Wednesday, September 04, 2013

Being Proud of Pride

It was disappointing, but not surprising to see Alan Clifford's ill-judged, ungracious and in-tolerant attack on the Norwich Pride Parade held in July (EDP 29/8). The offensive language and aggressive tone says more about him than it does the organisers of such a popular and powerful annual event, and, not for the first time, leading to police intervention. Pride is about tolerance, inclusion and respect, about celebrating difference and creating safe space and common ground. It brings communities together and provides an opportunity to stand in solidarity and for Christians to fulfil our calling to stand up for the oppressed and alongside the marginalised. Nearly 100 homophobic and transphobic hate crimes are recorded each week by police across Britain. Research shows that over half of homophobic and transphobic crime is not reported to the police, many people suffering in silence. 1 in 8 lesbian, gay or bisexual people are the target of hate crime each year. Increased prejudice and homophobic bullying has been reported in families, social media, schools, work places, faith communities, healthcare, sports fields and the criminal justice system. Stephen Fry has been vocal in his opposition to events in Russia. Progress has been made in some areas, shown by legalisation of equal marriage, but now is not the time for complacency. As the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby acknowledged last week, “The church has not been good at dealing with it. We have implicitly and even explicitly supported [homophobia] and that demands repentance.." From equal marriage to ordination, the Church has complex issues to engage with, and must do so with humility, grace and tolerance. Pride is something to be proud of.

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Archbishop of Canterbury attacks Government welfare reforms

In his most significant political intervention since taking office, the Most Rev Justin Welby has warned that “children and families will pay the price” if plans to change the benefits system go ahead in their current form. Mr Welby and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu, have backed a letter to The Sunday Telegraph written by 43 bishops who say the benefits cuts will have a “deeply disproportionate” effect on children. The move will come as a blow to Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, who is attempting to steer the reforms through Parliament. He has said the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill, which will cap benefit rises at 1 per cent a year until 2016, is needed to help get spending “back under control” and create a fairer deal for taxpayers. However, Mr Welby, who will be formally enthroned at Canterbury Cathedral on March 21, said the legislation will remove the protection given to families against the rising cost of living and could push 200,000 children into poverty. He said: “As a civilised society, we have a duty to support those among us who are vulnerable and in need. When times are hard, that duty should be felt more than ever, not disappear or diminish. “It is essential that we have a welfare system that responds to need and recognises the rising costs of food, fuel and housing. “The current benefits system does that, by ensuring that the support struggling families receive rises with inflation. “These changes will mean it is children and families who will pay the price for high inflation, rather than the Government.” Mr Welby added: “Politicians have a clear choice. By protecting children from the effects of this Bill, they can help fulfil their commitment to end child poverty.” Mr Welby’s intervention signals his willingness to enter political debates on issues he believes are the Church’s responsibility to address, a policy for which his predecessor, Dr Rowan Williams, faced criticism. He has, since taking office, already set out his opposition to the Government’s plans to allow gay marriage. Benefits have risen in line with inflation in the past and this year rose by 5.2 per cent, but the Government’s reforms will limit the annual rises to just one per cent for the next three years. The “umbrella” legislation, which is currently passing through the House of Lords, applies to a wide range of benefits and tax credits, including income support, child benefit, working tax credits and child tax credits. According to The Children’s Society, this will mean that a couple with two children, where one parent earns £600 per week, would lose £424 a year by 2015 under the changes. Among the bishops to sign the letter to this newspaper are 14 of the 26 bishops who sit in the House of Lords. Although Mr Welby and Dr Sentamu have added their voices to the concerns raised by the bishops, they have not signed the letter – in accordance with a long-standing convention within the Church of England. Dr Sentamu said: “I hope that the Government will listen to the concerns being raised on the impact the changes to the Welfare Benefit Up-rating Bill could have on the poorest and most vulnerable in our society, our children. “In difficult times it is right as a nation, committed to justice and fairness, that we protect those that are most in need. “Even in tough economic times we have a duty and responsibility to care for those who are struggling." The Bishop of Leicester, the Rt Rev Tim Stevens, said: “The bishops feel we have to be involved as it is no longer true to say these people are costing us money because they are feckless or lazy. We are talking about people who are working hard to support their families." Bishop Stevens, who leads the 26 bishops in the Lords, added: “We are facing families who will have to choose from April 1 between buying food for their children and paying their rent, or between feeding their children and turning the fire on.” A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions said the legislation was important to keep the welfare bill sustainable. He said: “In difficult economic times we’ve protected the incomes of pensioners and disabled people, and most working age benefits will continue to increase 1 per cent. This was a tough decision but it’s one that will help keep the welfare bill sustainable in the longer term. “By raising the personal allowance threshold, we’ve lifted 2 million people out of tax altogether, clearly benefiting people on a low income.” The letter from 43 bishops to The Sunday Telegraph: SIR – Next week, members of the House of Lords will debate the Welfare Benefits Up-rating Bill. The Bill will mean that for each of the next three years, most financial support for families will increase by no more than 1 per cent, regardless of how much prices rise. This is a change that will have a deeply disproportionate impact on families with children, pushing 200,000 children into poverty. A third of all households will be affected by the Bill, but nearly nine out of 10 families with children will be hit. These are children and families from all walks of life. The Children’s Society calculates that a single parent with two children, working on an average wage as a nurse would lose £424 a year by 2015. A couple with three children and one earner, on an average wage as a corporal in the British Army, would lose £552 a year by 2015. However, the change will hit the poorest the hardest. About 60 per cent of the savings from the uprating cap will come from the poorest third of households. Only 3 per cent will come from the wealthiest third. If prices rise faster than expected, children and families will no longer have any protection against this. This transfers the risk of high inflation rates from the Treasury to children and families, which is unacceptable. Children and families are already being hit hard by cuts to support, including those to tax credits, maternity benefits, and help with housing costs. They cannot afford this further hardship penalty. We are calling on the House of Lords to take action to protect children from the impact of this Bill. Rt Rev Tim Stevens, Bishop of Leicester Rt Rev John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich Rt Rev Paul Butler, Bishop of Southwell and Nottingham Rt Rev Richard Frith, Bishop of Hull Rt Rev Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford Rt Rev David Rossdale, Bishop of Grimsby Rt Rev Alan Smith, Bishop of St Albans Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Dudley Rt Rev Michael Langrish, Bishop of Exeter Rt Rev Humphrey Southern, Bishop of Repton Rt Rev Chris Edmondson, Bishop of Bolton Rt Rev David Urquhart, Bishop of Birmingham Rt Rev Jonathan Clark, Bishop of Croydon Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover Rt Rev Adrian Newman, Bishop of Stepney Rt Rev John Wraw, Bishop of Bradwell Rt Rev James Newcome, Bishop of Carlisle Rt Rev Peter Burrows, Bishop of Doncaster Rt Rev Keith Sinclair, Bishop of Birkenhead Rt Rev Clive Young, Bishop of Dunwich Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop of Truro Rt Rev Steven Croft, Bishop of Sheffield Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, Bishop of Lichfield Rt Rev John Inge, Bishop of Worcester Rt Rev Peter Price, Bishop of Bath and Wells Rt Rev Stephen Conway, Bishop of Ely Rt Rev Alistair Redfern, Bishop of Derby Rt Rev James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester Rt Rev James Bell, Bishop of Knaresborough Rt Rev Mike Hill, Bishop of Bristol Rt Rev Christopher Chessun, Bishop of Southwark Rt Rev Nigel Stock, Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Rt Rev John Pritchard, Bishop of Oxford Rt Rev Ian Brackley, Bishop of Dorking Rt Rev Jonathan Frost, Bishop of Southampton Rt Rev Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield Rt Rev David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon Rt Rev John Holbrook, Bishop of Brixworth Rt Rev Tim Dakin, Bishop of Winchester Rt Rev Peter Hancock, Bishop of Basingstoke Rt Rev Andrew Proud, Bishop of Reading Rt Rev Anthony Priddis, Bishop of Hereford

