Welcome, Guest
You have to register before you can post on our site.

Username
  

Password
  





Search Forums

(Advanced Search)

Forum Statistics
» Members: 1,018
» Latest member: bolgaujunior9107
» Forum threads: 3,261
» Forum posts: 24,807

Full Statistics

Online Users
There are currently 43 online users.
» 0 Member(s) | 40 Guest(s)
Applebot, Baidu, Bing

Latest Threads
Hi, new folk here :P
Forum: Press Cycles
Last Post: RockNMetal
12-29-2018, 01:28 PM
» Replies: 0
» Views: 231
General Press Cycle
Forum: Press Cycles
Last Post: Benjamin
12-03-2018, 10:31 PM
» Replies: 118
» Views: 7,980
Campaigning
Forum: Yes Campaign
Last Post: Janet Marshall
11-05-2018, 12:00 AM
» Replies: 8
» Views: 1,019
High Profile Event
Forum: No Campaign
Last Post: Edward Addie
11-04-2018, 11:55 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 364
Party Political Broadcast
Forum: No Campaign
Last Post: Edward Addie
11-04-2018, 11:53 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 331
Party Political Broadcast
Forum: No Campaign
Last Post: Edward Addie
11-04-2018, 11:52 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 313
High Profile Event
Forum: No Campaign
Last Post: Edward Addie
11-04-2018, 11:52 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 310
Campaigning
Forum: Yes Campaign
Last Post: Janet Marshall
11-04-2018, 11:48 PM
» Replies: 8
» Views: 484
High Profile Event
Forum: Yes Campaign
Last Post: Janet Marshall
11-04-2018, 10:32 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 341
High Profile Event
Forum: Yes Campaign
Last Post: Janet Marshall
11-04-2018, 10:26 PM
» Replies: 1
» Views: 349

 
  Con SP: Leadership Acceptance
Posted by: Nicholas Wandsworth (CON) - 10-07-2018, 10:28 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (1)

Good Afternoon,

Our party has concluded a spirited contest for the leadership, involving four active members representing all strands of party opinion.  On the third ballot, I was privileged to be selected as the Conservative Party's new leader.  I am humbled and grateful to have been entrusted with this vital role in our political system, as Leader of the Opposition. 

I want to congratulate those who also stood for leader:  Harold Jones, James Yates, and Calum Wilson.  They have all served this party and Shadow Cabinet well and have contributed to our party's identity and strength.  I am very pleased to announce that Harold Jones will remain as Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, and it is with great pleasure that I can announce that James Yates has agreed to serve as Shadow Foreign Secretary. I was quite impressed with the breadth of his knowledge of foreign affairs in his own campaign for Leader, and thus I believe that both men will serve their party and their country well in their respective positions.  And the formation of a new Shadow Cabinet continues, and will be concluded shortly.

As our previous leader, Sir Dylan MacMillan had intended, I will ask people from different streams of the Conservative Party to serve in the Shadow Cabinet, so that we may show strength in our diversity.  All of us, whatever our views on the big issues confronting us, have a part to play in our great party, and to offer a credible Opposition to the Government.

Nevertheless, as a Party, we will be following a specific set of principles in opposition, principles that I set forth in my leadership race. 

The Conservative and Unionist Party stands opposed to ratifying the Maaschricht Treaty because we oppose subsuming the United Kingdom into an embryonic federal Europe.  We oppose any moves towards a common European currency, and we oppose being forced to adopt ideas that our own Parliament would not accept on its own.  We want the best possible relationship with Europe, and with the emerging democracies of Eastern Europe, including Russia.  But we do not place our relationship with Europe on a pedestal above our relationships with the transatlantic alliance, nor do we intend to subordinate our relationship with the Commonwealth to the European Community.  If this Government plunges ahead with Maaschricht ratification, we will oppose it vigorously, and I pledge to you that a Conservative Government led by myself will withdraw from Maaschricht at the earliest opportunity. 

Furthermore, our party entirely opposes Labour's tinkering around with our structure of government and country.  This means we will not consent with making the House of Lords into merely another political branch of government.  We will also not consent to dividing this great country on ethnic and national lines, as Labour proposes to do.  While there is an argument to be made for more government functions to be devolved closer to the people, we object to the divisive and discriminatory proposals of Labour.  And again, I give you my pledge, that if they carry through on this idea, they will be reversed upon the a Consevative Government being elected under my leadership.

