Tag Archives: linda jack

Opinion: What’s worse than a watery grave?

The news this week has been dominated by the horrendous tragedies of over 1000 deaths in the Mediterranean. With the notable exception of the vile Katie Hopkins, this tragedy has moved the hardest hearts, not least because of the number of children who have died.

For me it’s far closer to home and I confess I have spent the last couple of days fighting back the tears. I have the enormous privilege of caring for two children who made that same journey. And the danger for them didn’t begin when they climbed into a rickety boat, it began as they crossed the Sahara, in cars carrying maybe 30 passengers, many hanging on to the outside, where if one of them fell off they would be left to die in the scorching sand. Or in the insanitary, cruel and overcrowded cells of a Libyan detention centre.  And then, having reached ‘safety’ sleeping rough and eating out of bins while all around you people are dying.

As a family we have heard the horrendous stories of the children who are now part of our family, neither of them knowing where their birth families are, both very clear that they were prepared to take the risk to get here because the alternative was worse. Both now lauded by their schools for being role models for other students with their diligence, good humour and determination to succeed.

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Liberal Democrat members and ministers talk mental health for Channel 4’s political slot

Last week, the Liberal Democrats used their Political Slot with Channel 4 to talk about mental health. Norman Lamb said that it was “morally wrong and economically stupid” to deny people with mental ill health speedy treatment and talked about Liberal Democrat plans to introduce waiting time targets over the next five years.

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Linda Jack drops out of race for party president

linda-jack-6The election for the new president of the party is underway. Ballot papers will be sent out on Friday  to all members of at least one year’s standing to everyone who was a member on the qualifying date at the end of September.  

Candidates had to collect 200 nominations from conference representatives across at least 20 different local parties, with no-one allowed to nominate more than one. Traditionally the candidates try to get the requisite signatures at Autumn Conference, but this proved to be a particular challenge this year.

Linda Jack has issued this statement:

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All in a day’s Lib Dem conference: hustings, fringes, OMOV and sex work

It’s felt like a slow start to conference – I’m habituated to the Friday night rally and meaty policy debates starting at bleary o’clock on Saturday morning. But with the rally moved to Saturday night, conference itself wasn’t opened until this afternoon.

20141004_100527_resizedHowever, that meant there was time this morning for the first official hustings of the Party Presidential contest, with Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne all present. In fact, there was possibly too much time – 90 minutes in a too-efficiently air-conditioned room at times dragged a little. No fault of the candidates themselves – they were all fluent and thoughtful – but they also all agreed on pretty much everything of substance. All pledged to be the independent voice of the membership and to speak truth unto leadership power.

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Nick Clegg arrives at conference

Nick Clegg Glasgow conference by Paul Walter 2014

My photo here shows Nick Clegg arriving at the conference in Glasgow at noon today. He chats briefly with the four Presidential candidates, from left to right: Sal Brinton, Linda Jack, Liz Lynne and Daisy Cooper. The four candidates were hot foot from the first Presidential hustings of the conference, which was packed.

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EXCLUSIVE: Lib Dem Party Presidency – first members’ poll results are here

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum  to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 735 party members responded – thank you – and we’re publishing the full results.

Tim Farron’s four-year stint as Lib Dem Party President ends this year. The contest to succeed him appears to be a four-way election between four female candidates: Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne.

They hold their first official hustings today, Saturday, 10-11am But don’t worry if you can’t make that – LibDemVoice is hosting a special “Who Wants to be Party President?” fringe meeting tomorrow, Sunday from 1-2pm, in the Crowne Plaza (Castle 2), where you can hear from all four, with past party president Baroness (Diana) Maddock chairing.

We asked a series of questions about the party presidency in our survey…

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Race equality survey of presidential candidates

Forms Diversity / SML.20121107.IPH5 / @lifecelebrates #diversityWhat do the candidates to be president of the Lib Dems think should be done to make the party more racially-diverse? I sent them a short six-question survey to find out.

