Tag Archives: stephen tall

Stephen Tall really is running naked down Whitehall – how you can help him raise money for charity

Stephen Tall is making good on what turned out to be an ill-advised pledge in 2013 that he would run naked down Whitehall if the Liberal Democrats got 24 seats in this year’s General Election. He has decided that others should benefit from his immodesty and is raising money for Medecins Sans Frontieres. The charity will already be benefiting from £5000 promised by Kelvin Mackenzie, the former editor of the Sun, on live television last week. Stephen has set up a JustGiving page to augment that sum.

You can find out more about the amazing work that MSF does here on its website. I was particularly moved by this post where former MSF emergency co-ordinator wrote about the people she met while working on MSF’s search and rescue vessel. Here she tells the story of 17 year old Sako:

He had been in Libya for five years, and he had seen it fall into lawless anarchy and violence. His uncle who brought him there, died. His best friend died last year after a child soldier, about the same age as him, hit him in the head with a steel bar. He didn’t die immediately; it took a long time before he gave up. There are no hospitals.

“Child soldier my age.” Suddenly it struck me how young he looked. “17,” he said with a big smile. My mind spun again. So he was 11 when he arrived in Libya? He is still a minor, even though he has seen and survived more than any man I know has in a lifetime.

I explained how in Europe you are still a child until you are 18 and that if he wanted I will make sure he gets off together with all the other minors we had on board.

He nodded. Looked down. Suddenly he looked like a child after all.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

Kelvin Mackenzie offers Stephen Tall £5000 to fulfil his pledge to run down Whitehall naked…

Remember that pledge of Stephen Tall’s that he’d run naked down Whitehall if we were down to 24 seats in the election? Well, he has been reminded about it every time he’s appeared on the Daily Politics since. Back on the programme yesterday, he was put in an awkward position when former Sun editor Kelvin Mackenzie offered £5000 to charity for Stephen to do it. So long as the legal issues can be overcome, there doesn’t seem to be a way he can get out of it now. From the Telegraph:

Stephen Tall, co-editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, was asked on the BBC’s Daily Politics show why he had not yet delivered on his promise to run nude if his party lost half of its seats.

The Sun’s former editor Kelvin MacKenzie, who appeared on the same show, then offered Mr Tall £5,000 to complete the challenge.

Mr Tall and Mr MacKenzie shook hands on the promise that he would carry out the task in return for the money being donated to his chosen charity.

See the exchange on iPlayer here.

Stephen took to Twitter to repent in 140 characters.

Posted in News | 13 Comments

I’m so glad I don’t have a vote for Labour leader

So, I was watching the 10 o’clock News last night and saw our Stephen Tall flaunting his Labour leadership ballot paper.

As he explains, he wasn’t out to do a Toby Young and vote for Jeremy Corbyn:

I was ambivalent whether I would actually exercise my vote, but decided that, if I did, it wouldn’t be to troll Labour by choosing Jeremy Corbyn: I would vote for the candidate the other parties would least like to face.

Assuming, that is, Labour gave me a vote. After all, the party assures us they have “rigorous due diligence” processes in place to weed out infiltrators from other parties. Having stood for election against Labour a few weeks ago, I half-assumed they’d (quite legitimately) disenfranchise me.

But then yesterday morning I received my online ballot paper…

Stephen decided to register as a supporter to see how their leadership process worked as an interested observer. By rights, any decent verification process would have spotted him and got rid of him. Instead, it seems to be getting rid of long term Labour supporters whose social media profiles were a bit too lefty for them. In fact, it plays into the hands of lefty conspiracy theorists that someone who would, if he’d voted at all, have voted for Liz Kendall, received a ballot and they didn’t.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 101 Comments

What people are saying about the Liberal Democrat manifesto


Let’s have a brief look around the internet to see what people are saying about the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 26 Comments

Lib Link: Stephen Tall: The ins and outs of tactical voting (nose pegs optional)

Our esteemed former co-editor Stephen Tall has a piece on the Independent Voices site looking into tactical voting. Why might you, he asks:

For all the complexity of political debates about the economy, public services, the environment and immigration, the choice each of us faces when handed our ballot paper is simple: which candidate should receive our solitary “X”?

