Autumn conference 2015: What it has all been about for me

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So the Autumn conference has been and gone. And I had the most amazing two days. It was a privileged to meet to many Liberal Democrats like myself  who share the same views and passion for liberal values. Was also an amazing honour to have a few members approach me to say to say how much they enjoy reading my blog.

Never did I think in a million years would I have the confidence to stand up in front of hundreds of people and deliver my speech in the 2015 Election review. It was a terrifying but rewarding experience with many people coming up to me to say how well they think I did, even though I was absolutely terrified and thought I did really badly! With even Paddy Ashdown complementing on how well I did.

I even spoke in the policy session in the beginning of conference saying about how we should engage with members who want to vote and become involved in the policy making process  my using social media. But also how we could use online voting to allow members who are unable to make it to federal conference the opportunity to vote on Liberal Democrat polices.

During Saturday evening who came up to me to say hello? It was only Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron. It was amazing to have the opportunity to meet him and talk to him about why I joined the party. He is such a kind man who is doing an amazing job as leader. That is one meeting i’m not likely to forget in a hurry.

It was also nice to see Paddy Ashdown work his DJ skills at the Lib Dem disco. Which was a fun night had by all!

Then when I came back for the last day of conference. I met three Liberal Democrat legends. Norman Lamb, Tom Brake and Nick Clegg (Even though it was for two seconds and he didn’t have time to have a photo with me). Norman and Tom were both very lovely.

Tim Farrons speech was both inspiring and liberating. Never have I seen a speech with so much  passion and drive. And yes I admit, I did have a little cry at the end of Tims speech. Tims speech really shows that we will always be needed within British politics.

The highlight of conference for me was the fact I got to meet many youths like myself who have a keen interest in politics and the future of our country. And the fact I am also now the proud owner of my very own Liberal Democrat clipboard.

This conference was such an amazing and rewarding experience. I look forward to the many conferences to come.

The Lib Dem fightback has well and truly began and this conference was just the beginning.

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Election 2015 review: Where did it all go wrong?

On the first day at the 2015 Liberal Democrat autumn conference, I delivered my speech about our campaign in the 2015 general election. In my speech instead on mentioning what we did wrong. I spoke about what we did right. During the 2015 general election, I think we delivered a strong campaign and here is why.

As I said at conference, during the election I did not meet one Liberal Democrat MP, candidate, councillor, campaigner etc who did not work hard to spread the Liberal Democrat message and aim which is to create a country in which we have a stronger economy, a fairer society and opportunity for everyone no matter where you are from.

After all in my opinion, our manifesto for this election in my opinion was the best manifesto we have ever produced. With the clear message that we would cut less than the Conservatives and borrow less than Labour. The sections that appealed to me the most was we would do for the NHS and for the younger generation.

Such as invest 8 billion in the NHS with £500 million a year for mental health services. And for the younger generation double the amount of apprenticeships already created as well as transform  mental health services for younger people which will allow them for access to mental health services.

One of the biggest challenges we faced in the election was showing the nation the amount of good work we did whilst we were in coalition with the Conservatives from 2010-2015 as lack of press coverage meant this would be a tricky challenge. Such as deliver a £825 a year tax cut to low and middle income families, created 2 million apprenticeships for young people, a 2.5 billion year pupil premium for education and as a result of improving mental health services, 2 million mental health patients were treated between 2010-2015. Now that is one hell of a result!

The public didn’t vote for us because they didn’t like us. They voted for the Conservatives because of fear. And that fear is of Labour and the SNP going into coalition and the fear of not trusting Labour with your economy after the mess they left in before 2010.

I believe that 2020 will be our year. The year the phoenix rises from the ashes and people will finally start to realise that the Liberal Democrats are the only party who can finish the recovery of Britain’s economy, but most importantly do it fairly.

As I said in my speech at conference “The 2015 general election was not a defeat, it was just the ammunition we needed for us to work harder!”  

I will always proud to be part of the Liberal Democrats and will also continue to fight for what we stand for. As I will always believe we are what is best for the country and for the future.

