Category Archives: LibLink

For highlighting articles by Lib Dems that have appeared elsewhere in the media.

LibLink: Charles Kennedy: Why our destiny must lie with the F word

Charles KennedyThe Independence Referendum campaign continues to be depressing. The only really good things associated with it tend to come from Liberal Democrats and most especially Charles Kennedy. He’s written a thoughtful and persuasive article in the Herald about the dilemma facing Scotland beyond 18th September as, whoever wins, we’ve all lost out from increasing centralism to Edinburgh in recent years.

He outlines the problem:

In the pre-devolution days of one- party Tory domination there was much legitimate railing against the excessive concentration of power within Whitehall. The centre accrued and amassed while

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LibLink: Tim Farron – Where have all the political giants gone?

CO 1069-1-3. Harold Macmillan. Photo by National ArchIves UKOver on politics.co.uk, party president Tim Farron has been expanding on some of the themes of his weekend lecture. He begins with some interesting history:

When you ask me who my political heroes are, I will reel off a list of people like Beveridge, Penhaligon, Harry Willcock (the man who brought down the ID cards scheme in the 1950s) and Paddy Ashdown.  But in the last 12 months I have become attached to Harold MacMillan, when he was housing minister between 1951-1954. This admission usually raises an eyebrow or two.

Now, MacMillan is a much maligned political figure, I think that has much more to do with his association with David Cameron than to do with him. But as housing minister he was someone who, working under the post-war consensus, delivered one the best social policy achievements of the 20th century – he delivered 300,000 homes a year.

In 1951, he was appointed by Churchill to be housing minister – his task, to build 300,000 per year. It was a bold policy in the Conservative party manifesto and one many considered totally undeliverable. Famously, when tasked by Churchill, he was told: “It is a gamble. It will make or mar your political career. But every humble home will bless your name if you succeed.”

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LibLink: Danny Alexander: We want a fair housing benefit system for every tenant

speech danny alexander 6People wonder why Liberal Democrats supported the Bedroom Tax in the first place. Well, I spent 4 yesrs sitting beside a Liberal Democrat MP when maybe 5 families a week would  come to us and say that they were stuck in a house that was way too small. Their kids had nowhere to study or play. That was what was foremost in their minds when they agreed the Bedroom Tax. They wanted to make it easier for those families. That was their motivation even though I think the …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Early stages of Labour

Photo by Riots Panel - Riots Communities and Victims Panel receptionOur Stephen Tall has written a column for Total Politics in which he suggests that the Liberal Democrat manifesto next year will have much more in common with Labour than the Conservatives.

First he sets the scene in the wake of the European and local election results and the Oakeshott coup:

Clegg knows he needs to do more than just survive. Limping towards 2015, acknowledged to be a survival election for the Lib Dems, won’t be good enough. He must inspire the troops that a great liberal victory is possible (or, more realistically, that a truly awful defeat can be avoided).

So Clegg’s sought to re-focus the party’s sights on the 2015 election.

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LibLink: Norman Baker: Security and freedom in the internet age

Samsung Galaxy Note 3Norman Baker wrote an article for the party website which I thought you might find useful because it deals with some of the points raised in the questions to my mammoth post yesterday.  I must warn you, though, that there are some examples of apostrophe abuse in it, so steel yourselves.

Many, if not most, people are concerned about the rush to get this legislation through in just two days. Norman gives his explanation of why he thinks it’s necessary:

No government introduces fast track legislation lightly, but the challenge

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Nick Clegg: £104 million investment is an important day for Hull

City HallWho’d have thought Nick Clegg would write for the Daily Mail? Well, actually, not THAT one, but the Hull Daily Mail about the Government’s £104 million investment in local infrastructure which will be spent on transport links, housing and flood defences. It’s a Liberal Democrat initiative to have local councils and communities decide where money is best spent – good old fashioned liberal decentralisation.

He talked about how he has put his vision into practice:

I wanted to see every part of Britain given more freedom than at the start of this

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LibLink: Charles Kennedy – European ‘federalism’ isn’t what you’ve been told it is

European Union flags - Some rights reserved by tristam sparksDoes ‘federal’ imply superstate, or would a federal Europe be one of ‘nation states wherever possible and Europe only where necessary’? This is the question Charles Kennedy addresses in the Guardian.

What struck me more than ever was the extent to which the political meaning of federalism has been twisted and caricatured out of all recognition in what passes for British political debate on matters European these days. The true (continental as well as North American) definition was well summed up

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Does George Osborne really want to derail the future of our planet?

