Tag Archives: the spectator

Vince Cable and Danny Alexander to be confirmed as Election Spokesmen for Cabinet jobs they have been doing for the last five years


Exclusive, Vince Cable will lose his economy job with the Lib Dems tomorrow screams the Spectator headline. In fact, this is the second biggest surprise since the sun last rose in the East. The first biggest surprise, by the way, was that Alex Salmond would stand in Gordon where he faces defeat by Lib Dem Christine Jardine in May.

Anyway, back to the story which is about the party announcing its spokespeople for the General Election. It is hardly a surprise that Vince and Danny have been named as covering the roles they have been doing for the last five years. Doesn’t sound quite so scandalous that way, does it? Some might say that’s a sensible choice and would be more of a story if it weren’t that way round.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 42 Comments

LibLink: Jeremy Browne – The Lib Dems must define themselves more clearly

Jeremy Browne - Minister for Crime PreventionFormer Lib Dem minister, Jeremy Browne, fresh from publishing a book calling for the party to return to ‘authentic liberalism’, has issued a further plea in The Spectator for Lib Dems to get distinctive ahead of the 2015 election. Here’s an excerpt:

The Liberal Democrats will struggle to command support in this marketplace without having a sharp definition. The appeal of cautious centrism is limited. …

Where is the demand for a tepid Milibandism or a watered-down Cameronism? Why buy the low calorie version when the full-flavour

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 72 Comments

Better in Cameron’s Black Book than on the Statute Book

“The Lib Dems have held us back, says Cameron” screams today’s Daily Mail headline. Yes, it’s the Prime Minister showing that he can play the differentiation game too.

If there’s one thing that David Cameron and Nick Clegg can agree on, it’s that the Liberal Democrats and the Tories have divergent views on many issues. Both will take every opportunity to point that out to anyone who will listen.

The Daily Mail quotes Cameron’s interview with the Spectator in which he says that Nick Clegg has stopped him doing all sorts of things he would love to do. None of this is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 15 Comments

A personal guide to the 13 most essential political podcasts

podcastsCommuting is a major part of my daily life, so I find podcasts are an essential way to make use of time I’d otherwise spend staring vacantly out the window or idly refreshing and re-refreshing Twitter. Here, in order of where they appear in my iTunes directory, are the podcasts I listen to most frequently…

The Economist’s podcasts – a good mix of audio recordings of selected articles from the print edition together with brief discussions involving the Economist’s expert correspondents. Slightly irritatingly the sound can vary between recordings, so you …

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4 graphs on Thatcher’s legacy: a richer but more unequal nation.

A generation on, the Thatcher legacy continues to provoke and divide. One of the questions it poses for liberals is one this government is still wrestling with: does inequality matter if everyone’s getting richer?

Margaret Thatcher’s answer was that it did not — as she famously illustrated in one of her last Commons performances in response to a question from Simon Hughes:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 6 Comments

Reasons for Lib Dem cheer — as told by Labour and Tory supporters

Just two things from me:

1) Anyone trying to forecast how the Lib Dems will do in 2015 based on extrapolating mid-term opinion polls on the basis of uniform national swing is likely to be as wrong as they would have been at every general election in modern history.

2) My confident forecast for 2015 is the Lib Dems will a) do less well than I’d like and b) do better than our fiercest critics would like.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 41 Comments

What The Spectator says: ‘Obama the Lib Dem’. (PS: It may even be a compliment.)

Over at The Spectator, Jonathan Jones looks at the US and UK approaches to their forthcoming budgets — cutting the deficit, taming debt, etc — and his fourth and final point concludes:

Obama the Lib Dem. It’s striking how similar Obama’s tax priorities are to those of the Liberal Democrats, even though the specifics differ either side of the Atlantic. Obama wants to extend the payroll tax cut for ‘160 million hardworking Americans’, which he says is worth ‘about $40 in every paycheck’ for ‘the typical family earning $50,000 a year’. The Lib Dems have been pushing to raise the

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJoebourke 25th Oct - 11:21pm
    Excellent article Helen around an increasingly important issue. This policy needs to be dovetailed with a long overdue reform of the tax and national insurance...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 11:19pm
    We should at least be exploring this as radical Liberals.
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th Oct - 11:17pm
    This is an election the prospects for which , by our party should not be talked up. Goldsmith is going to stand unopposed and win...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 11:16pm
    We're the progressive voice predominantly in the south just as Labour's the voice predominantly in the north. We need to be consistent, liberal, democratic and...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th Oct - 11:15pm
    El Sid: "Don’t merely play to the audience, don’t put anything on those by-election leaflets that you would not be happy to put on a...
  • User AvatarAlfred Motspur 25th Oct - 10:58pm
    El Sid, I certainly agree with you that it would be a mistake for any Liberal Democrat candidate to pledge to vote against Brexit "no...