Opinion: The Immigration Premium: A positive approach to immigration

This concept of an Immigration Premium was developed after watching Nick Clegg struggle to counter Nigel Farage on the subject of immigration in the European election debates. The UKIP leader is correctly able to state that we have an open door policy to European Immigration and hundreds of thousands of people arrive year after year, putting immense strains on housing, education, healthcare and other infrastructure elements.

The Immigration Premium turns this problem on its head. New immigrants (identifiable by NI number) have high levels of employment and through sheer weight of numbers make a major contribution to the exchequer both through direct taxes and indirect spending. In fact, immigration is a major factor in the economy’s return to growth. The Immigration Premium identifies additional tax revenues generated by immigration and directs additional funds to the geographic areas and services most directly affected by sudden influxes of large numbers of new people.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Simple, liberal ideas for London

london by Harshil ShahLondon is widely regarded as a liberal city. It is not, however, a Liberal Democrat city.

The party now controls just one council and has only 6% of the councillors, as well as 2 London Assembly members. And yet, at least anecdotally, London should be our city. It’s diverse and often cosmopolitan.

One of the most striking aspects of the 2014 British Social Attitudes survey was that over half of Londoners welcomed immigration as good for the economy – almost double the number of people who did so in the rest of the UK. In Merton, a losing UKIP councillor blamed the “more media-savvy and educated” Londoners for her party’s lack of success. Although she was widely mocked for this statement, the results would suggest that large parts of London are not natural UKIP territory.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 29 Comments

Stand up against the politics of bullets and threats

AlliancePolitics is macho at the best of times – strength and power, even clarity is used in a ruthless context.  All too often there are militaristic metaphors: “I intend to march my troops towards the sound of gunfire” (Joe Grimond 1963).

Indeed, it has always been my experience as a campaigner, member of staff for the Party and as candidate, that macho effort is often valued above more subtle contribution.  You often hear Conference bar boasting about the number of by-elections attended (usually citing the first exciting one that we won, forgetting the less sexy ones: Ogmore or Bootle 2), the number of nights, days, weeks and indeed months (in the case of Brent East) spent at said by-election, and the first by-election attended (often Christchurch or Eastbourne, being a direct reference to the decades of perceived thankless service!).

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Opinion: English devolution – with maps

Being very much a politics geek, the renewed discussion on English Devolution following the pledge of home rule for Scotland by all three major party leaders, prompted me to start considering what England might look like if the same powers were devolved to it.

Two well known options for English devolution are those of either a devolved English Parliament or devolved regional assemblies for the regions used in European elections. To my mind the former (as a result of covering 53 million people) would continue over-centralisation in England while the latter is hindered by the regions lacking cohesive identities and being …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 57 Comments

The English devolution battleground

Yorkshire RoseThe prospect of more devolution to Scotland has, rightly enough, ignited the debate in England over devolution. The country has been alive with this, and the party seems to me at times a microcosm of this with some pulling in the direction of English Votes on English Laws and others in the direction of a constitutional convention and devolution to the regions of England.

Nick Clegg speaking earlier reasserted the idea that groups of local authorities should have the right to demand powers are devolved to them, while nodding at the McKay commission on English and England-and-Wales votes in the Commons.

There may be a danger here that we, England, fight ourselves to exhaustion over which solution we want to the West Lothian Question (WLQ) and end up with none of them.

Posted in Op-eds | 25 Comments

Opinion: Lib Dems believe in local policing; should they also support a return to local courts?

Birmingham Magistrates' Courts / Victoria Law CourtsOver the past two decades summary justice has been transformed in England and Wales. Part of the change has been a loss of local visibility for the justice system. The police and Crown Prosecution Service has acquired new authority to sentence those admitting to crimes through use of Conditional Cautions and the expansion of fixed penalty and exclusion notices. In this they have been aided by new powers gained by local authorities.

On the other hand, local magistrates’ courts have disappeared from many towns and the suburbs of …

photos by: &
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Can moderate public engagement be a good thing?

Scottish referendum ohot by gerardferryimagesWhile I was a governor at a primary school, we had a yearly dilemma. By law, we had to hold an annual meeting with parents. About a dozen usually turned up. Normally the same faces. Interested and engaged, they gave us good feedback and a nice time was had by all. Soft drinks and nibbles supplied.

