Author Archives: The Voice

How to help Jane Dodds win Brecon and Radnorshire

Here is all the information you need to know if you are able to come and help in Brecon and Radnorshire.

There are two HQs – one in the south at Brecon and one in the north at Llandrindod Wells. They are both open every day from 10am until 7pm:

Brecon HQ: 26 High Street, Brecon, LD3 7LE

Llandrindod HQ: Haslemere, Park Crescent, Llandrindod Wells, LD1 6AB

If you can’t come in person you can make calls from home by e-mailing: [email protected]

How to find us:

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Lib Link: Christine Jardine MP on the 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing

Lib Dem MP Christine Jardine has written in the Scotsman of her memories on the first moon landing fifty years ago. She writes,

For many of my parents’ generation, it was the ultimate fulfilment of John F Kennedy’s promise to explore the stars and send a man safely to the moon and back by the end of the decade. That generation had lived through World War II as children, endured the fear and tension of the Cuban missile crisis as young parents and the grief of lost opportunities with the assassinations of the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King.

And she recognises that the science developed in the course of space exploration benefits us all:

Those missions ultimately brought CAT scans, water purification, memory foam, equipment used to cut victims out of vehicles, and so many other things.

But even more importantly, Christine argues that the lunar missions gave people

confirmation that humans have an almost infinite capacity for invention and achievement.

She concludes that

Our planet currently faces a challenge that will demand all the passion, experimental science and technological advance we can find to save it from the damage we have done. Fifty years on, Neil Armstrong’s small step onto the moon should give us the belief that if we have the will, we can.

You can read the full article here.

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WATCH: LBC LIb Dem Leadership Debate

Iain Dale has spent much of the last few weeks going round the country chairing Conservative leadership hustings.

In what must have been a refreshing change, with a much higher quality of candidates, he put Ed and Jo through their paces in an hour long debate last night.

Watch it here.

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Vince Cable: Why I changed my mind on assisted dying

In the final of our three MPs’ speeches in favour of assisted dying, Vince Cable explains what prompted him to change his mind on the issue.

I thank the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles), my right hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) and others for giving us the opportunity to debate this subject. Members have spoken movingly and from experience about their views.​

I am someone whose views have radically changed. Until recently I was a vehement opponent of assisted dying, but I have changed my views and think I should explain why. That change is partly based on an understanding of why I was previously opposed to it, which was due to my own personal experiences. Two of those experiences were relevant, and I think they will resonate with many Members of the House.

One experience concerned my elderly mother who descended, as many do, into confusion and dementia, compounded by mental illness and depression. One week she would say, “Please, please end my life. I am a burden. I want to go”, but a few weeks later she would be enjoying the simple pleasures of life. I could see all too clearly that under a permissive system of assisted dying, people like my late mother would be extremely vulnerable.

My conviction at that time that assisted dying was the wrong route was compounded by my experience with my late wife, who contracted breast cancer and had a very long illness. She eventually died at home with good palliative care, surrounded by a loving family. She was vehemently opposed to assisted dying and wanted to live her life to the full. I guess that I took the view that that was her choice but should also be everybody’s choice.

I came to realise, however, that there are very different situations we need to understand. One thing on my conscience is that in my 20 years as an MP, two constituents came to see me to request help and political support for a campaign in the High Court to be allowed to die through assisted dying and, although I expressed sympathy, as one would expect, I declined to support their campaign. I was very wrong to do so. Both suffered from motor neurone disease, and I think many of us know of such cases. One has surfaced today: a man called Richard Selley in Perth, in Scotland, who is fighting for the right to assisted dying. I think we all know the nature of this condition. Although some people live with it, Professor Hawking being a famous example, in most cases it involves the physical degeneration of all bodily functions combined with absolute clarity of mind and very great suffering. It seems to me that we should consider the position of those living with it and similar conditions.

The argument that is deployed against doing so is that hard cases make bad law. That was quite well summarised by Lord Sumption, who gave the Reith lectures a few years ago, when he said assisted dying should be criminalised but that the criminal law should be broken. That is a somewhat strange way of putting it, but essentially what I think he was saying was that we should keep the law but turn a blind eye to exceptions and treat them compassionately.

