Tag Archives: julie smith

Lib Dems respond to US air strikes on Syria

It was quite disconcerting to wake up this morning to see that Donald Trump had launched air strikes. There is no question that Syria needs to be dealt with. You just can’t have any government getting away with gassing its own people. I just feel uneasy about Donald Trump being in charge of this. Does he even have a proper strategy? I also feel uneasy about our Government just slipping into line behind him.

On Question Time last night, Tim Farron was talking about the importance of establishing no fly zones and of humanitarian aid, but made clear that doing nothing was not an option in the face of an attack as horrific as the one we saw earlier this week.

He has since described Trump’s action as “proportionate” but went on to say that our Government’s response was not sufficient:

The attack by American forces was a proportionate response to the barbarous attack by the Syrian government on its own people.

The British government rather than just putting out a bland statement welcoming this should now follow it up and call an emergency meeting of the Nato alliance to see what else can be done, be that more surgical strikes or no fly zones.

Evil happens when good people do nothing, we cannot sit by while a dictator gasses his own people. We cannot stand by, we must act.

I don’t always agree with what they say, but in situations like this, I always look for the views of three people: Paddy, Ming and Julie Smith

On Twitter, Paddy said:

I also had a conversation with Julie on Twitter:

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 71 Comments

Lib Dem Lords vs the Article 50 Bill: Julie Smith: We need to think about young people

The Lib Dem Lords have made some cracking contributions to the debate on the Article 50 Bill. Ahead of its next Lords stages, we’re bringing you all the Lib Dem contributions over the course of this weekend. That’s no mean feat. There were 32 of them and cover more than 30,000 words. You are not expected to read every single one of them as they appear. Nobody’s going to be testing you or anything. However, they will be there to refer to in the future. 

Our Lords excelled themselves. Their contributions were thoughtful, individual, well-researched and wide-ranging and it’s right that we present them in full on this site to help the historian of the future. 

Julie Smith made the very strong point that it was important to take into account those younger people who were going to have to live with the consequences of Brexit.

She went on to talk about the peace and security issues in which she is expert and on the rights of EU nationals. Now, she says, is the time for the UK to lead on this.

My Lords, it will come as little surprise to Members of your Lordships’ House that, on 23 June last year, I voted to remain. I am speaking today not to advocate reopening the debate on seeking to remain, the decision having been taken; rather, what I want briefly to reflect on—it is a different voice and a different perspective—is that, in the debate being held today and tomorrow, I believe that only five Members of the House who are to speak in it are part of what the noble Lord, Lord O’Shaughnessy, has called “Generation X”, those of us who were born in 1969 or later. So the demographic of the speeches is perhaps a little unbalanced. The average age in the United Kingdom is 40, but I do not believe that any of the speakers in this debate are 40 or younger; five of us fall between 40 and 50. So the demographic is somewhat different from that of the United Kingdom where the majority of people of my age and younger voted to remain. These are people who cannot remember life before the United Kingdom became part of the European Union. They believed that their future was as part of the European Union and their identity is European at least as much as it was British. They felt that our future was as part of a mobile European society.

Over recent days and weeks, many people have emailed me and other noble Lords demanding that we should try to thwart Brexit and amend the Bill, and a lot of those calls are coming from people who were disenfranchised in the referendum: EU nationals resident in the United Kingdom and UK nationals resident in the rest of the European Union who had been abroad for more than 15 years. They are citizens who would not, if there were to be a further referendum or a general election before the UK leaves the European Union, be any more enfranchised then than they were last year. There are many people currently living in the United Kingdom whose rights need to be thought about and secured.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged | Leave a comment

The EU referendum is stuck on repeat, it’s time to change track

Julie Smith LDCFSo far in the main referendum campaigns we have heard the same arguments on repeat from the same people. Economics has dominated discussions, trade is becoming the nation’s most used word and pound signs are flying all over billboards, news sites and buses.

Out on the campaign trail, voters seem to be getting increasingly confused, tired and frustrated with the campaigns. They’re after something different.

A couple of weeks ago, David Cameron tried bringing morality into the debate by describing a vote for Brexit as ‘immoral’. He was quickly shot down by his Eurosceptic colleagues, Iain Duncan Smith describing it as “not an honest assessment but a deeply biased view of the future”.

Have morals really got anything to do with it?

Through my work with the Liberal Democrat Christian Forum (LDCF), I’ve been talking to hundreds of Christians up and down the country about the referendum. I’ve noticed a yearning amongst the Christian community for a bigger picture debate about what this referendum will mean for the kind of world we want to live in and what impact the vote will have on others; a moral case for Brexit and remain.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Cambridge Liberal Democrats publish shortlist

The Cambridge shortlist has now been published and, contrary to some hopes and wild rumours, has neither a nationally known media star nor a BME candidate on it. But then no member of either group applied.

The candidates are all councillors or former councillors in Cambridge but, as the Returning Officer said, “The shortlisting committee was chosen by the local party and I was happy that it was a balanced one. They drew up the selection criteria and marked the applications independently of each other. We only came together to total the scores, the result of which showed that the 6 shortlisted candidates were well clear of the rest”.

This press release has gone to the local paper giving a mini biog of the six:

Posted in Selection news | Also tagged , , , , and | 6 Comments
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    @Little Jackie Piper Andrew McCaig – ‘Actually Norway is in the Single Market but not in the Customs Union.’ Yes…hence I used it as my...
  • User AvatarLibDemer 17th Dec - 7:40am
    Once again the Lib Dems seemed intent on fighting the referendum campaign again. This party should be coming up with radical solutions to make Brexit...
  • User AvatarTynan 17th Dec - 4:25am
    Yet the one party that has campaigned for this, remember Tim staring into his children's eye? Remains as far away from solid double figures in...
  • User AvatarTynan 17th Dec - 4:04am
    The future of Ireland is a united island, the future of Scotland is as an independent sovereign state. Perhaps Brexit can be a catalyst for...
  • User AvatarCiaran Smith 17th Dec - 2:13am
    Thanks, guys. You are right that I did indeed mean 'flak', Katharine; oops! Though the fact that they dodged the real matter-at-hand underlying the whole...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 11:58pm
    Yes! Thanks for this, Caron. Vince points the way ahead the country needs to go, and we must back him fully in the New Year.