Tag Archives: blogging

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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Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Lib Dem members’ favourite political blogs ranked

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Guardian’s CiF tops poll: almost half Lib Dem members read it

LDV asked: Which non-Lib Dem politics blogs (if any) do you read? Please tick all that apply.
Figures compared with last time we asked this question, in September 2012.)

Posted in LDV Members poll | 3 Comments

Small-scale blogs to be excluded from post-Leveson media regulation

A week ago I posed (and answered) the question, After Leveson: which blogs are to be regulated? Answer: no-one yet knows. Well, we do now know.

The Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) yesterday announced a ‘refinement’ of the Leveson legislation included within the Crime and Courts Bill. And it confirms that small-blogs are no longer to be expected to join the proposed self-regulator (though they can do if they wish):

The amendments, which have cross-party agreement, make clear that small blogs will not be classed as ‘relevant publishers’, and be considered by the House of Commons on

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After Leveson: which blogs are to be regulated? Answer: no-one yet knows.

Leveson report front pageI was one of those invited to the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) this week for what was termed a ‘Small scale blogger stakeholder discussion’.

A quick reprise of why:

  1. As I posted here three weeks ago, concerns about the legislation are widespread and include both those who are pro-Leveson and anti-Leveson.
  2. Civil servants at the DCMS are now scrambling within a very short timescale to try and make sense of the cross-party legislation passed by the Commons to implement the Leveson Report through a Royal

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Seventeen blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Posted in Online politics | 2 Comments

A warm welcome for Andrew Marr’s change of heart on blogging

Here’s the BBC’s Andrew Marr speaking in October 2010:

“Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people. … Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. It is vituperative. Terrible things are said on line because they are anonymous. People say things on line that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person.”

And here’s Andrew Marr speaking to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday:

“You look around and a

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Five years in five posts – 2007-2011

I was wondering how I could amuse readers on my own blog yesterday and I came up with this amazing idea of going back and finding out what I was writing about around this time in previous years. It was only later that I realised that Helen Duffett does this for Liberal Democrat Voice every Friday in the Friday Five . I hope she doesn’t mind me borrowing her idea and  adding in a little extra spot.

What was good about my post yesterday is that a few other Liberal Democrat bloggers got in on the act and I spent …

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Campaign Corner: Is it better for a candidate to have a website or a blog?

The Campaign Corner series looks to give three tips about commonly asked campaign issues. Do get in touch if you have any questions you would like to suggest.

Today’s Campaign Corner question: I’m standing in May and not sure what matters most – my website, having a blog or both?

Posted in Campaign Corner and Online politics | 4 Comments

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Twenty three blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Posted in Online politics | 1 Comment

Calling all Lib Dem bloggers… Orwell Prize 2012 open to entries

A short public service announcement for the benefit of all Lib Dem bloggers follows:

Entries for the Orwell Prize 2012 are now open, for political writing first published in 2011. Entries will remain open until Wednesday 18 January 2012. Full details of the launch, including this year’s judges, are available on our website, www.theorwellprize.co.uk.

Online forms for the Journalism Prize, Blog Prize and Book Prize are now available (along with PDF versions of the Journalism and Book Prize forms), along with the rules and values of the Prize, at http://theorwellprize.co.uk/the-orwell-prize/how-to-enter/. Entry for all three Prizes is completely FREE.

As

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The LDV Friday Five: 23 September 2011

It’s Friday. It’s five o’clock. Here’s a fistful of lists that sum up the LDV week:

5 most-read stories on LDV this week

  1. Blog of the Year Awards 2011: The Shortlists (11 comments) by Helen Duffett
  2. What Lib Dem bloggers and tweeters have said about Nick’s speech (14 comments) by Stephen Tall
  3. EXCLUSIVE: 84% of Lib Dem members continue to back Lib/Con Coalition (19 comments) by Stephen Tall
  4. Opinion: Never Mention “STV” Again (29 comments) by Alex Wilcock
  5. Nick Clegg’s speech to LibDem Conference (15 comments) by Mark Pack

5 sample LDV Members’ Forum threads

  1. Attendance at conference
  2. Ed Miliband plans to “rip up the rule book”
  3. Facing the Future
  4. Cambridge University Chancellorship Election
  5. Ed Davey made my jaw drop

5 from the LDV archive

(23rd September, 2006-10)

  1. Labour party tries to shoot the Elephant in the room (12 comments) by The Founding Editor, from 2006
  2. Opinion: Bring back the suppressed blogs (5 comments) by Mary Reid, from 2007
  3. But will the party still love him in the morning? (17 comments) by Stephen Tall, from 2008
  4. Leadership v. Activists – a personal reflection on Bournemouth ’09 #ldconf (13 comments) by Stephen Tall, from 2009
  5. Jo Swinson new Deputy Leader of Scottish Liberal Democrats (0 comments) by Helen Duffett, from 2010

5 top reader search returns to get to LDV

(excluding Liberal Democrat Voice or its variants)

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Total Politics: top blogs and bloggers

Following its list of top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers, Total Politics has now also published its overall list of top blogs and bloggers – two lists in which many Liberal Democrats feature.

