Tag Archives: prateek buch

Lib Dems accuse Danny Alexander of ‘going native’

According to the Independent, members of the Social Liberal Forum have challenged Danny Alexander over ‘straying beyond party policy’ by outlining proposals to maintain the squeeze on spending throughout the next Parliament.

Under the heading “Lib Dems accuse Danny Alexander of ‘going native’ at the Treasury as he backs George Osborne’s plans for more spending cuts” Andrew Grice reports that:

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Lib Dems should aim for a budget surplus not because the Tories want to, but because it is right

All parties have a mixture of deficit hawks and doves – those who believe in balanced budgets and those who aren’t too bothered. The Lib Dems are no exception, but I think we are different in the motivations underlying these positions.

Many Tories often seem to see deficit reduction as an end in and of itself, not even necessarily because they want to see a smaller state and lower taxes, but simply because their ideology teaches that budget deficits are Bad Things.

And in recent years, some Labour figures have begun to sound like their ideology teaches that budget deficits are inherently …

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“Osborne’s waving an enormous red flag” – Social Liberal Forum’s warning to Lib Dems over Autumn Statement

Prateek Buch, director of the Social Liberal Forum, has an article in today’s Independent – The Lib Dems should not sign up to Osborne’s austerity straitjacket – issuing a stark warning to his fellow Lib Dems to take note of the “enormous red flag” he says was waved by George Osborne in last week’s Autumn Statement.

That flag was the Chancellor’s pledge for the economy to move into surplus by 2018/19, within the course of the next parliament. To achieve that – what, in effect, was the original Alistair Darling plan to eliminate the deficit over two parliaments …

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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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Opinion: Economics will rightly dominate conference

A fairer, more sustainable economy – that’s what Lib Dem conference will be about
I’d like propose a new hashtag – #IAgreeWithSimon. Hughes, that is, specifically I agree with this:

At the next election we will be judged by whether relative to the rest of the western developed world we have steered our way through these difficult waters.

The government’s record to date is not encouraging, and with Liberal Democrats gathering in Brighton on Saturday to debate how the to shape the nation’s political economy, conference fringe will once again be where it’s really at.

The Social Liberal Forum has an excellent

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LDV poll: More than half Lib Dem members back ‘new approach’ to boost economic growth

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 560 party members responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

54% of Lib Dems back ‘new approach’; but 27% say ‘stick with Plan A’

LDV asked: Thinking about the government’s economic policies, which of the following best reflects your view?

    27% – Borrowing more at a time when we already owe so much will simply make matters worse, as the country will have to pay back even more money in the longer term. We have

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Is the government’s crackdown on tax avoidance working?

Interesting news via The Times over the weekend :

Britain’s only listed accountancy firm is to close its specialist tax division in a move that will be regarded as another victory for Revenue & Customs against tax avoidance by the rich.

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Conference heroes and heroines

Shirley Williams – for rejecting the title of living deity with characteristic common sense in her Sabbath day speech to conference.

Evan Harris – for cutting through the cynicism of christening motions after national treasures by teasing conference with his “William Beveridge” amendment speech on the Shirley Williams motion. What next – the Conrad Russell memorial welfare reforms or the John Stuart Mill cuts in Sure Start? That’s enough naming stuff after deities living or dead thanks very much.

Pamphleteers Prateek Buch (Plan C – social liberal approaches to a fair, sustainable economy published by Social Liberal Forum) and Jo Ingold (Challenges …

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Plan C: The Social Liberal Forum’s economic prognosis

There has been a very welcome recent revival of policy thinking in the Liberal Democrats, despite the large cuts to the party’s official policy research staff. This has included a new think tank (Liberal Insight) and good work by Richard Kemp and the local government sector in encouraging imaginative plans for making use of the new legal powers going to local government.

Added to this is the Social Liberal Forum’s further foray into economic policy-making, following up on some of their successful events with their first policy pamphlet. Prateek Buch’s “Plan C – social liberal approaches to a fair, …

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In other news… Vince, Telegraph inaccuracy, Lembit, Eastleigh, Boundary Commission, site news

Here’s a round-up of stories we haven’t had time to cover on the site this past week…

Vince Cable on that leaked letter to No. 10 (and other matters (The Guardian)

“We’re no longer arguing about fiscal policy – monetary policy’s now taking on most of the heavy lifting anyway,” he says as he notes that Labour has now accepted the need for fiscal discipline. “So the argument has shifted into a debate around how active government should be in promoting the recovery. Is it getting out of the way or is government being proactive and positive? That was the purpose

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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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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

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Emergency motion: tougher action on banks and bonuses

Sunday morning’s emergency motion debate was on banking, moved by sometime Lib Dem Voice contributor Prateek Buch. The motion called for “banks supported by the taxpayer to be broken up into smaller, safer entities” alongside criticising banker remuneration and the Merlin project which is called “weak” and “insufficient”. Investment and retail banking should also be separated according to the motion.

The motion also called for Liberal Democrats to “ensure that the recommendations of the Vickers Commission are carried out in full”. As the commission has yet to report, that is a rather risky proposition – but with the general …

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Lib Dem Blog of the Year Awards 2010 – nominations now open

BOTY 2
The Liberal Democrat Blog of the Year Awards, run by Lib Dem Voice, are back for their fifth year. As usual, they’ll be awarded in a budget lavish ceremony at the party’s autumn conference in Liverpool. (There’s further information on the event over at the Lib Dems’ Flock Together site). Click on the following links to see last year’s Shortlist and the Winners.

This year’s awards are as follows:

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  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 21st May - 8:38pm
    @Michael 1 There you go again. If it’s in an opinion poll, it must be right. We shall see. For the record, in the seven...
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    Frankie You mean the steel manufacturer that was marching for survival in 2015 while we were still in the EU. You need to look up...
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    Would it be helpful if Joseph and Michael had a special thread all of their ownio ? Florrie Forde - Oh! Oh! Antonio (1908) -...
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    @Charles Rothwell It might be ok for you not to receive a leaflet from the Lib Dems; but you, like me, would appear to be...
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    I do hope that Lord Heseltine's local party (somewhere in Northants?) arranges for him to be given a lift to the Polling Station - think...
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    Not sure the reason we should be concerned is that tory members would vote for no deal. 1. There arent that many of them nowadays...