Tag Archives: liberal youth

New Liberal Youth and IR Cymru Executives elected

Liberal Youth logo 2014Elections for the Executives of Liberal Youth and the Welsh organisation IR Cymru have been taking place over the past few weeks.

The 2015-16 Executives will take office on 1st November and are made up as follows:

Liberal Youth

Chair: Michael Chappell/Charlie Kingsbury
Vice Chair: Alex White
Policy Officer: Emily Tester
Campaigns Officer: Ryan Cairns
Communications Officer: Chris Whiting
Events Officer: Tara Murray/Nathan Issacson
Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

#WeAreAllHuman: Liberal Youth members show solidarity with Calais refugees

“We will not dehumanise, we will not demonise, we will support them.”

Liberal Youth members have made a video in solidarity with the refugees in Calais. Joanne Ferguson, who joined the Party in May and has written for this site several times, tells David Cameron: “You have the power to save human lives, use it.”

Watch and share.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Liberal Democrat Leadership: Young activists’ letters of support for Farron and Lamb – and a bit of controversy too

Liberal Youth at Eastleigh - Some rights reserved by Helen Duffett

Young activists have written open letters in support of the respective candidates in  the Liberal Democrat leadership contest.

Earlier this week, 50 young activists, including Sam Bennett, the chair of IR Cymru, Liberal Youth Executive members and members from Scotland, England and Wales, wrote an open letter of support for Tim, saying:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Lib Dem fightback is strong in Kent  

liberalyouth2015In the South East we took a bit of battering, just like the rest of the country. On Thursday, 18th June 2015 Kent Liberal Youth held a #liberalpint event in Maidstone. Considering everyone is saying that the Lib Dems are slowly dying out, it’s not the case for Kent Liberal Youth. We had over eleven new members who were under the age of eighteen, plus another five who were over eighteen.

We had a great discussion on what issues we were passionate about, we had members say they were passionate about drug reform, education, civil liberties, campaigning against secret courts and being liberal.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 3 Comments

Liberal Youth members fight NUS Liar Liar campaign by donating to Liberal Democrat campaigns to #trollNUS

The National Union of Students has spent £40,000 of its money on billboards urging people to vote against MPs who broke its pledge on tuition fees in 2010. This, it should be noted, was a pledge in which they did not believe themselves. When the Browne Review came out, they were calling for a Graduate Tax. The system implemented by the Coalition is not a million miles away from that.

It should also be noted that NUS is not endorsing those Liberal Democrat MPs who actually kept the pledge, either.

The whole point of a liberal youth organisation is to stand up against unfair, collectivist nonsense wherever it may be found. Liberal Youth’s response to the NUS is very creative. It’s encouraging people to donate to Liberal Democrat candidates to troll NUS. Some of them have been making a special point of donating to Nick Clegg’s campaign to annoy NUS to the max.

This is not to say that they totally endorse what the Liberal Democrats did on tuition fees. They know we made a big mistake, but they see the nakedly partisan NUS campaign for what it is. Where was their campaign against Labour MPs who introduced tuition fees and top-up fees when they said they wouldn’t?

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 89 Comments

Opinion: A manifesto for young people

Young people are neglected by politics, and understandably so. With less than half of 18-24 year olds voting at the last election, few campaign strategists would advocate making serious commitments with relatively few votes up for grabs.

There has therefore been a temptation for all parties, the Liberal Democrats included, to save their eye catching commitments for older voters. Pensioners have both a high turnout and are generally more numerous than the young in the first place, are therefore rewarded with expensive policies such as the triple lock on pensions and free bus passes.

Nevertheless, to neglect younger voters would be a mistake, if for no other reason than we won’t be young forever. With the rest of our lives to vote, but also crucially to volunteer as activists, there is a lot at stake. Is it preferable to ignore us and hope to win us over from another party in later years, or to do something to earn our support in the present? And who knows, in presenting compelling, believable offers to young people, which take into account their views, then just maybe more will see the point in voting now.

And you know what? Our Liberal Democrat manifesto does just that.

