Category Archives: Events

Conference Countdown 2015: Cutting VAT for tourism would be a costly mistake

In the run-up to Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, we’ll be looking ahead to examine the highlights in the debating hall, the fringe and training rooms. You can find the papers here. You can find all the posts in the series here.

One of the motions at conference is for reducing VAT on tourism as far as possible. Here’s why that’s a bad idea.

The idea is to reduce VAT on hotels and selected attractions from the standard rate of 20% to 5% – the minimum allowed by the EU. This is something the British Hospitality Association has been lobbying the Treasury on for years. The motion refers to the importance of tourism more generally, with figures that include all restaurants, pubs and outbound flights, amongst other things, but I assume its VAT proposal is (mercifully) more limited.

The government’s response to this lobbying (under both Labour and the Coalition of which we were a part) has been to point to the substantial price tag. The cost of cutting VAT for accommodation alone would be £2 billion a year, with amusement parks and similar adding another £200 million. This is serious money. A comparable total would be the cost of the Pupil Premium that Lib Dems fought so hard to introduce.

Also posted in News | Tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Conference Countdown 2015: The first policy debate on creating safe and legal routes for refugees.

In the run-up to Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, we’ll be looking ahead to examine the highlights in the debating hall, the fringe and training rooms. You can find the papers here. You can find all the posts in the series here.

The first policy debate of tho year’s Conference is on Creating safe and legal routes for refugees. It will be proposed by Suzanne Fletcher who is one of the founder members of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary.

The motion is unlikely to be controversial and is particularly relevant at the moment. It is very consistent with the sorts of things that Tim Farron has been saying, especially since he visited the refugees in Calais himself.

However, if there are any developments, amendments can be submitted until 7th September. 

Also posted in News | Tagged | 2 Comments

Conference Countdown 2015: How do Conference debates work?

In the run-up to Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, we’ll be looking ahead to examine the highlights in the debating hall, the fringe and training rooms. You can find the papers here. You can find all the posts in the series here.

For those of you who haven’t been to Conference before, I thought it might be useful to run through how Conference debates work.

Local parties, groups of Conference representatives and organisations (SAOs) like Liberal Youth and Lib Dem Women can submit motions to Conference. They are then circulated and are open to amendment. This year’s deadline for amendments is 1pm on Monday 7th September, so if you want to amend any of the motions, persuade 10 Conference representatives, or persuade your local party or an SAO to submit it for you. You can submit amendments online here and until next Tuesday at 1pm, you can even get drafting advice from expert motion writers here.

Also posted in News | Tagged | 4 Comments

David Steel’s Golden Jubilee

David Steel at Malcolm Bruce's anniversary dinnerI’m sure that there will be many LDV readers wanting to see the film Selma (as a well-earned break from campaigning!) which is released this week. It depicts Martin Luther King’s leadership of thousands on the march from Selma to Montgomery in search of equal voting rights for African Americans who were largely excluded from voting rolls. The five day fifty-four mile march arrived at the State Capitol on the 25th March 1965.

It was on the day before that the young David Steel was elected in a by-election for Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles, thus beginning a long political career in which he has been a notable campaigner against racial injustice at home and abroad.

The various aspects of Lord Steel’s political life will be celebrated at this year’s Orpington Dinner at the National Liberal Club on Tuesday, 10th March with an impressive list of speakers including Baroness Shirley Williams. The Orpington Circle is one of the Party’s best kept secrets. Founded in 2008 during my time as Chairman of the National Liberal Club, it raises money to support Liberal Democrats at Westminster by-elections. The Orpington Fund has covered every by-election deposit since its foundation with larger sums going to selected seats.

Tagged | 4 Comments

Ed Davey: Non-nuclear energy approach is “negligent” and “risky” #slfconf

Ed Davey - photo by Paul WalterOn Monday, I summarised the appearances of Ed Davey at last weekend’s Social Liberal Forum conference in London. Here, I outline some of the views expressed and initiatives described by Ed on the day, including during a bloggers’ interview:

Using less energy

Fuel poverty is a serious issue. Energy inefficient building stock is a key cause.

