Author Archives: NewsHound

Frank Bruno “to endorse Norman Lamb”

From today’s Independent on Sunday:

Frank Bruno, the former world heavyweight boxing champion, will endorse Norman Lamb to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats.

The former health minister wants to show he has popular appeal as he tries to close the gap on Tim Farron in the race to succeed Nick Clegg.

Mr Lamb has already secured the support of former N-Dubz singer Dappy, and is expected to unveil Mr Bruno, who fought Mike Tyson twice, in a video endorsement this week. “Frank Bruno is heavyweight support,” a source close to Mr Lamb said. Mr Bruno, who has suffered from depression, is a fan of Mr Lamb because of his work on mental health.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 13 Comments

LibLink: Catherine Bearder MEP: How can Britain celebrate Magna Carta and contemplate leaving ECHR in the same year?

Catherine Bearder MEP has co-written an article for the New Statesman on the Conservatives’ plans to abolish the Human Rights Act. She said:

Fundamental rights, the rule of law and democratic principles are frequently violated in nearly all EU member states. In some cases, the violations are serious and systematic.  The current Hungarian government is one of the most egregious offenders. In recent years we have seen critical media gagged, the electoral law changed to secure an absolute majority for the governing party, opposition parties weakened and the independence of the judiciary undermined. But there are many other examples across Europe: the anti-gay laws in Lithuania, the deportation of Roma people from France, the inhumane treatment of underage asylum seekers in the Netherlands and the collective disregard shown for the law and civil liberties in many countries’ counter-terrorism policies.

We lose our moral authority if we tolerate torture, secret prisons, abduction, and indefinite detention without fair trials. These ugly blots tarnish Europe’s status as a shining beacon of freedom and human rights in the world. EU governments must be held accountable for these crimes, including and especially those committed in the name of defending democracy.

That is why we need legal instruments to uphold our common values, even if this means that sometimes national authorities are overruled.  EU member states have voluntarily signed up to these supranational laws and conventions for good reason.  It is the essence of democracy that those in power are bound by laws and their powers are limited.  That may sometimes be awkward, but these checks and balances are the vital safeguards which protect us against abuse of power by the state.

These principles are not left or right-wing, nor are they alien to British culture. Quite the opposite: safeguarding citizens’ rights and the rule of law have their roots in that ancient, famous document that we are celebrating this year.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Tim Farron talks to Pink News about his record on LGBT issues, disestablishing the Church of England and the Lib Dems’ “massive embarrassment”

Tim Farron has given an extensive interview to Pink News in which he directly addresses his voting record on LGBT issues and announces some key policy initiatives he wants to take forward.

His three ideas are:

One, when it comes to the equal marriage legislation, I think we really missed a trick on trans issues. On the spousal veto, I think it’s an appalling thing that one person is allowed to block another person’s freedom. We should be making that a priority.

Secondly, it strikes me as deeply troubling is that there was no regulation of psychotherapists in the UK for quack conversion therapy.

Thirdly, we’ve got to end the gay blood ban, which is a disgrace. My pledge to you is that my first opposition day bill will be getting rid of the gay blood ban. All of these things need to be based on the science, not on prejudice.

One issue which has been widely discussed in recent days on social media is the fact that he voted against the motion to give time and money to the Same Sex Marriage Bill, although he never actually opposed the Bill itself, voting in favour at second reading and abstaining at third reading.

He says it’s because he was unhappy that there was insufficient time to fully scrutinise several aspects of it:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 71 Comments

Norman Lamb praised by Guardian for his work as care minister

There’s praise in the Guardian for Norman Lamb’s work on mental health and for his efforts on social care. They assess him as a good but not a great minister – although they then go on to make pretty clear that the things he couldn’t deliver were because they were blocked by the Tories. Norman’s judgement on what needed to be done seems to have been pretty much exemplary:

First, on mental health:

Once in post, Lamb threw himself into the role with gusto. He combined a heavy Westminster workload – not least ensuring passage of the watershed Care Act – with a remorseless programme of visits to observe care practice and engage with professionals, carers and people who use services. He always seemed accessible: approached by strangers on the train from his North Norfolk constituency to London, he would happily set aside his papers and chat.

