New edition of Liberator

The latest edition of Liberator magazine (issue no.358 – April 2013) is being delivered to subscribers this week.

Here’s a summary of the new magazine’s contents:

  • The editorial column Commentary examines the damage done to the party by the parliamentary votes on secret courts. It also considers the long-term lessons of the Eastleigh by-election.
  • The insider gossip column Radical Bulletin includes the inside story of the stitch-up that blocked a debate about economics at party conference.
  • ‘Six steps from the brink’ – Trevor Smith (a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords) suggests how the Liberal Democrats can save themselves from the coalition’s unpopularity.
  • ‘This time it matters’ – Tony Greaves (a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords) says election manifestos are usually largely ignored, but warns that the next Liberal Democrat one will show whether the party has a liberal message for the public or is tied to a hopeless defence of the coalition.
  • ‘Hurting not working’ – Chris Layton (economic advisor to the Liberal Party in the 1960s and a former parliamentary candidate) says that coalition economic policy has failed and it is time to stimulate demand and investment.
  • ‘Answers in strange places’ – Bill le Breton (a former chair and president of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors) says that, with coalition economic policy failing, Liberal Democrats should look to the surprising source of Milton Friedman.
  • ‘A breathing space for Mali’ – Laura Gordon (who has been working for a British NGO in Mali since April 2012) says French intervention has been popular in Mali, but driving out Islamist rebels is not enough in one the world’s poorest countries.
  • ‘Soft skill shuffle’ – Claire Tyler (a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords, who represents the party on the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Social Mobility) says that helping young people succeed in education and work means much more than a narrow focus on academic results.
  • ‘Kafka would know it’ – Ruth Bright (Liberal Democrat candidate for East Hampshire in 2005) complained about sexism and abuse in the Liberal Democrats and found an amateurish party unable to respond.
  • ‘Flag waving’ – Northern Ireland’s Alliance Party saw its offices burned and members threatened with violence when its support led to the Union Jack flying only on certain days. Chris Lyttle (Alliance MLA for East Belfast) says that the party’s stand has made it stronger.
  • ‘Ten years after’ – Donnachadh McCarthy (deputy chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive from 2002 to 2004) says that the Liberal Democrats briefly caught the public mood over the Iraq war, but only despite their leaders.
  • ‘Do no harm’ – David Thorpe (an economics journalist who sits on the London Liberal Democrat regional executive) says that a liberal tax system should reflect John Stuart Mill’s ‘harm principle’.
  • ‘Forgotten argument’ – Gareth Epps (a member of the Liberator Collective) reviews the Green Book. He finds open despair about the willingness of Tories to break their own green promises, and sprawling detail rather than vision.
  • Book reviews.
  • Lord Bonkers’ Diary – Lord Bonkers (Liberal MP for Rutland South West 1906-10) regales readers with another week’s goings-on in Rutland.

If you missed any of our previous editions, they are available online here.

You can subscribe to Liberator here. Liberator is now also available in versions for Kindle and iPad; subscribers can opt for the print version or electronic or both, all for the same price.

Liberator welcomes your articles, letters and book reviews. Please read our style guide before submitting any copy.

The Liberator Collective may be e-mailed at: [email protected].

Liberator now has a blog, to help readers get their Liberator fix between issues. Liberator is also on Twitter: @Liberator_mag

Finally, don’t forget to visit The Really Useful Links Page. It’s the best collection of political weblinks anywhere for the discerning Liberal Democrat.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • David Blake 10th Apr '13 - 9:40am

    Haven’t read Gareth Epps’ review yet, but certainly the Green Book is huge. I can’t see many people getting through it all.

  • someon should remark to Tony Greaves that our current economic policy is Liberal-and thats why it should be defebded-its completley orthodox keynesian-

  • david thorpe 11th Apr '13 - 10:50am

    at garethj-both are keynesian-as vince cable recently acknowleged in his New Statesman article-

    the mabnifesto contrained a policy of gradual cuts-because the priavte sector is expanding-the coalition agreement more rapdi cuts-but for the same reason-

    but the princiapl of cutting at this stage-and the reason for so doing-is orthodox keynes-on two counts

    1st-you have a stimulus then cut-this hasd happened-the stimulus under broqwn the cuts under whichever party got elected-we were elcted to cut it was in our manifesto
    and second-
    you vcut as the private sector recivers from recession-this is happening as vince writes in his new statemsan article

    the difference is how much to cut and when thats an empirical rather than an ideoligal qwueastion-thos ewanting a ‘keynesian solution’ are mistaking it for an ideoligical question=-and dot know the ideology they think back s it up

    as to whether there should be a second mini-stimulus-thats also empirical-a rise in capital spending while cutting current spending-which is what Vince advocates-would remain within the keynesia traditon-whether to take the enormous risk and so it is again an empiriacl question

  • david thorpe 11th Apr '13 - 10:57am

    and gareth-you cant use a manifesto written four years ago to answer the mpiriacal wuestis of today-thats called dogma-it doesnt work-is precisley the opposite of the liberal traditon and laborus use of it in the 1980’s is what spureed the gang of gour to found the liberal democrats-fir the liberal democrats ro use it now would be a gross betrayal of our tarditions

  • david thorpe 11th Apr '13 - 2:53pm

    apologies for the terrrible typing I use a phone and am at work trying to do other things-

    Gareth-The coalition are prusuing copmpletely textbook keynesian economic policy-he advocates a stimulus followed by cuts-we have had the stimulus now we have the cuts-thats why labour agree with cuts-it’s not an ideological matter end of story. What is debatable is the pace of cuts and their depth-but thats an empirical and not an ideoligical question-the liberalism and keynesianism of what the coalition are doing-and indeed of what was in our manifesto is not in dispute by any sentinent commentator-Cable himself discusses this in his recent New Statesman article.

    The idea that we should always frame economic policy based on a manifesto written four years ago is also nonsense-to be frank-the economic outlook changes and to stick to your original manifesto plan won’t always be wise-it’s dogmatic and the exact and precise opposite of everything Liberal Democrats were set up to be.

    Again you should stick to the principals of the manifesto as far as possible-to the ideology of it-but we have done-the manifesto argued for keynesian cuts and we are deliverying keynesian cuts-the empirical arguments must evolve as they cant be in a manifesto in that great a depth.

    For the record-I think many of the welfare cuts are foolush and that the government have made spectacularly bad calls on the economy-

    But pretending we havent had a stimulus which is what many otherwise cogent left wing critics do-is frankly an insult to the left wing tradition.

    If you have any further queries about where I am ‘ideoligically’ read Keynes, Galbraith and Adam Smith-all Liberals and all would be more or less happy with what the coalition is doing.

    Editorial note: a number of typographical errors in this comment have been corrected.

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