Tag Archives: Christmas competition

Christmas Competition

I wanted to give an update on the 2018 Christmas Competition. We had twelve good submissions by 17th December. The articles have now been judged, and three were very close. I want to thank everyone who submitted an article. It was a shame that we didn’t have more submissions from ladies.

I want to thank David Warren for his articles, and I particularly liked the poem by Tony Harris, but the winner was … Andrew Toye. A Waitrose hamper will be on its way to Andrew.

Thank you again for all those who submitted an article and hopefully next year you too …

Posted in News | 5 Comments

Competition: Who we Liberal Democrats are, and what we have to offer

Who we Liberal Democrats are, and what we have to offer

The finding of a You Gov survey of 5000 people, reported in the Sunday Times and then here by Caron, that in the event of Jeremy Corbyn’s Official Opposition supporting Mrs May’s proposed deal with the EU there could be a massive switch of support among the voters from Labour to our party, raises the question of our identity, perceived and genuine.

The voters who told You Gov that they would switch to us knew our commitment to staying in the EU and demanding another referendum to try to secure this result. The issue of Brexit has become an overriding concern to British voters, and would-be Remainers who put their faith in Labour at the General Election last June may well be doubting them now.

However, do they see the Liberal Democrats as a single-issue party, only perhaps of short-term value till some way forward is found in this huge national crisis?

As to that, this is not a crisis which can be resolved in the short term. Moreover, while the two major parties openly display unprecedented levels of internal division and consequent inaction, the Liberal Democrats stand out as being the only major British party where the elected representatives and the majority of party members agree in their aims. Ours is a party which has shown consistency and stability of purpose throughout, qualities which appear somewhat rare and surely of continuing value in the current maelstrom of British politics.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 5 Comments

Christmas Competition: Why be a Liberal Democrat?

That’s a good question at the moment, one I’m constantly asking myself. To be clear, I’m looking at this question from the holistic point of view, that is – why be a Liberal Democrat at all? I’m not going to give you a list of reasons justifying membership.

Considering the current shambolic state of our nation, the appalling failure of our Government and the ineffectual weakness of the supposed Opposition (the not-much-confidence motion, I ask you), it is almost inexcusable that we, the party of Remain, should be still scraping along the bottom in the opinion polls. Even our improving by-election performance now seems to be stuttering, though the party machinery tends to turn a blind eye to this. I can understand that; motivation and encouragement are important.

However, it’s time to face up. We’re so close to being a busted flush, and below the radar significant money and effort are being put into furnishing a phoenix to replace us, rising from the ashes of Brexit. Please, don’t think I’m disloyal or lobbing bricks in from outside – I love this party, I’ve spent thousands of pounds and thousands of hours running local parties, supporting campaigns and fighting for it and its predecessor as a council and parliamentary candidate over the past forty-five years. That’s why I want to save it.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 43 Comments

Christmas Competition: How can we reduce inequality?

Monday. Four days of the working work to come! “Things never change” thought Michael as his self-driving car drew up and he hopped in and caught up with some work. Still, the rat-run to work! Still, everyone copied in on emails! On the radio, Nigella Farage wittered on as ever about “country rights” in Europe to Joanna Humphrys as Today marked the centenary of Brexit in 2019. Moreover, Michael inwardly moaned that maybe equality for women had gone too far!

His grandfather had talked glowingly at breakfast about how the Lib Dem government had taken Britain back into Europe in 2042 ushering in an era of greater prosperity and equality, retaking advantage of The European single market and better workers’ rights. Moreover, Michael had shuddered at his grandfather’s childhood tales of PM Boris Johnson and his chancellor Rees-Mogg’s almost Dickensian Britain before that “But is life really more equal now than 100 years ago?” He asked Alexa to do some research for him.

Alexa told him about the hated DWP and things called food banks and sanctions. In 2050, the Lib Dems had introduced a universal basic income albeit at the paltry level of £20 a week. A success, it reduced unemployment, the opposite of opponents’ scaremongering. As the UBI rose, as well as improving equality and mental health, everyone had a half-way decent income even if they wanted to take time to care for family, volunteer or pursue interests.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 2 Comments

Christmas Competition: How can we reduce inequality?

