Author Archives: NewsHound

LibLink: Tim Farron: Now the draft plan is on the table, the referendum campaign begins in earnest

Tim Farron has been writing about the announcement of the draft EU settlement over at the Huffington Post. Well, actually, it’s more about the substantive issues of the referendum. His article is exactly the sort of positive voice the campaign needs, giving five reasons for us to remain in the EU:

1. Prosperity: Remaining in works for Britain. Britain is already stronger and better off trading and working with Europe. We are part of the world’s largest single market, allowing British businesses to grow and prosper.

2. Peace: After decades of brutal conflict, European nations came together in cooperation. To this day, neighbours and allies support each other in what remains the world’s most successful project in peace.

3. Opportunity: British people have more opportunities to work, travel and learn than ever before. Staying in Europe gives our children and grandchildren greater prospects, and the best chance to succeed.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 27 Comments

Farron’s football metaphors: he wants to be like Graeme Souness at Blackburn Rovers

When Tim Farron went to Newcastle this week (where he impressed a room full of young people), he spoke to the local paper.

His speeches always used to feature football metaphors somewhere but in recent years, they’ve been less prevalent. However, he had no choice when he was asked which football manager he’d compare himself to. He told the Chronicle that he saw his role as being like Graeme Souness when he was at Blackburn Rovers. The Scottish football manager had a string of successes with that club. Then he left it and went to Newcastle, which wasn’t such a happy experience.

You can see from the video how he answered the question, saying his oft-repeated lines about how there is a space for us in British politics and we are the only opposition to Labour in the north east, which gave him time to think about the best way to actually give the response he was asked for.

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LibLink: Julian Huppert If you’re pro-science, you should be pro EU

There’s not enough Julian in these parts these days, sadly. In May just under 700 votes kept him from continuing as MP for Cambridge and one of the Commons’ few scientific experts. Today, though, he’s written for the Guardian’s Science column, saying that if you are pro-science, you really need to vote to remain in the EU.

Cambridge is massively pro-EU, for many reasons, but he highlights one in particular

The answer I think lies in another special feature of Cambridge: its world leadership in science and technology. We see this in the huge number of Nobel Prizes amassed here, 92 and rising; biomedical success, such as Humira, the Cambridge-developed anti-inflammatory drug that is currently the highest-selling prescription drug in the world; and technology leadership, such as the silicon chips designed by ARM, which now power almost every mobile device in the world. Last year there was as many ARM chips shipped, as there are human arms in the world.

All of this success, from pure research to the most applied technology, from huge global companies to tiny start-ups, benefits from our international connections, and particularly our role in the EU. We get large amounts of funding from the European Research Council – well above our expected share. Overall, about a quarter of the University of Cambridge’s research funding comes from the EU. Our students go on Erasmus exchanges, experiencing life and study elsewhere, and we get many students coming here from around the EU, benefiting from the free movement of people, enriching our cultural, academic and social lives – and spending their money in our city.

It’s not just Cambridge who benefits, though:

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Greg Mulholland wins road safety award

Grea Mulholland has won a road safety award for his campaign to get a better deal for families of people killed in car accidents.

He won named Parliamentarian of the Month by the road safety charity Brake.

From the Bradford Telegraph:

Mr Mulholland (Lib Dem, Leeds North West) presented his Criminal Driving (Justice for Victims) Private Members’ Bill in the House of Commons on January 12. It was backed by 31 MPs and will next be heard on March 11.

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Norman Lamb finds increase in mental health patient deaths

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Norman Lamb has obtained figures showing an increase in deaths among mental health patients over three years from 1412 to 1713, of these, suicides have risen from 595 to 751.

The Guardian quotes Norman Lamb:

Significant numbers of unexpected deaths at the Mid Staffs NHS trust caused an outcry and these figures should cause the same because they show a dramatic increase in the number of people losing their lives.

NHS England and the government should set up an investigation into the causes of this as these figures involve tragedies for families around the country

Posted in News | 6 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron: Help needed for floods recovery and prevention

Tim Farron has been writing in the Westmorland Gazette about what needs to be done in the short and long term to repair the damage from December’s floods and take action to prevent them in the future.

He talks about the need to repair vital infrastructure quickly:

In the short-term, there is an urgent need to restore damaged infrastructure, while in the longer term we must look at comprehensive, whole-systems approaches to flood prevention. For far too long, the government has sought to make short-term savings at the expense of long-term investment which would have helped to provide protection from the floods.

The single biggest infrastructure challenge we face is the continued closure of the A591. Although the government has finally committed to undertake in full the required repairs, this crucial route connecting the north and south of the Lake District is due to remain closed until the end of May. Local business people expect thatthis could cost the local economy up to £100million. If this happens, businesses that rely on the tourist trade will go under, and with them the jobs they supported. I am urgently pushing for a solution that will provide relief for local businesses.

In the longer term, there’s a need for a holistic approach to tackle flooding:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Give doctors the right to prescribe Cannabis for those in real pain

Nick Clegg’s Standard column this week tackled the issue of Cannabis prescription:

He tells some real-life stories of people whose lives have been transformed by being able to use Cannabis:

Faye, a corporate PA for a big company who was diagnosed four years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, is about as far away from the cliché of the layabout pothead as you can possibly imagine. An ambitious, outgoing and highly able young woman, the pain threatened to derail the career she had been building since the age of 16. She tried a number of prescription medicines but they came with a range of nasty side effects, from hair loss to constant nausea, that often left her too ill to work.

Four years later, her career is back on track. She makes her own cannabis-based skin cream that she can use at work, which has no psychoactive qualities and can easily be disguised so that no one knows she is using cannabis. To her colleagues, it looks like she simply keeps a small jar of normal hand cream on her desk. As a result, she told me that she can “live my life as I used to four years ago”. But she does so at great expense and at the risk of a criminal record. She is also forced to put herself into potentially difficult situations in order to obtain the cannabis she needs.

Nick makes the point that not one of these people wants to be criminals:

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