Author Archives: Mary Reid

Mary Reid was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, and has developed websites for several parliamentarians and Lib Dem organisations. She manages the annual conference for the Social Liberal Forum.

“Brexit means disaster for the people of Ireland.” Do you agree?


We don’t see many posts on Lib Dem Voice about Northern Ireland – maybe because we don’t have many Liberal Democrat members there. So this is an invitation to discuss the increasingly worrying impact of Brexit – and the threat of Brexit – on the economy and security of that beautiful, but little known, part of the UK where 56% voted to stay in the EU.

Martin McGuiness has been telling the media that Northern Ireland should be pressing for a special status within the EU. In The Guardian article today:

“As things sit at the moment we are going to suffer big time,” McGuinness said. “Theresa May says ‘Brexit means Brexit’, but so far as we are concerned Brexit means disaster for the people of Ireland.”

He said he was encouraged that the Democratic Unionists, with whom his party shares power in Belfast, also agreed that Ireland needed to be treated as a special case by Brussels because of the importance of the potential problems – borders, trade, peace and security – presented by Brexit.

And he added that many unionists were as unhappy as republicans at the outcome of the referendum and the risk posed by the restoration of immigration and customs borders, as well as loss of easy access to EU markets.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 28 Comments

LibLink: Julian Huppert “The UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill is about to become law – here’s why that should terrify us”

Julian Huppert MPJulian Huppert has written a powerful piece on Open Democracy.  He writes:

The Investigatory Powers Bill is sneaking up on the final steps before it becomes law – something that should terrify all of us.

Some of the powers in the Bill are deeply intrusive, and with very little possible justification. All of us want to be safe, and protected from terrorists and the like – but the evidence that these powers are all needed is thin indeed. However, the cost to all of our privacy is huge.

For example, a power the state never had before is to require a log to be kept for a year of every website we ever go to. Just think of that – your browsing history stored, just in case it’s ever useful. If you ever choose to visit a depression support website, would you want that to now be logged, potentially revealing your mental health state? What about an abortion advice site? Marriage guidance? Why does the state need to know this about every one of us?

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 10 Comments

Would you like to organise fringe meetings for LDV?

(C) Manny Begum Yasadein PhotographyLib Dem Voice has run some cracking fringe meetings at Federal Conferences in the past, including the Blogger of the Year awards – the BOTYs.  Even Tim Farron won one. The awards seem to have run into the ground, mainly because there are now so many forms of social media and it is difficult to capture good practice in all of them.

But we do want to reboot our presence on the fringe, and we are looking for someone to join the LDV team in order to take on the job of organising fringe meetings in future. There is no requirement to write for LDV, although we certainly wouldn’t stop you!

We’ve drawn up a job description:

Fringe meetings manager

LDV is looking for a volunteer to join our team in order to organise fringe meetings at Spring and Autumn Federal conferences.

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Thank you to everyone who supported the Conference Access Fund


We have been telling you about the Conference Access Fund and how it has helped members to attend. Before we got to Brighton, Matthew Clark told us his experiences in a post titled ‘Young, disabled and believed in‘. By happy coincidence, I was delighted to be able to call him to speak in the debate on ‘Mending the Safety Net’ (the Social Security policy paper) which I happened to be chairing, and he was an impressive first time speaker. You can watch …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 1 Comment

LibLink: Cadan ap Tomos on the young and the voiceless in Wales

Cadan ap Tomos is the Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for young people, equalities and the Welsh language, and is a former adviser to Welsh Lib Dem Assembly Members. He has written a post for the Institute for Welsh Affairs with the title “The young and the voiceless?“.

He writes:

“Young people are the future.” An increasingly-used and well-meaning phrase that those in the political bubble will have heard more than once. Yet as well-meaning as it is, to an actual young person like me it’s one of the most irritating clichés of modern politics.

Condemning young people as merely the ‘future’ completely ignores the

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How you have helped the Conference Access Fund


Last week I reported that the Conference Access Fund has helped a good number of people to attend conference. A few days later, Matthew Clark told us about his experience as a disabled young person and how the fund helped him.

Conference goers are remarkably generous. 30% of them this time have contributed to the fund. A big thank you to all of them!

What we haven’t mentioned so far is how you, Lib Dem Voice readers, have helped – to the tune of £3000. That’s the amount we have been able to contribute to the fund this year: £1000 for Spring Conference and £2000 for Autumn Conference.

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Conference Access Fund helps more members to attend

Rally entertainment Spring Conference Liverpool March 2015 Photo by Liberal Democrats

Spring Conference 2016 saw the launch of the Conference Access Fund, which makes grants to members to enable them to attend conference. It was pretty successful at York, and is proving to be even more popular this time round for Brighton.

When members register for Conference they are asked if they would like to make a donation to the fund and they have been amazingly generous. The fund is ring-fenced and any that is not spent is carried over to the next conference.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 25th Oct - 3:23am
    We can all trade anecdotes and I am sure that the vast majority of people are getting on with each other as well as ever....
  • User AvatarMark Goodrich 25th Oct - 3:04am
    Hear hear to Gareth Hartwell above. The thread was extremely light on comments which recognise that this news is both bad for the EU and...
  • User AvatarJonathan Ferguson 25th Oct - 2:54am
    1. I'm all for commenting on innovative ideas like the Land Tax (it may not be new, but it's innovative in the sense that it...
  • User AvatarManfarang 24th Oct - 11:48pm
    Roland "there is a problem with immigration" I can't remember a time in the last 50 years when people in Britain didn't say there was...
  • User Avatarmalc 24th Oct - 11:43pm
    My local towns are as multicultural as most and I just don't see what Tim Farron sees. The local papers rarely - if ever -...
  • User Avatarfrankie 24th Oct - 11:19pm
    jedibeeftrix Hard brexit may well result in higher growth in the long term, as regulatory and tax divergence from the EU ensues. but how long...