Needless to say, we also are entirely opposed to raising the top marginal rate of income tax, which will harm growth and thus wealth creation.  At the center of any economic policy must be sustainable growth.  Reducing marginal taxation rates is the best way of producing such growth, and we stand by that policy.

At the same time, we shall not only oppose, but we will support the Government when doing so is in the national interest.  We will not second-guess the Government as it strives to master the plague of terrorism that struck down the Prime Minister not long ago.  We trust that the party of Neil Kinnock is as committed as we are to investigating and solving the evil of terrorism as we are.  We can be united in saying that after the murder of Lord Mountbatten, of Airey Neave, the attempted murder of Margaret Thatcher, and the murder of Neil and Glenys Kinnock, we will, as Britons, not falter in the face of evil. 

And, the Conservative Party will not simply oppose, but we will propose ... we will propose new policies to continue growth without inflation, to upgrade our position in the world, to secure domestic tranquility, to uphold family values and life, and to preserve and strengthen our system of health care and pensions.  This time in Opposition will be a constructive experience, as it was in the 1970s.  We shall rethink our positions and improve upon them, and, when that time comes, whether it is after a full term in opposition or some other time, we will show ourselves to once again be ready for Government.

Thank you.

Print this item

  Press Cycle #7 : Serbia ambassador withdrawal
Posted by: Dan - 10-05-2018, 01:44 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (6)

Following the withdrawal of ambassadors by the EC and UK from Serbia, what other action needs to be taken, if any in the event the situation continues?


Cycle will close Tuesday 9th October at 11.59pm bst. Contributions after this will not be counted

Print this item

  Press Cycle #6: Diana Revelations
Posted by: Dan - 10-04-2018, 04:39 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (11)

Following Andrew Morton's Biography, is it right to publicize revelations about a member of the royal family?

Press cycle will close on Monday 8th October at 11.59PM BST. Any contributions after that will not be marked.

Print this item

  Press Cycle 5 #Baroness Thatcher
Posted by: Dan - 10-04-2018, 04:36 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (11)

Following Baroness Thatcher's appointment to the House of Lords, should every Prime Minister be entitled to join the House of Lords?

Press cycle will close on the Monday 8th October at 11.59 BST. Any contributions after this will not be marked.

Print this item

  Press Cycle 4 # Water Disconnections
Posted by: Dan - 10-04-2018, 04:22 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (10)

With the news that the number of Water disconnections have increased rapidly, what action must be taken?

Press cycle will close on Monday 8th October at 11.59 BST. Any contributions after that will not be marked.

Print this item

  LD: Chatham House Speech
Posted by: Rt. Hon. Philip Porter (LIB) - 10-01-2018, 06:31 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (1)

[Image: GTY-al-gore-jt-170603_16x9_992.jpg]

Deputy Liberal Democrats Leader Philip Porter spoke at the "After Maastricht: the Place for the United Kingdom in Europe" forum hosted by Chatham House. 

“We stand here at the end of the 20th century which in many ways could be categorized as a European century. The beginning marks the age of modern warfare that so violently tore through a generation of men and ripped the moral underpinnings of our humanity away. It brought forth the pestilential plagues of revolution, tyranny, and dictatorship. The middle of this century was once again marked by war and tragedy. Born out of fear, degradation and nationalism run amok Europe once more fell to darkness. But thanks to this nation, our Commonwealth and our allies we were able to march back towards the light and our shared humanity. 

The last half of this century we have striven as a nation and as a continent to repair the damage done by those two bloody wars. We have sought to bind the wounds and heal the divisions and through that build a more united Europe. This bold experiment at a federal Europe, at a United Europe promises new opportunities to learn from the mistakes of the past and forge ahead towards a new and prosperous future. We need only to be bold and brave in our leadership. We have sought to set aside our squabbles and disagreements in an effort to build a more unified Europe based around dignity, the rule of law, and community. Forged in the crucible of the European Coal and Steel Community and bonded through the European Economic Community we have as a European community created the ties of friendship and brotherhood that have enabled us to create a more peaceful and prosperous Europe. And now we strive to do even more. 

