Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the category “Liberal Democrat”

Who will provide the next opposition?

A while ago whilst feeling frustrated watching a usually unedifying episode of Question Time I tweeted a poll asking:

Who will provide next opposition

Now a few self-selected votes is about as far from a representative sample as you can get and the response possibly indicates that SNP supporters watching Question Time are more likely to click on polls! However  Read more…

Abolishing Opposition

Tim Farron is emailing about the budget:

Today we saw exactly what we’ve come to expect from George Osborne.

While gleefully abolishing vital services in our communities, he declared with his usual arrogance, that he had abolished the Liberal Democrats.
Email “They want to abolish us” from Tim Farron, Leader of the Liberal Democrats

He doeth protest too much! Read more…

Protest or Principle

Many portrayed the election of Tim Farron as leader of the Liberal Democrats as a swerve to the left – possibly even to the left of “Miliband Labour” (remember them?).

Then Jeremy Corbyn was elected as Leader of the Labour Party clearly intending to take Labour back towards its Socialist roots.

Tim Farron’s reaction to this says quite a lot about the 2015 Liberal Democrats. Read more…

Politicians and Jesus

A few decades ago “being a Christian” might have been viewed as essential for anyone hoping to be selected as a Parliamentary candidate in the UK.

The fact that it is now “an issue” says something about how much we have changed – and something about modern politics. Read more…

Charles Kennedy R.I.P.

There is something slightly disturbing about being woken by your clock radio with the news that someone you knew has died.

I knew Charles Kennedy many years ago when we were both students. As a leading light of the Glasgow University Union he used to visit other Unions (debating societies) including my own and he was much in demand as a visiting speaker.

His political contemporaries and commentators have made much of his wit and his charisma. He was certainly witty, but I would say he was more authentic than charismatic. But to remember him as a witty man does him an injustice – both as the politician who was willing to argue against the Iraq war and as the student debater. Read more…

End of Term Report: Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats, possibly slightly to their surprise found themselves holding the balance of power at the last election and that led to them going into coalition. So how have they done in the last five years?

How do we measure what they have done? On one hand we can measure “how well they have governed” – if we can agree what we mean by “well”. On the other hand we can look at it from the point of view of raw politics. Read more…

A Programme for the Majority?

Just imagine the following programme for government:

  • Reform
    • A shake up of Westminster
    • Abolition of the House of Lords
    • A fair voting system
  • Public Services
    • No tuition fees
    • Educational Maintenance Allowance including part-time college students
    • The NHS in public hands, halting the tide of NHS privatisation
    • Abolition of prescription charges
    • Explicit protection for the NHS on the face of the TTIP agreement
  • Fairness
    • Pensions that protect our older people.
    • A decent welfare system that helps people into work
    • Eradication of working practices that have no place in a decent, modern economy
    • a Living Wage nation
    • Strengthening of the law against domestic abuse – speed up the court process, give more support to victims, and expand schemes to help offenders change their behaviour
    • Gender Equality: Removal of Systemic and institutional barriers – the pay gap, occupational segregation, a lack of affordable childcare and, sometimes, just outdated attitudes
  • Other
    • No new generation of Trident nuclear weapons
    • Deficit reduction but not slash and burn austerity
    • Stay in Europe

If we could break the internal coalitions in the old elitist parties, could we envisage a parliamentary coalition to support this programme? Read more…

Ruling out partners

Will you rule out a coalition with?

Will you rule out any formal agreement with?

Will you rule out any agreement with?

These questions come from the politicians, the dimblebariat and members of the public (presumably learning from their elders if not their betters)

These questions should be banned. I know, what about “free speech”, but … Read more…

Campaigning in: Hexham

Basically, don’t bother – unless you are Conservative in which case do a bit of token campaigning to show that you are not taking the voters for granted.

Why? Read more…

Hidden Coalitions

I recently pondered the coalition permutations that might follow the forthcoming General Election in May 2015. Today I was considering the hidden coalitions in our current parties.

If these hidden coalitions could be unbundled, we might see some more appropriate permutations, which means more stable coalitions possibly with more support. Read more…

Post Navigation