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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  • User AvatarSimon Shaw 29th Sep - 1:48pm
    @Glenn I genuinely don't understand what you are trying to say. I don't think I actually said what happened or didn't happen in 2015, but...
  • User Avatarpaul barker 29th Sep - 1:39pm
    Watching the end of The Labour Conference with its forest of raised, clenched fists made me wonder what our equivalent should be ? Perhaps a...
  • User Avatarmalc 29th Sep - 1:28pm
    I know there are people out there desperate for some hope, but they are following the wrong man. Corbyn isn't a politician that helps people...
  • User AvatarSue Sutherland 29th Sep - 1:12pm
    I think David Becket put it rather well. We may agree with some of Corbyn's policies (and I do), but we aren't socialists and Corbyn...
  • User AvatarShaun Young 29th Sep - 12:59pm
    The problem I have is the 'contradictions' - On the one hand he appears to be telling business, 'Yes, there will be a raise in...
  • User AvatarGeoffrey Payne 29th Sep - 12:55pm
    Leaders of all political parties make tribal comments. They have to justify why their parties exist. That Jeremy Corbyn did not mention the Lib Dems...