The fightback well and truly began the moment the polling station closed at 10pm on May 7th 2015. And oh boy, isn’t it a fightback indeed.

My top three reasons why people should vote

Despite having the biggest turn out of voters in 18 years,in the 2015 general election, I was shocked to find many people hadn’t voted. In my opinion if you don’t vote, you shouldn’t moan about the current government if you don’t like them. As it was stated that in the 2010 general election 15.9 million people didn’t vote. Imagine what a difference that would have made to the results. Yes our electoral system needs to be looked at to make sure the number of seats matches votes. But voting is still one of many ways you can have your say on the countries decisions. So here are my top three reasons as to why people should vote.

  1. People died for the right to vote 

Yes, this one if mainly aimed at women as we all know about the Suffragettes. For those of you who don’t. The Suffragettes was the move that wanted women to be given the right to vote. the move for women to have the vote had really started in 1897 when Millicent Fawcett founded the National Union of Women’s Suffrage. The most known act associated with the Suffragettes took place during June 1913 when a fellow suffragette Emily Wilding Dawson threw herself under the king’s horse and being  tragically killed.

Most men in Parliament believed that women simply would not understand how Parliament worked and therefore should not take part in the voting process of an election. I beg to differ, with many women today taking a huge interest in politics, some even holding positions within the cabinet. That shows how far women have come within politics.

After much protesting women were finally all given women the right to vote in 1928. So as you can see without the Suffragettes, women would not have the amazing opportunity to vote.

2. It’s your future 

A simple but effective statement. In Britain we live in a democracy. Which in my opinion is a blessing not a curse. This means a constituency can pick  who represents them within parliament. Yes it may not always be the person you want, but at least it is someone’s job to represent where you live.

Whichever party has the overall majority, will effect your future no matter where you live. Such things like your education, housing and pension. You should vote for the party who you think will make sure your future is a bright and promising one. So doing research before polling day is an essential for understanding which party you would like to see carry out their polices.

That’s is why I joined the Liberal Democrats. Yes we may not be the strongest party within parliament. But they are the party with the most polices that I agree with and would like to see them carried out as I think they are what is best for not just my future, but the future of the country as a whole.

3. Don’t vote, Don’t complain!

It still shocks me that many people who don’t vote, still moan about the way the country is run. Not voting means that your voice is not getting heard anyway so don’t go moaning about it if the party you don’t like gets elected.

You can ever leave your ballot paper blank if your not sure on who to vote for. At least if you did that, you would still be having your opinion heard.

Many people say they didn’t vote because “They didn’t have the time!” absolute nonsense! This is not a valid reason, it’s just an excuse. Voting is made even easier and you don’t have to pop into your local polling station on election day, you can now do a postal vote which means yes, YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT!!!

So as you can see, voting plays a very important part within a 21st century democracy within Britain. So make your voices and opinion heard. So in your next local/national election. Don’t just sit there. Get out and vote!

The Liberal Youth 2015 election: What I can offer!

Hannah Ashworth manifesto

After much debating and convincing from a very good friend. I have finally found the confidence to stand in this years Liberal Youth election to become a member of the policy committee. Through this article and my manifesto. I would like to present to you what I would do if elected member of the policy committee.

So why did I decide to run I hear you ask? I’m not running in this election to boost my career in politics. I’m running to help the younger generation have their voices heard. I care passionately about helping the young people have their say. I like so many other young people care about the future of our country. And I believe that the Liberal Democrats are the right party to keep our country fair and stable. Like Tim Farron said “We joined as a vocation not a career choice!” and I honour this statement.

Communication is key within the Liberal Youth to keep members up to date with new and exciting polices. The main feature of my manifesto highlights how I would use technology to get as many members of the Liberal Youth involved within the policy committee as possible. Mainly by creating social media events by using tools such as Google hangout by hosting monthly sessions.

By doing this, I hope it will allow many Liberal Youth members to have a say on what they think of our polices, what they would like to see us discuss at committee meetings and what they think we could improve on. Every Liberal Youth member deserves a say on the committees decision making. As without the Liberal Youth members, we would not have the privilege of holding positions within the Liberal Youth.

