Author Archives: The Voice

A chance to help shape Liberal Democrat policy on social security, privacy and sex work

The party’s Federal Policy Committee is looking for party members to take part in policy working groups to develop policy in three particular areas:

  • Social security
  • Security and privacy
  • Sex work

From an email sent to party members today:

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Tim Farron’s TimTalks: Rebuilding our party

Here’s the third in our series of Tim Farron’s TimTalks.

In this one, he talks about how we rebuild the party. A festival of ideas, diversity, PAWAWI, being an accessible leader. “Under Tim Farron’s leadership, there will be no cabal and no bunker.”

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 10,700  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

David Laws peerage “blocked” – plus new Liberal Democrat House of Lords members speculation (83 comments) by Paul Walter

How to beat the SNP (49 comments) by Joanne Ferguson

The No campaign’s grim blueprint for a Britain out of Europe (55 comments) by Stuart Bonar

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Tim Farron’s TimTalks: Foreign Affairs

This week we are re-running new leader Tim Farron’s series of TimTalks from the leadership campaign so that those of you who don’t know him well can see what makes him tick.

Today, it’s Foreign Affairs. Now we have a caption, a soundtrack (which is, to be honest, a bit annoying) and a proper introduction at the beginning:

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Tim Farron’s TimTalks: Housing

During the leadership campaign, Tim Farron made a number of videos. They mostly involved him sitting down and just talking about the issues closest to his heart. We thought we would repeat them here so people outside the party could see what makes this man tick.

Housing is one of his key priorities. He famously got into politics after watching the heartbreaking Cathy Come Home. Here he is talking about the importance of building more houses and opposing the Tories’ plans to give Housing Association tenants the right to buy.

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Farron urges Theresa May to help Calais refugees

Tim Farron has written to Theresa May to ask her to help the refugees in Calais. He visited the port earlier this month and saw for himself the conditions people had to live in and also heard some of their stories. Here is his letter in full:

Dear Theresa,

I am writing to you about the humanitarian crisis in Calais ahead of your meeting with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve later this week.

I welcome the measures the Government has already taken to improve the security situation at the Eurotunnel and reduce the disruption which has been caused for British businesses and holidaymakers, but am writing to ask that the UK do more to ensure that the humanitarian crisis in Calais is properly recognised and addressed.

Having visited the Jules Ferry migrant support centre in Calais and met with organisations working on the ground, it is clear that many of those living in “the jungle” are refugees fleeing war and persecution. The organisations who are currently working to support these very vulnerable people are under extreme pressure. The conditions in Calais fall far short of international standards on the treatment and welfare of refugees. Water and sanitation are all in short supply and medical support stretched beyond capacity. Many are being forced to subsist on the one meal a day that the centre is able to provide. More funding and better coordination are urgently needed, and the UK needs to do more. It is absolutely right that we work together with the French to fund improvements in security at the Eurotunnel and action on people trafficking, but the humanitarian support that is so desperately needed must also be adequately funded.

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How you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

Posted in Site news | 4 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Liberal Democrat Voice editor replies to Lord Greaves (166 comments) by The Voice.

David Laws peerage “blocked” – plus new Liberal Democrat House of Lords members speculation (37 comments) by Paul Walter

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On Kezia Dugdale becoming Scottish Labour leader

Comments from our esteemed editor:

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Liberal Democrat Voice editor replies to Lord Greaves

From Twitter tonight:

Posted in Site news | 171 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

An open letter to Nick Clegg (119 comments) by Mark Argent

Sad news: Sutton and Cheam’s organiser David MacDonald dies at 28 (9 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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LAST CHANCE to nominate for party awards

As Sal Brinton reminded us on Wednesday, the deadline to nominate people for this year’s Party Awards is 9 am tomorrow morning. Who do you think deserves to be recognised?

Sal wrote:

The deadline for this year’s Party Awards has been extended to Monday at 9am – don’t forget to nominate! I know there are people all over the country who deserve to be rewarded for all the hard work they put in during the election period, not to mention the invaluable ongoing work which so many party officers and others have been carrying out.

As a reminder, please see below the various categories, and how to apply.

President’s Award – any member elected to public office.

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McInnes presses for Holyrood enquiry into Police spying claims

Another month, another scandal involving Police Scotland.

Alison McInnes has called for an enquiry that could see senior police officers and government ministers  brought before a Holyrood committee to provide answers on Police Scotland’s involvement in accessing the communications data of journalists without judicial approval. 

Alison has written to Convenor Christine Grahame to ask that the parliamentary committee investigate the claims. If agreed, an inquiry could result in senior figures from Police Scotland and the Scottish Government being asked to provide evidence.

It emerged last month that two un-named UK police forces had been involved in spying on journalists and their sources.

The Sunday Herald newspaper has claimed that Police Scotland is one of those forces and yesterday an investigative journalist told BBC Scotland he believes the national force may have been monitoring his communications illegally.

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#WeAreAllHuman: Liberal Youth members show solidarity with Calais refugees

“We will not dehumanise, we will not demonise, we will support them.”

Liberal Youth members have made a video in solidarity with the refugees in Calais. Joanne Ferguson, who joined the Party in May and has written for this site several times, tells David Cameron: “You have the power to save human lives, use it.”

Watch and share.

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Greg Mulholland’s Fair Deal for your local campaign shortlisted for PR Week Award

The Casked CrusaderYou know us! Any excuse to use this photograph.

This isn’t entirely gratuitous, because the Casked Crusader Greg Mulholland’s successful Fair Deal for your local campaign has been shortlisted for an award, in the Public Affairs category of the PR Week Awards.

The Wharfedale Observer has the story:

The campaign, backed by ten industry groups, culminated in a Parliamentary victory last year when a bill amendment was added to ensure licensees would have the right to independent rent assessments.

PR Week, one of the main publications in the campaigning and lobbying sector, has now chosen the Fair Deal scheme as one of the Public Affairs category finalists for its annual awards.

Mr Mulholland said: “It is a huge honour for us to be nominated for such a major national award and make it on to the shortlist.

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Tim Farron goes to Calais to see the humanitarian crisis for himself

For Tim Farron, the situation in Calais has always been primarily a humanitarian one. He was furious last week when David Cameron described the desperately vulnerable people there as a “swarm.” Most recently he asked Cameron to make sure that we were doing our fair share to end the “immeasurable suffering” of the people in Calais. He wrote:

I am sure you agree that it is heartbreaking to see hundreds of desperate people subsisting in makeshift camps night after night, willing to risk life and limb in the hope of a better future while many in Kent and across the country see their daily lives hugely disrupted through no fault of their own.

I welcome your commitment yesterday to providing France with the resources needed to deal with the situation and am writing to seek assurances that alongside the necessary security measures, support will also be given to humanely process those seeking asylum, return those who have no right to remain, and ensure that, in line with international obligations, standards of welfare and accommodation are urgently improved.

Today he went to Calais to see the situation on the ground for himself.

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14.200 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Why I went from being Rugby Green party’s General Election candidate to a revived Liberal Democrat activist (60 comments) by Terry Green

Leaving UKIP for the Liberal Democrats (45 comments) by Jakob Whiten

++Tim Farron announces diverse spokesperson team (56 comments) by Newshound

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Rennie tackles Justice Secretary on allegations that Police Scotland spied illegally on journalists

Today’s Sunday Herald reports that Police Scotland has illegally spied on journalists to try to identify their sources, citing the Interception of Communication Commissioner’s Office:

However, IOCCO last month revealed that two unnamed forces had breached the revised Code since March 25.

It said: “Two police forces have acquired communications data to identify the interactions between journalists and their sources in two investigations without obtaining judicial approval.

“These breaches were identified during our inspections. In these cases the normal RIPA process was used and the data was approved by a designated person.”

In one of the cases, a force acquired the data of a newspaper’s suspected source and of a former police employee believed to be acting as an intermediary.

