Tag Archives: huffington post

LibLink: Cllr Peter Thornton: Harold Macmillan built our house

Peter Thornton is the Liberal Democrat leader of South Lakeland Council. Their area includes Tim Farron’s Westmorland and Lonsdale constituency. Housing has long been one of the priorities of the Liberal Democrat administration. Peter writes for the Huffington Post comparing the current Conservative thinking on housing to that of their predecessors in the 1950s and 1960s. Harold Macmillan built his family home, he said, on the instructions of Winston Churchill:

This was a generation who knew that setting targets and making speeches was not enough to make things happen. Production, supply lines, labour forces, these were also needed to win wars and also to build the homes that we needed.

Macmillan made sure brickworks were at full production, he organised supplies of softwood from abroad and he divided the country into ten regions, each with it’s own targets. He realised that public housing, Council Houses as we all knew them, was the most efficient way to build homes quickly for the people who needed them.

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LibLink: Zahida Manzoor: The Government’s changes to tax credits will have a severe impact on the lives of millions

In the Huffington Post this week, Lib Dem Work and Pensions spokesperson Zahida Manzoor wrote of the party’s opposition to the Government’s severe cuts to tax credits for the lowest paid.

The Tax Credit system is hugely complicated, made up of various different ‘payment thresholds’ and so-called ‘disregards’. But ultimately the key aspect of the system is the ‘taper rate’ – that means how much is taken away in Tax Credits for every additional pound you earn.

This taper rate is important, because when someone is making the decision about whether to take on more hours, particularly if they have children, then money matters. If it turns out you’re only going to keep a few pence in the pound by taking on the extra work it may not be worthwhile, particularly if you need to pay for expensive additional childcare in order to cover the increased time spent away from home.

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LibLink: Norman Lamb: It would be easy for our party to shelter in our comfort zone but it would be very, very wrong

Norman Lamb has been writing for the Huffington Post about his vision for the future of the Liberal Democrats.

The next few years can’t just be about making ourselves feel better; we must be far more ambitious than that.

That means broadening our policy and political thinking, daring – once again – to be radical and challenging. It is why I am proposing a renaissance in our approach to political action and debate, reaching out to include the many – particularly young people – who share our values and instincts but are put off by closed party structures and, even worse, by tribalistic political thinking.

Our task now is not just to devise short-term tactics or louder opposition. We will succeed when we have a long-term, coherent and persuasive set of strategic ideas for Britain.

The good news is that Liberalism fits our age. Britain has become less collective, citizens and consumers feel more empowered and many individual rights – through equal marriage for instance – are better recognised.

What are his key issues?

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Leadership LibLink: Norman Lamb: It’s time to halve the prison population

Earlier this week, Norman Lamb wrote for the Huffington Post outlining a strong, liberal case for putting fewer people in prison. It’s powerful stuff:

There can be no other area of public policy, with the exception of the related issue of drugs reform, where establishment politicians so readily bang the drum for the exact opposite of any evidence-based solution. Our prisons clearly fail to rehabilitate: half of those released reoffend within a year, including six in ten of those on sentences of less than twelve months.

Liberal Democrats must lead the call for drastic and urgent action to reduce crime, protect victims more effectively, help criminals turn their lives around and protect taxpayers money: we must push for a Ministry of Justice target to halve the prison population by 2025.

Maybe we should look at the reasons people commit crime and tackle them, says Norman:

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Leadership News: Support for both Farron and Lamb in Huffington Post

Two recent articles from the Huffington Post speak out in favour  of each candidate for the Liberal Democrats.

First, Jack Davies tells why he is supporting Tim Farron:

It was a cold afternoon in November when, huddled before my computer screen, I typed out a message to Tim Farron, the then party president of the Liberal Democrats.

The message was a call for help. I was hoping to stand for election as the Liberal Democrat PPC in New Forest West and I needed assistance in applying.

I didn’t expect Tim to reply, but to my surprise, he did.

His reply was polite and helpful. He offered to read my application script and pointed me in the right direction with tips on what to say. I was taken aback by the response and even more astounded that so much care was afforded to it.

It is moments like these that inspire people to enter the world of politics, to aspire them to be as good as the politician who has taken the time to talk to them. It certainly inspired me into getting more involved and I set up New Forest Liberal Youth to encourage more young people in the New Forest to become involved.