Over the last couple of years the party has given Liberal Youth the chance to put forward our ideas and views into the manifesto process. The manifesto team and Federal Policy Committee have been genuinely willing to listen and the impact of this on the final document is significant.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: Liberals must stand up to Russia over Ukraine

The weekend after the party gathered in Liverpool, Liberal Youth gathered in Leeds for our spring conference. There was plenty of campaigning, socialising and of course stimulating debates on policy. Stuart Wheatcroft has already written an excellent summary of the motion we debated and voted for on Ambitious Liberalism; for my part, I submitted a motion on Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

In writing this motion, I aimed to cover the two principal reasons I believe any self-respecting Liberal must stand against what Russia is doing in the region. Firstly, they are attempting to forcibly thwart the will of the Ukrainian people. When the Ukrainian people expressed a desire to look to the EU, they did not at the same time express a desire to go to war with Russia. They are seeking a better life; one bounded by democratic accountable institutions – the same promise extended by the EU to the former Warsaw Pact countries. In attempting to smear the Kiev government as a group of “fascists” as well as sending troops to occupy portions of Ukraine, Russia has attempted to corral the Ukrainian people into giving up these hopes for a brighter future.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 22 Comments

Opinion: Liberal Youth’s ambitious liberalism

Last weekend I attended Liberal Youth’s excellent Conference in Leeds. This is a regular event that allows members to meet, debate and – this time especially – campaign.

The final item on the agenda was a debate on “Ambitious Liberalism: a Radical, Liberal Voice for the Future”, which I proposed.

Although there are plenty of policy items in the motion, this was not primarily a motion about policy. Most of the individual items were already Liberal Youth policy. As we head into the final weeks of the General Election campaign, it is worth taking a few moment to reflect on what unites us as a party, and that is what this motion set out to do.

In putting together this motion, I took inspiration from the excellent mission statement published by Liberal Reform. In particular, Liberal Reform identifies four key strands of liberal thought, which form the basis of the text Liberal Youth adopted this weekend.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 12 Comments

Liberal Youth unveils its General Election campaign plans

LY Cardiff campaign weekend Dec 2014One of the nicest things that’s happened to me this year was when I logged on to Facebook last night and found an invitation asking me to sign up for a Liberal Youth Action Weekend. It’s a long time since I was involved in one of its predecessor organisations, but it brought back memories of the great fun we used to have campaigning in Aberdeenshire under the guidance of party legends like Sheila Ritchie. It was great being at university in Aberdeen because the local party really embraced the students and wanted them to be part of the local organisation outside the university and treated us all like human beings, not just fresh legs to deliver leaflets. It’s no coincidence that that combination helped to lay the foundations for such a strong base in the North East of Scotland. It’s also no coincidence that most of that Aberdeen University contingent are still involved in the party in some way. 

Posted in News | Also tagged | 6 Comments

Liberal Youth Elections 2014… Policy Officer: Ryan Mercer

liberalyouthLiberal Youth policy matters. It’s how we, as young Liberal Democrats, can make a clear and credible case for change on the issues we care about. The disengagement from politics by so many young people has made it easy for the views of our generation to be overlooked. Despite this, the Liberal Democrats have long been the strongest advocates in both tackling the challenges young people face and building the future society in which we want to live. The unique perspective Liberal Youth provides can help to ensure the party will continue to listen to young people and be that advocate for our generation.

In May, I stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate in a Norwich City Council Ward formerly held by Norman Lamb MP. The ward has a young population and standing gave me a real insight into how big a challenge we face showing other young people what we stand for and that we’re on their side.

I’m standing as a candidate for Liberal Youth Policy Officer partly because I believe in the essential role that Liberal Youth policy needs to play, but also because I believe more has to be done to engage our members in our policy making. With more young members adding their voices our policies will be better informed and have the support behind them to be taken seriously.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Elections 2014… Membership Development Officer: Naomi Farhi

liberalyouthVoter apathy has never been higher  among students and young people.

