If you’re one of the 48%, now is the time to get political.

I want to be proved wrong. I want our economy to grow, jobs to be protected, household wages to grow, and household bills not to soar. I desperately hope that the experts that the Leave camp so often disparaged are actually wrong. I hope that my future, and the future of my generation and generations to come, isn’t hampered because of a decision very much made by others. Because vast swathes of our country, our communities, can’t afford the economic predictions made by those experts or the Remain camp.

The election results in Wales on May 6th were heartbreaking, and I spent most of the day in tears. I expected to feel the same way in the event that we voted to leave the EU. But now I’m angry. Angry that we’ve become selfish and inward looking and we’ve turned our backs not only on Europe and the world but on ourselves; our and future generations. Angry that we seem content to blame and demonise others.

My generation and future generations will again pay the price for the decisions of others. I have spent the last 8 years being involved with politics campaigning to give young people a real stake in our democracy, and in one fell swoop older generations have told us to not don’t bother, because our interests are best determined by others, they know what’s best for us. This is yet another election where an entire generation will be handed a decision made by others and told to grit our teeth and make it work. At least we know, having seen the overwhelming majority of young people voting remain, that our generation will be more tolerant, hopeful, and internationalist.

But it’s not just about the economy. Yes, the EU is good for jobs, businesses, our housing market, our industries, cheaper travel, and trade. All of those things are incredibly and massively important, and the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and our communities will now pay the price. The Goves, Johnsons and Farages of this world will go back to them and their own, having taken the working classes and poorest in our communities for a ride.

No, I voted Remain because of the values and principles on which the EU was founded and continues to fight for still today. After the tragic loss of Jo Cox and a deeply divided Britain we need these values and principles now more than ever. Democracy, liberty, equality, human dignity and human rights. We can never give up on those values, and I’m proud that Tim Farron is leading the calls for progressive voices across the UK to be heard in what’s ahead. Leave wasn’t a vote for democracy when our democracy is broken, removed from daily life, and we’ll simply move power from “unelected bureaucrats” in Brussels, to Westminster, a space soon to be possibly led by the extreme right-wing of British politics. It’s shameful that whilst Britain has long stopped the extreme right-wing from taking hold in our politics, we are the generations that become complicit in peddling their division and fear.

I voted Remain because being a part of the EU allows us to share those values with countries across the world, strengthening our world democracy, bringing equality, liberty and dignity to the lives of people across the world. Because people across Europe and the world will be worse off too, because Britain will no longer be a world leader. We’ll seen as the people who preferred to pull up the drawbridge and ignore the rest of the world. Whilst the rest of the world reaches out, we pull back.

My politics, my vote for Remain, are a statement of my values, and a statement of the country and society in which I want to live. I worry about the country we’ll become when we legitimise racism, bigotry and xenophobia. When ‘othering’ is so longer a problem. There’s no two ways about this – Thursday’s vote will be perceived by some as a mandate for right-wing politics to take hold, a legitimisation for racism and xenophobia, and we’ve already seen an increase in hate crime on our streets. Don’t let it happen, not in our name.

I urge everyone, anyone, if you’re anything but happy about the outcome, join a political party, join a campaign, get active, because for as long as stay quiet we’ll be forgotten.

 

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Why I’m voting Remain in the EU Referendum.

I’m voting Remain in the EU Referendum not because I think it’s good for jobs, businesses, our housing market, our industries, cheaper travel, not climate change, or trade. All of those things are incredibly and massively important, and the poorest and most vulnerable in our society and our communities will pay the price if we vote to Leave. A vote to Leave is a vote only the richest in our society can afford.

I’m voting Remain because of the values and principles on which the EU was founded and continues to fight for still today. After yesterday’s tragic events, we need these values and principles now more than ever. Democracy, liberty, equality, human dignity and human rights. We can never give up on those values. Giving up on those values in search of some false sense of security robs us all of our freedom, and when we give up our freedom we’re all worse off.

