Tag Archives: david boyle

LDVideo: Glasgow 2013 party conference redux

Why attend a Lib De conference? And what happens when you do? Those are two of the questions communicatios firm covi set out to get answers to in this 5-minute video featuring Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive: Mark Pack, Editor of Lib Dem Newswire; David Boyle, author and policy maker; and Professor Stephen Lee, Chief Executive of CentreForum…

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

I’m sorry to see Richard Grayson resign, but I’m sticking with the party of liberalism thanks

I was sorry to see Richard Grayson has resigned from the Lib Dems. We’ve met only once. It was at the 2010 Brighton party conference when we were interviewed together for Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour. As I noted at the time:

I felt almost sorry for Richard as we chatted beforehand, a loyal liberal and Lib Dem who finds it baffling to be almost a lone voice making the case against Coalition within the party. … the Coalition — if not always the Coalition policies — is broadly popular across the membership, and across the different sections of

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 31 Comments

Opinion: A new direction for choice

“What’s a nice guy like you doing with a bunch of Tories?” one journalist asked me as I discussed the Barriers to Choice Review.

“You see, I’m a Liberal Democrat,” I explained…

The truth is that this was not a coalition problem.  It was a problem about the word ‘choice’.

My task as an independent reviewer, appointed by the Cabinet Office and the Treasury, was to find out how people used the choices they have been given in schools, hospitals, social care and so on – especially disadvantaged people.

But the word ‘choice’ itself divides people, even those who might otherwise agree on pretty …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 9 Comments

David Boyle’s appointment is excellent news

Under Charles Kennedy’s leadership, the party had a simple and generally popular approach to public services: Kennedy consistently supported higher spending on favourite public services and appointed as party spokespeople those with experience of that service. So in education, for example, it was ex-headteacher Phil Willis leading for the party, promoting costed policies to put more cash into the party’s priorities.

Overall, the party’s plans involved raising at least as much in extra taxes or savings as it wanted to spend, so the net effect was fiscally respectable but for each individual public service the party’s answer was pretty much, “we’ll …

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Updating Community Politics: the role for social capital

My short answer in response to David Boyle having only two cheers for Community Politics is: “I agree”.

The slightly longer response to David is: “I mostly agree, but “.

The nearly long enough to justify a blog post version is…

David Boyle is right to raise the concerns he did, and had he been in the hall he would have not only heard Gordon Lishman himself express similar concerns but also the excellent news that Gordon is intending to draw in a wide group of people to some of that thinking and updating that we all think is necessary.

For me at …

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

Lib Dem MPs set to rebel over ‘back-door’ nuclear power subsidy

‘Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided that they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new National Planning Statement), and also provided that they receive no public subsidy.’

So declares the Coalition Agreement. However, as the Guardian reports, the finance bill due to be debated this coming week introduces a form of subsidy, and it’s attracted opposition among the party:

A large group of Lib Dems are concerned about clause 78 of the bill, which MPs will consider

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: David Boyle

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 David Boyle, who blogs at The Real Blog.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
I don’t know when I became a Liberal, but found myself cheering the party on during the Sutton & Cheam and Isle of Ely by-elections while I was studying for my O Levels. In 1979, I interviewed the local Liberal candidate (Dermot Roaf) for a student mag and went straight off and joined the party afterwards.

2. When did you start blogging?
2007 I think.

3. Why did you start blogging?
Partly because I seemed to be bursting with things to say; partly because, when I said them, people seemed to have a confused look on their faces. I also wanted to think out loud about the political implications of a book I wrote called Authenticity. (I also have an incredibly small publishing outfit called The Real Press.)

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Liberal, human-scale and optimistic.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Radical, green, localist, humane, naive.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
A post I wrote for Lib Dem Voice which, rather inadequately, tried to set out why I wasn’t as outraged as the Guardian thinks I should be about the spending review.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
Neal Lawson’s Comment is Free blog about using ‘human’ as the yardstick for a new politics. I was fascinated to read it because I had been thinking along parallel lines myself.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
I think it has to be my wife Sarah’s film about our curtain pattern Kandahar.

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The Saturday Debate: Local government is to the Lib Dems what the unions are to Labour and big business is to the Tories

Here’s your starter for ten in our Saturday slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

I was struck by this recent article by the Economist’s political columnist Bagehot, headlined When progressive actually means misanthropic, reflecting on the Lib Dem conference, and specifically the debate on free schools.

Highlighting that, while the party may have lacked power at Westminster, the Lib Dems have for decades now been a major player in local government, it observes that:

… local government occupies much of the mental space taken up by national politics in the Labour and Conservative parties. … more

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 23 Comments

More on Richard Grayson, Liberal Democrats and ideology

A footnote to my piece earlier this week about Richard Grayson’s pamphlet. In it I commented:

What I think Richard under-plays is the way the party’s attitude towards the state has changed not in response to different internal ideological views gaining ascendancy but rather in response to changing external circumstances. Given the huge expansion in public spending in the middle years of the Labour government, and the big expansion of central control in the early, middle and late years of Labour government, it is hardly a surprise that many who previously instinctively reached for more public spending and new regulations

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 17 July 2009

2 Big Stories

Troops need more, says Dannett

The BBC has the interview and the story:

The head of the UK Army has said better equipment is needed to protect troops from roadside bombs in Afghanistan. General Sir Richard Dannatt told the BBC troops “needed more” and added that he would be compiling a shopping list of what was required. … The general’s comments will be seen as careful “parting shots”. …

In return for their service, he says more money needs to be spent on equipment for British forces in Afghanistan. Earlier this week, the general – on his last trip

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

How to prove you’re qualified to be a British citizen

David Boyle brings us news that one of the sample questions in the ‘Britishness test’, which immigrants must pass if they wish to become British citizens, is

to define a quango.

As David comments:

It really is extraordinary, though perhaps not very surprising, that Whitehall Man believes knowing the meaning of government acronyms is one of those pieces information which defines Britishness – alongside knowledge of Shakespeare and all the panoply of English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish culture.

For those unsure of the answer (go on, admit it, it’s not like Jacqui Smith will have you forcibly repatriated or anything), the answer is:

An

Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments
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