Tag Archives: general election manifesto

Five Policies for a Manifesto: In Case of Snap Election, break glass

There’s been a lot of speculation, before and following the fall of Boris Johnson, that there could be a snap General Election this year – initially that Johnson himself might call one as a final desperate throw of the dice; later that whoever is new Tory leader would see the economic prospects as increasingly dire and go for a personal mandate to give themselves five years to try to ride out the coming Winter of Discontent. 

Both Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss have now ruled out an early election. But they’ve promised a lot of other things they cannot deliver too.

So it would be wise to be thinking about what we want to see in a Liberal Democrat manifesto.

A snap election would be dominated by the cost of living crisis, so I’ve given some thought to how we might address some of the “freedom from poverty, ignorance and conformity” with particular emphasis on the “freedom from poverty”, and looked a little to Maslow’s famous pyramid of needs.

Everyone will come up with their own answers. These are the answers that I thought of. 

1st Food and Water: 

No one should starve in this country. 

We will introduce a national basic income so everyone will have some means to feed themselves. We will include extra allowances based on need for medical equipment. 

We will protect and value our farming and fishing industries, and rebuild our relationship with the EU, our closest and largest market for buying and selling food, to lower barriers and bring down food prices.

We will invest in development of new vertical farming and hydroponics, for a food production and security and to reduce the pressure on intensive farming methods.

Britain is a famously rainy island but embarrassingly short of water.

We will address water-resilience through addressing the issue of losses through leakage, new reserve reservoirs, and de-salination plants. 

We will end the discharge of sewage into our rivers and beaches.

2nd Warmth and Light: 

We will build onshore and offshore wind turbines and tidal lagoons to provide sustainable low-cost electricity for all. We will make energy the new UK cash crop. 

With our mix of wind and tide power, Britain should have more than enough renewable energy supply to provide for the needs of the UK and more.

We will invest in and build new forms of power storage, including pumped water (like Dinorwic) compressed-air under-sea storage, molten salt/sand technologies, and battery storage to create a new National Grid for the 21st century, so that British companies can become the dominant players in what is obviously going to be one of the biggest markets in the world.

3rd Shelter: 

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If we have a snap election, I have a couple of requests…

If we Fight a Snap Election, I have a Couple of Requests…

With the new Prime Minister having taken residence in No. 10, without the majority in Parliament to carry out his controversial Brexit policies, and possibly not even the majority to survive a confidence vote, there is an increasing chance of a General Election this Autumn.

Should this happen, I would like to request the following of our campaign:

  1. No “Vote for us to have another vote!!”
  2. “Stop Brexit” should only start a sentence, not end it.

No “Vote for us to have another vote!!”

Shortly after the 2016 referendum we adopted the policy to promote a referendum on the final Brexit deal. This was the perfect policy to have as a parliamentary opposition group but would it work as a GE policy?

What deal would we be having a vote on? Theresa May’s deal that has been so universally rejected that she stood down as PM? Would we negotiate a new deal with the EU just so we could ask the public to vote it down in a referendum?

Why have another vote at all? We’re a parliamentary democracy after all. If our MPs are elected on a promise to “Stop Brexit”, surely that gives us a mandate to revoke article 50, put an end to Brexit and move on to other pressing issues like health, education and the environment?

I’d like us to declare that Conservative attempts to deliver Brexit have failed. After three years of neglecting our Country and its problems, the deal they ultimately wrangled is so bad that they themselves rejected it. Time to Stop Brexit so we can get back to dealing with the issues that matter to people!

“Stop Brexit” should only start a sentence, not end it.

Posted in Op-eds | 62 Comments

Six Lib Dem policies to tackle racial inequality

The Lib Dem manifesto, launched earlier today, includes several ideas to make Britain a more racially-equal society.

Black and minority ethnic (BAME) people will be voting on all the main issues, like Europe, the economy, education and health. But polls show that BAME communities are more concerned about ‘security’ issues like unemployment, and about equality.

Our new manifesto offers some serious proposals to address some fundamental causes of racial unfairness in society. This shows that Lib Dems are keen to walk the walk on equality.

That we don’t just believe that everyone is equal, but we understand the challenges faced …

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Is this the front page of the next Lib Dem manifesto?

Ryan Coetzee, recently appointed the Lib Dems’ General Election Director of Strategy, was snapped today clutching papers which look like they might reveal the party’s top four priorities for the 2015 manifesto.

The four priorities read:

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Manifesto 2015: Join the debate

Following David Laws’ call for proposals for the Liberal Democrats’ 2015 Manifesto, the first submissions from members are now up on the Manifesto Website.

Watch this space for more members’ ideas to be discussed. Or submit your own idea and maybe you’ll see it up there soon!