Monday, March 04, 2013

Say NO to Secret Courts

Dear Sir, We are writing to urge all MPs to do the right thing by voting against Part II of the Justice and Security Bill when it has its Report stage in the Commons today. The Justice and Security Bill runs a coach and horses through fair trial guarantees which have been part of our country's constitution since the Civil War and which were first enshrined in the Magna Carta. The secret court measures contained in the Bill could even apply to habeas corpus proceedings. The stakes for our country could not be higher. The "War on Terror" led to many mistakes: liberty was sacrificed in the name of security. This led directly to British agents facilitating kidnap and torture such as the cases of Binyam Mohammed and Abdul-Hakim Belhaj. For those who are victims of such crimes to be shut out of the trials of their own claims for damages runs totally contrary to any notion of justice. As the Special Advocates reiterated last week, the case for this Bill has not been made. The Joint Committee on Human Rights reported on 28th February 2013 that the government has failed to meet its requirements to make "Closed Material Procedures" less unfair. We call on all MPs now to act before it is too late, and they become complicit in irrevocable damage to our constitution. This issue goes beyond party politics. However, as Liberal Democrats the protection of civil liberties is of crucial importance. We are looking to Nick Clegg to lead the Liberal Democrat MPs in opposition to the Bill. Opposition to Part II is what liberal democracy demands of us. Secret courts must not form any part of the legacy of a government in which Liberal Democrats have a role. Yours faithfully, 1. Jo Shaw, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, London 2. Martin Tod, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, Winchester 3. Sarah Ludford MEP 4. David Howarth, Cambridge 5. Lord Strasburger 6. Professor Philippe Sands QC, Camden 7. Sandra Gidley, Romsey 8. Robin Meltzer, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, Richmond 9. Elaine Bagshaw, Federal Executive member, London 10. Daisy Cooper, Federal Executive member 11. Mark Pack, Federal Policy Committee member 12. Gareth Epps, Federal Policy Committee, Social Liberal Forum co-chair 13. Benjamin Mathis, Hackney 14. Sally Hooker, Greenwich 15. Tracy Connell, Newcastle, Regional Officer 16. Christina Shaw, Leeds NW 17. David Shaw, Leeds NW 18. Matt Whayman, Runnymede and Weybridge 19. Chris Richards, Camden 20. John L Oakes, London N6 21. Paula Keaveney, Liverpool, Police and Crime Commissioner candidate, Merseyside 22. Alix Mortimer, Haringey 23. Tom Polak - Campaigns Secretary Nottingham Liberal Youth 24. Rob Knight, Haringey 25. Caron Lindsay, Member of Liberal Democrat Federal Executive, Livingston 26. Charlotte Henry, Liberal Reform, Barnet 27. Gemma Roulston, membership secretary, LDDA 28. Lady Ellen Dahrendorf, London NW3 29. Ruth Edmonds, Oxford 30. Nick Thornsby, Liberal Reform, Rochdale 31. Geoff Hinchliffe, Shipdham 32. Peter Lloyd, Birmingham 33. Councillor Jonathan Bloch 34. Mark Platt, Westminster & City of London party 35. Tom Barney 36. Roger Crouch, Twickenham 37. Jennifer Liddle, Cambridgeshire 38. Kirsten de Keyser, Camden 39. Andrew Brown, Bristol 40. Simon McGrath, Chair, Merton Liberal Democrats, Liberal Reform 41. Scott Walker, Nottingham 42. John Faulkner, Guildford 43. Kat Dadswell, Liverpool 44. Cllr James Baker, Calderdale Liberal Democrats. 45. Emily Fieran-Reed, Islington 46. Cllr Alaric Rose, Cherwell District Council 47. David Wright, Harlow 48. Nick Barlow, Colchester 49. Tony Miller, President, Ealing Liberal Democrats 50. Phil Stevens Chair Liberal Democrat Disability Association 51. Mrs Janet King, Chair, Bromsgrove Liberal Democrats 52. Corry Cashman, Leighton Buzzard 53. Prof. Denis Mollison, Musselburgh 54. Cllr Richard Cheney, Lib Dem Group Leader, Stratford DC 55. Robert Leslie, Treasurer, Banffshire & Buchan Coast Liberal Democrats 56. Hannah Bettsworth, Edinburgh South 57. Simon P. Hughes, Epping Forest, Social Liberal Forum 58. Richard Broadbent, Sutton 59. Jonathan Price, London SE24 60. Chris Smart, Chester 61. Fionn O'Donovan, Oxford 62. Richard Lowe 63. Prateek Buch 64. Charles Scanlan, London NW8 65. Chris Nelson, Kettering & Wellingborough 66. Rev Simon Wilson, Broadland 67. Peter Brooks 68. Neville Farmer 69. Cllr Janet Battye, Liberal Democrat Leader, Calderdale MBC 70. Anthony Fairclough, London Region Exec & Merton Borough 71. Jonathan Calder 72. David Abrahams, Camden 73. Richard Morris, Richmond and Twickenham 74. Alex Marsh, Bristol 75. Geoff Payne, Hertfordshire 76. Peter Reisdorf, West Kirby 77. Bridget Fox, Islington 78. Paul Wild, Walsall 79. Lisa Smart, Hazel Grove 80. Ros Gordon, Hampshire 81. Patrick Hadfield, Edinburgh 82. Lancelot Casely-Hayford, Liberal Youth Campaigns Officer 83. Reece Edmends - Liberal Youth Non-Portfolio Officer 84. Timothy Oliver, Hull 85. Ellis R Palmer, Secretary of the Univeristy of Birmingham Liberal Democrats 86. Robert Pitt, Secretary, Leeds Liberal Youth 87. Kavya Kaushik, Liberal Youth co-Chair 88. Joe Donnelly, Chair of Durham University Liberal Democrats 89. Kevin McNamara, President of University of Kent Liberal Democrats 90. Sam Fisk, Liberal Youth co-Chair 91. Jezz Palmer, Youth and Student Rep, Winchester 92. Conor McKenzie, Harrogate, Liberal Youth International Officer 93. Ashley Wilkes - President of Lancaster University Liberal Democrats 94. Jonathan Lancaster, York Outer 95. Alexander J. Harding Last, Ipswich 96. Will Fielding, Hull and Hessle Liberal Youth Officer 97. Harry Matthews, Sheffield 98. Alex Barry, Norwich 99. Stuart Wheatcroft, Chair, West Midlands Liberal Youth 100. James Higgin, Aberdeen 101. Emma Sandrey, Cardiff Central 102. Samuel Barratt 103. Cllr Mathew Hulbert, Barwell, Leicestershire 104. Dr Maria Pretzler, Swansea & Gower 105. Katrin McClure, East Yorks 106. Cllr Keith Moffitt, Leader, Liberal Democrats, Camden 107. Conor McGovern-Paul, Kingston-upon-Thames 108. Marek Lipinski, Ealing 109. Jacquie Bell, Dunbar, Scotland 110. Brian James Woodcraft,Eltham, London 111. Jean Evans, Chester 112. Jason Lower, Tonbridge and Malling 113. Cllr Terry Stacy, Leader, Islington Liberal Democrats 114. Adam Bernard, Cambridge 115. Chris Caswill, Wiltshire 116. Ed Fordham, Camden Read more: Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

