Author Archives: John Coburn

Opinion: The General Election is near – are we ready?

polling dayHaving taken a break from frontline campaigning in recent months it’s given me time to observe the party as a voter, if not an impartial one.  The European and local elections are undoubtedly important, but the big challenge is a year away and we still have time to make the Liberal Democrat case.

I’m instinctively pro-coalition and Nick Clegg and the leadership have to take great credit on what has been achieved on area such as tax, the pupil premium, pensions and gay marriage.  Without our party in coalition, there would …

Posted in Op-eds | 27 Comments

Opinion: Turing, equality and internationalism

What have we contributed as part of the Coalition government?  Well one success (but there have been many others) is enacting the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 which gives  gay and lesbian people the  same right to marry as heterosexual couples.  I have severe doubts that a Tory majority government could have introduced this reform!

Whilst Britain has progressed to an open society where LGBT people are protected by law, many other countries like Iran, Nigeria and notably Russia have not.  However liberal Britain did not just happen overnight, and the changes in our society’s attitudes have taken many decades to …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Opinion: The ‘Bedroom Tax’ does not pass the Fairer Society test

The leadership’s positioning over secret courts has angered many of the party faithful over the past week, but for me the major disappointment  has been our uncritical support of the Tory inspired ‘spare bedroom subsidy’ policy or how I think more accurately describes it – the ‘bedroom tax’.  Our leader Nick Clegg used the provocative ‘spare bedroom subsidy’ term in a Q&A session at last week’s Spring Conference, and it has been repeated by senior Lib Dems including Mike German on Newsnight in the days following.

The policy, which is part of the government’s welfare reform package, will cut the amount …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 48 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • Steve Trevethan
    Thank you for your thoughtful piece. Attached are some questions Mr. Davey might help our society by asking Mr. Starmer before coming to a possible coalition...
  • Peter Davies
    "In 2019 we aimed at increasing our national appeal and look where that got us!" We targeted reasonably well going into 2019. The problem was not that we aimed...
  • Marco
    In 2005 as I recall we didn't really talk about Iraq until the last week or two of the campaign so hopefully something similar might happen with Brexit this tim...
  • Mary ReidMary Reid
    @Graham Jeffs - yes, I am fortunate to be living in a target seat, although I was campaigning for about 20 years before we won it. It's a long game. My point...
  • Alex Macfie
    The mistake made by Clegg & co wasn't going into coalition, it was the way they did it, going in too quickly and conducting it as a "love-in" rather than a ...