Jo Swinson appoints new MPs to Shadow Cabinet

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson has today announced an expanded Shadow Cabinet.

New MPs Luciana Berger and Phillip Lee will take on Health, Wellbeing and Social Care and Justice respectively. Angela Smith has been appointed Shadow Secretary of State for International Development while Sam Gyimah will shadow Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

Leader of the Liberal Democrats Jo Swinson said:

As we enter a crucial few days for the future of our country, I am delighted to announce the new Liberal Democrat shadow cabinet.

This team will take the fight to Boris Johnson and Jeremy Corbyn, and offer a brighter future that neither of their old, tired parties can offer.

The Liberal Democrats are the strongest Remain party and I look forward to working with this fantastic team to fight to keep the UK in the EU.

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  • Wow, that’s quite the insult to the members who left over the handling of Lee’s defection to the party.

  • George Potter 21st Oct '19 - 1:34pm

    Great to see Jo appointing, as Shadow Justice Secretary, an MP who’s previously advocated forced hard labour for those convicted of minor crimes (along with, of course, advocating banning immigrants with HIV).

    I for one am glad to see the party turning it’s back on all that “liberal principles” nonsense that used to saddle us with such ridiculous notions as a compassionate and evidence based justice policy.


  • George Potter: “an MP who’s previously advocated forced hard labour for those convicted of minor crime.” George I hadn’t heard this one before. D’you have a reference for it?

  • George Potter 21st Oct '19 - 5:40pm

    Sorry Paul and Martin but the fact is that at the time Lee made it very clear – both in print and on twitter – that (in contradiction to established medical expertise) he wanted migrants screened for HIV and kept out of the country if they tested positive.

    No amount of spin or massaging the facts can change the fact that he has never recanted that viewpoint.

    And nor can it change the fact that he has previously written that those convicted of minor offences should be forced to do hard labour.

  • @ George Potter You’ve not provided the evidence for your claim about hard labour for minor crimes. If you can’t do it you should withdraw…… and are you mixing him up with someone of the same name ? Answers please.

  • Richard Underhill 21st Oct '19 - 7:06pm

    When our party was formed members of the Liberal Party and members of the SDP had to affirm individually that they wished to be members of the merged party.
    The preamble to the constitution is an excellent document, but it is not a document on which elected delegates to federal conference voted, although we were all issued with a copy.
    At the first conference we needed to start filling in the blank sheet on policy, which we did. We were against slavery.
    Later we supported the human rights legislation, expecting more later.
    Watching the BBC Parliament Channel today I note that the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland answered an Urgent Notice Question.
    If I understood him correctly the House of Commons has recently had a free vote on equal marriage and another on abortion, abolishing parts of an Act from 1861. He pledged that the government would continue to provide financial support for transport to England.
    The devolved NI Assembly reportedly tried to meet, without Sinn Fein. The S of S is talking to all parties which have been elected to the Assembly.
    Please see Hansard.

  • John Marriott 21st Oct '19 - 7:55pm

    @George Potter
    Call me old fashioned if you like, Mr Potter, but I find your use of the surname alone to describe Dr Lee rather insulting. Also, if you do not possess evidence to back up your claim you should, as David Raw suggests, withdraw it. Before you make any more accusations, might I suggest that you take a look at John 8:7 first ?

  • I may be being more paranoid than usual, but do these attacks on Dr Lee remind anyone anyone of the hatchet job on Farron. Let’s get them obsessing about who is whiter than white and turn the majority of voters off them. We all have faults, we all make mistakes, we all have views others disagree with but I can’t say any of Dr Lee’s faults or beliefs disbarr him from being in the Lib Dems. I can also not find any refrence to “Hard Labour for criminals” a link would be appreciated to this claim.

  • Adding to Expats comment, in his latest twitter comment (and in a letter to The Times) two days ago, Dr Lee stated,

    Dr Phillip Lee MP Verified account @DrPhillipLeeMP “The evidence points towards the value of improving the rehabilitation of many women offenders in new residential women’s centres not old prisons. By doing so we would give women a second chance and cut crime levels.”

    That’s a million miles from Mr Potter’s comment. Mr Potter has had nine hours to provide his evidence. Where is it ?

  • Till otherwise proven with appropriate references, I’m willing to give Dr Phillip Lee the benefit of the doubt. And if someone will issue references that he has said X, I’d like to remind everyone of something that has been repeated several times while discussing the Brexit lately: “It’s okay to change your mind”.

