Tag Archives: nick cohen

The lessons we must learn for Nick Clegg’s next holiday

Nick Clegg’s two spells of holiday this Summer have been characterised by the Home Office in particular getting above itself in his absence. Both the party and Nick’s Special Advisers should have learned from the furore over the “Go home” poster vans. The Home Office pulled a fast one by implementing this pilot without telling the Liberal Democrats. The response from the Party was the right one – that they were “disproportionate, distasteful and ineffective” and Vince Cable saying a few days later that they were stupid and offensive. The problem was that the response came out by …

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Nick Cohen: Labour members are “in despair” of trying to unseat Lynne Featherstone

Lynne FeatherstoneThe Observer’s Nick Cohen isn’t Lynne Featherstone’s biggest fan: “I cannot tell you how much I dislike this stupid, two-faced and dangerous politician,” he writes affectionately in The Spectator.

He later labels her a “menace”, a “hypocrite”, and curses her “wittering” (I wonder if that’s a verb he’s ever applied to a male politician, by the way?).

All of which means poor Nick is in despair. Why? Because, he laments, Labour is completely failing to get its act together in Hornsey and Wood Green, allegedly one

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As Leveson reports… Why I’m sticking up for ‘Press freedom with no buts’

Lord Justice Leveson’s inquiry into the phone-hacking scandal will report this week. His recommendations on the future of press regulation are the subject of intense speculation, with essentially three positions being staked-out:

What’s being proposed

‘Independent regulation backed up by statute’
Advocates, who include Evan Harris and the Hacked Off campaign group, argue that the only way to ensure the press does not abuse its position in the future is for it to be regulated. But, they insist, this should be independent both of government and the press, the two main …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 38 Comments

Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013The Economist‘s annual list of the top quality-of-life countries: ‘Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.’ Britain comes 27th. (The Telegraph has a picture-only version here.)

The burdens that Israel should not have to bearBrendan

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Why don’t we trust politicians? – The BBC’s Nick Robinson takes politicians to task, doesn’t let the media off the hook either… while Labour’s Rachel Reeves mouths platitudes.

The BBC regains its honour – Nick Cohen links the Beeb’s problems with Newsnight and Jimmy Savile to the wider question of institutional trust: ‘We ought to be extending anti-managerialism into every private and public hierarchy.’

The Savile inquiries: giving truth a

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Lords reform, Boris Johnson and Louise Mensch: Guardian podcast

This week’s Politics Weekly podcast from The Guardian features, ahem, myself alongside Martin Kettle, Nick Cohen and Tom Clark. Lords reform, Boris Johnson’s political future and the Corby by-election (so far, dreadfully lacking in jokes about trouser presses) all feature.

Nick Cohen made a particularly good provocative point about Boris Johnson – saying he’s the only Conservative in the UK to have won a major election since John Major won the 1992 general election. It makes the Tory right’s view of him rather contradictory: they really dislike some of his policy preferences (such as on immigration) yet also love him as …

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Conference fringe: Defending free speech – keep libel laws out of science

With a harsh economic recession continuing to bite, with Westminster politics remaining in the doldrums and with a global climate change summit fast approaching, legal action taken against a science writer may be far down your priority list as party conference season approaches. And yet, the British Chiropractic Association’s attempts to silence Simon Singh’s critical comments reveal fundamental flaws in Britain’s libel law, and threaten to undermine the freedom of expression that insulates us from the very worst consequences of public and private sector failures.

It is in this context that I invite all Lib Dem Voice readers to attend a fringe event I’ve organised at this year’s conference. The event is entitled Defending free speech – keep libel laws out of science, and will take place in the Marriott Highcliff Hotel’s Blandford Syndicate room 3 at 13.00.

We will hear an illustrious panel of speakers discussing how legal threats are being used to suppress scientific debate, and how Britain’s libel laws must be reformed:

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