Tuesday 18th December 2007

11:35 pm

Iain Dale perfectly sums up what’s wrong with the Conservative Party

Gravatar Pravdale writes: LibDem Voice should have been in its element today. But it hasn’t posted anything since the result 2.39pm and a Clegg Youtube video. Aren’t our yellow friends happy? Are they all getting hammered down the pub? Where’s the analysis, where’s the agenda for the future? This is why ConservativeHome is still streets ahead of its competition. I love the way he talks about the idea of people celebrating in the pub (actually Planet Hollywood I understand) like it is a bad thing and a far worse use of time than blogging (and yes, I do appreciate the irony ...
11:22 pm

Nick Clegg talks to Quaequam Blog! again

Gravatar {Bloggers and Nick Clegg (photo: Alex Folkes)} The Last Supper - redux. L-R: Linda Jack, James Graham, Richard Flowers, Millennium Dome, Alix Mortimer, Alex Wilcock (photo: Alex Folkes) Once again, the well connected Millennium has organised a meeting of bloggers with a senior party figure. This time the face is somewhat familiar as up until earlier this afternoon he was a candidate for the leadership election. Now he’s the leader while Vince Cable has vacated the seat to trip the light fantastic elsewhere, and so we got a second bite of the cherry. We only had 20 minutes with him ...
11:09 pm

The Gospel according to Peter Hyman

Gravatar This post contains savage irony.  Peter Hyman, former strategist to Blair, has just been on Newsnight, explaining what is wrong with the Liberal Democrats. According to Peter Hyman, we don’t have an interesting political “story”. On closer examination, it emerges that when he says “interesting” he means “attractive to the other two parties”. According to him, we’ll only [...]
10:59 pm

"You're all the same"

Gravatar Less than a day into the job, Nick Clegg is doubtless receiving plenty of advice, but he's unlikely to receive much better than this from James Graham: In particular, Clegg needs to hit the road, catch a dose of initiativitis and take steps to ensure that even if the national media choose to ignore what he has to say, he is using every tool at his disposal to ensure that it comes across anyway. But, as if to underline the scale of the challenge, the comments in reply to the post show that Nick is going to have to overcome ...
10:56 pm

Nick Clegg: New Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar The future.
10:51 pm

Paxman spin

Gravatar Well Jeremy Paxman just wants me to throw something at the TV. 1."4th Liberal Democrat leader in three years". NO. You don't count from the end of one person's occupation of the job - Charles Kennedy's long "reign" to the beginning of the latest, that is spin Jeremy. Vince was a caretaker during the contest - at least we had a contest, unlike Labour. The only thing your spin says is that Ming
10:50 pm

Nick Clegg: New Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar Congratulations to the new LibDem Leader Nick Clegg
10:30 pm

Day 2543: Nick Clegg: His Hand on My Bottom

Gravatar Tuesday: Today it is CONGRATULATIONS to Mr Clogg on being elected as the NEW leader of the Liberal Democrats, with the difficult task of building on the work of Mr Power Cable. And you can be sure we've chosen the right man for the job! At the end of his busy day, Mr Nick made a special effort to find the time to answer a few questions from me and my friends Ms Alix, Ms Linda, Mr James and of course Daddy Alex, slotting us in between Mr Paxo and the ITN News. I bet THEY didn't give him a ...
10:27 pm

Congratulations to Nick & Chris!

Gravatar Well, after seemingly endless (sometimes repetitive) weeks of the leadership campaign someone had to win. And win Nick did. With a majority resembling Jeremy Browne's in Taunton he's not so much fleeced Chris as much as edged over the line in a photo finish to huge applause from the crowds... Like the big screen on the wimbledon tennis courts showing the ball amidst a cloud of chalk to great gasps from the crowd, the leadership contest has been great fun to watch for the average political viewer. So the media love Nick. Some journalists were supporting Nick over two years ...
10:18 pm

Nick Clegg

Gravatar Congratulations to Nick Clegg on winning the Liberal Democrat Leadership contest. Again my vote went to the second placed candidate (as it has with every leadership election since the party was formed !!). I think the closeness of the vote is a fair reflection on the support across the the country. Now we must all work together and get on with the job of winning trust and votes. The Tories will...
10:07 pm

Council meeting decends into farce

Gravatar Tonights Council meeting was called off after the Mayor tried to have the public gallery cleared. The unusual site of more that five people in the public gallery usually means that there is an issue that people are upset about. This time it was the West Hendon regeneration scheme, which appears to have upset quite a few of the residents. The Mayor obviously wasn't going to take any interruption from the gallery and warned them. Personally I thought she was rather harsh. What state is our democracy in if we can't take a bit of heckling. However after a further ...
9:33 pm

Cranford and Oliver Twist

Gravatar It took a couple of weeks, but I did become hooked on the BBC's adaptation of Cranford. I even warmed to the Judi Dench - I have long wanted to repeal whichever Act of Parliament it is that makes it compulosry for her to be cast in every British film. The writers had to combine Cranford with two of Mrs Gaskell's minor works to get some plot into it, and the last episode was simply crammed with happy endings. Long lost relatives and fiances appeared from behind every tree, and little Harry didn't just get an education - he got ...
8:25 pm

FFS It's Tuesday: Our Glorious New Leader

Gravatar Sticking the knife in good and early... Proving that white, middle class men can finally go far in our society, after decades of discrimination and underachievement, Nick Clegg has been elected leader of the Liberal Democrats by a margin so thin as to be insignificant - 511 votes. On the bright side, under the Florida system of counting, Chris Huhne would have won. Last month, I wrote about
8:21 pm

Clegg’s First Big Idea?

Gravatar Town Meetings. He goes out, once a week, to a constituency and holds a public meeting. The national media don’t pay too much attention but it’d make the local newspapers and radio stations - exactly what Nick Clegg said he wanted to use more of during his election campaign. The images will be fantastic. Labour and Tories talking to each other and the media. Lib Dems talking to the people. This really is quite a promising sign.
8:02 pm

Why do I get the impression Iain Dale would have written this no matter what the result was ?

