Welcome, Guest
You have to register before you can post on our site.

Username/Email:
  

Password
  





Search Forums

(Advanced Search)

Forum Statistics
» Members: 113
» Latest member: ChrisT73
» Forum threads: 281
» Forum posts: 402

Full Statistics

Online Users
There are currently 12 online users.
» 0 Member(s) | 12 Guest(s)

Latest Threads
Pragmatic Perfect Educati...
Forum: Party Policy Discussion
Last Post: ReadingLib
01-12-2021, 09:02 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 21
Interview with Stephen Gr...
Forum: General Discussion - News and Views
Last Post: ReadingLib
01-10-2021, 02:27 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 37
Why isn't Liberal Talk us...
Forum: General Discussion - News and Views
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-31-2020, 07:26 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 91
Impact of Liberal Party
Forum: General Discussion - News and Views
Last Post: Thomas Paine's Ghost
12-30-2020, 11:00 AM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 63
A statement from the Libe...
Forum: NEC Press Releases
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-28-2020, 05:34 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 135
Liberal Party NEC Stateme...
Forum: NEC Press Releases
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-24-2020, 07:43 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 124
Liberal Party Policy Stat...
Forum: NEC Press Releases
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-24-2020, 07:15 PM
» Replies: 4
» Views: 286
Liberal Party Special Ass...
Forum: General Discussion - News and Views
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-20-2020, 12:25 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 75
Liberal Party Environment...
Forum: NEC Press Releases
Last Post: Thomas Paine's Ghost
12-18-2020, 12:06 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 246
Liberal News Winter 2020
Forum: General Discussion - News and Views
Last Post: ReadingLib
12-08-2020, 08:12 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 97

 
  Letter t the Media - May 2015 election results - May 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-10-2015, 09:17 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

May 2015 has indeed seen an historical Conservative win in the general
election, but a dispassionate analysis of the results shows something
remains amiss in our first past the post electoral system.

The conservative parties slender parliamentary majority, is actually
based on just 36.9% of the national vote. That equates to 32244 votes
per elected MP.

By comparison the populous, insurgent UKIP, which took third place in
the general election with 12.7% of the national vote, needed 3.8
million people simply to elect one MP. The corresponding figured for
the Green Party was over 1.5million, yet the figures for Labour and
SNP were 40292 and 25972 respectively

The fairest solution to this issue is an advanced form of proportional
representation termed the Single Transferable Vote. Existing single
member constituencies would be replaced by multi-member constituencies
returning 4 or 5 MP's. Each constituency would be based on natural
communities, rather than unnatural constituencies that happen to be
the right size to return one MP.

Moreover, electors would no longer vote with an inflexible "X" - the
mark of illiteracy - but would number their candidates in order of
preference and the ballot would be counted in a way that would ensure
that their votes would be utilised as fully as possible.

That is an electoral system in which the Liberal Party would like to
see all voters believe their vote matters, and is not 'wasted' on any
party who national popularity is crowded out locally.

Print this item

  Letter to the Independent - The Liberal Party - May 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-10-2015, 09:16 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I read with interest your correspondents recent musings on the
creation of an new centre-left political entity(Radical idea
for a new party, 13th May).

In fact a centrist, mildly Eurosceptic alternative, explicitly
promoting an opportunity society by the modest redistribution of
wealth already exists. That alternative is the Liberal Party.

When the Liberals and SDP voted to merge in 1988, they created a fresh
party and registration with the electoral commission, initially as the
Social and Liberal Democrats. Remember that?

In fact many members of the two parent parties resisted the merger,
and my understanding is that within a year, the Liberal Party had
relaunched itself and we can claimed with considerable justification,
to be the continuation of that radical, centrist Liberal tradition.

The political experiment that is the LibDems, a compromise between
Liberals and Social Democrats, now appears to be drawing towards its
inevitable conclusion. It was a dead-end which seems to think it can
re-invent itself by simply calling its Liberal.

That is a name and philosophy the real Liberal Party will never
surrender and where out constitution explicitly states  that the
Liberal Party exists to build a Liberal Society in which every citizen shall
possess liberty, property and security, and none shall be enslaved by poverty,
ignorance or conformity.

Print this item

  Letter to the Economist - Liberal party name - May 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-10-2015, 09:14 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Your recent piece on the perilous state of the LibDems(“Not Dead
Yet”,May 16th) speculated that the party may fall back on a change of
name to the Liberal Party. Unfortunately for them that name is already
taken.

When the Liberals and SDP voted to merge in 1988, they created a fresh
party and registration with the electoral commission, initially as the
Social and Liberal Democrats. Remember that?

In fact many members of the two parent parties resisted the merger,
and my understanding is that within a year, the Liberal Party had
relaunched itself and we can claimed with considerable justification
to be the continuation of that radical, centrist Liberal tradition.

