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  Renuka Devananda MP (LIB DEM)
Posted by: Noah Riverty - 17 minutes ago - Forum: New Players - No Replies

Name: Renuka Devananda
Avatar: Shas Sheehan

Age: 62 [0 points]
Gender: Female [5 points]
Race/Ethnicity: British Indian [6 points]
Sexuality: Heterosexual [0 points]
Religion: Agnostic [2 points]

Class: Middle class [0 points]
Spouse: Maxwell Pierce (married 1977)
Children: One son, Subhan (b. 1978), and two daughters, Nirshi (b. 1980) and Reshika (b. 1983)[0 points]

Education: Masters: [4]
PhD: [4]
Russell Group: [5]

Career: Professor: [15 points]

Books [14 points]
1. Politics, Markets, and Freedom, 1985 - this rather tamely titled book was later described by a political opponent as “a revised PhD thesis that can be summarised as ‘privatised everything’.” Since entering politics, she has said she has moved on from these first two books.
2. What Hayek can teach Rawls, 1991 - she attempted to use the teaching of Hayek to argue against the work of John Rawls
3. What Protectionism Protects, 1995 - in this book, Renuka made a strong philosophical argument for the unilateral abolishment of European trade barriers.
4. The Cultural Marketplace, 2005 - in this book, Renuka argued for the government to step outside the terrain of promoting specific cultural values.
5. Against Ideal Theory, 2007 - using a variety of arguments, Renuka argued against the turn towards ideal theorising currently prominent in modern political philosophy as providing no sufficient grounding for political obligations and excluding many pertinent areas of debate from the purview of justice. It was this book that marked her turn towards a more pragmatic and egalitarian strand of liberalism, and she no longer calls for the privatisations and spending reductions she once did.
6. Economics and Liberty, 2009 - in this text, she attempted to explain her political transformation by identifying how a new theory of political economy could respond to the incentives issues that originally explained her opposition to Keynesian economics and a welfare state.
7. Spending Cuts for the Compassionate, 2011 - in this book, more political and polemical than her prior academic texts, she talks to those on the left and centre and argues that spending cuts in certain areas are for the benefit of the worst-off. She targets agriculture subsidies in particular. It was widely seen as an attempt to convince academics and left-wingers of how Orange Book proposals were compatible with social justice concerns, though she avoided making it a campaigning text.
 
Born in 1950 in London to a family of Indian Tamil origin who had established a comfortable middle-class existence as administrators for the Empire in Sri Lanka, they had moved to Britain following independence. She was drawn to academic pursuit of political philosophy, studying first at KCL, then LSE, then at UCL, all institutions she would later teach at during her academic career.
 
Renuka has always been a liberal, but her brand of liberalism has shifted, from classical to neoliberal to one within the mainstream of the Lib Dems, a steady transition. Early on in her academic career, Renuka was an ardent libertarian, a devout follower of Hayek, and praised doctrines of privatisation and the free market. She had called for completely replacing immigration barriers with immigration taxes (ideally open borders), the removal of copyright laws, and the privatisation of many services.
 
Ever since first being interested in politics, her liberalism has softened. She now argues rather passionately for progressive taxation, a dependency-reducing welfare state, and government regulation in many areas, although she still remains a somewhat eclectic and unpredictable Orange Booker. She was elected in 2012 to the constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, where her selection was controversial for these very reasons. Her academic persuasion, and strong devotions to human rights and internationalism, earned her several friends. She is an outspoken supporter of Tamil and Kurdish states.


(Also, stupid question, how do we change group memberships again?)

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  SNP SP: 99% and Visible
Posted by: Sir Douglas Woodburn (SNP) - Yesterday, 06:00 PM - Forum: Press Conferences (Speeches) - No Replies

Sir Douglas Woodburn, Westminster leader of the SNP, spoke at an SNP event at Festival Park, Glasgow, about the SNP’s new ground campaign group. 

Quote:Good afternoon!

It’s fantastic to be here in Glasgow with you all today. 

Here in the heart of Scotland, we know first-hand the difficulties that life can throw up. More than most, we know what it means when you simply can’t afford to make ends meet; simply can’t afford to put food on the table; simply can’t afford to give your children the best chances in life. We in the wider Scottish community have seen these issues daily and have seen them continually failed to be dealt with by government after government after government. In Scotland, brutal austerity, touted by the national governments of Cameron and Boris, has left our country in a deep pit filled with broken public services and led by uncaring bureaucrats that saw their wages rise whilst our national living standards fell. Today we hope to turn the tide on this disgrace and offer hope in a land of anguish. 

I am pleased to therefore announce the launch of the SNP’s grassroots organisation: 99% and visible. Our organisation will work intertwined with all SNP MPs in Westminster and all SNP MSPs in Holyrood, and will ensure that the needs of the many, not the luxuries of the few, are put at the front of the queue. In the pamphlet you have been handed, you can see the pledges that we will hold dear and fight continually to bring into reality. We believe that these eight pledges can and will bring about a future that is dedicated to the 99%, not the top 1%. 

The first, the key pledge of 99% and visible, is that we will use every MP we have to oppose austerity at every turn. No economic data has ever supported austerity as helping the economy and it is merely small government, idealistic thinking that is, in reality, a brutal and disgusting policy that has left our communities and our nation in ruin. With this policy, you have our assurance that Scotland will not be tethered to a policy that has destroyed local government, hammered down social welfare spending and left a black mark on every Scottish person’s lives. 

Coupled with this is a pledge to fight for the investment that out public services desperately need. We have all felt the impact that Cameron and Boris’ economic policy wrought on the services that are the lifeblood of our nation. It is awful that many in our nation are simply unable to see their GP when needed. It is awful that our children’s schools have been used as a cash cow for their government to milk. It is awful that pensioners have felt the squeeze dealt upon them. This must change, or we all face pain for the long term. It is time for reinvestment and it is time for government to start working for the benefit of the many. 

The third is the reinstatement of the disability living allowance. The replacement of the DLA has led to 370,000 disabled individuals loosing roughly £3,500 a year and is a policy designed for nastiness alone, putting those who need the assistance of the state at the back of the queue. I do not believe in a society that leaves its worst off without adequate financial support, but it’s clear that the governments we have had will happily toss them aside in the desperate hope that it will save them money. 

The fourth is the abolition of the bedroom tax, which serves no purpose but to hurt the worst off in our society, so often discriminating against the most vulnerable. On paper, there is no need to live in a house with more bedrooms than occupants, but the solution is not to slash benefits, leaving destroyed lives in its wake, but to simply build more social housing. 

The fifth is the abolition of the benefit cap, which currently sees families with four children living on just 62p per person, per day (according to data from the Guardian). This is an absolute disgrace. There should be no families living in our country that simply cannot afford to raise their children with a full belly, with clothes on their backs. To me, this is the epitome of what austerity does: it destroys for the benefit of none. 

