Tag Archives: rafael behr

Missing the civility of coalition

The perceptive-as-ever Rafael Behr makes a good, but subtle, point in his latest Guardian column. Many of the mistakes that the government is now making, Behr argues, are a function of the majority one-party rule that eluded David Cameron in his first term in No 10:

So how is that working out? Unshackled from coalition, Cameron and George Osborne are now at liberty to find extra billions of budget savings from the benefits bill. Except in so doing, they managed to provoke conscientious rebellion on the Tory benches over tax credits, and drive Iain Duncan Smith into self-certified compassionate exile from the cabinet.

Posted in News | 28 Comments

“Lib Dems have made majority Conservative rule in Britain less likely for perhaps a generation”

Rafael-BehrRafael Behr, formerly of the New Statesman now at The Guardian, is my favourite political columnist. A brilliant writer, he is also dispassionately shrewd. So it is today, when he analyses the impact of the Lib Dems in Coalition.

It’s inspired by Norman Baker’s resignation – which, he rightly observes “says more about the Home Office than it does about the coalition more widely” – and examines how the Conservatives being forced to share power with the Lib Dems in Coalition has squeezed out what remains of liberal Conservatism:

It is true that the Lib Dems have inflicted serious damage on the Tories, but not in the way many of them seem to think.

Posted in LibLink | 41 Comments

The Lib Dem retreat to seat-by-seat campaigns. The right tactic, but not a long-term strategy

Stephen LloydThe Guardian’s Rafael Behr has written of his experiences in Eastbourne, a seat won from the Tories by the Lib Dems’ Stephen Lloyd in 2010. His majority, 3,435, would need a swing of just 3.9% to be wiped out. The recent Lord Ashcroft poll of Tory / Lib Dem marginals indicated an average swing away from the Lib Dems to the Tories of 3.5%. This, then, is the kind of seat within the Tories’ reach and which they need to win if they are to gain an overall majority. …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 35 Comments

Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

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

A personal guide to the 13 most essential political podcasts

podcastsCommuting is a major part of my daily life, so I find podcasts are an essential way to make use of time I’d otherwise spend staring vacantly out the window or idly refreshing and re-refreshing Twitter. Here, in order of where they appear in my iTunes directory, are the podcasts I listen to most frequently…

The Economist’s podcasts – a good mix of audio recordings of selected articles from the print edition together with brief discussions involving the Economist’s expert correspondents. Slightly irritatingly the sound can vary between recordings, so you …

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Praise for Nick Clegg and Liberal Democrats from both sides – should we be worried?

I remember hearing Nick Clegg saying that if he was being attacked from both left and right, then he felt reassured that he was doing something right. He may be feeling slightly worried now, as there have been a couple of not entirely unpleasant pieces in the New Statesman and Daily Telegraph in the last few days.

From the left, we have Rafael Behr, the political editor of the New Statesman, arguing that it’s Nick Clegg, not Nigel Farage, who has shaken up Westminster:

For Lib Dems, the distinction is between two styles of politics. There is the managerial one, laden with

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 8 Comments

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

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Kings, queens and the political chess match – Sue Cameron ponders what the invitation to HM The Queen to attend cabinet this week could portend: ‘Charles III might point to that precedent and say he would like to follow it. Moreover, he would like to attend more regularly and speak at it …

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

  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:39pm
    The OECD's recent ‘Education at Glance’ report is particularly useful on this.
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:30pm
    The evidence and the research does not show that reintroducing grammar schools will improve the situation you have observed David.
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 26th Sep - 7:21pm
    The current situation is that a disproportionately high number of senior positions in politics, business, sport, acting and films are being filled by people who...
  • User AvatarGordon 26th Sep - 7:03pm
    "And capture the zeitgeist." Many want it but it's missing in action - and has been since ever the Lib Dems were founded. It seems...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 26th Sep - 6:39pm
    Clinton versus Trump is on Channel 4 at 01.45 - 03.45 27/9/2016. Live TV debate.
  • User AvatarStevan Rose 26th Sep - 6:38pm
    I would be very careful. I listened to Corbyn yesterday and McDonnell today. They are learning and sounding far more reasonable, far less radical. I...