Tag Archives: constitution

Strong language from Nick Clegg on more powers for Scotland: This opportunity cannot be hijacked

I had a sneak preview of an article Nick Clegg wrote for today’s Sunday Post. I was a bit disappointed in its blandness. We needed more robust language, I felt. Why? Well, when Cameron had just had almost half of Scots who voted tell him they wanted out of the Union, his main message in response was to pick a fight with Labour on the so-called “West Lothian Question.” Really, Dave, is that what you take from all of this? By making more powers for Scotland seem contingent on resolving the English votes for English laws issues, he exacerbated tensions up here.

Yes supporters were already, entirely understandably, devastated. I only need to think of the anxiety I’ve felt over the last couple of weeks to understand entirely how it feels for them. The last thing these people needed to do was to find themselves in the middle of a scrap between the Tories and Labour over something that was irrelevant to them. There needed to be a very clear message that the powers would be delivered on time. If they aren’t, then, frankly, the three pro-UK parties are completely stuffed. As Ming Campbell memorably put it on the BBC News Channel on Friday night, you might as well hand out free membership of the SNP.

Rather than use his resignation statement to bring people together and soothe people’s emotions, Alex Salmond sought to raise tensions by suggesting that David Cameron had reneged on a commitment to have the Second Reading of the new Scotland Bill by 27th March. That was never part of the deal. As an MP of 20 years’ standing, Salmond should know that even if it had had its second reading by then, it would have fallen as Parliament is due to be dissolved days later. The commitment was to have a Bill ready to be debated by the next Parliament immediately after the election. That’s what the Better Together election poster explicitly said:

Better Together election poster

 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 39 Comments

Opinion: Blast from the Past: Wisdom from the old Liberal Party

Amidst the party’s recent problems, a lot of people have been talking about the party’s principles, and in particular, the preamble to the constitution.

As a statement of principles, it’s fine – I would imagine that most Liberal Democrats can sit through it, nodding in broad agreement. It speaks to my head – but not my heart.

And we mustn’t imagine that it’s set in stone. I recently dug up this beauty: the Preamble to the Constitution of the old Liberal Party, from 1980. It’s stirring stuff, and is really worth a read.

The original preamble was …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 102 Comments

Opinion: an open letter to Tim Farron – “And who made you King, anyway?”

imageIn his recent article in Liberal Democrat Voice, the Liberal Democrat Party President, Tim Farron, refers to a review of the Party’s disciplinary procedures, carried out by a senior barrister, Diya Sen Gupta, and goes on to say;

She has now made recommendations to us and I am determined that we will implement these as quickly as possible.

Now call me a stickler for process if you will, but where does Tim get off making such a statement?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 36 Comments

Opinion: Planning a new constitution for the United Kingdom

This is the time of year when there is much political reflection. The Queen’s Christmas message this year was one of Her Majesty’s best. Whilst not everyone listens avidly to our Monarch’s words, the tone and its conciliatory notes encourage sanguine thoughts.

I wish the Queen long life and look forward to a reign that significantly exceeds that of Queen Victoria, or even Louis le Grand.

The effects on the psyche of the United Kingdom of the Queen’s long reign undoubtedly run deep, especially in providing a canopy of permanence and stability. In today’s ephemeral world of celebrity, it is almost certainly fair …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Julian Huppert MP writes…..The Preamble, 25 years on

25 years ago, our party agreed its new constitution – and the preamble to that constitution, setting out our core values and vision.

Many of us will know some of it – ‘The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, … in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity’.

This extract – the bit that appears on membership cards – is in my view truly poetic, and captures brilliantly what we are trying to do. We are concerned about people, and empowering them to do what they can and want to do. …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 54 Comments

Lib Dem conference to vote on whether it can ‘no-con’ the party leader

nick-clegg-birmingham conf9.30 am on Saturday morning may not be a prime-time slot, but on 9th March there will be more than usual interest in a constitutional amendment tabled to the Lib Dem spring conference.

Why? Because the amendment will make it possible for the Lib Dem federal conference to pass a vote of no confidence in the party leader to trigger an election.

Here‘s the proposed amendment:

const amend - mar 2013

‘An election for the Leader shall be called upon a vote

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

The really important issue at Gateshead is a Constitutional Amendment

Discussion about the Gateshead Spring Conference has mainly focused on the potential row about the NHS Bill, but the Agenda also  contains a Constitutional Amendment  which could have a  huge  impact on our ability to work to with either the Tories or Labour after the next election. The Amendment is   called “Support for a Government which contains other Political Parties” and can be seen here.

This is an update of the “Triple Lock”  dating back to 1998  after Paddy was thought to be getting too close to  Blair’s Labour Party. (Mark Pack has a history of the Triple Lock

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | 21 Comments

Is this the first draft of a UK constitution?

The Cabinet Office have published a book they calling the Draft Cabinet Manual.

You can download a PDF of it.

Here’s a bit of churnalism from the press release.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | 8 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohnTilley 23rd Oct - 2:23am
    Caron wrote ---"Anyway, back to Donnachadh. There will be many figures from the establishment in the Ashdown and Kennedy Eras who will have felt the...
  • User AvatarGeorge Potter 23rd Oct - 1:42am
    @Mark Valladares I really don't see what is possibly ad hominem about pointing out the fact that Tony Greaves has both said "This idea is...
  • User AvatarMark Argent 23rd Oct - 1:33am
    Perhaps unelected peers are no more scandalous than shoeing candidates into safe seats in the Commons — the fact that (for example) Boris Johnson is...
  • User AvatarDonnachadh McCarthy 23rd Oct - 1:07am
    Thanks Caron. Yes I agree using nearly 30 police in military formation to arrest someone for the "crime" of having a folded tarpaulin under my...
  • User AvatarRichard S 23rd Oct - 12:50am
    Wasn't part of the constitutional crisis that the Governor-General can dismiss the Prime Minister, but the Prime Minister can also replace the Governor General, so...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 23rd Oct - 12:25am
    @ Tony Dawson, The Brightlingsea Division doesn't fall wholly within the Clacton constituency, only about half of it does.