Labour “betraying members and parliamentary base” by opposing single market membership

Jeremy Corbyn told the Andrew Marr Show this morning that Labour did not favour the UK staying in the single market. Will Labour members, who overwhelmingly want to do so now realise that Corbyn is not going to deliver what they want? A Queen Mary University study showed that 85% of Labour members want to stay in the single market. There is even higher support, 87% for staying in the customs union. 78% want the public to have a final say on the Brexit deal. Corbyn ruled that out too.

Vince Cable had this to say:

As has long been suspected, Labour’s leadership is moving closer and closer to the Conservatives’ hard Brexit, which would damage the economy and cost jobs.

They are betraying their own members and parliamentary base, who want to remain part of the Customs Union and Single Market. Rather than ruling out the Liberal Democrats’ increasingly popular call for a vote on the terms of any deal -which would include an exit from Brexit – they should be doing their job as the official opposition and backing the public to have the final say.

Corbyn talks about delivering social justice, but that is very hard to do if you crash the economy as spectacularly as a hard Brexit or, even worse, a no deal Brexit will do.

 

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50 Comments

  • Peter Martin 28th Jan '18 - 5:55pm

    Would I be correct in thinking that the call for remaining in the single market and or the customs union is essentially a way to keep the UK in the EU while pretending that we’ve left? Is that too cynical a view?

    There is a case for being in the EU. But we have to be in to the same extent as France, Italy, Germany and all the rest to have any meaningful say in its development. We can’t opt out of what’s happening anymore than can the State of Hawaii in the USA. Either Hawaii is in the USA or it isn’t. It can’t pick and choose which bits it likes about the USA and which bits it doesn’t.

    For the UK, this means accepting the euro, accepting Schengen and anything else we might have opted out of over the years. Otherwise we’ll be a marginalised peripheral associate member which is kept at arms length by the countries who really do have an influence.

    So I’d challenge anyone who claims to be pro EU to be really pro EU, and to have the courage of their convictions. Instead of trying to cherrypick what we’ll have and what we won’t, advocate to go the whole way. So either 100% in or 100% out.

    100% out doesn’t mean that we don’t trade with European countries or we don’t go there on holidays! We’ve always done that except in times of war. And I’m sure we always will.

  • In all of this what gets forgotten is the UK voted to leave the EU. There Lib Dems should ensure Brexit works for all Britons and not try to pretend the Leave vote in 2016 does not count.

  • Katharine Pindar 28th Jan '18 - 6:17pm

    Peter, as ever you refuse to accept that it is perfectly viable for the UK to remain in an outer tier of the EU – currently including eight other countries – and that we do not need and will probably never agree to joining the EZ or the Schengen Area. You know that this issue was extensively discussed in the very recent Rob Wheway article here about EU reform, where the comments developed considerable thoughts about how we would like to see that happen.

  • Peter Martin 28th Jan '18 - 6:46pm

    @ Katharine,

    You’re right. I don’t accept that it’s perfectly viable. There aren’t, for very much longer, going to be eight other countries in any case. All bar Denmark are committed to the euro and even Denmark is part of Schengen. Romania, Bulgaria and Slovenia aren’t yet part of Schengen but are committed to it by Treaty obligations. So we’ll be out on the periphery on our own. That’s not a good position for the UK and not good for the EU either.

  • Peter we voted to leave and give up our opt outs and privileged position, we are now faced with trying to make the best of a bad job and try to preserve that which was most useful to us or storm off in a huff crying we never wanted to be a member. Which neatly answers LibDemer’s comment we can try to make it work as well as possible and retain single market access and the customs union or flounce off in a huff which is the cause recommended by the brave Brexiteers. I know many brave Brexiteers want to show the world how important we are “They need us more than we need them” but as a reality dawns they can’t face they retreat from the world and shroud themselves in tales of Dunkirk and “Very Well Alone”.

    As to your plaintiff plea for Lib Dems to make it work, well lets face reality the only ones in a position to make it work are the Tories and to a lesser extent Labour, now the fact they seem incapable or unwilling (or both) to make it work is their problem not ours; we can offer all the good advice in the world but if they huff and puff along, putting their faith in Tinkerbell, The Benny Hill Tribute Act. Admiral Wee Mogg and Co or even Jeremy well it is unlikely to end well because delusion runs deep in all of them.