Earth Day 2007 - Atlantic ReflectionTim Farron was on punchy form when taking on George Osborne’s lack of ambition on climate change in an article in the Independent this week. He did not mince his words:

Osborne’s destructive rationale for overspending on our planned carbon budget is this: without a new strategy agreed, the UK would be ahead of its planned share of emissions cuts within the EU. It can therefore weaken its ambitions and still meet the old targets – there is nothing holding us to the necessary action to tackle

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LibLink: Danny Alexander: A like-for-like Trident replacement isn’t justifiable in terms of security or cost

110301-N-7237C-009Danny Alexander has written for the Guardian in response to yesterday’s Trident Commission report. He continues to make the case that the policy passed at Liberal Democrat Conference last September, which cut the number of submarines was the right one for two reasons.

First of all, we don’t need continuous at sea deterrence because the nature of the world has changed:

During the cold war, there was a credible threat of a surprise massive attack against this country or Nato allies. Our nuclear forces needed to be available within minutes in order to give credibility to our policy of deterrence. This is why we maintained continuous at-sea deterrence; we kept at least one armed submarine on patrol 24/7, 365 days of the year. But the Berlin Wall has been down now for 25 years and the threat of “state on state” attack is much reduced.

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Sad news in the Liberal Democrat family

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderThe Liberal Democrats are a family that does politics. We fight like cat and dog at times, but when push comes to shove, the ties that bind us together are strong. That’s why it’s so difficult to factionalise us.

The last 24 hours have brought some really awful news about the health of two Liberal Democrats, both of whom are seriously ill tonight. The first I won’t name, but many of you will have seen the details on Facebook. Call me old fashioned, but I …

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“The Lib Dems are setting out plans as if they may have to deliver them”. Giles Wilkes on Clegg’s economic plans

Tighten Your Belt - AusterityGiles Wilkes was, until recently, special advisor to Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable. He was the SpAd who famously slapped down News International’s advances when they were looking to lobby in favour of their proposed takeover of BSkyB. Before that, he was the chief economist at liberal think-tank CenteForum, where he was author of the award-winning pamphlet, ‘A balancing act: fair solutions to a modern debt crisis’, about which he wrote on LDV.

His Free-thinking Economist blog is a must-read, especially today as Giles covers …

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LibLink: Norman Lamb: Volunteers play a key role in the health care system

Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red Cross

Norman Lamb has been writing for the Eastern Daily Press about the importance of volunteering. He looks at the sorts of things people can do and the difference it makes. He sees spending time with others as a very important part of keeping people healthy.

Last Friday I set off from my constituency office in North Walsham to visit an elderly lady I met through a local volunteering scheme. My job is to take her books from the

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LibLink…Paddy Ashdown on the abuse against children in conflict

paddy ashdown - paul walterIn a powerful article on Huffington Post, Paddy Ashdown writes in support of UNICEF’s campaign to end sexual violence against children in conflict. He writes:

During my years in Bosnia, both during the war and afterwards I heard and saw evidence of horrific stories of mass rape and sexual violence committed during the war. Thousands of women and children suffered terrible abuse and the physical and mental scars could stay with survivors for the rest of their lives. 

Years later, sexual violence still remains entrenched in conflict zones around the world and children are often the most vulnerable. Children suffering in conflicts are growing up in a world where they face the daily threat of rape and abuse and sexual violence is considered the ‘norm’. 

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LibLink: Jeremy Browne – The Lib Dems must define themselves more clearly

Jeremy Browne - Minister for Crime PreventionFormer Lib Dem minister, Jeremy Browne, fresh from publishing a book calling for the party to return to ‘authentic liberalism’, has issued a further plea in The Spectator for Lib Dems to get distinctive ahead of the 2015 election. Here’s an excerpt:

The Liberal Democrats will struggle to command support in this marketplace without having a sharp definition. The appeal of cautious centrism is limited. …

Where is the demand for a tepid Milibandism or a watered-down Cameronism? Why buy the low calorie version when the full-flavour

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Proud to have served our region in Europe

Yorkshire RoseIn a valedictory article for the Yorkshire Post, outgoing Liberal Democrat MEP talked about his time in the Parliament, reviewed the election results and looked forward to the challenges this Parliament will face. Although people across Europe might have thought they had a free hit in the elections to punish their governments, their choices could affect their daily lives.

