Brexit: What do you think?

A fractured relationship; how will you vote?

A fractured relationship; how will you vote?

Cast your vote in our online poll below.

2016 could prove to be an important year for Britain, both politically and economically, as the threat of Brexit looms large as we head into a new year. Although no date has officially been chosen, it is widely assumed that Britain’s EU referendum will take place next year, most likely June or September. The choice will simply be to Remain or to Leave, but the consequence of either decisions cannot be taken too lightly.

David Cameron has traveled the length of Europe visiting EU sister-states in the last few weeks in the hope of securing agreement amongst European leaders regrading his much maligned renegotiation package.  There was once a brief notion that the PM held a strong hand in any potential new EU deal; a deal that could and would suit the interests of the British people, both Europhiles and Eurosceptics alike. But his hand has weakened significantly, not through an early show of face, but as result of a cack-handed approach to negotiations and as Europe and the world united in the aftermath of the Paris attacks and military action in Syria. It has shown that David Cameron certainly believes that we are better in the Union. Whilst some will disagree and present a case for the Leave campaign, the Paris attacks and soon-to-be-agreed TTIP (USA) and EPA (Japan) trade deals will be signed by the EU are too important to simply cast aside. To me it is a no-brainer to remain within the Union, yes it may need reform, but that can be achieved with Britain at the helm, playing her historic role as a leader.

We are safe and more secure thanks to the EU (Source: Stronger In)

We are safe and more secure thanks to our EU membership (Source: Stronger In)

Now the Leave camp will predictably play on the fears of the general public; showcasing the EU as a dictatorial Union that beats all member states into submission. They will tell us how a meddling EU has become grossly bureaucratic, that they preside over our lawmaking, that they are to blame for your garbage only being collected fortnightly and that the EU is to blame for … In fact, the EU has brought peace and security to our continent, once ravished by war; the EU has helped to enhanced British-European trade, where European exports in 1970 accounted for 30% in of our overall trade, it now accounts for 50% in the space of 40 years. Yes Parliament is directed by the EU on some laws, but not all…only some 10-14%. So the Leave camps argument that our national sovereignty is slowly being eroded thanks to a overarching and overzealous European project, is false.

So what exactly has the EU done for Britain? Britain is safer, more secure and better equipped to deal with international crime and terrorism. The Europe Union is a our biggest trading partner, as stated above, UK exports to EU member states account for 15% of our GDP. Free trade and lower tariffs amongst member states allow the UK to buy and sell goods more efficiently, allow British business to thrive, create jobs here in the UK and reduces the cost of important goods bought by families here in the UK. 61% of small businesses sell to the EU which highlights that it is not just large corporations that benefit from the cheaper tariffs. The EU has helped to improve the cooperation amongst EU nations with important research on science and technology, has helped to tackle inequality, brought about international debate on climate change and the environment, whilst also championing humanitarian issues, civil liberties, anti-discrimination laws and social mobility.

Our Eu membership is vital to UK employment (Source: Stronger IN)

Our Eu membership is vital to UK employment (Source: Stronger IN)

I agree that there are many important issues that must be addressed by our leaders before we take part in a referendum. It is not overtly helpful to simplify and dilute the case for Leave or Remain. But  from a personal perspective, I strongly believe that the EU can be a force for good. Yes, it does need to change; those in Brussels need to learn a few homes truths and establish trust amongst Brits and civilians across Europe. I do not agree in an ever-greater Union, I believe each nation must create their own laws and be in control of their sovereignty. However, I also believe that if Britain wants to be respected in Europe and to reform the Euro-dream, we must do it from within.

Please have your say in the poll below!

By James Metcalfe, Editor of Daily Political View. 

Advertisements

Do you support British air strikes on ISIS in Syria?

RAF Tornado jets would be used in the bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria

RAF Tornado jets would be used in the bombing campaign against ISIS in Syria

The stage is set, MPs will vote today in the Commons for or against the David Cameron’s plans for British air strikes of ISIS in Syria. A whipped vote on the Conservative benches, minus a few who rebel the party line, will help  to bring the illusive 325 votes needed within touching distance.