  • Also, I’m thinking that now that Dr Phillip Lee has been given the justice brief, he has a great opportunity to prove his liberal credentials, which otherwise might be difficult.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Oct '19 - 1:37am

    Can I say this. Despite being involved on a more cross party trajectory in recent years post coalition and referendum, despite regarding cross party involvement as preferred, the efforts above of those, Paul Walter, John Marriot, David Raw, make for me realising why the party I yet subscribe to is a very fine organisation, led now by a very fine woman , I campaigned and voted for!

    Would I could say that of Goeorge Potter, in the way he should as do I again, of Baroness Barker and Ms Belcher in their superb statement, it too making for cheering our party in this particular thread. Gorge cannot provide any support for his alas untrue comment because the opposite is so. Phillip Lee supports hard work, training and employment placements in the community for community sentences foe lesser offending convicted , non violent ones, precisely as the alternative, to prison! His opinions on such things, are as sensible as possible, his appointment , along with the brilliant choice by our terrific leader, of the marvellous Luciana Berger, an apposite choice!

    My cross party orientation is what got me involved in negoatiating behind the scenes, with TIG and others from the two main parties, thinking of moving from them.

    These tendencies make me glad some of them at mp level too are on board a party that itself is in much it does on many issues, now, cross party.

    Gorge and co need to pay ind to those who understand being liberal and democratic means listening and debating…

  • Lorenzo Cherin 22nd Oct '19 - 1:40am

    Sorry for typos, it is one forty am!

  • It seems that just like during the coalition, our opponents have successfully duped a handful of our members to do their work for them, and attack the party based on hugely distorted narratives. It’s a very successful strategy, and sad to see a small number of members (and ex-members) get so easily whipped up about it.

  • David Evans 22nd Oct '19 - 9:09am

    James (Pugh) – indeed you are absolutely right. How easy it was for our opponents to dupe Nick, Danny and so many other MPs to loyally support a corrupt and corrupting Tory party, doing much of their dirty work for them. Ultimately they were flattered into believing that destroying all the good work done by previous generations of Liberals and Lib Dems over previous decades was good, grown up government. Of course the truth is it was playing into the Tories hands while they undermined all but eight of our MPs.

    As a strategy it was totally successful, but yet still so many want to believe that it wasn’t the leadership that failed, it was all the fault of those party members who saw what was going wrong and warned them and the rest of the party that it was a total disaster.

    As a result we had senior Lib Dem MPs breaking pledges (which even Jo Swinson now accepts that was wrong), voting for secret courts, sitting back while Theresa May set up her hostile environment and the Windrush scandal, and Eric Pickles undermined our Local Government base. All leading to electoral annihilation and ultimately clearing the way for Brexit.

    It is indeed sad to see how some members and ex leaders still get so whipped up about accepting the truth and their role in facilitating this government’s thoroughly reprehensible and evil agenda.

  • chris moore 22nd Oct '19 - 9:19am

    Going back some years, Dr Lee was a rightward-leaning Eurosceptic.

    It’s great that he’s changed his mind on the European issue and become more liberal in his attitudes on other issues. And finally, turned his back on the Conservative party.

    He’s a welcome addition to the party.

    False claims against Dr Lee merely discredit the individuals spreading those stories.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Oct '19 - 9:32am

    21st Oct ’19 – 7:06pm The Northern Ireland Assembly did meet, without Sinn Fein, the DUP complained about the abortion issue and walked out in protest. Other campaigners welcomed the DECRIMINALISATION in capital letters. Abortion is a devolved issue. London has done what it can by changing the obsolete legislation, 21st Oct ’19 – 7:06pmwhich is what David Steel suggested.
    The S of S is using secondary legislation to extend his powers for a further period, without which they would have been ended yesterday.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Oct '19 - 9:50am

    22nd Oct ’19 – 9:32am Reportedly the N I Assembly not meeting since its most recent election has led to a reduction in their remuneration. There has been a further call for a further reduction. It operates on a four yearly fixed cycle, but the S of S could arrange an early election. He does not have a responsibility for Brexit, but the current controversial legislation is likely to be an issue.

  • Everyone has either said ot done things in their past that they regret or have changed mind on. It is the present and the future that matters not the past.

  • Based on what happened during the Canadian election, although Lee’s views might have evolved, it is likely that Labour will unearth his past records on the issues to attack him.

