Tag Archives: matthew oakeshott

Tim Farron disagrees with Nick on minority Government

Tim Farron MP speaks at the rallyNick Clegg has been saying a lot recently that it’s coalition or nothing – the Liberal Democrats aren’t interested in propping up a minority Government because we’d get all the blame and none of the chance to do any actual good.

I can see the logic to that point of view, certainly. However, Tim Farron, in an interview with the New Statesman has directly contradicted Nick, saying that we shouldn’t rule anything out:

When you go into negotiations with another party you have to believe,

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Opinion: We won in 2010 with compassion, is it the key to victory in  2015?

imageAccording to the media Liberal Democrats are behaving like rats in a sack with each member trying to eat (and in some cases spit out the other). Of course the media are less accommodating when it comes to highlighting the review that Nick commissioned with James Gurling, Cllr Abi Bell, Cllr Ruth Dombey and George Lyon.

While a review is welcome it is not the whole answer. What will help us in 2015 is engaging with some of those traditional Liberal Democrat liabilities, namely our compassion.

Take Lord Oakeshott. While I can’t comment …

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Dick Newby writes … revisiting the Limehouse Declaration

William Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins & David Owen with funds from SDP supporters, Feb 1981On the wall of our downstairs loo is a framed copy of the Limehouse Declaration, issued at the inception of the SDP on 21 January 1981.

In the light of Matthew Oakeshott’s parting contention that Nick has led us as a party without roots, principles or values, I have re-read it to test his contention.

On international affairs the post-2010 Lib Dems have followed Limehouse to the letter – not just by being rooted and principled over Europe, but by our record on international development – underpinned by giving 0.7% of GDP in aid for the first time ever.

photo by: Roger Blackwell
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Cable: “Lord Oakeshott’s actions are totally inexcusable”

Vince Cable - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsBusiness secretary Vince Cable has released the following statement in the last few moments:

Lord Oakeshott’s actions are totally inexcusable and unacceptable. I have made it very clear repeatedly that he does not speak or act for me.

Commissioning and publishing polls without the consent of the Member of Parliament, as in the case of Sheffield Hallam, is utterly reprehensible.

There are undoubtedly raw feelings in the wake of poor local and European election results. We need to respond in a measured way. Public speculation about the leadership is an unwelcome distraction and as I made absolutely clear yesterday there is no leadership issue as far as I’m concerned.

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++Breaking news: Matthew Oakeshott commissioned the Guardian poll

Lord Matthew Oakeshott addresses conferenceThe Independent has revealed that Matthew Oakeshott was the ‘Lib Dem supporter’ behind the ICM polling which we covered here.

In an article headed ‘Vince Cable allies accused of plotting to bring down Nick Clegg‘ it claims:

Lord Oakeshott has been a close friend of Mr Cable for many years and has made no secret of his desire to see the Business Secretary succeed Mr Clegg.

Posted in News | 55 Comments

LDVideo: The ladder, the elephant and the bird that flies to the left

Today’s Sunday Politics featured three parliamentarians putting forward new ideas for their party logos. We wonder if they actually tried to find an MP, or whether the BBC  just went to Matthew Oakeshott to give him the chance to do his traditional “Let’s get rid of Nick Clegg” pre-Conference spiel.

Anyway, here are the efforts they came up with. I actually think Halfon’s had the best rationale, although I expect a health and safety adviser would have had something to say about unsafe working practices.

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Two Liberal Democrats on holiday together. They MUST be plotting to overthrow Nick Clegg

Today’s Mail on Sunday has a story which reaches all sorts of wild conclusions from a few raw facts. Of course you could argue that that’s the rule for virtually all stories in that publication. And you’d be right.

The headline screams: Cable holds “secret ski summit” in French Alps with peer plotting to oust Nick Clegg.

It doesn’t take you very long to realise that this wasn’t some great plotting session, but, in fact, a holiday during the Parliamentary recess.

