Tag Archives: michael white

The tale of Danny Alexander and the Big Raspberry*

So, Danny Alexander has been having lunch with some journalists today. The conversation, according to Kevin Maguire, was mature and relevant, discussing the important issues of the day.

You would have to be really sad to type “Danny Alexander fart” into Google, wouldn’t you?

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 14 Comments

“Where we work, we win” – will that Lib Dem maxim survive the 2015 test?

Chris RennardDon’t splutter on your Saturday morning cornflakes, but the Guardian has today published two intelligent articles on the Lib Dems and the strategy which the party is hoping will see us through to the other side of the 2015 election intact.

First, there’s Patrick Wintour‘s analysis — Liberal Democrats bank on ground war to hold on to seats — which uses as its springboard an analysis by Lord (Chris) Rennard, the party’s former chief executive and elections guru:

insists it should not be ground down by low national polls. “The

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 25 Comments

Opinion: I’d rather be boring than bonkers

Monday night’s Channel 4’s coverage of the Liberal Democrat conference ended with Michael Crick interviewing Ann Treneman and Michael White about the general feel amongst Lib Dems.

Among the usual sniping from a reactionary sketch-writer and the doyen of the urban intellectual elite came a lament that the Liberal Democrat conference did not feel like a Liberal Democrat conference. People were too on message, they moaned; there was not enough rebellion; nor enough eccentricity. Michael White in particular bemoaned the absence of beards and sandals. Lib Dem conference, they felt, had become boring.

Too right.

We are not in the 1970s, when …

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

What Nick can do next…

The Guardian’s Michael White poses the tricky question for Liberal Democrats — “Nick Clegg is doing better, but will it be enough?” — on his blog, following Nick’s well-received speech to the Parliamentary Press Gallery. As Michael points out, only the sharp jokes were reported in the media, rather than the substance which accompanied them (a charge to which I also plead partially guilty). So let’s add a bit of balance…

had three non-jokey points to make – three you didn’t read in the papers today. One was that, whatever happens at the next election, Britain will not

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

So you want to be a political journalist?

A sister title to Shane Greer’s So you want to be a politician?, Sheila Gunn’s So you want to be a political journalist? is a collection of thrity-two lively short chapters giving an insight into the life of a political journalist.

With an impressive cast of contributors, including Peter Riddell, Carolyn Quinn and Michael White, the book has plenty of insider information, presented usually in the style of lively anecdotal chats. This is not a tedious career advice book nor a studious academic tone but rather something that gives a flavour of what it is like to be a political journalist and how to get there.

MP Adam Holloway’s contribution is the one that turns sour on political journalism, explaining how he became so disillusioned with coverage of himself that he not only ceased writing a column for the local newspaper but also stopped sending out local news releases.

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Three reasons Nick Clegg was right to call for the ‘cancellation’ of the Queen’s Speech

When I woke up yesterday morning to news reports that Nick Clegg had called for the Queen’s Speech to be cancelled – because with limited time before the general election it would be far better to use the time focusing on reforming Parliament ready for the new batch of MPs – I was impressed.

First, because it was one of the leading news items, and for a Lib Dem leader to be that high up the running order in peace-time is no mean achievement. Secondly, because he was focusing public and media attention once again on a key liberal …

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

Nick’s pick of the greatest Parliamentary speeches in the last century

A big tip of my hat to Michael White in today’s Guardian for his feature, Greatest speeches in parliament of the past 100 years, 1909-2009, which links to a number of the Hansard transcripts of Parliamentary speeches nominated by ’46 distinguished figures, mostly living peers and MPs, plus a few officials and observers’.

It’s well worth browsing lazily through – as, incidentally, is the Hansard website, which you can access here. You can, for instance, search on speeches by “Jo Grimond”, and read ‘Major Grimond’s’ (as he then was known) maiden speech from March 10, 1950

Posted in Europe / International and Parliament | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 4th Jul - 2:42am
    Thanks for asking these questions. It's just scratching the surface, but very welcome nonetheless. I think on balance I find Norman's answer more impressive -...
  • User AvatarT-J 4th Jul - 12:03am
    Mr Wallace and others - although it sounds fairly easy to just ban MPs from the devolved countries in the UK from voting on devolved...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 3rd Jul - 10:30pm
    Yes Andrew, it does include Crimea, and actually the whole of eastern Ukraine. Self-determination for everyone should be one of the biggest liberal causes.
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 10:10pm
    David, Actually it was Greens 10% Lib Dems 5% in the TNS Holyrood poll (in the non-constituency section; the Greens are not mentioned in the...
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 10:00pm
    Good speech by Paddy! (despite misquoting Edward Lear!)
  • User AvatarAndrew 3rd Jul - 9:48pm
    Eddie, Does it extend to self-determination for Crimea as well? If they had a properly supervised referendum I am pretty sure they would still choose...
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