Tag Archives: featured

In full: Nick Clegg responds to the Queen’s Speech

The Liberal Democrats worked hard to ensure that the coalition government’s agenda had a clear thread of liberalism running through it – from the priority we gave to mental health and the green agenda, to creating the pupil premium and protecting our civil liberties.

So it is dispiriting – if pretty unsurprising – to see how quickly, instead of building on those achievements, the new Conservative Government is turning its back on that liberal stance.

The human rights we hold dear, our right to privacy in an online age, our future as an open-minded, outward-looking country, are all hanging in the balance again because of the measures announced today.

It is clear, too, that the previous Government’s commitment to fairness is also weakened.

There was little in today’s speech to help the poorest and the most vulnerable; not enough to improve social care; and no plan to build the Garden cities and 300,000 new homes a year our young people need for the future.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Rennie and Mark Williams and Kirsty Williams react to “unbridled Conservatism” of Queen’s Speech

Scottish and Welsh Liberal Democrat leaders Willie Rennie and Kirsty Williams have reacted to this morning’s Queen’s Speech.

Willie Rennie was unimpressed by the government’s legislative programme. He accused the Conservatives of threatening the economy and punishing the poor.

The UK Government’s programme is unbridled conservatism in action.

The Conservative agenda will undermine our rights, threaten our recovery and punish the poor and vulnerable.

Today’s Queen’s speech demonstrates the need for a liberal voice at the heart of British politics.

The Tories are continuing their campaign of fear with plans for a Snooper’s Charter, threats to our human rights and an attack on benefits.

Policies such as increasing the tax threshold and a focus on childcare and improving mental health services simply wouldn’t be on the agenda without the Liberal Democrats.

It shows why you need the Liberal Democrats to stand up for civil liberties. We will continue to fight for a stronger economy and a fairer society, which creates opportunity for all.

Posted in News | 4 Comments

The Liberal Democrat Voice Queen’s Speech

Liberal Democrats are unlikely to find anything that makes them happy in today’s Queen’s Speech. In fact, many of the measures to be announced will make us cringe with horror.

We thought we’d ask people to contribute their ideas for a Bill they would introduce with a sentence to explain why if they wanted. Do add your own in the comments.

The Leadership candidates

Tim Farron:

I would like a new Great Reform Act – voting reform for  the House of Commons, the House of Lords and local government.

Norman Lamb:

Assisted Dying Bill

Once and for all we should confront the messy compromise that every year denies terminally ill patients, suffering great pain, the right to choose the way they end their life – in dignity and with the support of their loved ones – without travelling to another country.

Suzanne Fletcher

My Government will treat those seeking sanctuary in our country as asylum seekers with dignity, respect and justice.

As a start to this we will this year :

put an end to the disgraceful waste of lives and waste of money in indefinitely detaining people for immigration purposes.

Will further allow those seeking sanctuary in the UK who have been here for more than 6 months to work, allowing them to retain their dignity as well as save the taxpayer money.

Will replace the degrading Azure Card with cash payments giving asylum seekers the freedom to buy essentials for living at the cheapest price.

Duncan Stott

Garden Cities and Urban Extensions Bill – To tackle the housing crisis, we to identify the best sites for a major new housebuilding programme and provide new mechanisms to release this land for sustainable, affordable development.

Andy Myles

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 11 Comments

The first key difference in the Liberal Democrat leadership race emerges

So, we have a key difference between the two contenders in our two horse leadership race.

While settling down for Eurovision last night, I asked both if they were watching. Tim was going to watch with his family today as his kids are a bit too young to stay up that late. Norman was making his way back home after a day of campaigning in London. When that was established, I asked them a question of interest to many Liberal Democrats. Doctor Who – yes or no. Here are the responses in the order in which they were received:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments

LibLink: Ryan Coetzee: The Liberal Democrats must reunite, rebuild or remain in opposition

Ryan Coetzee has written a long article for the Guardian in which he analyses our election defeat and looks to the future.

He looked at the three fronts of the electoral battlefield, Scotland, Labour-facing and Tory facing seats. He looked at the Tories’ fear tactics throughout the campaign:

About four weeks from election day it became clear that The Fear was hurting us. We tried everything we could to counter it: fear of a Tory minority government in hock to its own right wing, Ukip and the DUP; fear of Tory cuts to welfare, schools and other unprotected departments; ruling out participation in any government that relied on SNP support; offering ourselves as the only guarantors of a stable coalition. All of it was trumped by The Fear, and on a scale we didn’t see coming.

