Tag Archives: total politics

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Early stages of Labour

Photo by Riots Panel - Riots Communities and Victims Panel receptionOur Stephen Tall has written a column for Total Politics in which he suggests that the Liberal Democrat manifesto next year will have much more in common with Labour than the Conservatives.

First he sets the scene in the wake of the European and local election results and the Oakeshott coup:

Clegg knows he needs to do more than just survive. Limping towards 2015, acknowledged to be a survival election for the Lib Dems, won’t be good enough. He must inspire the troops that a great liberal victory is possible (or, more realistically, that a truly awful defeat can be avoided).

So Clegg’s sought to re-focus the party’s sights on the 2015 election.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 24 Comments

Stephen Williams on Quentin Letts: “I’m gay, Welsh, bald, slightly disabled – he’s been a s**t, a b*****d”

Stephen Williams MPIt’s safe to say Quentin Letts is not on Bristol West MP Stephen Williams’ Christmas card list. Speaking to Total Politics, he talks candidly about his experiences on the campaign trail and the hurt of being ridiculed by the Daily Mail’s Quentin Letts about the effects of his neurological disability.

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First Euro poll of 2014 shows Lib Dems at 7%. Can we make being ‘The Party of IN’ work for us by the time of the real election?

The first poll this year asking how people will vote in May’s European elections has been published today by YouGov. It gives the following headline ratings compared with the last elections in 2009:

    Conservative 17% (-11%)
    Labour 24% (+8%)
    Lib Dem 7% (-7%)
    Ukip 19% (+2%)

Feed these numbers (plus those for the Greens, SNP/Plaid and others) into euroelection.co.uk and here’s what it means for numbers of seats:

euro results forecast 2014

The Lib Dems would be reduced from 11 seats to just 4, if these numbers are to be believed. The Tories number of MEPs …

Posted in Europe / International and Polls | Also tagged , and | 40 Comments

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

Posted in News | Also tagged | 99 Comments

Ming Campbell says Coalition should be broken up “without recrimination” ahead of the 2015 election

mingSir Menzies Campbell MP has given a wide-ranging interview to Total Politics magazine in which he says some pretty controversial stuff.

A civilised dissolution

The first is that he wants to see the Coalition break up in a civilised manner ahead of the 2015 election to avoid acrimony and recrimination:

The ministers will have to keep going to the very end. Why? Because the country has to be governed. But I think we should accept that the point’s going to come at which politically we may be together governmentally, but politically we’re going to start – well it’s started with differentiation – moving away from each other. And we should do that without recrimination or acrimony or intimidation or anything of that kind. Why? Because it is very damaging for both parties if it breaks up in a row, or a series of rows.

But more to the point, it would have a considerable impact on the creditability of coalition. If people enter into it and then by the end of it get at each other’s throats, that would be the worst possible outcome, in my view. So I adhere to my view, six wise men and women, in a closed room, with instructions not to come out until they have a solution.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 32 Comments

Liberal Conspiracy is dead – and so too’s the amateur blogger (more or less)

Sunny Hundal announced on Friday that left-of-centre blog Liberal Conspiracy is coming to an end:

I no longer have the time to maintain Liberal Conspiracy as a daily-updated news and opinion blog, so as of today I’m going to stop. This site will become an occasionally updated personal blog, with the odd guest-post.

It’s fair to say LibCon received an underwhelmed response from Lib Dems when it was launched six years ago, mostly on account of it including the word Liberal in its title but not so much in its outlook. Sunny himself was sport enough to respond to

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Bob Worcester forecasts Lib Dems to be reduced to 24 seats in 2015. I’ll run naked down Whitehall if that’s the result.

At a conference fringe meeting on Monday evening, the pollster’s pollster Bob Worcester, MORI’s founder, made a forecast of how many seats the Lib Dems will win at the 2015 election: 24.

His prediction was based on current polling which he’d fed into the Electoral Calculus website and implied the number should be 17. His slightly higher punt allows for known Lib Dem strengths, such as our MPs’ habit of holding on tight in seats we win through sheer Stakhonovite grit.

