2021 – the year in review: January

Welcome this mini-series, in which we’ll take a look back at the LDV year through our own personal prism. And where more obvious to start than at the beginning…

2020 had not been a particularly easy year, but you always want to start a new one with some enthusiasm, and Caron introduced us to something that was going to become pretty big as the year went on, the Maraphone. Perhaps it was a coincidence that the Government tried to ban leafleting a week later… We weren’t benefiting from local government by-elections either, as they’d been suspended due to Lockdown 2 – the sequel.

January also saw the culmination of Republican attempts to steal the 2020 Presidential election, one which was far closer than we had hoped it would be. But, despite what some would describe as a coup attempt on 6 January, democracy triumphed… just. Some of the lessons learned from the campaign as a whole were brought to us by John Surie, a member of Liberal Democrats Overseas.

We were still arguing amongst ourselves about whether or not we should adopt a “rejoin the EU” policy. Alistair Carmichael laid down a route map but, personally, I always find myself wondering how welcome we would be back in the European Union given what has happened over the past five and a half years. Liberal Democrats will, inevitably and correctly, argue for closer links. We’ll be ahead of the curve as usual.

My fellow Day Editor found himself in the midst of the excitement later in the month, having taken a controversial stance on campaigning technique. Andy took a bit of a kicking from some, but did draw one of my favourite comments of the year from Max Wilkinson;

I know I’m not the only one awaiting Andy’s latest lip-pouting bikini shots from Ludlow Town Centre.

Go on, Andy, you know you want to…

Given where we are, or more precisely, where this hapless government is, is what Ed Davey said early in the New Year fated to be repeated?

One of the things about the pandemic has been a sense that time slows down. Is it only a year ago that Labour and the Conservatives were, pretty much, neck and neck? It was, as YouGov recorded average polling figures for the month;

Conservatives 38%, Labour 39%, Liberal Democrats 6%, Greens 6%

It was, indeed, a bleak midwinter…

* Mark Valladares is the Monday Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice.

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One Comment

  • Peter Hirst 27th Dec '21 - 2:14pm

    I don’t understand this idea that we would not be welcome back in the EU even if uttered by our esteemed Monday editor. Compared with some of the other countries in it we are mild mannered, honest and hold most of the right values. True this country is going through a challenging time with Brexit and this present government. However, the great British public is beginning to assert itself. Our challenge is to prevent the continuation of the two party see-saw and push for electoral reform as well as our improved standing.

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