Tag Archives: tim montgomerie

Jon Cruddas: in favour of a 45 top-rate of tax before he was against it

Sarah Teather isn’t the only MP attacking George Osborne today. Ed Miliband’s policy chief Jon Cruddas has strong words for the Chancellor in the Sunday People, accusing him of “cruelty” and of “giving a tax cut to millionaires” by dropping the top-rate of tax from 50% to 45% for those earning more than £150,000.

So what, you might ask, was Jon Cruddas arguing for when Labour was in power? A top-rate tax level of 45% levied on those earning more than £175,000, as it happens:

cruddas 45p tax

He’s welcome …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 30 Comments

5 initial thoughts on David Cameron’s Europe speech

David Cameron - License Some rights reserved by Statsministerens kontor David Cameron delivered his long, long-awaited speech on Europe this morning (text here). Caron’s rounding up the reactions from Lib Dems here – but here are my five initial thoughts…

This is the speech Cameron didn’t want ever to have to give.

Let’s be clear, David Cameron is making this speech now to try and keep the Conservatives together. The threat from Ukip and the party’s right has proved too powerful to withstand. Offering a referendum was no longer …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 37 Comments

The political year reviewed by Stephen Tall, Tim Montgomerie and Hopi Sen

LibDemVoice co-editor Stephen Tall guested alongside ConservativeHome‘s Tim Montgomerie and Labour blogger Hopi Sen on BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour last night, reviewing the political year with presenter Carolyn Quinn through the rear-view mirror. Issues dissected in the 20-minute discussion included Andrew ‘Gate-gate’ Mitchell, Coalition differentiation, Nick Clegg’s future, welfare reforms and secret courts. You can listen here:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

A headline I didn’t expect ever to write: Tory right-wing calls for affirmative action in public sector

I did a bit of a double-take on reading Fraser Nelson’s latest column in the Telegraph complaining that David Cameron has been ‘strikingly relaxed’ about appointments to government-funded bodies.

‘His allies say that he has been too much of a gentleman to play Labour’s game and start stuffing quangos with Tory placemen,’ says Fraser, whose tone suggests he’d like nothing better than for the Prime Minister to start stuffing quangos with Tory placemen.

His plea for greater patronage was taken up with alacrity by Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome who …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Three big things I’ve got wrong since I’ve starting blogging and commenting – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie confesses to a trio of big errors on the NHS, higher-rate tax and equalities: “One of the many reasons I don’t want to be an MP is that I think this sort of ability to think openly and reflectively is probably impossible when you are standing for office.”

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

ConHome pushes case for Vince Cable as Lib Dem leader. It’s enough to make you wonder why…

You’ve gotta love ConservativeHome. No, really. This morning Tim Montgomerie reports a deliciously mischief-making poll from YouGov, commissioned by the Lord Ashcroft-backed site, comparing the standing of Nick Clegg, Vince Cable and the Liberal Democrats in general.

It won’t surprise anyone to learn that Vince Cable performs better than Nick Clegg in all the measures of leadership qualities asked about. (You can see the results in the graph at the foot of this piece.) This leads Tim to conclude: ‘If the Liberal Democrats are looking for a leader who can increase their electoral competitiveness these are powerful numbers.’

Call me …

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

Lords reform: what the failure means for the Coalition, David Cameron and Nick Clegg

First up, here’s Nick Robinson’s take on yesterday’s events followed by myself, via the BBC News Channel:

Posted in News and YouTube | Also tagged , , , , , and | 10 Comments

A warm welcome for Andrew Marr’s change of heart on blogging

Here’s the BBC’s Andrew Marr speaking in October 2010:

“Most citizen journalism strikes me as nothing to do with journalism at all. A lot of bloggers seem to be socially inadequate, pimpled, single, slightly seedy, bald, cauliflower-nosed, young men sitting in their mother’s basements and ranting. They are very angry people. … Most of the blogging is too angry and too abusive. It is vituperative. Terrible things are said on line because they are anonymous. People say things on line that they wouldn’t dream of saying in person.”

