Author Archives: Newsmoggie

Friday fun: Can you tell what Christine Jardine thinks of Scottish Labour’s stance on Brexit?

This week, Christine Jardine appeared on Politics Scotland. She didn’t seem that impressed with what Labour MP Paul Sweeney had to say. And she didn’t even say a word:

She took apart the Tories on their Brexit shambles though

Posted in News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

The LDV Pumpkin Parade 2017

No Hallowe’en at LDV Towers would be complete without a Pumpkin Parade. As ever, Edinburgh Western MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton steals the show. Last year, he gave us Trumpkin. This year, he’s taking on our own PM in response to a challenge from Scottish Tory Leader Ruth Davidson.

Alex posted a picture of his pumpkin carving set on Facebook the other day. I’m sure it is even …

Posted in Op-eds | 1 Comment

Drama at Alex Cole-Hamilton’s office as strip light explodes

There was a bit of drama at the office of Edinburgh Western Lib Dem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton today when firefighters had to come to put out a small fire after a strip light exploded.

We assume he meant that he was holding a constituency surgery rather than actually performing surgery on the strip light.

Thankfully, everyone was fine and no damage was done.

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Tim Farron announces new shadow cabinet

Tim Farron has announced his new Shadow Cabinet team, saying:

I am pleased to announce my new Shadow Cabinet team. Together we will provide the strong Liberal voice that Britain desperately needs to stand up to this Tory Brexit Government.

The Tories have no plans to protect the interests of the country in the wake of Brexit. Labour is in disarray. Only the Liberal Democrats can confront the Government and stand up for people’s jobs and livelihoods.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 18 Comments

Plaque to commemorate cycling councillor at new railway station

Here’s a lovely story from the Bromsgrove Advertiser:

A renowned campaigner for cyclists who died in 2007 will live on in a commemorative plaque to be unveiled at Bromsgrove railway station, marking a new facility that would have been close to his heart.

Gordon Selway, described as a “larger-than-life” character and who was also a Bromsgrove district councillor, was transport spokesman for the Worcestershire branch of the Campaign to Protect Rural England (CPRE) and volunteered for many charities.

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Did Clegg and the Queen have a huge bust-up over the EU?

If you read tomorrow’s Sun, you might think they did:

The account of the bombshell lunch during the last government – which a handful of other government ministers also attended – has been relayed to The Sun by a highly reliable source.

The senior source said: “People who heard their conversation were left in no doubt at all about the Queen’s views on European integration.

“It was really something, and it went on for quite a while.

“The EU is clearly something Her Majesty feels passionately about.”

The monarch is also said to have revealed her Eurosceptic feelings during a separate conversation with MPs at a Buckingham Palace reception.

Nick is quoted as saying:

Former Lib Dem boss Mr Clegg told The Sun: “I have absolutely no recollection of it.

“I don’t have a photographic memory. But I think I would have remembered something as stark or significant as you have made it out to be.

“No doubt you’ll speak to someone else and they’ll say, ‘I was there I heard it’. Fine.

“But I really can’t remember it at all.

“Anyway, without sounding pompous, I find it rather distasteful to reveal conversations with the Queen.”

He backed that up on Twitter:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 24 Comments

Farron: We should shoulder Labour out of the way and reclaim the Beveridge consensus

Tim Farron has been talking to the online Disclaimer magazine, saying that it’s time to reclaim not just the Beveridge consensus but also the free market from the right, saying that the Tories are the champions not of a free market but one which is controlled by powerful corporations. He said:

I  fully count myself as a Beveridge liberal. Mostly because he believed in ambitious government that could improve the lives of its citizens.

So I want us to say that we should reclaim Beveridge’s ambition, his sense of mission of looking beyond what might be deemed possible towards what we believe is necessary. I want to reflect on the Beveridge consensus which was of course superseded 35 years ago by the Thatcherite consensus.

