Nick O'Shea

Former Lib Dem councillor for Capel and Newdigate Learn more

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Plan for Business

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 05 Dec 2019

Our country and our businesses deserve better than a choice between a hard Brexit under Johnson or the hard left under Corbyn.

Both parties would damage businesses through their plans to end free movement and deprive our fast-growing businesses of the talent they need to compete globally.

The Liberal Democrats are the natural party of business, with a clear plan to stop Brexit, save free movement and focus on addressing the real issues facing our economy.
 
We will build a brighter future by securing the UK’s place as a global research powerhouse, supporting our entrepreneurs, and creating good jobs in new and growing industries.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

What Boris Johnson would do to Britain

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 05 Dec 2019

There are just days to go until the UK goes to the polls in the 2019 general election. Now, more than ever, it's crucial that we stop Boris Johnson in his pursuit of a hard Brexit and a far-right Conservative government.

If you weren't already convinced, here are just a few things Johnson would do to Britain if he manages to stay in No. 10 and why we must stop him. 

1. Crash us out of the EU

We know that any form of Brexit would be damaging to our country, and so does Boris Johnson. But because he only cares about himself, he's continuing to push for a hard Brexit at any cost. 

In fact, it's been confirmed that the Conservatives would not extend the EU transition period beyond 2020, meaning that a catastrophic No Deal Brexit is still on the table and could happen in just over a year's time. 

The Liberal Democrats are clear: we want to stop Brexit, stay in the EU and invest the £50 billion Remain Bonus in public services and tackling inequality.

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2. Risk a border across the Irish Sea 

Despite saying that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea, Boris has (unsurprisingly) gone back on his word. 

By even considering this border, he is compromising the Good Friday Agreement and risking our country's security - all for his bad Brexit deal. 

3. Increase child poverty

In a report released by the Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, it was revealed that child poverty risks reaching a record high under Johnson's Conservative plans - rising from 29.6% in 2017-18 to 34.4% in 2023-4. It's a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy.

Meanwhile, Liberal Democrats policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24, making it the most progressive of the three main parties.

In stark contrast to the Boris Johnson's plans, Lib Dem policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in povery by 2023-2024.

We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax, and invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

4. Damage our NHS

If Boris Johnson wins a majority, he'll be desperate for a trade deal with Donald Trump, and Trump has repeatedly made clear in the past that everything, including the NHS, will be on the table in future negotiations.

We need to protect our NHS, and that starts with stopping Brexit and protecting free movement for the thousands of people who come to work in our services from across the EU.

But instead of battling this staffing crisis, Boris Johnson wants to make it worse. His Nurse Tax will seriously affect the NHS’s ability to recruit the nurses from the EU that we desperately need to address current shortfalls.

Liberal Democrats would stop Brexit and save free movement for the 65,000 EU citizens working in our health service.

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5. Ruin our economy with Brexit

The Conservatives' spending plans have been blasted as not credible by the Institute for Financial Studies, and it's clear that no party's economic plan is even remotely plausible while it includes pursuing Brexit. 

By failing to come clean with the electorate and ignoring the Brexit black hole his policies would leave in the public finances, Boris Johnson is once again misleading the country on the damage that Brexit could do. 

Liberal Democrats will work to build fairer economy by stopping Brexit and providing free childcare from 9 months and giving every adult £10,000 to spend on skills & training throughout their lives.

6. Stop the UK from leading on climate action 

The UK should be leading the world on tackling the climate crisis. Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage.

Young people have taken to the streets because they’re so worried that the Conservatives are failing to act, yet with Boris skipping the recent Channel 4 climate debate, it's clear that he doesn't take the topic seriously. 

Only the Liberal Democrats can build a brighter future for our planet, with our bold plans to achieve net-zero by 2045, generate 80% of our electricity from renewables by 2030, insulate every home, plant 60 million trees a year and more

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7. Ignore the needs of working families 

Parents struggle to find childcare to look after their kids until they get home from work, both in term-time and in the school holidays. But Boris Johnson’s childcare offer through the Conservative manifesto is an insult to these families.

Boris Johnson's additional childcare provisions work out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England.