And here’s Andrew Marr speaking to the Leveson Inquiry yesterday:

“You look around and a

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

The Independent View: A Queen’s Speech that liberals can get behind

ConservativeHome is busy putting out its own version of the Queen’s Speech. The point of the exercise is to map out what the Conservatives’ legislative agenda might have looked like had they won a majority in 2010.

The leading liberal think=tank CentreForum has done something similar. Last week, we came up with nine measures that we would like to see enacted by a big ‘l’ liberal government. I have listed them below, and placed in brackets the government department that each of them would fall under. With the exception of Lords reform, we don’t expect to hear any …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged and | 30 Comments

The Tories’ tax problem

Cut national insurance contributions, says Liam Fox. Cut capital gains tax, says David Davis. Give tax breaks to married couples, say Stewart Jackson and others. Back wealth taxes to cut taxes on “families and employers”, says Tim Montgomerie.

There’s no shortage of Tories suggesting taxes for George Osborne to cut when he delivers his budget. Yet it’s the junior party in the coalition which is leading the debate on tax cuts – a curious situation which no doubt shocks Tories as much as it infuriates them.

The reasons the Lib Dems are leading the way on tax cuts are straightforward. First, the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Senior Tories voice growing concern over NHS reforms, calling for ‘unnecessary and unpopular’ Bill to be scrapped

The Health and Social Care Bill has long been criticised by doctors, nurses, many Liberal Democrats and the Labour Party. To the list of those concerned about the impact of Andrew Lansley’s reforms can be added senior Tory figures including Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome blog, and several members of the Cabinet.

According Tim’s editorial this morning, following on from a Times article earlier in the week (£), Conservative Cabinet Ministers are sufficiently concerned over how the reforms were being handled to press for the contentious components to be dropped and for only those elements that retain cross-party …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

Vince pushes the ‘mansion tax’ – could the Tories yet be persuaded to take tax reform seriously?

Shock! Horror! Lib Dem business secretary Vince Cable advocates Lib Dem manifesto policy!

The Telegraph today reports that Vince’s policy — which would levy a 1% annual charge on all properties valued above £2 million — is still on the table as the Coalition writes its second budget:

Vince Cable, the Liberal Democrat Business Secretary, is pushing for a mansion tax to be introduced on properties worth more than £2million in this year’s Budget. While the policy is likely to be opposed by George Osborne, the Chancellor, Mr Cable said that he had spoken to Conservative MPs who backed the plan.

“A mansion tax is still very much on the agenda – it is a very good idea,” Mr Cable told The Sunday Telegraph. “It is good for two reasons,’’ he said. ”It would constitute a tax on wealth rather than income, which we believe to be right, and also in economic terms it creates the right sort of incentives for the property market.”

Mr Cable added that it was “perverse” that rich “foreigners” could buy expensive properties in Britain and contribute just £1,000 a year in council tax towards the public finances.

3 ways of reading Vince’s comments

There are a couple of ways of interpreting this fresh pitch.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 18 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack – 2011 was a year of treading water

Yesterday The Times ran a set of op-eds looking at how the parties did in 2011, featuring ConHome’s Tim Montgomerie, Ed Miliband biographer Mehdi Hasan and The Voice’s own Mark Pack.

Here is a flavour of what Mark had to say:

This year has certainly not been short of Harold Macmillan’s “events, dear boy, events”.  Political and economic turmoil disrupted even the usually quiet periods deep in August and the final shopping days before Christmas.

Yet at the end of the year the political rollercoaster has left all three main parties in remarkably similar situations to those in which they found themselves

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

Get your skates on and submit a motion to Liberal Democrat conference about wealth taxes

Nick Clegg’s recent ‘open society’ speech confirmed that increases taxes on wealth in some form is very much on the political agenda. However, the default party policy option – a mansion tax – was highly controversial in the party when it was introduced (which is rather a polite term for the rolling lesson in how to bungle a policy launch, annoy MPs, irritate party members and feed negative stories to the media all in one fell swoop).

