Tag Archives: simon hoggart

Hoggart on Webb: “He understands it so you don’t have to! Thank heavens!”

steve webbThe Guardian’s Simon Hoggart has been collecting examples of impenetrable jargon. This week, Lib Dem pensions minister Steve Webb features:

Thanks for the many examples of jargon you’ve sent in, and we’ll have a proper look at it all soon. In the meantime, there are examples which are actually quite helpful.

Take work and pensions, which is without a doubt the most difficult of all government departments. Yet the Liberal Democrat minister Steve Webb actually seems to know exactly what he is talking about. He may be alone. See if you

Posted in Humour | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Nick Clegg gets sassy at DPMQs

Yesterday saw the monthly “Pick on Nick Clegg” day at Westminster. Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions is not known for its searching scrutiny of Government. Instead, Labour and Tories line up to take cheap shots at Nick. The experience he gains there is probably why he’s so good at town hall meetings and question and answer sessions at Conference.

DPMQs usually passes by unnoticed by the press. Yesterday, however, was different. Nick had a “Stalin

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 4 Comments

What did you make of Vince Cable’s speech?

It was the speech which revived the Lib Dem conference, oddly listless after Nick Clegg’s speech on Monday: Vince Cable’s rallying final day speech gave members and activists a real lift, and provided plenty of red meat for the media to chew on. Here’s my first impression…

Perhaps what was most impressive about Vince’s conference speech was how unchanged it was from his usual fare: uncompromising, wise-cracking, punchy, intelligent.

The right-wing media has focused on Vince’s attacks on capitalism, with the Daily Mail in typically shrill mood, and ConservativeHome giving it the silly billing of ‘Red Vince Day’.

That’s the thing about some right-wingers: too often they are unable to see past their own dogma which assumes Big Business must always be right. It’s the same blind spot left-wingers have about the unions.

Liberals — and I’m not using that as a party label because it also encompasses Adam Smith — understand that unfettered capitalism is not the same thing as the free market, and capitalism does not automatically promote market competition. That is why liberals, and Liberal Democrats, believe in a regulated free market, to curb the excesses of capitalism and to promote the interests of healthy market competition from which individuals and society can benefit.

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , and | 68 Comments
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