by Anoosh Chakelian / 16 Sep 2013 15:17
Nick Clegg answered questions on welfare, local government, young people and immigration among other subjects in a conference hall Q+A today at Lib Dem Party Conference, and confidently confronted the left of his party.
Possibly riding high on the relief – rather than out-and-out joy – of winning an important symbolic vote this morning when a motion was put to the conference hall on continuing the coalition’s economic policies was carried, a debate where the Lib
by Anoosh Chakelian / 16 Sep 2013 12:34
An attack on the Tories was always bound to feature in “perpetual Jeremiah” business secretary Vince Cable’s speech to Lib Dem Conference today. He has been taking swipes at George Osborne’s economic recovery narrative recently, and there were even hints he may not vote with the party’s ‘Strengthening the UK Economy’ motion this morning in favour of coalition economic policy (he voted in favour in the end – a relieving win for Nick Clegg, following
by Sam Macrory / 16 Sep 2013 11:52
It's easily done. Put the wrong addresses into the 'cc' box, forget to check them, press send. We've all done it.
Unfortunately for the Liberal Democrats, a memo for MPs has just been sent out to about the worst audience of all.... the journalists at the Liberal Democrat conference. And worse than that, the memo is a collection of instructions for MPs on what lines to give.... the political journalists at the Liberal Democrat conference.
by Sam Macrory / 16 Sep 2013 01:15
To the delight of the watching Lib Dem masses, Ed Davey's conference speech on Sunday was peppered with its fair share of rabble-rousing Tory-bashing. Further proof of gloves being loosened, if not quite removed, as the coalition approaches its final 18 months.
But just as telling was the energy secretary's handling of the Labour Party. Sure, there was a rather wonkish attack on Labour’s policy to abolish energy regulator Ofgem, but Davey also expressed his desire
by Sam Macrory / 15 Sep 2013 16:17
Ex-leaders of political parties struggle to know what to do with themselves at the best of times, with their every word interpreted as passing judgment on their successor. And the problem gets worse at party conference season.
It’s a problem Charles Kennedy is well aware of. Ex-leaders, Kennedy told a Lib Dem conference fringe event in which he was speaking in his role as president of the European Movement, should be “seen occasionally and heard
by Sam Macrory / 14 Sep 2013 17:51
A lovely bit of Commons trivia appeared on the parliamentary website yesterday, with the publication of a list of MPs who are related to current or former members.
The PIL (Public Information List) provided by the Commons library is impressively long. A lot of it is fairly familiar stuff to anyone with a passing political interest. Shadow chancellor Ed Balls is married to shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper. Their shadow cabinet colleague Hilary Benn's father is
by Anoosh Chakelian / 13 Sep 2013 16:01
Did you see that diffident bespectacled young man in a Zuckerberg hoodie politely fielding Andrew Neil’s questions on the Daily Politics earlier today? That was Jim Gilliam, creator of NationBuilder – the online community organising platform that’s got campaigners on both sides of the Atlantic clicking away like the West Side Story score in double-time.
I interviewed him this morning ahead of the Lib Dems and Labour rolling this technology out across their parties at their
by Filip Tucek / 12 Sep 2013 10:51
Syria matters, especially to Europe
Europe, for centuries the notorious trouble-maker, has become a notorious trouble-ignorant. Barack Obama´s passionate advocacy of a decisive solution of the Syrian crisis, gives the European governments unique chance to tackle its security concerns with indispensable US material and financial help. Participation in an US led action would be in harmony with both security and political interests of the Continent; Europe would tackle the growing danger posed by prolonged Syrian
by Sam Macrory / 11 Sep 2013 17:02
Ed Miliband’s turn at the Trade Union Congress on Tuesday had been a little on the quiet side. A ripple of applause here, a cheer most definitely not there. The Labour leader needed to generate some noise.
But with economic figures not exactly helping the Labour’s leader previous mantra that the government’s economic plans were a shambles, his latest attack is to attack the government for its complacency.
Telling someone to stop being pleased with
09 Sep 2013 13:30
The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui - a revival of Bertolt Brecht's classic play - transfers to London’s Duchess Theatre from 18 September 2013.
Chicago in the 1930s, the Great Depression - a time of unemployment, fear and corruption, and the perfect time for a small-fry crime boss and his henchmen to make it big, to seize a greater power, an absolute power.
Arturo Ui and his mob of gangsters run protection rackets
by Sam Macrory / 04 Sep 2013 15:00
For a man with a reportedly explosive temper, David Cameron's performance at PMQs was a master class of self-control.
He was seething. The warning signs were there from the start.
Whatever Ed Miliband did or did not promise the prime minister ahead of last week's vote on Syria, Cameron's estimation of the Labour leader - which it's safe to say was already at the low end of the dial - has plummeted through the red
by Thomas Raines / 03 Sep 2013 13:12
A parliament of doves
The vote in the British parliament to reject intervention in Syria was remarkable, both as a moment of democratic drama and seemingly as a pivot in British foreign policy. Three points stand out: the parliamentary process which led to the defeat, the influence of the Iraq War, and the debate this now creates about the direction of British policy.
A spectacular assertion of Parliamentary authority or an aberration?