Tag Archives: Mark Pack

Jeremy Browne to stand down as MP: what Lib Dem bloggers have made of his decision

Jeremy Browne with beard AD LIBJeremy Browne’s decision to stand down as MP for Taunton Deane at the next election surprised many in the party. Ed Fordham wrote a tribute to Jeremy’s long service for the party on LDV here today — and the Lib Dem blogosphere has also had plenty to say. Here’s a selection…

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

Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments

All in a day’s Lib Dem conference: hustings, fringes, OMOV and sex work

It’s felt like a slow start to conference – I’m habituated to the Friday night rally and meaty policy debates starting at bleary o’clock on Saturday morning. But with the rally moved to Saturday night, conference itself wasn’t opened until this afternoon.

20141004_100527_resizedHowever, that meant there was time this morning for the first official hustings of the Party Presidential contest, with Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne all present. In fact, there was possibly too much time – 90 minutes in a too-efficiently air-conditioned room at times dragged a little. No fault of the candidates themselves – they were all fluent and thoughtful – but they also all agreed on pretty much everything of substance. All pledged to be the independent voice of the membership and to speak truth unto leadership power.

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

Typo of the Week award goes to Mark Pack

Mark PackMark wrote a piece about a Conservative Councillor being disqualified after conviction on a firearms charge.

Spot the wonderful typo.

If he’s corrected it, here’s the screen grab:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

“There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and their leaders. And yes, I know we don’t buy into the idea of a binary left-right axis, but it can’t be entirely dismissed.

As YouGov explains, “tracking data compiled over as many as 12 years gives a clear sense of how the main parties and their leaders have been perceived as shifting on a left-right scale. The two charts below shows mean scores based on 100 being “very right-wing” and -100 being “very left-wing”.” I’ve super-imposed onto YouGov’s graphics where, on average, voters currently place themselves:

voters left right spectrum you gov 2014

Three quick points:

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 59 Comments

Mark Pack’s verdict on those ICM polls: “not sensible figures for anyone to draw a conclusion from”

Mark PackMy former co-editor here at LibDemVoice, Mark Pack, has been taking a detailed look in his latest Liberal Democrat Newswire at those ICM constituency polls commissioned by Lord Oakeshott. Here’s his take on them:

It’s not only the attempted anonymous funding of the polls that’s questionable. So too is the way they were worded. Even reputable pollsters such as ICM given their clients some discretion over question wording, and in this case it was a matter of misleading by omission rather than an outrageously worded question in its own right.

The

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 31 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack: There’s rather more to the story of “Police call on someone who tweeted criticism of UKIP”

There’s been a fair bit of discussion online about the incident last weekend when two Cambridgeshire Police Officers visited Green Party member Michael Abberton over a tweet which contained his edited, fact checked version of an anti-UKIP poster designed by someone else.

He told the whole story on his Axe of Reason blog.

Julian Huppert, as you can imagine, expressed concern about the and …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Get your voters out electronically

HTC HD7 8It’s not a surprise to say far more people use social media now than when I first learnt political campaigning because Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the whole lot didn’t even exist back then. Nor even did (glory be, you might think) Internet Explorer. Back when a beta version of Netscape was cutting edge, the scope for successful online political campaigning was tiny compared to now, when there are more people on the electoral register who use social media than will vote next week.

But the story of the last few decades isn’t just about the rise of the online world. It’s also about the increasing problems with traditional ways of communicating with voters on the ground. Fewer phone numbers are in the phone book; fewer households have someone in when you call round; and fewer properties have accessible individual letterboxes.

photo by: okalkavan
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Ukip examined: who they are, what they stand for, and what it all means for British politics

revolt on the right ukipI’ve just finished reading Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin’s fascinating book analysing the rise of Ukip and what makes the party and its voters tick. Mark Pack has already written a very good review for LibDemVoice here. Here’s my take on some of its key insights.

Who votes for Ukip? The ‘left behind’

For a start, it debunks the myth that Ukip is a party of disaffected, well-to-do, shire-Tories obsessed by Europe and upset by David Cameron’s mild social liberalism on same-sex marriage. Yes, there are some Ukip voters like that, but they tend to be its peripheral voters, the ones most likely to give the Tories a kick in the Euros next month then return to their traditional True Blue ways in time for the general election. Ukip’s core vote in reality is made up of what the authors define as ‘left behind’ voters, overwhelmingly comprising older white working class males with no formal educational qualifications.

