Ed’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Ed and Jo spent a lot of the day togeher.

Here they are at Sky News

And then together at Channel 4 News:

And it was Ed’s turn to have a Facebook Live with Chuka:

Visiting the Pride pop up shop

And Ed doesn’t go that far back into history to pick his historical hero – but he did work for him. He writes about how Paddy inspired him:

Paddy’s stories only added to his mystique and magnetism. A young colleague was startled to find a note on his desk from Paddy one morning: ‘Call me on my car phone at 5.57am.’ It wasn’t so much the earliness as the preciseness of the hour that startled. Another note, upon Paddy assuming the party’s leadership, read simply: ‘Please remove David Steel’s dead animal from my office.’ It was a buffalo skin presented by Chief Buthelezi.

Sure, Paddy could be a task master, but even then I found him immense fun. Many a Monday morning my phone would bark into life: ‘Edward, come to my office now, please.’ From Paddy’s mouth ‘please’ became a command. Once before him I’d find he’d read some article over the weekend extolling a new economic policy that he wanted to adopt. And I’d spend a good thirty minutes dissuading him of some crazy, ill-thought-through fancy.

My biggest disagreement with him came after I’d been elected in 1997, when he was determined to cling on to his pre-election plan with Tony Blair for close working relations with Labour – despite that strategy having been devised for a balanced Parliament, not for a Labour majority of 167. Brilliant as he was, he couldn’t persuade Parliamentary colleagues or the wider party that Lib-Labbery worked in this context, for it would have hitched us to policies we disagreed with without influence to change them.

Only another two weeks and six days of GOTV to go from both candidates.

We’ll be back later in the week with more news of what they have been getting up to.

Ed’s website is here and you can follow him on Twitter here.

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This entry was posted in Leadership Election and News.


  • Lorenzo Cherin 3rd Jul '19 - 12:10am

    Good to hear again , he read my article on Liberal Democrat Voice in which I revealed his own Liberal lineage, as his mother’s heritage contains Liberal mps, the great Samuel Morley and then also,his son, Arnold!

  • Yes or No one word answer : “Would you be prepared to press the nuclear button ?”

    Both said, “Yes” – without a blink or a hesitation – and with a nice cosy smile followed seconds later by a laugh.

    Chilling. (M)utually (A)ssured (D)estruction.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 3rd Jul '19 - 8:07am

    David Raw, I agree, their reply was horrifying.
    I will repeat the comments I made on an earlier thread :
    I was distressed, but not entirely surprised, that in reply to the question “would you be prepared personally to press the nuclear button”, both, without hesitation, replied “yes”.
    I hope they were both lying. To be sure, it is wrong to lie to the public during an election campaign. But it is a good deal less morally wrong than being prepared to murder hundreds of thousands of innocent people.
    The course of action that both candidates claim to be prepared to take, would be the ultimate violation of human rights.
    This chilling claim contrasts strangely with both candidates’ condemnation of Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt’s claim to be prepared to trigger a no deal Brexit. A no deal Brexit might be a disaster, but it would be a very minor one compared with the disaster our potential leaders are prepared to inflict on the world.
    And how can two candidates who have been promising to put “planet first”, apparently be prepared to unleash the ultimate threat to the planet?
    I am also distressed that there has been so little reaction to this from Lib Dem members, here or elsewhere. What does this say about the values of our party?
    Both candidates have said they believe there is a real possibility that they could become prime minister, and who knows, perhaps they are right. But surely no-one who claims to be prepared to commit mass murder can be considered fit to be prime minister?

  • Martin Boffey 3rd Jul '19 - 8:48am

    Regarding the “nuclear button” point – what was asked for was a yes or no answer. No equivocation allowed. Since it is official Liberal Democrat party policy to retain the nuclear deterrent, it would be pretty strange if either of them had answered “no”. What’s the point spending billions on a deterrent if there are absolutely no circumstances whatsoever under which you are prepared to use it? Or are you suggesting we should vote for a leader who is committed to unilateral nuclear disarmament, utterly contrary to party policy?

