Friday, 17 April 2015

The poisonous climate of racism/xenophobia UKIP rhetoric creates

This morning an ex-flatmate of mine, a Yorkshire girl of Indian heritage (UK born and raised British citizen), had a very unpleasant experience on her commute to work.

Two older men were sat near her on the train talking loudly about how they were going to vote UKIP in order to "get rid of this shit in our country" while staring menacingly at her. She diplomatically said that she "did not take kindly" to this and that it left her "fuming" (how British!).

No matter how many times Nigel Farage or other UKIP members/supporters say they're not a racist party, they have to take responsibility for the climate of racism/xenophobia their rhetoric creates. That climate emboldens people like the two men on the train to think that it's OK to behave in an intimidating manner towards someone because of their ethnic origin.

I recall attending an event on human rights while an MEP where a speaker of South Asian heritage said (in the context of voting being an important human right) that everyone should get out and vote for whichever party and/or candidate they identified with most strongly.

The same speaker went on to say he was worried about the rise of UKIP as he feared that their rhetoric would create a hostile environment for people of BAME (Black and Minority Ethnic) origin and lead to some people looking at his children and seeing them as "foreigners" and a "problem". At the time, I thought he might be overreacting. What happened to my former flatmate this morning indicates that sadly I was wrong.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Liberal Democrat manifesto supports vapers!

For immediate release 15 April 2015

Liberal Democrat manifesto supports vapers!

The Liberal Democrats manifesto released today Wednesday 15 April 2015 recognises that electronic cigarettes are a way out of tobacco for many people, and that any restrictions should be proportionate and evidence based. (1)

The party has also ruled out a ban on vaping in public places. There is no evidence of bystander harm from vaping and making it more difficult for people to vape risks discouraging smokers from making the switch from tobacco to e-cigarettes. In addition, forcing vapers to stand with smokers and be exposed to the product they are trying to avoid, seems somewhat perverse.

Rebecca Taylor, Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Morley and Outwood, former Yorkshire and Humber MEP and campaigner on tobacco harm reduction (2) welcomed the move:

"I am very glad that my party has taken a Liberal and pragmatic position on e-cigarettes and vaping. I hope that other political parties will see through the misleading research put out by some (3) and come to the same conclusion".


Notes for editors

(1) The manifesto text (on page 76 is: "Carefully monitor the growing evidence base around electronic cigarettes, which appear to be a route by which many people are quitting tobacco, and ensure restrictions on marketing and use are proportionate and evidence based. For example, we support restrictions ton advertising which risks promoting tobacco or targets under 18s, such as those introduced in 2014, but would rule out a statutory ban on “vaping” in public places."

(2) In a personal capacity Rebecca Taylor is an associate of the New Nicotine Alliance ( and is on the advisory board of a large scale study on the use of e-cigarettes, which is currently applying for funding.

(3) For a good explanation of much of the misleading research on e-cigarettes, please see:


Twitter @RTaylor_LibDem

Monday, 6 April 2015

Things I learned about Morley and Outwood no 2 - people care about nature

Many voters care about nature

I have received many emails from voters in Morley and Outwood asking me to "Vote for Bob".

A vote for Bob (FYI Bob is a red squirrel) is a commitment to put nature higher up the political agenda and Bob's biggest supporter is the RSPB.

Bob (or one of his friends)

 Image result for red squirrel

As someone who grew up enjoying the pretty Yorkshire countryside (in the Calder Valley to be precise) and worked closely with the RSPB while a Member of the European Parliament. I was happy to agree to "Vote for Bob".

You can find here some details of my work to protect nature while an MEP:

blanket bog and climate change

stopping the destruction of blanket bog

So if you're a Morley and Outwood voter and you want your next MP to be someone who not only says they cares about nature, but has a track record of fighting to protect it, then vote for me!