Libdem Child's (mainly) weekly thoughts




You're probably wondering whether this is really a teenager's blog or not. Well it is. I believe in the Liberal principles of fairness, equality and community. I may only be fourteen but I can hold a good debate on politics. Honest, I can.

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Great Tweet About Nick Clegg

Tweet text

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

The Tories are like the Paddock Brothers

Famine 1975! America's Decision: Who Will Survive?You may be wondering who on earth the Paddock Brothers are? William and Paul Paddock wrote a book in 1967 called 'Famine 1975! America's Decision: Who will survive?'. The brothers predicted that there would be a food shortage crisis because of the world's growing population. Their horrendous solution was to leave the poor people of India and other countries which had famines to suffer because they only had themselves to blame and their existence was not doing anybody any good. Food aid for these people, according to the Paddocks, was a waste of time and food should not be sent to them because these poor hungry people were people who "can't be saved". The Paddocks instead suggested that food be sent to those nations who can by their own efforts fight for survival. 

Roll on 48 years later to the present Tory election campaign and I don't think it is harsh to draw comparisons. While no Tory would actually say 'let them starve and die' about those whose live below the breadline this thought is still there in all that they say. 

There is a lack of passion and concern for the ordinary struggling folk . Cameron's talk is all about the neoliberal policies that is the Tory's red carpet for their rich folk. All that Cameron had to say about Foodbanks was that Labour had not signposted these places as well as the Tories have which is why there are more users of Foodbanks now. 

Yesterday Citizen's UK held a rally and the Asian Tory poster boy, Sajid Javid, was brought out yet again to tell the story (which we have all heard a million times before on Question Time) about how he was born into a poor struggling family but managed to break free, through his own hard work. That is nice for him but not many poor Asian families living in rundown areas whose children go to schools which are struggling to cater for those who come from deprived homes will really be able to join the Tory club one day.

I will be celebrating if the Tories don't win a working majority. I don't think I have the stomach for another Lib-Con coalition either. I don't want to grow up in a country where children suffer and the so called wealth creators only create wealth for themselves because their friends in government let them. 




Thursday, 30 April 2015

Liberal Democrats Positive Attitude Towards Asylum Seekers


I am a proud member of Liberal Democrats for Seekers of Sanctuary because it is a group that brings together a moral dimension that understands that asylum seekers are humans, unlike the Tory and Labour party, and combines this morality with the best of Liberalism. We understand the plight of boat people and asylum seekers and the Committee Members work very hard to get the message out. 

Please see below for the latest LDOSS news and information and please do whatever you can to help either through your campaigning or by asking the candidates of other parties what they are going to do for asylum seekers.

QUESTION ON CHANGING THE RULES ON ASYLUM SEEKERS, HAVING TO TRAVEL TO LIVERPOOL TO SUBMIT NEW EVIDENCE TO SUPPORT THEIR CASE.

"We are angry at the last minute re-introduction of an idea proposed by the Home Office earlier in the year that asylum seekers who have been refused leave to remain and are appealing have to take new evidence, in person, wherever they are living, to Liverpool. 

A new Home Office ruling means that asylum seekers who wish to submit fresh evidence in support of their asylum claim, following a refusal to grant status,  from wherever they are in the UK, have to take new evidence, in person, to Liverpool with 10 days’ notice.  

At the moment they can take this evidence to a regional centre, North Shields, or the centre where they would normally report which is accessed much easier, if they claimed after March 2007.  Asylum seekers have just 70% of income support to live on, but many who have had an initial refusal are on what is called Section 4 and have an Azure Card to spend at named supermarkets – not bus or rail fares.  

There are also those who have no support whatsoever, and like nearly all those seeking asylum, are not allowed to work. Travel costs to Liverpool and back, especially without advance booking, are costly.  The journey home could usually not be done on the same day by bus.  They will have no money for refreshments.  They will have nowhere to stay overnight.

There is no known reason why evidence cannot be submitted to a regional office, and transmitted via fax, or be scanned and e-mailed, to Liverpool for the decision makers there. Additionally, caseworkers from the Older Cases Unit have now been moved from Liverpool to Leeds. 

Question: Will the candidates work to remove this unjust rule that will make access to justice so difficult, if they are elected to office as an MP?


Please use the following information when you campaign to let people know about the positive work that Lib Dems have done in government. 

FACTS AROUND THE ENDING OF CHILD DETENTION

Cedars is a Pre Departure Centre for families, who have been through the immigration system and been refused the right to remain in the UK.  It is not a detention centre like Yarlswood where previously 1,000 children a year were detained.  It is run under completely different systems, with specialist childcare support delivered by Barnardos’, for the families who have gone through the family returns process.   