The Treaty of Maastricht offers us a new opportunity to build a more connected, vibrant Europe with Great Britain at the beating heart. The Liberal Democrats are led the way in 1992 with a bold, pro-European stance that the other two parties have tagged along behind. The Liberal Democrats understand, wholeheartedly, that a more unified Europe is a boon for Britain and her people. And we are willing to say so. The Liberal Democrats understand that Europe is a family and that we are the paterfamilias. We must lead the way, or be left behind. Now is the time for the United Kingdom to lead. We must be bold to harness to energies and hopes of Europe to create a brighter future. 

Take for instance the Social Chapter. Some have argued that it will spell the end of British sovereignty and nationhood. That is absolute rubbish. What the Social Chapter does is that it outlines the necessary work conditions so that all of Europe is a level playing field. It prevents a race to the bottom for work safety, benefits, and workers’ protections. The Liberal Democrats firmly believe that supporting the Social Chapter that we can make British workers more competitive. We know that British workers produce better quality products, that British companies are more adaptive and agile and when the playing field of cost is level we know that international businesses will flock to Britain to make their goods and provide their services. The Social Chapter isn’t an abdication of responsibilities; it’s a gain for the British economy.

As are the economic and monetary union another positive for Great Britain. London is the beating heart of the financial sector in Europe. Through a unified monetary and economic union, we can ensure that the heart of Europe can keep beating. However, we must set aside politics when setting the monetary agenda for Europe. The Liberal Democrats demand that an independent Central Bank of Europe be established to help ensure a steady and stable monetary supply once a common European currency is established. We have seen here in Britain the dangers of politicians playing with money and the interest rate and we must do all we can to ensure that the lessons we’ve learned are applied on a continental scale. 

We must work to further integrate ourselves into this bold European experiment. To do any less means that Britain we be left on the outside looking in; unable to participate in the vibrant benefits of union. But we also must be clear that this experiment comes at the behest of the people, not nations or regions. The current makeup of the European experiment lacks democracy. Too much power is concentrated into the hands of bureaucrats and unelected panels and commissions. It is vital for this new adventure to move forward that we must make the European Community more answerable to the people of Europe. We believe as Liberal Democrats that power in the European Community must be devolved to the lowest level possible in order to best meet the needs of the people and eliminate layers of bureaucracy. We must ensure free, fair and open elections to the European Parliament and strengthen the Parliament with real legislative and oversight powers. Gone should be the days of rubber stamping and pro forma meetings. The European Commission and Presidency should also be answerable to the people through open meetings and the approval of the appointment of Commissioners by the Parliament. And most fundamentally we must push for a European Bill of Rights that is binding to all nations and protective of all citizens. We can more fully negotiate all that will be in this bill, but a key right that we insist must be included is common voting rights for every European citizen on every level of democratic engagement. Anything less than a full democratization of the European experiment could very well put an end to the bright opportunity for the future. 

We have a chance now; while the iron is hot to truly mold the European Community with our rotation into the Presidency soon. With Britain at the helm we can, if we are bold and ambitious enough, push for a more democratic Europe that gives the people of this great continent real buy in to what we are doing and will allow all of us to have a say in our shared prosperity for the future. We should use our leadership to showcase how we can make the Council more transparent and while also working towards pan-European policies that benefit us all. The future favors the bold and Liberal Democrats believe that Britain must be bold in shaping the Europe of the future. Because that is the only way we will ensure its success."

Print this item

  Lab SP: Chatham House Speech
Posted by: James Mercer (LAB) - 10-01-2018, 04:16 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (1)

[Image: Sybrand-Buma_380.jpg]

The Foreign Secretary, James Mercer, spoke to a forum organised by Chatham House entitled "After Maastricht: the Place of the United Kingdom in a new Europe":

Quote:Ladies and gentlemen,

First of all, let me state how immensely grateful I am to have been invited to speak to this forum on such a topical and important issue. It is really a credit to all the best traditions here at Chatham House as it helps shape thinking about foreign policy, and I am glad to do my part to carry such thinking but a little further and, at the same time, sketch some of the broad strokes of government policy towards European integration.

It is sort of a truism that the world is changing, but here we live in a time period where it actually is. The iron curtain which divided the European continent is gone and in its place, new democracies are springing up in the east, eager to join the free world. And only last year in Maastricht, a city which has been at the heart of Europe since the Middle Ages, we took the next step in our journey towards peace and cooperation in Europe. What began as a purely economic project has now been brought increasingly into the sphere of international cooperation, with the new European Union uniting all disparate functions of the European Communities under its banner.

