Tag Archives: telegraph

Rachel Smith talks to the Telegraph about the Coalition, being a politician’s wife, and how she’s a fan of Nick

In 2001, Rachel Smith, went along to a local meeting in the New Forest at which Vince Cable was speaking. She asked him a question and the rest is history. They were married in 2004. Last year about this time, she gave an interview to the Telegraph. This year, she’s done it again. She comes over as very warm, human and honest – just the same as she does when you meet her.

She had this to say about Vince’s supposed leadership ambitions:

She pre-empts questions about her husband’s alleged bid to oust the Lib Dem leader. “When people mutter about

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Telegraph: “Liberal Democrats believe party can oust several Tories”

Yesterday’s Telegraph has a report that the Liberal Democrats believe that they can win or win back some seats currently held by the Tories.

The seats mentioned are Oxford West and Abingdon, Winchester and St Albans. These seats have all selected their candidates, Layla Moran, Jackie Porter and Sandy Walkington. I could also add Richmond Park, where Robin Meltzer is working hard, campaigning against Heathrow expansion with the help of two neighbouring cabinet ministers. In Harrogate we have Helen Flynn and in Newton Abbot and Truro and Falmouth, Richard Younger-Ross and Simon Rix are in place. All these candidates are …

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MPs under attack again – for claiming mileage for doing their jobs

Having Nigel Farage on Question Time again was more than enough to make my blood boil last night. Sadly, even my Facebook timeline had little to soothe. I saw an 18 month old story being recycled again to give MPs another kicking.

In May last year the Telegraph had a go at some MPs who claimed mileage to attend Remembrance Day services, including a couple of Liberal Democrats. Why on earth should that particular engagement be any different than any other that they attend in the course of their official duties? How many people would meet work expenses out of …

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“Move over Nick” says Telegraph as Miriam Gonzalez Durantez launches women’s network

Liberal Democrats have known that Miriam Gonzalez Durantez has put considerable time and effort into supporting women within the party. She has now moved on to the national stage to launch a campaign, Inspiring Women, which aims to send 15,000 women to talk to 250,000 girls in schools about their careers and to encourage them to aim high.

Earlier this month, we covered her article in the Telegraph in which she explained why she wants to do this:

The new generation of girls are clever, engaged and curious; they are ambitious, but in a realistic way; they are not afraid of

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Helen Duffett and Stephen Tall among “most influential” Liberal Democrats

Yesterday afternoon the Telegraph published the first part of Iain Dale’s annual list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. It contained two members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team.

First, a new entry at number 49 for our associate editor Helen Duffett:

Helen Duffett acts as a bridge between the party establishment and the membership. She is credited with a huge improvement in the effectiveness and relevance of party communications. As Honorary President of Liberal Youth, Associate Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and host of regular online Q&A sessions with Lib Dem Ministers, she is, unlike most messengers, widely liked

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Frankly, I’d rather have a shambles than manage by fear and intimidation

I read a lot of political commentary by all sorts of people. I’ve been moved to tears, laughter, outrage, exasperation and delight by many of them. It’s taken until today, though, for an article written by a mainstream commentator to make me feel physically sick.

Writing in the Telegraph, John McTernan, former Labour Downing Street insider, describes the tactics of Labour whips:

A Cabinet minister who served in both the Blair and Brown governments retells his first encounter with Labour whips. Newly elected, he was walking through the corridors of the House when he was accosted by one. He was pushed

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IFS say marriage tax break is symbolic and of little benefit to children.

Liberal Democrats generally don’t need to be persuaded that the Tories’ marriage tax break idea, on which they’d like to blow half a billion quid, is an ineffective and entirely wrong-headed idea.

However it’s always useful to have more ammunition against it. The Telegraph reports that the Institute of Fiscal Studies take the view that education and wealth of parents is far more significant to children than whether their parents are married:

Research shows that children whose parents are married make better progress at school and are more emotionally stable than those whose parents co-habit.

However, the IFS has found that this

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Jo Swinson responds to Liberal Democrat Voice commenters about telling children they are beautiful

A small storm erupted yesterday on our article reporting Jo Swinson’s comments in a Telegraph interview about the importance of making sure that children were praised for a wide range of things and not just their looks. Commenters raised a number of concerns, including whether it was appropriate for a Government Minister to give this sort of advice on what should essentially be a private matter.  As the mother of a teenage daughter, if I’m looking for advice on anything, I tend to look to people who know something about the subject, to  a credible, expert source of information …

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Tory marriage tax break back on the table, says Cameron

From the Telegraph:

The Prime Minister categorically said he will recognise marriage in the UK tax system within the next two years after receiving heavy criticism for his failure to assist traditional British families.

