Tag Archives: lib dem bloggers

What Lib Dem bloggers are saying about the Budget

I thought I’d do a quick roundup of what Liberal Democrat bloggers have been saying about today’s Budget. I suspect there will be more tomorrow.

Stephen Williams MP was probably always going to be supportive but he has an extra reason – and it’s all to do with Wallace and Gromit:

The Budget also had some good news for Bristol.  You wouldn’t expect Wallace and Gromit to feature in a budget.  But the Chancellor mentioned them in his speech as he is proposing an extension of film tax credits to made for tv films.  I met with Aardman Animations a few

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Andrew Reeves

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Andrew Reeves, who blogs at http://andrewrunning.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
In 1984 Ken Clarke gave me an award at a thank you party for delivering leaflets for him. In front of the 200+ people there he also asked me if I wanted to join the party – and in front of them all I said no! I was pleased he’d won but said that the more I had got to know the party I realised why I couldn’t. He was somewhat embarrassed!

2. When did you start blogging?
Tuesday 15 May 2007.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I worked for Lynne Featherstone from just after the 2005 general election until the end of 2006, before becoming one of the two London Campaigns Officers. I was amazed Lynne found time to write her own blog posts so this was my initial inspiration. I also signed up to run the Great North Run in 2007 and so wanted to use it for a training diary.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
I cheated here, I asked some friends for their five words – here is a selection: friendly, personal, prolific, timely, political, caring, liberal, sharp, punchy, researched, readable, passionate and straight-talking.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
I’m a social liberal democrat.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
I enjoyed writing this, not because I was suspended from Twitter, because to be honest that was a nightmare, but thanks to the support shown by the online community, inside and outside the Liberal Democrats:
Andrew Reeves is still suspended on Twitter – but the support is awesome

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I love reading Caron’s writing, because unlike my shoot from the hip and rant style, Caron is more methodical and this shows in her writing. In this post Caron highlights the hypocricy of the Labour party while still maintaining decorum – perfect:
Labour didn’t love NHS Direct

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
I don’t particularly bother with YouTube, but this was my favourite ever:

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Nick Thornsby

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Nick Thornsby who blogs at http://nickthornsby.wordpress.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
The 2005 election was the one I was probably first properly aware of as a 15/16 year-old. I remember reading the Liberal Democrat manifesto and seeing posters up in my area (mainly Labour, though I’m pleased to say that’s no longer true, and orange diamonds are now far more pervasive during election campaigns).

2. When did you start blogging?
September 2009.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I’d been reading various blogs for a while, and had previously thought about starting my own, but the catalyst was probably chatting to a number of bloggers at Lib Dem Voice’s BOTY awards at the 2009 conference.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Straightforward, rational and occasionally random.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
In every possible way: liberal.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Attending and blogging about the court case which ultimately led to Phil Woolas being kicked out of Parliament was obviously quite an experience, and I also particularly liked writing this post on a rather daft claim by Ed Balls, which was very short and simple but which, I think, demonstrates the value of blogging as a medium.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I hope the rules can be bent, as this was just over a year ago, but I found this post by Stephen here on Lib Dem Voice on why Clegg should rule out a coalition (!) extremely compelling. It was faultless in its logic, and I agreed with Stephen at the time, but its arguments were based on a number of assumptions which we all made but which ultimately proved to be false (particularly that the Conservatives would never give enough ground, including on electoral reform, to ever make a coalition even remotely possible). Speculating on what might have been had the Lib Dem leadership followed Stephen’s advice is an interesting game, and I can’t help coming to the conclusion that we would now be in a (perhaps significantly) worse position than that which we are currently in.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
My Twitter followers won’t be surprised that I’ve picked this clip from the magnificent West Wing, the script-writing and acting in which demonstrate just why the show is so brilliant.

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Jonathan Fryer

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Jonathan Fryer, who blogs at www.jonathanfryer.wordpress.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Jo Grimond came to my school during the 1964 general election, kept 400 normally fidgety boys rapt, and I thought, ‘Yes, I believe that!’

2. When did you start blogging?
March 2007.

3. Why did you start blogging?
Blogging replaced many years of keeping a diary. Why only write for myself and whoever clears my house when I snuff it?

Jonathan Fryer screenshot4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Local and global in content.

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Paul Tyler

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Liberal Democrat peer (and former MP) Paul Tyler who blogs at www.lordsoftheblog.net.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Suez, October 29th 1956. Israel with British collusion bombed the Suez Canal on my 15th birthday!

