Author Archives: Paul Walter

Something which might be an essential investment for the winter campaigning!

Thanks very much to Jane Reed from York Liberal Democrats, who has emailed us about “touchscreen gloves”.

These are gloves which keep your hands warm but allow you to input data into your mobile phone or tablet.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 1 Comment

Sam Gyimah to stand for Lib Dems in Kensington

Sam tweets:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Stephen Lloyd MP intends to stand for the Lib Dems in Eastbourne

Stephen Lloyd MP has posted a YouTube video for his Eastbourne constituents. In it, he says that he has kept his word and voted for a EU exit withdrawal bill four times in parliament. He adds that, now he has done that, the slate is wiped clean with the forthcoming general election, so he will now be a ‘full throated’ “remainer”. He states that intends to stand in Eastbourne as the Liberal Democrat candidate.

This now means that there are 20 Liberal Democrat MPs in the House of Commons.

Here is Stephen’s video:

And here Layla Moran welcomes Stephen back to the Liberal …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 7 Comments

Fortune favours the bold


And so we head into an election campaign as ‘the goose is getting fat’ and Brenda from Bristol boards up her front door to keep out invading journalists.

We’ve whirled around and around the entire gamut of constitutional and Brexit permutations many times, and so we end up with a general election when the Rubic’s Cube of parliamentary arithmetic will be re-spun. Then the whole darn thing will start again.

It is somewhat forbidding to face the prospect of knocking on doors in the ‘deep mid-winter’.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

Professor John Curtice predicts big gains for Lib Dems in 12th December election

From LBC:

The UK’s leading election expert Sir John Curtice told LBC he expects parties other than the two major ones to have a record number of MPs in the upcoming General Election.

Posted in News | Tagged | 59 Comments

+++MPs back 12th December General Election

From Guardian Live:

Boris Johnson’s wish for a general election on 12 December looks set to be granted after MPs voted in favour of it by 438 to 20; a majority of 418.

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Repeated delays to Brexit are down to the failure of Conservative leaders to persuade their own, and partner, MPs

We get comments here on Liberal Democrat Voice of this type from Simon today:

If you want to try to frustrate and cancel Brexit that’s up to you, you won’t succeed because eventually the majority will win. In the meantime you are just making people’s lives a misery. All this stuff about workers rights and the environment is nonsense scaremongering, any government that tried to do it would get voted out, that’s why we have votes albeit you don’t respect them.

This line of argument ignores reality.

The people who stopped the May deal being approved three times were Conservative MPs – the ERG – who voted against it each time. Yes, extreme Brexiteers and Euro-Sceptics stopped May’s deals – not the Liberal Democrats. They indicated support for her negotiating strategy in December 2017 but then withdrew it later. On 15th January 2019 May’s deal had no less than 118 Tory MPs voting against it, including the Eurosceptic’s Eurosceptic, Sir Bill Cash, plus Boris Johnson and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Posted in Op-eds | 11 Comments

Jo Swinson on “What’s next?”

Embed from Getty Images
Use the arrows above to see a slide show of today’s People’s Vote march

After today’s historic session in parliament, which has extended PM Johnson’s unblemished record of defeats, Jo Swinson has written to party members with the following summary:

After today’s votes, the fight to stop Brexit continues.

Hundreds of thousands of people are marching outside Parliament, where I’ve just finished voting, to demand a final say.

After today’s votes, Boris Johnson must obey the law and send a letter asking for Article 50 to be extended.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 65 Comments

Woodford – a lesson in hubris, both for individuals and councils

Embed from Getty Images

The story of the Woodford Equity Income fund should give investors great pause for thought concerning how many eggs to put in one particular basket.

The Guardian reports:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

Brexit: the penny drops as Sir Humphrey is wheeled in amidst the “whiff of sexism”

Sir Ivan Rogers, former UK ambassador to the EU, had to have an uncomfortable conversation with the then Prime Minister, Theresa May in 2016. He told her:

…you have made three commitments in good faith to different audiences, but they are not really compatible with each other.

You have said to the Irish, under no circumstances will a hard border be erected across the island of Ireland.

You have said to the Democratic Unionist community under no circumstances will there be divergence from the rest of Great Britain.

And you have said to the right of your own party that you are heading out of the customs union.

Posted in Humour and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 32 Comments

World mental health day is tomorrow

The World Health Organisation recognises World Mental Health Day on 10 October every year. This year’s theme set by the World Federation for Mental Health is suicide prevention.

The Mental Health Foundation are encouraging people to share the infographic above. There is much relevant information on their website, including the list below of ways to get help.

Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

Would you like to help at the exciting Lib Dem HQ?