  • Denis Loretto 22nd Oct '19 - 10:38am

    When MPs ask to switch from other parties we obviously have a procedure for thoroughly questioning them and assessing their motives and their intentions including their past record. The applicant is no doubt informed of the principles clearly laid down in our constitution and asked for assurances of complete adherence to these. I for one trust our the people following this procedure. Obviously if and when any such acquired member seriously strays from the assurances given they will be subject to disciplinary procedures just like the rest of us. Welcome Dr Philip Lee and all the others!

  • David Evans, expats: Just give is a rest PLEASE. Nick, Danny and the other architects of the Coalition have all left active politics. I’m one of those who believe that the party Leadership of that time failed. But I also think we have to move on, and stop arguing over a bit of dried up sick left outside a pub on a drunken night out all of 9½ years ago.
    Voters don’t give a stuff about apologies from politicians, at least not when the apologies relate to policy decisions. And the ones who demand an apology from us are precisely the ones who are never going to accept it. It would play into the hands of our opponents: “The Lib Dems can’t be trusted in government. Look, they’ve even admitted it themselves.”
    I agree absolutely with theakes (not something I say every day): “It is the present and the future that matters not the past.”

  • George Potter 22nd Oct '19 - 12:15pm

    Paul, I think you’ll find that my most recent comment was around 5pm yesterday, therefore it is significantly less than 24 hours – and quite apart from that, unlike some of the more vituperous commenters in this thread, I do not have time to devote myself full-time to LDV comment threads. If you think that the inability to respond promptly is indicative of a lack of evidence to support my position then I can only offer my sympathies for your hardness of thinking.

    In terms of his past record, I would have hoped that Lee’s defenders would have had the ability to do a cursory Google search, however, to save them the effort here are the relevant texts.

    For his views on criminal justice and advocation of hard labour for prisoner please see:

    For his intent on his amendment to test and ban HIV positive migrants, I refer you to:

    You can also read the article that Lee published at the time in which he stated, in an advocation of his amendment and as an explanation as to why he wanted testing, “Unless these diseases are also treated in an immigrant’s home country, we also risk burdening our health service with their treatment.”

    It’s very clear from his own words at the time that he wanted a ban, not just testing, and he has never recanted that position – a position which, even at the time, was contrary to the professional medical advice of bodies such as the World Health Organisation.

    As for the fact that Helen Belcher and handful of other people have defended Lee since his defection, I have to say that that means nothing when you consider their refusal to actually respond to the issues raised by those concerned about the defection and when you consider that those defending him have a long record of putting loyalty to the leadership ahead of anything else. You can also weigh what the Lee defenders have said against the fact that those who left the party over the defection include several long-standing, hard-working and prominent LGBT+ members, including federal committee members, all with a record of going above and beyond previously to bail the party out of making major missteps and none of whom were the type to resign lightly or other nothing.

  • George Potter 22nd Oct '19 - 12:28pm

    Also, it is frankly ludicrous to suggest that, just because the BMA haven’t withdrawn a doctor’s license to practice over a political stance, the political stance in question automatically becomes one which Liberal Democrats should have no problem with.

    And, to respond to a couple of the other comments made:

    To Mr Marriott I put it that it is quite common, and in no way impolite, to refer to people (and especially politicians) by their last names. For one thing, I have known you to do precisely that in comments on this site before and for another one only needs to turn to the press (or indeed the more old-fashioned schools) to see other examples of last names being used to refer to people.

    When it comes to the biblical quotation, I suggest that you would do well to apply that quote to yourself given that (as far as I can tell from my frequent involvement in your area) your sole contribution to the party for several years has been nothing more than minimal action in his area coupled with constant criticism, undermining and attacks on those in your local party who actually do anything which might result in the party winning an election.

    To Lorenzo Cherin, I seem to recall you assuring me in 2014 that the party was progressing on a trajectory away from our Liberal heritage to a far more electorally prosperous future as a party of the centre and centre-right. Given the 2015 election result I’m going to take your advice and perspective with the appropriate pinch of salt that is due to someone who has always been quick to shout down others and never lacked confidence when it comes to regularly making consistently wrong predictions.

  • Interestingly I recall meetings where Mark Oaten, our then Shadow Home Secretary and later his successor in that role, one Nick Clegg, proposed that those carrying out this type of Community Payback should be clad in USA style Orange suits. After all Orange is the new Black!

