Tag Archives: fpc

Federal Policy Committee report November 2020

This week FPC met with an unusually light-looking agenda but we still managed to talk for two and half hours! We received an excellent presentation from Mimi Turner, Director of Strategy, Messaging and Research. Mimi talked us through the scale of the task ahead of us in terms of understanding how the Party fares when voters are asked whether we share their values; whether we’ll do what we say; whether we’re perceived as wanting to help ordinary people get on in life; and whether they see us as competent and capable.

Mimi explained that by segmenting voters and targeting certain groups, we are missing the opportunity to speak to millions of voters. From a policy perspective, our role is to develop distinctive policies on the issues that matter most in terms of improving people’s lives and that resonate in our target seats. Easy, right?! Well I don’t think any of us underestimates the scale of the task head but we’re certainly up for it.

FPC work programme

FPC members found the presentation very useful as we went on to discuss our current and future work programme in the context of Mimi’s analysis and thoughts on future strategy. We have a number of pieces of work underway at the moment – a mixture of pieces looking at the bigger picture, some high profile issues that we’ve been tasked with looking at, and some specifics where we hope to bring forward some appealing policy proposals:

  • Nature of Public Debate – planned for Spring 2021
  • Making Utilities Work Better for the Public – planned for Spring 2021
  • Federal England – aiming for Spring 2021, with the group working fast since autumn conference
  • Natural Resources and the Natural Environment – planned for Autumn 2021
  • Liberal Democrat Principles and Values – planned for Autumn 2021
  • Universal Basic Income – planned for Autumn 2021
  • Carbon Pricing (a sub-group of the former climate change working group) – planned for Autumn 2021
  • Themes Paper (building on the World After Coronavirus consultation) – planned for Autumn 2021
Posted in News | Also tagged | 11 Comments

Federal Policy Committee report – 20 May and 3 June 2020

This is the time of year when FPC meetings normally come thick and fast, as we finalise several policy papers to propose at autumn conference. This year of course we aren’t doing that, both because of the current crisis and also because during the autumn when key work on developing them would normally have been under way, attention was also elsewhere.

However we are still meeting very regularly as planned, because we have another significant project of a different kind up our sleeves. We expect the policy challenges facing us all in the wake of the virus to be very …

Posted in Blogger Interviews and Party policy and internal matters | 2 Comments

Everything we do now as a party must have an international dimension

As if Brexit was not enough of an economic self-inflicted wound, the pandemic has struck at our very soul.

It is predicted that the world will have changed after the pandemic with the irony that China, where the virus originated, strengthened economically (although not in perfect shape because of “Belt and Road Initiative” debts owed by others and global supply chains broken), the USA weakened and Britain and the European Union, divided from each other, struggling not to become a plaything of those two superpowers.

However, this is not to say Tom Arms’ recent LDV articles on the crisis should be panda-ring …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 3 Comments

Federal Policy Committee Awayday

FPC members met for an awayday meeting on Saturday 19 May 2018, with a focus on reviewing our overall plans for policy development and how they can most usefully contribute to the party as a whole. It was an upbeat meeting, with lots of positive ideas for our next steps.

We started with a briefing from Nick Harvey, the party’s Chief Executive, on the party’s overall direction and current objectives, so that FPC’s plans could contribute most usefully to that. This led on to a presentation of some recent research and polling on messaging. Next we reviewed a paper on the …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 16 Comments

Opinion: Federal Policy Committee to the left of me, Tories to the right, where are the Parliamentary Parties? Stuck in the Middle with whom?

Perhaps Stealers Wheel had it right… so it’s time to speak my mind, isn’t it?

I have been following the debate on internal party democracy with first interest, then frustration, and now a degree of numbing disbelief, as the Parliamentary Parties have taken significant flak from a cross-section of Party members and activists.

And yet, from my perspective of a reporter on events in the Lords, a very different story emerges to the increasingly popular one of rogue Parliamentary Parties trashing Liberal Democrat policy in an entirely unaccountable way. But let me tell you a story…

Once upon a time, a small, …

Posted in Op-eds | 59 Comments

Rolling news from conference: Saturday morning

Richard Kemp summates on motion, asking people also to back both amendments; i.e. cooperation rather confrontation to improve bill. Some MPs vote for amendment 1, some abstain. Amendment overwhelmingly carried. As is amendment 2. Lines 6-15 deleted from motion, amended motion carried. All MPs can spot voted for.

Evan Harris summates on amendment 1. “It is unusual for me to summate on a debate where there have been no speeches against my amendment”. Says government ministers must work hard to change the bill radically. Amendment 1 lays out how it should be improved – and Liberal Democrats in government “should follow …

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Everything you ever wanted to know about… Policy and the Parliamentary Party (part 2)

(This is the third column from Lib Dem Voice’s Party Bureaucracy Columnist Mark Valladares – for Part 1 see here.)

