Tag Archives: theresa may

Opinion: On immigration, let’s keep out of this race to the bottom

If there’s one area of political debate where perception triumphs over reality, it’s immigration. While the public rate it as the number one issue facing Britain, it tumbles to 12th place when they’re asked what concerns them most at a personal level, behind the more pressing issues of pensions, health and household finances.

This is the ‘disconnect’ between what people hear about in our debate on immigration – fanned by political opportunists and their media allies – and the reality they experience in their daily lives. It’s the doorstep charge of “well there are just too many of them,

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Three reasons to hope that new enquiries will bring a satisfactory conclusion to child abuse scandal

Parliament SunsetTheresa May has announced two enquiries into historic allegations of child abuse.

The BBC reports:

The head of the children’s charity NSPCC is to lead a review of historical child sex abuse allegations, Home Secretary Theresa May has announced.

photo by:
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76% of Lib Dem members oppose Government plans to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’

Lib Dem stickersLib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. More than 830 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Three-quarters oppose Theresa May’s plans to render foreign-born terror suspects ‘stateless’

The Government has proposed in its Immigration Bill that the Home Secretary should have the power to revoke the British nationality of those whose presence in the UK are deemed ‘not conducive to the public

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Telegraph: Clegg and Cameron have to intervene in “daily” Coalition rows

The Telegraph has a story today that is rather perplexingly filed under “news” but seems like a summary of what we knew already.

David Cameron and Nick Clegg spend a “disproportionate” amount of their time attempting to resolve rows in the Home Office and Department for Education, in particular, sources said.

Disagreements have also affected policy-making inside the Department for Energy and Climate Change, while rows between Lib Dem and Tory ministers from different departments are a frequent feature of government life, sources said.

The difference in tone between the two sources quoted is interesting. The Tory source is snarky as anything:

It’s

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Nick Clegg stops Theresa May’s £3000 immigration bond

nick cleggWay back in March, in a speech that, to say the least, was not well received in the party, Nick Clegg proposed that some people visiting Britain from “high risk” countries should pay a bond. He said:

One idea, which appeals to me, is a system of security bonds. And so I’ve asked the Home Office to do some work on it with a view to running a pilot before the end of the year.

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Tim Farron writes… A liberal win on ‘Go Home’ vans

go home illegal immigrant posterSince I have been President I have worked hard to try and make sure members views are heard in the heart of government.  Banging on ministerial doors to try and make policy after policy better and more liberal.

Over the summer the ‘Go Home’ vans came onto our streets.  At the time I joined Sarah Teather and, oddly, Nigel Farage to oppose them. (Who says politics doesn’t give you strange bedfellows!)

My view was clear both then and now: The vans represented the worst kind of divisive politics and …

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Open letter to Lib Dem MPs: The Immigration Bill is illiberal

Dear Lib Dem MPs,

We Liberal Democrats have long been proud of our internationalism and compassionate stance towards refugees and immigration. Not an ‘open borders’ party, but a party which believes controlling our borders does not conflict with welcoming newcomers or upholding their human rights.

By contrast the Conservatives care little for rights, European or otherwise. Theresa May is engaged in creating a “hostile environment” made so unpleasant for “irregular migrants” will simply pack up and leave, and minority ethnic British citizens could end up being racially-profiled if they ‘look foreign.’ This approach is diametrically opposed to the values I …

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The 17th Tory policy Lib Dems have blocked: Clegg rejects Theresa May’s plans to impose new immigration regulations on private landlords

Perhaps the silliest proposal in a generally thread-bare Queen’s Speech in May was the Conservatives’ plan to ‘look busy’ on immigration.

Yes, the party that claims to want to cut back red-tape for small businesses decided to try and tie-up private landlords in it by imposing a legal duty on them check the immigration status of new tenants and lodgers. It’s an, erm, interesting approach to regulation, I guess: out-sourcing it to people who’ll have no way of validating the information they’re given.

