Tag Archives: featured

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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Liberal Democrats are being excluded from referendum debate – don’t put up with this

We Liberal Democrats are used to not getting our fair share of media attention. Since last year’s general election, that has got even worse. However, we still aren’t getting anything like the coverage we should have based on our size.

Research carried out by the University of Loughborough during the EU referendum campaign shows that we are only being included in 1% of both press and broadcast media. Mind you, the official opposition doesn’t fare that much better, although that has definitely changed in the last few days.

Coverage by party during EU Ref


If you were thinking that there was a gross over-representation of right wing men, the study confirms your instincts.

The debate is highly presidential in character, focussing on key individuals. The top six individuals are all right-of-centre and are all men. Despite concern expressed by left-of-centre and female politicians about media coverage it’s still largely a ‘Tory story’ and a male dominated, ‘blue-on-blue’ tale at that.

So who are the main media performers?

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It’s time to drop everything and concentrate on the EU Referendum

That poll in the Independent which showed Leave with a 10 point lead should concentrate our minds.  We have a lot of work to do over the next 11 days and, frankly, it’s time to drop everything that isn’t absolutely vital and get ourselves out there making the case for Remain, even more than we have done already. I know Liberal Democrats probably more than any other group of people have thrown their backs into it, particularly south of the border, but whatever we are doing, we need to do more and ask very unreasonable things of ourselves over the next few days. It’s not exaggerating to say that the future not just of this country, but the whole European continent, is in jeopardy.

The poll in question comes with a caveat because it didn’t have a “don’t know” option so it’s indicative really of people’s gut reactions at this time not, perhaps, of what they will actually do a week on Thursday. However, the overall state of the polling leads us right into the middle of squeaky bum territory.

It’s too close for comfort and Leave only need a one vote margin.

I’ve been here before, though. At the same stage before the Scottish Referendum, a poll put Yes slightly ahead, leading to a frenzy of activity. While No won out in the end, it was a very scary time. I was shocked by quite how emotional I felt about it. The atmosphere on the “front line” was pretty awful, with those of us who were campaigning for a no vote being told, variously, that we were stupid or treacherous. That came as a shock at the time, as it is now to some Remain campaigners who are experiencing the same thing from Brexiteers. Young Remain campaigners in the West Country were told yesterday, for example, that they were traitors and should be executed. That’s a glimpse into the minds of some of the people we are dealing with and it’s not an attractive one. If anything, this campaign is even worse.

Part of the reason I was so against Scottish independence was the uncertainty around our future membership of the EU. Being a citizen of the EU is an important part of my identity. I really don’t want to lose it. I definitely don’t want to lose it because people believe the lies that the Leave campaign are telling. So, this campaign is quite emotional too. There is a huge amount at stake and I really, really don’t like the thought of the country we would become if we succumbed to the narrow-minded isolationism of the Leave campaign. Brittie No Mates trying to forge her way in an increasingly complex world is not an appealing thought.

When we got to this stage in the Scottish Referendum, I wrote a piece saying what we needed to do in the last few days. Many of these principles apply now.

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarAllan Brame 25th Jul - 6:45am
    @David Evershed Are we referring to the paper which is running a headline today about Sir Philip Greed?
  • User AvatarAlex Macfie 25th Jul - 6:42am
    Congratulations Amna
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 25th Jul - 2:50am
    Supporting a rival parliamentary candidate to a Liberal Democrat candidate requires expulsion from the party under the constitution(s).
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 25th Jul - 2:45am
    99% of people will fail to distinguish between Paddy Ashdown's new movement and the Liberal Democrats.
  • User AvatarDavid Evershed 25th Jul - 2:37am
    It is petty to call the newspaper that published the article The Fail. It says more about the writer than the newspaper.
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 25th Jul - 12:52am
    David Raw Please , dear fellow Liberal , liberal and Liberal Democrat , I am a man who married a wife of American origin and...
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