Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

Edinburgh West profile: Labour candidate accepts that voters will vote tactically to defeat the SNP

Radio 4’s PM programme covered Edinburgh West the other night and the profile was surprising in some ways. The Labour candidate, Mandy Telford, was pretty candid about tactical voting to stop the SNP:

Labour is out there fighting for every vote but ultimately we are dead set against the SNP and their desire to have an unwanted second divisive independence referendum. That’s the message we are getting back on the doorsteps very strongly. People will use their votes in whatever way they want to defeat the SNP.

It’s a cleverly crafted comment. She’s obviously not endorsing any other candidate but she’s summed up the reality of the situation on the ground pretty well.

People want a decent MP who will champion what is important to them and fight their corner. In Edinburgh West they know that Lib Dems deliver on that score. They are also highly motivated to get the SNP and to do whatever it takes to do so. Here and elsewhere I have been staggered by the intensity of people’s desire to see the back of the nationalists for all sorts of reasons. It’s primarily independence, but they are also sick fed up of falling school standards and an NHS lurching from one crisis to another.

Our Christine Jardine had this to say.

People are looking for the party who are more likely to beat the SNP and in this election stopping that independence bandwagon is the most important thing.

Conservative and Labour voters recognise it’s the Liberal Democrats who can beat the SNP.

That was certainly backed up by two Tory voters who were interviewed saying that they were voting Lib Dem.

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Jo Cox tribute: Election campaigning to be halted for an hour in her memory

Batley and Spen is a gathering of typically independent, no-nonsense and proud Yorkshire towns and villages. Our communities have been deeply enhanced by immigration, be it of Irish Catholics across the constituency or of Muslims from Gujarat in India or from Pakistan, principally from Kashmir. While we celebrate our diversity, what ​surprises me time and time again as I travel around the constituency is that we are far more united and have far more in common than that which divides us.

Those were the words of Jo Cox in her maiden speech to the House of Commons

Looking at that just now, I’ve just realised that her maiden speech took place just after the House had paid tribute to one of its former members, our Charles Kennedy, who had died two days before. What extraordinary talents those two people were.

Election campaigns are about the debate of different ideas. At their best they should be inspiring and uplifting and full of vision. But political activists of all parties have a lot in common – the dedication, the determination and the exhaustion for a start.

Tomorrow, though, there will be a pause in campaigning in Jo’s memory, a chance to reflect on the things that unite us rather than divide us. From the Guardian:

Party leaders will halt political activity and instead visit community projects. The parties have asked all their candidates to do the same.

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What do you make of the “Vote her, get him” poster?

Vince Cable launched a new Lib Dem campaign poster today.

This is how he explained it:

This week has been about manifestos

To understand what is going on you have to listen to the voices of the people who are Mrs May’s cheerleaders and admirers.

Nigel Farage. He purrs like an elder statesman, his job done.

He said of the Prime Minister “she is using exactly the words and phrases I have been using for 20 years. I’m thrilled”

He should be. She has adopted wholesale the UKIP model of Brexit. No half measures. Out of the Single Market. Out of the customs union. Out of all the sensible cooperation around science and environment. The agenda of the hard right.

And not just on Europe. Do you remember the man who smiled with President-elect Donald Trump in a gold-encrusted lift? Who used his good offices to secure a meeting for our Prime Minister. Her hand-holding. Backing for the Trump administration. The close bonding. The treat of a state visit to come. Not that it achieved anything. The tough American trade negotiators have made it clear that economic size, not sentiment, determines priorities: the EU before the UK.

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Farron: I am determined to protect decent people from being taken for granted by a heartless Conservative Government

Well, I certainly chose a fine two days to be sent to the Highlands campaigning. I mean, I’ve barely been able to catch up with the manifesto launch yesterday and the leaders’ debate tonight. I’ve been in the most wonderful places on the planet as far as I am concerned, but have been experiencing the broadband and connectivity problems first hand.

I will be back home tomorrow night. I haven’t yet seen the Leader’s Debate, but by the magic of technology, I can bring you Tim Farron’s opening and closing statements.

He kicked off with a powerful and personal appeal:

I got into politics to fight.

To stand up to those who take you for granted.

