Author Archives: Caron Lindsay

The most frustrating thing about Jo Swinson

Jo Swinson was on Sophy Ridge this morning, setting out very clearly that every single Liberal Democrat MP elected on Thursday would be absolutely focused on stopping Brexit.

She emphasised that Liberal Democrats could stop Boris Johnson getting a majority.

She also defended our policy of revoking Article 50 if the Liberal Democrats won a majority, saying that it was the most popular option amongst remainers, including Labour remainers. She could have mentioned that 6 million people signed a petition to do just that just a few months ago so the idea clearly has support.

Here are her highlights:

Sophy Ridge asked her about …

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Santa Rennie delivers festive lump of coal to SNP

It wouldn’t be an election without Willie Rennie doing something eye-catching.

And today, he took part in a Santa dash in Glasgow.

 

He placed the SNP firmly on the Naughty List for the decline in public services since they have been in government and suggested that they’d be getting a lump of coal on Christmas morning.

The only reason that the SNP want to talk about Brexit is because their domestic agenda is truly abysmal.

Hundreds of children are waiting far too long for mental health treatment, the third Police Authority chair in three years has resigned and we are falling down the international education rankings.

This Christmas the SNP deserve a lump of coal for the way they’ve mishandled these services. Our teachers, nurses and police officers are working hard day in day out but they don’t get the support they deserve from an SNP government which has independence on the brain.

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How YOU can help the Lib Dems get more MPs this week

There’s just five campaigning days left in the General Election. All of a sudden you seem to go from “Oh yikes, how the hell will I survive 5 weeks of this?” to “Oh Yikes, there’s only five days to do all this?”

What matters to us all on Friday morning is the number of Lib Dem MPs we have. Noble third places count for nothing.

If you are not in one of the seats we hope to win on Thursday, please either get to your nearest one, or make phone calls from your own home into it. The party has set up a nice tool to let you know which one you should go to.

I have always done this. Sometimes, my local party where I live has not been happy about this. I remember the horror in the West Lothian local party in my first election when I moved there when I said I was heading to Edinburgh South. We didn’t win there in that election, but we were a top target and laid the groundwork for wining the Scottish Parliament seat two years later.

When I lived in the East Midlands, I worked in the target seat of Chesterfield which we  won in 2001.

At this stage of the campaign, we need to make sure that the target seats win. What you have done already will have helped you build for next time. And it can be hard, when you have put lots of effort into your local campaign to leave it and head elsewhere.

But if you can be part of winning a brighter prospect, that will also help you in more ways than one. Firstly, a good result for the party helps us all. More MPs = more influence in Parliament. For the country that is a good thing because it gives us the chance to stop Brexit.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 15 Comments

Jo Swinson shines in Andrew Neil interview

Jo Swinson was 3 when Jeremy Corbyn became an MP in 1983. That longer experience did not help him when he faced Andrew Neil last week. He was tin-eared, evasive and failed to connect with the audience.

Boris Johnson can’t even be bothered to show up.

In contrast, Jo was amazing tonight. Neil didn’t hold back, asking her some very tough questions. She answered every single one with clarity, competence and candour. She was very clear that she hadn’t got it right on everything  in the coalition and said the word that politicians so rarely use – sorry.

At the same time, she articulated a proper, liberal, internationalist message, showing how we are open, generous spirited and inclusive.

I have known Jo for long enough to know that she never gives up. Our election campaign has not seen the rise in the polls we deserve, given that we have a manifesto that is more redistributive than Labour’s, is the most economically competent and is much better on social justice than anyone else’s. A lesser leader could have turned their face to the wall. That is not Jo’s style. She and we will keep fighting for every single vote right up until 10pm next Thursday night.

Here are her best bits:

And we can stop Brexit We did it twice and we can do it for good:

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Hugh Grant goes canvassing for Luciana today, Chuka tomorrow

It was great to see actor Hugh Grant out canvassing for Luciana Berger today.

In the first of a series of visits to Lib Dem, Labour and Independent remain supporting candidates who could deny Boris Johnson a majority, he canvassed with Luciana then attended a packed rally.

The best tweet has to come from Gabriel Rozenberg, quoting that great line of Andie McDowell’s from that last scene in Four Weddings and a Funeral – still an incredibly funny film, if you haven’t seen it.

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Jo’s best bits from the BBC Debate

Seven leading figures from the various parties competing in the election took part in a televised debate from the National Assembly of Wales.

