Tag Archives: iain dale

A must read: The Honourable Ladies Volume 1

I have a new incentive for rewarding myself for completing tasks. An item on my to-do list gets done and I get to read another entry in a wonderful new book edited by Iain Dale and Jacqui Smith which tells us about every woman MP from 1918-1996. It’s a real treasure trove which covers the battles women have fought over the past century for equal pay, against discrimination, for childcare, for rights in the workplace – for things even as fundamental as the right to continue working after marriage or to have your own bank account.

The Honourable Ladies’ profiles are written by women MPs and commentators with a few Liberal Democrats involved. Baroness Liz Barker wrote about Vera Terrington, who was Liberal MP for Wycombe from 1922-24, championing housing, women’s rights and animal welfare.

Jo Swinson wrote about an earlier young MP for East Dunbartonshire, Margaret Ewing, who went on to represent Moray. Her generous portrait makes you want to find out more.

In her profile of Megan Lloyd-George, Kirsty Williams tells about the radical Liberal who felt that the party left her and who joined Labour, about her independent spirit and the solidarity she found with other women – mirroring cross-party solidarity between women across politics that we find today.

Other Lib Dem contributors include Caroline Pidgeon, Lynne Featherstone, Olly Grender, Julia Goldsworthy, Kirsty Williams, Susan Kramer and Alison Suttie.

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Trump could be a good thing

What were you doing when Donald J Trump became the 45th President of the United States?

I was walking my dog. I couldn’t bring myself to watch it live. I just don’t know enough swear words.

Tim Farron wasn’t watching it either.

He made a video, though. And it was pretty uplifting.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 25 Comments

Tim Farron doing LBC phone in at 6pm tonight

Tim Farron will be taking calls from listeners on Iain Dale’s LBC show this evening. As the Tories and Labour seem to linking arms and heading off to Hard Brexit land together, Tim will know doubt be showing off what a proper opposition leader does.

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On Iain Dale’s Top 50 Liberal Democrats list

Over the weekend, political blogger and LBC presenter Iain Dale unveiled his list of Top Liberal Democrats in 2016.  It is generally viewed with amusement by conference-goers. While it may give people bragging rights over certain of their colleagues, it is fairly arbitrary in nature.

I was particularly happy to see some of the most energetic campaigners our party has make it on to the list. Daisy Benson has been a massive factor in galvanising the Lib Dem Newbies into quite a force within the party. Former Presidential candidate and now PPC for St Albans Daisy Cooper is another welcome addition. What is absolutely astounding, though, is that Elains Bagshaw, who has made a name for herself with her incredible campaigning in Tower Hamlets, isn’t there.

Annoyingly, Willie Rennie has leapfrogged Kirsty Williams. He has certainly had a good year with his vibrant and bright election campaign, but Kirsty, for goodness sake, is a Cabinet Minister. Along with Lib Dem Council leaders, she has much more actual power than just about anyone else. 

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Lynne Featherstone’s “Equal ever after” is out now – how same sex marriage became a reality (with added Lib Dem flouncing)

Lynne Featherstone Equal Ever AfterLast night, at a glitzy party, Lynne Featherstone’s book, Equal ever after was launched. In it she tells the story of  her crusade as Equalities Minister to deliver same sex marriage.

The launch was attended by Nick Clegg, Jo Swinson, Julian Huppert and many, many more. Sadly, I wasn’t there, even though I was in London. I was at a meeting of the Federal Finance and Administration Committee instead.

You have to wonder what position Jo Swinson was in when she took this:

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More influential than the Liberal Democrat chief executive, 2 former cabinet ministers and a Council leader Really?

One of the biggest laughs I’ve had in a long time came during our Conference in Bournemouth when Iain Dale published his list of the top 50 influential Liberal Democrats. I’ve been meaning to write about it for ages but never quite got round to it.

I, believe it or not, am at number 30, up 11 places from last year. This puts me above Keith House, Leader of Eastleigh Council in charge of a budget of millions, 2 former Cabinet ministers, Ed Davey and Danny Alexander and the Chief Executive of the Party. You can perhaps see why I was laughing so much. Mr Dale clearly has his finger on the pulse of what’s going on in this party.

Iain’s list certainly reflected our departure from government, with Tim Farron and his key allies close to the top. There are 17 women and 33 men in a vaguely random order. He said himself:

Posted in News | 12 Comments

Praise for Lynne Featherstone from the newly-married Iain Dale

LBC Presenter, publisher and blogger Iain Dale and his husband John Simmons have recently converted their civil partnership to a marriage.

Iain wrote about the day they got married here.

He had some pretty fulsome praise for Lynne Featherstone, the Liberal Democrat minister who made it happen.

