Category Archives: From the LDV Archive

LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: Our most read post of 2016 is by…Vince Cable

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

The most read post of the year, and our 6th of all time was written by Sir Vince Cable, just one week after the Referendum. He set out a challenging reality check.

For our party and its supporters in the country the last few years have brought one defeat after another:  local councils, devolved government, national government, AV referendum, now the EU referendum.  There is a limit to the number of times a boxer can climb back up off the floor.  What fortifies me is the adage that winners are losers who never give up.  And perhaps we should think bigger: not as a small party with an 8% core vote but the centre of gravity of a broad movement of 48% of voters who chose Remain.

The first step in responding to defeat has been to look for scapegoats: the people who led a poor and failing campaign.  Cameron has gone and (hopefully) Corbyn and Osborne are going.   But in truth the Remain campaign as a whole failed to grasp the strength of the opposing coalition: not just conservative pensioners who want the past back but the’ left behind ‘who have suffered declining living standards and public services, the Commonwealth voters who felt Europe was at their expense and many who felt this was the best way to give an unpopular and unrepresentative government a good kicking.

That is why we have to approach the result with some humility.  There is nothing to be gained by denial: crying foul. We wuz robbed, ref.  I see petitions demanding a re-run, legal challenges and appeals to parliament to ‘do something’.  Dream on.  Of course the Leave campaign was mendacious; of course the referendum shouldn’t have happened; of course parliament was negligent in not building in thresholds. But the public was clearly told by both sides that the result would be final. And there was a big turnout.  That is it..

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #2 How did our constituencies vote in the EU Referendum?

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

The runner-up is Duncan Brack’s analysis of how the seats in which there is most Lib Dem interest voted in the EU Referendum.

It’s obvious from the maps published after the referendum that several former Liberal Democrat seats voted remain – Cambridge, Bath, Cheltenham, Lewes and others. It’s equally obvious that plenty didn’t – all of them in Cornwall and Devon, for example. But because the results were counted and declared by local authority area, we haven’t been able to tell how individual constituencies voted – until now.

Chris Hanretty, Reader in Politics at the University of East Anglia, has tried to estimate how all the 574 Parliamentary seats in England and Wales voted (it’s a reasonable assumption that all or almost all Scottish seats voted remain). He’s taken each council area result and applied demographic factors – average age in the area, the proportion of residents with degrees, average income, etc. – which we know are strongly associated with voting leave or remain to break it down to constituency levels. He can’t be precise, of course, but his model fits reasonably well the results in the 26 local authority areas which are also parliamentary constituencies.

He expresses the result as an estimated leave vote with a prediction interval (i.e. a range of outcomes, since we can’t be precise) on either side. You can see his reasoning, and download the full spreadsheet here.

Based on his calculations, this is how all the seats Liberal Democrats won at the 2010 election break down, in descending order of the remain vote (seats we hold now are in bold):

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #3 John Bolton as Trump’s Secretary of State?

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

In 3rd place is a piece from Ciaran McGonagle criticising one of Donald Trump’s potential choices for US Secretary of State. Unfortunately, the guy who did get it, Exxon Mobii’s Rex Tillerson, is arguably even worse.

john-bolton

News that John Bolton is being considered for the role of Secretary of State in President-elect Trump’s administration should give liberals, multi-lateralists, indeed anyone who values human rights and the rule of law, much cause for much concern.

As you may recall, John Bolton served as both Under-Secretary of State for Arms Control and International Security and, temporarily, as Permanent Representative to the United Nations under the Bush administration. His brief tenure at the United Nations was cut short as the 2006 Democratic mid-term sweep removed any realistic prospect that Bolton’s nomination would be confirmed.

With Republican majorities now in place for at least the next 2 years, it seems unlikely that Trump’s will encounter similar problems with his own appointments.

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #4: Liz Truss as you have never seen her before

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

Our 4th most popular post highlights Justice Secretary Liz Truss. Lib Dem peer Martin Thomas found an old LDYS newsletter from Liz’s days as a Lib Dem. A classic, I’m sure you will agree..

If it hadn’t been for one of our peers moving house, we might never have had this wee gem fall into our hands.

We know that new Justice Secretary and Lord Chancellor Liz Truss was once a young Liberal Democrat activist before joining the Tories. However, we now have photographic evidence from an LDYS newsletter from the time of one Elizabeth Truss proudly holding up the LDYS banner on a mass trespass at Twyford Down in protest at the Criminal Justice Bill on 2 July 1994. Simon Hughes also took part.

This controversial piece of legislation was introduced by Conservative Home Secretary Michael Howard and offended liberals by restricting raves, allowing inferences to be drawn from a suspect exercising a right to silence and strengthening unsupervised stop and search powers. Those latter powers were still being used until the Coalition years, when their use was curbed thanks to the influence of Liberal Democrats in government.
Screen Shot 2016-07-27 at 14.34.11

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #5 EU citizenship?

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

For Liberal Democrats, internationalism, democracy and human rights are core values. For that reason, many of us are very upset at the thought of losing our EU citizenship and all that signifies. Stuart Bonar wrote for us last month about an idea to enable those of us who want it to retain that citizenship.

 

Since the vote to leave the European Union back in June, many of my friends have suddenly developed a keen interest in their Irish ancestry. Others have already bagged a German passport, a Cypriot passport, and permanent residency in Belgium. Everywhere, anyone with a parent or grandparent from elsewhere in Europe is clambering aboard a lifeboat out of Brexit Britain. Some of us however aren’t able to contribute to the big, post-referendum spike in applications to become new Danes, Italians and Swedes.

I was giving this a lot of thought last month. Sure, I want to keep my right to live, work, travel, study, retire, even start a business across the EU with the minimum of bureaucratic fuss and bother, but it’s more than that. I am a European. I feel it in my bones. I don’t want my EU citizenship ripped from my hands. I want to keep it.

A thought popped into my head. A solution that would allow those who wanted to leave to do so, whilst allowing those who feel they are EU citizens as much as British citizens to remain.

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #6 Undeclared Conservative election expenses unearthed by Channel 4 News

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

The second half starts off with a report from Channel 4 News about Michael Crick’s investigations into Conservative election expense returns for the 2015 General Election.

Michael Crick, Channel 4 News’s political correspondent, has spent months investigating the Conservative Party’s election expenses from last year’s general election, focussing on the party’s “battle buses”, which moved activists around the country, and the associated costs incurred (e.g. hotels).

Last night’s programme featured another report, this time looking at the use of the buses in the South-West, where the Conservatives successfully targeted every one of the 14 seats held by the Lib Dems:

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #7 Unwelcome behaviour at Conference

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

In this post a long time attendee at Liberal Democrat Conference points out some behaviour they experienced at Conference which indicates that the culture of the party needs to change.

As a long time conference attendee, I adore the opportunity to meet Lib Dems, old and new, and engage and enthuse with like-minded people. But sometimes behaviour boundaries are pushed and we need to make a note of them to remind ourselves to challenge insidious sexist behaviour.

On the morning of Saturday 17th September, Lib Dems received a message from the Conference office entitled ‘Conference Guidelines’ which sets out details of what is unwanted behaviour.

Contemplating this, I thought it might be interesting to relate some unwelcome behaviour I encountered. I want to do this anonymously, but am aware others have noticed similar issues and feel it’s important we stand up to and challenge incidents like this when they occur.

On one day I attended the motion on Social Security. Now, it was a strong debate, with lots of opposing views. But when making those views, it should be noted it’s unacceptable to refer to a female speaker as “darlin’”, no matter how well you might know that individual. The language is sexist and patronising. While I believe the comment was made in an attempt at friendliness, it is still derrogatory and quite simply, should be wiped out. It’s on a par to David Cameron’s “calm down dear” episode at PMQs, and where we wouldn’t take the insult from the former Prime Minister, neither should we take it from friends or acquaintances. 

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LDV’s Top Twelve of 2016: #8 Mockery of Diane Abbott shows why our political culture needs to change

Over the next few days, we will be publishing our twelve most read posts of 2016. Many thanks to the 533,000 people who have visited the site over the past tumultuous 12 months. 

In our 8th most read post, Caron Lindsay argues that the social media mockery of Diane Abbott by various right wing types is not a sign of a healthy political culture.

Labour MP Diane Abbott is being roundly mocked in various parts of the internet because of a question she asked as Shadow International Development Secretary, a position she held until last week when she was promoted to Shadow Health Secretary.