Posted in General Election and Online politics | 2 Comments

Nick Clegg’s Letter from the Leader: Two big issues – free schools and energy bills

It would have been very surprising if Nick’s weekly letter hadn’t been on the subjects which have dominated the headlines this week – free schools and energy bills. Although, to be honest, I think it’s the energy bills that most voters are most concerned about and possibly merited a larger proportion of the Letter than they get. Nick makes the case for retaining the green charges which pay for the warm homes discount and home insulation programmes. Ed Davey wrote more about what he’s doing to keep down energy bills on this site last week. The thing is, it’s

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David Laws MP writes…Have your say – the 2015 manifesto

As you know, Liberal Democrats are unique in British politics as the only party whose policy is developed democratically through a member elected policy committee, member votes at conference and a member voice that is listened to at every level of the party.

The same will be true of our next Manifesto. At the 2015 General Election we have a huge opportunity to break the outdated two-party mould of British politics for good. But to achieve this, we need to develop strong policies that reinforce our values, appeal to our potential supporters and can be delivered in Government. That’s where you …

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Interview: Nick Clegg on the economy, welfare, Cleggism and the “superb” Kung Fu Panda films

CleggWe brought you a taste of the Voice’s exclusive interview with the deputy prime minister yesterday. Here is the full interview, covering the economy, welfare reform, pensions, Cleggism, our approach to the manifesto, Kung Fu Panda and Clegg’s cooking.

Nick Thornsby: What’s your take on where the economy is now, three and a bit years into the coalition?

Nick Clegg: My overall assessment is that it is healing. There are signs of confidence slowly seeping back into the sinews of the economy. Some of the latest data on consumer confidence are better …

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‘Red lines’ v ‘a long shopping list’: Clegg sets out plan for slimline 2015 manifesto

Nick Clegg will be speaking today at the party’s local government conference in Manchester (Nick Thornsby will be covering it throughout the day here on LDV) and The Independent is one of the newspapers which trails what he’ll say.

Here’s my quick take on the top lines on which they’ve been pre-briefed…

The Deputy Prime Minister will take on his internal party critics by demanding a slimline manifesto at the 2015 election setting out the Lib Dems’ non-negotiable “red lines” in another coalition rather than a long shopping list of policies.

There’s been much discussion recently about ‘red lines’ in …

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A brief (recent) history of the Lib Dems’ flagship tax-cut for the low-paid

Tax Threshold infographicGeorge Osborne’s fourth budget saw him finalise the commitment to implement in full the Lib Dems’ number one manifesto commitment: taking out of income tax all those who earn less than £10k a year.

It prompted this post by my Co-Editor Caron Lindsay yesterday – Why it’s worth being a member of the Liberal Democrats – recalling the recent history of this focus on raising the tax-free allowance. Which in turn triggered this comment by Alex Wilcock, recalling the slightly less recent history:

The fact is, raising thresholds was party policy in the 1990s, then put back on the agenda when Chris Huhne made it the central plank of his Leadership campaign in February 2006.

Curious, I thought I’d do a quick fact-check. Here’s what I found:

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Opinion: keeping up the Mo-mentum

Many of us watched with pride as Mo Farah won his two Gold medals at the London 2012 Olympics, encapsulating the spirit that swept most of the country over two golden weeks, re-invigorating our nation, and this week saw the beautiful Paralympics opening ceremony. Mo and the Paralympians show what a civilised and diverse country we are. London 2012 has shown that this nation is great because it is open, modern, quirky, successful and brilliant, a country ready to embrace the challenges of a changed world head on.

Recently, Conservative minister Damian Green said he wants Tories to pass the ‘Danny …

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Is 75% of the Coalition Agreement drawn from the Lib Dem manifesto? Alas, no…

One of the key justifications for Lib Dem involvement in the Coalition — one which has comforted many party members through the first two difficult years of being the junior partner in government with the Conservatives — has been the finding that 75% of the Lib Dem manifesto appeared in the Programme for Government (commonly known as the Coalition Agreement). This assessment was based on research by UCL’s Constitution Unit, and published a year ago in their interim report on ‘How Coalition Government Works’ (PDF).

However, UCL has …

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Danny Alexander MP writes… Liberal Democrat budget victory for “further faster” tax campaign

Over 20 million working people will be better off next year after Liberal Democrats in the Coalition Government delivered the biggest ever increase in the income tax personal allowance in the Budget.

The increase of £1,100 is worth £220 to 21 million working people – taking the total income tax cut for working people delivered over 3 years by the coalition to nearly £550 a year. Two million people will pay no income tax at all. By going ‘further and faster’ as Nick Clegg promised, we’re getting real help to millions of hard-pressed people at a time when they need …

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Paul Burstow MP writes: Let’s end this silent scandal

1,800 people with dementia are dying every year having been prescribed anti-psychotic drugs, and I am determined to end this silent scandal.

