Author Archives: The Voice

Watch: Paddy’s Team Talk for the final few days: Where we need to win, we’re winning and what’s more the Tories know it…

As activists all over the country pull up their hoods to protect them from the torrential rain, Paddy pops up to say thanks, to remind us to keep going till 1o pm on Thursday and reminds us why we are doing it – for stability, decency and unity in our country.

He also reminds us that the Tories know that we are winning where we need to be and points out that at this stage in the last election they said they only had to win 14 seats, this time they are saying it’s 23 but we know it’s more.

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Norman Baker’s genius response to David Cameron: David, I need you to stop sending dishonest and patronising letters

Norman Baker by Liberal DemocratsThe Tories don’t seem to have got the hang of excluding the opposition from their target mailings. This may be a good thing as we wouldn’t have had the joy of reading our Norman Baker’s fantastic and hilarious response to a missive he received from David Cameron, in whose government he served until last November.

Here’s the Prime Minister’s letter:

David Cameron Letter

And here, in full, is Norman’s pithy response. Enjoy.

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Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 7: Crime, freedom and equality and political reform

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find crime, freedom and equality and political reform.

Crime

Freedom and equality

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Lib Dem Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 6: Europe, International and Defence

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find Europe, and International and Defence.

Europe

International and Defence

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Election night LIVE on Liberal Democrat Voice

We’ll be covering election night live here on Liberal Democrat Voice on Thursday night through to Friday morning.

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Alex Salmond tries to claim SNP credit for policies introduced by the Lib Dems when he wasn’t even an MSP

Alex Salmond must have been too busy with his book signings to actually check his facts. Literature going out in his name in the Gordon constituency makes some interesting, and easily disprovable claims. From the Scotsman:

Free personal care and the Scotland-wide free bus travel pass scheme was brought in by the Labour/Liberal Democrat coalition which preceded the current SNP administration at Holyrood. But literature being distributed by Mr Salmond’s campaign team in Gordon claims the SNP “led the way” on this policy.

Even for Salmond that is a cheek, as our candidate Christine Jardine pointed out:

Experience has taught us that Alex Salmond sometimes has problems remembering the fine detail of the actualité, but, even by his standards, these are blatant untruths. It’s typical of the SNP’s attempts to rewrite history, but I’m confident that voters in Gordon will see past these false claims and remember that the Lib Dems have a genuine record of working with like-minded colleagues to deliver real improvements

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Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 4: Pensions, climate change and energy and environment and nature

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find pensions, climate change and environment and nature

Pensions

Climate Change and energy

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Manifesto snippets in BSL Part 3: The economy, Disabilty and Deafness and Work and Welfare

The Liberal Democrats have produced a series of 20 videos giving snippets of our manifesto in BSL. We are the first major party to do so. The full list is here.

We’ll also put them up on here in batches over the next wee while. If you want to see all our posts, just click on the bsl tag at the bottom of this post.

In this post, you will find the economy, disability and deafness and work and welfare.

Economy – might it be stronger by any chance?

Disability and Deafness

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Watch: Nick Clegg on Lib Dem red lines on education and economy

Here’s Nick Clegg speaking to BBC Breakfast about the party’s red lines announced over the last day on education and the economy. He called for a “stability budget” to ensure that the recovery, which, as George Crozier pointed out the other day, is a Liberal Democrat economic recovery, continues. The growth figures announced this morning show that we are not fully out of the woods yet, although we are certainly seeing some sunshine. The message from the party is clear: we wouldn’t want to jeopardise what the Liberal Democrats have achieved in the last five years.

And explaining the idea of the “stability budget”

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Latest Liberal Democrat Party Election Broadcast

We were a bit remiss and didn’t publish last week’s Party Political Broadcast when it first came out.

Continuing the theme from previous broadcasts, this time we have a young woman walking around in the dark listening to Nick on the radio talking about what the Liberal Democrats can offer as coalition partners. Enjoy.