The sixth is the renationalisation of the ScotRail franchise. An integrated, national network across Scotland would allow the government to save money on the ScotRail franchise, as profits made would be retained by the taxpayer, rather than given to shareholders. Over the long term, this means that fares could be reduced even as services increase: a double benefit to the Scottish taxpayer. And this plan could be introduced swiftly, as early as mid 2015; without any compensation being paid out by the taxpayer to private companies. This means a better service, one held accountable to the taxpayer, decreased rail fairs and decreased spending for the government. This is a triple whammy of positives for the Scottish people. 

The seventh is the introduction of a top tax of 55% on those earning £165,000+. Now, to many, 55% appears to be a very large tax rate, however it will only fall on the top 1%, who are earning more than six times the national average wage. To me, this is a fair deal. If you live in the 1%, we will ask you to pay more. We will ask you to pay more to our health service, to our police and to our children’s futures, to name a few. It is not right that we live in a society where the top 1% is earning an average of £61.10 per hour: more than the bottom 10% of workers earn in an entire day of laborious work. Even with our tax rate in place, those in the top 1% will still be earning an average of £30.55 per hour, a sum that is still more than four times the wage of the bottom 10%. 

The eighth is the introduction of a banker’s bonus tax. Our plan will see banker’s bonuses taxed at 50%, as well being capped at 100% of their annual salary. 

These policies provide the framework of 99% and visible – a ground roots campaign to benefit Scotland. We have already begun our work in Westminster, with the introduction of a motion to devolve the powers to set the rate and threshold for income tax to the Scottish government. The road to a fairer nation is long, but it begins here. 

Thank you very much.



Attached Files
.pdf   Pamphlet.pdf (Size: 400.49 KB / Downloads: 66)
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  Conservative Leadership Filing
Posted by: Richard - 06-23-2017, 10:49 PM - Forum: Candidate Filing Area - Replies (2)

Following the resignation of Elizabeth Palmer as Conservative Leader, if you wish to stand for the Leadership see below. 

Please Fill the following form:

Quote: Wrote:Name of Candidate: 

Signed Proposer:

Signed Seconder:

Declaration of Consent:

Candidates CAN propose themselves but you cannot propose yourself as a seconder.

Filing Begins: 00:00 UTC+1 (24/06/2017)
Filing Deadline: 00:00 UTC+1 (25/06/2017)

Confirmed Candidates:

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  Leader's Speech: Esther Sinclair
Posted by: Rt Hon. Esther Sinclair (LD) - 06-23-2017, 10:37 PM - Forum: Day Five - No Replies

Prime Minister Esther Sinclair MP addressed delegates in her leader’s speech on the Liberal Democrat Government’s plan to ‘deliver for Britain’
 
[Image: lagarde_1901469b.jpg]
 
Thank you Conference,
 
When preparing for my speech today I was taken back to the first time I was elected to the House of Commons. It was a hot day in June in 1994 and I had spent the day like so many of us have done, and will continue to do, knocking on doors and getting out the vote. It was a tough campaign that attracted national interest for it was one of the by-elections that whittled down John Major’s majority. There was such a groundswell of opposition against the Conservative Government of the day, so when I stood on the stage at about 3am in the morning sleep deprived and existing solely on coffee and fast food the result didn’t really sink in. Shocked would be an understatement, but it was the beginning of a shift in the political discourse of my local area, a shift that we started to see develop across the entire country. A shift that so many of us have fought for, a change that has taken almost century to be realised.  
 
That by-election campaign was like so many other by-elections we have fought as a party. I was truly blessed to have volunteers come and help from across the country. My campaign benefitted from people travelling hundreds of miles to knock on doors and deliver leaflets, because when it comes to fighting for what we believe in there is no group more dedicated or committed than the Liberal Democrats. That spirit will always be strong in this party and I couldn’t be prouder to be your leader.
 
We have truly disrupted the old order of politics. We were told we couldn’t do it, we were told that we couldn’t achieve power in this country because it just wasn’t what was done here, we were told that only Labour or the Conservatives would form the British Government. Well we showed them didn’t we? I won’t lie to you the road to Government has been rocky and filled with obstacles that we have had to overcome and there will be more obstacles that we must surmount in the years to come, but we must never lose heart in our commitment to delivering a fairer and prosperous Britain. A Britain that is built on the foundations of equality and justice. That is what we believe in and that is what we will deliver in Government. We are entering a new era of British politics. One where the two-party system has been truly broken and in its place, we are building a new and progressive politics. We are standing on the edge of change where we now have the opportunity to put into practice the ideals and principles we have held onto for decades. All we need to do is to take the leap and I know that we will rise to that challenge.
 
There has been a lot of talk about the deal we forged with the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. I am fully aware of the concerns that many members have raised and I understand, but the brutal reality of the situation we found after the election was that we could not pass the Queen’s Speech alone so a deal had to be made. During the negotiations with the Labour party there were areas we could agree on, but the decision was decided that the uncosted commitments they brought and their opposition to our desire for electoral reform ended on no deal. Now, I know we did concede electoral reform without referendum but that decision was made to ensure a stable Government was put in place. Mistakes were made, but that is understandable for a party so new to Government. When it comes to the concessions we made in the agreement between our parties we came to agreement that they were in conjunction with our beliefs. That devolution is a good thing and that more of it is not a bad thing and the decision on legislation for a potential referendum in Scotland should never be denied if the Scottish people vote for it. However, let me be clear that the Liberal Democrats remain a party of our Union and that while we will not stand in the way of the Scottish people, like Labour or the Conservatives would, we do not believe in breaking up the Union.
 
However, let me make it clear that my commitment to electoral reform and fixing our political system has not diminished one bit. We have a bold plan to completely reform the House of Lords getting rid of unelected and those there by virtue of their birth. This reform is long overdue and we will finish the reforms we started almost a century ago. Our commitment to electoral reform will never disappear and I will continue to fight for it to fix the broken political system we have in the United Kingdom.
 
It was not long after we presented our Queen’s Speech in Parliament that we were decried as ‘Radicals’ by the Opposition. They weren’t wrong, we are radical because our country needs radical solutions to the problems we face. So, when the Conservative throw that word radical at my feet hoping to wound me I will wear it like a badge of honour because we can no longer rely on the same old answers to the same questions we face time and time again. We only need to look at what the Conservatives did in Government over the past four years; devastating cuts to public spending on the altar of austerity, the demonisation and hostility towards our nurses, teachers, doctors, police officers, fire fighters and every other public-sector worker. It’s no wonder they were turfed out of office at the earliest opportunity and it seems they haven’t learnt their lesson, Ladies and Gentlemen, because what we see coming out of the Conservative party now would make even Thatcher blush. Their disdain for the European Union, their desire to cut us off from the largest trading bloc on the planet and their ridiculous plan to return to the grammar schools systems only shows that the Conservatives are not ready for high office. They only look to the past in their pursuit of policy, which is unsurprising since they haven’t come up with a new idea since the 1980s. The Liberal Democrats on the other hand look to the future, to the possibilities just out of our reach that with a little push further we will be able to achieve. That is the Government I lead, a Government committed to striving for the best for all British people.
 
