Wednesday, 29 October 2014

The truth about the Tories and the EU Referendum Bill

The Conservatives have pulled the plug on their own EU Referendum Bill, despite being given the opportunity by the Liberal Democrats to take it before the House of Commons.

Questions are now being asked as to whether this was a short term tactic to distinguish themselves form UKIP by being able to promise a referendum at the next election, which they couldn't have done if the Coalition had made it law.

For the first time, we are lifting the lid on some of the negotiations behind the scenes in order to reveal the truth to the public.

Quite simply, a deal was being made in government, where the Liberal Democrats offered to grant the required money resolution for Conservative MP Bob Neill's EU Referendum Bill in return for the Conservatives agreeing to a money resolution for Lib Dem MP Andrew George’s Affordable Homes Bill.

This is standard practice in government and is a completely reasonable deal - each party getting a money bill for a Private Member’s Bill they feel strongly about.

But the Tories decided to putting forward a proposal they know for certain will be turned down by the Lib Dems – a completely unfair deal where Andrew George's Bill would only get a money resolution, but Bob Neill's Bill would have both a money resolution and government time for the EU Referendum Bill.

The Liberal Democrats have been more than willing to sign up to a fair deal that is the same for both sides – i.e. a money bill being granted for both Andrew George and for Bob Neill. This is not the case with the Conservative's last ditched proposal.

A spokesperson for the party has said:

"The Liberal Democrats were never going to block Bob Neill's Referendum bill. We were happy to allow them to try and get it passed in the House of Commons. But the truth is they have folded like a cheap deck chair and are trying to make us take the blame by adding ridiculous conditions they knew we would not and could not accept."

The only logical conclusion that can be reached is that the Tories don’t really want their bill to pass and are trying to set the Lib Dems up as the scapegoats. Why else would they put forward a proposal they know cannot be agreed?

We can only assume they would prefer it hadn’t become law by the time of the General Election. They would prefer not to be talking about their bottom lines in their proposed grand renegotiation and instead try and deal with UKIP by saying the only way to get a referendum is to vote Tory. They couldn’t do the latter if their bill had become law. They clearly never wanted the referendum bill to pass.

It is amazing that the Conservatives are prepared to sacrifice this Bill, which they say they care about, for some short-term tactical distinction from UKIP.

Unlock Democracy: William Hague is deciding the future of the UK

Over 7000 people have now signed our petition for a Constitutional Convention! The call for a Constitutional Convention is building momentum. Party leaders have heard the call with Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Caroline Lucas and Nigel Farage giving their support. It is time to step up the campaign.

A committee of cabinet ministers, chaired by William Hague, is still trying to reach a deal on what should happen next. And we want them to recommend a Constitutional Convention. We are working with the Electoral Reform Society to keep up the pressure. We have joined forces with 27 organisations and experts to write to William Hague. Will you join us in telling William Hague’s committee that when it comes to deciding the future of the UK, citizens must take the lead?

Take Action: Write to William Hague

Our letter asks William Hague’s Committee to back a Constitutional Convention that meets five key criteria.

  • UK-wide: the Convention should involve the people of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales
  • People-led: a majority of the Convention participants should be randomly selected from the population, in a way which represents the UK as a whole
  • Focused on where power lies: the Convention should focus on deciding the balance of powers between the Westminster Government and our nations, regions, localities and people
  • Nations and regions recognised: the main Convention should be informed by discussions at a regional and national level, involving people from every section of society
  • Binding: there must be mechanisms in place – including a binding referendum – for ensuring that decisions made by the Convention are acted upon

The future of the UK shouldn’t be decided behind closed doors. We have a real opportunity to shape the discussion. We believe every UK citizen should have a say in how their country is governed. Please join the thousands people taking action and calling for a Constitutional Convention.

Best wishes,

Emily Randall

Senior Campaigner, Unlock Democracy

P.S. If you also receive similar emails from Electoral Reform Society, we thought you might like to know that we are working with them on this action.

New £2 million fund launched to tackle homophobic bullying in schools

Schools will be offered £2m to help them tackle homophobic bullying.

The funds will be offered to charitable and not-for-profit organisations that suggest creative ideas to stamp out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying in schools across the country.

Liberal Democrats want to stamp out homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying once and for all. You can show your support for this too by backing our campaign here.

For many victims of bullying, the memories of their experiences in the playground, classroom and corridors will stay with them throughout their lives.

Bullying can result in children from being uncomfortable in themselves and deterred from achieving their full potential.

