Tag Archives: rwanda

1-2 April 2023 – the weekend’s press releases

  • Water company fines: Pointless whilst it remains legal to dump sewage into swimming waters
  • Braverman pushes botched Rwanda scheme while queues pile up in Dover

Water company fines: Pointless whilst it remains legal to dump sewage into swimming waters

Responding to the Government re-announcing they will change the fine structure on water companies, Liberal Democrat Environment spokesperson Tim Farron said:

This is pointless whilst it remains legal for water companies to dump sewage into swimming waters. It is a national scandal that water companies are allowed to pump sewage into our rivers and coastlines all because Ministers refuse to get tough with them.

Conservative MPs have blocked taking tougher action on water companies, and these new half-baked plans from Ministers will do nothing to deter water companies from their polluting actions.

Thérèse Coffey must now resign. She has had months in post with nothing but hot air and empty rhetoric. Under Coffey’s plan, sewage will be pumped into our rivers for decades to come. Shamefully, the Environment Secretary has refused to ban water companies rewarding themselves with multi-million pound bonuses. It is time we had an Environment Secretary who actually cared about the environment.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged , , and | 6 Comments

Yes, there are alternatives

I doubt if there are any descriptions and expletives not used about the Rwanda offshore processing scheme. The scheme in which Priti Patel wants to pack off asylum seekers arriving here by unorthodox means.

You can see the Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary response to the proposal here: OFF SHORING PROCESSING OF ASYLUM SEEKERS IN RWANDA – STATEMENT FROM LD4SoS.

She is demanding to know alternatives, and yes there are. They are firmly embedded in Lib Dem policy.

The obvious one, most talked about, is Safe Routes for Refugees.  This has been mooted by Lib Dems since we first made the policy in 2015, and is as true as well as needed even more than it was in September 2015.  It has been in every manifesto commitment since.

However, more than that is needed.  Lib Dems have another policy, DECISION MAKING ON ASYLUM APPLICATIONS (pdf), saying that:

Liberal Democrats will review and reform all aspects of current asylum rules and operations that offend basic measures of fairness and justice. In particular, we would seek to change the culture of disbelief that affects all people applying for asylum. The Home Office is not fit for purpose and needs radical reform. The political influence must be taken out of decision making.

This is a radical departure from the present system, having respect, dignity and fairness at its heart.

It will cost more at first, with better trained staff, but decisions would be fairer and quicker.  It will be more accurate for the first time, so not so many appeals needed.  Appeals are not only traumatic for those making them, but cost the Ministry of Justice money, and 40% of them are won.  How much better for all if they get the decision right first time!

It would also be a system that took into account the different situations such as family reunion, unaccompanied children, victims of torture and rape, mental and physical health, and LGBT people.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Welcome to my day: 18 April 2022 – in search of serenity…

Liberal Democrat Voice comes to you today from what is claimed to be the world’s oldest extant sovereign state, the Most Serene Republic of San Marino. For those who might not know, San Marino is about one-three hundred and fortieth the size of Wales and sits about ten miles inland from Rimini, on Italy’s Adriatic coast.

But we’re still talking about Rwanda, aren’t we? I wrote about the emerging plans to send asylum seekers to the East African country on Thursday, and as the proposals become clearer, they get worse. The idea that we’re going to pay the Rwandan Government to accept legitimate asylum seekers so that we don’t have to is a stain upon our nation’s reputation. And, of course, the proposals do nothing to address the people smugglers and criminal gangs who will continue to prey on desperate people.

What I was reminded about by the debate which followed was that there are some who callously and deliberately conflate seekers of asylum with economic migrants, and others who either deliberately or through a lack of knowledge, exaggerate the number of refugees reaching our shores. So, here’s the definition of refugee, courtesy of the 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees;

Posted in News | Also tagged | 27 Comments

What the UK can learn from Rwanda


Young people are full of aspirations and energy, but our potential is often stymied by depressed economies, insecurity and limited opportunities to have a say in the decisions that affect our lives.

The issue of youth unemployment has crept up the political agenda, with little resultant action. There is a feeling among young people that our concerns and hopes are overlooked and our voices ignored. The way we see it, power still rests disproportionately in the hands of leaders, mostly men, twice our age or more.

