Author Archives: Sarah Brown

Opinion: Don’t tell me to cheer up

Time to talk 2015My name is Sarah and I am diagnosed with depression. I guess the diagnosis didn’t come as a surprise, I’ve always felt, well, kinda sad. I have been on medication now for over a year and sometimes I wonder if I will ever beat this thing.

It makes me angry when people tell me to “cheer up”, or “get over it” yeah how about you try “getting over” diabetes or a broken arm. My illness might not always have physical symptoms and it might be “all in my head” but it doesn’t make it hurt any less.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: There is a place for Liberal Democrats within the trade union movement

On leaving the Labour Party last year (which I have written about here), I was asked if I was going to be leaving my trade union UNISON. I didn’t and no don’t intend to. The question confused me. I was a trade union activist in the Labour Party more than I was ever a Labour Party activist who happened to be in a trade union.

As a trade unionist I see the purpose of my membership is to be supported at work and to have the union collectively bargain on my behalf for better pay, terms and conditions at work. …

Posted in News | Tagged and | 30 Comments

Opinion: Sexist Labour needs All Women Shortlists, the Liberal Democrats can change without them

The Independent reported on Sunday that Nick Clegg 2ould consider imposing all women shortlists for the 2020 general election if the party did not select enough women in winnable seats.

I defected from Labour earlier this year and I want to share my experiences of a party that needs to use all women shortlists to select female candidates for parliament and councils.

Earlier this year, Mark Fergusonrightly pointed out on Labourlist  that no women had been selected in open shortlists since before the general election. It pointed out that when local labour parties had the choice between a man and …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged , and | 47 Comments

A tale of two conferences

What a week it has been from arriving as a fresh faced first timer at Liberal Democrat Conference in Glasgow on Saturday after an epic 7 hour coach journey to finally being home and feeling a lot less sleep deprived.

I’m in a relatively unique position having been able to attend and take part in two different party political conferences. For the last two years, I attended and spoke at Labour Conference. In May of this year, I joined the Liberal Democrats. You can read more about that here.

I thought it might be interesting to talk about the main differences and similarities between both parties’ annual gatherings.

For the Liberal Democrats, Conference is formally opened before moving to wine and the conference rally. For Labour it’s much the same but a day later and then the fringes start. The Liberal Democrats discuss policy, and vote on motions published in advance with an opportunity to amend them should conference wish. In Labour they discuss up to 6 contemporary issues which are submitted by constituency parties. These general topics are voted on and then composited. There are votes at labour conferences, but never any debate or contentiousness – very different from the Liberal Democrats.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 12 Comments
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