Ray James, president of the Association of Directors of Adult Social Services, says: “Norman combined insight and integrity to help ensure a landmark piece of social care legislation was delivered with people across the sector. The time he took to listen to those working at the frontline was always invaluable and appreciated. He can look back knowing that he made a difference.”

One difference that Lamb undoubtedly made, or at least helped in no small part to make, was the greatly enhanced profile of mental health. Paul Farmer, chief executive of mental health charity Mind, describes him as “a fantastic advocate” who was clearly passionate about the cause. “As minister, he was involved in a number of key drives to improve mental health services, from the crisis care concordat to the introduction of the first waiting times and access standards for mental health.”

Posted in News | Tagged and | 10 Comments

Liberal Reform: The leadership campaign is too important for factional infighting

Liberal Reform issued this statement following Tim Farron’s announcement that he will contest the party leadership election:

From the Board of Liberal Reform:

“The party now has two excellent candidates to choose from for leader, both with many strengths. We believe that whichever candidate is elected will need to lead a united party into battle against the Government and to expose the fake progressives of Labour and the SNP.

In this spirit, therefore, we do not believe it is appropriate for Liberal Reform to endorse a candidate in this contest and would urge other groups to take the same view. The need for unity in our task of rebuilding makes this leadership election too important for it to descend into factional infighting.

Posted in News | Tagged | 70 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall: Two signs which show the Tories think they will fail (again)

Stephen Tall has been writing for the Times’ Red Box blog. He reckons that it’s been clear all along that the Tories have known perfectly well they won’t get a majority, for two reasons:

The first piece of evidence is the Conservative manifesto itself, an unfunded wish-list which vows to turn the budget deficit into a surplus, while simultaneously promising tax-cuts for everyone, more money for the NHS, freezing rail fares — all to be paid for by unspecified welfare cuts and, fingers crossed, economic growth. How else to explain this unsquareable circle other than as a bartering tactic for future coalition negotiations?

And the endorsement of the Tory press for us? It’s not a coincidence:

The second piece of evidence is the endorsement of the Lib Dems by usually Conservative-leaning newspapers in their traditional “If we had a vote” leader columns. Given the battering meted out to the party by the press these past five years, most of us had written off these write-ups. Instead, The TimesThe Sunday Times, the FT, the Economist, and, yes, even The Sun, have all called on their readers to consider voting tactically for the Lib Dems where the party’s fighting Labour.

It’d be naïve to think they’ve been won over by our policy “red lines” or Clegg’s distinctly upbeat campaign – they’re making nice because they think it’s the most likely route to the continuation of some form of Conservative-led government.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged | 28 Comments

LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: It is the duty of every woman of my generation to stand up for young girls

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez joined Jo Swinson to visit female apprentices at a motorbike manufacturer in Jo’s constituency:

She also helped Jo launch an action plan for gender equality which includes action to tackle domestic violence, more childcare provision, more opportunities for women in science and engineering and work on body image.

Miriam went for a chat with Bryony Gordon from the Telegraph who was daft enough to ask her if Nick had sent her to help female candidates. That was never going to end well.

Miriam has been writing about her Inspiring Women campaign for the Huffington Post.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Greg Mulholland: “We beat the British establishment”

The Casked CrusaderWe will never miss an opportunity to show off this amazing photograph from the Sun showing Greg Mulholland as the Casked Crusader, the guy who did more than anyone else in the last Parliament to help publicans by campaigning for them to have more power against exploitative measures by large pubcos.

There is an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub in Leeds North West needs to vote for Greg. In fact, there’s an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub should vote Liberal Democrat given the valiant work by Jo Swinson and Vince Cable in the face of strong Tory opposition.

Greg has written for the Publicans’ Morning Advertiser about the things he and the Liberal Democrats have been able to achieve and the mountains they had to climb to do it.

The Parliament started well, but then reform plans hit troubled Tory waters with a u-turn on plans to regulate the industry.

Diligent research by Greg and his colleagues got the issue back on the political agenda and a long campaign finally led to that amazing victory last November.  Greg says:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , , and | Leave a comment

Let’s meet Tim Farron

It’s hard to imagine that anyone in Westmorland and Lonsdale has not met their local MP Tim Farron. He must have knocked on their doors on numerous occasions over his decade in Westminster.

