Author Archives: Nigel Jones

Our message to the nation following the EU Election results

What a great night it was for those who want us to remain in the EU, working for a better Britain, a better Europe and a better world.

The result presents a challenging opportunity for us. Are we up to it?

It will be a challenge to convert the Stop Brexit voters into our true supporters and activists.

It’s a challenge to outdo the Conservatives in taking on the Brexit party’s claim to represent the nation, constantly reminding people that the total vote share for remain (40.4%) was greater than Leave (around 34.9%). We need to repeatedly remind people that the Brexit Party started not from nothing, but from a large UKIP platform, with its discriminatory elements and empty promises based sorely on anger at an unfair system.

It’s a challenge to out-do the Labour party in its claim to represent ordinary workers, whose best deal is within the EU and developing our people’s skills in a less centralised UK.

The opportunity is there to state more clearly the case for remain, for improvements to the EU, for stepping up the use of our power within the EU, for our power and influence in the world for justice and peace, for dealing with inequality and migration in the UK and the world and for dealing with huge world economic entities and the environmental crisis.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , , , and | 24 Comments

Young people and grammar schools

 

This is the slightly edited text of the speech to party conference on Sunday 18th September, moving the motion with the same title. The text of the motion can be seen here.

We believe in social mobility, but social mobility is more than simply plucking a few from disadvantaged backgrounds, by unreliable assessment and unfair procedures, at the age of 11.

In any case, all-embracing division at age 11 sends a damaging message about how we value each young person.

Actually, we believe in more than social mobility; we want even people who choose to stay in particular social groups to be better educated and better off. Not only is that good for them, it is necessary for our economy.

Gone are the days when unqualified youngsters from secondary modern schools could walk into a good job.

Gone, we hope are the days when an educated elite takes charge of everything and the rest are merely simple-minded servants.

Likewise we need more education for our society and our democracy; local and national governments and voluntary organisations have more complicated decisions to make, requiring greater understanding and participation on the part of all our people.

Posted in Op-eds and Speeches | Tagged and | 28 Comments

What the EU Referendum has taught me

The referendum campaign has reminded or taught us many things about the relationship between us and the public. I am deliberately writing this before the result. There are matters that need a good hard examination. Among them are these:

1.Since tuition fees, we have been all too aware of people’s lack of trust in us; this is now the view held by even more people about all politicians. So when Sadiq Khan rightly points out the untruths in a leaflet, someone who was chosen as an undecided simply said on camera that he is trained to lie.

2.Large numbers of people no longer want to listen not only to us and other politicians, but even to experts; this should worry us greatly.

3. Views are affected by educational experience and level, not just age. I have met less-well-off young people who blame the EU and immigrants for their troubles. (Recent reports about the relative lack of achievement of white boys in our schools from lower backgrounds is worrying for the future.)

4. Education is supposed to broaden people’s outlook, but it needs to do more of this, since good democracy depends on that; narrowly-focussed academic or technical knowledge and skills is not enough.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 11 Comments

Is education at the centre of Lib Dem philosophy?

The preamble to our constitution says no-one should be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. These three go together. So, when we put Education among our top priorities, we must get it right.

Thus, poverty can prevent some people from getting the benefits of a good education, while conformity to a backward-looking community can inhibit an individual’s educational development. In September 2013, RISE (Research and Information on State Education) concluded that 80% of the difference in performance of school pupils was due to factors outside the school. Our schools and colleges cannot on their own, solve the ills of society.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 39 Comments
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  • User AvatarJames Pugh 19th Aug - 5:49pm
    "Indian subcontinent* ancestry"
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 19th Aug - 5:46pm
    """"These new powers are nothing short of racist, allowing the Home Secretary to strip Brits of citizenship by dint of their ancestry."""" Is it racist?...
  • User AvatarJohn Peters 19th Aug - 5:43pm
    @nigel hunter Boris has a mandate to leave the EU, with or without a withdrawal agreement. An ad hoc government formed from a remain supporting...
  • User AvatarIan Sanderson (RM3) 19th Aug - 5:32pm
    It is monstrous that the Home Secretary be able to revoke citizenship without a court hearing. A hearing must require evidence of wrongdoing and a...
  • User AvatarAndy 19th Aug - 5:30pm
    @TCO I'm someone who thought the so-called 'traffic light coalition' (red, amber, green) mooted in 2010, however shaky the numbers, would've worked out much better...
  • User AvatarPaul Walter 19th Aug - 5:18pm
    It is worth watching some of those "Police Code Zero" episodes. It's a serious documentary. In episode 1 it features the story of dog handler...
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