New Group in Shrewsbury and Atcham

If you live in an area without a Liberal Youth branch, have you considered starting one?

Rhys Hart recently did this and is now Chair of his local Liberal Youth group in Shrewsbury and Atcham. 

The latest Liberal Youth branch to be set up in the West Midlands has recently been formed in Shrewsbury and Atcham. The group came about after a discussion between Rhys Hart, the Chair of the group and Christine Tinker, the Parliamentary Prospective Candidate for Shrewsbury and Atcham after a canvassing session during this year’s local election campaign.

Rhys told me that that the idea of setting up a grouping then ‘quickly developed and went to Shrewsbury Liberal Democrats’ Executive, where it received a very positive reaction’; after this, he then asked ‘Liberal Democrat and liberal-minded friends to join the group. All the reactions that I’ve had to the invite were friendly and we have begun to build a base of members’.

The Shrewsbury and Atcham Liberal Youth group is very informal with no Executive and only necessary roles so all members can participate actively. It is running ‘very successfully with a happy group of members and is a frequent social event with food and great debates’, Rhys claims.

If you’re interested in setting up a branch, or want to check whether there is one nearby already, drop us an email at westmidlands@liberalyouth.org

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Malala, The Gender Gap, and Educational Inequality by Maelo Manning

Malala, The Gender Gap, and Educational Inequality by Maelo Manning http://wp.me/p2ZVMU-3o – a great article from the University of Birmingham LY branch.

uoblibdems

By Maelo Manning

The gender gap which has been revealed by the A level results is worrying because it raises questions about the future of employment of females in our country. The divide that is created at A level will be carried into the workplace and will be an ongoing issue of gender inequality.

More girls are opting for English and creative subjects whereas boys are choosing maths and sciences, for example, boys took 4 out of 5 physics exams and two thirds of maths exams.

This gap panders to the gender stereotype which sets out boys as engineers and scientists and girls as experts in the humanities sphere.

One way of tackling this problem would be to change mind-sets in schools by breaking the stereotype that boys don’t read and by encouraging girls to pursue a career that involves mathematics or sciences.

However, the problem is that a gender…

View original post 137 more words

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Oh, hello there. I’m the New Guy.

This is my introduction to West Midlands’ Liberal Youth members.

I’m Ellis Palmer, the new Chair of Liberal Youth in the West Midlands.

Originally from the Wirral on Merseyside, I’m currently reading Political Science and Spanish at the University of Birmingham.

A relatively new recruit to the party, I became the secretary of the University of Birmingham Liberal Democrats and joined the party in December 2012. Previously, I was a member of the Labour Party, where I held local and regional positions in the North West of England but I’m now an ardent Liberal Democrat, committed to creating a stronger economy and a fairer society.

I can’t wait to get to know you as I’m really looking forward to working with colleagues at a local and regional level to create a strong Liberal Youth movement here in the West Midlands.

I’m committed to finding new ways to engage with both young people in the West Midlands and members of the Liberal Democrats in general. That is why I have set up a new Twitter account so that young people can contact us about getting involved with the party. We can use it as a way to publicise events that are being held by Liberal Youth and by local parties.

Don’t forget to like us on Facebook and check out our blog.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to say if anyone wishes to set up a Liberal Youth branch to run alongside their local party, I’m very keen to work with you to do this. I will also be happy to attend events local parties are holding.

I’m keen to see more Liberal Youth groups developed in towns that don’t necessarily have a large student population, as well as developing and expanding the Liberal Youth groups at our universities in the West Midlands.

I’d really like to make our blog more active with contributions from members, councillors and MPs from across the region. if you’d like to get involved with this, contact me on Twitter (@WMLiberalYouth) or get in touch by email (westmidlands@liberalyouth.org) for more information.

Let’s continue building a stronger economy and a fairer society here in the West Midlands.

If there’s anything you wish to discuss with me, just simply reply to this e-mail.

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Campaigning in Stratford-upon-Avon

Campaigning in Stratford-upon-Avon

Young Lib Dems were out on the campaign trail in Stratford ahead of the Warwickshire County Council elections.

For more information on Liberal Youth’s campaigning activities check out Gold Guard at https://www.facebook.com/groups/144652735704758/

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The Charge of the EastLY Brigade

West Midlands Liberal Youth member Reece Edmends has penned a poem on the subject of the Eastleigh campaign. Crossposted from The Libertine.

I

Bursledon, Bishopstoke,

Fair Oak and onward,

Right through to polling day

Worked the two hundred.

II

Where the hell is Eastleigh?

What’s it to you or me?

Chris Huhne had blundered.

(Lied over speeding points,

Wife sent him to the joint).

