Tag Archives: nick clegg

LibLink: Nick Clegg – Elected representatives will do the right thing on Brexit


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In the Financial Times (registration needed), Nick Clegg writes very realistically about the prognosis for Brexit:

Public opinion has shifted a little in favour of the Remain camp, and a lot towards wider concern about the impact of Brexit on the NHS and the economy. But it remains firmly enveloped in an indifference towards the details of the negotiations, and a sullen belief that politicians should just “get on with it”. Advertising campaigns by anti-Brexit groups will not, on their own, shift opinion in a big way.

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WATCH: Nick Clegg say that Brexit is a monumental waste of time

From the Belfast Telegraph, watch the Cleggster speak at a Conference in Bath about social mobility and Brexit:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg – British cross-border supply chains will be strangled by hard Brexit red tape

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Writing in the i newspaper, Nick Clegg says that any chance of Soft Brexit has been killed off by Theresa May. Instead, MPs will be faced with the choice of a hard Brexit or no Brexit.

Nick Clegg hits the nail on the head when he describes how modern cross-border supply chains will be destroyed by a hard Brexit:

It cannot be said enough: the Brexit this Government is determined to impose on this country cannot under any circumstances avoid the introduction of extensive new barriers, costs and frictions to trade with our largest trading partners.

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BREAKING: Swinson and Clegg honoured

Lib Dem MP for East Dunbartonshire, Jo Swinson, has been awarded a CBE in the New Year’s Honours list.

The rumours were true, about Nick, then.

 

Elizabeth Riches, who came within two votes of winning North East Fife in June becomes an MBE. She was a councillor for many years and was depute leader of Fife Council from 2007-12.

Depute Leader of our group on York City Council, Ann Reid gets an MBE for services to local govermnent.

Another Scot, Graham Garvie, former Convener of the Borders Council and now a member of the Lib Dems’ Federal International Relations Committee, gets an OBE.

Reg Barry,  Lib Dem Councillor on the Isle of Wight gets a BEM for services to the community.

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Will Nick Clegg be getting a knighthood at the weekend?

The papers are full of reports that The Cleggster is getting a knighthood in the New Year Honours. The right wing tabloids in particular are particularly enraged at this award for an “arch remainer.” The Mail even devotes a separate article to the question of whether Miriam Gonzalez Durantez will use the title “Lady Clegg” to give them another reason to remind readers of their twin obsessions with her being Spanish and not using what they refer to as her “married name.” The fact that she just has a name, not a married name, is lost on them as usual.

It’s much better for them, of course, to obsess on these things rather than her expertise on international and EU trade which leads her often to demolish the Government’s handling of Brexit as she did in this article in the Summer.

The best thing this government could do to appease the serious concerns of UK business leaders on Brexit is to rely on the business leaders themselves. This means no more toying with extravagant and ill-founded ideas. And it also means seeking an interim arrangement with the EU to continue benefiting from the single market and the customs union for as long as is needed until an alternative EU-UK deal is reached, as business leaders have proposed. This can be done by placing the UK into the European Economic Area on a temporary basis, and/or looking for an ad hoc arrangement extending the current status quo. Neither the extreme Brexiteers nor the extreme remainers like this option, but it is the only sensible thing to do right now. It allows the UK government to win time. And time is what the government needs – to get the skills it misses, to draft proposals it has not even started to draft yet and to negotiate with the serenity that the high economic interests at stake deserve.

An interim deal is the only way to deal with the ticking clock Michael Barnier hears because, as any trade negotiator knows, there is nothing worse than negotiating against time. Except for negotiating against time in pursuit of delusional and unrealistic ambitions.

But back to Nick. We won’t know if the knighthood story has any basis in fact, or is just something that the Brexiteer tabloids using to fill their pages in the post Christmas lull. 

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Clegg criticises May on Brexit, talks about defeat and the Westminster culture that enables bullying and harassment

Nick Clegg gets loads of column inches this weekend.

He has a long interview with Camilla Cavendish in today’s Sunday Times magazine (£). They discuss Brexit, Parliament, sexual harassment and his son’s Blood Cancer.

