Writing about the Liberal Democrats’ English Council for Liberal Democrat Voice

On Tuesday I had my first post published on Liberal Democrat Voice about the English Council of the Liberal Democrats: “What does the English Council do?

Last November I wrote about my decision to put myself forward to be a member of the English Council and my motivations for doing so. Chief amongst these was ‘curiosity’ to find out just what the purpose of this obscure body is.

In my, ultimately unnecessary, manifesto for this role I said that I would;

“Work for greater transparency and accountability, finding ways to report back to the wider membership.”

Then early this year, following discussions with co-editor Mark Pack, the suggestion was made that I could also take on the role of a sort of “English Council correspondent” for Liberal Democrat Voice. I am deliberately avoiding making too many commitments towards political activity at the moment, serving on the English Council being one of few exceptions, but I didn’t think this would be too onerous. So I agreed to write the occasional post for LDV highlighting aspects of the work of the English Council.

Given that the first of the two annual meetings of the Council is about a month away I thought it was about time I got on with and produced something. So I’ve written the first article which is a sort of general introduction.

Given that the subject matter is, well frankly a bit dull, I am reasonably pleased with it. A second article is planned to appear soon.

Catching up: Cable sticks with Ebdon

Apologies for the break in service.

I’ve had a busy few months work wise and so have lacked some of the time, and if I am honest some of the inclination, to keep up with the blogging. So I have missed writing about a number of things I would otherwise have commented on. I’m choosing to make a bit of an effort to get my blogging mojo back and so thought it would be useful to catch up on some those things.

Given that the last two posts on this blog were about the the row over Vince Cable’s choice of Prof Les Ebdon as the new director of the Office of Fair Access it is only fair that I comment on how that issue resolved itself. Going all the way back to the 20 February I am pleased to see that Cable stuck to his guns, ignored the snobbery of various right-wing commentators and the objections of Tory backbenchers (and one or two Tory cabinet members), and appointed Professor Ebdon to the role.

Here is the BBC report on the apointment and also from the BBC footage of Cable announcing his decision in the House of Commons. Also the press releases from the University of Bedfordshire and from OFFA itself.

Plus some reaction from the Lib Dem blogosphere: Liberal England: Vince Cable right to hold firm over Professor Les Ebdon and Offa and Lib Dem Gains: Les Ebdon appointed by Vince Cable.

While there are many things that make me uncomfortable about the Liberal Democrats participation in the coalition government – there are other things that remind me why it was right decision for the Party to take part. This is one of them.