The Lib Dem HQ is almost literally protected by Lloyd George’s raincoat

I was wandering around the exhibitions at the Bournemouth conference when my eye was caught by a most glamorous display. -Lots of glitter and lovely gold-wrapped chocolate hearts. These adorned the LibDem HQ volunteering stand. The cheerful helper there explained the whole HQ volunteering thing.

There are volunteer roles for people who are interested in them. But also, it is possible to volunteer to do tasks at the HQ as and when they fit in with your other commitments and activities.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged | 4 Comments

In praise of Marcus Ball – doughty fighter against the £350 million red bus lie


Embed from Getty Images

Marcus Ball has announced that he can no longer move forward with his legal fight to hold Boris Johnson responsible for his “£350 million a week” red bus statement.

High court judges threw the case out in June after Johnson challenged a summons to attend court on three claims of misconduct in public office. However, Marcus Ball had continued fighting in the hope of taking the case to the Supreme Court.

Last weekend, news came from the legal fraternity that this would not be possible.

This young man has put up an extraordinary fight over the last three and a half years, working at below the national minimum wage per hour.

Goodness knows, there are many roads to riches in the legal profession.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

WATCH Online hustings for party President

You can watch the whole of the online presidential hustings below. The event was chaired by Lorely Burt last night. Questions were submitted by members on a range of issues. You can see the two candidates, Christine Jardine MP and Mark Pack, outlining their vision for the role of the President and the future of the party.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Nicola Horlick, investment fund manager and NHS champion, to be Lib Dem candidate

Embed from Getty Images

Kensington and Chelsea LibDems have announced that businesswoman and campaigner Nicola Horlick is the Liberal Democrat PPC for Chelsea and Fulham.

Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments

Is this why many “leavers” are against a People’s Vote?

The latest polls on a third referendum:

Jacob Rees-Mogg was recently asked by an LBC listener:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 33 Comments

Jo Swinson on Johnson’s speech: ‘Beneath the bluff & bluster, he’s determined to crash us out of the EU’

Embed from Getty Images

Commenting on PM Johnson’s Manchester speech today, Liberal Democrat leader, Jo Swinson said:

When you strip away the bluff and bluster, this was a speech by a Prime Minister who is determined to crash us out of the EU without a deal.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 9 Comments

Johnson has deeply split the Tory party – on an historic level

Embed from Getty Images

It is worth standing back and pausing to consider how remarkable the historic split in the Tory party has been under PM Johnson is just a few weeks.

“One Nation” Tories have been the backbone of the Conservative party for a couple of centuries. But now they have been cast out of the party.

This extraordinary split can be seen in the words of two “One Nation” Tories who now sit in Parliament as independents.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Resumed Parliament discusses things that don’t begin with “B”

The resumption of Parliament has meant that important issues, that would have been sidelined during the ill-fated prorogation, are being discussed.

One subject very dear to Tim Farron’s heart is his private member’s bill, the Access to Radiotherapy Bill, which has been languishing in its first reading stage since December 2017. The resumption of parliament gave him a chance to implore the leader of the House to allow time for its second reading. This Bill is important because it would end the hell of cancer sufferers who have to take 3 hour round trips for radiotherapy day after day, week after week, in places like Tim’s constituency of Westmorland and Lonsdale:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Where we are – Lib Dem morning briefing

The Lib Dem press office has provided an excellent summary of where we are this morning, together with the agenda for Parliament today:

Posted in News | Tagged | 38 Comments

The Rise of the Nazis – some parallels today?

Anyone who has flicked around cable TV channels will know that somewhere in the world you can always watch: (1) Friends and (2) Lots of Nazis goose-stepping backwards and forwards on history channels.

So, it was with some trepidation that I saw that the BBC were to air “The Rise of the Nazis”.

I expected yet another compilation of black and white clips of goose-stepping soldiers.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 54 Comments

+++Boris Johnson’s suspension of parliament unlawful, supreme court rules

Embed from Getty Images

A stunning judgment, with huge constitutional importance, which is a massive rebuke to Boris Johnson. Johnson has only succeeded in stirring up a hornets’ nest!

The Guardian reports:

The supreme court has ruled that Boris Johnson’s advice to the Queen that parliament should be prorogued for five weeks at the height of the Brexit crisis was unlawful.

The judgment from 11 justices on the UK’s highest court follows an emergency three-day hearing last week that exposed fundamental legal differences over interpreting the country’s unwritten constitution.

Posted in News | 15 Comments

Horrific Labour conference motion on private schools proposes nothing less than theft

Christ's Hospital Dining Hall
Christ’s Hospital school, Sussex, which has been admitting mainly pupils from less privileged backgrounds since 1552

There has been much debate following the Labour conference’s motion to “abolish private schools”.

When explaining the rules of cricket to the average American, one sees their eyes glazing over even before one reaches mention of “deep square leg”.

