Tag Archives: leaders debate

8 November 2019 – today’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?
  • Lib Dems: BBC now complicit in establishment stitch-up to exclude Remain voice

Lib Dems: If the PM thinks NI deal is so good – why doesn’t the rest of the UK have it?

Responding to comments made by Boris Johnson that Northern Ireland has got a great deal by keeping access to the Single Market and free movement, Liberal Democrat Shadow Brexit Secretary Tom Brake said:

The Single Market and freedom of movement are a great deal – even Boris Johnson

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The SNP and the Tories are using the same playbook to delegitimise opposition and checks on their power

There has been a very unfortunate trend in recent years of those in power condemning anyone who stands in their way. We all remember the failure of the Conservative Justice Secretary Liz Truss to stand up for the Supreme Court judges who upheld the law after the “enemies of the people” headline. However, that wasn’t the first time the judiciary had come under such attack. Back in 2011, Alex Salmond insulted Lord Hope, a judge who had found the Scottish Government to be wanting on human rights. As I wrote at the time:

Peter Cadder, whose case sparked the SNP’s casual quadrupling of pre-charge detention time in an afternoon last year, won his human rights case because, then a teenager, he had not had access to a lawyer before a police interrogation that led to his conviction for assault.  Now, to me, it seems eminently reasonable that people should have access to lawyers. A system that does not allow that is flawed. Rather than slag off judges and court judgements, surely the Scottish Justice Department would be better off comparing Scots law with European human rights law and sorting out where there could be problems. You could argue this should have been done years ago.

Alex Salmond is pandering to a Daily Fail type agenda with is comments and he needs to catch himself on.

The Tories and the right wing press are playing from the same playbook with their “saboteurs” and “enemies of the people” narrative as if they alone are the true diviners of the will of the people as if that is as immovable as Mount Everest. There’s a certain irony about those who claim to be all about enacting the will of the people zealously ensuring that the people don’t get a chance to mark their homework.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Farron: I am determined to protect decent people from being taken for granted by a heartless Conservative Government

Well, I certainly chose a fine two days to be sent to the Highlands campaigning. I mean, I’ve barely been able to catch up with the manifesto launch yesterday and the leaders’ debate tonight. I’ve been in the most wonderful places on the planet as far as I am concerned, but have been experiencing the broadband and connectivity problems first hand.

I will be back home tomorrow night. I haven’t yet seen the Leader’s Debate, but by the magic of technology, I can bring you Tim Farron’s opening and closing statements.

He kicked off with a powerful and personal appeal:

I got into politics to fight.

To stand up to those who take you for granted.

I grew up in Preston in the 1980s.

I saw what happens when decent people are taken for granted by a heartless Conservative government.

I am determined to stop that happening again.

The decent Britain I love is under threat.

Theresa May – backed by Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn – is going for an extreme Brexit deal that will damage our future for generations.

Don’t give up.

The Britain I love is not lost yet.

No matter which way you voted in the referendum:

If you care about our children, do not cut our schools.

If you care about our elderly, don’t leave them on trollies in corridors.

If you want Britain to lead the world, do not turn your back on it.

A brighter future is possible.

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Candid, competent Clegg puts in good performance in debate that fails to break the poll deadlock

The NHS doesn’t need warm words, it needs hard cash.

Probably the line of the debate for me, from Nick Clegg as he highlighted Liberal Democrat plans to invest £8 billion in the NHS in England with resultant Barnett Consequentials. Clegg was at the top of his game tonight. Paddy Ashdown said he was flawless, but I wouldn’t quite go that far. He stumbled a bit on immigration – taking the right line but with some strange comments about good and bad immigrations. I actually feel prouder of him than I did in 2010. After all the grief he’s taken, after everything that’s happened in the last five years, for him to come out with humility and clarity and perform so well was very good.  As I write, a public speaking expert says that he thought Nick was excellent.

He was pretty strong on the economy, too and repeatedly challenged Cameron on the Tory plans not raising taxes on the rich.

Having lived through the independence referendum and all the nonsense spread by the Yes campaign that the NHS had been privatised in England, it was good to see Nick call Nicola out on that.

Nicola Sturgeon  was very good too. It was funny when she turned and faced Cameron to ask him to specify his welfare cuts and he turned away from her. She made a lot of claims about what was happening in Scotland, from NHS Funding (actually going down), NHS car parking (you still have to pay in some places) and on the failure of the SNP to keep its promise to dump student debt. Oh, and let’s not forget the young people denied opportunity because of the SNP’s slashing of college places. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 148 Comments

The popcorn’s ready for the debate tonight – what I want to see from Nick Clegg

It was one year ago tonight that Nick took on Nigel. And tonight he takes on Nigel and five others. All of them will be queuing up to attack him. Nigel because Nick’s open, liberal, internationalist stance is the antithesis of all he stands for, Ed, Nicola, Leanne and Natalie because that’s what they do and Dave because the last thing he wants is another coalition with the Nick. After all, he did tell the Daily Mail that he’d govern like a proper Tory if it weren’t for Nick. When the Prime Minister talks about Ed Miliband being in Alex Salmond’s pocket, you can tell he feels that he’s been in Nick Clegg’s for the past five years.

But lets just take a moment and smile. This is the first major occasion like this at a UK level when there will be an equal number of men and women on that stage. I wish it wasn’t remarkable and I hope that in my lifetime it won’t be. Natalie Bennett, Nicola Sturgeon, Leanne Wood and Julie Etchingham, you are making history.

So, let’s look at the basic housekeeping first. The debate can be seen on STV and ITV live and you can watch online on the Lib Dem website here. I will probably watch the BBC News Channel, where, alongside the debate, they’ll have the Worm, which shows selected viewers’ instant reactions to what is being said.


Each leader gets a one minute statement. Then there are four question and answer sessions on the topics of health, the economy, immigration and the future of the UK. Each section, after each leader has had an uninterrupted minute to answer the question, lasts for up to 18 minutes.

My advice to Nick

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 26 Comments

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