+++Tim publishes Lib Dem manifesto in email to members

Tim Farron has just written to Lib Dem members, sending them a link to the Lib Dem manifesto.

You can read the manifesto here.

Tim writes:

I’m very proud to announce that we have just launched our manifesto.

This is a manifesto for a brighter future. We are the only party offering a real plan for a fairer Britain where people are decent to each other, with good schools and hospitals, a clean environment and an innovative economy.

This is our blueprint for how we can change Britain’s future. But we only change Britain’s future with more Liberal Democrat MPs on 8 June.

The more Liberal Democrat MPs, the better the deal on Europe.

The more Liberal Democrat MPs, the more jobs and more money for the NHS and schools.

The more Liberal Democrat MPs, the brighter the future.

This election is our chance to change the direction of our country.

While Theresa May’s Conservative party are focussed on delivering Nigel Farage’s extreme version of Brexit and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party are focussed on fighting each other, we are focussed on changing Britain’s future.

* Paul Walter is a Liberal Democrat activist. He is currently taking a break from his role as one of the Liberal Democrat Voice team. He blogs at Liberal Burblings.

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  • Paul Pettinger 17th May '17 - 1:04pm

    The manifesto notes that ‘Liberal Democrats oppose all discrimination and believe that government should take an active role both in punishing discrimination and in ensuring it does not happen in the first place.’

    Disappointing therefore that the 2017 manifesto makes no reference to our newly adopted policy to end religious discrimination in pupil admissions at state funded faith schools. Even the 2010 and 2015 manifestos mentioned us wanting to ensure faith schools adopted an inclusive admissions policy. Such discrimination upholds, in particular, white middle class privilege.

    If we want to build a more cohesive and inclusive society then we need to tackle – rather than hide – from this issue.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 17th May '17 - 1:42pm


    Your comment is wide f the mark, most , for example , Catholic schools are very multi racial , they reflect the international ethnic origin of innumerable practitioners of that faith.

    No school discriminates , against, they discriminate , in favour of. Positive discrimination in favour of minority religious rights is an age old Liberal notion.

    Tim Farron is being discriminated against , by the media, and some in politics, for his personal faith based feelings .

    He is enititled to think abortion is wrong, if he supports the consensus view , that it should , within agreed periods , remain legal and safe.

    It is wrong that he is treated differently to others such as Charles Kennedy, who was a strong Catholic, or David Cameron , like Tim, an Anglican, but Tim is an evangelical believer, and is thus mocked.

    I do not practice a religion.I consider myself holistic. and open minded.

    But I was brought up a Catholic and see the denigration of faith amongst moderate , decent people like Tim, by others, terrible.

  • Mark Seaman 17th May '17 - 2:15pm

    ‘No school discriminates’ !!!
    I’m sorry but that is just not the case. Faith schools are built around a core purpose of discriminating against teachers who do not share the school’s religious beliefs; and this has spread to even support staff, who are being asked to conduct a small amount of teaching, supposedly so that it helps the school cohesion, but actually so that the school can discriminate against them as well. The UK government had to include a clause with the European Court to exclude Faith schools from some of the anti-discrimination legislation. Absolutely deplorable behaviour which the Lib-Dems should never condone in any way shape or form.

  • I heard Philip Hammond lambasting Labour’s £52 billion hole in their budget, even though £40 billion was capital spending. Be interesting to see the Conservative manifesto if they ever produce one. Hello? Elephant in the room? £45 to £85 billion EU Brexit bill. Let’s face it. Nobody can put a serious budget together in the face of what’s going to happen with Brexit. 1p on income tax will get lost in the loose change.

  • Peter Watson 17th May '17 - 2:25pm

    @Paul Pettinger “the 2017 manifesto makes no reference to our newly adopted policy to end religious discrimination in pupil admissions at state funded faith schools”
    I wondered about this and selection in the context of Lib Dem policy and the manifesto.
    The last two Lib Dem conferences voted for policy that:
    “Ensures that selection in admissions on the basis of religion or belief to state-funded schools is phased out over up to six years.”
    “Calls on the government to abandon the selection by ability and social separation of young people, into different schools.”
    As far as I can tell, faith schools are not mentioned in the manifesto and the approach to grammar schools is the longstanding half-hearted one of opposition to new grammar schools but nothing to say about existing ones.
    Does not including conference motions in the manifesto mean that they are not party policy? Does that mean conference has to have another go?

    N.B. I am opposed to grammar schools but happy about faith schools: I don’t want to fuel a debate about the rights and wrongs of the policies themselves, i am just interested in the policy-making process here.

  • Eddie Sammon 17th May '17 - 2:57pm

    I’ve read the section on tax: it looks fine but I have to emphasise that there is not much scope to increase taxes on small businesses. When people compare self-employed tax to employed tax they often lump employer’s national insurance into employee’s tax, but this is a tax that is levied onto the business owners and if they want to include indirect taxes in employees taxes then business owners should be able to include VAT in theirs.

    Scrapping the corporation tax cut from 20% (now 19%) to 17% is good, but be careful on dividend taxes.

  • Eddie Sammon 17th May '17 - 4:20pm

    Just had more of a look. It looks the best manifesto by far, but we need to promote it. Coverage is all about young people and brexit but wider message needs to get out there. We can be trusted to fund the public sector without big increases in tax, unlike Labour, whilst the Conservatives risk everything with their hard brexit.

    But again, a lot will like the idea of hard brexit, so focus on the economy, schools, NHS etc.

  • Paul Pettinger 17th May '17 - 5:18pm

    Lorenzo – 98% of state funded faith schools are Christian. As a white person, I could in practice play the religiously selective admissions system to improve the chances of a child of mine gaining access to a popular Church school. But – for various religious and cultural reasons – this is not a realistic option for most people of South Asian heritage, the large majority of whom are not Christian.