The Green deal, Ed said, had not originally gone as well as it had been hoped. In Phase 1, there were just 250,000 assessments. Phase 2 is going better, and is on track to improve two million homes.

Tagged , and | 26 Comments

ALDE to select candidate for president of the European Commission

The ALDE Party has called an extraordinary Electoral Congress to advise the ALDE Party Bureau to choose a candidate for the President of the European Commission. This congress will take place in the afternoon of the 1st February 2014, in Brussels. Liberal Democrats are the biggest delegation with the total of sixty-two votes.

There are only two declared candidates so far, Guy Verhofstadt, Leader of the ALDE Group in the European Parliament, and former Prime Minister of Belgium, and Olli Rehn, Vice President of the European Commission, and Commissioner for Economic and Monetary Affairs, a key portfolio over the past …

Also posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Vince and the Chinese Lib Dems: “West meets East at the Roux”

Chinese Liberal Democrats Vice Chair Merlene Toh Emerson invited Vicky Wong, a freelance journalist, to attend the Chinese Liberal Democrats recent business networking event, attended by Vince Cable. Here’s Vicky’s account of the evening…

Dr Vince Cable MP, Liberal Democrat Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills was keynote speaker at an “East-West Business networking event” organised by Merlene Emerson of the Chinese Liberal Democrats at the Roux at Parliament Square last week.

Dr Cable praised the work of Chinese Liberal Democrats and their role in promoting closer relations between the party and the Chinese and South East Asian community …

Tagged , and | 4 Comments

ALDE Party Congress venue for 2013 announced… welcome to London!

The Liberal Democrats are proud to announce the hosting of the ALDE (Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe) Congress in London at the end of November this year.

The ALDE Party Congress is the biggest annual event gathering Liberals across Europe:

  • over 650 members of liberal parties from around the continent;
  • top politicians including Prime Ministers, European Commissioners, Ministers, Members of the European and national Parliaments, Members of the Committee of the Regions, and many other delegates
  • an event with European visibility, acknowledging the role of the supporting party within both a European and the national political context
  • topical debates, high level speeches and

Also posted in Europe / International and News | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Last reminder! LibDemVoice Xmas Drinks, Monday 17th December

Christmas treeA final reminder that tomorrow, Monday 17th December, all LibDemVoice readers are invited to join us for festive drinks at 5pm in London, followed by (for those who’re able) Steve Richards’ Rock ‘n Roll Politics Christmas Special.

You can sign up for drinks on our Facebook page here, or via FlockTogether here — you’ll find the venue of the pub there.

There are a handful of tickets still left for Steve’s show — you can buy them here. Premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it …

Tagged and | 1 Comment

Diary reminder: LibDemVoice Xmas Drinks, 17th December

Here’s a date for your diary… On 17th December, all LibDemVoice readers are invited to join us for festive drinks at 5pm in London, followed by (for those who wish) seeing Steve Richards’ Rock ‘n Roll Politics Christmas Special.

You can sign up for drinks on our Facebook page here, or via FlockTogether here.

Premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it earned rave reviews, here’s how Steve’s show is billed:

Award winning BBC broadcaster and columnist, Steve Richards, takes you behind the scenes of British Politics and the media,

Tagged and | 2 Comments

Date for your diary – 17th December: LibDemVoice Xmas drinks, followed by Steve Richards’ Rock ‘n Roll Politics

Here’s a date for your diary… On 17th December, The Independent’s Steve Richards will bring his Rock ‘n Roll Politics to London for a Christmas special. Premiered at this year’s Edinburgh Festival, where it earned rave reviews, here’s how the show is billed:

Award winning BBC broadcaster and columnist, Steve Richards, takes you behind the scenes of British Politics and the media, the characters, the absurdities, the tragedies. Laugh and cry as you are taken on a whirlwind tour from Harold Wilson and David Bowie in the 1970s to David

Tagged and | Leave a comment

Paddy, Olly and Max on the art of speech-making

Here’s a forthcoming event to anticipate…

    The UK Speechwriters’ Guild is hosting an event in Portcullis House at the Houses of Parliament, which will give people a rare insight into the dynamic relationship between speechwriter and party leader.

