Category Archives: LibLink

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

LibLink: Sarah Ludford MEP: Despite their claim to be a libertarian party, UKIP have a shocking record on LGBT rights

Over at the Huffington Post, Sarah Ludford MEP has been looking at UKIP’s record on LGBT rights.

She first shows that they really don’t get it:

On the Ukip website, it states “As a libertarian party, we are entirely at ease with their (LGBTI community) choice and wish all of them well.” I question the appropriateness of this folksy language and the implication that homosexuality is a lifestyle choice, particularly considering that LGBTI citizens continue to be the target of around 100 hate crimes per week. But even if it was well intentioned, why then do we consistently hear voices from

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LibLink: Vince Cable: Baroness Shirley Williams, the Lib Dem peer who defined British public life

Over at the New Statesman, Vince Cable has been reviewing Mark Peel’s new biography of Shirley Williams.

He starts off by expressing annoyance at the conclusion – and quite rightly, too, given her major contribution to national and international life over 6 decades:

She is, of course, approachable, informal, engaging and whatever else “nice” means. But “niceness” is also a dismissive put down, as in William Hague’s comment in an Oxford Union debate (quoted as the punchline of the introduction): “In politics, Mrs Williams, it isn’t enough to be nice.” And it misses the essential point, that she is an extremely interesting

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LibLink: Giles Goodall – The EU has made strides towards LGBT equality but discrimination and isolation remain common

Over on Pink News, Giles Goodall, Lib Dem European Parliamentary candidate for South East England, argues that the EU has played a key role in strengthening LGBT rights, and can continue to have a positive impact on the challenges that remain.

Here’s an excerpt:

On LGBT rights, voters face an important choice in May Equality is a European value, and over the years the EU has become a strong advocate for LGBT rights. We have the EU to thank for Europe-wide laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace and providing special protection for victims of homophobic and transphobic crime. EU pressure has changed the lives of millions of LGBT people for the better in its newer member states in central and eastern Europe, where homosexuality was still a criminal offence as recently as the 1990s.

Of course that doesn’t mean that all is rosy for LGBT communities in Europe. An EU survey last year found that fear, isolation and discrimination are still all too common. Two out of three LGBT people reported hiding their sexuality when they were at school (68% in the UK), while 60% were bullied or called names. 26% of people said they had been attacked or threatened with violence in the past five years. In the UK, the figure was even higher, at 31%.

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LibLink: Tim Farron’s Winning here blog

Party President Tim Farron has taken to writing a monthly blog on the Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners’ website. It’s for ALDC members only, but if you have even the slightest link to any election campaign this May, I’d strongly recommend that you join them. People who do what they say have more chance of winning. They have so many good campaigning resources that they really are invaluable.

Back to Tim’s blog. He talks about why councillors and community campaigners are so important:

You have the track record of action, the record of success and the community knowledge to

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LibLink: Alison Goldsworthy: Westminster’s treatment of women is stuck in the 1950s

Over at the Telegraph, Alison Goldsworthy, Vice Chair of the Liberal Democrats’  Federal Executive has written a thought provoking piece about the way young women are treated in the political bubble that is Westminster.

She paints an unedifying picture of life inside the Palace, across all parties:

Tales of parliamentarians in their 50s, heavy breathing that they may be giving up their seat, or promotions would be on offer whilst getting uncomfortably close to female staffers in their early 20s are commonplace. Go to the bars of Westminster most days of the week then you will see it in action. You don’t

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LibLink: John Barrett: Independence is about country, not cash

Former MP for Edinburgh West John Barrett has made a surprise intervention in the debate on Scottish independence. Writing in the Scotsman last Saturday, he became the only senior figure so far to say that he doesn’t yet know how he’s going to vote in the referendum on 18th September.

He said that the debate so far has become polarised and is switching people off:

There are good people on both sides, who genuinely believe in what they are arguing for. Unfortunately, as they are entrenched in their own positions, they are often unable to view many important issues in a non-party

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Liblink: The lobbying bill is no ‘gagging law’

At the outset, ministers believed the bill would be a fairly non-controversial measure, limiting the political influence of maverick millionaires in elections. It was construed very differently by people we Liberal Democrats most strongly identify with: our natural, liberal allies in the voluntary and charitable sector saw the bill as a broad assault on their freedom of speech.

So write Paul Tyler and Shirley Williams in the Guardian.

The so-called ‘gagging law’ is keeping the definition of ‘non-party campaigning’ in the Political Parties Elections and Referendums Act 2000 – as that which “can be reasonably …

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LibLink: Christine Jardine: Let’s be grateful for the EU

Former Special Adviser and current Scottish Euro candidate Christine Jardine writes in the Scotsman about what Europe means to her and how she first became aware of what it meant as a child:

For me, joining what was then the EEC was the beginning of a very different, more positive and much less life-threatening relationship with the Continent than the previous generations of my family had experienced.

