Tag Archives: paul burstow

Horwood and Burstow take part in Westminster Dog of the Year

Guide dog puppyThis year’s Westminster Dog of the Year gets underway shortly. The aim is to celebrate that great bond between dog and human and to promote responsible dog ownership.

Last year, the Liberal Democrats were represented by Tessa Munt and Poppy. This year Paul Burstow and Martin Horwood are taking part.

Paul takes part with his dog Indy, who came to them as a rescue dog 4 years ago:

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Ashcroft’s poll of Lib Dem battleground seats: incumbency is alive and well but 2015 will be a survival election for the party

Tory peer and pollster Lord Ashcroft has published his latest set of constituency findings. He polled some of the key Lib Dem / Tory and Lib Dem / Labour battlegrounds in the summer – he’s now followed that up by looking at a further 22 seats. Of these, 2 are Lib Dem targets, 15 the party is defending against the Tories, and 5 against Labour. You can see the full results here .

Here are the headline findings:

  • Of the 20 Lib Dem-held seats polled, the Lib Dems would retain just 6.
  • The Tories would gain 7 and Labour would gain 4. The other 2 would be a tie (though actually a further 5 are statistical ties within the margin of error).
  • The Lib Dems would win neither of their two targets.
  • Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 37 Comments

    Paul Burstow MP: Liberal Democrats announce package of measures to help carers

    Care in the home Some rights reserved by British Red CrossThere are 6.5 million carers in the UK today looking after friends and family who started to need a little help to carry on their day to day lives. Sadly for both carers and those they care for, a little help can become a lot more as conditions deteriorate and people are able to do less for themselves.

    That one in eight of us is willing to selflessly prioritise the needs of our loved ones is truly inspirational. But too often as …

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    Clegg: “I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough in mental health research”

    lib dem mental illness posterThe Lib Dems have unveiled plans to increase funding spent on mental health research by £50m, by 2020, as the party seeks to ensure it’s are treated as seriously as physical illnesses are. Here’s Nick Clegg:

    “Mental health issues have been treated as a sort of Cinderella service compared to physical health issues. I want people who are dealing with depression to be as effectively treated as if they had diabetes. That is why I want to see Britain become the world leader in the next breakthrough

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

    Paul Burstow writes… Time to prepare for life in an ageing society

    Grey_Pride_logo_headerLast week Anchor launched their grey pride manifesto, calling on political parties to do more for older people. Not only to end the discrimination that we know many older people suffer, but to face up to the many challenges that living in an ageing society presents, challenges for which we are “woefully unprepared”, as last year’s House of Lords Committee on Demographic Change warned.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

    11 Liberal Democrat MPs vote for registrars to be exempt from marrying same sex couples

    The Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Bill has made fairly easy progress through the Commons tonight. After a Government/Labour compromise on a review for extending civil partnerships to opposite sex couples, and the heavy defeat or withdrawal of amendments, including “son of Section 28″, it looks as though many of the barriers to this Bill’s passage have been removed.

    There is still a further day of debate tomorrow, though, and further amendments to be debated.

    One of the amendments discussed today, defeated by 340 votes to 150 in favour, was to allow registrars to exempt themselves from marrying same sex couples. Eleven Liberal …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 70 Comments

    Welfare reform: what should the Lib Dems do?

    This much I think I know… Cuts to the overall welfare budget are inescapable: it accounts for too large a chunk of of public spending for it to be immune — certainly if the NHS, schools and overseas aid budgets are to be protected at the same time as spending is reduced.

    These cuts would be happening whichever party was in power, though doubtless the precise methods would differ. The IFS’s verdict in 2010 on what they termed Labour’s “fiscal drift” was stark: “By the eve of the financial crisis … the UK one of the largest structural …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 25 Comments

    Here comes the Mid-Term Review (Slimmed Down edition)

    Nick Clegg and David CameronRight, time to set the alarm clock extra early for tomorrow morning to do a Radio 5 Live interview as it’s the week of the Mid-Term Review.

