Tag Archives: liberal youth

Young Liberal Entrepreneurs Network to bring together young entrepreneurs with business people

Young Liberal Entrepreneurs networkLiberal Youth will launch the first in a series of Young Liberal Entrepreneurs Network events this Monday. “Be Your Own Boss” brings together the next generation of business tycoons with established Lib Dem entrepreneurs.  The event will explore techniques young entrepreneurs can use to found a successful start-up.

“Be Your Own Boss” will take place at University College London with speakers including founder of Think publishing, Tilly McAuliffe, managing director of Tancroft Communications Ltd., John Duggan and co-founder of Charlie HR, Ben Gately.

The event follows the release of the government’s Autumn Statement detailing an expected rise in unemployment which is likely to hit young people the hardest. Brexit represents a massive threat to businesses and jobs. For young people brimming with innovative ideas but disillusioned by a stagnating job market, the Lib Dems remain a beacon of hope.

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Liberal Youth’s Save Erasmus competition – Deadline approaching

Liberal Youth are campaigning to save the Erasmus exchange programme in future Brexit negotiations. This week they are running a competition to send a group of campaigners to the European Parliament 7th-8th November. Former Erasmus exchange students and exchange programme hopefuls are invited to share their stories as part of a video montage. MEP Catherine Bearder will invite a group to present a Save Erasmus petition in Brussels. The deadline for entries is midnight 18th October. Find out more here.

Over 10,000 people have backed a petition to safeguard the UK’s involvement in the Erasmus programme. Party members overwhelmingly passed a motion to call for the guaranteed continuation of the Erasmus programme and Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson John Pugh wrote to Brexit minister David Davis demanding he make this clear commitment.

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Liberal Youth’s International Officer elected Vice President of the International Federation of Liberal Youth

IFLRY

From left: Sven Gerst, Tone Bjorndal, Pauline Kastermans, Danylo Korbabicz, Ab Brightman, Anders Rehnberg and Ahmad Al-Rachwani

Last weekend in Istanbul, at the General Assembly of the International Federation of Liberal Youth (IFLRY), I am extremely proud to say that I was elected Vice President!

For those unfamiliar, IFLRY is the Global umbrella organisation for liberal youth and student organisations around the world, of which Liberal Youth is affiliated to. IFLRY brings together an amazing community of young people, and has given so much to Liberal Youth members who get involved internationally, so I can only be excited at all the chances we get to repay it.

Liberal Youth has a long and successful relationship with IFLRY. I know that back in the days of LDYS we had members of IFLRY’s Bureau (that is, its Executive Committee) – and still today my election follows two years of our own Bobby Dean’s hard work as Vice President. Along with this, for the past two General Assemblies I have had the pleasure of leading one of the largest and most active delegations present, of Liberal Youth members.

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Liberal Youth calls for reserved places on party committees

Liberal Youth (soon to be the Young Liberals) has called for places to be reserved on party committees for its members, citing the success of this approach in Scotland and Wales.

In an open letter to the Federal Executive, published on the Libertine blog, LY co-chair Charlie Kingsbury said:

…it feels obvious now that Liberal Youth, now being the largest voting bloc in the party, to be intimately involved in the decision-making process of the wider party.

This is already the case in both Scotland and Wales, where appropriate executive officers of the relevant state organisations of Liberal Youth (Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru and Liberal Youth Scotland) sit on their Conference, Campaigns, Policy, and Executive Committees. In England too, LY England members sit on the English Council and Executive. It strikes us as peculiar that the same settlement is not imitated federally: if the Welsh, Scottish and English Liberal Democrats are able to trust their respective youth wings, it is surprising that the Federal Party does not do the same.

Through including Liberal Youth in the party committees of the federal party (as it already does for the FPC), it sends a clear message that Liberal Youth and the wider party of the Liberal Democrats are working together for the purposes of promoting a more liberal United Kingdom, and not in opposition to each other. This is especially important after we highlighted a number of concerns regarding ageism in the party that do not seem to be reflected in Wales in particular, where Liberal Youth membership of their main committees is automatic.

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The party is listening to young people

Among Liberal Youth members’ criticisms of the recent York Conference, there is the frequent accusation of inherent ageism against the younger members of the party; as a 23 year old ‘young’ member I find this is overstated. Whilst there was one notable instance in a debate of a young man being called ‘naïve’, this is by no means the norm. Furthermore, the reaction in the room seemed to show the audience siding with the younger member. Of course there are members who dismiss the opinions of those younger than themselves, however to place this at the feet of the party itself is misguided. We cannot align some less-than-polite tweets and comments on social media with the establishment of the party as a whole.