After much jostling within the Labour Party, thanks partly to leader Jeremy Corbyn’s stance against the case for bombing; Labour MPs will now have a free vote. With 50 or more Labour MPs set to vote in favour of air strikes, it is more than likely David Cameron will secure House of Commons approval.

We would like to know what you think, are you for or against the British bombing in Syria? Cast your vote here…

Leapfrog bombing, go to war!

RAF Tornado jets would be used in the bombing campaign against IS in Syria (Source: Neil Bruden/EPA).

RAF Tornado jets would be used in the bombing campaign against IS in Syria (Source: Neil Bryden/EPA).

The clock is ticking down, consensus continues to build and momentum moves ever closer to bombing raids against IS in Syria. But has the Prime Minister and his peers really learnt from past strategic mistakes? For me there are two imperative questions that remain unanswered; (1) will a British bombing campaign be beneficial short-term? (2) what is the strategic plan if IS are thrown out of the region?

The Prime Minister spoke eloquently last week, somewhat emotionally, tapping into the appeal of solidarity with our allies. Ultimately however, he made more of a political case than a strategic one, and we have been there before when Blair made the same argument for Iraq in 2003.

Apart from feeling like part of a ‘team’, standing shoulder to shoulder with our neighbours, what can we actually add by extending our bombing campaign into Syria? The Americans, French, Russians and not forgetting numerous Middle Eastern countries are already engaged in bombing, the US alone over the last year and a half has flown more than 50,000 sorties and nearly 9,000 strikes. I hate to propose it, but what can the RAF and its small number of Tornados actually add to the equation tactically? Washington undoubtedly wants a British contribution in Syria diplomatically, but militarily? No.

David Cameron speaking in November 2015 (Source: Times of Israel)

David Cameron speaking in November 2015 (Source: Times of Israel)

I have struggled to find any modern day examples of successful bombing campaigns that were not part of a structured coordinated ground campaign; Cameron himself admitted last week air strikes alone would not solve the issue. Skepticism reached further than the proposed British bombing raids, the assumption that there are some 70,000 ‘moderate’ Syrians fighting in the region who, along with the Kurds, could supply the necessary boots on the ground. The analysis that there are 70,000 ‘moderates’ fighting across the numerous groups is in its self far retched, who are the good guys? What will they do post IS or Assad?  Can Russia be trusted? There are far too many questions unanswered, far too little conclusive evidence on the quality, quantity and most importantly intention of the numerous troops on the ground that we are now putting our trust in. Furthermore, the PM was on dodgy ground with the argument that only the British can supply the very best in missile technology, significantly reducing the threat of collateral damage, this is simply not true.

If you are serious about dealing with IS, eradicating the cancer that has disseminated its way to Africa and Europe as well as plaguing the Middle East, you simply must gather a grand coalition and invade. Extreme? Unpopular? Against the sentiment of a war weary nation? All of the above I suspect, but that doesn’t make it the wrong thing to do I’m afraid.

When we want to do it, when we really put an invasion plan into action, we can be clinical and highly effective. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a good template, the military was fundamentally let down by a staggering lack of post-war planning and political direction. And Iraq is not alone in recent years, Sierra Leon, Kosovo, the French in Mali; each conflict properly planned, executed with the right number of troops and supporting forces both by individual states and well oiled cohesive multilateral action.

I understand why people in this country are tired or war, skeptical of another campaign after 10 years in Afghanistan, a war we certainly got wrong. But how do you stop what’s happening in the region, how do you stop the execution of countless innocent victims of an oppressive regime unless you are physically there. The camps in Poland and Germany that had been home to the worst possible crimes were liberated by land, not air, as were the Muslims in the Balkans some 50 years on. History supports the requirement of troops on the ground; only troops on the ground in numbers can clear Iraq and Syria. Any coalition must be fully supported by the UN, in turn the UN must be prepared to deploy troops post-invasion to police and keep the peace whilst rebuilding takes place.

