Tag Archives: featured

Vince Cable writes…The birth of the 48 movement

For our party and its supporters in the country the last few years have brought one defeat after another:  local councils, devolved government, national government, AV referendum, now the EU referendum.  There is a limit to the number of times a boxer can climb back up off the floor.  What fortifies me is the adage that winners are losers who never give up.  And perhaps we should think bigger: not as a small party with an 8% core vote but the centre of gravity of a broad movement of 48% of voters who chose Remain.

The first step in responding to defeat has been to look for scapegoats: the people who led a poor and failing campaign.  Cameron has gone and (hopefully) Corbyn and Osborne are going.   But in truth the Remain campaign as a whole failed to grasp the strength of the opposing coalition: not just conservative pensioners who want the past back but the’ left behind ‘who have suffered declining living standards and public services, the Commonwealth voters who felt Europe was at their expense and many who felt this was the best way to give an unpopular and unrepresentative government a good kicking.

That is why we have to approach the result with some humility.  There is nothing to be gained by denial: crying foul. We wuz robbed, ref.  I see petitions demanding a re-run, legal challenges and appeals to parliament to ‘do something’.  Dream on.  Of course the Leave campaign was mendacious; of course the referendum shouldn’t have happened; of course parliament was negligent in not building in thresholds. But the public was clearly told by both sides that the result would be final. And there was a big turnout.  That is it..

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6000 and rising

HQ tells us that by last night 6000 new members had joined the Liberal Democrats, echoing the big increase in membership after the General Election last year.

We love having new members so we hope you will all get involved and help push the party forward. Encourage your friends to join; if they think like you then they probably won’t need much persuading.

Caron Lindsay has written a post full of useful information for new members. Also, search us out on Facebook and Twitter (@LibDems, @timfarron, @libdemvoice) if you haven’t found us already. Lots of local parties and activists are active on both.

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1000 new members join Lib Dems as Farron says “We will keep the vision of an open, optimistic, hopeful Britain alive”

So I still haven’t gone to bed yet. I feel just about alive. There seems little point in sleeping now as I need to get up at 4:30 tomorrow morning to catch a flight to London for Federal Executive where we have a whole day of constitutional amendments ahead of us. I suspect we may mention the Referendum result as well. Just a bit.

“I’m for the 16 million, the 48%” said Tim Farron in a speech on the referendum result. By 1pm,1000 people had joined the party, reminiscent of the surge last year.

Tim’s speech was heartfelt and hopeful. He was furious about the way the campaign had been fought, so divisive and deceitful. He understood the concerns of those disengaged people who had voted for Leave but he also empathised with young people, who had voted for Remain in huge numbers but “whose future had been taken away by older generations” who had enjoyed the benefits of greater European integration.

He also announced that 1000 new members had joined the Lib Dems today.

You can watch the speech here on the party’s Facebook page. It darned well made me cry. Up until seeing it, I had been shocked. This tugged at the heartstrings. .

I am devastated and I am angry. Today we woke to a deeply divided country.

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Referendum Results open thread

So, it’s all over bar the counting.

First of all, thanks to every single person who pounded the streets and melted phone lines today getting out the Remain vote. You are all legends. I want to say a particular thanks to the fantastic West Lothian Stronger In team.

If you are not going to a count, the best thing I can advise is having a nice mug of cocoa and going to bed. Seriously. Set your alarm for 4-ish. It’s likely that nothing is going to even start to become clear before then and, as Stephen Bush wrote in his guide in the New Statesman,  it’s likely that Leave will be well ahead in the early part of the night and that’s just bad for the blood pressure.

This has been the most unpleasant few weeks in politics that I can remember. It was when someone told me in all seriousness outside Morrisons this afternoon that if we voted to stay in, 76 million Turkish people would be arriving here in September. It’s total nonsense and straight from a Leave campaign leaflet.

