We must be angry about our corrupt political system

We need to have a through review of our political and government systems including changing the voting system, develootion from Westminster & Whitehall and reducing the power of party machinery. especially the whip system and the confrontational nature of Westminster

How many people in the General Election on December 12 will actually vote for the Party they believe in? That, to some, may seem a daft question, but according to some polls up to a third of people when they cast their vote will do so to stop another Party getting in for the constituency, they live in. The likely voting pattern is even more complicated than that! Brexit is an issue which has affected left and right alike. Some right-wingers will vote against their ‘normal’ Party because of the issue and some left-wingers will as well.

Why does this happen? Because our voting system is basically corrupt. Our ‘first past the post’ system exaggerates movements in voting intention by transforming what is, in theory, a national poll into 650 local polls. We can see how this could happen in a theoretical result. Suppose Party A got 51% of the votes nationally and Party B got 49% of the votes. If that vote were evenly distributed Party A would get 100% of the seats and Party B would get none. It would mean that the ‘right’ party won. If you have 51% of the vote you should form the government but it would mean that this Government would be unchallenged.

Obviously, this is a very extreme supposition which will never happen but we have an electoral system which is unfair to all Parties in different parts of the Country. It is always unfair to smaller Parties. Despite being a nationally recognised Party the Greens will probably take about 5% of the vote and are still only likely to get 1 MP. Lib Dems have never had their fair share of seats. In 1974 we got 26% of the vote and only 23 seats.

The system discriminates against Tory and Labour Parties as well. For one Parliament the Tories did not have a single seat in Parliament from Scotland. The Labour Party regularly get derisory numbers of MPs in the East and South Eastern regions despite getting up to 30% of the vote.

The Parliament which we are inordinately proud of then is never representative and Parties have got stonking overall majorities with less than 40% of the vote.

Then, however, it gets worse. Our Parliamentary system is predicated upon a Government and an opposition. In fact, in both the Commons and the Lords people sit 2 sword lengths apart! The Prime Minister is Leader of Her Majesty’s Government. The Leader of the second biggest Party is Leader of her Majesty’s Opposition. We have a system where the Commons Chamber becomes an echo chamber and not a reflective chamber. Prime Minster’s Question Time is the worst example but not the only one.

There are few genuine debates in either Chamber although the House of Lords is much better than the Commons. Point scoring is more important than consensus building. Jousting for the short term is more important than working together for the long term. One Party introduces and another has to undo.

That lack of consensus wastes vast amounts of taxpayer’s money. Most issues last longer than one Parliament and a huge number have to be played out over decades. A house now will need to last 200 years at the current rate of replacement. We need to have a consensus about the proportion of homes needed in both the public and private sectors. We have to ensure that land and other resources are allocated to both commensurate with the need.

A particular bugbear of mine is the continued failure of Parliament to address the needs of the growing number of elderly people within our community. This is not exactly something that has crept up on us. We have known since about 1960 that longevity is rising but that health outcomes and outputs were not rising as fast. That means more ill, elderly people. We have known that medical advances have given ever lengthy life styles to people who would have died at birth or might last for just a few years. Now they can have almost normal life times.

In both these cases we need a consensus about how to plan and prepare for these issues and how to pay for it. We have been waiting for a Green Paper on this use since July 2017. For those who do not follow the parliamentary system a Green Paper is simply a discussion Paper which leads to a White Paper which is an advanced consultation which leads to legislation and then finally it leads to the legislation itself. We are not even at the first step but people have been dying in poor conditions because of the incompetence of our parliamentary system.  We need a consensus to plan for the way forward. Individuals, families, councils, the NHS and providers, including pension and insurance providers need to put in place long-term plans and cannot do so with short term bickering.

So my solutions are a fundamental reform of the voting system and not the half-hearted nonsense about the  Alternative Vote system which was the subject of the 2012 referendum. We need a single transferable vote system in which every vote counts.

It would be to reform Parliament and reduce the power of  the  Whips to enforce a Party view rather than the MPs voting on the principles that they hold dear.

It is to strip the Westminster Parliament and the Whitehall mandarins of much of their power by taking real decision making, including financial powers to the regions and the Councils of the 4 United Kingdom nations.

