Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Lib Dems: Inflation rise hits the poorest

Senior Liberal Democrats have been commenting on the inflation rise today. I have to say that although  0.5% in a month is a lot, it feels like so much more. The prices of so much of my supermarket shop seems to have gone up by a lot more.

In Scorland, our Economy spokesperson Carolyn Caddick said:

Rising inflation shows that the British public are paying the price for Theresa May’s decision to take Britain out of the Single Market. With the pound falling in value by 18% since the referendum, the price of imports have shot up and broken the official target. Every Scot going on holiday abroad is seeing that their pounds do not buy what they used to.

Worst of all, the dramatic leap in food prices is hitting the poorest the most.

The fragile UK economy has been kept on life support by consumer spending, but with prices rising, that is now threatened. If Theresa May should change course immediately, and recognise that you can’t have a hard Brexit and affordable prices.

Our Shadow Chancellor Susan Kramer also blamed Brexit, saying that “You can’t have a hard brexit and affordable prices.”

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 23 Comments

Farron: Galloway boosts Lib Dem chances of victory in Manchester Gorton

So the hard left maverick George Galloway chose the ultra right Westmonster website set up by UKIP donor Arron Banks to tell anyone who would listen that he’s be standing in the Manchester Gorton by-election.

Tim Farron reckons that makes a Lib Dem win more likely.

While George Galloway won’t pick up enough votes to win, he clearly will take a number of votes from Labour. That increases our chances of winning as the only party that can beat Labour in Manchester Gorton.

George Galloway is a divisive, hard left campaigner of the old school and an ardent supporter of Brexit.

There will be little support for his brand of politics in Manchester Gorton, which is a diverse and tolerant place and voted 62% to remain in the EU.

His decision to enter the race is yet another consequence of the chronic splits and weak leadership in the Labour party. People in Manchester want change, they deserve better than a failed politician and a failing Labour party.

Our candidate Jackie Pearcey said on Twitter:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 8 Comments

Tim Farron comments on Martin McGuinness’ death

We woke this morning to the news that the former Northern Ireland Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness had died.

There is no doubt that he was a significant figure in the peace process. It was quite incredible for me to see him as part of the power-sharing executive after my childhood had been punctuated with disturbing news reports from Northern Ireland. I can’t underestimate how unachievable the current peace seemed to be at that time. It was a remarkable achievement which took a great deal of international effort. It’s one of the things that we can be rightly proud of both John Major and Tony Blair for.

Martin McGuinness was pivotal in bringing about that peace and persuading others on his side of the divide to do so and for that he deserves respect.

Tim Farron had this to say on his death.

Martin McGuinness, for all his past, became a statesman. One moment sticks with me, the remarkable – and unlikely – images of McGuinness when he shook the hand of the Queen on her visit to Belfast in 2012. This single picture epitomised the changes in Northern Ireland.

This is something I, and millions of others, are thankful for. Peace in Northern Ireland is down, in part, to his leadership of the Republican community.

The Leader of our sister party, the Alliance Party of Northern Ireland, Naomi Long, expressed her sadness:

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 13 Comments

WATCH: Tim Farron’s speech to Conference

As I distract myself from the horrors of Brexit by listening to Eurovision songs from the 1980s and writing blue envelopes for the two people I hope will be the next councillors for Almond ward in Edinburgh, Kevin Lang and Louise Young, It thought you might want the chance to watch Tim Farron’s speech from yesterday.

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The other songs the Lib Dems could have chosen at the end of Tim’s speech…

This was the song that played as Tim Farron left the hall today.

An inspired choice.

The performer is referenced in his speech here:

Patriots love their country, nationalists hate their neighbours.

I am a patriot.

The fact that in 1990 I kissed the TV when David Platt scored against Belgium in the last minute of injury time doesn’t mean I hate Guy Verhofstadt…or Tin Tin…or Plastic Bertrand, or any of the other large number of very, very famous Belgians.

Of course, looking at this list of Top Ten Famous Belgians, it would have been equally appropriate to have something from the musical My Fair Lady, as its star, Audrey Hepburn, was born in Brussels.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , , and | 19 Comments

Top of the Blogs: The Lib Dem Golden Dozen #473

Welcome to the Golden Dozen, and our 473rd weekly round-up from the Lib Dem blogosphere … Featuring the five most popular stories beyond Lib Dem Voice according to click-throughs from the Aggregator (12 – 18 March 2017), together with a hand-picked seven 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

In Full: Tim Farron’s speech: I love my country and I want it back from the nationalists

I am just quickly putting up Tim’s speech before I rush off for a quick pint before catching my train home. More analysis and some thoughts about the weekend will appear later. In the meantime, enjoy the barnstormer that was Tim’s fourth leader’s speech to Conference. He explicitly said he wanted to replace Labour as opposition and the Tories in Government.