The full survey results can be found on my blog here. Sal Brinton, Daisy Cooper, Linda Jack and Liz Lynne all agreed on many issues, with Sal and Linda proving the boldest in embracing new solutions to increase BAME (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic) diversity, Liz being the most cautious and Daisy somewhere in between. But there wasn’t a whole lot to pick between them.

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Alison Goldsworthy quits party saying it’s no place for “women who want to deliver change”

In an interview with The Times newspaper (£), Alison Goldsworthy said that she had resigned from the Federal Executive of the Liberal Democrats, of which she was Vice Chair. She has since confirmed to us that she had resigned from the Party. This means that none of the four women who made allegations of improper behaviour against Chris Rennard  remains a member of the party. Chris Rennard denies the specific allegations but issued an apology to the women in May in which he expressed his “his regret for any harm or embarrassment caused to them or anythingwhich made them feel uncomfortable.”

Alison described the events which led to her complaint:

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Linda Jack to announce Lib Dem party president campaign

Linda JackLib Dem activist Linda Jack will shortly announce that she will be a candidate for the post of Party President in the all-member election that will take place this autumn.

To date, two candidates have declared their intention to run: Baroness (Sal) Brinton and Pauline Pearce. I understand Linda will officially throw her hat into the ring after May’s local and European elections.

Linda Jack has twice been a parliamentary candidate for the party: in Luton North in 2005, and in Mid-Bedfordshire (up against Nadine Dorries) in 2010. She also …

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My first appearance on the proper BBC1 News – “Not perfect – but in the circumstances we’ve done the best we possibly could”

Late at night at that delightfully random end of Conference Glee Club, in between The Land and The 12 days of Coalition (doesn’t Gareth Epps look like he’s going into a wee trance when he sings “B***** all?”, I checked my phone to see if there was a goodnight text from my family. There wasn’t, but there was one from the BBC, asking if I’d do an interview with political correspondent Vicki Young on the Coalition’s record and Nick Clegg’s speech.

Linda Jack and Caron Lindsay on BBC NewsI thought I might as well go for it, expecting it to go out on the news channel at 3am as most of my media stuff seems to end up. I was told to go to a cafe near the Minster for 10 am and that I’d be on with my friend Liberal Left’s Linda Jack.

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AD LIB Preview: The one with the kilt

AD LIB September 2013The September issue of AD LIB magazine hits subscribers’ doorsteps this weekend. And it’s wearing a very fetching kilt as Glasgow prepares to welcome the Liberal Democrats for Federal Conference. It even has Gaelic on the front cover. And a saltire, which is bound to annoy our nationalist friends, but, hey, they don’t own it.

There’s an article by someone you might recognise which mentions the Krankies and drinking cocktails out of a gramophone. I have to say that much of the cool stuff in that “Welcome to Glasgow” …

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Interview: What future for youth services in an age of austerity

As a youth worker one of the organisations I have had a long term relationship with is the National Youth Agency, always an important resource and advocate for youth work and young people. They will be hosting two challenging youth work focused fringes at conference, so I took the opportunity to interview Fiona Blacke, their dynamic and outspoken CEO.

Q: How have the cuts impacted on youth work across the country?

A: Young people need access to youth workers and high quality youth work, and that offer continues to be …

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Lib Dem members launch group opposed to the coalition

The Guadian reports:

The first Liberal Democrat group openly opposed to the coalition is to be launched at the party’s spring conference in Gateshead next month with a warning that the coalition has been a political disaster for the party, as well as a denial of its radical roots.

Launching a website on Wednesday, the group Liberal Left said it hoped to become a rallying point for members opposed to the coalition and those who see the party as a centre-left organisation seeking common cause with Labour, Greens and others on the centre left.