I have thought about that argument, but it seems to me that the evidence is very strongly against it for a variety of reasons. However sensitive the Director of Public Prosecutions or the police might be—I am sure they are; the 2015 guidance is very humane—the sheer process of going through a criminal investigation and a caution is deeply traumatic, and probably the most difficult period of any person’s life. It is probably also difficult for the police who have to implement it.

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Christine Jardine: MPs have a free vote on assisted dying. We should not deny choice to those who deserve it

Last week the Commons debated assisted dying. In a moving debate, MPs outlined some heartbreaking situations. Three of our MPs, Norman Lamb, Christine Jardine and Vince Cable, spoke. We’ll be publishing their speeches this weekend.

Christine Jardine outlined one particular irony: MPs have a choice that they don’t extend to those who are in the situation where they need it.

This is undoubtedly a hugely emotive and controversial subject, but I thank the hon. Member for Grantham and Stamford (Nick Boles) and my right hon. Friend the Member for North Norfolk (Norman Lamb) for giving us the opportunity to discuss it. I am convinced that I have not just a right, but a duty to work for changes in the law that will make it possible for people to have the individual right to choose their own time and manner of death. I am talking about people who, otherwise, will face a situation that will soon be very painful and that will also cause a great deal of stress to their family members. I have been lucky: I have not had to go through the sort of experience that we have heard about from other Members of the House.

Two years ago, I had a conversation with my husband about a friend who, we had just heard, had been given a terminal diagnosis. It was January. We said, “This year will be difficult. Christmas will be difficult. We will have to think about how to deal with it, but it will not be easy for him or for his family.” The irony of that conversation has never left me, because neither my husband nor the friend actually lived until Christmas, but the difference was that my husband died very suddenly. Our friend went through a long, painful, lingering death. If there had been a way that he could have been spared that, I would have wanted him to be offered that choice. There is also an irony in the fact that had I had the choice for my husband, I would have chosen the death that he had, rather than the one that our friend had.

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Jo Swinson and Ed Davey speak out on LGBT rights

Jo Swinson and Ed Davey have both spoken out in favour of LGBT rights on London Pride weekend.

In an article for Pink News, Jo stood up for trans rights:

As a cis woman, I can’t pretend to understand the experience of questioning one’s own identity, nor do I face the same potential risks or dangers when I speak up about these issues. But that doesn’t take away my passionate belief that trans rights are human rights. I’m a feminist, and I hate hearing that I’m not allowed to believe both in women’s rights and the rights of trans women. Trans women ARE women.

The Liberal Democrats must continue to lead the campaign for self-identification. As Leader, I would champion trans, non-binary, genderfluid, and self-defined gender identities – making clear that there is no equality or liberty without defending the rights of everyone.

Trans people should be able to legally change their gender without the current medicalised hoops to jump through; their own experience should be enough.

And she touched on the need for mandatory inclusive sex education:

At the same time, we must teach children about LGBT+ matters in schools. This is a key part of building equality and inclusivity into the foundations of our society. Education should help our children negotiate the world and understand the communities they’re a part of. We owe it to them to provide them with the best information we can to live their lives happily, safely, and without discrimination.

I respect everyone’s right to their own religious beliefs, but for me, this cannot extend to our education system treating some people’s lives and identities as if they are less worthy of respect. We must also acknowledge that there are many LGBT+ people in faith groups for whom their sexuality and faith are both central to their identity. They need our support and protection.

Ed called for better representation of LGBT+ people on children’s programmes on the BBC, writing to the Director General:

Dear Lord Hall,

I am writing to urge you to ask BBC officials to conduct a review into equality and diversity in children’s programming.

I think the case for doing so is clear.  The anti-equality protests in Birmingham have put in stark relief the need for young people to be taught about the diversity of families and relationships in our society, in an age-appropriate way.

I think we should be seeing more LGBT+ characters in television, including on some of the most popular shows. The BBC can be a trailblazer in this area, making sure that children at a younger age understand equality and tolerance.

In the U.S., campaign group GLAAD are calling for 10% of series regular characters on primetime scripted broadcast series to be LGBTQ within the next two years. I think this is a target which deserves consideration here at home too.

