Feeds

Lib Dems demand niceness, ignore technology

Appeal to the man on the Clapham night bus

High performance access to file storage

The Lib Dems unveiled a manifesto (pdf) this morning that was chock-full of bright ideas and sensible fair thinking, but lacking a unifying theme.

The party appears to be pitching for the sort of person who's unhappy about fat cat salaries, rude people in hospitals and is likely to switch vote based on whether night buses stop on their doorstep.

This one reads like Little Brother to Labour’s big 'un, Mary Poppins to Labour’s Nanny McPhee - forever torn between a desire to impose social improvement, yet conscious of traditions as a party of Liberty. The Lib Dem desire to make the world a fairer place is encapsulated in its four key points: fair taxes, fair future, fair deal and fair chance (for children).

Supporting that aspiration are a range of measures, some quite far-reaching and radical and some tinkering at a level way beyond what one would expect of a party seriously preparing for government. At the high level, the manifesto proclaims "The Liberal Democrat philosophy is built on a simple ambition: to distribute power fairly among people".

At the same time, the manifesto finds room to insert a proclamation that the Lib Dems will "clamp down on anyone who is aggressive or abusive to staff in accident and emergency departments". Or even more nitpicking, they will "bring in stop-on-request for night buses. You should be able to ask the driver to let you off between stops, so you’re as close to home as possible".

On the economic front, there is an openness and an earnestness that is lacking in the other two manifestos. At the end of the Lib Dem document, there is an attempt to cost out their economic plans in some detail. Some might reckon it a hostage to fortune. There is even an index!

The main plank of their economic approach appears to be fairness, represented by what it claims is "the most radical tax reform in a generation". This turns out to be mostly about removing the need to pay income tax on on the first £10,000 earned and closing a series of loopholes: under a Lib Dem administration, tax relief on pensions will be only at the basic rate, capital gains will be at the same rates as income and there will be new powers for HM Revenue & Customs to tackle tax avoidance and evasion.

They have already identified over £15bn of savings in government spending per year, and these will include a £400 pay rise cap for all public sector workers, the scrapping of ID cards and the next generation of biometric passports, cancelling Eurofighter Tranche 3b and probably a decision not go for a like-for-like replacement of the Trident nuclear weapons system.

There will be a council on financial stability, involving representatives of all parties, the governor of the Bank of England and the chair of the Financial Services Authority.

Beyond that, the Lib Dems want to break our historic reliance on the financial sector, and invest heavily in new technology and the green economy. They would begin their term in office with a one-year job creation and green economic stimulus package: £3.1bn of public spending that can be used to create 100,000 jobs, which would be a first step towards their target for a zero-carbon Britain by 2050.

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Android engineer: We DIDN'T copy Apple OR follow Samsung's orders
Veep testifies for Samsung during Apple patent trial
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
One year on: diplomatic fail as Chinese APT gangs get back to work
Mandiant says past 12 months shows Beijing won't call off its hackers
Don't let no-hire pact suit witnesses call Steve Jobs a bullyboy, plead Apple and Google
'Irrelevant' character evidence should be excluded – lawyers
EFF: Feds plan to put 52 MILLION FACES into recognition database
System would identify faces as part of biometrics collection
Big Content goes after Kim Dotcom
Six studios sling sueballs at dead download destination
Ex-Tony Blair adviser is new top boss at UK spy-hive GCHQ
Robert Hannigan to replace Sir Iain Lobban in the autumn
Alphadex fires back at British Gas with overcharging allegation
Brit colo outfit says it paid for 347KVA, has been charged for 1940KVA
Jack the RIPA: Blighty cops ignore law, retain innocents' comms data
Prime minister: Nothing to see here, go about your business
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.