    Not the original Mid-Term Review, as was planned back in the early days of the Parliament, that is – but the Slimmed Down Super Light edition, which will contain a fair amount of ‘look how we’re doing better than Labour’ and then a clutch of new policy announcements for the second half of this Parliament.

    How well or badly the former is …

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    LibLink: Paul Burstow, Lynne Featherstone and Paul Tyler

    Elsewhere, whilst some of us adjust back into the normal routine after the New Year, some of our tribunes are already up and running.

    Paul Burstow hit the headlines yesterday with his call for means-testing of the winter fuel allowance, with the intention of saving £1.5 billion, to be redirected towards paying for the proposed social care changed recommended by the Dilnot Commission. Writing in the Guardian;

    Some argue this is a debate we need to have at or even after the next general election. But by that time it will be too late. The research in my report reveals that

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    Opinion: Can Labour be trusted on mental health?

    In my last two articles for Liberal Democrat Voice I wrote about the current under provision in mental health treatment in the country and why it is important that properly addressing mental health is brought into the political mainstream.

    Thankfully in recent weeks this has started to happen. Of course there was Ed Miliband’s speech to the Royal College of Psychiatrists in which he spoke of the need for improved provision in mental health treatments across the country. Many people will of course welcome this state of affairs and it is encouraging if Miliband is intending to put improved …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

    Paul Burstow is new chair of the Parliamentary Party

    Paul BurstowA bit of party news today with various posts being filled. Paul Burstow has been elected chair of the Parliamentary Party, succeeding Lorely Burt who in the reshuffle became PPS to Danny Alexander.

    Meanwhile there have also been changes at both the Commons and Lords end to the Co-Chairs of various Liberal Democrat Party Parliamentary Committees (often given the same acronym, PPCs, as used for party candidates).

    The full list of names now is:

    Posted in News, Parliament and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    LibLink: Paul Burstow – Why is the Coalition failing to tackle our broken care system?

    Lib Dem MP Paul Burstow, until the reshuffle the Lib Dem health minister, has written an article in today’s Telegraph with a plea for the Coalition to ‘be bold and take the decisions needed to fix our broken social care system’. Here are a couple of excerpts, first looking at why Paul fears the reforms he pushed in government might not go anywhere:

    The Coalition understood the “urgent need for reform”, and has been wrestling with these issues since May 2010. In July the White Paper I drafted was published. It tackles much that is wrong with care. Widely welcomed, it

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    Tim Farron MP writes… My thoughts on the Cabinet reshuffle

    The first proper reshuffle for our party since the 1920s was always going to be a weird situation. I am extremely sad to see Sarah Teather, Nick Harvey, Paul Burstow and Andrew Stunell leave the government. Sarah’s work on the Pupil Premium will leave an outstanding legacy for the next generation, Andrew’s work on releasing empty homes to meet the needs of those in desperate circumstances will make the difference to thousands of people and Nick Harvey’s tenacity in ensuring that a like for like replacement for Trident is kicked off into the long grass has been a quite immense …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 30 Comments

    Transfer deadline day: Laws, Brake, Foster & Swinson in, Burstow, Teather, Harvey & Stunell out, Clarke loan finishes

    I love reshuffle days, they’re just like transfer deadline day. You sit there at your office computer pretending to work while secretly updating the Guardian live blog to see who your side has brought in and let go.

    So, have we strengthened the side for the second half of the season or left gaping holes in our defence?

    Well, we have managed to hold on to all our big players – Cable, Alexander, Davey and Moore – and, despite losing his place to Alexander after his suspension early in the season, we now have a fighting fit Laws back and ready …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

    Reshuffle thoughts: how does it score against my four criteria?

    Ahead of the reshuffle, I posted four criteria against which the Liberal Democrat part of the shuffling should be judged. Now nearly all the details are in, how does it look?

     

    Most importantly, have people been put in jobs they’ve got a decent chance of doing well? It’s hard enough being a minister in the smaller party in a coalition government without having lots of people thrown into policy areas they are completely new to.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 18 Comments

    What the three departing Lib Dem ministers have said as they leave government

    You can catch up on the rolling LibDemVoice live-blog of today’s reshuffle here and the current list of official Lib Dem appointments here.

