Tim Farron writes to Jeremy Corbyn: will you clarify your position on Article 50

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to Jeremy Corbyn to call on him to clear up ‘once and for all’ his party’s position on Article 50.

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+++Supreme Court rules against government on Article 50

In the last few minutes the supreme court has ruled that the government cannot trigger Article 50 using perogative powers but must hold a vote in Parliament. The reasoning seems to be that triggering Article 50 would cut off a dynamic source of UK law, would be a change to the UK constitutional arrangements, and this can only be done by an act of Parliament.

The court also ruled that there was no obligation on the government to consult devolved administrations.

There is a summary of the judgement on the supreme court website here.

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Liberal Democrats announce Stoke-on-Trent Central candidate

Dr Zulfiqar Ali will be the Liberal Democrat candidate for next month’s Stoke-on-Trent Central by-election.

Dr Ali is a consultant cardiologist who has lived in Stoke with his family since 2001. He was born in Kashmir, Pakistan, and has three children.

He served as a Cllr from Hanley West / Shelton ward in 2008 to 2011 and was Deputy Group Leader 2009 to 2011.He was the party’s candidate in Stoke-on-Trent Central in 2015.

His campaign will focus on why it is vital for Stoke’s prosperity that we remain in …

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Washington Women’s March contributing to the new Liberator song book?


In 1969 in the middle of a US countryside pasture they organized a small music festival called Woodstock. The organizers (having lined up the “fine fleur” of the pop music in those days) counted on 200,000 visitors max. As the later song about that legendary festival attests, it were much more: “By the time we got to Woodstock, we were half a million strong”.

The same thing happened with the Women’s March on Washington, as older demonstrators noted. Dutch television news, in an overview of ‘Women’s March’ -demonstrations in American cities, even showed a massive demonstration in a city (not the capital) in the Mormon state of Utah; that must have shocked some conservative Republicans!

Another fact: this demo in Washington, with around 500,000 demonstrators, was larger than any Vietnam demonstration in the unruly ’60s (1965-1974). Vietnam vet and ex-Foreign Secretary John Kerry attended the Washington March. And while bully orator Donald Trump wriggled out from military service altogether to avoid being sent to Vietnam, John Kerry volunteered…

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Maybe not! We must not let Theresa get away with it.

We have two by-elections to fight within five weeks, so this is urgent.

It was bad enough that Prime Minister May declared on January 17th her intention for Britain to leave the single market and make a definite break with the EU. But it was also made clear subsequently that, when the negotiations on terms of leaving are completed, the options she intends to put to Parliament will be to either accept them, or reject them and leave without a deal.

The option of rejecting the deal, but also deciding to remain in the EU, will not be offered.

Of course, Parliament could refuse to endorse this, probably involving a vote of no confidence and an early General Election, but that looks unlikely. The Liberal Democrats alone demand that the final decision should be between leaving with the negotiated terms or staying in, and that this should be decided by the people in another referendum. We maintain that what voting out in the first plebiscite on June 23 would mean for the country was not fully explained or foreseen, and when the full consequences for Britain’s future out of the EU have become apparent in two years’ time, the people should have the final right to decide.

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Some Military Mathematics?


Mathematics seems to be the most objective, least easily manipulated form of human knowledge. Consequently it can be considered an essential tool for the assessment of political performance.

Here are some mathematical metrics applied to Mr Obama’s presidential performance in military aspects of what is usually labelled Foreign Policy.

However, it is always needful to bear in mind the inevitable effects of military Foreign Policy on domestic policies. Security and spending, including debt charges, are always affected.

Mr Obama has spent annual average of $653.6 billion on US military spending. This beats the previous post war record of Mr GW Bush by an average of $18.7 billion per annum in 2016 dollars.

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LibLink: Tim Farron writes “May’s Brexit intentions will betray the values promoted by Churchill”

Tim Farron has written an article in The New European. He starts:

If 2016 felt like a never-ending cycle of shocks and surprises, then 2017 already shows no sign of relenting.

I, like all other ‘Remoaners’, get constantly criticised for being too negative about the prospects of Brexit Britain. Yet right now, it is not my confidence in the government’s direction that is significant, it is the markets, displayed so clearly in the pound slumping to a fresh 31-year low on Monday.

The prompt for this had been the impending sense of gloom in anticipation of Theresa May’s Brexit speech on Tuesday, which outlined her plans for the UK to quit the single market, before even entering into negotiations with the EU.

Staggeringly, the PM, increasingly characterised as ‘Theresa Maybe’, has chosen her only act of decisiveness to be on leaving the single market – a British invention that she and her own cabinet have spent their careers recognising as being so fundamental to our public life and economic wellbeing.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarGlenn 24th Jan - 11:03am
    Dreadful news that will just drag things out even longer.
  • User AvatarRoland 24th Jan - 11:01am
    @Matt (Bristol) - "But there is a qualitative difference between article 50 triggered by a government acting under prerogative that has not heard the concerns...
  • User Avatarmalc 24th Jan - 10:53am
    If Labour vote against Article 50 and that leads to a general election it will damage them very badly. Many of their seats are strong...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 24th Jan - 10:49am
    Proposing and voting for a referendum was always a stupid mistake because nobody, including LibDems, ever thought through the consequences. All tactical "let-the-people-decide freeriders" were...
  • User AvatarGeoff Hinkley 24th Jan - 10:44am
    The Lib Dems need to do what they can to ensure that Westminster honours the 2013 Memorandum of Understanding with the devolved legislatures. The Sewel...
  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 24th Jan - 10:44am
    No, Al, that's not true. Not 'only independence'. A new federal written constitution could secure the same thing, rather than our piecemeal unwritten mishmash which...