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

Jeremy Browne MP responds to LDV debates about his book

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyThank you to everyone on Lib Dem Voice who has taken the trouble to comment on my book ‘Race Plan’. It is healthy to have an active debate about how our liberalism can be applied to address the big political events of our time. I am appreciative of the favourable comments; I also thought it might be of interest (and good manners) to respond to some of the main criticisms and themes that emerged on LDV.

Timing of publication

The timing was determined by the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 102 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack: Less legislation? Yes please

Over at the Huffington Post, Mark Pack has been waging a war on “Initiativeitis”:

Initiativeitis – an ugly word for a regrettable phenomena. It is an often-criticised habit of government ministers of all parties always to be touting a new initiative backed up by a new piece of legislation in order to look like they are working hard and making a difference.

Yet speak to those who work in the frontline in public services, and complaints about too many new initiatives coming down from on high are widespread – again, regardless of which party is in government.

While political commentators may criticise a …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

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

LDVideo: Glasgow 2013 party conference redux

Why attend a Lib De conference? And what happens when you do? Those are two of the questions communicatios firm covi set out to get answers to in this 5-minute video featuring Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive: Mark Pack, Editor of Lib Dem Newswire; David Boyle, author and policy maker; and Professor Stephen Lee, Chief Executive of CentreForum…

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

The best speeches of Liberal Democrat Conference

I thought it would be good to remember some of the best speeches of this year’s Autumn conference. I wrote down a list of 7 that I thought were fantastic and then decided to ask Twitter.  The list that they came up with was remarkably similar. So, without further ado, and in no particular order until the end, let’s go through them:

First up, Glasgow’s own Paul Coleshill comparing renewal of Trident to a middle aged man buying a flashy sports car to prove his virility, but was only able to use it 3 days a week.

The Economy

In the economy debate two speeches caught people’s eye. Our own Nick Thornsby’s, described by Nick Clegg as “brilliant” said:

The great 19th century liberals of my home town of Rochdale ­­– John Bright and Richard Cobden –­­ led the way in persuading the country of the benefits of free trade. Now we, conference, should do the same again. Forging trade deals between the EU and America. Pushing the World Trade Organsation to re­-start talks on a global trade deal. Completing, finally, the European Single Market.

Because we know, as did Bright and Cobden, that it will not be government spending that restores prosperity, both here and abroad. It is through free trade, by opening up our economy and defeating the forces of protection that we can create the wealth needed to improve living standards and reduce poverty.

Prateek Buch, who had crafted the amendments, said in his speech:

It isn’t doom mongering to say that while output overall is rising again, living standards for those worst hit by the crash – those who have missed out the fruits of growth since long before the current crisis – have definitely not, and they won’t if the current path continues.

The capacity of people to secure for themselves a decent standard of living doesn’t grow when GDP is inflated any old how in pursuit of some feel good headlines – labours record in government is a powerful reminder of that. It grows through innovation as the motion indicates and ad vince is striving to deliver – and it grows through investment.

A debate of pure quality that we can be very proud of, not least because of this man being brave enough to sum it up:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: About those low Conference voting figures…

When 444 votes were cast in the 50p top tax rate debate and 413 in the nuclear power vote, some comments were made about these appearing to be low figures compared to past conferences.
However the rush to judgement on them were flawed for three reasons.
First, there were rather more votes cast in the Trident debate (550 – thanks to the get out the vote operation by the party leadership not misfiring that time.)
Second, attendance at federal conferences is always lower in Scotland than when it is in southern England, reflecting the relative travel distances for the bulk of the

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

Sarah Ludford MEP writes…Conference must debate Miranda detention

I was not initially planning to get particularly involved on the David Miranda Schedule 7 issue except as a concerned, nay horrified, spectator. After all, I’m an MEP not an MP nor (at present) able to be active as a peer, and I have plenty on my plate in Brussels.

But from early Monday morning, as I read the admirably vigorous response from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC – and the immediate if deeply hypocritical reaction from Yvette Cooper – I did start to wonder who from the party was going to be vocal. So I tweeted …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 35 Comments

You can tell it’s the silly season when….

… the Daily Mail has nothing better to do than write about an offer Liberal Democrat Voice sent to subscribers recently.

