Tag Archives: Jo Swinson

Towards a family friendly House of Commons

There was a Commons debate this week on making the Houses of Parliament more family-friendly. We’ve already covered the breastfeeding angle but it’s worth looking at some of the other issues raised.

Jo Swinson, in an article for the New Statesman, talked about what she thought was necessary to make Parliament more accessible for parents.

Lots of positive suggestions were put forward in the debate, including better scheduling of Parliamentary recesses to coincide with school holidays, more predictability of debates and votes, a drop-in crèche facility to complement the nursery, introducing maternity cover for MPs and compassionate carers’ leave for staff facing family emergencies. Rightly, the debate included family responsibilities beyond parenting, whether for elderly relatives or for partners who become ill. Professor Sarah Childs, the respected expert on gender and politics from Bristol University, is currently preparing recommendations for reform of Parliament to make it more accessible to people from under-represented groups, so it was a timely discussion.

She talked about the history-making change that had made a real difference to her and her husband when their son was born:

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So why shouldn’t MPs breastfeed in the House of Commons?

There was a very sensible debate on the family friendliness or otherwise of the House of Commons earlier this week. The press seems to have latched on (sorry) to the issue of whether women MPs should be allowed to breastfeed their babies in the Commons chamber itself, although the debate was much more wide ranging – and we’ll have more about those other aspects later.

The debate was brought by Jess Phillips ,the MP for Birmingham Yardley who recently took such a battering on Twitter for daring to suggest that Parliament might have more important priorities than have a special debate for International Men’s Day. The irony of her being the only woman on the Committee that decides Commons business was not lost on many people.

At any debate on these issues, you get the odd Tory turning up whose only purpose seems to be to make themselves look ridiculous and to basically troll the proceedings. On this occasion it was Sir Simon Burns, the MP for Chelmsford. Early in the proceedings he suggested that the House of Commons did not have an overwhelming majority of white men when asked by fellow Conservative Maria Miller:

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Swinson and Farron speak out against online abuse after threats sent to Labour MP Jess Phillips

The internet can be a torrid place, as we all know. If you’re a woman, especially one who dares express an opinion that doesn’t sit well with a very small minority of men, you are likely to get a particularly brutal form of abuse, usually coupled with threats of sexual violence.

When Labour MP Jess Phillips reacted with incredulity to Tory Phillip Davies’ request for a debate on International Men’s Day, she was subjected to some awful abuse. You know it’s bad when one of the milder things written was an observation that seeing her spirit die would be a rewarding experience. Who could possibly think that that was ok to say to anyone about anything?

Buzzfeed UK has the full story including the full tweet. They are pretty stomach turning.

It’s important to realise that women have to put up with this sort of nonsense every day. Yes, men get abuse too, but there is a gendered aspect that is chilling. A few years ago, I wrote about how demeaning it felt when a man sat next to me on a flight reading his lad’s mag with photos of very scantily clad women. I suggested that this might be something that they should not be doing in the public space and was told that I deserved to be raped, like brutal sexual violence was an acceptable reaction to disagreeing with someone.

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Jo Swinson speaks out against gender quotas on boards

From PoliticsHome:

Senior leaders from business and government have gone head-to-head over whether mandatory quotas are needed to get more women to the top of organisations.

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Jo Swinson supports size 6 model who was told she was “too big” for her agency

Last week model Charli Howard hit the headlines when she wrote an open letter to her modelling agency who had told her that at a mere size 6, she was too big to work. From the Independent:

“The more you force us to lose weight and be small, the more designers have to make clothes to fit our sizes, and the more young girls are being made ill. It’s no longer an image I choose to represent,” she wrote.

Howard’s letter made headlines globally and comes after a number of models have openly criticised the fashion industry for body-shaming by telling them they need to lose weight.

In yesterday’s Sunday Times (£) former Equalities Minister and Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson was quick to give Charli her support, telling the paper:

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LibLink: Jo Swinson: Shared grandparental leave risks dads missing out

Jo Swinson has cast a critical eye over George Osborne’s plans to extend parental leave to grandparents in an article for Personnel Today.

As minister responsible for introducing shared parental leave just 6 months ago, Jo explained why they hadn’t included grandparents at that time:

When the legislation was being debated in Parliament we looked carefully at extending leave to non-parents, and rejected that change for good reasons. If it is no longer to be about developing parental bonds, then why draw the line at grandparents? Shouldn’t leave then be shareable with aunts, uncles or friends?

Important though other carers and relatives are, parents have a unique role in a child’s life.  Shared parental leave is also about addressing the historical lack of workplace provision for men to fulfil their roles as fathers.

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Jo Swinson: Tories preferred SNP MPs to Liberal Democrats

The most successful parties in the UK at the moment are the Conservatives and the SNP, parties which are supposedly totally opposed in terms of values but who seem to be fuelling each others’ gains.

We know that Alex Salmond helped give oxygen to the Tories’ increasingly incredible and hyperbolic claims during the general election by hinting at demands he’d make of Ed Miliband. We know that the Tories spent a small fortune in seats they couldn’t win in Scotland in a strategy that could only have had the effect of ensuring that the SNP won.

There is a school of thought in this party that puts our atrocious result down to the Tory’s scaremongering about the SNP and Labour in coalition. Others say that this is a smokescreen and that actually our poor messaging was at fault. Actually, I think both were pretty strong factors and I think that we legitimised what the Tories were doing by running scared of it rather than calling it out for the nonsense it was.