In my experience of Liberal Democrat Conference, I have felt overwhelmingly welcomed by the Lib Dem community especially as a younger member. Often remarked is how nice it is to see lots of young people getting involved and this was evident in York. There was a considerable number of young brilliant speakers in all debates, including some very brave young women in the diversity motion. I am proud of all the ‘youth’ that spoke out as I am sure the majority of the party is as well. 

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The party needs to live its values in the way it treats young members

Imagine being a member of a political party which prides itself on policy crafted by individuals which are valued in their own right, not for their morally arbitrary characteristics. It shouldn’t be too hard to imagine, because it is what our party sells itself as. Now imagine that upon joining that party you are told that actually what you are is just a good pair of legs to deliver leaflets, that you should instead accept that some people know better than you as a consequence of again arbitrary characteristics, and that regardless of your actual experiences that people are right to make assumptions about your knowledge, intelligence, and capacity for thinking into the future.

I would imagine that sounds fairly grim to you, and of course I would naturally agree. The sad thing is that this is a reality for young members of our party which they experience almost daily. It is no more obvious than at party conferences, where regardless of one’s education, training and vocation, that one is deemed “naïve” as a consequence of one’s youth.

I’d like to say I was heartened by the gasps and boos following one such example during the fracking debate, and I dare say the speaker responsible will have learnt her lesson. However, the problem persists within the party, and was evidenced the next day on the controversial debate concerning AWS and ADS. Young speakers from both sides of the debate recalled times where either themselves or their friends had experienced unwanted advances and sexual harassment, only to be told later either that they were plainly wrong, or that they knew nothing about true sexism.

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Person X supports the legalisation of cannabis

 

“Person X supports the legalisation of cannabis” is quite a headline. For that person to be a sports star or celebrity generates some interest. For it to be a user of cannabis, it often generates derision.

If X is the leader of a political party, or a former government health minister, it surely is big news. This is why I joined, and have stayed a member, of the Liberal Democrats: to have radical, evidence-based policies which strike out as making us distinctive and pleased Norman Lamb has put a motion forward to conference for this policy, and please Tim Farron has supported it.

When it comes to policy-making, we are the party that prides itself most on having an evidence base. Some parties go for populism over evidence, whereas we often prefer radical policies. And some parties go on mainly grabbing headlines. These three elements are often at odds and one usually wins over the other.

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Watford Action Weekend

Watford march action day

After many months up in Hull, where I’m currently at University, I jumped at the chance to get back to my home turf of Watford for an action weekend, and what a weekend it was.

First things first, much of the credit has to go to Nassar who managed to get such a great turn out, including a large number of fellow Liberal Youth members, as well as an appearance by Mike Thornton, Jo Swinson, Duncan Hames and Norman Lamb. It was a fantastic weekend and if I heard correctly we managed to knock on over 5000 doors on Saturday alone! We all know what a challenge it is to organise Lib-Dems.

Secondly a massive thanks to the wonderful Richmonds who put up their home as our base of operations; to stand having 20+ Liberal Youth in your home is a feat that would make Hercules himself sweat with fear.

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The Libertine strikes back!

The Libertine is back!

For those of you who don’t know, The Libertine is Liberal Youth’s online blogging platform. It is quite similar to LDV in that its articles are written by Libdem members, its youth members. This means that we, like LDV, are always looking for new submissions and fresh topics for discussion.

As the title suggests, The Libertine has fallen out of use for a significant period of time. The LY exec asked for applications for the positions of co-editor, and selected myself and Tom Davies. We can be found at [email protected] or [email protected]. If you have any submissions please send them here.

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New Liberal Youth and IR Cymru Executives elected

Liberal Youth logo 2014Elections for the Executives of Liberal Youth and the Welsh organisation IR Cymru have been taking place over the past few weeks.

The 2015-16 Executives will take office on 1st November and are made up as follows:

Liberal Youth

Chair: Michael Chappell/Charlie Kingsbury
Vice Chair: Alex White
Policy Officer: Emily Tester
Campaigns Officer: Ryan Cairns
Communications Officer: Chris Whiting
Events Officer: Tara Murray/Nathan Issacson
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#WeAreAllHuman: Liberal Youth members show solidarity with Calais refugees

“We will not dehumanise, we will not demonise, we will support them.”

Liberal Youth members have made a video in solidarity with the refugees in Calais. Joanne Ferguson, who joined the Party in May and has written for this site several times, tells David Cameron: “You have the power to save human lives, use it.”

Watch and share.

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Liberal Democrat Leadership: Young activists’ letters of support for Farron and Lamb – and a bit of controversy too

Liberal Youth at Eastleigh - Some rights reserved by Helen Duffett

Young activists have written open letters in support of the respective candidates in  the Liberal Democrat leadership contest.

