Author Archives: The Voice

In full: Kirsty Williams’ speech to Conference

The Lib Dems’ only Cabinet Minister, Kirsty William, Cabinet Secretary for Education in Wales, addressed Conference on Sunday. Here is her speech in full.

Introduction

I would like to open this speech with a thank-you to Tim Farron for his leadership over what, unquestionably, has been the toughest period this party has ever faced.

At our lowest point, Tim stepped up to the plate, helping reverse our fortunes.

In an unexpected election, Tim nearly doubled the number of seats we held in Parliament, and took our membership to over 100,000. A record.

As I look across the room and see plenty of new faces, Tim can rightly be proud of the liberal vision that he put forward that attracted so many new people to our party.

I would also like to thank Mark Williams. Wales has lost a tremendous MP, and a strong advocate for radical Welsh Liberalism.

Mark worked tirelessly for the communities of Ceredigion, dealing with thousands of pieces of casework, leading major campaigns such as changing the legal definition of child neglect, and continuously being a strong voice for rural Wales.

Mark, we thank you.

Now, conference, despite our solid performance in the General Election, it is clear that many shifted back to the old way of doing things: red versus blue. Left versus right.

Increasingly, people are feeling powerless, neglected, excluded.

Some look to exploit those fears. Exploit them with easy answers. Tell them it’ll all be ok if we just turn back the clock.

Sometimes back to the 1950s, sometimes 1970s… sometimes the 1670s if you’re Mr Rees-Mogg.

But liberal values haven’t gone away. The populist voices have just got louder. Shouting down all that disagree.

Too often, especially in recent years, the louder voice has won the day.

Well here’s an idea – isn’t it time the liberal voice was heard again?

There are people across Britain looking for reasons to support us.

We must provide the leadership Britain needs, standing up for what is right.

It’s our turn to be loud.

Building a coalition that fights for fairness. Fights for reason. Fights for tolerance.

Conference, we must fight to win today’s arguments – so that we can win for tomorrow.

Education

It’s 75 years since William Beveridge published his ground-breaking report.

Posted in News | Tagged | 1 Comment

WATCH: Vince’s Q & A session

Imagine Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn taking questions from members that hadn’t been scripted in advance. That’s what our Vince Cable did yesterday in the traditional leader’s Q & A session.

Watch it here – and you will have to get to the end to find the bit that made his team look very anxious indeed when he answered how he likes to relax.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

In full: Jo Swinson’s speech to Conference

Here is Jo Swinson’s speech to Conference.

Let me take you back to a rainy Saturday morning, 28 years ago. I’m doing what many 9-year-olds do on a Saturday morning, watching TV. It’s a children’s programme called Going Live, presented by Philip Schofield – some of you might even remember it, and depending on your age, nostalically feel it was no match for Swap Shop or Saturday Superstore.

“That particular morning’s show sticks in my mind because in amongst Gordon the Gopher, kids’ cartoons, and celebrities getting gunged, there was an amazing competition. The prize was to win a piece of the Berlin Wall, recently torn down in one of the most pivotal moments of 20th century history.

“It was pretty obviously in an entirely different league to the usual phone-ins to win toys, or CDs, or tickets to concerts. I didn’t win the competition, but later on my dad visited Berlin and brought me back a little piece of that history.

“I think it’s fair to say that as a child, apart from one Christmas watching the animated film “When the Wind Blows”, I hadn’t given much thought to nuclear war. But the cloud had hung threateningly over the world, at times perilously close to disaster on an unimaginable scale.

“Thanks to the diplomacy, courage and political leadership which led to the end of the Cold War, we have enjoyed three decades with much reduced levels of nuclear threat, until now.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

What’s on at Conference today? The Fringe

There are some lively fringe events today.

One of the most popular, which sadly clashes with a Federal Board meeting so I can’t be there, is an ALDE event with Catherine Bearder MEP and Nick Clegg. “Britain’s place in the EU – Lib Dems are not giving up.” That’s in the Bryanston Suite in the Marriott.

