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A miscellany of Liberal Democrat (and liberal) ideas and history

  • UN.ORG Int Day for People with Disabilities
    Article: Dec 3, 2020

    International Day of Persons with Disabilities

    Many disabled people have seen their finances hit as a result of the pandemic

    As we celebrate, we should also remember the economic and social barriers faced by so many people with disabilities.

    Recent figures for example suggest a significant number of disabled people have seen their finances hit as a result of the pandemic. And far too many have had services and support reduced or even withdrawn and feel isolated and overlooked.

  • Mark Pack (Mark Pack)
    Article: Oct 15, 2020

    PODCAST : Duncan Brack & Mark Pack

    Lib Dem Party President, Mark Pack: "Why did the Liberal Party become so pro-European and how did that carry over into the Liberal Democrats? That was the topic when I welcomed back Duncan Brack to Never Mind The Bar Charts. We roamed over everything from the creation of the Anti-Corn Law League through to the future for pro-Europeanism in the Lib Dems."

  • make Votes Mater votes no seats (make Votes matter)
    Article: Jul 6, 2020

    Electoral reform debated in the House of Commons

    Earlier last month, the Liberal Democrat Constitutional Spokesperson, Wendy Chamberlain MP called an adjpurnement debate where she demolished the arguments for First Past the Post. This was the first time since 2016 that the need for equal votes was debated in the House of Commons, and it was long overdue.

  • Ed Davey
    Article: Feb 20, 2020

    PM's special adviser quits after over contraception, the benefits of genetic selection and IQ comments

    Just days after helping to rid PM Johnson of his Chancellor neighbour, his right hand man Cominic Cummings has seen one of his recently recruited special advisers out of the door at No 10 after he had discussed the benefits of genetic selection, forced contraception on his old online posts.

  • chuka
    Article: Nov 28, 2019

    A fresh start, a brighter future CAMPAIGN 2019 - 14 DAYS TO POLLING DAy

    Protecting and Defending our Nation

    Our commitment to NATO and international aid

    Under a Lib Dem government, defence spending would be £1bn higher than the Tories.

    Chuka Ummuna Liberal Democrat Foreign Affairs spokesperson said:

    ' Boris Johnson is desperate to secure a US trade deal to make up for the damage done to our global standing if Brexit happens. Close alignment with US rules and regulations will be demanded. We risk becoming a vassal state of the US if Boris Johnson gets a majority.

  • manifesto
    Article: Nov 21, 2019


    The Liberal Democrats have announced plans to spend £10 billion more a year on schools and hire 20,000 more teachers by the end of the next Parliament. In the Liberal Democrat Manifesto launched yesterday the Party said that using part of the £50 billion 'Remain Bonus' would be just one if the benefits of remaining in the European Union.

  • Save Our Buses
    Article: Oct 9, 2019

    Lib Dems respond to Chancellor's infrastructure funding announcement on an investment in roads and the creation of a national bus strategy

    "With the number of bus journeys at the lowest level in over a decade, a national bus strategy is an important step towards improving local bus services. For it to succeed, it has to be backed by financial support to local areas said LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Councillor Howard Sykes.

  • Gary Kitching (East Suffolk Lib Dems)
    Article: Oct 4, 2019

    United Against Crime - the Liberal Democrats Crime and Policing Policy

    A Partnership Approach to building Communities that are Safe and Feel Safe

    By GARY KITCHING - October 4th 2019

    After 9 years of Conservative Government our public services are failing. Effective public services are critical for communities to grow and prosper. They are essential part of the community partnership that will support an environment where people are well educated, properly supported and are safe and feel safe. Within this partnership a key player is Police Service whose primary missions are the promotion of community safety and protecting the vulnerable.

  • Article: Sep 13, 2019

    Federal Conference of Liberal Democrats - Bournemouth 14th - 17th September 2019

    What's on Monday and Tuesday at Lib Dem Conference

    The decision by the Scottish Judges to declare that the Johnson Brexit Government's decision to Prorogue Parliament last Monday was unlawful, means that the Liberal Democrats will be able to take centre stage from Saturday to complete their Autumn Conference before the Supreme Court announces it decision on Tuesday.

