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Tim Farron - Leader of the Liberal DemocratsThe Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

We champion the freedom, dignity and well-being of individuals, we acknowledge and respect their right to freedom of conscience and their right to develop their talents to the full. We aim to disperse power, to foster diversity and to nurture creativity.

We believe that the role of the state is to enable all citizens to attain these ideals, to contribute fully to their communities and to take part in the decisions which affect their lives.

If you agree with us, why not join the #LibDemFightback today.

  • Bournemouth Conference Centre
    Article: Sep 4, 2015
    In Liberal Democrats fo Seekers of Sanctuary

    We are pleased that our proposed motion to the Liberal Democrat Conference in Bournemouth has been accepted for debate on Saturday 19th September at 3.50 p.m.

    This is the text.

    Conference notes that:

    1. There are currently almost 20 million refugees worldwide, who have fled war and persecution, including nearly 4 million refugees who have fled the on-going conflict in Syria.
    2. The vast majority of refugees are hosted by developing countries. For example, only six per cent of Syrian refugees have sought safety in Europe.
    3. Increasing numbers of people are attempting extremely dangerous journeys across the Mediterranean, with over 100,000 arriving in Europe by sea and nearly 2,000 people dying making the journey in the first five months of 2015 alone.
    4. 33% of those crossing the Mediterranean have fled war-torn Syria, 10% have fled Eritrea, and 18% have fled Somalia and Afghanistan.
  • Article: Sep 4, 2015
    By Chuka Umunna, Vince Cable in The Independent

    The Conservative Government has had its honeymoon. Now there is no excuse for lack of clarity over such an important issue

    Scroll back 10 years. Just like today. A recently re-elected, self-confident, government basking in business approval and a reputation for economic competence. High levels of consumer confidence. Robust growth. Low unemployment and low inflation. A strong pound. Then came the 2008-09 global financial crash exposing serious structural weaknesses in the economy, decades long in the making.

  • Bournemouth Conference Centre
    Article: Sep 4, 2015
    By Caron Lindsay in Liberal Democrat Voice

    I would normally apologise for linking to the Daily Mail, but on this occasion, as the piece in question has a video showing some of Tim Farron's first speech as leader, I'm not going to.

    The paper quotes Tim Farron expressing support for a motion that's coming to Conference later this month which would give parents the right to take their children out of school for ten school days for holidays.

  • Bournemouth Conference Centre
    Article: Sep 4, 2015
    By Andrew Wiseman in Liberal Democrat Voice

    We are trying a new session at this year's conference. The idea behind the session is to encourage policy discussion in a different way to a formal motion or FPC policy paper.

    Members will put forward ideas in the form of a 'policy pitch'. These ideas should not be current party policy, they should be new ideas or ideas that develop existing party policy in an innovative way. Rather than having to set out a more formal motion where there is a debate and a yes/no vote the member will submit their idea in a less formal pitch of up to 400 words. Those chosen by FCC will be given a two minute 'pitch' to conference where they will get the chance to present their idea to a panel. The panel will discuss the idea with the proposer before giving their views.

  • Bournemouth Conference Centre
    Article: Sep 4, 2015
    By Paul Walter in Liberal Democrat Voice

    When you first go to conference there is a risk of overloading with "stuff".

    Bear in mind that conference is a very unusual situation for a human being.

    You are there being pumped full of the highest octane level of high octane political content for up to 18 hours a day. I once counted up over 50 subjects on which I had listened to speeches or explanations during a conference week.

  • Pending Asylum Applications
    Article: Sep 4, 2015

    So, the Westminster Parliament resumes on Monday after its Summer recess. The Commons debates the EU Referendum Bill, the Lords the Energy Bill. With a growing humanitarian crisis on our doorstep, though, can it really be business as usual?

    Liberal Democrat peer and passionate advocate for the fair treatment of those who seek sanctuary Roger Roberts thinks not. He wants the current agenda to be postponed in favour of debates in both Houses on the crisis. He said on Facebook:

  • FRont pages Sept 3
    Article: Sep 3, 2015

    Is it the first time in 76 years that all the papers agree

    76 years ago today I remember the evacuees from Manchester arrived at our gate! We took them in.

    We must do the same for the refugees

    The least we can do is:

    Sign the petition for a debate in parliament


    Endorse the ALDE proposals

  • Key Fight Back
    Article: Sep 3, 2015
    By David Laycock in Liberal Democrat Voice

    With the #LibDemFightback still continuing after the announcement of our new Leader and by-elections happening almost every week across the country and the party making net gains, campaigners are now planning for next year's local elections up and down the country. We may be under 5 years away from 2020, with a new vision and a path for the party to be decided, but what about candidates who want to stand for election but can't because they can't afford to?

  • David Boyle
    Article: Sep 3, 2015
    By David Boyle in The Real Blog - http://davidboyle.blogspot.co.uk

    I had what was, for me at least, a respectable flurry of hits on Tuesday when I agonised in public about whether the Lib Dems were becoming a pressure group.

    If they are doing so, it is partly for a reason which is peculiar to them - Liberals tend to be blind to the problems of money, just as socialists tend to be blind to the problems of centralised power. It is also partly for a shared reason: the Left has become terrified of economics, because it used to be regarded - in the peculiarly lame jargon of the day - as a 'shield' issue. In other words, it was a topic they could make no vote-winning contribution about. All they could do was defend themselves.

    As the years went by, their economic muscles atrophied. Then they stopped seeing economics issues at all - so it is hardly surprising that the only way of thinking about economics was the mainstream one, imported from the American thinktanks and spread to the world.

    All this is about to change, of course. Not just because Jeremy Corbyn has exhumed an approach to economics that most people had assumed had long been dead and buried (and may still turn out to be). But also because, every 40 years, there is a major shift in mainstream thinking. We are due for ours in about four years time.

    What holds us back isn't that the disastrous record of the current way of doing economics, or the pretty disastrous way of doing economics that preceded it, has not been recognised yet. Most thinking people can see that something has to change.

    What holds us back is that the mainstream has not yet tiptoed into the debate about what we do instead - how we make economics work for everyone. What the new world is going to look like.

    Two graphs sent to me in the past 36 hours make the point for me. The first shows what has been happening to global income distribution, as we all descend into semi-slavery: