Tag Archives: featured

“An accident waiting to happen” – comprehensive, astute and blunt panel report on the 2019 elections


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Over the weekend, I have been thoroughly reading, and inwardly digesting, the 61 page panel report on the 2019 elections.

I started making notes of passages which would make good quotes for this article. But my list was soon very long. Pulling out pithy quotes turned out to be like shooting fish in a barrel.

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LDV interviews: Bill Powell on surviving Covid-19, tackling inequality and plans for the future.

It was wonderful to catch up with Bill Powell on Friday. Bill, the former Welsh Assembly member for Mid and West Wales, recently spent 6 weeks in hospital, 3 of them in Intensive Care, after contracting Covid-19.

Our chat was his Zoom debut. Thanks to his friend Ann for making it possible.

Bill  talked about his time in hospital, how he was admitted to ICU within half an hour of arriving and was put in an induced coma. More than two weeks later, he had the disorientating experience of waking up, not knowing what had happened to him. Over the next week in intensive care, he suffered all sorts of dreams and delusions, at one point being convinced that the Queen and Prince Philip had died.

After that, he spent three weeks in rehab regaining his strength before leaving hospital to applause from staff and fellow patients. I had thought that, as everyone on the rehab ward would have had the virus, that they would be able to mix reasonably freely with each other, but Bill explained that it wasn’t like that at all and the people he saw most were the nurses and physiotherapists.

The support of those nurses, physios, occupational therapists and doctors was crucial to getting him well enough to go home. Since returning to his farm in Talgarth, he has given several media interviews expressing his profound gratitude to the teams who saved his life.

It was great to follow his recovery on social media. Once he’d left intensive care, I was first aware of him liking posts and comments on Facebook, and retweeting things. Then he started to comment and, eventually, to post things himself.

He really appreciated the avalanche of messages he received from party members, political opponents and constituents.

However, he is “haunted” by the thousands of people who weren’t as fortunate as he was and  feels an obligation to give something back.

He talked about how the current crisis has exacerbated existing inequalities and how we have to come up with new ways of tackling them.

Welsh Education Secretary, Kirsty Williams came in for particular praise for the calm and competent way she is dealing with the pandemic

There are two ways to catch up on our chat. Paul Walter very kindly uploaded the audio to Soundcloud, and I managed to figure out how to get it from Zoom to YouTube. At the start of the YouTube, it looks like the audio and visual are out of sync but it sorts itself out after a bit.

Below, some photos and news articles chart his path to recovery. 

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++Breaking news: General Election Review

In an email to all members, Mark Pack, the party President, writes:

… today our independent review of the general election has published its report.

We asked for this, to be frank, thorough and challenging – and it is. More than 20,000 of you contributed your views to Dorothy Thornhill and her team. Thank you to everyone involved.

This review challenges us to change as a party and to change the country for the better.

It makes a series of clear recommendations about how we can improve our campaigning, plan better, build on what worked well locally, and win more votes and seats. You

Posted in News | 77 Comments

Paul Tyler writes: The Peers are Revolting or Who is Taking Back Control ?

A pause for thought: during the weekend of VE Day memorabilia were we celebrating 75 years of European peace, the retreat of fascism and the advance of parliamentary democracy ? Hopefully yes: realistically – in the case of the Brexiteers and their newspapers – NO !

And yet we have no cause for complacency. The UK is already looking as if we have reverted to being “the sick man of Europe” in terms of both our public health and the health of our democracy.

While in those 75 years the dictatorships of Western Europe have all collapsed, and effective representative democracy has taken their place, voters in Britain are increasingly marginalised and cheated. The Conservative manifesto in December 2019 aspired to make all votes of equal value: the actual result produced a ratio of inequality at the extremes of 33:1.

However, it is not just at elections that our representative democracy is under attack. Boris Johnson may choose to give a presidential-style address to the nation on a Sunday evening – to avoid questions and challenge from MPs – but we do not have a presidential constitution. He and his Government should be accountable to our Parliament, not the other way round.

No 10 obviously finds this inconvenient. Dominic Cummings is notorious for his disdain for Members of both Houses. MPs are already chaffing at the constraints that the combination of “virtual” exchanges and the business managers’ politicking are imposing.

