Tag Archives: leadership programme

Opinion: My twin inspirations – The Terminator and The Leadership Programme!

Conference Rally2The other day, I was watching ‘The Terminator’ (one of my favourite films) for the umpteenth time and it occurred to me that it perfectly illustrated how the Liberal Democrat Leadership Programme came about…

Picture the scene. The date is Friday, 8th May, 2015, and many Lib Dems emerge bleary-eyed from their homes, council buildings and school halls after attending counts or watching Peter Snow’s swing-o-meter twitch as the results come in on TV.

In this future, we have had a good election, increasing the number of seats we hold. Of course, …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 19 Comments

Lynne Featherstone MP writes… We do not just elect individuals, we elect people to be members of a team

Home Office minister Lynne Featherstone writes a monthly column for one of her local newspapers. Here is the latest edition, looking at Parliamentary representation.

Our Parliament has come a long way in recent years. In fact, watching ‘The Iron Lady’ with Margaret Thatcher sticking out like a blue female sore thumb amongst the total male greyness of the then chamber – it reminded me of how recently in history this establishment was nearly all male.

However, despite real progress, it is still nowhere near reflecting the percentage of women in the country – and that is without even starting to talk about …

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

The Lib Dem Candidates Leadership Programme – a participant’s view

Last weekend marked the official start of the Candidate Leadership Programme, with a residential training weekend in Greenwich. For many, this Programme marks an important shift in thinking to improve the diversity of our Parliamentary Party. I write this piece to give a participant’s point of view.

Despite efforts for years to get candidates from diverse backgrounds to become approved, sadly, and not without great effort on behalf of organisations such as the Campaign for Gender Balance (CGB), the result did not show in terms of elected Parliamentarians.

The Leadership Programme is designed to focus on the steps post-approval and selection, to …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 44 Comments

The Leadership Programme: the first 11

The all-member Liberal Democrat News currently in the post to party members includes this update on the party’s Leadership Programme, designed to support candidates from under-represented groups:

Of the first 11 candidates, five are women, three from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, three have disabilities. There is one LGBT candidate and five of the 11 come from low socio-economic backgrounds … we have four candidates on the Programme so far who are under 30.

The scheme is due to expand to support at least 30 people.

You can get a subscription to receive each weekly edition of Liberal Democrat News here.

Posted in Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

Opinion: Tackling the myths about that Scottish Diversity motion

I’ve seen a few comments online over the past few days insinuating that the Scottish Liberal Democrats don’t care about improving diversity in the wake of a motion passed at the recent Scottish Conference after a passionate debate and a protracted and complex series of votes.

I want to correct some myths about what happened. Scottish Women Liberal Democrats (SWLD) put forward a motion containing a wide ranging series of measures. Most of these were uncontroversial. Who can argue with making sure that the concerns of women are hardwired into the policy process?

The first main points of contention were over the …

Posted in Op-eds and Scotland | Also tagged , , , , and | 9 Comments

Gender balance amongst the Liberal Democrats: some evidence

Over the weekend, Paul Head criticised the party’s Leadership Programme, saying,

While the Candidate Leadership Programme seems like a good idea, giving candidates from underrepresented groups the support and training they need to go on and, hopefully, become MPs, I believe it is destined to failure for the same reasons that shortlists are not the answer.

They both ignore the real problem.

Shortlists in particular are a quick-fix, tinkering round the edges, top-down attempt to create the façade that we are a party that is representative of the whole country. The truth is we aren’t. A quick look around the conference hall and

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 5 Comments

Opinion: “Too male and too pale” – Why shortlists and the Leadership Programme are not the answer

The problem of our Parliamentary Party being “too male and too pale” was brought up again at conference and I couldn’t help leaving with the feeling that we are edging towards another fight over whether we should introduce more proactive methods to help combat the chronic under representation of women and ethnic minorities among our MPs.

I was most struck when Paddy Ashdown, during the Guardian debate, seemed to shift from his previously held position and advocate the introduction of shortlists or “zipping” if the current leadership programme failed to make any significant impact.

I am completely opposed to the introduction …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 18 Comments

PODCAST: Diversity debate in full

Following overwhelming demand from our twitter colleagues, we are now publishing in full the debate we had yesterday on diversifying our elected representatives.

You can find my written review of the debate here.

Play
Posted in Conference and Podcasts | Also tagged and | Leave a comment
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarJohn Bicknell 19th Feb - 9:22am
    I can empathise with some of David Warren's comments. I passed my 11 plus (my parents were told later that my scores were amongst the...
  • User AvatarDavid Evans 19th Feb - 9:16am
    Joe, Please try to be helpful. If you think it is particularly relevant, perhaps you could provide a summary for those of us who studied...
  • User AvatarCatherine Smart 19th Feb - 8:56am
    I am surprised there has not been any mention of the ways people can return to learning, including the Open University - but many other...
  • User AvatarAndrew Tampion 19th Feb - 8:31am
    @Martin. Agreed the EU meeds to build bridges by acknowledging that the aspiration of ever closer union is a mistake. that it is too centralised,...
  • User AvatarNeil Fawcett 19th Feb - 12:42am
    @Ian - the Revoke policy didn't go through this committee. It was a combination of the parliamentary party and Conference that decided it.
  • User AvatarJoe Bourke 18th Feb - 11:26pm
    Paul Holmes, "What especially qualifies someone from the private sector or the military.." Have you not read Plato's republic?