Tag Archives: limehouse declaration

Dick Newby writes … revisiting the Limehouse Declaration

William Rodgers, Shirley Williams, Roy Jenkins & David Owen with funds from SDP supporters, Feb 1981On the wall of our downstairs loo is a framed copy of the Limehouse Declaration, issued at the inception of the SDP on 21 January 1981.

In the light of Matthew Oakeshott’s parting contention that Nick has led us as a party without roots, principles or values, I have re-read it to test his contention.

On international affairs the post-2010 Lib Dems have followed Limehouse to the letter – not just by being rooted and principled over Europe, but by our record on international development – underpinned by giving 0.7% of GDP in aid for the first time ever.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 17 Comments

“It was a tough battle” – Shirley Williams on the birth of the SDP

Shirley Williams tells the story of the 1981 Gang of Four breakaway, which eventually led to the formation of the Liberal Democrats, in the first issue of AD LIB magazine, out next week.

“…we said, if we haven’t got anywhere else to go, we’ll create one.”

Those nascent views crystallised after the party’s 1981 Wembley conference which committed it to unilateral nuclear disarmament and withdrawal from the EEC and NATO. Within hours Williams, Owen and Rodgers were drawing up the plans which would lead to the creation of the SDP.

“The three of us met – not Roy, at that point –

Posted in News | Also tagged , , and | 11 Comments

Question: Big or small government? Answer: effective

One prominent member of Liberal Youth hits the nail on the head when she says ‘ frankly sick of all this I’m a social liberal so I’m a better Lib Demno it’s Orange Bookers that are real Lib Dems… we’re in the same party ffs.’

And the contrasting Economist correspondent missed the target by a mile when he wrote – following our last conference – that ‘the Liberal Democrats are still in denial about their innate dividedness.’

You see according to this correspondent – quoted again in The Week – he has had a brilliant insight: ‘You cannot be both for, and against, the Big State.’ But whilst his truism is logically …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 8 Comments
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  • User AvatarMike S 21st Feb - 9:03pm
    @ Frankie Quite - this is the kind of Liberal idealistic nonsense which makes me wonder how so called intelligent people get themselves in positions...
  • User AvatarDavid Raw 21st Feb - 8:37pm
    The old Liberal Rowntrees in York and the Cadburys in Bournville used to produce chocolate. It looks like they have now been replaced by a...
  • User Avatarfrankie 21st Feb - 8:13pm
    You can't uninvent nuclear weapons and until you can they will exist. If they exist bad people will want them, giving them up wouldn't stop...
  • User Avatarmatt 21st Feb - 7:34pm
    @Tynan Thanks @Mike S Again thanks "Own goals are not the way to win hearts and minds (like yours for example)" True, the thing for...
  • User AvatarMike S 21st Feb - 6:56pm
    Matt I've just read this article. I can see why you are frustrated. I have no issue with authors trying to present a positive case...
  • User AvatarAC Trussell 21st Feb - 6:15pm
    The referendum has caused a great deal of anger and split the country. A different final referendum on accepting the deal brought back by May...