Gravatar Iain Dale claims today that the real loser from today's Lib Dem leadership election is "The Liberal Democrats". I'm sorry Iain, but what ever the result, this story from you might have been predicted in advance. Of course it has given Iain's Tories readers the chance to comment on the posting with the usual claptrap about Lib Dem splits, the end of the Lib Dems, disunity in the party, etc, etc. The problem is for the Tories is that they fall for their own propaganda when it comes to the Lib Dems. They genuinely want to believe the Lib Dems ...
7:54 pm

Lib Dem leadership contest: Inquiry into voting process

Gravatar "I phoned to vote for Chris Huhne 10 times but never got through, isn't it?" Mrs Snood, Llanwrtyd Wells
7:32 pm

Back from Never-Never Land

Gravatar What an exciting 36 hours. First I was declared a non-person by Facebook who decided I was impersonating an MP (no jokes please). Then a group was started to convince the world that I was real and within a few hours had over 200 members. One of our local team even wrote a song to the tune of 'once in Royal David's City': Once upon a time in England Stood a very good MP His election was a landslide It's North Avon History But now his very existence Has encountered resistance He has helped us all and gladly Now we ...
7:31 pm

Not the perfect Christmas present for the people of Horsford from BT

Gravatar I thought I'd phone my brother earlier and was slightly surprised that I got the wrong number, especially given the fact that I have his number programmed in to my mobile phone. So I left it half an hour and phoned again, only to get the same unusual voice answer the phone. I explained that I had got the wrong number. She interjected to say she had had a few wrong numbers to day and could I explain what number I had phoned. It turns out her phone number shares just two digits with my brother's number, but she is ...
7:30 pm

Clegg vs Huhne: Why a near tie was the logical result

Gravatar Congratulations to Nick Clegg on being elected as leader of the Liberal Democrats. It was a leadership contest between two men from almost identical backgrounds, and one in which ideological or policy differences were rarely allowed to surface. Therefore a near tie was the logical result. It has been obvious from reading Lib Dem blogs in recent weeks that Nick has the ability to evoke tremendous loyalty among younger activists. (I suspect those of us who favoured Chris Huhne tend to be older and are less starry-eyed about politics and life in general.) This is an undoubted asset, but if ...
7:28 pm

Now Cameron's Tories have their very own "donorgate"

Gravatar Oh dear, dear, dear! Naughty, naughty, naughty! David Cameron's constituency party has admitted receiving more than £7,000 in invalid donations, it has been revealed.The Witney Conservative Association has agreed to forfeit the sum to public funds because the benefactors were not on the UK electoral roll.The news will be embarrassing for the Tory leader, who has been scathing in his criticism of
7:26 pm

The dawn of a new era

Gravatar Once again I want to congratulate Nick Clegg on being elected leader. He made an excellent speech this afternoon, which gives me a lot of optimism for the future. It was an extremely close result. I take my hat off to Chris Huhne. He gave us an object lesson in how to run a campaign. Well done Chris, campaign Chair Lynne, Campaign manager Anna Weirin, organiser Candy Piercey and all involved! I
7:24 pm

New leader to visit Wales

Gravatar Nick Clegg, in one of his first interviews after being elected leader of the Liberal Democrats today, made the welcome announcement that he intended to hold a series of "town meetings" to engage with ordinary voters away from the Westminster village. He confirmed to BBC Wales that he had already spoken to leading members in Wales about this. Mike German and Peter Black have been quick to respond to Nick's victory. It should be noted that Nick chose to launch his Welsh campaign for the leadership not in the Cardiff village, but in Swansea. This precedent clearly means that we ...
6:49 pm

Embarrassment for Cameron over invalid donations

Gravatar David Cameron’s constituency party has admitted receiving £7,000 in donations that, er…, it wasn’t allowed to receive. The money has now been forfeited.
6:39 pm

The brazen hypocricy of David Cameron

Gravatar A few weeks ago the press was full of criticism from David Cameron of the Labour party, with David Cameron's cronies particularly enjoying having a go at the Scottish labour leader, Wendy Alexander, after she received a small donation from a voter not registered to vote in the UK. So it is really completely appalling to find out that David Cameron's own constituency party in Witney have themselves broken the same rule, but in this case it was for a significantly larger sum than received by Wendy Alexander in Scotland. What do you call someone who says one thing but ...
6:37 pm

Meanwhile, in a small town not so far away from our dear London…

Gravatar …the talk is of nothing else but that dashing young Mr Clegg, who has triumphed over the rather gruff Mr Huhne in the contest for the leadership of our local debating society. In truth, the town has not been so abuzz with rumour and counter-rumour since the arrival of the railway, not five years past. I quite confess that the ballot has been a topic of much consideration between Lady Rosalind
6:23 pm

Now Clegg has to lead

Gravatar First things first, congratulations are due to Chris Huhne. It’s not usual to congratulate the loser of a contest, particularly when you voted for the winner but Chris ran an effective, focused and dynamic campaign. The narrowness of the loss was a testament to the verve with which he fought and he will have a well deserved seat at the top table. But what about the winner? Certainly Nick Clegg should be congratulated on his victory, however he cannot honestly be congratulated on his campaign. He fought a awkward, cautious campaign which at times appeared so frightened of being labelled ...
6:22 pm

Congratulations to Nick Clegg

Gravatar My position in the party kept me from expressing a leadership preference, but as we're now past it I can say I'm delighted Nick won. He's a brilliant communicator, and a guy who really cares about people. Congrats also to Chris Huhne, he impressed me immensely, and Nick should learn from the boldness he showed during the contest, reporting the Labour Party to the police was a particular highlight. We simply have to move forward now, and we will only do so by locating what my mate Tony calls testicular fortitude. Its also worth knowing that Nick is the one ...
6:14 pm

Almost the best possible result

Gravatar 511 votes is a small margin by which to become leader of a political party but when I look back on today in a few years time I suspect that I can safely say it was almost the best possible result. Why almost? Well obviously I wanted it to be 511 votes the other way but congratulations to Nick on ensuring my record on backing the runner up continues. but the best possible result? let me explain.
6:12 pm

Now, Where Was I?

Gravatar I took a vow of (mostly) blogging silence during the Lib Dem leadership election. This was due to a combination of extreme lack of time and not trusting myself not to say things I shouldn’t about the conduct of the campaigns. I figured there were plenty of other people commenting on the candidates and campaigns I could read and be outraged/delighted by in private without adding to the material on offer. I have to confess to being mightily tempted to post anonymous comments at times, but my better nature prevailed and I held back (having carried out some interesting research ...
5:59 pm

Nick Clegg: New Leader of the Liberal Democrats (on Youtube)

5:50 pm

He’s leader, he’s on YouTube

Gravatar http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzO5G4zb6zo
5:41 pm

Chris Clegg wins! What now for Vince?

Gravatar I think it is great news that the result was so close for the leadership. The downfall is that having come so close Chris has to be given the deputy leadership and the economy. The problem is that they are Vince's jobs at the moment, and he has been absolutely brilliant as interim leader. The thing is, do you say we can't "do the dirty and dump Vince" now or do we say that this is the beginning
5:30 pm

Nick Clegg, Leader of the Liberal Democrats writes...

Gravatar Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats will be ambitious. Ambitious for ourselves and ambitious for Britain.
5:28 pm

Congratulations Nick!

Gravatar Nick Clegg is the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. He won the election with a tiny majority of 511 votes. That only backs up my assertion that we had two excellent candidates either of whom would have made a good Leader. But for now it's post-election party time. ----------------------- Sent from my Blackberry
5:28 pm

And our new leader is...

