Category Archives: LibLink

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

LibLink: Catherine Bearder MEP – UKIP’s utter contempt for the electorate

Nigel Farage, Leader, UK Independence Party (UKIP)Following Nigel Farage’s eventual decision not to run in the Newark by-election, Lib Dem MEP for the South-East of England Catherine Bearder shared her thoughts on UKIP’s approach to holding public office, over at the Huffington Post:

Following hours of umming and ahing, Nigel Farage finally declared that he won’t stand for election in the upcoming by-election in Newark, desperately insisting that he is still “a fighter”. It is remarkable that the very man who claims he is not your typical politician, that he

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LibLink: Paddy Ashdown in Bangladesh: Stoves that save children’s lives

Photo UNICEF BangladeshPaddy Ashdown has been writing over at UNICEF’s blog about his recent visit to Bangladesh. There, he saw the benefits of an initiative, supported by Marks and Spencer, to provide better ventilated, safer, fuel efficient stoves to 40,000 homes.

First of all, he outlines how dangerous simply cooking dinner could be:

I have just returned from a visit to the country and even in the tiny village of Daccope, children are exposed to potentially deadly air pollution in their own home every day. This dangerous mix of chemicals, including carbon monoxide,

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Let’s extend the pupil premium to young carers

imageOn his recent column on the ALDC Members’ website, Tim Farron has made the case for the Pupil Premium to be extended to young carers:

One of the biggest Lib Dem wins of this Coalition Government has been the Pupil Premium. The Pupil Premium was designed as extra support for kids in our schools who need a little extra help to get the best start in life.

I don’t need to tell you about it; you’ve supported it from an idea in our manifesto to its implementation. I’m preaching

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European Parliament makes it easier for you to know what’s in the medicines you are taking

European Parliament chamber, StrasbourgRoughly a third of people take part in the European elections. That turnout reflects that people don’t necessarily feel engaged with the European Parliament. Yet this body, whether it be on e-cigarettes, abolishing (with Liberal Democrat support) mobile phone roaming charges or even the medicines your doctor prescribes, makes laws that affect our daily lives. Tim Farron has been highlighting its important work in this medical field in an article over at the Huffington Post.

First of all, he outlines the problem:

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LibLink: Where would you rather live – Great Britain or little England?

clegg farage lbcNick Clegg asked this question in The Guardian yesterday, and robustly attacked Ukip’s position:

The isolationists have been allowed to peddle their myths unchallenged for decades. Of all Nigel Farage’s far-fetched claims – and there are many – the most outlandish is the idea that Ukip’s call for an exit is the insurgents’ battle cry. European withdrawal is presented as a great revolutionary promise, held in stark contrast to the status quo upheld by a homogeneous political elite.

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LibLink: Martin Horwood – Lib Dems clamping down on the arms trade

martin horwoodOver at the Lib Dems’ website, Cheltenham MP Martin Horwood has welcomed today’s announcement that Vince Cable has put out a call for evidence on a new register of arms brokers, introducing tougher regulations on the arms trade. Here’s an excerpt:

Arms brokers act as intermediaries in many arms deals by bringing together potential buyers and sellers in return for a cut of the transaction. Currently UK companies require a license before they can export military goods, but brokers are somewhat of an unknown entity. Under the proposals all brokers will

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LibLink: Tim Farron – In 2010, we promised to deliver the Pupil Premium. In 2015, I want us to promise to deliver the Student Premium

Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLib Dem party president Tim Farron has given his personal backing to the Lib Dems promising a Student Premium – modelled on the well-received Pupil Premium – at the next election. First proposed by his colleague Stephen Williams, Tim writes the Student Premium “could potentially change the game in terms of student uptake, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds”. Here’s an excerpt of his article for the April issue of the magazine, Politics First:

The Pupil Premium is being delivered only because the Liberal

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LibLink: Sir Robert Smith – We must not turn our back on Afghanistan

At a workshop on child rights at French Cultural Centre, Kabul, AfghanistanSir Robert Smith, Lib Dem MP for West Aberdeenshire and Kincardine and Co-Chairman of the All-Party Parliamentary Group for Afghanistan, has written this week about the need for Britain, as our direct military involvement comes to an end, to ensure we keep our promise to maintain support for a developing Afghanistan.

… the attacks of September the 11th brought home the fact that what happened in that far away country made a difference back here.

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LibLink: Alistair Carmichael: Let’s cut out referendum tension and concentrate on historical significance of referendum vote

Carmichael looking mean croppedLiberal Democrat Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael has written for the Daily Record about the need to conduct the independence referendum in a more respectful tone, citing examples of attacks from independence supporters on those who want to stay in the UK:

Cybernats – or internet trolls, to give them their proper name – wish Eddie Izzard serious harm simply because he has the cheek to disagree with them.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: More action needed on reproductive rights for all

Lynne FeatherstoneThis week, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is attending the UN Commission on Population and Development. She has written for the Huffington Post about how crucial it is to make sure that women have the choice about when to have children by having access to contraception, potentially saving 800 lives every day:

Globally there are 222million women who wish to space or delay the timing of births, but do not have access to modern forms of contraception. This has real and devastating consequences on their lives. In 2010, 800 women a day died from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth and in 2008 an estimated 8.7million young women aged 15 to 24 in developing countries resorted to unsafe abortions. All of this was preventable.

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LibLink: Ming Campbell: I will vote no to independence because I love Scotland

st Andrews flag saltire scotland Some rights reserved by Fulla TWillie Rennie’s “sunshine strategy”, talking up the positive side of Scotland staying in the UK even got a mention on the Andrew Marr Show during our Scottish Conference. The independence referendum is sorely needing a lift, and on the rare occasion it gets it, it is usually down to a Liberal Democrat, it has to be said. Charles Kennedy, Mike Moore, Willie Rennie and Alistair Carmichael have all added some much-needed appreciation of the UK and thoughtful consideration of the arguments. …

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: Two same sex weddings, one happy politician

Protest against a constitutional amendment banning same sex marriageIt was a struggle to stay awake till midnight on Friday night because I’d been up at stupid o’clock to travel to Scottish Liberal Democrat conference. But I did, just to mark that very special moment when same sex marriages started to happen. In the morning, the scenes of happiness on the television news had me blubbing.

Both Nick Clegg and Lynne Featherstone talked over the weekend about how this isn’t just an important thing for the couples themselves. In his speech to Scottish …

photo by: Fibonacci Blue
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#NickvNigel LibLink Special: Nick Clegg: Let’s keep Britain prosperous, safe and IN

Well, today’s the day. The first Nick v Nigel debate takes place on LBC tonight. I’ve already been on the station this morning batting for Team Nick against a UKIP MEP who suggested that Nick using facts might be a problem and that Nick had agreed to the debate. Everyone knows it was Nick who actually issued the challenge.

Nick has been writing for the Mirror on the reasons why he believes Britain needs to stay in the EU.

He knows it’s not perfect but who’s going to invest here if we are not part of that much larger market:

Europe isn’t

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: A long road ahead to stop gender based violence, but we are on the right track

Lynne Featherstone has been writing for local paper in her constituency about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women and the works she’s doing in Government aimed at dealing with the global problem of violence against women and girls:

Over the last year, I have spearheaded a new multi-million pound programme to tackle one of the most extreme manifestations of gender-based violence – female genital mutilation (FGM). And because of this solid foundation of work and momentum, this July the prime minister will host a major summit to tackle FGM as well as early …

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LibLink: Vince Cable: Smell the coffee, Boris. The Mansion Tax has slipped in already

Mansion Only - Some rights reserved by Gerg1967This story appears under the byline of a “Daily Mail Reporter” which is a bit odd, because I don’t think they’ve let any of them into the Cabinet yet, and certainly not any who oppose the Tories. The reference to “my Cabinet colleagues’ kind of gives the game away that it’s our Vince who has taken on Boris over the Mansion Tax. Now, there’s another debate I’d like to see alongside Nick vs Nigel. Vince vs Boris. One day, maybe..

Anyway,  Vince started by pointing out that action was taken in the Budget to tax corporate property buying:

One less publicised move was a crackdown on people using high-value property to make easy capital gains from property inflation and then dodge tax, hiding behind a corporate façade.

At a time when families are desperate for housing, thousands of luxury flats sit empty in tower blocks along the Thames. The Government is stopping this abuse by charging a penal rate of stamp duty and a charge on the property value – a mansion tax.

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LibLink: Danny Alexander: We ignored siren voices in the Tory party on 40p tax rate to give £100 tax cut for all

Screen Shot 2014-03-19 at 19.44.37To write for the Mail once might be considered unfortunate. To do so twice in three days has to be considered careless. Mind you, Lady Bracknell would no doubt have read that paper.

Danny Alexander follows on from Sunday’s article with this piece on how the Liberal Democrats stopped the Tories from confining tax cuts to the rich alone. First, a little differentiation:

We’ve forced it onto the agenda at every Autumn Statement and Budget and by April this year will have delivered a tax cut worth £700 to 25 million working people.

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Liblink: Nick Clegg on parental leave, school meals and childcare

Parents and child - Some rights reserved by Ed YourtonWriting on mumsnet, Nick Clegg describes the Children and Families Act as kick-starting a revolution for a more family-friendly Britain.

Every dot and comma of the Bill puts into law measures that will transform outdated attitudes and systems in Britain. We want to give families like yours more freedom and flexibility to make the choices you want and ensure every child gets the best possible start in life.