It’s the same when you try to explain to them that, in the UK, public schools are private schools. You may reach the point when you feel further explanation is pointless. Why not, instead, try explaining to them that Scotch whisky has no “e”, but Irish whiskey does. It may be easier.

Anyway, I went to a public school. Or, if you prefer, I went to a private school.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 52 Comments

Conference pays heartfelt and fulsome tribute to Paddy

There were 20 minutes set aside this morning in the main hall to pay tribute to Paddy Ashdown.

In the front row for the session were Jane, Kate and Simon Ashdown.

(Baroness) Liz Barker presented the salute to our founding leader with a quiet and heartfelt voice. She emphasised that this was a tribute to a partnership – Paddy and Jane.

The section started with a video on the big screen. Relaxed and sincere tributes came from Ed Davey, Nick Clegg, Tony Blair, Jane Ashdown and (Baroness) Cathy Bakewell (who worked with Paddy during his early days as an MP in Yeovil).

Posted in Conference | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

The Ronseal of British politics – A storming speech from Jo

Embed from Getty Images

I was “up in the gods” for Jo’s speech this afternoon in Bournemouth.

The first thing to say is that the speech seemed to me to be visually very powerful. Jo is a commanding, strong presence on stage. She stands centre stage, with no lectern or notes, barely glancing visibly at the distant autocues. Her posture and gestures are bold and decisive.

And her speech was bold and decisive.

In the round, I thought her speech was a barnstormer.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

ALDC hosts ground-breaking Gin Tasting

Alistair Carmichael MP has hosted a Whisky Tasting at conference (and elsewhere) for many seasons.

This year, the Association of Liberal Democrats (ALDC) responded to the recent explosion in the gin market by hosting a Gin Tasting – called “Ginning Here”. This was heralded as the first political gin tasting ever.

Posted in Conference | Tagged , , , and | 1 Comment

Glee Club remembers Paddy


This was the lovely cover of the new edition of the Liberator Song Book, circulated at last night’s Glee Club.

One of the hosts quipped during the proceedings:

You know, at this point we could really do with someone telling a ten minute joke.

There was such a void.

We just needed Paddy to walk in and announce that he was telling his joke:

For positively the last time.

Paddy, you are sorely missed.

Posted in Conference | Tagged and | 7 Comments

+++Now Sam Gyimah sings “The Land” at Glee Club

Sam Gyimah is the third recent defecting MP to get up on stage this evening at the Glee Club. He said that his wife had told him that under no circumstances should he try to sing. But, bless him, he joined in singing “The Land” as our video below shows. So he is now the third defecting MP to do his initiation and become a proper Liberal.

Posted in Conference and Humour | Tagged and | 22 Comments

+++The first defectors are initiated in the Liberal Glee Club tradition

Live from the Conference hotel:

Sarah Wollaston and Luciana Berger have just had the guts to be subjected to initiation by Glee Club. They got up front to sing a special new version of “‘Twas on a Monday morning…” which has been adapted to the continuous flow of defectors to the party….

Posted in Conference and Humour | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

Could we at least be told which particular disused Cornish tin mine our donations to the party are being thrown down, please?

Embed from Getty Images
My wife and I once gave a small donation to a Nuns’ mission in Kenya that helps the desperately poor. A week or so later we received a hand drawn card which had been signed by all the nuns in that mission, thanking us most effusively for our donation. It was the nicest thank you we have ever received and we treasured that card for months.

Recently I made a donation to a re-wilding project in Scotland. I received not one, but two personally signed thank you letters, one from the treasurer and one from the chair of the project. They were both long letters, explaining how my money would be spent. One of them said: “Your donation arrived at a crucial time for us, so was particularly welcome.”

Posted in Op-eds | 22 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJames Pugh 16th Nov - 7:57pm
    @David Evershed """"1. Under the EU we are discriminating against immigrants from Africa, Asia and Americas, hard to justify as a Liberal."""" As a nation...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 16th Nov - 7:44pm
    Alex Macfie "@David Allen: You are twisting my comments. Your assumption that Lib Dem votes are totally transferable to Labour (a common fallacy among “progressive...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 16th Nov - 7:34pm
    Third issue Taking medical staff from third world countries where they are desperately needed is hard to justify as a liberal. Let's keep the discrimination.
  • User AvatarJonathan Coulter 16th Nov - 7:01pm
    I feel the leadership has been over-bullish about this election. It is certainly very difficult negotiating a deal with Labour, but if both sides refuse...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 16th Nov - 6:19pm
    @Paul, Don't worry, there is not the faintest chance, or sign, of any such turnaround at all. This economy is taking no steps to achieve...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 16th Nov - 6:19pm
    David Blake Michael Heseltine voted Liberal Democrat in the euro elections in May 2019. He/they has/have a variety of trees in an arboretum, which hopefully...