Tag Archives: Mark Pack

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

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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…

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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 …

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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 …

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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; …

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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

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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 — …

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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:

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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.

 

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Eastleigh by-election: your essential round-up of the latest campaign news (13 Feb)

Here’s a round-up of news from the past 24 hours in the Eastleigh by-election…

Mike Thornton’s campaign in full swing

mike thornton david chidgeyThe Lib Dems’ Mike Thornton — pictured here (by Jon Aylwin) with 1994 by-election victor David Chidgey — has been focusing on how the pupil premium, the party’s flagship education policy, has been helping Eastleigh schools:

Lib Dems boost Pupil Premium (Southern Daily Echo)
The policy introduced by the Liberal Democrats has invested £1.7m in Eastleigh schools, and is aimed at ensuring every child has a fair start in life.

Just one of the reasons why volunteer help has been pouring in to help Mike retain the seats for the Lib Dems:

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 12 Comments

Mark Pack to appear on Question Time as @BBCExtraGuest

Congratulations and good luck to Mark Pack, my co-editor here for another fortnight, who’s in the virtual hot-seat as this week’s @BBCExtraGuest, tweeting opinions and answering questions before and during this week’s edition of BBC1′s Question Time (Thursday, 10.35 pm):

You’ll be able to follow Mark’s tweets as @BBCExtraGuest here.

Congratulations, too, to Lib Dem blogger Richard Morris, whose open letter maybe reminded the BBC …

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5 reasons for Lib Dems to campaign in Eastleigh (just in case you needed any more)

eastleigh campaignMark Pack has posted last night’s poll findings from Eastleigh, showing the Tories narrowly ahead with both Labour and Ukip out of serious contention. In case you needed some reasons to help the Lib Dem campaign in the next three weeks in whatever way you’re able here are 5 from me…

The Lib Dems can win…

Lord Ashcroft’s poll is pretty ideal for the party: it piles the pressure on the Tories as early front-runners, while confirming how tight the contest will be. The Lib Dems’ local strength is significant …

Posted in News and Parliamentary by-elections | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Equal marriage: who voted which way

For those wanting to know the voting breakdown of last night’s historic decision in the Commons to approve equal marriage, here it is courtesy of Andrew Sparrow’s essential Guardian live-blog…

Conservatives

FOR – 127 MPs (42%)
AGAINST – 136 MPs (45%)
ABSTENTIONS – 5 MPs (2%)
ABSENT – 35 MPs (12%)

Labour

FOR – 217 MPs (84%)
AGAINST – 22 MPs (9%)
ABSTENTION – 16 MPs (6%)

Lib Dems

FOR – 45 MPs (80%)
Danny Alexander (Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch & Strathspey), Tom Brake (Carshalton & Wallington), Annette Brooke (Dorset Mid & Poole North), Jeremy Browne (Taunton Deane), Malcolm Bruce (Gordon), Paul Burstow (Sutton & Cheam), Lorely Burt (Solihull), Vincent …

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 49 Comments

Our congratulations to Mark Pack – and, alas, a farewell to him

Mark PackCongratulations to my Co-Editor at Lib Dem Voice, Mark Pack, on his appointment as associate director at Blue Rubicon, ‘a consultancy that leads strategic thinking in corporate, financial, brand and behaviour change communications’. He departs MHP Communications, where he’s been since leaving the Lib Dems in 2009, at the beginning of March. In addition, he has recently been appointed a Visiting Lecturer at City University in the Journalism Department.

Add these professional activities to his extensive political campaigning — did you know he’s written a book on

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LibLink: Mark Pack’s five lessons from the US election

I’ve long suspected that the Voice’s Mark Pack doesn’t need to sleep and his clear thinking after a long electoral night kind of backs up my theory. As my neural pathways crumble from lack of sleep, he has already put together five lessons we should learn from both Obama’s win and Romney’s loss.

He talks about the important of the non white male vote. While Romney might have done well amongst white men, he lost many other important groups of voters, including women, who make up the majority.

Mark also made a good point about the many emails which came out of …

Posted in LibLink and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – The Home Office has got it wrong about online snooping ‘safeguards’

The Voice’s Mark Pack has taken to the (web)pages of The Spectator to dispute the case put by Home Office Minister James Brokenshire about the Draft Communications Data Bill:

What do you do if a regulator has failed? Leave them unreformed and instead give them greater powers? That is the line Home Office Minister James Brokenshire is arguing.

The regulator in question is the Interception of Communications Commissioner and the powers relate to online monitoring. For the Draft Communications Data Bill would not only give the government far more scope to monitor what we do online, but Brokenshire also argues we should be

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How you can take part in LibDemVoice’s exclusive party member surveys

LibDemVoice’s surveys of party members signed-up to our discussion forum have been running for over three years now. (I posted yesterday the final set of figures from our most recent poll.)

Our surveys are a way of testing members’ views on a variety of hot topics. And as they’ve been running throughout the first two years of the Coalition they’re also an interesting record of changing views on how the Coalition is regarded within the party.

If you would like to take part in the LibDemVoice surveys, there are simply two steps you need to follow:
1) Be a current Lib …

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LibLink: Anthony Wells ‘On that poll of Lib Dem members’

As my LibDemVoice colleague Caron Lindsay noted here, our poll asking when Lib Dem members want Nick Clegg to stand down has attracted a fair bit of coverage this week (including in the Daily Mail: I’ve showered three times since reading it, I still feel unclean).

Over at his essential UK Polling Report blog, the best online guide to British polling, Anthony Wells has taken a closer look at this survey — and at the validity of LibDemVoice surveys in general — and here’s an excerpt of what he says:

Stephen Tall and Mark Pack don’t make huge claims

Posted in LDV Members poll and LibLink | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Review: 101 Ways To Win An Election by Mark Pack & Edward Maxfield

101 Ways To Win An Election is a welcome and pleasant surprise.

Now that might seem a lukewarm introduction to a review of a book co-written by my co-editor Mark Pack, together with fellow Lib Dem Edward Maxfield. But it’s not intended to be either ironic or half-hearted because what makes this book such an excellent guide to political campaigning is that it succeeds in being a whole lot more than that.

In fact, its 308 pacy pages cheerfully zig-zag between marketing manual, self-help book, and campaigning A-Z — with dollops of political history, pop-psychology, and behavioural economics thrown in for good measure.

The authors have clearly put a lot of thought into creating a book which people will actually want to read — and to re-read — on a subject many but the most obsessed political aficionado might initially dismiss as dull and boring.

Posted in Books | Also tagged | 2 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Watson 17th Apr - 6:41pm
    @Martin "Reducing the number of MPs could only be acceptable in the context of a more representative voting system" Indeed. The party policy in the...
  • User AvatarAdrian Sanders 17th Apr - 6:16pm
    Interesting Shakesperian quote but would have been more powerful if he'd used the whole sentence - "The fault dear Brutus is not in the stars...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 17th Apr - 6:15pm
    "Your solution,.(?).. is to create some kind of ‘academy’ to train young people to become the [new],…. “narrow class of professional politicians most of whose...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 17th Apr - 6:04pm
    @ John Dunn, Having looked at the website, it is not just about training SpAds.
  • User Avatardaft ha'p'orth 17th Apr - 6:02pm
    " it is the PEOPLE who are to blame " Or, more concisely, 'See what you've made us do? See what you've driven us to?'
  • User AvatarCharles Rothwell 17th Apr - 6:00pm
    I would not lump the BNP and UKIP together. For a start, the BNP has virtually imploded, Griffin has officially been declared bankrupt (in financial...