Leave’s scare-tactic video about Turkey joining the EU is exactly the reason why we should vote to Remain, playing our part on the world stage and sharing those values with more and more people, making the world a fairer and more just place for everyone. Being a part of the EU allows us to share those values with countries across the world, strengthening our world democracy, bringing equality, liberty and dignity to the lives of people across the world.

Because even in 2016 we are yet to achieve universal equality, fairness, democracy, human dignity and liberty, and a respect for human rights, and we have a responsibility and obligation to share those values with our neighbours.

That’s why I’m voting to Remain.

Rhondda candidate pledges support for local pubs and brewers

Rhys, local Welsh Liberal Democrat candidate for Rhondda standing for election in the Welsh Assembly has pledged their support for pub-goers and beer drinkers by backing CAMRA’s Manifesto for Wales.

CAMRA’s manifesto calls for greater protection for valued community pubs by introducing a bespoke Welsh solution to protect community assets in Wales. Local residents across England have the right to nominated ‘Assets of Community Value’ (ACVs) in their community, which has saved numerous pubs from re-development into supermarkets and housing estates. Election candidates have been asked to back similar legislation in Wales which goes even further to support local pubs.

Rhys added: “I am proud to be speaking up for pubs and real ale. Well-run community pubs play a crucial role in local life and can have a huge impact on people’s happiness and social inclusion. If elected, I will continue to show my support in the Assembly.”

Ian Saunders, CAMRA Regional Director for Wales, says: “We are delighted that Rhys has pledged their support for local pubs and brewers. Eleven pubs are closing every month across Wales due to gaps in planning laws, which leave them particularly vulnerable to demolition or conversion to other uses.

Pubs are more than just businesses, in many cases they are the heart of our communities and bring people together. CAMRA would like to see more support given to local people so that they have the chance to stop a much-loved pub from being demolished without any input from the community.”

Ends

About CAMRA

CAMRA has been campaigning for 40 years in Wales for quality real ale, community pubs and the rights of pub-goers and real ale drinkers. CAMRA is consumer group with 5,000 members in Wales and acts as the independent voice for real ale drinkers and pub goers.

To read CAMRA’s Manifesto for Wales please visit www.camra.org.uk/campaigningwales

What ‘Candidates should be chosen on merit.’ really means.

At Liberal Democrat Conference in York, delegates will have the opportunity to vote on a set of proposals which will put in place and instigate a series of approaches to tackle the lack of diversity among candidates and elected Liberal Democrats. The announcement of the proposals has caused debate right across the party with, in my view, deeply worrying attitudes, responses, and reasoning for rejecting the more controversial proposals (which include AWS and ‘zipping’).

These proposals include a number of approaches that seek to address long term imbalances in addition to taking action in the short term. They ensure support for candidates and potential candidates, they tackle culture, address and review processes, they’re intersectional (meaning that oppression and oppressive institutions are interconnected and cannot be viewed as separate from one another), and take affirmative action to address the under-representation of women and disabled people in our party. We need to take action now to address our own situation, whilst working to challenge the underlying cultures and behaviours which contribute towards creating barriers for oppressed groups. Nobody is suggesting that these are problems for Liberal Democrats. They’re societal problems that we should be expected to lead and tackle head on.

Our previous leader laments the growth of identity politics, and I’m glad that Tim Farron is changing that. I believe that one of the ways in which the party’s fortunes will improve is through bringing together our messages being wary of excessive power, of giving power back to people and communities, and how putting power in the hands of (a diverse) people ensures better politics.

1. We don’t live in a meritocracy. 

A meritocracy is a political philosophy which states that power should be vested in people according to merit, that someone’s ability should determine whether they are right to hold power (in whatever form that ‘power’ may take).

In a range of discussions a number of people have suggested that 2015 shows that we’ve fixed our problem with electing women candidates, proving that we don’t in fact have a problem with selecting women and that we select based on merit. Some have drawn on local examples of council groups and candidates – an “I’m All Right Jack” response. Local practice and examples are great, but it doesn’t prove very much.

