Tag Archives: richard reeves

LibLink: Richard Reeves: The Clegg Factor

Remember Richard Reeves, Nick Clegg’s former head of strategy? He left about 18 months ago but has written a couple of pieces in recent days, one for the Guardian and another for the Centre Forum blog. In his Guardian piece, he suggests that it’s after 2020 that the Liberal Democrats will really reap the rewards of our performance in Government. His theory is that we’ll do well enough to stay in government in 2015 and by 2020 we will have killed “the presumption of  one-party government.”

At Centre Forum’s blog, he concentrates on Nick Clegg and his achievements and opportunities:

 Clegg’s

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LibLink: Richard Reeves – Have yourself a merry liberal Christmas

Over at the CentreForum blog, the liberal think-tank’s associate director, Richard Reeves, takes a look at the “communitarian dream” that is Christmas through a liberal lens:

Christmas combines in one package a number of elements that make us bristle. Religion, especially of an organised variety. Tradition for the sake of itself. The insanity of present buying. And semi-tyrannical familial expectations. … One liberal reaction to all this is to simply grin and bear it. … But bristling and bearing won’t really do. Liberal hostility to faith, family, community and tradition is well founded; they can all inhibit individual freedom. But the

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LibLink: Richard Reeves on One Nationism

Over at the CentreForum blog, Richard Reeves, former Director of Strategy to Nick Clegg and now associate director of CentreForum, has a post discussing the “political movement that now sweeps all before it”: One Nationism.

Here’s an extract:

All the main political parties have now made their claim to be the true heirs to “One Nation” politics.

The Conservatives were ahead of the game by a century or so, of course. But in more recent years, non Tory leaders have turned to One Nationism to pitch for the centre ground: though none as audaciously as Ed Miliband this week.

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Opinion: Why Richard Reeves is wrong about the ‘Nanny State’

When I joined the Liberal party in the 1980s, no one then used the term ‘Nanny State’. Originally it was a term the political right wing started to use; I do not recall when exactly. The terms betrays its upper case origins, a class that can afford to pay for a Nanny to look after the children.

Richard Reeves has recently published a Demos book that was handed out at the ‘What is Cleggism?’ fringe meeting at the Brighton conference last week. His use of the term ‘Nanny State’ is not new for the Liberal Democrats; I noticed Ed Davey use …

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Opinion: Don’t mistake the bodyguard state for a nanny

Richard Reeves has had a go at trying to describe a path for the Liberal Democrats to follow in order to escape from our current political mire.

It’s an interesting read, but peppered with many more sentences that made me groan than nod along. I take particular issue with his characterisation of minimum alcohol pricing and cigarette sales restrictions as indicative of the “nanny state” at work. The nanny state slaps your wrist as you reach for the cookie jar and says “no”. The nanny state stands between homosexuals who love each other and want to get married. The nanny …

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Independent’s spin on Nick Clegg and The Thick of It

LDV readers will no doubt be delighted that The Thick of It will be back on our screens this Autumn. The political satire has been greatly missed over the past two years and it will be interesting to see how they interpret the dynamics of Coalition Government.

If today’s Independent is to be believed, the script writers had a bit of help. The headline suggests a co-ordinated strategy – “How Nick Clegg’s aides tried to put him in the thick of it”. Sadly, the actual story doesn’t really stack up. “Nick Clegg may wish to interrogate his private office,” says …

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Richard Reeves to step down as Clegg’s director of strategy

Nick Clegg’s director of strategy, Richard Reeves, has announced that he is to step down from his position after deciding to move to the United States. Reeves was instrumental in establishing the 5-year Lib Dem coalition strategy, which he famously represented on a graph plotting “Lib Dem identity” and “Government unity and strength” over the five year parliament. Reeves was previously the head of Demos, and biographer of John Stuart Mill.

The Guardian has more on Reeves’ resignation:

and his American-born wife, Erica, are to depart for the US in the summer to give a chance for

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Clegg’s role in IDS’s welfare reform plans

Mark Pack blogged here on LDV this morning of Promising news on welfare spending as major reforms set for go-ahead, and noted that “Steve Webb’s backing for the policies is a promising sign”.

Also crucial, it seems, was Nick Clegg’s role, according to the Wall Street Journal’s Iain Martin:

I revealed in the summer that IDS and George Osborne had a stand-up row over the welfare budget, with a deal eventually being brokered in which IDS delivers cuts but gets to keep several billions for his reforms. The shape of those reforms will be announced at Tory conference next week.

Oliver

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Worth a second outing: How well does a think tank think?

Welcome to a series where old posts are revived for a second outing for reasons such as their subject has become topical again, they have aged well but were first posted when the site’s readership was only a tenth or less of what it is currently or they got published and the site crashed, hiding the finest words of wisdom behind an incomprehensible error message.

Today’s is a review I wrote back in 2006 of a Demos publication from 1997. (Can you tell I was trained as an historian?). The main message of the piece has stood the test of time pretty well – thinks tanks (and others) are frequently pretty awful at getting big picture predictions right. The one part that hasn’t is the picture of Demos as an organisation whose best days were behind it. It has recently had a resurgence, with Richard Reeves moving from being its director to one of Nick Clegg’s top aides and in total 11 of its 25 advisory board members now have government roles.

Demos logoFor no particular reason other than I recently found a second-hand copy on sale cheaply, I have just finished reading Demos’s 1997 collection, Life after politics.

Although these days Demos – with its reports on the crucial importance of hairdressers to modern society – tries a little too hard to be different and thought provoking, it was in its heyday one of the most successful think tanks in the UK. Leading lights such as Geoff Mulgan – the editor of this collection – went on to exercise significant real political power under New Labour; he spent time as Director of Policy at 10 Downing Street and also headed up the Prime Minister’s Strategy Unit for several years.

A staple stock in trade of think tanks is analysis that ends up concluding that other people have got things wrong, aren’t preparing for the future correctly and don’t understand what is coming. Yet think tanks rarely look at their own record. So – nearly a decade on – how does Demos’s work shape up? Where they really right in what they were foretelling? Or would a government that followed its recipes ardently ended up getting things horribly wrong?

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‘Who is Nick Clegg?’ Find out tonight on BBC Radio 4

Tune in tonight, at 10.45 pm, to BBC Radio 4 if you want to hear Richard Reeves, director of think-tank Demos, examine the intellectual and philosophical roots of the Liberal Democrat leader, Nick Clegg, for the Political Roots: Liberals programme. (Repeated on Wednesday 2 December at 8.45 pm).

The BBC website carries an article by Richard, trailing the programme, with some revealing quotes from Nick – for example on the influence of his family in creating a liberal within him:

There was something floating around in my family … I don’t want to make it sound as earnest as it does –

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