Gravatar NICK CLEGG MP Age: 40 Represents: Sheffield Hallam since 2005 Previous roles: Former MEP, and Trade Negotiator with European Commission In his own words: I want a new politics: a people’s politics. I want to live in a country where rights, freedoms and privacy are not the playthings of politicians, but safeguarded for everyone. Where political life is not a Westminster village freak show, but open, accessible, and helpful in people’s everyday lives. Where parents, pupils and patients are in charge of our schools and hospitals.Where fine words on the environment are translated into real action. Where social mobility becomes ...
5:25 pm

Steve Webb is popular as well as real

Gravatar Steve Webb's experience with Facebook has sent some ripples of laughter round the blogosphere. it is quite ironic that they booted out their biggest Lib Dem proponent. Thankfully he now appears to have been rightfully restored. I can imagine the Facebook press office groaning at the sight of 200 e-mails all saying "I know Steve Webb and he's really nice." Anyway, it shows how popular he is because in just a few hours, the Steve Webb is real amassed almost 200 members.
5:22 pm

Nick Clegg

Gravatar Today Nick Clegg was elected as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. This was a close run contest and a tough choice at times. I supported Nick for the leadership as I felt he has what it takes to really engage with people who may currently be disillusioned with politics. I have heard Nick speak on many occasions and I believe he has what it takes to excite people in politics, he certainly excites me. People are switched off by politics becoming more remote, more controlled by Westminster and they feel powerless. Labour and the Conservatives have little new ...
5:16 pm

Commiserations to Chris Huhne

Gravatar We all know how it feels to lose an election, particularly by a very small margin. I was very impressed with the graceful way in which Chris Huhne congratulated Nick Clegg this afternoon. It must have been a very difficult speech for him to make and he did so with customary skill and authority. He ran a strong campaign and I am sure he will be given the chance to continue his excellent economic and environmental policy work.
5:14 pm

The right choice, but a narrow one

Gravatar So it is Nick Clegg and I am pleased. I think the party has chosen the right leader from the two candidates on offer. Nick's speech this afternoon had the right balance of emphasising liberalism, identifying the need to fix our broken politics, and looking outwards beyond the party. I hope he will continue in this vein. Yet the narrowness of the result does suggest that he still has work to do
5:11 pm


Gravatar Turmoil in the Land Household! We got the leader we voted for, for the first time ever! Trust that's good news. It does occur to me though as I watched Clegg's first speech and the Beeb panned around the room, that any intelligent Tories (now, now!) must be very worried. I mean look! Kennedy, Campbell, Ashdown (who can run ANY country!), Huhne, Cable. In every department, we can beat them hollow. I even think Lembit is funnier than Boris. Like I say, any intelligent Tories must be very worried. If I come across any I'll let you know.
5:02 pm

Leadership Result

Gravatar Nick Clegg is our new party leader. It was a close contest, and over 40,000 members voted in it, showing that we really are a party that's committed to democracy. Nick represents a constituency in Sheffield so knows something of the challenges facing the North of England. He's made a good start by saying he'll include both Vince Cable and Chris Huhne in his top team. I look forward to seeing
5:01 pm

Confident Clegg vows to reach out

Gravatar Unsurprisingly, since I've been waxing lyrical in his support for some weeks now, I am delighted that Nick Clegg has been elected leader today. His warmth and genuine and engaging manner will bring many to consider the Liberal Democrats as a serious contender. His intellect and sharp wit will be put to good use in debate against Brown and Cameron. His inclusive leadership style will allow all the talents in our party to be showcased so that people can see what an experienced and high quality opposition we provide at national level and how well we run our Councils up ...
5:00 pm

Nick Clegg - his background

Gravatar Nick Clegg was born in 1967 in Buckinghamshire and studied at three universities: Cambridge, Minnesota and College D'Europe.
4:58 pm

This Side of the Blue

Gravatar This blog was declaring the necessity of Nick Clegg as leader of the Liberal Democrats long before Ming Campbell went. Throughout i have maintained the view that he was the man for the party. Granted, i'm disappointed by the somewhat half-hearted leadership campaign that him and his campaign team put on, but on reflection his qualities were always better suited to the job of leader than Mr Huhne's. If the mainstream media is to be believed, Mr Clegg has his work cut out for him: a 'resurgent' Conservative party, a Labour party determined to fight to the last, the weekly ...
4:56 pm

Coalition talk

Gravatar Let's hear a loud, clear 'no' to coalition talks. We have to work with the Tories down here, and they're just not on our wavelength. They may produce the odd national figure that seems reasonable, but when you get down to Councillor, activist or member level, they are still unreformed Thatcherites. So nip it in the bud straight away Mr Clegg, lets have nothing to do with them.
4:50 pm

Steve Webb is back!

Gravatar I was surprised to see Steve Webb at the leadership election announcement this afternoon as Facebook had reported that he didn’t really exist. (My guess is that an automated system detected his surname as he unlikely “MP” and flagged it as a fake.) The good news is that Facebook have acted quickly and have restored our parliamentary party’s leading Facebooker to the site - and will make sure it doesn’t happen again.
4:49 pm

Unreconstructed Tories

Gravatar In all the fuss about leadership elections today I nearly forgot to mention this little faux pas from Tory MP, John Redwood. Neanderthal is the kindest comment I have heard about the former Welsh Secretary. More considered responses have come from Heather Harvey and Vernon Croaker: Heather Harvey, manager of Amnesty International's UK Stop Violence Against Women campaign, said: "There's very little difference between rape by a partner and rape by a stranger - both amount to sexual violence and both can leave a woman deeply traumatised. Instead of splitting hairs, Mr Redwood should concentrate on the real issue, the ...
4:48 pm

Nick Clegg's speech in full

Gravatar On his election as the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg said: My election as leader of this party marks a new beginning. Today is about two things: ambition, and change. Renewed ambition for the Liberal Democrats. Renewed ambition to reach out to the millions of people who share our values, but have not yet voted for us. It’s about renewed ambition for Britain. Because we want to change politics, and change Britain. I would like to thank Chris for the energetic and committed way he has campaigned in this leadership election. We have been rivals in this ...
4:46 pm

511 votes - it couldn't have been much closer!

Gravatar So my poll was spot on! Nick Clegg won the Leadership of the Liberal Democrats by just 511 votes. Nick received 20,988 votes to Chris Huhne's 20,477 votes.
4:45 pm

Nick Clegg Email

Gravatar Just received this email; thought you may be interested: Dear Mr Shaw, Under my leadership the Liberal Democrats will be ambitious. Ambitious for ourselves and ambitious for Britain. I want to thank you for giving me the chance to lead our great party. It is a privilege to follow in the footsteps of Paddy Ashdown, Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell, who have all contributed so much to our party. I look forward to working with them all during my leadership. I would also like to pay tribute to both Vince Cable and Chris Huhne. Vince has been an inspiration as ...
4:43 pm

Excellent News

Gravatar Delighted with the news and thrilled to see such a positive response from Chris. I sense a more positive mood in the party than we have had for years. With Nick and Chris - and Vince leading from the front we have a team that will seriously worry the Government frontbench and eclipse anything that the Tories have to offer - Alastair Darling ? George Osbourne ? you must be having a laugh.
4:42 pm

