Friday, February 24, 2017

Yesterday's by-elections: Conservatives & Liberal Democrats increase vote share

Labour sinks

(Graphs courtesy of Press Association)



In local council by-elections, there were two Liberal Democrat gains from Conservatives.


Thursday, February 16, 2017

Liberal Democrats fastest-growing party in British politics

More than 4,000 people have joined the party in January, turned off by Theresa May's plans to take Britain out of the Single Market and attracted by the Liberal Democrats' opposition to "the politics of fear, division and hatred".




Saturday, February 11, 2017

Nick Clegg cheered by students

Hat-tip to Liberal Democrat Voice for the following:

"Six years ago, Nick Clegg was not the most popular politician amongst students. Now, things have changed as many young people find that he speaks for them as the Government hurtles towards a hard Brexit which will blight their future and opportunities. The Guardian’s Patrick Wintour watched him speak to a crowd of students:

In a concurrent London Evening Standard piece, Nick Clegg wrote:

I was on a platform with other politicians taking questions from a student audience. A local Labour MP was having the normal go at me about tuition fees. Fair enough — though I noticed he omitted to mention Labour’s own role in introducing tuition fees, and then trebling them on its own watch.

No, the moment Labour’s malaise really struck me was when this MP started speaking about the vote last week in the Commons on Article 50. He displayed none of the intelligence or humility of Keir Starmer, the shadow secretary for exiting the EU, who disarmingly confessed to the gathered MPs how difficult the issue is for Labour. Instead, in Sheffield this MP started to deliver a sanctimonious lecture to the Ukip and Conservative panellists, berating them for placing immigration above the economy in the Brexit talks.

I couldn’t contain myself. Irascibly, I interrupted his pro-European sermon to remind him that he’d just got off a train from London having voted with Douglas Carswell, Michael Gove, John Redwood and other zealous Brexiteers. How could he claim he was representing the interests of the youngsters in the audience having given his support to Theresa May’s uncompromisingly hard Brexit, yanking the UK out of the single market altogether?
Nick then went on to talk about catching up with new Liberal Democrat Councillor for Brinsworth Dr Adam Carter, who won with a colossal 2000 votes – more than the Lib Dems managed in 2015 in the entire Rotherham constituency:

When I asked the jubilant Lib-Dem councillor what his explanation was for his victory, his answer was simple: “People round here just feel totally taken for granted by Labour.”



Thursday, February 09, 2017

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Future Women’s MP Weekend: do you want to be an MP?


The FWMPs Weekend is an exciting residential training weekend specifically designed for women who might be interested in standing for Westminster. It is run by the Campaign for Gender Balance (CGB) which is now a part of Liberal Democrat Women. Jo Swinson, Tessa Munt and Jenny Willott all started their successful quests for a seat in Parliament at a FWMPs Weekend, and so could you!

Participants will receive expert training from top trainers and Party representatives on the skills and knowledge needed to stand for parliament, personalised advice and guidance on their political career, and the chance to network with other women interested in standing.

Where: Jurys Inn, Milton Keynes Midsummer Boulevard, Milton Keynes, MK9 2HP

When: 4-5th of March 2017

Deadline: 12th February 2017

The cost of the weekend is £75. This includes accommodation, meals (breakfast, lunch & light refreshments) and training. The fee will be waived for those who are unwaged or unable to pay.
 
How to apply:
  1. Complete the form found on the following link: http://www.libdemwomen.org.uk/future_women_s_mp_weekend
  2. You can then submit it either by emailing: diversity@libdems.org.uk
  3. Or you can post your application to:
Liberal Democrat Women,
8-10 Great George Stre
et,
London,
SW1P 3AE

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Friday, December 16, 2016

By-election update

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Big gains in the English South-West this week. This is where the Tories made biggest inroads into the Liberal Democrat vote in 2015's general election after throwing huge amounts of money at it (still under investigation). In a new IpsosMORI/Evening Standard poll, Liberal Democrat ratings have gone up from 10% to 14%.

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Tories 'cannot be trusted' on devolution

Conservative MP for Brecon and Radnorshire Chris Davies has called for Westminster to have the power to place the Welsh Government in “special measures”, withdrawing powers from Welsh politicians.
This comes following the recent announcement on Wales' 2015 PISA results.
Baroness Jenny Randerson, Welsh Lib Dem spokesperson for Government relations said;
“I’m astounded that Chris Davies MP has the audacity to suggest that politicians in London know better than the Welsh teaching profession.
“Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams is committed to our national mission of educational reform to raise standards for all our children and schools in Wales, working with teachers and educational professionals in doing so.
"The OECD have said that Wales is now on the right path and that we should stick with Kirsty's plan for our schools.
“The Welsh Liberal Democrats believe that the best people to make decisions about our schools and our children’s education are the people of Wales, not bureaucrats and politicians in London. The Tories clearly cannot be trusted not to roll back the tide on devolution."

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Radical overhaul of student funding in Wales

Independent proposals for students to receive the equivalent of the National Living Wage during term time have been accepted by Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams.

The Welsh Lib Dems were clear during the election that they would overhaul the current funding arrangements to make students’ daily living costs the central focus of any new funding system.

The Welsh Government will implement, with only minor modification, the Diamond package, meaning that the average Welsh student could receive up to £7,000 a year in grant support, which will also be available for part-time students, from September 2018.

Cadan ap Tomos, the Welsh Liberal Democrat spokesperson for young people, added:

“The Welsh Liberal Democrats have consistently argued that the high cost of living is the number one barrier to accessing university. It should be your ability to learn, not your ability to pay, that determines whether you can study.

“Far too many students are struggling to make ends meet. I’m proud that the Welsh Lib Dems not only listened to students by putting living costs front and centre of this debate, but that we’re now using our influence to deliver on our promise to students in May.

“With Kirsty Williams in Government, the Welsh Lib Dems will secure much-needed reforms for all students, making sure that a parent’s bank balance won’t hold any young person back from succeeding at uni.”

Welsh Lib Dem Education Secretary Kirsty Williams said:

“We are looking to introduce the most generous and progressive system anywhere in the UK. These plans will deliver the first system in the UK that is consistent, progressive and fair in its support for full and part-time undergraduates and for post-graduate students.

“I am clear that Wales needs a sustainable and progressive higher education funding settlement that supports students when they most need it, and, importantly, enables our universities to compete internationally.

“Our proposals are a fundamental shift so that Wales can develop a higher education funding and student finance system that really does provide for all.”

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Motes and beams department

A German couple sits on a couch in front of the telly. He, with his eyes glued to the box, says "How stupid are the Yanks to vote for Trump?" while she looks out of the window to the hordes of neo-Nazis and AfD supporters waving "Foreigners out!" and similar banners.