But a dozen parents for a school with several hundred pupils was considered low. So, annually, we considered ways of increasing parental attendance, only to be frustrated. After several attempts, I jokingly suggested that the only way to increase attendance was to announce that, at the next meeting, we would be showing a preview of an experimental Swedish sex education video which we were considering showing to pupils.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Opinion: A once in a generation chance for democracy

Yorkshire I wrote an opinion piece for LibDem Voice on 26th August arguing for devolution for the regions.  My piece elicited a mixed response.  The events of the last few days, in my opinion, have made this viewpoint more mainstream and catapulted this issue up the political agenda.  We have a once in a lifetime chance to change the way we are governed in this country for the better and repair the damage done by scandal, expenses and the notion that we are governed by a small number of people from the same socio-economic background.  We have an opportunity to re-invent a truly democratic model of governance at a national and local level.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 20 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #390

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 390th weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the seven most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (14-20 September, 2014), together with a hand-picked quintet, you might otherwise have missed.

Don’t forget: you can sign up to receive the Golden Dozen direct to your email inbox — just click here — ensuring you never miss out on the best of Lib Dem blogging.

As ever, let’s start with the most popular post, and work our way down:

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LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 23,200  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

What do you think will be the result of the Scottish independence referendum? Your predictions, please? (68 comments) by Stephen Tall

Yes Scotland is a bit late to realise that Wings over Scotland is bad news (28 comments) by Caron Lindsay AGAIN

++Mike Hancock MP quits Lib Dems (7 comments) by The Voice

Note to agents: do not publish anything you may learn at postal vote opening (6 comments) by Alex Foster. Another oldie from 2010

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Paddy Ashdown warns of national civil revolt as gap between Westminster elite and people grows

Nick Clegg used strong language earlier. However, that sounded like sweet nothings compared to Paddy Ashdown’s comments on the Murnaghan programme earlier. You can read the whole transcript here, but here are some of the highlights:

PM and Miliband should play Join the Dots in a darkened room

An interesting turn of phrase here as Paddy tells the two “old party” leaders to take a reality check:

Mr Miliband and Mr Cameron are already running away from the promises they made.  Mr Cameron didn’t seem to realise that when he made that promise he may not be able to carry his MPs with him and is now amending it so that it is somehow tied to English parliaments and English votes – we’ll come on to that in a minute.  Mr Miliband by the way, Labour didn’t even want to have devo max, they didn’t want it, they didn’t want it, they didn’t want it and then at the very end in a panic they accepted it without accepting it’s implications and now they are running away from it too.  Look, I suggest these two old leaders go away into a quiet room, these two leaders of the old parties, go away into a quiet room this afternoon and play a game of join the dots because if they don’t realise that there is something very close to a national citizens revolt against Westminster – it may be that the Scottish revolt, near revolution, may go away but I rather doubt it listening to Mr Salmond earlier on and his, in my view, entirely justifiable anger.  Now join that dot with the other dot, Farage and UKIP running a campaign against Westminster and the Westminster elite and you’ve got to realise that this is a profoundly dangerous moment, a moment by the way that I’ve been warning was coming for ten years now as the gap between government and governed grew.  To renege on a solemn promise like that will destroy Westminster’s legitimacy and reputation in Scotland and will do the same in England too and the consequences of that are very great.

I’m slightly more sceptical of Salmond than Paddy. The First Minister accused Cameron of breaking a promise that hadn’t been made on Friday, stoking the fires of frustration amongst independence supporters. It seems that what Paddy and Nick are trying to do is to insert some backbone into Cameron and Miliband but there is no real sign at the moment that they are not going to deliver on the powers for Scotland. I think Paddy is right to call on them to reiterate that that will happen and that the process is completely separate from the English  issue. He’s just trying to block of any potential escape routes, but I think he needs to be careful not to over-egg the pudding. It’s perfectly fair, though, to eviscerate Cameron for his political ambush of Miliband.

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Caron’s Sunday Selection: Must-read articles from the Sunday papers

sundaypapsHere’s my selection of stories to infuriate, inform and inspire from today’s Sunday papers. I can’t pick all the stories, so please add your favourites in the comments.