    Three Lib Dem ministers are at the time of writing departing the Coalition Government for the backbenches. Each of them has issued statements as follows:

    Sarah Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central:

    It has been a huge privilege to serve as an education minister in the coalition government over the last two and a half years. I’m hugely proud of the part I have been able to play in ending child detention, and rolling out the

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

    Paul Burstow MP writes: Mental health, no excuses

    Over the past few days Channel Four has been highlighting mental health with its #4goesmad series of programmes. With the aim of debunking the myths and stigma surrounding mental health, they are well worth a watch.

    I watched both Ruby Wax and Jon Richardson programmes.  Both told powerful and compelling stories  of people coming to terms with their mental health and talking openly about it often for the first time. One such moment was when a successful chef told his restaurant staff that he had, quite recently, contemplated suicide. Getting this confession out into the open was a symbol of that …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

    Nick Clegg and Paul Burstow’s 3 steps for employers on mental health

    Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s long running work on mental health issues took another step forward this week with the publication of a mental health implementation framework aimed at helping people suffering from mental health problems in the workplace. Employers will be asked to take 3 steps to identify and support those 1 in 6 workers affected. These are:

    1)    Make this year the Time to Change: Sign your company up to the Time to Change campaign to end mental health discrimination. By signing up, you make a public commitment from the top of the organisation to the bottom, …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

    The Politics of Coalition: How the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government Works

    Robert Hazell and Ben Yong’s work, The Politics of Coalition: How the Conservative-Liberal Democrat Government Works, is a very readable volume, written mostly in the style of an introductory politics textbook and based on extensive interviews with the participants, including at very senior levels.

    The book is well done, readable, comprehensive and has a few gems lurking in the revelations from all the interviews, such as the limited involvement of Andrew Lansley and Paul Burstow in drafting the health section of the Coalition Agreement.

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

    Opinion: Brand values

    There have been a couple of posts recently on where campaigning ideas should come from and whether those campaigns can be directed centrally, first from Scott Hill and then from Robin McGhee And another, which I refuse to link to because it does not appear to publish comments, mocked us for our backwardness in brand management.

    Campaigning and not policy is the life blood of Liberal Democrat politics. A policy however right or valuable is inanimate. A campaign establishes connections and energizes movement. That is perhaps why you cannot chose for Liberal Democrats THE campaign they should be waging in March in 2012 or in any other month for that matter. That was the lesson I learnt when an acting Chief Executive of ALDC in the late 1980s.

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

    What Lib Dem members think about the NHS Bill: 57% opposed, but majority might back it if significantly amended

    We’ve been surveying the views of current Lib Dem members this week on your views on the NHS Bill. Over 500 responded, and here’s what you told us…

  • A majority of Lib Dem members – and a majority of Lib Dem members who will be voting delegates at the party’s spring conference at NewcastleGateshead this weekend – oppose the Coalition Government’s NHS reforms as they currently stand. By 57% to 32%, Lib Dem members reject the Health & Social Care Bill.
  • However, that does not automatically mean the Lib Dem conference will vote to ‘Kill the Bill’ if
  • Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 18 Comments

    Opinion: Liberal Democrat, not Yes Minister, values must prevail on Risk Register

    Back in 2010 we campaigned on a vision of open government and “new politics”. The debacle over the NHS Strategic Risk Register shows how far we have strayed from this policy objective and also how hit and miss the Coalition’s political management has become.

    The Risk Register issue is just one in a very long line of political blunders in the life of the Health and Social Care Bill. This time the Government is still trying to oppose public opinion, the Information Commissioner and now a Labour motion in the Commons, causing far more political upheaval than necessary. Whatever the actual …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

    The Independent View: World Arthritis Day

    I suspect few of you know this, but Wednesday was actually World Arthritis Day. For charities in the musculoskeletal sector this can be a pretty big deal, as we jostle to publish new research and try and ensnare policy makers in dialogue.

    And so it proved to be when NRAS participated in a live webchat with the Health Minister, Paul Burstow MP, the man with responsibility for long-term conditions, like Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA).