    On Wednesday 21 November, from 6.30pm, as part of Parliament Week 2012, Lord Ashdown, former leader of the Liberal Democrats, and his former speechwriter, Dr Max Atkinson, will share their experiences of how party leader and speechwriter worked in synchrony at the highest level, and the specific techniques they used to inspire their audiences through the power of the spoken word.

    The meeting

Leave a comment

Wanted: the next generation of Community Champions

Most young people aren’t interested in politics. So how do we build Liberal Youth branches, bring new members into the party, and engage the next generation? I believe that one way we can start is by getting back to community politics.

The art of politics, in so far as it is electioneering, is of obvious importance to what we do as a party, but it shouldn’t be everything. If we only focus on getting the next Lib Dem elected then we will only ever attract a narrow pool of talent, which, however bright, will be made up of those young people who see themselves with a future in politics.

Tagged | 1 Comment

Liberal Drinks / #tweetup at #ldconf

LibDemVoice have for the last few years nominated a time and a place for an informal drink and meet-up for internetty Lib Dems to let their hair down and have a chat.

This time around, we weren’t quite fleet enough of foot to get any such event in the conference directory, so we will have to rely on word of mouth helping to spread the details.

After a quick chat on the topic in Lib Dem Voice’s private members’ forum, we settled on meeting at the Wellington pub, a short distance from the conference centre itself, on the Monday night of the conference week. Kickoff will be around 7.30pm.

If you’d like to come along, why not click here to let your twitter friends know.

In addition, Lib Dem Voice have our usual strong presence at the conference, with the following events planned:

Also posted in Conference | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Come help Simon Wright in Norwich South on Sept 3rd

Remember Norwich South on the 6th May 2010, when Simon Wright made that astonishing breakthrough to take the seat from a former Labour Cabinet minister?

We all know that success like this is only sustained if we keep working outside election times.
So Eastern Region are holding an Action Day on Saturday, September 3rd.

There will be surveying and recruitment, and a chance to talk over lunch with other campaigners, including Simon Wright.

So do join us.

Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Help spread the word about our lunchtime fringe

LibDemVoice are hosting four events at conference – fuller details are available here.

Our final event falls this lunchtime as Mark Pack takes the chair to explore the party’s general election campaign. With Hilary Stephenson, Duncan Hames MP and Paul Holmes.

If you’d like to come along, why not click here to let your twitter friends know.

Also posted in Conference | Leave a comment

Help spread the word about tonight’s #Tweetup!

LibDemVoice are hosting four events at conference – fuller details are available here.

As the week motors on, the evening planned for our Liberal Drinks / Tweetup night approaches.

We’ll be in the Baltic Fleet pub from 7.30pm onwards tonight having a friendly drink in a real ale pub and getting ready for Glee Club.

If you’d like to come along, why not click here to let your twitter friends know.

Also posted in Conference | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

PODCAST: Fairer? For whom?

"Coalition: Fairer for whom?" Susan Kramer and Will Straw at LDV's conference fringe

This lunchtime, Lib Dem conference representatives gathered in the staggeringly poorly signposted Hall 1B to hear a stellar lineup of Susan Kramer, Evan Harris and interloper Will Straw from Left Foot Forward hold forth on the subject of “Fairer? For whom?” – excellently wrangled by the chairman, our own Stephen Tall.

As with all Lib Dem Voice fringe events, we were there with …

Play
Also posted in Conference and Podcasts | Tagged , , , and | Leave a comment

Help spread the word about LDV’s event today

LibDemVoice are hosting four events at conference – fuller details are available here.