  • ……………………..Would the @LibDems leadership hopefuls prop up any future Labour government?@joswinson⁩: “@jeremycorbyn? Absolutely not… He is a danger to our country.” ……………………

    ‘Cribbed’ straight from the Michael Gove leadership address.

  • Richard Underhill 3rd Jul '19 - 10:07am

    Chief Buthelezi was responsible for causing regional government in South Africa, post apartheid, but the black-on-black violence which predated the universal franchise was regrettable to put it mildly.

  • Richard Underhill 3rd Jul '19 - 10:19am

    3rd Jul ’19 – 7:36am
    The word ‘prepared’ is much abused these days. For instance is the UK ‘prepared’ in the event of a NO Deal Brexit? (which both tory candidates are willing.
    Roy Jenkins was Prime Minister Designate in 1983, and in the event of election, would have needed to make decisions as his first task. Ed Davey’s current proposal is for an all-party coalition led by one of the sensible Labour MPs.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 3rd Jul '19 - 2:07pm

    Martin Boffey, wasn’t the “deterrent” argument supposed to mean that the mere fact of having nuclear weapons would be a deterrent, meaning that they would never be used? If they were ever used, it would mean that the deterrent had not worked. So what could ever be the justification for using them?
    Even in the worst, worst case scenario, I cannot imagine any circumstances in which the use of nuclear weapons could improve a situation. If used against a nuclear power, their use would inevitably lead to a retaliatory attack against us.
    The deterrent argument simply does not work, quite apart from the fact that it is morally unacceptable to threaten one’s neighbours with weapons of mass destruction, even if one has no intention of using them.
    It is generally accepted that to deliberately target civilians is a war crime. Any use of nuclear weapons would inevitably target civilians, on a horrifically vast scale.
    Do you really consider that someone who says they would be willing to commit mass murder, can be fit to be prime minister?

  • Martin Boffey 4th Jul '19 - 12:07am

    Catherine – I don’t pretend to be all-knowing and foresee all possibilities. I therefore don’t accept that a willingness to launch a nuclear strike automatically makes someone a mass muderer. Amongst other things I’d need to know the target first, and as I pointed out, it was a yes or no question with no scenario presented. I also don’t actually accept that either of our prospective leaders would hold themselves out as willing mass muderers so it isn’t an issue for me, although it clearly is for you. However, I would also respectively suggest that a more pressing issue for you here is Liberal Democrat policy on nuclear weapons. Personally I would prefer a leader who is willing to accept the democratically determined policy of the party until such time as they have managed to get that policy changed if they disagree with it. I also found it refreshing to have two candidates capable of answering yes or no to tough questions when asked to do so.

  • Martin Boffey 4th Jul '19 - 12:29am

    Oh, and just be clear: The deterrence argument is not based solely on the possession of nuclear weapons, but also (rightly or wrongly) the WILLINGNESS TO USE THEM. Any Prime Minister who was on public record as having said “I would never use a nuclear weapon under any circumstances whatsoever” would have completely and utterly (and unilaterally) neutralised the UK’s nuclear deterrent, so I don’t see how any subsequent inbound nuclear strike could by definition be blamed on a “failure of deterrence” because that deterrent would no longer exist. But as I said above, I cannot foresee all eventualities.

  • The UK’s ‘independent’ nuclear arsenal will NEVER be used unilaterally; why? because there are no circumstances when our little nation would dare without being part of a larger conflict.
    Considering that we have just 120 nuclear warheads and those only capable of being ‘delivered’ by whatever of our four Vanguard-class submarines are operational at the time. We have them to keep a seat at the top table.

    Getting rid of them unilaterally would save £billions and, far more importantly, avoid LibDem hopefuls of having to answer awkward questions.

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