One

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Lib Dem Bloggers’ Christmas stocking fillers… Part I

What presents are you looking forward to giving or receiving this year? That’s the question LDV posed to a group of Lib Dem bloggers. All this week we’re revealing what they told us, with link-throughs to Amazon for your shopping convenience (and ‘cos the referral fees help support LibDemVoice: so get clicking and ordering). In part one, our first trio of bloggers – Nick Thornsby, Linda Jack and Duncan Stott – give us the low-down on their Xmas faves…

Nick Thornsby

1) Arguably by Christopher Hitchens
Everything written by Hitchens (or Hitch as he’s known to his friends) is a joy

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10 Lib Dems call for emergency recovery programme

From today’s Guardian:

We write to express broad support for the Compass Plan B proposals reported in the Observer (30 October). We are Liberal Democrat members who have campaigned hard for decades in national and local elections. We have also engaged in our party’s policymaking. For both reasons, we take seriously the policies on which we fought the last general election, in particular the belief that the Conservatives’ economic proposals would have dire consequences.

In May 2010, our party signed up, through the coalition agreement, to a series of policies against which it had recently campaigned. But out of responsibility to the …

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Three-quarters of Lib Dem manifesto becoming government policy – independent research

Sunday’s Politics Show featured the results of research by independent academics into how each party in the Coalition Government is doing at getting its polices enacted.

The conclusion? Three-quarters (75%) of the Liberal Democrat manifesto is being turned into government policy, compared to noticeably less (60%) of the Conservative manifesto, as illustrated in this screenshot:

Politics Show screenshot

(For a sample of those Lib Dem policies being put into action see the excellent site What The Hell Have The Lib Dems Done?)

Conservative blogger Tim Montgomerie and Lib Dem blogger and Federal Policy Committee (FPC) member Linda Jack were both interviewed to discuss these results and other aspects of the coalition’s future:

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Youth Justice day: thanks and farewell

A final thanks to all those who have contributed to today’s focus on Youth Justice. I trust, dear readers, you have found the debate enlightening and challenging and those of you heading for Sheffield will join us for the debate on Saturday afternoon. We have a fringe event on Friday evening at 8pm in Suite 5 in Jury’s Inn. Peter Oborne will be chairing a debate with Tom McNally, Simon Hughes and others on Youth Justice in an Age of Austerity.

In the midst of all that I personally find unpalatable about the Coalition this is one area where I have …

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Youth Justice: the minister’s view

Since I became Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice last May I have been working with Ken Clarke and the other Ministers within the department to make radical changes to the criminal justice system. Our plans are about finding out what works – the methods of rehabilitation and punishment which actually reduce crime.

One of the key aspects of this vision is preventing and tackling offending by young people. In England and Wales the number of children aged 10 to 17 grew rapidly during the course of the 1990s and into the second term of the Labour government in …

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Youth Justice: the magistrate’s view

just over 100 years ago a Liberal government decided that young people should no longer be routinely tried in the same courts as adults. Thus was born the juvenile, now youth, court system in England and Wales. During the last hundred years much has changed in penal policy, both corporal and capital punishment have been abolished, and the prevention of re-offending has taken on a greater importance over the punishment of offenders. There is also a live debate about the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

For some, magistrates, and especially lay magistrates, sometimes seem like the ogres in the system. They …

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Youth Justice: the lawyer’s view

Society has gone badly wrong in the way in which it deals with those crimes committed by young people.

There are far too many children coming into contact with the criminal justice system. Children can appear in the adult Crown Court charged with grave crimes or if they are jointly charged with an adult. Under those circumstances, a child is confronted with the full rigour and formality of the court process. Following a finding by the European Court of Human Rights that the applicants Thompson and Venables had been a denied a fair hearing before the Crown Court, …

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Youth Justice: on raising the age of criminal responsibility

The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child requires that states should set an age below which children cannot be held criminally liable – but does not specify a minimum age. A quick survey of other jurisdictions confirms that by comparison the age of criminal responsibility in England and Wales – at ten years – is extremely low.  Indeed, it is the lowest in the European Union. In other member states it ranges from 13 to 18. A survey of 90 countries by found that the most common age of criminal responsibility was in fact 14 years

Taking into account …

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Youth Justice: the prison governor’s view

