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Day: February 13, 2012

Liberal Reform have launched – here is what they have to say

Whilst watching the all-new Pointless (now in HD) I received an e-mail from Liberal Reform with their launch details. Here it is republished ad verbatim (without me putting in all the hyperlinks):

We are today delighted to announce that Liberal Reform has launched.

Liberal Reform is a new membership group within the Liberal Democrats, committed to fostering debate and variety in the Lib Dems, and promoting a rounded liberal ideology in Lib Dem policy. This includes the economic liberalism that the founding members feel is currently lacking in representation in the party.

The group views any pacts or attempts to align ourselves with other parties as electoral suicide, which prevents the Liberal Democrats from pursuing a thoroughly liberal agenda, and which can only benefit other parties.

You can read more about our proposals for four cornered freedom at

Co-founder Mike Bird explained:
”We agree with Nick Clegg’s statement at our Autumn Conference in 2011 that “we are not on the left, and we are not on the right. We have our own label: Liberal.”

Advocating personal, political, social and economic liberalism, will distinguish us from other political parties. “

Commenting further, co-founder Zadok Day said:
“Only a message of four-cornered liberalism will keep us true to our proud liberal heritage, and give the Liberal Democrats a strong, distinct, platform in upcoming elections.”

As well as our website, you can join our Facebook page (which has attracted over 100 members in less than 24 hours of being live,) and Twitter.

I’m sceptical of these groups as I have mentioned before but one thing the party does need is more ideas. We all have our buttons that we think are the most important. Some think equality for gay and lesbians is the top priority. Some think it is equality with women and race. Some think taxing the rich to give to the poor. Some think having a first-grade NHS is the most important thing. Ending of the post-code lottery for services and so on. So having groups that act as smaller think tanks isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It isn’t leading to the breakup of the party. Well not as currently constituted anyway.

As for any pacts or aligning ourselves with other parties as electoral suicide. I have to say I disagree with this. The rest of the world with a multi-party system seem to cope with coalitions in a mature way. Just because we aren’t used to it doesn’t mean that we can’t. The Liberal Democrats should and are able to standalone on their own two feet but if the numbers dictate that coalition is the best way forward for the country then we should not shirk our responsibilities.

So if these groups all put together ideas that can be discussed by the members at Conference then by all means it sounds fine. I know there is a lot of discontent around that these groups might breakaway from the party at some point but that would be a moronic and short-sighted move. One that would assure that the liberal centre-ground is not represented in Parliament for generations. I just don’t see this happening.

So I’m fine with these groups as long as they work towards the same goal which is to better the party as a whole and put more ideas out there that can become Liberal Democrat policy. We can only bleat on about the Pupil Premium and rise in Income Tax for so long. With such a diverse, talented and intellectual membership the party should be able to be put together a plethora of ideas that can be used to make the party stronger and more unique to the electorate going forward.

If that is the goal then good times. If it’s not then I worry. For the record I am not a member of any of these groups. I am neither cool enough nor smart enough.

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Did Aaron Ramsay kill Whitney Houston?

Just when I think Journalism has hit a new low it only goes and shows off that it can in fact go even lower. I had seen the tweets and the forums linking Aaron Ramsay’s goals to deaths of famous people but when a newspaper picks it up and not just picks it up – actually runs it as a story – and not just runs it as a story says that it is an exclusive my soul ebbs away just like the atmosphere in the solar winds.

That bastion of knowledge The Sun are today running a story entitled Aaron Ramsey in goal link to Whitney death and in the by-line it proudly proclaims ‘EXCLUSIVE By ALEX PEAKE’.

The story links the Welsh midfielders goals to the deaths of Osama Bin Laden, Steve Jobs and Colonel Gaddafi. Like the player has this power that means that if he scores then some famous person will be struck down in the next 72 hours because that is just the way it is. God cannot allow both a goal and a famous life to continue. One must be traded for another.

This is actually in a real newspaper. This isn’t The Onion. This is a real newspaper and the journalist was happy to put his (or her) name to it. Sometimes I just can’t believe how desperate newspapers are for content. I shouldn’t be surprised but I am. I think the biggest shock is the ‘exclusive’ bit. Really folks? An exclusive?

