Tag Archives: dizzy thinks

Abolition of Parliament: it was wrong then and it’s wrong now

Back when Tony Blair was Prime Minister Labour tried to get through Parliament sweeping powers to change the law without requiring full Parliamentary scrutiny. Then Liberal Democrat MP David Howarth was one of those who led the charge against this, writing in The Times:

The Government proposed an extraordinary Bill that will drastically reduce parliamentary discussion of future laws, a Bill some constitutional experts are already calling “the Abolition of Parliament Bill”.

A couple of journalists noticed, including Daniel Finkelstein of The Times, and a couple more pricked up their ears last week when I highlighted some biting academic criticism of the

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

Three simple ways to reform EDMs, without harming the fibreglass sheep

Dizzy Thinks has been on the case again about the costs run by Early Day Motions in Parliament. As he delicately puts it:

Yes, we really do have to spend £150K alone on the salary, pension and NI contributions for the poor sods that have to sort out the latest self-congratulatory bollocks that our MPs want to spout off fruitlessly about.

The combination of cost and triviality of many EDMs has caused some people to call for their abolition. I think this is going too far, as some EDMs do provide a useful mechanism, as a focus for external campaign groups, …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Independent View: votes for prisoners

At the last general election, I voted for the first time, and gave it to Diana Johnson Labour MP for Hull North. When it came to the local election I voted for the Lib Dem candidate. Notwithstanding Dizzy Thinks posting this on the 1st of April, I just had to have a go at it: “For anyone confused about how they might vote at the General Election, Vote Match 2010 has now been launched. It’s pretty straight forward multiple choice survey that will match what you think against what the political parties have told Vote Match they think”. …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 78 Comments

Dizzy Thinks for me

I was going to do a post about the inconsistencies in the Conservative Party’s health manifesto (it’s got something for everyone: more targets, fewer targets; more political control, less political control) but Dizzy Thinks has pretty much written it for me already. So to find out why I’m not  impressed with the Tory plans go and read a Tory blogger.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Conservative bloggers don’t like their party’s support for Jack Straw’s Iraq veto

Iain Dale: So the Tories are backing the government’s plans for the Post Office and Jack Straw’s decision to block publication of the Iraq war cabinet minutes. It’s probably just as well I have been too busy today to do much blogging.

Dizzy Thinks: I thought I would just pass a quick comment on Jack Straw’s decision to veto the Information Commissioner on the issue of Cabinet minutes on the decision to go to war in Iraq. Firstly, the Tories are bloody idiots to support the Government on this…

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

Derek Draper, LabourList and all that stuff

I’ve not blogged about some of the latest to-ings and fro-ings over Derek Draper and LabourList as plenty of other people have covered the topic, but this post in particular from a former Labour insider is worth highlighting. I think he underestimates a bit the scope for the internet to make an impact on British politics, but his analysis is thoughtful and measured:

It’s taken thirty-six years but last week it finally happened. I found myself – however I might wish for it to be otherwise – agreeing with an article in the Daily Mail. It was a

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

HM Treasury admits it doesn’t know how much money it’s spending: encore

Over the summer I blogged about the Treasury’s curious admission that it doesn’t know how much money it spends on, in the words of the question, “branding and marketing”. This week Dizzy Thinks spotted another example; the Treasury doesn’t know how much it spends on heating, electricity or water either. Perhaps it would be easier for someone to just ask what it does know?

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Labour accused of setting up anonymous Tory attack blog

Dizzy Thinks has the story and evidence:

I can reveal that this site has indeed been set-up by someone heavily linked with Derek Draper. Adrian McMenamin, a former Downing Street advisor and the man that headed up Labour’s rapid rebuttal Excalibur system prior to 1997 appears to be behind the site. What’s more, his attempts to hide it were not quite good enough.

Full story on his blog here.

As for the blog in question, it’s worth noting the, er…, interesting choice of some attack material. For example, under the headline David Cameron’s cynical abuse of Parliament, we get the news …

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Second James Purnell aide leaves in interesting circumstances

No Mottram Bypass has the story, all of which reminds me of this YouTube clip of James Purnell being interviewed. Very much one from the “how not to handle a difficult question” pile.

