We store cookies on your device to make sure we give you the best experience on this website. I'm fine with this - Turn cookies off
Switch to an accessible version of this website which is easier to read. (requires cookies)

Pub & Politics Meeting @ Severn Bore PH - Thursday 1st November 2018

November 6, 2018 9:32 PM
By Jonathan Gault

The meeting took place in the bar of the pub which was not busy at the time. We were offered the skittle alley if the pub had been noisy but the bar proved a more congenial setting and the general level of skittle skills were not thought to be sufficient to keep attendees warm. Seven members turned up including a new member and spouse who were most welcome. This forum welcomes anyone who is prepared to discuss issues in a constructive, even controversial way and is not limited to party members.

To warm up I asked everyone to put forward an issue of politics or policy with which they disagreed.

The following came forward

  • Fracking
  • We should stop worrying about pleasing people.
  • The party structure in politics.
  • Inability to target issues across the party.

Lively debate followed. It was agreed that the party should be prepared to tackle the hard stuff which would improve the nation and the planet. The Lib Dem opposition to Brexit is a case in point. Leaders do not necessarily follow the popular line but persuade others to follow their cause. [Churchill on disarmament during the 1930s for example]

Local government was discussed with taxation being an issue. Council Tax is a means of raising revenue and Land Value Tax was put forward as a possible means of taxation. Liz agreed to give presentation to the next meeting on this subject so it could be properly understood.

The Referendum and the Single Transferable Vote passed through the members' exacting political filter and the recent suggestion that the party should admit to everything that went wrong during the coalition was floated - Augean Stables or what? "Tuition fees" was a subject that could not be missed in this context. (This subject has been discussed in some detail in a previous meeting).

The subject of the legalisation of cannabis was discussed briefly.

Fracking - the party policy is against and generally the members present were against, although those who would sanction fracking agreed that it would be a temporary measure until renewables took over to avoid 70% of the nation's gas being sent by ship from the Middle East or by pipeline from Russia while resisting the extraction of gas from the Bowland Basin which contains enough gas to maintain the nation's energy requirements for many years. Some years ago the Lib Dems were against Nuclear Power - it was a Lib Dem Energy Minister who approved the final construction of Hinckley Point and the possibility of further nuclear power generators - plus ├ža change.

Gill brought up the issue of Party Structure. The new supporter system and the leadership succession were subjects of comment - putative policy generally supported. The fact that "Supporters" should not have to be party members per se was generally accepted as a great step forward in diluting the old party structure, customs and attitudes. "First Past the Post" elections were not conducive to good government in the modern day and although it was generally felt the coalition had done nothing for the Lib Dems - the smaller parties always seem to come out badly - coalition was not of itself a bad form of government.

The next meeting will be on Friday 7th December at 7.30pm at the Severn Bore PH. Minsterworth. Leading the discussion will be Liz on Land Valuation Tax.