Only the Liberal Democrats are in favour of such fundamental change at this election. With this as in all but one issue I stand four square behind my Party on the subjects of reform and change.

Find out more about me and my views on this issue at https://www.facebook.com/LiverLibDems/videos/940830013078189/

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Demand better for our children’s futures

Education for life with children wanting to learn and a reduction in over pressured examinations and testing are at the heart of Lib Dem policy for education

Education is the key to the Country’s future. Give our young people the skills and knowledge they need and we can create a strong wealthy Country. Keep investing in those skills and we will have an adaptable work force with money in their pockets!

Our education system tests and examines too much. Of course, testing and examinations have a role to play but so do the skills of classroom teachers in using their experience in knowing which children need which help.

We want schools to be a place where children want to learn and can be supported by teachers freed from bureaucracy and artificial turnouts. There have been massive increases in the number of young people with mental health problems and teachers burning out because of the sheer pressures of a system which fails to provide employers with the skilled and trained workforce that they need.

We want to spend taxpayer’s money on teaching and schools not on armies of bureaucrats and inspectors.

Education is not just up to 16, 16 or 21. The days have long gone when people joined a profession after leaving school or University and stayed in a business for life. Technological and other advances and societal changes mean that we all need to stay in the education system until we retire for work purposes and then continue with education in our third age for pleasure purposes.

But lots needs to be done. We need to:

  1. Reverse school cuts with an emergency cash injection so that pupils have the resources they need to learn.
  2. Invest in our most disadvantaged children by giving councils more for each child with the most complex needs.
  3. Invest in Further Education to save our colleges and extend the pupil premium to disadvantaged students aged 16-19.
  4. Increase 16-19 funding. We will abolish the ‘learning tax’. Schools and 16-19 academies are entitled to have the VAT they pay refunded, but sixth-form colleges and FE colleges are not. This could boost a college’s income by 3% and be worth £100 million in total to the FE sector in total.
  5. Extend the pupil premium to students in 16-19 education, paying students a small proportion of the premium directly to help them with transport and other education-related costs.
  6. End ‘teaching to the test’ and instead support children to learn.
  7. Replace the existing school performance tables published online with a reformed, ‘report card’ system containing a range of qualitative and quantitative information.
  8. Abolish Key Stage 2 SATs and replace them with a combination of moderated teacher assessment at the end of Key Stages 1 & 2 and a low-stakes, light-touch standardised test to ensure consistency.
  9. Replace Ofsted with a new HM Inspector of Schools (HMIS), taking best practice from the old system of Her Majesty’s Inspectors and from competing regulators such as the Independent Schools Inspectorate.
  10. Ensure that schools promote equality of opportunity & community cohesion
  11. Introduce a clear and properly funded entitlement to high-quality professional development for all teachers – rising to the level of 50 hours per year by 2025. We will also give extra training to teachers who are required to teach subjects at secondary level where they themselves do not have a post-A level qualification.
  12. Give local education authorities the remit and resources to act as Strategic Education Authorities for their area, including responsibility for SEND functions, places planning, exclusions, admissions including in-year admissions.
  13. Allow local authorities to open new Community Schools where needed. We continue to oppose the expansion of grammar schools and will devolve all capital monies for new school spaces to local authorities.
  14. Introduce a clear entitlement to a ‘curriculum for life’, which will be taught in all state-funded schools. This will include Personal, Social, Health and Economic education, first aid and emergency lifesaving skills, mental health education, citizenship and age-appropriate Sex and Relationship Education (SRE).
  15. Help Children be Ready to Learn by extending free school meals to all children in primary education and to all secondary school children whose families receive Universal Credit, as well as promoting school breakfast clubs. 

You can hear more about my views on education for life at https://twitter.com/i/status/1195282180391538689.

Children have only one start in life. Lib Dems are determined to make it a good one.

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Is the day of reckoning arriving for Liverpool Developers?

There has been no work on this block in Norfolk Street for more than 3 years in which it has been exposed to the elements and will probably need demolishing. Who will pay for that? The taxpayer I suspect.

I’m leaving my run of General Election blogs to look at a topic that I have been dealing with for 3+ years. Property developers in Liverpool.

