Tag Archives: sal brinton

Sal Brinton takes part in Christian EU debate

Women’s voices have been sadly lacking in the EU referendum debate so far. Even the BBC debate on Thursday night had but one female panellist. What’s particularly annoying about that is that Diane James’ comment that she didn’t know if we’d need visas to go to France is being much lampooned and Liam Fox’s that he didn’t really know what would happen to the economy if we left the EU (but he’s willing to give it a go anyway) is being largely ignored.

Anyway, Thursday’s debate was perfectly gender balanced and was conducted with the theme of #disagreewell. This is all about leaving the bluff and bluster at the door and having a grown up conversation. It sounds good, but would the reality reflect that. Well, with a priest and a diplomat making up half the panel, along with our Sal, you would think so. It seems to have been relatively good-humoured.

One point that came up in the Scottish referendum was made here. In Scotland, it was “we might be poor, but at least we’ll be free” and a very similar argument was made by Rev Giles Fraser, arguing for Brexit. I find it incredible that supporters of Leave are happy to take an economic hit which by its nature will impact on the poorest and most vulnerable in all sorts of ways.

Sal was able to neutralise the idea that we’d somehow “get our democracy back” pointing out that our democracy is far from perfect and essentially gave Ann Widdecombe a job for life. Frankly, I’d much rather the EU was there to act as a check on a power-hungry Tory government which is trying to stitch the system in its favour on not much more than a third of the popular vote.

Here’s a flavour of what went on:

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New #3000children website launched during Lib Dem members’ webinar on refugees

Last night, Sal Brinton hosted an online meeting for party members on the subject of refugees. Also taking part were Baroness Shas Sheehan and Bradley Hillier-Smith, who have been on several visits to the refugee camps and Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary’s Suzanne Fletcher who, among many other things, has campaigned successfully to end the appalling “red doors” for asylum seekers  policy. Suzanne was recently awarded a Lifetime Achievement award from ALDE.

I consider myself reasonably well informed on the Refugee Crisis, but I found that I learned things during the webinar. The panel outlined a series of things that we can do to help the refugees, from making the case by writing to the local papers to donating money and equipment to the camps.

Brad described the conditions in the camps in France – appalling and unsanitary. None of the big charities are allowed to work there so the relief effort is carried out only by teams of volunteers.

Sal also told us that Syrian refugees still in the massive camps in the region are locked in. They can’t go anywhere else. This is the case in all the countries except the Lebanon. Our sister party there has ensured that they can get out, mindful of the experience of the Lebanese refugees during their civil war 30 years ago.

Shas has another trip to the camps planned for next week and will be putting out another appeal for supplies. She is also trying to organise a co-ordinated Liberal Democrat volunteer event for the end of July.

During the webinar, the part launched a new campaign site devoted to the issue of child refugees. There’s a timeline of all the issues and a link to Alf Dubs’ petition.

If you missed the webinar, you will get a chance to hear the recording. A link will be emailed either later today or tomorrow if you are a party member. 

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Register for the Lib Dem Summer webinar series – refugees, EU campaign briefing and same sex marriage

The Lib Dems are holding a series of monthly webinars. Last month saw the first, on the election campaigns. On Wednesday, the second, on the refugee crisis, takes place at 6:30 pm.

If you are a party member, you will have had an email from Sal Brinton on 26th April which will have all the links to register at the entire Summer series. Those links are unique to you.

Next month’s, on Wednesday 8th June, is a briefing as we head into the last fortnight of the referendum campaign.

And on July 27th, we celebrate 3 years since we introduced same …

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Sal Brinton writes…My speech to the Demo for Democracy

Sal Brinton at Demo for DemocracyToday’s excellent Make Votes Matter demo outside parliament was both well attended and fun. A range of bodies, such as Unlock Democracy and the ERS joined with the Make Votes Matter group to urge us into action to make sure that the politicians don’t forget we still need PR for Westminster as well as for local government in England and Wales. All the major parties were represented – even the Conservatives – but neither the Tories nor Labour have signed up as parties.  We, of course, have, as well as the Greens, UKIP, SNP and Plaid Cymru. Paul Tyler is our representative at the cross party discussions.