Implying that we’ve fixed our problem by fielding more women candidates in 2015 still doesn’t address the fact that none were elected. It’s also naive in that what we appear to be saying is that we’ve got it right and therefore we can wash our hands of taking action. The proposals will evaluate what role the PPC plays (including the support available), recognising that it’s not just how we select our candidates, but also what expectations and stereotypes we have of candidates (which are typically characteristics of able-bodied, financially secure men). It’s not just about AWS.

When we talk about merit in terms of electing someone to a position of power (what ever form that power may take), particularly electoral power, we’re talking about merit as being characterised by stereotypes that we’ve been fed and subconsciously accept and fail to challenge. Those characteristics are shaped by people who have dominated power structures.

I find it deeply worrying that for a party which values diversity and the positive effects of diversity, that some are suggesting that AWS and zipping would not find incredible candidates to lead our party. We’re told that it’s patronising. Overall, 92.4 per cent of professors are white, while just 0.49 per cent are black. Only 15 black academics are in senior management roles. Are the 92.4% of white professors in UK Higher Education there based on merit? Are the 70% of male MPs that make up the House of Commons there because of merit? Are we really saying that black people are only qualified enough to make up 6% of MPs?

2. It’s all about identity 

A number of responses have often sounded like a retaliation to an attack on their own personal identity. What about group x or y? Taking seats from qualified men? Discrimination against group d? It can be uncomfortable, but we all have to recognise that those of us who don’t define into these groups which face oppression, benefit from the status quo. We have to keep checking how our own identity contributes to an oppressive society and do more to speak with people who face oppression.

As a party we fundamentally believe that people and communities make the best decisions and that they should be empowered to deliver change for themselves. Politics is at its best when we have multiple and diverse voices around the table. In fact it wasn’t until Labour got more women into government that we started to see far greater progress on issues linked to maternity leave and pay, and childcare. That’s why this motion seeks to tackle the under-representation of all marginalised groups, and why it’s patronising to suggest that we should value the contribution of BME, LGBT+ and women to politics and society based on some patriarchal stereotype of what it is to be a leader, as told by those who have long held power – also known as merit.

Any government, parliament or decision making space full of people who look, sound, behave and share similar experiences won’t deliver the type of country that we want to see as Liberal Democrats. We’ll never deliver on that preamble.

If current trends continue we won’t see equal gender representation for another several hundred years, and I dread to think what that the figures look like for the representation of disabled, black or low socio-economic people. I’ve hardly seen any discussion of the representation of non-binary and trans people in politics, which perhaps suggests that we still have a long way to go in really tackling marginalisation and oppression.

Our party’s approach has to be intersectional. Arguing about whether we’re better off targeting the under-representation of people from low socio-economic backgrounds rather than women misses the point entirely. It’s not one or the other. These proposals will drive efforts to address the under-representation of all under-represented groups, tackling culture, process, and the support available. AWS and zipping are just one part of the proposals, and are proposals because legislation doesn’t allow similar action for any other disadvantaged groups.

Can we not throw the baby out with the bathwater?

3. ‘I don’t see race or disability or gender.’

I’ll quote an article that I read a while ago to sum up my thoughts on this well-intentioned but misguided response;

Race is such an ingrained social construct that even blind people can ‘see’ it. To pretend it doesn’t exist to you erases the experiences of black people.

What is meant to be well-meaning and well-intentioned response to issues of diversity – and reflecting on what our own identity means in relation to the oppression of other peoples in society – is actually fairly damaging to those who define into those groups. Giving ourselves a pat on the back because we don’t ‘see’ these inequalities makes no difference to the lives of other people, and serves to reinforce oppression.

We have to recognise that our own ‘whiteness’ our own privilege and our own identity are all part of an oppressive society. We have to take action ourselves; speaking with people who find themselves marginalised, calling out our own and other’s prejudices and subconscious attitudes and behaviours. As people who want to see a fair, free and equal society, we have a responsibility to call out prejudice and oppression wherever we see it – including in ourselves.

I’ll finish with this article on not ‘seeing’ race.

I hope that conference has a nuanced debate about identity and diversity, allows those who define into marginalised and oppressed groups to lead the debate, and ultimately votes in favour of this motion.

