Tag Archives: independent

LibLink: Nick Clegg: Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to stand up for Britain’s place in Europe.

Nick Clegg has been writing over at the Independent to mark 100 days before the European elections.

He has a simple and clear message – you can only trust the Liberal Democrats to stand up for Britain’s interests, and therefore safeguard jobs, in Europe. He says that the Euros don’t usually “set the heart racing”, but this time, there’s a lot to lose:

Ukip has been coming up on the rails in British politics for years and it sees this May as its breakthrough moment. Mainstream politicians have made the mistake in the past of not taking UKIP, or the people who

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged , and | 68 Comments

Jane Merrick: “How we can all stop worrying and learn to love the Lib Dems..”

We haven’t seen many nice things written about Liberal Democrats in the last couple of weeks. However, in today’s Independent, Jane Merrick outlines reasons that we can be cheerful.

First she describes what a Liberal Democrat MP overheard on a train from two people talking about the party:

The MP (who was relieved to be unrecognised by his fellow commuters) listened as these two seasoned observers took apart the Lib Dems. One of the men said: “They’re always in trouble, aren’t they?” “Yeah, there was that bloke with the dog,” the other chipped in. “Who was that one who, you know

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 46 Comments

So who has been briefing against Tim Farron, then?

Tim Farron MP. Photo credit: Some rights reserved by David SpenderThe Liberal Democrats’ spell in government has been characterised by very little hostility and disunity on a personal level. Whatever arguments there may have been behind the scenes have not spilled over into the pages of the press very often. That’s actually quite remarkable given the pressure we are under as a party. Sure, we’ve had our disagreements on policy, with more to come, but we’ve kept it civil.

Politicians have been secretly briefing the press about what goes on behind the scenes as long as there has been politics. I remember being shocked when, as a very young and naive political activist, I overheard a very senior figure doing just that. This stuff fills newspaper columns, but when it gets personal, and toxic, it becomes a massive problem.

There have been two recent examples of unpleasant, personal unattributed attacks, and both have come from the establishment side of the party. First of all, we saw the clumsy, inept and inaccurate hatchet job done on Vince which apparently sparked an enquiry in leader’s office. Now, the Independent tells us, “one figure very high up in the party” has crossed a big line with a pretty vicious personal attack on Tim Farron:

Which bit of the sanctimonious, god-bothering, treacherous little shit is there not to like?

Tony Blair and Gordon Brown spent years doing that sort of stuff about each other. So did John Major’s “bastards”. That ended well, didn’t it?

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 34 Comments

Jo Swinson launches size 16 mannequins

Jo Swinson today went along to Debenhams to welcome their size 16 mannequins which have been brought in to reflect the average women. It has been intensely annoying to hear these discussed across various media, including the BBC and the Independent, as “plus size” mannequins. If your view of what a woman should look like comes from airbrushed magazines and porn rather than opening your eyes and looking at the real women around you, then, yes, you might think that size 16 was plus, but you would be wrong.

Women come in all shapes and sizes and girls should be …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 56 Comments

Independent says “Lib Dems go beyond meaning well”

Today’s Independent editorial has some heartening words about the approach of Liberal Democrats within the Government and our ongoing policy making process.

The background to the motion on childcare is explored:

Hence the party’s plan to extend free childcare to all one- and two-year-olds, which we report on today, is no well-meaning wishlist, but a battle-hardened piece of legislation-ready policy.

The plan emerges from the struggle between the coalition partners over the last spending round, which was announced by George Osborne, the Chancellor, in June. Nick Clegg pushed for a better childcare deal, but eventually had to concede that NHS, schools and

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

The most important factor for Liberal Democrats in any 2015 Coalition negotiations

The Silly Season continues with yet more speculation on what happens after the 2015 election. Monday’s Independent carried the loaded headline:

Lib Dem Supporters spell it out: we won’t be fooled by Nick Clegg again over support for a coalition

That Liberal Democrats will be wary about any future coalition, with anybody, should come as no surprise. The deductive reasoning powers of the average goldfish could have worked that out.

The article quotes people like Martin Tod, Gareth Epps and Cllr Richard Kemp, all of whom are saying quite reasonable things, none of them suggesting that Nick Clegg fooled us in 2010, …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 31 Comments

Schools for profit? Not on my watch, says Nick Clegg

From today’s Independent:

Nick Clegg vowed today to veto any move by the Conservatives to allow academies and free schools to become profit-making businesses.

The Deputy Prime Minister intervened after The Independent revealed that Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, is considering plans to redraw the rules to allow the schools to use hedge funds and venture capitalists to raise money.

The Liberal Democrats will block any moves to change the rules before the 2015 general election.  During the election campaign, Mr Clegg’s party will claim that they acted as a brake on the Tories inside the Coalition.  “We will say we stopped

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

LibLink…Robin McGhee: Can UKIP handle the trials of local government?