However, the local paper has asked all candidates to do a video about why you would work for them.

What does Tim say about why he’s the best person for the constituency?

Have a look.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

LibLink: Baroness Zahida Manzoor: Why Muslims should vote Lib Dem

Lib Dem peer Zahida Manzoor has written for Muslim News setting out the reasons that Muslims should find it easy to vote Liberal Democrat. First the basics:

The Lib Dems are the party of opportunity. We believe everybody, no matter who they are, should be given the same chances in life. We want to do all we can to make sure everyone has the opportunities to get on in life.

Conservatives are seeking to remove some of the basic freedoms in the European Convention of Human Rights, which sit strongly alongside the principles of Islam. We are the only party in

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Two Lib Dems standing down: Ming on competitiveness, Iraq and backing Clegg, Teather on “political self harm”

The Observer is interviewing some MPs who have stood down from Parliament. Ming Campbell and Sarah Teather are featured today.

Ming says his proudest moment in his 28 years in Parliament was deciding not to support the war in Iraq:

The second Gulf war, that’s the most significant political thing I’ve been engaged with. We took the decision – not an easy decision – that we were going to thoroughly oppose it, and there were some sleepless nights for me and for Charles . All it needed was a company of American marines to discover two tanks of anthrax – our position would have been wholly undermined. So it was a big risk, but we thought it was right and we thought wasn’t legal.

Ming comes from a different place politically than Nick Clegg, and he hasn’t had a government job. What does he make of our leader?

I’m a great admirer of Clegg, he was my pick and he’s astonishingly resilient when you consider some of the stuff that’s written about him. Forming the coalition was a very brave thing to do – it’s no secret I had some reservations – but if you’re in the ex-leaders club your duty is to follow your leader. If you’ve been through the fire and brimstone yourself, then you really have a duty to ensure that your successor is not subject to that.

Sarah had some pretty astute observations about modern politics which should make us all think about why it’s so deeply unsatisfying. She had been asked if we should worry about the number of women standing down:

Posted in News | Tagged , , , and | 11 Comments

LibLink: Kavya Kaushik: Britain’s immigration debate has taken a turn for the toxic

Ealing Southall Liberal Democrat candidate Kavya Kaushik has been writing for the New Statesman about the effect of the sort of rhetoric we’re hearing in the immigration debate.

She was annoyed by Evan Davis’ comments about Nick Clegg’s family background during his leader’s interview last week and recognised Nick’s obvious irritation:

The choice to fixate upon Clegg’s multicultural upbringing, suggesting it to be out of touch with “British” people, made for uncomfortable viewing. For centuries immigrants have been an integral part of the British working class. Within the context of the current immigration climate, it feels like further demonisation of BME people.

Davis’s intention was unlikely to be intentional racial discomfort, but Clegg’s furious reaction mirrored that of many children of migrants. Our Britishness is consistently questioned despite having lived in the UK for our entire lives. Casual racism is on the rise, particularly within politics. On the doorstep a BME canvasser is increasingly likely to hear “I don’t want your people here”, and worse. These experiences lead to racial sensitivity and passing comments questioning multiculturalism vs Britishness can be interpreted as a personal attack when coupled with modern attitudes to race in Britain.

Hang on! What was that?

On the doorstep a BME canvasser is increasingly likely to hear “I don’t want your people here”, and worse. 

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , , and | 16 Comments

Willie Rennie: Look at the things we got right, not the thing we got wrong

Willie Rennie has given a candid interview to the Scotsman about the prospects for the Liberal Democrats and our record in government. Given the tuition fees question, he is apologetic but asks people to look at the whole picture:

Saying sorry isn’t a tactic,” he insists. “People who are annoyed with us will be annoyed with us, but they deserve an apology. Some will never understand or forgive. They’re entitled to do that. My only plea to them is look at all the things we’re getting right, not just the thing we got wrong.”