The position in the Lords is far worse. Here, of course, there is no substantial Tory majority with plenty of lobby fodder to bully, and the response of Ministers to the Covid-19 emergency is under constant, sustained examination. And yet, there is no provision for effective scrutiny of legislation, let alone for votes on amendments, and the majority of Peers have been frozen out of debates or ludicrously squeezed by derisory time limits.

The response from Big Brother Cummings (the much more powerful BBC) has been to threaten that all Peers over 65 should be forcibly excluded.

That was too much for even the most tribal of Tories, and – led by former Cabinet Minister Michael Forsyth – a cross-party revolt resulted. Mr Cummings may think he can casually rip up the constitution, but that requires legislation.

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On pandemics and health, we need to look to South Korea – Phil Hammond “MD” in Private Eye


Dr Phil Hammond
Dr Phil Hammond

Throughout the Coronavirus crisis, the “MD” column, written by Dr Phil Hammond, in Private Eye has provided a refreshingly astute and wise commentary on the crisis.

The latest issue of Private Eye is out now. I have recently subscribed to it, so I receive my copy without leaving home. Sheer luxury! (As an aside, someone once asked me to name the thing or service which I had bought or used for the longest period in my life. I came up with Lloyds Bank and Private Eye, of both of which I have been a customer since I was 17 years old. Some 43 years. Crikey – that makes me feel old.)

MD’s latest commentary covers two pages and is very interesting, as always.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 7 Comments

This time next year, London will be different.  We must be too. 

This morning, Lib Dems should have been out delivering good morning leaflets, ready for the long slog through to 10pm when polls close. Instead, like all Londoners, we are staying home to save lives and the elections for our next Mayor and Assembly have been pushed back by a year.

Nobody knows what the landscape will look like in May 2021, but it’s clear that nothing will be the same.  And that includes politics itself. The postponement gives us a chance to re-evaluate the London campaign.  One thing is very clear – our capital is resilient and dynamic but it will be significantly different post lockdown.  We must be too.

Rory Stewart has announced that he is withdrawing from the race. There’s no hiding from the fact that his presence was challenging.  As our members and activists recovered from an exhausting General Election, Stewart’s energy was attractive to voters looking for an alternative.

But let’s also be clear, from drugs reform and tackling the root causes of knife crime to radical green measures like road pricing and introducing a wellbeing budget for City Hall, we had – we have – the most progressive policies.  Our task, as we help London to thrive post-Covid19, is to ensure that every voter in the capital knows it.

Here are two ideas to help kickstart our revamp.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Is our party hierarchical?

Despite the rhetoric, evidence might give us cause for thought. MPs and MSPs/Welsh Assembly Members seem to take precedence over the councillors who build up the party’s base again and again. I would argue that we should be an integrated whole – with much more mutual respect and understanding. And of course, never forgetting the parish councillors and Lords who serve us so well.

Councillors delivered excellent results last year, arguably giving the credibility which benefitted the party in the European elections. The party then extrapolated predicted General Election success from the latter; neglecting wisdom which cautions against using only quantitative information. Had other smaller parties built up that local government base, would the European results have been different?

When the Scottish Parliament came into being, our MSPs seemed to give less priority to proportional representation for local government than some serving councillors hoped for. In fact, that proportional representation took a number of years, and contributed in a small way to my decision not to seek re-election after 13 years (1990-2003). It can become disheartening to be always in opposition; I had a satisfying career as a research librarian, and wanted time to index books. The seat remained Liberal Democrat at the next election.

Posted in Op-eds | 9 Comments

Isolation diary: Watching TV

I don’t usually view TV during the day, apart from the rolling news, and that hasn’t changed since we have been in isolation. We don’t watch any news, on any media, after 7pm and by 8pm we are ready to sit on the sofa and relax with light entertainment.

Having been brought up on the Radio Times I do like the the weekly rhythm of watching my favourite programmes as they are broadcast.

So that means Would I Lie To You on Mondays. I don’t care how many repeats I watch, the inspired combination of Lee Mack, David Mitchell and Rob Brydon is guaranteed to keep me laughing throughout.

Then we always enjoy The Great Celebrity Bake Off on Tuesdays in aid of StandUp4Cancer. Once they had worked though this year’s episodes, Channel 4 started showing repeats. Yesterday’s offering with Lee Mack (again) was priceless.

Wednesdays bring us the The Repair Shop on BBC1. This was a show my husband had spotted when it was in the early evening slot and it well deserved being promoted to prime time. It combines gentle family stories with the real skill and artistry of the craftspeople who repair much loved objects.

