Tag Archives: caron lindsay

Caron Lindsay previews Nick Clegg’s speech on Radio 5 Live

Yesterday morning, at a ridiculously early hour, as some Conference goers were only just going to bed, Lib Dem Voice Co-Editor Caron Lindsay spoke to Radio 5 Live about Conference in general and Nick Clegg’s speech in particular. You can judge for yourself how accurate her predictions were by listening here from about 8 minutes in.

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A warm welcome to our new Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay

I guess that, in the end, it was quite fitting that Mark Pack’s final day with LibDemVoice should have been last Thursday, the day of the Eastleigh by-election: it’s always good to go out on a high. For those who missed the news first time round, Mark has — after over six years as my Co-Editor in name/spirit — stepped down from the team to spend more time with his other 73 roles within the party (plus two day jobs).

caron lindsaySo the end of one era, but I hope also the dawn of a new one. I’m delighted to say that Caron Lindsay, already a member of the site’s editorial collective, has agreed to become this site’s new Co-editor alongside me. Few Lib Dems will need an introduction to Caron. She is the author of the superb Caron’s Musings blog, elected member of the party’s Federal Executive, treasurer of the Scottish Lib Dems, and a former case-worker for Willie Rennie. She is also one of the nicest, most grounded, full-of-common-sense Lib Dems I know. Thank you, Caron, for saying yes so willingly.

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Ad Lib: If you’re reading this, it’s not for you

The first edition of the new Liberal Democrat party magazine, Ad Lib, went out to all party members earlier this month. Future copies will only go to paying subscribers, so what to make of the first edition’s efforts to make people part with their cash for future editions?

Judging its contents I think requires bearing three main factors in mind: it’s a monthly publication, it’s one that is printed on paper and it’s probably not aimed at you.

Both the first two attributes are rather …

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Leveson, the morning after the Report before: what Lib Dem bloggers say

Caron Lindsay blogged about Nick Clegg’s Commons statement here on LibDemVoice: Nick Clegg: We won’t find better solution than Leveson’s. Here’s a quick round-up of other reaction so far from Lib Dem bloggers to Lord Justice Leveson’s report on media standards…

Contributors split on broadly pro/anti-Leveson Report lines. Let’s start with the pro-Leveson bloggers:

Shock as politician behaves like a grown-up! (Caron Lindsay)

I can’t, for the life of me, see what the problem is with Leveson’s clever proposal for a self regulating body with true independence – ie not full of newspaper editors or chaired by politicians. It seems pretty

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Conference Accreditation Consultation – what Liberal Democrat bloggers are saying

Last Saturday, Federal Conference Committee chair Andrew Wiseman invited responses  in an article on Liberal Democrat Voice from members on the controversial issue of an accreditation system for Conference. Sussex Police had requested that party members would have to submit their identity details and past addresses so that they could be checked out by the Police to keep out people who might cause security issues.

Unsurprisingly, the Liberal Democrat blogosphere has been vocal in response. If there has been a post out there in favour of such a system, then I’ve not been able to find it.

At Liberal England, …

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Clegg’s Today Programme interview: a round-up, a clip, and some comments

Nick Clegg submitted himself to the new year delights of the primetime 8.10am Today Programme interview on Thursday. Here’s a round-up of what he said and the reactions to it…

Nick Clegg has kicked off his new year promising more action to curb executive bonuses, amid continued questions over his leadership. … The deputy prime minister insisted he was responsible for many of the tougher sanctions against high-earners and tax avoiders, saying he had inserted sections on tax avoidance into the coalition agreement.

“Look at this debate about irresponsible capitalism, what I call crony capitalism,” he told BBC Radio 4. “It’s Liberal Democrats who’ve led the debate on clamping down on bankers’ bonuses and we must be just as tough this year in the bonus season that’s coming up as we were last year, if not more so.”


