Tag Archives: liberal reform

Liberal Reform announces new Advisory Council and housing focus

Liberal Reform advisory councilAs part of the next stage of our development, Liberal Reform has set up an Advisory Council representing a broad group of campaigners and policy experts to advise the elected Board and help ensure our broad Liberal heritage is represented in the party.

I’m delighted that the following prominent Liberal Democrats have agreed to join the Council, with more to follow: Norman Lamb MP, Jeremy Browne, Baroness Jenny Randerson, David Laws, Miranda Green, Julian Astle and Baroness Kishwer Falkner.

Since Liberal Reform was formed a few years ago it has become clear that there is a real appetite in the party for balanced four-cornered Liberalism — personal, political, social and economic — and that all of these elements are needed for us to rebuild the party as a radical, progressive force.

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Introducing Liberal Reform

New members have been asking about Lib Dem organisations that they can join.  You are welcome to submit similar items on behalf of other organisations.
Liberal Reform

Liberal Reform was founded early in the previous parliament as a grassroots group to focus on “four-cornered liberalism (personal, political, social and economic freedom), arguing for modern, dynamic liberalism that draws on our party’s long heritage arguing for broad individual freedom.

Virtually all Liberals believe in “four-cornered liberalism” but we, more than some others in the party, believe that economic freedom — open markets, free trade and proper competition — has to be a key component of modern liberalism. First, because as liberals we believe in freedom in itself as a force for good. And secondly, because economic liberalism has proven itself in recent history as the only reliable way in which societies can generate the resources needed to provide real individual freedom and security to every citizen.

Posted in Lib Dem organisations | Also tagged | 32 Comments

Liberal Reform: The leadership campaign is too important for factional infighting

Liberal Reform issued this statement following Tim Farron’s announcement that he will contest the party leadership election:

From the Board of Liberal Reform:

“The party now has two excellent candidates to choose from for leader, both with many strengths. We believe that whichever candidate is elected will need to lead a united party into battle against the Government and to expose the fake progressives of Labour and the SNP.

In this spirit, therefore, we do not believe it is appropriate for Liberal Reform to endorse a candidate in this contest and would urge other groups to take the same view. The need for unity in our task of rebuilding makes this leadership election too important for it to descend into factional infighting.

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Opinion: Generation Y – Why don’t they vote Lib Dem?

Last year the Economist ran a fascinating article on  “The strange rebirth of Liberal England” on how young people have attitudes in many areas which are very liberal, though as we know this does not necessarily  equate  with voting for the Lib Dems. Liberal Reform explored this further at a fringe meeting in Glasgow which included some polling on Generation Y. Our three panellists, Kavya Kaushik, Jeremy Browne and Paul Marshall, with Chair Miranda Green talked about the polling and what Lib Dems could do to attract Generation Y to vote for us.

The polling is very clear on personal liberalism:  for example the percentage saying homosexuality is wrong, that people who want children should get married, and that a husbands job is to earn money the wife’s to look after the home and family are all lower for Generation Y. They also have markedly more Liberal views on immigration, being the only age group to see it as a net positive.

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Opinion: Simple, liberal ideas for London

london by Harshil ShahLondon is widely regarded as a liberal city. It is not, however, a Liberal Democrat city.

The party now controls just one council and has only 6% of the councillors, as well as 2 London Assembly members. And yet, at least anecdotally, London should be our city. It’s diverse and often cosmopolitan.

One of the most striking aspects of the 2014 British Social Attitudes survey was that over half of Londoners welcomed immigration as good for the economy – almost double the number of people who did so in the rest of the UK. In Merton, a losing UKIP councillor blamed the “more media-savvy and educated” Londoners for her party’s lack of success. Although she was widely mocked for this statement, the results would suggest that large parts of London are not natural UKIP territory.

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Liberal Reform’s submission to the Gurling Review

Liberal ReformLiberal Reform have submitted their recommendation to the Gurling Review on the recent election campaigns.

We believe that the Party needs to present a set of policies around the theme of freedom and opportunity which will allow the electorate to see how a government containing  Liberal Democrats would be different from the other two parties

The Submission has  5  areas where we believe the Party needs to  focus on for 2015

Clear reasons for voting Liberal Democrat

We can no longer rely on people to vote for us because we are ‘none of the other …

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LibLink: Tim Farron – In 2010, we promised to deliver the Pupil Premium. In 2015, I want us to promise to deliver the Student Premium

Tim Farron speaking - Some rights reserved by Liberal DemocratsLib Dem party president Tim Farron has given his personal backing to the Lib Dems promising a Student Premium – modelled on the well-received Pupil Premium – at the next election. First proposed by his colleague Stephen Williams, Tim writes the Student Premium “could potentially change the game in terms of student uptake, especially from disadvantaged backgrounds”. Here’s an excerpt of his article for the April issue of the magazine, Politics First:

The Pupil Premium is being delivered only because the Liberal

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Liberal Reform response to Budget 2014

Liberal ReformLiberal Reform had this to say about the measures contained in yesterday’s budget:

Liberal Reform welcomes much of this year’s budget, which once again has a clear Liberal Democrat thread running through it. From income tax to pensions, the changes announced by the chancellor come from Lib Dem thinking.

There is one area where we would liked to have seen further progress, and that is on housing.

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A longer listen for the weekend: Can liberalism be better advanced by Lib Dems or Tories?

That was the topic up for debate at a fringe event a week ago at Spring Conference, hosted jointly by the Electoral Reform Society and Liberal Reform.

Lisa Smart, PPC for Hazel Grove, chaired the discussion, with Lib Dem MP Jeremy Browne, Conservative and Director of Bright Blue Ryan Shorthouse, and the ERS’s Nick Tyrone completing the panel.

