So, the second issue of AD LIB, the monthly magazine which has replaced Lib Dem News, hit subscribers’ doorsteps over the weekend. I reviewed the first edition which went to all members in December. I felt that it was a good effort, but there were some mistakes. The last Lib Dem Voice survey showed a mainly favourable response to it.
This month’s edition is jam-packed full of things which interested me. There’s something for even the most connected-to-the-hive-mind Liberal Democrat as well as the mildly interested member.
You don’t often get Liberal Democrats talking about feminism, so it’s good to see Jo Swinson using the F word while pointing out how the new parental leave arrangements, a Liberal Democrat idea, will help women. Her interview covers equal marriage, pensions and whether she wants to be leader.
Meral Hussein-Ece issues a challenge to the party on diversity:
The younger population are far more mixed and diverse but were not reaching out and appealing to them. I think we could do far more in the way we engage. It’s not just how we look, it’s how we sound and what we say. I just don’t think we’re doing it. When is the last time an ethnic minority was in the media speaking on behalf of the party?
She also talks very movingly about the tragedy which inspired her to get into politics, the death of her brother from a drug overdose two decades ago.
There’s an article on the Green Investment Bank which, at last, spells out its practical use in plain English, a debate on minimum alcohol pricing and interviews with a new councillor in Folkestone and our by-election candidate in Middlesborough.
For me the most interesting article was Helen Duffett’s interview with former press officer Louise Phillips who described the exciting atmosphere in the “spin room” during the first leaders’ debate.
There was even cake with a delicious sounding recipe for Lemon Drizzle Cake. I want to see more quick, healthy, energy boosting recipes that will keep us going during the campaigns to come, though.
Better photos and more about councillors needed
Now to what would make AD LIB better. They have to acquire a decent photo bank that befits a magazine, not just a succession of head shots of important people. The best one was an unposed shot of Jo and her researcher.
There were a couple of missed opportunities. Alistair Carmichael’s article on candidate selection was uncharacteristically dull. It needed something on the wonderful experience of being a candidate on the opposite page. Similarly, squishing details of forthcoming party elections open to all members at the back is a missed opportunity. Why not have an article about what the jobs entail?
It’s important to emphasise electoral success, but I feel AD LIB needs to show it values our councillors and showcase their achievements.
* Caron Lindsay is Co-Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings