Category Archives: LibLink

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

What Tim Farron hopes to achieve for women in 2016

Tim Farron has been doing all he can to get into a variety of media, from Have I got news for you, to Wetherspoons’ newsletter and, this week, to Stylist magazine. This issue is featuring many politicians as guest editors.

Tim was one of three politicians asked to write a letter to their idol and also to say what he wanted to achieve for women this year. This was his response to the latter:

Stylist: Farron pledge to women


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Paddy on “moral duty” to save starving Syrians

Paddy Ashdown has teamed up with Labour MP and former Oxfam staffer Jo Cox to make the case for urgent action to help not just those people suffering in Madaya but the 1 million Syrians suffering the effects of sieges. They wrote in the Telegraph:

The UN estimates that 400,000 people have been systematically denied food, medicine and water in medieval siege conditions in Syria: the real figure is probably nearer to one million. Meanwhile the Syrian Government plays grandmothers footsteps with the international community: besiege a city, wait for the political pressure to build, make limited or phoney concessions, and then, when everyone has lost interest, continue as before. Last year the UN made 91 requests of the Syrian government to secure humanitarian access across conflict lines. Less than a third of those have been approved. In total, only 13 cross-line convoys were completed.

Also posted in Europe / International | Tagged , , , and | 2 Comments

Four priorities for LGBT+ in 2016

New chair of LGBT+, Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett has set out 4 priorities for the organisation in the coming year in his New Year message. They are:

Mental health

We know that suicides amongst LGBT+ people are at their highest, and that bullying and harassment leads to a myriad issues, from drug, sex and alcohol addiction, chemsex, lack of happiness, isolation and body image expectations. Where there are potential solutions like the use of PReP, or new Hep C drugs available, especially when HIV diagnoses are increasing, we need to lobby governments to tell pharmaceutical companies to make these medications available to those who are at risk and need that support.

International aid and asylum

 I’m proud to say that the Lib Dems set out our policy against the deportation of LGBT+ asylum seekers way back in 2008, and this policy made it to our 2010 manifesto and the Coalition Agreement. However, when the Tories took over the Home Office from Labour, they continued to send people back to countries where they may be persecuted, prisoned or killed. Our asylum system still sees it fit to probe people’s personal lives to try and determine whether their sexuality is genuine. I still find that hard to stomach; essentially you are asking someone to prove they are LGBT+ when in those countries the public knowledge of this may lead to perilous circumstances. Would we like our personal stories to be forensically detailed just to prove we love someone of the same sex?

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LibLink: Kate Parminter: Revising the Politics A-level curriculum

Over the Christmas holidays, Kate Parminter wrote for Politics Home about why she is trying to stop the Government from taking the study of feminism out of the A level Politics syllabus. They are also planning on only including one woman in the sixteen thinkers studied.

It is vital that young people have the opportunity to understand the political thinking and movements that have generated progress to date, and the ongoing barriers to women’s equality. Discussion at the sixth form level is a crucial part of achieving that.

This is facilitated in the current A Level Politics syllabus by the inclusion of feminism under ‘other ideologies that emerged either out of or in opposition to liberalism, socialism and conservatism’. Students are expected to know at least the key concepts of ‘sex and gender, gender equality, patriarchy, public/private divide and essentialism.’

In the proposed changes to the syllabus the Government will minimise the role women have played in British politics, international politics and the development of political philosophy. Moreover, they are reaffirming gender bias that treats men and their interests as the norm and women and their interests as optional extras.


LibLink: Tim Farron: Rebuilding Cumbria in the wake of floods

In a column for the North West Evening Mail, Tim Farron talks about the difficulties people continue to face in the floods-hit Lake District:

Importantly we are still not sure when the A591 will be open again between Grasmere and Keswick and that is the major road priority in the county.

As you drive around you cannot help but see damage to lots of roads around the county. Cumbria County Council will be repairing potholes for months to come.

I am doing all I can to press the government to move to address these issues as quickly as possible and to find the money we need to get all the work done.

We have seen the temporary road open up by Thirlmere to get school children and any others who need to travel between Grasmere and Keswick through but this is really only a sticking plaster.

He did, however, make the point that the Lake District was still very much open for business. That made us think that it might be a good idea to go and visit there and see beautiful scenery and enjoy the wonderful restaurants and pubs there. January is always a miserable month, so a visit to somewhere pretty might be just the thing you need to cheer you up:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: My birthday wish is that we win the argument for staying in the EU

Nick Clegg’s first Standard column of the New Year is published on his birthday. Twitter was not exactly heaving with birthday wishes as midnight passed, but there were some:

Anyway, when he blows out the 49 candles on his birthday cake today, he’ll be wishing that we stay in the EU. I thought they weren’t supposed to come true if you told them, but there is some relevance to the paragraph he spends going on about the misery of a January birthday. What was happening around the time he was born?

On this day 49 years ago, British diplomats were preparing for negotiations with the six founder members of the European Economic Community — Belgium, France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Luxembourg — over our application to join. It was our second attempt to get into the European club, having tried four years earlier only to be rebuffed with a haughty “Non!” from Charles de Gaulle.

The debate about whether we should be in or out was remarkably similar to the one we are having today. People on the pro side of the argument believed it was in our economic and strategic interest to join; the antis warned it would lead to the surrender of too much British sovereignty. Plus ça change.

Also posted in Europe / International | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg: Free speech must not be the victim in fighting extremism

In this week’s Standard column, Nick Clegg looks at the controversy surrounding Donald Trump and Tyson Fury and questions the knee jerk reactions that call for them to be banned:

But there are always things in life which are unpleasant and offensive. Donald Trump is a dangerous loudmouth. Tyson Fury is a terrible role model. Germaine Greer is wrong on transgender rights.

Maybe it’s the instant, push-button, “something must be done” culture of the internet age. Adding your name to an online petition without a second’s thought is a gratifyingly rapid reflex to something that is irritating or outrageous in the news. It’s the digital equivalent of children stamping their feet in anger or frustration. My kids do it all the time.

But in the real world we can’t just wish away everything we don’t like. More importantly, banning stuff doesn’t mean it goes away — it just pops up somewhere else. Barring Trump from the UK is the political equivalent of playing Whack-a-Mole — he’ll just pop up somewhere else, twice as loud.

In a liberal society, offensive views should be challenged, not blocked. Bigots should be exposed and defeated in argument. Big-mouthed cretins should be ridiculed, not turned into martyrs (and certainly not elected president).

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Feb - 8:42am
    The trouble is that, unless we get to grips with the problem, we could be hearing more of this. The latest from Syria is that...
  • User AvatarMalcolm Lewis 11th Feb - 8:31am
    There are some good points here as to why the UK would be better off to remain in, as you say, the areas of the...
  • User AvatarDenis Mollison 11th Feb - 8:08am
    Chris_sh - I still think that "horse-trading" is a pejorative term hiding a faulty argument. Parties themselves are coalitions - particularly under FPTP where disparate...
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 11th Feb - 8:06am
    Why did we say nothing about the Tories' European bedfellows in the European election campaign in 2014?!?!?!?!
  • User AvatarAllan Heron 11th Feb - 7:54am
    Is Tim "against delay"? He acknowledged he was comfortable with and edging towards September when this was discussed at the weekend. He didn't think having...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Feb - 7:50am
    Roland, Are you sure about student loans? Just one other thing. I wish those mainly young doctors on the picket line would look less cheerful....