Author Archives: Evan Harris

Opinion: Child taken from womb by social services. Really?

Yesterday Caron Lindsay blogged on the case of what some are describing as the “Forced Caesarian and Child Abduction” case. In her article she reached certain judgments that I think displayed a degree of unjustified faith in accuracy of newspaper reports.

This is especially unwise in cases where those who are criticised can not answer back due to medical confidentiality and/or legal restrictions designed to protect the privacy of a child (and possibly the patient).

I felt the quickest way to “put the other side” is to look at and respond to some of the points made by Caron in her post.  In …

Posted in Op-eds | 144 Comments

Evan Harris writes… Speak out against the marriage tax allowance

David Cameron has finally given in to his backbenchers and promised to introduce a tax break for married couples in the next few weeks. Even David Cameron does not really support the policy. As Iain Dale put it in a blog last week “David Cameron and George Osborne keep paying lip service to this idea in the vain hope that it will keep Peter Bone and Mrs Bone happy if somewhere at the end of the rainbow this promise is ever introduced, but the truth of the matter is that neither Prime Minister or Chancellor gives a monkey’s cuss …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 34 Comments

Evan Harris writes… Lynne Featherstone delivers on Lib Dem equality pledge – a response to Peter Tatchell

“It’s a Coalition, innit!”

No one would accuse me – I hope – of a lack of commitment to LGBT equality. Nor would anyone  – I fear – of being a cheer-leader for the Government, nor indeed of slavish support for Liberal Democrats in Government. But I can not accept my friend Peter’s criticism of Lynne Featherstone set out in his article. I doubt many readers of Lib Dem Voice would do so either, because his failure to distinguish between “Liberal Democrat policy” and “Government policy” is schoolboy-obvious, and his attack thus falls as flat as a pancake that’s been …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 15 Comments

Dr Evan Harris fisks: What is really at stake on the health reforms

On 8th April Norman wrote an interesting article here entitled “The NHS: safe in our hands”. That article is a good basis on which to discuss a few of the problems with the bill and the Government’s approach so far.

We should be clear that Norman Lamb is one of the good guys, who spotted earlier than most the problems with the White Paper and the Bill, and has been very clear that it requires radical surgery. He has also been particularly concerned, and this week expressed this publicly, that the pace of change is financially (and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 23 Comments

Evan Harris writes… The Draft Libel Bill – A good start, but much still to play for

Yesterday the Government published its draft Defamation Bill. This consisted not only of draft clauses but also a formal consultation on some key issues not included (yet).

The Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront of the campaign to reform our libel laws as Nick Clegg points out in his Guardian piece yesterday. I convened the parliamentary wing of the Libel Reform Campaign in 2008/9, working with Sense About Science, Index on Censorship and English PEN. We achieved our aims of getting manifesto commitments from all three main parties before the 2010 Election. This campaign …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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  • User AvatarPaul Barker 15th Oct - 8:14pm
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    @ Katharine, I did think twice about including Guy Verhofstadt. I haven't done an extensive background check on his views, but I did turn up...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Oct - 8:05pm
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  • User AvatarDavid Evans 15th Oct - 7:36pm
    TonyH - It's not tribal to expect senior appointments to be long standing Lib Dems with real knowledge of how the UK political system grinds...
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    They may indeed hang tough for awhile, but as a country we are unused to pain, especially the boomer generation. When bad things happen expect...