I am saddened that more than 15 months after the Council’s Fractional Investment Task Group first met no report has yet been issued nor does there seem to be an end date in sight for its publication.

I joined that Group with high hopes that we would get to the heart of the problems that have occurred in the City. Increasingly, I am beginning to think that we have learned nothing at a strategic level. In practice the methodology employed within the Group was less than robust with councillors being unable to refer to specific developments with specific problems.

To recap:

  • There are up to 15 blocks in the city which will apparently never be finished despite large amounts of money being ‘invested’ in them.
  • Many of those will have to be demolished as they have been exposed to the elements of wind and rain.
  • There is no obvious source of funding for these demolitions and land remediations as the developers are insolvent in one way or another.
  • More than £200,000,000 has ‘disappeared’ mostly raised from small investors some of whom have lost their savings and some of whom have committed suicide as a result of their loss.
  • Liverpool has lost its reputation as a good place to develop because of the international reputation it has faced as a result of this.
  • Where blocks have been completed many of them are of poor quality and are unlikely to stand the test of time.
  • Promised yields on investment have failed to materialise as a glut of certain types of property such as studios, 1 bed apartments and student accommodation is forcing rent levels down.

Of course, I must make clear that there have been high quality developments in Liverpool by responsible and committed business people that have worked and are delivering for investors. Their job of running a decent business has been made more difficulty because of the need to compete with dodgy investors.

There are serious questions to be asked here of:

The Council. Why is it that Liverpool has suffered so much bad development as the rest of the Country put together? How did we sell land to developers with no track record and fail to get paid for the land? Why didn’t we notice that in one development an underground car park required as part of planning permission hadn’t even been started? Why didn’t we get the Planning consent (Section 106) money from developers before work started which was a condition of the planning permission? Why were they lured into giving planning consents for commercially zoned land when there was no reality to the developer’s residential proposals. Why was the council 7 years late in promoting it’s Local Development Framework which left the City exposed to inappropriate market forces?

The legal profession. How was it possible to allow solicitors to act for both the developer and purchaser when the purchaser had no previous relationship with the solicitor? What has happened to the overview bodies for the profession? Do they have enough teeth?

Surveyors. Why were surveyors using a RICS certification allowed to give highly optimistic capital values, value growths and yields with no reference to resale values and current rents? Does RICS exercise a sufficient control of professional standards?

Estate Agents. Some gave property descriptions and general information about Liverpool were dodgy in the extreme. They regularly gave updates about sales and work initiation which were either highly optimistic or deliberately misleading.

Architects. Why did they continue working for developers whose earlier projects were already falling seriously behind and questions were being asked about their viability?

Of course, none of these people suffered. An amazing 25% on average was paid out to professionals before a foundation was put in. They got their money it was the poor inexperienced investors who lost out.

You might ask why does this matter? It’s all in the past and to some extent it is. I do believe that under the leadership of our new Chief Executive, Tony Reeves, the Council has taken a long, hard look at itself and has made a considerable tightening pf its procedures.

It matters because:

Thousands of people have lost out. If they cannot have their money back or their investment, they deserve to know who was guilty and of what.There are unfinished blocks across the City Centre which need attention.

Money has disappeared some of it legally and some of it, possibly, illegally.

There is an overhang or properties which will drag down the market for decades

Liverpool needs to show firmly that we are doubt our best to both resolve the past and future proof our actions if we are to pull ourselves out of the reputational gutter.

The day of reckoning for some of those involved is long overdue but may be coming soon. I know that the Police (at varying levels), the tax man and the VAT man are deeply involved in reviewing some transactions.

I understand that some investors from places like Russia, China and Southern Italy will be coming to Liverpool soon to have discussions with the people they put their money and their client’s money with.

I know that journalists the world over and UK wide are ramping up their interest in this issue with particular reference to Liverpool.

It is a disgrace that Liverpool Council has prevaricated for so long on these issues. We need action and leadership from the Council if we can restore trust in our battered development industry in the City.

