Tag Archives: bbc

Willie Rennie’s most embarrassing moments – and his favourite films

In London, they have the taxi thing, but in Scotland, the BBC are doing a Leaders’ Lift Challenge. As they travel up the lift in what I presume is their Glasgow HQ, people get on and ask random questions.

Here’s Willie Rennie’s. The answer to “Who would you most like to be stuck in a lift with?” is very sweet. And we find out about the transgressions in his past. Stealing apples, indeed.

This comes out as a BMG opinion poll had two bits of potential good news. First of all, 51% backed the idea of a penny on tax for education, which is the party’s key policy in this election. On hearing this, Willie said:

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How the Scottish Liberal Democrats are winning this campaign

This morning I headed into Edinburgh at the crack of dawn to take part in a panel on Radio Scotland show Good Morning Scotland.

I got a bit of a shock at the station as there was hardly anywhere to park, which I hadn’t expected for that hour. The reason became clear when I got to the platform and saw lots of people in running gear, heading into town for the Great Edinburgh Run.

I have to say it is much easier to be discussing your election campaign when your leader is on the form of your life and when voters are repeating your campaign messages back to you on the doorsteps and you are winning the campaign with fantastic events involving seals, planes, canoes and happy children in a soft play area. You can listen to what I had to say here from about 1 hour 41 minutes in.

People like the optimism, boldness and fun of our campaign. They like the penny on tax for education, investing from nursery to college. They like the investment in mental health that we’d bring. They like Willie Rennie. He had people in Alloa, not the most ardent Lib Dem stronghold, come up to him yesterday and tell him they were voting for us for the first time. It feels better out there than it has for a long time. I’m not going to make any wild predications, but I think it is reasonable to think that it is possible for us to send a bigger contingent to Holyrood than we currently have. We need to build on the early success of the campaign over the next three weeks.

I wanted to concentrate on us and the good things about our campaign, but if I had had the chance to talk about the others, I’d have taken the SNP to task on their utter timidity. They have been going on about getting more powers for Scotland forever. Now they have them, they are barely using them. It’s like giving them a Ferrari that they won’t ever get out of second gear. 

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Must-see TV series: Inside Obama’s White House

While I was on holiday, BBC 2 sneaked out the first episode of a fantastic series: Inside Obama’s White House. You can currently watch the first three episodes of the series here on BBC iPlayer.

This is a brilliant series produced by Brook Lapping for the BBC. They’ve got some truly sensational behind-the-scenes footage. So, as they tell the story of Obama’s presidency, they are able to show specific video of that event behind-the-scenes – advisers emerging from a crunch meeting or whatever. And they have a remarkable parade of players giving their retrospective view on events: from Rahm Emmanuel, Obama’s chief of staff, to John Kerry, Treasury secretary Timothy Geithner and chief adviser David Axelrod.

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Belinda Brooks-Gordon on Today talking about making sex work safer

Belinda BG at BBCDr Belinda Brooks-Gordon, who led on the development of our policy on sex work, was on the Today programme this morning debating whether managed zones for sex workers are effective. She cited huge amounts of evidence which suggests that they are. The retired police officer was pretty aggressive in the way he made his points and was really patronising to Belinda who has done so much academic research in this field.

The police officer said that we should be looking to eliminate rather than enable sex work. Belinda cited how this makes life much more difficult and dangerous for sex workers with actual examples. The occupant of the blue Police Box would have given a much more sensible answer, I’m sure.

You can listen to the debate here at about 2:31 in.

Belinda referred to a paper she had given at the British Psychological Society about the effects of the then Government’s action to crack down on sex work. You can read that paper by clicking here

You can read a letter signed by Belinda and other academics,arguing against the so-called Nordic Model, which

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Lib Dem peer takes part in World War Three

Kishwer Falkner has taken part in a gripping and chillingly realistic BBC Two TV programme.

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Is there a chance that the new Top Gear will be very entertaining but not (borderline) offensive?

The list of past Top Gear controversies is long. There have been allegations of homophobia and criticism of the mockery of Argentines, Mexicans, Germans and Romanians.

I have great respect for Jeremy Clarkson as a motoring and general writer. But he presents a persona to the public which teeters on the brink of controversy and often falls over the edge.

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Sal Brinton on Question Time tonight – will she confront Farage over UKIP’s awful broadcast?

So much for my early night tonight. I have to get up before the Cool Kids have gone to bed to get a flight to Cardiff to go to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference. I can’t miss Sal Brinton on Question Time (BBC1, 10:45pm), though. Especially as there may be a bit of an awkward moment for Nigel Farage. He’s on the programme yet again on the day that Tim Farron and Meral Ece have complained to the BBC and Ofcom about UKIPs Party Political Broadcast last night. They say that it incited religious and racial hatred.

I don’t normally go out of my way to watch UKIP broadcasts. Life is just too short. However, I steeled myself to look at this one and, sure enough, my skin was soon crawling. It was basically a brash and ugly attempt to create division and distrust and gives a very false impression of Turkey and its people. It made me feel very uncomfortable. The premise was that Turkey was just about to join the European Union and this was a bad thing. It’s not as if that’s likely to happen any time soon, but they made it sound like it was going to take place next week.

UKIP are using exactly the same tactics as they did in 2013 over Romanians and Bulgarians. It’s truly horrible. I remember people in Eastleigh telling me on the phone that 40 million Romanians and Bulgarians were going to come to Britain – a massive proportion of the populations of those two countries – because UKIP leaflets were full of it. In fact, this time last year, there were 172,000. Those figures estimated that there were 1.9 people here from other European countries. There are 2 million British people elsewhere in the EU. Freedom of movement works both ways.

Tim explained why they had reported the ad to OFCOM:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndy Hyde 5th May - 9:29am
    Must add Neil Lewis standing for PCC in Cheshire, doing a fantastic job and educating us all and social media campaigning.
  • User Avatarexpats 5th May - 9:15am
    ........................The electorate will decide the good doctor’s immediate fate, but if a historic turnout for South Yorkshire PCC elections of under 15% is maintained a...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 5th May - 9:02am
    Hywel "is a flawed statement as you don’t usually not knock people up a second time based on whether you spoke to them first time."...
  • User AvatarSimon Boyd 5th May - 7:50am
    Absolutely atrocious treatment of a man who helped Britain.
  • User AvatarManfarang 5th May - 2:58am
    Matt (Bristol) Being born in Britain in Britain no longer automatically gives British citizenship. Only in Nothern Ireland is there an allegiance question. Most of...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 5th May - 2:01am
    Anyone not aware of the difference between talking to people you not only do not like , but dislike , because you must, to seek...