Author Archives: The Voice

Nigel, was there something you forgot to do?

Nigel farage photo by norbert1As the net migration figures come out today, Nigel Farage has never been far from a tv camera. He’s been on the BBC News Channel. on the Daily Politics, spreading his ill-informed nonsense that we have an open door to half a billion people as if the entirety of Europe was going to pack up and come here to live.

It must have slipped his mind that he was supposed to be in Strasbourg this morning, voting down the European Commission headed by Jean-Claude Juncker. He must have also forgotten to take part in the debate on the motion on Monday. The funny thing is, he’s been in Strasbourg this week, lining up to meet the Pope.  UKIP MEPs don’t often trouble the Parliament with their presence, but you would think that Farage would have bothered to turn up to support his own motion! He and others including France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen had wasted Parliament’s time with the motion which was roundly defeated this morning.

ALDE leader Guy Verhofstadt spoke against it in the debate and he didn’t mince his words:

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Liberal Democrat members and ministers talk mental health for Channel 4’s political slot

Last week, the Liberal Democrats used their Political Slot with Channel 4 to talk about mental health. Norman Lamb said that it was “morally wrong and economically stupid” to deny people with mental ill health speedy treatment and talked about Liberal Democrat plans to introduce waiting time targets over the next five years.

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In full: Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Conference

Willie Rennie speaking at Lib Dem Spring conference, Liverpool 2008Here is Willie Rennie’s speech to Scottish Conference in Dunfermline this Saturday.

Thank you to everyone who sent kind wishes following my period of absence from the political stage. I was undergoing an operation to replace a mangled disc in my neck.

It was an emergency, not for any medical reasons, but because our campaign director Adam Stachura said it was hindering my canvassing technique.

Lying on the theatre trolley as the needle was about to be injected into my hand the doctor declared she knew exactly who I was.

It was even more alarming that she looked remarkably like Nicola Sturgeon.

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Nick Clegg taking questions on mental health on Mind’s Facebook page today

nick clegg live tweet town hall 1st may 2014In a Facebook first, Nick Clegg will be taking questions on mental health over on Mind’s Facebook page this lunchtime, starting at 12:30 pm.

He put this brief video on his own page to explain why he thinks this is important and is quoted on Mind’s website:

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 17,000 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

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In the next month 43 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

Posted in Selection news | Tagged | 26 Comments

What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

Posted in Site news | 3 Comments

Compromise signalled on future of TPIMs

The Guardian and other outlets are reporting that the new anti-terror bill to be published next week will include a power to force individuals subject to TPIMs to relocate within the UK, subject to a restricted definition of terrorism and a higher burden of proof.

Posted in News | 30 Comments

Final Reminder: All votes in party committee elections must be cast by noon tomorrow

Here’s all you need to know:

How do I vote?

Voting papers were distributed by email to all those federal voting representatives for whom the party had an email address on the morning of Monday 3 November. It came from Electoral Reform Services and has a two part security code and a link to enable you to vote.

Those for whom the party did not have an email address were sent a letter advising them how to vote online and if they weren’t able to do that, to contact LDHQ for advice.

If you haven’t had either of these and you are a Federal Conference voting representative, contact [email protected] as soon as possible.

When do I have to vote by?

Thursday, 20th November at noon. That’s tomorrow to you and me. In fact, it’s 17 hours from now. Best do it before you go to bed tonight. NB this is not the same as for the Presidential election which closes on 26th November. 

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The tale of Danny Alexander and the Big Raspberry*

So, Danny Alexander has been having lunch with some journalists today. The conversation, according to Kevin Maguire, was mature and relevant, discussing the important issues of the day.

You would have to be really sad to type “Danny Alexander fart” into Google, wouldn’t you?

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Party presidential hustings in London this evening

Lib Dem Voice has been asked to share this invitation with our readers:

Ethnic Minority Liberal Democrats invite all Lib Dem members, activists and supporters to a hustings for candidates for party president on Monday 17th November in London.

Doors open 7pm, hustings starts at 7.30pm at Draper Hall, 1 Howell Walk, Elephant and Castle, Newington Butts, London SE1 6TL. The hall is close to the junction of Newington Butts (the A3) and Hampton Street. The location is well connected by tube (Elephant and Castle), bus (numerous bus routes) and other public transport.

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REPRISE: Federal Committee elections – all you need to know with 3 days left to vote

So, here’s all you need to know.

How do I vote?

Voting papers were distributed by email to all those federal voting representatives for whom the party had an email address on the morning of Monday 3 November. It came from Electoral Reform Services and has a two part security code and a link to enable you to vote.

Those for whom the party did not have an email address were sent a letter advising them how to vote online and if they weren’t able to do that, to contact LDHQ for advice.

