Why I joined the party

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

I want to tell you why I joined the Liberal Democrats and to encourage you to make the same journey.

As first-generation immigrants, my parents could have barely imagined the journey they or their children would make in the mother country. As an immigrant from South Asia, barely able to communicate in English, my mother built up a real estate business in London, in a country which has increasingly diversified in the intervening years.

Although many immigrants in this country may no longer live ‘on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity’, we still have a long way to go and we must never cease to celebrate and promote ethnic diversity especially in these divisive times. We have seen the Windrush generation scandal, in which those who worked hard to build our economy, health service and the Britain we have today, threatened with deportation and lives made incredibly difficult because of the Home Office policy of hostility.

We are also witnessing the rise of far-right politics, which undermines the valuable contributions made by minorities and threatens people’s basic rights on the basis of race, creed, and religion. Like Martin Luther King, we must refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. Now is the time to lift our nation, from the quicksand of racial injustice, to the rock-bed of our party – equality and unity.

Today I urge those who are in a minority of race, creed, or religion to join the liberal Democrat party, whose existence has been based on fighting for justice, for the rights of those who have historically been undermined and shall continue to do so, without wavering.

So, if you want a Britain in which every child has equal opportunity, a Britain with a population that is educated, understands and appreciates other cultures whilst maintaining its own. If you want a Britain that leads the way in equal rights and opportunities, then the Liberal Democrats await your membership.

Thank you and as-salāmu ʿalaykum.

Changes to the Membership Incentive Scheme

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Since its launch in 2013, the Membership Incentive Scheme has helped our party not just grow, but thrive.

The money from it has helped local parties grow their membership, fight campaigns and demand better for their communities.

In recent years, we’ve seen a worrying trend developing though. More and more local parties stopped actively recruiting new members.

This is concerning – because part of the original intent of the scheme was to help build strong, local teams that would win elections.

At the request of the relevant State Party Committees, we have therefore been exploring options to revise the current incentive scheme.

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Government backs down on medical cannabis

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today the Government reported that patients in need of cannabis-based medicines will be allowed access to them in ‘exceptional circumstances’.

This is very welcome and long overdue change, which will be a relief for many patients and their families. It is disgraceful that people have been left to suffer for so long, because the Conservative Government have refused to accept evidence of the benefits of cannabis based medicines.

Following todays announcement there must be no further delay in getting these medicines to the people who need them.

However it is disappointing that the Government have refused to commit to a wider review of the outdated and harmful laws around the recreational use of cannabis as well. The Liberal Democrats will continue to campaign for a regulated cannabis market in UK, which would mean a robust approach to licensing, rather than leaving the market in the hands of criminals.

What will the party debate in Brighton?

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Federal Conference Committee met this weekend – unusually at Amnesty HQ in London rather than LDHQ – to set the Agenda for Autumn conference in Brighton.

If you have not yet registered, please don’t forget – conference runs from the 15th to 18th September, and you can sign up athttps://www.eventsforce.net/autumnconference2018. Or, if you’d like to take advantage of our new refer-a-friend discounts, seehttps://www.libdems.org.uk/refer_a_friend

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5 Things You Need To Know About The New Brexit Secretary

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

1. He approves of a higher pay rate for men

His statements on the gender pay gap are shocking. He stated, “men work longer hours, die earlier but retire later than women.” He expanded, saying “from the cradle to the grave, men get the raw deal”.

Raab’s comments are completely out of touch with reality, plain and simple.

2. He wants to dismantle the Human Rights Act

Dominic Raab has referred to the legislation that grants every UK citizen fundamental rights and freedoms as “rushed” and “flawed”. He attempted to dismantle human rights by introducing a British Bill of Rights which was quickly rejected.

Dominic Raab only values certain liberties and freedoms, and he misses the mark on an entire system of rights that maintains a sense of checks and balances on state abuse of power.

3. He calls feminists “obnoxious bigots”

Let us not forget Raab’s ignorant comments calling feminists the “most obnoxious bigots”.

Raab thinks it is unnecessary to close the equality gap amongst men and women. In fact, he believes if there is an equality gap, it’s men who get the short end of the stick and that we need to focus on the issue of improving men’s rights.

He thinks that if women were to be seen as equals in the workforce, many men would be turned off by a women obtaining more success than their male peers. It’s the 21st century, Dominic…

4. He blames immigrants for q housing crisis that the Tories have done little to solve

Raab falsely claimed “immigration put house prices up by something like 20% over the past 25 years”. This is not only a very limited view, but also plainly wrong as his assessment was based on an outdated model regarding the impact of immigration on house prices.

5. He wanted a second referendum in 2016 if Leave lost

In 2016, Raab tweeted his views on the European Union membership referendum and called for a second referendum “if the verdict is to stay in the EU, and it’s close” he told House magazine.

