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  GE 2017 & Moving Forward
Posted by: Stone de Croze - 06-08-2017, 05:42 PM - Forum: General Discussion - News and Views - Replies (1)

Firstly best wishes to all candidates standing under the Liberal Party banner today. With the snap General Election being called in the middle of the local election campaign, obviously it was going to prove difficult for our party. Therefore I think we have done exceptionally well in fielding the number of candidates we have and the campaigns each candidate has put together.

Whatever the results, this election has to be seen as a step on the path to re-establishing the Liberal Party and building for the local elections in forthcoming years. Recruitment is a priority, which will come through raising awareness and maintaining the membership.

Areas I see important are:

  • Rebuilding the website.
  • Launching a general recruitment leaflet.
  • More active presence on social media.
  • Strategy to build website and social media presence for local associations.
  • Development of Liberal News.
  • Launching a monthly 'Liberal Update' members and supporters mailing, keeping new members up to speed and encouraging activity.
  • Swift reactions and statements to issues of the day - possibly electing NEC members as spokespersons on certain issues in order to spread responsibility and workload.
Clearly all this takes a great deal of effort and commitment from a section of the membership. Admittedly I have not been that active since I joined over 2 years ago, mainly due to my trade union commitments but also because of serious health issues. However I have now started to get more involved in Devon and if possible I will attend the Summer Assembly.

The present situation is with the Lib Dems in EU-Nowhere Land, the Greens adopting placard politics and flirting with the likes of the SWP, whilst Labour are increasingly being influenced by a Trotskyite insurgence, there is an opportunity to re-establish a strong Liberal Party. Clearly with what the country is faced with we are needed!

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  London attack and nuclear weapons
Posted by: Stone de Croze - 06-04-2017, 11:30 AM - Forum: General Discussion - News and Views - No Replies

Firstly I think all of us condemn what was another hate fuelled murder by those with a distorted view of their faith. No words can bring comfort to those who are suffering or bring back those that are lost. However we have a duty to carry on and try and bring peace to an ever divided world, whether it is through preventing hate and terrorism or through preventing the spread of weapons of mass destruction.

Friday evening I watched the Question Time leader’s debate and at certain moments during the nuclear debate I was in disgust. I simply cannot get my head round the idea that members of the audience would sanction killing millions of lives and destroy whole eco-systems across large areas of the planet for generations. The likelihood is an escalation of nuclear warfare (which is what would happen through retaliatory attacks) would render the whole planet inhabitable.
There is another very good reason for not wishing to press the nuclear button, and that is hope. For even within the worst dictatorships there are those that believe in freedom and liberty. These will be the people on the outside of the nuclear shelters when our retaliatory attack strikes, whilst the leaders of the brutal regime are tucked away safely and no doubt prepared to launch another attack back at us. We would in effect be killing innocent people, people who may one day rise to bring freedom and liberty to that dictatorship. A retaliatory strike would kill them and any hope of liberty and freedom. Those in the audience on Friday who feel it’s a sign of weakness not to press the button need to consider whether they would be willing to sacrifice any future prospect of liberty, for the sake of what appears to be bullish bravado.
There is also the matter of nuclear weapons being a sledge hammer to crack a nut. Last night in London we witnessed the deaths of innocent people not from a nuclear missile but from three deranged, hate fuelled individuals in a van. In Manchester a short time ago we saw fatalities as the result of another individual follower of hate with a bomb strapped to him. These are the prime dangers we face today, dangers a nuclear missile cannot defend against, and dangers we need to direct defence funding into guarding against.
Our thoughts are clearly are with those in London today who have been affected by the latest attack. Our thanks must go to the Police and the emergency services for the swift and efficient response.  I was also pleased to see swift condemnation from the Muslim Council of Britain which I think is worthy of posting below.  As I said on Twitter and Facebook this morning, “Believers of all faiths and those that believe in none should stand shoulder to shoulder in condemning the actions of those that believe in hate. Thoughts with #London”.
London Bridge Attack: Muslim Council of Britain Response
Harun Khan, Secretary General of the Muslim Council of Britain has issued the following statement after the terrorist incident in London:
“I am appalled and angered by the terrorist attacks at London Bridge and Borough Market, in my home city. These acts of violence were truly shocking and I condemn them in the strongest terms.
Muslims everywhere are outraged and disgusted at these cowards who once again have destroyed the lives of our fellow Britons. That this should happen in this month of Ramadan, when many Muslims were praying and fasting only goes to show that these people respect neither life nor faith.
My prayers are with the victims and all those affected. I commend the work of our emergency services working hard to keep us safe and cope with the ensuing carnage. As ever we urge everyone to assist the authorities so that these criminals can be apprehended and brought to justice.”

