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  • Leaflet delivery
    Article: Sep 11, 2017
    By Mark Pack

    More data from the EPOP 2017 conference, this time showing what proportion of each party's membership claimed to have delivered leaflets during the 2017 general election campaign.

    Lib Dem members were the most likely to say they delivered leaflets, and the only party to have seen an increase on that measure since 2015:

  • Paddy Ashdown
    Article: Jul 5, 2017
    By Paddy Ashdown

    Here is Ashdown's second rule for the internet age: "If you see a business model that takes no account of the new technologies, you see a business model which is failing".

    Here is Ashdown's second rule for the internet age: "If you see a business model that takes no account of the new technologies, you see a business model which is failing".

    This applies to most newspapers, some old fashioned businesses and nearly all political parties.

    Conventional political parties remain immovably stuck in the 1870s.

    They are vertical hierarchies, when the paradigm structure of our time is the network.

    They are high overhead, narrow membership, high cost of entry, limited participation organisations, while successful social and commercial structures are based on a low overhead, mass membership, low (or no) cost of entry and instant participation model.

    They are festooned with lumbering committees and a tangle of elections which pretend to provide accountability and transparency, but actually obscure both, when direct instant democratic participation is the rule for the most successful modern civil society movements and political structures (think Cinque Stella, Momentum, More United and En Marche).

    In order to play a full part, today's conventional political party requires its members to be obsessives prepared to spend evenings in damp village halls and bright September days when they could be on the beach, in stuffy conclaves at faded seaside resorts, passing obscure amendments to policies no-one will ever hear of again. But most ordinary people nowadays conduct their internet lives, not through consuming singular obsessions, but through multiple daily transactions which mix what they believe in, with earning a living and having fun.

    Political Parties, as institutions are dying (except those who have in some form or another adopted the internet in their internal structures, like Momentum and Labour). This is one of the reasons why our politics seems so bewildering and senseless to ordinary people and voters.

    Our Party is in an extremely hazardous condition. Unless we do something radical and different soon, our old members will become disheartened and our new members will fade away.

    Here is my proposition. The Party Board should commission a study which would report in short order (but before the end of July) to investigate whether and if so how and in what time frame, the Lib Dems could be converted into a modern, internet based political organisation (LibDems.org), structured around a low overhead, low cost of entry, mass movement model in which a one person one vote internet enabled democracy, was the normal way of taking all our key decisions.

  • Michael Mullaney (Photo by Richard Minkley)
    Article: Jun 24, 2017
    By Michael Mullaney in Soclal Liberal Forum

    Introduction

    Having spent months out campaigning, first for the County Council elections, and then the general election, I took a break afterwards by examining the election results! It is clear the Liberal Democrats made good progress in terms of seats: a 50% increase from 8 to 12 MPs compared to 2015; and, agonisingly, fewer than 500 votes away from doubling our seats to 16. (1) This was achieved, however, against a slightly lower vote share of 7.4%, compared to the already-low point of 7.9% in 2015, and an accompanying further decline in our vote in many seats.

  • Tim Farron 2017
    Article: Jun 6, 2017

    Liberal Democrats believe that every person is entitled to the same opportunity to succeed in life. That means breaking down the barriers that hold people back, fighting discrimination and defending individuals against an overreaching government. We strive for a country that is welcoming and open-minded. One that is optimistic, that rejects prejudice and embraces diversity.

  • Tim Farron 2017
    Article: Jun 5, 2017
    By Tim Farron in The Guardian

    The PM has a record of poor decisions and did the police a huge disservice when she prioritised ineffective mass surveillance over local intelligence-gathering

    Theresa May set out her position on Sunday, stating, "Enough is enough." It was a highly political speech that set out the choices she intends to make that will affect all of us: our security, our freedoms and the way we live our lives. These are important choices with important consequences. But the real choice is between what works and what doesn't. In her rhetoric, Theresa May is ignoring her own record of wrong choices, both as home secretary and prime minister, and continuing down the wrong path.

