Posts Tagged “featured”

Nick Clegg’s speech on immigration: baby steps in a liberal direction

by Stephen Tall on August 6, 2014

When I read Nick Clegg’s immigration speech yesterday I breathed a sigh of relief. It’s sensible and mostly liberal. Which means it’s a stark contrast to his March 2013 attempt: that was probably the most dire speech I’ve ever heard from a Lib Dem leader. Back then, Nick took credit for net migration having fallen […]

Lib Dem party membership: the occasional ups and mostly downs since 1988

by Stephen Tall on August 3, 2014

The Lib Dems published the party’s 2013 accounts this week. The report included the latest membership figures, which showed for the first time since 2010 an increase on the previous year’s: up 2% to 43,451. Here are the Lib Dem membership figures since the modern party’s formation as the successor to the Liberal Party and […]

Lib Dems publish latest accounts: £439k surplus and membership up to 43,451

by Stephen Tall on July 29, 2014

The latest set of accounts for the Lib Dems have been published – I’ve uploaded it at the foot of this post. (You can compare it with last year’s here.) Here are 5 points that struck me I read through the document. 1) Party bounces back from deficit to surplus Last year, the Lib Dems […]

Good news: Voters places themselves and the Lib Dems in the centre. Bad news: that doesn’t mean they’re liberals

by Stephen Tall on July 24, 2014

“There’s no future for the Lib Dems as a party of the centre,” goes the cry from radicals on both wings of our party. So I was interested to see this polling data from YouGov (hat-tip Adam Corlett) looking at where voters place themselves on the left-right axis and where they place the parties and […]

Michael Gove: The Case for the Defence. And also the Case for the Prosecution.

by Stephen Tall on July 16, 2014

Unlike most Lib Dems, I am not a Gove-hater. But nor do I share the adulation those one on the Right bestow upon him. The man we must now call the former Education secretary was more complex than his critics allowed and more flawed than his fans admitted. No-one should doubt Michael Gove’s passion for […]

Reshuffle: One Nation Toryism has gone to meet its maker

by Stephen Tall on July 15, 2014

David Cameron’s extensive reshuffle of the Tory ministerial ranks will continue today. Last night we learned of the casualties; today will be dedicated to the winners. But there’s no doubt at all about the biggest casualty: moderate, One Nation Toryism. Ken Clarke, famously dubbed the sixth Lib Dem cabinet member, has gone. Too sensible to […]

A longer read for the weekend… Edward Lucas on the threat posed to peace by Russia and what the West should do about it

by Stephen Tall on July 13, 2014

Edward Lucas worked for Paddy Ashdown, has helped at by-elections, and was active in the National League of Young Liberals (NLYL) and the Union of Liberal Students (ULS). He’s better known, though, for being a senior editor at The Economist and an expert on energy, cyber-security, espionage, Russian foreign and security policy and the politics […]

Why 40% is the magic number in the Scottish referendum

by Stephen Tall on July 6, 2014

For some reason, 40% is a figure which has long exerted political significance. That devolution for Scotland wasn’t introduced in 1979 wasn’t because a majority of those who voted didn’t want it: by 52% to 48% the Scottish voted in favour of establishing a Scottish parliament. However, a Labour MP, George Cunningham, introduced an amendment […]

5 things Nick Clegg could do next

by Stephen Tall on July 4, 2014

My last piece of advice to Nick Clegg was to stand down as Lib Dem leader. He didn’t, and it’s pretty clear now that Nick will lead us into the next general election. Two problems remain, though, and we need to find ways of addressing them. First, morale in the party has dipped since the […]

For-profit schools: some evidence of why I’m far from convinced

by Stephen Tall on June 29, 2014

Labour’s shadow education secretary, Tristram Hunt, this week called on Michael Gove to rule out profit-making schools, arguing “Beyond 2015, whether it admits it or not, the Conservative Party intends to introduce the profit motive into English education”. The Tories have sidestepped the issue and instead invited Labour to turn its fire on the Lib […]



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