In the top 50 of the blogs list, Lib Dem Voice is in at number 12 (up from 27 last year), Caron Lindsay at 25, Jonathan Calder at 38 and Andrew Reeves at 44.

In the top 50 of the bloggers list, I’m in at number 20, Caron Lindsay at 29, Andrew Reeves at 43 and Jonathan Calder at 49.

Thank you to everyone for your votes …

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Total Politics: top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers

Out with a little less fanfare than usual this week have been various categories in the Total Politics Blogger League Tables, including the top Liberal Democrat blogs:

1 Lib Dem Voice

2 Caron’s Musings

3 Liberal England

4 Andrew Reeves’ Running Blog

5 Stephen’s Liberal Journal

6 Mark Pack

=7 Liberal Vision

=7 A Scottish Liberal

9 Cllr Fraser Macpherson

10 Mark Reckons

And the top Liberal Democrat bloggers:

Mark Pack

Caron Lindsay

Andrew Reeves

Jonathan Calder

Stephen Glenn

Olly Grender

Mark Thompson

Julian Astle

Stephen Tall

10 Fraser Macpherson

Lovely and fitting to see Andrew appear so highly in both …

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Lembit Opik on the London Mayor selection result

Lembit Opik had a piece in today’s Evening Standard ahead of the results declaration in the London Mayor selection. In it he said he expected to lose and went on to say:

Ever since I was first enticed into entering the fray as a potential candidate, I’ve experienced a remarkable degree of antagonism and aggression from certain Lib Dems.

Most of it has occurred in the strange and self-styled environment of the ‘blogosphere’ – a parallel universe where some people who’ve never been elected to public office feel qualified to pronounce on those who have.

When one meets these people for real, their courage

Posted in London | Also tagged , and | 23 Comments

Voting closes on Friday….

A quick plug for ourselves: voting closes on Friday in the Total Politics Blog Awards 2011. You can cast your votes here and if you would be so kind as to remember both The Voice and the blogs run by the various contributors to this site, that would be most spiffing. Thank you!

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Total Politics Blog Awards: voting is now open

It’s that time of the year again, the Total Politics blog awards, in which people very kindly voted The Voice number one Liberal Democrat blog last year.

This year the voting rules are slightly different both to remove the old system of sending in emails and also to reflect that some people blog in several different places, so you can now vote for bloggers as well as blogs:

  1. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. The higher you rank a blog

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Welcome to the new bloggers…

Thirteen blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Posted in Online politics | Leave a comment

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Fourteen blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Posted in Online politics | 1 Comment

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Andrew Reeves

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Andrew Reeves, who blogs at http://andrewrunning.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
In 1984 Ken Clarke gave me an award at a thank you party for delivering leaflets for him. In front of the 200+ people there he also asked me if I wanted to join the party – and in front of them all I said no! I was pleased he’d won but said that the more I had got to know the party I realised why I couldn’t. He was somewhat embarrassed!

2. When did you start blogging?
Tuesday 15 May 2007.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I worked for Lynne Featherstone from just after the 2005 general election until the end of 2006, before becoming one of the two London Campaigns Officers. I was amazed Lynne found time to write her own blog posts so this was my initial inspiration. I also signed up to run the Great North Run in 2007 and so wanted to use it for a training diary.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
I cheated here, I asked some friends for their five words – here is a selection: friendly, personal, prolific, timely, political, caring, liberal, sharp, punchy, researched, readable, passionate and straight-talking.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
I’m a social liberal democrat.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
I enjoyed writing this, not because I was suspended from Twitter, because to be honest that was a nightmare, but thanks to the support shown by the online community, inside and outside the Liberal Democrats:
Andrew Reeves is still suspended on Twitter – but the support is awesome

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I love reading Caron’s writing, because unlike my shoot from the hip and rant style, Caron is more methodical and this shows in her writing. In this post Caron highlights the hypocricy of the Labour party while still maintaining decorum – perfect:
Labour didn’t love NHS Direct

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
I don’t particularly bother with YouTube, but this was my favourite ever:

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Nick Thornsby

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Nick Thornsby who blogs at http://nickthornsby.wordpress.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
The 2005 election was the one I was probably first properly aware of as a 15/16 year-old. I remember reading the Liberal Democrat manifesto and seeing posters up in my area (mainly Labour, though I’m pleased to say that’s no longer true, and orange diamonds are now far more pervasive during election campaigns).

