Tag Archives: fundraising

What is even more fun than a raffle?

It is well known that Lib Dems like few things better than a good raffle. Somewhere back in the mists of time – even before the bit about no one being enslaved by ignorance or conformity – it must have been written, “wheresoever two or three are gathered together they shall tear up strips of cloakroom tickets and contest the ownership of cheap wine and a box of Milk Tray.

Forgive me then, if I offer a heretic’s view. There is one thing I like even better than a raffle and it is an auction. I suspect I am not alone. Many times I have seen my former MP colleague, Don Foster, auction a five pound note at Lib Dem dinners and watched as bids reached three figures after a bout of frenzied bidding.

It is, therefore, in the spirit of public service that Scottish Liberal Democrats have brought to you an online auction to add a few extra quid to the coffers ahead of elections to the Scottish Parliament in May. The site is


Head over there now and get bidding.

You may be able to bag yourself some great holiday accommodation for that post-lockdown break (or next year if that suits better);

You can pick up some blue chip political memorabilia – books, pictures, a framed Private Eye cover signed by Sir Vince Cable or a campaign Tee Shirt from Jon Ossoff winning campaign in Georgia that finally handed control of the US Senate to the Democrats;

You can bid to spend time with some of our party’s stars – tea for two with Nick Clegg or Sarah Olney, lunch with Ed Davey, a guided walk up the Coniston Old Man with Tim Farron or a lesson in Palestinian Cookery with Layla Moran.

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Willie Rennie to run almost 5 marathons in 4 days to raise funds for mental health charity

As far as we know, Scotland doesn’t have any elections this May.

Willie Rennie isn’t going to be slacking though.

Over the Easter weekend, he’ll be running the 117 miles of the Fife Coastal Path which runs from the Firth of Forth to the Forth of Tay. He hopes to raise £1000 at least for the Scottish Association for Mental Health a Scottish mental health charity. This reflects his personal and political priorities of securing better mental health care.

That 117 miles is not far off being 5 marathons so …

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Lib Dems raise almost £10,500 an hour since election called – more than double Labour’s effort

The Lib Dems have raised more than £500,000 in individual donations since Theresa May called for a General Election on Tuesday morning.

From the BBC:

All parties have made cash appeals to supporters after Theresa May’s surprise decision to hold an election on 8 June.

The Lib Dems say they raised £500,000 in 48 hours.

A similar Labour fund-raising drive is reported to have raised £200,000. Labour has yet to comment on the figure, reported by the FT.

The Conservatives have been contacted for details of their fundraising efforts.

Lib Dem leader Tim Farron claimed activists and donors were “flocking” to his party on the back of its distinctive anti-Brexit message.

The party, who are arguing for another referendum on the final Brexit deal, say they have seen their membership jump to 95,000, attracting 8,000 new members since Tuesday alone.

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£1 million donation for Lib Dems helps party oppose Brexit

As a member of the Party’s Federal Board and Federal Finance and Resources Committee, I knew that the party were to receive a £1 million donation. We were not told who had donated it. We were told that we would only find out along with everyone else when it was published by the Electoral Commission – which it will be on Thursday. However, the FT has the inside track and has this story today:

The donation from Greg Nasmyth, whose family made its fortune from Argus Media, the energy information business, will be reported on Thursday when Electoral Commission figures are published. It comes as the Lib Dems gain momentum as an anti-Brexit party, committed to advocating a referendum on the terms of Britain’s departure from the EU. Mr Nasmyth is understood to have been motivated by the party’s position on the EU and also on green issues. He agreed the donation in July, soon after the Brexit vote. It was finally made in October in the run-up to the December by-election in Richmond Park, where the Lib Dem candidate ousted the Brexit-backing millionaire Zac Goldsmith.

Securing this donation is an excellent achievement by the Fundraising team at party HQ. They will need to bring in substantially more than this very generous donation if the party is to properly oppose Brexit. Labour are clearly not interested in standing in the Government’s way. The Liberal Democrats are unique in British politics – a UK wide party which opposes brexit in general and Theresa May’s Brexit Max in particular with every fibre of its being. We have a great message and talented and innovative campaigners. What we need are the resources to deliver that message to the people on an unprecedented scale for us. That is the challenge for party Treasurer Mike German and the fundraising team at HQ. 

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So you want to be Liberal Democrat Party Treasurer…

…said very few people ever. However, there have been some bold and enterprising individuals who have taken the role on over the years, to whom we are extremely grateful.