I would work alongside the policy officer, no matter who that may be. To make sure that our policy system is fair and orderly. Working together with other officers is key to allow the Liberal Youth to the best it can be and allow us to do everything we can for our members.

Another useful tool I would use to keep members up to date with the policy committees work is by posting updates on this very blog. I believe that all Liberal Youth members should be kept up to current speed with any work we are carrying out and any polices we are currently discussing.

I am already overwhelmed with the amount of support I have been receiving from other Liberal Youth members. With such members as Terry  White (Who is also standing is this election, but for International officer) commenting:

“Hannah is bursting with ambition and no new member is bursting with ambition as much as Hannah is. Hannah’s social media feed has been non stop with creativity and the great liberal message. If there’s anyone who deserves your vote for policy committee, it’s Hannah.” 

And Callum-James Littmore commenting:

“Never in all my life have I met someone with so much passion, energy and charisma as Hannah. She is a fiercely loyal liberal who certainly knows how to fight a good fight and is just one of the many great examples of young Liberal Democrats now making their voices heard. 

What makes Hannah unique is her sheer ability to smile and get on with things, no matter how difficult or disheartening they may be. She has also shown herself to be a dab hand at Social Media, a skill we need to greatly capitalise on in the Party

Thus for me she is the only candidate for PCM who strikes the balance between ability and experience almost perfectly, bringing both fresh, new ideas with an individual panache that I feel will invigorate those she interacts with to really help establish a connection and link between both the active and disconnected members of the Party”

I hope through the Liberal Youth election I can show how committed I am to helping the parties future and helping the younger generation have their voices heard within politics.

A vote for me, is a vote for dedication and hard work. That is a promise.

Please support me in my campaign by liking my Facebook page, following me of twitter, sharing my manifesto. And by using the hashtag #Hannah4policycommittee.

Thank You 🙂

Better together: Why Britain should stay in the EU!

One of the biggest decisions that will be made in this current Government is. Should Britain stay part of the European Union?

As their is expected to be a referendum held in 2017 to decide this matter however some people have even speculated that the vote could place as early as next year. The EU referendum played a massive part in the Conservatives 2015 general election manifesto with the Liberal Democrats stopping any chance of a referendum taking place during their time in Government with the Conservatives from 2010-2015. And In my opinion WE SHOULD  stay part of the European Union. We are better together!

When people are deciding to vote if they think we should leave, they should think about not just the benefits of staying in. But the effect it could have on the nation as a whole if we did decide to leave.

One of the biggest factor if we left the European Union is the effect that it will have on the British economy. UKIP have it in their head that we would be able to survive. I don’t think we would. As Britain counts for less than 1% of the worlds population and less than 3% of global income.

I’ve heard some people mention that Britain would actually save money as the Government would not be paying the £55 million fee a year to be part of the European Union which could be spent on other sectors in Britain such as the NHS or education. But when you actually think about it, £55 million isn’t that much for this current government. So you can’t use that one UKIP!

Many British businesses are in favour of staying as part of the European Union. A survey carried out by the Financial Times should that of 3,800 businesses earlier this year found 63 per cent believe that leaving the EU would have a  bad impact for Britain, a rise of 4 percentage points since the end of 2014. As the EU is one of the biggest trading partners and the largest consumer market in the world, so leaving the European union would pose a big risk. Last year alone Britain exported £147 billion worth on good and services to countries that are part of the European Union. Down by 2% from 2013.

So as you can see. Britain would not be able to be economically stable for long if we left the European union as we would lose vital trading relationships between other countries that are part of the union with us.

There are other vital factors that could effect Britain if we left. Such as EU consumer laws which provide for refunds or other solutions  for customers when they are not happy with a product/service. For example in cases involving defective products, unfair contract terms or flights that are delayed or cancelled. As with employment and environmental laws, businesses could be encouraged to lower their standards.

So those are to mention but a few reasons/factors as to why Britain should stay as part of the European Union. I’ll say it again. We are better together! All we can do now is sit and wait for this referendum to take place. But let’s hope that the people of Britain, make the right decision!