Monday, January 21, 2013

George Orwell Day: Politics and the English Language

George Orwell has always been a big hero of mine-a fantastic writer who never fails to inform and challenge political and sociological perspectives. Today, the anniversary of his death has been designated a festival in his memory. His essay on politics and the english language may have been written in 1946 but its' advice still rings true today. Most people who bother with the matter at all would admit that the English language is in a bad way, but it is generally assumed that we cannot by conscious action do anything about it. Our civilization is decadent and our language – so the argument runs – must inevitably share in the general collapse. It follows that any struggle against the abuse of language is a sentimental archaism, like preferring candles to electric light or hansom cabs to aeroplanes. Underneath this lies the half-conscious belief that language is a natural growth and not an instrument which we shape for our own purposes. Now, it is clear that the decline of a language must ultimately have political and economic causes: it is not due simply to the bad influence of this or that individual writer. But an effect can become a cause, reinforcing the original cause and producing the same effect in an intensified form, and so on indefinitely. A man may take to drink because he feels himself to be a failure, and then fail all the more completely because he drinks. It is rather the same thing that is happening to the English language. It becomes ugly and inaccurate because our thoughts are foolish, but the slovenliness of our language makes it easier for us to have foolish thoughts. The point is that the process is reversible. Modern English, especially written English, is full of bad habits which spread by imitation and which can be avoided if one is willing to take the necessary trouble. If one gets rid of these habits one can think more clearly, and to think clearly is a necessary first step toward political regeneration: so that the fight against bad English is not frivolous and is not the exclusive concern of professional writers. I will come back to this presently, and I hope that by that time the meaning of what I have said here will have become clearer. Meanwhile, here are five specimens of the English language as it is now habitually written. These five passages have not been picked out because they are especially bad – I could have quoted far worse if I had chosen – but because they illustrate various of the mental vices from which we now suffer. They are a little below the average, but are fairly representative examples. I number them so that I can refer back to them when necessary: 1. I am not, indeed, sure whether it is not true to say that the Milton who once seemed not unlike a seventeenth-century Shelley had not become, out of an experience ever more bitter in each year, more alien (sic) to the founder of that Jesuit sect which nothing could induce him to tolerate. Professor Harold Laski (Essay in Freedom of Expression). 2. Above all, we cannot play ducks and drakes with a native battery of idioms which prescribes egregious collocations of vocables as the Basic put up with for tolerate, or put at a loss for bewilder. Professor Lancelot Hogben (Interglossia). 3. On the one side we have the free personality: by definition it is not neurotic, for it has neither conflict nor dream. Its desires, such as they are, are transparent, for they are just what institutional approval keeps in the forefront of consciousness; another institutional pattern would alter their number and intensity; there is little in them that is natural, irreducible, or culturally dangerous. But on the other side, the social bond itself is nothing but the mutual reflection of these self-secure integrities. Recall the definition of love. Is not this the very picture of a small academic? Where is there a place in this hall of mirrors for either personality or fraternity? Essay on psychology in Politics (New York). 4. All the ‘best people’ from the gentlemen’s clubs, and all the frantic Fascist captains, united in common hatred of Socialism and bestial horror at the rising tide of the mass revolutionary movement, have turned to acts of provocation, to foul incendiarism, to medieval legends of poisoned wells, to legalize their own destruction of proletarian organizations, and rouse the agitated petty-bourgeoise to chauvinistic fervor on behalf of the fight against the revolutionary way out of the crisis. Communist pamphlet. 5. If a new spirit is to be infused into this old country, there is one thorny and contentious reform which must be tackled, and that is the humanization and galvanization of the B.B.C. Timidity here will bespeak canker and atrophy of the soul. The heart of Britain may be sound and of strong beat, for instance, but the British lion’s roar at present is like that of Bottom in Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream – as gentle as any sucking dove. A virile new Britain cannot continue indefinitely to be traduced in the eyes or rather ears, of the world by the effete languors of Langham Place, brazenly masquerading as ‘standard English’. When the Voice of Britain is heard at nine o’clock, better far and infinitely less ludicrous to hear aitches honestly dropped than the present priggish, inflated, inhibited, school-ma’amish arch braying of blameless bashful mewing maidens! Letter in Tribune. Each of these passages has faults of its own, but, quite apart from avoidable ugliness, two qualities are common to all of them. The first is staleness of imagery; the other is lack of precision. The writer either has a meaning and cannot express it, or he inadvertently says something else, or he is almost indifferent as to whether his words mean anything or not. This mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence is the most marked characteristic of modern English prose, and especially of any kind of political writing. As soon as certain topics are raised, the concrete melts into the abstract and no one seems able to think of turns of speech that are not hackneyed: prose consists less and less of words chosen for the sake of their meaning, and more and more of phrases tacked together like the sections of a prefabricated hen-house. I list below, with notes and examples, various of the tricks by means of which the work of prose-construction is habitually dodged. Dying metaphors. A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image, while on the other hand a metaphor which is technically ‘dead’ (e. g. iron resolution) has in effect reverted to being an ordinary word and can generally be used without loss of vividness. But in between these two classes there is a huge dump of worn-out metaphors which have lost all evocative power and are merely used because they save people the trouble of inventing phrases for themselves. Examples are: Ring the changes on, take up the cudgels for, toe the line, ride roughshod over, stand shoulder to shoulder with, play into the hands of, no axe to grind, grist to the mill, fishing in troubled waters, on the order of the day, Achilles’ heel, swan song, hotbed. Many of these are used without knowledge of their meaning (what is a ‘rift’, for instance?), and incompatible metaphors are frequently mixed, a sure sign that the writer is not interested in what he is saying. Some metaphors now current have been twisted out of their original meaning without those who use them even being aware of the fact. For example, toe the line is sometimes written as tow the line. Another example is the hammer and the anvil, now always used with the implication that the anvil gets the worst of it. In real life it is always the anvil that breaks the hammer, never the other way about: a writer who stopped to think what he was saying would avoid perverting the original phrase. Operators, or verbal false limbs. These save the trouble of picking out appropriate verbs and nouns, and at the same time pad each sentence with extra syllables which give it an appearance of symmetry. Characteristic phrases are: render inoperative, militate against, prove unacceptable, make contact with, be subject to, give rise to, give grounds for, have the effect of, play a leading part (role) in, make itself felt, take effect, exhibit a tendency to, serve the purpose of, etc. etc. The keynote is the elimination of simple verbs. Instead of being a single word, such as break, stop, spoil, mend, kill, a verb becomes a phrase, made up of a noun or adjective tacked on to some general-purposes verb such as prove, serve, form, play, render. In addition, the passive voice is wherever possible used in preference to the active, and noun constructions are used instead of gerunds (by examination of instead of by examining). The range of verbs is further cut down by means of the -ize and de- formations, and banal statements are given an appearance of profundity by means of the not un- formation. Simple conjunctions and prepositions are replaced by such phrases as with respect to, having regard to, the fact that, by dint of, in view of, in the interests of, on the hypothesis that; and the ends of sentences are saved from anticlimax by such resounding commonplaces as greatly to be desired, cannot be left out of account, a development to be expected in the near future, deserving of serious consideration, brought to a satisfactory conclusion, and so on and so forth. Pretentious diction. Words like phenomenon, element, individual (as noun), objective, categorical, effective, virtual, basic, primary, promote, constitute, exhibit, exploit, utilize, eliminate, liquidate, are used to dress up simple statements and give an air of scientific impartiality to biassed judgements. Adjectives like epoch-making, epic, historic, unforgettable, triumphant, age-old, inevitable, inexorable, veritable, are used to dignify the sordid processes of international politics, while writing that aims at glorifying war usually takes on an archaic colour, its characteristic words being: realm, throne, chariot, mailed fist, trident, sword, shield, buckler, banner, jackboot, clarion. Foreign words and expressions such as cul de sac, ancien régime, deus ex machina, mutatis mutandis, status quo, Gleichschaltung, Weltanschauung, are used to give an air of culture and elegance. Except for the useful abbreviations i.e., e.g., and etc., there is no real need for any of the hundreds of foreign phrases now current in English. Bad