Tag Archives: guardian

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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LibLink: Richard Reeves: The Clegg Factor

Remember Richard Reeves, Nick Clegg’s former head of strategy? He left about 18 months ago but has written a couple of pieces in recent days, one for the Guardian and another for the Centre Forum blog. In his Guardian piece, he suggests that it’s after 2020 that the Liberal Democrats will really reap the rewards of our performance in Government. His theory is that we’ll do well enough to stay in government in 2015 and by 2020 we will have killed “the presumption of  one-party government.”

At Centre Forum’s blog, he concentrates on Nick Clegg and his achievements and opportunities:

 Clegg’s

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Some more information on the reasoning behind Nick Clegg’s approval of the destruction of the Guardian’s information

I think it’s been quite clear, both in the comments to our earlier post giving Nick’s views on the Miranda/Guardian case that people were still unhappy and many felt, including me, that they didn’t really understand why he decided to approve the request to the Guardian to destroy the data that they held. Elsewhere in the Liberal Democrat blogosphere, people like Neil Monnery and Andrew Brown have expressed their concern about Nick’s actions.

This has not gone unnoticed by the party’s spokespeople. They’ve noticed that people have been wondering why they had a quiet word with the Guardian rather than …

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Why I’m not so worried about David Miranda’s detention

When David Miranda was arrested under Schedule 7 of the Terrorism Act at Heathrow Airport on Sunday morning, he had the best lawyers the Guardian could afford at least  arguing with the authorities if not with him for all of that time, the newspaper itself and the Brazilian Government, concerned at the treatment of one of its own citizens, to stick up for him. Even then, the authorities held on to him to within minutes of the maximum nine hours. Holding the partner of the journalist who has been working on a story alleging that Governments have been acting beyond …

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Fancy a Lib Dem numberplate?

It’s never good when someone leaves the party, but I am sure some readers will be excited about a certain car numberplate coming back on the market.

L16 Dem was until recently on the car of former parliamentary candidate Andrew Duffield, who has been a regular commenter on this site. Now that he’s left the party and joined Labour, as the BBC reports, he understandably wants to sell it. He’s looking for £500 for it.

There were lots of oohs and aahs and shouts of “OMG, want” in the LDV office when we first saw this. Sadly, it’s way beyond my …

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Jeremy Browne sets off on global drugs policy research tour

Liberal Democrat Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne is in Portugal this week. As reported in the Guardian, he has embarked on a tour that will take him to Denmark, Sweden and the US to investigate different drugs policies before reporting his conclusions at the end of the year.

He is quoted as saying:

I’m proud of the UK’s drug policy and there are strong signs our approach is working. Illegal drug use is at its lowest level since records began and far more people are leaving treatment free from dependency than ever before.

But I’m not complacent. The UK cannot deal with

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Keep the faith: Liberal Democrats are doing good things in Government, not that you’d know it from today’s headlines

Liberal Democrats have taken a pounding across the Labour supporting media over the past few days. Article after soundbite condemns the welfare reforms which come into effect from now. It’s been a clever, co-ordinated onslaught which seems aimed at demoralising Liberal Democrat members and activists rather than opposing the changes themselves. After all, I haven’t heard Ed Miliband promise to repeal any of them. And we have to remember that it was the Labour Government who introduced Local Housing Allowance – the Bedroom Tax of the private sector.

Where have the Liberal Democrat MPs and key figures been?

That Labour would use …

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Opinion: Tory woes over the Eastleigh campaign continue

Channel 4 news are carrying a story highlighting Conservative Minister Nick Boles’ unease with the Eastleigh campaign’s “war on planning” strategy which he feels went against what he had been asked to do in government, and that he was asked to stay away from Eastleigh to keep the messaging on track.

This in itself is not that surprising, as the LibDem campaign (and even the media) knew that the Tory campaign was a double-back on their County Council and Government commitments and declared policies. It was pretty typical of their campaign, and of the overall shambles which is Tory …

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Lib Dem peer Avebury on working in your 80s

Yesterday’s Guardian carries a feature on three people who have worked way beyond the age when they can collect their State Pension.

One of those is Liberal Democrat Peer Eric Avebury, who has written several articles for Liberal Democrat Voice.

At 84, he’s still attending the House of Lords 4 days a week.

He talks of the driving force that keeps him going:

As I have got older I have become more and more keen on the idea of equality. The evidence shows that most of the ills of society – such as crime, mental illness and so on – are deeply correlated

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Danny Alexander tells Guardian: Like for like Trident replacement “not financially realistic”

HMS Ambush, Astute class - Some rights reserved by Royal Navy Media Archive In an interview with the Guardian, Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander has said that it’s neither financially possible nor strategically necessary to replace the Trident nuclear missile system with a similar set up. He added that any new deterrent would have to be paid for out of the existing Ministry of Defence budget as there was no “magic pot of money” in the treasury to pay for it.

