Tag Archives: the queen

Tim Farron’s tribute to the Queen: New Elizabethans, casework and a maypole

Tributes to the Queen for becoming the longest serving monarch were made today in the House of Commons and provided the first big national occasion when Tim Farron spoke as Leader of the Liberal Democrats. When you are as far down the pecking order as we find ourselves these days, you just can’t say the usual stuff. Tim’s tribute was slightly unconventional, quite funny and very fitting. It also makes us at LDV think he’s overdue an encounter with a maypole. Here it is in full:

It is a great honour to be able to pay tribute to Her Majesty on this very important day. I have only managed to meet Her Majesty on two occasions; obviously in the years to come I expect an audience more regularly. On the first occasion I met her, she gave me advice on how to cope with casework. On the second occasion, on her visit to Kendal in Westmoreland, there was very nearly an incident when a very well-meaning local councillor, Councillor Walker, decided to—I can only say—lunge across a crowd of 30 or 40 people carrying a bar of Kendal mint cake to offer to Her Majesty, which she accepted with great grace, looking forward, I am sure, to enjoying it. I have to say that the security services were less excited—or rather very excited—by that lunge. I also thank Her Majesty for the occasion of her silver jubilee in 1977, when she gave me my first, and so far only, experience of being able to dance around a maypole.

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Beware photos of the Queen shared on social media

A quick look down my Facebook timeline today understandably shows some lovely pictures of the Queen. Actually, my inbox is full of mentions of her as eager marketers exploit her record-breaking reign, but that’s another story. Now, I would happily get rid of the monarchy purely on principle as I don’t believe that a head of  state should come to that position by accident of birth. I know that that is very much a minority position and, frankly, there are more important things to take up my campaigning time.

However, my innate republicanism doesn’t mean I can’t respect the woman who has held that high office for the last 63 years and fulfilled her duties with dedication and dignity. She fully deserves the tributes being paid to her today.

This post isn’t about the Queen as such, though. Some of the aforementioned lovely images of the Queen on my social media have a much more sinister provenance.

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Why did Cameron’s and Clegg’s Palace business have to be conducted in secret?

I was pretty grumpy on Monday when I was watching the rolling news coverage. First of all, the BBC had live reporting from Westminster, the only place in the country you wouldn’t find any politicians following the dissolution of Parliament. Ok, so they did find Simon Hughes, but they could have headed a couple of miles down the road to go to him.

Then there were people reporting from Downing Street long after everyone had departed to ht the campaign trail.

But what made my blood boil was the aerial shots of Buckingham Palace broadcast as David Cameron and Nick Clegg made their visits there. We all know what it looks like. The BBC and Sky didn’t really need to spend money on a helicopter to give us pictures of one of the most familiar sites in the country if not the world.

Why on earth were  we not able to see what was going on inside? What’s with the mystery? It wasn’t very exciting, but we weren’t even given a photograph of the occasions. Cameron met first with the Queen, although that was pretty much a waste of time given that the dissolution of Parliament is an automatic process these days. Then Nick Clegg met with the Privy Council he chairs to carry out the necessary formality. When I say chairs, there actually aren’t any as the meetings are traditionally held with everyone standing to make them shorter. 

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We’re heading for a minority Labour government backed by the SNP

The Guardian have a very useful web page called Election 2015: The Guardian poll projection. On it, each day, they update their state-of-the-parties graph with the latest polling data, which then flows into an infographic showing the parliamentary arithmetic and possible government options after May 7th.

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Majority of Lib Dem members back monarchy – but 40% would prefer UK to become a Republic

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 600 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

44% want Charles as King, 9% prefer Wills: 40% want neither

Thinking about the future monarch, which of the following would you prefer?
Prince Charles - Some rights reserved by University Hospitals Birmingham

    44% – Prince Charles should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II

    9% – Prince William should succeed as King after Queen Elizabeth II instead of Prince Charles

    40% – Neither – there should be no monarch after Queen Elizabeth II

    6% – Don’t know

By 53% to 40%, our sample of Lib Dem members opt for monarchy over a republic. As ever, though, those headline figures include a span of opinion revealed in the comments.