Repentance and sincerity are unnatural political bedfellows, but convincing Scotland’s electorate you mean what you say should be easier for a Fifer with a buzzcut than an Old Etonian.
There’s quite a sympathetic approach – the journalist suggests that he is a genial, robust and consensual presence at Holyrood, a bulwark against the SNP’s more illiberal instincts, but the party’s baggage hangs over him.
It could be understood if Willie were to try to put some distance between the Scottish party and them in Westminster, but he doesn’t, not just because it wouldn’t be credible, but because he wouldn’t do that to colleagues:
Posted in News | Tagged and | 4 Comments

Tim Farron: Politics needs a sense of vision

There’s an article Thursday’s Guardian which compares the level of campaigning activity in two seats, one with the lowest turnout in the country, Manchester Central, and one with a high turnout, Tim Farron’s Westmorland and Lonsdale.

The report argues that the poorest and most vulnerable feel that voting is pointless as nobody will do anything to serve their interests, while in more affluent areas, people are more inclined to vote, creating a major democratic deficit.

I feel I have been forcibly excluded from participating in politics and the issues that are of interest to me and my children,” said Ray Linton, 58, a former youth worker who has been unemployed for eight years. “They think speaking on TV is all they need to do. Everything is distant now.”

Powell’s Liberal Democrat opponent, John Reid, admitted that the level of campaigning in the constituency was “depressing”. “I grew up seeing every house with a poster or board outside,” he said. “Then you go through Manchester Central and you don’t know there’s an election.

In contrast, on Tim Farron’s patch:

Within minutes of starting canvassing on the Kirkbarrow estate, three drivers have honked and waved at the candidate. Skateboarding children yelp excitedly: “It’s Tim Farron”, a resident in pink slippers collars him to complain about Poles leapfrogging the council housing list, and Calum, eight, invites him for a kickabout, which he immediately accepts, going in goal and high-fiving Calum when they score.

As an aside, you do actually need to click on the article to see the wonderful photograph of Tim’s face as the football heads for him.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Beware of Blukip

blukip

 

Nick Clegg has today been warning voters to Beware Blukip.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 13 Comments

Pramod Subbaraman, Edinburgh South Lib Dem candidate talks about need for greater diversity in politics

Edinburgh South’s Liberal Democrat candidate Pramod Subbaraman has given an interview to the Coalition for Racial Equality and Rights blog. He talks about his background:

I was born and raised in Southern India and moved to the UK in 2005 at the age of 28. I moved at that time as I was invited by the Department of Health to help fill the shortage of dentists in the English NHS. It was not an easy ride as there were a lot of hurdles erected for immigrants from outside the EU and that did take its toll, but I jumped over those hurdles, occasionally knocking a few and had to start again in places. I started working in England and then moved to Scotland in 2013. I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2010 and am now the candidate for the General Election to represent the people of Edinburgh South\

He talks about the need for more diversity in politics:

Politicians and the Electorate always seem to find reasons and excuses and keep on selecting and electing white men from political backgrounds and political jobs to parliament. It just does not make sense. Just as the most successful businesses are those that reflect the diversity of their target populations in their workforces and on their boards, so too should politics be! But it isn’t and I am part of the solution to that problem. I would represent the large Visible minorities as well as present one face for diversity in my party which in parliament is the least diverse of parties.

When asked about problems facing minorities in his constituency, he goes reassuringly off-message:

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared Parental Leave is an important step to the wider cultural change that they need

Jo Swinson has been writing for the Huffington Post about what the Liberal Democrats have done on child care and parental leave.

 Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have taken important steps to support parents with childcare costs despite the challenging economic situation. We extended free early years education to 15 hours a week for three and four year olds, and introduced 15 free hours for four in 10 two-year-olds – those from the most hard-pressed homes. We are also introducing Tax Free Childcare to save working families up to £2,000 per child per year from September.

But there’s more to come. Not only a tripling of paternity leave, but extra help with childcare costs.

We also want to extend free early years education to all two year olds. We know that pressure to budget for childcare costs doesn’t just start when a child is two years old, and that the costs can prevent parents from returning to work. We are committed to bridging that gap so that free childcare is available for working parents from the end of paid parental leave. On average, this will save working parents the equivalent of £2,670 a year.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , , and | 14 Comments

Norman Lamb on the party’s prospects, leadership, mental health and the benefits system

We know that many aspects of the welfare reforms have been very difficult for people with mental ill health. Norman Lamb is aware of that too, and sets out what he wants to do to change that in an interview with the International Business Times:

Lamb, who said he was pleased with the progress the government has made on mental health, wants to join up the benefits and health system.

