Category Archives: News

Lib Dems react after David Amess MP dies in stabbing (updated)

Sir David Amess, Conservative MP for Southend West, was stabbed as he met constituents at a regular surgery this lunchtime.  Sir Ed Davey said: “A truly terrible day for British politics but most importantly of all our prayers are with all the people who loved David.”

It is getting ever scarier to be in the public eye. MPs, councillors too, usually have no protection. But it would change the way that elected representatives work if we need to throw a shield around ourselves. However, this event will inevitably lead to a debate on what level of protection our representatives need.

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Naomi Long speaks at joint Scottish/Welsh Lib Dems Conference

One of the benefits of online meetings is that you can bring together people who are geographically distant and who otherwise might not meet. So someone in the Scottish and Welsh Lib Dems had the imaginative idea of joining forces for the Saturday of their Conferences last weekend.

To add to the diversity they invited as a guest speaker Naomi Long MLA, Leader of the Alliance Party, which is our sister party in Northern Ireland.

You can watch her terrific speech here.

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Mark Pack’s October update

The autumn party conferences traditionally mark the start of the new political season. They are a time to reflect on the past year and set out plans to succeed in the coming year.

Both politics and coronavirus have made it a tough time since the last round of conferences. But we can look forward to this new political season with confidence that if we continue to raise our game, we can prosper. We’ve seen signs of that already, including with Sarah Green’s fantastic win in Chesham and Amersham and also with the latest net favourability leadership polling from Savanta ComRes:

  • Keir Starmer: net -8
  • Boris Johnson: net -7
  • Ed Davey: net +1

To achieve success in the run of elections to come, we will need to think big. We need to convince wavering Tories, Labour and nationalist voters that backing us isn’t solely a protest. It’s also a vote for something positive. The antidote to the strains of the present is a liberal future. So we must paint a picture of the society we want to build, rather than merely the society we want to prevent.

We’ve made a good start on that with the debates, motions and speeches at our autumn Federal Conference. There will be more to come in the next few months too from the federal party, as we develop the emphasis on a fair deal that was at the heart of Ed Davey’s speech. (Plans for next year’s conference have been announced by conference committee chair, Nick Da Costa.)

Congratulations to…

Our conference closed with the party awards. We now run these twice a year in recognition of how important it is for us to thank and be inspired by our colleagues. You can read all about this time’s winners – including a lovely family connection for one award – here.

We’ve also started sending out ‘top canvasser’ pin badges to thank those who contribute, either on the doorsteps or on the phone, to one of the most important election-winning tasks. Each quarter we’re also inviting those who have canvassed the most to a special call with Ed Davey, our Director of Campaigns Dave McCobb and others so that what people are hearing on the ground gets fed directly in. This is to make sure we never repeat the 2019 campaign mistake of people on the ground knowing a message isn’t working, and it taking too long to change it from the centre.

I’m keen that we continue to look for other ways to recognise people who contribute so much to the party. We’ve made changes to the party awards to recognise a wider range of contributions but I’m sure we can do more. Ideas very welcome.

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Put your questions to the Federal Board – next Monday evening

Next Monday evening, from 6-7 pm, the Federal Board are having an online q and a session for all party members.

Party President Mark Pack will be taking questions and I’ll be there alongside former Welsh President and AM Bill Powell.

I’d really like to see loads of you there, not least because doing this was my idea and I’ll look like an idiot if nobody turns up. We had some really useful discussions in the Federal Board booth at Federal Conference. In fact, believe it or not, I was even able to give some information about the English Party constitution.

Also, much as I love Mark, I don’t want to spend an hour arguing with him about which is the best type of chocolate.

And finally, my dogs can usually be relied upon to turn up to meetings, so if you have heard about Hazel and Bernie on Twitter, now is your chance to meet them.

Seriously, though, our party democracy is really important to us. We are a member led organisation and all the power structures should be accountable and this, for me, is part of that. It’s also important that our decisions are informed by what members are thinking and we will be having a Board meeting the very next night so what you tell us will be fresh in our minds.

