Tag Archives: paul walter

The Telegraph takes a pop at the Lib Dem Disco

Disco 2014One of the highlights of the forthcoming conference, the Lib Dem Disco, has been mocked by the Daily Telegraph. Is there a higher accolade?

In an article which includes Paul Walter’s video of the Gay Gordons, played by one DJ Cazzie Sparkle (who finished second to winner Alistair Carmichael), but without crediting him for it, it’s fair to say that the paper is less than impressed:

An attendee of last year’s event told The Telegraph: “The music was mostly cheesy pop. It was like a school disco. YMCA, Macarena, Cha cha slide, B*witched were all on the playlist.”

“Farron started his leadership bid early by playing slightly edgy 80’s songs. The dance floor was mostly filled by Liberal Youth members, while most of the normal members milled by the bar due to a £15 price tag. Somebody paid for my ticket so I watched the sights”

“The Lib Dem presidency battle was on at the time so candidates were trying to show their cool side on the dancefloor, but in reality they looked more like extras on Coronation Street”

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Lib Dem campaigners in the snow #2

Following on from our post on Thursday night, here are some more pictures of Liberal Democrats campaigning in the snow. Keep sending them in.

Danny Alexander went for a walk (remember #dannyswalks) in the streets of Aviemore:

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The LDV Festive Fashion Parade

The members of the LDV team are in a relaxed state at the moment, replete with the joys, food and drink of the season.

Some of us have been showing off our best Christmas fashion and I thought you’d like to have a look over your morning coffee.

We’ll start with the tasteful. Mary Reid’s wonderful green coat. I bumped into her at LDHQ the other week and I can promise that it feels amazingly soft. I don’t really care that much about clothes, but I like this coat.

Mary Reid's coat

I guess Joe Otten’s new funky Christmas shirt could be described as tasteful, too. It’s kind of like the duvet I had as a teenager.

Joe Otten's shirt

 

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Jeremy Browne to stand down as MP: what Lib Dem bloggers have made of his decision

Jeremy Browne with beard AD LIBJeremy Browne’s decision to stand down as MP for Taunton Deane at the next election surprised many in the party. Ed Fordham wrote a tribute to Jeremy’s long service for the party on LDV here today — and the Lib Dem blogosphere has also had plenty to say. Here’s a selection…

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How Liberal Democrats around the country are marking Remembrance Sunday

Here’s a flavour of how  Liberal Democrats are marking Remembrance Sunday, some in an official capacity, others on their blogs. I suggest you put on Elgar’s Cello concerto as recommended by Armour Plated Liberalism and have a look at the following:

Tim Farron spent yesterday selling poppies in bad weather:

Jo Swinson tweeted from a service in Bearsden

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The best speeches of Liberal Democrat Conference

I thought it would be good to remember some of the best speeches of this year’s Autumn conference. I wrote down a list of 7 that I thought were fantastic and then decided to ask Twitter.  The list that they came up with was remarkably similar. So, without further ado, and in no particular order until the end, let’s go through them:

First up, Glasgow’s own Paul Coleshill comparing renewal of Trident to a middle aged man buying a flashy sports car to prove his virility, but was only able to use it 3 days a week.

The Economy

In the economy debate two speeches caught people’s eye. Our own Nick Thornsby’s, described by Nick Clegg as “brilliant” said:

The great 19th century liberals of my home town of Rochdale ­­– John Bright and Richard Cobden –­­ led the way in persuading the country of the benefits of free trade. Now we, conference, should do the same again. Forging trade deals between the EU and America. Pushing the World Trade Organsation to re­-start talks on a global trade deal. Completing, finally, the European Single Market.

Because we know, as did Bright and Cobden, that it will not be government spending that restores prosperity, both here and abroad. It is through free trade, by opening up our economy and defeating the forces of protection that we can create the wealth needed to improve living standards and reduce poverty.

Prateek Buch, who had crafted the amendments, said in his speech:

It isn’t doom mongering to say that while output overall is rising again, living standards for those worst hit by the crash – those who have missed out the fruits of growth since long before the current crisis – have definitely not, and they won’t if the current path continues.

The capacity of people to secure for themselves a decent standard of living doesn’t grow when GDP is inflated any old how in pursuit of some feel good headlines – labours record in government is a powerful reminder of that. It grows through innovation as the motion indicates and ad vince is striving to deliver – and it grows through investment.

A debate of pure quality that we can be very proud of, not least because of this man being brave enough to sum it up:

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Lessons of Coalition (16): More shocks than lessons

ldv coalition lessonsLibDemVoice is running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’, to assess the major do’s and don’ts learned from our experience of the first 3 years in government. Reader contributions are welcome, either as comments or posts. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Today Paul Walter shares his thoughts.