Hat tip: Dizzy Thinks: Is Purnell clearing out his skeletons?

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Blog of the Year Awards 2008: The Shortlists

Thank you to everyone who emailed in nominations for this year’s Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year awards. The judges (Kate Bevan, Rob Blackie, Ryan Cullen, Lynne Featherstone, James Graham, me, Sunny Hundal, Mark Pack and Stephen Tall) have pored over around 80 nominated blogs to whittle them down to the shortlists below.

The shortlists do, of course, represent the subjective opinions of the judges, so congratulations if you’ve been shortlisted but don’t worry if you haven’t – as always, the standards were high and there were tough decisions to make. The awards are a bit of fun that we hope will highlight some of the best examples of Liberal Democrat blogging and introduce you to some blogs you might not have read before.

I know you’re on tenterhooks, but assuming you haven’t skipped this bit already I have three announcements before we proceed.

The first is a reminder that the winner of the Best non-Liberal Democrat politics blog category will be decided by a public vote here on Liberal Democrat Voice, so please have a read of the nominated blogs and then head on over to the sidebar or to the bottom of this post to cast your vote.

Secondly, a plug for the awards ceremony itself. If you’re coming to party conference in Bournemouth, do head along to Old Harry’s Bar in the Marriott Highcliff Hotel from 9.45pm on Saturday. They’ll be refreshments on arrival (thanks to soon-to-be-announced sponsors), so come early!

Finally, I’m very pleased to announce that, with the kind agreement of Tim’s widow, Baroness Garden, the award for the best blog by a Liberal Democrat holding public office will from now on be known as The Tim Garden Award, in honour of Lord Garden, a blogger for many years, who died last year.

Without further ado, here are the shortlists.

Posted in Best of the blogs | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

Does it matter who won in Iowa?

Here’s the form book:

On the Democrat side, the previous three winners all went on to be their party’s nominee. It’s five out of seven overall since 1980.

On the Republican side, the previous four winners all went on to be their party’s nominee, and again it’s five out of seven since 1980.

If you look at only those contests where there was no incumbent President or Vice-President standing (as was the case yesterday for both sides), then the Iowa winner went on to be their party’s nominee four out of seven times overall: Reagan lost in 1980 to HW Bush, Dole won in …

Posted in LDVUSA | 6 Comments

An interesting new site or a Conservative front?

Courtesy of Dizzy Thinks, I’ve just come across Political Hearsay, a new site that isn’t quite finished yet but will allow people to rate different politicians. Is it a welcome new idea, or is it an attempt to pass off Conservative propaganda as neutral information, using online voting to suck in a large audience?

Posted in Online politics | 8 Comments

Stockport Council declares war on jargon

The Liberal Democrat run council in Stockport is trying to eliminate pointless jargon. Dizzy Thinks has the story, whilst I breathe a sigh of relief that I’ve only used one of the phrases on the hit list so far this week :-)

Posted in News | 11 Comments

Hilarious video!

Hat tip to Dizzy Thinks:

Posted in Lib Dem TV and News | Leave a comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 20th Aug - 6:09am
    @ Adam Robertson, So you don't agree that the language we use is a reflection of what and how we think? I would not use...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 20th Aug - 5:03am
    Fortunately, there are some 0's missing from several of the calculations. The original figure for the whole earth is 122,400,000 GW. Dividing that by 4...
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    ... which means that so-called "renewable" energy methods - wind and wave power for example - are not actually sustainable in the long-term. Not if...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 20th Aug - 1:05am
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  • User AvatarMark Inskip 20th Aug - 12:24am
    @Richard Dean what Peter wrote "After allowing for the portion of the earth illuminated at any moment, and the amount of energy reflected back to...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 20th Aug - 12:13am
    Adam, Carlile made comments which were really insulting and could have been construed as intimidating, about the women. Those I think went beyond the remit...