Details of how to register are here:

Mark said:

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Announcement about 2022 Conferences

The Federal Conference Committee recently met to discuss the Conference format for 2022.

We considered a number of options for next year’s conferences and took the difficult decision to hold Spring Conference as an online conference and only returning to an in-person event for Autumn Conference. The dates of Spring Conference will be 11-13 March 2022 and we will announce the dates and venue for Autumn Conference in due course.

The Committee discussed several options with regards to the format of Spring Conference and, whilst there was a strong desire within the Committee to return to in person meetings and events as soon as possible, our challenge was that the COVID situation remains uncertain and therefore still causes significant concern. While we are seeing more in person events happening, we have also seen the Welsh Labour conference in November cancelled due to COVID concerns.

If we had taken the decision to hold an in person Spring Conference, this would have taken place in York – a venue which we usually operate at full capacity. Enforcing social distancing and COVID measures would therefore have been extremely difficult with the potential number of attendees. Furthermore, the danger that a large number of people may not have felt safe attending a crowded in person event meant there was a significant risk of a drop in the number of members attending Conference.

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Liberals share the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize

Some of our readers may have noted the joint award of the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize to Maria Ressa and Dmitry Muratov, for their work to defend press freedom and freedom of expression generally.

The chair of the Nobel committee, Berit Reiss-Andersen, in announcing the award said;

Free, independent and fact-based journalism serves to protect against abuse of power, lies and war propaganda. Without freedom of expression and freedom of the press, it will be difficult to successfully promote fraternity between nations, disarmament and a better world order to succeed in our time.

Maria Ressa is the CEO of Philippines news outlet Rappler …

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Rishi Sunak recycling aid money deals “damaging blow” to UK reputation ahead of COP summit

The Liberal Democrats have warned a UK government decision to effectively slash the aid budget by billions more pounds will send “completely the wrong message” to the world ahead of next month’s COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

It comes after it was reported that the Chancellor Rishi Sunak will include the UK’s share of financial assistance provided by the International Monetary Fund through Special Drawing Rights (SDRs) as part of the 0.5% aid target. The move is expected to reduce the aid budget by another £4bn to £5bn over a number of years.

Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Foreign Affairs …

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WATCH: Jane Dodds’ speech to Scottish and Welsh Conference

Jane Dodds addressed Scottish and Welsh conference yesterday. She said that the Lib Dems were opposed to Labour’s failure to tackle poverty and the Conservatives’ Universal Credit costs.

She praised Kirsty Williams, highlighting international recognition of her work as Education Secretary.

She accused the Conservative Government of suffocating the Welsh economy which is lagging behind with lower productivity, lower incomes and greater poverty. She blames Boris Johnson directly for the lorry driver shortage and says that those who are poorest will suffer most from his Brexit.

And she has some gorgeous flowers in the background. Enjoy! The full text is below:

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Ed Davey calls for extension of Warm Homes Discount scheme to help poorest with soaring energy costs

On Trevor Phillips on Sky this morning, Ed Davey did a fantastic job of taking down the Conservatives over their “cruel” cuts to Universal Credit.

As a former Secretary of State for Energy, he speaks with some authority on rising fuel prices and how to help the poorest through that.

He called for the Warm Homes Discount, currently worth £140 to those on certain benefits or low incomes to be doubled or tripled and for eligibility to be extended.

He also highlighted how he had continued the insulation programmes in place when he took over, but the Conservatives had failed to keep that work going.

He was also asked about the story this morning that the UK Government had not paid France what it owes for border work. Ed spoke about how people needed safe and legal routes to come to this country to settle as refugees or to be reunited with family.

