As the frontrunner for the Liberal Democrat leadership, Tim Farron now presents himself as a changed man. He says he now regrets abstaining on equal marriage, despite not distancing himself from his amendments.... It is not enough to repent of the past when it becomes convenient to do so. The importance of a politician's record is fundamental to the democratic process. We need to understand the underlying values of each candidate, as it is these values that will later guide them in unforeseen events. It is therefore our duty not to sweep a candidate's record under the carpet or to attack those who scrutinise it.
Some time within the next thousand days, Britain will vote as to whether or not it wants to remain within the European Union. It will be - without doubt - one of our nation's most momentous and most uncertain decision. The choice is stark: Partnership or isolationism? Internationalism or tribalism? The ability to be at the centre of global events or a retreat into petty insignificance?
As the Scotland Bill makes its way through Parliament, it's time to start igniting the liberalism of localism; for more of our towns and cities to start marching towards the drumbeat of devolution.
If you have any lingering doubts about the difference the Liberal Democrats made in government over the last five years, the Budget policies announced by George Osborne this afternoon should dispel them. Just look at the choices Osborne makes without Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander to push him in another direction. At a time when 6.6million people in working families live in poverty, he's hitting some of the poorest and most vulnerable - and, incidentally, hardest-working - families by freezing working-age benefits, which amounts to a real terms cut of 11% over four years.
While most of the focus is understandably on the rise of cost of student loans, the financial struggles for university students is just as important. When a student is paying up to £9,000 a year to go to university, the pressure is on them to ensure they walk away with a qualification. When they cannot afford to pay for rent or food, it is likely that the stress will impact their studies - especially if their parents cannot assist them in any way.
Liberal Democrats in the Lords are trying to rescue something from the car crash that is the government's Psychoactive Substances Bill by tabling a series of amendments. The Bill seeks to make it illegal to produce or supply any substance that affects someone's mental functioning or emotional state, unless the government specifically exempts it. This takes the "my substances of choice, like alcohol and tobacco, are OK but yours aren't" approach to a new level.
On 30 June the Independent Living Fund will be abolished, pulling the rug from under the 18,000 people with particularly high needs who rely on it to remain in their own homes. This cruel cut will not only make it even more difficult for disabled people to participate in their communities and go to work, but could even force some into residential homes. Today the Green Party's Work and Pensions spokesperson Jonathan Bartley joins Disabled People Against Cuts to lobby parliament in a last-ditch attempt to save this vital fund. Perhaps meeting those who depend on this support face to face might persuade MPs to change their minds. But this is just one telling example of the government's attitude towards disabled people.
Since my father died in 2013, I tend to respond quite emotionally to the death of any famous male who has died too soon - anyone before the age of sev...
If, despite the clear outcome of the Alternative Vote referendum four years ago, we are to reopen a national conversation about the way we elect our MPs, we should at least start from a recognition that no system is ideal and that our choice depends on our priorities.
The Lib Dems seem quite a tough lot. While it is impossible to ignore the gravity of the electoral crisis which has clobbered the party at all levels since Nick Clegg led it into coalition with the Tories in 2010, Britain without a Liberal party would be an alien place... So what is going on: and will it make any difference who wins?
Running the government budget is fundamentally different from running a household budget. Simplistic dogmatic wheezes, such as enshrining budget surpluses in law, could cause real damage to Britain's economy. Mr.Osborne, please listen to the advice of experts and bin the policy.
The phrase 'a man of principle' can become hackneyed, but for Charles it was all too true. His courage in leading his party against the Iraq war, a move that helped the Lib Dems to their biggest share of seats, was much praised. His decision to vote against the formation of the Coalition in 2010 - the only MP in his party to do so - again underlined how he refused to compromise his beliefs. Perhaps his most courageous decision however was his acceptance after his resignation as party leader that he was 'coming to terms with and seeking to cope with a drink problem...a serious problem indeed'. As he himself so memorably once said: "courage is a peculiar kind of fear".
Like everyone else who doesn't have a high wall to hide behind when the country's poorest eventually resort to sexually violent cannibalistic rioting, I was quite disappointed by the 2015 General Elections.
I have always believed, perhaps naively, that in a democracy, if a system is shown to be manifestly unjust and unfair, then those who have the power to address the problem will respond positively. Action will then follow to address the grievance. Alas, this often is not the case.
In terms of the leadership election, I will be campaigning for Tim for two main reasons. Firstly, his sheer skills as a public speaker and secondly, his commitment to standing up for unity, not division.
In his book "Descartes' Error", Antonio Damasio describes a patient whose neurological defect meant that he was unable to feel any emotion. He was perfectly rational. He could compute, calculate, discuss logically and rationally. The net result of his lack of emotion was that he was unable to take even the simplest of decisions.