Saturday, 20 July 2024

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A Christmas message from National Liberal Party National Secretary David Durant

ddxmasWhilst it is understandable that people’s main concern in times of recession will be with their job and wealth (or lack of either) we should never drop our guard concerning our personal liberties.

Over the years there has been a tendency for Authority to increase the holding of data on its citizens whether DNA or ‘hard’ information. For them the most important goal has been to bring more and more citizens within their orbit. The more data they hold the greater they feel their hold will be on us all.
Once they are able to widen the scope they never look back arguing that it is in the interests of all its citizens that individuals should have less and less ‘secrets’. The DNA database held by the Police is a case in point. DNA is accepted as a legitimate piece of evidence in identifying individuals. Anyone who has been convicted of a crime might expect to be held on such a database since they are, fairly or otherwise, regarded as more likely suspects than the average citizen. However, DNA samples are taken from anyone arrested for an offence carrying a jail term and retained regardless of whether convicted or not?
Thousands of surveillance cameras capture our movements in most towns. Compulsory carrying of ID cards is threatened. Citizens can and are being arrested and held without trial. The checks and balances of the Judiciary is slowly being eroded by a ‘Big Brother’ State which seeks to be the sole arbiter of what liberty they will allow us.
And yet there are citizens prepared to speak out against the erosion of our personal liberties e.g. Ron Paul in the USA or David Davis in the UK. We may or may not agree with all of their larger agenda but on preserving personal liberty we are one. Whilst this preservation may not rank high in most voters priorities it is important that freedom-loving activists and groups offer that policy to the electorate. By doing so they remind people of its importance. Long fought for throughout history but always liable to be taken away in an instant. The biggest threat to liberty is not necessarily the bureaucrat who erodes our anonymity or ‘secrets’ but the politician of tomorrow who uses it against us before we can react. I hope that the NLP and others keep the preservation of personal liberties a priority.
Until that day may I wish, on behalf of the National Liberal Party, a Merry Xmas and Happy New Year to one and all!
David Durant – National Secretary

Banks bailed-out (again!) but workers face sack

60 billion of public money was spent before yesterday on bank bailouts. Another £50 billion was committed yesterday to Lloyds and RBS, including tax breaks.

Chancellor Alistair Darling announced that a shocking £33.5bn in cash and debt guarantees will be given to the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) – on top of the £20 billion the taxpayer has already handed over – to make the RBS bailout the costliest bank rescue in history. The government also handed another £5.7bn  to directors at Lloyds to add to their earlier £17bn state handout.

This huge the injection of public money, which takes the government’s ownership of RBS to 84 per cent and of Lloyds to 43 per cent does nothing for ordinary workers. The deal means that RBS and Lloyds will have to close more than 900 branches which could threaten as many as 25,000 jobs.


Afghanistan – Bring the Troops back before Christmas

petitionpic

Supporters of the HBC campaign gathered around the Rainham Clock Tower & War Memorial, including local councillors Jeffery Tucker and Michael Deon Burton, on Wednesday 3/11 to demonstrate their support for the petition.

National Liberal Chairman David Durant has launched a borough-wide campaign in Havering to support British troops by bringing them home from Afghanistan.

A petition is being raised to PM Gordon Brown asking that since our troops are ill-equipped to fight in the region they should return home without delay.

Launching the ‘Home before Christmas’ (HBC) petition in Rainham David Durant said “It is clear our troops are not being properly equipped to fight this war and their lives should not be sacrificed to prop up a corrupt Government. It is National Liberal policy in principle not to intervene into other countries affairs still less to see our brave soldiers suffer daily losses in an ‘unwinnable’ and pointless war”.

He added “Politicians in previous conflicts have often promised to bring troops home for Christmas. Gordon Brown has the opportunity to do it for real!”.


Afghanistan – Bring the troops home

As of October 28, 2009, there have been 1,428 coalition deaths in Afghanistan as part of ongoing coalition operations (Operation Enduring Freedom and International Security Assistance Force (ISAF).

During the first five years of the war, the vast majority of coalition deaths were American, but between 2006 and 2009, a significant proportion were amongst other nations, particularly the United Kingdom and Canada which have been assigned responsibility for the flashpoint provinces of Helmand and Kandahar, respectively. This is due to the fact that in 2006, ISAF expanded its jurisdiction to the southern regions of Afghanistan which were previously under the direct authority of the U.S. military.

With 446 Operation Enduring Freedom and ISAF deaths so far, 2009, has been the deadliest year for foreign military troops since the U.S. invasion in 2001, continuing the trend that has occurred every year since 2003.

As of October 26, 2009, the British forces have suffered 223 fatalities and 790 wounded in action, another 1,951 have suffered from disease or non-battle injuries. The vast majority of fatalities have taken place since the redeployment of British forces to the Taliban stronghold of Helmand province in 2006, as only 5 men died between April 2002 and early March 2006. 192 fatalities were a result of hostile action, while 31 are known to have died either as a result of illness, non-combat injuries or accidents, or have not yet officially been assigned a cause of death pending the outcome of an investigation.

