Thursday, 14 May 2015

20 EXTREME TORY POLICIES THE LIB DEMS BLOCKED, OR 'TORY BINGO'

The years will pass and memories will fade so, for the avoidance of any doubt, Lib Dem blogger Mark Pack has provided a handy list of 20 extreme Tory policies the Lib Dems blocked in the coalition.

Think of this as Tory Bingo. Spend the next five years seeing how many of these measures they reintroduce. Then join the Lib Dems here.

THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF BORSETSHIRE

The government has revived its plans for devolution to cities in England, giving them powers over housing, transport, planning and policing.  This raise a whole host of questions for the many millions of us who don't live in cities and who don't live in Wales, Northern Ireland or Scotland.

As a resident of a medium-sized village in the Prime Minister's constituency, I'd like to know what powers I am going to get under the new proposals, so here's a couple of queries:

  1. Will devolution to cities in England place them on an equal footing to the Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish governments?
  2. Will devolution to English cities be extended to the other parts of England, like my village? 
  3. If it is, will my village have full fiscal autonomy?
  4. If no power is going to be devolved down to my village, how will my sub-national interests be represented
  5. In the event of a majority of people voting to leave the EU, will my village have a right of veto over the decision if we vote to stay in the EU?
  6. Why is someone in Inverness entitled to greater representation than I am in Oxfordshire?
  7. Why can't England just have equality with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland through its own parliament in a federal UK which treats every part of this country the same?
It is bizarre how utterly inept successive governments have been over devolution and equality across the UK.  Why can't we just have one system with the same powers for everyone?  Why does it need to be this uneven, unequal dog's dinner originally vomited out by New Labour in a desperate attempt to shore up the Scottish and Welsh votes.
 

Because that worked, didn't it..?

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

TORY DEMOLITION DERBY: SIT BACK, RELAX AND ENJOY THE SPECTACLE

This could be the most interesting five years in government we have seen for many years, easily rivalling the dog days of Tory rule in the 1990s, as they tore each other apart before years of irrelevance.

Now they're unfettered by us pesky Lib Dems, the Tories can do all those things they wanted to do but which we stopped them from doing, like bring in the Snooper's Charter, allowing more people to monitor what we do online.  I feel for the poor souls who are going to have to trawl through the myriad Jeremiads like this one, searching in vain for the latest outpourings of lunacy from the bearded maniacs in Syria.  I assume taxes will rise to pay for decent coffee for the security services as they fight to stay awake.  I'm with you, guys.

The Tories can also throw away the rotten Human Rights Act, a hateful law drafted to bring into English law all that 'protecting-people-after-one-of-the-most-devastating-and-destructive-wars-in-the-history-of-mankind' nonsense which British lawyers drafted for a broken European continent way back when we mattered.  Well, fair enough, I say.  Now we have Dave, Theresa and Michael guarding our freedoms, we have no need of this namby-pamby European liberty stuff, do we?

That's fine anyway, because we'll be out of Europe soon, whatever.  Not that the EU has anything whatsoever to do with the European Convention on Human Rights but, well, it's all the same really, isn't it?  It's all foreigners telling us what to do.  Who needs a 'right to life' anyway? Foreigners, that's who!

And as for the BBC, well, don't get me started.  Bunch of trots, with their balance and extensive coverage of democracy. Who do they think they are?! Hmm?!

No, we're in line for some common sense and decent British values at long last.  And I, as a Liberal Democrat, welcome that because I am going to use this corner of the internet to say loudly and probably too often, 'do you get it now, do you get what we did for five years, stopping this utter lunacy and frankly petty behaviour?'

To the 10,000 - and counting - new members of the Lib Dems, welcome. Enjoy the ride: it's going to be very, very exciting and our collective and growing voice is needed more than it ever has been.

Thursday, 7 May 2015

THANK YOU

I would like to thank everyone who voted for me in Wyre Forest in the General Election. Your vote counts whatever the result. It shows that people want change even if our system still doesn't reflect that.

I am proud of what we delivered in government and I hope our achievements are not thrown away by the next government.

I have had a wonderful time meeting people across Wyre Forest.