A note of caution

Gravatar Congratulations to Nick Clegg upon his victory and commiserations to Chris Huhne on what was a hard fought leadership contest. Right! Now that I have got the niceties out the way, lets get down to the nitty gritty. What the future holds. Firstly, its important to remember that this is just the beginning of a long journey for the party, not the end, so by all means go off and celebrate Nick’s win today, but tomorrow let’s get on with the job in hand – winning over the general public and getting more parliamentary seats! However, rather worryingly, looking at ...
4:42 pm

Steve Webb's back on Facebook

Gravatar We're glad to see that Steve Webb's Facebook page has now returned. Let's hope it stays that way. Thank you to everyone that contacted Facebook, and thank you also to the person at Facebook who decided to reinstate the account. For those that don't know what this is about, Facebook is an online networking system that many young (and not so young) people use. Steve had more than 2500 contacts on there, and many of them used it to raise problems with Steve - education, buses, housing, you name it. Two minutes on the site would have shown Facebook that ...
4:42 pm

Nick Clegg it is

Gravatar Nick Clegg has won the race to become leader of the Liberal Democrat Party. He beat Chris Huhne in a close race - by 20,998 votes to 20,477. In his acceptance speech Nick said he wanted to change politics and change Britain by making them both more liberal. He accused the two main parties of mutating into each other as they scrap over the same bit of political territory. He said the Tories had "no answers to the big questions" and that Labour was "exhausted and discredited". He urged disaffected voters to join the Lib Dems and said that under ...
4:30 pm

Applause All Round

Gravatar Sincere congratulations to Nick Clegg on becoming the new LibDem leader, but also congratulations to Chris Huhne, for fighting a splendid campaign. Whatever snide remarks may have appeared in print or on the air, my fellow hacks have been duly impressed that the Party had not one but two potential leaders of such calibre. At [...]
4:29 pm

Well done Nick Clegg

Gravatar Congratulations to our new leader Nick Clegg. His victory sets the party up well for the next few years, and we have a dynamic, committed and passionate young leader who I have no doubt will take the party onwards in the future.   The campaign was fought with honour and dignity by both Nick and Chris Huhne, and the margin of victory (just 511 votes out of 40,000 cast) shows I think just how strong both candidates were. I hope that Nick can find a big job for Chris Huhne in his shadow cabinet team, and that Chris plays a ...
4:17 pm

Tory Lovebombing starts

Gravatar Yesterday I blogged about the seven ways in which the tories are hoping to beat the libdems.  It seems they have been quick off the mark with at least one of them: “We hope that the Liberal Democrats under Mr Clegg will join us in putting pressure on the government to devolve power to local authorities, communities and individuals; in our opposition to ID cards; and in our commitment to social justice and environmental progress. We hope that together we can create a new progressive alliance to decentralise British politics.” Caroline Spelman (Con Chairman) Localism, Opposition to ID cards, Social ...
4:11 pm

Well done Nick Clegg

Gravatar Well done to Nick Clegg on his victory as party leader today. Whilst some will say it was only by 511, I think this shows clearly that there were two fantastic candidates to choose from. I am sure Nick will win over quickly the Huhne supporters who I feel were never really anti Nick, just more pro Chris.
4:00 pm

Nick Clegg confirmed as Lib Dem Leader

Gravatar {Nick Clegg} Britain’s liberal future Nick Clegg elected leader “Under my leadership we will be ambitious. Together we can break the stifling two-party system and change Britain for good.” On behalf of Wycombe Liberal Democrats, I would like to congratulate Nick on winning a close battle between two outstanding candidates. I am excited about our future, and I believe that, under Nick’s leadership, we are going to achieve new heights. Nick has pledged to reconnect with people, and articulate a Liberal vision for Britain.Steve Guy Click below if you would like to read the full text of Nick’s acceptance speech: ...
3:56 pm

PC Madness

Gravatar {Kirsty MacColl} Radio 1's  decision to edit "Fairytale of New York" to remove the word 'faggot' is amazingly stupid twice over. Firstly, its absurd that a song that has been enjoyed by us all for 15 years could suddenly start offending people, and secondly it gives the Daily Mail another reason to rant at the "PC Brigade", who really don't care about this at all. The Gay Rights lobby, as far as I can tell, have never objected to the song, and are not doing so now. So the BBC have just given the Mail another reason to rant about ...
3:55 pm

The New Lib Dem Front Page

Gravatar A welcome change, but is it permanent? Because I certainly hope that this design for the Lib Dem party front page, which has only gone up in the last hour and a half, sticks around: Very Web 2.0 and certainly more attention grabbing than the previous offering, which can still be viewed here. PS. Free punch in the face to the first person who cracks the joke "A welcome change, but is it permanent
3:53 pm

EXCLUSIVE: Proof that this is the dawn of a great new era for the LibDems

Gravatar Well it must be, because Iain Dale says "This is the worst possible result for the LibDems". Triples and a chorus of "1-2-3-4" all round!
3:48 pm

Saudi Rape Victim

Gravatar Those of you who have been following the story of a female rape victim in Saudi Arabia who was sentenced to jail and 200 lashes may be interested in this: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/7147632.stm
3:48 pm

100 Days

Gravatar I couldn't help noticing that there have been several blogs posted today on the subject of 'what a new leader should do in his first 100 days'. Well ..... To miss quote John Fitzgerald Kennedy just for a second -'Ask not what your leader can do for you, ask what you can do for your leader'
3:47 pm

Headline Grabbing Gimmick

Gravatar As I sit here reading about the new government immigration proposals I have to ask myself - why? If, as is being suggested, these moves are aimed at those who deliberately overstay or work illegally in the UK just how will cutting the time tourists from outside the EU can stay in the UK from six months to three and making sponsors pay a cash bond achieve that? After all, let's face it, if someone visiting the UK wants to overstay and work here neither of these proposals is going to make them change their minds. These proposals should be ...
3:47 pm


Gravatar Phew! that was close. Nick came close to losing through being too cautious. Let's hope he learns a lesson and takes the breaks off. And make sure Chris and Vince are both right up front with you, Nick, we need their immense talent. What a team! I might even break my diet and put milk in my celebratory cup of tea! Ooooh sod it, I'm going to have a biscuit as well! Happy days.
3:38 pm

Nick Clegg - Congratulations!

