Ed Davey MP writes….My family, my party

Last weekend I went glamping. with Emily and our children, John and Ellie. This luxury form of camping was my birthday present to my super-patient wife, and our first proper time to reflect together after the General Election.

And to cut to the chase, I’ve come back to Westminster more determined than ever to campaign hard for the party Emily and I both love – but not to campaign to lead the party at this moment.

When Tim resigned, I assumed Jo would go for it, and I would have supported her. She gave understandable reasons why she didn’t – so here are my reasons, some similar to Jo’s.

Emily and I met through the party. I was chairing a Housing Policy Working Group and she was a member, as a social housing lawyer. What could be more romantic?

Our joy this weekend was seeing our two children play together. And when you understand that John (aged 9) is severely disabled, you will appreciate that seeing our 3 year old daughter make him laugh is quite special.

And if it helps explain my decision not to run just a little more, please remember that my father died when I was 4 and my mother when I was 15. Being there for my children over the next few crucial years and to see those special moments is my personal priority.

So my decision not to stand now to be Leader of our party is a difficult one, but it is rooted in my family: the need to be there for my young children and not continually away from home; the need to protect my family from the inevitable intrusion on our lives; and the need to protect myself from pressures that would otherwise compromise my job as a father while they are still so young.

And this was a difficult decision, because I want to play a big part in rebuilding our party, and taking it into power, at all levels of Government.

If I’d run, my message would have been simple: we need to be the party of reform, challenging the status quo. Saying the uncomfortable things. Recognising how broken our politics is.

From an education system that fails tens of thousands of children every year, to a hostility to regulations that allowed bad fire safety laws that led to Grenfell Tower. From how we persist in not linking the environment to health, so that we tolerate air pollution knowing it is wrecking our nation’s health. To Brexit, where we are betraying British traditions of international co-operation and enlightened self-interest for a fistful of lies.

And to be a winning party of reform, we must start telling the British people who Liberal Democrats are, and what we stand for. And not simply what and who we are against.

We must also be super-ambitious – just like radical centrists in Canada, France and The Netherlands. If they can win from third place – or from “no place” like Macron – why can’t we?

And in answering that question, we need to be self-critical. While we’ve had some success in recent times – not least with the amazing rise in membership – our election defeats have been crushingly bad.

We need to reflect why – and then ensure our party is fit-for-purpose – able to provide the platforms for future winning campaigns.  We owe it to the huge number of amazing campaigners in our party, who have worked their socks off, and not yet seen us win.

So Emily and I are excited about playing our part in our party’s renewal and revival – and we look forward to getting behind the new Leader to make that happen.

* Ed Davey is the Liberal Democrat MP for Kingston and Surbiton and was Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change in the coalition government.

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79 Comments

  • Richard Wingfield 27th Jun '17 - 5:05pm

    Entirely understandable reasons and credit to Ed Davey for being so honest and forthright about them. I can’t imagine how tempting it must be to stand for the leadership, and yet at the same time know the sacrifice it will inevitably be for your family. I really hope continues to play a leading role in the party. Slightly disappointed that it looks like we’ll see a coronation, but still delighted that Vince will be our new leader.

  • Elaine Woodard 27th Jun '17 - 5:06pm

    Ed, we have no right to expect anyone to put their name forward to be leader of this party so I totally respect your decision, your reasons for it and your thoughts on what we should be doing now.

  • This is a really good article, and makes me all the more disappointed that we have so many excellent MPs who can’t run for leader.

    What is wrong with our politics that the best people all shy away from the top job?

  • Eddie Sammon 27th Jun '17 - 5:10pm

    Completely understandable reasons Ed, best of luck and I’m glad you won your seat back! 🙂

    Is nobody else considering throwing their hat in? I’ll probs vote for Vince even if there is a contest because any new candidate is leaving it quite late.

  • Adrian Moss 27th Jun '17 - 5:13pm

    I was absolutely behind Ed if he and Emily had agreed that to stand for leader was the right decision now but they have made the right decision for themselves and therefore it must be the right decision for the Party. Their family must come first.