The piece also contains the revelation that their hotel boasted a gym, jacuzzi and swimming pool. How very unusual that is …

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LDVideo: Matthew Oakeshott on the Lib Dem differentiation strategy

BBC’s Sunday Politics looked at recent statements by leading Lib Dems – including three of the Coalition’s biggest champions, Nick Clegg, Danny Alexander and David Laws – widely seen as an attempt to differentiate the party from the Conservatives:

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5 reasons not to assume the FDP wipeout in the German elections will happen here in the UK

fdp germany logoAn amazing result for Angela Merkel, increasing her vote and almost winning an absolute majority for the conservative CDU in her third election. A dire one for the liberal FDP, eliminated from the German Bundestag after failing to cross the 5% popular vote threshold – from 93 seats to 0 in one go. Ouch.

Part of the fun of elections in foreign countries is cherry-picking the bits of confirmation bias that suit our own weltenschaung. “Liberal party wiped out after coalition with centre-right party, eh – you just wait til …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , , , and | 58 Comments

Clegg leadership plot: Gove’s ‘crazy grenade’ detonates, briefly, before Tories revert to arguing about Europe

Hats off to Mr Gove! With the Tory party in its customary state of internecine warfare over Europe, the education secretary used his interview this morning on The Andrew Marr Show to allege a leadership plot to overthrow Nick Clegg. Here’s PoliticsHome’s account:

Michael Gove has suggested Nick Clegg’s opposition to increasing childminders-toddlers ratio is due to an internal Liberal Democrat plot to unseat him as leader.

Mr Clegg said last week that he was “yet to be persuaded” by the case for allowing staff to look after more children.

However Mr Gove today said the reforms, which were defended by

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Tim Farron tops our poll as Lib Dem politician who enjoyed the best 2012

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Over 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Farron, Huppert and Oakeshott had best 2012 say Lib Dem members

LDV asked: In your opinion, which Lib Dem MP or peer overall has had the best year?Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal Democrats
This question allowed an unprompted, free-text response, which over 400 party members filled in. And …

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Lords reform is dead! Long live, erm, a bloated, ineffective, undemocratic Lords!

The Guardian reports today that dozens of new life peers are to be appointed to the House of Lords:

Political parties are preparing to draw up lists for dozens of new appointments to the House of Lords in a move that will reignite controversy over creating peers just months after the collapse of legislation to dramatically reduce the second chamber. The move, which is expected to create at

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LibLink: Matthew Oakeshott – Osborne isn’t working – how do we rebuild the economy?

Writing in the Guardian, Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott is typically forthright in his assessment of the chancellor’s performance and the changes he would like to see:

What we need instead is a far bolder plan for economic recovery. I call it plan C for construction and capital investment rather than plan B but we can all agree at least, on this side of the debate, that Osborne isn’t working. We must be mad to treat our record low long-term interest rates as some sort of virility symbol, instead of an unrepeatable opportunity to finance desperately needed investment.

The pension funds and insurance companies

Posted in LibLink | 8 Comments

If you’re going to suggest that Nick Clegg isn’t the answer, you need a plan B ready…

Lord Matthew OakeshottFollowing the interventions of Matthew Oakeshott and Trevor Smith, there will be those both inside and outside the Liberal Democrats, who will be looking forward to next month’s Federal Conference with an eye to a future. Not necessarily the future, but a future nonetheless.

But before anyone gets terribly carried away, there are two key questions that need to be asked and, ideally, answered.

What are you changing the Leader for?

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Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian

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LibLink: Matthew Oakeshott – The Treasury needs a new team to stop this slide back into recession

In The Guardian Matthew Oakeshott writes:

Britain’s economy after this week’s grim GDP figures looks like an old steam train struggling up Shap Fell. George Osborne, the driver, is doing his best but there’s just not enough coal in the firebox, the train’s lost momentum, and it’s slipping back down the hill. We need two massive growth locomotives, called housing and banking, with a new team on the footplate to stop the slide.