In 1973 Europe was all about new money, counting everything in tens and hundreds and new equipment to learn with at school.

Yard sticks were out and metre sticks were in. No more inches. It was

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LibLink: Danny Alexander – “Every day the Coalition continues is a day Britain’s economy gets stronger”

Over in the Telegraph, Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury Danny Alexander has welcomed the start of 2014 by highlighting the ways the Coalition is helping individuals and businesses to help get the economy growing fir everyone. Here’s an exerpt:

There is a lot more work to be done, but the recovery wouldn’t be happening without the Liberal Democrats. Every day the Coalition continues its work is a day that Britain’s economy gets stronger.

For the first time there are more than 30 million people in work and unemployment is at its lowest level since April 2009. It is those hard-working

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LibLink: Richard Reeves: The Clegg Factor

Remember Richard Reeves, Nick Clegg’s former head of strategy? He left about 18 months ago but has written a couple of pieces in recent days, one for the Guardian and another for the Centre Forum blog. In his Guardian piece, he suggests that it’s after 2020 that the Liberal Democrats will really reap the rewards of our performance in Government. His theory is that we’ll do well enough to stay in government in 2015 and by 2020 we will have killed “the presumption of  one-party government.”

At Centre Forum’s blog, he concentrates on Nick Clegg and his achievements and opportunities:

 Clegg’s

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Slam the door on EU migrants and it is Britain that will get hurt

There are many Liberal Democrats, myself included, who feel distinctly uneasy about the changes that the Coalition has made to EU benefits changes, agreed to by Nick Clegg. My personal view is that while these changes save the country a very small amount of money, tackling a problem that doesn’t really exist, we lose a lot more by ceding ground to UKIP and the Tory right.

From Nick’s point of view, though, he feels that he’s agreed to it to make the system fairer and acceptable to British taxpayers in the current climate. He’s fine with free movement around the …

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LibLink: Tessa Munt: “You don’t have to love the Tories to work with them”

In the Daily Mirror, MP for Wells, Tessa Munt (and potential candidate to be Deputy Leader?), has been taking our case to its readers;

We’ve delivered more policies we’ve been working on for some time – like free school meals for primary school children, a supermarket Ombudsman and shared parental leave.

Most importantly of all, we’ve done even more to make our tax system fairer – taking the low paid out of paying income tax altogether and nailing an agreement to give workers a bonus of over £700 in April next year by raising the point when you start paying tax.

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LibLink: Sir Nick Harvey MP: Time to reform EU defence policy and make Britain safer

Over at British Influence, Sir Nick Harvey has been writing about today’s EU meeting on defence co-operation and what he thinks could be achieved from it.

He sets out why co-operation is a good idea

EU defence cooperation has a crucial role to play in achieving security around the globe and preventing an onslaught of failed states. This is clearly in the UK’s national interest since failed states create a series of associated and interlinked problems which impact on the UK, such as severe poverty, irregular migration and terrorism – as we have seen in the case of Al-Shabaab in Somalia.

There have

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: Where the parties are at the end of 2013 and what they face in 2014

Stephen has been writing over at Conservative Home again. This time, he’s done his end of year report for each of the main parties.  The Telegraph’s Toby Young even complimented it. Here are some snippets:

Labour

With economic growth returning, Labour has deftly segued their economic attack. The assault on public spending cuts that go “too far, too fast” has been ditched, and in its place is a new refrain, “the Tory cost-of-living crisis”. It’s an ingenious line, tapping into the lag between the nascent recovery and people’s wages, with Ed Miliband’s populist pledge to freeze energy prices for 20 months

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Kick the crooks out and drag the Lords into the 21st century

Nick Clegg has written about the need to reform the House of Lords in today’s Mirror in response to the latest mini-scandal concerning Lord Hanningfield. When I read the first sentence, my blood pressure hit the roof:

What’s worse than a greedy Lord clocking in to work for just a few minutes a day to pocket hundreds of pounds from the taxpayer?

What’s worse is when the same peer – caught red handed as a result of the Mirror’s excellent investigative efforts – shrugs their shoulders and tells you: everybody’s doing it.

But there are lots of good ones who work really hard, …

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LibLink: Vince Cable opposes Heathrow expansion

planeVince Cable’s constituency of Twickenham is already under the Heathrow flightpath, and he is strongly opposed to any further expansion of the airport.

He writes:

The Davies Commission interim report has put Heathrow at the front of its thinking which is questionable economically, damaging environmentally and probably undeliverable politically.

