Tag Archives: rally

Cole-Hamilton: Defeating Brexit is our Everest

If you head to the Royal Mile at about two in the afternoon, you’ll be in for a big surprise. Our Alex Cole-Hamilton is one of the speakers at a Rally for Europe but he won’t be delivering the Europe stump speech many of us have heard many times. In fact, I’m probably more word perfect on it than I am the Sound of Music or the words of Abba Gold.

Today a new version of the Cole-Hamilton Euro speech takes centre stage and it’s just as good.

Here’s an extract.

Now I heard that Boris Johnson said that if we had to, in the event of no deal we could live without our EU workforce, that they only make up 3% of our health and social care workforce so we could probably tough it out. Boris, your spinal column makes up 3% of your body mass, try functioning without that.

“You all know my party’s policy. The Liberal Democrats believe that a process begun by the will of the British people must be concluded by the will of the British people.

“That we must put the final terms of the Brexit deal or the reality of no deal to them in a referendum, and on that ballot paper they should have an unambiguous choice to reject Brexit and remain in the EU.

“I believe that when credited with the facts, the people of this country will reject the lunacy of Brexit and return to the fold of what has become quite simply the most important project for peace and freedom in the whole of human history,

“So when the full hideous calamity of Brexit is laid bare, we should ask the people of this country, in the solemnity of the polling stations where this first started, is this really what you want? Is this what you imagined taking back control would look like? And if it isn’t then you should exercise your democratic right to stay.

“We meet in extraordinary times, historic times and you will each look back on this period and ask yourself, did I do my part? Don’t leave that question unanswered, it’s time to dig in and fight, it isn’t just a mountain we have to climb, this is our Everest.

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WATCH: Christine, Jo, Vince and others at the Conference rally

The Conference rally was as upbeat and optimistic and positive as you would expect that motivational event at the start of Conference to be. You can watch the whole thing below.

I’d heard earlier that Vince was not going to be making a speech, but he did. He came on and made some very serious comments about terrorism in the wake of the Parsons Green attack, praising the emergency services and condemning Donald Trump’s tweets. He then rather cheekily gave the speech that was more suited to the debate on Europe this morning, talking about the need for a referendum, a “first referendum on the facts” to give people the chance to #exitfromBrexit if they choose.  He was very clear – the Lib Dems are the party of Remain, not the party of a soft exit. No deal will be better than what we currently have.

There was an extended advertisement for ALDC as it approaches its Golden Jubilee. The best things were born in 1967, let me tell you. Veteran Councillor and former Council leader Kath Pinnock, Mayor of Bedford Dave Hodgson, younger former councillor Victor Chamberlain and newbie Becky Forrest all told how ALDC helped them. I certainly couldn’t contemplate running a campaign without their expertise, so you really should join them.

Having been through the Edinburgh West campaign, it was obviously quite emotional for me to see Christine Jardine up on the stage. The bit that brought the biggest lump to my throat was when she said that she was there for the working class kids like she was who don’t have the support that she had to get on in life. That is her driving force in politics.

It was great to see two people who had joined us from other parties – Azi Ahmad from the Tories and Cllr Andrew Cregan from Labour. They talked about what had brought them to our party and the welcome they had received.

Finally, Deputy Leader Jo Swinson brought proceedings to a close, saying:

Our clarity about protecting our place in Europe, and our unity behind this goal, have helped us reach out and achieve our highest ever membership.

“We achieved a fantastic string of council by-election gains, and an impressive result in Witney, where Liz Leffman slashed the Tory majority in David Cameron’s own backyard.

“And then there was our stunning and oh so sweet by-election victory last December in Richmond Park, where so many people travelled from all over the country to help elect the fabulous Sarah Olney.

“That victory had deeper resonance too, because it showed how people from different party backgrounds could come together to send a message about the kind of politics we want.

“Or more accurately, what we do *not* want.  The kind of dog-whistling, racist, personal attack campaign that Zac Goldsmith endorsed in his mayoral bid against Sadiq Khan is unacceptable and should have no place in our democracy.”

“We Liberal Democrats have an important message about the very character and values of our great family of nations.

“Fighting for Britain to stay modern, green and internationalist, forward-looking, open-minded, and open-hearted.

“As populist forces rise up across the world, Britain should be leading the fight to promote liberal values, not shutting ourselves off from our neighbours.

“Our economic and political systems are broken.  We need to shape a new and inspiring vision for the 2020s and beyond.

“That’s what will beat the rabble-rousing, hate-stoking rhetoric of populists on right and left.

“Britain needs a liberal voice now more than ever.

“We are that liberal voice.”

Enjoy.

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Paddy Ashdown in existential shock at rally

A good conference rally is fun to attend and tricky to report on, simply because there should be nothing new. The audience ideally leaves reminded of the key messages and enthused to fight the good fight – there’s plenty of time for controversy over the rest of the weekend.

As in Bournemouth, the rally took on a glitzy feel: dry ice, bright lights, (relatively) slick presentation.

Lorely Burt opened procedings with a few jokes, and promise of holding her seat in Solihull, where the Lib Dems overturned a 9,400 Tory majority last time round.

Then a selection of …

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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarThomas 15th Oct - 10:11am
    Is this different from a national carbon tax with rebates scheme, like, for example, the one in Canada?
  • User AvatarRuth Bright 15th Oct - 9:56am
    Throroughly agree Caron. She was a bright and modern presence during all the ceremonial guff (tucked menacingly behind the PM in all the TV shots...
  • User AvatarAndy Hyde 15th Oct - 9:18am
    As someone who worked in a nationalised and the privatised utility, CEGB-NG, I can say despite much misgivings at the time, I was glad we...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 15th Oct - 9:07am
    @ Frankie, Please go away and annoy someone else. I have answered your question many times.
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 15th Oct - 8:57am
    @ expats, He has been on 'a journey'. @ Richard Easter, I really think that the Liberal Democrat party needs to stop pretending to have...
  • User Avatarfrankie 15th Oct - 8:42am
    As to nationalising at least you would be gaining an assets, if you could actually get the assets to make a profit over the long...