  • nigel hunter 22nd Oct '19 - 1:16pm

    The party should be thinking about now and the future. We have to comment on the fact that we are a broad church and therefore not all will agree with each other.We all make mistakes .and can learn from them. Emotions can cause anger and upset leading to knee jerk decisions later regretted.We do not need the opposition/journo’s to drive wedges between parts of the party as with Tim Farron UNITY IS STRENGHT. Members who have left must be welcomed back. WE HAVE A GOVNT TO BUILD (and one to get rid of).

  • I’m afraid Paul Walter is correct and George Potter is being disingenuous in his use of the term ‘hard labour’. The traditional definition of hard labour – involving different levels of humiliating activities including the use of treadmills, scrubbing prison floors, sewing mailbags and breaking stones – was abolished by the Attlee Governments’s Criminal Justice Act of 1948.

    It could have been abolished at any time before 1948 when Liberals of different shades were in Government (1906 – 1922, 1931-45) but it wasn’t. It was applied to imprisoned Conscientious Objectors in WW1 (particularly breaking stones on a limited bread and water diet) after the Asquith led Coalition introduced Conscription in 1916. It was applied with ferocity by the Lloyd George led Coalition. Before WW1, under a Liberal Government, the treatment of Suffragettes under Churchill and McKenna – in particular, forced feeding – was savage. In the 2010-15 Coalition Grayling’s ban on library books was implemented on the Lib Dem watch.

    What I believe Dr Lee proposed was, I believe, relatively mild…. which anybody observing of environmental damage alongside litter strewn major roads would probably agree. Mr Potter’s vituperative self-justification is far from convincing.

  • I don’t think many people on here would be defending Lee if he was still in the Conservative Party. I also suspect a lot of Lib Dems sort of see MPs from other, particularly the Conservatives, Parties as like proper political stars who will draw in voters on the strength of their “charisma”. But really people are mostly voting for the rosette, not the lapel it’s pinned on .

  • @ Paul Walter And the notion of supportive mentoring and computer training ought to be part of a more enlightened Benefits and Universal Credit regime.

  • The way this thread has developed is unfortunate. I know feelings are high on this, but we are all actually on the same side (I think?) Maybe a few deep breaths all round would be an idea. Just saying.
    George – thankyou for the links, and as the person who was first to ask you to do this I have no problem at all with you not doing it instantly. Congrats on having a life outside LDV and maybe you can give some of us hints on that sometime.
    On Dr Lee’s statement on offenders, I can’t say I’m wild about the tone of it (a bit too focused on ‘punishment’) but I do think it’s over-egging it somewhat to describe it as ‘forced hard labour’. When I hear that term I think of the sentence given to Oscar Wilde, which in his case meant breaking rocks and endlessly turning an iron hand-crank which he knew wasn’t connected to anything. This is a long way from restorative justice, which is a policy we have long supported.
    On gay marriage, reading Dr Lee’s quote (Martin 3.01 yesterday) I have a very hard time describing him as homophobic. I actually disagree with what he says about civil partnerships being enough, but I don’t see it as coming from a place of bigotry. I think there should be room in this party for people who have different takes on how we should ‘seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community,’ as long as we all want to do so.
    On HIV immigrants, I have more of an issue. If his initial statements on this had made it clear that he wanted to test people in order to treat them when they were here, I’d have no problem with that at all. But that wasn’t made clear, so he left himself open to the interpretation – accurately or otherwise – that he wanted to block HIV people. I’m not sure if this was his intention or just a comms cock-up at the time (it does happen).
    So overall I give him a pass on counts 1 and 2, and the benefit of the doubt on count 3. I do think both he and the party have mis-handled the comms on his defection rather badly, but on balance I think he does fit in the Liberal family, and we should give him a chance to prove it.

  • chris moore 22nd Oct '19 - 6:05pm

    Not good enough, George.

    Quoting from the article you cite. The work for offenders “will include manual labour, improving public areas by clearing up litter, cleaning graffiti and maintaining parks and other green spaces.”

    In other words, Dr Lee has proposed socially useful work for offenders. Cor! Shocking!

  • David Evans 22nd Oct '19 - 7:35pm

    Alex MacFie. You say give it a rest, please. But then you spoil it by relying on the excuse that “Nick, Danny and the other architects of the Coalition have all left active politics,” as if that excuses the party from any damage. But the damage is done and several of the key architects in coalition are still active Lib Dems – indeed both candidates in our recent leadership election were in cabinet and neither voted against a single thing.

    We are now on the cusp of catastrophe. If we don’t get another 15 MPs to change sides on the timetabling or we are almost certainly out of Europe. An extra 15 Lib Dem MPs (out of those 49 we lost in 2015) would have been really useful now.

