Category Archives: A weekly catchup

The Lib Dem week in Scotland

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TWelcome to our weekly roundup of what the Scottish Liberal Democrats, led by Willie Rennie, have been getting up to. They’ve covered a pretty extensive array of issues from health to housing to police spying to local services to cuts to college places.

McInnes says there are still questions to answer on police spying

After a senior Police Officer gave evidence on the police spying scandal to a Holyrood Committee, Alison McInnes says that his answers were not satisfactory:

The guidance on accessing communications data is very straightforward. Police Scotland’s account of how this came about is nowhere near as clear. We were told this morning that senior officers had raised concerns over applications to access communications data but they seem to have gone through regardless.

These were serious breaches and we need understand what went wrong here. Months after the first reports that Police Scotland had hacked communications data unlawfully, we are still no closer to a full account of how we got here.

NHS in crisis

Jim Hume has been highlighting many issues where the NHS in Scotland is falling short. First, his research showed that Scotland was facing an acute GP shortage as GP training places were not being taken up:

The fear must be that the extra training places announced by the First Minister last year will not help encourage more students to enter primary care or relieve the huge pressure on local GP practices. With dozens of training posts left vacant this year, SNP ministers must explain how they will ensure uptake of these and the 100 extra places they have announced. Welcome though they are, more training places will do no good at all unless there are doctors to fill them.

The SNP Government have not published a key review of mental health services. Jim said:

First we were told that the report would be published in the summer. Then that it would be published before Christmas but still we have seen nothing. What on earth is going on?

Also posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Tagged | 1 Comment

The Lib Dem week in Scotland

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TWelcome to our weekly roundup of what the Scottish Liberal Democrats, led by Willie Rennie, have been getting up to. This week, our MSPs have had a lot to say about flooding, policing, A & E waiting times “Thatcherite” testing, housing and fostering. Oh, and Alex Cole-Hamilton and Edinburgh West are back, bigger than ever.

The week started with Willie Rennie’s Bright, green, liberal vision:

I will set out why four key liberal values should be at the heart of the next parliamentary session. They are that every individual should be free to achieve their potential, that we should stand with the weak against the strong, that power is safer when it is shared and that we are trustees of the world and must pass on a sustainable legacy.

Flooding: when will the SNP Government help?

Alison McInnes criticised the Scottish government’s lack of response to the flooding in the North East:

Also posted in Scotland | Tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

The Lib Dem week in Scotland

Welcome to our weekly roundup of what the Scottish Liberal Democrats, led by Willie Rennie, have been getting up to.

The plight of 50,000 children on housing waiting lists

Jim Hume highlights the tens of thousands of children on housing waiting lists in Scotland. This is an area entirely devolved to the SNP Government. Jim said:

It’s unbelievable that someone has been on a council house waiting list since the end of the Second World War. The lack of housing available for social rent in this country is a disgrace and Ministers should be ashamed of themselves. The SNP has muddied the waters on housing by backtracking on election promises and Scots and their children are paying the price.

The Scottish Liberal Democrats believe children need the best start in life. This cannot be achieved if there is uncertainty about whether they’ll even have a roof over their heads. Last week we discovered 30,000 children have been homeless on Christmas Day over the past three years. When you put that figure with the tens of thousands of children currently on housing waiting lists, it paints a very bleak picture for young people needing support as they’re grow up in Scotland.

Projects such as the Scottish Empty Homes Partnership, which is funded by the Scottish Government, are bringing properties back into use but not at a rate that will actually make much of a difference.

These kind of schemes need more funding so that they can stop being a drop in the ocean and start having an impact. How many more thousands of children will be left languishing on waiting lists before the Scottish Government recognises there is a housing crisis in this country?”

Also posted in Scotland | Tagged | 2 Comments

++Special conference is triggered – all members will be able to attend


On Thursday, LDV reported that Chris Rennard was elected to represent the party’s House of Lords group on the Federal Executive.

Since then, a petition has been submitted to the party by the group ‘Rock the Boat – Lib Dems against Sexual Harrassment’. The petition calls for a Special Party Conference to debate a Constitutional amendment to remove the seat on Federal Executive reserved for a nominee from the Lords group. The petition has been declared valid as it includes over 200 signatures of members from at least 20 different local parties.

Also posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 117 Comments

Catchup in Budget week

Weekly catchup returns this week as the nation, and this blog, have been consumed with debate about the budget. Not for us such petty distractions as the World Cup, the cricket, the world-record breaking tennis or the siren call of the vuvuzela; no, for us, it’s all about the 2.5 percentage point difference between the previous VAT rate and the next.