“One of the things that sometimes happens if you are suffering from mental ill health, is that sometimes that you don’t turn up in time you may be in a dark place, struggling to cope on a particular day. The idea of sanctioning that person because of their ill health is something that I’m very resistant to,” he said.

“My mission in trying to link up better the NHS and the benefits system is to ensure that the two systems work rationally together and indeed we are doing a lot to make it much easier for people who are out of work and often because of their mental ill health, to get access to psychological therapies, which can help people recover and often get them back to work.”

Lamb added: “Often work is a good thing for your mental health – it improves your self-esteem and your sense of self-belief. We shouldn’t be trying to resist the idea of helping getting people back to work but we need to make sure that the benefits system is sensitive to the needs of people who suffer from mental ill health.

“We are a long way away from having a properly joined up system and I repeat that I will continue my mission to make sure that the benefits system is sensitive to those who suffer from mental ill health.”

Posted in News | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Richard Dawkins endorses Lib Dem candidates Layla Moran and Maajid Nawaz

From Twitter:

Posted in News | 78 Comments

Sorry seems to be the hardest word for Mr Miliband

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 59 Comments

Lib Link: Stephen Tall: The ins and outs of tactical voting (nose pegs optional)

Our esteemed former co-editor Stephen Tall has a piece on the Independent Voices site looking into tactical voting. Why might you, he asks:

For all the complexity of political debates about the economy, public services, the environment and immigration, the choice each of us faces when handed our ballot paper is simple: which candidate should receive our solitary “X”?

Suppose you’re a Conservative supporter living in Nick Clegg’s seat of Sheffield Hallam; should you stick by your party, even if that means handing the seat to Labour? Or lend your vote to the Lib Dem leader this time?

Or perhaps you’re a Scot who wants to see the UK stick together – then the canny choice will be the candidate best-placed to thwart the SNP. Danny Alexander is pinning his hopes of survival in his Inverness seat on rallying anti-nationalist voters.

He adds that voting for the party that most reflects your values is not always the best way of getting something like your values enacted under the first past the post electoral system:

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

LibLink: Jo Swinson: Across much of Scotland, Lib Dems are the only party who can beat the SNP

Jo Swinson has written for Scotland on Sunday’s Election Essays series. First of all she outlines the Liberal Democrat contributions to the Government:

The last five years have demonstrated beyond doubt that the Liberal Democrats made the right decision and are a force for good in government. We’ve taken tough decisions to get growth up and the deficit down, while also protecting the public services on which we all rely. We have been able to deliver vital Liberal Democrat policies, while preventing the Conservatives from dancing to the right-wing tune of their Eurosceptic backbenchers and the populism of Nigel Farage’s Ukip.

As a result, the economy is recovering strongly: we grew faster than any other G7 country last year, and we’re borrowing half as much as we were in 2010.

You don’t have to choose between governing fairly and balancing the books as Labour and Conservatives would have you believe:

Liberal Democrats will balance the books by 2018, and do so fairly. We won’t drag out the pain for years longer like Labour, or slash public services to the bone like the Conservatives. These parties will try and convince you that you have to choose between eliminating the deficit or protecting public services. You don’t. With the Liberal Democrats’ balanced plan, we can do both.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 10 Comments

LibLink: Layla Moran: Six ways to break British research

All parliamentary candidates are being deluged by emails from organisations and constituents on a huge range of subjects. One particular missive comes from Vote Cruelty Free which encourages candidates to sign up to the following six pledges:

1) Ban experiments on cats and dogs.
2) End the secrecy surrounding animal experiments.
3) Stop importing monkeys for use in laboratories.
4) End non-medical experiments.
5) Stop genetically modifying animals.
6) Stop suffering in the most extreme experiments.

Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat candidate for Oxford West and Abingdon has written an article for the Our Kingdom website in which she looks at these pledges and explains why she can’t sign up for them because of the effect it would have on British research and ultimately be worse for animals as research is driven to parts of the world where animal welfare is not taken as seriously as it is here.

First, a general overview and the benefits of well-regulated life science research:

On February 24, Britain took the historic step of legislating to make mitochondrial donation therapy possible, offering hope to those carrying mitochondrial defects and creating the possibility for them to have children without passing on the diseases that currently afflict — and usually kill — over 100 babies each year. But medical progress depends on a global ecosystem of life sciences research. Development of novel techniques to a level where mitochondrial donation could be trialled in humans relied on earlier studies using macaques, for example.