Nick Clegg has vowed to push ahead with plans to curb executive pay and introduce anti-avoidance tax rules for businesses, as part of a wider drive to clamp down on irresponsible practices that he has branded “crony capitalism”. … “It’s Liberal Democrats who led the call, as Vince Cable did last September in our party conference, for restraint and new transparency and accountability on unacceptable excess in executive pay where people are being paid huge amounts of money even though they fail to do well for those companies,” he said. …

However, Mr Clegg was unwilling to discuss the status of the Lib Dems’ long-sought mansion tax, which is strongly opposed by many Conservatives. When pressed on whether a mansion tax was likely to be introduced, Mr Clegg said: “We will see what comes in future Budgets. One thing I’m absolutely clear about is that our cornerstone commitment to make the tax system fairer by lifting the point at which you start paying income tax is something that this government, because of Liberal Democrats, will deliver one Budget after the next Budget after the next.”

Financial Times

Asked about the on the Today programme this morning, Nick Clegg would only say “we will see what comes in future Budgets”. He spoke of his desire to capture “unearned wealth” but seemed to think that George Osborne was unlikely to act soon, if at all. The corollary of this is that the 50p tax rate is likely to remain for the duration of the parliament. The Lib Dems will not accept the abolition of the top rate unless it is replaced with some kind of wealth tax. …

Elsewhere in the interview, he attempted to bridge the coalition divide on Europe by emphasising that the government was united on the need to make the EU “more competitive”. But he damningly added that “no one planned for an outcome which left Britain in a position of one. There was no real planning or discussion about Britain being in a corner on its own.” However, the former MEP also attempted to shed his image as an unthinking europhile. “I’m not a starry eyed pro-European,” he said, recalling that it took the EU 15 years to agree on a definition of chocolate.

New Statesman

If you missed it, here’s an excerpt from the BBC interview:

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Welcome to our new volunteer editors!

Liberal Democrat Voice has always aimed to be ‘Our place to talk’, a site primarily for Lib Dem members to discuss and debate. We welcome readers’ contributions, whether financial (hem-hem) or intellectual.

Building and maintaining a site like this, with fresh news and opinion day-in-day-out, is a labour of love. We are therefore delighted to be able to welcome a clutch of new day editors to afforce the Voice Collective:

All have volunteered to do an occasional turn here at LibDemVoice.org (while continuing their own sites)… so don’t be surprised to see …

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Lib Dem Bloggers’ Christmas stocking fillers… Part IV

What presents are you looking forward to giving or receiving this year? That’s the question LDV posed to a group of Lib Dem bloggers. All this week we’re revealing what they told us, with link-throughs to Amazon for your shopping convenience (and ‘cos the referral fees help support LibDemVoice: so get clicking and ordering). Part I is available here; Part II here; and Part III here. In part three, our fourth trio of bloggers – Jonathan Calder, Caron Lindsay, and Mark Pack – give us the low-down on their Xmas faves…

Jonathan Calder

It is impossible to dislike

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Tim Farron: good speech, but wrong message

Sometimes the toughest speaking gigs for MPs is when they are talking to a friendly audience – but something interesting is happening behind them. So it was a few months ago with Julian Huppert talking to Putney Liberal Democrats. Very thoughtful speech, well received by the members and supporters present – but Julian had to struggle to avoid being upstaged by the cute, preening, attention-seeking cat paddling back and forth behind him.

When Tim Farron came to speak to Haringey Liberal Democrats last night, there was no cat to distract – but instead the minor drama of the stalwart member who …

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Total Politics: top blogs and bloggers

Following its list of top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers, Total Politics has now also published its overall list of top blogs and bloggers – two lists in which many Liberal Democrats feature.

In the top 50 of the blogs list, Lib Dem Voice is in at number 12 (up from 27 last year), Caron Lindsay at 25, Jonathan Calder at 38 and Andrew Reeves at 44.

In the top 50 of the bloggers list, I’m in at number 20, Caron Lindsay at 29, Andrew Reeves at 43 and Jonathan Calder at 49.

Thank you to everyone for your votes …

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Andrew Reeves

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Andrew Reeves, who blogs at http://andrewrunning.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
In 1984 Ken Clarke gave me an award at a thank you party for delivering leaflets for him. In front of the 200+ people there he also asked me if I wanted to join the party – and in front of them all I said no! I was pleased he’d won but said that the more I had got to know the party I realised why I couldn’t. He was somewhat embarrassed!

