Tag Archives: Robert Harris

Vince Cable MP reflects on recent events and some holiday reading


Jane Dodds applauds helpers at Brecon – Photo by Callum Littlemore

I heard the good news about Brecon and Radnorshire having disappeared for some R&R as soon as Parliament closed, and the new Lib Dem leadership was settled. I was delighted with the result not just for Jane Dodds and our campaigners – who fully deserved it – but for an excellent colleague, Roger Williams, who didn’t deserve to lose back in 2015. Our victory is testament also to Kirsty Williams, our AM, who kept the Lib Dem flame, and local party, alive through the years of exile.

I enjoyed my three visits to the constituency as party leader for more than the politics. I had memories of a mis-spent and romantic youth as a mountain guide in the Black Mountains and Brecon Beacons; an idyllic second honeymoon in a hotel below Pen-y-Fan; and several literary fests at Hay. Jane helped Rachel and me to locate a stunning B&B in ‘the oldest house in Wales’, a farmhouse and restored annex reached through three farm gates high up a hillside on the banks of the Wye and serving food which would not have been out of place in a top restaurant. A great by-election in more ways than one.

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A couple of voices of sanity in the current maelstrom of insanity

The Speaker of the House of Commons, John Bercow, yesterday answered a question from an MP concerning whether Donald Trump would be invited to address MPs in Parliament if and when he pays his state visit in the UK.

A modicum of research reveals that Bercow gave the only reasonable answer he could: that he would be opposed to such an invitation (can you imagine many MPs turning up to meekly listen to The Donald?). He enlarged that answer with entirely proper reasoning. He emphasised that he spoke for the House of Commons only, that he was only one of three “key holders” of Westminster Hall and of the Royal Gallery. He said, quite rightly, that such an invite is an “earned honour” seldom accorded – not an automatic right. If you look at the list of people who have addressed parliament in Westminster Hall, it is very short. The list of people doing such addresses elsewhere in the Palace of Westminster is somewhat longer. However, I don’t see either George Bushes on the list, for example. Or John F Kennedy (though he was perhaps not President long enough). Not even Dwight D Eisenhower addressed Parliament during his two terms – and he was regarded with vast reverence in this country.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarManfarang 21st Jan - 5:18am
    And moving the House of Lords to York is a completely daft idea.
  • User AvatarJohnmc 21st Jan - 1:40am
    Peter Watson - agree, excerpt Party is defining itself as being against 3 things (the third being against any expression of self determination in Scotland)....
  • User AvatarAndrew Melmoth 20th Jan - 11:50pm
    Jeff The article you cite is an exercise in disinformation. Under the SGP the EU can recommend the UK govt reduce its deficit but by...
  • User AvatarJeff 20th Jan - 11:23pm
    Chris Cory 20th Jan '20 - 6:45pm: No alignment, and therefore there will have to be a border between N. Ireland and the republic, or...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 20th Jan - 10:22pm
    3 posts looking at Gender Balance, 3 Posts looking at Racial Diversity. As others have said nothing outward looking, nothing on major issues like climate...
  • User AvatarHywel 20th Jan - 9:59pm
    For most of the time I was a party member some wing or another was saying that just around the corner was some split in...