He describes the serendipitous series of events that meant that he took Antonio to the GP:

To this day, I don’t know what possessed me to take him to the GP. It was those early days in September, you know, when you have to get kids ready for school. Miriam had to work very heavily that week, so I was at home most of the time, helping to do the preparatory things, buying clothes for the new term — and Antonio said he had this thing. We had an afternoon, so I thought, ‘Why don’t I just take him, and he’ll stop going on about it.’ ”

This was quite out of character, he says. “Normally, I’m quite brutal. My Dutch mum regarded going to doctors and hospitals as something one should avoid at all costs.

Thankfully, Antonio is now well on the mend.

Nick spoke about what he’s up to now he’s out of Parliament. He’s taken up drumming and tried (unsuccessfully) to learn to surf.

The interview was conducted just around the time that sexual harassment hit the headlines. Nick slammed the culture at Westminster which created the environment for this abuse:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Skeleton Brexit deal risks leaving Parliament in the dark

It’s been a good week for Nick Clegg. he won Best non fiction book by a parliamentarian for his How to Stop Brexit book in the Parliamentary Book Awards. We won’t mention the fact that he sadly wasn’t a parliamentarian when he wrote it. You don’t have to be – former MPs are eligible. He was quite pleased:

Writing in the FT Nick points out the dangers of the current direction of travel in the EU negotiations. With Brexiteers just wanting to get out and not caring about the consequences, they will be happy if there is only a basic outline deal on the table for MPs to vote on this time next year.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: MPs deserve a vote on the final Brexit plan not a vague sketch

Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column casts a depressing eye over the debate over the EU Withdrawal Bill this week.

First of all, he looks at the ridiculous date of exit issue:

Putting the Brexit date – March 29th 2019 – into legislation is a particularly specious gesture. It may act as catnip to the increasingly agitated Brexiteers, but to our European partners the sight of the British government shutting down the possibility of extending the Brexit talks must look absurd. As they know, and as I do from my time working in the EU, deadlines can be, and are, frequently missed. And the suggestion from the Government that if MPs have the temerity to reject the Brexit deal they will be responsible for the chaos of no deal is as thuggish as it is misleading – if MPs were to reject a bad deal, the EU would pause the Article 50 timetable rather than push us over the edge of the Brexit cliff.

The whole idea of a meaningful vote on a deal is also ridiculous as we won’t have a deal about our future relationship with the EU before we formally leave. As Nick puts it:

So there is now a high likelihood that MPs will be asked to give their consent to Britain’s departure from the EU before knowing the detail of our future relationship with the EU. It will be like buying a house on the basis of a few grainy photos from a dodgy estate agent who won’t allow you to visit the inside. ‘Members of Parliament must hold firm and reject the government’s tactics’ On a recent trip to Brussels, it was made quite clear to me that the two negotiating teams are aiming for no more than a “heads of agreement” deal by the time Britain reaches its Article 50 deadline. This means that David Davis will return with little more than an outline of detail-free pledges on areas like security and combating terrorism, and a vague promise to strike a Canada-style free trade agreement

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Laura Gordon selected as PPC for Sheffield Hallam

Nick Clegg’s successor as Lib Dem candidate in Sheffield Hallam has been chosen.

Laura Gordon won the selection contest last night.

The Star has more details.

Following her selection by Lib Dem party members on Friday, Ms Gordon said: “I am really honoured to be selected by the Liberal Democrats to be the candidate in Sheffield Hallam. “The Liberal Democrats have a long history in Sheffield Hallam

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Miriam says she and Nick knew about Jared O’Mara’s comments but he refused to go negative

Miriam Gonzalez Durantez was on Peston this morning as one of the panel of 3 guests who are there throughout the programme.

The subject of Jared O’Mara’s appallingly racist, misogynist and homophobic comments came up and Miriam said something very interesting instead. She said that Labour must have known about his past because she and Nick did.

That, of course, begs the question that if we knew why on earth didn’t we use it during the campaign. She answered that one as well, saying that Nick refused to run a negative campaign.