The Scottish version is voiced, very well, actually, probably with even more clarity and feeling than Nick, by Willie Rennie:

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LibLink: Norman Lamb on a mission

 

Over on Huffington Post, Norman Lamb has written about his campaign to end discrimination against mental health.

The Liberal Democrats are on a mission to end the discrimination against mental health. From Paul Burstow who changed the law to give mental health equality with physical health to my work ensuring there is proper mental health crisis care available across the country.

Nick Clegg has announced the first ever waiting time standards, ending Labour’s discrimination against mental health that meant it missed out when money was tight. And we’ve committed over a billion pounds to revolutionise children’s mental health. In the next parliament we will go further and invest at least £3.5billion to guarantee better support for people with mental health problems – and improve wellbeing and mental health for everyone.

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A clutch of manifestos

Manifesto_Covers_2015We have all see the 2015 Lib Dem manifesto, but did you know that the party has also published a series of specialist manifestos?

These include (click links to download):

Environment manifesto

Manifesto for disabled people

Local government manifesto

Manifesto for the mind

Black, Asian & Minority Ethnic Manifesto

You can also read the main manifesto in easy read, clear print, plain text or Braille versions, or listen to it on an audio recording.

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Senior renewable energy figures support Lib Dem involvement in next Government

Twenty figures from the renewable energy industry have written to the Independent on Sunday to say that they want Liberal Democrats to be involved in the next Government because of our record, in adverse circumstances, in this one. They said:

When the Coalition took office, both Conservatives and Liberal Democrats pledged to make it the ‘greenest government ever’.

Liberal Democrats kept to that pledge. Under the leadership of the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey, they have consistently acted to make this country cleaner, greener and more open to investment in renewables.  Some £37 billion has been invested in renewable energy, supporting 460,000 jobs as of 2013, reducing our carbon emissions and improving Britain’s energy security.

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Danny Alexander’s note to Liam: We won’t let you or the Tories screw up the recovery

Five years apart, two letters tell a very different story. David Laws found this on his desk at the Treasury:

 

Liam Byrne's note

 

Danny Alexander got round to replying today:

Danny Alexander's reply

As George Crozier pointed out last week, this recovery is very much a Liberal Democrat recovery:

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Danny Alexander says HSBC worries about UK leaving EU show dangers of Conservatives and UKIP

HSBC has said today that it might consider pulling out of the UK and cited uncertainty over Britain’s position in the EU as part of its reasoning. From the Guardian:

HSBC, Britain’s biggest bank, has issued a stark warning about the economic risks of the UK pulling out of the European Union as it revealed it was considering moving its headquarters out of London.

The surprise announcement of a full-blown review into where the bank should base its operations will stun politicians on the general election campaign trail.

HSBC listed the economic uncertainty created by the risk of the UK going alone – a blow to the Conservatives which have pledged to hold an “in-out” referendum on the EU.

It would be a massive deal if HSBC were to leave as 48,000 jobs would go.

Danny Alexander said that this highlighted the dangers of a Conservative/UKIP government:

Today’s HSBC announcement confirms fears that businesses have over a swing to the right and the prospect of a ‘Blukip’ coalition pulling us out Europe.

David Cameron, held hostage by UKIP partners and the right wing of his party, would drive the country further towards a ‘Brexit’ – which would hit both jobs and business.

As I revealed today, the markets and businesses are increasingly showing their concern at the prospect of an unstable government.

Only stable government with the Liberal Democrats in the mix will stop Britain from being pulled sharply to the right with Nigel Farage, or to the left with Alex Salmond.

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Lib Dem Elaine Bagshaw comments on removal of Tower Hamlets mayor Rahman

The Mayor of Tower Hamlets has been found guilty of corrupt electoral practices and removed from office. There is a 200 page judgement which outlines in detail the allegations against him which range from personation to the old offence of “undue spiritual influence.” There is a section on that latter offence which goes through the history of it being used in Ireland against the undue spiritual influence of the Catholic church in the 19th century. The judgement also goes through the history of toxic Labour factionalism in the borough which is an eye-opening read to say the least. The judgement also relies on the judgement in a case which may well be familiar to readers – that of Phil Woolas, when the Oldham East election result was overturned back in 2010.

