Shop now Shop now Shop now  Up to 50% Off Fashion  Shop all Amazon Fashion Cloud Drive Photos Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Shop Fire Shop Kindle Shop now Shop now Shop now
Customer Review

38 of 43 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great range of authors, adding up to a well put case, 7 Mar. 2010
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Why Vote Liberal Democrat? (Paperback)
The book is one of a series, covering also Labour, Conservatives, SNP, Plaid and the Greens. All the others are single person authored books (with the exception of a more general "Why Vote?" book), with chapter titles that give a list of long and worthy policy areas. They are souped up, lengthened policy manifestos. That sort of book certainly has its place but it is very good to see that the 2010 Liberal Democrat one takes a different tact.

Danny Alexander may be the main name on it, but he is the editor - and the book is a collection of twenty-six short essays plus a foreword from Nick Clegg. Many of the authors are also people who, in their different ways, are well known and respected with particular audiences outside the ranks of party membership and helpers.

Floella Benjamin and Colin Firth probably have the most public star value, but contributions from people such as the former Director of Public Prosecutions, Sir Ken Macdonald, friend of Stephen Lawrence (and now Lib Dem councillor) Duwayne Brooks and Janis Sharpe, mother of Gary McKinnon, all have appeal to particular audiences and add up to a welcome picture of a party drawing broad support from people who know what they are talking about.

Danny Alexander and the team have put together a book that is more varied and interesting therefore than the other party titles in the series and deserve congratulations for that.

Nick Clegg's foreword starts with addressing the question, "What is Liberalism?" Not surprisingly freedom and fairness features in his answer, but he also captures that essential contrarian mindset which means, for all the changes in policy and society, one can easily imagine Charles James Fox being a member of the party even now, over 200 years after he was its leader. Clegg writes:

"[Growing up] we were expected always to assume that there is a better way of doing things if you only bother to look for it. That's the spirit I believe is right at the heart of Liberalism ... The Liberal Democrats have always been an anti-establishment party, demanding change right at the top and campaigning for power to be taken out of the hands of the elites."

Those interested in the balance between social and economic liberalism in the party will note the David Howarth-style approach of taking one as a means to the other when Clegg says:

"You are only free to do things you are capable of doing - things for which you have the resources and understanding. So any effort to increase freedom must also increase people's capacity, resources and understanding."

This squaring of the circle continues in Danny Alexander's piece which, coming from the chair of the group writing the party's manifesto, gives a clear indication of what its priorities will be.

The first specific policy statement to get a mention is the plan to make our tax system fairer, including raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 - a tax cut which appeals to economic liberals and whose primary target (taking the lowest paid out of income tax completely) appeals to social liberals. It will be paid for by, yes, a mansion tax (though in a rather modified form from the original proposals of autumn 2009) and by closing tax loopholes for the richest.

Fair taxes, better education, more generous pensions, economic recovery, political reform and a green tinge to it all are the policy areas picked out with specific proposals in Danny Alexander's piece.

Although the chapters that follow are from a wide range of authors, they form a coherent whole - presenting views of a range of experts but with a common set of liberal values frequently stated and applied. This is not a collection of technocrats all saying "we should get things right"; it's a collection of experts all saying "liberalism is the solution".

The pieces all fit together as a coherent whole, being about freedom and fairness. Values come out clearly in different pieces and are consistent riffs on the party's main theme, as when Floella Benjamin writes,

"While detailed Liberal Democrat policies make me confident I am in the right party, it is our different approach to politics which makes me sure I am a Liberal Democrat through and through."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No

[Add comment]
Post a comment
To insert a product link use the format: [[ASIN:ASIN product-title]] (What's this?)
Amazon will display this name with all your submissions, including reviews and discussion posts. (Learn more)
Name:
Badge:
This badge will be assigned to you and will appear along with your name.
There was an error. Please try again.
Please see the full guidelines ">here.

Official Comment

As a representative of this product you can post one Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
The following name and badge will be shown with this comment:
 (edit name)
After clicking on the Post button you will be asked to create your public name, which will be shown with all your contributions.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.  Learn more
Otherwise, you can still post a regular comment on this review.

Is this your product?

If you are the author, artist, manufacturer or an official representative of this product, you can post an Official Comment on this review. It will appear immediately below the review wherever it is displayed.   Learn more
 
System timed out

We were unable to verify whether you represent the product. Please try again later, or retry now. Otherwise you can post a regular comment.

Since you previously posted an Official Comment, this comment will appear in the comment section below. You also have the option to edit your Official Comment.   Learn more
The maximum number of Official Comments have been posted. This comment will appear in the comment section below.   Learn more
Prompts for sign-in
  [Cancel]

Comments

Track comments by e-mail

Sort: Oldest first | Newest first
Showing 1-3 of 3 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 17 Apr 2010 22:35:00 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Apr 2010 22:39:43 BDT
This review has clearly been written by a Lib Dem activist and can hardly be relied on as an objective appraisal of the book. I suggest you read the other books as well and make up your own mind.

In reply to an earlier post on 20 May 2010 16:05:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 20 May 2010 16:05:46 BDT
J.I. Smith says:
The above comment has clearly been written by a non-Lib Dem supporter and can hardly be relied on as an objective appraisal of the review.

Ad infinitum...

In reply to an earlier post on 24 Jun 2010 17:17:13 BDT
given the seemingly uber right wing policies the libdems are now following this book really is a waste of time and money i'm not with any party and indeed did vote for libdems but this governemet is not what i expected,a hit the poor and stuff them,type sort of government worse even than the tory one of the early 80's.

The libdems have lost me as a voter,i hope that its worth that for what little they got out of the tories but in the slimy world of modern day politics its just prooved when push came to shove the libdems are just the same as the rest of them,new politics dont make me laugh i cant afford too now becuase of these men and thier tory mates,next election i will vote green.
‹ Previous 1 Next ›

Review Details

Item

Reviewer

Mark Pack
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   

Location: London, UK

Top Reviewer Ranking: 510