Britain is at the forefront of much of this research and, in addition, currently has the highest animal welfare standards worldwide. It is already illegal to conduct animal experiments if an alternative exists and illegal to use cats or dogs if a different animal could be used. Research on animals for cosmetics or on great apes for any application is banned outright. I’m proud that the UK has such high standards and proud that the Liberal Democrats have worked hard in the UK and Europe to drive further improvements.

And then she tackles the substance of the 6 pledges:

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Peter Preston reminisces about David Steel’s by-election victory half a century ago

Former Guardian editor Peter Preston has been reminiscing about the Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles by-election 50 years ago which was won by a young David Steel. He’s been to the opening of a new exhibition celebrating the by-election and muses on the difference between politics then and now.

First, he sets the scene:

Fifty years ago, as a neophyte Guardian reporter, I covered the Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles byelection that catapulted David Steel into parliament. Now I’m back in Selkirk to open an exhibition celebrating his victory: a kind of still living artefact in a mini-museum full of faded speeches, posters and promises. Ah yes, I remember it well. The eerily youthful “boy David” who went on to lead the Liberals through that pact; wildly enthusiastic meetings, 300 or more strong, greeting big hitters – George Brown, Lord Hailsham, Jo Grimond – up from the smoke; an enthusiasm and a turnout (81.5%) with referendum intensity.But the past is not an island – even in a chilly mansion-cum-embryo-arts-centre perched by a loch. For the clan gathering to congratulate the old boy (aka Lord Steel of Aikwood) is large and intriguing. Here’s George Reid, the early SNP warrior who succeeded Steel as presiding officer in the Edinburgh parliament. Here’s Tam Dalyell of the Binns, Labour’s superlative stoker of backbench trouble through four decades. Here (well, at least expected soon) is Ronald King Murray, 92, who lost his Labour deposit but went on to win laurels as lord advocate. Here are canvassers who tramped the streets of Galashiels, folk with a memory leaning on a stick.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 9 Comments

Paddy Ashdown on the campaign trail

 

We have The Courier to thank for this story:

Former Lib Dem leader Paddy Ashdown is quite the character. Aside from his rather acerbic literary take on Alex Salmond’s referendum diaries, his loose cannon nature proves both entertaining and stressful for party staffers.

However, as campaign coordinator, he still knows how to turn on the charm.

During a door-knocking session in North East Fife, he was invited into a woman’s Newport home after being told she had a house guest who was a fan of his.

It turns out the person was Chinese and he ended up having a full-blown conversation in Mandarin. It’s just a pity for Paddy and his party that she’s not eligible to vote!

Posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

LibLink: Jo Swinson: Why the Government is spending £2 million to tackle bullying

This week, Lib Dem Equalities Minister Jo Swinson announced the eight organisations who will receive £2 million of government money to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. To accompany that announcement, she wrote an article for Pink News explaining why this money is needed:

Earlier this year singer-songwriter Sam Smith publicly came out and talked openly about being bullied at school. Denying he was gay made the bullying worse and the thing he most hated was how his friends and family heard the names he was called. Fortunately he’s gone on to have a multi-million album selling, Grammy winning career so I think we know who has had the last laugh.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing; bullying can take a terrible toll, have a devastating effect on a young person’s education, isolate them from their peers and damage their self-esteem for life.

How widespread is the problem?

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

LibLink: Catherine Bearder MEP et al: Liberalism in Europe is facing its biggest fight

Three current and one (sadly) former liberal MEPs have written for the European Parliament’s Magazine following a Liberal International meeting in Oxford. They argued that liberals must stand together against the far-right and the politics of fear.

Catherine Bearder, Dutch MEP Hans van Baalen, our Graham Watson and Swedish MEP Cecilia Wikström show how liberals see the world:

As liberals, we will be standing together against the racists, the xenophobes and those who believe Europe needs to return to its fragmented past.

Liberals are naturally internationalist; it is in our DNA. We view the world as a global stage, not one subdivided by borders. We see friendly cooperation with our neighbours as the very key to unlocking a more secure, sustainable, prosperous and market-oriented future for Europe and the rest of the world.

