Category Archives: Conference

Liberal Democrat Voice at Conference

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What’s on at Conference today? The debates and speeches

Here’s your rundown of what’s on in the hall today.

You can watch it all on the Autumn Conference Live Stream here and follow the #ldconf tag on Twitter. Keep an eye on the Liberal Democrat Facebook page, too, for some real treats.

09:00-09:10 Report, Federal Appeals Panel
09:10-10:00 Report, Parliamentary Parties – your chance to question MPs, our MEP and Lords about their activities
10:00-10:45 Policy Motion: Armed Forces personnel – Recruitment, retention and welfare
10:45-12:30 Policy Motion on Europe after Conference voted overwhelmingly (377-97) to suspend standing orders to do so. Vince pretty much made his speech in favour of the amendment at the rally last night.
12:30-12:50 Speech: Jo Swinson MP

12:50-14:10 Lunch

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What’s on at Conference today? The debates and speeches

09.00–09.05 Opening of Conference by Baroness Brinton
09:05-09:15 Report: Federal Conference Committee – the one you need to be in to vote for the suspension of standing orders to discuss the Europe motion
09:15-09:25 Report: federal Policy Committee
09.25–10.10 Policy motion: Learning to Communicate in English
10.10–11.40 Consultative session: Party Strategy Consultation
11.40–12.30 Policy motion: The Paris Agreement and uK Climate Change Policy
12.30–12.50 Speech by Layla Moran MP

12.50–14.10 Lunch

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No silver bullet for our Lib Dem doldrums

While picking over the bones of our, what could charitably be called, ‘middling’, general election campaign, many Lib Dems have called on the party to develop a new identity of some kind. A single issue that we can define ourselves with. I respectfully think that such an approach is unlikely to lead to the electoral promised-land that some have hoped for.

I am yet to be convinced that there is such an issue, but even assuming one exists that the public likes, there is an underlying paucity at heart of the party in terms of councillors, vote share, seats and public trust. A new identity may help to address some of these, but realistically, much of our resurrection is only going to be based upon time, rebuilding our local base and effort.

We have constructed our parliamentary success historically upon the bedrock of strong and local campaigns.  Boiling down from national context to seat-by-seat contests, often with victories instigated at council level and then translated upwards. Not only did it help to breach out credibility gap with the public (the idea that we couldn’t win somewhere), but it also compensated for our relative lack of party profile and money, as compared to Labour and the Conservatives. 

Also posted in Op-eds | 53 Comments

Reaching out to the ‘Left Behind’: what policies should we put first?

The pitch which the Leave campaign successfully made to the poorest 10% of UK citizens in last June’s EU Referendum was that their problems of low pay, insecure jobs and waiting lists for affordable housing were all due to competition from immigrants, and would be eased by leaving the EU. The budget, with little on social housing and less on funds for schools or other public services in deprived areas, has made their situation worse, rather than better. Labour has been hesitating about how far to buy into their grievances about immigrants. How should Liberal Democrats respond …

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Join @timfarron for Euro campaign photos at conference

I’m really proud to be the Liberal Democrats’ Brexit Spokesman for the South East.  Working with Nick Clegg, our national Brexit spokesman, to hold the government to account and fight for the true national interest could not be more important.

One of the most successfully ways to communicate a message is visually. Pictures speak loudly.

I would like to mention two opportunities, if you are coming to party conference this weekend, to join photos that you can use at a local level.

First, we know that hard Brexit is putting our future under the axe. No-one voted for the Brexit axe to fall on family …

Also posted in Europe / International, Europe Referendum and Events | Leave a comment

Liberal Democrat spring conference agenda published

The agenda for the Liberal Democrat spring conference in York 17-19th March is now available here.

We already knew the topics to be covered from Zoe O’Connell’s report three weeks ago, but this is the first chance for most members of the party to see the full texts to be debated and consider proposing amendments.

Here’s my rapid summary of some key points (and I have decoded some of the titles):

F4 Sex work Decriminalise sex work as the best way to reduce harm from it and to …

11 Comments

Homelessness in 2016 – a fringe event in Brighton and how you can help

Homelessness FringeFollowing Saturday’s successful motion on tackling homelessness, London Liberal Democrats hosted a fringe event on homelessness in 2016. Despite being up against both Tim Farron and Nick Clegg fringes, the room was packed and it was standing room only at the back!
Alice Ashcroft from Crisis kicked off the debate by outline what is happening in Parliament, particularly focusing on the Homelessness Reduction Bill, more details of which are below. Councillor Jayne McCoy then outlined the problems local government faces when dealing with homelessness especially when facing budget cuts from the Government.
Simon Grainge then described the work of Emmaus which has 28 communities across the UK housing over 750 people. Emmaus believes overcoming homelessness means more than a roof over your head. That’s why Emmaus supports people to work their way out of homelessness, providing meaningful work as well a stable home for as long as someone needs it. Emmaus also helps the state and society as for every £1 spent with Emmaus, there is an £11 return on investment, with social, environmental and economic benefits.
Also posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 2 Comments
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