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  • Ed Davey and Layla Moran
    Article: Aug 5, 2020
    In POLITICO London Playbook

    LIB DEMISTRY: The Lib Dem leadership race is finally out the blocks, giving members until August 26 to cast their ballots. Playbook asked the two candidates to make their pitch to the Lib Dem faithful in a quick-fire Q&A. They appear in alphabetical order to avoid squabbles.

    THE ED DAVEY PITCH: "The Liberal Democrats need a leader with experience, vision and judgment to take on the big challenges we face as a party and as a country. I'm an economist with a track record of creating green jobs, and winning elections and I think that's what we need right now!"

  • CC Designate Rachel Swann (Derbyshire Police)
    Article: Aug 5, 2020
    By Kate Smith

    The announcement of Derbyshire's new Chief Constable is an opportunity to build on existing strengths and improve on those areas where the Force is weaker, says Lib Dem Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Candidate Kate Smith.

    The successor to Peter Goodman as Chief Constable is the experienced, hard-working and energetic Rachel Swann. Kate welcomes this appointment, saying, "Some will recognise the name of Rachel Swann, who co-ordinated the multi-agency response to the Toddbrook Reservoir emergency, in early August 2019. It seems fitting that the news comes on the anniversary of that incident. Deputy Chief Constable Swann's organising skills were outstanding, and her record on prioritising scarce resources, cross-agency collaboration and team management is also clearly recognised by the Force, and by the current PCC. Many congratulations to her."

  • key
    Article: Aug 3, 2020

    Robert Jenrick announced a "permission in principle" will be given to developments on land designated "for renewal" to speed-up building.

    However, he did not specify the criteria for designating land under these proposals.. Areas of outstanding natural beauty and the green belt will be protected.

  • Coronavirus graphic
    Article: Jul 31, 2020

    Responding to ONS statistics that reveal England has had the highest excess mortality across Europe in the first half of 2020, Liberal Democrat Health spokesperson Munira Wilson said:

    "The unforgiving consequences of the pandemic have left too many families mourning loved ones. It didn't need to be like this.

    "It is clear the Government has made mistakes. With a possible second wave occurring in countries across Europe at the moment, the Prime Minister must launch an independent inquiry immediately.

    "This is not a time for protecting political interests. This is a time to learn from mistakes and protect the country from more heartache."

  • Article: Jul 29, 2020
    By Greg Foster

    Postal Votes

    Postal votes have gone to print on the 27th July 2020. The initial run was around 5,000 voters. These will be sent to Royal Mail on the 29th July 2020.

    We expect paper ballots to land between the 30th July and the 2nd August in the UK. We expect this to take up to the 14th August for non-UK postal ballots.

  • Ed Davey-Acting Lib Dem Leader
    Article: Jul 29, 2020

    Acting Leader of the Liberal Democrats Ed Davey has written to the Prime Minister with a plan for an immediate inquiry into the coronavirus pandemic.

    Ed has called on the Prime Minister to appoint Martin Forde QC as the chair of an independent coronavirus inquiry and to start work immediately. Martin Forde was the independent adviser on the design of the Government's Windrush Compensation Scheme and is chair of the independent inquiry into Labour's report on the party's handling of antisemitism complaints.

  • Kate Smith outside Alfreton Police Station (Kate Smith)
    Article: Jul 28, 2020
    By Kate Smith

    The Liberal Democrats are warning that overstretched Police in the Derbyshire Force Area are struggling with a surge in knife crime, and calling for extra funding for community Police officers.

    According to the most recent ONS figures, the number of offences involving knives or sharp objects has increased in our County to 838 in the year ending March 2020, a 78.4 % rise since 2015.

  • Article: Jul 27, 2020
    By Ian Dunt in

    The key danger Boris Johnson poses is to the concept of objective truth. The analysis in the press of his first year in power has mostly treated him as a standard prime minister living through extraordinary times - the Brexit fight, coronavirus, his own health problems. But in fact he is not a normal prime minister at all. He is a post-truth prime minister. That is the quality which defines him and presents the core threat to the country under his administration.

    Other prime ministers have lied of course. Under Tony Blair, the case for the war in Iraq was stretched beyond what it would sustain, involving a series of misleading arguments which served to discredit not just him but also the institutional reputation of the British state. Under Theresa May, the tribal urgency of Brexit was allowed to replace any sense of logical or empirical validity.

    But no administration has lied so consistently, cynically and strategically as the one we are currently living under. We are now in a period of British politics in which the entire notion of objective truth threatens to drift away altogether.

    The key to Johnson's approach to government lies in the dynamic between him and his chief advisor, Dominic Cummings. During the campaign to leave the EU, Cummings introduced a striking new proposition to political life. It was that facts didn't matter. Loyalty to them was a hindrance rather than a virtue. Fact-checking agencies could be used against themselves, promoting erroneous claims rather than refuting them. The entire structure of empirical verification - think tanks, experts, economic analysts - could be undermined as a conspiracy against the people. Politics could be degraded into a zero-sum battle over cultural values, rather than a debate which used shared facts to progress different views of how to improve human life.

    The combination of Cummings and Johnson proved uniquely dangerous: two men with no interests in, and often an extreme animosity towards, verifiable facts. That approach is now embedded in British government.

    During Johnson's time as prime minister he has tried to cancel parliament while claiming it was a routine prorogation, had the party mimic fact-checking agencies to appraise TV debates, avoided nearly all scrutiny during a general election campaign, smeared journalists, presented a demonstrably catastrophic covid response as "world beating", allowed a clear breach of lockdown rules by Cummings to take priority over the resilience of those rules, tried to stitch up the intelligence committee elections while claiming they are independent, and insisted that he is holding firm against Russia while diligently ensuring he does not investigate their operations against British democracy.

    But there is one deception which stands above all, in terms of pertinence and implication. It is the one over the Brexit deal. From the moment it was struck, Johnson's administration accepted that it would lead to a border between Britain and Northern Ireland and also insisted that it would not. The black and white of the text made it clear it would. The Brexit department acknowledged it would. Any trading expert knew it would. But Johnson repeatedly insisted it would not.

    This meant that the deal operated in the realm of truth and fiction at the same time. And this was not some small esoteric issue. It went to the heart of the UK's territorial integrity and its trading life for the next generation. And yet it operated in the arena of post-truth, something which was and wasn't at the same time.

    That is a profound defeat. Not just for Remainers, or the DUP, or Labour. It is a defeat for those who believe in politics as a process grounded in reality, in people arguing on the basis of logic and accepted facts. It takes it veering madly off into the world of never-never land. When core issues like this are allowed to play out without any connection to truth, the entire basis of political life flies away with them.

  • Article: Jul 24, 2020

    In our Democracy the Prime Minister and Government are accountable to Parliament, not the other way round, and yet Boris Johnson has been systematically unpicking the vital checks and balances which moderate his powers. Without these, it is a slippery slope towards an elective dictatorship.

    Boris Johnson's attempt to prorogue Parliament was ruled 'unlawful'.

  • Cllr Ruth Skelton
    Article: Jul 23, 2020

    Local Liberal Democrats are pleased to report that all Derby City Councillors from all parties unanimously supported a motion put forward by the Liberal Democrat Group at the Full Derby City Council meeting on 22nd July 2020. It calls on the government to provide specialist sector support for Rolls-Royce and the UK Aerospace industry in general.

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The opinions expressed in these articles are those of the individual authors and do not represent the position of Derbyshire Dales Liberal Democrats.