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We are a band of dedicated individuals pledged to keep liberal, democratic values flourishing locally, nationally and internationally; to promote greater equality, environmentalism and to fight for the people of Dudley, Stourbridge and Halesowen. We care about community-based local politics, and we work hard to get individual Liberal Democrats elected to all levels of Government, with a focus on Dudley Council especially. Our aim is to keep in touch with the local communities through residents' surveys and by distributing our local "Focus" leaflets, not just at election time but all year round.

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  • Article: Jun 18, 2021
    By James Belchamber

    Our first community think-in event, titled "Abolish BAME", was run on June 9th - and was an opportunity for members to lead the discussion on the issue. Members took turns to "take the stage" and say what they thought, with opportunities to respond to each other and discuss in the text chat as well. I took a back seat, taking notes and ensuring everyone that wanted to had a say - and we kept the event going until everyone that wanted to talk had a chance to.

    My summary of the event is as follows - and please stick through to the end, because we have a survey to gather feedback both on this summary and responses to it. Three threads appeared in our discussion, which I will try to summarise in turn:

    1) Don't call me BAME: Many people expressed a strong dislike of BAME being used as a noun to describe them, and shared stories of other people expressing similar views. BAME is not an ethnicity, and using it in place of people's ethnicity erases their identity. By using it in statistics it also erases sometimes quite significant inequalities between ethnic groups (an effect that's also noted within the broad "white" group). "BAME" has become another way of saying "not white" - othering everyone that fits in the category. People should be considered as part of the diversity of our country, instead of cast as simply "white" or "BAME".

    2) BAME is a tool: A lot of people saw BAME as a tool to talk about racism, and the commonality of experience that comes with being "not white" in a country that has both a white majority and a racism epidemic. A racist doesn't see "Afro-Caribbean" or "Bangali"; they see brown skin and they act based on that. Victims of racism need a word to describe themselves as a group with that in common; other words could be "ethnic minority" or simply "non-white", but both have problems. Erasing e.g. "BAME Officers" will probably also erase specific efforts to tackle racial injustice in organisations, mixing them instead with a more general diversity/equality remit.

    3) This is a distraction: Some saw this as a distraction, amplified by the government to get an "easy win" and by racists to "divide and rule". The language in the Sewell report specifically was criticised for using "Abolish BAME" arguments to claim racism doesn't exist at all, and that every ethnic group was separately responsible for their own oppression. People are talking about "what to call us" instead of focusing on the real issues of racial injustice - and that's probably by design.

    This is a composite summary, and most people only expressed one or two of these views.

    What I will be doing now is attempting to piece together a position for the campaign to take that both gives strong, unambiguous direction for the party and commands popular support of the membership. This must not be a hand-wavey compromise, but a consensus-built stance that we can all get behind - something that might be hard to do, but if we can achieve it then the prize is a stronger and more united racial justice movement in the party. There is probably consensus to be found between these views, but I would first like the membership to validate the summary and give a chance for people to raise other points for us to include.

    Regardless, one thing the campaign has taken away from this experience is that we should run more of these events. The Liberal Democrat Campaign for Race Equality is a member-led organisation - we have elections every year and our members choose who leads us. But through these events we have an opportunity to tap into the membership more regularly, building cast-iron responses infused with knowledge, expertise and lived experiences.

    It feels very much like the kind of consultation we demand in our local areas - and maybe that was why so much of the input was thoughtful and thought-provoking. As a party we have that kind of consensus-building, community-led approach to politics coursing through us - if we can channel that towards eradicating racial injustices then that adds another string to the campaign's bow, and strengthens the party's hand in leading the fight.

  • Article: Jun 18, 2021

    Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with.

    Last night Liberal Democrats gained a 25% swing in Chesham and Amersham electing our 12th MP, Sarah Green.

    We struck at the heart of the Conservatives' blue wall and took one of their safest seats.

    Liberal Democrats showed that we are a force to be reckoned with. We have a team to match anyone.

  • Article: Jun 18, 2021

    Sky and the BBC have led with our story all day, we are cutting through.

  • Paul Reynolds
    Article: Jun 18, 2021
    By Paul Reynolds, CLD executive member in Libdem Voice

    Following the coup d'etat in Myanmar on Feb 1st this year, the 'Tatmadaw' military have killed more than 860 civilians and imprisoned more than 6000 people. Random bombings of civilians, burning villages and killing protestors, have made a full scale civil war likely. The de facto leader of Myanmar is now the brutal General Min Aung Hlaing, the Chairman of the State Administration Council.

  • Article: Jun 17, 2021

    Chesham and Amersham

    I'm writing this month's report before we know the result. But we do already know that we've had the best candidate in Sarah Green, run the best campaign and had an awesome amount of help from people all around the country.

    That would all be impressive even in normal times, but coming off the back of the huge May elections and while we're all still dealing with coronavirus and lockdowns, that's been an amazing achievement.

  • Article: Jun 16, 2021

    Chesham and Amersham

    I'm writing this month's report before we know the result. But we do already know that we've had the best candidate in Sarah Green, run the best campaign and had an awesome amount of help from people all around the country.

    That would all be impressive even in normal times, but coming off the back of the huge May elections and while we're all still dealing with coronavirus and lockdowns, that's been an amazing achievement.

  • Article: Jun 15, 2021

    At the weekend we met with old friends and new from our European sister parties for ALDE Congress, albeit via a Zoom link, as the Congress was online for the first time. It was my privilege to lead a diverse Lib Dem delegation of around 40, which in addition to the official categories for diversity, included several UK nationals resident in the EU and a few EU citizens resident in the UK.

  • Article: Jun 15, 2021

    Priti Patel says refugees should come to the UK through safe and legal routes, and is threatening to punish any who don't.

    The Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.

    But at the same time, the Conservative Government is failing to provide any safe and legal routes for refugees to take.

  • Article: Jun 11, 2021

    Many congratulations to Nick da Costa who has been elected as the new chair of Federal Conference Committee (FCC), following Geoff Payne's decision to stand down earlier this year.

    Nick is a councillor in Haringey as well as an experienced FCC member, bringing to the role a great understanding both of how conference works and of what we need to do as a party to win.

  • Article: Jun 11, 2021
    By Ed Davey - Leader of the Liberal Democrats

    People looking after their loved ones too often feel forgotten.

    Yesterday, I spent some time meeting with a wonderful group of unpaid carers.

    We had been brought together by Carers UK and a number of other carers' organisations as part of Carers Week, so they could share their experiences directly with me and we could discuss what changes might make their lives better.