However, the Tories’ grand plans have been scuppered thanks to the Lib Dems, as The Guardian …

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Norman Baker, conspiracy theories and Theresa May

Norman BakerNick Clegg’s decision to reshuffle Jeremy Browne out of the Home Office and Norman Baker in has triggered a mini-furore, with plenty on the authoritarian right outraged at his appointment to the Home Office given he’s the author of a book suggesting MI5 covered up the circumstances surrounding the death of Dr David Kelly.

The best riposte I’ve seen has been from Jonathan Calder over at Liberal England:

Some will question Norman’s conspiracy theories about the death of David Kelly. To that, I would merely point out that in an

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Opinion: Public Sector Equality Duty review…the countdown has started

Those of us concerned about the fate of the Public Sector Equality Duty are starting to notice increased activity by interested parties. The Government has announced that the review will be published immediately after the summer recess. The review was carried out under the auspices of the Red Tape Challenge.

Announcing the Review last year Theresa May said:

Bureaucracy and prescription are not routes to equality. Over-burdening businesses benefits no one, and real change doesn’t come from telling people what to do. Today’s announcement strikes the right balance between protecting people from discrimination and letting businesses get on with the job.

Ms

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Opinion: Tories soft on crime, Lib Dems tough on Tories

If ever there was a fault line in the Coalition, it has been over the two parties’ attitudes to Europe. The possibility for a mass opt-out by Britain from a raft of EU measures in justice and home affairs opened up a rift between the Tories and Lib Dems which has rumbled on for more than a year.

Liberal Democrats insisted that the government heed the overwhelming advice of the police and security services to maintain effective crime-fighting measures which help keep Britain safe. Time after time, law enforcers lined up to ask the government not to jettison the EU …

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Layla Moran writes… Child Detention still happens: Boy held at Campsfield for ‘2-3 months’

It is my belief that in a civilized society we should protect children. That they should not be punished for the actions of their parents or grandparents and that they should be given every chance of leading a fulfilled, healthy and normal childhood. And they most certainly should not be locked up without cause because of their family’s decision either.

Celebrating the end of child detention with Citizens UK #LDConf
Photo: Helen Duffett on Flickr.

Sadly for many years, this was not only true but also prevalent. Children who were here illegally were held in immigration deportation centres for months and sometimes years, were not allowed to go to school, not allowed to develop. A child does not, in full understanding of the consequences, make the decision to enter a country illegally. It would have been the decision of their family in whatever form that may take; yet until 2011 they were punished as equals to these adults.

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Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert are Internet heroes

The Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has shortlisted both Nick Clegg and Julian Huppert  for it’s Internet Hero award for 2013.

And why? – for the role they both played in preventing the communications data bill from reaching the statute books.

The other two nominees are Edward Snowdon, who was the whistleblower on the PRISM project, and Spamhaus, an IT security organisation who fought off  a major denial of service attack earlier this year.

ISPA Secretary-General Nicholas Lansman noted that the Internet Hero award is “one of the most anticipated categories” at the ISPAs.

Given what has happened in the last year, it is no surprise

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Times: ‘Cameron is told to drop snooping on web users’

Today’s Times front page is dominated by the news that nine cyber-security experts and academics have issued a stark warning to David Cameron to halt ‘sweeping plans to hand the security services the power to snoop on emails, website visits and social media sites’: “they remain as naive and technically dangerous as when they were floated by the last government,” they warn.

times web snooping

The paper notes the opposition both of Nick Clegg — who highlighted his disagreement with the draft Bill last December — and of Lib Dem MP Julian Huppert, who points out: “Where we lead, other countries would follow, snooping on their citizens’ legal activities. … The case for these proposals is massively out-weighed by the cost and the harm to privacy, here and overseas.”

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The Independent View: Seeking justice across borders

In October last year, Theresa May announced in the House of Commons the Conservatives’ intention to opt-out of 130 measures of EU criminal law cooperation.

