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.

photo by: Roger Blackwell
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 AvatarDavid-1 19th Sep - 2:28pm
    Every MP is elected to have a vote on the government of the entire state, not just a particular region. It's a really bad idea...
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    I suggest it's Cameron who has the bigger problems with his MPs and with the Clacton by-election looming next month. Cameron's problems are only just...
  • User AvatarAllan Heron 19th Sep - 2:15pm
    Quite the opposite from Michael Forsyth actually. It was Labour's Kevia Dugdale who was doing the backtracking. The Labour Party remain the weak link in...
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    Maybe Ed had ought to do this, but surely from Labour's perspective PR and answering the WLQ is a lose-lose. It's not Conservative majorities that...
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    Genuinely confused by why everyone thinks Ed M's position on all this matters; if there are enough votes on the Tory and Lib Dem side...
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    I don't think the SNP are necessarily strengthened. Particularly if the constitutional settlement goes according to timetable. This would mean the SNP would be unneeded...