Recent Liberal Conspiracy Articles



LC Blog Nation: the aftermath

by Sunny Hundal     June 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

Thank you to all who came to the LC Blog Nation event. It was a lovely, sunny day and you should be commended for willing to give up your Saturday for that. We had a packed theatre hall, and I would post some pictures but I seem to have left my camera in the hall (did anyone find it?).

We also had live coverage on Twitter.

It was the first in what I hope will become an annual fixture in the political calendar. My aim was two-fold: (a) two create a space for many bloggers, activists and campaigners to meet each other and share ideas and plans; (b) discuss strategy on how the left could move forward.
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Women – hear me roar

by Kate Belgrave     June 20, 2010 at 12:30 pm

Right. Frothing a bit here, people.

Liberal Conspiracy – a site I generally love with a passion – has managed to find yet another educated, well-off woman to write a ‘women are victims and sad fannies’ piece.

I can’t tell you how furious this stupendously male vision of the female state makes me.
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LC Blog Nation conference: a draft programme

by Sunny Hundal     June 14, 2010 at 1:12 pm

Thanks to all those who contributed and emailed in with your thoughts and suggestions for the draft programme for LC Blog Nation on 26th June.

If you want to attend you can email me or blognation@liberalconspiracy.org.

Here is a draft programme. This is obviously subject to change, and I’d like your input below.
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Blog Nation: what would you like to see discussed?

by Sunny Hundal     June 10, 2010 at 9:00 am

On 26th June LC will be hosting Blog Nation (my unimaginative name for our annual conference). Thanks to all of those who have already emailed in with requests: we are now two-thirds full.

The first Blog Nation event in July 2008 was nice, but ultimately just a panel discussion event. I want to try something different and would like your involvement.

Aims of the event
1. Meet other bloggers, journalists, think-tankers, activist, organisers
2. To have time and space to discuss issues
3. Have a sense of strategic direction on particular issues; find out what projects are taking place.
4. Share books
5. Discuss and learn about activism already taking place.

Unlike other conferences, and they have their own place, I want this to be strategy focused. In other words rather than debate issues, we have competing or interesting perspectives on how to move forward, what is currently taking place and how people can get involved.

The theme of the event is: ‘How Does the Left Organise in Opposition?

A few questions to think about:

  • Do we focus on broader narratives or stick to specific topics? Or if a mixture of the two, what would you like to see discussed?
  • Given the layout of the venue, what do you think the format should be?
  • What mini-sessions would you like to see?

Layout of venue

The circles are tables. I thought it would be better than having lines of podium facing chairs. This way you can talk, meet and discuss with others more easily during discussion sessions. The two breakout rooms are also available if we need them.

Broad themes
Party political vs non-aligned organising – which should we focus on? Or how do we do both?
Is Labour part of the problem or part of the solution?
How can the left work toegther, better?
What approach to take towards Libdems?
Communitarianism vs internationalism: which way do we want to go?
Should we be drawing up a list of ‘progressive politicians’ to support on an ongoing basis?

Issues
Responding to budget cuts
Abortion and sex education
Climate change
Immigration
Electoral reform
The West Lothian Question
Where now for foreign policy?
Taxation and tax havens

London Mayoral election – what can be done?

There will also be mini-sessions:
Political Scrapbook is planning a short presentation on how some of us left-bloggers are planning to set up a cooperative of sorts to collaborate on various things. You’ll hear more about that then.

If you would like to attend, you have to drop me an email at blognation[-at-]liberalconspiracy[-dot-]org. It is free to attend but invite only.

Now I’m opening this out to all of you for your thoughts and ideas.

LC attracted 130,000 unique visitors in May as left-wing blogs grow more broadly

by Sunny Hundal     June 2, 2010 at 9:00 am

I don’t make a habit of publishing our reader figures every month but I have to make an exception this time. I’m pleased to say May was the first time Liberal Conspiracy broke the 100,000 unique visitors a month mark.

The actual figure was 129,927 Absolute Unique Visitors for entire month, recording just over half a million page views (502,957). Both figures are measured by Google Analytics.
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Liberal Conspiracy Annual Conference: 26th June

by Sunny Hundal     May 20, 2010 at 8:59 am

On 26th June I’m hosting the second Liberal Conspiracy ‘Blog Nation’ conference.

We hosted the first one in July 2008; I’m hoping to make it an annual event thereafter.

The theme of the conference will be: “How Can The Left Organise in Opposition?”
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A message for Nick Clegg…

by Unity     May 7, 2010 at 3:41 pm

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”

“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”

“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”

“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?

“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”

“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”

“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.

LC Mission Series Part 4: Welcome to the new Conspiracy

by Don Paskini     April 1, 2010 at 10:30 am

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about the future of Liberal Conspiracy while Sunny has been away. Before I hand back the editorial reins and he resumes editing the site, I’d like to set out my contribution to our mission series, and the changes which you can expect to see over the next month.

As Sunny explained, our aim is to become less of a blog and more of a platform. We want to offer news to lefties on what’s going on in the political world; offer thoughts on how they can get involved; and provide space for them to launch and sustain their own campaigns. The changes that you will see to the site reflect these aims.

1. New contributors
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Our Kingdom: Towards a new on-line politics

by Anthony Barnett     March 7, 2010 at 9:07 pm

This is a contribution to the Liberal Conspiracy Mission Series

Sunny wants to build Liberal Conspiracy with more political strategy, activism and news. But it is not just content that he is after. What Sunny is attempting is ambitious, important for British blogland and on-line publishing and for OurKingdom, as we prepare a relaunch. He’s written three posts. I commented briefly on the first.

Liberal Conspiracy is immensely creative and refreshing. As well as tackling issues and being smart and forthright, it goes about things in a different way from your average lefty or liberal blog. It looks outwards to what is happening not inwards to what ‘line’ it should be taking. With this new development Sunny is trying to get us all to think with a similarly fresh spirit about our methods and how we resource them in the coming era of citizen journalism. continue reading… »

The contradiction inherent to right-wing blogs

by Left Outside     March 3, 2010 at 2:00 pm

Sunny has been running a series of posts on where he wants to take Liberal Conspiracy [part 1, part 2 and part 3]. What has piqued my interest is the response this sort of action draws from the rightwing blogosphere.

Mr Eugenides commented very even handedly on Sunny’s last piece and I think it is worth responding.
He says: (this is an extract):

Tory blogs have tried to emulate the campaigning style of online leftwing campaigns – #Kerryout, for example – and by and large we don’t do it very well. I myself have taken part in some campaigns – for the Gurkhas, Iraqi interpreters, free speech online – and it’s noticeable that many of them have been organised and pushed from the left – I have sometimes been, if not the token Tory, then at least one of a relative few.

I’m sure there’s a thesis to be written on this somewhere down the line, but I think the bottom line is this; that while a small part of me wishes you luck (and another, much larger part, hopes that all attempts to “destroy the right” end in ignominious failure), I can’t help thinking that a loosely-focused left-wing blog is going to have difficulty making an impact in our politics because – unlike Conservative Home – LC doesn’t represent a recognisable consituency that politicians need to pander to.

First of all, I think there is a constituency Liberal Conspiracy can tap into, and one which has been abandoned since 1997.
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