    I thank them for their time and commitment

    Adrian

  • I was proud to help out with the campaign to get Ed re-elected as our local MP in Kingston and Surbiton, and in all of my interactions with him and seeing him in action with other activists I was struck by what a thoroughly decent, committed human being he really is. I think he’d make a brilliant leader of the Party, but completely understand the reasoning here and I think it’s admirable to put family before self-advancement. I hope he might be convinced to run for leader one day, but for the time being, here’s to a bright future for the Lib Dems under new management!

  • Ed’s explanation for not standing, like Jo Swinson’s is perfectly understandable. Thanks to you both for setting out your reasoning so clearly.

    I do think a coranation of King Vince is a bad idea and hope someone else throws their hat into the ring. Though it’s hard to see who…

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 27th Jun '17 - 5:14pm

    Ed, I am sure we all fully understand and respect your reasons for deciding not to stand at this time. But please, do try to encourage at least one more of your colleagues to stand, so that we can have a proper leadership contest, not a coronation.

  • Paul, absolutely! I think Jo did herself some serious damage with that comment, which will surely come back to haunt her (and thus us as a party) if she ever does become leader.

  • Geoffrey Payne 27th Jun '17 - 5:21pm

    I was very impressed with how Vince took on the Labour government in 2008 with their handling of the banking crises so I was leaning towards Vince. But I would have liked a contest and I think Ed would also have done a good job. We do need a debate about where the party goes from here and a leadership contest would have been a very good way of having it. I hope it can take place anyway and Vince will encourage it. I have no doubt Ed will contribute fully to it.
    I think Ed’s reasons for not standing are both understandable and commendable.

  • Christine N 27th Jun '17 - 5:23pm

    Deepest respect for your decision Ed even if I am sad for the party.
    And I’m so pleased you had a good family weekend.

  • Vince Cable was the Secretary of State responsible for the retention of Tuition Fees and the enormous uprating that took place. Cannot vote for him. We need a mixed gender contest. I will say no more.

  • Stephen Clarke 27th Jun '17 - 5:26pm

    Well unless someone changes their mind it has definitely now become time for Lib Dem friends of RON.

  • Certainly I respect your reasoning Ed and appreciate how important your family are to you. know it will have been a difficult decision, even if I was under the impression that your were likely to run. I hope that you can still indeed play a big role in the party.

    However whilst Vince has the stature and experience, would be disappointing in my view if there is not a contest and debate,however hopefully the party will move on reflect on the way forward regardless.

  • Am in full agreement with Catherine, here. Very understandable – and actually commendable – reasons, Ed, and thank you for your frankness, but a coronation of Vince is… sub optimal.

  • Giles Major 27th Jun '17 - 5:38pm

    We’re lucky to have talented MPs; we’ll need to get better at helping them lead us. All party members will need to get behind the eventual leadership team.

    Part of that will be making clear what members think about education funding. Vince knows all the ins and outs of the fees saga. He should meet criticism head on, and if that means recognising the need for a different policy then so be it. No use pretending it didn’t happen.

  • Phil Wainewright 27th Jun '17 - 5:40pm

    Whoever becomes our leader, it’s essential they share Ed’s ‘super-ambition’ for our party and his determination to be clear what we stand for, not just what we’re against.

    They must also allow talents like Ed, Jo and others to shine through as part of a team effort, rather than a presidential style of leadership that focuses on just one person.

  • James Morshead 27th Jun '17 - 5:41pm

    Nick (Lords), Jo, Norman, Ed (leadership) – why do people so often come across as just what’s needed when they rule themselves out?

    I agree with what your position would have been Ed. This would get across what Liberalism is all about, and communicate the radicalism and zeal that would engage people, especially young people, to raise our profile and support across the board, not just in target seats.

  • Paul Pettinger 27th Jun '17 - 5:45pm

    “We must also be super-ambitious – just like radical centrists in Canada, France and The Netherlands. If they can win from third place – or from “no place” like Macron – why can’t we?”

    Because they haven’t betrayed core voters, propped up Conservatives, adopted fiscal conservatism during a recession caused by a credit bubble bursting, or positioned themselves up to be aggressively squeezed from both the left and right.

  • We don’t have to have a coronation if there is only one candidate . I’m sure Vince could think of something more useful to do with the time and effort saved by the absence of a contest.

