Tag Archives: weekend debate

The weekend debate: Is mandatory arbitration the answer to public transport strikes?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

With the Olympics approaching and not all the details of staff conditions on London’s public transport settled, talk of how easy or not it should be to call a strike is often popping up in political debates. The answer from many Conservatives is to make strikes harder by demanding a minimum turnout threshold for strikes. That idea often runs into criticism and the one time I’ve sent a tweet which trended on the front page of Twitter’s website in its old guise …

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

The weekend debate: should benefits for pensioners be restricted?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Nick Clegg and Iain Duncan Smith have both been arguing within the government for rich pensioners to have their benefits cut:

Nick Clegg is backing calls for cuts in pension benefits such as winter fuel payments and free bus passes. David Cameron is said to be adamant that the Tories should keep to a pledge made before the general election that the payments remain. But Clegg is understood to have told colleagues he wants the winter payments and free TV licences cut

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 44 Comments

The Weekend Debate: Bank of England independence – an economic success story or a well-intentioned failure?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

The Liberal Democrat 1997 manifesto said the following:

We will turn the Bank of England into a UK Reserve Bank, free from political interference. We will charge the Bank with keeping inflation low and make it accountable to Parliament for achieving this goal.

Of course after Labour’s landslide victory in that election, one of Gordon Brown’s first decisions as chancellor was to borrow this Lib Dem policy and essentially transfer responsibility for monetary policy to the Bank of England.

Most Labour politicians look back on …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

The Weekend Debate: Who’d get your 2nd preference after Brian in the race for London Mayor?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

This Thursday, millions of voters will go to the polls to cast their votes in local elections. And although London is only one of those elections, its electoral size and the colourful prominence of its candidates means it has got the lion’s share of the media coverage.

For the Lib Dems, Brian Paddick has fought a terrific campaign. The former Metropolitan police chief only narrowly squeaked ahead of Mike Tuffrey for the party’s nomination following what Brian himself has acknowledged was a tricky first outing as a Lib Dem candidate in 2008.

This time round, however, he has more than held his own in the televised debates, while his advertising, social media and online presence has achieved real impact. As I reported last month, the Lib Dems’ London fundraising has been a huge success, allowing the party actively to compete at this election in a way that’s not previously been possible.

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

The weekend debate: Formula 1 Grand Prix in Bahrain

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Two questions for you to ponder:

  • Should the Formula 1 Grand Prix go ahead?
  • Do you think the drivers should take personal responsibility for their decisions on whether to drive or not, or is that a decision for someone else and they should do whatever is decided?

Over to you…

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

The weekend debate: Should Boris Johnson get his way on London’s tax take?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

Incumbent Mayoral candidate Boris Johnson has developed plans for Londoners to keep more of the tax revenue generated in the city to spend on better public services. Boris said the capital should be getting a greater return from the tax it contributes to the exchequer.

According to the Evening Standard the equivalent of £2,500 for every Londoner goes to other parts of the UK rather than being spent on public services in the capital.

Boris Johnson said that London should no longer be …

Posted in London and Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments

The weekend debate: Should Lib Dems support the pasty tax?

Here’s your starter for ten in our weekend slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

The details of the budget have been trailed extensively in the media and the blogosphere. We’ve had the increase in the personal income tax allowance, we’ve had the ‘granny tax’ and we’ve had a new stamp duty level of 7% for homes worth more than £2m. There were always going to be winners and losers in this fiscally neutral budget. But arguably the one measure that affects every self-respecting Briton is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments
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