Author Archives: Peter Wrigley

Letter to Vince Cable – UK military action in Syria is not justified

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This letter is in response to Vince’s request for feedback on the Syrian question

Dear Vince Cable,

Thank you for giving we members an opportunity to forward our views to you on the possible military intervention by the UK in Syria.

This is an extremely difficult problem which seems to place us in a lose-lose situation. If we do not intervene we appear to stand by impotently whilst terrible wickedness takes place, including the internationally illegal use of chemical weapons. If we do intervene there is a strong possibility of making a bad situation worse, as has already happened in similar circumstances in Iraq and Libya.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 36 Comments

Agenda 2020 Essay #11: 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]

For me, being a Liberal Democrat today implies sympathy with and a willingness to work for the following beliefs.

LIBERTY comes at the top of the list, with the John Stuart Mill constraint that we are free only to do what doesn’t harm others. This means that we value variety, welcome people with different cultures and religions and believe that diversity enriches society.  We resist unjustified and indiscriminate state surveillance into our private lives.  Where the preservation of liberty clashes with our other beliefs, such as equality, then we try to put liberty first.

In the fields of EQUALITY AND WELFARE, we believe that all individuals should be equally valued as human beings.   Hence we believe that the state has the dual function of both preventing some people becoming too rich (by progressive taxation) and providing a generous safety-net for the poor, so that all have the ability to reach their potential and participate fully in the norms of  the one society.    We believe access to a social security safety-net sufficient to secure a decent standard of living is a right.  In the past we have favoured a citizen’s income and may well do so again.

Faith in DEMOCRACY is at the root of our values. Liberals Democrats believe that people can be trusted. (Both Conservatives and Socialists alike believe at heart that we need to be coerced).  We want to see parliamentary reform, so that the people’s representatives have genuine control over the executive; reform of the electoral system by the introduction of proportional representation by single transferable vote in multi-member constituencies; an elected second chamber representative of the nations and regions, to which power will have been devolved; and vital local government.  All political power should be exercised at the lowest possible level.  We are devolvers, not centralisers.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 1 Comment
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  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:38pm
    MPs would be absolutely mad to put no deal on a ballot, and the EU will not grant an extension for such a crazy purpose....
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 12:18pm
    Joseph Bourke, the only somewhat beneficial Brexit resolution is its cancellation, the sooner the better. Consequently, compensating public "investment" might have some payback only in...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 12:02pm
    Arnold, point taken that public investment cannot of itself resolve the structural damage to the economy that Brexit would involve. But what we are talking...
  • User AvatarArnold Kiel 21st Jan - 11:50am
    Peter Martin, the Berlin example supports my viewpoint. Bonn continues to do ok as part of the old "rheinischer Kapitalismus" area, while Berlin continues to...
  • User AvatarJoseph Bourke 21st Jan - 11:36am
    PeterMartin, economic growth athough slowing over the longer term has a relatively consistent trend of a little over 2%. Investment spending and spending on public...
  • User AvatarLaurence Cox 21st Jan - 11:25am
    @David Beckett You can blame Sir Winston Churchill for that. When the House of Commons was bombed in WW2, it was the Government that he...