Tag Archives: james graham

Labour play games on Robin Hood Tax

Labour’s attempt to force a vote on a financial transaction tax, outlined in yesterday’s Guardian, appears to be more of a ruse to embarrass the Liberal Democrats than a serious attempt to develop a consensus on the issue. The SNP used to habitually put forward motions in the Scottish Parliament aimed at splitting the Labour/Liberal Democrat Government. It’s just something that happens.

The reality is that things change on this over time, by painstaking negotiation, not by a mischief making motion in Parliament. We know that the idea of such a tax sits well with Liberal Democrats. Vince Cable has …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

In praise of ‘This House’

A hung parliament against the backdrop of a teetering economy. Parties divided over Europe. The cracks in the UK fuelling separatist demands. The whips are desperately trying to maintain order.

It’s not hard to see the appeal to current audiences of James Graham’s (no, not that one: this one) hit play, This House.

It’s 1974 and the corridors of Westminster ring with the sound of infighting and backbiting as Britain’s political parties battle to change the future of the nation, whatever it takes. In this hung parliament, the ruling party holds on by a thread. Votes are won and lost by one, fist fights erupt in the bars, and ill MPs are hauled in to cast their votes. It’s a time when a staggering number of politicians die, and age-old traditions and allegiances are thrown aside in the struggle for power.

And the good news is that if you haven’t had chance to see it in either of its two sell-out runs in London, then you can watch it live on a screen near you today, Thursday 16th May, as part of the excellent National Theatre Live series. Here’s the trailer:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Erlend Watson replaces James Graham on the Lib Dems’ Federal Executive

James Graham’s resignation from the Liberal Democrats on Sunday created a vacancy on the Liberal Democrats’ Federal Executive committee.

The Electoral Commission has now recounted the votes from the original internal party election in 2010 and named Erlend Watson as the winner. Party President Tim Farron phoned Erlend this morning to formally welcome him back to FE.

Erlend told the Voice:

I regard myself as a critical friend of the party leadership, we agree on our destination although the precise route to get there is up for discussion.

I was previously on the FE from 2006-2010 including the post General Election

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

What’s the most effective way of ensuring fair wages for low earners?

The question arises from James Graham’s excellent blog on how raising the personal income tax allowance, a central plank of Liberal Democrat influence in the Coalition, makes it more likely that large companies will pay fairer wages.

James was responding to Zoe Williams in the Guardian (well worth a read), who rightly highlights the negative societal impact of companies paying their employees wildly differing amounts – sky-high executive salaries at one end of the spectrum, and sub-living wages at the other that  have to be topped up by complex and costly welfare spending.

Of late there has been …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

LibLink: James Graham – Liberal – but not so democratic in the Lords

Over on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free site, Lib Dem blogger James Graham has a piece arguing that if the party wants to demonstrate its commitment to reforming the House of Lords, we should start by stopping the appointment of additional peers.

Here’s a sample:

Nowhere are the flaws of political appointment more apparent than in the Liberal Democrat party in the House of Lords. Not only are Lib Dem peers handpicked by their leader (in theory, the leader is restricted in his choice; the reality is somewhat different), they are self-selecting. You are either

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Katie Ghose appointed new Chief Executive of the Electoral Reform Society

The press notice from the Electoral Reform Society says:

Katie Ghose has served for 5 years as Director of the British Institute of Human Rights, a national charity with a mission to bring rights to life for everyone in the UK. A public affairs specialist and barrister with a background in human rights law and immigration, she served as a Commissioner on the Independent Asylum Commission from 2006-2008, where she helped to conduct the biggest ever indepedent review of the UK asylum system. She has worked in campaigns for several third sector organisations including Age UK (then Age Concern England

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

LibLink: James Graham – Lib Dems must agree to publicly disagree

Over at The Guardian’s Comment is Free website, Lib Dem blogger James Graham argues that Nick Clegg needs to admit the party’s economic differences with the Tories in public – the alternative, he warns, is that the Coalition will become rudderless. Here’s an excerpt:

That the government is embarking on a programme of deep cuts is not in question; but nobody seems to be able to explain what it is all for. The coalition can’t explain because, frankly, the coalition can’t agree. That’s why the government’s “vision” has been dominated by empty flannel such as the “big society”, which can

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 46 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 1st May - 1:01am
    Hi Jonathan, I tried to find you on Twitter. I tweeted your article to Tom Brake and Tim Farron. I agree we need action on...
  • User AvatarRoland 1st May - 12:33am
    @Alex Macfie "Your assumption appears to be that telcos are operating at a loss for domestic calls and cross-subsidising this with the profits from artificially...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 1st May - 12:27am
    MSF are also campaigning on the issue of attacks on medical facilities: Hospitals, doctors and patients are not a target. "Last year in Syria alone,...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 30th Apr - 11:30pm
    @Eddie Sammon - Agreed. Sending our troops to fight the Russians would indeed pour petrol on the fire, as would using our aircraft to attack...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 30th Apr - 10:36pm
    I think it's time to bring this comments thread to an end. Everyone has had their say and I again pay tribute to those who...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 30th Apr - 10:18pm
    Thank you all so much for your thoughtful responses.