 

 

3 things this week

3 things have managed to make my blood boil this week, not only because I fundamentally disagree with the arguments posed but because the opposing arguments just totally miss the point. Swing and a miss.

The three things are;

  1. Meninism and men’s issues in feminism
  2. Why University free speech rankings say more about the frailty of privilege than free speech on University campuses
  3. Petty politics and why the Lib Dems need to get over tuition fees

Number 1 – meninism and men’s issues in feminism.

This morning I came across this article on Twitter about how men are becoming increasingly objectified in the media. Despite knowing not to, I decided to read the 9 comments that had been left in the hope that something positive would be said about the article, or more generally about feminism.

As you’d expect all I had to read were aggressive responses (from men) about bigotry and bile and drivel, the “ineffable effortless expression of feminist hypocrisy“. Nothing new.

Trigger warning: suicide.

One comment stood out;

“Meanwhile in the real world, men are suffering in almost every way that counts. Lagging behind in education, killing themselves, dying on the job, becoming homeless, drug addiction, never seeing their kids, even being paid less as young adults. But I suppose I’m just a ‘bitter meninist’ that needs to watch more trashy TV?”

He’s not wrong, these things are true of modern Britain. Unfortunately he seems to take issue with the word meninist and the association with trashy TV than the underlying issues.

The point is that these issues can be addressed through greater gender equality and by championing the type of society that feminism seeks to create. The comment above highlights some of the outcomes that a less equal society has for men – poor education outcomes, not speaking up about mental health, access to children during custody.
Feminism is about changing gender roles, sexual norms, and sexist stereotypes that limit and punish men when whenever we deviate from them. menfeminismWhether that’s expressing and talking about our emotions, being told to “man up”, unrealistic body images or being unable to talk about true interests and having to talk about ‘men’s things’. Men don’t talk about depression, sexual assault, domestic violence.

So feminism is in men’s interest, but women have been and still are subject to sexism, oppression, unequal pay, unequal political, social and economic representation, are told that rape is their fault, are told to look and speak a certain way, not to act in a certain way, are expected to fulfil archaic social stereotypes, so let’s not compare apples with oranges?

Number 2 – Why University free speech rankings say more about the frailty of privilege than free speech on University campuses

Spiked Online recently released its 2016 rankings of Free Speech in Universities.

Spiked Online’s About Us page says that;

 “The Free Speech University Rankings (FSUR) is the UK’s first-ever nationwide analysis of campus censorship. Through examining the policies and actions of universities and students’ unions, it provides a detailed, annual insight into the state of free speech, debate and expression in the British academy.”

My social media exploded after the release of the rankings with people calling out an assault on free speech and shitty political correctness left, right, and centre and condemning Students’ Unions and student democracy.

Spiked looks at the following types of policies when analysing a University’s free speech rankings. Their website says;

“The types of policies we examine include, but are not limited to:

University

Free Speech and External Speaker policies

Bullying and Harassment policies

Equal Opportunities policies

Students’ union

No Platform policies

Safe Space policies

Student Codes of Conduct

It should be noted that holding one of the above policies does not constitute an instant offence – they are each assessed on the basis of their content.

Actions

The types of actions we examine include, but are not limited to:

Bans on controversial speakers

Bans on newspapers

Expulsion of students on the grounds of their controversial views or statements

We assess actions which have taken place in the past three academic years – the average lifespan of a campus ban.”

What we’ve got is a division between those more privileged and those who are less privileged.

Safe Spaces are about those who face endless oppression and discrimination creating an environment in which they’re safe to learn and succeed, safe to express themselves, and are safe to challenge damaging social norms.

What we’re actually seeing is more debate than ever, and a levelling of the playing field. Students are having nuanced debates and discussions about society and identity, and are claiming (safe) spaces to demand that they’re heard.

There’s a distinct difference between safe spaces (which cause poor Free Speech rankings) and echo chambers where people and their views aren’t challenged. Despite what you may otherwise hear from the guardians of the status quo (read; maintaining a society which still discriminates on the basis of gender, sexuality, religion, disability) there’s still plenty of debate in these spaces. People who have traditionally been denied a voice are bringing their own personal experiences of sexism or racism (for example) and talking about how to tackle this sort of behaviour. It’s just that it’s uncomfortable, and people don’t want to hear about how their unchecked privilege is damaging to others.