The families can move freely around the house and gardens, and do not have to have the strict routines experienced in detention.  32 children have been there in the last 12 months.  These statistics include families who have both sought asylum and come here for economic reasons and have not been granted status.

In the last 12 months 28 children under the age of 16 have been held at the purpose built family unit at Tinsley House Immigration Removal Centre.  The families who stayed at the unit are not those seeking asylum, but have been refused entry at the border and are going to be returned to their country of origin on the first available flight.  A lot of the families are there for only a few hours, but it was recommended by HMIP that it was better that families spent waiting time at Tinsley House rather than in inadequate waiting conditions at airports. The statistics include border cases, which make up the majority of those at Tinsley House.





Saturday, 18 April 2015

Lib Dem Manifesto Policy on young adults

For those who want to know what the Lib Dem manifesto has to say about young people

Improving support for young adults

We want young people to face the future with optimism and confidence. The education leaving age has now risen to 18, but as children grow, their independence grows too, and the support that education and youth services provide to them and their families needs to adapt. Whether it is supporting people with the costs of travel to college or apprenticeships, or promoting positive images of young people by celebrating their successes: Liberal Democrats are on the side of the next generation.

We will:
·        Work to introduce a new Young Person’s Discount Card, for young people aged 16–21, giving a 2/3rds discount on bus travel, as resources allow. This will assist all bus users by helping
maintain the viability of existing bus routes and making it easier to open new ones.  
·         Enable government departments, local Councils and private businesses to add discount offers to the Young Person’s Discount Card.
·         Review access to transport for students and apprentices in rural areas where no scheduled services may be available.
·         Develop an NHS ‘student guarantee’, making it easier for students to get care and support while at university, particularly those with long-term health conditions or caring responsibilities.
·        Promote social action and volunteering at school, college and university and work to raise the status of youth work and youth workers.
·         Improve links between employers and schools, encouraging all schools to participate in mentoring schemes and programmes that seek to raise aspiration like Speakers for Schools and Inspiring The Future. In particular, we will seek to inspire more children and young people to follow technical and scientific careers through partnership with relevant businesses.

A world class university sector, open to all
Liberal Democrats have ensured that no undergraduate student in England has to pay a penny up front of their tuition fees. Students in England do not have to pay anything until they are earning over £21,000 per year – a figure which will increase in line with earnings – and over that income, monthly repayments are linked to earnings. This means only high-earning graduates pay their tuition fees in full. We now have the highest university application rates ever, including from disadvantaged students. But we need to ensure higher education is accessible to all those who can benefit, including at postgraduate level. Liberal Democrats in government secured the first ever income-contingent loans scheme for graduate degrees, which we will protect and seek to extend.

We will:
·        Ensure that all universities work to widen participation across the sector, prioritising early intervention in schools and colleges. This will include running summer schools and setting up mentoring programmes between students or alumni and school pupils.
·        Require universities to be transparent about their selection criteria.
·         Work with university ‘mission groups’ to develop a comprehensive credit accumulation and transfer framework to help students transfer between and within institutions, enable more part-time learning, and help more people to complete qualifications.
·         Improve the Key Information Set and explore the option of a standardised student contract. We will legislate to reform regulation of the higher education sector, improving student protection.
·         Establish a review of higher education finance within the next Parliament to consider any necessary reforms, in the light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation (including of low-income groups) and quality. The review will cover undergraduate and postgraduate courses, with an emphasis on support for living costs for students, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds.

An opportunity society | world class education for all
Expanding and improving apprenticeships and further education More people have started an apprenticeship in this Parliament than ever before. As we grow our economy, we must protect and enhance adult skills training and our further education colleges. We need to grow our skill base, especially in the technologies and industries that are most important to our economic future. We want it to become the norm for businesses to take on and train up young people as apprentices in every sector of our economy, and for higher level apprenticeships to be understood as a respected alternative to university education.

We will:
·        Increase the number of apprenticeships and improve their quality, extending the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers for the remainder of the next Parliament, delivering 200,000 grants to employers and expanding the number of degree-equivalent Higher Apprenticeships.
·         Aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices, including by extending them to new sectors of our economy, like creative and digital industries.
·         Develop National Colleges as national centres of expertise for key sectors, like renewable energy, to deliver the high-level vocational skills that businesses need.
·         Establish a cross-party commission to secure a long-term settlement for the public funding of reskilling and lifelong learning.
·         Set up a review into the VAT treatment of Sixth Form Colleges and FE Colleges to ensure fair treatment in relation to the schools sector.
·         Work with the Apprenticeship Advisory Group to increase the number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, ensure gender balance across industry sectors, and encourage underrepresented groups to apply.
·         Identify and seek to solve skills gaps like the lack of advanced technicians by expanding higher vocational training like foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.



