Blog

Confessions of a political thriller writer

Confessions of a political thriller writer

by Emma Gray / 10 Oct 2014 16:17

Writing political fiction is, like any fiction, easier than writing fact; a disclaimer in the front and off you go. If you've got a taste for controversy like Hilary Mantel or Andrew Marr you can write about real-life people, living or dead, and more or less get away with it (in the legal sense, anyway). With fictional characters you may include a smattering of personality from different people, well-known or not, to create a monster

Read more…

Comment

The Lib Dem policy that left conference delegates glowing

The Lib Dem policy that left conference delegates glowing

by Charlotte Henry / 10 Oct 2014 10:23

Nick Clegg has put improving mental health care right at the heart of the Liberal Democrats general election campaign. In his conference speech, the Lib Dem leader fleshed out announcement that his party will boost mental health provision by £150m.

He said that “if you are waiting for talking therapies to help you with your depression, you will be seen within six weeks - 18 weeks at an absolute maximum - just as if you

Read more…

Comment

Moving beyond the classroom to tackle disadvantage

Moving beyond the classroom to tackle disadvantage

by Baroness Sally Morgan / 08 Oct 2014 11:56

You’d struggle to find a political figure more dedicated to tackling educational disadvantage than Baroness Sally Morgan. A qualified teacher, Morgan went on to play an important role in New Labour’s education programme and has since spent three years as Chair of Ofsted. She currently sits on a range of charity Trustee Boards including ARK, Future Leaders and Teaching Leaders. 

Now, as a Frontline Board member, Morgan is ‘moving beyond the classroom’ to help Frontline

Read more…

Comment

Simply Symbolic?

Simply Symbolic?

by Charlotte Henry / 07 Oct 2014 17:25

Political parties often use football as a bit of a, well, political football.  While many MPs like to be pictured with their local team, few politicos actually take policy governing our national game seriously. Today the Liberal Democrats had a motion discussing the beautiful game at their conference, highlighting many of the problems that blight it. One of the main issues they want to see tackled is homophobia in football.  The motion calls for homophobia

Read more…

Comment

Where next for the President?

Where next for the President?

by Sam Macrory / 07 Oct 2014 17:16

Tim Farron has just given his last address as Liberal Democrat president.

And the applause which followed was, if not deafening, then impressively loud.

The party love him, and after two terms as party president he leaves on a high. He’s a Lib Dem who voted against tuition fees. Who voted against the bedroom tax. Who is free to say what he thinks about David Cameron. Or Ed Miliband.

And that means he’s a Liberal

Read more…

Comment

The Good Book

The Good Book

by Charlotte Henry / 07 Oct 2014 11:13

On June 24th 2014, in an air-conditioned auditorium in Westminster, Paul Marshall and David Laws launched The Orange Book, a collection of essays on the future of the Liberal Democrats. There was a large audience, keen to hear the thoughts of high-profile speakers debating the future of liberalism.

The book, however, was published in 2004. It arrived with as little fanfare as the Lib Dems of the time could get away with. It may not

Read more…

Comment

The Next Leader but One?

The Next Leader but One?

by Charlotte Henry / 07 Oct 2014 10:55

Kirsty Williams brightened up a wet Monday morning in Glasgow, giving a rousing speech that got a sleepy conference hall on its feet. The notable thing about this performance is how ministerial it was. Williams is in the Welsh Assembly, not the Commons, but often she focused on what the party as a whole was achieving not just what her team was doing in Wales. She said she is “proud we entered government,” and that

Read more…

Comment

Lib Dems on a High

Lib Dems on a High

by Charlotte Henry / 06 Oct 2014 17:03

Drug decriminalisation is a topic that has been mentioned quite regularly by the Lib Dems recently, who have long been in favour of a more liberal approach to narcotics. It’s worth asking if this policy is currently being piloted at the party’s conference. What else could explain why the Lib Dems are on such a high?

The party continue to languish in the polls, but activists, staffers and parliamentarians alike are genuinely in an upbeat

Read more…

Comment

Generation... Jeremy?

Generation... Jeremy?

by Charlotte Henry / 05 Oct 2014 17:25

Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne declared today that London Mayor Boris Johnson “has often been quite a brave liberal politician” and that he should give the Liberal Democrats “food for thought”.

The former minister’s comments came at an event hosted by the group Liberal Reform, who campaign for a more rounded liberalism within the Lib Dems, and have looked into the phenomenon whereby 18-35 year olds, are liberals but not liberal democrats. 

Browne believes that 

Read more…

Comment

Beveridge effects 

Beveridge effects 

by Charlotte Henry / 05 Oct 2014 16:54

Welfare reform has been on of the areas that the Lib Dems have found particularly hard in in Government, trying to walk the tightrope between economic credibility in reducing spending and social justice. This morning at the party conference, they took on the issue once again.

There were not quite the fireworks there had been on this issue previously - perhaps because the debate had, conveniently for the party leadership, been timetabled for 9.30am on

Read more…

Comment

Meanwhile, outside the secure zone... "They're all a bunch of liars"

Meanwhile, outside the secure zone... "They're all a bunch of liars"

by Jess Bowie / 01 Oct 2014 14:28

Darren, architect, 43

The conference hasn't made much of an impression on me. Some of my colleagues have been to a few fringe events though. It's going to be the big announcement today of the major policies, isn't it?

 

Simon, 30, barman at the Shakespeare pub on Summer Row, central Birmingham

I haven't really taken much notice of it to be frank.

 

James, 41, UKIP candidate for Coventry council, canvassing near the conference

Read more…

Comments (1)

Cameron's speech: views from the floor

Cameron's speech: views from the floor

by Jess Bowie / 01 Oct 2014 13:40

Rod, 58, councillor from Swindon

It was one of the best, solid speeches we've heard from any party leader for a very long time. It was an election manifesto, obviously, but it was about setting policies that we're going to fight on. You either fight elections on ideology or you fight them on policy, and I think there was a lot of meaty policy in there – in very stark contrast

Read more…

Comment