miss_s_b: (Default)
miss_s_b ([personal profile] miss_s_b) wrote2014-11-03 12:16 pm

Linda Jack, from Central Bedfordshire; standing for FPC

Are you standing for the first time or restanding? If first time what new thing do you bring that nobody else could; if restanding, what about your record are you most proud of that you think should make us vote you back in?

Although I haven't been on FPC for the last two years, my record before was to consistently challenge the policy drift towards the right and to fight for socially liberal policies that reflect the values and vision we outline in the preamble to our constitution. So I am most proud of being prepared to stand up and challenge, even when it means I am a lonely voice! But that has always been as part of a team, most notably, ironically, when we won the battle over tuition fees.

Are you standing for any other committees, if so which ones; and if elected to more than one how do you plan to divide your time?


Are you an active member of any SAOs, and if so which ones?

I am a member of ALDTU exec and having stood down from SLF have now been asked to be one of their advisers. I am also a member of Friends of Palestine, EMLD, LDDA, LDMHA, & Women Lib Dems.

If someone asked you on the doorstep, the hustings or on TV to sum up in one or two sentences what the Lib Dems, uniquely, stand for – and then why anyone should vote for us – what are your answers?

Only the Lib Dems combine a commitment to freedom with fairness, protecting the planet for our children, challenging vested interests and the status quo, creating an environment where everyone, regardless of the circumstances of their birth, can thrive. And if I am allowed to muck about with our mantra - mine would be - fairer economy, stronger society where I'm free to be me!

What is your view on diversity quotas for committees? Should they be extended to cover more than just gender, scrapped totally, kept as is or something else?

If we want to represent we need to be representative! The current quotas are a blunt instrument and I hope that whoever is elected President will look at this. I agree we need to reflect more than just gender - I am well aware that however 'sound' someone is, it is very easy, for example, if you are not from the BME community to neglect race issues when discussing policy. The reason for quotas, or a more sophisticated system, is to ensure we get better policy because it reflects the needs of all communities, geographical as well as minority groups - including, importantly, those from across the income spectrum. So we also have to look at how we make it possible for anyone to participate in meetings so it isn't just those from the South East who are part of our ruling committees. We are as guilty as other parties of creating an Oxbridge elite - I was always struck on FPC that I was one of very few who wasn't an Oxbridge lawyer or academic! Which is why I think my decades of working in diverse and deprived communities offers a different perspective.

Secrecy rules prevent the party knowing what committees are doing. What will you do to communicate with members; and in what circumstances is confidentiality justified?

I have always argued against secrecy, and have got into trouble for sharing things from FPC. There are very few circumstances in which confidentiality is justified, only in my view, when there is a real chance of serious political embarrassment.

In terms of sharing with members, I would be happy to do a report on each meeting and share on my blog - or it may be more effective to have a team of members who take it in turns to write something for LDV so it reaches a wider audience. I am also keen that this is a two way process so would encourage members to engage with me directly either through social media or email (as they have done before) to ensure I know their views before meetings.

If you had the power to do so unilaterally, what one party (not government) policy would you change, and what would you change it to?

Scrap Trident

What is your view on electoral pacts? Should the party make them, and if so, who with?

I don't think there should be pacts before an election, I wrote angry emails to Nick Clegg and Simon Hughes when we said we wouldn't put up a candidate against David Davies! Democracy depends on choice and we should never deny people that choice - but that is also a strong argument for PR.

All answers are presented unedited, as entered by the candidate (mainly due to time). You can find links to other candidates' entries here