Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson’s SNP rival has row with Lib Dem on Twitter – then complains to their employer

So, you have a row with someone on Twitter. Most of us would just shrug it off and get on with our lives. Not John Nicolson, the SNP candidate up against Jo Swinson.

After a Twitter exchange with Federal Policy Committee member Belinda Brooks-Gordon, he blocked her and then took the unusual step of writing to her employer.

The Daily Record has the story:

East Dunbartonshire hopeful John Nicolson sent a bizarre email to the master of Birbeck College in London after the fiery Twitter exchange with Dr Belinda Brooks-Gordon.

The lecturer in forensic psychology is standing for the Lib Dems in the Cities of London and Westminster seat and had voiced her support for Nicolson’s opponent Jo Swinson.

Brooks-Gordon had referred to former BBC journalist Nicolson’s property portfolio in London and suggested he could return to the city and questioned his credentials as a local candidate.

Nicolson joined the Twitter exchange to rubbish the claim.

But he did not let the matter rest there and decided to send off an email to Brooks-Gordon’s boss at the college, which is part of the University of London.

Belinda made a very good point, asking what he would do if a constituent disagreed with him or criticised him. Would he be complaining to their boss, too?

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: It is the duty of every woman of my generation to stand up for young girls

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez joined Jo Swinson to visit female apprentices at a motorbike manufacturer in Jo’s constituency:

She also helped Jo launch an action plan for gender equality which includes action to tackle domestic violence, more childcare provision, more opportunities for women in science and engineering and work on body image.

Miriam went for a chat with Bryony Gordon from the Telegraph who was daft enough to ask her if Nick had sent her to help female candidates. That was never going to end well.

Miriam has been writing about her Inspiring Women campaign for the Huffington Post.

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Greg Mulholland: “We beat the British establishment”

The Casked CrusaderWe will never miss an opportunity to show off this amazing photograph from the Sun showing Greg Mulholland as the Casked Crusader, the guy who did more than anyone else in the last Parliament to help publicans by campaigning for them to have more power against exploitative measures by large pubcos.

There is an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub in Leeds North West needs to vote for Greg. In fact, there’s an argument that anyone who likes going to the pub should vote Liberal Democrat given the valiant work by Jo Swinson and Vince Cable in the face of strong Tory opposition.

Greg has written for the Publicans’ Morning Advertiser about the things he and the Liberal Democrats have been able to achieve and the mountains they had to climb to do it.

The Parliament started well, but then reform plans hit troubled Tory waters with a u-turn on plans to regulate the industry.

Diligent research by Greg and his colleagues got the issue back on the political agenda and a long campaign finally led to that amazing victory last November.  Greg says:

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The spouses of Parliament. By that, the Telegraph means husbands of female MPs

The Telegraph reports on a Grazia magazine feature about “husbands of politicians.” It’s interesting because it captures some of the preconceived ideas we have about gender roles and stereotypes. And also because it features two people well known to us, Duncan Hames and Andrew Poole, Jenny Willott’s husband. It encapsulates the sacrifices that both Members of Parliament and their families have to make.

Duncan said that people are more likely to talk to Jo about their baby son:

After Andrew was born, the only thing anyone in Jo’s constituency wanted to talk to her about was the baby – and for me it was just nice if anyone did! When I first went door-knocking with him, typically, if a woman answered you’d have a conversation about parenthood there were a few men who kept their gaze firmly at eye level, just did their best to have this conversation as if the baby wasn’t there,” he recalls.

Duncan hopes that by trying to parent equally, they’ve paved the way for other couples.

“There are probably a lot of workplaces where, if dads take time out for things like children’s doctors’ appointments, there’ll be the underlying assumption: ‘Isn’t that what a mother does?’ It’s one of the barriers to equality. So those of us who don’t fear the consequences of doing this are, I hope, helping others by doing so.”

Andrew Poole describes how he and Jenny manage their time:

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That two horse race is on: Scottish Ashcroft polls show it’s Liberal Democrats against the SNP

As Scottish voters start to receive their postal votes in the next few days, they will have much to contemplate. To what extent will those who oppose independence be prepared to vote tactically to keep the SNP from winning Westminster seats.

