Tag Archives: nick boles

Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: “Smack bang in the liberal centre – the only place you can deliver real, liberal freedom”

Tory planning minister Nick Coles’ admission this week that the Conservative brand is still tainted provides the cue for Nick Clegg to stake the liberal flag squarely in the centre ground once again. The Tories see us too statist, he says, while Labour sees us as too hard – Nick reckons this confirms the Lib Dems are exactly where we should be. And he defines his version of what liberalism is: “liberalism is about enabling everyone to get on in life”. Read his letter in full, below…

libdem letter from nick clegg

This week there’s been a lot of chat in the Westminster village about an issue close to our party’s heart: liberalism.

Specifically, on whether or not the Conservative party can be liberal. Sparked, on this occasion, by a Tory Minister and arch-moderniser, Nick Boles, conceding that their detoxification project has failed.

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Nick Boles calls for National Liberal revival AKA Nick Boles invents a safe space for nice people well away from the Tories

nick bolesNick Boles is the Conservative planning minister, one of the few Tories to take the housing crisis seriously and to risk unpopularity within his own party by making clear we need to build more homes.

He has, for instance, said ‘The sum of human happiness that is created by the houses that are being built is vastly greater than the economic, social and environmental value of a field that was growing wheat or rape’ knowing this would be crudely characterised as wanting to ‘concrete the countryside’. He has developed …

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Opinion: Mr Quelch muscles in on localism

“Fellows near Mr. Quelch’s study window heard a sound from within—the rhythmic sound of a cane on trousers.”

Just who, I wondered, as I watched the House of Commons Select Committee hearing held last week, does the speaker remind me of? Then, as he spoke about using sticks against the laggards, an image from decades ago slipped into my mind.

Oh crikey! I realised that am listening to Mr Quelch, the merciless form master who beat Billy Bunter and his ill-behaved companions at Greyfriars with jolly regularity in the weekly Magnet. I swear that Nick Boles is Quelch reincarnated.

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After the Coalition: A Conservative agenda for Britain

Collections of policy essays from new or junior MPs rarely have much of an impact or shelf-life in British politics, but however fallible their predictions for the future they can be illuminating about the current state of the authors’ party and its broad ideological direction.

So it is with After the Coalition which is very different in tone and hope for the future from last year’s Which Way’s Up? by Nick Boles. The contrast is there in the sub-titles for the two books. Boles had “The future for coalition Britain” whilst the five authors behind this volume have gone for …

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Opinion: What is worrying Labour and the Tories? Part 2

Yesterday Chris Nicholson looked at what is worrying Labour. Today he turns to the Conservatives.

What’s worrying the Tories?

The consensus view after the local elections was that the Tories had done amazingly well and so had the least to worry about. But amongst strategists there are some very real concerns. The General Election had shown that Cameron’s attempts to de-toxify the Tory brand was still work in progress. Despite all of David Cameron’s efforts enough people were still unsure about the Tories to deny them a majority. Michael Ashcroft’s recent polling shows that there is still considerable work to do …

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Voters, not politicians, will choose the future alignments of British politics

That’s the theme of the article I’ve done for the IPPR’s quarterly journal which has a series of articles looking at political realignment, including Nick Boles making a pitch for the centre-right.

It’s Parliamentary arithmetic which predominantly determines what options are actually open to politicians. That matters far more than any personal preferences of senior politicians, so the choices that are made are shaped far more by the results of what voters do than by what politicians might prefer:

The voters have a habit of making fools of those who make political predictions, even those (and perhaps particularly those) who make long-term predictions … So enthusiastically confident predictions about the long-term future of this coalition government – less than one year old and yet to face a national electoral test of any sort – tell you more about the self-confidence of those making the predictions than they do about the likely course of future events.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 3 Comments

Which Way’s Up? The long-term future of the coalition

The rapid appearance since the formation of the Coalition of Conservative MP Nick Boles’s book Which Way’s Up? is a tribute to the speed with which Biteback turns round books – recognising that the previous slothful pace of much political publishing meant books were no longer able to capture the political weather. Boles’s book, by contrast, certainly does that and attracted immediate headlines about his support for a two-term coalition and for an electoral pact.

The heart of the book, however, is about policy rather than political tactics. Boles himself has long been a Conservative moderniser – “a Cameroon before …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments
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  • User AvatarGlenn 22nd Aug - 5:49pm
    I don't buy the idea that Brexit meant different things to different people anymore than any political argument does. To me if there had been...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 22nd Aug - 5:17pm
    This article seems a bit confused. As far as I can see the Conference Motion says nothing about our call for a real Vote on...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 22nd Aug - 5:17pm
    Ooops. HTML fail: only per se should be italicised.
  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 22nd Aug - 5:12pm
    Well said. About the most sober and intelligent reflections I've yet seen on this dreadful business.
  • User Avatarpaul barker 22nd Aug - 4:55pm
    I agree with most of the article but Champion went well beyond answering questions. She wrote for The Sun & approved the Headline - those...
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 22nd Aug - 4:46pm
    James, I think it is about taking the lessons of economic theory and making it work for those at the bottom of the pile. The...