Still love the NHS? Jul 23 Book Reviews , Politics. He contributes a foreword which is fully supportive of the Liberal inheritance but a little guarded on the policies proposed.

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Still love the NHS? Jul 23 Book Reviews , Politics. He contributes a foreword which is fully supportive of the Liberal inheritance but a little guarded on the policies proposed. The book was written at a time when Labour had been in government for 7 years, the start of the Iraq War was one year past and the economic outlook was fair. The essays cover Liberalism, localism, Europe, global governance, economics and social justice, the environment, the health service, crime, family policy and pension reform.

The value of the essay over a news presentation of policy is that the proposals are preceded with some sort of background indicating how they were motivated; as a consequence I found The Orange Book rather more interesting reading than I was expecting. The book starts with an essay by David Laws on the Liberal inheritance; decomposing it into the personal to do with individual freedoms , political devolution and Europe , economic free trade and controlling state as well as private monopolies , social liberalism welfare and health by consumer power.

Along with Paul Marshall in the introduction he has some harsh words for socialism. Somewhat less comfortable an idea for Tories will be more foreign and immigration and asylum policy being handled at the European level.

A benefit of this approach is that services can be crafted to local needs rather than a central blueprint, furthermore it allows for more experimentation at smaller scale as to how to best deliver services.

To enable this shift there needs to be improvement in the accountability of local councils, with the ending of local one-party states through fairer votes. He sees a scheme of simply boosting funding through the current mechanism as being a short-term solution — easily susceptible to future unravelling.

Perhaps it will be a surprise to many that he sees one of the problems with the NHS that its cost control is too effective, referencing the phenomenally high bed occupancy rate which leads to longer waiting times. His proposal is for a National Health Insurance Scheme with the NHS as one potential supplier of care with providers only able to offer non-clinical services as top-up to the national insurance specified clinical services. This scheme is based on those found in other European countries.

The chapter by Steve Webb and Jo Holland on family policy seems a little more interventionist than might be considered Liberal with an apparent enthusiasm for encouraging marriage rather than partnership. This attitude has always struck me as a bit jarring: that work is so important that the State will encourage you to work whilst paying someone else for the work of raising your children. The book finishes with a chapter on pensions, a subject close to my heart at the moment.

Liberals have been at the heart of pensions from their inception in the UK with Lloyd George and later in the Beveridge Report implemented by Labour in the post-war government. The problem with pensions is that since Beveridge, in the s, things have changed a lot. The original pension scheme is pay-as-you-go: current payers of National Insurance pay for current claimants.

No-one is contributing to their own state pension. For this reason the value of the state pension has fallen over the years since there is not the political will to lift current contributions to match the original commitment. Marshall proposes a compulsory funded pension to supplement the current system.

The funding system at least forces the government to be explicit about their liabilities in pensions. Over the next 20 years or so the pensions problem will become more acute: currently the dependency ratio the ratio of those in retirement to those in work is 0.

Regardless of whether you agree or disagree with the policies presented this is the type of policy discussion I expect to see taking place in my party. The "Orange Book" label feels more like an attempt to personalise a division between old-style Liberals and social democrats, and to cut off the Liberals from a Liberal past rather than any useful description of political thought.

It also has the air of being more about Coalition with the Tories rather than any differences in policy. Tags: liberal democrats , politics. December 31, at pm UTC 1 Link to this comment. I've worked as a scientist for the last 20 years, at various universities, a large home and personal care company, a startup in Liverpool called ScraperWiki Ltd and now GBG where they pay me to do what I used to do for fun!

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The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism

The term Orange Bookers refers to those in the party who subscribe to the book's emphasis on greater personal choice and possible market solutions. In the book, the group offers liberal solutions—often stressing the role of choice and competition—to several societal issues such as public healthcare , pensions , environment , globalisation , social and agricultural policy, local government , the European Union and prisons. It is usually seen as the most economically liberal publication that the Liberal Democrats have produced in recent times. Orange Book liberalism is a Whiggish liberal ideology, mostly within the Liberal Democrats which seeks to balance the four main strands of liberal thought— social liberalism , economic liberalism , cultural liberalism and political liberalism. Orange Book liberalism is represented within the Liberal Democrats by the pressure group Liberal Reform. Orange Booker is now a well-used term for identifying Liberal Democrats who adhere more strongly to economic and personal liberal principles, compared to those who more strongly identify with centre-left beliefs such as members of the Social Liberal Forum or the Beveridge Group.


Book review: “The Orange Book: Reclaiming Liberalism”

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The Guardian view on the Lib Dem Orange Book

The 10th anniversary of the publication of the Orange Book , that attempt by a small band of economic liberals to rescue the Liberal Democrats from what they feared was the philosophy of good intentions, passed quietly at Westminster this week. There were no bands or bunting for a collection of essays that, back in , so upset mainstream Lib Dems that its launch event had to be cancelled; it was rumoured one of the party's richer benefactors was buying up every copy — to burn. Even so, there is an air of subdued triumphalism, since the two most popular Lib Dems in the coalition, Vince Cable and Steve Webb, also contributed to the volume although Mr Cable's promise to abolish the department where he is now secretary of state remains unfulfilled. Without the Orange Book, there may have been no coalition at all. That may overstate the case.

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