I want somebody to take away from me what I have and give it to other people.

I’m a pensioner in a comfortable place in the most comfortable part of the UK, the south-east. Our incomes are high relative to every other region of the UK; more of us own our own houses than any other region. Government policy persistently works to protect us and boost us more than any other region. One of the most important considerations for Liberal Democrat policy on inequality must be to reduce the very substantial difference in income, wealth and comfort between the south-east and everywhere else in the UK.

I do not ignore the substantial inequalities within this region as well as between it and others. The village I live in is very comfortable indeed. But it has its own food bank. The nearest town to me, Lewes, is decidedly affluent. However, it has three food banks. Nevertheless, the more pressing need, I believe, is to fix the massive inequalities between regions. There will be no substantial growth in the near future to enable a pretence that everybody can win. So that means that, if others are to do better, I, and people like me, will do worse. That is as it should be.

There will be many ways to do this. I focus here on two: infrastructure and general spending. In each case, I focus on one aspect out of several possibilities.

For infrastructure, there should be a primary criterion in the consideration stage of projects: how does this spending benefit the regions or the nations? This should apply, even if the project is in London or the south-east. The presumption should be that whatever money is available for infrastructure projects should go to the regions first. Some might object that London and the south-east still need money spent on infrastructure projects. Yes, they do, but for too long they have taken precedence over spending in the regions. That priority should be reversed. If that means I have to wait longer for an upgrade to my railway line, so be it.

Posted in Op-eds | 7 Comments

Christmas Competition: How can we reduce inequality?

Forget the aroma — LDs must be first, to get up and make the coffee! Manifestos must do more than hope to tweak benevolently. Changing one big thing always changes everything: ravish equatorial forest, you melt icecaps, perhaps drowning Rotterdam and Rye.

After the last ten years, our kingdom hurts– families divided, MPs at odds with constituents – hostility and temper; all is despair and sorrow.

Nonsense! Now is our chance to change everything for the better, to unite, and strengthen all that’s best. Improbable? Which of the countries ravaged and overwhelmed by WW2 does the best today, and has done for decades?

Now, in the imminent aftermath of Brexit, the urgent thing is to heal our internal and national strains. Moreover, the best way to work the healing is to succour those most damaged, and aggrieved, victims of Tory “Austerity” — the poor, and the ones who have ‘had enough of experts’. We need a Universal Basic Income.

“Oh, that old fantasy!” I hear you sniff? No fantasy – think on . . .

Posted in News and Op-eds | 12 Comments

Christmas Competition – Why be a Lib Dem?

To talk about reasons why everyone else should join the party, I assume I should start by discussing the reasons why I joined myself. I joined the party shortly after Jeremy Corbyn’s second Labour leadership election, seeing no future for myself in the Labour Party, I began to search for a new political party to call my home. Being vaguely close to the political centre, I knew from the start it wouldn’t be the CPGB or UKIP, not being from a region that has a regional party, I assumed the SNP and Plaid Cymru wouldn’t be too pleased with a …

Posted in Op-eds | 5 Comments

Christmas competition How can we reduce inequality

Reducing inequality is something that all politicians even Conservatives say they are in favour of.

They even produce figures to try and demonstrate that government measures are having a positive effect.

The reality, of course, is that over the last forty years or so inequality has got worse particularly in economic terms.

Wealth gives access to things like better quality health and education leading on to employment opportunities that the poorer in our society can only dream of.

This is combined with a trend since the Thatcher years of a decline in access to things like relatively well-paying jobs and decent, affordable housing for the masses.

Put on top of that the cuts in welfare then you reach a stage where the United Nations commissions an investigation into poverty in the nation.

Liberals have a proud history of tackling inequality the Beveridge plan of the 1940s being just one notable example and we must now come up with a new Beveridge type plan for the 21st century.

Posted in Op-eds | 31 Comments

Reminder: Christmas Competition – deadline Monday

To celebrate and get in the mood for the festive season I thought that we could have a writing competition.  As many of you (on average at least 4,500 members visit the Lib Dem Voice site every day) write articles, read them or comment I propose a Christmas Article Competition.

