Tag Archives: featured

John Leech writes: Come and help deliver a knockout blow to Labour and hard Brexit in Gorton

Having spent the last few weeks delivering leaflets and talking to residents in Manchester Gorton I wanted to share my thoughts on the by-election.

Manchester Gorton presents a huge opportunity for us as a party. The response that we are getting for our candidate, Jackie Pearcey, is really very impressive. I have been struck by the number of people who have told me on the doorstep how much better their local area was when they were represented by local Lib Dem Councillors like Jackie. This is a constituency that voted 65% remain, had 19 out of 21 Lib Dem Councillors just a few years ago and where we used to get a very substantial vote at the general election. This is a real chance to show that we can do to Labour in Manchester what we did to the Tories in Witney. We are the only party that is openly campaigning against Theresa May’s Hard Brexit agenda in this election. The Labour candidate even said he agreed with Corbyn to 3 line whip the vote to trigger article 50!

Quite simply the only barrier to us winning this seat right now is people not thinking we can win and not coming to help. When we won Manchester Withington in 2005 our biggest challenge was persuading people that the effort there was worthwhile. In Manchester Gorton it really is. This is our opportunity to deliver a knockout blow to Labour and show up their hypocrisy on Brexit. Getting a good result in Manchester Gorton improves the chances for all of us facing Labour in elections in the future.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 11 Comments

A longer read for the weekend…Sir Nick Harvey on NATO in the era of Trump, Putin, Brexit and Corbyn

At Spring Conference in York, Sir Nick Harvey spoke at a Liberal Reform fringe event asking what now for NATO in the era of Trump, Putin, Brexit and Corbyn. With his kind permission we reproduce his remarks. Please do share your thoughts in the comments.

Do Brexit, Trump and the rise of populism in Europe signal a disintegration of western institutions? Has NATO become irrelevant or do we need it more than ever at a time of Russian expansionism?

Two notable quotations are of relevance to these questions: Mao Tse Tung’s assertion that, “Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun,” and von Clausewitz’s observation that “War is the continuation of politics by other means.”

It is a sobering thought that the UK’s real defence spending figure is now below 2% of GDP, and across the EU it is much less. By contrast, Russia spends 5.4% of its GDP on defence. Be in no doubt that President Putin is now involved in a major power play on the global stage.

Posted in Op-eds | 13 Comments

A whole load of love for the Lib Dem Press Office

Well. We knew that the Lib Dem Press Office could raise a smile with its constant sass. Last year the Huffington Post cited 17 occasions when it was the most entertaining thing in British politics. 

But last night, something extraordinary happened. Serious journalists heaped praise on our little press operation.

It started with a tweet from Sam Coates of the Times:

Not only that, but a whole five serious, reputable journalists then pitched in to agree!

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 16 Comments

The UK’s ritual humiliation of disabled people – Part 2 The PIP interview

In an earlier post, I wrote about the process of withdrawal of Disability Living Allowance and the requirement for disabled people to apply for Personal Independence Payment (PIP), as I experienced it in caring for my adult son Paul who has a condition known as Williams Syndrome. Several respondents shared similar stories, and urged our party to adopt a much stronger care policy for disabled people, so far to no avail. (I was by the way mistaken in my claim that all PIP application notices had been sent out over Christmas and New Year – it appears that a rolling programme is in place and this was just when Paul happened to receive his notice).

As other respondents also warned, the PIP application form and subsequent interview deepen the hostile challenging nature of the process. The application form is indeed 40 pages long. Brutally, DWP specifically refuses to allow a PIP applicant to state a well-known, well-documented medical condition with known symptoms as a statement of need. So for example you’re not allowed to state conditions such as Downs Syndrome or in Paul’s case Williams Syndrome and then allow this to refer to all its known symptoms and detailed conditions. Instead DWP insists that the applicant sets out in detail all the distressing elements of that condition, from intellectual lack of capacity, physical impairment, to hygiene and continence issues. I completed the form, ending up choked with distress at having to specify this detail. 

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 16 Comments

Blue Wednesday

So, the day has arrived. I’m wearing blue, as Roger Roberts suggested, for 3 reasons. As the Government  carries out the worst assault on our children’s future I have seen in my lifetime, I’m  doing this for three reasons. Out of sadness at what today means for our future, out of pride in the EU’s values of peace and collaboration – and out of defiance. I will not stand by why the Government destroys our country. I will take every opportunity for peaceful resistance as this incompetent and reckless government puts us all in harm’s way.

I will not stand by while the Government refuses to give us a say on the final outcome of the Brexit negotiations. What sort of democracy is that? People voted to take back control, not hand all power to ideological brexiteers who do all they can to avoid checks and scrutiny. Who would you rather had the final say on your future? You, or Theresa and her trio of Brexiteers?

That Theresa May has the nerve to suggest that the country should come together behind her shows how out of touch and comfortable with power her Government is. It’s that old saying about power corrupting. With a Labour Party missing in action, waving its demands as the Brexit horse bolts down the road, May thinks she can do what she likes. She has made no attempt to build any bridges whatever with the almost half of us who voted Remain.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 13 Comments

Sarah Olney interview part 1: Before becoming an MP

You get bad people in power because good people are doing other things.

Sarah Olney

Imagine, for just a second, less than two years ago you were living in relative obscurity. You were known to only a select few people – friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues. You belonged to no political party. Then, in only a few months, you rose from anonymity to the hottest national topic of the day, creating history along the way. The contrast is almost unimaginable. In short, that’s the story of Sarah Olney.

Five months have yet to pass since she overturned a 23,000 majority to pull off an incredible by-election victory, over the well-known Zac Goldsmith, to become MP for Richmond Park. The Lib Dems newest parliamentarian was attending her first party conference as a backbencher (and only her second since joining the party). In between handshakes and selfies, Sarah took half an hour from her busy schedule for an interview with me, over tea and cake, in the Conference’s Parliamentarians Lounge.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 2 Comments

The best march banner ever…..#righttostay

Well, I think so.

A great way of illustrating that the Lib Dems are standing up for EU nationals’ right to stay in this country:

Huge applause to the amazing Lisa Maria Bornemann and Adam Bernard from Harrow Lib Dems for coming up with this.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 3 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarHywel 28th Apr - 1:42am
    I don't even know where to begin with that Caron. I'm just incredibly disappointed in you.
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 28th Apr - 1:35am
    Of course Caron, you were not endorsing her and Hywel should know better. No you just produced an article entitled "Could Rachel Johnson stand as...
  • User AvatarTonyJ 28th Apr - 12:50am
    "It’s also more than possible that the party might waive some of the rules if she were licensed for one election to contest a specific...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Apr - 12:48am
    Having been delighted that our local party in Nottingham recently welcomed Sir Vince as speaker for our annual dinner, I am now very glad ,...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 28th Apr - 12:34am
    I am supportive of Caron on this. She knows she and I have had our disagreements, and we both recognise the party is broad and...
  • User AvatarDavid Pocock 28th Apr - 12:14am
    I am not sure labour will lose as hard as everyone thinks. Ultimately the question to the labour voter is do you want 5 years...