Gravatar Yes, I voted for Nick. I'm delighted he won but not delighted that Chris Huhne lost. That may sound strange, but Keith House from Eastleigh summed it up very well on TV a few minutes ago when he said that the Party is a family. We delight in the success of one member and equally commiserate with another. I voted for Nick because I believe he has the ambition and character to take the Party
3:37 pm

Relief, Joy and a Call For Unity

Gravatar Chris Huhne is to be congratulated for coming so close. His rugged and determined campaigning has secured him the support of half the party, give or take a few hundred. Let’s hope Nick Clegg learns the danger of being percieved as being in the lead - it depresses your turnout and inflates the turnout of your opponents. I’ve been expecting a shock Huhne win for some time now and doing my best to prepare for the worst. I’m glad I was wrong (0.5% wrong as it happens). But, mercifully, the contest is over and it’s Nick Clegg that takes us ...
3:29 pm

Putting the Pieces Together

Gravatar ''Lebanon is more than a country - it is a message.'' So said the Pope when he visited Beirut in 1997, as the country was picking up the pieces of civil war and picking its way towards peaceful coexistence. ''A country of many religious faiths, Lebanon has shown that these different faiths can live together in peace, brotherhood and cooperation.'' Since then, Hariri's assassination, the 2006 war with Israel, and the recent murder of General Francois Hajj - tipped to become head of the army as part of the effort to resolve Lebanon's presidential impasse - have strained that metaphor ...
3:29 pm

Nick Clegg is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar And writing as someone who voted for him (final mention of the Duncan Borrowman monitor, I promise), well done to the chap. Lib Dem Voice has the results breakdown, the young one squeaking in with 50.6% of the vote, just 511 ahead of the Huhney monster. He kicked off his leadership with a sturdy, but not exactly inspired (unlike Ann Treneman's coining of the phrase "Winter of Disc Content" in
3:20 pm

Nick Clegg: overcoming the Hamlet Factor

Gravatar Over on Comment is Free I proffer my advice to the new leader: My advice to Clegg now is remarkably similar to the advice I offered to Ming Campbell on what turned out to be the day of his resignation: concentrate on clarity and communication. In particular, Clegg needs to hit the road, catch a dose of initiativitis and take steps to ensure that even if the national media choose to ignore what he has to say, he is using every tool at his disposal to ensure that it comes across anyway. I should add at this stage that based ...
3:20 pm

Clegg as leader

Gravatar Well- Congratulations to Nick Clegg. As regular readers know, I voted for Huhne, but am happy to accept the skills claimed for Clegg as a solid and charismatic leader. In some senses I think the closeness of the result reflects not so much a verdict on Nick Clegg, but a lack of confidence in the party grandees who made him their candidate- as they did with Charles Kennedy and Ming Campbell. I think that Clegg now has a free hand to ignore the grandees, reach out to the former Huhne-ites and continue the recovery that began under Vince Cable. Now ...
3:19 pm

The Future’s Bright

Gravatar Tuesday the 18th of December 2007 will be remembered as the start of an exciting new era for the Liberal Democrats. We have had the Ashdown years and the Kennedy years, both of which represented significant leaps forward in our electoral success. I believe that the Clegg years have the potential to be our finest yet. I am excited by his pledges to engage with people in public meetings, to try to reconnect with the people. We really do have a distinctive and different message for the British people - and I look forward to the future with relish!
3:14 pm

BNP - what WOULD they be like in Government?

Gravatar Well from the face of it a bunch of crooks! What amazed me most of all from the recent news that they spied on peoples emails etc - apart from the absurdism of it all (almost comic!) if they can do this to their own kind what would they do to ordinary people? [...]
3:14 pm

Catching up

Gravatar A long (seemingly) break from the blog for all sorts of reasons (people who have access to the internet all the time should think themselves lucky!!) Lots has happened in pretty quick succession. Just over a week ago I was selected as the Lib Dem Candidate in Cressington ward. There was a contest for this which I won. I don't want to go into details, save to say that it wasn't close. And I have no intention of criticising the person who lost -so those who have been attempting to post to either encourage me to do this or to ...
3:12 pm

Congratulations Nick Clegg, Britain's Liberal Future

Gravatar Nick Clegg is the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats in a result that has surprised few bar for the narrowness of the result. Nick started the campaign well ahead (most commentators including this one have assumed). His campaign though, relative to Chris Huhne's did not sparkle, and he consistently lost ground to the Huhneys during the course of the campaign. Chris might arguably have won this race given another week or two, although such speculation is idle, however Nick would do well to take note of discipline of of team Huhne's approach on branding, message, clarity and volume of ...
3:11 pm

Britain's Liberal Future is Secure: It's Nick Clegg by a whisker

Gravatar By the narrowest of margins Nick secured victory today and will go on to lead our party for, I hope, a long time to come.His acceptance speech spoke of the thread of liberalism running through the very fabric of British society and that to pull it out would be to pull that entire fabic apart. Nick is the future of liberalism in this country, and I believe that his is a voice that will appeal to parts of society that we have never reached before.Our's is not a party divided but a party that recognised two hugley credible candidates of largely ...
3:09 pm

The result

Gravatar An excellent result - I suspect that the core vote for Chris was an average age 10 years more than Nick.  It’s time to see the new team. My forecast was 52/48 Clegg/Huhne and 65% turnout so I wasn’t that far out.  So to the future. Let’s sort out the housekeeping and start 2008 afresh. The important thing now is [...]
3:02 pm

Crikey that was close!

Gravatar 511 votes in it - 49.4% v 50.6% I thought Nick made an excellent speech and Chris also. It was also nice to see such a lovely collection of former leaders on the front bench. Well done team!
2:59 pm

Nick Clegg wins leadership contest

Gravatar Not my week! First Leon, then Matt and now Nick! Seriously though – well done to Nick. Commiserations to my brave candidate Chris – who fought a phenomenal campaign. And before I turn to Nick, let me first give credit to Chris for his superb campaigning. When the going got tough – as it did – Chris did not lose his cool or hit out in the way so many do. The measure of this man is his hunger, his energy, his temperament and his determination. At the start I said Chris has the cojones. Not half he has! However, ...
2:58 pm

Congratulations to Nick Clegg

Gravatar Live blog - latest updates at the top 14:54 Nick walks out in a media scrum. Live Blog closed. 14:51 An unprecendented time of opportunity for our party - creed of our time - no more business as usual - today will mark a new beginning - a liberal future for Britain. 14:49 We must define a liberal Britain - I will hold regular public town hall meetings (excellent)One day every week outside
2:56 pm

Way to go......................Cleggtastic!!!!!!!!

Gravatar This is an odd feeling for me...............................................backing the winner! I am really thrilled, I honestly feel we have such a great opportunity now. But, rather like Kennedy, we should be asking not what our leader can do for us and our party, but what we can do for our party. All credit to Chris Huhne though (bet you never thought you'd hear me say that!) he has fought a hard campaign and come very close, much closer than I certainly thought. So, from my perspective = the only way is UP!!!!!
2:48 pm

Congratulations Nick Clegg!

Gravatar This has made my day! Congratulations Nick and commiserations to Chris Huhne who, it is fair to say, ran a strong campaign. At long last the Liberal Democrats have a vigourous new leader who gives us a real chance of transforming Britain into a country reflective of it's liberal and Liberal instincts. British politics is now about to get very, very interesting indeed.
2:46 pm

Well Done, Nick!

