Tag Archives: party strategy

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



Recent Comments

  • User Avatarpaul hunt 19th Apr - 5:56pm
    Thank you, Stephen. One of the people who introduced me to Liberalism in 1973 told me that he had been inspired to join the Party...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 19th Apr - 4:43pm
    @ Thomas, The difference is that, if Scotland were within NATO, the United Kingdom would have an obligation to defend Scotland, were it to be...
  • User AvatarThomas Robinson 19th Apr - 4:19pm
    RC I would say you absolutely own the illogical stance. Of course England would not be bothered at all if a non-NATO Scotland was invaded...
  • User AvatarMark Valladares 19th Apr - 4:08pm
    @ Rabi, I did, less than four months ago, and nothing has happened since then to change my views on the subject. http://www.libdemvoice.org/2014-looking-for-a-dark-horse-or-a-safe-pair-of-hands-37695.html Here's something...
  • User AvatarTracy 19th Apr - 4:06pm
    I agree with Stephen Howse! I do hope we have a wide selection of candidates, including men!
  • User AvatarRabi Martins 19th Apr - 3:49pm
    @ MarkValladeres " I’ll be watching to see if any of the candidates show signs of understanding what is necessary to put up a good...