12-13 October 2019 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections
  • Lib Dems: Govt must ban arms sales to Turkey

Lib Dems: Compulsory voter ID is an attempt to rig our elections

Responding to the reports that the Government are set to announce it will be compulsory for voters to show identification at the next election, Liberal Democrat shadow minister for the Cabinet Office, Tom Brake said:

The move by the Government to make voter ID compulsory is a thinly-veiled attempt to rig the results of future elections. We know from the pilot back in 2018 that voter fraud was inconsequential, whilst what the pilot did do was turn away a disproportionate number of vulnerable voters.

Boris Johnson is clearly taking a leaf out of Trump’s playbook by using false claims about voter fraud to suppress turnout.

The trial was deemed a waste of time and the public’s money, and this roll-out will be no different. The Conservative Government have already showed disdain for our democracy and this move is simply further confirmation of that.

Rather than electioneering by making it harder to vote, the Conservative Government should be focusing on ways to encourage democratic participation, such as through extending voting rights to 16 year olds.

Lib Dems: Govt must ban arms sales to Turkey

Today, the Liberal Democrats have called on the Conservative Government to ban all arm sales to Turkey.

Following the human rights violations in Syria, Chuka Umunna, the Liberal Democrat Shadow Foreign Secretary, said:

It is clear that there have been human rights violations against the Kurdish people in Syria. It is only right that the UK now bans any export of arms that could be used by Turkey in Syria.

It has long been Liberal Democrat policy to oppose arm sales to those who commit human rights violations and the situation in Syria is no different. The Conservative government must join our European allies in suspending sales immediately. The UK cannot be complicit in Donald Trump’s betrayal of the Kurdish people.

The Tory government must also do all they can to help stabilise the region and provide humanitarian assistance to those in need. Boris Johnson must urge President Trump to rethink his withdrawal from the region. The UK government has a responsibility to do all it can to stop any further atrocities.

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  • John Marriott 14th Oct '19 - 9:04am

    You know what they were supposed to say in Northern Ireland; “Vote early – and vote often!”? Seriously though, what IS wrong with always having some ID with you at all times? Most of us do in some form or another. In fact, I personally have no objections to having a simplified ID card, like most of our ‘friends’ in the EU.

    The biggest culprit in voter fraud is probably the postal vote, judging by examples where so called ‘community leaders’ are alleged to have turned up at polling stations with bundles of postal votes. The classic for me was a few years ago in a Newark Town Council By Election. By the evening, under 50 people had voted when, suddenly, the Labour candidate’s Agent turned up with over 100 postal votes. Needless to say, the Labour candidate actually won. I may have got the exact numbers wrong; but, believe me, it actually happened.

    ID cards? If you’ve got nothing to hide, you’ve got nothing to fear. Postal votes? Only in extremis. Don’t make voting easier, make it FAIRER! And, why not consider compulsory voting as in Australia or Belgium, with a box on the ballot paper for ‘None of the above’?

  • nigel hunter 14th Oct '19 - 10:08am

    For our support in ‘negotiations on this subject we could support the idea as long as it was extended to 16 yrs old. The card to be carried by all from that age. It is given FREE to all with ,say, NHS number on it.

  • Tend to agree with John.

    Take for example admission to St Andrews University (in Asquith and Ming Campbell’s old seat, and now Willie Rennie in Holyrood). As part of matriculation at St Andrews a potential student has to produce ID (passport, driving licence for example). Is this unacceptable and is it different to voting.. I don’t think so.

    The odd thing about some Liberal Democrats is they get bees in their bonnets about some of the more obscure parts of libertarianism – yet still continue to ignore much bigger blemishes in the public domain such as inequality, poverty and the massive gaps between the ‘haves’ and ‘have not’s in our society.

    There are even contradictions in such a revered organ as LDV where apparently it is now the policy to have pre-moderation to any thread originating from a female contributor…. (our worthy Leader or potential President ?). Surely this is accepting that if one behaves like a victim one will be treated like a victim.

  • Peter Hirst 14th Oct '19 - 2:56pm

    There needs to be an independent body that controls the sale of offensive weapons to other countries. There needs to be an appeals process and heavy fines for firms that try to break any ban. Selling weapons for measures that kill and maim, especially civilians is abhorrent.

  • Mick Taylor 14th Oct '19 - 3:36pm

    Actually, no. We just need to get out of the arms trade altogether. It’s immoral. How can any decent country be involved in designing and selling things designed to kill other human beings. As a quaker and a pacifist I reject the arms trade and urge Lib Dems to do so as well.

  • @ Mick Taylor “Actually, no. We just need to get out of the arms trade altogether. It’s immoral”.

    Yes, spot on Mick.

  • John Marriott 14th Oct '19 - 4:54pm

    The problem in “getting out of the arms trade” is that there will always be somebody else prepared to step in. If only we could ’uninvent’ a few of these weapons! Sadly, we can’t. Life is a bitch, innit?

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