Finally, when we were sitting in the register office going through the paperwork I had a moment when I thought of Lynne Featherstone. Lynne was the LibDem Home Office minister who, with the backing of Theresa May and David Cameron brought in the Equal Marriage Act. She lost her seat at the election, but she will always be able to look back and think that this was a real political achievement. Just as Roy Jenkins will be remembered for decriminalising homosexuality, she will forever be associated with equal marriage. I can think of worse political legacies. Most ministers go through their careers achieving very little. She set out to do something and had the political courage and nouse to see it through.

Cheers Lynne.

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LBC Women’s Debate: Lynne Featherstone gets Harriet Harman to admit she’s “happy” with Rachel Reeves’ plans to be tougher than Tories on benefits claimants

Last night’s 90 minute LBC women’s debate was, on the whole, well-mannered, informative and a billion times better than anything Michael Fallon had had to say.

Lynne Featherstone was our representative,  Nicky Morgan represented the Tories, Diane James UKIP and Harriet Harman was there for Labour.

I liked the 5 minute “Ask me Anything” segments where each candidate had to ask questions of the others. If I’m going to criticise, some of the questions were too long. If you are going to ask an awkward question, make it brief and make your opponent squirm for longer. Harriet Harman did keep her question brief, though – she asked Lynne which thing that Labour did in government did she like most and which thing she’d voted for in the Coalition had made her feel most uncomfortable. Lynne praised Labour’s Equality Act and said the Bedroom Tax was the most difficult thing. She did remind Harriet that it was Labour who had introduced the principle into the benefit system. She added that Liberal Democrats had had to hold their nose and vote for things that they didn’t like, but we’d always made them better than they would have been.

When the tables were reversed, Lynne asked Harriet whether she agreed with Rachel Reeves’ comments  that Labour would be tougher than the Tories on benefits claimants. Iain Dale emphasised Lynne’s point by saying to Harman that she must have winced at that. But when reminded of Reeves’ comments, she said

If that’s what she said, I’m happy to go along with that. She’s absolutely excellent and she sees things as I do.

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Iain Dale to host political fundraiser for Lynne Featherstone

Lynne FEatherstone 2007 Brighton conference by Liberal DemocratsIain Dale, former Conservative candidate and blogger turned LBC Radio broadcaster, made the shock revelation this morning on his ConservativeHome diary:

Next week, shock horror, I’m doing another political fundraiser. Brace yourselves. It’s for Lynne Featherstone – yes, the Liberal Democrat MP. She’s a mate and did sterling work on equal marriage, so I’ve decided to do it – and hang the consequences. All I need now is to do one for a Labour and UKIP MP or candidate, and I will truly

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Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

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Paddy: Clegg “has had 17 buckets of s**t dumped over his head by the right-wing press”

Paddy Ashdown talks on "The global power shift" in Brussels March 1st 2012 -  Some rights reserved by PhOtOnQuAnTiQuE That’s the rather striking quote from Paddy Ashdown in an interview with Iain Dale on LBC radio. Here’s how the Herald reported it:

Speaking to LBC radio’s Iain Dale, Lord Ashdown insisted the party’s dismal poll ratings would recover as the “true Nick Clegg” was revealed to voters.

“The right-wing press in this country detest the coalition – detest it,” he said.

“If they want to destroy the coalition, what they do is

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On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in The Times of “very aggressive male bloggers”

sarah wollastonBlogging is back in the headlines again today. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the feistily independent Conservative MP for Totnes, has hit back at those online critics who denounced her role in the trial of her fellow Tory, Nigel Evans, acquitted this week on all charges of sexual assault and one of rape.

In an interview with The Times, Dr Wollaston was keen to stress that she was in no way challenging the verdict in the case, adding that she empathised with Mr Evans and his ordeal. She confessed, however, that the

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Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

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Iain Dale accepts police caution for assault on anti-nukes protestor

iain dale no nukesOn Tuesday, Conservative blogger, publisher and LBC radio presenter Iain Dale hit the headlines when he took on anti-nukes protestor Stuart Holmes, who’d annoyed him by insistently trying to get in shot while ITV’s Daybreak programme interviewed his latest high-profile author, Damian McBride. (See Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras.) Iain immediately blogged his justification, but after the police became involved, he decided to apologise and has today accepted a police caution. He’s now issued a Statement and Apology, …

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LDVideo: Iain Dale unilaterally disarms anti-nukes protester in front of TV cameras

Don’t mess with Dale! And definitely not when he’s in protective publisher mode and wants to ensure a hassle-free interview for his latest political author, Damian McBride. Just a still photo and the link to the video for now, but it’s bound to be on YouTube soon enough…

iain dale no nukes

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Bob Worcester forecasts Lib Dems to be reduced to 24 seats in 2015. I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that’s the result.

