Tag Archives: guest editor

So how was it for you……..the highlights and lowlights?

As I mentioned earlier, conference is always a mixture of emotions, but none more so than this year. I thought it would be fun if we could do a meme in the comments thread and answer the following questions:

  • The funniest moment
  • The saddest moment
  • The most embarrassing moment (OK, so I know its only me has them!)
  • The most challenging moment
  • The moment I will remember most
  • And please feel free to add to the list.

    My answers? You’ll have to wait until the end of the day for those!

    And to start with I’m tagging Helen Duffett 🙂

    Posted in Conference and LDV meme | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

    Opinion: Perspective – my thoughts on the Liberal Democrat conference

    Oblivion; rebellion; split; tension. Words that the media reporting on the recent Lib Dem conference – and gosh weren’t there a lot of cameras, reporters and microphones present? – used both before and during the last few days in Liverpool – and crucially, words that were largely conspicuous by their absence inside the arena. Not a surprise given that large parts of the media, and the pubic too perhaps, is still coping with having a democratic, pluralist party at the heart of government. My word of the week, in contrast is perspective – and here’s why.

    Paul Reynolds has written

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

    Simon Says – So what did our Deputy Leader make of Conference?

    Simon Hughes has been walking an oil sodden, slippery, wobbly tightrope since he took on the role of Deputy Leader. I have to say I have been impressed at the way he has managed to rattle equally the right and left wing press while managing the balancing act with aplomb! It is a frighteningly difficult task and one that is crucial to get right. I may not always agree with him but I am hugely grateful and reassured by his being there. I think one of his undoubted attributes is to be able to listen and take back concerns, whether

    Posted in Blogger Interviews | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

    Opinion: Looking through the tea leaves of Liverpool

    What a strange few months it’s been for the Liberal Democrats. In Bournemouth a year ago, few LibDems would have truly believed that this was to be their last annual conference in opposition.

    My sense of the mood in Liverpool this year was that it matched the political and economic times we live in. Serious, but somewhat apprehensive. There seemed a lot of quiet satisfaction – although never smugness – that there were Liberal Democrats in government, but a nervousness about what the “end game” might be.

    A few things truly surprised me. Support for the principle of entering Coalition with the Conservatives was close to unanimous. A straw poll at the IEA’s fringe meeting showed about 95% felt that Nick Clegg had made the right decision in those tense few days after the General Election. The national media were, of course, on the look out for any sign of coalition-fatigue, but seemed initially disappointed – and then rather impressed – about the absence of much strategic dissent.

    But looking through the tea leaves of Liverpool, there are some longer term issues which the party will have to address.

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 10 Comments

    Opinion: The last chance saloon on diversity?

    I went to conference expecting something entirely different, perhaps influenced by the daily articles and news reports, that this conference was going to be like no other. That there was much unrest, and even anger amongst the Party’s ranks. Instead I found myself amongst many Lib Dem party members and friends who were upbeat and positive.

    I didn’t speak to anyone – nor as far as I can gather did the media – who was vehemently opposed to the Coalition Government. Yes, this conference was like no other. It was the largest conference we’ve ever had, and our Leader is …

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , and | 21 Comments

    Lib Dems GAIN Ipplepen, Teignbridge from Conservatives

    Alistair Dewhirst gains Ipplepen from the Conservatives

    Congratulations to new Liberal Democrat councillor Alistair Dewhirst at Ipplepen, Teignbridge District Council.

    The Liberal Democrats gained the seat with a massive 34% swing from the Tories following the death of the previous councillor.

    Turnout was up too, and high for a council by-election: 58.7% compared with 52% in the main elections in 2007.

    Central Devon Liberal Democrats are also reporting an increase in party membership.

    The result:

    Lib Dem Alistair Dewhirst …

    Posted in Council by-elections | Also tagged , , and | 10 Comments

    Making LGBT History – An Interview with Adrian Trett

    Adrian Trett is Chair of DELGA, the person responsible for the Equal Marriage motion and someone I am proud to call a dear friend. Following the success of the motion I interviewed Adrian about his feelings about conference in general and the motion in particular

    Q: What was your overall impression of conference?

