Tag Archives: autumn conference 2013

The Observer claims Lib Dems officially ‘blast fracking’ – no!

Balcombe FrackingToday’s Observer splashes with “Liberal Democrats blast environmental damage caused by fracking.” Not quite.

We’ve had quite a lively debate here on Lib Dem Voice on the merits and demerits of fracking (Gilbert, Boddington).  In the Observer article Tony Helm suggests that Liberal Democrats have rejected shale gas extraction. As I said not quite.

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Opinion: What moves me to go to Glasgow? Challenging Osborne’s Plan A

I used to teach economics and in my retirement I have had the opportunity to follow closely the macro events of the last five years. The overwhelming weight of evidence is that the Osborne Plan A (expansionary fiscal consolidation) has been a disaster. Any objective analysis leads to this compelling conclusion – and Liberal Democrats should give up being “uberloyal” to the leadership and act in a dispassionate and evidence-informed manner.

You don’t have to take just my word for it. I can highly recommend Paul Krugman’s book End This Depression Now! and Mark Blyth’s recent publication Austerity –

Posted in Op-eds | 21 Comments

Independent View: Conference – Time to kick the nuclear energy habit

Nuclear no thanksThe movement against nuclear energy waits anxiously. Given Ed Davey’s apparent enthusiasm for new nuclear, it is more than a little alarming to learn that a proposal to support nuclear new build has been put forward as part of the Green Growth and Green Jobs debate at Glasgow. Are Lib Dem’s really willing to abandon one of the party’s unique selling points?

The proposal (Option B 4.3.3) asserts that nuclear power could play a limited role in achieving a zero carbon Britain – provided that concerns about safety, disposal of radioactive waste and cost, including decommissioning, can be adequately addressed. If we could turn the optimism behind this motion into energy, we’d be able to keep the lights on forever.

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged | 33 Comments

Your last chance to send in your nominations for the Liberal Democrat Voice Awards

This is, absolutely, the last time I’m going to tell you about nominations for the Liberal Democrat Voice awards which close at midnight tonight. Don’t come crying to me if your favourite doesn’t make the shortlists and you haven’t bothered to nominate it….

To nominate, you need to send your suggestions to [email protected] as soon as you can. Please also feel free to publicise the awards on your own blog or via social media. In the olden days, before I was a member of the team, I used to do posts about the bloggers I’d be nominating. If you want to

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Reminder: Nominations for Liberal Democrat Voice Awards close tomorrow…

If you’re sick of hearing about this, just skip it. If you haven’t sent your nominations off yet, then consider this a reminder. I know I’ve been banging on about this a lot this week, but I wanted to put in a post in the morning, afternoon and evening so that most people would get the chance to see it.

Two weeks ago, I introduced this year’s Liberal Democrat Voice Awards and invited you to submit your nominations by Friday 23rd August. That deadline is now hurtling towards us like a herd of stampeding elephants. There has been a steady flow of …

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Sarah Ludford MEP writes…Conference must debate Miranda detention

I was not initially planning to get particularly involved on the David Miranda Schedule 7 issue except as a concerned, nay horrified, spectator. After all, I’m an MEP not an MP nor (at present) able to be active as a peer, and I have plenty on my plate in Brussels.

But from early Monday morning, as I read the admirably vigorous response from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC – and the immediate if deeply hypocritical reaction from Yvette Cooper – I did start to wonder who from the party was going to be vocal. So I tweeted …

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Conference preview: The training programme

Some people go to Liberal Democrat Conference and never get anywhere near the debating hall, because the fringe, exhibition and training programme provide such a cornucopia of interesting and enriching entertainment. Others mix and match between debates and fringes.

This year’s training programme, which you can view in full here,  is intense. There are three and a half full days of sessions on a huge variety of subjects. During the day, there can be as many as nine sessions going on at once. The Party’s training guide has suggestions for courses to attend if you’re a local or parliamentary candidate, …

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Reminder: Only 3 sleeps until deadline for Liberal Democrat Voice Awards nominations

Two weeks ago, I introduced this year’s Liberal Democrat Voice Awards and invited you to submit your nominations by Friday 23rd August. That deadline is now hurtling towards us like a herd of stampeding elephants. There has been a steady flow of nominations so far, but that won’t be much good to you if your favourite blog, or tweeter, or campaign or post hasn’t been put forward.

To nominate, you need to send your suggestions to [email protected] as soon as you can. Please also feel free to publicise the awards on your own blog or via social media. In the olden days, …

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Federal Conference directory available

The directory, with fringe listings and ministerial Q&A sessions, for the Liberal Democrat Federal Conference on 14th-18th September is now available here. So plan your fringe programme today.

Your particular attention is drawn to the Liberal Democrat Voice Awards at 10pm on Saturday evening.

Liberal Democrat Voice
Liberal Democrat Voice Awards (incorporating Blog of the Year)
The BOTYs are back with new categories alongside old favourites. Join us for an evening of unrivalled glamour and fun with Nick Clegg and surprise guests as we celebrate the best of blogs, people and media. Dress: imaginative.
Crowne Plaza, Castle 2

Posted in Conference | 4 Comments

Immigration, Asylum and Identity consultation paper now available

The working group focusing on the party’s policies on immigration, asylum and identity, chaired by Andrew Stunell MP, has just released its consultation paper ahead of next month’s conference.

The paper’s introduction sets out its aims thus:

1.1.1 The policy working group Immigration, Asylum & Identity aims to craft a practical, liberalpolicy which rebuilds public confidence in an immigration system that should be robust, efficient,and fair.

1.1.2 This consultation paper focuses on the future of migration as it affects the UK, theoperation of the asylum process in the context of our obligations under international law, and theintegration of immigrant communities and new citizens

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Reminder: 10 days to get your nominations in for the Liberal Democrat Voice Awards

Last week, I introduced this year’s Liberal Democrat Voice Awards and invited you to submit your nominations by Friday 23rd August.

This is just a reminder to you. We’ve already had a fair few nominations, but there’s plenty room for more, so send your suggestions to [email protected] as soon as you can. Please also feel free to publicise the awards on your own blog or via social media. In the olden days, before I was a member of the team, I used to do posts about the bloggers I’d be nominating.

This year’s awards are as follows:

  • Liberal Democrat Blog of the

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Liberal Democrat Federal Conference agenda available

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsAgenda papers for the federal conference in Glasgow have been published. Within the theme of ‘a stronger economy in a fairer society, allowing everyone to get on in life’ there are policy motions on work life balance, green growth, learning and skills, fairer taxes, strengthening the economy, housing benefit, tackling sexual and domestic violence, racial equality, and more.

Posted in Conference | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Social Liberal Forum responds to the motion on the economy

While some of us were melting in the Friends Meeting House in Manchester at the Social Liberal Forum conference on Saturday morning, Stephen Tall was telling us about the leadership’s motion on the economy to be discussed at our Glasgow Conference in two months’ time.

It’s to be noted that the biggest cheers of the day came when Vince Cable was talking about the need to differentiate from the Conservatives, calling George Osborne’s declaration that there should be no more tax rises in a new Conservative Government “cavalier and “ideological.”

Co-chair Gareth Epps was also applauded when he said that Liberal …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 43 Comments
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