Tag Archives: party strategy

Opinion: What does the evidence tell us about our strategy should be?

evidence of organized lightAs a party committed to evidence-based policy, we should be asking what the evidence tells us about the questions of strategy and leadership we now face. The discussion is currently impressionistic and getting fixated on the past. We need instead to stick to the evidence and to what it suggests we should do in the future. There are many examples one could give about the leadership issue, but here is one about strategy.

Nick Clegg has explained the party’s strategy like this: “

We said in 2010 we were going

photo by: jared
Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 56 Comments

Opinion: 10 reasons that you will not be able to stamp out the Liberal Democrat “Cockroaches”

Since the conception of the coalition government the future of the Liberal Democrats has been one of the biggest talking points in British politics. The conventional wisdom was that they would be annihilated in 2015 as a result of broken promises and the tough decisions of government. Yet the party secured a stunning victory in Eastleigh on the back of 8% national poll ratings, abysmal national council elections and several heavily-reported scandals. Despite these difficult circumstances certain political commentators have claimed that the Liberal Democrats should not celebrate Eastleigh, pointing towards the 14% swing against them. But this is …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 25 Comments

Nick Clegg’s speech to conference: what I’ll be looking out for

nick cleggHuhne, Pryce, Rennard, Eastleigh. A mass of events converge this weekend as Brighton once again becomes centre of the Lib Dem universe for a weekend.

These topics will inevitably dominate conversations in the conference bar. But when Nick Clegg stands up on Sunday lunchtime to make his speech he has to look beyond the short-term events that have dominated Liberal Democrat discourse for the last few weeks and months.

It’s often said of a speeches that they are “one of the most important X has made in the course of his leadership”. …

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Putting the party’s message in a distinctively liberal context – Part 2: the economy

This is the second of three posts looking at the party’s messaging. The first was published here yesterday; the last and final post will appear tomorrow.

The first half of our message emphasises economic competence: bringing back (as David Laws once put it) Gladstonian Liberalism to the Treasury and setting us up to be competitive in a fast-changing, globalised economy.

So far, much of the focus has been on our willingness to take “tough decisions”. Here, for example, is David Laws speaking to the Independent recently: “in the past people have known we stood for a fairer society but have …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 64 Comments

Putting the party’s message in a distinctively liberal context – Part 1

In my New Year review of the party’s position, I emphasised the need to get the basics right; political competence before all else. I touched on the party’s messaging only perfunctorily, because my view was (and to an extent still is) that there are more pressing concerns than the message itself (we can have the best message in the world, but if we are failing when it comes to the basics of political strategy and tactics it is next to useless). Here’s is what I did say, in my concluding remarks:

There’s already been talk over the Christmas break of

Posted in Op-eds | 10 Comments

2013 can be the year Lib Dems prove the cynics wrong, but we have to get smart

Nick Clegg after his conference speechOne of the most interesting results in Lib Dem Voice’s most recent poll of party members was the answer to the following question: Do you support or oppose the Lib Dems being in the Coalition Government with the Conservatives?

After two-and-a-half years of difficult negotiations with our Conservative partners, deep spending cuts, unpopular tax rises, hundreds of council seats lost and a national poll rating now consistently in the single figures, still only 19% of Lib Dem

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged , , and | 36 Comments

Opinion: we must campaign to win in every election

Those of us who have been around a while will remember fighting nationwide elections we knew we couldn’t win. European elections were always like this until the nineties, when we suddenly made a (minor) breakthrough even before PR voting was introduced.

So in the scheme of things Thursday’s PCC elections were nothing new.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 29 Comments

Can we stop apologising for being in government yet?

One of the things that has puzzled me most about two years of the Coalition is the very differing approaches to being in power between the two partners, both in the way they look at the world, and in the way that the world looks back.

In many ways, the Conservatives have it far easier. The vast leviathan which is the deficit provides ample justification for doing what Conservatives are expected to do – cut government spending – although it has made cutting taxes for their client base rather more difficult. And, for that proportion of the population who vote Conservative …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 71 Comments



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