Tuesday, 12 December 2017

Winter 2017: Devon Voice Says Shop Local This Winter!

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English Voice Debate (1) – Independence For England?

Surely the denial of an English Parliament is a human rights issue? If this is the case, the English have a duty to ask ‘is it because we don’t have rights – or is it because we’re not seen as human?’

THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY – NLP – has a Twitter feed @NationalLiberal which provides links to various local, national and international news stories and debates. One of the NLPs most popular tweets – in terms of retweets and comments – has been our call for an English Parliament.

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For some bizarre reason, England is the only ‘Home Nation’ which doesn’t have its own Parliament or Assembly. Our call for an English Parliament is made on the basis of Self-Determination and equality. The NLP has no interest in imperialism – indeed, we are anti-imperialists. It also follows then, that we have absolutely no interest in building Empires. Nor is our call for an English Parliament an attempt to lord it up’ over others – or for England to be treated as a special case. All we’re asking for is for England to be treated the same as the rest of Britain.
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Indeed, as issue 1 of English Voice – the voice of the National Liberal Party in England – noted:
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‘The Scottish Parliament sits at Holyrood, Ulster has Stormont and the Welsh have the National Assembly for Wales. The only people who don’t have a say in the running of their own country are the English!’ (1)
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For those who say that England doesn’t need its own Parliament as it has Westminster, issue 2 of English Voice had this to say:
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‘We do not recognise Westminster as an English parliament. It may be situated in England – but it’s not specifically for the English. It’s a UK parliament and we want to be liberated from Westminster’s absolute rule’.
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The NLP are not the only ones calling for an English Parliament. The Campaign for an English Parliament (2) has been doggedly and heroically plugging away for nearly 20 years to ‘stimulate a national conversation on England and work towards a referendum on an English parliament that will speak in the interests of the English people; that is democratically accountable to England alone; that represents and is representative of the English nation – an English parliament that is recognition of English nationhood.’hat is democratically accountable to England alone; that represents and is representative of the English nation – an English parliament that is recognition of English nationhood.
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However, probably the most high-profile campaigner for an English Parliament is Labour MP for Birkenhead, Frank Field (3). Earlier this year he had an article in the Daily Express (4). Here he called for the abolition of the House of Commons and an English Parliament to be established in its place. This would be on ‘a par with parliaments in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.’ He also called for the House of Lords to be abolished. ‘In place of the Lords should be a ‘Common Senate’ to which Northern Irish, Welsh, Scottish and English parliaments would send legislation for scrutiny, just as now with the Commons sending its legislation to the Lords’.
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Our friends at Nations without States (5) and the St. George’s Committee (6) have f eatured and debated his ideas.
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Returning to the subject of the popularity of our tweets calling for an English Parliament, we’ve noted that many of those who like and retweet our comments express strong support for the concept of an independent England. And for this first English Voice debate, we’d like to see how widespread this view is.
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First, let’s state our position. The NLP is well-known for its position on Self-Determination. At the last General Election it called for the creation of an English Parliament and stated:
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‘We will work to create a federal United Kingdom with constituent parliaments for each nation (including England), We will support decentralisation to the most practical level.
We are decentralists and believe in equality, popular sovereignty and national self-determination. We are very much in support of the individual against the might of the state. Thus we oppose centralism – which can be dogmatic, undemocratic and totalitarian in nature’.
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The NLP is also noted for its strong commitment to free speech. That’s why we – in association with English Voice – would like to open up this debate to all English Advocates who believe in some form of self-determination for the English Nation. We invite anyone who is interested to have their say in the comments section once they see this article on our Facebook site https://www.facebook.com/groups/52739504313/
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It goes without saying that some views will not reflect official NLP policy, but that is the essential nature of free speech! Therefore, we ask what form of self-determination should England have? Indeed, should there be Independence for England? Let the debate begin.
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(1) To get hold of issues 1 and 2 of English Voice – the voice of the National Liberal Party in England – just e-mail natliberal@aol.com and ask for your FREE pdf copies!
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(2) http://www.thecep.org.uk/
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(3) Frank Field MP has always been very outspoken on immigration and population. He is ‘old school’ Labour, in that he is in tune with and completely understands the concerns of ordinary voters who are broadly ‘patriotic socialist’ in outlook. Many people across the political divide respect him as he is a very good, hard working and honest MP.
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(4) https://www.express.co.uk/comment/expresscomment/834711/frank-field-english-parliament-constitutional-reform-brexit
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(5) http://nationalliberal.org/from-the-liberty-wall-%e2%80%93-nations-without-states-debate-3-%e2%80%93-an-english-parliament-for-the-english-people
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(6) https://www.facebook.com/stgeorgescommittee/posts/1566913953351750
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27th November – Salford Voice Says Happy Lancashire Day!

