Tag Archives: the independent

LibLink: Vince Cable: Politicians aren’t supposed to do it – but I’m marching on the Conservative conference. I have no choice

Writing in the Independent, Vince Cable explains why he’ll be marching on the Tory Party Conference in Manchester this weekend.

He certainly is bringing the anti Brexit fight directly to them.

I believe it would be a healthy exercise in democracy to participate in a peaceful, dignified protest on the big issue of the day by marching. And the issues don’t come any bigger than Brexit – which is why I will be addressing marchers protesting at the Conservative conference in Manchester this weekend.

Brexit changes most things, not least the quaint notion that governments always seek to increase the prosperity and opportunities of their citizens. It is vital ministers in the hall hear thousands of British people demanding an exit from their disastrous Brexit.

Whatever the arguments for or against EU membership in the referendum, the Government has clearly mismanaged the negotiations, and the situation is now so grave that parliamentary niceties suddenly look absurd. Some 15 months on from the original vote, the EU’s Michel Barnier suggests we are still “months” from substantive Brexit negotiations even beginning – because the Government has been so unclear about what it even wants.

And he slates the Government’s irresponsibility:

Ministers are effectively saying “we have absolutely no idea what future Brexit will bring – but we are going to force it upon you anyway.” It is the political equivalent of jumping off a diving board without checking if there is any water in the pool below.

There is a way out, though, as he outlines here:

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 27 Comments

LibLink: Layla Moran “You can’t silence me now”

Following the dreadful way she was treated by Tory MPs at PMQs on Wednesday, Layla Moran has written for the Independent in some detail about the Tories’ failures on free childcare which led to her question to Theresa May.

She outlined the basic facts:

The news that parents would get 30 hours a week of free childcare for all three and four year olds came as a relief, as it offered the chance for women to return to work, as a structured and cost-friendly option was being put on the table for them.

This was an extension of policies the Liberal Democrats pushed in the Coalition government and is one of the answers to closing the gender pay gap, as well as allowing parents a real choice about how they want to bring up their families.

But – and it is a big but – it turns out that this childcare isn’t free after all. It all seemed like a great idea until the Government realised they were actually going to have to pay for it.

Quite simply, the Government aren’t giving child minders and nurseries enough money to actually deliver these places for three and four year olds, and make a living at the same time.

The consequences are hurting parents with either no provision being offered or:

Stories I have heard include child minders and nurseries having to increase the cost of childcare for under-threes in order to make up the shortfall. Many more have started charging parents for extras like nappies, baby wipes, lunches and early/late pick-ups that had previously been included.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged and | 9 Comments

LibLink: Nick Clegg: The EU is facing a liberal insurgence. Now is not the time for Britain to leave

Nick Clegg has been writing for the Independent in the wake of the Dutch elections in which the racist populist Geert Wilders didn’t do as well as expected. He recounted a family gathering in the Netherlands at Christmas time.

What was striking when we were talking about the Dutch elections, however, was almost everyone around the table wanted to cast a vote that provided the best guarantee of keeping Wilders out of power. For most, that seemed to point towards supporting Mark Rutte, the affable and skilled Dutch PM, even if they’d never voted for him before.

It worked and the lesson, he finds, from D66’s success is not to pander to populism. Be yourself.

The polarisation of politics along new lines – no longer left vs right, but now open vs closed – is mobilising voters against right-wing populism. We are witnessing the beginnings of a liberal backlash against the backlash against liberalism. Of course, it wasn’t just Mark Rutte’s VVD which benefited, but other parties too.

D66, the second Liberal party in the Netherlands (lucky Dutch to have two liberal options) did well, surging to almost level pegging in the polls with Geert Wilders and adding seven seats to their tally in the Dutch Parliament. D66 are, ideologically, most similar to the Liberal Democrats in Britain. Alexander Pechtold, their experienced leader, told me when we met how he was going to run an unapologetically pro-European campaign. He was not going to bend to the populist times. His decision paid off handsomely.

And he sees the chance of reforms that would make British voters want to stay in the EU.

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LibLink: Tim Farron: Labour under Corbyn can’t be decent opposition – so it’s up to me

Tim Farron has been writing in the Independent about how the Liberal Democrats are the only party capable of providing decent opposition to the Conservatives following the re-election of Jeremy Corbyn:

If one child was lifted out of poverty by Blair, that would be a progressive legacy. But what will Corbyn’s legacy be? At this rate, to render Labour so unelectable that successive Tories will be able to play pass the parcel with the keys to Number 10.