Yet after the outcome was in his favour, he considered a final say on the deal to be “a plain attempt to block Brexit by people who are out of touch with the country and refuse to accept the result […] they should not seek to obstruct it”. Clearly, Raab is not a man of integrity.

This is the man Theresa May has chosen to lead Brexit negotiations?Britain deserves better than Dominic Raab.

The people deserve the final say on the Tory Brexit deal, and the option to stay in the EU.

Mandela Day

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

It is a day when we must remember that every person has the power to change the world.

It has been 100 years since Mandela’s birth. His dedication to the service of humanity and his contribution to the struggle for democracy continue to inspire millions of people.

Global inequality remains a serious problem facing in the world and protecting human rights is an ongoing struggle of immense importance.

Liberal Democrats International Office are committed to ensuring justice and equality for people around the world.

The International Office together with the work of the Africa Liberal Network promote the engagement of women and youth in the political process as well as strengthening liberal parties.

You can also make the world a better place by spreading kindness and helping people – not just today, but every day.

There are no depths to which the Conservatives won’t stoop

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Two weeks ago, I gave birth to a beautiful baby boy. His name is Gabriel and we adore him.

My situation isn’t typical – I’m an MP. I’m not only an MP, I’m the Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats.

And our party’s goal right now – above all else – is to stop Brexit. We want to give the people the final say on the Brexit deal, including the option to remain in the EU.

At first I was lost for words, now I am angry.

Last night there was a crucial vote. When I knew I couldn’t be there, I made sure I was ‘paired’. This happens all the time in Parliament. As I could not vote, a Conservative MP agreed not to vote as well, balancing things out.

But then, at the last minute, the Conservatives went back on their word. The MP I was ‘paired’ with turned up and voted.

At first I was lost for words, now I am angry.

It seems that there are no depths to which the Conservatives won’t stoop to deliver their destructive, divisive Brexit.

We can’t let the Conservatives decide the Brexit deal on their own. We have to give the people the final say, including the option to remain in Europe.

Please join our campaign today.

Exit from Brexit Campaign Pack

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Campaign Pack

I’m excited to announce our summer campaign pack is coming off the printer and I wanted to share this news with you now so you can begin planning how you are going to use yours.

Our efforts to stop Brexit are beginning to make waves but, as Parliament readies itself for the summer break, we must redouble our efforts on the ground and make this the biggest summer of action – but in order to do this, we need your help.

Are you up for the challenge?

Here are three ways you can help the fight against Brexit this summer:

  1. Click here for your copy of the Summer Campaign Pack or get in touch with your local party to see if they’ve ordered a hard copy of the guide. This pack enables you to plan your 8-week summer campaign with a handy guide with loads more info to get you up and running, a Connect script, leaflet templates and much more.

  2. Get knocking on doors and delivering leaflets. We need to keep growing our movement and there’s no better way to do this than by making contact with people. All the information about how you identify the right people to talk to can be found in the pack – so there’s no excuse not to get door knocking and delivering!

  3. Host an Action Day on 8th-9th September. The Summer Campaign Pack walks you step-by-step through the process of holding a successful action day. This is the weekend before Autumn Conference and we want to make as much noise as possible. What better way to give us the confidence to fight Brexit going into Conference than a massive day of action up and down the UK just days before?

Thanks again for all you’ve done so far – our Exit from Brexit team is constantly spurred on by the amazing things our members are doing.

But I need to ask you to keep going. By doing all the above, you’ll help make this the biggest summer of action ever.

Leave cheated

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Today the Electoral Commission ruled on what we all knew – Leave cheated.

Vote Leave have been fined £60,000 for incomplete and inaccurate expenses and for working jointly with pro-Brexit group BeLeave – and using this to get around their spending ceiling of £7 million.

And, lest we forget, the referendum result was just 51.9% for Leave and 48.1% for Remain.

It is now clearer than ever that we need a vote on the final deal that Theresa May brings back from Brussels.

A vote where everyone plays by the rules.

One where there is a clear deal on the table for the British public to accept or reject.

And most importantly – a vote with an option to Remain in the EU.

Dick Newby – Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Lords

Last night’s customs bill votes

Vince Cable and Liberal Democrats on Europe March 2017

Brexit is the most important issue in a generation. And as Liberal Democrats we have taken on the responsibility of stopping it. We’re the only Party united in this aim.

Last night I messed up. The government squeaked home by just 3 votes in a key amendment. It should have been 1.

I was not expecting a close vote – up until 8pm, Labour were planning to abstain which would have meant the vote would be lost by hundreds. In fact several Labour MPs voted with the government – which is why they won. By the time it became apparent that the vote was going to be close – it was too late to get two of our MPs, Vince and Tim, back in time to vote.

I’m taking responsibility and redoubling my efforts to stop Brexit.

Today is a new day. We will be debating the remaining stages of the Trade Bill – and we are going to hold the government’s feet to the fire.

Thank you for you for your continued support to our campaign to Exit from Brexit.