Author Archives: Samuel Barratt

Opinion: Making the EBacc work

Michael Gove seems intent on bringing forward a replacement for the GCSE, going so far as to make its introduction a matter of confidence in the face of criticism.  All parties can agree, however, it is important to set out what these reforms should look like and make sure they deliver a qualification that is fit for purpose.

There are at least two key areas that I think Liberal Democrats should seek to influence.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 17 Comments

Opinion: Tuition fees – a progressive model for welfare?

Given the proportion of public sector spending it accounts for, in austere times welfare spending has come under the spotlight, with sizeable cuts having already being made.

Looking at who is accessing benefits to ensure those in receipt of them should be is to be welcomed. A blind eye should not, however, be turned to wealthier individuals in receipt of things like winter fuel allowance whilst cuts are made to some of the poorest in our society.

It is right that Liberal Democrats have distanced ourselves from Cameron’s musings that everyone under 25 should not be able to rely on support from …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 49 Comments

Opinion: The importance of social liberalism

The debate regarding the importance and roles of ‘social’ and ‘economic’ liberalism can, on occasion, be misrepresented. Whether deliberate or incidental the relationship between the two philosophies can sometimes be presented as discrete, zero-sum options. I believe they should be considered as dialectic.

In The Orange Book, a publication that is almost Frankensteinian in how it’s perceived and what it actually contains, David Laws offers definitions for social and economic liberalism, that broadly serve well in discussion, they are:

    economic liberalism: ‘the belief in the value of free trade, open competition, market mechanisms, and the effectiveness of the

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 38 Comments
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  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 16th Jan - 3:06pm
    A wise politician, especially a Westminster one might say that (s)he is not the wisest person to make these constitutional decision, being too easily influenced...
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    David Raw: The point I was trying to make was that restoring a railway can be cheaper than widening a road but it might not...
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    The two Davids are thinking in one of the right lines, but we need both their suggested policy action approach AND a positive vision for...
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    Peter Martin, Jennie's comment is on her own lived personal experiences: "It’s not metropolitan elitist to say that many leave voters voted the way they...
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    This here people's vote. What's the question? You can hardly put TM's annihilated deal on the ballot, after what happened to it in Parliament. And...
  • User AvatarSean Hagan 16th Jan - 2:43pm
    Thank you, David Raw, for reminding us about the Jenkins Commission and the other political realities which made it impossible to extract a commitment from...