  • So Peter Eire is in Schengen, I didn’t know that. Sweden, Denmark, Switzerland and Norway use the Euro, well I doidn’t know that either. You all or nothing philosophy for the EU doesn’t reflect reality, that philosophy doesn’t even fit the USA and they are a Federal state. Difference can exist in a Federal state, so why you feel in the EU which is far from a federal state differences can’t exist is beyond me, unless you are following the brave Brexiteer handbook which preaches of a Federal EU coming to take our freedoms away.

    The bogey man of a powerful malevolent state coming for our freedoms is often used, normally from the right too trash an opponent, I’m sorry to see you falling into that trap.

  • They aren’t pretending though are they, they are saying there should be a vote on the deal. It wasn’t a huge mandate to leave the EU and had it been the other way round, you would expect the Nigel Farage’s of this world to be on every programme demanding a 2nd referendum or on a remain vote. At least the party is remaining consistent on its approach to the EU unlike the party of government or labour.

  • I’d much rather be properly in the EU, but one of my good friends who campaigned for Brexit was adamant that we could stay in the single market, and that at the very least we’d be like Switzerland (who were doing very well despite not being in the EU). I did argue that we’re not going to be like Switzerland, but the point stands that she was utterly convinced that in voting to Leave, we’d not be required to also leave the Single Market. I know she doesn’t represent all Leave voters, but she represents some of them.

    More to the point, it’s downright dishonest of Corbyn to repeatedly pretend that there is a requirement to leave the Single Market if we leave the EU. He may prefer that, and he may also think that’s what most Leave voters had in mind, and maybe he’s just finding out what all of these different things mean, a bit like Davis and Leadsom, but he’s not been prepared to let his party discuss the pros and cons of it.

  • This needs to be continually highlighted. Corbyn and McDonnell are hard brexiters. It is the only way they can achieve their aims of selective state aid and reduced competition.

    The sooner those that think they share their views realise just how wrong they are the better.

  • Peter Martin 28th Jan '18 - 7:36pm

    @ frankie,

    Ireland isn’t in Schengen, and I do take your point about that, ‘cos the UK isn’t. And we are going to rely on that to last? The eight other EU countries who don’t use the euro are Poland, Czech Republic, Romania, Bulgaria, Hungary, Sweden, Slovenia, and Denmark. Only Denmark has a permanent opt out. I wasn’t including Switzerland and Norway because they aren’t EU.

    I probably should have said that Switzerland is still in Schengen though!

    So if we are talking about tiers of EU membership, who else is going to be on our tier? ie Outside the EZ and outside Schengen.

  • Andrew McCaig 28th Jan '18 - 7:40pm

    Peter,
    I think most people just want to protect jobs and living standards. Only a minority care much about how much we are in or out of the EU. Personally I would welcome a Federal Europe, or indeed a Federal World. We need to work together not as competing Nation States.. But that is neither Party Policy nor likely to be given the go ahead by voters dominated by propaganda of a very anti-EU variety..

    It is quite clear from polling that most people would prefer a Norway option to a hard Brexit with no immediate trade deal. Norwegians seem to be mostly ok with their half way house, even though you say it is impossible… I agree with you, of course, that Remain on existing terms would be much better….

  • Actually Peter the reason why Schengen isn’t a big issue to the majority of EU states is they way they police immigration. They use internal controls, the need to register, ID cards etc we relied on checks at the border. We would have to rethink they way we dealt with immigration if we ever entered Schengen as would the Irish. As has often been pointed out free movement isn’t actually free movement, we just lacked the infrastructure and will to enforce the rules.

  • Peter Martin 28th Jan '18 - 8:31pm

    @ frankie,

    So you’re in favour of ID cards and more internal controls? We’d deny immigrants access to health care and welfare benefits if they hadn’t paid enough into the system?

  • Bit of a desperate jump there Peter too me denying people health care and benefits. Not my opinion at all. I would suggest we could have made it a requirement to show that after three months of no NI payments that an EU citizen could show they had funds to support themselves, where actively seeking work or had commenced studies failure to do so could lead to removal. Now it could be that our politicians would feel this is draconian and would not want to enforce removals, fare enough but what they couldn’t do is blame that policy on the EU.

  • I think frankie is right, would also point out border patrol boats in the country were cut back by this government not the EU as were passport staff checking ID and technology is not always the best substitute.

