Tag Archives: stephen tall

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:

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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:

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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).

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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.

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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

 

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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.

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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,

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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…

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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.

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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:
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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.

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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
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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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%.

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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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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…

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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

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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 …

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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

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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

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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.

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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.

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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:

Labour

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

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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

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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 …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Who could lead the Tories and Lib Dems after 2015?

Our very own Stephen Tall has been moonlighting again for the lucky people over at Conservative Home. For this edition Stephen has unpacked his crystal ball and programmed it to Spring 2015, where he finds several possible scenarios confronting Messrs Clegg and Cameron.

Here’s a sample:

Conventional wisdom suggests David Cameron will have to win outright to be sure of continuing as Conservative leader. After all, the last Conservative leader to fail to win two successive elections outright – Edward Heath in 1974 – is not a happy precedent. Yet if the Conservatives were to emerge as the largest single party once

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Lib Dems recontaminating the Tory brand? No, the Tories do it to themselves

Stephen Tall - resized - small - H&SOur Stephen Tall has been moonlighting over at Conservative Home again, this time pointing out that it’s the Liberal Democrats who are the good cops in the Coalition and that may not be the case in any future deal with Labour. Some of his comments will controversial amongst Liberal Democrats…

We’re lucky to be in coalition with the Conservatives:

Yet we are lucky and here’s why: we disagree with the Conservatives enough to protect our own identity within Coalition. The politicos call it differentiation. Most people would recognise it as “good cop, bad cop” politics. And it suits us Lib Dems down to the ground. It means that on many of the issues that matter most to the voters – especially tax-cuts for the low-paid and safeguarding the NHS, according to this YouGov finding– the Lib Dems are considered to have been a civilising influence on the Conservatives.

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LDVideo: Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year for BBC’s Daily Politics

Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year – it’s ups and its down – for the BBC’s Daily Politics, recalling some of the questions on Nick’s weekly LBC radio phone-in, Call Clegg…

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarwayne simmons 22nd May - 7:58pm
    Helen, thanks for that. I did notice something to that effect. Do you know what changed his thinking on the issue?
  • User AvatarMavarine Du-Marie 22nd May - 7:34pm
    What about a transitional leadership (academic paper: MAJ Earl Russell 08 September 2011) This new leadership theory embodies the thought that a leader can transition...
  • User AvatarJohn Minard 22nd May - 7:34pm
    At least we made the news today!!
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 22nd May - 7:21pm
    Caron Lindsay 22nd May '15 - 4:50pm ".... Here is what I wrote at the time about the memo: http://www.libdemvoice.org/nicola-sturgeon-faces-similar-press-trashing-to-clegg-in-2010-but-with-added-misogyny-45322.html ..." I have just read...
  • User AvatarMartin 22nd May - 7:18pm
    Psi: i> clearly a very stupid decision to take, I can’t imagine what he was thinking. It gives the strong impression that in Scotland, Lib...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 22nd May - 6:57pm
    TCO - it does not surprise me that from your stand point Rawls is a socialist.
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