Author Archives: Sean Davey

Opinion: Where now for liberalism?

Over the next few days, weeks and months there are a few grim but necessary processes which the Liberal Democrats (not to mention Labour and UKIP also) will have to go through: electing a new leader, debating the purpose and ideology that guides the party, and ultimately regrouping to lick our collective wounds.

Perhaps more important than the theatrics of these things unfolding, is the question well what’s next? The decimation of the party as a parliamentary force – following on from the sustained loss of local government Liberal Democrats over the past five years – has disrupted the status quo, and now more than ever a new generation will need to rise up to carry the torch of Liberalism.

Unlike Labour and the Conservatives with their safe seats even when relegated to the opposition benches this does not simply mean a new leader, a new direction and “rising stars”. For the Liberal Democrats we really are back to building ourselves up as a party of local and national government.

In re-building the party we have a stark choice: change versus more of the same. I suspect  this phrase will be banded about plenty in the ideological and strategic battles for the party’s soul and direction, but change must come in the ‘who’ as much as the ‘what’ and ‘why’.

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged and | 41 Comments

Opinion: People power – a different kind of coalition

In the face of rapidly declining membership of political parties we – along with the other parties – face a challenge to survive.

In the past we have prospered as a membership led organisation, supported by a national network of volunteers and activists. Our revenue is derived from a combination of membership fees, donations and small scale fundraising.

Above all else we are members of a party that exists to promote and further our values by electing Liberal Democrats to all tiers of government – local and national. We are not a pressure group or a single issue party.

In light of drastically …

Posted in News | Tagged , and | 38 Comments

Opinion: A New Year, a new direction for Liberal Youth?

Liberal Youth action dayWith nominations closing on January 4th, Liberal Youth will be electing a new Chair, and several new members of the Exec team leading it forward in 2013. Thanks to the hard work and diligence of Acting Chair Harry Matthews these elections (and positions) will be online and open to all Lib Dem members who are aged 16-25, or registered students.

The New Year offers an opportunity for renewal and a new direction for our youth wing, but equally there is a risk of simply “rearranging the deckchairs …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 4 Comments

Opinion: Preaching to the choir – regional Liberal Democrat conferences

This weekend I sacrificed both of my two possible lie-ins for London Regional Conference and a Liberal Youth executive meeting respectively.

Both left me feeling frustrated, and cynical about the future of the party for one main reason: our insularity. Regional conferences are diligently organized – usually by the same people – but feature a similar rotation of speakers, uncontroversial debates and excessive coffee breaks.

Posted in Op-eds and Party policy and internal matters | 16 Comments

Opinion: Strong communities are the key to reducing anti-social behaviour

From littering to binge drinking to sexual harassment, as a society we suffer when individuals show a lack of restraint and self-discipline when interacting with each other and with their local environment.

How many women do you know who have suffered sexual harassment? From wolf whistles in the street to full-on physical harassment, too many of my female friends don’t feel safe to walk down the street at night, and, more often than not, have experienced harassment of some kind in

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 12 Comments

Opinion: Reshuffle to the Right

The official line is that today’s reshuffle is all about prioritizing the economy – with reasonable evidence for this with Ken Clarke staying on with an economic brief; Cameron beefing up the Whip office and thus backbench discipline; and appointing someone with previous experience of that role – Patrick McLoughlin – to Transport to push through infrastructure projects like HS2.

But the commentary from Twitter to the BBC is already painting this as a move to the right. Lib Dem tweeters are suddenly gloomier about the lifetime of this coalition, but here’s what I think: the Tories have inadvertently given us …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 90 Comments

Opinion: Moderates vs Radicals: the battle for the Liberal Democrat soul

Why did you join the third party? The party with no hope of winning the election? The party who now linger at 10% in the polls, under constant attack on all sides?

Many commentators openly wonder why there is a Liberal Democrat party at all. In an unforgiving two-party system these doubts are not so easily dismissed: how is it that as a small, stubborn party polling just a core vote barely in double digits we are able to sustain our existence, and why do we?

Posted in News and Op-eds | Tagged , and | 57 Comments
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    @ Steven Rose Euro is an invention that mostly benefits Germany by making their goods and services competitive whilst making those from poorer Eurozone countries...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 30th Jul - 1:27pm
    It looks like Elaine is doing great work. I don't know the complete demographics of Popular and Limehouse, even though I used to live there,...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 30th Jul - 1:25pm
    @Little Jackie Paper Many of us would love some German Ordoliberalism here in the UK Why? Ordoliberalism is predicated on the idea that a successful...
  • User Avatarpetermartin2001 30th Jul - 12:40pm
    "The difficult bit was then explaining where you would get the money from." The answer that question isn't at all difficult if we understand where...
  • User AvatarMartin Land 30th Jul - 12:16pm
    Which, Richard, begs the question. Can the UK government deprive me of my European Citizenship? Is this an infringement of my human rights?
  • User AvatarRichard Underhill 30th Jul - 11:59am
    "get clarity around the future status of EU citizens within the UK". Yes, but be careful about allowing others to frame the questions by the...