We kicked off our budget coverage with a message from Nick Clegg warning us that things would not be pretty.

On budget day itself, we asked you what you thought, and spawned a massive comments thread with over 200 …

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Weekly catchup:

Dear LDV reader, you may or may not have noticed that we have discontinued our strand of writing that used to appear under the Daily View heading, following a decision of the team last week. All of us writing it found it took a great deal of time for little reward, and some of us thought the clunky title with its numbers and acronyms did little to help our site’s readability. What we’ll miss is Daily View’s helpful punctuation of the day, marking the passage of time, and the daily opportunity to spread the linky love through the …

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Weekly catchup to 23/05/09

And goodness, what a fortnight it’s been for politics and the party.  Since we at Weekly (hem hem) Catchup left  your screens a fortnight (hem hem) ago we’ve seen a lot of movement on the political front led by the Telegraph’s sensational coverage of the “Cash for Cushions” constitutional crisis that John Stewart’s chromakey team dubbed “Scamalot“.

We kicked off our coverage with a triple bill of Norman Baker’s contributions on the matter, but it was to be a gift that keeps on giving.  Stephen ranted, then questioned; you answered in spades. Clegg weighed in. Alix …

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Catchup to 11 May 09

Bloggers know that Catchup is made from only 7 natural ingredients!  And it’s been a slightly quiet week at t’Voice as our various contributors have been abroad or busy at work.

It was the week in which the party launched its new Party Election Broadcast, the Mirror tried to find ways in which supporting the Gurkhas is bad news for the Lib Dems and Mark Pack found fault with the timeless design classic that is the polling card.

My second entry into the Golden Dozen brought news (mainly good) from Sheffield and (not so good) Ashfield. Alix decided that …

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Catchup to 5th April 2009

It’s Sunday night, it’s the early hours of the morning – it’s LDV Catchup!

And this was the week in which even more MPs fell foul of the media in the great expense extravaganza, which was particularly embarrassing for Jacqui Smith. Chris Grayling came in for criticism for representing a constituency 17 miles from London but still claiming both second home allowance and high travel costs. Eric Pickles fun time on Question Time finally became available on Youtube – both with and without a Monty Python Yorkshiremen mashup. Thank goodness Nick Clegg has the answer.

It was …

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Catchup to 29/03/09

Welcome to your sneaky guide to the best of LDV from the last fortnight.

In Op-eds, we had a round-up of polls after previous Labour governments from York Membery. Jock Coats told us of the opportunity of a lifetime to build anew, build better. Cllr Jenni Clutten asked whether we can trust our young people and Gareth Aubrey asked whether we can win them.

Our MP for Taunton Jeremy Browne penned a piece to explain why he was one of only two Lib Dem MPs to vote against allowing the Youth Parliament to meet in


Catchup to 15/03/09

Welcome to Catchup, bringing you the tastiest nuggets of LDV from the last fortnight, apart from Conference, which we caught up here.

We started the period with a debate about fairtrade. Good? John Pugh MP thought so; Julian Harris wasn’t so sure.

We learned where thousands of Lib Dems will be trekking to conference over the coming years.

We learned the Government had caved on individual voter registration – and Mark Pack explained why that was a good thing.

Our peers came out top. Ros Scott unleashed hell. Bob Russell MP campaigned


Conference Catchup

A brief window of opportunity arises in between arriving home and quality time spent with the family before a day spent on the budget at Council tomorrow and another conference (Are you going to the LGA Fire Conference in Bristol? See you there!). The window of opportunity is apparently called Larkrise to Candleford.

So, if you were terribly busy during conference, (because, eg, you were at conference) here’s what you missed.

12 second videos
Kudos to Helen Duffett this weekend. She not only trained hundreds of delegates, organised formal and informal meetups of bloggers, tweeted, twitpicked and worked like a dervish …

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Weekly Catchup to 1/03/09

Welcome to Lib Dem Voice’s Catchup post in the poignant week when the newest little Clegg entered this world (pics here) and one of the little Camerons left it, and politics as usual was suspended for an afternoon.

It was also the week Alix Mortimer made the longlist of the new Orwell Prize for Blogging, and Lib Dem Voice itself spent a day in cryogenic suspension as technical wizard Ryan Cullen migrated us to new, private, expensive server.

Our outage led to one angry customer: James Graham’s provocative “Is Lord Ashdown the IT Industry’s Patsy?” went …

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Catchup 22/02/2009

Welcome to catchup, featuring only the crumbliest, flakiest posts from the last week, with no Flake wrappers stopping up the plug.