It is pretty shocking to have the result of an election turned aside because of compelling evidence of various types of fraud.

There will now be a by-election in which Rahman will not be allowed to stand. He will also have to pay £250,000 in costs.

Local Liberal Democrat candidate for Poplar and Limehouse Elaine Bagshaw commented:

Community politics and cohesion is central to a liberal society, so as Liberal Democrats we will be working in the by-election that will now happen to unite our community so that we can move forward and build a stronger economy and a fairer society in Tower Hamlets.

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Nick Clegg outlines pay rises for public sector workers

Public sector workers would be guaranteed pay rises of at least the rate of inflation if the Liberal Democrat had their way. Nick Clegg is to give the details of the plan today. This would mean a minimum pay rise of £350 for a nurse on £25,000, £420 for a police officer on £30,000 and nearly £500 for a teacher on £35,000 over the next two years. After that, the government would recommend to pay review bodies that they give above inflation increases so that wages can rise in real terms.

Outlining the plan, Nick Clegg said:

Workers across the public sector have made enough sacrifices. You have done your bit to help get the country back on track.

That’s why the Liberal Democrats believe it is time to end the era of pay restraint.

Under our plans, we will give all public sector workers – from teachers and nurses to social workers and police officers – pay rises that at least keep pace with the cost of living every year.

No more pay freezes or below inflation pay rises. We can do this because with the Liberal Democrats, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

For two years pay in the public sector will, at the very least, keep pace with prices. After that, we will make sure it rises above inflation – giving millions of workers a real terms pay rise for the first time in years.

If you are a public sector worker worried Tory cuts threaten your job, or Labour’s refusal to deal with the deficit means another year of pay cuts, then only a vote for the Lib Dems will guarantee you a fair pay deal.

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Farron: Chilcott delay “simply not good enough”

The BBC says that the Chilott Inquiry into the Iraq war may now not report until next year, a full 13 years since the misguided and ill-fated invasion.

A source close to the inquiry, which began in 2009, told Newsnight “nobody thinks it will come out this year”. An inquiry spokesman declined to comment.

British forces lost 179 personnel during the conflict, of whom 136 were killed in action.

By 31 August 2010, when the last US combat troops left, 4,421 US personnel had been killed, of whom 3,492 were killed in action. Almost 32,000 had been wounded in action.

Tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians also died as a result of sectarian killings and a violent insurgency.

The inquiry was commissioned by the previous government to investigate the background to UK involvement in the Iraq War, which began when Tony Blair was prime minister.

The Liberal Democrats have long called for its swift publication. Foreign affairs spokesman Tim Farron was not impressed with this further delay:

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LibLink: Tim Farron says the deaths this week are a wake-up call. We need a change of direction

Tim Farron MP speaks at the rallyIn an article for the New Statesman Tim Farron writes:

The tragic deaths of migrants in the Mediterranean this week must force us to change direction.

Immigration is one of the major issues of this election and Labour and the Conservatives continue to portray all immigrants in a negative light. But immigration is not an issue which can be solved by Britain on our own. Or by oversimplifying and stoking fears based on one stereotype. The Liberal Democrats’ manifesto will not ignore the plight of refugees playing a lottery with their own survival.

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Video: 3 reasons to vote for Dorothy Thornhill in Watford

The Watford campaign team have given us all a lesson in how to do video campaigning this election. First there was this introduction to Dorothy as a person, and now there are three solid policy reasons to vote for her:

Three Reasons to Vote Dorothy from Think About It Films on Vimeo.

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What is it about the Lib Dems that appeals to physicists?

