Tag Archives: david laws

David Laws says Councils should charge for bin collections. Or does he?

Refuse collection bin lorry LicenseAttribution Some rights reserved by bilbobagweedToday’s Telegraph says “David Laws: Councils should charge for bin collections

It’s a headline designed to get you imagining piles of uncollected rubbish on the streets when people don’t pay.  It’s designed to invoke all of your senses. The smell of waste left to putrify in the noonday sun, that tell-tale sound of scurrying little rodent feet, and then the sight of pink-eyed, hungry rats. Everywhere.

That unmistakeable smell of decay is already in your nostrils, isn’t it?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Lib Dems hit back against free school lunch attacks. Clegg on Mail: “utterly wrong”. Laws on Cummings: “utter balls”

daily mail free school lunchesToday’s Daily Mail front page was dominated by an attack on the Lib Dem plans to bring in free school lunches for all infants: “Free school meals fiasco,” it screamed.

Nick Clegg quickly refuted the Mail’s attack in a lengthy post on the party’s website – here’s an excerpt:

The Liberal Democrats are never going to be loved in the pages of the Daily Mail: our open, liberal and progressive brand of politics tends to be at odds with their editorial worldview (to put it mildly). However,

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Nick Clegg announces 2015 negotiating team

Nick Clegg has announced the team who will handle coalition negotiations after the election in 2015 (if needed, of course).  It will consist of Danny Alexander, Steve Webb, Sal Brinton, Lynne Featherstone and David Laws.

In his book ‘22 days in May‘ David Laws revealed that Nick Clegg had appointed the 2010 negotiating team in secret during the previous year. The team was not put together in haste after the election, as many had assumed, so there were really no excuses for the absence of women. Politically David Laws and Danny Alexander were drawn from the economic liberal wing of …

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Opinion: On child poverty targets, on which I agree with David Laws

“A fair, free and open society, in which… no one shall be enslaved by poverty.”

The fundamental basis of our party’s constitution – its very soul – is the elimination of poverty. We may disagree amongst us on how best to achieve this ambitious goal, but there’s little dissent on having it as a goal, particularly when it comes to the blight of children growing up in poverty.

As Caron made clear, we find ourselves in government with a party that doesn’t share many of our values – rarely is this crystallised as starkly as this week’s battle over child poverty …

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David Laws challenges Tories on child poverty

The frustrations of being in government with the Tories are no greater than when they are concerned with issues of poverty and vulnerability. Many Liberal Democrats have ongoing concerns about welfare reforms which remove support from people who need it. However much we might try to console ourselves with the fact that we are making a difference with things like free school meals, the raising of the tax threshold, extra childcare for the poorest, an early start to education for the poorest 2 year olds and making sure that the whole country enjoys the benefits of the economic recovery and …

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David Laws on Times manifesto article: “Nothing could be further from the truth”

I wrote this morning about an article in the Times which suggested that our manifesto would ditch policies that both the Conservatives and Labour disagreed with.

Manifesto Working Group Chair David Laws has responded to the Times article with an unequivocal posting on the party’s new website.

He says:

Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Chair of the Manifesto Group, I see it as our role to set out a clear Liberal Democrat vision of where we would like to take Britain in the next Parliament – this is why our Manifesto themes paper at the Glasgow conference has a chapter

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Nobody else will speak up for liberalism, so our manifesto has to be brimming with it

lib dem manifesto tax cutI find myself bemused by this report from today’s Times (£) which suggests that Liberal Democrats would steer clear of any policies that both the Conservatives or Labour disagreed with in our manifesto for next year’s General Election.

The article reports a conversation with a Liberal Democrat source:

He conceded that the party was not going to win a majority at the next general election, but said it was vital that it left open the opportunity of working with either of the other two parties. “We need to

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Fraser Nelson’s must-read guide to utterly and completely misunderstanding the Lib Dems’ Coalition strategy

Fraser Nelson has written a must-read guide to utterly and completely misunderstanding the Lib Dems’ Coalition strategy today. My guess is he’s reliant on Tory intelligence, which in this case is an oxymoron.