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Scottish Lib Dems call for better Police vetting and Commission to prevent violence against women and girls

This weekend, Scottish Conference passed a motion calling for serious action to prevent violence against women and girls:

In the wake of the shocking revelations of the details of the murder of Sarah Everard, Scottish Lib Dem Women submitted an emergency motion calling for, amongst other things:

  • An NHS-style public awareness campaign to build public understanding of the drivers behind violence against women;
  • An extended Independent Review of Equality Matters in policing as recommended by Dame Elish Angiolini, to include a review of police vetting processes and consideration of misogynistic behaviour;
  • New training for those working in education and frontline in public authorities;
  • Recognition of misogyny as a hate crime.

The party also reaffirmed its call for a new Commission to look at ways of preventing men’s violence against women and girls in all its forms, to report within one year in order to ensure a co-ordinated approach across all levels of government.

Wendy Chamberlain MP summated the motion, saying:

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Ed Davey: Lib Dems focus on the realities of people’s lives

This weekend Scotland and Wales have combined their Autumn Conferences. On Friday, Scotland held its Autumn Conference, yesterday there was a day of joint Scottish and Welsh panels, debates and keynote speeches and today there is a Welsh Conference.

Yesterday, Ed Davey gave his keynote speech, contrasting the Lib Dems as fighting for a fair deal for people with cruel, out of touch Conservatives.

He highlighted our fight against illiberal, impractical vaccine passports:

Friends, we show through our federal party the best of what a federal United Kingdom can be.

“Understanding that each nation, region and community must often respond to its own challenges in its own way.

“But also working together in close partnership, united by our shared principles and our shared values.

“Just look at how Liberal Democrats responded to vaccine passports – or Covid ID cards, to call them what they really are. And compare our principled response across the United Kingdom with the other parties’.

“Liberal Democrats have always been clear. Covid ID cards are unworkable, expensive and illiberal.

“They are not a real solution, and they would place an unfair extra burden on local businesses who’ve been through so much already.

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WATCH: Alex Cole-Hamilton’s first leader’s speech to Scottish Conference

Full of ideas, passion, sincerity – watch Alex Cole Hamilton’s first leader’s speech to Scottish  Conference:

He delivered it from his home to the online event.

There were a few more policy initiatives – a commission on a just economy led by Jeremy Purvis to report to next year’s Autumn Conference:

If that great liberal William Beveridge could see us now, he would think his transformational work at the end of the war had been for nothing. We are the inheritors of his legacy and we need to do something about it. That is why I am today announcing a Commission for a Just Economy, to re set our liberal vision for Scotland. This will be chaired by Jeremy Purvis and will present recommendations to our conference in a year’s time. This will be rooted in liberal values, like social justice, sustainability and above all human rights.

A railcard with a 50% discount to encourage people back on to public transport and a package of measures to tackle the climate emergency:
Dramatic cuts in rail prices to encourage rail usage.
Ripping up the SNP’s signed agreement with Heathrow airport
Using powers over air passenger duty to tackle people who fly more and fly further.

He also talked about his supported for Liam McArthur’s bill to introduce assisted dying:

if there is a movement in the political firmament that exists to safeguard human rights, then it is ours. But we live in country where legislation guarantees rights that cover every aspect of your life, apart from one and that is your departure from it. Too many Scots are denied a good death, wracked by pain and indignity.

I want to know that if I am terminally ill and in agony beyond the reach of palliative care that I could say “this far and no further” and be supported to end that suffering in comfort and dignity.

I am so proud that my good friend and colleague, Liam McArthur is stewarding the Assisted Dying Bill though parliament in his name. A Liberal parliamentarian, who may finally allow Scotland to join the ranks of other progressive nations that already offer their citizens this final act of compassion.

Some of you may disagree with me. And you know what, that’s fine. I only ask that if we disagree on this or on other things, that we disagree well. Because one of the things that I love about our party is its plurality.

He argued that the SNP’s proposed National Care Service is a really bad idea – you need to increase wages and improve conditions for workers instead:

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Ed Davey: Boris speech was most out of touch display by a PM in decades

For me the week of the Conservative Party Conference is usually a week of low level nausea. Seeing Conservatives in their comfort zone is never going to be pleasant for any liberal. This week was particularly bad.  The bottom of the barrel was seeing Peter Bottomley whinging that 81 grand wasn’t enough for him to live on and using words such as “grim” and “desperate” to describe MPs’ financial circumstances.