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THE NATIONAL LIBERAL PARTY believes that ‘Small is Beautiful’ and is therefore very interested in decentralising power down to the lowest possible common denominator.  We are also ‘localists’ in that we support the local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and promotion of local history, culture and identity.

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With this in mind, Salford Voice – the voice of the National Liberal Party in Salford – wishes everyone a Happy Lancashire Day!  Lancashire Day falls on the 27th November and marks the day in 1295 that the first Lancastrians were sent to Parliament.

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Lancashire Day is a fairly recent addition to the cultural calendar – it was first held in 1996.  However, as this link https://www.visitlancashire.com/whats-on/happy-lancashire-day shows, there seems to be a reasonable amount going on in the county to celebrate the day.

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As with St. Cedd’s Day in Essex – http://nationalliberal.org/essex-voice-says-happy-st-cedd%e2%80%99s-day – the National Liberal Party and Salford Voice (SV) hopes that folks will celebrate Lancashire Day in style!

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• WE HOPE to produce issue 1 of Salford Voice (SV) in the not too distant future.  In the meantime, check out these SV E-Posters:

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Salford Voice Says Shop Local

https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/photos/a..943601059012861.1073741825.160937907279184/1585449601494667/?type=3&theater

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Salford Voice Says Support Local Entrepreneurs!  https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/photos/a.943601059012861.1073741825.160937907279184/1613799365326357/?type=3&theater

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Salford Voice Says Shop Local This Autumn! https://www.facebook.com/NationalLiberalParty/photos/a.943601059012861.1073741825.160937907279184/1633904699982490/?type=3&theater

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Don’t forget to ‘Like & Share’ them on Facebook and help viral them out by linking them to other forms of social media like Twitter.

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Welsh Voice Says Scrap Universal Credit!

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If You Live Or Work In Sutherland … SHOP LOCAL!
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SUTHERLAND is a historic county in the highlands of Scotland. Its county town is the seaside resort of Dornoch.  It covers an area of 6,077Km² and in 2001 had a population of 13,706 people (representing 0.27% of the population of Scotland).
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Sutherland, like Tweeddale has no official flag (1) – however, plans are in place to rectify this.  In September of this year a meeting was held to launch a competition to design a flag for Sutherland (2).  As the official flag is due to be launched in the new year, our Shop Local artwork features the arms awarded to the former Sutherland County Council (3).
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With all this in mind, it’s vitally important that local shops are supported to the hilt in the more sparsely populated areas of Britain.  Support must also be given to any local small businesses, entrepreneurs, independent traders and the self-employed.  Without local support, local shops and businesses will wither and die – and locals will have to travel further and further from home to access goods and services.
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The message is clear then: If You Live Or Work In Sutherland … SHOP LOCAL!
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(1) http://nationalliberal.org/if-you-live-or-work-in-tweeddale-%e2%80%a6-shop-local
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(2) https://britishcountyflags.wordpress.com/2017/04/29/a-flag-for-sutherland/

(3) http://abcounties.com/news/proposed-sutherland-flag-competition-gains-support/

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Liberal Future Debate (3) – Is Tony Blair A War Criminal?
GORDON BROWN, former Labour leader and Prime Minister, has recently revealed – see here http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/gordon-brown-claims-knew-no-11469120 here http://www.heraldscotland.com/news/homenews/15641625.Gordon_Brown_says_UK___39_misled__39__over_WMDs_ahead_of_Iraq_war/ and here http://www.independent.co.uk/news/uk/politics/gordon-brown-iraq-us-wmds-intelligence-blair-saddam-hussein-war-george-bush-rumsfeld-book-a8037686.html – that George W Bush misled Tony Blair over Iraq’s Weapons of Mass Destruction.  Indeed, as the above reports note, the US administration kept quiet about a top secret intelligence report which showed there was NO evidence Iraq had weapons of mass destruction. Brown argues that Britain would not have invaded Iraq had we known about it.
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Yet this seems to be contradicted by a previous report in the Daily Mail http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3277402/Smoking-gun-emails-reveal-Blair-s-deal-blood-George-Bush-Iraq-war-forged-YEAR-invasion-started.html – which seems to suggest that Blair had effectively already committed Britain to war.
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Many people think that Tony Blair is a war criminal because of his part in the Iraq war. What do you think?