I asked them to think about how that would happen. When in history had an entire population of a country just upped and legged it to somewhere else? I asked them to think about the logistics of moving half way across a continent. How much would it cost? What arrangements would have to be made. I asked them to think about the number of flights that would entail. Would there be enough capacity for all those people? Of course not. I wish I’d brought to mind Meral Ece’s oft used stat that only 7000 Turkish people resident in Turkey actually have passports.

They got it in the end, but, sadly, because one side had been caught out in a lie, it didn’t make them trust the other lot. It made me more angry about Leave’s cynical manipulation, their barely disguised racism. I don’t actually think that any of Leave’s key figures are fit and proper people to hold office of any sort. I don’t think a Prime Minister should have them in his cabinet and he should be upfront about saying why.

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Nick Clegg writes…Europe makes Britain great

Unlike many of our neighbours, Britain did not join the EU as a way of embracing a new, modern identity. For the Germans, French, Italians and the Benelux countries, European co-operation represented the victory of peace over war. For Spain, Greece and Portugal, membership signified the victory of democracy over fascism. For many newer members, it was about throwing off the tyranny of Soviet communism.
Not us. Joining the European Community was a pounds and pence calculation of what was good for us, done with a shrug of the shoulders and an ‘if you can’t beat them, join them’ acceptance that the age of empire was over.

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Kath Pinnock’s tribute to Jo Cox

Kath Pinnock was supposed to be campaigning for Remain with Jo Cox on the afternoon she died. This is the tribute she gave this afternoon in the House of Lords.

My Lords, Jo Cox was my MP. She was savagely attacked and murdered on a street just yards from the market place where we were due to meet that very afternoon to campaign together on an issue about which we both cared passionately: being part of an open, co-operative EU.

That was not to be.

Jo had strongly held, principled, views. She was willing to work with all those who would help to

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Towards a more inclusive politics

There tends to be a load of solidarity between women across party anyway. Many of us put up with the same issues within our parties and in politics generally, so there’s a great deal of common ground.

Jo Cox chaired Labour’s Women’s Network and our own Women’s organisation, Liberal Democrat Women, made its own tribute to her.

We have been deeply saddened by the news of Jo Cox’s death. It is particularly heart-breaking to see that this happened whilst she was working for her constituents. Jo was a woman who fought for equality and justice daily through her role as a Member of Parliament and also as Chair of the Labour Women’s Network. The Liberal Democrat Women commend her for her work in being a charismatic and thoughtful leader in Parliament as well as an inspiration to women and girls in the UK.

We hope that we can all pull together to ensure her memory and her work is never lost or forgotten. We also hope that in light of this tragedy we all remain confident in the democracy we have in our country and that we do not let political views divide or silence us. Our sincere condolences to her husband Brendan Cox and her two young children.

One really lovely sight in an utterly hellish week happened at the Glasgow vigil for Jo Cox last night, attended by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, and Scottish Labour Leader Kezia Dugdale, who knew Jo well. As they both lay their flowers, Nicola put her arm round Kez. This is how things should be.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarConor Clarke 30th Jun - 4:44pm
    Spencer, what possible reason could a politician looking to capitalise on a golden opportunity like this have for keeping a low profile? Our obsession with...
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 30th Jun - 4:42pm
    Nick Baird, Yes, I should have said "short term expense of the richer" The big problem with the article is that all the indications are...
  • User AvatarDav 30th Jun - 4:41pm
    inward looking and with an apparent goal of reclaiming its former glory as an Empire Surely a contradiction here? Either it's inward-looking, or it has...
  • User AvatarJennie 30th Jun - 4:39pm
    Well said Holly M, and various others. Let's not give away (another) USP. Let's not dilute ourselves to be inoffensive to people who will never...
  • User AvatarJennie 30th Jun - 4:34pm
  • User AvatarNick 30th Jun - 4:17pm
    Something I've noticed over the past few days is the revival of one of our worst tendencies - the desire to not offend anyone with...