She pointed out the hypocrisy of Labour allowing someone with such deeply regressive views to present themselves as a progressive candidate.

It is very typical of Nick to take the high road and not the low one. He is, sometimes to his detriment, an idealist at heart who has always behaved with integrity.

Would it have made a difference if he had used what he knew about O’Mara? Well, let’s look at the change in vote share since 2015. The Labour vote only went up by 2.6%. It was an advance by the Tories of 10.2%, Tories who had hitherto voted tactically for Nick. They unsqueezed themselves presumably to give Theresa May the strong hand she craved in the Brexit negotiations. 

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Finally the Brexit spell is beginning to lift: MPs are beginning to stand against it

In Nick Clegg’s latest iNews column, he says that MPs are finally starting to flex some muscle in the Brexit process. He is as bold as to say that he believes Parliament will actually save the country from its fate. Nick’s article is important because it gives those who think that our fate is inevitable a clear route map to a better future.

He says that if Parliament votes down the deal, the two year Brexit clock will stop ticking:

Next October, Brexit Secretary David Davis will present the Government’s threadbare Brexit deal to the House of Commons for approval. This is the key vote, the key moment, which will determine Britain’s future. Vote down the deal, and headlong rush towards Brexit will come to a shuddering halt. The clock counting down the minutes to Britain’s departure from the EU will stop ticking. ‘Senior officials in Brussels last week expressed their certainty that Britain can still find a place for itself within the EU’

The government, with increasing panic, insists otherwise, and will continue to repeat its threat that by rejecting a deal MPs will be voting for Britain to crash out of Europe without a deal. This is total nonsense. For a start, Britain will legally remain part of the EU.

However, should MPs, on behalf of their constituents, decide not to go ahead with Brexit then the Article 50 process will inevitably be paused. Our friends and partners across Europe won’t shrug their shoulders and simply carry on with the process. Instead the EU will reach for the pause button. This was made clear to me by senior officials in Brussels last week, who not only expressed their growing bewilderment with the government’s approach to the Brexit talks but also their certainty that Britain can find a place for itself within the EU should it choose a different path.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Bickering brexiteers and teenage footballers

Nick Clegg has been telling the readers of the New Statesman all about his week.

As he attended a reception on mental health at Buckingham Palace, he remembered one of his first appearances as Lib Dem Leader at PMQs:

In the evening, I attended a reception at Buckingham Palace to support people who work in mental health, listening to a good speech by Prince William and a funny and moving one by Stephen Fry. Almost exactly ten years ago I raised mental health at Prime Minister’s Questions when Gordon Brown was at the despatch box as PM, and I was a newly elected Lib Dem leader. At the time, it was considered a “brave” thing to do – party leaders never raised mental health in the Commons. So it’s massive progress that mental health is now talked about openly in parliament, in the media, and even in Buckingham Palace. But the gap between words and deeds is huge. The taboo may have been broken, but the problems of poor mental-health provision still exist.

On a trip to Brussels, he learned something quite alarming about Brexit:

I caught up with some senior European Commission officials in Brussels, some of whom I’ve known for more than 20 years, from the time I worked there. One told me that the most striking moment in the Brexit negotiations so far was when UK officials asked whether the EU could provide Britain with “technical assistance” on how to process and transport nuclear materials, tasks presently overseen by Euratom (the European Atomic Energy Community). “Technical assistance is what the EU provides to some of the poorest countries of the world,” my friend told me. “Now the UK is asking for help like a developing nation. Wow.”

Then he went to see Hillary Clinton at the South Bank Centre and had some observations on defeat:

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Be warned, Brexiteers, I know better than most the consequences of breaking a promise

Writing for the Times Red Box, Nick Clegg has been warning Brexiteers about the dangers of not keeping promises you make to electorate. As he points out, he should know.

The Brexiteers are heading for the same stormy waters, he says:

When asked to reflect on the official Leave campaign’s shopping list of promises to the voters during the referendum campaign, Duncan Smith, one of the most vocal campaigners for Brexit, dismissively replied: “We just made a series of promises that were possibilities.”

