Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #458

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 458th 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 (15-21 May, 2016), 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:

Posted in Best of the blogs | Leave a comment

Online abuse might not break bones, but it can come close to breaking your spirit

The internet is a pretty torrid place at the best of times. Some users delight in throwing rage, bile and abuse around the place. If you are a woman the abuse can be particularly graphic, sexualised and incredibly unpleasant.

In a feature for Radio 5 live, 3 politicians, including our former minister Jo Swinson, talk about their experiences of online abuse and how it affected them. Also taking part are my SNP MP Hannah Bardell and Labour’s Diane Abbott, who gets a whole load of racist bile thrown in just for good measure.

This is fairly routine for any woman who commits the “offence” of going on the internet in possession of an opinion. I’ve come in for it myself and it does wear you down. There was a time a couple of years ago where it really started to affect me badly and reduced me to tears on several occasions. The European elections disaster and the independence referendum combined to create what seemed to be a never-ending spiral of abuse. The most hurtful came from commenters on this site, members of the party, some of whom I actually know in real life, who said some pretty unpleasant personal stuff, but they were just part of it. It felt that wherever I turned, there was nastiness.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 25 Comments

Manchester Labour don’t like Leech up them

Manchester’s Labour councillors are not used to opposition. They have had none (that’s no opposition councillors at all) for two years. All that changed on 5 May when former Liberal Democrat MP John Leech was elected for the Didsbury West ward.

At the first full Council meeting last week, John dared to ask a whole 8 questions of the Labour administration, and its leader was deeply unimpressed.

From the Manchester Gazette:

However, council leader Richard Leese, was quick to quieten down the opposition interrupting Councillor Leech’s supplementary question.

Leese sniped: “There is a right to ask a questions. Then there is a right to ask a supplementary question, not what appears to be half a dozen supplementary questions.”

Lease’s comment followed a series of questions from John Leech regarding services for recovering alcoholics. The Brian Hore Unit which supported people who had difficulties with alcohol, was recently closed.

Councillor Andrews – to whom Councillor Leech’s question was directed – could not answer, but he has promised to investigate and report back to the council when he knows more.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 7 Comments

The dark side of Leave upsets even the Mail on Sunday

On Friday, the official Leave campaign released a deeply unpleasant video suggesting that Turkey is on the brink of joining the EU. Lib Dem Peer Meral Hussein-Ece was horrified:

This is more desperation from Brexit and Project Fear. This is a xenophobic attack from a leave campaign that knows it is losing the debate. Stigmatising Turkey and the people who live there is a dangerous move which comes from the propaganda playbooks of 100 years ago.

One of the great things about the EU is that it encourages us to work together; instead the leave campaign are offering a world of division and distrust. This is not a future we should be fighting for.

Boris Johnson knows that Turkey won’t be joining the EU any time soon; they have been a candidate since 1987 and have only met one target of the 36 stipulated by the EU. Yet again Boris has recklessly made up new ‘facts’ on the spot.

You have to wonder if there’s a myth that Boris won’t promote in the run-up to the referendum, from the bogus £350 million a week figure to his bizarre comments that you can’t buy bananas in bunches of more than three.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 32 Comments

What Willie said…..when he stood for First Minister

Willie Rennie’s candidacy for First Minister in the Scottish Parliament this week attracted some comment in the press. Andrew Liddle in the Press and Journal was very complimentary:

While it was clearly going to end in defeat, it also offered up a golden opportunity for Mr Rennie to expound his platform.

True to character, it was an irreverent move, not a devious one.

Here is Willie’s speech – he combines exactly the right mix of self-deprecating humour and statesmanlike vision.

“Ohhhh dad. You’re not are you?”

Those were the encouraging words from my unimpressed 12 year old son when he heard on the radio this morning that I was standing for First Minister.

I told Stephen that I had been inspired by a women nationalist leader who stood up against the odds.

But unlike Leanne Wood I won’t be relying on UKIP votes today.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

A big day of internal Lib Demmery ahead

So, we’ve not even had a proper weekend off since the election. Two weeks ago we were all knackered and had loads of clearing up to do. Last week we were all on INtogether stalls. Now, this Saturday, our minds turn to future party strategy across Britain.

In Scotland, the party executive gathers for the first time since achieving a better result than most of us expected. We have a lot to chew over in terms of future strategy and we’re taking a day to do it. We’re having to follow Willie to North East Fife where he’ll spend some time with us before heading off to a local agricultural show.

In England, English Council meets in London.

However, the biggest and most immediate decision will be taken by the Welsh Liberal Democrats at a special conference in Powys. They will be debating whether Kirsty Williams should take up a seat in the Welsh Cabinet as Education Secretary.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 7 Comments

Norman Lamb on why improving mental health care is so important to him

This interview with Norman Lamb in the Telegraph.

In it, he talks about why he is so motivated to change mental health care. We knew about how he and his wife Mary have supported their son Archie through battles with OCD and, for the first time, he talks about losing his sister Catherine to suicide last year.

Anyone who has gone through those sorts of experiences, or who has tried to get treatment for mental ill health, will understand the frustrations that he describes and will understand how that drove him on to transform as much as he could while a Minister.

If you have no experience of this particular field, be in no doubt that he is telling the truth.

The Telegraph article has a letter from a 9 year old boy with Depression which was read on the Today programme. It’s horrible to think of a young child going through such pain at all, but when you think they may have to wait years for diagnosis and treatment, it makes you so angry. You need to think of the consequences of that. Think of the impact of a year, or even two years’ wait. Think how much worse a condition can get in that time. There is often no quick fix, either, so there’s more time trying to find something that works. By that time, you’re probably talking about between a quarter and a third of your years in education which have been dominated by ill health. Think of the knock-on effects on life chances, particularly if you are not from an affluent background. It truly is a scandal that we tolerate this as a society.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 9 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 25th May - 12:49pm
    Maybe we should ask some Greek, Spanish, Portuguese, Irish, and French people the same question! "So although the young face an uncertain future, it is...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 25th May - 12:45pm
    Paddy Ashdown said " I have been a learner all my life."
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 25th May - 12:43pm
    Councillor David Neve is now Mayor of Tunbridge Wells. He was first elected as a borough councillor in 1987 and was most recently re-elected in...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th May - 12:20pm
    PS' As an after thought I could have pointed out that the BBC guards it copyrights nearly as tightly as Disney so most BBC re-runs...
  • User AvatarGlenn 25th May - 12:07pm
    Expats. Fair point. but I managed a list and it could have been over 10 times longer before even getting to things like HBO and...
  • User AvatarDean Moore 25th May - 12:02pm
    @Dav, I do not see how me being a student takes away from anything I've said. There's a Member of Parliament that's also a student...