The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.
We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.
We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.
We believe the UK is Stronger if we're #InTogether, and that we should remain in a reformed and improved European Union.
If you agree with us, why not join us today.
On Saturday 2nd April the North West Liberal Democrats held their Spring Regional Conference
opened by the Deputy Leader of Stockport Council. You can find full details of the programme here: http://www.northwestlibdems.org.uk/conference/ The North West Region holds two Conferences a year, and the next will be in Lancaster in the autumn. Please keep looking at this site for information - not just about Conferences but all NW Regional activity
You would be justified for thinking we were living in a fantasy world but tragically we are living in a Tory one. Reacting to the news about the impending closure of Port Talbot steel works by Tata Steel, George Osborne, speaking in Manchester, has insisted that the Government is doing everything "practicable and possible" to allow tougher tariffs on cheap steel. Responding to accusations that import taxes were being blocked, Mr Osborne said Britain was working with other countries to make sure tariffs were in place on imports of unfairly cheap steel from countries such as China. What deceitful clap trap. [See more - especially lasty para]
Even by the standards of incompetence and alienation espoused by the present Conservative government their achievement in uniting opposition to education reform is truly outstanding. The latest White paper in which it is proposed to force all schools to become 'academies' by 2022, has prompted the leaders of: The Conservative Group; The Liberal Democrat Group; The Labour Group; and the Independent Group on the Local Government Association (LGA) to jointly sign a letter to the newspapers criticising the policy and urging the Government to rethink. Now isn't that a remarkable event. Many Tory MPs have their doubts as well. [see more]
Conservative David Lidington MP has now been 'Europe' minister in the Foreign Office for nearly six years. Most of us might take the view that his experience makes him worth paying attention to when he expresses a view about the role of Britain in relation to the EU. In a number of newspaper articles he notes firstly that the mindset of the UK stems to some degree from the fact that we have not suffered the invasion and foreign rule that many EU countries endured in the 20th Century. [see more]
No one condones benefit fraud, or any other kind of fraud come to that. But we need to keep a very watchful eye on the way the Conservative Government uses such matters to undermine our freedoms. Responding to figures obtained by the Observer in response to a recent Freedom of Information request a spokesperson for the Dept. of Work & Pensions (DWP) said "Information from the public - - - saved the taxpayer around £180m last year". Wow, what return for getting people to snoop on each other. The total DWP spend on various benefits is about £50bn. The figures show massive errors in the reporting of benefit fraud by the public. LibDem Leader, Tim Farron , told the Observer "The alarming number of incorrect reports shows the system has failed, it should be the DWP which investigated benefit fraud, not your closest neighbours. This McCarthy* style reporting of benefit fraud is another example of the government's desire to turn people against the welfare state and to treat sick & disabled people as second-class citizens." [see more]
LibDem success at major council by-elections continues with LD Steve Riley taking the Aylesham Ward seat on Broadlands DC from the Conservatives on March 17th. Steve got 48.1% of the vote - up by 17.1%
Meanwhile John Leech, who was the MP for Manchester Withington for 10 years, after he was elected in 2005 with the biggest swing in the country, is fighting to return to Manchester council. After his election defeat during the dose of national madness on May7th John said: "I promised not to give up on the residents of Manchester Withington, and I'm not going to. I will continue to fight for south Manchester as I always have done. I'm not going anywhere." [see more]
So Iain Duncan Smith has resigned after nearly six years of tormenting the poor, sick, disabled & otherwise vulnerable. He is now attempting to portray himself as a bold crusader against the Treasury taking a stand on behalf of the poorest in society. Whilst the sight of two of the most unpleasant Tory grandees in the shape of IDS and George Osborne scratching each others eyes out might bring a little brightness to our lives it is important to remember the DWP record under IDS control.[see more]
Today, Good Friday, Christians remember the sacrifice of Jesus. We might reasonably also call it judicial murder - a habit still continued by far too many regimes throughout the world. We are also suffering, in this century, levels of global terrorism that have been unprecedented for a very long time. So maybe today it is appropriate to reflect and retain a sense of proportion, refusing to allow ourselves to be sidetracked into over reaction. [see more].
Hansard 21st March 2016
Tim Farron (Westmorland and Lonsdale) (LD): I thank the Prime Minister for his statement and for his somewhat revised and lengthy assessment of the merits of the right Hon. Member for Chingford and Woodford Green (Mr Duncan Smith). Let us be clear, though: the Turkey-EU deal is the result of failure by European leaders, including our own Prime Minister, to develop safe, sustainable and humane routes for refugees who are fleeing for their lives. It is inoperable, may well be illegal, and puts politics and public image above protecting human lives. Given that the Prime Minister is today at pains to stress that he is a compassionate Conservative, will he show some compassion to the 43,000 people currently stuck in Greece, including 20,000 children, and offer sanctuary to some of them, particularly the incredibly vulnerable unaccompanied children and families with babies?
The Liberal Democrat Federal Conference ended on Sunday 13th March. Coverage on all TV channels and most newspapers was effectively non existent save for a couple of brief interviews with Tim Farron on BBC News. A key element of LibDem conferences is the passion that comes through, from grass roots members who have the opportunity to speak as we make policy, as well as our leading politicians. In marked contrast to the conferences of other parties which are all too often overly stage managed. You can find the entire proceedings on video at: www.libdems.org.uk/conference-live [see more]