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  • Article: Aug 26, 2015
    By Tom Papworth in Liberal Democrat Voice

    On Thursday the ASI published an article I wrote about the Labour leadership election and the concept of Expressive Voting. This theory, developed by Geoffrey Brennan and Loren Lomasky in their book Democracy and Decision: the pure theory of electoral preference, offers a new explanation for the "paradox of voting", the rationality-defying fact that people vote despite the improbability that their vote will make a difference.

  • Bournemouth Conference Centre
    Article: Aug 26, 2015
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    In the run-up to Autumn Conference in Bournemouth, we'll be looking ahead to examine the highlights in the debating hall, the fringe and training rooms. You can find the papers here. You can find all the posts in the series here.

    The reality of our new circumstances hit when the Conference Directory landed on my doorstep the other day. The Directory lists all the fringe and exhibition activity going on over the five days in Bournemouth. While there is still a huge amount to do and people will still be struggling to choose which meeting they would like to go to in every slot, it's noticeable that the fringe is a good deal smaller than it was last year. Mine is a good deal smaller still after my puppy, Hazel, got hold of it and decided to rip it to shreds.

  • Article: Aug 25, 2015
    By Jonathan Calder - Harborough in Liberal England

    No one really knows, of course, but it does look at though Jeremy Corbyn will be the next leader of the Labour Party.

    What will that mean? Here are five likely consequences.


    1. Whether the Liberal Democrats like it or not, they will be seen as a centre party.
    I know it sounds improbable, but an SWP activists once said a wise thing to me: when you are a small party to rarely get to choose the agenda on which you fight.

    Well, the Liberal Democrats are certainly a small party now and, whether we like it or not, we shall be seen as a centre party for as long as Corbyn is Labour leader. The strategy we pursued under Charles Kennedy of outflanking Labour from the left will not be open to us - unless we advocate liquidating the Kulaks or something like that.

    I am sure Tim Farron will thrive as a populist centrist, but this future is in some ways a depressing prospect.

    2. The Green surge will grind to a halt
    I don't know how real a phenomenon the Green surge ever was, but as far as it existed it consisted of the Greens hoovering up all sorts of disaffected left-wingers, many of whom had no particular connection with traditional Green concerns,

    More than one longstanding environmentalist has complained to me that this led to the Green Party rather abandoning environmentalism to embrace the anti-austerity cause. This led the party to put forward an incoherent policy platform at the last election, as Natalie Bennett so effectively demonstrated.

    Now those disaffected left-wingers will flock to Corbyn's Labour and leave behind a Green Party that is smaller but truer to environmentalism.

    3. Social media will be hell
    We have all enjoyed laughing at Labour for abstaining on welfare cuts, but under Corbyn it will not be like that. On Twitter every day will be #cameronmustgo day and Labour activists will be filled with passionate intensity.

    I am increasingly of the opinion that, by acting as a combined echo chamber and grooming parlour, Twitter is positively harmful to political parties, but that is the way it is going to be from now on.

    Oh, and when Labour loses the next election, it will all be the media's fault or the Liberal Democrats' fault or the fault to Labour MPs who did not back Corbyn.

    4. Labour will be in a constant state of crisis
    As Nick Cohen argued the other day, the election of a party leader against the wishes of the great majority of its MPs will be a unique phenomenon in British politics.

    I do not imagine many of those MPs will take his victory quietly. Add to this the opposition of the press, Corbyn's enthusiasm for sharing platforms with unsavoury characters and his eagerness to make excuses for Putin's near-fascist regime and you can see that his leadership will exist in a state of perpetual crisis.

    It will be fun to watch, but ultimately will not be good for the health of British politics.

    5. It will be harder for the Liberal Democrats to make a comeback
    Most of the seats the Liberal Democrats have any hope of winning at the next election are held by the Conservatives. In order to win them we have to win over people who have voted for us in the past but opted for David Cameron last time.

  • Article: Aug 25, 2015

    This article titled "The psychologists walking 100 miles to fight austerity's impact on mental health" was written by Dawn Foster, for The Guardian on Monday 17th August 2015 14.17 UTC

    For most psychologists, the working week is varied, but mostly predictable, with patient appointments, letters and clinical sessions. But for Stephen Weatherhead, a 37-year-old clinical psychologist working in Lancaster, and for a lot of other psychologists, this week is going to involve walking 100 miles from Leicester to London, sleeping rough, and meeting dozens of people along the way.

  • Article: Aug 21, 2015

    Despite having a Tory MP and a Labour led council; we still offer an alternative for Ipswich as our growing support and membership demonstrates. Be part of our local fightback by joining us today.

  • key_Tim_Farron_in_Calais.jpg
    Article: Aug 19, 2015

    Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron has written to Theresa May to urge her to address the humanitarian crisis in Calais at her upcoming meeting with French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.

    Tim Farron visited the Jules Ferry migrant support centre in Calais earlier this month to meet with refugees and organisations working in the area. He is calling for there to be more support and funding to tackle the lack of water, sanitation and medical supplies in the area.

  • EU flags
    Article: Aug 14, 2015
    By Anna Issac in The Guardian

    Individuals and groups across the UK are raising funds and gathering supplies to aid the humanitarian relief effort across the Channel

    "We're not politicians, we don't pretend to have all the answers, and we're not charity workers. We're just normal people from Kent who want to help our fellow human beings with their basic needs," says Jasmine O'Hara, a member of the Worldwide Tribe in Calais, a grassroots social activist group set up in response to the migrant crisis.

  • Tim Farron in Calais
    Article: Aug 14, 2015
    By Tim Farron MP in The Huffington Post

    After Just 100 Days, The Penny Is Well and Truly Dropping on How Hard Lib Dems Fought in Government

    To mark 100 days of the first Conservative government in nearly 20 years, HuffPost UK is running 100 Days of Dave, a special series of blog posts from grassroots campaigners to government ministers, single parents to first-year students, reflecting on what's worked and what hasn't, whilst looking for solutions to the problems we still face.

  • Tim Farron in Calais
    Article: Aug 10, 2015
    In Liberal Democrat Voice

    "We will not dehumanise, we will not demonise, we will support them."

    Liberal Youth members have made a video in solidarity with the refugees in Calais. Joanne Ferguson, who joined the Party in May and has written for this site several times, tells David Cameron: "You have the power to save human lives, use it."

  • Article: Aug 10, 2015

    Well the mess Labour appear to be getting themselves in deepens by the day. Not only is the party deeply divided but it seems the leading leadership contender is not sure of his own policies.

    Friends of the Earth have, not unexpectedly, been looking at the green credentials of the candidates who are vying to lead the bedraggled Labour party. They tweeted that Jeremy Corbyn, the current front runner, has a "very green manifesto" and provide a link to that manifesto.