Tag Archives: nick thornsby

Which member of the LDV team gets a mention in today’s national press?

Step forward…..

Screen Shot 2014-05-04 at 11.24.30

If you follow our Nick on Twitter, you’ll know he loves interesting use of language, whether it be puns, silly signs or malapropisms.

Some time ago, he suggested to John Rentoul that it would be a good idea to do a feature on the Top Ten Malapropisms. And so, here in today’s Independent on Sunday, it came to pass. “This one is Nick Thornsby’s idea.” says the first sentence.

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Jeremy Browne’s ‘Race Plan’. I’ve read it, so here’s my review…

Jeremy Browne bookThree points to make right from the start about Jeremy Browne’s new book, Race Plan.

First, it’s a wholly Good Thing that a Lib Dem MP is choosing to think aloud, to set out clearly his views. Nick Clegg having decided that he did, after all, like one of the Beecroft recommendations and decided to fire-at-will his home office minister, Jeremy could have slunk away, tail between his legs, to nurse his bitterness. He’s chosen a rather more constructive outlet for his disappointment. By which I mean this book, rather than his short-lived, C.19th-throwback, gap year beard.

Secondly, there is a fundamental problem with the central conceit of this book: that Britain is in a global race, and that if we don’t get fitter, we’ll be overtaken by or competitors in the coming Asian Century, fall behind, and become poorer.

Posted in Books, News and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 59 Comments

Conference Photo Gallery Part 1 – What the LDV team did

The LDV team had a busy and fun Conference in York. Here are a few of the things we got up to:

Co-editors, hard at work

Caron Stephen York broom cupboard

 

Thanks to Paul Walter for taking this.

Nick questions Nick

Nick questions Nick on NI

 

Caron meets Liberal Youth

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 09.00.57With Claire Boad, Maelo Manning and Alex White.

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Christmas present ideas from the LDV team and friends – Day 2

On this Mega Monday, here are two Christmas present suggestions from our own Nick Thornsby.

letters of arthur schlesingerThe letters of Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

Edited by his two sons, this collection of Arthur Schlesinger’s letters gives a fascinating insight into many of the key events in 20th century American history. And unlike most historians, Schlesinger often found himself mixed up in those events, particularly where they involved the Democratic party. He famously spent time working as an adviser in the JFK White House, so there is interesting material from before, during and …

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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:

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Lindsay vs Thornsby – House of Comments podcast comes to Conference

On Sunday morning, Nick Thornsby and Caron Lindsay joined Mark Thompson in the Liberal Democrat Voice broom cupboard in Glasgow and recorded a special edition of his House of Comments podcast.

Have a listen and see whether our crystal balls were right as we predicted how Conference would go and discussed everything from  Trident, nuclear power, fracking, online pornography and Nick Clegg’s position as leader. Deficit hawk Thornsby and old fashioned tax and spender Lindsay put forward their relative positions on the economy in entirely civilised fashion.

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Economy motion carried: Nick Clegg wins overwhelming backing from Lib Dem conference

Lib Dem conference has spoken — and it has overwhelmingly backed Nick Clegg. Before the debate I had a hunch the result would be somewhat different. Though Nick had shrugged off a reported split with Vince Cable as “a storm in a tea cup”, I thought Vince’s obvious discontent with the decision to make this vote a test of strength, together with the assiduous ground-work and careful drafting of the Social Liberal Forum’s amendments, would pose a real problem for the party leadership.

And for the first third of the debate I thought my hunch might be fulfilled, with …

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The Liberal Democrat Voice Team at Conference

Comic Con foursomeLast Saturday, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre was full of trolls, superheroes, and Pokemon. I kid you not. 20,000 people, many of them in costume,  turned up for the Scottish Comic Con event. My daughter, or Karkat Vantas as she preferred to be called, was one of them. The photo shows a selection of the colourful and elaborate costumes on show.

