Tag Archives: labour

Opinion: Four-step guide to how not to be the nasty party (Labour edition)

Labour has put out a video in which it gives the Conservatives some handy tips as to how to not be the ‘nasty party’. The tongue-in-cheek clip doesn’t completely fail to amuse and is pretty accurate in what it says. Few here would doubt the Tories are still the nasty party. The Liberal Democrat leadership  is quite right when it says ‘compassionate Conservatism’ has been  exposed for the fraud it is. However, there is something unsettling when Labour is the one using the ‘nasty party’ stick to beat their Tory opponents with when Labour itself has clearly shown itself to have a propensity towards nastiness. To illustrate the very brazen hypocrisy, I’ve prepared a handy four-step guide that Labour may want to take heed off.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Cameron and the Tories show us what Government by Daily Mail would look like

It seems very strange to have watched three leaders’ speeches before our own Conference has started. We normally go first in the Conference season but thanks to Mr Alex Salmond and his choice of referendum date, we are bringing this conference season to an end. For once, Nick Clegg gets the chance to have the last word.

Farage, with his dodgy wireless microphone, was as full of himself as ever, even more so when he had a defecting Tory MP to brandish. This was in sharp contrast to Ed Miliband’s clumsy performance. And then we had Cameron. Standing in front of a dark backdrop, looking at his most charming, delivering a speech that had passion and promise. It didn’t just have a melody. It had the whole darned symphony. But he and his ministers have this week painted a picture of a Britain that I really don’t fancy living in, a country where government by Daily Mail values is the norm.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

That Ed Miliband speech in full… (2)

The following arrived in a brown envelope at Lib Dem Voice Towers, this morning. It is probably an early draft.

Ed speechThankyou so much.

Friends, this country will never turn our back on the world and on the principles of internationalism. Those values are reflected not just in this country but in this party, and in the great team of Manchester United.

Posted in Humour | Also tagged | 13 Comments

Opinion: What Andy Burnham didn’t tell you about NHS privatisation

nhs sign lrgAndy Burnham’s recent set-piece speech on the NHS, the latest instalment of Labour’s “summer offensive”, opened with a neat bit of scene-setting. By briefly championing a group of Darlington mothers who are presently marching 300 miles in protest at the use of private providers in the NHS, he conjured a mood of protest while subtly co-opting their campaign. Thereafter he sought only to reduce the 2015 general election to a “binary choice” between “a part-privatised, two-tier health market under David Cameron” and “a public, integrated national health and care service under Labour.”

In terms of how he defined that choice, though, Burnham could hardly have done worse than to frame his argument with an example from Cambridgeshire, singling out for particular criticism its attempt to integrate care services for older people.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 71 Comments

Opinion: Miliband, Piketty and the Liberal response

milibandThree weeks ago, Miliband crossed the Rubicon and entered the heartland of Tory ideology. His support for European-style longer and more secure tenancies — and by extension capping rent increases — runs roughshod over a hitherto post-Thatcherite consensus.

Grant Shapps led the Tory riposte with a quick and ludicrous barb: Labour were proposing “Venezuelan-style rent controls”. Most people won’t know the details of Venezuela’s housing policy, but will be sure it’s unlikely to be any worse than our own.

Times have changed. We can see this clearly in that most …

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 45 Comments

Opinion: Labour’s cheap attacks on Clegg’s integrity reflect badly on them

Labour broadcast Shrinking manThe word appalling doesn’t even begin to cover Labour’s most recent campaign video. It’s a spiteful attack ad on the character of Nick Clegg, and in case you haven’t seen it, you can find it here. Feel free to grab something to vomit into beforehand.

I’m a 16 year old student, and I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2013 for three reasons. I believe passionately that democracy in Britain is failing, and the Liberal Democrats are the only party that seek that cause with integrity. I couldn’t deal …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 69 Comments

Opinion: The “Bedroom Tax”: a great socialist policy?

Bedroom tax demo , all the photos taken with a iphone 5One thing escapes most political commentators when critiquing the merits of the Bedroom Tax. It is, of course, a great socialist policy.

Of course most commentators accept New Labour introduced the Bedroom Tax through the Local Housing Allowance policy from 2003 to 2008. The mistake commentators make is that they believe LHA to be an ideologically compassionate conservative policy, instead of democratic socialist one.