Liberal Youth should be a clear voice in a political wilderness.

To the disillusioned youth, politics appears to be a static and increasingly wearisome battlefield, with each side wasting a lot of time and gaining very little ground. Many cannot see the progress that is being made by groups just like Liberal Youth.

It is my vision to make this progress clear.

I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2013 because I was fed up of entrusting the way my country is run to ‘people who knew better than me.’ Young people are the future and Liberal Youth is the voice of a future where equality and fair treatment is achievable for all. I am willing to invest my time and energy in ensuring this will happen – but we need others to do this too.

That is why I am running for Membership Development Officer. As a previously politically apathetic young person, I understand why so many are feeling left out of the picture and I believe I know how to make them feel included. I am now Press and Publicity Officer for the Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats and currently organising our representation at the Freshers’ Fair, which means appealing to over 15,000 students. As such, I am accustomed to dealing with a wide pool of potential members.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Elections 2014 – nominations close at 8pm TONIGHT

It dawned on me yesterday, my wedding anniversary, that a baby born on the day I was married would, as of now, be ineligible for automatic membership of Liberal Youth, having reached the age of 26 years. That is a very scary thought.

It’s been a very long time since I was eligible to stand in Liberal Youth elections, but I am now their Returning Officer for their annual elections.

This is a reminder that nominations for their Executive at Federal level and for Liberal Youth England close at 8pm tonight. You can see details of all the posts available and how to apply on their website

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth seeks your views on improving further education

LY campaigning in WestonYesterday Nick Clegg made an announcement on Further Education. This is a response from members of Liberal Youth’s working group on Further Education.

Nick Clegg’s announcement yesterday was largely focussed on improving careers advice, severely damaged as a result of the scrapping of Connexions, and giving those who haven’t gone to Higher Education an equal chance to those who have. Nick talked about creating a ‘one stop shop’ website for 16 year olds to help them plan their next move, similar to UCAS but will include information about apprenticeships, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Liberal Youth by-elections are go!

As we reported recently, Liberal Youth are currently holding by-elections for Membership and Communications Officer.

This morning, emails containing links to the electronic ballot were despatched to voters. If the party knows you are under 26, in full time education and you have supplied an email address, you should have received an email from Opavote. If you have not, please contact the Returning Officer at [email protected]

Details of candidates and their manifestos can be found here.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Liberal Youth seek Communications Officer and Membership Officer – apply by 5 pm tomorrow

Last week all members of the party under 26 for whom we have email addresses were invited to stand for the posts of  Communications Officer and Membership Officer. The closing date is tomorrow, 21st November, at 5pm. Again, I am Returning Officer for this contest.

This is what the email said:

Vacancies have arisen for two Executive positions:

Communications Officer

The comms officer responsible for:

• Promoting the organisation and it’s objectives in the media

• Communicating with the membership

• Producing and developing communications channels

• Maintaining the Liberal Youth Website

• Other avenues of communication as required

Membership Officer

• Identifying and supporting the training needs

Posted in News | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth seeks new non portfolio officer and vice chair

Liberal Youth are seeking to c0-0pt two new members of their Executive, a non-portfolio officer and a vice chair. Any member of the party under 26 or any member of Liberal Youth is eligible to stand.

The non-portfolio officers of Liberal Youth assist the other executive members on any matter needed, and are not confined to any one area.They pick up tasks, or whole projects where necessary, and contribute on a variety of levels to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.

The Vice Chair’s role is to act as temporary Chair …

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

AD LIB preview – August 2013: bringing communities together, campaigning success and bringing up children in Parliament

AD LiB August 2013It’s been a few months since I’ve reviewed an AD LIB. Partly that’s because I’ve never got round to doing it, although there was one month, June, I think it was, when I almost spontaneously combusted while reading it on a train. If the dominance of articles about men wasn’t bad enough, the photographs were even worse. I counted something like 26 photographs of men to 10 containing any women at all.