It is our forward-looking vision that will deliver change for this country, change that will lift people up by providing them with the support and encouragement they need instead of consigning them to the scrapheap of irrelevance because they didn’t get into the best school or don’t come from wealth. Social mobility has always been a major goal for the Liberal Democrats and we will continue that drive in Government. When it comes to social mobility there is no greater equaliser than education. Education is the best way to lift the most disadvantaged in our society by equipping them with the skills they need and by developing strong and inquisitive minds. If we want to have an education system that is fit for the 21st Century we need to pay for it, we need to be able to attract in the best talent for our teacher and provide the resources they need to ensure that our children are receiving the best education possible. I promise that we will protect education spending across this Parliament to ensure that our children get the education they deserve.
 
Alongside our protection of the education budget we have a bold idea to invest money directly into our schools to provide much needed money for children from the poorest backgrounds in our country. In our schools we are seeing a worrying trend, the educational attainment gap between children from the poorest ten percent and children from the wealthiest ten percent is widening, which is resulting in children falling behind their peers in terms of reading and writing and children leaving primary school years behind sometimes failing to ever catch up. Immediate action is needed if we are to bridge this attainment gap and we will introduce a pupil premium that will invest directly into schools for children from the poorest backgrounds. Money that can be used to hire extra teaching assistants, provide more resources or enable these children to take part in school trips and excursions giving them the same opportunities as all children deserve. By the end of this Parliament we will deliver a Pupil Premium of two point five billion pounds.
 
We won’t stop there when it comes to education. Ensuring we get the start of our children’s education is vitally important and that the funding required for our schools is protected, but we will ensure that access to higher education is not obstructed by saddling our children with thousands of pounds worth of debt. In office the Tories waited no time in tripling fees and when challenged on the right to education the Conservatives said that there was a price for education. Ladies and Gentlemen, I am not often shocked by the Conservatives, but I was shocked when Conservatives were willing to saddle our children with crippling debt to receive an education. Let me be perfectly clear, education is a right not a privilege. If we want to have a well-trained and effective workforce we need to be opening up opportunities not shutting them down. We will stay true to our promise to abolish tuition fees ensuring that every child who wishes to go to University will not leave their education with crippling debt hanging around their neck.
 
Inspiring and motivating the youth of our country is essential for any Government. We must provide them with the opportunities for them to realise their dreams and constantly strive to achieve their ambitions in life. I want a society where every child has the opportunity to succeed in life, and takes grit and determination from our generation to ensure that the quality of life for the generations that precede us is better than our own. This is achieved by providing the chances children need, not developing some ill thought out plan which is tantamount to national conscription. Labour’s conscription plan will not see the results they desire. Yes, we should be encouraging greater involvement in our communities and charities around our country. That is a noble aim indeed, but it is not achieved through the forced conscription of young people into work. If we thought the Conservatives were harkening back to the past then Labour is going back even further. But, I’ll admit, I understand why Labour has proposed this idea. We, of all people, know how difficult it as the third party to get media coverage, but I take solace in the fact that we never resorted to national conscription just to get our names in the papers. I say this to every Labour voter that is confused by their party’s policy, if you want a party that has progressive values towards opportunities for our young people then the Liberal Democrats are the party for you.
 
Our taxation system is broken, we have multi-millionaires sitting at the top getting away with avoiding paying their fair share of tax while hard working families who work long hours every day are being expected to carry the greatest burden. The Chancellor, Malcolm Reynolds, set out in his speech yesterday an ambitious plan to reform our tax system to a fair tax system where those with the broadest shoulders will be expected to carry the greater responsibility. We will start this with a tax cut. Not a tax cut like you will see from the Conservatives that favours the very wealthiest but a tax cut that will ease the tax burden on millions of people. In our first budget, we will put in place a rise in the personal income tax allowance giving everyone a pay rise, and by the end of this Parliament we will have a personal income tax allowance that will ensure that the first ten thousand pounds you earn in a year will be tax free. When building a fairer taxation system, we must look at where our action is most needed and it is with the lowest earners in our society. The men and women who wake up early, work diligently and provide for their families. I want a society that says to those people that we trust and respect them because they are the people who keep our country running.
 
On Wednesday, the Chancellor outlined proposals that will see corporations who benefit economically from Britain pay their fair share in Britain. So corporations that pull in profits thanks to British consumers will be required to invest back into the British system. Our taxation plan will be a progressive tax plan, where corporations pay their fair share, where polluters are taxed to protect our environment, where the poorest in our society are lifted out of tax ensuring they keep more of their hard-earned money. We will also legislate to ensure that the Banks saved by the British taxpayer repay their debts and that sector pays more back to society. This won’t be an easy fight and it will take a lot of hard work but I am resolute in our commitment to progressive taxation which will take us closer to the fairer society we all strive to achieve.
 
We must also be resolute in our commitment to a foreign and defence policy that is fit for the modern age. Our party has led the fight against Nuclear Weapons for decades and Trident is a weapon system fit only for the cold war, but the establishment parties in Britain cling to it like they would a life raft. So when they claim that we have sold out our principles let us be clear in the knowledge that our decision to not renew Trident has been in our manifesto for a very long time. This is not a betrayal it is us sticking to the promises we make. I know it must be hard for Conservatives and Labour to understand, but it is called acting with integrity. Something they are clearly not used to.
 
When faced with the security threats of the modern world we must be able to adapt to any and all emerging threats, and as we see it Nuclear Weapons are becoming increasingly irrelevant. Today, the major threats we face are climate change, global terrorism and cybercrime. A Nuclear Weapon cannot be a solution to any of those threats. If we are to combat these threats we need to begin investment into new technologies, training and equipment to counter these threats. With money saved from Trident we can invest into our conventional forces providing them with the equipment they need, we can invest in our cybersecurity measures protecting our country as we move further into the digital age where we conduct more and more of our personal and business lives online and we can provide the resources for our security forces to fight terrorism at home and abroad. Britain needs a 21st Century defence strategy and that is what the Liberal Democrats will deliver in Government.
 
The threat posed by Climate Change and global warming is a very real threat we face, not only as a nation but as a species, that requires action to counter its effects. Action that must be taken now. Not next year, not in five years, but now. We are already seeing the effect it has but there has been a lack of political will from out planet’s political leaders to get to grips with the issue. That will change under the Liberal Democrats. We will use our influence internationally to place climate change high on the agenda. Tackling climate change will be a major focus of our foreign policy and with Chris Havilland as Foreign Secretary we have a man that is dedicated to bringing together political leaders to reach a solution. Time is passing for politicians to pass the buck, it’s time to get down to business on climate change. Alongside climate change our Foreign Policy will be one that is internationalist, that seeks to foster new relationships and strengthen existing ones. We are a party of internationalists, a party that is unafraid to reach out across the planet to find likeminded partners to achieve our goals, so when I heard the Conservatives desperate commitment to pull us out of the European Union I was disappointed. Once again, I shouldn’t be surprised but their desire to slip off into a self-inflicted isolation will not help Britain be the world leader that it should. We must engage with our friends and allies if we want to see progress, not run away from them.
 