He questioned whether the current set up met Britain’s needs in a

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LibLink: Anthony Lester – My vision of a Leveson law

Liberal Democrat peer Anthony Lester has written for the Guardian about his independent Press Council bill which he introduced in the House of Lords yesterday.

If his measure became law, it would be the Supreme Court rather than OFCOM which would ensure that the independent self regulatory body was genuinely independent and complying with the principles Lord Leveson set out in his report.

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Opinion: Get real about corporate tax

Companies currently pay corporation tax in the country where they are incorporated. A campaign is under way, in the Guardian, and the Commons Public Accounts Committee, that companies should instead pay tax where they make their sales. The proposal has populist appeal, but is impracticable.

Many companies, including UK companies, make export sales without costly incorporation in each sales country. If a US coal producer sells 1m tonnes of coal to UK powerplants for £100m, and makes £5m profit, it submits accounts in the US for tax authority scrutiny, and pays US tax on the £5m. Should this profit be …

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LibLink: Nick Clegg and Barbara Nalumu – We are proud of having ended child detention

One of the moments I will never forget from the heartbreaking night of the 2011 Holyrood election was our Edinburgh Central candidate Alex Cole-Hamilton’s tweet:

Ending Labour’s  horrendous policy, whereby children were locked up for indeterminate periods in horrible institutions like Yarl’s Wood and Dungavel, is one of the great things to come out of this coalition. Nobody’s saying the UK Border Agency is now perfect. Far from it. But on this, there can be no doubt that the Liberal Democrats ended an unacceptable, inhumane scandal.

Nick Clegg …

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LibLink: Tim Leunig – David Cameron should know better than this Housing Benefit gimmick

I wrote the other day that I wanted to see our party in general and Nick Clegg in particular come out and roundly condemn David Cameron’s ridiculous plan to stop under 25s from claiming Housing Benefit. Centre Forum director Tim Leunig did just that in an article for the Guardian on Monday.

His calm and forensic evisceration of Cameron’s argument put me in mind of the way Nick Clegg took apart the Tory Marriage Tax Break plan ahead of the 2010 election. This, of course, has been kicked into the long grass because of the Liberal Democrats. I’m also reminded of …

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How Vince avoided Murdoch – an example of appropriate ministerial behaviour

Today’s Guardian carries a report by Patrick Wintour which shows the frustrations of the News Corporation camp as they tried and failed to develop the same sort of close relationship with Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable as they had with Jeremy Hunt and Alex Salmond.

The article outlines several fruitless attempts from senior figures within News Corporation to arrange a meeting with Cable to discuss their proposed takeover of BSkyB. Vince at that time had quasi-judicial responsibility for that decision.

My favourite part of the article is the response of Giles Wilkes, Vince’s Special Adviser, on being asked “when would be …

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Opinion: we can not allow ourselves to be used as scapegoats by the Tories

It was an amazing coincidence that Lady Warsi’s interview on BBC2′s Newsnight spoke so lamentably about the state of the coalition the evening before YouGov put the Tories 11 points behind Labour. The Conservative Party chairman without hesitation accused us of being immature and failing to accept collective responsibility within the coalition.

Patrick Wintour’s article in yesterday’s Guardian  highlights the despicable manner in which Lady Warsi, as a cabinet member showed no loyalty to her coalition partners by putting the boot in as soon as the going got tough and the Tories started struggling in the opinion polls.

The whole episode …

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Guardian hails Paddick proposals as “properly liberal”, progressive and bold

We’re not so used to the Guardian saying nice things about Liberal Democrats these days, but Dave Hill is full of praise for the London Liberal Democrat Manifesto for the Mayoral and Assembly elections which was launched yesterday, calling it liberal, progressive and bold. This is what he has to say about policing and transport proposals:

Mayor Paddick would give each London neighbourhood its own “plan for policing,” with local residents and businesses having input into policing priorities in their areas. His “Paddick patrols” of community groups and residents associations would act as the “eyes and ears” of the police on

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Brian Paddick to be questioned live on Guardian website TODAY 1-2 pm

Liberal Democrat London Mayoral Candidate Brian Paddick will be answering questions live on the Guardian website between 1 and 2 pm today.

If you have anything you want to ask Brian about what he stands for and what he wants to do for London, head here and put your question in the comments.

We’ll bring you news of how he got on tomorrow.

PS It’s a busy day for the London campaign.  Don’t forget about the tweetathon to launch Caroline Pidgeon’s One Hour Bus Ticket campaign which she wrote about last night here.

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So, what was Jo Swinson doing in Private Eye?

You always take a bit of a sharp intake of breath if you see one of your lot mentioned in Private Eye. However, this time, our Jo Swinson is the hero of the story. The current issue drew my attention to her most recent victory over cosmetics giant L’Oreal although the article isn’t available online. The Advertising Standards Authority recently banned another advert from the company, the third complained about by Jo. It featured actress Rachel Weisz and the ASA concluded that:

Although we considered that the image in the ad did not misrepresent the luminosity or wrinkling of

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