Suppose you’re a Conservative supporter living in Nick Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam; should you stick by your party, even if that means handing the seat to Labour? Or lend your vote to the Lib Dem leader this time?

Or perhaps you’re a Scot who wants to see the UK stick together – then the canny choice will be the candidate best-placed to thwart the SNP. Danny Alexander is pinning his hopes of survival in his Inverness seat on rallying anti-nationalist voters.

He adds that voting for the party that most reflects your values is not always the best way of getting something like your values enacted under the first past the post electoral system:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Ignore the Liberal Democrats at your peril, and don’t write them off

Stephen Tall has been writing for the Times’ Red Box on Liberal Democrat prospects for the election. He makes the point that although commentators seem keen to ignore the party, we may yet be serious players in the next Parliament.

However, the Lib Dems’ 120+ polls reveal something Ashcroft’s polling has neglected: naming the candidate makes a big difference for the Lib Dems. In seats as diverse as Labour-facing Cambridge and Tory-facing St Austell and Newquay, asking voters to think about whose name will actually appear on the ballot paper is enough to flip these seats into the Lib Dem column.

Even in Scotland, where the SNP surge could flatten all before it, the party rates its chances of holding a clutch of seats, such as Aberdeenshire West and Kincardine. Oh, and anyone betting against Charles Kennedy needs their head examined.

The margins, though, are wafer-thin. On a good day, with a following wind, the Lib Dems could hold up to 40 seats (though few expect the final tally to be quite that high).

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Stephen Tall and I on the Westminster Hour

On Sunday night, Stephen Tall and I were on the Westminster Hour discussing the party’s prospects for the coming election and beyond. You can listen to the whole thing here. They also have a shorter clip of Stephen talking about the dilemma facing the party about portraying itself as a “split the difference” party. He rightly said that concern about it is something that unites activists on both sides of the party but on the other hand we aren’t going to win the election outright so we have to claim the centre ground between the other two.

In my contribution on this issue, I said that there was a place in our campaigning for showing what we’d stopped or would stop. We had done so very effectively in coalition with Labour in Scotland. However, we had to show our heart as a bold, radical liberal party.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

The LDV Festive Fashion Parade

The members of the LDV team are in a relaxed state at the moment, replete with the joys, food and drink of the season.

Some of us have been showing off our best Christmas fashion and I thought you’d like to have a look over your morning coffee.

We’ll start with the tasteful. Mary Reid’s wonderful green coat. I bumped into her at LDHQ the other week and I can promise that it feels amazingly soft. I don’t really care that much about clothes, but I like this coat.

Mary Reid's coat

I guess Joe Otten’s new funky Christmas shirt could be described as tasteful, too. It’s kind of like the duvet I had as a teenager.

Joe Otten's shirt


Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Something you didn’t know about Stephen Tall…

…but could probably have guessed.

Stephen got a mention in the Telegraph’s Morning Bulletin this morning for this tweet:

So, I asked around at LDV Towers and discovered that there was only one member of the team who has a Positive Candy Crush Status. And it isn’t me. I’m not going to out the person because they asked me not to.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 10 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall – At least five spectres haunt the Lib Dems.

In his fortnightly ConservativeHome column, LDV co-editor Stephen Tall has taken a look at the five fears (the “queasy quintet”, as he terms them) be thinks haunting the Lib Dems. The first two questions – ‘A May massacre?’, ‘Are we becoming irrelevant?’ – are self-explanatory. Here’s what he has to say about the third and fourth fears:

3) Have the Lib Dems done enough in government?