We're still in the process of ratifying the Maastricht Treaty before its entry into force, but we must give this new stage of European integration our full attention as we head into it. With international developments being what they are, now is the time for Britain to go fully into Europe and for Europe to go fully into the world. We are in a position to set a new model for international cooperation, one based not just on the strategic zero-sum interests of nations but on the positive-sum interests of ordinary people and citizens of the world! Now we're out of the world of the Cold War, the triumph of liberal democracy means that it is now our responsibility, as nations, to turn our attention to the advancement of our citizens, the maintenance of peace and the prosperity of the many.

I am likely to raise some eyebrows with my Tory member opposite here, since it is well-known that we do not see eye to eye on the significance of the European project. They come from an altogether different tradition of British relations to the continent than I do, one that is not perhaps so strange. Britain has always been an island, set apart from the continent - the very way of speaking about the rest of Europe denotes that we've always had one foot in the door. And yet, don't we share much of our culture with Europe? Haven't we been part in our heydays of the network of trade, science and culture that spanned this continent? Have we not intervened at times when we felt things were going the wrong way? Britain is connected to Europe, and it can lead in Europe if it wants to. We may be a Channel apart from the continent, but we are its citizens nonetheless, by our historic ties, and we have a responsibility to our close neighbours.

So far, the debate on Europe has focused on that one side of Europe for us: why Britain might need Europe. What we might get, as a maritime trading nations, in strict economic terms, from our membership of the bloc. But I believe we must now ask the opposite question all the more strongly: why Europe needs Britain. We need to focus on why we need eachother.

As a diplomat, I must be cautious about talking overly much about my ideological inspirations. But as a Christian socialist, one of my strongest inspirations in my approach of Europe is the principle of solidarity: the ties among people and, in international affairs, among peoples, of mutual aid and friendship. The willingness to help eachother when things get hard, to stand up for eachother's rights, that quintessential human ability to act not out of the interest of one-self but one's fellow men. Europe was founded upon that principle of giving in solidarity to one's fellow men when Jean Monnet and Robert Schuman made the landmark decision to start regulating Coal and Steel supranationally, the fuel of the war machine as well as the peaceful economy of the day, to further peace and prosperity in Europe. France showed itself solidary with defeated Germany to allow both nations and the rest of Europe and put coal and steel in a common framework to allow the continent to move on. I think Europe ought to be immensely proud that with the single market, it has achieved the extension of that first principle to the whole economy.

But we must not stop there, because solidarity does not stop at being able to trade goods, services and labour freely from one country to the next. It is founded, after all, on the rights and duties of individuals as well as nations to eachother in the fraternity of humankind. Europe must not stop at the right to trade, at the right to buy and sell. It must now move on to the rights of ordinary citizens, as participants in that great single economy we have founded, as workers and consumers. It is these citizens whose project Europe must ultimately be, and whose project it has, in the past, been a little too little. And I say this now: this is where Britain has so far been a slacker. The opt-out from the European Social Chapter was nothing but Britain saying that Europe should stay out of the rights of individual citizens in this new economy.

But here's the reality of it all: you can't regulate a single economy together if you're not prepared to commit one and all to the protection of fundamental rights of workers and consumers across the length and breadth of it all. Think of it as if we, in Britain, would in the beginning stages of the United Kingdom have allowed certain parts of our country to opt out of working hours legislation as it was introduced. What would happen would be an unfair competitive advantage over the backs of ordinary hard-working men and women. And this is what we must now prevent in Europe, and this is the reason for the European Social Chapter: to ensure a level playing field across the single market for working people, so that they may know that their rights will be adequately protected.

I am proud that I will be the Foreign Secretary who, during Britain's presidency of the European Community, will take that next step in our relationship with Europe and in Europe's development and ratify the Maastricht Treaty - all of it, without the opt-out negotiated by John Major to the Social Chapter. It is going to be but a first step in what will be the focus of our presidency: making this new European Union from a market based on nations and working for nations to a market comprised of citizens, as consumers and workers, and working for these citizens.