  • Article: Sep 10, 2019

    Federal Conference of Liberal Democrats - 14th - 17th September 2019

    What's on Saturday and Sunday at Lib Dem Conference?

    As Boris Johnson pursues his 'Bullingdon Club' tactics, shuts down parliament and plots to avoid complying with the new No Deal Brexit law, Liberal Democrats will be beginning their four days in the spotlight and hopefully enjoying some sunshine. Already buoyed by stunning electoral successes and with six additional MP's since the last Conference plus 60,000 new members and supporters, the Party is ready present to the Country an alternative to chaos, a disintegrating Brexit Government and a Tory Party Leader and Prime Minister devoid of moral and parliamentary authority

  • Phillip Lee (Chris McAndrew [CC BY 3.0 (])
    Article: Sep 3, 2019

    Pound picks up from a slump not seen since 2016, after Tory MP defects to the Liberal Democrats.

    The Liberal Democrats have gained another MP in former Tory, Philip Lee who crossed the floor of the House at the start of a critical week for parliament and the country and when fears for a no deal Brexit were forcing the currency closer to parity with the dollar and the Euro.

  • Plastic waste
    Article: Aug 17, 2019

    Lib Dem run South Lakeland District Council runs a 'Fill Up' free drinking water campaign with local businesses to reduce plastic waste and promote a healthier lifestyle

    Liberal Democrat run South Lakeland District Council is showing how a well run Council can harness the local community to help reduce plastic pollution with it's Fill Up campaign asking businesses to offer free drinking water to encourage people to fill reusable bottles rather than buy a single-use plastic water bottle.

    The initiative aims to cut plastic pollution and improve people's health by increasing access to drinking water, while also saving residents money.

    Participating businesses simply have to display a window sticker, which is provided by the Council, to show members of the public they can fill their water bottle for free.

    Around 40 organisations from across the district are already part of the scheme. One of those businesses is Bandito Burrito in Windermere, owner Ewan Murdock said: "We are trying to do our bit to reduce the amount of plastic we use.

    "Not only are we showing our support for Fill Up, but we no longer sell plastic bottles or use food pots or cutlery made of plastic."

    The council say the response to the campaign has been positive, however, the authority is asking for more businesses to support the project.

    SLDC's Health, Wellbeing and Financial Resilience Portfolio Holder, Lib dem Councillor Suzie Pye, said: "This council is passionate about the environment. Fill Up is a fantastic way of reducing single-use plastic bottle waste and it saves people money, while also encouraging residents to stay hydrated and healthy when they are out and about in South Lakeland.''

    More information on the campaign can be found at


  • Article: Aug 16, 2019

    Jo Swinson 's reply to Jeremy Corbyn

    The Liberal Democrats have been working with Labour for some time and we will support a vote of No Confidence. We will continue to campaign for a People's Vote to give the British people the final say on Brexit and we are happy and keen to talk with the Labour leader but any new Prime Minister must command the support of the majority of the House.

  • Jo Swinson new Lib Dem leader
    Article: Aug 15, 2019

    Jo Swinson MP - leader of the liberal democrats

    "I stand ready to work with anyone to stop Boris Johnson and his hard-line Brexit government"

    to read Jo Swinson full speech click here

    In her first main speech since becoming leader Jo Swinson MP stood alongside new Lib Dem MP

    Sarah Wollaston and made it clear that she would work with all parties to stop Brexit including supporting a 'vote of confidence' but any plan for a temporary leader of an 'emergency government' had to command the confidence of the House something she doubted the Opposition Leader would be able to achieve, based upon his record on Brexit.

  • Jane Dodds
    Article: Jul 29, 2019

    Lib Dems get Remain Parties support in PM's first by-election test.

    By Jon James

    With a hard right, No Deal Brexit Government about to hit the public with a publicly funded 'Leave' information campaign evoking the war time spirit and aimed at convincing us to get ready to 'fight on the beaches' against the evil that sits across the channel, De Pfeffel Johnson is already out on the stump making promises to marginal seats he probably doesn't intend to keep. One can only hope that his new Chancellor is keeping tabs on his funding promises or the supposed Tory war chest will soon evaporate, let alone the £39bn owing to the EU that he intends to pocket.