Despite promising £250 million a year on expanding childcare provisions for primary school children after school and in the school holidays, this works out to just £1 a week for every primary school child in England. This is equivalent to just 16 minutes additional childcare a week.

Liberal Democrats have a plan to build a brighter future for every child. We will give parents 35 hours a week of high-quality free childcare from the day they go back to work to the day their child starts school, including the school holidays.

We will also give every child the best start in life by recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools.

But we can stop him. 

Britain deserves a brighter future than the one on offer by Boris Johnson. We can take seats off the Tories up and down the country. So on 12 December, vote Liberal Democrat to stop Boris and stop Brexit.  

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

As a Party we are clear: people with disabilities must have the opportunity to fully participate in every aspect of society

3rd December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities. A day set aside to promote the rights and well-being of people with disabilities.

Let us use today to increase our understanding of disabilities which can be physical, mental, sensory or cognitive.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The 12 Lies Of Brexit

by Liberal Democrats on Sun, 01 Dec 2019

World AIDS Day - 1st December

by Jo Swinson on Sun, 01 Dec 2019

Today we stand together as a global community to mark World AIDS Day.

AIDS is a global health challenge and there are currently more than 100,000 people living with HIV in the UK. 

As a nation, we have made great strides in minimising the physical, psychological and societal impact of HIV. And thanks to the hard work of researchers, our understanding of HIV has grown significantly.

However, the shame, stigma, and isolation associated with HIV and AIDS has not gone away. No one should ever feel alone because of their HIV status, yet 1 in 5 people living with HIV in the UK say they feel this way.

We must be clear; there is no shame in an HIV diagnosis. There is no shame in getting tested. And there is no reason why HIV should stop you from living a full and happy life.

This year, the government committed to ending new HIV transmissions in England by 2030 yet support for people living with HIV has been eroded. Many people report feeling isolated and unable to find the help they need. And we are yet to secure universal access to HIV prevention medication such as PrEP. This not good enough.

This year’s theme, “Rock the Ribbon Together” is our collective opportunity to show our support for those living with HIV and AIDS and I’ll be wearing my ribbon with great pride.

I’d like to end by thanking the many researchers, activists, and doctors working to improve the lives of those living with HIV and AIDS. Let us all work together to end HIV transmissions for good.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Brexit Means Criminals Evade Justice

by Christine Jardine on Sat, 30 Nov 2019

New analysis has revealed how much UK police rely on vital EU crime-fighting measures.
Yet Boris Johnson’s reckless Brexit plans threaten to cut the UK off.

Over the past five years, UK police forces and prosecutors have used the European Arrest Warrant (EAW) to arrest over 6,600 criminal fugitives.

This includes:

  • 140 for murder or manslaughter
  • 136 for child sex offences
  • 152 for rape
  • 12 for terrorism

The research also shows that UK police accessed a crucial EU-wide crime database 603 million times in 2018. This database gives real-time access to records on wanted criminals, missing persons and lost or stolen items. This includes firearms and passports.

In short, if Johnson’s Brexit goes ahead:

  • Up to 6,000 criminals could evade justice
  • Our police would be locked out of EU crime database used 1.6 million times a day
  • Brexit would undermine the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime

Brexit would be a disaster for our safety.

Thousands of dangerous criminals could escape justice. Not only that, the UK’s ability to tackle terrorism and organised crime would be seriously undermined.

The only way to ensure vital police cooperation with Europe is by stopping Brexit.

We intend to do just that. Then, we will build a brighter future and keep our communities safe.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

10 lies from Boris Johnson's LBC interview

by Liberal Democrats on Sat, 30 Nov 2019

Boris Johnson's interview with LBC exposed yet again how Boris Johnson can’t be trusted and is simply not fit for the office of Prime Minister. 

Whether it was on nurses, hospitals or Brexit, Johnson spent an hour lying through his teeth. We've highlighted ten of his mistruths... 

1. 50,000 new nurses

Johnson continues to peddle the Tory fantasy that they will recruit 50,000 new nurses. He clearly can’t do basic maths when 19,000 of this figure is comprised by nurses who already work in the NHS.

