Author Archives: Newspuppy

Tweets from the campaign trail – 18th April 2015

It’s been a gorgeous day – and Liberal Democrats have been out and about campaigning across the country. Here are some of their tweets:

And look who joined Simon today:

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Is this really news? The strange things that make the headlines during an election

It’s amazing what passes for news during an election campaign. Here are some of the best “non-stories” of the campaign:

You know, buses break down sometimes. It happens and nobody goes and asks rival companies for comments. Except during an election, as the Standard writes about the Lib Dem bus breaking down in Brixton:

Party officials said the vehicle developed an electrical fault as it made the trip back to central London following a campaign visit to East Sussex.

Political rivals had little sympathy for the Lib Dems’ plight, with the Conservative press office tweeting: “So it’s true … Lib Dems’ campaign

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Pigeon killed by Lib Dem bus and the internet laughs

A story you might have missed from earlier this week from the BBC:

The Liberal Democrat campaign bus arrived in Poole, Dorset, with a bang on Thursday. Unfortunately, it was the sound of the bus rolling over a pigeon.

Cue all the journalists reporting it on social media and then the humour started. Click on the link to see them do their worst. We even got a mention:

The pigeon …

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Well that’s different! Boyband broadcasts and Nick Clegg going ape

So what do you make of the Greens boy-band broadcast?

I love the idea. It’s something a bit different. However, it is not fair to put the Liberal Democrats in the same group as Nigel Farage and UKIP. I really object to that. I don’t like being lumped into the establishment with Tories and Labour, but Farage is going too far. Lumping any of us in with a party whose leader thinks demonising people with HIV as part of his “be shocking and awful” strategy is really unfair.

We can be sure that everyone’s going to watch it. I suspect there will be many people who hadn’t realised what an old-fashioned socialist bunch this lot were. Nationalise the railways? How much is that going to cost?

It’s interesting that they’ve done a broadcast that doesn’t even have their leader in it.

It’s all a bit unconventional.

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One word to sum up the Liberal Democrats

The Telegraph asked members at our recent Liverpool conference to sum up the Liberal Democrats in one word. Here is the video they made which features, among others, Paddy Ashdown, the LDDA’s Gemma Roulston, Scarborough PPC Mike Beckett, Hinckley and Bosworth PPC Michael Mullaney and Ealing’s Joanna Dugdale. What would your word be? Mine would be radical to reflect that we are anti-establishment reformers at heart.

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LDVideo: Naomi Long reads out and responds to mean tweets

Twitter abuse is an occupational hazard for anyone who has an opinion, especially if they happen to be female. If you are a woman, it’s not only what you say but how you look that is fair game for the trolls.

Alliance MP Naomi Long had a bit of Friday fun this week as she read out some of the abuse she’d received over the years and get her own back with some witty retorts. I think my personal favourite was her response to the one about the size of her backside – a subject on which Alistair Carmichael waded in with support for Naomi.

Anyway, watch and enjoy:

You might also be interested in one of Jo Swinson’s favourite antidotes to the haters. Thank you, haters, by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay is very funny.

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“Charm machine” Paddy Ashdown in Bristol to mark million door landmark

By the end of this weekend, the Liberal Democrats will have knocked on one million doors this year. That’s pretty incredible. Paddy Ashdown has been in Bath today to campaign for Steve Bradley and mark that important milestone.

Liberal Youth members have been out in force too. Bristol students called our election chief a “charm machine” which is a whole load more respectful than he got in Scotland last weekend when Willie Rennie dubbed him Father Jack after his sweary outbursts in press briefings.

Paddy has written to all Liberal Democrat candidates as the short campaign kicks off. This is the Scottish version of his letter:

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Paddy Ashdown carves out a new career as a literary reviewer

He’s been a marine. He’s been an MP and party leader. He’s an election campaign chief and a successful author. Paddy Ashdown has now shown that he can be an effective literary critic. As you would expect, his comments are direct, no-nonsense and pithy – and required journalists and bloggers to put content warnings on their missives from Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in Aberdeen.

From the Scotsman:

The former SNP leader’s book The Dream Shall Never Die recounts his experiences in last year’s independence referendum campaign.

The book was published yesterday, with Lord Ashdown telling the press he had been reading it on his way to the conference.

During a media briefing, Lord Ashdown said: “I was reading Mr Salmond’s biography on the way up. It’s not very good, is it?

“In my view, I think it is an extraordinary exercise in self-congratulation.”

He then went on to describe the book as “the longest exercise in literary masturbation since politics began”.

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Nick Clegg and a dancing troupe in Gravesend filming of promotional video

It appears that the Liberal Democrats have turned parts of the centre of Gravesend into a film set. The News Shopper has the details:

The Lib Dems have been filming in Parrock Street car park for the last two nights, which confused residents who spotted a white, double decker bus and film crews.

They also filmed in the area around Windmill Street, Railway Place and Manor Road, where traffic management was in place both nights from 5pm.

A dancing troupe and the Lib Dem party leader are expected to be filmed today, as long as the smog does not interfere.

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Independent: “Liberal Democrats do have a more balanced, pragmatic approach to the task”

This morning’s leader article in the Independent praises yesterday’s Liberal Democrat alternative budget and concludes that “five years in government have clearly matured the Lib Dems”:

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Nick Clegg needs you….