I cannot help wonder what would have happened if Miliband and Clegg had turned round to David Cameron and told him that he was talking nonsense. By ruling out coalition with the SNP, we legitimised his depiction of them as the ultimate bogey party. They were never going to anything other than a pain in the backside. They aren’t monsters. The worst they would be able to do would be to propose amendments on the likes of Trident which would be voted down by virtually everyone else bar a few of us and a few Labour lefties. I understand, I think, why we didn’t do that – it hadn’t gone so well when Clegg faced down Farage, however much we might admire his courage in doing so. I suspect, though that a joint initiative to combat the Tory fear might have helped Clegg and Miliband see they could work tougher and  combat the ridiculous Tory scaremongering. Mind you, Labour’s policy platform was so weak, it might all have been in vain anyway.

Posted in LibLink and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 85 Comments

Who Lib Dem Voice members think should be the next leader

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of the General Election results. Some 1065 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

OK, so before we go any further, we all know how dreadful polling has been recently, and I’m also including our results on the Presidential election last year.

Also these numbers are based on a sample of 1,065 out of 57,773 members, before nominations have closed, and any hustings have taken place.

First Preferences

Which of the eight Liberal Democrat MPs would you like to see as the next leader?

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: The Flame

phoenixWe are rebuilding.  Nick Clegg said in his resignation speech that we face the task of nurturing the flame of British Liberalism.  But as we rebuild, what does – what should – British Liberalism mean?

This seems like something worth discussing.  We are a broad church with many roots: our forebears were Liberals and Social Democrats, but we incorporated the Pro-Euro Conservatives too, and many more of no former alignment.  So, we’ve got this flame of British Liberalism, and if the attitude of the party members and our spectacular membership surge are anything to go by, it shouldn’t be going out any time soon.

Right.  What does British Liberalism mean to me?  For me at least, two things spring immediately to mind before all else.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Constitutional agnosticism – reuniting Scotland’s liberal voice

The Scottish Liberal Democrats adopted a targeted strategy in its 11 held seats at the General Election. We faced a drop in the popular vote by more than half compared to 2010 and a Scottish Nationalist insurgency. The approach taken was to appeal to a Unionist tactical vote in those areas, hoping that the fear of SNP victories across the board would draw-in Labour and Tory voters in places like East Dunbartonshire, Gordon and West Aberdeenshire.

I want to acknowledge from the outset, that this was a less ineffective strategy for the Scottish Lib Dems than it proved for Scottish Labour. Though losing all mainland seats, the margins by which we were defeated were relatively close. Mike Crockart, for example, was much closer to holding his seat than most Glasgow Labour MPs. There is not zero merit in this approach.

photo by: amandabhslater
Posted in Op-eds | 55 Comments

Opinion: “Values” and Party

There has been a lot written about the importance of “values”. I’m not convinced.

Talk about values reinforces the idea that one can pick and mix principles and ideas – just as with policies, one can put together a package which suits your pocket or your likes and then decide which party at any one time best meets your need to vote. Or, indeed, you can just campaign on one or two which happen to strike you as most important.

This view encourages the idea that party is an outdated concept and often inconvenient if there happen to be some bits of your party’s policies which you don’t like – which there always will be in an open and democratic community. In this world of values, party affiliations are worn loosely and are often transient. I want to proclaim the importance of both party and philosophy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

#NewMembersDay: The Lib Dem Lowdown – what you need to know about our party

Welcome to the thousands of people who have joined the Liberal Democrats since the polls closed last week.  We have already heard from some of you about what inspired them to sign up and we will have more such posts throughout the day. I thought it might be useful to tell you a little bit about how it works and give you a bit of an idea of the opportunities open to you.

What do we believe?

Before we get into the nitty gritty of organisation, the best statement of who we are and what we’re about can be found in the Preamble to our Constitution which underlines how we believe in freedom, opportunity, diversity,  decentralisation and internationalism. Here’s a snippet:

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity. We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

We look forward to a world in which all people share the same basic rights, in which they live together in peace and in which their different cultures will be able to develop freely. We believe that each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long term continuity of life in all its forms. Upholding these values of individual and social justice, we reject allprejudice and discrimination based upon race, colour, religion, age, disability, sex or sexual orientation and oppose all forms of entrenched privilege and inequality.

We have a fierce respect for individuality, with no expectation that fellow Liberal Democrats will agree with us on every issue. We expect our views to be challenged and feel free to challenge others without rancour. We can have a robust debate and head to the pub afterwards, the very best of friends.