At a conference fringe meeting on Monday evening, the pollster’s pollster Bob Worcester, MORI’s founder, made a forecast of how many seats the Lib Dems will win at the 2015 election: 24.

His prediction was based on current polling which he’d fed into the Electoral Calculus website and implied the number should be 17. His slightly higher punt allows for known Lib Dem strengths, such as our MPs’ habit of holding on tight in seats we win through sheer Stakhonovite grit.

Forecasting the next election is a bit of a mug’s game, as the Coalition means there’s no past precedent to …

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Helen Duffett and Stephen Tall among “most influential” Liberal Democrats

Yesterday afternoon the Telegraph published the first part of Iain Dale’s annual list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. It contained two members of the Liberal Democrat Voice team.

First, a new entry at number 49 for our associate editor Helen Duffett:

Helen Duffett acts as a bridge between the party establishment and the membership. She is credited with a huge improvement in the effectiveness and relevance of party communications. As Honorary President of Liberal Youth, Associate Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and host of regular online Q&A sessions with Lib Dem Ministers, she is, unlike most messengers, widely liked

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg Entschuldigt Sich

I suspect Nick Clegg may well have had enough of spoof videos by now. But on the off-chance he hasn’t, LBC’s Iain Dale has re-worked that famous clip from Downfall… almost affectionately, I think. Judge for yourselves:

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Telegraph’s annual list of 50 most influential Liberal Democrats is out…

It’s Liberal Democrat conference, so it’s time for the latest Iain Dale / Daily Telegraph list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats. Of course our interest in covering the story on Lib Dem Voice is in no way related to two of the team appearing in the list…

In less than shocking news, Nick Clegg still tops the list at #1. Up to #2 is Vince Cable, followed by Tim Farron, Danny Alexander and then Nick Clegg’s Chief of Staff (and former double winning general election agent) Jonathan Oates.

Going further down the rankings finds the double blogger appearances:

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The Bigger Book of Boris: lots of jokes, not much politics

One of the questions that ambitious politicians often struggle to answer safely is, “Do you want to be leader of your party / Prime Minister?” Answer ‘yes’ in some form and journalists will line up to write stories about party splits, pending leadership challenges and the like. Answer ‘no’ and many will not believe you – whilst also quietly filing away the answer to quote back at the politician at an embarrassing later date.

The Bigger Book of Boris (an expanded version of the earlier Little Book of Boris) shows Boris Johnson’s political skill with humour in his answer to this question. …

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Someone likes Liberal Democrat conference…

Over on Dale & Co Gareth Knight writes:

Any Conservative, including Iain Dale who attends the Liberal Democrat conference, remarks how impressed they are with the mere fact the conference is where party members openly and robustly confer on policy. The exhibition stands at the Liberal Democrat conference include dozens of party groups as well as the recent deluge of large companies and organisations desperate to suck up to the party they’ve proudly ignored until now. The agenda for conference is focused on policy papers with speeches for and against where the party leadership will frequently get involved in the

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Top 50 most influential Lib Dems (according to Iain Dale)

In what has become a regular of party conference season, the Daily Telegraph has published a list of the 50 most influential Liberal Democrats assembled by “Iain Dale, Brian Brivati and a team of Liberal Democrat insiders”:

As one MP put it, the year has been “about the rise of the left”. Confidence in the party outside Westminster has grown even as polling numbers remained minimal. Liberal Democrats seem to have discovered that even in government the world does not end if you disagree. And this has given rise to a new breed of rebel, personified in Tim Fallon, Lib

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Tune in to Iain Dale’s Lib Dem night tonight on LBC, featuring Nick Clegg, Simon Hughes and others

Iain Dale returns to his evening show on London’s LBC radio tonight with a Lib Dem special. First up is a live Q & A with deputy prime minister Nick Clegg, followed by interviews with a whole host of prominent Lib Dems, including three of the four London Mayoral hopefuls as well as deputy leader Simon Hughes.

Here’s the schedule in full from Iain’s blog:

6-7pm Live Q & A with LibDem leader Nick Clegg
7-7.30pm Interview with Nick Clegg (tbc)
7.30-8pm Reaction to Clegg with Lord Oakeshott, Susan Kramer & Jo Phillips
8-9pm Meet the LibDem London Mayoral Candidates – Brian Paddick, Brian

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The Independent View: Iain Dale on Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems

When LibDem MPs return to Westminster this week they could be forgiven for having a collective panic attack. In their 22 year history they have never had such an onslaught of the political heebie-jeebies as they experienced at the hands of 12 million grumpy voters this week.

