Category Archives: Conference

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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No silver bullet for our Lib Dem doldrums

While picking over the bones of our, what could charitably be called, ‘middling’, general election campaign, many Lib Dems have called on the party to develop a new identity of some kind. A single issue that we can define ourselves with. I respectfully think that such an approach is unlikely to lead to the electoral promised-land that some have hoped for.

I am yet to be convinced that there is such an issue, but even assuming one exists that the public likes, there is an underlying paucity at heart of the party in terms of councillors, vote share, seats and public trust. A new identity may help to address some of these, but realistically, much of our resurrection is only going to be based upon time, rebuilding our local base and effort.

We have constructed our parliamentary success historically upon the bedrock of strong and local campaigns.  Boiling down from national context to seat-by-seat contests, often with victories instigated at council level and then translated upwards. Not only did it help to breach out credibility gap with the public (the idea that we couldn’t win somewhere), but it also compensated for our relative lack of party profile and money, as compared to Labour and the Conservatives. 

Also posted in Op-eds | 53 Comments

Reaching out to the ‘Left Behind’: what policies should we put first?

The pitch which the Leave campaign successfully made to the poorest 10% of UK citizens in last June’s EU Referendum was that their problems of low pay, insecure jobs and waiting lists for affordable housing were all due to competition from immigrants, and would be eased by leaving the EU. The budget, with little on social housing and less on funds for schools or other public services in deprived areas, has made their situation worse, rather than better. Labour has been hesitating about how far to buy into their grievances about immigrants. How should Liberal Democrats respond …

35 Comments

Join @timfarron for Euro campaign photos at conference

I’m really proud to be the Liberal Democrats’ Brexit Spokesman for the South East.  Working with Nick Clegg, our national Brexit spokesman, to hold the government to account and fight for the true national interest could not be more important.

One of the most successfully ways to communicate a message is visually. Pictures speak loudly.

I would like to mention two opportunities, if you are coming to party conference this weekend, to join photos that you can use at a local level.

First, we know that hard Brexit is putting our future under the axe. No-one voted for the Brexit axe to fall on family …

Also posted in Europe / International, Europe Referendum and Events | Leave a comment

Liberal Democrat spring conference agenda published

The agenda for the Liberal Democrat spring conference in York 17-19th March is now available here.

We already knew the topics to be covered from Zoe O’Connell’s report three weeks ago, but this is the first chance for most members of the party to see the full texts to be debated and consider proposing amendments.

Here’s my rapid summary of some key points (and I have decoded some of the titles):

F4 Sex work Decriminalise sex work as the best way to reduce harm from it and to …

11 Comments

Homelessness in 2016 – a fringe event in Brighton and how you can help

Homelessness FringeFollowing Saturday’s successful motion on tackling homelessness, London Liberal Democrats hosted a fringe event on homelessness in 2016. Despite being up against both Tim Farron and Nick Clegg fringes, the room was packed and it was standing room only at the back!
Alice Ashcroft from Crisis kicked off the debate by outline what is happening in Parliament, particularly focusing on the Homelessness Reduction Bill, more details of which are below. Councillor Jayne McCoy then outlined the problems local government faces when dealing with homelessness especially when facing budget cuts from the Government.
Simon Grainge then described the work of Emmaus which has 28 communities across the UK housing over 750 people. Emmaus believes overcoming homelessness means more than a roof over your head. That’s why Emmaus supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work as well a stable home for as long as someone needs it. Emmaus also helps the state and society as for every £1 spent with Emmaus, there is an £11 return on investment, with social, environmental and economic benefits.
Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Conference debates open thread: Tuesday 20th September 2016

Whether you are physically in Brighton or are following what is happening from home, this is your place to talk about the public face of the Conference – in other words, all the debates and speeches that are going on in the main auditorium.  Please use the comments below to add your reports on policy and constitutional debates or to draw readers’ attention to ones in the pipeline.

You can read the agenda in full, including the text of amendments, here.

We will be running a similar thread each day, so please confine your comments today to what is actually happening today, the last day of this year’s event.

We will also be running a thread each day on fringes, so use that one for anything going on outside the main show.

So what is happening today at Conference?

Tagged | 16 Comments

#LibDemDisco is splattered all over the tabloids

The 2016 #libdemdisco has been liberally covered in the tabloids.

The Daily Mail went with “Were there points for the best dad dancing? Lib Dem grandees dance the night away at bizarre competitive DISCO”. They described the disco as a “Booze-fuelled late night event” and said:

Tagged | 6 Comments
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