  • Peter Martin 28th Jan '18 - 10:35pm

    Correction: The list above should include Croatia as a non user of the euro.
    Slovenia does use the euro.

  • Alex Macfie 29th Jan '18 - 7:09am

    @LibDemer: Democracy doesn’t end in a vote. It is a continuous process, so democratically decided policies can be democratically challenged any time.
    The result of the 2016 referendum does not stop opponents of Brexit from campaigning to reverse it, any more than the result of last year’s general election means that everyone has to support the policies of the democratically elected Tory-DUP government,

  • Arnold Kiel 29th Jan '18 - 7:48am

    Never mind what Corbyn/McDonnell say; with them in 10/11 before March 2019, Brexit is dead. They do not have the negotiators, the will, the votes (expect 150 Tory Brexit “rebels” to come out of hiding), the popular support, and, most importantly, Labour has not tied its survival to Brexit.

    No point in attacking them; the Conservatives are the enemy.

  • Peter Martin 29th Jan '18 - 8:21am

    You seem pretty conservative in your views, Arnold Kiel! Maybe you are your own worst enemy? 🙂 As Thomas Piketty points out, Germany has conservatives too, and they are responsible the poor standing of the EU with the UK population.

    http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/german-conservatives-are-destroying-europe-with-austerity-says-economist-thomas-piketty-10368040.html

  • Ian Hurdley 29th Jan '18 - 8:27am

    Jeremy Corbyn has been out of step with the mainstream Labour Party throughout his political career. Why should we expect him to behave differently now that he is Leader?

  • Peter Martin 29th Jan '18 - 8:49am

    @ Frankie,

    If an EU policy is forcing any Government towards draconian policies then it has to accept that it is largely responsible. It may be acceptable in some countries to forcibly evict and deport some families and workers who have entered the country perfectly legally simply because everything hasn’t gone as well as they’d hoped. But not in the UK it isn’t.

    We take the view that either they aren’t allowed in to start with, but once they are accepted they are totally accepted.

  • Arnold Kiel 29th Jan '18 - 8:52am

    Ian Hurdley,

    being a one-man principled rebel cost Corbyn nothing. Now he has one chance to become a historical figure. For that, he must force the opportunity, and win popular support and more seats than the Tories. And then he wants to govern and must somehow conclude Brexit with a hopefully split Parliament. He will quickly find out that he simply cannot deliver a low-damage Brexit in the time available. He will have to de-prioritize Brexit, in order to follow his agenda and keep the Conservatives from power for more than one term, possibly until they have completely reinvented themselves.

  • Peter Martin 29th Jan '18 - 8:52am

    @ Ian Hurdley,

    If Jeremy Corbyn is so ‘out of step’, how is it that he was elected leader of the Labour Party by a large majority? ie more votes than all his rivals combined?

  • William Fowler 29th Jan '18 - 8:56am

    Labour probably wants Brexit so it can renationalize lots of companies with minimal compensation (ie if shareholders have been paid lots of dividends they won’t get much more out of a Labour govn) – this will probably be popular with a large section of the electorate but currently illegal under EU laws. A few years down the line, they will turn to stealing money from the moderately wealthy when they find companies won’t invest in the UK. But it will be great fun driving around in a State produced and updated Morris Marina with electric motor and a battery life so dodgy they will be equipped with a heavy-duty bicycle so you can take the batteries to a charging point…

  • William
    I think you’ll find what they want to take back are the failed franchises of water, rail, the various services that were handed over to the likes of Carilion and maybe the Royal Mail.

  • William,

    for 68 years, all the man had to do was saying what he wanted. As soon as he has to show what he can, he and we all will be surprised: a lot less than people believe or hope or fear.

    But this debate does not matter much, because it is really quite simple: the only alternative is this Tory-Government until 2022 with a unstopped and derailed Brexit and the additional twist of having a May-successor from either the 20th or the 19th century. How could that be preferable in any way?

  • @ William Fowler If, as you say,it is illegal under EU law to have publicly owned utilities, can you please explain why France Holland and Germany all have publicly owned railways ? Indeed, these same publicly owned French, Dutch and German railway organisations actually own the majority of our so called ‘privatised railway companies’ and take revenue out of the system by way of dividends..

    It’s also curious that one of our 12 Lib Dem MP’s, Sir Edward Davey, when he was Energy Minister, arranged a massive (and very much over priced) contract with a French nationalised utility to run the Hinckley Point nuclear power station.

