Lord Ashdown

(Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty)

Labour has forgotten the people the party is meant to serve

13 May 2015 10:43

The great Robert Harris has defended the pollsters who got the recent elections so wrong by quoting Cicero on the electorate’s fickleness. Cicero certainly acknowledged the problem when he was… Continue reading

Afghanistan is not worth another life, says Lord Ashdown, except if that life is sacrificed in securing withdrawal.

Lord Ashdown: Get out of Afghanistan quickly

16 November 2012 9:56

The headline on Lord Ashdown’s piece on Afghanistan in today’s Times (£) will please Lib Dem strategists. ‘This awful mistake mustn’t claim more lives.’ It allows the Lib Dems to… Continue reading


The day of the Lib Dem’s greatest ever triumph

13 June 2011 9:11

Or so they will try to claim. For today is the day when Steve Field, the GP doing the listening part of the NHS listening exercise, will release his report… Continue reading


Stop Gordon Brown

24 May 2011 9:05

Gordon Brown’s friends have launched a shameless effort to compel the government into nominating him for the IMF post. The government would be mad if they did. Mad. This is… Continue reading


There are more attacks on Clegg to come

19 April 2011 13:45

As the chances of AV passing diminish, the Lib Dems are complaining with increasing volume about just how directly Nick Clegg is being targeted. Up to now, they have kept… Continue reading


The heir and the spare

17 April 2011 10:18

Nick Clegg has announced a review into male primogeniture, but subscribers to The Spectator will – as so often – be already well-briefed on the subject. We ran a piece on… Continue reading


Clegg’s new direction?

28 March 2011 14:12

Perhaps the most interesting political story of the weekend was Nick Clegg’s political mentor, Paddy Ashdown rejecting the idea that the Lib Dems should be equidistant between the two main… Continue reading


Liberal hawks

10 March 2011 18:08

From the moment David Cameron started agitating for a no fly-zone, he’s been looking for allies. France and Denmark look like they will support him, with Russia and India opposed… Continue reading


Ashdown goes Fox-hunting

22 February 2011 18:07

There’s a quite remarkable op-ed by Paddy Ashdown in The Times (£) today which goes public with a lot of the griping about Liam Fox that one heard behind the… Continue reading


Call in a bulldozer for growth

25 January 2011 14:02

As the coalition considers how to develop a growth strategy, it would do well to call in Paddy Ashdown and hear about the ‘Bulldozer Initiative’ he launched while in Bosnia… Continue reading


Whither the Lib Dems?

21 September 2010 20:39

A striking aspect of the Liberal Democrat conference is how discussion of cooperation with Labour takes place in public while talk of any future work with their current coalition partner… Continue reading


Clegg’s Liberal Moment

20 September 2010 9:10

Last year, Nick Clegg told the party faithful that Britain was about to embark on a ‘Liberal Moment’. He gave them some of that good old religion – civil liberties,… Continue reading

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Lord Ashdown’s the right man for the Balkans

6 June 2010 11:49

Last week, Europe’s foreign ministers gathered in Sarajevo under much fanfare – and did very little except issue a repetitive press release about the region’s future in the EU. The… Continue reading


The new power broker

12 May 2010 12:31

Ed Llewellyn, David Cameron’s chief of staff, is going to be one of the most influential people in Downing Street these next few years. He has already played a crucial… Continue reading


The Lib Dem big hitters pushing Clegg towards Labour

11 May 2010 9:22

Today’s papers have the lowdown on the events of the past few days, and one thing is becoming increasingly clear: a Lib-Con deal faces not just the opposition of the… Continue reading


A long day’s journey into night

9 May 2010 12:17

Sky News are reporting that Brown is to hold a meeting with Cabinet ministers tonight. Lord Ashdown made it pretty clear on Andrew Marr this morning that there would be no ‘progressive coalition’ with… Continue reading


Swords around a throne

9 May 2010 11:47

The Sunday Times reports that the Cabinet is suggesting to Gordon Brown that he resign as Prime Minister, and that Labour goes into opposition against a weak Conservative government facing… Continue reading


The ex-factor

25 April 2010 12:32

One of the interesting features of this election campaign is the near-absence of ex-leaders in national election roles. Tony Blair has been stuck in the Middle East because of the… Continue reading


A Cameron-Clegg government

22 February 2010 15:02

With even Michael Portillo predicting a hung parliament, what would Britain’s post-election government actually look like if the Tories did not secure an over-all majority.   The Tories could form… Continue reading


Kabul needs a big UN beast

26 January 2010 11:27

The London Afghanistan conference is meant to appoint a civilian NATO coordinator to help align the counter-insurgency effort. The well-respected British ambassador in Kabul, Mark Sedwell, is a front-runner (as,… Continue reading


Fifth columnists

5 November 2009 9:02

The Afghan police were supposed to be layabout drug addicts and petty crooks, but that the force has been infiltrated by murderous, cowardly fifth columnists has concentrated Westminster minds. Current… Continue reading