Tag Archives: Mark Pack

Why I am backing Mark Pack to be President of the Liberal Democrats

Mark has a wisdom, experience and detailed knowledge about the Party. He knows the party at all levels: federal, state, regional and local. He understands the different issues facing Wales, Scotland, England – he gets devolution and is hungry to support local government across the UK. I know Mark will understand the need to listen to members and not assume he knows best.

I’m am invariably involved running campaigns, advising on strategy, mentoring candidates as well as delivering leaflets and knocking on doors. In by-elections over ten, twenty years and in every General Election since 1992 Mark has also been involved offering advice, sharing knowledge, providing training.  His commitment to the success of the Party is total.  And I trust his judgement.

Mark is one of the people I ring for advice. I have been an activist for thirty years and have known Mark since 1992. I know that when I ring him, text him, email him he responds thoughtfully, honestly and helpfully. He teaches and leads – his leadership is faithful, genuine and sincere and I value that.

I have been a parliamentary candidate in a black hole seat, in a target seat, a councillor, a candidate, I have run and led parliamentary by-elections, been an agent – at every step of the way I have learnt from Mark, Sharing knowledge with him brings within it the energy and the spark of a new idea,  When I speak to Mark, work with Mark, ask for advice, I learn something new and explore a new avenue and am more successful and more innovative.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 7 Comments

WATCH Online hustings for party President

You can watch the whole of the online presidential hustings below. The event was chaired by Lorely Burt last night. Questions were submitted by members on a range of issues. You can see the two candidates, Christine Jardine MP and Mark Pack, outlining their vision for the role of the President and the future of the party.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Mark Pack writes…Winning at every level: the Lib Dem recipe for success

We should never forget that elections at all levels matter. They directly give us the chance to implement our vision for a liberal democrat society in more communities, and they also are the springboard to future success in elections at other levels. We saw that so clearly this May, where put more Lib Dems into power and set us up win a record number of MEPs, not to mention putting us very much back on the national political map.

But the truth is too much of our organisation, especially at the federal level, often defaults to acting as if only the next Westminster contest really matters.

It’s understandable why over-stretched staff, tight budgets and busy volunteers can fall into this trap. But to build sustained, long-term success across all of England, Scotland and Wales, and to get even more Liberal Democrat policies put into action in even more communities, we need to think broader and longer-term. The next general election is crucial. But so too are the local elections coming next May, the next Scottish Parliament elections and the next Welsh Assembly elections – not to mention the general election after next. 

Seeing all these elections as part of one overall mission for the party is a central part of the core votes strategy which David Howarth and I pioneered after the 2015 debacle and which has underpinned our recovery. Concentrate on those who share our values so that we build a durable, sustainable bedrock of support across all elections – and on which specific campaigns can then add the personal votes of candidates and tactical support. Stick with that task and we’ll be ready to win bigger, year after year.

That political strategy requires an organisation to match. That’s why improving and enlarging our organisation is at the heart of my pitch to be President and the five priorities I’ve set out (read them here)

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Why I’ve decided to support Mark Pack for President

I know, some of you may think that an old troublemaker like me must have had a Johnsonesque exercise – write both a ‘for’ and an ‘against’ piece and then see which one to print, But no, it’s much simpler than that. I want to pick the winner and ensure he carries the full message and excels in the role.

Comms – Some people may find Mark a bit too ubiquitous, but he is the consummate communicator? Complaining you hear too much from Mark Pack is like saying we deliver too many leaflets in a by election!

Strategy – It has taken …

Posted in Op-eds and Party Presidency | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Take 2: Mark Pack writes…Why I want to be Party President

Apologies to Mark – we accidentally crashed his time at the top of the page with an ad for our fringe (do join us at 1pm in the Dorchester North at the Marriott asking what sacrifices we are prepared to make for the planet.). So it returns to the top of the page for an hour or so. 

Although Liberal Democrat conference has only just started, I already feel a bit like a child who has wandered into a chocolate shop, bubbling with excitement at what they can see all around. Here in Bournemouth, that excitement comes from bumping into so many brilliant – and wonderfully diverse – prospective candidates, so many of whom many even be MPs by Christmas. What a Christmas present that would be for them, their communities, the party and the nation: a massively expanded voice for liberalism at the heart of Parliament.

