Lib Dems on 22% in ICM poll – from our archive

Liberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our Founding Editor, which was published in October 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with the title “There is no news today”, with comments, here. Rob, our Founding Editor, made a thing about not writing about polls. So, in his amusing way, he didn’t do this poll, but, er, he did do it. Anyway, it is quite eye-watering to look back and see us on 22%!

Guardian 3There is no news today on account of the fact that I do not do polls.

Someone do something. Please.

Posted in From the LDV Archive | Tagged | 12 Comments
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Cameron’s hot air on seagulls

It’s a problem that’s been going on for at least a century. Seagulls, seagulls and more seagulls in towns. In some places, such as St Ives, Cornwall, the local seagulls seem to have evolved to be particularly skilfull at nicking sandwiches out of “emmets'” tourists’ hands just as they leave the baker’s shop. They swoop from, apparently nowhere, and snatch food. Icecreams are a seagull speciality. The gulls know where the icecream shops are, they know which roofs to sit on, poised. They know exactly when to swoop to grab some poor unsuspecting child’s icecream. (And it is quite a frightening experience for the child and its parents).

The problem is that seagulls are a protected species. They tend to be reasonably protected from predators. Many attempts have been made to curb them in towns, but the problem rumbles on, year after year.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 22 Comments

The No campaign’s grim blueprint for a Britain out of Europe

European FlagLeaving the European Union would be a big deal. It would mean slamming on the brakes, crunching the gears and setting out on a new course, and, in the run-up to the EU referendum, the No campaign will argue that we should do just that. They want us to break with the past and follow a new path. So, what would a No victory mean for the future direction of Britain?

photo by: rockcohen
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 56 Comments

When politics gets so serious that politeness gets thrown to one side

I’ve been in the Liberal party/Liberal Democrats for 25 years. I am happy to say that I have great friends and colleagues in the party and it is a pleasure to work alongside them. 99.99999 recurring % of Lib Dems are unfailingly joyous to deal with.

But I feel I ought to observe that there is a minuscule number of people who have hearts of gold, have the noblest of intentions, but don’t seem to realize that they are not observing basic politeness.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 24 Comments

How to Beat the SNP

 

I don’t know when the SNP will be toppled, but I am confident it will happen eventually. I also seriously doubt people will flock en masse back to Labour, a party that took Scotland for granted for years and, in my opinion, doesn’t deserve the return of unwavering support. There will be a gap that we could perceivably fill, but we have to earn the right of that space, not make Labour’s mistake of taking it as a given.

Here are some things I have been trying to keep in mind over the past few months talking to SNP voters:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 61 Comments

Shortlist for London Assembly elections

 

Voters at the London elections next May will be given three ballot papers each using a different voting system – let no-one claim that alternative systems to First Past The Post can’t work.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 22 Comments

How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The 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:

Posted in Site news | 4 Comments

Are you a teenager or first year student just about to go away? – you may need to get vaccinated for the main Meningitis types

The NHS is providing a free vaccine for certain strains of meningitis to teenagers, sixth-formers and all first-year students who are starting college or university this autumn. All you need to do is contact your GP surgery to arrange a jab, if medically appropriate.

The NHS Choices website says:

Young teenagers, sixth formers and ‘fresher’ students going to university for the first time are now routinely offered a vaccination to prevent meningitis W disease.

The Men ACWY vaccine protects against four different causes of meningitis and septicaemia – meningococcal (Men) A, C, W and Y diseases.

Posted in News | Tagged | 10 Comments

Consultation opens on Liberal Democrat values and beliefs

agenda2020

Why are we Liberal Democrats? What do we mean by liberalism (or, if you prefer, liberal democracy)? What do our beliefs and values have to offer the country over the next five years?

Every member will have their own answers to those questions, but the party hasn’t attempted to describe its basic philosophy in full since the paper It’s About Freedom, published in 2002. As we wrote here on Liberal Democrat Voice two months ago, given the catastrophic result of the 2015 election, coupled with the huge, and very welcome, influx of new members, the Federal Policy Committee thinks it’s time we did so again. Discussing and articulating our basic beliefs – the backbone around which we build our policies on specific issues – is a vital part of our fightback.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

Do the Liberal Democrat Voice team choose the adverts on this site?

We are often asked if we directly control the adverts which appear on Liberal Democrat Voice.

We do have a policy on adverts as follows:

Posted in News | Tagged | 14 Comments

Jim Hume MSP: Scottish mental health units ‘struggling to cope’

From the Scotsman today:

More than 4,000 patients have been sent for mental health treatment outside their health board area in the past five years, according to latest figures.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats, who obtained the figures through parliamentary questions, have warned that mental health units across Scotland are struggling to cope with demand.