The political experiment that is the LibDems, a compromise between
Liberals and Social Democrats, now appears to be drawing towards its
inevitable conclusion. It was a dead-end which seems to think it can
re-invent itself by simply calling itself Liberal.

That is a name and philosophy the real Liberal Party will never surrender

Print this item

  Letter to the Media - inheritance threshold - July 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-10-2015, 09:11 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I have read with interest the latest proposals from the Conservative Party to raise the threshold for paying inheritance tax and exempting homes valued less than 1 million pounds. 

Although the Liberals Party does not begrudge people earned wealth, these proposal do nothing to address the corrosively increasing and much talked about inequality of wealth in our country.  The top 10% of our society have reputedly accumulated 40% of our nation’s wealth, transferred from generation to generation beyond the visibility of the inheritance systems.

The far sighted traditional constitution of the Liberal Party, unlike the cobbled together Liberal Democratic Party, calls for ‘Liberty, property and security’ for all.  It is the only UK political party to adopt a proposal for the reform of capitalism to bring about genuinely greater equality. 

 Some inherit billions of capital free of tax, due to exemptions from an Inheritance Tax which is charged on what is left or given, while others never inherit any capital at all.

The Liberal Party proposes that the taxation of inheritance should be reformed by reducing Inheritance Tax rates and exemptions while introducing a progressive tax charged on cumulative lifetime totals of what is inherited or received. This in turn would help finance a gradually increasing capital endowment for all UK-born UK citizens at the financially responsible age of 25.

The Liberal Party prides itself on supporting the creation of an opportunity society with the widest benefit for all of society.

Print this item

  Letter to Newbury Weekly - Post election - May 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-04-2015, 07:52 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I read with interest your correspondents letter in the Newbury Weekly(30th April) expressing his anguished disappointment with the Libdems in West Berkshire prior to the national and local elections.

As it is my initial draft response has been over taken by an election result which has decimated what I presume
was their former party. Unfortunately your correspondent made the all too common mistake of
incorrectly calling his former party by the name Liberals, when there remains fundamental differences between the two parties.

When the Liberals and SDP voted to merge in 1988, they created a fresh party and registration with the electoral commission, initially as the Social and Liberal Democrats. Remember that?

In fact many members of the two parent parties resisted the merger, and my understanding is that within a year,
the Liberal Party had relaunched itself and we can claimed with considerable justification to be the continuation of that radical, centerist Liberal tradition.

The political experiment that is the LibDems, a compromise between Liberals and Social Democrats, now appears to be drawing towards its inevitable conclusion. It was a dead-end which seems to think it can re-invent itself by simply calling itself Liberal.

That is a name and philosophy the real Liberal Party will never surrender as we strive for a better society, and where our chief care is for the rights and opportunities of the individual and where in all spheres we set personal freedom first.

Print this item

  Letter to the media - Opposition to Fracking - June 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-04-2015, 07:50 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

No-sooner has the Conservative Party been returned to power, then The Independent(11th June) is 
reporting attempts to fast track test drilling for shale gas by dropping the requirement for public
consultations when issuing drilling permits.

The Liberal Party is opposed to any restrictions on the rights of individual communities to meaningful
consultation over fracking franchise in their geographical area.

As discussed at the Liberal Parties Party Assembly in 2013, we remain unconvinced of the economic
benefits of fracking, and remain concerned at the potential for environmental damage.

Our national addiction to 'cheap' energy means that we seem willing to despoil out own countryside with
no concern for the long-term consequences for the environment, as further emphasised by the
reported discovery of oil in the vicinity of Gatwick and prospective drilling off the Isle of Wight.

Our country relies heavily on ground water sources and bore holes which supply drinking water to the
general public with no guaranteed way of preventing contamination by the cocktail of chemicals injected
into the ground to flush out shale gas.

As popular support ebbs away for fracking, the government instead seems determined to press ahead
with a deaf ear to public opinion.

Print this item

  Letter to the Media - Immigration - August 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 12-04-2015, 07:47 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Recent weeks has seen the undignified and ugly face of European migration, with the virtual siege of the channel tunnel complex in France by waves of migrants seeking a better life in our country.


The Sangatte refugee camps, with their third world poverty have been a fixture of the French side of the channel for some time, as both the French and British authorities have simply washed their hands of their responsibilities and hoped the problem would simply go away.

These men and a few women, most with barely the clothes on the backs and pitiful few possessions, have now reached such a sustained level that regional governments are now publically falling out with each other over their treatment.

These people have little if anything to offer to European economies and job markets, yet they appear to be caught up in some sort of migration frenzy. One does have to ask to what extent global communications and globalisation has convinced people from other continent’s to attempt a vast human migration in search of some fabled garden of Eden.

No doubt regional conflict, economic hardship and unreasonable expectations about employment in Western Europe have all played a part in this mass movement of humanity.

