Tag Archives: ken clarke

Dear Daily Telegraph, Enough already. It’s actually okay for MPs to claim 11p for a ruler.

The_Daily_TelegraphSo the Telegraph is back to its old tricks on expenses. Five years ago, the paper uncovered some serious abuses by MPs at the taxpayers’ expense – along the way, the paper was also (as I wrote at the time) “guilty of flaky fact-checking, unfair distortions and disgraceful smears”.

Yesterday the paper attempted, rather desperately, to re-live past glories by running the story, ‘MPs’ expenses: Ken Clarke bills taxpayer for 11p ruler’. It wasn’t just Ken who attracted the Telegraph’s ire though: ‘Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, was found to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 22 Comments

Jo Shaw: Secret Courts update – please support our new motion to the Lib Dems’ Spring Conference

Supreme Court - Some rights reserved by cphoffman42The Justice and Security Bill, which introduces secret courts into almost all civil cases, was rushed into its second reading in the House of Commons on Tuesday this week.

The Minister in charge of secret courts in the Commons, Ken Clarke, made an opening statement in the debate which made it clear that the Coalition Government does not accept the amendments proposed by the Joint Committee on Human Rights, some of which were passed by the Lords. It is still …

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The Independent View: Why Lib Dems should vote against the Secret Courts Bill on Tuesday

On Tuesday, Liberal Democrat conference will debate a Bill which strikes at the heart of liberal principles. The Justice and Security Bill will effectively put ministers and government officials above the law. If this is to be avoided, it is essential that Liberal Democrats vote for the motion, unamended.

Under the Bill, the state will be able to kick anyone bringing a case against them out of court simply by claiming ‘national security’ is at risk – a claim which has been used to cover up Government involvement in torture and rendition all too often during the ‘War on Terror’.

Politicians will …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Transfer deadline day: Laws, Brake, Foster & Swinson in, Burstow, Teather, Harvey & Stunell out, Clarke loan finishes

I love reshuffle days, they’re just like transfer deadline day. You sit there at your office computer pretending to work while secretly updating the Guardian live blog to see who your side has brought in and let go.

So, have we strengthened the side for the second half of the season or left gaping holes in our defence?

Well, we have managed to hold on to all our big players – Cable, Alexander, Davey and Moore – and, despite losing his place to Alexander after his suspension early in the season, we now have a fighting fit Laws back and ready …

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The other issue Lib Dem peers can win on tomorrow

Moves in the House of Lords to amend the health and welfare bills have been getting the lion’s share of recent coverage, but this week sees a quartet of Liberal Democrat peers leading the charge on a different topic – the Legal Aid Bill.

Lib Dem Lords Thomas, Carlile, Clement Jones and Phillips have a set of amendments down for debate tomorrow to put right what Ken Clarke hasn’t got right in his zeal to end the so-called ‘compensation culture’. The amendments look to tighten up and improve the plans to ban so-called ‘referral fees’ in personal injury cases. Its these fees which …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

NEW POLL: Who is your Liberal Voice of the Year?

Today’s the day we launch our search for the Liberal Voice of 2011 to find the individual or group which has had the biggest impact on liberalism in the past 12 months. This is the fifth annual award, and as is our tradition, we’re looking beyond the ranks of the Lib Dems to find the greatest liberal who’s not a member of our party.

The list of nine nominees appears below. These were sought from Lib Dem members via our most recent survey; 233 nominations were submitted, and each of those short-listed needed to clear a threshold of five.

Posted in LDV Awards and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 25 Comments

Opinion: Criminalising squatting

The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offender Bill has returned to the House of Commons this week. The problems with the Government’s proposed Legal Aid reforms have been apparent for a while. Some people will see their access to justice seriously curtailed, while the courts are likely to silt up with inexpert litigants-in-person. The chances of any money being saved – when considered in the round – are limited. In this context it is good to see reports that Liberal Democrat MPs Tom Brake and Mike Crockart are tabling amendments to seek to address some of the most …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments
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    Whilst I recognise the honesty, energy and logic with which this case is put, I have a certain amount of tiredness with articles that state...
  • User AvatarbrianD 24th May - 3:59pm
    Thanks Neil. Despite all the nit picking I am still of the view the being a liberal is being not Simon McGrath.
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    If one enjoys a cannabis joint of an evening, and they’re otherwise law-abiding, then I support their right to smoke cannabis without legal repercussions. …...
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