Author Archives: Peter Welch

Opinion: We’re too quiet on EU reform. But it’s not #nickcleggsfault

I spent months canvassing for the Euro-elections last time around. No voter said they wanted more EU spending. Only one voter (step forward, Welwyn Garden City) told me that we would get his vote in the Euro elections because his normal party was too anti-European. So Stephen Tall is right to suggest a doorstep test on EU finance. And no one can be very surprised that the House of Commons voted in favour of a cut.

But Nick Clegg was surely right yesterday morning to point out that a real-terms cut is undeliverable. The negotiations on the next MFF (seven …

Posted in News | 6 Comments

Opinion: what the Guardian isn’t telling you

Mehdi Hasan has a provocative article in the Guardian So what, Nick Clegg, made you forget liberty? It is standard Guardian fare these days: you can’t trust the Lib Dems.

The “delay” in completing the abolition child detention in deportation cases is the focus of his attack.

To be fair, he acknowledges that Labour hardly look good on the issue:

child detention in this country is one of the most obscene and unforgivable legacies of the ultra-authoritarian New Labour years. In 2001 the Blair government made the populist decision to detain children and families who were subject to immigration

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 40 Comments

Opinion: Don’t believe the Fraser-tendency

With Liberal Democrats in government, and a massive increase in the number of journalists coming to Liberal Democrat conference this year, you might think the press has a different story to tell this year.

In some ways they do. My first conference (as a teenager…) was the Llandudno conference that saw the launch of the Alliance. David Steel made his famous speech about “preparing for government” – and it has been used to mock at every conference since. Until now that is.

Some of the papers this time are looking at how much of our manifesto is being implemented. That is definitely …

Posted in Op-eds | 8 Comments

Derby North: hung parliament territory?

Let’s start with a health warning. My first-hand knowledge of Derby amounts to changing trains there once a decade ago. But the press are keen to help us find out more. Derby North qualifies as a three-way marginal (Lab 39.5%, Lib Dem 30.6% and Tories 25.9% according to Antony Wells). And not one but two national papers descended on the seat to find out how the public saw the PBR.

Slightly bizarrely, they both report on the seat as a Conservative prospect. (It is number 130 on the Tory hit list, number 30 on the Liberal Democrat list of targets.) …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , and | 16 Comments

What sort of recession is this anyway? A view from Southend

Mark Pack asked this very question – What sort of recession is this anyway? – on LDV the other day. Yesterday, the IMF offered a top down view which is frankly frightening.

My political activity began in the economic chaos of the early Thatcher years and I live in fear of a return to the levels of unemployment of the 1980s. How does it look from Southend?

Immediately after selection as Liberal Democrat candidates for the two Southend consituencies, Graham Longley and I decided to find out for ourselves. We used the party’s small business survey as a basis …

Posted in Online politics and Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 3 Comments
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