Your rights as a member

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 21 Comments

#NewMembersDay: A Liberal Democrat Reading List

I, famously, don’t write for Lib Dem Voice. But on a day like today, how could I not? Apparently, there are like ten thousand of you guys now. Welcome! Genuinely, really, welcome. In order to help you acclimatise to the culture of the party there’s a few things you ought to be reading. A version of this was originally posted on my blog, and this one has been amended to reflect the comments there as well as my original post. YAY crowdsourcing!

The back of your membership card* is the first and most important thing for you to read as a new Lib Dem. The front will have some sort of pretty picture on it, and your name, and your membership number. The back will say on it:

The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

which is an extract from our Constitution and is something that is graven on most of our hearts. Regardless of the fact that I have recently called for a constitutional convention, and I genuinely think that we should rebuild from the ground up (hopefully with your help), the idea that the words “no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance, or conformity” won’t be a part of whatever comes out of that process is unconscionable.

On Liberty by John Stuart Mill. You can read this online, but my favourite version** is this 1912 edition which also contains two more of Mill’s essays – on running the government and on feminism – and an Introduction by Millicent Garrett Fawcett. You might be a bit put off the idea of reading a dry work of Victorian philosophy, but I promise you, it’s worth it. If you really can’t bear all that beautiful Victorian verbiage, though, there is a Spark Notes for On Liberty*** too.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 69 Comments

John Pugh MP writes: Getting Back on Track

Railway trackLooking at the wreckage of our electoral hopes, the defeat of MPs of massive talent and commitment who have served their constituencies well, it is hard for all of us not to feel angry. A lot of that anger spills through in the post hoc analysis as we seek to distribute blame and identify the critical errors made.

I suspect that in years to come people will still argue about what went wrong and when, but certainly at the moment its all too raw to arrive at objective,dispassionate conclusions that all will accept.

Posted in Op-eds | 43 Comments

LibLink: David Steel – Six ways Nick Clegg steered the Liberal Democrats to disaster

On the Guardian Comment is Free, David Steel has a must-read article with remarkably perspicacious observations:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 72 Comments

Opinion: Rebuilding the party – lessons from history

I’ve already had journalists ring me up to ask when was the last time Liberals did so badly. The answer is 1970, when the Liberal Party won six seats on the back of 2.1 million votes, 7.5 per cent of those who voted. Last week’s result was similar: eight seats from 2.4 million votes, 7.9 per cent of those who voted.

There are other parallels. The opinion polls in 1970 had pointed consistently to a victory for Harold Wilson’s outgoing Labour government; Ted Heath’s win for the Conservatives came as a considerable surprise. On the other hand, then the polls underestimated …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 48 Comments

Party membership passes 50,000, with over 5,000 new members since Thursday

Lib Dem membership 50,000About 80 people an hour have been joining the party since the polls closed on Thursday, taking membership levels back up to those last seen in about 2011. Even the 2010 surge following the leaders debate only took membership up to just over 60,000, so if these extraordinary increases continue we may find ourselves completely reversing all the decline that occurred in the first couple of years of the coalition.

Party chief executive Tim Gordon has just emailed members with the timetable for the leadership election that will now take place (see below) and all those who join the party before 3 June will be able to vote.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 69 Comments

Lib Dem/Tory waverers wanted continuity, but they voted Conservative to achieve it

It was always going to be true that the 30 or so seats where the fight was between the Liberal Democrats and Conservatives would end up delivering one of the most important stories of election night 2015. Liberal Democrats hoped, of course, that this would be for the reason that they were the hallmark of the party’s resilience. But they were newsworthy in the end because they were symbols of the Lib Dem defeat, and the vehicles of delivery of a Conservative victory.

That the tens of thousands of voters in those seats who wavered between the Liberal Democrats and the Conservatives were the most important of this campaign had been known to both governing parties, of course, for months if not years. They were ruthlessly targeted from every angle: leaflets, phone-calls and visit after visit by senior politicians.

And in the end they made their decision, and they made it in David Cameron’s favour. The prime minister’s message, that only a Conservative vote could guarantee continuity and avoid the risk of a Miliband-Sturgeon government, ultimately prevailed.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 230 Comments

Charles Kennedy writes… The night of the long sgian dubhs

I am very fond of political history. If nothing else, we can all reflect on and perhaps tell our grandchildren that we were there on “The night of long sgian dubhs!”

I would very much like to thank my home team. They have been so energetic, dedicated and selfless to the task. Indeed, with them, I would like to thank the very many over the years who have made possible the previous seven successful general election campaigns locally.