Obviously the fallout rom the Scottish independence referendum dominates. Don’t blame me. Blame David Cameron for using the occasion to pick a fight with Ed Miliband to try and make him out to be anti-English ahead of the General Electiona and, more immediately, the Labour conference. Labour wanted the week to plug their platform for the election. No such luck, it seems. It’s very annoying that Scotland has been caught in the crossfire.

The Independent on Sunday quotes Nick Harvey, Bob Maclennan and Paul Tyler on what they see as the way ahead. Nick Clegg is urged by Harvey to do a deal with Cameron and implement it before the election:

Sir Nick Harvey MP, a defence minister for the first two years of the coalition, said that Lib Dems should agree to support Tory calls for English votes for English laws in exchange for regional reforms. Sir Nick said that this could include more powers for local councils or city regions.

The Lib Dems have long called for decentralisation of political power, and in their 2010 general election manifesto even pledged to help develop regional stock exchanges. Lib Dems complain that the UK is one of the most centralised western states in the world – but whatever the prize, many activists do not want to see another deal with the Tories.

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

A film night, at Conference? Really?

Party conference serves so many purposes. It’s there to make policy, to deliver training and for members from around the country to get together and chat. I have to say that I’ve never thought that the big thing missing from our annual gathering was a film night. In fact, putting me in a warm, dark room after 4 sleep-deprived nights is likely to have me snoring in seconds.

I was therefore surprised to see some weeks ago that a film night was to happen and the party  was running a vote on its website so that people could choose what film was shown. We could choose between all sorts of blokey political culture from Watergate to In the Loop. Why could we not have had Aaron Sorkin’s The American President on the list? What about Made In Dagenham, a film about the fight for equal pay at the Ford car plant. When that latter film came out 4 years ago, Lynne Featherstone criticised it being given a 15 rating because it had one incident of the F word (not the federalism one) but praised the film itself:

That fight still goes on today – with a pay gap between men and women in full time work – as unacceptable now too.

But outside of the issue itself – which is extremely timely with the coalition commitment to promoting the right to request flexible working to all and promote equal pay – it is just a brilliant film.

It is in the genre of Billy Elliot and Brassed Off – and I hope that everyone sees it – as it is truly inspiring.

Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments

Last chance to vote in Liberal Youth elections

Liberal Youth logo 2014

Voting closes in the Liberal Youth annual elections tomorrow at noon. All members of the party under 26 are eligible to vote. Those members for whom we have an email address should have received a ballot paper from Opavote. If you haven’t received one, check your spam to make sure isn’t in there, then email me on [email protected] with proof of age and Liberal Democrat membership.

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Strong language from Nick Clegg on more powers for Scotland: This opportunity cannot be hijacked

I had a sneak preview of an article Nick Clegg wrote for today’s Sunday Post. I was a bit disappointed in its blandness. We needed more robust language, I felt. Why? Well, when Cameron had just had almost half of Scots who voted tell him they wanted out of the Union, his main message in response was to pick a fight with Labour on the so-called “West Lothian Question.” Really, Dave, is that what you take from all of this? By making more powers for Scotland seem contingent on resolving the English votes for English laws issues, he exacerbated tensions up here.

Yes supporters were already, entirely understandably, devastated. I only need to think of the anxiety I’ve felt over the last couple of weeks to understand entirely how it feels for them. The last thing these people needed to do was to find themselves in the middle of a scrap between the Tories and Labour over something that was irrelevant to them. There needed to be a very clear message that the powers would be delivered on time. If they aren’t, then, frankly, the three pro-UK parties are completely stuffed. As Ming Campbell memorably put it on the BBC News Channel on Friday night, you might as well hand out free membership of the SNP.

Rather than use his resignation statement to bring people together and soothe people’s emotions, Alex Salmond sought to raise tensions by suggesting that David Cameron had reneged on a commitment to have the Second Reading of the new Scotland Bill by 27th March. That was never part of the deal. As an MP of 20 years’ standing, Salmond should know that even if it had had its second reading by then, it would have fallen as Parliament is due to be dissolved days later. The commitment was to have a Bill ready to be debated by the next Parliament immediately after the election. That’s what the Better Together election poster explicitly said:

Better Together election poster

 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 38 Comments

Last chance to apply for ALDC internship – a Lib Dem Jobwatch special

The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners, to give it its Sunday name, is recruiting two paid Campaigns and Communications internships based in Manchester from next month to June next year.

