Monday 2 May 2011

The Team

Its a little poem I wrote on a train... hope its not too soppy

The Team
I got off the train at Longniddry station
The sun getting ready to set over the scottish nation
I sat on the steps in the pouring rain
Brimming with joy at seeing the team again
The car wizzed into sight
I saw all of you grinning bright
5 minutes earlier I was alone
Now I know I had came home

The next three days
In summer haze
I laughed, I cried
And leafleted until I died
The nights crammed with revision
Although Julia distracted me from learning my division
It was hard work you know it
But I know I loved it
I searched for so long
But now you guys made me realise where I belong

Soon it was at an end
How time flies makes the mind bend
I must of hugged you all until you died
And at the station I know you cried
As the sun burnt bright
I saw you drive out of sight
Parting from you is never fun
And my tears glistened in the afternoon sun
So that was goodbye
It was heartbreaking I wont lie
And the memories will stay for all time
Untilthe eternal clock sounds its last chime

To those of you who this is dedicated to, you know who you are. Thank you guys so much it was a fantastic time

Wednesday 13 April 2011

Oh Yes... Even Lib Demmerry made it into an essay

Coalition- Make or Break for the Lib Dems

How can the Liberal Democrats support the Conservatives in government? How can a left wing party join forces with the party that spawned Margaret Thatcher? I get asked these questions an awful lot and to tell you the truth, I find them hard to answer. I find it hard it hard to comprehend how this coalition works. The two parties, the Lib Dems and the conservatives, are in two totally different corners of the ideological boxing ring. The answer to this conundrum of how this government works is simple, compromise. Just bow the compromises are compromising the Lib Dems. So the question on everybody’s lips is will this be make or break for the Lib Dems?

Personally I think this is the time for the Lib Dems to break out of their small party shell. It’s a chance for the party to go “Look we can govern responsibly and solve crises like the biggest peace time deficit the U.K have ever had.” Just this once in a lifetime chance comes with its danger. The biggest one is looming over the Lib Dem’s heads like a rather large storm cloud. The threat of the Tories consuming the smaller Liberal Democrat party should not be underestimated. To the general public the dividing lines between the blue team and the yellow team are becoming more blurred as time goes along, especially after key Lib Dem flagship policies like the abolition of tuition fees hit the policy chopping block and the party’s opposition to the 20% VAT rate seemed to have dissolved. Yes to the general public we must seem like the Conservatives with a different coloured rosette. That image will go over time. The reason I am certain of this is that the coalition partners are at their core fundamentally different; the roots are different, the basic ideology is very different and the Lib Dems take great pride in their party and won’t let it be consumed by anyone. So keep this in mind, while the Lib Dem ministers have to compromise on the big stage, the ordinary MPS and members will continue to fight the Tories with all their might. Even though Nick Clegg, the Lib Dem leader, may be palling around with the Tories, he still must do one thing. Answer to the feisty grassroots who are not afraid to speak their minds.

That brings me quiet neatly onto the sturdy, steadfast, proud grassroots that are the Lib Dem’s conscience, soul and heart, that I am proudly a member. Some are fans of the coalition, some are not but they are united behind the Liberal Democrats. Leaders come and leaders go, but the grassroots are always there and are a foundation stone for any party. They are a foundation stone that unfortunately the media ignore. For the journalists and political pundits it’s all Nick Clegg and Vince Cable. Well news flash Nick Clegg isn’t the be all and end all to the party. In fact the party leader would not have a party to lead if it weren’t for the 1000s of ordinary men and women, who give up time and effort for the party. These grassroots are not to be trifled with; they are principled, stubborn and proud of it. They are also in a different universe from the Tories, actually the closest thing to the Lib Dem grassroots is Labour and even they seem to be on a different planet.