writers, and especially scientific, political and sociological writers, are nearly always haunted by the notion that Latin or Greek words are grander than Saxon ones, and unnecessary words like expedite, ameliorate, predict, extraneous, deracinated, clandestine, sub-aqueous and hundreds of others constantly gain ground from their Anglo-Saxon opposite numbers[1]. The jargon peculiar to Marxist writing (hyena, hangman, cannibal, petty bourgeois, these gentry, lackey, flunkey, mad dog, White Guard, etc.) consists largely of words translated from Russian, German, or French; but the normal way of coining a new word is to use a Latin or Greek root with the appropriate affix and, where necessary, the -ize formation. It is often easier to make up words of this kind (deregionalize, impermissible, extramarital, non-fragmentatory and so forth) than to think up the English words that will cover one’s meaning. The result, in general, is an increase in slovenliness and vagueness. Meaningless words. In certain kinds of writing, particularly in art criticism and literary criticism, it is normal to come across long passages which are almost completely lacking in meaning[2]. Words like romantic, plastic, values, human, dead, sentimental, natural, vitality, as used in art criticism, are strictly meaningless, in the sense that they not only do not point to any discoverable object, but are hardly even expected to do so by the reader. When one critic writes, ‘The outstanding feature of Mr. X’s work is its living quality’, while another writes, ‘The immediately striking thing about Mr. X’s work is its peculiar deadness’, the reader accepts this as a simple difference opinion. If words like black and white were involved, instead of the jargon words dead and living, he would see at once that language was being used in an improper way. Many political words are similarly abused. The word Fascism has now no meaning except in so far as it signifies ‘something not desirable’. The words democracy, socialism, freedom, patriotic, realistic, justice, have each of them several different meanings which cannot be reconciled with one another. In the case of a word like democracy, not only is there no agreed definition, but the attempt to make one is resisted from all sides. It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using that word if it were tied down to any one meaning. Words of this kind are often used in a consciously dishonest way. That is, the person who uses them has his own private definition, but allows his hearer to think he means something quite different. Statements like Marshal Pétain was a true patriot, The Soviet press is the freest in the world, The Catholic Church is opposed to persecution, are almost always made with intent to deceive. Other words used in variable meanings, in most cases more or less dishonestly, are: class, totalitarian, science, progressive, reactionary, bourgeois, equality. Now that I have made this catalogue of swindles and perversions, let me give another example of the kind of writing that they lead to. This time it must of its nature be an imaginary one. I am going to translate a passage of good English into modern English of the worst sort. Here is a well-known verse from Ecclesiastes: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. Here it is in modern English: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account. This is a parody, but not a very gross one. Exhibit 3 above, for instance, contains several patches of the same kind of English. It will be seen that I have not made a full translation. The beginning and ending of the sentence follow the original meaning fairly closely, but in the middle the concrete illustrations – race, battle, bread – dissolve into the vague phrase ‘success or failure in competitive activities’. This had to be so, because no modern writer of the kind I am discussing – no one capable of using phrases like ‘objective considerations of contemporary phenomena’ – would ever tabulate his thoughts in that precise and detailed way. The whole tendency of modern prose is away from concreteness. Now analyse these two sentences a little more closely. The first contains 49 words but only 60 syllables, and all its words are those of everyday life. The second contains 38 words of 90 syllables: 18 of its words are from Latin roots, and one from Greek. The first sentence contains six vivid images, and only one phrase (‘time and chance’) that could be called vague. The second contains not a single fresh, arresting phrase, and in spite of its 90 syllables it gives only a shortened version of the meaning contained in the first. Yet without a doubt it is the second kind of sentence that is gaining ground in modern English. I do not want to exaggerate. This kind of writing is not yet universal, and outcrops of simplicity will occur here and there in the worst-written page. Still if you or I were told to write a few lines on the uncertainty of human fortunes, we should probably come much nearer to my imaginary sentence than to the one from Ecclesiastes. As I have tried to show, modern writing at its worst does not consist in picking out words for the sake of their meaning and inventing images in order to make the meaning clearer. It consists in gumming together long strips of words which have already been set in order by someone else, and making the results presentable by sheer humbug. The attraction of this way of writing is that it is easy. It is easier – even quicker, once you have the habit – to say In my opinion it is not an unjustifiable assumption that than to say I think. If you use ready-made phrases, you not only don’t have to hunt about for the words; you also don’t have to bother with the rhythms of your sentences, since these phrases are generally so arranged as to be more or less euphonious. When you are composing in a hurry – when you are dictating to a stenographer, for instance, or making a public speech – it is natural to fall into a pretentious, latinized style. Tags like a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind or a conclusion to which all of us would readily assent will save many a sentence from coming down with a bump. By using stale metaphors, similes and idioms, you save much mental effort, at the cost of leaving your meaning vague, not only for your reader but for yourself. This is the significance of mixed metaphors. The sole aim of a metaphor is to call up a visual image. When these images clash – as in The Fascist octopus has sung its swan song, the jackboot is thrown into the melting pot – it can be taken as certain that the writer is not seeing a mental image of the objects he is naming; in other words he is not really thinking. Look again at the examples I gave at the beginning of this essay. Professor Laski (1) uses five negatives in 53 words. One of these is superfluous, making nonsense of the whole passage, and in addition there is the slip alien for akin, making further nonsense, and several avoidable pieces of clumsiness which increase the general vagueness. Professor Hogben (2) plays ducks and drakes with a battery which is able to write prescriptions, and, while disapproving of the everyday phrase put up with, is unwilling to look egregious up in the dictionary and see what it means. (3), if one takes an uncharitable attitude towards it, is simply meaningless: probably one could work out its intended meaning by reading the whole of the article in which it occurs. In (4) the writer knows more or less what he wants to say, but an accumulation of stale phrases chokes him like tea-leaves blocking a sink. In (5) words and meaning have almost parted company. People who write in this manner usually have a general emotional meaning – they dislike one thing and want to express solidarity with another – but they are not interested in the detail of what they are saying. A scrupulous writer, in every sentence that he writes, will ask himself at least four questions, thus: What am I trying to say? What words will express it? What image or idiom will make it clearer? Is this image fresh enough to have an effect? And he will probably ask himself two more: Could I put it more shortly? Have I said anything that is avoidably ugly? But you are not obliged to go to all this trouble. You can shirk it by simply throwing your mind open and letting the ready-made phrases come crowding in. They will construct your sentences for you – even think your thoughts for you, to a certain extent – and at need they will perform the important service of partially concealing your meaning even from yourself. It is at this point that the special connection between politics and the debasement of language becomes clear. In our time it is broadly true that political writing is bad writing. Where it is not true, it will generally be found that the writer is some kind of rebel, expressing his private opinions, and not a ‘party line’. Orthodoxy, of whatever colour, seems to demand a lifeless, imitative style. The political dialects to be found in pamphlets, leading articles, manifestos, White Papers and the speeches of Under-Secretaries do, of course, vary from party to party, but they are all alike in that one almost never finds in them a fresh, vivid, home-made turn of speech. When one watches some tired hack on the platform mechanically repeating the familiar phrases – bestial atrocities, iron heel, blood-stained tyranny, free peoples of the world, stand shoulder to shoulder – one often has a curious feeling that one is not watching a live human being but some kind of dummy: a feeling which suddenly becomes stronger at moments when the light catches the speaker’s spectacles and turns them into blank discs which seem to have no eyes behind them. And this is not altogether fanciful. A speaker who uses that kind of phraseology has gone some distance toward turning himself into a machine. The appropriate noises are coming out of his larynx, but his brain is not involved as it would be if he were choosing his words for himself. If the speech he is making is one that he is accustomed to make over and over again, he may be almost unconscious of what he is saying, as one is when one utters the responses in church. And this reduced state of consciousness, if not indispensable, is at any rate favourable to political conformity. In our time, political speech and writing are largely the defence of the indefensible. Things like the continuance of British rule in India, the Russian purges and deportations, the dropping