That’s why I’ve been saying we need a bold plan A+, making banks lend, especially RBS,

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 14 Comments

Vince Cable on the economy, George Osborne and his own ambitions

From last night’s Newsnight:

Posted in News and YouTube | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

As economy shrinks again, Oakeshott calls for Osborne to be moved to make way for “our A team at the treasury”

Here’s how The Guardian reports the call by Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott for George Osborne to be moved from Number 11 in the wake of today’s fresh dire news on the economy:

A senior Liberal Democrat peer has called on George Osborne to be sacked as the chancellor continued to insist the government was on the right economic path, despite “disappointing” official

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LDVideo: Oakeshott on Osborne, Oaten on BSkyB, George on fishermen

You can catch up with many of the recent appearances of Lib Dems in the media on LibDemVoice’s ‘Video’ page.

Lord Oakeshott: Osborne ‘should focus on the day job’

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Tune in to Iain Dale’s Lib Dem night tonight on LBC, featuring Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and others

Iain Dale returns to his evening show on London’s LBC radio tonight with a Lib Dem special. First up is a live Q & A with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, followed by interviews with a whole host of prominent Lib Dems, including three of the four London Mayoral hopefuls as well as deputy leader Simon Hughes.

Here’s the schedule in full from Iain’s blog:

6-7pm Live Q & A with LibDem leader Nick Clegg
7-7.30pm Interview with Nick Clegg (tbc)
7.30-8pm Reaction to Clegg with Lord Oakeshott, Susan Kramer & Jo Phillips
8-9pm Meet the LibDem London Mayoral Candidates – Brian Paddick, Brian

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The Lib Dems on ‘Hackgate’ and Murdoch: Ashdown, Huhne, Hughes, Farron, Oakeshott all join the fray

It’s been a frenzied week in British politics, with attention for once focused less on the mis-deeds of politicans than the criminality practised by many journalists, both at the News of the World and beyond. Here’s a brief round-up of what the Lib Dems have been saying…

BSkyB takeover: Lib Dems hint at backing Labour motion to delay deal (Guardian)

The Liberal Democrats have indicated they could back a Labour move in parliament to delay the Murdoch takeover of BSkyB until after the police investigations into phone hacking. …

Hughes told Sky News: “We have to be careful and I would

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Lord Stoneham defends Goodwin disclosure

The Liberal Democrat peer who disclosed that former Royal Bank of Scotland chief Sir Fred Goodwin had a relationship with a senior colleague defended his action last night.

Using Parliamentary privilege, Lord Stoneham of Droxford told peers last Thursday:

Every taxpayer has a direct public interest in the events leading up to the collapse of the Royal Bank of Scotland, so how can it be right for a super-injunction to hide the alleged relationship between Sir Fred Goodwin and a senior colleague?

If true, it would be a serious breach of corporate governance and not even the Financial Services Authority would be

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

The Independent Banking Commission publishes its interim report

Via the BBC:

UK banks’ retail operations should be “ring-fenced” from their investment banking arms, the Independent Commission on Banking has recommended.

However, in its interim report the commission stopped short of recommending the two should operate as separate entities.

It said more competition was needed in retail banking, including the sell-off of more Lloyds branches.

The commission’s final recommendations will be published in September.

Robert Peston adds,

The big banks will claim that putting their retail banks into subsidiaries would impose significant extra costs on them – because it would force them to raise and retain more capital (which is expensive), and it

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Independent Commission on Banking threatened mass resignation to make Osborne back-off

Matthew Oakeshott’s departure as a Liberal Democrat spokesman for criticising the ‘Project Merlin’ deal with the banks over bonuses and the like may have got the headlines, but the real story is revealed by Anthony Hilton in the Evening Standard – all the members of the Commission threatened to resign in protest at government interference with their work.