The “casualties” are those who don’t face – and can’t comprehend – the systemic discrimination and oppression that minority groups face. The casualties are those who are being asked to think harder about what they say or do and challenge their views, attitudes, actions and approach and accept that they’re not as informed as they think they are (and naturally wouldn’t be, because they don’t define into those groups).

Maybe it’s now a term that’s overused and has the wrong connotations, but it forces people to check their privilege. It’s uncomfortable, but everyone benefits from people changing actions and challenging perceptions and assumptions.

Banning people or things and no platforming people who hold different views does need to be carefully monitored and challenged where necessary; but students are right to demand the ability to stop those practising hate speech from entering their campuses – entering spaces in which they should feel safe to learn.

I don’t even know what the problem is with a Code of Conduct which asks people to (frankly) just be respectful and decent. This article says everything you need to know.

Those who’ve dominated public discourse, dominated discussions, reinforced social norms, and fail to challenge damaging stereotypes, discrimination and oppression are finally being challenged; let’s not be fragile about it.

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Number 3 – Petty politics and why the Lib Dems need to get over tuition fees

On Tuesday the government voted down an opposition motion to nullify a decision made – with no scrutiny or debate  – by the government to convert maintenance grants for the poorest students into loans. This means that a large number of students will graduate with around £53,000 of debt – among the highest in the OECD.

NUS and Students’ Unions and their students have spent weeks lobbying MPs on the issue in order to secure the debate in the House and to vote in favour of the opposition motion. The protest during the debate on Tuesday led to London Bridge being occupied by protesters. NUS publicly thanked all opposition parties for their support in attempting to overturn the government’s behind-closed-doors decision.

Party members took to Facebook to ridicule NUS – a “we told you so” about targeting Lib Dem MPs during the General Election, which some claim led to a Tory majority in May. Anyone who thinks that Liar Liar led to the Lib Dems being left with just 8 MPs are kidding themselves.

Party members not only laughed in the face of NUS but inadvertently implied that we care more about party political gaming than we do about the issue at hand – the poorest gaining access to Higher Education. The words ridiculous, childish, and petulant come to mind.

  1. We promised not to raise fees. We promised a different type of politics, and lined up with the rest of them weeks after the election. Internal workings of the Coalition aside, it’s an out-and-out betrayal of trust.
  2. Liar Liar did not cause us to lose almost all of our MPs. That’s probably more to do with a long list of policies that were (and are) in direct contrast to what the party stands for and what the public thought the party stands for.

Whilst the party spent the last 5 years trying to appear as a credible party of government, while we scrape around for airtime and debate time, we’re playing politics with an issue that’s make or break for hundreds of thousands of people.

Whilst the numbers of young people from widening participation (disadvantaged backgrounds) get through the doors of Universities, the drop-out rate for those students continues to be far too high. Financial pressures mean that students are more worried about paying bills and their next meal than they are about engaging with critical debate and academic discourse – what they’re paying £9k a year for. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds are less likely to do well at University, are less likely to move away from home to study, are more likely to work part-time to fund their studies. Like it or not, £9k fees are an awful idea.

So the Lib Dems need to forget tuition fees – move on, accept we were wrong, and do everything we can to deliver an accessible and inclusive Higher Education system which supports everyone to succeed, whatever their bank balance.

nick-clegg_2120675c

In defence of marching against fees

I have big issues with this article.

This article focusses wholly on fees, rather than the marketisation of Higher Education and the impact that this will and already does have on universities and students.

Yes the fees debate has clouded the wider debate around  marketisation, but I’d suggest that Cameron waited to announce the HE Green Paper until after last week’s demo for precisely this reason – to undermine students and anyone who believes in a publicly owned and sustainable Higher Education sector.

What governments have and are doing is make education something to be bought and sold. We no longer talk about the value of higher education to society, we don’t talk about providing opportunity for those who have been let down by society, and we don’t talk about Higher Education as a way of improving the life chances of young people from poorer backgrounds.