These are less lessons and more shocks.

1. The robustness of the remaining Lib Dem members

I am quite shocked, or …

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A warm welcome to our new Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay

I guess that, in the end, it was quite fitting that Mark Pack’s final day with LibDemVoice should have been last Thursday, the day of the Eastleigh by-election: it’s always good to go out on a high. For those who missed the news first time round, Mark has — after over six years as my Co-Editor in name/spirit — stepped down from the team to spend more time with his other 73 roles within the party (plus two day jobs).

caron lindsaySo the end of one era, but I hope also the dawn of a new one. I’m delighted to say that Caron Lindsay, already a member of the site’s editorial collective, has agreed to become this site’s new Co-editor alongside me. Few Lib Dems will need an introduction to Caron. She is the author of the superb Caron’s Musings blog, elected member of the party’s Federal Executive, treasurer of the Scottish Lib Dems, and a former case-worker for Willie Rennie. She is also one of the nicest, most grounded, full-of-common-sense Lib Dems I know. Thank you, Caron, for saying yes so willingly.

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Nick Clegg’s autotuned apology viewed 1.8 million times

Not only has the charity single version of Nick Clegg’s tuition fees pledge apology been the surprise hit of the year, entering the Top 40 download chart, but The Poke‘s video has now been viewed more than 1.8 million times on YouTube.

From The Wall blog:

James Herring, of PR firm Taylor Herring which worked with the The Poke on the autotuned story (and has done since The Poke launched two years ago), says that Clegg was such an easy target that the opportunity was simply too good to miss.

“We worked through the night to create the mash up

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Clegg’s Today Programme interview: a round-up, a clip, and some comments

Nick Clegg submitted himself to the new year delights of the primetime 8.10am Today Programme interview on Thursday. Here’s a round-up of what he said and the reactions to it…

Nick Clegg has kicked off his new year promising more action to curb executive bonuses, amid continued questions over his leadership. … The deputy prime minister insisted he was responsible for many of the tougher sanctions against high-earners and tax avoiders, saying he had inserted sections on tax avoidance into the coalition agreement.

“Look at this debate about irresponsible capitalism, what I call crony capitalism,” he told BBC Radio 4. “It’s Liberal Democrats who’ve led the debate on clamping down on bankers’ bonuses and we must be just as tough this year in the bonus season that’s coming up as we were last year, if not more so.”

Politics.co.uk

Nick Clegg has vowed to push ahead with plans to curb executive pay and introduce anti-avoidance tax rules for businesses, as part of a wider drive to clamp down on irresponsible practices that he has branded “crony capitalism”. … “It’s Liberal Democrats who led the call, as Vince Cable did last September in our party conference, for restraint and new transparency and accountability on unacceptable excess in executive pay where people are being paid huge amounts of money even though they fail to do well for those companies,” he said. …

However, Mr Clegg was unwilling to discuss the status of the Lib Dems’ long-sought mansion tax, which is strongly opposed by many Conservatives. When pressed on whether a mansion tax was likely to be introduced, Mr Clegg said: “We will see what comes in future Budgets. One thing I’m absolutely clear about is that our cornerstone commitment to make the tax system fairer by lifting the point at which you start paying income tax is something that this government, because of Liberal Democrats, will deliver one Budget after the next Budget after the next.”

Financial Times

Asked about the on the Today programme this morning, Nick Clegg would only say “we will see what comes in future Budgets”. He spoke of his desire to capture “unearned wealth” but seemed to think that George Osborne was unlikely to act soon, if at all. The corollary of this is that the 50p tax rate is likely to remain for the duration of the parliament. The Lib Dems will not accept the abolition of the top rate unless it is replaced with some kind of wealth tax. …

Elsewhere in the interview, he attempted to bridge the coalition divide on Europe by emphasising that the government was united on the need to make the EU “more competitive”. But he damningly added that “no one planned for an outcome which left Britain in a position of one. There was no real planning or discussion about Britain being in a corner on its own.” However, the former MEP also attempted to shed his image as an unthinking europhile. “I’m not a starry eyed pro-European,” he said, recalling that it took the EU 15 years to agree on a definition of chocolate.

New Statesman

If you missed it, here’s an excerpt from the BBC interview:

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Welcome to our new volunteer editors!

Liberal Democrat Voice has always aimed to be ‘Our place to talk’, a site primarily for Lib Dem members to discuss and debate. We welcome readers’ contributions, whether financial (hem-hem) or intellectual.

