Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Calling all voting reps to back Equal Citizenship!

This is a shout out to all Lib Dem federal conference voting reps to urgently request your help. Don't worry, it's nothing too arduous - I just need to find four more voting reps to sponsor a motion.

The motion in question can be found here.

I've written the motion to try and flesh out our disability policy and our welfare policy so that we have something a bit more substantial in our manifesto when we go into 2015. At the moment our welfare and disability policy is basically just a couple of paragraphs of good intentions but no concrete ideas. And the only time disabled people are mentioned at all in our pocket guide to policy is in one paragraph where we propose making the winter fuel allowance to disabled people. Admirable, but not really adequate if it's our sole policy on such a big issue.

So the motion I've written is trying to go a little bit of the way towards giving us a few concrete policy ideas in this area. At the core of it is the idea of Equal Citizenship - of making sure that disabled people and the long term ill are empowered to be able to enjoy full and equal participation in the society, something which the rest of us take for granted.

But the deadline for submitting a motion for debate at this year's autumn conference in Brighton is this Wednesday. That means there's just one day left to gather the required 10 voting reps in order to get the policy debated.

I've already got six seven voting reps so I only need four three more. But time is absolutely of the essence. If you're a voting rep, please get in contact with your name, your local party and your membership number so I can add you to the list of sponsors.

If you're not a voting rep but still a Lib Dem then please forward this to any voting reps you know to see if they'd be willing to back it please.

For contact purposes, here's email: wpotter[dot]george[at]gmail[dot]com

As I said, time is of the essence so, if you're interested in sponsoring the motion, please try and get in touch by this (Tuesday) evening at the latest.

And, to anyone who's reading this, please retweet it and share it as widely as possible. The last major Lib Dem policy motion on disability was in 1999 - thirteen years later it's definitely time for us to debate disability again and to make sure that we have policies which remain up to date and relevant.

At the end of the day, we can't claim to be a serious party of government without at least a semi-detailed welfare policy. This motion is far from being the solution but would at least give us something to talk about in 2015 and the motion making it to conference would at least give us the chance to properly debate welfare policy - something which is probably well overdue.

UPDATE: Success! I now have 13 voting reps backing the motion so there shouldn't be any obstacle to submitting the motion to the Federal Conference Committee tomorrow. A big thank you to everyone who helped :)

UPDATE 2: The motion has just been submitted to the FCC. I'll do a blogpost later this afternoon with all the details. In the meantime, thanks very much to everyone who's helped get the motion this fa :)

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