Tag Archives: orange book

Speaking up for the civil liberties of dogs

HazelAfter the Federal Executive meeting this week where we discussed preparations for the election campaign (heartening to see so many people coming forward to be approved as candidates), arrangements to implement the One Member One Vote decision at Conference (and good to see that Mark Pack and Duncan Brack who proposed the amendment passed are to be invited in to work on that), the implementation of the Morrissey Report (amazing progress made, driven forward by our fabulous Pastoral Care Officer), we headed to the pub.

I was talking about my excitement/slight apprehension about picking up our new puppy the next day. The picture on the right shows little Hazel, who is now happily settled and busily involved in training us to meet her needs.

Anyway, Martin Tod reminded us all that he had once spoken up for the civil liberties of dogs in response to an animal welfare debate at Conference in 2003. He and Mark Pack wondered how it would look if the motion applied to humans. He posted the speech on his blog last year and here’s a snippet:

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10 Years on from The Orange Book: What should authentic liberalism look like?

Orange_Book“10 Years on from The Orange Book: what should authentic liberalism look like?” That was the title of a Lib Dem conference fringe meeting in Glasgow, organised by the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA), at which I was speaking alongside MPs Tim Farron and Jeremy Browne, Orange Book co-editor Paul Marshall, the IEA’s Ryan Bourne and ComRes pollster Tom Mludzinski. Here’s what I said…

I often describe myself as an Orange Booker. Like most labels it’s a short-hand. To me it simply means I’m a Lib Dem at ease with the role of a competitive market and who believes also in social justice. To many others in our party, though, Orange Booker is a term of abuse – Orange Bookers are thrusting, smart-suited, neoliberal Thatcherities, never happier than when mixing with red-blooded free-marketeers like the IEA.

What I want to do briefly is make a pitch for something that’s become quite unpopular among the party ranks: I’m going to make a pitch that the Lib Dems should be a party that’s unabashedly of the liberal centre.

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Opinion: I’ve got the Orange Book blues

Orange_BookThere have been many articles in LDV on the recent ‘Orange Book Two’ conference but I wanted to comment, by way of reflection a month later, on the sum of the more classical liberal ideas presented at the conference, particularly my slight feeling of, well, perhaps ‘emptiness’, as I left the conference for a flight at Heathrow.

The presentations and speeches were polished, interesting, stimulating, and full of fact-based insights especially on issues such as the dangers of an overbearing government and how the sheer volume of economic regulation …

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“The Guardian view on the Lib Dem Orange Book”

The GuardianAs we noted earlier this week, the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Orange Book was marked by a conference hosted by CentreForum on Tuesday. Today The Guardian publishes an editorial reflecting on the book’s impact a decade on. Here’s an excerpt:

The book certainly signalled that the Lib Dems were not – or not only – a party of protest for those who resented tuition fees or the Iraq war. The market-minded emphasis of David Laws, who proposed a social insurance model for the NHS in his essay,

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LDVideo: David Laws on the success of The Orange Book, 10 years on

On Tuesday, Centre Forum, the liberal think tank, held a one-day conference in London to mark the tenth anniversary of the publication of The Orange Book (we have already run pieces on the event by Stephen here, by Andrew Chamberlain here and by Rebecca Hanson here).

David Laws, one of the co-editors of The Orange Book (along with Paul Marshall), delivered the key-note speech on the day, a video of which has now been put online by Centre Forum. You can view it below, or here on YouTube.

