Category Archives: LibLink

For highlighting articles by Lib Dems that have appeared elsewhere in the media.

LibLink: Tim Farron: Now the draft plan is on the table, the referendum campaign begins in earnest

Tim Farron has been writing about the announcement of the draft EU settlement over at the Huffington Post. Well, actually, it’s more about the substantive issues of the referendum. His article is exactly the sort of positive voice the campaign needs, giving five reasons for us to remain in the EU:

1. Prosperity: Remaining in works for Britain. Britain is already stronger and better off trading and working with Europe. We are part of the world’s largest single market, allowing British businesses to grow and prosper.

2. Peace: After decades of brutal conflict, European nations came together in cooperation. To this day, neighbours and allies support each other in what remains the world’s most successful project in peace.

3. Opportunity: British people have more opportunities to work, travel and learn than ever before. Staying in Europe gives our children and grandchildren greater prospects, and the best chance to succeed.

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LibLink: The Liberal Democrat vision of Caroline Pidgeon

 

During the week the Guardian published a very rounded post about Caroline Pidgeon and her bid to be Mayor of London.

It starts:

I ask her a gloomy question. She gives an upbeat reply. “Morale is actually very, very good in the party,” said Caroline Pidgeon, who has the possibly onerous honour of being Liberal Democrat candidate for London mayor. “We’ve got tons of new members in London who are excited and energetic, and that’s fantastic.” Her party says there are now 10,000 of them in the capital, the highest number for decades. Plus, council by-election results have perked up since last year’s general election gloom: wins in Sutton and Richmond, improved performances elsewhere. “This election is wide open,” Pidgeon enthuses. “We’ve got a new field of candidates and I’m hopeful that as the most experienced candidate with eight years at City Hall, Londoners will give the Liberal Democrats a good vote.”

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LibLink: Julian Huppert If you’re pro-science, you should be pro EU

There’s not enough Julian in these parts these days, sadly. In May just under 700 votes kept him from continuing as MP for Cambridge and one of the Commons’ few scientific experts. Today, though, he’s written for the Guardian’s Science column, saying that if you are pro-science, you really need to vote to remain in the EU.

Cambridge is massively pro-EU, for many reasons, but he highlights one in particular

The answer I think lies in another special feature of Cambridge: its world leadership in science and technology. We see this in the huge number of Nobel Prizes amassed here, 92 and rising; biomedical success, such as Humira, the Cambridge-developed anti-inflammatory drug that is currently the highest-selling prescription drug in the world; and technology leadership, such as the silicon chips designed by ARM, which now power almost every mobile device in the world. Last year there was as many ARM chips shipped, as there are human arms in the world.

All of this success, from pure research to the most applied technology, from huge global companies to tiny start-ups, benefits from our international connections, and particularly our role in the EU. We get large amounts of funding from the European Research Council – well above our expected share. Overall, about a quarter of the University of Cambridge’s research funding comes from the EU. Our students go on Erasmus exchanges, experiencing life and study elsewhere, and we get many students coming here from around the EU, benefiting from the free movement of people, enriching our cultural, academic and social lives – and spending their money in our city.

It’s not just Cambridge who benefits, though:

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LibLink: Caroline Pidgeon: A Lib Dem mayor would help London’s lowest paid get to work

Lib Dem London Mayoral candidate Caroline Pidgeon has been writing for Left Foot Forward – a very good move, to connect with many of our former voters.

Her emphasis was on transport and she set out her stall and explained why it would help the lowest paid:

London’s economy is served by many low-paid workers, such as cleaners and security staff, who often get to work long before other people. Half price travel for any journey made before 7.30am would directly benefit many of London’s lowest-paid employees.

The policy also has wider benefits as it will encourage some people to start their journeys at an earlier time. Overcrowding, especially on the Tube, is already a massive issue.

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Help needed for floods recovery and prevention

Tim Farron has been writing in the Westmorland Gazette about what needs to be done in the short and long term to repair the damage from December’s floods and take action to prevent them in the future.

He talks about the need to repair vital infrastructure quickly:

In the short-term, there is an urgent need to restore damaged infrastructure, while in the longer term we must look at comprehensive, whole-systems approaches to flood prevention. For far too long, the government has sought to make short-term savings at the expense of long-term investment which would have helped to provide protection from the floods.

The single biggest infrastructure challenge we face is the continued closure of the A591. Although the government has finally committed to undertake in full the required repairs, this crucial route connecting the north and south of the Lake District is due to remain closed until the end of May. Local business people expect thatthis could cost the local economy up to £100million. If this happens, businesses that rely on the tourist trade will go under, and with them the jobs they supported. I am urgently pushing for a solution that will provide relief for local businesses.

In the longer term, there’s a need for a holistic approach to tackle flooding:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Give doctors the right to prescribe Cannabis for those in real pain

Nick Clegg’s Standard column this week tackled the issue of Cannabis prescription:

He tells some real-life stories of people whose lives have been transformed by being able to use Cannabis:

Faye, a corporate PA for a big company who was diagnosed four years ago with rheumatoid arthritis, is about as far away from the cliché of the layabout pothead as you can possibly imagine. An ambitious, outgoing and highly able young woman, the pain threatened to derail the career she had been building since the age of 16. She tried a number of prescription medicines but they came with a range of nasty side effects, from hair loss to constant nausea, that often left her too ill to work.

Four years later, her career is back on track. She makes her own cannabis-based skin cream that she can use at work, which has no psychoactive qualities and can easily be disguised so that no one knows she is using cannabis. To her colleagues, it looks like she simply keeps a small jar of normal hand cream on her desk. As a result, she told me that she can “live my life as I used to four years ago”. But she does so at great expense and at the risk of a criminal record. She is also forced to put herself into potentially difficult situations in order to obtain the cannabis she needs.

Nick makes the point that not one of these people wants to be criminals:

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LibLink: Willie Rennie: Scottish Tories are a referendum themed tribute act, draped in union flag, singing Rule Britannia

Willie Rennie has written a scathing attack on the Scottish Conservatives for the Scotsman newspaper. He accused Ruth Davidson’s party of being nothing but a “referendum themed tribute act.”

In contrast, he set out a strong statement of the values the Liberal Democrats stood for:

I want liberal-minded Yes voters to know they can vote for the Liberal Democrats because Scotland needs strong liberal voices in parliament to stand up for investment in opportunity through education and good health, to guarantee our civil liberties and to protect our environment. We need a strong outward-looking, internationalist, altruistic, tolerant, reformist, pro civil liberties, pro-Europe, pro-environment, pro-business party in Scotland. You don’t get that with anyone else and Yes voters as well as No voters should back us if they want that platform.

The Tories are trying to portray themselves as the true guardians of the union, trying to characterise Labour and Liberal Democrats as flimsy at best because we won’t chuck independence supporters out of our parties.

Willie says that the Tories and the SNP are feeding off each other and trying to continue the independence debate when Scotland’s focus needs to be on its own public services:

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