“I understand why people in this country are tired of war, skeptical of another campaign after 10 years in Afghanistan, a war we certainly got wrong”

A clear case for bombing IS in Syria has not been made, or at least the case advocated by Cameron is weak. Cameron’s case for military action is not wrong, but the methodology at this stage has flaws and may well prove to prolong the life of IS whilst making Britain an even bigger target.

In Britain, as in the Western world, we are in danger of reaching the point of lacking the courage to take these difficult decisions. We are slipping ever closer to the dangerous precedence of inaction (pacifism), something IS will never fear. If we dodge this now necessary course of action, if we do not commit wholeheartedly, we will be countering IS at home for many years to come, bombing is never enough.

By Ed Marsh, Director of Aerospace, Defence and Security at Frost & Sullivan, and Junior Writer for Daily Political View.

*This article has been edited at the writers discretion. A Peter Brookes cartoon was replaced with a photo of David Cameron.

Not fit for the stage it was played out on, no more encores’ please!

A deep sense of saddness amongst those at the vigil held at Place de la République to mark the Paris Attacks

There was a deep sense of remorse amongst those at the vigil held at the Place de la République to mark the Paris Attacks.

And so the year ends with similar tragedy and universal outcry for solidarity and condemnation as it began in the French capital. World leaders in symphony proclaim, on behalf of their own nations, that they feel France’s pain – that this was an attack on all of us, against humankind and our Western way of life. Social media is draped in the tricolour, and opinions on a response push all extremities of reasoned thinking. The question over Europe’s liberal characteristics and humanitarian nature must undoubtedly now stand against hard pressed pragmatism and the reality of the threat being faced.

The evidence pointed to a potentially chilling but plausible conclusion. French and Belgian citizens, as well as a recently arrived refugee, are among the dead terrorists. It was no knee-jerk reaction that one of the first decisions taken on that horrific Friday night by Hollande and his advisors was to close the borders.

The army have been drafted in to bolster the security forces available to the capital. Paris is a nervous and tense place to be, safety is playing on the minds of all Parisians and tourists (source: ABC).

The French army have been drafted in to bolster the security forces available to the capital. Paris is a nervous and tense place to be, safety is playing on the minds of Parisians and tourists alike (source: ABC).

It was always going to be only a matter of time until we saw these scenes on European streets once again. Sadly Paris, once again the target, suffered as ISIS pointed the finger regarding its Middle Eastern policy. Significant rhetoric came from the French President in relation to ISIS, the first of its kind from a western leader, declaring the events of terrorism as ‘an act of war’.  The shock of events at the start of the year in Paris have now turned to anger. The utter terror that played out at The Stade de France, the street cafes and the final act, so brutally played out at the Bataclan Concert Hall, have left Europe and the wider world once again realising what they are dealing with, a problem that threatens not just our way of life, but life itself.

Significant rhetoric came from the French President in relation to ISIS, the first of its kind from a western leader, declaring the events of terrorism as ‘an act of war’ .

The declaration from Hollande highlights that after 4 years, the situation in Syria and the cancer of ISIS has not been dealt with. Again, the UN and NATO have been shown up as to their staggering inadequacies and inability for decisive action. Many are currently asking what lessons can be learnt from this latest attack, how can we be better prepared next time. Surely it must be evident now, finally, that this is the wrong approach.  French resistance is something to be proud of, Parisians refusing to stop their way of life, the queues to give blood and an unrelenting spirit that is determined to move on.

Sentiment and flags however, are maybe no longer enough.

French poet Valery’s infamous quote about Europe, “we hope vaguely and dread precisely” rings more true today than ever before. The dread of further attacks is perfectly real and what we have seen in the last months and years, let alone the last few days are new laws, new powers for security agencies, disputes with social media companies regarding data, the strengthening of borders and increased man power to deal with the threat. All the while a seemingly endless half-hearted bombing campaign against ISIS continues. We dread the idea of more attacks and the design they will take, the aftermath they will leave on us; yet we still, ultimately, only vaguely endeavour to deal with the root cause.

ISIS is a tangible living entity; it’s not a myth nor a flash in the pan. We are happy to spend money and time on protecting and educating children in our schools from radicalization, working in communities, youth groups, increasing our home counter-terrorism operations, surveillance and response, but yet still, we do not deal with the cause of the problem, only its symptoms.