Building and maintaining a site like this, with fresh news and opinion day-in-day-out, is a labour of love. We are therefore delighted to be able to welcome a clutch of new day editors to afforce the Voice Collective:

All have volunteered to do an occasional turn here at LibDemVoice.org (while continuing their own sites)… so don’t be surprised to see …

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Ed Miliband’s wonky PMQs’ maths

Paul Walter’s LibDemVoice review of yesterday’s Prime Minister’s Questions mentioned the Ed Miliband soundbite which has been picked up by much of the media… but so far without the disbelief it’s due. Here’s what the Labour leader said:

The difference is that, unlike the Prime Minister, I am not going to demonise the dinner lady, the cleaner or the nurse, people who earn in a week what the Chancellor pays for his annual skiing holiday.

A quick reminder for those who don’t live in the Westminster bubble that, last January, it was revealed (by which I mean I read it

Posted in Parliament and PMQs | Also tagged and | 33 Comments

Lib Dem Bloggers’ Christmas stocking fillers… Part III

What presents are you looking forward to giving or receiving this year? That’s the question LDV posed to a group of Lib Dem bloggers. All this week we’re revealing what they told us, with link-throughs to Amazon for your shopping convenience (and ‘cos the referral fees help support LibDemVoice: so get clicking and ordering). Part I is available here, and Part II here. In part three, our third trio of bloggers – Paul Walter, Jennie Rigg, and Richard Flowers – give us the low-down on their Xmas faves…

Paul Walter

iPad 2 (or any other tablet)
It allows a

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LDVideo: Nick Clegg – “It is time we knew whether the Labour party can think for itself.”

Lib Dem Voice contributor Paul Walter noted here Nick Clegg’s strong response in this week’s Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions to the Labour party’s aim of protecting its cosy financial relationship with the trade unions — but for those who missed it here’s that exchange in full:

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Lords reform: the Liberal Democrat trio announced

Over the weekend Mark Valladares blogged about the three Liberal Democrats being appointed to the Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny committee on Lords reform:

From the Lords, representing the constitutional wonk tendency (in a good way), Lord Tyler is the first of the two nominees. Paul has been leading calls for a complete overhaul of the Second Chamber for a very long time and is one of the Party’s foremost constitutional experts…

From the Commons, that rather unusual beast, a former member of the House of Lords, John Thurso. As he has already been abolished once,

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A final word from Paul Walter

Thanks very much to the LDV editorial team for letting me guest edit the website again today. This time I decided to randomly approach keen LibDem bloggers to ask them to write posts on any subject. I was very pleasantly surprised by the very enthusiastic response I received.

Thanks very much indeed to Charlotte, Lorna, Dazmando, Andrew, Spidey, Emma, Maureen and Daniel for taking time out from their campaigns to write such splendid posts.

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Opinion: the biggest news story in Scotland

When Paul asked me to write this blog post I was so chuffed to be asked, but, given we are in the middle of the Scottish Parliamentary elections, I was also really worried about being able to find the time to write it.

However, I have found the time and here it is. It may not be what you are expecting.

There is a massive story doing the rounds in Scotland and it is not about the election but about the tragic death of Mercedes the polar …

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Opinion: this time last year…

This time last year…

…the Liberal Democrats were storming up the polls.

Nick Clegg was more popular than Churchill, and Gordon and Dave were regretting ever agreeing to those pesky TV debates.

Our party leader could describe the Iraq war as ‘illegal’ without causing mass panic amongst Downing Street lawyers.

This time last year we were asking people to put us into government.

This year?

This year the Lib Dems jumped into bed with Conservatives.

This year the Lib Dems sold out on tuition fees.

This year the party become ‘just like the others’.

Really? It’s always worth …

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Opinion: A visit to the library

Every Christmas Eve throughout my childhood, a mystery visitor came to the doorstep of our council flat and deposited a bag of children’s books before disappearing into the darkness. S/he never stopped to be recognised or thanked, and we never found out who s/he was, but I still remember the thrill of opening up another consignment of new reading every Christmas.

Even without our mystery benefactor, however, I and my three siblings would have been brought up with books. My father left school at 14 to be …

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Opinion: A day in the life of a first time candidate

Friday – 4 weeks before Election Day. Mood: Dazed and confused, tired but determined

7am: Woke with a horrible sensation in my gut that I had forgotten to do something. This is happening way too often now.

7.30am: At the laptop in pyjamas, armed with max strength coffee. Writing Focus articles. Spent 3 hours on the doorstep yesterday, so have catching up to do. Whole Focus needs to be rewritten by the end of today. Big story broke in the press. Changing lead story to reflect residents’ anger on …

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Opinion: So what’s it really like on the doorsteps?