This is a movement that is already gaining momentum across the continent, witness the European Social Chapter. Europe is moving on from the completion of the single market, not content to rest on its laurels but making the next steps and figuring them out in a changing world. I think our fellow Europeans are working out how we can show that Europe can show the way in a post-Cold War world. It is imperative that we do not stay behind, thinking only of the prosperity of our own. Because paradoxically, in the positive-sum world that is building now, thinking of the prosperity of Europe as a whole will yield benefits for the prosperity of the British people that we cannot get on our own. That is why I am not content to just end the opt-out and wiat out the next game plan - Britain is going to lead in this new chapter for Europe, starting with our presidency in June.

First of all, we must build on the solid foundation the European Social Chapter will open in terms of worker's rights and move in concert with Europe on that other big group of rights we must protect for our citizens: consumer's rights. As we move forward here in Britain with the Consumer's Charter to set standards which will improve the security of consumers in terms of health and safety, guarantees, compensation and remedy, we must hold that up to the rest of Europe as an example and say: look, this is the right thing to do, it is the logical next step after the Social Chapter. My colleagues in the economic portfolios will bring consumer's rights to the table and see how we can move forward to ensure similar protections across the European Union. This is both in our interest and in the interest of Europe as a whole. It is in our interest because if we believe that British consumer's rights should be as we propose, then we will be at some disadvantage if Europe does not follow. But moreover, it is in the interest of Europe as a whole because it will allow easier trade if standards are streamlined, and more importantly, will show to the citizens of Europe that this project of ours is not just one of economic figures, but one of tangible every-day benefits to them. It will strengthen the European project and it will strengthen Britain.

Now let me be clear about one thing: these matters are matters that will fall, as economic matters, under the first pillar of the Maastricht Treaty and the new European Union. That will mean that they will be under the supranational procedure. This is quite likely another matter that will not make me popular with my opposition counterpart, but I believe that is only right. You cannot agree by treaty that the structure and administration of the single market is going to be a supranational affair under the purview of both the Commission and the member states and then say that it's another matter entirely when it comes to protecting the rights of the workforce and consumers within that single market. That would be disingenuous, but moreover, it would be ineffective. Keeping these matters outside of the first pillar and the supranational procedures would mean that it would always be possible for one nation to be a free rider, enjoying the benefits without associated costs and keeping the rules loose in their own interest while, in the interest of all of Europe, they ought to be strengthened. This prisoner's dilemma is exactly why if we want to have any hope of fair protection across Europe of worker's rights and consumer's rights at the same minimum level, the only option to do so is through the first pillar.

Secondly, as we move on from Europe as a project of trade between nations and into its new phase as a project of prosperity for ordinary people, we must also reconsider the European budget to see if it equally benefits each European citizen. First of all, these new priorities of ours will simply cost money to administer. But secondly, some of the European budget is increasingly frowned upon by the people of Britain and the people of Europe in general. If we are to move Europe on into a project more focused on the citizens of Europe themselves, we cannot explain the inefficiency of spending like the Common Agricultural Policy. That is why at the European summits and the Council of Ministers, we will be initiating discussions on the restructuring of the European budget and the reform of the Common Agricultural Policy in the interests of the citizens of Europe. I won't lie - it's going to be a hard sell, particularly to our friends in France whose farmers are reliant on the money. But I think we can make it if we provide a compelling vision of a future Common Agricultural Policy in which the agricultural sector gets money not simply to support its production, but to support its innovation, its contribution to the rural environment, and diversification into areas such as tourism. That will be good for farmers and value for money for Europeans.

Thirdly, with this treaty we have taken steps towards a renewed European Community, but there is one thing that we must consider if we want to shift the focus of the European project on our citizens. While all those making decisions with the EU are democratically elected or delegated by those who are, if we continue seeing Europe as a body of citizens as well as nations, we must look critically at the democratic decision-making structure of the European institutions. This is a long-term re-examination that is necessary as we move into the next stage of European integration. What should the role of the European Parliament be? What should the relationship between the Commission on the one side and the European Parliament and Council be on the other side, and through them the citizens? It is a conversation we must start today for inclusion in the inevitable next treaty, so we can keep reforming Europe's institutions to take our citizens and member states along. It is frankly necessary for securing the continued confidence of those affected by the European project in that project, and it must not be neglected.