My strong view is that the Davies review should not decide to press ahead with Heathrow options and I will be making that view known in the strongest terms.

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Liblink: Sarah Ludford on the 12th anniversary of the European Arrest Warrant

The European Arrest warrant, allowing those suspected of crimes in one EU member state to be arrested anywhere in the EU, was agreed 12 years ago. Now under fire from a small group of (soft on crime?) Conservative MPs, Sarah Ludford MEP responds in the Huffington Post.

Since 2009, hundreds of suspects have been extradited back to the UK to face charges using the EAW, including 63 for child sex offences, 105 for drug trafficking, 27 for rape and 44 for murder, while 4,000 suspects have been sent to other countries. …

In fact, the EAW has become so integral

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LibLink: Chris Davies MEP – Why I’m backing Verhofstadt for Commission President

Over on his blog, North West MEP Chris Davies explains why he is backing former Belgian prime minister Guy Verhofstadt to continue leading the ALDE grouping and be the group’s nominee for president of the European Commission.

Over to Chris to explain why:

He is a man who can provide the European Union with a degree of leadership and inspiration that it has been missing.

I am seriously concerned that Europe is stagnating while countries elsewhere gain greater economic influence.  Verhofstadt is absolutely right in saying that we must break free of our self-imposed shackles and move forward.

National governments should retain control

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LibLink: Tim Farron – Only a fool could trust in the ‘oversight’ provided by the intelligence committee

Over on Politics.co.uk party president Tim Farron has a piece on the ramifications of the story that has dominated much of the past year: the extent of the powers held by states to snoop on our communications. Tim sets out some thoughts about the oversight of these systems, which he thinks are presently inadequate.

Here’s an excerpt:

Our democratic process is built upon a system of checks and balances. Those who exercise power over the individual are held to account by others. For all the faults of the Westminster bubble (and there are many), the quiet revolution in the way select committees

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: The agony of the Tory modernisers

In his latest column on Conservative Home, Stephen Tall feels the pain of those who wanted a modern, inclusive Conservative Party. When they had their way, the Tories actually did quite well. When the nasty lot take hold, their poll ratings plummet and they don’t appeal beyond their hardcore supporters. And that’s not enough to win a general election, especially when the Liberal Democrats are keen to woo those who would once have been called the “wets.”

I’ve written here before about the Lib Dems’ 17.5 per cent strategy, the optimistic end of the party’s share-of-the-vote forecast for 2015. To our

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Danny Alexander’s passion for Irn Bru and admiration for Lyndon Johnson revealed in Guardian Q & A

Danny Alexander is featured in today’s Guardian Q & A. It’s a strange feature that is sometimes contradictory, sometimes very revealing and sometimes just a little too on message for comfort. But then, he’s not talking to Liberal Democrat members, he’s talking to the wider public so if there was no mention of a stronger economy or fairer society, it would probably be a bit of a missed opportunity. When we are sick of hearing something, it’s only just starting to get through to the wider public. He even recognises himself, though, that he might over-use ”The mess Labour left …

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LibLink: Caron Lindsay – It’s time to get real people involved in the indyref debate

LDV’s Co-Editor, Caron Lindsay, has written for The Herald newspaper about 2014′s Scottish independence referendum. She’s a bit bored with the same old politicians serving up the same old rehearsed lines. She wants real people to start having their say:

Let’s have the next debate around the kitchen table with some ordinary people. Take my friends Anne and Stevie as an example. The referendum is on her birthday. If we become independent, that’ll happen on his. She’s pro UK, he’s pro independence, albeit with a slightly different and quirkier vision than that presented by the SNP. They care deeply

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Jo Swinson talks to Cosmopolitan about the gender pay gap and equality in the workplace

We’ve heard a lot from Nick Clegg and Jo Swinson over the past week on one great inequality in the workplace – the rules around leave after a baby is born. Thanks to the Liberal Democrats in government, parents will soon be able to share all but the first two weeks of a year of parental leave. For me, that policy sums up what we are about. It’s liberal, it’s about allowing people to make choices that are right for them and it does sing to both stronger economy and fairer society mantras.

However, that’s not the only issue of equality …

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Liblink: Lynne Featherstone on breaking the link between violence against women and HIV

The UK is supporting HIV intervention in Malawi and others must help to break this tragic cycle, say Lynne Featherstone and Annie Lennox in the Guardian.

Tears may dry in seconds. Bruises may disappear in days – and scars might eventually fade. But of all the devastating consequences of violence against women and girls, there is one lasting impact that cannot be hidden underneath clothing or concealed behind a forced smile. In sub-Saharan Africa, every minute of every day a woman becomes infected with HIV, adding to the tragic and persistent spread of the HIV/Aids epidemic.