Liberal Democrat Minister for Women and Equalities, Jo Swinson said:
“We know the damage bullies can have on young people’s self-esteem and educational attainment. There should be absolutely no excuse for this taking place in our schools. 
“Young people should grow up feeling safe expressing who they are, and we know that homophobic bullying stands in the way of this. 
“I am excited to see the creative proposals that this fund will bring about, to make sure we can bring homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying to an end.”

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

There must be parity of esteem between physical and mental health

Mental health charity Mind has said that the amount of public budgets spent on mental health prevention is too low.

In a report published by Mind today (October 28), figures reveal that £40m of council funds will go on mental health compared to £900m for physical health.

Responding to the report, Liberal Democrat Care Minister Norman Lamb Tweeted:

Liberal Democrats are calling for parity of esteem between physical and mental health and want to stamp out the stigma surrounding mental health.

That's why Liberal Democrats in government have enshrined in law, the equal status of mental and physical health.

And because we believe that mental health conditions should be taken as seriously as physical health, we have also announced that from April 2015, there will be the first ever waiting time standards for mental health treatment.

This means that patients needing talking therapies will be guaranteed treatment in six weeks with a maximum waiting time set to 18 weeks.

Our 2015 general election manifesto includes a commitment to £500m of extra funding for mental health care.

Gender pay laws will help close equality gap

Reacting to the news that the UK has fallen to 26th in the ‘World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap Report’, Liberal Democrat Minister for Women and Equalities Jo Swinson said:

"Today’s report shows that we need to take further action to tackle the inequality that still exists between men and women. That is why Liberal Democrats would introduce laws requiring large companies to publish their gender pay gap.

"Forty years after the Equal Pay Act was passed it is utterly unacceptable that women are not being equally rewarded in the workplace. The Liberal Democrats have successfully secured shared parental leave, extra childcare, a new right to request flexible working, and we are determined to tackle the gender pay gap. If women in the workplace are to have the same opportunities and choices as men, they must be properly rewarded for their talents and skills - it's as simple as that."

Back our campaign to close the gender pay gap.

Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Lib Dems fight to save Rouse Ball Pavilion fund

Cambridge’s crumbling Rouse Ball Pavilion could be under threat after the new Labour administration on the City Council indicated that it wants to spend its rescue fund elsewhere.

Liberal Democrats have fought to save the historic 1920’s building on Jesus Green setting aside £250,000 of developers’ contributions towards projected project costs of £500,000.

And they contacted Cambridge University’s Trinity College which agreed to match the council’s funding.

The project included refurbishing the building creating a community space, café and changing rooms for people playing sport on Jesus Green.

But now it looks like Labour may pull the funds for use elsewhere.

Councillor Andrea Reiner, Liberal Democrat Spokesperson on Public Places said: “We have put years of work into getting the money together for this hugely valuable project. Without this fund we cannot refurbish the building or provide the community amenities we had hoped.

“We held a workshop in the spring to talk about options for the pavilion which was attended by a number of residents; they will be bitterly disappointed by this setback.

“I will be fighting to save the funds we have set aside to rescue this historic building and the community facilities we had planned.”

Cambridge MP's campaign to outlaw revenge porn backed by Lords

Cambridge MP Julian Huppert’s campaign to outlaw revenge porn moved a step closer to success yesterday (Monday, October 20) when the House of Lords unanimously backed  calls for a change in the law.

The decision is one of the final hurdles in Julian’s fight for justice for the victims of revenge porn which has won support from national charity, Women’s Aid.

The charity sees the move as significant in pushing forward with its fight to allow “abused women to seek justice and protection for every aspect of domestic violence”.

Julian campaigned through the Commons to get the law changed to make it illegal for the sharing of private sexual images of people without their permission.

Lib Dem peers, including former Cambridgeshire Lib Dem Leader, Sal Brinton took the case to the House of Lords.

It now looks likely that it will become law in the Criminal Justice and Courts Bill.

Julian said: “I have campaigned hard for this because it is so important that we give the victims of revenge porn protection in law.

“It is so incredibly damaging. It has huge implications for the victims, and in some cases, it has even led to suicide.

“But it’s also about educating people who are considering publishing these pictures to think again about what they are doing.”

Clare Laxton, Public Policy Manager for Women’s Aid said: “Perpetrators of domestic violence use revenge porn as a tool to control, humiliate, and traumatise their victims. The impact it has on abused women cannot be underestimated. That is why it is important to have the support of MPs such as Julian.