Most read this week: Mark Pack using David Cameron’s own words to prove that David Cameron is cheap, lurching to the left, and not sensible; yet another post about bloody Derek Draper; another wind-up post from the monstrously offensive Laurence Boyce; an excellent piece from Stephen defending Clegg’s piece about fathers in the recession and still more comments on “Just Exactly How Wrong Was Chris Huhne?”



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Bumper Catchup

It’s been a while since we last caught up with the best of Lib Dem Voice, so here is a whistlestop tour of the last four weeks:

Some of the most viewed stories (according to Google Analytics):
Charlie Gordon MSP’s expenses
Is Progressive London a front for Ken?
Former members of the SDP – are there more in the Tories than the Lib Dems?
Stephen Tall’s excellent “25 random things about the Lib Dems”


The stories you commented on the most:
Was Chris Huhne right to say Geert Wilders should be banned from

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Catchup 20th Jan 2009

This week’s catchup comes to you in the week the Government decided there would, after all, be another runway at Heathrow. We covered that with news that Kramer and Baker are i/c for the Lib Dems, but that at least 15 others feel strongly enough about the issue to put money where their mouths are. And we ended the week with a rallying cry from Benjamin Mathis telling us to think further than opposition.


It was also the week in which self-serving ministers moved to ban the public from knowing how MPs spend public money. We wrote about that here, and were pleased to hear that Jo Swinson tabled an EDM on the subject. If you’re at all twitter-minded, the hashtag #MPexpenses is seeing a fair bit of traffic as twitizens exhort each other to contact MPs in protest.

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Catchup, 12 Jan 09

The year is but 12 days old and it’s only a little over a week since we last caught up, but already we have dozens of delectable posts to pick over and review for your entertainment.

Just this morning, we had the welcome return of the excerpts from the Dictionary of Liberal Thought with a topical entry on Keynes beginning a three month series on the man, his works and thought, and the Forum that now bears his name.

Our fearless leader underwent celebrated a birthday, we liked Twitter for spurious reasons, we discussed my specialist subject, …

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Christmas Catchup

It’s been a busy few weeks since we last delved into the Archives at LDV Towers, so here’s a little snapshot of what’s been happening here since we last rounded up.

You can’t have failed to miss our 12 Op-Eds of Christmas, a round-up of all your favourite writing from the blog throughout 2008. You can find all twelve at this tag link.  There are still a few more to come, taking us up to when we at LDV towers take the tree out for recyling, take our Christmas cards to Smiths or Marks, and carefully wrap up the …


Catchup, 22nd December

Welcome to Christmas catchup in the week party leader Nick Clegg celebrated his first anniversary in post. We covered that here on the voice with articles from our editor at large Stephen Tall, Cambridgeshire campaigner and activist Martin Land, and Mark Littlewood from Progressive Vision. Clegg penned an article for us himself, and also put up a Youtube video. And Alison Holmes also wrote a considered review of the year.

As well as slightly introspective views of his leadership year, Nick Clegg also gave a major speech to Demos, covering the big subject …

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Catchup, 14th December

Welcome to weekly catchup – in the week Lib Dem Voice did two amazing new things: published a book and hosted a live webchat with a member of the Lib Dem shadow cabinet.

You can read the transcript of the webchat here and this link will give you lots of posts about The Tangerine Book, including sneak peeks at the cover artwork and the index, as well as links to where you can buy a copy for yourself.

It was also the week when we covered the news that Lord Jacobs had quit the party and Kirsty

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Catchup, 6th December

Welcome to weekly catchup.  This week, the Voice saw the start of two of the big debates widely expected at spring conference next year, starting with the Lib Dem stance on student tuition fees.  On the pro side, Julian Astle and Tim Leunig.  Batting for the antis, Paul Holmes MP.  The posts attracted a huge number of comments, suggesting the debate is only just beginning. And at the end of last week, Susan Kramer MP used our pages to launch a policy paper that would provide seamless childcare support for families from the day a child is …


Catchup, 28th November

Welcome to the Catchup posting in its new regular time slot at the end of business on Friday.

We start this week where we started last time with the ongoing repercussions of the death of Baby P.  Our own Alix Mortimer laid out a series of constructive steps concerned people could take themselves.  Mark Pack gave us news of what social workers themselves think of the situation. And barrister and Euro candidate Antony Hook wrote an explanatory piece on the role of anonymity in the criminal justice system, partly in response to the Baby P case.

