Tag Archives: george eaton

Lessons must be learned from the Jo Swinson speculation

jo swinson by paul walterOn Thursday, George Eaton of the New Statesman blogged that Jo Swinson was about to replace Ed Davey in the forthcoming Cabinet reshuffle.

Today, the Guardian’s Nick Watt says that this is not the case and Jo is expected to become Secretary of State for Scotland in September after the independence referendum.

Nick Clegg, acutely conscious that the five Liberal Democrat cabinet ministers are all men, is expected to promote the business minister Jo Swinson to the cabinet. But she is expected to succeed Alistair Carmichael as Scotland secretary after September’s independence referendum in September if, as expected, the pro-Union side prevails. Carmichael would be praised for his role in the victory as Swinson took charge on introducing greater devolution to the Scottish parliament.

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Jo Swinson tipped to replace Ed Davey in Cabinet reshuffle…

Jo Swinson Minister for Employment Relations and Consumer AffairsInteresting speculation from George Eaton in the New Statesman that Nick Clegg may have been listening to Stephen Tall and is about to reshuffle the Cabinet, replacing Ed Davey with Jo Swinson. Jenny Willott would take over Jo’s job at the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

The report says:

A senior party source suggests that Jo Swinson could replace Ed Davey, the Energy Secretary, in the party’s top team. Swinson, who recently returned from maternity leave (she is married to fellow Lib Dem MP Duncan Hames), has long been regarded as the strongest female candidate to enter the cabinet. She is a Clegg loyalist, a strong media performer, and has impressed during her time as a business minister.

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LDVideo: Danny Alexander explains decision to guarantee all UK debt up until Independence

It’s slightly annoying that the announcement by the Treasury pledging to honour all UK debt up till the date of Independence was made on the same day as Alistair Carmichael’s first keynote speech of the New Year, but there was little choice given ill-advised threats last week that an independent Scotland would default on its debts if it didn’t get its way on using the pound as part of a currency union. The markets were spooked. The Treasury had to act.

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Clegg opens up his “fairly thick Black Book” of Lib Dem plans blocked by the Tories – but is it enough?

Last week, David Cameron revealed he’s keeping a “little black book” of Tory ideas he’s desperate to implement which have been thwarted by the Lib Dems. This prompted an impressively swift imagining by Lib Dem HQ of what that black book might contain – you can read it here.

It also prompted Lib Dem blogger Richard Morris pointedly to ask at the New Statesman, ‘Where is Clegg’s “little Black Book” of Lib Dem policies blocked by the Tories?’

… thinking back over the last few years, Lord’s Reform and the Mansion Tax aside, it’s hard to think what Lib

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Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

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The poll findings which should encourage (some) Lib Dems and worry Labour

I highlighted during Lib Dem conference season an interesting finding from Lord Ashcroft’s latest polling of marginal seats:

Lord Ashcroft – the former deputy Tory chairman and the man who spends more on polling than all the political parties combined – released his latest findings this week. 13,000 voters in the 40 Conservative seats with the smallest majorities were surveyed, including eight where the Liberal Democrats came second in 2010: Watford, St Albans, Oxford West & Abingdon, Harrogate & Knaresborough, Camborne & Redruth, Truro & Falmouth, Newton Abbot and Montgomeryshire.

Remember: these are seats which are potential Lib Dem gains in

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

A personal guide to the 13 most essential political podcasts

podcastsCommuting is a major part of my daily life, so I find podcasts are an essential way to make use of time I’d otherwise spend staring vacantly out the window or idly refreshing and re-refreshing Twitter. Here, in order of where they appear in my iTunes directory, are the podcasts I listen to most frequently…

The Economist’s podcasts – a good mix of audio recordings of selected articles from the print edition together with brief discussions involving the Economist’s expert correspondents. Slightly irritatingly the sound can vary between recordings, so you …

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The surprising truth about that Lib Dem in/out EU referendum leaflet*

Clegg-referendum-leaflet-lisbon-2008On Monday morning, Nick Clegg was given a hard time on BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme by interviewer Justin Webb, who accused him of changing his position on an EU referendum on the basis of this pictured leaflet (click to enlarge**).

Nick brushed it to one side, correctly pointing out that the party has stuck to its 2010 manifesto pledge (my emphasis):

The European Union has evolved significantly since the last public vote on membership over thirty years ago. Liberal Democrats therefore remain committed to an in/out referendum the next

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 33 Comments

Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Britain and Europe: Making the break – The Economist‘s verdict on many Europhobes’ éjaculation nocturne: ‘The most likely outcome would be that Britain would find itself as a scratchy outsider with somewhat limited access to the single market, almost no influence and few friends. And one certainty: that having once departed, it would be all but impossible to get back in again.’

Boris shows that Eurosceptics are in a mess

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon Hunt 21st Sep - 10:25pm
    Seems a bit rich for a senior Lib Dem to be blaming the 'old parties' for broken promises and a disconnect from Westminster. Paddy may...
  • User AvatarRoland 21st Sep - 9:29pm
    "(1) The three party leaders neglected to get the permission of their parties to do what they did." [Sesenco 21st Sep '14 - 7:18pm] They...
  • User AvatarGlenn 21st Sep - 9:09pm
    David Allen. I've heard variation on the Tories will barnstorm into power if we do this or don't that for years. The fact is they...
  • User AvatarIgor Sagdejev 21st Sep - 9:08pm
    PR? Ah this is so unEnglish!
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 21st Sep - 9:02pm
    Sesenco - Ordinarily I'd agree with you in the sense that bread-and-butter issues should be above what is basically local government reform. However there are...
  • User Avatarmack (Not a Lib dem) 21st Sep - 8:57pm
    A Labour, Lib-Dem strategy might of course be to insist that the devolved powers to Scotland be treated as an unconditional, discrete piece of legislation,...