Tuesday, 29 June 2010

Executive Election Results 2010

The Liberal Youth executive election count was held today at 4 Cowley Street and the new executive is listed below.

For more details, please see the blogspot of Liberal Youths hard working returning officer, Mark Valladares at www.liberalbureaucracy.blogspot.com.

Chair: Martin Shapland
Vice-Chair (Campaigns): Chris Wiggin
Vice-Chair (Finance): Tom Wood
Vice-Chair (Communications): Charlotte Henry
Vice-Chair (Membership Development): Robson Brown/Ed Sanderson (job share)
General Executive Members (8): Sarah Harding, Sophie Bertrand, Nathan Khan, Mo Saqib, Catherine Smith, Jade Holden, Charlotte Harris, Stuart Brown
England Convener: Thomas Hemsley
Policy Committee: Duncan Crowe, Sarah Harding, James Nelson, Stephen Rule
Conference Committee: Alan Belmore, Sarah Harding, Ramon Chiratheep
International Committee: Harriet Ainscough, Charlotte Harris, Callum Leslie, Jack Stephens

Monday, 28 June 2010

We are no Brazil..

Its the same old story every four years, and yet still we manage to delude ourselves that this time we can finally be a proud footballing nation again. However yet again we are left with crumpled England flags, flying sadly in the wind, and fans with nothing but ever fading memories of 1966.

What can we learn from the defeat, apart from the obvious fact that you can throw £6 million at a capable coach, but a group of tired and de-motivated men cannot be transformed into something that they aren't.

Capello thought England could succeed as a team with experience and a proven track record (well, individual track record anyway) and failed to see the glaring weakness of the adopted and too often used 4-4-2 structure: A rigidity that a young and dynamic German team managed to exploit.

A backlash against the FA now begins, with the issue being raised that young talent is not being nurtured and developed as well as it could, as the dawning realisation hits that the golden generation have had their shots of glory and there is no-one to replace them.

Like football, politics needs young people with ideas, energy and adaptability. Climate change, recession, the near meltdown of the global financial system, terrorism and technology mean our generation will inherit a world that needs different and radical approaches, and our voices need to be heard.

Anyway, our our political system was rocked out of its lethargy by expenses scandals and a Coalition Government. Lets just hope that English football has been rocked out of theirs.

Friday, 25 June 2010

Take Back Parliament

Last night saw the Liverpool launch of Take Back Parliament.

The meeting, held on Bold Street in Liverpool, was very productive and is certainly the start of big things for Liverpool in terms of Purple Protests. Events, including a purple picnic, purple gigs and a regular street stall are going to be held over the next few months, and more meetings will be happening,. Check out the Facebook page:


for more information of upcoming events.

Keep joining and suggesting to your friends the Southport Liberal Youths campaign ‘Southport is voting YES

in the AV referendum’ on the Facebook page here:


Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Opinion: Yesterday’s Budget, a clear and sensible way forward?

I will start off by saying something we all know.

Labour left this country with a budget deficit of nearly 171 billion pounds. Every £4 the Labour government spent, £1 of it was borrowed. It could not carry on.

Now onto today's coalition budget.

Lets get the bad out of the way first -

VAT is rising to 20%. None of us wanted this. We campaigned against it, as did the Tories. But now we have access to the figures, rather than Labour's selective amounts it seemed the coalition thought that it had to go up. I will not immediately defend this decision, but I will not whine about it either. I wish the economy wasn't in the state it is. Then we would never have done it! But it is worth remembering a couple of points. It has only been risen to the same levels that most other European countries have to pay, and it is not a tax on everything- most foods for example, are exempt.

The other tax decisions I agree with whole heartedly.

Increasing the tax allowance by £1,000, part of the Lib Dem plan to deliver a personal allowance of £10,000. This will result in 880,000 low income earners out of tax altogether, including lots of part time students- who work whilst at uni or college. It is in stark contrast to the Labour legacy, scapping the 10p tax rate, doubling the tax the poorest had to pay overnight- in order to fund tiny cuts for businesses. I know which decision I feel is more progressive and fair.

