Tag Archives: ros scott

2018 – a year of missed opportunity for the country and the Liberal Democrats

This year was the year when hugely dramatic things should have happened. Both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition should have gone. A referendum on the reality of Brexit, with an option to remain, should have been scheduled for early in the New Year and we should be celebrating a new feeling of hope and optimism as our politics changes for the better and starts delivering for the people who are really struggling and who have been let down by successive governments for decades.

Instead this was the year that media and the internet got very excited about Impending Drama, but that drama rarely delivered. Theresa May was supposed to be deposed in every season but she survived the post Chequers and post deal resignations. The greatest irony of the year has to be Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab resigning in protest at a deal he helped to negotiate.

The Liberal Democrats have had some electoral success with decent local election results and a net gain of 18 seats, more than any other party in by-elections. We’ve seen modest increases in our national polling and our leader is often the least unpopular. We would have hoped that as everyone came round to our way of thinking on Brexit, we might have reaped more of a dividend, but there hasn’t really been a national election to test that yet.

We should be doing better, though. We have diverted too much time and energy into developing a supporters’ scheme that we haven’t been able to capitalise on the thing that will get us the supporters and members in the first place – a strong message. We’ve done some good stuff on that with the new Demand Better strapline but we need to take it further. Our campaigns staff have excelled themselves with the Exit from Brexit campaign, too, but our overall story needs a lot more heart and soul in it. Paddy is so much in my thoughts at the moment, and I’m reminded of his very direct “Join us if you want to put an end to poverty and inequality” pitch. That is what we need.

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Ros Scott’s closing speech to ALDC Kickstart

The newly elected President of ALDC, Baroness Ros Scott, closed the ALDC Kickstart event yesterday afternoon. She has kindly made available the text of her speech…

I hope that you have all had a wonderful weekend.

These are the most difficult and unpredictable political times that I can ever remember. There’s no way of knowing what the backdrop to next May’s elections will be.

But some things never change.

When I joined in 1991, I was a community campaigner in my home town of Needham Market. The only political party who were really engaged with the community were the Lib Dems, and that’s …

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From our Lords Correspondent: another step towards the restoration of the Palace of Westminster

Six months ago, in my increasingly erratic reporting of events in the House of Lords, I touched upon the debate on the restoration and refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.

So, what happened next?

There was agreement that, as bits of the building were either falling on people or were in danger of burning down or filling with sewage (or both at the same time), that it was really high time that Parliament vacated the building so that it could be modernised for the new age, with technology built in and new services …

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Ros Scott to run for re-election as Vice President of the ALDE Party

Two years ago, in Budapest, saw the election of six ALDE Party Vice Presidents and, after a tough nine-way contest, Baroness Ros Scott was safely elected. And, after a successful first term, she is seeking re-election.

Her manifesto spells out what she’s been up to;

  • chaired pre-Council meetings of liberal ministers at AGRIFISH, helping to form shared positions as part of our work to bring together liberals from across Europe
  • worked to get more women in politics, personally leading a fund raising campaign to support the ALDE Party’s European Women’s Academy
  • met with a potential new

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

WATCH: Ros Scott talk about the Article 50 Bill, Brexit, the Lib Dems & local elections

This week, Lib Dem Peer and ALDE Vice President Ros Scott was interviewed live on Facebook. Listen to her talk about the “constitutional nonsense” that is the House of Lords, explain the Lib Dem position on Brexit and encourage people to get involved in the Lib Dems.

What was particularly brilliant was to hear her talk up the importance of the local elections. As a former councillor, she really gets how important they are in themselves, but she also adds that commentators will be watching to see how well we do.

She also predicts a “sensible and rational” agreement on reciprocal rights for EU and UK citizens.

Here is the interview in full.

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Ros Scott on the Article 50 Bill and how Brexit has affected the Liberal Democrats

Liberal Democrat Peer Ros Scott has been talking to FNF Europe about the Article 50 judgement this week, the progress of the Bill through Parliament and the effect Brexit has had on the Liberal Democrats.

First of all, she spoke about the significance of the Supreme Court judgement:

is mixed news for the Government; Parliament may well now be more confident in asserting its rights as the negotiating process unfolds and issues such as access to the Single Market, the acquired rights of citizens and membership of EU bodies will be hotly contested. If the impacts of triggering Article 50

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Ros Scott speaks out against food waste

Food waste 215 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK each year.

122 million tonnes wasted in the industrialised world (which makes the British contribution of an eye-wateringly high proportion).

The latter figure is equal to the entire food production of sub-Saharan Africa.

It’s a far cry from the days when we were growing up. Any waste at all horrified my Granny. She went to the shops every day and bought what she needed for that day and no more. Most of what she bought was relatively locally produced, unprocessed and fresh.