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The Orange Book, 10 years on: 5 thoughts on its legacy

Orange_BookToday saw what its co-editor Paul Marshall called the belated launch party for The Orange Book – such was the controversy surrounding its publication 10 years ago that the original event was cancelled. I was only able to attend one of the sessions (on public service reform) so here are five more general observations on its legacy…

1) The Orange Book remains much misunderstood, sometimes deliberately by those who enjoy internal warring, more often by those who’ve not read it (whisper it, some sections are pretty turgid) but know its reputation and assume it’s a right-wing, Thatcherite manual for destroying this country’s social contract. As Paul Marshall re-affirmed today, the aim of The Orange Book was to show how socially liberal aims could best be achieved through economically liberal means, recognising that in the real world both markets and governments fail. Two of its leading contributors are currently the most popular Lib Dem ministers in government: Vince Cable and Steve Webb. That said, it was (for both Marshall and David Laws at any rate) also a very deliberate statement of intent in 2004 that the Lib Dems needed to do more than simply out-Labour Labour by proposing new money and extra staff in every area of public service and argue that was liberalism (which is largely what the party’s 2005 manifesto did).

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The two Orange Bookers who’ve won over the Lib Dem membership

Orange_BookIt’s 10 years since The Orange Book was published. Edited by David Laws and Paul Marshall it was widely regarded as an attempt by economic liberals within the Lib Dems to wrest back control of the party from social liberals.

Both Laws and Marshall would argue their attempt at ‘reclaiming liberalism’ (the book’s sub-title) was more about re-balancing liberalism as practised by the Lib Dems — that the party had grown intellectually lazy, happiest with simply saying ‘tax more, spend more’ as the answer to every public policy problem without thinking …

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Calling all writers – two essay competitions on liberalism and liberty coming up soon

We bring you news of two essay competitions which may have escaped your attention.

Screen Shot 2014-05-07 at 06.31.09CentreForum marks the 10th anniversary of the Orange Book

Can you believe it’s 10 years since the Orange Book? That publication is celebrated by some, reviled by others within the Liberal Democrats. It can never be accused of being boring though. It stimulated one of the biggest policy debates in the history of the party. It was also much maligned as some sort of right wing credo but people forget that Steve Webb wrote for …

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Opinion: What’s wrong with the Welfare State?

Last Saturday the Social Liberal Forum met for its 2012 conference. Being in a centre-right Coalition with the Conservatives has not lead to an abandonment of our centre-left principles. Our achievements in Government represent a broader party ethos of our social democratic belief in the Welfare State. However, instead of evolving with the times, the Welfare State stands rigid and unreflective of the world we live in today. For example, our nation is getting older: 10 million people in the UK

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LibLink: David Laws – The Orange Book eight years on

The latest issue of the Economic Affairs journal contains a number of articles discussing the effect The Orange Book has had on the Liberal Democrats since its publication eight years ago. There are articles by CentreForum’s Tim Leunig and by one of the editors of the book, Paul Marshall, among others. Perhaps most noteworthy, though, is a piece by David Laws – the other of the book’s editors – which “examines the origins and impact of the book, and sketches out future directions for policy development”.

Here are some …

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Opinion: Labour’s embracing of economic liberalism is to be welcomed

The first sign that man is moving from the reckless abandon of late youth to the windswept comfort of early maturity can be found in his reaction to the sight of falling snow. Where once it would have been an excuse to declare the days schedule defunct, this year it signalled only the onset of boredom.

Consequently I dusted down my new year’s resolution to ‘laugh a lot more’ and began thinking about Labour’s attitude to economics. I propose to look at the Labour leadership’s deeper economic instincts to provide a guide as to how they might actually run the economy.

Ed Balls

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Opinion: There is one coalition that needs to last

I have been staring at the faces of Lib Dem councillors for days as part of a piece of work I have undertaken.  Although the highlight has been finding out Cllr Ken Ball has managed to wangle Deputy leader of Chorley Council despite leading a group of him and one other Councillor, my abiding thought is that I could have a stand up row with each and every one of you.  And I wouldn’t mind a bit of it.  That’s what being a LibDem is all about.

However, news of yet another splinter group from the left of the …

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Question: Big or small government? Answer: effective

One prominent member of Liberal Youth hits the nail on the head when she says ‘ frankly sick of all this I’m a social liberal so I’m a better Lib Demno it’s Orange Bookers that are real Lib Dems… we’re in the same party ffs.’