On top of this, figures earlier this week revealed that 1,116 EU nurses have left the NHS so far this year and EU staff at Johnson's local hospital are feeling anxiety over their future here because of Brexit.

2. 40 new hospitals

The Tories are not going to build 40 new hospitals. Johnson admitted today that re-building an old hospital will be classified as a new one. The pledge is simply false.

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3. Trade deals

Johnson claimed that there are up to a dozen trade deals ready to go after Brexit. Given the Conservatives have abjectly failed to rollover the trade deals it said it would over the past three years, he just cannot be trusted.

Liam Fox promised 40 trade deals, instead the Tories have only delivered 18.

4. Social care

Johnson claimed the £1 billion of funding the Tories have announced for social care will stop people having to sell their home to pay for care.

But this money is simply a sticking plaster for the day-to-day operation of our social care system which is at breaking point. He has no plan for a long-term solution.

5. Comments on single mothers

Johnson claimed that the quotations used of his insulting and offensive comments on single mothers were distorted, even though he has a history of misogynistic and sexist comments. He plays fast and loose with his words and it has real damaging consequences.

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6. Free press

The day after the Tories petulantly threatened to review Channel 4’s licence, Johnson claimed he wants to protect a free press. The Tories have also refused to allow a Mirror reporter onto their campaign bus.

Trying to intimidate the media like this is straight out of Donald Trump’s playbook and has no place in an open and inclusive democracy.

7. Cutting business rates

Johnson said that the Tories will cut business rates in the next Budget, but his manifesto promises a review. Which is it? Liberal Democrats have promised to scrap business rates and replace them with a commercial landowner levy.

8. Working class people

Boris Johnson said he doesn’t care that Dominic Cummings thinks the Tories have a problem with working class people. It comes after a Spectator column from Johnson surfaced in which he called working class men "drunk, criminal and feckless."

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9. Police cuts

Johnson denied that the police cuts in London were the fault of the Conservative Government. But the Tories have drastically cut police numbers, leading the Home Office to admit that the cuts had “likely contributed” to the rise in serious violent crime.

10. Greggs

Boris Johnson previously said he was ‘made of Greggs’. But given he couldn't name the price of a sausage roll, it would appear he's never set a foot in one.   

Voters: there is another choice. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can stop Boris, stop Brexit and build a brighter future. Join us today.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Every child deserves the best start in life.

That’s why children’s charities have asked every party leader how their policies will help children and generations to come.

Here are five things the Liberal Democrats will do to build a brighter future for every young person:

1. Stop Brexit

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Brexit is a disaster for our young people. It limits our ambitions and our horizons.

Outside the EU, the UK can no longer take part in the Erasmus student exchange programme for schools, colleges and universities.

Brexit makes our children less safe. The European Arrest Warrant lets us track down people accused of crimes against children if they move abroad.

Brexit will make us poorer. If Boris Johnson wins this election, his ‘die in a ditch’ Brexit policy means we could crash out of the EU’s trading bloc in 2021. That would harm our economy and increase debt – meaning we have less to spend on our children and young people.

Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit so we can spend our £50 billion Remain Bonus on public services, like our schools, and tackling child poverty.

2. Free childcare

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Under the Conservatives, the gap between the performance of richer and poorer children at nursery school is widening.

They’ve turned their backs on families. Working parents can get 30 hours a week of free childcare, but only when their child turns 3 – and it doesn’t cover the school holidays. It’s been so underfunded that some providers have had to close.

Liberal Democrats will provide free, high quality childcare for every child from when their parents go back to work to the day they start school.

The Liberal Democrats' plan includes 35 hours a week, 48 weeks a year, for every child from 9 months to school age.

We’ll pay childcare providers properly, so that every child has a high-quality place.

3. Reverse school cuts

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Our schools and colleges should be world-class. But instead, they’re falling behind.

Teaching assistants are being sacked. Cash-strapped councils struggle to help children with complex needs. Some schools aren’t keeping their doors open for a full five-day week.

The Conservatives are failing our children. They have cut school budgets to the bone.

By stopping Brexit, Liberal Democrats can use the Remain Bonus to reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection.

