LibLink: Layla Moran A once in a generation opportunity to make our country fairer and more liberal

With the announcement of the revised leadership election timetable starting in two weeks’ time, there are three expected candidates. Ed Davey has yet to formally declare, but everyone expects him to be standing. Layla Moran and Wera Hobhouse have already announced that they are standing.

LDV is, as always, neutral in these things and will report equally on all the candidates.

Layla Moran has outlined her leadership pitch in an article for the Independent (£) which you can also read on her website.

For me, the best leadership is calm, measured and purposeful. It is open, transparent and direct. Good leaders spell out what they and their parties stand for, allowing people to grasp the ideas, embrace change and move forward together.

She outlines her position in three policy areas: economy, environment and education:

When I reimagine the education system, I picture more investment in the early years, to reduce inequalities before children get into a classroom. More power for teachers to design a world-class education system, which recognises and supports children with practical skills as well as academic. And, a nationwide adult retraining programme to get people back on their feet and into work.

Our economic approach also needs urgent change. As the country recovers, we mustn’t leave anyone in our society behind. A universal basic income is necessary to support those who fall on hard times. We must invest in education, health, social care and public services, and give all frontline workers the support they deserve. And let’s prioritise our wellbeing and mental health alongside economic growth, because now more than ever, we need to move forward positively and compassionately.

We have an opportunity to steal a march on the environmental crisis, too. In the past months, travel has reduced, and the demand for coal and oil has plummeted. This presents us with a precious opportunity to flatten the climate curve.

I want to see a UK which is not just carbon neutral but carbon negative. Young people, given they will have to carry this burden for us all, should be involved in the decision-making processes for achieving this ambitious goal. We must acknowledge the part that biodiversity catastrophe plays in pandemics, and recognise that to build resilience, we need to talk about habitat as well as carbon.

And what does the party need to do?

Under new leadership, the Lib Dems must work together at all levels of the party, to rebuild our campaigning strength, listen to voters and restore trust. We need a national brand that complements local council successes, rather than imposing messages that work against local aims. We need to build broad support across the country, and we need to live (and look like) our values of diversity and inclusion.

Update: Layla posted this video

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14 Comments

  • marcstevens 30th May '20 - 7:01pm

    That’s a very good start Layla and we look forward to seeing more detail on these three areas as the campaign gets underway. I am so glad you have mentioned adult retraining in the education policy area It has been so neglected by this government and the previous coalition with its emphasis on welfare to work and targets. Can you also look at revitalising the Careers Service, another key service undermined by Mr Clegg, so that it is more in tune with local communities and not just an anonymized national service. Also we need some form of a localised Connexions service which did some very good work with disaffected young people aged 13 – 19.

  • Carbon negative? Electricity produced by elves at the end of the garden?

  • Tony Greaves 30th May '20 - 9:49pm

    Carbon negative simply means taking more carbon out of the atmosphere and oceans than we put in. It is perfectly possible.

  • Antony Watts 31st May '20 - 7:46am

    Boring piffle, try harder.

    A country of peace and prosperity without peer or precedent anywhere in the world.

    1. Recovery & Resilience – fund public investments & reforms – for a climate neutral, digtalised & resilient economy, strategic autonomy

    2. Mobilise private investment, InvestEU program, re-capitalise, resilient economy, strategic autonomy. Health/pharmaceuticals

    3. Reinforce RescEU (natural disasters) and Horizon Europe (research and innovation)

    4. Competitive sustainability
    – economic stability, single market, rebalance balance sheets
    – social fairness, social fabric
    – Green Deal. Green, digital & resilient future, fight climate change, save nature
    – Productivity & competitiveness

    5. Strong global player

    Heard that somewhere else? The EU.

  • @Tony Greaves – It is an unachievable fantasy in the context of a national economy.

    Even the pandemic induced shut down of industry, aviation and most train and road transport world wide for over two months has failed to produce even the tiniest blip in the daily atmospheric carbon dioxide levels measured daily at the NOAA Global Monitoring Laboratory at Mouna Loa.

    My point is that leadership pledges involving meaningless fantasy are best avoided.

  • “A universal basic income is necessary to support those who fall on hard times. We must invest in education, health, social care and public services, and give all frontline workers the support they deserve”

    Fine aims, but you must tell the voters where the money is coming from. More borrowing? More taxation? Scrap Trident? In the run up to a general election Layla Moran will be sat opposite people like Andrew Neil and they (and the voters) will demand to know.

  • Matt Wardman 31st May '20 - 9:24am

    This piece from Layla seems strangely out of touch, and even in parts from another planet. I’ll just comment on two points.

    I am not sure why she is talking about coal demand plummeting in the Coronavirus. In the UK both production and consumption of coal are negligible and on the way out. Anyone campaigning on coal needs to be in Germany, where they uses scores of millions of tonnes of it, or Poland.