Editor of The Secularist Conversation Stefan Rollnick explains his support for Norman Lamb:

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LibLink: Tim Farron: The best argument for the Liberal Democrats? A Tory Queen’s Speech

Over at the Huffington Post, leadership hopeful Tim Farron has been writing about the Queen’s Speech and why it shows that a strong liberal voice is needed.

On Europe, the referendum on our membership of the EU is an issue already threatening to turn into a parody. Cameron has just barred two groups from voting – 16 and 17-year olds, who engaged fantastically with the Scottish referendum; and most EU citizens resident in the UK, who can already vote in local government elections. Probably two of the groups most likely to vote to stay in the EU! There is also the fact that Britain will take over the rotating EU presidency in July 2017. That Britain could be in charge of the EU while simultaneously campaigning to leave it is a just a bizarre scenario. Will we see the referendum brought forward? Regardless, this is going to plunge many businesses into huge uncertainty and put many of their investment plans on hold.

Closer to home, we see the Snooper’s Charter back on the agenda. This is going to make internet service providers collect and store vast amounts of data – such as what websites you’ve been on, who you’ve been emailing, when, from where – and make this data available to government on request. Big Brother is well and truly here. Tories often complain that the Liberal Democrats blocked them from implementing the Snooper’s Charter – and I’m dead proud that we did. The one question we must all ask Theresa May, and Tory MPs who will support her Snooper’s Charter, is: how do you protect our freedoms by destroying them?

We also see more ‘tough talk’ from David Cameron on immigration. Wages of some illegal migrants will fall under the scope of the Proceeds of Crime Act and will be confiscated. This could hit the genuinely vulnerable and exploited migrant worker who earns £23.60 after doing a 60-hour shift. If this makes no sense to you, it doesn’t make sense to me either. This is, yet again, the politics of gimmickry and division.

He ends with an invitation:

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared Parental Leave is an important step to the wider cultural change that they need

Jo Swinson has been writing for the Huffington Post about what the Liberal Democrats have done on child care and parental leave.

 Liberal Democrats in the coalition government have taken important steps to support parents with childcare costs despite the challenging economic situation. We extended free early years education to 15 hours a week for three and four year olds, and introduced 15 free hours for four in 10 two-year-olds – those from the most hard-pressed homes. We are also introducing Tax Free Childcare to save working families up to £2,000 per child per year from September.

But there’s more to come. Not only a tripling of paternity leave, but extra help with childcare costs.

We also want to extend free early years education to all two year olds. We know that pressure to budget for childcare costs doesn’t just start when a child is two years old, and that the costs can prevent parents from returning to work. We are committed to bridging that gap so that free childcare is available for working parents from the end of paid parental leave. On average, this will save working parents the equivalent of £2,670 a year.

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Nick Clegg says: Employers must be equally supportive of workers with mental and physical health problems

I wrote the other day of my annoyance at the dreadfully stigmatising headlines about mental health in the wake of the Germanwings plane crash.

It’s good to see that Nick Clegg has given quite a detailed interview reported on the Huffington Post while on the battle bus about this issue in which he said that there shouldn’t be a blanket ban of people with mental ill health doing any job. Employers had to look at people’s individual circumstances and be as accepting of people with mental ill health as with physical.

I think it’s very important that we don’t, however understandable in this context, allow what is said about one individual to shape or colour the way in which we regard people who go through episodes of mental health problems.

It’s very important that employers in all walks of life are as accepting of people who are recovering from mental health problems just as much as they would be people who recover from physical health problems.

He warned of the dangers of shutting people with mental ill health out of work:

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LibLink: Sarah Teather: It’s clear our system of immigration detention isn’t working

Sarah Teather has been writing for the Huffington Post in the wake of the report on immigration detention released the other day. She started with a shocking story:

One such occasion took place last July. I was sat in a committee room in the House of Commons, chairing the first evidence session of an inquiry into immigration detention. We were talking, via a phone link, to a young man who was being held in one of the giant detention centres next door to Heathrow.

He told us about how he had ended up in the UK. At the age of 16, he had been trafficked from his home on the Nigeria/Cameroon border to Hungary. He told us how he was “put in a basement, beaten, raped and tortured”. He managed to escape and then found himself in London, a stranger. Then he was detained.