We need to spread the message that liberalism is a home for people who don’t seek to brand migrants as ‘other’, for people who believe a Europe without the EU would be weaker and for people who see a reversion to separatism as the very worst outcome.

Posted in News | 3 Comments

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez meets Miranda Sawyer

There’s an interesting interview between Miranda Sawyer and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez in the Guardian this weekend.

They meet at an Inspiring Women event on sport at the aquatics centre where the Olympics took place and, separately, in Miriam’s office.

Miriam talks about the attitudes in the Spanish village where she was brought up, where people pitied her working mother.

Her mother was the object of some local sympathy. “People felt sorry for her because she had to work,” González Durántez says, “but she wanted to. My mother has taught three generations in the village. I am never going to make so much of a difference.”

Actually, many of the women González Durántez knew had jobs – they just weren’t paid. Both her grandmothers came from rural communities where women laboured in the fields. Her maternal grandmother brought up eight boys (one died) during the Spanish civil war. “She was a tiny, dynamite woman,” González Durántez says. “Always vivacious and positive, a lesson in life.”

Though democracy came to Spain after Franco died in 1975, old-fashioned attitudes took a while to wither. At her school, “when boys did sport, girls did knitting. And boys, when they behaved badly, were sent with the girls.” González Durántez enjoyed reading and music – she played an hour of piano every day (“I say this to my children, who do half an hour a week!”). As the eldest child of the mayor, she was very much part of village life: “I organised things for the little kids, I helped my father in politics, I tried it all. A race or something, there I was. I wasn’t very good at running, but I tried it all.”

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Twelve major improvements announced in the budget

There are twelve significant improvements announced in today’s budget:

Posted in News | Tagged | 51 Comments

Cable: No room for “pre-election bonanza” budget

The Guardian reports:

Vince Cable has warned that George Osborne has no room in next Wednesday’s budget for a substantial pre-election giveaway, but acknowledged that there was some headroom in the public finances for modest tax cuts or an increase in public spending.

The Liberal Democrat business secretary indicated the chancellor had a sum estimated at £5bn – that could be used to increase the personal allowance tax threshold or to row back from plans to cut public spending back to the level of the 1930s in the next parliament.

In an interview with the Guardian a few days before the last major financial event of the coalition government, Cable said: “This budget, I think there is a common agreement across the coalition, cannot be some kind of pre-election bonanza because that would completely undermine credibility.”

Posted in News | Tagged and | 2 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpaul barker 25th May - 10:18pm
    Politically, I am closer to Lamb but I am minded to vote for Farron because hes got charisma & hes a better bet for attracting...
  • User AvatarJock Coats 25th May - 10:07pm
    Oh, and none of this sort of windfall: http://jockcoats.me/content/therell-be-singing-vale-tonight-no-doubt or this: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/home-news/farmer-rejects-275m-from-developers-for-his-sussex-land-in-local-fight-against-building-sprawl-on-green-areas-10242455.html
  • User AvatarJock Coats 25th May - 10:06pm
    If, however, a farmer tries to exploit "hope value" and applies for planning consent for non-ag development, they will start paying taxes at the higher...
  • User AvatarJock Coats 25th May - 10:05pm
    By and large agricultural land is, of course, substantially lower in value than anything remotely urban. If you are a tenant already paying a market...
  • User Avatarkevin 25th May - 9:51pm
    '“Opinion: Why should someone from Maputo get to vote in the EU referendum when someone from Mons doesn’t?” Too late for that now,if the party...
  • User AvatarTCO 25th May - 9:47pm
    @Stephen Hesketh only 1268? Lightweight ;-)
Mon 25th May 2015
12:05
Tue 26th May 2015
Wed 27th May 2015
Thu 28th May 2015
Fri 29th May 2015
19:30
Sat 30th May 2015
Sun 31st May 2015
Mon 1st Jun 2015
Wed 3rd Jun 2015
Thu 4th Jun 2015
Sat 6th Jun 2015
Wed 10th Jun 2015
Thu 11th Jun 2015
19:00
Fri 12th Jun 2015
Sat 13th Jun 2015
Wed 17th Jun 2015
Thu 18th Jun 2015
Sat 20th Jun 2015
Sun 21st Jun 2015