The most recent incumbent was Lord Ian Wrigglesworth, who stepped down in September, so the party is seeking someone to fill this important role.

This isn’t about financial admin, book-keeping, financial strategy and telling people sternly that they can’t spend money we don’t have. That role is taken by the Chair of the Federal Finance and Administration Committee, currently Peter Dunphy. It’s mainly about fundraising – making sure the party has the money it needs to fight campaigns strongly.  The ad on the party website explains more:

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We need to make internal selections affordable for all

What makes a great candidate? It can be an incredibly demanding job and I imagine it’s lots of things. A strong ability to communicate, to listen, to represent people effectively. To demonstrate generous leadership, to inspire and to continually learn. These are all what I’d consider the headlines.

What about fundraising? It’s certainly vital – but I’d argue that not only is it not the single *biggest* priority.  It’s certainly not more important than the above qualities. It’s one of the skills that can most often be generated truly as a team effort whilst potentially being most successful when lead by the candidate themselves.

I learnt so much during the recent GLA London List Election. As a first timer I was clearly delighted with the result and I loved the opportunity to speak to literally thousands of members. Having phone canvassed for lots of candidates as part of the Team 2015 efforts in the General Election, it was a really interesting next step to be phoning and listening to people’s concerns as the potential candidate myself.

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Fancy a chance of dinner with Hugh Grant? Just donate to Lib Dems before Monday evening

We thought they’d done well persuading John Cleese to have dinner with a lucky donor to the party. And it’s a miracle that some of us have any cash left. However, now that payday has arrived, they’ve found another cunning plan to entice us to donate even more. Only dinner with Hugh flipping Grant.

Hot on the heels of his tweet endorsing Danny Alexander the other, he’s now offering to have dinner with the lucky winner drawn from those who donate to the party before Monday night.

What would you ask him? One of my favourite scenes in film ever is the fight scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary when he and Colin Firth slugged it out in a restaurant to “It’s Raining Men”. I’d want to ask him about that after, of course, something worthy about Leveson.

In an email to party members, Grant said he was full of admiration for the way Nick Clegg had stood up to the Tories over Leveson:

I am not a Lib Dem, a Tory a Labourite or anything in particular but I recognise political guts when I see it. And I know Nick Clegg was prepared to stand up to the Tories when they wanted to ignore or water down the Leveson Report. For that he gets a lot of abuse in the Tory press. But he was right to do it. And the manifesto is very clear, not only that Leveson should be delivered, but that it should be done while boosting investigative journalism with more protections.

So I am happy to help make this election a fairer fight.

I can bore to death any lucky winner of this draw on the detail of the Leveson Report and effect of  section 40 of the Crime and Courts Act 2013. Or we can just talk about me and all my problems.

If you want to take part in this amazing offer, click here.

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Donate to Lib Dems today to be in with a chance of the funniest dinner you will ever have

The Obama campaign pioneered the online micro-fundraising that we see so much of today. Remember getting all those email inviting you to donate $3 to have a chance of dinner with Obama.

The Liberal Democrats have today taken another leaf out of their book, offering dinner with comedy legend John Cleese if you donate any amount of money to the party before April 17th.  From Python to Fawlty Towers to hilarious films like Clockwise and A Fish Called Wanda (which was on the other night), he has been making us laugh for decades. These things don’t really date, either. All these things are as hilarious now as they were then.

So, I think the phrase is donate early and donate often. And if you do, there’s a wee surprise for everyone. I won’t spoil it for you but it’s good. 

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Fundraising emails just got grimmer…

So the Tories are out to “destroy” the Liberal Democrats? So reported the Telegraph on Monday. Well, there’s a surprise. When have they ever done us any favours? Or the other lot? Our gains have been made by grit, sweat and community based campaigns run on a shoestring. The Tories are pouring resources into its target seats. They have obscene amounts of money and aren’t afraid to spend it.

Many individual seats have got their crowd-funding sites up now. My bank balance is suffering accordingly.

Chief strategist Ryan Coetzee is in no mood to stand for this. Whether his latest fundraising missive, with the gruesome subject line “Destroy and decapitate the Lib Dems” was a good idea or not, I’ll leave for you to judge. Here’s what it said:

Caron, I don’t know about you, but when I see the Tories saying they want to destroy Lib Dems I have a simple response: over my dead body.

Here’s what one Tory strategist told the Telegraph last night:

“The way we win this election is by taking a couple of seats off Labour and then just destroy the Lib Dems.”

Every day I see evidence that shows we can beat the Tories in the seats we’re fighting them in, but only if our campaign teams have the resources they need.

