Tag Archives: iain dale

Praise for Lynne Featherstone from the newly-married Iain Dale

LBC Presenter, publisher and blogger Iain Dale and his husband John Simmons have recently converted their civil partnership to a marriage.

Iain wrote about the day they got married here.

He had some pretty fulsome praise for Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister who made it happen.

Finally, when we were sitting in the register office going through the paperwork I had a moment when I thought of Lynne Featherstone. Lynne was the LibDem Home Office minister who, with the backing of Theresa May and David Cameron brought in the Equal Marriage Act. She lost her seat at the election, but she will always be able to look back and think that this was a real political achievement. Just as Roy Jenkins will be remembered for decriminalising homosexuality, she will forever be associated with equal marriage. I can think of worse political legacies. Most ministers go through their careers achieving very little. She set out to do something and had the political courage and nouse to see it through.

Cheers Lynne.

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LBC Women’s Debate: Lynne Featherstone gets Harriet Harman to admit she’s “happy” with Rachel Reeves’ plans to be tougher than Tories on benefits claimants

Last night’s 90 minute LBC women’s debate was, on the whole, well-mannered, informative and a billion times better than anything Michael Fallon had had to say.

Lynne Featherstone was our representative,  Nicky Morgan represented the Tories, Diane James UKIP and Harriet Harman was there for Labour.

I liked the 5 minute “Ask me Anything” segments where each candidate had to ask questions of the others. If I’m going to criticise, some of the questions were too long. If you are going to ask an awkward question, make it brief and make your opponent squirm for longer. Harriet Harman did keep her question brief, though – she asked Lynne which thing that Labour did in government did she like most and which thing she’d voted for in the Coalition had made her feel most uncomfortable. Lynne praised Labour’s Equality Act and said the Bedroom Tax was the most difficult thing. She did remind Harriet that it was Labour who had introduced the principle into the benefit system. She added that Liberal Democrats had had to hold their nose and vote for things that they didn’t like, but we’d always made them better than they would have been.

When the tables were reversed, Lynne asked Harriet whether she agreed with Rachel Reeves’ comments  that Labour would be tougher than the Tories on benefits claimants. Iain Dale emphasised Lynne’s point by saying to Harman that she must have winced at that. But when reminded of Reeves’ comments, she said

If that’s what she said, I’m happy to go along with that. She’s absolutely excellent and she sees things as I do.

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Iain Dale to host political fundraiser for Lynne Featherstone

Lynne FEatherstone 2007 Brighton conference by Liberal DemocratsIain Dale, former Conservative candidate and blogger turned LBC Radio broadcaster, made the shock revelation this morning on his ConservativeHome diary:

Next week, shock horror, I’m doing another political fundraiser. Brace yourselves. It’s for Lynne Featherstone – yes, the Liberal Democrat MP. She’s a mate and did sterling work on equal marriage, so I’ve decided to do it – and hang the consequences. All I need now is to do one for a Labour and UKIP MP or candidate, and I will truly

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

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Paddy: Clegg “has had 17 buckets of s**t dumped over his head by the right-wing press”

Paddy Ashdown talks on "The global power shift" in Brussels March 1st 2012 -  Some rights reserved by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE That’s the rather striking quote from Paddy Ashdown in an interview with Iain Dale on LBC radio. Here’s how the Herald reported it:

Speaking to LBC radio’s Iain Dale, Lord Ashdown insisted the party’s dismal poll ratings would recover as the “true Nick Clegg” was revealed to voters.

“The right-wing press in this country detest the coalition – detest it,” he said.

“If they want to destroy the coalition, what they do is

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 22 Comments

On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in The Times of “very aggressive male bloggers”

sarah wollastonBlogging is back in the headlines again today. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the feistily independent Conservative MP for Totnes, has hit back at those online critics who denounced her role in the trial of her fellow Tory, Nigel Evans, acquitted this week on all charges of sexual assault and one of rape.

In an interview with The Times, Dr Wollaston was keen to stress that she was in no way challenging the verdict in the case, adding that she empathised with Mr Evans and his ordeal. She confessed, however, that the

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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

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Iain Dale accepts police caution for assault on anti-nukes protestor

iain dale no nukesOn Tuesday, Conservative blogger, publisher and LBC radio presenter Iain Dale hit the headlines when he took on anti-nukes protestor Stuart Holmes, who’d annoyed him by insistently trying to get in shot while ITV’s Daybreak programme interviewed his latest high-profile author, Damian McBride. (See Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras.) Iain immediately blogged his justification, but after the police became involved, he decided to apologise and has today accepted a police caution. He’s now issued a Statement and Apology, …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 8 Comments

LDVideo: Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras

Don’t mess with Dale! And definitely not when he’s in protective publisher mode and wants to ensure a hassle-free interview for his latest political author, Damian McBride. Just a still photo and the link to the video for now, but it’s bound to be on YouTube soon enough…

iain dale no nukes

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Bob Worcester forecasts Lib Dems to be reduced to 24 seats in 2015. I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that’s the result.

