Author Archives: Liz Lynne

Who makes the decisions in the EU?

 

I have become increasingly frustrated that so many people, including journalists and UK politicians, do not seem to know how the EU actually works and who is responsible for making the decisions on legislation. Over and over again I hear that unelected bureaucrats are in charge and people endlessly talk about the democratic deficit. The reason they do that is that they have been fed this misinformation by the majority of the press and media for years.

I thought it was about time to try and put the record straight. Having been both an MP and then an MEP I can genuinely say that I had more power to shape legislation as an MEP than I did as an MP even though I was a front bench spokesperson.

Most legislation in the EU has to be passed by both the MEPs and the Council which are made up of Ministers from each Member State that is why I get so frustrated when people say that unelected bureaucrats make the decisions. They are usually under the misapprehension that the Commission are the ones who actually legislate.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 26 Comments

Update on Network of Experience

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKEarlier this year I floated up the idea of setting up Network of Experience for Lib Dems who had either lost their seats or decided to stand down and asked if anyone would be interested. I am pleased to say the reaction to the idea was good and it was felt that there was a need there for something like this. We have now set up a steering committee of myself, Mary Reid, Fiona White and Kay Barnard.

We have decided to launch the Network in January as there is so much else happening over the next few months. In particular I thought it was much better to wait until the Presidential election is over with.

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Opinion: Restructuring is important but the General Election is the priority

Liberal Democrat Conference 2011There has been a lot of talk recently about the way the Party nationally is not accountable to the members enough and also that there should be early warning systems in place to pick up on anything that could be going wrong .The Federal Executive whose members are directly elected by the Conference representatives every two years is the body that is in effect responsible for the internal administration of the Party and is chaired by the President.

As one of the candidates for the post of President I thought I would set out some initial thoughts. I believe the Federal Executive should be restructured to make it more accountable. The fifteen elected members should be given specific portfolios which cover the HQ directorates. In this way there would be a great deal more liaison between the elected executive and the Party staff. The Federal Executive member would be responsible for reporting back to the Federal Executive on key areas of concern that they have. It would be a way of not only alerting the Party quickly if there seems to be a problem but would also give support to the staff themselves.

photo by: NCVO
Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 36 Comments

Setting up a Network of Experience

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKWe have so many people in the party that have held office of one sort or another over the years. We must make sure that we find a way of retaining their expertise and at the same time give them the support that they need.

I have been thinking about setting up this new network for sometime but I think now, more than ever, it is the right time to do it. For too long many elected members who have lost their seats feel that their contribution to the party hasn’t been properly appreciated.

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

Liz Lynne to stand for Party President

image001After being asked by many people from different parts of our party, I have decided to stand to be Party President.

These last four years have been tough and no more so than in the last week. We have seen too many good friends and colleagues defeated as councillors and most recently as MEPs. I know what that feels like. I fought my first parliamentary seat in Harwich for the Liberal/SDP Alliance in 1987 and came second. I then went on to win the seat of Rochdale in 1992. Sadly, I narrowly lost in Tony Blair’s 1997 General Election landslide following boundary changes. I look back with pride on what I achieved in Parliament as our spokesperson on Health and then Social Security, including representing disabled people in the fight for equal rights.

Posted in News and Party Presidency | 24 Comments

Opinion: Manufacturing is a growing sector in the UK and EU membership is vital

manufacturing - Some rights reserved by I-5 Design and ManufactureManufacturing has been something I have been passionate about for years now. When I was MP for Rochdale I helped to set up the all party manufacturing group in the House of Commons and then when I became MEP for the West Midlands region I jointly set up the Manufacturing Forum in the European Parliament. I have represented two areas where manufacturing has been so important. In my view, it is even more relevant today in helping to rebalance the economy and …

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Liz Lynne writes: Making the industrial strategy work in the Midlands

jaguarFor years people have been writing off our UK manufacturing industry and underplaying the part it plays in boosting the economy. In my view there has been too much emphasis on the service sector and not enough on manufacturing. I am therefore delighted about the announcement in the Autumn Statement on Capital Allowances. It is something that many people in industry have been calling for for years. By raising the allowance tenfold from £25,000 to £250,000, the government is encouraging investment in new plant and machinery, and providing an incentive for profitable manufacturers to invest in new capacity. This is a government decision that will create new long term jobs.

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