We should shoulder Labour out of the way and fully reclaim the Beveridge consensus as being Liberal by its birth, but we should then also seek to reclaim the free market from the Thatcherites.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 28 Comments

Caroline Pidgeon’s plan to cut pollution and improve London’s air quality

Caroline Pidgeon is on a mission to prevent Londoners’ health being harmed by pollution on the capital’s streets. She has just unveiled a pretty radical plan for the congestion charge, raising it for all vehicles and even more for diesel vehicles. Also, she wants to have a peak-time charge.

From the Guardian:

A new report by the party’s mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon recommends a rise in the daily charge collected by automated payment from the current £10.50 to £13 with a higher automated charge of £19 on vehicles entering the zone “at the height of the rush hour” in order to deter traffic from entering the centre of the city.

In what Pidgeon describes as a potential “game changer” in tackling London’s high levels of air pollution she would also slap an additional flat-rate of £2.50 on all diesel-powered vehicles subject to the charge, claiming that this would bring forward the benefits of the forthcoming Ultra Low Emission Zone, which is not scheduled to be activated until 2020.

She argues that these measures recognise an increase in congestion levels in recent years and that differential pricing would reflect variations in the degree of congestion at different times of day. Although Pidgeon’s definition of the rush hour peak would be kept under review she anticipates that the higher charge rate would initially apply between 7:00 and 9:30 in the morning and between 4:00 and 6:00 in the evening.

Caroline said:

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LibLink: Caroline Pidgeon: A Lib Dem mayor would help London’s lowest paid get to work

Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon has been writing for Left Foot Forward – a very good move, to connect with many of our former voters.

Her emphasis was on transport and she set out her stall and explained why it would help the lowest paid:

London’s economy is served by many low-paid workers, such as cleaners and security staff, who often get to work long before other people. Half price travel for any journey made before 7.30am would directly benefit many of London’s lowest-paid employees.

The policy also has wider benefits as it will encourage some people to start their journeys at an earlier time. Overcrowding, especially on the Tube, is already a massive issue.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Escort, Micra, Volvo, Buzz Aldrin, Prefab Sprout


Ford Escort MkI 1100 1972

Tim Farron has spoken to the author of the Car Torque column of the Northern Echo; not so much on transport policy.

The closest we get to a revelation is that

Posted in LibLink | 2 Comments

++Lib Dems GAIN former council ward of Brecon and Radnor’s Conservative MP

Great news this morning.

Congratulations to Councillor James Gibson-Watt! Very well done to James and all the Brecon and Radnor team!

Details are:

Posted in Council by-elections and News | Tagged , and | 18 Comments

Today – Tim meets two new councillors in Kingston and urges members to get involved in by-elections

Today Lib Dem leader Tim Farron visited Kingston to meet two councillors who won their seats since the General Election as the party’s fightback gathers pace.

Tim stressed the importance of members getting involved and campaigning at every by-election.

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Willie Rennie wins in North East Fife

Many thanks to Robin Bennett from Ceres in North East Fife for sending us this from the Scottish Highland Games Association website:

Running from the scratch mark in the 1600 metres handicap Scott McDnald, Central AC thrilled the crowds as he worked his way through he field before going on to snap the worsted in 4:28.42., the previous weeks Newburgh winner Dean Whiteford took 2nd place with Jordan Taylor, Hawick in 3rd.

McDonald was thwarted in his bid to land a double when he had to settle for he runners up spot in the 3000 metres handicap behind none other than LIb Dem leader Willie Rennie, the latter, who was receiving a start of 600 metres from the backmarker battled on gamely to hold off all challengers, the rapidly closing McDonald finished 2nd with Amy Armstrong in 3rd. One local worthy added ”it’s a long time since there was a Lib Dem win in North-East Fife”!

There is a cracking photograph of a very happy looking Scottish Liberal Democrat leader.