“Criminalising revenge pornography is a step in the right direction, and we are campaigning with the Domestic Violence Law Reform Campaign to ensure that the pattern of psychological, controlling abusive behaviour which underlies most incidents of revenge porn is also criminalised. This way, abused women will be able to seek justice and protection for every aspect of domestic violence.”

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Lib Dem fight set to pay off as dangerous junction earmarked for funding

October 15, 2014


Years of campaigning by Cambridge Liberal Democrats could pay off next week when a dangerous Cambridge junction looks set to get a share of a £2 million plus fund for improvements.

The Queen Edith’s Way roundabout junction with Fendon Road and Mowbray Road is used by more than 300 cyclists an hour and more than 150 pedestrians, many of them school and college students.

Lib Dems in Queen Edith’s have been calling for action to make the roundabout safer and for a pedestrian crossing. It has been identified as having the second worst accident record in the city for bikes with 34 crashes over a five year period.

Queen Edith’s City Councillor, George Pippas has been campaigning for a crossing and Cllr Tim Moore ran a traffic survey in the area. In just one hour he witnessed two near-miss accidents involving pedestrians and a further incident where a cyclist was forced to jump on the pavement to avoid being hit by a vehicle.

Cambridgeshire County Councillor, Amanda Taylor, who has been pressing for Section 106 funding for improvements said: “It’s extremely good news that funding is now available for improvements at this dangerous junction and they look set to be approved as part of a scheme to make Queen Edith’s safer for cyclists and pedestrians.

“We have been very worried that it was only a matter of time before someone was going to be seriously injured or even killed. This is a main route for children going to school and students heading for the sixth form colleges and they are forced to mix with heavy traffic.

“We want to make sure that everyone can use this junction safely and a crossing is desperately needed.”

The project is expected to share £2,317,000 worth of funding with two other schemes including improvements for pedestrians and cyclists on Cherry Hinton Road and signal improvements at the Robin Hood junction.

Councillors on the county council’s Economy and Environment Committee will vote on the schemes next Tuesday (October 21) at Shire Hall.

Huppert welcomes increase for 100,000 plus county pensioners

More than 100,000 pensioners across Cambridgeshire will get a rise of at least £2.85 a week on their basic state pensions next April.

The news has been welcomed by Cambridge MP, Julian Huppert as the Liberal Democrats’ triple lock pension gives pensioners more money in their pockets.

“We are committed to making life easier for those people who have worked all their lives so that they can have security in their retirement and plan for their futures,” said Julian.

The rise will bring the level of the state pension to at least £115.95 a week and will benefit 100,229 pensioners across the county.

It means the pension has increased by £18.30 more each since since 2010 when the Lib Dems went into coalition and means that the full basic state pension is £950 more than under Labour.

“We campaigned for this in opposition, delivered it in government and are committed to writing it into law in the next Parliament,” added Julian. “We have ensured that pensioners in Cambridgeshire will never again be subjected to the indignity of the 75p rise they saw under Labour.”

The triple lock pension delivers a rate either at the level of inflation or 2.5 per cent, whichever is the greater.

Safe standing would cut the cost of watching football

Liberal Democrat plans to introduce safe standing areas at football grounds would help to cut ticket prices, as new research shows ticket prices have grown by 4.4% in the past year.

The BBC ‘Price of Football’ study has revealed that the average ticket to a game in the football league is now £21.49, up 13% since 2011.

Commenting, Lib Dem Culture, Media and Sport spokesperson John Leech MP said:
"Modern football is expensive to watch, and this BBC study shows that prices are only going one way. We have to take action so that the average fan is not priced out of the national game. 
"Safe standing in other countries allows clubs to offer cheaper season tickets to fans who want to watch the game in standing areas. For example, Bayern Munich charge just £110 for a season ticket in their standing area, nearly 10 times less than a season ticket to watch Arsenal. 
"Safe standing offers supporters more choice, a better atmosphere and cheaper tickets. It is an idea whose time has come and I am proud that it is the Liberal Democrats who are the first political party to commit to delivering this."

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Sign The Petition: Support Freelance Workers Demands For Better Working Condition

More than 7,000 people from across the European Union have already signed the petition ... Will you join them?

Catherine Bearder MEP met recently with members of the European Freelancers' Movement, who handed over supporters' signatures and delivered a Manifesto raising a strong voice in support of independent and self-employed workers.

Almost 7,000 freelancers in 29 European countries joined the online campaign calling for improvements in EU policies affecting independent workers.