I spare a thought for, and this is true of so many constituencies, for members of staff. It is one thing for elected representatives to find themselves at the mercy of the electorate; it is quite something else for the other loyal and skilled people who, sadly, will in due course be searching for employment. I wish them well and stand ready to help. I am sure that their professionalism will stand them in good stead.

It has been the greatest privilege of my adult and public life to have served, for 32 years, as the Member of Parliament for our local Highlands and Islands communities. I would particularly like to thank the generation of voters, and then some, who have put their trust in me to carry out that role and its responsibilities.

Posted in News | 73 Comments

Opinion: where do we go from here?

I was a member of the Labour Party, but in the nineteen eighties joined the Social Democratic Party when it split away. In 1983 the Labour Party was committed to leaving the European Union. I saw the SDP as having the pro-European, internationalist outlook that the Labour Party had abandoned.

By 1997 I had arrived in the new Liberal Democrat Party after the SDP merged with the Liberals. The Conservative MP for the constituency I was then in, Carshalton and Wallington, produced an interesting leaflet arguing that the Lib Dems were well to the left of “new” Labour. He aimed to deter people from voting for such radicalism, but it strengthened my support for the Lib Dems. When we were the only party opposing the Iraq war, I felt the party was positioned in the right place on the political spectrum, a party espousing liberal, radical and reformist policies, concerned about the environment, the welfare state and the socially excluded, while opposed to militarism. I want us to get back there.

Since 2010 it has been events that have re-positioned the party rather than decisions to re-position ourselves. Given the election outcome in 2010 and the sense of national crisis – a hung Parliament, a failing economy – there was no responsible option but to enter coalition. Undoubtedly we did not say clearly enough that this was an alliance of people with quite different philosophies and outlooks, forged in the national interest, and that coalition means that some things not in your manifesto and not what you would have really wanted would be done.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 104 Comments

Sal Brinton – Libby is our phoenix

Sal Brinton Sal @ Crohns & Colitis Rec _2 CROPPED Nov 13Here is Party President Sal Brinton’s video address to members this afternoon:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

Nick Clegg resigns as leader

Nick Clegg has said that he needs to take responsibility for the “crushing” election result for the Liberal Democrats and he resigned with great dignity.

He said that the election had been crushing, much more so than he expected and he had to take responsibility for that. He then went on to quote Edinburgh Western candidate Alex Cole Hamilton’s tweet after the 2011 Scottish election. Alex said that if the price of his defeat was that no child would spend a night in an immigration detention centre again, then he accepted it with all his heart. Nick gave a passionate defence of the good things we’d done in government and said that he thought history would judge us more kindly than last night.

He then talked passionately about the need for British liberalism. He acknowledged it wasn’t faring well against identity politics and the politics of fear but it was really needed.

Fear and grievance have won. Liberalism has lost. But it is more precious than ever and we must keep fighting for it.

It is easy to imagine there is no road back. There is.

This is a very dark hour for our party but we cannot and will not allow decent liberal values to be extinguished overnight.

We’ll update this post with reaction to Nick’s resignation. I’ll write at greater length about his leadership when I’ve had some sleep, but I have huge admiration for the man. He has borne the difficulties of the last five years with dignity, good grace, humour and resilience. He has been ridiculed by vested interests from left and right. You could argue that any Liberal Democrat leader in such a position would have faced exactly the same. He’s made mistakes, from the Rose Garden to secret courts to the bedroom tax to the one that everyone associates with him. Here’s his statement in full.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 124 Comments

9 am update: Where are we now?

There  are just two seats with Liberal Democrat interest left to declare and I think we’d be kidding ourselves if we thougth we were going to get anywhere with either of them. Tessa Munt’s Wells and Andrew George’s St Ives look like they will fall to the Tories.

Update: actually 3 – I forgot Berwick. There may be a possibility there, which would be great but I’m not overly hopeful, it has to be said.

So, our parliamentary party is:

Nick Clegg

Tim Farron

Norman Lamb

Greg Mulholland

Tom Brake

John Pugh

Mark Williams

Alistair Carmichael

The psychological effects of the loss of our heartlands will affect us for some time to come.

We will, of ocurse, need to evaaluate what went wrong, how we change and refresh our campaigning style and make ourselves relevant in a very difficult and challenging political environment.