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  Letter to the Times - Argument against electing LibDem MP's
Posted by: ReadingLib - 06-02-2017, 06:33 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Herewith a letter sent to The Times today, after reading an article on page 41 of today’s issue, headed “Soros’s latest speculation: Britain to re-join radically transformed EU”

Letters Editor, The Times
Dear Sir,
Don’t elect EU-fanatic Liberal Democrat MPs
Unlike the heavily SDP-influenced Liberal Democratic Party, the continuation real Liberal Party opposed joining the Euro, rejects the aim of a Single Country called Europe and called for the UK to leave the EU in the absence of any sign of reform in the undemocratic EU.  From what one of the Gang of Four, David Owen, has said, I am sure he would now agree with the Liberal Party and not with the Liberal Democrats.
If the EU were to take steps to reform itself into a looser system in which non-Eurozone countries can choose from a variety of different membership models, as recently suggested by George Soros amongst others, it may be possible for the UK to leave and re-join an EU radically transformed into something like a Commonwealth of Europe. 
Electing EU-fanatic Liberal Democrat MPs calling for a new Referendum before any such reform can take place would ensure that it never does.  

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  Expat NHS bill and the Liberal Exit
Posted by: Stone de Croze - 06-01-2017, 06:59 PM - Forum: European Talk - Replies (1)

Estimates by the Nuffield Trust show that the UK could face a bill of up to £1bn if retired expats who currently reside in Europe return home for health care. The report showed that there would also be a significant increase in inpatient beds required, equivalent to two new hospitals. Admittedly these figures have been disputed, and even the Nuffield Trust themselves admitted their estimations vary from £500m, possibly rising to the headlined £1bn.
Whatever the actual figure is in monetary terms there is also another cost, a mental cost to the expat population living in the EU and likewise to the many law abiding decent EU nationals living in the UK. Theresa May is using people as some form of economic human shield or bargaining pieces as part of the Tory hard Brexit strategy. This is morally indecent at best and possibly inhumane by allowing this mental anguish to continue.
The Conservatives attitude to Brexit negotiations has been aggressive from the very beginning. Instead of discussing and having common agreement on securing the rights of UK and EU nationals, Theresa May has entered discussions with very little tact and diplomacy. If anything she has acted like a throwback to the days of the Empire, practically making Britain (or at least its leadership) a laughing stock on the global stage. Hence why almost one year later there is huge uncertainty over health care for UK nationals in Europe.
One of the differences I see between a ‘Liberal Exit’ and a ‘Hard Brexit’ is Liberals will put the needs of the people first. Health care is one such need and it’s disgraceful there has been no common ground sought between the UK and the Parliaments of the EU states.  
Looking further at a ‘Liberal Exit’ I think we should never forget the reasons why the party opted to support leaving the EU. It was in recognition the EU was an illiberal organisation, it was not internationalist, it was undemocratic and it was imposing its will upon the democracies of southern Europe. Although I feared a Tory Brexit more than I feared remaining in the EU (and subsequently campaigned and voted to Remain), the reasons for seeking a Liberal Exit are justified. However unlike the Tories and Labour, and definitely unlike the ‘Continuity Remainers’ in the Lib Dems and the Greens, Liberals chose to leave as the first step to a better Europe. (Personally I hope this better Europe is a Commonwealth of Europe to replace the EU).  This message is something that would resonate with both the Leave and Remain camps with the exception of the hard core ‘Little Englander’ Brexiteers.
·         The possible expat NHS bill and the uncertainty facing expats, EU nationals and businesses is the result of ongoing Brexit mismanagement by the Conservative Government.
·         A Liberal Exit would be a People’s Brexit, where the rights of expats and EU nationals are a priority.
·         A Liberal Exit is not isolationist, it’s about co-operation and flexible working relationships across the globe, and the first step towards a better Europe.

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  NEC Statement - Domestic energy cap
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-30-2017, 06:34 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party notes the recent debate on the imposition of a price cap in the domestic energy market to control prices.
The imposition of such controls risks energy companies prematurely increasing prices in anticipation of controls being enforced, and well as reducing long-term investment to maintain profits margins.
The UK energy market lacks both an effective regulator willing to act to force energy companies to promptly pass on falls in whole sale energy prices, as well as encouragement for better price competition.
Many options to introduce competition to the markets exist, but the current regime offers little chance for local communities to take a stake in the market.
For instance in Germany energy cooperatives are a major player in renewable energy, where almost 50% of renewable power capacity is domestically owned.
The Liberal Party sees merit in such an approach as it both empowers local communities and reduces our long-term dependency on fossil fuels.

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  Published in the Oxford Times - Leasehold: An ignored issue
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-27-2017, 07:48 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Among his other many virtues, former Oxford East MP sat on the All Party Committee on Leasehold Reform. According to a Guardian survey, the feudal hangover of leasehold is the housing issue that most worries those that suffer from not having freehold properties.

The Committee will be one down if Andrew's successor doesn't join it.  The likely one, Annaliese Dodds, seems unconcerned. Her team have ignored my four requests for her views on the subject.  Meanwhile I believe the Lib Dem Housing Spokesperson, Lord Shipley, wanted the issue mentioned in the Party Manifesto but in vain.  The Tories' new found sympathy with battlers doesn't seem to extend to leaseholders.