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How to book your place for the final Liberal Democrat Leadership Hustings

It’s been a pretty gruelling month for Ed Davey and Jo Swinson.

The hustings phase of the leadership campaign comes to an end on Wednesday 10th July.

The event takes place at the National Liberal Club on Whitehall Place at 6:30pm.

All members of the party are welcome to attend, but you need to tell the NLC first.

As well as questioning the candidates, it’s a great opportunity to nose around the NLC, a beautiful building replete with history.

From their official press release:

The final leadership election hustings of the campaign will take place this Wednesday evening at the National Liberal Club.

All members of the party are welcome to attend this event (regardless of whether they are members of the National Liberal Club).

Members are asked to arrive at 6pm to submit questions, the hustings itself will commence at 6.30pm and conclude by 8.30pm.

All members are welcome to attend, but as capacity is limited, members are requested to book in advance by emailing the Club office: [email protected]

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Good luck to everyone for a happy London Pride 2019 today!


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Plaid Cymru stand aside for Lib Dem Jane Dodds in Brecon and Radnorshire

Plaid Cymru have announced that they will not be fielding a candidate in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-electiion.

From the BBC

Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable told the BBC the partnership between the two parties was “a very welcome development”, and it made sense that “the two strongest Remain parties in Wales are going to work together”.

Adam Price, the leader of Plaid Cymru, said it was a “major step”, but it was “the right thing to do”.

He added: “We are facing one of the most significant decisions, as to whether we are going to be seemingly yanked out of the European Union even without a deal.

“Under those circumstances it is in Wales’s interest and our common interest to work together and coalesce the support for the Remain side in Wales.”

Both leaders hinted this could be the start of further co-operation between the parties, but neither were willing to be specific.

“There is no doubt that the co-operation that this is generating could well lead to wider measures,” Sir Vince said.

Candidate, and Welsh LIb Dem leader Jane Dodds welcomed the move:

Vince told The Times (£) that victory would tell the new Conservative Prime Minister that the “Conservative Party is in desperate trouble.”

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Ed’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Ed and Jo spent a lot of the day togeher.

Here they are at Sky News

And then together at Channel 4 News:

And it was Ed’s turn to have a Facebook Live with Chuka:

Visiting the Pride pop up shop

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Jo’s Days – 1-2 July 2019

Yesterday was the all important voting day. As ballots were being dispatched, Jo and Ed were on Sky News.

And on to Channel 4

And an hour with Iain Dale…..

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Ed’s Weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of Ed’s campaign was as hectic as the previous month.

Talking to Nick Robinson on the BBC Political Thinking podcast.

Backing Hong Kong citizens:

Thanking forces on their day

And on to that Stratford hustings:

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Jo’s weekend – 29-30 June 2019

The final weekend of the campaign saw a massive push for votes by both leadership candidates.

But for Jo, Saturday was a special day. Her son Gabriel’s first birthday.  In a Twitter thread, she described the events of 29 June 2018.

But before any birthday cake could be consumed, it was the final hustings of the campaign  at ALDC’s Kickstart event in Stratford-upon-Avon.

An interesting graphic from the Sunday People for an article by Jo on Boris:

There’s plenty of evidence of Boris Johnson’s character in the public domain already.

We know he’s a liar. He’s been sacked for it twice – once by a newspaper and then by Michael Howard.

And that was long before he toured the country with a big fat lie emblazoned on the side of his bus.

We know he has no hesitation using hurtful, divisive language – calling black people picaninnies with water melon smiles or Muslim women letterboxes.

We know that he is irresponsible.

As Foreign Secretary his blunders were used as evidence by Iran against Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

As London Mayor, he wasted public money on a series of vanity projects like a Garden Bridge to Nowhere and an airport in the Thames Estuary that never took off.

And she appeared on Ridge on Sunday:

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Jo’s Day – 28 June 2019

Friday started with an endorsement for Jo (£) from the Independent:

Sir Ed trumpets his greater experience, which would serve the party well in such troubled times for the country. But we think Ms Swinson’s instincts on the critical issue of relations with other parties make her the right choice for Lib Dem members.

