Easter Politics Quiz: my starter for 10

I asked the following questions via Twitter yesterday – they’re all taken from the now-deceased Punch magazine’s Election 1992 political board game, Landslide. Yes, I have kept it for 21 years in the hope that it would come in useful for a blog-post on a quiet holiday week-end: I’m that far-sighted.

Answer here.

Answer here.

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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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Linda Jack to announce Lib Dem party president campaign

Linda JackLib Dem activist Linda Jack will shortly announce that she will be a candidate for the post of Party President in the all-member election that will take place this autumn.

To date, two candidates have declared their intention to run: Baroness (Sal) Brinton and Pauline Pearce. I understand Linda will officially throw her hat into the ring after May’s local and European elections.

Linda Jack has twice been a parliamentary candidate for the party: in Luton North in 2005, and in Mid-Bedfordshire (up against Nadine Dorries) in 2010. She also …

Posted in News and Party Presidency | Tagged , , and | 13 Comments

On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in The Times of “very aggressive male bloggers”

sarah wollastonBlogging is back in the headlines again today. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the feistily independent Conservative MP for Totnes, has hit back at those online critics who denounced her role in the trial of her fellow Tory, Nigel Evans, acquitted this week on all charges of sexual assault and one of rape.

In an interview with The Times, Dr Wollaston was keen to stress that she was in no way challenging the verdict in the case, adding that she empathised with Mr Evans and his ordeal. She confessed, however, that the

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Bath Lib Dems choose short-list to succeed Don Foster

don fosterThe Bath Chronicle reports the news of the contenders seeking to succeed Don Foster as Lib Dem MP for Bath:

The party has this week decided on a shortlist of contenders who will battle it out for the Lib Dem nomination. Mr Foster announced in January that he would be standing down from the seat he has held since 1992.

Several hopefuls turned to Twitter to announce they had made the shortlist including Chris Lucas, Steve Bradley, former Bath City chairman Councillor Manda Rigby (Lib Dem, Abbey) and former mayor Councillor

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Commenting on Liberal Democrat Voice

xkcd sums it up:

Posted in Site news | 12 Comments

Two Easter quiz questions from Olly Grender and Ed Stradling

First up, from Olly (former communications chief for the Lib Dems and Shelter, now a Lib Dem peer)…

And then from Ed (TV producer/director, the mastermind behind the excellent video The Lost Liberal Democrat Votes)…

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Steve Webb proposes fairer tax relief on pension contributions

Not content with the most radical reforms to private pensions in a generation, Steve Webb is proposing a flat rate of 30% of tax relief on pension contributions. Currently savers enjoy tax relief at the marginal rate of income tax they pay, so higher rate tax payers get the lion’s share, and standard rate tax payers have less incentive to save for a pension.

Steve told the Daily Mail

I’d like to see the benefits of pensions tax relief spread much more evenly.

Most people get 20 per cent relief, some people get it at 40 per cent. But the people

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Ed Davey MP writes… An onshore wind cap makes no sense

A few wind turbinesRarely a week goes by without an onshore wind story appearing in the media – normally negative, with some Conservative source trying to undermine this important source of renewable energy. The past few weeks have been no different.

First, let’s set the record straight. Liberal Democrats in Government will not accept a cap on onshore wind. Of course what other parties choose to put in their manifestos is a matter for them. But this Coalition Government is not changing tack on onshore wind or renewables and we will not …

photo by: vaxomatic
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Michael Moore MP writes… Scotland’s place in the world

scotlands futureIt is the duty of the government of any state to safeguard national security and to protect its people, territory, economy and interests from internal and external threats.

If Scotland votes to leave the United Kingdom in September, there is no doubt that there would be major challenges for the national security of both Scotland and the rest of the UK.

