Author Archives: Shaun Ennis

The Shirley Williams Lectures

It is such an exciting time for the new Cheadle-based fundraising project, The Shirley Williams Lectures. In the absence of in-person conferences and party events, the SWL club has offered party members and other liberal-minded people across the country a way to connect – with the speakers, with other progressive campaigners and with the ideas.

Next up on the programme of speakers is former Leader of the Liberal Democrats Sir Nick Clegg. As Vice-President of Facebook since 2018, Nick is well placed to tackle this month’s lecture entitled ‘The End of Global Internet’. Social media and the internet have played an …

Posted in Events and News | Tagged | 5 Comments

Police in schools will disproportionately inhibit BAME and LGBTQ pupils

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‘Black Lives Matter’ is an ingenious piece of political messaging because it hits on something so emphatically undeniable that to try to alter or contradict it is to reveal profound ignorance. A powerful and undeniable phrase that shines an ultraviolet light on some of our society’s most uncomfortable truths, privileges and injustices.

As the recent protests and social media campaigns have shown, there are lots of ways that all of us can help but I want to highlight one campaign that should strike a chord with anyone of a liberal persuasion and that is the campaign against school-based police officers.

For context I strongly urge Liberal Democrat colleagues across the country – and especially in the North West of England – to follow Kids of Colour and Northern Police Monitoring Project on social media. The two organisations have set up the ‘No Police In Schools’ campaign in response to the proposed roll out of school-based officers (SBPOs) by Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham.

Burnham claims the officers will help tackle violent crime amongst young people but, in reality, his proposal will change schools from places of support and safety, to places of punitive social control with young people of colour and those who are LGBTQ disproportionately inhibited as a result. Aside from the distinct absence of any meaningful consultation with students, parents, teachers or community groups there is also a distinct lack of evidence that school-based policing leads to a reduction in violent crime amongst young people. According to the British Medical Journal, the hours between which under 16s are at the highest risk from violent crime are 4pm – 6pm, so an approach that places an officer inside a school during school hours is unlikely to be a deterrent.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 7 Comments

Challenging the narrative around immigration

It’s a referendum about Britain’s future, at the risk of being decided by the prejudices of past generations. Both Labour and the Conservatives are divided, facts are manipulated to suit the needs of the day and the voices of the young are generally being drowned out by those of the old.

The outlook is bleak for young and first time voters, but more than anything else related to the EU referendum I am disappointed by the amount of fearmongering and negativity that has dominated the ‘Brexit’ campaign.

Financially speaking, Boris & Gove don’t have much left to stand on. Reasonable discourse and sensible debate have been thrown to the wind as the Brexit economic argument collapses under the weight of its own incoherence. Now, in tried and tested fashion, those politicians who would have us withdraw from the EU are turning to the politics of fear and division. The anti-immigration rhetoric has been stamped in bold all over this referendum for the world to see, almost at the cost of any other pro-Brexit sentiment. Should we, as a nation, decide to leave the European Union on June 23rd, the message that decision will send to the continent and to the world will not be one of national pride of reclamation of sovereignty it will be one of collective xenophobia and isolationism.

We are surely better than this. That’s why, when Brexit point the finger at foreigners we have to speak out and challenge the narrative that we are somehow not masters of our own fate.

Posted in News | Tagged and | 14 Comments
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