So why didn’t the Lib Dems form a coalition with Labour? It doesn’t take a genius to figure that out. No one won this election, but Labour certainly lost it. Even with the Lib Dens, Labour would of still needed the SNP or maybe the greens on top of that to form a majority. There were other choices but no real workable alternative. One path we could of took was for the Conservatives to form a minority government, but a minority government would of been weak, unable to make the choices to get us out of the financial mess Labour left us in. You can almost guarantee there would have ended in another election in around October of 2010 which would have either produced another hung parliament or a tiny Tory majority. Another option would have been to have an election straight away. Just imagine another 6 weeks of election mania, the cost of having another election as they don’t come cheap, the stock markets would have nose dived and no guarantee of different result, it doesn’t sound like a good equation to me. If it wasn’t the same result and the Conservatives had managed to limp to safety, I can bet you they would set about picking up where Thatcher left off, destroying public services, deregulating the financial sector that caused this mess and deeper, sharper cuts than could ever of been imagined from this coalition government. So yes I much rather have the Conservatives, especially at this time when they have excuses for the ideological cuts they want, I sleep safer at night knowing that George Osborne is being supervised by the ever watchful Danny Alexander. So taking all those choices into account, really the only viable option was a Tory-Lib Dem coalition (no matter what the daily mail says).

Another plus of the Lib Dems being in government is the injection of long overdue Liberal ideas into the ticking heart of government. The biggest is the referendum on AV. The referendum will finally allow the British people to chose how they want their MPs to be elected. People can chose between the outdated, unfair old system called first past the post that allows safe seats to be like seats for life for MPs who don’t think they really need to do anything as the will be elected anyway, or want AV which will make every voted count, make you MP work harder for you. This choice gives power back into the hands of Britain and you can pretty much bet that you wouldn’t have got it without the Liberal Democrats being in government. There are also other Lib Dem policies which will help make this a fairer Britain. The pupil premium will help disadvantaged student have a fair start in education by giving more money and resources to their education, this will help reverse the shameful figure of that by the small age of 7 a child from a poor background has already fallen behind a child of the same age from a richer background. The Freedom bill will restore freedoms to British citizens and cut back on costly and infuriating red tape and the review of anti terror legislation has stopped the inhumane practice of hold a person for 28 days without charge. These are all first rate examples of a smaller party walloping one at the old system. That is main advantage of being in coalition, the Lib Dems get creditable policies that would of been ignored and what we have been fighting for years finally make it onto the statute book. Without the Lib Dems being in government those policies that help people lives would never have materialised.

No one said at the start of this coalition that it would be easy. It is difficult for the Liberals but it is worth it even though sometimes it’s hard to see why. All you have to do is listen to Tim Farron (MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale) “Just because I sleep with my wife doesn’t make me a women.” It perfectly described the Lib Dems, we may be in coalition with the Conservatives but we are certainly not Tories. You can see that too in the number of Liberal Democrat MPs who voted against the rise in tuition fees. We may be a small party but we are strong and have principle which we stick to. Granted the Lib Dems haven’t been able to enact all those principles and promises in government but they still hold them dear. So yes I am proud when I see Nick Clegg at the despatch box and yes I do carry my membership card everywhere I go. So next time you bash the Lib Dems just think of everything we have managed to do and just consider the consequences if the Lib Dems hadn’t gone into coalition, just consider if we had made the wrong choice.

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Silver Lining

A little poem that I did in English :)

When I was young I was bullied
For being not the same
For being different
For being me
That time made me this way
And the memories live on to his very day

I still am quite different
Though it doesn’t bother me now
If I get called squinty weird or a cow
No now I am proud to be different
Now I am in a different world
Now I am a different girl

I used to watch my heroes on stage
Rally the troops around them
And wished one day I would be there too
With the podium, bright lights and praise

So I joined the ranks of the party
And the people there make me smile
Yes I am happy
Would i be there now if it weren’t for then
That’s the question
How, where, when
No I don’t think I would be
But I doubt it is that solely

Now my life is about to change
I am on that stage with the bright lighting
Oh yes every cloud has a silver lining

Dedicated to all those people who have made me so welcome and helped change my life J

Monday 14 March 2011


Oh yes ladies and gentlemen I am back!!! My apologies for a prolonged absence but I have had FAR too much to do. Conferences and work experience are all coming up, but if I may I would like to start with the all epic Liberal Democrat Spring Conference.