The size and scale of our armed forces means the UK is considered a partner of choice by many countries around the world, delivering a geopolitical influence that few states …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Tagged , and | 28 Comments

6 British Pathé video clips of ex-Liberal leaders from 1931 to 1967

Sir John Simon speaks to the Nation. “Let us give to the Prime Minister a firm mandate in the name of the whole nation” (1931)

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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

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John Leech MP writes…My Voice, My Vote

Ballot paperBritain is suffering from a crisis of alienation. Despite a wave of democratic reforms since 1997, including the rebirth of localism in 2010, the UK remains one of the most centralised European States. Even after devolution to Scotland and Wales, the majority of power is still concentrated in London and held by a narrow class of professional politicians most of whose lives seem increasingly detached from the people they represent. Local councils struggle to make an impact on their communities, and in vast swathes of the country voter turnout continues to sink as the electorate loses faith in the system’s ability to deliver the services they need.

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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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LibLink: Martin Horwood – Lib Dems clamping down on the arms trade

martin horwoodOver at the Lib Dems’ website, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has welcomed today’s announcement that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers, introducing tougher regulations on the arms trade. Here’s an excerpt:

Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will

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New LDV members’ survey now live: your views on Scotland, drugs, Nick v Nigel, the economy, the Coalition, and much more!

imageThe new LDV members’ survey is now live. So if you are one of the c.1,500 registered members of the Liberal Democrat Voice forum — and any paid-up party member is welcome to join — then you now have the opportunity to make your views known.

Questions we’re asking this month include:

  • do you support or oppose Scotland becoming independent?
Posted in LDV Members poll | 5 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron – In 2010, we promised to deliver the Pupil Premium. In 2015, I want us to promise to deliver the Student Premium

Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLib Dem party president Tim Farron has given his personal backing to the Lib Dems promising a Student Premium – modelled on the well-received Pupil Premium – at the next election. First proposed by his colleague Stephen Williams, Tim writes the Student Premium “could potentially change the game in terms of student uptake, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds”. Here’s an excerpt of his article for the April issue of the magazine, Politics First:

The Pupil Premium is being delivered only because the Liberal

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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

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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:

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Stephen Lloyd MP writes… Can good Religious Education build better communities?

lessons from quran, drasIn the UK we benefit from a truly diverse and multi-cultural society, yet we continue to be bombarded with distorted images of nationality, customs, faith and belief in the mainstream media and the internet.

Sadly some of these myths and stereotypes have become embedded in the national psyche, making it harder for our young people to make important ‘informed’ decisions around faith and belief and distorting perceptions of some minority groups.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 24 Comments

Daily Mail attacks Nick Clegg for Cyril Smith RIP tribute. Why?

mail cyril smith lib dems‘Squirming of the Lib Dems’ is the Daily Mail’s front page splash today. It’s the second successive day the paper has tried, a bit desperately, to pin blame on Nick Clegg for the extensive abuse allegedly committed by former Liberal MP Sir Cyril Smith in the 1960s and ’70s.

The basis for the paper’s accusations is that Nick Clegg issued a tribute on his 80th birthday and when Cyril Smith died. As Nick has pointed out, “I would never have dreamed of saying the things …

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The verdict of Philip Collins, chief speech writer for Tony Blair, on Nick Clegg: “the Deputy Prime Minister should be applauded by all liberal voters”

Nick Clegg Q&A 19Philip Collins uses his column in today’s Times to write something not often written on that paper’s pages (or anywhere else for that matter): praise for the Lib Dems in Coalition. Here’s the paywalled link, and here’s a glimpse behind the paywall of what he has to say:

It is therefore a serious defence of Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats to commend them for things that would have happened had they not been there. It is in the nature of things that have not happened that we

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Danny Alexander writes… Direct community engagement on Scotland’s future

TGOC 2011: NW Highlands (gp027)When Russell Johnston, that stalwart of liberal democracy, first ran for parliament for Inverness in 1964 he made a point of holding public meetings across the constituency. And when I first met him, in the 1980s, he was still following that old tradition – small gatherings, inviting all-comers to engage in open debate, determined that he could persuade the communities he served so energetically to follow him on the best path for the Highlands.

