Tag Archives: liam fox

Dr Liam Fox’s economic prescription: kill or cure?

Economic jihad. That’s how Vince Cable described Dr Liam Fox’s speech to the IEA this morning. Dr Fox’s speech is worth reading, though, precisely for the parts of it that have not been covered in the wider media. For it sets out a clear – albeit deeply conservative – approach to how to reform our economy for the long-term. But while the proposed destination is well-articulated, the route is far from certain.

Let’s start with the positive. I agree, broadly, with Fox’s analysis of the causes of our current economic state. While I wouldn’t exactly phrase it thus, there is …

Posted in News | 9 Comments

5 initial thoughts on David Cameron’s Europe speech

David Cameron - License Some rights reserved by Statsministerens kontor David Cameron delivered his long, long-awaited speech on Europe this morning (text here). Caron’s rounding up the reactions from Lib Dems here – but here are my five initial thoughts…

This is the speech Cameron didn’t want ever to have to give.

Let’s be clear, David Cameron is making this speech now to try and keep the Conservatives together. The threat from Ukip and the party’s right has proved too powerful to withstand. Offering a referendum was no longer …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 37 Comments

Nick Clegg trashes Liam Fox’s economic policy demands

During yesterday’s Radio 4 interview with Nick Clegg there was a feisty exchange over why so much time in the interview was being taken up with the details of when and to who Jeremy Hunt should next answer questions to about his conduct, rather than issues such as the state of the economy.

Certainly the media loves investigatory process stories. Not only the Clegg interview but the subsequent coverage of it neglected the economy, even though Clegg had some choice words to say about former minister Liam Fox:

Martha Kearney: Liam Fox recently accused the Liberal Democrats of being a brake on

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

The Tories’ tax problem

Cut national insurance contributions, says Liam Fox. Cut capital gains tax, says David Davis. Give tax breaks to married couples, say Stewart Jackson and others. Back wealth taxes to cut taxes on “families and employers”, says Tim Montgomerie.

There’s no shortage of Tories suggesting taxes for George Osborne to cut when he delivers his budget. Yet it’s the junior party in the coalition which is leading the debate on tax cuts – a curious situation which no doubt shocks Tories as much as it infuriates them.

The reasons the Lib Dems are leading the way on tax cuts are straightforward. First, the …

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

The Independent View: MoD suppresses Lib Dem review and spending information on Trident ahead of Parliamentary decision

Liberal Democrats can be rightly proud of their record on challenging like-for-like Trident replacement and keeping Britain’s nuclear weapons near the top of the political agenda – certainly during the last general election campaign. But now it looks as though their coalition partners are moving to stifle the gains they have made. Not only has the Defence Secretary announced the suppression of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review. He is also making a mockery of the delayed Trident replacement decision – scheduled for 2016 – by committing to spend £6 billion before that decision date. This is hardly fair play …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

Liam Fox set for £17,207 pay off

It’s official. Liam Fox is set to receive a severance payout of £17,207 for quitting his post as Defence Secretary, and that hefty wedge is due to drop into his bank account on 30 November. That’s not idle speculation or even what I picked up after reading some newspaper report or other. It’s what a Ministry of Defence official personally confirmed to me yesterday.

I asked a Freedom of Information Act request about it only last Monday, and the answer appeared in my inbox only six working days after it was asked, which is record quick time in my experience. What …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

PMQs: You can’t gesticulate your way out of a Balls-up

He still looks like a clever sixth former to me, but it is fair to say that Ed Miliband has cracked Prime Minister’s Questions. His performance this week was excellent.

“Just a bit late” was David Cameron’s description of Miliband’s raising of the Fox affair. It is easy to understand why Miliband did not raise the subject last week. Labour played a canny game with Dr Fox. They did not call for his resignation and at the last PMQs, Miliband did not ask directly about the issue. This allowed Dr Fox to swing in the media wind, without obvious Labour encouragement. …

Posted in News, Parliament and PMQs | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments
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