There is a belief that the fresh wave of Islamic State attacks will result in Western boots on the ground (Source: Business Insider).

ISIS and their new arsenal (Iraq): There is a belief that the fresh wave of Islamic State attacks will result in Western boots on the ground in Iraq and Syria (Source: Business Insider).

The French now have a clear mandate, a mandate that they probably don’t need to take to the UN, a mandate to put significant military intervention into action and take the fight to ISIS. The truth is many from the armed forces have known that a time for military intervention on the ground would come and it was always inevitable; air strikes alone will never be enough, we don’t have to look further than Europe and the wars in the Balkans for proof of that!

The news from Iraq and Syria is that ISIS are now on the back foot and significant gains have been made by the Kurdish forces, supported by the air advantage supplied by the alliance. That advantage must now be pushed, consensus is growing for further airstrikes – but surely we now must extend to the ground as well.

ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria.

ISIS controlled areas in Iraq and Syria.

Between these atrocities, people easily forget what we are dealing with. An almighty beast that denounces our way of life, preaches a dystopian society where only a paradoxical fantasy image of Islam still exists. ISIS will not surrender, will not compromise around a discursive table; it will instead continue to be a tangible evil that is capable of radicalising Muslims across the globe, reaching out to the lost, disenfranchised and young.

Air strikes in Syria and Iraq up to November 17th 2015 (Source: BBC & US Central Command).

Air strikes in Syria and Iraq up to November 17th 2015 (Source: BBC & US Central Command).

So many of the world’s major players are involved or connected to this crisis: the US and Russia, Europe, North Africa and numerous allies in the region itself that have a vested interest in dealing with the purge of this barbaric organisation. If liberalism is to succeed, and to even endeavour to survive in Europe, liberals must now see the pragmatism that sits in front of them, that they must tackle ISIS appropriately in Iraq and Syria, and not on our own doorstep.

Europe is now at a significant crossroads, and it’s possible to claim at a point, comparable as a continent only to World War II. The migrant crisis has put pressure on countries and spread unease in even the most liberal of states. If Europe wants to continue in any realistic format, if it wants an identity of any real substance politically, it must unify over the reality of the situation and not take the possibility of ‘boots on the ground’ off the table. The walls are going up in Europe, not being pulled down any more.

For me, it’s much less meme pas peur and much more, J’ai peur – at least for now.

By Ed Marsh, Director of Aerospace, Defence and Security at Frost & Sullivan, and Junior Writer for Daily Political View.

The ‘Caitlyn Conversation’

Caitlyn Jenner at the Series Luncheon in Chicargo (credit: dpp USA/REX Shutterstock)

Caitlyn Jenner at the Series Luncheon in Chicago (credit: dpp USA/REX Shutterstock)

So, unless you’ve been living under a rock since last June, you’ve probably heard of a lady named Caitlyn Jenner.

Jenner came under fire on Friday after giving a large speech at the 7th Annual Speaker Series Luncheon in Chicago, which provides social services for members of the LGBT community disenfranchised by issues such as poverty and homelessness by providing housing and employment services. After the event, protesters confronted the 66-year-old reality star; born William Bruce Jenner, arguing that Jenner’s financial/celebrity status, lack of financial support given to the LGBT community so far, as well as her controversial view on people who rely on social services to live, means that she couldn’t and shouldn’t speak on the issues faced by many within it, with one protestor branding her an ‘insult to trans people’. That being said, is Jenner really a poor representative of the LGBT community, and does her inexperience with these issues mean that she is unable do anything to prevent them in the future? Absolutely not.

Whilst it is true that Jenner’s financial status makes her own experience unique in relation to some of the issues of faced by many within the LGBT community, particularly young people (20-40% of homeless youth population in the US are LGBT), Jenner’s cultural impact highlights the positive social, political and economic consequences of LGBT acceptance and helping to prevent such tragic statistics in years to come by starting conversations over gender identity in 2015 more than any year previously, and on a mass cultural scale. At least in Western culture, anyway. As somebody who publicly transitioned after years of self-repression, Jenner’s influence, I feel, is an important component to eliminating the fear and discrimination that is often at the core of these issues.