She asked:

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development, what steps she has taken to assist people in the Indonesian province of Province of Davao del Norte affected by the drought in that province.

The reply was crushing:

There is no province called Davao del Norte in Indonesia.

Actually, there is a place called Davao del Norte suffering droughts. In the Philippines. So a staffer in Diane Abbott’s office made a mistake. We all do it. Why make a fuss?

The Guido Fawkes blog has been one of those poking fun at Abbott. It’s not surprising behaviour from a right wing sensationalist site.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one with the naked man

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

This is one of our more iconic posts. Former co-editor Stephen Tall made a bit of a rash promise on the Daily Politics in 2013. He said that if the Liberal Democrats only  won 24 seats in the General Election, he would run naked up Whitehall.

Well, sadly, the election result is history. Stephen could have got off on a technicality, but he did the run, on, of all dates, the anniversary of Margaret Thatcher’s birth, pretty much naked and filmed for the Daily Politics. Enjoy.

Stephen Tall, formerly of this parish, has honoured the pledge he made to run naked down Whitehall if the Liberal Democrats were reduced to 24 seats.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: What we said when the Coalition was born

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

Cast your minds back to May 2010, when Nick Clegg walked along Downing Street as Deputy PM for the first time. How did LDV contributors take the news?

101 ways to win an election co-author Ed Maxfield described family tensions but looked at the opportunities the coalition offered. His comments about the way we campaign should probably have been more widely read:

Those entering government face an enormous responsibility – to deliver good government with a distinct liberal tone. But the wider party must also recognise this is potentially a moment of transformation. We have to start work now on winning the referendum on voting reform. We have to plan for the next election to be on radically different boundaries returning far fewer MPs (and on AV too). Hardest of all, perhaps, we have to ask whether the guerilla campaigning techniques that have served us so well for the last 40 years are ‘fit for purpose’ now.

I am unsettled but full of hope for the future today. Being in government is much harder than being in opposition.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one with the Games Makers

gamesmakers

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

Continuing our Olympic themed weekend, four years ago, our Mary Reid spent two weeks as a Games Maker at the Paralympics. She wrote about her experiences and asked what the Liberal Democrats could learn from that.

Certainly, there has been more of an effort to engage and appreciate our volunteers at a national level since then, but there is always scope for improvement.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: Looking back at London 2012

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

While we are all marvelling at the Olympic action in Rio, there is no way that the Games pack as big an emotional punch for British people as our home games four years ago. Even the most hard-hearted sceptic got totally caught up in the Games.

With all that’s happened since, many of us want to see that tolerant, inclusive, liberal vision set out in Danny Boyle’s amazing opening ceremony.  That Britain is still very much there, despite what has happened recently. Building that country that works for everyone is the only way to bring people back from listening to the voices of those who spread hatred and division.

Anyway, here is Stephen Tall’s take on Boyle’s opening ceremony. He made Danny Boyle his Liberal Hero of the Week.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one where Vince said what we needed to do about the credit crunch

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

Let’s go back to 2008 and the start of the global crash.

Here is what Vince Cable had to say. It’s relevant because it shows our consistency of approach to these things over the years and that we were well ahead of the game in predicting the dangers of the accumulation of personal debt.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one where Labour thought vegetarians could be terrorists

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

Just in case you ever forget how awful Labour could be on civil liberties. With added video from Dr Pack.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one with Joanna Lumley and the Gurkhas

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

Remember that wonderful day in 2009 when a Liberal Democrat motion to allow Gurkhas to settle in this country was won and the Labour Government was defeated.  Joanna Lumley had been at the forefront of the campaign and she and Nick Clegg and David Cameorn held a press conference after the vote.

The next week, Joanna Lunley had some robust exchanges with then Labour MP Phil Woolas ( remember him?).

It’s a huge pity that David Cameron seemed to forget this when he let down the Afghan interpreters who served our country and put themselves and their families at huge risk.

Anyway, here’s Alex Foster’s post rounding up the commentary on that historic day before the result of the vote was known.

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The dawn of Cleggmania

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

April 15th 2010 is an auspicious date in Liberal Democrat history. It was the first Leaders’ Debate in a General Election at UK level ever.