We know that leading lights of the Leave campaign had had enough of experts; now they appear to have had enough of dictionaries.

It’s easy to see why. None of their impossible promises have been met and, as I suspect Mr Duncan Smith knows full well, never will be.

And, of course, when they can’t keep their promises, they blame others:

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A referendum on the Brexit deal is key, not growing other parties.

You know, I never understood why you gun control people don’t all join the NRA. They’ve got two million members. You bring three million to the next meeting, call a vote. All those in favour of tossing guns… bam! Move on.

It is one of the most memorable lines in every political anorak’s favourite TV show, The West Wing. Although steeped in high fantasy, the strategy from Congressman Skinner does present some food for thought – if you want to defeat your enemy, why not do it from within? It’ll be less bloody, it may even mean a quicker and more efficient way to smash your political nemesis into irrelevance.

These sentiments, in some part, were echoed by my friend and former leader of the Liberal Democrats, Nick Clegg in the Observer. In his comment piece he states that anti-Brexit Labour-inclined voters, and their Conservative counterparts, should join their respective parties to change the direction of each organisation and, in turn, the future of the country.

These voters, argues Nick, should then lobby their MPs, leaders and change the debate at conferences to make sure that Britain’s spiral into a Brexit self-harm is stopped.

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Lib Link: Nick Clegg – You can stop Brexit by joining the Labour party – or even the Tories


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Writing in the Observer, Nick Clegg argues that the pro-Brexit agenda is being pushed by a moneyed elite, at the disadvantage of “the little people” they pretend to support. He goes on to say:

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No, Nick, you need to join the Rebel Alliance to stop Brexit, not the Imperial Stormtroopers

Nick Clegg is probably the country’s most knowledgable person on international trade, the EU and our relationship with it. Read his brilliant Brexit Challenge papers to see how true that is.

We should listen to whatever he says on Brexit because he is most often right.

However, for the former leader of a political party, he has shown a monumental amount of naivety in suggesting that people need to join Labour or the Conservatives to stop Brexit. He could not be more wrong.

You can maybe see where he gets the idea from. When he was leader of the Liberal Democrats, and, specifically, Deputy Prime Minister, the party was forever telling him in forms of motions passed by its Conference and various firestorms on the internet, that he was wrong. We sent him some pretty strong and unambiguous messages on things like the Bedroom Tax, secret courts and reforms to the social security system that disadvantaged people. Sure, we should take credit for what we stopped the Tories unleashing on the country, but we also did some stuff that we shouldn’t.

Yes, we sent him plenty messages. Sometimes he acted on what we told him, sometimes he didn’t, and sometimes he had to put a lot of effort into persuading the party to back his position.

Let’s compare and contrast with the Tories and Labour. They aren’t great about letting their members actually influence their policies. You didn’t actually see many actual votes on the issues of the day at their conferences. You didn’t see any at the Conservatives. They don’t do that sort of thing. They were shocked by the internal democracy in the Liberal Democrats and thought it very strange. Ordinary Labour members don’t get much of a chance to influence policy either. Even if they wanted to, remember that their Conference didn’t even get to discuss Brexit because they might disagree.

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WATCH: Nick Clegg in conversation at Conference Fringe

Happily, it doesn’t matter that I had to be in 3 other places at the time when Nick Clegg’s only fringe meeting appearance in Bournemouth, because those nice people at Prospect magazine have only gone and put it on You Tube.

Enjoy.

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Nick and Miriam talk publicly for the first time about their son’s successful Cancer treatment

About a year ago, I became aware that Nick Clegg and Miriam Gonzalez Durantez were going through the worst ordeal any parent can face. Their eldest son Antonio was going through brutal treatment for a life-threatening condition. They were very much in my thoughts as my family also faced months of medical trauma. That sort of thing is scary enough when it happens to an adult, but utterly heartbreaking and terrifying beyond anything you are ever likely to face when it comes to your own child.

It was pretty much an open secret, but, thankfully, the media respected  the family’s privacy nobody published anything about what was happening.