We were intrigued to be told this week that of the 32 candidates standing in the election who have a background in Physics, 12 of them are Liberal Democrats. A blog on Physicsworld.com reveals all:

In the last parliament (2010–2015), five members of the UK House of Commons held undergraduate degrees in physics: Tom Brake, Don Foster and John Hemming (Liberal Democrats), Andy Love(Labour) and Alok Sharma (Conservative). Foster and Love are retiring this year, but the other three are standing again. They face re-election battles of varying difficulty, but overall, their chances of continuing to represent the Physics Party in parliament look relatively good.

As for the 28 29 newcomers in the running, three of them – Heidi Allen, Kevin Hollinrake and Chris Philp – are Conservatives contesting seats considered “safe” for their party. A fourth, Carol Monaghan, is the Scottish National Party candidate for Glasgow North West, where the nationalists enjoy a commanding lead in the opinion polls. Hence, my informed guess is that on 8 May, the Physics Party will have increased its representation by 40%, from five seats to seven.

What about the other hopefuls? Well, one or two of them (including physics teacher Layla Moran, who is standing for the Liberal Democrats in the ultra-marginal Oxford West and Abingdon constituency) might just eke out narrow wins, but most are going to struggle.

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 30,300 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Liberal Democrat Manifesto – detailed costings published (12 comments) by Paul Walter

Poll sensation for Jo Swinson (54 comments) by Caron Lindsay

That’s not how we used to do politics in the Highlands: SNP candidate takes supporters on aggressive visit to Charles Kennedy’s office (40 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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Leeds North West Labour candidate Alex Sobel has to make second apology for untrue campaign statements

We all make mistakes. It’s part of being human. What’s important is that you learn from them. And when political opponents make mistakes, there are times when you need to show a bit of understanding and “there but for the grace of God go I” attitude. Election campaigns are fraught and exhausting and those working on them make massive sacrifices. The chances of mistakes being made through sheer fatigue are quite high.

There are times, though, when a campaign doesn’t learn from its mistakes and it’s legitimate to point that out.

Alex Sobel, the Labour candidate in Leeds North West, has had to make two apologies in the last 10 days for putting out leaflets with two separate untrue statements on it.

The first time, Labour had to distribute 15000 copies of an apology to Liberal Democrat candidate and sitting MP Greg Mulholland for saying that he’d voted for a piece of legislation when he’d been on paternity leave. Greg Mulholland’s website has the details:

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Malcolm Bruce: Lib Dems can stop spending sprees or right wing frolics

Sir Malcolm Bruce was on the Today programme this morning, making a robust case for voting Liberal Democrat, showing what we can bring to a coalition – stable government, with Liberal Democrat policies being implemented.

We can anchor UK to centre ground, not go off on a spending spree before we balance the books or go off on a right wing frolic where we punish people quite unnecessarily with cuts to service and benefits in order to fund tax cuts for the rich

We can break both Tories and Labour and hold the centre ground.

He said that coalition was a much more …

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Inside a Liberal Democrat Action day – with Stephen Lloyd and the Eastbourne team

Ever wondered what happens on a Lib Dem action day? Lots of phoning voters, leafletting, delivering and stuffing envelopes. Eastbourne Liberal Demcorat candidate and MP till Parliament was dissolved Stephen Lloyd produced this video of an action day last month. It’s full of people who talk about why they have come along to help.

He’s holding more tomorrow and Sunday. If you are near Eastbourne and can make it, please sign up here or go along at 10 am.

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A chance to take part in Channel 4/Shout Out Youth Leaders’ debate

We’ve been contacted by Shout Out, a news network for young people who are looking for audience members for a youth leaders’ debate they are holding a week on Tuesday, 28th April, at 8pm in Central London. It will be broadcast on All 4, Channel 4’s digital channel. Channel 4 News reporter Fatima Manji will chair the debate with representatives from the Conservatives, Greens, Labour, Liberal Democrats, Plaid Cymru, SNP and UKIP. Alex Harding, the Chair of Liberal Youth, will be our representative. The leaders will field questions on issues that matter to young people from a studio audience, made up entirely from voters aged 18-25, some of whom will be visiting the ballot box for the first time.