The argument has two parts. The first is relatively straight forward. For a socialist common ownership (of which …

photo by: paul bevan
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

Opinion: Yes, Labour really has given up on winning votes from the Conservatives

Labour Party logoI’m not fully signed up to the mockery for Labour’s recent TV and online films mocking Nick Clegg. Why? Because for all the naff content themselves, the broad message of them has been massively reported in the media, reaching a much wider audience than the films themselves.

I doubt that was a deliberate strategy as you can’t count on calibrating something to be just bad enough to get lots of coverage but not so bad as to sink under it. It’s a handy silver lining, however, especially as it diverted …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 34 Comments

Opinion: The irony of Labour’s “shrinking man” Party Election Broadcast

Labour broadcast Shrinking manLabour’s Party Election Broadcast has attracted plenty of attention since its launch on Wednesday, with its comedy portrayal of Nick “Claggy” as the un-credible shrinking man.

Much has already been made of the PEB’s negativity, and its silence on the question of Labour’s actual policy relating the EU (or indeed anything else) which, since the party receives public funding to develop such policy, might be considered unfortunate.

All might have been forgiven if viewers had dissolved into laughter upon watching the film, but aside from “can we hunt him?” …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 17 Comments

Opinion: We are still living with the consequences of nationalised railways today. Turning back the clock will make matters worse.

Northern trainIn a letter to the Observer a group of Labour PPCs, including my opponent Joshua Fenton-Glynn, have proposed that the Labour should nationalise rail services.

This idea displays an ignorance of the true cause of the problems with UK railways that beggars belief. Almost every issue with rail transport can be traced not to privatisation per se, but to nationalisation, or the insufficiently liberal privatisation foisted upon us by the Major government.

In the 1980s investment in rail was at an all time low, due entirely to the nationalised nature of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 117 Comments

Labour’s “Easter Clegg” – that’s grown up politics for you

Screen Shot 2014-04-20 at 08.14.13Labour’s Easter weekend headline grab isn’t about their policies. It doesn’t tell you why you should vote for them, why their vision is any good.

Oh no. It’s a highly personal attack on Nick Clegg in the shape of a chocolate Clegg. All very mature.

From the Mirror:

But the packaging warns the Clegg Eggs are “guaranteed to leave a bad taste in your mouth – and like the Deputy PM himself – are “completely hollow”.

The slogan for the campaign on Twitter suggests the eggs, shaped in the image

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 82 Comments

Coalition with Labour on, if they don’t “break the bank”

Tonight’s radio programme Nick Clegg: The Liberal who came to power has hit the news-stands for this apparent top line demand of any future coalition with Labour:

There is just no doubt in my mind that if there were a Labour-Liberal Democrat coalition, we the Liberal Democrats would absolutely insist that government would not break the bank.

More details can be found in the Mirror, Guardian and BBC, and other sources of news are available.

Let’s contrast the following comments by Nick on the Labour Party

I think they’ve changed. I think there’s nothing like the prospect

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 44 Comments

Opinion: Leaderless parties don’t make for good partners in hung Parliaments

Ed-Balls-and-Ed-Miliband-006The recent Twitter-flirtation between Nick Clegg and Ed Balls was in itself not hugely significant, even if it was a welcome burst of public banter taking the place of off-the-record briefings.

Politicians, after all, manage to be polite to each other far more often than Prime Minister’s Questions might suggest, and the ability to behave (occasionally) like a well-mannered, polite adult is part of what makes them politicians who get insulted in the comments on blogs rather than commenters who insult politicians  in the comments on blogs.

However it is symptomatic also …

Posted in Op-eds | 16 Comments

Opinion: as Labour and the Conservatives play “Find the Lady” on immigration, what are we to do?

I must admit that the whole immigration debate bemuses me. As Labour and the Conservatives compete for the prize of being ‘not quite as tough on migrants as UKIP want to be’, some of my fellow Liberal Democrats respond by only talking of the benefits of migration, making the mistake of assuming that there is a rational debate to be had there.

The problem is that there isn’t – not now, at least. Instead, I suggest a different approach – holding the other three parties to account over their proposals. You see, I have concluded that most of the proposals will …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 28 Comments

The battle for pensioners’ votes begins with Cameron on Liberal Democrat turf

The latest Ashcroft polling shows that the Conservatives have a long way to go to be within a shout of victory, with 37% of those who voted Tory saying at the moment that they would not do so if there were an election tomorrow. It’s hardly surprising, then, that David Cameron kicks off the next stage in the 2015 election campaign, in an interview with today’s Sunday Times (£), by pledging to stick to one of the Coalition’s most successful policies through another Parliament.