The Herald reports Jo Swinson’s comments about the impact of the Tory campaign in her seat and others:

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The Lib Dem legacy: right to 30-day refund becomes law

The BBC reports:

New consumer protection measures – including longer refund rights – have come into force under the Consumer Rights Act.

For the first time anyone who buys faulty goods will be entitled to a full refund for up to 30 days after the purchase.

Previously consumers were only entitled to refunds for a “reasonable time”.

There will also be new protection for people who buy digital content, such as ebooks or online films and music.

They will be entitled to a full refund, or a replacement, if the goods are faulty.

The Act also covers second-hand goods, when bought through a retailer.

People buying services – like a garage repair or a haircut – will also have stronger rights.

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Jo Swinson to take part in Willie Rennie’s gender balance working group

Willie Rennie has announced the four members of his working group into improving gender balance which he announced last month. He made it clear that he wants to see the party adopt a raft of measures including all women shortlists. Today he met with the Women 50/50 campaign to discuss improving gender balance.

What’s interesting about the make-up of his working group is that it includes people who have historically been sceptical about measures such as all women shortlists. If they support his plans, it will be a very clear message to the party that it is time for serious change. I would be very surprised if they didn’t come up with other measures, such as intensive support for the campaigns of female candidates. They should make sure that they consult LGBT Plus Lib Dems to ensure that the plan that emerges is fully inclusive for transgender, genderqueer, genderfluid and non-binary people.  Steering clear of long-term proponents of procedural measures to achieve gender balance may well be a clever move by Willie.

The members of the working group are:

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Jo Swinson ‘mistaken for secretary’ by government official

Jo Swinson Opening Glasgow ConferenceThe BBC reports:

Former minister Jo Swinson has spoken of the “delicious” moment she was mistaken for a secretary by a senior government official.

The ex-Lib Dem MP, an equalities minister in the coalition government, was speaking about the difficulties faced by women in the workplace.

She said the official was mortified when he realised his mistake.
She also revealed that her then boss Vince Cable skipped a diversity training seminar she had set up.

Ms Swinson said she had set up a session for business department ministers and senior civil servants on avoiding “unconscious bias” in the workplace but that she was “the only minister that turned up”.

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Jo Swinson writes…Dissolution honours make the contribution of women look invisible

Congratulations to all of the new Liberal Democrat Peers announced today.  They will strengthen our existing excellent team in the Lords, fighting for a democratically elected second chamber while in the meantime using their power to provide a check on the government and its worrying assaults on the poor, on our civil liberties, and on the environment.

It’s also good to see recognition for those in our party who have served our communities and our country so well – Sir Vince Cable, Dame Annette Brooke, Ben Williams OBE and others.

What is depressing and wearily familiar, however, is the missing women.

But surely our Lords list is balanced?  5 out of the 11 nominations (45%) for the peerage go to women, which is progress I suppose – of the 40 people nominated to the Lords under Nick Clegg’s leadership, just 17 (43%) were women.

And 45% women wouldn’t be so bad if the existing Lords group was well-balanced, but of our 101 Peers, just 35% are women – so we’re still far from equality.

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Willie Rennie puts us all to shame – is it time he challenged Farron?

Willie Rennie certainly is a pretty good role model for a healthy lifestyle.

This is the sight that greeted me when I arrived at Scottish Lib Dem HQ for a meeting yesterday morning.

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Jo Swinson highlights need for better management to increase productivity

It sounds obvious, but well-,managed employees who feel part of a team with a shared goal perform better. Sadly, not all employees work under good managers who are able to get the best out of their teams. This week, Jo Swinson highlighted the need for good management as WSB reports:

“The role of good management skills needs to be more prominent in the thinking about productivity,” Swinson said.

One of the biggest challenges we face in dealing with the productivity dilemma in this country is about improving the quality of management skills.

She said the lack of managerial training was an “ingrained

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The truth about Government measures on the gender pay gap – this was the work of the Liberal Democrats, not the Tories

This week has seen David Cameron trying to portray himself as some sort of equalities champion as he announced plans to force companies to disclose data on the gender pay gap.  You would never have thought that his party had spent most of the last government fighting such a measure, only to finally agree it almost at the last minute. He may attempt to take the credit, but it’s Jo Swinson who did all the work. She tweeted:

Back in March, Jo announced on this site that the Liberal Democrat policy was to become a reality. Here’s what she said back then:

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Jo Swinson writes….Why I’m backing Tim for leader

The Liberal Democrats have always felt like a family, and none more so than with the rallying round after the crushing election results this month.  As the results unfolded, the texts and tweets began to arrive.  I had to read them in small batches over the next few days: it’s often the words of kindness that bring the raw emotions to the surface the most.

On one level, the pain I felt was deeply personal – Duncan and I both lost our seats after 12 years of campaigning and service to our communities.  Compounding this was the shared anguish of watching liberal giants like Vince and Simon defeated; transfixed by the TV in a sort of stunned post-count vigil with my campaign manager Katy Gordon as the new political reality dawned.

By Friday morning, I was reunited with Duncan and Andrew, whose excited “Mummy, mummy!” was the best possible antidote to the haze of sleep-deprived sadness.  I turned on the radio to hear Nick’s resignation speech – taking responsibility with dignity, and reinforcing the need for our liberal values more than ever – and that was when the tears flowed freely down my cheeks. 

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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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