350 years of Liberal history in 32 pages

If you want to read a short summary of the last 350 years of Liberal politics in Britain, the Liberal Democrat History Group has just the thing for you – a new edition of our booklet Liberal History: A Concise History of the Liberal Party, SDP and Liberal Democrats.

This is designed as a comprehensive but relatively short (about 10,000 words) summary of Liberal, SDP and Liberal Democrat history for readers wanting more detail than they can find on the party website, but less than a full book. We produced the booklet originally in 2005, and we’ve revised it twice since; this edition is up to date as of summer 2016.

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Would you like to organise fringe meetings for LDV?

(C) Manny Begum Yasadein PhotographyLib Dem Voice has run some cracking fringe meetings at Federal Conferences in the past, including the Blogger of the Year awards – the BOTYs.  Even Tim Farron won one. The awards seem to have run into the ground, mainly because there are now so many forms of social media and it is difficult to capture good practice in all of them.

But we do want to reboot our presence on the fringe, and we are looking for someone to join the LDV team in order to take on the job of organising fringe meetings in future. There is no requirement to write for LDV, although we certainly wouldn’t stop you!

We’ve drawn up a job description:

Fringe meetings manager

LDV is looking for a volunteer to join our team in order to organise fringe meetings at Spring and Autumn Federal conferences.

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US Election: Non-college-educated whites versus the rest?

One of the noticeable features of last night’s US Presidential debate (see full transcript here) was how Donald Trump was goaded into saying things to damage his chances with key constituencies. His “stop and frisk” proposal will not, I suspect, go down well with African American communities. Mention of his criticism of Alicia Machado, a hispanic former Miss Universe, probably met with displeasure from women and Hispanics. There was the airing of the “birther” controversy and a whole series of Trump favourites, as he was very successfully goaded by Hillary Clinton.

Posted in LDVUSA | Tagged , and | 19 Comments

“Please offer me a seat”

avril-coelho-conference

As a disabled commuter who is unable to drive for medical reasons, I rely as thousands of other people to on public transport to get to the shops, to  get to work and back and to get to medical appointments.

Whilst I have a disabled person’s freedom pass, drivers don’t always notice that I need a priority seat. Certainly as my disabilities are hidden, other passengers don’t see my epilepsy or the three worn vertebrae in my spine. I need to sit where it’s not too hard to get up again and where the driver can see if I do have a seizure. I know that should I have a seizure, bus drivers have a protocol to follow.

I have been on a busy Tube and not offered a seat despite talking about my need for one with another standing passenger who was two weeks away from giving birth. Her need was obvious to anyone with sight but nobody got up. We were stood next to many seated men with briefcases and mobile phones in their hands who might have all needed their seats but it’s unlikely. A seat came up and I offered the lady the seat as her and her unborn baby needed it. The heat became unbearable and triggered a seizure and without anyone giving up a seat within the ten seconds I had to sit down, I fell down on the Tube floor. Only then did the men seated get up. Not to offer me their seats though! They picked me and my bag up and carried me of the Gunnersbury platform bench and left me alone there! My bag could have been stolen before the seizure ended.

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Be under no illusion – the BMA screwed this up.

Prior to previous set of strikes, there was an emphasis on patient safety. The contract was unsafe, argued doctors, and Jeremy Hunt’s plans were unrealistic. Chair of the Junior Doctors’ Committee (JDC), Johann Malawanna and a number of other doctors in the BMA did a superb job of appearing reasonable, measured and yet passionate. Junior doctors looked like professionals being harried and hampered by government from trying to help patients.

At relatively short notice, a ballot with a turnout of 72% gained 98% support for strikes. This is unheard of. The strikes were announced well in advanced, were each two days long and went ahead safely without incident. They had the support of the vast majority of consultants, other healthcare professionals and royal colleges. The BMA had shed its reputation for incompetence.

Posted in Op-eds | 21 Comments

Every single vote to 20%

There were nine by-elections in total on Thursday. Seven were spread out across England with one each in Scotland and Wales so after celebrating our two gains I decided that they represented a big enough cross section to do some analysis.

Across the seats we contested the average increase in our vote was 12.3% and our total vote share was an impressive 24.7%.

However, we only contested six of the by-elections. 1/3rd of the elections went ahead without any Liberal Democrat on the ballot. Unfortunately when you add in these three 0% figures our vote increase comes down to 8.2% and our vote share down to 16.5%

In the 2016 local elections the media glossed over the fact that we had the biggest number of net gains and were the only party to gain control of a council. But what they couldn’t gloss over was the fact that we’d pushed UKIP back into 4th place with our vote share. LAB 31%, CON 30%, LDEM 15%, UKIP 12%. Wherever the graphs and tables were shown it was clear that the Lib Dems were back.

Everyone is aware of the electoral reasons for always putting up a candidate but it really does matter for another reason which I will show you below.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 8 Comments

Trump and Clinton finally meet to debate

Well, at last we saw Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton facing each other this morning. You can watch the debate in full via CBS and YouTube below.

My first impression was that Hilary Clinton certainly put the “health” and “stamina” issues to bed. Donald Trump started to get a little frayed as the debate wore on. Clinton carried on confidently and was as fresh as a daisy at the end. She certainly looked “presidential”.

Posted in LDVUSA | Tagged | 29 Comments
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    Steven Rose' The Austerity years were for nothing. They prolonged the recession with very few benefits to the economy and the chief architect of this...
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    Stevan Rose - how is Tim Farron going to build houses, reverse the cuts in public services and improve them whilst improving education and the...
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    @Simon Shaw Re what a silly comment. We all of us here express our opinions on issues that are by their nature debatable. It may...
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    David Brenton - I'm getting my butt to Whitney again this weekend. Win this one and then we shall see their smiles turn
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    Simon Shaw speaks sense. If we steer left that leaves the centre and centre right exclusively to the Tories. Whoever wins the centre wins the...
  • User AvatarPeter Thornton 30th Sep - 12:21am
    Not so good in Tyldesley, the results were reported with LD and UKIP switched round.