Category Archives: LibLink

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

LibLink: Vince Cable makes the case for TTIP and free trade

Vince Cable, who was involved in negotiations over the proposed EU-US trade deal, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, in his role as business secretary, has been writing about the issue, and that of free trade more generally.

Vince first summarises the rationale for TTIP:

The European Commission has prioritised a bilateral agreement with the USA: TTIP, which is proving a source of unexpected controversy, although negotiations are still at an early stage. The underlying objective is to apply, on a transatlantic basis, the same approach that helped to create the EU Single Market. Since, as within the EU, tariffs and quotas are no longer a major issue the emphasis has been on preventing differences in standards, mainly technical, acting as a barrier to trade. There are, for example, different specifications for seatbelt design and testing that make it difficult to export in both directions. In effect, a different production line is required to sell into the USA, which can be prohibitive, especially for low volume manufacturers.

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Caroline Pidgeon: With me as Mayor, London would work for everyone

 

Caroline Pidgeon has been talking to London 24 about her plans. Most of the interview is policy stuff that we are all aware of – her plans for more affordable childcare, more houses, better transport and half price tube fares before 7:30 am.

She was asked what London would be like after 4 years of her as Mayor:

London would be a far more family-friendly city, and a city that really works for everyone. We’d have more homes to help deal with the housing crisis, we’d have targeted fare measures to really help get people get around, we’d have more cycling infrastructure and improvements for pedestrians, we’d have cleaner air because I’d bring in electric buses and taxies, and less traffic because I would bring in changes to the congestion charge to get some of those private vehicles off the road. Alongside that, I’d be fighting to improve childcare in London, so more wraparound childcare for parents in the mornings, evenings and school holidays. We’d have a city that just works better for everyone.

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LibLink: Alex Cole-Hamilton: Criticism of SNP policies is vital

Alex Cole-Hamilton Edinburgh WesternA few days ago, Edinburgh Western’s SNP candidate took to the Evening News to take a swipe at the Liberal Democrats, accusing us of being negative before lobbing a few insults our way.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, who hopes to regain the seat for the Liberal Democrats, wrote his own article for the News. He writes:

Toni, I’m sorry you’ve been offended. But I don’t think that drawing attention to the failings of your government or your local representatives should be viewed as underhand, I’d view it as the democratic duty of a healthy opposition.

When the person you asked us to vote for last May turns up for fewer than half of the votes in the House of Commons since September then I think that as your nearest challenger, I should voice the view of the significant majority of those in our constituency who feel that’s just not good enough.

When your ministers preside over a year on year decline in the global rankings of our education system, the shambolic and unwanted centralisation of public services or a waiting times crisis in our health service, then someone should point out that we deserve much better.

Now, I understand it’s hard for you. The constitution of the SNP prohibits you from openly criticising your party or its policies. But I’m not in your party so I can provide a counterpoint to the nationalist dogma that is currently choking Scottish Politics.

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Tim Farron on tax: “We must not miss this opportunity to change the system”

Tim Farron by Paul WalterTim Farron has written a note about tax on his Facebook page. As party leaders publish their tax returns, (including Willie Rennie, that’s 5 minutes of your life you won’t get back if you choose to read this unremarkable document), he says that it’s actually the system you need to change. He’ll publish his in the next few days, but that is not really the point. Here are his comments in full:

The politics of envy helps no-one, but trust in politics does.

I have no desire to poke around in the Prime Minister’s private wealth, and definitely have no desire to force him to relive the pain of losing his father, having to confront that time all over again through the pages of national newspapers.

It is absolutely essential that British people have full confidence in our leaders, and that when decisions are made and Budgets are written there is not even a slightest hint of a conflict of interest or personal gain. But we are now in a position where people no longer have complete faith in this Government’s decisions.

Trust in politics and our ability to get things done is taking another hammering. It’s an poor indictment of our political system that the demand is now so great for the public to see politicians’ tax affairs. Are we now in a world where there is an assumption that a politician is doing wrong, or is playing the system?

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Hypocritical Brexiteers are as much an elite as those they rage against

I reckon that Nick Clegg’s columns will be more often than not about the EU for the next few months.

