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.

What is the collective noun for peers?

 

If you didn’t drop into LDV over the weekend you will have missed Caron’s marathon effort in reporting on all the speeches made by Lib Dem Lords last week on the Bill on Article 50.  There were 32 of them, amounting to over 30,000 words.

You can find all the speeches listed here.

It was an excellent reminder of what an important job our peers are doing and how important the second chamber is. In the Lords the decisions in the House of Commons are subjected to in-depth scrutiny and challenge, and we don’t hear enough about the impact this has on virtually every Bill that goes through Parliament.

Of course, we want the House of Lords to be reformed, but we can’t allow it to stagnate while we wait for another opportunity to bring in a directly elected second chamber. We have an excellent cohort of active peers, who between them have immense experience in politics, business, social action, law, academia and diplomacy.

Posted in Parliament | Tagged | 29 Comments

LibLink: Kishwer Falkner on ‘How I will vote on Article 50’

Baroness Kishwer Falkner has been explaining on her blog how she plans to vote on Brexit and Article 50. She writes:

In life, with voluntary relationships there is a clear line between the length of a relationship and the one’s attachment to it.  I have felt those 32 years acutely in the last few months as I have reflected on my own position with respect to the Liberal Democrats position on Brexit and the need for a second referendum.  But in arriving at my decision to vote against the Lib Dem position I feel that it is the fact that I am a Lib Dem – a pro-European to my core – that makes this the right thing to do.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged | 72 Comments

Topping up your suntan – and your favourite soap

 

I’ve just got back from a holiday, replenishing my Vitamin D in the Canaries. Although I had a wonderfully relaxing time I didn’t want to cut myself off completely from things happening back in the UK.

Like most hotels across the world, we were offered just two English language TVchannels – BBC World and Sky News – which was a bit limiting. Unlike business hotels, holiday hotels  took a while to realise that their customers would value free Wi-Fi anywhere on site, but that is now pretty standard. So I could also listen online to the radio live and on catch-up whenever I wanted through the BBC and other channels. But that did not apply to TV programmes.

Whenever I tried to access www.bbc.co.uk, I was redirected to www.bbc.com, so I wasn’t able to watch UK based BBC television programmes live or on catch-up. This didn’t exactly spoil my holiday but I was rather keen to see the final two episodes of Apple Tree Yard, which had left us with a cliffhanger. No doubt other holidaymakers would have appreciated a chance to follow their own favourite soaps and series, as well as news from their home towns.

Posted in News | Tagged | 3 Comments

LibLink: Mike Storey on defibrillators in schools

Over on Politics Home, Mike Storey has written about the need for defibrillators in schools, and calls for them to be a legal requirement.  He writes:

In March 2011 a tragic event took place at King David School in Liverpool, when a 12 year old boy, Oliver King, suffered a cardiac arrest while winning a swimming race. The tragic and untimely demise of that young boy bought indescribable grief to this family and friends and shocked the whole community.

It was noted that the 24 minutes that lapsed between Oliver’s cardiac arrest and the paramedics’ arrival would have seen the boy’s chances of survival considerably enhanced, had a defibrillator been available on the School premises.

For every minute that a patient that needs it doesn’t get defibrillation, their survival rate drops by 7-10%. Effective CPR extends the window but only on rare occasions are emergency services able to attend and provide defibrillation early enough. With this rate of decline the benefits of having a defibrillator within easy reach is clear.

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Tom Brake challenges May to stick up for Mo Farah and other Muslims

 

The news that everyone’s favourite athlete – Mo Farah – may not be able to return to his family in the US has encapsulated the impact of Trump’s vicious travel ban. He was, of course, born in Somalia, one of the banned countries, although he is a British citizen and does not hold dual nationality. He is currently at a training camp in Ethiopia.

Mo Farah wrote:

I am a British citizen who has lived in America for the past six years – working hard, contributing to society, paying my taxes and bringing up our four children in the place they now call home.

Now me, and many others like me, are being told that we may not be welcome.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron writes “May’s Brexit intentions will betray the values promoted by Churchill”

Tim Farron has written an article in The New European. He starts:

If 2016 felt like a never-ending cycle of shocks and surprises, then 2017 already shows no sign of relenting.

I, like all other ‘Remoaners’, get constantly criticised for being too negative about the prospects of Brexit Britain. Yet right now, it is not my confidence in the government’s direction that is significant, it is the markets, displayed so clearly in the pound slumping to a fresh 31-year low on Monday.

The prompt for this had been the impending sense of gloom in anticipation of Theresa May’s Brexit speech on Tuesday, which outlined her plans for the UK to quit the single market, before even entering into negotiations with the EU.

Staggeringly, the PM, increasingly characterised as ‘Theresa Maybe’, has chosen her only act of decisiveness to be on leaving the single market – a British invention that she and her own cabinet have spent their careers recognising as being so fundamental to our public life and economic wellbeing.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 14 Comments

Tim Farron on Gove’s interview with Trump

 

I expect that many of you will, like me, feel slightly sickened by Michael Gove’s interview of Donald Trump for The Times. Private Eye has a word for it…

Tim Farron has given a robust response:

Michael Gove has had a rare opportunity to put questions to the most divisive and reactionary President Elect in modern history and all we get is a puff piece from a clearly admiring fan.

In the same interview Trump told a German newspaper that NATO is obsolete, it will make for a more dangerous world if this view is strong enough for him to turn down his invite to this year’s summit.

This president warns that helping refugees, saving people escaping the horrors of war, is a bad idea and instead we should be lifting sanctions on Putin despite him backing Assad. This is a man lacking a moral compass who is about to be inaugurated as the President.

He has picked environmental protection and the desire to show compassion to the most needy as good reasons to leave Europe.”

I don’t know the shape of the Europe that Trump dreams of but I know it frightens me.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

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