Tag Archives: new statesman

Are Lib Dems missing the moral high ground?

The New Statesman’s fair-minded political editor Rafael Behr has written a post-conference post mortem for each of the three parties here. Noting how Tory chief whip Andrew Mitchell’s outburst against police ‘plebs’ hijacked the news agenda, reviving the ‘nasty party’ jibes (“Many Lib Dems didn’t seem to mind their demotion down the news agenda and revelled in the Tories’ discomfort”) here’s what he has to say of the Lib Dem outlook from the vantage of Brighton:

Lib Dems miss the moral high ground

Nick Clegg’s strategists

Posted in Conference and News | Also tagged | 20 Comments

Politicians are not mere pawns in the hands of journalists

Understandably the Leveson Inquiry has concentrated on the misdeeds of journalists and the behaviour of newspaper owners. However, the appearance of a series of figures this week at Leveson could – indeed should – have highlighted how often the power lies with politicians, not the media. We had three figures appear who all, in their own very different ways, showed that despite all the talk of politicians been cowed by the media, it is far from uncommon for politicians to have far too much power over the media.

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

The Labour Party. Remember them?

There’s an excellent must-read post on the New Statesman site by Rafael Behr highlighting how Coalition politics is not only eclipsing the Labour party from the media spotlight, but also paralysing its leadership from engaging with internal debate.

First, he notes how both the Lib Dems and Tories are being given the freedom to differentiate their party’s policies from the Coalition’s programme:

The Conservative party does not like the 50p tax rate. That much is clear. It is just as clear that government policy is, for the time being, to retain the rate. Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats support a “Mansion

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 35 Comments

LibLink: In defence of the Lib Dems

Yours truly has a post on the New Statesman rolling blog The Staggers, responding to Mehdi Hasan’s rather provocative question, “What’s the point of the Liberal Democrats?”

Hasan pointed out five areas in which the Lib Dems had (in his view) “sacrificed their distinctive beliefs and principles and received little in return.”

I responded with my own 5 points, including:

1) Ask the nearly 1 million low-paid workers who have been lifted out of paying income tax altogether thanks to a Lib Dem manifesto commitment delivered in government. With the prospect of further significant reforms to come to make

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

Danny Alexander suggests £12,500 income tax threshold

Danny Alexander MP has argued in an interview in this week’s New Statesman magazine that he would like to “push further” eventually on raising the income tax threshold higher than the planned £10,000.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview, published in the Staggers:

From the Treasury perspective, the main Lib Dem contribution to government has been the plan to raise the income-tax threshold to £10,000 by the end of the parliament. Alexander is very attached to this policy as a way of compensating people on low incomes for the cuts. “I think it’s a direction that we will want to

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments

Opinion: Whisper it, but the press are starting to get it

Whisper it, but it seems they might be starting to get it. It’s only taken them a year and a half.

‘They’ of course are the assorted numpties of the British press and ‘it’ is how coalition government works and just how important and influential Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats are within it.

For most of the time since May 2010 a crude and simplistic caricature of our government and the Lib Dems’ role in it has taken hold – that this is really a Tory government and the Lib Dems are either naive puppets being taken for a ride by …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 24 Comments

Let Clegg be Clegg (just not toooo much)

If, like me, you’re an admirer of Nick Clegg — his grit, honesty and openness — there will have been plenty to admire this week. If, like me, you occasionally despair of Nick Clegg — the frankness can turn into a gaffe — there will have been plenty to make you despair this week.

First of all, the Best of Clegg…

As Nicholas Watt notes in the Guardian, Nick has been ‘finding his feet’, and ‘starting to show in public what he has always claimed in private – that he stands up to Cameron’. This has been clear from the …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg, the New Statesman interview and crying

The latest edition of the New Statesman has an interview with Nick Clegg, which has mostly garnered attention for the shock news that Nick Clegg is a human being and has been known to cry to music:

He is besotted by his “three lovely boys” and is most proud “by a long shot” of the family life he has created with Miriam. They manage to lead a relatively normal life, “not in a bunker in Westminster”, and he tries to pick his children up from school and put them to bed at night at least two or three times a week.