Our fight against climate change will also take place domestically as well. We have an ambitious plan for revitalising our energy sector through investment in renewable energy. In a first step, we will create the first ever Green Investment Bank, mandated to invest in new and sustainable business models and the emerging green economy. We will deliver greener energy and cheaper energy, even when vested interests say that we can’t. Renewable energy generation and renewable energy investment will rise under this Government. I want to see a new industrial revolution in our country and we can achieve that with renewable energy. Britain has the capacity to be an exporter of renewable energy bringing prosperity and new opportunities to our nation. The science and the technology is there, it just requires the political will to make it happen. The Liberal Democrats will provide that will when Labour and Conservatives refuse to. We will provide the will and the funding for a diverse and dynamic energy sector that is clean and renewable.
 
Earlier today we had Chesney Lewis speak. We are well served by a dedicated public servant running the Department of Public Services and in his speech, he made it clear that our commitment to the NHS is absolute. The National Health Service is our country’s greatest achievements and for decades it benefitted from the agreement from all political parties that a well-run and effective healthcare system free at the point of use is to the benefit of all. Under the Liberal Democrats that commitment will be out guiding principle. Our vision for the NHS will be built on evidence and good practice which is delivered by the dedicated public servants who keep us healthy and nurse us when we are sick. We want an integrated health and social care system where the transition from hospital to care is seamless and natural. We also recognise that those who work in health and social care need a pay rise. In the first budget we will lift the public sector pay cap imposed by the Conservatives and give our nurses and social care professionals the pay rises they deserve.
 
Our Government is committed to tackling crime in our country, and under the Home Secretary’s excellent leadership we will see a new approach to the failed war on drugs. As a liberal I believe that people should be free to make decisions for themselves and that is why we plan to decriminalise personal use of cannabis. For too long police time and resources have been mismanaged in chasing individuals for personal drug use, which is a spectacular waste of their time. Around the world we are seeing a shift in attitudes on this, moving from punishment to rehabilitation for drug use. It is time that we stop trying to sweep this problem under the carpet through imprisonment and ensure that people who suffer from substance abuse receive the treatment they need, not incarceration. We will also break the hold of criminal gangs over vulnerable people by creating a fully regulated market for the sale of cannabis. Not only will this take control out of the hands of criminals but it will enable us to control the potency of cannabis and free police resources to be better targeted to tackle and prosecute the criminals to seek to import and sell illegal drugs. We have already seen opposition to this sensible measure but I am confident that the strategy of rehabilitation over incarceration is the right course to take.
 
We will also be investing the resources our police forces need. The Police across our country put themselves in harm’s way every day. They run towards danger while telling us to move away. They are selfless and deserve the respect they have long been denied. We will restore funding to tackle domestic violence in our first budget ensuring that the victims of domestic violence have access to safety and refuge. It is common sense to do this and we will ensure that funding reaches those in need.
 
Our commitment to equality in Britain will be a major hallmark of our Government. Led by Lizzy Gardener we will see Britain become a more inclusive place to live. Soon we will be introducing legislation for same sex marriage extending the right to marry to same sex couples, building on from the historic legislation of civil partnerships. For too long, same sex couples have been denied the rights that opposite couples enjoy. Alongside that we will be carrying out a comprehensive review of equalities legislation to ensure that the law of the land extends protects minority groups across our country. Equality is paramount to me and I promise that this Government will ensure the rights of all people living in this country.
 
It is clear to me that we face many problems as a nation. Problems that require bold and radical leadership. We may be new to Government after so long in opposition but our dedication to a fairer and more equal society has never diminished. We are a proud party made up of individual committed to providing the best possible outcomes for Britain. We are the party of Beveridge, of Grimmond, of Clegg, of Kennedy and of Ashdown. As leader, I stand on the shoulders of those who came before me who could only imagine of the opportunities presented to us in Government. The chance to implement to policies we have discussed and debated and fought for, we cannot squander it. We must take the opportunity entrusted in us by the British people and deliver a better future for them, in providing more opportunities for young people, in embarking on an ambitious foreign policy committed, to ensuring that our society is fair and equal. That is my commitment to you and I promise that the Government I lead will be a Government that delivers for Britain. Thank you.

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  Sion Rowlands MP (LIB DEM)
Posted by: Sion Rowlands (LIB DEM) (LD) - 06-23-2017, 09:55 PM - Forum: New Players - Replies (5)

Name: Sion Rowlands
Age: 29 (b.1983) (20pts)
Race: White/Caucasion (0pts)
Gender: Male (0pts)
Sexuality: Openly bisexual (8pts)
Religion: Atheist (5pts)
Family: Married no children (3pts)
Class: Born to working class family (10pts)

Education
Secondary: Sate school (0pts)
Higher: Undergraduate: BA Hons Politics (0pts)
Masters: Msc Econ Politics and Public Policy (4pts)
at Cardiff University (5pts)

Occupation:
2005-2007 Non profit work for 'Unlock Democracy' (5pts)
2007-2011 Cardiff Central AM (5pts)
Author (12pts)
1 book called 'Public Policy at Multiple Levels of Governance' (2pts)

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  Keynote Speech: Gavin Holmes MP, Leader of the Labour Party
Posted by: Gavin Holmes (LAB) - 06-23-2017, 05:46 PM - Forum: Day Five - No Replies

On the final day of Conference, Gavin Holmes MP addressed delegates and the press on Labour's 'bold new vision'.

[Image: macron-927345.jpg]

Ladies and gentleman, friends and comrades,


As a party renewed, reunited, and refreshed, Labour is back. We are setting the agenda in new ways and the public are listening. From the National Citizen Service to our plan on protecting jobs and promoting security, from a housing and renting revolution to a new crusade to bring communities together, Labour is setting out bold new policies and answers to the challenges facing Britain. While other parties and politics repeatedly proclaim their commitment to build a better future for Britain, Labour is proposing the policies to do so. We have turned a page on the past four years.   

There is no doubt that the election result a few months ago was catastrophic for Labour. Against a vindictive, cruel and incompetent Government, we did not gain a single seat. The British public looked at us and what we offered and they turned away. They did not trust us with Government, instead taking a chance with the inexperienced Liberal Democrats. And let us be honest: Labour was not worthy of the people’s trust in the last election. Over four years we spent more time fighting battles with each other than standing up for a fairer, freer, more prosperous future. The constitution of our party interested us more than the pernicious effects on austerity on communities across Britain. We need to learn the lessons of the past four years and move forward united. But if we dwell on the past too much, we risk forgetting that there is a future that needs shaping and seizing.