Many are people I’ve campaigned with for years. Such old friends will, I hope, forgive me for being just as excited about how many are new to the party, bringing in a new generation of talent in the last few years. Melding together the old and the new – in members, in campaign tactics and in the ways we organise ourselves – is crucial for our long-term success. 

That’s why, at this pivotal moment in the party’s development, with a new leader, so many new members and such a huge increase in our political potential, I believe there’s a vital role for our next Party President in making this happen.

It’s very natural for the Leader and Chief Executive to get drawn into focusing so strongly on the next Westminster general election. It is crucial. But it’s not the whole story. We need to remember the other types of elections out there. And that there will be a general election after the next one too. 

We need to think broader and longer-term to bring the sort of sustained long-term success that will deliver a liberal society, a safeguarded environment and high-quality, responsive public services.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 6 Comments

Theresa May – the Tories’ Harold Wilson?

Embed from Getty Images

Mark Pack recently tweeted:


It is a very interesting parallel.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

Swinson: EU nationals won’t be convinced by Labour

Buzzfeed has done an analysis of our prospects in this May’s elections. They talked to former LDV co-editor Mark Pack and the party’s Deputy Leader Jo Swinson.

The Party is going after EU Nationals’ votes and has invested in a series of social media adverts targeted at various nationalities.

Swinson said EU nationals would not be convinced by Labour’s stance. “They are pretty furious at the current government and also not too impressed with Labour’s position because Labour are really letting the government off the hook when it comes to Brexit,” she said.

“In terms of the front benches and the direction

Posted in News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Why is our “Core Vote” only middle class metropolitan remainers?

Mark Pack and David Howarth recently wrote the second version of their “core vote” strategy, where they believe we should target those they deem to share our values, usually middle class metropolitan remainers. They believe that we need to tailor our message to these people so they vote for us during the good times and the bad. This report is linked here. Any reference to the report in this article is from this link.

While Mark Pack and David Howarth have the right idea with the plan to build a core vote, they seem to fall into the trap that only those groups that currently vote for us in any significant way share our values. They decide that 38% of the electorate can be defined as “open and tolerant”, based mainly on their answer to the question of how much immigration there should be as well as a range of other questions though these are noted to be less important. I would argue that this narrow way of looking at the question excludes many who would consider voting for the party if we merely appealed to them correctly.

I hesitate to use the term “legitimate concerns” around immigration, as usually they are not concerns based on immigration at all. They are usually concerns about housing, jobs, education and health and the provision of these as the population increases. The lack of provision is not the fault of migrants, it is the fault of a government failing to plan for the future of our vital public services.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 79 Comments

Does anyone give a hoot about the Grant Shapps furore? Even if the Lib Dem press office and Nick Clegg make us laugh

Grant Shapps, a Conservative who’s been getting himself into all sorts of scrapes for some years now. That is, of course, if he can remember his name. 

We’ve clearly got to that stage of an election where the journalists just want to have some fun. Rather than discuss the major issues of the day – remember that hundreds of people have drowned in the last week – the media is all in a spin about a Guardian story which suggests that Shapps is behind a Wikipedia profile which has edited the pages of various Conservatives, including Shapps, to either add or remove critical or embarrassing facts.

The Lib Dem Press Office responded with great humour and have had some great plaudits for it:

And even Nick Clegg got in on the act, saying rather mischievously at his press conference that:

Well, Grant Shapps has fervently denied that he had anything to do with it. He himself does not have the time apparently to edit his own Wikipedia entry. I’m prepared to believe him. It could have been someone else. Michael Green for instance.

It is all very funny, but how many votes is this going to win for anyone? Will people actually change their vote based on this? Does anyone outside the Westminster media bubble actually care?

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 32 Comments

STV report talks up Tory chances in seats the party has written off

The Scottish Conservatives meet in Edinburgh today for their Conference. The other day, the STV political correspondent filmed with them and talked up their chances in seats like Argyll and Bute and West Aberdeenshire. He can’t have realised that those seats are among five Lib Dem seats in Scotland that appear on the list of seats that the Tories are not targeting in Scotland as Mark Pack reported last week.

The Tories have also written off their chances in Edinburgh West, Ross, Skye and Lochaber and North East Fife.