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Opinion: do Parliament’s laws really need Royal Assent in 2013?

Queen Elizabeth IIThe country needs to save as much money as it can. Anything we can save will help the government to balance the books.

A small but wasteful activity is the requirement for Acts of Parliament to receive Royal Assent. Many people may believe that a Bill becomes law when it is passed by both Houses of Parliament. But it is a requirement for every Bill to go before the Queen and receive her approval.

Royal Assent is usually granted a few weeks after the Bill is passed by Parliament. …

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Here’s a ******* awesome Liberal Voice we should hear more from

With apologies to those who’ve already seen this story — but it’s too good for us not also to copy and paste from the Telegraph report

With Nick Clegg about to miss ‘an unprecedented fourth meeting of the Privy Council’ in his role as Lord President of the Council, the Telegraph spotted a mischief-making opportunity and phoned one of the leader’s aides to get a quote. The reporter got more than he …

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Michael Moore MP’s Westminster Notes

The Queen attends UK Government cabinet 18 12 12Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Michael Moore MP writes a weekly column for newspapers in his Borders constituency. Here’s this week’s edition, illustrated with a photograph of the Queen attending Cabinet yesterday. 

Trip to US and Canada

Last week, I spent a few days in the US and Canada to promote Scotland and Scottish exports such as textiles and Scotch whisky. In Washington, I was pleased to be able to highlight the importance of the Scottish textiles industry which has its …

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Arise, Sir Malcolm*

Gary Barlow and Kate Winslet are very lucky. Not only did they get to meet the Queen today as they received their respective CBE and OBE medals at Buckingham Palace, but they were in the same batch, if that’s the right word, as our very own Sir Malcolm Bruce.

It dawns on me that Barlow and Bruce are quite close to each other in the alphabet so they may even have been sitting near each other.

Sir Malcolm and Lady Bruce enjoyed a celebratory lunch with family and

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Our political writers can pretend they know what makes us tick: a response to Matthew d’Ancona

Here’s how Matthew d’Ancona could’ve started his article for today’s London Evening Standard, ‘Our political class can now work out what makes us tick’. But he didn’t.

So what was all that about? As the waves of media fervour subside to reveal the bleak promontories of Austerity Commentariat, let us pause and ask what this extraordinary four-day Jubilee told us about journalists, and their obsession with extrapolating about our national life and character.

There then follows some delicious cognitive dissonance. First, an acknowledgement of what is to follow:

The lazy reflex for political observers is to extract the lessons that suit them.

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Nick Clegg’s praises Queen’s dignity, calm and wisdom

It’s now time to pack away the bunting and force ourselves back to the daily grind after the double bank holiday.

The Voice thought you might be interested to see Nick Clegg’s official message on the Diamond Jubilee, though, which is available on his You Tube channel here.

He says she is a Queen famous for her quiet steeliness but he’s always been struck by her great warmth and her rare ability to put everyone she meets at ease.

He praises her wisdom, calm and dignity in a rapidly changing world – and wishes us all a good time celebrating.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim Hill 27th Nov - 1:21am
    Go on. Tell us :-)
  • User AvatarHuw Dawson 26th Nov - 11:37pm
    I am deeply unhappy about our likely involvement in the oncoming campaign in Syria - but given that Labour is about to eat its own...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 26th Nov - 11:34pm
    @Jonathan Brown Me too. I like being in a broad church. At the moment, I'm describing myself as a Social Democrat, because I think that...
  • User AvatarPeter Hayes 26th Nov - 11:09pm
    A question he might ask, can the Prime Minister confirm that expanding the air war will not reduce the air support to the Kurds who...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 26th Nov - 10:26pm
    @ a social liberal, Obviously I didn't make myself clear in my post.I have always been opposed to British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. I...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 26th Nov - 9:53pm
    PS, I know you can achieve a no-fly zone diplomatically, but it isn't explicitly said and it looks like the equivalent at this stage of...