  • Anita at Grantham Hospital.jpg
    Article: Jun 5, 2017

    The United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and Peterborough & Stamford Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust could lose a total of 287 staff from the EU as a result of Theresa May's extreme version of Brexit, the Liberal Democrats have warned.

    42% of nurses and over half of all doctors from the EU are considering leaving because of Brexit, according to recent research. This means that in Grantham & Stamford, an estimated 287 NHS staff are at risk of leaving including 83 doctors and 88 nurses.

    This would create a £2.8m bill to re-hire doctors and nurses from the EU after 2019, due to Theresa May's plans for a £2000 immigration skills charge for each doctor, nurse and health worker brought in from abroad.

    The Liberal Democrats have called for an immediate guarantee that all EU nationals in the UK, including those working in the NHS and social care, can stay after Brexit.

    Liberal Democrat candidate Anita Day said:

    "Hospitals in Grantham & Stamford depend on doctors, nurses and other support staff from the EU. But many are now planning to leave because of the uncertainty caused by Brexit. This is particularly vital in this area, given the difficulties with staffing already faced at Grantham Hospital, including the continuing closure of A&E services overnight.

    "We must guarantee their rights to stay here immediately to prevent a damaging exodus of these skilled and hard-working people. Our NHS, and the care we all rely on, would suffer without them.

    "The NHS is far too precious to be damaged by Theresa May's decision to pursue a UKIP-style Brexit. "The Liberal Democrats will stand up to Theresa May's extreme Brexit and give the people the final say, with the choice to remain in the European Union if they don't like the deal on offer."

    Nationally more than half (55.6%) of the 10,000 doctors from the EU working in the NHS are now considering leaving the UK because of the referendum result, according to a survey conducted by the General Medical Council.

    Survey data suggests that up to 26,500 members of NHS staff from the EU could leave the UK as a result of Brexit.

    The Liberal Democrat manifesto commits to immediately guaranteeing the rights of all EU nationals working in the NHS and social care.

  • John Marriott
    Article: May 31, 2017
    By John Marriott in Letter to the Times

    Dear Sir,

    This is one of the most depressing General Elections in my lifetime. Unfortunately we appear to be going back in the 1950s when over 90% of those who went to the Polling Station voted either red or blue.

    Why can't all politicians level with us? Come to think of it, why can't we accept that, if we want Scandinavian levels of public services, we aren't going to get them if we are only prepared to pay North American levels of taxation.

    A one percent rise on all Income Tax bands would raise around £5.5 billion. As a top up, how about raising Council Tax bands (untouched since they were introduced in the early 1990s) or indeed adding a few extra at the top end? Is that really too much to ask?

    Neither the Tories or Labour are being honest with us. The former thinks we are fools, obsessed with the EU and immigration, and the latter is living in cloud cuckoo land if it really thinks that all its pledges can become reality by just soaking the rich.

    Thanks to the Lib Dems in coalition, a considerable number of low earners now pay no Income Tax at all. So, the rest of us are more than capable of paying a little more if we really want the kind of menu currently on offer from the only two parties capable of forming a government. As they say; "No gain without some pain"!

    Yours,

    John Marriott
    (Aged 73)

  • Julia Cambridge
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Listen to South Holland and Deepings election debate here

    The debate starts at 1 hour 3 minutes

  • Anita Canvassing 2
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Listen to the Grantham and Stamford Election Debate on Radio Lincolnshire here

    Fiona Sloss stood in for Anita Day

    The broadcast starts at 2hr 2min and 30secs

  • Vote Her Get Him
    Article: May 31, 2017

    Theresa May called this election, but now won't even turn up to debate the issues. I think her illusiveness, just like her policies, demonstrates her utter lack of regard for the British people.

    She's clearly terrified of having to defend the cruel and heartless policies in the Conservative manifesto, 20 of which she's said she'll review AFTER the election.