From their site:

This is a full-time role, paid at the UK National Minimum Wage (£6.50 per hour for over 21 years olds), based at our Manchester city centre offices.

ALDC is the national organisation for Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the work of the organisation in the run up to the 2015 General Election.

The successful applicants will be helping us with our campaigns output, our communications and social media, and also helping campaign ‘on the ground’ with one of our partner local parties in Greater Manchester.

Successful candidates must have sympathy with the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats.

The deadline for applications is Monday 22 September 2014.
Interviews will take place in central Manchester on Tuesday 30 September 2014.

You can find out more details, including how to apply, here.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Dorothy Thornhill selected as Liberal Democrat candidate for Watford

Dorothy ThornhillMy co-editor Stephen Tall is incredibly efficient. He’s off on holiday, but he managed to edit his post on where we are with candidates in our held and top target seats to include Dorothy Thornhill’s selection in Watford before he headed to the airport at some ridiculous hour of the night.

Dorothy is currently in her fourth term as Mayor of Watford, elected for the first time in 2002 and re-elected in 2006, 2010 and in May this year. She’s a former teacher.

Party President Tim Farron welcomed her selection on Twitter last night:

Posted in News | 4 Comments

UPDATED: Full list of Lib Dems standing in our held seats and top 50 targets

We’re less than 8 months away from the May 2015 election so here’s my latest running check on how candidate selection is going in our held and key target seats…

Lib Dems winning hereI published a first draft of this list a year ago, and asked readers to help me update it. Many thanks to those of you who have helped me keep it updated, including the party’s Candidates Services Office. Here’s the latest version of the list of (re-)selections in our held seats and the top 50 targets for the party.

It’s a snapshot of how the party’s doing in getting people in place in the battleground seats that will determine the extent of Lib Dem influence in the next parliament:

Posted in News and Selection news | Tagged | 33 Comments

Meanwhile, in Clacton… Meet the Lib Dems’ by-election candidate, Andy Graham

andy-graham-at-clacton-lib-dem-officeEvents in Scotland have rather dominated these past few weeks, but we shouldn’t forget there’s another election soon to take place: the by-election in Clacton triggered by Douglas Carswell’s defection from the Tories to Ukip.

Early polls shows Carswell is the front-runner to retain the seat in his new colours. The local Lib Dems have selected a candidate to fly the party’s colours: Andy Graham, “a former teacher in Clacton has performed in shows at the Clacton’s West Cliff Theatre”.

Details of how you can help Andy in Clacton are as follows:

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Paul Tyler writes… Pledge in haste, repent at leisure

Union FlagHaving the scars on my back from attempts to reform the Lords, I know how inclined people are to declare constitutional reform ‘not thought through’. In the case of Lords Reform, this was patently ridiculous since introducing elections to the House has been the subject of more self-interested cogitation and political procrastination than just about any other subject.

Proposals for “devo-max” to Scotland are not ill-considered either. Our own redoubtable Menzies Campbell has produced two formidable reports on “Home Rule All Round”, setting out a federal future for the UK. Lord Strathclyde has produced a not dissimilar report on the subject for the Conservatives. Labour have their own similar (though moderately less ambitious) proposals. Even arch anti-devolutionist Michael Forsyth told the BBC he favours a federal solution now!

photo by: mrs.timpers
Posted in Op-eds | 53 Comments

LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League: how it stands after Week 4

Congratulations to George Murray, whose Marauding Fullbacks lead the LibDemVoice Fantasy Football League after Week 4 with an impressive 264 points. That puts him in 4,909th place in the global league of more than 3.2 million players.

Just three points then separate the next four players and fewer than 20 points the entire top 10. For the record, I’m languishing at 29th, not helped by my insane decision not to make Diego Costa my team captain in the week he scored a hat-trick. Ah well. At the other end of the table, by the way, Ceredigion Premier is ranked last, with 53 points. Still, it’s a marathon, not a sprint.

fantasy football wk 4

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Catherine Bearder writes… Now the referendum is over, we need a unifying vision for Britain

Now that the people of Scotland have voted to remain a part of the UK, discussions over what further devolution of powers for Scotland will take place – as well as for the other British nations and regions – will inevitably dominate public debate. However, a big risk facing us as a country is that we become too introspective, turning in on ourselves rather than looking at the wider picture.