Forecasting the next election is a bit of a mug’s game, as the Coalition means there’s no past precedent to …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 77 Comments

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

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 2 Comments

Total Politics makes Stephen Williams MP of the month for votes at 16 campaign

Stephen Williams MPLiberal Democrat MP for Bristol West Stephen Williams is Total Politics magazine’s MP of the month for April persuading the Commons to pass his motion calling on the Government to make progress towards lowering the voting age to 16. We brought you the story earlier this year.

Total Politics wrote about Stephen’s work:

The MP’s care for young people’s representation is self-evident, as he has also served on the children, schools and families committee and education and skills committee. In 2006, he organised the latter committee’s first inquiry into

Posted in News | Also tagged | 22 Comments

“Liberalism shouldn’t be about the safe option, it should always be a risky thing to take on.” Alistair Carmichael on life in the Coalition as Lib Dem chief whip

There’s a terrific interview with Lib Dem chief whip Alistair Carmichael in this month’s Total Politics magazine, in which he gives a typically candid view on what life is like as within the Coalition — and how the Lib Dem whipping operation differs from Labour’s and the Tories’. Here’s a few excerpts:

“I would say the difference between us and the other two parties in this place is that we can get to a position of unity. In fact, it’s much more important to be able to persuade a liberal,

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Lib Link: Stephen Gilbert MP applauds Government for seeing sense on the “Pasty Tax”

A delighted St Austell and Newquay MP Stephen Gilbert writes for the Total Politics website about the repeal of the so called “pasty tax” which had attracted huge opposition in Cornwall.

But despite the inevitable inclination to baton-down the hatches the government did engage with the industry and understood the clear constituency interest of its own MPs. The alternative actually delivers the bulk of what the government intended without any of the negative impacts: all the upside with none of the economic downside.

There’s no doubt that caravans and pasties were unforced errors.  Hindsight is a great thing and nobody claims a

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

LibLink: what to look out for at Lib Dem Spring Conference

The Voice’s Mark Pack has a post over at Total Politics, discussing the issues likely to dominate the upcoming Lib Dem Spring Conference in Gateshead.

The first thing to note, says Mark, is that some of the most contentious political issues of recent weeks such as the reforms to the NHS and to the welfare system don’t appear on the conference agenda as it was drawn up some time ago:

There is a slot for emergency and topical issues to cover this eventuality, but with only time for one motion, not all of the controversies can be aired. Unless a

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Total Politics: top blogs and bloggers

Following its list of top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers, Total Politics has now also published its overall list of top blogs and bloggers – two lists in which many Liberal Democrats feature.

In the top 50 of the blogs list, Lib Dem Voice is in at number 12 (up from 27 last year), Caron Lindsay at 25, Jonathan Calder at 38 and Andrew Reeves at 44.

In the top 50 of the bloggers list, I’m in at number 20, Caron Lindsay at 29, Andrew Reeves at 43 and Jonathan Calder at 49.

Thank you to everyone for your votes …

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Total Politics: top Liberal Democrat blogs and bloggers

Out with a little less fanfare than usual this week have been various categories in the Total Politics Blogger League Tables, including the top Liberal Democrat blogs:

1 Lib Dem Voice

2 Caron’s Musings

3 Liberal England

4 Andrew Reeves’ Running Blog

5 Stephen’s Liberal Journal

6 Mark Pack

=7 Liberal Vision

=7 A Scottish Liberal

9 Cllr Fraser Macpherson

10 Mark Reckons

And the top Liberal Democrat bloggers:

Mark Pack

Caron Lindsay

Andrew Reeves

Jonathan Calder

Stephen Glenn

Olly Grender

Mark Thompson

Julian Astle

Stephen Tall

10 Fraser Macpherson

Lovely and fitting to see Andrew appear so highly in both …

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Voting closes on Friday….

A quick plug for ourselves: voting closes on Friday in the Total Politics Blog Awards 2011. You can cast your votes here and if you would be so kind as to remember both The Voice and the blogs run by the various contributors to this site, that would be most spiffing. Thank you!