In a powerful section he told moderate Tory MPs who don’t like hard brexit to defect, resign or “we will do to you what we did to Zac Goldsmith.”

The Tories and Labour had gone to the extremes, he said. We were the only opposition. He told people not to bother waiting around for a new party but to join us.

A few weeks ago I was in Doncaster, filming for a Laura Kuenssberg documentary. They took me to a pub to meet a group of people who had voted Leave, and I got talking to one of the guys there – a Scottish businessman who’d lived in Yorkshire for many years, a bit older than me, pro-union, anti-Europe.

We bonded initially over football – he’s a Glasgow Rangers fan and I’m a Blackburn Rovers fan, so we have Graeme Souness in common; and Barry Ferguson;… and colossal disappointment!

We eventually got on to Europe – we had to, really, that was the point of the documentary – and he had a bit of a go at me for letting the side down. He said I should be backing Theresa May. We’d get a better deal if we were all on the same side.

So I asked him. How good are Celtic in Europe? Now, for the non-football fans among you, the answer is ‘not very’, but him being a Rangers fan, the answer I got back was a little more ‘post-watershed’.

I said to him: ‘You’re right, they’re absolutely dreadful. And why is that? It’s because they have got an absolutely dreadful opposition at home.’

There was a pause.

Now, given Celtic’s opposition at home includes, principally, Rangers, I thought he might be about to lamp me for insulting his team. But he looked me in the eye and said: ‘Yeah, I see your point’.

Because whether you support Brexit or not, Britain needs a decent opposition.

In January, Theresa May gave her big speech at Lancaster House where she set out her priorities for the Brexit negotiations.

After months of saying Brexit means Brexit, she finally came clean.

Brexit means Hard Brexit.

Brexit means Brexit at any cost.

Brexit means jumping out of the Single Market, the world’s biggest marketplace, with all the consequences that will have for people’s jobs and our economy.

That wasn’t what people voted for in June last year. Narrowly the British people chose Brexit. But it is this Conservative Government that has chosen this Brexit.

A Conservative Party that has presented itself, for as long as it has existed, as being a party for business is now prepared to walk away from our biggest market even though it means crippling tariffs on British companies.

Theresa May – the inheritor of the Government that sought to fix our economy after the financial crisis, wilfully choosing to do something she knows will wreck it.

The politician who rose to prominence in her own party for accusing it of being ‘the nasty party’ deliberately leaving millions of people insecure and uncertain about whether they can even stay in the country they call home.

But that speech told us more than Theresa May wanted us to know.

It showed us who Theresa May is worried about – and guess what, it’s not Her Majesty’s Opposition.

This was a speech designed to box off the right wing media and the right of her party. This was a speech that Nigel Farage could have given.

She didn’t even attempt to address the case from anyone on the centre or the left. She feels no threat from there.

One of the most pointed attacks on it was made by George Osborne, who accused Theresa May of putting concerns about immigration ahead of the economy.

George Osborne. That’s where the left starts now. So I suppose that makes the Evening Standard a lefty rag!

That’s how far Theresa May has moved the Conservative Party.

The Conservative Party has been taken over by its own version of Momentum. May’s Momentum.

The Hard Brexiteers. The anti-free trade protectionists. The shrink-the-state extremists. The anti-immigrant, anti-refugee, anti-international aid zealots.

It’s their party now – and it’s hard to be sure whether Theresa May is their leader or their captive.

And it wasn’t only the centre and the left she ignored in that speech. She even hung out to dry her own backers in British business.

Theresa May is treating British businesses the way Labour has treated the working class for decades. Taking them for granted because she thinks they have nowhere else to go.

Theresa May has put at risk the very people who have bankrolled her party’s success for years. And she didn’t have to.

She could have fought to keep us in the Single Market if she wanted to. She has chosen not to. She is pulling us out before the negotiations have even begun.

And because of that choice, she is to blame for every job that is lost, every shop that closes, every company that downsizes, every factory relocated overseas.

There was nothing inevitable about leaving the Single Market. That’s her choice. The blame for the damage lies at her door.

If I was a businessperson who had given money to today’s Conservatives, I would demand my money back.

You were sold a free market, internationalist, pro-business party but what you’ve got is protectionism, nationalism, economic vandalism.

Posted in News | 37 Comments

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