Tag Archives: john rentoul

What links Jeremy Hunt and Peter Lilley? (Tip: If you’re not sure who they are, that’s the clue.)

Who’s the most famous cabinet minister? And who’s the least famous? That’s what YouGov set out to find out by inviting its representative sample of the public to type in the name, unprompted, of the post-holder of six senior cabinet positions. Here’s what they found…

identifiable cabinet ministers - yougov

So Iain Duncan Smith (36% correctly naming him as Work and Pensions secretary) and Jeremy Hunt (28% as health secretary) are the least famous cabinet members. Though, to be honest – like John Rentoul and with due respect to Mike Smithson …

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Which member of the LDV team gets a mention in today’s national press?

Step forward…..

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 11.24.30

If you follow our Nick on Twitter, you’ll know he loves interesting use of language, whether it be puns, silly signs or malapropisms.

Some time ago, he suggested to John Rentoul that it would be a good idea to do a feature on the Top Ten Malapropisms. And so, here in today’s Independent on Sunday, it came to pass. “This one is Nick Thornsby’s idea.” says the first sentence.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

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

Registers and recall: I support them both. But they’re not going to clean up our democracy

The weekend’s revelations that two Labour peers and an Ulster Unionist were filmed offering to lobby ministers for cash, following hot on the heels of Tory MP Patrick Mercer’s resignation of the Tory whip over similar allegations, has re-ignited the question of how to clean up Parliament.

Two proposals are being pushed, both of them originally pledged in the Coalition Agreement.

Register of lobbyists

First, there’s a register of lobbyists, intended to bring greater transparency to the way in which professional lobbyists seek to influence government decisions. This is one of Unlock Democracy’s top campaigns:

If we don’t know

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 12 Comments

So you think Ukip are the new third party? Let’s have a look at the data…

Food for thought for John Rentoul (who calls Ukip ‘The new third party’ here), courtesy of PoliticalBetting’s Mike Smithson:

(Hat-tip: Vote Clegg, Get Clegg Facebook page.)

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 101 Comments

Why there isn’t a British Nate Silver

A skim-read of Wednesday morning’s headlines might have left folk confused as to who had been declared the victor of the US presidential election: Barack Obama or Nate Silver.

For those who don’t know Nate Silver, he’s the analytical guru behind the FiveThirtyEight blog (named after the number of electoral college votes), now housed at the New York Times, which scrutinises and filters opinion polls. He first rose to prominence four years ago after predicting the winner in 49 of the 50 US states during the Obama-McCain presidential contest, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 17 Comments

Alan Johnson – “an instinctive cutter”

Given how I’ve previously pointed out that Yes, ministers can disagree and the world doesn’t end, it would be wrong to shout “splits! splits!” at what is going on in the Labour Party over economic policy. The latest disagreements between leader Ed Miliband and Shadow Chancellor Alan Johnson do however highlight just how much work Labour has to do to work out its economic policy.

As John Rentoul has pointed out:

Johnson made clear to Rachel Sylvester and Alice Thomson that he did not share his leader’s enthusiasm for making the 50p-in-the-pound top income-tax rate permanent: “I am only

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Does Tony Blair support the Coalition (and would it matter to Lib Dems if he does)?

This was a story which entirely passed me by, but throws up a couple of intriguing questions. I tip my hat to the Independent’s John Rentoul for highlighting Tony Blair’s address to the Institute for Government entitled, How to Be Prime Minister, held at the end of June. In it Mr Blair commented,

The British people have again elected a centrist government, and that’s what they decided to do in that extraordinary way they do, they decide they will put in the Conservatives and put the Lib Dems alongside them.

As Mr Rentoul notes,

… this rather goes against the attempt

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments
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    "New and unique challenge to the UK security services." Does new and unique mean worse, or more severe? Worse or more severe than German agents...
  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 3:05am
    Can anyone tell me when we passed this as our policy? I don’t recall this featuring in the pre-manifesto discussions. I do remember Nick Clegg...
  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 2:52am
    @ John Tilley For the current year you can go to the party website to see who the 29 people are - http://www.libdems.org.uk/federal_executive Hopefully it...
  • User AvatarAmalric 27th Nov - 2:26am
    So I can take comfort from the idea that a uniform national swing with us on 8% will give us 23 MPs. From this I...
  • User AvatarAllan 27th Nov - 1:17am
    @ David But secondly, also be prepared to confront the EU. That does not mean threatening to leave, but it does mean gently pointing out...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 27th Nov - 1:12am
    @Charlie - What happens of the media spin it? If it were Christian terrorists, would their religion be brought up on the news and by...