    Needless to say we were cock-a-hoop that the Minister agreed to participate. He could have quite easily cancelled on us due to all the palaver surrounding the passage of

    Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

    Baroness Judith Jolly writes… The House of Lords will challenge, revise and improve the Health Bill

    Tony Blair, on the eve of the 1997 General Election, famously proclaimed that we have just “24 hours to save the NHS”. A nice rhetorical flourish, but lacking in objectivity. Perhaps somewhat like the Labour party. Similar language is once again being used this week as the House of Lords debates giving a second reading to the Health and Social Care Bill. Opposition groups have jumped on this by suggesting that this is the last chance to ‘stop’ this Bill. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the complexity of the inner workings of the House of Lords, this doesn’t properly reflect …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

    A messaging mess: what Liberal Democrats are achieving in government

    As I wrote in the immediate aftermath of Nick Clegg’s conference speech, the party was much better at saying what it was not and what it was against – not the Conservatives, not unhappy, against tax cheats, against overpaid under-performing company directors and so on – than what it was for.

    In theory the answer should have been found in the conference packs handed out to people on arrival at the Birmingham ICC, for inside them was not only an “In government – on your side” leaflet but also three others from different Liberal Democrat ministers, all promoting the party’s …

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 14 Comments

    Stephen Gilbert MP writes: How do we deal with the high prevalence of suicides in the LGBT community?

    We all know how the following story works. Governments use stats to demonstrate the problem. And then they give us their answer. The more shocking the figures, so it goes, the greater the need for bold action. But too often we don’t consider the human impact of these figures.

    Let me give you an example. This week I learnt that every two hours one person dies as a result of suicide in England. It is truly harrowing to think that each and every day, so many people feel they have nowhere else to turn and end up taking their lives. We …

    Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

    The Independent View: Social care and the Dilnot Commission

    Last year’s Liberal Democrat manifesto promised that “We will establish an independent commission, with cross-party support, to develop proposals for long-term care of the elderly.” The new Government took swift action on this manifesto call, setting up an independent commission chaired by Andrew Dilnot in July last year. This week, the Commission on the Funding of Care and Support will present its recommendations on how social care funding can be reformed to ensure a sustainable and affordable care system for the future.

    Age UK’s recent report, Care in Crisis, highlighted the serious issues plaguing our care system. At …

    Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

    Our lost phrase: community politics

    On a hunch, earlier this year I did a little research ahead of writing a blog post for Liberal Democrat Voice: how often is the phrase “community politics” used by the party’s national spokespeople since the May 2010 election?

    The answer was far worse than I’d feared. Looking through all of Nick Clegg’s major speeches, all the news release from him and also all those from others issued via the Liberal Democrat press team, I could only find one use of “community politics” – by Paul Burstow. Andrew Stunell deserves an honourable mention for using it in an LGA pamphlet …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

    What I would have liked to hear Paul Burstow say more of this week

    You might think it’s a small point, and it’s certainly not only applicable to Paul Burstow.

    But in all the fallout since Panorama’s harrowing documentary this week, what a shame that so little has been said to praise the whistleblower who didn’t just try blowing the whistle once but again and again until he finally had success.

    It’s been good to see Paul Burstow face up to the issue in the media and promise quick action to learn the relevant lessons. But no system is perfect and we’re always going to be reliant on whistleblowers as a crucial safety net.

    It’s a …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

    NHS reforms will be altered significantly and in a Lib Dem direction – Paul Burstow

    The NHS Bill will be substantially changed – that was the message from Liberal Democrat MP and Health Minister Paul Burstow at Lewisham Liberal Democrats on Friday night. It won’t just be changed, he said, it will be changed in a distinctively Liberal Democrat direction.

    At the heart of the likely changes is the role of Monitor, the proposals for which Paul bluntly said were got wrong first time round. Though he was careful not to directly criticise Andrew Lansley, he did say that the original proposals for Monitor were to adopt the model of regulator used with privatised utilities and …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 17 Comments
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      Sorry, David, I thought I was responding to anecdotes of your experience of LibDem internal politicking with anecdotes of my experience of the Greens. Having...
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