Tag Archives: sal brinton

Sal Brinton on Question Time tonight – will she confront Farage over UKIP’s awful broadcast?

So much for my early night tonight. I have to get up before the Cool Kids have gone to bed to get a flight to Cardiff to go to Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference. I can’t miss Sal Brinton on Question Time (BBC1, 10:45pm), though. Especially as there may be a bit of an awkward moment for Nigel Farage. He’s on the programme yet again on the day that Tim Farron and Meral Ece have complained to the BBC and Ofcom about UKIPs Party Political Broadcast last night. They say that it incited religious and racial hatred.

I don’t normally go out of my way to watch UKIP broadcasts. Life is just too short. However, I steeled myself to look at this one and, sure enough, my skin was soon crawling. It was basically a brash and ugly attempt to create division and distrust and gives a very false impression of Turkey and its people. It made me feel very uncomfortable. The premise was that Turkey was just about to join the European Union and this was a bad thing. It’s not as if that’s likely to happen any time soon, but they made it sound like it was going to take place next week.

UKIP are using exactly the same tactics as they did in 2013 over Romanians and Bulgarians. It’s truly horrible. I remember people in Eastleigh telling me on the phone that 40 million Romanians and Bulgarians were going to come to Britain – a massive proportion of the populations of those two countries – because UKIP leaflets were full of it. In fact, this time last year, there were 172,000. Those figures estimated that there were 1.9 people here from other European countries. There are 2 million British people elsewhere in the EU. Freedom of movement works both ways.

Tim explained why they had reported the ad to OFCOM:

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Sal Brinton’s Federal Executive report

Sal Brinton Sal @ Crohns & Colitis Rec _2 CROPPED Nov 13Just before Christmas the Federal Executive (FE) met for an awayday to receive and consider your responses to the governance review consultation.

Two of the concerns that you told us about were the lack of diversity of our MPs, and how you felt that all the party committees and structures were hard to understand, and often out of touch.

We will be bringing back the next stage of the governance consultation to you in February, and will run a consultation session at the York Federal Conference in March, with some draft proposals and seeking your views on some of the key issues. Following your comments over the summer we will develop proposals, a new constitution and structures, which will then come back to the Autumn Conference in Brighton for your debate and voting. This would mean that the next round of Federal Elections (which will take place after Conference, ready to start at the beginning of 2017) would be run under the new arrangements.

In the meantime, FE wants to report back regularly to members: in addition to the report on the members’ part of the party website, we will let you know as soon as we can after a meeting what is discussed at our meetings. We will ensure that there is a report on Lib Dem Voice and in addition we want to encourage the cascading down through representatives on FE of important information. Clearly, some matters are (and must be) confidential, and others are seriously uninteresting, but we will do our best to let you know what is happening.

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So why exactly did Alex Salmond miss Any Questions?

A bit of intrigue never goes amiss on a Saturday afternoon.

Last night, Alex Salmond missed Any Questions because, according to Jonathan Dimbleby at 1 minute 50 in: “apparently been held up in Scotland by the floods.” Certainly his Gordon constituency has been badly affected by some awful flooding in the north east of Scotland. In fact, Lib Dem MSP for North East Scotland Alison McInnes has been scathing about the SNP Government’s slow response, saying:

Here in the north-east local agencies have faced a prolonged battle against the rising water and staff and residents are exhausted. I do worry we haven’t seen the last of the bad weather but everyone has rallied together to support one another and the examples of community spirit have been heartening to see at such a difficult time.

Lessons need to be learnt on what’s happened in Scotland since the start of 2016 because I still think this response took place at a snail’s pace. The Scottish Government cannot keep forgetting that its responsibility is to the whole of Scotland, not just the central belt.

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Eileen McCartin to become President of Scottish Liberal Democrats

Eileen McCartin has been a Councillor in Paisley, first for the SDP and then the Liberal Democrats for some 27 years. She and former MP for Argyll and Bute Alan Reid were Willie Rennie’s “political parents” as they were key influences on him when he was a student in Paisley. They helped him when he achieved a cracking 26% in a by-election in the Paisley Foxbar ward in 1988. Willie talked to the Scotsman about it here and you get a sense of how that campaign shaped his values:

After school he applied to Paisley College to study ecology and land management. Living in a flat which cost just 14 a month rent and rates – and had no hot water or heating of any kind – made Rennie more keenly aware of the divide between the haves and have-nots. “I had to wash at the old swimming baths in Storey Street.” he recalls.

I’d been interested in some political stuff at school. I used to get agitated about environmental issues and so on. But this was different.” He was elected deputy president of the Student Union, and took a year’s sabbatical from his course. “Don’t be silly, vote for Willie” was the never-to-be-repeated slogan. But when he returned to his studies he found that “cell biology just wasn’t the same.” So he stood for council election in Paisley Foxbar in 1988.

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Women stir up the zeal of women at the ALDE Congress in Budapest

International Office_with textOn Friday 20 November the Liberal Democrats International Office organised a roundtable discussion on promoting women in politics at the 2015 Congress of the Alliance of Liberal and Democrats for Europe (ALDE), sharing success stories from across Europe. 

International Research Officer Nick Thorne tells us more about the event here.

“The most important thing women have to do is to stir up the zeal of women themselves.” Kicking off the discussion with this inspiring quote from John Stuart Mill, Baroness Sal Brinton set the tone for what was to be a dynamic debate. Women are 51% of the population, but in the UK, they make up just 29% of MPs. Frighteningly, this is higher than the European average of 25.5% and it is not much better than the average of 23.2% in Sub-Saharan Africa.

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What Twitter tells us about Welsh Liberal Democrat Conference

The Welsh Liberal Democrats met in Swansea for their Autumn Conference yesterday. Here are some of the highlights from Twitter.

Like the Scottish Kickstart which also took place yesterday, the event opened with a minute’s silence for the victims of the Paris atrocities.

Sal Brinton also mentioned the events in Paris in her speech:

Was some awkward squad rebellion going on?

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Sal Brinton’s Presidential address to Conference

Here is the text of Sal Brinton’s Presidential address to Conference. She talked about the threat to our democracy from the Tories’ massive spending on election campaigning and their plans for boundary changes. She talked about getting the party in the right shape for that fightback, to “give our country a democracy that works for all’. Here’s her speech in full:

 

The last couple of years have shown us that traditional assumptions about politics are useless.

Our world is being turned upside down, and,  unpredictable even to the pundits.

So much so that Lloyd George’s famous comment “The world is becoming like a lunatic asylum run by the lunatics”. That was over 110 years ago – perhaps some things never change!

We faced our hardest results in decades on 7 May, made much harder in recent weeks by watching  David Cameron and the Tories undoing many of the things that we achieved in Government.

A large number of people – not just Lib Dems – have said to me that they now understand what we did in Parliament as the Tories undo them, one by one.  The shock of losing so many colleagues has been compounded by the Tories making cuts to the most vulnerable in our society.  

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