What are these deaths for? For defending a fake, corrupt puppet regime which now wants to have a one-candidate election run-off after election fraud of heroic proportions?

Certainly we have not brought peace and prosperity. This country has some of the world’s worst health indicators, with an average life expectancy of 44.

About one in five children dies before their fifth birthday and it has one of the highest maternal mortality rates in the world (one in 50 births).

Most people lack access to safe drinking water and sanitary facilities. Disease, malnutrition and poverty are widespread and millions of people are dependent on food aid.

British Troops in Afghanistan are brave and professional but they are being asked to fight a losing battle. This is not our war. Bring our troops home. Then perhaps aid could be sent in to address drinking water, food shortages and health care. As long as our troops are there as occupiers, the Afghans cannot rebuild their country and the Taliban will continue to murder innocents with their suicide bombings. The only solution I see, is to stop occupying the country and then offer aid to those in need.


Attack on DLA and Attendance Allowance

The NuLab government has announced new proposals to reform social care services in England. The care green paper proposes to abolish some disability benefits and give the money instead to local authorities to pay for social care services. There are also plans to extend this beyond England. The UK government has said:- “Any changes to the care and support system in England that integrate some disability benefits funding would affect the devolved administrations in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland who may also choose to adopt the new care and support system. We will work closely with all three devolved administrations to reach a shared view for how to ensure the best possible outcomes for all people in thw UK.”

The National Liberal Party (NLP) is strongly opposed to the abolition of Attendance Allowance and Disability Living Allowance. We believe that these benefits are the original individualised budgets which many disabled people rely on to pay for the additional costs associated with disability. These extra costs include: higher fuel bills and heating costs; special diets; costs of extra laundry; taxi fares; help with shopping; gardening; decorating; housework etc. To abolish either AA or DLA would go against the principles of the Independent Living Movement in ensuring that disabled people have dignity, choice and control over their own finances and can pay for essential support not provided by social work services.

Please sign this Petition.


Laing and Stewart both set for Jobs for life

Campaigners calling for a more accountable parliament have branded reselection of Eleanor Laing and the selection of Rory Stewart a return to business as usual in the Commons. 

The Vote for a Change campaign, which been at the front of calls for a referendum on the voting system at the next election, has offered its congratulations to both candidates on securing ‘Jobs for Life’ in two of the country’s safest seats. [see breakdown below]
 
Epping Forrest MP Eleanor Laing survived a vote of confidence, winning 83% of the votes at Conservative Association meeting despite having had to repay £25k of expenses and making £1m of tax-free profits selling her taxpayer-funded second home. Former Royal tutor Stewart has been selected for the safe seat of Penrith & the Border.
 
The campaign is calling for a new voting system that will allow all voters – not just party members – to have a real say on who speaks in their name.
 
Willie Sullivan from the Vote for a Change campaign said:
 

“With unemployment hovering at 2½ million it seems two workers at least are able to buck the trend. Hearty congratulations to both Eleanor and Rory for achieving the job security most of us could only dream of.

 

“The selection of Laing and Stewart reveal two sides of the same problem – super safe seats that produce unshakable incumbents and undefeatable newcomers. In these seats the only meaningful choice on offer rests with the parties. The rest of us may’s well stay at home.

 

“If Epping Forrest’s Tories want to stand Laing as their candidate, then that’s their choice. But Epping Forrest’s voters have little to no chance of holding her to account come the election. In Penrith & the Border voters have an ‘MP in Waiting’ following the Conservative nomination. The only contest in town has come and gone. Rory is already looking for property in the area – a move no opponent would be foolish enough to make with our fait accompli elections. Opponents would be better off scrabbling around for the bus ticket home, if indeed they bother campaigning at all.

 

“After all we’ve seen this summer it’s still that the parties aren’t going to sort themselves out. Far too many parts of this country are effectively in the pocket of one party while most of their voters are left without the representation they asked for. It’s high time all voters – not just a select few party hacks – had a real say on who represents them in Westminster.

Graham Williamson for the National Liberal Party said:-

 

“The NLP argue for a wide variety of improvements to our democracy. We advocate Swiss-style referendums and initiative votes as well as for Proportional representation. We also argue for recall to allow politicians who have lost public confidence to be sacked. The public has lost faith in the current system and the re-selection of Laing and Stewart is yet another nail in the coffin.” 
Facts

Based on new boundaries for the next general election, and assuming no swing to the Tories,  Penrith and Border has a notional majority 10,795 –, making it the 32nd Safest Conservative Seat in the UK. It would require a swing of 13% to the Lib Dems to see the Tory candidate defeated.

Epping Forest has a notional majority of 13, 473 making the 11th Safest Tory Seat in the UK. It would take a Labour swing of over 16% to win Epping Forest.

 

 

See Rawlings and Thrasher Media Guide to the New Parliamentary Constituencies.


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