Caron, can you help with a donation today and show the Tories that we’re not going to give up any of our seats without a fight?

It’s no surprise that the Tories want us out. We’ve blocked them from doing some really nasty things—even Cameron said we stopped him from governing like a true Tory.

That’s what makes this election important. They want to ‘decapitate’ us this election so they can lurch off to the right—and they’re using the millions they’ve raised to do it. We can only defend our seats if we have the money to do so, please donate what you can.

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Charles Kennedy writes…Time to dig deep and believe

Well, you will have heard it time and time before. Commentators will tell us that we simply cannot win, opposition will tell us that we simply don’t matter. I can tell you, they are all wrong.

This General Election will be the hardest fought in our history. However, there has never been a more important time to stick our head above the parapet and make the unambiguous case for a strong liberal voice in politics. I for one am up for the challenge.

I have been an MP for over 30 years (a point my campaign team like to emphasise more than I). I am often asked what motivates me to stay the course. My motivation is straight forward; my motivation is to fight on the issues that matter for the people of Ross, Skye and Lochaber.

In Ross, Skye and Lochaber it is a two horse race between myself and the SNP. The race is between two competing views of the world. Indeed, our views on the NHS contrasts the options well.

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Liberal Democrats raise half a million pounds from members and supporters

The Liberal Democrats are quietly breaking all sorts of records at the moment. Membership is increasing, a million doors have been knocked on this year and yesterday, we passed a significant milestone – £500,000 has been raised from members and supporters, a record for this stage of any election campaign.

As we reported the other day, there’s a match funding offer on at the moment with a target of raising £300,000 by the end of today to support the election campaigns of our key candidates across the country. The party hopes to raise £600,000 in total simply from online donations. If you want to help out with this, you can donate here.

The new member and supporter database has been a very effective tool in turning this method of donation from one of the smallest to one of the biggest income streams by helping the team ask for the right amount at the right times. They seem to know what pushes my buttons, for sure. One picture of Tony Blair and I’m reaching for my credit card. I’m waiting for the email that reads:

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Telegraph reports Farron email 24 days after we did

Interesting story in today’s Telegraph about a fundraising letter from Tim Farron to combat Tony Blair’s £1000 donations to Labour’s target seats.

Interesting, but old.

We told you about this way back on 5th March.

LDV Blair post


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Ibrahim Taguri steps down as Lib Dem candidate in Brent Central after Telegraph donation claims

Ibrahim Taguri has stepped down as the Liberal Democrat candidate in Brent Central after the Telegraph made allegations that he had accepted a donation that was potentially outside the rules.

Ibrahim will continue to fight the seat as an independent candidate and denies any wrongdoing.

From the BBC:

Mr Taguri had been selected to stand for the Lib Dems to replace departing MP Sarah Teather in the London constituency of Brent Central.

But in a statement, he said he would step down as a parliamentary candidate and from his Lib Dem race equality role while the claims against him were investigated.

“I will continue my campaign to become the next MP for Brent Central as an independent candidate with the intention of achieving the one thing I entered politics to do, to end child poverty in the UK by 2020,” he said.

“I look forward to clearing my name and returning to the Liberal Democrats.”

He said he was “happy to co-operate with any investigation” and “confident that I will be exonerated of all the claims made against me”.

“I am capable of demonstrating that I have gone above and beyond the legal requirements in the interests of transparency,” he added.

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Farron seeks £20k for Lib Dem campaigns to match Tony Blair’s donation to Labour

Tony Blair“Rich Labour Member gives £100k to Labour” is not the biggest surprise in the whole world. When it’s Tony Blair, though, and he’s giving £20k to campaigns against Liberal Democrat MPs who stood up against his catastrophic intervention in Iraq, that will set Liberal Democrat blood boiling.

At least that’s what Tim Farron hopes.

He’s sending an email to members and supporters asking them to donate enough to match Blair’s £20k against our MPs. Labour candidates fighting fabulous Lib Dem MPs like Lynne Featherstone, Jo Swinson, Jenny Willott and Julian Huppert will be getting Blair money.

Anything you donate will be spent directly trying to win those seats and others like them and is money well spent to keep these stellar Liberal Democrats in Parliament.

Farron said:

We reckon that about £20,000 of his donation is going directly to fighting the Liberal Democrats in seats where we’re up against Labour. Those Liberal Democrat candidates opposed Blair’s illegal war in Iraq and are fighting to get the Chilcot report published so he can be held to account.

He is trying to silence them, and we don’t want to let him.

