Tag Archives: caron lindsay

Appearing on the Big Debate talking about ISIS, alcohol at football matches and decriminalising drugs

Yesterday, I went to Paisley in Renfrewshire to be part of the panel for Radio Scotland’s Big Debate which is the Scottish equivalent of Any Questions.

Also on the panel were shadow Foreign Secretary Douglas Alexander, local SNP MSP George Adam and Peter Murray from the Media Trust.

I did try to persuade presenter Gordon Brewer that he should “accidentally” call Douglas Danny in homage to Jo Joyner who made an error with someone’s name in the EastEnders live episode the other night but he was having none of it.

It was a much more thoughtful and less combative discussion than usual. George Adam did try to do the “let’s blame Westminster” thing that SNP people are prone to do but that was about it. We talked about ISIS and whether we could negotiate with them. I said that I didn’t think that would be on the agenda any time soon but whatever we did should be carefully thought out with very clear objectives. I talked a bit about the article from the Guardian the other day which told of the horrible conditions under which women are supposed to live. I also emphasised that we need to be very careful not to fuel Islamophobia given that ISIS are about as representative of Islam as the Westboro Baptist Church are of Christianity.

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Stephen Tall and I on the Westminster Hour

On Sunday night, Stephen Tall and I were on the Westminster Hour discussing the party’s prospects for the coming election and beyond. You can listen to the whole thing here. They also have a shorter clip of Stephen talking about the dilemma facing the party about portraying itself as a “split the difference” party. He rightly said that concern about it is something that unites activists on both sides of the party but on the other hand we aren’t going to win the election outright so we have to claim the centre ground between the other two.

In my contribution on this issue, I said that there was a place in our campaigning for showing what we’d stopped or would stop. We had done so very effectively in coalition with Labour in Scotland. However, we had to show our heart as a bold, radical liberal party.

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Êtes-vous Charlie?

There was a bit of a discussion on Twitter yesterday about the use of the hashtag “Je suis Charlie.” Some people are uncomfortable about being seen to endorse a publication whose views they did not agree with. Here are two opposing views from George Potter and Caron Lindsay:

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Flashback: Did any MP colleagues attack Jeremy B when he talked about veils?

Jeremy Browne photo by Policy ExchangeYesterday, my colleague Caron Lindsay wrote about Jo Swinson’s remarks about gender stereotyping and toys, followed by Jeremy Browne’s tweets on the matter: Jo Swinson slams gender stereo-typing and is attacked by Jeremy Browne. A Liberal Democrat minister makes remarks, and a Liberal Democrat MP replies on Twitter, rumbling on about state interference in parents’ business:

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And it’s good-bye from me as LibDemVoice Co-Editor…

Today marks the countdown to my final day as Co-Editor of LibDemVoice. I guess I could say the past seven years and seven months have flown by, but actually it seems like a long, long time since I started here. Tony Blair was prime minister, Ming Campbell was Lib Dem leader, and I was still a councillor.

I think I officially took over as Editor (from the site’s co-founder Rob Fenwick) on 31st May, 2007, though I’d started the Golden Dozen round-up of the best of the Lib Dem blogs a few months earlier.

A couple of years later, …

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Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

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Vince to quit? The party’s “senior sources” have been out and about stirring again…

It’s not even six months since my co-editor Caron Lindsay urged fellow Lib Dems to make nice and drop the internal briefing against colleagues. This followed a spate of whisperings against Vince Cable and Tim Farron among others. The voices off against Vince even prompted Nick to start an internal inquiry, though, as Jonathan Calder observed here, nothing more was heard of it.

Today, though, the Mail on Sunday reports:

Allies of Vince Cable reacted furiously last night over a Liberal Democrat ‘whispering campaign’ suggesting that he is on the brink of walking out of the Coalition. The Mail on Sunday has been told by two well-placed sources within the party that the 71-year-old Business Secretary is considering leaving the Cabinet immediately after the party’s autumn conference.

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Principle and Realpolitik: why the Lib Dems should back an EU in/out referendum

EU Flag at the European Parliament at Strasbourg. Photo credit: Some rights reserved by European ParliamentMy co-editor Caron Lindsay has asked the following question, amid reports senior Lib Dems want the party to commit to an in/out EU referendum in the next parliament: “What do you think? Stay as we are or shift our position?”

