New edition of Liberator

The latest issue of Liberator magazine (issue no.352 – April 2012) has just been mailed to subscribers. In the unlikely event that you are not yet a subscriber, here’s a summary of the contents:

  • The editorial column Commentary examines the misjudgements that led to the health bill. It also explains why the Liberal Democrats need a distinct economic policy.
  • The insider gossip column Radical Bulletin begins with the inside story of the debacle of the health debate at the Gateshead conference.
  • ‘A matter of numbers’ – Ruth Bright (Liberal Democrat candidate in Hampshire East in 2005) says that body confidence campaigns are fine, but that the Liberal Democrats will not win women’s votes without more female candidates.
  • ‘Clegg’s avoidable health disaster’ – Robert Hutchison (a Liberal Democrat councillor in Winchester) argues that the Health and Social Care Bill should have been strangled at birth, and that well-intentioned Lords’ amendments will make little difference to the political price the Liberal Democrats will pay.
  • ‘A bad bill made better’ – Liz Barker (a Liberal Democrat member of the House of Lords) says that Liberal Democrat peers’ efforts have kept hospitals as a public service and blocked the march of privatisation started by Labour.
  • ‘Sleepwalking into war’ – Professor Paul Reynolds (chief political adviser in southern Iraq and an adviser to the British government and ISAF/NATO in Afghanistan) argues that UK participation in an attack on Iran would lead to a bigger bloodbath than did the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and tear the coalition apart.
  • ‘The president nobody really wants’ – Dennis Graf (Liberator’s American correspondent) says that Mitt Romney is disliked by his party’s keenest supporters and has sought to appease the far right, but he could be an unpredictable presence if he makes the White House.
  • ‘There is a Plan C’ – Plan A and B for the economy have failed, but the Social Liberal Forum has developed a Plan C. Bill le Breton (former chair and president of the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors) reviews it. (Electronic copies of ‘Plan C’ can be ordered here).
  • ‘Salmond fishing’ – Peter Arnold (former leader of Newcastle City Council) says that the pro-union case in Scotland is already in danger because other parties have no idea how to take on the SNP.
  • ‘Fear and loathing in the UK’ – Matthew Gibson (a member of West Bromwich & Warley Liberal Democrats who blogs at Solution Focused Politics) explains that status anxiety is a major cause of health and social problems, and a barrier to social mobility.
  • ‘Obituary: Viv Bingham’ – Peter Brook (former chair of Hazel Grove Liberal Democrats) pays tribute to Viv Bingham, life-long Liberal, who has died aged 79. Viv was a man of deep principle and great humanity, and, after some doubts about the merger, an active Liberal Democrat.
  • Letters.
  • Lord Bonkers’ Diary – Lord Bonkers (Liberal MP for Rutland South West 1906-10) answers readers’ questions.

If you missed any of our previous editions, they are available online here.

You can subscribe to Liberator here.

Liberator welcomes your articles, letters and book reviews. Please read our style guide before submitting any copy.

The Liberator Collective may be e-mailed at: [email protected].

Finally, don’t forget to visit The Really Useful Links Page. It’s the best collection of political weblinks anywhere for the discerning Liberal Democrat.

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This entry was posted in News.


  • paul barker 16th Apr '12 - 7:39pm

    By my count ( & your description) thats 5 anti-coalition pieces, 5 neutral & 1 in favour. Perhaps Labourator would be a better name ?

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 16th Apr '12 - 7:51pm

    As a subscriber I would be happy to receive my copy by email in future rather than on paper if that’s possible?

  • David from Ealing 16th Apr '12 - 9:31pm

    Looking forward to my issue, as usual.

  • Simon Titley 16th Apr '12 - 10:23pm

    @Anthony Hook – We are currently exploring making Liberator available in an electronic format suitable for Kindle and the like.

  • Alun Griffiths 16th Apr '12 - 10:39pm

    @Paul Barker. Perhaps I’m being dense, but I can’t see any anti coalition pieces

  • Matthew Huntbach 18th Apr '12 - 11:09am

    In reply to Paul Barker, Liberator has never claimed to take a balanced position in the party. It has always tended to be the voice of those towards the left in the party, which is of great value because there seems to be nothing or no-one else doing that, while there’s plenty of money around to publish and promote the view of the right in the party. I would hope that any true liberal, even if they did not share Liberator’s viewpoint, would support the existence of a diversity of commentary outlets in the party.

    I would hope too that any true liberal would have a more sophisticated view of politics than one which dismisses anyone critical of the rightward drift of the party as somehow supporters of Labour. Many of us on the left of the party have strong records of opposition to Labour. If we were the sort of person you suppose we are by your use of the term “Labourator” we would have joined Labour long ago. Politics does not work in the one dimension your thinking here supposes. I know I have myself used the terms “left” and “right” as convenient shorthands, but it is more complex than that. In my case, my politics in terms of my views on economics is very much to the left, but the structure and attitude of the Labour Party appalls me, I could just never work in a party like that which has little idea of true democracy. It is not long ago since the leadership and those surrounding it in our party was pushing what was called “the project”, aimed at building semi-permanent links with Blair’s Labour Party. Liberator was in the forefront of opposition to that. In fact attitudes like yours, contemptuous of anyone who dares stand up against the “party line” remind me of what it is I dislike about the Labour Party, so as far as I am concerned it is you, not I as a Liberator subscriber and occasional contributor, who are the “Labourator” sort.

  • Michael Clements 18th Apr '12 - 6:00pm

    “Sleepwalking into war” – . very relevant . A nick-name for the Lib-dems should be “The Cassandra Party”, Cassandra being a prophetess in Ancient Greece with an uncanny power to see into the future accurately. However nobody ever took any notice of her with the result that the mighty City of Athens was destroyed in a war for which they were unprepared. Is it inevitable that history so often repeats itself ?

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