That’s because as well as a new constitutional arrangement, we desperately need a unifying vision of Britain and its place in the world. Indeed, it’s the lack of such a vision that has been one of the key factors fuelling Scottish separatism and the nationalism that feeds UKIP.

Posted in Op-eds | 28 Comments

++Breaking news: Alex Salmond resigns as First Minister of Scotland

As I write Alex Salmond is holding a press conference where he is announcing his resignation as First Minister of Scotland and (again) as leader of the Scottish National Party.

While his cause is not one that is endorsed much here on Liberal Democrat Voice, he has clearly brought his party and the independence movement a very long way indeed. That is an achievement to give credit for, even if we rather wish he hadn’t.

So the thread below is open for your comments on Salmond’s contribution to politics, and it wouldn’t be entirely inappropriate to lean more towards tributes than we …

Posted in News | 18 Comments

Opinion: Reaching out to young people

I’ve just submitted an article for the ‘Youth 100’ for this year. I’m honoured to have been asked to contribute to the publication, still regarded as a national expert on youth issues. Having spent most of my career working with or on behalf of young people I am constantly exercised about how we as a party connect with them. Post tuition fees – how do we once again become the party of choice for young people?

It’s not easy, but I think the popular brands I’ve been reflecting on this week have some lessons for us. Among other things, …

Posted in News | 8 Comments

Opinion: The West Lothian Question has left Ed Miliband in a deep hole

Ed Miliband has to concede that home rule for Scotland must mean that Scottish MP’s should no longer vote on English only matters. Not to do so would be unreasonable, unfair, and also deeply unpopular in England. It would give the Tories the biggest stick they could wish for to beat Labour with up and down England in May next year.

If Ed does agree to withdraw Scottish (and Welsh) Mp’s from English legislation though, any future non Conservative UK government might be paralysed by a Conservative majority of English MP’s elected on a minority of the English vote. Labour would be unable to deliver on the NHS, on Education, on welfare and on a whole host of key priorities. Worse, without an English executive there would be gridlock. Labour, even with Lib Dem support, wouldn’t even be able to deliver devolution to English Regions with an English Tory veto.

Posted in Op-eds | 79 Comments

The post-independence referendum to do list

I am so relieved this morning. I don’t think I have ever been as scared and anxious about any political event in my life as I was about the result of the referendum on independence. I really do think that a win for Yes would not have brought the help for the most vulnerable in society that was promised.

I don’t feel any great sense of victory. I know that many of my friends, who have the same values and want the same things for our society as I do, are feeling distraught this morning. I’ve been on the receiving end of defeat enough times to know its pain. These are good people and I feel for them.

I need desperately to sleep but before I do, and while I wait for Salmond to make his statement at 10 am, I thought I’d jot down a bit of a to do list for a whole variety of people. It’s ambitious.

1. Deliver on the more powers pledge – putting something like Liberal Democrat policy into practice.

The result was not a massive vote of confidence in the UK as it stands. The union has been put on probation. If people are not given signifiant new powers that make a difference, we’ll be back here in 5 years’ time. Do it quickly and inclusively.

2. Develop a strategy for tackling poverty and inequality at UK and Scottish level

In some ways the “more powers” thing was a bit of a red herring. People wanted more powers but they also wanted to make life better for the most vulnerable people in society. We need a bit of vision on delivering better housing and getting people out of poverty. That will really give the 84% of people who turned out yesterday a reason to do so again.

3. No excuses, no delay: we need votes at 16 now

One of the best sight of yesterday was seeing 16 and 17 year olds heading to the polling station for the first time in a UK election. It worked. They shouldn’t have that vote taken away from them now. Is it possible to implement it for the General Election next May? There is no reason it couldn’t be rushed through Parliament, surely. No taxation without representation, after all.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 26 Comments

Opinion: Federation is necessary

I think we Lib Dems can all be happy about the turnout in the referendum, and the result it gave us. It truly showed that if you give people the democratic opportunity to have a voice, they will seize it. While that very specific question is answered there are many more that remain.