Next Saturday, it’ll be full of Liberal Democrats gathering for Conference. Insert your own joke here. In the first of a series of preview posts, I …

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Lessons of Coalition (4): 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 Nick Thornsby shares his thoughts …

Making a success of coalition government as a concept

Making a success of this coalition government meant two things for the Liberal Democrats. It …

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Ed Balls shifts Labour’s position closer to the Lib Dems: is this the start of a Lib-Lab realignment?

Ed Balls and Vince CableEd Balls’ speech to Thomson Reuters yesterday grabbed headlines for its concession that paying a winter fuel allowance to the wealthiest 5% of pensioners could no longer be justified. The likely saving — at c.£100m a year, no more than a rounding error in the national accounts – may be modest, but the symbolism is significant.

This is Labour accepting (at long last) the new normal of austerity: current departmental spending will continue to be reduced in the next few years even as the long-hoped-for economic …

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LibLink: Nick Thornsby – As a Liberal Democrat, I ask, “What are you, our Coalition partners, playing at?”

LibDemVoice’s Nick Thornsby has been on recce behind enemy lines, writing for ConservativeHome on the past week’s Tory implosion over Europe:

It is clear to everyone looking in from the outside that if the Tory Party does not get over itself sharpish, historians will look back at this as the moment the party destined itself to spend another decade, or longer, on the opposition benches. …

As a Liberal Democrat who regrets the passing of the coalition’s early radicalism, and who had hoped that David Cameron and those around him could govern as modern, moderate, sensible Conservatives, this regression is disappointing.

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LibLink…Nick Thornsby: The snooper’s charter has reminded Nick Clegg, finally, he is a liberal

Yes, I know, it is Snoopers’ Charter Central here on Liberal Democrat Voice today. I hope you will forgive us for being relieved and delighted that Nick Clegg has made sure that the Government will not be bringing forward an illiberal, unnecessary and intrusive measure.

Over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free, our Nick Thornsby has given his take on the issue, going back through the events of the past year since the idea first emerged. At that point the Party was furious that we could even contemplate such a thing:

 Their anger was such that a hastily arranged conference call with

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Secret Courts: Nick Clegg’s refusal to meet campaigners is not helping

Way back in March, I wrote a few words of advice to Nick Clegg in the wake of the NHS debate at Spring Conference. They seem relevant today as activists and leaders are at loggerheads over Part II of the Justice and Security Bill. That’s the part that introduces Closed Material Procedures, or secret courts. This would mean that if national security, Government vetted Special Advocates would represent the non-Government side, but would not be allowed to share any details with them. You can see how difficult it would be to prepare a case if you aren’t even allowed …

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Clarke’s concessions on secret courts will not satisfy Liberal Democrat campaigners

Ken ClarkeIsabel Hardman has written a piece on the Spectator’s Coffee House blog which essentially says that Liberal Democrat MPs and campaigners are on a bit of a collision course over Part II of the Justice and Security Bill. Liberal Democrat conference voted overwhelmingly in favour of this measure being withdrawn because of its provisions on secret courts.

The article suggests that Liberal Democrat MPs are likely to support the measures now that Ken Clarke has accepted an

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LibLink: Nick Thornsby – The Justice and Security Bill is the Liberal Democrats’ biggest challenge yet

Our Nick Thornsby has been writing about the Justice and Security Bill over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free site.

First of all, he gives his view about why this Bill is bad news for anyone who is committed to civil liberties:

It is difficult to comprehend just how fundamental a departure from centuries-old principles this would be. The right to see and hear the evidence of the other side, and subsequently to challenge the veracity or utility of that evidence, forms the

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It’s not Vince you should be texting Ed

Ed Miliband’s text messages to Vince Cable may have got him in trouble with his own political party and even resulted in party officials taking away his mobile phone.

They also have been text messages sent to the wrong person if Ed Miliband’s serious about preparing the ground for future Labour-Liberal Democrat cooperation.

