Shadow Cabinet reshuffle

I’m enjoying my birthday today! So – in place of a proper blog entry, here’s the news release about my new Shadow Cabinet job:

Hornsey & Wood Green MP, Lynne Featherstone, has today been appointed as Lib Dem Youth and Equalities Spokesperson in Nick Clegg’s Shadow Cabinet.

The newly upgraded Shadow Cabinet post is part of the new leader’s drive to move away from the ‘broken politics of Westminster’ and to reconnect the party with issues of genuine concern to ordinary people.

Lynne Featherstone MP comments:

“Now more than ever do young people and those who face discrimination need a strong champion. I look forward to fighting for their corner on the national stage using the skills I have learnt in sticking up for the people of Hornsey & Wood Green.

“Young people are all too often forgotten in this government’s priorities and sadly we have seen the results locally with gang violence on the streets of Haringey and cuts in youth services.

“More alarmingly, in spite of decades of legislation on equalities, there are still areas of our society that are deeply unequal. Men still earn more than women, a black man is still more likely to go to prison than to university and there are still countless obstacles for many who just want to be treated like anyone else.

“I can’t wait to get stuck into these issues in the New Year.”

Nick Clegg, newly elected leader of the Liberal Democrats added:

“Lynne is a fantastic campaigner and I am pleased to have her on board my team to fight for these important issues where Labour has seriously failed to deliver for so long.

“I have no doubt she will use the formidable skills she has gained standing up for the people of Hornsey & Wood Green to be a real champion for young people and those who face discrimination in our society.”

(You can read about the rest of the Shadow Cabinet changes on the party website and on Liberal Democrat Voice.)

0 thoughts on “Shadow Cabinet reshuffle

  1. so this signals that you have been depromoted. It shows the misfortune of backing the losing side on a contest …

  2. Hi Lynne, Firstly, I would like to congratulate you in your recent appointment as spokesperson for the Liberal Democrat on the specific brief of Youth and Equality. I wish you well in your work to ensure you promote positive images of young people and raise their aspirations. In your blog, you pinpointed key issues that require addressing, which are significantly important. However, the Government must attempt to address, with your lobbying, the issue of young people vulnerable to extremist messages. This was supported by Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr, Khalid Mahmood, who said: “Our young people have been allowed to fall into the hands of fringe organisations who are getting at them at universities, schools, colleges and mosques. They are being manipulated.” Furthermore, the Assistant Commissioner of the Metropolitan Police, Tarique Ghaffur, suggested that our young people had, since September 11th 2001, of course,developed a strong sense of connection with Islam. The cumulative effect, in my Ghaffur’s opinion, of Islamophobia, both internationally and nationally, linked to social exclusion, has created a generation of angry young people who are vulnerable to exploitation. Therefore, this undoubtedly creates a generation of young people who become vulnerable to the “simplistic” anti-western messages of extremist organisations, advocating closed and hostile views of other religions, which is regarded as attractive by vulnerable young Muslims. Furthermore, leadership organisations with the Muslim community further aggravate the unpleasant situation by campaigning on foreign issues. The leadership organisation should, in my opinion, choose to address bread and butter issues affecting young Muslims in Britain. This undoubtedly includes unemployment, training and various other issues of common concern. I therefore provide little praise for such organisations, and thus urge the Government to take positive measures to address this issue. To conclude this part of my lengthy contribution, I would agree with the assessment of the Met’s Assistant Commissioner, where he eloquently argued that “We must think long and hard about the causal factors of anger and resentment[of young Muslims]. In particular, we need to adopt an evidence-based approach to building solutions. I therefore, with the support of many people and police officers, including Britain’s highest ranking Muslim officer, support the calling for an independent judicial review of the issue of young Muslims and extremism and the wider community dimension. On a somewhat different matter, the Government needs to urgently address issues of teenage pregnancies, which are at epidemic levels. Furthermore, the support provision available for single parent teenage families, where many of them can bearly survive. Additionally, there are issues, as you rightly say Lynne, to encourage people into education and employment. Not only within black communities, but all communities should equally be equipped to enter further and subsequently higher education. I certainly accept the analysis that we need to make sure that every young person has the chance to achieve a place at university or have access to ‘on the job’ training. We need to make sure that young people have the financial assistance through college and university to realise their ambition – whatever their background. Not only selectively choosing which communities we want to help, if we choose to do that, your analysis would still be wrong. As Bangladeshis do far worse than Afro-Carribbean or African children, thus we should design initiatives to help Bangladeshi children to attain better results in school etc etc.ThanksMash