Oh, we have lists of achievements. There isn’t a senior Lib Dem alive who’s won’t rehearse, when challenged “But what have you done?”, the line that the our top 2010 priorities – tax-cuts for low-earners,

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Jeremy Browne to stand down as MP: what Lib Dem bloggers have made of his decision

Jeremy Browne with beard AD LIBJeremy Browne’s decision to stand down as MP for Taunton Deane at the next election surprised many in the party. Ed Fordham wrote a tribute to Jeremy’s long service for the party on LDV here today — and the Lib Dem blogosphere has also had plenty to say. Here’s a selection…

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 4 Comments

Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Early stages of Labour

Photo by Riots Panel - Riots Communities and Victims Panel receptionOur Stephen Tall has written a column for Total Politics in which he suggests that the Liberal Democrat manifesto next year will have much more in common with Labour than the Conservatives.

First he sets the scene in the wake of the European and local election results and the Oakeshott coup:

Clegg knows he needs to do more than just survive. Limping towards 2015, acknowledged to be a survival election for the Lib Dems, won’t be good enough. He must inspire the troops that a great liberal victory is possible (or, more realistically, that a truly awful defeat can be avoided).

So Clegg’s sought to re-focus the party’s sights on the 2015 election.

photo by:
Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 24 Comments

LDVideo: David Laws on the success of The Orange Book, 10 years on

On Tuesday, Centre Forum, the liberal think tank, held a one-day conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Orange Book (we have already run pieces on the event by Stephen here, by Andrew Chamberlain here and by Rebecca Hanson here).

David Laws, one of the co-editors of The Orange Book (along with Paul Marshall), delivered the key-note speech on the day, a video of which has now been put online by Centre Forum. You can view it below, or here on YouTube.

Posted in YouTube | Also tagged , , , , , and | 29 Comments

Opinion: Nick Clegg’s fiscal target – splitting the difference

Calculating Taxes Up And DownStephen Tall writes that “in terms of policies, there wasn’t much that was new” in Nick Clegg’s Bloomberg speech. Giles Wilkes and others have suggested that, on the contrary, Nick’s fiscal targets are a welcome change from the excessive deficit reduction the Coalition has pencilled in for the next parliament.

These commentators think that Nick’s deficit target (below) is a continuation of Labour and current Coalition policy – to balance the budget excluding capital spending. My understanding, however, is that what Nick said …

photo by: kenteegardin
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Newark by-election: what I told BBC’s Daily Politics

imageI got a call from the BBC’s Daily Politics this morning asking if I’d be willing to pitch up this lunchtime to discuss the Lib Dem performance, as the party wasn’t willing to put up anyone official. (Labour didn’t either.) I duly did so and you can see what I said below. If you want to skip Grant Shapps and Roger Helmer, I pop up briefly at the 12 minute mark. As ever, you only really get to string together a couple of sentences: I blogged my fuller views on Newark …

Posted in Parliamentary by-elections and YouTube | Also tagged and | 106 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Why my heart won’t be too heavy this week when I vote Conservative (in a manner of speaking)

Conservative Party logoThere was much spluttering at LDV Towers this morning when we saw THAT headline. There was Earl Grey everywhere. Eventually, though, we managed to calm down and keep reading. In fact, our Stephen was messing with the heads of the readers of Conservative Home, as he does every few weeks or so.

In fact, his own vote for the fabulous Liberal Democrat team in the South East is secure. He is talking, though, about how he’s casting a proxy vote for a friend of his who has decided to vote …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 23 Comments

Jeremy Browne MP responds to LDV debates about his book

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyThank you to everyone on Lib Dem Voice who has taken the trouble to comment on my book ‘Race Plan’. It is healthy to have an active debate about how our liberalism can be applied to address the big political events of our time. I am appreciative of the favourable comments; I also thought it might be of interest (and good manners) to respond to some of the main criticisms and themes that emerged on LDV.

Timing of publication

The timing was determined by the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 102 Comments

My 5 minutes defending Lib Dem honour against Bus Pass Elvis

“We’re interviewing Bus Pass Elvis – the guy who beat the Lib Dems in a council by-election last week – and wondered if you’d be free to come on and talk about whether it means the writing’s on the wall.” That was the enticing invitation from the BBC’s Daily Politics show – how could I refuse? You can see how I got on below.