Posted in Online politics | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Total Politics Blog Awards: voting is now open

It’s that time of the year again, the Total Politics blog awards, in which people very kindly voted The Voice number one Liberal Democrat blog last year.

This year the voting rules are slightly different both to remove the old system of sending in emails and also to reflect that some people blog in several different places, so you can now vote for bloggers as well as blogs:

  1. Your votes must be ranked from 1 to 10. The higher you rank a blog

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LibLink: Mark Pack – The secret concessions behind the 1911 Parliament Act

Before he departed for his blogging holiday, The Voice’s Mark Pack had an interesting piece on the Total Politics site looking at the 100-year history of the 1911 Parliament Act.

Here’s an extract from Mark’s piece:

The 1911 Act had its immediate cause in the 1909 People’s Budget from Liberal Chancellor of the Exchequer, David Lloyd George, which raised taxes for the richest to pay for military armaments and social works. As he put it:

“This is a war Budget. It is for raising money to wage implacable warfare against poverty and squalidness.”

The sums now seem modest – including the equivalent in today’s

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Chris Rennard profiled in Total Politics: “Think about the swings and roundabouts over the years”

Over at Total Politics Iain Dale interviews former Lib Dem Chief Executive Lord Rennard about his views on the local elections, The AV referendum and Coalition government.

Here’s a flavour:

Bernard Jenkin said you could imagine a Lib Dem enclave within the Conservative Party at some point. It’s happened before, hasn’t it? Do you think that that’s at all possible or likely?

I think that’s just trouble-making by someone who is very anti-coalition. I don’t think in the 21st century things will go back to the way they were in the 1920s or 1930s.

Don’t you think this time it just feels a

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LibLink: Mark Pack – Lords reform: three tests for three party leaders

Over on the Total Politics website, Mark Pack has a piece looking at what the coalition’s plans for reforming the House of Lords means for each of the three party leaders:

For each of them Lords reform offers both an opportunity and a threat. For David Cameron the opportunity is to push on with his mission to change the Conservative Party, modernising it in a continuing effort to shed the problems that have resulted in nearly 20 years passing since it last won an overall majority. Many in the Conservative Party, especially in the Lords, are opposed to the introduction of

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Nick Harvey profiled in Total Politics

Last month’s Total Politics magazine featured a profile of Liberal Democrat Armed Forces Minister, Nick Harvey. The piece looks at Nick’s life before politics, his time as a pre-coalition MP, and the various issues that now end up on his desk as a minister in the Department of Defence.

Here’s a sample:

“This is a difficult and challenging time for the Ministry of Defence and it’s vital that we meet the needs of our service personnel,” said Nick Harvey following his appointment as Minister for the Armed Forces in May 2010. At a time of unprecedented budgetary constraints it promises to be

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 1 Comment

LibLink | Lynne Featherstone: “Cross-departmental nagging is my strong point”

The June issue of Total Politics has a profile of Lynne Featherstone MP in which interviewer Ben Duckworth looks at how Lynne thinks as a minister and how she is regarded.

Here’s a flavour:

On ministerial visits, she will arrive to discover that people have confused her with her Conservative colleague Maria Miller: “I go somewhere and someone thinks I’m the disabilities minister. I’m taking a look at how that can be communicated better.” This does seem to be down to her vague title, as Featherstone admits. “People think, because my nomenclature is minister for equalities, I cover race, discrimination, age

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The Saturday Debate: Can a progressive alliance between the Lib Dems and Labour work?

Here’s your starter for ten in our Saturday slot where we throw up an idea or thought for debate…

‘Can a progressive alliance between the Lib Dems and Labour work?’ That is the question asked in this month’s issues of Total Politics magazine, debated by Neal Lawson of the left-leaning Compass pressure group (who argues Yes) and Labour MP Michael Dugher (who says No).