Their decision may well be informed by yesterday’s Ashcroft polls which show potential SNP gains in all but one of the constituencies in question. Unfortunately, four of them were seats currently held by the Liberal Democrats.

I found the SNP fifteen points ahead in Charles Kennedy’s seat of Ross, Skye & Lochaber, up from five points in February. I also found the SNP leading by eleven points in Jo Swinson’s constituency of East Dunbartonshire, and by thirteen points in North East Fife, where Sir Menzies Campbell is stepping down after 28 years.

The poll found that Mike Moore is in a tough 3 way fight with the Tories in the Borders. He’s on 28%, the SNP on 29% and the Tories on 30%. It could barely be tighter.

All the polls show decisively, though, apart from the Borders, that it’s a clear two horse race between Liberal Democrat MPs and the SNP. The message to Tory and Labour voters is clear. Do they want an SNP MP primarily motivated by independence and forbidden from standing up for their constituents if their party doesn’t allow it, or a Liberal Democrat who will fight tirelessly for their area.

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Poll sensation for Jo Swinson – new poll shows she’s ahead of SNP in tight race

A new poll carried out by Survation for the Liberal Democrats has shown that Jo Swinson is in a tight race with the SNP in her East Dunbartonshire constituency.

The Kirkintilloch Herald reports:

The poll, with methodology designed by the LibDems but carried out by an independent company, shows a mere two per cent divide between Ms Swinson from SNP candidate John Nicholson.

It also predicts that Labour will take just 16 per cent of the vote and the Conservatives just 13 per cent.
The results were: Lib Dem 34.5%, SNP 32.1%, Lab 16.2%, Con 13.1%, Green 2%, Ukip 0.7%

A total of 413 people took part in the telephone poll with seven questions, carried out on April 9.

We can now bring you the full analysis including all the tables which you can access here.

This fieldwork was carried out in the wake of high profile visits to the constituency by both Nick Clegg and Nicola Sturgeon.

Jo’s incredibly well known, and popular even amongst other parties’ voters. There can’t be very many MPs whose name is recognised by 96.7% of people. 60% of people overall have a favourable opinion of Jo.  56.1% of people who currently say they are voting Labour think favourably of her, as do 45.1% of those currently saying they will vote Conservative and 68% of those who have not yet decided who they will vote for.

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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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Swinson and Willott hail start of shared parental leave – but this isn’t the end of the work to be done on this issue

I’ve always said that shared parental leave is one of those policies that ticks all the stronger economy, fairer society and opportunity for everyone b boxes. It’s an entirely liberal thing to give people the choice as to what is right for them and their family rather than have the state dictate it for you.

Today is the day that this policy, first passed at Liberal Democrat conference in 2009, becomes a reality. Jo Swinson, the Minister who took the legislation through Parliament, had this to say:

This is a momentous step forward for families and for parents in work. Shared parental leave can make an incredibly positive difference in a child’s life and help both mums and dads make the best decisions for them and their families.

Men and women will no longer be tied to what history dictates their traditional roles should be with mum holding the baby while dad goes out to work.  Parenting is a shared endeavour and now dads have the opportunity to spend more time with their new baby in those vital early weeks.

Shared parental leave is my proudest achievement in government, and I’m delighted that it is now a reality.

The Liberal Democrats are the driving force behind this change, and we’re pushing to go further in the next parliament. We want to champion the role of dads, and triple paternity leave, giving all fathers an extra month to spend with their child.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Across much of Scotland, Lib Dems are the only party who can beat the SNP

Jo Swinson has written for Scotland on Sunday’s Election Essays series. First of all she outlines the Liberal Democrat contributions to the Government:

The last five years have demonstrated beyond doubt that the Liberal Democrats made the right decision and are a force for good in government. We’ve taken tough decisions to get growth up and the deficit down, while also protecting the public services on which we all rely. We have been able to deliver vital Liberal Democrat policies, while preventing the Conservatives from dancing to the right-wing tune of their Eurosceptic backbenchers and the populism of Nigel Farage’s Ukip.

As a result, the economy is recovering strongly: we grew faster than any other G7 country last year, and we’re borrowing half as much as we were in 2010.

