International Men’s Day

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today – Tuesday 19th November – is International Men’s Day.

While women bear the brunt of continuing sexism and discrimination, men can also struggle unfairly because of gender stereotyping. Societal expectations of what a man should be – stoic, emotionally distant, wholly independent – can bring their own pressures for some. Such expectations can contribute to poor mental health and isolation.

We’re proud to be a feminist party, and feminism is a good thing for everyone, including men.

Liberal Democrats are demanding better. We’re proud to be a feminist party, and feminism is a good thing for everyone, including men.

For starters – fathers deserve much more time off to look after a new baby. Liberal Democrats were responsible for bringing in shared parental leave and one our manifesto promises is to raise statutory paternity leave to six weeks in line with maternity leave.

On health, men in the UK are three times more at risk of committing suicide than women. It’s a serious problem and one that we all need to do far more to combat.

There is no shame in reaching out for support when it’s needed. But when people do, we need to make sure the support is there. That’s why we’ll invest billions of pounds into mental health services so that they can be treated with the same urgency as physical health.

Men’s physical health also needs far more attention – not least because men have tended not to get messages about health promotion and seeking medical advice at the early signs of something not quite right. We need to ensure middle-aged and retired men are encouraged to engage more with their health.

Sexism hurts everyone – we have a duty to stamp it out

Then there’s crime. Young men are disproportionately the victims of crime – whether it’s the current epidemic of serious violent crime, including knife crime, or gang culture more widely.

We need to invest in local communities far more if we are to turn this tide. From youth services to community police and the whole “public health” approach, we need both to give young men alternatives and positive role models and to give them more confidence and protection.

Sexism hurts everyone – we have a duty to stamp it out. Liberal Democrats are leading the fight to ensure a brighter future for men across the UK and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of that.

Welcome to the family!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

I’m sure you’ve noticed. It’s pretty hard not to.

There’s rather a lot of few new faces among our ranks.

In recent months, the Liberal Democrats have welcomed more and more brilliant, progressive MPs into our ranks. MPs like Chuka Umunna and Luciana Berger have joined us from the Labour Party, while MPs like Sarah Wollaston and Sam Gyimah have joined us from the Conservatives.

They have joined the Liberal Democrats as the biggest movement fighting to stop Brexit and build a Brighter Future for Britain.

But it’s just not MPs. 75,000 people have joined our party as members and supporters in recent months… and many of them are also former Labour or Conservative members!

So why are so many coming to the Lib Dem family? Well, we asked them!

Fiona Dryburgh, Former Labour Councillor

“Having been a Labour member for over 20 years, I was devastated to have to leave the party but it had become unrecognisable to me – a refusal to commit to Europe, rising anti-Semitism and a dogged lurch to the left, meant I no longer felt it was my political home.

“I wanted a party committed to the future, not the politics of the past – it was Jo Swinson’s Liberal Democrats that were the obvious choice as a party to deliver a brighter future for the whole of the UK.”

Gabriel Rozenberg, Former Conservative Councillor

The Conservatives have become a party promoting an extremist view of isolationism. It wasn’t an easy decision to make but I could no longer campaign for them.

“The Lib Dems are a proudly internationalist party and the only pro-business party left.”

We are incredibly grateful to have so many fantastic new members like Fiona and Gabriel, joining our diverse, bold family. Together, we can stop Brexit and build a brighter future.

Think we can do it?

Mental Health Policies Announcement

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

We have already lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years.

Day in, day out, millions of people are affected by mental health issues across the country. But when they ask for help, it’s often not available.

The NHS has been driven to crisis point by chronic underinvestment by the Tories. Their reckless pursuit of Brexit means we have already lost more than 5,000 EU nurses in the last two years.

Mental health care is one of the most neglected areas. One in ten consultant psychiatrist roles are vacant.

The Tories promised sweeping reforms to mental health. Instead, they have crippled our NHS.

This is unacceptable, and the Liberal Democrats demand better.

We have set out a bold, new vision for how we improve mental health support for everyone.

We have set out a bold, new vision for how we improve mental health support for everyone.

In our manifesto, we commit to:

  • Treat mental health with the same urgency as physical health
  • Increase access to clinically-effective talking therapies
  • Increase the number of psychiatrists and specialist mental health practitioners
  • Put a focus on children’s services, eating disorders, and bipolar disorders.
  • Provide 24-hour mental health services in all hospitals.
  • End the use of prison cells to hold those suffering from severe mental distress.

Through these policies, we will build a better future for those suffering from mental health issues and their families.