At a conference fringe meeting on Monday evening, the pollster’s pollster Bob Worcester, MORI’s founder, made a forecast of how many seats the Lib Dems will win at the 2015 election: 24.

His prediction was based on current polling which he’d fed into the Electoral Calculus website and implied the number should be 17. His slightly higher punt allows for known Lib Dem strengths, such as our MPs’ habit of holding on tight in seats we win through sheer Stakhonovite grit.

Forecasting the next election is a bit of a mug’s game, as the Coalition means there’s no past precedent to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 77 Comments

Helen Duffett and Stephen Tall among “most influential” Liberal Democrats

Yesterday afternoon the Telegraph published the first part of Iain Dale’s annual list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. It contained two members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team.

First, a new entry at number 49 for our associate editor Helen Duffett:

Helen Duffett acts as a bridge between the party establishment and the membership. She is credited with a huge improvement in the effectiveness and relevance of party communications. As Honorary President of Liberal Youth, Associate Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and host of regular online Q&A sessions with Lib Dem Ministers, she is, unlike most messengers, widely liked

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg Entschuldigt Sich

I suspect Nick Clegg may well have had enough of spoof videos by now. But on the off-chance he hasn’t, LBC’s Iain Dale has re-worked that famous clip from Downfall… almost affectionately, I think. Judge for yourselves:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Telegraph’s annual list of 50 most influential Liberal Democrats is out…

It’s Liberal Democrat conference, so it’s time for the latest Iain Dale / Daily Telegraph list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. Of course our interest in covering the story on Lib Dem Voice is in no way related to two of the team appearing in the list…

In less than shocking news, Nick Clegg still tops the list at #1. Up to #2 is Vince Cable, followed by Tim Farron, Danny Alexander and then Nick Clegg’s Chief of Staff (and former double winning general election agent) Jonathan Oates.

Going further down the rankings finds the double blogger appearances:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

The Bigger Book of Boris: lots of jokes, not much politics

One of the questions that ambitious politicians often struggle to answer safely is, “Do you want to be leader of your party / Prime Minister?” Answer ‘yes’ in some form and journalists will line up to write stories about party splits, pending leadership challenges and the like. Answer ‘no’ and many will not believe you – whilst also quietly filing away the answer to quote back at the politician at an embarrassing later date.

The Bigger Book of Boris (an expanded version of the earlier Little Book of Boris) shows Boris Johnson’s political skill with humour in his answer to this question. …

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Someone likes Liberal Democrat conference…

Over on Dale & Co Gareth Knight writes:

Any Conservative, including Iain Dale who attends the Liberal Democrat conference, remarks how impressed they are with the mere fact the conference is where party members openly and robustly confer on policy. The exhibition stands at the Liberal Democrat conference include dozens of party groups as well as the recent deluge of large companies and organisations desperate to suck up to the party they’ve proudly ignored until now. The agenda for conference is focused on policy papers with speeches for and against where the party leadership will frequently get involved in the

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Top 50 most influential Lib Dems (according to Iain Dale)

In what has become a regular of party conference season, the Daily Telegraph has published a list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats assembled by “Iain Dale, Brian Brivati and a team of Liberal Democrat insiders”:

As one MP put it, the year has been “about the rise of the left”. Confidence in the party outside Westminster has grown even as polling numbers remained minimal. Liberal Democrats seem to have discovered that even in government the world does not end if you disagree. And this has given rise to a new breed of rebel, personified in Tim Fallon, Lib

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Tune in to Iain Dale’s Lib Dem night tonight on LBC, featuring Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and others

Iain Dale returns to his evening show on London’s LBC radio tonight with a Lib Dem special. First up is a live Q & A with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, followed by interviews with a whole host of prominent Lib Dems, including three of the four London Mayoral hopefuls as well as deputy leader Simon Hughes.