  • In, out, shake it all about!!

    Clearly you can be have the Norway option – out of the EU but in the single market as um.. Norway has it. The referendum did not specify which version of “out”. And as has been said at least some Brexit voters thought that we would still be the single market. May be more than 2% so a majority may have wanted to be in the single market (48% + 2%).

    Brexiteers and the Government have interpreted the referendum as being out of the Single Market.

    It is a bit of a myth on benefits and free NHS care. For the NHS you need to have “ordinarily resident” status – including if you are an EU citizen.

    For benefits (including EU and EEA) you need to be “habitually resident” including according to the CAB you must also normally show that you have actually lived here for an ‘appreciable’ period of time and there is a detailed look at whether you have made your life here.

    https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/benefits/coming-from-abroad-and-claiming-benefits-the-habitual-residence-test/the-habitual-residence-test-an-introduction/the-habitual-residence-test-how-a-decision-is-made/

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ordinarily_resident_status

    I have known EU nationals working here denied in-work benefits for not passing the test and British citizens returning from Spain denied NHS care on the basis that they were not “ordinarily resident” here.

    Turn up here from the EU and you won’t be able to claim benefits because you are not habitually resident here. Obviously EU citizens may have their health care paid for by their ORIGINAL – country NOT the UK at the moment under the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC).

    As I posted elsewhere. Brexit costs the public finances £300 million a week. Lets exit Brexit and fund the NHS instead!

    And it hits people in the pocket with higher inflation, lower growth and falling real wages.

    The grass is not always greener on the other side.

  • OK – I might have been slightly wrong on the EHIC – it covers emergency care on a reciprocal basis until you can return home – you still can’t claim free non-emergency NHS care as an EU citizen unless you are “ordinarily resident” here.

  • @William Fowler

    The French Government owns 15% of Renault. And the Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi alliance (“The three companies are joined together through a cross-sharing agreement.”) is the world’s leading plug-in electric vehicle manufacturer.

    So I am afraid that people are (at least partially) state produced electric vehicles. Sorry!

    https://group.renault.com/en/finance-2/financial-information/key-figures/
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Renault%E2%80%93Nissan%E2%80%93Mitsubishi_Alliance

  • Peter Martin 29th Jan '18 - 10:57am

    @ Michael,

    The EU rules don’t make it impossible to renationalise railways (and anything else) but they do make it more difficult. It’s probably better to not privatise in the first place. It’s always easier to defend the status quo when a legalistic interpretation of the rules is called for.

    https://theconversation.com/fact-check-do-new-eu-rules-make-it-impossible-to-renationalise-railways-61180

  • William Fowler 29th Jan '18 - 11:15am

    I hate to think of the state of basic education in this country, I clearly said it was illegal under EU laws to renationalize companies without compensation or in the shadow chancellor’s case to renationalize them using a calculation that includes taking into account the dividends paid and them square-rooting an illusionary figure based on whatever they think they can get away with. Once that happens, companies won’t invest in the UK hence State committee designed electric cars that would cost five times the going rate and work as well as a seventies Morris Marina.

  • @ William Fowler Oh no you didn’t. You said minimal compensation.

    I also, to quote you, ‘hate to think of the state of basic education in this country’ when you can describe necessary taxation to maintain public services as ‘stealing money from the moderately wealthy’. That’s more than a tad ‘exhilarated’.

    Maybe you should have done a bit more due diligence before suddenly deciding you were a Liberal Democrat rather than a Tory a few weeks ago.

  • William’
    The franchises can be allowed to lapse and simply not put up for renewal, whilst the assumption that Labour will nationalise without compensation is just that. An assumption. Plus were does this state committee designed car come from?. My guess is your imagination and nowhere else.

  • Peter Martin 29th Jan '18 - 12:02pm

    @ William Fowler, @ David Raw, @ Michael,

    Much as I hate to support an obvious Tory in Lib Dem clothing like William, but I have to say he’s right to the extent that the recreation of British Rail wouldn’t be allowable under EU rules.

    Partial renationalisation, such as taking East Coast Mainline back into public ownership, is obviously allowable. It happened a few years ago.

  • Is any non EU state in both the single market and customs union? Not to my knowledge.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Jan '18 - 12:47pm

    David and Peter

    Rather than daft and not very friendly little digs at William fr being an ex Tory, two suggestions.