As Jeremy indicates at the beginning of his remarks, he can answer the question shortly: the Lib Dems are the proper home for liberals. But fortunately for the audience he elaborated a little, including some challenges that he thinks the party has to meet if it is to remain at the liberal cutting edge.

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Liberal Reform comment on Royal Mail privatisation

In the wake of Vince Cable’s announcement that the Royal Mail would be privatised, we asked Liberal Reform and the Social Liberal Forum for their comments. We haven’t received anything from SLF yet, but here is what Liberal Reform co-chair Alan Muhammed had to say:

Liberal Reform welcomes the floatation of the Royal Mail, an organisation that has long required reform.  These moves will generate the biggest employee share scheme for 30 years and enables greater access to capital, crucial for sustaining the Royal Mail as a successful commercial business, delivering a vital service that the nation values.
There’s a substantial amount

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Party groups respond to the Spending Round

Here’s your usual round-up of comments from Lib Dem party groups following yesterday’s spending round announcements.

Both Liberal Reform and the Social Liberal Forum issued press releases. Here’s what the SLF said:

Danny Alexander MP will tomorrow announce details of capital spending plans, a result of hard-fought negotiations led by Vince Cable and others. The Social Liberal Forumm recognises that further cuts to current spending in the Chancellor’s Spending Review today are unlikely to repair public finances in the absence of robust economic recovery. Today’s announcements are insufficient to tackle our real economic challenges following the banking crisis and the alarming collapse

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Opinion: Liberal Democrats must stay firm on deficit reduction

Osborne -  Some rights reserved by altogetherfoolGeorge Osborne will stand up in the House of Commons on Thursday to announce the government’s intentions for public spending for the 2015-16 financial year in circumstances he neither anticipated nor wished for.

As a result of weaker economic growth and a revision to the estimates of the capacity of the British economy, the structural deficit that the coalition had hoped to eliminate by the time of the next election will exist well beyond it, meaning further spending cuts and tax rises.

Liberal Democrats must spell …

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Party groups respond to the Budget

As one might expect, groups within the Lib Dems are united in welcoming George Osborne’s announcement that the coalition will deliver the Lib Dem policy of a £10,000 income tax personal allowance next year, earlier than previously expected. Both the Social Liberal Forum and Liberal Reform also agree that the chancellor needs to be more ambitious when it comes to stimulating economic growth, though the groups diverge somewhat on how to do so.

First up, here’s the SLF’s response:

The Budget contains some welcome measures, especially on childcare costs and raising the personal tax allowance to £10,000 next year. The

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Autumn statement: Lib Dem party groups respond

Both Liberal Reform and the Social Liberal Forum have commented on the measures contained in yesterday’s autumn (read winter) statement.

First up, Liberal Reform welcomed many of the measures – particularly the faster increase in the income tax personal allowance – but expressed concerns about the party’s approach to the negotiations on the statement:

Liberal Reform welcomes many of the individual measures outlined in the Autumn Statement. The faster-than-expected increase in the income tax personal allowance and the freeze in fuel duty are particularly welcome, and reflect the Liberal Democrat priority of reducing the tax burden on those on low and middle

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Party groups unite against increased surveillance

Yesterday Mark Pack summarised the current state of play on the snooping row (“The wheels are coming off the online monitoring wagon”).

This topic has generated more emails, blogs and tweets from angry Lib Dems than anything I can remember. Party members seem to be united in their opposition to increased monitoring, so much so that statements from the so-called right and left of the party are virtually interchangeable.

From the Social Liberal Forum:

Any furthering of the already-extensive powers to interrogate peoples’ communication, especially in the absence of proper oversight, would constitute an ineffective and illiberal intrusion of our civil

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Where I stand on the new Lib Dem groupings

Time to out myself.

In the last year, three new Lib Dem groups have been launched to an unsuspecting world and to an often-suspicious Lib Dem blogosphere. In chronological order, they are: Social Liberal Forum (SLF), Liberal Left, and Liberal Reform.

They will add to the already thriving discussion base within the party which exists online (here on LibDemVoice and at Liberal Vision), in print (at Liberator), and in any of the party’s internal organisations.

To take the new kids on the block in turn…

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New Liberal Reform group to launch today

2011 saw the second full year of Liberal Democrat participation in national government. It also saw the beginning of a process to test the waters for the creation of a grassroots grouping supporting the economic and social liberalism, the individual and political liberty that is so valued by our party. Discovering a good level of support for the idea, we decided to proceed. Our mission statement can be found on our website, but its preamble should give you an idea of the direction we intend to take.

Liberal Reform exists to promote four-cornered freedom in the Liberal Democrats – personal, political, social and

Posted in Conference and News | 35 Comments

Recent Comments

  • User AvatarTim Hill 27th Nov - 1:21am
    Go on. Tell us :-)
  • User AvatarHuw Dawson 26th Nov - 11:37pm
    I am deeply unhappy about our likely involvement in the oncoming campaign in Syria - but given that Labour is about to eat its own...
  • User AvatarGeorge Kendall 26th Nov - 11:34pm
    @Jonathan Brown Me too. I like being in a broad church. At the moment, I'm describing myself as a Social Democrat, because I think that...
  • User AvatarPeter Hayes 26th Nov - 11:09pm
    A question he might ask, can the Prime Minister confirm that expanding the air war will not reduce the air support to the Kurds who...
  • User AvatarJayne Mansfield 26th Nov - 10:26pm
    @ a social liberal, Obviously I didn't make myself clear in my post.I have always been opposed to British involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. I...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 26th Nov - 9:53pm
    PS, I know you can achieve a no-fly zone diplomatically, but it isn't explicitly said and it looks like the equivalent at this stage of...