Author Archives: Ben Johnson

Opinion: Cable may do enough to deserve our support

The coalition government is busy reading through Lord Browne’s report into higher education funding. He has recommended lifting the cap on fees, currently set at £3290 per year. All Liberal Democrat MPs were elected on the understanding that they opposed any rise in fees. But is the level of fee the critical issue here? And why is a graduate tax more popular?

I joined the Liberal Democrats back in 2001, whilst an undergraduate at the University of Warwick. I joined because of opposition to tuition fees. Back then, the tuition fees I opposed were set …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 58 Comments

Emergency motion: speak out on council housing

We are unique amongst the main political parties in having a democratic internal structure.   This weekend is our opportunity, denied to both Labour and Tory members, to decide the future of our party and proclaim what it means to be a Liberal Democrat.

In addition to major policy announcements, there are six possible emergency motions listed in Conference Extra.  Only one of these will be chosen for debate on Wednesday morning, following a ballot of conference attendees on Sunday.

Bermondsey and Old Southwark have submitted one of these emergency motions, and it is not without controversy.  It is in direct response …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged and | 26 Comments

Opinion: The Lib Dems need a better communications strategy

An opposition party can only be truly effective via the media. Government has its own spin and PR, but the opposition must cultivate this through good press stories for them and bad ones for the government.

Blair understood this better than anyone and used it to great advantage in the dying days of the Major administration, mostly through the fanaticism of Alastair Campbell.

Fast forward to today and a small party perpetually in opposition is now in government. When in opposition, projecting a clear party line was a key goal. For the Lib Dems in government, …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 32 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJo Hayes 23rd Feb - 4:36am
    Defending their values is hard mental work that involves playing fast and loose with the law of the land and cherrypicking facts or dismissing inconvenient...
  • User AvatarPaul Fisher 23rd Feb - 12:43am
    As usual Paul Reynolds is "on the money"! I am afraid MALC that the UK propaganda machine has hijacked your worl (European) view. Check out...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 22nd Feb - 11:39pm
    David It was a post by me, on behalf of the team. I happily stand by it. It’s an attractive PPB. I thought the narration...
  • User AvatarTynan 22nd Feb - 10:19pm
    @Mary Reid, whilst not specifically about gay marriage there is some evidence that suggests that opinions towards homosexuality in the capital differ to those of...
  • User AvatarRodney Watts 22nd Feb - 9:19pm
    @Miranda Pinch. An excellent comment on some flawed thinking, and so glad it came from a like- minded Jewish LD. Whilst we appreciate Lorenzo’s concern...
  • User AvatarRob Heale 22nd Feb - 9:14pm
    Social Liberals have supported the ideas of "co-determination" and "co-ownership" for decades. Lets hope that Liberal Democrats can develop these ideas to help give employees...