We know that the Daily Mail doesn’t have a very high opinion of Tony Blair (does anyone have a high opinion of Tony Blair these days?) but if Liberal Future is reading the runes correctly, we feel Blair would have gone to war no matter what.

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We get the impression that Tony Blair wanted to demonstrate how macho he was.  Here was a real tough guy – and not some wimpy kid.  It’s almost as if Tony Blair wanted to emulate Maggie Thatcher when she went to war with Argentina over the Falkland Islands. We also feel that the Iraq war may may have triggered Blair’s almost messianic outlook on life.
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One thing is for sure, many people feel that Blair should be prosecuted for his part in the Iraq conflict.  Here, hundreds of thousands of combatants and non-combatants have been killed or injured.
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We feel that the following article by Nora Johnson (from the 20 – 26 July issue of the Euro Weekly News) perfectly sums up the feelings of many people.  Referring to a TV programme from earlier this year, she seems to imply that Blair should be doing serious jail time.
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We’d ask people to read the article below and answer the question posed by this Liberal Future debate – is Tony Blair a war criminal? To take part in the debate, simply look out it when it appears on our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/groups/706779429376233/ and have your say in the comments section.
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Chilcot accuses Blair of not being ‘straight with the nation’ over Iraq
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WARNING: the following contains strong language right from the start!  What the *** …  Well, I’d better tone it down a bit as it’s a family newspaper!
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I thought at first it was a belated April Fool’s joke but no.  The BBC interview I just watched is only too true, and my blood pressure’s rising rapidly.  And not in a good way.
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After weeks of depressing news about Brexit, Putin, Corbyn, Trump’s latest shenanigans, who unexpectedly emerges in the headlines?  Yes.  You guessed: Tony Blair.
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Tony Blair relied on emotional beliefs rather than facts in his decision to take Britain to was in Iraq, Sir John Chilcot, chairman of the seven-year inquiry into the legality of the conflict admitted in the interview.
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Right, so next time I’m caught out blatently lying, Ican claim I was “from my perspective and standpoint, emotionally truthful.”  Thanks, Sir John, for clarifying that.
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Well, apart from the odd timing of Sir John’s admission (the inquiry was published a year ago), what’s also striking about the interview are the oddly evasive answers.  Makes you wonder why he agreed to it all.
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And as for Blair’s decision-making process, what stands out most starkly is the fact that instead of providing a reasoned argument, he’d simply say: “I’m doing this because it’s the right thing to do,” ‘right’ having the smug tone of a vicor’s inner convictions.  Is Sir John correct in describing that as ‘emotion’?
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Blair meddled in thongs he didn’t bother to analyse deeply and regularly mistook his own personal convictions for facts that they certainly weren’t.  astonishgly, he still spins this into big bucks.  Some people can, apparently, fool others (almost) all of the time.
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So, we’ve now entered the post-truth era where emotions, not facts, inform human behaviour and there is no doubt that Tony Blair acted with total ‘emotional’ integrity.  Lawyers will be doubtless be pondering the extent to which this constitutes a plausible defence against other forms of criminality apart from war crimes.  Crimes such as: I just killed my husband/wife/child/friend in an ‘emotional’ reaction to his/their behaviour?  Heck!
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• CHECK OUT Liberal Future here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/706779429376233/
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• CHECK OUT previous Liberal Future debates here:
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Liberal Future Debate (1) – Should We Lower The Voting Age Throughout the UK? http://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-debate-1-%e2%80%93-should-we-lower-the-voting-age-throughout-the-uk
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Liberal Future Debate (2) – Must The Earth Die Screaming? http://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-debate-2-must-the-earth-die-screaming
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Liberal Future Debate (3) – Do Sport And Politics Mix? http://nationalliberal.org/liberal-future-debate-3-%E2%80%93-do-sport-and-politics-mix

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