    I hope and pray for a miracle, but these things are a consequence of coalition, austerity, trust etc. and we still haven’t agreed what went wrong. Indeed James Pugh (who started all this) thinks it is people who noticed it was going wrong who are the problem!!

  • George,

    You class the proposals of Dr Lee as hard Labour. In the words of Indigo Montoya “You Keep Using That Word, I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means” which might explain why no one can find a link to his call for hard Labour on Google or any other search engine.
    The definition of hard Labour is

    Definition of hard labor
    Compulsory labor of imprisoned criminals as a part of the prison discipline

    It’s an American definition but as they still use Hard Labor in their justice system, I feel they are the people to ask.

    As to preventing people with HIV emigrating to the UK, is it just the issue of people with HIV or would you include those with TB

    Paragraph A39 of the Immigration Rules states that any national of the countries listed in Annex T of the Immigration Rules who is intending to remain in the UK for more than six months must produce a certificate from an Visa and Immigration approved provider showing that they are free from active pulmonary TB.

    I’m conflicted on whether medical costs should prevent immigration and I’d personally like to think it should neither be a blanket ban or not considered at all.

  • David Evans 22nd Oct '19 - 8:03pm

    Thankfully MPs have rejected the timetable. The key question is what will Boris Johnson do next.

    My prediction is he do what he and Dominic Cummings have always done – they will blame everyone else, and sow yet more seeds of division in our ever more fractured society. In other words he will carry on what David Cameron started, Teresa May turned into an art form of Groundhog Day and he has turned into a weapon of division and destruction.

    Truly we are in a very bad place.

  • I see a certain Stephen Lloyd MP voted for the Boris Johnson Bill tonight.

    Surely there can be no way back now.

  • @David Raw

    What happened to the Liberal Democrats being a broad church and not being enslaved by conformity?

    Stephen did the honourable thing resigning the whip as he made a promise to his constituents, though surly it was unnecessary considering the LIbdem constitution.

    I take it by your comments, that when Brexit is done and dusted, however many more years that may be, all former Libdem voters and members who supported brexit must not be welcomed back into the party or asked for their vote?

  • @ matt Your generosity and tolerance is admirable, matt, especially given that membership of the EU seems to be the most prominent and central policy commitment of the party.

  • I believe marriage should be left to churches, other religious institutions and humanist groups. I see a system of civil union for same sex and heterosexual couples alike being blessed by the church as a far greater alternative, and I am of the opinion the Church has a responsibility to come forward with a solution to the recognition of same sex relationships.

    Ah, so he doesn’t want to deprive gay people of civil rights, just people who for one reason or another can’t marry in a religious ceremony who will have to be content with the civil partnership he allows us, something that must be either different from marriage (and let’s be real, it won’t be legally superior) or identical with a different name, in which case why make the distinction? Is it really complete coincidence that such a stance disproportionately affects gay people who belong to religious dominations that don’t carry out same-sex marriage, and people who aren’t religious? Amazingly, as a lesbian atheist this is not inclining me to consider that his position a generous one, but the reverse. It makes me wonder in what other areas he wants to make sure that I don’t forget I don’t deserve to partake of mainstream society.

  • As I recall over a 1/3 of Libdem Voters voted for brexit
    In the latest comres poll of 26,000 people
    54% want the UK to leave the eu

    In that poll only 67% of Liberal Democrats want to remain in the Eu
    20% want to leave with a deal and 9% with no deal
    4% were unsure
    Which suggests things have not really changed for Liberal Democrats in so far as a 1/3 of people who identify as Libdem still want to leave the EU
    That’s a lot of voters to turn away from the party in the future David.

    I always find it strange how we never hear from these Libdem Leavers on this forum, are they not allowed a voice within the party or these forums?

    Furthermore, that poll showed that there are more people who voted remain in 2016 switching to leave than people who voted leave switching to remain.

    Evidence suggests that the longer this goes on for, those voters who participated in the 2016 referendum are more likely to vote leave.
    Your only hopes for winning a 2nd time round are to attract people who did not vote in 2016 and you know difficult they can be to reach on the day, I would not put my faith in people who were not engaged enough the first time round to vote and I certainly would not place my bets on large number of under 21’s on the day to actual que up at the polling both.

  • matt – as a libdem voting leaver I have always been able to debate my views on here. I don’t engage with LDV as much as I used to because I’m busy with other things. Usually had a respectful debate.