I grew up in Preston in the 1980s.

I saw what happens when decent people are taken for granted by a heartless Conservative government.

I am determined to stop that happening again.

The decent Britain I love is under threat.

Theresa May – backed by Nigel Farage and Jeremy Corbyn – is going for an extreme Brexit deal that will damage our future for generations.

Don’t give up.

The Britain I love is not lost yet.

No matter which way you voted in the referendum:

If you care about our children, do not cut our schools.

If you care about our elderly, don’t leave them on trollies in corridors.

If you want Britain to lead the world, do not turn your back on it.

A brighter future is possible.

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Brake: May and Farage’s claim of an easy post-Brexit trade deal left in tatters

So, for long enough, the Brexiteers have been telling us that the EU would be pretty much begging us for a trade deal and we’d easily get one within two years.

Theresa May said last month that the deal could be done in two years , despite all sorts of evidence to the contrary.

Paul Nuttall said that it would all be so easy.

Well, in a sobering reality check, the European Court of Justice, who make the rules on this stuff, said today that all EU governments and national parliaments would have to agree such a deal. Remember how the Canadian EU deal was held up by a regional parliament in Belgium?

Tom Brake said:

Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s claims of an easy trade deal with the EU after Brexit have been left in tatters.

People don’t have to accept a bad Brexit deal that will mean fewer jobs, higher prices and less money for public services.

The Liberal Democrats want you to have your choice over your future.

You should have your say on the Brexit deal in a referendum, and if you don’t like the deal you should be able to reject it and choose to remain in Europe.

None of this is a surprise to the Liberal Democrat team. Their competent, credible and authoratitve statements have proven time and time again to be correct and Nick Clegg’s Brexit Challenge papers provide a comprehensive and accurate analysis of the complexities of all aspects of the risky course we are being dragged on by an incompetent government that hasn’t got a clue what it’s doing.

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Inflation sign of Brexit squeeze – Lib Dems

Inflation has gone up to 2.7% today.

This confirms long-held Liberal Democrat warnings about the impact of Brexit, with businesses struggling to contain rising costs and consumer demand being squeezed.

Susan Kramer said:

These worrying levels of inflation show the Brexit squeeze is hitting shopping baskets across the country.

This is the reality of Theresa May and Nigel Farage’s extreme Brexit agenda: higher prices in the shops, the cost of holidays going up and less money for our schools and NHS.

A brighter future is possible. We will give people a choice over their future through a referendum, so they can reject a bad Brexit deal and choose to remain in Europe.

Willie Rennie underlined this point:

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May doesn’t care about disabled people losing their benefits – Farron

Theresa May was confronted over disability benefit cuts yesterday, during a rare encounter with ordinary people.  Cathy Mohan, who lives in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, berated the Prime Minister over cuts to service and social security for people with learning disabilities.

Watch the encounter here.

Tim Farron said:

Theresa May has shown she just doesn’t care about people like Cathy who are seeing their benefits slashed and prices rise.

Instead of addressing concerns over learning disabilities – she tried to change the subject to mental health.

Theresa May isn’t listening and is taking people for granted.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarThomas 24th May - 2:29pm
    Frankly, the fate of Liberal Party would have different if Asquith somehow disappeared from politics in 1916. Since 1914, Asquith had become the party's liability.
  • User AvatarGareth Hartwell 24th May - 2:16pm
    I agree it is a very nice thing to do. Paddy sent me a personal letter once to say thank you too, I was very...
  • User Avatarexpats 24th May - 2:01pm
    Michael Cole....It is a matter of record... Ah, so that is your answer?...BTW, Whose record... I don't expect 'chapter and verse' but, as it's a...
  • User Avatartpfkar 24th May - 1:46pm
    Yes nice touch, and good to be reminded of that this week. I think we do need to address the Buckingham / speaker issue. Not...
  • User Avatarjames 24th May - 1:41pm
    I'm afraid the old style liberal politics is now over - people are looking for solutions. The Alt-Right and light-right bloggers/vloggers are now moving to...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 24th May - 1:40pm
    @David Evershed "The members in Buckingham do not feel included or appreciated since their decision to stand an official Lib Dem candidate in the Buckingham...