Tag Archives: agenda 2020 essay competition

Agenda 2020 Essay Competition #22: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

The party ran an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions was in November and the winner was announced at Spring Conference. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it [email protected] This one ended up on the shortlist, as Essay #9. It was mine. It dawned on me that I’d never actually published it on here and, as I’m currently en route for a week in the gorgeous Highlands, now seems to be a good time to let you read it. True to form I wrote it in about half an hour and submitted it about 10 minutes before the deadline.

The most important thing about being a Liberal Democrat today is that it is not a spectator sport. Liberalism is under threat from the politics of blame, fear and isolationism. Everyone who believes in freedom, social justice and the need to look after our planet needs to roll up their sleeves and live those values in every aspect of their lives. We need to find ever more creative and effective ways of countering the forces that threaten liberty, scapegoat groups of people and perpetuate inequality.

At the core of our belief, uniquely, is respect for the individual. Enforced or even encouraged conformity makes us weep. Our optimistic view of humanity drives us to create the conditions for all to thrive. While education is the cornerstone of human development, we understand it’s difficult to learn without food and shelter. We will stand up for the rights of those who don’t conform to society’s norms and will challenge attitudes which impose an oppressive expectation of behaviour. Unless it harms others, let it be.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #21: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party has been running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions was in November and the winner was announced at Spring Conference. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected]

Some things do not change. Liberalism is always, everywhere, about freedom. Historically this was freedom from – from political or religious authority; from the king, the church, or foreign power. In the west many such freedoms have been won, or rewon. But, though freer, are we free from want and sickness, custom and convention, from the pressure of the norm, from worry, fear and hate, from ignorance and prejudice? There are many battles still to be fought.

The test for a liberal is always freedom for an individual, not a sect or class, nor group nor gender – but freedom for the person, however they term themselves. We judge our freedoms by ever-changing benchmarks; as each summit is reached we see distant horizons, further freedoms beckon. Gaining political freedom, we seek social, sexual, economic freedoms now. We are ambitious for our selves. We treasure personal liberties. Being free, growing in freedom, is a process, not an achievement; a journey, not an ending.

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What does it mean to be a Liberal Democrat today? Choose the Agenda 2020 Essay competition winner

As part of the Agenda 2020 project to restate our values in a way that’s relevant to the modern world, the party ran an essay competition in the Autumn. Members were asked to submit 1000 words on the subject “What does it mean to be a Liberal Democrat today?”

Out of what is described as a “huge” number of entries, the party has shortlisted nine.

You can read them and vote for your favourite here.

We don’t know who the shortlisted applicants are – we just have their words to choose from. So, if you’re on the shortlist, no cryptic clues in the comments, please.

What’s in it for the winner?

The competition winner will be invited to speak to our Agenda 2020 consultation session at spring conference, have their essay published on the party website and in our party magazine, and be presented with a copy of John Stuart Mill’s ‘On Liberty’, signed by Tim Farron.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #20: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Wars, family experience and deafness helped me be a Liberal.

For me, to be a Liberal Democrat today means making sure we don’t go back to the world that scarred my parents generation. We do have reasons for hope. We need to gather all our strengths to give life to that hope.

My parents lives gave me a lot to think about. They had to deal with terrible events, as best they could. To make a positive difference however small and futile it may seem.

My mother was Lithuanian. She experienced life under both Stalin and Hitler. Active in the anti-Nazi resistance, then a refugee fleeing the Soviet advance. In the last months of WW2 she was a slave labourer on a German farm. When my dad met her she still had the marks of whippings visible on her back.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #19: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party has been running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions was last Monday. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected]

My name is Frieda. Today, Friday 16th September 2016, I took the plunge and joined the Liberal Democrats. I want to explain why.

My name may sound a little unusual. My mother is Danish, that’s why. She met my stepfather while he was working in Aarhus, my mother’s home town, for an energy consulting firm involved in wind turbine projects. It wasn’t long before they moved back together to Fleetwood – on the Lancashire coast – with me in tow! That’s where I spent my teenage years. Dad kept visiting Denmark for some time, until his firm finally went out of business last year (more of that later). I went up to Lancaster Institute of Contemporary Arts just last year.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #18: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party has been running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions was last Monday. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected]

As one of the post-May 7th new members you keep hearing about, being a Liberal Democrat today may have different connotations to me when compared to others in my adopted family. For me it is to be involved in a movement that is far greater than myself. One that celebrates individuality and stands up for the minority. The tagline of “Opportunity for Everyone” resonates in me as it is how I picture how I would want a Government to serve its people.

When one compares all of the main parties of British politics you are met with extremes of the political spectrum. There are some arrogant parties on one side wanting isolation from the rest of the world while only focusing on how they can increase monetary gain. On the other end you have the socialist parties pushing for an unambitious society that does not reward ambition or innovation.

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Agenda 2020 Essay #17: What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today

Editor’s Note: The party is currently running an essay competition for members of the Liberal Democrats, to submit 1000 words on the theme “What it means to be a Liberal Democrat today.” The deadline for contributions was yesterday. If you would like us to publish your submission, send it to [email protected]

I’m not going to tell you what it means to be a Liberal Democrat. I’m going to tell you what it means to be a Liberal.

Party fortunes come and go, but the Liberal Project is proud list of social achievements which have improved the lives of of millions of people across the world since the time of the Enlightenment. It’s a tradition of thought that aspires to create a world that is always better than the one in which we live, and for that reason it is fundamentally optimistic and looks to empower the best of human nature. Our capacity for compassion and empathy, generosity, rationality, forgiveness and the knowledge that while any person is still oppressed by injustice of any kind, I myself cannot be truly free.

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