So now, thanks to these changes, our parental leave system will no longer be built on the 1950s assumption that when a child is born, mum stays home while dad goes out to work.

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone in New York for the Commission on the Status of Women

New york police  Some rights reserved by Amiga-Commodore Development Minister Lynne Featherstone spent two days in New York earlier this week at the United Nation’s annual Commission on the Status of Women. She posted a series of blogs from the Big Apple. Here are some highlights.

Day One:

I’ll be attending a whole load of events as well as talking to my counterparts from around the world to ensure the CSW negotiations lead to a

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Liblink: Nick Clegg – security oversight must be fit for the internet age

nick clegg pondersNick Clegg writes today in the Guardian under the headline: ‘Edward Snowden’s revelations made it clear: security oversight must be fit for the internet age.’

Until this week, the revelations published by the Guardian about the nature and extent of internet surveillance had provoked little reaction from British politicians. The quality of the debate in the US provides an unflattering contrast to the muted debate this side of the Atlantic.

Some of the revelations have described far-reaching intelligence-gathering capabilities. There are questions of principle here that require answers. Are such capabilities necessary and proportionate? Does the benefit to national security clearly outweigh the infringement of privacy? Are there proper checks and balances to guard against abuse? To ask these questions is not to question the good faith of those who work for the agencies. I have had the privilege of working with all three security services, and have nothing but praise for their professionalism.

I don’t doubt that they comply with the legal framework set for them by parliament. The issue is whether the rules we have set are fit for the internet age.

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LibLink: Kirsty Williams: St David’s Day – Wales has every right to be up there with the best

I actually got goosebumps reading this St David’s Day piece Welsh Liberal Democrat leader Kirsty Williams wrote for Endeavour Public Affairs. It’s brimming with passion, expressing pride in and love for Wales. It’s a real uplifting read, and folk on both sides of Scotland’s independence referendum should note that this is how you inspire people.

She grabs you right from the start:

 Identity isn’t a fixed status; it is a feeling.  Personally, first and foremost, I feel Welsh; then British; then European.  Being Welsh is always the overriding sense of who I am.  I believe a reason for this is how comfortable

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: In praise of civil servants

Lynne Featherstone, writing on her own blog, has given us a very interesting insight into the mechanics of Government and is full of praise and appreciation for the people who have brought about her two key acts as a minister, equal marriage, and the fight against the abhorrent practice of female genital mutilation.

She described receiving invaluable tips from Michael Heseltine and Andrew Adonis when she first became a Minister. It’s interesting that just a short time after Adonis left office himself, he was providing sensible advice for the newbies. Politics is a lot more civilised behind the scenes than you …

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP: Cameron’s EU policy plays into Putin’s hands

Edward McMillan Scott, Vice President of the European Parliament with responsibility for human rights and democracy has been writing about how David Cameron’s European policy has enabled Russia’s President Putin to develop his strategy for a Eurasian Union based on illiberal and anti-democratic values.

He opens by outlining the problems faced by Angela Merkel with the rise of the eurosceptic right wing AFD:

Events in Ukraine may still overshadow Thursday’s trip to London by Angela Merkel, during which David Cameron will seek her support for EU reform.  She will not be pleased that Cameron has allowed his Eurosceptics to continue talks with

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: What Clegg was really up to last week

In his regular Conservative Home column, Liberal Democrat Voice co-editor Stephen Tall looked at the rationale behind two things that Nick Clegg had done last week, the debate challenge to Farage and his comments on Steve Richards’ programme which were interpreted as showing willing for a coalition with Labour.

So what does Stephen think it’s all about. Firstly, about getting the best deal in 2015 if there’s another hung Parliament:

In part, he’s preparing the ground for what may be. In part, he’s reaching out to those 2010 Lib Dem voters who’ve peeled off to Labour. And in part, he’s laying down

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LibLink: Baroness Floella Benjamin: Positive role models can break cycle of despair

Baroness Floella Benjamin has written for the Voice website about what the government is doing to help young black people find jobs.

More than 30 million people are now in work and since the 2010 General Election, the number of people claiming the main out-of-work benefits has fallen by 566,000. This is great news and my party, the Liberal Democrats, have worked hard in government to achieve success stories like these, listening to people’s concerns and ensuring the right support is being put in place.

But disappointingly there’s no denying that unemployment is still disproportionately high amongst young black people, especially men

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LibLink: Danny Alexander: Scotland can’t go it alone and keep the pound. That’s not bullying, it’s reality

Danny Alexander has taken to the pages of this week’s Mail on Sunday to write about the Scottish independence referendum.

He tackled the hostile reaction from some nationalists to David Bowie’s entreaty at the Brits. “Scotland, stay with us.” said the rock legend.