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Helena Morrissey’s Report: some praise is also due

helena morrissey reportI offered my first impressions of Helena Morrissey’s independent report into the Lib Dems’ culture and practices here yesterday, based on a skim-read and hearing Helena’s presentation of it at a media briefing.

I read the report in full (available online here) on the train home last night. I recommend it to all Lib Dems, and indeed anyone interested in how organisations can totally mess up when dealing with delicate internal issues.

It’s an excellently written, fair-minded, balanced and practical report which understands the idiosyncratic nature of …

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This week in the Lords: 28 January – 1 February

House of LordsYes, just as late as has been the habit recently, here’s your heads up for events in the upper chamber this week… anyone would think that I didn’t have a day of my own…

It’s another long week for our Parliamentary Party, with a nod to the recent wintry weather, but Monday sees Day 2 of the Committee Stage of the Growth and Infrastructure Bill, where Tony Greaves will seek to remove attempts to place further limits on the power to require information with planning applications. Frankly, when I see …

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Well done Liz Barker, Andrew Phillips, Chris Rennard and Ros Scott

Continuing today’s theme of congratulations, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) has picked 10 peers who “have most to contribute to debates on charity issues”, four of whom are Liberal Democrats.

Well done Baroness Liz Barker, Lord Andrew Phillips, Lord Chris Rennard and Baroness Ros Scott.

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Next week in the Lords: 29 October – 1 November

There are those who suggest that what this country needs is less legislation and more management and proper scrutiny. Perhaps the House of Lords is taking this to heart, as the diary for the week is reflective of such a wish…

Monday sees the beginning of the Committee Stage of the Election Registration and Administration Bill, with Chris Rennard and Paul Tyler leading for the Liberal Democrats, and William Wallace responding on behalf of the Government.

Liberal Democrats will be looking to ensure that voter registration remains mandatory, as …

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Next week in the Lords: 22-25 October

I thought that I’d try a different format for the preview this week, so let’s see how it goes…

Monday sees the Third Reading of the Local Government Finance Bill. After this week’s drama, when the Government suddenly came up with an additional £100 million to support local council tax support schemes during the transition phase, one might expect the Bill to be passed relatively comfortably. However, Labour will almost certainly endeavour to ambush this if they can.

Perhaps more interestingly, and certainly a more emotional moment than …

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Who Lib Dem members think are the most effective non-MPs at promoting the party

Lib Dem Voice polled our members-only forum recently to discover what Lib Dem members think of various political issues, the Coalition, and the performance of key party figures. Some 500 party members have responded, and we’re publishing the full results.

Oakeshott, Ashdown and Pack top your list

LDV asked: Which prominent Lib Dems who are NOT MPs (eg, peers, campaigners) are doing an effective job of promoting the party to the public? Please write-in.

    Lord (Matthew) Oakeshott
    Lord (Paddy) Ashdown
    Mark Pack
    Evan Harris
    Baroness (Shirley) Williams
    Lord (Chris) Rennard
    Caroline Pidgeon AM
    Willie Rennie MSP
    Baroness (Susan) Kramer
    Stephen Tall
    Kirsty Williams AM
    Lord (Tom) McNally
    Baroness (Ros) Scott
    Brian

Posted in LDV Members poll | Also tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , and | 6 Comments

Yesterday in the Lords: flightless poultry call for a postponement of Christmas?

So, the Joint Select Committee on the Draft House of Lords Reform Bill has reported, and it would be fair to say that the ladies and gentlemen in ermine are, to put it mildly, perturbed. So perturbed that an extra two days were set aside for debate before the House prorogues prior to the Queen’s Speech.

With Lord Richard, the Chair of the Committee, focussing on the work of the Commiittee itself, it was left to Baroness Scott of Needham Market to make the opening speech for meaningful …

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A postcard from… Oulu

Oulu, Finland’s 7th largest city, lies on the same latitude as Iceland, the southern tip of Greenland and Fairbanks, Alaska. It is however in central Finland and there’s an awfully long way you can travel north.

Students across the country are celebrating penkkarit marking their graduation from school with processions through the towns involving music, playing tricks on your old school and the throwing of sweets to the watching crowds. This ceremony is about a hundred years old and goes back to the time when the few students who …

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

The Independent View: MoD suppresses Lib Dem review and spending information on Trident ahead of Parliamentary decision

Liberal Democrats can be rightly proud of their record on challenging like-for-like Trident replacement and keeping Britain’s nuclear weapons near the top of the political agenda – certainly during the last general election campaign. But now it looks as though their coalition partners are moving to stifle the gains they have made. Not only has the Defence Secretary announced the suppression of the Lib Dem-led Trident Alternatives Review. He is also making a mockery of the delayed Trident replacement decision – scheduled for 2016 – by committing to spend £6 billion before that decision date. This is hardly fair play …

Posted in The Independent View | Also tagged , , , , , and | 18 Comments

Baroness Brinton writes: Towards a more diverse Parliamentary Party

Last year, Ros Scott, Nick Clegg and the Federal Executive (FE) asked me to conduct a review of issues relating to the role of Parliamentary candidates. Key to this review was how the Party will increase the diversity of its candidates standing in the 2015 General Election, and getting them elected.