On Thursdays we abandon broadcast TV for the weekly National Theatre at Home offering. This week it will be Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo in Antony and Cleopatra. These productions were all originally shown live from the National for event cinema, and are now made available for one week only on YouTube.

On Fridays we look forward to BBC1’s Have I Got News For You, which has now found its form again having floundered a bit with the unfamiliar technology during the early weeks of lockdown.

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Layla Moran writes: Campaign for Coronavirus Compensation Scheme gathers momentum

Over the last four weeks, the numbers of NHS workers losing their lives to Coronavirus have risen. The figure now stands at well over a hundred. And then there are the other frontline workers: bus drivers, carers, teachers, to name but a few, who are risking their lives to help others.

I want to ensure that the Government recognises their bravery and courage. I’ve been calling on them to introduce a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme, to look after the families of frontline workers should the worst happen.

Over 8000 people and 50 cross-party MPs have supported the campaign so far. And this week, I unexpectedly teamed up with The Express, who to their credit, put their weight behind this campaign and are proving instrumental in helping drive this forward.

You can help too. Please sign the petition and share it far and wide.

My campaign has clear asks. This new scheme should mirror the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme and include:

  • a lump sum upfront
  • a guaranteed income for their family
  • child payments to eligible children under 18

This would be in addition to pension benefits. Furthermore, given the extraordinary nature of this crisis, the state should also contribute to funeral costs.

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

+++Update on the Leadership Election

Last month, the Federal Board decided to postpone the party leadership election, due to kick off in May, until May 2021, so that the party can focus on dealing with the coronavirus crisis instead.

Following this decision, an appeal against it was made to the Federal Appeals Panel (our internal Liberal Democrat equivalent of the Supreme Court). The Appeals Panel has agreed that the Federal Board can suspend the leadership election while exceptional circumstances exist, but not delay to a fixed date next year. It has asked the Board to keep the timetable for the leadership election under review, as circumstances continue to develop.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 14 Comments

Looking into the future – How will Coronavirus change our policies?

So, we can’t go delivering, canvassing or envelope stuffing at the moment so what can we do? What about a bit of thinking!?

The coronavirus is making huge changes to the way that the Government, councils, businesses and individuals are doing things. Some of those are good. We welcome increased support to social care and health organisations, more support to emerging businesses and enhanced recognition of the role of councils in terms of service delivery. We welcome the greater respect that is being given to those who work in public services that we are relying on to keep us fed and safe. We deplore the anti-society behaviour of people like Dyson and Martin who have thought only of themselves and not of the needs of their staff or society as awhole as they have apparently sought to maximise their own position in all the societal turmoil.

Some food things have flowed from the lock down. Families spending more time together (not always but usually a good thing!); more exercises for many; less consumerism after the first mad dash at the supermarkets; cleaner air; the sound of birds; goats reclaiming Llandudno!

Many of these changes are very much on the line of Lib Dem polices. The question now is do we lie back and wait for business as normal or do we seize the initiative and get our thinking done now so that we emerge from lockdown with policies that accentuate the good things that have happened and deal with the bad things.

As you may imagine I prefer the latter approach. There is no need for us to sit and do nothing we can get ready. I challenge the Acting Leader of the Party; the President and the FPC Officers to set up discussion streams which can pull together thoughts on the key issues and be ready to come out fighting. This is no time to be waiting for the sclerotic processes of the FPC. Now is the time for virtual discussion and a rapid presentation of papers for approval and sue by our MPs, Peers and Councillors.

I think these are the key areas we should be looking at now:

Work in the future

I suspect that many people, having been given the opportunity to work from home will want to carry on doing so. This should be supported because:They will be more productive if they are not facing long and nasty commutes;

They will be more family oriented and strong families are a corner stone of our society;

There will be a huge environmental saving as people cut down on travel although there will be some environmental losses as more individual homes will need to be heated etc during the day.

Pleasure in the future

So, we now can’t get smashed until 05.00 in the morning. I’ll miss this terribly (not!)

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Layla Moran MP writes: Why we need a Coronavirus Compensation Scheme

Last week, I launched a petition calling on the Government to implement a Coronavirus Compensation scheme, to protect the families of all frontline workers should the worst happen. I need your help to make it happen.

