Category Archives: News

LibLink: Tim Farron: Scrapping Minister for Refugees shows May’s Govt shrinking from role in solving refugee crisis

Syrian refugees by Syria Freedom Freedom House Flickr CCL 2In an article for the Huffington Post, Tim Farron has slammed Theresa May for scrapping the post of Minister for Refugees, a post which was only established by David Cameron last September to make it look like he was doing something.

The minister, amongst other things, oversaw the implementation of Britain’s commitment to take 20,000 Syrian refugees from the region and an additional 3,000 vulnerable refugee children from the Middle East over the course of this Parliament. This process was already moving at a snail’s pace – by the end of March of this year only 1,602 people had been resettled in the UK. Now, with no one holding the ball on this issue you have to wonder how anyone can remain optimistic that we will hit this target.

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New issue of Liberator out

Issue 379 of Liberator is on its way to subscribers.

This issue’s free sample online content is from Baroness Julie Smith on what went wrong with the Remain campaign, and Roger Hayes on a plan to take the political temperature of the post-referendum UK and devise liberal responses to this.

Elsewhere the issue has the Commentary on how 48% of the electorate is an ample pool in which the party can fish, news and gossip in Radical Bulletin, reviews and Lord Bonkers’ Diary.

There is also more referendum reaction from: Kiron Reid, Sir Graham Watson, Jane McBennett and Lord Trevor Smith and a set of Vox Pops from party activists.

Jonathan Calder looks at the final disgrace of Tony Blair in the Chilcot report, David Grace reviews David Laws’ book on the Coalition and Energlyn Churchill assesses what he calls the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ existential crisis. Nick Winch contributes an obituary for David Rendel.

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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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    Do we know if Liz Truss inhaled ?
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    That is, the latter sources, rather than the former.
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