Tag Archives: the telegraph

LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: I don’t want my 3 sons to grow up in a world where girls feel second rate

Another Lib Dem woman who inspires many – in fact, she makes a mission of Inspiring Women is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.

She has written for the Telegraph about the need for men and women to work together to make life better for the next generation of boys and girls.

She outlines the threats to hard-won progress:

In the US, President Donald Trump is putting into question women’s reproductive rights; in Russia, laws are being considered to decriminalise some aspects of domestic violence.

Just last week, a Polish MEP declared that women should earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” Breitbart, the right-wing website pioneered by Steve Bannon, now Trump’s chief strategist, has claimed that birth control makes women unattractive and crazy. And so on.

Women still suffer from society’s expectations:

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LibLink: Alistair Carmichael: Will Labour moderates seize the moment?

In an article for the Telegraph (which the sub-editors did not headline in a particularly helpful way), Liberal Democrat MP for Orkney and Shetland Alistair Carmichael called on Labour moderates to work with others who share the aim of securing the UK’s place in the single market and who want to see a successful economy which gives more money to invest in public services.

First of all, he states that the party really is over for Labour:

First, as this summer’s leadership election made clear, they do not even have a Neil Kinnock, let alone a Tony Blair. The Corbyn grip on Labour is stronger than ever, and so the party will continue to look inwards not outwards to voters.

Secondly, Labour then could look to Scotland and the North for both raw numbers and talent. No longer.

So as they view their prospects for 2017, Labour MPs face some unpalatable but necessary decisions. The Fabian estimate of Labour reduced to 150 seats may turn out to be optimistic. Its leader is more interested in ideological purity than winning elections, and, challenged by identity politics in its heartlands, Labour is as far from power as it was under Michael Foot. This time, however, there is no way back. Our first past the post electoral system – long supported by Labour – now threatens to consume them.

Labour, he says, is a “road block” to progress.

He calls on those in the Labour Party who don’t agree with its current direction to work with us:

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Votes at 16 LibLink Special: Tim Farron: If you are old enough to fight, you are old enough to vote

Ahead of the crucial Lords vote this afternoon, Tim Farron has written for the Telegraph about why giving 16 and 17 year olds the vote in the EU Referendum is so important:

He points out the logical flaws in the Government’s stance:

It is striking that the same people who argue people that generations of Brits “haven’t had a say” on the EU are now opposed to giving 16 year olds the right to vote. They seem to want democracy, but only the kind they like – or think will get the result they want.

Sixteen and seventeen year olds will have to live with the consequences of this huge decision for many years to come and to not give them a say, is simply, anti-democratic. This is why I support increasing the franchise.

He highlights the success of the Scottish precedent:

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The spouses of Parliament. By that, the Telegraph means husbands of female MPs

The Telegraph reports on a Grazia magazine feature about “husbands of politicians.” It’s interesting because it captures some of the preconceived ideas we have about gender roles and stereotypes. And also because it features two people well known to us, Duncan Hames and Andrew Poole, Jenny Willott’s husband. It encapsulates the sacrifices that both Members of Parliament and their families have to make.

Duncan said that people are more likely to talk to Jo about their baby son:

After Andrew was born, the only thing anyone in Jo’s constituency wanted to talk to her about was the baby – and for me it was just nice if anyone did! When I first went door-knocking with him, typically, if a woman answered you’d have a conversation about parenthood there were a few men who kept their gaze firmly at eye level, just did their best to have this conversation as if the baby wasn’t there,” he recalls.

Duncan hopes that by trying to parent equally, they’ve paved the way for other couples.

“There are probably a lot of workplaces where, if dads take time out for things like children’s doctors’ appointments, there’ll be the underlying assumption: ‘Isn’t that what a mother does?’ It’s one of the barriers to equality. So those of us who don’t fear the consequences of doing this are, I hope, helping others by doing so.”

Andrew Poole describes how he and Jenny manage their time:

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LibLink: Norman Lamb MP: Why we had to axe Lord Saatchi’s bill and think again

Last month, Dominic Nutt, one of the advocates of Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovations Bill, argued on this site in our Independent View slot that the Bill should be given Commons time for debate.