2. When did you start blogging?
September 2009.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I’d been reading various blogs for a while, and had previously thought about starting my own, but the catalyst was probably chatting to a number of bloggers at Lib Dem Voice’s BOTY awards at the 2009 conference.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Straightforward, rational and occasionally random.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
In every possible way: liberal.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Attending and blogging about the court case which ultimately led to Phil Woolas being kicked out of Parliament was obviously quite an experience, and I also particularly liked writing this post on a rather daft claim by Ed Balls, which was very short and simple but which, I think, demonstrates the value of blogging as a medium.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I hope the rules can be bent, as this was just over a year ago, but I found this post by Stephen here on Lib Dem Voice on why Clegg should rule out a coalition (!) extremely compelling. It was faultless in its logic, and I agreed with Stephen at the time, but its arguments were based on a number of assumptions which we all made but which ultimately proved to be false (particularly that the Conservatives would never give enough ground, including on electoral reform, to ever make a coalition even remotely possible). Speculating on what might have been had the Lib Dem leadership followed Stephen’s advice is an interesting game, and I can’t help coming to the conclusion that we would now be in a (perhaps significantly) worse position than that which we are currently in.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
My Twitter followers won’t be surprised that I’ve picked this clip from the magnificent West Wing, the script-writing and acting in which demonstrate just why the show is so brilliant.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Welcome to the new bloggers…

Eighteen blogs have recently joined my Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Good luck to all the new bloggers, and why not take a moment to pop over to their blogs, take a read and post a comment?

Posted in Online politics | 2 Comments

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Jonathan Fryer

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Jonathan Fryer, who blogs at www.jonathanfryer.wordpress.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Jo Grimond came to my school during the 1964 general election, kept 400 normally fidgety boys rapt, and I thought, ‘Yes, I believe that!’

2. When did you start blogging?
March 2007.

3. Why did you start blogging?
Blogging replaced many years of keeping a diary. Why only write for myself and whoever clears my house when I snuff it?

Jonathan Fryer screenshot4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Local and global in content.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Paul Tyler

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Liberal Democrat peer (and former MP) Paul Tyler who blogs at www.lordsoftheblog.net.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Suez, October 29th 1956. Israel with British collusion bombed the Suez Canal on my 15th birthday!

2. When did you start blogging?
About three years ago.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I was invited to do so by the Hansard Society, who set up LordsoftheBlog to try to engage people outside Westminster in the work of the House of Lords.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Irreverent analysis of anachronistic antics.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Radical, egalitarian, pragmatic, fundamental liberal.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Exit Routes: this post got the most sensible comments but also has been repeated in the media.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
The excellent analysis of Michael Ashcroft’s polling of, and focus groups with, Liberal Democrat voters: The verdict of Liberal Democrat voters so far.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
President Obama’s speech at Tucson Memorial:

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Ten WordPress plugins to help make your blog shine

Good content produced at the right time is at the heart of any successful blog. Good content often needs a helping hand courtesy of sensible promotion too. All of which is to say that fiddling with the technical details can be a tempting distraction from main business at hand, but it can make a difference even if it isn’t the main factor in success or failure.

One of the reasons I’m sure a fan of WordPress (as used by Lib Dem Voice, on my own blog and also on Lynne Featherstone’s blog, which I helped look after for …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

How to blog as a councillor: examples from Ealing and Nottingham

Earlier in the month I talked about how the “little and often” rule is a good approach for candidates and those elected to public office when using the internet to keep in touch with voters. There have been two good recent examples of blog posts from Liberal Democrat councillors that illustrate the different roles blog posts can play in that.

First, Ealing Councillor Gary Malcolm and his short, simple summary of a residents’ association AGM. That sort of quick but very local information often has a ready audience, because even diligent readers of local newspapers rarely get that much information about what is happening day to day with local services.

Second, there is a post from The Voice’s own Alex Foster, who is also a councillor in Nottingham. His post, So What’s Going on at Broad Marsh?, takes a story which has been in the local news but provides the context and explanations which the local media very rarely have the time or space for. Yet for a big issue such as the fate of the centre of a town, again there is very often a ready audience for that sort of background and extended information.

If you are blogging with a local or national audience in mind, building up an audience usually takes time (hence the tortoise wins out over the hare). These seven tips for building up your traffic levels will help. Whether you are a new or experienced blogger yourself, you may also find our compilation of “how to blog” posts useful:

Blogging Guide

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Daisy Benson

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Daisy Benson who blogs at www.daisyscampaigndiary.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
The morning after the 1992 election – remembering my parents’ disappointment that Labour hadn’t won (again) and the pervading sense of gloom of another Tory government.