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1p on income tax for the NHS and that’s just the start

This is the new Royal Hospital which should have been opened two years ago and may be open next year. It’s procurement and designed were all started under Labour’s disastrous privatison schemes which will labour the NHS with debts for decades

The NHS needs more money. No-one should be any doubt about that. The NHS cannot operate without staff from ward orderlies to Consultants. It needs huge numbers of supplies from drugs to loo rolls; from blankets to bed pans; from food to effective IT systems. It hasn’t got enough which means, in particular, that the NHS staff are grossly overworked and over stressed. There is a huge burn out and drop out amongst staff. That all creates more burnout and drop out!

Liberal Democrats have made absolutely clear that the shortfall must and will be met but it cannot be met by promises or accountancy malpractices such as the PFI deals negotiated by the last Labour Government. The only place that we can find the cash unless we privatise the NHS which Lib Dems will never do is from the taxpayer. That is why we are proposing to put 1p on income tax which will bring in £8 billion. We believe that lie us you will feel this is the right thing to do.

Amazingly, many people have no idea how the NHS works some let me give them some inconvenient facts.

The most privatisation which has been carried out in the NHS was undertaken by the Labour Governments of Blair and Brown which saddled the NHS with huge PFI debts for years to come including the Royal Liverpool Hospital debacle which was signed off by the 2010 Government but had already been through the procurement process with a recommendation to appoint Carillion when Andy Burnham was the Secretary of State for Health.

80%+ of all the interventions that we have with the NHS are already with privatised parts of it. 95% of all GPs, pharmacists, opticians and dentists are private companies, sole traders or partnerships working to NHS contracts which regulate their practices and professionalism.

Policies from successive Governments over decades has been extremely wasteful in that they seek to cure illness rather than prevent it.

10%+ of our hospital beds are occupied by people with problems caused by obesity. The vast majority of this is preventable.

10%+ of our hospital beds are occupied with people with alcohol or drug problems. The vast majority of these are preventable.

10%+ hospital beds are occupied by people who have no clinical or medical need to be in them but there is no support mechanisms to treat them in their own home or community. Better and cheaper solutions exist for most of them.

80%+ of A & E cases in some hospitals on a Friday and Saturday night are from people who in one way or another are suffering from alcohol related problems.

Not tackling these problems at an early stage wastes money and lives. We could actually be closing hospital wards IF we stopped people becoming ill. If you are obese from the age of 5 the likelihood is that you will have a poor and unhealthy lifestyle until you die. This is a waste of good living and it’s a waste of cash.

But it’s not only cash that is needed but, in some cases, legislation. Drugs problems are partly caused because we won’t change our legal system. Lib Dems believe that we should treat narcotic drugs like other drugs we tolerate such as tobacco, alcohol and gambling. We believe that if you legalise and control use of drugs you can stop crime but crucially in health terms recognise and deal with addiction.

Similarly, with the use of sugar and fizzy drinks. The major cause of obesity is over consumption of salt, sugar and fats. Fizzy, sugary drink is especially toxic in this regard AND is the cause of 95%+ of the 43,000 cases of total extraction of all major dental surgery required by children under the age of 16 every year. We don’t want to criminalise sugar but we do want legislation to reduce the use of it by food and drink manufacturers.

So, my first personal priority is to reverse the cuts in public health budgets which have taken place since 2015. If we could then use that money, we could reverse the problems caused by drugs, alcohol, tobacco and sugar which create the vast majority of preventable health problems.

My second personal priority would be to deal with the huge gap between the provisions for mental health and physical health problems. Many of these are closely interrelated. People who have poor mental health can often find themselves becoming physically ill. People who are physically ill often develop mental ill health. Society has words which apply to mental health which add to the prejudice which mentally ill people face. They are nutters; demented; round the twist; crackpots; lunatics.

Yet those descriptions could be applied to 25% of us at some time in our lives because that is the odds for us developing, for at least a time, a mental illness. It is the discrimination which stops people coming forward. You can be publicly be brave about a broken leg but not about a broken mind. All of us have to work to stop this so that mental illnesses as well as physical ones can be dealt with early before they take charge.

My third would be for us all not to talk about health solely in terms of the NHS. Health is about homes; and transport; and decent food and poverty and clean air and education. In fact, the whole of the way we live affects our own and the nation’s health.