The Remain Bonus

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Brexit has already taken far longer and cost far more than anyone said it would. But this is just the beginning. New research has uncovered a shocking figure:

Brexit will slash our economy by £50 billion over the next five years.

Britain will be £50 billion worse off. That’s money taken from our schools, our police and our communities. That’s even more families having to use food banks. That’s the NHS having to turn people away in their hour of need.

It doesn’t have to be like this.

A Liberal Democrat government will Stop Brexit on Day One. Then we’ll get on with spending the £50 billion Remain Bonus on the things that really matter.

We’ll invest in our NHS and make sure everyone can access high-quality mental health care when they need it. We’ll take bold action on the climate emergency. We’ll properly fund schools to help every child get the best start in life.

Like the sound of the Remain Bonus? Sign up to be first in line to see our manifesto and find out how we’re going to build a brighter future.

I’m interested!

Come help out at our Volunteer Hub!

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Want to help during the election? We’re open for business.

The work done here is so important – and we make it fun!

We’ve got a brand new Campaigns hub in Charing Cross – and we need you to join us!

RSVP here

All you have to do is RSVP here and then come along.

We have everything – admin, surveying, phone canvassing – to get done and less than a month to do it in!

I really feel like I’m helping the party, and the free food certainly helps!

Join us during the daytime from 10am onwards – or come along after work, until 9pm.

We’ll always have something crucial for you to do.

There’s drinks, lots of fresh healthy food (and some unhealthy food as well!)

RSVP here

Phone Banking

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Come and join the phone canvassing team!

We’re hitting the phones hard this election, and we need you to lend your voice to the cause.

Come and join our evening group at the new Volunteer Hub!

RSVP here

We’re open every weekday evening until 9pm when we break for pizza!

We’re also loaded with drinks and healthy snacks so we can keep calling voters and convincing them to vote Liberal Democrat this election.

You can come in, do a couple of hours and be on your way – or you can stay all day from 10am til late.

Any time you can give will help us win this election and stop Brexit.

RSVP here so we can let you in the building – or email volunteer@libdems.org.uk for more information.

RSVP here

Don’t let Brexit happen by staying home – come and join us now!

Spotting false news stories on social media

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Dodgy Tory video clipping has set off a wave of disinformation around this General Election. Both old parties are desperate to cling onto power – to the point that some of their supporters are resorting to creating and sharing fake stories to discredit their opponents.

The Liberal Democrats are the future – and they see us as a threat to their cozy stitch-up on power. They want to drag us out the EU and take our country backwards – we’re standing in the way, and they’re willing to play dirty to stop us. Fake news does real damage to our democracy and we all need to play our part in cracking down on it. Here’s how to recognise and deal with it:

Telltale signs

It’s too good (or bad!) to be true – it’s highly unlikely that a party leader has just been caught shoplifting at their local supermarket, for example.

Suspicious Will Ferrell GIF

No credible source listed – generally speaking, party/candidate press releases about their own party can be trusted. So can articles from major national newspapers. If the source is a small blog you’ve never heard of before – it’s probably worth further research.

Vested interests – people are less likely to do due diligence on a story if it lines up with their beliefs. Be a little more sceptical if the article someone’s sharing lines up a bit too nicely with their political agenda.

New account – this can be a sign that someone has set up a lot of accounts to automatically retweet a story and give it more credibility than it actually has.

Not the bot you’re looking for.

Questions to ask:

Is their profile verified? This doesn’t guarantee that what you’re reading is fake – but it can help you spot impersonator profiles.

Who else is talking about it? Sometimes smaller blogs get big scoops – see if bigger sources have picked it up.

Who’s their source? The best source is always from the horse’s mouth. But failing that, journalists for reputable local or national newspapers can also usually be trusted.

What to do

Google it and fact check – see if you can find any sources that aren’t the article or post itself. See if it’s already been shot down by sources in the know. Full Fact are a brilliant nonpartisan resource for this and frequently shoot down untrue claims.

Full Fact

DON’T COMMENT OR SHARE IT. If it is a fake article, even sharing with a disclaimer spreads its reach and risks more people falling for it.

Report it. By far the most important thing you can do is report it. Facebook, Twitter and Reddit all have facilities to allow you to report fake new – here’s how to use them:

Facebook – if you click the 3 dots on a post, it’ll give you the option to “find support or report this post”. Select the option to report it as false news and hit submit.

Twitter – click the down-pointing arrow by the tweet and select the option to “Report tweet”

Reddit – click the report button on the post and report it as spam (and to the subreddit moderators if possible).

This Week In Policy Announcements

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

The campaign is now well underway.

