A message from the Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats

* Editorial note: as indicated earlier, all comments on this piece will be moderated before publication.

Today, as always on the 20th of November we at LGBT+ Lib Dems, along with many other organisations around the world, are observing Transgender Day of Remembrance. This is the twentieth year when one of the biggest events in the LGBT+ calendar is not a celebration, but a commemoration of those who have been taken from us by violence. You can find the list of names for this and previous years here. TDoR is always sombre, commemorating as it does the deaths of trans …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 5 Comments
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Ten reasons why we wrote Fourth to First

I confess to knowing very little about anything – in particular political campaigning. But one thing I can talk about at length is how we did it in a small rural patch of North Norfolk (six shops, four pubs, two petrol stations and zero towns), going from fourth position last time to first in May 2017 with a majority of 420.

It was the first time I’d fought a campaign from start to finish, and it was quite a ride. So much so that Freya, my sister and campaign manager, and I decided to write a book about …

Posted in Campaign Corner | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Paradise Papers: perhaps tax ought to be more taxing?…

Older readers may remember me, the first face of the Inland Revenue, as voiced by Sir Alec Guinness. I may be a distant memory, but I never left my desk.

The news in the lead up to this week’s Budget has been coloured by the Paradise Papers, as noted by David Becket in the comments sections when they first hit the headlines, who wondered why they haven’t been covered here. Well, in truth, tax policy is quite dull, and the issue of taxation of overseas holdings is rather more complex than is thought.

Here …

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This week in the Lords: 20-24 November… how much is that doggy in the window?

It’s a long week, although we’re not expecting much drama in terms of voting until the New Year. The next few weeks are about clearing the decks whilst the EU Withdrawal Bill weaves its increasingly uncertain way through the House of Commons.

Monday sets the tone, with only Day 5 of the Committee Stage of the Data Protection Bill on the legislative agenda. There is an oral question from Dee Doocey on the impact of the UK’s exit from the EU Open Skies Agreement on the UK’s tourism industry. Will the Minister have …

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Welcome to my day – 20 November… the Transgender Day of Remembrance

A rather more sombre opening to this Monday, in deference to the day being marked today. To be honest, I’m not proposing to add much to that introduction, as I suspect that I wouldn’t have much of value to add.

There will be an article dedicated to the day, and I would ask any commenters to show due respect to our transgender friends and colleagues. Please note that I will not show much tolerance to any transphobes who might be minded to offer us the “benefit” of their supposed wisdom. Take it somewhere

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LibLink: Jo Swinson on “Sexual harassment: a chance for change”

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Jo Swinson has published an article on Medium titled “Sexual harassment: a chance for change“. She writes:

Many people have been shocked by recent revelations about the extent of sexual harassment in politics. Sadly to many of us it does not come as a shock, but we have welcomed the focus on a persistent problem that has too often been trivialised or ignored. Some sections of the media have — without any sense of irony — provided illustrative answers to the endless questions about why victims hesitate to come forward to tell their story. While it is depressing still to be having these conversations in 2017, it is also an opportunity — let’s welcome this scrutiny and turn it into a positive force for change.

A cross-party working group in Parliament to create an independent grievance procedure and provide better advice and support for those who experience bullying and harassment met for the first time this week. As the Liberal Democrat MP on that group, I am determined that the outcome should be sufficiently broad to protect people in constituencies and in Parliament, as well as ordinary members of the public.

Posted in LibLink | Tagged , and | 12 Comments

Rejoice for Australia! But referendums on social issues must not be the new normal

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The majority of Australians have backed equal marriage in a postal vote survey: 61.5% of Aussies endorsed the rights of LGBT+ citizens. It is now over to the Australian parliament to implement the will of the people.

LGBT+ Aussies and allies rejoice after a deserved victory. But it is sad that this referendum had to happen at all.

I realise that to most, holding the referendum was just sensible politics and a civilised means to settle a debate in a democracy. But this vote really was petty: someone’s private relationship is neither a political or democratic concern. It’s not something to be deliberated on by the masses; you’re dealing with people’s profound personal identities and relationships – things that are fundamental to their lives.  Someone’s basic right to exist as themselves in society is not another ‘issue of the day’.

It is completely mad that an anonymous same-sex couple living somewhere in Australia who want to get married had to consult the entire voting population of the country.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 9 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMick Taylor 20th Nov - 8:32pm
    Many of the leaflets we put out, especially so-called surveys are an insult to the electorate. If we are going to survey people - and...
  • User AvatarEd Shepherd 20th Nov - 7:20pm
    A man does a terrible thing through malice or foolishness or some combination of both. He tries to make amends by trying to bring peace...
  • User AvatarEd Shepherd 20th Nov - 7:14pm
    These clubs have more meaning to people than do other local businesses. Support for a football club gets handed down over generations and it is...
  • User AvatarTonyH 20th Nov - 6:48pm
    Nice article, and you obviously had a great win. But I would gently take issue with #3. I don't think many of the traditional campaigners...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 20th Nov - 6:45pm
    I presume that 7 is not saying -" dont ever stand paper candidates", merely that we all need to think seriously about what we are...
  • User AvatarDavid Blake 20th Nov - 6:35pm
    I'm slightly concerned that the opposition will get hold of it and use it to win more seats...