Much of it is the usual half-fair/half-unfair admixture of insults regularly thrown at the Lib Dems by the right-wing media. We are, says Fraser, “a hodge-podge of a party defined by its lack of definition”, “conservative in Somerset and socialist in Solihull” (has he met Lorely Burt?). Unlike the Conservatives, of course, where the small-l-liberal outlook of Ken Clarke and Nick Boles dovetails perfectly with the …

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It’s Laws v Gove again as Lib Dem schools minister says academy chains should be accountable to Ofsted

‘It’s civil war in the Coalition classroom’ – that’s how the Independent bills the latest row between those two very civil politicians running the education department, Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws.

I wrote at the weekend about the first spat, which erupted after Michael Gove’s decision to sack Baroness (Sally) Morgan as chair of Ofsted for doing too good a job – at least, that seemed to be the gist of his argument, as he praised her to the skies for her “superlative” work before saying it was time for a …

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Gove and Laws scrap it out on front pages over sacking of Ofsted head. Here’s what the row is all about.

Today’s newspaper front pages are full of the scrap taking place at the heart of the Department for Education between Conservative secretary of state Michael Gove and Lib Dem schools minister David Laws:

gove laws - papers

  • Ofsted row: Lib Dems furious at Conservative plan to ‘politicise’ classrooms (Independent on Sunday)
  • Lib Dems savage Gove over sacked schools boss (The Sunday Times, £)
  • Angry Lib Dems accuse Michael Gove of bid to politicise education (Observer)
  • Why is there a row?

    On Friday night, The Independent broke the news that Baroness (Sally) Morgan, the Labour

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 28 Comments

    Want to see a photo of a Young David Laws?

    Young David Laws – no, not a new telly detective, but a picture of Lib Dem schools minister David Laws aged about 19. Hint: he’s the chap on the left… a phrase not normally associated with David.

    (Hat-tip to Jezz Palmer for spotting.)

    young david laws

    Anyone got other photos of Lib Dem MPs before they were famous?

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 17 Comments

    The Independent View: Could Ireland’s emerging healthcare reforms test David Laws’ NHIS vision?

    Nearly a decade ago now, David Laws MP raised the idea of evolving the NHS into a continental-style universal ‘National Health Insurance Scheme’ (NHIS), where healthcare would be progressively funded from dedicated income contributions, individuals could choose insurers and everyone would be entitled to a comprehensive package of set treatments within a decentralised but heavily regulated system. It was a bold and interesting proposal, which for better or worse helped define the 2004 Orange Book in eyes of many, though it has perhaps also been misunderstood and straw-manned to a degree.

    However, besides substantive criticisms and the understandable sensitivities that talk …

    Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

    David Laws’ “Manifestival” now up on You Tube

    David Laws and PinguLast night, David Laws spent an hour answering members’ questions on the development of the Liberal Democrat manifesto. He took questions on a huge range of issues ranging from the economy to civil liberties to justice, fracking and schools. It’s quite remarkable that this is being done so openly and publicly.

    Some of us had trouble accessing the event. If it hadn’t been for Stace Williams, I wouldn’t have managed it at all. As it as, I have half an hour to catch up on. And I can, too. Because it’s up on You Tube.

    It’s 53 minutes long, so best to be enjoyed over a cup of tea.

    I make no apology, by the way, for the gratuitous use of the photograph of David and Pingu. I don’t think Paddy Ashdown has yet forgiven you readers for not voting it the best photo in the Liberal Democrat Voice awards. I see no reason why we shouldn’t use it as much as we possibly can.

    Anyway, enjoy the Q & A. You will note that the Divine Ms Duffett looks as if she has been at that Fountain of Eternal Youth again. She is very good at chairing these webinars, making them informal and informative.

    I should also emphasise that David said that he ideally needs ideas for the manifesto within the next six months s0 get them to him. Go and Join the Debate.

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    Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: Two big issues – free schools and energy bills

    It would have been very surprising if Nick’s weekly letter hadn’t been on the subjects which have dominated the headlines this week – free schools and energy bills. Although, to be honest, I think it’s the energy bills that most voters are most concerned about and possibly merited a larger proportion of the Letter than they get. Nick makes the case for retaining the green charges which pay for the warm homes discount and home insulation programmes. Ed Davey wrote more about what he’s doing to keep down energy bills on this site last week. The thing is, it’s

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    David Laws writes… Nick Clegg and I have always been clear that Free Schools must also be fair schools

    On Thursday this week, Nick Clegg will set out the Liberal Democrat approach to improving standards in schools.

