Tag Archives: chris grayling

Willie Rennie on the roar of the Ginger Rodent

Never forget what Chris Grayling said to SNP MP Pete Wishart on Tuesday night. Here’s the exact quote from Hansard:

Let me also say to him and his colleagues that I regard their presence in the House as a great asset. I would much rather have them than 57 Liberal Democrats.

That would have nothing to do with the Liberal Democrats spending five years making life very difficult for the Tories and stopping them from brining in the sorts of measures that give to the rich while taking from the poorest and youngest at the most difficult stages in their lives as they did in yesterday’s budget.

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Alistair Carmichael 1 Chris Grayling 0

So, after Alistair Carmichael’s use of a parliamentary device to deliver  a whomping defeat on the Government over their attempt to railroad through English Votes for English Laws, Chris Grayling has announced that he’s not going to put the matter to a vote on Tuesday after all. During the 3 hour debate instigated by Alistair, the Government’s case became even more incoherent. The Herald has the story:

Ministers were facing potential defeat in the Commons vote on ‘English votes for English laws’ – due to be held next week.

Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems and the DUP were all expected to vote against the proposals, which also caused disquiet on the Tory backbenches.

Chris Grayling, the leader of the House, told MPs the proposals would be redrafted and reintroduced later this year.

This is not over by any manner of means, but Alistair’s victory is important because it means that a major constitutional reform has not been brought in on the say-so of just one parliamentary chamber. This should be properly scrutinised. A draft bill examined by both Houses of Parliament would seem sensible to me – a bit like we had for the Snoopers’ Charter, or, indeed, just bring a proper bill through Parliament in the usual way.

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European Arrest Warrant: I’m a sceptic (but not a Eurosceptic)

As I write, the House of Commons is debating the European Arrest Warrant (EAW).

Well, sort of. In fact, the Speaker, John Bercow, has already pointed out that “there will not today be a vote on the specific matter of membership of the European arrest warrant”. But Home Secretary Theresa May and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling say there will. In the Tories’ Alice in Wonderland world, when they use the word vote it means just what they choose it to mean, neither more nor less.

As with any debate involving Europe, there is a danger of it being used as …

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Opinion: Why I am against Grayling over Criminal Legal Aid

As a candidate for the European Parliament my focus is on EU-related issues: trade, climate change and cross-border crime. But some national issues are, in my view, so pressing that I cannot ignore them.  Among these are Chris Grayling’s proposed cuts to criminal legal aid, so severe they threaten whether defendants will have proper representation at all.

On 6 January, I was in Oxford to support a protest against these cuts.  Concurrent protests happened at courts all over England & Wales. The campaign aims to raise public awareness and persuade parliament to say ‘no’ to Grayling, as Parliament did over Price …

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Opinion: The Justice Secretary has got it wrong on privatisation of probation services

Why do governments always assume that they will save money by privatising the public sector?  The Probation Service is now in Chris Grayling’s sights with his plan to hive off low risk offenders to charities and private enterprise leaving the rump Probation Service to concentrate on high risk offenders.

High risk offenders are the sex offenders, domestic violence perpetrators and offenders on indeterminate sentences whose risk prior to release from custody is subject to constant review. As a former probation officer this was my bread and butter work – and incredibly stressful it was too.

I understand that under the Coalition …

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Mandatory work: if we believe in evidence-based policy it’s probably best to pay attention to the evidence

Four months ago, when the political row over ‘workfare’ was at its peak, I wrote here on LibDemVoice that liberals needed to progress the debate beyond ‘the simple and simplistic ‘left/right’ attitudes currently on display, and start grappling with how best we can empower the individual to make the best of their own lives — including, and especially, those who appear to have settled for a life on benefits, and reject all other offers of help.’

Avoiding dogma, embracing evidence

Key to this, I suggested, would be avoiding the dogmatic approaches of the Tories — who appear to believe that every …

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Opinion: Political reasons for people to back the ESA motion‏

If any of you are wondering how we can improve our situation in the polls then I’ve got a suggestion for you: back the Liberal Youth sponsored ESA Motion.

Now there are all sorts of compassionate, liberal and financial reasons to back this motion. The current system is unfair, inhumane, inaccurate and expensive. But, putting all that to one side for a moment, there are sound political reasons to back it.

At the moment the treatment of people with long term illnesses and disabilities is appalling. The media are starting to wake up to the issue, the government is facing a …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 27 Comments
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