For more than a decade I have been campaigning to reduce the number of people whose lives are cut short thanks to the routine long-term prescribing of drugs by GPs. These drugs have sedative effects which makes it easier to ‘manage’ dementia patients. But they are effectively a chemical cosh which have side effects and can have devastating consequences.

Last year, as minister for care services, I set an ambitious target to reduce the number of patients routinely given anti-psychotic …

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Julian Huppert MP writes: High Speed Rail no longer the transport of the future, but a logistical imperative

Birmingham in 49 minutes, Leeds in 80, and 45 minutes shaved off the journey to Scotland’s major cities. For some, this is reason enough for the Government’s new High Speed Rail line (HS2) – stretching from London in the South, to Manchester in the North-West and Leeds in the North-East.

Many, including myself, would love to see the line extended all the way up to Scotland, providing a real boost to domestic tourism and sustainable growth.

But in amongst the disputes over cost benefit analyses and NIMBYism, there are some startling figures which remind us why High Speed Rail is vital …

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Opinion: Themes for a radical manifesto

Yesterday, George Potter blogged about the need for the Liberal Democrats to have a radical manifesto for the 2015 General Election. Today he sets out his suggested themes:

I suggest that we limit our 2015 manifesto to two main themes. The first should be the proper implementation of community politics – and we need to emphasise what this means. Community politics is not just a strategy for winning elections; it is a philosophy for empowering communities and giving people control over their lives. It is about giving people freedom from dependence on the council, and the government and the rest. And it doesn’t just apply to geographical communities, it applies to other communities as well, such as workplaces. We need to develop the ideas of community politics and emphasise how they can be implemented. This policy, as it happens, isn’t too hard to develop. There is a wealth of thought and writing about community politics in the party’s collective memory so we need merely look around us for ways in which community politics can be translated into a manifesto.

The second theme, however, should be something far more radical.

Posted in Op-eds | 22 Comments

Opinion: The need for a radical manifesto

In 2015, as we approach the general election, it will be exactly 70 years since the 1945 general election. When we draw up our 2015 manifesto, we need to remember the lessons of 1945.

That election saw the Labour party, after several years in a coalition government for reasons of the national interest, cast aside the memories of the wartime government to win a landslide majority based on a radical, optimistic manifesto that laid out a glowing vision of the future. Say what you like about the Labour party of old, at least they could not be accused of lack of …

Posted in Op-eds | 50 Comments

Nick Clegg’s delivery diary

Nick Clegg’s article in the Indy today is a spare, evidential piece, as neatly sliced and lacking in rhetoric as an appointment diary.

But what a diary. Flip back a year, and Gordon was driving to the Palace to call the General Election, as the Liberal Democrats prepared to launch their manifesto.

Now, Nick writes,

…something is happening that, for the Liberal Democrats, is a new experience: the policies we championed during the election are becoming reality. I don’t mean that consultations are being announced, votes held, or papers published. Over the next few days, lives will be changed for

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LibLink… Danny Alexander: We are on course to deliver all four of our manifesto priorities

Four key Lib Dem manifesto commitmentsAt the start of Budget week, Danny Alexander writes at Comment is Free that the coalition government is about more than balancing the books, but about enacting reform with a foundation of economic recovery.

He returns to the commander’s intent of the Liberal Democrat General Election manifesto, restating its four key policies –

  • Fair taxes that put money back in your pocket
  • A fair chance for every child
  • A fair future, creating jobs by making Britain greener
  • A fair deal for you from

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More of the Liberal Democrat manifesto in practice

Just before Christmas, I blogged the Liberal Democrats’ achievements in Government. Since then, even more of the party’s manifesto has been enacted.

For example, the ID card database was publicly destroyed on 11th February 2011 and Project Merlin has ensured that the UK has the most transparent banking pay disclosure scheme in the world.

Sarah Teather’s SEN Green Paper has proposed key reforms to the way Special Education Needs are diagnosed and the support that children and parents receive.

The National Curriculum is under review, with the aim of replacing the current system with a slimmed-down and more competitive version.

The Government are backing Lord Clement-Jones’ Live Music Bill, which aims to cut red tape for putting on live music, as set out on page 46 of the Lib Dem Manifesto.

For the full update, see below:

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The Liberal Democrat manifesto in practice

It’s an unnecessarily well-kept secret that the Liberal Democrats have already achieved much in Government since the General Election.

Despite the Guardian saying today that “the Liberal Democrats have rushed out a checklist of 67 party manifesto commitments already or nearly achieved in eight months in office” it’s not that easy to find the checklist online, nor to understand why the newspaper used the word “rushed” when the party has waited two thirds of a year before compiling and releasing it in a low-key way to Lib Dem campaigners.