    He will set out what parents and pupils should expect from schools. This is an issue we have worked on together for some time, and which was debated and agreed at our party’s conference this Spring.

    The Liberal Democrats are instinctive supporters of freedom, diversity and choice. We believe in giving schools more autonomy and teachers more freedom.

    That’s why we have supported extra powers to innovate for free schools and academies and have taken steps in government to extend autonomy for all schools. We …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 31 Comments

    Two questions journalists aren’t asking about Nick Clegg’s free schools speech

    Nick Clegg’s speech on free schools – setting out the policy approved by the Lib Dem conference last March – has ruffled feathers. Apparently he and David Cameron even had lunch yesterday to discuss this ‘bombshell’ announcement (which in fact won’t be made until a speech this Thursday).

    My view (as I set out here on Sunday) is that schools should have the freedom to appoint teachers who lack formal qualifications, though I’d expect these to be the exceptions not the rule in the vast majority of state-funded schools. But I don’t think it’s at all surprising that Nick …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 40 Comments

    Clegg on free schools and National Curriculum: no more, no less than party policy. And that’s for better and worse.

    No-one should be that surprised by Nick Clegg’s decision to distance the Lib Dems from Michael Gove’s schools policies — specifically that every teacher should be qualified and that every school should teach the national curriculum. After all, what Nick is due to set out in a speech this week is the policy that was voted for overwhelmingly by the party’s conference in March this year.

    Here’s what the adopted policy – Every Child Taught by an Excellent Teacher – says about teachers in all schools having qualifications:

    All classroom teachers, including in academies and free schools and Further Education

    Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 31 Comments

    Opinion: League tables – Lib Dems deliver real change

    schoolsignA quiet revolution happened last night that seems not to have made the front pages or even featured particularly prominently on Today. However, to me it represents one of the best examples of Lib Dems making a difference in education since being in government – and a genuine step in the right direction with regards to realising the potential in all students.

    There is to be a massive shake-up of GCSE league tables which is designed to stop the ‘perverse incentive’ for schools focusing on the students close to the C/D border to maximise the number of students achieving A*-C grades. Thanks to David Laws and his work in the department of Education, league tables will no longer be measure on just 5 subjects but 8 subjects, which include the humanities and vocational subjects or arts. Schools will be measured not just by how students do at the end of GCSE’s but by how much progress was made between GCSE’s and the end of Key Stage 2 (about age 11).

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

    Opinion: Performance related pay for teachers: does it drive up standards?

    Michael Gove’s most recent big idea to improve the teaching profession takes the form of performance related pay. Like many of Gove’s big ideas it has incensed teachers. But it’s also a populist move. One poll estimated that 61% of voters backed the idea. But will it improve teaching standards?

    The evidence for performance related pay leading to improving standards in education is inconclusive. Literature shows no causal relationship between performance related pay and standards and results vary enormously depending on the context. In India one study showed that “after controlling for student ability, parental background and the resources available …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 29 Comments

    “Go home” billboards – an open letter and blog round-up

    Since my post on Monday about the Home Office’s plan to send mobile billboards proclaiming that people who are in this country illegally should go home or face arrest, a number of bloggers and party members across various internet fora have expressed emotions ranging from horror to anger at the plan.

    Sarah Teather is, as far as I can tell, the only Liberal Democrat MP to have passed any comment at all, and just to remind you, she wasn’t chuffed:

    Vulnerable individuals who are fleeing persecution and violence are treated with disbelief and a complete lack of compassion in a rigid

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 29 Comments

    David Laws – “I thought the note was a joke”

    no money leftITV has revealed the contents of the infamous note left by Liam Byrne for David Laws. Unfortunately it is not possible to embed the video in this post, but you can watch it here.

    Three years ago David Laws reported that his predecessor had written ‘There’s no money left’, but it seems that wasn’t quite what the note said.

     

     

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

    David Laws on the Liberal Democrat agenda for tackling low pay

    David LawsLast Wednesday David Laws gave a speech at the Resolution Foundation on the Liberal Democrat agenda for tackling low pay.

    He began by reflecting on the job market.

