Monday, April 30, 2007


Greens vote against recycling

This letter was printed in the Sheffield Telegraph on the 27th April.

I was amazed to learn that the Greens had voted against the Lib Dem proposal for an extra £1million for recycling in Sheffield. I used to be a big supporter of the Greens, and stood for them in the local elections a couple of times. I stopped supporting them when I realised that their hostility to business and trade, although well-intended, would condemn millions to poverty, billions if followed worldwide.

On reflection, Green Party policies like the 20 mph speed limit throughout built up areas – making cars less efficient and bus services much more expensive to run – were always about getting the basics wrong. So maybe I shouldn’t be surprised by the recycling vote.

If greens – of all parties and none – have succeeded in something it is in winning widespread agreement that environmental challenges exist and should be faced up to. But the way to face the challenge of global warming isn’t to stop the city moving – to demand that we sit at home and forego the delights that this fantastic city has to offer us. There are other challenges we face too: poverty, education, healthcare, threats to peace and freedom. Failures on these can be just as deadly as failures on the environment.

Equipping ourselves to face all these challenges means getting the city moving, working and studying hard, supporting science and defending liberty, as well as saving energy, cutting pollution and spending an extra £1m on recycling. I fear the Greens would sacrifice the tools needed to do the job properly.

Thursday, April 12, 2007


Calling all Crookes residents: the Tories are trying to con you

Oh dear oh dear. We're barely a week into the new campaign and already I'm going to have to dust off the Golden Porkie award - and since the Tories romped away with it last year it's only fitting that the Tory candidate for Crookes should be the first one out of the gate this year. And it's an absolute stinker.

The latest "inTouch" from Tory Robert McIlveen - which I feel looks uncomfortably like a tax return form - bears the headline
Only the Tories offer value for money here
And goes on to scaremonger about how those nasty Lib Dems are going to raise your Council Tax.

EXCEPT: the Conservatives in Sheffield proposed RAISING the Council Tax by 2.9%, which is ABOVE the rate of inflation. The Lib Dem budget contained a below-inflation rise of just 1.96% - a cut in real terms.

The Tories have a real problem in Sheffield. People have started to realise that this election is about Lib Dem vs. Labour in the Town Hall. They want to vote for a party that can win - and all the evidence shows that the Tories could be completely wiped out by May 2008. But if these bare-faced lies are all they can offer in response to genuine community action by the Lib Dems, it will be well deserved.

There you go my friend - wear it with pride.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007


e-voting and a delayed count

For those who aren't aware, Sheffield will be conducting a second e-voting trial at the upcoming local elections.

Between 7.00 am on 26 April and 7.00 am on 30 April, those who have registered in advance for a password will be able to vote on the Internet or over the telephone.

There will also be an early voting "kiosk" at the Town Hall
available between 9.00 am and 5.00 pm on 26 to 29 April.

I will myself be sticking with a postal vote. I, like the rest of the Lib Dem group, have grave concerns over the ability to verify or challenge the e-vote: you are quite simply given a piece of paper with the result on come the day of the count.

The complexity of the new system means that the count will be held on Friday morning - a system which just seems wrong to me! I doubt I'll be able to muster much sleep, even after an exhausting 17-hour polling day.

However, there is a silver lining for us activists - for once we will be able to watch the election coverage on TV!

You can still register for a postal vote if you need one.

Friday, April 06, 2007


No Respect?

I see that Sheffield Respect candidate Maxine Bowler has a new blog set up for the local elections.

Unfortunately, she has chosen not to enable comments on her blog, so I will have to respond to her here.

First: Maxine, you need to get an election imprint for your blog!

Second: Your latest election leaflet says the following:
"Maxine from Respect is the only politician who has committed herself fully to the plight of these earthquake victimes. She has taken time to visit people there."
Will you now apologise to Lib Dem Cllr. Shaffaq Mohammad who spent three weeks living with and helping earthquake victims in Kashmir following the disaster? I understand that Respect's contribution was limited to a five-day whistle-stop tour of the region.

Let's have respect where respect is due!

Thursday, April 05, 2007


Conservative leader conspicuously absent from Internet debate

City institution is breaking new ground this election by conducting interviews with the leaders of local political parties. Site users will suggest questions, and the best will be put to all of the politicians who are taking part.

Site founder Geoff says:
"So far, apart from the Conservatives who haven't replied yet (hint, hint), the leader of Sheffield's Liberal Democrat, Labour and the Green party have all agreed to field questions put to them by the users of Sheffield Forum."
It would be nice for the Sheffield Conservatives to put in an appearance. After all, David Cameron promised us that we would all get a local manifesto from our local Tory group. I'd been looking forward to hearing some actual Tory policies this election!

This post marks the beginning of the election period - don your hard hats everyone!

Printed (hosted) by Published and promoted by Joe Taylor, 28 Pendeen Road, Sheffield S11 7EN on behalf of the Sheffield Liberal Democrat Group.

The opinions expressed herein are those of the author and may not represent those of or the Sheffield Liberal Democrat Group.