Please will you make a donation today, so we can match the £20,000 Blair has put into fighting Lib Dem candidates?

Every pound you give will go into our election campaign and will be used on the front line. Every Lib Dem candidate is committed to getting the Chilcot report published, so that Tony Blair can be held to account.

A donation from you today will help make that happen.

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Could this be the classiest political fundraising auction prize ever?

Maybe not.

Labour Students are having a dinner tonight. Their brochure is not quite as glossy as the Tories’ one from the other day. Nor is it filled with such jet set items as a bronze statuette of Margaret Thatcher that went for £210,000.

They do, however, stand to make over 1% of the price of the statuette with this auspicious item:

It’s good that the New Statesman is looking out to protect Balls’ interests:

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Why I am cursing Tim Gordon*

Tim Gordon is the Chief Executive of the Liberal Democrats. In the three years of his tenure he has done wonders to professionalise our Headquarters operation and make it election-fit. He is also a very nice man. So what has he done that deserves such a provocative headline?

We first need some context. It’s barely two weeks since we had those “you must give us all your money now because we have some major donors who will match it” emails. I gave the first time, and when there was a push on for donations after Nick Clegg’s Last Leg appearance, the day we raised £50,000 in one day, I gave again. Not a huge amount, because I don’t have a huge amount.

Why did I bother? Because I want to see to see people like Christine Jardine, Jo Swinson, Layla Moran, Mike Crockart, Lynne Featherstone, Mike Moore and Dorothy Thornhill elected to Westminster in May and that costs money. I want them to have the best possible campaign behind them.

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Lib Dems raise £50k for General Election in just one day

Good news from Lib Dem Chief Exec Tim Gordon in our inbox this morning. Yesterday, the party raised £50,000 in just one day from members and supporters. That’s half as much as it raised during the whole of January. Nick Clegg’s appearance on The Last Leg may well have stimulated a good old shot in the bank balance for the party.

What’s particularly good is that the £150,000 raised from members and supporters will be matched by major donors, giving the campaign a £300,000 boost.

This news, combined with the recent news that Liberal Democrat membership rose for the sixth quarter in a row shows steady progress.

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“Like you, the Liberal Democrats…” Not the most tactful way to write to your members

A well-written email is a very useful tool in informing and activating your supporters. One that’s not so well-written or targeted can be counter-productive. There have been a fair few howlers in the past few years from LDHQ, not least that Annette Brooke email following the elections in May this year and one from Nick Clegg a couple of years before in similar circumstances. I also remember a Simon Hughes one in 2011 the week after the appalling Scottish elections when we were still all punch-drunk and heartbroken that started: “This is a good week to be a Liberal Democrat.”

That opening line is oh, so important. It draws the reader in, grabs their attention, persuades them to read on and to take the action requested within it. If the opening is poor, the red mist descends and people hit the delete key.

And so it was last night with an email from Director of Strategy Ryan Coetzee. This presumably went to members and supporters alike. It was nowhere close to even the field next to the ballpark of being as bad as previous examples, but, unfortunately it started with the words:

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Michael Moore MP to trek Tweed to raise funds for children and rescue charities

At the Voice, we are always keen to support our parliamentarians in their fund raising activities, whether it’s giving up booze for a month like Alistair Carmichael did last year or scale an Ecuadorian volcano like Greg Mulholland did in May.

Michael Moore has announced that he and Borders Council Leader David Parker will be undertaking a 97 mile fundraising walk along the River Tweed at the end of August. From the Borders Telegraph:

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Party gets smart over fundraising

Pound coins with no dateWe know that the Obama campaign made great use of micro-fundraising during its two successful campaigns. If you are signed up to the emails, you’ll know the kind of thing. You get an email asking you to donate $5 before midnight to get a chance to have dinner with Obama or some (other) celebrity.

The Liberal Democrats have been experimenting a lot with that sort of thing. During the Eastleigh by-election I had a whole host of emails, with increasingly emotional appeals, designed to get me in my …

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Lib Dem Nevis – sponsored Ben Nevis climb to fund an HQ internship

Last week, our party President Tim Farron wrote on Lib Dem Voice about the party’s intentions to fundraise and pay all interns who work at Lib Dem HQ. I think this is fantastic news and something I support. He did however raise the issue that implementing this policy – so that everyone is able to take up an internship regardless of their financial circumstances – could mean fewer internships are available for people to take up. About 18 months ago I wrote an article on here where

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Lib Dem donation figures in full (Quarter 1, 2012)

The Electoral Commission has recently published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £606,724 between January and March this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004. I’ve uploaded a public Google spreadsheet of all Lib Dem donations between 2001 and 2011 available here; and a separate one for the first quarter of 2012 available here.)