Truro cornwall gay pride parade 23.08.08

Yes, the prospect of zero-discrimination against the LGBT community is ambitious. Yes, countries such as the US and the UK have the financial power to reduce and eliminate these issues. However, the key to eliminate the need for any financial help for discriminated members of the LGBT community in the first place is awareness, which can be given in the form of public figures that have significant power and influence within a given culture. Mainstream presence can lead to conversation-starting and efforts to understand current issues. At the core of the issues faced by the LGBT community, as with anybody who is discriminated against, is simply because these efforts are unprovoked or lax. I myself have no experience with these issues. However, I think Jenner, along with other high-profile public figures such as Laverne Cox – people who are publicly unapologetic about who they are by just being – is something that can and will prevent these issues over time, and is one that I feel Jenner in particular is not always given enough credit for.

Were Jenner’s comments on people who rely on social services to get by in bad taste? Yes, and I can see why many people were disappointed, given that this is the reality for many LGBT people in countries like the US and the UK, whilst millions more face homelessness globally. However, in my opinion, her stance within Western culture in recent times is hugely important for the LGBT community and transgender people in particular, as her choice to be exactly who she is and wants to be has positive ramifications down the line in eradicating the fear and ignorance that is often at the core of these issues.

By Luke Garbutt, Junior Writer for Daily Political View.

“Here at Daily Political View we support and endorse full equal rights for all and stand firm with the LGBT community in the fight against discrimination”

Save OUR Steel

Teesside: an infant Hercules

Teesside steel: “Every metropolis came from Ironopolis”

The people of Teesside are enormously proud of the areas long steelmaking tradition,  a pride passed down from generation to generation for more than a century. I count myself amongst the many people who share an affinity for our local heritage, to the brave working class souls who poured their blood, sweat and tears into making Teesside a bubbling Infant Hercules. Believe it or not this nation was built on the back of Teesside steel, long stretches of railway that connected our great towns and cities, buildings and celebrated structures (even as far as Sydney) bare the stamp “MADE IN TEESSIDE”.

we built the world

Teesside is one large community, we share success and defeat together. No one is left unwounded when our great industrial base is dealt a swift blow. Yet time after time, generation after generation, the people of Teesside have kept the flame alive and we do so again today. As 4000+ jobs are put at risk at the SSI plant in Redcar, either through direct employment or partnering businesses, it would be an injustice not to stand and fight. The people of Teesside  are not just fighting for steel, we are campaigning for jobs, the health of our local economy and for the future of this area. To lose so many jobs at SSI would be a tragedy, it would jeopardise jobs right across our community who depend on the economic stability that these jobs provide. Including the jobs at SSI, not to mention the 150 already lost at the South Bank coke ovens, at least another 2000 could are threatened as a knock-on effect…in an area that already has one of the largest unemployment rates in the country. The fight is bigger than myself or any other individual, but combine all our circumstances together there is great cause for concern. We don’t need words or even promises, what this crisis really needs is leadership and direct action. This action has already begun, grassroots protest has already caught the imagination of our community, we now need the spark that will rally our cause nationally and make those who have the power to get innovative. When Britain needed Teesside  to help build our great nation, Teesside now needs Britain to help safeguard our community.

Whilst Teesside might be a distant land from the metropolitan sprawls, the area’s heart and passion is far brighter than any city lights. There is a spirit in Teesside, not always visible to visitors, but it is alive and kicking. We may be nicknamed the Smoggies, but it is a local term of endearment. Teesside has a proud heritage, but at this moment in time we are hurting. I am confident that with the right help and direction Teesside can blossom once more. The loss of a job doesn’t just effect the individual, their families feel the pinch, neighbourhoods suffer and the greater community is damaged.

Please help save our steel!

You can keep up-to-date with the current grassroots campaign at on Twitter @save_our_steel.

By James Metcalfe, Editor of Daily Political View.

Labour Leadership: Who do you want to win?