It was a brief segment, so there were two points I didn’t get to make which I think are important and relevant.

First, what Bus Pass Elvis’s defeat of the Lib Dems in North Clifton ward in Nottingham shows is the extent to which the party’s support has been hit in non-target areas. The party didn’t contest the ward at all in 2011 but when it did in 2007 it attracted 7% of the vote. Seven years on, the Lib Dems got 2%.

Posted in News and YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 6 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.

Caron meets Liberal Youth

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

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

LDVideo: Lib Dem election results, predictions and UKIP threat

On the BBC’s Daily Politics on Friday, Alex Forsyth looked at the Lib Dem fortunes in recent and not-so-recent elections, with predictions for 2014 and 2015 polls. Some familiar faces interviewed, including Tim Farron, Eastleigh’s Lib Dem council leader Keith House, and LDV’s own Stephen Tall…

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

LibLink: Stephen Tall: What Clegg was really up to last week

In his regular Conservative Home column, Liberal Democrat Voice co-editor Stephen Tall looked at the rationale behind two things that Nick Clegg had done last week, the debate challenge to Farage and his comments on Steve Richards’ programme which were interpreted as showing willing for a coalition with Labour.

So what does Stephen think it’s all about. Firstly, about getting the best deal in 2015 if there’s another hung Parliament:

In part, he’s preparing the ground for what may be. In part, he’s reaching out to those 2010 Lib Dem voters who’ve peeled off to Labour. And in part, he’s laying down

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 13 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: It’s 8 May 2015, Cameron’s won a majority and here’s some advice from his Chief Whip

Our Stephen Tall has been turning his hand to fiction in his regular column for Conservative Home.  As he says on his own site:

It’s a piece of fiction, not least because it imagines a scenario in which the Tories have won an outright majority. That starting point appeared to confuse ConHome’s Ukip-infused readers, who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in the comments.

You do actually have to read the whole thing to see all the well-crafted little digs in there, and you can do so here.

Here are some of the highlights:

The first piece of advice – keep …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

The Rennard case: what Caron Lindsay and Stephen Tall have said about it

Lib Dem Voice’s co-editors, Stephen Tall and Caron Lindsay, have both written on their own blogs about the fall-out from the independent investigation into the allegations against Lord (Chris) Rennard.

Stephen wrote on Friday summarising the background to the mess the party finds itself in here: Q&A on the allegations against Lord Rennard. (My conclusion: it’s a mess.)

And on Sunday Caron posed the question, How is the party going to get through this?

There is an obvious path to peace.

It’s not too late for Chris Rennard to apologise, and to do it well. I really think that he should

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Hold tight, get lucky

Stephen Tall has been writing for Total Politics, painting a worrying scenario of what might happen electorally if the Liberal Democrats were to go into coalition with Labour after the next General Election. That ominous phrase “Be careful what you wish for” is the theme…

He points out that the Coalition has caused problems for the party:

In the circumstances, we might be forgiven for turning round to the voters and saying, “You know what, guys? Next time you can’t make up your minds, don’t look to us to break the deadlock. You can suffer Conservative/Labour minority rule instead. That’s right. See

Posted in News | Also tagged | 99 Comments

LDVideo: BBC’s report on the Liberal Democrats’ secret weapon, featuring Stephen Tall

The BBC has been looking ahead to the Liberal Democrats’ prospects in next year’s General Election. Contributing to the report are retiring MP David Heath and our own Stephen Tall.

I should point out that our secret weapon is not Stephen’s famous pledge to run naked down Whitehall if the party is reduced to 24 seats next May.

You can watch the whole thing here.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall – Five predictions for 2014

Over on ConHome, LDV’s Stephen Tall has been gazing into his crystal ball.