Your Liberal Britain has some ideas about turning the party into a much wider social movement. I think that they need to do more in the way of diversity and appealing to local government, but they have a lot to offer the party. Join Jim Williams …

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Countdown to Conference: Two unmissable events if you are interested in policy

If you have a particular interest in policy, there are two events that you should definitely put in your Conference diary.

The first is the consultative session on the manifesto, 1630 – 1800 Monday in the main auditorium. This is designed to let people have a chance to say what they thought of the manifesto. It’s particularly important because if there is another snap election in the not too distant future, then the Federal Policy Committee will have to produce another manifesto without going through the pre-manifesto consultation stage they would normally employ. So it’s particularly important for people to let us know what they thought of this one and make suggestions for how it could be done in the future.

Posted in News | Tagged and | Leave a comment

Bournemouth Briefing: Sunday’s #stopBrexit event

Thanks to Lawrence Fullick for filling us in on an anti-Brexit event that ‘s taking place in Bournemouth to coincide with our Conference.

Pro EU organisations are organising events at all 3 party conferences. They will not have to try too hard to persuade people at ours. In fact, they recognise that it’s about them showing us that people support our stance.

The Pants to Brexit theme could enable us to show off our creative genius.

It takes place all afternoon on Sunday so everyone should be able to nip out at some point if they want.

From the organisers:

#StopBrexit in Bournemouth is a fun event with a serious message where we will engage with local people over their concerns about Brexit and empower them to have their voices heard.

We are planning a number of events – fun and serious – on Sunday 17th September to coincide with the Liberal Democrats Conference long weekend.

We want to show the only party that unambiguously supports Britain’s continued membership of the EU, that the public wants to #StopBrexit.  We will be holding a march, a spectacle with music by the Pier and an evening speakers’ event, among other things, and encourage all Dorset supporters to come along, as well as Britain for Europe’s other local and affiliated groups to join us and support our event

EVENT DETAILS

Posted in News | Tagged and | Leave a comment

WATCH: Tom Brake’s speech in Brexit Bill debate: This Bill must be resisted at every turn

Tom Brake spoke for the Lib Dems in the Commons debate on the Brexit Bill today. Watch in full here. The text is below.

There were some excellent speeches after the Secretary of State’s. Things went slight downhill after that but things started to look up with the maiden speech by the hon. Member for Canterbury (Rosie Duffield). I have just one slight criticism: she did not mention Barham in her list of villages, which is one I know very well. I thank the right hon. and learned Member for Beaconsfield (Mr Grieve) for his speech and his reference to the monstrosity that is this Bill.

The Liberal Democrats believe that Parliament must be given comprehensive sovereignty and scrutiny over this process. This opinion is widely supported, not just by many Members on both sides of this House but organisations such as the Law Society, which states that the Bill

“must respect parliament’s role in making and approving changes to UK law”.

Parliament must drive the future of the United Kingdom and of Brexit, not Ministers using executive—indeed dictatorial—powers to exercise total control over the legislative process. The Government’s decision to provide just two days for Second Reading means that Members will have just five minutes in which to make their points and eight days in Committee for a Bill that unravels 40 years of closer EU co-operation, shows the extent to which Parliament is held in contempt by Ministers.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 4 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn King 19th Sep - 1:50pm
    It is important to keep the troops on board yes, or to build morale. But the answer to Vince's question, why are the Brexiters so...
  • User AvatarBill Fowler 19th Sep - 1:18pm
    You have to be careful with rental standards, when I was renting in London I opted for a cheap and nasty bedsit because it was...
  • User AvatarBill Fowler 19th Sep - 1:11pm
    It was a better speech than any he made in the last election, especially pointing out Labour's new politics of the extreme left and how...
  • User AvatarLester Holloway 19th Sep - 1:00pm
    CassieB - Tim's was a good speech, but my spirits cannot be lifted while the party's standing with BAME communities remains barely detectable. The 2017...
  • User AvatarGlenn 19th Sep - 12:34pm
    John King. I would not have demanded another one immediately and more to the point had there been such a demand the Remain camp would...
  • User Avatartheakes 19th Sep - 12:30pm
    Sad to report Opinium Research has us now down to 5%, level with UKIP. I cannot recall reaching that figure before. Can anyone? These really...