Tag Archives: david howarth

LibLink: David Howarth’s thoughts on the way forward

David HowarthOn the Social Liberal Forum website, David Howarth (who was MP in Cambridge before Julian Huppert) has been telling us five things that we should never do again:

  • We must never again accept coalition with the Tories 
  • We must never again promote coalitionism
  • We must never again push centrism 
  • We must never again ignore evidence
  • We must never again fail to have the will to change 

and three things we should do now:

  • Clarify our values 
  • Find new ways of promoting our values
  • Rebuild a core vote
Posted in LibLink | 71 Comments

Fixed-term parliaments: 56% of voters support them, finds YouGov

I’ve written before about the fact I like fixed-term parliaments: In praise of 5-year fixed-term parliaments. You may remember that a few years ago, former Cambridge MP David Howarth tried to introduce them. Then in the Coalition Agreement, they became reality.

YouGov has asked the public what they think about them, and you can see the result below courtesy the New Statesman’s May2015 polling website:

yougov fixed term parliaments - 1

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 20 Comments

Former Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth re-appointed as an Electoral Commissioner

David HowarthFormer Liberal Democrat Shadow Justice Spokesperson David Howarth has been re-appointed as an electoral commissioner by the Queen.

From the Cambridge News:

The appointment was announced this morning in the House of Commons before the start of the day’s business, with Mr Howarth joined by Lord Horam.

The chair of the Electoral Commission and other electoral commissioners are appointed by the Queen at the request of parliament and are charged with ensuring fair and proper running of elections.

Liberal Democrat Mr Howarth previously served as a commissioner from October 2010 to September 2013.

 The Electoral Commission website has more on the roles and responsibilities of the Commissioners..
During his last stint as a Commissioner he co-wrote the foreword to a report which started to look at a new structure for electoral law across the UK. The report outlined the 25 pieces of legislation which govern elections and looked at how those could be streamlined.
Posted in News | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Time to throw an anvil at secret courts

Next Tuesday, which is both my nephew’s 14th birthday and the 32nd anniversary of the founding of the SDP, the Justice and Security Bill comes back to the House of Lords for consideration. Now, my esteemed colleague Mr Valladares has given a very helpful account of what the Lords can and can’t do. He goes on to suggest that the Upper House will often back down in the face of pressure from the elected Chamber.

If ever, though, there was a time for the peers to kick off, it is now, when the right to a fair trial remedy for …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

David Howarth: liberals should increase indirect taxes

David HowarthMartin Tod recently drew my attention to a short publication from David Howarth published over the summer about levels of public spending: Spending and Growth – a response to David Laws.

As the title suggests, it is primarily a response to someone else’s views on appropriate levels of public spending:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: The importance of social liberalism

The debate regarding the importance and roles of ‘social’ and ‘economic’ liberalism can, on occasion, be misrepresented. Whether deliberate or incidental the relationship between the two philosophies can sometimes be presented as discrete, zero-sum options. I believe they should be considered as dialectic.

In The Orange Book, a publication that is almost Frankensteinian in how it’s perceived and what it actually contains, David Laws offers definitions for social and economic liberalism, that broadly serve well in discussion, they are:

    economic liberalism: ‘the belief in the value of free trade, open competition, market mechanisms, and the effectiveness of the

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 38 Comments

Coalition drops plans to allow Ministers to scrap quangos without consulting Parliament

The Government has abandoned plans to give ministers sweeping powers to scrap quangos without consulting MPs.

From the Telegraph:

The Public Bodies Bill has been proposed by the Coalition to allow ministers to abolish almost 200 public bodies including the Audit Commission and the Film Council.

It would also give ministers extensive new legal powers to order changes to another 150 public bodies using secondary legislation, meaning they could be abolished without further parliamentary approval.

Such powers are often called “Henry VIII” powers in reference to the Tudor monarch’s autocratic rule.

After a report by the Lords Constitution Committee, which said they would …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarConor McGovern 26th Oct - 1:57am
    I think it's just got a lot tougher with the Tories not fielding a candidate, at least not in name.
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 26th Oct - 1:42am
    Some Bookies may have us as favourites, but without a big name candidate for the Lib Dems, Zac Goldsmith's majority and money will be too...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 26th Oct - 1:38am
    It's taken me a long time to go through all the arguments in this fascinating discussion, so apologies for writing so late. I agree with...
  • User AvatarPhilip Rolle 26th Oct - 12:34am
    You need someone experienced - perhaps one of those who were unseated in 2015. Ed Davey? Jo Swinson?
  • User AvatarMichael BG 26th Oct - 12:26am
    On my first reading of the RSA scheme, they have kept disability benefits out of it and suggested a way to ensure that the poorest...
  • User AvatarJoebourke 25th Oct - 11:21pm
    Excellent article Helen around an increasingly important issue. This policy needs to be dovetailed with a long overdue reform of the tax and national insurance...