WATCH: Jo Swinson on Question Time

Jo Swinson was on Question Time on Thursday and she was fabulous. She really took on Tory minister Damian Green with pithy and sharp interventions.

Here she is taking about the awful Rape Clause:

And on hard Brexit:

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Happy Ed Balls Day everyone!

2016 was such a strange year when the unexpected happened. There was Brexit and Trump but there was nothing so strange as certain of us actually getting to like Ed Balls.

So, today, on Ed Balls Day, here is something to amuse or shock you. (Delete as applicable). You will never be able to unsee it, though.

Tim Farron, who caused yesterday’s social media sensation, “smell my spaniel” marked the occasion:

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Elizabeth Riches selected to fight North East Fife

Former Fife Councillor and Depute Council Leader Elizabeth Riches has been selected to fight North East Fife. The interesting fact that I didn’t know about her from her biography is that she lived in the Arctic Circle for 2 years.

She has been a biology teacher, ran her own horticulture business and was a Councillor at Region and District level for 27 years.

She visited a dairy farm with Willie this morning but, a little disappointingly, there were no animal shenanigans to brighten up our Friday.

However, they did make a video to celebrate Elizabeth’s selection:

Elizabeth Riches said

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New role for Daisy Benson

Western Counties Liberal Democrats have appointed Daisy Benson as their Director of Member and Supporter Mobilisation. Given her record at enthusing the Newbies, they certainly could not have chosen anyone better for this role.

Gavin Grant, Chairman of Western Counties region commented:

I shared the disappointment of many that the timing of this General Election denied Daisy Benson the chance to win back Yeovil.

But I am delighted to announce that within the time available to her, Daisy will use her skills in this key strategic role in our West Country Campaign team.

Since the snap General Election was called 13,000 people have

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Lib Dem members must all do their bit in this election

As I write this I am filled with pride as the party of rational thinking, the party of evidence based policy not knee-jerk reactions reaps the rewards of our stance on Brexit. Our membership is soaring, our poll ratings are creeping up and our results in by-elections both council and parliamentary are truly a sight to behold. However just beholding the wonders of our achievements since the General Election in 2015 isn’t enough. We have a General Election on the horizon!

While some may have the “Brenda “reaction of “not another one” we cannot be complacent. We must win as many seats as we can in order to show Mrs May we mean business! This means we have a number of Richmond Park campaigns to run.  We’ve got to win big in South London and return Sir Vince Cable and Sir Ed Davey to parliament. In Cambridge we’ve got to get the phenomenal campaigning machine who is Dr Julian Huppert back. But, we can only achieve this if we pull together and enthuse our newfound membership base.

To paraphrase Nelson, Tim expects every activist to do their duty! I am what we would call a “newbie” to the party. I joined during the local elections last year from Labour.They had a membership surge too  they they  haven’t motivated their new people. They obsess about internal matters and  not about who really matters, the public. We have so far engaged the membership, now we must motivate all of them into action.  Remember every vote counts. What this means is that we have target seats where we really must win. If you’re unsure where your nearest target seat is then bug your local party chair and they’ll let you know. We can only be an opposition truly worthy of the title if we take seats. Votes in all constituencies are needed but we won’t win them all (this time). Therefore targeting is key.

So remember:

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Campaign contrasts: land of hope and fears

“Be afraid, be very afraid”. Hardly an inspiring rallying call in progressive politics, but scaremongering is a strategy that often wins elections, and we cannot ignore that.

The Labour party used that very slogan in the 2001 general election, depicting William Hague on a campaign billboard resplendent with a Margaret Thatcher hairdo, It worked and Hague’s Conservatives took a humiliating beating at the ballot box.

Fast forward to 2017 and the party that wins the battle of hopes and fears is still likely to come out on top. Fear of the liberal elite, used so effectively by Trump in last year’s US election, is going to be a big factor in the coming weeks. The Conservatives and UKIP would have us believe that the liberal elite is trying to defy democracy through the courts and in Parliament. This Conservative narrative is helped hugely by the massive machinery of big money donors and media moguls are backing this message. The Tories outspent all the other political parties put together in 2015, and with the daily artillery fire on whingeing liberals and dangerously deluded Corbynites from Paul Dacre’s Daily Mail and Rupert Murdoch’s Sun, the odds are stacked heavily in their favour.

So between a heartless right wing machine and a clueless left wing opposition led so ineptly by Jeremy Corbyn, where does this leave the Liberal Democrats? With our yellow ‘liberty bird’ emblem, we have never been an angry party, but now is the time to harness fear and righteous indignation because our principles are under attack.

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Tim Farron commitment to end homelessness – reason to be proud, but also conscious of a great challenge

A party press release yesterday said:

The Liberal Democrats have committed to ending the scandal of rough sleeping in Britain, as the Homelessness Reduction Bill enters into force today.

Following a campaign visit to the Hundred Houses Society, a charitable housing association in Cambridge, Tim Farron announced a series of measures the party would put in place to help end rough sleeping.

These include introducing a Housing First provider in each local authority, to put long-term homeless people straight into independent homes rather than emergency shelters. Other policies include increasing funding for local councils for homelessness prevention, reinstating housing benefit for under-21s and reversing planned cuts to Local Housing Allowance rates.

This is a good reason to be very proud of our party. Making this commitment is a big deal. Housing is a basic human right, and we are right to base our policy on that.

Shelter advocate an approach based on the American “Housing First” model. I see that Tim Farron embraces that method.

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  • User AvatarPeter Martin 29th Apr - 10:01am
    @Thomas, You ask "But how can we reduce trade deficit? " There's really only one way and that is to do what every other country...
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    @Matthew Huntbach You make too many good points for me to pull out a single quote and say, "I agree"! The presentation of the policies...
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    @ Richard Dean, No I haven't forgotten that. It's true that the capital and current accounts have to balance but it doesn't change anything. Say...
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    Voting tactically FOR the Tories ? You must be joking.
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    ER 4 NEF MP
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    Something e3veryone can do: chant his name.