You can find out more about Lib Dem policies and mine on the Health Service at https://twitter.com/i/status/1194210475011182593

The latest recommendations from the professionals in the NHS published in September will slowly begin slowly to deal with the above issues but the appalling problems of Social Care. The Government is now three years late with producing a Green (discussion) Paper on Adult Social Care. Instead it regularly gives a bit more cash to councils to add to an already inadequate budget and insists that more money is raised through council tax which is a very unfair tax.

So, there are serious debates about the NHS that need to be had and which would best take place in a situation where professionals and politicians came together to seek a long-term consensus for the NHS rather than a political point scoring free for all. Lib Dems do not believe in further privatisation of the NHS but we do see the needs for reform.

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Climate Change – An Existential Crisis

Environmentalism is one of the key reasons that I joined the Liberal Democrats. It is inexorably linked to the EU as we cannot tackle the problem by ourselves but can as part of the much larger EU bloc

Clearly the first priority for the Lib Dems at this General Election is to fight to stay in the EU. Our second priority is to fight climate change. In fact, the two priorities are inexorably linked. One of our key reasons for wanting to remain in the EU is that as a big bloc of 28 states we can do far more for the planet by sensible laws and sensible research than any one Country making it up as it goes along.

People keep asking me, “should kids come out of school to protest about the environment”. My answer is always, “Yes”. Firstly, understanding and participating in actions about the long-term future of the planet should be a vital part of any school curriculum. I have been heartened by the number of young people who have been prepared to make such a commitment to action to raise awareness of this issue.

Secondly, they have a right to protest because it will be them who face the problems which current politicians and others in power are refusing to tackle. In a selfish way this planet will see me out but it won’t see my grandchildren out.

So, the views of the Liberal Democrats are very clear:

1. The UK should be leading the world on tackling the environment crisis

Our planet is on the brink of being irreparably damaged and we are responsible for that damage. The climate emergency is real and our planet is heating to unsustainable levels we are witnessing a catastrophic loss of biodiversity, the air we breathe is toxic, and our oceans are full of plastics. There is no planet B. We are facing a climate catastrophe which will create huge global inequalities. We have a moral duty to act. 

2.  Doing the right things for the environment will create jobs

Creating the right infrastructure for the creation of more power plants from wind, water and solar sources will actually create jobs in manufacturing and construction. Harnessing the intellectual power of our world-leading universities to this issue will create investment opportunities globally for British businesses.

3. The Tories are failing to take the crisis seriously

The Tories don’t get it, given the crises we’re facing there is no room for complacency or delay. Yet this is what they’re giving us, they’re way off target for our climate change commitments, they pay lip service to the environment, they’re failing to protect our farmers and they’re focused on simply grabbing headlines rather than meaningfully helping our planet. 

4. Labour’s policies will distract from meaningful action on the environment

The Labour Party wants to renationalise industries from the electricity grid, the water industry and the railways – all this will distract from the environment crises. The plans to spend billions on renationalising industries is a poor use of time and money. We do not have time to tinker with our utilities and we cannot afford to waste money that could be spent reversing the damage we’re doing to our planet on ideological projects.

Here in Liverpool things have got off to a very slow start. We declared a climate change emergency in July and did not hold the first meeting of the climate change select committee until early November. We talk about air pollution and then talk up schemes that will put more cars through our city and dissuade people from using public transport. Our recycling record is dreadful; we have failed to use Government money to plant more trees; we have seen some of our Parks threatened with development at a time when we need to preserve and enhance of green spaces.

I use these local examples because we need to move away from the warm words and platitudes and move on to positive agendas for action and involvement. Apparently, we all want to tackle climate change but some seem to want to do so a lot more quickly and at a higher level than others.

5.  Liberal Democrats will place climate change at the heart of government

If we think it is a key priority, we must mean that it is a key priority for every department and every policy and every relevant law. The UK led the world by passing the Climate Change Act in 2008 and it must become a global leader again. Actions must take the place of pious hopes.

As an example, Parliament has changed the law to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 but the Tories have put forward no plan for how to achieve it. 

Liberal Democrats do have a plan, we will achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2045 at the very latest. We will cut emissions by 75% by 2030 and 93% by 2040 but we need to act now, we cannot wait around until 2045. We must do as much as we can immediately. 

