Tag Archives: jonathan portes

Nick Clegg’s speech on immigration: baby steps in a liberal direction

Nick Clegg Q&A 12When I read Nick Clegg’s immigration speech yesterday I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s sensible and mostly liberal.

Which means it’s a stark contrast to his March 2013 attempt: that was probably the most dire speech I’ve ever heard from a Lib Dem leader. Back then, Nick took credit for net migration having fallen by a third, even though net migration is, as Vince Cable has repeatedly pointed out, an absurd measure of success. He also came up with the unworkable proposal for security bonds (ie, upfront cash payments) for immigrants from ‘high-risk’ countries entering the UK.

Fast forward 18 months and both have been ditched.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 14 Comments

The Autumn Statement and the unreal economic debate in which everyone pretends the Coalition stuck to ‘Plan A’

It’s autumn statement day. George Osborne will stand at the despatch box of the House of Commons this afternoon and present his pre-budget report. The Guardian’s Martin Kettle sums up what it’s all about:

For the Conservatives, today is about redefining themselves – in the face of a run of seriously disappointing polls – as the party that feels the voters’ pain over energy prices, house price inflation, wind farms or payday loans – while still, boosted by yesterday’s strong economic surveys and the possible return of the UK’s AAA rating, managing a recovering economy more soundly than Labour. For

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The Lib Dem conference economy debate: Nick Clegg raises the stakes. He’ll have only himself to blame if he loses

After a weekend of averted rows – nuclear power and ‘fracking’ supported, axeing of tuition fees dropped – today’s debate on the economy will see a return to Lib Dem conference tradition: a dust-up between the leadership and the activists.

A year ago, there was a poorly coordinated attempt by Lib Dem members within the Social Liberal Forum and Liberal Left groupings to get the party to change the Coalition direction on the economy, to bring in an explicit Plan B. It suffered a crushing defeat, with Vince Cable, Steve Webb and Tim Farron all speaking in favour of …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

5 points on Clegg’s admission that Coalition was wrong to cut capital spending

Nick Clegg in DublinNick Clegg has sparked a flurry of excitement with his admission in an interview for The House magazine that the Coalition cut capital spending ‘too far, too fast’ to coin a phrase. Here’s what he said to Paul Waugh and Sam Macrory:

“If I’m going to be sort of self-critical, there was this reduction in capital spending when we came into the Coalition Government. I think we comforted ourselves at the time that it was actually no more than what Alistair Darling spelt out

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Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from all those I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

What will make banks care about their customers? – Diana Coyle says don’t increase banking regulation, instead open up the oligopolistic banking industry to true competition: ‘more competitive banking systems are more stable – the banks tend to be smaller so the “too big to fail” problem is less acute, and smaller banks …

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

Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Britain and Europe: Making the break – The Economist‘s verdict on many Europhobes’ éjaculation nocturne: ‘The most likely outcome would be that Britain would find itself as a scratchy outsider with somewhat limited access to the single market, almost no influence and few friends. And one certainty: that having once departed, it would be all but impossible to get back in again.’

Boris shows that Eurosceptics are in a mess

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The politics of sluggish growth: good for the Tories, bad for Labour, and as for the Lib Dems we’ll see

Today saw the publication by the IMF of its latest growth forecasts. UK growth prospects are downgraded once again. Growth in 2012 is now forecast to be -0.4% (the most recent quarter’s strong showing is anomalous) and an anaemic 1.1% in 2013. As The Spectator’s Jonathan Jones observes, the only thing new here is that the IMF is falling ‘into line with the consensus’.

On the face of it this is bad news for the Coalition, further evidence that the economic strategy of deficit reduction driven forward by David Cameron and George Osborne, and endorsed by Nick …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 33 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAllan Brame 7th Dec - 12:14pm
    "to communicate in primary colours" Hopefully not red, white and blue!
  • User Avatarmatt 7th Dec - 12:09pm
    @Ian Sanderson (RM3) 7th Dec '16 - 11:58am "The LibDem position by 2010 was to have a referendum when it was proposed to give more...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 7th Dec - 11:58am
    The LibDem position by 2010 was to have a referendum when it was proposed to give more powers from Westminster to the EU, but not...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 7th Dec - 11:47am
    It's great to see the Chesterfield teams helping out in by-elections across the region again. Proper reminds me of some very happy times in the...
  • User Avatarfrankie 7th Dec - 11:47am
    People rarely vote just for one issue. While judging peoples priorities is useful it doesn't give the whole picture. The poll says at one two...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 7th Dec - 11:46am
    Ashley Cartman hits the nail on the head. We need policies that speak to the condition of the nation. It is not : "We need...