In other words – now is a very good time for the party to be debating what form of wealth taxes it favours, especially after the opportunity was missed at the party’s autumn conference. As I wrote at the time in Tax: The missing ingredient from the Liberal Democrat conference agenda,

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , and | 35 Comments

Alex Wilcock writes… Tory boy throws toys out of pram: not exactly Man Bites Dog

British politics is known for its name-calling and point-scoring rather than adult debate, and few sane voters find the bearpit of Prime Minister’s Question Time very edifying. But since no party won the election, Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have tried to do the mature thing, with neither getting all of what they want because the voters didn’t give either party absolute power. The voters don’t matter, though, to Tory Boy Tim Montgomerie, who today screams and screams until he’s sick that With every passing day the Liberal Democrats are dragging the Coalition further away from the

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Opinion: Cameron’s ten big mistakes – more please!

In the Telegraph, Tim Montgomerie, editor of ConservativeHome, outlines the results of a recent survey of Tory party members.

1,500 of them were asked to name “what they saw as Cameron’s three biggest errors”. The resulting Top Ten makes an extraordinary epistle from Planet Tory. Several of the points on the list would be regarded by many as Cameron’s greatest non-mistakes:

  • “Supporting climate change policies” – mistake? Well, perhaps only when ConHome add the highly debatable non-sequitur of “…that will increase energy bills”.
  • “U-turn on NHS reforms” – mistake? Hell, no. “Hurrah!” – Say many of us.
  • “Agreement to Nick

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Anonymous Tory MP launches broadside against “hypocritical, immature, manipulative” David Cameron

There’s a quite extraordinary broadside against David Cameron’s leadership in today’s Mail – written it appears by a current Conservative MP who chooses to remain anonymous — accusing him of “cynically manipulating” the party’s candidates’ list to stuff its green benches with “friends who went to the same school or moved in the same social circle”.

Here’s a flavour:

Speeches Cameron made before the Election about a new politics gave us great hope. But before too long, the less appealing side to his character became clear as he displayed an immature tendency to poke fun at certain individuals or groups

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 11 Comments

Three-quarters of Lib Dem manifesto becoming government policy – independent research

Sunday’s Politics Show featured the results of research by independent academics into how each party in the Coalition Government is doing at getting its polices enacted.

The conclusion? Three-quarters (75%) of the Liberal Democrat manifesto is being turned into government policy, compared to noticeably less (60%) of the Conservative manifesto, as illustrated in this screenshot:

Politics Show screenshot

(For a sample of those Lib Dem policies being put into action see the excellent site What The Hell Have The Lib Dems Done?)

Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie and Lib Dem blogger and Federal Policy Committee (FPC) member Linda Jack were both interviewed to discuss these results and other aspects of the coalition’s future:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

LibLink: David Allen Green – Why I have joined the Liberal Democrats

Over at his New Statesman blog, David Allen Green — the magazine’s legal correspondent and author of the Jack of Kent blog — has explained his decision last week to become a fully paid-up member of the Liberal Democrats.

To be more accurate, he first lists all the reasons why he will be a dissenting member of the Lib Dems … before then highlighting how he was finally persuaded to join by ConservativeHome’s founding editor Tim Montgomerie analyses that ‘the current government is significantly more liberal than an entirely Conservative administration would otherwise be’.

David concludes:

Politics is about power. The

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Back from the Brink: the extraordinary fall and rise of the Conservative Party

Peter Snowdon’s history of the Conservative Party in opposition, quickly updated last year to include the final stage in their recovery, has four white men on its cover striding towards the reader – Cameron, Osborne, Hague and Clegg. It tells you immediately the sort of book that Back from the Brink: The extraordinary fall and rise of the Conservative Party is: tightly focused in on politics as seen from and carried out in Westminster.

This is an account of senior political figures and their political, policy and media manoeuvrings. The public feature very rarely (unlike in Deborah Mattinson’s memoirs from

Posted in Books | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

First election debate: winners and losers

Now the dust is starting to settle after the first debate, who are the winners and losers – aside from the party leaders?

