Friday, February 27, 2009

What the Liberal Democrats stand for.

For the Debate at North Leamington school this morning, I had a little homework to do. I was asked to speak for 3 minutes outlining what the Liberal Democrats stand for.

How do I describe what the Liberal Democrats stand for in just 3 minutes.

Well I would like to start by reading what it says on the back of my party card.

"The Liberal Democrats exist to build and safeguard a fair, free and open society, in which we seek to balance the fundamental values of Liberty, equality and community and in which no-one shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity"

These are the principles which underpin all of our policies.

We believe in Free Market Economics,
Tempered by a sustainable outlook on the environment, financial security and sound social policies.

It is clear that if we have a society, with excellent schools and hospitals.
Good housing and facilities.

A world class transport system and infrastructure.
People will achieve the best from their skills and talents.

People will flourish within the framework of a free market
Which will generate wealth
And a fair system of taxation will pay for the social policies that create this climate of opportunity.

Our party and our policies are all about creating this balance.

We believe that government should start at the doorstep and work upwards
Rather than a nanny state looking down on us
Power should reside at the lowest possible level.

We are internationalist in our outlook
And believe institutions such as the UN and the European Union are essential in tackling the challenges we face in the 21st Century
Such as Climate Change, International Crime, third world poverty and the challenges of globalisation.
Though we would be the first to criticise these institutions and campaign for their reform.

We believe it is vital that we defend the rights and freedoms
That British people have fought for
and that have been held up as a model across the globe
rather than allow them to be eroded by a climate of fear.

We believe that by building a Free, Fair and sustainable society

We can ensure a prosperous future
Fit for the 21st Century
Respected by our neighbours
And built on the very best of British Traditions.

Question Time - North Leamington & Myton Schools. - Free Travel for Students?

I spent this morning taking part in a question time style debate with sixth formers from North Leamington and Myton Schools.

I enjoy taking part in these events and there was a broad range of questions covering subjects such as the Environment, the Economy, the 3rd Runway at Heathrow to Reform of the House of Lords.

One question that resonated with the audience was Free Bus Travel for Students. Ben Wesson who was previously the member of the Youth Parliament said that it cost £5.40 to get from Southam to Leamington. I wonder why we can have free bus travel for pensioners, yet students who often have less money do not in most parts of the country and yet it would make such a difference to their lives in terms of access to work, study and leisure.