Over the subsequent years, politics has perhaps lost a little of that traditional engagement.

photo by: Ted and Jen
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

A message from Nick Clegg for Passover

Posted in News | Tagged and | 31 Comments

The Independent View: Removing the ‘right to have rights’

LibertyWhile the Commons grappled with the latest wave of backbench Euroscepticism, quietly and without fanfare the Home Secretary introduced an amendment to the Immigration Bill which strikes at the heart of our national conscience.

The impetus for this power came not from the urgent necessity of fighting terrorism, but is rather the result of a six year legal battle. In October last year, the Supreme Court held that the executive could not remove British nationality from an individual where to do so would render him stateless.  A frustrated Home Secretary now seeks a broad, discretionary power to remove what Hannah Arendt so memorably described as “the right to have rights”.

Posted in The Independent View | Tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

Opinion: Liberalism – it’s not a set of policies, it’s a state of mind

8-5-10: They didA couple of things have struck me in the wake of the publication of Race Plan, Jeremy Browne’s personal liberal manifesto.

Don’t worry – this isn’t an article about the book itself. We’ve had enough of those over the last few days (as I write this, the top 5 most read articles on LDV are about it!) – I’d wager there have been more angry comments about the book on LibDemVoice than there are people who have actually read the thing.

Rather, this article concerns the nature of Liberalism.

photo by: James Bowe
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 71 Comments

Latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 12% for Westminster, but just 6% in the Euros

As I’ve mentioned before, The Guardian’s ICM poll is the one I wait for each month. The latest figures are now up, and the figures are… well, I’m not sure what to make of them really.

icm april 2014

In the snapshot of Westminster voting intentions, the Lib Dems are unchanged from last month on 12%, ahead of Ukip on 11% (+2%). Labour lead the Conservatives by 37% (-1%) to 32% (-3%). All the figures are within the margin of error. The party will be relieved to see that there’s …

Posted in Polls | Tagged and | 40 Comments

Opinion: A liberal case for Regional Ministers

Over the past week or so there have been a number of newspaper reports about Labour planning to bring back regional Government Ministers if it becomes part of a new Government next year.

Though some have attacked this idea, I believe there is a liberal case for regional Ministers. A progressive Government of Labour and Liberal Democrats could work on such a project together, building up the various regions of the UK to ensure that all of our regions can compete in the global economy, as well as making sure that all of our people have a chance to make the most …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 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

Opinion: Police use of the TASER – what counts as ‘reasonable force’?

Holstered taserMost of us have an idea of what is, and should be, understood by the the term ‘reasonable force’ – presumably, that which a reasonable person would consider reasonable in the circumstances, and generally the lowest amount of force necessary to achieve the desired objective.

However, in the heat of the moment, what one may subjectively regard as reasonable in the circumstances may not be judged by others as acceptable after the event.

As a now ubiquitous piece of police equipment, the TASER is marketed and deployed as a ‘less-than-lethal’ weapon

photo by: Doctor_Q
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 22 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpaul hunt 19th Apr - 5:56pm
    Thank you, Stephen. One of the people who introduced me to Liberalism in 1973 told me that he had been inspired to join the Party...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 19th Apr - 4:43pm
    @ Thomas, The difference is that, if Scotland were within NATO, the United Kingdom would have an obligation to defend Scotland, were it to be...
  • User AvatarThomas Robinson 19th Apr - 4:19pm
    RC I would say you absolutely own the illogical stance. Of course England would not be bothered at all if a non-NATO Scotland was invaded...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 19th Apr - 4:08pm
    @ Rabi, I did, less than four months ago, and nothing has happened since then to change my views on the subject. http://www.libdemvoice.org/2014-looking-for-a-dark-horse-or-a-safe-pair-of-hands-37695.html Here's something...
  • User AvatarTracy 19th Apr - 4:06pm
    I agree with Stephen Howse! I do hope we have a wide selection of candidates, including men!
  • User AvatarRabi Martins 19th Apr - 3:49pm
    @ MarkValladeres " I’ll be watching to see if any of the candidates show signs of understanding what is necessary to put up a good...