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott described the Tory leak as a “letter of surrender”:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Reasons to be careful about new analysis suggesting Lib Dems “set to lose several more seats than national polls with uniform swing would predict”

A new analysis by Oxford academic Stephen Fisher (a member of the team which was behind the scarily accurate BBC/ITN exit poll at the 2010 election) douses the comfort blanket to which many of us Lib Dems have been clinging, suggesting as it does that the Lib Dems are losing more votes in our strongest seats:

The most significant factor affecting party performance at the constituency level is prior Liberal Democrat strength. … the Liberal Democrats are clearly loosing most in the seats where they started strongest and losing least where they started weakest. Partly this is inevitable. There are over 100 seats where the Lib Dems got less than 16% of the vote in 2010 and so their vote share cannot fall by this much. Moreover it is unlikely that the party will fall exactly to zero even where it does very badly. So if the GB polls are right overall, the Liberal Democrats must be falling more where they started stronger, and the BES data suggest the drop is broadly proportional to their prior strength. This mirrors the pattern of change at the local authority level at the European Parliament elections this year, adding confidence that the effect is real. The implications for Liberal Democrat seats are straightforward. If they are indeed losing most heavily in the seats they are defending they are set to lose several more seats than national polls with uniform swing would predict.

Posted in Polls | Also tagged , , and | 81 Comments

And it’s good-bye from me as LibDemVoice Co-Editor…

Today marks the countdown to my final day as Co-Editor of LibDemVoice. I guess I could say the past seven years and seven months have flown by, but actually it seems like a long, long time since I started here. Tony Blair was prime minister, Ming Campbell was Lib Dem leader, and I was still a councillor.

I think I officially took over as Editor (from the site’s co-founder Rob Fenwick) on 31st May, 2007, though I’d started the Golden Dozen round-up of the best of the Lib Dem blogs a few months earlier.

A couple of years later, …

Posted in News and Site news | Also tagged , and | 42 Comments

Jeremy Browne to stand down as MP: what Lib Dem bloggers have made of his decision

Jeremy Browne with beard AD LIBJeremy Browne’s decision to stand down as MP for Taunton Deane at the next election surprised many in the party. Ed Fordham wrote a tribute to Jeremy’s long service for the party on LDV here today — and the Lib Dem blogosphere has also had plenty to say. Here’s a selection…

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

Tall and Lindsay make the Liberal Democrat “power list”

The  Times (£) today publishes its list of the Top 50 most influential Liberal Democrats which has been compiled by blogger turned LBC presenter Iain Dale. This site’s two co-editors and our Associate Editor are both in it.

At 33, Stephen Tall is described thus:

Last year Tall replaced Mark Pack as co-editor of the hugely successful Liberal Democrat Voice, the must-read site for party activists. A research associate at CentreForum, he is usually more at home with the politics of David Laws than of Simon Hughes, but rarely picks factional fights as a critical friend of the party who prefers to talk up its achievements rather than knock them down.

This is all fine except its not accurate that he replaced Mark Pack. They worked together for several years.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , and | 10 Comments

All in a day’s Lib Dem conference: hustings, fringes, OMOV and sex work

It’s felt like a slow start to conference – I’m habituated to the Friday night rally and meaty policy debates starting at bleary o’clock on Saturday morning. But with the rally moved to Saturday night, conference itself wasn’t opened until this afternoon.

20141004_100527_resizedHowever, that meant there was time this morning for the first official hustings of the Party Presidential contest, with Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne all present. In fact, there was possibly too much time – 90 minutes in a too-efficiently air-conditioned room at times dragged a little. No fault of the candidates themselves – they were all fluent and thoughtful – but they also all agreed on pretty much everything of substance. All pledged to be the independent voice of the membership and to speak truth unto leadership power.

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 8 Comments

Typo of the Week award goes to Mark Pack

Mark PackMark wrote a piece about a Conservative Councillor being disqualified after conviction on a firearms charge.

Spot the wonderful typo.

If he’s corrected it, here’s the screen grab:

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

“There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and their leaders. And yes, I know we don’t buy into the idea of a binary left-right axis, but it can’t be entirely dismissed.

As YouGov explains, “tracking data compiled over as many as 12 years gives a clear sense of how the main parties and their leaders have been perceived as shifting on a left-right scale. The two charts below shows mean scores based on 100 being “very right-wing” and -100 being “very left-wing”.” I’ve super-imposed onto YouGov’s graphics where, on average, voters currently place themselves:

voters left right spectrum you gov 2014

Three quick points:

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 59 Comments

Mark Pack’s verdict on those ICM polls: “not sensible figures for anyone to draw a conclusion from”

Mark PackMy former co-editor here at LibDemVoice, Mark Pack, has been taking a detailed look in his latest Liberal Democrat Newswire at those ICM constituency polls commissioned by Lord Oakeshott. Here’s his take on them:

It’s not only the attempted anonymous funding of the polls that’s questionable. So too is the way they were worded. Even reputable pollsters such as ICM given their clients some discretion over question wording, and in this case it was a matter of misleading by omission rather than an outrageously worded question in its own right.

