Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #485

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, returning from its Summer Break to bring you our 485th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (13-19 August, 2017), together with a hand-picked seven you might otherwise have missed, with one or two from earlier in the Summer.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

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Brake: Cabinet can’t even agree amongst themselves, let alone win concessions from EU

Now that David Davis is re-opening the EU talks timetable again, Lib Dem Brexit spokesperson Tom Brake has this to say on the paucity of the Government’s performance in the EU negotiations:

David Davis promised us ‘the row of the summer’ over the Brexit timetable, only to capitulate weeks later to the EU’s preferred timetable after a disastrous general election for his party which vastly undermined their negotiating position.

To be now, a couple of months down the line, trying to reopen the issue reeks of desperation at an approaching economic storm and a cabinet who don’t have a clue.

Constant reports of cabinet spats show our government cannot even agree a position between themselves, let alone win concessions from EU negotiating teams in our country’s best interests.

Davis certainly seems to be picking fights on simplistic binary issues to hide the enormous complexity of Brexit and the disaster it is likely to bring for our businesses, our economy and, consequently, for our poorest.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Vince talks about his new novel and other things at the Edinburgh Book Festival

I failed miserably when it came to getting Book Festival tickets this year. Starting a new job on the day the tickets came out meant that there were none left by the time I was able to look them up.

Sadly that meant that I missed Vince Cable’s session on his new book, Open Arms, which will be published on 7th September, so you’ll have to rely on the accounts of others.

Susan Mansfield in the Scotsman says he was a congenial Book Festival guest:

“I’m proud of the book, and I wish I’d done it earlier,” Cable said. His protagonist is an “independent-minded” female Conservative MP who becomes a Cabinet minister. “When I was a Cabinet minister, the two things that kept me sane were my weekly dancing lesson and having a pile of novels by the bed.”

 He made for a congenial Book Festival guest, free from the bluster and bombast of many in his line of work. Whether talking about his book, or about wider political issues, he was thoughtful and considered. Predictably enough, the conversation quickly left the novel behind.
On Brexit, Cable offered hope to remainers, saying there is a “significant possibility” that it might not happen. With Corbyn’s Labour Party “on the same page” as the Conservatives with regard to a hard Brexit, he hoped that rebels from both main parties could join forces with the Liberal Democrats and the SNP, and “the thing could unravel”.

In the Independent, he is quoted as saying that the book is “less discreet” than it might have been had he thought he would resume his career:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

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WATCH: Vince Cable’s Edinburgh Q & A

Vince Cable came to Edinburgh yesterday on his tour of the country taking questions from members.

For 90 minutes, he answered questions on such varying subjects as tackling extremism, Brexit, freedom of movement, the triple lock, opportunities for young people and the fight against climate change.

He was particularly strong on tackling inter-generational unfairness and I was heartened to see him continue to keep social justice and reducing inequality as top priorities.

He talked about the need to curb some of the privileges pensioners get – such as wealthier people over state pension age who are still earning not paying National Insurance. He said it was important to maintain the triple lock, though, because we don’t want to go back to the days when so many pensioners lived in poverty.

I was really pleased to meet so many people who had recently joined the party – some who had specifically joined because Vince was leader.

Watch most of it in the next two video clips. Don’t be put off by the sound interference at the beginning of the first one. It sorts itself out.

Posted in News | Tagged | 6 Comments

Notes from a new councillor: opposing Conservative cuts to children’s centres

One of the key elements in my campaign for election as Oxfordshire County Councillor was the cut in funding many of the Children’s Centres throughout Oxfordshire.

The closure of the Maple Tree Children’s Centre, Wheatley, in my patch inflamed the local community. Many parents and carers relied on the services and support provided at the Children’s Centre for health advice, parenting support, breast-feeding counselling, and meeting other local parents/carers.

This has been a big local issue. Our new Oxford West and Abingdon MP, Layla Moran, secured a debate in Westminster Hall on Children’s Centres. She moved that, “That this House has considered the role of children’s centres in tackling social inequality.”  You can read the full debate here.

Of those children’s centres slated for closure, communities were given the opportunity to keep their centres open. Residents of Wheatley rallied and a group was set up. The hope is that they will re-open the Maple Tree Children’s Centre from September, albeit with more limited services.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 23 Comments

Jamie Stone, the ferret and the pantomime dame

That’s a headline I never thought I’d write.

Online TV channel Core TV has been interviewing new MPs. It’s not a traditional political interview and is meant to be a light-hearted introduction to our new law makers.

Our Jamie Stone’s effort will make your mind boggle. It’s hilarious and has to be seen to be believed. Enjoy.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 11 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 21st Aug - 2:18am
    I know it takes a lot to make me laugh but this was a very long way from hilarious. It was light-hearted but I was...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 21st Aug - 2:01am
    @ Matthew Huntbach The Browne report does not suggest there would have to be massive cuts to universities. It talks of funding per student being...
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 21st Aug - 12:20am
    Michael BG Therefore our MPs did not have to support increasing student tuition fees and if they had not the fees would not have been...
  • User Avatarfrankie 20th Aug - 11:32pm
    I fear you may be right Katherine, already I detect less and less brave Brexiteers, perhaps as the summer draws on they feel the need...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 20th Aug - 11:08pm
    Peter Martin - On my previous comment, it is worth noting that Macron seems to be thinking some sort of 'buy European' policy. '“We have...
  • User AvatarLittle Jackie Paper 20th Aug - 10:42pm
    Peter Martin - I think that it goes back to the point I've made on here before which is that the problem in this picture...