Tag Archives: john denham

The Iraq War must no longer poison our relations with Labour

What would we remember of the Labour government, if Al-Qaeda’s terrorist attack fifteen years ago had never happened? If Labour had listened to the advice of Robin Cook and John Denham, and not engaged in the catastrophe of the Iraq war?

Many of us will remember Robin Cook’s electrifying resignation speech. If only he were alive today. However, he was not the only Labour minister to step down from government office because of the Iraq war. In his prescient resignation speech, on the 18th March, 2003, John Denham said:

If we act in the wrong way, we will create more of the problems that we aim to tackle. For every cause of insecurity with which we try to deal, we shall create a new one.

This summer, I was an observer at the Fabian and Progress summer conferences. I didn’t hear anyone try to defend the Iraq war, and a number agreed it had been a terrible mistake. In fact, if you substituted the word Labour for Liberal Democrat, almost everything that was said could have been said at a Liberal Democrat conference, and probably will be in this coming week.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 30 Comments

A few people are talking about party funding…

Yesterday’s Guardian makes a big thing over fairly cautious comments by Tim Farron about party funding in the wake of John Denham’s call for state funding of political parties and a £5000 donation cap.

Senior Liberal Democrats are pressing Nick Clegg to reopen talks withLabour on the funding of political parties after Ed Miliband’s chief negotiator in cross-party talks called for a radical rethink on large scale donations.

They believe that statements by John Denham MP, in which he said Labour could consider imposing a £5,000 cap

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 13 Comments

Launch of Labour for Democracy

Today, an influential group of Labour members are launching a new movement within their party: Labour for Democracy.

Its aim is to reach out to Lib Dems (and possibly Greens as well) in order to prepare a pluralist agenda around progressive issues. Although it does not explicitly say so, it is presumably also preparing the ground for a possible Labour-led coalition after 2015. Their position is based on polling evidence:

On all the major issues  Labour and Lib Dem voters tend to give similar levels of support to broadly  ‘progressive’ value statements, with Labour voters giving slightly stronger levels

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

LibLink: Chris Huhne – AV referendum: why progressives must unite to vote yes

On Sunday, Liberal Democrat energy secretary Chris Huhne joined the Green’s Caroline Lucas and Labour’s John Denham to pen a piece for the Observer, calling on all progressives in Britain to vote Yes in the Thursday’s referendum on the voting system. It garnered headlines on the day thanks to a paragraph critical of the Tories, but it actually makes some very sound points about why all those who see themselves as on the ‘left’ of British politics should be voting Yes (as, incidentally, did Will Hutton in the same newspaper on the same day).

Here’s a sample of what Huhne, …

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Where next for Lib-Lab cooperation?

Two former Labour leadership possibles-never-contenders have talked in the past week about the future prospects for the Lib Dems and the Labour party forming a coalition at some point in the future. Their differing stances say a lot about the current state of British politics. But what they say about the future?

First up, John Denham, the shadow Communities and Local Government Secretary, who made plain his anger at the Lib Dems last week, according to a report in The Independent:

Labour would demand the resignation of Nick Clegg before doing a deal with the Liberal Democrats in a future hung

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 85 Comments

Good luck to John Denham

I’ve only heard John Denham speak in person once, but the time I did (earlier this month) it was immediately clear why he’s so often been rated by others as one of the better and more thoughtful Labour MPs.

So it’s good to see that he has become the new chair of Labour Campaign for Electoral Reform saying,

An AV referendum is on the agenda because of the work Labour electoral reformers have done. We have to make sure the Labour Party maintains its commitment to the AV referendum and to success in the referendum if and when it comes.

I much prefer …

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Opinion: Cameron’s vision for local government is bleak

Last week’s Local Government Association conference was addressed on its final day by three representatives from Westminster who’d made the journey northwards to Harrogate to face the serried ranks of senior local government councillors and officers.

The Lib Dems were represented by Vince Cable MP, given an early morning slot that not everyone got to. He was warmly received by all those who were there, in any case, which may represent that it was just the Lib Dem LGA group present. His speech covered his history as a councillor himself in the early 1970s when local government …

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 5 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 24 May 09

Welcome to the Sunday outing for The Voice’s new daily post series highlighting two big stories from the media and two “must read” blog posts from Liberal Democrats. As it’s a Sunday, there’s also a bonus extra supplement. If you spot anything for future posts, do let us know on [email protected]

2 Big Stories

MPs’ expenses
Heading into its third week, the MPs’ expense story shows no sign of abating. The latest scalp is that of Andrew MacKay, again. The story has been running for so long that not only was he one of its first victims (losing his Conservative Party job) but …

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 2 Comments
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