Tag Archives: leadership

Jo Swinson MP writes..The role I want to play in our party’s leadership

It feels like an age since I was knocking on doors in the pouring rain in the final hour before polls closed, then hearing the shock of the exit poll on the car radio heading home to a hairdryer and somewhat less bedraggled attire for the count.

Yet here we are just a few days later, embarking on an election for leader of the Liberal Democrats.

I went to see Tim on Wednesday afternoon to tell him I thought he should definitely stay on, and I was excited at the prospect of putting myself forward to be Deputy Leader.  I was stunned when he told me he would be resigning that evening.

Listening to Tim’s dignified statement, outlining the personal turmoil he felt during the election, I can’t fault him for deciding to step down, but I feel very sad that it came to this.  Tim has done so much for our party.  In the devastating aftermath of the 2015 election, to build a record membership and increase MPs by 50% in just 2 years is a massive achievement.  Just as important, is that we now have our most diverse Parliamentary Party ever.  We owe Tim a massive debt of gratitude.

Since his shock announcement, I have been overwhelmed by so many lovely messages from people I know, and from many members I have not yet met, encouraging me to stand for leader.  I am touched and flattered that you look to me – and I am determined to play a key role in our party’s leadership.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 111 Comments

A warning from the Labour party: The difference between leadership and management

Politicians think government is 90% policy and 10% management, in reality it’s the other way round.’ Civil service aphorism

As iron sharpens iron so one person sharpens  another.’ Proverbs 27:17

A lot is being written about the Labour leadership election and rightly so. That a candidate unable to get the support of more than 20 MPs from the fringe left may be about to become leader of the opposition is astounding. Good reasons have been given for this state of affairs but I fear one more than any other has been glossed over.

Jeremy Corbyn is a far better candidate than Yvette, Andy and Liz.

Objectively he makes the best speeches, is the best communicator, has the clearest message and has the most coherent and (at least within the party) popular ideas for changing the labour party. Now whether the rest of the country will warm to him is another thing but one question that has to be asked is how a parliamentary party with 231 MPs to choose from has picked such mediocre mainstream candidates? Compare it with the recent Liberal Democrat leadership election and Norman Lamb and Tim Farron’s impressive campaigns.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 45 Comments

Opinion: What is leadership and how to choose the next leader

With a leadership contest now underway we may want to ask ourselves what it is that we are looking for in a leader for us to be able to decide who to vote for. We cannot underestimate how important the next leader is for the development of the party and the defence and promotion of liberal values.

We may have all joined the party at different times for different reasons but there are many things which bind us as a social group – we all have a common identity as members of the party. This identity is crucial for both ourselves (as commitment to the identity leads to greater involvement in the party and rejection of the identity means people leave) and others (if non-members identify with it they may vote for or even join the party while if they do not they will reject or even ridicule us). Our next leader is inherently linked to our shared identity and for them – and therefore us – to be successful they would do well to follow these principles as set out by Alexander Haslem, an Australian professor in psychology:

Leaders are one of ‘us’: To lead us, leaders must represent us

We must listen carefully to what and how they say things to decide if they represent one of us. It is easy to know if they are not. Miliband talked about the ordinary working people making a distinction between us and them (or more precisely him and them). He did not say ‘we’ work hard and ‘we’ are struggling. That was the other people – the country – which he wanted to help out. He was not ‘one of us’. Great leaders talk about ‘we’ because they are ‘of the people’ as much as they are ‘for the people’. We should look for someone who clearly shows they are one of us.

Posted in Op-eds | 20 Comments

Cambridge Liberal Democrats back Nick Clegg and reject leadership ballot

Cambridge spires - P1030926Cambridge Liberal Democrats have tonight rejected a resolution calling for a leadership  ballot by 45 votes for 32. The Liberal Democrat Constitution makes provision for a leadership contest if 75 local parties vote for one at quorate general meetings.

The Cambridge News has the story:

Cambridge Liberal Democrats have decided to back Nick Clegg’s leadership.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 130 Comments

John Pugh MP writes…Liberals must tackle rising social inequality and improve social cohesion

Liberal Democrat badge - Some rights reserved by Paul Walter, Newbury, UKThe nice thing about Lib Dem Voice is that they print what you say rather than what they want you to say.

After the disappointing General Election of 1987 I made the press ,when as Party Chairman of the only constituency in the England we had gained, I suggested it would be good for the party if David Steel  stepped down and Paddy Ashdown took over. I think I got that one right.

So understandably I thought long and hard before saying …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 55 Comments

Opinion: We must ask the right questions

Question markIn an era of increasingly presidential-style politics, it’s very tempting to fire the party leader when things go wrong – but would this actually help us for next year’s general and local elections?

To answer this, I feel we need to ask what made us successful pre-2010, what is actually going to work for us next year, will doing this be enhanced by having a different leader, and is there a better leader than the one we’ve got?

There are two obvious reasons for our pre-2010 rise. One was that we were …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 21 Comments

Opinion: An anti-Liberal Democrat press isn’t going to go any easier on any Liberal Democrat leader

Sun newspaper - License Some rights reserved by vapour trail Liberal Democrats 4 Change have a point about one thing. They are right to say that the Liberal Democrats do not get a fair hearing. However, they are mistaken to think that a leadership change would alter anything in this regard.

It is instructive to recall the moment Clegg began to get a bad rap from voters. At what point was this? The answer is not as obvious as you may think, It didn’t start with Secret Courts, Bedroom Tax or Tuition …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 103 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMike S 25th Jun - 11:17am
    @ Fiona Yes, I’m sure Jo’s very sensible and mature stance has not been lost on Layla. Leadership in 21st century Britain is a huge...
  • User AvatarMike S 25th Jun - 11:08am
    @Andrew Hickey, @ Holly Matthies Andrew, just clicking around over a cuppa, in between sorting out the jungle that used to be known as my...
  • User AvatarCassieB 25th Jun - 11:01am
    Wise words from Tom. And Glenn. The dreadful thing is that most of the mess was entirely foreseeable. And yet despite the recent lessons of...
  • User AvatarJohn Kelly 25th Jun - 10:46am
    John McHugo's comment is wise as always. He is of course too modest to mention his own book on Syria which is well worth reading....
  • User AvatarAndrew McCaig 25th Jun - 10:46am
    The Labour manifesto was, as said above, a manifesto for opposition, not for government, full of big promises to the middle class and with an...
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 25th Jun - 10:38am
    Civil Emergency?
Sat 1st Jul 2017