Local democracy and public involvement are at risk because of the way that the Labour controlled Redbridge Council are running their business.
After the 2019 election, it's easy to feel depressed at the prospect 5 years of right-wing government. But if you share our liberal values of fairness, tolerance and internationalism, there are still reasons to be optimistic. The Liberal Democrat share of the vote went up by 4.2% - much more than the Conservatives. We gained over a million votes and our share of the vote increased in every region of the UK. So this could be a good time to join us. Still not sure? Here are 7 more reasons.
Here are some positive aspects of the 2019 election results for the Lib Dems and some reflections on our unfair voting system.
- The Liberal Democrat share of the vote nationally went up by 4.2%, the Conservative share by way of contrast went up by only 1.2%.
- We had the largest percentage vote share increase in 266 seats.
- We gained 1.2 million votes and our share of the vote increased in every region of the UK.
Despite this, we now have one seat less than in 2017. Under a proportional representation system, we would now have 84 MPs. This is one of the greatest barriers that needs to be overcome. To elect 1 MP under our 'First Past The Post' system requires the following number of votes, on average:
Conservatives: 38,265 Labour: 50,837 Lib Dems: 336,038.
Our electoral system is no longer fit for purpose.
Mark Twitchett is Redbridge Lib Dems Membership secretary
I joined the Labour Party in my teens and stayed with them through good times and bad until Corbyn was elected Leader in September 2015. Upon his election, I immediately resigned because I knew, even then, that the Labour Party would no longer be a party that I could ever support. I was fully aware of Corbyn’s background, his opposition to the EU, the sharing of platforms with known anti-Semites and his economic policies. He had always been on the fringe of the Labour Party and to support a party which had him as leader was something I could no longer do.
I remained in the political wilderness for over three years, supporting the Liberal Democrats at local and national elections. When Vince Cable announced his resignation, I felt I could no longer remain on the sidelines and decided to join the Party. The Liberal Democrats are, without any doubt in my own mind, by far the best party to support in this General Election. Apart from their position on the EU, they have sound economic policies (as confirmed by the IFS just recently), a positive approach to the climate emergency and care for those in need. I find it really frustrating that they do not have sufficient airtime to present their positive policies for the future of the UK.
Whatever the outcome of the General Election, it is essential to work for a revival of the party in Redbridge. The increase in membership is welcome and we must now identify what can be done to get Liberal Democrats back on Redbridge Council. It has been done before and we can do it again.
As a new member of the Executive, I wish to play my part in the future success of the Liberal Democrats in Redbridge and I hope that you can too.
Martin Rosner 2nd December 2019
Mark Twitchett (Ed.)
The Liberal Democrats have proposed a range of measures that will benefit families and ordinary working people, have been properly costed and are affordable. The Tories have ignored the impact of Brexit on their proposals and they do not go far enough to address the worst aspects of austerity. The Labour Party have, it is true, set out a range of proposals that, in their words, will be ‘transformational’. They say that only the top 5% of earners and companies will be affected. This claim has been disputed by the independent Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), who have stated:
“In the end, it is unlikely that one could raise the sums suggested by Labour from the tax policies they set out. If you want to transform the scale and scope of the state then you need to be clear that the tax increases required to do that will need to be widely shared rather than pretending that everything can be paid for by companies and the rich.”
This analysis fails to take into account the wider impact of their proposals. Our economy relies heavily on investment to grow and develop. Companies are already beginning to desert the UK, either because of Brexit or because of the impact of a Corbyn Government. Taken individually, there are lot of good things in the Labour proposals. There are many that I would support. However, it is not difficult to predict what the consequences of the whole gamut of their proposals will be for ordinary working people.
The outcome will be, as indicated above, reduced investment, increased inflation and higher interest rates - with all the consequences that that will have for ordinary working people. In short, the figures do not add up. I am scared about the future of our country under the Tories or under Labour. We must do whatever we can to ensure that neither have the opportunity to implement their proposals.
Martin Rosner: 21 November 2019
Mark Twitchett (Ed.)