Category Archives: Daily View

Daily View: 19 June 2020

You can’t say that the leadership contest is light on ideas this time. Layla’s “Build Back Better”, Ed’s Green Investment Plan, and Wera calling for a progressive alliance, members really can’t say that they’re not being offered distinctive choices.

I’ll be honest, I probably won’t make up my mind until late on in the contest, but I suspect that there will be quite a few voters who will do the same. It’s all to play for…

Meanwhile, Labour Together have published their review of the Party’s General Election campaign, and it isn’t a comfortable read. Whilst pinning much …

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Daily View: 18 June 2020

I ought to start today’s piece with an invitation – a Returning Officer’s privilege, I guess…

But seriously, if you are a member of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats and you want to know more, drop me a line. My contact details are in the e-mail that you should have received…

Elsewhere, a military rock fight in the Himalayas has killed dozens of Chinese and Indian soldiers, leading to fears of war in territory not at all suited to fighting. Whilst the Indian Army has recent experience of high-altitude action – the Kashmir border with Pakistan sees the occasional clash – Ladakh remains contested …

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Daily View: 16 June 2020

I’ve been writing this feature for nearly three months now, and hope that you’ve enjoyed it. Today, I’m going to change the style a little, to make it a little less formulaic. Bear with me…

We’ve got a leadership contest underway, if the wave of press releases from the various campaign teams is any guide. By the way, we won’t be publishing them here at Liberal Democrat Voice in line with our policy of neutrality in internal elections. But I would like to see a contest of ideas, especially as I am a genuine floating voter this time. I can’t help …

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Daily View 2×2: 15 June 2020

2 big stories

The relaxation of the UK’s lockdown continues, albeit somewhat falteringly. Yes, you’ll probably be able to go into a pub soon, but your kids may not be back at school until September. And that’s partly because politicians are increasingly ignoring scientists, as Rishi Sunak quite openly acknowledged. He is, I think, right to do so – advisors advise, politicians decide. If only many of us had more faith in the quality of those politicians who form our current government…

Caution is probably the watchword though, as many, if not most, people are still uncomfortable with crowded places, and are …

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Daily View 2×2: 12 June 2020

2 big stories

The Economist has launched its prediction model for the 2020 US Presidential election (registration required), and it makes for optimistic reading if you’re a liberal, with the current prediction suggesting that based on electoral college votes, the key state is Pennsylvania. The thing about that is that the current prediction indicates that Joe Biden has a 75% likelihood of winning Pennsylvania and, indeed, if their predictions are accurate, Biden is leading by 330 electoral college votes to 208.

Will it stay like that? With five months still to go until polling day, it’s unlikely, but if Donald Trump …


Daily View 2×2: 11 June 2020

2 big stories

“We’re going to the zoo, zoo, zoo, you can come too, too, too…” is probably not enough compensation for the suggestion by Professor Neil Ferguson that enforcing a lockdown just one week earlier would have saved 20,000 lives. And, as confidence in the Government’s handling of the crisis continues to decline, it does seem as though the response is to offer up as many opportunities for enjoyment as possible, regardless of whether or not it is safe to do so.

The suggestion that, whilst Russia interferes with our politics, China interferes with our perceptions, is an emerging viewpoint. …


Daily View 2×2: 10 June 2020

2 big stories

There was a time when nuclear disarmament talks between the United States and the Soviet Union were a big thing. Admittedly, these days Russia might be more accurately described as a developing world county with nuclear weapons but any moves towards a reduction in nuclear capability is a good thing. Unfortunately, the American desire to include the Chinese in such talks is likely to be unsuccessful and, with China testing the strength of its neighbours on all sides, that offers a problem going forward.

As a review of Humphrey Hawksley’s book, Asian Waters, notes;

If China does get away

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Daily View 2×2: 9 June 2020

2 big stories

New Zealand appears to have dealt with Covid-19, with no new instances and the last case having been cleared. Clear messaging, early action and a community spirit has proved to be most effective, which perhaps puts the UK Government’s efforts into perspective.