"Freelancers and self-employed workers are a large and growing part of the European workforce, but we are ignored and isolated," said Joel Dullroy, campaign manager of the European Freelancers' Movement. "We went to Brussels to tell policy-makers that we should be taken seriously."

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:
"Self-employed workers and freelancers deserve to participate fully in the work and policies of the EU. 

"This should be one of the core principles driving the work of the new European Commission."

Tuesday, 7 October 2014

National review needed on Right to Buy - Cambridge MP

A national review should be launched into the government’s Right to Buy scheme as families face long waiting times for desperately needed homes, claims MP Julian Huppert.

And local authorities should be able to make their own decisions as whether or not to implement the scheme in their areas based on housing problems in their towns and cities.

Julian’s call won support at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference where he said that although Right to Buy has allowed some people on low incomes to buy their homes, it has seriously depleted the social housing stock across the country.

“Under Labour, between 1997 and 2010 social housing fell by 420,000,” said Julian. “Although the scheme had benefits, because it gave people who wouldn’t normally have been able to afford to buy, a chance to own their homes, it failed to replace the stock. That was the flaw in this policy.

“Now we have long waiting lists and families waiting for desperately needed accommodation. Labour failed to build enough new homes and we find ourselves in a precarious situation where the government has a one-size-fits-all policy regardless of what’s happening on the ground.

“We need a full national review on Right to Buy so that we can understand the effect and consequences of this policy across the country. And we need to hand control over this policy back to the people who understand their areas and local need.”

Monday, 6 October 2014

The Cambridgeshire Amendment - Lib Dems win support for radical vision for health

Cllr Kilian Bourke
Cambridgeshire Liberal Democrats have won support for their vision for a more integrated NHS with a move away from the fragmented model that was introduced by the Conservatives in 1991, that has been deepened by every Government since.

The so-called “Cambridgeshire Amendment” was backed by every single Liberal Democrat local party in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough, because this area experienced so many damaging health projects under successive Labour Governments.

It would allow local groups of NHS providers and commissioners, where they desire to do so, to form a single integrated health organisations that would provide and manage care on an ongoing basis, instead of the current approach which is led by the commissioning of services.

It would allow local areas to abolish the purchase/provider split that has driven NHS reforms for the last 23 years, subject to local democratic support, and approval of the business case by Monitor and the Department of Health.

The proposal was overwhelmingly backed by delegates at the Lib Dem Autumn Conference this weekend allowing it to form part of the party’s pre-manifesto for the General Election.

Kilian Bourke, Chair of Cambridgeshire’s Health and Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee, who proposed the amendment, said: "Our local health economy has experienced enormous damage as a consequence of Labour's two disastrous PFI contracts in the north of the county, as well as the £1bn, 10-year, private sector contract to run Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which Andy Burnham put out to the market in 2009.

"Our proposal is at once radical and localist. We believe that the fragmented experience of care that many patients experience is at least partly caused by the fragmented organisation of the NHS, which is divided into purchasers and providers of services.”

He added that integrated contracts, such as the one recently awarded in Cambridgeshire for the older people’s services, can work but questions have to be asked as to whether it is the most efficient way.

He said: "This proposal would give local groups of NHS organisations the option to merge to form a single integrated health organisation that would manage the provision and integration of services on an ongoing basis, instead of the current commissioning-led approach.

"My view is that allowing an integrated NHS organisation to just 'get on with it' might well be more efficient and effective than the frequent competitive tendering of services. One of the great strengths of this proposal is that it would permit comparisons to be made between different models of providing NHS services, putting the current debate on the basis of evidence rather than ideology."

Spencer Hagard, Cambridge Lib Dem party chair, who summated the amendment, told the conference that this amendment “is sensitive to local knowledge, local conditions and local needs. It provides for learning from experience and is an evidence-based approach.”

Cllr Bourke said later: “I am delighted conference backed this amendment. It gives more power to people on the ground in a local area to tailor their health care to meet the specific needs of their area in an integrated cost-effective way rather than following a national one-size-fits-all approach.”

Cambridge MP launches attack on Home Secretary over Bradbury case

MP Julian Huppert has accused Home Secretary, Theresa May of risking child safety highlighting that some of the victims of Cambridge doctor, Myles Bradbury could have been saved if she had prioritised “getting things right”.

He told her that if she had stopped diverting resources to demand intrusive new powers to monitor what we all do online, the police could have used the powers they already have to act on Bradbury sooner.