And it is Labour that is setting out the hopeful and optimistic vision for Britain. It is organised around one simple idea: we achieve more together, more in co-operation, more as a community than we do alone. We are stronger, fairer, freer, more prosperous, and more secure together. We are all connected; we are all members of the same family, the same community and the same human race. Where others suggest that some can only succeed by pitting individuals against individuals, families against families, and communities against communities, Labour rejects that utterly. That has been the message of this entire conference: we rise together; we succeed together; we move forward together; we achieve new things and reach new heights together; we change the world together. 

This requires us – together – to keep alive the promise of Britain for the next generation. I left school with few qualifications but this country did not allow that to keep me down. At its best and most supportive, our country gives people second chances and an ability to turn their lives around. Through hard work, effort and commitment, we can rise as far as we wish. From shop assistant to leader of the Labour Party, that promise – that each generation does better than the last – is what brought me to this stage. But what lifted me up to new heights and gave me a new start isn’t doing the same for young people today. The promise of Britain is dying and we must resuscitate it. I could never have gone to college to get the qualifications I needed if work was insecure and precarious like it is for too many young people. I could never have afforded to study part-time at the Open University if pay was as low and the cost of living as high as it is now. I was lucky for the opportunities afforded to me. It is my duty to ensure these opportunities are available for the next generation, the one after that and every generation that follows me. 

After four divisive years, it is time for a politics of togetherness. After four years of protecting the rich and hitting the poor, it is time for a politics of equality. After four years of bitterness and negativity, it is time for a politics of hope. But it is also time that we stop allowing those who wish to divide our nation and draw borders across the map from controlling this Government. There is only one party that is consistently on the side of people, communities and this country: Labour. There is only one party that has placed the national interest before the party interest: Labour. There is only one party that offers a bold alternative, not a spasm of nostalgic politics harking back to a time that does not exist and never did: Labour. We have led the way in holding this Government to account, not just in Parliament but across the country too. It is my promise that we will continue to do so for as long as it takes until we have a Government that seeks a reinvigorated Britain – united, together, equal, fair, free, prosperous and secure. 

It could be a long march, my friends. The other main parties stand in the way of progress. The Liberal Democrats may be new in Government, but they have adopted tactics as old as the earth; tactics that I had believed we moved away. Before their Conference, the Conservatives’ only detailed policy was to force the British public to choose between the European Union and the Commonwealth, our economic allies or brothers in arms. But only a party so lacking in imagination and ideas about the future would ask you to pick. Setting the European Union against the Commonwealth is setting Britain up for failure. I believe Britain is better than a false choice between allies; I believe you deserve something better than two cynical, out of touch, divisive parties.  

Remember it is only Labour that is concerned with protecting jobs and the economy. Both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party have put forward job killing policies that will harm the communities they have fallen out of touch with. I suppose it is easy, when you have been wrapped up in the Westminster bubble for so long, to propose ideas that strip people of their livelihoods without a second thought. But when I was a trade unionist I fought side by side with people to defend their jobs, their pay, and their working conditions. I know the importance of a job to people’s lives as well as the devastating effects unemployment can have. I come from the same places you do, I know the fear that millions of you feel when you look at the other parties’ job destroying policies, and I worry about the future just like you do. When other parties and other leaders willingly seek to destroy your job, be assured that you will have a champion in me and Labour. Within days of the Confidence and Supply Agreement being released, I was standing shoulder to shoulder with the workers at Barrow, Derby, Clyde and elsewhere to defend their jobs. And I will do the same for you. 

I know we cannot save every job, however. Sometimes as the economy changes, employment patterns changes. That means jobs will be lost. But I will never stop fighting to ensure that whatever happens you have a job. You will not be abandoned on the unemployment line. There will be no forgotten NEETs or long-term unemployed. With public investment, retraining opportunities, and support for smooth transitions between jobs, you will not lose out as the economy changes. We’ve set out how self-employment can provide flexibility and security for everyone who wants it, not be the last refuge of those who cannot find work and are forced to do something, anything, to pay the bills and feed the kids. Under Labour, we will fight, fight and fight again for you, your job and your community. If you work and are worried that in five or ten years’ time you may lose your job, you know that there is only one party who will fight on your behalf: Labour. We can do it – together.

Labour is calling time on the working practices of businesses that pay more attention to their global shareholders, than to British workers and British communities. And defending British workers and communities requires us all to put ourselves on the frontline in the fight for jobs and businesses under threat from both the Liberal Democrats and the Conservative Party. Neither party recognises the importance of work for meaning, dignity, and security for millions of people in Britain. They forget that work is rooted in our local area. Asking people to move hundreds of miles because politicians have decided to move their jobs is destructive to the communities we seek to protect. These policies hurt workers, but they also damage businesses too. We need a better alternative and Labour is setting it out. 

That alternative starts with the millions of people who are making enormous contributions to our community through work, caring for family and friends, and volunteering in their neighbourhoods.  Together they make our communities such wonderful places to live and reinforce the bonds of family. It is a priority of Labour to support them and allow millions more to start making these contributions. We have already set out our National Citizen Service that will allow every 16 to 18 year old to start making a contribution to their community and country. Further, the next Labour Government would provide every working individual the right to 5 days of paid leave for volunteering purposes. This will allow millions of people the time to volunteer, do charity work, and contribute to their community. When lives are increasingly becoming about just work and rest from work, Labour wants to ensure that everyone can have a ‘community life’. We will encourage businesses to be more involved than just facilitating the time off and engage with charities and causes. Business must be more involved in the community because it benefits both: stronger communities and stronger businesses. 

And we must never forget those who look after loved ones. They are vital to ensuring the ill live in the comfort of their own home and our elderly get the dignity they deserve. But they make enormous sacrifices to do so, often giving up their job to provide unpaid care. They deserve our respect, our gratitude, and our unending support. I want to end that tortuous decision between caring for a loved one and work. It is a decision no-one should ever be forced to make. Every individual who provides a significant of unpaid care will have the right to flexible, working arrangements that enable them to remain in employment rather than relying on the benefits system. And we will increase carers benefit to reflect the importance of the work they do. We all owe it to them.  

We cannot have prosperous and strong communities without a fair housing market. My friend, Sean Manning, has set out our ambitious plans to get Britain building again. Labour’s plan to build 300,000 houses a year will give thousands of people – especially young people – the chance to be part of a community, live in security, and raise a family. We are going to see new communities literally rise from the ground. We should do everything we can to support them to come together. For communities across Britain, identity is paramount. The street you grew up on is indelibly linked to you. It matters. It creates links to people who live in the street throughout time. So as new communities are being created, I want to ensure these new identities are rooted in the local area. Something as important to our collective identities as street names should not be left to private companies to decide. Instead of non-descript, bland, general street names that are not rooted in the local area and could be used anywhere in our country, let’s insist on street names named after local people, local events, and local history. I will task local authorities to draw up Street Name Banks, to which people can contribute ideas. Developers will be required to take names from this Bank for the new streets they develop. This is a simple way to strengthen our communities and protect their identities in a world of change. 