Here’s the schedule in full from Iain’s blog:

6-7pm Live Q & A with LibDem leader Nick Clegg
7-7.30pm Interview with Nick Clegg (tbc)
7.30-8pm Reaction to Clegg with Lord Oakeshott, Susan Kramer & Jo Phillips
8-9pm Meet the LibDem London Mayoral Candidates – Brian Paddick, Brian

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The Independent View: Iain Dale on Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems

When LibDem MPs return to Westminster this week they could be forgiven for having a collective panic attack. In their 22 year history they have never had such an onslaught of the political heebie-jeebies as they experienced at the hands of 12 million grumpy voters this week.

Cleggmania has turned into Cleggophobia. Every policy Nick Clegg touches now is seen to be toxic.

Westminster pundits are already writing him off as a political busted flush. But then again, these are the very same commentators who didn’t see the SNP landslide coming in Scotland. They are the same people who predicted the Tories …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 54 Comments

The top 25 most influential Lib Dems (according to the Telegraph)

Yesterday we reported the Telegraph’s list of numbers 26 to 50 in their annual list of ‘influential Lib Dems’, as devised by Iain Dale, Brian Brivati “with the help of a panel of senior Lib Dems”. Today we find out who they placed top of the pile…

The least surprising news is that Nick Clegg reclaims his place as the Number 1 most influential Lib Dem. Indeed it shows the limit of such lists that last year he was mischievously relegated to the runners-up spot, behind Vince Cable — of course no one could have predicted ‘Cleggmania’ at that stage, …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Telegraph names its ‘Top 50 most influential Lib Dems’ (Part I: Nos 50-26)

Iain Dale and Brian Brivati have once again compiled for the Telegraph the list of 50 most influential Lib Dems, and today saw the publication of part one, covering numbers 26 to 50.

At 50 is leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams; while propping up today’s list — just outside the top 25 — is Nick Clegg’s special advisor, Richard Reeves, the former head of think-tank Demos. There are a number of new entries, many of them MPs who now find themselves government ministers, including Andrew Stunell (28), Nick Harvey (32), David Heath (33), Tim Farron (34), Lord …

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Total Politics Top 75 Lib Dem blogs list published

It’s two months since Total Politics asked blog-readers to vote for their Top 10 favourite blogs in their annual survey promoted here on LDV, as well as at LabourList and Iain Dale’s Diary. More than 2,200 people voted, and here is the full list of the Top 75 Lib Dem blogs according to the voters of Total Politics:

Posted in Best of the blogs and Online politics | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Iain Dale’s voting system confusion

Iain Dale yesterday posted a piece attacking the Alternative Vote system which doesn’t bode well for a well informed campaign.

That’s a shame because there’s a sensible debate to be had – with Lib Dems being the first to admit that the Alternative Vote system isn’t the best of all possible options, though most would rate it as a great improvement on what we have now.

Dale writes

There’s a reason only one other country in the world uses AV. It’s a half way house. It tries to be a PR equivalent of the First Past the Post system, but in reality

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LDV weekend meme: what is the state of the Lib Dem blogosphere?

When Iain Dale asked if Lib Dem Voice would once again co-sponsor Total Politics’ Best Blog Poll 2010, he also set me some homework: to write c.1,500 words on ‘the State of the LibDem blogosphere’ by the end of the month. As you will see from the date, my deadline is fast approaching.

I’ve got a few ideas of what I intend to write, but I’d greatly appreciate the assistence of Lib Dem Voice readers – as well as Lib Dem bloggers – to ensure my analysis is suitably rounded and informed. I’ve come up with seven questions I …

Posted in LDV meme | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Eurosceptics on the fringes, egg on their faces

Iain Dale is rather keen to make it clear why he sees nothing wrong with accepting paranoid Euroscepticism at face value. Here’s his piece on the wild rumours that the EU hopes to ban selling eggs by the dozen.

I was looking at some of the comments in response to his post, and I don’t think they’re being fair to Iain. Just because he could have looked at a packet of eggs in his fridge and found the information in question is already on the packaging hardly means we should expect such extensive research from him before posting.

He wrote: “It’s written …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 2 Comments

Total Politics Best Blog Poll 2010: vote now!

It’s that time of year again, when Total Politics asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2010-11, which will be published in September. For the second year running, the poll is being promoted/sponsored by LabourList, LibDemVoice and Iain Dale’s Diary.

Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2010

The rules are simple.

1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and ranks …

Posted in Best of the blogs and Online politics | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Election 2.0: How did the internet shape the general election?

The Yoosk website recently put together a panel of bloggers to answer questions about the impact of the internet, and social media in particular, on British politics. Alongside Iain Dale, Alex Smith and James Evans I answered a range of questions:

Was the UK 2010 general election an internet election?