By comparison, the party raised £698,875 in the first quarter of 2007 (the equivalent …

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A question for the Coalition: Would Lib Dems and Tories support the Charity Tax if Labour had proposed it?

One of the aspects of the furore over the Coalition’s Charity Tax that has struck me is that charity is a more divisive issue than I’d realised.

Those of us who work in the charity sector probably take for granted that our organisations provide a public good, that the aggregated generosity of donors and the endeavours of staff make for a better society. That’s probably a majority view among the wider public, but it clearly isn’t a universal attitude.

Look at the reader comments on major news …

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Time for Nick Clegg and the Coalition to see sense and stop the ‘Charity Tax’

This year’s budget was, in general, a good one for Lib Dems. Most notably, the party’s number one priority of taking more low-paid workers out of tax was fast-tracked, while the controversies, and specifically the cut in the 50p top-rate at a time when pensioners’ tax allowances are being frozen, have hit their Tory backers’ support in the polls.

However, there is one lesser noticed and malign Budget change, the ‘Charity Tax’ — a cap on tax relief which threatens to cost the charitable sector hundreds of millions of pounds — which has not attracted mainstream media attention. That needs to change if the Coalition is to be talked down from a policy with Lib Dem fingerprints on it, and which will undermine philanthropic giving at a time when it is needed more than ever during the public funding squeeze.

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Boost for Brian as Lib Dem London fundraising hits £400k

The media may be focusing on the Boris v Ken show for London mayor, but Brian Paddick’s Lib Dem campaign is making some noise. His hard-hitting campaign posters focusing on crime — an issue the former police commander in the Metropolitan police knows first-hand how to tackle — abound in London.

And one of the reasons Brian is able to achieve this exposure is the success of the London Lib Dem fundraising effort. I understand that the total raised has, or is about to, pass the £400,000 …

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10 things you might not have known about party political funding over the last decade

The Electoral Commission website is a data-mine of information for those interested in all aspects of party political funding.

For those who’d rather not get their hands dirty doing the mining themselves, below you’ll find 10 interesting (in my opinion) facts I discovered there.

But for those of you interested in excavating further, I’ve uploaded Google spreadsheets of the three main parties’ donations received between 2001 and 2011 (incl.):

And here are those 10 interesting facts I promised you…

1) In total, the Lib Dems raised £33,742,984 in donations from 2001-11. This compares with £173,742,956 for the Labour Party, and £182,418,146 for the Conservatives.

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Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q4, 2011)

The Electoral Commission has this past week published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £1,076,469 between October and December this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.)

By comparison, the party raised £1,724,842 in the fourth quarter of 2006 (the equivalent stage of the parliamentary cycle). This is the first time since I’ve been covering the Lib Dem donation figures I can recall the figure for donations received being lower …

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Lib Dem donation figures in full (Q3, 2011)

The Electoral Commission has this past week published the latest donation and borrowing figures for the political parties, showing that the Lib Dems raised £1,199,623 between July and September this year.

(At the foot of this post is the full breakdown of donations (excluding public funds) received by quarter since 2005, and annually between 2001 and 2004.)

By comparison, the party raised £571,715 in the third quarter of 2006 (the equivalent stage of the parliamentary cycle), suggesting a far more sustainable level of fundraising success is now being achieved; although the party has been hit very hard since its move …

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What is the Lib Dem position on ‘The Big Society’?

I was called by a colleague I know through my day-job last week: ‘What is the Lib Dem position on charitable giving?’ she asked. Beyond a bland ‘We’re in favour of it,’ I found myself a bit stuck for an answer.

Initially I put it down to my ignorance, and decided I should do some research, call a few people up, and find out something a bit more helpful, a bit more substantive. But coincidentally that day I happened to read this article — How can charities exert an influence on Lib Dem policies? — in Third Sector.

And it …

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Opinion: The Lib Dems need to move into the 21st Century

I attended my first English Council at the weekend, the little-known body nominally supervising the party’s administration in England. Amid the constitutional amendments and letting off steam about the evil Federal party, it was possible to reflect on the huge challenges the party now faces. Inevitably most of the attention is on policies and messaging. This is vital but not sufficient. But we also need to catch up with the way politics is now done. I don’t think enough people appreciate the implications of this.

We can overdo the analogies between politics and warfare, but some …

Posted in Op-eds | 20 Comments

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