Why looking back on the 2005 Lib Dem manifesto depresses me. And why The Orange Book means the 2015 manifesto will be better

by Stephen Tall on June 25, 2014

What did the Lib Dem manifesto in 2005 propose? I asked myself the question when reflecting on the legacy of The Orange Book 10 years after it was published. I remember Paul Marshall, the book’s co-editor, dismissing it at a (…)

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The Orange Book, 10 years on: 5 thoughts on its legacy

by Stephen Tall on June 24, 2014

Today saw what its co-editor Paul Marshall called the belated launch party for The Orange Book – such was the controversy surrounding its publication 10 years ago that the original event was cancelled. I was only able to attend one of the sessions (on public service reform) so here are five more general observations on […]

Phone hacking trial: Coulson found guilty, Cameron apologises

by Stephen Tall on June 24, 2014

The long-awaited trial of David Cameron’s former director of communications, Andy Coulson, concluded today, with the jury finding him guilty of a charge of conspiracy to intercept voicemails as part of the phone-hacking scandal. All Coulson’s co-defendants, including former Sun and News of the World editor Rebekah Brooks, were all found not guilty of various […]

Why are London schools so good? Politicians have been looking in the wrong place for the answers…

by Stephen Tall on June 23, 2014

Today saw the publication of an important report, Lessons from London schools for attainment gaps and social mobility. Commissioned by Alan Milburn’s independent Social Mobility and Child Poverty Commission, it’s the work of academics at the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Institute (…)

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Liberal Hero of the Week #70: Lord (Alex) Carlile

by Stephen Tall on June 23, 2014

Liberal Hero of the Week (and occasional Villains) is chosen by Stephen Tall, Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice, and Research Associate at CentreForum.  Lord (Alex) Carlile Lib Dem peer Reason: For proposing that children who have committed minor crimes, but have stopped breaking the law, should have their record cleared when they turn 18. Lord […]

My recommended reading for today June 22, 2014

by Stephen Tall on June 22, 2014

Here’s some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days… British Future The World Cup: a month when the popular press will be packed with stories about migrants… on the back-pages http://bit.ly/1lITRW4 Padraig Reidy: (…)

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My Total Politics column: Why getting battered and bruised may turn out to be an unavoidable occupational hazard of being Lib Dem leader

by Stephen Tall on June 20, 2014

Nick Clegg emerged from May’s local and European elections  battered and bruised, but with his leadership intact – just about. The cack-handed attempt by Vince Cable’s friend Lord Oakeshott  to stir insurrection against Clegg by leaking unfavourable private polls he’d paid for in battleground (…)

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My recommended reading for today June 20, 2014

by Stephen Tall on June 20, 2014

Here’s some of the articles that have caught my attention in the past couple of days… Damian McBride, 40 weeks, 40 days: a time for warriors Damian McBride calls on Ed Miliband to recruit Dan Hodges as his ‘wartime consigliere’. (…)

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My column for ConHome: Nick Clegg’s future – Why I think he should go. And why neither Nick nor his fellow Lib Dem MPs agree…

by Stephen Tall on June 19, 2014

Here’s my latest The Other Side column for ConservativeHome, published here on Tuesday. I re-visited my reasons for thinking Nick Clegg should quit as party leader (while remaining as Deputy Prime Minister). But also tried to understand why he’s decided (…)

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Ashcroft battlegrounds poll: both Tories and Lib Dems down on 2010, but it’s the Tories who’d make gains

by Stephen Tall on June 19, 2014

Lord Aschroft, the Tory peer and pollster, has published the results of a large survey of 17 Lib Dem / Conservative battleground seats. Six are Tory-held seats where the Lib Dems were runners-up in 2010; 11 are Lib Dem-held seats where the Tories were runners-up. Across those seats the voting intention (compared with the 2010 […]