Tag Archives: stephen tall

The Rennard case: what Caron Lindsay and Stephen Tall have said about it

Lib Dem Voice’s co-editors, Stephen Tall and Caron Lindsay, have both written on their own blogs about the fall-out from the independent investigation into the allegations against Lord (Chris) Rennard.

Stephen wrote on Friday summarising the background to the mess the party finds itself in here: Q&A on the allegations against Lord Rennard. (My conclusion: it’s a mess.)

And on Sunday Caron posed the question, How is the party going to get through this?

There is an obvious path to peace.

It’s not too late for Chris Rennard to apologise, and to do it well. I really think that he should

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Hold tight, get lucky

Stephen Tall has been writing for Total Politics, painting a worrying scenario of what might happen electorally if the Liberal Democrats were to go into coalition with Labour after the next General Election. That ominous phrase “Be careful what you wish for” is the theme…

He points out that the Coalition has caused problems for the party:

In the circumstances, we might be forgiven for turning round to the voters and saying, “You know what, guys? Next time you can’t make up your minds, don’t look to us to break the deadlock. You can suffer Conservative/Labour minority rule instead. That’s right. See

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LDVideo: BBC’s report on the Liberal Democrats’ secret weapon, featuring Stephen Tall

The BBC has been looking ahead to the Liberal Democrats’ prospects in next year’s General Election. Contributing to the report are retiring MP David Heath and our own Stephen Tall.

I should point out that our secret weapon is not Stephen’s famous pledge to run naked down Whitehall if the party is reduced to 24 seats next May.

You can watch the whole thing here.

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Five predictions for 2014

Over on ConHome, LDV’s Stephen Tall has been gazing into his crystal ball.

Here are his first two prophecies:

1) The four current main party leaders – Cameron, Clegg, Miliband and Farage – will still lead their parties in a year’s time. They’ll all face threats. Cameron will when Ukip beats the Conservatives in May’s Euro elections; Clegg will when the Lib Dems likely suffer another disappointing set of results in both the locals and the Euros; Miliband will if Labour gets beaten in the Euros and he is forced into an embarrassing compromise with the union paymasters at the special conference he called in the wake of the Falkirk / Unite row; and Farage will as his party and his leadership comes under closer public scrutiny (as already shown by this week’s ‘reverse ferret’ over admitting only Christian but not Muslim refugees from Syria).

2) The economic recovery will pick up pace and start to be noticed by voters. Growth is forecast to be 2% and unemployment to keep falling – that will start feeding into a more general feel-good factor. However, as real wages won’t begin to rise for another year, you can expect to hear more, much more, from Labour about the ‘cost of living crisis’. Conservatives will hail George Osborne as an economic saviour (as Geoffrey Howe was a generation before) while ignoring how he diluted Plan A when it was failing and how he has back-dated much of the public spending cuts to after the 2015 election. Whatever the facts of the matter, the politics of it is straightforward: a fragile economic recovery suits the Conservatives, who will have only to point at Eds Miliband and Balls and ask “Do you really want to hand the economy back to Labour?” The Lib Dems meanwhile will, I suspect, receive increasing traction for our ‘Stronger economy, fairer society’ pitch to the electorate, acting as a buffer between the worst excesses of either Labour or Conservative single-party rule.

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Where the parties are at the end of 2013 and what they face in 2014

Stephen has been writing over at Conservative Home again. This time, he’s done his end of year report for each of the main parties.  The Telegraph’s Toby Young even complimented it. Here are some snippets:

Labour

With economic growth returning, Labour has deftly segued their economic attack. The assault on public spending cuts that go “too far, too fast” has been ditched, and in its place is a new refrain, “the Tory cost-of-living crisis”. It’s an ingenious line, tapping into the lag between the nascent recovery and people’s wages, with Ed Miliband’s populist pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: The agony of the Tory modernisers

In his latest column on Conservative Home, Stephen Tall feels the pain of those who wanted a modern, inclusive Conservative Party. When they had their way, the Tories actually did quite well. When the nasty lot take hold, their poll ratings plummet and they don’t appeal beyond their hardcore supporters. And that’s not enough to win a general election, especially when the Liberal Democrats are keen to woo those who would once have been called the “wets.”