When our manifesto is produced in a few days you will see proposals within it for:

  • Investment in sustainable transport
  • Investment on sustainable energy production
  • The empowerment of councils to set emissions targets for themselves and in their own areas.
  • Setting up a new Green Investment Bank
  • An immediate ban on fracking
  • A home insulation programme which recognises that our homes are huge wasters of energy
  • Reform agriculture subsidies to support farmers in cutting their greenhouse gas emissions while still producing food
  • Regulation of financial services to encourage green investments, including requiring all companies to disclose their level of climate risk and to set new targets in line with the Paris Climate Change Agreement
  • Increase UK forest cover by planting an additional 60 million trees a year
  • A Nature Act, modelled on the Climate Change Act, setting targets for the restoration of nature, improving biodiversity, reducing air pollution and cleaning up our rivers 

All these and so much more. These and our other policies will be underpinned by the creation of a Citizen’s Climate Assembly to improve public engagement with the climate emergency and making recommendations to government.

I believe that the Liberal Democrats are the only party dedicated to building a brighter future by tackling the environmental crises.  We are the only party with a radical, credible and detailed plan to tackle the climate emergency as soon as possible, to transform our government to place the environment at its heart and to reverse the damage we’re doing to our planet. The Liberal Democrats would make Britain the world leader it should and deserves to be.

Finally, you can find out more about my personal views and priorities for climate change by watching this short video filmed on my wife Erica’s allotment in South Liverpool https://twitter.com/i/status/1193217987597213696.

If you believe that climate change and Brexit are key issues then I am confident in calling for your support in Wavertree on 12th December as the only candidate from a Party with credible policies on both.

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Unite to Remain – Labour Missing InAction

Jeremy Corbyn has been in opposition all his life, even when the Labour Party were in Government..It’s easier to oppose than govern, perhaps that’s why he has failed to give leadership on the vital issue of Brexit

Today has been a very significant day in the course of this election. A partnership of Lib Dems, Greens and Plaid Cymru has come together to ensure that only one Remain candidate will present themselves to the electorate in 60 constituencies. Well done Heidi Allen who has been at the helm of the initiative since she quit the Tory Party earlier this year.

In addition, Lib Dems will be standing down against 3 Independents who are similarly pro Remain. Brexit is the defining issue at this election and it is absolutely right that Parties and individuals who have a common belief on this issue should come together. There will be some things that will divide us but I believe that we are united in many policies by more than the EU issue.

Last night I shared a platform at a Liverpool for Europe meeting with the local Green Leader, Tom Crone. On top of Brexit we both made clear our other priorities. My priorities and his were often very similar. I for example believe that climate change is, after Brexit, the most important policy that we need to deal with. We both linked this to the EU issue and made clear that we believed that anything that the UK does to fight climate change is best done with and supported by the legislation and actions of the other 27 EU Countries.

Of the 60 constituencies more than 50 are seats where we are taking on the Tories. In a handful of seats, we have come together to fight a Labour opponent who is firmly supportive of leaving the EU. That must be right given the appalling problems that will arise in our Country should we leave. Every other policy will be affected by the loss of money that will arise from a reduced Gross Domestic Product.

So, we have a right to ask Labour, “If you are so keen on getting rid of the Tories why didn’t you Unite to Remain as well?”  There are about 60 constituencies in England and Wales where a third (or lower) placed Labour vote is less than the majority which could see a PC, Lib Dem or Green person candidate elected. Given our appalling electoral system this is the best and may be the only way to stop a Tory majority.

Of course, given a better electoral system none of this would matter. Lib Dems have campaigned for decades to change our voting system to a fairer proportional one. That would mean that alliances between Parties would be unnecessary. But we have a first past the post system which both Tory and Labour Parties have sought to [perpetuate on the basis that it gives solid working majorities and a stable Government. Not for the last three elections it hasn’t!

By now though we should be used to the Labour Party being Missing InAction! On 17 occasions there have been opportunities to get a people’s vote on a remain versus a withdrawal option of either May or Johnson. Labour failed to support any of them. Only two weeks ago we could have revoked the Article 50 call but Labour would not support us. There were enough in Parliament had Labour been prepared to act but they weren’t

Corbyn has not once addressed a People’s Vote Rally. Indeed, on the day of the last one on so-called Super Saturday he scuttled up to Liverpool to have a meeting with his cronies instead. This failure by Corbyn to lead is a major cause of the exodus from the Labour Party of some of their brightest and most committed members. In Liverpool two Labour MPs Luciana Berger and Louise Ellman have quit. Brexit is only one of the reasons for this but it was an important one.

