Author Archives: Paul Strasburger

A fork in the road for the Lib Dems

The long predicted realignment in British politics has started. Whether it helps or harms the Lib Dems depends on how we respond to it. We can embrace the future with confidence and open arms or we can turn in on ourselves and stick to the old ways.

We are at a fork in the political road and our future success or failure depends on whether we make the right choices. Some important decisions will be made at Spring Conference and it is imperative that we get them right.

They are the keys to the success of our …

Posted in Conference and Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 26 Comments

Lord Paul Strasburger writes…Report shows that nobody thinks Home Office is right on investigatory powers

Today the Joint Committee published its report on the draft Investigatory Powers Bill. This follows hot on the heels of the Intelligence and Security Committee report which was surprisingly critical of the serious shortcomings of the Bill given its previous rather relaxed approach – what a difference a new Chair makes, you could say.
 
I was the only member of the Joint Committee that also sat on the Committee that looked at Theresa May’s last attempt to legislate on surveillance powers – the ill-fated draft Communications Data Bill. The previous committee had twice as long to look at the Bill than we’ve had this time round, despite the fact that this Bill is far bigger. The Home Secretary promised Parliament and the public that this process wouldn’t be rushed, that is not the reality.
 
As the only Liberal Democrat on the committee I knew it would be tough, and I think it will come as no surprise to anyone to learn that from the committee was heavily weighted in favour of the Home Office. It was a hard slog but as always with the Lib Dems, we managed to punch above our weight. If you flick to the back of the report you’ll see that on a whole range of issues I forced votes – sometimes I got others on side and we won, others were more lonely.

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

Lord Paul Strasburger writes…Government must engage in public debate on surveillance

No reasonable person would deny that our spies should be able to intrude, as deeply as is appropriate, into the affairs of people suspected of the most serious offences.  But this scandal is not about those suspects.  It’s about suspicion-less, untargeted surveillance of the entire population as represented by GCHQ’s Project Tempora.

The real questions I will be asking in the chamber of the House of Lords are:

1.       How have we sleep-walked into a situation where GCHQ is collecting massive amounts of the private data of every innocent citizen without the informed consent of Parliament?

2.      Why won’t the government acknowledge this …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 5 Comments

Paul Strasburger writes…Reflections on the battle against Secret Courts

On Tuesday night 26 Lib Dem peers voted against a three line government Whip on Secret Courts. For many of them, it was the first time they had defied such a strong Whip. I am proud to have been one of them.

Sadly – for the party and for the country – we lost by 16 votes but would have won comfortably if Labour peers had turned up and voted in their usual numbers. They demonstrated in spades their indifference to civil liberties. The Tory Whips laid on a showing of a James Bond film during the debate to keep their …

Posted in News | Tagged | 14 Comments

Lord Paul Strasburger’s maiden speech

In recent months, LDV has been bringing its readers copies of our new MPs’ and Peers’ first words in Parliament, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Last night, Baron Strasburger, of Langridge in the County of Somerset made his maiden speech in the House of Lords during a debate on the House of Lords Reform Draft Bill. His words are reproduced below.

My Lords, it is a very great honour indeed to be making my first speech in your Lordships’ …

Posted in Speeches | Tagged | 3 Comments
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  • User AvatarMichael 24th Mar - 11:57pm
    It is depressing how poor the likely candidates for leader are. I do not doubt Jo's commitment or integrity, but I just don't think her...
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    Helen Dudden, I get it. My roots are Jewish and Romany. We don't all see "Europe" as a big noble ideal. To my folks it...
  • User AvatarDavid-1 24th Mar - 10:04pm
    A sensible course of action (to the extent that anything can be sensible in nonsensical times) might be: 1. Revoke. 2. General election. 3. People's...
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    I don't think it matters who is in charge of the Conservative Party next week, none can be trusted to realistically consider siding with any...
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    @ Michael 1, @ David 1, Sorry, I thought you were an evidenced based party, My mistake.
  • User AvatarMichael 1 24th Mar - 9:40pm
    David-1 Hear! Hear! Very good post!