During this crisis, the message to all of us has been repeated over and over: where possible, stay at home. But it isn’t possible for everyone.

The NHS, for instance, isn’t a faceless organisation. It is made up of many members of our community, our neighbours and our friends. In times of crisis, our society relies even more heavily on essential workers, such as doctors, carers, food suppliers and teachers, to name but a few.

All of these essential workers are now putting their lives at risk to protect others. And, similar to those in our armed forces, they should know that if the worst happens the state will help their loved ones.

I believe a scheme similar to the Armed Forces Compensation Scheme should be put in place to protect the families of frontline workers, should the worst happen. In addition to pension benefits, it would include:

A lump sum upfront
A guaranteed income for their family
Child payments to eligible children under 18

At the time of writing, over 2600 people have backed the petition, calling for the safety net our front line staff and their families deserve. Yesterday, 50 cross-party MPs added their support, in a letter calling on the Prime Minister to introduce the Scheme.

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+++Plans for Lib Dem autumn conference on hold – online options to be explored instead

The chair of the Federal Conference committee, Geoff Payne, has posted the following text in the Lib Democrat Federal Conference Facebook group:

In the light of the coronavirus epidemic, the Federal Board has decided to put on hold plans for the preparation of a traditional party conference in the autumn and will make a final decision on whether to cancel the event in May.

In the meantime, the Federal Conference Committee will consider the feasibility of an online event, which might include some elements of a formal conference. Part of that will be the way in which the key elements of party accountability might operate online if a traditional party conference did not go ahead.

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Leadership election postponed

The Federal Board met remotely yesterday and agreed to postpone the election for the Leader of the party until next year. The party’s President, Mark Pack,  issued this statement:

Not only are we going through what could become the country’s biggest crisis since 1945, but we’re also entering a very new world that will persist once the immediate crisis is over.

I’m proud of what we have achieved so far by championing NHS workers and pressing the Government on issues such as offering a better deal to the self-employed.

Throughout our history, we have always put the national interest first.

Our Federal Board has

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Ed Davey asks for more help for self-employed people during Coronavirus pandemic

The Chancellor has announced unprecedented levels of support for British business in the last few days. However, one group of people are not getting what they need to survive.

Self-employed people have been told that they can claim for Universal Credit at the rate of SSP, which would give them a derisory £94 per week.

Today Ed Davey called on Rishi Sunak to do much more to give our self-employed friends and neighbours, the people who clean our homes, cut our hair, walk our dogs and do so much to make our lives easier.

An article on the Lib Dem website sets out the practical help we want to see:

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Lib Dem reaction to Boris Johnson’s speech

Lib Dems have been reacting to the Boris Johnson speech earlier this evening, in which he imposed a strict lockdown.

Ed Davey,our acting co-leader said:

We must do all we can to stop the spread, and I urge people to play their part by following these measures, and not risk their own or others health by ignoring them.

Many people will be anxious about the steps the govt has taken, but it is the right decision to restrict our normal way of life to tackle this crisis.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 58 Comments

+++Boris Johnson announces strict lockdown

Embed from Getty Images

Here is the text of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s address to the nation tonight:

Good evening,

The coronavirus is the biggest threat this country has faced for decades – and this country is not alone.

All over the world we are seeing the devastating impact of this invisible killer

And so tonight I want to update you on the latest steps we are taking to fight the disease and what you can do to help.

And I want to begin by reminding you why the UK has been taking the approach that we have.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 5 Comments

Ed Davey launches Coronavirus Community Taskforce

Acting leader of the party,Ed Davey has sent the following communication to party members:

On Monday, I emailed asking members to pause their normal campaigning and prioritise community action to help those affected by coronavirus. Since then I’ve been overwhelmed by the response.

Day in, day out, Liberal Democrats all over the country do all they can for their communities. But now, when it counts more than ever, you’re stepping up to protect the most vulnerable in our society. I couldn’t be prouder to be a Liberal Democrat today.

Our team has put together a resource kit to help you help your community. We’ll be adding to this kit all the time – please share it widely.

But as this outbreak worsens, there’s more we need to do. This coming weekend should have been our huge National Action Weekend for the elections this spring. In light of the cancellation of those elections, we need to turn our people power and resources to the matter at hand.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

The Windrush Learned Lessons Review

The Windrush Learned Lessons Review has been published and the issues raised highlight the fact that The Windrush Scandal was and is a true scandal.