By 2024, we’ll spend £10 billion a year more on schools, so we can employ 20,000 more teachers.

Children should come home from school happy, healthy and with all the skills they need to succeed.

4. Invest in Children’s Centres

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Local councils’ budgets have been slashed – but more children than ever need their support. Councils are spending more on helping children in crisis, so they’ve got less to spend on stopping children getting into crisis in the first place.

Children’s centres provide vital support for children and their families in the first years of life. They give advice to parents on how to manage behaviour. They give free post-natal checks for new babies. They’re a safe space for toddlers to play.

Liberal Democrats will support our most disadvantaged young children, by spending an extra £1 billion a year on children’s centres.

5. Support children in poverty

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Under the Conservatives, almost 30% of children were in poverty in 2017/18.

The Tories botched the roll out of Universal Credit and they made brutal cuts to benefits in 2015.

Liberal Democrats will support children in poverty. We’ll scrap the two-child limit and the benefits cap and let families where both parents work keep more of their money.

That’s why the independent Resolution Foundation says that our manifesto does more to help child poverty than both Boris Johnson's Conservatives or Jeremy Corbyn's Labour Party.

Under the Liberal Democrats, 600,000 fewer children will be in relative poverty than under Boris Johnson.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party that can win seats off both the Conservatives and Labour – so we can stop Boris Johnson, stop Brexit, and build a brighter future for our children.

Want to help us?

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our Commitment to Community Policing

by Brian Paddick on Fri, 29 Nov 2019

Too many people feel unsafe in their own homes and walking down their local streets. So many communities feel exposed and vulnerable.

The Conservatives’ cuts to police numbers have contributed to a rise in violence and decimated community policing. 47% of people say they never see police foot patrols, up from 30% in 2014-15.

The Tories and Labour made big promises on police numbers, but have failed to commit the funding needed to deliver them. Police officers are leaving in their droves because they are not being properly rewarded for putting their lives on the line to keep us safe. We need to encourage experienced officers to stay, as well as recruiting the extra officers we need.

The other parties just don’t get it.

But we do.

We’re committing £1 billion a year to fund our police force. That’s £250 million more than Labour or the Tories…

Every year.

That’s enough for two officers in every ward, and to provide an immediate 2% pay-rise for our hard-working cops.

We’re the only party willing to put our money where our mouth is. We’ll back our bobbies with money, not just words.

We are the only party that will make our communities safer by stopping Brexit. Then, together, we will build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

US Pushing for Chlorinated Chicken Trade

by Matt Underhill on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

"We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal."

The US trade team is offering PR tips on how to force chlorinated chicken down our throats.

That tells you everything you need to know.

Leaked documents from the US-UK trade deal talks have revealed the truth. The US team agreed to share their “public lines” on chlorine-washed chicken.

Why? They argue it’s to “inform the media narrative.”

In reality, it’s “how to sell the lie.

These trade talks hang in the balance due to Brexit. US negotiators had ‘the most angst’ about EU limits to the use of chemicals in food production. They want a no-deal Brexit so we can break from EU regulations on food standards.

The Tories’ desperation for a trade deal with Donald Trump risks leading to lower standards for the food on our tables. A hard Brexit means fewer regulations and standards on the quality of our food.

This will not just be damaging to our health. It will be incredibly damaging to our food production industries, too.

We must stop Boris Johnson ramming through a damaging Trump trade deal. It will do great damage to both British consumers and farmers.

We will stop Boris, stop Brexit and uphold our world-leading food standards.

Our country’s health is at the heart of our vision for a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The UK has the fifth largest economy in the world, but one in five of us lives in poverty.

Yet instead of addressing inequality, the Tories’ heartless welfare policy has led to soaring levels of poverty across the country. 

That's why Jo Swinson's Liberal Democrats have come up with a bold plan to tackle inequality across the UK. As the Resolution Foundation recognises, Liberal Democrats have the most progressive manifesto of all the major parties, focused on ensuring everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

1. Jo will Stop Brexit

Any form of Brexit, whether it’s hard or soft, Conservative or Labour, will be bad for jobs, the economy, the NHS, and our environment.