  • Jo Swinson - Lib Dem leader
    Article: Jul 26, 2019

    Lib Dems membership surge continues

    Buoyed by the latest polls showing the Party in close second place, continuing to win seats from other parties and with Labour continuing to hemorrhage support we may be beginning to see a real shift in support for a centre ground, liberal values based alternative to the populist, nationalism, lies and false promises of the Brexiteer ministers now decamped in No 10 Downing Street.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2019

    Bullingdon boy handed the keys to wreak havoc on the country's economy

    'Britain deserves better than Boris Johnson" says new Lib Dem Leader Jo Swinson.

    By Jon James

    A country long admired for its governance, stability and sense of fair play and an ability to expose the machinations of mavericks, adventurers and liars has just handed the keys to No 10, to the UK's own modern day Don Quixote, a man who has spent a journalistic lifetime 'tilting at EU windmills'. An individual, so obviously unsuited to the task of Prime Minister that we can only conclude that Brexit fatigue, the national obsession with reality tv shows and government by social media has been embedded into our political system.

  • Article: Jul 22, 2019

    Jo Swinson elected as new Liberal DemocRAt Party Leader.

    Following one of the cleanest, respectful and positive political party leadership elections, Jo Swinson MP was declared the new Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

    The Scottish MP for East Dunbartonshire and former Business Department minister topped the poll of members in the election to succeed Sir Vince Cable as Party Leader and becomes the party's first women leader.

  • All our yesterdays
    Article: Jul 20, 2019

    50 years ago today:


    50 years later:


    • Nearly 1/2 of the world's population - more than 3 billion people - live on less than $2.50 a day.

    • More than 1.3 billion live in extreme poverty - less than $1.25 a day.

    • 1 billion children worldwide are living in poverty.

    • According to UNICEF, 22,000 children die each day due to poverty

  • Article: Jul 1, 2019

    10 years ago, hundreds of the world's biggest companies made a promise to end forest destruction by 2020. With only a few months left, they are nowhere near this goal.

    We are living through a climate and wildlife emergency. One million species are at risk of extinction and people all over the world are already feeling the effects of climate crisis - from devastating floods to deadly fires.

  • Article: Jun 7, 2019


    17,000 have joined the Liberal Democrats since the beginning of may.

    the party has received the backing of THOUSANDS OF NEW voters in local and European elections and THE PARTY is riding high.

    The Party (of REMAIN) will soon be electing a new Leader.

    If you haven't already joined the Liberal Democrats then you have 1 day left until 11.59 TONIGHT (Friday) to ensure that you can exercise your vote in the Party's Leadership elections...

  • Article: May 30, 2019



    Schools which remain with their council are more likely to keep a good or outstanding Ofsted rating than those which become an academy, a new report by the Local Government Association reveals.

    The report, published by Angel Solutions and commissioned by the LGA, looks at how primary and secondary schools' Ofsted grades have fared over the past five years, comparing those which remained council-maintained to those that academised. It also found that schools that were rated as requires improvement or inadequate were more likely to become good or outstanding if they remained council-maintained and did not convert to an academy

    By looking at an overall sample of 12,814 schools which remained maintained, and 4,033 schools which academised, compared from February 2014 to February 2019, the report found:

    • 90 per cent (9,400) of schools remaining council-maintained have kept their good or outstanding rating, compared to 81 per cent (2,275) of schools which converted to academies

    • 88 per cent (2,048) of schools requiring improvement or judged inadequate in February 2014 which remained maintained became good/outstanding in 2019, compared with 59 per cent (723) of schools which converted to academies

    • 41 per cent (502) of schools requiring improvement or judged inadequate in February 2014 which converted to academies still had the same rating in February 2019.

    As part of its #CouncilsCan campaign, the LGA is calling for councils to be allowed to intervene and improve all types of school found to be inadequate - regardless of whether it is a maintained school or academy. Under current rules, councils are stopped from helping, even in cases where a failing school cannot find an academy sponsor.