Gravatar And there were only 511 votes in it! I was thinking that the Liberal Democrat electorate was about the size of a Parliamentary constituency, and there we go and make the result a marginal. Well done, too, to Chris, for coming so close – something that shows how impressive both candidates were, and how important both will be to heading our success. But most of all, well done and good luck to Nick Clegg, and it was great to see him reach out with such an energetic, optimistic, Liberal speech, setting out his ambition to change politics and the country. ...
2:39 pm

Nick Clegg is the new Leader

Gravatar The results are in: Nick Clegg - 20,988 (50.6%) Chris Huhne - 20,477 (49.4%) Turnout - 41,465 Credits Alex Folkes/Fishnik.com Standby for further updates, including the winner of our Leadership Election Prediction Competition
2:39 pm

Please step forward Mr…

Gravatar Nicholas William Peter Clegg MP Woohoo! Well, I pretty chuffed as he was my man from the start. I really do have high hopes for the party now and am glad to be a part of it.  Let’s start to get out there and communicate with the electorate and tell them why the Lib Dems are the party of the future. Good luck Nick!! Congratulations and commiserations to Chris for a well fought campaign.  Hopefully now we can get back to being a united party against the Tories and Labour.
2:39 pm

Nick Clegg is Lib Dem Leader

Gravatar {Nick Clegg MP} Congratulations from the Lib Dem team in Bury to the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats - Nick Clegg MP. Nick will make an excellent Party Leader, he has an excellent track record on standing up on issues that matter. We look forward to working with him. Nick Clegg has set out his priorities in a message to Bury residents: “I am greatly honoured to have been chosen by my fellow party members to be the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Throughout Bury, Liberal Democrats are already working hard to reach out to local people and ...
2:39 pm

So it's Nick

Gravatar Congratulations to the new leader of the Liberal Democrats Nick Clegg Result Nick Clegg - 20,988 Chris Huhne - 20,477 Margin 511 - votes cast 40,465 Wow. That is close! It seems only fitting that is should be so close. There was almost nothing really to choose between the two during the campaign, and there turns out to be almost nothing to choose between them in the result. (And I keep my streak of never yet voting for a winning candidate.....) Edited to add The very closeness of the result makes it all the more important that we all unite ...
2:38 pm

It’s a squeaker!

Gravatar Nick Clegg: 20988 (50.6%) Chris Huhne: 20477 (49.4%) Total votes cast: 41465 (64% approx) I should be hailing our new Liberal Democratic overlord over on Comment is Free imminently. Share This
2:28 pm

Sky news declares a winner

Gravatar Sky news have declared Nick Clegg MP the winner of the leadership election race, some 20 mins before the result is actualy to be announced in central london. Now correct me if im wrong here, but didnt they declare Peter Hain the winner of the Labour deputy leadership race, before the announcement was made, and look how well that turned out for him
2:26 pm

Live blogging the leadership

Gravatar The room where the announcement is to be made about the Liberal Democrat leadership is already packed out and rumours abound that the result is unbearably close. Journalists are speculating that Clegg has won by a sliver. Here in the Assembly people think that there may be less than 2,000 votes in it. We will see. Paddy Ashdown has just told a journalist off for trying to prise the result out of him. He seemed to quite enjoy it. The journalist just looked uncomfortable. 14.30 - the BBC News 24 reporter has just said that the margin is less than ...
2:17 pm

Sky News Calls it for Nick Clegg

Gravatar With 15 minutes to go, Sky takes the brave step of announcing the winner in advance (as they did with Campbell). If they turn out to be wrong I think I’m going to be even more gutted, but it’s hard to believe Sky would have gone public without a pretty good source… breath holding time..
2:08 pm

Cleggy is the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats

Gravatar Nick Clegg is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats. Nick won a very narrow victory over Chris Huhne who ran an aggressive campaign and was thought to have gained support as the campaign went on. The result was as follows: Nick Clegg - 20.988 Chris Huhne - 20.477 Yorkshire MP, Cleggy, pictured above in Newcastle with Chris (left), and Glyn Nightingale, was our favourite for the job because, as Glynis wrote on her endorsement, "Nick has made a big impression on Liberal Democrats in a very short time. He has the ability to quickly establish himself with voters and ...
2:00 pm

Does Northern Rock now have an illegal advantage?

Gravatar The Bank of England today extended their support of Northern Rock to guarantee money lent to them by other banks. This follows an initial liquidly loan, which started the saga, and the decision to guarantee the money held by savers. The first two actions are understandable, but the latest move raises serious questions. Banks lend money to other banks every day, but the crunch in the US market has made them reluctant to do this, as the risk is higher than it was in the past. However, we now have one UK bank (Northern Rock) who other banks can lend ...
1:58 pm

Lost in the Post: Why Postal Services May Prove Fatal For Gordon Brown

Gravatar It’s almost Christmas, and most people in Britain are thinking the same thing: ‘Is that blasted Internet gift shopping going to turn up before I have to go to the in-laws with nothing but a weak smile and some chocolates from the garage?’ Even once posted, who knows; my Mum wasn’t impressed when my birthday present took a month to arrive (awwhh). So spare a thought at this stressful time for the unhappiest person in Britain where the postal service is concerned, whose entire career has been lost in the post (alongside so much of our personal data): Gordon Brown. ...
1:54 pm

The announcement looms

Gravatar So, the result of the Lib Dem leadership is to be announced shortly. Since I haven't declared it yet, I ended up voting for Chris Huhne. But, in the final reckoning, I'm sure that both candidates are capable of doing the job that needs to be done. I could never get worked up in a partisan way about this campaign, simply because I can easily imagine either man leading us to success. The questions that interest me are not questions of the leader's personality. The situation of the Liberal Democrats as a party matters a lot more than the characteristics ...
1:31 pm

Nick Clegg wins the poll for the Liberal Democrat Leadership

Gravatar Nick Clegg has beaten Chris Huhne in the Liberal Democrat Leadership Poll, results are:
1:27 pm

Your Northern Rock Liability today

Gravatar Following the latest moves by the bank of England, every taxpayer in the country now has an estimated personal exposure of £2500.  They're just nationalising it using the most expensive method possible, typical Labour, spin more important that substance. 
1:07 pm

Polefield/Cuckoo Lane Proposed Play Area

Gravatar A consultation event for the proposed Heaton Park Schoo/Polefield Recreation Zone on Cuckoo Lane is proposed to take place on: 3.30PM ONWARDS WEDNESDAY 23 JANUARY at Heaton Park County Primary. The event is a “drop in” where members of the public can find out more, and comment on the proposals.   More details to follow.   Tim
12:45 pm

Facebook ban Steve Webb, oh the irony!

Gravatar So Facebook have removed Steve Webb's account. Oh the irony. The MP that has done more to promote Facebook than any other (certainly within the Lib Dems) has been accused of being an impostor. I hope they have a good Public Affairs department! Like others, I have joined the Facebook group and sent them a message.
12:42 pm

A Christmas rant

Gravatar And straight in at number one in the ‘brain-numbingly stupid decisions of 2007′ chart is BBC Radio 1, for censoring one of the only decent Christmas songs ever written to avoid offence to listeners. The essence of a stupid decision is that it achieves exactly the opposite effect to the one intended - and that can certainly be said of this bowdlerisation of the Pogues’ Fairytale of New York, where any offence prevented by censorship is surely dwarfed by the offence caused by butchering the soaring vocals of the doomed Kirsty MacColl. The BBC reportedly said: “We are playing an ...
12:34 pm

For all you Radio 1 listeners

Gravatar Here are The Pogues and Kirst MacColl singing the greatest Christmas song ever, live version (well I assume until YouTube find an excuse to take the video down.) If you listen to Radio 1 you won't get to hear the word faggot. I've been accused of "Politcal Correctness gone mad" in my time, but the Radio 1 ban is madness.
12:30 pm

Is "neoliberalism" a real ideology?