While it’s early days yet, all it seems we’ve been offered by Cameron is English votes on English issues within the present structure. At the risk of being cynical, the simple barring of non-English MPs seems to serve to retain FPTP in a legislature that will serve both the union and England. It would lend the Tories a permanent electoral advantage in the English sub-section of Westminister. One must also consider the impracticality of operating a Parliament within a Parliament, and particularly sharing an executive. How can (assuming the vast majority of issues are now devolved) a government that exists because of a majority in the union Parliament decide the ministerial positions that exercise power only over England? This is not an acceptable option.

Posted in Op-eds | 9 Comments

Scotland says no to independence: here’s my first thoughts the morning after

The people of Scotland have spoken. As that sound echoes, here’s what I think its rejection of independence means…

The SNP are strengthened:

45% of the Scottish electorate voted Yes. That’s a far higher figure than many of us would have predicted even a few weeks ago. Yes Scotland’s campaigning, driven by the SNP, has proved far superior to Better Together’s, driven by Labour. If the Nationalists resist the temptation to turn in on themselves they can expect to reap the electoral rewards of their grassroots activity next May. The Scots, by decisively rejecting independence, have lost their negotiating leverage: I expect them to turn to the SNP as an insurance policy against being forgotten about by Westminster. That poses a big threat to Labour, but also to the Lib Dems — after all, one-fifth of our MPs sit for Scottish seats.

The Tories are weakened…

Did Cameron panic or was it one of those things that seemed a good idea at the time? I’m referring to the ‘vow’ he co-signed with Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, published in the Daily Record, promising more powers for Scotland and the safeguarding of the Barnett Formula financial settlement for Scotland. This opens up a whole Pandora’s Box of constitutional questions which are likely to dominate debate at least until Christmas. That part of it won’t bother Cameron: the irresistible logic of devo-max for Scotland is de facto home rule also for England – in other words, English votes deciding English laws – which, given the Tories’ strength in England, boosts their prospects of remaining in power, at least in the short-term. However, the promise to retain the Barnett Formula is another matter altogether. It offers an obvious opportunity to Nigel Farage to exploit: “It’s right that Scotland should have more powers,” he’ll say, “but it’s also right that there’s a fair financial settlement for the English, too. Public money should be allocated according to need.” And the worst of it is he’s 100% right on this, and he’ll now be the lone voice among the four main party leaders able to make that compelling case to the voters in the lead-up to the next general election. The Tories (as well as the Lib Dems and Labour) have placed ourselves on the wrong side of this issue.

Posted in News | 27 Comments

Senior Liberal Democrats react as Scots vote to stay in UK

The sovereign will of the Scottish people, by a margin of, give or take a bit, 55%-45 %, is to stay in the UK. In voting No, they put their trust in David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg to deliver more powers to the Scottish Parliament.

Here’s how senior Liberal Democrats reacted. First,  Nick Clegg:

I’m absolutely delighted the Scottish people have taken this momentous decision to safeguard our family of nations for future generations.

In a dangerous and uncertain world I have no doubt we are stronger, safer, and more prosperous together than we ever could be apart.

But a vote against independence was clearly not a vote against change and we must now deliver on time and in full the radical package of newly devolved powers to Scotland.

At the same time, this referendum north of the border has led to a demand for constitutional reform across the United Kingdom as people south of the border also want more control and freedom in their own hands rather than power being hoarded in Westminster.

So this referendum marks not only a new chapter for Scotland within the UK but also a new chapter of constitutional renewal across the UK.

Willie Rennie:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 12 Comments

Must do better, UK

Whatever the outcome of Scotland’s independence referendum, we should all be shocked at the magnitude of the Yes vote. Surely we should never expect more than a few percent of any population to wish to renounce their citizenship due to dissatisfaction with their government and country, and opt instead for some smaller, weaker, largely untested and unknown alternative. That around half of a population may wish to do this might be expected in Iraq or Syria, but not in one of the more stable, peaceful, prosperous and free parts of the world.

How, then, has it come to this? Yes, there …

Posted in News and Op-eds | 24 Comments



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