Author Archives: Harry Matthews

Opinion: One year on from Tuition Fees: why I’m still a Liberal Democrat

It’s one year on from the vote on Tuition Fees, so I thought I would lay out some reasons why I, as a student, am still a Liberal Democrat after our great ‘betrayal’.

Although our ministers are having to make tough choices, Liberal Democrats have won a major victory – having a tax cut for the low paid, rather than the very rich, as the Tories would have preferred. Raising the income tax threshold to £10,000 is a good way to correct the disaster Gordon Brown created when he scrapped the 10p tax band. Plus it is a tax cut …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , , , and | 25 Comments

Can’t host the Olympics? Host Liberal Youth Conference instead!

It’s an exciting time for political activists. The Eurozone is melting down, the economy is stagnating and people are getting angry about pensions. Well, that last one perhaps doesn’t affect Liberal Youth members as much, but Liberal Youth Conference is a chance for young people to meet up, discuss policy and (perhaps most importantly) have fun along the way!

Hosting Liberal Youth Conference is a great opportunity for your local party: 30, or even more, willing young activists to get out there and help you on a delivery round (at the last Liberal Youth Conference in Colchester, delegates delivered 2000 …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , and | 3 Comments

Opinion: Tackling the elephant in the room – youth unemployment

For the past year or so, there has been an elephant in the room – youth unemployment. It had largely been ignored by the Coalition Government, not because of desire, but because no money was left to alleviate the problem. However, after last week’s news that youth unemployment rose to 1 million, it was clear something needed to be done.

I’m glad that the Government will now be investing a whopping £1billion in training and incentives for young people to get employed.

In a recession, those who don’t have experience and/or training (who tend to be young people) are those …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 10 Comments

Join the Liberal Youth invasion

After a very successful Federal Conference earlier this month, Liberal Youth will hold its Autumn Conference on 22nd & 23rd October. It’s in the Roman town of Colchester* (home to the UK’s oldest market on record).

Conference, as all Liberal Democrats know, is a fantastic opportunity for party members to shape policies and hold elected officers to account – and Liberal Youth is no different.

Along with all the usual reports from officers (and the odd constitutional amendment), there will be policy debates on the Arab Spring, MMR jabs, Women’s Rights & Bank Shares. As we have seen from this year’s conference with the Employment and Support Allowance motion, Liberal Youth policy can become federal policy – and might now even become Government policy. This is a brilliant opportunity for young Liberal Democrats to get involved with policy making and gain experience in public speaking!

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Tagged , , , , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Votes at 16 – let’s follow the Isle of Man’s example

It is great news to hear that, after extending the franchise to 16 year olds in 2006, the Isle of Man is going to the polls today – and for the first time including 16 & 17 year olds!

However, (and it seems almost always) we are rather slow in enriching our democracy, whether it be changing the voting system, reforming the House of Lords, or extending the franchise to 16 & 17 year olds.

It is something both Liberal Youth & the British Youth Council have campaigned hard for. Even our Leader, Nick Clegg, who holds special responsibility for …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , and | 5 Comments
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