What a photo of Nick Clegg on this Liberal Youth flier! It was meant to encourage people to go on a trip to Nandos after the rally on Friday night, a restaurant which has a special place in all of our hearts after his Last Leg performance.



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Jo Swinson saddles up her feminist high horse…

Two pictures you might like. First, Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson:

Jo Swinson

And now, a feminist high horse.

See what I did there?

Jo Swinson has been going for the Daily Mail readers’ vote. She can certainly speak the paper’s language, as you can see from this parody press release from her office. Will editors get the joke?

Mother of one, Jo Swinson gave a speech today wearing a shocking pink dress and a new pair of heels.

While looking desperately in need of a ‘calming down dear’, Swinson railed against the established privilege of men in power and their unconscious inability to experience what discrimination was really like.

She did not say that government should determine what editors can publish. But it could have been what she meant really.

Swinson suggested that the Tories were too afraid to back a ‘feminazi’ clampdown on Fleet Street’s dinosaurs.

Swinson who last year abandoned her Ministerial post for six months on maternity leave, has persistently shown herself to be the possessor of radically liberal ideas as well as a feminist high horse.

If you want to see what she actually said in her speech, it’s all here.

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Well, I’d never have guessed THAT about Ming Campbell

Those Buzzfeed UK politics people noticed this today. A definite contender for unfortunate headline of the week.

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Could this be the classiest political fundraising auction prize ever?

Maybe not.

Labour Students are having a dinner tonight. Their brochure is not quite as glossy as the Tories’ one from the other day. Nor is it filled with such jet set items as a bronze statuette of Margaret Thatcher that went for £210,000.

They do, however, stand to make over 1% of the price of the statuette with this auspicious item:

It’s good that the New Statesman is looking out to protect Balls’ interests:

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Liberal Democrat MPs with the best real-life experience

The Express has an interesting article listing the MPs who have, it says, the best real life experience.

Two Liberal Democrat MP appear on the list.

They are:

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Burns Night Special: John Knox’s Address to the Haggis, 2015 General Election Version

A year ago, John Knox wrote an article on this site advocating a new kind of politics by minority government after the General Election. He now comes to our attention again having delivered a beautifully crafted General Election themed Address to the Haggis at the Edinburgh South Burns Supper on Friday night.

He’s given us his permission to publish it in full. Some of you may struggle with the exact language, but I’m sure you will pick up the gist. Enjoy.

Fair fa’ your honest sonsie face

Great chieften o’ the puddin’ race

Aboon them a’ ye take your place

Painch, tripe or thairm

Well are ye worthy o’ a grace

As lang’s my arm.


The groaning trencher there ye fill

Your hurdie’s like a distant hill

Your pin wad help to mend a mill

In time o’ need

While through your pores the dews distil

Like amber bead.


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Who’d have thought you’d find THAT in a secret Lib Dem campaign email?

martin horwoodThe Gloucestershire Echo has somehow got hold of a campaign email sent round Cheltenham Lib Dem MP Martin Horwood’s team.

It says two main things:

… that the Lib Dems should have two “core messages” in Cheltenham: That Martin Horwood is the “best person to represent Cheltenham” and that it is “going to be a two horse race”.

Adding later:

“We think that we have got a very good local MP in Martin Horwood who is a great asset to the town.”

Secondly, there’s this highly surprising fact:

is “important to ruthlessly squeeze Green-ish voters who may wish to vote Green as an alternative to Lib Dem”.

The Greens didn’t even stand in the seat in 2010, but it is kind of basic campaigning that you try to squeeze the vote of all but your main opponents.

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You can tell there’s an election coming up.. #1

You can always tell when there’s an election coming up when stories start appearing in the press in the category of: “Someone with an (incredibly tenuous) link to a Lib Dem has done a Bad Thing.”

The Guardian’s been guilty of two of those recently.

First they published a story saying that an “aide to Vince Cable” had tweeted that convicted rapist Ched Evans was “probably not guilty.” The person in question was a civil servant in Vince’s department.  I would imagine that the spokesman for Vince Cable quoted was also a BIS press spokesperson, not a Liberal Democrat.

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The tale of Taylor Swift, Twitter and the Liberal Democrat MP


This has to be the strangest Twitter conversation involving a Liberal Democrat MP this year.

Lib Dem conference rally and party political broadcast superstar Kavya Kaushik asked Jeremy Browne on Twitter:

Hi @JeremyBrowneMP do you like Taylor Swift? Do you like Libertarian Fans of Taylor Swift on Facebook? Did you create the movement?

His reply:

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Vince Cable must be doing something right.


He’s been getting up the noses of some Tories. Apparently he’s their “Yellow B**tard of the Year” over at Conservative Home.

It’s pretty overwhelming: Vince Cable has dominated the stakes this year to be voted the Yellow B**tard of the Year, with a stonking 56 per cent of the vote. That’s a staggering rise on last year, when he seized the crown from Nick Clegg with 31 per cent.

The Lib Dem leader may be disappointed to learn that his share of the vote among Conservative party members fell to a mere 18 per cent. Meanwhile, Norman Baker’s flounce out and denunciation of the Tories only secured him 14 per cent of your votes.

Tim Farron (9 per cent) and Simon Hughes (a meagre 3.5 per cent) brought up the rear, and both will no doubt be hoping that 2015 offers them a greater opportunity to be a thorn in the Conservatives’ collective side.

They even did a bar chart:

Con Home Yellow Bastard Bar Chart

It’s a one horse race.

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