Gravatar A ‘neo’ is someone who pretends to be something, someone who is at the same time inside and outside of something; it is an elusive hybrid, a straw man set up without ever identifying a specific value, idea, regime, or doctrine. To say ‘neoliberal’ is the same as saying ‘semiliberal’, or ‘pseudoliberal’. It is pure nonsense. Either one is an favor of liberty or against it, but one cannot be semi-in-favor or pseudo-in-favor of liberty, just as one cannot be ‘semipregnat’, ‘semiliving’ or ‘semidead’. The term has not been invented to express a conceptual reality, but rather as a corrosive ...
11:58 am

BNP fighting like rats in a sack

Gravatar This is all deeply distressing. The Guardian reports: The British National Party has been engulfed by a bitter internal row with around 50 senior figures resigning the party whip amid claims the leadership has been spying on private emails and telephone calls. ...According to Nick Lowles, an anti-fascist campaigner from Searchlight, large sections of the party across the north of England and
11:55 am

Liberal Leadership

Gravatar It is only a few hours to go before we Liberal Democrats find out who we are to get as our new leader. I had hoped to have posted a series of articles setting out my views on some of the challenges he will face. I found it harder than I expected to get my thoughts in order, mainly through having more ideas for things to say than was helpful, and time has beaten me. My intention to catch up at the
11:54 am

And the winner is…

Gravatar Today is the 2007 version of the Lib Dem X-Factor Final, as we announce yet again who will lead our party into the Christmas period. Hopefully whoever wins will last longer than Steve Brookstein / Michelle McManus / Sir Menzies Campbell.   And the good thing is, I know that the winner will do just that. The days of internal strife and back-biting over the leadership will come to an end at half past two this afternoon when we finally find out who’s at the helm for the foreseeable future.   I thought I’d get in early with my post-result ...
11:33 am

3 Million Driver Theory Test information lost

Gravatar As if to prove no Government should be given our data, they have now admitted to the loss of 3millions people's data - this time it was people who have taken the Driving Theory Test.
11:30 am

Radio One ban “faggot”

Gravatar Radio One have banned the word ‘faggot’ from the airwaves, including the reference used in ‘Fairytale of New York’ by the Pogues & Kirsty McGowan. This ditty has been blaring out in shopping centres, pubs and bars and has there been great uproar from the gay community? No. Surely the context of words such as these is what counts? I’m now playing, and singing along very loudly to (with my apologies to Bearwood), the original version.
11:27 am

I sing of arms and the man…

Gravatar …who will be leader by the end of the day. Suddenly I wonder if the decision to make the announcement just before Christmas was cleverer than we all thought. The weather’s not too dreary, the newspapers are looking for think-piece material to fill their holiday editions, and the population is absurdly happy in a way only state-shackled, [...]
11:15 am

Bogged down with loo rolls

Gravatar Forgive me if I’ve misunderstand the purpose of toilet roll. I have been under the misguided notion that it’s for wiping your bum and bits, cleaning loo seats in public loos and blowing your nose on when another member of the family have used the last tissues in the box. So why oh why do we need double quilted, silky finish, colour coordinated loo rolls for the most basic of bodily functions? (I’m referring to the snot and ablutions of course - the public loos are just a necessity of life) Save a lot of energy and ban toilet paper ...
11:15 am

T-shirts over winter time – the best way to waste energy

Gravatar I’m not the biggest fan of shopping on the best of occasions, but when it comes to shopping for Christmas I loath it. Strangely it’s not the huge amounts of money you can spend, and most of the time its not even the rude shop assistants or the crowds of grumpy people feeling much the same as I do. What gets me is the hot, cold, hot, cold that makes what should be a relatively pleasurable activity, into a gruelling assault course. I cannot for the life of me understand why shops need to be hot enough for the staff ...
11:14 am

Who exactly are the MOD defending?

Gravatar Being a huge fan of wind turbines, I’m entertained by the ever increasingly bizarre reasons the anti lobby use to try and prevent them being built. However, regardless of how many nimbies complain about not liking the look of them, they will never compete with the Ministry of Defence (MOD) in blocking wind turbine projects. Infact the MOD has been named as the main obstacle for wind turbine projects across the country. Thankfully Breckland District Council have ignored the MOD about the turbines near Swaffham, which have been given the go ahead. It seems farcical that the main defence department ...
11:10 am

Steve Webb and Facebook - update

Gravatar I have just emailed Facebook as follows: "Please restore Steve Webb MP's facebook account I was very disturbed to learn that the Facebook account of Steve Webb MP - a member of the UK Parliament - has been removed because you believe that his site is a fake, and that it is a breach of your rules not to give a genuine first name and last name. I can assure you that Steve's site is genuine. He is a colleague and a friend of mine. If you don't restore his site you risk extremely adverse national and international publicity for ...
10:58 am

John Redwood: A prat splitting hairs on rape

Gravatar Every so often it is useful to be reminded of why I hate much of what John Redwood stands for. His latest blog posting gives a couple of those reminders. First of all, he argues that corporate manslaughter should not have been introduced as an offence. Don't get me started. He defends businesses and says none of them want to kill people in order to increase shareholder value. Oh my goodness.
10:50 am

Facebook delete Steve Webb and say he's "not real"

Gravatar Social Networking site Facebook has deleted Steve Webb MP's account saying that his site site is a fake and that it is a breach of their rules not to give a genuine first name and last name. Looks like they just couldn't believe that a local MP would have 2500 Facebook friends! There's a new Facebook group Steve Webb is real! - please join it. You can read Steve's full story about it at his blog here.
10:46 am

The gods themselves...

Gravatar Against Stupidity, the Gods themselves contend in vain. Well, to contend against stupidity in Cambridgeshire, divinity is not required, you need merely to be a Liberal Democrat. Across the county, the honest burghers of Cambridgeshire are paying for the flashing 30 mph speed signs, designed to persuade lunatic drivers of the error of their ways. The only problem is that the Tory 'run' County Council (I really do use the word 'run' advisedly) seemingly budgeted to install these signs but failed to sign up for their maintenance and connection. Potton Road in St Neots glories in on of these flashing ...
10:39 am

Not in front of the children

Gravatar A week or so ago I referred to the 'quasi-religious zeal' of David Southall's defenders in the wake of his being struck off by the GMC. What I meant by this was the impression they gave that only they saw the true scale and evil of child abuse and that those who disagreed with them were heretics and unbelievers. This impression is reinforced by this article by paediatrician Nigel Speight in Sunday's Observer in which he claims that his fellow paedistricians are now 'worried about participating in child abuse cases'. However, it isn't the emotive language of the article that ...
10:37 am