I asked him how long he had been in detention. His answer caused those in the room to gasp.

“Three years”.

Three years he had been in detention, locked up not because he had broken the law but for immigration purposes. A young man who had been the victim of some horrendous abuse had arrived in the UK and instead of being given support and treatment, was locked away indefinitely.

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Ending the silence

Tim Farron has written an article for the Huffington Post about his new report on youth mental health services.

He describes why and how his volunteer team produced the 127 page documents, motivated by the young people who came to his surgeries in desperate need of help:

There are then events that have a particularly profound and lasting effect on me – the deaths of young people who have struggled with mental health conditions. These tragic events and the circumstances surrounding them have brought to light serious flaws in the way in which we support our young people and the need for

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Why politicians need to get tech savvy – or get left behind

web snoopers charterWe know that Tim Farron is an early adopter of new technologies. Just look at him on Twitter.  He’s written for the Huffington Post about how important it is that policy makers keep up with technological changes. He also outed himself as doing something we’d not really expect of him:

So while catching up with the Margaret Thatcher Conference on Liberty, my ears pricked up during a talk by Joanna Shields, Digital Advisor to the Prime Minister. We live in a world where a three year old can be more

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European Parliament makes it easier for you to know what’s in the medicines you are taking

European Parliament chamber, StrasbourgRoughly a third of people take part in the European elections. That turnout reflects that people don’t necessarily feel engaged with the European Parliament. Yet this body, whether it be on e-cigarettes, abolishing (with Liberal Democrat support) mobile phone roaming charges or even the medicines your doctor prescribes, makes laws that affect our daily lives. Tim Farron has been highlighting its important work in this medical field in an article over at the Huffington Post.

First of all, he outlines the problem:

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LibLink: Lynne Featherstone: More action needed on reproductive rights for all

Lynne FeatherstoneThis week, International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone is attending the UN Commission on Population and Development. She has written for the Huffington Post about how crucial it is to make sure that women have the choice about when to have children by having access to contraception, potentially saving 800 lives every day:

Globally there are 222million women who wish to space or delay the timing of births, but do not have access to modern forms of contraception. This has real and devastating consequences on their lives. In 2010, 800 women a day died from causes related to pregnancy or childbirth and in 2008 an estimated 8.7million young women aged 15 to 24 in developing countries resorted to unsafe abortions. All of this was preventable.

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Maybe stick to the day job, Lorely?

From the Huffington Post:

A Liberal Democrat MP wore a Nigel Farage mask at the party’s conference as she mocked the Ukip leader’s penchant for beer.

Just before Nick Clegg’s appearance, Lorely Burt also mocked a former-Ukip councillor’s claim that this winter’s floods had been brought on by the introduction of gay marriage.

This was not, shall we say, the funniest thing we have ever seen. It wouldn’t, to be honest, have been funny even at the traditional end of Conference late night sing-a-long the Glee Club.

To be fair, though, after an inauspicious start, Lorely went on to make a serious speech, …

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Lorely Burt: Liberal Democrats offer best of both worlds

Lorely Burt has given an interview to the Huffington Post. The lengthy report is dominated with discussion of the Liberal Democrats’ attitude towards women in the wake of her defeat by Malcolm Bruce in the Deputy Leadership election. She said that the party was desperately trying toe how that it was welcoming to women:

At the last general election we had women in 40% of our most winnable seats,” Burt explains. “We just didn’t win them.” Which is a bit of a problem. “At the next election there are eight Lib Dems who are standing down, of those six selections have

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LibLink: Mark Pack: Less legislation? Yes please

Over at the Huffington Post, Mark Pack has been waging a war on “Initiativeitis”:

Initiativeitis – an ugly word for a regrettable phenomena. It is an often-criticised habit of government ministers of all parties always to be touting a new initiative backed up by a new piece of legislation in order to look like they are working hard and making a difference.

Yet speak to those who work in the frontline in public services, and complaints about too many new initiatives coming down from on high are widespread – again, regardless of which party is in government.

While political commentators may criticise a …

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European Arrest Warrant is a vital weapon in the fight against crime

Farron the Ubiquitous (he is, but that’s not a complaint) has been writing for the Huffington Post again, this time, as befits the man in charge of the European Election campaign, on the European Arrest Warrant.