The figures show that, in 2013-14, a total of 799 patients were discharged from a psychiatric hospital in a different area from where they live. This compares with 793 in 2012-13 and 855 the year before that.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #427

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 427th 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 (9-15 August, 2015), together with a hand-picked quintet, 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

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

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

Liberal Democrat Voice editor replies to Lord Greaves (166 comments) by The Voice.

David Laws peerage “blocked” – plus new Liberal Democrat House of Lords members speculation (37 comments) by Paul Walter

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The stars and stripes flying in Havana top a list of significant achievements by Barack Obama

I was toddling around in nappies when the US flag was taken down in Havana in January 1961. The decision to break off diplomatic relations between the USA and Cuba was taken a day earlier by President Eisenhower. So started a period of frozen relationships between the two neighbours which included years of trade embargoes.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 26 Comments

LibLink: Julian Huppert on 1984, the Telecommunications Act and the crucial need for scrutiny of its use

GCHQ Bude by Paul WalterOver on Open Democracy, our old friend Julian Huppert writes an excellent piece on his work as an MP looking at the scrutiny of UK state surveillance. He points to the 1984 (yes really) Telecommunications Act and the little debated clause 94 which gives the relevant Secretary of State virtually limitless powers to order telecoms companies to do anything without any parliamentary scrutiny.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Conference agenda now available

 

The full conference agenda for Bournemouth is now available online here.  As we mentioned before, members will be debating a wide variety of topics, but now you can read the substance of the motions.

This is the time for members and local parties to go through the motions and decide whether to submit an amendment or two, or whether to put forward an emergency motion or a topical issue for debate. Full details on how to do that are to be found on page 9 of the agenda, but, in brief, the deadline for submitting amendments, emergency motions and topical issues is 1pm on 7th September.

Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

David Laws peerage “blocked” – plus new Liberal Democrat House of Lords members speculation

David Laws speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008

The Times (£) reports that former Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, has nominated former Yeovil MP, David Laws, for elevation to the House of Lords. However, it adds:

His nomination for a peerage was blocked by the House of Lords Appointments Commission, chaired by an independent peer, Lord Kakkar.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 83 Comments

LibLink: Lord Carlile – UK must speak up against sharp rise of executions in Iran

Stop executions in Iran protest Trafalgar square by helen.2006 or helen61 CCL on FlickrWriting on PoliticsHome, Alex (Lord) Carlile calls on the British government to condemn the situation in Iran, where there have been just short of 700 executions this year:

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Nine seats held, nine seats gained since May 8th #libdemfightback

Well Done image (Aug 14 - website)
The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors (ALDC) has been a fundamental engine of Liberal Democrat growth. Now, more than ever, they have a crucial role to play in helping to lead the Liberal Democrat fightback. And they have recently stepped up to the plate in spectacular style with their By-election HQ. This is a newly launched service which is a one-stop go-to website for all of us to find out information about council by-elections across the country. These are an essential way for the party to grow back.

Posted in Council by-elections | Tagged and | 5 Comments

On Kezia Dugdale becoming Scottish Labour leader

Comments from our esteemed editor:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Politics and gardening

Garden by Emma Nagle (etcher) Flickr CCLPolitics and gardening don’t mix. You need to pay most attention to flowers and vegetables in March and April, when campaigning for the May elections fills your evenings. In June and July you should be watering your vegetables more evenings than not, instead of going out to parish council meetings or encouraging new members. Only in August, when it’s too late to do much more than harvest what came up nevertheless, can the activist give the garden or allotment the attention it needs.

Posted in Humour and Op-eds | Tagged | 12 Comments

ALDC by-election report 13th August: Victory over the Tories in Powys

ALDC Master Logo (for screen)
There was a brilliant gain for the Lib Dems in Powys (CC) on Thursday night with candidate James Gibson-Watt polling 44.4% of the vote to secure victory in Glasbury division, with the defending Tories vote share dropping by 10.9% from three years ago. The seat had been vacated by new Conservative Brecon & Radnorshire MP Christopher Davies and the result is even more impressive when considering the party had failed to even stand a candidate in the ward’s two previous elections. The win makes the Lib Dems the second largest party on Powys County Council behind the independents, bringing their representation up to 10 and reducing the Tories to 9 Councillors. Glasbury was also the priority for ALDC’s by-election phonebank, which operates every Thursday night from our Manchester HQ.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

REMINDER: ALDC awards: All you need to know

A reminder of our post from last week:

Have you run a great campaign? If so ALDC want to hear from you!

The ALDC Campaigner Award winners highlight the best ideas and practice of Liberal Democrat activists across the Country and we are still looking for entries to this year’s Campaigner Awards.