It is also a sad fact that those who are the most in need of support in Britain today will be hit hardest by Brexit.

That’s why Jo has been fighting hard over the past three years to stop Brexit. With Jo as Prime Minister, we will stop Brexit on day one of government. By doing this, we won’t just grow the economy faster, but we’ll generate a £50 billion Remain Bonus that we can invest in public services and tackling inequality across Britain.  

2. Jo has a plan to tackle the mental health epidemic

Our NHS is the envy of the world, but our mental health service is not.

Waiting times are being missed, people are not being referred for the treatment they need, and often action is taken only when at crisis point, or too late.

We are fighting to invest £11bn into mental health services, making them more accessible for everyone. In addition, prescriptions for people with chronic mental health conditions will be available for free on the NHS.

The Conservatives have given mental health care lip service for years – what is needed now is urgent action to help those most in need. Jo’s plan does just that and will help alleviate suffering throughout Britain.

3. Jo is ready to lead on climate action and tackle fuel poverty

We are the last generation that can stop irreversible climate change, and we are running out of time. The Liberal Democrats are the only party with a radical, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency.

Jo will jump-start an economy-wide programme to tackle the climate emergency. Across a five year parliament, we will spend and invest an extra £100 billion of public finance on climate action and environmental preservation. 

We will also make a £15 billion investment to make every building in the country greener, with an emergency ten-year programme to save energy, end fuel poverty and cut household heating bills by an average of £550 per year.

3.5 million households are saddled with exorbitant fuel bills due to poor quality houses. This needs to change. We will incentivise households to upgrade their homes and also provide fully subsidised home upgrades to those in fuel poverty. By prioritising fuel-poor households, all low-income homes will be insulated by 2025.

4. Jo will transform our education system

Education ensures children have the best start in life, yet years of Conservative cuts have resulted in understaffed and underfunded schools.

We're fighting to reverse frontline school cuts since 2015 with an emergency cash injection of £4.6 billion next year. By recruiting 20,000 more teachers as part of an extra £10 billion a year for schools, we will reduce inequality across the UK so that every child can have the best start in life, no matter what their background.

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5. Jo will build a fairer economy

Working hard should mean you are able to build a good life, but for too many people that’s not the case. In an ever changing workplace people often need to develop new skills, but the cost of courses and qualifications shuts too many people out.

Having already fought for shared parental leave and gender pay gap reporting, Jo is determined to go further and build a fairer economy.

With her plan to provide free childcare from 9 months and give every adult a £10,000 Skills Wallet to spend on skills & training throughout their lives, Jo will transform our economy and help everyone build good lives and brighter futures for their families.

 

 

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Problem With Boris Johnson

by Jo Swinson on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

"Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson."

When I meet children and teenagers in schools, they often ask me what you need to be good at to become a politician.

And my answer is always this:

Being able to write a press release and understand legislation is important for the job. But you can learn all of that.

What matters the most – and is almost impossible to learn -- is caring.

Caring about the people in your community and in your country, so that your decisions are based on what you genuinely believe to be best for them.

I say it is impossible to learn, which perhaps is just as well.

I am not sure Boris Johnson has time for lessons on caring alongside his “technology lessons”.

Boris Johnson only cares about Boris Johnson.

And he will do whatever it takes, sacrifice whatever is needed, to get what he wants.

This is a man who decided which side to support in the EU referendum by game-playing whether it would get him the keys to Number 10.

His life has been about becoming Prime Minister. Not out of some deep-seated desire to make people’s lives better, but out of some sense of Etonian entitlement. Because it’s what people like him get to do.

And you cannot trust a word Boris Johnson says - the man will say anything if it means getting what he wants.

He lied to the 3 million other EU countries citizens in the UK when he told them he would guarantee their right to stay.

He lied when he said that no Conservative Prime Minister would ever put a border down the Irish Sea.

He lied to the Queen to unlawfully shut down our democracy.

He lied when he said over and over that we would leave the European Union by 31 October.

He lied when he said he would rather be dead in a ditch than ask for an extension to Article 50.

"We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal."

Well, there might not be a ditch, but Boris Johnson has dragged the office of Prime Minister through the mud.

