Tag Archives: London

London’s democracy isn’t perfect: City Hall needs electoral reform

There’s a massive gulf between where our democracy is and where it should be. Time and time again, First Past the Post distorts the link between seats and votes in the House of Commons while the House of Lords makes a mockery of the notion that we have a representative democracy. Not to mention the stark reality that our political system is far too centralised – despite almost 25 years of devolution.

Of course, we’ve made some great steps forward. The devolved parliaments and assemblies, as well as the introduction of Proportional Representation for Scottish councils, are great achievements of modern politics – all positive, progressive Liberal Democrat wins alongside Labour.

Yet there’s much more to be done to build a better democracy. Instead of championing further democratic upgrades, the Conservatives are taking this country backwards. The introduction of voter ID checks for all the wrong reasons and the abolition of the Supplementary Vote for mayoral elections are two huge missteps.

We need big and radical overhauls like PR, a democratic upper chamber and a written codified constitution. But we also need reforms in less urgent but still important areas.

London faces another election this May. Our party has a real opportunity to grow in the capital, both by winning more assembly seats and beating the Greens back into fourth place.

Assembly Member Caroline Pidgeon last year rightly championed the case for further devolution in London and across the UK. Devolving powers away from Westminster is the right move to empower citizens and ultimately strengthen our democracy.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 4 Comments

Some thoughts on the tube strike

Just about now, people across London will be thinking about how on earth they are going to get home. The underground system, on which so many rely, is shut down for the day due to a strike. What is the liberal approach to sorting the situation?

I am not often out late partying in London. Just over a year ago, I was down for the fantastic wedding of Ed Fordham and Russell Eagling. I was really shocked that the tube stopped running as early as it did on a Saturday night. I mean, public transport doesn’t usually run 24/7, but this was London, for goodness sake. I had a bit of a panic when I thought I’d missed the last Piccadilly Line train back to my hotel, but, thankfully, one turned up.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

Opinion: Building homes has never been more important  

 

Conservatives claim that extending the so-called ‘Right to Buy’ policy to housing association tenants will give the possibility of home ownership to 1.3 million families.

But at what cost? And is this the right policy priority, given our housing crisis?

What isn’t explicit in the name of this policy (‘right to buy’) is that it involves selling off homes at a very large discount to their market value – over £100,000 per home.  This amounts to a huge give-away of public assets to the new owner-occupier of the homes in question – who are likely to be amongst the better-off housing association tenants and already benefitting from a secure affordable home.  The Institute of Fiscal Studies has estimated that the total cost of the policy is likely to be of the order of £11.6 billion over the next five years.  As Boris Johnson correctly warned on the 25th March, the policy “would involve massive subsidies.”  His scepticism of the policy has subsequently been revised, but he was of course spot on.

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

Six fight for Lib Dem London Mayor nomination

Six candidates have bave applied to be the Liberal Democrat candidate for Mayor of London. They are:

Duwayne Brooks OBE.

Brian Haley. A strong communicator, comfortable with diverse communities. Stood to be selected as Lib Dem mayoral candidate four years ago. [email protected]

Teena Lashmore. From Hackney, criminologist working in resettling those released from prisons and detention centres andsafeguarding children. [email protected]

Caroline Pidgeon. Leader of the Liberal Democrats on the London Assembly, specialises in transport, policing and housing. www.carolinepidgeon.org@CarolinePidgeon

Marisha Ray. Known as the Lib Dem crime fighting chief in her area and for work preventing teenage knife deaths. https://www.libdemvoice.org/author/marisha-ray  [email protected]

Paul Reynolds. Paul is an international government reform and anti-poverty specialist; an Iraq war ‘veteran’ and former Smithfield Market trader. www.THEfuture.london

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

Opinion: Be ambitious for London – end child poverty, improve child wellbeing

 

While you know London has a booming economy, and is a centre of job and wealth creation, the largest city of one of the world’s largest economies, you may be less aware of the issue of child poverty; it is also a city where significant numbers (over six hundred thousand children, around two fifths of the total) grow up in poverty.

As a political party we need to continue to become more well known for committing to improving children’s lives in our capital and I believe that by drawing attention to this issue we will improve life for all. The present situation has developed, persisted and augmented on the watch of successive London Mayors, whether Labour, Conservative or sometime independent. As a matter of strategic importance to London, there is no question that the issue is the responsibility of the Mayor.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 4 Comments

LDV survey: who Lib Dem members want to be the party’s candidate for Mayor of London

Lib Dem Voice has polled our members-only forum to discover what Lib Dem members think of the early race for the party presidency, the London mayoral selection, Trident, and the Labour leadership. Over 400 party members have responded, and we’re currently publishing the full results.

LDV asked: The following names have been suggested as possible contenders to take on Boris Johnson for the elected position of Mayor of London. Who would you like to see stand as the Lib Dem candidate for Mayor of London?

  • 12% – Lembit Opik
  • 11% – Brian Paddick
  • 15% –

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , and | 14 Comments
Advert



Recent Comments

  • Mark Frankel
    How does this translate into concrete policies? One might be to re-join the EU, to reduce fruitless, emissions-generating frictions such as the new fingerprint...
  • Tom Harney
    I did not do National service because I was born a year too late to be called up. I did take a lot of interest at the time in the debate in the press about it....
  • Chris Moore
    I have to wonder if sone of you have ever actually visited a "leafy" Blue Wall seat? Btw what is this nonsense about "leaves"? I think you'll find there are ...
  • Chris Moore
    Seats in the Blue Wall in the south have poorer areas within them. In the several I know personally, there are pockets of deprivation, food banks etc. Pleas...
  • Yeovil Yokel
    Peter - firstly, I echo what Anthony says about large parts of the West Country; I believe Cornwall and Somerset are amongst the poorest counties in southern En...