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 AvatarGlenn 30th Sep - 5:02am
    Manfarang. No they were not. They were the result of following fairly recent fashionable economic orthodoxies. One of many possible approaches. IMO, and those of...
  • User AvatarManfarang 30th Sep - 4:28am
    Glen The austerity years were the result of the fallout from the financial crisis of 2008. Who ever was in power would have had to...
  • User AvatarGlenn 30th Sep - 1:33am
    Steven Rose' The Austerity years were for nothing. They prolonged the recession with very few benefits to the economy and the chief architect of this...
  • User AvatarDave Orbison 30th Sep - 12:46am
    Stevan Rose - how is Tim Farron going to build houses, reverse the cuts in public services and improve them whilst improving education and the...
  • User AvatarDave Orbison 30th Sep - 12:43am
    @Simon Shaw Re what a silly comment. We all of us here express our opinions on issues that are by their nature debatable. It may...
  • User AvatarDavid Pocock 30th Sep - 12:41am
    David Brenton - I'm getting my butt to Whitney again this weekend. Win this one and then we shall see their smiles turn