The Tories have previous for trying to claim the credit for a Liberal Democrat policy. Last …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 20 Comments

Hull Labour councillor pledges: “500 Twitter followers and I’ll punch a Lib Dem”

The Hull Daily Mail reports:

A TWITTER row has broken out after a Hull City councillor tweeted he would “punch a Lib Dem in the face” if he reached 500 followers. Labour councillor Chris Sumpton claims the tweet was only meant as a joke but his Liberal Democrat colleagues are furious and are considering taking the matter further.

The issue was raised at yesterday’s full council meeting when an angry Councillor Eliza Mann asked council leader Stephen Brady to condemn the tweet.

But the leader said he couldn’t comment because he wasn’t in possession of the full facts and wasn’t familiar with

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 30 Comments

Opinion: Sexist Labour needs All Women Shortlists, the Liberal Democrats can change without them

The Independent reported on Sunday that Nick Clegg 2ould consider imposing all women shortlists for the 2020 general election if the party did not select enough women in winnable seats.

I defected from Labour earlier this year and I want to share my experiences of a party that needs to use all women shortlists to select female candidates for parliament and councils.

Earlier this year, Mark Fergusonrightly pointed out on Labourlist  that no women had been selected in open shortlists since before the general election. It pointed out that when local labour parties had the choice between a man and …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 47 Comments

Kirsty Williams interview: “Scary” Paddy, women in the Cabinet and the reality of a Labour government

Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams has given a lively and often funny interview to Total Politics magazine in which she talks about everything from her success in persuading the minority  Labour government in Wales to implement the Pupil Premium.

What happened to the last person who said no to Paddy?

Anyone who knows Kirsty will know how down to earth she is and that comes across very much in the interview. She’s asked about whether she would move to Westminster and said that Paddy Ashdown has already asked that question:

Paddy says I should think about going to London,” Williams reveals. “He’s

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Ed Davey MP writes… Labour’s energy policy is a con

Energy-bills-006“There is no such thing as a free lunch” was one of the first things I learnt in economics. But it seems that Ed Miliband thinks there is. He seems to believe that you can have freeze energy prices for 20 months with no adverse impacts. It may have seemed a politically smart thing to do leading into the traditional period of energy price increases. But it is likely to have really harmful consequences. In short, it’s a con.

Many commentators have already pointed out that energy companies will be free to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Labour’s energy freeze is terrible economics but excellent politics

Ed Miliband announced in his keynote speech to Labour Party conference that, if elected, he would force energy companies to freeze energy bills for 20 months.

Now obviously, from an economic liberal  perspective, this makes no sense.

Freezing energy costs is precisely the wrong way to go about dealing with the cost of living problem in this country. By freezing income while costs rise in the global upturn & the population expands to require greater supply, Miliband is depriving the energy companies of the capital they need to invest in the expansion of the system.

This will inevitably drive the energy supply industry …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 84 Comments

That Ed Miliband speech in full…

milibandThe following arrived in a brown envelope at Lib Dem Voice Towers, this morning. It is probably an early draft.

I want to start by thanking somebody from the bottom of my heart.

Ella Philips, who fell off her bike and called me an action hero who mysteriously appeared out of nowhere. She called me suave and not geeky at all.

I was pretty pleased with this until I realised she was concussed. So I got her to vote in her local constituency candidate selection.

I have emotion that is felt at kitchen tables …

Posted in Humour | Also tagged | 71 Comments

LibLink…Paddy Ashdown: After the Syria vote, Britain must not sleepwalk into isolationism

Paddy Ashdown has been writing about the implications of the Syria vote for the Guardian’s Comment is Free site. First, he pretty much repeats what he said on Friday:

There are strange paradoxes here. It is possible to be both proud of a parliament that said no to the executive on a matter like military action. But sad; even – dare I say it – a little ashamed at the decision it took.

Of course there are reasons for this. The leftover poisons of the Iraq war; the toxic effect of public distrust in our politics. Mishandling by the government. President Obama’s

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 98 Comments

Falling living standards are a problem of Labour’s making

Making use of the slowest news month of the year, the Labour party has released details of a report which (shock horror) has shown that living standards have fallen as a result of the financial crisis and subsequent recession.

