Daily View 2×2: 25 June 2009

How fitting that while Ricky Gervais and Phil Jupitus share a birthday with Michel Tremblay, a Canadian writer I studied as part of my degree, the US should be celebrating National Catfish Day.

Two big stories

Another climbdown for Brown as the Government backs off plans to bolster MPs’ pensions. Just hours after Clegg took Brown to task at PMQs for being wrong about Gurkhas, wrong about expenses and the Iraq enquiry. Now he’s admitted to being wrong about MPs’ pensions too. A planned increase had been accepted by all parties in March but the government now says it will accept a Lib Dem plan to freeze the amount from public funds. The proposal would have seen MPs’ own contributions rise by £60 a month, but the Lib Dems said taxpayers would have paid £750,000 more than last year.

And a curious story from the Guardian: Tory plans for emergency cuts cabinet – one of those headlines you have to look at backwards for a few minutes to work out the sense. Is it a Tory, planning for an emergency, deciding to cut cabinet? Ah, no, as we read the story, it is about an emergency cuts cabinet the Tories are planning. Scant seconds after wresting the reins of power from the disgraced Labour party, it seems the Tories would be careering the sleigh into the Forest of Slash and Burn, at least as far as the Guardian is concerned. So is this a real story? the scant attribution makes one wonder, but it is too detailed to be more Labour spin, so presumably Tories must have been briefing journalists at some point. And there’s the small matter of Dave winning an election first before George ever gets any opportunity to haul cabinet ministers over the coals for their spending plans.

2 must read blog posts

Stop the world, Andrew Reeves wants to get off. Or at least stop the madness that is 4 year olds having their own mobile phone. Fair enough, say I.

And the newly co-opted Cllr Lady Mark is getting to grips with his new representative role by looking into the vexed question of bus stops in Creeting St Peter. For the uninitiated, Lady Mark’s title is a protest at inequity: he’s married to Baroness Ros Scott, the fair president of this good party. Whilst female spouses of male peers get the courtesy title “lady”, male spouses of female peers and civil partners of peers do not have the courtesy extended to them.

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Local Solutions 2009 – Nick Clegg and Ros Scott

For four mornings this week, LDV will be bringing you audio recordings of the proceedings at ALDC’s Local Solutions conference for Lib Dem councillors. One of the features of this event is to cram in as much as possible – including training sessions clashing with plenary sessions, which means many attendees themselves may not have heard the plenary. First up this morning is Saturday’s early morning session with party leader Nick Clegg MP and party president Baroness Ros Scott.

Sheffield Local Solutions 2009

You can listen to the sound file right here on the web, or you can download it for use with your MP3 player. Why not listen to the conference next time you’re out delivering leaflets? If you use iTunes you can search the podcast directory for Lib Dem Voice; for other podcast software, you can use this RSS feed of LDV’s audio content.

Tune in at 11am tomorrow for Cllr Paul Scriven’s account of how the Liberal Democrats are transforming Sheffield.

NB, the photo is of the multistorey carpark ALDC recommended drivers to use, a very few minutes walk from the town hall and the conference hotel. Very interesting treatment of the outside. It’s the same car park Will Howells calls “the best car park ever“. It’s not, however, a car park that my satnav could easily find.