There is LOTS to report so I am not going to try and give you all to try. First order of business; the protesters. I don’t know how they can justify shouting and swearing at kids and attacking a disabled delegate. It is pathetic at best, if you want to protest fine but for heaven’s sake, at least have a molecule of decency! I found it awful when it got the point we were advised to remove our lanyards for our own safety!!! Needless to say I ignored the advice and walked out of Sheffield City Hall with my lanyard on and my head held high. I took the choice to be a Lib Dem and in my life I do not get to make many, so I will not be ashamed of that choice! Nor shall I have some ignorant protesters make me feel bad about it. Like I said in my speech, I rather be hung as a Lib Dem than live as a coward.

2nd item on this posts agenda (lol); Voting muck up. Oh yeah my one grudge (bar the diversity motion). I had been voted by my local party to be a voting rep. Unfortunately the confirmation of this was sent to Clifton Terrace and not Cowley Street. I was only verified a day before conference so I could not be voting rep for this conference. That’s all well and good but what got me was what happened with Sanjay. Sanjay had not even be verified yet he knew the right people so he was able to become a voting rep. That ladies and gents is major hypocrisy and taught me a lot how contacts can usually get you places.
                                                         Tim Farron and Me

Oh well moving swiftly on to item number 3; NHS debate. As Sanjay pointed out, there is so many way that the NHS could be part privatised. So I am so glad that the NHS motion was only passed with some heavy amendments. As I couldn’t vote (*silently rages*) I was relying on the voting reps and they didn’t let me or this party down, they should be really proud of themselves. It was great and grown up debate and I am over the moon that we can have them. It wasn’t the great showdown between the grassroots and the party leadership that was expected and I’m glad it wasn’t. However we did send a great flipping transparent and clear message to the government and specifically the Tories and David Camerons’ band of merry Tories, think about this again.

Item Number 4; Youth Justice. The prolific speaker as struck again and failed! Yes I am quite confident I epically failed on my speech but skipping over that. Finally I wasn’t the youngest speaker *rejoices*, yes young Maelo Manning put me to shame by speaking clearly and fantastically in this debate. Her contribution was fantastic and I was gobsmacked. Go Maelo!!!!! It was with the amendment that I disagreed with. 12 – 13 is far too young in my book for full criminal conviction and I took no pleasure in disagreeing with Susan Gaszczak but really 12 – 13 is too young. Thankfully the motion was passed and the amendment was defeated.

Stephen McFarland, Stephen Glenn and me :)

Epic item number 5; the people. I have met so many awesome people at this conference! That’s what made it so good in my eyes. I have found so many friends in this party that it is fast approaching becoming my second family. I am absolutely over the moon to meet Maelo, such a nice girl and so mature. Also the times I have had with people like Stephen Glenn, Stephen Mcfarland, Sophie Bridger, Sanjay Samani and Robbie Simpson has made my life brilliant for 3 short days, though if Caron Lindsay was there it would of been even better as I am missing my hugs. Virtual twitter hugs are not the same This conference has made me see myself in a different light. It is not about being the best, it’s about having fun, making friends and feeling content with yourself and I am so glad that I am in a party that gives me all of that and I thanks the people in it as well.
 Maelo Manning Showin Us All How It's Done
Number 6; the big wig speeches. Oh I could rave about the speeches for days but I don’t have that long. Brief summary; Tim was fabulous and Nick was epic. Can’t say fairer than that.

Final point and the most epic of all; GLEE CLUB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My first Glee club was fantastic. Tim did his awesome Ting Tings cover, the land was belted out three times and everything was loud, rowdy and epic. The twelve days of coalition was our main vent of anger as we sung “BUGGER ALL” with more venom that we should possibly have used.  Yes a good time was had by all although my vocal chords shall never recover.

Me and Robbie Simpson

If I was to summarise this conference in one word it would have been epic. I am looking forward with great enthusiasm to Birmingham

Monday 20 December 2010

My Winning Speech in the Speaker Competition

How would you react if one of your friends had a mental health problem?

Because it happens, one in three people are either born with or will develop a problem with their mental health. So to think about it, that one in three people sat in your row, in the classroom, in the cinema, at a concert or on the bus. Consider this, every single one of you here today who has sat next to me, well I have news for you. You have sat beside someone with a mental health problem.