I suspect the millions of people who are facing a £20 week cut in Universal Credit just at the same time as food and energy prices are going through the roof will be full of sympathy for him.

And then there was Boris Johnson’s bizarre stand-up routine in place of a speech. Unfortunately he and his team have learned over time that if you repeat an untruth often enough and loud enough, you win big.  It’s clear that the Conservatives want everyone to be talking about culture wars – if they can set us up to be kicking lumps out of each other, maybe we won’t notice the empty shelves in the supermarkets and the rising prices, all of which signify that his flagship Brexit project was the ultimate pig in a poke.<

His words might have been red meat to the Tory faithful in the hall today. We’ll have to see what the country feels like after a Winter that is not going to be funny.

Ed Davey was pretty scathing about Johnson’s speech:

Boris Johnson’s speech was the most out of touch display by a Prime Minister in decades, he has created a cost of living crisis which he refuses to fix.

The Conservative Party conference may as well be happening in a parallel universe. Johnson pretends that somehow long queues at the petrol station and empty shelves in the supermarket are all part of his cunning plan and blames anyone he can for the wreckage he is causing: UK businesses, journalists and the British public.

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Wera Hobhouse blasts UK’s over-reliance on gas and inaction on renewables

Wera Hobhouse MP, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson for Climate Emergency and Energy, has taken aim at the Tory government’s energy policies:

The Conservatives have utterly neglected the UK renewables industry to the point where coal power stations are being fired up. They need to come clean on a firm end date to fossil fuel use in the energy sector, but Boris Johnson studiously avoids this topic.

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Sarah Olney calls for Morrisons’ workers to be protected ahead of the major takeover

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In the Guardian, Sarah Olney is quoted calling for protection for workers in the forthcoming takeover of Morrisons:

It would be a great shame to see local teams lose their stake in the future direction of the business. With uncertain economic times ahead, the new owners must pass the key tests of not loading the business with debt, not cutting jobs, and critically, protecting existing working conditions.

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How to help others with heating costs this Winter

So my dogs got me out of bed at 7:34 this morning. By 7:46, I had joined all the people on social media who have been announcing that they had put their heating on. As an added bonus, the timer now shows the correct time and day for the first time in years after I finally figured out how to change the day.

This simple act is one which so many will have to put off for as long as possible because they simply can’t afford to.

People on the lowest incomes are facing a nightmare Winter of rising energy costs and the ending of the Universal Credit uplift. The end of the furlough scheme puts 110,000 jobs at risk, as Christine Jardine pointed out the other day in a last ditch attempt to get Rishi Sunak to see sense.

The rise in the energy price cap has a hidden extra for the poorest. Those on prepayment meters, usually the poorest in the least well insulated rented properties, pay even more. The BBC reports:

  • Those on standard tariffs, with typical household levels of energy use, will see an increase of £139 – from £1,138 to £1,277 a year – to their bill

  • People with prepayment meters, with average energy use, will see an annual increase of £153 – from £1,156 to £1,309

Local councillors, campaigners and MPs will likely be contacted by constituents who are really struggling, so I thought it might be useful to set out some of the sources of help and advice for them.

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Wendy Chamberlain on how the Police can regain public trust

Wendy Chamberlain is the only female former Police Officer in Parliament. We are very lucky to have her. She gave a brilliant interview to Sky News yesterday about the murder of Sarah Everard and what the Police needs to do now to regain trust.

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Ed Davey calls for Royal Commission to look at ways of ending men’s violence against women and girls

Following yesterday’s sentencing of Sarah Everard’s murderer and further revelations about the Metropolitan Police, Ed Davey, has called for a Royal Commission into male violence against women and girls and for misogyny to be immediately declared a hate crime.

Ed said:

Enough is enough. Since Sarah Everard’s tragic death, 80 women have allegedly been killed at the hands of men. It is time to treat this issue with the most serious response possible.