Yesterday, Nick and Miriam talked about their son’s illness for the first time on ITV’s Lorraine programme. They wanted to raise awareness of Bloodwise, a charity dedicated to funding research into blood cancers. The aspect that Nick and Miriam focused on was that of finding a way of making the treatments less horrendous to endure. They wrote a blog for the charity, saying:

Antonio, our eldest son, was 14 when we first spotted a small, entirely painless lump in his neck.
Although he had no other symptoms, we made an appointment with our local GP.  We were lucky: our brilliant doctor quickly recognised that the lump could be something more serious. And so it was that after an ultrasound scan and a biopsy Antonio was diagnosed in September of last year with stage 2 Hodgkin Lymphoma in his neck and his chest.

Like all parents who have a child diagnosed with cancer, our first reaction was an overwhelming, if irrational, wish to take the cancer away from him and take it on ourselves. But of course you can’t. You have no choice but to watch your own child battle through the heavy treatment, however much all your parental instincts wish you could take their place.

The treatment he received in the NHS at the teenage cancer unit at UCLH was superb. Every single person working on the ward – from the reception desk to the expert nurses – was friendly, professional and compassionate. We were especially fortunate that Dr Stephen Daw, Antonio’s Consultant Oncologist, is a specialist in childhood and teenage lymphomas and leads research into improving treatments and outcomes.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Summer posturing has done little to advance Brexit

Writing in the Financial Times, Nick Clegg gives his assessment of where we are with Brexit at the moment. He is unimpressed with the Government’s Brexit papers, describing them as technocratic, insubstantial and lacking in leadership. He also sees Labour’s so called great shift on the single market as nothing more than a statement of the obvious.

The EU doesn’t escape criticism either, as he points out that they are being way too rigid on the timetable – but that, as he adds, is something that could easily have been foreseen.

There is a profound misreading among British negotiators of the psychology of their EU counterparts. This is not just the familiar difference in the political styles — the improvised repartee of Westminster versus a more formal and legalistic political culture — it relates to a deeper question: who bears responsibility? Across European capitals, there is a strongly held view that the UK has taken a decision that they wish had not happened, which they do not fully understand, and which they believe will make life harder for everyone. Some are aghast that, at a time when Europe faces US isolationism, Russian belligerence, a refugee crisis and threats from terrorism to climate change, the UK should choose to pitch everyone into an interminable navel-gazing negotiation. Not unreasonably, they believe that the overwhelming onus should be on the UK to explain what it wants from Brexit. Surely, they ask, if Brexiters have spent a lifetime campaigning to quit the EU, they should have developed answers as to how that should be achieved?

He’s not worried about the argument over money. We all knew this would happen and it’ll sort itself out. There are much bigger problems emanating from the Government’s incompetence, though.

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Who to trust on the economy? The CBI or Dr Fox with his kamikazee Brexit?

This week, it was very welcome to hear the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) calling for the UK to remain in the Single Market and Customs Union once it leaves the EU, until a full trade deal is in place.

This seems to be simple common sense to me.

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I was never mad at the Lib Dems and you shouldn’t be either

Going through my final exams during a general election was heart breaking. I wanted to canvass and I wanted to write, but the only thing I seemed to have time to get involved in were political debates with friends and family, and it always came back the same comment: If you’re a student, why would you vote for the Lib Dems?

I remember the day that Nick Clegg supposedly betrayed his younger voters well. I was studying for my GCSEs when a BBC news reporter announced that a video of Nick Clegg apologising had gone viral on the internet and, although I was planning on sending off a UCAS application in a couple of years, I wasn’t angry at the Lib Dems. Yet it seems that many still are.

Going to university isn’t a right granted to us when we are born and it would be unfair to expect those who haven’t attended to fund a student’s education, when they themselves could be paying taxes to the government and improve the quality of our public services. Unfortunately, not every career allows people to work their way up and requires a degree, but if that is the type of career we want, then it is fair that we take out a loan to fund ourselves and repay it when we have the funds to do so. The reason for this? Social mobility.

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WATCH: Nick Clegg’s concession speech: We need to reach out to each other and heal divisions

Having spent all Thursday night at the count, I’ve been catching up on the results programmes to see how the extraordinary night unfolded.

