Thursday, 8 September 2011

Public money for Party help – A slippery slope to defeat

Yesterday’s PMQs saw Labour question Cameron on the election schedule for the tories’ elected Police Commissioners in which it was revealed that they are to take place separately in autumn 2013 and not in joint-elections with the Local Elections in spring next year. Similarly, the extra cost of doing so will incur the public purse around £25 million pounds!!

Furthermore, a Lib Dem party spokesperson has tonight revealed to the BBC that it was the Liberal Democrats who pressured their coalition partners into delaying the new elections in an attempt to “depoliticise” the campaigning environment and increase the chances of reelection and electoral return of the party’s councilor base.

This move is in complete contrast to the AV referendum and Local Elections where it was the tories who wanted them to take place separately in autumn 2011 and instead it was Nick Clegg who pushed for joint-election in the ill fated May elections which saw us lose the referendum and nearly 750 Councillors. Yesterday’s latest move surely has to be borne out of the initial findings of James Gurling’s report into the May 2011 elections in which he stated that it “presented the Liberal Democrats with a ‘perfect storm’” through which our energy was expelled on two large national campaigns.

They'll both use this against us! and with good effect!!!
It was envisaged that AV referendum would be joint-elected as a means of saving £17 million through joint operational savings and although this doesn’t appeared to have swayed the public’s affections towards AV, it does pose some uncomfortable truths for the Police elections. This time, its not ‘our’ elections, it’s the tories, however, the results will affect the operational objectives of regional forces and no doubt form part of the greater electoral opinion of Liberal Democrats fortunes. Likewise, whilst the public was unmoved by our saving of £17 million, they will be absolutely furious of our unnecessary spending of £25 million which will go onto affect our local electoral prospects in the years to come through the ammunition our opponents and the media now appear to have.

My recommendation is to have joint-elections again, save that £25 million and focus on our Local Election candidates. Of course we will get ‘U-turn’ press over doing so but that will be nothing like the downturn we’ll see in our polls over wasting £25 million in a time of economic instability, fiscal deficit reduction and all in an attempt to save our own skins and not the publics.

The public still doesn’t appreciate the sacrifices we gave to the national interest in joining the coalition but they will understand all too well these actions and will sign our electoral death certificate happily.

Lets work to keep our heads up NOT down :)
Note: we only have 1098 Councillors left, we do intend keeping them don’t we? Hindsight’s a wonderful thing don’t you know!

Sunday, 4 September 2011

In the balance of Terror – should morality be put on pause?

The Independent on Sunday has come out with a veritable mound of shocking documents having appeared to work with the Human Rights Watch campaign organisation in starting the diligent and timely process of sorting through the newly captured office of the former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Libya; Moussa Koussa with all his communications and correspondence documents up for the taking.

It appears that fiction has become fact - Welcome to Spooks!
They appear to spell out the details we already knew; that Blair and Bush were pushing the international community to accept Gaddafi as the ‘Great North African Reformer’ and not the ‘WMD Wielding Psycho’ that he really was and may quite possibly be today. Additionally to the ‘warming up of relations’ the Indy has detailed a timeline of lobbying by Nelson Mandela no less on behalf of Gaddafi and further cooperation between Libya, the CIA and the British’ Secret Intelligence Service, nominally known as MI6!!!

From speech writing, assisting in the capture of Libyan rebels and their transfer on CIA ‘black site’ flights to actively participating in interrogation sessions headed by Libyan security and even refusing asylum to Gaddafi opposition who were trying to flee to the UK. This is said to have started around 2002, under a Labour’ Blair government that appears to have lost its senses and pressed the pause button on governmental morality and quite possibly their own as well.

Lockerbie, murder of WPc Yvonne Fletcher, Active assistance to IRA and the holding of WMD are some of the actions and threats that the Gaddafi administration (sorry, I meant dictatorship) has committed and used against the security of the UK over the years. Why on earth, after all of this is considered, would you then actively assist them in committing further Human Rights atrocities and the simultaneous laying down of your own moral code.

I’m surprised Nelson Mandela saw the potential of goodness in Gaddafi but from our international perspective, many of his enemies belonged to groups who were also our enemies. Does that mean we should consider the Arabian proverb; ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’? I don’t believe so because we have the international responsibility to uphold UN resolutions and our own high standing sovereign law in the areas of Human Rights and Intelligence operations.

How far is too far in seeking information to protect us?
However, that said, we do have the balance of morality, the concept of cause and effect and the gut feelings of right and wrong to consider. Could it be said that government officials have to suspend their own morality in order to pause the national morality for the good of its citizens? Is the torturing of one man balanced against the saving of 3000 lives disgustingly acceptable or a step too far? Many of us will never be in that pressure-set environment which is government in which to know all the facts and needs of the nation and how they can result in actions that would have appeared abhorrent to the very same people when sat on the Opposition benches. To me, today, assisting, abetting and working with international criminals in torture, the removal of people’s fundamental Human Rights and the bringing down of a nation’s moral code is unforgivable. We live in a world that calls for hard decisions, life and death becomes our leaders on a daily basis but without immovable barriers on what can be done to protect ourselves, then we should question on what we’re actually working to save, are people of a nation who doesn’t respect the rights and responsibilities of all humanity equal to screams and despair of a man in a darkened cell after having gone through hours of torture, terror and agony.

Thursday, 1 September 2011

Potter Blogger: The sick way Britain treats her sick and disabled

With kind permission of the article's author: George W. Potter, I have linked The JUDGEment to The Potter Blogger so you can read this well thought through piece which is itself thought provoking and shocking.

For those who want more details of the experiences of disabled people who have gone through the Work Capability Assessments (contracted to ATOS) which is necessary to qualify for Employment Support Allowance (ESA) then please head over to HoC Work and Pensions Select Committee's Publication site where you can download their The role of incapacity benefit reassessment in helping claimants into employment report which is very insightful.

With such big issues affecting disabled people and our community in the UK, the LDDA are keen to listen to delegates thoughts and opinions so please feel free to drop into us on our Exhibition stall at Stand R29. 

If you could join our AO that would be greatly appreciated by visiting our website for the LDDA Bird above. We are aiming to reach Specified Associated Organisation (SAO) which requires us to have more members as we represent 16 million people in the UK and such SAO status will allow us to support motions such as George's and put our own forward.

TO ALL VOTING DELEGATES: Please VOTE YES on the F6 Employment and Support Allowance and Work Capability Assessments motion at 16:15 on Saturday 17th September in the auditorium.

Liberal Democrat Disability Association (LDDA) 

Stand R29
Raising awareness,
understanding and support of
people with disabilities, within and outside the Liberal Democrats. Championing disabled and able-bodied advocates’ opinions and the positive opportunities available to the party and society. RECRUITING MEMBERS!! All supporters and carers welcome.

AGM Fringe - wednesday lunchtime 13.00 – 14.00
The formal AGM of the LDDA, celebrating our relaunch. Looking forward to campaigning about disability issues and encouraging disabled people to be activists within the Party.
Hyatt Regency, Drawing Room