Tag Archives: peter mandelson

“This is about control” – yes, of course it is

This video clip sums up the whole EU referendum debate. It hits the nail on the head. It is virtually all you need to see, to make your mind up on the matter.

It’s from a Daily Mirror debate, chaired by Mark Austin. The Guardian summarises the clip thus:

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“What I need is what I think the Liberal Democrats are proposing” says Labour’s Peter Mandelson on Mansion Tax

Well, well. Who would have thought Peter Mandelson of all people would back a Liberal Democrat policy over a Labour one?

The Guardian has the story:

Speaking on Newsnight on BBC2, Mandelson said he favoured finding new ways of taxing property in Britain. But he added: “I don’t happen to think that the mansion tax is the right policy response to that. I think it’s sort of crude, it’s sort of short-termist.

“What we need is what I think the Liberal Democrats are proposing and that is the introduction of further bands that relate to different values of property within the council tax system. That’s what I would like to see. It will take longer to introduce, that’s true, but it will be more effective and efficient in the longer term than simply clobbering people with a rather sort of crude short term mansion tax.”

Mandelson is the latest senior Labour figure to criticise the party’s plan to impose a tax on properties worth more than £2m to help raise £1.2bn towards the £2.5bn costs of a new “Time to Care” NHS fund. This is designed to support 20,000 more nurses, 8,000 more GPs and 5,000 more care workers by 2020.

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Norman Baker MP writes…Peter Mandelson is wrong: HS2 is vital

You may have seen earlier this week that Peter Mandelson (the man who gave us the fiasco of the Millennium Dome) came out and questioned the cost of High Speed Rail. I found this particularly rich coming from a key member of the Government which crashed the British economy.

The Government’s plans for High Speed Rail (HS2) come on top of the significant package of investment in our railways that we have already announced which alone represent the biggest investment by any government in the United Kingdom’s rail infrastructure since the 1840s.

HS2 is an absolutely essential investment, not simply because it …

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Opinion: We need a proper inquiry into Patrick Finucane’s murder

In the midst of an economic crisis, a climate crisis and a Secretary of State for Defence who seems determined to turn his life from an uplifting drama into a crisis, it’s easy to forget the sins of governments past.

But some issues shouldn’t be left to lie as footnotes in the pages of history. One of those is the case of the solicitor Patrick Finucane, and Liberal Democrats should return to their campaigning roots, within and outside Parliament, to press for a full inquiry into the case.

Finucane was a Catholic solicitor in Northern Ireland, where among his most famous clients was the …

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Opinion: Time to publish the magical ratio

A week is a long time in politics, but it also sometimes seems to move at a glacial pace.

It is now two decades since Bill Clinton won the presidency on the slogan that ‘trickle down economics’ doesn’t work. Yet even a couple of years ago, there was Labour’s Peter Mandelson being ‘relaxed’ about people getting ‘filthy rich’.

Well, finally things seem to be shifting. Even Max Hastings, of all people, writes in the Financial Times that “gross disparities seems likely sooner or later to promote an upheaval, perhaps graver now than most western societies can now envisage.”

It certainly seems to …

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Learning the lessons from last week #2: Lib Dem voters don’t want out of the coalition

Even after last Thursday, I’ve come across very few Liberal Democrats saying, “we should have made a deal with Labour last May”. That’s not a surprise, given the Parliamentary arithmetic and also all that has come out since about just how split Labour’s negotiating team was, not to mention the almost farcical lack of preparation from Labour for talks. Peter Mandelson grabbing a quick cup of tea with Ed Balls to sort out Labour’s negotiating line before walking into the first meeting may be very English, but competent or prepared it wasn’t.

That does, of course, leave the question of whether …

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22 Days in May by David Laws – book review

Many insider accounts have already appeared of the events retold in David Laws’s book 22 Days in May: The Birth of the Lib Dem-Conservative Coalition. It is therefore one of the book’s strengths that not only is it written in a lively style which gives some freshness to the now familiar sequence of events but it also adds many new insights.

Although only briefly mentioned by Laws himself, perhaps the most important is how much the Liberal Democrats owe to Chris Huhne. In April, just before the second TV debate, I wrote,

It’s worth taking a moment to reflect on

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarNick Baird 18th Mar - 3:12pm
    Agree with what others are saying about the characterisation of Lib Dems. My local party seems very short of hippies and professors (absent minded or...
  • User AvatarChris Bowers 18th Mar - 3:09pm
    Oh dear. This is exactly the kind of conversation that makes me despair about whether liberalism is going anywhere. Let me explain. Nobody owns the...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 18th Mar - 3:02pm
    Roland According to Joe the new loan is not from the government but from Serco. So it isn’t “a money grab by the DWP”. Joe...
  • User AvatarChris Bowers 18th Mar - 2:58pm
    Absolutely right, Martin. I'm alarmed that so few people are onto this. I covered it in my report 'Elections for Sale?' for the Joseph Rowntree...
  • User AvatarJoeB 18th Mar - 2:50pm
    Gordon's observation “Whatever you think of the coalition years, they demonstrated pretty clearly that the strategy of slowly building up Parliamentary representation to the point...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 18th Mar - 2:39pm
    The party seemed to me very disinterested in encouraging people to develop new ideas for identifying supporters other than very intensive and inefficient personal contact....