Tag Archives: malcolm bruce

PMQs: The nodding donkey and the nasal twang have left the building

It is interesting how voice quality can make all the difference at Prime Minister’s Questions.

Ed Miliband seems to have swallowed several family packs of Tunes lozenges. His voice sounded unusually clear yesterday, without its normal nasal twang. Combined with a disciplined debating approach, this led to a commanding performance (up to a point – of which more later).

David Cameron, in contrast, was sounding slightly hoarse. Perhaps he over-indulged in Russian hospitality in some shape or form. The problem with being hoarse at PMQs is that you end up shouting to compensate. That makes it worse and, red-faced, you give …

Posted in Parliament and PMQs | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

The perils of projecting the impact of boundary changes from previous election results

There’s been an understandable flurry of interest in The Guardian’s reported projections of what boundary changes might mean for the parties, but there are two major caveats about the nature of such projections.

From what I’ve seen, Lewis Baston (as I would expect) has done the numbers well, but not only do we not yet have the actual boundaries on which to make projections but also projections based on looking at previous election results have a decidedly ropey record when it comes to Liberal Democrats MPs.

That is because the party’s voting support is far less polarised demographically than that of …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 14 Comments

A whistlestop tour of Scottish Conference

Scottish Liberal Democrats gathered in Perth last weekend for their Spring Conference.  I thought that LDV readers might appreciate edited highlights of a lively weekend.

It was a bit strange to turn up to find a huge area around the Perth Concert Hall cordoned off, airport style security and Police everywhere.  We’re not used to this sort of thing.

Leader Tavish Scott’s keynote speech hammered home our USP in the forthcoming Scottish election campaign – only the Scottish Liberal Democrats will speak out against a political power grab. SNP, Tories and Labour advocate merging eight police forces to just one. Tavish also …

Posted in News and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

PMQS: Cameron promised faster wheels amidst squeaky bums

What a relief! For a change, Prime Minister’s Questions gave more cause for Tories to be uneasy than it did for LibDems. Don’t get me wrong, LibDems care passionately about frontline policing. Of course they do. But the Tories tend to see it as more of a cojones (or should I invent the adjective “cojonal” here?) measurement issue – it’s closer to the nerve with them. So I think there must have been a lot of uncomfortable shifting around on the benches behind David Cameron today. “Squeaky bum time”, as Sir Alex might put it.

For once there was a good …

Posted in PMQs | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 18 Comments

Beith and Bruce confirmed as Select Committee chairs

Liberal Democrat MPs Malcolm Bruce and Sir Alan Beith have been elected unopposed as Chairs of the International Development and Justice Select Committees respectively.  The positions were confirmed after nominations closed earlier tonight for all posts.

For the first time ever, Select Committees Chairs are being elected by a secret ballot of all MPs, after each Chairship was allocated to a political party in proportion to the number of MPs for each party. The committees allocated to each party were agreed by the House shortly before the Whitsun recess.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 4 Comments

The ban on MPs employing their relatives: two Lib Dems protest

The Telegraph reports today that two Lib Dem MPs – Malcolm Bruce and Matthew Taylor – are among the 17 MPs who have protested to Sir Christopher Kelly at the proposed ban on employing relatives:

Malcolm Bruce
Liberal Democrat MP for Gordon
Employs wife, Rosemary Bruce, as Office Manager and Diary Secretary
“Having my wife as office manager, diary secretary and constituency PA operating from an office in our home is invaluable not only to me but, I strongly believe, to constituents and other organisations I deal with as part of my parliamentary and constituency duties.”

Matthew Taylor
Liberal Democrat MP for Truro

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments
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  • 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.
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    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...