Author Archives: Tim Oliver

Opinion: We need meaningful discourse on Trident, not playground politics

I have spent much of the campaign so far wondering when issues of foreign policy would be discussed. This open question soon morphed into a desperate cry for someone, anyone to talk about what goes on beyond the shores of these islands and what Britain can or should do about those events. The 7-way debate that we were graced with by ITV proved to be as devoid of these questions as the rest of the campaign, for even when issues such as immigration floated in, they were stripped of an international context.

So it was that I had essentially resigned myself to a campaign devoid of hard questions about big problems, until today’s news headlines sparked a moment of hope. Trident had risen from the depths to push itself, and surely with it bigger questions about Britain, onto the agenda. At last, I could have almost cried, we can have the debate!

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 34 Comments

Opinion: Liberals must stand up to Russia over Ukraine

The weekend after the party gathered in Liverpool, Liberal Youth gathered in Leeds for our spring conference. There was plenty of campaigning, socialising and of course stimulating debates on policy. Stuart Wheatcroft has already written an excellent summary of the motion we debated and voted for on Ambitious Liberalism; for my part, I submitted a motion on Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

In writing this motion, I aimed to cover the two principal reasons I believe any self-respecting Liberal must stand against what Russia is doing in the region. Firstly, they are attempting to forcibly thwart the will of the Ukrainian people. When the Ukrainian people expressed a desire to look to the EU, they did not at the same time express a desire to go to war with Russia. They are seeking a better life; one bounded by democratic accountable institutions – the same promise extended by the EU to the former Warsaw Pact countries. In attempting to smear the Kiev government as a group of “fascists” as well as sending troops to occupy portions of Ukraine, Russia has attempted to corral the Ukrainian people into giving up these hopes for a brighter future.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 23 Comments

Opinion: 3 days on Rebels and Radicals – a review of the Political Studies Association Conference

Che Guevara - Some rights reserved by StreetFly JZ

This year’s annual conference of the Political Studies Association (PSA) was held in Manchester, with the theme of Rebels and Radicals. For three days last week, PSA members attended panels, caught up with colleagues and drained the city’s bars. The conference, as ever, as is a fantastic place to take stock of evolving research and teaching practice across the discipline, meeting up with fellow academics at all stages of their careers to swap ideas and catch up.

As last year,

Posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments

Conference: Defending the Future will not defend the realm

The defence of the realm is the foremost responsibility of any government. The defence policy paper that will be debated in Glasgow this week is not only worrying, but potentially dangerous.

The first business of any defence policy is to recognise that the armed forces are to wage war in the name of our interests. We must be clear what these interests are. We can then be clear as to when we will deploy our armed forces into combat, what equipment they will need, the training they will require and the size and composition they must be. War is, after all, …

Posted in Conference | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Political Studies Association Conference Report: from Cameron to Galloway

The annual conference of the Political Studies Association (PSA) offers the discipline a chance to get together, share ideas and support the publicans of a particular city for a few days. This year, it was hosted by the city of Cardiff, the last of a four-year tour of the capitals of the UK. As a young PhD student, these conferences offer me a chance to not only meet and get merry with more senior academics; they also let you see how the discipline is evolving through panels and papers, as well as more informal sessions.

What is always disappointing …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Ideology is not a dirty word

It has been a year since I first joined the Liberal Democrats. In that time, I’ve slowly learnt but a few of the ropes of a Liberal Democrat member and campaigner; time-limited by my studies, I’ve only been able to savour the joys of leafleting and a couple hours of telling last week. Yet the reasons I joined – my personal Liberal beliefs and a feeling that this party is by far and away the best vehicle for Liberals in Britain to carry their beliefs into action – remain as strong as ever.

I firmly believe this party has managed to …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 17 Comments
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  • User AvatarDavid Allen 13th Oct - 11:42pm
    "We don’t want to get into the old trap of trying to answer endless questions regarding which Party we would support if the outcome is...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 13th Oct - 10:34pm
    @ David Evershed, I disagree. I am a recent convert to the idea of another referendum. I believe that parliament and our elected representatives should...
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    @frankie 12th Oct '19 - 11:13pm "Until recently no Kurds lived in Turkey, only Turks and Mountain Turk lived there." I take it you're being...
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    @Michael Cole - Absolutely, whenever Jo is asked whether she'd work with either Conservative or Labour, she should say she will answer once they've said...
  • User AvatarAndy 13th Oct - 7:20pm
    Fully understand not going into a formal coalition after being badly burnt by Cameron. But ruling out supply and confidence is madness for a serious...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 13th Oct - 7:10pm
    Privilege is indeed passed down, as Jayne Mansfield indicates - thank you, Jayne - to the families and associates of the privileged, and the Tories...