Andrew Pierce’s column in today’s paper quotes an email offering a chance to buy former LDV co-editor Mark Pack’s and Ed Maxfield’s book “101 ways to win an election” at half price. He wrote:

An interesting readers’ offer on the Lib Dem Voice website. The book, 101 Ways To Win An  Election, written by the Lib Dems’ Mark Pack and Ed Maxfield, is being sold at half-price.

Surely, top of the list should be ‘dump Nick Clegg’.

Some of us may take …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Lessons of Coalition (7): what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsLibDemVoice is running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’, to assess the major do’s and don’ts learned from our experience of the first 3 years in government. Reader contributions are welcome, either as comments or posts. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Today Mark Pack  shares his thoughts.

The invisible ministers should up their game, or be sacked

For the start of both 2011 and 2012, I wrote …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

Jim Messina and “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”

The Conservatives have hired Barack Obama’s election strategist Jim Messina to advise on their 2015 general election campaign. The Guardian describes it as “a coup for the Tory team to have been able to hire a strategist who proved such a vital figure in Obama’s presidential campaigns in both 2008 and 2012.”

Those unfamiliar with Mr Messina’s work can watch an example of his kind of ad below. It’s from the 2002 Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee race between Max Baucus and Montana Republican Senate nominee Mike Taylor, and has been described by Salon.com as “the single most infamous congressional ad in contemporary history”:

Renowned in political circles, the ad set porno music to 20-year-old footage of a video from Taylor’s cosmetics business. The video showed Taylor in a leisure suit rubbing cream into another man’s face. As the spot faded to black, it showed Taylor then seeming to reach for the man’s crotch as a voice-over said “Mike Taylor — not the way we do business in Montana.”

Posted in LDVUSA and YouTube | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Lessons of Coalition: what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsWe’re more than three years in. What started in the Rose Garden has turned into a bed of thorns. The quieter summer weeks are as good a time as any to reflect on the key lessons the Lib Dems need to learn from this stint in government. Who knows? We may have a second chance after 2015: best to plan ahead now to avoid the obvious pitfalls we fell into this time (tuition fees, NHS Bill, secret courts) as well as to max-out the successes we’ve delivered (tax-cuts for the low-paid, the ‘pupil premium’, new apprenticeships).

Over the next few days, we’ll be running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’ to which those of us who contribute to LibDemVoce will be adding. But we welcome reader contributions as well. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Here’s mine for starters…

Stronger policy development and campaigning on issues that matter to the public (AKA where’s our liberal equivalent of the benefits cap?)

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 42 Comments

LibLink: Tim Bale – “The biggest effect of the Lib Dems holding their nerve has been to help the Conservatives lose theirs”

tim baleTim Bale is professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, an an historian of the Conservative party. And this week, to mark the third anniversary of the formation of the Coalition, he’s turned his attention to the Lib Dems.

The article begins by dissecting that ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ verb — compromise — to highlight the problems posed by the Coalition for both its parties: ‘Used actively, it’s a good thing – you want something; I want something different; we talk it over; we come to an arrangement; …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – Parliamentary predictions on the Queen’s Speech

Over at The House Magazine, Mark Pack (formerly of this parish) previews the upcoming Queen’s Speech — and applauds the fact that it may be rather thinner than we’ve grown used to:

Far too often ministers have confused volume of legislation sent through Parliament with being a good minister. It is an oh-so-tempting trap to fall into, as shown by some of the daft criticisms of the last Queen’s Speech – seeking to equate the Government’s seriousness about economic policies with the number of Bills on the subject.

Thankfully, however, at least the Liberal Democrat part of the Government is sticking to

Posted in LibLink and Parliament | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

What the hell have the Lib Dems done?

That’s the does-what-it-says-on-the-tin name for the website, created by William Summers and run by Mark Pack, highlighting some of the key successes of the Lib Dems in government.

It’s been freshly updated this week, so what better day could there be than to take a look and share it with any friends and colleagues yet to decide how to cast their vote today?

what have lib dems done - apr 2013

PS: I understand from Mark that the updated version of his infographc — click here to enjoy its resplendence — …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

What will happen to the Lib Dems in Thursday’s local elections?

Lib Dems winning hereThere are just three campaigning days left until this Thursday’s local elections taking place across much of England.*

It’ll be tough-going for the Lib Dems…

The last time these seats were fought, in 2009, was a high water-mark for the party: we polled a national equivalent vote-share of 25%. As I said in my morning-after-the-night-before round-up here, they “were, generally, pretty damn good for the Lib Dems”.

