Lib Dem staff elect reps to Federal Committees

Lib Dem staff at LDHQ in London have clearly not had enough of elections for this year! They have just held their own elections for staff reps to the federal committees.

An insider explained to us what the staff reps did:

Staff reps have two main roles. Firstly, each rep either sits on a Federal committee or is a social rep. Staff reps are non-voting members of Federal committees they sit, their job is to express to views of staff and communicate how plans that Federal committees propose will affect staff. The second part of the staff rep role is to act in the role of a union rep where they will be able to accompany a member of staff to a meeting with management if you are you’re facing a disciplinary charge or you wish to raise a grievance with your employer. Any member of staff employed by the Federal party can stand and vote in the staff rep elections.

Posted in News | Tagged and | Leave a comment
Advert

LibLink: Nick Clegg: MPs deserve a vote on the final Brexit plan not a vague sketch

Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column casts a depressing eye over the debate over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

First of all, he looks at the ridiculous date of exit issue:

Putting the Brexit date – March 29th 2019 – into legislation is a particularly specious gesture. It may act as catnip to the increasingly agitated Brexiteers, but to our European partners the sight of the British government shutting down the possibility of extending the Brexit talks must look absurd. As they know, and as I do from my time working in the EU, deadlines can be, and are, frequently missed. And the suggestion from the Government that if MPs have the temerity to reject the Brexit deal they will be responsible for the chaos of no deal is as thuggish as it is misleading – if MPs were to reject a bad deal, the EU would pause the Article 50 timetable rather than push us over the edge of the Brexit cliff.

The whole idea of a meaningful vote on a deal is also ridiculous as we won’t have a deal about our future relationship with the EU before we formally leave. As Nick puts it:

So there is now a high likelihood that MPs will be asked to give their consent to Britain’s departure from the EU before knowing the detail of our future relationship with the EU. It will be like buying a house on the basis of a few grainy photos from a dodgy estate agent who won’t allow you to visit the inside. ‘Members of Parliament must hold firm and reject the government’s tactics’ On a recent trip to Brussels, it was made quite clear to me that the two negotiating teams are aiming for no more than a “heads of agreement” deal by the time Britain reaches its Article 50 deadline. This means that David Davis will return with little more than an outline of detail-free pledges on areas like security and combating terrorism, and a vague promise to strike a Canada-style free trade agreement

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Tackling the taboos – Alex Cole-Hamilton leads Holyrood debate on incontinence

As we reported last month, Alex Cole-Hamilton brought a motion calling for a National Continence Strategy to the Scottish Parliament. It was debated yesterday. Here is Alex’s speech. He is pictured here with Elaine Miller, his constituent whose show Gusset Grippers highlighted the issue at this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

If we ask anyone in this chamber or beyond it what their top five fears of age or infirmity might be, we can be sure that the subject of this debate will sit right up there. However, I state from the outset that, if we, as legislators, assume that incontinence is a condition only of the old or infirm, we are mistaken and are part of the problem. I called for the debate because women and men of all ages suffer in silence. It is high time that they are made aware of, and given, treatment, support and—most important—hope.

Incontinence is still taboo. Patients are shy and embarrassed to talk about it or to seek medical help, and many of them assume that nothing can be done for them. This may be the first time that we have debated the problem with such a focus in the Parliament. I am glad that members from all parties are present today and are prepared to put aside our hang-ups on the issue and look collectively towards relatively straightforward solutions.

Here are the facts: one in three women and one in nine men leak urine. A remarkable 30 per cent of women who have given birth vaginally will have damage to their pelvic floor, while those who sustain a third or fourth-degree tear during childbirth are likely to have problems with faecal incontinence. Statistics show that incontinence has a bigger impact on a person’s quality of life than nearly any other condition, and a recent survey of those over the age of 60 and in hospital characterised incontinence as a fate worse than death.

We do not know the true cost to Scotland of incontinence, associated products and the causal impact on physical and mental health. However, in 2010, Australia made a stab at researching the scale of the problem. A study there examined the cost not only of sanitary wear, medication and surgery, but of dealing with the depression and anxiety that can arise from the condition. It amounted to $43 billion dollars annually, which is astronomical. Our two countries have similar societies and face similar health challenges, so we can extrapolate that to around £5,000 for every Scot with the condition every year.

Posted in News and Parliament | Tagged , and | 2 Comments

Observations of an ex pat: Pressure cooker politics

Recent events in Zimbabwe have underscored the fragility, failings and dangers of unrepresentative government and the absence of the rule of law exercised by an independent judiciary.

Note the use of term “representative government” and “rule of law”.

Democracy is a much overworked term which is mainly used to describe the American and British political models. The existence of hundreds of different nationalities dictates that each nationality must find a form of representative government that suits its particular needs, history and culture.

But it must be representative, because as Zimbabwe has so accurately demonstrated, the problem with dictatorships is that they attract corruption, repression and failure.

Such governments succeed for a limited time as the governed compare the rulers to the incompetence of their predecessors. But gradually the misdeeds of the new dictator mount and are added to an increasingly explosive recipe. The dictator attempts to stay in power by repressing dissent and screwing down the lid on the simmering discontent.

But the issues feeding the discontent refuse to go away. Because of the repression they simmer all the more violently in a pressure cooker political environment  without the escape valve of a representative system through which legitimate discontent can be expressed.

Posted in News | 1 Comment

Local Government by-elections – 16 November 2017. A Lib Dem GAIN and a good hold

A good start with a Lib Dem GAIN from the Tories in Hedge End in Eastleigh:

Well done to the Eastleigh Lib Dem Massive and Cllr Pat Jenkins

And a solid hold in Penrith

Congratulations to Cllr …

Posted in News | Tagged | 9 Comments

The Progressive Alliance Needs Mothers’ Voices

I am launching a group called ‘Mothers for a Progressive Alliance’ with the backing of Compass on Saturday 18 November in Central London and am inviting Lib Dem members to attend to contribute to the discussion.

The concept of the Progressive Alliance gained prominence during the Richmond Park by-election in 2016 when Sarah Olney won the seat from Zac Goldsmith. Parties, campaigners and voters came together to work for Sarah Olney’s success. It was an example of what can be achieved when political conflict is set aside for something bigger.

The Progressive Alliance is a stepping …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 13 Comments

Protecting Nature After Brexit

Embed from Getty Images

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder has put pen to paper in a letter to MIchael Gove MP, the Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

This joint letter to Mr Gove was also signed by Seb Dance MEP, Keith Taylor MEP and Julie Girling MEP.  Together, these MEPs form a cross-party group of UK MEPs who sit on the European Parliament’s Environment, Public Health and Food Safety Committee.

The letter follows the successful vote on November 15th in Strasbourg on the EU Parliamentary …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Leave a comment
Advert



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 17th Nov - 5:00pm
    'Chance to rejoin in the future', Peter? Only if the requirement to accept the Euro is set aside, and that, at this time of the...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 17th Nov - 4:57pm
    David is correct that there are hidden disabilities and every individual is or should be listened to accordingly, David , trust you'e doing better now,...
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 17th Nov - 4:54pm
    more , came out as ore , sorry
  • User AvatarLorenzo Cherin 17th Nov - 4:53pm
    David concentrates on the issues of social inequality but in being right on this we must not dwell on the past but get it out...
  • User AvatarSteve Comer 17th Nov - 4:16pm
    Hedge End looks interesting. A gain form the Tories with a massive 84.4% of the vote and no Tory candidate!
  • User Avatarpaul barker 17th Nov - 3:51pm
    @Tristan Ward. The 1st point is to ignore The Town Council result, there are dozens of these every week (probably) & very few get reported,...