And then there was the recipe. A whole crayfish and a whole lobster? Do they think we’re …

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , , , and | 2 Comments

Liberal Youth co-option deadline extended to noon on 17th July

Remember last week I told you that Liberal Youth were conducting co-options for certain positions? Well, the deadline for nominations has been extended to noon on 17th July – that’s tomorrow.

Here’s a reminder of what’s up for grabs and how to apply:

Regional Chairs for North East and South Central regions

Regional Chairs are responsible for organising and assisting local Liberal Youth branches in their region and working directly with the Lib Dem regional executives.

We have positions open in the North East and South Central. For information on these positions please email Stuart Wheatcroft on [email protected].

To apply:

Please email  the Returning

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Wanted: Liberal Youth Regional Chairs, English Council Reps and Conference Committee members

After a lively and successful Activate weekend, which included campaigning in the Fitzherbert ward in Abingdon, gained in a by-election last week, Liberal Youth are looking for some more people to complete their team. Full details are on their website.

First of all, there are some places up for election – and I, as Returning Officer, thought it would be good to spread the word a bit further.

Regional Chairs for North East and South Central regions

Regional Chairs are responsible for organising and assisting local Liberal Youth branches in their region and working directly with the Lib Dem regional executives.


Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Activate gives the new Liberal Youth leadership a renewed focus on Further Education

liberalyouthI write post Activate, Liberal Youth’s flagship training weekend. This year, it also included policy debates and constitutional amendments – two of which were on Further Education.

Liberal Youth’s leadership on Further Education has improved significantly over the past year, with Freshers Fairs conducted in FE institutions for the first time, as well as training for regional chairs on how to engage with Further Education students in their areas.

I’ve demanded much better from the Liberal Youth Executive for 6 years, arguing that setting our foundations in Further Education would make the …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 4 Comments

The New Liberal Youth team for 2013-2014

So, all the postal ballots have been entered, the buttons have been pressed, the candidates informed. I can now give you, for the first time, all the results of the Liberal Youth Elections in one place.

First of all, though, I will take advantage of my position as Returning Officer to thank all the candidates for standing. There were a good number of them too, with many of the positions being contested. You normally have to use significant powers of persuasion to get candidates for treasurer of anything – yet Liberal Youth had three.

The lively campaign and the move to an …

Posted in News | Also tagged | 14 Comments

An open letter to Tim Farron on unpaid internships

Dear Tim,

We are writing to you to express our feelings on the subject of unpaid internships.

There can be all sorts of barriers for people who wish to undertake internships and it is crucial that the Liberal Democrats, and our Parliamentarians, do all we can to make sure that the internships we offer are as open as possible. This is about minimising barriers, one of which is affordability. Some of us have worked in the past as unpaid interns; we know that sometimes people are happy to work for free, or feel they have to in order break into a profession.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 24 Comments

Only one week left to vote in the Liberal Youth elections #lyelects

You only have a week left to vote in elections  to elect the Liberal Youth Executive for next year. All members of the party under the age of 26, or who are students and those between 26-30 who aren’t students but who have opted to stay as members of LY have the chance to vote. You must cast your vote online, or it must have been received by post, by 12 noon on Wednesday 29th May.

If you fall into these 3 categories you should have received:

a) An  email from me telling you about the elections and where you can find …

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

The Queen’s Speech from a Liberal Democrat perspective

So, the tiaras are back in their boxes, Alistair Carmichael’s wand is back in its cupboard and the Queen’s Speech has been delivered. There is plenty to make Liberal Democrats cheer, but also areas where more details are required  before we can breathe that sigh of relief.  There are, also, a couple of areas where I was hiding behind a cushion.

First, though, the truly extraordinary. We Liberal Democrats are kind of used to playing “stronger economy, fairer society” bingo every time one of our ministers opens their mouths. But we weren’t quite expecting this:

My government’s legislative programme will continue to

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 12 Comments

Paddy Ashdown: Liberal Youth are absolutely fantastic

Liberal Youth’s Gold Guard effort during the local election campaign saw them campaign vigorously all over the country. There were action days from Berwick to Cambridge to Somerset and every night an hour was set aside to call for a specific candidate.