  • paul barker 27th Jun '17 - 6:08pm

    I would have liked a contest but it looks like its not going to happen so lets cancel the “Process” & stop ourselves looking silly. The idea of a contest with only one contestant is bats, we would be spending money we havent got to make ourselves a laughing stock.
    If its going to be Vince & Jo then lets do it as sonn as we can. We should be promoting a Collective Leadership that shows off the Partys talents.
    Lets not be grumpy about this, a Party at 6% cant afford divisions or sulks.

  • Richard Underhill 27th Jun '17 - 6:12pm

    theakes 27th Jun ’17 – 5:25pm Please see BBC TV Daily Politics 27/6/2017. Frances O ‘Grady (TUC) said that they have done research into youthful attitudes. She said twice that tuition fees were well down the list (and might be willing to publish more detail if asked nicely).
    Stephen Clarke: RON never wins. We have one excellent candidate. Other MPs should declare their decisions briefly. The next general election might be on different boundaries. Time is of the essence.

  • Sadie Smith 27th Jun '17 - 6:14pm

    As we all say, entirely understandable good reasons.
    I do hope the Party and the Parliamentarians have a think about what we expect from the Party Leader.
    I have argued elsewhere for a degree of delegation from the winner. This was mostly with an eye to gradually give wider experience to our new MPs. Ed and Norman have given me reason to think of it more widely. It will not be popular among the conventional at Westminster but maybe we do need to modify the role in a smallish Party.
    It certainly gives any Leader a range of skills to draw on from colleagues.

  • Millicent SB 27th Jun '17 - 6:15pm

    I’m sorry neither Ed nor Jo feels up to taking on leadership at the moment.

    Interesting that Ed has some similar reasons to Jo’s and yet Ed has no need to defend his entire gender in setting out his reasons for not standig and also doesn’t suffer horrific sexist abuse in these comments. By comparison, the way Jo was treated for expressing a very similar position was deeply depressing.

    I hope both will feel able to take on a leadership contest in the not-too-distant future.

  • Dinti Batstone 27th Jun '17 - 6:25pm

    Why don’t you and Jo do it as a job-share? 🙂

  • Four things.
    1. We may not have many of them at the moment, but the QUALITY of our MPs is something to be proud of. What a great article from a good man.
    2. I want a contest. We all want a contest. But let’s be realistic. With Tim, Norman, Jo, Alastair, Layla and Ed all saying no, that leaves just 5 potential challengers to Vince, 3 of whom (Christine, Jamie and Wera) are newbies, and the other 2 (Tom and Stephen) have never shown any particular leadership ambitions.
    3. The only reason a person should stand for leader is if they have the passion, ambition and commitment to actually win. Let’s not have reluctant ‘paper’ candidates. We may just have to accept the reality that we have just one person willing to stand.
    4. However, even if that is the case, Vince should still do a series of ‘hustings’ meetings round the country, taking questions from members and setting out his vision just exactly as though there were a contest. I don’t think a ‘coronation’ is the end of the world, but we do need to have a process of genuine engagement with the members.

  • Sheree Miller 27th Jun '17 - 6:45pm

    Very much respect Ed and the decision taken. Naturally I’m disappointed and agree with previous comments that to anoint a leader is not necessarily a healthy thing. Hope you haven’t been to lunch in Islington……

  • We need a change from the Centre-Left into the radical centre ground. Economically liberal and pro-business, whilst socially fair with political reform. We should fill the gap taken by both Labour to the left, but what we are missing, also replacing the gap the Tories have made in the centre-right.

  • Bill le Breton 27th Jun '17 - 6:47pm

    We urgently need a discussion this summer – we won’t get it this way.

    It should be no surprise to most here that I thought and said that Nick Clegg had made himself a liability by the Autumn of 2010 and should step down, because the polls would never come back for him. And I wanted Vince to take over as a muture and steady ship in a storm – a storm for the country as well as a storm for the Party. But I would love to have someone else to think of voting for.

    My favourite for helping the Party to have this discussion has not ruled themselves out yet – probably hasn’t even considered it. But isn’t that exactly the type of person we should urge to help us debate what we need to DO this summer, this autumn, this winter?

    Because it is what we do – not what we say, not what story we try to tell – that could save us. Liberal Action.

  • Richard

    It isn’t so much tuition fees that were/are the issue. It’s about being a smaller party having a major policy which attracts many young voters, turn it into a pledge, then finally get into government and do the complete opposite-despite having the opportunity to abstain.

