Author Archives: George Turner

After Corbyn, what’s left with the Liberal Democrats?

There has been a tendency in recent years for the Liberal Democrats to define the party in relation to others. We will give a heart to the Conservatives and a brain to the Labour Party. Look left, look right, then cross.

There will be those who will argue that the election of a left wing MP to the Labour leadership means that the Lib Dems will have to keep close to the the centre. Any temptation to reposition itself on the left wing of British politics after leaving the coalition should be resisted.

Immediate reactions of this nature should be avoided as should any crass remarks about the ‘economic illiteracy’ of ‘Corbynomics’. Corbyn’s approach is rooted in serious economic thinking. Whether people disagree or not is a different issue but illiterate it is not. To that end Sal Brinton’s response to Corbyn’s election was both disappointing.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 50 Comments

Banks: too large to care?

The phrase “bonuses are back” should fill us all with disgust. The taxpayer’s money is being used to support an industry which is in turn paying out staggering amounts to its employees in compensation. Barclays Capital, Barclays’ investment banking arm has announced that it has made profits of £3bn on the first six months of this year. This implies an average pay out of £100,000 for the 22,000 people that work there just for this period.

We should not be fooled by the idea that because Barclays did not receive any funds from the government directly that these profits are …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 9 Comments

Opinion: Berlusconi is no joke

Silvio Berlusconi, with his outlandish behaviour and flamboyant lifestyle, may be hard to take seriously – but he is certainly no joke. Behind his carefree playboy public image is a man who is damaging democracy in the heart of Europe.

Berlusconi is a man who clearly likes to enjoy himself, and I am sure that his parties are a lot of fun to attend. Perhaps justifiably, some have asked whether this in itelf is really at all relevant, whether we should take Berlusconi at his word when he says, “Italians like me as I am, I won’t change”, and leave it …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 4 Comments

Opinion: the worst outcome of MPs’ expenses, a victory for the far right?

PoliticsHome recently carried some rather shocking numbers from a poll that it conducted between the 14-15 of May saying that over a quarter of British voters have changed their voting intentions as a result of the MPs’ expenses scandal. The main beneficiary it seems is UKIP, with 28% of those changing loyalty to the anti-European Union party. The second biggest beneficiary is the BNP with 16%.

Leaving aside for a moment the thoroughly disagreeable politics of these parties, any gain by UKIP or the BNP in the European elections on the basis of anger over expenses would be a …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: We will continue to reward failure in our banks, until we reform severance pay

Large potential severance payments continue to be built into the executive pay packages of directors of the newly nationalized UK banks. If the banking system is to be reformed, we must make make executives truly responsible for the decisions they take.

Bankers used to justify their disproportionately large paychecks and bonuses by arguing that they took on exceptional amounts of risk in their pay. Bankers were paid a large proportion of their income in shares, which reflected the value of the bank. If they did not perform, neither would their companies and neither would their shares. In short, bankers …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Wilders’ Contradictions

The proclamation by Geert Wilders, as he was being detained awaiting deportation yesterday, that he was being denied his inalienable right of freedom of speech as a citizen has unfortunately provoked many members of the Liberal grass roots to his defence. I say unfortunately because Wilders’ freedom of speech is nothing more than a rhetorical trojan horse to allow him to propagate an ideology that runs so contrary to anything that may be called liberal or free.

Wilders himself is certainly no believer in freedom of speech. A 2007 article for the Volkskrant, a Dutch daily paper, called for a …

Posted in Op-eds | 25 Comments

Recent Comments

  • Phil Wainewright
    Instead of restricting individual freedom, surely we should simply tax at 100% all profits made from nicotine addiction?...
  • James Moore
    @David Raw Temperance was about individuals voluntarily agreeing to give up alcohol, not the central state banning people from drinking it. At the end of ...
  • Peter Davies
    Either that is a completely unreasonable administrative fee with no relation to the cost of finding and emailing the data or the administration of our court sys...
  • Alex A
    Free transcripts of entire trials for all victims for any reason at all is not a reasonable or practical demand. It may sound cold, but the courts exist to admi...
  • Nick Baird
    @Martin Bennett @David Allen - this Bill gradually bans tobacco, but it doesn't ban nicotine. Vapes containing nicotine, presumably along with gum and patches, ...