Tag Archives: gareth epps

LDV Debate: Could One Member One Vote work for Liberal Democrat Conference?

Autumn 2012 conference - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsSue Doughty and Gareth Epps discuss the issues.

Sue: During the consultation at conference and before conference there were many positive reasons to support this. For example, younger members who may not have a permanent address find it difficult to maintain links with a local party and so don’t get elected as voting reps and sadly some parties didn’t notify HQ of their voting reps.  Although conference can be expensive the work by Federal Conference Committee with York Local Party meant that there …

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EXCLUSIVE: Alistair Carmichael and Sheila Ritchie pitch for your Go Sober sponsorship

We have been following the often humorous progress of party legend Sheila Ritchie and Secretary of State for Scotland Alistair Carmichael as they take part in Macmillan Cancer Support’s Go Sober for October challenge. At the time of writing, Sheila is the top fundraiser in the UK and Alistair is fifth. They have raised, between them, over £6,000. When we predicted that they might get to £5,000, we thought were being wildly optimistic. We’ve noticed that when we write about their quest on here, it leads to an upsurge in donations for them both. 

In order to encourage you to donate, and to choose whether you give your money to #TeamAlistair or #TeamSheila, the two old friends have written exclusively for you. The order in which the posts appear was decided by the toss of a coin. 

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Race Equality motion passed unanimously

school childrenWhile all eyes were on the Economy debate today, in the hour before Conference debated another important motion. It was entitled ‘A new Liberal Democrat approach to Race Equality’, and can be found on page 36 of the Conference Agenda.  This motion was the outcome of the first report by the Liberal Democrat Race Equality Task Force: ‘Towards Race Equality: A Liberal Democrat Approach‘, which focused on education and employment.

This new approach sought to bring race equality back into focus in public debate. In recent years it has been …

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Economy motion carried: Nick Clegg wins overwhelming backing from Lib Dem conference

Lib Dem conference has spoken — and it has overwhelmingly backed Nick Clegg. Before the debate I had a hunch the result would be somewhat different. Though Nick had shrugged off a reported split with Vince Cable as “a storm in a tea cup”, I thought Vince’s obvious discontent with the decision to make this vote a test of strength, together with the assiduous ground-work and careful drafting of the Social Liberal Forum’s amendments, would pose a real problem for the party leadership.

And for the first third of the debate I thought my hunch might be fulfilled, with …

Posted in Conference and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 10 Comments

The most important factor for Liberal Democrats in any 2015 Coalition negotiations

The Silly Season continues with yet more speculation on what happens after the 2015 election. Monday’s Independent carried the loaded headline:

Lib Dem Supporters spell it out: we won’t be fooled by Nick Clegg again over support for a coalition

That Liberal Democrats will be wary about any future coalition, with anybody, should come as no surprise. The deductive reasoning powers of the average goldfish could have worked that out.

The article quotes people like Martin Tod, Gareth Epps and Cllr Richard Kemp, all of whom are saying quite reasonable things, none of them suggesting that Nick Clegg fooled us in 2010, …

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Lessons of Coalition (3): what do the Lib Dems need to learn from the first 3 years?

ldv coalition lessonsLibDemVoice is running a daily feature, ‘Lessons of Coalition’, to assess the major do’s and don’ts learned from our experience of the first 3 years in government. Reader contributions are welcome, either as comments or posts. The word limit is no more than 450 words, and please focus on just one lesson you think the party needs to learn. Simply email your submission to [email protected] Today Gareth Epps shares his thoughts …

Government: What’s Occurrin?

A couple of years ago I took a trip to Barry Island and went on one of the …

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LDVideo: Liberal Democrats: coalition, polls and 2015 election

Today’s BBC Daily Politics looked at the Lib Dems’ electoral fortunes.

In clip 1, they interview Lib Dem peer Lord (Tony) Greaves, former Lib Dem turned Labour councillor James Allie, and Gareth Epps, of the Social Liberal Forum…

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Conference Accreditation Consultation – what Liberal Democrat bloggers are saying

Last Saturday, Federal Conference Committee chair Andrew Wiseman invited responses  in an article on Liberal Democrat Voice from members on the controversial issue of an accreditation system for Conference. Sussex Police had requested that party members would have to submit their identity details and past addresses so that they could be checked out by the Police to keep out people who might cause security issues.

Unsurprisingly, the Liberal Democrat blogosphere has been vocal in response. If there has been a post out there in favour of such a system, then I’ve not been able to find it.

At Liberal England, …

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Reading Labour Party leaflet’s “born and bred” racist innuendo: will Labour now apologise and withdraw it?

