Tag Archives: nick harvey

The Independent View: The Trident review risks being a damp squib

This week the Ministry of Defence (MOD) announced a £1.1 billion contract with Rolls Royce for building nuclear submarine reactors. This has caused quite some controversy and Defence Secretary Philip Hammond was immediately called to answer an Urgent Question in the Commons on the implications of this spending and whether it preempts a future decision on whether or not to replaceBritain’s Trident nuclear weapons system.

The contract itself will see £500m spent on the refurbishment of Rolls Royce’s Raynesway plant in Derby, while £600m will go on building new nuclear reactor cores to powerBritain’s submarines. Most of these will be …

Posted in Op-eds and The Independent View | Also tagged | 4 Comments

LDV Caption Competition: Nick Harvey “Pleased to see me?” Edition

There’s no prize at stake – just the opportunity to prove you’re wittier than any other LDV reader…

Here’s Lib Dem defence minister Nick Harvey ensuring British troops are tooled-up. What do you think might be being said or thought by or about him?

And the winner of our last caption comp is…

Some fantastic entries for our most recent caption competition, Clegg at Leveson “Through the glasses darkly” Edition.

Posted in Caption Comp | 22 Comments

Opinion: A response to the Minister on Joint Strike Fighters

We can all welcome Nick Harvey’s work with Phillip Hammond in producing what appears to be the first balanced MoD budget since at least the 1997 Defence Review: time will tell if their projections hold water. However, Mr. Harvey’s article is redolent of MoD Press Office spin, and has several important elements that need debating. Moving back to the vertical take off and landing variant of the Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) – known as the F-35B – is hardly the panacea the Minister pretends: there were several reasons that the military warmly welcomed the switch to a conventional cats ‘n’ traps …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 20 Comments

Nick Harvey MP writes on Carrier strike capability

Earlier this month the Defence Secretary announced that the MoD’s budget was in balance, for the first time in a generation. A number of tough but necessary decisions meant that the £38bn black hole inherited from the last Labour government had finally been eliminated – a major part of which was the decision to deliver Carrier Strike capability using a different type of Joint Strike Fighter (JSF) jet because of unacceptable cost growth and project delays. In particular, the Government has decided to change the type of jet which will fly off the Navy’s two new aircraft carriers – from …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 8 Comments

Lib Dems push Coalition to abandon ‘Moscow criterion’ in latest anti-Trident move

Writing in the Financial Times, former Lib Dem leader Ming Campbell has urged Britain to drop the so-called ‘Moscow criterion’ — which commits us to maintaining an independent nuclear deterrent capable of obliterating the Russian capital — in order to open up the possibilities of a more targeted, and cheaper, nuclear alternative to the renewal of Trident:

Nuclear weapons have no intrinsic merit. Their significance is in deterrence. If you ever have to use them it can only be because they have failed in their primary purpose. But nuclear policy ought always to be assessed in its political context. It is

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 7 Comments

Which of the five Lib Dem reshuffle options will Nick Clegg pick?

Five scenarios for your delectation:

The Lib Dem night of the long beards

The drastic, dramatic and painful option. Clegg says the Liberal Democrats need David Laws’s expertise and media savvy at the heart of economic decision making, restoring him to Chief Secretary to the Treasury and expressing tearful regret that Danny Alexander is off out of the Cabinet, with a resting place as a new Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Cabinet Office where he will not have to handle quite so many tricky TV interviews.

Education, education, education

Too problematic to bring back Laws in a tax and cut role? Bring him …

Posted in Humour and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , and | 45 Comments

Jasper Gerard writes… The Clegg Coup – and the serialisation horror

To those who fear the future marching over the horizon, this must feel suspiciously like enemy occupation. Liberal Democrats, with their new and sinister continental ways, have seized power. If conservative opinion believed it had the measure of Labour, it can’t quite get to grips with Britain’s newest rulers. For not only are Liberal Democrats in office for the first time, they have given us an apparently foreign form of government, a coalition.

Traditionalists have to trawl back more than a century for the homely comfort of precise precedent. Such has been the opposition to peacetime partnership, where two united parties …

Posted in Books and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 37 Comments

How coalition government means better government

Last night I headed over to Enfield to hear Nick Harvey talked to a packed restaurant of Liberal Democrats about his experiences of a minister. It was an impressive turnout from one of our smaller local parties in London and an impressive speech from Nick, who cut his political teeth in the borough.

One part was about how coalition government made for better government. Nick Harvey gave the example of how troops were deployed to Helmand Province in Afghanistan.