Lib Dem manifesto on apprenticeships

For those who want to know what the Lib Dems are saying about apprenticeships and Further Education:


Expanding and improving apprenticeships and further education

More people have started an apprenticeship in this Parliament than ever before. As we grow our economy, we must protect and enhance adult skills training and our further education colleges. We need to grow our skill base, especially in the technologies and industries that are most important to our economic future. We want it to become the norm for businesses to take on and train up young people as apprentices in every sector of our economy, and for higher level apprenticeships to be understood as a respected alternative to university education.

We will:
·        Increase the number of apprenticeships and improve their quality, extending the Apprenticeship Grant for Employers for the remainder of the next Parliament, delivering 200,000 grants
to employers and expanding the number of degree-equivalent Higher Apprenticeships.
·        Aim to double the number of businesses which hire apprentices, including by extending them to new sectors of our economy, like creative and digital industries.  
·        Develop National Colleges as national centres of expertise for key sectors, like renewable energy, to deliver the high-level vocational skills that businesses need.
·        Establish a cross-party commission to secure a long-term settlement for the public funding of reskilling and lifelong learning.
·        Set up a review into the VAT treatment of Sixth Form Colleges and FE Colleges to ensure fair treatment in relation to the schools sector.
·         Work with the Apprenticeship Advisory Group to increase the number of apprentices from BAME backgrounds, ensure gender balance across industry sectors, and encourage underrepresented groups to apply.
·         Identify and seek to solve skills gaps like the lack of advanced technicians by expanding higher vocational training like foundation degrees, Higher National Diplomas, Higher National Certificates and Higher Apprenticeships.



Monday, 13 April 2015

Man with Ukelele Sings a Swear Song at Cameron




This must be the funniest video of the campaign trail so far. Watch at 0.25 seconds and you could be forgiven for thinking that the Russian mafia are 'protecting' Cameron. 

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Sheffield GP (My Aunt) Racially Harassed in Austrian Skiing Resort

When racism hits home it is an extremely upsetting and sad experience. It has brought home to me the irony of of watching race in the guise of immigration being high on the agenda of the election and across Europe (Charlie Hebdo, Pergida, Marine Le Pen) and then, suddenly, finding out that a member of your close family has become a victim of this racial charge across Europe. My Asian family are often mistaken for being Muslims. They, like me, are Anglican Christians but should that matter at all? How widespread is racism across Europe and how do Asian people cope with it all I wonder?

My Asian aunt who is a GP in Sheffield went on a skiing trip with my cousin who has Down's Syndrome. They were sitting on benches in a cafe in Mittelstation, Zell Am See, for a few moments before going into the cafe to order food and drink. The owner came out and shouted at my Aunty and told her that it may be alright in her country to sit around and not buy anything but in 'my country' we don't do things like that. The division between his country and her country was obviously based on the colour of her skin. My cousin was unsettled and was rubbing her mother's arm. You can read the rest of the story in the review below left on Tripadvisor. 


My wife was approached by the owner who told her she could not "sit here all day" when she had been sitting for only a few minutes without buying a drink (she was with our disabled daughter and had to settle her before deciding to go in and get a drink). It was the start of the ski day and the place was not busy- a few other people were sitting watching their kids ski, but were not similarly approached by the owner. My wife is Indian and she felt the owner was targeting her specifically due to that. When she went to speak to him to enquire why he had not asked other people to move he became aggressive saying this was "his country"! Oh dear- definitely not what one expects to hear in a modern European tourist resort. The food which we were later forced to eat that day (we took a packed lunch after that) was over-priced, fast food and we couldn't get a seat as it is packed at lunchtime! What a shame as it is in a lovely sunny spot by the kinder ski school area, but racism does spoil the appetite.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Isn't this a Lib Dem Policy being Put Out by the Tories?

Today is a big day for hardworking taxpayers - because from today, you will keep more of your hard-earned money.
When we came to office, you could only earn £6,475 tax-free. But from today, you can now earn £10,600 before you pay any income tax.
That's a tax cut for over 26 million people - and it means we've taken over 3 million people out of income tax altogether.
Lower taxes are making our country a better and fairer place to live - where those who put in, get out; where hard work is rewarded; and where people are trusted with their own money.
And if we win the next election, we will raise the personal tax-free allowance to £12,500 - cutting tax for 30 million people and taking another million out of tax - and make sure no-one earning below £50,000 pays the 40p rate of tax.
The gulf between us and Labour on this couldn't be any wider. They opposed all our tax cuts in this Parliament - and will raise taxes by £3,028 for every working family if they win the next election.
The choice is clearer than ever. Tax cuts with the Conservatives; tax rises with Ed Miliband and Labour. Work rewarded with us; work punished with them.
Thank you,
David Cameron

http://www.libdemvoice.org/the-cuteness-of-the-lambs-45355.html