You don’t have to choose between governing fairly and balancing the books as Labour and Conservatives would have you believe:

Liberal Democrats will balance the books by 2018, and do so fairly. We won’t drag out the pain for years longer like Labour, or slash public services to the bone like the Conservatives. These parties will try and convince you that you have to choose between eliminating the deficit or protecting public services. You don’t. With the Liberal Democrats’ balanced plan, we can do both.

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Some thoughts on zero hours contracts – Liberal Democrat record in government is better than Labour’s

Zero hours contracts have taken up a lot of bandwidth and airwaves today.

There is a narrative that goes something like: “There might not be mass unemployment but the jobs created under this government are all zero hours contracts”. That is nonsense. The proportion of the workforce on zero hours contracts is actually very small. It’s only about 2% of all jobs.

If exploitation is going on, even if it’s only a handful of people being exploited, it needs to be stopped. There’s no doubt about that. And Liberal Democrats in Government have stopped the scandal of exclusivity, the practice of not guaranteeing your employee any hours or any pay, but not letting them work for anyone else either. We’re way ahead of Labour.

Jo Swinson said at her campaign launch on Monday that she was thinking about something like ensuring that people would automatically have  rights if they were working consistent hours over a certain period, so she and Labour are not a million miles apart. However, I think that we need to be sure that thee won’t be any unintended consequences from such a policy. Think about it. If you were an unscrupulous employer, would you be inclined to make sure that your employees didn’t build up that consistent work pattern? Labour’s policy might not be the simple solution that they are trying to make out.

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What’s happening on P-36, Wednesday 1st April?

Shared Parental Leave is the theme of the day as the big yellow battle bus heads for East Dunbartonshire and a nursery visit.Parents of babies due on or after this Saturday will be able to choose how they share 50 of the 52 weeks of parental leave. The only stipulation is that mothers have to take the first two weeks after the birth.

This is a policy that ticks all the stronger economy, fairer society and opportunity for everyone boxes. Nick will be visiting the nursery with the minister who introduced the measure, Jo Swinson, in her constituency.

Also in Scotland, Willie Rennie gives a speech to the Scottish Police Federation. Police officers in Scotland have suffered from the actions of their senior managers in recent years. Their Chief Constable and his colleagues have been caught out telling untruths to Parliament over armed police and stop and search on several occasions. Officers are also reeling from a target driven culture that places the emphasis on form filling and targets rather than just doing the job.

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LDVideo: Naomi Long reads out and responds to mean tweets

Twitter abuse is an occupational hazard for anyone who has an opinion, especially if they happen to be female. If you are a woman, it’s not only what you say but how you look that is fair game for the trolls.

Alliance MP Naomi Long had a bit of Friday fun this week as she read out some of the abuse she’d received over the years and get her own back with some witty retorts. I think my personal favourite was her response to the one about the size of her backside – a subject on which Alistair Carmichael waded in with support for Naomi.

Anyway, watch and enjoy:

You might also be interested in one of Jo Swinson’s favourite antidotes to the haters. Thank you, haters, by Clever Pie and Isabel Fay is very funny.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Why the Government is spending £2 million to tackle bullying

This week, Lib Dem Equalities Minister Jo Swinson announced the eight organisations who will receive £2 million of government money to tackle homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying. To accompany that announcement, she wrote an article for Pink News explaining why this money is needed:

Earlier this year singer-songwriter Sam Smith publicly came out and talked openly about being bullied at school. Denying he was gay made the bullying worse and the thing he most hated was how his friends and family heard the names he was called. Fortunately he’s gone on to have a multi-million album selling, Grammy winning career so I think we know who has had the last laugh.

But hindsight is a wonderful thing; bullying can take a terrible toll, have a devastating effect on a young person’s education, isolate them from their peers and damage their self-esteem for life.

How widespread is the problem?

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Jo Swinson saddles up her feminist high horse…

Two pictures you might like. First, Liberal Democrat Equalities Minister Jo Swinson:

Jo Swinson

And now, a feminist high horse.

See what I did there?

