Category Archives: LibLink

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

LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott: Letter from a disunited kingdom

Former Liberal Democrat MEP Edward McMillan-Scott ahs written an open letter to his former Brussels colleagues explaining from a pro-EU British perspective what the hell is going on over here.

As you all know, what started as former prime minister David Cameron’s attempt to pacify the UKIP tendency within the Conservative party – the reason I left it – has resulted in the dominance of that group in the Theresa May administration, and their determination to push for a hard Brexit – and as soon as possible. Do not underestimate their determination to sever all ties with the EU at whatever cost to the UK: they are ideologues, mostly inspired by what they believe is Thatcherism, but in reality in many ways resembles 1930s political extremism.

As a lifelong pro-European, with 30 years as an MEP, the last ten as a Vice-President, I know most of the key players on both sides of the argument in Britain, and many of the EU politicians too. I urge you to ignore the ideologues and listen to the silent majority: in a recent poll, 56 per cent said they do not want Theresa May’s Hard Brexit.

Today I am one of many in the UK campaigning not just for the British parliament to have a meaningful role in all the stages ahead and also for an “outcome” referendum if and when the negotiations produce an agreement.

So why did Leave win?

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Nick Clegg struggles to be polite about the government’s self-deluded piffle

Nick Clegg, blistering in the Standard, warns that the government is condemned to break its Brexit promises.

Recalling promises of a stronger trading position, the continuation of the benefits of membership, no hard border with Ireland (never mind Scotland), less red tape, taking back control – never mind the £350 million; Nick warns of an impending reckoning.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: if we lose focus, progress on gender equality can easily be lost

Jo Swinson has written a piece for the Huffington Post as part of their “All women everywhere” series in which she warns that progress on gender equality is under threat.

The chairman of Tesco’s board may feel that white men making up three quarters of his board constitutes being an “endangered species” but Jo sees the progress she made as a minister being eroded:

With the efforts of Vince Cable, Lord Davies, Helena Morrissey and many others we drove women’s representation in FTSE boardrooms up to record levels, yet Egon Zehnder found that the proportion of women appointed to Boards in 2016 actually decreased. The Equality & Human Rights Commission finding last year that 54,000 women a year lose their jobs due to pregnancy and maternity discrimination is shocking in itself, but even more so when you consider that this figure has almost doubled since 2005.

In all the metrics about how many years it will take to achieve gender equality in any given field we are used to depressingly distant dates like 2067 or 2095. For women in technology the answer to when equality will be achieved if current trends continue is never.

Some men, she remarks, see a tiny number of women in power as a threat. She wrote this before the Tesco Chairman’s comments so clearly proved her point but she cited the usual social media whinging about International Women’s Day:

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: I don’t want my 3 sons to grow up in a world where girls feel second rate

Another Lib Dem woman who inspires many – in fact, she makes a mission of Inspiring Women is Miriam Gonzalez Durantez.

She has written for the Telegraph about the need for men and women to work together to make life better for the next generation of boys and girls.

She outlines the threats to hard-won progress:

In the US, President Donald Trump is putting into question women’s reproductive rights; in Russia, laws are being considered to decriminalise some aspects of domestic violence.

Just last week, a Polish MEP declared that women should earn less than men because they are “weaker, smaller and less intelligent.” Breitbart, the right-wing website pioneered by Steve Bannon, now Trump’s chief strategist, has claimed that birth control makes women unattractive and crazy. And so on.

Women still suffer from society’s expectations:

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Liblink: Greg Mulholland MP on business rates for pubs and restaurants

Greg Mulholland writes in Politics Home on how pubs up and down the country are being unfairly hit by business rate revaluation.

Pubs are, of course, businesses and need to pay their share of tax. Yet when research for the British Beer and Pub Association shows that pubs are paying 2.8% of the entire business rate bill, whilst only generating 0.5% of business turnover, the plain unfairness of the current system towards pubs is laid bare. The revaluation will further this disadvantage, with pubs and restaurants receiving a 15% and 23% increase in rateable value respectively, being the only sector

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Dead parrot squawking

Ed Lucas in the Times has noticed the Liberal Democrat fightback. The whole piece is behind a register-for-two-articles-a-week-wall, but here is a flavour.

Yet look again. The parrot is far from dead. It is squawking back to life, thanks to the Brexit vote, Labour’s meltdown and sellers’ remorse after the general election. Membership has rocketed, to more than 82,000, the highest in 20 years. The party is now out-fundraising Labour. As well as the parliamentary by-election victory in Richmond Park, Lib Dems have been scoring a stunning run of local successes, snatching council seats in such seemingly unpromising places as

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LibLink: David Laws – UK reaches socially acceptable limits of austerity

David Laws has written an article in the Financial Times, but you have to be a subscriber to read it.  We will give you a flavour of the piece here so you can decide whether to subscribe (the trial version is £1 for 4 weeks).

In May 2010, as the chief secretary in the UK’s coalition government, I warned that the choices available to us in Britain’s biggest postwar spending squeeze lay between the unpalatable and the disastrous, and that we were moving from an age of plenty to an age of austerity.

It has not been a bad prediction, by political standards.

At that time, public sector austerity was both necessary and deliverable. Necessary, because our budget deficit was an eye-watering £163bn, in excess of 10 per cent of gross domestic product. Deliverable, because the UK had only just ended an unprecedented expansion of public spending under the Blair and Brown governments.

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Recent Comments

  • User Avatartheakes 28th Mar - 7:10am
    7% in last nights Opinion poll. There is something amiss in what we are doing or not doing. One problem maybe Mr Clegg. Is he...
  • User AvatarGlenn 28th Mar - 4:14am
    Roland, Mainly America and Russia in WW II, which was the war we were talking about.
  • User AvatarManfarang 28th Mar - 4:13am
    Zachary As David Raw points out the imperial mentality is hardly dead, neither is the cold war one judging from what you write about NATO....
  • User AvatarGeoff Reid 28th Mar - 3:12am
    Just as remarkable as the editorial was the description of Tim Farron "cementing his growing role as the political leader of the Remain movement" in...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 28th Mar - 12:41am
    Roland, my close family has two EU migrants and zero expats in. The distinction between "their people" and "our people" is largely meaningless.
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 28th Mar - 12:07am
    Lester, Gender-based violence was the theme resolution for the ALN Assembly. There was also a range of training workshops, with particular focus on coalition negotiations...