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

Democrats may still get to magic 60

Lib Dem Voice’s Alex Foster has drawn attention to the mandatory recount in Minnesota’s Senate race, in which Al Franken currently trails Senator Norm Coleman by a mere 571 votes in almost 2.5 million. But what of the other three Senate races which are still listed as undecided? With the Democrats currently on 56, it is theoretically possible that they could make a fillibuster proof 60 – 40 majority.

In Oregon, Senator Gordon Smith (Republican) is trailing Democratic challenger Jeff Merkley by almost 23,000 votes. A blog-post at The Oregonian newspaper, citing a local pollster, is …

Posted in LDVUSA | 10 Comments

Opinion: Greens may do well in Haltemprice and Howden

The decision by the Lib Dem leadership to allow David Davis to resign in the comfortable knowledge that no Liberal Democrat would oppose him was a strange one. Without Lib Dem acquiescence, the by-election almost certainly would not have taken place. As it is, it seems unlikely to me to do much to fracture the Tories’ current revival, and it may allow the party’s opponents to gain valuable ground, and not just in Haltemprice and Howden.

Who, then, might do well enough in the by-election to gain ground while the Liberal Democrat by-election machine twiddles its thumbs? Could someone …

Posted in Op-eds and Parliamentary by-elections | Tagged | 9 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarOld Liberal 25th Sep - 10:27am
    Sadly TonyH it is a lot more difficult in most places than it is in South Cambridgeshire or Kingston. My estimate is 40 years before...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 25th Sep - 10:02am
    @Ewan Hoyle @Paul Holmes I think the point about ‘Cleggmania’, a word typically coined by the popular media, was that only when ‘exposed’ to the...
  • User Avatarexpats 25th Sep - 9:25am
    To remain we just need to agree to abide by the “four freedoms” (as in the original Treaty of Rome). The free movement of goods,...
  • User AvatarNonconformistradical 25th Sep - 9:07am
    @John Marriott "It’s about time that those of us with ‘Liberal’ leanings accepted the fact that we will probably always be in a minority. I...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th Sep - 9:04am
    Peter, I've never really been convinced by the stay in and reform argument. This is mainly because most of the people who make it usually...
  • User AvatarSteve trevethan 25th Sep - 8:28am
    When was our country last well led?