Nonetheless, the list is impressive, and deserves to be shared widely. So I’m publishing it below,

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LibLink: Tim Farron – Tuition fees are the poll tax of our generation

Over at the Guardian’s Comment is Free, Tim Farron MP reiterates his pledge to vote against tuition fees, calling them “the poll tax of our generation” – a reference to the angry scenes at Wednesday’s demonstration.

In his article, Tim makes the distinction between the NUS pledge against tuition fees, signed by Parliamentary candidates before the General Election (which he intends to abide by), the Liberal Democrat manifesto (which became a negotiating document) and the Coalition Agreement (which contains 65% of the Liberal Democrat manifesto).

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Serious about fairness, serious about power

I almost had an article published on the Guardian’s Comment Is Free website on Wednesday, marking the launch of the Lib Dem manifesto. For convoluted reasons it never saw the light of web – but most of it stands the test of time. Except perhaps the line suggesting the party could never hope for Nick Clegg to be as well liked as his predecessor: that’s the power of television for you.

Quite rightly, many wise (and not necessarily old) heads have been counselling caution following the last 24 hours explosively positive headlines for the Lib Dems. The party has enjoyed polling …

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

Lib Dem general election manifesto: round-up of our coverage

The launch of a party’s general election manifesto is a big story, so we’ve been covering it in a series of posts here on The Voice in the last 24 hours. If you’re just catching up on our coverage now, here’s a summary of the posts:

Posted in General Election and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Lib Dem manifesto launch attracts media plaudits

Five years ago, I think it’s only fair to say, the Lib Dem manifesto launch was not without its hitches. Today’s was toruble-free. The website is slick and engaging, the Nick & Vince double-act showcased their complementary skills, and the media response has been almost surprisingly favourable.

In the New Statesman, James Macintyre assesses that the Lib Dems are on a roll:

The Liberal Democrats, who launched their manifesto this morning, are having an undeniably good week. … Nick Clegg, who held his own against Jeremy Paxman this week, has undoubtedly matured as leader, just in time for an

Posted in General Election | 7 Comments

Liberal Democrat manifesto by numbers

The Liberal Democrat manifesto by numbers:

  • 9 different formats for the manifesto (hard copy, video, on screen, iPhone app etc.)
  • 6 photos of Nick Clegg
  • 5 pages of index
  • 4 pages of detailed costsing
  • 4 steps to a fairer Britain
  • 3 photos of Vince Cable
  • 0 mentions of chocolate
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Liberal Democrat manifesto: advance peek

Tomorrow Nick Clegg is launching the Liberal Democrat manifesto, but tonight The Voice can give you an advance peek at what it will be saying. We’d like to report that this is due to our cunning radio controlled artificial pigeon which we have flown in to the roof of Cowley Street and used to point a webcam at the desk of the Director of Campaigns, but instead it’s thanks to the more prosaic method of receiving email, reading it and then blogging. Ah well, next time.

But back to the manifesto and let’s start with the cover:

Posted in General Election and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

General election manifesto update

In the three months since I last blogged at length about the Liberal Democrat general election manifesto process, Danny Alexander (chair of the Manifesto Working Group) has won widespread praise for restoring a sense of peace, sense and order after the events around the party’s autumn conference.

On the two major flash points – mansion tax and tuition fees – hostilities have ceased and proposals been modified to win widespread support within the party. Tuition fees are still due to be scrapped, but over a longer timescale, and mansions are still due to be taxed, but with a narrower definition …

Posted in General Election and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 5 Comments

The Guardian’s approving verdict on the Lib Dems’ manifesto principles is correct … but for the wrong reasons

Nick Clegg will have enjoyed reading this morning’s Guardian editorial (Nick Clegg: Liberal parenting) over his breakfast porridge today. The paper commends Nick for yesterday’s launch of the principles which will underpin the Lib Dems’ election manifesto.

At the same time it betrays the Guardian’s usual unawareness of the party’s democratic decision-making principles. According to the Grauniad, Nick “ordered his party to drop some of its favourite policies”, issuing “instructions” in order to transform the Lib Dem manifesto from “a third-party wishlist” into “a credible agenda for directing a government”.

Hmmm, not so much.

In fact, all that …

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Danny Alexander writes … Campaigning on Our Manifesto

On Friday, Nick emailed all members to outline our position on the abolition of tuition fees. It was great to see our position, agreed by both the Federal Policy Committee and the Parliamentary Party, broadly welcomed on LDV and elsewhere.

Saddling students with huge debts as they leave universities, particularly at a time when many are failing to find jobs through no fault of their own, is clearly wrong. And the prospect of such debts putting talented young people off going to university is equally wrong. That is why our plan to scrap tuition fees over 6 years from the election will be one of a very small number of core commitments in our manifesto.

Posted in General Election and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 9 Comments

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