This article appeared a few weeks ago, but we’ve held it back because its author was standing in the Liberal Youth elections. It is worth sharing, though, because it illustrates accurately the dilemma that UKIP now faces. How does it build a local government base when its councillors are inexperienced, anti politics types who don’t really know who their supporters are.

Robin McGhee is an organiser for the party in Norfolk. He describes the UKIP representatives at the count in Cromer:

Perhaps nine in ten were men, nearly all (very) elderly, and with the same expression of stubborn bafflement as a tortoise

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Nick Clegg: “No Liberal Democrat Council will close a single library this year”

The Independent reports on Nick Clegg’s appearance on BBC Breakfast yesterday in which he talked about the local elections and the national situation. The Liberal Democrat leader contrasted the difference in approach between Liberal Democrat, Conservative and Labour councillors with respect to Council budgets:

The deputy prime minister criticised “extravagant” spending on the “wrong thing” by Labour and Conservative councils.

“Above all, what you shouldn’t do when money is scarce, is waste money on extravagant or unnecessary expenditure – so the Conservative leader of the Leicestershire county council who spent over £200,000 on a chauffeur, or the Cotswold conservatives who spent

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 18 Comments

LibLink… Sharon Bowles MEP: Calls for restraint have been ignored for too long – this bonus culture has to end

Sharon Bowles MEP writes about bankers’ bonuses in the Independent. She tackles the arguments against EU proposals to limit bonuses to a years’s salary. Will banks relocate overseas? Sharon says not:

Firstly, the threat of bankers relocating to avoid the cap has been grossly exaggerated.  The cap will only apply to a small number of so-called high-risk traders, around 5000 out of the estimated 750,000 people employed in London’s financial sector. Moreover, the bonus cap will also cover all key staff who work for European banks across the world, no matter whether they operate in London or Singapore. And with Switzerland

Posted in LibLink and News | Also tagged , and | 19 Comments

Independent’s spin on Nick Clegg and The Thick of It

LDV readers will no doubt be delighted that The Thick of It will be back on our screens this Autumn. The political satire has been greatly missed over the past two years and it will be interesting to see how they interpret the dynamics of Coalition Government.

If today’s Independent is to be believed, the script writers had a bit of help. The headline suggests a co-ordinated strategy – “How Nick Clegg’s aides tried to put him in the thick of it”. Sadly, the actual story doesn’t really stack up. “Nick Clegg may wish to interrogate his private office,” says …

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

Would you be happy with a payout to put up with aircraft noise?

The role of the Liberal Democrats in ensuring that this Government does not agree to the expansion of Heathrow airport is emphasised by an article in yesterday’s Independent.

It says that a group of right wing Tories with links to the Chancellor are drawing up plans to offer compensation to local residents who would be affected by increased noise from a third runway at Heathrow.

The Coalition agreement has ruled out giving approval to a third runway during this parliament and the Conservatives opposed the move at the last election. But some senior party figures, including the Chancellor, George Osborne, are pressing

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

Liberal Democrats block David Cameron’s plans to erode workers’ rights

Another glimpse into what a Tory Britain would look like comes in today’s Independent which reports that the Liberal Democrats in the shape of Business Secretary Vince Cable have fended off an attempt by the Prime Minister to erode the rights of employees. Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist who has donated almost £600,000 to the Conservative Party, produced a report last year which has so far not been published, which is believed to include proposals to allow employers to fire unproductive workers and cut entitlement to maternity leave.

The Tories, says the Independent, from David Cameron down, wanted to implement this …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Howse 20th Apr - 12:37am
    This isn't even about not wanting someone from the "left" of the party in the role - the current president is very definitely of the...
  • User AvatarStephen Howse 20th Apr - 12:35am
    "Don’t you believe in balance and a diversity of views? " Yes, I do indeed! I believe we are stronger for our diversity and for...
  • User Avatardaft ha'p'orth 19th Apr - 11:37pm
    @David Pollard I'd be all for teaching a little mythology and classical studies. Studying Gilgamesh, Deucalion and Genesis in parallel, for example, is a popular...
  • User AvatarPaul In Twickenham 19th Apr - 11:36pm
    It was interesting (and slightly surprising) to see widespread media coverage for a report from Princeton that labelled the USA as an oligarchy rather than...
  • User AvatarMartin Gentles 19th Apr - 10:50pm
    Certainly RE should be included in a civic minded curriculum. The question isn't religious education, the question religious selection in education. This can inculcate social...
  • User AvatarRadical Liberal 19th Apr - 10:01pm
    'Indeed. So do we really need another one in a position of power and influence?' Don't you believe in balance and a diversity of views?...