This week, he’s looking into the records of those “men of the people” Brexiteers such as Boris, Farage, Zac Goldsmith and Nigel Lawson:

Well, there’s Lord Lawson, the 83-year-old former chairman of Vote Leave who was Chancellor of the Exchequer under Margaret Thatcher. He now lives for much of the year in the South of France, nurturing his climate-change scepticism and loathing of the EU from the sunny climes of the Gascon countryside.

Then there’s Nigel Farage, always ready to claim the everyman mantle over a pint of ale in a traditional English pub. Nigel had a long career as a City trader before he became an MEP 17 years ago, and has failed now on seven occasions to become an MP — hardly evidence of someone seeking to shun the Westminster establishment.

How about Arron Banks, the millionaire Conservative donor who defected to Ukip and co-founded the Leave.EU campaign? The insurance magnate was named in the Panama Papers this week as the shareholder of a company based in the British Virgin Islands.

There’s Zac Goldsmith, the Eurosceptic Tory mayoral candidate, who parades himself as a scourge of the Westminster establishment. He is the son of a billionaire whose whole mayoral campaign appears to be based on the claim that his closeness to the powerful in Westminster will help Londoners.

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Miriam Gonzalez Durantez has a right go at Brexiteers over terrorism claims

Earlier this week, Miriam Gonzalez Durantez took to the pages of the Telegraph to deliver a scathing riposte to those “Leave” campaigners who seek to scare us into believing that being in the EU increases terrorism.

She started with an insight at her feelings over the Coalition years:

Having felt for five full years the frustration of seeing my husband, Nick Clegg, regularly reversing ill-judged Conservative decisions with little public credit, it is tempting to remain silent on the Brexit referendum – yet another ill-judged Conservative government decision that puts at risk the future of all our children just to sort out internal difficulties in the Conservative Party.

She tackles the idea that the EU’s freedom of movement is behind a flood of foreign criminals ending up here. In fact, she places the blame closer to home:

These assertions are made despite the fact that the UK is not part of the Schengen area and that, even for those within Schengen, there are exclusions to the freedom of movement on public security grounds. So if the Home Office has allowed criminals and terrorists into this country, it is nothing to do with EU rules and everything to do with the Home Office itself.

Terrorism, she says, is always the fault of hate-filled individuals, but she cites 3 key foreign policy decisions on Iraq, Syria and Libya as enabling ISIL to expand. Surprisingly, she questions her own role:

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LibLink: Paddy Ashdown: Brexit would help those who seek to undermine UK security

Paddy Ashdown has made his voice heard in the row over whether being in the EU helps or hinders national security. It will come as no surprise to anyone that he thinks it helps.

First the broad principle:

My answer is clear. This, more than ever, is the time to stand with our friends in Belgium and across Europe. We must not allow the butchers of ISIS to divide us, and we must give short shrift, too, to those who want to use these attacks to divide our societies. This is no time for division. It is a time to understand why as Europeans we should stand together with our friends in Belgium in their suffering and resist both the racists and extremists of jihad, and the racists and extremists in our midst in their attempts to divide us. Our unity in Europe makes us safer, not weaker. Our solidarity is our best defense. Our pan-European institutions provide us with the means to diminish these threats; they do not, as some foolishly claim, make them worse.

And then the specifies:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 4th May - 5:31am
    David ,If you mean Eddie above , you do him and our party a disservice. I am staunch in my view in opposition to the...
  • User AvatarManfarang 4th May - 3:24am
    Emma In most countries abroad, those working are required to a file tax return in the country they live.(In the hell on earth of some...
  • User AvatarRoland 4th May - 3:01am
    @Peter - "Potentially that foreign doctor/nurse/engineer/etc. could compete in the job market by working for a lower gross salary and receive the same nett income...
  • User AvatarRoland 4th May - 2:25am
    This is good work and the article also provides an insight into the workings of the House that doesn't get mentioned in the text books...
  • User AvatarRoland 4th May - 2:22am
    @Peter - Thanks for the link to the NHS site over unsocial hours and would tend to concur with your concerns. My point however was...
  • User AvatarJonathan Ferguson 4th May - 12:00am
    Thank you everyone for your comments. I will think carefully before providing more responses. It is late at night, but I will try to answer...