Some of the party’s most treasured figures put together this video to thank them, and it was emailed to their members last night. Well, Paddy said a little more than thank you, but he’s allowed, because we are obliged to obey his every instruction between now and 2015.

We thought you might like to see it.

Rumour has it, by the …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Liberal Youth Elections 2013… Finance Officer: Rory Roberson

Writing this in the wake of running an election campaign in Worcestershire I can say with little doubt that money is absolutely vital for the smooth running of a campaigning force and Liberal Youth desperately needs to become a better campaigning force.

But first a little about myself, I have been involved in politics for a number of years now and have been involved in a full campaign a year since joining the party at Aberystwyth University in 2009, a trend that looks as if it will not finish anytime soon. As well as this I have …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Elections 2013… England Convenor: Stuart Wheatcroft

I have been a member of the Liberal Democrats since the end of 2005. Despite this, I had no serious involvement with Liberal Youth until early 2012. Liberal Youth was not an effective organisation nationally, and in my area it was non-existent.

A huge amount of progress has been made. Liberal Youth’s contribution to the campaign in Eastleigh has been widely recognised. The momentum has been continued through the Gold Guard project, with action days in key seats around the country and a huge membership engagement push at every level of the organisation. More must be done, but there has been …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Elections 2013…England Convenor: Rich Clare

Rich ClareIt’s that time of year again – time for the young Liberals to choose their executive. I’m standing for Convenor of LY England and I have two main aims: to protect and expand Liberal Youth’s resources by promoting us within the Federal and English parties, and to turn us into more of a campaigning force across the country. Although I have two years’ experience as branch chair in Sheffield Hallam, I am not part of the LY ‘clique’ – if I become the new Convenor, I will be a fresh …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Liberal Youth Elections 2013… Chair: Callum Leslie

Callum Leslie reclaim the nightFor the past 18 months, I’ve been wrestling with the possibility of leaving the party. As the party leadership continues to ignore party policy and members’ wishes, we have to sit through the bedroom tax, secret courts, the NHS debacle, shares for rights, tuition fees and more. The position of conference as the sovereign body of the party by which all are bound is all but extinguished.

About two weeks ago, I came to a realisation. Having been a party member since I was 14 and a candidate …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Liberal Youth Elections 2013… Chair: Sarah Harding

Liberal Youth have worked hard this election. Across the country, young Liberal Democrats have been phoning, delivering and canvassing to ensure as many Lib Dem councillors as possible were elected.

In 2015, our party will face a bigger challenge, and Liberal Youth can make a huge difference.

My candidacy for Chair is based on what we need to do to help win in 2015: plan, recruit and train.

Plan: I will work with the membership to lay out our key goals up to 2015, liaise with the Federal Party and Strategic Seats to plan our on-the-group campaigning and expand the Gold Guard.

Recruit: I will widen recruitment avenues and …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , and | Leave a comment

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarBolano 9th Oct - 11:36pm
    @David Evans What is being discussed here isn't representative democracy. If we follow Matthew Huntbach's reasoning, a smaller share of the vote for both the...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 9th Oct - 10:39pm
    @ Matthew Huntbach - I too am sorry, but it is sad to hear a good Lib Dem like yourself describe a rationally argued point...
  • User AvatarPhyllis 9th Oct - 10:17pm
    Richard Underhill Cameron, Osborne and Gove are great mates. Gove and May loathe each other. So May gets the cold shoulder. Yes sometimes things are...
  • User AvatarPhyllis 9th Oct - 10:13pm
    The irony of a (seemingly) all-male panel of contributors taking over this thread, started by a Lib Dem woman, about the role of women in...
  • User AvatarDavid Wallace 9th Oct - 8:54pm
    Might donate tomorrow. I admire his balls (pardon the pun). Well done Stephen!
  • User AvatarDavid Morrison 9th Oct - 8:49pm
    I remain to be convinced of the alleged benefits of education campaigns in this regard. If some people are genuinely ignorant of the harm to...