How are we paying for this tax break for low earners? By implementing another Lib Dem manifesto pledge- cracking down on tax avoidance. By raising Capital Gains Tax to 28% (I believe higher than Labour have ever had it) we stop people declaring income as something it is not, and getting away with not paying their fair share.

With public sector pay we have decided to freeze it for two years for anybody earning above £21,000. As somebody who cares about others, I would rather see a pay freeze on my wage, then the potential of future job cuts (and in turn a higher benefit bill). Anybody earning under £21,000 will get a bonus of £500 over those two years. This again proves our commitment to protecting the poorest paid in all the decisions we have taken.

Onto benefits. We have a welfare budget that is bigger than any other area of government spending. We spend more on benefits than on health or education. In my opinion people that earn over £40000 should never have got these benefits in the first place. I will give an example. It is simply wrong that young students earning £7000 a year under Labour, working part time whilst accruing mounting tuition debt had to give 20% of their money in tax, so wealthier parents can get tax credits. So I am happy that we have finally started taking steps to sort out the benefit system. Don't get me wrong, I support a welfare state, but for people that need it. By cutting these benefits for the better off, we can again protect the poorest from Labour's mismanagement.

We have also pledged a £2 billion a year increase in the "child" element of the child tax credit, which means that despite the tough decisions forced on the government, we should hopefully go someway to stamping out child poverty, once and for all (something that has rised under Labour).

By agreeing to increase the pension age by one year, something Labour have sad they would do anyway- we have been able to restore the pensions earning link, an issue that the previous government refused to tackle. This will help millions of pensioners in this country.

And finally petrol, cigarettes and alcohol duty is not going up! For the first time in how long?

Labour have acted in my eyes like a bunch of school kids today. People want politicians to try and sort out our countries problems, not moan from the sidelines. Remember the advice at the treasury left by a Labour minister? "There is no money left". Honest (for a change), but they are being less than helpful.

What would Labour have cut? It promised to halve the deficit in 4 years? What would they have changed? I am waiting to hear that, but don't hold much hope of it ever happening. In my eyes Labour need to start apologising to people, for leaving this country in such a state.

Paddy Ashdown summed up my feelings in a paper this morning-

"It is, to me, the height of unacceptable, negative and irresponsible politics to refuse to carry the burden when you are in power, and then to criticise those who do when you leave- those who have to take the burden on board and who have to clean up the mess you leave behind."

A Tory budget would have been nowhere near as fair. A Labour budget would (they want us to believe) have gotten our country further into this mess, or they would of had to have grown up and made these difficult choices themselves! Overall I think the budget today has started to tackle the deficit, whilst at the same time striving to protect the poorest in our society, and overall I think we should be proud of it.

This opinion was written by Nathan Khan, General Executive Member for Liberal Youth 2009-2010, Candidate for General Executive Member 2010-2011 and Councillor on Hedge End Town Council.

Tuesday, 22 June 2010

Liberal Youth Response to the Budget

Liberal Youth Statement:

We have just seen a budget that includes Lib Dem policies to raise the income tax threshold, and the introduction of a banking levy. While a VAT rise is disappointing, it is the result of Labour's failings. We also note the intent to sell the Student Loans Book, and insist no interest is ever charged on Labour's student debt.

Wanted: One Returning Officer

Southport Liberal Youth are in the market for a Returning Officer for the executive elections in the near future.

If you are interested, please contact Sarah on lysouthport@aol.com.



Monday, 21 June 2010

Climate Crunch

The video above shows an incident that has nothing to do with climate change, but does show the damaging effects that can be caused to our environment. Even the smallest changes in the environment are likely to have huge impacts upon the world. And it will be the poorest that are least able to adapt to lower agricultural production, increased risk of fires, droughts, floods and heatwaves (IPCC 2007) which will be caused by climate change.

We must act now to safeguard our future, and the future of our children. We have to act now to clean up the mess. It’s time to do something about climate change.

Unlike the other political parties, the Lib Dems have credible plans to make Britain 100% carbon-neutral by 2050. But we won't do it by making people's lives more difficult, or more expensive.

iI doesn't cost the earth to be green. Living environmentally will even save you money, protect you from the scourge of foreign oil imports, reduce levels of pollutants that cause illnesses like asthma and help you stay fit.