FROM THE TIMES TODAY

'I think a Lib Dem presence will temper the Tories on tax and cuts, will temper Labour populism on spending, will put the case for the European Union, argue against any action that will alienate Scottish voters, and will sometimes be the lone voice telling the unpopular truth about immigration. They still carry the banner for constitutional change which needs to come, but in which the public is never interested and which the other two parties will always have an interest in sabotaging. 

'The Lib Dems above all believe in the reality of the new politics, rather than always yearning to put the clock back to 1945 or 1979.'

David Aaronovitch

Wednesday, 6 May 2015

YOUR CHOICE FOR WYRE FOREST: LURCH LEFT, LURCH RIGHT OR STAY IN THE CENTRE

On the penultimate day of the election campaign, Liberal Democrat Party leader Nick Clegg said we face the biggest political decision of our lives.

The polls are neck-and-neck and no party is going to hold a majority in parliament.  Voters face the prospect of a new government lurching to the extreme left, the extreme right, or breaking up the country unless they vote Liberal Democrat to anchor Britain to the centre ground.  

 

Nick Clegg said only the Liberal Democrats will provide “stability, unity and decency” after Polling Day, highlighting six ‘red lines’ which must be agreed to as part of any coalition negotiations in the next government.  These key policies will benefit millions of people across the country by creating a stronger economy and fairer society with opportunity for everyone.
 

The Liberal Democrats' six 'red lines' are:
  • Invest an extra £2.5bn in education – benefiting 11.5 million pupils aged 2-19
  • Invest £8bn a year by 2020 in the NHS – benefiting 53.9 million people in England
  • £2.7bn of pay rises for public sector workers – benefiting 5.4 million workers
  • Cut taxes by £400 for working people - benefiting 30 million individuals
  • Introduce a 'stability budget' in the first 50 days – benefiting the entire UK population
  • Fight climate change and protect nature - benefiting the entire UK population

Nick said: “Tomorrow, you face the biggest political decision of your life. Our economic stability, our decent British values of openness, generosity and tolerance and the unity of our United Kingdom are all at stake.
 

“Without Liberal Democrats to keep the next Government safe, stable and fair, Labour or the Conservatives will be left to run a messy and unstable minority Government, dependent on the SNP on the one hand or UKIP and the DUP on the other.
 

“The Liberal Democrats will give a heart to a Conservative Government and a brain to a Labour one. Every Liberal Democrat MP makes Labour’s reckless borrowing and the Conservatives’ ideological cuts less likely. And every Liberal Democrat MP is a barrier between Nigel Farage and Alex Salmond and the door to 10 Downing Street.”

I hope you will vote for me on Thursday to keep the recovery going and to keep our economy growing.  

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

LIBERAL DEMOCRATS WILL KEEP BRITAIN ON THE GREEN TRACK

Liberal Democrats have ensured the Coalition has been the greenest Government so far in Britain. Lib Dem ministers have:
  • Secured £37bn investment in renewable electricity
  • Established the world’s first Green Investment Bank
  • Led Europe to agree a new more ambitious EU-wide climate change target
  • Ensured more than 1 million trees have been planted.
On the front page of the Liberal Democrat Manifesto we have said that in the next Parliament, if we are in Government, we will pass Five Green Laws. These will:
  • stimulate more green growth
  • improve greener transport options
  • create more energy efficient homes
  • improve our air quality
  • reduce household waste
  • create a zero-carbon Britain within a generation.
We have a proud record of delivery in government, from nearly tripling electricity from renewables to making more than a million homes warmer and cheaper to heat, and securing an ambitious EU-wide agreement on tackling climate change.

This has been done in the face of almost daily battles with the Tories on everything from onshore wind to keeping climate change in the geography curriculum.

The Liberal Democrat plan for five new Green Laws on the front of our manifesto shows our intent to go further and faster if we’re in the next Government. Lib Dems in the next government will insure our environment against the risk of sharp lurches to the left or right that would result in our green delivery coming to a grinding halt.

Our Five Green Laws:
  1. a Zero Carbon Bill to end Britain’s adverse impact on climate change by 2050
  2. a Zero Waste Bill to tackle rubbish tipping and disposal
  3. a Green Homes Bill to insulate 10 million homes by 2025
  4. a Nature Bill to give stronger protection to natural habitats
  5. a Green Transport Bill to make the way we travel cleaner and greener.