Ah yes, the Federal Policy Committee, or FPC for short, a body of twenty-nine members, consisting of Nick Clegg, as Leader, one other MP elected by and from the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons, one MP each elected by and from members of the Parliamentary Party in the House of Commons representing constituencies in England, Scotland and Wales respectively; one Peer elected by and from the Parliamentary Party in the House of Lords; one MEP elected by and …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 10 Comments

Chris White writes: FPC, tuition fees and party policy – the inside story

No. I don’t like Vince Cable’s announcement today on higher education either.

Nevertheless, Party Policy is clear: we want fees to go. This means that we don’t need to spend a six figure sum on a special conference just to repeat ourselves. Or to say we’re cross with Vince. Nor is there any need of a grand public statement in the Guardian letters page. Or a row at Federal Policy Committee.

FPC is still asking itself what it is for. On the one hand, it must get on with developing new Party policy – but with sharply limited resources. On the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 7 Comments

Chris White reports: a radical approach to localism

I have long thought that Party policy making has tended to be elitist and untransparent. In my own little universe – FPC’s Localism working group – I am keen to change this.

So the papers of the group are now being shared with anyone who put a card in for the Localism debate in Liverpool.

And I will update party members and activists in places like Lib Dem Voice.

We met on 6 October and looked at a new draft of the paper. Our previous thinking is now deeply influenced by the change in the political landscape, not least the Localism Bill due …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Party’s policy committee agrees to axe tuition fees

From an email from Nick Clegg:

This week the Party’s federal policy committee agreed a way to deliver one of our most important policies, the scrapping of unfair tuition fees. We’ve developed a plan to phase out tuition fees over the course of the next six years, to ensure this vital policy is affordable even at this time of economic crisis.

Labour and the Conservatives refuse to address the issue of fees and there is a real danger that both of them would lift the cap on fees which could mean even more debt for students when they leave university. We think

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , and | 23 Comments

Opinion: MPs have the power – so how do we involve the members?

It is 1946, and Labour have just won a landslide under Clement Attlee. Harold Laski, head of Labour’s National Executive Committee, tells Attlee that he must not sign a peace treaty at Potsdam, because it is the NEC, not Attlee or the parliamentary party, which is the sovereign body of the Labour Party. Attlee replied that

You have no right whatever to speak on behalf of the Government. Foreign affairs are in the capable hands of Ernest Bevin . … a period of silence on your part would be welcome.”

Now imagine the Liberal Democrats win the 2010 election. For financial – or other – reasons the party leadership decide to defer or abolish our pledge to abolish tuition fees.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , and | 19 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 23 July 2009

Good morning. You join us here on LDV as we wish happy birthday to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Michael Foot, and as the nation of Egypt and the Rastafarians commemorate the birth of Haile Selassie.

It’s also polling day in Norwich North. Will April Pond become the 64th Lib Dem MP? Will we make our second by-election gain in the 2005 Parliament? Find out first on twitter – as the blogosphere’s reporter on the spot Nich Starling will report, live from the Norfolk Showground.

Two big news stories

Kingsnorth tactics criticised
The Guardian reports the report into police behaviour at

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Federal election rules could be in danger of making a mockery of our party’s democratic processes

Ballot paperNick Clegg, speaking on Internet TV station 18 Doughty Street recently described our party as “painfully democratic” – he meant no malice or mischief by the claim, but it was a pithy, and accurate, summary of a key point about Liberal Democrat decision making. Every so often we keep the party’s democracy alive by distributing ballot papers to an electoral college of thousands of voting representatives (who are in turn elected by their local parties) at great expense. When it comes to being democratic, despite the cost, we practice what we preach.

During the latest round of elections to national party committees such as the Federal Policy Committee and the Federal Conference Committee, Liberal Democrat Voice received helpful assistance from election officials Lord Rennard and David Allworthy – their help enabled us to publish a full list of candidates as soon as it became available. This was, so far as I know, the first time a full list of federal election candidates was published online, free to access, allowing non-voting representatives (who do not receive copies of ballot papers and manifestos) to see who was standing for positions of influence in the Liberal Democrats. Alas, having seen that information, they then had no place to comment – in fact, the election rules forbade it.

All being well there are now two years until the next set of elections, and while the last lot is still fresh in our memories we should have a rational debate about the conditions under which the next is fought.

Posted in Online politics, Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

Liberal Democrats make change to policy-making process

The party’s Federal* Policy Committee (FPC) has just announced a significant change in the policy making process for 2007. It is setting up a new standing panel of people from which members of policy working groups will be picked in future. The panel will be put together once a year, replacing the old system of advertising for members of each different policy working group separately through the year.

There are more details on the party’s website, including an application form for the new panel; you have until 22nd January to get your form in.

* For the uninitiated in the jargon, “federal”

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | 14 Comments

Trident: what happens next?

At the start of this month, the proposals from the Liberal Democrats’ Trident policy group were published – just ahead of Tony Blair announcing his own proposals.

The Liberal Democrats’ Federal Policy Committee (FPC) will meet on 11th January for a substantive discussion about the proposals and – assuming the FPC decides to go ahead with having a motion on the proposals for our spring Harrogate conference – a motion will then be published in the agenda sent out to conference representatives and there will be a chance for people to submit amendments for debate.

It’s likely to be one of …

Posted in News and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 6 Comments

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