He started by looking back at his 30 years of service:

It has been a great privilege to serve this region for 30 years, to have played a role in encouraging

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LibLink: Sam Ghibaldan: Clegg needs to be assertive

Clegg on OsbourneI’m not going to lie, I bet a lot of you are thinking Sam who? Chances are if you live in Scotland, you’ll be less curious because you will know that he was a Senior Special Adviser to Scottish Liberal Democrat Deputy First Ministers Jim Wallace and Nicol Stephen. As such, his perspective on who the Liberal Democrats should proceed in the run up to the General Election is highly relevant. In a recent Scotsman column, he said that Nick Clegg needs to get out there and shout about our core beliefs.

Some of the headlines faced by Nick Clegg were also seen in Scotland:

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LibLink: Giles Goodall’s open letter to Polish people in Britain

Illuminated Polish flagOver at the Huffington Post, Giles Goodall, Liberal Democrat South East Euro candidate has written an open letter to Polish people in this country to let them know how welcome they are here and how it’s important to protect that freedom of movement around Europe.

For ten years, Britain has welcomed you as workers, entrepreneurs, friends and neighbours. The Poles I know are open, flexible and ambitious. They work hard, often with too little recognition. Some have been elected as local councillors, and I know another who works

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would pull the rug out from under the City

UKIP logoIn Monday’s Evening Standard, Nick Clegg had this to say about how the diverse, modern capital would be affected if Nigel Farage and UKIP got their way. While Farage’s party offers change, it’s not the sort of change that we want:

But don’t be fooled: it’s change of the worst kind. Behind the crowd-pleasing, pint-swilling banter is a party that wants to turn the clock back. Ukip’s only answer to the complexities of the modern world is pulling up the drawbridge, shunning the outside world and hankering for some

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LibLink: Giles Goodall: UKIP’s disgraceful record on gay rights

Gay Pride New York 2008 / 20080629.10D.49816 / SMLSouth east Euro Candidate Giles Goodall has compared and contrasted the voting records of the Liberal Democrats and UKIP on LGBT rights in an article for Pink News.

It will come as no surprise to anybody that the Liberal Democrats have supported LGBT at every single stage:

In contrast, Liberal Democrat MEPs have systematically supported LGBT rights, with the European liberal group coming out with the best record in the European Parliament, alongside socialists and greens.

Let’s look at some of the things UKIP …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Why my heart won’t be too heavy this week when I vote Conservative (in a manner of speaking)

Conservative Party logoThere was much spluttering at LDV Towers this morning when we saw THAT headline. There was Earl Grey everywhere. Eventually, though, we managed to calm down and keep reading. In fact, our Stephen was messing with the heads of the readers of Conservative Home, as he does every few weeks or so.

In fact, his own vote for the fabulous Liberal Democrat team in the South East is secure. He is talking, though, about how he’s casting a proxy vote for a friend of his who has decided to vote …

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Huppert on Astra Zeneca takeover’s threat to jobs, the European elections and the living wage

Medical Drugs for Pharmacy Health Shop of MedicineJulian Huppert has been talking to Cambridge student magazine Varsity.

Not surprisingly, the subject of Pfizer’s proposed takeover of Astra Zeneca came up. Why should students be bothered?

It will have a direct impact on the prospects for people in particular disciplines, and will be a longer term issue about the future of Britain”, he replies. “This matters for students who work in STEM subjects, natscis, chem-eng, all of those subjects, because this could be their employment – even if you don’t work directly

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: UKIP would rather turn the clock back on LGBT rights

rainbow flag on white background  : harvey milk plaza, san francisco (2012)In an article to mark today’s International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Nick Clegg has told readers of Pink News what the Liberal Democrat MEPs have done for LGBT rights both within Europe and globally:

Your Liberal Democrat MEPs have already been fighting for the rights of the LGBT community in Europe. For example, they have supported a European Parliament campaign for the recognition of equal marriage, civil partnerships and cohabitation in EU countries, as well as for

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LibLink: Mark Pack: There’s rather more to the story of “Police call on someone who tweeted criticism of UKIP”

There’s been a fair bit of discussion online about the incident last weekend when two Cambridgeshire Police Officers visited Green Party member Michael Abberton over a tweet which contained his edited, fact checked version of an anti-UKIP poster designed by someone else.

He told the whole story on his Axe of Reason blog.

Julian Huppert, as you can imagine, expressed concern about the and …

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LibLink: Lord Wallace – EU membership is essential for Britain’s national security

European FlagWriting on the European Movement UK blog, Lord (William) Wallace has some interesting thoughts on the importance of European cooperation to Britain’s strategic and security interests.