I can't find any info on Tim Barron's childhood address but Theresa May grew up in houses supplied by her father's employer, the Church of England and Jeremy Corbyn in an ex manor house. Hmm.

My Party is not standing in Oxford East.  

The Greens have a leasehold reform policy.  I shall vote for them.

Oxford Liberal Party

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  Liberal Pledges /USP's
Posted by: Stone de Croze - 05-27-2017, 01:03 PM - Forum: General Discussion - News and Views - No Replies

I noticed on the Andrew Neil's interview with Steve Radford, in what is often BBC fashion they picked up on a more obscure policy (Esperanto) in their introduction.

It is clear our party does need to have its own clear vision set out either as 'Pledges' or 'Principles' of Real Liberalism. These would act as the USP's for the party and would (hopefully) be what the media pick up on. Elsewhere on this forum there is also a thread about a general leaflet - and such pledges/principles would be ideal printed on such a promotional leaflet.

Below are my own personal choice for 12 pledges, though some are an interpretation of current policy:

  • To work towards a new co-operative relationship with Europe and the world.
  • To build an economy which offers employment, a liveable income and opportunity for all.
  • To improve the tax system to help small businesses, sole traders and raise personal allowances to help low and moderately paid workers.
  • To end 'backdoor' privatisation of the NHS, returning it to a  fully funded public service.
  • To work towards making homelessness history through construction of affordable properties and tackling empty homes and wasteland.
  • To provide an education system focussed on 'education' and not competition, which provides young people with the skills they need for to succeed.
  • To restore public ownership of the railways and water industry.
  • To safeguard the future of the planet and our green spaces and embrace a 'green' industrial revolution.
  • To radically reform Inheritance Tax to provide a 'Universal Inheritance' for all on reaching the age of 25.
  • To protect civil liberties and freedoms and the establishment of a Constitutional convention.
  • To reform the democratic process, introducing Proportional Representation, devolving powers to regions and local authorities and lowering the voting age to 16.
  • To build conventionally equipped and suitably funded and trained armed forces to keep Britain safe and not for unnecessary overseas military ventures.

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  NEC Statement - Manchester bombing
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-26-2017, 06:09 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - No Replies

The Liberal Party responds with shock and great sadness at the recent terrorist atrocity in Manchester and offers its deepest sympathies to all those effected.

An attack which targeted children and parents as they left a music concert lacks any justification or purpose, other than wanton mayhem and destruction for its own evil ends.

The Liberal Party maintains that dialogue and early intervention remains our nation’s surest safeguard against the evolving domestic terrorist threat. Those most at risk of radicalisation need to be identified and brought back into the mainstream as a matter of priority.

Although the small scale deployment of troops on the streets of the UK may appear a prudent step, they should not distract from the more important work of the police, the security services and communities themselves to curtail further such atrocities.

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  Inequalities of Wealth letter in Oxford Times
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-18-2017, 07:08 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Letter published in the weekly Oxford Times today under the heading
Inequalities of Wealth
Sir - After the publication of the Sunday Times Rich List, what are the political parties going to say and do about extreme inequalities of unearned inherited wealth in the next generation of our so-called Opportunity Society?  Do they think it is right that some will inherit billions free of tax thanks to exemptions and reliefs for land and businesses while others inherit no capital at all?

All parties should determine to introduce and gradually increase over the years a UK Citizen’s Universal Inheritance for all 25 year old UK citizens with a UK citizen parent, at a politically appropriate level, financed and clawed back from the more fortunate by a progressive tax on cumulative lifetime receipt of capital gifts and inheritance. This would encourage the wider spread of giving, on which the rate of the so-called ‘Inheritance Tax’, retained for cross-referral, could be dropped from 40% to 10%,for giving to UK tax payers, without the current absurdly unlimited exemptions and reliefs for land and businesses.

This is the policy of the continuing UK Liberal Party, whose traditional constitution calls for liberty, property and security for all.

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  General Election Press Release - The Liberal Party
Posted by: ReadingLib - 05-12-2017, 06:35 PM - Forum: NEC Press Releases - Replies (2)

With the closure of nominations for the June 8th General Elections, the Liberal Party is proud to announce the candidacy of the following prospective parliamentary candidates:
Liberal Party President and local councillor STEVE RADFORD to contest Liverpool West Derby
NEIL TAYLOR is to contest Altrincham and Sale West for the Liberal Party
LLOYD KNIGHT is to contest Devon Central on behalf of the Liberal Party
JOHN CLARK will contest the seat of THIRSK AND MALTON on behalf of the Liberal Party
Liberal Party General Election Manifesto:
The Liberal Party exists to build a Liberal Society in which every citizen shall possess liberty, property and
security, and none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. Its chief care is for the rights and
opportunities of the individual and in all spheres it sets freedom first.
The Liberal Party is in no way associated with the the LibDems, and is an uninterrupted continuation of the
pre-merger 1988 party of the same name.

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