Labour leadership contest (via Guardian Media)

Labour leadership contest (via Guardian Media)

The Labour leadership contest is currently moving through the motions, Jeremy Corbyn is running streets ahead of Andy Burnham, who trails in second place in the polls released last week. Mr Corbyn, lacking an airbrushed persona and distinct lack of TV prowess, is the popular choice amongst local constituency groups, the alienated youth and those who see the future of Labour shifting away from the center-ground. Corbyn was only added to the ballot to widen the policy discussion. However, having assumed a prominent position in the contest, he is now being harangued by his fellow contestants and directionless Labour MPs. To those within the Labour party brave enough to admit it and by gleeful Conservative supporters, the leadership contest only highlights how damaged the Labour party is.

Andy Burnham means business (via Getty Images)

Andy Burnham means business (via Getty Images)

The Labour party appears to have endorsed rank-and-file tribalism, the kind of in-fighting which damages credibility amongst the electorate. Many life-long Labour supporters who I have spoken too, voters since the 1950s and 1960s, are disillusioned with the current crop. Corbyn has revived a maligned 1980s policy, factionalism and the memory of three straight election defeats – even if that wasn’t his intention! Andy Burnham, a front-runner in my opinion has a list of admirers within the Labour movement. Lord Prescott is a fan, whilst Dan Jarvis MP, who should also have stood, is backing Andy Burnham. The former health minister is surely the safest choice and heir to the Blairite throne, right?

Moving on, Liz Kendall has also being harangued by the press like Jeremy Corbyn, but for being more of a soft Conservative than a “radical”. Liz Kendall wants the Labour party to appeal to the middle classes, stealing back the supporters who deserted them back in May. Kendall, part of the 2010 intake of MPs, will be vying for the support of the Blairite faction alongside Andy Burnham. Liz Kendall has spoken out of her desire to draft a Labour blueprint for 2020 and beyond, something which Ed Miliband failed to address when drawing up his election campaign this year. Kendall has made an enemy in the form of the union bosses, claiming they should have no say in the new leader…time will tell if this proves to be her downfall.

Liz Kendall wants to bring Labour back into the center-ground (via The Independent)

Liz Kendall wants to bring Labour back into the center-ground (via The Independent)

Yvette Cooper is also standing in the leadership contest, but has yet to ignite her campaign. Falling to third in the polls, it does beg the question whether Cooper has the ability to bring change to the Labour party. Her past, working under both Blair and Brown may prove to be her Achilles Heel, a problem which Andy Burnham shares. She certainly has good policy initiatives such as the free childcare for all. However, having fallen behind in the polls, unless Andy Burnham or Jeremy Corbyn have a major wobble I doubt she will be leader come September.

Caretaker?

David Miliband (via The Times)

David Miliband (via The Times)

Moving slightly aside of the four contestants. I believe that whoever is voted in as the new Labour leader, they will only be fulfilling a caretaker duty. Whether Corbyn, Burnham, Cooper or Kendall are installed as the new Labour juggernaut, come 2019 David Miliband will be back as the knight in shining armour. David, returning home from his American adventure, is the best bet at  leading the party he left in 2013, to 2020 election success.

Wild punt or distinct possibility? Let me know in the comments and while you are at it, please take part in the DPV Labour leadership poll below.

By James Metcalfe, Editor of Daily Political View.

On Holiday!

Gone Fishing

Good afternoon to all my readers and junior writers!

As I am sure you are all aware the website has not been updated since last month. However, I have been on an extended leave due to other commitments. Although there is a backlog of articles I hope that you will stick by me and the website. I am currently searching for new employment, which may or may not affect the direction of DPV.

I hope to have the website functioning again in the very near future. In the mean time please feel free to browse our article history.

For now though, please go and enjoy the sun. This is Britain…it might not stick around long!

Best wishes,

James Metcalfe, Editor of Daily Political View.  

Twitter: (@MrJMetcalfe)

Where now for the Liberal Democrats? – Will the impending EU referendum be their chance to rise again?