  • @Sean Hyland

    Thank you Sean, I was more meaning articles for brexit from Libdem members / voters

    I am surprised that if 1/3 of the parties voters wanted Brexit surly we should have seen some articles from them making arguments for brexit?

  • Hi Matt,

    I am a Remainer and also one of the minority of Lib Dem members who has always believed we should be trying to work for a compromise withdrawal deal. (Labour policy at one point was not dissimilar to what I believed.)

    You are right to say that even now Lib Dems gain some support from Leave voters. In the past, it was much more. The bedrock of Lib Dem support in far flung rural areas were not very well-off voters with a suspicion of London and Brussels.

    Our close shave at the B and R by-election illustrates the melting away of such support to Brexit party and Tories. We’ll probably lose B and R at the GE, if such voters get behind the Tories. We’ve already corralled all the Remain voters there.

    Really, there are decent liberal reasons to object to distant and not very representative legislating from Brussels, though I personally believe those concerns are outweighed by other advantages of being in the EU.

    But I think making Remaining a litmus test of Lib Dem credibility has moved some Lib Dems away from their traditional tolerance of dissent and diversity.

    It’s a shame.

    PS I recognise that the strong Remain stance has galvanised membership and brought in exciting new MPs; I’m more sceptical about whether it’ll sweep the day at a GE. We limit ourselves to drawing support from roughly half the electorate. We wilfully put off a lot of liberal-minded voters. We put a self-imposed ceiling on our support.

  • You are not limiting yourself to half the electorate, Brexit polarises the voters but in a few short months their concerns will move onto the coming cuts. Already the deficit is raising and after an Election Depeffles promises of more money for everything will go under a bus.
    This does not however mean we should let Steven Lloyd stand as a candidate, the one thing that will kill you at any election is the smell of hypocrisy and letting a candidate represent you who went against the main policy of the party reeks of that. It also gives the impression we have no core principles and that is death to any political party (just look how Corbyn’s principle free Brexit policy is going, sitting, lying or prancing on a fence is not a good look)
    As to leavers who vote Lib Dem I’m sure there are many, too them Brexit may not be the issue that makes them vote Lib Dem something else might, however Matt as you have stated you are considering voting Tory to obtain Brexit, you are not amongst that group unless you have changed your mind.
    Link to the increasing deficit, little room for freebies after votes have been counted.

    Public sector borrowing has risen by a fifth during the first half of the financial year, official figures show.
    Borrowing for the six months to September has now hit £40.3bn, up £7.4bn from the same period in 2018.
    In the month of September, borrowing was £9.4bn – slightly lower than expected but still up from £8.8bn last year.
    The figures raise questions about the chancellor’s room to manoeuvre in next month’s Budget.
    Sajid Javid has said he is “turning the page on austerity” and promised big spending rises in his November statement.

    Brexit comes at a price, it is already increasing the deficit and although Peter will tell you no problem print more money, he can’t tell you “What happens when people lose faith in the currency”. The Tory’s may run a slightly higher deficit but after they have gained five more years, their instinctive reaction will be to cut and cut again, at which point the poor and the unproductive will be under a bus. To those that claim my life cannot get any worse, you’ll be surprised how much worse it really can get.

  • Richard Underhill 22nd Oct '19 - 11:37pm

    Wef 21/10/2019 Nicola Horlick is announcing in The Times, pages 6-7, that she wants to stand for MP in Chelsea and Fulham. Pictured with her dogs Storm and Pingu.
    A poll says she can win. She wants to be minister of health.
    She has a sadness in her life and family that her daughter Georgina died.
    She delivered Liberal leaflets for her father in Wirral aged 15.
    She has been a member for three years. She knows our leader.
    A man who wanted her jewelry put a gun to he head.
    She judged that he did not want to kill her.

  • Chris
    “The bedrock of Lib Dem support in far flung rural areas were not very well-off voters with a suspicion of London and Brussels.”
    And farmers who will find it difficult in the future to export their products to the EU.

  • @Martin

    I have not written any, what would be the point as they would not be published, thats a bit of a daft comment really.
    I have not seen any pro brexit articles published on this forum ever, so why would they publish mine lol.

  • matt – my arguments were made some time ago on here.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct '19 - 1:17am

    George Potter

    Apologies needed by you.

    I never posted on here in 2014, not until Autumn 2015!

    I never shout down anyone ever, find me one example in four years here or anywhere online ever!

    I never make predictions in politics or anything, am known for not doing so as think it foolish to say the very least!