First, he reminds us of the high profile cases where the warrant has brought British criminals back to justice.

Hussain Osman fled to Italy after the failed 21 July 2005 London bombings, during which he placed an explosive at Shepherd’s Bush tube station. Just one week later, he was tracked down and arrested by Italian police on a euro-warrant issued by a British court before

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LibLink: Tim Farron: European fisheries vote shows that EU can be reformed

Tim Farron has been writing in the Huffington Post about a crucial vote in the EU to reform the way in which fish are caught. This might seem tedious to many of us, but this has positive, practical implications for anyone who catches fish and anyone who likes to eat it.

Tim first set out the issues with the current situation:

The situation right now is drastic. Job losses within the UK fishing sector continue to rise as fish stocks fall, and it tends to be the small-scale fishermen who are hardest hit. The total amount of fish caught in the EU

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Free school meals for infants – the controversy over Nick Clegg’s pledge rumbles on

Clegg WatfordI wrote yesterday about Sir Nick Harvey’s forecast that the next election is Labour’s to lose. But there was another issue he focused on in his Huffngton Post interview – Nick Clegg’s conference pledge that all 5-7 year-olds should have free school meals, regardless of their family’s income status.

“It was absolutely astonishing. It came from nowhere,” he exclaims. “It seemed to be part of some coalition deal where it was meant to make the Lib Dems feel better about allowing the Tories to progress their wretched married

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LibLink… Lynne Featherstone: UK will help tackle the Great Neglect of disability

Lynne Featherstone, in New York for the UN General Assembly, has written for the Huffington Post about what the UK is doing to help those with disabilities in developing countries.

First she outlined why this is necessary:

More than one billion people worldwide live with disability and suffer huge discrimination as a result. They face unequal access to education, employment, healthcare, social support and the justice system. Consequently, they are disproportionately some of the poorest and most marginalised people in the world – part of an unseen great neglect.

The internationally agreed Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) have done a great deal to address

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LibLink… Jo Swinson: Our children shouldn’t grow up thinking looks are the most important thing in life

I remember the genuine distress suffered by a teenage friend of ours. Her hair straighteners had broken and we don’t possess such implements. She was actually frightened and anxious at the thought of leaving the house and being seen by her peers with unstraightened, but perfectly tidy, hair. I had to source another set of straighteners before I could get her to school.

That, sadly, is the tip of the iceberg. The pressure on particularly girls to conform to a very narrow standard of beauty, dictated by the likes of Heat magazine and the pornography industry, is excruciating and can lead …

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LibLink…Lynne Featherstone: Hope and HIV in Malawi

Lynne Featherstone has been writing at the Huffington Post about her visit to Malawi. She talked about sitting with a father just after he found out he had HIV. She explores in the article how that man and others can be helped by intitiatives she is responsible for:

There was little hope in the eyes of the father I sat with shortly after he learnt he was living with HIV. Cradling his son in his arms, together they faced the agonising wait for the boy’s test results.

While 68,000 people die of AIDS-related illnesses here every year, HIV/AIDS no longer needs to

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LibLink..Lembit Opik: We are not alone

This article deviates from our normal style of LibLink, but I thought that the fact that it’s the weekend, and Solstice Weekend at that, permitted it.

The UFOlogist at The Association for the Scientific Study of Anomalous Phenomena, that’s The Artist Formerly Known as Lembit Opik to you and me, has been writing over at the Huffington Post on the occasion of the closure of the Government’s desk dealing with claimed alien encounters. Could there, he asks, be other life forms across the galaxies. He seems to think so:

We live on a single planet in a galaxy which may have about

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Vince on dangers of immigration debate and encouraging women in business – he doesn’t seem to be in the mood for resignation

I thought it was supposed to be holiday season for MPs. Not for our Vince, it seems. He’s been everywhere the last couple of days. Today, the BBC reports, he has been making the point that all the hot air on immigration is going to stop the very people we need to boost our economy will be put off from coming here:

But he warned that the globalised world of university recruitment was in danger of being undermined in the UK by anxieties over immigration.