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Blog of the Year Awards 2012: The Shortlists

Nominations for the Liberal Democrats’ Blog of the Year Awards 2012 closed on 14 September. Since then, the judges, Kirsty Williams (Assembly Member for Brecon and Radnorshire and Leader of the Welsh Liberal Democrats), Nick Thornsby (Lib Dem Blogger of the Year 2011), Tim Gatt (ITV News Digital Output Editor), Stephen Tall (Co-Editor, Lib Dem Voice), Alan Muhammed (Lib Dem Voice’s social media manager), & Helen Duffett (that’s me – Co-Editor (Associate) Lib Dem Voice) have been poring over the entries for the five categories.

It’s been a big task, and a fun one, to distil so many excellent examples of Lib Dem blogging and e-campaigning into lists of the best.

Congratulations if you’ve been shortlisted, but if you haven’t: remember that the shortlists are based on the judges’ subjective opinions. The awards are intended to be a fun way to celebrate the talent in the Lib Dem blogosphere, whilst introducing you to some blogs you might not have read before.

Next, a plug for the awards ceremony itself. If you’re at party conference in Brighton, do come along to the Pavilion Room, Grand Hotel, Brighton, from 9.45pm tonight, Saturday 22nd September.

Now, without further ado, here are the shortlists: (Drumroll, please)

Blank

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Conference preview: Saturday and Sunday

This year, the Liberal Democrat autumn conference has one day per theme, covering jobs, education, environment and tax.

Saturday is education day, with David Laws giving a keynote speech. For many party members he is more respected than trusted; recognised for his skills yet leaving people uneasy over quite what a David Laws manifesto would look like or whether it was right to bring him back into government this year. Saturday is his big chance to win over members.

If he chooses to take it, that is – as there …

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Less than 21 hours to get your BOTY nominations in…..

It’s almost two weeks since Helen Duffett invited us to submit our nominations for the prestigious Liberal Democrat Voice Blog of the Year.  Nominations close at 5pm tomorrow so if you haven’t done yours yet, you had better get your finger out. You are allowed to nominate your own blog – and nobody will ever know that you did. All the relevant details and the categories are reproduced below. If you are at Conference, the winners will be unveiled at an every expense spared ceremony at Conference. Better get that tux dry cleaned….

Make your choices and get them in …

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Lib Dem Blog of the Year Awards 2012 – nominations now open

BOTY 2
The Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards, run by Lib Dem Voice, are back for their seventh year. As usual, they’ll be awarded in a budget lavish ceremony at the party’s autumn conference in Brighton.

Click on the following links to see last year’s Shortlist and the Winners.

This year’s awards are as follows:

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Welcome to our new volunteer editors!

Liberal Democrat Voice has always aimed to be ‘Our place to talk’, a site primarily for Lib Dem members to discuss and debate. We welcome readers’ contributions, whether financial (hem-hem) or intellectual.

Building and maintaining a site like this, with fresh news and opinion day-in-day-out, is a labour of love. We are therefore delighted to be able to welcome a clutch of new day editors to afforce the Voice Collective:

All have volunteered to do an occasional turn here at LibDemVoice.org (while continuing their own sites)… so don’t be surprised to see …

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Lib Dem Bloggers’ Christmas stocking fillers… Part I

What presents are you looking forward to giving or receiving this year? That’s the question LDV posed to a group of Lib Dem bloggers. All this week we’re revealing what they told us, with link-throughs to Amazon for your shopping convenience (and ‘cos the referral fees help support LibDemVoice: so get clicking and ordering). In part one, our first trio of bloggers – Nick Thornsby, Linda Jack and Duncan Stott – give us the low-down on their Xmas faves…

Nick Thornsby

1) Arguably by Christopher Hitchens
Everything written by Hitchens (or Hitch as he’s known to his friends) is a joy

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LibLink: Nick Thornsby – A simple change to the tax system could ease Britain’s economic woes

Over on Comment is free, Nick Thornsby is arguing for income tax cuts:

Political leaders in the eurozone must sort out their problems – and there is finally some hope on that front. When it comes to inflation, while George Osborne’s options to tackle the problem itself may be limited, he can certainly take action to negate its effects on the people on whom it impacts most severely. One of the most effective things he could do is to let those on low and middle incomes keep more of the money they earn. The coalition agreement already commits the government to

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LibLink: Mark Pack – Some party rebellions are good for the leader

The Voice’s Mark Pack has been guesting over at the New Statesman again, this time pointing out how there are some party rebels Nick Clegg may rather welcome:

Political pundits go on endlessly about how leaders should have “Clause 4 moments” when they pick a fight with parts of their own parties. In this case, the reluctant have handily offered themselves up in opposition to Nick Clegg and democrats, providing an easy route for the Deputy Prime Minister to garner the benefits of a Clause 4 moment without its usual pains.