The proposed Competition Rules are:

  • An Article should not be more than 550 words;
  • The article in each of the specified areas will be jointly judged by representatives identified as experts in that area by Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem editors;
  • The starting date for the competition starts as of 28th November to 17th December;
  • The title of your article for the competition should start with the words “Competition: … followed by the title of your article”

Basic criteria when assessing each article will be:

  • The originality of the article;
  • That the article is within the stipulated maximise length required (550 words);
  • Generally, how well has the article presented its argument on the subject matter;
  • We will only accept one submission for each subject area per person (as stated below);
Posted in News | 1 Comment

Christmas Competition: Taking On the Demagogues

We seem to be in an age of populists – from Brexiteers in the UK to authoritarian voices in parts of Europe and beyond, to Donald Trump in the US. Wherever there is a problem, there’s someone to blame, and it’s usually minority groups and the vulnerable – those with the quietest voices – that get blamed.

This development has potentially dangerous consequences – populist leaders fomenting an atmosphere of distrust, resentment, and hatred. At home politicians and newspapers see “traitors”, “saboteurs”, “enemies of the people” and little green men hiding under the bed. We all know where this can lead. “Ordinary”, “hard-working” people whom populists claim to represent only get to have their say once – then the barriers go up, dissent is silenced or drowned out by all-dominant official media (or government-friendly oligarchs buying media space); human rights disregarded and power abused and corrupted. Liberals, people of a broadly liberal outlook, are getting thoroughly sick of all this mean-spirited grumpiness and nastiness. Their stomach-churning rhetoric serves to remind us why we are liberals.

We cannot necessarily blame “technology” or “social media” for this malaise – populist demagoguery has driveled out of traditional outlets such as the Sun, the Mail, the Express and Fox News for decades.

Posted in Op-eds | 3 Comments

CHRISTMAS COMPETITION: LOCAL ELECTION MESSAGES FOR 2019

I for one am hopeful that we can make gains not least because the last cycle of these particular elections coincided with the last General Election and we all know how that turned out.

So what are the critical messages that Liberal Democrats must attempt to get across between now and next May?

Well, firstly the obvious one is to emphasise our commitment to community politics particularly in wards and districts where we are trying to build up support for the first time.

The slogan ‘Working all Year round not just at Election Time’ is one that sums up our approach and needs to feature prominently in our campaigns in 2019.

Our message to residents is that if they vote for a Liberal Democrat councillor, they will get a representative devoted to doing what is best for them and their area. A familiar message but one that only we as Liberals can say with conviction.

Posted in News and Op-eds | 19 Comments

Christmas Competition: Promoting ‘Terminally Green’

Oh, let us be, eventually, recycled,

Let us be with nature quite serene,

In a cardboard box,

To feed our hollyhocks,

Let us be quite terminally green.

 

Oh, let us be eventually recycled,

Don’t let us be like some old plastic bag,

If we should become quite ill,

Don’t put us in landfill,

We can’t be an environmental drag.

 

Oh, let us be eventually recycled,

We’ll stop this global warming in a trice,

Carbon footprints left behind?

That’s not what’s on our mind,

We want to be environmentally nice.

Posted in Op-eds and Poetry | 3 Comments

Christmas Competition: Why Be A Liberal Democrat?

The answer is simple: we are the only party centered on people who trust people to change their lives, their communities, and their government. This message resonates with millions, and it united the Radicals, Liberals, Social Democrats, Whigs and Peelites that form the rich tapestry and history of our party.

We trust people to know best what their conception of the good life is. We believe that consenting adults can chase their happiness – our only role is to enable them to do so and get out of the way. Whether that meant legislating for same-sex marriage so consenting adults can make choices about their lives or creating the Start-Up Loans programme, so entrepreneurs can access finance to launch their businesses and change the world – that’s where we are about.

We don’t see local authorities as administrative bodies that exist to deliver schemes agreed in Whitehall. We believe that truly local government is a way for people to take control of their communities, to shape and transform them. It is why we created City Deals giving local government powers to invest in schemes that will revitalise their areas and create badly needed jobs. It is why we made it easier to create town and parish councils – to give residents a framework through which to organise and run their towns and parishes; to bring to life the community politics that Lord Greaves and Gordon Lishman pioneered.