I’m still pretty devastated that we’ve lost the country’s foremost authority on matters European from Parliament when we most need him.

Here is his typically gracious concession speech, in which he talks about the importance of people from all parties reaching out to each other to heal the division in the country. I suspect he would have said exactly the same thing if he had won.

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Nick Clegg: No evidence that human rights laws undermine security

I wondered how long it would take for Theresa May to roll back on her always flimsy commitments to human rights. They didn’t even make it till polling day.

She said last night that she’s prepared to rescind human rights legislation as part of a counter terrorism review.

Nick Clegg criticised this approach on the Today programme, saying that there was no evidence that human rights laws had anything to do with the attacks. Listen here.

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WATCH: Nick Clegg on why a “self destructive” hard brexit is so damaging for our economy and security

Nick Clegg has given a big speech on Brexit this morning. You can watch it here.

The highlights:

  • May and Corbyn’s conspiracy of silence as they pursue the hardest of Brexits – the politics of evasion and fantasy
  • The cost of leaving the single market and customs union
  • How the poorest will be most adversely affected by a hard Brexit while the rich will be relatively insulated
  • May will think she has a mandate if she gets a majority on Thursday but there are still so many unknowns
  • There is a chance to avoid all this – by electing Lib Dem MPs who will fight for our place in the single market and for a final say on the deal.

The full text is below:

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“Breakfast doesn’t mean Breakfast”

A brilliant new poster highlighting the Conservatives’ plans to scrap free school lunches and replace them with breakfasts at a cost of just 7p per child was launched this week. Its slogan “Breakfast clearly doesn’t mean Breakfast” mocked Theresa May’s oft repeated Brexit remark.

The poster was issued to make the point that a quarter of a million children in poverty could suffer as a result of May’s plans. It shows what you could get – a slice of bread and a few baked beans – for the Tories’ budget of 7p per meal. There are alternatives – half a boiled egg, or 37.5g of cornflakes with 100ml of milk. Not a great start to the day.

Nick Clegg said:

Theresa May’s cruel and illogical decision to take away free, hot lunches for all infants will hurt hundreds of thousands of Britain’s poorest children.

It’s clear that the reintroduction of means-testing for school lunches will mean many children losing out on what could be the only hot, nutritious meal that they receive each day.

Theresa May is not only risking the health of some of our youngest children, but she will also create terrible inequality in the classroom.

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LibLink: Nick Clegg: Why the Liberal Democrats believe a legal, regulated cannabis market would improve public health

Nick Clegg has been writing in the BMJ outlining our position on Cannabis.

He compares criminalisation of drugs to the prohibition of alcohol in the States:

Far from controlling and eliminating alcohol use, the “noble experiment” of prohibition drove users towards increasingly potent and dangerous drinks. With no regulatory levers in place except the threat of arrest (which had to be set against the promise of handsome profits for those who defied the law), there was no effective way to control the market. The ensuing public health crisis was one of the key motivations behind the repeal of prohibition in 1933, when President Roosevelt signed a new law allowing the sale of beer with a maximum alcohol content of 4%.

For spirits in 1926, read “skunk” in 2017. “Skunk” is a direct result of prohibition. New cultivation methods have pushed up potency over the past 20 years. Just as 1920s-era bootleggers didn’t bother to produce and smuggle high volume, low alcohol beer, so the illicit cannabis industry has responded to criminal enforcement by developing products that maximise profit, with no consideration for the health of its customers.

He goes on to talk about the merits of regulation:

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Tory warnings about “bad Brexit” have one word too many

The latest Tory tactic seems to be to warn against a “bad Brexit” and to say that only they, if they get a whopping enough majority, can make sure we get a “good” deal. On that majority point, think of the last time you said to yourself “Oh, Merkel has a huge majority, we need to do what she says.” The point is that we go into these negotiations in a weakened position anyway. There are 27 EU member states and 1 of us. Who has the power here? The Tory brexiteers needn’t bother trying to blame the EU for a situation that they created.