The undermining of the authority of the police around the safety of women means that only the most senior form of inquiry into this matter will do.

Alongside immediate action to make misogyny a hate crime, a Royal Commission is the best way to bring long lasting change.

The Conservatives promised a Royal Commission in their 2019 manifesto to look into the criminal justice system, in their first year in office. While they failed to deliver then, they should now establish a Commission with a more focused remit, specifically into men perpetrating violence against women and girls.

Violence by men against women and girls is like a pandemic and should be treated with the same attention and urgency. After so many heartbreaking events this year alone it beggars belief that too many women still feel unsafe just walking alone. We can’t live in a country where half of the people in it feel unsafe and under threat both in the street and for too many, tragically, in their own homes.

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Getting a story out – the Liberal Democrat press team in action over furlough extension

The Press Team at Lib Dem HQ don’t just write press releases and send them out, hoping that journalists will publish them. They actively go out and try and get them published. A great success story is a push on the end of furlough, highlighting a letter written to Chancellor Rishi Sunak by Lib Dem Treasury Spokesperson Christine Jardine asking him to extend furlough for six months to those sectors which are still struggling such as tourism, travel and the creative arts.

Christine says this is important to avoid a “tidal wave” of job losses as the scheme comes to an end.

Christine points out that the cost of six months’ vital support would cost less than last year’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Christine urged the Chancellor to “consider the impact on the lives of those that could find themselves out of a job at the end of the week.” She added it would be “devastating for countless families already facing a winter of spiralling bills and cuts to working benefits.”

Christine said:

The withdrawal of furlough risks having a devastating impact on countless families already facing a winter of soaring energy bills.The government needs to rethink its approach or the country could face a Coronavirus Black Thursday.

The Liberal Democrats are demanding that furlough is extended for the industries that are being hardest hit by the pandemic, to prevent a tidal wave of job losses in the coming weeks.This would support the most vulnerable workers through winter and cost less than what ministers spent on last year’s Eat Out to Help Out scheme.

Thousands of people relying on furlough are worrying about their livelihoods at a time when the impact of the pandemic is far from over. Supporting them and their families is both the right and responsible thing to do.

So where was this covered?

Basically everywhere:

The Independent 

The Standard

Wales online

ITV

The Graun

Sky News

Trade Travel Gazette – article by Christine

Trade Travel Gazette – report

City AM 

The Metro 

The Scotsman 

The Mirror 

The Express and Star

The Torygraph

Planet Radio

Even the Fail

Well done to the press team.

And if you want to see Christine’s letter to the Chancellor, it’s here.

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Davey: “Unforgivable” that military drivers only now receiving training for fuel crisis

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Ed Davey has criticised the Government’s incompetence and failure to plan ahead, after it was revealed that 150 military drivers will only now receive training to drive petrol tankers despite months of warnings from businesses.

As Energy Secretary and chair of the emergency Cobra committee during the fuel crisis of 2012, Ed Davey developed contingency plans to ensure around 800 trained military drivers would be on hand to drive fuel tankers if needed in an emergency. A Ministry of Defence report from 2014 says army personnel had been “trained and on call to deliver fuel in the event of strike action by tanker drivers.”

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Union delegates block electoral reform motion – despite 79.5% support from Labour members

The Independent reports:

Trade unions have blocked Labour from campaigning for proportional representation after a tight vote at the party’s conference in Brighton.

Delegates sent by members to the gathering overwhelmingly backed a motion in favour of electoral reform by 79.5 per cent to 20.49 per cent.

But the vast majority of delegates sent by trade unions voted against the plan, meaning the motion was lost by a total of 42 per cent to 57 per cent.

Ed Davey commented:

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Ed Davey: Prioritise NHS and care workers for fuel

The government must ensure that health and care staff, teachers and other essential workers are given priority access to fuel, Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey has said.

The former Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change warned that the government mustn’t “allow their incompetence to damage people’s health and undermine our children’s education.”