One of the most powerful pieces of learning for me during 34 years of being in and out of custodial establishments is the capacity of their residents to respond to opportunities; to being appreciated and congratulated for work well done; to being respected for doing something worthwhile. It is the realisation that this might have been their first experience of any of this that initially takes the breath away, and always disturbs. Although, therefore, Governors have to concern themselves with secure and safe custody and, yes, maximising resources to provide opportunities for offenders in their custody, and doing …

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Youth Justice: Linda Jack’s guest editor day

At Spring Conference we will finally get the opportunity to debate our Youth Justice policy – we have taken a “muscular liberal” approach – recognising that the present system fails not only some of our most vulnerable young people – but more importantly, society itself.

Other countries, even the most unexpected, have a far more enlightened approach to youth justice, recognising that punishment and rehabilitation have to be combined with meeting welfare needs of children and young people who have often been badly neglected.

Today a number of fellow Lib Dems express their professional and personal views of what our response should …

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Welcome back to Linda Jack as guest editor for the day

Tomorrow Linda Jack is returning as guest editor for the day on Liberal Democrat Voice. Linda was our second guest editor, back in September and is a blogger herself at Lindylooz Muze.

Have fun with the site Linda…

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Opinion: Interpreting the internal election results

The bare bones of the internal party election results were set out here on Saturday showing who had been elected by conference reps to the various committees.

The detailed results for the Federal Executive and the Federal Policy Committee, hosted by Colin Rosenstiel, show some revealing trends when compared with previous years’ election results.

This year, in the Federal Executive elections, Evan Harris came top on first preference by a long stretch with 263 votes. Following him was David Rendel (107) and Ramesh Dewan (77) with others on 55. Evan is clearly identified with the progressive, Social Liberal wing …

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Paul Walter to guest edit Liberal Democrat Voice tomorrow

Tomorrow we’ve got our fourth guest editor running the site for a day, Newbury blogger Paul Walter. He follows Caron LindsayMark Valladares and Linda Jack.

Paul’s got a great set of guest posts lined up already, so do pop back tomorrow to take a read.

This is the last of our little run of experiments with guest editors so if you’ve got any views on how it has gone and whether we should do something similar in future, please comment below.

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Caron Lindsay to guest edit Liberal Democrat Voice tomorrow

Tomorrow we’ve got a new guest editor running the site for a day, Scottish Lib Dem blogger Caron Lindsay. She’s the third in our series of guest editors, following Mark Valladares and Linda Jack.

I’m really looking forward to reading the posts Caron’s already talked about having ready to publish. Do come back tomorrow and see how Caron adds a different perspective and touch from the usual on here.

We have a couple more guest slots lined up later this year already but if anyone else would like to be a guest editor for the day, please drop an …

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Blessings and Challenges from a day on Lib Dem Voice

Well, that’s it then. First lesson to anyone else thinking of following Mark and me in guest editing LDV – it’s not really the day you are doing it you need to take off… it’s the day before!

Ideally you need to have your contributions done and dusted the night before. In my case, so close to conference, yesterday was what you might call a challenge. I had a normal day at work, extended because I had been out of the office for nearly a week.

I had then booked to meet fellow Tweeps for a #tweetup, thinking I wouldn’t …

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Linda Jack’s day as guest editor

A big thank goes out to all at the Voice to Linda Jack, who has been our guest-editor for today.

Taking the theme of conference reviews, Linda has kept us busy with interviews and articles all day.

For posterity, here’s a list of the posts we have featured today.

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Opinion: I always love Conference

I always love conference, in fact I love all three Party conferences. Because inspite of the fact that I am most comfortable with my LibDem tribe I am on the whole comfortable with people with a genuine interest in politics. Let’s face it all of us are such a small proportion of the population.

As I walked through Liverpool in the evening I strongly suspect that those girls dressed up to the nines, well kind of in nothing actually, had no idea they were hosting a party of Government in their hometown.

That is what is so great about conference, …

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