Wendy Williams – the Independent Adviser conducting the review – was tasked with providing an independent assessment of the events leading up to the Windrush Scandal and to identify the key lessons for the Home Office.

This is what she had to say:

Members of the Windrush generation and their children have been poorly served by this country. They had every right to be here and should never have been caught in the immigration net. The many stories of injustice and hardship are heartbreaking, with jobs lost, lives uprooted and untold damage done to so many individuals and families. However, despite the scandal taking the Home Office by surprise, my report sets out that what happened to those affected by the Windrush scandal was foreseeable and avoidable.

Over time those in power forgot about them and their circumstances, which meant that when successive governments wanted to demonstrate that they were being tough on immigration by tightening immigration control and passing laws creating, and then expanding the hostile environment, this was done with a complete disregard for the Windrush generation.

A range of warning signs from inside and outside the Home Office were simply not heeded by officials and ministers. Even when stories of members of the Windrush generation being affected by immigration control started to emerge in the media from 2017 onwards, the department was too slow to react.

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Ed Davey converts party campaigning into community helping

Ed Davey, our Co-Leader, has written tonight to members asking them to convert their campaigning zeal towards helping their local community in this time of crisis:

We can all make a difference – each and every one of us.

One of the many things that unites Liberal Democrats is our campaigning zeal for our communities. Our drive to change things for the better. A way of working that engages local people in our campaigns.

Today, I’m asking you to turn your campaigning zeal wholeheartedly towards helping your community during this Coronavirus crisis.

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Act quickly – you might be able to transfer your York hotel booking to next year

No-one was more disappointed than we were that our Spring Conference was cancelled – although that it was undoubtedly the right thing to do. The reasons in full are here

The Conference Office has today sent a message out to everyone who registered setting out their options for their registration fee. The choices are:

1. Donate your fee to the Conference Fund for the Liberal Democrats. Please note that the event insurance that we had does not cover any of our costs for conference – contagious diseases are now a standard exemption from all event policies,
2. Obtain a complimentary four day (week pass) to Autumn Conference: 26-29 September 2020 in Brighton,
3. Obtain a full refund.

We have negotiated with LNER to secure refunds on train bookings for those who booked direct.

Importantly, we have also accelerated our contractual negotiations with regard to Spring 2021. That means that we can now announce that we will be in York again next March. The dates are 19th-21st March. We hope that announcing that now will allow people to transfer hotel bookings with minimal or no cost.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 1 Comment

Breaking: Spring Conference cancelled

The Party’s Federal Board has tonight decided to cancel the Spring Conference due to take place this weekend.

In a joint statement, Party President Mark Pack, Chief Executive Mike Dixon and Federal Conference Committee Chair Geoff Payne said:

Following careful consideration of the latest health advice and risks, the Federal Board has tonight decided to cancel our federal conference this weekend.

It’s not a decision that was taken lightly as conference plays a key role in our democratic party as well as being an important training and information exchange event. However, the health of our members and supporters, the staff who work on conference and the wider public is far more important.

We have noted today’s announcement from the WHO, treating this as a pandemic and calling for “urgent and aggressive action”, and also how other organisations have started cancelling events, such as the Royal College of Psychiatrists stopping all meetings with over 100 people. We have also paid close attention to the public health advice from the NHS, and note that some of the advice, such as around keeping distant from people who are ill, is in practice very hard to follow given the format of our conference involves large numbers of strangers sitting close to each other for extended periods of time.

We are aware that many people, particularly those in high-risk groups, have said in the last few days that they are not coming to conference. Conference operates on the principle of ‘one member, one vote’. We very much want to avoid a situation where people feel unable to particulate in our democratic decision-making because of fears over their health.

It’s a matter of regret that for many people coming to the conference it will not be possible to cancel travel and accommodation arrangements and recover the costs. The party itself will also have to incur significant costs and refunds. We hope though people will understand the priority being given to people’s health.

We will offer refunds on conference registration, though we hope that given the costs the party will have to pay anyway that members who can afford it will be willing to waive the refund and make it a donation to the party instead. Details of how to reclaim registration fees will follow in the next few days.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 21 Comments

Budget reveals weakness of the UK economy – the Lib Dem reaction to the budget


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Responding to the Budget, Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey said:

This Budget reveals the UK economy was alarmingly weak even before Coronavirus. The Government is desperate to blame anyone or anything but the reality is that it’s the Conservatives’ Brexit which is costing Britain’s economy dearly.