Bringing people together to change communities, bringing communities together to change the country, bringing countries together to change the world is the best way, the only way, we can create a new future. Collective action is transformative and enduring. It doesn’t require a Government that gets out of the way, but one that gets stuck in. We have to recognise that Government, while not being able to provide all the answers, can provide the support families and communities need to find solutions. Empowering people to work together and make decisions together to improve their community, our country, and our world is vital. The experiences of the Financial Crisis show clearly that we cannot maintain a political and economic system where millions feel out of control. Incomes were cut, communities shattered, and public services shredded because of decisions made far away and far removed from ordinary people. It is time we reasserted the power of people, families and communities over politics and, more importantly, the economy. That is why Labour has put forward policies to give the self-employed and new parents security, defence workers certainty, young people opportunity, and every region of this country prosperity. 

We cannot do anything else, friends. We offer a bold new vision of empowered individuals, secure and strong families, and vibrant communities because that is Britain at its best. We do this as patriots because our country is strong when we come together and reject the politics of division. It is time for us to bring people together, communities together, the country together. Thank you. 

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  Leadership Speech by James Savege
Posted by: Rt Hon. James Savege (CON) - 06-23-2017, 04:47 PM - Forum: Day Five - No Replies

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Acting Leader James Savege taking the stage to talk about the direction and the future of the Conservative Party.

Quote:Thank you! Thank you all for being here at the Conservative Party Conference here in Southampton, which I must say has been among the best in my years as a public servant. Now, I know that I may not have been the one you all were expecting to give the keynote here tonight, but due to a sudden health problem Ms. Palmer was unable to attend our conference. If I may just take a moment, I's simply ask everyone here to take a brief pause to send thoughts and prayers to Ms. Palmer and her family to wish her a speedy recovery....

I would also like to take the time to reflect on the impact that Ms. Palmer had on our direction as a party. Under her leadership, we were able to mount what perhaps will go down in history as one of the most successful oppositions in British history. When the Lib Dems decided it was fair that we shift thousands of jobs away from Clyde in Scotland, she held firm. When the Lib Dems decided that we were going to risk the breakup of the United Kingdom because Alex Salmond asked for it, she held firm. And when it came to show who was ready to lead in government, she held firm while the first liberal PM in almost a century couldn't even get her agenda approved by her own party! If there's anything to come out of this conference, then I would hope it would be the retention of the effectiveness, strength, and determination that Elizabeth Palmer gave to this party.

And as Acting Leader, I must applaud the cabinet ministers and MPs, who while fully aware of an opening for leadership, acted appropriately by putting the party before their own ambitions. That is something I'm sure Ms. Palmer would commend you for, and it deserves the respect of every delegate here tonight. It's one of the things that has really shown from this conference: the passionate vision for our country's future. From the beginning of this conference, we set our theme as delivering to Britain "the Right Way Forward". 

At this conference, we set out a different way to look at the global policy, conceived by Ms. Palmer and as such fully adopted by our party. For far too long the British people have been tried of the EU-consensus between Labour and the Liberal Democrats, which proves to be in effect to this day. Meanwhile, we have presented the real alternative to what in the end would be a federal European state, taking hold of our sovereignty with an iron grip. We shall have none of it, and instead be the only party willing to not only give the people a voice via referendum, not only support of sovereignty, security, and prosperity, but open the doors to new opportunities not just with Europe but America, Canada, Australia, Singapore, South Korea, and so many other nations around the world. In a global market, it is foolish to confine ourselves to only a section of it, and only with a Conservative will we see and change to that.

At this conference, we promoted a new approach to public services, on based on compassionate conservatism that seeks to provide opportunity to every one of our citizens. And it comes put to the underlying message: we want to do the most we can as efficiently as we can. On education no other party has put the quality of learning as their top priority than the Conservatives. It is core belief that a solid and steady education comes from one that is built on increasing standards through innovation as well as a healthy sense of competition, to push all students to strive for a better education. For our NHS, the gold standard of healthcare systems abroad, the Conservative Party has always led the charge to reduce government costs by providing greater efficiency and innovation. We have worked to lower the wait list time, integrate modern technologies and medicines, and continue to provide healthcare to all people regardless of whatever background they come from. There is no discrimination in providing help and care to millions of Britons nationwide.

At this conference, we pioneered a platform for a prosperous future for all Britons to reap. Since our founding, the Conservative Party has believed in lower taxation, cutting needless red tape, and providing greater opportunities for everybody. Among the issues this party plans to tackle is the housing crisis by encouraging a Parisian style of housing construction backed up by housing companies who will start to actually use their land to build housing for ordinary families. We are going to compassionate in assisting those harmed during the financial crisis by working to transform the National Minimum Wage into a Living Wage. Through a Living Wage this government will be able to tackle poverty and uplift the poorest among us whilst retaining our free market principles. And in addition to creating new, efficient housing, lifting people out of poverty, we're going to be the party that every person will have the opportunity to run their own business. By reforming our tax structure to reduce the burden on small businesses, we will ensure that they will be able to get ahead and prosper under a Conservative economic plan.

At this conference, we expressed our desire to find common sense solutions to common problems. Getting Britain back on track to the success of a Conservative government, we will work to protect our green and plentiful Earth, putting 'conserve' back into Conservative. We've been the party who has encourage businesses the most to go green by providing them incentives and putting the necessary red tape for them to do so. In addition to promoting a business-friendly environment, it is our duty to promote environmental-friendly businesses.

At this conference, we laid our plan to maintain and protect our security above all else. This includes our national security, our border security, our community security, and our job security. We Conservatives believe in a society where people don't have to live in worry and instead feel confident in leading secure lives. First, the Conservative Party will be the party that truly stands up to crime, unlike the Liberal Democrats and Labour, and provide the most for our police forces to do their jobs as well as put more bobbies on the beat to effectively deal with the issue of crime in this country. On both job security and national security, the Conservative Party has pledged to get a grip on the ongoing migration crisis around the by committing to reduce the number immigrants entering to U.K. per year down to the tens of thousands, so only the very best of skilled labor are allowed into the country to support the British economy. This tight control on immigration will also allow us to vet those suspicious more easily to prevent terrorists abroad from entering the country and therefore stop terror attacks before they happen. There is no reason why we should be frugal in protecting our communities from harm, which is why the Conservatives shall put security as a top priority.

