Reasserting liberalism: Wera Hobhouse’s agenda to revive Liberal values

With the Labour Party leadership election continuing to drag on – longer than Götterdämmerung but likely to bring much the same outcome for that benighted party – little attention has been given to the other British political leadership that will take place later this year – that for the leadership of the Liberal Democrats. It’s […]

We Remainers built a huge mass movement. Where do we go now?

For those of us in the movement to remain in the EU, this has been a grim few days. It appears inevitable that we will leave the EU on 31st January – and lose our freedom of movement, so many of our rights as citizens, our jobs and services. But, along the way, we did […]

Nothing strange about the death of English liberalism

Reading Nick Clegg’s New Year message was a sad and sobering affair (leaving aside any impatience at the growing habit of politicians great and small issuing such messages).  It read as really little more than excuse-mongering and post-hoc rationalisation in defence of policies that appear to rub against the natural grain of the Liberal tradition; […]

In praise of universal benefits

Among Nick Clegg’s various pronouncements yesterday was his repeated claim that benefits for the elderly should not be universal, and should not be available to the better-off.  It’s not  a new theme, of course – Clegg was making the same arguments at this year’s Liberal Democrat conference, with Vince Cable weighing in to claim, in […]

Twilight of the idolaters

It seems curiously fitting that, on the same day that Nick Clegg vents his frustration at aspects of the coalition, the news should also carry the story of a man who incinerated his own underpants in a microwave.  Marx famously wrote that history repeated itself first as tragedy, then as farce; but the history of […]

What’s the future for Liberalism under the coalition?

The other day, I was holding forth to an old friend about the possible annihilation of the Liberal Democrats following their decision to become David Cameron’s useful idiots.  “Liberalism is stronger and more resilient than that”, retorted my friend, who is more sympathetic to the Lib Dems than I am.  Leaving aside the question of […]