Johnson cannot be allowed to win a majority.

We have a different vision for our country. The Liberal Democrats are the only party that will build a fair, open society for both our generation and the next.

We are the only party that can win seats off Johnson and Farage’s hard-right cabal.

Together, we can prevent a damaging Tory majority.

Together, we can build a brighter future.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our plan to end rough sleeping

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

More than 700 people die while homeless each year. It is the most shameful example of the failure of our housing and welfare systems.

The Conservatives just don’t seem to care. They are sitting on their hands, failing to protect the most vulnerable people in society.

The latest government figures show that, under the Conservatives, the number of rough sleepers in England on a single night has risen by 31% since 2015, to 4,677. In 2018, 1,320 people were prosecuted under the Vagrancy Act, according to the homelessness charity Crisis. 

They have failed to build enough social housing. They have made poverty worse by freezing benefits in 2015 and introducing the cruel two-child limit in 2017.

 They failed to abolish Section 21 “no fault” evictions, despite the evidence that they causes homelessness and despite promising to do so in April. And they blocked Liberal Democrat efforts to repeal the Vagrancy Act – a nasty, Dickensian law that criminalises people just for sleeping rough.

Liberal Democrats will build a brighter future by ending rough sleeping within five years.

The other parties pay lip service to this goal, but only the Liberal Democrats have a clear and credible plan to actually achieve it.

We will:

  • Scrap the Vagrancy Act
  • Introduce a “somewhere safe to stay” duty on local authorities to provide immediate emergency accommodation
  • Abolish Section 21 “no fault” evictions
  • Increase Local Housing Allowance payments
  • Provide accommodation and support for survivors of domestic abuse
  • Extend the “move on” period for refugees from 28 days to 56

Through this plan we will build a brighter future, ending rough sleeping within five years, and ensuring that everyone has a decent home so they can live with dignity. Find out more about our plan to end rough sleeping here.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Who's backing Boris Johnson? 😈

by Liberal Democrats on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

Time and time again, through his actions and his friends, Boris Johnson has proven himself unfit to be Prime Minister.

Only the Liberal Democrats can stop Boris Johnson.

Only we can win seats from Tory MPs and kick Johnson out of office.

Will you help us do just that by pledging your vote to the Liberal Democrats?

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Stop Boris, Stop Brexit

by Tom Brake on Thu, 28 Nov 2019

Today, we’ve unveiled two posters attacking Boris Johnson.

The first attacks him for lying to the Queen, Parliament and the people. The other will show him flanked by Donald Trump and Nigel Farage with the caption: "Brexit is good for them, how is it for you?"

And this is the whole point of this election. While Boris Johnson and his backers may stand to benefit from Brexit, it’s families across the country who will suffer.

Johnson has shown time and again that he can't be trusted. Now, he’s trying to dupe the public yet again. This time, he says that voting for him will make Brexit go away.

This is the biggest lie of all. His disastrous Brexit plan would mean even more years of uncertainty. This would cause more damage to our economy, NHS and public services.

Johnson’s lie must be challenged head-on.

So we launched the posters to do just that!

Four poster vans will tour Conservative / Liberal Democrat marginal seats. We have already seen massive surges in those seats...

And if we win there, we could deny Boris Johnson a majority.

We can stop Boris. Not only that, we can stop Brexit, too.

Together, we will build a brighter future by taking seats off the Tories up and down the country.

Please click below to download the posters:

Poster 1

Poster 2

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Johnson Happy to Sell NHS

by Tom Brake on Wed, 27 Nov 2019

Today, a document was released that lays out the details of talks involving UK and US officials.

The documents are horrifying.

They reveal what looks like a deal cooked up between the Tories and Donald Trump that puts our NHS on the table. This, despite Johnson’s repeated insistence that the NHS is not for sale.

Yet again, Johnson has lied to all of us.

For all intents and purposes, Johnson has now become Trump. They are clearly in cahoots, and Johnson now emulates his friend by lying again, and again, and again.

The US trade representatives have said a no-deal leaves 'all to play for.' This shows how vital it is that Boris Johnson is stopped. It could not be clearer that Brexit will make the UK weaker, and that Donald Trump wants to profit from this weakness.

