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Lesson 101. THIS is how you make an apology

By Angela Harbutt
September 21st, 2012 at 10:00 am | Comments Off on Lesson 101. THIS is how you make an apology | Posted in Liberal Democrats

Dear Nick

This is how to make an apology :

Stephen Nolan interview with Norman Lamb 24th October 2010. You see ? Timely, honest and clear.

Stephen Nolan: “You must be very embarrassed by the promise you gave to every single person Norman”

Norman Lamb:  “I am embarrassed by that pledge and I wish that I had not signed it …I take this very seriously. I hate the situation that I am personally am in. I find it a genuine moral dilemma. I want to try and do the right thing…”

“… And look everyone of us , in politics or any other walk of life , make mistakes. I have made a mistake on this and I’m very open and candid about it . I want people to be able to trust what I do and what I say. But in the circumstances I am in, I’ve got to try and make the right decision…”

“…Looking to the future ensuring that universities get proper funding  and that we don’t disadvantage children from poorer backgrounds it seems to me that what is on offer if it can be improved in a more progressive direction is worth supporting”

“I am sorry. I am sorry I signed it. It is as simple as that. Perhaps politicians should say that more often. I am saying it very openly to you”

Job done.

 You can listen to the full 4 minute interview here.

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The case for a truly liberal party

By Editor
September 20th, 2012 at 11:48 pm | Comments Off on The case for a truly liberal party | Posted in Liberal Democrats

Hat tip : Richard Reeves (Nick Clegg’s director of strategy from July 2010 to this summer) has a simply brilliant case for “a truly liberal party” published in the New Statesmen. In his impressive analysis of where  the party must go next he says:

“The question about the leadership is, at heart, a question about the party’s direction. Do the Lib Dems complete the journey of liberalisation that Clegg embarked on, or retreat to their earlier, soft centre-left position? Is Cleggism a temporary detour or a real departure? “Clegg or no Clegg?” is a proxy question for the deeper one: “Liberal or not liberal?”

He says so much more… If you have not read it – go do it now. We don’t agree with every word (but we are just nit-picking frankly).


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After the Welfare State

By Sara Scarlett
September 19th, 2012 at 10:00 pm | Comments Off on After the Welfare State | Posted in Economics, Government, Opinion, Welfare State

Social democracy has failed. The fiscal excesses of Welfare States all over Europe have come home to haunt them. My generation has to pay for those excesses and face poorer services than our parents enjoyed. Cradle-to-grave welfare has been an unsuccessful experiment and very few have been brave enough to articulate an alternative vision. One of these brave men is Tom Palmer and his new book, a collaboration with Students for Liberty, entitled ‘After the Welfare State’ is a must read – your future depends on it.

In ‘After the Welfare State,’ Palmer provides a compelling case for a return to mutual aid.  Destroyed in the social upheaval of the two World Wars, mutual aid organisations, also known as friendly societies, thrived in the 19th and early 20th Centuries. The narrative some would like you to believe is that the poor were helpless and bereft of the means to better their lot before the advent of the Welfare State. This is one of the most damaging historical falsehoods ever told. Indeed, the story of America would not be the same were it not for mutual aid. It’s demise was engineered by motivations that were sometimes rascist deliberately seeking to inhibit the self-sufficiency of immigrant and ethnic groups.

These remarkable organisations were vital to communities and provided many different products such as sickness benefit, health care coverage and pensions. Far from being powerless, friendly societies were an efficient, localised and voluntary solution to the everyday challenges facing the working class without interference from a higher class or power seeking to control or engineer outcomes.

Localised solutions beat top-down solutions every time. Despite the best of intentions, modern politicians still fail to do right by the body public because they do not really know ‘what’s best’ and they exist in a system that makes poor short-term decisions the most attractive option. Politicians borrow money to provide services (not to mention bailouts and subsidies); they literally buy the votes of one generation with money that their children pay back with interest. They have a caricatured idea of what it is like to live on a council estate or claim job-seekers allowance because so few of them have lived that life themselves. Despite this detachment they still feel qualified to dictate what is wrong with our personal habits or tastes and wag their finger in judgement.

Some say that people should be forced to help others and some say that individuals should only help themselves. Both have got it wrong. Human beings are simultaneously selfish and altruistic and individuals are happiest when they are helping themselves and others at the same time. This is why trade works so well and is so conducive to the wellbeing of mankind. By trading with someone you help yourself and him or her. The same is true of mutual aid. They are structured in a way that provides a massive incentive for the organisation to make sound long-term decisions and to self-police.

To my generation, I say this – government is neither the cause of nor the solution to all our problems. Not only will government not help you; it can’t help you – but we can help each other.

If you want to learn more about the mutual aid you can download a free copy of ‘After the Welfare State’ here.


Government owned sausages?

By Leslie Clark
September 14th, 2012 at 1:37 pm | 1 Comment | Posted in Uncategorized

The Scottish Government have had their plan to buy a closure threatened meat processing factory in West Lothian rejected by the owners of Halls’s of Broxburn, Vion.

The factory was thought to be economically unsustainable incurring daily losses of £79,000 – despite investment. The firm had already received nearly £2m in publicly funded grants from the Scottish Government.

Aside from any local populist vote increasing benefits, just what exactly would the First Minister have gained from the government owning a sausage factory? Pictorial evidence is attached.


Mmm government owned sausages.


Is that a Homer Simpson style drool I hear?