My own view is the party has nothing to lose by offering a referendum in the 2015 manifesto. As I’ve pointed out before, the Lib Dem line on an EU referendum has been remarkably consistent over the last few years – far more so than the Tories (remember David Cameron’s cast-iron guarantee?) or Labour (remember 2004 EU referendum U-turn prior to their 2008 U-turn?).

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 42 Comments

82% of Lib Dems back giving terminally ill adults the option of assisted dying

Sunset at Kabini RiverLib 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. Over 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Caron Lindsay wrote an excellent, balanced piece about the current assisted dying legislation here yesterday. Here are the results of our recent members’ survey on the subject.

82% back Assisted Dying Bill

photo by: VinothChandar
Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged | 55 Comments

Jeremy Browne MP responds to LDV debates about his book

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyThank you to everyone on Lib Dem Voice who has taken the trouble to comment on my book ‘Race Plan’. It is healthy to have an active debate about how our liberalism can be applied to address the big political events of our time. I am appreciative of the favourable comments; I also thought it might be of interest (and good manners) to respond to some of the main criticisms and themes that emerged on LDV.

Timing of publication

The timing was determined by the …

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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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Jeremy Browne’s ‘Race Plan’. I’ve read it, so here’s my review…

Jeremy Browne bookThree points to make right from the start about Jeremy Browne’s new book, Race Plan.

First, it’s a wholly Good Thing that a Lib Dem MP is choosing to think aloud, to set out clearly his views. Nick Clegg having decided that he did, after all, like one of the Beecroft recommendations and decided to fire-at-will his home office minister, Jeremy could have slunk away, tail between his legs, to nurse his bitterness. He’s chosen a rather more constructive outlet for his disappointment. By which I mean this book, rather than his short-lived, C.19th-throwback, gap year beard.

Secondly, there is a fundamental problem with the central conceit of this book: that Britain is in a global race, and that if we don’t get fitter, we’ll be overtaken by or competitors in the coming Asian Century, fall behind, and become poorer.

Posted in Books, News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 59 Comments

Conference Photo Gallery Part 1 – What the LDV team did

The LDV team had a busy and fun Conference in York. Here are a few of the things we got up to:

Co-editors, hard at work

Caron Stephen York broom cupboard

 

Thanks to Paul Walter for taking this.

Nick questions Nick

Nick questions Nick on NI

 

Caron meets Liberal Youth

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 09.00.57With Claire Boad, Maelo Manning and Alex White.

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My first appearance on the proper BBC1 News – “Not perfect – but in the circumstances we’ve done the best we possibly could”

Late at night at that delightfully random end of Conference Glee Club, in between The Land and The 12 days of Coalition (doesn’t Gareth Epps look like he’s going into a wee trance when he sings “B***** all?”, I checked my phone to see if there was a goodnight text from my family. There wasn’t, but there was one from the BBC, asking if I’d do an interview with political correspondent Vicki Young on the Coalition’s record and Nick Clegg’s speech.

Linda Jack and Caron Lindsay on BBC NewsI thought I might as well go for it, expecting it to go out on the news channel at 3am as most of my media stuff seems to end up. I was told to go to a cafe near the Minster for 10 am and that I’d be on with my friend Liberal Left’s Linda Jack.

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Lib Dems as ‘The Party of IN’ – Clegg’s pro-European strategy starts to pay off

nick clegg v nigel farageKudos to Nick Clegg and his team, including his director of strategy Ryan Coetzee. The gambit of issuing a personal challenge to Nigel Farage to debate Nick on Europe has been accepted not only by the Ukip leader, but also now by the media. As Caron Lindsay reported here this morning – #NickvNigel – We have a date and #NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour? – the two leaders will face-off both on TV and on radio within the next …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 53 Comments

The Rennard case: what Caron Lindsay and Stephen Tall have said about it

Lib Dem Voice’s co-editors, Stephen Tall and Caron Lindsay, have both written on their own blogs about the fall-out from the independent investigation into the allegations against Lord (Chris) Rennard.