The brutal fact is that …

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LibLink: Willie Rennie – St Andrew’s Day: A proud Scot making the positive case for remaining within the UK

Over at the Endeavour Public Affairs blog, Leader of the Scottish Lib Dems Willie Rennie marks St Andrew’s Day, 30th November, by reflecting on the importance of Scottish identity … within the UK. Here’s an excerpt:

It is because I am a proud Scot that I want to see a constitutional settlement which gives us the best chance to get on in life. 2011 was the first year where the number of people aged 65 and over was higher than the number of those aged under 15. When it comes to providing stability for pensions, welfare and our economy

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LibLink: Tim Farron – EU: The Liberal Democrats as the ‘Party of In’

With 6 months to the European elections, the Lib Dems are stepping up the party’s drive to be identified as the most pro-European party – in contrast to previous campaigns when the party has tended to downplay its pro-Europeanism.

There are two reasons. First, the Lib Dems believe we’re better off in. Secondly, the party’s private polling shows that those who aren’t current Lib Dem voters, but would consider voting for us, are generally pro-European and like the party’s stance.

Party president Tim Farron published an article on the Huffington Post yesterday making the Lib Dem case. Here’s an excerpt:

Of course,

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LibLink: Julian Huppert calls for greater public scrutiny of spying

Julian Huppert Sherlock HolmesWriting in the Guardian yesterday, Julian Huppert called for greater public scrutiny of national security. It was not just the work of the intelligence services that was scrutinised in parliament last Thursday, he says, but secretive intelligence and security committee which oversees the services.

This sort of public scrutiny is exactly what we need to restore confidence in our intelligence service, whose work keeps us safe. It does make you wonder why this should have been such a massive event: shouldn’t public scrutiny be at the heart of the way our intelligence and security service operates anyway?

Huppert says that he is not asking for details to be discussed, just principles.

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LibLink: Are the Liberal Democrats a Lea & Perrins party?

Liberal Democrat Political SauceIn today’s Telegraph, Isobel Hardman says that Nick Clegg is targeting the green, metropolitan  middle-class “who fret about whether they are doing the recycling properly.”

Work is being done on the “repeal” sections of the party’s manifesto, explaining how the Lib Dems will reverse certain Coalition reforms, including the unpopular employee shares-for-rights scheme. But, Hardman says some party figures want more distinctive Lib Dem thinking:

To avoid being seen as a Lea & Perrins party – one that is capable of improving any government, but shouldn’t be taken alone.

Also posted in News | Tagged | 11 Comments

LibLink: Stephen Tall – Who could lead the Tories and Lib Dems after 2015?

Our very own Stephen Tall has been moonlighting again for the lucky people over at Conservative Home. For this edition Stephen has unpacked his crystal ball and programmed it to Spring 2015, where he finds several possible scenarios confronting Messrs Clegg and Cameron.

Here’s a sample:

Conventional wisdom suggests David Cameron will have to win outright to be sure of continuing as Conservative leader. After all, the last Conservative leader to fail to win two successive elections outright – Edward Heath in 1974 – is not a happy precedent. Yet if the Conservatives were to emerge as the largest single party once

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LibLink: Tim Farron – Why has the plight of the overcrowded and the homeless not been prioritised?

In a hard-hitting article in today’s Guardian, Tim Farron hits out at David Cameron’s “lack of humanity in face of basic need” on housing while outlining what Liberal Democrats want to see done to make sure that there are enough affordable houses for people.

He outlines the scale of the problem first:

The real divide in modern Britain is not between strivers and shirkers, but between those who were lucky enough to buy homes before 1997 and those who were not. Unless we tackle the housing crisis, homelessness is going to become a mainstream problem. Working families can’t afford to buy, and

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohnTilley 20th Apr - 2:19pm
    If Ray Love says as much then that's good enough for me.
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Apr - 2:18pm
    A quick comment on Polls, Polling for European Elections & for individual Constituencies in General Election both have a very poor record, so poor its...
  • User AvatarRay Love 20th Apr - 2:08pm
    I've lived in Bath for just under a year following 35 years in Winchester so I know when the feeling is positive, not only do...
  • User AvatarRuaraidh 20th Apr - 2:05pm
    @daft ha'p'orth Thank you. I take your point, but I suspect LDV would see more comments than that site (though certainly less than at the...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Apr - 1:55pm
    The current atmosphere in Labour circles is an odd mix, beneath the outer shell of smugness thres a feeling of panic, competing with despair. Its...
  • User AvatarStephen Howse 20th Apr - 1:49pm
    @ Martin – “My hunch is that in 5 years time, much of what Lib Dems have achieved in government will be seen more positively…”...