Tipping Points

Are we at a tipping point?  So many troubles are close at hand: Covid still on our doorstep, hot war in Europe, every business, household and family being hit by energy prices, rising taxes, supply chain shortages and higher costs of imports. It can be difficult to remain positive. On the other hand, is this the moment we should do things differently?

 

 

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Brexit is still an issue

Feeling powerless in the face of the unreasoning forces ranged against us be it Brexit, Covid, Eunice, Franklin or Vladimir Putin the only possible response has been to get on the ‘phone or out on the streets to ask people to plant a tree. The trees included some bonsai starter trees nurtured for the past couple of years. These latter do not absorb much carbon but they help people feel they are doing their bit even if they have no garden. Trees are a great conversation starter. In the last month we have provided over seventy trees to Lib Dem members and supporters, doing our bit to deliver the Queen’s Green Canopy to help celebrate her Jubilee Year. 

 

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Endemic Everywhere - but not what you think

 

From Gary Jackson - Parliamentary Spokesman

Have you noticed the increasing use of the word “endemic”?  We’ve gained new words over the last couple of years.  So many of them have been medical.  Our armchair GP chat now turns on whether we’ve moved from pandemic to endemic.  Just living with it.  We try to follow the government’s shopping trolley direction.  We listen to the science and try to sift out those who gleefully misrepresent it.  We dare to hope that the bug may fade into the background. As liberal democrats we urge people to exercise their personal judgement and rationality and be vaccinated.  We dare to hope.

Many other things seem also to be endemic.  Has anyone noticed that political satire that’s indistinguishable from real life is now endemic too?  I’m especially fond of the Rosie Holt online video: MP doesn’t know whether she attended Downing Street Party, where her mocked up exchanges with Sky News have fooled far too many that Rosie is a real Conservative MP.  Life it seems is far more bizarre than art.  Ministers blaming officials rather than taking responsibility themselves is now endemic.  Talking about levelling up is also endemic but doing something about it seems as in short supply as an N95 mask in a mid-2020 care home.  Endemic also is the concern at rising prices for food and heat.  

 

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There are leaders and leaders ...

Looking at how quickly and strongly the Dorset Deserves Better* campaign is developing, I was moved to consider how and why an idea becomes a force and to think about how leadership needs to adapt to needs and circumstances. 

Our cricket team at school was strongly led by two future England caps. Did we lose? No, not ever. Did we feel good about that? Yes. Did we, the makeweights in the team, improve? No, we fell by the wayside. Then again, years later a new leader introduces himself to our business team at work: double the output, double the profit or say goodbye. Motivated? Oh yes. Highly motivated. He lasted just long enough to sow the seeds of destruction for the whole enterprise. He ripped it apart as the rampant confronted the cautious; the young and the bold hit the wall of the older and more experienced and the accountants banked the takings and failed to invest.

 

*Dorset Deserves Better campaign – inclusive, strong on ideas, coherent in its thinking and ably presented - on the Dorset Climate Action Network website: 

https://www.dorsetcan.org

 

 

 

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Queen's Green Canopy

North Dorset Liberal Democrats are preparing to celebrate the Queen's Platinum Jubilee by planting 70 trees across the constituency.  The planting started at the home of Bob Dolan, previous Chair of the local party, with Mike Chapman, current Chair helping with the digging.

Nearly 50 hornbeam, bird cherry and oak saplings have already found homes in gardens and fields.  If you would like to celebrate the jubilee by planting a tree, contact Ros Eveleigh


Reasons to be Cheerful

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. 

 

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NDLD AGM 2021

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. 

 

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Our Generous Society

“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.

 

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We're Challenging for Change !

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 


Jan 21 Newsletter

News and reflections on politics in North Dorset and beyond, from Gary Jackson, our Parliamentary Spokesman.