Winner – liberalism
Loser – hostility to foreigners

Praising some aspects of immigration, talking about no like-for-like replacement of Trident, pledging to scrap tuition fees, promising to cut taxes for most by raising taxes for the very rich – Nick Clegg won the debate not by abandoning policies for some  mushy middle ground, but by sticking to core liberal beliefs. Those beliefs were carefully wrapped in language and arguments designed to be appeal to a wide audience – but …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

Don’t take it out on Vince, guys, just ‘cos you’re stuck with George

I’ve been amused to see the rush-to-rubbish Vince Cable today among some right-wing bloggers following his appearance on BBC1’s The Politics Show.

Iain Dale (but of course) was first up to tweet: “Well done Jon Sopel for finally exposing Vince Cable as the overrated flipflopper that he is.” He was soon followed by ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie, and Wall Street Journal’s Iain Martin, who has a pet-obsession with Vince’s popularity.

Having missed the show at lunchtime, I sat down nervously to catch up on iPlayer (Vince’s inteview begins about 3 minutes in) fully expecting him to be eviscerated by Jon Sopel.

In fact, what I watched was a robust interview in which Vince more than held his own, and made the key points that (1) the Labservatives have consistently opposed Lib Dem attempts to clean up our politics, and (2) the Tories need to explain how they’re going to fund their various tax-cuts if not through raising VAT.

Why have the Tories got it in for Vince?

Which left me wondering: what got Iain, Tim and Iain so excited that they dashed into the twitblogosphere to try and swing the media narrative against Vince? (Besides the inevitable election-time partisan point-scoring, that is).

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 13 Comments

Indy bigs up Mark Pack but exposes Twitter’s weakness

The Independent today asksCould the next election finally provide a reason for the microblogging service?

There are many reasons for Twitter, some better than others, but if today’s Independent article is anything to go by, the General Election won’t be one of them.

“It’s Twitter that will make this election unique.”, the Indy proclaims, before going on to show why that claim is almost certainly not true.

The paper lists the political twitterati, a mixture – it turns out – of established figures doing a bit of tweeting and political bloggers.

Most excitingly for us at Lib Dem Voice, our …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

To be fair …

I made clear my view on Sunday that the BBC’s Andrew Marr was bang out-of-order to ask Gordon Brown whether he uses prescription drugs seemingly on the basis of nothing more than Internet rumour:

… in making it an issue on the basis of no evidence, Andrew Marr and the BBC have done a real disservice to serious political reporting.

I stand by my assessment. However, I also pointed out that, at the time of writing, no-one from the right-wing blogosphere had taken Mr Marr to task. It’s only fair, therefore, to note that Tory MP Nadine Dorries yesterday broke ranks with the fellow members of her tribe to post a stinging denunciation:

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

Where I disagree with ConHome over the BNP’s Buckingham Palace Invitation

There will be – and should be – widespread disgust at the suggestion that BNP leader Nick Griffin is going to attend a Buckingham Palace garden party, hosted by HM the Queen. For the overwhelming majority of Britons who support racial and cultural diversity, it is offensive to see the British National Party attending a function hosted by the Head of State in honour of public service. It would be embarrassing for the Queen herself, who has been rightly keen to emphasise she is constitutional monarch for Britons of all faiths and races.

However, it would be mistaken to focus …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 18 Comments

Tim Montgomerie writes about www.nothingbritish.com

We’ve taken the slightly unusual step of inviting Tim Montgomerie of ConservativeHome to write this guest post as his latest internet venture is one on which there is much common ground.

It’s a great pleasure to write for Liberal Democrat Voice. I read it most days and learn a great deal from it. More than occasionally it gives me ideas for posts on ConservativeHome!

We have many things in common as Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and many things that divide us. Perhaps the most important area of common ground is our belief in a Britain where every person – regardless …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 30 Comments

Does anyone really think the Tories have changed?