Before I give my final remarks this conference, I'd like to thank my wife Mary Ann for giving me the support and motivation each and everyday in my years of public service. It has been an honor to serve in the shadow cabinet and well as leadership, but they are two positions that I shall decline come the next leadership election. It is a decision from which I have consulted with my family, leaving my commitments to my constituents in Monmouth. There is no doubt in my mind, however, that coming out of this conference the Conservative Party is both stronger and more united to face the tasks ahead of us. With a government in utter shambles, this country is crying out for the necessary leadership to take us away from the radical agenda that this government has shown: putting our union with Scotland up for stake via independence referendum, advocating to remove Trident which would essentially disarm all of Britain unilaterally, move to change the electoral system of this country without hearing from the people, and playing the tune of greater steps towards the end goal of a federal Europe. And this is, mind you, the type of agenda that they are proud of. Well, I'll tell you who's not proud: the millions of Scots who value the union more than Alex Salmond's personal wishlist, the British servicemen as well as the workers in Clyde who count on a government that supports Britain's right to have an independent nuclear deterrent, and all people wondering why the Lib Dems want a system that discourages majority governments if they can barely govern outside of a majority government! I can tell you that by the next election, the Lib Dems are going to need PR if they're ever going to save themselves. We have a clear and present path to lead this country and make life better for millions of people, and to fail in that goal would be a disservice. If I may echo the words of Michael Portillo at the Conservative Party conference in 1995: "Who dares, wins. We dare. We will win." 

With the leadership and spirit that has embodied this party as well as the skill that this government-in-waiting has proven for itself, I can say unequivocally that there will be a brighter future for Britain, one that is the right way forward. Thank you all, God bless Britain and God Save the Queen!"


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  Speech: Ruth Davidson & Andrew R T Davies - Unionism and the United Kingdom
Posted by: Emram Nasser (CON) - 06-23-2017, 04:43 PM - Forum: Day Five - No Replies

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Ruth Davidson - Leader of the Scottish Conservatives, and Andrew R T Davies - Leader of the Welsh Conservatives, spoke today about unionism and the future of Wales and Scotland in the United Kingdom


Quote:
Citing our long history, collective prosperity and commonality as peoples, Ruth Davison spoke at length about the benefits of our long lasting British union of nations. She spoke about the financial and economic benefits to our union, pushing aside nationalist claims that a better Scotland would be one independent from the United Kingdom arguing instead that such an action would leave Scotland "Financially weaker, Socially divided and acting as an effective end to our economic recovery that the whole country has fought for".

Davidson went on to attack liberal democratic plans for moving trident, citing the importance of the base at Faslane on the Clyde which provides thousands of jobs and economic prosperity to the people of the Clyde which would be hard to replace. Arguing that moving the weapons system would cost those jobs, as well as billions of pounds in regional GDP and unnecessary deficit spending to build new infrastructure in another part of the county to hold Trident. All of these actions "the consequences of weak leadership by a divided and weak Liberal Democratic Government cowing to the whims of Nationalists who seek to divide Scots when we need to come together"

Calling for a "New Unionist revival" in Scotland, Davidson urged Scots to reject the divisive nationalism of the Scottish National Party and "those who are too weak to stand up to them" by voting Conservative to remove Scottish SNP and Lib Dem MPs in the next election. Andrew R T Davies joined this call, urging Welshmen across the country to vote against the election of  Plaid Cymru MPs who seek to use the same tactics and methods as the SNP to push fo Welsh independence rather than a better standard of living for everyday welshmen who need a strong Conservative Government to secure their economic interests.

Davies attacked the Liberal Democrat Government as "confused and divided" arguing that "If they are willing to bow to the interests of the SNP today, what will Wales lose when they bow to the nationalists in Plaid Cymru?". Davies argued that a Conservative Government in Wales and across the UK would secure the Interests of Wales, fighting for economic development in regions of the UK that have been taken for granted by Labour and the Liberal Democrats for decades without ever providing results in Government. 

Concluding, Davidson and Davies called for national unity, Ruth Davidson stating that the UK "must come together to face common challenges under common circumstances" with Davies calling on the country to "reject the divisive mantra of nationalists and instead vote for a positive unionist vision for Britain, including Wales and Scotland".

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  Comference Speech: A Nation at the Crossroads
Posted by: Joan Kilfedder (CON) - 06-23-2017, 04:27 PM - Forum: Day Five - No Replies

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Shadow Home Secretary Joan Kilfedder addressed the Conservative Conference, indicating the differences between the approaches of the government and the Conservative Party in regards to Home/domestic affairs.

"It is indeed good to be addressing the conference here today, so I'd like to thank you all for being here today. I would first of all like to express and give my best wishes and state that Elizabeth Palmer is in my prayers, and I think we can all agree here that we hope that she gets better after her health took a tumble in the last few days. I would like to say that Elizabeth was and remains a good friend of mine and I sincerely wish her all the best in the weeks, months and years after her leadership has sadly come to a close. I would however like to address this conference on the subject of the future. Now our opponents like to attack us as a party that is looking towards the past, indeed in the words of the late American conservative commentator William F. Buckley 'a conservative is a fellow who is standing athwart history yelling 'stop!'' In some regards I would like to argue that this is true, what is wrong with wanting to bring back a system of justice and order in this nation that had and has worked for many years, as opposed to this nation's current shift towards a justice system which can be summarised as a lot of sociological flimflam that has no basis in the world of reality. We find ourselves current at a juncture where there is a very real threat posed by this government in regards to the upkeep of law and order and a sensible judicial system - which could very well be swept aside by a shift towards an approach by the first Liberal Home Office in a century, which no doubt is currently concocting policies in the Home Office which will seriously undermine the rule of law and the common law of this nation. We find our nation at such a juncture at this present time. It really does beggar belief, doesn't it? I mean when a nation that gave much of the world the Westminster parliamentary democracy system and which gave the world an highly effective and fair common law judicial system; finds itself with a government that has committed itself to radical changes in the field of social and judicial spheres, then it is surely time for a rethink and to see a shift away from such a radical agenda.

When many millions of voters and citizens of this nation are exasperated by a government that they did not want or support instituting this radical agenda right before their eyes, surely we as the Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition must step up to the challenge to champion the cause of these people and ensure that this government's radical agenda will not be enforced. After all the last Liberal government in this nation nearly threatened civil war in Ireland with its bungling during the Home Rule crisis of 1912-14; its mismanagement of industry and the economy which saw the potential of strikes made ever more real; and its repeatedly inaction and bunging over the issue of women's suffrage - this surely does not make it seem likely that this government will be any sort of a success if we look at past precedent of Liberal administrations in this nation. I mean we've already had one... no wait... two Liberal Democrat Prime Ministers so far, or was it three... I honestly have to say that it is hard to keep up with all the shifts in the leadership of this nation's new government. Perhaps by the end of this parliament every Liberal Democrat MP will have had a chance at being Prime Minister - at least then they can say that they have truly championed the cause of equality of opportunity.

