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.
A response to the PM’s speech on Europe this morning, words by our man in Europe Paul Haydon (works with Sarah Ludford MEP)
Britain has always stood and fought for our interests and principles in Europe. In recent years we have been the driving force behind the single market, which has created 3.5 million jobs and made the average British household £3300 better off per year. We’ve also led the way on foreign policy and global trade, making Europe a force for peace and prosperity throughout the world. Finally, we have been at the forefront of efforts to establish police cooperation across Europe, protecting British citizens from organised criminals, terrorists and paedophiles. This was not achieved through threatening our neighbours with blackmail, but through building alliances, winning the argument, and pushing for EU-wide reform.
David Cameron wants to hold other EU members to ransom in a bid to repeal the social and employment laws which give us minimum standards for annual holidays, maternity leave and working hours. Not only is there no way that other EU countries will allow the UK to undercut the rest of Europe, but this clearly would not be in the interests of British citizens.
Instead, we need an ambitious platform of reform, cutting red tape for small businesses, expanding trade with emerging economies, and ensuring that Europe remains competitive in the 21st century. We also need to make sure that Britain retains its influence and does not become sidelined as the eurozone moves towards gradual integration. The best way to achieve this is by working with our European allies, not by alienating them.
Happy New Year from everyone at London Liberal Youth, we start the New Year with big plans and more exciting events & campaigns to get involved with.
Coming up in the next few weeks we have Action Days in Haringey and Kingston:
Sat 19th January: Muswell Hill Action Day (Haringey, North London)
Sat 2nd February: Kingston Action Day (South West London)
Meanwhile our mother organisation Liberal Youth has elected new members to its executive, including Sam Fisk and Kavya Kaushik as co-Chair.
Follow them on twitter: @kavya_kaushik and @samfisk93
Sam & Kav are both big campaigners: Sam led the #BearsforBelarus campaign, and Kavya has been active in LY Scotland, and is originally from Edgware in North London. We look forward to them leading Liberal Youth back out on the doorstep and into our local communities!
Votes @ 16
On January 24th Lib Dem MP Stephen Williams has secured a debate on votes at 16 in the House of Commons. Find out more here: http://www.votesat16.org/news/house-of-commons-to-debate-votes-at-16-we-need-your-help/
Merry Christmas from us!!
We want to say a huge thank-you to everyone who’s been involved over the last year, and made London Liberal Youth a fun and exciting group to be involved with.
A couple of weeks ago now we had a hugely successful event in Parliament with Lib Dem party President Tim Farron (pic above), last week we were protesting against human rights abuses in Belarus, and every weekend we are out in by-elections, action days and campaigning in our local communities.
Go home and enjoy Christmas with friends, families and loved ones and we hope that in the New Year we will see you at a London Liberal Youth event!
…Merry Christmas with lots of #LibDemLove!
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/