    Maintained schools with inadequate Ofsted judgements, which are considered to be failing, now have to become sponsor-led academies. These are schools taken over by an academy chain, or multi-academy trust (MAT) identified by the Department for Education.

    LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Cllr Howard Sykes said:

    "We all aspire to seeing children get an education of the highest quality, whether that is in an academy or a council-maintained school. These findings clearly show that staying under council control delivers better results for a school than those which convert to an academy. "Not only do more schools keep a good or outstanding rating if they remain maintained, but a significantly greater proportion are being turned around from struggling or failing into highly performing and successful schools.

    "While academisation might be the answer in some cases, it is not always the best solution. "Councils have an excellent track record in improving schools, and need to be given the necessary powers to intervene and support schools."

    Source: LGA Lib Dems - May 29, 2019

    View the full report.


  • Sir Vince Cable MP
    Article: Mar 18, 2019

    Sir Vince Cable makes his final Spring Conference speech as Leader

    " we are committed to tackling the underlying causes of Brexit. "

    " What is democracy if it is not the right for a country to change its mind?"

    " It is dividing families, communities, and even the United Kingdom and sucking the energy out of government.

  • lib Dem Women
    Article: Jan 24, 2019

    International Women's Day Conference

    Join fellow Lib Dems for a one day conference to celebrate International Women's Day.

    This will be a unique chance to hear from some truly inspirational women from within the party and beyond.

    In the afternoon you can take part in a series of practical workshops focusing on women in community activism, politics, public life, business, tech, creative industries etc, plus strategies for encouraging women to participate.

  • Budget box
    Article: Nov 1, 2018



    Commenting on the 2018 Budget, LGA Liberal Democrat Group Leader Howard Sykes said:

    "We saw nothing to tackle the massive funding crisis facing local police services, or anything of substance to address the gaping holes in our social care and school budgets.

  • 2018 Conference cover
    Article: Aug 15, 2018

    Lib Dems Brighton Conference - Demand Better

    Saturday 15th to Tuesday 18th September 2018 - Brighton Centre

    The Agenda and programme for the Party's Autumn Conference has been published and over the coming days and weeks we will review some of the Agenda for our readers.

    Members can still pre-register for this Conference at

  • Article: Dec 30, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats' trial book group comes to the end of its initial four-book run with a book published a year ago: Nick Tyrone's 2017: A look at the year ahead of us, of which the publisher writes:

    "2016 was a tumultuous year that changed the world. For many, it was a terrible twelve months, filled with celebrity deaths and unfortunate political results at the polls. For others, it was the year that the little guy struck back against the "establishment". 2017 reviews the year just gone and then looks at the year ahead of us, making predictions about what is to come. Along the way, Nick Tyrone will take us to Burnley and Norwich, Dublin and Venice, Brussels and Washington, talking to Leave voters on the Kentish coast and Beltway insiders about what Brexit and Trump will mean for the months directly ahead."

  • Article: Dec 11, 2017

    On Saturday 9th December, Shaun Roberts (the Liberal Democrats' Director of Campaigns) was the guest speaker at a joint Special General Meeting of Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats and Waveney Liberal Democrats, held in Halesworth. Shaun told us about his history in the party, about the party's campaigning in the general election, and about his plans and hopes for our future campaigning. There was a lively question-and-answer session afterwards, which carried on more informally into the excellent buffet lunch, and which touched on issues as varied as media bias and how to get the point across about Brexit without putting people's backs up. Thank you very much to Shaun for coming to talk to us, and for being so entertaining and informative.