It was brave of us to have events on two consecutive days, particularly as many of us are nursing hangovers after the display of the BOTYs last night.

And yet, our next event featuring the lovely Dr Evan Harris and the erudite Will Straw takes place this lunchtime.

If you’d like to come along, why not click here to let your twitter friends know.

Also posted in Conference | Tagged and | Leave a comment

PODCAST: Blog of the Year Awards 2010

Earlier tonight, the Blog of the Year Awards reached their fiery climax.

Helen Duffett has already brought you the stunning results, congratulated the winners and commiserated with the runners up.

All that remains is my duty to bring you, the loyal listener at home who maybe can’t be at conference this year, the recording of the proceedings.

And, technology permitting, you should find that below.

Happy listening!

Play
Also posted in Conference and Podcasts | Tagged | Leave a comment

Final details for our Fringe tomorrow

Many many thanks to Lib Dem Voice editor Helen Duffett for organising our major fringe event tomorrow. She’s been hunting around the country for the best talent to speak to us, and has overcome many seemingly insurmountable obstacles to bring a stellar event to the conference.

Hall 1B is a lovely room with a giant set of seats sitting on an enormous turntable, for reasons that will probably become clear if you come and see the fringe.

Without further ado, our speaker lineup is:

Evan Harris
Susan Kramer
Will Straw

The title is:

Fairer? For Whom?

As will all our fringe events, we are planning …

Also posted in Conference | Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Help spread the news about the BOTYs tonight

LibDemVoice are hosting four events at conference – fuller details are available here.

The first of these falls tonight, at the Blog of the Year Awards.

If you’d like to come along, why not click here to let your twitter friends know.

Also posted in Conference | Tagged and | Leave a comment

LibDemVoice.org at Conference

Once again, Lib Dem Voice have a varied and exciting programme at the Lib Dem federal conference planned for Liverpool next month.

Some of our events are still taking form; others are now so well established they are almost traditional.

And don’t worry if you are unable to join us in person at conference – we will be making recordings of the events and making them available right here on the blog, so that you can get the conference feel coming in your ears wherever you are in the nation.

For your delight and delectation, here are some details.

Blog of the Year Awards

Join …

Also posted in Conference | Tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Have you signed up yet for the Lib Dem fantasy football league?

Do you like football? Are you a Liberal Democrat? Do you want the opportunity to win a small prize?

Well in that case why not join the unofficial Lib Dem fantasy premier league? Here’s an opportunity to put together a team with some of your favourite players in, and compete against other Lib Dem football fans.

To set up a team go to http://fantasy.premierleague.com (http://m.fantasy.premierleague.com from a smart-phone) and follow the instructions to register. Choose your team name and design your club’s strip, then pick your squad for the season.

Once that’s done, you can choose to join a private league …

Tagged | 4 Comments

Tweetup / Liberal Drinks at special conference

We’re thrilled to be having such a busy day here at LDV with a lot of opinion articles scheduled from a wide spectrum of writers.

In all that, there’s a good chance we might lose sight of our early morning post proposing a Tweetup / Liberal Drinks meeting at the end of the special conference on Sunday.

Full details are here: http://ldv.org.uk/19520

To keep our discussion tidy, comments on this post are closed. Please comment on the first blog post from this morning.

Also posted in Conference | Comments Off on Tweetup / Liberal Drinks at special conference

Tweetup / Liberal Drinks at Special Conference

Plans are emerging for a Liberal Drink / Tweetup at tomorrow’s special conference.

It’s been a long old while since I was at the NEC (we had a fab time at a printing exhibition ten years ago when we were replacing a folding machine. Going to a conference that included machines that could turn trees into decks of playing cards was a little OTT for a standard folding machine)

However, a bit of a look at the NEC website suggests there is a Wetherspoons on site – and it’s not terribly far from Hall 3 where the special conference …

Also posted in Conference | Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Lib Dem Flashmobs nationwide

Just a few weeks ago we brought you the news of the unofficial Lib Dem Facebook group that was growing by 1,000 members an hour.

Now its members are enthusiastically promoting a series of flashmobs. There’s been one scheduled for London for some time, but I know many of us discounted going to that on the simple horror of getting to London on a bank holiday, whilst we should be shoving leaflets through letterboxes in our various provincial locations.

The prospect of a series of nationwide flashmobs, however, makes attendance just a little easier, no? Here’s the …

Tagged , , and | 21 Comments

Video: Sarah Ludford MEP at Mass Photo Gathering

Campaign group I’m a photographer not a terrorist held a Mass Photo Gathering in Trafalgar Square yesterday, in defence of street photography. Thousands of photographers came together to assert their rights and to protest against the misuse of Section 44 of the Terrorism Act 2000.

Section 44 allows uniformed police officers to stop and search people in designated areas if it is considered “expedient for the prevention of acts of terrorism.” I met Grant Smith, who was stopped under Section 44 by police in December. Sarah Ludford, Lib Dem MEP for London, had written a letter to the Independent in protest at his treatment.

I spoke to Sarah and Grant about the incident:


Video also available on YouTube.

Tagged , , , , and | 2 Comments

Mass gathering in defence of street photography #phnat

The campaign group I’m a Photographer, Not a Terrorist! invites photographers to gather in London this Saturday in defence of street photography.

The Mass Photo Gathering is in Trafalgar Square at 12 noon on Saturday 23 January. (Map here.) Over 1,400 people have already confirmed their attendance via this Facebook page.

We’ve covered many cases, here at Lib Dem Voice, of anti-terrorist legislation being misused, particularly to detain photographers. Prompted by incidents like these, PHNAT calls on photographers, whether amateur or professional, as well as anyone who values visual imagery, “to defend our rights and stop the abuse of the terror laws.”

Tagged , , and | 2 Comments

Opinion: One day to save the world

December 5th will see the Copenhagen climate change summit get underway, for two weeks of talks that must lead to a successor agreement to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, and perhaps something as binding and successful as the 1987 Montreal Protocol that led to the phasing out of harmful CFC and HCFC propellants.

The talks are a long time coming; 2009 is the tail-end of the deadline for agreement already set by world leaders in Bali in 2007.

But we’re already seeing problems with what is being proposed. China and the USA, between them responsible for 42% of the world’s CO2 emissions from fuel combustion, have proposed uninspiring emissions targets based on high 2005 figures, and Barack Obama has raised the possibility that no agreement will be reached.

Frankly, this is unacceptable, and we think it’s time for a bit of old-fashioned co-ordinated civil action to remind world leaders that actually, the people of this planet want to see radical action on a bold, even savage, scale. The time for talking is over – we need firm commitments on what will happen and how, before it’s too late. So why not join us and thousands of others this Saturday to help save the world?

Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarIgor S 3rd Sep - 6:54pm
    @Alistair Did we really drown anyone? I think there are only two solutions to this: either allow anyone come and settle in the country (probably,...
  • User AvatarAlistair 3rd Sep - 6:48pm
    The drown an immigrant to save an immigrant policy in the Med came in under the Coalition. As a Lib Dem Im ashamed to say...
  • User AvatarJoan Hand 3rd Sep - 6:35pm
    Kevin and Igor Let's not focus on what may not have worked as planned years ago. This is a totally different situation and I would...
  • User AvatarIgor S 3rd Sep - 6:18pm
    @Phyllis: Turkey has already let those people in, and they were in refugee camps (I mean, the real refugees from Syria, not the many seekers...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 3rd Sep - 6:15pm
    Thanks to everyone who made comments. Too many to answer you all, but I hope the following covers most of your points: @Colin You make...
  • User Avatarkevin 3rd Sep - 6:05pm
    'Well done Yvette Cooper for suggesting we resettle 10 000 a relatively small number or the 3000 currently in Calais suggested by someone else.' In...