of the atom bombs on Japan, can indeed be defended, but only by arguments which are too brutal for most people to face, and which do not square with the professed aims of political parties. Thus political language has to consist largely of euphemism, question-begging and sheer cloudy vagueness. Defenceless villages are bombarded from the air, the inhabitants driven out into the countryside, the cattle machine-gunned, the huts set on fire with incendiary bullets: this is called pacification. Millions of peasants are robbed of their farms and sent trudging along the roads with no more than they can carry: this is called transfer of population or rectification of frontiers. People are imprisoned for years without trial, or shot in the back of the neck or sent to die of scurvy in Arctic lumber camps: this is called elimination of unreliable elements. Such phraseology is needed if one wants to name things without calling up mental pictures of them. Consider for instance some comfortable English professor defending Russian totalitarianism. He cannot say outright, ‘I believe in killing off your opponents when you can get good results by doing so’. Probably, therefore, he will say something like this: While freely conceding that the Soviet régime exhibits certain features which the humanitarian may be inclined to deplore, we must, I think, agree that a certain curtailment of the right to political opposition is an unavoidable concomitant of transitional periods, and that the rigours which the Russian people have been called upon to undergo have been amply justified in the sphere of concrete achievement. The inflated style is itself a kind of euphemism. A mass of Latin words falls upon the facts like soft snow, blurring the outlines and covering up all the details. The great enemy of clear language is insincerity. When there is a gap between one’s real and one’s declared aims, one turns as it were instinctively to long words and exhausted idioms, like a cuttlefish spurting out ink. In our age there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics’. All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred and schizophrenia. When the general atmosphere is bad, language must suffer. I should expect to find – this is a guess which I have not sufficient knowledge to verify – that the German, Russian and Italian languages have all deteriorated in the last ten or fifteen years, as a result of dictatorship. But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought. A bad usage can spread by tradition and imitation, even among people who should and do know better. The debased language that I have been discussing is in some ways very convenient. Phrases like a not unjustifiable assumption, leaves much to be desired, would serve no good purpose, a consideration which we should do well to bear in mind, are a continuous temptation, a packet of aspirins always at one’s elbow. Look back through this essay, and for certain you will find that I have again and again committed the very faults I am protesting against. By this morning’s post I have received a pamphlet dealing with conditions in Germany. The author tells me that he ‘felt impelled’ to write it. I open it at random, and here is almost the first sentence that I see: ‘(The Allies) have an opportunity not only of achieving a radical transformation of Germany’s social and political structure in such a way as to avoid a nationalistic reaction in Germany itself, but at the same time of laying the foundations of a co-operative and unified Europe.’ You see, he ‘feels impelled’ to write – feels, presumably, that he has something new to say – and yet his words, like cavalry horses answering the bugle, group themselves automatically into the familiar dreary pattern. This invasion of one’s mind by ready-made phrases (lay the foundations, achieve a radical transformation) can only be prevented if one is constantly on guard against them, and every such phrase anaesthetizes a portion of one’s brain. I said earlier that the decadence of our language is probably curable. Those who deny this would argue, if they produced an argument at all, that language merely reflects existing social conditions, and that we cannot influence its development by any direct tinkering with words and constructions. So far as the general tone or spirit of a language goes, this may be true, but it is not true in detail. Silly words and expressions have often disappeared, not through any evolutionary process but owing to the conscious action of a minority. Two recent examples were explore every avenue and leave no stone unturned, which were killed by the jeers of a few journalists. There is a long list of fly-blown metaphors which could similarly be got rid of if enough people would interest themselves in the job; and it should also be possible to laugh the not un- formation out of existence[3], to reduce the amount of Latin and Greek in the average sentence, to drive out foreign phrases and strayed scientific words, and, in general, to make pretentiousness unfashionable. But all these are minor points. The defence of the English language implies more than this, and perhaps it is best to start by saying what it does not imply. To begin with it has nothing to do with archaism, with the salvaging of obsolete words and turns of speech, or with the setting up of a ‘standard English’ which must never be departed from. On the contrary, it is especially concerned with the scrapping of every word or idiom which has outworn its usefulness. It has nothing to do with correct grammar and syntax, which are of no importance so long as one makes one’s meaning clear or with the avoidance of Americanisms, or with having what is called a ‘good prose style’. On the other hand it is not concerned with fake simplicity and the attempt to make written English colloquial. Nor does it even imply in every case preferring the Saxon word to the Latin one, though it does imply using the fewest and shortest words that will cover one’s meaning. What is above all needed is to let the meaning choose the word, and not the other way about. In prose, the worst thing one can do with words is to surrender them. When you think of a concrete object, you think wordlessly, and then, if you want to describe the thing you have been visualising, you probably hunt about till you find the exact words that seem to fit it. When you think of something abstract you are more inclined to use words from the start, and unless you make a conscious effort to prevent it, the existing dialect will come rushing in and do the job for you, at the expense of blurring or even changing your meaning. Probably it is better to put off using words as long as possible and get one’s meanings as clear as one can through pictures and sensations. Afterward one can choose – not simply accept - the phrases that will best cover the meaning, and then switch round and decide what impression one’s words are likely to make on another person. This last effort of the mind cuts out all stale or mixed images, all prefabricated phrases, needless repetitions, and humbug and vagueness generally. But one can often be in doubt about the effect of a word or a phrase, and one needs rules that one can rely on when instinct fails. I think the following rules will cover most cases: i. Never use a metaphor, simile or other figure of speech which you are used to seeing in print. ii. Never use a long word where a short one will do. iii. If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out. iv. Never use the passive where you can use the active. v. Never use a foreign phrase, a scientific word or a jargon word if you can think of an everyday English equivalent. vi. Break any of these rules sooner than say anything outright barbarous. These rules sound elementary, and so they are, but they demand a deep change of attitude in anyone who has grown used to writing in the style now fashionable. One could keep all of them and still write bad English, but one could not write the kind of stuff that I quoted in those five specimens at the beginning of this article. I have not here been considering the literary use of language, but merely language as an instrument for expressing and not for concealing or preventing thought. Stuart Chase and others have come near to claiming that all abstract words are meaningless, and have used this as a pretext for advocating a kind of political quietism. Since you don’t know what Fascism is, how can you struggle against Fascism? One need not swallow such absurdities as this, but one ought to recognize that the present political chaos is connected with the decay of language, and that one can probably bring about some improvement by starting at the verbal end. If you simplify your English, you are freed from the worst follies of orthodoxy. You cannot speak any of the necessary dialects, and when you make a stupid remark its stupidity will be obvious, even to yourself. Political language – and with variations this is true of all political parties, from Conservatives to Anarchists – is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. One cannot change this all in a moment, but one can at least change one’s own habits, and from time to time one can even, if one jeers loudly enough, send some worn-out and useless phrase – some jackboot, Achilles’ heel, hotbed, melting pot, acid test, veritable inferno or other lump of verbal refuse – into the dustbin where it belongs. [1] An interesting illustration of this is the way in which the English flower names which were in use till very recently are being ousted by Greek ones, snapdragon becoming antirrhinum, forget-me-not becoming myosotis, etc. It is hard to see any practical reason for this change of fashion: it is probably due to an instinctive turning-away from the more homely word and a vague feeling that the Greek word is scientific. [2] Example: ‘Comfort’s catholicity of perception and image, strangely Whitmanesque in range, almost the exact opposite in aesthetic compulsion, continues to evoke that trembling atmospheric accumulative hinting at a cruel, an inexorably serene timelessness… Wrey Gardiner scores by aiming at simple bullseyes with precision. Only they are not so simple, and through this contented sadness runs more than the surface bitter-sweet of resignation’. (Poetry Quarterly.) [3] One can cure oneself of the not un- formation by memorizing this sentence: A not unblack dog was chasing a not unsmall rabbit across a not ungreen field. Horizon, April 1946

