Archive for the ‘National’ Category

Making Votes Matter

3rd January 2019 by Tom Comments Off on Making Votes Matter

Ian Stuart is one of our local Liberal Democrat members.  He recently visited Parliament to make the case for electoral reform to Sir Oliver Heald, our MP for North East Hertfordshire, and he’s written the following report for us:

It was a very interesting day organised by the group Make Votes Matter, who brought together representatives from around the country. After a briefing in a nearby church hall from national organisers and from two members of the House of Lords we made our way to Parliament in small groups for individually arranged meetings with MPs.

Security was very tight but we were relieved that the Brexit vote due to take place that same day had been postponed as otherwise MPs would understandably have potentially had to cancel at short notice.

I met Sir Oliver Heald in a Committee room (in fact next door to the room where the next day Prime Minister May held her party confidence vote!) and spent roughly 20 minutes discussing reform of the electoral system. He accepted that the current system is not ideal and needs reform although he has some reservations with regard to most PR systems, his primary concern being that it could lead to a weakening of the bond between MPs and the areas they represent. He accepted that Canada and the USA together with the UK are the only democratic countries that still use First Past the Post, but quite reasonably pointed out that the next 12 months will be extremely busy and that there is unlikely to be any movement towards reform in near future. A suggestion by myself that the current mess could perhaps have been avoided if we had a more representative House of Commons brought a wry smile!

It was an interesting and amiable conversation and to Sir Oliver’s credit he was very happy to engage with me, in contrast to many other MPs who I gathered had refused to meet with their constituents.

After the meeting, a group of 40 or 50 of us were addressed by Sir Vince Cable and Stephen Kinnock, both of whom took questions and encouraged us to keep up the pressure. Caroline Lucas of the Green Party also popped in.

I came away more than ever convinced that in order to achieve truly representative government in this country we need to reform our electoral system so that every vote matters.

 

Nicky Shepard, Liberal Democrat Candidate for North East Herts

19th May 2017 by Phil Comments Off on Nicky Shepard, Liberal Democrat Candidate for North East Herts

With the General Election now approaching, let us introduce Nicky Shepard, the LibDem candidate for this constituency.

Nicky has a strong background as a community campaigner, fighting for the rights of the people of Abbey in Cambridge. In the 2017 County Council elections, she ran the most successful Liberal Democrat campaign in Abbey Division in its history.

She is a business woman, wife, and mother to two active boys. She currently works in PR and Marketing for a housing association in Cambridge and is the founder and director of Cambridge Style Week, director of The Marketing Boutique, an Ambassador for “Born to Be Beautiful” charity, and an Arbonne Consultant.

I believe that it is everyone’s responsibility to make the world a better place.  I am standing as parliamentary candidate for North East Hertfordshire because I believe that now, more than ever, our nation needs a strong, liberal voice in government.
– Nicky Shepard
For more about Nicky, visit her Web page at http://www.nickyshepard.com/. She is on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/Nicky4MP,  on Twitter at @Nicky4MP, and on Instagram at Nicky4MP.

 

 

Any Questions Live Broadcast – Buntingford

4th January 2017 by Phil Comments Off on Any Questions Live Broadcast – Buntingford

Edwinstree Middle School in Buntingford, Hertfordshire will be hosting BBC Any Questions on Friday the 24th of February 2017, with doors opening at 6.30pm. Panellists are yet to be confirmed. See http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b006qgvj  for more information. Local LibDem parties will be doing their best to ensure that our point of view is represented in the audience!

In any case, anyone interested in attending should contact the school office on 01763 271446 or email admin@edwinstree.herts.sch.uk for tickets. Any requests for tickets should include the names of the individuals attending with contact details.

 

The EU Referendum Result

27th June 2016 by Phil Comments Off on The EU Referendum Result

Anyone reading this will doubtless know the result of lst week’s referendum on EU membership, which the LibDems can only regard as a terrible mistake by the British public. It appears to have been a self-destructive protest vote with huge consequences unexpected by many of the people who voted to leave.

One very small silver lining for Royston LibDems is that our North Hertfordshire District – not, we must acknowledge, always a hotbed of liberal-sympathetic political opinions – voted heavily to remain.

To add insult to injury, since the result was announced, the Conservative Party has fallen into disarray, with its Exit wing showing a complete lack of actual planning for victory and the Prime Minister who called the referendum in the first place walking away rather than cleaning up his own mess. Meanwhile, the Labour Party is falling apart even more badly, with a leader who showed scant signs of enthusiasm for the position he supposedly adopted unable to command the loyalty of his own MPs.