Why David Cameron will end in failure

Gravatar One of the more commonly used political quotes is from Enoch Powell: "All political lives, unless they are cut off in midstream at a happy juncture, end in failure, because that is the nature of politics and of human affairs." At a time when David Cameron's Conservative Party appears to have broken out above the level in the polls where the party can achieve a comfortable working majority, it may seem a little perverse to think about the failure of David Cameron. "Surely", many of my Conservative friends will say, "He is poised to lead the Conservatives to a dramatic ...
10:34 am

Just to prove I’m still alive

Gravatar A couple of blogs that some of you out there may find interesting: First, Strange Maps, which collects interesting, amusing and esoteric maps from all around the world, providing some very interesting perspectives. Second, Bad Astronomy, which looks at some of the errors, craziness and outright lies that people claim about space, as well as having some wonderful photos from time to time. Entertaining and informative, which is always good.
10:28 am

Charles Kennedy: The LibDems are the hardest party to lead

Gravatar Charles Kennedy writes with his normal pithiness in the Guardian about being LibDem leader. It's the endless party meetings which get to you, he says: I was very struck by one review of the first instalment of Paddy Ashdown's diaries, penned by a seasoned member of the parliamentary press gallery. The journalist made the telling observation that he had never appreciated the extent to which the
10:12 am

What should the new Leader do?

Gravatar This afternoon we will learn who has been elected as the Leader of the Liberal Democrats. Some of us were challenged to write a piece for Liberal Democrat Voice on what we thought the new Leader should do in the first 100 days. This is what I wrote: We all know that our real power base is in local government. And it is here that some of the most interesting initiatives in...
9:55 am

The Elephant Interviews…

Gravatar Hello, fluffy friends. So… who wants to interview the Leader of the Liberal Democrats with me? Such a lot has happened since last I wrote to you. Sir Mr the Merciless has taken the LONG WALK; Mr Frown has shot himself in BOTH FEET; and Mr Balloon is still RUBBISH. The Liberal Democrats will soon have a NEW Party [...]
9:32 am

Facebook think I'm an impostor!

Gravatar I have an identity crisis. I had a message yesterday from Facebook to say that my account had been disabled. The standard online message says this is either for a serious of small misdemeanours or one 'egregious' breach of the rules. I had no idea what I might have done, so I messaged them to query and have been told that my site is a fake and that it is a breach of their rules not to give a genuine first name and last name. They say that their decision is final and that my account will not be re-activated! ...
9:07 am

New Day, New Leader

Gravatar New day, new leader.  A new Liberal Democrat Leader will be announced by Acting Leader Vince Cable MP at 2.30pm today. Vince has impressed everyone during his period as caretaker leader...
8:55 am

Opinion: What should the new leader do in his first 100 days? #4

Gravatar We all know that our real power base is in local government. And it is here that some of the most interesting initiatives in community politics are being played out by Lib Dem run councils. So I want to challenge the new leader to capitalise on our distinctive style of leadership out beyond Westminster. He could [...]
8:24 am

Keran Henderson - Medical Expert Evidence

Gravatar The link is to a story about a Juror from Keran Henderson's trial believing that a miscarriage of justice "has occurred." Keran's trial was essentially one about medical expert evidence. We had a useful discussion on Radio 5 yesterday about how the use of expert evidence needs to be improved to avoid miscarriages of justice. The key point is that legal decisionmaking and medical decisionmaking
8:11 am

New Jersey abolishes the death penalty

Gravatar The state of New Jersey has become the first US state to abolish the death penalty in over thirty years. In an interesting footnote to this news, one of the people who has as a result had their death sentence turned into life imprisonment is Jesse Timmendequas, whose murder of Megan Kanka resulted in the so-called [...]
8:06 am

Open and Transparent

Gravatar Fundamental reforms to the law are needed to help make the process of awarding peerages more transparent, the Commons Public Administration Committee will say today. Maybe an election is the mechanism they are looking for.
7:50 am

Are you on your way to the Forum?

Gravatar Don’t forget, if you’re a party member you can register for the Lib Dem Voice members’ forum - in which case you get to read and post on a rich variety of topics which don’t always make it into the public blog. Here’s a selection of the currently active threads to whet your appetites: * Traffic: [...]
7:50 am

Policies of the Democrat Party

Gravatar Democrat Party  Build a 4 lane road network throughout the country  Spend 200bn Baht on a dual track rail system  Develop rail, links with neighbouring countries such as China, Vietnam and Cambodia  Replace the diesel service within 100km of Bangkok with an electric service  Construct three new motorways to the north, the north east and the south  Cancel the contribution to [...]
6:55 am

It's panto season at the Home Office

Gravatar The scene: the entrance to the Home Office. Home Secretary enters stage left, shows security pass to guard at the desk and walks past him, muttering, “Where’s the illegal immigrant?” Audience responds, “Behind you!” because yes indeed, the person checking security passes at the front desk of the Home Office is an illegal immigrant.
1:19 am

Good result in Romsey: Tory vote collapses behind Lib Dem victory

Gravatar Good news from the Cupernham by-election in Romsey on my friend Len Gates’s blog: a 7% swing from the Conservatives to the Lib Dems and a victory for Karen Dunleavey: Candidate Votes % vs. last time Karen Dunleavey (LD) 793 59.7% +4.1%pts C. Lewis (Con) 460 34.6% -9.8%pts B. McCabe (UKIP) 73 5.5% +5.5%pts
12:55 am

City Council Climate Change Plan: an embarrassment to Winchester

Gravatar Back in February, Keith House set the ambitious goal of making Lib Dem-led Eastleigh Borough Council a zero carbon council by 2012. This builds on Eastleigh’s climate change action plan launched in 2005. Given the recent coverage of Winchester’s environmental footprint, you’d hope that our City Council would be thinking in similarly ambitious terms. Last Wednesday, the Conservatives in Winchester agreed their plans for Winchester City Council (’Live for the Future: Tackling Climate Change‘). And their target for CO2 reductions by Winchester City Council? They haven’t set one. There is no target for CO2 reductions by Winchester City Council! The ...
12:19 am

Reinventing the State Chapter 19: Tackling Terrorism: A Liberal Democrat Approach

Gravatar In this chapter, Nick Clegg "seeks to move beyond the infantile stand-off between those who see terrorism as an expression of multiple grievances and those who regard any engagement with extremists as a form of appeasement, towards a policy of 'critical enagement'." In a nutshell he nails the two wrong positions between which this debate is typically polarised. While grievances make good
12:08 am

Your three step guide to personal data security

Gravatar 1. Don't have children 2. Don't drive 3. Leave the country See, easy isn't it?
12:04 am

The Kurdish Answer

Gravatar Over the past few years, I have found myself speaking on the Kurdish Question at a wide range of meetings, from LibDem party conferences to Kurdish community events across London. I even boast a lovely pair of Kurdish baggy pants a friend in Istanbul had run up for me at his local tailor’s. But when I went to [...]

Previous days:

Monday 17th December 2007, Sunday 16th December 2007, Saturday 15th December 2007, Friday 14th December 2007, Thursday 13th December 2007, Wednesday 12th December 2007