If you haven’t had either of these and you are a Federal Conference voting representative, contact [email protected] as soon as possible.

When do I have to vote by?

Thursday, 20th November at noon. So, just over three days from now. NB this is not the same as for the Presidential election which closes on 26th November.

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 10 days:

Remembrance;

Fundraising on websites;

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From Liberal Democrat Voice to Mastermind

Will Howells on MastermindWill Howells was one of the earliest contributors to Liberal Democrat Voice, helping to set up the site in 2006  The first post under his name, on an Unlock Democracy report about political membership and activism, came on 19th October 2006. He stayed with the team till 2008.

He’s taking part in this year’s Mastermind and was on the show broadcast on Friday.

You can watch him taking questions from John Humphrys on his specialist subject, the band Suede, here. The photo shows him in the famous black …

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Are you a Federal Conference representative? You have just five days left to vote in the Federal Committee Elections

So, here’s all you need to know.

How do I vote?

Voting papers were distributed by email to all those federal voting representatives for whom the party had an email address on the morning of Monday 3 November. It came from Electoral Reform Services and has a two part security code and a link to enable you to vote.

Those for whom the party did not have an email address were sent a letter advising them how to vote online and if they weren’t able to do that, to contact LDHQ for advice.

If you haven’t had either of these and you are a Federal Conference voting representative, contact [email protected] as soon as possible.

When do I have to vote by?

Thursday, 20th November at noon. So, less than 5 days from now. NB this is not the same as for the Presidential election which closes on 26th November.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 9 Comments

Stephen Gilbert to introduce Bill calling for National Defence Medal

St Austell and Newquay Liberal Democrat MP Stephen Gilbert will introduce a Ten Minute Rule Bill into the House of Commons today, Armistice Day. He seeks to shame the Government into awarding a National Defence Medal to all veterans of the Armed Forces who served for more than two years whether they saw armed conflict or not.

He talked to the Sunday Telegraph about why he thinks this is important:

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Nick Clegg and Colombian leader to build pressure for drugs reform

Nick Clegg might not be having much luck with the Conservatives on drugs reform, but he’s trying to build an international consensus. He’s agreed a joint approach with Colombian leader Juan Manuel Santos according to the Observer:

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Brian Paddick on Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion: “We need a change of attitude in society and across the political spectrum”

brian-paddickBrian Paddick — former Deputy Assistant Commissioner in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, twice Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London and now a Lib Dem peer — spoke in this week’s House of Lords debate, ‘Women: Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion’. Here’s what he said…

Lord Paddick (LD): … As the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Leicester has already said, the issues of homelessness, domestic violence and social exclusion of women are linked. In particular, it is male violence against women that lies behind many of these problems. For example, as my noble friend Lady Tyler of Enfield said, the homeless charity, St Mungo’s, reports that half of its female clients have experienced domestic violence compared with only 5% of its male clients. Research already referred to by the noble Earl, Lord Listowel, shows that between 50% and 80% of women in prison have experienced domestic or sexual violence. Two-thirds of domestic violence survivors say that their problematic substance misuse began following domestic violence. The evidence is compelling, not only that women are disproportionately victims of domestic violence and abuse, almost always but not exclusively perpetrated by men, but that violence and abuse lies behind much of the homelessness and social exclusion faced by women.

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 14,100  visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

Norman Baker quits as Home Office Minister (29 comments) by Stephen Tall

“Lib Dems have made majority Conservative rule in Britain less likely for perhaps a generation” (40 comments) by Stephen Tall

Six months from 7th May 2015: how the polls are looking and what to look out for (67 comments) by Stephen Tall

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Nick Clegg’s message for Remembrance Day 2014

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In the next month 37 seats will short-list their wannabe Lib Dem MPs

Lib Dems winning hereHere’s the full list of selection contests in the coming month available for Lib Dems on the approved parliamentary candidates’ list, together with the closing date for applications.

The following seats have selections in progress and are currently advertising for candidates:

Posted in Selection news | Tagged | 3 Comments

Olly Grender on Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion: “Housing supply lies at the heart of the solution of some of these complex issues”

olly grenderOlly Grender — former director of communications for housing charity Shelter, now a Lib Dem peer — spoke in this week’s House of Lords debate, ‘Women: Homelessness, Domestic Violence and Social Exclusion’. Here’s what she said…

Baroness Grender (LD): My Lords, I, too, thank the noble Baroness, Lady King of Bow, for initiating this debate. I congratulate the noble Baroness, Lady Rebuck, and the noble Lord, Lord Farmer, on their moving and inspirational speeches. We look forward to many more. I also take this opportunity to congratulate my noble friend Lady Garden of Frognal on her return to the government Benches. It will not surprise her to hear me, as a woman on these Benches, say the more the merrier—more please.