The first point to make is that we made some real steps forward in selecting more women and BAME candidates in the last electoral cycle despite the disappointing results – the number of our seats went backwards, so making any progress in terms of representation was very difficult. The intense work by many in the party over the last few years has meant that there was significant progress in the lead up to the 2010 election: 50% of new candidates in held seats were women, and only just slightly lower in priority seats. Some excellent BAME candidates were selected (the highest number over the three main parties), but again, without electoral success. Although the fact that there no ‘safe’ seats in the Liberal Democrats (unlike Labour and the Conservatives) means that we cannot use some of the mechanisms used by the other Parties, we should absolutely not be complacent – we will have to work even harder, and invest more time, energy and resources than we have in recent years to make sure that our parliamentary parties reflect Britain in the future.

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Lords reform: the Liberal Democrat trio announced

Over the weekend Mark Valladares blogged about the three Liberal Democrats being appointed to the Joint Committee of both Houses of Parliament carrying out pre-legislative scrutiny committee on Lords reform:

From the Lords, representing the constitutional wonk tendency (in a good way), Lord Tyler is the first of the two nominees. Paul has been leading calls for a complete overhaul of the Second Chamber for a very long time and is one of the Party’s foremost constitutional experts…

From the Commons, that rather unusual beast, a former member of the House of Lords, John Thurso. As he has already been abolished once,

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Tim Farron’s speech at the Liberal Democrat conference rally

So this is the Sheffield Rally. And you know what normally happens when a party holds a Sheffield rally? Well, traditionally, some ginger bloke gets on stage, makes an absolute prat of himself, and completely wrecks his party’s election chances. And I’m a great believer in tradition, so here goes…

Ros has been an outstanding President. A baroness who is also a pavement politician, approachable, effective and one of us. Ros led us internally to an election result and aftermath that was beyond historic. And I am certain that we all want to show our appreciation. On a personal note she …

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Everything you ever wanted to know about the internal workings of the Liberal Democrats but were afraid to ask…

Welcome to my new column, a humble bureaucrat’s contribution to internal Party debate and participation. When Mark Pack invited me to become a columnist for this august website, I was a mite surprised but, after some thought, realised that this might be an opportunity to help people to take a greater role in their Party. So here we go!

The Party’s internal workings are varied and strange. Indeed, so strange are they that when Ros Scott asked for an organogram before taking office as President two years ago, she was moved to remark, “Shouldn’t the boxes be joined to each other?”. …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

Trident: no renewal this Parliament

The BBC reports that the predicted policy has won the day:

The government says £750m ($1.2bn) will be saved over four years on the Trident nuclear deterrent missile system by cutting the number of warheads on each boat from 48 to 40 and reducing the number of missile tubes from 12 to eight. The UK’s nuclear warhead stockpile will be cut from 160 to less than 120. The final “main gate” spending decision on Trident will also be delayed until 2016 – after the next general election.

Party President Ros Scott has emailed party members, saying

Trident will not be renewed

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LDV survey: what party members want from the Lib Dem president

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.

With the election for party president in the offing, Lib Dem Voice asked our sample of party members: What do you think the main role of the President should be?

Here’s what you told us:

  • 16% – To become a known face in the media representing the Lib Dem position on the TV and

Posted in LDV Members poll and Party Presidency | Leave a comment

Tim Farron: I’ll be a distinctive voice as President

The Liberal Democrats are getting a huge amount out of being in government: protection for the lowest paid, the most ambitious political reforms since universal suffrage, restoration of civil liberties… in fact the only thing we’re not getting is the credit we deserve!

That’s why I’ve decided to run to be President of the Liberal Democrats.

It’s not easy being in Government. As part of the Coalition, our distinctive message has often got buried, what we stand for has got blurred and our ability to campaign is blunted.

I’m not having that.

Posted in Party Presidency | Also tagged and | 25 Comments

Who do you think should stand for the Lib Dem presidency (and what should they do if elected)?

Ros Scott’s announcement that she is standing down from the position of party president has come as a surprise to Lib Dem members.

First, because it has become almost traditional for party presidents to serve two terms — Ros’s three predecessors, Simon Hughes, Lord Dholakia and Lord Maclennan all served two terms each, unchallenged. Secondly, because Ros herself is popular among the party’s grassroots. Though her authority took something of a knock during the MPs’ expenses scandal, the Voice’s most recent survey of party members showed she had a very good net effectiveness rating of +30%.