Here are his first two prophecies:

1) The four current main party leaders – Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage – will still lead their parties in a year’s time. They’ll all face threats. Cameron will when Ukip beats the Conservatives in May’s Euro elections; Clegg will when the Lib Dems likely suffer another disappointing set of results in both the locals and the Euros; Miliband will if Labour gets beaten in the Euros and he is forced into an embarrassing compromise with the union paymasters at the special conference he called in the wake of the Falkirk / Unite row; and Farage will as his party and his leadership comes under closer public scrutiny (as already shown by this week’s ‘reverse ferret’ over admitting only Christian but not Muslim refugees from Syria).

2) The economic recovery will pick up pace and start to be noticed by voters. Growth is forecast to be 2% and unemployment to keep falling – that will start feeding into a more general feel-good factor. However, as real wages won’t begin to rise for another year, you can expect to hear more, much more, from Labour about the ‘cost of living crisis’. Conservatives will hail George Osborne as an economic saviour (as Geoffrey Howe was a generation before) while ignoring how he diluted Plan A when it was failing and how he has back-dated much of the public spending cuts to after the 2015 election. Whatever the facts of the matter, the politics of it is straightforward: a fragile economic recovery suits the Conservatives, who will have only to point at Eds Miliband and Balls and ask “Do you really want to hand the economy back to Labour?” The Lib Dems meanwhile will, I suspect, receive increasing traction for our ‘Stronger economy, fairer society’ pitch to the electorate, acting as a buffer between the worst excesses of either Labour or Conservative single-party rule.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Where the parties are at the end of 2013 and what they face in 2014

Stephen has been writing over at Conservative Home again. This time, he’s done his end of year report for each of the main parties.  The Telegraph’s Toby Young even complimented it. Here are some snippets:


With economic growth returning, Labour has deftly segued their economic attack. The assault on public spending cuts that go “too far, too fast” has been ditched, and in its place is a new refrain, “the Tory cost-of-living crisis”. It’s an ingenious line, tapping into the lag between the nascent recovery and people’s wages, with Ed Miliband’s populist pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: The agony of the Tory modernisers

In his latest column on Conservative Home, Stephen Tall feels the pain of those who wanted a modern, inclusive Conservative Party. When they had their way, the Tories actually did quite well. When the nasty lot take hold, their poll ratings plummet and they don’t appeal beyond their hardcore supporters. And that’s not enough to win a general election, especially when the Liberal Democrats are keen to woo those who would once have been called the “wets.”

I’ve written here before about the Lib Dems’ 17.5 per cent strategy, the optimistic end of the party’s share-of-the-vote forecast for 2015. To our

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Christmas present ideas from the LDV team and friends…Day 1

We are very strict at LDV Towers. There must be no mention of Christmas before 1st December, but now that we’re here, the holly, baubles and tinsel are being dusted off. Rumours that we were going to have a lights display spelling out Stronger Economy, Fairer Society have proved wide of the mark, though.

We thought we might help you with some of your Christmas shopping with a few suggestions. The first suggestion comes from Stephen Tall:

An officer and a spyBook: An officer and a spy, by Robert Harris available here.

This …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarStephen Hesketh 9th Oct - 1:09pm
    I also thought it was a very good performance from Tim. Regarding the point about his hands, that is just what he does when he...
  • User AvatarGlenn 9th Oct - 1:07pm
    Some of what Nick Clegg has to say is sensible, but the there is a basic problem with the notion of moderate opposition. Firstly actual...
  • User Avatarexpats 9th Oct - 1:01pm
    Duncan, I'm with Jayne M. on this one.... We already have a situation where people do not earn enough without government 'top-ups' (I'm adverse to...
  • User AvatarSarah Olney 9th Oct - 12:57pm
    Don't want to make a massive issue of the hands thing. Just to say that I think it's fine when you're on stage by yourself...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 9th Oct - 12:55pm
    Excellent News about real people leading the #libdemfightback in their local communities. Congratulations to Jean and the whole team.
  • User Avatarpeter tyzack 9th Oct - 12:54pm
    Jennie, please share your motion with other Regions, that is the way forward. One of this Party's strengths is the centralised membership database, all we...