2. When did you start blogging?
Tuesday 15 May 2007.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I worked for Lynne Featherstone from just after the 2005 general election until the end of 2006, before becoming one of the two London Campaigns Officers. I was amazed Lynne found time to write her own blog posts so this was my initial inspiration. I also signed up to run the Great North Run in 2007 and so wanted to use it for a training diary.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
I cheated here, I asked some friends for their five words – here is a selection: friendly, personal, prolific, timely, political, caring, liberal, sharp, punchy, researched, readable, passionate and straight-talking.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
I’m a social liberal democrat.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
I enjoyed writing this, not because I was suspended from Twitter, because to be honest that was a nightmare, but thanks to the support shown by the online community, inside and outside the Liberal Democrats:
Andrew Reeves is still suspended on Twitter – but the support is awesome

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I love reading Caron’s writing, because unlike my shoot from the hip and rant style, Caron is more methodical and this shows in her writing. In this post Caron highlights the hypocricy of the Labour party while still maintaining decorum – perfect:
Labour didn’t love NHS Direct

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
I don’t particularly bother with YouTube, but this was my favourite ever:

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That’s all folks

And so we reach the end of my day at Lib Dem Voice Towers.  If you’ve come away impressed at the good things that Liberal Democrats are doing and planning around the country, if you’re feeling enthused and want to do more to help your local campaign, if you’ve enjoyed reading the varied selection of articles we’ve done today, then this day has done what I wanted it to do.

The polls are not great. The media are giving us a bit of a kicking but we can’t let that become a self fulfilling prophecy. We need to be out there …

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Opinion: Why Elizabeth Evans is the best choice for Ceredigion

Campaigning in Ceredigion is rather unique. The big beasts of 20th century British politics, the Conservative and Labour parties, hold no sway here. It’s a battle instead between liberals and nationalists and the Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate Elizabeth Evans is proving to be a formidable opponent to Plaid’s Elin Jones.

The ‘poster’ war, which is always a central feature to this unique constituency’s electoral battleground, was in full swing early on. Over the years, it’s always been opportune to show that momentum is on your side by getting those road-side …

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Opinion: An American Student in an Edinburgh Election – inside Alex Cole-Hamilton’s campaign

It is fairly common in American Universities for 3rd year students to go abroad for a semester.  Although I had many options, I eventually decided to come to Edinburgh, Scotland to intern with the Scottish Parliament.  The way my program is structured is that there was class for five weeks, an internship in parliament for 4, then once parliament dissolved we began working on a campaign up until polling day.  So that’s how, on March 22nd I came to be working with Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Liberal Democrat candidate for Edinburgh Central.  When I first met Alex I was sitting in …

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Interview: Alistair Carmichael Part 2 – The Life of a Whip

Welcome to the second part of my interview with Liberal Democrat Chief Whip and Orkney and Shetland MP Alistair Carmichael.

Most of us who are interested in politics have either read House of Cards or watched it on DVD and think we know how a Chief Whip operates from watching the dastardly Francis Urquhart at work. I said to Alistair that I really didn’t think pushing people off buildings or lacing their heroin with rat poison was quite his style – so what was a typical day in the life of a Chief Whip like?

Caron, that’s one of the nicest things

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Opinion: The Campaign for Reading

In Reading, with council elections taking place most years we are used to campaigning all year round.

But this year is different.

For the first time we are defending our record in power at local (and national) level.

We are no longer in our comfort zone but it is exciting to be able to deliver for residents on the really key issues such as housing and social mobility where Labour failed.

And as Andrew Stunell MP, Minister for Local Government observed when he came to visit us last week it is a record of …

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Jeremy Purvis: Creating an ambitious, compassionate and fair Scotland

I caught up with Scottish Liberal Democrat Finance Spokesman Jeremy Purvis at the manifesto launch on Tuesday and asked him what a Liberal Democrat Scotland looked like.

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Opinion: The First Time Candidate’s View

Being a first time candidate is a daunting experience, but a hugely rewarding and humbling one.