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Church Leaders say No to EDL

Church leaders have united to deliver a clear message to the English Defence League that it will not be welcomed in Norwich if a planned protest march goes ahead in the city. The right-wing movement, which opposes what it considers to be the spread of militant Islamism, is planning its first-ever march through Norwich on Saturday, November 10. It was organised in response to Norwich City Council’s decision to ban the Rev Alan Clifford of the Norwich Reformed Church from using a market stall on Hay Hill, where it was believed that anti-Islamic literature was being distributed. But the EDL, whose marches are often marred by violence, believe the ban infringed freedom of speech and arranged the protest to demonstrate against it. Now the leaders of all Christian denominations in Norwich have joined other community and religious groups in making it clear that any organisation exhibiting intolerance of any of the city’s diverse faiths would not be welcomed. The following joint statement was issued: “The intention of the English Defence League to mount a demonstration in Norwich is entirely unwelcome. Norwich has a long history of welcoming strangers, often in considerable numbers. The integration of so many different groups into the life of this fine city is what gives Norwich such richness in its life today. This is a cause for celebration, and we must not allow this honourable tradition to be broken.” The signatories were: -Fr David Bagstaff, diocesan administrator of the Diocese of East Anglia (Roman Catholic) -Major David Jackson, divisional commander of the Eastern Region, Salvation Army -The Rt Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich (Church of England) -The Rev Richard Lewis, regional minister of the Eastern Baptist Association -John Myhill, on behalf of the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) -The Very Rev Graham Smith, Dean of Norwich (Church of England) -The Rev Graham Thompson, chairman of the East Anglian District of the Methodist Church -Fr James Walsh, Dean of the Cathedral Church of John the Baptist (Roman Catholic) -The Rev Paul Whittle, moderator of the Eastern Synod of the United Reformed Church The Ven Jan McFarlane, Archdeacon of Norwich, added: “We pride ourselves on being open and welcoming and that is a great tradition that we want to continue, so the idea that there might be a march from an organisation such as the EDL goes against everything that Norwich stands for. All the church leaders signed the statement immediately. They all agreed that they do not want anything that says people here are not welcoming to everybody. It is just not Norwich.” Mr Whittle said the United Reformed Church, which he represents, had been mistaken for the similarly-named Norwich Reformed Church, which had sparked the controversy. He said: “I am aware that there has been some confusion between the two, but the United Reformed Church is a completely distinct entity from the Norwich Reformed Church. We would want to work in partnership with all religious leaders and respect the faiths of others. “We all really value the diversity that is found in Norwich. We would want to link with people of all faiths and we as church leaders would not be happy to support people who want to break that up; to suggest that people of different faiths are not welcome.” The EDL said it wanted to exercise its right to protest at what it sees as the “unfair” treatment of the Norwich Reformed Church. An EDL spokesman said: “The English Defence League will be showing their support for the church and protesting at Norwich City Council’s actions against the church and everyone else’s freedom of speech.” A Norfolk Constabulary spokesman said the EDL had sent a formal notification that it intends to stage the protest on November 10. “There is a legal right to freedom of expression and assembly in this country so police will be working to facilitate any peaceful protests or assemblies on this day whilst also seeking to enable others to go about their lawful business,” he said. “We understand there may be concerns and feelings of vulnerability within a number of communities and we will be looking to work closely with the organisers, our partners and community leaders to help address these.” Local community organisation We Are Norwich, a coalition of faith groups, trade unions, political parties and activists, has said it will work with the police to hold a peaceful counter-demonstration which celebrates the city’s diverse cultures, should the march go ahead. Meanwhile members of Norwich’s Muslim community say they are alarmed at the prospect of the EDL visiting their home city. Jamal Sealey of Chaplefield Mosque said: “The Norwich Muslim Community has been a part of this city for over 30 years and welcome the opportunity to work with the other members of the We Are Norwich group to ensure this city remains safe for people of all backgrounds, beliefs and ethnicities.”