Willie Rennie has been quick to seek answers from the Justice Secretary, Michael Matheson. He wrote:

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Farron calls on Cameron to act to end “immeasurable suffering” of migrants

Tim Farron has written to David Cameron to urge him to ensure that the UK takes its fair share of those poor, desperate, vulnerable people we’ve all seen on our tv screens. He wrote:

I am writing to you about the current humanitarian crisis in Calais and its impact here in the UK.

I am sure you agree that it is heartbreaking to see hundreds of desperate people subsisting in makeshift camps night after night, willing to risk life and limb in the hope of a better future while many in Kent and across the country see their daily lives hugely disrupted through no fault of their own.

I welcome your commitment yesterday to providing France with the resources needed to deal with the situation and am writing to seek assurances that alongside the necessary security measures, support will also be given to humanely process those seeking asylum, return those who have no right to remain, and ensure that, in line with international obligations, standards of welfare and accommodation are urgently improved.

Posted in News | Tagged , , , , and | 49 Comments

When the Divine Ms Duffett met Mr Farron

Watch what happened when Helen sat down with Tim. Find out what VDV means:

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A site housekeeping note and how you can help Liberal Democrat Voice

After an Liberal Democrat Voice conclave, an appropriately coloured smoke signal has arisen from the chimney at LDV Towers, indicating that we will no longer put the word “Opinion” before contributions from readers to our site. We think it is obvious that what people write is their opinion (not necessarily shared by the LDV team) and the label was starting to look a bit “clunky”. We will still flag up such posts as being in our “Op-Ed” category.

The Voice is only a success because of the interest and support from our readers. For many people just lurking and reading the site is all they want to do – and that’s fine, we’re grateful for people taking the time to read the site.

You can though help us continue to produce interesting content for a growing audience. Here are four simple ways:

Posted in Site news | 11 Comments

Tim Farron calls for Lords reform in wake of Sewel

Tim Farron has written to party leaders and cross-bench peers calling for Lords reform in the wake of the Lord Sewel scandal.

Tim argues that this is not just about one bad apple, but rather it is about a system which is rotten to the core and allows unelected, unaccountable people to think they are above the law. It is yet another sorry reflection of an undemocratic system, and more than ever highlights the Liberal Democrat case for reform.

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A trio of Lib Dem Lords stand up for LGBT+ Asylum seekers

It was Home Office questions in the House of Lords this week. Three Liberal Democrat peers asked questions about the treatment of LGBT+ people in the asylum system and abroad which has to date been pretty awful. The first was Paul Scriven who asked whether the recommendations to change the disgraceful way LGBT+ people seeking asylum in this country are treated. Here’s the exchange in full:

Lord Scriven (LD): To ask Her Majesty’s Government whether they plan to implement the recommendations in the report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration of March–June 2014 regarding the handling of asylum claims made on the grounds of sexual orientation, and if so, when.

The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Bates) (Con): My Lords, the Home Office has been actively working to implement the recommendations. An updated asylum instruction considering sexual identity issues in the asylum claim has been issued. Approved training for staff is under development. These will ensure the sensitive and effective exploration of asylum claims based on sexuality. The Home Office is conducting “second pair of eyes” checks on all such claims to ensure the consistent recording of cases and more accurate data.

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Lamb and Williams warn on care cap delay

As Care Minister, Norman Lamb (and his Liberal Democrat predecessor) were pivotal in ensuring that the cap for care costs was introduced. The Conservatives have now delayed its implementation by 4 long years. Norman described this as an “outrageous betrayal of people at their most weak and most frail. He said:

This an extraordinary and devastating u-turn from the Tories and an outrageous betrayal of people at their most weak and most frail with conditions like dementia.

Crippling care costs need addressing urgently. In coalition we designed a solution that would help and was affordable. Local authorities have spent millions already preparing for the introduction of the cap, yet we now hear the Tories are turning their back on it. This delay is a total waste of public money.

The distress and heartbreak that people feel when a loved one is in care, is being exacerbated by the fear of how to pay for it. We must not allow this to continue.