Jo Swinson has been going for the Daily Mail readers’ vote. She can certainly speak the paper’s language, as you can see from this parody press release from her office. Will editors get the joke?

Mother of one, Jo Swinson gave a speech today wearing a shocking pink dress and a new pair of heels.

While looking desperately in need of a ‘calming down dear’, Swinson railed against the established privilege of men in power and their unconscious inability to experience what discrimination was really like.

She did not say that government should determine what editors can publish. But it could have been what she meant really.

Swinson suggested that the Tories were too afraid to back a ‘feminazi’ clampdown on Fleet Street’s dinosaurs.

Swinson who last year abandoned her Ministerial post for six months on maternity leave, has persistently shown herself to be the possessor of radically liberal ideas as well as a feminist high horse.

If you want to see what she actually said in her speech, it’s all here.

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Jo Swinson on media coverage of pregnant women, sexism and having to ask to get ministerial job

On Friday, Jo Swinson spoke at a training day for women run by Omnicom UK, which Media Week reported. She gave a bit of an insight into how you get a ministerial job in, at least, our party. I have to say I was surprised:

It took Swinson a long time to realise that she had to ask to become a minister. “I thought I’d do a good job and then I’d get promoted,” she said. “It took me a while to realise I had to go and make the case.”

I’d like to know a bit more about this one. You wouldn’t expect things to be any different for the men in this party, but did Mike Moore, Ed Davey, Vince Cable, Danny Alexander, Norman Lamb and co actually have to go to Nick and say: “I’m here, this is what I can do, pick me.” Nick is generally very good on issues relating to equality. He’s championed shared parental leave for years, he’s expanded childcare, he’s spoken out on violence against women and girls. What he hasn’t done is put a woman in the Cabinet, despite the fact that some of the best performers in the government have been people like Lynne Featherstone and Jo herself.

We’ve seen recently from the appalling commentary on Rachel Reeves’ pregnancy that highly sexist attitudes exist in the media and amongst the people who make our laws. Jo said that such coverage makes her furious.

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Swinson and Clegg force Tory u-turn on gender pay gap

One particularly satisfying piece of news in the last week is that Jo Swinson and Nick Clegg have forced the Tories to agree to transparency on equal pay between men and women. 45 years after the passing of the Equal Pay Act, women still earn on average almost 10% less than their male colleagues for doing the same job.

Now, after a voluntary scheme saw only five companies publish details of men and women’s pay in their company, an amendment to the Small Business Bill will make the reporting mandatory, with a potential £5000 penalty (as well as the bad publicity) for failure to comply.

The Guardian quotes Nick Clegg and a Liberal Democrat source on this:

Welcoming the move, Clegg said: “While the Liberal Democrats have made real progress in areas like shared parental leave and extending the right to request flexible working, the labour market is still stacked against women.

It simply cannot be acceptable that, in the 21st century, women on average still receive a smaller pay packet than men.

We can’t wait and we can’t dither. We need to sort this out now. Both Jo Swinson and I have pushed for this to happen within government for a long time.

These measures will shine a light on a company’s policy so that women can rightly challenge their employer where they are not being properly valued and rewarded.”

A Lib Dem source added: “In discussions this week, it was clear that the Tories wanted to delay taking any action on equal pay and kick the can down the road, just like they have for the last five years.

“This is extraordinary International Women’s Day, you have some Tories feigning support for women in the economy while dragging their feet on gender pay transparency.

“It’s a huge U-turn from the Tories but it’s welcomed. At last we can take some real action before the election to make companies publish pay differences between men and women.”

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Jo Swinson defends Rachel Reeves from “staggeringly sexist” attack

Jo Swinson GlasgowRemember in 2010 when the Daily Mail went apoplectic and Tory backbenchers’ murmured criticism made headline news as David Cameron took time off after the birth of his daughter Florence just weeks after becoming Prime Minister? No, me neither, because it didn’t happen.

Five years on, however, Labour’s Rachel Reeves is under fire from the Mail and Tory MP Andrew Rossindell after announcing her plans to take 3 months’ maternity leave after she gives birth to her second child in June. From the Guardian:

Andrew Rosindell, the Tory MP for Romford, told the Daily Mail that a role in the cabinet required a person’s full attention. “I don’t want to say someone who is having a baby is not eligible to be a cabinet minister, but I certainly think perhaps the demands of that particular job will require someone to give it their full attention.”