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Be prepared

Be Prepared - Is your community ready for anything? A Focus for prayers and sermons on October 7th 2012 October 7th sees the start of Norfolk Prepared Week-a week of action to build awareness of the vital work being done to prepare for any emergency situation hitting our county-from severe weather to terrorist attack, from a dangerous flu epidemic to a plane or train crash. It is an opportunity to pay tribute to and give thanks for the emergency services, the military, utility providers, emergency planners and decision-makers working tirelessly behind the scenes preparing for the worst case scenario through exercises and developing protocols which could literally save lives, learning the lessons of incidents elsewhere. It is an opportunity to explore ways than we can work together to make our communities more resilient and cohesive, ensuring the needs of our less able and vulnerable are considered and remembered, and identifying and managing risks. Consider whether there is anything you can do to help. What skills could members of your congregation bring to the table? It is a time to forge partnerships with parish council, local authorities, government agencies and voluntary sector groups such as the Red Cross and St John’s Ambulance. It is also a chance to raise awareness of the Norfolk and Waveney Churches Together Ecumenical Emergency Incident Team (EEIT) - a group of clergy and lay people accredited, trained, supported and ready to be called into action at any time. The team is convened by Rev Simon Wilson in his capacity as County Ecumenical Officer. Please pray for the work of the EEIT and other faith-based organisations whether Christian like the Salvation Army or from minority faith communities; for those involved in resilience work and preparing for what could be very difficult and traumatic work providing humanitarian assistance during an incident and in promoting community recovery in the aftermath. Supporting the injured, the bereaved, the homeless, the evacuated and the unsettled. Providing practical, pastoral and spiritual support. Ensuring that religious needs are met. Pray also for Chaplains in our hospitals, supporting the police, fire, ambulance and coastguard services, the military, the coroner’s court, the airport and county hall-building relationships and raising awareness-being ready for anything. Pray for disaster management across the world-for those from Norfolk serving in overseas contexts. Give thanks that Norfolk is generally a safe place to live and work but pray against complacency - what would you do if the services you rely on suddenly weren’t there anymore? Are you ready for anything? Find out more at : Contact O God our father Our refuge and strength in times of trouble We thank you for all you provide for us, for those who care for us and those who keep us safe. Guide those preparing for emergency situations Make our communities cohesive and resilient places where we care for our neighbour Prepare and support us for those times when things go wrong and protect us from harm. Bless the dedication and skills of the emergency services and sustain the ministry of chaplains and the ecumenical emergency incident team In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit Amen

Friday, April 06, 2012

Lib Dem President Tim Farron MP responds to open letter

Thanks very much for the letter, I will raise this directly with Nick and his team.

I think you probably know my views on this matter. As a Liberal I was extremely concerned by the press reports of new surveillance powers potentially to be included in the Queens Speech.

I also agreed very much with Julian Huppert’s article on Lib Dem Voice — there must be no question of the authorities having universal internet surveillance powers.

We are reasonable people and we should be prepared to look at what will now be draft legislation with an open mind, but we should be prepared to put our foot down and pull the plug if we consider the proposals to be illiberal. We must not as Liberal Democrats fall into a position of trying to amend, unpick or apologise for a piece of authoritarian Tory policy.

Over the last couple of years we have made some mistakes, which is OK so long as we learn from them. This is our opportunity to put those lessons into practice. Britain must be more liberal and free as a result of Liberal Democrats in power, not less. The proposals as they were first set out undoubtedly cross a red line, we’ve crossed enough of those already – no more.
Open Letter to Tim Farron MP, Liberal Democrat President

Re: Concerns over our liberal identity and mission in government

We understand that the leaked policy on RIPA internet surveillance is now being reviewed more thoroughly, rather than rushed into the Queen's speech. As such we would like you, as our president, to convey the following thoughts to appropriate Liberal Democrat ministers.

The Home Secretary wrote in the Sun on Tuesday that "Only suspected terrorists, paedophiles or serious criminals will be investigated." This is akin to saying "if you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about." If the hacking scandal and ongoing Leveson inquiry has taught us anything, it is that argument is demonstrably false.

At first hacking was tolerated by the public when it was only celebrities and politicians who were victims. It was only after it was exposed that private individuals were hacked that there was public outrage. Even the Queen's own police protection sold information about her to the News of the World. If our head of state cannot be safeguarded from corrupt police officers, what chance has the rest of us got? This is our fear over these leaked proposals; we believe that extending universal, rather than targeted internet surveillance powers to the police, exposes innocent citizens to corrupt sections of authority. We agree with Julian Huppert MP when he argues that the police should only be allowed to access private internet usage when they have obtained a "named, specific and time-limited warrant" from a judge or minister.