Almost a quarter of Lib Dem members in Liverpool are former Labour members or voters. They have left because of the total lack of leadership on this key issue. I read in the Daily Mirror today that two former Labour MPs have said they will be voting Tory to keep Corbyn out.

The Jewish Labour Movement, one of Labour’s oldest affiliates, has said that they cannot campaign for Labour because of the danger of Corbyn being elected. This is an important decision in Liverpool where the Jewish community has tended to vote Labour in General Elections especially for Luciana and Louise.

Corbyn was one of the first to call for Article 50 to be enacted after the referendum. The Labour Party as a whole is a remain Party but the Momentum cult puts Corbyn before Country.

I don’t think that Labour’s prevarication on either Unite to Remain or Brexit as a whole will work. I recall the Richmond by-election where the Labour candidate got less votes than the membership of the Party in that constituency.

Corbyn could have given leadership to his voters – instead I suspect that the leadership will come from them as they decided constituency by constituency how to keep the UK in the EU.

Just in case you are not sure where I stand on Brexit you can find out here https://youtu.be/AySWhnDrrbQ

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If you’re a Remain voter then it must be a Lib Dem vote in Liverpool Wavertree

I’m hoping to join my old friend Sir Ed Davey our Deputy Leader so I can fight for Wavertree. Above all I want to fight to stay in the EU top prevent the devastation of our economy that Brexit would cause

Are you fed up with Brexit? I certainly am. It’s dominated our political discourse for 3+ years and has meant that we have had no debate on things that I think are important such as the NHS, climate change, education and social care and the reform of Government.

During the course of the election I will be both writing blogs and screening videos about all the subjects above. I have started with Brexit for two reasons:

  1. It’s the reason we are having a third election in 5 years when we are only supposed to have them every 5 years.
  • If we leave the EU there will be much less money to spend on the things that I hold dear and where more money needs to be spent in addition to reforming the priorities within the system.

Unless we revoke Article 50 then Brexit will be with us with its current domination of discussions for years ahead. If we leave there are literally hundreds of laws and treaties and regulations that will need to be changed. That will once again clog up the parliamentary system and will stifle relevant debate and discussion in Parliament.

You can see more about my views on this on this video. https://youtu.be/AySWhnDrrbQ. You can also find out more about the views of my Labour opponent. As soon as she was selected, I contacted her to challenge her to a public debate on Brexit. I have repeated that suggestion twice. I have not had the courtesy of a reply from her.

She doesn’t want you to know that her position is even more extreme than the shilly-shallying of the Labour Leader. She actually believes that Brexit would be good for the Country. The fact that Brexit would allow a Tory Government now or in the future to throw away the rights of working people, rip up climate change agreements and reduce the amount that we can spend on public services seem to have passed her by.

I know many Labour members and voters in the Wavertree Constituency follow both my blog and Twitter account so I hope the many Remainers amongst them will urge her to come out of hiding and engage in a debate with me.

I am not going to repeat here the case for remaining in the EU. You can go back through my recent blogs and see those cogent arguments. I do, however, want to remind you of the political realities of Liverpool as a whole and Wavertree Constituency in particular.

Only the Labour candidate or I can win in Wavertree. Since 1973 Liverpool has a been a two-Party City where people mostly vote either Lib Dem or Labour.

Wavertree voted to Remain by about 70% to 30% wanting to leave. Only the Labour Party and Lib Dems have councillors in Wavertree. Tories and Greens have no chance at all of winning.

I repeat that if you are a Remainer you only have one Party to vote for in Wavertree and that is the Liberal Democrats and I am their candidate. This is my very simple and direct pledge about how I will vote if elected:

No Ifs

No Buts

No Hesitation

No Brexit

Revoke Article 50

Published by Cllr Andrew Makinson to promote Cllr Richard Kemp both of 509, Smithdown Road, Liverpool 15

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