We are a site made up of Lib Dem supporters. Of course we are going to back our leader. But she surpassed even our expectations.

Her opening statement offered hope, and a country where everyone is valued regardless of religion, who they love or the colour of their skin, working with our closest friends to save the planet, nurturing the bonds in our family of nations, protecting the vulnerable.  A proper liberal vision.

She had the line of the debate.

She didn’t mention that it was a horror show, though…

And here’s her closing statement:

She highlighted why Lib Dem spending plans were not only effective, but added up.

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Conference Early Bird Discount extended until 7th January

Last month, when registration opened for York Conference, I noticed that the discount for booking early finished just one week after the election and before Christmas. I felt that this was unfair:

Now, most of us are knocking ourselves out campaigning for the General Election. We’re out in the cold and dark on a daily basis. Campaigning is not cheap. You have to pay to travel -and many of us are travelling to our nearest target seats. And we’re all getting asked to contribute to local and national campaigns.

This election is an unexpected and added expense just before Christmas. If you add to that the cost of registering for Conference as well, it might mean that some people just can’t afford to go.

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One by-election gain and one hold for the Liberal Democrats

The Liberal Democrats have two new councillors this morning.

Cllr Liz Withington held the Sheringham North seat in North Norfolk.

And in Wiltshire, a spectacular gain for Cllr Jo Trigg in Trowbridge Lambrok.

Well done to both Liz and Jo and their teams.

In the third and final contest of the night, there was no Liberal Democrat candidate but the Greens took the seat from an independent.

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What can we take from the MRP seat projections?

13 seats.

That’s what the  You Gov MRP seat projection says we’re going to get.

Not what we wanted to hear.  YouGov only spoke to a small number of people in each seat. Our campaign teams on the ground will have spoken to thousands more people over the last few weeks. They are likely to have a much more accurate idea of what is going on and I think that they will find these projections surprising.

But note the caveat from YouGov

The idea behind MRP is that we use the poll data from the preceding seven days to estimate a model that relates interview date, constituency, voter demographics, past voting behaviour, and other respondent profile variables to their current voting intentions. This model is then used to estimate the probability that a voter with specified characteristics will vote Conservative, Labour, or some other party.

This is a Brexit election though. Brexit is an issue which has split the country into Leave and Remain voters. Traditional patterns of voting for each party may well not apply.

I’m grateful to Morgan Griffith-David for doing this work for me so I don’t have to, but the poll only gives us 13 seats, it puts us in touching distance in another 23. This should concentrate the minds of pro-Remain voters. For example, Brecon and Radnorshire is projected as Conservative 49%, Lib Dem 35%, Labour 14%. It doesn’t take a genius to work out what Labour voters need to do to stop the Tories, whose vote is not split by the Brexit party this time.

These, and others, are the seats where Remainers really need to get behind the Lib Dems to stop Boris Johnson getting a majority which will enable him to inflict Brexit hell on the country.

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Remembering Charles Kennedy on what would have been his 60th birthday

On 25th November 1959, Charles Kennedy was born. He was raised near Fort William and went on to be elected as the SDP MP for Ross, Cromarty and Skye when he was just 23 in 1983.

He went on to become the second leader of the Liberal Democrats and was one of the most popular politicians in the UK. His easy-going public persona and his immense political courage won him many friends across and outside politics.

He was a passionate internationalist and European and totally committed to social justice. He talked about being a voice for the dispossessed who were being ignored by other parties.

He was one of the few to emerge from the deeply divisive referendum on Scottish independence with the respect and admiration of both sides. He argued with wit and wisdom for what he believed in and always showed respect for the other side. He was a great role model in the art of disagreeing well.

He had to show grace in the most vicious of situations. When he led the Liberal Democrats to oppose the war in Iraq in 2005, he was villified for it and treated with utter contempt in the Commons. A decade later, politicians from all sides paid heartfelt tribute to him when he died, too soon.

It was only afterwards that we learned of the close friendship he had built with Alastair Campbell, the chief spin doctor of the Blair years.

Just after he died, Channel 4 news produced this snapshot of his life. It certainly brought a tear to my eye.

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Two things we learned from last night’s Question Time

Jo Swinson had the hardest job out of all the leaders on the BBC Question Time special last night.

First of all, the audience was stacked against her:

While all the leaders took some tough questioning, at least Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn had somewhere in the vicinity of a third of the audience backing them. For some reason UK audiences seem to like Nicola Sturgeon, but they don’t have to live with her chaotic government’s neglect of pubic services. Trust me, the grass is not greener up here.

