Tag Archives: john major

Brake: Major is right on Brexit

So, John Major is the latest figure to suggest that a referendum on the Brexit deal might not be a bad idea. 

While he did not enjoy being “out of step” with his party, the stakes were so high than he felt obliged to speak out at such a crucial moment in the negotiations.

“Leaving Europe is an issue so far-reaching, so permanent, so over-arching that it will have an impact on all our lives – most especially on the young and the future,” he said.

“With only 12 months to go, we need answers, not aspirations.”

While he was not actively calling for a further referendum, he said the “option” must remain open to a “sovereign” Parliament to insist upon.

It will not be a surprise that Tom Brake our Brexit spokesperson thinks he’s right:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Major adds new ingredient to Europe debate

edward mcmillan-scottFormer Liberal Democrat MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber has written about John Major’s intervention on Europe last week.

But Sir John’s intervention shows how desperate David Cameron is to shore up his dwindling store of continental goodwill, to appease the 100-or-so Tory MPs who want out of Europe and are holding their tongues until after the Rochester and Strood By-election this coming Thursday.

Although the headlines have focused on Ed Miliband’s leadership crisis, both he and Mr Cameron are now on notice. And bang on cue Nigel Farage – on target to win the by-election handsomely – positions himself between them with a demand to be included in TV debates.

How often have foreign leaders heard a British Conservative say “I really need your help: my backbenchers want to see real change?” and usually they have delivered. It is not weakness on their part but a strategic calculation that Britain must be part of the process, whether it is the EU or, say, Nato.

John Major’s speech was often equivocal about Mr Cameron’s tactics towards the EU, but he introduced a new note, massively upping the ante, by saying “for the first time, there is a serious possibility that our electorate could vote to leave the EU. I put the chance of exit at just under 50 per cent”.

Posted in Europe / International and LibLink | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

John Major: Class warrior

Former Conservative Prime Minister John Major is back in the news today condemning the stranglehold on power and influence enjoyed by the elite:

In every single sphere of British influence, the upper echelons of power in 2013 are held overwhelmingly by the privately educated or the affluent middle class. To me from my background, I find that truly shocking.

This follows his unexpected intervention in the energy debate calling for a windfall tax on energy companies. In both cases Major seems to be taking on the role of Cameron’s One Nation conscience, speaking up for people in modest …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 50 Comments

Chris Rennard writes… Restoring balance to the Coalition

Nick Clegg’s statement dropping Lords Reform in this Parliament should come as no surprise following David Cameron’s failure to persuade barely half of his backbench MPs to support the Government’s Bill on this.

Two years ago, Conservative MPs were supporting a Queen’s Speech that made explicit the Coalition agreement to elect members of the House of Lords through Proportional Representation.

The Coalition Agreement is the contract that underwrites this government. In its name many Liberal Democrats have voted for compromises in legislation that we would not on our own have put forward.

So, the question is what to do when one side fails to honour its side of the contract?

You act swiftly and decisively, even ruthlessly, as Nick Clegg has done, to redress the balance. Hence, the boundary changes are no more.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 82 Comments

Politicians are not mere pawns in the hands of journalists

Understandably the Leveson Inquiry has concentrated on the misdeeds of journalists and the behaviour of newspaper owners. However, the appearance of a series of figures this week at Leveson could – indeed should – have highlighted how often the power lies with politicians, not the media. We had three figures appear who all, in their own very different ways, showed that despite all the talk of politicians been cowed by the media, it is far from uncommon for politicians to have far too much power over the media.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments

Paddy: So you want to be a politician? Get a life (first).

That’s Paddy’s view, as reported in the Independent’s diary here:

Paddy Ashdown, the first leader of the Liberal Democrat party, has remarked on how politics has been taken over by people who have never had a job anywhere else but in politics, giving the strong impression that he does not approve. “The difference with politics today, and politics when I was leader of the Liberal Democrats, is the people working in politics,” he said. “I worked in the military. I was involved in business. I have been unemployed twice, working as a voluntary youth worker. Today’s politicians have simply only

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

Farewell alarm clocks and hello John Major: Nick Clegg’s new strategy

In his speech yesterday Nick Clegg said, “We want a truly open society, in which every man and woman will be able to go as far as their talent, ambition and effort take them”.

Oh wait, hang on.

Sorry, wrong speech.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 26 Comments

Has Nick detected the emergence of ‘shy Cleggites’?

‘Shy Tories’ — the term applied to those planning to vote Conservative, but too embarrassed to admit it publicly — was a phrase used to help explain the pollsters’ failure to predict John Major’s 1992 election victory. An anecdote told by Nick Clegg in his interview in today’s Sun suggests the Lib Dems might also have our own share of abashed admirers:

Mr Clegg said: “Of course some people come up to me and say, ‘Oh we don’t like the Government doing this and doing that’. But more people come up to me and say, ‘I think you are doing

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Tim Farron: Why would any sane progressive give Labour a second glance?

Today Labour leader Ed Miliband made a pitch for disaffected Lib Dem members at his first monthly press conference as Leader of the Opposition, saying,

…Today I want to make an offer to Liberal Democrats: To those who are reluctant to abandon ship, but are concerned at the direction of their party, I invite them to work with us on issues of common interest.

