In the autumn of 1972, I stood with my mother behind a trestle table in an open hangar at West Malling airfield in Kent. She was transformed by her WRVS uniform. We distributed shoes, raincoats, scarves and even umbrellas as cold weather necessities to the long line of Ugandan Asian refugees, just disembarked. The Government had first tried to resettle them in the UK’s overseas territories but met resistance from all but the Falklands. How graceless was Government then and how generous and organised the voluntary sector. Things do not seem to have changed much. The numbers are the same; there is the same “no way back” issue facing the migrants; there is the same bewildered but determined look on their faces. The supposedly toxic politics of all this is nothing like as toxic as the situations facing so many of them in Afghanistan, Syria, across Kurdistan and in the Horn of Africa. The core of policy towards refugees seems to be to treat them with minimal generosity, even hostility, “pour encourager les autres”. As we enter the New Year, perhaps it is time for this Global Britain to stop feeling quite so entitled, find its humanity and act with more confidence and compassion, embracing its historic responsibilities as it does so. Dorset has welcomed less than a hundred recent migrants. On a per capita basis the number should be nearer six hundred.
North Dorset Liberal Democrat Annual General Meeting.
North Dorset Liberal Democrats held their AGM in the Stour Hall in The Exchange in Sturminster Newton on Thursday 25th November. The meeting heard a rousing speech from Vikki Slade followed by questions and answers. Vikki is a Councillor on BCP Council and fought the last three general elections in Mid Dorset and North Poole. She said that a strong Liberal Democrat showing in Dorset Council and in national elections was important. Core Liberal Democrat values are vital in the fight against the increasingly immoderate trend in politics today. She urged people to have the confidence to step up and stand for selection as Lib Dem candidates.
“What is the best thing about being blind?”, I asked a twelve-year-old young man, blind since birth. “Reading under the bedclothes”, he said. “And the worst?” “Not being able to ride a bike”. Through shopping and cinema trips and a few games of chess, we had got to a point of understanding and trust that allowed such direct questions. Separately, we were helping with remedial reading for some young people with behavioural difficulties, some very troubled. There came a moment of sudden insight: blow the uphill battle of structured remedial reading! Putting these guys on the front of a tandem bike could give their blind peers the thrill of their lives…and, if we are not mistaken, a few of those who cannot see will wax lyrical about reading. It worked an absolute storm.
Tackling climate change is daunting! We must look to turn change into opportunity. The best ideas not only push back on the causes of climate change, but find real jobs and new businesses to improve our quality of life.
The Liberal Democrats want to build back better as well as greener.
We want to see change at every level
- National and international
- In our local communities
- In our own households and personal lives
You can help shape the changes we all need, North Dorset Liberal Democrats will welcome your ideas
Come and join the Challenge for Change by signing up here
News and reflections on politics in North Dorset and beyond, from Gary Jackson, our Parliamentary Spokesman.
Christmas Cheer from Fiona Leacock, the NDLD Chair.
The Community Fridge is operating and we are looking forward to Christmas now that the COVID vaccine is being rolled out in UK.
The Liberal Democrat Draw is going ahead as normal, there are some fab prizes and the list is growing every day! The list below is summarises just some of what is on offer.
If you use this link to buy the tickets, NDLD will get a proportion of the profits or type in libdemdraw.org.uk/north-dorset.
The draw will take place on 10th December at 20.00.
On Saturday 7th November North Dorset Liberal Democrats are hosting a Meet the Neighbours Zoom to build on the network of Dorset Liberal Democrat local parties.
There is plenty that we can share and help that we can give each other to make the Liberal Democrats the strongest voice for honest government and ambitious policies in Dorset.
If you want to hear more - contact Fiona Leacock [email protected]
Following the lead of Bournemouth, Christchuch and Poole Cllr Millie Earl, North Dorset Liberal Democrats has decided to take the initiative to set up Community Fridges in North Dorset. The food in Community Fridges are available for anyone to collect free, preventing food waste and helping people to stretch their household budgets. There are now four Community Fridges operating successfully in BCP and we will build on their experience.
Our first step is to find venues and to raise funds. We have found our first venue, The Emporium in Sturminster Newton and we have set up a crowd funding page with JustGiving.
When the fridges are in operation, we will need volunteers to collect food from supermarkets and elsewhere and do the daily checks required by Environmental Health regulations.
If you would like to help, contact Ros Eveleigh or any of the NDLD officers.