The audience was never going to back Jo – but people watching would have seen a leader who was absolutely crystal clear about her position. And, uniquely, she was also prepared to admit where we and she had got it wrong in the past. Compare that to Corbyn’s failure to acknowledge that he had failed to tackle anti-semitism in his own party and Johnson’s failure to accept the consequences of the casual racism with which he peppers so much of his writing.

So it’s hardly surprising that much of the right and left wing press are using up their column inches attacking Jo instead of promoting their own candidate.

Jo was very clear that she was the Remain candidate on the ballot paper.

The first thing we learned last night, if we didn’t know it already, is that Labour is not a remain party. Jeremy Corbyn announced he would stay neutral on this deal that he’s going to negotiate. That is an astounding failure of leadership. By refusing to take a position, he lets everybody down.

The second thing we learned is that Jo Swinson shows grace, candour and passion under pressure. She has the hardest job last night and answered with kindness, empathy and clarity.  She made sure that she is the unequivocal voice of remain in this election.

Her performance will go down very well in the seats we hope to gain to deprive Boris Johnson of a majority. Don’t just take my word for it:

Diamonds are formed under pressure. Our Lib Dem diamond did us proud by going into that fire pit and handling the tough questioning much better than anyone else.

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Some interesting features of Lib Dem ad targeting

I have not had one single ad on Facebook encouraging me to vote for the Liberal Democrats. Not one.

But, when you think about it, what a waste of money it would be if I had.

Let’s face it, my vote for the party was never in doubt, and this one will be the proudest I have ever cast for the Liberal Democrats. Not only are we right on the biggest issue of our time, I’ve learned over 15 years’ acquaintance that Jo Swinson is ideally suited to be our Prime Minister. 

Yesterday the BBC’s Rory Cellan Jones offered an insight into how we were targeting our ads in individual seats:

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Council by-elections – 21 November

Three results in so far from last night’s by-elections.

It was disappointing to lose a seat in Chichester. It was a seat that we had held only briefly in a new ward, when we won narrowly in May. Our councillor promptly left us, joined the Greens and resigned from the Council, so the chances are that we were being punished.

Our candidate Alexander Jeffrey and his team had an almost impossible task.

In Aberdeen, the Labour vote dropped like a stone while we advanced slightly and the SNP held on to their seat.

And another rise in vote share in Cardiff.

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Chuka on Question Time – open thread

Chuka Umunna is about to be on Question Time.

I should be going to bed, but I can’t resist staying up and watching.

Who’s with me?

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WATCH: Liberal Democrats Party Election Broadcast – She’s running again

Here is the Lib Dem election broadcast for the General Election.

I will admit to a wee tear at the start where Jo is talking about her Dad, who died last year. He would have been so proud to see her leading an election campaign as leader of the biggest and strongest Remain party.

It’s personal, hopeful, bright and clear about our aims about stopping Brexit and transforming the economy to make it work for people and planet.

And we have added Chuka Umunna, Sarah Wollaston and Siobhan Benita, too.

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Liberal Democrats join in Transgender Day of Remembrance

One of the saddest days of he year for me is today, the annual Transgender Day of Remembrance, when we remember those transgender people who have lost their lives over the past year just for being who they are, who died as a result of anti-transgender violence.

You can read all their names, and the mostly brutal circumstances of their passing here. 

Jo Swinson marked the day by writing an article on the Lib Dem website:

Trans people can’t wait until it’s politically convenient for them to exist.

We need to sort this

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Sal Brinton: Our democracy should not be in the hands of invisible corporate structures

Tonight the Liberal Democrats and SNP lost their court bid for inclusion in the ITV Leaders’ debate tomorrow night.

Sal Brinton was at the Royal Courts of Justice and had this to say afterwards:

The Liberal Democrats’ position in this election and that of our leader is unique: Jo Swinson is the only leader of a national party fighting to stop brexit.

“Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn should not be allowed to sidestep debating the issue of Brexit with someone who wants to remain, and ITV should not give them the opportunity to do so.

“That is why this is an incredibly disappointing verdict. Not just for the Liberal Democrats but also for democracy in this country, and for every remainer who deserves to have a voice in this debate.

“It is worrying that the Ofcom guidance allows TV Executives, not the voters, to decide whether the biggest issues of the day are debated openly in the ITV Debate.

“This campaign is undeniably dominated by Brexit, the single biggest issue for our country, perhaps in the last 75 years.