And a message on the 50th Anniversary of the Stonewall Riots

The G20 needs to fix the world’s broken social contract, argued Jo in a piece for Wired:

We need a hopeful vision for the future, powered by a strong, liberal voice that understands that the new economy can neither be left to its own devices or be overly-managed by the state. Rather, it must be harnessed for the benefit of everyone. And it must take the public with us, building trust by placing liberal values of privacy, accountability, and transparency at its core.

The UK can and must be at the forefront of this change, leading the G20 and the world in creating an ethical tech-led economy centred on social well-being and environmental sustainability. That means overhauling how our society works, valuing the strengths of empathy, passion, and resilience that make us human, while embracing technology as an indispensable ally in meeting our biggest challenges.

In fairness to Ed, we do have to put a massive health warning before the next item. YouGov did a poll to determine the outcome of the next election around various scenarios of potential Labour Party policies.

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Ed’s Day – 28 June 2019

Our Netflix style binge through the last week of the leadership campaign before the ballots come out tomorrow nears its conclusion.

For Ed, Friday started with a reflection on the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots.

Challenging Putin on the end of liberalism

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Jo’s Day – 27 June 2019

First of all, answering the major question of the day:

And on to the Victoria Derbyshire BBC live tv hustings

And, later on, the Gatwick hustings:

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Ed’s Day – 27 June 2019

Victoria Derbyshire’s live tv hustings has been covered here, but here’s Ed’s take.

Here’s his opening pitch.

And talking again about climate change:

Slamming Boris on immigration:

Immigration has been a great thing for our country. But politicians like Johnson have vilified those coming to help build and contribute to our great country for their own political gain in the Brexit debate.

Yet businesses across the country are already having to deal with acute shortages of staff thanks to the Brexit uncertainty, and this proposal from our potential next PM does nothing to solve that. If implemented, an Australian-style visa cap would only make it worse.

Johnson is only pandering to the likes of Farage, who has long pushed for this kind of unfair system. Nigel Farage ought to be the last person a potential Prime Minister should be looking to for inspiration on how to run a fair and effective immigration system.

Then off to the Gatwick hustings;

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Chuka’s first Lib Dem canvassing session

The other night, Chuka Umunna had his first proper canvassing session with the Lib Dems.

He seems really happy and relaxed with the choice he has made to join us.

 

A word about Helen. Until a couple of weeks ago, she was the PPC for Streatham. And then suddenly she finds that there is a Lib Dem MP. She has shown such generosity of spirit in welcoming Chuka and we should recognise that.

So Chuka definitely has promise. He can hold a diamond the right way up, he can deliver leaflets with a bar chart and he seems to have got the hang of Minivan very quickly indeed.

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Jo’s Day – 26 June 2019

On Wednesday, the world was incredulously amused at Boris’s revelation that he liked to make model buses.

Jo got it, though:

Jo was also at the Climate Lobby

Onto the Lobby Hustings

And then a Facebook Live with our newest MP, Chuka Umunna.

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Ed’s Day – 26 June 2019

Wednesday saw a mass lobby of Parliament on the climate emergency. Ed was there:

Then thee was a hustings with Parliament’s journalists:

He elaborated on his Government of National Unity to stop Brexit idea as Politics Home reported:

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Jo’s Day – 25 June 2019

Continuing our catch-up for the two leadership candidates.

On Tuesday, Jo’s interview with our former editors Mark Pack and Stephen Tall came out.

And sharing photos of constituency visits.

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Ed’s Day – 25 June 2019

Our campaign diaries have fallen a bit by the wayside this week due to life and illness getting in the way. But we decided to catch up now so we have a full record of the campaign and so that you can binge watch, Netflix style, in the couple of days before the ballot papers arrive.

So, let’s go back to Tuesday.

Boris and Jeremy are getting the Iain Dale treatment at Conservative hustings around the country. He interviewed Ed on his radio show on Tuesday night.

Watch the whole thing here:

Earlier, he had been working cross party to challenge the impact of privatising the visa application process was having on people, forcing them to travel long distances to make applications.

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Victoria Derbyshire Lib Dem Leadership hustings open thread

Stay with us as Jo and Ed take part in a live head to head tv debate on BBC2 and BBC News Channel in a few minutes. This is particularly important as ballot papers are despatched tomorrow.

The BBC have actually been promoting this well, too.

The pair will take questions by a studio audience comprised of Lib Dem members and voters.

