Author Archives: Ian Hurdley

Breaking the stranglehold of the monoliths

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One of the most distinctive statements we have made in recent years has been that we are not afraid of coalition government; indeed we entered into one in 2010. Now the media see serious divisions in the two apparent monoliths who swap power between them, and ask whether the time is ripe for a new ‘party of the centre’. Vince speaks often of a realignment of politics and implies that the Party could benefit significantly from such a seismic shift. Which begs the questions, in what way and with what objective?

It has become clear that neither Labour nor the Tories are actually monolithic; each contains factions hardly on speaking terms with each other. Applying a simple left/right measure there seems to be a hope that both moderate Tories and moderate Labour voters can be persuaded to fall in behind a moderate, centrist banner, carry the day and emerge as the new monolith displacing one or both of the two current ones. But why on earth would we want a new monolith?

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 28 Comments

No replacement of Trident

 

Members and supporters of the  Libdems against Trident group have proposed a motion calling for the like-for-like replacement of Trident to be scrapped.  The motion will be debated at Bournemouth in September. I am not able to get to Bournemouth, but the motion has my full support.

This does not mean that I am anti-nuclear; I am not. What I am is anti-waste on a nuclear scale, which is what I believe the replacement of Trident to be. It takes us back to 1930s thinking which saw Britain prepare to fight the previous war, not the next one or the one after that. The days of Mutual Assured Destruction, and the Cold War are behind us thankfully. The Soviet Union has collapsed and whatever its posturing, Russia is a much weaker opponent. China is no threat to the UK and the nuclear powers outside Europe have regional not global ambitions.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 72 Comments

Opinion: Voters don’t understand coalition government

Reading the flood of negative comments which greet any mention of the Lib Dems in social media or the press, a small number of themes occur over and over again. The “broken promise on tuition fees” is always well represented, and I hope that we have learned the necessary lessons from that one.

Other common complaints, point to a fundamental lack of understanding of what coalition government involves and how it functions. If we don’t confront this directly and forcefully between now and May 2015, we are simply storing up trouble for ourselves in the event of another hung parliament.

The recurring …

Posted in News | Tagged | 34 Comments

Opinion: Can the bank bailout boost credit unions?

LloydsTSB is now sufficiently strong that the current share price exceeds the price paid by the Government at the time of the bail-out. These shares can now be sold off and the money returned to the taxpayer. The sums are such that there is the potential to transform access to affordable credit for the most vulnerable in society – those hit hardest by the cost to the public of the original bail-out.

Poorer and vulnerable people have continued to suffer disproportionately ever since the bail-out, as incomes from low paid work or benefit payments lag behind inflation. They have faced a …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment
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