We, at Justice Across Borders, are opposed to it – and many others are too – but the reality is, the way this issue has been presented by the Home Secretary, and has been debated so far, means nothing to the man in the street. That is why we have taken on the challenge to start a debate that can be joined by all.

Yesterday, we met the Deputy Prime Minister and leader of the Liberal …

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Your essential weekend reader — 8 must-read articles you may have missed

It’s Saturday morning, so here are eight thought-provoking articles to stimulate your thinking juices…

Three big things I’ve got wrong since I’ve starting blogging and commenting – ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie confesses to a trio of big errors on the NHS, higher-rate tax and equalities: “One of the many reasons I don’t want to be an MP is that I think this sort of ability to think openly and reflectively is probably impossible when you are standing for office.”

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News snippets from the Conservative conference: tax, Europe, migration and more

Conservative Party logoTrouble ahead on tax as Osborne opposes a mansion tax:

We are not going to have a mansion tax, or a new tax that is a percentage value of people’s properties.

Before you rush to spot the loophole in that – what about adding extra higher bands to Council Tax? – he opposed that too. Given Osborne made much of his reputation as was by opposing changes to inheritance tax, perhaps it is on capital gains tax that there will be room fro an agreement with the …

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Maria Miller’s appointment: have you forgotten what was said when Theresa May got the role?

Maria Miller’s appointment to, amongst other things, the Women and Equalities brief has received quite a lot of criticism from non-Conservatives today.

One part of that is wrong, but understandable – a simple mistake in not realising that the role she’s taken on isn’t the one Lynne Featherstone had but rather the one Theresa May had. As the BBC got this wrong, it’s no surprise many others followed in also getting it wrong, even though the accurate information is readily accessible in many places such as in Theresa May’s own write-up on the Home Office website. Not double-checking something the BBC …

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Opinion: Why aren’t Liberal Democrats complaining loudly about draconian new family immigration rules?

It’s not often that I find myself on the same side of an argument as Sayeeda Warsi. It’s even less often that I find myself on the same side when it comes to marriage equality.

I am thankful, however, that the Baroness was in Cabinet to lead the charge – along with Liberal Democrats – against the Home Secretary’s outrageous plans to impose a draconian income threshold (of up to £40,000) on British citizens who wish to bring their spouses to live with them in this country. The Coalition’s harsh immigration cap is hard enough for a Liberal to stomach without …

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Why doesn’t Theresa May want mandatory tracking of all cars?

Because it is an absurd idea may well be your answer to that question even before you’ve reached the end of it. But bear with me a moment.

Imagine a government policy to have mandatory tracking devices in all motor vehicles, which would record all the journeys and store the data. The data would normally be private but could be accessed by the police and others if they subsequently discovered a reason to suspect someone. (You may be able to guess where I am going with this…)

It would cost a fair …

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Guardian investigation finds sexual predators in police abusing powers

The Guardian reports:

Sexual predators in the police are abusing their power to target victims of crime they are supposed to be helping, as well as fellow officers and female staff, the Guardian can reveal.

An investigation into the scale and extent of the problem suggests sexual misconduct could be more widespread than previously believed.

The situation raises questions about the efficacy of the police complaints system, the police’s internal whistleblowing procedures, the vetting of officers and a failure to monitor disciplinary offences.

Meanwhile, in other news Theresa May wants to give the police more powers to spy on the public, without requiring any judicial authorisation.

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Opinion: Theresa May enters a reading contest with the judges

This is Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights:

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

Posted in Op-eds | 4 Comments

The wheels are coming off the online monitoring bandwagon (UPDATED)

Item one: A letter tomorrow in The Guardian from 15 Liberal Democrat MPs setting out their opposition to illiberal monitoring plans.

Item two: More Conservative MPs joining with David Davis in speaking out against widespread online monitoring, such as Jacob Rees-Mogg.