Neal’s is a thoughtful piece, which recognises the ebbs and flows of history — but does not view them as inevitable. After al, it was only 13 years prior to the Coalition being formed that Paddy Ashdown …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 44 Comments

LibLink: Jo Swinson – “You just don’t need voting machines for AV”

The TotalPolitics blog has an interview this week with Jo Swinson MP, in which she gets down to some mythbusting about the referendum on the voting system for the UK Parliament. Here’s an excerpt:

The only voting machines that I’ve been aware of were for counting the local council elections. I mean you just don’t need voting machines for AV. Have they ever managed to answer that question as to why they think it would? I’ll give you an example right, in my constituency, in the last two years we’ve had two by-elections in the council. Now when

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Total Politics Top 75 Lib Dem blogs list published

It’s two months since Total Politics asked blog-readers to vote for their Top 10 favourite blogs in their annual survey promoted here on LDV, as well as at LabourList and Iain Dale’s Diary. More than 2,200 people voted, and here is the full list of the Top 75 Lib Dem blogs according to the voters of Total Politics:

Posted in Best of the blogs and Online politics | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

The Miliband campaigning house parties

Over on the Total Politics website they’ve been poking fun at the ‘house party’ instructions issued by the David Miliband campaign. On reading the piece at first I thought it was being a little harsh, because house parties (where you invite electors – Labour members in this case – to a small event to discuss things face-to-face) have a great role in campaigning. And yes, the instructions are a bit detailed at points – but then many people will be hosting this sort of event for the first time ever.

Then, however, I got to this part:

Read your guests a

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Total Politics best blog poll 2010: voting ends tomorrow!

A final reminder that time is running out: voting ends tomorrow in the Total Politics Blog Award… We hope readers may be inclined to list Lib Dem Voice somewhere, alongside many of the other fabulous Lib Dem blogging talent listed on Ryan Cullen’s Aggregator.

It’s that time of year again, when Total Politics asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2010-11, which will be published in September. For the second year running, …

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Total Politics Best Blog Poll 2010: last week to vote!

A gentle reminder to our readers of the fast-approaching deadline … We hope readers may be inclined to list Lib Dem Voice somewhere, alongside many of the other fabulous Lib Dem blogging talent listed on Ryan Cullen’s Aggregator.

It’s that time of year again, when Total Politics asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2010-11, which will be published in September. For the second year running, the poll is being promoted/sponsored by …

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LDV weekend meme: what is the state of the Lib Dem blogosphere?

When Iain Dale asked if Lib Dem Voice would once again co-sponsor Total Politics’ Best Blog Poll 2010, he also set me some homework: to write c.1,500 words on ‘the State of the LibDem blogosphere’ by the end of the month. As you will see from the date, my deadline is fast approaching.

I’ve got a few ideas of what I intend to write, but I’d greatly appreciate the assistence of Lib Dem Voice readers – as well as Lib Dem bloggers – to ensure my analysis is suitably rounded and informed. I’ve come up with seven questions I …

Posted in LDV meme | Also tagged and | 10 Comments

Total Politics Best Blog Poll 2010: vote now!

It’s that time of year again, when Total Politics asks you to vote for your Top 10 favourite blogs. This is the fifth year of the poll. The votes will be compiled and included in the forthcoming book, the Total Politics Guide to Blogging 2010-11, which will be published in September. For the second year running, the poll is being promoted/sponsored by LabourList, LibDemVoice and Iain Dale’s Diary.

Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2010

The rules are simple.

1. You must vote for your ten favourite blogs and ranks …

Posted in Best of the blogs and Online politics | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

LibLink: Cllr Richard Kemp on the Lib Dem Local Government conference

Lib Dem councillors had their annual conference this week within the confines of Local Government House in Smith Square, London. Co-hosted by ALDC and the Lib Dem LGA group, the conference pulls together colleagues from across the country with our parliamentary team. This year, of course, our parliamentary colleagues have joined many thousands of Lib Dem councillors in actually being in charge of running things. Normally our councillors are more experienced at holding the reins of power than our MPs.

Cllr Richard Kemp has written a review for Total Politics:

Nick pulled no punches in telling us how difficult the decisions

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , , , and | 1 Comment

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