Category Archives: News

Welsh family farms must not be left to cultivate butterflies

Martin Thomas

 

 

Martin Thomas, who sits in the House of Lords as Lord Thomas of Gresford, is our Shadow Attorney General. I mentioned his title because he hails from a small town near Wrexham and has been actively involved in Welsh politics since the 1960s.

So who better to call out Andrea Leadsom’s bizarre assertion that farmers with “big fields do the sheep, and those with the hill farms do the butterflies”.

In a speech in the Lords last week he said:

It is with a fine sense of irony, mingled perhaps with some contempt for farming interests, that  the new Prime Minister has appointed Mrs Leadsom, a lady who campaigned for the leadership of the Tory party on the basis of her experience in finance in the City since 1984.

In 2007, Mrs Leadsom demanded that farm subsidies be abolished. That would not be good for food production and for the environment, and it would lay waste upland Wales.

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Liberalism GO

Last week the new mobile phone game Pokémon Go was launched in the UK (you can download it on Apple and Android devices) and it seems to have been a great hit. The point of the game is to explore the real world to find these little Pocket Monsters (“Pokémon”) which show up on your phone. In addition to this, there are numerous “Pokéstops” and gyms placed throughout the world which allow players to collect in-game items and compete against other players in battles to become the very best.

Now this might sound silly to you or not your cup of tea but here are a few ways in which it could help you (at least over the next month or two).

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Lib Dem Jobwatch special: Last chance to apply for internship with ALDC

The Association of Liberal Democrat Councillors and Campaigners is this party’s foremost authority on local campaigning. They know how to win council seats and run councils like nobody else. A chance to work for them is a brilliant opportunity.

They run an internship scheme and are currently advertising for a campaigns and communications intern to work for them for a year from 1st September. Details are as follows:

This is a full-time role, paid at the UK National Minimum/Living Wage (currently £7.20 per hour for 25 year olds and over, and the applicable rate for under 25s) based at our offices in Manchester city centre.

ALDC is the national organisation for Liberal Democrat councillors and campaigners. This is an exciting opportunity to be involved in the work of the organisation as we continue to build on the gains in this year’s local elections and by-elections.

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LibLink: Alistair Carmichael: We put an end to child detention. Now the Tories have backtracked

Alistair Carmichael writes for STV News about the Tories sneaking out the announcement about the closure of the Cedars facility:

It is the oldest trick in the parliamentary book. Slip out all the bad news on the last day when MPs are already looking out the Ambre Solaire and the flip flops. By the time the Commons returns in September the moment for protest will have passed and the pressure will be off.

Thursday’s clutch brought the usual mix of the good, the bad and the indifferent. And one more — the shameful. Buried in amongst announcements about schools funding, Ecofin and Armed Forces Pay Review Body appointments, there is one entitled “Cedars pre-departure accommodation”. It is a cosy-sounding title that betrays its true nature.

Cedars was the accommodation set up under the coalition government when implementing the commitment in the coalition agreement to end the detention of children for immigration purposes. It meant that children in families awaiting removal from the UK would no longer have to spend time in lock-down institutions.

Why should we treat children of asylum seekers less well than we would want our own to be treated, he asks.

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Amna Ahmad selected to fight Sutton and Cheam

Selections for a potential snap general election continue. Amna Ahmad has been selected to fight Sutton and Cheam, the seat held until the 2015 general election by former health and social care minister Paul Burstow.

She announced the news in a tweet:

You can find out more about Amna and what makes her tick in an interview she gave to the Croydon Citizen when standing for the GLA for Sutton and Croydon this year:

I grew up in south London, but I was born in Pakistan, moving to London when I was less than a year old. When I was growing up, there was domestic violence in my home, and I spent some time in foster care. I spent a lot of time dealing with the authorities at a young age and realised that it can be difficult to speak up and be heard. These experiences have given me the drive to speak up for others wherever I can. That’s why I got involved in politics, and I joined the Liberal Democrats because I believed that going to war in Iraq was the wrong decision. The Liberal Democrats were the only party to wholeheartedly campaign against that war.

I believe in community politics and local decision making, which is why I am a Liberal Democrat…

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Liberal Democrat position on Police merger vindicated by Scottish think tank

The Lib Dems have form for calling things right – the Iraq War, the Credit Crunch, Mystic Clegg’s account of what would happen post Brexit vote. We also said from the beginning that merging Scotland’s eight police forces into one was a disaster waiting to happen. So it has been proven in many ways from routine arming of Police in the Highlands to the failures related to the M9 crash where two people died after being left for 3 days, to the closing down of saunas in Edinburgh, ruining years of a system that worked.

Now think tank Reform Scotland has published a report that vindicates the Lib Dem position and supports the measures for reintroduction of local accountability that we called for in our Scottish Parliament election manifesto. Its research director said:

However we remain concerned that, under the current centralised structure, there is no obvious way to actually make localism happen.

For that reason, we have proposed that both the funding and governance structure must change. He who pays the piper calls the tune, and on that principle we believe that local authorities should again be responsible for funding 50% of policing, with the Scottish Government continuing to fund the other 50%.

Furthermore, we believe that each local authority should be able to nominate a member of the Scottish Police Authority to ensure that local priorities are adequately represented.

The creation of Police Scotland was a mistake, and in the absence of any further wholesale reform we all have a responsibility to make the smaller changes which can help re-create local policing.

Liam McArthur, Scottish Lib Dem Justice spokesperson said:

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Suggestions for constitutional changes after Brexit and Chilcot

The EU referendum was both democratic and dictatorial.

This form of democracy was, is and will be profoundly self-harming of our nation. It destroyed opportunities, such as negotiating for a more democratic and less finance controlled EU, and precipitated unnecessary difficulties, such as having to deal with a massive range of trade negotiations from a position of weakness.

It was imposed unilaterally by the then Prime Minister, David Cameron, in an inept and selfish attempt to cohere his party and keep in his job. It has cost us our powerful place in Europe and may cost the United Kingdom the kingdom of Scotland and lead to problems resulting from an intensified Anglo-Irish border.

The Chilcot Report proves that Great Britain was misled into a bloody war by the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair, and an unaccountable clique of cronies and apparatchiks. Its dangerous and cruel consequences increase daily. The costs to our armed forces were, and are needless death, mutilation and mental damage.

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    Of France, Switzerland, Japan, China, Germany, South Africa and Poland more than half are not in the EU. The EU is restricted to a portion...
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    The older generation weren't "selfish" they just had a different opinion to yourself, alienating older voters by branding them "selfish" isn't likely to win you...
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    The question of identity seems to be at the root of it. Some people feel they have lost an identity. However, it seems like before...
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