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Labour set for worst share of vote since 1918: why isn’t that a big story?

Iain Dale quite rightly has queried why the prospect of Labour finishing third in the popular share of the vote isn’t a big story being talked about in the media.

But actually Iain is too kind to Labour.

Because the voting abyss Labour is teetering on the edge of is more than simply coming third. More than simply doing worse than Michael Foot. It’s on the verge of its worst share of the vote since 1918.

In 1983 Labour scored 28.3% and in 1918 it was 22.2%. (Both of these are figures for Great Britain, i.e. excluding Northern Ireland, as that’s the …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 28 Comments

First election debate: winners and losers

Now the dust is starting to settle after the first debate, who are the winners and losers – aside from the party leaders?

Winner – liberalism
Loser – hostility to foreigners

Praising some aspects of immigration, talking about no like-for-like replacement of Trident, pledging to scrap tuition fees, promising to cut taxes for most by raising taxes for the very rich – Nick Clegg won the debate not by abandoning policies for some  mushy middle ground, but by sticking to core liberal beliefs. Those beliefs were carefully wrapped in language and arguments designed to be appeal to a wide audience – but …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

Don’t take it out on Vince, guys, just ‘cos you’re stuck with George

I’ve been amused to see the rush-to-rubbish Vince Cable today among some right-wing bloggers following his appearance on BBC1’s The Politics Show.

Iain Dale (but of course) was first up to tweet: “Well done Jon Sopel for finally exposing Vince Cable as the overrated flipflopper that he is.” He was soon followed by ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie, and Wall Street Journal’s Iain Martin, who has a pet-obsession with Vince’s popularity.

Having missed the show at lunchtime, I sat down nervously to catch up on iPlayer (Vince’s inteview begins about 3 minutes in) fully expecting him to be eviscerated by Jon Sopel.

In fact, what I watched was a robust interview in which Vince more than held his own, and made the key points that (1) the Labservatives have consistently opposed Lib Dem attempts to clean up our politics, and (2) the Tories need to explain how they’re going to fund their various tax-cuts if not through raising VAT.

Why have the Tories got it in for Vince?

Which left me wondering: what got Iain, Tim and Iain so excited that they dashed into the twitblogosphere to try and swing the media narrative against Vince? (Besides the inevitable election-time partisan point-scoring, that is).

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

Cameron TV meltdown hits YouTube

Yes, it’s the moment we’ve all been waiting for: David Cameron’s bewildered, stumbling, confused, squirming, befuddled, painful TV interview with broadcaster Martin Popplewell is now available to view on YouTube – over 17,000 people have watched it to date.

LDV highlighted the footage late Tuesday. To give them their due, ConservativeHome didn’t shy away from it either.

The Tory blogger Iain Dale loyally attempted to gloss over Mr Cameron’s dire performance, desperately claiming “I think the inherent problem with the interview was that Cameron didn’t know if he was giving a print interview or a film interview”. Sure thing, Iain – I can see exactly how the confusion arose. After all which senior politician hasn’t wondered, when being interviewed two metres away from a three-person camera crew, “Is this being filmed?”

And Paul Staines’ right-wing Guido Fawkes blog decided to ignore it altogether. Quite right, Paul: much better to devote yourself to your forlorn campaign to persuade people Vince Cable doesn’t understand economics. Good luck with that one – I think your crusade has a way to go.

For those who haven’t yet seen it, then, here is the footage of David Cameron going into meltdown in front of the TV cameras:

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAndrew 7th Jul - 1:19am
    As a slightly different pesrpective on the way forward I recommend the new pamphlet by David Howarth and Mark Pack. This says that campaigning on...
  • User AvatarAndrew 7th Jul - 1:10am
    I agree with Eddie actually that STV is quite hard to explain, and the ERS website by talking about "the quota" and a "single vote...
  • User Avatarkevin 7th Jul - 12:35am
    Best option would be to make the BBC a subscription channel and finally end the broadcasting poll tax. Free over 75's TV license issue solved...
  • User Avatarkevin 7th Jul - 12:28am
    'Lib Dem MP Alistair Carmichael applied for the session claiming the government had abused parliamentary process' Pot & kettle, clearly Carmichael doesn't do self awareness.
  • User AvatarKevin Manley 6th Jul - 11:59pm
    Good article -gets the scale of the problem. Kind of agree with theakes though -we just need to move on. The problem with talking about...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 6th Jul - 11:42pm
    Hi John, I don't think it makes clear whether it is a second preference or multi voting system. I had to find other websites in...
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