Of course, they don’t put it quite like that, choosing to blame the coalition rather than the bust they promised would never come. Here’s Chris Leslie, Labour’s shadow financial secretary to the Treasury (presumably Balls is on holiday…):

David Cameron will go down in history as a disastrous Prime Minister for people’s living standards. He is totally out of touch, his economic policies

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 40 Comments

Opinion: Ed’s made a bold move, but he absolutely needs to see it through to the end

As a Lib Dem, I obviously write as neither a Labour party member nor supporter, but I was genuinely stirred by Ed Miliband’s speech at the St Bride Foundation yesterday. It was bold, gutsy and liberal minded – qualities the Labour leader’s critics often accuse him of lacking. The announcement that Ed will push forward plans to change the current arrangements in which all union members across the country are automatically affiliated with the Labour party, to one in which union members will have to voluntarily opt in to Labour affiliation, was brave to say the least. It potentially …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 15 Comments

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

Keep the faith: Liberal Democrats are doing good things in Government, not that you’d know it from today’s headlines

Liberal Democrats have taken a pounding across the Labour supporting media over the past few days. Article after soundbite condemns the welfare reforms which come into effect from now. It’s been a clever, co-ordinated onslaught which seems aimed at demoralising Liberal Democrat members and activists rather than opposing the changes themselves. After all, I haven’t heard Ed Miliband promise to repeal any of them. And we have to remember that it was the Labour Government who introduced Local Housing Allowance – the Bedroom Tax of the private sector.

Where have the Liberal Democrat MPs and key figures been?

That Labour would use …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 56 Comments

Vince Cable on Labour’s opposition day debate on Mansion tax

This evening, the Liberal Democrats have confirmed they won’t vote for Labour’s mischievous Opposition Day debate on mansion tax, instead tabling a Coalition amendment stating our support for the mansion tax and the Conservatives’ opposition to it. Vince Cable, architect of the mansion tax, has issued a statement explaining why:

This amendment allows Liberal Democrats in Parliament to back our long-held policy of the mansion tax. We created it and will continue to champion it.

The amendment also makes it clear that although we are in coalition with the Conservatives, we have different views on the desirability of a mansion tax.

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 66 Comments

Northern council cuts are Labour’s choice – it’s that straightforward!

Manchester City Hall - some rights reserved by nik_doofA New Year, same pain is the message coming from Labour Councils – mainly in the North. Looking at my old stomping ground of Levenshulme, Manchester – the cuts beggar belief. Labour’s slash and burn approach to Municipal Governance has come to the fore. Levenshulme has fought off attempts to close their swimming baths three times – now the campaigners are out in force as Labour tries again.

A letter written by the Labour Leaders of Liverpool, Sheffield and

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged | 28 Comments

LibLink… Nick Clegg: Labour need to tell us what they would cut

Nick Clegg has issued a challenge to Labour in today’s Times. Rather than, he says, oppose every single cut the Coalition has made, Labour should be saying what they would cut to pay for their policy priorities. If Labour want benefits to rise at the rate of inflation, then they need to spell out exactly how they would pay for it.

Firstly, he talks about what the Coalition has achieved for economic growth, and how it has been pragmatic on cutting the deficit, changing its plans as the global economic circumstances changed:

Here in the UK we have now paid off around

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 90 Comments

Opinion: Can Labour be trusted on mental health?

In my last two articles for Liberal Democrat Voice I wrote about the current under provision in mental health treatment in the country and why it is important that properly addressing mental health is brought into the political mainstream.

Thankfully in recent weeks this has started to happen. Of course there was Ed Miliband’s speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists in which he spoke of the need for improved provision in mental health treatments across the country. Many people will of course welcome this state of affairs and it is encouraging if Miliband is intending to put improved …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJack 30th Oct - 1:35pm
    @Matthew: there is no contradiction. I compromise with my girlfriend all the time; this does not mean we do things that either of us are...
  • User AvatarSimon Oliver 30th Oct - 1:27pm
    "We have done more for the green agenda than any UK Government ever" true. Just a bit like saying we've jumped higher than any elephant...
  • User AvatarGreen Voter 30th Oct - 1:27pm
    "as well as to be recognised for their valuable contribution by the state" What contribution do faith schools make which could not be provided by...
  • User AvatarGareth Wilson 30th Oct - 1:25pm
    I think Lester Holloway must have had other reasons for leaving, beyond a decision by a moderator on post from a non-member on a website...
  • User AvatarStephen Campbell 30th Oct - 1:24pm
    I'll start by saying again, as in previous threads about moderation, that it is your house and therefore your rules. That said, I agree entirely...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 30th Oct - 1:15pm
    Tony Greaves 29th October: "Browsing through all this again I realise that Lester’s given reason for resigning is “over the toleration by some members of...