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Ex-policeman Mike Crockart set to be Lib Dem MP

By Julian Harris
October 31st, 2009 at 8:32 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in UK Politics

mikecrockartAs an anonymous poster commiserated t’other day, Mike Crockart has been selected as the Lib Dem PPC for Edinburgh West.

I am reliably informed that this is our second safest seat in the whole land, with a majority of 13,600.

The candidates were:

* Paul Edie (social care convener)
* Euan Robson (former Scottish Government minister)
* Mike Crockart (ex-policeman)
* Siobhan Mathers (party policy convener)

The voting went as follows:

First round
Crockart 50
Edie 44
Mathers 23
Robson 20

After transfers
Crockart 55
Edie 48
Mathers 34

Final round
Crockart 77
Edie 57

How exciting.

More info here.

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Only muppets or puppets need apply

By Angela Harbutt
October 31st, 2009 at 2:11 am | Comments Off on Only muppets or puppets need apply | Posted in UK Politics

the next head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs?Following the news earlier this evening that the “Drug Tsar” Prof David Nutt has been sacked for…. well…. speaking the truth, and Alex Wilcock’s excellent observation that only liars need now apply for the newly vacated post,  I am left wondering just how brazenly totalitarian this government can get?

And I know that people can get hot under the collar about the misuse of words such as “totalitarian” . So be clear. I do not use that particular word lightly. We are witnessing political authority attempting to exercise absolute and centralized control over every aspect  of our lives. We, the people, are subordinate to the state. Dissent is demonstrably being suppressed. If that is not the definition of totalitarian – then someone please explain what is.

Today it’s the head of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs being summarily sacked because the authorities did not like the findings of his research. And when they ignored/distorted that evidence-based advise, he refused to keep silent, and was dimissed.

It was just a couple of  weeks ago that we saw Ed Ball’s dismissing the Commons cross-party select committee conclusion to reject the appointment of  Maggie Atkinson as England’s next children’s commissioner. Why did they reject her? Because We just didn’t think she had the independence of mind to stand up to a secretary of state who loves to get his own way”. Needless to say Mr Ball’s stuck two fingers up to the committee and appointed her anyway. 

I hesitate to raise the question of what really happened to David Kelly when he crossed the government. Perhaps, as posted earlier on this site, Professor Nutt should consider himself lucky that it was just a sacking.

As for the rest of us – we will have to take everything the government, or it’s so-called experts, says with an even bigger pinch of salt. Or actually just assume it’s a lie. That’s probably the safest bet here on in.

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Drug Tsar sacked

By Angela Harbutt
October 30th, 2009 at 6:27 pm | 3 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

Following on from my recent post, I have just heard on the radio that Professor Nutt – who criticised the government for distorting the facts about the dangers of cannabis – has been sacked. Well what do you expect from a government that prefers to “run” with public opinion – whipped by the the Daily Mail et al – rather than make policy on fact-based evidence.

I love Lembit

By Angela Harbutt
October 30th, 2009 at 12:43 am | 6 Comments | Posted in Uncategorized

lembitOk , I am not quite ready to have his babies – but I thought that Lembit was top notch on Question Time tonight. He stood up proud and bold on legalisation of drugs – making Jacqui Smith look silly (though to be fair she was doing a pretty good job all by herself) and destroyed the Tories on their history of boom and bust.

Flamboyant?- maybe. Dodgy taste in women? probably(he has never come on to me !). Self deprecating? – definitely. Controversial?- always. But I love those anarchic MPs who say what they believe and stand by it. I want more of them. We would not be in the state we are in had we had more idiosyncratic, off the wall but principled, independent members of parliament who stood by their beliefs rather than folded to bullying or the promise of promotion. More please.

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Statement on Mark Littlewood’s departure and Liberal Vision

By Julian Harris
October 29th, 2009 at 5:24 pm | 7 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

Hullo all,lv1

First things first: due to the requirement for party-political impartiality, Mark Littlewood is leaving the Liberal Democrats after being appointed to his smashing new job at the IEA.

But you knew that already.

To clarify–he has therefore departed Liberal Vision, as the group requires active participants to be members of the Liberal Democrats.

As the inevitable decision was made, there were tears, hugs, and torn heartstrings, but in the end whatever will be, will be, and there are plenty more fish in the sea.

I’m one of those (gold)fish, and as of today am delighted to take over as Director, in a move that will no doubt delight millions, especially my mother. However, this is only possible due to the assistance of many Liberal Vision supporters who have pledged to rally behind the cause in recent days. I thank them all, as well as our hundreds of members / supporters, and thousands of readers.

This success gives us a solid foundation upon which to build. In fact, since Mark’s departure, the rate of new e-mail subscriptions and membership applications have more than doubled. Read into that what you will!

In all seriousness, I would personally like to thank Mark for founding this group and for his steely determination, rock solid principles and unshakeable tendency to force gin down my throat. With these tools the foundations have been laid in a remarkably short time.  As to how we build on them going forward, there is no quick answer.  There “will be changes around here”, but they will not be made suddenly, nor capriciously. There will be consultation and a considered approach to advancing classical liberal ideas within the UK’s only Liberal party, at a time when freedoms are increasingly threatened by the Tories and Labour.

If you are interested in helping Liberal Vision in this aim, please get in touch (

Sincerely and faithfully yours,

Julian Harris