Here’s a snippet:

The 2010 National Security Strategy stood out from its predecessors by its inclusion of a number of non-military threats among the most serious it sees as facing Britain: global epidemics, organised crime and cross-border terrorism , the impact of climate change, and cyber-attack.

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LibLink: Norman Lamb: Dementia, loneliness and how we can help

My motherIn Sunday’s Observer, Norman Lamb wrote about the importance of the Dementia Friends initiative. He starts by describing a situation that’s becoming all to common for people with Dementia and their carers:

It is four o’clock in the morning. A man has been roused from an already fitful sleep by his wife. She is upset and confused. And she has wet the bed. He has to comfort her and change the sheets at the same time. Eventually he is able to return to bed and get a little bit of rest

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LibLink: Charles Kennedy: Britain must remain at the core of the European Project

Charles KennedyIn an article for the Euro Blog marking Europe Day yesterday, Charles Kennedy wrote of the need for Britain to stay at the heart of Europe.

We’ve been hearing a lot about the jobs and the trade and the money, but Charles starts with the principles of peace and the common good:

9 May marks the beginning of a process of cooperation, which intended to make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable. We call it Europe Day The process that was set in motion that day was based on principles like democracy, open markets,

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: EU values are in stark contrast to Putin’s

European FlagLiberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber Edward McMilan-Scott, who is also the European Parliament’s Vice President for Human Rights, has been writing in the Yorkshire Post about the contest between the values of the EU and those of Vladimir Putin. The EU is built on democracy and liberal values while Putin seeks to build a Eurasian alliance built on homophobia and nationalism.

To understand what is happening in the Ukraine, we have to know something of President Putin’s Eurasian dream that is steering events. This involves the

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: This knife crime law won’t work

Police motorbike - Some rights reserved by Metropolitan PoliceOn Monday, I wrote about the reported Coalition tension over Tory plans to bring in mandatory 6 month jail sentences for carrying a knife. I said that:

It’s important that Liberal Democrats stay in this debate and make the evidence-based case. Nobody else will do it for us. We may not be able to stop a bad law being passed, but we need to oppose it calmly, clearly and without rancour.

I would not suggest for a minute that the two events …

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LibLink: Paddy Ashdown: Alex Salmond should apologise for his poor call over Vladimir Putin

paddy ashdown - paul walter“Lib Dem Statesman Paddy Ashdown”. That’s how the headline in Paddy’s Sunday Mail article describes him.

Paddy is writing in response to Alex Salmond’s comments on Vladimir Putin . As a reminder, this is what Salmond said:

Obviously, I don’t approve of a range of Russian actions, but I think Putin’s more effective than the press he gets, I would have thought, and you can see why he carries support in Russia.

“He’s restored a substantial part of Russian pride and that must be a good thing. There are aspects of Russian constitutionality and the intermesh with business and politics that are obviously difficult to admire. Russians are fantastic people, incidentally; they are lovely people.

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Lib Link: Paul Tyler on establishment of the church

York Minster by Paul WalterOur own Stephen Tall broke the story last Slownewsday that disestablishment of the Church of England is a longer-term project than the Times and Telegraph might have realised.

Now Paul Tyler in Lords of the Blog, addresses the reasons for the historical presence of Bishops in the House of Lords as ‘Money, not Morals’.

I am a practising Anglican (trying to improve) but I have been firmly committed to disestablishment for over 50 years, for the sake of both church and state. The muddled

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  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 28th Jul - 8:20am
    lol, charles, how quaint is your view of commonwealth as some sort of geriatric sports club. in reality, it represents an area of enormous economic...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 28th Jul - 8:10am
    Hi Peter, I'm sorry I don't wish to get into a big conversation about this. I don't mind so much if they are loyal, but...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 28th Jul - 8:06am
    @Eddie Sammon "I don’t believe in having far leftists as members of the party." How far left is too far?
  • User AvatarCharles Rothwell 28th Jul - 7:04am
    I assume jedibeeftrix's comment about "our true destiny in the EU" is meant in an ironical sense, but when it comes to "shared values", the...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 28th Jul - 4:17am
    Simon, it's nothing personal and my problem isn't with everyone who signed "Lib Dems 4 Change". I don't believe in having far leftists as members...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 28th Jul - 4:01am
    I don't agree with doing an anti-armed police campaign. I live in a pretty peaceful town too, but I needed them back in 2005. Unfortunately,...