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Just two days to go before the votes close in the election of a new leader of a political party and the campaigning is reaching a crescendo. Votes of each and every party member are being sought.
What’s at stake? Becoming leader, and shaping the future, of the Liberal Democrats, the third largest UK-wide party.
As I write this, there don’t seem to be any up-to-date polls, but political commentators seem to be saying the vote is too close to call. We’ll see when the result is announced on Wednesday (August 26).
There are only two candidates The more experienced is acting leader Sir Ed Davey, MP for Kingston and Surbiton from 1997 until losing it 2015 but regaining it in 2017, with a 10,489 majority.
The temporary loss of his seat can be attributed to the massive unpopularity of the Conservative-Liberal coalition government that began after the 2010 general election.
Although seen as a “safe pair of hands”, Sir Ed, age 54, could be tainted in the minds of both LibDem members, and the wider electorate, by his involvement in the coalition government. He was a secretary of state and so a member of David Cameron’s cabinet.
His opponent is Layla Moran, MP for Oxford West and Abingdon since 2017, with a majority of 8,943.
Layla, age 37, is seen as having a vision for a new direction for the party, distancing it from the disastrous coalition years. Her more radical image may count against her.
So, how are they both on welfare? Davey highlights his experience as a carer.
Care and disability
The Guardian newspaper said:
Davey’s father died when he was four, and eight years later he and his brothers cared for their mother when she became terminally ill. He and his wife have a 12-year-old son, John, who is disabled.
“I feel huge empathy with those people who are carers, and who need that care,” Davey said. The Covid pandemic showed the lack of investment in the care system, he said: “It’s not acceptable for people who are doing the toughest of jobs, either unpaid at home for their loved ones, or in our care homes or in domiciliary care, to be treated in the way they’ve been treated for so long.
“That would be a very big part of what I’d like to see the Liberal Democrats talking about – how we build a more caring society. And if we can make common cause with others for a caring agenda, I’d like to do that.”
And Layla says she wants to:
- Tackle inequalities in health outcomes by investing in health and care services.
- Increase income tax by 1p in every pound to deliver social care for those in need.
- Reverse previous cuts to the Carer’s Allowance.
For once, I am not just expressing a completely detached opinion. I am a member of the party, through its LibDems in Europe branch. As such, I have a vote, and have voted for change, for Layla.
If you are a LibDem member in the UK or overseas, and have not yet voted, there is still time to vote online. Join me, vote for Layla, vote today!
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Please note that being born in the UK, all my posts, are written using British English spelling.
Centre not center (except in names, Centers of Disease Control) Colour not color Diarrhoea not diarrhea Haematology not hematology Haematopoietic not hematopoietic
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50shadesofsun.com is the personal website of Ian Franks. He enjoyed a successful career as a journalist, from reporter to editor in the print media. He gained a Journalist of the Year award in his native UK. More recently, he was a freelance medical writer and editor for various health information sites. Ian received a diagnosis of MS in 2002 and now lives in the south of Spain. He uses a wheelchair and advocates on mobility and accessibility issues.
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Note: Health-related information available on 50shadesofsun website is for your general knowledge only. It is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for specific medical conditions. Ian is not a doctor, so cannot and does not give you medical advice. You should seek prompt medical care for any specific health issues. Also, consult a doctor before starting a new diet or exercise programme. Any opinions expressed are purely his own unless otherwise stated.