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The Lib Dems: Enough is enough

September 12, 2013

“Don’t settle for low politics and broken promises” – Nick Clegg, 2010 Yes, he fucking well did say that. And yes, he fucking well settled for it. As always with Nick Clegg – Do as I say, not as I do. It has been well documented within the panic rooms of the All That’s Left […]

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The Coalition 2015 Fallacy

October 2, 2012

Westminster Village conventional wisdom has developed over the last few months to the effect that the most likely result of the next general election is a further hung parliament and therefore another coalition government, with the Lib Dems in prime position.    Unsurprisingly, given the Westminster Village’s usual record (see for example the consensus around the inevitable […]

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Can anything save the Lib-Dems?

May 21, 2012

Recent opinion polls have put the Lib-dems in fourth place behind UKIP, suggesting that less than 8% of voters would vote for them if there was a general election today. Now, I leave matters concerned with polling and psephology to Jackie who is an expert – but, even I know that if those polls were […]

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God help us and save us from the Tories!

March 29, 2012

By anyone’s standards it’s been an awful week for the Conservatives. In the course of a few days, any pretence they had for being either compassionate or competent has surely been exposed. First there was the budget – a despicable piece of politics which showed that the Chancellor was more than happy to use the […]

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Boris And The Age Of Nihilism

March 26, 2012

Apparently Boris Johnson has been amazed by the levels of nihilism demonstrated by ‘young people’ responsible for last years riots. In fact so concerned was Boris by this level of nihilism that he must have analysed it for all of minutes before concluding that it was the fault of the schools for failing to teach […]

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I’m Confused By Clegg!

January 26, 2012

Right, so let’s recap – Nick Clegg leads the Lib-Dems into the general election in 2010, criticising the Tory proposals to introduce immediate and swingeing cuts to public expenditure. Then, he decides that he is wrong about this, and that in fact, immediate and swingeing cuts to public expenditure is exactly what is needed. He […]

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The Coalition: Bringing Poverty And Inequality To A Town Near You

January 24, 2012

There were three significant events in UK politics yesterday: first, the Coalition fought tooth and nail to pass their pernicious Welfare Reform Bill through the Lords; second, Vince Cable announced his proposals for controlling the excesses of Boardroom pay; third, the opinion polls showed that the Tories’ lead over Labour had risen. The link between […]

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How likely is a General Election in 2012?

December 14, 2011

Last night the Lib-Dems abstained on the vote to pat David Cameron on the back for shrinking Britain’s role in World Politics. Ok, it was an abstention rather than a vote against the motion, but, it was the first coordinated sign of discontent from within the party and shows that the level of animosity amongst […]

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What is the point of the Lib-Dems?

December 12, 2011

That sounds like a facetious question – it isn’t meant to be – it is a serious question and one which I would urge every Liberal Democrat to ask themselves now more than ever. The Lib-Dems have played an important role. Since the Party rose up from the debacle of the SDP/Liberal Alliance in the […]

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Cameron puts The Bankers and The Bonkers before The People

December 7, 2011

Europe is in a mess. The Euro is in a mess. And the longer that mess continues, the more likely it is that it will all end badly. And badly, means badly for us, the people – those who are reliant upon the British Economy and the European Economy being in good enough shape to […]

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The Autumn Statement: The Coalition’s Latest Shame

December 1, 2011

I’ve been forced to do some actual proper work over the last week – which has kept me away from this blog. What I didn’t miss though, was the sound and sight of the Coalition Benches of the House of Commons cheering George Osborne’s Autumn Statement. There can be only two types of people who […]

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How do you tackle Youth Unemployment?

November 23, 2011

Well, it’s taken them a year and a half – but the coalition’s policies have led to the highest youth unemployment since 1992. Disgracefully, they have tried to blame ‘the legacy they inherited from Labour’ and the eurozone crisis – both excuses are deliberate attempts to mislead the electorate as Youth Unemployment was falling when […]

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Liam Fox, David Cameron and the ‘something for nothing society.’

October 12, 2011

In his conference speech last week, David Cameron railed against what he called the ‘something for nothing society.’ The implication was that there were people who were relying on the state and not contributing a great deal, the implication was that these people were in some way bad for society, that they did not possess […]

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Conservative Conference Special: Hugging the Lib Dems To Death

October 3, 2011

One of the clearest strategies adopted by the Lib Dems at their conference a couple of weeks ago was to go out of their way to distance themselves from their Coalition partners – we are only doing this reluctantly in the interests of the nation (and because the voters made us) they emphasised.  With the […]

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(After the) Lib Dem Conference Special: Bullshit Detector #3 – The Lib Dems Are A Restraint On The Tories

September 23, 2011

One of the constantly repeated messages in the Lib Dem Conference was that the Lib Dems, by being in government, act as a brake on the right wing instincts of the Tories.    In the early part of the conference – before Clegg, in his speech, blamed all of the world’s ills on Gordon Brown – […]

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Lib-Dem Conference Special – some tips for Nick Clegg’s Speech

September 20, 2011

Back in the early 1990’s, I drafted a speech for Paddy Ashdown on the issue of unemployment. I remember being petrified as I tentatively handed it to the great captain, whom promptly read the first two paragraphs, before scrunching up his eyes until they became non-existent, looking beyond me at some spectral image that must […]

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Miliband, Balls – WAKE UP!