I was one of the youngest people to ever go through the candidate approval process, at just 17. Many people were surprised that I bothered, given I couldn’t stand for election yet anywhere, but in all honesty, I wanted to get it done and out of the way, so that when opportunities (such as the one I’m about to describe) occurred, I would be able to take full advantage. My advice to others is don’t wait for that ideal seat to come up before you …

Posted in News, Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Opinion: Civil Partnerships, a thoroughly modern union

Sophie Bridger is the President Elect of  Liberal Youth Scotland. LYS brought a motion on Equal Marriage to Scottish Liberal Democrat Conference in 2010. It was passed and our manifesto launched on Tuesday has a commitment to open up marriage to same sex couples and civil partnerships to heterosexual couples. Sophie looks at the future for civil partnerships.

When the subject of gay marriage is approached, you’re hard pushed to find a Liberal who disagrees. The right to marriage, complete with religious ceremony, should be available to all. But when it comes to civil partnerships, I often find people are slightly …

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Opinion: How the Liberal Democrats transformed Hull City Council

Cllr Abi Bell is Deputy Leader of Hull City Council. She writes about how the Council has gone from the worst in the country to the best under Liberal Democrat administration.

Another year and another election in Hull. It seems like only yesterday we were fighting the General Election. Last year we missed out on winning the Hull North constituency from Labour by just 600 votes – securing the 4th best swing from Labour to the Lib Dems in the country and turning what was once an unassailable Labour stronghold into one of the country’s most marginal constituencies.

I think it’s fair

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Opinion: Scottish Liberal Democrats’ ambitious manifesto plans to create 100,000 jobs

On Tuesday I was lucky enough to be invited along to the launch of the Scottish Liberal Democrat manifesto which took place in the beautiful town of Innerleithen in the Scottish Borders.

The venue, Caerlee Mill, had been chosen to highlight key pledges to boost business and economic growth, but, as the BBC’s Brian Taylor said, “The venue had been chosen to symbolise economic renewal – but, on the day, it also spotlighted the concept of triumph over adversity.”

There are three main themes to the manifesto. When leader Tavish Scott …

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Welsh Lib Dems launch the Assembly election campaign

On Tuesday I welcomed Kirsty Williams to Newport East as we launched the Welsh Liberal Democrats campaign for the Assembly elections.

It is clear that this election is the most important one that Wales has seen since devolution. After the devolution referendum, this election is about the kind of government that Wales needs.

At least that it is what is should be about. It is clear that Labour and Plaid will run a mile before having to defend their record in government in Wales. The truth is that Labour have had their paws all over the Assembly Government for a full 12 …

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Opinion: Persuading Northern Ireland to say Yes to Fairer Votes

Some of you may have wondered where the prolific blogging from me has gone. However, in the words of Mark Twain, “The reports of my (blogging) death have been greatly exaggerated.”

I’ve had an awful lot to say these last few months but I’ve  been saying it to a diverse political and non-political audience,  all to get as many of them as possible to say the same thing at the ballot boxes on 5th May. That one word is sometimes thought to be alien to many in Northern Ireland and that word is “Yes!”

Yes, that’s …

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Ten comments on Saturday at party conference

1. Being introduced at a meeting or in a debate as a “Minister” is still a plus point, often triggering a round of applause. People at conference like the fact that the party is in government.

2. The Social Liberal Forum (SLF) is growing quickly in influence in the party, partly thanks to a smartly organised set of fringe meetings, amendments and motions. However, the SLF is very keen to repeatedly stress that it is not anti-coalition.

3. The NHS debate was a decision delayed. All sides are happy with the idea that a conference debate is used to set out or …

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Opinion: Why Nick Clegg is probably right not to meet Gary McKinnon’s mother

A quick search on my own blog for “Gary McKinnon” will show that I have written several times, at some length, on the reasons why I believe that he should not be extradited to the US. I believe that to do so to such a vulnerable person would be a disproportionate action which would seriously and adversely affect his health. For an Asperger’s sufferer, change can be really difficult to deal with. The National Autistic Society website states that routine and familiarity are key elements in living with their condition.

In my view, it would …

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Why hasn’t David Cameron sacked Bill Aitken?