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14,800 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Channel 4, Cathy Newman, Tim Farron, sex and sin (286 comments) by Joe Otten

What could a Jeremy Corbyn victory mean for the Lib Dems? (85 comments) by Mark Argent

On Farron’s lurch to the left (64 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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Veronica German to head South Wales East list for Welsh Assembly elections

Former AM Veronica German has been chosen to lead the South Wales East list for the Welsh Assembly elections next May.

From the Welsh Lib Dems website:

A democratic postal ballot of all members in the region chose the following candidates for the regional list in 2016:

1. Veronica German

2. Paul Halliday

3. Bob Griffin

Veronica German is a former Assembly Member for the region who has served as the Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson on health, local government and equalities. She is a former county councillor in both Newport and Torfaen, and worked as a science teacher for over 20 years.

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Can you help with a research project about civic participation in London next week?

From the LDV inbox this week, a request from Jorge Miguel, a research student at University College London’s Institute of Education for volunteers to help him with a study he is carrying out about civic participation:

The research aims to explore the reasons for participation in civic and political groups and it is based on interviews to people involved in different civic or political groups. With this purpose, I would like to interview three people who collaborate with your organization in a voluntary basis (not being paid for it). The views of the people participating in the interview are not thought to represent the view of the organization, just the personal stories and reasons of each person to get involved in a particular organization.

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Double by-election success and a new 18 year old councillor for the Liberal Democrats

The #libdemfightback continues with two good by-election wins in the south east. First of all, Neil Houston held on to the Long Ditton Ward of Elmbridge Council:

LIB DEM – 770

CON – 611

GRN – 79

UKIP – 61

And in Seaford, in East Sussex, 18 year old Isabelle Murray, who wasn’t even old enough to vote in May, won the Seaford Central ward on the Town Council by quite some margin.

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Tim Farron writes to Harriet Harman asking her to oppose Welfare Bill

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to Labour’s interim leader Harriet Harman to ask her to ensure that her party opposes the Government’s Welfare Bill.

Here is the text of his letter:

Dear Harriet
The Conservative Government last night brought forward plans for £12bn of cuts to welfare that will directly impact millions of people across the country including the poorest families in our constituencies.

The Conservatives do not need to make these cuts, especially at the same time as giving tax breaks to millionaires.

The people who will be hit by these changes need someone to give them a voice in Parliament and fight their corner, and last night Labour failed to stand up for them.

You have said that you do not want to oppose absolutely every saving that the Government suggests, but these cuts will hurt the poorest in our communities.

Cuts to employment support allowance, lowering the benefit cap and slashing tax credits for those in low paid work are not policies that any progressive should support.

Posted in News | Tagged , , and | 26 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 16,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

And the new leader of the Liberal Democrats is… (180 comments) by Caron Lindsay 

“Soggy Syriza with sandals”? Thanks, Danny, for giving George Osborne another stick to beat us with (45 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Channel 4, Cathy Newman, Tim Farron, Sex and Sin (133 comments) by Joe Otten

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 30th Aug - 12:49pm
    Tim needs to write an article explaining what he believes in, because it seems to have changed a bit since the leadership election. Does this...
  • User AvatarLes Farris 30th Aug - 12:40pm
    I had the responsibility, in the roles of area agent and later, press & information officer, of organising visits and tours by senior party figures...
  • User Avatartonyhill 30th Aug - 12:38pm
    This discussion doesn't seem to be taking a very nuanced view of the situation. Before it appeared that Corbyn was going to win the party...
  • User AvatarPsi 30th Aug - 12:34pm
    Stuart " the above quote sounds suspiciously like “mansplaining"" I would just refer to my comment on the previous post: "Regardless of the merits of...
  • User AvatarHugh p 30th Aug - 12:33pm
    If one looks at the actual words ascribed in the FT article to the un-named MP, they are words that John Pugh, Mark Williams or...
  • User AvatarPeter Bancroft 30th Aug - 12:21pm
    Good article. If we're going to be really pedantic on language though, we're talking about asylum seekers. People only become refugees once their application has...