Since entering government, the party’s become used to taking a battering in local elections. As the national polls indicate, our vote share has roughly halved since the Coalition was formed. Because we poll higher in local than national elections, this means we’re likely to secure around 15-16% of the popular vote on Thursday. If that’s the case, our number of councillors will again decline.

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , , , and | 26 Comments

An open letter to Jeremy Browne MP…Part 2: Problems at the Home Office

Dear Jeremy,

In part 1 I explained why the Interception of Communications Commissioner is a failed regulator and one the Home Office should be fixing, yet your civil servants have been reluctant to do so. That should give a pause for thought about the proposals Home Office civil servants keep on pushing to extend the ability of the government to snoop on what we do online.

So too should the way in which the Home Office regularly changes its views of what counts as being in the national interest or vital for the fight against crime, and indeed makes outlandish claims …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen….the Mark Pack special

At the end of February, Dr Mark Pack, who was a part of this site from the very start, stepped down as co-editor.  His first post was on 27 August 2006. We miss him but are glad he’s still writing for us.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the weekly Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

I hope you enjoy the varied, eclectic selection of posts which shows off the man’s many talents and interests.

Posted in Best of the blogs | 2 Comments

Opinion: A rousing campaigning message from Lord Ashcroft (of all people)

Lord Ashcroft has done another enormous piece of polling, this time into the Lib Dem vote. A few of the more encouraging findings:

    • More people want a coalition including the Lib Dems (31%) than a Conservative majority (30%)
    • 30% of people could see themselves voting Lib Dem at the next general election
    • Only 1 in 5 think the Lib Dems have no real influence
    • Lib Dems outpoll the Conservatives on:
    o“Represents the whole country, not just some”(24% v 21%),
    o “Its heart is in the right place”(47% v 35%),
    o “stands for fairness”(41% v 30%)
    o “Stands for equal opportunity for all”(39% v 28%)
    o “Wants to help ordinary

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

A warm welcome to our new Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay

I guess that, in the end, it was quite fitting that Mark Pack’s final day with LibDemVoice should have been last Thursday, the day of the Eastleigh by-election: it’s always good to go out on a high. For those who missed the news first time round, Mark has — after over six years as my Co-Editor in name/spirit — stepped down from the team to spend more time with his other 73 roles within the party (plus two day jobs).

caron lindsaySo the end of one era, but I hope also the dawn of a new one. I’m delighted to say that Caron Lindsay, already a member of the site’s editorial collective, has agreed to become this site’s new Co-editor alongside me. Few Lib Dems will need an introduction to Caron. She is the author of the superb Caron’s Musings blog, elected member of the party’s Federal Executive, treasurer of the Scottish Lib Dems, and a former case-worker for Willie Rennie. She is also one of the nicest, most grounded, full-of-common-sense Lib Dems I know. Thank you, Caron, for saying yes so willingly.

Posted in Site news | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Mark Pack on BBC comments on Chris Rennard allegations

Lib Dem Voice co-editor Mark Pack was interviewed by the BBC yesterday about the allegations concerning Chris Rennard. Here’s what he had to say:

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

LibLink: Eastleigh by-election and mansion tax

The Guardian’s Politics Weekly podcast this week focused on the Eastleigh by-election and the mansion tax proposals. These topics were discussed by, amongst others, Lib Dem Voice’s Mark Pack.

You can listen to it here.

 

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | Leave a comment



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Oct - 12:38pm
    Dav, the key word is effectively.
  • User AvatarDavid 21st Oct - 12:21pm
    Could there be/is there a list of how many reps each eligible local Party sent to Conference alongside how many they were entitled to send?
  • User AvatarDav 21st Oct - 12:02pm
    Effectively with VAT and other transactional taxes, we’re already doing this No, we're not: VAT is paid by consumers, not by companies.
  • User AvatarRoland 21st Oct - 11:54am
    >Do you really think that we should move to taxing corporate income, not profits? Effectively with VAT and other transactional taxes, we're already doing this.
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 21st Oct - 11:52am
    simon Immigration isn’t the cause of the problem. It is a SYMPTOM. The cause is our loss of national sovereignty. To a failed experiment in...
  • User AvatarDav 21st Oct - 11:44am
    Thesis: An election campaign is like a war. It requires strategy (deciding what messages to push), tactics (how to get them across to the electorate),...