September 9, 2011

This week saw the first Prime Minister’s Question Time since before the Summer. Since the last time Cameron and Miliband drew swords across the Commons, the economy has gone from dire to desperate. Unemployment rose in August by 38,000 to almost 2 and a half million, the highest since the early nineties. Growth for the […]

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Hey Toby Young, I don’t remember you telling us that Free Schools would be run for profit!

September 5, 2011

A few months back, we had a very enjoyable exchange with Toby Young, in which Toby very gamely defended Free Schools and our George East very adroitly told him how wrong he was. Needless to say, none of us were convinced with Toby’s rather lame arguments – most of which seemed to revolve around the […]

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The Lib-Dems Autumn Conference – Four Days To Save The Party!

September 2, 2011

The opinion polls still make grim reading for the Lib-Dems. In fact they’re getting worse. According to the wonderful analysis carried out by my colleague Jackie South, if the latest opinion polls were replicated at a General Election, the Lib-Dems would lose 41 seats. This would be a catastrophe, catapulting the party back to the […]

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In the debate between Hayek and Keynes, is the answer Marx?

August 30, 2011

We are, or so the Coalition government tell us, in a terrible situation. The armageddon of economic disintegration is nigh, they say, unless we take drastic action. The Coalition’s strategy for ‘drastic action’ has been a mix of Thatcher and Hayekism – combining Maggie’s desire to shrink the state and Friedrich’s belief that in times […]

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Rise in NHS waiting times: the Coalition’s greatest failure?

August 20, 2011

Call me old fashioned; call me simplistic in my thinking, but I have this belief that one of the aims of government, of any hue, is to ensure that ill people don’t get neglected. I know, how naive of me, what a namby pamby bleeding heart liberal you are Ray – don’t you know that […]

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Phone Hacking: What should Nick Clegg do?

July 19, 2011

Nick Clegg is probably to be found somewhere in the Palace of Westminster hiding under a table wearing a tin-hat watching all the bombs sail safely over his head. He has had a few weeks off from being the fall-guy and can today look with a certain amount of optimism at some fairly healthy opinion […]

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Coalition taking its criminal justice policy from the Daily Mail

June 21, 2011

As a rule, I don’t have any problems with politicians who perform u-turns, rethinks or volte faces in regards to policy and I always sigh when I hear a politician who has found themselves being urged to change tack by the opposition being derided for doing exactly that. But, in the midst of a seemingly […]

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Week 23: Hero – Rowan Williams

June 12, 2011

Allthatsleft hero of the week award goes to ……. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams Three cheers for Rowan Williams: at last, someone in the public arena has spoken with clarity, sense, intelligence and honesty. In very clear and very powerful language the Archbishop of Canterbury commented upon the coalition’s programme of government. He […]

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Vince Cable tells the unions – ‘come and have a go if you think you’re hard enough!’

June 6, 2011

It beggers belief, it really does – a year ago, Vince Cable was lauded as a canny politician with an unerring ability to talk sense; he was the man with his finger on the pulse. Since then, since the moment when he convinced the Lib-Dem Parliamentary Party that they should abandon everything they had been […]

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The Coalition’s Economic Shame At A Glance

June 3, 2011

Allthatsleft was founded on the firm belief that the coalition government’s economic policy was totally flawed. We did not accept the theory and we were instinctively sceptical of the Thatcherite ideology that underpins it. The Coalition told us however, that the austerity measures were the only way to repair the economy. So, is it working? […]

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The Coalition One Year On: #5 Health Policy

May 30, 2011

In the run-up to the 2010 General Election, David Cameron sought to convince voters that the NHS was safe in Tory hands.  Posters across the land were plastered with Cameron’s shiny air-brushed face and the reassuring words: “I’ll cut the deficit, not the NHS.”  Internet spoofs suggested scepticism, but an Ipsos Mori poll prior to […]

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The Coalition One Year On: #4 Foreign Policy

May 26, 2011

The Coalition’s record on foreign policy is confused: what is it all about? Is it liberal interventionism? Is it Is it isolationist anti-europeanism? Is it the hard thwack of British common sense jackbooting across the foreign stage? I have to say – I’m not really sure, but I don’t think that the Coalition is really […]

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The Coalition One Year On: #2 – The Economy (i) – the Politics

May 12, 2011

This post is the second in allthatsleft’s series looking at various aspects of politics and policy one year into the Coalition government.  Before moving on to issues of economic performance, which I will in my next post, I want first to look at the politics of the economy. This is important because the next election […]

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The Coalition One Year On: # 1: Education Policy

May 11, 2011

Practically every politician who ever drew breath has been convinced of his or her ability to transform our education system for the better; what was it Tony Blair said, ‘education, education….’ you know the rest. The sad reality is that few manage to do very little other than disrupt schools and confuse teachers. For us, […]

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