2. When did you start blogging?
About three years ago.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I was invited to do so by the Hansard Society, who set up LordsoftheBlog to try to engage people outside Westminster in the work of the House of Lords.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Irreverent analysis of anachronistic antics.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Radical, egalitarian, pragmatic, fundamental liberal.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Exit Routes: this post got the most sensible comments but also has been repeated in the media.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
The excellent analysis of Michael Ashcroft’s polling of, and focus groups with, Liberal Democrat voters: The verdict of Liberal Democrat voters so far.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
President Obama’s speech at Tucson Memorial:

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Daisy Benson

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Daisy Benson who blogs at www.daisyscampaigndiary.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
The morning after the 1992 election – remembering my parents’ disappointment that Labour hadn’t won (again) and the pervading sense of gloom of another Tory government.

I also remember one election in the 80s when my parents displayed an SDP and a Labour poster in the same window!

2. When did you start blogging?
2007

3. Why did you start blogging?
I started because I wanted to communicate to my constituents what I did as a councillor on their behalf.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Local
Personal
Topical
Passionate
Committed

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Humanistic
Instinctive
Pragmatic
Empathetic
Social

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
It’s the post I wrote about the budget-making process in Reading Council. I felt proud to have played a role in delivering one of the most difficult budgets in Reading Council’s history whilst protecting key services, and I wanted to contrast our approach with that taken by Labour opposition which I thought was totally lacking, obviously.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I really enjoy Mark Thomposon’s posts as they are always intelligent and thought-provoking. I enjoyed this post as I thought it was a point that need making about Labour.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Alex Folkes

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Alex Folkes, who blogs at lansonboy.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
My first memory was a mock election at my primary school during the 1979 general election when I was one of about four people to vote Liberal. My most abiding memory is of David Penhaligon driving me home after a party fundraising event in about 1983. I only lived about 100 yards from the venue but he insisted on driving a group of youngsters to their various homes and dropped me off last. During the half hour or so that it took we had a great chat about all things political and he became my political hero.

2. When did you start blogging?
I had a couple of abortive attempts but started properly in February 2008.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I wanted to write about a combination of local and national politics as well as my own interests of football, rugby and horse racing. I also thought it would be a good way of getting across to a range of people who don’t read leaflets pushed through their doors and I had it in mind to stand for election to Cornwall Council (the election took place in June 2009). Since then the local politics has taken over and it’s regrettably rare I write about much else.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Robust, local, argumentative, frequent, did I mention local?

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
See above.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
Probably the one about our council leader drinking in Downing Street on a Monday evening and then saying he had flu the next day when we had a full council. All brought about because I spotted him in the background of a photo on ConHome.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I’m terrible about not reading very many other blogs, particularly those by fellow Lib Dems. But I like reading a good rant – particularly if it’s one attacking Ryanair.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
One of my two favourites is this one of Lloyd Cole and the Commotions. It’s Jimmy Carr, isn’t it?

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Jonathan Calder

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Jonathan Calder, who blogs at Liberal England.

1. What’s your formative political memory?

I can remember JFK being assassinated and being taught to say that Alec Douglas Home was Prime Minister, but really my Liberalism dates from the early 1970s when my father left us (an experience that taught me I was not a Tory) and the Liberals were winning by-elections.

I realised that I was not a Socialist a couple of years before that when Boxmoor County Primary School demanded a letter from your parents before you were allowed not to have custard with your pudding.

2. When did you start blogging?

The first post on Liberal England is dated 4 March 2004.

However, I did write the diary of Whittington (Susan Kramer’s cat) during the first London Mayoral election in 2000. That has some claim to be the first political blog in Britain.

3. Why did you start blogging?

I wanted a shop window for my various writings, but blogging soon became an important activity in its own right.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?

Liberal, eclectic, wistful, humorous, inquisitive.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?

Liberal, localist, pragmatic, postmodern, civilised.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?

Andrew Mitchell, the great and the good, and me from September last year. It reminds me of my trip to New York for Oxfam and reports an event that no mainstream journalist would get to attend.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?

I was very impressed by The Contented Lib Dem’s series of posts on the abolition of the Educational Maintenance Allowance. They are summarised here. He or she argued a controversial case, backed it up with evidence and engaged with the commenters, getting the better of most of them. Unfortunately, nothing has appeared on that blog since.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?

Assuming that the Bible and complete works of Steve Winwood are already on the island, how about this version of Dolphins by Tim Buckley?

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Olly Grender

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Olly Grender, who blogs at http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/olly-grender.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
A toss up between my Mum voting in favour of joining Europe in the referendum and my Dad feeling agitated about and improving workers rights in industry.

2. When did you start blogging?
In January, so please be gentle with me! (though all constructive feedback from fellow LibDems welcome).

3. Why did you start blogging?
Have been thinking of doing it for some time, as occasionally you need a few more words than Twitter or broadcasting allows – plus the New Statesman asked me!