“I don’t expect Rachel Reeves to be in the cabinet after the election because I expect the Conservatives to win, but clearly people need to be put in the positions they can handle.

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Jo Swinson takes part in Marie Claire election debate

I had fully intended to keep tabs on Jo Swinson and four women from the other parties taking part in Marie Claire magazine’s election debate. However, life had other ideas and I spent the morning at A & E instead. Handily, Marie Claire have put everything together in a Storify thingy which you can read below to catch up on the events.

It seemed remarkably civilised with quite a lot of agreement. There does seem to be a reasonable consensus among women across politics about what needs to change in society.
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Jo Swinson to take part in Marie-Claire election debate at 10am tomorrow

jo_swinsonAt 10am tomorrow, 11 February, our Jo Swinson will be one of five panellists taking part in an hour long Twitter election debate run by Marie Claire magazine. Here’s an extract from their blog about it:

A third of us still have no idea who to vote for in the general election in May, so many of us won’t vote at all. To help us work out who should get our valuable, individual votes, Marie Claire has invited five of the most powerful women in politics to take part in a live Twitter Election Debate. Gloria de PieroJustine GreeningJo SwinsonCaroline Lucas and Suzanne Evans will explain what their parties can do for us. In turn, we want you to fire your toughest questions at them, via a live Twitter Election Debate. If it matters to you, it matters to them.

Their profile of Jo says:

The Minister for Women and Equalities and Employment Relations and Consumer Affairs has been the MP for East Dunbartonshire since 2005. Last year, she garnered publicity for criticising a rule banning women from breastfeeding in the House of Commons. As part of her role, she oversees women and growth, women on boards and LGBT strategy. Jo was instrumental in delivering the upcoming introduction of shared paternity leave.

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Jo Swinson MP writes….new powers for Groceries Code Adjudicator will ensure fair deal for local suppliers

Thanks to the persistent efforts of Liberal Democrats, especially Business Secretary Vince Cable, the Prime Minister has agreed to our demands for the Groceries Code Adjudicator (GCA) to be able to impose significant fines on any large supermarkets who treat their suppliers unfairly.

The Adjudicator will now be able to impose penalties on the supermarkets of up to 1% of their UK annual turnover, dependant on the seriousness of the breach.

I was proud to build on the work of my predecessors Ed Davey and Norman Lamb, take the Bill through Parliament to create the Groceries Code Adjudicator in 2013. It was an important step to help govern the commercial relationships between the UK’s ten largest supermarkets and their direct suppliers – many of whom are farmers and small independent dealers.

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared parental leave will deliver the flexibility that couples want

We missed this when it was published last week but it’s no less relevant now. Shared parental leave becomes a reality in the next few months. Parents will be able to decide which of them takes the time off from their work to stay at home following the birth of a baby. Jo wrote about this for the New Statesman’s Staggers blog:

Under the new rules, mothers will still take at least two weeks of maternity leave immediately after birth, but after that working couples can share up to 50 weeks of leave and up to 37 weeks of pay.

Research published by my department this week underlines the importance of shared parental leave in allowing parents to choose a pattern of leave that fits their own family situation. People are rejecting dated stereotypes about the roles of men and women. Parenting is a shared endeavour and many fathers understandably want to spend more time at home when they are adapting to the demands of a new baby. Shared parental leave will let couples choose how to share their childcare responsibilities in whatever way works best for them, and enable both parents to spend time developing that vital bond with their baby in the early stages.

Our survey found the majority of people believe that childcare should be the equal responsibility of both parents and less than a quarter of people believe that the mother should have main responsibility for childcare.

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Daily Mail tells us a 20 year old story on Jo Swinson’s equalities report

The Daily Mail alights on a Government Equalities Report commissioned by our Jo Swinson and, of course, hones in on the one paragraph in 12 pages that mentions sex.

But just doing the dishes can really spice up a marriage.