So what’s happened since then? Well, the Bill will make no further progress after the intervention of Liberal Democrat Ministers. Norman Lamb wrote a sensitively worded article for the Telegraph last week where he showed empathy for those with serious life-threatening illnesses, but said that he couldn’t allow them to potentially be preyed upon by unscrupulous people:

We must do everything we can to ensure patients get access to the best possible treatments, including removing any unnecessary barriers to innovation

So when I first heard about Lord Saatchi’s Medical Innovation Bill I was immediately attracted to its purpose.

We must seek to ensure that doctors are confident that they are able to try innovative treatments within a clear framework which protects patient safety and safeguards them from litigation.

I have enormous sympathy for all those who have been through the awful experience of not being offered treatment which they believe might offer a chance of survival or of improving their condition.

But getting the law right in this area is incredibly important. We have to avoid the risk of unintended consequences.

The Liberal Democrats have listened to the concerns of patient organisations, research charities, legal bodies, royal colleges and medical unions who have told us the Bill in its current form could actually put patient safety at risk.

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Call Clegg makes Nick “more approachable and familiar” than any other leader

call cleggPraise for Nick Clegg and his Call Clegg show is found in Gillian Reynolds’ radio review column in the Telegraph today:

Call Clegg, the weekly live phone-in on LBC hosted by Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg but steered by Nick Ferrari, was a novelty when it started two years ago but has achieved unexpected wonders. It’s allowed a sliver of regular direct access to a politician in a position of power. (Not much power, you might say, but, admit it, more access than anyone else in this situation would allow.)

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Did Charlie Whelan really put his cigarette into Ed Balls’ coke can?

The Telegraph has unearthed an STV documentary on the early days of Labour in the Treasury in 1997. It makes fascinating watching for all sorts of reasons. It feels not unlike an episode of The Thick of It, with Ed Balls a bit like Ollie Reeder to Whelan’s Malcolm Tucker. Everyone looks so young, Gordon Brown particularly.  Ed Miliband has become significantly less geeky over time, too.

The Telegraph article is full of derision for Labour’s removal of regulatory powers from the Bank of England.  That principle seems fine to me, and fairly logical. If you give the bank the power to set interest rates independently, then you need to get someone else to do the regulation. Labour’s failure to build an effectively regulatory framework for the banks can’t be pinned on that.

There is an arrogance about the way they went about it. The Permanent Secretary of the time was clearly worried about all this change. If you are going to reform, you need to just get on and do it, but they did seem to be enjoying smashing the established order a little bit too much.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg We must always be free to criticise ideas, even religious ones

A powerful article in today’s Telegraph passionately defending the right to free speech by Nick Clegg:

Every so often we are confronted by events that force each of us to take a clear stand – and a side. The attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo was just such a moment, demanding a straight answer to a simple question: “are you Charlie?” You don’t have to agree with everything, or even anything, that Charlie Hebdo published to “be Charlie” – you only have to wish to protect the freedoms and rights that define liberal societies like ours.

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I don’t care where Alex Salmond lays his head – but does he have to be so evasive about it?

The Benjamin HotelBuckwheat or memory foam, or water. Those are some of the pillows Alex Salmond could have had, according to the Telegraph when he stayed in New York’s Benjamin Hotel in 2007 when he was there on official business. But, do you know what? I’m not really that bothered. Yes, luxury hotel suites are expensive but in the world of international diplomacy and business, it’s pretty much par for the course. Sure, some people would be happier to see our politicians stay in a Bed and Breakfast with squeaky, staticky, purple nylon sheets and those duvets with flowers on that were so popular in the 70s, and a bit of thrift never goes amiss, but I’m not going to get in a lather about it.

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LibLink: Alison Goldsworthy: Westminster’s treatment of women is stuck in the 1950s

Over at the Telegraph, Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats’  Federal Executive has written a thought provoking piece about the way young women are treated in the political bubble that is Westminster.

She paints an unedifying picture of life inside the Palace, across all parties:

Tales of parliamentarians in their 50s, heavy breathing that they may be giving up their seat, or promotions would be on offer whilst getting uncomfortably close to female staffers in their early 20s are commonplace. Go to the bars of Westminster most days of the week then you will see it in action. You don’t

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Telegraph accused of Labour bias over Miliband’s dad – or was it the BBC? #LOL

Milk Bottle Politics 200I cannot help but be amused by the coverage of the affair of Ed Miliband’s dad in the Sunday Telegraph.