And finally, I arrive back at the start of my speech. The world is changing. The fall of the iron curtain is one of the most momentous moments in world history. It offers a glimpse of a future where human rights are truly universal, where liberal democracy finally becomes the standard. Europe, as the birthplace of some of those universal values and institutions, has a special responsibility here, not to speak of the responsibility of reaching out across the fallen curtain to those great cities and countries who have emerged from beneath its shadow. Under the banner of European Political Cooperation, it is absolutely imperative that the new EU unites to offer a helping hand to our neighbours who are starting out on the road to rebuilding freedom and democracy with such energy and optimism, and let them benefit from our experience. I will use this nation's presidency to take the lead in that, and work for a conference between the European Union and newly-democratising countries in the East to see what we can do for eachother and for the steady and sure growth of freedom and democracy there.

Europe, emerging now from the shadow of war and cold war, has a special obligation: to set an example and an agenda for world peace in the post-cold war world. The great global conflict between the West and the Soviet Union may be over, but smaller conflicts remain across the globe, some on our very doorstep. Europe has a special responsibility to band together to see if we can, in intergovernmental cooperation, help build peace where there is war. In the Middle East, in Cyprus - these conflicts that Britain has a responsibility of its own in are conflicts where we could do much more with the support of our European allies.

Ladies and gentlemen, what is the new Europe, and what is Britain's role in it? I believe Britain's role is to take the lead in Europe, and build a new Europe that can make a difference in a new world. The continent has been defined by conflict for so long, continued latest by the Cold War and that evocative image, the Iron Curtain. Now the Iron Curtain has fallen, it is up to us, the peoples of Europe of which the British are by virtue of their history a part, to build something new in its place. I have a vision that I think many share of a network of friendship across the continent arising where the Curtain once stood, spanning now from Ireland to Greece and from Scandinavia to the boot of Italy. Uniting ancient Athens and Rome to London, Amsterdam and Brussels and, who knows, in time, Prague, Budapest and Warsaw as well. A network that will bring not just peoples together, but which will bring people closer together. The promise of peace which we show to the world as we take our responsibility, one and all, to show our solidarity with the brotherhood of mankind. "All men shall be brothers, where your gentle wing abides," as Schiller wrote in his Ode to Joy. This is the role I see for Britain in the new Europe and for and through the new Europe in the new world that is emerging.

Thank you, ladies and gentlemen.

Print this item

  Press Cycle #3: Queen's Speech
Posted by: Roberts - 09-26-2018, 11:34 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (51)

Does the Queen's speech outline an agenda that will move Britain forward?

Press Cycle will close on Tuesday, 2 October  at 11.59, contributions after this will not be marked.

Print this item

  Liberal Democrat Frontbench Team
Posted by: Rt. Hon. Oscar Hattingly (LIB) - 09-24-2018, 10:11 PM - Forum: Party Frontbenches - Replies (1)

Leader of the Liberal Democrats: Rt. Hon. Oscar Hattingly
Deputy Leader of the Liberal Democrats: Phillip Porter

Spokesman for the Treasury: Phillip Porter
Spokesman for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs: Menzies Campbell
Spokesman for the Home Office: Alan Beith
Spokesman for Employment and Welfare: Charles Kennedy
Spokesman for Defence: Bob MacLennan
Spokesman for Natural Resources & Environment: Malcolm Bruce
Spokesman for Public Services: Ray Michie
Spokesman for Northern Ireland: David Steel
Spokesman for Constitutional Affairs & Devolution: Alex Carlile

Liberal Democrat Chief Whip: Jim Wallace
Leader of the Liberal Democrats in the House of Commons: Simon Hughes
President of the Liberal Democrats: Charles Kennedy

Print this item

  CON SP: Shadow Home Secretary Statement
Posted by: Calum Douglas Wilson (CON) - 09-24-2018, 09:35 PM - Forum: Press Cycles - Replies (1)

Bournemouth -- Shadow Home Secretary Calum Douglas Wilson, MP for Windsor and Maidenhead, gave a speech to the Police Federation of England and Wales reflecting on the recent terror attack and outlined his party's new policy for policing and tackling terrorist threats 

Quote:Ladies and Gentlemen, our nation has been rocked by a horrific event that has claimed the life not only of our nation’s Prime Minister and his wife but also of a Mother and Father, rending their family apart. I’d like to express my deepest sympathies and condolences to the Kinnock’s extended family, especially their children, at this time. Whilst in the past we have had very different political views I always held a very deep respect for the late Prime Minister and there is no acceptable or moral justification for what has happened.