The

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 32 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack: There’s rather more to the story of “Police call on someone who tweeted criticism of UKIP”

There’s been a fair bit of discussion online about the incident last weekend when two Cambridgeshire Police Officers visited Green Party member Michael Abberton over a tweet which contained his edited, fact checked version of an anti-UKIP poster designed by someone else.

He told the whole story on his Axe of Reason blog.

Julian Huppert, as you can imagine, expressed concern about the and …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 8 Comments

Opinion: Get your voters out electronically

HTC HD7 8It’s not a surprise to say far more people use social media now than when I first learnt political campaigning because Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the whole lot didn’t even exist back then. Nor even did (glory be, you might think) Internet Explorer. Back when a beta version of Netscape was cutting edge, the scope for successful online political campaigning was tiny compared to now, when there are more people on the electoral register who use social media than will vote next week.

But the story of the last few decades isn’t just about the rise of the online world. It’s also about the increasing problems with traditional ways of communicating with voters on the ground. Fewer phone numbers are in the phone book; fewer households have someone in when you call round; and fewer properties have accessible individual letterboxes.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Ukip examined: who they are, what they stand for, and what it all means for British politics

revolt on the right ukipI’ve just finished reading Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin’s fascinating book analysing the rise of Ukip and what makes the party and its voters tick. Mark Pack has already written a very good review for LibDemVoice here. Here’s my take on some of its key insights.

Who votes for Ukip? The ‘left behind’

For a start, it debunks the myth that Ukip is a party of disaffected, well-to-do, shire-Tories obsessed by Europe and upset by David Cameron’s mild social liberalism on same-sex marriage. Yes, there are some Ukip voters like that, but they tend to be its peripheral voters, the ones most likely to give the Tories a kick in the Euros next month then return to their traditional True Blue ways in time for the general election. Ukip’s core vote in reality is made up of what the authors define as ‘left behind’ voters, overwhelmingly comprising older white working class males with no formal educational qualifications.

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 85 Comments

Jeremy Browne MP responds to LDV debates about his book

Screen Shot 2014-03-09 at 08.06.08 Liberal Democrats LibbyThank you to everyone on Lib Dem Voice who has taken the trouble to comment on my book ‘Race Plan’. It is healthy to have an active debate about how our liberalism can be applied to address the big political events of our time. I am appreciative of the favourable comments; I also thought it might be of interest (and good manners) to respond to some of the main criticisms and themes that emerged on LDV.

Timing of publication

The timing was determined by the …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 102 Comments

LibLink: Mark Pack: Less legislation? Yes please

Over at the Huffington Post, Mark Pack has been waging a war on “Initiativeitis”:

Initiativeitis – an ugly word for a regrettable phenomena. It is an often-criticised habit of government ministers of all parties always to be touting a new initiative backed up by a new piece of legislation in order to look like they are working hard and making a difference.

Yet speak to those who work in the frontline in public services, and complaints about too many new initiatives coming down from on high are widespread – again, regardless of which party is in government.

While political commentators may criticise a …

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 3 Comments

Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

LDVideo: Glasgow 2013 party conference redux

Why attend a Lib De conference? And what happens when you do? Those are two of the questions communicatios firm covi set out to get answers to in this 5-minute video featuring Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrat Federal Executive: Mark Pack, Editor of Lib Dem Newswire; David Boyle, author and policy maker; and Professor Stephen Lee, Chief Executive of CentreForum…

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

The best speeches of Liberal Democrat Conference

I thought it would be good to remember some of the best speeches of this year’s Autumn conference. I wrote down a list of 7 that I thought were fantastic and then decided to ask Twitter.  The list that they came up with was remarkably similar. So, without further ado, and in no particular order until the end, let’s go through them:

First up, Glasgow’s own Paul Coleshill comparing renewal of Trident to a middle aged man buying a flashy sports car to prove his virility, but was only able to use it 3 days a week.