We have already had some great examples from Focus teams at ALDC HQ and will be sharing these more widely after Conference but we still want to hear from you.

The awards include prizes for the Best Ward Campaign, for engaging with your local members, the best literature and examples of digital campaigning well as community and by-election campaigns and best overall campaign. Details of all of the categories can be seen here.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Why I am standing in the Haringey by-election

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderTwo council by-elections have just been called in the Hornsey and Wood Green constituency. And – I’m pleased to say – I’ve been selected as the candidate for one of them.

It’s not the first time I’ve been involved in a Lib Dem campaign. I stood as a London target ward candidate in 2014, and then I ran Lynne Featherstone’s General Election campaign. Since then, I’ve helped Tim’s leadership campaign.

Now, I’m ready to take on this one. Here’s why.

Firstly, both wards are currently represented by a Labour-run Council and a Labour MP.

Posted in Council by-elections | Tagged | 6 Comments

Liberal Democrats fight for the world’s poorest

Women in the Abu Shouk camp for displaced people, north Darfur, Sudan - Some rights reserved by DFID - UK Department for International DevelopmentFor many Liberal Democrat members the heavy election defeat was disheartening. However, the party can take strength from their contribution to governing the United Kingdom from 2010-2015.

One such example is the achievement made in the area of overseas aid. What were the achievements? When the Liberal Democrats were in government the UK reached the 0.7% figure of all national income, that should go towards foreign aid, for the first time ever; then enshrined the commitment in law.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 19 Comments

We need to work more on engaging party members

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsAny passing observer will note the state of national politics with little more than vague disinterest and apathy. A Centre-Left Labour Party lurching between a nationalisation candidate and three also-rans. A Tory Party sharpening the knives ready for the evisceration of most public services, chasing the ghost of UKIP and Scottish Nationalists pressing a separatist agenda regardless of the recent referendum. There’s a malaise in public life of seeming inevitability to politics, that what is done is done and there’s no opportunity for change.

Most people have only a cursory appreciation of political rhetoric – Conservatives being for free markets and self-interest, Labour being for working people. But we’ve yet to establish the Liberal identity in common consciousness. Saying “We’re about freedom” doesn’t quite cut it. I’ve seen much discussion, on social media, and on blogs such as Lib Dem Voice, offering varying analyses of how we might have a deficient policy platform, or how a strategic mis-step might have cost us so dearly at the last election. This isn’t addressing the elephant in the room – perhaps we need to reform how we operate and engage with our internal supporters as a Party.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 9 Comments

International Office to host busiest conference programme yet in Bournemouth

International Office_with text

With European and International affairs dominating the political agenda in the UK, this year’s Autumn Conference is set to be one of the most ‘internationalist’ of recent times. With this global agenda as a backdrop, the International Office is hosting its most extensive conference programme yet!

With the EU In/Out referendum expected within the next two years, and neither of the two major parties willing or able to take ownership of the ‘Yes’ campaign, there is a unique opportunity for the Liberal Democrats to take charge and lead the fight for our continued membership of the EU.

In this spirit, the International Office is hosting a ‘Europe Evening’ from 21:00-23:00 on Sunday 21 September, offering Liberal Democrat members the opportunity to hear from the leading voices in the Party on Europe and to meet and discuss how they can become involved in the referendum campaign in the coming months.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

The economic case is limited, but liberals should support Sunday trading anyway

 

As the years of my youth sweep by me, increasingly I am drawn towards the comfort blanket of nostalgia, but when it comes to public policy making, such vanities must be cast aside and answers framed by the chill of the contemporary, and the pragmatic must instead rule the roost.

It is this increase reluctance to fight the dying of the light and instead embrace maturity that has caused me to pause, and embrace the idea of Sunday trading.

For personal and professional reasons I tend to view all policy decisions though the prism of their economic efficacy , rather than the madrigal of sentimentality that sometimes frames Liberal Democrat policy making.

But despite there being negligible economic advantage to the UK from a relaxation of the Sunday trading laws, I believe the Liberal approach is to favour a change in the law.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 61 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron – After 100 days, the penny is well and truly dropping on how hard Lib Dems fought in government

On Huffington Post, Tim Farron writes:

We’re 100 days into a Tory government and, let’s be honest, they have been fairly clear on what they’re about. Unfortunately, for the majority of us across the UK – those of us who didn’t vote Tory – it doesn’t look pretty.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 26 Comments

++Lib Dems GAIN former council ward of Brecon and Radnor’s Conservative MP

Great news this morning.

Congratulations to Councillor James Gibson-Watt! Very well done to James and all the Brecon and Radnor team!

Details are:

Posted in Council by-elections and News | Tagged , and | 18 Comments
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