Meanwhile, the dash away from science continues as far as Matt Hancock is concerned, with key measures dropped or downplayed in the haste to reopen the economy. The key question is, if you open things up, and people decide that they’d rather not take the risk, is more damage done to, say, the hospitality sector, by …


Daily View 2×2: 8 June 2020

2 big stories

Black Lives Matter. A simple statement that probably ought not to be necessary, but is. The demonstrations in our bigger towns and cities will have drawn most of the coverage, but the picture is from that well-known radical heartland of Bury St Edmunds, where a demonstration took place yesterday afternoon. Perhaps it is a sign of promise that, even in a community like this, where the non-white population is small, hundreds of people felt moved to express their anger at the injustice of a society which treats black people …

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Daily View 2×2: 5 June 2020

2 big stories

Yesterday, the New York Times published an opinion piece by the junior US Senator for Arkansas, Tom Cotton, which called upon President Trump to invoke the 1807 Insurrection Act to

employ the military “or any other means” in “cases of insurrection, or obstruction to the laws”

by way of an overwhelming show of force against protestors. Why is this important? Because Tom Cotton is a potential Republican nominee for the Presidency in the not that distant future.

It would be fair to say that there was a backlash, as the editorial page editor himself admitted.

There is a valid question to …

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Daily View 2×2: 3 June 2020

2 big stories

The slide towards banana republic status for the United Kingdom continues. Yesterday, whipped by their leadership, Conservative MPs voted to return to the old ways of operating, causing a queue of MPs to form in order to vote that ran through Westminster Hall, the gardens of the Palace of Westminster and as far as Portcullis House. Frankly, if I were the Opposition, I’d be calling divisions on anything and everything, up to and including what day of the week it is.

Excluding MPs who are pregnant, shielding or in vulnerable groups is an attack on our democracy, and …

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Daily View 2×2: 2 June 2020

2 big stories

The controversy over the death of George Floyd continues and the Chair of the Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality, Roderick Lynch, notes;

Just as we have a moral obligation to speak out against the injustice we’re witnessing in the US, we also can’t ignore the failings here in the UK. In the UK 26% of instances of police using firearms are against black people, despite black people making up only 3.3% of the population. 51% of young men in custody in the UK are from black, Asian or minority ethnic backgrounds, despite these groups making up only

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Daily View 2×2: 1 June 2020

2 big stories

It is an exaggeration to say that America’s cities are in flames, and despite President Trump’s inflammatory comments, in most places, demonstrations remain peaceful, if tense. And protests against the death of George Floyd have spread beyond America too. Unfortunately, there is little doubt that the only difference between policing in the United States and here is that, at least here, the police are unarmed and the courts less perfunctory and politicised, thus deaths are thankfully rarer, but BAME citizens, especially black ones, are more likely to be the subjects of police activity, even if they aren’t actually doing anything that would attract attention if done by a white person.

We can, as of today, partake in a whole slew of activities hitherto restricted, thanks to the Government. But so much for following the science, for the Association of Directors of Public Health has urged them to reverse the decision;

But Jeanelle de Gruchy, president of the ADPH, said her colleagues across England were “increasingly concerned that the government is misjudging the balance of risk between more social interaction and the risk of a resurgence of the virus, and is easing too many restrictions too quickly”.

Can it really be that the Government is willing to risk thousands of lives to draw our attention away from Dominic Cummings? Or are they simply incompetent and dishonest? Of course, “both” is an option here…

2 social media posts

There’s a definite sense of romance in the air today. First, Monroe Palmer has posted this on Facebook…

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Daily View 2×2: 29 May 2020

2 big stories

Oh what a tangled web we weave… The problem with taking increasingly ludicrous positions in public is that, eventually, either you have to give up, or the contortions become so absurd that everybody knows that that’s what they are, at which point the game is up. Health ministers, and the Prime Minister, trashing their own policies in order to justify Dominic Cummings’ moonlight flit to Durham, Michael Gove attempting to suggest that he too would test his eyesight by going for a drive, the scientific advisors silenced. And it does begin to beg the question, what does …