You can read Mark’s post about Lib Dem conference

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Blog of the Year Awards 2011: The Winners #LDBOTY

What’s loosely termed the awards “ceremony” for the 2011 Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards has just drawn to a glittering close. As the last firework fades in Birmingham’s night sky, I’m delighted to announce the winners:

Posted in Best of the blogs | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

Best blog headline of the day / week / year / decade / century / millennium

Delete words in headline to suit your own preference for hyperbole and then savour Nick Thornsby’s pithy summary of the Liberal Democrat strategic choice:

The Lib Dem strategy must be public negotiation, not internal opposition

And then go read his post which explains his point in detail with a neat take on the issue.

Posted in Best of the blogs | 8 Comments

Opinion: Nick Clegg and the next parliamentary term

It’s summer holiday time at the moment for MPs, a time to reflect on what has been achieved this parliamentary term, and what can be achieved in the next parliamentary term. For Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats, the answer to these questions could have a profound effect on the future of our party.

Clegg showed strong, considered leadership over phonehacking, and must use this position of strength (and David Cameron’s relative weakness,) to influence even more policy than is currently happening. Key to this of course will be the economy. Slow, steady, growth figures will not be enough for us …

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Opinion: Time for that Lib Dem tax cut in full?

“Under a Liberal Democrat government, you will not have to pay any income tax on the first £10,000 you earn.”

So said the manifesto on which we fought last year’s election. And while we didn’t get a Liberal Democrat government, we did get the policy.

The coalition agreement commits the government to making real terms steps each year towards the target of £10,000, kicked off by an initial increase of £1000, benefiting the low paid by £200 this year.

But should we be moving faster?

Recent economic growth has, of course, been weaker than expected – no surprise given the circumstances. The events of …

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The progressive minority

Nick Thornsby regularly posts here on The Voice highlighting pieces elsewhere but there’s one post of his own which fully deserves a similar plug:

The progressive minority

If there is one ‘lesson to learn’ from Thursday’s various polls it is this: there is no ‘progressive majority’ in Britain.

Let us be in absolutely no doubt whatsoever – as if we didn’t already know it – that Labour is not a progressive, and most certainly not a liberal, party – and neither, in the main, are those people who voted for it.

As the No campaign liked to remind us, a majority of Labour councillors

Posted in LibLink | 22 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems should not shelve House of Lords reform

Despite our best efforts, we Liberal Democrats failed last Thursday to make electoral reform sexy. Quelle surprise. The economy is faltering, public services have a shaky future and, frankly, how people vote for their MP’s is not of major concern to the British people.

Using my trusty retrospectoscope, I can tell you that the Yes campaign got the message wrong, and it did not resonate with people. The campaign went for the anti-politics, anti-politician approach of saying they were offering the people a way to make their MP’s work harder and suffer more. Britons shrugged. The fundamental nature in which politics …

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    This really is the problem with our leadership. We are not close, or even remotely close to a Federal UK. It is not on the...
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    OK, so what specific powers are being promised immediately after a no vote? The problem for me is whilst I'd take devo-max over full blown...
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    The irony of someone saying "big picture folks" when arguing for us to put short term economic objectives ahead of the need to tackle climate...
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    Well I didn't expect the need to point out that this was not a thesis for a PhD in Liberal Democrat Membership, it is a...
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    I went on a British Youth Council Delegation to Yugoslavia, way back in 1980 with Simon - when I belonged to another Political Youth Organisation...