Author Archives: Nicholas Pentney

Obituary: Ruth Pentney, Councillor, agent and dedicated activist

Ruth Pentney“F*** off!” That was Ruth’s succinct response to those who requested her to back ‘Lib Dems 4 Change’ and their ill-fated attempt to oust Nick Clegg as leader in the summer of last year. That two worded response aptly illustrates the three worded summary of Ruth given by former Torbay MP Adrian Sanders, when he described her as: “tenacious, dependable and loyal.”

Attracted by the ‘self-help’ tradition that the party was closely associated with, Ruth joined the Liberals in the early 1970s. Having known what it means to be poor, she saw the hope that the  Liberals could inspire in deprived communities. She fiercely rejected the individualistic values of the Conservatives and the statism of Labour. Only the Liberals offered the vision of an equal society in which communities, once unburdened by the oppression of poverty, could stand on their own feet and strive for the good of all their members. Inspired by this vision she would go on to spend the next four decades passionately fighting to advance the cause of liberalism, and in the mid-nineties she would help turn Torbay yellow whereas before it had only ever been blue.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Four-step guide to how not to be the nasty party (Labour edition)

Labour has put out a video in which it gives the Conservatives some handy tips as to how to not be the ‘nasty party’. The tongue-in-cheek clip doesn’t completely fail to amuse and is pretty accurate in what it says. Few here would doubt the Tories are still the nasty party. The Liberal Democrat leadership  is quite right when it says ‘compassionate Conservatism’ has been  exposed for the fraud it is. However, there is something unsettling when Labour is the one using the ‘nasty party’ stick to beat their Tory opponents with when Labour itself has clearly shown itself to have a propensity towards nastiness. To illustrate the very brazen hypocrisy, I’ve prepared a handy four-step guide that Labour may want to take heed off.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 25 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel’s “Required reading” leaves a lot to be desired

Gaza Burns - photo by Al Jazeera EnglishReaders may recall that in May, the Liberal Democrat Friends of Palestine (LDFP) aroused controversy by posting a link to an alleged anti-Semitic article about Ed Miliband on its Facebook page. LDFP was roundly condemned for posting this link which was quickly removed. An apology from LDFP followed soon after. It is with this case in mind that I am surprised at the lack of response to what the Liberal Democrat Friends of Israel (LDFI) is promoting on its website.

Since 27th June, the LDFI site has featured a number of frankly outrageous articles. Contained within these articles are: baseless accusations of anti-Semitism; opinion pieces stating that protesters in London welcomed 9/11; interview write-ups condemning calls upon Israel to reduce civilian casualties; accusations that western journalists are feigning concern for the deaths of Palestinian children etc. At the time of writing, these articles still feature on the LDFI website. They are described collectively as ‘Required reading on the current situation in Israel and Gaza’.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 22 Comments

Opinion: An anti-Liberal Democrat press isn’t going to go any easier on any Liberal Democrat leader

Sun newspaper - License Some rights reserved by vapour trail Liberal Democrats 4 Change have a point about one thing. They are right to say that the Liberal Democrats do not get a fair hearing. However, they are mistaken to think that a leadership change would alter anything in this regard.

It is instructive to recall the moment Clegg began to get a bad rap from voters. At what point was this? The answer is not as obvious as you may think, It didn’t start with Secret Courts, Bedroom Tax or Tuition …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 103 Comments
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