Author Archives: James MacCleary

Cllr James MacCleary is the leader of the Liberal Democrat group on Lewes District Council and Deputy Leader of the Co-Operative Alliance that runs the council

New leader should be banging on Starmer’s door on day one

The election of Kier Starmer as leader of the Labour Party, and therefore the leader of Her Majesty’s Opposition, presents a challenge for us as Liberal Democrats. On the one hand, it’s good news for our democracy that there’s now a serious Leader of the opposition who will be asking probing questions of this terrible Conservative government.

On the other hand, it presents a threat to us. A Starmer-led Labour Party will be fishing in the same pond of voters that we hope to seek support from. Some who had fled Corbyn’s Labour may now return to them. Our chances of making inroads into Labour-held seats that voted Remain in 2016 will have significantly diminished.

We are probably never going to see an overall Labour majority in this country again. They’ve lost Scotland to the SNP, and the Tories have breached the so-called ‘red wall’ in the north of England. It seems unlikely that many of those seats are coming back to them any time soon.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 34 Comments

We should argue for a temporary Universal Basic Income

It is a scary time. As Covid-19 spreads across the globe, it is causing severe disruption and panic. The shift in government policy away from gambling lives on the mass infection (so-called ‘herd immunity’) to instead falling in line with most of the rest of world in attempting to slow the spread of the virus means that the likely death toll from the outbreak has fallen dramatically.

However, the impact on the economy will be enormous and will compound the significant damage already done by Brexit. Companies are already calling in the receivers, thousands of staff are being laid off or sent home unpaid, and millions of people are facing uncertainty and fear for their family’s financial future.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 33 Comments
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