Author Archives: Alisdair Calder McGregor

Federal Policy Committee Report – 15 February 2017

Federal Policy Committee met on Wednesday 15th February. The meeting was slightly in advance of our normal cycle (it having been obviously felt that having a long FPC meeting on the evening before the Stoke-On-Trent and Copeland by-elections was a bad idea).

Sadly the combined effect of a Parliamentary recess and half term in some areas of the country led to a lower turnout than at the previous meeting with neither Tim Farron MP nor the regular compiler of these reports Geoff Payne being able to attend. In Tim’s absence the meeting was chaired by the committee vice-chair Duncan Brack.

The meeting as a whole was driven much more by discussion over future process than the previous meeting’s focus on policy matters for Spring Conference. In some ways Federal Policy Committee regards our pre-conference work as “done with”; we are now awaiting the input from conference on the policy papers, motions and consultation papers to shape how FPC will proceed. As such, much of our work this time was on preparation for post-conference work.

The shape of some of our subcommittees and working groups due to report back for Autumn Conference was fleshed out. Belinda Brooks-Gordon was elected as the Chair of the Policy Equalities Impact Assessment Group (of which I am also a member) which will review Policy proposals with an intersectional view of the impact of policies upon all diversity strands.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

What now for the Pro-EU Party?

Traditionally, at this point after a vote, Politicians start to mutter comments about “The will of the people”

I’m not going to.

Manifestly, the result of the EU referendum is not to our taste. However, I do not believe that it is to the taste of the voting public either – or at least, it won’t be once they’ve tasted the actual medicine that the Brexit campaign have prescribed.

The public have, throughout the EU referendum campaign, been systematically lied to, deceived and manipulated by the Brexit campaign. The warnings of the Remain campaign on the impact of leaving the EU were dismissed as “Project Fear” – and are already being proven horribly right, as the value of Sterling tumbles and the bleak reality of the economics of Brexit become apparent.

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Opinion: Rotherham would be an ideal place to hold England’s first STV elections

The problems caused by one-party states are many, but the behaviour of Rotherham Labour in failing to their residents by running a council that was simply “not fit for purpose” shows one of the worst possible examples.

The lack of political challenge to Rotherham Labour resulted in a council that lacked even the basic ability to serve local people. It stands as one of the clearest examples of the failure of the current English council elections system.

Eric Pickles has already announced that Rotherham will move to all-up elections from 2016, but this is insufficient to change the underlying problem of the lack of political challenge in Rotherham.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 36 Comments

Opinion: Limited Devolution may be ok for Manchester, but Yorkshire deserves better

Yorkshire DalesThe news that George Osborne is offering further powers to Manchester (if – and only if – they turn their backs on the democratic will of the people and implement an elected Mayor in spite of Manchester voting “No” to having one) has been enthusiastically accepted by the Manchester Labour Party, because, as with all local Labour parties, they very much prefer a government that cannot be scrutinized and wields power in secret, unaccountable meetings.

Yorkshire deserves far better than this Tory & Labour stitch-up of an end-run around democracy and accountability.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 44 Comments

Opinion: Seeking support for amendment on Constitutional Reform

imageSince last week, debate has been running high on where the UK needs to head to deal with the constitutional issues raised by the Scottish Independence Referendum.

As such, I’ve decided to put forward  (and my local party is backing) an amendment to the pre-Manifesto document (F30 on the Conference Agenda), aimed at altering Section 7 to reflect where we need to go to deliver our aims as a party.

One of the major problems with Section 7 of F30 as it stands, is that al the initiative in devolution is put into the hands of councils. I believe it’s inevitable that this would lead to gerrymandered councils in areas where a party can establish a one-party state. Can you imagine South Yorkshire Councils, after the recent scandals in Rotherham, having the ability to set their own boundary? This is a terrible idea, and would lead to a worsening of the democratic crisis in our country.

Posted in News | 12 Comments

PSA: Advance rail tickets for Glasgow are now available

Train at Alloa StationThe cost of Conference, especially of travel, can be a burden on those of us attending conference, so it’s worth noting that Advance tickets to get to Glasgow on the 3rd & back on the 8th of October are now available on the national rail website.

Advance will be the cheapest available ticket type, but can be used on the booked train only – no open transfers, so choose carefully!

Furthermore, if you are planning to travel with a friend in both directions, it’s a good idea to …

Posted in News | 7 Comments

Opinion: We are still living with the consequences of nationalised railways today. Turning back the clock will make matters worse.

Northern trainIn a letter to the Observer a group of Labour PPCs, including my opponent Joshua Fenton-Glynn, have proposed that the Labour should nationalise rail services.

This idea displays an ignorance of the true cause of the problems with UK railways that beggars belief. Almost every issue with rail transport can be traced not to privatisation per se, but to nationalisation, or the insufficiently liberal privatisation foisted upon us by the Major government.

In the 1980s investment in rail was at an all time low, due entirely to the nationalised nature of …

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Recent Comments

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