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ICM poll says Nick Clegg is safe in Sheffield Hallam

The Guardian reports:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 57 Comments

Kelly-Marie Blundell on walking the high wire: “It was absolutely terrifying but not so bad after the first fall”

You will be relieved to know that Guildford Liberal Democrat candidate Kelly-Marie Blundell survived her tightrope walk in one piece. She was very brave indeed, getting back on after she fell off. That sort of persistence, courage and determination is definitely what you need in an MP.

The event has been covered in the media, on the BBC’s Election Live page (at 15:26 today):

Kelly-Marie on the High Wire

 

And on the Guildford Dragon:

Guildford’s Lib Dem candidate for Westminster showed her skills at holding the balance of power this morning (April 22) with the help of the Moscow State Circus.

33-year-old Kelly-Marie Blundell’s only previous experience has been walking the political tightrope between left and right.

She said: “I have never even done anything like this before, not even gymnastics.

“It was absolutely terrifying but not so bad after the first fall. Actually, it was easier than I thought.”

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Paddy and the hen party…

Over at the Staggers blog, Kevin Maguire recounts an encounter between Paddy Ashdown and a hen party on a London bound train after the first leaders’ debate:

…the former Royal Marine met his match on a train to London after the 2 April TV debate. Outgunned and outnumbered, the Lib Dem peer was forced to surrender to a Yorkshire hen party in fancy dress. On this occasion, a radar-lugged snout was settling down to hear Ashdown discussing campaign strategy on his phone when the carriage filled up with shrieking lasses. Captain Paddy hastily terminated the call with a giggly: “Save me! Save me!”

And that was before he was recognised:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

What people are saying about the Liberal Democrat manifesto

 

Let’s have a brief look around the internet to see what people are saying about the Liberal Democrat manifesto:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 26 Comments

Joey Essex on the Liberal Democats and “nice” and “honest” Nick Clegg

Liberal DemocatsIt’s fair to say that one of the last people we expected to turn up at a Liberal Democrat press conference was Joey Essex from TOWIE.

He was there this morning, though, as he’s doing some briefings for young people.

He managed to grab a selfie with Nick Clegg:

The Mirror has details of the conversation between them when Joey revealed that he thought we were called the Liberal Democats:

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 43 Comments

Holyrood magazine interview with Willie Rennie: “the Scottish Lib Dem leader, in stark contrast to his counterpart in London, seems near universally liked”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie gave an interview to Holyrood magazine ahead of the party’s conference in Aberdeen. The first few paragraphs told us that he was talkative, he smiled a lot and that he was “near universally liked.” We just wish that translated into poll ratings.

Alistair Carmichael described him as a “force of nature” on Friday and anyone who has seen the energy with which he campaigns from Shetland to Galloway will agree.

He doesn’t get everything right as his baffling response to the question about the difference Nicola Sturgeon brings to the role of First Minister shows, but he made  a solid defence of the party’s record in government and showcased the party’s USP – a strong commitment to civil liberties. There’s stuff in here that people across the UK will find useful.

The interview took place in the wake of the vote on the SNP’s plans for a super ID database. Willie had called for this measure to be done by primary legislation, not snuck in by committee, a clever move which secured the backing of Labour, Tories and Greens.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

LDVideo: Charles Kennedy visits a primary school

Charles Kennedy by Catch21productionsCharles Kennedy recently visited a primary school in Ilford to talk about his life as an MP. Both he and the children seem to have enjoyed his visit.

The Ilford Recorder has the details:

Kennedy, the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber, said he thoroughly enjoyed answering questions on his role.

“I have for some time been looking forward to visiting Winston Way Primary School and I am very grateful for the invitation to do so.

“Indeed, the pupils must have done their homework as the quality of questioning far outstretched what we often see in the House of Commons itself.”

He also added: “Engaging young people in politics is so important.

“To take an interest at a young age means there is a far better chance of taking an interest come the time young people can vote. That can only be a good thing.

There’s also a video, also available here on You Tube.

Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Comments

Lib Dem Cllr wins world meat pie championship with vegetarian recipe

Lancashire county councillor David Whipp has won the World Meat Pie championship, which travelled this year all the way to Barnoldswick, Lancashire. Winning a world meat pie contest with a vegetarian pie is simply out of this world.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Julian Huppert flummoxes the Commons

Cometh the hour, cometh the person.

In yesterday’s House of Commons debate on DNA, it was a great opportunity for one of our small number of scientist MPs to bring forth their knowledge.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Liberal Democrats winning here……or at least….erm….purring here

Billy 1

This is the real Billy. The Purr Minister! Ah! What a cutie!

Fantastic news straight from Battersea Dogs and Cats home!:

Posted in Humour and News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

LibLink: David Laws – Tories will cut schools spending by a quarter

Writing in today’s Telegraph, David Laws says that Tory plans will mean huge cuts to spending on schools:

The Conservatives are offering unfunded tax cuts, meaning they will have to go on making deep cuts to public spending – by far more than is necessary to balance the books.

This would be a huge threat to all we are achieving on education.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , and | 34 Comments

Civil partnerships can now be converted into marriage

As of last week, couples in England and Wales have the choice to convert their civil partnership into marriage, concluding a historic process of changing the law to give same sex couples the right to get married.

The Liberal Democrats were the first party to support same sex marriage and have delivered our promise to couples to allow conversions into marriage to take place. There is now no reason in the law why two people of the same sex cannot be married.

Liberal Democrat Minister for Equalities Jo Swinson said:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Devolution must go beyond Westminster

Yesterday in parliament, William Hague announced four options to address the “English votes for English laws” issue. They are:

  1. Barring Scottish and Northern Irish MPs from any role in English and Welsh bills and limiting England-only bills to English MPs
  2. Allowing only English MPs, or English and Welsh MPs, to consider relevant bills during their committee and report stages, where amendments are tabled and agreed, before allowing all MPs to vote on the final bill
Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 33 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg – Mental health is top of our list

Nick Clegg with 2010 manifesto at Glasgow 2014 by Liberal DemocratsWriting in the Express, Nick Clegg explains why he is making mental health a top priority for the Liberal Democrats:

I have ­decided to make mental health one of my priorities for the next parliament, something no political party has ever done before.

I want this commitment to ­continue to overhaul our mental health services on the front page of the Liberal Democrat manifesto at the next election.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Norman Lamb picks up an “Oscar” for his work on mental health

imageMinister of State for Care and Support Norman Lamb MP picked up the prize for the “Best Use of Evidence” at the Political Studies Association Annual Awards, dubbed the “Oscars of Westminster”. These were handed out at a dinner which took place last night at Church House, Westminster.

The MP for North Norfolk was presented with the award for his work on mental health by former Mayor of London Ken Livingstone in front of a packed audience of high-profile academics, politicians, political campaigners and journalists.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg – ensure there is no benefit abuse while retaining free labour movement

Nick clegg rally glasgow 2014
Writing in the Financial Times (registration needed), Nick Clegg argues in favour of immigration for work purposes from the EU, but lists a range of restrictions on benefits for those coming to the UK:

Overwhelmingly, European migrants come here to work and pay taxes.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 42 Comments

A cute cross-party christening

Tom Watson is Labour MP or West Bromwich and general scourge of the Murdoch empire, which is no bad thing. He’s pretty much with us when he talks about the need to tackle politicians’ deference to the media.

He’s an old friend and university sparring partner of long-standing Liberal Democrat Federal Executive and Federal Conference Committee member James Gurling and this weekend became godfather to Gurling’s incredibly cute 9 month old son.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 8 Comments
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    Michael 1, I think this is the key issue "Marketing political parties is about communicating values that undermine your detailed policies." "Land and Liberty" would...
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    Phonetically it's not a million miles from "Dim and Bitter" :-( (which does make me wonder if Lib Dem HQ is populated solely with people...
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    If we pass this motion, we will have a much more radical and liberal policy on migration than either of the main parties or a...
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