This is the leaflet the Labour Party is delivering through letter-boxes in a ward where the sitting Conservative councillor — Cllr Azam Janjua, a Reading resident for half a century — is facing a Labour opponent, Eileen McElligott. See if you can notice the oh-so-subtle way in which Labour puts its lips together to dog-whistle:

You read that right:

“Eileen McElligott … was born and bred in Reading … She will fight for us here … because she is one of us.”

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Why Liberal Left?

My good pal Gareth Epps asked the question last week………..so I thought I would answer it for him. We are at a hugely important juncture as a party – nearly two years in – with little prospect of the Coalition not continuing until 2015 and what appears to be the start of the leadership’s “differentiation” campaign.  Nick Clegg and his aides are spinning the line more and more that we are a “centrist” party – a clear desire to move us from the centre left position we have erstwhile held and which has served us well

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 88 Comments

Opinion: What price democracy in the Lib Dems?

Over the past 21 months I have had many moments when I have felt close to despair about the behaviour of our parliamentarians. Sometimes, like voting in favour of tuition fees, they can rightly point to the Coalition Agreement – endorsed overwhelmingly – as Nick Clegg observed at the time – by a North Korean like Special Conference. Other times, like voting against party policy on Legal Aid and Welfare Reform – there is no such defence. Last night calls into question the fundamental values and principles of our party, not just in terms of flying in the face of …

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Lib Dem MPs set to rebel over ‘back-door’ nuclear power subsidy

‘Liberal Democrats have long opposed any new nuclear construction. Conservatives, by contrast, are committed to allowing the replacement of existing nuclear power stations provided that they are subject to the normal planning process for major projects (under a new National Planning Statement), and also provided that they receive no public subsidy.’

So declares the Coalition Agreement. However, as the Guardian reports, the finance bill due to be debated this coming week introduces a form of subsidy, and it’s attracted opposition among the party:

A large group of Lib Dems are concerned about clause 78 of the bill, which MPs will consider

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Opinion: Interpreting the internal election results

The bare bones of the internal party election results were set out here on Saturday showing who had been elected by conference reps to the various committees.

The detailed results for the Federal Executive and the Federal Policy Committee, hosted by Colin Rosenstiel, show some revealing trends when compared with previous years’ election results.

This year, in the Federal Executive elections, Evan Harris came top on first preference by a long stretch with 263 votes. Following him was David Rendel (107) and Ramesh Dewan (77) with others on 55. Evan is clearly identified with the progressive, Social Liberal wing …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 38 Comments

Lib Dem party membership: “10 members joining for each departure”

With the Labour party claiming an influx of new recruits, Lib Dem parliamentary candidate for Reading East at the last election, Gareth Epps, has written to The Guardian pointing out the Lib Dems too have seen a significant increase in new members:

Your report (7 July) of a “surge” in Labour membership makes claims about recruits from the Liberal Democrats. Labour’s claims are Walter Mittyish. My local Lib Dem party has had its most sustained membership boost since the 1988 merger. Since the election, we have had 10 members joining for each departure. As Labour’s crocodile tears continue over cuts

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 96 Comments

Battle of the emergency motions

Conference these days includes slots that are left blank when the agenda is published, and that can be filled later by topics that become evident at a later date.

The deadline for – well pretty much everything, actually, including emergency motions, amendments, appeals, questions and so on – was yesterday.

LDV is aware of two emergency motions that have been doing the rounds asking for support. Firstly there’s one insisting that social services remain accountable to local people through local councils. A government paper launched on the 14th July suggested the creation of a national care body to take some …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTsar Nicolas 18th Sep - 2:38pm
    The Lib Dems in wales are not in favour of localism, so far as I can see. The current big thing from Cardiff Bay is...
  • User AvatarAndrewR 18th Sep - 2:21pm
    Whatever the truth about the position of an independent Scotland and the EU even the worst case scenario is better than being forced out permanently...
  • User AvatarRoland 18th Sep - 2:17pm
    @JohnTilley - I would agree that when the time is right strange things can and does happen in politic's. However, all I pointed out (and...
  • User AvatarJohnTilley 18th Sep - 2:12pm
    Charlie There is a lot in your comment, I hope you will understand if I do not respond to every point. I do not have...
  • User AvatarIgor S 18th Sep - 2:07pm
    Mark: I agree, if no narrowly wins, and Westminster dos not deliver on the pledge, it can get nasty.
  • User AvatarIgor S 18th Sep - 2:05pm
    No: 60%, Yes: 40%