A big day of internal Lib Demmery ahead

So, we’ve not even had a proper weekend off since the election. Two weeks ago we were all knackered and had loads of clearing up to do. Last week we were all on INtogether stalls. Now, this Saturday, our minds turn to future party strategy across Britain.

In Scotland, the party executive gathers for the first time since achieving a better result than most of us expected. We have a lot to chew over in terms of future strategy and we’re taking a day to do it. We’re having to follow Willie to North East Fife where he’ll spend some time with us before heading off to a local agricultural show.

In England, English Council meets in London.

However, the biggest and most immediate decision will be taken by the Welsh Liberal Democrats at a special conference in Powys. They will be debating whether Kirsty Williams should take up a seat in the Welsh Cabinet as Education Secretary.

They have to weigh up whether the swathe of Liberal Democrat policies to be enacted in areas which really matter to people are enough to compensate for losing an independent voice within the Assembly, albeit a voice which may be heard only rarely.

I so feel for our Welsh colleagues. Politics is horribly unfair sometimes. They have some stellar people there who didn’t deserve to lose. None of what happened was their fault. For years, they had been punching above their weight both in and outside of the Assembly. It so pains me to see Neil Hamilton and his mob in there instead of Eluned, Peter, Aled and Bill. I’d wanted to see Liz, Veronica and Jane join them.

I know that they will be feeling battered and bruised. However, I also know from my trip to Cardiff in February that Welsh Conference is an amazingly inspiring experience. I know that they will thoughtfully and powerfully debate the options. From what I have seen, there are some strong views on both sides, but the debate is being conducted in a respectful and dignified manner.

Good luck to our Welsh siblings – and lots of hugs, too.

I will obviously be out and about, but Paul Walter will let you know what happens.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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7 Comments

  • Mick Taylor 21st May '16 - 8:13am

    English council has been postponed till 2nd July!

  • Indeed Mick. It is English Council Executive today.

    I hope our Scottish and Welsh colleagues have fruitful discussions.

  • Simon McGrath 21st May '16 - 8:24am

    Thanks for this Caron – one small correction – it is the English Council Exec meeting today.

  • English Council executive?

  • Richard Underhill 21st May '16 - 8:36am

    Jim Wallace deputised as Leader twice. Scottish Lib Dems negotiated that local elections in Scotland would be elected by the Single Transferable Vote, which was something that Labour in Scotland were very reluctant to do as Charles Kennedy said.
    Carwyn Jones will be able to say that “These are things that Labour has agreed to do” as David Cameron does. The decision in Wales will be taken by the special conference with the support of the leader in Wales and the leader in the UK.
    The UKIP members of the Assembly will not be causing bye-elections because they are all list members. Although double jobbing is not allowed between Cardiff and the House of Commons there is a loophole for the European Parliament which should be closed at the earliest opportunity as the Labour MP for Delyn said in the debate on the Queen’s Speech.

  • Antony Hook Antony Hook 21st May '16 - 9:50am

    I think it would be useful to have a joint meeting of the English, Welsh and Scottish Execs perhaps once per year.

  • Tony Dawson 21st May '16 - 4:48pm

    It would be a strategic decision within the Lib Dems to start considering strategic matters. I would be intrigued to see any proposals coming forward where those involved genuinely believed they could influence the outcome.

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