldn’t… (56 comments) by Stephen Tall

Nick v Nigel Round 2, My second thoughts  (39 comments) by Stephen Tall

UKIP’s success masks its existential crisis (40 comments) by Caspian Conran

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Stephen Lotinga appointed as Nick Clegg’s new Director of Communications

stephen lotingaReaders may recall the rather brief tenure of Emma Gilpin-Jacobs as Nick Clegg’s Director of Communications – she left after a few weeks in the job “because my strategic global, corporate-focused communications experience will be better utilised in a less day-to day-political operational role”.

Her replacement has now been appointed. Here’s how Nick’s chief of staff, Jonny Oates, announced the news:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

Liberal Democrat peers support asylum seekers’ right to work

Advocates disrupt transfer of asylum seekers from VillawoodThe Immigration Bill is currently going through its final stages in the House of Lords. On Thursday, Liberal Democrat peers, led by Roger Roberts, tried to amend it by inserting a clause which would have entitled asylum seekers to work after 6 months.

Roger told me that he was not able to press the amendment to a vote because it received no support from either Labour or Conservative front benches. This, he felt, was grossly unfair given George Osborne’s desire for full employment and Labour’s …

photo by: kateausburn
Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Lord Navnit Dholakia appointed as Chair of the Diversity Engagement Group

Some rights reserved by Keith EdkinsIt’s been announced tonight that Baroness Sal Brinton is stepping down as Chair of the Diversity Engagement Group. Nick Clegg paid tribute to her work in the role:

Her hard work and dedication have clearly demonstrated the commitment of the party to becoming more representative of British society, and ensuring that the targets set for increased diversity are met. The Leadership Programme is a significant and important part of that dynamic, giving outstanding candidates from under-represented groups the skills that they will need to win seats in

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | 1 Comment

Liberal Democrat membership grows by over 500 in first quarter of 2014

Lib Dems winning hereLiberal Democrat membership hit 44,000 in the first quarter of 2014, a rise of more than 1500 since the beginning of 2013. Parties in government tend not to increase their membership and last year’s results for the Liberal Democrats were the first time in recent history that this had been done.

This is in no small part down to new financial incentives to local parties if they increase their membership. If they have more members, they get more money to spend on their local campaigns. That means that they …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 29 Comments

Congratulations, Jo Baker: Lib Dem Researcher of the Year!

Huge congrats to Jo Baker – researcher for Mark Williams, Lib Dem MP for Ceredigion – for winning The House Magazine and PoliticsHome.com’s Liberal Democrat Researcher of the Year!

Posted in Parliament | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Strategic advances at Liberal Democrat Voice

This week's Golden Dozen displayed via wordle.netWe at LDV towers are proud to announce a new strategy for Liberal Democrat Voice which will increase our influence within and beyond the party and leverage the capabilities of social media technologies to their full potential. This strategy makes full use of the unique placement we have as ‘our place to talk’ and premier online Liberal Democrat presence, as well as our regular authoritative members’ surveys.

The strategy has three essential, intertwined and synergistic elements:

1. We will be moving the site to the Nationbuilder platform …

Posted in Humour and Site news | 12 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon Banks 18th Apr - 8:51am
    Stephen: I agree with your premise about the nature of Liberalism. I disagree with how you apply it to the debate over Jeremy Browne's book....
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 18th Apr - 8:50am
    paul barker 15th Apr '14 - 7:35pm "..The 1st rule of Polling is not to to take much notice of individual Polls, " And The...
  • User AvatarJohn Innes 18th Apr - 8:40am
    @Malc. Totally agree with you - great poster and get Charles Kennedy and Alistair Darling out there more. I really hope that Scotland votes to...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 18th Apr - 8:34am
    Michael Moore says - "--Currently, our British forces are strategically structured and positioned, not on an arbitrary national level, but on military logic........" Ah yes,...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 18th Apr - 8:09am
    Thanks for these. Interesting stuff I note that the quality of the 1931 film of Archibald Simon is much better than the 1967 film of...
  • User AvatarRC 18th Apr - 7:51am
    I would echo what George Crozier says. From the door knocking I have done, when you get to speak to them, people I have met...