Lets round off with the final line of the story, ‘One fan wrote on a forum: “I’m worried things will get out of control when he scores more.”‘

Yes I think my neck is going to be sore in the morning with all the shaking of it that I am doing at the moment.

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The Daily Mail says the Lib Dems are writing the budget. They seem upset. Good times.

‘No reprieve for the middle classes in ‘Lib Dem Budget’ after Osborne refuses to change plan to cut child benefit payments’ booms out the Daily Mail this morning. That has certainly given me reason to be optimistic for the week ahead. Delving further into the story the Lib Dems are seemingly mounting a charge against the upper middle classes to fund tax breaks for the less well off. So robbing from the rich to give to the poor. The party are like modern day Robin Hood’s. This hasn’t gone down well with the people who have commented on the article but more of that later.

The Lib Dems want to slash tax relief on pensions on those earning a six figure salary or more from 40p to 20p in the pound. This was apparently raise £3.7bn for the treasury. Sounds like a good idea to me. Count me in. They also want new green taxes that will increase the rate that we’ll see everyone taken out of Income Tax until they have earned over £10k in a financial year. This seems good. Also the plans on striping child benefit payments for those who are earning in the 40p tax bracket. Not nice but not a disaster either. Also seems that there will be no movement on marriage tax allowance which has been one of David Cameron’s big things. Seems like the Lib Dems aren’t budging on that one.

So basically according to the report which I shall link to here the Lib Dems are punching above their weight and moving the coalition away from Tory heartland to a more liberal outlook. Are the party after two years of finding their feet and finding their voice starting to find their power and have learned how to wield it?

It certainly seems that way. If this report is accurate then it will be a good budget for those who need it most. Whilst it might not exactly be robbing the rich to give to the poor it will be the better off helping out the poor and isn’t that what Mr Harry Potter Daniel Radcliffe bleated about last week when he disaffected from the Lib Dems? He just showed that things in politics take time and you can’t change everything overnight – certainly not when you are a minority party in a coalition.

Lets see what the Daily Mail readers think. These are real comments from real readers and at the time of posting are the most green arrowed.

Cameron you make us sick you hammer us for being married and yet you preach about the family and couples staying married, what incentive do you give? Well we remain married, struggling and sick of the society you seem fit to create and mismanage. You need to get out along with all the other people that do not belong and drain this country of it’s life. You are giving this country away.

You’ve now lost my vote and I suspect, many more. UKIP next for me.

We cannot go on like this Dave

I always thought the Tories were for family values, well if you take things away from a married family what is the point in joining together?

Could someone please remind me. WHO is the Prime minister of this god forsaken country??????????????

The end is nigh, both of marriage and the family. Society is falling apart and the PR stuntman and his idiot Chancellor are too dim to realise.

Another broken promise from the liar Cameron. All his broken promises will be remembered at the next election. He must hold the record for the largest number of broken promises, second must be Nick Clegg. Add the two together and go have the biggest pair of promises breakers in history.

As a Conservative voter of many years standing, never have I felt so betrayed and ashamed by a Conservative Government that has abandoned all the principles it purported to have before the election. Cameron seems happy to use the LibDems as a ‘shield’ to hide behind whenever he reneges on his promises, blaming them rather than himself – a convenient tactic for a coward. Osbourne showed early promise but has now decided that his position within the Government is more important to him than his principles. My own sitting Conservative MP has shown a (now too common) trait within the Tory party of backtracking on statements or principles that they proudly spoke of BEFORE the election. Never has there been such a blatant case of the tail wagging the dog; in this case, we have a Shih Tzu puppy wagging away like mad, whilst what I believed was a Bulldog just whimpers on the floor. Pathetic.

Seems like Middle England aren’t a fan of helping out those well off when it might affect them. No surprise there really. I just wish and hope that the electorate can see that at a national level the Lib Dems are actually not just propping up a Tory government but actually making a difference. If they do then the death of the party might well have been exaggerated.

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