Jonathan Fryer

Writer, Lecturer, Broadcaster and Liberal Democrat Politician

Posts Tagged ‘Alistair Carmichael’

Don Foster’s Twit of the Year

Posted by jonathanfryer on Saturday, 24th November, 2012

Don Foster has long been one of the most entertaining Liberal Democrat public speakers and since becoming a government Minister he has not lost his touch. Last evening he addressed the AGM of Kingston Liberal Democrats at Kingston Rugby Club, only occasionally letting his eye wander to the screen at the end of the room that was showing (silently) a match with his home team Bath playing. For two years he was at the Department of Media, Culture and Sport, thus enjoying a grandstand view of this summer’s Olympics and Paralympics. But in the recent reshuffle Don was moved to the Department for Communities and Local Government, under (fortunately not literally) Eric Pickles. As Don said last night, it has been a steep learning curve but he is a committed believer in local government. However, much of his speech was an amusing take on this week’s Away Day of LibDem parliamentarians at an anonymous hotel. After all the pep talks there was some light-hearted banter about some of the tweets LibDem MPs have posted, ranging from the sublime to the ridiculous, as our elected representatives show widely varying talents in the medium. The Twit of the Year, in Don’s view, was clearly the Chief Whip, Alistair Carmichael, who hit the jackpot with his tweet: “Nadine Dorries, I served with Lembit Opik, I knew Lembit Opik. Let me tell you, Nadine Dorries, you are no Lembit Opik.”


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Alistair Carmichael’s Food for Thought

Posted by jonathanfryer on Wednesday, 27th October, 2010

Keeping Liberal Democrat MPs in line is worse than herding cats, according to LibDem Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael MP, speaking only half tongue in cheek at tonight’s Food for Thought social event put on by the Kensington and Chelsea local party. As Alistair is, under the Coalition arrangements, Deputy Government Chief Whip as well, his task is not a particularly enviable one, particularly at a time of deep public spending cuts and curtailed social security benefits. He had some tough questioning from the floor about social housing policy and university tuition fees, to mention but two themes, but he dealt with these with both humour and firmness. As he reminded the audience — notably swelled byGLA list hopefuls from different parts of London — Britain does not have a LibDem government but a Coalition, in which there has had to be a degree of give and take. Despite the fact that the Conservatives have only one MP in Scotland and are still seen by many residents of Scotland’s central industrial belt as anathema, Alistair was reasonably confident that the LibDems north of the border will not get punished too much for guilt by association when the Scottish Parliament elections come round next May. If the Coalition hangs together as planned, then Westminster MPs will not have to face the electorate again until 2015. Besides, Alistair, as MP for Orkey and Shetland, has just about the safest LibDem seat in the country — Jo Grimond’s old fiefdom, that has only been held by a non-Liberal three times since 1832.

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