Posted in News | Also tagged | 35 Comments

Shaun Roberts stands down as Lib Dem director of campaigns & elections

Writing in a public Facebook post, Shaun Roberts has announced his departure as the party’s Director of Campaigns & Elections:

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

Fascinating stuff at York!

It’s not too late to register for the York Spring conference, which is happening on the weekend of March 13-15th. You can register here.

We’ve already covered the main policy motions which will be debated in the main hall.

But there will be oodles of other stuff going on – both in the main hall and in rooms around and about the conference venues of the York Barbican, the Novotel York Center and the Hilton York.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged | 19 Comments

Siobhan Benita launches her campaign to be Mayor of London

Today Siobhan Benita has launched her campaign under the slogan “Love London Better”. And what a breath of fresh air she would be in the capital.

As she said:

London dares to be different. It has so far delivered three very different Mayors who have captured Londoner’s hearts and minds in different ways. What could be more different than a Liberal Democrat female mayor? It’s time.

Posted in London and News | Also tagged , and | 4 Comments

Why didn’t remain politicians connect?

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What did the 2016 Remain campaign and the 2019 Revoke Article 50 position adopted by the Lib Dems teach us?

– That policies must engage people, not patronise them.

Let me explain.

Most analyses agree that Brexit will negatively impact the more deprived communities the hardest.

So the question being asked by so many people is this: why on earth did Cornwall, one the UK’s most deprived regions which receives so much funding from the EU, and which appears to have a lot to lose and little to gain, vote for Brexit?

The Leave message during the referendum may have been based on misinformation and lies but it was packaged as a message of hope for improvement and change. This was a stark contrast to the Remain campaign which consisted merely of warnings, hence it being dubbed ‘Project fear.’

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 60 Comments

Observations of a ex pat: Goodbye democracy?

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It has become a political fact of life that democracy on both sides of the Atlantic is under severe threat.

The latest proof of this danger is the Senate acquittal of Donald Trump in a judicial exercise that makes Stalin’s Moscow show trials look like paragons of legal transparency and justice. The Conservative British government is going in the same direction, albeit by a different route.

The root of the problem is respect —or lack of respect— for the rule of law. For democracy to work it needs clear legal parameters and elected political leaders who accept that their responsibility is to represent their constituents within a legally binding constitutional framework.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 29 Comments

Liberal Democrats should campaign to fix Brexit

What should Lib Dems do now?

Should we just be campaign to rejoin the EU? Or something else?

I suggest that we fix Brexit first.

Last year people voted Conservative because they thought Brexit was a distraction from Britain’s real problems. Over 70% of the public thought this. Most people who voted Remain thought this. They thought that the only way to get Brexit out of the way, was to push it through.

Of course this isn’t true. Brexit isn’t over. And we’ll be stuck with the problems it creates for decades.

But if we campaign to rejoin straight away, it will be counter-productive. People won’t see the problems caused by Brexit, because most of them won’t be obvious until the transition period ends.

And, just as everybody sighs in relief that Brexit is over, we’ll look like obsessives wanting to restart the argument. A bit like John Redwood in the 1990s.

The British people have given the government a chance to get Brexit right.

Lib Dems should therefore work to fix Brexit. Fixing Brexit means accepting it’s happening. For now.

That means minimising the damage. Damage done to the economy. And damage done to our friends and neighbours.

Today there are three things we can campaign on.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 42 Comments

How a Liberal pamphlet from 1980 led to the collapse of the British political system

Original cover artwork from “The Theory and Practice of Community Politics”

Over on Medium.com, Councillor Nick Barlow has written a remarkably astute retrospective on the 1980 pamphlet “The Theory And Practice of Community Politics” written by Bernard Greaves and Gordon Lishman and published by the Association of Liberal Councillors (now the ALDC).

Nick’s narrative takes us from the ideologically based idea of Community Politics in the 1970s and how it morphed into the quite different concept of Customer Service Politics, which dominates our civic arena today:

Posted in Liberal History and Online politics | Also tagged , , , and | 18 Comments
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Recent Comments

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    @Matt (Bristol) You raise some complex points. This is hugely complex, I haven't thought this through enough, and I have no expertise in law. I...
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