Speaking in Carlisle, where he was answering questions from workers at a Pirelli factory, Mr Cameron piled pressure on the Liberal Democrats to allow the policy to pass through Parliament.

Asked whether he still has plans to recognise marriage in the tax system the Prime Minister said: “Yes I do, we set them out at the last election in the Conservative manifesto. The Coalition agreement specifically said that

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Vince Cable, One Direction, and a minimum wage rise for apprentices

There was a significant amount of chortling in LDV Towers over the Telegraph’s report of Vince Cable’s comments about One Direction’s earnings. One member of our team even suggested photoshopping his head onto this photo of the boy band wearing onesies.  Mercifully, copyright and lack of photoshopping skills on my part spares you that sight.

Vince thought he was being asked about, I presume, a director’s £5 million salary, which he described as “mad”, “downright immoral” and “grossly offensive”.  It would be hardly surprising that he would take that view given his actions to curb executive pay. He added, …

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LibLink… Steve Webb: A straightforward pension scheme for all

Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb, the man who has already delivered the “triple lock” system for ensuring a decent annual rise in the State Pension, writes in today’s Telegraph about the Coalition’s plans to simplify pension provision and ensure that the basic state pension increases from £107 to £144 from as soon as 2017.

First, he outlined the problems with the complexities of the current system:

In Britain today, we have not one but two state pensions. The first is a basic state pension based on 30 years of National Insurance contributions, with complex rules for people who are divorced or

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Rennie: SNP’s assertions blown apart by fact

Scotland has had its share of political drama these past ten days. First there was the Edinburgh Agreement which saw Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore given an honourable mention by CentreForum. Then the Scottish Liberal Democrats unveiled their vision for Home Rule and a federal UK. Then last Friday, the SNP abandoned their opposition to NATO membership ahead of the Independence Referendum, a decision led to the resignation of two of their MSPs. This leaves Alex Salmond’s Government with a tiny single vote majority in Holyrood. In practice, though, the two MSPs will mostly vote with the Government.

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Tory Loughton slams Liberal Democrats for blocking Tory marriage tax break

We know that the Tories went on and on before the election about how they were going to reward marriage in the tax system.

We know that Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats don’t think much of this idea.

We know that since the Coalition Government was formed that no such marriage tax break has been introduced.

It was therefore not unreasonable to conclude that the Liberal Democrats have stopped the Tories from implementing their prized policy.

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SNP MP’s Twitter tirade against Moore and Swinson

One of the problems faced by the SNP is the army of so called cybernats who spew nasty, insulting bile across the internet at anyone who dares to question SNP policy or independence – which, of course, are one and the same thing. Alan Cochrane from the Telegraph wrote earlier this year about these toxic, often anonymous individuals.

Those who cannot take part in this great debate without questioning the patriotism, and often the parentage, of those who don’t agree with them are much more accurately described as Cyberscum. As such they are, of course, a legitimate target for those

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Opinion: Why schools should be allowed to sell their playing fields

As the Olympic Games concluded, the debate on school sports has risen to the fore. The Prime Minister, it seems, is a big fan of competitive sport being played in primary schools. This, he says, will lead to a real Olympic legacy.

Since the Prime Minister started outlining his plans, the government has come under pressure to defend the sales of school playing fields – a robust defence of the 21 sell-offs was put forward by the Department for Education. Then it became 30. The media – and the Daily Telegraph in particular – has launched campaigns to save school …

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LibLink: David Laws – I still believe the Coalition can last the course

Writing in the Telegraph, David Laws has been giving his thoughts on how Cameron and Clegg can breathe new life into the coalition, not by a new Agreement as he says the one we have is the most effective and bold programme of any peacetime government in the last 100 years. He adds that it’s vital that the Coalition does continue because the consequences of failure for the country would be unpalatable for the country.

Alongside the over-riding priority of the economy and stimulating economic growth, he gives an outline of what the Coalition could achieve over the next two and …

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Liberal Democrats reject Steve Hilton’s £25 billion welfare cuts call

David Cameron’s adviser Steve Hilton heads off for a sabbatical in California, where he will be learning more about governance.

However, he is  reported in several newspapers to have left a wee parting present, a paper calling for a further £25 billion cut in welfare spending. He wants to see people, particularly single parents, encouraged into full time rather than part time work. No mention is made of how the resulting child care costs would be met, of course. Maybe he hadn’t thought of that.

The Times (£) reported that these plans had not been shared with the Liberal Democrats but, …

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The story of the Cabinet Minister hiding behind a tree

Well, it’s hardly been what you’d call a slow news week, has it?

In case you are frazzled by the ever changing headlines, I thought I’d bring one of the more bizarre Jeremy Hunt related stories to your attention.

Iain Martin in the Telegraph writes about the night in May 2010, the second week of the Coalition, when he went to attend a lecture given by James Murdoch.

