Category Archives: News

WATCH: Tim Farron on the Sunday Politics: Progressive, centre left voters are turning to us

Farron on Sunday Politics

 

Tim Farron was interviewed on the Sunday Politics today ahead of the local elections. Andrew Neil gave him a hard time, as you would expect, but he came out of it quite well.

You can watch the whole thing here.

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Katy Gordon challenges SNP minister on housing and homelessness failures

Scotland 2016 held its final election debate, on housing, earlier this week. West of Scotland lead candidate Katy Gordon represented the Liberal Democrats. She put forward the Lib Dems’ plan, which takes in mental health, addiction and prison services as well and confronted SNP Housing Minister Alex Neil on his government’s failure to keep its promises and deal with a very real housing crisis in Scotland. As always, Katy was full of practical detail and put in a very thoughtful and engaging performance. You can watch her here.

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You can see the whole …

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Rennie: Sturgeon must shred China deal after human rights warning

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie today said that the SNP risks dragging Scotland’s reputation through the mud following reports that a Chinese firm at the heart of a controversial £10bn deal with the Scottish Government is tied to human rights abuses.

It was reported in today’s Herald that Amnesty International named China Railway Group Ltd (CRG) and subsidiaries it controls in a report exposing human rights abuses related to the mining industry in the Democratic Republic of Congo.

It had previously emerged that CRG had been blacklisted for investment by Norway’s oil fund over fears that the construction giant was involved in gross corruption.

Willie said:

The last thing that the First Minister did before the election started was sign a £10bn deal with a business directly tied to allegations of corruption.

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LDV Top Tip: If you’re going to accuse your opponent of negative campaigning, don’t call him names

Edinburgh Western’s SNP candidate Toni Giugliano has been telling anyone who’ll listen that his Liberal Democrat rival Alex Cole-Hamilton has been fighting a negative campaign. He certainly went to town on that particular theme when interviewed by a Herald journalist who was writing a profile on the seat.

The first words in the article are Giugliano’s:

“HE’S spineless,” says the SNP’s Toni Giugliano of his Liberal Democrat nemesis Alex Cole-Hamilton. “He’ll do and say anything to get elected.”

The problem is that in Scotland these days, any criticism of the SNP is seen by them as negative campaigning. Holding the Government and elected representatives to account is a vital part of any healthy democracy and the SNP’s record in West Edinburgh has given cause for concern. The current MP, who narrowly defeated our Mike Crockart last year, resigned the SNP whip pending an investigation over property deals. She took 9 months to open an office in the constituency.

The main features of Alex’s campaign have been first and foremost to promote him as the candidate, to outline Lib Dem policies like the penny on income tax to invest in education, improving mental health care, meeting our climate change targets (important as two of the roads in the constituency are the most polluted in Scotland) and putting local accountability back into policing. Thirdly, it’s to emphasise what people know only too clearly from last year – that the constituency race is between Alex and the SNP. Fourthly, it’s to hold the SNP to account on its record locally and nationally.

You can tell that he’s getting somewhere when the Press and Journal highlighted Alex as one of the candidates to watch across Scotland.

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Would you quit your job to join the Liberal Democrats?

It would take a pretty big leap of faith to give up a job so you could leave one political party and join another which you felt better reflected your values, but that is exactly what Cllr Amanda Broom from Yeovil has done. She worked as caseworker for Yeovil’s new Conservative MP Marcus Fysh and was so upset by the Government’s actions that she decided she could no longer remain a member of the Conservative Party.

From the Yeovil Press:

Cllr Broom has stressed that her decision to join to the LibDems was nothing to do with her working relationship with Mr Fysh – but more concerned with “not being comfortable supporting” Conservative policies at a national level.

In a prepared statement Cllr Broom said: “I have been increasingly concerned over the current Government’s direction of travel to the right and the potential impact of these policies on my ward members – in particular – those on low pay, long term ailments or disabilities.

“I am also disappointed with the Government’s lack of foresight with regards to sustainable environmental policies including renewable energy.

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Roaming charges reduced from tomorrow thanks to the EU

There is good news for smartphone users heading to the continent this bank holiday weekend. From tomorrow (April 30th), new EU rules will cap the cost of using your phone when abroad in Europe at 4p per minute, 2p per text and 4p per MB of data (excluding VAT), around four times cheaper than current limits.

Three UK’s rate is dropping from 16.6p per minute, 5.2p per text and 17.4p per MB to 4.3p per minute, 1.5p per text and 4.3p per MB. Tesco Mobile has announced it will drop roaming charges altogether in more than 30 European countries between May and September this year. From July 2016, all phone companies will be required to scrap roaming fees for phone users travelling within the EU.

That’s good news for my brother-in-law who is currently in Mallorca to compete in the marathon cycle ride, the Mallorca 312 tomorrow. That’s 312 km, a lot of it on the massive mountain ridge that covers the west of the island. I thought my leaflet delivery schedule for the next few days was punishing, but this is quite some feat of endurance, so  good luck, Jamie and team-mates.

This adds to a growing list of reasons to vote to remain in the EU. It maybe isn’t the biggest, but it does show that the EU is working to break down unnecessary barriers for the benefit of its half billion people.

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WATCH: Norman Baker’s Reform Club’s hard-hitting song “Give War a Chance”

Norman Baker’s band, The Reform Club has a new album, Never Yesterday, out. Today, they release a very professional looking video.

Watch the hard-hitting song Give War a Chance which satirises the activities of a “peace envoy” and is published ahead of the Chilcott Report which we are sure will be published at some point this millennium. Norman plays the role of the envoy to absolute perfection. And there are tanks. Real tanks.

Of the song, Norman says:

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPeter Watson 1st May - 10:08pm
    @David Evans "Sadly it is the clear view of most of those voters that he failed to do that and even worse, they believe that...
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 1st May - 9:48pm
    Typo "tests".
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 1st May - 9:46pm
    Without knowing a lady's age it is difficult to comment, but there are two teats 1) Do you remember where you were when you heard...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 1st May - 9:11pm
    Caractacus - How true. All Nick had to do was stick to what he had promised and fight for those who had put their trust...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 1st May - 8:10pm
    Lorenzo - very much agree about Maria's very interesting contribution. There is only one thing more uncomfortable than saying something and that is the horrible...
  • User Avatarmalc 1st May - 6:52pm
    I'm not sure there is any evidence that the "progressive centre left voters" are turning to the Lib Dems. In Scotland and Wales the evidence...