Nick Clegg canvassing in his sea of Sheffield Hallam (Via Lib Dems)

Nick Clegg canvassing in his sea of Sheffield Hallam (Via Lib Dems)

Most Liberal Democrats spent a dower election night watching as their party suffer further demise as they were punished for entering into a collation with the Conservatives back in 2010. Many within the Liberal Democrats expected a heavy defeat, with most polls suggesting their 57 seats would be cut in half. But when the exit poll was announced many were left shocked, not just in the Liberal Democrat camp, but across the political spectrum. Paddy Ashdown echoed the disbelief amongst Lib Dem supporters at what the exit poll suggested, even going as far as to proclaim ‘I’ll publically eat my hat’ if the poll were true on the BBC. However, it proved to be right and the Liberal Democrat roster was cut down to a mere eight constituencies, losing key battles in London, the South West and in Scotland. The defeat has inflicted wounds which will take many months to heal, but as Nick Clegg regrettably announced his resignation, there will be quiet optimism that the party can rise from the ashes once more. Yes, the party is leaderless for now, but in this time they can reflect on the experiences and scars inflicted upon them during their five years in government. Activists and members will talk amongst themselves, debate their defeat and then regroup. The Liberal Democrats will set off on a long journey of self-discovery, with either Tim Farron or Norman Lamb at the helm. The election has been a costly one, in fact the Liberal Democrats lost over 300 deposits on May 7th, but this will only make the party stronger and make its supporters more eager to be the mouthpiece for decency, liberalism and tolerance as the ‘politics of fear’ blows throughout the UK.

BRIGHTON, ENGLAND - MARCH 10:  Tim Farron, President of the Liberal Democrats makes a speech at the Liberal Democrats Spring Conference on March 10, 2013 in Brighton, England. Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg delivered his keynote speech bringing the three day conference to a close. (Photo by Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images)

Tim Farron

The Liberal Democrats will find their voice among the many fears of the British public. The impeding EU referendum, an election promised by David Cameron by 2017, will prove to be the end of Lib Dem soul-searching and the beginning of their fight back. The Liberal Democrats and Nick Clegg have been the bastion of British political support for EU membership, channelling that message in their 2014 European Parliamentary election campaign. No other party, not even Labour who dithered on the subject, has stood firm in their unwavering support for the European Union and the many benefits that it brings to the UK. Jobs, investment, trade and security are under threat as the European question will no doubt rear its head in the coming months and years. Within this debate, the Liberal Democrats will shine and many across the UK, spanning the political spectrum, will join forces with the Liberal Democrat message to support the campaign to keep the UK in the European Union. The Liberal Democrats rightly hold European-wide respect amongst the political parties that are in the European Parliament. If there was ever a time to reboot your party, then the Liberal Democrats will reboot it with a passionate plea to the UK to vote for stability and the safety they believe the EU has to offer. The Lib Dem’s will be the guiding force towards standing in the Union and will win hearts and minds in the battle to show the UK the positives to be gained from the EU project.

It is unclear right now who will be tasked with the challenge of rebranding and restructuring the Liberal Democrat image and voice, and that is surely a very tough job. Whoever is voted into leadership by Liberal Democrat members, one thing is for sure, they will be giving time and support right down to the grassroots to shape the battle for the 2019 European Parliament election and the 2020 general election. The EU referendum will not define the Liberal Democrats, but it will allow them the opportunity to sharpen their message and let the public know that the yellow bird is on the rise.

Liberal Democrats - fairer -stronger

The election has been a pivotal catalyst in the debate against the First Past the Post system. The Liberal Democrats have been at the forefront toward changing the electoral system for some time, now they will be joined by UKIP and the Greens in their battle to see a fairer system of AV or proportional representation adopted in future elections. The Liberal Democrats were aggrieved in 2010 when they received almost seven million votes, two million less than Labour, but delivered far less Liberal Democrat MPs. This time around UKIP are struggling to deal with having almost three times the amount of votes that the SNP had, but only returned one seat compared with the SNP’s 56. The 2015 election has altered opinion in line for more democratic voting style, this surge towards a fairer system may well help the Liberal Democrats out in future elections, however only if it is agreed upon and that is far from certain.