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Meet your new Federal committee members – internal election results declared

Last night, after a long day of hard work by brilliant LDHQ staff, the Federal Committee results were declared.

Party members had been voting for 3 weeks to choose members of the Federal Board, Federal Policy Committee, Federal Conference Committee, Federal International Relations Committee and ALDE Council delegations. Principal councillor reps to Federal Board and Federal Policy Committee, the English rep to the Federal Board and Scottish reps to both Committees were also chosen.

You can see the full results including all the STV tables here.

Those elected were:

Federal Board

Alice Thomas
April Preston
Candy Piercy
Caron Lindsay
Elaine Bagshaw
Gerald Vernon-Jackson
James Gurling
Jo Hayes
Joyce Onstad
Kishan Devani*
Luke Cawley-Harrison
Neil Fawcett
Roisin Miller
Ruby Chow
Simon McGrath

* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

English Rep to Federal Board

Lisa-Maria Bornemann

Scottish Rep to Federal Board

Cllr Kevin Lang

Principal Councillor rep to Federal Board

Cllr Chris White

Federal Policy Committee

Alisdair Calder-McGregor
Alyssa Gilbert
Aria Babu
Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Catherine Royce
Christine Cheng
Duncan Brack
Elizabeth Jewkes
Helen Cross
Jeremy Hargreaves
Mohsin Khan
Richard Cole
Robert Harrison*
Sally Burnell
Tara Copeland
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to gender diversity requirements.

Scottish Rep to Federal Policy Committee

Elinor Anderson

Principal Councillor reps to Federal Policy Committee

Cllr Peter Thornton
Cllr Susan Juned

Federal Conference Committee

Bex Scott
Cara Jenkinson
Chris Adams
Chris Maines
Geoff Payne
Liz Lynne
Joe Otten
John Bridges
Jon Ball
Joe Toovey*
Nick da Costa
Rachelle Shepherd-Dubey
* Note: This candidate was promoted into the list of elected candidates due to ability diversity requirements.

Federal International Relations Committee

Doreen Huddart
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Phillipa Leslie-Jones
Phil Bennion
Ruth Coleman Taylor

ALDE Council

Belinda Brooks-Gordon
Hannah Bettsworth
Jonathan Fryer
Joyce Onstad
Merlene Emmerson
Phillip Bennion

Congratulations to everyone who was elected and commiserations to those who missed out this time.

Some quick observations on the results.

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Luciana: EU staff critical to our NHS

Lib Dem Health Spokesperson Luciana Berger has spoken out about how Brexit would harm our NHS, emphasising how reliant we are on EU doctors and nurses. Analysis done by the Labour Party highlights that NHS staff work a million hours of unpaid overtime every week.

That doesn’t surprise me. When my husband was seriously ill three years ago, in the 51 nights he was in hospital, only once did I see one member of staff actually leave at the end of their shift. And the situation has got much worse since then as we lose thousands of EU nurses every year.

Luciana criticised Labour’s approach to Brexit:

A key reason NHS staff are working overtime is because of the serious shortages in the number of doctors and nurses working in the NHS. Part of that shortage is due to the net loss of 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years alone.

Only yesterday, Labour failed yet again to confirm their position on freedom of movement. With the NHS reliant on 10,000 EU doctors and 20,000 EU nurses, Labour’s support for Brexit is baffling as it will be so damaging for our NHS and hardworking staff.

In the past week we have learnt about the Conservative plan to impose a Nurse Tax on any new EU health professional coming to treat NHS patients. The stakes could not be higher. Labour and the Conservatives must stop being so irresponsible with our NHS.

The Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit to protect our NHS. We will build a brighter future by investing an extra £35 billion in our NHS by adding a penny on income tax. In addition we will implement a national recruitment strategy to ensure we never again suffer shortages of nurses, doctors and other health professionals.

If Labour are bad, the Tories are terrible. They would charge nurses who come to this country to use the NHS they work for. This would cost their families thousands of pounds.

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In Full: Ed Davey’s speech on the economy

Today, Ed Davey made a keynote speech on the economy.

He talked about his plans here:

Here is his speech in full:

For too long, Britain has not had the economy it deserves.

Under this Conservative Government, too many people can’t live a secure, happy and fulfilling life. Too many businesses face crippling uncertainty over their future. And too many of us feel vulnerable in the face of technological change.

The fact is, the Conservatives have made our economy weaker – much weaker.
People might be in work, but more and more struggle to make ends meet.
Businesses have been hit, with investment down significantly since the 2016 referendum.