The worst thing that could have happened has happened – a Tory overall majority. People who think the last five years have been a Tory government will soon see what they are like, particularly with their right wing unleashed to cause havoc. There will be a great need for liberalism as they seek to strip our human rights laws back to nothing and isolate us internationally.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 124 Comments

The LibDemVoice Election Live Blog

We are going to be here all night

Posted in General Election | 291 Comments

Why The Times’s David Aaronovitch is voting Lib Dem

The Times’s David Aaronovitch has a piece in today’s newspaper that will put just a bit more wind in the sails of Liberal Democrats heading out for the all-important get out the vote operation.

First, he deals with his local situation in Hampstead and Kilburn in North London:

In other seats I think you should reward bravery and political honesty. We rejected voting reform in 2011 but that shouldn’t force us to cast our own clumsy ballots for candidates purely on the basis of which party they represent. If someone stands out, reward them, whichever party they belong to. Labour’s Stella Creasy in Walthamstow, Naz Shah, also Labour, in Bradford West and the Tories’ Anna Soubry in Broxtowe. I have a candidate in my own constituency of Hampstead and Kilburn, Maajid Nawaz of the Liberal Democrats, who has proved himself far-sighted and courageous. He gets my vote.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Opinion: What have the Liberal Democrats done for us and can we afford to put our trust in them again?

Like so many past Liberal Democrat voters, I have found this election campaign frustrating and demoralising. At the last election our party managed to get into a seat of power but didn’t they just throw it all away when they broke their pledge on tuition fees? What is the point in voting if our wishes are cast aside at the first hurdle?

But the right to vote has been hard fought and is a fundamental responsibility for all citizens. I have been seriously contemplating writing ‘none of the above’ on my voting slip. But no, voting is such an important responsibility. A choice needs to be made.

Watching the televised broadcasts and following the campaign on the radio and television has not been helpful. Politics is so muddied with spin. I needed to cut the crap and ditch the spin. We all know how the Liberal Democrats have failed us but I decided to research the Liberal Democrat Manifesto from 2010 to see what they have actually succeeded in achieving…

Increase the income tax threshold to £10,000. This is huge! It is a much better way of boosting the economy and supporting lower income families than having a higher minimum wage or putting up benefits.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 57 Comments

Labour minority government – or coalition with the Lib Dems – would not actually need the SNP’s support

Professor Colin Talbot of Manchester University has written an interesting blog which reinforces many of the points made here by Tony Greaves.

He mentions that much of the talk of “Confidence and supply” deals, Queens Speech votes and second 2015 elections ignores the reality of the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act 2011, which is kind to minority governments.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 45 Comments

Watch: Paddy’s Team Talk for the final few days: Where we need to win, we’re winning and what’s more the Tories know it…

As activists all over the country pull up their hoods to protect them from the torrential rain, Paddy pops up to say thanks, to remind us to keep going till 1o pm on Thursday and reminds us why we are doing it – for stability, decency and unity in our country.

He also reminds us that the Tories know that we are winning where we need to be and points out that at this stage in the last election they said they only had to win 14 seats, this time they are saying it’s 23 but we know it’s more.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

In which I seriously contemplate voting Labour

You might find this hard to believe. I was a little bit shocked by it myself. You have to understand the situation I am in. I live in a seat which is, to all intents and purposes, a battle between the SNP and Labour. With a poll this week suggesting that the SNP could win every single seat in Scotland, the unthinkable had to be thought. Should I, could I vote Labour tactically  to try to stop that happening? A large group of SNP MPs primarily motivated by narrow nationalist interests is not something that I think would be healthy for our democracy.

I have voted either SDP or Liberal Democrat in every election since I turned 18 bar two. The first was in the 90s when there was no Lib Dem candidate in my council ward. There wasn’t even an independent. My choice was Tory or Labour. There was no way I could ever in a million years vote Tory, so I had to click my heels three times, cross my fingers behind my back and put my cross next to the Labour candidate. The second was the 1997 election when I didn’t vote at all. When I had headed over to Chesterfield on the Friday before polling day, I rather suspected I might get home before 10pm on polling day. It wasn’t to be. I don’t think Mrs Pankhurst would have minded too much, though, because I was working my backside of in one of the most fantastic campaigns I have ever worked on.

