Tag Archives: the spectator

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

photo by: ukhomeoffice
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

Nick Clegg wins Spectator’s Politician of the Year

The Spectator’s annual Parliamentarian of the Year Awards ceremony took place last night.

Nick Clegg was named as the magazine’s Politician of the Year, while Danny Alexander and George Osborne were awarded Best Double Act.

The Mail has the photos, and Standard diarist Olivia Cole reports David Cameron’s topical joke:

Best was his line on the “spectacular” coupling. “I can’t believe,” he said, “that someone middle class, from the Home Counties, could get together with someone so wealthy whose family own a string of mansions.”

Not Kate … he was talking about his beautiful relationship with Nick Clegg. Touché.

You can read …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 15 Comments

Two Lib Dem MPs rebel over VAT

The Guardian:

The coalition faced its first rebellion last night when two Liberal Democrat MPs voted against a budget proposal to increase VAT to 20%.

Bob Russell and Mike Hancock voted with Labour to oppose the increase, which has alarmed many Lib Dems who warned during the election of a Tory VAT “bombshell”.

To shouts of “shame” from the Labour benches, the 2.5% increase in VAT from January was backed by 346 to 270, majority 76. Russell, MP for Colchester, and Hancock, MP for Porstmouth South, had earlier supported a backbench Lib Dem motion demanding a Treasury investigation into the impact on the

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 90 Comments
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    Sally: Yes of course you are absolutely right and I detest all that sort of thing but I do not think any Government anywhere in...
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    Re the above comments. I think you rather missed the point. I was simply stating that many though not all resented having to pay taxes...
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    David Howell If every single member of the Liberal Democrats in Scotland attended the conference I think the answer to your question would be --...
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    Is there a way to withhold the payment of your fees until the services they pay for are resumed in full??? That might focus the...
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    An attempt to put things into some sort of context using simply the facts of the matter and not expressing any personal views -- Ms...
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    Seriously, someone farted 3 years ago and it warrants an article?