Catchup, 6th December

Welcome to weekly catchup.  This week, the Voice saw the start of two of the big debates widely expected at spring conference next year, starting with the Lib Dem stance on student tuition fees.  On the pro side, Julian Astle and Tim Leunig.  Batting for the antis, Paul Holmes MP.  The posts attracted a huge number of comments, suggesting the debate is only just beginning. And at the end of last week, Susan Kramer MP used our pages to launch a policy paper that would provide seamless childcare support for families from the day a child is born to their first day at school.

Elsewhere in Op-Eds, Jim Roland weighed in with a piece on the folly of biofuels, which led to a short but informed debate in the comments.

The echoes of the Baby P incident in Haringey continued to ring round the blog this week, with news of Labour blocking a debate, a critical look at David Lammy, a word of warning for all councillors, and startling news that Haringey’s chief exec has worked for three authorities with child protection failures.

And the other major political event of the week – the arrest of Tory shadow minister Damian Green – also had further developments this week, as the Lib Dems took a stance on the proposed Speaker’s Committee, and our own Stephen Tall questioned whether the Speaker should enjoy the tenure constitutional niceties afford him – at least according to Ming Campbell.

Oh, and there was something involving the Queen as well.  We covered the Lib Dem response to the Gracious Address and there was a sneak preview of the party’s new film.

Stephen set a hare running when he asked our readers to sum up the purpose of the Lib Dems in a single sentence.  Not all of our readers were kind. James Graham reminded us of an internet beyond the Lib Dem blogosphere. And Riso Monkey returned with some salutary words about e-campaigns.

Hashtag news now – certain nameless members of the team were bursting with pride after convincing the leader to mention hashtags in an email to party members.  Nick Clegg urged those attending the Climate March with him to add #climatemarch to their tweets and social media postings.  And d’ya know – it worked!  Our Roving Reporter Helen Duffett brought us the news as it happened – where literally three or four whole people used hashtags in the wild.

Finally, Christmas came early to the Voice this week, with Redcar Lib Dems offering an extremely reasonably priced calendar and Mark Pack making a tendentious choice of picks from the seasonal reading lists of the party’s favoured sons and daughters. My current personal crusade on Christmas cards wasn’t on the Voice, but is Christmassy and important, so I’m including it anyway. My roundup, my rules.

Coming up on Murder, She Wrote the Voice

Next week – don’t miss two hugely exciting developments for LDV.  Firstly we greatly look forward to Steve Webb here, live on the blog, answering your questions and emails.  See here for details.  

And LDV’s own contribution to the Christmas merch market – we’re publishing a book of highlights of last year’s postings.  We’ll bring you news on availability of that just as soon as we can.

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