The thought of Scotland sending a contingent of 100% of nationalist MPs elected on barely half the vote was something that deeply disturbed me. they would then claim that they spoke for Scotland, dismissing those who didn’t support them. Don’t get me wrong, there are some issues where I have a lot of common ground with them. However, their nationalism and quest for independence aside, they have a strong authoritarian, illiberal streak which goes against all my instincts. If Labour were the only ones likely to be able to beat them, shouldn’t I hold my nose and just vote Labour?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 78 Comments

My challenge to Ed Miliband – your core message may be a fabrication

Ed,

Yesterday on Question Time, you said, as you have said many times during this campaign:

There are some people who tell you that the way we succeed as a country is as long as a few people at the top do well and large corporations, that’s what powers the economy…

Here’s a good question, which you’ll be glad I asked you: Who are these people who tell us this? Have we heard of any of them? Are they standing for election? Can you give us a direct quote or two?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 63 Comments

Lord Tony Greaves writes…Why a new coalition would be a bad idea

In my first piece about what happens after May 7th I worked on the basis that the result would be around Con 275, Lab 275, LD 35, SNP 40, UKIP 5, Green 2, Speaker 1, all the Northern Irish 17 (of which the present numbers are DUP 8, SF 5, SDLP 3, All 1). Since then the numbers predicted by the polls have wobbled a bit around these numbers but the only consistent change has been to push up the SNP to perhaps 50 seats. And given the lack of a “late swing” of any size the LD number may be a bit high.

Given the provisions of the Fixed Term Parliaments Act it all still adds up to the likelihood – or the opportunity? – of a minority government (or democratic parliament?) that lasts several years, perhaps for the full five. Yet our official line is still that we want to join another Coalition. Officially we will negotiate with Tories or Labour, starting with the party with most seats (though in practice we will be talking to both simultaneously if that is what the numbers decree). Unofficially our leadership are reported to prefer another coalition with the Tories.

It’s no secret that this idea causes a severe onset of jitters in many parts of the party. With a week to go, the Times’ lead story reports “Lib Dems to revolt over fresh pact with Tories” (£). The story is pretty anecdotal, full of unattributed comments by “senior figures in the party” and the like (only Andrew George breaking cover), in general a typically flimsy piece of tabloid style journalism of the kind we see nowadays in the Times.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 117 Comments

Greg Mulholland: “We beat the British establishment”

The Casked CrusaderWe will never miss an opportunity to show off this amazing photograph from the Sun showing Greg Mulholland as the Casked Crusader, the guy who did more than anyone else in the last Parliament to help publicans by campaigning for them to have more power against exploitative measures by large pubcos.

There is an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub in Leeds North West needs to vote for Greg. In fact, there’s an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub should vote Liberal Democrat given the valiant work by Jo Swinson and Vince Cable in the face of strong Tory opposition.

Greg has written for the Publicans’ Morning Advertiser about the things he and the Liberal Democrats have been able to achieve and the mountains they had to climb to do it.

The Parliament started well, but then reform plans hit troubled Tory waters with a u-turn on plans to regulate the industry.

Diligent research by Greg and his colleagues got the issue back on the political agenda and a long campaign finally led to that amazing victory last November.  Greg says:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJames 28th May - 2:22am
    Oh, another article that suggests we need to be more economically right wing. FFS
  • User AvatarScott Berry 28th May - 12:56am
    Wow - as soon as I read Caron's post I was expecting the normal free speech uproar that comes any time anyone dares to suggest...
  • User AvatarJennie 28th May - 12:43am
    What Nick Barlow said. Also: regarding the app you refer to; if that's the conference app I won't have it on my phone. It won't...
  • User AvatarCharlie 27th May - 11:51pm
    If we look at the Renaissance, the rise of the Netherlands , the Industrial Revolution in the UK, the economic expansion in Germany 1850 to...
  • User AvatarLiberal Al 27th May - 11:41pm
    A women in a £1m hat, who lives on the public purse, talks of austerity. Yet, I am the extremist for being a republican (note...
  • User Avatargautam16 27th May - 11:32pm
    The main issue is that the benefits are very easily presented, but the costs are obscure and immeasurable. Eg1 over time, will society look down...
Thu 28th May 2015
Fri 29th May 2015
19:30
Sat 30th May 2015
Sun 31st May 2015
Mon 1st Jun 2015
Tue 2nd Jun 2015
Wed 3rd Jun 2015
Thu 4th Jun 2015
Fri 5th Jun 2015
Sat 6th Jun 2015
Mon 8th Jun 2015
19:30
Tue 9th Jun 2015
Wed 10th Jun 2015
Thu 11th Jun 2015
Fri 12th Jun 2015
Sat 13th Jun 2015
Wed 17th Jun 2015
Thu 18th Jun 2015
Sat 20th Jun 2015
Sun 21st Jun 2015
Thu 25th Jun 2015