The perpetrators of this attack are now known to be Irish Republican terrorists, this fact alone shows how grave a problem the United Kingdom now faces, the idea that terrorists should be able to kill any member of the British public, let alone a Government official is abhorrent and it is terrifying. I wish now to momentarily reflect on Mr Hattersley’s comments at the time of the attack when he swore to bring those responsible to justice, we must do this for the memory of those lost in the attack and we must be rigorous in our pursuit of justice for the perpetrators of this horrific and immoral offence against decent human values.

We must clamp down on all forms of Paramilitary violence on the shores of the British Isles, regardless of their political affiliation. It is not right that any group on our islands should be prepared to take up arms and threaten the lives of members of the public or members of the different communities that so enrich our nation. The stranglehold of fear that these groups have sought to create must be ended now and must never be allowed to return. I hope to work with colleagues across Parliament and across the political divide in order to facilitate a speedy end to this problem. 

Whilst this is a time for unity and rallying together it is also my job as Shadow Home Secretary to ensure that the Conservative opposition has a policy in place to advocate for the protection of the integrity of our national security, not only so that we may hold Her Majesty’s Government to account but equally to be ready to enact that policy should we be honoured enough to be elected to Government ourselves. Were we in Government the Conservative party would seek to implement new policies aimed at targeting and destroying the Organised Crime and Terrorist cells on our shores and working with our partners across Europe and the world to eliminate them globally.

The Conservatives will explore new options to provide police officers and security services with greater powers to deal with the emerging threats lurking just around the corner. To complement this we would do so whilst ensuring that they have access to the best equipment that money can buy and every resource that they need to get the job done. We will also be looking into the protection of those acting in the line of duty to better ensure that they are not inhibited or deliberately put in harm’s way, where it is necessary we would continue with the protection of our officers through the deployment of protective equipment as soon as we got into power. However, at the same time, we would be re-examining the image of the police in the United Kingdom as we head into the next century, one way that we can help restore the image of police as “being on the side of the community” is by bringing back proper community policing and restoring the proper British bobby to their rightful place on our streets. This is not a solution in and of itself and we must remain constantly vigilant to ensure that our bobbies are able to deal with the threats of a sunsetting decade and the coming millennium.
 In addition to tackling the image of our police force and granting them new powers we will consult with the relevant authorities on the creation of a truly 21st Century counter-terrorism strategy, this is essential as we look beyond a simple term of office, or the Labour/Conservative divide, and towards the wider picture of ensuring the continuous successful protection of our nation's security and of our citizens' civil liberties. The link between terrorism and organised crime is an intrinsic one, this means that to tackle terrorism we must not only tackle the frontline fighters but also the criminal syndicates that fund them. Of course,  Organised Crime itself is often made up of many individual petty crimes, therefore to tackle terrorism in the United Kingdom we must have a top-down re-evaluation of our crime-fighting strategies, from the very smallest crimes to the very largest. It is the Conservative Party's belief that this will require the sort of combined thinking that a local agency simply cannot provide. Localised policing is an amazing tool but we must combine this tool with an organisation that sees the bigger picture, a truly national law enforcement agency to complement the work of our local bobbies, identify patterns of behaviour, and tackle inter-jurisdiction crime. This agency will, in particular, coordinate with the intelligence services, police counter-terrorism, and organised crime units in order to properly finish off the activities of these inhuman criminals.

Make no mistake, we will bring an end to the reign of terror that plagues our nation and we will protect our citizens from common criminals and militarised terrorists alike. There is room for political discourse in Northern Ireland and that is what must emerge, a peaceful solution, but if our people are threatened by the actions of these terrorists we will take strong and decisive action against them. We will not allow these monsters to escape justice and seek to impose their will on us, just as the jackboots of the Kaiser and the Wehrmacht were not allowed to impose their tyranny on Britain’s people many decades ago the tyranny of these thugs shall likewise be faced and defeated.

We Britons are a strong and resolute people, we will absolutely stand firm ready to defend ourselves from the thugs and tyrants that seek to do us ill. We would, under a Conservative government, have a new re-invigorated national security strategy that will tackle all threats and protect us, under a Conservative Government we would restore the bobby on the beat and we would equip them for the new millennium, and under this Labour Government the Conservative Party stand ready to assist in any way we are needed, to see these individuals brought to justice and peace restored to the people of Northern Ireland.

Thank you and God bless.

Print this item