It comes amid a warning from the British Medical Association that as pumps run dry “there is a real risk that NHS staff won’t be able to do their jobs”.

Liberal Democrat Leader Ed Davey said:

Nurses and doctors are struggling to get to work, vulnerable people

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You just can’t tell some people…

Well, that’s been a lively enough day. And here are some thoughts at the end of it…

Firstly, we have a comments policy. I do wish that some people would read it before trying to pick a fight with me. Admittedly, it does make moderation so much easier if I just reject those comments challenging our moderation decisions, but it’s such a waste of everyone’s time. Let me repeat, do not use the comments sections to challenge moderation decisions – it detracts from the discussion at hand and tends to make the complainant look rather churlish.

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Liberal Democrats and the world – the video!

In late July, the new Chair of the Party’s Federal International Relations Committee, Dr Phil Bennion, wrote in these pages of the Party’s renewed commitment to internationalism. It isn’t just words, as there’s now a video which outlines some of the work being done at home and abroad to promote our internationalist agenda, and here it is…

You may notice your friendly neighbourhood Day Editor at about 1:27 in…

* Mark Valladares is a directly elected member of Federal International Relations Committee and part of the Party’s delegation to the ALDE Party Council.

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Lib Dems react to “empty” announcement on drugs policy change

This week, a landmark announcement from the Lord Advocate means that people caught in possession of a Class A drug could be given a warning rather than prosecuted and instead referred to support services.

From The Guardian:

Individuals caught in possession of class A drugs in Scotland could be issued with a police warning rather than facing prosecution, in a significant policy shift announced by the country’s new lord advocate as a direct response to the ongoing drug death crisis.

Dorothy Bain, who was appointed to the role in June, said the decision to give police discretion over class A drug offences did not amount to decriminalisation but told MSPs there was “no one size fits all response” to dealing with drug addiction.

She added that the policy did not extend to drug supply offences and that neither offering a recorded police warning nor reporting a case to the procurator fiscal prevents an officer referring a vulnerable person to support services.

Scottish Lib Dem Leader Alex Cole-Hamilton says that this is not enough to address the crisis:

Scottish Liberal Democrat requested this statement back in June, and I was grateful to see her here today, despite the empty answer.

The government has insisted for years that diversion has been an important response, but we’ve just discovered today that it only happened 57 times in 2017/18.

The number of people imprisoned for possession only is the same now as the number we saw decade ago. The SNP are failing to turn policies into practice once again.

Thousands of children are affected by parental imprisonment and drug misuse. It is time the SNP starts acting and effectively supporting these families.

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How do the Canadian Liberals win a majority next time?

It’s a case of ‘as you were’ in Canada as electors stick with the Liberals – as a minority government.

Having called a snap election in August, Justin Trudeau will be relieved to still be Prime Minister having seen his Liberal Party slump in the opinion polls earlier in the campaign.

When the election was called on 15th August, the Liberals had a strong 6-point lead over the Conservatives. However, by 5th September, the Tories had overtaken the Liberals for a 3-point lead. At this point, it looked as though Trudeau’s gamble was going to backfire. After some strong performances at the televised election debates and high-energy electioneering, the Liberals retook the lead over the final few days of the campaign. It’s also clear that the first-past-the-post electoral system has helped them win as the Tories won more votes but fewer seats than the ‘Grits’.

Opposition leader, Erin O’Toole, failed to make the most of voters’ disgruntlement over having to return to the polling booths during the pandemic. Having taken a more centrist position on areas such as covid-recovery, LGBTQ+ issues, abortion, and the environment, O’Toole had tried to make himself out as a credible, reliable alternative to Trudeau. However, the Conservatives ended losing two seats from the previous election. The Tories may feel that had they taken a more populist tone, they might have done better. This is because the right-wing People’s Party won more than 5% of the vote – enough to dent Tory hopes and to swing some seats to the Liberals.

It was also a disappointing night for Jagmeet Singh and the NDP. This should have been a breakthrough election for the left-leaning party, but they failed to attract more progressive voters who are tired of Trudeau’s Liberals after 6 years in power. However, they made only one gain this election.