I’ve written here before about the Lib Dems’ 17.5 per cent strategy, the optimistic end of the party’s share-of-the-vote forecast for 2015. To our

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Christmas present ideas from the LDV team and friends…Day 1

We are very strict at LDV Towers. There must be no mention of Christmas before 1st December, but now that we’re here, the holly, baubles and tinsel are being dusted off. Rumours that we were going to have a lights display spelling out Stronger Economy, Fairer Society have proved wide of the mark, though.

We thought we might help you with some of your Christmas shopping with a few suggestions. The first suggestion comes from Stephen Tall:

An officer and a spyBook: An officer and a spy, by Robert Harris available here.

This …

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Who could lead the Tories and Lib Dems after 2015?

Our very own Stephen Tall has been moonlighting again for the lucky people over at Conservative Home. For this edition Stephen has unpacked his crystal ball and programmed it to Spring 2015, where he finds several possible scenarios confronting Messrs Clegg and Cameron.

Here’s a sample:

Conventional wisdom suggests David Cameron will have to win outright to be sure of continuing as Conservative leader. After all, the last Conservative leader to fail to win two successive elections outright – Edward Heath in 1974 – is not a happy precedent. Yet if the Conservatives were to emerge as the largest single party once

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – Lib Dems recontaminating the Tory brand? No, the Tories do it to themselves

Stephen Tall - resized - small - H&SOur Stephen Tall has been moonlighting over at Conservative Home again, this time pointing out that it’s the Liberal Democrats who are the good cops in the Coalition and that may not be the case in any future deal with Labour. Some of his comments will controversial amongst Liberal Democrats…

We’re lucky to be in coalition with the Conservatives:

Yet we are lucky and here’s why: we disagree with the Conservatives enough to protect our own identity within Coalition. The politicos call it differentiation. Most people would recognise it as “good cop, bad cop” politics. And it suits us Lib Dems down to the ground. It means that on many of the issues that matter most to the voters – especially tax-cuts for the low-paid and safeguarding the NHS, according to this YouGov finding– the Lib Dems are considered to have been a civilising influence on the Conservatives.

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LDVideo: Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year for BBC’s Daily Politics

Stephen Tall reviews the Lib Dem year – it’s ups and its down – for the BBC’s Daily Politics, recalling some of the questions on Nick’s weekly LBC radio phone-in, Call Clegg…

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LibLink: Stephen Tall – “The Lib Dems are still suffering the hangover from hell”

Over at Total Politics magazine, Stephen Tall’s ‘The Underdog’ column focuses on the Lib Dem conference and how the party has been suffering the hangover from hell ever since the Coalition was formed:

My party is still suffering the hangover-from-hell that we woke up to on the morning of 7 May 2010. Until then, we’d been able to maintain the pretence, at least for our own benefit, that we would form a majority government and introduce our manifesto wholesale. And if that didn’t happen in one bound, we’d wangle it so that electoral reform guaranteed us our fair share of MPs

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The Liberal Democrat Voice Team at Conference

Comic Con foursomeLast Saturday, the Scottish Exhibition and Conference Centre was full of trolls, superheroes, and Pokemon. I kid you not. 20,000 people, many of them in costume,  turned up for the Scottish Comic Con event. My daughter, or Karkat Vantas as she preferred to be called, was one of them. The photo shows a selection of the colourful and elaborate costumes on show.

Next Saturday, it’ll be full of Liberal Democrats gathering for Conference. Insert your own joke here. In the first of a series of preview posts, I …

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LibLink…Stephen Tall: We Lib Dems haven’t chosen our strategy. The voters have chosen for us

Our Stephen has been writing at Conservative Home again. This time he’s looking at this idea, which sits uncomfortably with many Liberal Democrats, that we’re a party of the centre. He says we have little choice:

Yet the reality is it’s precisely because we are perceived to be moderate centrists that many of the electorate vote for us. And if we are to continue as a party of government – which almost three-quarters of Lib Dem members would like us to do – then we will have to do a deal next time with either the right-leaning Tories or left-leaning Labour.

