Author Archives: The Voice

Yesterday in the Lords, 3 on the #EURef

The other day, a very senior German Minister said to me, “Whenever I go into a European Union meeting with my British colleagues, their very first question is: ‘Excuse me, please tell me the way to the exit?’”. They are spending so much energy trying to get out that they spend none building the alliances to try to win the things that we want. Canning and Castlereagh would be spinning in their graves. The truth of it is that there ​are things we can win in the European Union, but we will not win them by removing ourselves from it.

So said Paddy Ashdown yesterday in the Queens speech debate which touched on the imminent EU referendum. You can read the full speech here.

Posted in Parliament | Tagged | 3 Comments

LibLink: Alistair Carmichael on the Extremism Bill


We have just caught up with an article by Alistair Carmichael in The Independent. The headline itself offers a jolt: “The Extremism Bill means that the Queen’s speech might be the only one you hear from now on”. Writing just before the Queen’s Speech last week he claimed:

This Government still seems wedded to the notion that if you ban something it will go away.They banned psychoactive substances, despite zero evidence that it would reduce harm. They tried banning encryption, making all of our data less secure. Now they are trying to ban “extremist speech” via an Extremism Bill which they will introduce in the Queen’s Speech tomorrow.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Lib Dem Jobwatch – Do you fancy working in Scotland or Somerset?

Two very different jobs working for the Liberal Democrats are on offer over at W4MP

The Scottish Liberal Democrats in the Scottish Parliament are looking for a Press Officer who will be based at the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh.

The primary responsibilities of the postholder will be to work in a leading role in the small staff team at Holyrood to ensure that the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ media relations are delivered in a professional manner. This will provide Liberal Democrat MSPs, and to a more limited extent the wider Scottish Liberal Democrat party, with press and media support.

The post-holder will be expected to demonstrate an ability to understand and promote political positions and policy; they will be expected to build credibility with journalist and commentators; they will be expected to work quickly and accurately under pressure; and they should demonstrate an affinity with the aims and values of the Liberal Democrats.

Responsibilities include:

Timely drafting and distribution of reactive lines to breaking news and the issues of the day;
Working with other staff to produce pro-active media initiatives;
Alerting MSPs, staff and, where appropriate, other senior Scottish Liberal Democrat figures to significant news stories;
Maintaining the news content of the Scottish Liberal Democrat website;
Filling broadcasting bids for radio and television;
Drafting articles for campaign leaders and MSPs;
Accompanying MSPs on visits away from Parliament when a media presence is anticipated;
Working with other staff to ensure that MSPs are fully briefed before media appearances;
Providing on-call cover at the weekends and in the evening as part of a rota;
Pro-actively seeking slots on broadcast media for campaign leaders;
Developing a professional working relationship with Scottish based political and specialist journalists;
Representing the views and outlook of the Scottish Liberal Democrat MSPs – and wider party – to journalists;
Maintaining an up to date distribution list for journalists, stakeholders and Liberal Democrats;
Working with party staff to support party conferences and other events;
Working with other staff and MSPs to develop and implement a media strategy;
Maintaining an overview and awareness of political and policy developments in Scotland and elsewhere by different parties and governments;
Other duties as may be required to support the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

A previous holder of that job was seen to say on Facebook last night how much she loved it. The closing date is 31st May.

In Somerset, Wells Liberal Democrats are looking for an organiser.

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LDV’s Sunday Best: our 7 most-read articles this week

7 bestMany thanks to the 12,000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

+++Breaking: Welsh Special Conference to decide whether Kirsty Williams should enter Cabinet as Education Secretary (45 comments) by Caron Lindsay

David Rendel 1949-2016 (6 comments) by Paul Walter

Tim Farron on BBC Question Time tonight (22 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Clegg speaks at #libdempint anniversary (37 comments) by The Voice

Facts on immigration (41 comments) by Antony Hook

Former Liberal Democrat MP David Rendel dies (5 comments) by The Voice

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Register for the Lib Dem Summer webinar series – refugees, EU campaign briefing and same sex marriage

The Lib Dems are holding a series of monthly webinars. Last month saw the first, on the election campaigns. On Wednesday, the second, on the refugee crisis, takes place at 6:30 pm.

If you are a party member, you will have had an email from Sal Brinton on 26th April which will have all the links to register at the entire Summer series. Those links are unique to you.

Next month’s, on Wednesday 8th June, is a briefing as we head into the last fortnight of the referendum campaign.

And on July 27th, we celebrate 3 years since we introduced same …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 4 Comments

ICYMI: Tim on Question Time

Tim Farron was on Question Time the other night and was everything you would want a Liberal Democrat to be – positive, optimistic, passionately internationalist and pro-NHS, progressive and practical.

Here is why he is voting to Remain:

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

National Liberal Club elects its first ever woman chairman

Word reaches us that the National Liberal Club has, for the first time ever, elected a woman take over its running. Janet Berridge is its new chairman.

We do have to wonder what took it so long, but we’re happy to see this development.

Janet said, on her election:

I am tremendously honoured to have been elected the new chairman of the National Liberal Club. Situated in the heart of London, the club appeals to a wide variety of professions and age groups and provides an environment to suit different interests and requirements. There is no such thing as a “typical club member” at the NLC – the diversity that has been nurtured over many years is reflected by its members. My aim in the coming years is to make sure that our club’s foundations are fit for the 21st century while maintaining its traditions and much-loved customs. By embracing the values of Liberalism espoused by the club’s founders and their successors, I am confident that this challenge can be met and achieved.

And a little bit about Janet and the history of the NLC from the club:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 5 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th May - 2:55am
    Neal Lawson Your well intentioned article misses the point on something important. Firstly, social liberalism is the very core of most Liberalism today and virtually...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th May - 2:40am
    I honestly get people being opposed to this on the 'harm to others' argument but then there should be consistency on all drugs... I just...
  • User AvatarConor McGovern 25th May - 2:36am
    David, you're against drinking then?
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th May - 2:26am
    I strongly favour legal use of cannabis , but not recreational use of any of those drugs mentioned , from heroine to cocaine , as...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th May - 2:15am
    Richard I shall say again what needs to be said whenever this is suggested, and in answer to Lord Greaves comment that it was a...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 25th May - 12:59am
    @ Peter Davies I like the idea of including National Insurance but 12% of £155.01 is £18.60 a week not £10. Therefore if we replaced...