Posts Tagged “featured”

Lib Dem pre-manifesto launched: includes policies to reform drugs laws and bus pass discount for under-21s

by Stephen Tall on September 8, 2014

Last week’s pre-manifesto launch by the Lib Dems was postponed owing to the international situation. Thankfully no important news has broken over the past couple of days which might over-shadow today’s launch. Unless, that is, you think the potential break-up of the UK or a new Royal Baby are headline-grabbing events. You can read the […]

What if… David Davis had won the Tory leadership contest in 2005?

by Stephen Tall on August 31, 2014

What-ifs are, as Peter Snow would say, just a bit of fun: a counter-factual parlour game for historians. It is impossible to know exactly how one event ricocheting off in a different direction would have altered the subsequent reality. This one does genuinely intrigue me, though: What if David Davis had won the Tory leadership […]

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 […]



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