And the contrasting Economist correspondent missed the target by a mile when he wrote – following our last conference – that ‘the Liberal Democrats are still in denial about their innate dividedness.’

You see according to this correspondent – quoted again in The Week – he has had a brilliant insight: ‘You cannot be both for, and against, the Big State.’ But whilst his truism is logically …

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Opinion: The importance of social liberalism

The debate regarding the importance and roles of ‘social’ and ‘economic’ liberalism can, on occasion, be misrepresented. Whether deliberate or incidental the relationship between the two philosophies can sometimes be presented as discrete, zero-sum options. I believe they should be considered as dialectic.

In The Orange Book, a publication that is almost Frankensteinian in how it’s perceived and what it actually contains, David Laws offers definitions for social and economic liberalism, that broadly serve well in discussion, they are:

    economic liberalism: ‘the belief in the value of free trade, open competition, market mechanisms, and the effectiveness of the

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Who are the Lib Dems ‘unconventional men (or women) whose mad ideas make us think’?

Andrew Rawnsley, writing in today’s Observer under the surprisingly un-PC title In praise of unconventional men who make us think, sticks up for those iconoclastic thinkers who challenge their parties’ conventional thinking, citing as paragons the Tories’ Steve ‘Big Society’ Hilton and Maurice ‘Blue Labour’ Glasman:

Conventional is not a description you could apply to either of these eclectic thinkers. … There are many big differences between these two men and their philosophies, but something interestingly common to them is anti-statism, a deep antagonism to bureaucracy and managerialism. … It would be a shame if either were to be silenced.

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How do we build the Lib Dems’ core vote?

Can the problems the Liberal Democrats are currently experiencing be put down not to the Coalition but, in the long view, to a failure of the party to promote a strong, distinctive liberal philosophy and agenda to the public?

That’s the argument put forward by Simon Titley in the latest Liberator magazine and I have to confess that he says a great deal that I agree with.

He’s right say that the party has a smaller core vote than the other two big parties (ours is around 10%, Labour and the Conservatives around 25%, Simon suggests – and I’m sure those …

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Opinion: The phone hacking scandal is an attack on civil liberties

Wikipedia defines civil liberties in the following way:

Civil liberties are rights and freedoms that provide an individual specific rights such as the right to life, freedom from torture, freedom from slavery and forced labour, the right to liberty and security, right to a fair trial, the right to defend one’s self, the right to privacy, freedom of conscience, freedom of expression, freedom of assembly and association, and the right to marry and have a family.

Traditionally when we think about civil liberties we think about how freedom can be taken away from the individual by the state.

So what are we to …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Reynolds 17th Jul - 12:09am
    This is an interesting debate, intended as exoteric but veering towards esoteric ! Some comments reflect quite a popular view in the Lib Dems, which...
  • User AvatarZak 16th Jul - 11:41pm
    @David Raw I'd recommend you check out the Adam Smith Institute policy page. There's honestly some of the best liberal policies on there. @Fraser I...
  • User Avatarfrankie 16th Jul - 11:34pm
    In all, 14 Tories rebelled against the government’s adopted ERG amendment (new clause 36): Heidi Allen Guto Bebb Rochard Benyon Ken Clarke Jonathan Djanogly Domonic...
  • User AvatarFraser Coppin 16th Jul - 11:08pm
    @Paul Walter - It's fine, I fully expected that this article would ruffle a few feathers, and that's fine. We're having a conservation about one...
  • User AvatarAlan Greenfield 16th Jul - 10:43pm
    A week is a long time in politics - things can change really quickly - keep going - we know we are right on this...
  • User Avatarfrankie 16th Jul - 10:18pm
    Jennie, i suspect that the majority of "those who want to get into parliament, and who will give up their liberal ideals to get there"...