Saturday, 20 July 2024

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NLP Scotland Update June 2013
THE BEGINNING of this month saw the Scottish Conservatives hold their annual conference in Stirling.  The party that was once simply known as the Unionists and commanded 50% of the Scottish vote in the post-war period has seen better days. The 200 delegates were outnumbered two-to-one by an anti-Bedroom Tax demonstration outside of the venue.  The party is reportedly in internal turmoil over leader Ruth Davidson’s proposals to look at increasing devolution of powers to Holyrood should Scotland vote “No” to independence in 2014.  Many hard-line Tories are reluctant to go down this path.  Although they campaigned against devolution and the establishment of the Scottish Parliament, it is through gaining seats in Holyrood that the small Scottish Tory band has had its most influence in perhaps two decades.  Ironically, the most media attention surrounding the conference was not generated by UK party David Cameron’s address to the delegates, (which reportedly struggled to fill the hall), but by former Labour Chancellor Alistair Darling’s speech to a fringe meeting organised by an anti-independence campaign group.

Regarding the Scottish political scene generally, it looks like support for the concept of Devo-Max, a position supported by the NLP, is growing.  In the event of Scotland rejecting outright independence next year there could be a real groundswell of support for further devolution as it looks like some people took a tactical view when the referendum question was being formulated of wanting a simple yes or no question without a third option in case it split the vote in favour of remaining in the UK.

The NLP in Scotland has been continuing to work away at generally raising awareness of the party.  The current UK wide campaign on the theme of Shop Local has seen leaflets and posters distributed in Paisley, Govan, Dunfermline, Airdrie and Hamilton.  This will continue over the summer as new areas are visited and literature distributed.

Later this summer it is hoped that issue two of Caledonian Voice, (CV), the NLP’s paper in Scotland, will be printed and ready for distribution.  Since issue one was produced in July of last year, the distribution of CV has been undertaken by a handful of members and supporters who have to fit in sessions of delivering it door-to-door in between work and family commitments.  In order to make issue two possible we really need more people to get involved in distributing the remaining stock of issue one.  Just about everything we need is in place for issue two but we really need to free the storage space currently being taken up by boxes of issue one! Please contact NLP Head Office if you would like to help with the distribution of Caledonian Voice.
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NONE OF THE ABOVE
The Total Democracy group’s campaign to get NONE OF THE ABOVE onto all ballot papers has produced a further press release highlighting the poor turnout at the recent Eastleigh by-election i.e. only 52%. Feel free to circulate.

Contrast this to the turnout of 92% in the Falkland Islanders referendum! If the issue is important, if the ‘politicians’ are the people themselves, if the spin and corruption is stripped away, the people will turn-out to vote.

Until that day comes to the UK the only way people will vote is to express their disgust at our rulers and rotten political system. They can do that by having NONE OF THE ABOVE as a choice on the ballot paper!



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Support These Trade Union Demos!
SATURDAY 20 OCTOBER will see three massive demonstrations organised by the Trades Union Congress – TUC.
Calling for A Future That Works, they will take place in Belfast, Glasgow and London. It’s anticipated that the main march and demo – to be held in Central London – will be as large as last year’s March for the Alternative. It too was organised by the TUC and it attracted over 500,000 people.

The demos scheduled for later this month are to protest at the Con-Dem Government’s continuing Austerity programme, which has seen thousands of jobs slashed and essential services cut to the bone.

Members and supporters of the National Liberal Party are encouraged to support their nearest march and demonstration.

For further details and updates check out the TUC web-site – www.tuc.org.uk – or the National Liberal Trade Unionist Facebook group – http://www.facebook.com/#!/groups/277840098977231/?fref=ts
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Clean energy

Cllr Brent CheethamOur councillor in Cuffley, Hertfordshire, Brent Cheetham, is a strong campaigner for renewable energy supplies. He recently, and succesfully, supported a local energy recycling plant in the face of strong conservative opposition. He is also a supporter of the Friends of the Earth and is asking readers to sign the latest FoE petition calling upon the Energy Secretary, the Lib Dem minister, Ed Davey to set targets for ‘clean electric’ in his forthcoming Energy Bill.


He urges you to click here to sign

http://www.foe.co.uk/campaigns
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SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL SHOPS

One of the posters put out by the NLP in support of Local Shops

The Sunday trading laws were waived because of the Olympics. Now the Coalition want to waive them permanently, which might be seen as a further nail in the coffin for small family shops! A report in the Sunday Telegraph suggests that such moves will be fought by an alternative coalition of unions, small businesses and the church! Multiples (Supermarkets) are allowed to do some limited trade on Sundays at the moment but that is not enough as it seems that the government wants them to be open 24/7 and 365 days a year!

The bigger picture is a declining number of shops (and pubs) as town centres slowly die or survive around a supermarket. It is the way modern society has gone, cheaper and convenient. Yet, the loss of our town centres as thriving shopping centres has other negative spin-offs, increased vandalism, a shrinking community spirit, reduced choice and a larger carbon footprint as we travel further afield for our purchases. The shopping centres played an important role as the glue that help maintain our community spirit.

The National Liberal Party has campaigned in favour of small shops as we believe they are part of the that mix. We would like to see a balance restored where these can centres thrive again. Councils and government can play a part through tax breaks and investment and you can do so too by, wherever possible, shopping local!

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NLP Man Slams Banking System!
DAVID KERR – a member of the National Liberal Party’s Steering Committee – has slammed the banking system!

His comments come in the wake of both the Libor scandal involving Barclays Bank (and the ongoing computer glitch which has caused problems for thousands who use the Royal Bank of Scotland and its subsidiaries, Nat West and Ulster Bank.)
Mr. Kerr said:
“Barclays has just been fined a record £290million for its part in the Libor scandal. This is where they rigged the lending rate, which has affected millions of homeowners and borrowers.”
The NLP man noted that – in the past – many people had just focused on the enormous salaries and bonuses enjoyed by those at the top of the banking system.
“However, it now appears that people are going to have to look a little bit more at the entire banking system. For instance, is this manipulation of bank lending rates just the tip of the iceberg?”
He also pointed out that around 20 other banks are also under investigation.
“According to many media reports, these include such well-known names such as the Royal Bank of Scotland, Lloyds and the HSBC.

With this in mind, is it any wonder that many people believe that these private banks should be nationalised and amalgamated into one National Bank?”
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