Stephen wrote on Friday summarising the background to the mess the party finds itself in here: Q&A on the allegations against Lord Rennard. (My conclusion: it’s a mess.)

And on Sunday Caron posed the question, How is the party going to get through this?

There is an obvious path to peace.

It’s not too late for Chris Rennard to apologise, and to do it well. I really think that he should

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LibLink: Caron Lindsay – It’s time to get real people involved in the indyref debate

LDV’s Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay, has written for The Herald newspaper about 2014’s Scottish independence referendum. She’s a bit bored with the same old politicians serving up the same old rehearsed lines. She wants real people to start having their say:

Let’s have the next debate around the kitchen table with some ordinary people. Take my friends Anne and Stevie as an example. The referendum is on her birthday. If we become independent, that’ll happen on his. She’s pro UK, he’s pro independence, albeit with a slightly different and quirkier vision than that presented by the SNP. They care deeply

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In which a Liberal Democrat Voice editor gets parodied

From Och aye the news:

carrion londonsay

 

Parody is supposed to make you wince and laugh at the same time. Sadly, this one fails to live up to that. It’s more congealed porridge than biting wit.

We’re asking for trouble, here, I know, but if you can do any better…

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Caron Lindsay defends Jo Swinson’s right to stand

Jo Swinson GlasgowThe government has been introducing a lots of “rights to” of late. Communities have rights to bid and to build. Individual have rights to buy and to personal budgets. After the last 48 hours of media coverage, it may be that we need to bring in a “right to stand.”

The story runs like this. Jo Swinson arrives for Prime Ministers Questions at a point when the house is already crammed out. She stands for a while and she’s happy with that. The political editor of the Spectator, James Forsyth however was horrified and tweeted.

Quite remarkable that no MP has offered Jo Swinson, who is seven months pregnant, a seat. Really shocking lack of manners and decency

The Daily Mail then took up the case. Caron Lindsay took that newspaper to task last night, concluding:

I find the Mail’s attitude to women much more offensive and harmful to society than anything that happened in the House of Commons yesterday.

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LibLink: Caron Lindsay – Why home rule would be better for Scotland than independence

Our very own Caron Lindsay has been moonlighting over at The Herald, with an excellent piece on the relative merits of independence and home rule.

Here’s a sample:

First and foremost I’m a mum. I want my daughter and her children beyond her to live in a prosperous, inclusive, progressive, liberal, Scotland.

That word liberal is a bit of a giveaway, however. I’ve been active in Liberal Democrat politics for 30 years, since joining as a curious 15 year-old during the 1983 election. I’m a federalist and my views on how Scotland’s governance should work were very neatly summed up by

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Lindsay vs Thornsby – House of Comments podcast comes to Conference

On Sunday morning, Nick Thornsby and Caron Lindsay joined Mark Thompson in the Liberal Democrat Voice broom cupboard in Glasgow and recorded a special edition of his House of Comments podcast.

Have a listen and see whether our crystal balls were right as we predicted how Conference would go and discussed everything from  Trident, nuclear power, fracking, online pornography and Nick Clegg’s position as leader. Deficit hawk Thornsby and old fashioned tax and spender Lindsay put forward their relative positions on the economy in entirely civilised fashion.

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The Liberal Democrat Voice Team at Conference

Comic Con foursomeLast Saturday, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre was full of trolls, superheroes, and Pokemon. I kid you not. 20,000 people, many of them in costume,  turned up for the Scottish Comic Con event. My daughter, or Karkat Vantas as she preferred to be called, was one of them. The photo shows a selection of the colourful and elaborate costumes on show.

Next Saturday, it’ll be full of Liberal Democrats gathering for Conference. Insert your own joke here. In the first of a series of preview posts, I …

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House of Comments podcast: with added Caron Lindsay

caron lindsayLibDemVoice Co-Editor Caron Lindsay guests on the latest House of Comments, the weekly podcast presented by Lib Dem blogger Mark Thompson and Labour’s Emma Burnell.

So if you’re interested in any or all of the following topics — the state of the Lib Dems, Nick Clegg’s position, your favourite minister and MP, gender balance, immigration, Mark’s “I won’t campaign for anyone who voted for secret courts” pledge, drugs policy, and much, much more — then you robably want to give it a listen.

