Tag Archives: buzzfeed

Changes to Lib Dem leadership rules – what the constitution says…

Can I just make a very polite suggestion to those who are briefing the press about potential changes to the way we elect leaders and who can stand in those elections to make sure that they understand our party’s processes for doing these things?

Because some things that the journalists are writing are just wrong.

Over the last week, we’ve seen a number of stories in the press which seem to be drip-feeding out some sort of process to change the rules for the election of a leader. There’s an article in Buzzfeed today which says that the rules for all this will be changed by a membership vote in November.

Lib Dem members will get the chance to debate a “supporters’ scheme” during a lunchtime session at the party conference in Brighton in September.

The rule change allowing non-MPs to stand as leader, which was first revealed in The Mirror last week, is expected to be formally announced to the press in early September and put to a vote of the membership in November.

This actually conflates two very different ideas.

We already know that Vince is keen to have a registered supporters scheme. There is a debate going on at the moment about what rights those registered supporters would have. Federal People Development Committee Chair Miranda Roberts looked at some of the issues in her latest report. 

Would they, for example, be able to vote in leadership elections? That’s what happened in the Labour party and that didn’t exactly work out well for them.

It would be really ironic if those people displaced by Corbyn’s election by registered supporters’ Momentum takeover of Labour then came to us and used our registered supporters scheme to turn our party into New Labour mark 2. While they are a million times better than the irresponsibly destructive government we have now, they are no respecters of individual and civil liberty. There is a big danger that the Liberal Democrats as we know it would end up as the smile on the face of the tiger of some new flaccid centrist affair which won’t change much and we need to think very carefully before we take such a move. This country is in such a dire state that radical change is vital to heal divisions and make it a kinder and fairer place.

There will be a consultation on all of this at the Brighton conference, with provision for those who can’t go to Conference to take part.

The other piece of the jigsaw is that there may or may not be a plan to allow a non-Parliamentarian to stand for leader. That may or may not have its merits but, as I said the other day, is all this process stuff where we really want to be as we approach the most intense time in the anti-Brexit campaign?

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No, Vince Cable will not be launching new anti-Brexit party with former Mail Political Editor

You do have to wonder if the @jameschappers Twitter account is a parody or has been taken over by the Brexiteers who are tweeting from some holiday bar for fun. It’s doing some seriously weird stuff at the moment, including suggesting that Vince Cable is going to be launching Chapman’s new anti Brexit Party on 9th September. Seriously.

No, he isn’t. It is that simple.

Jim Waterson of Buzzfeed has chapter and verse:

He quotes a Liberal Democrat spokesperson as saying:

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The most brilliant event of the EU Referendum

strip the willowI’ve found this EU Referendum really difficult. It’s been a horrible, nasty, divisive campaign with the most uncomfortable racist and nationalist overtones. I can’t remember which of our lot said it, but they were right that the dog whistle has become a foghorn. The thought that within 48 hours, our country might choose the path of isolationism and blaming of the others, believing a campaign based on lies  is not doing anything for my anxiety levels.

This afternoon, however, there was bright spot.

Outside the Scottish Parliament, the folk group Lau held a ceilidh flashmob to call for a Remain vote. I heard about it yesterday on Facebook and I was gutted that I couldn’t go. I asked Hannah Bettsworth, the awesome almost graduate, former co-President of Liberal Youth Scotland and occasional Liberal Democrat Voice contributor to go instead. She initially demurred, but curiosity eventually got the better of her.

The Strip the Willow is the most bonkers, potentially lethal Scottish ceilidh dance. It basically involves lots of spinning at great speed. There have been times I have thought I was going to end up on the next island while dancing it.  It’s fast and fun.

Here, Jamie Ross from Buzzfeed and Lib Dem Scottish Parliament supremo Matthew Clark show people how it’s done. Matthew is the one with the grey trousers and black jumper.

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Tim Farron on Calais refugees: “These are bright, educated people that just want to create a life for themselves.”

While David Cameron uses demeaning language comparing them to insects, Tim Farron takes himself off to Calais to actually meet some of the refugees there. He spoke to Buzzfeed’s Emily Ashton about his experiences. Here are some of the highlights:

An invitation to David Cameron

He should go ,” said Farron of the prime minister. “I will take him. He should talk to people there and look at the reality of the situation and he should deal with the reality rather than dealing with the myth.

The idea that they are all money grabbing people seeking to claim UK benefits is rubbish

The significant majority in the camp are, according to the French authorities and doctors, absolutely what any reasonable person would consider a refugee fleeing from war or persecution,” he said.