When our NHS is on its knees after Brexit, it will be sold off to American pharmaceutical companies, raising the prices of medicine for millions.

Only we can prevent Boris Johnson from getting a majority in this election. If he succeeds, we will have no way of stopping him from pursuing either his damaging Brexit deal or crashing the UK out with no-deal in 2020.

We must fight to protect our precious NHS. We can and must defeat the Tories and prevent a Johnson majority.

We are the only party that will stop Johnson, and stop this pointless Brexit. When we do, we will build a brighter future, together.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

From Under the Duvet….

by Gemma Roulston on Wed, 27 Nov 2019

"Being stuck in bed most of the time doesn’t have to mean it’s all over and life is finished."

‘Confined to bed’. ‘Restricted to bed’. Bedbound, bedridden.

Words and terms that sound so pitiable. So pathetic. So awful. A life that’s hardly worth living. The end of ever having a ‘normal’ life again. Better off dead.

But that’s not the case. 

It doesn’t have to be like that. Being stuck in bed most of the time doesn’t have to mean it’s all over and life is finished. There is so much that can still be done, so much left to do, so much life yet to live. 

I know there are many people who are in horrible pain or, at least, in considerable discomfort for much of the time. I can’t speak for them as I haven’t experienced it. I don’t fall into that category, but there are also lots of people, like me, who are just unable to get up much because of their impairment. 

This can be due to the medical equipment they need to stay alive or due to the lack of help and support they have. 

Or just because it’s such hard work to do it and it’s often not worth the effort. I’m one of that category.

With assistance, I can get up and sit in my wheelchair and go out but I usually just can’t be bothered. It takes several people, lots of planning and a whole load of equipment to get me into my wheelchair and ready to leave my room. 

So much faff and palaver. 

And then, of course, we would have to do the reverse to get me back to bed later on, when I return, so I usually just don’t do it. Another two hours of my life, one at either end of the day, that I wouldn’t get back. Why go through all that if I’ve nothing to do, nowhere to go and no-one to see. Might as well just stay put.

Most of the things I would do if I got out of my bed can also be done from under my duvet anyway! So, most of the time, that’s where I stay. 

Shopping? I can get what I want online and have it delivered straight to my door. I can get items from anywhere in the world, not just my local high street, and it’s all so very easy. 

Meet with friends for coffee? I have some lovely friends who come around to my house to visit regularly, with delicious treats and gooey cakes so that we can indulge ourselves together, here. I’m considering buying a coffee machine too. Last of the big spenders!

Trips to the cinema? Netflix is a thing and I have a Dvd player. 

"Most of the things I would do if I got out of my bed can also be done from under my duvet anyway!"

Meet new people? Hello Facebook and Twitter! Loads of people from all over the world to chat to there. 

Get a job? More and more employment opportunities are available online which can be done from home. Amongst other things, I’ve done envelope stuffing, entered responses from surveys onto a database and worked on a national helpline where I provided advice, information and assistance to callers by phone, email and letter.

Continue my education? I am considering doing a course online through Open Learn or the Open University or with one of the plethora of US universities which have online courses. The world of education is, as they say, my oyster. 

Be involved in local life? All things are possible. I’ve stood – well, lain down any rate - for election to my local Council. I’m involved with local pressure groups, trying to improve life for everyone in my area, too. They all have websites, with a Social Media presence, and so do I.

And National Politics is not a no-go area either. I can be involved with that too. I’ve been a member of the Party for many years, and I’ve been on the national Executive for the Liberal Democrat Disability Association for several years. I was recently on a selection panel for a role at HQ which was conducted by phone and online and that all went very well. 

I was very much involved with the whole process, felt that my opinion was valued and considered and never got the impression I was just a token towards diversity and inclusivity. Hopefully, I’ll get the chance to do something similar again in the future. 

I am also a bit of a teacher too. Once or twice per year for the past 4 or 5 years, my lovely GP has sent a group of medical students from Kings College Hospital round to visit me so I can help them learn how to work with people like me and develop their ‘bedside manner’. 