That, at least, is the advice from a report backed by Liberal Democrat equalities minister Jo Swinson. It calls on men to do more to support gender equality campaigns – and isn’t coy when it comes to spelling out the potential perks of hoovering.

It claims that everyone in a family becomes ‘happier and healthier’ if men participate ‘fairly in the home’ by sharing childcare duties or household chores.

It goes on to say: ‘Equity in the home is associated with a range of benefits including improved sexual relationships.

‘Where women report an equitable relationship with their partner they are more likely to be having frequent sex.’

The thing is, the research cited in that report is 20 years old. It is, of course, stating the obvious. Let’s face it, if everyone shares the work, there’s bound to be more time for fun.

If the Daily Mail had devoted even half the space it gives over to stories that can be filed under the heading “Woman Goes Out Wearing Clothes” or to having a go at women for working outside the home, or being stay at home mothers, or being too fat, or being obsessed with diets, or being too needy in relationships, or scaring men by being too independent, to promoting this research, they could have driven a really positive cultural change.

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Lynne Featherstone: Good riddance to Page 3

There’s some interesting discussion on my social media timeline about  the Sun’s decision to stop printing clothes of topless women on Page 3. On one hand you have the male dominated group of people who think this is a dreadful infringement of liberty enacted by sinister feminists with An Agenda. Just you wait, they’ll be after your porn yet, they warn. They don’t like the fact that the No More Page 3 campaign started by Lucy-Anne Holmes and backed by more than 200,000 people has got what it wanted. It’s illiberal, they scream, for one group of people to interfere with the freedoms of others. That’s interesting. Presumably they would also be in favour of continuing to use the deeply racist language that was deemed acceptable when I was a child. Perhaps they’d oppose interfering in employers’ rights to send children up chimneys.

I just wonder how some of the men complaining about this decision if, every single day, there were pictures of naked men in a newspaper in a society where most of the positions of power were occupied by women who were never depicted in such a way. I don’t think they’d like it very much.

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Flashback: Did any MP colleagues attack Jeremy B when he talked about veils?

Jeremy Browne photo by Policy ExchangeYesterday, my colleague Caron Lindsay wrote about Jo Swinson’s remarks about gender stereotyping and toys, followed by Jeremy Browne’s tweets on the matter: Jo Swinson slams gender stereo-typing and is attacked by Jeremy Browne. A Liberal Democrat minister makes remarks, and a Liberal Democrat MP replies on Twitter, rumbling on about state interference in parents’ business:

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Jo Swinson slams gender stereotyping of toys – and is attacked by Jeremy Browne

If you’ve been buying presents for children these days, you’ll doubtless have noticed that there seems to be a bit o a gender divide in the way toys are marketed. For the girls, you have dollies, little puppies, things you brush the hair of and put in houses. In some stores, these things are housed in garish pink aisles. For the boys, you have anything remotely interesting. Science sets, dinosaurs, space stuff. For role playing, girls get to dress up as nurses or princesses while boys get to do exciting world-saving superhero stuff.

This should be offensive to all liberals, who have a massive respect for the individual. Children should never be told that a particular toy is for them or not dependent on their gender. Jenny Willott, when she was standing in for Equalities Minister Jo Swinson, said that gender stereotyping of toys limited children’s ambitions and even harmed the economy.

Toys are a hugely important part of our children’s learning and development. It is of course for children and their parents to choose the toys they play with, as we were just discussing. They should be able to make those choices freely from a full range of toys. How our children play helps to shape their aspirations for the future, and I want those aspirations to be based on their abilities and interests, not on stereotypes. I value the right of every single child to be treated as a unique individual and to be given the opportunity to explore their own interests and develop their own potential and talents, wherever they may lie. That is important not only for children now playing, but for the future of the economy.

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Liam McArthur highlights Swinson’s and Featherstone’s work and supports ambition action on violence against women

Last week the Scottish Parliament debated violence against women during the 16 days of action between the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women and International Human Rights day. Liam McArthur led for the Liberal Democrats. He noted that in the ninety minutes of the debate, 9 women would face violence at the hands of their partners.

