Author Archives: Kelly-Marie Blundell

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

 

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

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

Opinion: Benefits cap – right or wrong?

There’s a lot in the news about the Benefits Cap following yesterday’s dismissal of the case where three single mothers took forward a legal challenge to the cap on their benefits.  They lost, but perhaps we as Liberal Democrats should question the logic behind the benefits cap.

Now, on one hand, when you look at it, £500 per week seems like a lot of money. Even for a family of three. With this in mind, it seems completely legitimate to cap the amount of support families receive to £26,000 per year. With the average earnings in the UK resting at …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 57 Comments

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  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 30th Jun - 9:27am
    I'm reminded of Bill Clinton's quote on the confusing election to elect his successor: "The people have spoken, but it will take a while to...
  • User AvatarJohn Probert 30th Jun - 9:22am
    Nick Hopkinson: "Tim Farron has rightly pledged we should campaign to take Britain back into the EU in the next general election." How credible is...
  • User AvatarPaul Griffiths 30th Jun - 9:21am
    @Joe Oosthuizen The list you provide is irrelevant. Consistency is not required. The varying ages reflect the specific policy aims of the legislation concerned.
  • User Avatardavid franks 30th Jun - 9:01am
    Why are people making this so complicated? After more than 40 years of Tory And Labour governments constantly blaming Europe for all ills is it...
  • User AvatarJenny Barnes 30th Jun - 8:55am
    Assuming there are benefits to a deal with the EU, one would expect them to split 50/50 with decent negotiators on both sides. However, the...
  • User AvatarBill le Breton 30th Jun - 8:39am
    Thank you Nick. Finally, Again, here is Gordon; "That means campaigning on liberal issues at every level and using the respect we earn locally to...