Category Archives: LibLink

For highlighting articles by Lib Dems that have appeared elsewhere in the media.

LibLink: Jo Swinson on “Sexual harassment: a chance for change”

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Jo Swinson has published an article on Medium titled “Sexual harassment: a chance for change“. She writes:

Many people have been shocked by recent revelations about the extent of sexual harassment in politics. Sadly to many of us it does not come as a shock, but we have welcomed the focus on a persistent problem that has too often been trivialised or ignored. Some sections of the media have — without any sense of irony — provided illustrative answers to the endless questions about why victims hesitate to come forward to tell their story. While it is depressing still to be having these conversations in 2017, it is also an opportunity — let’s welcome this scrutiny and turn it into a positive force for change.

A cross-party working group in Parliament to create an independent grievance procedure and provide better advice and support for those who experience bullying and harassment met for the first time this week. As the Liberal Democrat MP on that group, I am determined that the outcome should be sufficiently broad to protect people in constituencies and in Parliament, as well as ordinary members of the public.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: MPs deserve a vote on the final Brexit plan not a vague sketch

Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column casts a depressing eye over the debate over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

First of all, he looks at the ridiculous date of exit issue:

Putting the Brexit date – March 29th 2019 – into legislation is a particularly specious gesture. It may act as catnip to the increasingly agitated Brexiteers, but to our European partners the sight of the British government shutting down the possibility of extending the Brexit talks must look absurd. As they know, and as I do from my time working in the EU, deadlines can be, and are, frequently missed. And the suggestion from the Government that if MPs have the temerity to reject the Brexit deal they will be responsible for the chaos of no deal is as thuggish as it is misleading – if MPs were to reject a bad deal, the EU would pause the Article 50 timetable rather than push us over the edge of the Brexit cliff.

The whole idea of a meaningful vote on a deal is also ridiculous as we won’t have a deal about our future relationship with the EU before we formally leave. As Nick puts it:

So there is now a high likelihood that MPs will be asked to give their consent to Britain’s departure from the EU before knowing the detail of our future relationship with the EU. It will be like buying a house on the basis of a few grainy photos from a dodgy estate agent who won’t allow you to visit the inside. ‘Members of Parliament must hold firm and reject the government’s tactics’ On a recent trip to Brussels, it was made quite clear to me that the two negotiating teams are aiming for no more than a “heads of agreement” deal by the time Britain reaches its Article 50 deadline. This means that David Davis will return with little more than an outline of detail-free pledges on areas like security and combating terrorism, and a vague promise to strike a Canada-style free trade agreement

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London could be the green finance capital of the world

Liberal Democrat leader Sir Vince Cable has been writing about his green vision for finance, with London at the centre.

This is a welcome this initiative. The more we can green all aspects of our policy, the better. We have a good record from setting up the Green Investment Bank in coalition, and funding renewables. Vince begins,

The prospect of Brexit threatens to cause serious damage to the UK’s financial services industry.

Paris, Frankfurt, Dublin and even Luxembourg are circling like hungry jackals waiting to pick off the weakest members of the herd.

London

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LibLink: William Wallace highlights the roles of others in World War II

In yesterday’s Independent, William Wallace took the opportunity to remind Conservatives that Remembrance Sunday is not just about the British repelling our enemies in two world wars, it’s about Commonwealth troops, about those from Occupied Europe who fought under British colours, and those who supported us with troops, weapons and other fighting equipment.

He notes how this is part of a pattern of Conservative thinking, downplaying our interdependence;

Conservative ministers have determinedly resisted giving publicity to British military cooperation. Liam Fox suppressed information on the extent of Franco-British defence joint operations, and would

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LibLink: William Wallace writes for the Independent on the Government’s Brexit dilemma

Regardless of whether you support or oppose Brexit, there is no doubt that you’d prefer your negotiators to be both united and organised. In a piece for yesterday’s Independent, Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson in the Lords, William Wallace, highlights some of the emerging tensions amongst Conservative ranks.

The Leave campaign united around reasserting British sovereignty; but they gave little thought to what that meant, or what continuing relations we would have with our neighbours if we left what has been the institutional framework for a broad partnership for 44 years.

Boris Johnson

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LibLink: Miriam Gonzalez Durantez: Catalonia and Madrid drift towards extremes

The situation in Catalonia is incredibly worrying. I can’t help but think about what this would be like if it were happening in Scotland and am grateful for the wiser heads (i.e. ours) in the Coalition that facilitated a legal referendum that settled the issue at least for then.

Both the Madrid and Barcelona governments escalate this situation in a text book “what not to do” approach. Miriam Gonzalez Durantez, writing in the FT,  looks at this polarisation at the extremes and sees a need for reconciliation and moderation.  Both are wrong. Someone has to do something right, and soon.

The paradox

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LibLInk: Paul Scriven: Jared O’Mara’s comments are “the most disgusting I’ve seen in 30 years of politics”

Paul Scriven has been writing for Politics Home about the behaviour and comments of Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara. He says that they are the most disgusting he has seen in politics. I have to say that’s quite a high bar, remembering what I do about the negativity of the Labour Party in Sheffield when I lived in that area.

He makes the point that O’Mara was going for elected office not long after the comments were made and there are recent episodes which suggest that the journey he says he has been on is pretty short.

hese outbursts are not of some teenager sat in their bedroom. In 2004 O’Mara was a Labour party candidate for Sheffield City Council. He stood in multiple council elections for the Labour Party, never making much progress. Pretending he was new to the party, someone unknown who they had just come across, is a weak excuse the doesn’t hold up. They should be called out at every opportunity for clinging to it.

More recently, only seven months ago, he has been accused of sexist and aggressive language to a woman in a nightclub in Sheffield. The Labour Party have themselves now admitted that they didn’t do any background checks when they selected him.

He suggests that the people of Sheffield Hallam are getting a raw deal. 

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