    The initial one, we should welcome thinking of a liberal nature, whether we accept it as obvious in its liberalism or familiar in its Liberal core. It is not iliberal to be a sceptic about the ability or talent of government, as similarly to be thus re big corporations. William does have some core values which alas he even then puts accross in a sardonic way, but these are liberal or Liberal. The fact is that all parties have various strands. With the Tories drifting headlong to replace UKIP, then William is either homeless or at home here , even if sleeping on a camp bed.

    Second and important point. Rather than tit for tat or , mine is bigger than yours, on nationalisation, we should get the facts. If it is ilegal to renationalise , at all, the railways, we should be ashamed of ourselves supporting the EU and we should say, sorry William, go back from wence you came, we are en masse applying to join Labour, Momentum have thirty five thousand members and are in command on many fronts of a party of five hundred thousand !

  • Lorenzo Cherin 29th Jan ’18 – 12:47pm………………….Momentum have thirty five thousand members and are in command on many fronts of a party of five hundred thousand !………

    Really? Well, regarding parliamentary candidates they aren’t doing a good job…” of the 24 key marginals to be contested so far, Momentum candidates have won in just five, while a further six have gone to candidates from the “wider Labour left”. The rest have been taken by “trade unionists, longstanding local campaigners and former [candidates]”…..

  • @Peter Martin

    This thread started with about whether it was possible IN GENERAL to renationalise under EU rules and indeed should we want implement the 2017 Labour manifesto which clearly it is – see https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/sep/30/experts-reject-labour-leavers-argument-brussels-nationalisation.

    Some may fall foul of the state aid rules but essentially this will remain the same after Brexit under World Trade Organisation rules. Furthermore it is likely that if we have negotiated deal on Brexit it will include rules on state aid.

    The second argument is specifically on the new rail directive and the academics in the article state that it is not possible under the specific rules of this new directive to “recreate” BR completely – so one assumes that they are right.

    The situation COULD though be more be akin to that in London – and indeed go further – where there is a lot of direction by Transport for London – the Dockland Light Railway operator does not have the ability to set different prices for it from the rest of the Tube whereas railway franchises have much more ability to set their own fares.

    You could if you want presumably have franchises on a much larger basis and run it on a much more integrated national basis as TfL does in London – for example reverting to the old BR sectors of intercity, regional railways, network South East and freight. Or just have one national franchise.

    The oversight body could set and collect fares and in turn simply pay the operators so many services. This is different from the situation at the moment where operators judge how much revenue they will be making and then bid on level of service and subsidy or payment to make for the franchise.

    You COULD change the franchise process completely around – close if not identical to BR.

    Personally though I am not overly nostalgic for the old days of BR!

  • Ian Hurdley 30th Jan '18 - 8:02am

    @ Peter Martín Corbyn’s election came about as a result of an influx of new, younger members to whom his ‘rebel’ image appealed and who also believed (in the teeth of evidence to the contrary) that he would fight Tory attempts to take us out of the EU.

  • Jayne mansfield 30th Jan '18 - 8:44am

    @ Ian Hurdley,
    Do you have evidence for your assertions? I may be wrong, but I thought that a BES voting survey had shown that to be a myth, unless one extends the image of what constitutes ‘younger members’.

    It has been my own personal experience, that it is a belief that a party led by Jeremy Corbyn, is the party with the greatest hope of achieving a society free from poverty, ignorance or conformity, and it is this that has attracted a large number of professional men and women, who are no longer in the first bloom of youth.

    It is absurd to suggest that those with the educational backgrounds attracted by the possibilities offered by Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party can’t see the risks involved.

    What is true, is that by focusing on Jeremy Corbyn as a bogey man, rather than attracting individuals by offering a positive alternative, your party’s strategy, (according to the polls), is not working.

  • Agree with you, Jayne. Turning Corbyn J. into a bogey man is back firing for the Lib Dems (some of whom don’t seem to be able to help themselves from repeating right wing Tory tabloid nostrums). It simply reminds the general public of how the Lib Dems joined a Tory Government and went along with austerity, welfare cuts etc., in 2010.

    Far better to listen to Compass and consider tactical voting (as we used to do) to get this hapless Tory Government out and plan a joint radical programme for government.