Item three: The Times reporting, Cameron forced to retreat on snooping powers .

Item four: a subtle, but significant, choice of words by Nick Clegg in a media interview this lunchtime presaging a major change of course from the story given to the Sunday Times at the weekend. Clegg signalled (as does The Times report) that the Queen’s Speech will not include a Bill …

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Home Office decides against national spending limits for Police and Crime Commissioner elections

The controversy over the Government’s view that there should be no freepost election addresses for Police and Crime Commissioner elections has caught the headlines so far, but there is something far worse in the details of the draft legislation. Put simply: having considered having national expenditure limits for the elections, the Conservative ministers in the Home Office have decided to have none.

There will be expense limits for individual candidates and their campaigns. However it is proposed that political parties and outside …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Opinion: we shouldn’t make the poor pay for the irresponsible: on why Theresa May is wrong (again!)

I am fully aware of the evils of alcohol: believe me, I’ve spent my fair share of nights out on the town (and now have the dubious privilege of living above a dodgy nightclub in an otherwise pleasant area), so I have seen first-hand what binge drinking looks (and sounds, and smells) like. It is not a pretty picture, and in addition to being a blight on neighbourhoods in town centres up and down the country, it is a huge health nightmare.

But how do you solve this problem? To quote from Yes, Minister, the Government’s response rather looks like a …

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Opinion: Stop the extradition of Richard O’Dwyer

Recently Sheffield Hallam student Richard O’Dwyer lost his court case against extradition to the USA for running a website that provided links to websites where users could illegally pirate copyrighted TV material. He will be lodging an appeal with the High Court and he cannot be extradited without the specific permission of the Home Secretary Theresa May.

Richard’s actions were not a crime in the UK because his website did not host the files but rather hosted links to the websites that did host the files, like Google does. Quite simply, it goes against the terms of the Extradition Treaty …

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Lynne Featherstone vs Steve Hilton on maternity pay

From yesterday’s Observer:

In a wide-ranging interview with the Observer, Featherstone said it was vital the coalition delivered on its family-friendly rhetoric … In a forthright attack on some of the advisers shaping government policy, she criticised the role of Adrian Beecroft, a venture capitalist tasked with reporting to the prime minister on how to cut regulation on business. Beecroft is understood to have recommended a U-turn on government policies on shared parental leave and flexible working.

The proposals, outlined in a white paper, would allow couples greater freedom to co-ordinate maternity and paternity leave. A separate proposal would make it

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Opinion: Labour’s problem

There’s been nothing dramatic about this conference season apart from a few gaffes, but under the surface, I think the Labour conference was significant.

While I enjoyed the Lib Dem conference, I don’t think the journalists did. Whenever I passed a well-known TV presenter, they had a face like thunder. They were looking for factionalism and controversy, but all they found was Lib Dems facing up to a difficult situation with determination and loyalty. That makes dull TV, so they must have been tearing their hair out.

The Tory conference was more entertaining.

Theresa May’s remark about cats, and the more recent

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Opinion: Theresa May’s cat – why we should be proud of our conference

The vast majority of Lib Dems who attended autumn conference would agree with me in saying that it was a success. The mood surrounding the ICC Birmingham was unmistakably positive. The feared factionalism that had been predicted by some never materialised. But what really makes our conference seem amazing, in retrospect, is just how badly the respective Labour and Conservative gatherings have played out.

Labour conference was up first. As the only major party of opposition this should have been a conference to remember for them. A year of riots, phone hacking and a poor economy gave them more ammunition than …

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The cat, Theresa May and what the courts really said

Lots has been written about the cat that did, didn’t, did, didn’t help stop someone being deported. The best analysis and summary I’ve seen of what the legal system really decided in the case and on what basis is the one over on the UK Human Rights blog. Well worth a read.

But if you want a short version: the Home Office messed up by failing to follow its own rules. A cynic might suggest the cat provides a rather convenient alibi…

Posted in News | 29 Comments



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