Right through to polling day

Worked the two hundred.

III

Labour to left of them,

Tories to right of them,

UKIP more right of them,

Media pondered.

Red both in tooth and claw,

Fighting an all-out war.

But did they falter? No,

Not the two hundred.

IV

Posting the leaflets there,

Sent from our Liberal lair.

Hutchings, confounded,

Moaned about Botley Green,

Pounded pavements hard and mean,

Didn’t keep the campaign clean,

Like the two hundred.

V

Rennard to right of them,

Rennard to left of them.

‘Peer in Sex Scandal’ fumed

Sun, Mail and Mirror.

Front pages covered,

Calls for the leader’s head,

Was now our campaign dead?

Not with two hundred.

VI

When can their glory fade?

What a campaign they made!

Right-wingers sundered!

Fight for the liberal voice,

Britain: There is a choice.

Thank you, two hundred.

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Liberal Youth Statement on UCAS Figures

The following is cross-posted from The Libertine, Liberal Youth’s official blogging platform.

Liberal Youth welcomes the news that UCAS is reporting an increase in university applications, and especially welcomes the continuing trend of young people from poorer background going to university more. With people from disadvantaged backgrounds being 80% more likely to attend a higher education institution this is a major step in creating a fairer and more liberal society.

Sam Fisk, Co Chair of Liberal youth said that “The news that university applications have increased is truly fantastic especially that  young people from disadvantaged backgrounds are increasingly going to university.

Liberal Youth believe no matter where you come from you should have the freedom to achieve in life and often university is a gateway to achievement.

We now need to push for a more progressive maintenance loan system to ensure students can afford rising rent and living costs bills.  That way we can continue to remove barriers to higher education.”

The increase in applications can be seen as a testament to the work of Liberal Democrats in government to creating a creating a fairer and more equal society and in improving the systems that were left by the previous Labour administration.

The Liberal Democrat changes to tuition fees are a vast improvement on the old Labour system. The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that the poorest 29% of students were better off under the new system and that it was “ substantially more progressive” than the old Labour system as the richest students were likely to pay back ten times as much as the poorest students.

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Why I joined the Liberal Democrats

This blog was originally posted on The Libertine, Liberal Youth’s national blogging platform.

On Sunday 25th August, I joined the Liberal Democrats, which must make me one of the party’s newer members. Furthermore, I’ve only been a definite supporter of the party for (let’s see) a good two or three years. So, in Lib Dem terms, I’m still a toddler in nappies, and, as far as being a Party member goes, I’m still well and truly on the nipple.

As a result, I don’t have quite the same impression of Lib Demmery that some of the older people whom I’ve met in the Party seem to have. I don’t take the long view. Not surprisingly, I can’t relate to the idea that the last fifty or sixty years have been simply a Long March to power, a steady but glorious climb from the dark and dismal days when Liberals invariably lost deposits, through the eras of Grimond and Thorpe, through the heady excitement of the SDP and the Alliance, through the ‘swing to gold’ of the nineties, through the momentous 2005 election result, and reaching its culmination in the sunlit uplands of government.

Instead, I see only a heap of broken images. I see Nick Clegg soaring like a dazzling orange meteor through those early election debates, before crashing to earth (O how fallen! O how changed!) with that cosy Rose Garden deal in early May. I see the party which I admire in bed with another, bigger, nastier party whose policies are anathema to this Left-leaning young man. I see lots of other things too, which I don’t like, didn’t expect, and which sometimes make me shudder.

Yet, perhaps for lack of an alternative, I kept the faith. And, slowly, I began to see the positive side of the Liberal Democrats in Government. The raising of the personal allowance, which gave a tax cut to millions, for example. The pupil premium. The promise of legislation for same-sex marriage. Finally, and most importantly, the moderation of a ‘blue in tooth and claw’ Conservative programme which would do irreparable damage to our national fabric. I know it’s an awful cliche, but I felt that they were in Government on my side.

But that’s not what made me take the plunge and join the Party. I made that move primarily because of an experience I had. In July, I decided to help out in a by-election campaign for a Stoke-on-Trent council seat: canvassing, leafletting, that sort of thing. I hope no-one will mind me saying that it was a hardscrabble, working class, traditional Labour ward, but Stoke-on-Trent’s Labour council were making such a dog’s dinner of running the city that, we decided, we had a chance. In the end, sadly, we got trounced, but that wasn’t really the point. The fact is that I met Liberal Democrats (and, in particular, I refer to the candidate himself) who inspired me. They made me aware that there were others who shared my principles, and who were prepared to fight for them. They showed me that, by joining them, I could make a difference. That is why I joined.

Reece Edmends is a Liberal Youth member in Staffordshire

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