Productivity has been grimly weak – with no growth at all in the last 12 months.
The Office of National Statistics confirmed only this week, that Britain’s economic growth in the last year has been the lowest for a decade.

And this Government has ignored all our long-term economic problems. We have alarming skill shortages. A persistent trade deficit. And inequality that’s both socially and economically damaging.

Yet so far, the debate in this election on our economy – on our future – has been a debate between fantasies.

Fantasies born of nostalgia for a British Imperial past. Competing with fantasies from a failed 1970s ideology.

Fantasies competing to bankrupt Britain.

Boris Johnson has snuck into Jeremy Corbyn’s allotment and stolen his magic money tree.

The British people deserve better than fantasy economics.

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Two spectacular by-election gains and a frustrating but brilliant near miss

It was another brilliant night on the by-election front for the Lib Dems.

Two years ago we narrowly missed out on gaining the North East Fife parliamentary seat by just two votes. And that was the same margin by which we lost out on gaining Dunfermline Central on Fife Council. Aude Boubaker-Calder had run a passionate and spirited campaign and more than tripled the first preference votes and ran the SNP extremely close. She is in a very good position for the next Council elections in 2022.

In Tunbridge Wells, Justine Rutland gained a seat from the Conservatives with a spectacular swing:

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Ed Davey: Lib Dems to spend £100bn to tackle climate emergency

In a keynote speech in Leeds tomorrow, Ed Davey will announce that the Lib Dems will be putting our money where our mouth is about the climate emergency. We’ll spend £100 billion on measures to tackle it:

A Liberal Democrat Government will jump-start an economy-wide programme to tackle the climate emergency: I can announce today that across a 5 year Parliament, Liberal Democrats would spend and invest an extra £100 billion of public finance on climate action and environmental preservation.

“This includes a new £10 billion Renewable Power Fund to leverage in over £100 billion of extra private climate investment. This will fast-track deployment of clean energy, to make Britain not just the world leader in offshore wind, but also the global number one in tidal power too.  And we will invest £15 billion more to make every building in the country greener, with an emergency ten-year programme to save energy, end fuel poverty and cut heating bills.

But we’ll have that £50 billion Remain bonus:

Brexit is already costing the economy £1 billion a week. And the future cost to Britain in lower economic growth could be even higher, if Brexit were actually to happen.

That’s why the election debate on the economy and public spending has Brexit at its heart. For the plain fact is, no party’s economic plan is remotely credible unless it starts with stopping Brexit.  With stopping Brexit as our number one economic policy, Liberal Democrats won’t just grow the economy faster, but we’ll generate a £50 billion Remain Bonus – to pay for our huge extra investment in schools and our policies to tackle inequality.

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WATCH: Luciana Berger describe her experience of anti-semitic abuse in the Labour Party

Lib Dem MP Luciana Berger described her experience of anti-semitism in the Labour Party at a campaign event today. Watch here;

This came on the day Jo Swinson signed the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance definition on antisemitism, which all candidates are being asked to sign this Election.

The party published its plan for Equalities and Human Rights  today, which covers everything from protecting civil liberties, banning use of facial recognition technology for police surveillance, protecting the Human Rights Act, a Lovelace Code of ethics to cover use of personal data and ending the snoopers’ charter on communications data to extending equal marriage and abolishing the unfair spousal veto and reinstating marriages which were forced to be dissolved because of the gender recognition process.

Chuka Umunna said we would take on the right wing forces of nationalism:

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Jardine: Lib Dems’ brighter future for transgender people

The Liberal Democrat manifesto will include a commitment to reforming the Gender Recognition Act, to make it easier for transgender people to get new birth certificate by;

  • Removing the requirement for medical reports.
  • Scrapping the fee.
  • Recognising non-binary gender identities.

The Conservatives have been less than proactive in pursuing this reform, a year after the consultation ended. During this time hate crimes on transgender people have increased due to a toxic media environment.

Speaking during Transgender Awareness Week, our Shadow Minister for Women and Equalities Christine Jardine said:

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Why Lib Dems should not stand aside in favour of Labour Remainers

Last night, Liberal Democrat PPC for Canterbury Tim Walker announced he was stepping aside in favour of Rosie Duffield, the sitting Labour MP. 

There is no doubt that Rosie Duffield is a good person who supports remaining in the EU. She holds values that are compatible with ours and, should she ever choose to join the Liberal Democrats, she would be warmly welcomed. However, she represents a party that is not committed to Remain. To stand aside for her would send the wrong message to the millions of people who are relying on Jo Swinson and the Liberal Democrats to stop Brexit.