    And what does one expect to happen to heating energy demand in the period from March to June – it’s hardly likely to be going up is it? 😀

    A far more significant / tricky issue is to tackle middle class urbanites and their horribly polluting log burners.

    Young people, given they will have to carry this burden for us all, should be involved in the decision-making processes for achieving this ambitious goal.

    I don’t understand this; there’s nothing stopping ‘older’ people doing their bit – and people described as ‘older’ have up to another 50 or 60 years still to go.

    There are two sectors of our economy which have yet to be heavily decarbonised – housing and transport. The most significant emitter in housing (far more important than newbuild) is probably owner-occupied older stock (built pre-2000 and especially pre-1980) which has not been adequately updated. The typical energy saving standard of this sector is worst of all, and there is most of it. These are owned by older people, who need to pull the finger out and start investing in upgradesss.

    The other is transport, which has already baked in significant reductions by existing trends over the next 10 years. Much work is required, however, on active transport and air travel.

    The ‘negative carbon’ thing is to me just green populism.

  • ” A universal basic income is necessary to support those who fall on hard times.”
    The above statement is untrue. Let me correct it.
    ” A universal basic income is NOT necessary to support those who fall on hard times.”

    UBI is unnecessary and wasteful. In what way is it an improvement on properly targeted support for those who need it? It is just hand waving gesture politics.

    The education part is sensible as far as it goes.

    The whole thing is a bit thin and betrays a lack of understanding or serious thinking.

  • Peter Martin 31st May '20 - 9:42am

    Doesn’t it make more sense to say a “targetted” basic income is necessary to protect those who have genuinely fallen on hard times?

    Just a matter of interest how many contributors to LDV can say their income has dropped since the lockdown started? Mine has dropped a little. Maybe 10% or so. But on the other hand I can’t go to the pub, football matches, go on holiday, or visit cafes and restaurants so I probably have a bit more spare cash than usual.

    But many others won’t even have had that 10% reduction. Their generous pensions arrive as usual! Or they are still on full pay working from home.

    They, and people like myself, who can’t at all say we’ve fallen on hard times, don’t need bailing out.

  • marcstevens 31st May '20 - 6:42pm

    Yes mine as a low income council tenant on a 0 hours contract. My workplace has shutdown due to the pandemic and I don’t know for how long so 0 hours means 0 pay. Mine has dropped significantly since lockdown but then I realise I am in a totally different income bracket to most of you. Layla realises that with her sensible economic policy.

  • Toby Keynes 1st Jun '20 - 2:23pm

    @ Layla: “I want to see a UK which is not just carbon neutral but carbon negative. Young people, given they will have to carry this burden for us all, should be involved in the decision-making processes for achieving this ambitious goal.”

    @Peter: “It is an unachievable fantasy in the context of a national economy….My point is that leadership pledges involving meaningless fantasy are best avoided.”

    @Matt Wardman: “I don’t understand this; there’s nothing stopping ‘older’ people doing their bit – and people described as ‘older’ have up to another 50 or 60 years still to go.”

    Peter, Layla writes “I want to see…”. This is an aspiration, not a “pledge”.
    It is also genuinely realistic as a long-term aspiration. The UK could become carbon-negative well without our lifetimes – even well within a couple of decades – if it fully embraces renewable energy and carbon capture technologies.

    Matt, I think you’ve rather misread Layla’s comment. She writes that young people should be involved, not the the rest of us should be excluded.

  • Laurence Cox 1st Jun '20 - 2:47pm

    I don’t think that simply saying that we want to go carbon negative is sufficiently clear. Once we reach net-zero carbon in 2050 (or preferably earlier) if we continue reducing emissions then we will be ‘carbon negative’ but this does not take account of all of the carbon (in the form of coal, oil and gas) we have burnt since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. What we do need to do is to pledge not to stop until we have removed all the fossil carbon we have put into the atmosphere (and indirectly into our oceans).

    This would be a national equivalent to Microsoft’s pledge earlier this year to go carbon negative and remove all all their emissions since the company was founded in 1975.

  • @Toby Keynes – “… if it fully embraces renewable energy and carbon capture technologies.”

    That is exactly why it is fantasy and unachievable.

    Renewable energy always needs 100% fossil fuel back up on standby because blackouts cannot be permitted technically, economically or politically.

    Carbon capture is never going to happen on a useful scale at an acceptable cost. It is a fantasy.

    Zero net carbon is not achievable, negative carbon is a delusion.

  • James Fowler 2nd Jun '20 - 9:08am

    Fine stuff from Layla, but which Party leadership is she standing for? Where’s the distinctive liberalism? The problem that there’s nothing there that you won’t find in the Labour/Green manifesto come the day, only Labour’s will be more credible because they actually stand a chance of implementing it and the Greens have issue ownership on the environment. However, this type of mood music no doubt keeps Oxford West secure, and to be fair many seats that we have a shot at winning or want to hold conform to similar patterns so maybe there’s some value in contesting the Brahmin Left a while longer.

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