Tag Archives: paul scriven

LibLInk: Paul Scriven: Jared O’Mara’s comments are “the most disgusting I’ve seen in 30 years of politics”

Paul Scriven has been writing for Politics Home about the behaviour and comments of Sheffield Hallam MP Jared O’Mara. He says that they are the most disgusting he has seen in politics. I have to say that’s quite a high bar, remembering what I do about the negativity of the Labour Party in Sheffield when I lived in that area.

He makes the point that O’Mara was going for elected office not long after the comments were made and there are recent episodes which suggest that the journey he says he has been on is pretty short.

hese outbursts are not of some teenager sat in their bedroom. In 2004 O’Mara was a Labour party candidate for Sheffield City Council. He stood in multiple council elections for the Labour Party, never making much progress. Pretending he was new to the party, someone unknown who they had just come across, is a weak excuse the doesn’t hold up. They should be called out at every opportunity for clinging to it.

More recently, only seven months ago, he has been accused of sexist and aggressive language to a woman in a nightclub in Sheffield. The Labour Party have themselves now admitted that they didn’t do any background checks when they selected him.

He suggests that the people of Sheffield Hallam are getting a raw deal. 

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Lords reform back on the agenda?

No doubt Lords reform will be back on the agenda after the peers have had their way with the Article 50 Bill. The Lords will at most be able to delay the legislation, but it may well return to the Commons in a shape that is displeasing to the Tory  brexiteers. In that instance, we can expect to see ministers huff and puff about the impertinence of an unelected house interfering with Government legislation. These will be the same ministers who as Tory MPs frustrated Nick Clegg’s plans to have the House of Lords elected along with so many of their colleagues.

The Lords is a revising and scrutinising chamber and it has a duty to take the Government on if they produce bad legislation and I expect to see them doing that.

The idea of electing the Lords was discussed again on Friday as Green Peer Jenny Jones’ private members’ bill came up for second reading.  It is not dissimilar to Lib Dem thinking on Lords reform and it was therefore unsurprising that our Alan Beith and Paul Scriven spoke up in favour of the Bill.

Alan had a good swipe at the Tories’ plans for a Repeal Bill in the process:

>We are now in a new situation. It would be an extraordinarily optimistic person who thought that we could get through legislation on Lords reform in a Parliament which will be overwhelmed by the vast corpus of primary and secondary legislation that will be involved in leaving the European Union. Perhaps the noble Baroness shares the tendency to political optimism which is often a characteristic of Liberal Democrats.

Her Bill has many similarities with the coalition’s proposals and with Liberal Democrat policy. It provides for what we regard as the essential ingredient of democracy while recognising that the second Chamber should be elected on a different basis from the Commons and on a different timescale. However, retaining all existing Peers except hereditaries as non-voting Members outnumbering the voting Members would produce a very strange assembly with obvious tensions. The noble Baroness may be making a massive concession before the process of negotiation has even begun in order to get turkeys to vote for Christmas.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 12 Comments

Oates and Scriven show why Britain needs the Liberal Democrats

Jonny Oates on ID cards
The Palace of Westminster is quite disorientating. There’s an escalator that goes from the bright modern Portcullis House into Westminster that I always call the Time Machine because it really feels like you go back 300 years in 30 feet. This afternoon, if you’d wandered into the House of Lords, you might be forgiven for thinking you’d gone to sleep and woken up in 2005, because here were Labour and Tory peers trying to bring back ID cards. And just like 2005 (who remembers Police, not Plastic), it was Liberal Democrat peers cutting their way throughout the authoritarian smog like Mr Muscle on a greasy kitchen worktop.

Posted in Op-eds and Parliament | Also tagged , , and | 15 Comments

Liz Barker questions Government on transgender prisoners after death of Vicky Thompson

Last week, transgender woman Vicky Thompson died in the men’s prison where she had been taken to serve her sentence. Ministry of Justice policy is to put trans prisoners in the gender they live as if they have a Gender Recognition Certificate. Obtaining a GRC can be a costly, difficult, bureaucratic process.

Liz Barker outlined some of the issues in an article for the Huffington Post:

In Tara’s case, she was put in a prison with 600 men, many of whom had committed violent offences and was eventually moved after a campaign which highlighted the risk to her safety.

Jonathan Marks, my colleague in the House of Lords and a highly respected barrister, raised this issue in Parliament following the case of Tara Hudson. He pushed the Government to make urgent changes to how they handle trans prisoners, calling for full and careful thought to be given to allocation before sentence rather than after placement. A policy that makes perfect sense.

I am deeply concerned that this wasn’t already common practice, but it is utterly shocking that a few short weeks after Tara’s case came to the public’s attention, action wasn’t taken to urgently review Vicky’s case too. There should now be an urgent review on a case-by-case basis for every trans prisoner in the prison estate to assess their situation

The Minister’s answer was not much more than waffle.

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , and | 26 Comments

Lindsay Northover writes…The Lib Dem record on LGBTI rights around the World

Today Paul Scriven has tabled a debate in the Lords on the treatment of LGBTI citizens around the World. The Lib Dems have a proud record on human rights, and support for those who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) has always been extremely strong both in the UK and across the wider World.

It was after all my Lib Dem colleague in the House of Lords, Anthony Lester who initiated civil partnerships with his private member’s bill, and then persuaded the then Labour government to take his policy forward, leading to the Civil Partnership Act (2004). And of course it was my then Commons ministerial colleague, Lynne Featherstone, whom I am delighted will shortly join us in the Lords, who took this a major step forward, with the Equal Marriage Act. She stood back to allow the Conservatives to lead in the interests of the bill: so many Tories were opposed that Lib Dems leading would have been a red rag to a bull. But it was Lib Dem policy and it was her initiative to implement it.

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

Lord Brian Paddick writes…Lords debate Anderson Report – you have to know your onions

GCHQ Bude by Paul WalterDavid Anderson, the Independent Reviewer of Terrorism Legislation’s recently published report on investigatory powers was debated in the House of Lords last Wednesday.  Anderson was tasked with advising on what should replace the Communications Data Bill a.k.a. the Snooper’s Charter and other, existing legislation, that allows the state to invade individual’s privacy for the purposes of terrorism and crime prevention.

The Government Minister and other leading Tories talked-up the threat posed by terrorism.  I told the House we should listen to Anderson who said in his report ‘claims of exceptional or unprecedented threat levels – particularly if relied upon for the purposes of curbing well established liberties – should be approached with scepticism’.

Lib Dem Peer, Paul Strasburger led the charge with a comprehensive critique of the existing legislative framework and how the police and security services had been caught misusing existing powers.  Whatever follows must include greater safeguards and more effective scrutiny so as to ensure public trust.

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

Will Lib Dem councillors miss out on this year’s LeaDeRs Awards?

The deadline for submitting nominations for the Local and Regional Liberal Politicians Awards, LeaDeRs, organised by the ALDE Group in the EU’s Committee of the Regions has been extended until 10 October, to allow members of those parties in Europe (such as the Lib Dems) who have been tied up with party conferences, or in other cases, election campaigns.

Open to Liberal Democrats from across Europe, nominations have so far been received for work carried out by local councillors from Germany, Italy, Ireland, Hungary, Estonia, and Latvia. Others from France and Spain are on their way.

Previous winners include Paul Scriven, …

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged and | 2 Comments

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