As a defence minister learning about one of the most important issues facing him and colleagues, he had wanted to get his head …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

LibLink | Nick Harvey: Forget a cyber Maginot line

Nick Harvey, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, writes over at Comment is Free about potential threats to digital networks, and calls for a global consensus on cyberspace security:

Threats do not just come from malicious viruses or organised criminals stealing people’s identity or money. Digital networks are now at the heart of our transport, power and communications systems, and our economy as a whole. This reliance brings the capacity for warfare to cyberspace. The consequences of a well-planned, well-executed attack against our digital infrastructure could be catastrophic. In this way, a single networked laptop might be as effective

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Nick Harvey profiled in Total Politics

Last month’s Total Politics magazine featured a profile of Liberal Democrat Armed Forces Minister, Nick Harvey. The piece looks at Nick’s life before politics, his time as a pre-coalition MP, and the various issues that now end up on his desk as a minister in the Department of Defence.

Here’s a sample:

“This is a difficult and challenging time for the Ministry of Defence and it’s vital that we meet the needs of our service personnel,” said Nick Harvey following his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces in May 2010. At a time of unprecedented budgetary constraints it promises to be

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Julian Huppert MP writes on Trident: We don’t need to keep fighting the Cold War

I have believed for a long time that we don’t want nuclear weapons, we can’t afford them, and they weaken our moral authority to persuade other people not to obtain them. I proposed the emergency motion on this which we passed last year.

So how do I feel after today’s statement on the Initial Gate for Trident replacement?

Disappointed – but also encouraged and heartened by what we have achieved. Nick Harvey, our Minister, has helped to secure a 25% reduction in the overall number of warheads, and cost reductions to ease the financial burden. But this is not enough to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Nick Harvey talks up closer nuclear cooperation with the French

In a speech yesterday Minister for the Armed Forces Nick Harvey both showed how ministers can stake out clearly different ground from the Conservatives and also gave a hint of major debates over nuclear weapons yet to come.

In his speech to the Franco-British Council Defence Co-operation Conference Nick Harvey said,

As you will know, the two parties in the UK coalition Government have a different approach to the renewal of the current Trident system, but we are jointly pledged to maintain Britain’s nuclear deterrent…

As a Liberal Democrat Minister in this UK Coalition Government, I have the freedom to explore and argue

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

LibLink: Jeremy Browne and Nick Harvey on an International Arms Trade Treaty

Over at Comment is Free today, Jeremy Browne and Nick Harvey argue for the need for an international arms trade treaty, and that Britain must lead its creation:

On Monday the second round of negotiations to establish an international arms trade treaty (ATT) began at the United Nations headquarters in New York. These negotiations, and the need for better regulation of the arms trade, could not be timelier.

The courage displayed in the popular uprisings across the Middle East and north Africa over the last month has been fascinating and inspiring. But the shocking retaliatory brutality, especially of

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Nick Harvey outlines the UK’s objectives in Afghanistan

Minister of State for the Armed Forces and Liberal Democrat MP Nick Harvey set out the government’s objectives in Afghanistan in a speech he gave during his visit to Denmark this week. He made clear the limits to what the government is now seeking to achieve:

We do not seek a perfect Afghanistan, but one able to maintain its own security and prevent the return of Al-Qaeda.

This is primarily a mission of national security.

We are neither colonisers nor occupiers.

We are there under United Nations Security Council endorsement and at the invitation of the Afghan Government.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Tackling cyber threat is central to nation’s security – Nick Harvey

Yesterday the Armed Forces Minister and Lib Dem MP for North Devon, Nick Harvey, gave a speech to Chatham House about the cyber-based threats to Britain’s security.

Nick Harvey’s speech started with a welcome nod in the direction of liberal optimism with technology often offering the opportunity to increase people’s freedom and choices. However, he quickly moved on to darker territory:

As a liberal, I am excited about the capacity of the internet and digital technology to increase the freedom and opportunity available to our citizens – to enhance people’s ability to control their own lives and make their own choices –

Posted in News | 3 Comments

So how was it for you?

Well fellow Lib Dems, Bloggers and Tweeps… what did you make of conference then? Having been granted the honour of being “Guest Editor” (quaking in me boots it has to be said!) I thought, given the timing, it may be an opportunity to reflect on the last week in Liverpool.

What I want to do is to try and get a feel from members across the spectrum of our party, has conference left them feeling uplifted, confused, motivated, anxious, hopeful, proud?
I hope what follows today, especially for those of you who weren’t there, will give you a bit of …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , and | 27 Comments

Lib Dems pass motions on Trident and diversity

News of two motions passed by Lib Dem conference today…

Diversity: Hughes to propose “radical changes” to promote candidate diversity

Simon Hughes, the party’s deputy leader, commented:

“I am glad that Conference agreed today that there will be a full set of proposals for candidate diversity and that we will have the chance to take decisions to change the face and mix of the Liberal Democrats.

“I will be presenting a paper to the Party’s Federal Executive next month which will propose radical changes in the way we select our candidates.

“This proposal will include the aim that half our candidates will be women …

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

What next on Trident?

The previous Labour government had a habit of taking as gospel views from senior members of select professions. Whilst many professions were instinctively seen as self-interested dinosaurs when speaking up for their professions, both senior police and senior military were however often treated as if unimpeachable experts.