Liberals need to focus on Atlantic Canada to win a majority again

In the 2015 Federal Election, where the Liberals soared from third party to majority government, they swept ‘Atlantic Canada’ completely. In the provinces of Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland, and New Brunswick, the Liberals won all the ridings.

However, by 2021, the Liberals had lost ground in places like New Brunswick, where liberal Fredericton is now surrounded with a blue Tory doughnut. In some ridings in Atlantic Canada, the Liberals are now as much as 10,000 votes off winning the seat.

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Happy Bisexual Visibility Day!

Today is Bisexual Visibility Day, a day to celebrate bisexual people and raise awareness of the particular problems that they face.

In an article on Pink News today, Lois Shearing highlights the effects of the discrimination that bi people face – and this can come from within the LGBT+ community:

Despite the prevalence of biphobia, it’s common to read or hear comments about bisexual people having privilege or not facing any real oppression. But this is provably false: it is well documented that bi people face higher rates of mental illness, due in part to biphobia and double discrimination. Bi+ men are less likely to get tested for HIV due to social stigma and biphobia within healthcare settings. Bi+ people are also more likely to suffer from addiction or abuse drugs and alcohol. Yet bi people are still seen as deserving targets of cruel jokes or comments.

Labour MP Rosie Duffield, added biphobia to her transphobia on national radio earlier this week, when she accused bisexual men who are married to women of “appropriating gay culture.”

There’s a real culture change from government, too. Silence from Liz Truss, the Women and Equalities Minister, in contrast to a previous holder of that office:

Jo said then:

I welcome Bi Visibility Day which helps to raise awareness of the issues that bisexual people can face and provides an opportunity to celebrate diversity and focus on the B in LGB&T.

The Party marked the day with a tweet:

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Lots of new hope in Scottish Party Political Broadcast

It’s a new era in Scotland, so a brand new Party Political Broadcast is going out as you read this.

It is a thing of beauty. Enjoy.

If the words “new hope” mean nothing to you, you haven’t been watching closely enough.

A lot of this was filmed at his leadership launch speech on 20th August.

We love the ending:

“If you want a party that is dedicated to fighting the climate emergency with ferocity without the baggage of nationalism, come with us.”

“If you want a party that is focused on human rights at home and abroad, come with us.”

“If you want a party that

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Davey on the energy crisis and a Tory winter of discontent

Ed Davy makes a storming attack on the Conservative administration into today’s Guardian. The mounting cost of heating bills and food price-hikes due to increasing transport costs and the energy crisis means the poorest people will be hit the hardest. Davey says no one should be surprised that Boris Johnson has dismissed these problems. He wants us to believe it’s a global problem, with nothing unique to the UK. And he wants us to think it will all be over quickly. He is wrong. This is just the latest example of the Conservative party taking people for granted.

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Christine Jardine on trans rights: It’s all about people

Christine Jardine went on Woman’s Hour yesterday to talk about transgender rights in the wake of Ed’s Marr interview on Sunday where that topic was the only one Andrew Marr seemed interested in talking about.

Woman’s Hour host Emma Barnett threw absolutely everything at Christine, who patiently and calmly answered questions for over 20 minutes. It’s worth a listen here.

Barnett repeated the question Marr had put to Ed yesterday – what was wrong with a t-shirt with the slogan woman: adult human female. Ed stood up for our policy that trans rights are human rights and we support the right of trans people to self-identify very well. The one tweak I would have made was the point that Christine made. That phrase is used as a dog-whistle by anti-trans activists to justify their misinformation about and attacks on trans people.

On that question, I liked the way that my friend Duncan put it on Twitter

No matter what the subject, one of the things that Christine always does is bring it back to people. She doesn’t do abstract. It’s all about the human impact. She talked about one friend with a transgender son, another who had transitioned and stayed married and how, if she had one child who was trans and one who wasn’t, how she’d want them both to have the same life chances.

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