There is no possibility on Gods earth of holding back this tidal wave of humanity with fences, teargas and batons and the reality is that the only practical solution for the UK and French governments is to detain, registration, accommodate and then swift repatriation to their homelands of those deemed economic migrants. And all this will have to be done at the tax payer’s expense.

Anything less will simply been a rejection of our humanitarian duty.

Print this item

  Letter to local and national media - Changing Police Priorities - Aug 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-27-2015, 09:20 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Recent weeks have seen a series of senior police officers telling the general public nationally that changing police priorities now mean that we no-longer expect a proper response to such bread and butter policing issues as attempted burglaries if you live in an odd numbered home or have a missing person to report.


Such a high handed approach simply confirms the long held suspicion that the Police would rather not have to deal with the more mundane issues of everyday society, and the public in general and would rather be chasing terrorist and other nebulous criminals in cyberspace.

No one can argue that Police budgets haven’t been disproportionately cut in the name of austerity, perhaps in the region of 20%, with further deep cuts forecast, but this no excuse for abandoning the basic provision of community policing we all justly expect.

Thames Valley Police chief constable Francis Habgood is quoted as saying in a BBC interview that the general public will now have to deal with “lower level crime”. This instead risks exposing the general public to the vagaries of the law when the authorities already takes a dim view of people taking the law into their own hands when defending their own homes and property.

It also says much about senior police officers regard for their local Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), that they and not our elected representatives are now dictating priorities again. This is the direct opposite of what we had been lead to believe our elected representatives would be doing, that is localising policing priorities to address local needs.

Stephen Graham
Newbury Liberal Party(Organiser)

***********************************************************************************
This letter was printed in the local media and was followed by a promptly printed reply from the Thames Valley PCC himself listing the various % cuts in types of crime set against cuts to police budgets which had been achieved whilst he had been in elected office.

Print this item

  Draft letter to local media - visitors charges - never submitted - Aug 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-27-2015, 09:14 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

Visiting the Thatcham Nature Discovery centre most recently, I was disappointed, but not at all surprised, to see two of the Solar powered parking meters recently installed in the parking areas.


Having obviously failed to generate enough voluntary 3 pound ‘donations’ in recent years, and following a recent leaflet drop, BBOWT now appear to have resorted to peer pressure to bolster revenues.

Presumably if you are not displaying a ticket, you are a bad citizen, and need to be shamed into contributing to what should be a resource freely accessible to all. A recent report by English Nature highlighted cost as a major factor restricting access to the countryside, particularly for minority groups

Even before the management of the site transferred to BBOWT, I was left with the impression that elements of West Berkshire Council saw the on-going funding of the service as an inconvenient cost, one to be dropped at the first opportunity.

As a former resident of the Newbury area, I actually recent being asked to make further contributions to a facility I indirectly contributed to via my council tax over the years, but after years of unjustified cuts to public services, pay to use is now becoming a reality.

The biggest shame is that this country actually possesses the wealth to properly funded local services, but the Conservative Party are the last people likely to promote any form of modest wealth redistribution to the benefit of all not least Land Value Taxation.

*************************************
I never submitted this one as it was taken over by events and blanket coverage in the local media 
after local parish councils objected to the signs. I did post the same text on the local bird watching forum which elicited the following response:

I think you will find the "Pay and Display" machines are in fact voluntary donation posts and will have notices attached making this clear[which the parish councils objected to - SG]. There was a substantial article about this in this weeks Newbury Weekly News. I see no reason why those who are not members of the Wildlife Trust should be asked to contribute towards the facilities they are using. If you go to any other organisation such as the RSPB or WWT or other Wildlife Trust reserves non members usually have to either pay for parking or pay an admission fee. Sad as it is these organsiations don't run on fresh air!

Print this item

  Letter to local Media - Sept 2015
Posted by: ReadingLib - 11-27-2015, 09:06 PM - Forum: Local Association Press Releases - No Replies

I read with interest the Newbury Weekly front page story(27th August)
detailing the anonymous West Berkshire councillors who have reportedly
been summoned to court  over council tax arrears.

A similar story line was run in Reading a couple of years ago as I
remember, in which case the offending councillors were actually named.

In fact all these headline stories nicely illustrate is the
difficulties many ordinary people have with what is probably their
largest monthly household bill after their rent or mortgage.

Council Tax is a regressive tax in that those in the lower bands
actually pay proportionally more than those in the higher bands as a
percentage of a home’s value.

The Liberal Party believes that both the regressive nature of the tax
should be revised, and Council Tax should be continuously banded so
that mansion owners and owners of more expensive properties pay more
without any need for a mansion tax.

Ultimately we believe that a properly implemented Land Value Tax would
adequate fund local services, although it has the one drawback in that
it redistributes the income from land rather than redistributing the
ownership of land.

Local taxation in the form of a Council Tax makes local politicians
accountable to the electorate for their decisions; unfortunately they
are no more or less likely than any other person to fall prey to its
financial demand.

Stephen Graham
Newbury Liberal Party(Organiser)

Print this item