Earlier this week, 50 young activists, including Sam Bennett, the chair of IR Cymru, Liberal Youth Executive members and members from Scotland, England and Wales, wrote an open letter of support for Tim, saying:

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Lib Dem fightback is strong in Kent  

liberalyouth2015In the South East we took a bit of battering, just like the rest of the country. On Thursday, 18th June 2015 Kent Liberal Youth held a #liberalpint event in Maidstone. Considering everyone is saying that the Lib Dems are slowly dying out, it’s not the case for Kent Liberal Youth. We had over eleven new members who were under the age of eighteen, plus another five who were over eighteen.

We had a great discussion on what issues we were passionate about, we had members say they were passionate about drug reform, education, civil liberties, campaigning against secret courts and being liberal.

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Liberal Youth members fight NUS Liar Liar campaign by donating to Liberal Democrat campaigns to #trollNUS

The National Union of Students has spent £40,000 of its money on billboards urging people to vote against MPs who broke its pledge on tuition fees in 2010. This, it should be noted, was a pledge in which they did not believe themselves. When the Browne Review came out, they were calling for a Graduate Tax. The system implemented by the Coalition is not a million miles away from that.

It should also be noted that NUS is not endorsing those Liberal Democrat MPs who actually kept the pledge, either.

The whole point of a liberal youth organisation is to stand up against unfair, collectivist nonsense wherever it may be found. Liberal Youth’s response to the NUS is very creative. It’s encouraging people to donate to Liberal Democrat candidates to troll NUS. Some of them have been making a special point of donating to Nick Clegg’s campaign to annoy NUS to the max.

This is not to say that they totally endorse what the Liberal Democrats did on tuition fees. They know we made a big mistake, but they see the nakedly partisan NUS campaign for what it is. Where was their campaign against Labour MPs who introduced tuition fees and top-up fees when they said they wouldn’t?

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Opinion: A manifesto for young people

Young people are neglected by politics, and understandably so. With less than half of 18-24 year olds voting at the last election, few campaign strategists would advocate making serious commitments with relatively few votes up for grabs.

There has therefore been a temptation for all parties, the Liberal Democrats included, to save their eye catching commitments for older voters. Pensioners have both a high turnout and are generally more numerous than the young in the first place, are therefore rewarded with expensive policies such as the triple lock on pensions and free bus passes.

Nevertheless, to neglect younger voters would be a mistake, if for no other reason than we won’t be young forever. With the rest of our lives to vote, but also crucially to volunteer as activists, there is a lot at stake. Is it preferable to ignore us and hope to win us over from another party in later years, or to do something to earn our support in the present? And who knows, in presenting compelling, believable offers to young people, which take into account their views, then just maybe more will see the point in voting now.

And you know what? Our Liberal Democrat manifesto does just that.

Over the last couple of years the party has given Liberal Youth the chance to put forward our ideas and views into the manifesto process. The manifesto team and Federal Policy Committee have been genuinely willing to listen and the impact of this on the final document is significant.

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Opinion: Liberals must stand up to Russia over Ukraine

The weekend after the party gathered in Liverpool, Liberal Youth gathered in Leeds for our spring conference. There was plenty of campaigning, socialising and of course stimulating debates on policy. Stuart Wheatcroft has already written an excellent summary of the motion we debated and voted for on Ambitious Liberalism; for my part, I submitted a motion on Russia’s actions against Ukraine.

In writing this motion, I aimed to cover the two principal reasons I believe any self-respecting Liberal must stand against what Russia is doing in the region. Firstly, they are attempting to forcibly thwart the will of the Ukrainian people. When the Ukrainian people expressed a desire to look to the EU, they did not at the same time express a desire to go to war with Russia. They are seeking a better life; one bounded by democratic accountable institutions – the same promise extended by the EU to the former Warsaw Pact countries. In attempting to smear the Kiev government as a group of “fascists” as well as sending troops to occupy portions of Ukraine, Russia has attempted to corral the Ukrainian people into giving up these hopes for a brighter future.

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Opinion: Liberal Youth’s ambitious liberalism

Last weekend I attended Liberal Youth’s excellent Conference in Leeds. This is a regular event that allows members to meet, debate and – this time especially – campaign.

The final item on the agenda was a debate on “Ambitious Liberalism: a Radical, Liberal Voice for the Future”, which I proposed.

Although there are plenty of policy items in the motion, this was not primarily a motion about policy. Most of the individual items were already Liberal Youth policy. As we head into the final weeks of the General Election campaign, it is worth taking a few moment to reflect on what unites us as a party, and that is what this motion set out to do.

