Tag Archives: LDV top 12 of 2017

LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 1

Fashionably late, because you should have had this on New Year’s Day, is our top post of 2017.

#1: Jo Swinson MP writes: The role I want to play in our party’s leadership

In it, Jo Swinson explains why she has decided not to run for leader.

I have been overwhelmed by so many lovely messages from people I know, and from many members I have not yet met, encouraging me to stand for leader. I am touched and flattered that you look to me – and I am determined to play a key role in our party’s leadership.

Being the leader of a political party is a unique and all-encompassing job, even more than the roles of MP and Minister that I have undertaken before. It should not be done simply to achieve status, to make a point, or to please others.

When Theresa May called the snap election, my instincts immediately told me that I should stand to win back East Dunbartonshire: it felt right. Every fibre of my being was up for it, my clarity of purpose was intense – to stop a divisive second independence referendum, to halt an extreme Brexit, and to get back to the job I have loved most out of all the things I’ve done.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 2

We’re on the home straight now.

Our second most read post of this year was actually written in 2016, but presumably became important again during the General Election.

#2 How did our constituencies vote in the EU referendum?

Duncan Brack’s commentary on Chris Hanratty’s analysis of the vote in present and former Lib Dem seats challenged the party to come up with ways to appeal to Leave voters as much as to Remain voters.

Given that almost two-thirds of the seats in total (three-quarters in England and Wales) voted to leave, that’s quite a strong skew towards remain-voting areas – as we might expect – and it helps to identify some of the seats we might hope to win back at the next election on the back of pro-remain feeling.

But let’s not forget that we need to win seats in areas that voted leave too. I would expect that Liberal Democrat voters in those areas were predominantly remain, but by no means all of them were – and we also know that, overall, a third of Liberal Democrat voters voted leave.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 3

We’re back to the party leadership with our 3rd most popular post.

#3 Ed Davey MP writes: My family, my party

Everyone assumed Ed Davey was going to run for the party leadership. Rumours abounded that his campaign team was already in place. So when he emailed me early one morning to ask if there was space for a piece from him, I agreed, with a soon-to-be-regretted flippant comment about what it might be about.

I was a bit mortified when the copy actually came in.

I’ve come back to Westminster more determined than ever to campaign hard for the party Emily and I both love – but not to campaign to lead the party at this moment.

When Tim resigned, I assumed Jo would go for it, and I would have supported her. She gave understandable reasons why she didn’t – so here are my reasons, some similar to Jo’s.

Emily and I met through the party. I was chairing a Housing Policy Working Group and she was a member, as a social housing lawyer. What could be more romantic?

Our joy this weekend was seeing our two children play together. And when you understand that John (aged 9) is severely disabled, you will appreciate that seeing our 3 year old daughter make him laugh is quite special.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 4

By the beginning of March, Donald Trump had been in power for 6 weeks and the liberal world was horrified at what he was doing.

#4 Donald Trump is a dangerous and complete joke – but the joke is on the American people

Paul Walter wrote a sobering piece after yet another nonsense tweet storm.

If we step back, we can consider some of the people who have graced the Oval Office: Abraham Lincoln, Dwight D Eisenhower, Teddy Roosevelt, Franklin D Roosevelt, George H W Bush, John F Kennedy, Woodrow Wilson, Barack Obama… and then we see this dangerous, complete joke of a President tweeting before he’s shaved. The fine world reputation of successive US Presidents as, more or less, wise and sensible people is being trashed by one man who received three million less votes than his competitor.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 6

So we kick off our second half of our most popular posts of 2017 with one of the most shocking and heartbreaking.

14th June is a day etched in our collective memory as the awful day when the Grenfell fire took place. We were all so horrified.

In the few days after the election, there had been some signs that all was not so harmonious in the parliamentary party. Some Lib Dem members of the House of Lords had publicly made clear their dissatisfaction with Tim Farron and there were reports of private grumblings.

We may never know exactly what it was that prompted Tim to resign so suddenly in the early evening. We had his resignation speech on video and text.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 8

Number 8 in our countdown is unique because it contains the words “utter bollocks” used by a senior Lib Dem MP. We do wish Alistair wouldn’t hold back and would just say what he means.

#8: Alistair Carmichael writes…The truth about those “secret Tory talks”

In early July, Twitter erupted in a firestorm of fury when it was reported that Lib Dems were in secret talks to prop up the Tories in Parliament. If people had stopped to think for a wee second, they might have quickly realised that a pro EU party was never going to form any sort of alliance …

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 10

In time honoured tradition, we are running down our most popular posts of 2017 in reverse order:

#10: Remainer myths and post truth politics

Back in January, Ben Andrew wrote that, while he was distraught at the referendum result and believed Brexit would damage us, we shouldn’t pretend to ourselves that people were going to change their mind:

Like most Lib Dems, I think that Brexit will be a total disaster. I think that it will vandalise our economy, damage our universities, and give us less influence on the global stage. However, the response of many Lib Dems and other Remainers to the referendum result has left me a little disheartened. And I’m not talking about this “referendum on the terms of the deal” – which I’m a bit on the fence about, but I do see some reasoning for. I’m talking about the nonsense claims bouncing around our echo chamber, which exist purely to make us feel better about this horrible referendum result.

The one which I hear most often is that, having seen what Brexit really means, those who voted Leave have decided that this isn’t what they wanted after all and that they now wish to turn back the clock. This is a fantasy. Poll after poll after poll has shown that Regrexit doesn’t exist – that no more Leavers than Remainers have changed their mind in the aftermath of the referendum.

He concluded:

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 11

We continue with our countdown of LDV’s most popular posts of 2017.

#11: Lamb and Mulholland to abstain on Article 50 vote: what does this mean for the Party?

The passing of the Bill to trigger Article 50 should have been one of the most dramatic, knife-edge parliamentary votes in the history of time. Unfortunately, because Labour decided that it would just let the Government do its thing, the Bill meandered through its parliamentary stages unencumbered by any sort of parachute to ensure either the possibility of the people having a final say on the deal, EU nationals being given the right to stay or a steer that we should stay in the single market.

There was a slight frisson of angst in the party when Norman Lamb and Greg Mulholland abstained on the principle of triggering Article 50.  Caron Lindsay wrote about the implications for the party:

There is no “split”. Greg and Norman are absolutely behind everything that we are saying on a referendum on the deal and all the stuff we are saying about the single market. There is actually very little to divide us and the conversations that have been happening have been perfectly amicable. They have concluded that they can’t vote against something that the majority of the people decided was happening.

Personally, I veer more towards the A C Grayling line that Parliament should just vote the whole thing down. I certainly think that the Government should be made to go for a “Norway” style solution rather than just jump off the cliff from the single market and that Parliament could defeat the Bill unless they changed course on that.

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LDV’s top 12 posts of 2017 – Number 12

In time honoured tradition, we bring you our dozen most popular posts of 2017 in reverse order.

#12: Election 2017 headlines – how many Lib Dem MPs are there and who are they?

After an emotional election night, you just want a simple post telling you the bare facts, and Nick Thornsby did that. 

We’d experienced the highs of seeing Vince, Ed, Stephen and Jo back. We’d ensured the anxiety of the nail biting count in Westmorland where our leader was way too close to the Tories for comfort. We were relieved to see Norman, Tom and Alistair re-elected. We were delighted that Christine, Layla, Jamie and Wera had made it.

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