It was our belief in people that led the Whigs to fight for the Reform Act 1832, why the radical wing of the Liberal Party rose up to fight for the Reform Act 1867, why our movement agitated for universal suffrage, and why the SDP-Liberal Alliance continued a decades-long struggle for voting reform. It’s why the Liberal Democrats today stand as the biggest party fighting for Votes at 16 and for fairer votes. It is why we back devolution on demand – so communities can take control of services and stand on their own two feet, but only if they choose to.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

Reminder: Christmas Competition

To celebrate and get in the mood for the festive season I thought that we could have a writing competition.  As many of you (on average at least 4,500 members visit the Lib Dem Voice site every day) write articles, read them or comment I propose a Christmas Article Competition.

The proposed Competition Rules are:

  • An Article should not be more than 550 words;
  • The article in each of the specified areas will be jointly judged by representatives identified as experts in that area by Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem editors;
  • The starting date for the competition starts as of 28th November to 17th December;
  • The title of your article for the competition should start with the words “Competition: … followed by the title of your article”

Basic criteria when assessing each article will be:

  • The originality of the article;
  • That the article is within the stipulated maximise length required (550 words);
  • Generally, how well has the article presented its argument on the subject matter;
  • We will only accept one submission for each subject area per person (as stated below);
Posted in News | 2 Comments

Reminder: Christmas Competition

To celebrate and get in the mood for the festive season I thought that we could have a writing competition.  As many of you (on average at least 4,500 members visit the Lib Dem Voice site every day) write articles, read them or comment I propose a Christmas Article Competition.

The proposed Competition Rules are:

  • An Article should not be more than 550 words;
  • The article in each of the specified areas will be jointly judged by representatives identified as experts in that area by Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem editors;
  • The starting date for the competition starts as of 28th November to 17th December;
  • The title of your article for the competition should start with the words “Competition: … followed by the title of your article”

Basic criteria when assessing each article will be:

  • The originality of the article;
  • That the article is within the stipulated maximise length required (550 words);
  • Generally, how well has the article presented its argument on the subject matter;
  • We will only accept one submission for each subject area per person (as stated below);
Posted in News | Leave a comment

Christmas Competition

To celebrate and get in the mood for the festive season I thought that we could have a writing competition.  As many of you (on average at least 4,500 members visit the Lib Dem Voice site every day) write articles, read them or comment I propose a Christmas Article Competition.

The proposed Competition Rules are:

  • An Article should not be more than 550 words;
  • The article in each of the specified areas will be jointly judged by representatives identified as experts in that area by Lib Dem Voice and Lib Dem editors;
  • The starting date for the competition starts as of today to 17th December;
  • The title of your article for the competition should start with the words “Competition: … followed by the title of your article”

Basic criteria when assessing each article will be:

  • The originality of the article;
  • That the article is within the stipulated maximise length required (550 words);
  • Generally, how well has the article presented its argument on the subject matter;
  • We will only accept one submission for each subject area per person (as stated below);
Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments
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Recent Comments

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    Cathy M, you're right, the third reason why this election is an unsatisfactory way of promoting the Remain cause is because the two main parties...
  • User AvatarGeoff Payne 11th Nov - 11:05pm
    Thanks for posting this, Caron. As you know the Federal Elections are presently underway. Before reading the article, I had already agreed with the other...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 11th Nov - 10:56pm
    Jayne Mansfield, To me, the primary problem with Corbyn's approach to Brexit is that it's just too late to consider it. We have already had...
  • User AvatarJohn Marriott 11th Nov - 10:19pm
    Some lines do not scan well. For example, instead of “Demonstrate the strength of the British/Backing all MPs doing right”, why not “Showing the strength...
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 11th Nov - 9:55pm
    Would it be possible to post this video on You Tube or the main Lib Dem website, as I can't play it on my PC...
  • User AvatarKeith Browning 11th Nov - 9:43pm
    As one of the active 'remain camp' living in Spain we are all despairing that Lib Dems seem to be fighting Labour as hard as...