Category Archives: Site news

Bienvenue dans ma journée: 18 October 2021 – the Cantons de l’Est edition

Good morning, everyone! Liberal Democrat Voice is brought to you today from a less-travelled part of southern Quebec.

Obviously, moderation is going to be a bit erratic, as I’m five hours adrift and trying to combine my day editor responsibilities with a crash course in being an evil step-grandfather, so do bear with me.

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Welcome to my day: 11 October 2021 – testing, testing…

Good morning, everyone! Yes, everybody’s second favourite bureaucrat is back, with more to amuse, engage and challenge our readers. Caron thinks that I’m unavailable today but, if you promise not to tell her otherwise, I’m sure that we’ll get away with it. I will be slipping away for a PCR test later, so moderation might be a bit slower than usual today. Bear with me…

Iain Duncan-Smith thinks that I should get off of my Pelaton and get back to the office. Apart from the fact that I don’t own one (and at upwards of £1,350 plus £39 per month, I don’t think it likely that many civil servants will, given the median Civil Service salary was £28,180 in March 2020), does the location of my desk really trump my efficiency?

Admittedly, this does come from the man who said in the House of Commons in the debate on the European Union (Withdrawal Agreement) Bill that;

if there is anything about this arrangement that we have not now debated and thrashed to death, I would love to know what it is.

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Welcome to my day: 4 October 2021 – some days are diamonds, some days are rocks…

It’s the start of a new week here at Liberal Democrat Voice, although I am reminded that the week starts on a Sunday in Portuguese. And after the excitement of last week – who would have thought that so many of you are passionate about moderation? – I’m left with a challenge to follow that up. Luckily, I’m not alone…

Apparently, Chris Loder, the Conservative MP for West Dorset, believes that our supermarkets are at fault for the issues regarding supply of foodstuffs to shelves;

I know it might not feel like it in the immediate term. But it is in our mid and long-term interest that these logistics chains do break.

It will mean that the farmer down the street will be able to sell their milk in the village shop like they did decades ago. It is because these commercial predators – that is the supermarkets – have wiped that out and I’d like to see that come back.

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Moderation and the politics of gender and sexuality

There has been some controversy on the pages of Liberal Democrat Voice over the past few weeks about articles on gender and sexuality issues, and especially in terms of how comments have been, or not as the case may be, moderated. It would be fair to say that our decisions have not met with universal approval.

And, from the perspective of a member of the Editorial Team from a rural community somewhat lacking in diversity, such debates offer up a real challenge.

Yes, judgements are pretty simple where the comments policy is obviously breached – there are some of our readers who really cannot grasp the fact that their tone and language is offensive to a reasonably tolerant person, or who simply cannot resist the temptation to be gratuitously offensive.

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Welcome to my day: 27 September 2021 – it’s not going terribly well here, is it?

Good morning from Suffolk’s Gipping Valley where, in exciting news, I’m preparing to go to the office to work for the first time since last March. It’s going to be an odd sensation, as I’ve become a touch reclusive, but needs must, as they say.

Results from Germany indicate progress for our sister party in Germany, the Free Democrats, with the prospects of lengthy negotiations over the formation of a new administration. Will it be “Jamaica” – CDU/CSU, Greens and FDP – or “traffic light” – SPD, FDP and Greens – or is there another combination that can get across the line? At least the Alternative für Deutschland have been pushed into fifth place…

Elsewhere, San Marino has legalised abortion, albeit only up until the twelfth week of gestation, with a 77% vote in favour. And, on another brighter note, Swiss voters have decisively voted in favour of same-sex marriage in a nationwide referendum.

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Welcome to my day – 10 May 2021: reasons to be cheerful?

It’s been a tough decade or so to be a Liberal Democrat – losing sucks, and watching your friends and colleagues fight unsuccessful campaigns doesn’t exactly raise the spirits. But this year felt a bit better, despite the losses in some places, some familiar faces were pictured smiling, and there were plenty of new faces doing the same. We’ve demonstrated some relevance and proven that, with hard work, spirit and persistence (and, occasionally, a fair wind), Liberal Democrats can win pretty much anywhere.