And we’re off.

(UPDATE: Watch the whole thing here.

The budget doesn’t seem to have stretched to stools, thankfully.

First up – each gets a minute’s pitch

Jo says she says country is crying out for a liberal movement to stand up against the narrow nationalism Farage and Johnson. Our country deserves better, a vision of hope. We need to build an economy that puts people and planet first.

Ed says he wants to end Brexit quickly by a people’s vote. If we stay we’ll have a lot of money to tackle problems like inequality and building public services. He says that we need to green our economy and that his experience and vision are what we need. He reveals that he turned down the chance to be “double oh davey”. He chose to work for Paddy Ashdown rather than MI6.

Derbyshire challenges them that there is no time for a People’s Vote. It can’t be done by October 31st.

Jo Swinson says that we will get an extension from the EU for a People’s Vote. The prospect of a No Deal exit focuses the mind of MPs who have not yet backed a people’s vote.

Ed Davey says that MPs need to grab the order paper to require a vote by MPs before we leave.

He describes the nuclear option of a vote of no confidence in the government which could lead to a general election. He would prefer a government of national unity headed by a backbench Labour MP which will pass legislation for a People’s Vote.

Ex Lib Dem Member Luke to join Renew asks what they would do to work on a Remain Alliance.

Jo says we should do whatever it takes to stop Brexit as the threat to our country is so huge. Lib Dems are biggest, most consistent remain party. In a general election, we need to be smarter about working together. In Peterborough all of the practicalities were put in place for a Remain candidate before he pulled out at the last minute. She says that local members are important.

Ed says he agrees with Jo. We have to get the Remain vote together in a general election. He advocates tactical voting as in 1997 and 2001. He says he’d be up for going further  if we are faced by the horror of a Leave alliance between Farage and Johnson. Lib Dems have been least tribal – standing down for Caroline Lucas.

Torrin Wilkins from Liberal Leave (Victoria Derbyshire observes this must be a lonely life) says if we end up with a Norway style deal after another referendum, would Lib Dems deliver that.

Jo says People’s Vote needs to have a specific Brexit on the ballot paper. In 2016, Brexit meant whatever you want it to say.

She says that now we know what Brexit means, people will be able to vote on that specific proposal.

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Two important Lib Dem leadership debates

Ballot papers in the leadership election will land in people’s letterboxes and inboxes from 1st July.

The 105,000 Lib Dem members will have two opportunities before then to see the two candidates, Ed Davey and Jo Swinson, go head to head on live tv. The first is on Victoria Derbyshire at 10 am on Thursday 27th July. The second is on Adam Boulton’s All out Politics on Sky at 9am on Monday 1st July.

We’ll catch up with Ed and Jo properly tomorrow but today has seen the first direct conflict of the leadership campaign.

In an article in the Times (£) this morning, Ed would have wanted the discussion to be around his plan to stop Brexit. People actually picked up on a quite violent turn of phrase:

So I hereby float the idea of a Remain alliance to decapitate that blond head in Uxbridge and South Ruislip if Johnson calls a snap election to deliver Brexit.

Quite obviously not meant literally, but still more violent than many people felt comfortable with.

Jo was uncomfortable with the way Ed expressed the view of Boris being a total disaster:

The language we use is important. We have to be able to have robust debate in our politics without resorting to graphic, violent imagery. We have to rediscover the ability to disagree well with each other.

This is not language I would use, and in the current climate I don’t think we should speak in those terms.

Boris will be a disaster for this country, but we can make that case without resorting to violent language.

Later in the day, Ed recognised that a less violent metaphor would have been more appropriate:

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Winchester Liberal Democrats choose Paula Ferguson to be their PPC for Winchester & Chandler’s Ford

The Liberal Democrats are delighted to announce that local resident Paula Ferguson has been selected as their Parliamentary candidate for the Winchester & Chandler’s Ford Constituency.

Paula has lived in Winchester with her family for twenty years.

She currently works as a psychologist in education helping children who need support. Earlier in her career, she worked in banking and management consultancy.

She has always been actively involved in the local community and has set up a number of community groups.

