Category Archives: Op-eds

How Caroline Pidgeon would change London for the better

Caroline Pidgeon is spending the last day of campaigning for the Mayoral Election out in Putney with Nick Clegg

LBC has a list of ten ways London would change if she were Mayor.

1) £20 from your council tax will be used to build new houses
The Olympic precept will be maintained, but the money turned to building 50,000 council homes to rent and 150,000 for sale.

2) Tube fares before 7.30am will be half-price
The Lib Dems promise to “introduce half price fares for Tube, Overground rail and DLR travellers before 7.30am – to reduce the cost of travel for thousands of hard-working Londoners and ease peak congestion.”

3) All London’s buses and taxis will become fully electric
A Lib Dem plan is to switch London’s buses and taxis to be fully electric as well as helping to switch commercial vans too.

Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Tim Farron MP writes…The Government must deliver for refugee children 

In October 2015 I used my first PMQ as leader to urge David Cameron to give a home to 3,000 vulnerable unaccompanied children who had fled war and persecution and were now in Europe. Save the Children, who launched the campaign, had calculated that 3,000 was the UK’s ‘fair share’ of the 26,000 unaccompanied children estimated to have arrived in Europe since the start of the refugee crisis. Six months on and with the numbers of unaccompanied children in Europe having skyrocketed to 90,000 the Government has finally capitulated in principle to take some children from Europe.What started as a …

Tagged , and | Leave a comment

From new member to candidate – the Lib Dem newbies fighting their first election

Snow doesn't stop Becca Plenderleith and team campaigning Inspired by a post in one of those Lib Dem Facebook groups, I thought it would be a good idea to give a special shout-out for these wonderful new members of the party who have become so involved that they are standing for election this year. This is by no means an exclusive list, so please feel free to add to it. The enthusiasm of our new members has really invigorated the party the length and breadth of the country this year. In Scotland, people like Rebecca Plenderleith, a fantastic campaigner for mental health who has written for us about why she became a Lib Dem, Charity Pierce, Giovanni Caccavello, Bryn Jones, Lauren Jones, Kaitey Blair are flying the Lib Dem flag. Rebecca and colleagues are pictured above campaigning in the worst snow the Scottish Winter had to throw at us. Another of our regular contributors Alex H is standing and co-ordinating campaigns across his town. Greg Webb is running for the Council in Derby and gaining valuable experience for the future. In London, Rachel Waitt is standing in a Council by-election in Figge’s Marsh ward in Mitcham tomorrow. Julie Ireland is standing for the constituency of Bexley and Bromley.

Tagged and | 1 Comment

Kirsty Williams: Vote Lib Dem to make more nurses and smaller class sizes a reality

Kirsty Williams has made her final pitch for Lib Dem votes in Montgomeryshire, supporting candidate Jane Dodds, where she will say that the Welsh Liberal Democrats are the only party to consistently work to achieve results and put narrow party-political interest aside, their leader Kirsty Williams has said today on the eve of the Assembly election.

Tomorrow’s vote is your chance to make a difference for your community. Before you cast it, I want you to ask yourself: who has delivered the most for you and your family?

More often than not, the people I talk to across Wales aren’t interested in the cheap party-political point-scoring. What they always ask me is, ‘What have you done to make my life better?’ As a Welsh Liberal Democrat, I always have a long list of things to tell them about.

When Labour wanted to cut the numbers of apprenticeships in Wales, we used our influence to stop them. When rural councils were getting a raw funding deal, it was us who secured more money. When our poorest pupils were consistently underachieving in our schools, it was us who stepped in and gave them that extra support.

Unlike the other parties, we’re not content with whinging from the sidelines. Welsh Liberal Democrats always roll up our sleeves and get things done for our communities, and for the people of Wales.

If our record over the last five years shows anything, it’s that a vote for the Welsh Liberal Democrats is a vote for our policies being put into action. Tomorrow will be no different – your vote could help make our ideas a reality.

If you support smaller class sizes, if you want more nurses on hospital wards, if you want an Opportunity Economy that enables people to get on life, then you have to vote for it – you have to vote Welsh Liberal Democrat. Only then can we begin to deliver a Wales that works for you.

The last few days of her campaign have been a whirlwind of campaigning that has seen her everywhere from Ceredigion to Cardiff to North Wales to her home patch of Brecon and Radnorshire.

Tagged , and | 1 Comment

Billingsgate – a crisis for Labour that can be solved by tactical voting for Lib Dem Joe Otten

I live in Rotherham and on May 5th I will vote to elect a Police and Crime Commissioner for South Yorkshire. Since its inception in 2012 the post of South Yorkshire PCC has been held by Labour. The first incumbent, Shaun Wright did not stay the course and was forced to resign in 2014 following a report into the Rotherham child abuse scandal.  His successor, Labour’s Dr Alan Billings has fared little better and was last week caught up in the aftermath of the Hillsborough inquest verdict. He bungled the suspension and replacement of the South Yorkshire Police chief constable and has subsequently failed to answer questions about the £18m of public money his office authorised to be spent on lawyers who unnecessarily presented false allegations against innocent people throughout the Hillsborough inquest. Incredibly Dr Billings failed to see any of this coming. On the very day of the Hillsborough verdict he was occupied launching his re-election campaign by declaring war on litter.