Make Votes Matter is led by Owen Winter, an extraordinary young campaigner from Cornwall, who speaks with passion and enthusiasm about electoral reform. The event started with election lottery, where people picked out a card with one party on it, and then had a second, most of which didn’t match.

I was invited to speak on behalf of the Liberal Democrats, and I started by reminding people that we as liberals have been pushing for PR for over 150 years. It was John Stuart Mill in 1861 who wrote in his essay Considerations on Representative Government:

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Sal Brinton: Come and help Katy Gordon – people want to see the back of the SNP

Sal Brinton has travelled thousands of miles as our party President. She puts so much effort into supporting local party events and campaigns the length and breadth of the UK. At the moment, she’s spending a few days in Scotland, for which we are very grateful. I think I will just miss her. I head to the Highlands on Saturday for a week as she heads from there to Aberdeen.

This is far from Sal’s first visit to Scotland. She has been multiple times, including spending a few days campaigning for us during the referendum. She’s listened closely to the Scottish Party and has attended our Executive twice and our conference in the last year.

Yesterday she was out and about with the equally indefatigable Katy Gordon, our number one list candidate in the West of Scotland. After an afternoon’s campaigning, she recorded this video.

Party President Sal Brinton was out with the team in Giffnock today. Here’s what she had to say.Want to join the team? westscotlibdems.org.uk/volunteer

Posted by Katy Gordon on Wednesday, 30 March 2016

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Deadline for responses to second consultation on the governance review

You should have received an email from Sal Brinton last week inviting you to give your views on the consultation paper on the governance review. The deadline is TODAY!! So if the weather is keeping you at home you could do worse than spend a few minutes reading the consultation document and sending in your views on it.

You do need to click on the button on the email that you received, so we can’t direct you to the survey from here.

The feedback at this, the second stage of consultation, will help to determine the proposals which will be put to …

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Sal Brinton on the change of attitude needed so that disabled people can start to live their lives

Sal Brinton was part of the House of Lords Committee which produced today’s report which reviewed the impact of the Equality Act 2010 on disabled people. Its conclusions were pretty damning. It’s worth setting out in full the five major themes that they identified:

First, in planning services and buildings, despite the fact that for twenty years the law has required anticipatory reasonable adjustment, the needs of disabled people still tend to be an afterthought. It is time to reverse this. We are all living longer, and medical advances are keeping us alive where in earlier years it would have failed to do so, but not necessarily in good health. We should from the outset plan for the inevitability of disability in everyone as they get older, as well as for those who suffer accidents and for all those other disabled people who are the subject of our inquiry.

Our second theme, closely related to the first, is the need to be proactive, rather than reactive or process driven. Many of those involved—Government departments, local authorities, the NHS, schools, courts, businesses, all of us—wait for problems to arise before, at best, attempting to remedy them. We should be planning so that disabled people can as far as possible avoid facing the problems in the first place.

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    Not my title Nick and not sure what you are inferring. For the record my title was "Clowning around - Liverpool’s political circus is back...
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    Stevan Rose: Home team in England, not retained in Mexico in 1970. jimmy Greaves unavailable injured in the final. No substitutes. No goalmouth electronics. Referee...
  • User AvatarCatherine Royce 30th May - 4:07pm
    Congratulations, -so gender balance is possible, with a wider mixture of talents, which is good news for Scotland, rest of party take note and act,...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 30th May - 3:21pm
    Cameron & Osborne are doing a pretty good job of trashing the economy, and the Tory Party is doing a pretty good job on trashing...
  • User AvatarSimon McGrath 30th May - 3:20pm
    You are doing great work Shas , but surely their should be some comment on the role of the French government in failing to provide...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 30th May - 2:57pm
    Very good article Lauren and I would add another word: hope. If people think Corbyn is going to trash the economy then not many are...