  • Really impressive decision Ed. Respect to you.

  • Both Ed and Jo have ruled themselves out primarily because they want to put their families first. That is a perfectly laudable reason, and neither should be criticised for it in any way.

    Now that it is clear that we are not going to have a contest, or at least a serious contest, can we move on and waste no more time? Can Vince start acting as if he is Leader, even if he is not quite yet?

    Coronations are not a wholly bad thing. The last leadership election damaged both candidates and damaged the party. I am so relieved that we will not be subjected to that kind of torture again.

    Go on, Vince. Get on with the job of rebuilding this party. Waste not one more day.

  • Richard Whelan 27th Jun '17 - 7:27pm

    Point of information:

    If Vince is the only candidate when nominations close on 20th July, does he still have to go through hustings across the country during the summer and go up against RON in the ballot or does he automatically become leader?

  • Sue Doughty 27th Jun '17 - 7:29pm

    For me over the years you have been an inspiration, and have helped me so much. I’m sorry you won’t be standing but respect entirely the reasons. Enjoy your family. These things matter.

  • A moving and impressive piece Ed.
    I definitely joined the right party!
    I’m sure a few children are going to be very proud of their parents sense of balance and proportion as they grow older.

    Bit tongue in cheek I know , but really can’t resist: –
    “Wanted ‘Blokes’ for the Lib Dem party to apply for posts at the highest level” 🙂

  • Theresa May’s coronation as leader has lead to a weak leader and weak prime minister. If there is no one else to stand, would one of these radical ideas be that Davey stands to challenge Vince and help Vince develop arguments and ideas with the party knowing that this is a one horse result?

  • Understandable reasons, fair enough.

    This is getting beyond a joke now though. A completely unnecessary leadership contest that none of our mps seem to want to stand in. Congrats to the group of Lords who put this in motion….

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Jun '17 - 7:52pm

    DJ,
    You should know by now that we Lib Dems are NEVER in a one horse race! What on Earth would the bar chart look like ??

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Jun '17 - 7:55pm

    And then there were 5?

  • Andrew McCaig 27th Jun '17 - 7:57pm

    James

    Tim Farron put this in motion.. Do you think he cannot make a decision for himself?

    Perhaps he should have talked to the MPs first though…..

  • Very sad Ed isn’t standing, but for very good reasons.

  • I very much hope there is a contest and not a coronation.

  • Sharron Sumner 27th Jun '17 - 8:08pm

    Your letter shows just why you would have been an amazing party leader, and how under your direction our yellow bird of freedom could have soared like an eagle once again. You have gained my respect and my loyality and I was looking forward to campaigning on your behalf. I feel its a sad day for the party, but I completely respect your reasons for not standing.

  • Geoff English 27th Jun '17 - 8:15pm

    Clearly we have to respect Ed’s reasons, which he has explained so eloquently. I have been desperate to have a contest for all the reasons I have expressed in previous posts. However it is unrealistic to expect any of the new MPs to put themselves in the firing line without a reasonable chance of winning and while a Cable v Lamb contest or a Cable v Davey contest would have been a worthwhile exercise regardless of who won and much preferable to a Cable coronation, I have to now say an unopposed nomination would be better than turning this into a farce, so I am now resigned to the Lib Dems finishing up with a single candidate (just like Theresa May!) -unless one of the candidates who have already ruled themselves out can be persuaded to change their mind.

  • @ Phil Wainewright

    “They must also allow talents like Ed, Jo and others to shine through as part of a team effort, rather than a presidential style of leadership that focuses on just one person.”

    This is worth very serious consideration.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 27th Jun '17 - 8:35pm

    Bill Le Breton, Let’s hope the candidate you keep cryptically mentioning does put themselves forward, then. I don’t quite understand why you keep suggesting them, with clues, but not mentioning them. They might be more likely to put themselves forward if they knew they had support. I’m almost sure I know who you mean – the possible candidate who I, on a comment on a different article, said could be the outsider who just perhaps might do what Jeremy Corbyn did in 2015.

  • Yee-Liu Williams 27th Jun '17 - 8:36pm

    I know I am not the only one moved by your piece. It’s been a real privilege working in the K&S campaign team. Indeed very, very sad news for the Party but a good call on work-life balance. The words that imprint in my mind: “to be a winning party of reform, we must start telling the British people who Liberal Democrats are, and what we stand for. And not simply what and who we are against.” Yes, spot on. As a party perhaps we should all consider ourselves as leaders and share your words and the responsibility.