In a February 2011 interview with the Guardian Nick Clegg said: "You should not trust government – full stop. The natural inclination of government is to hoard power and information; to accrue power to itself in the name of the public good." And later: Clegg says the restoration of liberty is ongoing, and urges campaigners to "hold the government's feet to the fire". We are attempting to do just that with this letter. Surely an important part of our party's mission is to defend and protect the civil rights of our fellow citizens, and if we fail, our party's liberal identity will be put at grave risk. We urge our ministers to heed our call – block these illiberal proposals and lead the charge for reform of RIPA to ensure our citizens enjoy the fair, free and open society we seek to build and safeguard.

Kind regards,

1. Cllr Lev Eakins, Manchester City Council 2. Cllr Janet Battye, Leader, Calderdale MBC 3. Cllr Guy Poultney, Cabinet Member, Bristol City Council 4. Cllr Anood Al-Samerai, Leader, Southwark Liberal Democrat council group 5. Cllr Iain Roberts, Cabinet member, Stockport MBC 6. Cllr Prue Bray, Leader, Wokingham Liberal Democrat council group 7. Cllr Tom Papworth, Leader, Bromley Liberal Democrat council group 8. Cllr Erica Kemp, Liverpool City Council 9. Cllr Alex Folkes, Deputy Leader Cornwall Liberal Democrat council group 10. Cllr. Tony Harwood, Deputy Leader Maidstone Liberal Democrat council group 11. Cllr Tom Simon, Deputy Leader, Camden Liberal Democrat council group 12. Cllr Tom Morrison, Chair Liverpool Wavetree 13. Cllr. Neil Taylor, Chair Altrincham and Sale West 14. Cllr Victor Chamberlain, Manchester City Council 15. Cllr James Baker, Calderdale 16. Cllr Nigel Ashton, Southport 17. Cllr Michelle Pearce, Wiltshire 18. Cllr Colin Rosenstiel, Cambridge 19. Cllr Darren Thornton, Richmond 20. Cllr Colin Strong, Spelthorne 21. Mark Pack, London, Co-Editor Lib-Dem Voice 22. Stephen Tall, Oxford, Co-Editor Lib-Dem Voice 23. Paul Walter, Newbury, Co-Editor Lib-Dem Voice 24. Mark Thompson, Bracknell, LD Blogger 25. Richard Morris, Richmond, LD Blogger 26. Zadok Day, Co-Chair Liberal Reform, Secretary Bury LDs 27. Linda Jack, Member of FPC and SLF Council and Chair Liberal Left 28. Kelly-Marie Blundell, Vice Chair of Ashford, Diversity Champion for the SE Region and South East SLF 29. Conor McKenzie, Harrogate, England Convenor Liberal Youth 30. Hannah Bettsworth, Liberal Youth Scotland Ordinary Executive Member-elect 31. Sara Lloyd Williams, Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru Liberal Youth Wales Chair 32. Tom Lister, Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru Liberal Youth Wales Vice Chair/Treasurer 33. Linden Parker, Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru Liberal Youth Wales Communication Officer 34. Cadan ap Tomos, Aberystwyth, Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru Liberal Youth Wales Young Members' Officer 35. Rory Roberson, Ieuenctid Rhyddfrydol Cymru Liberal Youth Wales Branch Officer 36. Natasha Chapman, East Midlands Regional Liberal Youth chair 37. David Cope, LD Youth South West Regional Chair 38. Joe Donnelly, Rossendale, Chair of Durham Liberal Youth 39. Daniel Waterfield, Liverpool, Co-Chair Liverpool LD Youth 40. Madeleine Spink, Chair York University LDs 41. Alan Belmore, Horsham (Former Chair, Liberal Youth) 42. Richard Gadsden, Manchester, Exec Member NW Region 43. Josh Allen, York Central (Press Secretary) 44. Tracy Connell, Newcastle, Regional Officer 45. Neil Derby, Chair of Preston Liberal Democrats 46. Gemma Roulston, Reigate, LDDA officer 47. Paul Wild, Walsall, MDO 48. William Jones, Chair, Wythenshawe and Sale East 49. Steve Middleton, Treasurer, Salford Lib Dems 50. Jennie Rigg, Branch secretary, Brighouse Liberal Democrats 51. Steven Haynes, Northfield Liberal Democrats, MDO 52. Joy Winder, Manchester, former Councillor 53. Karen Chilvers, Brentwood, Essex 54. Maria Pretzler, Swansea & Gower 55. Lance Idiabor-Moses, Leeds Central and Yorkshire and the Humber Liberal Youth 56. Kevin White, Liverpool 57. Penny Burgess, Cotswolds 58. Peter Reisdorf, West Kirby 59. Graham Hopgood, Hastings & St Leonards 60. John Richardson, Newark 61. Iain Donaldson, Manchester 62. Tim Allan, Newcastle Central 63. Alan Neil Webb, Amber Valley 64. Kat Dadswell, Liverpool 65. Bevis Maun, Manchester 66. Stuart Wheatcroft, Carlisle 67. James Rowe, Barnsley 68. Gareth Peter Jones, Swansea 69. Graeme Cowie, Glasgow 70. Martin Veart, Edinburgh 71. Louise Shaw, Stockport 72. Leon Duveen, Bassetlaw & Sherwood 73. Ian Morris, Doncaster 74. Jason Kay, Folkestone 75. Stephen Clarke, Tower Hamlets 76. Jack Cartwright, Brighton 77. Andy Spracklen, Manchester 78. Jock Coats, Oxford 79. Andrew Hardwick, Manchester 80. George Potter, Guildford 81. Hywel Morgan, Calderdale 82. Harry Matthews, Sheffield 83. Callum Morton, Colchester 84. Robert Pitt, London 85. Colin Walklin, Canterbury 86. Rev Simon Wilson, Broadland 87. James Howitt, Salisbury 88. Jonathan Bates, Southampton 89. Andrew Tennant, Charnwood 90. Jonathan Lancaster, York Central 91. Gary McKenna, Salford 92. David Roberts-Jones, Cheadle 93. Riff Devin, Dudley 94. Lee Thacker, Rhondda Cynon Taff 95. Iain Coleman, Edinburgh 96. Martin Tod, Winchester 97. Shaun Young, Portsmouth 98. Martin Gentles, Battersea 99. Caron Lindsay, Dunfermline & West Fife 100. Valerie Talacko, Prague 101. Rob Parsons, Lewes 102. Ron Stafford, Warrington 103. Will Howells, London. 104. Richard Struck, North Bedfordshire 105. Lois Norton, Wealden 106. Frank Little, Aberavon & Neath Liberal Democrats 107. Andrew Hickey, Manchester 108. Ed Trelinski, Rugby 109. Leslie K. Clark, Aberdeen South 110. Sam Bennet, Greater Reading Lib Dems 111. Aidan McGuire, Southport Lib Dems 112. Bob Browning, Ealing