Cleggmania has turned into Cleggophobia. Every policy Nick Clegg touches now is seen to be toxic.

Westminster pundits are already writing him off as a political busted flush. But then again, these are the very same commentators who didn’t see the SNP landslide coming in Scotland. They are the same people who predicted the Tories …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 54 Comments

The top 25 most influential Lib Dems (according to the Telegraph)

Yesterday we reported the Telegraph’s list of numbers 26 to 50 in their annual list of ‘influential Lib Dems’, as devised by Iain Dale, Brian Brivati “with the help of a panel of senior Lib Dems”. Today we find out who they placed top of the pile…

The least surprising news is that Nick Clegg reclaims his place as the Number 1 most influential Lib Dem. Indeed it shows the limit of such lists that last year he was mischievously relegated to the runners-up spot, behind Vince Cable — of course no one could have predicted ‘Cleggmania’ at that stage, …

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Telegraph names its ‘Top 50 most influential Lib Dems’ (Part I: Nos 50-26)

Iain Dale and Brian Brivati have once again compiled for the Telegraph the list of 50 most influential Lib Dems, and today saw the publication of part one, covering numbers 26 to 50.

At 50 is leader of the Welsh Lib Dems, Kirsty Williams; while propping up today’s list — just outside the top 25 — is Nick Clegg’s special advisor, Richard Reeves, the former head of think-tank Demos. There are a number of new entries, many of them MPs who now find themselves government ministers, including Andrew Stunell (28), Nick Harvey (32), David Heath (33), Tim Farron (34), Lord …

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Total Politics Top 75 Lib Dem blogs list published

It’s two months since Total Politics asked blog-readers to vote for their Top 10 favourite blogs in their annual survey promoted here on LDV, as well as at LabourList and Iain Dale’s Diary. More than 2,200 people voted, and here is the full list of the Top 75 Lib Dem blogs according to the voters of Total Politics:

Posted in Best of the blogs and Online politics | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Iain Dale’s voting system confusion

Iain Dale yesterday posted a piece attacking the Alternative Vote system which doesn’t bode well for a well informed campaign.

That’s a shame because there’s a sensible debate to be had – with Lib Dems being the first to admit that the Alternative Vote system isn’t the best of all possible options, though most would rate it as a great improvement on what we have now.

Dale writes

There’s a reason only one other country in the world uses AV. It’s a half way house. It tries to be a PR equivalent of the First Past the Post system, but in reality

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LDV weekend meme: what is the state of the Lib Dem blogosphere?

When Iain Dale asked if Lib Dem Voice would once again co-sponsor Total Politics’ Best Blog Poll 2010, he also set me some homework: to write c.1,500 words on ‘the State of the LibDem blogosphere’ by the end of the month. As you will see from the date, my deadline is fast approaching.

I’ve got a few ideas of what I intend to write, but I’d greatly appreciate the assistence of Lib Dem Voice readers – as well as Lib Dem bloggers – to ensure my analysis is suitably rounded and informed. I’ve come up with seven questions I …

Posted in LDV meme | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Opinion: Eurosceptics on the fringes, egg on their faces

Iain Dale is rather keen to make it clear why he sees nothing wrong with accepting paranoid Euroscepticism at face value. Here’s his piece on the wild rumours that the EU hopes to ban selling eggs by the dozen.

I was looking at some of the comments in response to his post, and I don’t think they’re being fair to Iain. Just because he could have looked at a packet of eggs in his fridge and found the information in question is already on the packaging hardly means we should expect such extensive research from him before posting.

He wrote: “It’s written …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | 2 Comments
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  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 17th Dec - 12:29pm
    Fair comment David. But I still remember the conference apparently unperturbed by the speech. I am sure that Harold Wilson’s action was in the best...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 17th Dec - 12:27pm
    On the subject of Polls, an average of the last 50 gives us 9%, assuming that we are still going up that probably means that...
  • User Avatarexpats 17th Dec - 12:22pm
    jayne mansfield 16th Dec '18 - 7:10pm................I take the poll results with a very large pinch of salt. Liberal Democrats have had two years to...
  • User AvatarRoland 17th Dec - 12:04pm
    @Glenn - As I said I’m part Jewish, I’m atheist and I don’t do the essentially Catholic BC/AD thing. Calendars and Clocks, we forget just...
  • User AvatarRoger Lake 17th Dec - 12:00pm
    Joe B -- many many thanks for your swift help!
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 17th Dec - 11:52am
    @ JoeB, "When most taxes are collected regionally, the need for regional distribution goes away." No it doesn't. Taxes collected by the euro using countries...