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The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of liberty, equality and community, and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity.

Recent updates

  • Boris Johnson Downcast
    Article: Oct 22, 2022

    The Liberal Democrats are calling for Boris Johnson to be barred from standing in the Conservative Leadership election and returning to Number 10.

    Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats Daisy Cooper MP said:

    "The fact that Conservative MPs are even considering putting Boris Johnson back in Number 10 shows how out of touch they really are. They think there's one rule for them and another for everyone else."

  • Article: Oct 21, 2022
    Just what is it with Tories?

    They preach tax cuts, austerity, reduced spending and a smaller state - all made possible by their discredited 40-year old economic dogma.
    They then get elected to implement these policies.
    But when their Leader announces she's going to give them what they advocate, they're upset!

    Deep down some of them at least must feel they've got the wrong approach. Deep down they must be feeling that perhaps, blaming the poor for their poverty is cruel, futile and wrong. Deep down they must be aware that people suffer disease, disadvantage, disabilities, discrimination and general random misfortune that they neither seek, nor want and and do not deserve.

    Can't they see that if you don't want beggars in the street, petty pilfering, robbery (with or without violence), burglary, fraud, anti-social behaviour you have to look life and society squarely in the face and realise something called "the State" has to provide funds to solve the problems that make so many people unhappy, bitter and desperate. Funds to help children be borne into a better world, funds to treat illnesses - especially mental illnesses - funds to cure disease, to compensate for misfortune, to help overcome disability, to eliminate discrimination, to organise society in such a way that crime is prevented, is discouraged and - yes, if need be - is punished.

    And we need a system of providing remedies for society's mistakes, for reducing unfair inequalities, for helping people develop to their potential despite the circumstance they grew up in and with, for policing the selfish, the thoughtless, the anempathetic and those who are just plain greedy.

    For which we need a system of fair but extensive taxation, not just to pay for centuries of soldiers to keep the barbarians away, or to catch the criminals or the nonconformists or to lock up in Bedlam or Newgate those who are awkward or dangerous or just embarrassing to the gentry - but also to establish the standards (like a sound currency or accurate weights and measures) and regulations upon which confidence and trade depend.

    We need funds too to maintain and protect the environment in which we live, to keep it safe, to keep it beautiful, to keep is such that we can derive pleasure and comfort and be reconciled to our place in it and to the transitory existence that we must share with everything, living or inanimate.

    We need all these things and the necessities and joys of life are for no-one to control, still less to plunder more than their fair share of at the expense of others.
    And these good things and protection from the bad things cannot be delivered in a society which begrudges paying its taxes, that seeks to reduce help to others, where the strong and the fortunate are allowed to accumulate vast wealth and hinder the good order of society and prevent the relief of pain, misery or want to which their neighbours might be afflicted.

    Liberty cannot be an absolute since my liberty should not be at the expense of yours.

    Equality is a fine ideal but must be tempered recognising the happenstance of fate or genetics or circumstance.

    But it is fraternity, a sense of community, of mutual caring, of mutual respect and of interdependence that oils the wheels of society and communal living. It is the justification for organisation and order and its product is a greater happiness for all than there ever would be were it absent.

    The libertarian conservatism that we see paraded before us and hear being daily preached from the pulpits of Mammon can never deliver either justice or fairness, nor even any significant reduction in the evils we see around us, nor deliver the comforts or joys that we all seek.
  • HS2 Maintenance Depot Calvert (HS2)
    Article: Oct 18, 2022
    It has been announced that an Infrastructure Maintenance Depot for HS2 is to be built between Steeple Claydon and Calvert where the East-West Rail Line crosses HS2. The depot will be manned 24/7 and will create 180 jobs.
    It will be a base for staff and on-track maintenance trains which will access HS2 at night. There will be workshops, offices, storage and training facilities, with a branch of the British Transport Police co-located at the depot.

  • Great Musgrave Infilled Bridge (Guardian)
    Article: Oct 17, 2022
    Sometime in 2020 someone in Highways England (as it then was), the government roads authority which manages more than 3,200 disused railway and canal structures on behalf of the Department for Transport, had the bright idea of saving money on maintenance - by filling them all in where they pass under roads!
  • PPC Victoria Collins
    Article: Oct 16, 2022

    Liberal Democrats select local businesswoman and environmental campaigner as parliamentary candidate for South West Hertfordshire

    • Victoria Collins has been selected as the Liberal Democrat candidate in the Blue Wall constituency of South West Hertfordshire
    • Victoria is a business leader and lifelong environmental campaigner

      The Liberal Democrats have selected local entrepreneur and environmental campaigner, Victoria Collins, to be the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for South West Hertfordshire.

      The Liberal Democrats are the main opposition to the Conservatives in the blue wall seat of South West Hertfordshire. The Liberal Democrats have led Three Rivers Council since 2017 and in 2019 made large gains against the Conservatives in Dacorum. The historic Liberal Democrat victory in Chesham and Amersham, with a 25% swing from the Conservatives, and the Parliamentary win in St Albans in 2019 both on the constituency borders put the Liberal Democrats in the strongest position to challenge the Conservatives for South West Herts.

