Credible Opposition

Apparently the Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron believes his party is now the only “credible opposition” to the Tory government. This seems strange given that there are two parties with considerably more MPs. Clearly the labour party, now home to more members than all the other parties combined, is still a credible opposition, but I want to.look at the Lib Dems themselves, are they credible?

They suffered hidious losses in the last election and now their entire parliamentary party could fit inside a Toyota previa. This hardly seems like a party ready to overthrow the government, but I guess if they stick together and stick to their position they could cause some impact.

But they are not even doing that.

The official Liberal Democrat policy on the recent trade union bill is to oppose ot, so how did the whip get on when it came to last week’s vote? Well the leader, Farron himself, his leadership campaign manager Greg Mulholland and their former leader Nick Clegg all declined to vote. If the leader, his top leuitenant and the former leader can’t even get themselves to a vote on something they strongly oppose as a party how on earth can they consider themselves a credible opposition?

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Assisted Dying

I’m writing to you as your constituent to ask you to support the Assisted Dying Bill when it is debated on Friday 11 September. I believe the recent case of Bob Cole, as covered in a plethora of media outlets, shows that the current law is broken.

Dying people like Bob are forced to make incredibly difficult and unnecessary choices at present simply to have control over their own inevitable deaths. One Britain travels to Dignitas for assistance to die every two weeks. For every person who travels to Dignitas, 10 more dying people take their own lives here at home. This situation cannot be ignored.

It is my sincere belief that humans should be given the right to choose how they want to end their life. It is an issue I have felt strongly about for a number of years. The case of Tony Nicklinson,  a man who suffered from locked in syndrome and could only move his eyes, was one that affected me deeply. To see this man try, and fail, on numerous occasions to be allowed to die on his own terms was heartbreaking and I found the news that rather than be allowed a dignified death he had to resort to starving himself to death in order to end his pain and suffering.

A couple of years ago my best friend on the world took his own life. He has been battling with bi-polar disorder, addiction, and a number of other issues for a long time and he had had enough. He got night terror,  where he awoke screaming and was on edge the whole time. He said to me a number of times that he didn’t understand why we treat our animals much better than humans, and that he knew if a dog suffered the level of pain and suffering he did it would have ben put out of its misery a long time ago. In the end he hanged himself, a horrible painful end that could have been avoided if we had a much better law.

A new law with upfront safeguards, limited to terminally ill, mentally competent adults, would both protect vulnerable people and give dying people choice and control over their death here, not abroad. As my elected representative, I urge you to support this change, a change supported by an overwhelming majority of the public – 82% of Britons support this Bill.