    As for Corbyn, from a historical perspective, any serious analysis of his ideas would place him in the rebel radical group of Liberal back bench M.P.’s in the Campbell-Bannerman/Asquith governments between 1906 and 1914. He would have resigned and joined the UDC in August 1914, resurfacing later in the Labour Party like Trevelyan, Ponsonby, Morel etc., .

  • Jayne Mansfield.
    I think what a lot of people ignore is that, with all the rhetoric about “the left behinds”, young people are generally quite poor, often in debt up to their eyeballs, unable to afford housing, stuck on minimum wages and nowhere close to as mobile as internationalist insist they are because freedom of movement, is for the most part, really just the freedom to be a transient worker in unstable short-contract lower paid jobs in the big economies. They’re not global go-getters, able to tap into exciting new opportunities by hopping between London, New York, Paris, Berlin and Tokyo. They’re kids stuck in expensive student accommodation or still living with their parents because they do not earn very much money. This is the world the Third Way built. A world of transient, unstable, jobs, high debt, managed decline in living standards and committed to the gradual withdrawal of the protections built up by the supposedly bad “statists” in the 20th Century.

  • Peter Martin 30th Jan '18 - 9:42am

    @ Ian Hurdley,

    Presumably you are referring to the decision by the Labour Party to allow registered and affiliated supporters to vote in the 2015 contest? They technically weren’t members of the party. Ironically, this was a Progress initiative which was only opposed by a small group on the left who were concerned that the Trade Union influence would be weakened as a consequence.

    It’s true that these newer voters did swell the size of Jeremy Corbyn’s majority. He received nearly 60% of the vote on the first ballot. He still received 49.5% from existing members though. Technically, if only these votes had counted, and any of the other three candidates had insisted upon it, there could have been a requirement that second preferences be counted. However, as JC only needed another 0.5% that would have been a formality.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Labour_Party_(UK)_leadership_election,_2015

  • Ian Hurdley 30th Jan ’18 – 8:02am…….. Corbyn’s election came about as a result of an influx of new, younger members to whom his ‘rebel’ image appealed and who also believed (in the teeth of evidence to the contrary) that he would fight Tory attempts to take us out of the EU…..

    That brings back memories of my youth…
    A time when ‘rebel/radical’ applied to the Liberal party
    A time when we believed that Liberals would fight Tory policies
    A time when….

    Ah, nostalgia…

  • Jayne mansfield 30th Jan '18 - 2:24pm

    @ expats,
    ‘Those were the days my friend’, sung by Mary Hopkins

  • Jayne mansfield 30th Jan '18 - 8:25pm

    @ Glenn,
    In a different thread, my response to you was rather robust so it was not allowed. A pity really because I am sure that you wold have been more than able to counter what I said if you had the evidence to support your assertions.

    Glen, I struggle to understand your politics. Do you thing that leaving the EU will solve all the issues you raise? I am not an EU fundamentalist. If you think that leaving the EU will be the answer to all the issues you raise, please tell me how.

    Are you saying that the problems faced by the young are a result of being a member of the EU rather than choices made by politicians closer to home, ?

  • Jayne mansfield 30th Jan '18 - 8:26pm

    @ Glen.
    Apologies for my typos. My eyes are tired.

  • Jayne Mansfield.
    No I do not believe leaving the EU will solve all the issues I raised. However, I don’t think the EU has helped. What I do think is that welfare, social housing, the NHS, free education, job stability and so on are the products of nation states because there is a certain level of protectionism involved. In my reading the erosion of these ideas is not entirely separate from a kind of internationalist mind-set which is why I no longer see internationalism as innately good. I changed a lot of my opinions during the Blair and Coalition years. Before then I was more of a goofy kid.

  • @ expats & Jayne Yes,those certainly were the days, my friend.

    I well remember sitting next to Eric Lubbock MP in Trafalgar Square protesting outside the South African Embassy when it looked like Nelson Mandela was going to be executed ; hearing Garfield Todd’s daughter Judith speak on the situation in Rhodesia and getting a standing ovation at the Liberal Assembly ; and with other YL’s demonstrating about Vietnam in ’68 outside the US embassy.

    More recently, I was proud as punch when my youngest daughter and her pals got on a coach at Manchester Uni at four in the morning to join the Charlie Kennedy protest over Iraq in Hyde Park.

    There’s a lot of water in the milk these days. Sad.

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