Today Liberal Youth launched their campaign to ensure Liberal Democrats are elected this May, and begin the foundations for the General Election campaign.
Paddy Ashdown, former Leader of the Liberal Democrats, has been put in charge of running the General Election campaign and we want to help him out.
The Gold Guard is a community of young liberal campaigners, empowering themselves by learning new skills in a fun, welcoming environment. Liberal Youth recognise that cost is often a barrier to younger members campaigning, that is why each event will help keep those costs as low as possible. Furthermore in recognising that younger members are also busy around election times, Liberal Youth now has its own connect account to allow phone canvassing from anywhere in the country. More on that soon though!
A huge congratulations to the new Member of Parliament for Eastleigh: Mike Thornton and the brilliant Liberal Democrat team that came from all over the country to get him elected!
In a tough fight, with our opponents (and the press!) throwing everything they had at us, the Liberal Democrat grassroots remembered what we do best, and came together to deliver a decisive win in the Eastleigh by-election.
The result broke down as:
Liberal Democrats 32.06%
Liberal Youth welcomes the news that UCAS is reporting an increase in university applications, and especially welcomes the continuing trend of young people from poorer background going to university more. With people from disadvantaged backgrounds being 80% more likely to attend a higher education institution this is a major step in creating a fairer and more liberal society.
“The news that university applications have increased is truly fantastic. That the young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are increasingly going to university.
Liberal Youth believe no matter where you come from you should have the freedom to achieve in life and often university is a gateway to achievement.
We now need to push for a more progressive maintenance loan system to ensure students can afford rising rent and living costs bills. That way we can continue to remove barriers to higher education.”
The increase in applications can be seen as a testament to the work of Liberal Democrats in government to creating a creating a fairer and more equal society and in improving the systems that were left by the previous Labour administration.
The Liberal Democrat changes to tuition fees are a vast improvement on the old Labour system. The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the poorest 29% of students were better off under the new system and that it was “ substantially more progressive” than the old Labour system as the richest students were likely to pay back ten times as much as the poorest students.
This Wednesday (5th December) we were protesting for human rights outside the Embassy of Bealrus. Belarus is known as “Europe’s Last Dictatorship” and Alexander Lukashenko has been in power since 1994.
This is a follow up to Liberal Youth’s earlier “Bears for Belarus” campaign and was covered by Charter97 and others: http://charter97.org/en/news/2012/12/6/62384/
On Friday our newly formed “North London Liberal Youth” branch hosted a Pizza & Politics event with Lynne Featherstone MP and Baroness Sarah Ludford MEP.
The event was a huge success, with a good turnout, lively debate and delicious pizza. Topics covered included what the coalition is doing for young people, Sarah’s work in Europe and differences between Conservative and Liberal views on the education system.
Members of London Liberal Youth, and Liberals across London would like to use this opportunity to express our support and solidarity for members of Russian punk group Pussy Riot.
In the wake of verdict finding them guilty of “Hooliganism motivated by religious hatred” we stand together with thousands of protesters across the world decrying this violation of the most basic human right of freedom of expression.
To follow updates on the trial, verdict and global reaction check out the following links:
Liberal Youth’s solidarity campaign to highlight human rights abuses taking place in Belarus – Europe’s Last Dictatorship: #BearsforBelarus
Alexender Lukashenka, President of Belarus, is known as ‘Europe’s last dictator’. Lukashenka has now turned his authoritarian regime on soft toys.
Nick Clegg and the Liberal Democrats have had a tough time over tuition fees, so it must’ve been some consolation when he stood the dispatch box this afternoon and declared:
“On the all important issue – the number of applications to university – in the recent UCAS figures… the proportion of English school leavers applying to university is in fact the second highest on record.“
Not only this, but:
“The percentage of 18yr olds from disadvantaged areas applying to university – according to the figures we’ve seen overnight – is higher than at any time under the Labour government.“
With the arrogance and deception that serves only to show the worst side of politics, traditional ‘partners in crime’ the Conservatives and The Sun newspaper have attacked the Liberal Democrats with allegations of homophobia.
Given their recent loss – by just 23 votes – in the Grove Ward, Kingston by-election the Conservatives have lashed out at the winning Liberal Democrat campaign, picking up on a piece of literature claiming ”It’s always a straight fight here in Grove ward.“
With a Labour vote lagging behind at just 21% compared with 33% to the Tories, and 34% to the Lib Dems, it is not hard to see why it was described as a straight choice – as we’ve said so many times before “Labour can’t win here“
But for the Conservative party to attack Liberals for being homophobic goes beyond satire: the debate on equal marriage is on the cards because in 2010 we voted for it to become official Liberal Democrat party policy (I was there and spoke in the debate!). It is being implemented because we have a Liberal Democrat equalities minister in the brilliant Lynne Featherstone driving it through. It seems excessive to point out that so many of our activists in London and across the country are from LGBT backgrounds, especially given that as Liberals one of our core beliefs is the fundamental equal moral worth of every individual.
So Conservative Future have a choice (and to a lesser extent The Sun): make a positive, constructive contribution to the political debate – challenge the prejudice of the Church of England who claimed it was “one of the worst threats in 500 years”. Challenge the prejudice of homophobic elements of the Conservative Party, but don’t stoop so low as to spin a story out of nothing and attack the party of equal rights.
We are pleased to announce that London Liberal Youth will be holding elections for an interim Regional Executive to serve from July until we have a chance to organise our AGM in November, which will be asked to formally approve and elect a Regional Executive for 2013.
To find out more about the roles up for election check out this link:
- Vice Chair
- Finance & Fundraising Officer
- Social Secretary/Events Officer
- Diversity Officer
- Membership Development Officer
- Women’s Outreach Officer
- Press & Communications Officer
There will also be an election for members of:
- Campaigns Committee (6 members)
- Policy Forum (up to 12 members)