Daily View 2×2: 28 May 2020

2 big stories

Frankly, I’m bored with Dominic Cummings. I freely accept that he doesn’t care what anyone thinks of him and will only quit when he feels like it – because his notional boss hasn’t got the backbone to do anything about him. But he has become a symbol of exactly what senior Conservatives think of the British public, for which we should be kind of grateful. That said, it appears that more and more Conservative MPs are beginning to realise how damaging his arrogance is becoming. Is it that they don’t like the grief they’re getting from constituents, …


Daily View 2×2: 22 May 2020

2 big stories

Speak softly, but carry a big moral stick, seems to be the lesson to be drawn from the Government’s u-turn on the question of the NHS surcharge for migrant health workers. All credit to Keir Starmer for putting the issue in such a way as to give backbench Conservatives cover to press Al and Priti to axe it. And yes, the NHS surcharge is just another way of extorting money out of people who already pay their taxes plus visa fees for the right to work in this country, doing jobs that mostly aren’t attractive to locals, …

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Daily View 2×2: 20 May 2020

A big day for some people, and definitely an interesting one, to look forward to, and we’ll be covering that in half an hour, but in the meantime, the debate over the General Election Review rumbles on, and we have some history, and some local politics to offer you during the day, with some thoughts on inter-generational fairness in the evening. So, on with the medley!

2 big stories (apart from that one!)

So much for schools reopening on 1 June. It’s already clear that parents aren’t keen, and that the teaching unions are wary, but when Conservative councils (Essex and …

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Daily View 2×2: 19 May 2020

We’ve got a busy day ahead, here at Liberal Democrat Voice. There are a wide range of views regarding the General Election Review, as you might guess, and they’re still coming in, so you can expect a number of articles today and tomorrow…

2 big stories

The Immigration Bill has had its Second Reading in the Commons and, unsurprisingly, was passed by a majority of 99 votes. It’s a pretty shoddy, rather unpleasant piece of work from a Home Secretary who clearly believes in pulling up the drawbridge that her own family (and mine) used not so long ago. But, given …


Daily View 2×2: 18 May 2020

2 big stories

Are right-wing political campaigners not only using Russian attack lines, but using the same tactics to discredit their opponents? Here’s a story from the United States, see what you think…

Test, track, trace and isolate is allegedly the Government’s strategy to deal with the coronavirus. That requires a network of contact tracers, 18,000 of whom were supposed to be in place and operating imminently. It’s a pity that they’ve not been recruited yet

2 social media posts

Today, two differing views of the Party’s Internal Review into the 2019 General Election campaign.

Nick Tyrone is rather more impressed than …


Daily View 2×2: 15 May 2020

2 big stories

You can tell when the Conservatives are rattled. After the easy years of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour Leader, Keir Starmer is clearly more of a worry, which might explain why Conservative MPs Nadine Dorries, Maria Caulfield and Lucy Allan decided to draw attention via Twitter to a very dubiously edited video purporting to represent his views on child grooming. It wasn’t actually true, indeed it might represent defamation, and disappeared, along with the account it came from. Maria Caulfield was obviously concerned about the possibilities, as her entire Twitter account has been deleted. Even Number 10 wasn’t …

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Daily View 2×2: 14 May 2020

2 big stories

There’s little bigger news any time than an economic slump, and the acknowledgement from Rishi Sunak that Britain is facing a “significant recession” augurs ill for a country likely to mutilate its key trading tie in less than eight months. But with decidedly mixed messages on how Government finances might be reconciled going forward – no more austerity, apparently – and public services in need of investment, an inexperienced Treasury team need to come up with a plan fast.

The tragic death of Transport for London employee, Belly Mujinga, has become the subject of an investigation into …


Daily View 2×2: 13 May 2020

My apologies for missing yesterday – life is rather hectic at the moment, so time to catch up, methinks…

2 big stories

Today, the Self-Employed Income Support Scheme goes live with, potentially, 3,500,000 eligible applicants, and HMRC will, hopefully, step up to the mark again. But yesterday saw Rishi Sunak kick the can down the road somewhat, extending the Job Retention Scheme in its current form for another month, until 31 July, and indicating that furloughed employees will continue to receive 80% of their usual gross pay until 31 October. The catch? Employers are going to have to make up some of …


Daily View 2×2: 11 May 2020

As it’s a Monday, I’m on editorial duty, as well as “opening batsman”. And we’ve got some interesting stuff coming up on the site, with the House of Lords, Northern (England) campaigning, Welsh devolution, business support for the hitherto overlooked and even some audience participation for those of you who have an interest in how democracy works. Naturally, we’ll have the latest thoughts from Mary too, for whom the announced changes make little difference. So, if like so many, you’re a bit cooped up at home, why not join us during the day?