Here’s the magic link: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/house-of-comments-podcast/id579577529.

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Lessons of Coalition (5): what do the Lib Dems need to learn form the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsLibDemVoice is running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’, to assess the major do’s and don’ts learned from our experience of the first 3 years in government. Reader contributions are welcome, either as comments or posts. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Today Caron Lindsay shares her thoughts.

That old “walk a mile in each others’ shoes” thing works

In the first few days of Coalition, I

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Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Happy Easter”

Nick Clegg’s latest letter to supporters wishes us all the very best for a relaxing Easter holiday. He’s off on a family break visiting his parents — or “holidaying at a millionaires’ ­playground” if you prefer the Mirror‘s styling. My Co-Editor Caron Lindsay has written a reply highlighting the many and various ways Lib Dem members will be spending the break: campaigning. However you spend it — we at LibDemVoice wish you all the best.

libdem letter from nick clegg

Just a quick note this week to wish you a happy

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A brief (recent) history of the Lib Dems’ flagship tax-cut for the low-paid

Tax Threshold infographicGeorge Osborne’s fourth budget saw him finalise the commitment to implement in full the Lib Dems’ number one manifesto commitment: taking out of income tax all those who earn less than £10k a year.

It prompted this post by my Co-Editor Caron Lindsay yesterday – Why it’s worth being a member of the Liberal Democrats – recalling the recent history of this focus on raising the tax-free allowance. Which in turn triggered this comment by Alex Wilcock, recalling the slightly less recent history:

The fact is, raising thresholds was party policy in the 1990s, then put back on the agenda when Chris Huhne made it the central plank of his Leadership campaign in February 2006.

Curious, I thought I’d do a quick fact-check. Here’s what I found:

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Caron Lindsay previews Nick Clegg’s speech on Radio 5 Live

Yesterday morning, at a ridiculously early hour, as some Conference goers were only just going to bed, Lib Dem Voice Co-Editor Caron Lindsay spoke to Radio 5 Live about Conference in general and Nick Clegg’s speech in particular. You can judge for yourself how accurate her predictions were by listening here from about 8 minutes in.

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A warm welcome to our new Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay

I guess that, in the end, it was quite fitting that Mark Pack’s final day with LibDemVoice should have been last Thursday, the day of the Eastleigh by-election: it’s always good to go out on a high. For those who missed the news first time round, Mark has — after over six years as my Co-Editor in name/spirit — stepped down from the team to spend more time with his other 73 roles within the party (plus two day jobs).

caron lindsaySo the end of one era, but I hope also the dawn of a new one. I’m delighted to say that Caron Lindsay, already a member of the site’s editorial collective, has agreed to become this site’s new Co-editor alongside me. Few Lib Dems will need an introduction to Caron. She is the author of the superb Caron’s Musings blog, elected member of the party’s Federal Executive, treasurer of the Scottish Lib Dems, and a former case-worker for Willie Rennie. She is also one of the nicest, most grounded, full-of-common-sense Lib Dems I know. Thank you, Caron, for saying yes so willingly.

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Ad Lib: If you’re reading this, it’s not for you

The first edition of the new Liberal Democrat party magazine, Ad Lib, went out to all party members earlier this month. Future copies will only go to paying subscribers, so what to make of the first edition’s efforts to make people part with their cash for future editions?

Judging its contents I think requires bearing three main factors in mind: it’s a monthly publication, it’s one that is printed on paper and it’s probably not aimed at you.

Both the first two attributes are rather …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 34 Comments

Leveson, the morning after the Report before: what Lib Dem bloggers say

Caron Lindsay blogged about Nick Clegg’s Commons statement here on LibDemVoice: Nick Clegg: We won’t find better solution than Leveson’s. Here’s a quick round-up of other reaction so far from Lib Dem bloggers to Lord Justice Leveson’s report on media standards…

Contributors split on broadly pro/anti-Leveson Report lines. Let’s start with the pro-Leveson bloggers:

Shock as politician behaves like a grown-up! (Caron Lindsay)

I can’t, for the life of me, see what the problem is with Leveson’s clever proposal for a self regulating body with true independence – ie not full of newspaper editors or chaired by politicians. It seems pretty

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