First up is an article declaring the “BBC accused of becoming Ed Miliband’s mouthpiece.” It seems that Andrew Bridgen, Tory MP for North West Leicestershire – a champion of a living wage for MPs – has reported Auntie to its governors for allowing Miliband to “milk” coverage for Labour’s advantage.

It’s a story on fairly thin ground, but I have long imagined that there is an old adage among right wing journalists. “If in doubt where a story is going next, bash the BBC.”

Of course party politics has had a role in the affair of Ed Miliband’s dad. But it has mostly been a debate about the nature of our press. Above it has been an examination of the character of the Mail’s journalism under Lord Rothmere and its daily weekday editor Paul Dacre. Nick Clegg was forthright on the matter: the Mail is “overflowing with bile about modern Britain”. As I said earlier, that’s just right.

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Nick Clegg: All teens should have access to modern sex/relationship education, wherever they go to school

When I was 17 years old, even if I’d had the nerve to ask a middle aged male politician about sex education, they’d probably have mumbled an excuse, blushed and scurried off into the distance.

So, my hero of the week is 17 year old Yas,  who phoned into Call Clegg today and asked Nick if he couldn’t do something about updating the guidance on sex education. She said that the material they were being taught was so old that it came on VHS videos. Yas is working on the Telegraph’s campaign for better sex education and has started a

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The dance of coalition

Nick Clegg and David CameronSteve Richards, writing in the Independent, has a thoughtful analysis of the three main parties and their level of unity. He claims that the Liberal Democrats display “the greatest sense of unity and discipline” and yet they have the greatest level of internal differences. I like to think that is because we are a broad church that tolerates and even celebrates differences, because we do unite around the fundamental principles of fairness, liberty and equality.

But, according to Richards, those differences make it unlikely that the party will agree to another coalition with the Conservatives, hence his headline: “There will be no Con/Lib coalition after the next election”.

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Vince on living in Africa, love against the odds and helping people

Vince Cable has been talking to the Telegraph about his varied and interesting life. From meeting his first wife while both were working in a mental hospital in York, to their romance meeting parental disapproval and succeeding despite that, to his empathy with his constituents’ problems, it charts the key moments of his first 70 years.

Illustrated with photographs of items which mean a lot to him, including a recording of his son Paul performing at a concert in Prague. HE also confesses a liking for James Blunt.

As  former MP’s caseworker, I completely understood what he said about how he is …

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Girls in crisis? Hold on a minute.

…it is becoming increasingly clear that teenage girls are a stand-alone demographic in crisis

So says a report in Sunday’s Observer, looking at the pressures faced by teenage girls and the effects it has on their lives, and it’s far from alone.

As Mark Pack reported here on Sunday, the Evening Standard and Telegraph both reported on concerns of girls becoming sexualised at ever younger ages.

Just hold on a moment, though.

Yes, teenage girls have problems. And it may well be that there are specific measures the State can take to reduce those problems, such as the regulation …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 8 Comments

Media to start getting marked for quality of opinion poll reporting

The quality of traditional media coverage of political opinion polling has been a common cause of complaints amongst political bloggers. The most obvious problem is when an opinion poll from one polling company is compared not with the previous poll from that company but against an older one because the intervening one happened to have been published by a different media outlet.

Whilst comparing, say, the latest ICM poll with the previous ICM poll is the most useful comparison to make, if that previous ICM poll appeared elsewhere, in the part it has got airbrushed out of report of the latest …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 25th Sep - 8:32pm
    Yes, take away the areas we gained and we made no gains at all. Funny that.
  • User AvatarIan 25th Sep - 8:15pm
    Take away Remain-central SW London and South Cambs and we made no gains in the local elections at all. It was right that made the...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 25th Sep - 8:14pm
    Michael 1: You write "[Clegg] had a very good 2010 election campaign" I disagree. We should NOT have lost seats to Labour in 2010. Simple...
  • User AvatarTonyH 25th Sep - 7:31pm
    @OnceaLibDem, I'm sure people worked very hard in lots of areas, and I don't know why some didn't get the results they wanted. I do...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 25th Sep - 7:27pm
    @Paul Holmes "Others have already made the point that policies such as PR and Votes at 16 will not win elections. I agree with both...
  • User AvatarOnceALibDem 25th Sep - 7:19pm
    "Clearly there are always many factors." Indeed. However what TonyH said was "you... have proved there is no great secret." which are two very different...