  • Catherine Jane Crosland 27th Jun '17 - 8:37pm

    I meant, why you keep suggesting them but not naming them

  • Yeovil Yokel 27th Jun '17 - 8:50pm

    Full respect to Ed.

    If Vince is to become the new leader without a contest and therefore without hustings, it would still be good for supporters, campaigners and donors (especially out in the sticks) to have an opportunity to see and hear him – and preferably to question him as well – so that we can see what we’re getting for real and away from the artificial atmosphere of the HoC and TV studios. The upcoming parliamentary Summer recess might be the perfect opportunity to do this.

    My one misgiving about Vince is whether or not he is a ‘team player’ – would he be a grand but lonely semi-autocrat, or someone who properly delegates and enjoys the respect of his junior colleagues? I want to see a genuine and impressive Shadow Cabinet which means business, punching above its weight, well-led, united, and utilising all of the talent at the party’s disposal to distinguish us from the cynical, incompetent Tories and La-La Land Labour.

    By the way, who or what is RON?

  • Eddie Sammon 27th Jun '17 - 9:12pm

    PS, maybe the leadership role needs to come with an extra salary, on top of the MP’s salary? People seem to be asking: ‘What’s in it for my family?’.

  • Yeovil,

    I presume RON is re-open nominations.

  • Allan Brame 27th Jun '17 - 9:23pm

    What’s in it for my family?’

    That’s not the question at all. Is it reasonable to sacrifice my family life for the sake of the party?

    I would not criticise anyone who decides the answer is ‘No’ (or at least ‘Not yet’)

  • Eddie Sammon 27th Jun '17 - 9:29pm

    Allan, I mean people are asking themselves about the consequences for their family and concluding a bunch of negatives. A leader’s salary might help this.

  • Sir Vince the Invincible! No MP dare challenge him!

    I have no problem with him leading the party right now – he’s a good fit for the leader we need at the moment. Stabilise the situation, smash the next two sets of elections, guide us through Brexit then make a call about how well he’s done. If he’s a winner, he stays on if he wants.

  • Peter Watson 27th Jun '17 - 9:41pm

    I’m surprised that there is no mention of Hinkley Point C here, particularly given its recent news coverage.

  • John Barrett 27th Jun '17 - 9:56pm

    With Ed out of the running and no sign of any other MP in the race, it would make sense for the Parliamentary Party to meet up quickly and confirm if there is going to be any challenge Vince. If not, they should then ask him to take over as acting leader until whatever process we have to go through is carried out.

    At least this would allow someone to participate as leader in the national debate that is currently unfolding; on Brexit, the DUP bribe and deal, the Queens Speech debate, the dangers of fires in tower blocks, the economy and much more, without any Liberal Democrat input or comment.

    I appreciate there are risks with a “coronation” but if the Parliamentary Party confirms there is one candidate, we are going to have one sooner or later and if it happens during the 12 week summer recess, with little or no media interest, we might be the only ones that notice.

    Having a sham process with one candidate is the worst of all worlds. Despite things going wrong for the Conservatives during and after the election. when they were reduced to one leadership candidate, things went well for them – and how times have changed since then.

  • Bill le Breton – sorry but it really is quite tiresome that you keep lobbying for this phantom candidate. Please either say who you mean, or desist.

  • Duncan Brack 27th Jun '17 - 10:24pm

    To answer Richard Whelan’s question: no, there is no provision for a reopen nominations option, so if Vince is the only candidate nominated by 20 July, he becomes leader. If all the other possible candidates (all the other MPs) declare they’re not standing before then, I would have thought that the sensible thing to would be for the Federal Board to amend the election timetable (which they have the power to set) to bring forward the close of nominations. If that all happens, I think the idea of Vince doing Q&A sessions round the country is a pretty good one.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Jun '17 - 10:41pm

    A terrific little article , a strong understanding response, and shared by all.

    Well done, Sir Ed !

  • Sad to hear this news. Understandable, but we do need someone dynamic to take on the role and face down May and Corbyn. Vince is just too close to his sell-by date.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 27th Jun '17 - 11:02pm

    Those like Jennie, need to lobby Tom Brake, if they feel that someone else must stand, he is the one , a unity candidate !