    A: I was really pleased, I thought it was exhilarating, everyone was so enthusiastic. On the way to conference I thought there may be arguments, but I found it to be a pleasing atmosphere and was thrilled to be there.

    Q: How did you feel when you left?

    A: I left …

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

    Opinion: Nobody ever said government was easy

    I attended my first Liberal Party Conference at Blackpool in 1968, in the days when our MPs could all fit in a taxi, rather than needing a rather large bus. Work in education prevented me attending regularly again until 1998, but I have been at every autumn conference since.

    For those with long memories, 1998 was the year of the community school motion when, despite an impassioned speech by Phil Willis, the leadership lost the day, just as they did with amendment 2 on Monday: more about that later.

    When I arrived in Liverpool on Friday afternoon, I detected a palpable …

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

    Opinion: Subtly different

    The Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference this year was subtly different from all others I have attended.

    Being part of the Coalition of course meant a larger UK and international press contingent, and a greater diplomatic representation from around the globe. Lib Dem ministers talked of the problems of persuading their Conservative colleagues of the benefits of key Lib Dem policies and approaches, as well as the more general problems of working with the slippery inflexibilities of government administration.

    However by far the more significant difference was for me something unseen, almost unconscious. It affected every conversation, every fringe meeting, and …

    Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    So how was it for you?

    Well fellow Lib Dems, Bloggers and Tweeps… what did you make of conference then? Having been granted the honour of being “Guest Editor” (quaking in me boots it has to be said!) I thought, given the timing, it may be an opportunity to reflect on the last week in Liverpool.

    What I want to do is to try and get a feel from members across the spectrum of our party, has conference left them feeling uplifted, confused, motivated, anxious, hopeful, proud?
    I hope what follows today, especially for those of you who weren’t there, will give you a bit of …

    Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 27 Comments

    Linda Jack to guest editor Liberal Democrat Voice tomorrow

    Tomorrow we’ve got a new guest editor running the site for a day, well known Lib Dem blogger Linda Jack. She’s the second in a series of guest editors, with Mark Valladares having been the first and several more lined up over the next couple of months.

    If anyone else would like to be a guest editor for the day, please drop an email to [email protected] with some details of your blogging or editing experience.

    Posted in Site news | Also tagged | 1 Comment

    Guest editors on The Voice

    Many thanks to Mark Valladares, who this week was the first in a series of guest editors. They will be running this site for a day each over the next few months.

    As Mark demonstrated so well, having a guest editor can give the site something new; in his case a very pertinent theme for the day and a range of new contributors.

    If anyone else would like to be a guest editor for the day, please drop an email to [email protected] with some details of your blogging or editing experience.

    Posted in Site news | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Mark Valladares’s day as guest editor

    A big thanks goes from all at The Voice to Mark Valladares for commissioning and writing all of today’s content on the theme of the House of Lords.

    For posterity, here is a list of the posts that featured today as a result:

    Posted in Site news | Also tagged | Leave a comment

    Some final reflections on the Second Chamber

    I hope that readers of Liberal Democrat Voice have enjoyed today’s series of pieces on the House of Lords – I know that I’ve had a lot of fun writing, editing and commissioning the various postings. However, I’d like to finish with a few serious points.

    Firstly, I am of the view that we need to value our Peers more and, whilst that may seem like special pleading, I’m convinced that, by doing so, everyone gets to benefit. For instance, there are parts of the country, my own county of Suffolk for example, where we don’t have an MP, but do …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

    Baroness Kate Parminter’s maiden speech

    In recent weeks, LDV has been bringing its readers copies of our new MPs’ first words in the House of Commons, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Today’s guest editor Mark Valladares feels that it was only right that the same honour should be offered to new Peers, and today we bring you the words of Baroness Parminter of Godalming.

    Baroness Parminter: I add my thanks to the noble Baroness, Lady Verma, for initiating this debate today. As a new girl, …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

    An Interview with the Whips Office – comfy chairs will be provided…

    The word ‘whip’, in parliamentary terms at least, is associated with accusations of the ‘dark arts’. But whips are people too, particularly in the Lords, so your intrepid guest editor retrieved his Parliamentary spouse pass and made an appointment…

    Dominic Bryce Hubbard, the 6th Baron Addington, is one of five hereditary Peers sitting on the Liberal Democrat benches. He inherited his title in 1982, aged eighteen, but was only able to take up his seat in the House of Lords on reaching his twenty-first birthday. He has held a series of positions, as Liberal Democrat spokesperson on Culture, Media and Sport, …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

    Moving to an elected second chamber – a loss of expertise, or just privilege?

