Author Archives: Terry Gilbert

Opinion: Silly me! How I was nearly suckered by the promise of Lords Reform

Last Saturday, just after we started to negotiate with the Tories, I asked on these pages:

Is their a grand gesture to Reform which will make a deal with the Tories acceptable?

I concluded by saying that, while Mr Cameron would not give way on Fair Votes for the Commons, it was just possible that, if his back was against the wall, he might be induced to yield ground on Reform of the upper House.

His MP’s own seats would thus, for the time being at least, remain ‘safe’ enough for them to be dragged into line to accept proportionality in the Lords, …

Posted in Op-eds | 34 Comments

Opinion: Is there grand gesture to reform which would make coalition with the Tories acceptable?

I am not someone you might expect to back a deal with the Tories. I come from a traditional Labour-voting background, and I am more suspicious of the Tories, and their motives, than many in our party.

But while this makes me cautious – almost to the point of paranoia – about a deal with Cameron’s Tories to form a majority coalition in the new Parliament, it does not make me rule it out altogether. The Parliamentary arithmetic alone – the lack of a majority for a Lib/Lab pact – and Labour’s internal division over voting reform means it deserves serious …

Posted in Op-eds | 48 Comments

Opinion: Let’s challenge Cameron’s hype – this is NOT the Tories’ “best result for 80 years”!

“It looks like the Conservatives have won more seats that we have for 80 years.” – David Cameron

That clip may well be played again and again today, as his spin doctors would have hoped when they wrote the line. But what would those words mean to you if you were not one of the political cogniscenti?

When David Cameron stood up in his Oxfordshire constituency last night and said these words, he was surely attempting to spin the result as a great Conservative victory.

They were hoping that many ordinary people would think the Tories had ‘won more seats’ …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | 27 Comments

Opinion: Yes we can!

Abolition of the unelected House of Lords?

No more has-been Ministers and Bishops in Parliament without YOUR say so?

A truly fair voting system, where you get to choose between several candidates from each party?

Where you can put them in order (with the BNP last!).

A Government which takes the environmental crisis far more seriously than we have seen so far?

A Government which will get rid of Trident?

A Government whose respect for education is ‘bred in the bone’?

All this is possible NEXT WEEK!

If … just one in three current Labour supporters switch to the Liberal Democrats.

Now 1 in 3 is a lot. Maybe …

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | 14 Comments

Opinion: Supermajority!

The US Senate Elections are finally over!

Last November’s contest has dragged on, primarily as a result of a protracted legal battle in closely fought Minnesota. Last week, however, incumbent Republican Senator Norm Coleman finally abandoned his legal suit after the State’s Supreme Court found unanimously in favour of Democrat Al Franken, the liberal former radio talk show host and author of ‘Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them: A Fair and Balanced Look at the Right’. Franken is becoming adept at getting his way in the Courts, Fox News having failed in their bid to sue him for …

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Fear was the key in Iraq (and Norwich)

The Washington Post reports that Saddam Hussein’s interrogations by the FBI have been released, under US Freedom of Information laws, to the ‘National Security Archive’, an independent non-governmental research institute and library located at The George Washington University. The NSA’s website has
“Twenty Interviews and Five Conversations with “High Value Detainee # 1”, should anyone still be interested.

Fortunately, the Post has done the hard work for us. There is of course the usual, now unsurprising, confirmation that Saddam had no link to, nor even any sympathy with, Al Qaeda:

Piro raised bin Laden in his last conversation

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 14 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems need to attack the Tory record on civil liberties, too

I read Alex Foster’s ‘Enough is Enough’ article on LDV, condemning the Labour Government for its shortcomings on civil liberties, with interest. But, as one who reached voting age under the first Thatcher Government, I can’t help thinking that, whatever the failings of Labour, the Tories would have been a darn sight worse.

It is true that some Tories may appear to have ‘discovered’ liberty in the last year or two. But I suspect this is merely a marketing reaction to the slow (but fairly steady) growth of the Liberal Democrats since the 1980s. The Tory Party showed precious little …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 6 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMalcolm Todd 17th Mar - 2:00pm
    Roland It depends what you mean by "thinking it through". As none of what you said in your lengthy reply remotely justified the ludicrous home=country...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 17th Mar - 1:33pm
    The Gladstone Club used to meet at the National Liberal Club under the chairmanship of Roger Pincham The attraction for me was the excellence...
  • User AvatarJoeB 17th Mar - 12:22pm
    Peter, I am not sure what you mean when you say "there are some grey areas over how the CAD is defined, for example, with...
  • User AvatarAlison Whelan 17th Mar - 11:58am
    As one official put it, I am quite bloody-minded and still do not fully accept my limitations - and perhaps they are right, but I...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Mar - 11:32am
    But surely if you insist on a certain level of English proficiency as being conditional on getting a visa and working in public facing professions...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 17th Mar - 10:58am
    Due to good health care,an improved diet ,relatively full employment and a stable environment are population is living much , much longer .However compared to...