Rather we talk about the monetary value of a degree and how many students universities can get through the door, with little consideration for the learning gain of those students. Universities are competing to provide the same courses – not innovating, not driving up standards, not focussing on the quality of the education provided. In far too many cases it’s about satisfaction scores, league tables, the bottom line, and new glossy buildings.

Lifting the caps on student numbers is nothing to be proud or pleased about – more universities are accepting more students in order to survive in a market, where more students are being accepted with poorer grades who are then failed by the system. Leaving with enormous debt (whatever type of debt that may be) with very little gain and with poorer experiences because the education system isn’t built to accommodate anyone who wants a higher education.  A number of demographics are typically not satisfied with their academic experiences and are less likely to leave university with a ‘good degree’, and forcing universities to compete only makes that worse.

“As a result, a poor youngster is almost twice as likely to attend university in England than in the tuition fee-free Scotland.” – yes, but are those students leaving University with the same grades as their better off counterparts? Typically, no. Universities are still built to educate the few – this can be seen in the way that teaching is delivered, learning is measured, and the content of curricula. White, euro-centric and male.

Recent proposals by the government will not ‘level the playing field’ for universities or students, and will rather create a market where universities will be charging (possibly 4 levels of) different fees. We’ll see poorer students who are put off by fees will going to ‘less prestigious’ institutions which fail to meet the government’s ridiculous Teaching Excellence Framework (an excuse to raise fees) which will do very little to drive up teaching standards considering the measures that will be used to give universities ‘Excellence’ in teaching.

Oh and this sounds great but the reality is that this money does very little to make a university education transformative for disadvantaged people –

“Most importantly, every university that charges full fees has to spend at least a third of the increase on poor students.”

This money is mostly spent on outreach activities which encourage children to consider university, but does very little to improve the academic outcomes of disadvantaged young people who choose the university route. Get more into University but what type of system are we getting them into?

Governments can’t expect to up-skill the country’s workforce if part-time study is out of reach for so many people. The evidence showing that fees have had a negative affect on part-time study is overwhelming at both undergraduate and postgraduate students. We consider ‘students’ as a homogenised group of people, in a homogenised system where everyone’s competing to do the same thing, and it’s damaging our internationally recognised higher education system. Neither this article or many others talk about part-time study and the implications of restricting access to part-time study has on disadvantaged young people or adult learners.

We’re right to oppose further fees and oppose the government’s marketisation of higher education, and the recent HE Green Paper should be a call to action for everyone who wants to protect the value of higher education in the UK.

Review of 2014 for Upper Bangor.

Upper Bangor’s Lib Dem Councillors work hard for their community all year around, not just at elections. We spend all year delivering leaflets, knocking on doors, attending meetings, events, representing and fighting for residents, and more. Here’s just a few of the things that we’ve worked with residents to achieve;

  1. Stopped three week waste and recycling collections from coming to Upper Bangor, and encouraged Gwynedd Council to investigate alternative methods of collections in areas heavily populated by HMOs.
  2. Put pressure on Gwynedd Council to work with businesses to address Upper Bangor’s commercial waste problem.
  3. Working with Gwynedd Council to introduce new policies to address the management and regulation of HMOs in our communities.
  4. Investment in our pavements in roads; Albert Street, Victoria Street, and Holyhead Road.
  5. Held Gwynedd Council to account on the Holyhead Road cycle path spend without consultation.

CLLR RHYS TAYLOR SIGNS FOR MEN UNITED V PROSTATE CANCER.

Cllr Rhys Taylor is the latest signing to Prostate Cancer UK’s campaign, Men United v Prostate Cancer, a unique team which seeks to unite people across the UK against the common enemy of prostate cancer. Research for Prostate Cancer UK shows that nearly 650,000 people in Wales know someone who has been diagnosed with prostate cancer but nearly six in ten (56%) people in Wales say they don’t feel personally informed about the disease.