At the start of the week Caron Lindsay blogged about the case of Conservative MSP Bill Aitken:

The Tories are usually very supportive of victims of crime … Unfortunately, their sympathy for victims doesn’t seem to extend to the crime of rape. Shadow Tory minister for Community Safety in the Scottish Parliament Bill Aitken has apparently asked the Sunday Herald whether a victim of an horrendous rape in Glasgow earlier this week was a prostitute. This woman was dragged down a lane by 3 men and raped. This was the latest in a series of similar assaults in Glasgow.

As the …

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Liberal Democrat responses to anti-terrorism legislation review

Here’s a round-up of responses from Liberal Democrat figures and blogs:

Tom Brake MP (Co-Chair of the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Committee on Home Affairs and Justice)

Sanity and justice have been restored to British life.

Today is a victory for those who have campaigned to restore the historic freedoms that Labour spent 13 years destroying.

Control orders are gone, 28 days detention without charge is gone, indiscriminate stop and search is gone and the abuse of anti-terror powers by councils to pursue petty offences is over.

There will always be a balance to be struck between freedom and security and these proposals

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Ed Balls and his praise for light-touch regulation in the City

As Caron Lindsay pointed out in her write-up of Nick Clegg’s interview with Andrew Marr yesterday morning, the question of Ed Balls’s record in government compared with Labour’s current policies is likely to become all the more pointed now that Balls is back in an economic role:

There’s no sign of timidity in the Coalition camp at the appointment of Ed Balls as Shadow Chancellor. It’s clear that no opportunity will be lost to remind people of his culpability in the current mess:

Labour never owned up to their responsibility. Ed Balls as Minister for the City was lauding light

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Caron Lindsay

Welcome to the first in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Caron Lindsay, who blogs at http://carons-musings.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Watching Roots when I was nine. I was shocked to the core by the cruelty towards the slaves, the very idea that people could be bought and sold and, I think crucially, by the fact that such abuse can be stopped if good people take action.

2. When did you start blogging?
September 9th 2006.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I never wanted to just write about politics, but I thought I could help the Lib Dem cause during the hours when it would have been rude to deliver leaflets. I felt that there was a need for something which could simply explain liberal ideas to people who had no interest in politics and to be a bit of an antidote to the bile from the right wing tabloid press.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Random, liberal, eclectic (and this one has been used by Malcolm Harvey in the 2010 Total Politics Guide to Political Blogging), fair and unpredictable.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Leftie, liberal, peace loving hippy.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
2010 was the most emotionally and politically intense year I’ve ever experienced. The potent cocktail of emotions and adrenaline during the General Election and the formation of the Coalition (and since) fuelled some posts I’m quite proud of. I can’t say I really enjoyed writing them, though.

I’m going to pick is the interview I did with Jo Swinson on the day Lib Dem Voice let me loose as guest editor. Rather than have me frantically scribble notes, my son had set things up so I could record the conversation. We ended up having a 20 minute chat on a huge range of topics from how the coalition was going down on the streets of East Dunbartonshire to her recent visit to Nigeria, to her work on allergies, to sport and gender sterotyping. We were both pretty relaxed and it felt like a proper, illuminating, grown up conversation which I wanted to report in pretty much that style.

I spent the rest of the night frenetically writing it up in 3 parts: one, two and three.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
My shortlist for this had a fair few Elephant posts on it, but the one I’ve chosen is one where he describes the workings of the economic cycle. The fluffy one at his educational best.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
It has to be Dan and Dan’s Daily Mail Song. I never get tired of listening to it. A brilliant satire on the British right wing tabloid press in general.

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Telegraph turns on NUS over fees

Today’s Telegraph reports that the NUS would prefer to remove almost all of the hardship grants than charge higher fees.

The Daily Telegraph has seen emails from Mr Porter and his team in which the NUS leadership urged ministers to cut grants and loans as an alternative to raising tuition fees.

In private talks in October, the NUS tried to persuade ministers at the Department for Business to enact their planned 15 per cent cut in higher education funding without lifting the cap on fees.

I’m not sure this is anything other than an exercise in the dark arts on the day …

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