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Are we doomed to a future of characterless, robotic politicians?

By Julian Harris
June 16th, 2010 at 3:30 pm | 7 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

News just in from north of the border: Labour MSP Frank McAveety has resigned after being caught making a few casual remarks about the attractiveness of a (presumably) young woman.

The BBC has the story.

A friend linked me this earlier in the day and my initial reaction was “pffft, what a load of nonsense about nothing.” At that point the “load of nonsense” consisted of a few blog posts, and the SNP sanctimoniously demanding a resignation.

But now the storm has spiralled out of the teacup. It is actual news, and he has actually quit.

What exactly has he done to warrant this? An apology, sure, was rightfully called for – more for being caught than anything else. “Sorry I was mumbling inane nonsense when I should have been working.”  That kind of thing. But a resignation? Really?

People often complain that it’s increasingly impossible to go into politics if one has done anything in one’s past that might be considered remotely socially unacceptable–or if one shows the slightest sign of human weakness. I have some sympathy for this line of thought.  Do we really want to drive away every candidate who’s prone to a moment of mumbling about someone they fancy? Do we really want a Parliament of Nu-Lab-Blair-esque robotic yes (wo)men?

I dunno, this seems ridiculous.

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Photo of the Day

By Julian Harris
June 11th, 2010 at 10:51 am | 3 Comments | Posted in International Politics, US Politics


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INVITATION: Westminster Events Feature Liberal Visioners – in person!

By Julian Harris
June 2nd, 2010 at 11:31 am | 3 Comments | Posted in Liberal Democrats, Policy, UK Politics

clockwork_orange_fightStarting this week, a series of debates in Westminster will focus around the issue of:


Remember that? I do, just about. I rather liked it, too, and am hoping to see its return.

Two Liberal Vision spokespeople will be panelists on two of these debates, and more importantly…

(as that fella off Clockwork Orange said to the two women in the record store before he … well, yes, you know, you’ve seen it.)

Anyway – please come along. Note: the events include wine.

I repeat: the events include wine.

You can bring friends, too. Just contact the organisers and say that you want to attend:

E-mail or telephone 01223 370156

Full details of all the debates are here:

This Thursday Liberal Vision’s Tim Cox will be speaking on: THE FREEDOM (GREAT REPEAL) BILL, Laws that should be reformed/amended.

Then on 29th June, I will be speaking on: WHO HOLDS THE LIBERAL TORCH IN 2010? Libertarians, Lib Dems or the “liberal elite”?

What an enticing question, eh?

Other speakers throughout the debates include:

Guy Herbert of NO2ID
Iain Dale (of Iain Dale)
Philip Davies MP of the Conservative Party
Philip Johnston of the Daily Telegraph


Be there then.

David Laws heckled by old socialist for Lib-Con “bobtail army”

By Julian Harris
May 27th, 2010 at 11:40 am | 10 Comments | Posted in UK Politics

From Hansard. ‘The Minister’ is our very own David Laws.

“Mr Dennis Skinner (Bolsover) (Lab): Is the Minister aware that not a single member of the Cabinet has turned up to back him in this statement here today? They are all part of this rag-tag and bobtail army-not one of them is here. Can there be a more pathetic sight than this Liberal Democrat, who campaigned against cuts in 2010, now hammering the young and the old and putting people on the dole as a member of this rag-tag and bobtail Government? Get out!”

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Which of Clegg’s Cabinet colleagues voted against Section 28 repeal?

By Julian Harris
May 25th, 2010 at 9:55 am | 3 Comments | Posted in coalition, Conservatives, UK Politics

Much has been written about Theresa May’s somewhat less-than-enlightened voting record on a variety of sex issues, particularly gay rights.

And today I was perusing Lib Dem Voice when I came across this statement from a comment-leaver:

“At least five of Nick Clegg’s cabinet colleagues voted against Labour’s repeal of Section 28”

So, getting an assistant on the case, I thought I’d look into who exactly voted against the repeal. Some results are as follows.

“No”, rather confusingly, means they voted for the repeal.

“Aye” means they voted against the repeal.

Here goes:

Ian Duncan Smith AYE
Cheryl Gillan AYE
Dominic Grieve AYE
William Hague AYE
Eric Pickles AYE
Caroline Spelman AYE
George Osborne NO
David Cameron ABSENT
Ken Clarke ABSENT
Chris Grayling ABSENT
Andrew Lansley ABSENT
Theresa May ABSENT

Interesting, eh?

Furthermore, Baroness Warsi infamously used election leaflets in 2005 that included the following lines:

“Labour has scrapped Section 28, which was introduced by the Conservatives to stop schools promoting alternative sexual lifestyles such as homosexuality to children as young as seven years old.

“Labour reduced the age of consent for homosexuality from 18 to 16, allowing schoolchildren to be propositioned for homosexual relationships.”

Oh dear.