Each year almost as many men are diagnosed with prostate cancer as women are diagnosed with breast cancer but research in to the disease has historically been badly underfunded, leaving tests and treatments trailing behind other common cancers. In addition the quality and availability of treatment can vary across the UK. Men United v Prostate Cancer, the brainchild of Britain’s foremost male health charity – Prostate Cancer UK – is about fighting this apathy and neglect which surrounds the disease. Rhys will be joining tens of thousands who have already signed up including comedian Bill Bailey, Welsh Olympic legend Colin Jackson and national treasure Sir Michael Parkinson.

Cllr Rhys Taylor said: “Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in men in the UK, affecting many in my Constituency alone. If we are going to beat this killer we need as many people as possible to sign for Men United. By uniting together and taking action for men’s health, we can bring about real change. I’m proud to able to show my support to the campaign and I urge everyone to get on board. It’s easy – just search Men United online and you’re in! Prostate cancer is a massive opponent but I firmly believe that with the right team we can beat it!”

Samantha Fairclough, Services Manager for Wales at Prostate Cancer UK said: “Survival rates for men with prostate cancer lag behind those in the rest of the UK and too often the services men need are out of reach. We know from the Welsh Government’s Cancer Patient Experience Survey that things are getting better for men in Wales but we still lag behind other parts of the UK. That is why Prostate Cancer UK is here to support men in Wales and we call on the people who can make change to join us in leading change. It is great to have Rhys on board.”

 

 

 

 

ENDS

 Notes to Editors:

 

Men United – The Facts:

  • Men United v Prostate Cancer is our call for men to join together in a movement against the common enemy of prostate cancer. The aim is to build a united front of men against this disease. We want to get the message out about one of the UK’s biggest man killers, support men affected by it, and intensify the search for more reliable tests and treatments for the future.
  • Men are being asked to sign for Men United by visitingwww.prostatecanceruk.org/menunited where they can also test their health knowledge by taking a quick quiz.
  • The core audience is men over 45 who urgently need to know about this disease, and to do something about it. Men United is not exclusively for men. This is a movement for men, but women will be critical supporters and activists within it. But, the core idea is that men are very consciously facing their health and banding together to right a wrong.
  • Whether they’ve been diagnosed or are simply concerned about prostate cancer, men can find out about the disease atwww.prostatecanceruk.org.


About Prostate Cancer UK:

  • Prostate Cancer UK fights to help more men survive prostate cancer and enjoy a better quality of life. We support men and provide vital information. We find answers by funding research into causes and treatments. And we lead change, raising the profile of the disease and improving care. We believe that men deserve better.
  • Prostate cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in men in the UK. Over 40,000 men are diagnosed with prostate cancer every year. Every hour 1 man dies from prostate cancer. One in four Black men will develop prostate cancer at some point in their lives.
  • Anyone with concerns about prostate cancer can call Prostate Cancer UK’s confidential Helpline on 0800 074 8383 or visitwww.prostatecanceruk.org – the helpline is free to landlines, staffed by specialist nurses, and open from 9am to 6pm Monday to Friday with late opening until 8pm on Wednesdays.

IR Cymru (Liberal Youth Wales) call for focus on Mental Health provision

Nt473wwyLast weekend I proposed a motion to the Welsh Liberal Democrats’ 2014 Spring Conference on mental health provision in Wales, with a focus on national provision and community provisions, waiting times and quality, the transition from adolescent to adult services, care in the workplace and in educational institutions, and care for prisoners.

We were so pleased to hear so many people talk openly about their own experiences of mental health.

Ruth Coombs from Mind Cymru commended the motion for its detail and holistic approach to tackling mental health stigma and discrimination and improving care, specifically echoing our calls for an improvement in psychological treatment.

This was a highlight for myself and for Liberal Youth Wales – an external organisation doing so much to push the mental health agenda in Wales and the UK, commending a motion that we proposed at a national party conference. Say what you wan, but this is genuine, membership led, democratically decided, politics.BkivS-lIQAABB_N

This comes as one of many motions that have been successful – concessionary travel for young people which has recently been accepted in the Assembly by the Welsh Government, political education in the curriculum, our input into FE and HE policy, and mental health which has also made its way to the Assembly.

We’re not doing all that bad, if we’re honest.