Tag Archives: john kampfner

John Kampfner: “Clegg is set to be kingmaker again in 2015”

John Kampfner, one of the few progressive voice from the centre-left who defected from Labour to the Lib Dems in the run-up to the 2010 election and has continued to give the party a sympathetic hearing during the Coalition, writes in today’s Times about Lib Dem prospects post-2015: Clegg is set to be kingmaker again in 2015 (£).

5 points in particular are worth highlighting (ie, I agree with them):

The Lib Dems will more than likely remain a force to be reckoned with:

… the Liberal Democrats head towards 2015 knowing they can target their meagre resources on just

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 49 Comments

Julian Huppert writes…Update on the Defamation Bill

libel-reform-campaign-logoThe Defamation Bill has had a troubled passage through Parliament. Hijacked by Labour over Leveson, attacked by Tory backbenchers concerned about companies and undermined by vested interests, I was glad to see it finally reach one of its last Parliamentary stages in the Commons today.

I was on the Joint Committee that considered this bill when it was a draft – those discussions are already beginning to feel like a distant memory! But we will deliver a huge reform of the UK libel laws.

All the while, Lib Dems have been vociferous in …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 15 Comments

It’s not just this Government that’s unpopular: it’s the idea of Coalition. Here’s what Lib Dems need to do about that.

There are many arguments the Lib Dems are winning in government. But there is one very big debate we’re currently on the losing side of with the public: that coalition government is capable of working. And it’s not surprising that voters are unpersuaded given we Lib Dems look a whole lot less than convinced by the experience.

The known knowns of Coalition

Let’s get two pieces of mitigation out of the way:
1) Coalition government is always tougher on the junior party: we lack the democratic mandate and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 62 Comments

As Leveson reports… Why I’m sticking up for ‘Press freedom with no buts’

Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal will report this week. His recommendations on the future of press regulation are the subject of intense speculation, with essentially three positions being staked-out:

What’s being proposed

‘Independent regulation backed up by statute’
Advocates, who include Evan Harris and the Hacked Off campaign group, argue that the only way to ensure the press does not abuse its position in the future is for it to be regulated. But, they insist, this should be independent both of government and the press, the two main …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 38 Comments

John Kampfner: “How punchbag Clegg can fight back”

Earlier this week, chief executive of Index on Censorship and former New Statesman editor (and Lib Dem supporter), John Kampfner, penned a piece for the Financial Times expressing his view as to how Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats can fight back after a what have been a difficult few months. Whilst he acknowledges that it’s going to remain tough for the Lib Dems, his view – and it’s one I share – is that with a big push on some core Liberal Democrat policies and a change in tone and strategy from the Leader’s office, the medium-term …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Lib Dems push forward on freedom of speech, freedom of information

Two snippets of news today about freedoms – a reminder of the importance of libel law reform and good news on extending freedom of information.

In the Independent, John Kampfner (Chief Executive of Index on Censorship) writes:

“There’s nothing like a boob job cream to get readers going on an important issue. The case of Dr Dalia Nield, one of the country’s leading plastic surgery consultants, goes to the heart of the problem with English libel law. Dr Nield took issue with the company producing the cream, which claimed to increase a woman’s cup size. Her remarks, in a national newspaper,

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

LibLink: John Kampfner – Yes, I feel queasy. But I don’t regret backing the Lib Dems

Back in March, former editor of the New Statesman and current Chief Executive of the Index of Censorship John Kampfner publicly came out as a Lib Dem supporter – as reported by Lib Dem Voice here. Fast forward five months, does he have any regrets?

Doubts – yes, citing the Lib Dems’ failure to gain credit for Ken Clarke’s liberalising justice reforms, and the Tories’ zeal for austerity:

… in spite of various opportunities to do so, I have not repudiated my original decision. For sure, a number of attributes and decisions of this coalition government have left me feeling

Posted in LibLink | 22 Comments
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