And, thirdly, because …

Posted in Party policy and internal matters and Party Presidency | Also tagged , , and | 30 Comments

Ros Scott not standing again for Lib Dem President: “The time has come to pass on the baton”

Liberal Democrat Party President Ros Scott has announced that she does not intend to stand again for the office, despite being eligible to stand for a second term.

In an article today for Lib Dem News, Ros explains that she feels it is time “to pass on the baton”, to “a strong media performer and tough campaigner” who will articulate the Liberal Democrats’ distinctive values and identity.

Here is Ros Scott’s article in full:

All right, I know it’s a cliché, but time really does fly when you’re having fun! My two year term as Party President is coming towards its close, and the hectic schedule of meetings, conferences, Party business and local Party visits has ensured that I’ve been kept pretty busy. With the European and local elections of 2009, the General Election of 2010, and the amazing aftermath which saw Liberal Democrats in national Government for the first time in decades, it’s been pretty eventful.

There’s no job description for the Party President, and each incumbent has done the job differently, depending on their own areas of interest and expertise, and the political climate at the time. When I ran for election two years ago I didn’t make extravagant pledges but focussed on the areas where I knew the Party President could really deliver and where my experience in local government and business could make a difference. In the run up to the General Election, I felt that internal Party development was a key priority for us, and I have concentrated my efforts on that aspect of the job.

I’m pleased at what we have achieved together.

Posted in News and Party Presidency | Also tagged , and | 29 Comments

Who is popular with party members?

The choice of which Liberal Democrat Parliamentarians to feature in the party’s fundraising letters is usually a hard-headed choice of who is most popular and will bring in the most money, sprinkled with a dusting of covering internal political sensitivities. So it’s interesting to see who was selected to feature in the lastest fundraising letter from Party President, Ros Scott: Vince Cable, Simon Hughes, Lynne Featherstone and Nick Clegg.

All of them came out well in the most recent Lib Dem Voice survey of party members which suggests the evidence the party sees paints a similar to picture to that …

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How much will coalition change Liberal Democrat conference?

Party conference rumour season is well underway, with more special guest speculation than last month’s Glastonbury. But whoever’s doing the briefing, it doesn’t seem to be coming from the Liberal Democrat side.

The story that David Cameron might address Lib Dem conference seems to have originated from the Independent:

David Cameron and Nick Clegg are drawing up plans for closer links between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats and senior figures from the two parties will address each other’s party conference this autumn.

The two leaders are keen to cement the coalition and a special meeting of the Cabinet next month will discuss a joint approach to the party conference season, including co-ordinated policy announcements. One option is for Mr Cameron to address the Liberal Democrat conference in Liverpool and Mr Clegg the Tories in Birmingham. More likely, at present, is that other Cabinet ministers will “change places” and speak at their coalition partner’s event.

The Guardian also ran a similar story the same day: David Cameron could speak at Liberal Democrat conference.

– Well, yes he could,* but here are some things to consider:

Posted in Conference | Also tagged , , , , , and | 11 Comments

Baroness Meral Hussein-Ece’s maiden speech

In recent weeks, LDV has been bringing its readers copies of our new MPs’ first words in the House of Commons, so that we can read what is being said and respond. You can find all of the speeches in this category with this link. Alert LDV reader and bureaucratic blogger Mark Valladares, himself a husband to a Lib Dem Peer, our party’s president Ros Scott, has drawn to our attention that we have more new parliamentarians in the Other Place, who are also making maiden speeches. So today, Baroness Hussein-Ece’s words are reproduced below.

Baroness Hussein-Ece: My …

Posted in Parliament | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 2 Comments

If English Council meets and nobody knows, did it really meet?

Saturday morning dawned bright and sunny, but whilst most people heading for London were on their way to Pride, or Lords for the cricket, or Wimbledon for the tennis, a few dozen hardy Liberal Democrats were heading towards the St Alban’s Centre near Chancery Lane station for the first of 2010’s two meetings of English Council.

Unusually, the first item on the agenda was a speech by the Party President, Ros Scott, who talked about the challenges facing the Party in the weeks, months and years ahead, as well as some of the work being done at Federal level to address …

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | Also tagged , , , and | 4 Comments

Hames, Swinson to wed

I had hoped not to write this story immediately after the last, less happy one, but sometimes, them’s the breaks.

Not since Baroness Scott and the Lib Dem’s bureaucrat of choice Mark Valladares changed their facebook statuses to “engaged” has the Lib Dem online world been so charged with romance.

Now Jo Swinson and Duncan Hames used the medium of Twitter to tell the world of their engagement, to cheers of encouragement all round.

Every congratulation and wish for happiness from all your friends at t’Voice.

Posted in News | Also tagged , , , and | 8 Comments
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