Tag Archives: political parties

How political parties have lost their sense of purpose

How Political Parties Have Lost Their Sense of Purpose

Several years ago I was in a meeting between senior commercial and research staff in a multinational pharmaceutical company. Discussing various research projects, one commercial person declared with obvious exasperation “Don’t forget that we’re here to make money not to indulge in fancy research projects.” The President of R&D, a Scotsman, looked him in the eyes and responded “Laddie, you’re wrong. We’re here to make medicines that make people better. And if we can do that, then we’ll make money as a result.”

This episode illustrates what has happened to business over the last several decades. It has lost its sense of purpose. There was a time when business used to focus on making products that made people’s lives better. If they could do that at a cost that was below what they could sell their products for, they made a profit and prospered. All of that is gone in far too many businesses. Now the primary goal is “shareholder value” – code for short term profit maximization – irrespective of whether social good is created or destroyed.

Posted in Op-eds | 10 Comments

Opinion: People power – a different kind of coalition

In the face of rapidly declining membership of political parties we – along with the other parties – face a challenge to survive.

In the past we have prospered as a membership led organisation, supported by a national network of volunteers and activists. Our revenue is derived from a combination of membership fees, donations and small scale fundraising.

Above all else we are members of a party that exists to promote and further our values by electing Liberal Democrats to all tiers of government – local and national. We are not a pressure group or a single issue party.

In light of drastically …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 38 Comments

Opinion: UK democracy and political parties – as seen from space

EarthHow would non-partisan observers see the condition of UK democracy over the decades as viewed from above the  stratosphere ?

With Labour they might see a political party that replaced the Liberals as the party of reform in the 1930s and after WW2, based on representing the ‘working class’ – then working mostly in industry. They might contrast this with today’s Labour party – now mostly funded and controlled by public sector unions – both a strength and weakness in terms of the progression of democracy. A public sector union is a very peculiar animal. Without the constraints of industrial competition, and with senior ‘two-hatted’ civil servants facing conflicts between the public interest and the interests of their unions, one can understand why the Labour party has certain weaknesses as part of the democratic system. Hence their conflation of the public interest with ever-expanding public employment, usually couched in the language of additional benefits to the public, (and a policy cohabitee with Tory centralization). Therein lies Labour’s key weakness as well as its strength.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 9 Comments

This week in Europe… 26-29 November

Lib Dems welcome the launch of free trade negotiations with Japan

UK Liberal Democrat MEP Catherine Bearder, the party’s European spokesperson on international trade, today welcomed the Council’s decision to authorise the launch of a free trade agreement with Japan, saying it could deliver additional EU exports to Japan worth €43.4bn (around £35bn). She said:

It is time to tap into the huge potential of a free trade agreement with Japan. It is the world’s third largest economy and crucial export market for the

Posted in Europe / International and News | Also tagged and | Leave a comment
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarMichael BG 23rd Jun - 2:20am
    Firstly we need to recognise that it is unlikely we will be in the EU and have mass immigration from the EU into the UK....
  • User AvatarMatthew Huntbach 23rd Jun - 2:00am
    Lorenzo Cherin Your comments suggest you have no idea whatsoever of what the real SDP and real Liberal Party were like when the two merged....
  • User AvatarMichael 23rd Jun - 1:59am
    @ Paul Holmes Lord Ashcroft polling has Brexit has the top issue . clearly this is both pro and anti brexit. 28% against 19% for...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 23rd Jun - 1:44am
    By the way, I want to praise Norman's call for a new kind of politics that rejects abuse, aggression and name-calling. This is a vote...
  • User AvatarJames Pugh 23rd Jun - 1:24am
    Negative campaigning is a campaigning technique that does work, but like all campaigning techniques, will deter some voters. Just as message repitition works (sometimes, or...
  • User AvatarTom 23rd Jun - 12:16am
    Interesting article. But I'm afraid adult, co-operative politics requires everyone to be co-operative. Or at least more than one party. And we're just not there....
Sat 1st Jul 2017