  • I agree with Ed. At this time in his life putting his young family before Party is admirable in my book. He has time on his side and has only enhanced his standing in MHO.

  • Lorenzo. Tom Brake is a great mp, a potential leader he really is not though.

  • “We need a change from the Centre-Left into the radical centre ground. Economically liberal and pro-business, whilst socially fair with political reform. We should fill the gap taken by both Labour to the left, but what we are missing, also replacing the gap the Tories have made in the centre-right.”

    A change from the Centre-Left? We’ve barely gotten back to it yet…

    What does ‘radical centre ground’ even mean really?

  • Mark Goodrich 28th Jun '17 - 2:10am

    A great article by Ed. I am glad that both he and Jo have done what they felt is right for them and their families. You shouldn’t stand leader unless you are 100% sure.

    Incidentally, I really don’t get the criticism of Jo for suggesting that most blokes in her position would have gone for the leadership like a shot. It’s a simple statement of fact that most blokes who were the overwhelming favourite for leader would have gone for it and she was reflecting self-critically on whether she was allowing her gender to hold herself back.

  • Jonathan Le Feuvre 28th Jun '17 - 11:11am

    And this is why you would be an amazing leader. Either way respect man.

  • Lorenzo: Tom has already explicitly ruled himself out. Maybe he’ll change his mind, but as an activist for informed, enthusiastic consent in all things I can’t really not take no for an answer.

  • Sue Sutherland 28th Jun '17 - 11:41am

    Thank you Ed.

  • @ Eddie Sammon
    “PS, maybe the leadership role needs to come with an extra salary, on top of the MP’s salary? People seem to be asking: ‘What’s in it for my family?’.”

    Hi Eddie
    I don’t think money is the issue here at all, not one bit.
    What comes across loud and clear to me, is the commitment to family, and young children in particular, and been there for them during their formative years and not being away so much that this is left mostly to one parent.

    Coupled with the fact that Ed lost both his parents very young, I suspect he feels he missed out and wants to make 100% sure, his own kids do not miss out on the special moments he never had.

    I suspect, no salary in the world compensates for that.

    That’s why this piece is so moving, honest and true.

    The irony of course is that it’s exactly these qualities and self awareness that arguably make the best leaders, that are able to inspire trust and loyalty in those around them and attract others with those qualities.

    Maybe that is why we seldom see people at the highest level these days who appear to possess the qualities we value most – maybe in the modern 24 hour media driven world, the personal sacrifice is simply too great if you are the kind of person who values family life above all else.

  • A coronation is not ideal, as we know with Mrs May, but a divisive election is not ideal either. Vince Cable is much admired within and beyond the party and could lead very well for the foreseeable future – which, given the way things are going, is not very long,.
    With Ed Davy, Norman Lamb, Jo Swinson, Alastair Carmichael and the newcomers around him, the team could bat and bowl well.

  • Eddie Sammon 28th Jun '17 - 12:55pm

    Thanks Mike S. I think you are right. I just thought why does only one MP seem to want the job and what could we do to change this. Perhaps we should look at reducing the working hours of the leader.

  • Ed Davey and Jo Swinson are busy MPs with young children (presumably with partners who want some kind of life in their own right too!) and have every right to feel that “time poverty” would affect their lives as leader.

    Even as a two bit PPC I missed my daughter’s first steps and first words because I was at some by-election everyone has forgotten – it was not worth the sacrifice.

    It is interesting that Eddie raises the issue of salaries. It should not be forgotten that our councillors (who receive paltry remuneration) and our candidates (who receive no remuneration at all) make sacrifices not just in terms of time with their families but also in financial terms.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 28th Jun '17 - 1:21pm

    Jennie

    That’s fine, had not heard about Tom not standing.

    Ruth

    What you say is excellent. I have come to the conclusion the party is delusional if it does not address the futility of campaigns from a base of lost deposits, in areas with good mps perhaps, or other parties we could be working , along side.

    Of course they would have to change too, no more likely maybe.

    But I see us and the Greens literally going nowhere unless with new approaches , and strategies, real alliances . or a change in leadership rules and a complete realignment of the centre and centre left.

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