Talking politics: Coun James Baker, leader of the Lib Dem Group

Nigel Farage in the European Parliament. AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)
Nigel Farage in the European Parliament. AP Photo/Geert Vanden Wijngaert)

Much like a leprechaun, Nigel Farage and the Leave gang appeared and offered us our wishes. If only we were to vote to leave the EU we would have £350m extra a week for the NHS, we would ‘take back control’ and the economy wouldn’t suffer.

“Ignore the experts, just make the wish” was their rallying cry. Well the wish was cast, and what is the reality? Sadly the thing about leprechauns is the wishes they grant tend to backfire. The promise to give money to the NHS was gone by the next day like the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow, we have no control as our next Prime Minister is determined by 0.2% of the population who are Conservative party members, and the economy is in turmoil.

Of course people who have been ignored for too long want more control, of course they want extra money for the NHS, and of course they want help to tackle some of the problems immigration can cause. People aren’t racists, they know immigration is helpful to the economy, but it’s been a failing of those in power to realise local communities need help to deal with the challenges migration creates.

Liberal Democrats stand against those in positions of power who turn people against each other for their own ends, and cover up their own failings by blaming immigrants. We are for democratically controlled decent local services, and giving people more opportunity and a right to control their own lives.

We believe the British people are fundamentally decent, and just want decent houses, education, a job and health services. Most people just want to live and let live. To get those things we need to be part of the common market, to trade freely with Europe, to regain our influence in the word. We also need radical democratic reform to take power away from big corporations and bureaucracies and back into the hands of local communities.

Cross-party working on Brexit is a must

It’s good to see Calderdale Council agree to our proposal to form a cross-party working group to tackle the challenges and any opportunities that Brexit might pose in Calderdale. Leaving the EU will have major consequences for our Borough, and it will be a major bit of work for the Council to adapt to those changes. It will require Councillors from all parties to work together pragmatically for the best interests of residents who live here.

Our membership in Calerdale is surging

Following the referendum membership of our local party has increased by 20%. Across the country 15,000 people have joined us. The Chilcot report has vindicated our opposition to the Iraq war, the coalition government looks like a golden age of stability compared to the economic and political chaos the Conservative’s are subjecting us to, and Labour are too busy arguing among themselves to provide effective opposition. Come and join us to be part of a the Liberal fightback.