Author Archives: David Becket

The Brighton Declaration?

There is no leadership from the government, the Labour Party and we are not getting through. We are letting a golden opportunity pass by.

Pointing fingers at the government and repeating,  “Exit from Brexit” is not enough. We need a full programme that offers hope.

I am reminded of the golden memories of he most successful campaign I was involved in, the Newbury by-election. This took place when the Tories were in trouble.

A key to this campaign was the Newbury Declaration. a summary of the then current mess and  an offer of hope.

We need a similar declaration now. I give an example below. I call it the Brighton Declaration, ready for Conference, though maybe this is too late.

This is a draft attempt, it could be better but it is a start.

THE BRIGHTON DECLARATION

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 26 Comments

Tackling inequality

 

The Kensington disaster, along with the referendum that voted for Brexit, demonstrates the pressing need to tackle inequality. Corbyn’s success was due to him offering hope.

It is time for Lib Dems to step up and offer radical solutions, as we have seen in France. Every candidate for the leadership must be asked what he or she will do to tackle this issue. Here are some ideas, though not exhaustive.

Government priorities

With a lame duck PM and a government in chaos we cannot expect to see too many balls in the air. We are not in a fit condition to manage Brexit, but we could get a consensus to tackle inequality.

We should apply to the EU to put Brexit on hold, if that means a withdrawal of article 50 so be it. We are not ignoring the referendum result; we are putting it on hold until we are in a fit state to deal with it.

We can then tackle the causes of inequality.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 5 Comments

Let’s make the Lib Dems the party of education, education, education

Education is going through a difficult time, with many schools declaring teachers redundant, increasing class sizes, cutting out subjects and asking parents for money. The Government claims education has never been better funded. It takes no account that this is mainly due to an increase in pupil numbers, or that additional costs are being placed on schools. Nor do they mention the unfunded increase in National Insurance. They are prepared to waste money on Grammar Schools. As Liberal Democrats we should take a different view, scrap the Grammar Schools and start funding education with a fully costed proposal, part funded by savings from staying in the Single Market.

When we have sorted out the finance and stopped wasting money on Grammar and Free Schools it is time to break down the National Education System (which Labour appear to support), and remove the Regional Schools Commissioners. The tasks currently carried nationally and regionally should be devolved locally, through revamped LEAs. That is not returning to the old LEA structure, but LEA school support was very valuable and in many cases achieved more than a ticking off from Ofstead. League tables should go, and be replaced by a report of strengths and weaknesses, with proposed improvement actions. 

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 27 Comments

Agenda 2020 Essay #9: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party is currently running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions is 2nd November. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected]

As a Liberal Democrat my first belief is in freedom

Freedom from poverty
Freedom from poor health and education services
Freedom to live in decent housing
Freedom to marry who we like and worship how we like
Freedom from sexual discrimination
Freedom from crime and terrorism
Freedom to live our lives how we like whilst having respect for the freedom of others
Freedom from exploitation, particularly by large multi national companies with no social conscious and others with vested interests
Freedom from over bureaucratic government control, but having sufficient government protection in place to protect our freedoms

As a Liberal Democrat I am an environmentalist

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    It's entirely understandable that, if a new party is being discussed by people who have have a fair degree of common outlook with many LibDems,...
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    @Former Dem "they still blame the Lib Dems for introducing them.... The details are mostly forgotten." Yes, piffling little details like the fact that the...
  • User AvatarDav 23rd Jul - 10:24am
    But why should young people, whose living costs are the same as 25+ year olds, be the ones who bare the brunt? Because under any...
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    David Raw: you are not the only person with a knowledge of history. I had the 1918 Coupon GE in mind when I used that...
  • User AvatarGordon Lishman 23rd Jul - 10:09am
    The Party, as well as the Social Liberal Forum, should say a big "thank you" to Helen for her time as SLF's Chair and particularly...
  • User AvatarCarl Gardner 23rd Jul - 10:02am
    A fundamental belief of Liberal Democrat philosophy is the right to free speech and the right to question things. But ... I do understand that...