Author Archives: Jon Hunt

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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  • User Avatarexpats 17th Jun - 10:06am
    .............Depressing to read #ClimateChange deniers appear to be biggest funders of both Johnson & Hunt campaigns; yet not surprising......... Ed, perhaps you'd like to comment...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jun - 9:39am
    https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2016/nov/23/thomas-mair-found-guilty-of-jo-cox-murder Fake news reports that the murderer was mentally ill are wrong because all murder suspects are interviewed by psychiatrists. If he had been mentally...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Jun - 9:19am
    Please also comment on a stationary municipal dustcart idling for an hour while residents bring garden waste. The entire system needs to run for heating...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 17th Jun - 9:07am
    Mr Clarke, of course, was also a student at Nottingham HS. So was Ed Balls. An old friend of mine, who was IC rugby at...
  • User AvatarAdrian Sanders 17th Jun - 8:47am
    OnceALIbDem - His appeal to be readmitted is being heard next Sunday by the Party's Standards Committee.
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 17th Jun - 8:26am
    Ian Warren has calculated from the Euro results that we might win 97 seats. Our sight on 50 would be wasting a unique opportunity. I...