Liberal Democrats have already stood aside in 20 seats, 17 as part of the Unite to Remain initiative and 3 against prominent independent remainers. Our willingness to work with others to achieve a remain objective is not in doubt.

There is one thing in common with the people we have stood down for. They represent parties who wholeheartedly support remain or are running as independents. We are the strongest voice of remain and in no circumstances should we stand aside for a representative of a party which is not committed to Remain.

Let’s go through that Labour policy again. They would go back to the EU, negotiate another deal, put that to their conference to work out whether they support the deal or remain, and then have a People’s Vote. Would they really negotiate a deal and campaign against their own efforts? I doubt it. Labour would deliver Brexit and any Brexit damages the country.

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WATCH: Jo and Layla at the Rally for the Future – We have to do better for the next generation

On Saturday, the first big Lib Dem election rally took place. The main subject was our policy of providing free childcare to children from 9 months of age – which will make life so much easier for families. What was really good is that this event was family friendly. Babies, toddlers, teenagers were in the audience including Jo’s own two sons.

The speeches were punctuated with toddler babble. It was a joy.

Jo and Layla spoke.

Watch here:

Layla remarked that she had never known such a friendly reaction on the doorstep.

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Luciana Berger: Being in the Liberal Democrats is so refreshing and so positive

When I saw Luciana Berger at Conference  in September, she looked happy and relaxed as she toured the stalls in the exhibition. She said then that she felt very welcome in the Liberal Democrats.

Many of us hoped for a long time that she would come across to us.

In an interview with the Independent, she contrasted her new life in the Lib Dems with the appalling, horrible abuse she suffered in when she was in the Labour Party:

Being in the Liberal Democrats is so refreshing and so positive. I can have disagreements with people and we do so in an adult way where people don’t shout and scream at you and hurl abuse in your direction.

Her last meeting in the Labour Party was very different:

I attended my last Labour Party meeting in October last year and vowed never to go back because it was so unpleasant – it was so toxic, there was no humanity in the room.

The attitude was very much that she should be more loyal:

She says the abuse was regularly dismissed by Labour members in her Liverpool Wavertree constituency, who responded to her recollections by sitting stony-faced and suggesting that she should be more supportive of Jeremy Corbyn.

The instances of anti semitic abuse from the far right, far left and Brexiteers made her physically ill at one point this Summer. You would think that anyone hearing the sorts of things outlined in the interview would react with compassion and empathy.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 1 Comment

Christine Jardine: Brexit is sucking the life out of our politics

Christine Jardine was on Sophy Ridge this morning talking (among other things) about how Brexit was sucking the life out of everyone meaning that we couldn’t concentrate on the huge issues of the day like Brexit and the NHS.

The amusing thing is that this clip is both being promoted by the party on its social media channels and trashed on Guido Fawkes.

Guido reckons that Christine is saying that Brexit is more important than the union. Which is a cheek given that Brexit as proposed by the Conservatives is more of a threat to the union than anything I have seen in my lifetime.

If we stop Brexit, we strengthen the union.

Sophy Ridge asked Christine about the leaders’ debates.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 30 Comments

A question to Federal Conference Committee as they open registration for Spring Conference

Despite the general election, our conference timetables have to proceed as normal. So this week, registration for Spring Conference in York opened.

You will definitely want to be there. Even when our party was out its lowest ebb, Conference is still the best fun you will ever have in your life. And it’s in York, which is a gorgeous city. And the food and beer at the Mason’s Arms, just down the road from the Conference Centre is delicious.

You can register here.

But I have a question for the Federal Conference Committee. If you register now, you get your conference pass for £60.  After 20th December, just 8 days after the election, the cost rockets up to £95.

Now, most of us are knocking ourselves out campaigning for the General Election. We’re out in the cold and dark on a daily basis. Campaigning is not cheap. You have to pay to travel -and many of us are travelling to our nearest target seats. And we’re all getting asked to contribute to local and national campaigns. 

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Scottish Liberal Democrats’ bright campaign launch as party overtakes Labour in poll

The Scottish Liberal Democrats launched their campaign in Cramond on Thursday mornings. The bright umbrellas provided a contrast to  damp  grey  surroundings.

Alistair Carmichael and former Leader Lord Campbell of Pittenweem joined Willie Rennie, North East Fife candidate Wendy Chamberlain and many activists.

Willie Rennie told the assembled crowd:

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