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Kate Parminter makes 1000th constituency visit (via Lib Dem Voice)

Kate & Lucy
Baroness Parminter & Lucy Hurds, PPC for Hereford

Early Friday morning, as others made their way to Liverpool for Conference, I set off to Hereford, following in the footsteps of a large number of my colleagues in the Lords. Our local candidate Lucy Hurds has been hugely successful in getting our Peers out of the House of Lords and onto the streets of Hereford including John Shipley, Jenny Randerson, Nigel Jones, Sally Hamwee, Shirley Williams and Chris Fox. She’s clearly been effective in getting others out too and it was great to see a good number of Lucy’s campaign team out with us and working hard to reclaim the seat for the Lib Dems.

Dick Newby, our Chief Whip, called for 1,000 visits to be made before the election. After many months of hard campaigning this was our 1,000th.

On my visit we got a chance to discuss what can be done to help local dairy farmers, supporting renewable energy & rural services and, as the party’s spokesperson on DEFRA matters in the Lords, I got a chance to highlight all the things the Liberal Democrats have been doing over the last 5 years.

The visit gave me an opportunity to talk to local Councillors Anna Toon and Polly Andrews who were keen to hear how local retailers can support local environmental charities and groups as a result of the 5p levy on plastic bags, due to come in this Autumn, which Liberal Democrats have championed in Government.

It was great too to meet newly selected PPC Jeanie Falconer, from the adjacent constituency of North Herefordshire and talk about our evidence based approach to tackling bovine TB and the pilot badger culls.

I also got a chance to visit the local RSPCA branch with Lucy, after Duncan Starling, the local RSPCA chairman and LD campaigner had invited me, as a Vice-President of the organisation. It was fantastic to talk to the local volunteers who are rescuing and rehoming local animals and raising funds through their shop for the vital ‘4th emergency service’ that the RSPCA is. Having had the Control of Horses Bill safely complete its passage through the House of Lords the day before it was good to talk about how Parliament and local action together can help voiceless animals.

Later on in the evening I joined Lucy, Jeanie and the Herefordshire team at spring conference in Liverpool at a reception they’d organised to campaign for fairer funding for rural areas. With some of the best refreshment the county offers (Jeanie runs a vineyard) it was a happy ending to a day spent with some of our indefatigable campaigners!

But there is no rest for the wicked and Dick has now called for a new target, 50,000 doors knocked by election days. Something that our team of 100+ Lords should be able to achieve (with a few cups of tea and some elbow grease). If you want to get a Peer to help out in your campaign, then contact our visit organiser Louise Furness (louise.libdems@gmail.com).

The original article is here

Letter of the Lords 2 February 2015

This week’s newsletter on the work of the Liberal Democrat group in the House of Lords


To subscribe to this email please contact davidm.shaw@parliament.uk

Shirley Williams: Be a Lifesaver – Legislate 0.7% Aid

Baroness Williams
Baroness Williams

It was Edmund Burke who said that all that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing.

Looking back through history, whether on a grand scale or personally, we can all identify occasions when the chance to change things for the better was not taken simply because the assumption was made that someone else would act on our behalf.

One of those occasions could well arise on Friday, when my colleague Michael Moore presents his International Development Assistance Private Member’s Bill to the House of Commons for its report stage and third reading.

Reaching the overseas development assistance target of 0.7% of national income and then legislating for it was a commitment boldly stated in each of the three main parties’ manifestos and the Coalition Agreement. I am proud that the Liberal Democrats are part of the government which has finally delivered on this 43-year old promise.

We must not forget that our aid is about people. It is very easy to talk financially about aid, the proportion of the budget it commands and the outcomes it must achieve, while ignoring what it has been set up to address.

Shirley’s full article is available at the Huffington Post


Shirley Williams writes in The Times on today’s ISIL vote

Dear Sir,

       In the discussion about the campaign of air strikes against ISIL guerrillas in Northern Iraq three key issues have not been fully addressed:

Baroness Williams
Baroness Williams of Crosby

First, Turkey, the one Muslim state that is a member of NATO, must be helped to cope with the massive flow of refugees from Iraq and Syria, not only financially, but if the Turkish Government agrees, also, by volunteers with experience in the work of caring for them.

Second, the rules of engagement for forces involved in air strikes should make it clear that civilians must be protected as far as possible. More air strikes against people already terrorised by ISIL, such as the Kurds in Northern Iraq, will alienate those whose support is crucial.

Third, the US, the UK and France, along with Turkey and Jordan, must raise through diplomatic channels the need for Arab allies, such as Saudi Arabia and Qatar, to cease support for the Jihadis, whether through supplying arms to them or through madrasses training boys and young men to become recruits.

Shirley Williams, Liberal Democrat Peer

House of Lords, London, SW1A 0PW

Shirley Williams: We need Nick Clegg – demanding his resignation is absurd (via The Guardian)

The Liberal Democrats are lucky to have such an able and committed leader – and one with a lot to be proud of.

Baroness Williams
Baroness Williams fo Crosby

Nick Clegg has been a principled, honourable and brave leader of the Liberal Democrats. He has borne criticism, even insult and abuse, with remarkable grace, maintaining a political position based on reason and on strongly held values. Such politicians are rare. It would be absurd to demand his resignation now because some parliamentary candidates think that bowing to a populist anti-Europe campaign would somehow win their seats for them. As for polling in four seats reported today by the Guardian, the survey was conducted throughout April, undermining its credibility – and was clearly commissioned and leaked for political purposes.

Ukip, as Kenneth Clarke pointed out today, won the support of a little over a quarter of those who bothered to vote, more precisely 27% of the 34% who did. It was apathy rather than passionate opposition to the European Union that characterised an election in which so few voted. Ukip supporters are in general older than the population as a whole, and older people are more likely to vote. That may be one reason why Ukip has so few policies that address the problems of the future – climate change, inequality, poverty and lack of education (especially of girls) in large parts of the developing world.

Full story here

Baroness Williams appears on Question Time


Baroness Williams
Baroness Williams fo Crosby

Lib Dem Peer Shirley Williams appeared on last night’s Question Time on BBC 1, to face questions from members of the public.

From the BBC blurb:

David Dimbleby presents Question Time from Southampton, with Conservative Party chairman Grant Shapps MP, Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna MP and Liberal Democrat peer Shirley Williams.

Full episode is available here

Continue reading Baroness Williams appears on Question Time