That’s not to say that the results are great. Caron, who knows far more than I ever will …

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Welcome to my (International Women’s) Day – 8 March 2021

Heavens, is it Monday already? Apparently so, and not just any Monday, but International Women’s Day, so there’ll be some content to reflect that, courtesy of our Editor-in-Chief.

I should take this opportunity to point readers towards Parliament’s celebrations of both International Women’s Day and Women’s History Month Although, somewhat curiously, both Houses will be marking it with debates on… Thursday.

Otherwise, I’ll be offering some thoughts on the Party’s disciplinary processes – which reflect some comments I’ve received from others who will remain nameless but may recognise the points that I’m making.

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Welcome to my day – 1 March 2021

Welcome to Suffolk’s Gipping Valley, where another week starts. You may wonder about the picture, which comes courtesy of the Gateway 14 Residents Campaign Group. I’ve been spending the last week or so drafting my Parish Council’s seven page response to a planning application which is exercising local residents, which might reassure John Marriott that, despite my occasionally whimsical view of the world of parish councils, I take my responsibilities as Chair of my Parish Council very seriously.

We’ve got a busy day ahead of us, with articles on British pensioners overseas, …

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Welcome to my day – 8 February 2021

And the snow lay round about, crisp and deep and even…

Welcome to a wintry Creeting St Peter this Monday morning! For a rare change, we’re getting some of the worst of the conditions here, but the wood-burning stove is doing its job, there’s no shortage of coffee, and I can still get out for a walk, so service should be as normal.

We bring you today a story of a company that didn’t export anything, but has been caught up in the administrative nightmare that is Brexit. I used to handle double taxation …

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Would you like to join us?

Here at LDV Towers we would like to expand our team to include more party members.

As well as being on the lookout for a new Day Editor, there are also some specialist tasks which, if filled, would greatly enrich what we have to offer.

  • Book reviewer: willing to read and write about books that will be of interest to our readers
  • Arts reviewer: as for book reviewer but focussing on film, theatre and art
  • YouTube video maker: able to conduct and produce short videos, mainly interviews with fellow Lib Dems
  • Social media co-ordinator: able to promote Lib Dem Voice across social media platforms

Interested? Please contact us on [email protected] if you would like to offer your services or to ask for more information.

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Welcome to my day – 4 January 2021

Good grief, is it that year already?

And welcome to another week here at Liberal Democrat Voice. Whilst the Commons is away for another week, entirely thanks to Jacob Rees-Mogg and his fetishistic dislike of virtual working, the Lords is rather more efficient and sits on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The Domestic Abuse, Trade and Air Traffic Management and Unmanned Aircraft Bills are the core agenda, but there are Liberal Democrat Oral Questions from Dick Newby (the future of the Hull-Zeebrugge passenger ferry), Joan Walmsley (the prospects for obesity services) and Jonny Oates (the Green Homes Grant scheme).

Here on the website, we welcome back Geoff Reid, who writes about the importance of accuracy – a useful prompt for the busy Day Editor – and why it matters.

It’s always nice to welcome a new contributor, and today sees Ellen Nicholson’s debut, challenging the right-wing media. She was our candidate in South West Wiltshire (think Westbury) in 2019 and they’ve got all up Unitary elections in May.

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Liberal Democrat Voice’s most read posts in 2020 (part 4)

Welcome to the final instalment of our most read posts of 2020. For those of you late to the “countdown”, the earlier posts can be found by following the following links;

It would be naive to suggest that the 2019 General Election campaign was a success and, for good or ill, much of the blame fell upon Jo Swinson and her advisors. In the fifth most read post of 2020, Paul Walter highlighted the views of the former Chief Executive of the Party, and former MP for North Devon, Sir Nick Harvey. He wasn’t particularly supportive

At number 4, we noted Jo’s response to defeat, looking back at what might be fairly said to have been an eventful decade. She suggested that she might not be finished either…

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Liberal Democrat Voice’s most read posts in 2020 (part 3)

Welcome back to the third of our four articles featuring the most read posts on the site in 2020. If you missed the earlier posts, posts 16-20 can be found here, and posts 11-15 here

June saw the tearing down and immersion of the Edward Colston statue in Bristol. At number 10, Chris Bowers wrote for us suggesting that supporting what was, in strictness, a criminal act, was a troubling step. It would be fair to say that opinions were split, and the debate about when, or if, it is appropriate to break the law in order to advance a cause ran on for three days.

