Author Archives: Kelly-Marie Blundell

Lib Dems march for Europe

Lib Dems at start of March for EuropeEU nailsThousands of people across the UK Marched for Europe yesterday, with demonstrations in London, Bristol, Edinburgh, Oxford and Cambridge plus many more.

In London we put on a huge Lib Dem splash, with more than 300 Lib Dems joining us at the start in Marble Arch. An army of volunteers distributed placards, balloons and flyers. There were so many of us, police escorted us down to the main march on Park Lane!

President Sal Brinton fronted the march, leading a rally of Lib Dems from a banner at the front, flanked by Catherine Bearder MEP and Baroness Sarah Ludford as well as Parliamentary Candidate for St Albans Daisy Cooper and some of our Newbie members Ukonu Obasi and Elizabeth Barnard.

The march took on quite a pace, leading us down Picadilly and on to Trafalgur Square before ending at Parliament Square. Along the route we were chanting ‘We love you EU, we do’ and ‘We don’t want no Brexit’ with the use of a small megaphone and Bradley Hiller-Smith’s melodic tones! 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 23 Comments

My Guildford campaign photo diary

As the Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Guildford, I get to do a range of things, some of them quite remarkable.

Being a candidate is an amazing opportunity, and I’m incredibly grateful to the huge team I have behind me in Guildford; including our Executive and Campaign team, our Councillors, our organiser and a myriad of volunteers.

But there’s some things you just can’t prepare for when you look at standing in a General Election. I doubt any other voluntary role (except maybe a UN ambassador) affords anyone as much fun, strange experiences or feelings of fulfilment.

Here’s some of my campaigning highlights;

Last year, I got to wash a bus. Not just for the photo, although that was useful, I actually found it really fascinating. Who knew washing a bus would be so complicated?

Here I am with Antony Hook (MEP Candidate for South East) and Councillor Julia McShane as we put forward our best brush strokes at  Safeguard’s 40th Anniversary Gala

14.03.29 Bus washing Antony Hook, Kelly-Marie Blundell and Julia McShane

 

The advent of smartphones means there are a range of campaigning experiences caught on camera that just weren’t in 2010 and earlier. In particular, I like the interesting  and beautiful things one finds in the gardens and homes of people you canvass. Here’s a few things, no identification of homes though!

Guildford-20150208-00576

 

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On the campaign trail… Guildford

kmb-nickbelfitt2This weekend, I introduced two new, keen politics students to the art of door-to-door canvassing in Guildford.

I wanted to make it clear that most people are pleased to see us on the doorstep, and are polite even if when they’re not supportive. In nine years, I’ve only had two people swear at me. The worst you’ll get is generally polite ‘not interested’.

Posted in Campaign Corner | 14 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Democrats must stand up for the Welfare State

Welfare reform is an incredibly important discussion and one that we, as Liberal Democrats, must keep re-visiting to ensure we’re upholding those core principles we hold closest to our hearts. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that offered a home to champion the values of promoting a level playing field and protecting the most vulnerable, ensuring they fulfil their potential through equality of opportunities. After all, these are central tenets of a civilised society fit for the 21st Century.

I am proud that our party has largely blunted the blade with which the Tories had brandished to slice our safety net, the treasured welfare state, right in half. But we  must go further. We must ensure that our manifesto comprehensively deals with the issue of welfare. We must be certain the most vulnerable in society are not enslaved by poverty.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 18 Comments

Social Liberal Forum welcomes change of tack on “Bedroom Tax”

Social Liberal ForumFollowing yesterday’s press release from Nick Clegg and Danny Alexander regarding the underoccupancy charge (known colloquially as “Bedroom Tax”) we’re delighted at the Social Liberal Forum.

The policy was introduced as a follow up to Labour’s introduction of the ‘Bedroom Tax’ for private tenants, and has left people with little housing options being penalised for being unable to move. Far from saving money, it simply created hostility in the social housing sector and brutally discriminated against those in poverty.

Members in the party have …

Posted in News | 9 Comments

Opinion: My resignation from Federal Conference Committee

Dear Lib Dem Members,

I would like to write to you all and express my regret that Spring Conference this weekend in York has been my last Spring Conference as a member of the Federal Conference Committee.

It was a great honour to be  elected to represent the party back in September 2012. And in that time I have had the privilege to see through several conferences in an historic time, when the Liberal Democrats are part of the Government.

In that time, I’ve learned how to plan a debate, as well as the finer detail of and responses to standing orders that …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Opinion: Food poverty is real and we need to address it

There is some merit in the argument presented by the Archbishop of Westminster that cuts, and indeed caps, to welfare are removing a safety net for those worst off in society.

We see in the Independent that one in six GPs have been asked to refer people to food banks, and while unemployment may be dropping, people are still struggling with stagnant wages and rising costs.

I’ve long argued against the benefits cap, stating that the cost of living varies so broadly across the country that such a cap can only lead to people in so-called affluent areas being disadvantaged. …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 20 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarRoland 26th Sep - 9:33pm
    Perhaps I'm looking at it wrong, but from a quick scan through the recent OECD "Education at a Glance" report 2016 (available here: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/education/education-at-a-glance_19991487 )...
  • User AvatarBernard Aris 26th Sep - 8:58pm
    Just watch the BBC News this monday (26th of September, 18.00 hours GMT): The PLP Defence Spokesman at the Labour Party conference is reported to...
  • User AvatarSimon Banks 26th Sep - 8:55pm
    On much less money.
  • User AvatarNick Collins 26th Sep - 8:49pm
    @ David Beckett. By "we" I assume that you mean the liberal Democrats. I am not part of that "we". I left the party in...
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:39pm
    The OECD's recent ‘Education at Glance’ report is particularly useful on this.
  • User AvatarRebecca Hanson 26th Sep - 7:30pm
    The evidence and the research does not show that reintroducing grammar schools will improve the situation you have observed David.