The tragic, untimely …

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Weekly catchup, 17 November

With the sad news of Baby P came a sudden influx of new visitors to the Voice this week.  Our article highlighting local MP Lynne Featherstone’s measured question at PMQs unexpectedly became the top link on Google for Baby P, drawing in more people than we’ve ever seen one thread before.  The result is a sombre wake-up call which shows some of our more jaded regulars and editors like me just what the general public really thinks about stories like this.  The posting attracted over 200 moving postings, the vast majority from people who’ve never been to LDV before. …

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Weekly Catchup, 3 Nov

This week, Daniel Jones made his LDV début urging Lib Dems to go to the Climate March.

We asked the Lib Dem presidential candidates how they would improve membership, and we posted three answers here: Opik, Scott and Fernando.

You, dear reader, commented in spades on posts like David Allen’s opinion piece Time for a New Start, (Darrell Goodliffe put a different view here – it’s early days yet for comments on that one). Our new poll on the BBC licence fee started a conversation. See also Stephen Tall highlighting a curiosity in …

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Catchup, 27th October

A trio of Independent Views kickstarted our week last Monday: Phil Booth from No2ID on credit freezes, Anne Furedi from BPAS about the human fertility bill and Dale Bassett from Reform about the IPOD generation. Our Independent View slot is open to almost anyone who wants to talk to Lib Dems whilst stressing their independence from any particular political party.

Our biggest debate last week started on a post from Mark Littlewood in which he set out his stall for Liberal Vision. 150 comments later and the debate is still going strong. Remind me …

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Weekly catchup 6 Oct

Life has been a little quieter this week as the Conference season concludes, the world comes to the brink of financial meltdown and Dr Pack sets off on his tour of the world’s paperclip factories.

Our own Vince Cable gave his thoughts on the economy, kicking off a Lib Dem campaign to highlight our plans for financial recovery. It’s been a good week for Vince – as even Tinsel Tits agrees.

Vince was joined this week as a guest contributor to the voice by Simon Titley, arguing that politicians should talk more than listen; Paul Burall sought …


Weekly catchup

Previously, on Lib Dem Voice…

MP Lynne Featherstone penned us an article on the brittleness of British politics; Alisdair Murray fed back on how joint Lib/Lab meetings went at both our conference and theirs; Jeremy Hargreaves let us know about the Lib Dem Hospital Governor’s Network; Tom Papworth shared his views about tax; and Rob Blackie had a plea about the proposed Leadership Academy.

Editor at Large Stephen Tall was pleased that 187 of you dropped by with your views on the state of things at present – and we covered your views extensively in a series …


Conference catchup

We wrote some 80 posts covering conference last week – if for some reason you missed some of them, here’s a handy cut-out-and-keep reference to the best of blogging at LDV.

Before conference even began we had a major debate, with hundreds of comments, about Making it Happen

Whilst at conference, Stephen Tall liveblogged the Make it Happen debate – and well over 100 of you joined in from home and/or the conference floor.  Ultimately, it ended up a very good debate.
We covered other key debates:

Also posted in Conference | 3 Comments

Bumper catchup

Catchup has been away from our screens following a writers strike. In the three weeks since you last heard from me, here’s what’s been happening.

There’s been a by-election. The best place to catch up are a series of post-mortem posts, including what party chief exec Lord Rennard emailed to members, and LDV staffer Stephen Tall’s response. A wide ranging debate followed on both threads – and Chris Rennard followed closely too – and posted his own response.

Just hours later, we heard that there would likely be a by-election in Glasgow East, so I asked …


Weekly Catchup

After a brief hiatus, Weekly Catchup returns.

Guest writers brought us:

Loads of comments on:

The regulars brought you:

And of course, there’s the …

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Recent Comments

  • Martin Gray
    Andy.....Thats all well and good - but Lord Sewell's report reiterates what the vast amount of statistics/data over a significant number of years has shown...No...
  • Philip Smith
    "One of the key missions of the LibDems is electoral reform, for the sake of improving democracy by making it more representative NOT for the sake of securing m...
  • Andy
    @Martin Gray And finally, I volunteer in my spare time at a local food bank. I've meet people who have gone days without food, have to decide living with empty...
  • Andy
    @Martin Gray This sounds a bit too close to bell curve theory argument that I heard from people who try and defend keeping "the traditional, heterosexual nucle...
  • Paul R
    A number of comments. 1) For List based PR systems, they are either closed or open systems. In the former, the parties decide the order of the candidates in ...