He

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

Meet the Lib Dem bloggers: Olly Grender

Welcome to the latest in our series giving the human face behind some of the blogs you can find on the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator.

Today it is Olly Grender, who blogs at http://www.newstatesman.com/blogs/olly-grender.

1. What’s your formative political memory?
A toss up between my Mum voting in favour of joining Europe in the referendum and my Dad feeling agitated about and improving workers rights in industry.

2. When did you start blogging?
In January, so please be gentle with me! (though all constructive feedback from fellow LibDems welcome).

3. Why did you start blogging?
Have been thinking of doing it for some time, as occasionally you need a few more words than Twitter or broadcasting allows – plus the New Statesman asked me!

4. What five words would you use to describe your blog?
Politics, liberalism, media, coalition, punditry.

5. What five words would you use to describe your political views?
Liberal – that is all.

6. Which post have you most liked writing in the last year (and why)?
As a total novice there is little to choose from. However I enjoyed having a pop at the Daily Telegraph in this one about Nick Clegg’s Red Box.

7. Which post have you most liked reading in the last year (and why)?
I thought this was the most astounding blog of 2010. It’s by Peter Watt, former General Secretary to the Labour Party, and it summed up in so many ways why working with Labour right now would be such a challenge because, as Peter describes, they currently have an inability to listen and struggle to believe that others in politics wish to do good.

8. What’s your favourite YouTube clip?
God would love to do something political but I LOVE this Virgin Atlantic ad soooooooooo beautifully done I could watch it over and over. Enjoy!

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged , , , , and | Leave a comment

New Statesman’s advice to Lib Dem-baiters: “Don’t count those pesky Lib Dems out just yet”

The latest YouGov poll showing the Lib Dems at 10%, one of the party’s worst ratings in years, has excited comment, especially and not surprisingly among those who are pleased to see the Lib Dems struggling. Less surprisingly still, YouGov’s fndings attract more publicity among our critics than ICM’s polls, which show the party consistently at or around the 18% mark.

Credit, therefore, to the New Statesman’s Sholto Byrnes for bringing a quality on scarce display in political commentary: a sense of perspective:

Ever since I entered journalism I have noticed how quick many, if not most, commentators and

Posted in Polls | Also tagged | 117 Comments

LibLink: Simon Hughes – The Lib Dems can keep the lights on

Over at the New Statesman, Simon Hughes, the Lib Dems’ shadow secretary of state for energy and climate change, mounts a passionate defence of the party’s call for an independent inquiry into nuclear power – a call which led pro-nuclear environmental campaigner Mark Lynas to far-fetchedly claim the lights could go out in the event of a hung parliament.

First, Simon points out the need for an independent inquiry into the “justification” for nuclear power:

“Justification” is the process of assessment of the health effects of nuclear power and is a legal requirement before any new nuclear plant can operate in

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 2 Comments

That Staggers / Clegg interview in full

This week’s New Statesman has an in-depth interview with Nick Clegg by James Macintyre – courtesy the Staggers, there’s a full transcript below, in which the Lib Dem leader confesses/proclaims he’d like to be Prime Minister, relates how Michael Howard and the Tories “kicked in the face”, and admits that his GQ interview with Piers Morgan was perhaps the lowest point of his “bumpy first year”.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • John Marriott
    @John Kelly Your mentioning of the Bundesrat reminds me that this revising chamber dates back to Bismarck. Unlike the members of the Bundestag, around half of ...
  • Peter Martin
    (cont) .....Governments haven't wanted to borrow, or the EU has set limits on Govt borrowing, which has meant that the borrowing has been pushed on to the priv...
  • Peter Martin
    @ Joe B, "Policy failures (in housing and debt) in the UK have resulted in widening intergenerational inequality....." OK but what are these poli...
  • Greg
    @ John O'Donnell You don't need an NHS number to receive the vaccine. Staff will ask for it as it makes their job easier. Just contact your local CCG, threaten...
  • Joseph Bourke
    It has always been something of a puzzle that British civil servants have been able to establish practical governance and institutional arrangements in places l...
Thu 11th Mar 2021