And the Liberal Democrats are announcing fantastic policies every single day.

In fact, we’ve announced so many brilliant ideas this week that it can be hard to keep up.

So we’ve rounded up everything we’ve announced this week right here:

Skills Wallets 💰

We will create “skills wallets” – a bold new initiative to give adults £10,000 to spend on education and training throughout their lives. They will help everybody to develop the skills needed to work in a 21st-century economy.

Check it out!

Free Childcare From 9 Months 👶

We will introduce free childcare from 9 months old. That will give parents the option to return to work whenever they choose, rather than taking away the choice for parents who can’t afford childcare.

Find out more ➜

£100bn for a Climate Fund 🌍

We will spend an extra £100bn on climate action and environmental preservation over a five-year Parliament. Tackling the climate emergency is vital, so we’ll do just that.

Catch up here

Flood Resilience Fund 💪

We will create a £5bn flood prevention and adaptation fund, to prevent disasters like those seen recently in Northern England.

Read more

Plan to plant 60 million trees 🌱

We will undertake the largest tree-planting programme in UK history, as part of our plan to tackle the climate emergency.

Have a leaf

Tackling Knife Crime

We will invest £500 million in youth services and adopt a public health approach to youth violence.

Find out more

Equality and Human Rights 👍🏽👍🏿👍🏻

We will fight for equality and human rights with a whole host of policies.

Take a look ➜

As you can see, we’ve been busy!

And that’s not all – there are plenty more fantastic policies that we will announce in our manifesto launch next week!

You could be there! If you’d like to join us to celebrate our manifesto launch, RSVP here: www.libdems.org.uk/manifesto-launch

And if these policies sound right up your street, why not let us know you’ll be voting Lib Dem?

The Liberal Democrats’ £6bn pledge to strengthen the welfare system

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Conservative austerity has left a fifth of UK citizens in poverty, unable to afford even the most basic essentials.

Since 2015, the Tories have bungled the roll-out of Universal Credit, made brutal cuts to benefits and introduced their senseless two-child limit that is fuelling child poverty.

By fixing our broken welfare system, we can ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

Millions of people’s lives have worsened as a result of this government – and so today, the Liberal Democrats are announcing our bold proposals to invest £6 billion per year to strengthen the welfare system over the next Parliament.

We will prioritise tackling the crisis of child poverty by abolishing the cruel two-child limit for Universal Credit and ending the unfair benefits cap.

A Liberal Democrat government will tackle in-work poverty by using part of the Remain bonus – the £50 billion of extra funding that would be generated by stopping Brexit – to restore Work Allowances and introduce a second-earner Work Allowance. We will also invest in boosting the Local Housing Allowance by linking it to average rents in each area.

Our plans to strengthen the UK’s welfare system will protect the most vulnerable and help to build a brighter future.

By fixing our broken welfare system, we can ensure that everyone has the same opportunities regardless of where they come from.

Learn more about our Plan for the Future here.

The Tories’ Health Record Is Shameful

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

This week NHS England released statistics on the NHS’s key performance measures – and they are abysmal.

Almost 1 in 5 patients attending A&E in England were not treated or admitted within four hours. This is the worst performance ever recorded since the target was introduced in 2004.

Meanwhile, just 76.9% of cancer patients are starting their treatment within target waiting times. And only 85% of patients referred for non-urgent treatment were seen within 18 weeks.

And this is not a one-off. By all measures, the NHS has done much, much worse under Tory rule.

These are not just statistics. They represent millions of patients who are not getting the quality of care that they need.

Patients waiting for hours in A&E for treatment. Patients being left alone on trolleys in corridors. Some patients even spending months waiting to begin treatment for cancer.

The Conservatives have failed patients and have failed the NHS.

They have refused to invest properly in our health service. Local hospitals are underfunded, overstretched and understaffed.

Instead of working hard to address these issues, they are spending countless hours and millions of pounds on their extreme Brexit.

And they are planning to make the situation worse. The Tories want to impose the cruel nurse tax, which will drive away the European nurses the NHS desperately needs to staff services.

We have to fix this.

And the Liberal Democrats have a plan for how to do just that.

We will stop Brexit, and allow the NHS to continue to recruit the highly skilled staff it needs from EU countries.

And we will put a penny on income tax for the NHS. This will raise an extra £35 billion, to invest in the staff and equipment that are so badly needed.

Everybody deserves access to excellent healthcare, free at the point of use. For over 70 years, people in the UK have had just that.

And under a Liberal Democrat government, we will continue to have a world-class NHS for decades to come.