Jeremy Hunt is the latest to talk of the dangers of Brexit going wrong and what that will mean for our NHS. In fact, if Brexit happens, it will damage our NHS on various fronts. The crash in our economy that would result if Theresa May’s extreme Brexit goes ahead would cost the NHS dearly. And today a report says that the NHS could stand to lose an extra half a billion if returning ex-pats came back to be treated on the NHS in Britain. This was entirely predictable.

That is just one problem of several highlighted by the Nuffield Trust:

According to the Nuffield Trust, it may not be easy to continue with this agreement after Brexit.
If all of these pensioners decided to return to the UK – a big if – they could be expected to fill 900 NHS hospital beds a year, it says.

The NHS would need about 1,600 more doctors, nurses and other workers to provide the care, it estimates.

Also, hospitals could end up short-staffed if migration of workers from the EU slows or stops post-Brexit.
And access to medicines could also become more difficult if the UK leaves the EU’s medicine licensing system.

So, we have a crashing economy, extra people to treat with fewer staff and restricted access to medicines. All of these are en entirely predictable consequence of any Brexit. It’s not exactly what was written on that bus, is it?

In response to today’s report, Norman Lamb said:

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New campaign poster highlights “Dickensian” Tory school meals plan

 

The Lib Dem focus this weekend has been attacking the Conservatives for their most controversial domestic policies – school lunches and the dementia tax.

We put out a poster that channels Oliver Twist to highlight the Tory plans to abolish provision of school lunches and replace them with breakfasts.

When Nick introduced the lunches policy in coalition, he made sure that there was some pretty detailed nutritional standards to go along with it.

Each week, pupils eating free school lunches get: five portions of fruit, five portions of veg, five portions of protein (meat, fish, eggs or beans), five portions of starchy food (at least one being wholegrain) and five portions of milk or dairy.

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LibLink – Nick Clegg: Scrapping free school lunches is an attack on struggling families

Nick Clegg writes with great passion in the Guardian about the Tory plans to scrap universal free infant school lunches:

So much for compassionate Conservatism. So much for helping the “just about managing”. During my time as deputy prime minister, I repeatedly blocked the Conservatives from proceeding with tax, welfare, education and pensions policies that did not cater for the neediest in society. I became wearily familiar with the Conservative party’s habit of placing greater priority on the needs of “their” voters than those of society at large.

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WATCH: Call Clegg revived: People have the right to change their mind on Brexit

Call Clegg made a comeback today. During the coalition years, Nick Clegg took questions every Thursday morning on LBC. The banter with Nick Ferrari resumed today for an election special

Watch Nick defend the proposal for a referendum on the Brexit deal. Nick Ferrari suggested that he was defying the will of the people. Nick responded:

N

o one will be defied. You can’t change a decision made by the British people, other than by another decision of the British people.

By the way, people change their minds all the time, that’s why we have an election.

Last year, we weren’t able to compare the status quo with what Brexit really means in practice, because the Brexiteers very cleverly, very cynically avoided any description of what Brexit actually means. We still don’t know what it means.

So when you have that – not second referendum – but a first referendum on the deal itself, for the first timw, we as a country will be able to compare like with like.

He was also challenged about Vince Cable’s comments – and he observed that the biggest transformation in British politics was the collusion between the Conservatives and UKIP. The Tim Farron and gay sex question came up again.

Listen to find out what happened when Nick Ferrari challenged him over constituency tabloid newspapers.

And what would he ask Theresa May?

Enjoy!

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    Thanks to contributors. A few thoughts on people's comments, although if LDV will allow me, they may come in several tranches: Phil: You're right, of...
  • User Avatarexpats 23rd May - 11:25am
    David Raw 23rd May '18 - 10:44am...........According to the Guardian, “The EU has leapt ahead of the UK in the pursuit of free trade deals...
  • User AvatarNeil Sandison 23rd May - 11:20am
    Anyone who has been following Grenfell could not fail to notice what happens when communities become dislocated from those who have authority over them or...
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 23rd May - 10:59am
    Lord Greaves - The current position is that there are no rules on maternity leave for candidates. This led in my case to me having...