    I do work cross party and often defend those on here or any site as in person, who are good, decent unheard.

    I cannot include you as this so shall not defend you unless you can apologise for your comments and make me think these good decent , or similar description describes you despite your personal and inaccurate comments here.

    You are wrong on Dr Lee. Work as a different sentence rather than prison is not hard labour for prisoners.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct '19 - 1:20am


    George, unless of course you mistake me for another, I think you may, as adding this, I have on no posting ever said the party should be centre right and called for it to move away from the centre or centre left.

    I am in the centre but was years until I joined this party in 2004, a Labour voter and or member!

  • There have been the articles in favour of Brexit and we have a whole band of pro Brexit posters ( All be it the only argument they have is ” I want my Brexit, but I really don’t know why, I just want it” or the intelectual alternative ” The EU will fail, run away, I know it will fail I can feel it in my water” ). So then Matt put forward an article, put forward the advantages of Brexit, it would be a first no one else has been able to find any.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 23rd Oct '19 - 8:24am

    Matt, if you submitted a pro Brexit article to Lib Dem Voice, I think it’s likely it would be published.
    Lib Dem Voice have published pro Brexit articles from time to time. I remember an article shortly before the referendum, with, I think, the title The Liberal Case for Leave. I think the author was Anne Cremin, who was at that time a member of Liberal Leave. More recently, I remember an article by another member of Liberal Leave, making the case for a soft Brexit.
    I wrote an article a few days after the referendum, which was not actually pro Brexit, but did strongly criticise the Lib Dem response to the result, and argued strongly that a democratic decision must be respected and implemented. My article was published, although Lib Dem voice were receiving so many submissions at that time that some could not be published. The editorial team said they were using the criteria of selecting articles by authors who had not published on the site before, or articles that were expressing a different viewpoint from other articles being published – mine fulfilled both criteria.
    I would suggest you try submitting an article.

  • David Evans: That the key Lib Dem players in the Coalition are no longer active in politics is not an “excuse” for what happened then, it’s making the point that they are no longer shaping party policy or strategy, and this is reflected in current decision making.
    What I think James Pugh is getting at is the people who claim to support us but who have bought wholly into the standard Labour activists’ portrayal of the Lib Dems. So they criticise our leader, whoever he or she happens to be, but won’t hear any criticism of Jeremy Corbyn. Where I think he’s being rather unfair is his implicit lumping of all critics of Clegg’s leadership into that category. I was one of the critics of the Coalition strategy, but I’m generally happy with the direction Jo is taking the party, not least because it’s actually a not-Clegg strategy. Jo was a non-Cabinet minister in the Coalition, hardly a “key architect” of the project. And so what matters is what she is doing NOW, not what she did between 2010 and 2015 (funny how critics of Jo’s voting record focus EXCLUSIVELY on that time, and ignore the rest of her time as MP). I don’t think Clegg would have taken the “Revoke Article 50” policy route, nor would he have ruled out coalition. Actually Clegg or an heir of Clegg would probably have sought a Confidence & Supply agreement with the Tories in return for some token concessions on Brexit, as indeed a few “Orange Booker” types on LDV argue we should have done after 2017. Clegg would have ben running scared of Johnson as PM and would have sought an accommodation with the Tories.

    I wonder if there’s a Canadian “Liberal Voice” with critics constantly bringing up the disastrous Michael Ignatieff period, blaming it for Trudeau’s loss of majority. Ignatieff was Clegg but without the Cleggmania, and led the Liberal Party to a disastrous showing in 2011 (crashing to 3rd place) partly because he worked too closely with the previous Tory minority government, and because of a general lack of political nous.

  • Lorenzo, I am afraid asking George Potter to apologise and consider a few more facts than the limited ones he chooses to base his views on is likely to be unsuccessful. George does hold very strong views, possibly brought about by the things he has experienced over time, but it seems he seems unwilling to accept that a Liberal with different experiences can have different, equally valid, views and all these need to be considered and debated to reach a better understanding of how all of society will be affected.

    However when pressed, instead of simply engaging in debate and discussion of the issues, he does tend to focus more on an attacking the person, whether it is Phillip Lee, a generic group of ‘vituperous commenters in this thread,’ people with ‘hardness of thinking’, those with ‘a long record of putting loyalty to the leadership ahead of anything else,’ John Marriott, or even Lorenzo Cherin.