“By diverting Home Office resources for your quest for never ending new powers you have risked child safety,” he told her during a powerful speech at the Liberal Democrat Autumn Conference.

“Stop scaremongering, stop demanding intrusive new powers that we don’t need and that threaten our civil liberty; stop children being abused with the powers that we already have.”

Julian told the conference that the police failed to act on information received about Bradbury from Canadian authorities for 16 months.

He said they didn’t need any new powers to investigate, they only needed the power to look at their email.

“Let me say to the Home Secretary, what would you say to the families of children abused because your quest for new powers took priority over getting things right? Police have the powers they should use them,” he said.

Julian’s attack came during debate on a conference motion on preventing child abuse.

Vince Cable to bolster apprenticeship pay

Plans to boost pay for thousands of apprentices have been unveiled by Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable.

A proposal to create a single national minimum wage for 16 to 17-year-olds in work and first year of apprentices will be presented to the Low Pay Commission (LPC).

It would mean around 31,000 apprentices in the first year of their programme will benefit from a pay rise of more than £1 an hour.

Vince Cable hoped the move would encourage more young people to take up an apprenticeship.

He said: “The National Minimum Wage has successfully protected the incomes and jobs of the lowest paid workers in the UK.
“This year it will see the first above inflation rise in the minimum wage since the recession.

“Thanks to the Lib Dems, apprenticeships are helping to create a stronger economy and opportunities for young people. I want the minimum pay for apprentices boosted by £1 an hour.”

The proposal to the LPC would see wages will rise from £2.73 to £3.79 an hour on current rates. This will also help employers by simplifying pay structures.

In June 2014, Vince asked the LPC to consider whether the structure of the apprentice rate could be simplified to ensure apprentices get paid the right wage.

The LPC will make their recommendations, alongside the 2015 national minimum wage rates, in the Spring of 2015.

Government will then decide on any changes to the structure, based on the LPC’s recommendations.

Vince Cable to clarify and enhance workforce rights

Liberal Democrat Business Secretary Vince Cable has launched a major review aimed at shoring up workers’ rights.

The aim is to make sure people understand their employment rights, as well as ensuring bosses know what their staff are entitled to.

The review could help strengthen the employment status of up to one million British workers.

Vince said: “Workers should not be finding out that they are not protected by law once they get to employment tribunal.

“Businesses should feel more confident knowing what type of contracts to hire staff on.

“As the economy recovers, it is right to give a silent minority of workers, who currently have fewer employment rights, the security enjoyed by a majority of employees.

“The Liberal Democrats will ensure we will get a system that is fair, simple and transparent.”

The news follows a recent review into zero hours contracts, which revealed some workers could be missing out on basic rights such as maternity leave or unfair dismissal.

Vince Cable said in many cases workers are not aware of their employment status and what rights they are entitled.

Employers may also run the risk of a legal challenge because they may be unaware of rights they should give to their staff.

Business department officials expect to present interim findings by the end of the year, and hope to submit recommendations for next steps to ministers by March.

Vince Cable has also announced a ‘one stop shop’ for workers’ rights enforcement, which will go forward to the Lib Dem manifesto in 2015.

The new Workers’ Rights Agency, which would streamline the work of four existing bodies, will revamp efforts to enforce employment law and tackle the exploitation of workers.

It will include the national minimum wage enforcement section at HM Revenue and Customs, the working time directive section at the Health and Safety Executive, the Employment Agency Standards inspectorate, and the Gangmaster Licensing Authority.

Vince added: “A joined up enforcement approach will ensure the minority of unscrupulous employers who break the law do not get away with undercutting other employers who play by the rules.”

Sunday, 5 October 2014

Nick Clegg: We will transform the North into an economic powerhouse

Liberal Democrats in government will transform The North of England into an economic powerhouse, Nick Clegg has announced.

The Deputy Prime Minister said the party will boost transport infrastructure in the region by developing and implementing the “One North” proposals.

One North - a transport plan developed by key northern cities - will maximise economic growth across the region and will be feature prominently in the Liberal Democrat manifesto.

Key infrastructure improvements include a new 125mph trans-Pennine rail route - connecting Greater Manchester to the eastern leg of HS2 between Leeds and Sheffield.

It also includes the upgrade and expansion of the M62, M60, M56, M6 and M61 motorways, as well as the electrification of existing trans-Pennine line and upgrades to the northern section of the East Coast mainline.

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg said at the party conference in Glasgow:

“For too long the North of England has been neglected by central government.

“To close the north-south gap we need better transport infrastructure in the region. This means better motorways and better railway connections.