You can protect the planet whilst protecting your bank balance.

1. Sign our pledge to lead a greener, cleaner lifestyle

2. Read our top tips for being green whilst saving money and looking good and submit your own.

3. Write to, or e-mail your MP at writetothem.com asking them to support our campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

4. Join the only party promising real action on climate change by clicking here.

Sunday, 20 June 2010

Southport Liberal Youth and Sefton Conservative Future are holding a 'Pizza and Politics' night.

Just a evening of debating, eating and sharing war stories from the campaign trail- if you want to come along- or are in the youth contingent of any political party, you'd be more than welcome!

Get in touch for details!

Friday, 18 June 2010

Don’t Miss Out on Your Vote

Ballot papers for the Liberal Youth Executive Elections have now been delievered and should have been recieved by all members!

If you have not yet got them but you are a member of the Lib Dems aged under 26, please

email LiberalYouth.Admin@libdems.org.uk or phone 02072271387.

Make sure you have your say- there has never been a more important time for young people to have a voice. We are the generation that will have to deal with the affects of Labour's debt. We are the future of our party!

Thursday, 17 June 2010

Today saw the launch of the first Southport Liberal Youth campaign:

The launch of this campaign has already attracted many members on a Facebook site which can be found at:

The plan is simple: Fair votes now. Fair votes for all.

Wednesday, 16 June 2010

FOCUS on Liberal Youth

If you're a young person aged 16 or 17 in this country, the government doesn't think you're worth as much as everyone else.

They'll take your taxes, but not let you have a say in how they are spent. They'll make sure you abide by the law, but not let you influence what it says.

Unless something is done, politicians will continue to ignore the needs and concerns of the generation of young people who will inherit this country. It shouldn't be too much to ask to be treated with the same respect as everyone else.

The Lib Dems believe you should have the same rights and responsibilities whether you are 16, 25 or 60. If you support our campaign, you will be supporting the right of all young people to be given the same respect. So if you find yourself out of work, you will be entitled to the same unemployment and housing benefit as everyone else.

3 ways to get involved

1. Sign our pledge to stand up for the rights of all young people

2. Write to, or e-mail, your MP at www.writetothem.com asking them to support our campaign to grant votes at 16.

3. Join the only party that says yes to equal rights to people regardless of their age. Clickhere.

It's time to put the YOU back in YOUth!

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Executive Elections 2010

Nationally, Liberal Youth has over 4500 members and ALL are eligible to vote in the upcoming Liberal Youth Executive Elections for the following positions

  • Chair
  • Vice-Chair Campaigns
  • Vice-Chair Communications
  • Vice-Chair Finance
  • Vice-Chair Membership Development
  • 8x General Executive Member
  • 4x Policy Committee Members
  • England Convener (for those eligible)

Manifestos for each candidate can be found here http://unionrains.nfshost.com/june/.

Ballots should be on your doorstep tomorrow or Thursday, so just remember to cast your vote!

If you do not receive a ballot and are a member of the Liberal Democrats ages under 26, please get in touch!!

This post was edited on 16/06/2010 at 10:23 due to an executive position not being listed. This has now been corrected.

Saturday, 12 June 2010

A Big Thank You...

...to everybody who has so far contacted me about joining Southport Liberal Youth.

If you want to get involved, please contact us on;

or write to 35 Shakespeare Street, Southport, PR8 5AB

We can't wait to hear from you!

Wednesday, 9 June 2010

Liberal Youth comes to Southport!!

Welcome to the new blog of Liberal Youth Southport.

Liberal Youth is the youth and student branch of the Liberal Democrat party and exists to promote the issues, opinions and campaigns of young people, for young people.

Liberal Youth are looking for as many new members as possible from Southport or the surrounding area (West Lancashire, Crosby, Bootle, Maghull, Banks, Halsall....) so to join, or for more information, please get in touch- we can't wait to hear from you!

(If you are already a member of the Liberal Democrats and are under 26, you are already a member of Liberal Youth)

Looking forward to hearing from you,

Sarah Harding