Jo Swinson is the new leader of the Liberal Democrats, and immediately declared that her first priority is - as it is for all of us - to Stop Brexit! "We're at a pivotal moment, our country needs a strong, liberal movement more than ever. This is only the country of Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson if we let it be. We all know that Britain deserves better than both of them. Only the Liberal Democrats have the values, the ideas and the sheer bloody determination to stand up to those who are doing so much to damage our country. This is our time."
I'm totally fed up of being told that opposing Brexit is anti-democratic.
I don't support Brexit. I voted against it. I'd vote against it again. I thought the referendum itself was a bad idea and, if I'd had a vote in Parliament, I'd have voted against that too.
But that's the point. I don't have a vote in Parliament. The people who do have been elected to represent us. It's their job to determine what our best interests are, then do their best to try to achieve them. Surely the fact that they are struggling to achieve any sort of Brexit should be interpreted as a message rather than a personal slap in the face by all those people who voted leave in 2016.
Also, the claim that trying to stop Brexit is anti-democratic entirely misses the point of what democracy is. Democracy isn't some sort of honour code. It's a system of Government. I cast my vote; the votes are counted; the person with the most votes gets to go and sit as my representative.
It commits me to nothing. I do not have to support my representative. I don't have to agree with my representative. I don't even have to agree with said representative even if I voted for them. The result of a vote, even a democratic one, doesn't oblige me to change my mind about anything. Nor, and this is perhaps more to the point, does it stop me from changing my mind should I decide to do so. I'm not obliged to support whoever won that vote. I can change my mind at any time, and I can campaign for whatever I like.
When Sadiq Khan won the London Mayoral election it didn't oblige the other candidates and all of their supporters to down tools and get behind him. Quite the contrary. The system works precisely because they don't.
Here is a secret that I'll only share with you, dear reader. It's even possible that I might have changed my mind about Brexit if just one single person had presented me with a vision of a united, prosperous post-brexit Britain that was anything less than pure fantasy. Do let me know if you've come across one.
Lib Dem Candidate, Bexley and Bromley LA Constituency
At the London Assembly Economy committee this week the topic for discussion was outsourcing and procurement. Not so long ago outsourcing was the default position for local authorities and central Government alike. It seemed like things only stayed in-house if there were no private providers prepared to take them on. Many of our councils turned into little more than contract managers. Private sector good, public sector bad was the oft heard refrain.
With the collapse of Carillion and constant press speculation that the behemoths of private procurement are all teetering on the edge, outsourcing no longer looks like quite such a rosy option. Perhaps the idea that private sector magicians could continue to provide double-digit savings on a yearly basis while still delivering top quality services was, in retrospect, a touch fanciful.
Following huge successes in the May 2019 local election and Europe election, the Lib Dems have surged past the Conservatives to the top of the poll for a general election. Poll results may not be reliable, but there is no doubt the next leader of the Lib Dems will be one that cannot be ignored in Westminster. So who is in the frame to take over from Vince Cable in a few weeks?
Congratulations to Allan Tweddle, our new Lib Dem London Assembly candidate for Bexley and Bromley photographed here with Siobhan Benita, the Lib Dem candidate for London Mayor.
While all eyes have been focussed on our recent successes in the Local Council and EU elections, another small contest has been underway around London. The members of all of the capital's local parties have been selecting who should represent them in next year's London Assembly elections.
The votes were counted on the morning of Friday 7 June at Liberal Democrat HQ. Allan Tweddle said: "I'm delighted to announce that the members in Bexley and Bromley borough voted for me to stand as their candidate for the constituency that covers the region. Thank you to everyone who voted for me."