Tag Archives: michael heseltine

Michael Heseltine to vote Lib Dem to stop Brexit

If you have voted one way for almost 70 years, it’s hard to do anything differently. But former Tory Cabinet Minister Michael Heseltine is doing just that on Thursday.

His passionate internationalism and support of the European Union means that he will be supporting the Liberal Democrats.

Heseltine famously fell out with Margaret Thatcher over Europe and it was his challenge that led to her downfall in another Tory fight over Europe.

From the Observer:

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The New European provides an inspiring read



That front page persuaded me to buy a copy of The New European newspaper this week, for the first time. It’s almost Private Eye-like. Some of the small print at the bottom is hilarious. Godmother, the film, it states is:

  • Featuring “Nigel Farage as the horse’s arse”
  • Filmed on location in “La La Land”
  • Based on a half-baked idea by David Cameron
  • Directed by Unseen Forces
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Lib Dem peer Lord Shipley to work with Heseltine on Local Growth Deals

Lib Dem peer Lord (John) Shipley, the former Leader of Newcastle City Council, is to join forces with Lord (Michael) Heseltine in supporting negotiations for Local Growth Deals with Local Enterprise Partnerships. The announcement was made by Nick Clegg – here’s the press release with further detail:

The government has committed to negotiating deals with all 39 Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) in England, devolving power and accountability to local areas to drive economic growth, and providing opportunities for local business and civic leaders to set out their priorities for growth in their areas.

Under the deals, LEPs will be integral in

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The Independent View: What does the Spending Review mean for UK cities?

This week’s announcements were both a preview of the coalition’s spending plans for 2015/16 and a sign of the government’s direction of travel. For cities, the spending review was mixed. Despite the Government delivering the Single Local Growth Fund devolution was fairly limited, with an emphasis on central government control rather than local autonomy, and most of the policy announcements lacked a focus on ‘place’.

Wednesday’s announcement of the Single Local Growth Fund was an important move towards greater localism, but the allocation of £2bn a year for five years was paltry compared with the £49bn over four years Heseltine …

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The Independent View: Rumble in the Jungle as Cable takes on Tarzan

After all the warm words and soft soap on Lord Heseltine’s No Stone Unturned report, in an interview with The Northern Echo, Business Secretary Vince Cable broke ranks this week and poured cold water on any great hopes of any significant new devolution deal.

In the Budget in March the Chancellor of the Exchequer offered general approval for Heseltine’s plans stating that more details of the government’s response, not least the amount of departmental funding that would be channelled into the Single Local Growth Fund, would be announced in June’s Spending Review.

Heseltine has identified departmental funding

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Heseltine is calling for return to cap in hand culture

I take my hat off to Michael Heseltine for producing a report on growth that has passion, commitment and vision. It is far cry from the usual dry as dust, Treasury reports that obsessively tinker at the economic margins. Alas, despite its punchy prose the Heseltine report is flawed.

There is a lot to celebrate in this report. Heseltine condemns a dysfunctional Whitehall for neutering local leadership: “As Whitehall has taken more powers so its distrust of local decision makers has increased. At the first sign of trouble, further powers are wrested back to the centre.” But like Eric Pickles, he does not trust

Posted in Op-eds | 6 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech on the economy – text in full

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Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg delivered a speech on the economy at the LSE this morning. Here’s the full text:

Good morning. Today I’m going to talk about the economy. I’m certainly in the right place. For more than a century LSE scholars have been at the forefront of every major economic debate asking – and answering – the most pressing questions of the day.

Today, the big question facing governments is this: Given the unprecedented pressures in the global economy, what can we do to restore stability and encourage growth?

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The Saturday Debate: The last thing we need is politicians who emote

After an extended election break, we’re reviving our Saturday slot posing a view for debate:

The election campaign of 2010 will, above all, be remembered for the transformative effect of the television debates, and the breakthrough of Nick Clegg. They were, in the main, substantive discussions in which real policies – and real political differences – were openly debated. But they also re-inforced the impression that British politics is, above all, about personality; and in particular, that the quality politicians need above all is empathy, an ability to connect with the voters they seek to represent.

Empathy is a vital quality of leadership. It is one which is perhaps tipping the balance of opinion in the Labour party against David Miliband, who comes across as less of a listener than his brother and rival, Ed.

But empathy can all too easily tip over into something else: an overly emotional reaction which blinds politicians to sound reason. The moment a politician loses his rag – however understandably, however provoked, however gloriously – is the moment I feel my respect draining away.

I do not want a politician who knows only how to emote. I want a politician with cool, clear, concise judgement. Our leaders are faced with umpteen improbably tricky decisions before breakfast: they cannot afford to waste their energies as the mood takes them.

Perhaps the ultimate exemplar of the non-emoting politician happens also to be the world’s most powerful leader, President Obama. Yet he has come in for criticism in recent days from the Washington media for failing to show sufficient anger at BP, forcing Obama to declare himself somewhat falsely ‘furious’ (while reasonably pointing out he wasn’t hired to yell at people):

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Opinion: Cold comfort for the Lib Dems in the dawn of the new politics

On Thursday night we saw the dynamics of the New Politics unfold.

For the first time, advocates of the Lib-Con pact came face to face with opponents and the general public in a very public forum. On Question Time, Simon Hughes MP and Lord Heseltine defended the new government against a tirade of abuse from Lord Falconer, Mehdi Hasan and Melanie Phillips, while the audience expressed exasperation and dismay. Get used to it. This is the New Politics, and if Cameron and Clegg are to be believed, this is what we have to look forward to …

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