It was a sensible, consensual debate which you can read here.  Liam’s speech in full is published below:

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Jo Swinson on one of the great double standards of our time

Breastfeeding is in the news again after Claridges thought that it was ok .to tell a mother to cover up as her baby nursed.

Nick Clegg was asked a rather strange question, which he eventually answered pretty well, about whether the importance of breastfeeding should be covered in Personal Health and Social Education classes and whether mothers should be told that it should be done in private. The right answer is, of course, yes to the first and no to the second.

It’s really quite ridiculous to think that it took until 2010 for the rights of mothers to breastfeed their babies in public was protected in law. This means that nobody can ask a mother to stop doing so in any place where she and the baby are allowed to be. Scotland was way ahead of the game, protecting women some five years before. Remembering the struggle it was to get that bill through, I wouldn’t give too much credit to the Labour/Liberal Democrat government of the day. It took a cross party alliance of women to keep Elaine Smith’s private member’s bill alive.

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Danny Alexander, not Vince Cable, designated Lib Dem shadow chancellor (oh, and no Lib Dem reshuffle)

speech danny alexander 6The Guardian’s Nick Watt reports today the long-trailed announcement that Danny Alexander, Lib Dem chief secretary to the treasury, will take on the role of the party’s shadow chancellor at the 2015 election:

Nick Clegg has decided that Alexander, his closest ally in the cabinet, will be the Lib Dem Treasury spokesman during the campaign and will face George Osborne and Ed Balls in any television debates on the economy. … The Lib Dems insisted that the election roles for Alexander and Cable were consistent with their cabinet roles. A Lib Dem spokesman said: “We are enormously fortunate to have two talented and well-known ministers on economic matters that are recognised and respected by the public. By the next election Danny Alexander and Vince Cable will have both served for five years as chief secretary and business secretary respectively, so they know their areas inside out. It therefore makes complete sense that they should continue in those roles during the election.”

I’ve made no secret of my view on this: there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that Vince Cable should have continued in the role he held in 2010 as the party’s shadow chancellor. He is, quite simply, head and shoulders above any of his colleagues when it comes not only to understanding the British economy, but, just as crucially, explaining it in a way that is both credible and distinct from the Tories.

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Conference Speeches: Jo Swinson to Conference rally

Jo swinson 2014 rally glasgowHere is Jo Swinson’s speech to the rally last night:

Conference – hello and a very warm welcome back to Glasgow!

It may still be a bit wet and chilly, but it’s still the friendliest city, and most importantly, still in the United Kingdom.

A lot has happened since we met here last year.

Fantastic year for sport:

Winter Olympics, record medal haul for the UK

Huge success of the Commonwealth Games here in Glasgow this summer – inspiring athletes from 13year old swimmer Erraid Davies to Jo Pavey’s fantastic gold medal at 40

England won the World Cup – obviously in women’s rugby

We’ve seen some key political milestones:

No one pays income tax on the first £10,000 they earn

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Nick Clegg’s conference rally speech: “We may be the underdogs but we have the values, beliefs and resilience to win”

“This is the fight of our lives” – that was the message from Nick Clegg at last night’s conference rally. You can watch it here:

Posted in Conference and YouTube | Also tagged , , , and | 30 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarShirley Campbell 24th May - 12:54am
    Wow, when did Liberalism abandon radicalism? Wow, when Liberals abandoned the Liberal Party and set up the Liberal Democratic Party. Please folk research Liberalism and...
  • User AvatarMartin 24th May - 12:10am
    Tony Greaves: Do you think that we would not have won a referendum on gay marriage? More seriously, as a Liberal do you not have...
  • User Avatartony123 24th May - 12:09am
    Look at how the Fianna Fail/ Green coalition worked out for the Greens. You'll struggle to find the Greens in Eire. As to Labour they...
  • User AvatarAndrew S Hatton 23rd May - 11:58pm
    All this LD hand wringing is about not retaining the power and influence that was accepted by the Parliamentary Party who agreed the deal in...
  • User AvatarTony Greaves 23rd May - 11:06pm
    Just won a referendum which we could not.
  • User AvatarMartin 23rd May - 11:06pm
    For those many graduates who do not get to earn high salaries, who in the end do not have to pay anything or not very...
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