The events he describes are farcical and are if you feel in need of a break, go and get yourself a cup of tea and a biscuit and simply enjoy the story.

A little taster?

It was

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Nick Clegg’s mental health initiative provides treatment for half a million people

One of Nick Clegg’s first major speeches as leader of the Liberal Democrats, as Lib Dem Voice reported way back in February 2008, was on the subject of mental health, of ensuring much faster access to therapy for those affected.

In Government, he is able to put his ideas into practice, last year allocating £400 million to talking therapies. I wrote then about why I was so pleased to see that much needed investment.

Today’s Telegraph reports that half a million people have entered treatment under the Coalition’s mental health strategy.

Last night, Nick Clegg held a reception in London …

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LibLink: Paddy Ashdown – ‘I used to think the party of Gladstone would end with Ashdown’

Today’s Telegraph has an interview with Paddy Ashdown, timed to promote his new TV documentary The Most Courageous Raid of WWII.

From the BBC:

Lord Ashdown, a former special forces commando, tells the story of the ‘Cockleshell Heroes’, who led one of the most daring and audacious commando raids of World War II… Lord Ashdown recreates parts of the raid and explains how this experience was used in preparing for one of the greatest land invasions in history, D-day.

As well as the documentary, Lord Ashdown’s Telegraph interview covers Europe, the Liberal Democrats and the art of compromise:

When Ashdown became leader

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Michael Brown and the Lib Dems: the bits the Telegraph missed out

Today’s Telegraph splashes with the story, Revealed: secret new life of fugitive Lib Dem donor, devoting its first three pages to the tale of Michael Brown’s new life on the run in a Caribbean hideout.

Michael Brown, as our readers will not need reminding, donated £2.4m to the party just before the 2005 general election. His subsequent arrest and conviction on several counts of fraud have been an embarrassment to the Lib Dems ever since.

The Telegraph’s story is, shock horror, a little partial, though. Take this paragraph: ‘The Liberal Democrats have steadfastly resisted all attempts to force them to repay …

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Telegraph: “The nation’s babies have begun to abandon the Prime Minister”

You have to hand it to Telegraph journalists. It’s approaching August. Stories are thin on the ground. But trees must be killed. So stories must be concocted. And what a concoction this one was!:

New parents shun ‘Cameron’ and ‘Nick’ for baby names
David Cameron may feel he needs his Tuscan holiday at the end of a bruising first year in power.

There followed suitable snaps of Cameron and Clegg looking knackered, and this text:

After facing battles over spending cuts, a gloomy economy, and the phone hacking scandal, now it seems that even the nation’s babies have begun to abandon the Prime

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Opinion: Economic liberalism and public service reform

Are the Liberal Democrats a party of untrammelled ideology – sorry,“principles” – or do ethics and evidence also play a role in thinking? This question struck me forcefully when reading David Cameron’s article on public service reform in the Telegraph. It appears that the imminent Open Public Services White Paper has been formulated with collaboration from the Chief Secretary to the Treasury and Nick Clegg is fully ‘on side’. We await the details, but if Cameron’s article gives us an accurate sense of what is to come then I think there is – or should be – a significant …

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Chris White writes: a chance meeting

I bumped into a young council official yesterday. I was wearing an ID tag so she could see who I was and knew that I was a Liberal Democrat.

It turned out that she had voted Lib Dem in the General Election and had in fact joined the Party under Charles Kennedy because of our clear and unbending stance on the Iraq War. She had recently resigned over tuition fees (quite a rare event but still disappointing). One of the benefits of leaving was that she no longer receives the centrally produced emails to party members justifying (for instance) the position …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarHelen Dudden 24th Apr - 9:39am
    There are of course two sides to the situation. This is long standing, and as we celebrate Passover and the land that for some was...
  • User Avatarsfk 24th Apr - 9:28am
    I agree, voter contact and knowledgable local branches beat a centralised automated system hands down. There's a parallel trend in retail banking if you torture...
  • User AvatarTony Rowan-Wicks 24th Apr - 9:18am
    Totally agree with Caron. It struck me as wrong for a party which believes in voter listings in elections being completed 1 2 3 etc....
  • User AvatarRC 24th Apr - 9:13am
    @ Peter Watson A very good question given 20/20 hindsight/wisdom *after the event*. However: 1) All the evidence at the time said it would save...
  • User AvatarAustin Rathe 24th Apr - 8:31am
    David, we have never (in our surveys) asked any questions about the performance of individuals. Lib Dem Voice do ask those questions in their own...
  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 24th Apr - 8:31am
    I wouldn't be so sure about that, Caractacus. In Scotland, the Lib Dems have been praised by NUS for persuading the SNP Government to minimise...