    I am afraid the concepts of debate, evidence based decisions, respecting diversity and balance (which to me is a key phrase in our Preamble) rarely if ever come into it. Indeed when he can say to John Marriott “your sole contribution to the party for several years has been nothing more than minimal action in his area coupled with constant criticism, undermining and attacks on those in your local party who actually do anything which might result in the party winning an election” when John was a Lib Dem councillor for 30 years, sadly rather sums up his style – never in doubt, never apologise.

    I fear you will wait in vain.

  • Unusual indeed for Lorenzo and the two Davids (Evans and Raw) to agree on anything, but they are absolutely correct on the matter of Phillip Lee. There is a danger with any insistence on purity of thought of descending into pointless factionalism, as has happened with Labour and (more recently) the Tories.

  • frankie 22nd Oct ’19 – 11:29pm “This does not however mean we should let Steven Lloyd stand as a candidate, the one thing that will kill you at any election is the smell of hypocrisy and letting a candidate represent you who went against the main policy of the party reeks of that.”

    It reeks of tolerance. Which is terribly upsetting.

    We’re a liberal party, not merely Remain United.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct '19 - 2:28pm

    David Evans

    That is a fine bit of interpretation and very appreciated. The aspect that really irritates is when others, as you refer to here, in your accurate reflection, go against facts. Evidence based is still open to individual interpretation, but facts are facts, and it is stated by George that I said things I did not in years when I was not on this site, nor other social media , in which I did not engage until two or three years ago!


    I reckon I as well as the two Davids, Evans, Raw, agree often as individuals, but rarely all at once!

  • It has to be said that when David Evans and Lorenzo Cherin agree with me, they are usually right.

    The Beatles – We Can Work it Out – YouTube › watch

  • Lorenzo Cherin 23rd Oct '19 - 3:54pm

    Chris Moore

    Terrific comments. Why on earth could a Liberal Democrat not be selected and supported if he backed the deal of Johnson? I do not want Caroline Flint expelled or deselected from Labour, nor Rory Stewart from the Tories. We are each of us a mix of views, which is why most here are open about Dr Lee.

    And why David Raw is correct, in his comments that when I and David Evans agree with him, we are right! As is he when he agrees with us!

  • Chris,
    When you are at odds with your party on the major issue of the time actually you have gone past the bounds of tolerance. If we go into the next election with a policy of revoke, what should Mr Lloyld’s view be revoke or “I’d be voting against that I want Brexit”. If it is revoke he’d look hypocritical, if it was leave he would be asked by all and sundry ” Are you sure you are in the right party”. I hold no animosity to Mr Lloyld but in this defining issue he and the party are too far apart for him to be a credible candidate.

  • nvelope2003 24th Oct '19 - 5:57pm

    nick Collins: If the Liberal Democrats are all like you putting up a candidate will be a pointless gesture. They will not win. Probably ideal situation for the Greens as their co leader holds rather similar views. Forget all those hopes for a strong Liberal presence in the House of Commons. About 30% of Liberal Democrat voters were said to have been Leave supporters. They are just as entitled to have MPs as Remainers like you.

  • nvelope2003 24th Oct '19 - 8:32pm

    Nick Collins: I think I did at least manage to spell your name correctly. If you are no longer a member of the Liberal Democrats it might be wise to show a little reticence when criticising their activities.Yes there are indeed many Leave supporting MPs but not many Liberal Democrat Leave supporters. Just one would hardly be overdoing it would it ?
    Of course as he is reported to be unwell Stephen Lloyd might decide not to stand again so problem solved, though possibly seat lost.

  • I have chosen the name I wish to be known by and that is my right and privilege in a free society as it is your right to be arrogant and sadly make disparaging comments about it. This seems to be the modern trend and those of us brought up in a more polite era have to put up with it. I am sorry it is accepted here. Comments should be related to the issues under discussion and not about people’s names.
    The Liberal Democrats have policies on a number of issues, not just whether to remain in the EU, and it is your right to vote as you wish. I hope that your local candidate is to your liking and supports remaining in the EU as I do. I understand that the MP in question generally supports Liberal Democrat policies but voted for the Withdrawal Bill. It is possible that some Liberal Democrats and candidates of other parties do not agree with every single policy of their chosen party. This is perfectly normal and people can vote as they please. I merely said you should be reticent, not that you should not disagree or comment in any way but I guess that does not conform to the tenor of this angry era, one in which we enjoy a standard of living undreamed of when I was young.
    It is a bit disappointing that so many have no understanding of their good fortune.

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