  • Article: Nov 25, 2017

    It's nearly time for the third get-together of Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats' new Book Group. We'll be meeting on Saturday 2nd December to talk about Edward Luce's book, The Retreat of Western Liberalism. Luce is a UK journalist, and the chief US commentator for the Financial Times. From the publisher's blurb:

  • Article: Nov 15, 2017

    The Liberal Democrats have many special-interest groups, one of which is the Liberal Democrat History Group, which organises events and discussion meetings and publishes material of interest in this area. They produce a quarterly journal, the Journal of Liberal History, of which the current edition is the 96th issue. The Autumn 2017 issue contains (amongst other things) articles on:

  • Article: Oct 28, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group will be holding their second get-together on Saturday 4th November, when we will be discussing the ambitiously titled How To Stop Brexit (And Make Britain Great Again) by Nick Clegg. From the blurb on the inside cover:

    "Keep calm - but do not carry on.

    "There is nothing remotely inevitable about Brexit - except that it will be deeply damaging if it happens. Extricating Britain from Europe will be the greatest challenge this country has faced since the Second World War. And as negotiations with the EU expose the promises of the Brexit campaign to have been hollow, even some Brexit voters now wish to exercise their democratic right to change their mind, seeing that the most pragmatic option is to ... stop. It would certainly be the best thing for Britain.

  • Article: Oct 17, 2017

    The latest updates from the Twitter feed of our party leader, Vince Cable (@vincecable), which you can also access from the link in the "National Politics" section of the menu on the left-hand side of this website display. Unless you have a web privacy blocker enabled in your browser, you should see Vince's most recent five tweets below; otherwise you will see a link to Vince's Twitter page.

  • Article: Oct 15, 2017

    Do you want an Exit from Brexit? Back the Liberal Democrats' campaign, and sign the petition here:

  • Conference
    Article: Oct 4, 2017

    There's still plenty of time to book for the East of England Liberal Democrats Regional Conference, which is being held near Bury St Edmunds on Saturday 14th October. You can download the preliminary agenda here.

    As well as a keynote speaker and an emergency motion yet to be announced, the packed agenda includes:

  • Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group
    Article: Sep 30, 2017

    At our first Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group meeting on Saturday 7th October, we will be discussing "On Tyranny" by American historian Timothy Snyder. From the blurb on the inside cover:

    "History does not repeat, but it does instruct.

    "In the twentieth century, European democracies collapsed into fascism, Nazism and communism. These were movements in which a leader or party claimed to give voice to the people, promised to protect them from global existential threats, and rejected reason in favour of myth. European history shows us that societies can break, democracies can fall, ethics can collapse, and ordinary people can find themselves in extraordinary circumstances.

  • Conference
    Article: Sep 1, 2017

    The East of England Liberal Democrats' Regional Conference will be held in Suffolk this year, at the Red Lodge Millennium Centre near Newmarket and Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday 14 October from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

    Make a date in your diary for what the organisers describe as a "one-day event [to] include "policy debates, fringe meetings, training, reports, and more". There is an early-bird booking rate available for bookings made before 18th September.

  • Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats Book Group
    Article: Aug 19, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are to trial an informal monthly book group for members of the local party, to read and discuss topics that we think will be of interest to Liberal Democrats, small-'l' liberals, small-'d' democrats, Remainers and anti-Brexiters. We hope that our book choices will prompt discussion about liberalism globally, and about the specific problems that we face in the UK as a result of last year's EU Referendum result.

  • Conference
    Article: Aug 16, 2017

    Although there are other Brexit- and EU-related items on the Liberal Democrats' Autumn Conference agenda, some of our local members were disappointed to see a consultation on Europe rather than a full debate on our party's position. A conference addendum has now been published, which will allow members attending the conference to vote on whether to proceed with the planned consultative session, or whether (instead) to hold a debate on "Opposing Brexit". You can find the addendum, including the text of the potential policy motion, on the party's website in the section for conference papers.

  • Suffolk Coastal Lib Dems - Pub & Policy events
    Article: Aug 15, 2017

    Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats are more than half-way through their whistle-stop tour of the policy motions coming up for debate in September's party conference.

    So far, we have visited Saxmundham, Martlesham, Butley, Aldeburgh and Felixstowe, and further discussion events are lined up in Woodbridge, Grundisburgh and Earl Soham.

  • Article: Aug 9, 2017

    In this video from Lib Dem HQ, new party leader Vince Cable talks about the Liberal Democrats' view on Europe and Brexit. As the "Remain party", ours is the only party campaigning to offer the public the chance to choose "an Exit from Brexit".