    Many of us vividly remember the recession of the early 1980s, which destroyed so many jobs. There are still communities in our country which have failed to recover from that economic heart-attack. In contrast, the recent recession and the unusually slow recovery from it have been characterised by much better than expected employment outcomes. Instead of losing millions of jobs, we have been

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 25 Comments

    Laws vetoes plan to turn teachers into part-time border agents

    Education Minister David LawsFrom yesterday’s Guardian:

    A proposal to require schools to check on the immigration status of their pupils has been shelved after the Liberal Democrat schools minister David Laws decided the idea would be bureaucratic and difficult to implement.

    In a sign of the Lib Dems’ determination to assert themselves in the coalition, Laws told the education secretary Michael Gove the proposal was a “non-flyer”.

    According to Whitehall emails leaked to the Guardian in March, Laws asked officials earlier this year to carry out a “cost-benefit analysis” of carrying out checks

    Posted in News | 7 Comments

    Schools in well-off areas ‘are failing’ poorer pupils

    David LawsThe Pupil Premium has had an impact on the educational achievements of many children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Indeed, the gap in attainment between them and the rest of the pupil population is the narrowest it has been for many years.

    However, in an interview with the Independent, David Laws highlights the, perhaps surprising, differences between performance in deprived and in affluent areas of the country. It seems that disadvantaged children in well-off areas are not achieving as well as similar children in deprived areas.

    David Laws, the Schools minister, described the

    Posted in News | Also tagged | 48 Comments

    Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (13 Feb)

    Here’s a round-up of news from the past 24 hours in the Eastleigh by-election…

    Mike Thornton’s campaign in full swing

    mike thornton david chidgeyThe Lib Dems’ Mike Thornton — pictured here (by Jon Aylwin) with 1994 by-election victor David Chidgey — has been focusing on how the pupil premium, the party’s flagship education policy, has been helping Eastleigh schools:

    Lib Dems boost Pupil Premium (Southern Daily Echo)
    The policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats has invested £1.7m in Eastleigh schools, and is aimed at ensuring every child has a fair start in life.

    Just one of the reasons why volunteer help has been pouring in to help Mike retain the seats for the Lib Dems:

    Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 12 Comments

    LibLink: David Laws – Incentive for UK schools to promote talent

    Writing in today’s Financial Times, Lib Dem schools minister David Laws has the following to say about the Government’s announcements on reforms to the systems of examination:

    We need all schools to teach all children well in all subjects. For that reason, we propose judging schools by the progress their pupils make in eight subjects. Two of those subjects will be English and maths; a further three will be any combination of sciences, history, geography and languages. The remaining three are open – they could be further sciences or languages, subjects such as art or music,

    Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 3 Comments

    Gove forced into GCSE U-turn ‘under Lib Dem pressure’

    The morning’s big news is that Conservative education secretary Michael Gove is set to announce a U-turn today on his plans to scrap the current GCSE exams and replace them with a new EBacc qualification in 2015. Here‘s how the Independent reports it:

    The Education Secretary bowed to overwhelming pressure for a rethink from Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, the exams regulator Ofqual and MPs from all parties. It is understood that he decided to act after being warned by civil servants that one key plank of his reforms – handing each of the core subjects over to just

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    David Laws to chair 2015 Manifesto Working Group

    It’s now official: Lib Dem schools minister David Laws will chair the party’s Manifesto Working Group. Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames, who chairs the party’s Federal Policy Committee, has just emailed members with the following message:

    Last night at the party’s Federal Policy Committee we agreed Nick Clegg’s nomination of David Laws MP to Chair the Manifesto Working Group for the next General Election. Alongside David, we also appointed two Vice-Chairs – Sharon Bowles MEP and Duncan Brack – and nine further members of the group.

    The Manifesto Working Group reports to the Federal Policy Committee, which has responsibility for preparing the

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 42 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

    Attacking child poverty – David Laws wants your views…

    Child poverty in the UK is way too high. It is at unacceptable levels and has been for too long. The government is united in taking child poverty seriously and we are determined – even in difficult times – to reduce child poverty and increase opportunities.

    Traditionally we have defined poverty simply by relative income. We know now that this is not sufficient. A child’s experience of poverty is about more than whether their family income this week is low.

    That is why we are consulting on a new measure of poverty. The new measure is not about abandoning the past. Nor is it about massaging

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 9 Comments



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