Commenting on Mr Miliband’s ‘offer’ of policy input, Liberal Democrat President-elect Tim Farron said:

Labour have just spent 13 years sucking up to Rupert Murdoch and George Bush – why would any sane progressive even give them

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 62 Comments

I agree with Adrian Sanders and 22 Conservative MPs

Yesterday in Parliament Adrian Sanders and 22 Conservative MPs voted to reduce the maximum number of ministers allowed in the Commons in line with the forthcoming reduction in the number of MPs:

If the number of constituencies in the United Kingdom decreases below 650, the limit on the number of holders of Ministerial offices entitled to sit and vote in the House of Commons referred to in section 2(1) must be decreased by at least a proportionate amount.

ParliamentReducing the number of ministers is something I’ve supported …

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

Would the coalition dare to cut welfare back to Labour levels?

After adjusting for inflation, welfare spending today is an astonishing ten times higher than in 1948, according to figures published in yesterday’s Guardian.

The graph shows that the sharpest rises in welfare spending were both under Conservative administrations (presumably not unconnected with the recessions at those times – 1981-84 and 1991-94 – though the bill rose in all but three of the 18 years of Conservative government).

Only under Churchill and Eden in the 1950s did the welfare bill fall slightly.  Under Macmillan it rose about 50%, and the welfare bill Labour inherited in 1997 was almost double that they’d handed …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 19 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 30 March 2010

Today just 2250 years ago, the first sighting of what we now know as Halley’s Comet was recorded Eric Clapton becomes eligible to draw his pension, whilst it’s also ‘Happy Birthday’ to fellow sexagenarians Robbie Coltrane (60), Eddie Jordan (62) and Mervyn King (63).

Once this day in 1978, the Conservative Party announced it had recruited advertising agency Saatchi & Saatchi to revamp its image and get its political message across ahead of the General Election. Politicians both within the opposition and in Prime Minister Jim Callaghan’s government criticised the Tory stance, describing it as ‘frivolous’.

Fourteen years later we saw John Major climb onto his soapbox to urge voters in Cheltenham to elect John Taylor as their MP – a mission which resulted in the election of Lib Dem Nigel Jones.

Posted in Daily View and News | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 3 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 3 January 2010

It’s Sunday. It’s 7am. It’s time to learn how to dig a hole, but first the news.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here’s are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Islamic march plan sparks row in military town

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Reasons not to have an ‘early’ general election: a footnote

At the weekend I threw in another reason why Gordon Brown is very unlikely to call a general election before May.

The Times’s Danny Finkelstein has a good perspective on the issue today:

“In every election I have been involved in, there has been a last-minute rumour about an early poll date. And every one has involved a mad dash to get things ready, all those little practical details that you were going to get round to but hadn’t. Followed by anticlimax.”

Quite.

It’s sensible to err on the side of caution and be prepared (who has ever regretted being prepared in …

Posted in General Election and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Daily View 2×2: 11 November 2009

2 Big Stories

Woman loses appeal against noisy sex

You might have thought Gordon and that letter would be the big story, but the BBC website says differently, with this rated higher on the Most Shared and Most Read charts by yesterday evening.

And why not?  It’s got sex, crime and something odd – just the sort of story we, the Great British public, relish.

As a neighbour said:

“The noise sounds like they are both in considerable pain. I cannot describe the noise. I have never ever heard anything like it.”

But, in case you want your big stories to have a serious political edge, there are other issues.

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged | 5 Comments

A look back at the polls: April 2009

We tend not to be too poll-obsessed here at LDV – of course we look at them, as do all other politico-geeks, but viewed in isolation no one poll will tell you very much beyond what you want to read into it. Looked at over a reasonable time-span and, if there are enough polls, you can see some trends.

Here, in chronological order, are the results of the eight polls published in April:

Tories 41%, Labour 34%, Lib Dems 16% – YouGov/S. Times (5th April 2009)
Tories 43%, Labour 30%, Lib Dems 18% – Populus/Times (7th April)
Tories 43%, Labour 26%, Lib Dems 21%

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Jun - 12:37pm
    Chrissie "Many of whom will incidentally be sleeping several to a room, so therefore will not be taking up masses of housing." One problem with...
  • User AvatarChrissie 20th Jun - 12:35pm
    @expats I am not convinced that most of the cultural changes to society are because of immigration. I would argue that eg multinational business etc...
  • User AvatarJoeB 20th Jun - 12:34pm
    Peter, I can and do argue that GDP is a representation of production in the economy. However, much economic activity is rent-seeing predominantly through the...
  • User AvatarThomas 20th Jun - 12:16pm
    The "what if" stuffs are quite fun, especially when it comes to history. What if Asquith crashed his head on a rock and died in...
  • User AvatarJulian Tisi 20th Jun - 11:39am
    One thing as a party we're not typically good at is winning the ordinary person round to our point of view. We come across as...
  • User Avatarexpats 20th Jun - 11:35am
    Cllr Mark Wright 20th Jun '18 - 10:18am @ James Baillie and expats......................So your only problem with colonial settlement is that sometimes the settlers have...