      Victoria brings her economic experience from the European Parliament and award-winning entrepreneurial experience in tech and sustainable business. Victoria was inspired to get involved with politics by seeing first-hand the impact of inequality and has long campaigned for environmental and social issues. She is driven by a passion to make politics and our economy work for all of us not just the elite.

      As a businesswoman, Victoria has real-life experience of the challenges faced by SMEs in South West Hertfordshire, and sees first-hand the negative consequences of Brexit, as well as the struggles caused by the pandemic and now the cost-of-living crisis. She will be a strong champion for business and work to ensure our local economy thrives.

      Her top campaign priorities include:

      • Tackling the cost-of-living crisis to help struggling families and businesses
      • Urgent action to protect local rivers from sewage
      • Strong action to support our struggling NHS

      The Liberal Democrats are taking on Blue Wall constituencies like South West Hertfordshire after making gains in Chesham and Amersham and the then biggest by-election swing of 29.9%, in Tiverton and Honiton. Voters are clearly fed up with the Conservatives and turning to the Liberal Democrats.

      Victoria Collins, Liberal Democrat candidate for South West Hertfordshire, said:

      "I am honoured to have been selected to be your candidate at the next General Election. I'm ready to do all I can to hold Liz Truss and the Conservatives to account and will fight tirelessly to give the people of South West Hertfordshire a strong and passionate voice.

      "Talking to voters across this constituency, I know how angry so many of you are about this destructive Tory government and the direction Liz Truss is taking this country. This KamiKwazi approach is having a devastating impact on the cost of living for families and businesses across our constituency. What's more, residents are frustrated that our current Conservative MP, Gagan Mohindra, does not stand up for the people of South West Hertfordshire and is taking local people for granted.

      "We owe it to the people of South West Herts to offer a credible alternative to Liz Truss and the Conservative Party. With your help, we can take on the Conservatives in South West Hertfordshire, and make sure our shared values are represented in Parliament."

      About Victoria Collins

      • Victoria lives in South West Hertfordshire and is an active campaigner across the constituency volunteering with local organisations.

      • From the European Parliament to tech entrepreneurship Victoria now advises international firms on sustainable change.

      • Victoria aims to be the first Liberal Democrat MP of East and South East Asian descent.

      • Victoria grew up helping her mother on the shop floor and following her father's work on sustainable social housing projects. Together, they taught Victoria the value of hard work and supporting your local community.

      Join the team here.

  • Hope Valley Line
    Article: Sep 5, 2022

    Passenger services in the Hope Valley have had a history of unrelability. One reason has been the conflict between the passenger and freight trains.

    The downside of this modernisation is weekend closures at Dore & Totley, Grindleford, Bamford and Hathersage Stations for a month or more. The benefits, however, when finished, will be an improvement in passenger services and safer track crossings.

    The entire package is costed at £145 million and the works include:

  • Fife Ring Electrification
    Article: Aug 30, 2022

    Work has now started at Thornton Junction on the reinstatement of the Branch Line to Levenmouth with freight carrying capacity. Now a further boost for the Kingdom of Fife has been announced in the form of electrification works along the route known as the Fife Ring.

    Network Rail has started to install the masts to carry overhead wires for Phase 1, the electrification of of the line between Haymarket in the centre of Edinburgh to Dalmeny at the southern end of the Forth Bridge. The completion of this stretch is expected by December 2024.

    A further three phases are planned:

  • House Building
    Article: Aug 29, 2022
    Do we really need so many houses in South East England? Or perhaps more? Or perhaps fewer?

    Governments have at least to try to plan ahead - and all parties currently support a national housebuilding target of 300,000 to 340,000 to cope with the expected population increase.

    The current interim 2020 estimates predict births and deaths will be in balance in 2025. From then on further increases will be due to a steady 200,000 annual growth due only to continued net immigration.

  • Gravestone
    Article: Aug 25, 2022
    An article in the 'New Scientist' published in 2018 discussed the following unexpected statistical results.

    It was based on data for the period from 2006 to 2016 covering about 20 countries.
    The figures showed that the long term regular increase in life expectancy is flattening off in the UK and (especially) in the USA.

  • NHS protest
    Article: Aug 21, 2022
    Under the heading of: "A TASTE FOR CRACKING DOWN", 'The Economist' wrote on 20th March 2021

    "The Government should bin its illiberal attempt to restrict protest."

    "The Police, Crime, Sentencing & Courts Bill ... would sit comfortably in Russian or Chinese statute books."

    The maximum sentence for defacing "a memorial" is increased from 3 months to 10 years. This appears to have been a reaction to the Black Lives Matter demonstrations where protests against the uncritical commemoration of personalities closely linked to the Slave Trade involved involved damage to statues.

Nick Hollinghurst