Author Archives: Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett

The holistic Need for the Ask an Expert Stand at Conference

At our last two conferences, the Ask an Expert stand has gradually been expanded and developed. Many people have asked me why we need this facility? My answer would always be that sometimes a one to one conversation can be a really good way to solve a nagging question or issue.

On the stands previously, we’ve had experts in compliance, Connect, communications, campaigning, Diversity & Inclusion to name but a few, and all have had detailed conversations – sometimes quite private and confidential – to overcome those issues which wouldn’t necessarily have been possible to explain or detail in a general training session.

The stand is a great addition to the programme of training that goes on at conference. For those that perhaps find large training sessions intimidating, or suffer from difficulties in learning, or feel awkward asking questions that they feel they probably ought to know, then the volunteers on the Ask an Expert stand offer support on a one-to-one basis. This means they can help in a far more intimate way to explain, cajole, reason and support our members and activists. If the activists learn more skills on the ground, then they can spend more time using the new skills they’ve been shown, or the ways they’ve learned to support critical issues in their local party, region, Council group, SAO (Specified Associated Organisation) or AO (Associated Organisation). 

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We should be ashamed of UK inaction on refugee crisis

David Trett refugees

On a bleak windswept desolate morning in mid February, I walked through puddles of mud whilst alongside me a community of refugees, desperate to re-start their lives, remain near the French /UK border hoping to escape the situation and get to the UK, or some other place of sanctuary. I visited along with my Lib Dem colleague Councillor David Chalmers. I’m left wondering what will become to all those that I met this weekend.

I believe in showing humanity, care and love for our fellow citizens wherever they come from in the world, especially those escaping from lives of persecution, violence and discrimination. We, as a country, should be utterly ashamed of ourselves, as should the French authorities, for allowing a situation to develop only 20-25 minutes by travel from our shore, where a group of harmless, fear stricken people are left looking for sanctuary.

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Opinion: Lib Dem MPs: Vote for equality, human rights and love today

The culmination of more than three years of heartfelt campaigning by the LGBT+ Lib Dems finally comes to the final hurdle in the House of Commons battle for equal marriage this week, with votes today and tomorrow.

It will sadly see the ultimate opportunity for those MPs who remain implacably behind the times in opposition to equality and fairness in the United Kingdom to block progress. It is also the opportunity for the sun to shine on those MPs who vote in favour of equality, fairness, human rights, respect and love. LGBT+ people want to celebrate and share their love just …

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URGENT: Less than 6 hours to respond to Scottish Government’s Equal Marriage consultation

We need your help to deliver another Lib Dem win in the Scottish Parliament. We’re on a tight deadline – we need you to act before 5 pm today.

The Liberal Democrats were the first party to support gay rights in a General Election manifesto. For decades, we’ve always been there for equality. The Scottish Liberal Democrats led on equal marriage, before the Federal Party became the first major national party to support the policy.

The Scottish Government are consulting on the details of implementing equal marriage, for a Bill later this year. You can help ensure that the Bill is liberal, well thought out and promotes equality …

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Opinion: Equal marriage legislation proves that Liberal Democrats have equality in their DNA

Equality has always been at the core of our party’s values, and is one of the main reasons why I joined the party in 2006. However, until 2010, Liberal Democrats had not been able to prove to the wider public that we had always been ahead of the curve on sexual equality simply because we hadn’t been in Government for 80 years. In opposition, though, we were adopting policies on these issues way before previous governments had done anything. In many cases governments had only acted because of the threat of

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Opinion: Lynne is our Champion for equality and everyone should know it!

Contrary to the pernicious article in the Guardian on Saturday, Lynne Featherstone MP, Minister for Equalities has worked her socks off to put equality and women’s rights at the top of the agenda for this Coalition Government.

And not only at the top of the agenda, but driving in every possible direction to ensure the rights of women (and also in particular the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people) are catapulted on to the front page of every tabloid and broadsheet paper and into the mainstream political debate and discussion.

So with all this extraordinary work, you would hope …

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Opinion: Don’t believe everything you read in the papers…

I’ve learnt again this week that it’s not a good idea to believe everything you read in the papers. In this case, it was a story in the Sunday Telegraph suggesting that the Government were changing the wording of “Academy Funding Agreements” on the teaching of marriage. Thankfully, it turned out to be a non-story.

Academy Funding Agreements are the governing documents for academies and Free Schools and are agreed between the Secretary of State and the governing body of the Academy, and the story suggested there were “strict new rules” about marriage.

However, a bit of digging …

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Opinion: HIV Restrictions on NHS workers are “Out of Step”

As Chair of LGBT+ Liberal Democrats, I welcome the government’s announcement to consult and determine whether restrictions on NHS workers with HIV, should be relaxed, after a review found an “extremely” low risk of the disease being passed on to patients.

Alongside the Blood Ban announcement in July, which for me was only a small step in the right direction (as there is further work to do); because the stigma remains for men who sleep with men and their partners, with a 12 month deferral ban, the signal from government strikes the right tune at how current policy is being determined. …

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  • User Avatarexpats 20th Jan - 1:50pm
    To me Harold Wilson is the man who, despite right wing pressure at home, kept the young men of the UK out of Vietnam. As...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:45pm
    Innocent Bystander, there may be some truth in your assessment of academic economists, but most big investment banks and multi-nationals will have an economics department...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 1:18pm
    Jimmy Carter presidency was seen as something of a failure. However, much of his best achievements were as an International Statesman, after he was free...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 1:11pm
    But David, economists only exist to argue unprovable theories with other economists while the rest of us try and make the world function.
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 20th Jan - 12:48pm
    David Raw, I wouldn't put Harold Wilson in the category of Lenin, but his development years during the war were spent as a research assistant...
  • User AvatarInnocent Bystander 20th Jan - 12:44pm
    Obviously a real focal point of love and devotion. To have inspired such admiration and affection over their lifetime, is worthy of praise indeed. I...