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LibLink: Tim Bale – “The biggest effect of the Lib Dems holding their nerve has been to help the Conservatives lose theirs”

tim baleTim Bale is professor of politics at Queen Mary, University of London, an an historian of the Conservative party. And this week, to mark the third anniversary of the formation of the Coalition, he’s turned his attention to the Lib Dems.

The article begins by dissecting that ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ verb — compromise — to highlight the problems posed by the Coalition for both its parties: ‘Used actively, it’s a good thing – you want something; I want something different; we talk it over; we come to an arrangement; …

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Stephen Tall guests on Guardian Politics Weekly podcast – Tory EU referendum question: in hand or out of control?

guardian politicsLibDemVoice co-editor Stephen Tall joined the panel for this week’s Guardian Politics Weekly podcast, hosted by Tom Clark and also featuring political columnist Melissa Kite and Guardian social affairs editor Randeep Ramesh. They discuss the Tories’ latest implosion over when to hold an in/out EU referendum and Theresa May’s proposal that life should mean life in prison for anyone convicted of murdering a police officer.

You can listen to it here online, or download it as an MP3 here.

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Your essential weekend reader — my personal pick of the week’s must-reads

Papers - Some rights reserved by NS MewsflashIt’s Sunday morning, so here are a dozen of thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices, culled from all those I’ve linked to this past fortnight. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Immigration and the knowledge economy – Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg makes the business case for immigration reform in the US, but the lesson is universal: “In a knowledge economy, the most important resources are the talented people we educate and attract to our country.”

Mum did to Maggie what she’d done

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Bloggers unite to oppose “botched late-night drafting” that proposes new press/web regulation

I’m one of 17 signatories (on behalf of LibDemVoice) to a letter published in Saturday’s Guardian, reproduced below, which opposes the “fundamental threat” of the draft legislation approved this week by MPs of all parties which would regulate blogs and other small independent news websites.

It’s not often you’ll see us, ConservativeHome, LabourList, Guido Fawkes, Liberal Conspiracy and Political Scrapbook agree on something. But what we term the “botched late-night drafting process and complete lack of consultation” has, for once, brought us together. And, as the letter notes, perhaps even more remarkably got Tom Watson and Rupert Murdoch agreeing, too.

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Stephen Tall on Sky News comments on today’s Chris Rennard allegations

Lib Dem Voice co-editor Stephen Tall was interviewed on Sky News earlier today about the allegations concerning Chris Rennard — here’s what he had to say:

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What Google reveals about the current state of play in Eastleigh

The search results thrown up by Google often provide a neat little insight into what angles of a story are dominating coverage and people’s attention. The angles that get the most prominent coverage and the most interaction and responses are the ones that rise to the top of the search results. So what do they tell us about the current state of play in the Eastleigh by-election?

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Tim Gordon scorecard, 1 year on

Tim GordonLast January I wrote an open letter to the party’s then new Chief Executive Tim Gordon, setting out four priorities. One year on, how are things looking?

Here’s what I wrote (with introductory pleasantries skipped), with each of the four points followed by an update and a score. Read on to see how Tim has been doing…

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The political year reviewed by Stephen Tall, Tim Montgomerie and Hopi Sen

LibDemVoice co-editor Stephen Tall guested alongside ConservativeHome‘s Tim Montgomerie and Labour blogger Hopi Sen on BBC Radio 4’s The Westminster Hour last night, reviewing the political year with presenter Carolyn Quinn through the rear-view mirror. Issues dissected in the 20-minute discussion included Andrew ‘Gate-gate’ Mitchell, Coalition differentiation, Nick Clegg’s future, welfare reforms and secret courts. You can listen here:

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Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday evening, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices culled from the 50+ I’ve linked to this last week. You can follow me on Delicious here.