In putting together this motion, I took inspiration from the excellent mission statement published by Liberal Reform. In particular, Liberal Reform identifies four key strands of liberal thought, which form the basis of the text Liberal Youth adopted this weekend.

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Liberal Youth unveils its General Election campaign plans

LY Cardiff campaign weekend Dec 2014One of the nicest things that’s happened to me this year was when I logged on to Facebook last night and found an invitation asking me to sign up for a Liberal Youth Action Weekend. It’s a long time since I was involved in one of its predecessor organisations, but it brought back memories of the great fun we used to have campaigning in Aberdeenshire under the guidance of party legends like Sheila Ritchie. It was great being at university in Aberdeen because the local party really embraced the students and wanted them to be part of the local organisation outside the university and treated us all like human beings, not just fresh legs to deliver leaflets. It’s no coincidence that that combination helped to lay the foundations for such a strong base in the North East of Scotland. It’s also no coincidence that most of that Aberdeen University contingent are still involved in the party in some way. 

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Liberal Youth Elections 2014… Policy Officer: Ryan Mercer

liberalyouthLiberal Youth policy matters. It’s how we, as young Liberal Democrats, can make a clear and credible case for change on the issues we care about. The disengagement from politics by so many young people has made it easy for the views of our generation to be overlooked. Despite this, the Liberal Democrats have long been the strongest advocates in both tackling the challenges young people face and building the future society in which we want to live. The unique perspective Liberal Youth provides can help to ensure the party will continue to listen to young people and be that advocate for our generation.

In May, I stood as the Liberal Democrat candidate in a Norwich City Council Ward formerly held by Norman Lamb MP. The ward has a young population and standing gave me a real insight into how big a challenge we face showing other young people what we stand for and that we’re on their side.

I’m standing as a candidate for Liberal Youth Policy Officer partly because I believe in the essential role that Liberal Youth policy needs to play, but also because I believe more has to be done to engage our members in our policy making. With more young members adding their voices our policies will be better informed and have the support behind them to be taken seriously.

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Liberal Youth Elections 2014… Membership Development Officer: Naomi Farhi

liberalyouthVoter apathy has never been higher  among students and young people.

Liberal Youth should be a clear voice in a political wilderness.

To the disillusioned youth, politics appears to be a static and increasingly wearisome battlefield, with each side wasting a lot of time and gaining very little ground. Many cannot see the progress that is being made by groups just like Liberal Youth.

It is my vision to make this progress clear.

I joined the Liberal Democrats in 2013 because I was fed up of entrusting the way my country is run to ‘people who knew better than me.’ Young people are the future and Liberal Youth is the voice of a future where equality and fair treatment is achievable for all. I am willing to invest my time and energy in ensuring this will happen – but we need others to do this too.

That is why I am running for Membership Development Officer. As a previously politically apathetic young person, I understand why so many are feeling left out of the picture and I believe I know how to make them feel included. I am now Press and Publicity Officer for the Cambridge Student Liberal Democrats and currently organising our representation at the Freshers’ Fair, which means appealing to over 15,000 students. As such, I am accustomed to dealing with a wide pool of potential members.

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Liberal Youth Elections 2014 – nominations close at 8pm TONIGHT

It dawned on me yesterday, my wedding anniversary, that a baby born on the day I was married would, as of now, be ineligible for automatic membership of Liberal Youth, having reached the age of 26 years. That is a very scary thought.

It’s been a very long time since I was eligible to stand in Liberal Youth elections, but I am now their Returning Officer for their annual elections.

This is a reminder that nominations for their Executive at Federal level and for Liberal Youth England close at 8pm tonight. You can see details of all the posts available and how to apply on their website

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Liberal Youth seeks your views on improving further education

LY campaigning in WestonYesterday Nick Clegg made an announcement on Further Education. This is a response from members of Liberal Youth’s working group on Further Education.

Nick Clegg’s announcement yesterday was largely focussed on improving careers advice, severely damaged as a result of the scrapping of Connexions, and giving those who haven’t gone to Higher Education an equal chance to those who have. Nick talked about creating a ‘one stop shop’ website for 16 year olds to help them plan their next move, similar to UCAS but will include information about apprenticeships, …

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Liberal Youth by-elections are go!

As we reported recently, Liberal Youth are currently holding by-elections for Membership and Communications Officer.

This morning, emails containing links to the electronic ballot were despatched to voters. If the party knows you are under 26, in full time education and you have supplied an email address, you should have received an email from Opavote. If you have not, please contact the Returning Officer at [email protected]

Details of candidates and their manifestos can be found here.