David Bowie’s call sparked strong reactions on both sides of an ever more passionate debate. He was attacked for being a ‘celebrity’, being English and not living in the UK.
And why shouldn’t a ‘celebrity’ have a view and express it? Why shouldn’t an Englishwoman have a view on  an issue that will change the country she lives in, too?

Come

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LibLink: David Heath: Electorate has casting vote on number of female MPs

Just two weeks after the excellent Sarah Yong was selected to fight his Somerton and Frome constituency next year, retiring MP David Heath has been writing in the Frome Standard about the need for more women in Parliament.

He will be slightly red-faced to have under-estimated even our lowly number of women in the MPs, saying we have five, rather than seven, but that doesn’t undermine the premise of his piece.

But I think there is still an issue for all political parties in ensuring that parliament better reflects the make-up of the country at large. Instead, there is a huge

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LibLink: Stephen Tall: It’s 8 May 2015, Cameron’s won a majority and here’s some advice from his Chief Whip

Our Stephen Tall has been turning his hand to fiction in his regular column for Conservative Home.  As he says on his own site:

It’s a piece of fiction, not least because it imagines a scenario in which the Tories have won an outright majority. That starting point appeared to confuse ConHome’s Ukip-infused readers, who didn’t know whether to laugh or cry in the comments.

You do actually have to read the whole thing to see all the well-crafted little digs in there, and you can do so here.

Here are some of the highlights:

The first piece of advice – keep …

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LibLink: Edward McMillan-Scott MEP: Tories are playing into Putin’s hands in high stakes game

Edward McMillan ScottYorkshire and the Humber MEP Edward McMillan-Scott has a longstanding interest in human rights. He’s travelled all over the world to make the case to governments who don’t respect their citizens’ freedoms. He’s understandably not wildly chuffed about the Winter Olympics taking place in Sochi and how this might fuel Putin’s ambitions. He explained why in the Yorkshire Post.

Putin has international ambitions for Russia: this is the new Great Game, the 19th century strategic rivalry and conflict between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for supremacy in Eurasia.

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LibLink: Christine Jardine – From the fourth estate to Westminster

Christine Jardine, who was recently selected as PPC for Gordon, has been interviewed by the Deeside Piper – the newspaper she used to edit – about her selection and her journey from journalist to politician.

Here’s an excerpt from the interview:

DEESIDE PIPER: What do you hope to achieve if voted for by the people of Gordon?

CHRISTINE JARDINE: Over the last 30 years, Malcolm has been a strong voice for the people of Gordon and that is what I would want to be as well. For both the urban and rural communities. I believe rural communities need a strong voice particularly at the moment. The most important thing is listening to what is important to the people of Gordon and, if you like, what I aim to achieve if I am elected after 2015 will be dictated by what they want me to achieve

If I was the MP at the end of five years, I would hope that I’d continue Malcolm’s work and had worked hard for the oil industry-won investment for the North-east, particularly in infrastructure and being a strong voice in getting our road and transport network improved. What would be important to me as an MP would be making sure that I work for the people and what they want to happen. I would hate to think after however many years that people felt “We voted for her but what has she done for us.”

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Only the Liberal Democrats are prepared to stand up for Britain’s place in Europe.

Nick Clegg has been writing over at the Independent to mark 100 days before the European elections.

He has a simple and clear message – you can only trust the Liberal Democrats to stand up for Britain’s interests, and therefore safeguard jobs, in Europe. He says that the Euros don’t usually “set the heart racing”, but this time, there’s a lot to lose:

Ukip has been coming up on the rails in British politics for years and it sees this May as its breakthrough moment. Mainstream politicians have made the mistake in the past of not taking UKIP, or the people who

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarT-J 25th Jul - 1:24am
    @David Evershed and Jedibeeftrix How far does the federalist idea extend? As far as the bonds of culture, economy and history can be extended. The...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 25th Jul - 12:46am
    They do what William Hague did - become very competent and then go off to make money :). Jokes aside, we do need more political...
  • User AvatarAndi Ali 25th Jul - 12:16am
    Stepehen Donnelly, the conditions will never be right for a peaceful settlement - Israel will see to that, Israel wants to steal Palestinian land not...
  • User Avatarjedibeeftrix 25th Jul - 12:15am
    good question, David, please let us hash this out now: how far do the lib-dem's envisage this federalism extending?
  • User AvatarAndi Ali 25th Jul - 12:11am
    You have to admire the people defending Israel? It's not easy defending a country who are murdering men, women and children in their hundreds, but...
  • User AvatarStephen Donnelly 24th Jul - 11:46pm
    I don't think that there is any merit in reinterpreting the past. That is not where a solution is to be found. Neither is picking...