I was diagnosed when I was 13, I was then told I have had this problem since I was born and I’ll live with it until I die. I was also told by my doctors not to tell a soul of my problem because the guaranteed me that people would react badly. That terrified me and it took me 2 weeks to tell even my closest of friends, but to be honest I shouldn’t of been so frightened. When I told them they were like ‘It’s Alex, so what if she has this problem, she is still our friend’ and to this day they still support me and look out for me. So I think in that way I have the greatest friends in the world. So I would like to thank Laura Todd, Keeley Middleton, Karla Leyden, Sammi Nicholson and my long standing best friend Sarah Baillie.

So why can’t everyone react as well as my friends, why do some people react really badly. Because having a mental disorder is just like having a disability, only you can’t see it, it’s locked up inside your head. Imagine one of your mates saw a guy in a wheel chair, and started saying ‘he’s weird’ or trying to exclude him, well you’d turn to your mate and go that a wee bit sick a little disgusting. Well it is. So why is it somehow ‘acceptable’ to be like that with someone who has a mental illness? I know from my own experiences, that even though I have this problem upstairs, I am still proud of who I am. I have nothing to hide anymore. 

So I am going to ask you again and this time I want you to really consider this, otherwise I’m just wasting my breath.

How would you react if you found out someone had a problem with their mental health?

Monday 29 November 2010

Reminiscing About Scottish Conference

When I got up at 5am on the 10th of October did I know what was going to happen that day? Heck no! If I did I would have made sure I would have gotten more sleep. Going to conference on 4 hours sleep is not a good idea! It didn’t help when my alarm clock failed to go off and I got up 10 minutes late. Still I met Joan in Newton Stewart in time and 3 or 4 hours later we were at the conference venue (after about ten minutes searching for it).

Joan and I parted as I had the first timer’s induction session. They gave us these yellow bags (which for the rest of the day marked us out as newbies). Soon it was the opening session and I remember being overwhelmed at the amount of people Joan knew and the amount of people I didn’t. Still that feeling of being apart from everyone else didn’t last long.

What possessed me to fill out that speaker card I don’t know to this day, all I know is that I had to borrow Joan’s pen because I forgot mine which was ever so slightly embarrassing. I quickly handed it back to her and handed my speakers card to the steward. I watched with a mix of anticipation and dread as my card got passed up. Half of my brain was crossing its fingers that I would get called and the other half was screaming what did you do that for?! Then I was told to stand by. I think that was one of the scariest moments of my life. I didn’t have a clue what I was going to say, I hadn’t even read the pre-manifesto and to top it off Danny Alexander entered the room. So no pressure then.

I thought my pulse could be seen in my neck from a mile away. The blood was thundering up and down my blood vessels as I got called up to speak. My head was so frenzied that I didn’t see the steps leading up to the stage, so I just stepped up on to the stage in my high heels. I was petrified of falling. When I got to the lectern I began to talk.

What I said I really don’t know. I know people laughed at a joke and at the end there was brilliant applause. I stepped carefully down from the podium still not quite aware that I had spoken in front of Tavish Scott, Michael Moore and Danny Alexander. When I sat down Joan enthusiastically congratulated me and the rest of the day felt like a really brilliant dream.

Sunday 7 November 2010

Mr Clegg isn't the whole of the Lib Dems.

I won’t pretend I like what the coalition is doing, I won’t pretend to agree with most of the coalition agreement and just because we’re in government doesn’t mean I agree with what Mr Cameron says.

The Liberal Democrats are not like the Tories, let’s make that quite clear, but in Westminster and in the cabinet the lines that separate the two parties are becoming hard to see. This is not true in the grassroots. In fact the grassroots of the Lib Dems are so different from the Tories that you could measure the gap in miles. So to say, as Harriet Harman did, that we have become genetically modified into Tories, is a complete and utter farce.

I couldn’t be further from a Tory yet I have people say to me I must be at least a Tory sympathiser because our leadership is working with them. That’s true but the leadership isn’t the be all and end all to the party. The parties grassroots is so defined and its own identity that to call an ordinary member a Conservative would gain you some harsh words.

I know some of the coalition plans are totally against Lib Dem principles and I’m not going to defend them, yet to call all Liberals Tories is a massive over reaction. Our party has a distinct identity and the press seem to be ignoring that. May I remind the likes of the Daily Fail and the Torygraph that the Lib Dems grassroots aren’t in coalition and we are still our own party. I think they’d do well to remember that.

Ok rant over. Back to school tomorrow yippee... not.