He said that the “politics of identity” which worried about immigration and the economic need for

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LibLink…Lynne Featherstone: Bringing a worldwide end to violence against women and girls

Over at the Huffington Post, Liberal Democrat International Development Minister Lynne Featherstone writes about her trip to New York for the UN Commission on the Status of Women which is this year focusing on violence against women and girls.

First she talks about what the UK Government is doing to tackle this problem which affects 1 in 3 women worldwide:

The Coalition Government has provided nearly £40 million of ring-fenced funding for specialist domestic and sexual violence services, and national helplines.

We’ve invested in changing attitudes and behaviours. You may have seen the UK television adverts we’ve launched to tackle rape and relationship

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LibLink – Lynne Featherstone MP: Moving towards a world free from Female Genital Cutting

Today is the International Day of Zero Tolerance to Female Genital Mutilation. Tonight, Home Office Minister Jeremy Browne will be giving a speech tonight (which we will bring you later) and Lynne Featherstone has written an article for the Huffington Post.

She will be taking part in an online discussion here at 12:45pm today.

First she outlined exactly why FGC is a problem.

FGC is a cultural practice involving the partial or total removal of the external female genitalia. In its most extreme form the external genitalia are cut out and the girl’s vagina sewn up, to be cut open on her

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Nick Clegg gets sassy at DPMQs

Yesterday saw the monthly “Pick on Nick Clegg” day at Westminster. Deputy Prime Minister’s Questions is not known for its searching scrutiny of Government. Instead, Labour and Tories line up to take cheap shots at Nick. The experience he gains there is probably why he’s so good at town hall meetings and question and answer sessions at Conference.

DPMQs usually passes by unnoticed by the press. Yesterday, however, was different. Nick had a “Stalin

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Local pay for the public sector: a row the Lib Dems and the Coalition will want to dodge?

The Huffington Post published an excellent dissection of the twists and turns the debate on local pay for public sector workers (sometimes called regional pay) is taking within the Lib Dems:

Letters written by the Lib Dem Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander the number two minister at the Treasury appeared wildly enthusiastic about civil servants being paid different amounts depending on where they work as recently as the start of this year.

But subsequent letters show Alexander softening his stance, suggesting he’s come under pressure from fellow Lib Dems over the proposals, confirmed by George Osborne in the

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Tim Farron talks to the Huffington Post about getting out of the Coalition

Party President Tim Farron has been talking to the Huffington Post about everything from the local election results, the presentation errors in the Budget, his leadership ambitions, potential coalition deal breakers and exit strategies.

He is adamant that Lords Reform will be delivered within this Parliament:

“The coalition agreement is not something that you can pick and choose from,” he says. “If people believe that Lords reform is something that can be dispensed with, for instance, or that it’s tolerable for the Tory whips to not deliver a majority or a diluted Bill, it does bring into a question of trust, and

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LibLink: Are the Lib Dems Giving Up More Than the Tories in Government?

Louise Phillips, a former Lib Dem staffer, asks this question in the UK version of The Huffington Post.

There have been a lot of sacrifices from the Liberal Democrats in the past two years. Tuition fees (obviously); mansion tax; free schools. But, and this is the argument I make in the pub whenever someone finds out I used to work for the party, the Tories are giving up more. They have sacrificed long held beliefs on taxation to allow the Lib Dems to raise the tax threshold to £10,000, putting money back into the pocket of most working people in the

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarSimon Oliver 27th Nov - 1:25pm
    Bravo Guy - great article.
  • User AvatarPHIL THOMAS 27th Nov - 1:24pm
    Tories gain seat from Lib Dems in Salisbury yesterday. That's what happened as being part of a Govt ?
  • User AvatarShaun Cunningham 27th Nov - 1:24pm
    I saw a TV programme the other night, communities in Africa cooking grass which looked like straw. Children desperate for food, their stomachs empty, they...
  • User AvatarPHIL THOMAS 27th Nov - 1:23pm
    Another Tory gain from the Lib Dems in yesterdays by-elections. No progress being made under Tim ?
  • User AvatarGareth Epps 27th Nov - 1:21pm
    I am also in agreement with Paul, for this reason: it is unwise and wrong to set about intervention with no clear objective of what...
  • User Avatarexpats 27th Nov - 12:51pm
    Gordon & Anne....I couldn't agree more.....We are being fed half truths and lies....Where in our mainstream media is there any REAL reporting of Putin's comments...