Author Archives: Philip Young

Opinion: Farewell to Lib Dem News

As a former Editor, I’m sad to see that Liberal Democrat News is now compiling its final issue.

The idea of a weekly newspaper began in 1947.There were numerous attempts to axe it. I fought off at least two, and it was only thanks to the likes of David Steel, John Pardoe, and the ALC, that the treasurer was persuaded otherwise in the 1970s. Then, the party was financially bust, despite Trevor Jones delivering a string of remarkable by-election successes that

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Opinion: Cameron’s Gaffe – is China a nuclear threat to the UK?

During the big debate, David Cameron slipped up when pushed by Nick Clegg on the Trident nuclear missile fleet.

I will keep our independent nuclear defence system, said Cameron – forgetting for a moment that Trident is a dual-key with the Americans, it can’t ever be fired without their agreement, and we are totally beholden to them, despite spending the money with them in the first place. But Cameron added:

Are we really happy to say that we’d give up our independent nuclear deterrent when we don’t know what is going to happen with Iran, we can’t be certain of the

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Tagged and | 10 Comments

What the papers say…

Ministers are trying to get their hands on hospital charity-cash … Labour kick up over calls for an immediate by-election … a quarter of all MPs now  plan to quit … and there are 20,0000 council officers with the powers to search your home.

Tories trying to buy power, says Straw – The Independent, 30.12.09

David Cameron is today accused by a senior Cabinet minister of attempting to “buy” victory at the general election with a US-style campaign dominated by advertising. Jack Straw, the Justice Secretary, predicts the Tory campaign will the most lavish in political history and …

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What the papers say…

Civil  servants are as bad as bankers … The Telegraph trumpets Gladstone’s anniversary … Tories support Labour’s school Sats Tests … Another dodgy Tory donor exposed … Labour split on voting reform … Lords skim expenses cream … BBC to make film on Thorpe tragedy … what Chris Huhne thinks of Prince Charles … Unions sit on money for Labour … look at who says Hauge is Vauge …and the only thing the final polls of the year can agree upon is that Liberal Democrat support is holding up

Now Civil Servants join bankers in ludicrous bonuses – Daily Mail,, 24.12.09

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Why shouldn’t Buckingham Liberal Democrats join in?

The accepted wisdom is that it is “protocol” not to oppose the Speaker. Yet there are plenty of examples that this is simply not true – Selwyn Lloyd, for one, was opposed, and there are other examples (and we are not talking pre-war or the mists of time).

What is going on in Buckingham is extraordinary. The Speaker is unpopular with his local party – not just a large block of Conservative MPs in Parliament – and his wife has shot through the Labour Party hoops and jumped other hurdles to go on the list of approved …

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John Brigden selected for Dover

Dover and Deal Liberal Democrat Association have selected John Brigden to be their PPC for the next election. John has been a Sevenoaks District councillor for some years, is an experienced campaigner, and has family connections with Deal. He is the Chief Executive of Bluesky Public Relations, and also organiser of classic-car events.

While there is evidence that rather suggests this constituency is on the receiving end of Ashcroft money, the local Tories have not been polling anywhere near well enough in local by-elections to suggest that could take this seat off Labour. The local Conservatives have been pushing for the …

Posted in Selection news | Tagged and | 5 Comments

What the papers say…

Vince makes the front page of the Daily Express, Nick scores two page leads in the Mail, Huhne forces a Tory U-turn, Paddy  bazookas a Brigadier, Bob Russell biffs a Bishop and The Telegraph’s Deputy Editor says George Osbourne is a childish prat … A few press clippings you may have missed, in our Newspaper Review of the Week.

“Tories lack clarity” – Simon Heffer, columnist: Daily Telegraph, 16.12.09

“Do the Tories enunciate a clear alternative that will benefit not merely their supporters, but also the country? Not yet. It’s not just that George Osborne seems to have no clear plans to …

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What the papers say…

Over at the Daily Mail, is the shine coming off Brand Cameron, or, is this just a kick up the pants? First comes the big slap…then the boot, with a stiletto heel.

Daily Mail, leader-column, 12.12.09:

“At a time like this, it’s madness to ring-fence any budget at the expense of the rest. Even sacred cows can be hugely overweight.  Since 1977, billions have been poured into health and education, without the improvements in standards we’d expect.

“How can Mr. Darling claim there’s no scope for cuts in the NHS, on the day we learn it is spending £1 …

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What the papers say…

A look back at the last few days of news and comment in the National newspapers, by former Fleet Street News Editor (and former Editor of Liberal News), Philip Young… including a few clippings you may have missed.

Sunday Times, 6.12.09:

“A Tory peer has been caught using someone else’s home address to claim tens of thousands of pounds in expenses. Lord Taylor of Warwick, a 57-year-old former barrister, told the House of Lords that his main home was a terrace house in Oxford, which he neither owned nor lived in. Taylor has lived in his family home …

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What the papers say…

A new weekly round-up of random press clippings, compiled for The Voice by former Fleet Street News Editor (and former Liberal News Editor) Philip Young, including snippets you might have missed.

“Almost two million Britons have accepted pay cuts or chosen to work part-time in an attempt to stave-off unemployment as the recession bites. But the desperate measures mean that income tax receipts have collapsed by almost a fifth, and now the Government is facing the biggest peacetime deficit in history. Next week Ministers will confirm that they are likely to borrow close to £180 billion this year – the …

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  • User AvatarMartin 21st Nov - 3:50pm
    John Marriott: That seems a fairly rational answer, though I am sure you can see that it would be very unlikely to be accepted, but...
  • User AvatarSandra Hammett 21st Nov - 3:32pm
    Watching Politics Live in our BBC mandated 4 minutes of coverage Andrew Neil and panel were questioning whether our campaign as been to presidential, falling...
  • User AvatarBarry Lofty 21st Nov - 3:29pm
    John Marriot, I happen to be in the same age group as you and have always voted Liberal/Liberal Democrat but have not put my principals...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 21st Nov - 2:56pm
    To all those who bridle to my comments let me just say that I joined in the old Liberal Party in 1979 and also joined...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 21st Nov - 2:50pm
    @Charles Pragnell "The view is that a second referendum is the only way out of this mess. However if you ask graduates , or business’s...
  • User Avatarnvelope2003 21st Nov - 2:46pm
    Keeping fares down was tried in the 1950s to keep commuters voting Conservative. Unfortunately all the money needed for investment in an out dated system...