There’s been much Westminster Village debate today surrounding Jenni Russell’s article in the Guardian arguing that there are only 10 genuine ‘Cameron progressives’ in the Tory party (Tim Montgomerie at ConservativeHome can only name 6) – both figures, by the way, include the Tory leader himself. This makes it all the more important, she argues, for all progressives to embrace the New Tories:

the most important political question we now face is how to influence the shape of the next Tory government, since it’s what we’re likely to be living under for five, or nine or even 14 years.

Fair …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | 4 Comments

Lord Ashcroft and the Conservative Party: the financial controversies

Cross-posted from The Wardman Wire:

With Michael Ashcroft back in the news over his financial support for the Conservative Party, this post provides a quick recap of the past controversies over Michael Ashcroft, the Conservative Party and political funding.

Ashcroft’s sequence of senior Conservative posts

Under William Hague, Ashcroft was Treasurer of the Conservative Party (1998-2001), becoming a peer and member of the House of Lords in 2000. He was involved in a protracted dispute with The Times, which had been investigating some of the sources of his wealth. A libel action was settled out of court, with both sides paying their own legal costs.

After Hague’s departure, there was a gap of several years before Ashcroft once again held senior office in the Conservative Party, coming back as Deputy Chairman after the 2005 general election. This role, combined with his financial contributions, have given him huge influence over the Conservative Party’s target seats operation.

Ashcroft’s influence on the Conservative Party’s direction

He paid privately for an extensive polling operation during the 2005 campaign, the results of which – along with his book, Smell the coffee: A wake-up call for the Conservative Party – played a significant part in the modernising debates in the Conservative Party.

Tim Montgomerie has commented on ConservativeHome that, “I think his polling operation and Smell The Coffee report did too much to send the Cameron project in an über-modernising direction.”

Ashcroft and the House of Lords

Prior to being made a peer in 2000, Michael Ashcroft promised that he would return to the UK and pay income tax:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

ConHome: ‘Tories ponder “generous outreach to Lib Dems”’ Love-bomb or genuine?

ConservativeHome co-editor Tim Montgomerie has authored a piece today in which he outlines a debate he claims is being had by senior Tories concerning ‘the extent of outreach that should be made to the Liberal Democrats in the event of the Conservatives becoming the governing party at the next General Election.’ Here’s the meat of it:

I understand that a group of shadow ministers believe that one of Tony Blair’s bigger strategic mistakes was to row back on co-operation with the Liberal Democrats when he won such a large Commons majority in 1997. These shadow ministers believe that –

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

What do you make of LabourList.org?

LabourList – self-consciously branded by its founder, Derek Draper, as Labour’s answer to ConservativeHome – officially went live today, earning generous press coverage (in terms of column inches, if not warmth of reception).

So, what do we make of it so far?

It’s interesting that, as was true of both ConHome (with Tim Montgomerie) and LDV (with Rob Fenwick) when first launched, it’s a former party staffer who’s set up LabourList: perhaps not surprisingly, a certain amount of insider-knowledge is pretty useful when establishing a must-read party site. Even less surprisingly, if you want it to be seen as …

Posted in News, Online politics and Site news | Also tagged , , , , and | 7 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 22nd Oct - 2:25am
    It's a good article, but the banks are whooping most areas in society when it comes to promoting immigration and race equality, so there was...
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 22nd Oct - 2:10am
    I agree too. The polarization that is evident in Nick's choices, and reactively (I suppose) in this article's headline, does no electoral good whatsoever.
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 22nd Oct - 2:03am
    I wonder if Peter Hayes's experience tells more about LibDems that immigrants. It seems like he's saying that they're ok if they serve you well,...
  • User AvatarSue Doughty 22nd Oct - 1:29am
    Tony Greaves is right about the democratic deficit (and yes, it is totally unfair to attack him because he is in the Lords - rather...
  • User AvatarSteve Way 22nd Oct - 12:39am
    @Psi Not sure where my comment says that it shouldn't be done? It should have been done earlier, that would have been the right thing....
  • User AvatarRoland 22nd Oct - 12:38am
    "I had the misfortune of staying in a Travel Lodge, breakfast was in a greasy spoon ‘restaurant’ staff were English and did not care, compare...