Tag Archives: featured

Lib Dems: Lambing here

We’re kind of used to invitations to Lib Dem action days containing a hint of a reward for turning up to help. I’ve seen organisers promising all sorts of things to motivate people to deliver that extra 100 leaflets or knock on more doors. I certainly have some interesting photos of a particular candidate to release as a treat for spectacular action day performance. There have been promises of chilli (Tom Utting’s in Edinburgh Western is legendary), cake and all manner of treats to keep the army marching on its stomach.

I have to say that candidate for the Welsh Assembly seat of Montgomeryshire, Jane Dodds, has come up with the mother of all action day fun: a visit to a hill-top farm for food and frolic with little lambs.

Montgomeryshire Action Weekend

It would be great if you could join us for campaigning (and frolics with lambs) at the Montgomeryshire Action Weekend in Welshpool -On Friday 4th and Saturday 5th March – If you can make it please let me know by RSVP'ing to the event here -https://www.facebook.com/events/769949056466276/Thank you!

Posted by Jane Dodds for Montgomeryshire on Monday, 8 February 2016

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Tim Farron’s speech to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference

Tim had already been in Cardiff once last week, campaigning with AM Eluned Parrott in Cardiff, and he was back yesterday. After he left, he went to East Dunbartonshire before returning home to Cumbria. You can’t accuse him of not putting the work in. He’s certainly setting a good example.

Here is his speech in full. He encompassed many of the themes around community and public services that had been much mentioned, but also spoke about flooding, climate change and Europe.

He also had a big plea to activists – get out on the doors again, because “where we work we win” is working again.

Enjoy.

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Baroness Sal Brinton writes…Electing diverse MPs

One of the most shocking events of the 2015 General Election night was the loss of our top held and target seats with women and BAME candidates, which resulted in an entirely pale and male parliamentary party. Members were rightly upset by this, and there has been much discussion about what steps the party needs to take to ensure that in 2020 and beyond our party looks like the countries and communities we represent. Top seats are already beginning the process of selecting Westminster candidates for 2020. We can’t afford to delay any arrangement, hence the motion coming to York Conference.

Under our current constitution, these arrangements are the responsibility of the three state parties. We hope members will let their state party officers know their views as well as responding to the Federal consultation and debate in York.

In the governance consultation response last autumn the Federal Executive received many comments and proposals saying that ‘something must be done – doing nothing is not an option’. In fact it was one of the top topics members wrote in about. FE and the Joint States Candidates Committee has investigated possible options, and the resulting motion that will be debated at York Spring Conference sets out a wide range of proposals, including limited application of All Women Shortlists (AWS). We know members have divided views on the issue of AWS, but it is important that the debate before and at conference is much broader, because it includes support for other under-represented groups. Indeed, not every member of FE supports all the details in the motion, but there was broad acceptance that it was right for members to debate and vote on this. You can see the full motion here.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 84 Comments

Kirsty’s #AskWales2016 initiative: If you were First Minister, what would be the first thing you’d change?

Kirsty Williams announced a new initiative in her speech yesterday. She’s always listened to people, but now she wants their voices to be heard and she needs the help of Welsh Liberal Democrat activists to reach as many as possible. The idea is that people ask people they know what their first priority would be if they were First Minister. They film them responding (obviously with their permission) and post to social media.

Here’s the first video.

#AskWales1

What would be your priority if you were First Minister? #AskWales #AskWales2016

Posted by Welsh Liberal Democrats on Saturday, 6 February 2016

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Baroness Kath Pinnock writes…Flexible childcare: Another Lib Dem victory

Who is going to look after the children?

One of the biggest worries for working parents is finding high quality and affordable childcare. It is also one of the biggest barriers, especially for women, to getting back into work.

So, when the chance came to ease those worries by improving what childcare the Government were offering, we grabbed it.

Liberal Democrats, of course, recognise that childcare is a critical issue for parents of pre-school children and successfully introduced childcare for two year olds from disadvantaged families. An increase in hours available for all 3 and 4 year olds was in our Manifesto. So we were in broad agreement with the Government Bill to increase the free childcare offer to 30 hours per week during school times.

Throughout the Bill we argued that this was a great opportunity to extend the free hours to school holidays and outside the normal school day. Parents and providers told us that the school holidays often turned out to be a nightmare to organise and could cost a small fortune. Parents who worked non-standard hours in a great variety of jobs such as nursing, cleaning, social care, and catering told us that they ended up paying for childcare when parents who worked during the school day were able to have free childcare.

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William Wallace writes… Sources of UK extremism

Part of our role in both houses of Parliament is to hold the government to the commitments they – often reluctantly – give.  One of the five conditions Lib Dem parliamentarians established in return for supporting the extensions of air operations over Iraq to Syria was that the government should set up an enquiry into sources of funding for extremist versions of Islam within the UK.  Alastair Carmichael in the Commons, and myself in the Lords, are holding the Conservatives to the promise they made to report on this by ‘the Spring of 2016’. Alastair has pressed ministers on the size and quality of the ‘Extremism Analysis Unit’ set up in the Home Office to cover this.  I asked an oral question in the Lords yesterday (February 3rd) on how thoroughly overseas funding will be investigated, from both foreign government and from private sources. In both cases, the answers have been that the government is acting on this commitment, but there are clear reasons why we should continue to put pressure on them to deliver.

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Is the Basic Income Guarantee an idea whose time has come?

Way back when I was first involved in politics, the ideas that everyone should have a basic income and that tax and national insurance should be integrated were mainstream SDP/Liberal Alliance ideas.

The Greens have in recent years been the only party to advocate such a change but during the General Election, Natalie Bennett was unable to convince people that it was affordable.

This week, think-tank Reform Scotland has come up with a costed scheme to give every adult a basic income of £100 per week and every child £50. The authors, Liberal Democrat Siobhan Mathers and Scottish Green candidate James Mackenzie, acknowledge that there would be a cost, around £2 billion in Scotland, £12 billion across the whole UK and that personal taxation rates would have to rise by about 8%, but that nobody earning under £26,000 a year would be worse off. However, with 2 children, a £100k household would be over £1200 a year better off

It’s certainly radical, with those on lowest incomes gaining and those on £100,000 without children being around £2,200 a year worse off, but isn’t that what a progressive tax system is supposed to do? There is a question, though, around whether a £100k household needs to be mae £1200 a year better off courtesy of the state.

The report argues that there are seven big advantages of such a scheme:

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , and | 25 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarVictor Grayson 11th Feb - 10:37am
    Hi RC - also excellent insight to our problems. As an explanation to the layman it looks like the Eurozone is benefitting the exports of...
  • User AvatarPsi 11th Feb - 10:22am
    Ruth I would oppose all male short lists for jobs such as primary teaching even more strongly than I oppose AWS. I would support investigation...
  • User AvatarVictor Grayson 11th Feb - 10:12am
    Hi Petermartin, your contribution to an analysis of the UK economic position must be treated with great respect. Although never now discussed the balance of...
  • User AvatarDavid Garlick 11th Feb - 10:12am
    An interesting idea that merits some deliberation. Given that we don't have enough money to do this across the board it would be possible perhaps...
  • User AvatarDavid 11th Feb - 10:01am
    As far as I can see, this matches with the LDVoice "shoot dissenters on Calais" comments policy on this site. Liberal, my ass!
  • User AvatarPaul King 11th Feb - 9:58am
    I have some sympathy with the writer. It is true that we are not in Schengen or Euroland. But, in deciding whether we do or...