Archive for the ‘Political reviews’ Category

Anti-trafficking conference

October 11, 2011

On Saturday, 15th October I am going to Anti Trafficking Conference in Reading sponsored by Catherine Bearder MEP and the Women Liberal Democrats.
This event is not political, open to men and women

‘We would like to raise awareness of the issue and to help bring people together who want to see trafficking stopped.

Trafficking is happening all over the country, it could even be happening down your street. Would you like learn how to do something about it– if so please attend our conference, listen to our expert speakers and gain the tools so that you and your community can work together to make a difference.

To register for this event please email or call 020 7227 1208

Trafficking exists in your town.

What can your community do to help?


Ret. Supt Bernie Gravett: MET Police
Julia Immonen: Sport Against Trafficking
Debbie Beadle: ECPAT UK

I am really looking forward to it! Hope to see some of you there! If you can’t make it to Reading, come back here for the report of the conference.


Emergency motion on Human trafficking

September 16, 2010

I’ve gone through the arguments on the new Directive in my previous post

Cameron’s comments at PMQs yesterday showed that the current government thinking is not to opt in to this. This may be our only chance to change it. The motion which I drafted up is on the ballot for emergency motions on Sunday.

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported so far, but now we need to try to make sure that it is picked for Wednesday morning debate.

Ballot papers will be published in Sunday’s Conference Daily, and should be returned to the ballot box in the auditorium between 09.00 and 13.00 on Sunday 19th September. If you are in Liverpool on Sunday please support the fight against human trafficking and tell your friends 🙂

The motion itself:

‘Conference notes that on 31st August 2010 the Home Office announced that the Coalition Government will not opt in to the new draft EU Directive on Human Trafficking, which repeals Framework Decision 2002/629/JHA.

Conference notes that the new directive includes a series of measures protecting victims of trafficking, such as non-punishment of victims, measures to provide compensation and medical and psychological assistance.

Conference notes that on 16th June the Anti-trafficking monitoring body, comprising of charities such as Amnesty International, ECPAT UK and Anti-Slavery International described the Government strategy as ‘not fit for purpose’ and potentially discriminatory.

Conference believes that not opting in to the directive will harm international efforts to combat human trafficking.

Conference therefore resolves to:

1. Reaffirm the Liberal Democrats’ long standing opposition to all forms of human trafficking.

2. Call on Liberal Democrat ministers to argue strongly for the Coalition Government to opt in to the new directive.’

A call to the Liberal Democrats

September 1, 2010

On the 31 August 2010, the Home Office confirmed that the government will not opt-in to draft European laws on human trafficking.

On 29 March 2010 the European Commission tabled a proposal for a new Directive on trafficking in human beings aimed at ensuring successful prosecution, better protection of and assistance to victims, and prevention of trafficking.,

Among the new measures are proposals for

–   non-punishment of the victims for unlawful activities such the use of false documents in which they have been involved for being subjected to by traffickers.

–   specific treatment for particularly vulnerable victims aimed at preventing secondary victimisation (no visual contact with the defendant, no questioning on private life, no unnecessary repetition of the testimony, etc.), police protection of victims, legal counselling also aimed to enable victims to claim compensation; special protective measures are envisaged for children such as holding interviews in a friendly environment.

–    providing victims with shelters, medical and psychological assistance, information, interpretation services.

The new Directive can be see here

The Home Office claims that ‘it will make very little difference to the way the UK tackles the problem’ but according to charities, including Amnesty International the UK anti-trafficking measures are ‘not fit for purpose’

A Home Office Spokesman went on to say that: ‘by not opting in now.. we.. avoid being bound by measures that are against our interests.’

Liberal Democrat MEP and anti-trafficking campaigner Catherine Bearder made a good point: “human trafficking doesn’t just affect other parts of the world. It isn’t just someone else’s problem; it’s our problem and this report shows it’s happening on the doorsteps of South East England.” “Women smuggled into the UK often don’t know they will be used as prostitutes, but are forced into selling their bodies to pay off a £30,000 ‘debt-bond’.”

Surely, tackling these problems is not against our interest? Also, I thought it was about protecting victims, rather than protecting the government.

So why wont our government ministers sign the damn thing?

In previous centuries liberals were instrumental to the abolition of the slave trade. Trafficking is modern day slavery.

Please, let’s remember what we are about as a party: we are in favor of Europe and internationalism; we are against organised crime, especially traficking. We are committed to social equality and helping most vulnerable people.

We are a democratic party so we as members can change party policy. I need help to submit and support an emergency motion at the conference to urge ministers to sign this directive.  Please e-mail me if you can help.

10 lessons of Barack Obama’s campaign

August 9, 2010

Short summary of first few chapters from David Plouffe’s book ‘The Audicity to win’

  1. Grassroots campaign.

    a) Put a premium on local volunteers. ‘A staff is not an organisation. A staff is there to support a local organisation.’

    b) Send the message to your volunteers that they should consider the campaign a movement – their movement. ‘Get busy on your own. Take the campaign into your own hands.’

    c) Local supporters should be out early and often

    d)Attract people who want to be there for the right reasons. Political campaigns consume lives. People signing up should be aware of this.

    e) When people asked how they could help, tell them that nothing is more important than getting additional people signed up on the site so you could communicater with them and try to convert them to donors and volunteers.

    f) Make volunteers feel that their effort is valued.

    g) Send state-of-the-race memos (sometimes in video form) directly to your supporters via e-mail

  2. Make sure that the voters and the press corps understand why the candidate is running before somebody else fills in that canvas.

  3. Simple campaign structure

    a)Clear chain of command

    b)Impose a salary cap – saves valuable time

  4. Increase the database.

    a) Diverse events filled with the type of people who traditionally did not attend political events

    b) ‘Low-dollar’ fundraising events – cheap tickets. More people can see your candidate. Treat these citizen fundraisers as no less important than your larger raisers.

    c) Make sure that communication with donors wasnt just about money but was a regular dialogue, so that they were on the campaign’s thinking and trajectory.

  5. Know more about youself than your opponents and the media do.

  6. Internet – a message tool that would let you speak to voters as well as an organisational net

  7. People dont like to be told the election is over before it started. No ‘I’m in it to win it’ attitude

  8. Most important asset in any campaign – candidate’s time. Learn to prioritise.

  9. Sell merchandise

  10. Communicate with the voters. Answer the questions. (Not answering questions ’cause we are afraid our answers wont be popular just won’t do it’)

I hope it is accurate and helpful. This book does not teach how to find a candidate as awesome as Obama though. 😦