Perhaps the Corbynistas can afford such generosity to the Tories, but the people I grew up with in towns such as Preston can’t. Self-righteous, ideological purity doesn’t buy food, pay the rent or provide the training that might lead to a better life.

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 46 Comments

LibLink: Tim Farron: Cameron must veto this poisonous deal with Turkey before our response to the Refugee Crisis becomes immoral

Strong words from Tim Farron in today’s Independent about the proposed EU deal with Turkey which would see refugees returned from Greece to Turkey. Rather than create safe and legal routes for refugees, Tim argues that this deal would violate international conventions.

For instance, collective expulsions of people seeking international protection are condemned by the EU’s own Charter of Fundamental Rights. We know Turkey has failed to fully implement the Geneva Convention on refugees and has no functioning asylum policy. David Cameron would do well to re-read the international human rights agreements and principles Britain has committed to, before he signs on the dotted line in Brussels.

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Farron says there’s “not a lot of truth” in Independent report on secret talks with Corbyn over electoral reform

Today’s Independent has a report that there are secret talks going on between Labour and the Liberal Democrats over a joint platform for electoral reform at the next General Election.

It attributes the following to a “Lib Dem source”:

The Scottish National Party, Plaid Cymru and the Greens could also be involved in the talks, the source said. If the  negotiations are successful, up to five left-of-centre parties could stand on an agreed platform of voting reform at the 2020 election – giving them a mandate to scrap Westminster’s first-past- the-post system without a referendum, so long as they are able to secure a majority in the Commons.

It certainly strikes me that if there were successful talks going on, then there would be no reports about them in the press. It also strikes me that the Labour Party is in no position to commit to any deal, given the power struggles that are going on inside it. Another report in the same paper says that there is a plot afoot to move Jeremy Corbyn’s speech to the end of Conference to prevent the final day of the event being ruined by the press finding opposition to it from within the Labour Party. Corbyn is fighting so many internal battles, that it’s impossible for him to look outward and work with others, which is a real shame. Actually, I think the sort of alliance that the Independent described on that one issue of electoral reform might not be a bad idea. You might not get a rainbow coalition to work in Government, but you could have one fighting for the Parliament the voters ask for. The Conservatives and SNP are tightening their grips on power on both sides of the border. They are very well resourced and the Tories look set to benefit from boundary changes. These of course would benefit the Tories in two way. Firstly, they benefit the Tories anyway, but   Labour would go nuclear as moderates and Corbynites scrapped over the new seats.

Tim Farron was asked about this on Pienaar’s Politics a few moments go. He said that  there was “not a lot of truth” in the report and that an alliance on electoral reform isn’t his priority at the moment. What matters is rebuilding the Liberal Democrats and effectively opposing the Tories. He said:

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 48 Comments

Tim Farron on why he supported air strikes – and other things

 

Yesterday the Independent on Sunday published an interview with Tim Farron under the headline ‘Lib Dem leader on why he went against his party over Syrian air strikes‘.

Tim Farron has argued that the Liberal Democrats are “not a pacifist party”, following grassroots criticism of his decision to back Syrian air-strikes – a move opposed by two-thirds of members.

The Independent on Sunday can reveal that the Lib Dem leader was rebuked at a meeting of a senior party committee this month for failing to consult properly on the controversial vote.

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 26 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarKeith Legg 22nd Nov - 3:06am
    Why should anyone accept the outcome of any referendum and "move on"? Referenda produce fairly intense opinions on both sides, and inevitably these are pretty...
  • User AvatarJoeB 22nd Nov - 2:40am
    I applaud Wera for calling on the Chancellor to" put the money where his mouth is." I would, however, echo Graham Evans comment that "When...
  • User AvatarKatharine Pindar 22nd Nov - 12:18am
    Stating a belief or a wish doesn't make it a fact, Palehorse, and it's surely a brave or foolish person who claims to know what...
  • User AvatarTonyH 21st Nov - 11:59pm
    Helen, if Remain had won 52%-48%, would you have accepted that and become a committed Remainer?
  • User AvatarYeovil Yokel 21st Nov - 11:40pm
    Peter Martin - 37.4% of the UK electorate voted Leave, so there isn’t and never was a clear mandate for Brexit. The so-called Will of...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 21st Nov - 11:30pm
    Meanwhile, the Super Hatters slaughter gritty northerners, Carlisle United, 3-0, to go top of the table! For the time being, you can talk League 2...