The noble Baroness, Lady King, has managed to take three complex areas of social policy and combine them in one impressive debate. They are complex in part because the reasons behind the homelessness of women are sometimes hard to detect and far too often hidden away. They are complex indeed, but at the heart of this debate is a very simple truth, which is that there is a terrible cost when a woman has no home, no escape from violence and no apparent way back from social exclusion, as was so movingly described by the noble Baroness, Lady Newlove. It is likely that the cost is not just to her but to the children she may have with her, and to us as a nation as they grow up.

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What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

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Eluned Parrott selected to fight Welsh Assembly Cardiff Central seat

In 2011, one of the most heartbreaking results in Wales was losing Jenny Randerson’s former constituency of Cardiff Central by just 38 votes Losing by such a small amount is horrible. Welsh Liberal Democrats hope to win it back in 2015. They’ve now chosen their candidate, South Wales Central list AM Eluned Parrott, who has made a significant impact since she was elected in 2011.

In 2012, she wrote about her experience of Post-Natal Depression for Time to Change Wales as one of four AMs who decided to be open about their own experiences. A year later, she followed that up with an article about the impact that decision had had on her life:

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Willott and Hunter stand down as Assistant Government Whips, Burt and Brake take over

Jenny Willott has stepped down as Assistant Government Whip to free herself up to concentrate on her constituency and to be able to speak in the House of Commons. Here are the letters exchanged between Jenny and Nick Clegg in full:

Posted in News | Tagged and | 29 Comments

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

7 ver 4 fullMany thanks to the 15,700 visitors who dropped by Lib Dem Voice this week. Here’s our 7 most-read posts…

On making LDV more inclusive (100 comments) by Caron Lindsay

Paddy Ashdown on Bosnia and Herzegovina (7 comments) by The Voice

Botswana elections: Liberal Democrats help sister party and “calm revolutionary of our time” (99 comments) by Caron Lindsay

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Presidential Candidates’ Emails to party members

Libby - Some rghts reserved by David SpenderLast night, emails from all 3 candidates for party president were sent to party members. Ballot papers have started arriving on the doorsteps of the party’s 44,000 members. Members have the choice of either sending their ballot paper back in the reply paid envelope provided or voting online. You can’t do both, obviously. Checks are in place to ensure that people only vote once.

Here are the emails in full with links to the candidates’ websites:

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A trio of awards ceremonies for Lynne Featherstone

It’s a busy week for Lynne Featherstone. Last Tuesday, she won Pink News’s Ally of the Year award as the Minister responsible for setting the same sex marriage process in motion. She’s responsible for a great deal of happiness. She said of her win:

I’d like to thank Pink News for giving me this award, and everyone who was at the event for the reception they gave me – it’s so heart-warming.

Bringing about this positive social change is one of the greatest achievements of our generation, and I’m so thankful to all the organisations, politicians, civil servants and people who supported the successful campaign for Equal Marriage law from start to finish.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 3 Comments

What’s being debated in our members’ forum this week?

members forum wordleLibDemVoice has two parallel sites. The first is our public blog, the thing you’re reading now. The second is our private members’ forum, which only current Lib Dem members can access.

If you’re a member and want to chat with fellow party members about any issue that’s on your mind, then why not sign up? In addition, you’ll be included in our regular surveys’ of party members’ views.

Here’s some of the most active discussions this past 7 days:

Posted in Site news | 7 Comments

REMINDER: Helena Morrissey’s call for feedback: reply by 7th November

Just a gentle reminder about Helena Morrissey’s call for feedback on progress since her report was published in June last year. She wants your comments by this coming Friday, 7th November. Here’s what she wrote on 13th October:

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 5 Comments
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  • User AvatarChris 28th Nov - 5:47pm
    It is now of vital national importance that the conservative party is removed from power in May.
  • User AvatarGF 28th Nov - 5:43pm
    Paul Walter - My earlier comment on this thread asked what would constitute unsatisfactory leadership by Clegg. No-one has seen fit to explain so I...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 28th Nov - 5:36pm
    I agree with Dick Taverne and his conclusion -- "...... Cameron ...... he will end up as the Prime Minister who did more to destroy...
  • User AvatarSid Cumberland 28th Nov - 5:34pm
    John Tilley is right about population density and the 'concreting over the countryside' myth. See here, for example: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-18623096 UK 1.5% England 2.3% Scotland 0.4%...
  • User AvatarJim Forrest 28th Nov - 5:11pm
    "How much longer before Westmimster wakes up to the inevitable?" (On Votes at 16). And how long before it wakes up to the truth that,...
  • User AvatarAC Trussell 28th Nov - 4:50pm
    I don't know why I bother reading this depressing stuff. I'm sure some of you would prefer to be shouting in the wilderness! Cheer up,...