Author Archives: Jon Hunt

Policing and BAME communities

Those who forget their history …. and I am not talking about statues. I am talking about the history of black protest in the UK.

There have been repeated protests in the last forty years. Sometimes they have ended badly, sometimes they have led to significant inquiries and recommendations that seem not quite to have been implemented.

In the UK police are mostly unarmed and that means we do not have so many deaths at the hands of the police as in the USA – but the evidence is that black people die disproportionately at the hands of the police. The UK …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: How contracting fiascos, such as West Coast, threaten localisation dreams

The fiasco over the West Coast Mainline contract has exposed a long-running sore at the heart of government: the problem of public/private contracting.

Rail and Information Technology are merely prime examples of the troubled and costly contractual relationships that often exist between the public and private sector.

The Liberal Democrats have a policy review of public services under way – but will it tackle the real issues? For if contracting at

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 19 Comments

Opinion: Beyond the Ebacc

Two years ago theWest Midlands Region embarked on a project which we called “Beyond the Ebacc.” We chose the title because we recognised then that the Coalition government was intent on embedding the Ebacc as the gold standard qualification at 16 and wanted our party, the Liberal Democrats, to emerge from coalition with our own radical policies in this critical area.

We were able to draw on a wide range of experience, including that of overseeing education in large municipal authorities.

Our concern was the stark evidence that our school system is failing many young people. Every government that has sought to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 13 Comments

The Gladstone Lecture: what Alan Beith said…

Alan Beith’s Gladstone Lecture – and specifically his comments that church disestablishment is “not necessary” – attracted much comment earlier this week on LDV. Here Jon Hunt reflects on this and much else…

The grand old man of Liberalism was given his due respect last month.

The phrase is generally applied to Gladstone but could almost be applied to Sir Alan Beith, the former deputy leader of the party, who was chosen to give the first annual Gladstone lecture.

Sir Alan, who is only 65, has just published his autobiography, marking 35 years as serving Liberal MP for Berwick. But if …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 39 Comments
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    @ Joe, "the BofE does not normally lend to the government. It lends to commercial banks." Nonsense. The BoE holds some £850 billion of Governm...
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    @Russell Simpson. Strange that the electorate who 'rather liked the Coalition' in fact reduced us from to 57 to 8 MP's in 2015. Then, with the added magic ingre...
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    The Party should be pro a mixed economy not unfettered unregulated free markets and that was at one time in the manifesto and should always be in there....
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    @ Lorenzo Cherin Thank you, Lorenzo, for having the decency and perception to recognise what a great person (born/bred in the constituency and committed to i...