Author Archives: The Voice

Campbell: Every time Trump opens his mouth, the world becomes a less safe place

Back in the day when he was leader, he was referred to as Ming. Now he’s in the Lords and newly appointed Defence Spokesperson, he’s back to being Menzies.

Anyway, our new Defence spokesperson had this to say about Donald Trump’s latest destabilising shenanigans over Iran:

This is yet another example of Trump’s boneheaded belligerence.

Not content with senseless responses to every provocation of Kim Jong Un, he is determinedly undermining a treaty which has proved to be an important influence on nuclear non-proliferation.

Every time Trump opens his mouth, the world becomes a less safe place.

Surely, by implication, every time he reaches for …

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Lib Link: Nick Clegg – You can stop Brexit by joining the Labour party – or even the Tories


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Writing in the Observer, Nick Clegg argues that the pro-Brexit agenda is being pushed by a moneyed elite, at the disadvantage of “the little people” they pretend to support. He goes on to say:

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Willie Rennie to hold talks with SNP over support for Brexit deal referendum

The quest to build a case for an “exit from Brexit” referendum continues. In his speech to the Bournemouth Conference, Willie Rennie said he would be trying to work with the SNP to build support for the Scottish Liberal Democrats’ campaign for an “exit from Brexit” referendum.

He wrote to the First Minister and she has agreed that this merits discussion.

Willie will now meet the Scottish Government Minister Mike Russell for talks on this issue. He welcomed this invitation:

This is a welcome step forward from the Scottish Government and shows that there is support from across the political spectrum for a clear approach to Brexit that gives the British people a final say.

Both Nicola Sturgeon and Mike Russell have shown support for our campaign to give the public the final say but this can only be achieved if parties are willing to work together to protect the UK’s relationship with the EU. I know that there are colleagues across all UK parties who support this position and I urge them to join this movement and build the momentum further.

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Christine Jardine wants your WASPI stories

We know that women born in the 1950s are facing real struggles because of a steep rise in the age at which they become entitled to their state pension. They were not properly informed of decisions taken years ago and so have not had time to prepare.

If we think that this is unfair, the most important thing that we can do is to gather evidence about the real impact of this on women’s lives.

Women are more likely to be in lower paid jobs and so will have less entitlement to occupational pensions. This means that many women will find themselves suffering poverty and hardship as they approach retirement.

One of the first things that Lib Dem MP for Edinburgh West Christine Jardine did in Parliament was to join the All Party Parliamentary Group on State Pension Inequality. She is the co-sponsor of a Bill aimed at reviewing the impact on women.

She wants to find women to tell their stories about what the delay in their entitlement means to them.

I want to make sure that we have as much evidence as possible of just how much hardship has been caused by the way these changes were made.

It’s heartbreaking to hear what women who have worked all their lives and planned for their retirement have been put through simply because they weren’t warned about what was about to happen.

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Obituary for Tor Foster

Sad news, reported in the Bath Chronicle, that Tor Foster, married for almost half a century to Liberal Democrat peer and former Bath MP Don Foster, died last week.

From their obituary:

Tor supported Don ceaselessly in his political career. Intelligent, articulate, wise and warm she was universally admired, although always happier to take a back seat in public life.

When they moved to Bath in 1992, after Don had unseated the sitting MP, Chris Patten, Tor took great pleasure in creating a fine home in Northend. Myrtle Cottage became a haven for family, friends and political colleagues alike. An excellent cook – insisting on an aga, wherever they lived – many will recall long convivial lunches and suppers alive with discussion and debate. Often challenging and thought provoking, Tor had her own opinions and was never afraid to challenge Don, or anyone else, but always in a warm and inclusive manner.

As Don’s career progressed, and their children left home (Stuart, their son, to settle in Australia), Tor’s career in adult education also developed. She was a lecturer in education at both the University of the West of England (UWE) and latterly at Bath Spa University, and many tributes have been paid by former students, particularly citing her kindness and her sense of humour – and her insistence on good grammar.

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Lib Dems react to Theresa May’s Florence speech

Vince said that it was no wonder the Brexiteers were terrified of giving the people a say on the deal:

Both the Conservatives and Labour have now essentially converged on the same position, which is to kick the can down the road and simply delay the economic pain caused by an extreme Brexit.

Neither are prepared to fight to keep Britain in the single market and customs union or to offer people a chance to exit from Brexit

Voters were promised £350m a week for the NHS, instead Theresa May is admitting the UK will have to pay a hefty Brexit bill worth billions of pounds.

No wonder the Brexiteers are terrified of giving the British people the final say through a referendum on the facts.

Willie Rennie said the “delinquent’ May was trashing our relationship with Europe.

Theresa May is kicking the can down the road. Sixteen months on from the Brexit referendum this delinquent Prime Minister is trashing our relationship with Europe.

She seems incapable of deciding what kind of relationship she wants with Europe and that prolonged uncertainty is causing economic damage.

We were promised Brexit would be an easy negotiation and that £350 million each week would be invested in the NHS. Neither are true.

This makes the compelling case for a Brexit deal referendum even stronger.

Yesterday, the Lib Dems laid out seven tests for Theresa May’s speech. Tom Brake said that only one of them was even slightly met. 

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In full: Kirsty Williams’ speech to Conference

The Lib Dems’ only Cabinet Minister, Kirsty William, Cabinet Secretary for Education in Wales, addressed Conference on Sunday. Here is her speech in full.

Introduction

I would like to open this speech with a thank-you to Tim Farron for his leadership over what, unquestionably, has been the toughest period this party has ever faced.

At our lowest point, Tim stepped up to the plate, helping reverse our fortunes.

In an unexpected election, Tim nearly doubled the number of seats we held in Parliament, and took our membership to over 100,000. A record.

As I look across the room and see plenty of new faces, Tim can rightly be proud of the liberal vision that he put forward that attracted so many new people to our party.

I would also like to thank Mark Williams. Wales has lost a tremendous MP, and a strong advocate for radical Welsh Liberalism.

Mark worked tirelessly for the communities of Ceredigion, dealing with thousands of pieces of casework, leading major campaigns such as changing the legal definition of child neglect, and continuously being a strong voice for rural Wales.

Mark, we thank you.

Now, conference, despite our solid performance in the General Election, it is clear that many shifted back to the old way of doing things: red versus blue. Left versus right.

Increasingly, people are feeling powerless, neglected, excluded.

Some look to exploit those fears. Exploit them with easy answers. Tell them it’ll all be ok if we just turn back the clock.

Sometimes back to the 1950s, sometimes 1970s… sometimes the 1670s if you’re Mr Rees-Mogg.

But liberal values haven’t gone away. The populist voices have just got louder. Shouting down all that disagree.

Too often, especially in recent years, the louder voice has won the day.

Well here’s an idea – isn’t it time the liberal voice was heard again?

There are people across Britain looking for reasons to support us.

We must provide the leadership Britain needs, standing up for what is right.

It’s our turn to be loud.

Building a coalition that fights for fairness. Fights for reason. Fights for tolerance.

Conference, we must fight to win today’s arguments – so that we can win for tomorrow.

Education

It’s 75 years since William Beveridge published his ground-breaking report.

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