    Religiously selective faith schools tend to admit socially exclusive intakes, which in turns boosts their results and makes them even more popular. Many of the most desirable schools in the county are religiously selective schools, and a great many children of South Asian heritage of systemically disadvantaged in terms of their chances of gaining access to them.

    Religiously selective schools do discriminate. State funded faith schools may only select pupils on religious grounds because their admission arrangements are exempt from the prohibition on religious discrimination in the 2010 Equality Act. Many also indirectly racially discriminate where selection by religion serves as a proxy for selection by race.

  • Paul Pettinger 17th May '17 - 5:27pm

    P.S. For evidence of widespread cheating in religious admission, see https://tinyurl.com/kx6oale and https://tinyurl.com/lpvha2l. It’s one thing that some families do cheat – and that they are incentivised to religiously cheat – but it’s altogether more pernicious for children to be systemically disadvantaged because of their ethnic background.

  • Philip Rolle 17th May '17 - 10:48pm

    Not bad at all – apart from Europe. I am very pleased by the mention of a Possible Health and Social Care Tax. Expressed too tentatively; undoubtedly necessary. In the meantime, the 1p on tax is ok, but it is not enough. We need £9 billion for the NHS and £3-4 billion for social care. That’s more than 2p on all rates.

  • Philip Rolle 17th May '17 - 11:00pm

    On second thoughts, if I’m ok with it, it’s probably too right wing!

  • Actually, Libdem can put some “export is good, import is bad” policies because with the exception of those who actually study economics, most people think like that.

  • Paul Murray 18th May '17 - 9:02am

    The manifesto costings document is now available and provides a concise guide to the spending commitments and revenue raising measures in the manifesto. It indicates an annual shortfall of £14bn by 2019-2020 in Lib Dem spending which would be covered by additional borrowing:


  • ‘Faith schools are built around a core purpose of discriminating against teachers who do not share the school’s religious beliefs;’
    Mark; I take issue with the above statement as being somewhat sweeping. I went to a Catholic school as did several of my non Catholic friends. My mum taught there, she was the wife of a Church of England vicar ( my dad) , not only was she and teachers of other faiths recruited the fact that the staff were not all Catholics was valued and made visible across the school. Further more my dad was, on several occasions ,invited to take part in the school mass giving readings and leading of prayers and even being asked to carry out the blessing the communion bread and wine , this has been similar to the experience of most people I know who were educated in faith schools, that said there is good and bad in all sectors of education.
    If state funding was removed, faith schools would continue with the difference that children from low income families of any, all or no faith would not be able to attend.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 18th May '17 - 2:05pm

    Tynan , as is his tendency, talks sense, in response to the outlandish comments from Mark, with regard to those too of Paul.

    It is not logical to say that in a country that has a vast majority of its population who are white, that “faith ” schools that do also, are thus discriminatory on race grounds , as well as religion ! Most of the secular state schools are mainly white in mainly white areas. In Devn, which is well over ninety five per cent white , do you expect that abolishing the faith schools is going to magic in more BAME pupils ?!

    I make it clear above, Catholic and other schools , in the faith tradition, are multiracial !Some of the leading countries in the Catholic family of nations, are in Africa, and other continents not mainly or , in any way , of European heritage. Facts are facts, they cannot be spun otherwise.

    Similarly the most active Christian denominations in Britain are in churches with memberships from the Afro-Caribbean communities, they have not got to run schools yet, but who knows ?

    This leads to one significant point. It is not, in a mainly majority white country , the norm for white people to feel victimised or left out. It can be for some of a minority ethnic or faith group. There is a good argument against faith schools, now, that did not exist before. It is one that says, if other , more ethnically based religious communities, in say the Jewish or Muslim, tradition , seek to protect and promote their religious identity , more readily , in faith schools, are those children going to be isolated, seen as different from the vast majority, or targeted , because they are seen by others who are developing or have , prejudices, as odd, because they are not integrated at all ?That would be awful, and not welcome. That would be an argument to make all schools open to all pupils.

    Spurious and pointless arguments about Anglican and Catholic schools with over a hundred years of education and far play within their tradition , is a non starter.

    Back secularism, but not on the basis that a teacher who is not a Catholic , might not get a job in a Catholic school, when there are hundreds of non Catholic teachers in Catholic schools, and yet women only shortlists are acceptable to those same people arguing against those schools !

  • Peter Watson 19th May '17 - 12:20am

    I’m still confused about how the Lib Dem policy making process works, particularly in this example of the selection of pupils by schools.

    Based on Conference votes I expected to read in the manifesto that a Lib Dem government would “abandon the selection by ability and social separation of young people, into different schools” and ensure that “selection in admissions on the basis of religion or belief to state-funded schools is phased out over up to six years”. Instead, one of the party’s “priorities in the next parliament” is “opposing any new selective schools and giving local authorities proper democratic control over admissions and new schools”.

    I have commented previously that I feared the party would wimp out when it came to the local elections and not want to scare voters in target areas who were attached to their existing grammar schools. Circumstances changed and a general election and faith schools were added to the mix, but it looks like my fears were well-founded.

    Is the link between a conference vote and an entry in the manifesto less direct than I have assumed?

  • Thanks Lorenzo, like you, I think, I do recognise the validity of the debate, but I would be firmly on the side of choice.
    As all regulars will know, I still can not type to save my life!.. I am trying to work on that.

  • Basic mistake in Libdem manifesto: no commitment to increase R&D spending to 3% of GDP by 2022 (the CBI is calling for this).

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