Matteo Bergamini, the founder of Shout Out UK said:

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Bizarre headline of the day

Lib Dems enlist drunk raccoon

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Video: Nick Clegg on the Manifesto. It’s all about opportunity

 Here’s Nick Clegg talking from the back of the Big Yellow Bus about the main theme of our manifesto:

Opportunity for ALL. That's what our manifesto is about. That's what the Liberal Democrats are about

Posted by Nick Clegg on Wednesday, 15 April 2015

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Nick Clegg’s foreword to the Liberal Democrat manifesto

You can read the whole manifesto here but here is Nick Clegg’s foreword setting out its themes and how it builds on what the Liberal Democats have already delivered in government.

Dear friend,

When Liberal Democrats launched our 2010 General Election

manifesto, few people expected that many of the policies it contained would be implemented by the next Government. But that’s what happened: three quarters of those policies formed the backbone of the Coalition’s programme.

Front-page commitments like raising the Income Tax threshold and investing in the poorest schoolchildren through the Pupil Premium became flagship Coalition policies.

With Liberal Democrats in Government to deliver them, those policies have started the work of building a stronger economy and
a fairer society, with opportunity spread across the whole United Kingdom.
Despite tough economic circumstances, those policies are making a difference to people’s lives and helping make Britain a freer, greener, more liberal country.

But our mission has only just begun. You can’t build a stronger economy and a fairer society, and spread opportunity to every citizen, in five years.

For the first time, this is a Liberal Democrat manifesto that builds on a record of policies delivered in national government.

We can say we will finish the job of balancing the books, but do so fairly, because we have started that job in this Parliament.
We can say we will cut taxes for working people by raising the tax-free allowance to £12,500 because we have raised the tax-free allowance every year since 2010.

We can say we will protect funding for education from nursery to 19 because we have protected schools funding and invested in early years education in Government.

We can say we will increase health funding and invest in mental

health because we have protected the NHS budget in Government and introduced the first ever waiting-time standards for mental health.

And we can say we will protect our environment because we have almost trebled the amount of electricity from renewable energy in this Parliament.

In our fast-changing world, the fundamental question political parties face is: do we want to continue to be an open society, confident and optimistic about our place in the world, or do we want to become a closed one, increasingly insular and backward-looking? For Liberal Democrats there is only ever one answer: we want an optimistic, open-hearted and outward-looking United Kingdom.

In Government for the next five years, Liberal Democrats will continue to build a stronger economy and a fairer society with opportunity for everyone. This manifesto sets out how.

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Tales from the doorstep

Some of us have received an email from HQ asking us for 30 second videos describing our funniest canvassing story.  It included links to some ‘Here is one I made earlier’ videos and this is our favourite so far:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th May - 12:43am
    Joe you posted a frightening statistic “UK GP grew by 2.5 times between 1990 and 2015 and by 10 times between 1965 and 1990.” This...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 6th May - 12:31am
    @ Toby Thank you for your post most of which I found difficult to comprehend. What 500 word limit? In the golden age of Keynesianism...
  • User AvatarJJ 6th May - 12:21am
    I do respect the Lib Dems as a party but this blind optimism is just silly. Seats will fall to the Tories and their easiest...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 5th May - 11:41pm
    TCO Simple maths depends upon sophisticated understanding, not made up numbers and the justification of existing prejudices. Sadly you seem to combine both. Suggest you...
  • User AvatarTCO 5th May - 11:40pm
    @Alistair: always lectures incompetently, seldom thinks, and irritates readily ;)
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 5th May - 11:23pm
    John Tilley, what I know is many small business owners and private sector workers can't afford good pensions and the only solution the left seems...