2020 Liberal Vision

From Iain Donaldson, a Manchester Liberal Democrat Learn more

Happy Easter

by Vince Cable on Sun, 21 Apr 2019

Today we join Christians in the UK and across the world in celebrating Easter- a time of reflection, renewal and redemption. Across the globe, Christians will come together to worship and spend time with family and friends in celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Meanwhile as liberals who believe in freedom of worship for all, we stand in solidarity with those Christians who are persecuted for their beliefs.

Celebrations of the miracle of the resurrection are an opportunity for us all to reflect both on the small miracles within our own lives - our loved ones; our friends; our wider community - and on how to build and safeguard a world that is more loving, more forgiving and more compassionate.

Earlier this week, the world watched in horror as Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. Notre Dame has both historical and religious significance for people of all faiths and none and we stand with the people of France at this testing time.  

Whatever your beliefs, whether faith shapes your life in any way or not at all, I wish you an enjoyable and peaceful Easter weekend. 

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Five reasons to vote for the Liberal Democrats in the European elections on 23rd May. 

1. To vote against Brexit

The Liberal Democrats are the only nation-wide party to have been fighting Brexit since the very beginning.

We’ve spent three years campaigning for a People’s Vote with an option to remain in the EU.

The government are scared because the tide has turned.

But you’ve still not been consulted on Brexit since the referendum. The government are scared because the tide has turned.

They know that if the referendum were held today, Britain would vote to remain.

These elections are your chance to show the government what you think of their Brexit mess, by voting for a passionately and unapologetically pro-European party.

Liberal Democrat in crowd of other members at People's Vote Rally, EU flag sticker on cheek,

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Celebrating Easter

by Lizzie Jewkes on Fri, 19 Apr 2019

I suspect that many people outside the church think that Christmas is the most important date in the Christian calendar. It isn’t Christmas, but Easter. While at Christmas we celebrate Jesus, the son of God coming to earth, taking on human form and living like we do. At Easter, we remember he died for us and was brought back to life.

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2.8 million!

by Shaun Roberts on Fri, 19 Apr 2019

Our printers are working through the night to create mailings to 2.8 million people across the UK – telling them why they need to vote Liberal Democrat in the European elections.

We’re off to a flying start thanks to your generous donations.


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Celebrating Passover

by Monroe Palmer Of Childs Hill on Fri, 19 Apr 2019

Sal Speaks: April 2019

by Sal Brinton on Thu, 18 Apr 2019

Local election campaigns around the country are going well with just under two weeks left. Like many of you, our home has moved into our regular election machine, and our driveway is the Watford garden poster factory!

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3 steps to beating the climate crisis

by Sir Ed Davey MP on Thu, 18 Apr 2019

Today, 50 years on from the UK extending the franchise to 18-year olds, British politics is still blighted by democratic inequality. This is particularly stark in the case of the 3.6 million EU citizens living in the UK. In just under three weeks these nationals will have a vote in local elections, but this is a right they are denied in General Elections and referendums. Fifty years on from giving more people the vote we still have a long way to go.

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Our Candidates for EU Elections

by Vince Cable on Wed, 17 Apr 2019

The Liberal Democrats will fight these elections as an unapologetically pro-European Party campaigning hard for People's Vote with an option to remain in the the EU.

We are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.

Today we’ve announced a strong, diverse mix of candidates, from those who’ve joined the Liberal Democrats recently to those with long experience of the European Parliament.

We will fight these elections on a clear message: a Liberal Democrat vote is a vote to stop Brexit.

Across the country, the strength of our membership of 100,000 is being deployed to prepare for both the European elections and for council elections on May 2nd. 

From local communities to the EU institutions, Liberal Democrats are determined to give a voice to the millions of people who demand better than Brexit Britain.

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What kind of world are we giving to our children?

by Jo Swinson on Mon, 15 Apr 2019

Happy Vaisakhi

by Isabelle Parasram on Sun, 14 Apr 2019

I'd like to wish all of our Sikh members, supporters and candidates a Happy Vaisakhi.

I know that today is a very special day for you as you celebrate not only the year that Sikhism was born as a collective faith, the anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa (the collective name given to Sikhs who've been baptised), but also the start of the Sikh New Year.

As you spend the day visiting family and friends, swapping gifts, visiting gudwaras, perhaps being baptised into the Khalsa or taking part in nagar kirtan processions, I'd like to thank you for your contribution to our Party.

I spent some of my teenage years in Trinidad and Tobago, where it was normal to celebrate the various festivals that were important to each and every faith as if it were our own.

Thinking about the celebration of Vaishakhi here in the UK makes me trawl my memory for a taste of the food or a glimpse of a procession from sharing this day with my young Sikh friends and their families. My memories are dim, but what I remember most is the music - the Tabla (drums), the Shabad kirtan (distinctive hymns) and the playing of the Harmonium, which I am guessing might not be a traditional Sikh instrument, but certainly became a key feature of Sikh celebrations when I was growing up.

If you are reading this and are not familiar with today's festival, I'd encourage you to look on YouTube where you can hear some of the beautiful music that is a key feature of today's celebrations.

If you are a member of the Sikh community, please do share some of the photos and short videos from today with me on Twitter or Facebook and I will repost them - make sure you get the permission of others in the photos/videos before doing this though!

If you are not yet a member or supporter of our Party and would like to know more or, even better, if you'd like to help us to better engage with the Sikh community and focus on what's relevant to you in our policy making, do join us.

Start making a political difference to this country as a member or supporter of a Party who cares.

In the meantime, Happy Vaisakhi to all!