Our ninth most read piece came from our Wednesday Day Editor, Tahir Maher, who may not have expected his piece in mid-April justifying lockdown to spin off into a debate on the economics of the national debt. It is one of the charms of LDV that the comments threads can occasionally stray quite a long way from the primary topic…

At number 8, Paul Walter reviewed the findings of the General Election Review and was as honest as the authors were. I’m not a campaigner, and I wondered about some of the strategy applied, but these things aren’t usually quite so blunt. Will we learn the lessons for next time, or will we fight the last war again?

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Liberal Democrat Voice’s most read posts in 2020 (part 2)

Welcome back to the second instalment of the most read posts on Liberal Democrat Voice this year, featuring the posts ranked at positions 11-15 (part 1, featuring posts 16-20, can be found here).

In September, our number 15 post saw us still debating what to do next in terms of Brexit, and ten of our former MEPs attempted to convince us that then was not the time to campaign to rejoin the European Union. Admittedly, that argument still rages to some extent, and there will be many Party members and supporters who are keen to start such a campaign as soon as possible, preferably yesterday.

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Liberal Democrat Voice’s most read posts in 2020 (part 1)

It’s the time of the year when a Day Editor is minded to look back at the year’s highlights and, given how interested some of our readers and contributors are in such things, I thought that I’d look at our data and see what drew most interest. Today, I start with numbers 16-20 (in reverse order, naturally)…

At number 20, the announcement of the findings of the General Election Review, courtesy of the Party President, Mark Pack. It was, in fairness, rather more hard hitting than some of its predecessors, but it was certainly time for some home truths…

There was a time when Liberal Democrat Voice was, how can I put it, a bit more edgy. At number 19, James Belchamber suggested that Nick Clegg be condemned for his work on behalf of Facebook. And, if truth be told, Facebook went on to have a less than entirely positive impact on international politics… Is the money really worth it, Nick?

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Welcome to my day – 28 December 2020

Welcome back, gentle readers, after our brief winter hibernation. On behalf of the team, I hope that you enjoyed the Christmas break as best you were able to, and that you’ve all kept well enough. And thank you for the kind comments that some of you have made whilst we’ve been away.

Of course, the big news is that a deal has been negotiated with the European Union and goes before both Houses of Parliament on Wednesday. Labour will support it, whilst the SNP and the Liberal Democrats will vote against, if the news reports are to be believed. It’s a pretty hopeless deal in many ways – the wilful giving up of Erasmus, the apparent lack of understanding as to what a non-tariff barrier actually is and the lop-sided nature of an agreement where goods (where the EU has a trade surplus) are tariff-free, whilst there are no corresponding benefits to the UK’s lucrative services sector being merely three obvious defects. And as for fishing…

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Welcome to my day – 21 December 2020

Well, this all sucks, doesn’t it?

Yes, Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson, the man who has serially over-promised and under-delivered through nine months of pandemic has encouraged the populace to look forward to a window of near normality and then, at the last possible moment, snatched it away. So, to all those of you who have had your plans turned upside down, my deepest sympathies.

Out here in deepest Suffolk (tier 2), we are at least able to get out for a decent walk and, whilst there are restrictions, most things are still possible. However, most of the LDV team are now in tier 4, so please bear with us over the next few days. As Caron noted yesterday, we’ll be running a very limited operation from Thursday until Sunday, but I am hoping to have something for you to read each day. That said, moderation will be sporadic, so my advice would be to keep your comments courteous and respectful, unless you are happy to wait until someone checks in.

But, without further ado, let’s take a quick look at last week’s five most read posts…

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Welcome to my day – 14 December 2020

Christmas draws closer and, it seems to me, has started in earnest a bit earlier than usual this year. Perhaps that’s because many of us need a bit of cheer at a particularly trying time. The prospects of a no-deal Brexit, combined with a long winter before the various vaccines are rolled out, are not likely to lift the soul, it has to be admitted.

This week theoretically sees Parliament go into recess for the Christmas break although, if some sort of deal is done, the session may run into “injury time”. All three major parties will be undergoing some soul searching in terms of how to vote in such circumstances, with some Conservatives unlikely to support any deal, Labour seemingly committed to support any deal despite serious misgivings and the Liberal Democrats torn between abstention and rejection. That may not matter in the Commons, but the Lords is different for so many reasons.