Oh, and yes, I’m actually at work, albeit

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Daily View 2×2: 7 May 2020

2 big stories

Who’d have thought it? The achievement of the testing target on 30 April is already looking deeply shady, with the inclusion of posted tests included in that figure, plus allegations that even those posted weren’t actually usable. And now, subsequent data shows that the numbers are going backwards, not upwards. The solution, a new target. The distraction from failure – some relaxations in terms of going out and about.

Meanwhile, the European Union is predicting that its economy will shrink by 7.4% this year, the worst performance since World War II, with the economies of Southern Europe worst …

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Daily View 2×2: 6 May 2020

It’s becoming increasingly hard to keep up with the news cycle and, beyond the chaos of lockdown, a no deal Brexit begins to loom ever larger…

2 big stories

When the specialist trade press, the Adam Smith Institute and Guido Fawkes think that you’ve got something wrong, your instinct might be to think that you’ve got something very right. On the other hand, this is HM Government’s new app for coronavirus contact tracing, and all three sources above think that it’s rubbish. Here’s Guido Fawkes (and I’m not sure that I really believe that I’m writing this) on just one of


Daily View 2×2: 5 May 2020

There’s almost too much going on at the moment. Certainly, there’s too much going on for the Government to cope with, given its evident bandwidth problems…

2 big stories

Buzzfeed News is claiming an exclusive insight into the Goverment’s proposed ideas in terms of relaxing the current restrictions and, on the face of it, they look fairly sensible. But, as I commented yesterday, are the British public willing to return to the ‘old normal’ so soon? My sense is that they generally aren’t, but the Government needs to change that mindset if their desire to taper down the level of support …

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Daily View 2×2: 4 May 2020

My subconscious is telling me that it’s a Bank Holiday Monday. Sadly, it isn’t…

2 big stories

Whilst the Government talk about relaxing restrictions, the public seem likely to vote to demur from a return to normality. With less than 10% support for reopening pubs, stadiums and nightclubs, and just 11% support reopening restaurants, it’s clear that, even if you allow such things to reopen, there just won’t be enough potential custom to allow them to survive, let alone thrive.

In another sign that any economic recovery is going to faltering at best, a report compiled by Deloitte indicates that business …


Daily View 2×2: 1 May 2020

It’s got to be admitted that April was… interesting. The world has been turned upside down somewhat, and what we thought we knew is now uncertain. And, as the lockdown goes on, and the elections that many of us had expected are delayed, what does May have in store?

2 big stories

There will be a plan for a return to work and for schools to reopen by next week, according to the Prime Minister. But will the public be willing to do so, given the levels of support for the lockdown and for social distancing? You can open an office …


Daily View 2×2: 30 April 2020

2 big stories

So, will Matt Hancock reach his target of 100,000 tests today? And even if that capacity is reached, will they be carried out? It’s not looking terribly optimistic when even NHS Providers, which represents foundation trusts in England, dismisses the 100,000 target as a “red herring” that distracted from the failures of ministers.

Setting targets and missing them is bad enough, but setting meaningless, and possibly even misdirected ones, and msssing them anyway, seems to be the story of this Government’s handling of the crisis.

It’s a sign of the general uselessness of the British print media that, for …

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Daily View 2×2: 29 April 2020

2 big stories

Next steps in addressing the coronavirus crisis? Tracing, an app and?… The Guardian provides an explanation of how the Government plans to step up its battle to quell the virus. But do you trust the Government with data relating to where you’ve gone and who you’ve met? Or is the need to bring this to an end enough to overcome your concerns?

British Airways is making 12,000 staff redundant, a sign of how bad things are likely to get for the airline industry. The share price is down by more than two-thirds, compared to the FTSE 100 …

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