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Random Thoughts for 2nd February 2013

This is the latest in my series of Random Thoughts posts with links, things found on the web and other stuff that has occurred to me between 28th January 2013 and 2nd February 2013. This is largely catching up on the political news in January.

David Laws announced as chair of manifesto working group

I don’t have as much problem with Laws in this role as I know some will have — However, it does demonstrate either a cavalier attitude to party management or a deliberate provocation of parts of the Party by Nick Clegg. Neither of which are good things. Other than that it is a membership far too biased towards Westminster parliamentarians. Radicalism (of the right kind) in the next manifesto may have to come from the conference floor…

And the winner of our Liberal Voice of the Year award is… Sam Bowman

Thought I better record the result of this poll as I wrote about my choice here. Not sure I learnt much from this result — other than not to take these things too seriously…..I tell a lie, I did learn who Sam Bowman was. Someone who, despite apparently being “positively prolific across 2012“, I hadn’t heard of until the shortlist was announced.

BBC News – ‘Energy efficiency’ Green Deal launched by government

Ed Davey MP writes… The Green Deal goes live

This is very good news and a critical Liberal Democrat achievement.

David Cameron’s great leap into the dark on Europe may prove fatal for him | Andrew Rawnsley | Comment is free | The Observer

There were two comment pieces that I read that I thought nailed the consequences of David Cameron’s recent speech on Europe. The first of these was this one by Andrew Rawnsley.

Cameron’s speech on Europe makes it less likely he will be Prime Minister after the next election – Comment – Voices – The Independent

The second piece I thought worth reading on Cameron’s Europe speech was this from Steve Richards.

London Clubs and Victorian Politics | History Today

Seth Thévoz on the role that the gentleman’s club played in supporting Victorian parliamentarians.

BBC News – Government ‘underestimates resolve’ of MPs to change Parliament

More welcome evidence of the growing assertiveness of parliamentary select committees. The excellent Sir Alan Beith is quoted: “the government does not yet seem to have fully absorbed the extent to which our expectations have changed….We really meant what we said about wanting more effective accountability…”

List of Labour’s 106 target seats for 2015 | Research | PoliticsHome

At the beginning of the month the Labour Party released a list of target seats for the 2015 General Election. No real surprises and all on the old boundaries of course. The only item of local interest is the inclusion of Bedford on the list.

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