It’s been a welcome sign from both the Conservative and Liberal Democrat members of the new government that senior military are seen as they should be – often expert, certainly experienced but by no means infallible and often to be questioned. That’s the right attitude, but it’s one that is clearly ruffling some feathers …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Lib Dems set pace in signing up for Royal British Legion pledge

The Royal British Legion is asking candidates from all parties to sign up to its manifesto ahead of the coming election campaign. Nick Clegg, along with the other two party leaders, has signed up to the Legion’s pledge, meeting recently with its Director General; while defence spokesman Nick Harvey has spoken at Legion fringe events.

The Legion has been keeping a tally of the proportion of MPs from each of the parties who have signed up to its manifesto – and as they comment, “Lib Dem MPs are setting the pace!”

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Nick Harvey condemns “poor taste” Jimmy Carr

The celebrity website eleven reports:

He’s never been known for his politically correct sense of humour, but comedian Jimmy Carr has incited the rage of MPs over a joke about wounded soldiers. … Audible gasps could be heard when Carr quipped: “Say what you like about the servicemen amputees from Iraq and Afghanistan, we are going to have a f**king good Paralympics team in 2012.” …

… Lib-Dem Nick Harvey exclaimed: “Most people will think it in completely poor taste to try to extract humour from what are catastrophes.”

A smart-arse quip too far; or deliberately provocative humour designed to get …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Nick Harvey: MPs should be able to profit from second homes’

The south-west’s Western Morning News has the report:

A WESTCOUNTRY MP has told an official inquiry into the Parliamentary expenses scandal that politicians should be able to profit from their taxpayer-funded second homes. North Devon Lib-Dem MP Nick Harvey made the case in a six-page letter to the Committee on Standards in Public Life which has received more than 700 submissions.

Mr Harvey, who claimed up to £1,250 a month mortgage interest for his house in London, argued: “If making a capital gain is seen by some as a ‘crime’, then it is a ‘victimless crime’ because it does not add in any way to the taxpayer’s burden: it is simply a function of market movement.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 16 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 8 July 2009

2 Big Stories

Labour backbench revolt over abolition of 10p tax rate is defeated

Big shock this one, I know… Labour MPs realise too late that their party’s tax changes are hitting the poorest hard in the pocket, threaten to mount a rebellion, and then – as per bloody usual – are bought off by the whips with a mixture of coercion and cheap promises. We’ve seen this story played out so many times before. Here’s The Times account:

Gordon Brown saw his Government’s majority cut to 43 in its defeat of an amendment to the Finance Bill that many thought would

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How is our defence team doing?

Here’s the verdict from DefenceManagement.com / Defence Management Journal‘s end of year email round up:

↓↓↓ The Labour Party

We uncovered a simple economic formula sent from Treasury ministers to the MoD. Apparently it never arrived. If inflation is greater than proposed spending increases, your budget will eventually have a deficit.

↔ The Conservatives

On the surface they promise to bring about fundamental change to the MoD if they come to power. This might be so and we would welcome a change of leadership. But no one is committing to actually increasing spending so the current problems will persist for many

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Lib Dems outraged as Labour sells last Government shares in Trident

Nick Harvey, Lib Dem shadow defence secretary, and the party’s deputy leader, Vince Cable, have condemned the decision of the Government to sell its last remaining shares in the Aldermaston Atomic Weapons Establishment in Berkshire to an American company – without telling Parliament. The BBC reports:

The move means Britain no longer has any stake in the production of its Trident nuclear warheads. … The fee paid by California-based Jacobs Engineering has not been disclosed. The sale of British Nuclear Fuels’ stake means Jacobs has control of one third of Aldermaston’s operating company, AWE Management. The other two thirds were

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Davey: Iraq war inquiry needed now

Lib Dem shadow foreign secretary Ed Davey has renewed the party’s call for an immediate public inquiry into British involvement in the overthrow of Saddam Hussein and the role played by UK troops in Iraq since 2003. Ed put the question direct to Foreign Secretary David Miliband in the Commons yesterday, following strong hints from the Ministry of Defence that it expected the 4,100 British troops left in Basra to be withdrawn from Basra during the course of 2009.

Mr. Edward Davey (Kingston and Surbiton) (LD): Given that both the Foreign Secretary and the Prime Minister have said that there will

Posted in News and Parliament | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Nick Harvey introduces… Forces Focus

Our 2005 Manifesto stated that one of our priorities was to look after our Armed Forces so they can look after us. At a time when our forces are committed to fighting on two fronts, as well as operations around the world, this holds just as true now as it did three years ago.

With continued operations around the world, defence remains at the top of the agenda and it is essential that the Government’s ‘duty of care’ to service personnel is fulfilled.

However, the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan have proved to be more challenging and more hostile …

Posted in Online politics | 2 Comments

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