I would like to say that it is not in the interests of the nation and the people of the United Kingdom to see this great party of ours supporting the radical agenda of the government. I can therefore say categorically to everyone here today this this party will not roll over as it did during the Blair years in regards to opposing a government's radical agenda. We will stand athwart to this government, and we will make it clear that we will oppose their radical agenda every step of the way, with an emphatic cry of 'No'. This party should strive to using any parliamentary means at its disposal to ensure that the agenda of this government does not see the light of day. This party should and shall make it clear that we will oppose all sorts of changes to this nation's unofficial constitution as well as unnecessary and unwanted social change that the Liberal Democrats had plastered throughout their manifesto at the general election this year. During the New Labour years it was fashionable for the government to state that it was not only going to be tough on crime, but also tough on the causes of crime. This was and remains a frankly idiotic statement which was meant to disguise the efforts of the then government to loosen up law and order in this nation. Let me tell you all here today that there will be no such shift by this party - we will be tough on crime - period. There can be no further pussyfooting around in regards to law and order in this nation. The next Conservative government will ensure that law and order will remain at the top of the agenda of the government. Though unlike the government we will not seek to butcher and mangle this nation's rule of law and justice in this nation - I mean what do we expect when they have explicitly noted that they will seek to not imprison criminals who have committed what they consider to be 'non-violent crimes' - I'm sure all those people who return home to find that their house has been burgled will appreciate that such people will be given community sentences. Welcome to Esther's Britain I guess...?

The issue of immigration and this party's stance concerning it has been something the press and other parties have made a lot of talk about in the past - especially in relation to our 2005 general election campaign. We asked 'are you thinking what we're thinking' in regards to a variety of issues, including immigration. The Conservative Party then, and remains so, a party that values and supports the role that immigrants play in this society, though we have to ensure that we have a fair yet well maintained and well enforced border security and system in this nation. It must be highly concerning when the government has announced in the Queen's Speech that it seeks to have what it considers a fair immigration system - there is no reference to ensuring that we can get this nation's borders under control, nor is there any real mention of the government seeking to ensure that this nation's immigration system is tightened so as to ensure that only those who will benefit this society and will continue to enrich it as countless other immigrants have done; will be allowed to enter into this nation. As Conservatives we recognise the positive contribution that immigration brings to our country and our economy, but also recognise that with that boost comes a natural strain on public services. We also recognise however that some migrants do undoubtedly come here to take advantage of the many great things about our country, something that spoils the entire system for all future migrants. That is why if immigrants commit crimes while they are living in the United Kingdom we will have to be firm, but fair, and bid them adieu for the good of future migrants.

I can therefore announce that this party will seek to ensure that net migration will be reduced to the tens of thousands. Now I can already hear the howls, the shrieks, the chorus of denunciation and execration at such a proposal being made. I can already feel my right ear burning from the talk that will be in the columns pages of the Guardian criticising me for giving a speech that just shows that we are the same old Tories as we were a decade ago. Well at least we remain consistent in our beliefs, unlike other parties which seem to overhaul their manifestoes in the space of a few months after the general election.

I would also like to turn the conference's attention to the issue of other areas of this nation's laws that the government has indicated in the Queen's Speech, that it would like to alter or ever do away with in its entirety. I am of course referring to the government's policy in regards to drugs. I said in the debate over this aspect of the Queen's Speech that I felt the government had grasped the wrong end of the stick entirely on this issue.  Indeed we have to look at the issue of cannabis legalisation and realise that it is not a simple open-shut case - and indeed the drug itself has many harmful side effects - but you wouldn't hear that from the government at all now. What the government doesn't want people to acknowledge is the many problems associated with the drug - the supposed addiction, the fact that the experiment with legalisation has not worked so well in various areas around the world - such as Alaska which legalised the drug in the seventies, only to have it recriminalized in the early 1990s despite a high cost campaign for it to remain legal... alas the crime figures were just getting a bit too high for the good people of Alaska. I still stand by the fact that the American Medical Association is indeed spot on when it wrote that Heavy cannabis use in adolescence causes persistent impairments in neurocognitive performance and IQ, and use is associated with increased rates of anxiety, mood and psychotic thought disorders." This is obviously not what the government wants to hear - so it must be some sort of pseudoscience cooked up the Daily Mail - right? Well, wrong actually - as if we look beyond physical effects we can see that the drug has effects in terms of school education, employment and the cohesion of the family unit.

I would also like to reiterate the comments I made during the Queen's Speech, that the next Conservative government will institute the first real drugs policy in this nation since 1971 when the Misuse of Drugs Act in effect ensured there would be no de facto War on Drugs in this nation. This nation had a real 'war on drugs' prior to the 1971 act, and that is what the next Conservative government will legislate to return to. Though I expect that such an announcement will likewise be met with condemnations and accusations of lies and falsehoods - after all it goes against the government's precious world view.

During the Home Rule crisis the Conservative and Unionist leader Andrew Bonar Law, a personal hero of mine, and who no longer has the distinction of being the shortest serving recent British Prime Minister; wrote to King George V to state that he felt that the British Constitution was being threatened by the government. Indeed it seems that we find ourselves at such a quagmire in this day and age. In this day and age do we really want a government to force through an agenda that really only appeals to and works for those a tiny minority of this nation, or do we want a legal and judicial system in this nation which ensures that basic law and order and justice is maintained in this nation. If the answer is the latter, then only the Conservatives have the number and the opportunity to be able to fight for such a reality. The Conservative vision for Britain in regards to domestic or home affairs is not to drag this nation into the past, no, it is to ensure that we have a future that ensures that social cohesion and law and order is maintained, as well as ensuring that our borders are secure with a firm but also fair immigration system. That's not something you will ever have a hope in hell of seeing under the current government.
Conference thank you very much and God bless you all. Thank you all very much."

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  Peter Ford
Posted by: Dyson (CON) - 06-23-2017, 02:17 PM - Forum: New Players - Replies (2)

Biography of Peter Ford MP (Con - Tatton)

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Peter Ford was born to Lionel Ford and Mary Ford (nee Walters) in March 1977. Growing up in Knutsford, Cheshire, and excelled at school, finishing his O-Levels and eventually moving on to the University of Manchester, where he earned a BA (Hons) in Business Administration.

Peter was encouraged from a young age to follow in his father's footsteps. Lionel Ford owned a small chain of convenience stores around Cheshire and Greater Manchester, and intended to pass the business on to his son. Whilst Peter's degree was focused on this endeavour, his time at University sparked a keen interest in Politics. He joined the Conservative Party in 1996, and volunteered during the 1997 election.

Peter's father and mother were killed in 1998 in a car accident whilst abroad, and Peter immediately inherited the family business. Keen instead to continue his growing career in politics, he sold the chain to Sainsbury's in 1999, making a substantial profit from the transaction.

Peter held a position on Cheshire County Council, but never took his eye off the goal of being elected to Parliament. He stood as the Conservative MP for Tatton and was duly elected MP.

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--- Career ---

Civilian Careers

CEO/ CFO/ COO [15 points]

--- Honours and Bonuses ---

Non-Military

Millionaire [15 points]

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