In May she was elected to Winchester City Council for St Bartholomew Ward with 61% …

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Ed’s Day – 24 June 2019

Ed started the week by having a good go at Boris on Politics LIve

And then on to the New Statesman hustings tonight.

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Jo’s Day – 24 June 2019

Monday started with Bollocks to Boris as well as Brexit- an article in The Times (£)

How much hardship will now be endured to satisfy Boris Johnson’s ego? How many families will find life harder for the sake of his ambition? How many patients will wait, propped up on plastic chairs in hospital corridors, for that £350 million a week he promised on the side of a bus?

One thing is for certain, Boris doesn’t care. Consequences are for other people. Just ask Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe.

And what do the Lib Dems offer?

Britain needs leaders who are up front and honest about the choices facing our country. I make no apology for wanting to stop Brexit — whatever version we end up getting will be a national disaster. And I’m not afraid to make that case to the British people.

The Liberal Democrats were the first to call for a people’s vote on the final Brexit deal and I am proud to have been the party’s lead in that campaign, working alongside people of all parties and none in pursuit of a common goal. The European elections have now proved that we are UK’s biggest and strongest party of Remain.

And tonight, she and Ed took part in the New Statesman hustings.

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Jo’s Weekend – 21-23 June 2019

Jo’s interview with the New European came out:

I ask Jo Swinson why she should lead the Liberal Democrats and she takes a deep breath and manages to get it out in all of three sentences. “I’m the best person to lead the movement because I can reach out to new voters, through traditional broadcast media, where I have a high profile, and through social media, where I have a high following.

I also think I can reach out across the generations and across the country. I have cross-party relationships and a non-tribal style, which I think is exactly what we need at the moment.”

And she talks about the need for a more diverse country:

I recognise that ours is still a racist country. We have not dealt with those issues as much as we would have liked to, even if there has been progress in some areas. I would hope that one day soon we could have a black leader of a political party.

Ours should be a country where every individual has an opportunity to thrive. That is not currently the case – partly on the basis of race, gender, disability, socio-economic background, sexual orientation or whatever – and, as it is, we are probably in line for another Etonian prime minister. Quite frankly, a large number of people are still not achieving their potential in our country, and, as a liberal, I am not happy with that and want to change it.

In Wales, she met Welsh Leader and Brecon and Radnorshire by-election candidate Jane Dodds.

 

And in Cornwall she was helping campaign for fairer NHS funding for the county:

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Ed’s weekend – 21-23 June 2019

We last left Ed about to go on Question Time on Thursday night.  You can, and should, watch the whole thing here. He answered very effectively questions about Boris (which sparked his lengthy and brilliant Twitter rant of many of the worst things Boris has done), Brexit and knife crime and the importance of winning the arguments on vaccinating children.

On Friday, it was time for his Politics Home interview:

He talked about his idea for a government of national unity:

Davey is clear he would like to be Prime Minister. However, in the current Brexit deadlock, he is also advocating a Government of National Unity.

“I think there are just about enough MPs from a plethora of parties who are so alarmed at a no deal prospect, who are so alarmed at the way our politics has been polluted by these hard-right Brexiteers, that they will come together. It will not be easy, but I could see a backbench Labour MP, I wouldn’t name them but you can guess who they might be, being given support from enough people from enough parties that we could send a message to the Palace that if they send for that member of Parliament they will be able to command a majority of the House of Commons.”

He says that this “Government of National Unity” would not be a coalition. “It would be a temporary phenomenon in order to stop no-deal. In order pass the paving legislation for a people’s vote and then be a caretaker government to oversee the process until that vote happened.”

He talks about the Lib Dems being the party of business:

“I’m pro-competition. I’m pro-entrepreneur. I’m pro-free trade. It is in our liberal economic agenda, but we do not think markets are there to tell us what to do, we’re there, through democratic means, to shape those markets.”

Davey says there are lots of examples of this in action, but “the one I’m focussing on is climate change”. “It is absolutely outrageous that people in our country are allowed to not take account of climate change risks in their decisions. We are facing a climate emergency.”

The former Environment Secretary wants to make sure “all these institutions and corporates have to disclose both their investments in fossil fuels”.

He wrote a blistering article in the Independent about how the Tories have learned nothing from their Windrush Scandal failure:
A year on from the first Windrush Day, the hostile environment is as hostile as ever.