Nick Clegg was adjudged the winner. Here’s Stephen Tall’s commentary on the night itself.

Within a few days, the world would have gone mad with Cleggmania. Given what’s happening in politics now, it seems tame but it was a Big Thing at the time. You knew it wasn’t really going to lead to anything, but it was a good feeling. 1983, when the Alliance was at one point ahead in the polls and finished with just 23 MPs always loomed large in my mind.  Anyway, over to Stephen:

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: On the Election that never was

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

As the party gears up for a potential snap election called by a Prime Minister on honeymoon, we can look back at the last time we thought, with a bit more certainty, that we were in this boat. I kid you not, one candidate actually cancelled a holiday to China because he didn’t want to be away for any of the campaign.

Of course, then, it never happened. Here is Stephen Tall’s analysis of the situation:

100 days in power, and the toughest decision yet faces the Prime Minister: does he seek a mandate, or does he delay calling an election?

A week ago, the decision looked a formality. Labour was riding high in the polls on the back of their ‘nobody mention the Blairs’ party conference, and a couple of polls suggesting double-digit leads over the Tories. Spool forward, and it’s all looking a lot less rosy, with a slew of polls indicating a narrowing of Labour’s lead.

If there’s one thing more stupid than taking too much notice of opinion polls, it’s taking no notice of them. You can bet the last penny in your Northern Rock account that Mr Brown and his advisors will be poring over every single psephological detail.

If – and it remains a big if – Mr Brown decides it’s too risky, and rules out a November election, he leaves a wide open door for the Lib Dems and the Tories: the carefully cultured image of a strong Prime Minister in complete control of events will be impossible to maintain after weeks of dithering culminating in a conclusion that he’s not popular enough to win, even with the following wind of a 100-day honeymoon.

It’s not only his prestige with the public and the media which will take a knocking – so too will his credibility among the party faithful, who have so far shown themselves to be devotedly in thrall to Mr Brown. He’ll have marched them up to the top of the hill, only for them to discover he forgot to mention there’s another peak beyond. Pretty demoralising stuff. The Labour party has trusted their leader to know exactly what he’s doing. That Mr Brown’s now boxed himself into a corner suggests he’s not the political genius too many people have assumed on the basis of not much evidence.

Of course, he may well still call an election for November. Until now, I’ve thought Labour would be sure-fire winners of such a snap poll. Not any more. Mr Brown is obsessed, it seems, with trying to understand the British psyche – in which case he should appreciate the very real possibility that the public could react in a ‘bloody sod yer then’ way to any cynical attempt to bounce them into casting their votes before they’re good and ready.

If there’s one lesson of the last three weeks’ opinion polls it is that the public has still to make up its mind about any of the parties, and wants to see all their leaders properly tested in the coming months. Force-feeding voters a diet of under-cooked policies in a rushed general election will just give everyone indigestion.

But what of now? I expect Lynton Crosby is champing at the bit to persuade Theresa May to go to the country. She has the chance to kill her opposition. I hear that senior Labour people at Westminster are pretty gloomy with some even thinking that they would be lucky to win 100 seats. The Tories are ahead in the polls and we’re in that Brexit phony war situation. The economy is likely to take a major knock. Things are going to get bad. If you were Theresa May, would you not want to secure yourself another five years before things get terrible?

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: All about Facebook

Fake Norman Lamb Facebook group screenshotOn 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

LDV was actually set up before Facebook became a thing. Or at least before it became a thing outside universities.

The first mention I can find came back in February 2007 when Mark Pack spied Liberal Democrat MPs flocking to the New Big Thing.

There’s been a flurry of Liberal Democrat MPs starting to use the social networking site Facebook in the last few weeks – including party leader Ming Campbell (the first UK party leader to do so, just as he was the first on Google Video and YouTube), Jo SwinsonSteve WebbStephen Williams and Lynne Featherstone.

Facebook used to only be open to students – and so there is a strong Lib Dem Youth and Student presence on it – but has recently been opened up to anyone.

If you are a Facebook user yourself or you become one after reading this post and wondering what on earth it is all about, don’t forget to join the Liberal Democrat group (currently 561 members, rather more than Labour’s 490).

Five months later, Mark charted how the parties were using Facebook in parliamentary by-elections, complete with 3D bar charts.

