Tag Archives: matthew parris

Susan Penhaligon backing the Lib Dems this Thursday

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More than four decades on, I can still remember Susan Penhaligon’s performance as Prue Sorenson in Bouquet of Barbed Wire. I watched it far too young and didn’t get most of it as the themes were way too adult but she is up there with Elisabeth Sladen, who played Sarah Jane Smith in Doctor Who as far as I am concerned.

Susan is the cousin of Liberal MP David Penhaligon who was killed in a car crash in 1986. The shock of that day is another strong memory in my life.

She stopped supporting the party during the coalition years, but, in a tweet tonight, Vince announced that she is voting Lib Dem on Thursday.

Vince had also noticed our earlier post about Simon Callow:

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An idea from Matthew Parris that will unite political activists everywhere

head over heels in the letterboxThe Lib-Con Coalition may have run out-of-steam, but Conservative MP-turned-columnist Matthew Parris has identified a policy around which the two parties could happily unite. Indeed, his proposal might even form the basis for a Rainbow Coalition of all the parties.

What’s prompted the idea is that Matthew’s been out delivering leaflets recently. And it has unleashed within him his ‘inner fascist’:

I want order. I want consistency. I want standards. And I want eye-watering penalties for property owners who try their fellow Britons’ patience and waste our time by making their addresses impossible to find. I am driven to distraction by the merry chaos of British residential and commercial addresses, and if I crick my back one more time stooping to try to force a flimsy paper envelope through a vicious ankle-level steel trap of a letterbox, I shall resign as a libertarian and howl for regulation.

So here’s his solution:

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Ed Miliband’s speech: 5 thoughts on what it means for Labour, Tories, Lib Dems and the 2015 election

Ed MilibandI listened to, rather than watched, Ed Miliband’s speech to the Labour party conference yesterday. On the up-side that meant I missed the three hammy mid-speech standing ovations (shades of IDS c.2003); on the down-side it accentuated the peculiar whooping of some of the more excitable delegates (calm down, it’s just a politician talking). In its own terms — getting noticed for its content rather than simply as an impressive no-notes memory feat — it was an undoubted success. Matthew Parris in The Times rather brilliantly captures the flavour:

Crikey

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Alan Turing: is a pardon the best way to excuse our crime against him?

Alan_Turing_photoThe campaign to pardon Alan Turing, the father of computer science who was convicted for acts of homosexuality in 1952, troubles me.

I take as a given the good intentions of those Lib Dems such as Lord (John) Sharkey and Manchester MP John Leech who have led the calls in parliament. But I am struck by Matthew Parris’s words in today’s Times:

Why only Turing? Many, many tens of thousands of gay men have been convicted for behaviour that was once against the law. Tens of thousands of careers, reputations

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A personal guide to the 13 most essential political podcasts

podcastsCommuting is a major part of my daily life, so I find podcasts are an essential way to make use of time I’d otherwise spend staring vacantly out the window or idly refreshing and re-refreshing Twitter. Here, in order of where they appear in my iTunes directory, are the podcasts I listen to most frequently…

The Economist’s podcasts – a good mix of audio recordings of selected articles from the print edition together with brief discussions involving the Economist’s expert correspondents. Slightly irritatingly the sound can vary between recordings, so you …

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Nick Clegg’s speech: analysis from Matthew Parris, Lance Price and myself

On Wednesday night Radio 4’s The World Tonight lined up the three of us to talk about Nick Clegg’s speech to the Brighton conference. You can listen to our discussion, along with interviews with other conference attendees here:

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LibLink: Stephen Tall names Matthew Parris ‘Liberal of the Week’ for calling for end to private schools’ charitable status

Over at CentreForum’s blog, LibDemVoice Co-Editor Stephen Tall has named columnist Matthew Parris the inaugural winner of the think-tank’s ‘Liberal of the Week’ for ‘his attack on the charitable status of private schools that are bastions of privilege.’ Here’s an excerpt from Stephen’s reasons:

The fact that private schools are directly equated with charities such as Cancer Research UK and Oxfam – and can therefore benefit from rates relief and exemption from tax on investment income – is breathtaking. It means that the low-paid in society – including those earning less than the minimum wage – are helping to subsidise through

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Chris White writes: Big Society’s meatless bones

‘Little by little, and like a virus, the Big Society idea has lodged itself insidiously in my mind; so that now, everywhere I go, I start to see small things that actually could be done closer to the ground, by and for the people who know about them and need them’.

So wrote Matthew Parris in the Spectator last August, a passage approvingly quoted by Jesse Norman, the Big Society philosopher-in-chief in his book of the same name.

Parris’s summary tells us that the concept has gained a grip – and not only on the Right. Some Liberal Democrats are also …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Ministry of Justice’s paperwork overdose hits the media

My story Paperwork gone mad at the Ministry of Justice has hit the media today in a nice piece from Matthew Parris in The Times and in a long piece in the Daily Mail. If the latter’s piece sounds rather familiar when you read it, that’d be because the wording bears a remarkable resemblance to the story run on this site. Perhaps next time I should slip in a ficticious name and see what happens 🙂

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Paywall vs ‘Freemium’: why Parris, Finkelstein et al may rue Rupe’s decision

Will The Times’s paywall work? It’s the question that’s been asked ever since Rupert Murdoch’s News International announced its intention to place The Times and The Sunday Times websites behind a paywall, blocking any user not prepared to pay a subscription for access.

Last week saw publication of early unofficial statistics which were extrapolated at length in The Guardian and suggest The Times’s website now attracts somewhere between 84,800 and 195,700 daily unique users – compared with c.1.2 million daily unique users pre-paywall.

It’s stating the obvious to point out that’s a huge drop: after all, the point of the exercise is to make money from the few, not be free to the masses. So far, it’s understood there are 15,000 paying users – though whether that figure includes those who signed up for cheap one-month trial offers is not certain – in addition to 12,500 iPad users.

Assuming The Times can retain all those paying customers (which is a big assumption), it’s estimated the paywall could attract revenues of £1-2m a year. I’ve not yet seen, though, a reliable figure showing what the cost in lost advertising revenue associated with a fall in online circulation will total – which make it difficult as yet to work out if News International will generate an immediate net profit from the paywall. That, after all, would be Mr Murdoch’s ultimate response to the naysayers.

What I don’t understand is why News International decided to go all out for the paywall at The Times without at least first testing the market by adopting a ‘freemium’ model, making basic content available free, but charging for premium content.

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