A week after nominations closed for the Borough council elections, what’s the reception like on the doorsteps here in Stockton?

To be honest, it’s a bit mixed. In wards where we have Liberal Democrat councillors, the reception is generally good. There are always some people who “don’t do politics”, and that hasn’t changed. There are some who were always going to vote for one of the other parties, and that hasn’t changed. There are many who support us, either because they’re committed Lib Dems (not …

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Opinion: Big society or big community?

We seem to be stuck in a warp of niceties at the moment. In the bad old days the Tory party was the nasty party. Thatcher flexed her muscles and in a previous downturn we all had to get on our bikes. Yet today we seem to get a different flavour of conservatism. It’s all big society, low interest rates and a penny off fuel duty. What is going on?

I’ll let you into a secret. The Lib Dems may have a little something to do with this. We seem …

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Opinion: Can the Liberal Democrats survive another coalition?

We already know how hard a coalition is with the Tories. So what would happen if we get another choice of forming a coalition with this Tory party or Ed Miliband’s Labour at the next general election?

At the moment, perhaps the most likely scenario is a coalition with Labour with less Liberal Democrat MPs. On the plus side Ed Milliband will be wanting to put his new ‘radical’ (maybe) mark on Labour’s story in power. Now this is something we can help him with. We have …

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Opinion: We must become the party of liberty

When William III arrived on these shores in November 1688, the new King proclaimed to maintain the liberties of England and vigorously defend the liberty of his subjects. In the subsequent months, Parliament adopted the Declaration of Rights – The English Bill of Rights 1689. The corner stone of our constitution, which is still in force to this day but sadly has become a forgotten relic of antiquity.

It seems that we in Britain have forgotten about our hard struggles to gain our liberty. When it comes to foreign …

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Guest editor today – Paul Walter

Astonishingly the editorial team have seen fit to vacate the LDV control tower and let me guest edit the website for another day. Power! Last time, I contacted mainly old LibDem friends who I’ve worked alongside over the years, and got them to write some fascinating posts. Having now exhausted my slim LibDem “Roladex” of contacts, I took a different approach this time. I randomly approached a number of keen LibDem bloggers and asked them to write a post on any subject. To my pleasant surprise, they responded very …

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In other news… speed cameras and does online campaigning work?

Jonathan Calder reports how Cornish councillor Jeremy Rowe is finding Twitter useful as a way to communicate with residents in his area who are hard to reach through traditional politics. Cllr Rowe’s local experience compliments the message that Google search data gives about people wanting to find politicians on Twitter. (If you are a councillor or local candidate and wondering how to build-up your own local following, see The secret to getting 1,000 ward residents to follow you on Twitter.)

Speed cameraPaul Walter reports …

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In other news…

As Alex Foster pointed out on Twitter, Europe is rather complicated – even when itemised in this helpful diagram.

Sometimes a blog post that is nearly all just a long list of village names can be extremely effective, as Paul Walter demonstrated.

Gary Hunt has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of Leicester…

… and former Liberal Democrat candidate Vincent McKee, who has been at the centre of allegations of fraud, has been required to repay £1,000 according to the Coventry Telegraph.

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: A refreshing exercise in transparency

A couple of years ago I made a complaint about my MP, Richard Benyon. I feel a shiver of guilt even writing the word “complaint” now. I suppose I am very English about complaints. I don’t like making a fuss. I have bumped into Richard off and on since 1992 and always found him to be “a nice enough cove”, as P.G. Wodehouse might put it. Making a “complaint” about such a harmless fellow just didn’t seem British. But occasionally I feel I must put pen to paper, as I did in this case.

What I thought were political comments …

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Paul Walter to guest edit Liberal Democrat Voice tomorrow

Tomorrow we’ve got our fourth guest editor running the site for a day, Newbury blogger Paul Walter. He follows Caron LindsayMark Valladares and Linda Jack.

Paul’s got a great set of guest posts lined up already, so do pop back tomorrow to take a read.

This is the last of our little run of experiments with guest editors so if you’ve got any views on how it has gone and whether we should do something similar in future, please comment below.

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A mixed press today for Danny Alexander

Paul Walter has picked up on some less than flattering comments, including from an anonymous Liberal Democrat “grandee”, about Danny Alexander:

Danny has gone completely native…He should be the Lib Dem man in the Treasury. But he has turned into the Treasury man in the Lib Dems. Perhaps Danny could look slightly less pleased with himself and wipe that smile off his face.

Paul’s full post is here but some better news is over in The Mirror, echoing a point also made in the report Paul quotes:

Cold weather payments to the elderly and the poor were saved yesterday in a

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