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.

LibLink: The Liberal Democrat vision of Caroline Pidgeon

 

During the week the Guardian published a very rounded post about Caroline Pidgeon and her bid to be Mayor of London.

It starts:

I ask her a gloomy question. She gives an upbeat reply. “Morale is actually very, very good in the party,” said Caroline Pidgeon, who has the possibly onerous honour of being Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor. “We’ve got tons of new members in London who are excited and energetic, and that’s fantastic.” Her party says there are now 10,000 of them in the capital, the highest number for decades. Plus, council by-election results have perked up since last year’s general election gloom: wins in Sutton and Richmond, improved performances elsewhere. “This election is wide open,” Pidgeon enthuses. “We’ve got a new field of candidates and I’m hopeful that as the most experienced candidate with eight years at City Hall, Londoners will give the Liberal Democrats a good vote.”

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Conference Access Fund gets off to a good start

 

Generous party members have already contributed nearly £5000 to the Conference Access Fund – and I’m proud to say that included a donation from Lib Dem Voice. The bulk of the fund has now been allocated to around 20 members to help them with the costs of attending conference and to pay for the BSL interpreter.

Last month I wrote about How you can help to send someone to party conference. I had been asked by Federal Conference Committee to convene a working group to look at Financial Inclusion. Conference already managed an Access Fund to support members with any additional costs relating to their disability needs, but we decided to broaden it so it could be used to support anyone who would find it difficult to afford to attend Conference for any reason.

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Tim Farron on English language classes for Muslim women

 

David Cameron has announced a £20 million fund for English language classes for Muslim women, claiming that 22% of Muslim women in the UK do not speak English.

That figure of 22% was challenged on the BBC Today programme by Dal Babu, a former chief superintendent with the Metropolitan Police, who claims that the figure should be nearer 6%.

Help with learning English is the least the Government can do to help migrants settle down, live a full life in the UK and contribute to the local community. That is why in the Coalition the Lib Dems prevented the Government from cutting funding for English language classes.

So why limit it to Muslim women? The answer to that question is revealed in the subtext – Cameron manages to link the lack of English with extremism.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 35 Comments

The stars look very different today – tributes to David Bowie

On Friday David Bowie released his latest album, Blackstar. He knew he was dying and sang about it, to incredible emotional effect, in Lazarus – “Look up here, now – I’m in heaven”.

 

Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

Lynne Featherstone calls for cuts to solar energy to be rescinded

 

Following on from Ed Davey’s outspoken criticism of the Government’s cuts to subsidies for renewals, we hear that Lynne Featherstone has tabled a motion in the Lords calling for the cuts to the feed-in tariff subsidies for solar energy to be rescinded. These subsidies are being reduced by a huge 65% next month, which will lead to the loss of up to 18,700 jobs in the industry over the next four years.

This motion could result in another defeat in the Lords – something we have been growing used to since the notable Lib Dem campaign on tax credits.

Tim Farron is quoted in the Financial times:

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Tim Farron on Labour’s meltdown

Tim Farron 5 by Paul WalterTim has just posted this comment on his Facebook page:

I despair at Labour’s meltdown. Britain needs a progressive liberal voice that can actually challenge the Conservatives and offer an alternative that understands real people’s lives.

Just this week, when a party is needed to challenge the Housing Bill, shine a light on the UK’s shady relationship with Saudi Arabia and highlight the worrying consumer credit bubble, Labour are nowhere to be seen. Labour is not that credible alternative. It is split from top to bottom.

While Britain is

Posted in News | Tagged | 48 Comments

Get rid of expiry dates on gift cards

 

Did a kindly relative give you a gift card for Christmas? If you enjoy shopping, then a shop card or voucher provides the double pleasure of receiving a pressie on the day and of later choosing an item that is exactly what you want.

But have you also found a forgotten gift card lurking in your pile of papers-to-deal-with-someday, and discovered that it was past its use by date, hence worthless?  If you assume these cards are like cash and not time limited, then you may be in for an unpleasant surprise.  The actual expiry terms vary from company to company, and are often overlooked, so you can easily be caught out.

Posted in News | Tagged | 8 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarDavid Evans 6th Feb - 11:25am
    Very funny Richard. You are such a joker.
  • User AvatarADRIAN sanders 6th Feb - 11:17am
    Indeed Andrew R - so keen was our then leader to own the Coalition that he asked the Parliamentary Party via a 3 line whip...
  • User AvatarRob 6th Feb - 11:06am
    The situation is so ludicrous that it’s illegal to have your child tattooed if he is under the age of 18. However you can have...
  • User AvatarTracy 6th Feb - 10:57am
    @William Hobhouse I feel it is demeaning to women. It implies that they can't get selected on their own merits. If I were to stand...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 6th Feb - 10:54am
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hagia_Sophia
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 6th Feb - 10:52am
    Does anyone when Liberal Democrat federal comference passed a motion supporting Turkish membership of the EU? I do remember it passing an emergency motion in...