I consider this to be helping a lovely GP with her work, a valuable lesson for the students that they can’t learn from books and I love doing it. It's part of my way of ‘giving back’ and saying ‘Thank you’. If it means that even just one of them becomes a better, more empathetic medic as a result then I’ve done my job, made a difference and I’m happy.

"There are plenty of things to do, people to meet and ‘virtual’ places to go so I’m off to meet, do and visit them all as soon as I can."

And then there are the hobbies and activities which can all be done from or in my bed too. I like writing. Both fact and fiction. I have had my work published in the National Press, written articles for magazines and journals and have been commissioned to produce items for various websites on a variety of topics. 

I also have fun every year with something called ‘Nanowrimo’ or National Novel Writing Month. This takes place worldwide every November and participants are challenged to write a novel of at least 50,000 words in just 30 days. Thousands take part and its such fun. Your imagination runs riot and the words can just flow. Several people have written best-selling novels after taking part in the challenge but, even if you don’t, it's still really good fun trying. I’ve done it twice so far, achieving my 50k once, and I have an idea bubbling at the back of my brain for my next attempt. 

Whether anything comes of it, watch this space but, if nothing does, there’s always next year!

Spending most of your life under a duvet is no longer a reason for withdrawing from the world and slamming the door shut. There are plenty of things to do, people to meet and ‘virtual’ places to go so I’m off to meet, do and visit them all as soon as I can.

Why not join me, it’ll be fun!



Read this article on www.libdems.org →

Our commitment to reducing child poverty

by Tim Farron on Wed, 27 Nov 2019

"Our policies are the most progressive of the three main parties."

The Resolution Foundation, an independent think-tank, has released a report on child poverty. You can find this here.

It found that our policies would mean 600,000 fewer children in poverty by 2023-24.

This makes ours the most progressive policies of the three main parties.

That’s not all the report found. Child poverty risks reaching a record high under Conservative plans. It is a damning indictment of the Tories’ heartless welfare policy.

As the Resolution Foundation recognises, we have the most progressive policies here. We would scrap the cruel two-child limit, benefit cap and bedroom tax. We would also invest in free school meals and childcare for millions of families.

We will ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

The Tories are hell-bent on continuing their backwards economic policies. They are ruining the lives of millions of people, young and old.

But our manifesto helps the most vulnerable in our society. We are deeply proud of that fact.

We are the only party that is committed to helping the next generation get ahead in life.

Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future for those struggling in our society.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

The Lib Dems announce war on plastics

by Wera Hobhouse on Tue, 26 Nov 2019

The UK produces 2.26 million tonnes of plastic packaging every year.

Less than half of this is being recycled. 

The Conservatives claimed they will cut plastic pollution. They announced a deposit return scheme in 2018, but it is currently due to be implemented by 2023

In reality, all the Tories have done is try to get headlines with piecemeal bans on straws and stirrers. 

The Liberal Democrats demand better for our environment. We need a rapid plan to eliminate plastic pollution if our seas are to recover from the damage we’ve done.

That is why the Liberal Democrats are proposing a radical plan that will end the UK's reliance on plastic. 

We will ban all non-essential, single-use plastics within the first three years of government. 

Our other policies include:

  • Requiring all retailers to reduce the amount of plastics and non-recyclable packaging they use:

    • The average UK home produces 1.1kg of waste every day. The duty should be placed on retailers to ensure that this is reduced.

  • Implementing a deposit return scheme

    • This will aim to end the 15 million bottles that are littered, landfilled and incinerated daily in the UK.

  • Ending plastic exports abroad by 2030:

    • In 2018 the UK exported 0.6 million tonnes of plastic waste. It often ends up in landfill, defeating the purpose of exporting it abroad.

Under the Liberal Democrats, no plastic put into a bin in the UK will end up in our oceans. By declaring war on plastic, the Liberal Democrats will ensure a brighter future for our planet.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →

We can build a brighter future

by Liberal Democrats on Tue, 26 Nov 2019

Together, we can build a brighter future, based on hope, not fear.

We can work with our closest neighbours in Europe to save our planet for future generations.

Read this article on www.libdems.org →