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Politics, liberalism, media, coalition, punditry.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Liberal – that is all.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
As a total novice there is little to choose from. However I enjoyed having a pop at the Daily Telegraph in this one about Nick Clegg’s Red Box.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I thought this was the most astounding blog of 2010. It’s by Peter Watt, former General Secretary to the Labour Party, and it summed up in so many ways why working with Labour right now would be such a challenge because, as Peter describes, they currently have an inability to listen and struggle to believe that others in politics wish to do good.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
God would love to do something political but I LOVE this Virgin Atlantic ad soooooooooo beautifully done I could watch it over and over. Enjoy!

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: David Boyle

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is David Boyle, who blogs at The Real Blog.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
I don’t know when I became a Liberal, but found myself cheering the party on during the Sutton & Cheam and Isle of Ely by-elections while I was studying for my O Levels. In 1979, I interviewed the local Liberal candidate (Dermot Roaf) for a student mag and went straight off and joined the party afterwards.

2. When did you start blogging?
2007 I think.

3. Why did you start blogging?
Partly because I seemed to be bursting with things to say; partly because, when I said them, people seemed to have a confused look on their faces. I also wanted to think out loud about the political implications of a book I wrote called Authenticity. (I also have an incredibly small publishing outfit called The Real Press.)

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Liberal, human-scale and optimistic.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Radical, green, localist, humane, naive.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
A post I wrote for Lib Dem Voice which, rather inadequately, tried to set out why I wasn’t as outraged as the Guardian thinks I should be about the spending review.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
Neal Lawson’s Comment is Free blog about using ‘human’ as the yardstick for a new politics. I was fascinated to read it because I had been thinking along parallel lines myself.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
I think it has to be my wife Sarah’s film about our curtain pattern Kandahar.

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Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Caron Lindsay

Welcome to the first in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Caron Lindsay, who blogs at http://carons-musings.blogspot.com.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
Watching Roots when I was nine. I was shocked to the core by the cruelty towards the slaves, the very idea that people could be bought and sold and, I think crucially, by the fact that such abuse can be stopped if good people take action.

2. When did you start blogging?
September 9th 2006.

3. Why did you start blogging?
I never wanted to just write about politics, but I thought I could help the Lib Dem cause during the hours when it would have been rude to deliver leaflets. I felt that there was a need for something which could simply explain liberal ideas to people who had no interest in politics and to be a bit of an antidote to the bile from the right wing tabloid press.

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Random, liberal, eclectic (and this one has been used by Malcolm Harvey in the 2010 Total Politics Guide to Political Blogging), fair and unpredictable.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Leftie, liberal, peace loving hippy.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
2010 was the most emotionally and politically intense year I’ve ever experienced. The potent cocktail of emotions and adrenaline during the General Election and the formation of the Coalition (and since) fuelled some posts I’m quite proud of. I can’t say I really enjoyed writing them, though.

I’m going to pick is the interview I did with Jo Swinson on the day Lib Dem Voice let me loose as guest editor. Rather than have me frantically scribble notes, my son had set things up so I could record the conversation. We ended up having a 20 minute chat on a huge range of topics from how the coalition was going down on the streets of East Dunbartonshire to her recent visit to Nigeria, to her work on allergies, to sport and gender sterotyping. We were both pretty relaxed and it felt like a proper, illuminating, grown up conversation which I wanted to report in pretty much that style.

I spent the rest of the night frenetically writing it up in 3 parts: one, two and three.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
My shortlist for this had a fair few Elephant posts on it, but the one I’ve chosen is one where he describes the workings of the economic cycle. The fluffy one at his educational best.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
It has to be Dan and Dan’s Daily Mail Song. I never get tired of listening to it. A brilliant satire on the British right wing tabloid press in general.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Raw 15th Nov - 11:41am
    I suppose it's a bit of an advance for Jane Dodds (and I give her credit) for admitting that the Welfare Reform Act of 2012...
  • User AvatarJohn B 15th Nov - 8:11am
    Thanks for your comment, Jonathan. You may have been tongue in cheek, but many on LDV seem to have a naïve view about working with...
  • User AvatarJonathan Maltz 15th Nov - 12:48am
    John B: my comment was tongue-in-cheek. All Labour can offer given their well-known intransigence is to guarantee that the Tories will be the largest party...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 14th Nov - 11:42pm
    Jo Swinson says that the party "must give voters a genuine remain option" in the election. Quite right. The problem is that the party is...
  • User Avatarcrewegwyn 14th Nov - 11:30pm
    Thanks Mark.
  • User AvatarGaryE 14th Nov - 11:04pm
    David makes a valid point for seats with few resources and low membership. If central funds can pay deposits then £500 pays for 15,000 A4...