He writes:

The Government offered to emasculate the Independent Commission on Banking as it tried to strike a deal on bank bonuses a few weeks ago. I am told it backed off only when Sir John Vickers, chairman of the inquiry, and his entire committee, Clare

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Matthew Oakeshott profiled in The Guardian

Today’s Guardian has a profile of Lib Dem peer Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott:

Lord Oakeshott is the master of the one-liner. Treasury officials, in his opinion, “couldn’t negotiate themselves out of a paper bag”. Bankers’ pay particularly irks him: “If this is bonus restraint, my name is Bob Diamond,” is one of the most memorable remarks uttered by any politician this year…

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Lord Oakeshott departs as a Lib Dem Treasury spokesman

By “mutual agreement”, earlier today Lord Oakeshott stopped being a Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman in the Lords. In a lively alternative to the usually banal exchange of letters on such occasions, Oakeshott and Danny Alexander instead exchanged waspish soundbites.

Matthew Oakeshott criticised today’s deal with the banks on bonuses, lending and other matters saying, “If this is robust action on bank bonuses, my name’s Bob Diamond and I’m going to claim my £9m bonus next week”.

Danny Alexander responded on Channel 4 that his “name clearly isn’t Bob Diamond”.

Lord Oakeshott was not “the” Liberal Democrat spokesman in the Lords, a role which …

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Lord Oakeshott attacks Barclays over bonsues

The Guardian reports:

Barclays was tonight accused of making a mockery of attempts to call a truce with the government over “banker bashing” amid fresh expectations that its chief executive Bob Diamond would be awarded a bonus of at least £8m.

After months of talking with the banks, the coalition is yet to announce a deal, codenamed Merlin, under which the industry would to agree lending targets of up to £190bn and show restraint on bonuses in return for less criticism from the government.

The talks with the banks have been led by Diamond’s predecessor John Varley and tonight Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal

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Lord Oakeshott attacks bank bonus secrecy

From The Guardian:

Cracking down on bankers’ bonuses is a “moment of truth” for the coalition government, a leading Liberal Democrat has warned, amid mounting expectations that payments of at least £7bn will be awarded in the coming weeks…

Lord Oakeshott, a Liberal Democrat treasury spokesman, said this was a moment for the coalition to act, particularly on forcing more disclosure from banks on the amount they pay.

“This is the coalition’s moment of truth on fairness,” he said. “The first item on our coalition agreement is a promise to deal with unacceptable bankers’ bonuses. Secret bonuses are by definition unacceptable, so

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The Huhne – Oakeshott two-step

Over the weekend we saw two stories, two prominent Liberal Democrats, two public staking out of positions on issues that are the subject of much debate within the coalition in Whitehall:

David Cameron was warned yesterday by a senior Lib Dem not to delay the introduction of legislation banning non-doms from making donations to political parties in Britain. In a sign of strains within the coalition, Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott said there was “absolutely no reason” to delay the legislation. (The Guardian)

and

Chris Huhne, the Liberal Democrat energy secretary, reiterated his party’s strong opposition to retaining a policy that he had previously

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Oakeshott: New tax only way to end bank bonus culture

A Liberal Democrat Treasury spokesman has called for a new tax on bonuses  to be placed on banks. Lord Oakeshott’s call came after the Royal Bank of Scotland’s chairman claimed that regulation was the only way to restrain the annual bonus bonanza in the financial services industry.  Sir Philip Hampton admitted that the bank was “paying a lot of people who aren’t worth it” and concluded that, whilst RBS  had made changes to the structure of bonus deals to avoid rewards for failure, “My own view is it can probably only be decisively solved through regulation”.

Posted in News | 10 Comments



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    @David Evershed and Jedibeeftrix How far does the federalist idea extend? As far as the bonds of culture, economy and history can be extended. The...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Jul - 12:46am
    They do what William Hague did - become very competent and then go off to make money :). Jokes aside, we do need more political...
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    Stepehen Donnelly, the conditions will never be right for a peaceful settlement - Israel will see to that, Israel wants to steal Palestinian land not...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 25th Jul - 12:15am
    good question, David, please let us hash this out now: how far do the lib-dem's envisage this federalism extending?
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  • User AvatarStephen Donnelly 24th Jul - 11:46pm
    I don't think that there is any merit in reinterpreting the past. That is not where a solution is to be found. Neither is picking...