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EU elections are coming - and we're raring to go

by Shaun Roberts on Fri, 12 Apr 2019

We’re now fighting TWO elections. Together, we're going to deliver the best results in both elections that we’ve had in years!
On 2nd May we need to gain more councils and councillors across England. On 23rd May, we want to elect a Liberal Democrat MEP in every part of the country.

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Five Farage Fails

by Alex Marshall on Fri, 12 Apr 2019

Brexit latest

Brexit is still paralysing government and parliament. But I think a significant corner has been turned with the decision of the European Council to extend the timetable for Brexit until Halloween on Oct 31st.

The sense of drama and crisis has abated somewhat, now that Brexit Day is no longer imminent.

If parliament has achieved one thing in the last few, messy, weeks when it ‘took back control’ from the government it has been to dampen the fear (and hope for some) of suddenly crashing out from the EU without an agreement. I was told by those who where there that at the 7 hour marathon cabinet meeting last week, the briefing by the Cabinet Secretary, Sir Mark Sedwill, on the consequences of such an outcome, killed off whatever lingering possibility that Theresa May may take us down that road and over the cliff.

I think Theresa May handed Jeremy Corbyn a whole lot of votes.

The fact that parliament had been absolutely clear on that point, if nothing else, had created the political environment in which she had little choice but to abandon the threat (albeit after spending hundreds of millions of tax payers money, in parallel with a large amount of business spending on a hypothetical possibility which some of us thought from the outset was widely implausible.)

The odd interlude of Brexit talks between the government and Labour will, I think, be seen in retrospect as a piece of political theatre designed to buy time for the government and credibility for the Labour leadership.

Mr Corbyn may surprise us by signing up to a ‘soft Brexit’ agreement, but I doubt it. He will have been well satisfied to have had an opportunity to change the public perception of him away from revolutionary socialism, unilateral disarmament and anti-Semitism, towards business-like conversations about government.

I think Theresa May has handed him a whole lot of votes, which is why her own party is incandescent with fury.

An extension of the Brexit process until October will change the political dynamic.

The sense of immediacy, inevitability and energy around Brexit will fade. There will be a lot of quiet rethinking: is this what we really want? If this deadline can slip, why not the next one? Maybe we should be getting down seriously to some of the other issues which have been put on ice: social care, homelessness, violent crime? My booklet Beyond Brexit is intended to provide an agenda for that world.

However, there are two events which will keep Brexit in the headlines however much we would pray otherwise.

The first is the timetable for European Parliament elections. This is excruciatingly embarrassing for the Conservatives whose Brexit government has let this happen and is bitterly divided to boot. They must fear an upsurge of support for Nigel Farage’s Brexit party and would be right to do so.

The Labour Party is also badly divided and stands to lose ground to both Remainer and Brexiter competition. This is undoubtedly an opportunity for my party. One cloud on the horizon is the fact that the several Remain parties may weaken each other. Remain campaigners will expect a common front against Farage and I am prepared to work with other parties to achieve that; so far the feedback from other parties has been discouraging. But whatever the formation Lib Dems should still do well.

I want to see a serious election with televised leaders’ debates to focus the arguments.

I attended an enthusiastic People’s Vote rally in Church House earlier this week. The sense that a People’s Vote is just within reach is now palpable, reinforced by the signs that those were previously sceptical are now coming round.

In other news

The next big political event will, however, not be a European election, or a referendum, but local council elections. Last Saturday I went to Somerset to launch the Lib Dem campaign in Bath.

Bath is a booming city with two universities, lots of foreign visitors, high tech start-ups and house prices to match. It is strongly remain and our MP, Wera Hobhouse, has mobilised hundreds of volunteers behind an anti-Brexit, pro EU, campaign. The local campaign for council seats dovetailed closely with the People’s Vote.

The next big political event will be local council elections.

Politically we have a longstanding Lib Dem council in South Somerset which is well regarded, very competent and has enlightened initiatives like a new hostel for homeless families which I visited. No Brexit campaigning, but bread and butter local politics (and the fond memory of Paddy Ashdown, the former Lib Dem leader).

And finally

In the frenetic atmosphere last week, I was in more need than ever of a good book to sink into late at night.

I found one: Shari Lapena’s The Couple Next Door. I was initially off put by the blurb which has no pretensions to literary distinction beyond a recommendation from the Daily Mail. But I am glad I bought what is a superior thriller: brilliantly crafted; tightly written; absolutely gripping; really clever.

As someone who has tried to write a thriller (Open Arms is doing well but isn’t a best seller!) I was full of admiration for the author’s skill in turning the whole direction of the plot in a short phrase; and the ability to pile on surprise after surprise without ever being implausible. A great read: but it does go quickly .

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European elections get more likely by the day

by Tom Brake on Thu, 11 Apr 2019

Local Elections 2019: Party Election Broadcast

by Liberal Democrats on Wed, 10 Apr 2019

Local Elections Are Just Around The Corner

by Jon Aylwin on Fri, 05 Apr 2019

Recruiting Volunteers

by Dan Schmeising on Fri, 05 Apr 2019

One of our strengths as a party is our broad, committed base of activists. Sometimes, it can be hard to pick out who in your area might be willing to help - so we've put together a guide for you!

You likely already have a large amount of data that you can use to identify potential volunteers - even without canvassing. When someone signs a petition on the national party's website, the data they provide is synced to Connect too.

We've seen this work astonishingly well with our Exit Brexit petition. In some cases over 50% of those in an area who've signed it have then gone on to volunteer for us. That's a pool of a few thousand extra people you could ask!

(Note: you'll need a Connect account. If you don't, talk to your local party to get set up. If you're new to Connect or need a refresher we have plenty of guides available on Lib Dem Learning.)

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We're getting closer to a People's Vote

by Jo Swinson on Tue, 02 Apr 2019