So this idea they are all money-grabbing people is just rubbish. I got talking to a bunch of guys from Eritrea, from Sudan, from Libya, and these are guys who wanted to come to England. Not one of them had a clue about benefits. They wanted to come to the UK because the UK represents the good life. Not that it’s a bed of roses or it’s cushy; I mean a life where people aren’t shooting at you, where you can be free to worship where you want to worship.

“We don’t get fewer losers by pitting one group against others”

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Liberal Democrat candidate Paul Childs talks about living with HIV

Liverpool Liberal Democrat candidate Paul Childs had been thinking of speaking publicly about his HIV status and was inspired by Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett’s powerful interview last week to do so. Nigel Farage’s horrible comments about the NHS treating foreigners with HIV in last week’s debate finally made up his mind and he contacted Buzzfeed.

He talked about how it felt when he was diagnosed:

I was never expecting it to happen. I remember being at work, sitting in a corridor and bursting into tears. I started shaking and getting really scared.” He went back to the hospital the next day. The second test was also positive.

I cried in front of the nurse – the staff were very supportive. I knew a little bit about what HIV meant because I’d done some work with a gay men’s health charity in Glasgow but I still had in my head that it was a terminal diagnosis. I asked the doctor how long I had to live.

He learned, though, that the condition could be kept under control, though:

Childs’ doctor explained that when treated properly, HIV is an entirely manageable chronic condition with a near normal life expectancy.

That simple sentence is something many people don’t realise.

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Former LGBT+ chair Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett becomes Britain’s first openly HIV positive candidate

Adrian Hyyrylainen-TrettI am feeling incredibly emotional this evening. What I’m feeling ranges from intense pride in a friend whose courage in telling his story will help others, to equally intense, ice-cold rage at what he has had to endure over the years. Adrian Hyyrylainen-Trett is the Liberal Democrat candidate for Vauxhall. He is a former chair of LGBT+ Lib Dems. Tonight, he has spoken to Buzzfeed about the bullying he suffered at school, how this led him to contemplate suicide at the age of just 14 and how his mental health deteriorated during his early adult life. He tells how he contracted HIV 11 years ago.

The fact that Adrian’s health has improved, he has found happiness in his personal life and professional success will be an inspiration to other young people who are suffering in the same way. I understand a little bit of what it’s like to be that teenager everyone hates who thinks the world would be so much better without her. Except when I was a teenager, nobody talked about this kind of stuff and I thought I was alone and the feelings I had were because I was a bad person.

You need to read the whole interview. It’s powerful, eloquent and very, very frank.

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The attacks on Tim Farron need to stop – Vince Cable should know better

Tim Farron Social Liberal Forum conference Jul 19 2014 Photo by Paul WalterNot even a charming account of his Friday dance class as reported by Buzzfeed’s Emily Ashton can assuage my annoyance with Vince Cable this morning. I have to say that he is an unusual candidate for my ire. His work rate of good, decent, liberal stuff in this parliament from stopping the Tories allowing employers to hire and fire people at will to strengthening consumer rights, tackling payday lenders and bringing in shared parental leave has been excellent. His economic wisdom and willingness to call out the Tories on their silly immigration targets has been much appreciated, as has his honesty about the realities of being in coalition with the Tories.

But he’s been the target of enough critical press briefings over the past five years to be aware of how destructive they can be. The fact that he’s prepared to put his name to trashing Tim Farron’s reputation and prospects doesn’t make it that much better. Speaking about the interview in which Farron was reported as saying that he’d give 2/10 for our handling of some aspects of the coalition (which is so totally out of character for Tim that I doubt its accuracy), Vince said:

“It wasn’t at all helpful,” Cable says bluntly. “I mean, he’s a very good campaigning MP, but he’s never been in government and has never had to make difficult decisions and I think his credibility isn’t great. You know, he’s an entertaining speaker and has a bit of a fan club. But I suspect he would not be seen as a very credible leader, at least now. Maybe in five, 10 years’ time, things are different.”

Credible politicians must be more consensual than extreme if they want to get things done, Cable suggests. He says pointedly: “The closer we get to an election and the more uncertain it seems, the more people will want people who are seen to be competent and reliable.”

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5 things you didn’t know Nick Clegg loves – another clever use of Buzzfeed by LDHQ

Screen Shot 2014-03-10 at 08.53.06Back in January, when a character from Sherlock was analysed as a disillusioned Lib Dem, those clever people at Party HQ came up with a Buzzfeed thingy giving 1o reasons why she should come back to us.

They’ve now done the same with five of the things from Nick Clegg’s speech that he loves about Britain.

I liked that part of his speech – here’s a reminder:

I love that a country capable of extraordinary pomp and ceremony can still retain a spiky irreverence towards its establishment. A

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