  • Vince Cable Packed Hall
    Article: Aug 7, 2017

    Report from fellow East of England Liberal Democrats in Tring & Berkhamsted

    At a packed hall in the University of Cambridge Faculty of Law, West Road, Cambridge, last week the new Liberal Democrat Leader, Vince Cable addressed party members as part of a nationwide speaking tour which has taken him from West Country to Scotland in two crowded and strenuous weeks.

    Vince Cable, remarking on the massive polarisation of British politics today, told members he was optimistic for the future of the Liberal Democratic Party, especially when looking at the extreme positions being adopted by both the Conservatives and the Labour Party. Theresa May was now in a loose coalition with the hard right DUP and the Labour Party was now in the tight grip of Momentum, with the moderate Labour MPs intimidated by bullying and scared of deselection.

  • Conference
    Article: Aug 3, 2017

    The party's Autumn Conference is taking place in Bournemouth in September. An important feature of any Liberal Democrat Conference is that members have a say in the party's policies, being given the opportunity to take part in the debate and to vote on whether or not each policy is accepted. There are also consultative sessions on topics related to the party itself.

  • Daisy Cooper, at Martlesham Heath (Suffolk) on 22nd July 2017
    Article: Jul 23, 2017

    On Saturday 22nd July, Suffolk Coastal Liberal Democrats hosted a very well attended "party information afternoon" at Martlesham Heath Pavilion, followed by "thank you drinks" for our parliamentary candidate, James Sandbach. Suffolk Coastal members were pleased to be joined by members from Ipswich, Mid-Suffolk, West Suffolk and Waveney -- and especially delighted to welcome members who are new to the party.

  • Vince Cable
    Article: Jul 20, 2017

    Vince Cable is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, unopposed at the close of nominations. Read his manifesto here.

  • Article: Jul 13, 2017

    Are you looking for a short break with a difference? For peace and quiet, and an opportunity to get away from the hustle and bustle of modern life? For a chance to hold and read the books that were owned and even annotated by a great Liberal leader of yesteryear?

    Look no further than Gladstone's Library, in Hawarden (Flintshire), which is described on their website as "Britain's finest residential library, and its only Prime Ministerial library. It was founded by the great Victorian statesman himself and, following his death in 1898, became the national memorial to his life and work as well as one of the few Grade I-listed buildings in North Wales".

  • Article: Jun 1, 2017

    Hard Brexit, with the probability of massive trade tariffs, threatens throughput at our local port of Felixstowe, jobs, living standards and the economic growth we need to support the NHS, schools, and public services. Local business leaders say that proposed restrictions on migrant workers will mean losing labour for key sectors like agriculture and hospitality.

  • EU flag & bird of liberty
    Article: May 21, 2017

    Liberal Democrats recognise the result of the 2016 referendum on the European Union, which gave the government a mandate to start negotiations to leave. But the referendum didn't ask for people's views on the shape of our future relationship with the EU on issues such as trade, travel or security.

  • Article: May 20, 2017

    In the introduction to the Liberal Democrat Manifesto 2017, Tim Farron stresses that Theresa May's Conservative Party is likely to win the General Election on 8th June, while the Labour Party under Jeremy Corbyn offers only a continuation of the weak and ineffectual opposition that we have seen in the current parliament. Yet governments without strong opposition are bad governments.

  • Article: Mar 29, 2017

    So, Article 50 has been triggered. Mayday. But the Liberal Democrats' fight goes on. Read what the party thinks will happen next, from Nick Clegg, our European Union Spokesperson, at

  • Liberal Democrat Policy
    Article: Mar 15, 2017

    An important feature of Liberal Democrat conferences is the opportunity not just to debate and decide on party policy, but actually to shape it. Each conference schedules a number of sessions for consultation of policies that are still at an early stage of development, with the aim of stimulating discussion. One such policy area featuring at this weekend's conference in York is "Rural Communities" -- a subject that is very relevant to us here in Suffolk Coastal.