The Liberal Democrats have fallen foul of being the junior coalition partner. A broken promise over tuition fees will haunt them. Nevertheless, they have had great success in securing less austere cuts, the adoption of the Pupil Premium, fairer tax breaks for low wages earners and in giving a heart to a Conservative-led government. Many will say that history will look back kindly at the Liberal Democrats as they put nation before party, but if they are to bounce back quickly then they will have to remind the public of the good things they achieved, whilst also spearheading a regeneration of their ideals. The Liberal Democrats have learnt that you cannot promise policies that you are unable to deliver, they will learn from having third-party syndrome. Bad experiences can either break you, or they make you more ambitious and more determined. I believe that the Liberal Democrats will turn defeat into action and this will drive them forward into a new era. They have done it in the past and they will do it again. Although the results may linger on the surface, underground the Liberal Democrats will heal and strengthen. In the face of adversity, and with British politics heading towards the more extremes of the spectrum, the Liberal Democrats will be hoping to become the voice of reason and a flame for unity, tolerance and decency.

By James Metcalfe, Editor of Daily Political View.

Labour needs to rebuild

Ed Miliband after resigning as Labour leader

Ed Miliband bowing out as Labour leader

This morning I am frustrated but not entirely surprised. Labour has lost more seats than in the disastrous 2010 result, which at the time was dubbed the worst result for many generations.  Some have claimed that no-one predicted this, and are now in shock that we lost and are making comparisons to 1992. That is a weak case. The polls were telling us that this would happen, the night before there was a widely spread article that confirmed the Conservatives would be strong, and some polls had underestimated their support amongst “shy Tories”. What’s more, the ICM exit poll used on the BBC was pretty accurate.

So why did we lose? Well sadly there are so many reasons they cannot all be listed here, for it would take a whole book to occupy them. The national campaign lacked any vigour, vision, and a sense of reality. The symbolism of the giant stone carving will be ever present in the future of what not to do. It was a biblical move, but the only thing it had in common with the Bible was its root in the past and is pure fantasy. The managers of the national campaign also need to take responsibility, and need to be moved on. Throughout the last five years, there were worries that the people behind Miliband were not up to the job. The night was typified by Lucy Powell, the vice-chair of the campaign whose media appearances have been a disaster, giving everyone one last gift by saying we did nothing wrong in Scotland.

As Ed Miliband made his final speech we saw the lack of quality that eventually led to the downfall of this campaign. It was vacuous, self-interested, and offered no vision. Instead he left a blank page, as if he was never here.  Yes I am glad Miliband has finally left the leadership role, and I hope the party takes time to reflect. I personally believe that we need to return to the ideology that led us to three straight electoral victories. Even in defeat, that ideology still landed us with more seats than this non-brand centrism.  It didn’t offer a coherent alternative to the Conservatives vision of what they wanted to do. The much maligned line ‘Long term economic plan’ may have gotten through to the electorate who believed that the country was on the right path.

Shock result! Ed Balls lost his seat of Morley and Outwood

Shock result! Ed Balls lost his seat of Morley and Outwood

However, what has disappointed me more than anything is the reaction the result from some people who are left wing. Pouring scorn on those who have voted Conservative, calling them selfish, arguing democracy doesn’t work, and making hyperbolic statements which don’t reflect reality.  Some are even talking about ideological ‘purity’.  This approach not only saddens me, it actually scares me. There is nothing ‘pure’ about losing, or lambasting those who disagree with you. There is nothing pure about holding one view over another. As a party we currently have two directions which we could take. Either, we change to reflect the changing nature of the electorate, or we produce a leader and manifesto with a genuine vision which can change people’s view.  It is vital in the coming months we choose the right direction, another election result like this and the tensions in the party could become unbearable.

What is clear is that the Labour Party is now in crisis. Ed Balls lost his seat, along with Douglas Alexander, and Jim Murphy. The available talent which can stand for a Labour leadership doesn’t look spectacular. We’re now in a position of weakness, being part of a fractured opposition which will not be able to stop the government. To gain less seats than in 2010 implies that changes need to be made, and with luck we can use this time for searching for the soul of the party and where we want to go. This is a wakeup call and we have to heed the message.

By Sam Mace, Senior Writer for Daily Political View.