Author Archives: Dinti Batstone

Have YOU joined Liberal Democrat Women?

Liberal Democrat Women will formally come into being on 8 June, the culmination of 18 months’ work bringing together the party’s existing women’s organisations: Campaign for Gender Balance and Women Liberal Democrats. In launching Liberal Democrat Women we want to create a more powerful platform for all Liberal Democrats – male and female – who want to see gender equality in Westminster and beyond.

Liberal Democrat Women will focus on 4 core areas of activity: policy, campaigns, women’s representation and networking. It will do everything its predecessor organisations did, and hopefully much more.

To realise this bold ambition we need YOUR help. We need new talent for the first Liberal Democrat Women Executive, which will …

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Opinion: Job share MPs – an idea whose time has come

As regular LDV readers may know, I’ve long advocated the idea of allowing candidates to put themselves forward for election on a job-share basis (letting constituents decide whether they want to elect job-share MPs). Today a Bill making this possible will be presented to the House of Commons.

The Representation of the People (Members’ Job Share) Bill will be introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by Labour MP John McDonnell. It will be interesting to see how much cross-party support the Bill gets. Individual Lib Dems have certainly been sympathetic to its aims. Mark Williams MP tabled an Early Day Motion …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 16 Comments

Final Call – Applications For Campaign for Gender Balance’s “Future Women MPs” Weekend

This has already been widely publicised through CGB’s mailing lists and at joint WLD/ CGB events in Brighton, but, for any LDV readers who may have missed it, here are details again. Please note the deadline for applications was today but has now been extended until Monday 22 October.

FUTURE WOMEN MPs WEEKEND

23rd – 25th November 2012

London

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Conference: Calm and determined in the face of headwinds

The atmosphere in Brighton was stormy. Not, as journalists would have you believe, inside the hall but on the Brighton seafront.

It had started well. On Saturday, with temperatures soaring into the 20s, delegates debated early years, schools and House of Lords reform – all solid Lib Dem territory. Excellent speeches from a succession of mothers and grandmothers highlighted how childcare costs skew the economics of working, and delegates overwhelmingly backed investment in free early years education when finances allow. Debating Lords reform, Conference endorsed Nick Clegg’s withdrawal of support for constituency boundary changes, and Lord Tyler put forward a popular …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 5 Comments

Why stand for Federal Policy Committee?

Here is the third article about the work of party committees, written by current members. Each provides insight into how a specific committee functions. We hope these articles will encourage party members to consider putting themselves forward for election.

Why did more people put themselves forward for election to the Federal Policy Committee than any other federal committee in 2010? Because with Liberal Democrats now in Government our policies matter more than ever before – as this new booklet  makes clear.

So what exactly does the Federal Policy Committee do? While the party Constitution enshrines Conference as the Liberal Democrats’ sovereign policy-making …

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Opinion: Cross-Party Support for Job-Sharing

What do Labour’s Jeremy Corbyn, the Conservatives’ Peter Bottomley and our own Jenny Willott have in common? They’ve all signed up to this Early Day Motion tabled by Liberal Democrat MP for Ceredigion, Mark Williams.

Mark’s motion welcomes a recent report, Job-Sharing at Senior Level: Making It Work, highlighting that job-sharing can stem the ‘female brain drain’ by enabling more women to progress into senior roles while combining work with family. It notes a striking finding that 80% of highly qualified women wish to work part-time and calls on the Government to consider the implications of this in the context of …

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Opinion: “I don’t like them, you don’t like them… We have to have them”

This Saturday, Conference has the opportunity to show that Liberal Democrats are genuinely committed to achieving gender balance in our own distinctively liberal and democratic way.

Conference will debate an amendment which Jo Shaw and I have put forward to Mark Pack and Paul Tyler’s Lords reform motion. Our amendment builds on the approach taken by our party in the late 1990s, when one-off zipping was used to deliver a gender-balanced cohort of Lib Dem MEPs in the first PR elections to the European Parliament.

In an ideal world we wouldn’t need these kinds of measures. But with just 12% women …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , , , , , and | 14 Comments
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