I also remember one election in the 80s when my parents displayed an SDP and a Labour poster in the same window!

2. When did you start blogging?
2007

3. Why did you start blogging?
I started because I wanted to communicate to my constituents what I did as a councillor on their behalf.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Local
Personal
Topical
Passionate
Committed

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Humanistic
Instinctive
Pragmatic
Empathetic
Social

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
It’s the post I wrote about the budget-making process in Reading Council. I felt proud to have played a role in delivering one of the most difficult budgets in Reading Council’s history whilst protecting key services, and I wanted to contrast our approach with that taken by Labour opposition which I thought was totally lacking, obviously.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I really enjoy Mark Thomposon’s posts as they are always intelligent and thought-provoking. I enjoyed this post as I thought it was a point that need making about Labour.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Online politics: get your content by following the ‘little and often’ rule

I’ve talked before about how slow and steady progress is usually the way to successful online politics (as in The secret to getting 1,000 ward residents to follow you on Twitter), but slow and steady progress often runs into a problem: where do you get the content from?

Whether it’s building up an email list, getting a decent readership for your blog or accumulating a good network of residents on Facebook, as you steadily build up towards large audiences you need a regular supply of content, and all the more so once you have got your large audience. Being seen …

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Alex Folkes

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Alex Folkes, who blogs at lansonboy.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
My first memory was a mock election at my primary school during the 1979 general election when I was one of about four people to vote Liberal. My most abiding memory is of David Penhaligon driving me home after a party fundraising event in about 1983. I only lived about 100 yards from the venue but he insisted on driving a group of youngsters to their various homes and dropped me off last. During the half hour or so that it took we had a great chat about all things political and he became my political hero.

2. When did you start blogging?
I had a couple of abortive attempts but started properly in February 2008.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to write about a combination of local and national politics as well as my own interests of football, rugby and horse racing. I also thought it would be a good way of getting across to a range of people who don’t read leaflets pushed through their doors and I had it in mind to stand for election to Cornwall Council (the election took place in June 2009). Since then the local politics has taken over and it’s regrettably rare I write about much else.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Robust, local, argumentative, frequent, did I mention local?

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
See above.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Probably the one about our council leader drinking in Downing Street on a Monday evening and then saying he had flu the next day when we had a full council. All brought about because I spotted him in the background of a photo on ConHome.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I’m terrible about not reading very many other blogs, particularly those by fellow Lib Dems. But I like reading a good rant – particularly if it’s one attacking Ryanair.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
One of my two favourites is this one of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. It’s Jimmy Carr, isn’t it?

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Jonathan Calder

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Jonathan Calder, who blogs at Liberal England.

1. What’s your formative political memory?

I can remember JFK being assassinated and being taught to say that Alec Douglas Home was Prime Minister, but really my Liberalism dates from the early 1970s when my father left us (an experience that taught me I was not a Tory) and the Liberals were winning by-elections.

I realised that I was not a Socialist a couple of years before that when Boxmoor County Primary School demanded a letter from your parents before you were allowed not to have custard with your pudding.

2. When did you start blogging?

The first post on Liberal England is dated 4 March 2004.

However, I did write the diary of Whittington (Susan Kramer’s cat) during the first London Mayoral election in 2000. That has some claim to be the first political blog in Britain.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I wanted a shop window for my various writings, but blogging soon became an important activity in its own right.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?

Liberal, eclectic, wistful, humorous, inquisitive.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?

Liberal, localist, pragmatic, postmodern, civilised.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?

Andrew Mitchell, the great and the good, and me from September last year. It reminds me of my trip to New York for Oxfam and reports an event that no mainstream journalist would get to attend.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?

I was very impressed by The Contented Lib Dem’s series of posts on the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance. They are summarised here. He or she argued a controversial case, backed it up with evidence and engaged with the commenters, getting the better of most of them. Unfortunately, nothing has appeared on that blog since.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?

Assuming that the Bible and complete works of Steve Winwood are already on the island, how about this version of Dolphins by Tim Buckley?

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment



Recent Comments

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    Jeremy Browne He wanted to ‘open up the independent schools Much of the comment on this line is based on the belief that local authorities...
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    Why on earth does Clegg not make more frequent reference to the recent (November 2013) CBI Report on "Our Global Future" which, while certainly making...
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    @ Richard Dean Since your first example is completely wrong, it is barely worth giving any credence to the rest of your list. NATO maintains...