If the ballot papers for the election had not already been printed it seems unlikely that Dr Billings would have survived to fight another day and his ill-timed poor performance has placed Labour in an impossible position. They must back their candidate 100%, but if successful they can hardly be looking forward to the prospect of facing a growing crisis that seems likely to lead to Dr Billings’ resignation. Win or lose Labour is in trouble. The electorate will decide the good doctor’s immediate fate, but if a historic turnout for South Yorkshire PCC elections of under 15% is maintained a Billings victory is unlikely to convince the general public that he has a legitimate mandate.

Tagged and | 4 Comments

Ten ways Willie Rennie made Scotland smile during #sp16

Many of the defining images of the election in Scotland have come from Willie Rennie. He has had a lot of serious points to make during this election, highlighting the need to invest in education, transform mental health, stand up for civil liberties, protect the planet from climate change and stop the SNP’s suffocating control and centralisation of public services, but he’s had tonnes of fun illustrating them.

In 2006, his by-election victory in Dunfermline was helped by an image on the front page of the Courier from the top of the Forth Rail Bridge. He’s had some similarly fantastic photos and videos this campaign.  On Monday he went go-karting and his photo on the podium afterwards, doing the “Schumi Jump” that Michael Schumacher always used to do when he won, made it into virtually every paper.

His bright and exuberant campaign has had loads of coverage and has caught people’s imagination. You know you are on the right track when people start repeating your campaign messages on the doorsteps. From a very challenging outlook, he has brought the party to the very real possibility of gaining a constituency seat against the SNP tomorrow. The media is watching Edinburgh Western and Alex Cole-Hamilton.

A lot of these photo-ops were very risky. Some could have been disastrous. Imagine the headlines if the canoe had capsized. Of course, one did go memorably wrong, but a few packets of Percy Pigs later, the journalists were laughing with rather than at us.

The manifesto launch was bright, exuberant and unforgettable. He got interviewed on a slide, for goodness sake.

There was the day they let him fly a plane.

Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Lord Paul Tyler writes…Liberal Democrats force government climbdown on Trade Union Bill

This evening sees the culmination of five months’ work, led by the Lib Dems, which will finally knock some fairness into the Government’s proposals for reforming the relationship between Labour and the Trade Unions.

Late last year, the Left was raging – with some justification – about a Tory plot to remove up to £6m a year of funding from Labour, by restricting the right of trade unions to collect donations through a political fund.  While the principle of requiring individual ‘opt-in’ consent for such donations is an important one – with which Lib Dems agree – the Government’s endeavour was a naked, one-sided attempt to hobble the opposition.  Real party funding reform cannot be for only one party.  It must also restrict millionaire and big business donations too.

The question our team had to ask was how to amend these elements of the Trade Union Bill without it sounding like simple special pleading for anti-Conservative forces.  Clearly, our party is in a good position to start with, since the Lib Dems do not benefit from trade union political funds.  But we still needed to demonstrate in as non-partisan, dispassionate a way as possible that the what the Government proposed was simply lop-sided and self-interested.

So on the day before the House broke up for Christmas our small Lib Dem Bill team discussed a little-used mechanism to corral principled opposition to the party funding clauses of the Bill.  I suggested that we try to shift this issue to a special Select Committee of the Lords, where Ministers, the Unions, democracy academics, and all the parties could make their case.

Tagged , and | 3 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarCaron Lindsay 4th May - 10:18pm
    Paul, Victoria has done wonders organising polling day and she was about to start re-arranging the office to make it work for tomorrow. She has...
  • User AvatarPaul Holmes 4th May - 10:05pm
    Victoria must have been taking a break between delivery Rounds then! Hywel makes good points but it is still true in a close election contest...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 4th May - 9:51pm
    With the favourable comment about Zac Goldsmith, is this a nod to Caroline Pidgeon's supporters to give a second preference to him?If so, she has...
  • User AvatarHywel 4th May - 9:41pm
    I was a 10 O'clock person but: "Remember that every person you find at home in the morning is one less person to remind later...
  • User AvatarMatt (Bristol) 4th May - 8:56pm
    Manfarang -- I apologise for getting it wrong about Ireland -- although the previous government had promised a referendum last year on whether Irish ex-pats...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 4th May - 7:44pm
    I agree with Paul Holmes wholeheartedly. ALDC advice is to start knocking up at 9.30am. Remember that every person you find at home in the...