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Liberal Youth seek Communications Officer and Membership Officer – apply by 5 pm tomorrow

Last week all members of the party under 26 for whom we have email addresses were invited to stand for the posts of  Communications Officer and Membership Officer. The closing date is tomorrow, 21st November, at 5pm. Again, I am Returning Officer for this contest.

This is what the email said:

Vacancies have arisen for two Executive positions:

Communications Officer

The comms officer responsible for:

• Promoting the organisation and it’s objectives in the media

• Communicating with the membership

• Producing and developing communications channels

• Maintaining the Liberal Youth Website

• Other avenues of communication as required

Membership Officer

• Identifying and supporting the training needs

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Liberal Youth seeks new non portfolio officer and vice chair

Liberal Youth are seeking to c0-0pt two new members of their Executive, a non-portfolio officer and a vice chair. Any member of the party under 26 or any member of Liberal Youth is eligible to stand.

The non-portfolio officers of Liberal Youth assist the other executive members on any matter needed, and are not confined to any one area.They pick up tasks, or whole projects where necessary, and contribute on a variety of levels to ensure the smooth running of the organisation.

The Vice Chair’s role is to act as temporary Chair …

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AD LIB preview – August 2013: bringing communities together, campaigning success and bringing up children in Parliament

AD LiB August 2013It’s been a few months since I’ve reviewed an AD LIB. Partly that’s because I’ve never got round to doing it, although there was one month, June, I think it was, when I almost spontaneously combusted while reading it on a train. If the dominance of articles about men wasn’t bad enough, the photographs were even worse. I counted something like 26 photographs of men to 10 containing any women at all.

And then there was the recipe. A whole crayfish and a whole lobster? Do they think we’re …

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Liberal Youth co-option deadline extended to noon on 17th July

Remember last week I told you that Liberal Youth were conducting co-options for certain positions? Well, the deadline for nominations has been extended to noon on 17th July – that’s tomorrow.

Here’s a reminder of what’s up for grabs and how to apply:

Regional Chairs for North East and South Central regions

Regional Chairs are responsible for organising and assisting local Liberal Youth branches in their region and working directly with the Lib Dem regional executives.

We have positions open in the North East and South Central. For information on these positions please email Stuart Wheatcroft on [email protected].

To apply:

Please email  the Returning

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Wanted: Liberal Youth Regional Chairs, English Council Reps and Conference Committee members

After a lively and successful Activate weekend, which included campaigning in the Fitzherbert ward in Abingdon, gained in a by-election last week, Liberal Youth are looking for some more people to complete their team. Full details are on their website.

First of all, there are some places up for election – and I, as Returning Officer, thought it would be good to spread the word a bit further.

Regional Chairs for North East and South Central regions

Regional Chairs are responsible for organising and assisting local Liberal Youth branches in their region and working directly with the Lib Dem regional executives.

We

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Liberal Youth Activate gives the new Liberal Youth leadership a renewed focus on Further Education

liberalyouthI write post Activate, Liberal Youth’s flagship training weekend. This year, it also included policy debates and constitutional amendments – two of which were on Further Education.

Liberal Youth’s leadership on Further Education has improved significantly over the past year, with Freshers Fairs conducted in FE institutions for the first time, as well as training for regional chairs on how to engage with Further Education students in their areas.

I’ve demanded much better from the Liberal Youth Executive for 6 years, arguing that setting our foundations in Further Education would make the …

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The New Liberal Youth team for 2013-2014

So, all the postal ballots have been entered, the buttons have been pressed, the candidates informed. I can now give you, for the first time, all the results of the Liberal Youth Elections in one place.

First of all, though, I will take advantage of my position as Returning Officer to thank all the candidates for standing. There were a good number of them too, with many of the positions being contested. You normally have to use significant powers of persuasion to get candidates for treasurer of anything – yet Liberal Youth had three.

The lively campaign and the move to an …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:45am
    Sorry, I mean of course 'a Liberal ' in his youth, he wasn't psychic too!
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 16th Dec - 1:41am
    Well, Peter, the absurdity was just not taken account of, it seems. Yet a shrewd friend of mine, a Lib Dem in his youth and...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Dec - 11:55pm
    But David I seem to remember you were a fan of Bevan's quote about rats. That was a man who through bitter experience knew what...
  • User AvatarDavid Becket 15th Dec - 10:52pm
    @ Martin Typo, not intended
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 15th Dec - 8:35pm
    I wish he was !!
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 15th Dec - 8:26pm
    The cinema site in Tunbridge Wells has been cleared and covered with broken bricks. A new cinema cannot legally be built precisely where the previous...