Posts Tagged “featured”

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 […]

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 […]

Newark by-election: Tories win well, Ukip falls short, Labour dips, Lib Dems collapse

by Stephen Tall on June 6, 2014

A lot of politics is about momentum. At the moment it’s the Tories who have it. Not quite the Big Mo, but a Moderate Mo that’s growing. Here are the results of last night’s Newark by-election: Robert Jenrick (Con) 17,431 (45.03%, -8.82%) Roger Helmer (UKIP) 10,028 (25.91%, +22.09%) Michael Payne (Lab) 6,842 (17.68%, -4.65%) Paul […]

Ukip examined: who they are, what they stand for, and what it all means for British politics

by Stephen Tall on April 28, 2014

I’ve just finished reading Revolt on the Right, Robert Ford and Matthew Goodwin’s fascinating book analysing the rise of Ukip and what makes the party and its voters tick. Mark Pack has already written a very good review for LibDemVoice here. Here’s my take on some of its key insights. Who votes for Ukip? The […]

On Sarah Wollaston’s naming and shaming in The Times of “very aggressive male bloggers”

by Stephen Tall on April 19, 2014

Blogging is back in the headlines again today. Dr Sarah Wollaston, the feistily independent Conservative MP for Totnes, has hit back at those online critics who denounced her role in the trial of her fellow Tory, Nigel Evans, acquitted this week on all charges of sexual assault and one of rape. In an interview with […]



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