Author Archives: Joe Otten

A disgrace to Parliament, an embarrassment to Sheffield

It is difficult to understand how somebody who expresses such hatred and contempt for his fellow human beings as we have seen from Jared O’Mara, could wish to undertake or be a suitable choice for the noble calling of public service in politics.

I do accept that is possible for an angry young man to reform over the years and become an upstanding public figure. The problem is that there is no sign that this has happened.

O’Mara first sought election – to the city council – in 2004, the same year he was writing the hate speech against women, fat people …

Posted in Op-eds | 15 Comments

Leave HQ editor welcomes the sweet release of a dismal fate

Blogging is so naughties isn’t it? Has anything happened on a blog since 2010? Well maybe.

Leave HQ Editor Peter North has produced quite the most extraordinary piece of blogging I have seen for some time.

Wow. I want to quote the “wow” bits, but I risk quoting it all.

In the first year or so we are going to lose a lot of manufacturing. Virtually all JIT export manufacturing will fold inside a year. Initially we will see food prices plummet but this won’t last. Domestic agriculture won’t be able to compete and we’ll see a gradual decline of UK production.

Posted in Op-eds | 37 Comments

Labour closes ranks around the South Yorkshire Police Commissioner

Earlier this year, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings off Thought for the Day, lost a legal action in the high court over his decision to dismiss Chief Constable David Crompton following a press release in which Billings alleged that Crompton sought to defend the actions of police counsel at the Hillsborough Inquest.

The high court described Billings decision as “irrational, perverse, unreasonable, misconceived and wholly disproportionate”. The case in my view hinged on whether the conduct of police counsel at the inquest was defensible or not. If it was indefensible – as the Hillsborough families claim …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 7 Comments

Cable on Brexit Bill

Vince Cable was on Radio 4 this morning – jump to 2 hours 48 minutes – on the subject of the bill to incorporate EU law into domestic law.

Posted in News | 16 Comments

Breaking out of the bubble?

With the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference approaching (16-19 September), and less than a week away from the deadline for amendments (4 September), this is my highly partisan tirade on the agenda, here to provoke you into sending your views, either to us at Liberal Democrat Voice or to the good people at the Federal Conference Committee.

The first party conference after a General Election is an opportunity for the party to reflect on the results, good and bad. While it is good to move forward, many of us expected more progress in the face of such a gulf in the centre. It is as if Corbyn and May fed off each other’s weakness, and we did not have the strength to stand out as an alternative.

Our conference, as usual, will make policy to demonstrate our values and soft virtues, to the neglect of other qualities: the toughness required to govern in coalition while under siege from all sides, and the fierce dedication to our communities that we show in local government.

Posted in Op-eds | 69 Comments

Was Champion right to “resign” from front bench over Sun article?

Trigger warning for child abuse.

There are kind of rules – good rules that are there for good reasons – governing how we talk about racial issues, when we must. Properly contextualise. Look for similarities rather than differences. Don’t make or appear to make generalisations about groups of people.

When I was at school we had leaflets thrown over the school fence with the faces of white people who had been killed by black people. The object of the leaflet was to encourage racially motivated violence to “even up the score” using crimes that, if they happened at all, probably weren’t racially …

Posted in Op-eds | 32 Comments

The other new party of the moderate liberal centre

Hardly a day goes by on my social media feeds without some form of the following conversation:

Commentator/political has been: What we really need is a new moderate centre party in the UK, standing up for all the internationalist, tolerant liberal values that Corbyn and May have abandoned.

Liberal Democrats: Helloooooo!!!!!

Every time somebody calls for a new centre party, a puppy dies, goes the tweet.

It is always more an observation than a plan. Starting from 0% and 0 MPs and councillors is always going to be harder than starting where we are. But I don’t think the commentators and has beens are being obtuse. There are reasons they are not all saying we should join the Liberal Democrats, and I’d like to reflect on those reasons and what we can do about them. Do please all submit further articles expanding this theme.

Posted in Op-eds | 161 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 9:08pm
    @ JoeB, I normally agree with Stiglitz but not this time. A two tier, or a multi tier, euro wouldn't really solve anything. In every...
  • User AvatarRichard Easter 18th Nov - 8:51pm
    And that is why people voted for Kennedy in 2005, Clegg in 2010 and now Corbyn.
  • User AvatarGlenn 18th Nov - 8:49pm
    The cut price less sonorously Machiavellian British Kissinger, but only because he as a squeaky voice.
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 8:46pm
    @ Andrew Melmouth, You could be right about John Lanchester. There are those who do understand what a complete cock up the introduction of the...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 18th Nov - 8:21pm
    @ Christopher Haigh, 88% of economists would have said, prior to 2008, that the GFC could never happen. @ Andrew Melmouth, The problems of the...
  • User Avatartonyhill 18th Nov - 8:09pm
    Mike Read is right - I'd forgotten quite how poor our 2010 results were in many places. I'll leave it to those who know more...