Facebook provided some early mysteries, such as the time someone set up a fake profile of Norman Lamb which mentioned his opponent more than you would expect.

The plot got very much thicker and Mark turned detective to try to unmask the culprit.

Amongst the Wikipedia edits is a plug for this anti-Liberal Democrat film which tries to pass itself off as an official pro-Liberal Democrat film (e.g. in the YouTube description: “Watch the video to find out why you should re-elect the Liberal Democrat run North Norfolk district council.” and the start of the film, which says it is “the Liberal Democrats broadcast for the local elections”).

The same username as that used on YouTube to upload the film – daisydukew – has also been used to make pro-Conservative comments elsewhere online: here and here.

d.The same IP address has also been used to make – deep breath – eleven different comments over four days on Liberal Democrat Voice claiming to be from seven different people (plus a couple of anonymous ones). .

It must be like Piccadilly Circus at that computer!

All of the names given are names that haven’t been used before to post on this site. One thing they all have in common is that where they try to place responsibility for the faking on anyone, it is always someone other than the Conservatives.

Then there was the final descent into farce.

Mark will probably kill me for unearthing this one, where he sings the praises of Lib Dem ACT. Remember that? I thought I’d give ACT the benefit of the doubt at the time but it seemed to be daft when everyone was on Facebook. Mark said:

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LDV at 10: Pick of the posts: The one with the dodgy crystal ball

On 27th August, LDV will be 10 years old. In that time, we’ve brought you over 24,000 posts and published over 337,000 comments. Over the Summer holidays, we’ll take you on a nostalgic meander through a decade of Liberal Democrat history, seen through the eyes of our editors and contributors. We hope you enjoy our choices.

LDV burst on to the scene on 27th August 2006 with a bold prediction about the forthcoming Party Presidential election. Incumbent Simon Hughes was “certain to be challenged.”

Word reaches the Voice that weeks before the position had been advertised in Lib Dem News, party officials in Cowley Street received a call requesting a copy of the nomination papers for party President – the caller was not acting on behalf of Simon Hughes.

Word also reaches us that one potential candidate is positioning himself to blitz Autumn Conference with an army of supporters bearing nomination papers, to seize the momentum.

A Presidential contest is no bad thing – though there is an argument that there are better ways to spend the money. The Voice has been told that a proposal is being put to the Federal Executive to double the campaign expenditure limit – to  £5000 per candidate.

So our crystal ball may have been a bit wonky.

It’s worth noting that our last prediction about a presidential election,  a members’ survey suggesting a Daisy Cooper win, was similarly affected by the LDV Presidential Curse.

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Comments: Don’t write something that would lead the Queen to set her Corgis on you – from our archive

Liberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our Founding Editor, which was published in November 2006. You can read the post in its original form here:

As happens on all blogs, there’s been a collective bout of grumpiness in the past few days in the comments.

I’ve just gone through the blog and deleted the variously abusive, rude, and fundamentally pointless messages.

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Lib Dems on 22% in ICM poll – from our archive

Liberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our Founding Editor, which was published in October 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with the title “There is no news today”, with comments, here. Rob, our Founding Editor, made a thing about not writing about polls. So, in his amusing way, he didn’t do this poll, but, er, he did do it. Anyway, it is quite eye-watering to look back and see us on 22%!

Guardian 3There is no news today on account of the fact that I do not do polls.

Someone do something. Please.

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When a cabinet minister can’t open a door – from our archive

Liberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from The Voice, which was published in October 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with comments, here:

There is a set of stairs in the mother of all Parliaments. At the top is the committee corridor, and the office of the leader of the Liberal Democrats. In the middle, is the MP’s tea room, and at the bottom, is the most popular restaurant in the palace. It is a busy set of stairs.

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Ditch the pigeon? – from our archive

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderLiberal Democrat Voice has a fantastic archive of posts going back to our establishment in 2006. Here’s an interesting article from our founding editor, Rob Fenwick, which was published in September 2006. You can read the post in its original form, with comments, here:

Iain Dale has seen the Tory logo future, and it’s… scribbled.

Some months ago I was sat in a pub in Bath, with a friend who was hovering on the brink of becoming a Liberal Democrat party member.

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