These policies, which turn teachers, doctors, police officers and bank clerks into border guards, are exactly the policies that led members of the Windrush generation to be deprived their rights, detained and even deported. The Windrush scandal should have been the end of them. And yet, for all the Conservatives’ apologising and hand-wringing, they remain in force

Most outrageous is the Conservatives’ refusal to scrap their “right to rent” law. This requires landlords to check the immigration status of tenants or prospective tenants, with the threat of a criminal conviction if they rent to someone they shouldn’t.

When the Conservatives first tried to introduce this law in 2014, the Liberal Democrats in government blocked it. We argued that making landlords criminally responsible for immigration enforcement would lead to racial discrimination.

He highlighted the story of the man who had to sleep in a shed because he had no way of proving he had the right to stay here.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has shown clearly, through a “mystery shopper” exercise, that the Liberal Democrats’ fears were well-founded. On the basis of that and other supporting evidence, the High Court ruled in March that the Conservatives’ “right to rent” policy breaches fundamental human rights because it essentially forces private landlords to discriminate against prospective tenants who are Bame or who don’t have a British passport.

What would we do about it?

That’s why the Liberal Democrats would take responsibility for immigration away from the Home Office altogether.

The Departments for Business, Education and International Development should make policy on work permits, student visas and asylum respectively. And we would set up a new, arms-length, non-political agency to take over the actual processing of visa and asylum applications, with the training and resources to process applications quickly, decide cases fairly, and get them right the first time.

He also wrote for the Huffington Post about why we need a Boris-busting Remain Alliance:

Anyone who hopes Johnson won’t commit a Brexit calamity is basing that on his dishonesty. And he is indeed capable of yanking up the handbrake on the Brexit bus and committing a massive, shameless u-turn. But we cannot rely on him for that or indeed anything else.

Which is why a Remain Alliance is needed in Parliament, anchored around the Liberal Democrats – the only major national party to call for a People’s Vote from the get go and now with the democratic legitimacy of having beaten every other party in Parliament in last month’s European elections.

This Remain Alliance must first stop a no-deal Brexit. From a Humble Address to Her Majesty to passing a new law requiring a vote of MPs before the UK could leave the EU, we must examine every option to stop Boris. And we must be ready to use Parliament’s ultimate weapon – a vote of no confidence in a Johnson government.

There were hustings this weekend in Wales – good coincidence on the day that we find out that there’s going to be a by-election in a seat that we used to hold following the recall of the MP who was convicted of submitting a fraudulent invoice.

 

And he cleaned the beach in Bude ahead of the Cornwall hustings:

Posted in Leadership Election and News | Tagged , and | Leave a comment

Jane Dodds: Choose a better future for Brecon and Radnorshire with the Lib Dems

Welsh Lib Dem Leader Jane Dodds will be the candidate in a by-election in the seat of Brecon and Radnosrhire after the recall petition for former Conservative MP Chris Davies received almost double the required number of signatures. The by-election date has not yet been announced but it may well be before the end of July.

Thousands of residents across Brecon and Radnorshire have taken the chance to demand better than a Westminster politics that fails to take their concerns seriously.

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 46 Comments
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  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Jul - 4:27pm
    Michael BG, Why do you ask such extremely loaded questions? David and John are talking about local government by-elections where no leaflets and little effort...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 21st Jul - 4:13pm
    Laurence Cox, Bearing in mind that equality is one of our three fundamental values, I can't understand why you are suggesting a version of local...
  • User AvatarMichael BG 21st Jul - 3:59pm
    John Marriott, I am surprised that in North Kestevan it was possible to get someone elected for us without putting out any leaflets. In 1994...
  • User AvatarPaul Barker 21st Jul - 3:55pm
    Some people have the timing the wrong way round, our date of the 23rd was announced Months ago, The Tories then announced that there's would...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 21st Jul - 3:53pm
    @Michael 1 Shame on me? When you fail to get even the number of votes to match the signatures on your nomination papers, that’s humiliation...
  • User AvatarMick Taylor 21st Jul - 3:30pm
    The ballot closes at 1pm. I imagine the results will be declared by early evening. There’s only 2 candidates! @DaveBeckett do you seriously believe that...
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