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7 December 2020 – welcome to my day…

Good morning, gentle readers, and welcome to another week here at Liberal Democrat Voice. I have to admit that it’s going to be a quiet start, as I’ll be attending a funeral later, so do bear with me if moderation isn’t as snappy as it usually is.

Following on from my plea a fortnight ago, we’ve had a few requests and/or comments, and so I ought to respond.

To Katharine Pindar, who raised the issue of press releases, we’re not receiving very many at all at the moment – we are receiving e-mails from the HQ Press Team, but not much …

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How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

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23 November 2020 – welcome to my day…

Well, I’m back after a week off. The sun is shining, although the valley floor is shrouded in mist after a frosty night, so it’s not a day to linger unless you’re properly wrapped up.

In truth, I’d taken a week off because much of the joy of Liberal Democrat Voice has been rather lost of late. Attempts to disrupt the site by the use of fake e-mail addresses and, if I’m honest, the sheer grinding unpleasantness of some of our readers, made me wonder if the effort that I, and my fellow Editorial Team members, put in is really worthwhile.

I’ve always seen this site as an opportunity for Liberal Democrats, supporters of the Party and those who are “Lib Dem curious” to debate and discuss the issues of the day, propose new policy and campaigning ideas, and generally engage positively with each other in a respectful manner. It seems that there are too many out there who see it as an opportunity to settle old scores, browbeat or misrepresent those they disagree with or simply treat others with disrespect. It is, from an editorial perspective, wearing at best, deeply disheartening at worst. And, for the spirits of a volunteer Editorial Team, that can be a bit corrosive.

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How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

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Apologies

You may have noticed that we are having some technical difficulties with our site at the moment.

These have been manifesting themselves in a number of apparently unrelated ways – we can’t schedule posts in advance, we can’t add pictures or tags, and the Recent Comments in the sidebar are very out of date.

Our technical guys are working on it, but in the meantime please be patient with us.

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Forty-eight hours off Twitter for a good cause… #NoSafeSpaceForJewHate

Like many people, Liberal Democrat Voice will be maintaining a Twitter silence for forty-eight hours, starting at 9 a.m. this morning, to protest Twitter’s abject failure to address the issues surrounding anti-Jewish material posted seemingly without consequence.

We won’t be silent otherwise, so for the usual selection of news and opinion, do drop in from time to time, and we’ll aim to keep our readers engaged.

And, if you’re on Twitter, why not join us? The more participants, the more pressure on Twitter to act…

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Welcome to my day – 23 March 2020

Good morning, everyone, and as the United Kingdom heads towards lockdown, another week starts on Liberal Democrat Voice.

There’s been a lot of debate on this site about the pace of Government action, whether or not various steps are appropriate or not, but my sense from rural Suffolk is that most people are attempting to be sensible – staying indoors for the most part, keeping a sensible distance when meeting each other on the street, that sort of thing. And, whilst the Government might be hesitating about ordering a lockdown, non-essential services are rather leading in shutting up shop so that …

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LDV presents… Not the Spring Conference

One of our occasional commenters contacted me before the weekend, and asked if we might publish his prepared debate speech, given that he wouldn’t have a chance to make it “for real”. My first thought was, “it’ll be a bit on the long side”, which he accepted. However, it strikes me that we could do something to enable people to debate the various policy motions after a fashion, and so, today, I’m going to try a little experiment.

I will publish one of the motions due to be debated, and invite you, our readers, to “debate” it. My thoughts on how …

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How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 10 days:

  • The leadership election timetable
  • Violent crime
  • The influence of drugs on acquisitive

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An update on our troll farmer in Aberdeenshire

Day 139 - Worzel Gummage at Birmingham airport - 1982 (14515725233)
Many readers have been intrigued by the post earlier this week with a message to our troll farmer in Aberdeenshire.

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A message to the troll farmer in Aberdeenshire


Embed from Getty Images

Yes, you!

Just stop it, please.

You’re wasting our time and yours.

Our rules are here and we set out two particularly relevant ones here last weekend.

That is all.

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Recent Comments

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    For people like me, living alone and working from home, the last lockdown in the middle of winter was a nightmare. I finished work and went out for a walk, but...