Kings, queens and the political chess match – Sue Cameron ponders what the invitation to HM The Queen to attend cabinet this week could portend: ‘Charles III might point to that precedent and say he would like to follow it. Moreover, he would like to attend more regularly and speak at it …

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Y’know those stories about the death of the Lib Dems? Turns out, they might’ve been exaggerated…

As Samuel Ellis Rees points out today:

And as I noted last week, after the Lib Dems had gained four seats from the Tory party:

And yes, before the Lib Dem-baiting starts in the comments below, I’m well aware that local council by-elections need to be taken with a liberal pinch of salt and that none of this alters the party’s flat-lining poll ratings. But the main point remains: in spite of everything, the party’s still alive. Speculation of our demise, as so often in the past, is premature…

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Leveson, the morning after the Report before: what Lib Dem bloggers say

Caron Lindsay blogged about Nick Clegg’s Commons statement here on LibDemVoice: Nick Clegg: We won’t find better solution than Leveson’s. Here’s a quick round-up of other reaction so far from Lib Dem bloggers to Lord Justice Leveson’s report on media standards…

Contributors split on broadly pro/anti-Leveson Report lines. Let’s start with the pro-Leveson bloggers:

Shock as politician behaves like a grown-up! (Caron Lindsay)

I can’t, for the life of me, see what the problem is with Leveson’s clever proposal for a self regulating body with true independence – ie not full of newspaper editors or chaired by politicians. It seems pretty

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Your essential weekend reader — 12 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are twelve thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

The lottery of life: Where to be born in 2013The Economist‘s annual list of the top quality-of-life countries: ‘Being rich helps more than anything else, but it is not all that counts; things like crime, trust in public institutions and the health of family life matter too.’ Britain comes 27th. (The Telegraph has a picture-only version here.)

The burdens that Israel should not have to bearBrendan

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LDVideo: Stephen Tall on the Coalition at the half-way point

LibDemVoice Co-Editor Stephen Tall reflected on the state of the Coalition at its mid-way point in an event jointly hosted by CentreForum and the Institute for Government, Half-Time Oranges (and Blues): How to renew the Coalition while Preparing for the Next Election. You can watch his 10-minute verdict on where the Lib Dems are at and where we should go next here:

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Why don’t we trust politicians? – The BBC’s Nick Robinson takes politicians to task, doesn’t let the media off the hook either… while Labour’s Rachel Reeves mouths platitudes.

The BBC regains its honour – Nick Cohen links the Beeb’s problems with Newsnight and Jimmy Savile to the wider question of institutional trust: ‘We ought to be extending anti-managerialism into every private and public hierarchy.’

The Savile inquiries: giving truth a

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There should be far more rebellions like the one yesterday

A brief footnote to Stephen’s piece yesterday Government suffers defeat in Lords over ‘new poll tax’ changes to council tax benefits. Note what the rebellion was over:

An independent review of the changes to be carried out within three years of them being introduced.

Yup, that shocking idea that after a new policy is introduced, we should leave it a little while and then someone should go and take a look how

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Three big things I’ve got wrong since I’ve starting blogging and commenting – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie confesses to a trio of big errors on the NHS, higher-rate tax and equalities: “One of the many reasons I don’t want to be an MP is that I think this sort of ability to think openly and reflectively is probably impossible when you are standing for office.”

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Your Saturday morning reader – 8 must-read articles

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

5 Years On: The Election That Never Was Damian McBride, Gordon Brown’s former spinner-in-chief whose must-read blog is essentially a memoir-by-instalments, recalls the week in 2007 that turned the new Prime Minister from hero to zero.

Jimmy Savile: The birth of a paedophile hoax on “Have I Got News For You” John Fleming recounts the curious tale of how some invented, ‘censored’ scenes achieved such wide currency on the internet, eerily anticipating the past week’s revelations.

A speech that, thankfully, will not be made

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