Tag Archives: Liberal Left

Party groups unite against increased surveillance

Yesterday Mark Pack summarised the current state of play on the snooping row (“The wheels are coming off the online monitoring wagon”).

This topic has generated more emails, blogs and tweets from angry Lib Dems than anything I can remember. Party members seem to be united in their opposition to increased monitoring, so much so that statements from the so-called right and left of the party are virtually interchangeable.

From the Social Liberal Forum:

Any furthering of the already-extensive powers to interrogate peoples’ communication, especially in the absence of proper oversight, would constitute an ineffective and illiberal intrusion of our civil

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Left have short memories

Liberal Left want to be careful what they wish for. In 1977 Liberal Leader David Steel struck a one-year deal with Labour Prime Minister James Callaghan that the 13 Liberal MPs would support the Labour Government in votes of confidence and supply. In return a number of Liberal Policies, most notably PR for European elections, would be enacted. After the pact, the Liberals eventually voted for a motion of no confidence that brought down the government. In the subsequent general election we got 13% and 11 seats.

As an exercise in achieving our policies the results were mixed at …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 67 Comments

Opinion: LibsLeft – because it’s the Left’s turn

Some 18 months ago, just before the Liverpool conference, The Voice kindly carried a piece by me about the need for a body I call LibsLeft.

It is a slight play on words, aimed both at those who felt excluded from the party of coalition, and indicating our direction of travel if the party is to survive the 2015 election. Liberals have always fared badly from coalitions, readers were reminded.

I wrote that the only party to emerge victorious from a coalition was Labour in 1945 – on the back of a Liberal programme. They stole Beveridge’s ideas for a …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 51 Comments

Where I stand on the new Lib Dem groupings

Time to out myself.

In the last year, three new Lib Dem groups have been launched to an unsuspecting world and to an often-suspicious Lib Dem blogosphere. In chronological order, they are: Social Liberal Forum (SLF), Liberal Left, and Liberal Reform.

They will add to the already thriving discussion base within the party which exists online (here on LibDemVoice and at Liberal Vision), in print (at Liberator), and in any of the party’s internal organisations.

To take the new kids on the block in turn…

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 43 Comments

Why Liberal Left?

My good pal Gareth Epps asked the question last week………..so I thought I would answer it for him. We are at a hugely important juncture as a party – nearly two years in – with little prospect of the Coalition not continuing until 2015 and what appears to be the start of the leadership’s “differentiation” campaign.  Nick Clegg and his aides are spinning the line more and more that we are a “centrist” party – a clear desire to move us from the centre left position we have erstwhile held and which has served us well

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 88 Comments

Liberal Left: why I’m underwhelmed

In theory, the launch of Liberal Left is something I should welcome as I’ve always thought that more and stronger party bodies make for a healthy party. They help give more meaning to internal party democracy by making it easier for people to co-operate with others of a like mind.

So why am I underwhelmed by Liberal Left’s launch?

It’s not that it covers some of the same ground as the Social Liberal Forum (disclosure: I’m on the SLF’s Advisory Council). Liberal Left looks to have a distinctive message and approach which diverges from, rather than duplicates, that of the …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | 59 Comments

Opinion: left-leaning Lib Dems should be united, pragmatic and positive

The launching of the ‘Liberal Left’ group this week has already led to lots of comment, especially on Twitter.

Those on the Right of our Party have, rather predictably, condemned it as divisive and self-interested. You might expect me, as someone on the Left, to disagree with them. But I don’t, I think they are largely correct in their analysis, and here’s the reason why.

I believe we need a united, pragmatic and positive Left in the Liberal Democrats; which, I believe, despite the protestations of some, remains a centre-left Party. As a member of the Social Liberal Forum, I’ve seen that any …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 38 Comments

Opinion: The good, the bad and the ugly of the Lib Dems

This week has been something of a mixed bag for the Liberal Democrats. Aside from getting over the fact we have lost one of our most respected and feared heavyweights in Chris Huhne, we have been forced to accept that a serious reassessment of our position within government is required and necessary.

Needless to say, the ceaseless commentariat and Westminster gossips are not helping matters. There have been three stories – all different in topic and angle – that have focused attention on the junior coalition partner in recent …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 41 Comments

Lib Dem members launch group opposed to the coalition

The Guadian reports:

The first Liberal Democrat group openly opposed to the coalition is to be launched at the party’s spring conference in Gateshead next month with a warning that the coalition has been a political disaster for the party, as well as a denial of its radical roots.

Launching a website on Wednesday, the group Liberal Left said it hoped to become a rallying point for members opposed to the coalition and those who see the party as a centre-left organisation seeking common cause with Labour, Greens and others on the centre left.


Posted in News | Also tagged and | 22 Comments

Opinion: There is one coalition that needs to last

I have been staring at the faces of Lib Dem councillors for days as part of a piece of work I have undertaken.  Although the highlight has been finding out Cllr Ken Ball has managed to wangle Deputy leader of Chorley Council despite leading a group of him and one other Councillor, my abiding thought is that I could have a stand up row with each and every one of you.  And I wouldn’t mind a bit of it.  That’s what being a LibDem is all about.

However, news of yet another splinter group from the left of the …

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

Recent Comments

  • John Waller
    Thank you, William. Tom Arms offered us Warfare or Welfare. Hopefully our larger body of MPs will push the new government hard to analyse the causes of th...
  • Jenny Barnes
    Godalming & Ash :)) and my little legs are all worn down from delivering hundreds of leaflets. The local Town Fair had a lib dem event for children : H...
  • Mick Taylor
    @PeterMartin. Uncritical support of the EU??? Not at all. Liberals all over the EU are very critical of the EU and want to make a lot of changes. I'm sure they'...
  • Alex Macfie
    @Peter Martin: No-one was saying that at all, except maybe @Adam who is relying on BtL comments on news articles which cannot be taken as representative of anyt...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Chris, Adam and David, So can we all agree (except perhaps Alex ) that being in favour of the EU does require uncritical support? This is a big problem...