This leaves the LibDems as the only substantial national party not only retaining unity but firmly committed to reversing this disaster and affirming the importance of the European project. It is becoming clear that, whatever the EU’s problems and the dissatisfaction of the British people, membership is vastly better than the mess into which the country is now blundering. We are gaining members, nationally and locally, as people who can see this recognise the need to support our position.

Please, if you want to help the country return to its place in Europe, consider joining the LibDems. And if you want to help out locally in Royston, contact us.

 

EU Referendum: Royston Stronger In Meeting – 21st June

6th June 2016 by Phil Comments Off on EU Referendum: Royston Stronger In Meeting – 21st June

The Stronger In campaign will be holding a public meeting about the EU referendum on the evening of Tuesday 21 June. The meeting will take place in the Heritage Hall of Royston Town Hall, from 19:30-21:30.

Sir Oliver Heald MP is the keynote speaker, and the organisers have also invited representatives of other groups to speak from the platform, along with local business leaders.

For more details on the Stronger In campaign an the EU referendum, see http://www.strongerin.co.uk.

 

 

Joe Jordan appointed Parliamentary Candidate for North East Herts

13th April 2015 by Royston Liberal Democrats Comments Off on Joe Jordan appointed Parliamentary Candidate for North East Herts

The Royston Liberal Democrats are happy to say that our parliamentary candidate for the upcoming general election is one of us. Joe Jordan, a scientist and software engineer who lives in Royston, has been appointed the candidate to fight the Tories for the North East Hertfordshire constituency.

Joe said:

I am proud to be standing for parliament for the Liberal Democrats. I stand for a fairer, greener economy, for privacy, and for a society in which people take responsibility for their actions. Nick Clegg and I need your help to fight against the Snooper’s Charter, to extend the £800 tax cut for everyone on low and middle incomes, and to ensure that everyone has a fair chance in life irrespective of their gender, ethnic background, religion or sexual orientation.

Joe studied physics at Cambridge University and Imperial College London, and currently works for a technology company in Cambridge. You can contact Joe by email at neherts@joe-jordan.co.uk, or follow him on twitter @geekofhearts.

 

 

The National LibDems – The Pre-Manifesto

31st August 2014 by Phil Comments Off on The National LibDems – The Pre-Manifesto

This week, on Wednesday 3 September, the national party will launch our pre-manifesto, which will form the backbone of the party’s general election platform.

The party’s focus will be a ‘manifesto for the next generation’ with a host of policies aimed at improving the life chances of children and young people.  Read Nick Clegg’s foreword to the pre-manifesto here. As Nick says, “This is a manifesto about the future: your future, your children’s future, and Britain’s future.”

For more news and announcements from the national party, including extensive discussions of what will go into our eventual full election manifesto, see here.

 

European Parliament Results

26th May 2014 by Phil Comments Off on European Parliament Results

Sadly, on Sunday night, the East of England lost one of its strongest advocates and keenest supporters when Andrew Duff was not re-elected as our MEP. The following is Andrew’s press statement on the subject:

This was the most polarised of the seven campaigns in which I have stood as a candidate for the European Parliament.

The financial and economic crisis has had serious social consequences, especially for the young unemployed, which took their toll on the popularity of the UK coalition government, but especially that of the junior partner, the Liberal Democrats. Campaigning on the doorsteps, fear of immigration, although inflated in exaggeration of the facts, was palpable.

The European Union is not given credit for the benefits of European integration in terms of jobs, trade and security. National political parties, in particular, have failed for too many years to understand, explain or justify the continuing need for a deeper Europe.

Nick Clegg’s tactic of challenging Nigel Farage was absolutely right. It is unfortunate that neither the Labour not Tory party joined the Lib Dem battle against UKIP’s simplistic nationalism.

While the ‘party of In’ was a good starting point for the Lib Dem campaign, I regret we were unable to develop sufficiently the idea that there is a better Europe to come, and that the status quo is not a serious option. We should have done more to expose the fact that Mr Cameron’s famous ‘renegotiation’ in advance of an In/Out referendum in 2017 is essentially spurious.

The Tories have no agreed idea on what they hope to achieve in this exercise, other than to blunt the populist appeal of UKIP – still less have they a chance of getting Britain’s EU partners to accept a package which calls into question the fundamentals of the European Union.

Over the next years, the Liberal Democrats need to develop their ideas for a reformed EU, centred on building a popular consensus behind a stronger democratic government at the European level whose main political goals will be to grow a sustainable economy which delivers the digital agenda and secures green energy.

We also need to re-connect the idea that our security as a nation rests on European solidarity.