Brexit and Democracy or What is the Will of the People?

There is just one great argument left for Brexit. We voted for it, and the government is delivering the will of the people.

I hear this argument over and over again in parliament. It even comes from the awkward squad on the Tory benches like Anna Soubry and Dominic Grieve, or from Labour front bench MPs like Keir Starmer or Emily Thornberry. All of them are saying, in their own words, Brexit means Brexit. They want their version of Brexit of course, but the destination is fixed.

They have a point. 33 million people voted in the 2016 referendum and parliament doesn’t feel that it can ignore that. I agree. The 2017 General Election provided no mandate for overturning the referendum result. It is obvious really that 650 MPs cannot overrule a decision taken by 33 million people.

Posted in Op-eds | 73 Comments
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New issue of Liberator out

Issue 387 of Liberator is on its way to subscribers.

Find out with our two free articles from this issue why Paul Hindley thinks the Lib Dems have chosen irrelevance over outspokenness despite being on only 7.4% of the vote, and Tony Greaves’ explanation of why Liberalism needs its capital L.

Also in this issue:

  • Peter Harvey gives a resident’s take on why the move for Catalan independence is an elite defending itself.
  • Claire Tyler looks at how to turn round the inequality that led to the Brexit vote.
  • Peter Black explains what’s gone wrong in Wales after the recent

Posted in News | Tagged | 5 Comments

What a start of a new coalition! D66 both the biggest (Dutch) progressive and the biggest Liberal party

In my previous postings about the D66 contribution on entering the new Dutch coalition government (here and here), I noted that D66 surprised everybody in Dutch politics by being able to have some profiling, and indubitably progressive programmatic points in the coalition agreement. Also, D66 was the main provider of women (cabinet) ministers; and they are highly qualified women politicians!

A brief “tableau de la troupe” of the new Dutch government…

It consists of two Liberal parties: the progressive, pro-European D66 and the more eurosceptical, car-owner oriented VVD (with prime minister Mark Rutte); and two Christian Democrat …

Posted in Europe / International | Tagged and | 2 Comments

20 November – “let’s be careful out there…”

So, thank you for taking some of your time to join us here at Liberal Democrat Voice today. Perhaps because I don’t take politics quite as seriously as some, I’m minded to end the day on a more relaxed note. So, in a nod to today’s Transgender Day of Remembrance, here’s a US band called “Cab Ride Home”, with lead singer Danica Roem, the first out transgender person to be elected and successfully take up her seat in a State Assembly.

The quote, again for the benefit of our slightly younger readers, is from “Hill Street Blues”, a U.S. police drama …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Ten reasons why we wrote Fourth to First

I confess to knowing very little about anything – in particular political campaigning. But one thing I can talk about at length is how we did it in a small rural patch of North Norfolk (six shops, four pubs, two petrol stations and zero towns), going from fourth position last time to first in May 2017 with a majority of 420.

It was the first time I’d fought a campaign from start to finish, and it was quite a ride. So much so that Freya, my sister and campaign manager, and I decided to write a book about …

Posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | 14 Comments

Paradise Papers: perhaps tax ought to be more taxing?…

Older readers may remember me, the first face of the Inland Revenue, as voiced by Sir Alec Guinness. I may be a distant memory, but I never left my desk.

The news in the lead up to this week’s Budget has been coloured by the Paradise Papers, as noted by David Becket in the comments sections when they first hit the headlines, who wondered why they haven’t been covered here. Well, in truth, tax policy is quite dull, and the issue of taxation of overseas holdings is rather more complex than is thought.

Here …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 12 Comments

This week in the Lords: 20-24 November… how much is that doggy in the window?

It’s a long week, although we’re not expecting much drama in terms of voting until the New Year. The next few weeks are about clearing the decks whilst the EU Withdrawal Bill weaves its increasingly uncertain way through the House of Commons.

Monday sets the tone, with only Day 5 of the Committee Stage of the Data Protection Bill on the legislative agenda. There is an oral question from Dee Doocey on the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU Open Skies Agreement on the UK’s tourism industry. Will the Minister have …

Posted in News and Parliament | 1 Comment
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGordon 23rd Nov - 6:35pm
    It would be better to avoid incautiously retailing wholly unsubstantiated assertions swirling around the toxic swamp that is US politics. Donna Brazile may genuinely believe...
  • User AvatarJeff 23rd Nov - 6:23pm
    Michael Berridge 23rd Nov '17 - 5:20pm: ...why does everyone pretend that it’s a done deal, Britain is leaving, like it or not? Here's David...
  • User AvatarMichael Berridge 23rd Nov - 5:20pm
    To adopt the 1979 Conservative election slogan: Brexit isn't working. So why does everyone pretend that it's a done deal, Britain is leaving, like it...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 23rd Nov - 5:09pm
    Never had that problem with Shuttleworth sheets. Have we got any old stock hidden away in a cupboard we could export to them ? Being...
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 23rd Nov - 5:09pm
    Mine would be a 50% discount to bring all homes up to a minimum environmental standard regarding insulation, heating and power use.
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 23rd Nov - 4:43pm
    What Ruth Bright said. I have done so and was once again appalled by the lack of serious action by the party