Tag Archives: andrew adonis

Opinion: Adonis’s complaint – Ashdown was not mind-numbingly stupid with the memory span of a goldfish

Andrew Adonis’s account of the days after the public voted in a hung Parliament in 2010 have already received a rightful savaging by Andrew Stunell. Given that we already know the Mandelson/Balls preparation for coalition talks with the Liberal Democrats was a quick cup of tea, you might think that not even Andrew Adonis’s account could make Labour’s preparation for a hung Parliament look even more amateurish or non-existent. Yet his 5 Days In May manages that.

His book kicks off with a complaint from Peter Mandelson that his attempt to sound out Paddy Ashdown on a

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Battle of the Andrews over 5 Days in May: Lib Dem Stunell lambasts Labour’s Adonis for “spurious rubbish”

adonis stunellLord (Andrew) Adonis, a former SDP councillor and the very model of a modern Blairite New Labourite, has a new book out offering his assessment of those five heady days in May when the alternative Lib-Con and Lib-Lab coalition options were discussed.

In the main it confirms what was already known: that Labour had not given any thought to the fact they might have to work with the Lib Dems in the event of a hung parliament.

But his Lordship, having conceded how ill-prepared Labour was, is nonetheless mustard-keen to lay much of the blame for the failure of the Lib-Lab option at the door of Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems. Andrew Stunell, Lib Dem MP and one of the party’s five-strong negotiating team, is having none of this revisionism — as he points out punchily in a letter in today’s Guardian.

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Andrew Adonis: “I am much more negative about the idea of coalition now”. Is Labour pluralism dead?

A couple of days ago, I suggested Lib Dems needed to think about how we rescue the idea of coalition as an effective form of government. Right on cue, former Labour cabinet minister Lord (Andrew) Adonis has slated the concept, arguing in The Guardian that:

Giving huge power to a very small party that is very unclear about what it wants to achieve in politics – I’m trying to be diplomatic about the Lib Dems – isn’t, to my mind, the best way forward. The best way forward would be to have a majority Labour government.

There are at least …

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LibLink: Lord Tyler – Restore teeth to the Lords

Lib Dem peer Lord (Paul) Tyler recently took to the Guardian’s Comment Is Free along with Labour’s Lord (Andrew) Adonis with a joint piece arguing that their fellow members of the House of Lords should back proposals to reform the second chamber.

Here’s a sample:

Any objection that reform is taking place with undue haste will not stand up to scrutiny. It is now 100 years since the passage of the Parliament Act, which states the intention to substitute the Lords with “a second chamber constituted on a popular instead of hereditary basis, but such substitution cannot be immediately brought into operation”.

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Lord Tyler writes: Don’t listen to the doomsayers

Since the publication of the Government’s White Paper and Draft Bill on House of Lords reform, the old guard have lined up to cavil about its detail, to deride its democratic principles and to defend – in the last ditch – the status quo.

This has augmented the popular media’s predisposition towards arch cynicism and trenchant pessimism. Yet there is firm evidence to contradict their lazy assumptions. Just because Labour engaged in over a decade of dither and delay does not mean that a determined government, with the resolve of the House of Commons behind it, cannot succeed.

The …

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LibLink: two pieces in New Statesman

Two pieces in the New Statesman have crossed my desk recently, and I thought I’d pass them on.

First, a quick Q&A with Lib Dem peer Julia Neuberger, including this rather positive outlook:

Are we all doomed?
Absolutely not! Not only are we not doomed, we’ve got a bloody great responsibility to turn things around when we feel as if we are.

Me, I always feel as if the Eco-Apocalypse is just around the corner.

And secondly, David Laws pens a piece in reply to Andrew Adonis’s review of his book.

I am one of those many politicians across all parties who admire Andrew Adonis.

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Opinion: An open letter to Lord Adonis

Dear Lord Adonis (may I call you Andrew…?),

I read with interest your views on the similarities between Labour and the Liberal Democrats. It is with grace that Lib Dems accept your praise for Liberal politicians of the past, from Gladstone to Keynes and Beveridge via Lloyd George – many thanks for the history lesson, much appreciated. In return, most Liberal Democrats have no trouble acknowledging that in your 13 years in power, New Labour has introduced some progressive measures, including legislation on civil partnerships, the Freedom of Information Act and some constitutional and Parliamentary reforms (we shall revisit the …

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