The Economy

In the economy debate two speeches caught people’s eye. Our own Nick Thornsby’s, described by Nick Clegg as “brilliant” said:

The great 19th century liberals of my home town of Rochdale ­­– John Bright and Richard Cobden –­­ led the way in persuading the country of the benefits of free trade. Now we, conference, should do the same again. Forging trade deals between the EU and America. Pushing the World Trade Organsation to re­-start talks on a global trade deal. Completing, finally, the European Single Market.

Because we know, as did Bright and Cobden, that it will not be government spending that restores prosperity, both here and abroad. It is through free trade, by opening up our economy and defeating the forces of protection that we can create the wealth needed to improve living standards and reduce poverty.

Prateek Buch, who had crafted the amendments, said in his speech:

It isn’t doom mongering to say that while output overall is rising again, living standards for those worst hit by the crash – those who have missed out the fruits of growth since long before the current crisis – have definitely not, and they won’t if the current path continues.

The capacity of people to secure for themselves a decent standard of living doesn’t grow when GDP is inflated any old how in pursuit of some feel good headlines – labours record in government is a powerful reminder of that. It grows through innovation as the motion indicates and ad vince is striving to deliver – and it grows through investment.

A debate of pure quality that we can be very proud of, not least because of this man being brave enough to sum it up:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 7 Comments

Opinion: About those low Conference voting figures…

When 444 votes were cast in the 50p top tax rate debate and 413 in the nuclear power vote, some comments were made about these appearing to be low figures compared to past conferences.
However the rush to judgement on them were flawed for three reasons.
First, there were rather more votes cast in the Trident debate (550 – thanks to the get out the vote operation by the party leadership not misfiring that time.)
Second, attendance at federal conferences is always lower in Scotland than when it is in southern England, reflecting the relative travel distances for the bulk of the

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 34 Comments

Sarah Ludford MEP writes…Conference must debate Miranda detention

I was not initially planning to get particularly involved on the David Miranda Schedule 7 issue except as a concerned, nay horrified, spectator. After all, I’m an MEP not an MP nor (at present) able to be active as a peer, and I have plenty on my plate in Brussels.

But from early Monday morning, as I read the admirably vigorous response from the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation David Anderson QC – and the immediate if deeply hypocritical reaction from Yvette Cooper – I did start to wonder who from the party was going to be vocal. So I tweeted …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 35 Comments

You can tell it’s the silly season when….

… the Daily Mail has nothing better to do than write about an offer Liberal Democrat Voice sent to subscribers recently.

Andrew Pierce’s column in today’s paper quotes an email offering a chance to buy former LDV co-editor Mark Pack’s and Ed Maxfield’s book “101 ways to win an election” at half price. He wrote:

An interesting readers’ offer on the Lib Dem Voice website. The book, 101 Ways To Win An  Election, written by the Lib Dems’ Mark Pack and Ed Maxfield, is being sold at half-price.

Surely, top of the list should be ‘dump Nick Clegg’.

Some of us may take …

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 9 Comments

Lessons of Coalition (7): what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsLibDemVoice is running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’, to assess the major do’s and don’ts learned from our experience of the first 3 years in government. Reader contributions are welcome, either as comments or posts. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Today Mark Pack  shares his thoughts.

The invisible ministers should up their game, or be sacked

For the start of both 2011 and 2012, I wrote …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 8 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 14th Oct - 7:38pm
    Peter Martin 14th Oct '19 - 11:59am The Independent had a cynical comic strip which is now in the Daily Telegraph. Do you agree that...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill. 14th Oct - 7:25pm
    Senator Elizabeth Warren can win the US Presidency in 2020. Sunday Times 13/10/19, Main News section Page 25, columns 2-4. Niall Ferguson, Hoover Institution, Stanford....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 14th Oct - 6:29pm
    In my logic, any sovereign activity, i.e. any exercise of power over citizens should be publicly run: prisons, probation, social "services" awarding (e.g.means-testing), or decisions...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 14th Oct - 6:01pm
    The really big argument against Labour is that they are pulling the usual Right-Wing Populist trick of saying two contradictory things at the same time...
  • User AvatarColin Paine 14th Oct - 5:10pm
    Good to see Chuka distancing us from Labour on this, let's hope we do the same as regards their policy on renationalisng the energy industry.
  • User AvatarChris Cory 14th Oct - 5:04pm
    Agree with David R. Being interested in economic/business policy I just looked on the Lib Dem Business and Entepreneurs website (as mentioned above). Full membership...