    August 2011 is the centenary of the Parliament Act, the supposedly stop gap measure to regulate relations between the two houses of parliament until an elected House of Lords could be created. The fact that we are still fighting for a democratic second chamber means it is all too easy to lose sight of the debates about what we want the second chamber to actually do. Unlock Democracy wants a fully elected second chamber capable of scrutinising and revising legislation as well as delaying it where necessary. It should be a deliberative chamber that builds on the …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

    The House of Lords does social media

    Much is made of our MPs and their use of social media. Steve Webb and Facebook, Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames announcing their engagement via Twitter (we only had Facebook in my day…), the increasingly sophisticated websites, all of these serve to connect Parliamentarians to the communities they serve. However, on the red benches, the need to reach out is heightened by the relative lack of coverage for their activities in the mainstream media, and there is increasing use of social media to achieve that.

    Perhaps the best known source of commentary comes from Lords of the Blog, a collaborative …

    Posted in Online politics and Parliament | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

    Musings from the Front Bench…

    I have supported the Liberal Party and its successors since the General Election of 1950, although I did not follow a political career. Instead, I was involved in the railway and bus industries before moving into academia at the Universities of Salford and Oxford.

    My entry to the House of Lords was a complete surprise. It took place over a two year period, and the process began with an interview with John Harris and Bill Rodgers, the then Chief Whip and Leader in the House respectively. Having been sworn to secrecy, I was asked firstly whether, if appointed, I would promise …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

    Alright, assuming we get an elected second chamber, what can we do before the election that follows?

    The good news: the Liberal Democrat have secured a commitment to introduce elections by PR for the Upper House. The bad news: the Liberal Democrat record at fighting PR records is decidedly mixed. So what should we do?

    There plenty of campaigning still to be done to ensure that an elected Upper House happens, but that needn’t stop thinking about the elections too.

    As with the AV referendum, one of the most important acts of preparation is upping the number of local election candidates we stand because of the impact that has on the public’s perception of whether or not we are a party that can win things. As I wrote about the AV referendum, if people go to vote in a local election but find no Lib Dem on the ballot paper:

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

    Floella Benjamin – through the round window and into the Lords

    On the 28th June 2010 I was introduced into the House of Lords. As I gazed around and soaked up the richness of the symbolism, tradition and magnificent surroundings I thought to myself surely I must have reached the summit of life’s mountain, the pinnacle of a career stretching back over forty years. And as I looked back into the valley of life I couldn’t help thinking of my journey. Like the coat worn by the Garter King of Arms, my life has been a rich tapestry of experiences, some good, some bad, but all significant. I believe that every …

    Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

    Pay attention, there’s more than one Parliament, you know!

    One of things that has bothered me for longer than I care to remember is the Party’s fixation on the green benches at the north end of the Palace of Westminster, almost to the total exclusion of anything, and everything, else. As a bureaucrat deep within the Party’s structures, I long for the day when more and better people come forward to be Local, Regional and State Party officers, candidate assessors, returning officers and trainers. But we bureaucrats are not alone in being overlooked in favour of the Commons…

    Down the corridor, there are seventy-nine Liberal Democrat Peers (with Richard …

    Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

    Today’s guest editor, in his own words…

    When the inestimable Mark Pack wrote to a number of bloggers looking for volunteers to guest edit Liberal Democrat Voice for a day, there was an initial chorus of ‘sounds interesting, get back to me when I’m sober’. My response was:

    I, on the other hand, am sober. Sober enough to realise that Mark’s offer might not suit my particular skill set. Unless, of course, you want a day enriched by constitutional and organisational minutiae…

    Back came the response;

    “Thanks for offering to guest edit Lib Dem Voice for a day. Would a day in the week of Sat 17 July – …

    Posted in Site news | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

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