Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Lib Dems Should Be Radical And Take The Government To Court

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The Liberal Democrats have forever promoted the fundamental importance of Human Rights, and one of the most significant benefits of being a member state within the EU is that we are all equally privileged to share such rights. Despite all the Lib Dem’s great efforts to promote Human Rights, they could go so much further to show the public just how powerful Human Rights actually are.

It’s not difficult to understand why the Conservatives want to scrap Human Rights. After all, most of their policies are Draconian, and so Human Rights are a threat and basically get in the way of their Public Bills. The Tories will do everything they can to scrap Human Rights, but Human Rights have not yet been scrapped and this is where Tim Farron must use the tools still available to him, while they are still there.

Many would think that it is impossible to take a government to the European Courts, but why should it be? After all, no living man, police officer, judge, or politician is above the law. This includes organizations, political parties and governments. In fact, Amnesty International has recently taken the UK Government to the European Court of Human Rights over its indiscriminate mass surveillance practices. So why cannot the opposition do just that? It is fundamental and the Rule of Law that no one is above the law.

When Labour stepped to one side and allowed the Welfare Bill to pass, no consideration was given to the ramifications this Bill would have on the young, sick, disabled and low waged working poor. Not only does the Bill impact on the Human Rights of those living, but it also attacks the unborn third child who did not ask to be born nor should they suffer because it. Capping Child Tax Credits to two children does not mean that parents will become more responsible overnight. And by thinking that cutting Tax Credits will punish the parents more so for having a third child, then you have simply not even bothered to consider the innocent child who will actually suffer the most.

Article 25 of the HRA states:

(1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.

(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.

A clear violation of the Human Rights Act is evident, and yet no one is taking the government to court for such acts. Our eight Lib Dem MPs in Parliament could make such a difference, they just need a little dutch courage and to do something radical that’s probably never been done before! If they could employ human rights by acting on it, not only will it demonstrate why Human Rights are so important but will show how they work for you, and ultimately, it could also save many of those currently being attacked by ideological driven cuts in the name of austerity. Otherwise, what’s the point of Human Rights if we never stand up or hold the right to actually defend both ourselves and others when our rights are being attacked?

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The Wrong Time, The Wrong Place For Lamb

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I think that I have been a little unfair by underestimating Norman Lamb. After hearing him speak at a recent hustings hosted by EMLD, Norman, not only passionately but also very honestly, spoke about his current understanding of racial inequalities. He clearly said that he wanted to listen more. I guess this is as a means to further understanding, but surely any potential leader should not need to listen as they would already grasp the issues at hand and have a clear plan as to what needs to happen next.

Norman certainly has a lot of experience to offer. He also has a lot of leadership qualities about him. He talks like a leader, he looks like a leader but the question is, is he ready to lead? To be fair, Lamb probably deserves far more credit than he has currently been given. Tim Farron has always been the favourite, and it takes a lot of balls to step up to a giant.

I definitely do see Norman as a key player to the future of our party, and perhaps one day even leading the party, as his liberal values are strong and he articulates them so well, but I do think his leadership bid right now is a little premature. However, experience may be the best thing that he can take from all this in order to help him grow. It reminds me when Simon Hughes once spoke about how many times he lost before he finally won.

Tim Farron has always been the favourite to win the leadership. Competing with Farron was always going to be difficult for any candidate, as Tim has worked his socks off over the years to build up an excellent rapport with members as well as with local parties.

If I could give Norman any advice, or point out anything that he lacks in leadership quality, it is that he needs to spend more time engaging with members and to build more so on personal and meaningful relationships with them . It was more so evident when Norman left quite quickly after the EMLD hustings where Tim stayed much longer afterwards to speak and listen to members.

Although to Norman’s credit, he did make the effort to shake hands and say his farewells, he still needs to put more time into the members that he seeks support from.

Both candidates are without doubt passionate to lead, but it’s just not Norman’s time. It’s time for Tim. But all credit to him. It would be dreadful to have a king crowned without competition.