Young people in Rwanda face many challenges, …

Posted in Op-eds | 2 Comments

Kishwer Falkner writes… Libya: our common humanity crosses frontiers to protect those we do not know

As tyrannical regimes go, Libya is right there at the top and ranks alongside North Korea for the unpredictability of its ruler, the self-styled Colonel Muammar Gaddafy, who used to be referred to by Ronald Reagan as the Middle East’s ‘mad dog’.

Having given up nuclear weapons he is admittedly slightly better than Kim Jong-il, but we cannot know for sure that he has also given up chemical and biological weapons. In a country where tribal loyalties prevail and where the four main tribes occupy the main positions, Gaddafi’s own tribe occupies the top posts and much of his internal repression is carried out through a myriad of different state security institutions as well as a plethora of paramilitary units, recruited from abroad.

The country does not have a constitution, but is run by a revolutionary ruling council which has been in situ for 42 years and cannot be dismissed. There have been regular attempts at coups over this period, which have been ruthlessly put down and there are no evident pointers to a peaceful succession.

Gaddafi’s four sons have long been involved in jostling for the top position and foreign governments were betting on Saif al Islam (the second son) to take over the reins, as he was increasingly the acceptable face of the regime.

Saif al Islam al Gaddafi was awarded a PhD from LSE enticingly titled “The Role of Civil Society in the Democratisation of Global Governance Institutions”. He chairs the Human Rights Commission of Libya, and lest anyone doubt that he is therefore a soft touch, he was his father’s voice last weekend displaying a similar determination to stay in power through putting down the uprising till as he put it, the last man, the last woman, and the last bullet had been expended. He appears to be delivering on his pledge.

Several hundreds have died in the last few days, hospitals are overflowing and as a crackdown has started, anyone moving on the street is shot dead. Reports say that ambulances are also shot at to deter them from trying to save the injured. The air force has been mobilised to bomb civilian residential areas, and the reign of terror has started.

So what should be done now, that the country has descended into chaos?

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , , and | 13 Comments

Confirmed: Rwandans to get the vote from 10 March

The decision taken last year to let Rwanda join the Commonwealth means that Rwandan citizens living in the UK acquire the right to vote, including in Parliamentary elections.

This change will (thanks to an amendment to the British Nationality Act 1981, adding Rwanda to the list of Commonwealth countries) come in to force for elections from 10 March.

The Electoral Commission has told me they are about to send a circular out to electoral administrators informing them of the change.

Posted in Election law | Also tagged and | 1 Comment

Rwandans set to get vote in UK elections (updated)

Back last year I asked the question “Rwandans set to vote in UK elections?” The answer has now arrived and it is ‘yes’.

As I blogged last November:

One of the quirks of Britain’s imperial past is that Commonwealth citizens living here are able to vote, including in Parliamentary elections. This includes Mozambique residents who are able to vote because, although Mozambique was not part of the British empire, it was admitted to the Commonwealth in 1995 for political reasons.

As with Mozambique previously, Rwanda has now joined the Commonwealth despite not having been part of the British empire. In Rwanda’s …

Posted in Election law | 3 Comments

Daily View 2×2: 6 December 2009

It’s Sunday. It’s 7am. It’s time for a special Alan-rich (or is it Steve?) YouTube treat, but first the blogs and the news.

2 Must-Read Blog Posts

What are other Liberal Democrat bloggers saying? Here are two posts that have caught the eye from the Liberal Democrat Blogs aggregator:

  • The truth may not be out there after all: Peter Black reports on the Ministry of Defence winding down its UFO hunting activities. The fight on terrorism has been used to justify all sorts of policies, though the argument (made by someone Peter quotes) that UFO hunting is essential to the fight against terrorism is a new one to me.
  • ACPO U-turn on photographers and stop and search: But talking of absurdities done in the name of fighting terrorism, Carl Minns has welcome news on the police deciding that they’ve gone too far in stopping people taking photos.

Spotted any other great posts in the last day from blogs that aren’t on the aggregator? Do post up a comment sharing them with us all.

2 Big Stories

Harman attacks Tory tax break ‘for philanderers’

Posted in Daily View | Also tagged and | Leave a comment

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