“The Liberal Democrats will develop and implement the One North proposals advocated by local authorities across the region.

“We are putting our commitment to transport infrastructure at the front and centre of our election campaign in the north.

“The Liberal Democrats are committed to re-balancing the national economy.

“To build strong and powerful regions not only do we need to devolve power and money, we need to make sure that they have the infrastructure they need.”

Lib Dem members pass NHS £1 billion funding commitment

Liberal Democrat members today overwhelmingly backed plans to commit a £1 billion real term investment in NHS.

The manifesto commitment will see the health service receive the extra £1 billion of real term funding in 2016/17 and 2017/18.

It will be funded by scrapping the Tory "shares for rights” scheme, increasing the dividend tax on additional rate taxpayers and tightening the cap on pension tax relief.

By passing the Public Services Policy Motion, the party also backed moves to ensure all children will be taught by a qualified teacher and follow a core curriculum.

It would reverse a Tory policy to exempt academies and free schools from employing qualified teachers and following the National Curriculum.

Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander said:

"A comprehensive health service paid for by the taxpayer and delivered free at the point of need was a Liberal idea and is a central part of our vision of a stronger economy and a fairer society.

"We will raise this extra money from asking the better off to contribute a little more in tax. This Liberal Democrat commitment is fully and fairly funded.

"It is in stark contrast to the Conservatives who have explicitly stated they will target working people on lower incomes to carry the heaviest burden.

"And any Labour commitment on spending is fatally undermined by their deficit amnesia."

Steve Webb's Autumn Conference speech

In his speech to Autumn Conference, Liberal Democrat Pensions Minister Steve Webb issued a warning to the financial services industry to make sure they put customers at the centre of their approach and stress that we cannot balance the books on the backs of the poor.

He said:

“I am quite attracted to the idea that when you start a job the norm is that each time you get a pay rise a part of the extra cash goes into your pension… You could opt out of this ‘automatic escalation’ but unless you actively chose to opt out, you would gradually contribute more.”

On welfare:

“Two years ago, George Osborne told the Conservative party conference that we should “never balance the budget on the backs of the poor”.

“Well, I agree with George!

“That’s to say, I agree with what the Chancellor said in 2012, not with what he plans to do in the next Parliament.”

On the financial services industry:

“There will be a legal right to impartial guidance on your options… we will need to make sure that as the financial services industry creates new products and options to meet these new freedoms, we put the consumer front and centre of our approach….I am clear as a Liberal Democrat that we must watch the industry like a hawk and step in if necessary.”

Read the speech in full here.

Andy Pellew: Join The Campaign For A Constitutional Convention

The future of our country shouldn't be decided in a closed cabinet committee, stitched up between members of the political class and then rushed through by January. Every man, woman, and child in the UK will have to live with the consequences for generations after todays politicans have shuffled off the political stage.
I believe every UK citizen should have a say in how this country is governed. 

Unlock Democracy is currently campaigning for a Constitutional Convention to be held to take the critical decisions on our future out of the hands of politicians. Can you please spare a single minute of your time to join their campaign?

Joining is simple; just click on the link below and enter your details:

Politicians are already moving behind the campaign with Nick Clegg, Ed Miliband, Caroline Lucas and even Nigel Farage echoing the call. 

You can help keep up the momentum by joining the campaign or donating. You can donate by clicking here, even the smallest amount will help. 

Already nearly 5000 people have added their name to our petition.

Please join me in supporting the convention,

Andy Pellew

P.S. Want to find out more about what we think a Constitutional Convention could look like? Then Unlock Democracy have created an e-book “After the Referendum - Options for a Constitutional Convention” 

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Sign The Petition: Support Freelance Workers Demands For Better Working Condition

More than 7,000 people from across the European Union have already signed the petition ... Will you join them?

Catherine Bearder MEP met recently with members of the European Freelancers' Movement, who handed over supporters' signatures and delivered a Manifesto raising a strong voice in support of independent and self-employed workers.

Almost 7,000 freelancers in 29 European countries joined the online campaign calling for improvements in EU policies affecting independent workers.

"Freelancers and self-employed workers are a large and growing part of the European workforce, but we are ignored and isolated," said Joel Dullroy, campaign manager of the European Freelancers' Movement. "We went to Brussels to tell policy-makers that we should be taken seriously."

Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder commented:
"Self-employed workers and freelancers deserve to participate fully in the work and policies of the EU. 
"This should be one of the core principles driving the work of the new European Commission."